Captain “Planet”

October 4th, 2016 in Anime, Suisei no Garugantia by

suisei-no-garugantia-review

This was an anime I wanted to see at KrakenCon, but it either never got shown or shown at a time I was falling asleep in a panel. It was easy enough to hunt down Suisei no Garugantia” (“Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet”), but it is more like “Waterworld” than anything else.

It is potentially the year 2400 or so (gleaned from numerous vague references). Mankind has taken to the stars and formed the Galactic Alliance of Humankind, as Earth had turned into a gigantic space ice cube and all life had to flee or freeze. The Alliance is engaged in a perpetual war with a tentacled alien species known as the Hideauze, which looks more like a carnivorous flower (with nasty, big, pointy teeth…) Sixteen-year-old Ensign Ledo is a soldier in the Galactic Alliance, piloting a Machine Caliber, a humanoid-shaped battle suit with marvelous AI, which he refers to as “Chamber”. After a failed attempt by the Alliance forces to destroy an enemy super-weapon, Ledo is knocked into a wormhole and loses consciousness. (more…)

Plan “Nine” From Outer Space

April 23rd, 2016 in Sidonia no Kishi by

Knights of Sidonia - Battle for Planet Nine review

Now, I knew from the bottom of my comfy bunny slippers that there was going to be a second season of this series. Currently called Shidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki” (“Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine”), we continue the story of Nagate Tanikaze (on the right), his relationship with Izana Shinatose (on the left) and the arrival of new support and Best BFF Forever, Tsumugi Shiraui (in the middle).

A decision is made for Sidonia to venture to the Lem System, but this is being done for ulterior motives (can’t reveal too much, plot point. Gigantic plot point). The discovery of ‘ancient technology’ has allowed our band of fighters to create Tsumugi, a caliber of Gauna, but under control of Sidonia. The plan: go to the Gauna home base and destroy them once and for all. The story details all the machinations and struggles it takes to attempt such a tremendous and dangerous task. (more…)

The “Apple” of Discord

January 17th, 2016 in Anime, Appleseed XIII, General Reviews, Uncategorized by

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Yes, I know this was a movie, but, for me, like “Ghost in the Shell”, the series made more sense than the film, although that’s where the similarities with “Appleseed XIII” end.

It is the future (and with what I see, it had pretty well damn be). It is also after the close of WWV (No, not some Super Bowl; World War Five). On the plus side, it was fought with non-nuclear weaponry. On the negative side, about half the world’s population died. Well, at least I can get a parking space. We have also seen the rise of the city-state of Olympus, a gleaming spire offering a way out of the chaos and destruction of the past and into a grand and glorious future. Or not.

It is governed by Gaia, an artificial intelligence, and administered by bioroids, genetically engineered humans. Isn’t that eugenics? Just askin’!
Into this mix we have the battle duo of Deunan Knute, a young female special agent, and Briareos, a veteran cyborg soldier. They are partners and, when Briareos was human, perhaps lovers, (this is hinted at but never really defined). They work in E.S.W.A.T., the elite Special Forces serving Olympus. They are deployed wherever trouble strikes. Conspiracies, terrorism, deadly military weapons technology, greedy corporations, and power-hungry politicians, whenever it rises its ugly head, they are there to strike a blow for the future as they fight to protect Olympus and conduct their personal quest to find Eden in the wasteland. (Enter patriotic music beneath). (more…)

One You May Have Missed #2 – Good “Heavens”

December 13th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Gurren Lagann by

 

One You May Have Missed #2 – Good “Heavens” blog 152
I guess I should get around to this show; after all, it is #4 on my fan service list. “Gurren Lagann”, known in Japan as “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann” (“Pierce the Heavens, Gurren Lagann”) is a giant fighting robot show, but it is done differently than most GFRs, so I personally was able to tolerate a bit better, despite some pacing problems. But let’s get down to brass tacks, eh?

We are on Earth. Well, I assume it’s Earth. Does it matter? But we aren’t ON Earth; rather, underneath it. Simon (but pronounce it as ‘Simone’, he’s front and center) is a digger and may be the best one that they have in our underground enclave. He dreams of a better life, but he ain’t gonna get it. Stick to your drill, boy. He is befriended by Kamina (Mr Flashy up there in the Oakley or Maui Jim or Ray-Ban shades), who needs people to recruit into his dream of visiting the surface world. Oh, you should hear the guffaws around that one! One day, Simon finds a drill-shaped key. Well, it’s cute, so he hangs onto it. (You can just see it under his crossed arms). (more…)

Less Than “Zero”

November 15th, 2015 in Aldnoah. Zero, Aldnoah.Zero 2, Anime, General Reviews by

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With that wretched cliff-hanger close to season one, you could bet your bottom dollar that there was going to be a season two and wrap up this tale of interplanetary war. “Aldnoah.Zero 2” tells of the continuing adventures of (left to right) Slaine Troyard, Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia and Inaho Kaizuka.

As Season One concluded, Slaine had shot, at point-blank range, both Asseylum and Inaho, but spared the life of Count Saazbaum. Slaine is now a Vers pilot, working for Saazbaum, and is busily destroying all he can. It has been 19 months since the close of season one and things are pretty much where they were before that. However, the show now dissolves into one of political machinations. Slaine has some agenda at work, but he seems to be at crossed ends with it. His plans are befouled by three problems:

1) Inaho is still alive. Despite a shot to the head, he survived and is more of a foe than ever.
2) Asseylum is in a coma and there is no telling when, if ever, she may emerge.
3) He is trying to set up a silent coup, where he has all the power he needs to do what he needs to do.

The show spins forth this tale of destruction and redemption, but things get a little too bulletproof for comfort. There is a major subterfuge going on, but I will let that come to you. It is especially shocking, if you are aware of the incidents of the close of the first season. And there lies your problem. (more…)

Double “Cross”

November 1st, 2015 in Anime, Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons, General Reviews by

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I saw this show at the same time I was watching “Atasuka no Yona”, but “Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons” (“Kurosu Anju Tenshi to Ryū no Rondo”) takes it in a different direction.

We start off in the Empire of Misurugi. We are approaching the 16th birthday of Angelise Ikaruga “Ange” Misurugi (she is scowly blue up there), at which time, she will be coronated and become the official next in line to the throne. She is loved by all, despite living the cloistered life that usually accompanies royalty. However, her brother, Julio, engineers a coup, exposing the fact that she is a Norma! Are you kidding me? What a betrayal! Burn the witch!

In this world, everyone uses mana for everything. Some folks cannot do so (those are the Normas, NOT Normals, but it skates close, right?) and are ‘removed’ from society, as they pose a threat to the ‘peace’ they live in. They are trucked off to the military base-prison island of Arzenal. Since Ange is now a danger to one and all, she heads there as well, where she has to fight DRAGONs. Now, what bothers me is that they are fighting real dragons, so why the emphasis on making it an acronym? Also, here’s the funny thing: all Normas are ladies. For some odd reason, all guys can use mana; only the gals can come up short. (Let’s hear it for the Y chromosome!) (more…)

Movie Review – A Stranger in “Paradise”

September 24th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Movies, Rakuen Tsuihou by

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The big problem that I have with anime movies is that I never get a real chance to see them in the theaters. With the exception of a lot (but not all) of Studio Ghibli, I would assume the bulk of these offerings never leave the Land of the Rising Sun. On those rare occasions that they do, it is a really limited release over the course of one weekend, in a movie theater that the bus lines don’t get to, at an outrageous ticket price (I had a chance to see “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” like this, but the tickets were $20 each!) and with a grand total of five showings.

Thus, when I do encounter a movie, I give it a look-see, and I will potentially not get another shot at a look-see. This means it is pot luck at best. Like the Mystery Bag, whatever is whatever. I had a chance to see “Rakuen Tsuihou” (“Expelled from Paradise”), a film I heard nothing about at all, even though it has been out in the US for theoretically five months.

It is the future. Most anime is about the future. Angela Balzac is an agent at the space station DEVA, whose inhabitants have no physical bodies, their minds digitized and processed into a virtual reality environment. She has a day off and is ‘lounging’ at the ‘beach’ on a ‘wonderful day’. Seriously, if this is all VR, it’s not much different than the Matrix, right? Anyway, after some Village People clone tries to hit on her, the beach scene deteriorates, as they have been hacked by some initially unknown entity. (more…)

“Zero” for Conduct

February 15th, 2015 in Aldnoah. Zero, Anime, General Reviews by

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This is another of those ‘Alternate Universe” shows, but isn’t that what science fiction is about? (or as Harlan Ellison said, “It’s Speculative Fiction.”). Welcome to “Aldnoah. Zero

In 1972, during the last Apollo mission, an ancient alien hyper-gate was discovered on the surface of the moon. Using this technology, humanity began migrating to Mars and settling there. After settlers discovered additional advanced technology, the Vers Empire was founded, which claimed Mars and its secrets for themselves.

Some years later, the Vers Empire declared war on Earth, and, in 1999, a battle on the Moon’s surface caused the hyper-gate to explode, shattering the Moon and scattering remnants into a debris belt around the planet, an event referred to as Heaven’s Fall. Cut off from Mars, the remnants of the Vers insurgents established several massive orbital space stations within the debris belt (they are referred to as Landing Castles) and a ceasefire was established. (more…)

“Gender” Confusion

February 12th, 2015 in Blue Gender by

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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…)

“Knight” Errant

November 3rd, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Knights of Sidonia by

knight errant blog 105This is a rather odd series for me, on a variety of levels, in that it could be seen as a giant fighting robot show that I like. Yeah, call “60 Minutes” on this.

Knights of Sidonia” is set in the future. It has been one millennia since the Earth was destroyed by these massive space slugs called The Gauna (and please, do NOT mispronounce it as the Guano, OK? Already been there). Maybe they are more like squid, with their tentacles and such. People fled in these enormous space ships, which look like a derringer barrel shoved though a piece of pumice. Look, when you are in a hurry to leave, niceties like beauty get in the way of things. Well, quite a lot happens in 1000 years, so the population is maintained via cloning. Aside from getting rid of having boring sex, it allows one to tinker with the genetic structure, so a lot of these folks have human photosynthesis (oh, and immortality, but that’s not for you to worry about).

Into this mix comes Nagate Tanikaze (smack in the middle), who has lived in the underground layer of Sidonia since birth, raised by his grandfather. Since he is all by himself, for amusement he trains himself in an old Guardian pilot simulator every day, eventually mastering it. His grandfather’s death forces him to the surface to steal food and whatnot, but he is eventually caught. He is a genuine throwback and no one knows what to do with him. (more…)