“Ash” Heap of History

December 14th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Now, I was watching this show at the same time I was seeing “Kono Subarashii”, which made for a stark contrast, as everything “Kono” is, “Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash” (“Hai to Gensō no Gurimugaru”) isn’t, so things are played out far differently. (more…)

“Dead” To the World

November 1st, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Movies by

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…)

“Fleet” of Foot

August 9th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

The Duties of an Anime Reviewer:

  • Give quality reviews
  • Don’t give away the endings
  • Be fair in all reviews
  • Note trends

That last one is important, as I am noticing another trend and it is what I call “Women and Weapons”. Shows that can be flung into this mix are “Strike Witches”, “Girls Und Panzer”, “Upotte!”, “Arpeggio of Blue Steel” and “KanColle” (although those last three can be seen as “Women AS Weapons”). The latest title to come to us is “High School Fleet” (“Haisukūru Furīto”) and operates in an alternative future. (more…)

Attack of the OVA XII – It Ain’t Easy Being Green

August 2nd, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

In an earlier review, I noted that I have to look out for trends and I think I am seeing another one, that which I will call “Episode #0”. I have a problem with offerings that are billed as an OVA. You need a series tethered to it to be an OVA; otherwise it’s a one-shot. Also, don’t bill it as a ‘movie’ when it’s about one episode time in length. But with the turn-around on “Big Order”, I came to understand that it may be a test run, to see how things are going to decide if you want a real series to go with it. (more…)

The “Gate” to Eternity

June 29th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Look, I KNEW that there was going to be a second season of “Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri” (“Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight like This in That Place”), as all the loose ends at the close of Season One made that a foregone conclusion. To their credit, they have upped the stakes, so now things are even more problematic. (more…)

From the Beginning

May 11th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

We have before us another example in the current trend of ‘concluding’ a series with a movie or two. I mean, the same effort goes into a movie as a series, but I guess they feel they can control things better with a movie. I also have the lurking suspicion that they can trot out a ‘special engagement’ viewing party and charge far more at the cinema for this, with one of those ‘weekend’ showings….provided you live in or near a city that would do this. If you are in East Powdermilk, Wisconsin, you could be out of luck.

We are continuing the saga of “Arpeggio of Blue Steel”, with this offering called “Ars Nova DC”. Now, since we are dealing in musical terms, ‘Ars Nova D.C.’ might be confusing to those not so musically inclined. But if you know the terms, it explains the movie a bit better. ‘Ars Nova’ means ‘new art’, although we can take it to mean ‘new technique’ and it represents a break from the style of music that preceded it. ‘D.C.’ is ‘Da Capo’ meaning ‘from the beginning’. It is a notation to play a musical phrase from a certain point again, kind of like a repeat. This movie is all that and a bag of shrimp-flavored chips. (more…)

Fantastic “Voyage”

April 27th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Movies by

More on Part Two of the movie Suisei no Gargantia ~ Meguru Kōro, Haruka”. Now, as I previously pondered as to why they did not decide to make this a two-hour (or so) movie, I do not know. Personally, I felt it would have benefitted from such a move, but then you lose the cliff-hanger ending for Film A, which would drive you into seeing Film B to conclude the offering and make for a more complete understanding of what is going on, although, for the most part, you don’t know what is really going on.

It comes off as not much more than a travelogue, as we see the life of people on these giant city-fleets and how they deal with other people on their giant city-fleets, who come along with items for trade or barter, so you can purchase or swap for that which you don’t have or have never seen. Oh, the story. The real story. An item that was pulled up from the sea bed in the last film appears to be a massive memory storage unit and could potentially explain a great deal as to what is going on and could even have technology. A lost technology that could benefit us, but it could also destroy us! (more…)

To the Land Beyond “Beyond”

April 19th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Movies by

One of my responsibilities as a reviewer is to note trends. One trend I have noticed is the ten-episode run of second seasons, and that bothers me to no end. Another is the Movie Conclusion. I first saw it with “Eden of the East”, but a few more are cropping up. It appears a decision has been made by the Parent Company that rather than hoisting another season of a show (even if it is 10 episodes), let’s use a movie or two to close it out or explain things better. Thus is the case with Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet” (“Suisei no Garugantia”).

The initial series told the story of Ensign Ledo (right), a soldier in the Galactic Alliance, piloting a Machine Caliber. This is an AI-automated, humanoid-shaped battle suit, 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. When he awakens, he learns from Chamber that he has been in hibernation for six months while his wounds were healing. Ledo also discovers that he and Chamber have been ‘found’ by a rag-tag band of human scavengers. (more…)

Open Your Golden “Gate”

May 11th, 2017 in GATE by

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…)

Captain “Planet”

October 4th, 2016 in Anime, Suisei no Garugantia by

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. (more…)