What you need to understand right out of the blocks for Prison School” (“Purizun Sukūru) is that this is the blackest comedy you will ever see. Your first clue is the guy at the right end, who reminds one of Little Face from the “Dick Tracy” movie. And, yes, what you see behind them is a barely-covered, completely massive bust line, but more on that later.

The plot: Hachimitsu Academy, one of the strictest girls’ academies in Tokyo (potentially worse than some dictatorial nations), has decided to admit boys into their system. To ‘integrate’ and have a kind of pilot program, five boys are selected to be among the 1000 girls. However, there are severe, yes, draconian, laws in place which punishes even the most minor infractions with a stay in the school’s prison. You betcha; in the center of the school commons is a cinderblock prison. Our cast of troublemakers (left to right): Jouji “Joe” Nezu, Shingo Wakamoto, Kiyoshi Fujino (the hero), Takehito “Gakuto” Morokuzu and Reiji “Andre” Andou are involved in an attempt to peep in the girl’s shower room, completely unaware that their actions are not welcome. Hell, they are not welcome. Well, it goes awry (naturally) and this causes the five boys to be “arrested” and receive an ultimatum: either stay a month in the school’s Prison Block or be expelled.Continue reading

wakakozake-review

This is a very odd food series, almost like a food review segment in a news broadcast than a real show, but it certainly has less baggage with it than “Toriko” or “Shokugeki no Soma”. “Wakakozake” (“Wakako Sake”) tells the very brief tale of Wakako, who goes around to eating establishments after work to try and find something to eat that is (a) tasty and (b) inexpensive that (c) goes well with beer or sake. Wherever it is she works, there are loads and loads of places to eat around, so she drops in to dine on one food, like deep-fried asparagus skewers or steamed clams or yakitori.

Now, she has never had a bad dish of anything, but there is a tinge of sadness as she always dines alone. She feasts well, as the food fills her physical and most emotional needs. Or perhaps I am reading too much into this. In any case, it does help explain a variety of Japanese foods and what really goes into them to make it more than a squat ‘n’ gobble kind of place. The artwork is off, as she is very cartoony, but everyone else is more or less normal.Continue reading

dragon-crisis-review

I was once told that there are only 10 plots for stories in the world and everything we do is based off of them. I got that feeling with “Dragon Crisis!” (“Doragon Kuraishisu!), as it smells like parts of “C3” and “Testament” (can you help out a damsel in distress?)

We begin with Ryūji Kisaragi, a mere lad of 15 summers (and that winter in Sapporo). His parents are ‘Lost Precious’ hunters (and keep your Gollum puns to yourself, please. We’ll have time for that at the end). Because his parents cross the world almost constantly, he is left to his own devices. His life gets upended when cousin Eriko Nanao (19 and very ‘healthy’) stops by. There is something afoot in the Black Market and a potential Lost Precious is being transported under cover of night and heavy security. They capture it (despite a car chase and a gun battle) only to find that it is the girl Rose. Ah, but a Rose by any other name would still be…a dragon?Continue reading

Monster Musume-review

This is a harem comedy taken, potentially, to the zenith that it could go for. It is less about the fact that this guy has six ladies or 12 ladies or all the ladies in Kankakee chasing after him, but more as what they are. “Monster Musume” (“Everyday Life with Monster Girls” or, “Monsutā Musume no Iru Nichijō”), tells the very bizarre story of the very bizarre world that Kimihito Kurusu (Mr. Dazed and Confused up there) lives in.

After many, many years of vehement denials, the Japanese Government finally copped to the fact that these ‘monster girls’ exist. That revelation ‘occurred’ three years before the ‘start’ of the anime, brought forth by passing a legal bill, the “Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act”. Now, they are officially referred to as “liminals”, although some still call them ‘monsters’ (I prefer the term ‘exotics’, but that’s just me). Society is trying to mainstream them in, so there is no longer a culture shock when you see a dullahan walking down the street. Kimihito is a volunteer or a host family or patsy for one of them, Miia (redhead at one o’clock), who is a lamia (half human, half snake). About three to four feet of her is human; the rest (potentially a total of 30 feet) is her snake appendage.Continue reading

Knights of Sidonia - Battle for Planet Nine review

Now, I knew from the bottom of my comfy bunny slippers that there was going to be a second season of this series. Currently called Shidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki” (“Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine”), we continue the story of Nagate Tanikaze (on the right), his relationship with Izana Shinatose (on the left) and the arrival of new support and Best BFF Forever, Tsumugi Shiraui (in the middle).

A decision is made for Sidonia to venture to the Lem System, but this is being done for ulterior motives (can’t reveal too much, plot point. Gigantic plot point). The discovery of ‘ancient technology’ has allowed our band of fighters to create Tsumugi, a caliber of Gauna, but under control of Sidonia. The plan: go to the Gauna home base and destroy them once and for all. The story details all the machinations and struggles it takes to attempt such a tremendous and dangerous task.Continue reading

The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan review

Although I like to think of myself as aware and with it and on the ball, sometimes you get your hat handed to you and this show “The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan (“Nagato Yuki-chan no Shōshitsu”) certainly brought me back to Earth. It took me almost two episodes to realize that this was a spin-off/Alternative Universe approach from the world of Haruhi Suzumiya. Well, it did take me many, many years to realize the cities in “Pokemon” were all colors and Ash came from Pallet Town. (Or course, if they had spelled it Palette Town, I’d have gotten it like that!)

In this approach, Nagato is all-too human and painfully shy. She is still in the Literature Club, and the president of it, but was one of the few members, along with new friend Ryoko Asakura (that’s her between Nagata and Haruhi) and Ryoko’s friend, Kyon (far left). They manage to save the club with the addition of members Tsurura and Mikuru (and if they gave the name in the first episode as Mikuru Asahina, I would have gotten it like that; they are both at the far right). It isn’t until the end of episode two that Haruhi makes her grand appearance. Oh, don’t worry; Itsuki Koizumi shows up as well, although, he too, is a normal student. And therein lies the first concern.Continue reading

Short Pull Series IX - What Don’t You “Understand”  blog 158

I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying” (“Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken”) is a brief (about four minutes), episodic show about the married life between Hajimi, a 23-year old otaku who scrapes by living as a blogger and Kaoru, a 25-year old office lady who is adjusting to married life with an otaku husband.

The show starts off a few weeks after they have been married, so we are still in a period of adjustment for them. You get the feeling that they just don’t know all that much about one another and she got married because she was afraid that she would never be married. Aside from having with their interpersonal issues, there are their friends to deal with, and a larger assortment of loonies you have never met or seen.

This show really works well with binge watching. I mean, they are only four minutes a pop, so you can clobber the first season in about an hour. There is a second season out as well, but you get the feeling that the shows are ‘mixed up’. The order they are presented is not the order they should be in, so it flows better, but perhaps that is the comment they are making, that life is rather episodic and that compatibility is difficult, especially when you are just starting out.Continue reading

Common “Sense” blog 157
Re-Kan” (or “Rekan”, if you like or “Sixth Sense” if you need it in English) is a rather strange ghost story. Or maybe it’s closer aligned to supernaturalism than mere poltergeistian activities. It is not handled in the usual sense of “G-g-g-g-ghosts!!!!!” that we have come to encounter, although we do have at least one character of that type. That ‘new idea’ gives it a rather refreshing take on things, more or less.

We start off with Hibiki Amami (far left) who has this ‘special ability’ and can (and does) interact with ghosts and supernatural beings as well as talking with cats and other animals. She transfers to a new school, but none of her peers share that ability. Class representative Narumi Inoue (grumpy blonde) despises anything related to the occult but eventually becomes friends with Amami due to the latter’s character. The story follows their everyday antics. Oh, the rest of the cast.

Although you cannot see them in this shot very well, Kana Uehara (middle) and Kyōko Esumi (long amber hair towards the right) both sport a caliber of the Veronica Lake look, except we can see their hidden eye. Now, whereas Inoue flees in terror at any mention of ghosts, these two embrace it, with Kana taking some Class-A photos of the spirits and loading it up to her Spook Blog. The last one seen is Makoto Ogawa, who has no trouble with ghosts, as she has a severe zombie fixation, so a dead specter is a snap. Not shown in the lone boy of the group, Kenta Yamada, who is a bit of a dork and gets clobbered roundly by Kyoko for being a bit of a dork.Continue reading

Short Run Series XXIII - Straight Arrow  blog 152

Yeah, this is another “Girls Who Save the World” anime, but the operative word here is ‘save’. I’ll explain “Isuca” as we go along.

We start off with Shinichirō Asano. To the entire world, he appears to be your typical anime high school male: just a tad on the clueless side. He follows some woman down a darkened street or alleyway or another caliber of pedestrian pathway. She then turns into a gigantic soul-sucking centipede or some other ilk of icky bug (please, keep your comments to yourself about women until the end, OK?) He is saved by a bow-wielding archer that cuts down said bug woman in nothing flat. This woman is Sakuya Shimazu, a well-liked classmate. We also learn that she is destined to be the 37th head of the Shimazu family, who, for generations, have been sealing away youmas and other nasties that crawl in the night (but no politicians. Drat, but you can’t have it all).

It is decided (not by either of them) that he is to move in with her and basically run the household. You see, Sakuya does not play well with others, can’t figure out which end of a frying pan to use and needs all the help she can get. Shinichiro needs a job and there you have it. The series contends itself with several storylines: Sakuya’s struggle to be the next head of the family while learning her skills, how helpful Shinichiro can/will/is going to be to her and himself and how they both/all deal with the very mysterious Isuca, a force to be reckoned with.Continue reading

the root of all evil blog 151
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