Worked into a “Frenzy”

August 28th, 2012 in Anime, General Reviews, Shigurui by


I am not a big fan of ‘historical’ anime, as they always seem to play fast and loose with the rules. Modern sensibilities, placed on a different era, sometimes equal a show that just doesn’t make it, either as anime or history.

Shigurui” plays out more like a Kurosawa film, akin to “Rashomon” or “Yojimbo”, but the level of mayhem and violence places it within the realm of “Gantz” or  “Deadman Wonderland”.

The story begins in 1629, as we are seeing a tournament between, perhaps, two of the country’s best swordsmen. However, they are using real swords and not wooden practice ones, so this will be a fight to the death.

The two men participating, Fujiki Gennosuke (who has one arm) and Irako Seigen (who is blind) not only have a history, but each has a history together. The show is a flashback as to how these two ended up here and in their current physical situation.

It all begins at the Kogen dojo, where Gennosuke is the star pupil and Seigen is the brash upstart who puts Gennosuke in his place. Kogan Iwamoto, the head of the dojo is, for most of the year, mentally unbalanced and is slowly rotting away, but for a brief period once a year, he becomes lucid and coherent and makes decisions that affect the dojo for the next year.

Seigen, blinded by his arrogance, carries on an affair with Lady Iku, who is looking for something away from Iwamoto. Well, the sensei finds out, which leads to their physical travails and both are sent packing. However, years later, Seigen comes back, seeing revenge by brutalizing the students of the dojo in savage ways. (more…)

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day Review

August 25th, 2012 in Anime, Anohana, General Reviews by

Its been some time since I’ve seen an anime that made me get up lazy self up and write a review. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (literally ‘Anohana: The flower we saw that day’  or ‘The Blooming flower of that summer’). Is one of those one in 1,000 anime where from the getgo it has you hooked right up to the end. For those who are familiar with Ano Natsu de Matteru, it was created by the same team and so has a similiar feel throughout.

Like Ano Natsu de Matteru, it revolves around 6 early adolescents and features a love pentagon. The main difference would be that in Anohana. It follows the issue of the death of one of their friends and the repercussions it had her family and everyone around her. It is truly a profound piece of work which (from what I saw in the little research I did) caused of quite a bit of ‘man-tears’ (ill be sure to write up a rant on man-tears later).

The story tells of six young children who drift apart after one (Menma) dies in an accident. Each growing up emotionally affected in one way or the other by the incident. The ghost of Menma appears to one of them (Jinta) who was the so called ‘leader’ of the group back then. Coming to the conclusion that she was unable to pass on and enter heaven because she had an unfulfilled wish here on earth, Jinta rallies the other members of his group to help Menma pass on. Throughout the ordeal, hidden feelings of resentment, envy and love are uncovered as they try to accomplish their goal of sending their lost friend up to heaven. (more…)

Comic Books Vs. Manga

August 22nd, 2012 in Miscellaneous, Rants by

As usual, this was the summer of comic book films. We had The Avengers, which only increased my ever lasting love for Joss Whedon, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Amazing Spider-Man which blew the original films away with it’s darker tone and the absence of a certain redhead. I’ve been a longtime fan of comic book movies, but I’m new to anime/manga.

Being a die-hard reader I find manga extremely enjoyable. As a reader who usually reads thick fantasy books with small fonts, I can especially appreciate the fact that I can get through a fast paced manga volume within an hour. Another bonus, manga often fills me in with a lot of story that the anime series had carelessly glossed over. Comic book movies gloss over certain aspects of the original stories as well, but this is much more necessary since the comics go on for forever. More on that later.

Readers have heard this question before: Are comic books or manga more enjoyable? Personally, I like manga better and there’s really no contest here…And yes, manga, like anime, plural is just “manga” not “mangas”. Hey! I knew being an English major would come in handy. 😉

Back in the day when I saw the first two X-men movies, belonging to my all time favorite comic book film series, I decided to start trying to get into the comics. I had to get my fix somehow, right? X-men 3 was only just about to be released at the time so I was out of films until then. Let’s start with the original X-men series…you know what, I won’t even talk about it. Just have a look here. (more…)

Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple

August 17th, 2012 in Anime, General Reviews, Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple by

Every day life is harsh for high school student Kenichi Shirihama.  Known as the “Olympic Punching Bag” Kenichi has to sneak in and out of school every day to avoid being ejected from the planet by angry martial art thugs, and members of the schools most notorious gang Ragnarok.  While at school, he meets a new student named Miu Furinji, who offers to help him seek out the martial arts training he needs to take care of his ever growing problem of foes.

Weak Knees
The weakest kid is school also happens to be the most naïve in school.  Kenichi is a kid with many names, none of which are good for marketing value.  The story starts off in a somewhat typical Anime fashion that gives viewers a prequel type of buffer for the first few episodes.  The series itself doesn’t really have anything of special significance plot or action wise until around the 10th episode.  However, Kenichi is also a comedy with plenty of ecchi that TMS Entertainment figures will keep people watching until the story picks-up some traction.

Kenichi takes a play from the popular 1984 Karate Kid movie where Mr. Miyagi offers to train Daniel Larusso after being beaten up by local high school bullies.  This sets the foundation for the first half of the 50 episode series.  After being bullied by the local karate club members, Kenichi gets the opportunity to train from six martial arts masters who all specialize in different styles ranging from Judo to Muay Thai boxing. (more…)

Fan Service Alert IV – “High School DxD OVA”

August 13th, 2012 in Anime, Fan Service Alert, General Reviews, High School DxD by

OK, the series is perverted enough as it gets, as there are some major bust queens in this show. The series is now ‘between seasons’, so now would be a very good time to truck out an OVA and have ourselves a good laugh.

The club is going to the beach, but since they can teleport there, they change out in the club room. They call Issei Hyodo in on this and he, magically, busts in on them when they are in various stages of nakedness and they bust him up like a cedar plank at a karate club. Once at the beach, well, all bets are off. The president of the club, Rias Gremory, wears a Borat-style swimsuit (and if you have seen “Mahoromatic”, Shikijo Saori wears the same style in Season 1, Episode 4).

Rias lies down on the beach and there is no cloth touching her body from just past her ninnies all the way to her crotch, Wow, talk about a superstructure! Anyway, she asks Issei to put some suntan lotion on her and ‘not to miss any spots’. Well this is that suntan lotion that doubles as some kind of lubricant, so it pops out of his hands and Rias gets soaked while Issei is manhandling and fondling and squishing her all about. She is upset about this, but the more they struggle the worse it gets. (more…)

Turn Me On, “Deadman”

August 7th, 2012 in Anime, Deadman Wonderland, General Reviews by

Did you ever see the “Shawshank Redemption”? What are the three rules you have learned about prison?

1)      Prisons are not nice places.
2)      The people guarding the prisoners are at least as psychotic and, in some cases, MORE psychotic that the people they are guarding.
3)      No one is truly your friend, just someone who won’t stick a shiv between your ribs.

The year is ‘the future’ and an incident referred to as the Red Hole triggered a massive earthquake that ravaged Japan’s mainland and destroyed most of Tokyo, sinking three-quarters of the city into the ocean. It also created a bizarre side effect in that some people were given unusual powers. Well, you know about unrestrained power: people go nuts and there seems to be no way to counteract these abilities.

To this end, a new prison is constructed on parts of ruined Tokyo and it would be Japan’s first, and only, private prison: Deadman Wonderland.

We now fast-forward 10 years. 14-year-old Igarashi Ganta, is a seemingly ordinary student attending Nagano 4th District Middle School. He and his classmate are working on the school field trip to Deadman Wonderland, as it is a prison-amusement park. While making their plans, a strange person, covered in blood and crimson armor, floats outside his classroom windows. (more…)

CG: Nunnally in Wonderland First Impressions

August 3rd, 2012 in Anime, Code Geass Gaiden, General Reviews by


A few days ago, as usual I woke up and headed over to my favorite anime streaming site. First thing I did when I arrived there was to check for the recent anime updates (for the newest Naruto, Fairy Tail, One Piece etc) and saw something very… unexpected. Premiering on June 30th (subbed) was Code Geass: Nunnally in Wonderland. Seeing as the original Code Geass series is easily in my top 5 anime of all time I was obviously very excited. So there I went and clicked play…. and they could NOT possibly have destroyed my love for Lelouch (no homo) any more completely.

The plot is basically a spin-off of Alice in Wonderland with a comical and ecchi twist. Lelouch plays the role of Mad Hatter while Nunnally, C.C and Suzaku plays the roles of Alice, Chesire cat and the Knight of White respectively. All the other supporting characters have other mundane, sometimes even ironic roles (like Charles being the softspoken King of hearts).

To be honest after episode 1 I won’t even be giving the other episodes a second thought (update: its actually an ova so there aren’t any more episodes. Thanks to Son Gohan for pointing that out). Code Geass used to be a pleasant memory, it was always attributed in my mind with the tags ‘Kickass Story’, ‘Badass Main Charaters’, ‘Strategy worthy of praise by Light Yagami himself (Death Note) ‘ and ‘Huge robots kicking butt’. I now have to add ‘sappy characters’, ‘Fanservice’ and ‘Tries to hard to be funny’ to that list and believe me I want someone to pay!!! *HULK SMASH*. (more…)