One thing I have never been able to understand about MMORPGs is why they are predominantly set in medieval times. I assume it has to do with the mano-a-mano style of combat or perhaps we can use magic to cast a far-ranging spell to dish out damage to your enemies. It’s just that when we have an anime set in a caliber of MMORPG (“Sword Art Online”, “Log Horizon”, “The Tower of Druaga” and/or “And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online?”) or if I find myself transported to another place and time, I end up here in this time frame. And no Starbucks. (more…)
“War” is Hell
There is a sense of satisfaction when you know that a second season will be coming. There is nothing worse than seeing a show, getting to the ‘coupler point’ and then it fades away, so you never get that complete closure. However, the way things were set up for “Gakusen Toshi Asutarisuku” (“The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water”), you knew there had to be one, to at least bring the main thrust of the show to a conclusion. (more…)
Attack of the OVA XII – It Ain’t Easy Being Green
In an earlier review, I noted that I have to look out for trends and I think I am seeing another one, that which I will call “Episode #0”. I have a problem with offerings that are billed as an OVA. You need a series tethered to it to be an OVA; otherwise it’s a one-shot. Also, don’t bill it as a ‘movie’ when it’s about one episode time in length. But with the turn-around on “Big Order”, I came to understand that it may be a test run, to see how things are going to decide if you want a real series to go with it. (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…)
“Dragon” My Tail
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…)
“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”
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…)
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…)
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”?
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…)