OK, I was as shocked as anyone that “Big Order” (“Biggu Ōdā”) was actually picked up as a series. Lord knows the ‘untethered one shot’ (which will now be the infamous “Episode #0”) was baffling and confusing. At least with the 10-episode run (even the extra show makes 11 and that is short-run in my book), things are fleshed out and explained a bit better, but I don’t honestly think that an extra two episodes would have helped things in the long run. (more…)
The “Concrete” Jungle
Now, understand that it is not a misspelling, but it is called “Concrete Revolutio” (“Konkurīto Reborutio: Chōjin Gensō”, “Concrete Revolutio: Superhuman Phantasmagoria”). I couldn’t find a genuine reason for that, aside that it will stick in your head.
It is year Apotheosis 41. Now, this was a bit of a problem in trying to determine what the ‘actual’ year was, but by doing a little research, I was able to puzzle out that it is the year 1967. OK, the fashions do kind of look like Carnaby Street and we do have a Beatles-like band lurking about, but it could also be the Disco Era, with that line of thinking and dress. The Showa Era did not exist and we are dating this from 1926, the last year of the Taisho Era. Earth is currently home to superhumans and paranormal phenomena of all kinds, from aliens and magical girls to ghosts and transforming robots. However, official knowledge of these beings is officially kept under wraps by the governments of the world. (more…)
This is a real change of pace royalty show. Most of the time, those of noble lineage and descent are overweening, preening prats who feel that the commoners aren’t much better than the animals that they tend and can be (and are) easily dismissed or fed to the royal animals. However, “Castle Town Dandelion” (“Jōkamachi no Danderaion”, “Dandelion of Jolamachi”) approaches this differently and has the regal family living as commoners…..more or less.
The story revolves around the Sakurada family, a family of nine super-powered siblings whose father is the king. The actions of the siblings are constantly being recorded and broadcast on TV, allowing the citizens to choose which one to elect as the next king. Yup, everything they do, and that is EVERYTHING they do, is open to public scrutiny. There are monitors all over the city, initially placed to offer protection to the Royal Family, but now, the citizenry can watch what goes on with all of them, as things are run not much differently than a mayoral election or even “Big Brother”. (more…)
The Secret Lies with “Charlotte”
I sometimes have a problem with shows involving people with ‘special abilities’, as it seems to be a free license for them to either be major league perverts or major league megalomaniacs. Although this one does suffer from that conjecture, it is reined in to make for an involving show with some unforeseen consequences. Welcome to the world of “Charlotte” (“Shārotto”).
We are in an alternative universe (although that explanation is not all that necessary, as you will soon see). We focus in on Yuu Otosaka (far left). He has an ‘ability’, which allows him to possess people for about 10 or so seconds. He uses this power to cheat on his exams and it gives the impression that he is Wile E. Coyote (“Super genius”). He transfers into Hinomori High School, where he does well, but falls under the suspicion of Nao Tomori (camera at right) and is forced to take a spot test in the office or risk expulsion. Upon discovering his talent, he is compelled to transfer into a new school (and just when he was putting the moves on Yumi Shirayanagi. the best girl in THIS school! Dangski!) However, Hoshinoumi Academy is no ordinary institute of education; it has gathered numerous ‘ability wielders’ to give them a shot at life. (more…)
I always have a concern when a movie comes out of a popular TV series, as I fear it will be a compilation of the series itself and nothing new from the show or potentially taking it in a different direction (as with the “Eden of the East” offerings). Now, there are a forest of problems with the “Attack on Titan” movies (yes, there are two of them; this is Part I). The first is, yup, this is merely a compilation film with about 21% new footage. This does help explain certain aspects better, but still comes off as too superficial, compared to the series, when we saw things unfold better. The second is that a lot of plot and motivation was jettisoned to make the film fit a time length and some of those parts that were cut out may have been necessary to the film to explain things better. Well, I only watch and review; what the hell do I know, right?
The third is that this might be a caliber of preparation for the live-action version of “Titan”, but what’s the reason for that? What can you do differently for live-action that you couldn’t do in anime? This seems more like corporate greed than anything else. The fourth problem is the most troublesome: who is it for? If I have seen the series (which I have), there is no reason to see a Cliff Notes® version of it in a movie, as a lot of the flavor is gone and that is what really sold the show. If I haven’t seen the series, then a lot of what the movie reveals will be taken from me if I choose to pursue the series in earnest after seeing the film. (more…)
Don’t Hand Me a “Line”
This is one of the more complicated, convoluted shows I have seen, up there with “Mekakucity Actors”, “Steins;Gate” and “Chaos;Head” in that you are not really certain what is going on. The fact and/or problem that it also has to deal with the concepts of time travel, physical possession and grand conspiracies make “Punch Line” (“Panchi Rain”) a rather hard show to follow.
Yūta Iridatsu (the only boy up there) lives at the Korai House apartment complex with four girls (left to right): Rabura Chichibu, Meika Daihatsu, Ito Hikiotani, and Mikatan Narugino. One day, following a bus-jacking incident, Yūta finds himself ejected from his own body and becoming a ghost of some sort. Guided by the cat spirit Chiranosuke, Yūta must learn to master his spirit powers in order to protect his housemates from the various circumstances they find themselves in. However, if Yūta sees a girl’s panties twice in a row, the Earth will be destroyed by a meteor. OK, that sounds simple, but the execution is lumpy. It doesn’t help that we are seemingly trapped within the same time frame (December 21 to 31) and unable to correct or change the circumstances.
Also, with Yuta a ghost for the first half of the show and Chiranosuke really a huge caliber of tyrant, this makes for a confusing situation. We slowly learn the rules and logic of this realm he is in, but also the limitations that he has. (more…)
Fan Service Alert: Maken-Ki II OVA
It seems to be some kind of unwritten law that if you have a fan-service heavy romantic comedy, you need to follow it up with a fan-service heavy OVA.
When “Maken-Ki” completed its first season, they had these rather silly ‘exercise’ videos as their OVA, which were nothing more than a thin excuse to look up skirts, down blouses and notice cleavage.
The second season of “Maken-Ki” abandoned everything from the first season to let us drool over the very athletic and toned ladies. The OVA discards anything like ‘plot’ and ‘story’ and ‘character development’ to let us now gaze upon their toplessness.
Yes, dude, I am talking NO errant clouds of steam, NO bizarre shafts of light. NO black bars of despair. You get to see their mighty mounds as if you are nose to nose with them. One shot of them looked like a view of the Grant Teton (that’s a French term; go look it up and see what I mean). And it’s RIGHT THERE! And the ladies don’t seem to mind at all, as they coo and purr and make other odd sounds. (more…)
“Maken-Ki Two” is another series that completely abandoned its first season to put out a second season that bears almost no resemblance to its first season.
It was bad enough that the ladies in Maken-Ki are, for the most part, very bounteous and that the boobs got in the way of things. The plot was, in some form, Takeru Ohyama’s arrival at Tenbi Academy to learn how to hone his special powers. At the end of the first season, they defeated a shadow group, but there was the threat that they would be back, so Takeru has to learn to get stronger and refine his abilities.
The second season has thrown that all aside. I will absolutely kill off the first episode, but the rest of the tales that follow aren’t much better or different.
Tenbi is an educational institution that people with these ‘maken’ powers go to, so they can how to properly control them. It’s like Hogwarts, but without dragons. However, some of the students decide to use their powers for mischief and mayhem. To combat this, the Disciplinary Committee is formed. It consists of nine students; two guys and seven ladies and six of the ladies are ‘out there’ Look at the artwork above. ALL of those ladies are in the series. (more…)
When I heard that this show had reached its coupler point, I line-jumped eight other reviews I had in front of it to get the news to you:
“Attack on Titan” is the MUST-SEE anime of 2013.
Now, I do not allow myself to be overtaken with hyperbole and CAPITAL LETTERS to get your attention on what is out there. Many shows come out every year that are worthy of your attention, but “Titan” is head and shoulders above the rest (no pun intended). The last time I was this jazzed about an anime was “Death Note”, and they both share similarities, the biggest being that it cannot be pigeon-holed into what it is and must be experienced to see what the buzz is all about.
OK, enough of my drooling, mouth-panting excitement, let’s get down to brass tacks.
It is the year 845. For the past hundred years, giant humanoid creatures called Titans have forced humanity to retreat into a system of concentric walls known as Wall Maria (outermost), Wall Rosé, (middle), and Wall Sina (innermost). Inside these walls, humanity has lived in peace. These are massive walls, at least 50 meters tall and potentially 10 meters thick, maybe more. Mankind survives, but at what real cost? One day, they are attacked by a 60-meter Titan (as he can look over the wall to see what’s happening) and some armored-skinned Titan who breaches the wall and allows the other Titans to enter and attack. (more…)
The “Scientific” Community
The other half of the brother-and-sister series is this one, “A Certain Scientific Railgun”. We are still in Academy City, where people who want to get the best education (and have esper powers) go to. Our missy to the right, Mikoto Misaka, is a Level 5 Esper, of which there are only seven in the entire city, and, of this septet, is the most powerful, or at least, the most feared. She can conduct electricity and what she does is flip a 100-yen coin into the air. When it comes back down and it about to pass the ecliptic, she uses it to shoot her electric bolt out and cause some serious damage.
She attends Tokiwadai High School (an elite among elites) and people have heard of her. Her roommate Kuroki Shirai (the purple one in back) has a SERIOUS fetish for Mikoto and is constantly looking for ways or opportunities to be physically intimate with her (which never works; this is a big running gag) . She also works for Judgment, a public service group that maintains peace and order in the City. She is a Level 4 Telekineticist and uses nails to pin her perpetrators to the wall, as well as teleport in and out of situations.
Kazari Uiharu (flower headband, far left) attends Sakugawa Middle School, a rather ‘normal’ school. She works in Judgment with Shirai, but more as logistics. She is a Level 1 Heater, having the ability to keep things warm at a constant temperature. Our last lady is Ruiko Saten, who attends school with Uiharu. She is a Level 0, but annoys the stuffing out of Uiharu, as she will flip up her skirt to see her underwear and comment about the pattern of the day. (more…)