Called “Strike”

August 22nd, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

Is it just me, or do the ladies seem to have more shows about them than the guys? Are ladies just that more intrinsically interesting or do we like to see how they overcome a plethora of problems designed to weed out the weaklings and we end up with a stronger, more empowered woman? Or is it just big boobies in tiny outfits? That seems a bit much to lay on a bunch of 15 and younger gals, but that’s the idea behind “ViVid Strike”, although the full and complete title is “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid” (“ViVid Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha Vividdo”, and don’t ask why they spell it that way). Oh, and this is the second season of the show, not that it really mattered in how it all came to be. (more…)

“Blood” on Your Hands

August 15th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

Well, this certainly is a different approach to the horror genre. It’s potentially just as bloody as “Terra Formars” or “Blue Gender”, but it moves it in another direction, so it’s not as cut and dried as you may think, which kinds of frees it up from the standard conventions that bedevil horror shows. (more…)

“Working” On the Chain Gang

August 8th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

I really, really thought that this series had reached its conclusion with the movie that tied it all up. Well, yes and no. It’s like the Chef’s Special; it’s never going away. What we did was bid farewell to THOSE people, then repopulated the restaurant with a new brand of misfits, out-of-sorts cranks and other weirdoes. Although it should have been called “Working!!!!” (as each exclamation point indicates the season of it), with a new crew, it’s a new approach; thus we get “www .working!!” (and don’t think that doesn’t cause troubles. You type it properly in and it turns blue, so you can click on it and get linked to somewhere….maybe. I ain’t gonna try that!) (more…)

The Game of “Life”

August 1st, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

What would you give to be able to relive a crucial part of your life and correct mistakes that you had made at that time? Would this give you a better chance for the rest of your life? Are you up to the task? Can you keep a secret? Do you like having a minimum wage job and no girlfriend? Have you registered to vote? (more…)

You Sometimes Have to Go a Little “Berserk”

July 25th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

This is what I call an iteration series. Huh, what do you mean? The reason we have the year in parenthesis is that this show was done before, way back in 1997, but this version of “Berserk (2016)” (“Beruseruku”) is potentially a lot that the previous series was not, like openly bloody and endlessly violent. (more…)

“Orange” is the Happiest Color

July 18th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

I remember, when I was young, and my heart was an open book, maybe sixth grade (it was a long time ago, about when we had to stop hunting mastodons for food), we had to do an assignment, which was write a letter to our future self that would be read ten years from then. Well, I wrote some caliber of nonsense and eventually lost the letter. It was probably a good thing, too. In any case, this is part of the plot for the anime “Orange” (“Orenji”).

It is the past. Naho Takamiya, (in the center), a second year high school student, receives letters sent from herself 10 years into the future. Her future self asks her to prevent her “biggest regret”, which has something to do with the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse (black hair to her left). At first skeptical, Naho begins to believe the letters, as they accurately predict events. When the letter asks her not to invite Kakeru to go out for the first day, Naho and her friends (left to right, Takako Chino, Hiroto Suwa, Azusa Murasaka and Saku Hagita) decide to invite him anyway. Kakeru ends up not attending school for the next two weeks.

When she learns of the terrible fate that will befall Naruse if she does nothing, she strives to prevent the past events from happening, thus altering the future. The series details not only those efforts but how our little troupe fare in the future.

Time shift shows like this are difficult, as you have to balance the two realities, so things are credible. We, of course, are not going to ask the question as to how the future letters got into the past, as that would cause the series to totally collapse (think of the movie “The Lake House”), so you just move along with the events and see the ever-increasing stakes in the actions that they all perform in order to save a friend.

We also see how they have to learn not to be afraid, as a small slip here can create a larger slip down the line, and at a time when you may not be able to correct it, and that you have to believe in yourself, whether it is the now version or the future version.

Late in the show, there is a very good discussion regarding multiple dimensions, which also explains away the problems we encounter with the original future time story line. At its core, it is still a story about the bonds and strength of friendship, but it is done in a very concerted and focused manner. Perhaps not as intense as “Erased”, there is a still a good story to be told and the potential downfalls of not believing what the future you is imparting to the past you.

There is a movie coming out, but I am hoping it is a real movie and not a compilation film of the series. It’s already out in Japan; we get to wait another year or so. Or longer. Did I not get the memo?

 

On a scale of 1 to 10:

 

Artwork           7 (Typical but useful)
Plot                  8 (Done quite well)
Pacing              7 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness   8 (Good use of the time shift)
Conclusion       7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)

Overall            8 (Good use of the time paradox idea)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You got one, too?

“Mob” Mentality

July 11th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

Please do not let the horribly flat and bland art style throw you off. There is a more compelling story in here than you initially realize and you have to watch it. I mean really watch it. Brought to you by the same folks behind “One Punch Man”, this tale, “Mob Psycho 100” (“Mobu Saiko Hyaku) looks at people with abilities who may not know what to fully do with them. (more…)

See You On the “Flip” Side

July 4th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

This ended up being a hot-and-cold show, as there was more going on than first revealed and, when the core aspect came through, there was a sense of betrayal. “Flip Flappers” (“Furippu Furappāzu”) is certainly a colorful and boisterous offering, but it seems to be more concerned with action rather than results, but I will explain that. (more…)

“Raising” Cain

June 27th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

I have noticed another trend in anime. This one was a long time coming, as a lot of companies are not too eager to get on the bandwagon for this one, but it is best described as “Magical Girls Gone Bad”. One could argue that “Black Rock Shooter” is a caliber of magical girl show, and things in it went badly for those involved. It has gone through a lot of other shows to get us to “Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku” (“Magical Girl Raising Project”). This does give pause as to whether or not you wish to follow in this profession. (more…)

“Sound” Off

June 20th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

I am really going to ignore all the suggestions and intimations that this is a yuri show. Yes, it is very heavily tilted towards the troubles and tribulations of the female portions of this high school orchestra. Yes, the tales are about friendship and betrayal and wants and needs and desires. Yes, the ladies do wear a caliber of flirty outfits that tends to emphasize things, but since I feel it lacks a key ingredient to have it go over to the yuri side, “Hibiki Euphonium 2” is just showing us more of the problems that we saw in the first season, now made manifest in the second season. (more…)