Another Japanese obsession I cannot wrap my noggin around is the theme café/maid café fetish. OK, I have never been to Japan and I don’t even do the Maid Cafes that pop up at anime conventions. It’s a bit of a culture clash for me. And though this show doesn’t define it any better for me, “Blend S” (“Burendo Esu”), was fun to watch. (more…)
Short Pull Series XXVI: Working “Girl”
One of the problems with these short-pull series is that they seldom get aired through the normal channels. You then have to hunt them down and that can sometimes be a workout. I can’t comments as to why they exist in the first place, as I don’t know the artistic reasons to bring forth a show that only has 10-minutes segments for its run of twelve episodes. I also don’t know why Adam Sandler is still making films, but there you go. In any case, “Kenka Bancho Otome: Girl Beats Boys” takes a seriously weird look at juvenile delinquents and cross-dressing. (more…)
My “Heart” Will Go On
One of the problems I have with an ecchi-heavy anime is that the perversion is so naked (both figuratively and actually) that you feel beat about the head and shoulders with it. But for this one, “Masou Gakuen H x H” (“Hybrid × Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia”), it is done with such a wide-eyed innocence, that you can’t help but laugh yourself wet, as if these people have zero concept on things of this nature. OK, let us to the plot: (more…)
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…)
“Conflict” of Interest
This has got to be the strangest harem show potentially ever conceived (there are a lot of series out there I haven’t seen, so this will suffice for the nonce. Or Nonsense). “Brothers Conflict” (“Burazāzu Konfurikuto”, also known as “BroCon”) tells a rather complicated story, owing to the sheer amount of cast. Ema Hinata (the damsel in the center) is the daughter of the famous expat, Rintaro Hinata (well, how famous is that supposed to be? It’s just a plot point, anyway). One day, Ema finds out that her dad is going to remarry a successful clothing maker, Miwa Asahina. Rather than bothering them, she decides to move into the Sunrise Residence complex that is owned by Miwa. From there, she discovers that she has 13 stepbrothers. Yes, those are all guys up there and the Sunrise Complex isn’t much more than a dorm setting.
Since Ema is an only child and these guys have had zero contact with a girl, much less a sister, the series details this adjustment time to living in a new environment and atmosphere. (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…)
The Magnificent “Seven”
You knew this kind of series was coming: it’s a magical girl show, set in a school, with guys trying to figure it all out and witches who seem to have an upper hand in things. CUTE witches (none of that old crone with a warty nose junk). But “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches” (“Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo”) at least tries to put a new spin on old things.
Ryu Yamada (Mr. Shrieky in the upper left) is known as a delinquent in his high school; he has become bored of classes after one year of attending school. Wow, life can’t all be “Die Hard” or “The Expendables”, right? One day, he accidentally falls from a flight of stairs onto Urara Shiraishi (blondie in front) the ace student of the school. Yamada wakes up to find that he has swapped bodies with her. The two try to reverse the change and discover that kissing triggers the body swap.
On the suggestion of student council vice-president Toranosuke Miyamura, they revive the Supernatural Studies Club. The supernatural phenomenon-obsessed Miyabi Itō soon joins the club. The club encounters other “witches” with different powers that are activated with a kiss. A transfer student, Kentarō Tsubaki, becomes a part of the club after nearly causing a fire to the old schoolhouse. The show is an attempt to understand the seven witches that populate it, what their powers are and what their actual purpose is. (more…)
All You Need is “Love”
As always, with the conclusion of the first season of “Nisekoi” (“False Love”), none of the original questions were answered, new characters entered and the plot was complicated by Ichiro’s faulty memory, so the real question was how long we would have to wait for the second season. With a couple of bridge OVAs to keep us interested and fill in some gaps, we now have our second season, but it is more of a conduit, as we further complicate matters with, uh, further complications.
We had best run down the now capacious cast.
Upper left photo (left to right): Chitoge Kirisaki and Marika Tachibana
Upper right: Fuu, Seishiro Tsugumi and Paula McCoy
Lower right: Haru Onodera (sister to Kosaki) and Raku Ichijo
Lower left: Ruri Miyamoto, Kosaki Onodera and Shu Maiko (more…)
Look, there HAD to be another season of “DxD”, as so much was left hanging out there (and I don’t mean all the naked boobies, and there are a lot of those!) But this season, called “High School DxD BorN” (and why it is done that way, I do not know. I can’t find rhyme nor reason for it) felt like treading water.
It is summer break at the school, but as we know, there is no rest for the wicked. The Occult Research Club members are going on a trip to the underworld. Man, I said DISNEY World (You have got to enunciate!) Aside from gaining valuable training experience and expertise, it gives the members a real chance to bond, as we have added a few more to the chessboard. However, it’s not going to be all fire and brimstone, as Loki and the Chaos Brigade show up and do what their name intends. The series contends itself with trying to keep the team together while battling seemingly overwhelming odds against implacable foes, bent on, at least, personal destruction. And naked boobies. (more…)
Short Run Series XXIV – The Garden of “Eden”
“The Eden of the Grisaia” takes our story arc to its ultimate conclusion. At the end of “Labyrinth”, we discover that the ladies came across Kajima’s notes regarding his report on himself and none of them realized that he was, at least, as damaged as they were and potentially more so than any of them could realize. They want to help him, but things take a hideous downturn.
Kajima’s old master/tutor/mentor/father figure Heath Oslo, has come back to town with an absolutely nefarious scheme that may potentially destroy everyone (except him. But do you really want to groove on the rubble?) Adding to the consternation of all, the Academy’s funding has been turned off and it must shut down, dispensing the ladies onto the winds of the world. But they are saved by the mysterious voice and brain of Thanandos, an entity that can help direct them. This now turns into a giant cat-and-mouse game, as we have to fly under the radar to try and save Yuuji.
The fact that it goes 10 episodes made me grind my teeth. We set up a very elaborate plan to get Yuuji free from his captors. This took four episodes to set up, and it strained credulity, but I stayed with it, as I watched it unfurl. It was one of those situations where you do A to get B, which helps you with C, giving you D to obtain E. None of the players are aware of all of this and it moves well enough to avoid detection. Pretty good results for a bunch of high school girls running it. Oh, and we learn who Thanandos really is. (more…)