The first season of this show was fraught with peril and genuine danger. I mean, you could really lose an eye (as evidenced by our maiden up there) or even your life. For the second season, not only are the stakes even higher and more challenging, the rewards are equally advantageous. This is “Kakegurui xx” (“Compulsive Gambler”). (more…)
In a “Family” Way
Part of the problem with the spy genre is that everything gets tethered to James Bond, so you end up missing some really good spy work (think more of George Smiley). So we have a spy drama before us that not only plays the cat-and-mouse game, but does it with more going on at the same time and with this many chainsaws being juggled, catastrophe is a mere distracted moment away. Welcome to “Spy X Family.” (more…)
If Six Were “Nine”
This is what I call the “Semi-Colon Series”. It is a grouping of shows that use a semi-colon in the title, and then they run the title all together. The other three are “Chaos;Head”, “Steins;Gate” and “Robotic;Notes”. The shows all share similar characteristics: they are very dense, plot-wise, things are never as they seem and you’ll get the information you need to make sense of it when it is decided you can handle it. I guess it is a bit like life. (more…)
“Days” of Future Passed
This particular anime is a rarity among anime in that (a) it is based in America and (b) it is set in the past. I used to lament that anime seemed to be most about a Japan of the future. There is a challenge in trying to do the past, especially one that Americans would be more familiar with, but at the heart is a story that is no different than any samurai epic like “Yojimbo” or “Kagamusha”. (more…)
The “Joker” Went Wild
With all the genres that are afforded to anime, the spy thriller is one that is badly underplayed. Perhaps someone feels that they can’t compete with a James Bond or a Jason Bourne, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, the only other spy series I saw, “Night Raid 1931” was more of a fantasy/supernatural, as those people had special powers and abilities. What if we take a special caliber of person, one with a clear idea as to what is expected of them, and mold them into a strong agency? Thus, the idea behind “Joker Game” (“Jōkā Gēmu”). (more…)
You’re Only “Human”
Immortality is a theme that has been addressed in numerous shows, but not in this particular manner, where it is to be feared. “Ajin: Demi-Human” looks at this idea in a disturbing approach. What is an ‘ajin’? This is a person who is an immortal and almost cannot be killed (they did research and experimentation on all of this). The problem is that you do not know you are an ajin until something happens to you that reveal it. Kei Nagai is just a kid (that angry one in the center; he really liked that shirt!), going to school or whatnot, when he is run over by a truck and killed, but on the way to the hospital, he revives and discovers that he is an ajin. Thus is the end of his ‘normal’ life. (more…)
Can I work that ‘East’ tag any harder? This really isn’t a movie in the genuine sense; more like a special that was broken into two segments rather than to plunk us down for three hours to see the dénouement that is “Eden of the East: Paradise Lost”. I found this a rare offering, where the middle movie was better than the conclusion, as we threw in a needless complication to an already complicated plotline, and that was whether or not Takizawa IS the illegitimate son of the late Prime Minister of Japan.
It does follow the hunt for his mother, who is found living in NYC, tied to that dog with the wings, as well as the final machinations to determine who will be the winner of this contest. This one is more about flashbacks, as we learn how Takizawa was ‘chosen’ to be in this game (along with the other players) and the mysterious man behind it all. Seriously, who can afford to give up or away 12 BILLION yen?!!? (with the exchange rate, about $838 million) for such a lark? (more…)
OK, so when “Eden of the East: The King of Eden” came out, I was very nervous, as I felt it was going to be a recap movie, as we cobble together the salient parts from the TV series and present it as a ‘movie’. Nope, that is not the case. If anything, it goes on to tell more story and (eventually) conclude the tale. It has been about six months since the end of the series. Things in the world are ‘normal’ (whatever that really means). We find our heroine, Saki Morimi in the Big Apple, trying to chase down the Air King (whom we know as Akira Takizawa), but she runs into trouble right from the get-go.
She has been asked by him to meet in New York, but between a grumpy cabbie and her suitcase spilling open, showing some weaponry, the cops are right after her. She manages to escape all that and find Takizawa, but he has had a memory wipe again and knows nothing of which she speaks. Adding to the confusion is the potential idea that he is the illegitimate son of the Prime Minister, who has just died. And thus paving the way for him to be not only the ‘Prince of Japan’, but finally bring to fruition HIS plan to ‘save Japan’. (more…)
One You May Have Missed #3: Near “East”
If you like those cat-and-mouse animes, like “Death Note”, but more closer aligned to “Future Diary”, then “Eden of the East” (“Higashi no Eden”) is what you want to watch, although it certainly starts out in a strange manner. An incident is referred to constantly, ‘Careless Monday’, where on Monday November 10, 2010, ten missiles strike Tokyo. They cause damage, but no causalities. But since no terrorist group took responsibility for the incident, it is forgotten.
Three months later, we find ourselves in Washington DC, where Saki Morimi, a college student, throws a coin at the White House (as a symbol of protest, I guess, or maybe the President should phone home). A security cop tries to arrest her, but she is saved by the arrival of Akira Takizawa, who is stark raving naked (and perhaps mad; it is the winter months). They both manage to escape and Morimi has to track Takizawa down, as the coat she gave her has her passport in it. Oh, he was also carrying a very nasty-looking handgun and that really complicated phone you see up there. (more…)
Short Run Series XXII – “Border” Crossing
This is a show that got me major league ticked off as well. Looks, it’s barely the start of the new year and I don’t think anything is going to match the lever of outrage I feel about this series “Alice in Borderland”, because I feel cheated, cheated, cheated!
I mean, I had not seen a show with such an interesting plot and development since “Btooom!”, as it has the same caliber of idea, but since the dang thing only goes three episodes, what a total rip! I wanted a whole run, not a mere glancing at the menu and then asked to leave.
OK, the story, as it is, begins with these three slacker friends (left to right):
For some odd reason, they appear to be hanging around a deserted subway stop about 2 am. They have no place to go and all day to get there, so they are just chewing the fat. Arisu makes the comment that he’d like to go somewhere far away and not have to do anything and his pals agree. He has problems with his intolerable everyday life and yearns for something more, potentially something more interesting and daring. Suddenly, there is a fireworks show, which is quite strange. The explosions appear to be coming closer and closer and then……. (more…)