Now, I knew from the bottom of my comfy bunny slippers that there was going to be a second season of this series. Currently called “Shidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki” (“Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine”), we continue the story of Nagate Tanikaze (on the right), his relationship with Izana Shinatose (on the left) and the arrival of new support and Best BFF Forever, Tsumugi Shiraui (in the middle).
A decision is made for Sidonia to venture to the Lem System, but this is being done for ulterior motives (can’t reveal too much, plot point. Gigantic plot point). The discovery of ‘ancient technology’ has allowed our band of fighters to create Tsumugi, a caliber of Gauna, but under control of Sidonia. The plan: go to the Gauna home base and destroy them once and for all. The story details all the machinations and struggles it takes to attempt such a tremendous and dangerous task. (more…)
A show about world domination and interplanetary protection, “World Trigger” (“Wārudo Torigā”) has as much working for it as working against it. But I get ahead of myself. Perhaps too far ahead. I started writing this in a mistaken belief that it would wrap up fairly soon, but I guessed wrong and here we are, 52 episodes in and more on the horizon.
In the town of Mikado City, an inter-dimensional gate opened up about four-plus years earlier. These strange creatures emerged and began to capture people. Now, as to why they were referred to as ‘Neighbors” is confusing, as they do not act very neighborly. I mean, they come down, destroying property, capturing people, causing devastation and destruction. Is this how you act in your dimension? I bet you leave the toilet seat up as well! There was terror and panic and fear and stampeding, as regular weapons were of no use and there was nothing that could be done to stop them. However, a heretofore shadow group, Border, came to their rescue. Although the city was saved, 400 residents disappeared and a huge swath of the town had to be abandoned. This has since been referred to as the Forbidden Zone. (more…)
With that wretched cliff-hanger close to season one, you could bet your bottom dollar that there was going to be a season two and wrap up this tale of interplanetary war. “Aldnoah.Zero 2” tells of the continuing adventures of (left to right) Slaine Troyard, Princess Asseylum Vers Allusia and Inaho Kaizuka.
As Season One concluded, Slaine had shot, at point-blank range, both Asseylum and Inaho, but spared the life of Count Saazbaum. Slaine is now a Vers pilot, working for Saazbaum, and is busily destroying all he can. It has been 19 months since the close of season one and things are pretty much where they were before that. However, the show now dissolves into one of political machinations. Slaine has some agenda at work, but he seems to be at crossed ends with it. His plans are befouled by three problems:
1) Inaho is still alive. Despite a shot to the head, he survived and is more of a foe than ever. 2) Asseylum is in a coma and there is no telling when, if ever, she may emerge. 3) He is trying to set up a silent coup, where he has all the power he needs to do what he needs to do.
The show spins forth this tale of destruction and redemption, but things get a little too bulletproof for comfort. There is a major subterfuge going on, but I will let that come to you. It is especially shocking, if you are aware of the incidents of the close of the first season. And there lies your problem. (more…)
This is one of those shows that drop you into the action without much to go on, although the show might have been better to be called “Red Gender” than “Blue Gender”. Disclosure Time: I bailed out on this show after three episodes, as it did violate Rule Three of Anime (“If you feel the show is not going to get better, leave it. It is NOT going to get better.”). In my opinion, this is one of the worst animes I have seen this year (fighting for that title with “Terra Formars”) and the worst anime I have seen since “Peach Girl”. Now, this differs from one I don’t like. There are some shows that just miss for me or aren’t worth my time from the capsule description. This one I at least watched to draw my conclusion (and my repeated open).
In the year 2009, Yuji Kaido (that mullet-head up there. What is that hair style? Was it ever popular?) is an average young adult male diagnosed with a serious disease (the “B-cells”) and is put into cryogenic stasis until a cure is found. Twenty-two years later, he is awakened in the midst of a raging battle between armored soldiers and insectoid beings called the “Blue” which have overrun the Earth.
This group of soldiers is from an orbiting space colony, collectively called Second Earth. They had orders to recover “sleepers” around the Earth. Among them is the soldier Marlene Angel, (can you find the girl?) who at first appears to be heartless toward others. On the journey to the space colony, Second Earth, Yuji meets many of the humans that were left behind during the evacuation due to limited resources. Standing orders for Marlene and the other troops are to consider any human survivors on the surface to be already dead, which greatly troubles Yuji.
The problem with this is that it is terrible science fiction, terrible war and terrible horror. It seems these insectoids, which look like giant spiders, when they capture you, ball you up and will eat you later. Well, as you have seen, most people do not roll up well, so there is a lot of physical compaction. Adding to this is that Yuji has zero idea what is going on, except that he is the only one from his facility to survive, as the others are lost. His tube broke open and he was awakened; the rest were still in their tubes and sank to the bottom of the sea. (more…)
This is a rather odd series for me, on a variety of levels, in that it could be seen as a giant fighting robot show that I like. Yeah, call “60 Minutes” on this.
“Knights of Sidonia” is set in the future. It has been one millennia since the Earth was destroyed by these massive space slugs called The Gauna (and please, do NOT mispronounce it as the Guano, OK? Already been there). Maybe they are more like squid, with their tentacles and such. People fled in these enormous space ships, which look like a derringer barrel shoved though a piece of pumice. Look, when you are in a hurry to leave, niceties like beauty get in the way of things. Well, quite a lot happens in 1000 years, so the population is maintained via cloning. Aside from getting rid of having boring sex, it allows one to tinker with the genetic structure, so a lot of these folks have human photosynthesis (oh, and immortality, but that’s not for you to worry about).
Into this mix comes Nagate Tanikaze (smack in the middle), who has lived in the underground layer of Sidonia since birth, raised by his grandfather. Since he is all by himself, for amusement he trains himself in an old Guardian pilot simulator every day, eventually mastering it. His grandfather’s death forces him to the surface to steal food and whatnot, but he is eventually caught. He is a genuine throwback and no one knows what to do with him. (more…)
Again, another long-format show, this one has managed to keep the interest high, as there is just so much that goes on behind the scenes that we do not know of.
Now, they are calling it Season Four, as each ‘season’ is 25 episodes, but I call it Year Two, as we are at 100 episodes.
The year opens up with two flashback/recap episodes, one for Mutta and one for Hibito and then we proceed. The two massive arcs are Hibito’s Panic Attacks (which take up right to the end of the year) and how Mutta overcomes all the obstacles placed before him in order to discourage him from being an astronaut. The stories were told with a great deal of involvement and there was hardly an off-note for the year, although the Olga side-story for Hibito went on a bit long. (more…)
This is another long-form anime. We are at 52 episodes and there is apparently no end on the horizon, but this is not a “Houston, we have a problem” kind of issue. This is a story that takes a long time to tell and needs practically every episode to do it. Much like preparing to go into space, you can’t slap it together and hope for the best.
The Space Brothers in question are Mutta (to the left) and Hibito Nanba (to the right; the dog is Apo). They have always been interested in space and its exploration, but feel that their circumstances at birth set their fates in motion for the life they now lead.
Mutta was born on the day that Japan lost in the World Cup preliminaries (for those keeping score, October 28, 1993). Hibito was born when Hideo Nomo became the first Japanese pitcher to throw a no-hitter in US Major League Baseball (September 17, 2006, for the record).
Despite being the older brother, Mutta has always trailed his younger brother, especially when he got into space first. Mutta became a car designer instead. We now flash ahead to 2025. At his career, while on the job, Mutta’s boss makes an injudicious comment about Hibito, so Mutta head-butts him (a la Zidane) and gets fired. Unable to live as he had, he has to move in with Mom and Dad, who needle him endlessly about his job status. (more…)
What would you do if you discovered that you were more than you thought you were? “Bodacious Space Pirates” (or, “Minisuka Pairēts”, which translates out to “Miniskirt Space Pirates”. Uh, can we pick a title and stay with it?) tells the story of Marika Kato. She is a high school girl living a rather ordinary life as a member of the space yacht club and having a part-time job at a high-class retro café. Oh, it’s the future (couldn’t you tell? That really tall guy with the horns is not being Gene Simmons in a Kiss tribute band) and space flight is normal, like Greyhound Bus Lines normal. OK, you got me, bus lines aren’t really all that normal. Maybe space flight isn’t, either.
Then she learns a secret: Gonzaemon Kato, recently deceased captain of the pirate ship Bentenmaru, was her father. As his only living descendant (that we can prove. Pirates really can’t be trusted), she is to be the next captain of it. But she hasn’t even graduated high school yet and finals are coming up! And who will cover her shift at the café?
And what DO space pirates do? Well, these pirates terrorize luxury space liners, forcing them to heave-to while all the guests are relieved of their valuables…which is fully covered by the cruise lines. (more…)