You’re confronted with a story starring a strong cast of characters that are (for the most part*) well developed that you come to care about. My favorite part about the characters that they all had something more to them. None of them were one-dimensional. You could never grasp everything about a character from face value. The more you saw of them, the more a new dimension appeared about the character, making you second guess who they were and their motivations. Also the romance that did occur in the show wasn’t the focal point, but it was well done. It felt genuine. The romance wasn’t about star-crossed lovers who are smitten because cupids arrow struck them in the heart and the plot demands it, it happened because the cast felt like real people, who really cared and grew to love each other. Unfortunately one of the main characters in the show never really gets fleshed out and remains a one dimensional character, and to be honest the show never really got me to care about the character. It’s not really a spoiler as you’ll tell who it is pretty early on. This character is pretty much the only character in the show that didn’t live up to my description of the show’s characters.
The plot started off establishing our characters and the setting, sucking me into the world. Once it felt I got comfortable, it took off into an engrossing plot. The show spreads the plot across years of the casts lives, and does so by jumping years every so often. Unfortunately this sometimes is slightly jarring, as you have to readjust to what is going on in the new “present time” The show does slow down a couple times when this happens, but it makes up for it by picking up straight after and going strong until the very end. But by no means were the slow points bad, or not entertaining. On the contrary they were good. It’s just that they weren’t as memorable in comparison to the parts of the show that were fantastic.
The author knew extremely well how to turn tables around and show how the world is not black & white. It is extremely – extremely – rare that an author can create a villain who you seriously feel compassionate to and understand the motives. Unlike in most cases, there simply was no option. It brings our the question “what is a human?” in one of the most eloquent ways I have yet witnessed. You sympathize and even understand the horror that is enacted by characters, while at the same time your sense of morals rejects it. You come to understand why each character makes the flawed choices they make, the fear they experience, and how they manage to keep going.
To pull off an anime that is dark and mature is not an easy thing to do and in many cases they do not deliver. Thankfully this isn’t one of them. There is a lot to love about this anime. The setting is engrossing and makes you want to learn more about it. None of the characters necessarily feel fake and you cannot help but sympathize with them considering the burdens they carry along the way. The animation and art style are just beautiful. There is a good natural flow throughout the story without any one episode feeling like filler. The plot twists that arise in this show are some of the most clever that I have seen in a while. The ending has a good chance of surprising you too. If there were any gripes about this anime (and there are very few) its that the beginning may come off slow to some, and sometimes the animation stays dark to the point where I just want to see clearly what is going on. Lastly the characters (besides one) can take a while to build themselves up and by the time they do, they are most likely killed off. Still it is a wonderful anime and you owe it to yourself to check it out.
The synopsis for this show is that Hazama Masayoshi is a wannabe hero. He has trained for a lot of his life to become a real-life Kamen Rider (or, in this universe Red Axe or Harakiri Sunshine). Unfortunately, he completely sucks. He gets his butt kicked by everyone, and what victories he does win are for completely insignificant things like not taking out your trash before trash day officially starts at midnight. However, it is quickly proved that although many regard this behavior as borderline insanity, he is, on some level, right. Japan’s lack of concern over small crimes has made the country less-than-palatable on an everyday level. Samurai Flamenco is here to right the wrongs, no matter how big or small, and, over time, he grows into a hero worthy of the Kamen Rider/Power Rangers/Voltron legacy.
This was a fun series although it changed drastically more than once during its run. The first introduction of the monsters was the most shocking; both because it was bizarre and came out of nowhere and because it was surprisingly violent! The various changes of pace will mean that viewers are likely to enjoy some sections more than others; for example I was disappointed when the Samurai Girls took a back seat and Samurai Flamenco took the lead of a ‘Power Rangers’ style group… this is likely because I never watched such shows; I’m sure those that did will appreciate it though. The characters are likable for the most part and the villains are suitable unpleasant and dangerous. Overall I found this somewhat uneven but still thought it was well worth watching; some parts were really great; especially the final arc.
What I loved about the show was just how grounded and fun it seemed. A light hearted show about a young man wanting and trying to be the super hero he’d always dreamed of. What I loved about it was how they had Masayoshi starting small, fighting crime in the most mundane way. Yes unfortunately the creators of Samurai Flamenco decided any kind of foreshadow of the genre shift to come wasn’t a good idea. This means that the Guillotine Gorilla moment comes as a total shock and from the reaction of anime fans on forums it’d seem the shock is something you either love or hate. Unfortunately both Linny and I found the sudden shift from realism to fantasy too jaring without any kind of foreshadow. The big problem Flamenco has is that it’s actually two different shows. After episode seven it terms into what is basically every other sentai show out there. If you wanted an original, fun light hearted, realistic take on sentai super heroes then don’t look at Samurai Flamenco. While the first seven episodes (or so) may satisfy that itch you’ll be left painfully disappointed when it becomes like all the rest.
The show’s been very subtly ratcheting up the chemistry and romantic tension between Sumi and Masayoshi, and we love how she is the one to explain love in all its forms to him, as a very likable character who has been somewhat underutilized due to the show’s deep bench. We also like how she knew about him being Samumenco all along, but let it continue. But most of all, we like how she casually confesses her “technical” love for him. We still hold out hope this will go somewhere. Really, the show has been about different kinds of love all along, starting with the love a hero must have for the people and ideals he protects, the brotherly love between Masayoshi and Goto. Initially it looks as if the series will just follow them as they take on regular criminals but then new villains appear; these are strange monsters who threaten everybody… to defeat them Samurai Flamenco and other would be superheroes will have to get far more professional. It is difficult to review this show without spoilers, but I think it is worth your time in the end.
After seeing the Casshern OVA, the live-action film adaptation, and the new 2008 anime, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the original “Neo-Human Casshern” series. Certainly it couldn’t be all that bad if Keiji Inafune himself liked it. After watching the corny, dated intro, and the excellent first episode, I soon realized the atmosphere it was portraying. Towns and cities are decimated, people die, and Andro Force is a massive threat. Make no mistake: this series lays it on thick. If this anime was meant for children, I don’t see how (of course, times were different back in 1972-73 though). This is a tale of war and one man’s struggle against an entire militia of robots. Each town and city he arrives to in his odyssey provides a unique insight on the struggles of war, the overpowering wrath of the Andro Force, and how we humans choose to endure it. Some of the episodes can be downright depressing, but there are a lot of good ones too. Braiking Boss, the main villian, is an absolute beast.
Overall, I had only a few minor complaints. There were a few spelling errors in the subtitles, and some minute translation errors. For example, why do they keep calling Casshan a “newly-built man” when it should be a “neo-human?” Maybe the former just made more sense in the long run. Some of the animation quality was a bit shoddy as well, but this anime is also over 40 years old so you have to keep that in mind. Some of the episodes in the middle of the series tended to drag on a little bit too long, too. This was a really rare anime for American audiences until now, and I have to say I felt honored to have watched it. It’s easy to see how Keiji Inafune and many others were so inspired by this anime back then. If you enjoyed the Casshern Sins series, and you have a little patience for older animes, I highly recommend you pick this up. If nothing else, it’s a nice little historic time capsule of what animes used to be.
One of the biggest points I like to impart is that the during the ’70s, the creators and producers were opening up new frontiers, so the originality was thriving, before the toy companies began to dictate content and style. The plotting and writing, while less complex than some today, was also less convoluted and contrived, and the writers were all veteran, professional scribes of feature films and television shows of numerous genres (while today’s writers became such largely because they were Anime fans). Sentai Filmworks announced that it had signed a deal with Tatsunoko Productions for the original GATCHAMAN, CASSHAN, and nine other titles — could we hope for GATCHAMAN II (1978), GATCHAMAN FIGHTER (1979), TEKKAMAN: THE SPACE KNIGHT (1975), HURRICANE POLIMAR (1974), TIME BOKAN (1975), and GORDIAN (1979) to be among them? In any case, their Blu-ray release of CASSHAN will feature all 35 episodes so strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. Thanks in part to the blu-ray format; Colors are really beautifully vivid and nicely saturated. The often rather thick line detail is quite sharp, though overall this is a fairly soft looking outing, albeit one that retains a completely naturally organic look.
For those looking for ecchi harem, this is not your show. Minimal fan service, no nudity. Some scenes seem to be leading towards ecchi, only to quickly derail and change course rapidly. Not quite an epic, Love election & Chocolate will hold your interest. Good story, great characters, and an evolving story make for a excellent anime. The story goes a bit something like this, as the story is set In Japan, participation in extra-curricular activities is as fundamental a part of an education as chalk and gym shorts. However, not all students are overachievers, and for those like Yuki Ojima, groups like the Food Research Club are welcome havens in which to slack off. But what’s a slacker to do when the radical new candidate for Student Council president announces her intent to get rid of clubs like the FRC?
What starts out seeming like it will be the usual fare in Love, Election and Chocolate, slowly becomes something much more interesting, delving into the world of teen love and modern cut throat politics with several interesting characters that all fill the basic archetypes of the genre nicely. Well, getting the help of the current Student Council president is a good start, but his suggestion is so counter-intuitive that it’s crazy: Yuki’s going to run for the Student Council himself! And yet, it’s SO crazy that it just might work. Especially when Chisato, the chocolate-adverse president of the FRC – not to mention Yuki’s best childhood friend – and members of other targeted school clubs start to join the swelling FRC army. But can this army of goofs and goof-offs coast all the way to political victory? I’ve already adequately described the series, I suppose. Aside from a few notable scenes where people stand up to more powerful people, two improvised campaign speeches and Yūki’s weird perception of people like imagining a mask (which never gets explained) there isn’t much else of note going on in this series.
Normally the heroine in eroge give up easily and cleanly and respects the protagonist’s decision, but Chisato isn’t as gentle(wo)men like. Each guilt scene is executed differently, so I have mixed feelings about her action. In the most part, I can tolerate, even sympathize, with Chisato in her frustration that leads to some wagamama-time since on top of being in the hardest position for romantic relationship (the osananajimi position), she’s been with Yuki the longest time and most heroines have been Yuki for like…two months. Though this is really a self-inflicted pain as Chisato didn’t strike the iron while it is hot, I can’t put myself to blame her for what has happened with her brother to complicate this relationship and when she is trying her best to obviously appeal to Yuki only to be rejected due to said relationship. The only exception I have is in Isara’s route in which it took damage for her to realize that its time to move on. An earlier time would have been better (i.e. after Yuki apologizes sincerely along with the plan to improve the special student program) and not make Chisato look completely selfish.
That being said, I don’t dislike this series, but I ultimately see little special about it. While it was sort of enjoyable to see the love story unfold, this isn’t exactly the sort of series I’d suggest as anything but a time-filler. Overall, Love, Election and Chocolate simply fails to leave any impression at all, which is arguably worse than leaving a bad impression. The humor can sometimes be a little flat. And despite my personal biases, the election plot is largely unimportant compared to the other side stories. It acts largely as a framing device. In fact, you could effectively skip most of the election scenes and still find the show very entertaining, maybe even more so.
I am a self proclaimed Patlabor lover. Be it the movies, the OVAs or the TV series, I love it all. Maiden Japan have given us a release worthy of the classic, and this set does not suffer from the problem of having the English language track requiring edited video. It really is a proper release. This set has the next 12 episodes in the series. Where robot carriers called Labors are used to make the world progress quicker and cut down manual labor. But it created a raise in crime and terrorism. Which lead to improving the police forces by creating Patlabors. Labors specially used by the police to fight crime and make the public feel safe to roam the streets. Patlabor the TV series ran for 47 episodes. Each one continues from the other. And through out the whole series, Noah, who gets the spot light more than the other main characters. Adapts to her passion for operating a Patlabor. And develops from a rowdy red head to a reliable woman. And the thing I like most about Patlabor, is it has a lot of character development. And it makes you feel like you’re watching real life rather a Sci-Fi anime. Because everyone you see has a personality, goal, problem, and daily schedule.
It’s best to go into a series like this without giving too much away, but you should watch collection 1 & 2, and it’s safe to say there are no mad runaway labors or Scooby Doo haunted houses here. At its heart, it is a complicated political series involving what appears to be a military coup against the government. This doesn’t sound like something the SV2 would normally deal with (although it is similar to a story from the original OVA), however they are slowly dragged into the story when it is revealed that the man behind the alleged coup has a connection to Nagumo Shinobu. And for Patlabor fans, this is where the series is important overall. It addresses the one unresolved character point, the backstory of Nagumo. Nagumo has always been a favorite of mine because she is such an enigma; outwardly a dedicated and by-the-book police officer, she nevertheless shares Gotoh’s distrust and cynicism towards authority, often siding with him over her superiors. How did such a strong and capable officer get shunted out to a backwater like the SV2, and why does she carry the huge chip on her shoulder? ‘Patlabor Collection 3′ does an excellent job of fleshing out these aspects of Nagumo’s persona; and her past is woven thickly into the main plot.
The 3rd part of the series does lighten a little in the third act, where the main cast re-unite to deal with the situation. There are a few humorous moments as well as some typical mecha action. This part of the series comes closest to capturing the lighter feel of the Patlabor films, and allow us to re-connect one more time with our favorite characters. Designed as the true conclusion to the series overall, the series only has one part left and also offers a few insights into the new directions the characters will take with their lives. These moments provide some relief from the heavy politics of the central story, as well as giving something back to long-time fans. As with the first ‘Patlabor’ movie, the animation and direction are top-notch, especially considering this is nearly 20 years old now. In keeping with Oshii’s later works, there is a heavier emphasis on symbolism, and on showing montages of scenes without dialogue, which add to the depth and seriousness of the 3rd part of the series. The script is very complex and thought-provoking; the political elements have attracted some criticism for being overly Nationalist and/or anti-Western, but it’s the sort of story that can be taken on different levels and left up to individual interpretation. In all, something very different but very good. Oshii succeeds brilliantly in taking what had been a predominantly fun series and turning it inward into darker and more ambitious territory.
So this anime really jumps on the crazy train from the get go. The main character a zombie, his roommate a necromancer, plus his new friend from another dimension takes this show to that special level of you know, special. Also ninja vampires. A young lad who is killed by a magical nymph, is revived by a necromancer named Yuu. He is then her guard to protect her at all costs. Yet in his adolescent mind, all he thinks about is how to fantasize about his Savior. But during his revival, he realizes that he is a zombie, and made to combat anything in his path such as Megalos. Spirits who dwell on earth and are drawn to his powers. In the background is a new member named Hanura, a megalomaniac genius who thinks only her power is the best above all others. Except during a fight, Yuu’s zombie interferes with her fight and absorbs her power. Now when she tries to transform to her genius stage, all she can do is gaze at her nakedness when her clothes disappear. Seeing as Yuu’s zombie now has her power, he also has to wear the uniform Hanura previously had to wear which makes him a cross dressing zombie.
This holds all aspects of humor mixing with fight scenes and multiple deaths for the zombie, Aikawa. Seeing as he cannot die anyway, begins to understand his role on how to protect Yuu. But in the midst of this chaotic conundrums, is a vampire ninja who wants nothing more than to wipe out Aikawa, using her special secret sword skills. But Aikawa prevails and defeats her which then makes this new addition to the family even more complicated. Now Aikawa has a house full of girls who are beautiful, dangerous, and most of all rude to Aikawa at any point in each series. All except Yuu. The only thing wrong with this girl is her voice, anything she says would be catastrophic. No matter how trivial. If she says ‘Die’ you die. Which is why she remains silent at all costs. Her power is so raw and unbalanced, she has to wear Armour to keep it from escaping her body. Yet she still can have fun in her own silent way. Aikawa feels for her, but in a juvenile sense. Still to see this motley crew work together is something of a miracle.
No really, that is the legit plot; that is entirely the point. The anime revels in how silly the situation for the most part, but eventually spends a few episodes on a far more serious arc which honestly, was the worst part. The anime does not succeed in being serious, but is brilliant when it is being over the top, insane and loaded with fan service. (Guess how many times the Masou Shoujo gets up skirted or a panty shot or goes naked in the first episode) It really felt like the writers didn’t know what made the anime so enjoyable for the majority of the anime and actually thought the plot or characters were good and well written.
In terms of soundtrack, its fairly mediocre, with a pretty boring opening and closing. Animation is alright, nothing amazing, (except on the incredible animation of those highly detailed panty shots) but totally acceptable for whats going on. The final episode is a strange one however, as it is basically an episode about shoving as much fan service into an episode as physically possible, and after it JUST ended a dramatic and serious arc, its quite bewildering. Regardless, an enjoyable anime that I would recommend if you just want a silly time and some fun, but don’t expect good characters or plot. That is nowhere to be found here.
It’s the first day of work for the new Japanese literature teacher at a prestigious all girls school. On his way, he meets one of the students, Funco who helps him find his way to the campus, and discovers this middle grade school girl wearing unusual clothes for her age. The next day he watches as the girls in his homeroom are doing something that normal girls do not – shoot targets. he then meets Funco again, only to say the wrong thing and gets shot at by her. Tha’ts when he learned these lethal cuties are the human representations of actual guns, and many of them have hair trigger tempers. But despite being lethal weapons, these girls also have the normal issues girls of their age have, friendships, gossip, and of course crushes – but also unusual problems, like loose pants, breaking firing pins, and a lot of misfires.
I can easily see that this is the anime’s biggest selling point- girls with guns. It is pretty much a typical slice-of-life anime but, apparently, putting guns in makes things a whole lot better. Does it? Ehhhh maybe? I’ll try and explain latter. Also, the anime also has quite a lot of fanservice and they are…original to say the least if you think about it in context. This did not stop me from getting creeped out whenever I see that a bunch of middle school-looking girls are doing stuff that really raised my eyebrows and the different camera shots that just got me face-palming myself. Yep. I didn’t enjoy that at all. Well, the rant aside, it has some parts where it does feel satisfying. They sort of sacrificed the story for a more documentary-like feel which was quite interesting as you learn about, well, guns. It was also a nice touch for me, as an avid Modern Warfare player, to know that they got the sounds of the different guns shooting correct. It was very informative as I learned the different back-stories of the guns.
This is very important, especially for me because, frankly, you don’t need to be a gun nut to enjoy Upotte. There is no need to ask your metal gear obsessed friend about the guns. Listing this would make it easier. The high school contains the: FN Herstal FAL (known in British service as the L1A1): replaced by the SCAR-H. may still be in service in some countries. M14: became obsolete in Veitnam. Was replaced by the M14 EBR (Enhanced Battle Rifle) and adopted by the US Navy, and lastly, the G3: replaced by the G36, HK416, and HK417. may still be in service in some countries.
Anime has no shortage of generic high school slice of life shows. Each season it seems there are at least a couple that are paint by numbers. Upotte is precisely that kind of anime, except the numbers are replaced by bullet holes. Overall, Upotte is a solid concept that does achieve some of its goals but swings and misses in many others. In terms of story alone it should have 1- better writing and 2- more episodes. They should have developed some of the characters more as some remain flat the whole way and even if they developed, it was a bit too generic. It has a good amount of fun for the average viewer and the music and art is also pretty normal and has nothing new. Somehow, I didn’t exactly feel satisfied from this anime as it could have been done better. The series focuses on how these ‘girls’ strive to become the best that they can be as far as weapons can go and like I said there is some fan service in it but it is tastefully done to actually be a part of the story.
This was originally intended to be a 30-part TV series, but because the show was so successful in Japan, backing distributor NHK Enterprises requested GAINAX to produce more episodes, extending the episode count to 39. It has everything: Adventure, romance, action, comedy, and drama. The story begins at a Paris World Exposition Fair where Jean, a nerdy but charming and instantly loveable inventor boy of fourteen, becomes smitten with a pretty, dark-skinned girl his own age. The girl, known as Nadia, is an unhappy circus acrobat with no clue about her past other than a jeweled necklace she wears. After rescuing her from a trio of comic bandits, Jean earns Nadia’s trust. The two set off on an even bigger adventure to find Nadia’s birthplace, which supposedly lies in Africa. Along the way, they have run-ins with a supercharged submarine commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo and his pretty but overprotective first officer Electra as well as a shadowy cult of Nazi-like masked soldiers known as Neo-Atlanteans led by the misanthropic, sinister Gargoyle, who wants Nadia’s pendant at any cost. In the course of their around-the-world adventure, Jean and Nadia adopt an orphaned little girl, Marie, who senses that her new guardians will become more than just close friends. Although Nadia’s explosive temper poses problems, Jean’s patience and loyalty keeps their relationship afloat, and her growing love for the boy gradually transforms her as a person.
From there, the two soon encounter the mysterious Captain Nemo and are soon thrust into the battle between Nemo and the sinister Gargoyle, a battle which Nadia and her blue jewel play a vital role in. While the animation may not be the best of quality by today’s standards, for its time it is pretty impressive in my opinion. What’s more, the english dub is not that bad, though the Japanese is much better. Plus, I consider Gargoyle to be one of my favorite anime villains of all time. The opening and ending themes are fantastic, also. All in all, this series is the only anime I can think of that equals Neon Genesis Evangelion in every respect, and in some may actually surpass.
The only major problem with the entire series is the batch of episodes near the end, the infamous “Island” and “Africa” arcs consisting of episodes 23-34 which were animated in a different studio and directed by a different guy. I’ve seen numerous people recommend to just skip them all except 30-31 then just watch from 35, but I just watched them all anyway, just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. If you’re an anime fan, want to watch a series with people in it you’ll care about, and don’t mind being expected to root for a dork like Jean, please do yourself a favor and pick this up. Oh, and do yourself another favor and watch it with the subtitles on. I’m sure Nathan Parsons is a wonderful human being who’d give me the shirt off his back.
The visuals are breathtaking and the action is edge-of-your-seat exciting. The action is driven by exciting stunts and the (then) cutting edge inventions from the age of steam make for wonderfully unpredictable getaway vehicles. The first episode alone has one of the best anime chase scenes of the period, as memorable as anything in Castle Cagliostro, and the excitement keeps up from there. The ‘villainous’ trio pursuing the main character are my only real complaint with the series; they are meant to be both threatening and comical, but they just come off as goofy and tend to get in the way. The pace also tends to slacken a bit after episode two, but the rest of the series is still worth watching for its likable characters and gorgeous visuals. The first couple of episodes are maybe the best in the series and start things off at a frenetic pace, making for memorable entertainment and good fun. Bravo to Sentai for finally bringing this to blu-ray. Highly recommended!
The year is now 2019 and while some technology has changed a lot, people seem to be using min-tablets as computers/cell-phones which have a virtual reality app built into them, but in other ways life is still rather normal. Kai is the put upon friend of Akiho who doesn’t want to help her complete her sister’s dream of making a life sized robot from their favorite show but he’s not heartless enough to completely ignore her either. One thing leads to another and Kai slowly begins to realize that there is something strange going on both in the background with mysterious reports appearing on his tablet foretelling the end of the world and even things going strange in his favorite video games. The more things he discovers the more things he starts to uncover until he seems to have stumbled upon the greatest conspiracy of human history.
If you think the series is just about building a robot, there is lots else to get sucked in too such as the great sub plots. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the entire cast of characters are supremely well developed. There are no one dimensional or throwaway characters to be found here. Instead, you get layered characters that are harboring secrets or changing over the course of the series. Robotics Notes sets you up with a plot which could only go Gundam, then you find yourself in a web of conspiracies. Who is the bad guy? Who is the good guy? The story plays out leaving you hanging at times and you will want to keep going. When you watch it, don’t keep a preconception that you know the world or how the story will play out in the end. Because you won’t. Robotics Notes will take your preconceptions and rip them a new one.
While the ending is very much in character, the fact that it isn’t an especially challenging one can’t be denied. And that’s most obvious when you look at the number of questions the finale didn’t really answer. The only major fault would come later as the truth starts to come forth. It may kinda leave you a little confused for a moment till you take everything in. So consider this a heads up. Pay attention to everything. It is all important. Some moments will really shock the heck out of you. Especially because you either won’t see it coming or the series just suddenly gets very in your face real.
While the series may be a tad slow, I enjoyed the sense of camaraderie and candor that was built with the crew in Robotics;Notes. It’s opening half is engaging on numerous levels, and had it been able to carry this through into the second it would have been something REALLY special. This might have proved too difficult a task, the fast paced conclusion still contains a fair bit of enjoyment if you’re prepared to check your brain in at the door. The extras on the disc include two commentaries from the English cast, textless intros and outros and a Space Adventure Series Interview, that talks with J. Micheal Tatum, Joel McDonald and John Burgmeier. The interview was both insightful and enlightening on Robotics;Notes and all of the “Science Adventure Series” thus far. A nice addition to any anime collectors library indeed.