Get Your “Tail” in Gear

October 24th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

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.

We are in the future, but still no hoverboards. Mankind has been forced off of earth and is busy trying to terraform planets for colonization. The planet we are currently on, Terulus, is not all that cherry of a world. Some 100 or 200 years earlier (the timetable is all askew, so I am not certain how much time has actually passed from any given point), something went wrong with a haywire terraformer. Instead of having a verdant world, where all can live in peace and harmony, and get the greatest Starbucks about, it is beset by destructive earthquakes, constant danger and wildlife mutations that are a fact of life. And death.

Those who survived (and decided to tough it out, for some reason) built giant mobile cities to withstand the tremors, and pass the time with dangerous, no-holds-barred races. Now, I cannot tell how large these rolling cities are, but it may be like Monaco on wheels. Sadly, we are plunked right into things and are in the middle of a terrible, terrific race. Leading the pack is the ghost or the hologram or the astral projection of the famous champion, Loser King. Something happened to him in this self-same race for him to go missing a hundred years ago, but he set records that have never been matched when we join up.

Determined racer Shiro Tomoe (that’s the after version, left) wants nothing more than to live up to the Loser King’s legend, but a terrible accident leaves him nearly dead or maybe even dead. I mean he takes a smash and crash that would make Evel Kneivel wince. Breaking in on the operation (uh, don’t we believe in hygiene protocols?) Mikagura Tomoe (that lavender lady), an inventor with her own motives, replaces his heart with a prototype engine. Now, Shiro’s performance is tied to his very heartbeat, and success, or failure, will determine his fate, and hers and everyone else we come in contact with.

If this wasn’t bad enough, his main rival, Goodspeed, is just as tough a racer as Shiro and they are all hell-bent on winning at any cost. With the latest race to be on the so-called India location (you will be advised that there are 26 areas where nothing has been done at all), it is more than just winning, but being the first to plant your homing beacon and earning more than mere money.

There are numerous problems with this show, the least of which is that we were dropped into it, with the barest of information, and are dragged along for the remaining 26 minutes of it. Now, if I wanted a racing show, “Redline” did a far better job of things and that was a feature-length film. If I wanted just hard, angular lines and a toss-it-to-the-winds plot, I have “Dead Leaves” and that was a ton more fun than this turgid mess.

We get bogged down in the meaning and purpose of life and personal idea and ideals to attain and what it means to be a racer and a human and a person and….sorry; all that really gets in the way. I also felt it was frantic and frenetic just because it was felt it HAD to be frantic and frenetic, but without a true or real understanding as to what it all means. There is nothing wrong with that kind of an approach, but you need a strong idea as to what you want to say or promote and then follow it. Otherwise, what’s going on?

I got the feeling that it was just to go all out and see what the thing can do before it blows up. The ending is an indication that there could be a show, but it is so open-ended and non-committal, one gets the feeling it was more experimental than anything more substantial and that it is going to be a stand-alone. Besides, I do not know how you could make it into a show without it dissolving into something less than what was promised with the ‘pilot’.

Is this bad? Is this good? Nope, it just is. Go ahead and check it out, but you may end up wishing that they had taken out a few more minutes to explain things better and set it up tighter to make for something more than what we got.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10:

 

Artwork           8 (Hard and angular; not everyone’s taste)
Plot                  8 (Holding its own)
Pacing            10 (It is flat out, all the way)
Effectiveness   6 (A bit more story was really called for)
Conclusion       6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover’)

Overall            7 (Got a bit too soap opera for me)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I will beat Loser King.

 

Called “Strike”

August 22nd, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

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

June 6th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

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”

May 16th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

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…)

Bop “Girl”

May 9th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

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?

September 20th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Run Series by

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

April 19th, 2016 in Diamond no Ace by

Ace of the Diamond Second Season review

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

April 19th, 2015 in Yowamushi Pedal by

yowamushi-pedal

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”

February 9th, 2015 in Anime, Free-Eternal Summer, General Reviews by

it's a cruel summer blog 118

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”!

November 17th, 2014 in Anime, General Reviews, Haikyuu by

Let's have a ball blog 108OK, 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…)