Where the “Battle” Rages

February 4th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

Well, well, lookie here. Another “Girls Who Save the World” show. I. Did. Not. See. That. Coming.

Although one can compare it to the “Symphogear” series or even “Yuuni Yuki”, it is still a bunch of high school girls taking on implacable foes.

It is the year 2045 (Still no hoverboards. Are those things ever going to show up?) The world has been contaminated by Irōsu, a strange and mysterious group of invaders who suddenly appeared. Well, they do the usual junk: lay waste to the population, kill everyone they can and leave the seat up on the toilet. Really nasty types. Humans find themselves restricted and contained, unable to do much of anything. However, standing boldly against these invaders are ordinary girls everywhere, girls who can give the what-for to these who-dats. The Shinjugamine Girls Academy is a school for these “Hoshimori” (Star Guardians), destined to fight the Irōsu. Welcome one and all to “Battle Girl High School “(“Batorugāru Haisukūru”). Cue the jets flying overhead with the colored contrails. (more…)

Ne “Plus Ultra”

November 12th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Latin is a funny language, in that it is used mostly in the scientific naming of things and in any column from George Will. There are useful phrases, but you may end up having to explain them, so it loses its punch. The phrase ‘ne plus ultra’ means ‘nothing greater beyond’, so you have reached your zenith. However, for the second season of this show, it is “My Hero Academia: Plus Ultra”.

Now, if you wish, you can take in Show 13.5, as it’s a recap, but it can be missed as well. With the survivors of the attack by the League of Villains still recovering, the school decides to hold its annual Sports Festival, where all the students trot out their quirks and battle one another. The first rounds are typical events: obstacle race and cavalry battle. Then, the Top 16 students face off against one another. It is here that we see those personalities take shape and how it might predict the kind of superhero they will become.

Once the tournament is over (and did you think I would tell you who the Big Winner was? Really?) Mr. Aizawa announces that everyone has to decide a hero name for themselves, and that since many of the students have gotten multiple offers from pro heroes groups, everyone will be doing a one-week internship at a hero agency. Izuku (Oh, Mr. Green in the middle) is still not sure which agency he should join when suddenly All Might shows up. He tells Izuku that his teacher has offered an internship, and Izuku accepts it.

Now, teachers have differing styles and approaches, so it ends up being a real workout for all of them, made worse by the arrival of Stain: The Hero Killer. This ending arc puts the show on its collision course with the League of Villains for the third season.

This show has gotten better, if you can accept that. We are now defining everyone and what they can do and how events will soon overtake them all. It’s just that the villains were really cartoony and Stain came off as not much different than Syndrome from “The Incredibles” and he had a terrifying quirk. Izuku still has a long way to go, but it’s going to work out. The one tip-off is that there are moments in his narration that he references these things and events as being in the past, so the whole series is a caliber of giant flashback for him. He might even be at the end of his hero life, and is passing on salient information to his apprentice. Only time will tell.

Binging with this series has always been at crossed purposes for me. I mean, there is certainly no reason as to why you can’t link it all together, but there is just such a lot going on and needs to be unpacked and has to be addressed that binging might work against it, but that’s a difficult decision. It’s just that I like this show quite a lot, so I am not all that anxious to get through it all at once, my main argument against binging. However, if you do find yourself at home and you don’t really care what’s happening with Wendy or Maury or Ellen, fire up the barbie, mate!

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           7 (The villains can get too ridiculous)
Plot                  8 (Getting better and better)
Pacing              8 (Moves along consistently and purposely)
Effectiveness   8 (Good use of flashbacks)
Conclusion       7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability     9 (It can be done, but it’s a personal call)

Overall            8 (Let’s hope the set-up pays off)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I am here.

Help Me, “Obi” Wan

September 3rd, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Japan has a rich tradition of ghosts and hauntings and possession. It is almost part and parcel of their culture, right up to the present days. It’s that I am seeing a lot of shows recently regarding yokai and demonic possessions and haunted (or cursed? I’m not certain) objects that intrude on a ‘normal’ society that acknowledges that they existed, but don’t exist in this current age of sobriety and science. Thus, this convoluted introduction to “Tsugumomo”, where the past meets the modern. (more…)

Wonder “Twin” Powers, Activate!

August 20th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

How should I refer to these shows? Estrogen-heavy? X chromosome only? Ladies Night Out? I am seeing a larger-than-normal amount of these female-centric shows, not just in the lead cast, but overall, as if guys don’t really exist, except as background characters. And with another entry in the “Girls Who Save the World” category, we are now brought to “Twin Angel Break” (“Tsuin Enjeru Break”). (more…)

Is That Your Final “Answer”?

July 23rd, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

This is a show that had a terrible capsule description, in that you thought you were getting into the thrilling and exciting world of…negotiations! Yes, I can feel you getting all a-quiver as we delve into land sovereignty issues and treaty discussions. Fortunately, this series is nothing like that at all. In fact, it is a rather tense and terse drama about meeting and dealing with an extra-terrestrial who possesses enormous powers. This is Seikai Suru Kado”, (stylized as “KADO: The Right Answer”). (more…)

“Alice” in Chains

June 4th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

I sometimes have a problem with shows where the main character and others possess supernatural powers, while the rest of us have to bumble through life with not much more that a bag of potpourri and some nuts. This show tries to transcend that trope. It doesn’t always succeed, but it does an admirable job of it, which brings us to “Alice & Zouroku” (“Arisu to Zōroku”), an interesting tale of government intrigue and harnessing special abilities. (more…)

No “Jacket” Required

March 5th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

This is billed as a movie in some sectors, but it is more of a special or even an extended OVA (three episodes), although I have discussed my reluctance labeling things an OVA when it comes off as something experimental than what I feel is a true OVA. But I digress. Welcome to the world of “Strait Jacket” (“Sutoreito Jaketto”). (more…)

Safety in “Numbers”

January 2nd, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Second seasons of any show are scary. They are scary as you are not certain if whatever you saw in the first season can be maintained in the second. True, a lot of this is based on however the original manga unfolded itself, but you can take liberties with things. The problem for me with “The Numbers 2” (“Nanbaka 2”) is that it became the Dragonball Z Syndrome: endless fighting amid endless fighting, when we are not endlessly fighting. This is what you get in the second go-around. (more…)

I Wanna Hold Your “Hand”

December 12th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

It’s the future! I’m glad you made it to Osaka in the year AD20XX. Huh? What the hell year is it? OK, it’s the future; I guess numbers don’t matter in the world of “Hand Shakers”. Let us meet Tazuna Takatsuki (him of the clockwork sword on the right). He is very adept at mechanics and helps out a ton of people with his abilities. However, he gets so mono-minded on the task at hand, he is oblivious to his surroundings and could easily get clobbered by nefarious types or locked behind in the room when the rest of the staff has gone home for the day. (more…)

Have a Nice “Trip”

November 14th, 2019 in Anime, General Reviews by

This is one seriously weird show, right from the title. Because the apostrophe is hidden, you think this is called “Akiba Strip”, but you wouldn’t be too far off the mark with it. No, the actually title is “Akiba’s Trip” (“Akibazu Torippu”) and the layout up top is every indication as to how unhinged it is. (more…)