Every Day is Like “Survival”

August 31st, 2015 in Sabagebu! – The Survival Game by

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This is another “Women and Weaponry” submission, potentially closer aligned to “Stella!” and “Girls und Panzer” than “Upotte!” (and I have reviewed all of them, so give them a spin if you haven’t already). For this one, “Sabagebu! – The Survival Game”, it follows a group of high school girls and their daily lives in their survival game club. It all begins with Momoka Sonokawa (Madame Peace Sign), who is a transfer student to a new school. While on the train to school, she is bothered by a pervert when some woman pulls out a pair of side arms to confront the molester, only to get arrested instead. Yeah, it’s usually not a good idea to be yanking guns out to dispense some harsh justice. People freak out, even if they are just airsoft pellet ball weaponry.

Momoka follows this odd lady when she sees her at her school, tracking her over to a run-down building and discovers the Survival Club. The rest of the club are (right to left):

Maya Kyōdō, second-year and gravure idol
Urara Kasugano, first year and a bit of a masochist
Miou Ootori, club president and filthy rich (she pulled the guns on the train)
Kayo Gōtokuji, club treasurer and a cosplay freak
Platy, club mascot (more…)

“Log” Rolling

August 27th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Log Horizon second season by

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With the conclusion of the second season of “Log Horizon”, there has to be a third season to wrap it all up, considering the bread crumbs they left. Bread crumbs? More like an entire bakery, but on to the plot.

The first season contended itself with how these people, or ‘adventurers’, trapped inside this video game, can grow an entire civilization. The second season looks at personal growth and it loses a bit of steam on that account. When Shiroe has to contend himself with bureaucracy, wow, the excitement is palpable.

Look! As he signs legislation
Gasp! While he settles land ownership issues
Shiver! When he makes proclamations

OK, I am being snarky, as there are some new issues that arise, but the show feels like it was running in place. The overall concern is that there is something going wrong with the server or the AI or general gameplay, as things are going wrong. Shiroe has to go on raiding parties to try and figure out how to get more funding for the projects he has in mind. Thant means he is away and someone else is in charge. Then when a crisis arises, Enheart Nelreth comes into the city and starts killing people, those left behind seem unable to handle the situation properly. They have to wait for Shiroe’s return to finish the task. (more…)

Go Into Your Dance

August 23rd, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Hanayamata by

This was a different show for me. Yes, it is a dancing show, and, on a nuts-and-bolts level, not much different than “AKB0048” or “Long Live!”, in that a group of girls wish to perform, but it is done in a different manner and it is earnest without being overweening. “Hanayamata” tells the story of Naru Sekiya (front and center), an ordinary 14-year old girl who likes fairy tales. She sometimes wishes her life could be like one, but, that’s the harsh realities of real life. You have to play the cards you are dealt. She is worried about her lack of other interests and dearth of friends. She has a nighttime chance encounter with a “fairy”, a foreign girl practicing dance at a temple. On the spur of the moment, Naru asks to join her and she is introduced to the world of yosakoi dancing. And the rest of the team include, left to right:

Hana N. Fountainstand, that foreign girl ‘fairy’
Yaya Sasame, one of Naru’s friends
Machi Tokiwa, student council president
Tami Nishimikado, student council vice-president

Not pictured is Sari Tokiwa, Machi’s sister, a teacher at the school as well as the club advisor and Masaru Ōfuna, the owner of a yosakoi shop. The series is how these girls interact together and push forward in trying to get to a competitive level to be in the Hanairo Festival, where you showcase your skills. Yes, this is a standard show about (a) overcoming adversity, (b) bettering yourself, both physically and emotionally, (c) understanding the power and strength of friendship, (d) taking responsibility for all that you do and don’t do and (e) enjoying life as it is set before you. (more…)

Attack of the OVA #6 – White “Wedding”

August 20th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride OVA by

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Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Bride” has presented to us a two-episode OVA in which the ladies are, again, challenged in their abilities to be good samurai warriors. This time, the threat comes from a longbow warrior, Uesugi Kagekatsu, potentially more powerful than they are, and the prize is to become the actual bride of Yagyū Munenori, who is the leader of this tiny clan. To do this, they engage in, not martial arts, but homemaking arts, as they show off their ability to cook and clean and be domesticated.

Well, since this is served up with huge doses of silliness, the normal things go wrong, in that the food is either destroyed, completely inedible or made with some weird ingredients. And where would an OVA be without some (huge) degree of flirty behavior and wardrobe malfunctions and all-American nakedness (OK, this this case, all-Japanese nakedness). (more…)

Attack of the OVA #5 – “Coffin” Nail

August 16th, 2015 in Anime, Chaika the Coffin Princess OVA, General Reviews by

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So, with the conclusion of the second (and potentially, final) season of “Chaika, the Coffin Princess”, it is now time to trot out the OVA, so we can tell a story that otherwise would not have fit into the full run of things. The OVA is actually two half-episodes, where the Red Squad and the White Squad come into contact with one another while avoiding the Kliemann Agency (more or less), but this is done more to be goofy than any real import, much like “Darker Than Black” Episode #26, which was goofy and silly and funny and completely out of character with the show’s original dark and dismal run.

In this outing, the guys and gals are still looking for the parts of dismembered Daddy and come to a location to hunt them down, not knowing the other team is there. The tone here is far lighter, as they have to work together to escape the situation they are in, but it is not done as dramatic or intense as seen in the series; more like a minor inconvenience or annoyance, like bees living in your head. And when Akari has to flatten David twice for doing the same perceived pervy thing twice, well, it’s all for giggles and laughs. (more…)

Attack of the OVA #4 – Do You Believe in “Magic”?

August 14th, 2015 in The Irregular at Magic High School by

The Irregular at Magic High School Review

This is part of a wave of ‘informational OVA’, but it is helpful, in that it does explain things a bit better than the show did (or didn’t). “The Irregular at Magic High School” does have a full review, so you can give that an eyeball to see what that’s about. The OVA is very helpful for us, as it explains how things work within the framework of this show, but it is best seen between the first and second acts (after Episode Seven), as it not only clarifies what you have seen, it also sets up better what you will see in the School Competition Arc.

It is, again, done in this extreme Chibi style, and the hosts shift from segment to segment as they explain how their world operates, from how the divisions of class are determined, to how their magic works, to the tournament ahead and what one can expect. I chose for you the best time to view it, as you not only know who everyone is by this point, a lot of what they are saying now will make better sense, as you’ve seen it in action. If you watch it too early, you will be confused; if you watch it too late, it will be of no use, unless you are a huge OVA fanatic. It does sometimes come off as too cutesy (especially when (more…)

Attack of the OVA #3 – Fifty Shades of “Gray”

August 9th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, The Fruit of Grisaia OVA by

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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. (more…)

Attack of the OVA #2 – “High School” Madness

August 6th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, High School DxD by

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For those of you who have been following this show, “High School DxD” has two big things going for it….the left one and the right one! I place this show in the crowd with other boson-heavy offerings like “Sekerei”, “High School of the Dead”, Ikki Tousen” and “Maken-Ki” (to name but a few) and the OVAs now push it to the maximum, straining the limits of everything as much as Rias’ blouse is strained by her….achievements.

The OVAs are nothing more than to offer window-fogging reasons to glom onto unfettered bosoms. The shows are being done for two reasons: (a) a story like this in the regular run of episodes would impair the show’s ability to promote the main plot line and (b) to highlight the coming of the third season of the show (which will probably be concluded by the time this review hits the street). (more…)

Attack of the OVA #1 – “It Doesn’t Matter”

August 2nd, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, OniAi by

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I have notice the sheer amount of OVAs out there, as of late. It used to be that an OVA came out when there was a tale or two to tell that would not or could not fit into the standard run of things (like “Darker Than Black” #26) or you wanted to do something really goofy with things (Attack on Titan’s “Monster Character Theater”) or you were using it as a bridge to a new season of a show (“To Love-Ru”). But I am noticing that almost every show is trotting something out, so I guess this will be as big a part of anime as fan service (and if the OVA IS fan service, well…………..)

Now, I have done a full review of “OniAi” (Onī-chan dakedo Ai sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne! “As Long as There’s Love, It Doesn’t Matter If He Is My Brother, Right”), but I was a bit surprised to see this OVA come out, as the series concluded over two years ago. It is a five short-run series (about five or so minutes each) and done in this extreme Chibi style. And the plot? What have I told you about using the words ‘plot’ and ‘OVA’ in the same sentence? These are merely an exercise to get your inner ecchi on, but it’s not all that pervy, as we do it in this style, so things lack a sense of ‘realism’. (more…)