Oh, no, how did this happen? I watched a show that was BOTH giant fighting robots and CG animation! Am I crazy from the heat? Missing a critical enzyme? On the verge of being deported? What could have led me to such a series? Well, sit down in front of the fireplace (it’s summer; there’s no fire in there, merely deadly spiders and a ton of creosote) and I’ll explain “ID-Ø”. (more…)
Regular As “Clockwork”
Steampunk is a term that confuses me. I mean, I think I know what it is, but I cannot always be certain of it. I bring this up, as I wonder if this is a steampunk series, or one with an unusual idea and merely looks like steampunk. This is the world of “Clockwork Planet” (“Kurokkuwāku Puranetto”). (more…)
Short Run Series XXII – If You See the “Dragon” Fly
I once mentioned (and frequently do so) that you can find an anime on almost any topic. This one is really strange, “The Dragon Dentist“ (“Ryū no Haisha”). It takes place in an alternate universe, a time when dragons existed and did take to the skies. (more…)
I Wanna Hold Your “Hand”
It’s the future! I’m glad you made it to Osaka in the year AD20XX. Huh? What the hell year is it? OK, it’s the future; I guess numbers don’t matter in the world of “Hand Shakers”. Let us meet Tazuna Takatsuki (him of the clockwork sword on the right). He is very adept at mechanics and helps out a ton of people with his abilities. However, he gets so mono-minded on the task at hand, he is oblivious to his surroundings and could easily get clobbered by nefarious types or locked behind in the room when the rest of the staff has gone home for the day. (more…)
You Have To “Live”
There is something wrong with the artwork, both in character design and actual results, for this show. It feels off, even for anime. It’s as if they wanted to be both cute and serious at the same time, but it didn’t work in either direction, thus a rather conspicuous failure for me. Do the eyes have to be that shiny? Do the skirts have to be that shorts? Must everyone be a tad on the thick side? Greetings, strangers, and welcome to the galaxy of “ēlDLIVE” (“Erudoraibu”). (more…)
Yeah, the ending of the first season guaranteed a second season, but it fell into the Sophomore Slump and we ended up being dragged along in an exercise more in what not to do for a second season. We are back to “BBK/BRNK” (or “Bubuki/Buranki: The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy”).
So, after the crew of the Oubu learn the ins and outs of their Buranki, they discover that there are more users out there. Oh, the crew of the Oubu (left to right) Shizuru Taneomi, Kogane Asabuki, Azuma Kazuki, Kinoa Ogi and Hiiragi Nono. (more…)
Short Pull Series XXIV – “To Be” Or Not To Be
I initially shied away from this show. Aside from the rather difficult pronunciation of the title, “To Be Hero”, the capsule and accompanying picture was a bit difficult to take. However, when you get into the show, it is the same kind of disjointed run you have seen with “One-Punch Man” and “Mob Psycho 100”, in that you have a hero that really doesn’t know what to do with himself or his life, either before or after. And some kind of hero! (more…)
Get Your “Tail” in Gear
Is this another in a long line of “Episode #0” shows or just a free form experiment? I can’t really tell, as so much was left out, that it operates no better than a recap show, rather than an origin episode or even an OVA. You have your ticket? Good, come sit next to me; I’ll get two dogs and two brews and we’ll watch “Tailenders” together. I got us some good seats. (more…)
The Game of “Life”
What would you give to be able to relive a crucial part of your life and correct mistakes that you had made at that time? Would this give you a better chance for the rest of your life? Are you up to the task? Can you keep a secret? Do you like having a minimum wage job and no girlfriend? Have you registered to vote? (more…)
“Orange” is the Happiest Color
I remember, when I was young, and my heart was an open book, maybe sixth grade (it was a long time ago, about when we had to stop hunting mastodons for food), we had to do an assignment, which was write a letter to our future self that would be read ten years from then. Well, I wrote some caliber of nonsense and eventually lost the letter. It was probably a good thing, too. In any case, this is part of the plot for the anime “Orange” (“Orenji”).
It is the past. Naho Takamiya, (in the center), a second year high school student, receives letters sent from herself 10 years into the future. Her future self asks her to prevent her “biggest regret”, which has something to do with the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse (black hair to her left). At first skeptical, Naho begins to believe the letters, as they accurately predict events. When the letter asks her not to invite Kakeru to go out for the first day, Naho and her friends (left to right, Takako Chino, Hiroto Suwa, Azusa Murasaka and Saku Hagita) decide to invite him anyway. Kakeru ends up not attending school for the next two weeks.
When she learns of the terrible fate that will befall Naruse if she does nothing, she strives to prevent the past events from happening, thus altering the future. The series details not only those efforts but how our little troupe fare in the future.
Time shift shows like this are difficult, as you have to balance the two realities, so things are credible. We, of course, are not going to ask the question as to how the future letters got into the past, as that would cause the series to totally collapse (think of the movie “The Lake House”), so you just move along with the events and see the ever-increasing stakes in the actions that they all perform in order to save a friend.
We also see how they have to learn not to be afraid, as a small slip here can create a larger slip down the line, and at a time when you may not be able to correct it, and that you have to believe in yourself, whether it is the now version or the future version.
Late in the show, there is a very good discussion regarding multiple dimensions, which also explains away the problems we encounter with the original future time story line. At its core, it is still a story about the bonds and strength of friendship, but it is done in a very concerted and focused manner. Perhaps not as intense as “Erased”, there is a still a good story to be told and the potential downfalls of not believing what the future you is imparting to the past you.
There is a movie coming out, but I am hoping it is a real movie and not a compilation film of the series. It’s already out in Japan; we get to wait another year or so. Or longer. Did I not get the memo?
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Typical but useful)
Plot 8 (Done quite well)
Pacing 7 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness 8 (Good use of the time shift)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (Good use of the time paradox idea)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You got one, too?