Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #30 Tiger and Bunny


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What's it about?
In a fictional future, superheroes are commercialized mascots for different companies. These heroes compete for points as they rescue citizens and capture criminals as part of a television show. The veteran hero, Wild Tiger (the masked persona of Kotetsu Kaburagi), seems to be the only one that doesn't care about earning points. Saving others is his top priority but at the cost of destroying countless buildings and causing tons of collateral damage. When he's not fighting crime, Kotetsu is trying his best to get his daughter to think he's cool.

What rocks:
- Kotetsu
The main character, Kotetsu, has been getting praise and it's pretty easy to see why. An older main character? He's a single parent? There's more to it than that but those two factors alone are simply things we don't see in the vast majority of Anime. He isn't a one trick pony either as the praise isn't simply directed at the original concept. He isn't solely defined by his age or the fact that he's a father. As the story progresses, we discover why he does the things he does and get to see a healthy mixture of character flaws and strengths. Hooray for three-dimensional characters!

- Great side characters
I was worried at first that they'd all suffer the fate given to many Anime characters where they have a striking gimmick or quirk and that be their sole defining feature throughout the show. Luckily this isn't the case. Each gets their own short story arc toward the middle of the series to really define them as people and not just heroes.

- Fun premise
Let's be honest here. The starting point of the entire series, before it even breaks into deeper issues, character studies, and everything else, is simply a fun concept to watch unfold. It's original and it opens the doors for story purposes later.

- Solid narrative/writing
It's pretty obvious that there was quite a bit of attention put into the script and the details pour out throughout the course of the series. It takes its time with things but it manages to deliver plenty of intense moments, plot twists, and character-driven story.

- Western appeal
There simply aren't many shows out there that actually have anything resembling Western appeal and so it's something to bring up when this finally rolls around.

What sucks:
- Slow start
Things don't really kick into high gear until a few episodes in. After that, the show adds layers slowly one after another. If you're the type that only watches the first few episodes of a show to form an opinion of it and you aren't already caught then you would most likely miss out on this ride.

This is Kylak signing out and preparing some company logos for when I save the day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #29 Baccano!


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In one sentence:
Different Mafia groups, thieves, sociopaths, alchemists, and immortals all cross paths thanks to a train and certain events that spiral out of control.

I can't review this the way I normally go about it and I'm not even sure I can properly review something like this at all but here it goes. Baccano! is a wild ride from start to finish. It's pure enjoyment bottled up in a way that you wouldn't expect as all the rules are broken here. There isn't a main character, there isn't a true beginning, there isn't a true end, and this show definitively proves that it doesn't need any of those things to have a top-notch narrative. The story jumps focus on purpose to leave suspense for when and what events occur as the characters drive the story simply by being themselves. Narita, the writer, even admitted that he simply let the characters act as they would which drastically changed everything he originally planned. The characters are the real focal point of the show and it shines through as you're watching. Regardless of the large cast, they're all unique and have this presence about them that keeps you aching for more from them.

The level of detail on the finer points has to be applauded as well. The art director and other staff actually visited different parts of New York to accurately portray the scenery. Casting for the English dub was said to have possibly been the longest casting session of anything Funimation has worked on (and it shows, this is actually an incredible English dub that you could argue is better than the original Japanese dub thanks to the work put into the multitude of accents and how fitting the voices are to each character). The music is another strong point as the soundtrack not only sets the mood but it manages to be memorable.

About the only negative thing I can see for miles is the fact that the story jumps around on purpose. If you watch Baccano! to the end then it explains it all but some people prefer a point A to a point B. This show proves that you can't actually use a linear timeline with this story so I suppose those of you that are in that boat will just have to learn to go with the tide.

This is Kylak signing out and reminding you that you have a gun in your heart!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #28 Summer Wars


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I went into this Anime movie with barely a clue of what to expect. I knew a single fact: that this was directed by the same mind who had directed the Digimon Movie. There's even a digital realm of sorts in this film though it should go without saying that it's vastly different. Summer Wars introduces us to OZ (no, not that one), which is literally a digital world that has grown in popularity to the point that it encompasses most of everyone's daily lives. You create an avatar that allows you to travel OZ which automatically translates any form of speech or text. This quickly became popular with businesses and other organizations to where they had their own offices in OZ itself. It also helps that OZ had the most complex of any security system and so people were at ease.

Our story begins with our main character, Kenji, who happens to be an admin for OZ as he's a math genius. A girl at his highschool, Natsuki, invites him to take a trip with her. Kenji finds out that this was all a trick. Natsuki simply needed a boy to pretend to be her fiance so that her great-grandmother could die happy as it was her last wish. After meeting the extended family and eating together, Kenji receives a strange text later that asks for help with a piece of code which he solves. The next morning he's greeted with finding out that he's a wanted cyber criminal as his face is on the news for hacking OZ and sending things into a spiraling chaos around the globe.

I think that's enough of an intro without spoiling anything. My final impressions you ask? The short version: this was a fantastic movie. Something I feel the need to bring up from time to time is the difference between a kid's movie and a family movie. This is the latter. It's a movie that all age ranges can enjoy for different reasons.

The setup almost sounds like something generic but it's how the movie plays around with the concept that stands out. It's also important to point out that this isn't a movie about OZ. It's a film about family. The strongest shining feature that this movie offers is the concept of what family truly is and how these characters respect what that means. Summer Wars manages to tie Japanese history (the past), with the present (a digital age), and the future (a newcomer to the family).

Summer Wars really knows how to bring out the right mixture of heartwarming moments, suspense, and slice of life. Just get ready for a little cheesyness here and there. Another strong feature is the art style and animation. Since this was made by Madhouse, they've proven themselves time and time again and this movie is yet another major piece to add to their track record. Giving the digital realm its own unique look gets extra points.

In the end, I can definitely recommend this to just about anyone. It's a great family movie that deserves a look.

This is Kylak signing out... as far as you know. I pretty much live on the internet.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #27 Sacred Seven


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In one sentence:
Super fighting robot suits.

What rocks:
- The first episode showed promise of something exciting and of grand scope involving a blend of sci-fi and fantasy that would hope to blur incredible action sequences with romance while still managing to bring an interesting taste of style to the mix.

What sucks:
- Later episodes proved all of that previous section wrong. This quickly became the most predictable tale focusing around a small scope story with only a few good action sequences mixed with a boring tale of affection and the interesting style managed to die under a rock somewhere near the end and leave us with bizarre design choices. Pretty much all of the characters showed how one-note they were (they literally rely on a quirk to be interesting) and just how laughable the plot twists were since they were centered around you questioning who was actually the villain in all of this (it's not actually a plot twist because you'll see it coming for miles). Also, be prepared for a lot of teen angst.

This is Kylak signing out before I have to rant anymore.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #26 Honey and Clover (& Honey and Clover 2)


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We watch as the main characters live their lives as they attend an art college and what happens after graduation. It's real. It's life. Things change. Be prepared for bittersweet moments and roller coasters as our characters figure out their place in the world, what they want to do with their lives, how they truly feel about other people, and just how much meaning a simple clover can have.

The first episode actually worried me as it's more an introduction of who some of our main characters are without giving an introduction of what this show is about or where it's going. Don't let that stop you. There isn't going to be any gimmicks, sci-fi or fantasy powers, or adventures to another land going on here. This is a slow but properly paced show about five students in college and while that's all you can say about it, that's all that needs to be said.

There was also the worry about the main female character and the fact that she looks and acts like a creepy doll sometimes that looks much younger than she actually is but that's part of the point. She's attempting to struggle at larger odds than most of the characters in the show and she's the least likely character you would expect to do it.

If you've ever been through the actual college university life or are diving into it first-hand as we speak then this is even more so directed at you and while I think everyone can appreciate it this series for what it is, I think I'd have to ultimately recommend this to those that have experienced it themselves.

This is Kylak signing out.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #25 Ef - A Tale of Memories


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In one sentence:
A gripping love triangle on one side and a relationship that has to fight all odds on the other.

What rocks:
- Artsy
A lot of creativity has been put into the visuals to create the opening and some of the more interesting scenes of the Anime. The style is definitely unique to the animation studio Shaft who made this so if you're familiar with them and like the cut of their jib then you'll enjoy this as well.

- Mix of genres
Psychological thriller in my drama and romance? Yes, please. Not only does this add to the unique quality of the show but it sets up some incredibly intense moments that might leave you wide-eyed.

- Voice acting
While I find this to be something that most Anime are stellar at, these actors show what voice acting is all about. They only had their voice to make their love and tragedy believable and the acting here was rather memorable.

What sucks:
- Melodrama
This is a show that's able to pull off melodrama well and let's face it: these characters have issues that deserve it. That being said, I can understand the sheer amount of melodrama eventually wearing someone down to the point they need to take a break.

This is Kylak signing out before I forget.

Quick Update about RSS Feeds

A funny story... (kinda) I was checking up on my RSS Feed today when I found out that Feedburner for some reason thought I had four of them! Crazy huh? So the different feeds have different subscribers and it's all kind of a silly jumbled mess. I've read about ways to combine feeds but I figured the easiest solution is to just send out this post and let you know what the correct feed to use is.

You have options:
1) Just look over on the right sidebar and use the new RSS Feed button that's sitting there. You can easily subscribe to the new feed that way.
2) Or use this (Feed Address): http://feeds.feedburner.com/AllGeeksRejoice

I'll probably delete the excess feeds so please switch ASAP. Thank you! So let's get back to this Anime review month shall we?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #24 Redline


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In one sentence:
JP wants to enter the Redline, an underground racing tournament, but there's a lot standing in his way and that doesn't even include the amount of hostility the racers will be facing once they drop down on the planet picked for the race.

Redline is, at its heart, an action movie. If you’re looking for fully fleshed out characters that change your world views or a plot rooted into some deep philosophical concept (such as whether or not cheese is a way of life) then you’re in the wrong place. This is a movie that knows exactly what it is: fun. I’m actually not into racing in the slightest and yet I was enthralled with this movie. I couldn’t ask for a better adrenaline rush in a shinier package.

What rocks:
- Jaw-dropping animation and art style!
Not only are the aesthetics unique but the fluidity of the animation tops most OVAs out there. This is pure eye candy that leaves you in awe at the work put into this and might possibly give you cavities with how sweet this is. Many take this for granted that this is one of the reasons we have Anime in the first place: the art/animation. Otherwise we could simply watch live action. It’s also important to note that everything is animated here unlike most of the Anime in the last decade or so that opt to use computer animation for objects, vehicles, and mecha. It’s a rare visual treat.

- Non-stereotypical characters.
This is another category where Redline thankfully ignores current Anime trends. Redline doesn’t hand us cookie-cutter characters and instead opts to give us a mixture of vibrant and quirky side characters while the two main characters (JP and Sonoshee) act very realistically.

- Kept in the loop.
Normally something this fast-paced with this type of art style would be difficult to keep track of (seeing as it’s not so much showing you events as it is throwing them at you) but there are many helping hands. Not only are there announcers for the races but plenty of side characters keeping track of the events unfolding such as the military and government of Roboworld. If you aren’t able to read subs quickly though then it might make it a little difficult to keep track of things and hopefully they’ll make a high quality dub soon enough so you won’t have to multitask.

- High octane action.
Thanks to the races having zero rules: weapons, magic, outlandish tactics, and acting like a dick are totally allowed. This sets up for a lot of crazy scenarios and makes the races that much more exciting. All of this action is accompanied by upbeat music that fits the mood flawlessly.

- Sci-fi setting.
Seeing these different worlds and alien races makes you want to explore this universe more and more.

- Well worth repeated watches.
Thanks to the war on the senses that this movie brings, you’ll want to watch it multiple times and it never gets dull thanks to being able to catch new details during each viewing.

What sucks:
- Minimal plot.
Let me clarify that it isn’t a bad plot. It’s just that it’s not all that important to the overall experience. This can easily be blamed on the fact that this is a movie about racing. This isn’t the usual standard fare of Anime where characters are trying to save the world or defeat some kind of enemy. The stakes just aren’t that high. While the danger and drama is there with these characters risking their lives to be in this race, there isn’t much more to it than that.

- Introducing too many characters.
No one gets a chance to shine because there are just too many involved. This is yet again more of an issue with the fact that the movie centers around racing. You need drivers (many of the cars have two drivers to ramp up that number), mechanics, announcers, spectators, and then you’ve got the antagonists of Roboworld and even the mafia involved. To top it off there are side characters introduced to either flesh out some of the racers or immerse us by showing off different alien species. The sheer number of characters is an almost insane amount for any movie to tackle and yet almost all of them are pretty necessary.

This is Kylak signing out to race to see how many more posts I can finish.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #23 Bakemonogatari


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What's it about?
Koyomi Araragi has just recently become a human again after his short time as a vampire. He continues to run into girls with supernatural oddities that affect their lives. Koyomi makes it his mission to help them with their problems but it isn't nearly as easy as it sounds and everyone begins to find what exactly they're hiding from themselves about their lives and what must be done to move on.

What rocks:
- Dialogue.
Ultimately this is a show about characters talking so there’s a lot of focus on the writing. Not only does this allow the characters to be fleshed out more than most characters of other Anime but it gives plenty of time to enjoy the interactions between the characters. You don’t have to worry about pacing either. Thanks to the visual style and the spastic nature of the show, you won’t be bored.

- Aeshetics.
The visual style is rather exciting just to watch. Everything has purpose: the cutaways that flash text on the screen, the art style changing on the fly, the character designs, the luminous effects, and even the environments. Rather than just cutting that thought off, I’ll dive a little deeper but half the fun is figuring it out on your own. Let’s take character designs for example: Hitagi’s stapler is similar to a crab’s claw and Mayoi’s backpack is similar to a snail’s shell. These are physical representations of their oddities (it’ll make sense once you watch it, trust me). Another example is the environments. The locations and placement of different objects all have a purpose such as creating a claustrophobic effect where characters are under pressure or expressing a character’s inner thoughts physically. It's incredible how well-thought-out this is.

- Comedy.
There are multiple layers to this as the show has many flavors of humor: wordplay, puns, shock humor, phrases, parodies (of major character archetypes in Anime), referential humor (referencing other shows like DBZ, Doraemon, and others), and metahumor.

- Romance.
It’s rare to see two characters in an Anime get together near the beginning and work on a relationship as the series progresses. Most Anime have the characters get together at the conclusion so I was glad to see this play out.

- Story arcs.
The show is split up into arcs that revolve around a particular character’s issue. Each of these stories involves a supernatural (vampires, crab gods, demons, etc.) oddity that’s affecting a character. The oddity is always related to something the character is actually going through rather than just being a supernatural problem. For example, Hitagi has become weightless thanks to an oddity but that’s also related to a very personal issue that I won’t spoil. Events in previous arcs still affect later arcs so things thankfully aren’t truly episodic. Each arc also has a different opening related to that character. Not only do the arcs really help the show keep focus but they help create that feel that each of these arcs is a different story much like the title of the show states (Bakemonogatari translates into Ghost Stories).

What sucks:
- The only thing that I could say sucks about this Anime is the very things that make it so wonderful. This show knows what it wants to do and it doesn’t try to please everyone. Give it a couple of episodes but if you aren’t into the feel the show has during that time then you aren’t going to enjoy it at all.

This is Kylak signing out and looking forward to the prequel and sequel coming out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #22 The Legend of the Legendary Heroes


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What's it about?
Ryner Lute is a talented mage for the kingdom of Roland who also happens to be the laziest person imaginable with the highest hopes for humanity. He's on a journey to find magic items across the land in the hopes of making his plan a reality. Ferris Eris is a talented warrior and assassin who prefers eating dango to just about anything. She's forced to accompany Ryner to keep him motivated even if that means beating the crap out of him. Sion Astal is the beloved King of Roland who wants to ensure Ryner's plans for humanity but finds himself troubled with his duties as King and the pain he wants to help prevent Ryner from facing. This is the story of these three and the surrounding Kingdoms at war with one another.

What rocks:
- Sword and Sorcery
It's rare these days to get a unique yet familiar D&D-esque fantasy/adventure Anime so this was rather refreshing. Plenty of Anime have the sword plus magic combo but not in the same realm as shows like Slayers, Scrapped Princess, or this.

- Anti-epic
So a dragon has just been summoned to run rampant in the forest? Well, the heroes should do the only reasonable thing a hero is expected to do right? Run away!

- Great cast
There's a very colorful and large cast that are actually very well developed (though that takes time). Unlike most Anime where side characters are very one-note or based around a gimmick, there isn't much if any of that going on regardless of the size of the cast. They're introduced slowly with proper pacing and never feel shoehorned into an episode as every character has very clear goals and motivations (though those are sometimes hidden until later for good reason). It's also nice to see another Anime demonstrate that war is grey as there doesn't seem to be any clear villains at work even if some characters can seem a bit malicious (war does that to people).

- Comedy
With how dark the show can get when contemplating morality and ideologies of what the world should be like, it's great that two of the three main characters themselves are the primary comedy relief of the series.

What sucks:
- Unfinished
There are some rather curious sub-plots and even main plots going on that either never get introduced until the end of the series or never get running until the end. It's rather obvious that this show has a lot more to tell but I'm not positive it will get that chance as the Anime didn't seem to be all of that popular even if the light novels are rather successful.

- A large cast
While I hit the highlights of the large cast earlier, it's also important to point out the pitfalls. There's almost no way possible to please everyone with such a large number of characters and by that I mean there are going to be characters you probably despise. Their appeal is going to be subjective and sometimes it's going to take a bit of understanding as to why a character might be the way they are as this show proves there is always a reason behind it.

- Slow setup
It takes time for the series to show its hand and the real direction it intends to go. There are some major hints early on but it doesn't hit full swing until later. Then it has to jump perspectives to another faction in the war and then it has to introduce a new plot twist that will interrupt what they were right in the middle of. Given, it feels more realistic this way as unexpected things do happen but it feels like the characters aren't able to get to their goal and that can lead to the show feeling like there is no rush to get anything done. There will be some who can't stomach this kind of pacing.

This is Kylak signing out and reminding you to get your adventuring gear and magic items ready before journeying into this Anime.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #21 Seitokai Yakuindomo


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I’m going to keep this short because there isn’t much to say about Seitokai Yakuindomo. It knows what it is and it only does what it knows: It’s a student council comedy show with lots of perverse humor split up into short scenes. All of the humor is hit or miss and while I’m personally not a fan of ecchi humor, I can honestly say that it never went too far and never managed to turn me away. Most of the cast is never fleshed out but they’re an interesting bunch to say the least and it’s not really a show that’s meant to have fully fleshed out characters since comedy is the focus. The verdict: I can’t recommend the show to most as there are better comedy shows out there but if you’ve exhausted your other resources or you simply just love perverted humor then this is the show for you.

This is Kylak signing out and sadly leaving you with the shortest of reviews this time around.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #20 Shiki


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In one sentence:
This is sorta kinda Salem’s Lot made into an Anime.

What rocks:
- The atmosphere.
The horror theme is played around with expertly here. Everything, from the art style and the haunting music to the opening as the flesh is torn off of bodies and blood drips over a skull, sets the tone to feel how bleak this show is. Some scenes throughout the show will actually keep you on edge or might even freak you out and I can’t think of another Anime that even came close to doing that. This encompasses what the show is and what makes it unique. If you’re into supernatural horror and mystery then look no further.

What sucks:
- The overall point of the show.
Once the show makes its point near the middle to end of the series, it keeps making that point repeatedly as it bashes you over the head with it. And then it keeps making that point repeatedly as it bashes you over the head with it. And then it keeps making that point…

- Too many characters.
While I enjoy the attention to detail, I think it was a bit overboard. The intent was to actually think up over 100 (not sure on the exact number) characters to map out who was being killed in the town and flesh out the town itself as these people all had names, faces, and personalities. This falls into the category of needlessly complex. Not only can the viewer not keep track of these characters but it takes time away from the main characters and doesn’t allow them a chance to shine or get fleshed out. To make matters worse, the characters you would want to never exist because they're such terrible people get a ton of screen time instead. That truly is horrific!

- The ending.
It barely feels like an ending. Too many things end abruptly, others are left unresolved, and the story just kind of stops moving forward as if they wrote themselves into a corner.

This is Kylak signing out and reminding you to never let the undead into your home no matter how friendly they may seem.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #19 Highschool of the Dead


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In one sentence:
Zombie apocalypse breaks out while high school students attempt to survive.

What rocks:
- While it’s kind of difficult to imagine the virus spreading as fast as it did, the show puts a lot of attention into details of what would occur during a zombie apocalypse of this magnitude and the way that people react as well as the events that occur are all very believable (even if the action scenes aren’t).

- Crazy over the top action is always enjoyable to watch and there’s plenty of it to go around. We’re talking "defy gravity" kind of over the top.

- It’s not just the zombies that are the threat but other people as well. This creates an interesting dynamic that most zombie shows/movies don’t emphasize or they just leave out entirely.

- Some of the main cast. A few of these are great characters that you can really get behind. Edit: people are going to take that as a double entendre aren't they?

What sucks:
- Fan service. Not just because I’m not really a fan of it but because it detracts from the atmosphere and events in the show. It’s zombies nomming on bodies one second and pantie shots and flailing boobs the next. Those don’t really seem to go together.

- The lack of an ending. The manga wasn’t finished at the time so they decided to cut things short and leave it open to finish the series later on. While I’m glad they didn’t plan on an Anime original ending, it’s still a bummer that it’s left unfinished and I’m not sure if there’s word yet when or if there will be another season. If there are still plans to finish this then take this off of the suck factor but until then it stays.

- The recaps. It’s a short series as it is and recaps aren’t necessary at all. I realize that they had to cut corners on the budget here to make the show look as good as it does but this show doesn’t need to be held together with cardboard tape.

- Some of the main cast. There are a few characters that can easily get on your nerves and I think I would have preferred a different group dynamic than what is setup.

If you’re looking for zombies, gore, and fan-service (all three of which are in copious amounts) then this is your show. That being said, I’m not very fond of any of those three things and yet I still had fun watching the series so that says something.

This is Kylak signing out to survive this never ending fan-service apocalypse.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #18 Gundam 08th MS Team


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In one sentence:
Romeo and Juliet with Gundams.

I think it could be easily argued that this is one of the best Gundam shows ever made but that would be doing it a disservice because it's a great show in general.

What's it about?
On one side we have Shiro Amada fighting for the Earth Federation. He's being deployed to Earth as a commander for the 8th Mobile Suit team (hence the title of the series). On the other side we have Aina Sahalin fighting for the Principality of Zeon. She's being deployed to Earth as the pilot who will test the powerful prototype mobile suits the Zeon are developing. Both will face the hardships of what their sides of the war demand of them on top of finding their place in a war torn universe.

What rocks?
- It doesn’t stick to the Gundam formula.
I'm not going to dive too much into this. I think we can all agree that more than enough Gundam series are literally the same story of the original Gundam retold for a new era with possibly a new gimmick to make it feel fresh other than the new paint job. 08th MS Team tells its own story instead of recreating the experience of the original Gundam yet again.

- War is grey.
Unlike most Gundam shows, there isn’t one side cast as the villains. There are “heroes” and “villains” on both sides of the war. Everyone has their motivations for what they do including those who are sick of the fighting which is at the core of the story.

- A love story.
As I mentioned before, this is closer to a Romeo and Juliet story. The two main characters will have to fight all odds to try and be together amidst the chaos of war and the fact that they’re fighting for different sides brings up the issue of where their loyalties lie.

What sucks:
- It isn’t the typical Gundam series.
This could scare others away but I’m hoping it doesn’t.

- Older animation style.
Even though this was an OVA series, it was made some time ago and it shows. Overall I think it still fits the series rather nicely but it may be a turn off to some.

This is Kylak signing out and being deployed to Earth to finish more posts.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #17 Star Driver


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What's it about?
Takuto is found washed up on the shore of Southern Cross Island where he goes to school there by day and by night he takes on the mysterious organization known as the Glittering Crux Brigade. They fight in a separate dimension known as Zero Time in mecha called Cybodies that only exist in that dimension. Both sides attempt to uncover the secrets of one another all while attempting to make it through their regular lives at school and the love triangles they find themselves in.

What rocks!
- Style across the board, vibrant colors for just about everything, and interesting mecha designs keep you coming back for more.

- The story arcs for the side characters/villains are incredibly intriguing and pretty original. It’s a shame that they aren’t the focus of the show as you’ll want more of them and less of the main characters.

- Love triangles and highschool drama set the stage.

- Some of the smoothest animation.

- Stellar soundtrack.

What sucks!
- So much lost potential! There are angels losing their wings as we speak and crashing to the depths below. This was rather painful because this series had a lot to give but it never managed to escape its own obvious mistakes and it mostly all boils down to one thing: repetitiveness. The kind of repetitiveness that can only be achieved by setting a laser light on the wall and watching as the cat jumps endlessly hoping to catch it until it becomes exhausted.

It’s like Power Rangers all over again. Only certain side stories break up this atrocious loop. Here’s the formula for almost every single episode: This week’s villain is introduced. They interact with the main character(s) in person. Then there is a mecha battle that involves the main character easily gaining the upper hand over his opponent no matter what. The other characters sit off to the sidelines just watching everything that goes on. Oh and at some point in the episode there will be implied sexual tension between at least two characters.

-The three main characters. You’re going to love them or hate them. Even if you do love them, you’re going to have to admit that they’re pretty boring in comparison to almost every other character in this show and that’s really a shame. The main male character is a mary stue, the other pretends to be interesting by being mysterious, and the girl is just a blank slate that never gets developed.

I have mixed feelings about this show. I personally enjoyed it overall but the constant repetition truly can be rage inducing. I recommend watching the first episode and seeing what you think of it as its one of the few shows out there that the first episode really is a proper example/demo of the show itself (most shows have to build up slowly into their own identity).

This is Kylak signing out. Kiraboshi!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wicked Anime Reviews #16 Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)


Anime reviews delivered directly to the face!

What's it about?
Rin Okumura has always struggled at finding his place in the world but his foster father Shiro, a priest, continues to push him forward. Shortly after his twin brother left for True Cross Academy, Rin discovers that he's the son of Satan. After a horrible incident at the Church, as Satan attempted to reclaim Rin from the human world, Rin decides to do whatever is necessary to become an Exorcist like his foster father and defeat Satan himself.

What rocks:
- It has a rather explosive start that really sets a solid foundation for the rest of the series. Laying out those bricks was rather clever instead of the small paper cups some Anime shows expect you to stand on.

- The level of quality for the visuals is incredible.

- This series is full of emotional moments that will tug at your heartstrings and really get you invested in the main character and what he has to go through. Grab those tissue boxes.

- There’s actually awesome filler. In fact, you won’t even be able to notice most of it (Except the god forsaken Squid episode. Freaking shit!) because the filler actually progresses the plot and fleshes out characters the way a normal episode should. This is filler done right.

What sucks:
- Many major characters never really get to shine or even get fleshed out. A primary reason for this is that the manga is still ongoing (still fleshing them out) and half of this show is Anime original content so there wasn’t enough time or source material to work with. You could almost argue that this is a strong point since I’m saying I want to see more of these characters. Also it’s important to note that the ones that do get time to shine are beyond great.

- Even though it’s already finished with only 25 episodes, it’s left open-ended on purpose and while it’s great that they could pick up where they left off, it feels like they’ve concluded all that was necessary with the Anime original ending. So by trying to have it both ways, they’ve shown they couldn’t commit either way and it comes off as half-assed.

This is Kylak signing out because I'm already an Exorcist. No, seriously. My toilet was reeking with something demonic before I flushed it.

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