Is it just me, or do the ladies seem to have more shows about them than the guys? Are ladies just that more intrinsically interesting or do we like to see how they overcome a plethora of problems designed to weed out the weaklings and we end up with a stronger, more empowered woman? Or is it just big boobies in tiny outfits? That seems a bit much to lay on a bunch of 15 and younger gals, but that’s the idea behind “ViVid Strike”, although the full and complete title is “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid” (“ViVid Mahō Shōjo Ririkaru Nanoha Vividdo”, and don’t ask why they spell it that way). Oh, and this is the second season of the show, not that it really mattered in how it all came to be. (more…)
The “Long” and Winding Road
OK, I allowed myself to be suckered into this show. I mean, not only is it a sports show, it is also what I call a Squealing Girl Show, as a divergent bunch of ladies find a commonality and bond. In one sense, this show is NO DIFFERENT than “Roar!” That show was ladies on motorcycles; this show, “Long Riders!” (“Rongu Raidāsu!”), is girls on bicycles. (more…)
Skating on Thin “Ice”
Now, this is a sports anime and I was in the middle of two other sports anime and I was really REALLY thinking of passing this one by, but the title arrested me (but I avoided a frisk-and-search), and that is “Yuri!!! On Ice” (and, yes, we need all those exclamation points as well. What is it now with exclamation points?) Now, I got pulled in, as I know what yuri means, but I had a hard time thinking is was a show about yuri types on ice. Well, they are a type of yuri type and….crap, send out the Zamboni and I’ll explain. (more…)
Wow, never have a seen a show with such *ahem* naked fan service and there are a ton of those shows out there (like “Eiken” and “Ikki Tousen” and “Sekerei”), but this one is unabashed about it, as it is all part and parcel as to what goes down. Welcome to “Keijo!!!!!!!!” (also known as “Competitive Girl” or “Hip Whip Girl”) And, yes, we do need all EIGHT of those exclamation points!!!!!!!! (more…)
Short Pull Series XX – “Tennis”, Anyone?
OK, lest I sound like a sour old man (“Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!”), there is nothing wrong with all-girl animes…..to a point. It’s just that you need to have something more than moe girls or full-figured femmes or luscious ladies cluttering up the screen. I do like (wait for it)…plot. We actually started off with “Teekyu”, which began as a sports comedy manga (and the title is a pun on the Japanese word for ‘tennis’. Things like that are lost on me). They then had a spinoff, “Usakame”, which is named for the high school these four ladies attend and they belong to the tennis club. (more…)
“Ace” of Base
This was another sports show that I gave up on, but some other sports anime fan felt that I didn’t give this an honest run. Since we now have “Ace of the Diamond: Second Season”, I should check it out, as ‘it has gotten better.’
The reasons I left the show were (a) the minute dissection of everything to the point of it being mono-minded, (b) the butt-head nature of all the people involved and (c) the real lack of character growth. My feeling was that any problems that bedeviled the first season would still be part of the second. Not that the second season started out that well. It opened with THREE recap episodes. Crfap, I might as well watch the end of the first season. One recap show, OK, but three? Not a smart call in my book.
So, the team has gone its separate ways, as the third years have graduated, but the Saito baseball team, still smarting from its playoff loss, dedicates itself to the Fall Tournament….with the same cast of nitwits and ninny hammers, plus more. The biggest addition is a new coach, who spends the show tugging at his cheesy chin beard. An arrogant, conceited, self-serving butt-head, I was hoping that four or five members of the team would jump him, hold him down and shave that sucker beard off! You look like an idiot! (more…)
“Road” to Nowhere
OK, as you know from a previous review, I walked away from “Yowamushi Pedal”, as I felt everyone were pricks. I got a message from a fan of the show who felt I was too harsh in my initial review and I should give the second season, “Grande Road”, a test drive. (Huyk! Hyuk! Gotta love those puns!)
The overall problem is that any concerns that were endemic in the first season will potentially continue through to the second and worse ones may crop up. They did.
The first problem is that the original idea of the show, letting us see how otaku Sakamichi Onoda (specs in the middle) transmogrifies from a ‘weakling pedal’ (the English translation of the show) to a determined person, has been discarded, so that he is a supporting player in his own series. He gets left behind as we examine, in painfully minute detail, the lives of everyone to show that they did not all start out as pricks, but unhappy events and foul circumstances and missed bus connections MADE them into the revolting piles of poodle-doo that they are now. (more…)
It’s a Cruel “Summer”
Certainly the ending of “Free!” strongly implied there would be a second season; I just didn’t expect it to come so fast.
“Free! – Eternal Summer” continues/completes the saga of the Iwatobi Swim Club and the rivalry between them and Samezuka Academy and how they strive to prove who is the best, both individually and collectively, with the target of the Nationals well within their sight and grasp.
One thing that bothered me was the titles of the individual episodes, as they tethered it with swim terms. It’s just that it got corny to watch “The Butterfly of Farewell” or “The Crouching Start of Vindication”. Why not have “The Flip-turn of Despair”? This was one of two drag points. The other was fake problems that really weren’t problems, but everyone gets to sing an aria in this show, so you need something that causes them consternation. Oooh, oooh, I broke a nail! (more…)
Let’s Have a “Ball”!
OK, it’s another sports anime. “Haikyuu!!” (“Volleyball!!”) takes us into the marvelous and interesting world of…..volleyball! Oh, yeah! I can hear you stomping your feet and pounding the table. Serve it up! Sorry, it’s Men’s Volleyball and done inside (Sure, if this was Ladies Beach Volleyball, that would be COMPLETELY different).
OK, it’s another sports anime. This one tells the story of Shōyō Hinata (the carrot top near the right). He watched this student athlete play called “The Little Giant”. He was short, short, short, but managed to dominate the game big, big, big and became a real force to contend with.
OK, it’s another sports anime, so we see the trials and tribulations as the divergent members of Karasuno High School start to come together and form the team into not only a cohesive whole, but try and revive the greatness that this school once had. (more…)
Fan Service Alert – “World” Harmony
Now, let’s drop the pretense. “I Wanna Be the Strongest in the World” is just a really thin excuse to show off female wrestlers and their body parts. The plot of the original story was practically transparent but the OVA drops everything.
There may be more than three shorts I ran across (about five minutes each), but you get to see all that you want to see.
Somewhere in the bowels of the Berserk Gym is a special room, a room filled with mud, so the ladies can learn all there is to know about mud wrestling. Is this an Olympic event or is Hooters hiring? So the ladies learn that mud is slippery and, in trying to acclimate themselves as to what to do, costume tops gets pulled down and the boobies come out, unfettered and uncensored. There is squealing and not caring that one is topless amid other topless ladies as we slop about and slide through and roll hither and thither. (more…)