I sometimes like to tell the story about my 40-year flirtation with anime and how I felt the genre turned on me numerous times, which forced me to leave it numerous times. I want you to know that I was thiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to bailing again and all because of the frustration generated by this series, “Code Geass: Akito the Exiled” (“Kōdo Giasu Bōkoku no Akito”). As far as I was concerned, this anime was a deal-breaker and would have closed out my Seventh Attempt at Anime, but I’m now made of sterner stuff and toughed it through, although I did take a ‘vacation’ from anime, as I was so angry. I will explain the show and then I will explain the betrayal. (more…)
“Mecha” has always been a sore point for me, especially when I wasted far too much time on “Gundam Seed Destiny”. My son used to watch the Gundam shows and, yes, I will admit there is something kind of cool about a giant fighting robot, but when it is an endless supply of giant fighting robots doing the exact same thing against another endless supply of giant fighting robots doing the exact same thing, episode to episode and series to series, the luster wears off pretty quick. How many times can you curse and scream and shriek at your enemy, who will also curse and scream and shriek at you? *sigh* But what about if it is a bio-enhanced suit? (more…)
More on Part Two of the movie “Suisei no Gargantia ~ Meguru Kōro, Haruka”. Now, as I previously pondered as to why they did not decide to make this a two-hour (or so) movie, I do not know. Personally, I felt it would have benefitted from such a move, but then you lose the cliff-hanger ending for Film A, which would drive you into seeing Film B to conclude the offering and make for a more complete understanding of what is going on, although, for the most part, you don’t know what is really going on.
It comes off as not much more than a travelogue, as we see the life of people on these giant city-fleets and how they deal with other people on their giant city-fleets, who come along with items for trade or barter, so you can purchase or swap for that which you don’t have or have never seen. Oh, the story. The real story. An item that was pulled up from the sea bed in the last film appears to be a massive memory storage unit and could potentially explain a great deal as to what is going on and could even have technology. A lost technology that could benefit us, but it could also destroy us! (more…)
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
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
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”
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”
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…)
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”
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…)