Rebuild Revisited: “another version of the truth”

In the years I’ve spent writing about the anime medium, it has never been far away. The Neon Genesis Evangelion legacy is something akin to holy skrit in fan circles, as much as it is anathema to them. It’s the kind of show that can make or break you depending on the you that is watching it. And for my part, it has remained as one of the pinnacles of visual media for its boldness, means to thrill, and heartbreaking sincerity. So when I feel the need to further examine a more high-ticket, CG-drowned take on what was ostensibly one of my favorite shows of all time, you best believe that it is going to come with a little added baggage.

My love for the original television series knows few bounds. Far beyond the ruffage of endless message board debates, strange theories, and online fan one-upmanship, this was a story that despite all the problems plaguing it, connected with so many on a human level rarely witnessed in any kind of television series. It felt as if many of us had been shaken to the bones by it, and remained unsure as of what it was that stepped over our graves. And likely the older the anime fan you were, the heavier the whole thing felt. Evangelion was that perfect typhoon of concept & emotion, brought to a scathing boil by the tatters of feeling most human. And yet so many adhered to a need for mathematical cohesiveness where little of it was truly necessary. EVA was just that perfect melody at that perfect time when the notes seemed most desperate for change. A notion that possibly rings more loudly than ever, daring us to look deeper into infinity for inspiration.

It was a rally call to souls in need of affirmation, only to allow it to be recognized sans any real chance in taking the first steps. This is where Rebuild comes in.

ATTENTION: This Mostly Spoiler-Free Post Contains Some Delicate Speculation On Rebuild Of Evangelion, as well as on the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series and films. (You’ve Been Warned)

Continue reading Rebuild Revisited: “another version of the truth”

B gata H kei – Yamada is MY Wifu – ore no yome

All right, I’m calling it. Yamada is my woman…Er…2D woman, that is. Although I’m faithful and have no interest in building harems in the 2D world or 3D world, I do declare that I want Yamada for myself. Damn straight. XD Of course, you’re welcome to challenge me in a cyber-mortal combat over her, but my pen is mightier than your sword and my tongue is more deadly than a viper’s, so be prepared to lose! OK, onto the reason why I like this character a lot. Don’t worry about spoilers, it really doesn’t mean much in this case. WARNING: STRONG OTAKU MALE BIAS AFTER THE CUTAWAY.

Continue reading B gata H kei – Yamada is MY Wifu – ore no yome

It Came From Netflix! – Queen’s Blade Volume 1

From the depth of the DVD queue directly to your computer screen… It Came From Netflix!   Welcome to Anime Diet’s newest regular review feature focusing on dubbed anime.  I’ve been meaning to do reviews of DVDs/Blu-Rays available in the US for quite a while, specifically dubs because I feel it is an untapped topic on Anime Diet.   I know dubs get a bad rap, but really the “bad anime dub” is a tired cliché.  True there are “bad” dubs, but recently they are becoming fewer and far between.  Some dubs are downright awesome, as good or better than the original Japanese in my opinion (Cowboy Bebop, Black Lagoon, and GitS: Stand Alone Complex spring to mind), but that’s an argument for another day.

With Netflix’s nearly endless selection of anime at my fingertips, reviewing new anime releases will be a snap (Get it? Fingertips? Snap? Ha!), so I decided to kick off this feature with the recent DVD release of an Anime Diet favorite, Queen’s Blade.

Once every four years, the greatest women warriors in the world compete in a tournament to determine who will be the new ruling Queen of the land.   Reina… er I mean Leina, daughter of the noble Count Vance, unhappy with her lot in life, enters the tournament even though she has no experience as a fighter and routinely gets her (bare) butt kicked.  Despite this she never gives up and keeps fighting, improving her skills in her quest to become Queen.  Along the way she befriends the benevolent thief Risty, and develops a bond with her that keeps Leina going when times get tough.   On the other side of the coin, Shrine Priestess Tomoe, in an effort to protect her homeland and her people also travels to compete in the tournament accompanied by her friend Shizuka, the Ninja.  The show follows these two story arcs, alternating focus between episodes.

The story is pretty standard of fantasy anime, and one has to wonder if without Queen’s Blade’s famous excessive fan service and insinuating imagery innuendo, if the show would have had anything to make it stand out amongst the hundreds of similar shows that have come before.  Not to say the show is bad, far from it.  It is very entertaining and fun, but it is not deep.   The first four episodes do a decent job setting up the world and introducing the main characters, but these episodes don’t really get into the real meat and potatoes of the story (in fact I would say this series doesn’t do that until season 2).

Visually, you can tell that Media Blaster’s believes in this series and really pulled out all the stops with this release.  The DVD looks great, an excellent transfer for a gorgeously animated show, which isn’t surprising as a majority of the appeal of Queen’s Blade begins with its visuals.  The show has excellent character designs that are unique and interesting, and it’s overt sexuality and fan service hooks you into watching, slowly drawing you into its story of friendship, honor, family, and revenge, all wrapped up in a Victoria’s Secret lingerie box.

The dub, however, is less than perfect unfortunately.  Especially in the first episode, where it is obvious the voice actresses did not record together.  This isn’t unusual for anime dubs, but here it is particularly noticeable.  Their dialogue and reactions do not seem to match up at times and it can be very jarring and distracting.  Subsequent episodes get slightly better, but it really feels like Media Blasters has a few kinks they still need to work out.  Also some of the voices just seemed a little off, not quite fitting the character they were portraying, but hopefully this will also improve as the series progresses and the actors grow more comfortable with their roles.   It was not unwatchable by any means, but honestly is was a below average dub, and if that really turns you off the disc also has the original Japanese audio and subtitles available.

The DVD also has some nice extras, including two non-canon OVAs, textless opening and ending themes, TV spots, trailers and promotional videos.  The most significant extras are undoubtedly the OVAs, which are little more than seven minute clothes shredding, jiggle fests but you really can’t help but snicker, smile, and enjoy them.

This is a good release.  A more polished English dub would have been nice, but the fun story, interesting characters, ample amounts of fan service, great visual transfer, and enjoyable extras make up for it.  I’m hoping that they find their groove soon and get the dub on track with future releases, but overall, for fans of fantasy anime or fan service or both, this is a worthy addition  to your DVD collection.

Queen’s Blade: Wandering Warrior
Volume #1: A Single Step
Media Blasters – Anime Works
Released: May 18th, 2010
Episodes:  1- 4
Running Time:  1 hr. 40 min.

Story – 3   Visuals – 5  Dub – 2   Extras – 4


Scoring System –
5 – Treasure It
4 – Buy It
3 – Rent It
2 – Trash It
1 – Destroy It

NOTE:  Yes, I am aware I more or less panned a dub in the same article where I said most dubs are great.  Shush…

Eva 2.22 you CANNOT advance – eh.

All right, all right. I know many of you loved it. And I’ll admit. If I get to see it on the BD version, I’d probably be blown away. But here’s the thing: without the BD enhancement, it did not deliver. It just didn’t meet my standard (standard, hah). So, let me continue the blasphemy from here.

Continue reading Eva 2.22 you CANNOT advance – eh.

Welcome to Anime Diet 5.0! (and Welcome Aniblog Tourney Readers)

Welcome to the latest incarnation of Anime Diet! This is the sixth major revision of the website since its founding as Scattered Cels in late 2006, though the last one was more of an evolutionary upgrade. This one is a bit more radical, as you can see. We hope that things are a bit less cluttered and more clear with this new, clean layout, which is based on Maimpok by Padd Solutions.

We would also like to extend a warm welcome to readers coming in from the Aniblog Tourney. Thanks for coming to Anime Diet–we’ve been around for a while and we feel we have a lot to offer in the way of reviews, podcasts, and convention coverage. (There’s even more con coverage at our Youtube channel.) We would greatly appreciate your votes in the tournament, of course!

One of the beneficial side effects has been that many bloggers have received constructive comments. We welcome those as well, in our comments section as well as on the relevant page at the Tourney site.

Thanks for visiting! Again, if after visiting our worthy counterpart Anime Princess you decide you prefer us–vote Anime Diet in the tourney!

Claymore Petition Comments Memorial

Update: Madhouse doesn’t seem to give a damn and caved in for Marvel’s (MY GOD, Marvel?) junk hollywood property, Iron Man! Blasphermous! Let’s email bomb Madhouse at ! Show them that we, the fans around the world, actually matters!

Dear Claymore Supportors:

I guess I’m beating a dead horse. After all, we never got any replies or news about a second season. What was particularly sad was that “KURORO” never updated with any replies, even though he initiated the petition. Unlike the Ouran Host Club petition‘s initator, who promised to send the petition to the studio and to update people on the progress, Kuroro was probably just another lazy-ass motherfucker. In any event, I thought I’d put up the screen caps of signatures of people who did give a damn. At least we tried. Thanks to everyone who participated in the phenomenon.

Click individual pics to see the names after the cutaway. Sorry if your name isn’t on the scrapbook WARNING: The files are large and may take a while to load. Trolls will be blacklisted.

Continue reading Claymore Petition Comments Memorial

Film Review:The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya

A child of the 80s, I grew up in time to become an instant fan of Robert Zemeckis’s Back To The Future. A film as much about self-discovery as it ever is about tinkering with alternate dimensions. The adventures of a young man who’s strange fortune lands him 30 years before, to the days of his parents, only to endanger the future consumation of their marriage and thereby threatening his own existence was a brilliant throwback to the best of Capra. It’s A Wonderful Life for the Reagan-era is not too far a stratch for a film dealing with alternate realities, amidst a cinematically mundane setting. It also worked largely due to its colorful cast of characters, hair-pulling predicaments, and epic music. But the film’s core appeal at least to me was the core relationship between wizard & student. Why mention this uber mainsream offering from Hollywood? Because it was the first film to come to mind upon watching The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya. A film not too far removed from the memories of Marty McFly, albeit in a far more reflexively meta tone with just a touch of, dare I say it? Melancholy.

Continue reading Film Review:The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya

The not-so weak sauce of this season

OK yeah, despite my rant, there are shows this season that I do like without finding any major negative flaws. It may be due to personal preference or maybe I’m just right? Who knows? Let’s get to these:

Continue reading The not-so weak sauce of this season