This was not the movie I wanted to see, although ‘movie’ is a very loose term for this 27-minute offering. It really isn’t much more than an untethered OVA, but it was given to me as a ‘movie’, and underdeveloped at that. ”Taifū no Noruda” (“Typhoon Noruda”) could have really used more back story and more understanding as to what was/is going on. We end up with an elongated scenario with all the salient parts to make it work, but not fully exploited to tell a richly compelling story, and thus this is what we end up with. (I was looking for another movie, but I ran into this one and watched it instead, thus my cryptic opening comment).
We are at Unnamed Academy on Nomanisan Island and we are getting ready for the Cultural Festival. But there are storm clouds on the horizon, both actually and figuratively. The actually is that a typhoon is brewing off the coast and it promises to be at least a Category 8 and, potentially, one of those monster, once-in-a-lifetime storms that is so powerful, it tips the Earth on its axis.Continue reading
I was once told that there are only 10 plots for stories in the world and everything we do is based off of them. I got that feeling with “Dragon Crisis!” (“Doragon Kuraishisu!”), as it smells like parts of “C3” and “Testament” (can you help out a damsel in distress?)
We begin with Ryūji Kisaragi, a mere lad of 15 summers (and that winter in Sapporo). His parents are ‘Lost Precious’ hunters (and keep your Gollum puns to yourself, please. We’ll have time for that at the end). Because his parents cross the world almost constantly, he is left to his own devices. His life gets upended when cousin Eriko Nanao (19 and very ‘healthy’) stops by. There is something afoot in the Black Market and a potential Lost Precious is being transported under cover of night and heavy security. They capture it (despite a car chase and a gun battle) only to find that it is the girl Rose. Ah, but a Rose by any other name would still be…a dragon?Continue reading
I am going to strongly suggest that you work through the first couple of episodes of this show. There is an interesting tale to be told, but “Aoharu x Kikanjū” (“Aoharu x Machinegun”) starts off in frighteningly familiar territory that can cause a lot of people to hit the silk on it when they see it. I will explain…
Hotaru Tachibana (in the center) is a high school student and a ‘champion of justice’. There is no crime that goes unnoticed, no misdeed that goes unpunished. A shining beacon of truth amid a sea of despair, where one can turn their weary eyes for help. Hotaru then learns that a friend was fleeced at a local host club of all her money. Enraged beyond belief, the club is stormed and a pitched battle is engaged with Hotaru and the target of the anger and frustration, Masamune Matsuoka (to the left). The ensuing battle causes a huge amount of financial damages in the club, so Hotaru will have to work it off by….being a host here. No, Masamune has other plans.Continue reading
I seem to be running into late-season perversity, as I have encountered a huge amount of smut-smack shows. At the time I wrote this review, I had two others shrimps on the barbie that had not yet reached a conclusion, but were well within sniggering and jiggering territory. This offering, “My Wife is the Student Council President” (,”Okusama ga Seito Kaichō!”) is like them, save that it is a short pull. That means they have to pack in more perversity than in your normal show, as they are only given about eight minutes to set free their mayhem.
The plot is fairly standard: Hayato Izumi (specs) runs for student council president at his new high school, but loses to Ui Wakana (pink), a perky and charismatic girl who pledges to liberate love on campus. To emphasis this over more sober topics, like the cost of school lunches and/or better funding for the clubs, she flings condoms into the audience during her election speech. She wins by a landslide and he ends up becoming the vice-president on the student council. What a bummer of a day!Continue reading
There’s no shortage of anime available, but so many follow a formulaic pattern that they start to blend together. It can be hard to navigate through the hundreds of different series and try to find something truly original. If you’re looking for shows that breathe life into tired genres, try out these amazing options:
Ookiku Furikabutte (Oofuri/Big Windup)
There are dozens of sports anime out there, but none of them are quite as heartwarming and character driven as Ookiku Furikabutte (Oofuri for short). The show centers around the pitcher Ren Mihashi. He’s driven away from his middle school because his pitches are too weak and everyone on the baseball team hates him because he won’t give up the mound to a more promising pitcher. He moves to Nishiura High School and joins the baseball team despite his conflicted feelings. With the help of the pitcher Takaya Abe and his teammates, he realizes he is a great pitcher and comes to gain confidence and skill.Continue reading
This is a harem comedy taken, potentially, to the zenith that it could go for. It is less about the fact that this guy has six ladies or 12 ladies or all the ladies in Kankakee chasing after him, but more as what they are. “Monster Musume” (“Everyday Life with Monster Girls” or, “Monsutā Musume no Iru Nichijō””), tells the very bizarre story of the very bizarre world that Kimihito Kurusu (Mr. Dazed and Confused up there) lives in.
After many, many years of vehement denials, the Japanese Government finally copped to the fact that these ‘monster girls’ exist. That revelation ‘occurred’ three years before the ‘start’ of the anime, brought forth by passing a legal bill, the “Interspecies Cultural Exchange Act”. Now, they are officially referred to as “liminals”, although some still call them ‘monsters’ (I prefer the term ‘exotics’, but that’s just me). Society is trying to mainstream them in, so there is no longer a culture shock when you see a dullahan walking down the street. Kimihito is a volunteer or a host family or patsy for one of them, Miia (redhead at one o’clock), who is a lamia (half human, half snake). About three to four feet of her is human; the rest (potentially a total of 30 feet) is her snake appendage.Continue reading
I always have a concern when a movie comes out of a popular TV series, as I fear it will be a compilation of the series itself and nothing new from the show or potentially taking it in a different direction (as with the “Eden of the East” offerings). Now, there are a forest of problems with the “Attack on Titan” movies (yes, there are two of them; this is Part I). The first is, yup, this is merely a compilation film with about 21% new footage. This does help explain certain aspects better, but still comes off as too superficial, compared to the series, when we saw things unfold better. The second is that a lot of plot and motivation was jettisoned to make the film fit a time length and some of those parts that were cut out may have been necessary to the film to explain things better. Well, I only watch and review; what the hell do I know, right?
The third is that this might be a caliber of preparation for the live-action version of “Titan”, but what’s the reason for that? What can you do differently for live-action that you couldn’t do in anime? This seems more like corporate greed than anything else. The fourth problem is the most troublesome: who is it for? If I have seen the series (which I have), there is no reason to see a Cliff Notes® version of it in a movie, as a lot of the flavor is gone and that is what really sold the show. If I haven’t seen the series, then a lot of what the movie reveals will be taken from me if I choose to pursue the series in earnest after seeing the film.Continue reading
Usually when you see an OVA, it is a sign or a signal that the second season of a show is coming OR we are going to get the aria from everyone in the show. I mean, you could easily have these two-tripper segments for the whole cast of this show and end up with a 14-episode run, but it didn’t work out that way. We start off the “Nanatsu no Taizai” (“The Seven Deadly Sins”) OVA with Ban. Now, part of his ‘adventure’ is revealed in the run of the show, but it is detailed better in this approach. He is also the only one to get the full treatment/full episode for this OVA; the rest (the second offering) are akin to blackout sketches. Ban’s tale was a bit too fleeting and episodic for the regular run, but it still doesn’t explain how he ended up in that prison we see him in at the beginning of the series. Continue reading
Can I work that ‘East’ tag any harder? This really isn’t a movie in the genuine sense; more like a special that was broken into two segments rather than to plunk us down for three hours to see the dénouement that is “Eden of the East: Paradise Lost”. I found this a rare offering, where the middle movie was better than the conclusion, as we threw in a needless complication to an already complicated plotline, and that was whether or not Takizawa IS the illegitimate son of the late Prime Minister of Japan.
It does follow the hunt for his mother, who is found living in NYC, tied to that dog with the wings, as well as the final machinations to determine who will be the winner of this contest. This one is more about flashbacks, as we learn how Takizawa was ‘chosen’ to be in this game (along with the other players) and the mysterious man behind it all. Seriously, who can afford to give up or away 12 BILLION yen?!!? (with the exchange rate, about $838 million) for such a lark?Continue reading
OK, so when “Eden of the East: The King of Eden” came out, I was very nervous, as I felt it was going to be a recap movie, as we cobble together the salient parts from the TV series and present it as a ‘movie’. Nope, that is not the case. If anything, it goes on to tell more story and (eventually) conclude the tale. It has been about six months since the end of the series. Things in the world are ‘normal’ (whatever that really means). We find our heroine, Saki Morimi in the Big Apple, trying to chase down the Air King (whom we know as Akira Takizawa), but she runs into trouble right from the get-go.
She has been asked by him to meet in New York, but between a grumpy cabbie and her suitcase spilling open, showing some weaponry, the cops are right after her. She manages to escape all that and find Takizawa, but he has had a memory wipe again and knows nothing of which she speaks. Adding to the confusion is the potential idea that he is the illegitimate son of the Prime Minister, who has just died. And thus paving the way for him to be not only the ‘Prince of Japan’, but finally bring to fruition HIS plan to ‘save Japan’.Continue reading