“Irregular” Sizes

March 1, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, The Irregular at Magic High School

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This is an entry in the ever-increasing popularity of the school-magic show. You have seen it with “The Familiar of Zero”, “Blade Dance”, Magic Craft Works” and “A Certain Magical Index”. So, what makes “The Irregular at Magic High School” that different? Well in one aspect, it isn’t that different, as we cannot decide on the title (Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei, “The Poor Performing Student of a Magic High School”), but ‘poor’ is a very poor choice of words, but this is revealed during the run of the show. Also, rather than being a magic show with a school setting, it is a school show with a magic background.

It is the future (almost the end of this century). Magic is an established fact, has been for about 100 years and many countries train those with magical ability to, eventually, become soldiers to defend the country. In Japan, there are nine Magic High Schools. I do not know if the numbers mean anything, but we focus on First High School. Ah, but we use magic differently, in that we don’t going around, proclaiming “Accio!” or “Deletrius” or “Hakuna Matata!” Rather than casting spells with chants or other traditional forms of spell casting, mages use a Casting Assistant Device, better known as a CAD. The bad thing is the device looks like an iPhone6. Read the rest of this entry →

The “Fragments” of Stupidity

February 26, 2015 in Anime, D-Fragments, General Reviews

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My initial concern about “D-Fragments” (or ‘D-Frag!”) is that it was another of those hostage shows, in the fact that the main character is bullyragged into joining a club that he’d rather not join. The story focuses on a pseudo-connected series of sketches as delinquent student Kenji Kazama (hot and sweaty up there) is forced into joining his school’s struggling “Game Creation Club” by its members, a quartet of crazy women with their own eccentricities that drive him crazy. As he attempts to distance himself from the club, the more he seems to run into not only his fellow club members, but others from his school who drive him insane to different degrees.

As you can see, he makes Member Number 5 and thus the club is saved from extinction, especially since it is a spite club, but more on that later. The members are (this time, right to left from Kazama):

Takao, she is the source for all of the boob jokes and the president of the real Game Creation Club
Sakura Mizukami, called’ Water’ as her answer to all problems is to pour water on it
Roka Shibasaki, president of the club, she is ‘darkness’ as she puts a bag over people’s heads
Chitose Karasuyama, student council president, she is ‘earth’ as she throws dirt at them
Minami Ōsawa, the teacher adviser, the room is a place for her to sleep

The actual fifth member of the club, Hachi Shiō, is more of a lurker. Read the rest of this entry →

“Kill” Shot

February 22, 2015 in Akamiga Kill, Anime, General Reviews

kill shot blog 121There is a classic trope in Hollywood pictures, where some rube from the country comes to the Big City to make it big, only to get fleeced and greased. That is the initial concept behind “Akami ga Kill!” (“Akami Slashes!”).

In this land, Tatsumi leaves his poverty-stricken village, with his two friends, in order to join the army in the Capitol, makes lots of money and help save the village. Along the way, he is separated from his companions and gets to the Capitol all alone….where he is promptly swindled out of all his money. Destitute, a rich family takes him in for the night, to help him get back on his feet. However, this house is attacked by members of the assassination group Night Raid, who proceed to kill most of the people.

In trying to defend them, Tatsumi realizes that his hosts not only take in lost souls from the streets, but torture them to death, including his two friends, whom he frees, but cannot rescue. Angered, Tatsumi kills his hosts and joins Night Raid to dispense some harsh justice. Read the rest of this entry →

Ticket to “Ride”

February 19, 2015 in Anime, Ao Haru Ride, General Reviews

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School and friendship animes seem to go together like corned beef and mustard (and I find horseradish mustard works best for that). This offering, “Ao Haru Ride” (“Blue Spring Ride”), treads familiar ground, but in a different way.

Futaba Yoshioka (second stamp from left) wants to change up her life, leaving behind her previous school and reputation. You see, in junior high, the girls ostracized Futaba because too many junior high boys liked her. That was only half the problem, as the only boy Futaba liked (and I mean REALLY liked), Kou Tanaka, moved away before she could tell him how she felt.

That was then. Now in high school, Futaba is determined to be unladylike (well, more tomboyish) so her new friends will not become jealous of her. While living her new life contentedly, she meets Kou again, but he now uses the name Kou Mabuchi (and he is the far left stamp) and has a cold attitude, not only towards her, but to a lot of people. He tells her that he liked her as well in junior high, but feels differently now. That was then. Read the rest of this entry →

“Zero” for Conduct

February 15, 2015 in Aldnoah. Zero, Anime, General Reviews

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This is another of those ‘Alternate Universe” shows, but isn’t that what science fiction is about? (or as Harlan Ellison said, “It’s Speculative Fiction.”). Welcome to “Aldnoah. Zero

In 1972, during the last Apollo mission, an ancient alien hyper-gate was discovered on the surface of the moon. Using this technology, humanity began migrating to Mars and settling there. After settlers discovered additional advanced technology, the Vers Empire was founded, which claimed Mars and its secrets for themselves.

Some years later, the Vers Empire declared war on Earth, and, in 1999, a battle on the Moon’s surface caused the hyper-gate to explode, shattering the Moon and scattering remnants into a debris belt around the planet, an event referred to as Heaven’s Fall. Cut off from Mars, the remnants of the Vers insurgents established several massive orbital space stations within the debris belt (they are referred to as Landing Castles) and a ceasefire was established. Read the rest of this entry →

“Gender” Confusion

February 12, 2015 in Blue Gender

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This is one of those shows that drop you into the action without much to go on, although the show might have been better to be called “Red Gender” than “Blue Gender”. Disclosure Time: I bailed out on this show after three episodes, as it did violate Rule Three of Anime (“If you feel the show is not going to get better, leave it. It is NOT going to get better.”). In my opinion, this is one of the worst animes I have seen this year (fighting for that title with “Terra Formars”) and the worst anime I have seen since “Peach Girl”. Now, this differs from one I don’t like. There are some shows that just miss for me or aren’t worth my time from the capsule description. This one I at least watched to draw my conclusion (and my repeated open).

In the year 2009, Yuji Kaido (that mullet-head up there. What is that hair style? Was it ever popular?) is an average young adult male diagnosed with a serious disease (the “B-cells”) and is put into cryogenic stasis until a cure is found. Twenty-two years later, he is awakened in the midst of a raging battle between armored soldiers and insectoid beings called the “Blue” which have overrun the Earth.

This group of soldiers is from an orbiting space colony, collectively called Second Earth. They had orders to recover “sleepers” around the Earth. Among them is the soldier Marlene Angel, (can you find the girl?) who at first appears to be heartless toward others. On the journey to the space colony, Second Earth, Yuji meets many of the humans that were left behind during the evacuation due to limited resources. Standing orders for Marlene and the other troops are to consider any human survivors on the surface to be already dead, which greatly troubles Yuji.

The problem with this is that it is terrible science fiction, terrible war and terrible horror. It seems these insectoids, which look like giant spiders, when they capture you, ball you up and will eat you later. Well, as you have seen, most people do not roll up well, so there is a lot of physical compaction. Adding to this is that Yuji has zero idea what is going on, except that he is the only one from his facility to survive, as the others are lost. His tube broke open and he was awakened; the rest were still in their tubes and sank to the bottom of the sea. Read the rest of this entry →

It’s a Cruel “Summer”

February 9, 2015 in Anime, Free-Eternal Summer, General Reviews

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Certainly the ending of “Free!” strongly implied there would be a second season; I just didn’t expect it to come so fast.

Free! – Eternal Summer” continues/completes the saga of the Iwatobi Swim Club and the rivalry between them and Samezuka Academy and how they strive to prove who is the best, both individually and collectively, with the target of the Nationals well within their sight and grasp.

One thing that bothered me was the titles of the individual episodes, as they tethered it with swim terms. It’s just that it got corny to watch “The Butterfly of Farewell” or “The Crouching Start of Vindication”. Why not have “The Flip-turn of Despair”? This was one of two drag points. The other was fake problems that really weren’t problems, but everyone gets to sing an aria in this show, so you need something that causes them consternation. Oooh, oooh, I broke a nail! Read the rest of this entry →

Save the Last “Dance” for Me

February 1, 2015 in Anime, Blade Dance of the Elementalers, General Reviews

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This is another of those shows like “Infinite Stratos” or even “Unbreakable Machine Doll”, whereas only maidens who are pure of heart and come from a noble family can pilot a body ship, or, in this case, make contracts with the spirit world and become elementalers. In order to achieve the finest education in all these matters, they attend the Areishia Spirit Academy, where they are trained and given an Elite’s education in order to qualify to become an elementalist. Well, all of this is knocked into a cocked hat when Kamito Kazehaya (find the dude up there, dude) somehow manages to make a contract with a spirit, making him the ONLY male elementaler in the world and only the second since the Norman Conquest (the real one, not the series).

“Blade Dance of the Elementalers” relates the tale of how Kamito tries to fit in with all of these girls, but four in particular, who are, left to right:

Claire Rouge
Rinslet Laurenfrost
Ellis Fahrengart
Fianna Ray Ordesia

The fifth, Terminus Est, is actually the contracted spirit for Kamito. This is her ‘human’ form; her regular form is some fabulous sword. Read the rest of this entry →

Short Run Series XVIII- “Circus” Catch

January 25, 2015 in Anime, Black Butler: Book of Circus, General Reviews

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We have the third season of “Black Butler: Book of Circus”, which gives a complete story approach (much like the second season), but is far more entertaining, and far more heartless.

It is February 1886 and Ciel has been asked by the Queen to help her again. It seems that there is an epidemic of children disappearing, and not just one or two, but lots of them, as if they have been Pied Pipered away. The only link is the Noah’s Ark Circus, which has been to the towns that have missing children and it just happens to be coming to London in the next few days. The Queen wants Ciel and Sebastian to investigate and at least prove or refute the charges.

To this end, they infiltrate the circus, pretending to be commoners and apply for a job. The series details their adventures to crack this mystery. Read the rest of this entry →

I Feel a Bad “Vibration”

January 18, 2015 in Anime, Freezing: Vibration, General Reviews

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It has been four years since the ladies of West Genetics have graced our screen, but we now have the second season. “Freezing: Vibration”, however, has taken a page from the “Maken-Ki II” playbook. For those of you who have forgotten (and who don’t want to take the time to read my original review for “Freezing”), the world is beset by these strange creatures called Nova. They are as large as a Gundam and wherever they land, they cause untold destruction.

There are these special women, called Pandoras, who have the power and ability to fight these aliens with their Volt Weapon. They have a male limiter who can project an energy field that ‘freezes’ the Nova in place, allowing the Pandora to dispense a huge amount of damage.

The conclusion of the first season is now called the 10th Nova Battle. Although we secured a victory, many Pandora were killed (as is the nature of war). To combat this personnel problem (as only about 2% of women worldwide are even compatible with the Stigmata that give a Pandora her abilities), Chevalier, the organization that oversees the Pandoras, has come up with a series of experiments that could make even common women able to be Pandoras. The “E-Pandora Project” is taking place in their secret base in Alaska, where the world’s Pandoras are sent to help with this experiment. Read the rest of this entry →