Do not let the title of this show fool or throw you. “Snow White with the Red Hair” (“Akagami no Shirayukihime”) only has the lead character share the name (and not really that); beyond this vague reference, she is her own woman. Shirayuki is a normal citizen of the kingdom of Tanbarun. Well, if you consider an herbalist ‘normal’; it is a rather rarified vocation. She has another unique feature: her red hair…which we already mentioned. When the first prince of Tanbarun, Raji Shenazard, orders her to become his concubine, rather than agreeing to this, she cuts her hair and escapes to the neighboring kingdom of Clarines. On her way there, she meets and befriends Prince Zen Wistalia and his two aides, Mitsuhide Lowen and Kiki Seiran (but obviously does not know this when they first meet). (more…)
“Conflict” of Interest
This has got to be the strangest harem show potentially ever conceived (there are a lot of series out there I haven’t seen, so this will suffice for the nonce. Or Nonsense). “Brothers Conflict” (“Burazāzu Konfurikuto”, also known as “BroCon”) tells a rather complicated story, owing to the sheer amount of cast. Ema Hinata (the damsel in the center) is the daughter of the famous expat, Rintaro Hinata (well, how famous is that supposed to be? It’s just a plot point, anyway). One day, Ema finds out that her dad is going to remarry a successful clothing maker, Miwa Asahina. Rather than bothering them, she decides to move into the Sunrise Residence complex that is owned by Miwa. From there, she discovers that she has 13 stepbrothers. Yes, those are all guys up there and the Sunrise Complex isn’t much more than a dorm setting.
Since Ema is an only child and these guys have had zero contact with a girl, much less a sister, the series details this adjustment time to living in a new environment and atmosphere. (more…)
“Sailor Moon” is a classic in anime. I am sure when you say ‘anime’, this is the show that people think of, even if they can’t recall the title. I remember my daughter watching this endlessly when it first came out (that was during my Sixth Attempt at anime and this show helped push me away from anime at that time).
Someone decided to do a reboot of it. Why? Perhaps they felt the show could use an upgrade from the rather flat style into something more modern. Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal” (“Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Kurisutaru”) might bring a new generation into wanting to see the older version, but it still falls short on a lot of areas for the newer approach.
Brief recap for the 27 people in the universe who do not know of this show: A middle school student named Usagi Tsukino (middle) befriends Luna, a black talking cat, who gives her a magical brooch, enabling her to become Sailor Moon, a pretty soldier destined to save Earth from the forces of evil. Luna and Usagi assemble a team of fellow Sailor Soldiers to find their princess and the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” They encounter (more…)
Movie Review – Trump “Card”
Now, I have never seen anything regarding “Cardcaptor Sakura”, although I am aware that it is a CLAMP project, so that means it fits in to the other CLAMP worlds and that this Sakura is somehow related to the Sakura from “Tsubasa Chronicles”. (No, that’s OK; you do not have to outline the universe for me. It would probably wash over me, anyway.) I did want to see if I could watch this movie (“Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie”, “Gekijōban Kādokyaputā Sakura”) with little to no understanding as to what it is about or what it all means. At best, it was a partial victory.
We open the film with Sakura Kinimoto, struggling to capture the Arrow Card, which she is able to seal, with a little help from her friends. That night, she has a strange dream about these ribbons that bind her and take her to see a very elegant Chinese lady (that is the woman up there and, yes, she is a degree of displeased). Sakura then magically wins a Winter Break trip to Hong Kong and she takes along Tomoyo Daidouji, her best friend and support team, her worthless brother Toya and his best friend Yukito Tsukishiro (whom Sakura has a crush on). Also coming along for the ride is Sakura’s guardian, Kero-chan (hanging on Sakura’s shoulder) and he is more than he seems, but for the film, he’s in that form. (more…)
Short Pull Series IX -”Sweet” Surrender
Are there genuinely that many food shows out there? Or am I just coming upon them all at once? This offering, “BONJOUR♪Sweet Love Patisserie”, (Bonjour Koiaji Pâtisserie; yes, that musical note is required) tells the story of Sayuri Haruno (can you find the cupcake with the cake?) Now, Fleurir Academy is a prestigious culinary institution (and aren’t they all? I mean, do you really want to go to Duane’s School of Dinner Preparation and Stuff?) and all the people here are destined, fated, kismeted (is that a word? It is now) to go on to bigger and better things. It’s like “Toriko”, but without that nonsense food.
Our heroine is here on a scholarship, which is unheard of. NO ONE gets a free ride here, but here she is (and on that take, it reminded me of “Kitchen Princess”). Now, to make matters worse, her actual teachers are these four-star hunks, oozing with charm and sophistication and plate appeal that it’s a wonder any of the girls can make their confectionaries. They are (clockwise from lower left) Ryo Kouduki, Gilbert Hanahusa, Yoshinosuke Suzumi and Mitsuki Aoi) and are the veritable kings of the campus. (more…)
“Kiss” it Goodbye
Oh, like you didn’t even comprehend that “Kamisama Kiss” (“Kamisama Hajimemashita”) would have a second season? Really? Let’s look at the closing line from my review of the first season: “And with the coupler end (and a pair of OVAs out there), this show is far from being over.” I win! I win! I….*ahem* Let us proceed.
It’s been about a year since Nanami has taken over the shrine and there is to be a Gathering of the Gods, the Divine Assembly. Think of it like a giant anime convention, but without the vendor’s room. Well, she is the Earth God and needs to go, but there are all kinds of troubles with that. Who is going to ‘mind the store’, as it were? (And that opens the door for some delicious humiliation of Tomoe). Once there, Nanami makes a huge discovery about the Gods: they are a lot of preening prats. There is not a whole lot of god-like behavior from these folks, more like shore leave for a bunch of sailors. It is an amazing arc, as Nanami really grows as a God and her understanding of those around her. Also, that they are not any different than regular people: shirking work, sleeping in late, pigging out, inappropriate actions. Maybe it’s more a political convention, eh? Anyway, this series of adventures (including an excursion into the underworld) takes up half of the season, but it doesn’t feel forced or imposed. (more…)
This isn’t necessarily a ‘girl who saves the world’ anime, but “Akatsuki no Yona” (“Yona of the Dawn”, also known as “The girl standing in the blush of dawn”) certainly embraces a woman who goes from wallflower to being front and center (that’s her, front and center).
We start off in the kingdom of Kouka, with Yona as your typical pampered princess, whose biggest concern might be chipping a nail (actually, it’s her flaming red hair; she hates it). Along with her bodyguard Son Hak (off her left shoulder) and childhood friend Soo-won, they live a happy, sheltered life….until on her 16th birthday celebration, she sees Soo-won kill her father, King Il, and engineer a coup. The reason behind it, the king was weak and deserved to die. Well, that’s been a pretty good reason to kill rulers since we’ve had rulers. Yona and Hak escape, as Hak is the Thunder Beast and can use that blade of his to devastating results. Sadly, both of them fall to their deaths from a high precipice while being pursued by the palace forces.
That puts a major crimp in things, as Soo-won was going to marry Yona, to give legitimacy to what he wanted to do as king. He can (and will) still proceed, but it just makes things a whole lot tougher. However, our demoralized duo is not dead, but has taken refuge with an oracle of some ilk, Ik-su. Offering his young apprentice, Yun (far right), as a guide, they have been instructed to hunt down the Four Dragons, as they have pledged their fealty to the King of Hiryuu castle. Wait, but she’s a girl, so she’d be queen, right? Shhh, it’s the emotional import. As the rightful heir and eventual ruler, she gets their support. Oh, and they aren’t real dragons, with scales and a forked tail and breathing fire, but they have the attributes of a dragon. In my picture up there, you see all four of them (I’ll break down that cast a bit later). (more…)
Every Day is Like “Survival”
This is another “Women and Weaponry” submission, potentially closer aligned to “Stella!” and “Girls und Panzer” than “Upotte!” (and I have reviewed all of them, so give them a spin if you haven’t already). For this one, “Sabagebu! – The Survival Game”, it follows a group of high school girls and their daily lives in their survival game club. It all begins with Momoka Sonokawa (Madame Peace Sign), who is a transfer student to a new school. While on the train to school, she is bothered by a pervert when some woman pulls out a pair of side arms to confront the molester, only to get arrested instead. Yeah, it’s usually not a good idea to be yanking guns out to dispense some harsh justice. People freak out, even if they are just airsoft pellet ball weaponry.
Momoka follows this odd lady when she sees her at her school, tracking her over to a run-down building and discovers the Survival Club. The rest of the club are (right to left):
Maya Kyōdō, second-year and gravure idol
Urara Kasugano, first year and a bit of a masochist
Miou Ootori, club president and filthy rich (she pulled the guns on the train)
Kayo Gōtokuji, club treasurer and a cosplay freak
Platy, club mascot (more…)
The “Wolf” at the Door
As I mentioned earlier, there has been a lot of romantic comedies coming out. This one “Wolf Girl and Black Prince” (“Ōkami Shōjo to Kuro Ōji”) is an interesting take on things in the realm of high school love.
The story centers around Erika Shinohara, a 16-year-old girl who tells her friends about her romantic exploits, but she actually has no boyfriend. Well, you had best produce, so she claims that the handsome boy in a candid photo on her phone is her boyfriend, but it turns out that boy is a schoolmate named Kyōya Sata. She has no choice but to make him her fake boyfriend. Unfortunately, Sata may look like a sweet person, but he is actually an ultra-black-hearted sadist. Sata takes advantage of Erika’s weakness and treats her like his dog.
And, I mean, he is really mean. He doesn’t exploit her or really blackmails her, but he is as cold as they come and Erika feels trapped into this all. This is where some of my resentment crops up. A couple of opportunities arise that she could dump him and just write it off as ‘things didn’t work out.’ It also brings up the second question: what if her two friends, Marin Tachibana and Aki Tezuka, are also faking it and they really don’t have boyfriends? Just a thought. (more…)
They Call Me “Trinity”
Well, we have another entry into the magical school genre, but this one tries to be something more than, say, “Negima!” or “The Irregular”. But things get muddled. Welcome to the world of “Trinity Seven”.
Kasuga Arata (do you need help in finding the guy?) lived a normal life together with his childhood friend and cousin, Hijiri Kasuga, in a small town. However, everything changed on the day of the Black Sun, and a magus (mage) appeared before him. The Black Sun caused the Breakdown Phenomenon which destroyed the town where he lived. Because of this, his normal life was artificially reconstructed by a grimoire that his childhood friend had left. The appearance of the magus led him to a new life in the Royal Biblia Academy and meeting the members of the Trinity Seven. And who are these members? I am glad you asked! From left to right, we have: (more…)