This is what I call the “Semi-Colon Series”. It is a grouping of shows that use a semi-colon in the title, and then they run the title all together. The other three are “Chaos;Head”, “Steins;Gate” and “Robotic;Notes”. The shows all share similar characteristics: they are very dense, plot-wise, things are never as they seem and you’ll get the information you need to make sense of it when it is decided you can handle it. I guess it is a bit like life. (more…)
The anime company “Trigger” (or “Trigger Studio” depending on whom you are speaking to) comes up with a lot of wild and woolly shows like “Inferno Cop”, “Kill la Kill” and “When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace”. I bring this up, as their latest offering is in the same visual vein, but tackling a deeper subject, so it can’t be readily dismissed out of hand. I am speaking of “Kiznaiver”. (more…)
It Takes a “Village”
For many, a trip is a chance to get away from who you are and discover what you might be. It is also an opportunity to rid yourself of your ‘old clothes’ and try to be someone new or better or improved. Initially, that is the concept behind “The Lost Village” (“Mayoiga”), but the execution is rather complicated, as we have two competing storylines. (more…)
Attack of the OVA #12 – New World “Order”
This show is presented as an OVA, but it comes off more as a one-shot, and a confusing one at that. “Big Order” (“Biggu Ōdā”) tells the story of Hoshimiya Eiji, but it is done in the most painful way possible as to make it nearly incomprehensible as to what is going on. He starts off talking about wishes and if you were given one wish, what would it be? He progresses through his normal, boring life in his normal, boring town, going to his normal, boring school and seeing the new transfer student (that’s her up there, Kurenai Rin). (more…)
Short-Run Series XXVIII – This is Just “Perfect”
Sometimes, the best crime dramas are the ones that don’t apparently start off as one. This is both good and bad, but I would prefer to get lulled into something than know right from the outset where we were heading. Ooops, perhaps I’ve said too much. Well, that shouldn’t detract from your enjoyment of “Subete ga F ni Naru” (”Everything Becomes F” and subtitled “The Perfect Insider”). Don’t worry; the title will be made clear as it is also a major clue in the works.
Sōhei Saikawa, an associate professor of architectural engineering (right), and Moe Nishinosono (left), the daughter of his mentor, travel to the very remote Himaka Island to speak with Dr. Shiki Magata. Although the doctor is highly intelligent, she has secluded herself there, amid accusations that, years ago, she murdered her parents. While there, these two work together to solve a pair of murders on the island. (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…)
Short Run Series XXIV – The Garden of “Eden”
“The Eden of the Grisaia” takes our story arc to its ultimate conclusion. At the end of “Labyrinth”, we discover that the ladies came across Kajima’s notes regarding his report on himself and none of them realized that he was, at least, as damaged as they were and potentially more so than any of them could realize. They want to help him, but things take a hideous downturn.
Kajima’s old master/tutor/mentor/father figure Heath Oslo, has come back to town with an absolutely nefarious scheme that may potentially destroy everyone (except him. But do you really want to groove on the rubble?) Adding to the consternation of all, the Academy’s funding has been turned off and it must shut down, dispensing the ladies onto the winds of the world. But they are saved by the mysterious voice and brain of Thanandos, an entity that can help direct them. This now turns into a giant cat-and-mouse game, as we have to fly under the radar to try and save Yuuji.
The fact that it goes 10 episodes made me grind my teeth. We set up a very elaborate plan to get Yuuji free from his captors. This took four episodes to set up, and it strained credulity, but I stayed with it, as I watched it unfurl. It was one of those situations where you do A to get B, which helps you with C, giving you D to obtain E. None of the players are aware of all of this and it moves well enough to avoid detection. Pretty good results for a bunch of high school girls running it. Oh, and we learn who Thanandos really is. (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…)
One You May Have Missed #1 – The “Girl” Can’t Help It
Part of the problem with any art form (movies, music, anime, painting, books, graffiti at the bus stop) is that there is so much already out there and so much more coming through, it is very easy to miss or overlook or just be oblivious to whatever else is out there and you cruise right on past things. There are a lot of really good shows out there, but you may not have heard of them or the capsule description doesn’t really capture the flavor of the show.
As part of an on-going series, I want to draw your attention to these overlooked gems and suggest that you take some time out of your busy day (there is no need to see a replay on the NFL Network of a game between the Patriots and the Falcons played in Week 13 of 1992) and check them out, which brings me to my first offering, “Gunslinger Girl”.
It is interesting in that it is fully set it Italy, something that you rarely see in anime. We begin with the Social Welfare Agency (or “the Agency”), ostensibly a charitable institution sponsored by the Italian Government. While the Agency professes to aid the rehabilitation of the physically injured, it is actually a military organization. It is composed of two independent branches: Public Safety, its surveillance and intelligence-gathering division, and Special Ops, the anti-terrorist division. (more…)
Attack of the OVA #3 – Fifty Shades of “Gray”
The OVA for “The Fruit of Grisaia” (or “The Gray-Colored Fruit”) is designed to keep you interested in the show, as a movie (in theory) comes out in April and a new series follows shortly thereafter, but they come off as more unrestricted ecchi. All of the ladies seem to want to do the Wild Thing with Yūji Kazami, but it is done more for our benefit as the viewer than for anything that Yuri might want, or that the ladies are seeking.
I do not need to see a woman, dressed as a Playboy Bunny, riding a giant carrot like Slim Pickens did with that nuke in “Dr. Strangelove” or some girl who gives Yuri a real scrub down in the bath, washing everything including his shower nozzle. No, that’s not a euphemism; she really washes down the shower nozzle. Look, it just might be better for you to watch the shows (they run about six or so minutes each) to understand why they do what they do, as it does not make a lick of real sense, either as an OVA or in the general run of the show. And to make matters worse, it comes off as a painful obligation to do these histrionics, rather than a blossoming girl, experiencing the pangs of first love and true romance and….oh, just take off your clothes. Or, as seen above, a tantalizing glimpse of panties. (more…)