Oh, “Brother”

April 29th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


This is another of those series that has a monstropatious title, but gets reduced to something more manageable. Some know it as “Onii-chan dakedo Ai sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!” (which comes out to “As Long as There’s Love, It Doesn’t Matter If He is My Brother, Right!”), or “Oniai” for short. This is another brother-sister anime, but with more screwball situations. Our femme fatales are:

Ginbe Haruomi Sawatari
Akiko Himenokoji (the sister half of the brother-sister team)
Arashi Nikaido
Anastasia Nasuhara

The brother in question, Akito Himenokoji, isn’t shown and he really is used more as a foil for the misplaced desires of the ladies than anything else.

The story tells of how Akito and Akiko were separated for six years and have come back together, with both attending Saint Liliana High School. Suddenly the student council (which consists of all five of them) moves into this rather grand house and they all have to live together. It seems each and every lady has a fixation upon Akito and, adding to the mayhem, are Alisa Takanomiya, who was Akito’s adoptive family at to whom he is her fiancée (much to the shock and chagrin of everyone) plus Kaoruko Jinno, who is an editor at the publishing house where Akito has his book published. (more…)

You’re “Joshin’” Me

April 21st, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


Joshiraku” (or “Rakuga Girls”) tells the story of these five rakuga performers. Oh, what is rakuga? It is a Japanese verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller sits on stage. Using only a paper fan and a small cloth as props (although none of the girls use props), and without standing up from the seiza sitting position, the rakugo artist depicts a long and complicated comical story. The story always involves the dialogue of two or more characters, the difference between the characters depicted only through change in pitch, tone, and a slight turn of the head.

However, the art form has fallen of desperate times and the girls play to rather light houses. Although we do see them in action, doing their stage bits (mostly at the end of the story; kind of like hearing only the punch line), the bulk of the action takes place back stage, in the dressing room, as they have long discourses on…..nothing. And let’s not ask the question that if they are all back stage, who’s performing on stage?

They are Kukuru Anrakutei, Gankyō Kūrubiyūtei, Marii Buratei, Tetora Bōhatei and Kigurumi Harōkitei and we see their actions and interactions together. Kukuru is the newest member, so she is more of a protégé, learning how to do this performance properly. (more…)

“Night” Fever

April 16th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by

Senkou no Night Raid

It’s the past. (The past? How did that happen? Anime is about the future!) The year is 1931 and we find ourselves in Shanghai. There is a great build-up of forces from Japan, which threatens to engulf the area in war, as the need for conquest and land acquisition looms. Into this volatile mix is flung a group of people, collectively known as the Sakurai Agency, but they really are a spy ring. But they are more than they seem. They are, from left to right:

Aoi Miyoshi, Kazura Iha, Yukina Sonogi and Natsumi Kayiga. Not pictured is their boss, Shin’ichirou Sakurai. But these people are no ordinary spies; they have special abilities that aid them in their investigations. Their powers are, respectively, telekinesis, teleportation, telepathy and tele-clairvoyance. (OK, I couldn’t help myself). He is also an excellent sniper.

Together, they battle the Kwangtung army and its mysterious leader, Isao Takachiho, who is bent on the idea of Pan-Asianism, and will use any and all means to achieve it.

Now, if you put aside the special abilities folks seem to have, this is a series with loads of intrigue, from the era of pulp novels and detective work. It is a very good-looking series, as you really get a feel for Shanghai of the 30s. The fact that we know the eventual outcome for all of this does not detract from the agency’s attempt to prevent it. (more…)

All in the “Famiglia”

April 14th, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by


This started off as a rather odd show. It is “La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia”, (Italian for “The Story of the Arcane Family“) and it tells the tales of this group of people above me who have made contracts with Tarot cards to gain special abilities, which allow them to protect the Island of Regalo from the true forces of evil. It’s a pretty capacious cast, so left’s run them down from left to right:

  • Luca is the personal butler to Felicita. His contract is with Temperance (harmony, balance and health).
  • Debito (Mr Eyepatch) runs the casino and he is with the Hermit, which means he can make himself invisible.
  • Pace (Specs) eats way too much lasagna. He is aligned with Strength (discipline and stability).
  • Felicita is the only girl of the group. She is the Lovers and this allows her to reads people’s heart and feelings.
  • The guy with his back to us is Jolly and he certainly is not. Second-highest ranking member, he signed on with the Moon, which allows him to draw out memories, forcibly if he must.
  • Nova is the Captain of the Holy Grail. Assigned to Death, he carries with him a dark secret.
  • Green eyes is Liberta. He is The Fool, a spirit in search of experience, but certainly brave.
  • Dante is the Head Captain and the Emperor, with the ability to remove and/or manipulate memories. (more…)

Fan Service Alert – “To Love-Ru OVA”

April 6th, 2013 in Anime, Fan Service Alert, General Reviews by


What is it about romantic comedies which bring out the berserk fan service? Now, it’s ‘bad’ enough that “To Love-Ru” is pretty berserk as it is (as evidenced by the still from one of the episodes above), but someone felt that the show didn’t go far enough (and how much farther could it go? Further? Man, I always get those two mixed up), and they decided to put together the strangest set of OVAs ever. Now, it kind of serves an odd purpose, as we meet Lala’s younger twin sisters (oh, man, my fornix is getting quickly overheated at that potential scenario) Nana and Momo, who will bring even more mayhem to Rito in the next installment of the series “Motto To Love-Ru”.

Do you really need to know what the plot is? I mean, almost all the OVAs I have seen put together have a plot that isn’t much more that a wire frame from which you can show boobs. In fact, the first episode of the OVA is a discussion about boobs and somehow….No, I can’t tell you, as it is so deliciously ridiculous at to what happens. You really have to watch them all, as they bring out every leftover thing that they felt they couldn’t put into the show, as they hardly left anything out of the shows to begin with. (more…)

“Rogue” Agent

April 1st, 2013 in Anime, General Reviews by

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero review

Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero” is a rather odd submission in the swords-and-sorcery genre. Whereas most of them have our erstwhile hero taken from his warm bed and friendly confines and getting  plunked into a situation where he has to catch up pretty damn quickly or become worm food (“The Familiar of Zero” is one like that), this one starts at the end.

Akatsuki Ousawa, the hunky hero up there, has come back from the land of Alayzard, having defeated the demon lord of that land. As his dying wish, that lord wanted Akatsuki to take his daughter Myuu (can you find her up there? Hmmmmmmm?) back to his land so she could live a normal life. They both enroll in Babel, which is a training school to help harness these magical people and their powers, so that they can be used for good.

Now here’s the funny thing: Akatsuki has no magical powers. Everything he does is both sheer will and his experience. Myuu has some degree of powers, but they are unfocused. Now, they all wear wristbands that help harness their natural powers to conform to their abilities. (more…)