Don’t Hand Me a “Line”

January 31st, 2016 in Anime, General Reviews, Punch Line by

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This is one of the more complicated, convoluted shows I have seen, up there with “Mekakucity Actors”, “Steins;Gate” and “Chaos;Head” in that you are not really certain what is going on. The fact and/or problem that it also has to deal with the concepts of time travel, physical possession and grand conspiracies make “Punch Line” (“Panchi Rain”) a rather hard show to follow.

Yūta Iridatsu (the only boy up there) lives at the Korai House apartment complex with four girls (left to right): Rabura Chichibu, Meika Daihatsu, Ito Hikiotani, and Mikatan Narugino. One day, following a bus-jacking incident, Yūta finds himself ejected from his own body and becoming a ghost of some sort. Guided by the cat spirit Chiranosuke, Yūta must learn to master his spirit powers in order to protect his housemates from the various circumstances they find themselves in. However, if Yūta sees a girl’s panties twice in a row, the Earth will be destroyed by a meteor. OK, that sounds simple, but the execution is lumpy. It doesn’t help that we are seemingly trapped within the same time frame (December 21 to 31) and unable to correct or change the circumstances.

Also, with Yuta a ghost for the first half of the show and Chiranosuke really a huge caliber of tyrant, this makes for a confusing situation. We slowly learn the rules and logic of this realm he is in, but also the limitations that he has. (more…)

“Memories” Are Made of This

January 28th, 2016 in Anime, General Reviews, Plastic Memories by

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It took me a little while to tumble to “Plastic Memories” (“Purasutikku Memorīzu”), but I realized that it was a take on the “Mahoromatic” theme of limited time and why must this have to be this way? (Disclosure time: “Mahoromatic” is my personal best anime series, as I have all the DVDs plus I have done about 100 fanfics for it).

We are in the future and the future has androids. SAI Corporation, the leading android production company, has introduced the Giftia, a new android model with the most human-like qualities of any model. The lifespan of a Giftia is 81,920 hours (roughly nine years and four months), but if they pass their expiration date, it causes personality disintegration, memory loss and outbreaks of violence. Kind of like a football fan in the off-season.

As a result, the employees of the Terminal Service (responsible for retrieving androids which are close to reaching the end of their service lives and erasing the androids’ memories) must go to the owner of the Giftia and retrieve it. Those assigned to the Terminal Service work in teams consisting of a human (called a “Spotter”) and a Giftia (called a “Marksman”). The story follows protagonist Tsukasa Mizugaki (far right) and a Giftia named Isla (next to him), both of whom work in SAI Corp’s Terminal Service No. 1 office. (more…)

Common “Sense”

January 24th, 2016 in Anime, General Reviews, Re-Kan by

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Re-Kan” (or “Rekan”, if you like or “Sixth Sense” if you need it in English) is a rather strange ghost story. Or maybe it’s closer aligned to supernaturalism than mere poltergeistian activities. It is not handled in the usual sense of “G-g-g-g-ghosts!!!!!” that we have come to encounter, although we do have at least one character of that type. That ‘new idea’ gives it a rather refreshing take on things, more or less.

We start off with Hibiki Amami (far left) who has this ‘special ability’ and can (and does) interact with ghosts and supernatural beings as well as talking with cats and other animals. She transfers to a new school, but none of her peers share that ability. Class representative Narumi Inoue (grumpy blonde) despises anything related to the occult but eventually becomes friends with Amami due to the latter’s character. The story follows their everyday antics. Oh, the rest of the cast.

Although you cannot see them in this shot very well, Kana Uehara (middle) and Kyōko Esumi (long amber hair towards the right) both sport a caliber of the Veronica Lake look, except we can see their hidden eye. Now, whereas Inoue flees in terror at any mention of ghosts, these two embrace it, with Kana taking some Class-A photos of the spirits and loading it up to her Spook Blog. The last one seen is Makoto Ogawa, who has no trouble with ghosts, as she has a severe zombie fixation, so a dead specter is a snap. Not shown in the lone boy of the group, Kenta Yamada, who is a bit of a dork and gets clobbered roundly by Kyoko for being a bit of a dork. (more…)

“Born” Yesterday

January 21st, 2016 in Anime, General Reviews, High School DxD BorN by

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Look, there HAD to be another season of “DxD”, as so much was left hanging out there (and I don’t mean all the naked boobies, and there are a lot of those!) But this season, called “High School DxD BorN” (and why it is done that way, I do not know. I can’t find rhyme nor reason for it) felt like treading water.

It is summer break at the school, but as we know, there is no rest for the wicked. The Occult Research Club members are going on a trip to the underworld. Man, I said DISNEY World (You have got to enunciate!) Aside from gaining valuable training experience and expertise, it gives the members a real chance to bond, as we have added a few more to the chessboard. However, it’s not going to be all fire and brimstone, as Loki and the Chaos Brigade show up and do what their name intends. The series contends itself with trying to keep the team together while battling seemingly overwhelming odds against implacable foes, bent on, at least, personal destruction. And naked boobies. (more…)

The “Apple” of Discord

January 17th, 2016 in Anime, Appleseed XIII, General Reviews, Uncategorized by

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Yes, I know this was a movie, but, for me, like “Ghost in the Shell”, the series made more sense than the film, although that’s where the similarities with “Appleseed XIII” end.

It is the future (and with what I see, it had pretty well damn be). It is also after the close of WWV (No, not some Super Bowl; World War Five). On the plus side, it was fought with non-nuclear weaponry. On the negative side, about half the world’s population died. Well, at least I can get a parking space. We have also seen the rise of the city-state of Olympus, a gleaming spire offering a way out of the chaos and destruction of the past and into a grand and glorious future. Or not.

It is governed by Gaia, an artificial intelligence, and administered by bioroids, genetically engineered humans. Isn’t that eugenics? Just askin’!
Into this mix we have the battle duo of Deunan Knute, a young female special agent, and Briareos, a veteran cyborg soldier. They are partners and, when Briareos was human, perhaps lovers, (this is hinted at but never really defined). They work in E.S.W.A.T., the elite Special Forces serving Olympus. They are deployed wherever trouble strikes. Conspiracies, terrorism, deadly military weapons technology, greedy corporations, and power-hungry politicians, whenever it rises its ugly head, they are there to strike a blow for the future as they fight to protect Olympus and conduct their personal quest to find Eden in the wasteland. (Enter patriotic music beneath). (more…)

Short Run Series XXIV – The Garden of “Eden”

January 14th, 2016 in General Reviews, The Eden of the Grisaia by

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The Eden of the Grisaia” takes our story arc to its ultimate conclusion. At the end of “Labyrinth”, we discover that the ladies came across Kajima’s notes regarding his report on himself and none of them realized that he was, at least, as damaged as they were and potentially more so than any of them could realize. They want to help him, but things take a hideous downturn.

Kajima’s old master/tutor/mentor/father figure Heath Oslo, has come back to town with an absolutely nefarious scheme that may potentially destroy everyone (except him. But do you really want to groove on the rubble?) Adding to the consternation of all, the Academy’s funding has been turned off and it must shut down, dispensing the ladies onto the winds of the world. But they are saved by the mysterious voice and brain of Thanandos, an entity that can help direct them. This now turns into a giant cat-and-mouse game, as we have to fly under the radar to try and save Yuuji.

The fact that it goes 10 episodes made me grind my teeth. We set up a very elaborate plan to get Yuuji free from his captors. This took four episodes to set up, and it strained credulity, but I stayed with it, as I watched it unfurl. It was one of those situations where you do A to get B, which helps you with C, giving you D to obtain E. None of the players are aware of all of this and it moves well enough to avoid detection. Pretty good results for a bunch of high school girls running it. Oh, and we learn who Thanandos really is. (more…)

This “Labyrinth” of Suffering

January 10th, 2016 in Anime, General Reviews, Le Labyrinthe de la Grisaia by

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This is the second installment of the “Grisaia” Trilogy, noted as “Le Labyrinthe de la Grisaia”. Although presented as a ‘movie’, it is more like two extended episodes of the series and acts as a bridge piece between the ending of “Fruit” and the start of “Eden”, which will then conclude the entire series (in theory. You know how a cash cow is).

It is best seen as a recap/backstory approach, for we can examine how Yuuji became the rather cold-blooded killer that he is now. It is delivered as a report to his handler, JB, whom, I would have assumed, knew a lot more about him than the arc lets on. Or perhaps it is a reiteration of what she already knows and needs to know more and it benefits us in the long-run. What you come away with is that Yuuji is more morally bankrupt that you realize, more emotionally bereft that he lets on, more spiritually dead than he will actively admit to himself, but in the field of work that he finds himself, that is a marvelous asset. You shouldn’t be rationalizing things too much. We start out with his youth and his sister, Kazuki. (more…)

Movie Review – Trump “Card”

January 7th, 2016 in Anime, Cardcaptor Sakura, General Reviews by

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Now, I have never seen anything regarding “Cardcaptor Sakura”, although I am aware that it is a CLAMP project, so that means it fits in to the other CLAMP worlds and that this Sakura is somehow related to the Sakura from “Tsubasa Chronicles”. (No, that’s OK; you do not have to outline the universe for me. It would probably wash over me, anyway.) I did want to see if I could watch this movie (“Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie”, “Gekijōban Kādokyaputā Sakura”) with little to no understanding as to what it is about or what it all means. At best, it was a partial victory.

We open the film with Sakura Kinimoto, struggling to capture the Arrow Card, which she is able to seal, with a little help from her friends. That night, she has a strange dream about these ribbons that bind her and take her to see a very elegant Chinese lady (that is the woman up there and, yes, she is a degree of displeased). Sakura then magically wins a Winter Break trip to Hong Kong and she takes along Tomoyo Daidouji, her best friend and support team, her worthless brother Toya and his best friend Yukito Tsukishiro (whom Sakura has a crush on). Also coming along for the ride is Sakura’s guardian, Kero-chan (hanging on Sakura’s shoulder) and he is more than he seems, but for the film, he’s in that form. (more…)

Movie Review – Automatic “Pilot”

January 3rd, 2016 in Anime, General Reviews, The Princess and the Pilot by

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I did catch part of this at Fanime!, not realizing that “The Princess and the Pilot” (“To Aru Hikūshi e no Tsuioku”, “Recollections for a Certain Pilot”) was NOT “The Pilot’s Love Song”, even though both have the same general idea (and some theorize it is set in the same universe). I had to track it down later on, as I saw the bottom half and I needed the first part to understand what it was all about. You can try and piece things together from the second half and you could get the whole thing wrong. When I had a lumpy chance to see it (I caught it on a site that broke it up into four segments), I went for it.

It is an alternate universe, although the planes imply something late 30s to early 40s (if we used our calendar). What skews the ideas are these massive aircraft, which have a series of double propeller engines that generate 1.21 gigawatts of power to keep them aloft. The ships are huge, about the size of Delaware, yet these comparatively puny engines have them sailing along, singing a song. And how fast do they move? It looks like a tree could outrun them. Anyway, the country of San Maltilia is hosting a party for Prince Carlo, the next ruler of the Levamme Empire. He is awaiting the presentation of Lady Juana del Moral, who would be next in line for the throne. Her father, King Diego (whom my daughter thought looked like Gary Busey. Don’t be sticking a seashell in her ear, now!) wants this to go well, as these upcoming nuptials will strengthen relationships between these two nations, and make the del Morels a more powerful family. (more…)