As of late, I have been running into a lot of fighting academy shows, where people of varying degrees of talents and abilities are shipped off to this particular institute or that particular school to hone their fighting skills in that they may defend this country or do battle against other schools for honor and glory and toyamaki. It’s like being in “The Goblet of Fire” but without Cedric Diggory. (Hmmmm……….this intro sounds familiar). (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…)
Short Short Pull Series X – “Story” Time
I did not know that this was part of a larger grouping of stories, referred to as the “Monogatari” (“Story”) series. I came in on Series #9 “Hanamonogatari” with a concurrent viewing of #11 “Owarimonogatari” (review on that later. Maybe). It’s just that they are very annoying both in presentation and content.
If I had watched them from the beginning, a lot of what transpires in this one would potentially make better sense, but it suffers the same problem as “Mekakucity Actors” or parts of “Penguin Drum”. But I get ahead of myself. The plot contends itself with Suruga Kanbaru (left), as she begins her third year in high school. She deals with her left hand that had been turned monstrous through the use of her mother’s monkey paw charm. After hearing rumors from Ougi Oshino of a Devil that can solve one’s problems, Suruga sets out to find this person. She secretly fears that this person is her. However, she soon discovers that the Devil is her former basketball rival from junior high, Rouka Numachi (right). (more…)
The problem with formulas is that, sooner or later, you are going to have to try ALL permutations, even if on the surface it sounds rather hard to accept or take in. With the harem high-school comedy “Jitsu wa Watashi wa” (“Actually, I am…”), we see a caliber of weird science.
This is a hard show to review, as you don’t want to tip things. I can safely say that all the ladies up there have a secret, but it works best if you left the show reveal it to you, rather than have me tell you that, like Kevin Spacey is Kaiser Sose (you haven’t seen “The Usual Suspects”? Ooops.)
We start off with Asahi Kuromine, a normal high school student who supposedly cannot keep a secret. His nickname is the Leaky Sieve. He finds his demeanor quickly challenged when he spots his classmate, Yōko Shiragami (green hair), in a classroom when school is over and done with. Ahh, but she has a secret (I have to tell this one, but I’ll leave the others intact, OK?) (more…)
This was not the movie I wanted to see, although ‘movie’ is a very loose term for this 27-minute offering. It really isn’t much more than an untethered OVA, but it was given to me as a ‘movie’, and underdeveloped at that. ”Taifū no Noruda” (“Typhoon Noruda”) could have really used more back story and more understanding as to what was/is going on. We end up with an elongated scenario with all the salient parts to make it work, but not fully exploited to tell a richly compelling story, and thus this is what we end up with. (I was looking for another movie, but I ran into this one and watched it instead, thus my cryptic opening comment).
We are at Unnamed Academy on Nomanisan Island and we are getting ready for the Cultural Festival. But there are storm clouds on the horizon, both actually and figuratively. The actually is that a typhoon is brewing off the coast and it promises to be at least a Category 8 and, potentially, one of those monster, once-in-a-lifetime storms that is so powerful, it tips the Earth on its axis. (more…)
“Dragon” My Tail
I was once told that there are only 10 plots for stories in the world and everything we do is based off of them. I got that feeling with “Dragon Crisis!” (“Doragon Kuraishisu!”), as it smells like parts of “C3” and “Testament” (can you help out a damsel in distress?)
We begin with Ryūji Kisaragi, a mere lad of 15 summers (and that winter in Sapporo). His parents are ‘Lost Precious’ hunters (and keep your Gollum puns to yourself, please. We’ll have time for that at the end). Because his parents cross the world almost constantly, he is left to his own devices. His life gets upended when cousin Eriko Nanao (19 and very ‘healthy’) stops by. There is something afoot in the Black Market and a potential Lost Precious is being transported under cover of night and heavy security. They capture it (despite a car chase and a gun battle) only to find that it is the girl Rose. Ah, but a Rose by any other name would still be…a dragon? (more…)
Attack of the OVA #11 – “Ban” Won’t Wear Out
Usually when you see an OVA, it is a sign or a signal that the second season of a show is coming OR we are going to get the aria from everyone in the show. I mean, you could easily have these two-tripper segments for the whole cast of this show and end up with a 14-episode run, but it didn’t work out that way. We start off the “Nanatsu no Taizai” (“The Seven Deadly Sins”) OVA with Ban. Now, part of his ‘adventure’ is revealed in the run of the show, but it is detailed better in this approach. He is also the only one to get the full treatment/full episode for this OVA; the rest (the second offering) are akin to blackout sketches. Ban’s tale was a bit too fleeting and episodic for the regular run, but it still doesn’t explain how he ended up in that prison we see him in at the beginning of the series. (more…)
Year End Review – Hair “Trigger”
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…)
The Magnificent “Seven”
You knew this kind of series was coming: it’s a magical girl show, set in a school, with guys trying to figure it all out and witches who seem to have an upper hand in things. CUTE witches (none of that old crone with a warty nose junk). But “Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches” (“Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo”) at least tries to put a new spin on old things.
Ryu Yamada (Mr. Shrieky in the upper left) is known as a delinquent in his high school; he has become bored of classes after one year of attending school. Wow, life can’t all be “Die Hard” or “The Expendables”, right? One day, he accidentally falls from a flight of stairs onto Urara Shiraishi (blondie in front) the ace student of the school. Yamada wakes up to find that he has swapped bodies with her. The two try to reverse the change and discover that kissing triggers the body swap.
On the suggestion of student council vice-president Toranosuke Miyamura, they revive the Supernatural Studies Club. The supernatural phenomenon-obsessed Miyabi Itō soon joins the club. The club encounters other “witches” with different powers that are activated with a kiss. A transfer student, Kentarō Tsubaki, becomes a part of the club after nearly causing a fire to the old schoolhouse. The show is an attempt to understand the seven witches that populate it, what their powers are and what their actual purpose is. (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…)