Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hanaukyo Maid-Tai

It seems that sexism has become a big part in the world that we live in today. In anime, they like to poke funat the sexism by making one sex unable to be around the opposite due to some condition, such as androphobia or gynophobia (fear of men and women respectively) or even some even more bizarre instances. Hanaukyo Maid-Tai, or Hanaukyo Maid Team follows yet another one of these odd scenarios.

Our story follows Hanaukyo Tarou, a young boy who is sent tonlive with his grandpa after his mother died. Little did he know that his grandpa also owns a large team of maids, and they all are told to serve him. There is one little problem with this scenario: it also turns out Tarou is allergic to girls.

Now if that doesn't provide for fan service like no tomorrow. Yes, the maids try to help Tarou with every day life, and most of the time they get in the way, but we all know its not to follow some newly found rich boy and the maids failing at helping him. We know that this anime's selling point, and the story, is the fan service. There is no escaping it due to the fact there is a bunch of girls and one dude. Luckily for us, the fan service only comes in fourteen minute bouts, for each episode is only fourteen minutes long.

The art for this series, in my opinion, is not that good. True, it is old style might work a bit for this series, but it seems there is three main designs: Mariel, Tarou, and everyone else. I honestly feel like none of the characters are distinguishable from the others, and their names even less so. True, the main character is a typical harem lead, and thus looks like one, but even the harem girls, who are supposed to be the best part, and the best drawn, are poolry drawn,and the quality was just dirt poor.

The characters in this anime were almost as bad as the art, to be quite honest. Our "harem" lead is just bland. They could have done so much with the allergy to girls, but they didn't really do much at all. Sure, he turned colors when they touched him, but that's bout it. True, the maids are there, but they are 2-D, and it seems that the maides only appeared in one episode a piece, save for the head of the maides, Mariel. This could be such a character driven anime, but this anime's characters were all over the place and just plain bad.

Overall, this anime has to be one the worst attempts at a harem I have ever seen. This anime had the potential to be a semi-unique harem, and perhaps there was to be a cure for the amlergy to girls, and there could have been less maides, but more character depth, that would have. Een excellent.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Toonami and the Future of American Anime

As all you insomniacs might have noticed, last night was the re-release of the anime block known as Toonami. While I, unfortunately,could not watch, I am sure a lot of anime fans did to see the English premier of Casshern Sins and Deadman Wonderland, along with the return of anime such as Bleach and Cowboy Bebop. So, what does this mean for the future of anime in America, with the return of a well known anime block?

I say it is the return of big time anime in America. I remember when Naruto and Bleach and all the other anime that used to air on Toonami used to be all over stores such as Hot Topic and FYE, but they slowly gave way to crap like Twilight, and worse yet, Justin Beiber. Once the demand for merchandise catches on, I think stores will cater to the otaku more, rather than just pushing all of the anime merchandise in the corner of a store. (I'm looking at you FYE) Hopefully, they will sell more items corresponding to anime, such as keychains, cell phone charms and perhaps even cosplay.

Also, I say that this could lead to a wider of variety of anime being dubbed over and aired on T.V. True, even after Toonami went off the first time, anime were still being licensed every season by the masses by different companies such as Funimation and Sentai works, but I think now there will be reason for companies to get hold of these anime and dub them. It might be an incentive for companies to make better dubs as well, because let's be honest here, most dubs suck because the actors can't act and some of them are monotone. This also might bring back the need to release DVDs for anime after release on TV, similar to what they do in Japan, due to the fact the companies would not feel the need to batch up the releases in series sets like they have been coming lately. In other words, they could release multiple DVDs and just have four or five episodes a piece and still make a lot of money.

Honestly,I just hope that this can bring back anime to the main stream culture. True, anime has gained a lot of popularity due to fan subs and streaming, but usually the only people who were able to find these anime were those who were looking. With the addition of an anime airing block, other than the infamous Adult Swim, hopefully anime will catch on to the other channels, and hopefully, more varieties of anime will be aired on T.V. While the dark psychological thrillers like Death Note and Code Geass and Deadman Wonder land along with the shounen anime such as Bleach, Naruto, and Full Metal Alchemist are good,I think they should air more comedy and maybe ecchi(yeah right) stuff along with it.

Toonami has brought people together for anime once again. With the return of the famous airing block, I'm honestly hoping that this could make the anime culture in America stronger and perhaps bring back the love for anime like it once was.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


In Popular culture today, there seems to have been an increased interest in vampires(specially of the sparkley variety)and for some reason they intrigue us. Perhaps it's they ability to live forever,or quite a long time, or maybe its because they can suck human's blood. Whatever the case may be, they are intriguing things. However, in the anime Hellsing our vampire is like a standard vampire,before they became the fasionistas of the word, but he is used by the humans, in order to hunt and to kill his own kind.

Out story can be split up in two main parts: the part about Alucard, the vampire, and the other about Sera Victoria, a human police girl. Our vampire, Alucard, is being kept by the Hellsing Organization that hunts vampires, and when things go badly, they call in Alucard to kill the vampire, despite being a vampire himself. He meets up with Sera Victoria as she was held hostage by an enemy vampire, and turned into a vampire by Alucard and she herself joins the Hellsing Organization to hunt vampires, just like her Master, Alucard.

The story is actually half way decent for this anime, though it felt incomplete at the end. They did well with the screen time they had,but Expectation wise,the story did not live up to the rumours I have heard about how epic Hellsing was, and mostly I blame that on the loose ends of the story, but in many other areas as well.

The art for this series was old fashioned, so honestly I didn't know if i liked it or not, but the three major characters, Alucard, victoria, and Integra Hellsing's charactr designs were distinguishable from the others, who honestly were not drawn that well. The art also seemed whited out to some extent, but since the anime was made in the early 2000's and that would e acceptable at the time that this was made. Granted, Alucard was the best drawn out of the characters, but I feel like they tried to make Victoria equally as appealing but the way she was drawn is absolute fail.

The characters for this anime are almost so bad they're decent. We have the big boobsd police girl who is just shooting things with a bazooka. I think she's supposed to be the main character in this anime, and even though she takes up a lot of screen time, I couldn't help but to feel she was a side character. The show was mainly dominated by iIntegra and her "servant" Alucard, who mainly seemed like he even dominated her at points. He mainly came across as the best guard dog who couldn't do anything without his master's permission. He was an awesome character, and I wish it was more about him and not about Seras and especially Integra. The rest of the character only appeared in only one episode, or in the case of the Hellsing squad, looked the sams as every other squad member.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Spring Anime Season: Halfway Report

It's here: the Spring Season, filled with blooming flowers, chirping birds, and of course, lots and lots of anime, This spring, the anime industry brought anime fans a lot of various anime, from Idol Moe, to High School romance, to even Zombies. No matter the genre, the spring anime season has brought a lot of good anime, and I honestly hope for some of these to be anime classics soon.

Accel World 
Personally, thus far in the anime season, this has to be one of my favorites I have picked up. The story follows a plain old boy named Arita Haruyuki, who meets up with the school's princess, Kuroyukihime through an online game. She then introduces him to "Brain Burst," which enhances the mind to enter the world known as Accel World, where people fight each other with avatars. Haruyuki becomes Silver Crow, and together with Kuroyukihime, they fight the enemies and hopefully become the strongest.

This anime has great characters, great story line, and is well planned out. The characters are memorable, even though the main character is a bit on the chubby side, and the girl is a bit too perfect, but those quelms aside, they are probably some of the best characters I have ever seen. The Accel World so far is pretty well explained, though a few things still remain unaswered, but as seeing we are only on episode 6, I can forgive that. Along with that, the animation is fluid, and polished and very pleasing to the eyes. I can only have high expectation for this anime, due the promising start, and I pray it does not crash and burn like some anime.

Acchi Kocchi 
The story for this anime is simple but sweet: Tsumiki has a bit of a crush on her classmate, Io, and Io has some feelings for Tsumiki as well, but neither one is aware of the other's feelings. Their friends try as hard as they can to get the two together, but so far, it has been failing. Hopefully one day, these two will realize each other's feelings, and get together.

I have a confession to make about this anime: I fell in love with it in the first five minutes of the first episode. The art style was adorable, and Tsumiki is such a loli, and she kind of reminds me of Konata from Lucky Star, but that's not all: the opening song was absolutely adorable, It's catchy, upbeat, and probably will give you sugar shock. Besides that, the characters are great, the animation is fluid, and the situations they get into might be a bit slice of life like,but still hilarious.

Imagine a future in which all music is banned. Secret idol groups have to give underground concerts, and those who are caught giving or attending these concerts are subject to punishment. The story follows an idol group called AKB0048, who give concerts, and the young girls who attend their concerts in hopes of joining the group.

One thing you should know about this anime is the fact it is based off an real-life band based in Akihabara called AKB48. I have never heard of this band before watching hte anime, but knowledge of the band is not needed in order to understand this anime. Since this is a musical anime, of course they put high emphasis on the music, and they do well with that. The artwork is super moe, and the little hilights in the hair are hearts, which I find adorable. The story outline is a bit dark, but they do put light into it, such as when the police show up to fight the group, their hairbows and stage props are actually weapons. Overall, can't wait to see more.

This anime's story can simply be described as slice of life with mystery. Our story follows Oreki Houtarou, a high schooler who was ordered to join the literature club by his sister in order to keep it alive, even as a ghost member. When he arrives at the club room, he finds a first year girl named Chitanda Eru asks him to solve the mystery of why the club door was locked. From there, when ever she asks about a mystery, he usually solves it, with the help of his friends.

Where to begin with this....the animation is fluid, cute and the sceneries are well designed. The story, the characters, and all...not so good. The set up for this anime is very episodic, though there is a continuing underlying continuing story. The mysteries in this anime are mundane, but yet the solutions to them are always pulled out of Oreki's ass. To  make matters worse, his solutions are always taken as the right solution to the "mysteries." I guess I can hope that the anime will get better with time, but I can only hope.

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Of the Dead
This anime is pure shenanigans. The characters are pure crack, the situations even more so. We have the return of our lead zombie, Aikawa Ayumu, along with the masou shoujo Haruna, and the adorable, but silent necromancer, Eucliwood Hellscythe, and the vampire ninja, Seraphim. The new situations they are put in are nothing short of funny, and what new adventures await them this season?

This is a continuation off the first season of Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? and whteht or not I'm amused is really up in the air. I love the characters, sure, but I think some of that odd-ball effect has sort of run dry due to the first season, and perhaps the fact they have almost run out of jokes. For some reason, I was hoping for a more serious side of it, like the first season was just exposition, however, what ever the case may be, I still enjoy this anime for all of its guilty pleasures.

Kuro Majo-san ga Tooru
Our story here is simple, but yet complex: Kurotori Chiyoko, an young girl interested in the occult, is asked by her classmates to summon the angel of love, Cupid. However, due a stuffy nose, she accidentally summons Gyubid, a black witch who engages Chiyoko in training to become a black witch.

Personally, I think this anime is actually pretty good, even though each episode is only seven minutes long. They manage decent character development, and make me laugh in that time span. The opening song is also catchy (not Acchi Kocchi catchy though) and animation is actually pretty decent. I honestly cannot wait for more of this anime, alhtough I wish they would make it longer.

Medaka Box
For some reason ever since The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, there has been an obsession with making the main girl a god-like figure. The case still remains here in Medaka Box, even down to the point they both follow a club, or a student council with this girl in said group, and he cohorts helping her make everything the way she wants it. With Medaka Box, however, it is directly implied that she might a bit too perfect. Our story follows Medaka in her running the student council and making everything right as she sees fit.

Overall, this anime is not bad, but it isn't good either. The art work and animation is fine, and the characters are ok as well, but something about it irks me. It feels incomplete, which I blame on the format of the show; which divides each episode into two mini-episodes. Usually, due to my attention span, it works for me, but with this anime, it actually epically fails because they cannot get anything established.

Nazo no Kanojou X
We all have our addictions in life, whether it be alcohol, drugs, caffiene, and perhaps even stranger stuff. But, imagine if you're a man, and then somehow got addicted to a girl's saliva. That's exactly what happens to Tsubaki Akira when he he stays after school one day and finds the mysterious transfer student, Urabe Mikoto drooling on the desk. Curious, he tries a sample of the spit, not knowing that her saliva is somewhat addictive, and after getting sick for a week, she reveals to him that he was going through withdrawals and that  he had to have some everyday, or else they would happen. As the relationship  that started based off a boy trying a girl's saliva, romance will surely develop, won't it?

This anime, even though it has an oldish art style that would usually distract me, it works for me. The scenario is a bit weird, but they know how to make the best of the situation that is. The characters are also developed nicely, and each character has a distinct boundary so far, and with some of the other characters being introduced so far, I can only hope for a good end.

Saki-Ageha-hen-Episode of Side A
Remember a while back there was an anime about mahjong named Saki? Remember how good it was? Yeah, they decided it was so good they decided to do a spin off on it, centering around a group of girls Nodoka used to hang out with when she was younger, and their journey to the national championships.

My only response to this anime is basically why do you exist?! Seriously, if you're gonna do a spin off, least do one of the more threatening schools, or least have more interesting characters. The animation is the anime's strong poimt, and even that is average, due to the fact that none of the girls really stand out looks wise. The characters are so flat, I can't even remember their names honestly. Honestly, this is not worth the watch, and because I have a policy about dropping anime...forward we go.

It seems lately, Hollywood has become fascinated with zombies, and that trend is actually catching on in anime. When Furuya's cat, Babu, dies, he attempted to resurrect it using a potion he found in a book. While trying to resurrect his cat, he meets a girl named Sanka Rea, who is a seemingly perfect girl, except for the fact that she wishes to die and be reborn as someone else. With Furuya's help, it might be possible to obtain her wish.

Although this anime might seem a bit strange at first, I like it personally. It has good characters, and good character designs, ie, Furuyua looks like an adorable cat. The characters are also pretty good, and the cat's meow is unique, but adorable. Rea probably has to be the flattest of the main cast personality wise, but either way, she is still an excellent character.

Sengoku Collection
In anime, there seems to be a fascination with the era of the warring states in Japan like there is WWII fascination in the West. It seems there is a bunch of anime having to deal with the warring states of Japan, and lately, they seem to be marketing them as if all the leaders were school girls, instead of men. Sengoku collection follows some of the leaders as they somehow come to the modern day world, and their journey of trying to get back to their home.

Since my knowledge of this time period is limited, I can't properly judge the historical accuracy of this anime, but judging by characters and such, I'm a bit mixed about this. the art style looks low budget, and its mediocre all around, but it seems pretty decent far.

Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan
Our story for this is simple: Kaguya is washed up on shore, not remembering who she is or any type of emotions Rick, along with his baking assistants at the local bread shoppe try and help her remember who she is and help her regain some of her emotions.

Ok, basic slice of like with a bit of amnesia, things I actually like in an anime. How wrong can this anime go? Answer: very.Kaguya doesn't even come in until the third episode, which I would forgive if it was twenty-four episodes or so, but this anime moves way too slow, and with the amnesiac girl being a promised main character, and with most of the anime focusing around bread, this is a let down.The only slightly redemption for for this anime is the end song, which is adorable.

Imagine if a gun was a person. What type of personality would it have? Hpw would act around others who were also guns? And finally, what if they all went to school together? Such is the situation in Upotte!!, each girl is the personification of a gun, such as the M16A1 from America, FNC from Belgium, L85A1 from England.

This is my guilty pleasure. Of course with making all the guns chicks, they add moe and all that stuff. However, this is not meant for kids; its meant for basically military/gun fanatic otaku, and mostly for men (see episode five). The art style is great, and the characters fit not only the stereo-types of the gun, but also nationality. For example, the M16 is a hyper girl, like Americans are stereo-typically portrayed, and she tired are a short time, due to the three round burst limit. According to my military friend its very accurate portrayal of the M16.

Overall, this season has brought its share of good anime, and bad anime but regardless the case, I highly recommend you to check these out.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


As you may have figured out, I am a huge, huge anime fan. I watch anime almost 24/7, and I write about about anime, but watching anime and writing about it are not the only ways I have access to the Japanese culture. Music is another way that the Japanese have influenced otaku as my self through anime, and eventually the bands that we find through anime we listen to them more and more, and eventually some of their non-anime releases. Personally, one of my favorite Japanese bands, LM.C I found out through anime, and have been addicted to listening to them ever since.

When I first heard of LM.C, I actually heard their song BOYS&GIRLS as the second opening to Katekyo Hitman Reborn. When I heard the full version of the song, I will admit, I was impressed. Later on, LM.C did the fifth opening of the same anime, and while this song was a bit more mellow than BOYS&GIRLS, 88 was still respectable in its own way. When I found some of their other songs, I couldn't help but to be impressed, and because they were one of the few Japanese bands available on iTunes. Naturally, I bought all their CD's, and was epically pleased. Also, they did the the openings for the Nurarihyon no Mago Season openigs, Hoshi no Arika and THE LOVE SONG.

The band its self consists of two main people: Aiji and Maya on guitar and vocals respectively, though Maya does do some of the guitar lines and Aiji does some of the vocals. They came together after their own bands disbanded, and then they formed LM.C. Their first album, Super Glitter Loud Box, and their second album Gimmical Impact, though released at different times in Japan, were released on the same time internationally. They have other singles, such as 88, are also available.

Their music could possibly be called rock or J-Pop, but in a way it does not fit into either category. One source called it "New century Electrorock," though that seems a bit wrong as well, but probably the best way to describe it. The use synth guitar, and their tunes have an upbeat feel to them, but along with the upbeat feel, there is a rock part of it that makes you want to do a head-bang along with the music. Also, even though Maya may look like a girl, the voice that comes out is clearly a guy's, and they have beautiful and melodic voices.  Their music is mostly in Japanese, with a couple of English lyrics thrown in, but due to translations found online, it is easy to understand them better, and their lyrics actually hold some meaning, such as lost love.

Although not many in America might know about them unless they have watch the anime for which they performed, they have came to anime conventions here. They don;t come to America that often, nor do they travel abroad that much, and one time when they did, they were stopped due to swine flu concerns, however, I do hope that they come here more in the future, and perhaps go on tour here to various anime conventions, though I think chances of that happening are slim to none.

LM.C was one of the bands that introduced me to Japanese music. True, before I found LM.C, I heard Japanese music through anime, but never before had I stepped out of the realm of anime music. What I found outside the realm of anime music was actually pretty amazing, and hope for many more adventures in music to follow.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Avengers

For many, comic books are the source of joy, and when those comic books become adapted into movies, everyone gets excited. The long awaited movie of Marvel's, The Avengers series is no different, with all of of the Avenger characters getting their own movies, and finally coming together in this epic showdown between good and evil. With it being so highly rated before coming into theaters, I was honestly a bit skeptical, but also hyped for one reason: the characters it mainly featured.

Our story is Loki, the Norse Trickster God, and the main villain of the movie Thor, somehow gets to Earth to take the Tesseract, an infinite source of energy, and is capable of opening a portal to another world. He takes over the minds using his spear to make one of the best archers and the best scientist into his slaves. Nick Fury assembles the Avengers, which are Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, and Black Widow, in order to stop the destruction of Earth, and stop Loki. Problem is, will they be able to assemble and get along long enough to stop Loki, or will chaos envelope the world?

The characters were both the strong point and the weak point of the movie. Loki is still driven by revenge, which in a way makes sense, but the extremes he goes to in order to exact his revenge are irrational at best. He plans on destroying the world due a grudge on Thor, all because Loki was adopted. All the other characters were also well done, and the interactions between them were amazing, and funny. They actually picked on one of the problems I have with Iron Man, which is the fact with out the suit, he is nothing, among the random jabs at the characters and their super-hero back ground.Although the characters had their bickering moments due to cultural differences, they eventually dropped some of it, and they straightened up and flew right.

There were no shortages of fight scenes or explosions in the movie, though it feels like you have to wait forever for them. True, between character fights and disputes through out the movie there were a fair few fight scenes, but I have to give the Hulk the award for most amusing fight scene, but the best fight scene, besides the grand finale, has to go to Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. It was well coordinated, and I can see that actually happening if the Avengers were real, and it was, for me, a display of their power against each other, while Loki was just amused.

In the movie, the world may be going to hell in a hand basket, but that does not stop the humor from going on in the movie.. This movie in a lot of parts made me laugh at the witty dialogue, and the characters reactions to one another. From Thor's amusement of the human world, to Iron Man's witty comebacks, to Captain America's confusement at the modern world, these reactions and comebacks were almost nothing short of priceless. At one point, Nick Fury said "I bet you ten dollars that this world has changed a lot more than you thought," and when they get on the air ship, Captain America is amazed at the technology, and proceeds to hand Nick Fury the ten dollars.

Music score wise, the music was phenomenal and fit well with the movie. All the scenes had well coordinated msic, and to boot, the music felt like it was supposed to be there. There were no awkward silences between characters because even when there was no music, the tension between the characters was well portrayed, and felt realistic. The music was catchy, which is always a plus, and they knew how to balance it out between having the music out in front or to have it in the back.

Personally, this have to be one of the most epic movies I have ever seen. Each character was well portrayed and they really kept the personalities of the characters from the original movies. Also, they kept the romance to a minimum, thank god. I highly recommend anyone, super hero fan or not, to go see this movie because there is a little something for everyone: action and violence for the dudes, and steaming hot men for the chicks.