Boma at 10:59 PM
Ok, sometimes I start a filler series. Between collecting series that are still coming out I start on one that is all or mostly out already. Azumanga Daioh happened to be one. I had read good things about it but wasn't entirely convinced. Then one day, as I was gazing at the first volume, I said What the Heck! and got it. Considering it had 5 episodes, an info booklet, dvd extras and a reversible cover it wasn't bad. Aftwer watching the first episode I was hooked! If you didn't like Excel Saga you would probably like this one. It's not insanely hyperactive like Excel, more like random hilarity. Like when they're learning to swim, and Osaka wants to know why dead bodies float . . . Anywho, basically this anime is about six girls who become friends and how they progress through high school from year one to graduation. This anime is based on a comic strip so the stories are more like skits. They all interrelate in the episodes so it isn't completely random. In this anime the characters have distinct personalities. There's Chiyo-chan, the 10 year old child prodigy. Miss Sakaki who is considered the "cool" one by her classmates even though she would rather be cute than cool. There's Tomo who's the wildcat. She lives to challenge others and could probably be related to Excel by the way she acts. You can just grin and bear her but I call her a "necessary evil" not my favorite of the bunch but not the worst character in all. Yomi is Tomo's counterpart or rather she's there to keep her under control or at least try. Kagura is the sports fanatic and is on the swim team. Sometimes she gets as rowdy as Tomo but she can be easily sobered. She is also the last girl to join the group coming in as a main character in the second year. And lastly there is Osaka . . . oh, Osaka. She is the space case. By the end of the first episode you'll be chanting to yourself "get it together, get it together, get it together . . . " The dubbing isn't bad for this one either, but to get the complete laughs it is probably better to watch it subbed. I have only watched it dubbed so far though switching it subb at certain points to see the difference. The only voice I recognize is Luci Christian who plays the wacky teacher Yukari. She would have been my choice over Hillary Haag for Rosette in Chrono Crusade but maybe I have to see it more. The music for this series is also great, it has one of those theme songs that once you get it into your head you won't be able to stop humming it. Overall, I enjoyed this series (especially the psychotic cats!) and would recommend this to anyone who wants a good laugh.
Boma at 9:25 PM
Boma at 1:16 AM
I recieved the first dvd as a Christmas present from my brother and was instantly addicted to it. This anime probably has one of the best story lines that I have ever seen. Pretty much to put it in extreme layman's terms it's Frankenstein versus the Aliens. The animation is subpar for being produced in 2000 in my opinion but whatever faults you or I may find, the story and the depth it goes into it's characters completely makes up for it. Basically an overview of the story is this. Aliens are being attracted to a specific point on Earth. Ryu Soma is a student who is dragged into helping with a secret project that his girlfriend is also helping with, involving taking pieces of defeated aliens and making a creature out of them, hence you have Frankenstein's monster. This creature is then callled Frank. But the building in which the project was taking place is attacked and Frank is "brought to life" through the incident. Everyone is killed with the exception of Ryu. Scarred beyond recognition, he joins the group FUNERAL, an elite anti-alien military group with the help of Mr. X. This group then acquires Frank after tracking him down. He is now able to be "controlled" by a young girl named Hattie. Another Frankenstein reference, the little girl giving the flowers to the monster. Hattie, by the way, has a striking resemblence to Ryu's dead girlfriend, so he's torn up with emotions ranging from anger to remorse everytime he sees her. Anyway, I do not want to go into too much detail to spoil everything, if your a fan of aliens, mecha, or sci-fi genres this is a must have. If you're not into these genres try it anyway I'm sure you will not be disappointed. This is a great series 25 episodes in all with an extra bonus episode on the last disc (26), it is just fascinating to watch the burden and then evolution of emotion that the main group of characters have within them as they make their decisions. You have a great cast of characters that have their own distinct personalities. Dan Simmons, was once considered the cool-headed one of the squad before Ryu joins and now acts as if he is a threat or rather he acts very suspicously of Ryu. He is now hot headed and does not want to be on the sidelines when there is a fight. Guinivere Green seems to have a level, calculating head on her shoulders. She is not quick to anger but is to action. She is the best sniper among them and she refuses to die. She says her time is not yet there. She seems to create or have an understanding with Ryu and they bond on this fact, their unspoken agreement that death will not have them until they are ready. Sue Harris is the most childish one of the group. She is outspoken and emotional. She takes care of Hattie though because of how insyc their emotions are. But she is not out of line, she is an outstanding pilot and none can match her ability in the sky. Takuto Kaneshiro/ Ryu Soma is hell bent on revenge for Maki's death. He blames Frank totally and will not be satisfied any other way until he is through. Mr. X helps him with this by getting him into FUNERAL as long as he does what Mr. X wants., if not he will be replaced permanently by a more willing person. He is very anti-social with the squad members, but even by being this way he gets to know them more and eventually begin to, at least to me, have a family or a beginnings of a new purpose. This series brings about many questions as it progresses, who is the Shakespeare spouting Mr. X, a devil or Angel to help Ryu exact his revenge on Frank? Will Hattie ever overcome her traumatic fear of gunfire? Who is the Spy among the group? Why are all the aliens intent on reaching Pilgrimage Point? What exactly are the aliens? Will Ryu ever discover who he is, his former self or current? Who is he to believe in the end? It is just hard to explain this series even after just watching it all the way through except for how in depth the characters are and how well the story flows. The ending I will not say much but let me say this, everything is answered/explained, and I find it very satisfactory. The dubbing outside of the main characters isn't the greatest, but inside there are some familiar voices the biggest of which is Crispin Freeman as Dan Simmons. Otherwise we have Beau Billingslea as Michael Hartland, Richard Cansino as Mr. X, Sandy Fox as Hattie, Lara Jill Miller as Sue Harris, Steve Staley as Ryu Soma/ Takuto Kaneshiro, and Puala Mattiloi Walker as Guinivere Green. I don't think there is a manga for this but a complete collection box set is now available for the series. Oh and if you watch the credits for the bonus episode you get a funny little conversation between Dan and Sue.
Next review will be for Azumanga Daioh, woo-hoo!
Boma at 1:02 AM
Boma at 7:54 PM
Angel Sanctuary . . . hmmmmm, lol. Yeah. Let me just state right here that I got this one out of pure curiosity, plus it was a 2 pack that came with the Harlock Saga. This anime is a three episode, one disc "series" that really pushes the limits of both sexuality and religion. Basically it's about the Organic Angel Alexial declaring war against God. That angels have lost their spirituality for vanity and power, thus her declaration. During the rebellion she exhausts her powers and as punishment her body and spirit are separated. Her body is then sealed in a crystal and her spirit is reincarnated in Setsuna. Now Setsuna, mm-hmm, has incestuous thoughts about his little sister who also thinks the same for him. Demons trying to awaken Alexial's spirit are attacking Stesuna, Alexial's newly freed twin brother (and just a tad psychotic) is attacking him to awaken Alexial. Kira, Setsuna's best friend, turns out to be Seven Blades, the sword of the Holy Spirit and is bound to Setsuna, and revels in blood. Kira has an origin story that takes place during these episodes but I won't go into that in case you are interested I don't want to spoil everything. Anyway the bottom line is, with the awakening of Alexial will ultimately lead to Setsuna's death and signal the end of the world. There is blood, cross-dressing, incest (mostly preachy love-dovey thoughts and a scene of them sleeping in bed), and varying religous ideas to put it nicely. I did enjoy the artwork and animation style, heavily detailed eyes and hair. Oh! There are some recognizable voice actors in here. Crispin Freeman who plays Rosial, the psychotic twin brother. I would swear that Wayne Grayson does Kira's voice but it's credited as Vinnie Penna, also it sounds like Veronica Taylor as Kurai but is credited as B. Simpson. If anyone can confirm this for me or prove me wrong, let me know, thanks! Also the music is good in this as well. This is suggested on the box for 16 and up for violence, brief nudity, and adult situations. So if you're open minded and want to experiment with an anime that is in a category all it's own you might want to check it out.
P.S. the manga is now available in english, haven't read it, but if you want more of a story it's there.
On a final note it might take a while for the next review. It will be on the series ArgentoSoma.
Boma at 7:05 PM
Boma at 11:48 PM
Just finished watching Akira. This movie is considered to be one of the classics, a must have for any collector. It had come out in 1988 to give you a time frame. My bro gave me this movie as part of my Christmas present, but I have been eyeing it for some time. I had first seen this movie a few years ago when he had gotten it and it was probably one of the first things to actually draw me to the Anime genre of entertainment. "Wow, animation that's not for kids!" Detailed animation, decent dub and dialogue, and a story that flows consistently through to the end with no gaps (at least none that I could notice). Now after watching much more anime and re-watching Akira I recognize some of the big names that took part in this movie. Wendee Lee as Kei the student rebel, Johnny Yong Bosch as Kaneda the leader of a biker gang, and Joshua Seth as Tetsuo a close friend and member of Kaneda's biker gang. Lee, Bosch, and Seth are again working together in Wolf's Rain (Lee = Jagura, Bosch = Kiba, and Seth = Hige). Anyway, Basically this movie takes place thirty-one years after an apocalyptic world war III. Biker gangs rule the streets where people are rebeling against the government. When Kaneda's group are chasing down an opposing gang Tetsuo comes across (and is nearly blown up) a strange kid. Soon the military come and take both the kid and Tetsuo away to Kaneda's shock. Kaneda hooks up with Kei and her rebel group to track down the government hospital that Tetsuo was taken to, through violent means. Tetsuo in the mean time, comes back to conciousness in the hospital to realize he has tremendous psionic powers. Now what do you think happens to a teenager, who was abandoned by his parents, raised in an orphanage, and then the brought to the streets and gangs. He was always picked on by others and Kaneda always though the had to come and rescue him. He thought of himself as weak but no more. He pretty much goes crazy, drunk on the power and the need to assert his will. After discovering Akira, the power becomes too much for him and it consumes him. The other test subjects then come and rescue Kaneda. After this it is difficult to say what exactly happens except that major damage to Neo-Tokyo. Tetsuo and the test subject kids then disappear, one of the children promise though that someday when they are strong enough they will return. Over all I enjoyed this movie. I like the detailed animation and the story that flows and makes you think. 5 out of 5 stars.
Next on the block Angel Sanctuary . . .
Boma at 10:23 PM
Ok, I think I'm back to normal now. Course my reviewing of the next anime in my collectione has been delayed. I will be reviewing Akira within the next couple of days and I might touch up the bars some more too. they look kinda bland. I'll go anime quiz hunting and see what's out there. until then.
Boma at 1:56 AM
I guess Blogger likes to mess with us every once in a while. Luckily the posts weren't effective and I remembered which skin I was using. All I have to do is reset the side bars so ignore them for now. ugh, I'll probably have it done by tonight.
Boma at 1:28 PM
cool hawk picture my mom took outside the window
Boma at 1:49 PM
"Ah! My Goddess" - the movie, cover art
Boma at 4:48 PM
Ok, It's a new year and that means I should stop being lazy and get back to reviewing my anime. I came to the conclusion that I've been neglecting some of my dvds. Buying them and then never getting around to watching them. Well that's about to change. I am now determined to go through my dvd collection alphabetically watching and then reviewing. So I'm hoping to get a review up at least once a week. So that being all said and done, the first anime in my collection to go up on the block is "Ah! My Goddess - The Movie". I bought this one a long time ago. Back when I was first getting into anime. What really attracted me to this one was cover art. I had no idea what "Ah! My Goddess" was about beyond the description on the back of the dvd. (since the OVA was already out) Anywho, everytime I went to Best Buy I'd stop and just take a look. It's very well done with one of those slipcovers holding the case together. On the cover is Belledandy in her ceremonial clothes granting a wish (or at least that's what it looks like to me). So finally I said what the heck and got it. Being new to anime at the time when I watched this for the first time, I was a tad confused with the plot. Like what exactly is the Goddess Relief Office or whatever, and what is the difference between Heaven and a computer? But as I watched it the more I enjoyed it. The plot of the movie is Celestine (voiced by David Lucus a.k.a. Steven Blum) escapes from the prison on the moon with the help of Morgan le Fey ( voiced by Lia Sargent). He plans on remaking the world without descrimination and interference from the Heavens and he plans to use Belledandy (voiced by Ruby Marlowe) as a way of hacking the central computer to start disrupting things. By useing her to do this, he also intends to free her of her Goddess duties and null out Keichi's (voiced by Tony Oliver) wish for her to stay with him. This all means in layman's terms that Belledandy get's amnesia specifically about Keichi. And so Keichi, Skuld (voiced by Sherry Lynn), and Urd (voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn) need to cure Belledandy and stop Celestine and Morgan. The animation is wonderful in this movie. Very detailed and good stylization of the characters. I particularly like Morgan's Fairy form design with the blend of human and butterfly. Her ears resemble little wings and butterfly wings coming off her back and arms are interesting placement. I also like the way her body is designed with the look of tattoos curving around her and her fingers. Another plus is the music. There are some wonderful orchestral pieces in the movie, light and airy, some quite uplifting movements. Also for the plus side there are some good extras, such as an episode from the Adventures of Mini-G, an art gallery and movie trailer. The only downside to the movie is some of the dialogue particularly from Belledandy is this goody-two-shoes preachy sound to it. After a while I just got tired of her talking. On the whole, I did enjoy this movie. I give it 2.5 stars. It's worth renting and then deciding if you would want to purchase.
Boma at 4:00 PM