Monday, 01 May 2006 00:00

Renkin 3-kyū Magical? Pokān (TV, 2006)

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Overview

What do you get when you stick four princesses from the underworld into a big tree-house in the middle of a modern day world? Well... it's complicated, actually. That's because Renkin 3-kyuu Magical Pokan doesn't quite seem to be certain of what it wants to be, a serious story or corny childish entertainment. For instance, going by the OP sequence, I'd think that Magical Pokan was not only a serious story, but a thickly occult style series with a predisposition toward shojo-ai plot. On the other hand, I could look at the first half-episode, and think that it was a children's cartoon with some nicely bouncing bonuses for young adult males that happen to catch it.

Sunday, 23 April 2006 00:00

Tactical Roar (TV, 2006)

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Overview

Now, here's an admittedly less than original idea on the outset. What happens if you take a naval battleship 'manned' entirely by women... and drop a single, quiet young man on it? And, being that this is an anime crew, it's a given that the girls aren't going to be your average rank and file members of the navy - especially given that this is actually what amounts to a mercenary ship. Thus we have the crew of the Pascal Magi, including their newest member, Hyousuke. A heavy, though outdated by the standards of Tactical Roar's world, destroyer class vessel hired out by the Haru-Nico Insurance Agency. So why, you might ask, does an insurance agency have a need for a heavy destroyer? Things are a little different in the world of Tactical Roar, with the major problem being a massive hurricane over the Pacific called the Grand Roar. This hurricane is so large that it is self-supporting and stationary. The power it displays has altered wind and pressure currents on a global scale, making air travel considerably more difficult, and so a second naval age has begun.

Sunday, 16 April 2006 00:00

Hellsing Ultimate (OVA, 2006)

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Overview

There are those out there that have been waiting for this since the moment the Hellsing TV series started. Something was always a bit off, after all, even in the very beginning of the show. It seemed as though it was following the manga, but the wary had reason for caution, as came quite clear by the end of the fourth episode. Despite the fact that Hellsing TV was good, it was considered so bad by series creator Kohta Hirano that he refused to have anything further to do with it. Thus was born Hellsing Ultimate, an OVA series in which Hirano took far more personal involvement to ensure that it stayed true to the manga storyline. And y'know what? He did a kickass job of it.

Sunday, 26 March 2006 00:00

Full Metal Alchemist (TV, 2003)

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Overview

I'm sure that fans of Cartoon Network will recognize this series, and now that it's finished its run on CN, I figured it'd be a good time to review it. For those that don't have cable - or won't touch CN with a ten foot pole, the series in question is Fullmetal Alchemist. Now, FMA actually qualifies as one of those series that's fun to watch, but not really worth watching. I'm sure that I've just pissed off a fair number of fangirls - probably a few fanboys too - but I'll explain as I work my way through this review. For the uninitiated, FMA follows the fortunes of Edward and Alphonse Elric, a pair of brothers with a deadbeat dad and a mother who grows ill and passes away early on in their life. The world that they live in, though, is a world of Alchemy rather than one of science - I'll come back to this later - and so, after going out into the world for a few years and training with a teacher, they come back to their hometown and try to bring her back to life through alchemy and its first law, that of equivalent exchange.

Saturday, 11 March 2006 00:00

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (TV, 2003)

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Overview

Do I have to? I mean, honestly, for Sailor Moon?! Very well, if I must. From the Depths of a Hell Dimension come the long exiled forces of the Dark Kindom led by Queen Beryl and her four generals to subjugate and consume the planet of Earth. The only thing standing between us and total annhilation are the powers of five...okay, five and a half untested girls: Sailor Mars, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Venus, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Luna, and Sailor Moon. And who knows, they might be able to do it too, if they can get their act together, work as a team, balance relationships with the opposite sex, and get all their school work done. Sorry, no goth girl with a planet destroying polearm this time unfortunately.

Thursday, 26 January 2006 20:26

Onegai Teacher (TV, 2002)

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Overview

I wasn't going to check this series out, actually, as the high school drama usually isn't my sort of thing. None the less, after much cajoling on the part of K`thardin, I decided to pick it up - after all, who can resist a cute babe with glasses and red hair? Besides which, by the time that I finally took the plunge, I'd begun to grow curious about the main character, who seemed very much to have split personality disorder, from all the artwork I'd seen of her. One, the cool, cute, and composed school teacher, the other, the sexy, and decidedly hot babe that traipsed about in a silk teddy that I could only describe as... skimpy. In any case, locating the series wasn't very hard, and very soon I was enjoying my first meeting with Mizuho Kazami.

Monday, 23 January 2006 13:42

Furi Kuri (OVA, 2000)

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Overview

Somewhere out there is a little yellow Vespa scooter that's got more miles on it than the Starship Enterprise, and riding it is a madwoman who likes to do Hendrix impersonations on people's foreheads. If you're having trouble picturing the two together, don't worry, because I can almost promise you that the effect is intended - FLCL doesn't make sense until you've watched all the way through it at least three times - and then only if you're really, really paying attention. Despite numerous attempts by friends to get me to watch FLCL, and the easy availability thanks to CN's surprisingly lightly edited version, I actually avoided watching Furi Kuri for a fair while. For all outward appearances, after all, it was in the same category of 'humor' as shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Home Movies, Southpark - indeed, FLCL even has a few scenes that directly mime Southpark's 'animation' - and so on. When I finally DID get around to watching, though, I was pleasantly surprised.

Friday, 13 January 2006 06:29

Ushio & Tora (OVA, 1987)

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Overview

I dunno if anybody else has ever heard of this title, but it's one of the old crop of anime, released before CN and even Sci-Fi Saturday Anime even existed. It dates back to the same era as Record of Lodoss Wars and Bubblegum Crisis, and it shows in the animation. Compared to today's stuff, it's rough, some might even go so far as to say gritty. Personally, I rather like that; it adds a sort of more realistic effect to the animation than today's computer generated animation does. Anyway, Ushio and Tora revolves about a young man who finds a tiger-like demon pinned to the wall of his family shrine's basement...

Thursday, 12 January 2006 00:00

Onegai Teacher (TV, 2002)

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Overview

Kei Kusanagi, who at first glance looks to be your typical anime spineless wuse, dreams the dreams of a teenage boy one night looking at the stars...only to see what appears to be a gorgeous woman in light later descend from what may have been a starship. Turns out said woman is in fact an alien by the name of Mizuho Kazami and has secured for herself a job as a his homeroom teacher in order to observe and study the goings on of Earth. Problem is, Kei knows what she is, and she cannot let that go without securing his silence...which sparks off a unique chain of events where Kei actually winds up married to the pretty alien, but what happens after is even more intriguing.

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