This was (and is) a difficult show to review, as it is full of ‘Gotcha!’ moments and secrets that if I tell too much, it will take away those moments of discovery when you watch “Gakkōu Gurashi! (“School-Live!” or “Living at School!“). At the very least, I can run down the cast for you, right to left:
Megumi Sakura, sometimes called Megu-nee, the teacher. (PS, this is the closest you’ll get to fan service for the show)
Yuki, so very cheerful, along with her friends Kurumi Yūri and Miki, is a member of the Megurigaoka Private High School’s School Living Club. As Yuki seeks out fun school activities every day while living at school, the other girls work to keep her safe, because in reality……………..Continue reading
“The Eden of the Grisaia” takes our story arc to its ultimate conclusion. At the end of “Labyrinth”, we discover that the ladies came across Kajima’s notes regarding his report on himself and none of them realized that he was, at least, as damaged as they were and potentially more so than any of them could realize. They want to help him, but things take a hideous downturn.
Kajima’s old master/tutor/mentor/father figure Heath Oslo, has come back to town with an absolutely nefarious scheme that may potentially destroy everyone (except him. But do you really want to groove on the rubble?) Adding to the consternation of all, the Academy’s funding has been turned off and it must shut down, dispensing the ladies onto the winds of the world. But they are saved by the mysterious voice and brain of Thanandos, an entity that can help direct them. This now turns into a giant cat-and-mouse game, as we have to fly under the radar to try and save Yuuji.
The fact that it goes 10 episodes made me grind my teeth. We set up a very elaborate plan to get Yuuji free from his captors. This took four episodes to set up, and it strained credulity, but I stayed with it, as I watched it unfurl. It was one of those situations where you do A to get B, which helps you with C, giving you D to obtain E. None of the players are aware of all of this and it moves well enough to avoid detection. Pretty good results for a bunch of high school girls running it. Oh, and we learn who Thanandos really is.Continue reading
With the end of the first season of “Tokyo Ghoul”, there was still a huge amount of work to do and things were not properly resolved. The second season, which appears to be called “Tokyo Ghoul Square Root of A (“Tokyo Ghoul √A”), picks up where the first season left off and therein lies the troubles.
The first season was trying to help us understand what Kaneki was going through (that’s Mr. Moody up there), a person who was a college student, and now is a ghoul. Couldn’t you have chosen a better major? He suffered a huge amount of tortuous abuse at the hands of Jason last season and dispatches him at the start of this season, but decides to join Aogiri Tree, a fierce ghoul group who clash with the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul) over a degree or supremacy and of whom the aforementioned Jason was part of. The problem with the show, overall, is that we turn into the Dragon Ball Z Syndrome: endless fighting amid endless fighting when we are not endlessly fighting. I mean, it’s like the Churchill quote: “…we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” And they proceed to do just that.Continue reading
Part of the problem with any art form (movies, music, anime, painting, books, graffiti at the bus stop) is that there is so much already out there and so much more coming through, it is very easy to miss or overlook or just be oblivious to whatever else is out there and you cruise right on past things. There are a lot of really good shows out there, but you may not have heard of them or the capsule description doesn’t really capture the flavor of the show.
As part of an on-going series, I want to draw your attention to these overlooked gems and suggest that you take some time out of your busy day (there is no need to see a replay on the NFL Network of a game between the Patriots and the Falcons played in Week 13 of 1992) and check them out, which brings me to my first offering, “Gunslinger Girl”.
It is interesting in that it is fully set it Italy, something that you rarely see in anime. We begin with the Social Welfare Agency (or “the Agency”), ostensibly a charitable institution sponsored by the Italian Government. While the Agency professes to aid the rehabilitation of the physically injured, it is actually a military organization. It is composed of two independent branches: Public Safety, its surveillance and intelligence-gathering division, and Special Ops, the anti-terrorist division.Continue reading
The OVA for “The Fruit of Grisaia” (or “The Gray-Colored Fruit”) is designed to keep you interested in the show, as a movie (in theory) comes out in April and a new series follows shortly thereafter, but they come off as more unrestricted ecchi. All of the ladies seem to want to do the Wild Thing with Yūji Kazami, but it is done more for our benefit as the viewer than for anything that Yuri might want, or that the ladies are seeking.
I do not need to see a woman, dressed as a Playboy Bunny, riding a giant carrot like Slim Pickens did with that nuke in “Dr. Strangelove” or some girl who gives Yuri a real scrub down in the bath, washing everything including his shower nozzle. No, that’s not a euphemism; she really washes down the shower nozzle. Look, it just might be better for you to watch the shows (they run about six or so minutes each) to understand why they do what they do, as it does not make a lick of real sense, either as an OVA or in the general run of the show. And to make matters worse, it comes off as a painful obligation to do these histrionics, rather than a blossoming girl, experiencing the pangs of first love and true romance and….oh, just take off your clothes. Or, as seen above, a tantalizing glimpse of panties.Continue reading
This is a show that got me major league ticked off as well. Looks, it’s barely the start of the new year and I don’t think anything is going to match the lever of outrage I feel about this series “Alice in Borderland”, because I feel cheated, cheated, cheated!
I mean, I had not seen a show with such an interesting plot and development since “Btooom!”, as it has the same caliber of idea, but since the dang thing only goes three episodes, what a total rip! I wanted a whole run, not a mere glancing at the menu and then asked to leave.
OK, the story, as it is, begins with these three slacker friends (left to right):
For some odd reason, they appear to be hanging around a deserted subway stop about 2 am. They have no place to go and all day to get there, so they are just chewing the fat. Arisu makes the comment that he’d like to go somewhere far away and not have to do anything and his pals agree. He has problems with his intolerable everyday life and yearns for something more, potentially something more interesting and daring. Suddenly, there is a fireworks show, which is quite strange. The explosions appear to be coming closer and closer and then…….Continue reading
I’m not really certain how to take Le Fruit de la Grisaia (“Gurizaia no Kajitsu” or “The Fruit of the Grisaia”), as it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as much is kept hidden from you and you must take a kind of voyage of discovery to understand it all.
Yūji Kazami (the only guy) transfers to Mihama Academy, a school with only five female students and prison-like features. Every student in the school have their own “circumstances” for being there, but Yūji is not required to do anything about their situation, as he asked for a normal student life. This is funny, as there is nothing ‘normal’ about him or the school. He has a questionable and/or unsavory past, which he tries to forget, but not even a zebra can change its stripes.
The five ladies, whom he shares an almost empty classroom with, are (left to right):
Sachi Komine. The maid. She always wears the maid outfit as a sense of duty.
Amane Suou. She is kind of the house mother and wants to seduce Yuji
Makina Irisu. Although innocent and carefree, she suffered a deep emotional shock
Michiru Matsushima. She is standing atop that thing and has a split personality, so you never know who you are talking to.
Yumiko Sakaki (far right). Don’t mess with her, as she wields a box cutter with devastating results.Continue reading
OK, I KNEW this was a horror series, but I was drawn to “Tokyo Ghoul”, as you get tired of the vampire – werewolf – zombie nexus and I wanted to try something new, although they do play fast and loose with the mythology (which begs the question: can a myth be factually incorrect?) So, let’s set the history of ghouls. A true ghoul eats the corpses of the human dead, thus hanging around graveyards and the like. They might be akin to a politician. However, some ghouls are not beyond helping people become dead, so they can dine. Talk about a moveable feast!
So, we are in Tokyo (which helps for a show named “Tokyo Ghoul”). Let us meet Ken Kaneki, that young male youth up there. Things are going well for him: he’s in college, he’s found a rockin’ place to hang out and he meets this fabulous girl, Rize Kamishiro, that far-right woman. Now, not only is she out of Kaneki’s league, it isn’t even the same sport, but he is intrigued, as she wants him over for dinner. Yup, she’s a ghoul and has her eyes (and teeth) set on Kaneki. As she is busily killing him at a construction site, a hoist of I-beams snaps free from its hook and comes crashing down upon them.
A doctor just happened to be travelling by, comes across these two really messed-up people and thinks “We have the technology. We can rebuild him.” Taken to the hospital in critical condition, he transplants from Rize those important organs that weren’t crushed under several tons of steel into Kaneki. He lives! The operation was a success. No, it wasn’t. After recovering, Kaneki discovers that the operation transformed him into a half-ghoul, and just like them, he must consume human flesh to survive.Continue reading
When is a movie not a movie? When is a series not a series? Why can’t you ever get a good answer to questions? Did you remember to turn off the iron?
I bring this up, as I am uncertain how to approach “Mardock Scramble”. If it is a movie, why isn’t it presented as such? At three hours, it is a bit long for a movie (especially an anime one), but it could have easily been broken up to be a first season of a show (a 12-episode run). I am going to call this a ‘special’, as it works best in that configuration. So, let’s get to the story, eh?
It could be the future, but it is certainly an alternate universe of Tokyo….I mean, Kamina City, Rune Balot is a 15-year old prostitute, who goes on a ‘date’ with the notorious Shell Septinous. Shell has a bit of a problem, in that he is a psychotic killer. He has sex with these underage ladies, and then murders them. Rune is no exception, as she is left to die in a burning car which explodes. However, she is rescued and transformed into a cyborg by the rather mysterious Dr. Easter. An Artificial Intelligence life formContinue reading
This is another strange show, in that you do not realize how all the stories are interconnected, as well as not getting the answers you need to understand what is going on, so it is going to take some dedication in viewing it. OK, the full title for this is “Mawaru Penguindrum”; otherwise, you may have a hard time finding it as merely ‘Penguin Drum”.
Initially, we drop in on the Takakura family, currently composed of (left to right) Kanba (the playboy type), Shoma (the innocent one) and Himari (the terminally ill one). Mom and Dad are missing (and we’ll find out why later in the series), so it’s just these three and the mysterious Uncle Ikeba (just a voice on the phone).
One day, they decide to go to the aquarium, where they purchase this really ugly penguin hat for Himari. As they are paying for the hat, Himari collapses. She is taken to the hospital, where she dies. As the brothers mourn, they are surprised to see Himari suddenly spring back to life, fully cured of her condition. The doctor calls it a miracle, as her condition was such that no one comes back, much less gets cured.Continue reading