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…)
“Dead” To the World
One of the functions of anime is to push boundaries. It can’t always be giant fighting robots, or a high school rom-com with witches or espers or someone who thinks they are God or a look at an alternative history with hip-hop samurais. Yes, there is a danger in this approach, as you can frighten off the more timid souls who are afraid to leave their comfort zone and you end up being cult.
The only reason I found this older offering (2004; a lifetime in anime) is that I ran across an article about “15 Must-Watch Forgotten Anime” movies (well, I own four of them, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me). It’s just this one, which was rated at Number 2, takes anime and animation and science fiction and violence and sex and bounces it on its noggin for 50 head-twisting minutes (well, actually 43; you have about seven minutes of credits). The short-hand to this film would be if FLCL took the brown acid, THIS is what you would get: “Dead Leaves” (“Deddo Rībusu”). (more…)
Count to One “Hundred”
I guess this is the year of ‘save the world’. I have seen a ton of shows like this and “Hundred” (“Handoreddo”) is no different in almost any aspect of it.
An alien life form has come down to the Earth to wreak destruction. They are called ‘Savages’ (and about time we gave them a name befitting their foul and fetid nature. Don’t call them junk like ‘Battle Bugs’ or ‘Those Guys’). But only a certain caliber of person can hope to defeat them and these are our ‘Slayers’. They use a special crystal that unlocks their powers. Well, you can’t stick your hand in a box of Cracker Jacks and hope to get one. Nope, you have to go to a training academy. (more…)
Well, we knew by the close of season one of “Ansatsu Kyōshitsu” (“Assassination Classroom”) that there was going to be a season two, where the stakes are much higher and the pressure to succeed is at an all-time high. Although this classroom of slackers and underachievers are well-versed in assassination techniques, they are no closer to getting rid of Koro Sensei (that yellow effigy in the middle) today than they were when he first made the scene months earlier. Adding to the problems is that the government feels events are not progressing at a proper enough clip, so ringers are called in to complete the deed STAT. (more…)
You’re Only “Human”
Immortality is a theme that has been addressed in numerous shows, but not in this particular manner, where it is to be feared. “Ajin: Demi-Human” looks at this idea in a disturbing approach. What is an ‘ajin’? This is a person who is an immortal and almost cannot be killed (they did research and experimentation on all of this). The problem is that you do not know you are an ajin until something happens to you that reveal it. Kei Nagai is just a kid (that angry one in the center; he really liked that shirt!), going to school or whatnot, when he is run over by a truck and killed, but on the way to the hospital, he revives and discovers that he is an ajin. Thus is the end of his ‘normal’ life. (more…)
Whew! At least we picked up the pace for the final installment of “Arpeggio of Blue Steel” (maybe; I can no longer tell if a series has truly ended any more), with “Ars Nova: Cadenza”. It’s musical history time. A ‘cadenza’ often refers to a portion of a concerto in which the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time (without a strict, regular pulse) and can be written or improvised, depending on what the composer specifies. The final movie is like that, as so much ‘new stuff’ comes in, that we are left in its wake.
The good news is that this is a full and true movie. We have progressed beyond the cut and paste of “D.C.” and formed a real film, with all the twists and turns you have come to expect from a submarine chase film. The time has come to end this war. (more…)
The “Concrete” Jungle
Now, understand that it is not a misspelling, but it is called “Concrete Revolutio” (“Konkurīto Reborutio: Chōjin Gensō”, “Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria”). I couldn’t find a genuine reason for that, aside that it will stick in your head.
It is year Apotheosis 41. Now, this was a bit of a problem in trying to determine what the ‘actual’ year was, but by doing a little research, I was able to puzzle out that it is the year 1967. OK, the fashions do kind of look like Carnaby Street and we do have a Beatles-like band lurking about, but it could also be the Disco Era, with that line of thinking and dress. The Showa Era did not exist and we are dating this from 1926, the last year of the Taisho Era. Earth is currently home to superhumans and paranormal phenomena of all kinds, from aliens and magical girls to ghosts and transforming robots. However, official knowledge of these beings is officially kept under wraps by the governments of the world. (more…)
OK, forgive the very anime-troped splash panel, but that does happen in the show. However, that is the least of their problems in “Classroom Crisis” (“Kurasurūmu Kuraishisu”). We find ourselves in the distant future. Not only do we have interplanetary travel, but we have colonies set up on the planets, in this case, Mars. There is a technological giant of a company out there, the Kirishina Corp. They have an academy on Mars, and a specialized class in that academy, named A-TEC (Advanced Technological Development Department, Educational Development Class) which contains especially talented students, spending part of their time in class, and the other part of their time working to develop rocket engines.
This A-TEC group is a guiding and driving force of the company, but it gobbles up a huge amount of resources (like money) at a time when the company has concerns (like money). The story follows the members of the A-TEC class, and their progress on developing a new engine, called the X-3, while dealing with issues related to both being in high school, and being company employees, engineering rockets. (more…)
Time to “Gear” Down
I was really surprised that a third year of this show came out, owing to how things were, more or less, wrapped up, but “Senki Zesshō Symphogear GX” (“Superb Song of the Valkyries: Symphogear GX”) came out with much disappointment for me. I supposed I watched it to ‘officially’ close out the franchise, but it was tough going.
The ladies are now part of a group called S.O.N.G., who provides disaster relief around the world. Kind of like the “Thunderbirds”, but without being marionettes. The problem is that they are attacked by an autoscorer while facilitating a rescue. This is a doll (more like an automaton) bent on the destruction of all the Symphogear girls and it looks like they might succeed, as they are stronger, faster and better equipped. The series looks into how our sextet can defends themselves and the world against a new, more powerful, threat that can even destroy their armor. (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…)