Short-Pull Shows

January 27th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews, Rants, Short Pull Series by


You have read my comments on short-run shows (series that have 11 or less episodes), but I am running into short pull episodes. Now, “Hetalia” is the King of this, with over 100 episodes, but not one of them gets to the six-minute mark.

As of late, I have seen a huge uptick in the amount of short-pull shows.

One is “Chitose Get You” (pictured above).  Chitose Sakuraba is the elementary school gal in the middle who has a terrible crush on Hiroshi Kashiwabara, who gets a bit paranoid about her coming around and hanging about. However, thwarting her plans is the evil, evil, evil homeroom teacher Asako Fuji, who ALSO has a crush on Hiroshi. Which of these two will marry him first? Rounding out this troupe is Misaki (the cheerful one to the left) and Hinako Hiiragi (far left; don’t let her poise fool you; she is one weird bird).

The episodes are usually one event or tale and they don’t last more than four minutes a pop.

Other short pull shows out there include:

“Gokicha! – Cockroach Girls”. An anthropomorphized cockroach girl who wishes to become friends with humans, but is often treated with the appropriate response. This one ran about 10 minutes and with another girl in the offing (Chaba), more is to be expected.

“Wooser No Sono Higurashi” (“Wooser’s Hand-To-Mouth Life”). Wooser is a yellow blob. Is he a rabbit? Not certain. He lives with twin sisters Rin and Ren, but don’t let that cutesy animation fool you. He is one mean character, and there is a caliber of cruelty akin to “Happy Tree Friends and Friends”, but without the pointless violence. Even with all that, the stories are really lacking. Again, nothing over four minutes. (more…)

Who You Callin’ a “Binbo”?

January 24th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


Binbo-gami Ga” (“God of Poverty”) is a goofy show about goofy people in goofy situations. Everyone is missing a few necessary enzymes, so all bets are off and anything goes.

We follow the life of Ichiko Sakura. She has everything: piles of money, fabulous looks, great brains, nice headlights and good fortune beyond compare. And that is her problem. She is a kind of Good Luck sponge, so she slowly siphons it off from everyone else. If your fortune was a house, she is the Empire State Building. This puts the universe out of whack, as the imbalance prevents thousands of other people from being happy.

To this end, Yamabuki, the Head Honchess in the Gods Realm, sends down Momiji (the ragged-looking one) along with her familiar (whom you don’t see. It’s Teddy and he looks like a ragged Teddy bear) to take away some of her fortune and give it to those who need it…but not without a fight. Each has met their match in the other, as both are tough customers that will not give up in what they want.

The series follows the personal growth of both of them. For Ichiko, what it means to have a friend and to be a friend. For Momiji, it’s the same thing, but her path is slightly different.

Adding to the confusion and mayhem are:

Momoo Inugami. He is a dog in human form, but is a bit S&M. If, in his dog form, you beat him too hard, he transforms. He is rather useless. (more…)

Interplanetary Idol

January 20th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


It is the future (not again! Why is it always the future? Why not have something a tad closer to us in time?) At the start of the 21st Century, an interplanetary war broke out. Earth’s ecosystem was severely damaged, and humanity was forced to flee the planet. In several planets of this new society, things that “disturb the heart” like music and art are forbidden. 48 years later, the legendary idol group AKB48 (and this is a REAL J-Pop group, OK?) is resurrected as the interplanetary troupe AKB0048, made up of girls who carry on the title and spirit of the original members. Held as heroines by some and labeled as terrorists by others, they must take up arms to bring their music to their fans wherever they are. The story follows a group of young hopefuls as they train to become the next generation of AKB0048. (And you though Simon Cowell was a big jerk. Well, he is, but I never saw him come to the shows armed to the teeth to shoot the contestants.)

Now, since they are recruiting all the time, we see the efforts of the 77th Generation (implying this fight has been going on for 77 years), plus those that have gone on before. It is a rather capacious cast, but we will focus on those we see up in the splash panel.

From left to right:

Suzuko Kanzaki, a quiet fourteen-year-old girl with glasses who knows a lot about the history of AKB0048. She is met on the talent ship

Makoto Yozomizo, a timid and easily scared sixteen-year-old girl, who often worries and thinks negatively. She is also met on the talent ship.

Sonata Shinonome, a ten-year-old girl, who failed the first round of auditions for AKB. She sneaks aboard the talent ship heading towards the second round to try again. She is very supportive of her older sister, Kanata.

Mimori Kishima, a sexy seventeen-year-old who loves to boast about her rich lifestyle, proportions and height. She and Kanata share a connection as part of the 75th Generation (more…)

"Kocchi” Kocchi Koo

January 18th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


I am wondering if this is the era of the odd relationship for anime. This isn’t as weird as “Mysterious Girlfriend X”, but it is a very off-beat kind of romance. “Acchi Kocchi” (or “Place to Place”) follows the friendship of five classmates.

The three on the left are: Sakaki Inui, Mayoi Katase and Hime Haruno. The story really revolves around the other two: Tsumiki Miniwa (who is very neko; when you first see her, you think she IS a cat person) and Io Otonashi. They have a peculiar relationship in that they deeply care for one another, but don’t really show it and kissing is something left for fish to do.

This is also a ‘nothing’ show, in that nothing really happens and we are seeing episodic adventures in the course of about 16 months of calendar time. This is not that big of a problem, as they do not fall into the standard romantic comedy tropes. Things are just askew enough to allow for surprises. The episodes themselves are broken into two tales, Part A and Part B and they are not all that dependent on the other. The stories do proceed in a time lineal manner, but you can miss an episode and not have it impact on the next one, except you would miss some of the strangeness.

There is another feature of the show, and that is pictographs. Some of the action is defined by arrows rotating in circles (as you can see above) and the players could be identified by arrows moving across the screen. This just adds another layer of oddness to the show. The tales themselves are light (fun at the arcade, Valentine’s Day, cooking class, summer break) and you are never worried about things, but you really want to see more of their relationship. It is as if they know what to say, but cannot find the words or the right time to say it, or present it in a manner that is easily understood by all. (more…)

Living in a “Box”

January 13th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


And now for something completely different…..a school-based anime. Here comes another one, just like the other one.

Welcome to school! This is Haroniwa Academy, also known as Sandbox Academy. Medaka Kurokami is elected Student Council President, despite her being a first-year student, with 98% of the vote. She institutes a suggestion box, dubbed the “Medaka Box“, for her fellow academy students to make suggestions and requests. Together with her childhood friend Zenkichi Hitoyoshi, (spikey head at the far right) Medaka is determined to address any kind of request by the students, from finding lost dogs to cleaning up club buildings and even fixing personalities. During the course of the series, Kouki Akune (that luscious manly hunk at the left) and Mogana Kikaijima (glasses girl) are also recruited by Medaka to become part of the Student Council. (the dorky-looking dude is Misogi Kumagawa, VP of the student council).

Oh, keep in mind that the shot of Medaka does NOT do her justice. She is certainly the most boobilicious character to come down the pike in the last 20 minutes. I HIGHLY recommend episodes 5 and 6, as they take place at a swimming pool. Roll your tongue back inside, prole!

The first season (yes, there is a second season, which just started) looks at how Medaka tries to answer all the problems that are presented to her, reforming those who need to be reformed (like Kikajima, who is a money-grubber) and giving opportunities to others to improve or at least not be as big a pain. However, the season-ending arc has her running afoul of Myouri Unzen. (more…)

Don’t Be So “Koi”

January 10th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by

Koi to Senyko to Chocolate review

One thing I have noticed lately are ‘informational’ animes. If we were to call them ‘educational’, you would run away screaming into the night. One is “Spice and Wolf”, which tells, in a rather oblique manner, the laws of supply and demand and how economics work. Another would be “Upotte!”, which gives a history of modern weaponry and the history behind some more popular arms.

Koi to Senyko to Chocolate” (also known as “Love, Elections and Chocolate”) is another of these, which gives an inside view into how the election process works in general, and school elections for our tale.

Welcome to school! We are at Takafuji Private Academy, a large school with over 6,000 students. Yuki Oojima (the focus of everyone’s attention above) is a member of the Food Research Club, along with seven others, including his childhood friend Chisato Sumiyoshi (the buxom number in the 1 o’clock position). Let’s run down the rest of the crew:

Nozomi Edagawa, 3 o’clock. She is younger than everyone, but was skipped grades as she is a girl genius (or mad scientist).

Mifuyu Kiba, 5 o’clock. Although she is a year older than everyone, an ailment held her back a year. (more…)

The Curse of the Sequel Strikes Again

January 6th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews, Rants by

I was looking for something festive for the new year. I'd hoped the banner said Happy New Year. It says Welcome to the Student Council

I was looking for something festive for the new year. I’d hoped the banner said Happy New Year. It says Welcome to the Student Council

First off, Happy New Year fellow anime lovers! This message will be delivered late but shoot I’m writing this on the morning of January 1st. Hope you all managed to go out, party, and have a great time because I’ve been sick with mono all week. Besides really sucking this means that I’ve gotten to dig through a ton of Soul Eater episodes.

But this article isn’t about Soul Eater. It’s about a lesser known anime, Seitokai no Ichizon Lv. 2. I happened to stumble upon the original series, Seitokai no Ichizon, a while back. Keep in mind I’ve only seen 8 episodes of Lv. 2 thus far, but at 10 episodes to conclude the series I think I pretty much know where this is going.

The synopsis I’ve written goes for both shows since they are both pretty much plot-less: Four attractive girls are on the student council. There’s the president, Aka-chan. Despite being one of the older ones and in charge of the student council, she is the most childish: insecure about her extremely small stature and possessing a wild sweet tooth. She also happens to be my favorite ^__^ Then we have Chizuru. She is very womanly, somewhat seductive, and loves to baby Aka-chan, who she finds to be adorable. Minatsu is the bold tomboy with athletic skills. Her little sister, Mafuyu is the adorable one who loves BL and video games and often refers to herself in the first person. She’s also scared of boys.

The fifth spot is open to whichever student gets the highest grades in the class. Ken decides to work as hard as he can to become top student not because he wants a promising future (because really what sixteen year old actually cares about that?) but because he wants to spend his afternoons hanging out with all the girls. Ding! Ding! Ding! You got it. It’s a harem! (more…)

True “Bluer”

January 5th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


Now, I was not drawn to this anime by the cover of the first manga, which is rather provocative, but by a line I saw when they were advertising it: “Do you remember your first love? She remembers you!” “Ai Yori Aoshi” (“Bluer than Indigo”) tells the story of Kaoru Hanabishi (can you find him up there. I’ll wait a moment.)

He appears to be an average university student, but in reality, he’s the eldest son of Yūji Hanabishi, the head of the Hanabishi Zaibatsu, and was set to take over the zaibatsu (family-controlled business conglomerates) after his father retired. His mother, Kumi Honjō, and his father never married, making life difficult for both him and his mother. Kaoru’s father died when he was five years old. Since then, Yūji’s grandfather, Gen’ichiro Hanabishi, took Kaoru under his wing and began educating him for the eventual succession. Yet Kaoru never felt at home in the Hanabishi family and left to live alone in self-imposed exile after his mother died. Day by day he felt alone, thinking that he was living life with no reason pushing him on.

One day, he espies a young maiden in the Ikebukuro subway station (and, funny, we do not bump into any of the Durarara!! characters). She is very out of place, dressed in a kimono when there is no celebration afoot (and I am sure you can track HER down easily). She has broken the strap on her zori and Kaoru repairs it. She has come to Tokyo, looking for a long-lost love and he agrees to help her find him. Quel dommage, the address she has is a vacant lot and it starts to rain. Feeling for her, he takes her to his crappy student apartment and learns that she is Aoi Sakuraba. Not only does he know her, they were betrothed to be married, until he walked away from it all. (more…)

Chemical “X”

January 2nd, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


Be forewarned, this is the most disgusting show I have ever seen, and I saw “Elfin Lied”, but I’ll explain.

Mysterious Girlfriend X” is about Akira Tsubaki, the guy to the left, who has transferred into this school. One of his classmates, Mikoto Urabe, the Veronica Lake-type, is an odd fish. She bursts out laughing one day, but no one pays her any heed. One day, she is sleeping in class and is awoken by Akira, but she leaves behind a puddle of drool. He decides to (are you ready for it?) take a little taste of it. What? A drool-licker? Ugh! Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh! Who the crud licks people’s drool off their desk. Obviously, this was not done in the health class.

He falls ill (and no wonder! Why don’t you just lick her gums while you’re at it?) and she stops by to tell him he has ‘love sickness’. This now means that they are boyfriend and girlfriend, although she is physically and emotionally distant to him. SHE calls the shots here. And should he decide to hug her without warning or permission, she whips out a pair of scissors she keeps in the band of her panties and will scissor away that which needs to be snipped. After school, they walk along the same street until they come to the junction where they go their separate ways. Before they say good-bye, she offers him a fingerful of drool each day. The drool can transmit feelings, among other things, between the two of them.

It’s just that the drool is rather viscous, somewhere between honey and motor oil and it presented with such prominence. The fact he gloms onto it like it’s honey (or motor oil; he’s a weird bird to begin with) just adds to the unsettling nature of their relationship. (more…)