I have noticed another trend in anime. This one was a long time coming, as a lot of companies are not too eager to get on the bandwagon for this one, but it is best described as “Magical Girls Gone Bad”. One could argue that “Black Rock Shooter” is a caliber of magical girl show, and things in it went badly for those involved. It has gone through a lot of other shows to get us to “Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku” (“Magical Girl Raising Project”). This does give pause as to whether or not you wish to follow in this profession. (more…)
I see tons and tons of anime every day, every month and every year. I try and keep as good a record as I can as to what I’ve seen and what needs to be reviewed, so I was flummoxed that I had not given a review on this show. Bad boy! Bad boy! “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress” (“Kōtetsujō no Kabaneri”) can be best described as ‘Snowpiercer meets Attack on Titan’, but that falls far short as to what goes on in this zombie show. (more…)
This was (and is) a difficult show to review, as it is full of ‘Gotcha!’ moments and secrets that if I tell too much, it will take away those moments of discovery when you watch “Gakkōu Gurashi! (“School-Live!” or “Living at School!“). At the very least, I can run down the cast for you, right to left:
Megumi Sakura, sometimes called Megu-nee, the teacher. (PS, this is the closest you’ll get to fan service for the show)
Yuki, so very cheerful, along with her friends Kurumi Yūri and Miki, is a member of the Megurigaoka Private High School’s School Living Club. As Yuki seeks out fun school activities every day while living at school, the other girls work to keep her safe, because in reality…………….. (more…)
The “Root” of All Evil
With the end of the first season of “Tokyo Ghoul”, there was still a huge amount of work to do and things were not properly resolved. The second season, which appears to be called “Tokyo Ghoul Square Root of A (“Tokyo Ghoul √A”), picks up where the first season left off and therein lies the troubles.
The first season was trying to help us understand what Kaneki was going through (that’s Mr. Moody up there), a person who was a college student, and now is a ghoul. Couldn’t you have chosen a better major? He suffered a huge amount of tortuous abuse at the hands of Jason last season and dispatches him at the start of this season, but decides to join Aogiri Tree, a fierce ghoul group who clash with the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul) over a degree or supremacy and of whom the aforementioned Jason was part of. The problem with the show, overall, is that we turn into the Dragon Ball Z Syndrome: endless fighting amid endless fighting when we are not endlessly fighting. I mean, it’s like the Churchill quote: “…we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” And they proceed to do just that. (more…)
The Promise of “Resurrection”
This was a show that took me over a year to watch. I had it on disc and I would pop in two episodes when I couldn’t access anime by any other means. It was another show with a great deal of initial promise that lost it along the way.
“Princess Resurrection” starts out simply enough: Sawawa Hiyorimi (the maid at the far right) has gotten a job working for a benefactor in Sasanaki City. Sawawa has asked her younger brother, Hiro, (that hopeless dude in the center) to come over. As he is walking the streets, he sees a long cool woman in a black dress and a short servant carrying a huge pile of purchases. Overhead is a hoist of I-beams that manages to break free. Hiro pushes her out of the way, but dies in the process. In the morgue, this woman bestows the Flame of Life on Hiro, but there are conditions.
The woman is Hime (the princess; her real name is Lillianne von Phoenix, but she detests being called that) and the servant is Flandre, a caliber of robot. Flan, as she is called, suffers from the Pikachu Syndrome, in that she can only say one word (“Huga”), but it manages to explain a plethora of thoughts and ideas. Now, Sawawa is completely oblivious to all the supernatural events at the house, hired more for her gigantic cups….of tea! Hime enjoys what she can brew up. (more…)
OK, I KNEW this was a horror series, but I was drawn to “Tokyo Ghoul”, as you get tired of the vampire – werewolf – zombie nexus and I wanted to try something new, although they do play fast and loose with the mythology (which begs the question: can a myth be factually incorrect?) So, let’s set the history of ghouls. A true ghoul eats the corpses of the human dead, thus hanging around graveyards and the like. They might be akin to a politician. However, some ghouls are not beyond helping people become dead, so they can dine. Talk about a moveable feast!
So, we are in Tokyo (which helps for a show named “Tokyo Ghoul”). Let us meet Ken Kaneki, that young male youth up there. Things are going well for him: he’s in college, he’s found a rockin’ place to hang out and he meets this fabulous girl, Rize Kamishiro, that far-right woman. Now, not only is she out of Kaneki’s league, it isn’t even the same sport, but he is intrigued, as she wants him over for dinner. Yup, she’s a ghoul and has her eyes (and teeth) set on Kaneki. As she is busily killing him at a construction site, a hoist of I-beams snaps free from its hook and comes crashing down upon them.
A doctor just happened to be travelling by, comes across these two really messed-up people and thinks “We have the technology. We can rebuild him.” Taken to the hospital in critical condition, he transplants from Rize those important organs that weren’t crushed under several tons of steel into Kaneki. He lives! The operation was a success. No, it wasn’t. After recovering, Kaneki discovers that the operation transformed him into a half-ghoul, and just like them, he must consume human flesh to survive. (more…)
This is one of those shows that drop you into the action without much to go on, although the show might have been better to be called “Red Gender” than “Blue Gender”. Disclosure Time: I bailed out on this show after three episodes, as it did violate Rule Three of Anime (“If you feel the show is not going to get better, leave it. It is NOT going to get better.”). In my opinion, this is one of the worst animes I have seen this year (fighting for that title with “Terra Formars”) and the worst anime I have seen since “Peach Girl”. Now, this differs from one I don’t like. There are some shows that just miss for me or aren’t worth my time from the capsule description. This one I at least watched to draw my conclusion (and my repeated open).
In the year 2009, Yuji Kaido (that mullet-head up there. What is that hair style? Was it ever popular?) is an average young adult male diagnosed with a serious disease (the “B-cells”) and is put into cryogenic stasis until a cure is found. Twenty-two years later, he is awakened in the midst of a raging battle between armored soldiers and insectoid beings called the “Blue” which have overrun the Earth.
This group of soldiers is from an orbiting space colony, collectively called Second Earth. They had orders to recover “sleepers” around the Earth. Among them is the soldier Marlene Angel, (can you find the girl?) who at first appears to be heartless toward others. On the journey to the space colony, Second Earth, Yuji meets many of the humans that were left behind during the evacuation due to limited resources. Standing orders for Marlene and the other troops are to consider any human survivors on the surface to be already dead, which greatly troubles Yuji.
The problem with this is that it is terrible science fiction, terrible war and terrible horror. It seems these insectoids, which look like giant spiders, when they capture you, ball you up and will eat you later. Well, as you have seen, most people do not roll up well, so there is a lot of physical compaction. Adding to this is that Yuji has zero idea what is going on, except that he is the only one from his facility to survive, as the others are lost. His tube broke open and he was awakened; the rest were still in their tubes and sank to the bottom of the sea. (more…)
Short Run Series X – “Party” Pooper
Confession time! I bailed on this show after three episodes. Yes, horror is not a genre I go chasing after and the title of the show, “Corpse Party: Tortured Souls”, certainly should have been enough of a tip-off, but I decided to try it out anyway. It was a dismal failure for me. Then I learned it was four shows and an OVA so I went back in to tough it out.
Now, this entire crew is not in the full run of the show, but it offered a picture of the nine players in it for the anime, and that is the grouping in the middle. We are talking about the girl in the red dress lying down, the two atop her, then we move to the right another seven. Shorty and to the left, Red Book and to the right might be in the manga or the video game, but I didn’t research that far.
We are at Kisaragi Academy and it has been a very successful school festival. The seven students are, left to right: Ayumi Shinozaki, Sekio Shinohara, Satoshi Mochida, Satoshi’s younger sister, Yuki, Naomi Nakashima, Yoshiki Kishinuma, Mayu Suzumoto, Sakutaro Morishigem and class assistant homeroom teacher Ms. Yui Shishido. We also have to include that one in the red dress, Sachiko Shinozaki, as well (note that she doesn’t cast a reflection. Shhhhh!) (more…)
Into the “Forest”
Well, I am a hopeless mermaid fanatic, but I knew that the world of “Mermaid Forest” I was getting myself into was not the realm of music and light and Ariel singing to me and combing her hair with a dinglehopper and wondering about legs. Sure, there’s lots of red to be seen, but it’s blood. This may be one of the bloodiest series I have seen in a while and I’m watching “Attack on Titan”.
Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Yuta appears to be any other kind of wanderer in Japan (and let’s face it, Japan is loaded with them. I mean, Ash in ‘Pokemon’ is a 10-year old boy wandering all over hither and thither, so it’s not all that strange), except he has both a dark secret and a darker agenda. He is headed towards a remote village where he hears there are mermaids. The other islanders give it a hearty chuckle, ho ho ho. Why, they’ve been working these waters for years and heard the tales, but they gave it no heed. It’s just a rumor, like a balanced budget or an honest lawyer. (more…)
Not a “Ghost” of a Chance
“Yami Shibai: Japanese Ghost Stories” (also known as “Theater of Darkness”) is a short-pull series, as none of the episodes go over five minutes. For those who remember, this is more like “Night Gallery”, in which a short tale is told and there is some kind of ironic twist at the end, but something bad happens to the person in question.
This is a show with not only limited animation, but it is a caliber of stop-motion. This approach may be off-putting to some, as it really is an ‘economical’ approach to animation that may or may not work. The stories themselves may also be too brief to generate any real scares, not much different than tales around the campfire, done so I can make you drop your marshmallow into the flames.
It opens with a bunch of kids at a playground, but they are not playing. They are waiting. But waiting for whom? The ice cream man? The Octopus Ball woman? The friendly neighborhood dope peddler? Nope, it’s this guy on his bike, lugging his little shrine. The kids cluster around him and he tells another tale of terror and torment. (more…)