“Classroom” Instruction

October 28th, 2015 in Anime, Assassination Classroom, Assassination Classroom OVA, General Reviews by

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Certainly one of the more intriguing ‘school’ shows I have seen, “Assassination Classroom” (“Ansatsu Kyōshitsu”) is an odd duck of an offering in anyone’s book.

One day, the world wakes up to find that 70% of the moon is gone, completely vaporized and now is in a permanent crescent shape. The alien who did it states to the Japanese government (good, YOU losers deal with it!) that within a school year, Earth will also be destroyed by him, but he offers mankind a chance to avert this fate. In the 3-E Class at Kunugigaoka Junior High School (where all the slackers, dummies and other losers end up), he starts working as a homeroom teacher, where he instructs his students not only in regular subjects, but also in the ways of assassination. The Japanese government promises a reward of ¥10 billion ($100 million) to whomever among the students succeeds in killing the teacher, whom they have named “Koro-sensei”, as for some reason, he (we assume it’s a he; it’s the tie) doesn’t have a name. However, offing him has proven to be an almost impossible task, as not only does he have several superpowers at his disposal, including the capacity of moving at Mach 20, but he is also the best teacher they’ve ever had.

There are about 30 students in the class, leading with (around the clock, starting at upper left) Nagisa Shiota. Now, this person is a guy (a joke later played out in the show). Not particularly strong, he is blessed with keen insight, as he tries to figure out the best way to exploit Koro’s weaknesses (and he has a load of them).

Next is Karma Akabane, a slacker in every sense of the word, he is also thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to being a homicidal maniac. Class is now interesting enough for him to attend; otherwise, he’s probably downtown, mugging folks and causing numerous degrees of mayhem. (more…)

Ave “Maria”

October 9th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Junketsu No Maria by

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I used to complain (and still do) that anime was always about the future, but this one, “Junketsu No Maria” (“Maria the Virgin Witch”) takes place in the past, the far past, like the Hundred Years War past (1337 to 1453). I think this one takes place during the Caroline War segment of it, so we can put it between 1369 and 1389. Above us is Maria the Witch (and her two familiars in their owl form, left to right, Priapos and Artemus). She helps the people of the nearby village with medicines and other kind of support.

For the most part, the church tolerates her (barely), but when war comes to this part of the world, she gets on her broom and conjures up spirits to send the English packing. Well, this does not bode well for her, either with the Church or with God. No, He doesn’t make an appearance. Besides, who would do the voice? Chris Ayres? Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Seriously, Archangel Michael comes down to threaten Maria not to use her magic in public, as it is an affront against God. He sends a minion of his to watch over her, Ezekiel, a rather slight girl, to do what she has to do to stop Maria, up to and including dispatching her, if necessary. (more…)

“Dawn” Patrol

October 6th, 2015 in Akatsuki no Yona, Anime, General Reviews by

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This isn’t necessarily a ‘girl who saves the world’ anime, but “Akatsuki no Yona” (“Yona of the Dawn”, also known as “The girl standing in the blush of dawn”) certainly embraces a woman who goes from wallflower to being front and center (that’s her, front and center).

We start off in the kingdom of Kouka, with Yona as your typical pampered princess, whose biggest concern might be chipping a nail (actually, it’s her flaming red hair; she hates it). Along with her bodyguard Son Hak (off her left shoulder) and childhood friend Soo-won, they live a happy, sheltered life….until on her 16th birthday celebration, she sees Soo-won kill her father, King Il, and engineer a coup. The reason behind it, the king was weak and deserved to die. Well, that’s been a pretty good reason to kill rulers since we’ve had rulers. Yona and Hak escape, as Hak is the Thunder Beast and can use that blade of his to devastating results. Sadly, both of them fall to their deaths from a high precipice while being pursued by the palace forces.

That puts a major crimp in things, as Soo-won was going to marry Yona, to give legitimacy to what he wanted to do as king. He can (and will) still proceed, but it just makes things a whole lot tougher. However, our demoralized duo is not dead, but has taken refuge with an oracle of some ilk, Ik-su. Offering his young apprentice, Yun (far right), as a guide, they have been instructed to hunt down the Four Dragons, as they have pledged their fealty to the King of Hiryuu castle. Wait, but she’s a girl, so she’d be queen, right? Shhh, it’s the emotional import. As the rightful heir and eventual ruler, she gets their support. Oh, and they aren’t real dragons, with scales and a forked tail and breathing fire, but they have the attributes of a dragon. In my picture up there, you see all four of them (I’ll break down that cast a bit later). (more…)

Attack of the OVA # 9 – Character “Assassination”

October 3rd, 2015 in Anime, Assassination Classroom OVA, General Reviews by

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The OVA for “Assassination Classroom” is, quite simply, the worst OVA I have ever seen, as there is no real reason for it. Now, a full review will follow when the show actually concludes, but, for the nonce, the plot revolves around Koro Sensei (that smiley face up there). He is a space alien and has personally blown away 70% of the moon. He gives the earth nine months (until March, in the anime) to have this classroom of slackers and losers try and assassinate him or it’s bye-bye big blue marble. It’s a lot harder that you think.

The series just dropped us into things with a rather thin background in regards to the initial events, and I was hoping the OVA would be a kind of Episode #0 or #0.5, to pre-explain things better, but no such luck. It is, in fact, a compilation of Episodes # 7 and #8, but with no real rhyme or reason. I mean, I can WATCH Episodes #7 and #8 in full and get what I need and not have this Cliff Notes version trotted out. OK, the art is a little different and the version I saw used an alternate font for the subtitles, and there is a slightly new take on things, but, overall, it’s those two episodes done again. And since this OVA came out just after #8 was released, it’s even more perplexing. And if you just decided to grab the OVA, then you are tremendously behind the curve, as you are, in effect, coming in about mid-season and no amount of catch-up is going to help. (more…)