I wonder if it is due to the sheer amount of anime I see, not only throughout the course of the year, but at any given time. It’s just because I see shows that I have seen. Well, more to the point, I see shows that have a similar idea to one that I have seen recently, so I end up comparing how they tell their tale to each other, rather than allowing it to stand alone. But why would you want to watch something that you have already seen? Thus, the concern regarding “Bungo Stray Dogs” (“Bungō Sutorei Doggusu”, “Literary Stray Dogs”). (Note #1: I also have seen in as “Bungou”, so you may want to check both spellings if you wish to track down this series). It’s just that a lot of it smells like “Blood Blockade Battlefront”. Now, to the story: (more…)
The anime company “Trigger” (or “Trigger Studio” depending on whom you are speaking to) comes up with a lot of wild and woolly shows like “Inferno Cop”, “Kill la Kill” and “When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace”. I bring this up, as their latest offering is in the same visual vein, but tackling a deeper subject, so it can’t be readily dismissed out of hand. I am speaking of “Kiznaiver”. (more…)
One of the functions of anime is to push boundaries. It can’t always be giant fighting robots, or a high school rom-com with witches or espers or someone who thinks they are God or a look at an alternative history with hip-hop samurais. Yes, there is a danger in this approach, as you can frighten off the more timid souls who are afraid to leave their comfort zone and you end up being cult.
The only reason I found this older offering (2004; a lifetime in anime) is that I ran across an article about “15 Must-Watch Forgotten Anime” movies (well, I own four of them, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me). It’s just this one, which was rated at Number 2, takes anime and animation and science fiction and violence and sex and bounces it on its noggin for 50 head-twisting minutes (well, actually 43; you have about seven minutes of credits). The short-hand to this film would be if FLCL took the brown acid, THIS is what you would get: “Dead Leaves” (“Deddo Rībusu”). (more…)
I guess this is the year of ‘save the world’. I have seen a ton of shows like this and “Hundred” (“Handoreddo”) is no different in almost any aspect of it.
An alien life form has come down to the Earth to wreak destruction. They are called ‘Savages’ (and about time we gave them a name befitting their foul and fetid nature. Don’t call them junk like ‘Battle Bugs’ or ‘Those Guys’). But only a certain caliber of person can hope to defeat them and these are our ‘Slayers’. They use a special crystal that unlocks their powers. Well, you can’t stick your hand in a box of Cracker Jacks and hope to get one. Nope, you have to go to a training academy. (more…)
For many, a trip is a chance to get away from who you are and discover what you might be. It is also an opportunity to rid yourself of your ‘old clothes’ and try to be someone new or better or improved. Initially, that is the concept behind “The Lost Village” (“Mayoiga”), but the execution is rather complicated, as we have two competing storylines. (more…)
On the flip side of Sakamoto, we have this guy. Everything Sakamoto is, he isn’t. “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” (“Tanaka-kun is Always Listless”) relates the tales of Tanaka. Now, I can’t tell for certain if he is lazy, anemic, bored or uncaring, but he desperately has to rely on the good-will of his friend, Oota, to physically truck him from place to place. He can (and does) sleep everywhere and it is a wonder how he is able to dress himself in the morning. If the food would just crawl into his mouth, he’d be as happy as they get.
Oota thinks he is missing out on a lot life has to offer, but Tanaka is content with things as they are. Even when classmate Miyano wants to be his apprentice, as she admires the complete inertness Tanaka exudes, he declines the offer, as that seems like too much work for him (and, after you see him in action, or inaction, you understand why). He also appears to be grandly clueless, as he stumbles upon a secret that fellow student Shiraishi has. Or maybe it’s that it doesn’t mean a great deal to him. This is both the core charm and the overall frustration with the series. You just can’t tell the difference.
Is he a slacker? Is he a passive-aggressive? Is he a sponge? Is he a deep thinker? You are never really sure, but to see the huge amount of effort placed onto him to be more than just a rolled-up carpet, lugged from place to place, is astounding. I just wonder what it will be like when he has to get a job.
There is also a series of OVAs, done in chibi style, of varying lengths, but nothing over a minute. They are not much more then set-up and gag, but it does help to explain things a bit better. It’s that for a single joke, there really was no logical way to insert it into the series without it coming off as more strangeness. Some may feel that this is a caliber of ‘nothing’ show, but something does happen; it just unrolls very slowly and maybe that’s what we want to say. Then again, maybe not.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Eyes seem too big)
Plot 8 (Expressed surprisingly well)
Pacing 8 (Good, despite a potential lethargic nature)
Effectiveness 8 (Tells itself well)
Conclusion 6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 8 (Oddly compelling)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Just let me sleep.
There are a lot of strange shows about school life, whether we speak of “Ouran High School Host Club” or “School Rumble” or even “Medaka Box”, but the offering before us, “Sakamoto desu ga?” (“Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto” or “I’m Sakamoto, You Know?”) certainly ranks as one of the strangest. We follow the aforementioned First-Year Sakamoto (nope, we don’t know his first name AT ALL) the incredibly cool and popular genius who is well liked by both girls and boys. Despite the strange situations he may be in, Sakamoto always manages to fix the problem in absolute perfection while still being over the top. (more…)
OK, lest I sound like a sour old man (“Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!”), there is nothing wrong with all-girl animes…..to a point. It’s just that you need to have something more than moe girls or full-figured femmes or luscious ladies cluttering up the screen. I do like (wait for it)…plot. Wait a tick…..why does this opening sound so familiar? Because this show, “Pan de Peace” (“Pan de Pīsu”, “Peace through Bread!”), is honestly no different than “Usakame”, save that instead of tennis, it’s bread. (more…)
OK, lest I sound like a sour old man (“Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!”), there is nothing wrong with all-girl animes…..to a point. It’s just that you need to have something more than moe girls or full-figured femmes or luscious ladies cluttering up the screen. I do like (wait for it)…plot. We actually started off with “Teekyu”, which began as a sports comedy manga (and the title is a pun on the Japanese word for ‘tennis’. Things like that are lost on me). They then had a spinoff, “Usakame”, which is named for the high school these four ladies attend and they belong to the tennis club. (more…)
There is a sense of satisfaction when you know that a second season will be coming. There is nothing worse than seeing a show, getting to the ‘coupler point’ and then it fades away, so you never get that complete closure. However, the way things were set up for “Gakusen Toshi Asutarisuku” (“The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water”), you knew there had to be one, to at least bring the main thrust of the show to a conclusion. (more…)