I really, really thought that this series had reached its conclusion with the movie that tied it all up. Well, yes and no. It’s like the Chef’s Special; it’s never going away. What we did was bid farewell to THOSE people, then repopulated the restaurant with a new brand of misfits, out-of-sorts cranks and other weirdoes. Although it should have been called “Working!!!!” (as each exclamation point indicates the season of it), with a new crew, it’s a new approach; thus we get “www .working!!” (and don’t think that doesn’t cause troubles. You type it properly in and it turns blue, so you can click on it and get linked to somewhere….maybe. I ain’t gonna try that!) (more…)
Strength in “Numbers”
OK, don’t let the genre categories throw you on this one, although I question if ‘funny prison rape’ qualifies as one and no, there is no prison rape, funny or otherwise, in this series. “Nambaka” (“The Numbers”) relates the tale of our four favorite felons of Cell 13, Block 13. Introductions are in order, from left to right:
Rock, a man who likes to get into fights
Uno, a man who likes to gamble and win
Nico, a man who likes anime
Jyugo, a man who broke out of numerous prisons (more…)
Somewhere in “Time”
Sniff, sniff. That smell. Can’t you smell that smell? The smell is all around you. Yes, it smells like….and E/I show! Quick, lock the doors, as no one gets out of here.
One of the reasons I am not a big fan of Educational/Informational shows is that they tend to suck the life out of their efforts, so not only isn’t it all that educational and informational, it’s not even all that entertaining. “Time Travel Girl” or, if we go by the full and complete title, “Time Travel Girl: Mari, Waka, and the Eight Scientists” (“Taimu Toraberu Shōjo: Mari Waka to Hachi-nin no Kagakusha-tachi”) wants to be something more, but ends up falling short, by buying into tropes and traps of its own doing. But, on to the plot: (more…)
Black is “Black”
The past is the future is the present. That’s not an ‘alternate fact’; the rather cryptic line is the best way to describe “Kuromukuro” (“Black Relic”), this iteration mecha show. Yes, as a lot of folks know, mecha is my most detested anime genre, beating out sports and vampires. I once mentioned that if there was an anime about sports-playing vampire Gundams, voiced by Chris Ayres, then it’s everything I hate all in one spot. But this one tried to do something more with the genre, and for that it deserves a bit more credit. (more…)
Short Run Series XIX – The “Marshmallow” Man
A fetish is an unnatural desire towards a want or need, whether it be black underwear or leather straps or Hello Kitty. I bring this up, as “Ojisan to Marshmallow” (“Ojisan to Mashumaro”) is a caliber of fetish show, except our hero, Habahiro Hige, is drawn to marshmallows, and it is more than drawn, it is a compulsion. (more…)
Short Pull Series XVII – “Cat” Got Your Tongue?
I sometimes wonder why some shows get made at all, especially ones of this nature. I mean, not only is it four episodes (and a brief OVA), they don’t run that long anyway, so this is a Double-Double (Short Pull and Short Run). “She and Her Cat” (“Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko”, subtitled “Their Standing Points”) is about a girl (Kanojo) and her cat (Kuroneko) and how they interact with their time together. The biggest problem I had with this show is that I knew how it was going to end by the first episode, so I was just along for the ride. (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…)
To the Land Beyond “Beyond”
One of my responsibilities as a reviewer is to note trends. One trend I have noticed is the ten-episode run of second seasons, and that bothers me to no end. Another is the Movie Conclusion. I first saw it with “Eden of the East”, but a few more are cropping up. It appears a decision has been made by the Parent Company that rather than hoisting another season of a show (even if it is 10 episodes), let’s use a movie or two to close it out or explain things better. Thus is the case with “Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet” (“Suisei no Garugantia”).
The initial series told the story of Ensign Ledo (right), a soldier in the Galactic Alliance, piloting a Machine Caliber. This is an AI-automated, humanoid-shaped battle suit, 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. When he awakens, he learns from Chamber that he has been in hibernation for six months while his wounds were healing. Ledo also discovers that he and Chamber have been ‘found’ by a rag-tag band of human scavengers. (more…)
Short Pull Series XVI – Orange Crush
Sometimes you encounter a show that could go in either direction. Do you remember the song “Every Breath You Take”? Many people thought it was a romantic tale of a person deeply in love with another, but if you listened to the lyrics, I mean REALLY listened to them, it was about an obsessive stalker and then the song got creepy and dangerous. “Momokuri” is that kind of show.
The tales revolves around Yuki Kurihara, a girl who has finally been granted her wish of dating her crush, Shinya Momotsuki, whom she calls ‘Momo’. At first glance, she just looks like a normal but very cute girl, amid the first blush of being in love. However, she is in fact a maniac over Momo, taking notes of his activities and never missing the chance to see him in a cute moment. Momo, on the other hand, is inexperienced in love, and just wants to make Yuki happy, but does not fully understand what lies before him. (more…)
Short Pull series XV – What’s “Puberty”?
One of the problems with short-pull series is that they can be really short. I’ve seen them as short as TWO MINUTES! That’s hardly enough time for nothing! Basically, opening credits, set-up, joke, punchline, closing credits. And this series, “Ooya-san wa Shishunki!” (“Ōya-san wa Shishunki!” “The Landlord is in Puberty!”) runs those two minutes, in that order.
At its heart is a simple story idea: A young man, Maeda (left), moves into a new apartment, only to find that his new landlady, Chie Satonaka (middle), is a middle schooler. His friend, Reiko Shirai (right), comes by to visit to see how he is doing. Now, this started out life as a 4-koma and it is apparent here. And since it is brought to you by the same folks who did “Komori-san wa Kotewarenai” (and they make an appearance in one episode), you have the same kinds of soft situations. There is nothing heavy or overwhelming about any of the problems that arise. It is what I call a ‘sitcom situation’: a minor concern gets blown out of proportion, there is a lot of yelling and screaming and jumping up and down and running around in circles and then, we ‘find’ the solution and things are back to normal again. Until the next time this happens. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. (more…)