Sympathy for Cao Cao – Souten Kouro 01 Decompressed

Manly.

Souten Kouro is about as GAR as it is possible to be without breaking the fourth wall. (It doesn’t quite equal the manliness of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which is so GAR that it defies reality, but it is completely serious about it.) The animators have used epic battlefield spreads, panoramic zoom, and other sweeping gestures to further the mood. If the viewer didn’t already know from the fact that it is derived from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the opening makes it clear that this show is going to be about blood, death, and brotherhood.

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Greetings and Strangulations – Asura Cryin 01 Decompressed

asuracryin_boom

The first episode of Asura Cryin’ is incredibly dense in terms of material. It’s got childhood trauma, self-sacrifice, silly friend antics, social commentary, ghost haunting, high school romantic comedy, family drama, magical girls, split personalities, underground societies, potential harem, and mecha all rolled into one. Did I miss anything?

The story begins with a scene of ruin. The protagonist, Tomo, suffered serious injuries in an accident, and a mysterious magical girlfriend from the Goddess Agency – no, wait, that’s not quite it. A mysterious girl reassured him that he would live, as he lay on a hospital bed.  Flash forward to the present.  It’s clear that he’s now trying to live a normal life, just as it’s clear that the accident is of great importance and that something mysterious happened. This entire setup happens in under a minute. Asura Cryin’ is efficient.

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Spring 2009 Roundup 1: Hayate no Gotoku!!, Natsu no Arashi!, K-ON

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Looking at the twit- and blogosphere these days, it looks like I’m late to this new season party. But let’s get started with a few things, shall we? Today, I’ll be profiling the second season of Hayate no Gotoku, the new SHAFT/Shinbo Natsu no Arashi, and the talk of the town K-ON.

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The cancer that is killing Bleach

Why do we suffer?

While K-ON devours the souls of the moe crowd and Full Metal Alchemist helps people remember a time before the present economic crisis, Bleach heads into yet another season of shounen mass appeal. Though I previously had some thoughts about how Bleach is better in terms of depth and execution than the vast majority of shounen shows, the fact remains that it is increasingly bound by the limitations of its genre. Significant problems with power level escalation and a need to maintain already-introduced characters bog down the story. In the manga, this has already led to some ridiculousness – replacing character speech with random song lyrics has no real effect on the intelligibility of the action, which demonstrates just how worthless the dialogue has become.

Bleach 213 is an extended parody of sentai shows that lasts the entire episode. This is a serious problem, as even at the end of the episode, they opt for the clichéd “To Be Continued . . . ” closing rather than ending the farce. In other words, the B-string crew of Bleach will now get an entire season to themselves, and quite likely, they will be parodying sentai tropes all the way through.

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Darker than Black: Anime Noir – Decompresed Review

Falling stars were inauspicious

Darker than Black begins with a placid and yet inauspicious scene.  A girl stands before a majestic night sky, as stars fall down.  The quiet piano notes that accompany it hint of the beauty, wonder, and terror to come.  We are then thrown, as is so often the case, in media res.  A man evades his pursuers.  His desperation is evident in the speed with which he hurtles down narrow walkways and leaps across rooftop gaps.

Immediately something is amiss, even if we can’t put our finger on it.  Why would a man hunted by the police run in the same direction that police cars were traveling?  Even if he was confident in his ability to escape capture by drawing upon his contract, why would he reveal this power to them?  He doesn’t seem to thrill in fights or thumbing his nose; his demeanor remains serious throughout.  In this manner, Darker than Black builds up many puzzles over the course of its story, lending to the mystery of the series. Continue reading

Arthur Kirkland hates lolis

Images that depict underage girls and boys are about to be banned in the UK.

Pic related

First, some context (quotes from experiencefestival.com:)

“The United States Supreme Court decided in 2002, and affirmed in 2004, that previous American prohibition of simulated child pornography under the Child Pornography Prevention Act was unconstitutional.”  The main issue was that there was no harm to any actual children, and the court found that viewing of this material had no causative link to harming children.  True, someone sexually attracted to children would enjoy this kind of pornography, but the converse was not true: someone who enjoyed it would not necessarily harm, or have any feelings for, real children.

“UK law has dealt with simulated images quite differently since 1994, when the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act introduced the legal definition of an ‘indecent pseudo-photograph of a child,’ which is prohibited as if it were a true photograph.”  This act was originally interpreted to apply only to photorealistic images; drawings that were clearly not based on any real children were permitted.

Now, however, things may be changing.
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