Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Top 2 and 3 of 2010

January 3, 2011
Jon’s Picks
#3  Kuragehime

Starring a cross-dresser and a band of otaku girls, Kuragehime is the most oddly adorable anime of this year. It’s cast of misfits is probably one of the year’s most bizzare, yet one of the it’s most charming. From the jellyfish obsessed Tsukimi, to carefree cross-dresser Kuranosuke, to Kuranosuke’s woman frearing older brother, all the characters are incredibly likable despite, or maybe because of their disfunctions. The irresistable charm of these characters is reflected in it’s art, which has a uniqueness all of it’s own. Directer Omori Takahiro uses the distinct personalities of the shows characters to great comedic and dramatic effect, weaving a story that is both funny and heartwarming.

# 2 pick Shiki

Shiki
Highschool of the Dead was a strong horror entry in the world of anime in 2010, however it was not the best. That honor goes to Shiki. This godsend of a horror manages to do the unthinkable, it makes vampires scary again. Shiki is so effective because it knows that atmosphere is key in horror. It perfectly creates a world full of menace, giving off a constant feeling of uneasiness. It hints at dark things to come until the tension is almost unbearable, and then it erupts, resulting in some of the most shocking and haunting sequences to ever be animated. Shiki’s vampires are the most menacing creatures conceivable, possessing inhuman cunning and cruelty. They retain personality traits from when they were alive, which makes them all the more horrifying. Shiki is one of those rare dark jems which reminds you of the twisted sophistication that the horror genre is capable of.

Art’s Picks

#3 Baka Test To

It’s really kind of sad that the genres of anime I really dislike ended up being my favorite anime of the year. Baka Test to is an anime that has a ridiculous premise of little monsters fighting each other, but manages to do it so over the top and ridiculous that it becomes funny. The main characters grow on you, and the pink haired girl, Himeji is actually pretty cute. The thing that got me about this show was the hilarious faces each character makes. There are several Fist of the North Star referential faces that got me laughing and the music to the show only increased my enjoyment. I have a playlist of anime openings and endings, and the Baka Test singles are my favorites and are on constant rerun. I think this anime is not for everyone however, since a lot of the people I spoke to about it said they didn’t want this anime to have a second season because they found it distasteful and a diservice since SPOILER the main character doesn’t end up with anyone. Solid show from start to finish with laughs a minute.

#2 Tatami Galaxy

I feel uneasy adding Tatami Galaxy as my number two show. Why? Simply because I don’t remember the entire series clearly.  However, this anime stands as a number two because it was a great improvement on Yuuasa’s terrible previous work Kaiba. Progress is all I ask for out of a director, and if they can’t do that, then they do not deserve to be directors. The ending of Tatami Galaxy really brought to me a deep message though. At the time when I watched Tatami Galaxy I was being a massive recluse. I refused to exit my room and avoided people a lot. As of the time that I’m writing this, I’ve completely dropped all my old habits. I’m now less focused on anime and other nerdy hobbies and focused on real life. It’s funny that an anime would make you more aware of your surroundings in real life. The episodes get a bit repetitive but the amazing ending to the show really bring it all home and makes this show excellent.  A classic that I definitely need to rewatch to see if the message and reaction is still the same.

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Hire, Kill, Masterbate and Repeat.

January 4, 2010

Ichi the Killer Review

 

A garbage manga does not exactly mean it cannot be great. Ichi the Killer is exactly that. To enjoy and comprehend a series like Ichi the Killer, you must realize it is utter and complete garbage, but it is the greatest piece of garbage you will ever read. It has no literary value, but it does have some reread value for analytical purposes.

Ichi the Killer follows a very commonly used premise for movies, but that is rarely used in manga, Yakuza. After a big boss in Tokyo is murdered, a group of thugs clean up the mess and take money that he had in his safe. One of his henchmen, Kakihara, a sadistic, BDSM loving creepy son of a bitch decides to discover who murdered him. Kakihara goes out of his way to find someone that he suspects by the name of Suzuki, who might have murdered Anjo and brutally tortures him. He stabs him with these skewers and throws this boiling hot stew substance on him. It turns out that all of this was a plan started by an old man named Jiji as a way to pit all of the Yakuza in Japan against each other. Jiji hires a guy named Ichi, the titular character, to kill people in very brutal manners. Ichi is a very

*This is not Chun-Li, it's Ichi.

disturbed individual who was bullied in school and witnessed a rape in which he didn’t do anything to stop. Eventually, Kakihara catches on to Jiji and the plot starts to develop quite quickly. This is sadly as far as I can go without spoiling it.

One of the reasons this manga is garbage primarily rests on the plotline. It is completely absurd, and uses any excuse to treat people in heinous conditions and torture them. However, you must realize that some of these things DO happen in certain crime syndicates. I’m not going to say that the plot is interesting, it is one of the most interesting page turners I have ever read. I finished off the whole manga in about two days. One of the most interesting aspects of the story is why Ichi is the way he is. They slowly start to reveal whether he is simply mentally retarded or mentally scarred. Ichi is a person who’s mind reverted back to a child after he killed his parents and saw a girl get raped. Yeah, this story has a lot of rape for apparently no reason. I want to point out that this manga isn’t for the faint of heart. If a show like Higurashi managed to terrify you, do not in any way read this. The whole story defies logic and reasoning beyond belief. One of Kakihara’s thugs manages to break a man’s arm with his bare hands. Bare, fucking hands. Ichi the Killer is full of men with penis envy “I bet I can make him scream harder”. Not to mention the amount of homoeroticism, “Rape that dead guy”. You really can’t think too hard about this manga. If you do, you’ll end up thinking this is the stupidest manga ever. For anyone who enjoyed manga like Crying Freeman or Riki-Oh this is a must read.

I haven’t really gone into detail about the characters. The characters are all love and hate characters. You

Nipples.

will probably not care for about one or two characters, but you will have strong emotion about all the others. All the characters are one-sided sadistic bastards who only like to kill and torture. Everyone is over the top and retarded in their own way. There is one person in particular that I despised like no other, Jiji. Jiji turns out to be one of the most brilliant, terrifying characters in this manga. Throughout the whole manga, he seems to not be around and weaker than all of the other thugs. It turns out that he is indeed the most vile of all the characters and is the master mind behind everything. There are no heroes in this series, there are just antagonists and protagonists. Although Ichi is the protagonist, he is in no way a hero. It could be said that it is antihero versus antihero. All the characters in Ichi are portrayed in a very misogynistic form. All the girls in this are either whores or prostitutes. Not to mention the fact that they get raped almost every two panels. I’m going to go ahead and say it, ICHI IS MOE♥.

You really want to root for the guy after all he’s been through, but I simply couldn’t. The guy bitches all the time, cries, jacks off and kills. Did I mention he jacks off A LOT mingled in with the rape in this manga? Seriously, you could see any chapter in this manga and find a rape scene or someone jacking off. I simply don’t like any of the characters. How can you root for people who’s faces have been cut off with a shoe.

The main attraction to Ichi the Killer is the gore and violence. It seems like Hideo Yamamoto really knows how to draw cut off faces and corpses. It is said that for his other manga, Homunculus he passed himself off as a homeless person to see what it is like to be a homeless person. I wonder if he became an assassin to learn how to draw dead

Seriously, the scariest fucking picture I've ever seen.

people. Hideo also managed to do something no other manga has done: scare the shit out of me. There’s this scene where Jiji is in bed with some woman and the girl asks him if he’ll kill her. He simply says “Maybe” and has this weird fucking look on his face. I’ll make sure to put that picture in the sidebar. Hideo has this really distinct art style that could be considered the polar opposite of Naoki Urasawa. No two characters look alike, and almost everyone has oversized, big muscled bodies that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger look like Nicole Richie. In short, amazing artwork when someone is getting killed. I’m in no way saying he is not a good artist, I’m just saying he does best when people are getting killed.

This manga is great. For all the nonsense and ridiculousness this manga brings, it triples the enjoyment factor. It is a manga that all lovers of Koike or Saruwatari would love. It’s full of brazen confidence, huge guys, and quick arcs that wrap up quickly. Sadly, Ichi has not been and probably will never be released here in America. It’s much to violent and would probably not be stocked in bookstores. Luckily, there are scanlations of all 101 chapters. You’ll have to take a shower after you read this series, but it’s as fun and amazing as any manga deserves to be.  By the way, make sure to read this with the Death Note soundtracks. Almost any song fits the mood of any chapter.

She sucks the poison out of his penis and what does she get? VOMIT!

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You take too long.

November 28, 2009
How, freaking long until I get to this part?

How, freaking long until I get to this part?

So what have I been doing? Nothing. Having to take a break of Eyeshield 21 because I’m only supposed to watch 50 consecutive episodes of Eyeshield 21 until I HATE it. How much of a bitch can Sena be? So I started Slam Dunk. How fucking long until I see some basketball? I’ve looking for some good anime, and I’ll be honest I don’t think it exists. Kare Kano has TWO FUCKING CONSECUTIVE RECAP EPISODES! I buy anime DVD’s so I could recap myself if I wanted to remember something.

 

Another filler. Don’t fear Gao-Gai-Gar and Kare Kano reviews coming up.

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Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Review

September 20, 2009

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Review

03 Anime Review

 Back in the old heyday of anime, one of the biggest catchphrases for anime companies was “This is totally not kids’ stuff”. At that time, they were correct. Blood, gore, and a big set of boobs was the reason it was not “kids’ stuff“. Nowadays, we have some more “different” reasons why it’s not kids’ stuff, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is an anime that completely justifies such a statement. In a world where power levels exceed 9000 and three girls with different colored hair all jump on you because you’re the wimpiest kid in school, an anime like this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 follows the events after a massive earthquake hits Tokyo and revolves around two siblings, Mirai and Yuuki. Mirai and Yuuki are cared and looked after for by Mari, a woman named Mari, who helps them get to their home in West Tokyo. Mari is not just looking after them. She’s also looking to head home to take see in what condition her child and mother who was caring for her are in. The story starts off quite slow, and takes a nosedive of slowness during the final five episodes. The pacing is a big issue throughout this anime. It seems like it takes forever for them to move on from the spot they’re in. TM8 uses what I like to call “The Grave of the Fireflies effect” where it uses children as a way to tug at your heart. I can’t get into this without spoiling the whole story, but I’ll dive into character, or therefore lack of, later.

What the show is all about.

What the show is all about.

The thing that really bothered me about this anime is the fact that in the beginning of each episode there is a caption that says something along the lines of, and I’m just paraphrasing “We strived for realism by doing research and interviews”. The problem that I have with this is, what happened to all of that research? When I first saw that, the first thing I imagined was riots, looting, and some of the worst sides of human society being shown. I, as a Californian, am always at fear that an earthquake can hit at any moment. The nice people in this anime are a bit overdone. It seems

Yuuki, the shotacon, I mean little brother of TM8.0. I'm sure there is alot of YuukixMari doujin at Comiket.

Yuuki, the shotacon, I mean little brother of TM8.0. I'm sure there is alot of YuukixMari doujin at Comiket.

like everyone here is overly polite, like the old couple that they encounter at a safe zone that is not what you would expect from old people in a situation as that. It seems like I’m just nitpicking at things I feel should have happened, but I do commend this anime for doing something different beyond the putrid moe shows that plagued this summer anime season. Overall, this story is real, as in the child proof table kind of real. If you are hungry for something not done before, this is something to look into.

I think where this anime stood out for me was the characters. This only applies to the three main characters, Mari, Mirai, and Yuuki. They are throughout the series some of the rawest and most realistic anime characters I have seen. Mirai is pretty much the reflection of a teenage girl. All she wants to do is moan and bitch about everything that is going on around her. Yuuki is the sweetest kid you could imagine. He’s pretty much the exact opposite of an average little boy; he’s selfless, caring, and smart. Mari is your typical mother. I would go more into detail, but to be honest I didn’t care much for her. The biggest issue was the dropping in and out of characters. Suddenly characters are introduced, only to never be seen again. I seriously wanted to know what happened to them. Did they just disappear? They seemed like they could have been sort of cannon to the series with people like Yuuki’s friend from school, or a work friend of Maris. Overall, if you take in just the three main characters, you’ve got a sturdy lineup that would have been great to see how they interact with other people.

From what I understand, a lot of people were turn off by the art style of TM8. I personally have grown used to the noitamina anime block art style. It follows the style of Hataraki Man and Eden of the East. The chubby faces and odd

NO WAI! See, Mirai is meme savvy.

NO WAI! See, Mirai is meme savvy.

 lip sizes are really not that bad if you have seen those previous series. There are no generic, or stock features in the characters. They all seem like they were designed well by Atsuko Nozaki, who hasn’t had much work beyond a few name series like Samurai Champloo Eureka Seven. The thing people should have been complaining about was sound. Oh, man boy did this series have the shittiest soundtrack ever. The opening and ending do not even remotely capture the tone of the series. I’m sorry abingdon boys school fans, but that group sucks. Not only that, they couldn’t help but have about four songs throughout the whole show. And two of those four are the opening and ending! In an anime where the feeling is sad and true human emotion, you cannot afford to use the same songs over and over again. It’s so strange that Higashi no Eden had possibly one of the best soundtracks ever, but this anime soundtrack was so crappily made. I don’t have much to say about the seiyuu. I personally don’t really pay much attention to Japanese voices since I prefer dubs. DOES NOT HAVE REIKO TAKAGI, ERGO IT IS NOT EXCEPTIONALLY GREAT!

I find it hard to not recommend this anime to people who are looking for something different. I’m just waiting for this to get licensed, if it ever does at all. Whether you’re new fan who just got off of a Naruto binge, or an old school disaster mecha anime fan, I’m sure everyone can find something to like about this anime. This gets my biggest recommendation, and I dare any other anime this season other than Fairy Tail to challenge it for that place in my heart. As badly as I criticized it, I enjoyed it. Even in the “How many times can one kid almost die”? moments. Never will there ever be an anime again where a backpack is as controversial. Fuji 4 Life.

Here’s an image that totally doesn’t represent the show:Tokyo Magnitude

 

 

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The Anime Market: Stock 1

May 13, 2009

On Today’s Show We Have:

  • Puni Puni Poemy/ Kekko Kamen Double Pack
  • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl

Puni Puni Poemy/ Kekko Kamen Double PackPuni Puni Poemy

This double pack sounded to good to be true. 2 DVD’s at the price of one? No way. Yes way and I’ll tell you why.  While the series are both very ecchi (and while I have no oppostion to ecchi) it was nasty. Mainly Kekko Kamen. A superhero female that runs around in the nude fighting bad guys? Sounds cool, but isn’t. It suffers from bad plot, humor, etc. Where this shines is the Puni Puni Poemy. Despite it being two episodes long it is VERY funny. I found myself giggling loudly. It has so much out of the ordinary sequences and great jokes. The characters all pop out. Sadly this set is a pizza with sardines. You’re alergic to sardines and the lindering effect will still be on the pizza. This is a skip for me.

Verdict: Don’t Buy

Licensed by ADV Films.

 

KashimashiKashimashi: Girl Meets Girl

Oh, yuri. You nasty smut. Wait, this yuri isn’t smut? Wow. You’ll find that despite the panty shots this anime is as clean as can be. You can spot more disturbing themes in Naruto than you can in Kashimashi. The premis is wacky. A girlish guy gets hit by  a spaceship and becomes reconstructed as a female. As her life goes on more guys and gals hit on her, mainly the protaganist’s, Hazumu, friends Tomari and Yasuna even though Yasuna rejected him as a guy. The plot is alright, I don’t typically expect much from a yuri anime but the series got dull after a while. The character just tried to preserve everyone’s feelings and caused me to lose interest in what was happening. The artwork is where this anime mainly shines. The “visual novel” artwork really showed during the last parts of the series, mainly in the festival episode. The sound really depressed me because there was no english dub even though the background music was quite well done. It’s sympathetic when it needs to be and happy when it should Well, what did I expect from a 14 dollar anime? Did I mention the price. This anime is at 14 dollars at nearly any Entertainment retailer. There are some good extras like the Japanese DVD promos. Especially the Voice Actor Interview. It feels really great to see the people behind the series. I don’t see why you would not buy this unless you are not into yuri, and that’s fine.

 

Verdict: Buy

Licensed by Media Blasters

 

Obscure Buy!

Zero no TsukaimaFamiliar of Zero Complete First Season Box Set

Familiar of Zero is one of those series I found overrated at first site. It’s so moe and gushing in terrible plotline but I liked it. This was a good moe. The series starts off with Saito from Earth landing on a different planet after Louise “The Zero” transports him to be her familiar. Hijinx insue after he tries to go back home. At first glance I thought “I’ll buy it for the pink hair, it won’t be great”. Little did I know I would have a love-hate relationship with it. I normally despise tsundere characters but something about Louise made me like her. She wasn’t like most because she actually proved to Saito she had feelings for him at some point. The soundtrack is not terrible and the voice acting in both dubs is great. Not epic, but great. The set comes with posters, extras and trailers all making this worth the cash.

Sadly, finding this at a Best Buy or FYE would be a miracle. Since Geneon disbanded it can be found at specific Entertainment shops and anime retailers.

 I found mine at: http://www.rightstuf.com/cgi-bin/catalogmgr/F0Wl0OT5fZ4CZd8qPT/browse/item/81331/4/0/0

Verdict: Buy