As of late, I have been running into a lot of fighting academy shows, where people of varying degrees of talents and abilities are shipped off to this particular institute or that particular school to hone their fighting skills in that they may defend this country or do battle against other schools for honor and glory and toyamaki. It’s like being in “The Goblet of Fire” but without Cedric Diggory. (Hmmmm……….this intro sounds familiar). (more…)
The “Concrete” Jungle
Now, understand that it is not a misspelling, but it is called “Concrete Revolutio” (“Konkurīto Reborutio: Chōjin Gensō”, “Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria”). I couldn’t find a genuine reason for that, aside that it will stick in your head.
It is year Apotheosis 41. Now, this was a bit of a problem in trying to determine what the ‘actual’ year was, but by doing a little research, I was able to puzzle out that it is the year 1967. OK, the fashions do kind of look like Carnaby Street and we do have a Beatles-like band lurking about, but it could also be the Disco Era, with that line of thinking and dress. The Showa Era did not exist and we are dating this from 1926, the last year of the Taisho Era. Earth is currently home to superhumans and paranormal phenomena of all kinds, from aliens and magical girls to ghosts and transforming robots. However, official knowledge of these beings is officially kept under wraps by the governments of the world. (more…)
Don’t Pull on my “Tail”
Although this is kind of a ‘girls who save the world’, it was very hard to take this show seriously, even when it became ‘serious’. “Gonna be the Twin-Tail!!” (“Ore, Tsuintēru ni Narimasu”, “I Will Become a Twintail”.) also takes gender-bending to another level.
We are at Yōgetsu Private Academy. Sōji Mitsuka is an ordinary high school boy who has an obsession for twintail hair. That is when you split the hair, so you have it flaring off to the side, as we see up there, although it can trail in the back as well. At the opening ceremony, he is enraptured with the numerous twintails about him, especially Erina Shindō, who is the student body president and has a magnificent pair…of twintales. (more…)
Open Your Golden “Gate”
This was an intriguing series, but the terseness of the first season means that there will be a second season (at the very least) to try and settle the problems that were both brought up and complicated in this show. This is “Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri “ (“Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in That Place”), although it just seems to be called “Gate”. It is either current times or a slightly distant future (like 2020 or something along those lines. Still no hoverboards). It is a wonderful afternoon in the Ginza Area and Yōji Itami (guy up there) is enjoying his day off. You see, he is a JSDF soldier, but he is also a hopeless otaku and is making his way to his favorite store for the latest and greatest in manga and anime.
Suddenly, a massive portal shows up, and I don’t mean like a pulsating spiral of pure evil, but a real archway. It almost looks Roman in construction and design and size. Look, it spans the street and is, maybe two stories tall, perhaps taller. Then, all of these nasty monsters start pouring out and attack the citizenry. Itami is ticked off, as he had places to go to, but now, he is pressed into service to help protect people and drive back the threat. Well, despite being monsters, these guys come off as mediaeval, with spears and arrows and swords, so they are no match for modern weaponry and are quickly dispatched (those that aren’t captured). (more…)
Time to “Gear” Down
I was really surprised that a third year of this show came out, owing to how things were, more or less, wrapped up, but “Senki Zesshō Symphogear GX” (“Superb Song of the Valkyries: Symphogear GX”) came out with much disappointment for me. I supposed I watched it to ‘officially’ close out the franchise, but it was tough going.
The ladies are now part of a group called S.O.N.G., who provides disaster relief around the world. Kind of like the “Thunderbirds”, but without being marionettes. The problem is that they are attacked by an autoscorer while facilitating a rescue. This is a doll (more like an automaton) bent on the destruction of all the Symphogear girls and it looks like they might succeed, as they are stronger, faster and better equipped. The series looks into how our sextet can defends themselves and the world against a new, more powerful, threat that can even destroy their armor. (more…)
This was an anime I wanted to see at KrakenCon, but it either never got shown or shown at a time I was falling asleep in a panel. It was easy enough to hunt down “Suisei no Garugantia” (“Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet”), but it is more like “Waterworld” than anything else.
It is potentially the year 2400 or so (gleaned from numerous vague references). Mankind has taken to the stars and formed the Galactic Alliance of Humankind, as Earth had turned into a gigantic space ice cube and all life had to flee or freeze. The Alliance is engaged in a perpetual war with a tentacled alien species known as the Hideauze, which looks more like a carnivorous flower (with nasty, big, pointy teeth…) Sixteen-year-old Ensign Ledo is a soldier in the Galactic Alliance, piloting a Machine Caliber, a humanoid-shaped battle suit with marvelous AI, which he refers to as “Chamber”. After a failed attempt by the Alliance forces to destroy an enemy super-weapon, Ledo is knocked into a wormhole and loses consciousness. (more…)
“Six” of One, Half-a-Dozen of Another
Although this was a fascinating series, in its cat-and-mouse, whodunit approach, the first season (and yes, there HAS to be at least a second season) of “Rokka no Yuusha” (“Braves of the Six Flowers”) was ultimately frustrating, as it came off as a tremendous tease with immense padding. I’ll explain, so settle into your bean bag chair with a couple of boxes of Pocky and I’ll relate the whole saga (part one):
In this Land of Nod, there is a peninsula to the west, a land filled with demons and monsters and unsavory types (kind of like Donald Trump’s condo). Every so often, they get the itch and venture forth to try and kill and/or enslave the residents of the rest of this continent island. Fortunately, coming to the rescue are Six Braves, individuals who have been chosen by the Goddess of Fate, endowed with special powers and abilities to meet the enemy head on and drive them back into their land of volcanos, choking smoke and unpleasantness (Los Angeles without the Starbucks). (more…)
“Dragon” My Tail
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? (more…)
“Gun” the Engine!
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. (more…)
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. (more…)