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…)
Do not let the title of this show fool or throw you. “Snow White with the Red Hair” (“Akagami no Shirayukihime”) only has the lead character share the name (and not really that); beyond this vague reference, she is her own woman. Shirayuki is a normal citizen of the kingdom of Tanbarun. Well, if you consider an herbalist ‘normal’; it is a rather rarified vocation. She has another unique feature: her red hair…which we already mentioned. When the first prince of Tanbarun, Raji Shenazard, orders her to become his concubine, rather than agreeing to this, she cuts her hair and escapes to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines. On her way there, she meets and befriends Prince Zen Wistalia and his two aides, Mitsuhide Lowen and Kiki Seiran (but obviously does not know this when they first meet). (more…)
The problem with formulas is that, sooner or later, you are going to have to try ALL permutations, even if on the surface it sounds rather hard to accept or take in. With the harem high-school comedy “Jitsu wa Watashi wa” (“Actually, I am…”), we see a caliber of weird science.
This is a hard show to review, as you don’t want to tip things. I can safely say that all the ladies up there have a secret, but it works best if you left the show reveal it to you, rather than have me tell you that, like Kevin Spacey is Kaiser Sose (you haven’t seen “The Usual Suspects”? Ooops.)
We start off with Asahi Kuromine, a normal high school student who supposedly cannot keep a secret. His nickname is the Leaky Sieve. He finds his demeanor quickly challenged when he spots his classmate, Yōko Shiragami (green hair), in a classroom when school is over and done with. Ahh, but she has a secret (I have to tell this one, but I’ll leave the others intact, OK?) (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…)
The “Monster” Mash
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. (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…)
Attack of the OVA #11 – “Ban” Won’t Wear Out
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. (more…)