Friday, March 28, 2014

Kill La Kill

While I was at Katsucon this previous month, not only was Card Captor Sakura recommended to me, another anime was recommended to me through the Anilplex panel. At this panel, they show cased Nekomonogatari Bluray set and an anime called Magi and Vividred  and this one anime that had been garnering a lot of attention from fans called Kill La Kill. I heard about it, but until the panel really changed my mind, I was not originally going to watch it, but through a few people talking me into it, I eventually did, and honestly, I am glad I did.

The plot for Kill La Kill is simple: Matoi Ryuuko is seeking revenge on who ever killed her father. With her, she wields a back talking school uniform named Senketsu that gives her enormous power and makes her near indestructible and half of a scissor blade thats capable of cutting through anything. She goes to Honnouji Academy, where Kiryuuin Satsuki, an oppressive student council leader who has her own army of super power uniforms trying to beat Ryuuko into the ground. Along the way, she meets upwith Mankanshouku Mako, an energetic girl who is hyper active and love Ryuuko no matter what. Together, they go on the quest to defeat Satsuki to try and get her revenge on the person who killed her father.

The characters for me were lovable and well written. Even Kiryuuin Satsuki had her redeemable qualities, even though she was trying to kill our beloved Ryuuko. The Four Devas under her, Jakuzure Nonon, Sanagayama Uzu, Gamagoori Ira, and Inumuta Houka, had some funny and awesome moments as well as well as the highest super power uniform under the God Robes that Satsuki and Ryuuko possess. Mako was energetic through out the series and the way she was over dramatic in explaining things kept the series on a positive note, even the world was going to hell in a hand basket. Even the character that terrified me to no end, Harime Nui, had her awesome moments because, like Mako, was energetic and happy in all situations.

The animation for this show was unique in its own little way. It felt like it had a hand drawn feel to it, and when Mako starting getting excited and started "spinning" she actually looked like she was flipping around. The action scenes were well animated, and the whole battle sequences felt over the top like in Guran Lagaan. Every time they used their attacks, there was text, which also helped with the over the top feel, and even added for some hilarity as well.The uniforms had almost their own little transformation sequences, making it feel like a magical girl. The uniform that Ryuuko had, I will admit, was skimpy, but it is not worth the controversy. The outfits were all distinguishable and related to their powers, which was interesting and, I will admit, pretty cool.

Overall, I am glad I gave this anime a chance because it was not as serious I thought it was going to be. I will admit, I am sad that it is over, it was an enjoyable ride and unlike most anime, it wrapped up everything nicely at the end. Studio Trigger did a great job at animating this, and I am looking forward to what they have in the future.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Card Captor Sakura

When I went to Katsucon in February, I ended up cosplaying as Sakura from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles for a panel I was a part of.   On this trip, despite all the things that happened, for better or worse, I was recommended to watch the anime that Sakura her self was originally a part of. Now, I had known that there was an anime called Card Captor Sakura by seeing crossover parodies of it on youtube, but I had not been originally interested in it due to the fact that it was seventy episodes long. However, the guys in the panel convinced me to watch it, and I am honestly glad I did.

The plot for Card Captor Sakura is pretty decent for a magical girl show. Kinomoto Sakura stumbles upon the Book of the Clow, which holds these magical cards that have a variety of abilities, from Fire to Dash, and she accidentally releases the cards from the book. However, she is given the card Windy at first to help her retrieve the cards, and with the Guardian of the Clow, Keroberos, help. Along the way, she meets a boy by the name of Syaoran who is also after the Clow Cards, and they eventually team up trying to retrieve all of the cards before they wreak havoc on the world.

The characters in this were actually pretty decent. Our lead, Sakura, is sometimes an air head, and by no means perfect, which makes for a changing character. She displays a lot of traites for a fourth grade girl, such as love interest, even though it isnt typical for a fourth grade girl to fall in love with a high schooler, the dislike of school work and wanting to play, but she also displays the mentality of when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Her friend, Tomoyo, who accompanies her on the card retrieval missions, videotapes her and make out fits, and the interactions between her and Sakura are quite interesting, but she to me is a stacitc character for most of the series. Syaoran Li is one of the most interesting characters in the cast, to perfectly honest. He goes from this little brat who is stalked by his fiancee, Meilin, to a strong independent boy who can let his soft side through a bit. Meilin was a character that was introduced mid season, but when I first saw her in the anime, she honestly annoyed me, but as time went on, she became quite the decent character. The highschoolers in the cast, Yukito, Sakura's love interest for majority of the series, and Touya, Sakura's older brother, are ever present during the beginning, especially Yukito, but while they might not be too important during the beginning, their roles steadily become more important as the show goes on.

The art for this series was pretty decent, considering the anime started in 1998 and ended in 2000. One of my biggest quelms about the animation in this anime is the fact that they reused some of the animation, such as Sakura putting on her gloves to go skating, and even the whole her skating to school sequence was reused a few times. One of the odd things about Card Captor Sakura from most magical girl anime was the fact it did not have a transformation sequence. Her outfit changed every time she went to capture a card because Tomoyo made the outfits for her. I did like the art style of Card Captor Sakura because it reminded me of how far anime art style has come, and even though they reused some sequences of the anime, I did not mind because they did not feel forced into the show; they felt completely natural.

The plot overall was a decent point of the anime. It actually came in two parts: Sakura capturing the clow cards and becoming the master of the Clow Cards, and the part where she becomes the master and has to figure out a way to use the cards that are now hers insteadof belonging to Clow Reed, the original owner of the cards. The first half was fantastic, even though in the beginning of the anime felt like it was moving too fast for itsown good. The second half the anime like it was tacked on last minute and it felt like the writers were just trying to give Sakura something to do to make a show. 

Overall, despite its flaws, I was still glad it was recommended to me.  It sometimes felt like it was magical girl, but also that it wasn't due to there were no set transformation sequences.If you haven't seen this yet, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Team Builder Live

If you haven't been keeping your eyes out, then you might have missed the two day beta test called team builder. Each region got two days to test out this beta over a ten day period. So how did Team builder comapre to the normal game mode that most of us have come to either love or hate?

First, what is team builder? IN the normal queues, you are randomly matched with people who want to play a whole variety of position's and in the pre game lobby, you say what you wanna play. This can cause fighting because you sometimes have the person that wanted to play the Attack Damage Carry and got stuck as the support. In team builder, before you even queue in, you actually pick the champion you want to play, then you pick the archetype like mage, support, tank, marksman, or assassin, then you pick the lane you want to play. You are then either team captain and choose the spots that you want played such as whether or not you have duo top or a jungler or you are placed into a queue where you are waiting for a team captain. Then the match queue,once both teams are made, proceeds as normal.

I did like team builder because you locked into the champion and posistion before queing in. It gave the chance to take a typical mid-laner top lane or a jungler bottom lane. Also, it helped eliminated the fighting of calling positions in the chat room and preventing confusion. It was also a good idea because you had the potential to meta break because if you wanted to play Sivir mid-lane, you you could play Sivir mid-lane almost no questions asked. You wanted to play Soraka as a tank? You could take Tankraka top lane.

Though it was supposed to be innovative in how the teams were made,  it was not without flaws. My main complaint was the fact I tried to be as meta breaking as possible,such as taking Fiddlesticks top lane(which worked quite well) but most people tried to stick to the meta as much as they possibly could. I wanted to see some shenanigans that would have made the game a lot more fun, but regardless if it was just the games I played, I wanted to see some form of meta breaking. Another complaint I read about online was the queue it self had some hiccups. It seemed there was a lack of team captains and too many people looking for captains. Even as team captain, I had some problems finding players to be honest, but I was also playing during a high point.

Honestly,I liked the idea of the team builder, due to the fact it could eliminate the painof trying to call positions. I hope to see this game mode return in the future as more than just a two day beta, or a permanent
game mode.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Doki Doki Precure

The magical girl genre, or mahou shoujo,  has always been a weakness of mine, Between the transformations,the fantasy elements presented in it, and the super powers, it has a lot in store for me. Usually, I love any magical girl,no question, but as it seems lately, they seem to be prettier for sure, but at what cost? Doki Doki Precure is very pretty to the eyes, but all it not glitter and roses with this anime.

Doki Doki Precure is like any other magical girl series plot wise.You have your group leader, Aida Mana, and your side Precures, Hishikawa Rikka, Kenzaki Makoto, aka Makopi, and Yotsuba Alice, and later on Madoka Aguri. Granted along the way, you have ultimate big bad guy, King Selfish, and his not so evil at times daughter, Regina, and the evil trio of Ira, Bel, and Mammo, but besides Regina and King Selfish himself, the rest just play the role of making the bad guy of the week appear, so in other words, a completely normal day in the life of mahou shoujo anime. 

The main focus of the any Precure series is indeed it characters,which in this series becomes a horrendous mistake.The mistake of which I am referencing is Aida Mana. In the early episodes, you can tell she has a pure heart and wants to do good, and that she is the center, but this become problematic later on. Throughout the series, you see that each of the characters has their own little flaws, which for the most part are forgotten as the series progresses, but as for Aida Mana, she is shown to have no flaws. She is student council president, she is athletic and she wants to do good, which isn't all bad,but it makes her into a static character. The other three Precures have their own little episodes, but any character development from these episodes, unless it's wanting to make friends with Regina, the daughter of the main villain, is almost completely ignored like the flaw didn't even exist in the first place.  Also, the anime seemsto have seemingly pointless side characters,such as Ai, the little baby found in an egg, and Joe,Queen Ange's fiance, who for the most of the series is not even present.

The art for this anime was its only saving grace honestly. The characters were well drawn out and the animation for the most part was decently smooth. Along with that, the transformation sequences were also very well done, but I, like most people, probably would have been disappointed other wise. The back ground characters emphasize the main cast by all having black hair in contrast to the pink hair or Mana,or the purple hair of Makoto.

Overall, Doki Doki precure is really only worth the watch if you are really into Precure or magical girl anime or have some time to kill. It started out with a whole lot of promise to be a decent magical girl anime in the beginning, but as the series went on, it felt like it could not sustain its self. Compared to the other Precure series, this one is weak and hopefully on the next series, they will be able to polish out the flaws. 

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Horror is a genre that many people seemed to be enthused with. Between the suspense of what might happen next or the jump scares that some movies use,or the combination of both, it is a very appealing genre. However, there are times when the suspense makes little to no sense or the jump scares are used so much it is repetitive and boring. The anime Another tries too hard to be suspenseful and while in some cases it succeeds, it doesn't quite get there.

The anime Another starts off with a kid named Sakakibara Kouichi that moves to the small town of Yomiyama due an issue with his lungs. At the hospital he is staying at,he meets up with a girl named Misaki Mei, a girl who is abnormally quiet and wears an eye patch over her left eye. When he transfers into the local school's class 3, Misaki Mei is in the class, but no one seems to notice her, even when he tries to draw attention to her. However, people in the class and their family members start dying from freak accidents, and as it turns out class 3 is cursed due to an extra person showing up on the class roster who in actuality is dead and it is up to class to figure out who is dead in order to stop the calamity. One of the charms used to keep the calamity from happening is for the class to make the class roster numbers right by acting like a person in the class does not exist, whether they're the ones that are dead or not.

The plot of this anime has so many holes it is not even funny. First of all, they say they can't ever get the desk count right at the beginning due to the person appearing randomly,and the fact that when the person does show up, memories get altered, but yet they know an extra person will appear. Another plot hole is the fact they even said in the anime and in the manga this curse is like a cell phone to a cell tower: if you move away from the town, the curse has little to no effect on you and almost everyone knows rumours of this curse though no one is allowed to know specifics outside class 3,so why don't the local people move out of the town? Also the part of no one allowed to know specifics is annoying because literally for the first five episodes Sakakibara is not allowed to know the exact curse but trying to find out because his classmates would not tell him the curse.  You can not tell someone in a show for a god amount of time with out sounding like complete idiots, and that's what happened in this show: his class mates not telling the information and basically being sketchy about was intriguing at first,but got redundant real fast. Worst yet, Misaki Mei knew who the dead person was,and she doesn't say anything.

The art of Another is actually pretty decent, given the abnormal amount of plot holes. The characters are well drawn, though my only complaint is yes you have your two main characters, but amongst other anime, the character designs are not unique. If you try to make the case for Misaki Mei, I might give you that one, but only because Takanashi Rikka's from Chunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai eye patch is on her right eye,nother left.  Another weird thing I noticed about the animation is at the beginning of the anime,the animation does random cuts to pictures of creepy dolls. This is not a SHAFT work, so the random cuts literally did nothing for me because at least SHAFT uses them tastefully; Another uses to the point I actually had to wonder if my video player was glitching.

The characters, like their designs, were not distinguishable or interesting. Misaki Mei is the most interesting character, and she doesn't even have that much of a presence. The classmates of Mei and Kouichi try their best to be interesting, but it turns into their bland and forgettable. In this anime everyone follows a ridiculous stereotype i.e. Misaki Mei is the quiet mysterious girl, Sakakibara is the boy that moves to a small town to recover from illness, the class representative, Akazawa, is a tsundere in a twisted sort of way. I do think this anime suffered from what I have to call "Game of Thrones Syndrome": Do not get too attached to the characters because they might die in the next episode.

Overall, I admit, I enjoyed the anime if only for the plot holes and the ridiculousness of the deaths. If I have taken any one thing away from this anime is the fact that panic will make people do things that are outside of their normal character. Otherwise, this anime,while it was trying to be serious, it became laughable by the end of how bad it actually was.