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).Continue reading

suisei-no-garugantia-review

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.Continue reading

braves-of-the-six-flowers-review

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).Continue reading

Nanatsu no Taizai ova 2

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

It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon review

OK, this show has genuinely the longest title of an anime I have ever encountered. I saw it as “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?”(“Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka”), but also known as “DanMachi” for short, and with English subtitle “Familia Myth”.  It is hard to classify this show, as it wants to be both dramatic and comedic and that doesn’t usually work out well for either approach. The initial idea is strange enough as it goes.

The story takes place in the fictional world of Orario whose main feature place is the Dungeon, which contains an assortment of monsters from goblins to dragons. Adventurers visit the dungeon to defeat monsters and take their shards (which look like crystals), and are used to craft magic items, among other treasures, and are also exchanged for the world’s currency. But this dungeon goes both up and down, so it is more like a huge tower (of which you see a bit of it in the back), plus those dangerous lower levels, where the aforementioned nasties reside.Continue reading

Short Run Series XXVI - “X” Marks the Spot blog 163

There is something about vigilante shows that satisfy a primal need for justice to be dished out. Too bad “Triage X” does it wrong. Or at least a wrong presentation of things.

The story starts out simple enough: Arashi Mikami (that helmeted dude) works for Mochizuki General Hospital. However, underneath that gleaming exterior of helping people to heal resides the vigilante organization known as “Black Label.” The team, made up of select hospital staffers and local teenagers from nearby Mochizuki High School, task themselves with killing undesirable people, dubbed “cancers” of society, and to stop their spread of infection into the ‘body’ of the populace.

Now, these criminals are, hands down, guilty, guilty, guilty. They cannot be brought to justice through normal channels, as they will use their money and influence to prevent that from happening. Mikami and his support team are tasked with taking care of business. The problem is the support (or lack thereof).Continue reading

Movie Review - Trump “Card”  blog 154

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.Continue reading

Movie Review - Automatic “Pilot” blog 154
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.Continue reading

Silent but “Deadly”  blog 149

This is a show that I refer to as “We’re getting the band back together”, as it involves a sojourn of truth and having to find the necessary components to make it all work. Kind of like “Akatsuki no Yona”, but everyone knows everyone directly and not by inference. Such is “The Seven Deadly Sins” (“Nanatsu no Taizai”).

Ten years earlier, a group of knights known as the Seven Deadly Sins were disbanded after they supposedly plotted to overthrow the Liones Kingdom. Their defeat came at the hands of the Holy Knights, but rumors continued to persist that they were still alive. Now, the Holy Knights staged a coup d’état and captured the king, becoming the new, tyrannical rulers of the kingdom. Let me get this straight: you saved us from one type of tyrant to install yourself as another kind of tyrant. Nifty. The third princess, Elizabeth Lyonesse, (cutie pie to the far left) starts out on a journey to find the Seven Deadly Sins and enlist their help in taking back the kingdom.Continue reading

Northwest “Passage” blog 148

I was honestly not expecting a second season from this quarter, but we have “Mushi Shi: Next Passage”. For the first season, I felt they were just tales of the weird and of these odd creatures called Mushi. It wasn’t until the second season that I saw it for what it really was: a caliber of horror. But it is done in a deliberate way, and not relying on gore and dismemberment and other bloody tropes that bedevil many horror shows. Intellectual horror? That’s a good term.

Ginko is still wandering the countryside, trying to help people in regards with their Mushi issues and always working to expand overall knowledge of them. The opening credits show a variety of Mushi. Take note, as you will be seeing most of them throughout the season. This also had something that I never thought I would see: Ginko lose! One thing that bothered me throughout the season is that Ginko seemed surprised. Look, if he has been a Mushi master for 15 to 20 years (how old is he, anyway), nothing should come as a surprise. I will let you get away with “I have never encountered this before”, as it is a big world out there, but he should never be shocked or surprised or perplexed…except the episode where he loses (Episode 17 – “Azure Waters”).Continue reading