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…)
Out of the “Ordinary”
This was a show that started off with good promise, but got bogged down in details, so that it lost a huge amount of steam in the process. “Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend” (“Saenai Hiroin no Sodatekata” “How to Train the Ordinary Girl to be a Heroine”), tells the story of Tomoya Aki. He is a textbook nerd otaku, as he also has a blog where he reviews EVERYTHING: mangas, animes, video games. I think he even rates the figurines that one can get as well. His life is wholly, solely devoted to this, and he practically has no time for anything else…except his part-time job to fund all of this madness.
But he has dreams and hopes and ideas and what he wants to do is make a visual novel computer game, but not any VN game; it has to be the Greatest Game Ever for Eternity! This is fueled by a vision of a beautiful girl he saw at the top of a hill, cherry blossoms fluttering about her. Well, he is an idea man, but is skint on being able to produce what he wants. To this end, he enlists the help of several girl supports, for script and art design and music and whatnot. Two of them are in his class, so he tries to inveigle school beauties Eriri Spencer Sawamura (left) for designing the artwork and visual approach, and Utaha Kasumigoaka (right) for writing the game scenario. (more…)
Short Pull Series IX -”Sweet” Surrender
Are there genuinely that many food shows out there? Or am I just coming upon them all at once? This offering, “BONJOUR♪Sweet Love Patisserie”, (Bonjour Koiaji Pâtisserie; yes, that musical note is required) tells the story of Sayuri Haruno (can you find the cupcake with the cake?) Now, Fleurir Academy is a prestigious culinary institution (and aren’t they all? I mean, do you really want to go to Duane’s School of Dinner Preparation and Stuff?) and all the people here are destined, fated, kismeted (is that a word? It is now) to go on to bigger and better things. It’s like “Toriko”, but without that nonsense food.
Our heroine is here on a scholarship, which is unheard of. NO ONE gets a free ride here, but here she is (and on that take, it reminded me of “Kitchen Princess”). Now, to make matters worse, her actual teachers are these four-star hunks, oozing with charm and sophistication and plate appeal that it’s a wonder any of the girls can make their confectionaries. They are (clockwise from lower left) Ryo Kouduki, Gilbert Hanahusa, Yoshinosuke Suzumi and Mitsuki Aoi) and are the veritable kings of the campus. (more…)
The “Devil” You Say
There are times that you like a caliber of blind-side anime and this one, “The Testament of Sister New Devil”, ( “Shinmai Maō no Tesutamento”) certainly delivers in that category, as it starts off like any other blended family anime.
Basara Tojo (that lost male youth up there) is a first year high school student. He and his father, Jin, live in Tokyo, just the two of them (as mom died a few years earlier). Out of nowhere, Jin announces that he got married, is going on some business and son is to take care of his new step-sisters, Mio (redhead) and Maria (silverhead) Naruse. A bit after they arrive, we discover that they are more than they appear (although a lot was given up during the opening credits). Mio is a Demon princess and heir of the former Demon Lord, Wilbert. (Wilbert? What kind of demon is named ‘Wilbert’? That doesn’t sound too scary to me). Maria is a succubus and is Mio’s follower and guardian. They aren’t true sisters, but emotionally they are.
They actually try to force Basara from his house, using mind control and other demonic curses, but then we learn HIS truth: he was a member of a hero clan (which explains all the scars they have. Like dad and son went to the tattoo parlor to get matching tats?) and wields great powers. Dad and son eventually speak, Dad advises him on the task set before them all and tells them that they are now all family, or at least more than total strangers. (more…)