Short Pull Series XX – “Tennis”, Anyone?

September 20th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Run Series by

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…)

Don’t Worry, Be “Happy”

August 17th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Every once in a while, you come across a show with a concept so odd, that you have to look into things a bit more deeply. Such is the case of “Anne-Happy”, (Anhapi♪), also known as “Unhappy Go Lucky!” or “Unhappy”. The plot is surprisingly thin:

Tennomifune Academy is an elite school where students train in various subjects such as arts and sports. The school, in a sense, chooses you, not the opposite (much like a wand from Ollivander’s). That is, except for the students of Class 1-7, a.k.a. the “Happiness Class”, who have been deemed “unfortunate” and must try to overcome their own misfortune and achieve happiness. The series follows a core group of five students, who each have their own problems, as they try to find their own elation. (more…)

The “Ultimate” Goal

July 26th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Now, I like a goofy show as much as the next person, but it bothers me when they break in into a ‘half-and-half’, so the first grouping of episodes are an exhilarating ride and when the ‘serious’ ones make their appearance, it gets somber and introspective, losing some of the charm that got you here in the first place. Such is the case with “Ultimate Otaku Teacher” (“Denpa Kyōshi” or “Electromagnetic-wave Teacher”, subtitled “He Is an Ultimate Teacher”). We have Jun’ichirō Kagami, 24, who is a genuine genius. He published a paper at 17, talking about a teleportation device. Despite that majestic early splash, he would rather spend his time playing video games and being a real NEET (but not necessarily a hihikimori). His sister, Suzune, feels that his talents are being wasted on his anime blog (What?!!? Wasting time with an anime blog? Is she nuts?) and he needs to get a job. No, let me rephrase that. GET A JOB OR I’LL BEAT YOUR BRAIN IN! (She is batting .545 with an on-base plus average nearing 1.000). (more…)

Hyper “Active”

July 5th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

“Mecha” has always been a sore point for me, especially when I wasted far too much time on “Gundam Seed Destiny”. My son used to watch the Gundam shows and, yes, I will admit there is something kind of cool about a giant fighting robot, but when it is an endless supply of giant fighting robots doing the exact same thing against another endless supply of giant fighting robots doing the exact same thing, episode to episode and series to series, the luster wears off pretty quick. How many times can you curse and scream and shriek at your enemy, who will also curse and scream and shriek at you? *sigh* But what about if it is a bio-enhanced suit? (more…)

Short Pull Series XVI – Please, “Please Tell Me” Now!

June 14th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

In my many years of reviewing anime, I have come across a crop of shows that I refer to as ‘nothing’ shows. There is a huge amount of talking, but nothing really happens. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as some of them are character and plot driven and tell a fascinating story. But it can run hot and cold.

Our latest offering, “Oshiete! Galko-chan” (“Please Tell Me! Galko-chan”) is also a short-pull series, in that the episodes only run for about eight minutes. But they pack a lot into these shows. Our cast includes (right to left), the aforementioned Galko, Ojou and Otako. Yes, they are very iconic, as they are, respectively, a gyaru, an airhead and an otaku. But they go beyond those limitations and tell some interesting tales. This came off for me as closer allied to “Daily Lives of High School Boys”, another ‘nothing’ show, but with a definite edge to it. (more…)

Short Pull Series XVIII – Help! It’s the “Police”!

June 7th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Pull Series by

Every once in a while, you come across a show that you like, but others detest. I catch my shows on one site that rates the popularity of any particular offering and this one scored low (in the 60s), although I do not know what they were looking for. “Sushi Police” tells the tale of, fortunately enough, the Sushi Police, although it could be the Motorcycle Squad, as they are, left to right, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki. They are on a mission: to make sure all sushi served in the world is authentic sushi and not some kind of terrible rip-off. To this end, they will go anywhere and everywhere to protect the good name of sushi, doing anything and everything in that just and noble pursuit. (more…)

Short Run Series XIX – The “Marshmallow” Man

May 31st, 2018 in Anime, Short Run Series by

A fetish is an unnatural desire towards a want or need, whether it be black underwear or leather straps or Hello Kitty. I bring this up, as “Ojisan to Marshmallow” (Ojisan to Mashumaro”) is a caliber of fetish show, except our hero, Habahiro Hige, is drawn to marshmallows, and it is more than drawn, it is a compulsion. (more…)

Short Pull Series XVI – Orange Crush

April 12th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Sometimes you encounter a show that could go in either direction. Do you remember the song “Every Breath You Take”? Many people thought it was a romantic tale of a person deeply in love with another, but if you listened to the lyrics, I mean REALLY listened to them, it was about an obsessive stalker and then the song got creepy and dangerous. “Momokuri” is that kind of show.

The tales revolves around Yuki Kurihara, a girl who has finally been granted her wish of dating her crush, Shinya Momotsuki, whom she calls ‘Momo’. At first glance, she just looks like a normal but very cute girl, amid the first blush of being in love. However, she is in fact a maniac over Momo, taking notes of his activities and never missing the chance to see him in a cute moment. Momo, on the other hand, is inexperienced in love, and just wants to make Yuki happy, but does not fully understand what lies before him. (more…)

Short Pull series XV – What’s “Puberty”?

April 5th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

One of the problems with short-pull series is that they can be really short. I’ve seen them as short as TWO MINUTES! That’s hardly enough time for nothing! Basically, opening credits, set-up, joke, punchline, closing credits. And this series, “Ooya-san wa Shishunki!” (“Ōya-san wa Shishunki!”The Landlord is in Puberty!”) runs those two minutes, in that order.

At its heart is a simple story idea: A young man, Maeda (left), moves into a new apartment, only to find that his new landlady, Chie Satonaka (middle), is a middle schooler. His friend, Reiko Shirai (right), comes by to visit to see how he is doing. Now, this started out life as a 4-koma and it is apparent here. And since it is brought to you by the same folks who did “Komori-san wa Kotewarenai” (and they make an appearance in one episode), you have the same kinds of soft situations. There is nothing heavy or overwhelming about any of the problems that arise. It is what I call a ‘sitcom situation’: a minor concern gets blown out of proportion, there is a lot of yelling and screaming and jumping up and down and running around in circles and then, we ‘find’ the solution and things are back to normal again. Until the next time this happens. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (more…)

“Working” Out the Details

March 1st, 2018 in Uncategorized by

Technically not a fourth season, but an extended movie, “Working”  (“Wagnaria!!”) tries to wrap it all up and give people that dramatic push they need to move ahead with their lives. I mean, you can’t work as the wait staff in a family restaurant for the rest of your life, right? It’s just that it tries so hard to make it right, you can see the mechanics operating and everyone gets to sing their aria.

It is a rather capacious cast and each have their own imbroglios that cross over into other people’s lives to the point you wonder what is the quality of food here. We have the two chefs (far left) who spend more time sniping at each other, the store manager (guy in regular tie) who spends all his time trying to find his runaway wife and our ‘hero’ (for wont of a better term) who tries to be a regular Joe, but ends up a punching bag of sorts, both physically and emotionally. (more…)