Freezing 04 rulez and scares the lolicons away

BH:huh huh huh huh huh…Whoa…I saw some…titties!

BV: Where? Where! Where?!

BH: It’s…right there, dude!

BV: Whoa! Yeah yeah yeah…I see them!

BH: This is…possibly…THE BEST SHOW EVER!!!

OK. Now I’m over the B&B reaction frenzy, let’s talk about why I like this show so far (does anyone really need to hear more).

1. Awesome fighting action

Are you kidding me? I thought for sure they’d skimpy…I mean skimp out on everything, but when Satellizer is in a bath and totally naked, I mean you can just see her floatation device. but when these ladies fight, they mean serious business. AND CLOTH BREAKER REALLY HELPS. And it’s so cool that each lady stands her ground I AM FAPPING LIKE A HAPPY OTAKU in order to keep her beliefs. After all, that’s why people fight, riiiiiiiight? Forget clothes, there’s skin!

(Oops)

2. The pacing of the show works for me.

It’s obviously going to be a 13 episode series so everything is introduced pretty quickly. That said, because there is really not much to follow they really follow the manga pretty well and I read the manga (fappingly happy), I can follow everything. They DID skimp out the emotional parts where we get to learn exactly what happened to Marin and Ingrid in the past. Other than that, the show kicks nearly everything up a few notches.

That said, I HATE the Pandora mode here. It’s ugly and it sucks unless the girls are going to fight naked later in Pandora Mode and I wish they just give them the armored look.

3. It’s beautiful grown women fighting, which scares the loli-cons to tears.

What, you can’t face beautiful, well developed women fighting in an anime? You pussies! I feel that it’s great that we get well-developed (heh heh heh) characters fighting seriously in a girl VS girl situation. The tension is unbearable and the seriousness of the issues really gets to me. I mean, you know me. I personally like women with big breasts and nice body duking it out and beating the crap out of each other…

(Oops again)

OK, all right. Look, good fights, decent characters, easy on the eye girls showing you everything that men AND lesbians want. Plus decent plots. There is nothing for me to hate.

I LLLLLLLLLOVE T&A MATCHES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SEX! AND VIOLENCE! SEX! AND VIOLENCE!

Hell yeah highly recommended. You bet your ass Scott highly recommended. 20 (forget 10) pistol salutes recommended.

Wolverine 03 04 continues the action

You know there is a point where there is too much action? Well, this show comes dangerously close to it. But anyhow, here’s how I feel about it so far.

A. it’s American.

Nothing wrong with that. I feel that you could put this on Saturday morning cartoons if you want. The drawing is Japanese-style American. Yukio, the ninja woman played by the awesome Romi Park, looks just like an American comic character. Then again, thanks to one of our readers, I learned that the story arc in this show probably comes from an old story from Wolverine (circa 1979). It’s a good plot, don’t get me wrong.

B. it’s action packed.

Hello, Omega Red! For people like me who didn’t know much about Wolverine and Omega Red, the back story/memory segments weaved into episode four was a welcome addition. For other people who know about Omega Red, it was probably unnecessary. In any event, the show never really stops. Wolverine is constantly fighting. There isn’t a moment for real conversation or character exploration. I don’t know, I feel it probably works for people who already know about Wolverine but for me, it’s starting to overload my senses. The shitty thing about being a veteran anime watcher and a critic is that you lose that sense of freshness. If I were 18 again and watching this, I’d give it all 10’s. But now I wish there’s some character exploration and plot progression. The show screams: “I’m cool.” And it is. It’s just not saying anything else.

C. I want to see Mariko does more/I wish Romi gets better lines.

I really wish she is given more personality. Or does more. Or whatever. So far, she’s not had any opportunity to do anything. That’s kind of disappointing. But what gets to me is that Romi, who is an awesome voice actress, hasn’t had many good lines, if any. I get it, it’s all about Wolverine, that’s where Marvel’s funding is. But I honestly wish there’s a little more. For that matter, Wolverine has been fighting nearly every minute for the four episodes that he hardly has anything to say. I get that, too. That’s Wolverine for ya. But even Wolverine has something to say from time to time. In an anime, I expect him to say more. He’s rough and tough but he’s smart and resourceful. Or I think he’s supposed to be.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great action and great animation. And if you’re not a critic, then forget about what I said and just enjoy the fights. But I’m a hard motherfucker to please and that’s why I’m looking for a little more.

Still recommended.

P.S. I don’t know…is Omega Red ALWAYS CONSTIPATED???

La Corda d’Oro – lots of pretty guys, and classical music.

La Corda d’Oro
Written and Drawn by Yuki Kure.
Published by Viz Media. 184 pages. 2006. $8.99

Just when I believe that there wasn’t going to be another show just like Nodame Cantabile, came to my awareness about this series several years ago as an anime. Then I picked up the manga to read. The basic premises of the story focus on Hino Kahoko, who got picked to play in a school music competition even though she doesn’t even know how to play any instruments herself. She meets a lot of people, and finds potential in maturing with a genuine passion for music.

Originally this series was  inspired by a role playing video game. La Corda d’Oro eventually had two anime seasons, and various compact disc releases. This book series is probably a good read for any reader who enjoys reading about classical music, and of individual determination to adapt to a situation.

This series also has a reverse harem, so it is clearly targeted toward the female audience. Harems have a particular following within manga/anime culture. A main character, and then a group of the opposite gender. Of course nearly everyone in the group falls for the main character or is significantly affected by their presence and relationship. You see it in Tenchi Muyo, Ranma 1/2, Vandread or Love Hina. Those series appeal to the male audience though. Of course with reverse harem, there the girl with a lot of really cute guys. Fushigi Yuugi, Fruits Basket, Ooku, and Ouran High School Host Club fit the bill for this one.

Of course with the harem element, there is a variety of character types, and so an individual can have a favoring or leaning toward as the one true pairing. There are a lot of men in this series, and I can mention with a straight face that I find my preference in the pairing of Kahoko and Kazuki, even though it appears that Kahoko potentially likes Len the best.

At the moment there is 12 volumes in English, and volume 13 will be released in March. This is still an on going manga series in which, the English has successfully been adapted right alongside the Japanese, so there is no worry about playing catch up with this series.

For potential read alike, of course there’s going to be a long list of potential shoujo choices. La Corda D’Oro already has an interesting perspective that is really not as covered by a lot of other manga at the moment out there. For classical music similarities, there is Nodame Cantabile. For reverse harem there’s Ouran High School Host Club since more than one male falls for Haruhi, not as much as for Kahoko though. Lastly for the inclusion of fairies or other worldly guardians, Shugo Chara, or Full Moon wo Sagashite fit the bill for this.

This really is a female targeted title, so I potentially won’t see guys enjoying this title as much. Any different opinions? Of course I am in the crowd that definitely found similarity with shonen manga, once a reader got over the so many shoujo cliche moments. The main character finds strength and determination to succeed in an area, there are conflicts for the main character. There is friendship, although there is the every popular shoujo idea of an ideal match.

Poignent words, and definitely a scene of change/growth.

Madoka Magica: The Killing Kindness

Madoka Magica, the best show of this season, is about something deeper than Faustian bargains or even death, grief, and loneliness. It’s about how the desire to do good in the face of such darkness can end up creating more of it.

Continue reading Madoka Magica: The Killing Kindness

Winter 2011 Season: Audio Impressions!

The Cart Driver is to be thanked for his public services.

On a whim, Ray and I decided to record impressions of nine shows from this current season! It’s our first recording of any sort in a while, and so forgive the sound imperfections and other issues. (Technical difficulties prevented most recordings in the past.) In this, we briefly discuss Wolverine, Madoka Magica, Gosick, Fractale, Wandering Son, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?, Freezing, Infinite Stratos, and Dragon Crisis. Most are initial impressions based on the first 2-3 episodes at most. It’s also mostly major spoiler free!

Anyways—enjoy this lightly edited recording. More to come…

Show Order/Agenda

  • (00:00 – 02:08) Introduction
  • (02:09 – 05:19) Wolverine
  • (05:20 – 13:54) Madoka Magica
  • (13:55 – 18:28) Gosick
  • (18:28 – 23:51) Fractale
  • (23:51 – 25:23) Wandering Son
  • (25:23 – 30:02) Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
  • (30:02 – 33:48) Freezing
  • (33:48 – 35:01) Infinite Stratos
  • (35:01 – 39:21) Dragon Crisis
  • (39:21 – end) Conclusion

Kimi ni Todoke – A look between the anime and the manga.

Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You
Story and Art by Karuho Shiina.
Published by Viz Media. 216 pages. 2009. $8.99

How many ways can I justify Kimi ni Todoke? It certainly impressed two of Anime Diet’s other writers to have written past blog entries about it. (Even I got into writing about the anime for a little bit on my blog.)

Ray’s Take -01
Mike’s Take on Why I like Sawako
Mike’s Mild Therapy Entry
Mike’s 8-9
Mike’s Midway Point
animemiz initial impression
animemiz Midway point

There is also the second season that currently airing in Japan this anime season. If you do enjoy the anime greatly, then you definitely should check out the manga version. The anime version can be a draw for visual people, but manga reading has subtle nuances that rely an internal feeling that is only produced by the reader. That’s how I felt when I read the first book. There are also more spoken in the manga that is otherwise overlooked in the anime.

Still upon reading the manga, there are some drawbacks… for one if you read the manga before seeing the anime, there are some expectations in seeing what is animated or not. Then there is disappointment when the bits are not animated. Another is the obvious five senses used of course. Reading uses only the sight, but watching is sight and sounds. Smells is also another condition that is for your discretion of course.

Kimi ni Todoke is an extremely innocent and slow paced high school romance. This may not be a realistic reality for many people, but this is definitely an ideal one from a very proper approach. Meeting someone who you want to be with for the rest of your life, having that same feeling return and maintaining a relationship is not going to be an easy thing to occur.

I don’t believe I have ever seen a male protagonist blush as much as what Kazehaya does. The manga has themes of friendship, acceptance, understanding, and inner beauty. There is not as much conflicts that Sawako should overcome, other than her own confidence on being accepted in spite of other school situation. Sawako is a shy and introverted girl with a “scary” face.

I definitely have pretty high hopes to see more of this series soon, so that’s my thoughts of this series at the moment. There has been six volumes with a seventh coming out soon in English and Japanese. This is one series that definitely has caught up with the Japanese version.

Kare Kano and High School Debut may be similar manga reads. Both are shoujo titles with teen relationships in it, but that is where similarities may end. Kimi ni Todoke has an interesting premise that please a reader who is patient enough with the relationship being developed slowly.

So everyone's pretty scared of her... but the art's pretty cute?

The Fractale Debacle:Backpedaling, or Sign Of The Times?

Figured it’d be good to go ahead and share some words regarding the recent simulcast/streaming pull-out over the piracy of Yamakan’s latest series, Fractale. A series which only premiered last week, has experienced what has slowly become a popular occurrence. Bringing to mind the Oreimo pull that occurred via ANN late last year, this strange practice of supposedly having all ramparts covered for a legal means of display on screens nationwide, only to become threatened by a minority of eager folks seems less like a precautionary measure, and more a case of not understanding how the streaming model works.

Because on one hand, we have the system in place where the series can be shown in specified regions, all the while paid for by the use of online ads to pay for the space. Not unlike the way television had long done so. This is something that has been in the works for some time it seems, and yet perhaps frightens some due to it not making anywhere near the numbers some are used to with this type of entertainment. And on the other, as mentioned, this is a young system, filled with perilous gaps, and prone to wavering amounts of doubt as to whether this actually assures anyone on both sides of the Atlantic any real profitability. This is still very much Frontierland as far as many have seen, and has been a point of debate since legal streaming has become mainstream.

Or could it perhaps mean something more fundamentally basic than merely not understanding this young means of anime distribution? Again, one should not merely look at the recent Asahi Shinbun article as a point to contest as Yamamoto is merely a head staffer on the artist side of matters. (But the article should provide some good hint of what was to come) In the end, this is an issue decided by his producers, folks who for one reason or another saw a leak, and reacted in an overwrought, yet predictable fashion. Their onus for sure is to protect their investment, but to not consider the dangers inherent in online distribution seems more than a little retroactive, and not to mention silly for a society once known as a technological powerhouse. Now the details of the alleged act of piracy are sketchy at best, but to not consider the always present danger amidst the internet seems insulting, so in the name of giving the benefit of the doubt, perhaps there is another reason for this. A new development in the history of this show’s production/promotion?

Again, this is all speculation, but could it be a combination of a growing lack of faith in the streaming model,coupled with a more old-school way of looking at a valued product? Even Gundam 0079 was a long-prized title that asked for wildly high amounts before a distribution deal was ever made. As silly as this may sound, perhaps members of the Fractale Production Committee see something we don’t, and have taken it upon themselves to rethink the entire deal. (possibly only seeing salvation in physical sales?) Stranger things have, and can happen. Again, I’m not beyond them merely being reactionary, and desperate to save what they see as a potentially expensive project from being pillaged. But it does stand to reason that many in Japan still hold tight to older models of selling their product, and feel compelled to keep it this way.

Does it still make sense? Not really. Does this move truly combat piracy? Nope. But when a business is unable to see the possibilities, and remain unwilling to discuss it with progress in mind, events like this may continue to cut artists & writers off at the knees. It is this, coupled with a growing dearth of talent in Japan that will kill anime as we know it. But sometimes, it feels like impatient ones, as well as producers wear similar blindfolds to what can potentially save it.

Yamakan may wish to consider the globe with Fractale, but his investors may feel fiscally otherwise.

Wolverine 2 defines non-stop action

Without giving too much action, which would overload our senses. Remember a movie called “Chain Reaction”, which starred Cuba Goodin Jr. and Adam Sandler (I think it was Adam Sandler)? Of course not. The movie really had NON-STOP ACTION FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE! Hate reading all capital letters? That’s what the movie felt like. But this anime, this Madhouse adaptation of Wolverine, does it just right.

The plot…Well, it’s like, Madhouse people said “Eh. Let’s wing it and use something old.” So they did. We know Asano won’t live long. So be it. We know Logan can’t get his girl back yet. So be it. Some of you smart folks (smarter than I, at least) know that he and the assassin woman would be framed. So be it. But all that doesn’t take away from the pure thrill and excitement that it gives us. Nope. The action is smooth. The Ninja woman’s tight ass flying through the air cool action slicing through enemies with double chakram (which would make Xena weep) and Logan’s familiar claw destruction of yakuza’s bodies is capped off with a perfect standoff between Logan and Kikyo, who also seems to have adamantium a blade buried in his body. Man, the awesomeness just continues without giving us a chance to take a breather. Forget that. Madhouse is known for great stabbing weapon action and if you dare to watch its best efforts, be prepared to have a non-stop heart-pumping experience.

I’ve had that just now. Amen.

Wolverine 01 – are you kidding me?

This is the best sword and claw action since Ninja Blade! Or no, this is arguable but for an old, tired American concept turned into Japanese anime, this is great!

The stupid bishonen stuff from the old trailer is long gone. We have a Logan the way he should be – manly, tough, goes after what he wants. Did I mention GAR??? But not GAR in a mountain of muscles way, but agile and with well defined muscles and big shoulders. What, you have guns, son? That’s a good one. But I’m still a million times faster than you. Nice try, bub.

Thankfully no “bub’s” were uttered by this Logan. This guy simply rocks.

…Why does Logan always goes through the same shit? Someone is always trying to snatch his girlfriend away. I never really read much of X-Men and I remember that plot.

I really like the action scenes, to me, they’re quite fluid. Lightening fast, smooth and deadly, just like a fairy tale ninja. Wolverine is perfect at his new home – in an anime produced by Madhouse.

The female lead is bland. But that’s why this show is called “Wolverine”. My fan service side wags its head but my fighting action side wags its tail (man that was off). In any event, you should just watch the show for all the stops that the makers of Ninja Scroll put in and more – cause they certainly know how to kick it up a notch or two. Or TEN.

Heartily recommended for any action fan.