“Six” of One, Half-a-Dozen of Another

October 2nd, 2016 in Braves of the Six Flowers by

braves-of-the-six-flowers-review

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…)

“Dragon” My Tail

September 27th, 2016 in Dragon Crisis! by

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I was once told that there are only 10 plots for stories in the world and everything we do is based off of them. I got that feeling with “Dragon Crisis!” (“Doragon Kuraishisu!), as it smells like parts of “C3” and “Testament” (can you help out a damsel in distress?)

We begin with Ryūji Kisaragi, a mere lad of 15 summers (and that winter in Sapporo). His parents are ‘Lost Precious’ hunters (and keep your Gollum puns to yourself, please. We’ll have time for that at the end). Because his parents cross the world almost constantly, he is left to his own devices. His life gets upended when cousin Eriko Nanao (19 and very ‘healthy’) stops by. There is something afoot in the Black Market and a potential Lost Precious is being transported under cover of night and heavy security. They capture it (despite a car chase and a gun battle) only to find that it is the girl Rose. Ah, but a Rose by any other name would still be…a dragon? (more…)

“Crystal” Clear

April 18th, 2016 in Sailor Moon by

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal review

“Sailor Moon” is a classic in anime. I am sure when you say ‘anime’, this is the show that people think of, even if they can’t recall the title. I remember my daughter watching this endlessly when it first came out (that was during my Sixth Attempt at anime and this show helped push me away from anime at that time).

Someone decided to do a reboot of it. Why? Perhaps they felt the show could use an upgrade from the rather flat style into something more modern. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal” (“Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Kurisutaru”) might bring a new generation into wanting to see the older version, but it still falls short on a lot of areas for the newer approach.

Brief recap for the 27 people in the universe who do not know of this show: A middle school student named Usagi Tsukino (middle) befriends Luna, a black talking cat, who gives her a magical brooch, enabling her to become Sailor Moon, a pretty soldier destined to save Earth from the forces of evil. Luna and Usagi assemble a team of fellow Sailor Soldiers to find their princess and the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” They encounter (more…)

Movie Review – Trump “Card”

January 7th, 2016 in Anime, Cardcaptor Sakura, General Reviews by

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Now, I have never seen anything regarding “Cardcaptor Sakura”, although I am aware that it is a CLAMP project, so that means it fits in to the other CLAMP worlds and that this Sakura is somehow related to the Sakura from “Tsubasa Chronicles”. (No, that’s OK; you do not have to outline the universe for me. It would probably wash over me, anyway.) I did want to see if I could watch this movie (“Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie”, “Gekijōban Kādokyaputā Sakura”) with little to no understanding as to what it is about or what it all means. At best, it was a partial victory.

We open the film with Sakura Kinimoto, struggling to capture the Arrow Card, which she is able to seal, with a little help from her friends. That night, she has a strange dream about these ribbons that bind her and take her to see a very elegant Chinese lady (that is the woman up there and, yes, she is a degree of displeased). Sakura then magically wins a Winter Break trip to Hong Kong and she takes along Tomoyo Daidouji, her best friend and support team, her worthless brother Toya and his best friend Yukito Tsukishiro (whom Sakura has a crush on). Also coming along for the ride is Sakura’s guardian, Kero-chan (hanging on Sakura’s shoulder) and he is more than he seems, but for the film, he’s in that form. (more…)

Ave “Maria”

October 9th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Junketsu No Maria by

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I used to complain (and still do) that anime was always about the future, but this one, “Junketsu No Maria” (“Maria the Virgin Witch”) takes place in the past, the far past, like the Hundred Years War past (1337 to 1453). I think this one takes place during the Caroline War segment of it, so we can put it between 1369 and 1389. Above us is Maria the Witch (and her two familiars in their owl form, left to right, Priapos and Artemus). She helps the people of the nearby village with medicines and other kind of support.

For the most part, the church tolerates her (barely), but when war comes to this part of the world, she gets on her broom and conjures up spirits to send the English packing. Well, this does not bode well for her, either with the Church or with God. No, He doesn’t make an appearance. Besides, who would do the voice? Chris Ayres? Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Seriously, Archangel Michael comes down to threaten Maria not to use her magic in public, as it is an affront against God. He sends a minion of his to watch over her, Ezekiel, a rather slight girl, to do what she has to do to stop Maria, up to and including dispatching her, if necessary. (more…)

“Log” Rolling

August 27th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Log Horizon second season by

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With the conclusion of the second season of “Log Horizon”, there has to be a third season to wrap it all up, considering the bread crumbs they left. Bread crumbs? More like an entire bakery, but on to the plot.

The first season contended itself with how these people, or ‘adventurers’, trapped inside this video game, can grow an entire civilization. The second season looks at personal growth and it loses a bit of steam on that account. When Shiroe has to contend himself with bureaucracy, wow, the excitement is palpable.

Look! As he signs legislation
Gasp! While he settles land ownership issues
Shiver! When he makes proclamations

OK, I am being snarky, as there are some new issues that arise, but the show feels like it was running in place. The overall concern is that there is something going wrong with the server or the AI or general gameplay, as things are going wrong. Shiroe has to go on raiding parties to try and figure out how to get more funding for the projects he has in mind. Thant means he is away and someone else is in charge. Then when a crisis arises, Enheart Nelreth comes into the city and starts killing people, those left behind seem unable to handle the situation properly. They have to wait for Shiroe’s return to finish the task. (more…)

Attack of the OVA #4 – Do You Believe in “Magic”?

August 14th, 2015 in The Irregular at Magic High School by

The Irregular at Magic High School Review

This is part of a wave of ‘informational OVA’, but it is helpful, in that it does explain things a bit better than the show did (or didn’t). “The Irregular at Magic High School” does have a full review, so you can give that an eyeball to see what that’s about. The OVA is very helpful for us, as it explains how things work within the framework of this show, but it is best seen between the first and second acts (after Episode Seven), as it not only clarifies what you have seen, it also sets up better what you will see in the School Competition Arc.

It is, again, done in this extreme Chibi style, and the hosts shift from segment to segment as they explain how their world operates, from how the divisions of class are determined, to how their magic works, to the tournament ahead and what one can expect. I chose for you the best time to view it, as you not only know who everyone is by this point, a lot of what they are saying now will make better sense, as you’ve seen it in action. If you watch it too early, you will be confused; if you watch it too late, it will be of no use, unless you are a huge OVA fanatic. It does sometimes come off as too cutesy (especially when (more…)

The Gift of the “Magi”

July 26th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Magimoji Rurumo by

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This is a kind of a magical girl show, but “Magimoji Rurumo” (or “Magi Moji Rurumo”) does not follow the same arc as others of this genre. It all starts at school (as does a huge amount of animes and mangas).

Kota Shibaki (that’s him on her right) is a high-school boy whose only interest is girls, but he is so openly perverted about it, the ladies avoid him. Well, he IS kinda icky. One day, he finds a book in the library about how to summon witches. (I don’t remember my library having books like this. Sure, maybe a science book talking about the just-launched Sputnik satellite, but we can’t ever be up to date on things.)

He tries it as a joke, but it turns out to be the real thing: an apprentice witch named Rurumo appears, to grant him a wish. Shibaki helps Rurumo and she, in return, refuses to take his soul. Well, that’s the nature of contracts with witches. Time passes and Shibaki wishes he could see Rurumo again. His wish is granted immediately as Rurumo falls from the sky and crash-lands in front of him. Well, a lot has happened. He finds out that as punishment for Rurumo not taking his soul, she’s been busted down to an apprentice demon. (more…)

“Hero” Sandwich 2

April 12th, 2015 in General Reviews, Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha De Aru by

mahoro_suguruSanshu Middle School has a Hero Club, students (girls) who are dedicating themselves to helping those that request it. One day, they are suddenly caught in a ray of light and transported to a strange forest, where evil monsters known as Vertex are seeking to destroy the Shinju (Divine Tree), which would, in turn, destroy the world. Using a special app to transform into heroes imbued with magical powers (App? Yes, they have to use cell phones to transform, kind of like “The Irregular”), these girls must now become genuine heroes in order to protect their world. That is the premise behind “Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha De Aru” (“Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero”).

This is another in the “Girls Who Save the World” genre, as they do battle with these Vertexes (and I though the plural was ‘vertices’. Splitting hairs?) The original staffing was four, but one got added later, and the line-up for the Home Team is, left to right:

Karin Miyoshi
Mimori Tōgō
Yūna Yūki
Fū Inubōzaki
Itsuki Inubōzaki

Now, in this ‘strange forest’ (so called, as it defies any other caliber of description), Togo has the use of her legs. She is messed up, owing to a car accident that took her ability to walk and some of her memories, so she is ported about in her wheelchair. (more…)

“Brilliant!”

March 26th, 2015 in Amagi Brilliant Park, Anime, General Reviews by

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As we know, theme and amusement parks can give you the time of your life. But what if the enjoyment you have actually saves another person’s life? Thus is the idea behind “Amagi Brilliant Park”.

Seiya Kanie is a good looking, perfectionist boy (that guy dead center) who is forced by the mysterious Isuzu Sento (the red coat to his left) to visit an amusement park named Amagi Brilliant Park, which is in serious difficulties and about to be closed forever. Forced is right. Seldom do you start a romantic comedy anime with having a blunderbuss shoved in your face and ‘asked’ to come along on a date. Are things really that tough in schools in getting a guy?

The park is actually staffed by refugees from a magical realm called Maple Land, and the park is a facility for harvesting magical energy from visitors while they’re having fun. As such, the park is the only way the refugees can maintain their existence in the human realm. Yup, those characters that look like they are in costumes are not costumes, but real magical creatures. Even the Elementarios (those fairies to the left and back three rows) are, well, real fairies as we imagine them to be.

(more…)