Author Topic: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)  (Read 29669 times)

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #50 on: September 06, 2014, 08:16:14 AM »
Burn-Up Scramble
(12 episode series)

This series features a new character design and animation style that frankly makes the older versions of this franchise look a lot better by comparison.  This series also features a new voice cast along with having a new continuity completely unrelated to the other versions of the franchise.  But what really makes this version suck, in my opinion, is that it's way too serious.  It reminds me of other "future cop" animes which also bored the hell out of me so much.  The fan service is still there, albeit much tamer and therefore less fun as far as I'm concerned. 

I have to be honest, though, and admit up front that I couldn't watch this entire series.  Even if I didn't have a massively huge list of things I want to watch and get through, I probably still wouldn't take the time to watch the entirety of this series, because at points I was tempted to quit before the first episode was even done.  That being said, I only made it through the first episode.  0/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2014, 03:30:13 AM »
Burst Angel
(24 episode series)

This is basically your stereotypical anime – giant mecha, girls with guns, and plenty of fan service.  So, at least in my opinion, there's nothing really special about it and it's basically eye candy.  For the most part, the series is somewhat episodic, though the "episodes" can actually last 2-3 episodes.  There's the big evil plot in the background, though not all of it makes sense, particularly in how it manifests in each episode, which includes the requisite beach episode.

There is a lesbian couple, sort of, with a tomboy engineered weapon and a busty, not all that bright girly type, Jo and Meg, respectively.  The series does try to do a bit of drama with them, and even finishes off with a heroic sacrifice, though it's not clear to me if Jo and her former boss actually died or not at the end of the epic battle that finished the series off.  The idea that Meg would somehow take Jo's place was pretty amusing, though, seeing as she was pretty much the Daphne of the series, what with getting kidnapped in basically every episode and needing Jo to save her.

There is something of a fake protagonist in this series, though, a real whiny loser by the name of Kyohei who is a culinary student just seeking a job on the side for some extra cash.  It was pretty apparent from the start that this was going to be a "harem" type comedy, with a single male character surrounded by hot female characters that he will never, ever get to be more than friends with.  Like most harem comedies I've seen so far, Kyohei is whiney and pathetic, being impossibly understanding and pathetic.  At the beginning of the series, Jo threatened to kill him more than once, including one time when he was infected by a nanovirus that was set to kill him in a few hours if it was not removed.  As Meg was at risk, Jo used him as a hostage in an exchange, threatening to kill him if he didn't cooperate.  And he just goes along with it, even going so far as to save her ass before that storyline was through.  Personally I would have threatened to kill her right back, and probably would have tried to follow through with that threat as soon as the opportunity presented itself, but since Kyohei let himself be a doormat, apparently Jo decided he was now a friend and the series progressed from there.  At a point later in the series, though, it becomes clear that Kyohei is nothing but a supporting character and that Jo is the real protagonist.  Which is pretty lame, really.  Apparently whoever made this was under the mistaken impression that they had to fool their perceived all-male audience into watching their show about hot women fighting crime with their giant robot.

Anyway, this was an okay watch, but it really wasn't anything special.  The most noteworthy thing about it to me was that this was the first role of Monica Rial's that made me notice and appreciate the range her voice actually has by doing something that wasn't a cutesy moé voice.  This series was an attempt at a comedy drama, or maybe a drama with a lot of comedy relief, and it marginally succeeds.  I'd give it a 6/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2014, 02:04:18 AM »
Burst Angel Infinity
(single episode OVA)

A prequel to the series and a sequel to the background episode where Jo and Meg first met.  There isn't a whole lot more to say about the OVA, which really could have been just another episode to the series.  The story itself is about Meg and Jo seeking revenge against a mechanized monster who hurt the youngest member of the gang of street urchins Meg was leading when they found Jo.  Hints at widespread corruption in New York City (like that's anything new), where the story takes place, and an even more obvious anti-US message in that the big bad from the series shows up in NYC as its mayor.

As an aside, it's kind of amusing how many more times I've seen the "teen-aged girl leading a band of street kids who all live in an abandoned bus" aspect of this story pop up in other anime series.

Nothing is really added to the series by this OVA, and like the series itself, while not bad it wasn't really good either.  5/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2014, 11:47:51 AM »
Canaan
(13 episode series)

This was one of the better animes I've watched from my list so far.  I was only able to watch a subbed version, but a dub has been made since.

This series is more action oriented, and of the big bad conspiracy to develop a human super-weapon variety.  It takes place mostly in Shanghai, China, which I find somewhat laughable considering that at least part of the conspiracy involves the US and China cooperating with one another, since everything takes place in China.  I'm not sure I would label this one entirely anti-US, since most of the hate is focused on the CIA, and on intelligence organizations in general it seems, as Japan's own such organization is made to look pretty evil, too.  I'd say the US is probably made fun of more than anything, as the President is made out to be a somewhat lovable buffoon.  The war on terror is also made out to be fake, which is pretty stupid also, but I digress.  Sufficed to say there is a somewhat hippy viewpoint presented about the "military industrial complex", with the group of terrorists showcased presented as far more like a conventional military than actual terrorist organizations are.

Aside from all the action and the big evil conspiracy revolving around a bioengineered "Ua Virus", there's also something of a romance between two women.  Unfortunately we're later supposed to believe the two of them are only friends, but everything in the storyline is played as the two of them being romantically interested in each other.  After all, Canaan, a super-soldier created by exposure to the Ua Virus (which is supposed to be 100% deadly, mind), is constantly protecting the much more feminine Maria, and the two constantly refer to the other being their light, go on about wanting to be together forever, etc.  Even in the end, it's played as a bittersweet end, with the two of them being separated by fate.  Insert a male character into the Canaan role, and I'm pretty sure most people would see it the way I did, but whatever.

There was also some messed up, incestuous infatuation going on between the main villain, Alphard (once also Canaan), and her (adopted) sister.  Of course that woman was even more fucked up than Alphard in the head when it came to killing people, and just in general for that matter.

As you might guess, Alphard has a special infatuation with Canaan, due to the two of them basically being adopted and raised by the same man, a mercenary who was apparently paid to do so.  He also named them both Canaan.  Alphard is weird in that while she constantly hunts down Canaan and fights her, or kidnaps Maria in order to get Canaan to fight her, she never goes all out and kills Canaan.

A bit strange, but still enjoyable, with some comedy relief and fan service thrown in for fun.  It's not an especially good series, and it does have an annoyance factor to it in the form of Maria constantly calling out Canaan's name, but overall I'd say it was fun to watch, and worth a score of about 7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2014, 01:01:25 PM »
Casshan (or Casshern): Robot Hunter
(4 episode OVA)

Another post-apocalyptic story, this time brought on by robot overlords that humans created themselves, lead by an android whose designation BK-1 coincidentally works out as initials for his later name "Black King".  That still sort of sounds like it could be awesome, even if there's an annoying message of hubris to sit through along with it, but really it wasn't all that good.  Battlestar Galactica or Terminator this ain't, because while both of those franchises feature somewhat thoughtful takes on the whole "robots bent on destroying humanity" angle, in this case the robots ...excuse me "neo-roids" were created to help preserve and protect the environment or some shit like that.  So, kind of like the movie I, Robot, BK-1 comes to the conclusion that the best way to do this is to take over things and to kill the majority of humanity, since humanity is a threat to the environment and all that.  I found the environmental bit funny, seeing as the "Robo-Zone" the OVA begins in is a desolate wasteland that obviously once flourished with life.

The robots themselves are a big chunk of why I don't much care for this OVA, mostly just because the way they were written, they could have just as well been aliens or even an elitist group of humans.  After all, they really pushed the whole Nazi angle with the neo-roid symbol and the stiff-armed salute (not to mention the speeches with flags in the background), so humans or space Nazis would have fit the bill a lot better than robots, especially since they acted so human.  They weren't cold and calculating like the terminators or the Cylons, they piloted aircraft and other vehicles with normal instrumentation and controls, rather than the vehicles being neo-roids themselves, stuff like that.  Kind of nitpicky, but I just wasn't sold on the robot angle.  That and I had a really hard time believing all the major world powers' militaries could have been defeated by Black King and his robot armies because of how inefficient and ineffective they were.

Casshan himself was kind of a cool concept, but there was also the same problem with just being unable to suspend disbelief.  He has this cool armor, and at some points he demonstrates the ability to deal out significant damage from a distance, but for the most part he just karate chops and kicks robots to death, one at a time, usually to save his girlfriend Luna, who is usually in some form of peril.  Oh, speaking of, they did try some drama, including romantic drama between Luna and Casshan, but usually the action got in the way of that.  To be honest what drama there was wasn't terribly compelling or interesting anyway.

While easier to follow than the live-action Casshern movie and considerably less boring, it still just isn't all that good, at least for anything other than some amusement.  Fortunately this is only a 4 episode OVA, and each episode is only a bit over 20 minutes long.  I'd give it a 2/10, because while a little interesting and somewhat riff-able (oh, and animated tits), it just really wasn't all that good.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2014, 12:44:41 PM »
Casshern Sins
(24 episode series)

Wow, what a depressing show.  Another take on the original Casshern story, naturally this is a post-apocalyptic story, but that isn't what makes this show depressing.  Rather, we meet a lot of characters and get to know them just well enough for it to tug at our heart strings when they die.  And pretty much everyone Casshern meets does just that, either by his hand, those of other robots, or from the super-rust that is slowly killing all robots along with the entire planet.

In this take on the Casshern story, Casshern actually started out as a killing machine under the command of Braiking Boss (the BK-1 character), and killed Luna, who was his girlfriend on both of the other versions of Casshern I've seen.  Thankfully there was never (and is never) any romance between them, because this version of her looks like a creepy 10 year old.  Anyway, somehow through killing her, Casshern becomes immortal, and the great robot plague called "the ruin" is created and starts to spread.

Different robot characters lamented the super-rust, which prevents them from accepting new replacement parts or from creating new robots as well as slowly killing them, but I kind of thought of it as karma coming back to even the score after Braiking Boss and his army wiped out most of humanity, which had somehow managed to achieve immortality by then.  And not just the robots are affected, but the planet itself seems to be turning into a lifeless ball of sand, with few remaining areas of plant life, and every structure a crumbling ruin.

Overall this was a fairly interesting series, but I have to say that it did get rather tiresome at times.  Every version of Casshern I've seen has lamented his creation and what he is, but this version of him was practically emo.  He not only wanted to die, but there were a few times he actually let an enemy try to kill him, and at one point he even tried to rip his own heart out.  And while the somewhat limited soundtrack could at times effectively add to scenes and help to tug at the heart strings, there was this one pop song with English lyrics that got old fast and at times didn't even really fit what was going on in the scene it was being used for.  And while he was busy being depressed, Casshern basically just wandered around aimlessly, somehow still managing to come across random characters.  This basically gave us each episode's story for about the first 2/3's of the series - Casshern comes across random characters, other robots try to kill him and/or the characters he just met, he fights them, and usually goes into berserker mode and ends up killing basically everyone within sight.  I guess I can't complain too much though, as some of those episodes were actually somewhat decent.  Still, it got somewhat tiresome, along with everyone hating him after they found out his name, even if he'd just saved their lives.

The character design was somewhat different than what I was used to, just to throw that out there.  Some characters reminded me a lot of the anime movie Metropolis, especially Ringo, who was either some weird kind of robot or maybe a human/robot hybrid of some kind.  Anyway, when she smiled and laughed, it was hard not to do the same.  Casshern and a lot of the others were way more ... artistic.  At times it was impressionist, and at others, it almost reminded me of a more American style of animation.  Casshern and the other robots like him also all sported the ultimate popped collars.  ;)

I think I'll give this one a 7/10, which isn't bad considering that it started out so generically that I almost didn't bother watching past the first episode.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #56 on: September 18, 2014, 02:06:18 AM »
Castle in the Sky
(1986 movie)

You know, I wasn't expecting a whole lot from a 1986 anime movie about a floating castle, but this actually wasn't that bad.  Sure, it was kind of cutesy at times, and while the animation style kind of dates, the story still holds up pretty well.

The story itself is set in a kind of generic European country about 1900 or so.  It's steampunk, though, so dates don't mean much.  Cars and airplanes seem to be that very early vintage, along with artillery and small arms, but there are flying battleships and dirigibles that make it pretty steampunk.  Actually in some ways this reminds me of Nadia, as far as everything revolving around a young girl with a special blue necklace who turns out to be a princess of a lost city.  It's just that in this case the city is floating in the air rather than the water.

In this case the young girl is named Sheeta, and she doesn't even know what her true heritage is at first and has to kind of intuit it later on in the movie.   Apparently she's descended from the royalty of a civilization that had huge cities that flew far above the ground.  The movie's opening implies that some great catastrophe happens to make the majority of the cities crash.  During the time the movie takes place, most people take this all to be myth, and for the few pilots who have seen the last remaining flying city, they tend to get treated like nuts.  Apparently the government of whatever country this movie takes place in believes it enough to kidnap Sheeta and attempt to force her to show them where the flying city, Laputa, is, even though she doesn't know what they're talking about.  Luckily for her the airship she's been absconded to is attacked by air pirates, and in the ensuing battle, she ends up falling.  Normally that would be a bad thing, but like I said, magic blue necklace, so she ends up floating safely to the ground, and right into the arms of the standard good-guy and humble love interest Pazu.

There's some standard boy-meets-girl along the way, with some air pirates who aren't so bad thrown in for fun.  The story is paced fairly well, not moving very fast, but not dragging things out unnecessarily, either.  Naturally a movie like this has a message, which seems to be very strongly environmental.  Not so much "save the planet" so much as over-emphasizing the importance of trees and wild animals.  It also has something of a generic anti-military message, but then that tends to go hand in hand with the kind of friendly, romantic view of pirates this movie ended up having.  So basically it's everything you'd expect from a Miyazaki film, it's just that this was my first of his.

There really isn't all that much else to say about this movie, other than that it's worth a watch.  7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline Fiery Little One

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 7,791
  • Live Long and Prosper
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #57 on: September 18, 2014, 03:58:54 PM »
I've seen quite a few of Miyazaki's movies and this one is no exception. Nature is one of his most common themes, usually in the form of man vs nature in some way.

As for this one, overall I liked it, but I think the common consensus is that it's hard not to like his movies even if it's a case of you like some more than others.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2014, 04:04:11 PM by Fiery Little One »
Open your mind to new possibilities
-Trip(sort of), The Crossing

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2014, 10:03:22 AM »
Just wait until I get to some of his other movies.  :D
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #59 on: September 23, 2014, 10:12:26 AM »
Charger Girl Juden-chan
(12 episode series)

This series ... wow, I don't know how I made it as far into the second episode as I did or why I even chose to put it on my list of anime to watch.  Oh, wait, I'm pretty sure the reason why was the fan service, and by fan service in this case I mean practically porn (the term is hentai, you uncultured swine! ;) ).  And by porn, I mean something for people even more perverted than I am.  As for what I mean by that, well, it's a big part of why I just couldn't keep watching.

Believe it or not, at first I found it kind of funny, in a "let's make fun of weird hentai" kinda way; I mean, they even showed bits of a stereotypical tentacle hentai that the main character, Plug, would catch at random points on TV in a manner that pretty much had me convinced they were making fun of this kind of thing, along with the "magical girl" genre.  Instead, it turned out worse.

I know Japan is somewhat disturbingly misogynistic, and this has shown itself in some of the stuff I've already watched, but this was just way over the top.  Basically, while normal humans can't see or touch the magical girls who fly around and cure people of depression by electrocuting them (yeah, that's really the premise of the series), the male lead can, and he usually reacts to them by getting pissed off and hitting them in the head with a baseball bat, the usual result being that they would then literally piss themselves.  This was played for laughs, and at the point I just had to turn it off, one of the invisible women he was doing this to was somehow developing an attraction to this man and actually stated that being beamed in the head by him actually felt good.

Now, a lot of people tend to confuse the fact that I like to drool over naked women means I'm some kind of troglodyte, but really I just love how great women tend to look nekkid.  That doesn't mean I don't respect women, and in fact that's why I just couldn't take this series anymore – because a man beating women until they pissed themselves was played as funny and sexy.

So to sum things up, I really wasn't expecting more than some animated nudity and some sex jokes, but even those low expectation managed to leave me coming away offended and feeling a little dirty for having watched as much as I did.  0/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #60 on: September 24, 2014, 12:18:16 PM »
Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief (aka The Daughter of Twenty Faces)
(22 episode series)

This was actually a pretty good series.  It wasn't quite what I initially thought it was going to be, and I have to say, I think it actually worked out better that way.

This series does have some of the standard clichés: a mysterious rogue, a young apprentice becoming a master, an evil plan being carried out by a mad scientist, etc, but it also tends to mix things up a bit.

At first, the series seemed to be a lot more about the Phantom Thief, who is a bit of a Robin Hood figure – stealing famous treasures and returning them to their rightful owners.  It's in doing this that he comes across Chiko, a young heiress whose aunt is plotting to kill her for her inheritance.  The Phantom Thief stealing her along with a famous ruby she happens to have just seems to be part of what the Phantom Thief is all about.  But he is a mysterious character, and really he's pretty much impossible to figure out.  We do learn bits about his past, which has something to do with the recently ended Second World War.  Some of his jobs have also involved the destruction of things he was apparently involved in developing, like an impossibly huge airplane found sunken at the bottom of the ocean.

So basically, it seems like this series is going to be about Chiko traveling along with and becoming a part of the Phantom Thief's gang, which is naturally more like a family than an actual gang.  The Phantom Thief even seemed to be setting her up to someday take his place.  That's just when the series changes things up and kills almost every single member of the Phantom Thief's gang.  There's a bit of a depressing transitional period, and then the real story starts to reveal itself, the pieces falling into place with each episode.

The pacing is fairly good, but I have to admit to a little disappointment with the large periods of time that are being skipped.  I do understand, though, that it might drag things out unnecessarily otherwise.  It's just that in the beginning, the series skips almost three years' worth of time Chiko spends with the Phantom Thief and the gang, effectively turning it into a montage of what will become the teenaged girl's memories when she returns to a more normal life.  Then, at the end of the series, it skips three years again.  Really the last episode is more of an epilogue than anything else.  I guess that means it was an okay last episode, but it was a little anti-climatic given what had just happened with a mad scientist's evil plan ripping a huge hole in Tokyo and all.

Which leads me to a few asides.  I have to admit, that I thought this series was going more of the alternate history route, even though it was obvious that the war that everyone was talking about having recently ended was WWII.  Thing is, there were a few airships that showed up, along with that impossibly huge tank and that impossibly huge airplane.  It all seemed so dieselpunk.  The technology associated with the mad scientist's plan seemed that way, too, and given the aforementioned hole being ripped into Tokyo, well everything seemed to be pointing toward an alternate history story set in something like the early 1950s.  Well, wrong again, they filled in the hole, built Tokyo Tower, and apparently forgot everything about what happened, along with the supposedly world famous Phantom Thief.  Then there was Chiko's role in the gang, which along with becoming an awesome buttkicker, she was also relegated to being the cook, maid, and seamstress of the gang by virtue of being female.  That's actually somewhat amusing considering that Chiko is a rich girl who has always had servants to do those kinds of things for her, yet she is somehow supposedly good at doing all of them and is happy to do them.  Oh, Japan... ;)  And while the Phantom Thief is made out by the show to be made of awesome, he's actually kind of a dick because of how he messes with the feelings of Chiko and his gang (what ended up being left of it).

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who might be interested in a kind of mystery/adventure story. There's some comedy relief, too, but thankfully they didn't go over the top with it.  Over all this series was very well done, despite a few flaws as I noted, and a few nitpickier ones I didn't bother to bring up.  I hope that an English dub will be made for this series someday, as in spite of its quality, it has yet to be picked up by anyone.  9/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #61 on: September 25, 2014, 01:13:06 PM »
Chobits
(26 episode series)

This series is every bit as stupid and pointless as one of my friends warned me it would be.  I have to admit though that I only even gave this one a chance because it looked like it could be funny and have some nice fan service, but the attempts at comedy just completely fell flat, or were done so much that it completely lost any comedy value something might have initially had. 

Jokes about internet porn and a retarded computer shaped like a teenaged girl imitating everything the main character does might be funny the first time (not that they really were), but when it's constantly done it becomes grating.  Probably the most amusement I garnered from this complete waste of time was that the main character was being voiced by the same actor who did Captain Tyler, in the same type of voice (the actor actually does have a bit of a range).  That's probably because the main character was supposed to be a simpleton, what with coming from the farm and all.

I could tell that this was supposed to be one of those cutesy romantic comedy type shows, but frankly the idea of romance with a computer is pervy, especially given that Chi (the computer) looked like jailbait.  Oh, Japan...   And just think, there were apparently 26 episodes of this crap, and from what I read they actually left it open for even more.  I could barely sit through 2.  I admit that I probably gave Ah!  My Goddess! more of a chance despite kind of being along the same vein, and maybe Chobits might have proven to have a few interesting mini-stories like Goddess did, but I just didn't see anything even remotely worth keeping me watching.  At least Goddess had a few moments and characters like the Motor Club to keep me amused, but Chobits had nothing, nothing.  0/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2014, 10:07:58 AM »
Chrome Shelled Regios
(24 episode series)

Yet another post-apocalyptic series with an environmental message.  There are even giant bugs in this one, too.  In fact, if there had been giant mecha, well let's just say I would have been a little more amused.  Really though, I was pretty much just bored out of my mind with what I watched out of this series.  It was very stereotypical in the kind of characters there were and the kind of fighting there was.

Basically, the world is a desert wasteland, and humans are getting by living in giant domed cities that can actually slowly cruise around in order to avoid the giant bugs, and so they can fight one another over dwindling resources.  Oh, and there are special academic cities, since apparently none of the other normal cities are big enough to just have a university in them.  One of the special rules of the cities fighting is that the university cities can only attack one another since they have so many military arts students, and the fights themselves are more like games of capture the flag, but with real weapons and real casualties.   And while there are some guns, mostly they fight with weird weapons that morph from just a handle into a sword, whip, staff, or some other kind of weapon.  Plus there's magic they can use to fight and do the physically impossible with.  It comes off like a fighting game, really.

So while some people might be into the kind of stuff this series has to offer, I really wasn't.  About the only thing I might have found interesting would be character drama, but there just wasn't enough in the first couple of episodes to make me even want to start watching the third episode.  There was a little potential there, but mostly it was focused on setting the male lead character up with about 3-4 female characters, including the captain of his platoon.  0/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2014, 10:48:12 AM »
Claymore
(26 episode series)

So, we have a show set in a medieval fantasy world, following a beautiful female knight wielding a giant sword that she uses to kill demons.  Sounds kind of awesome, right?  Well, that's what I thought, but really it wasn't quite what I was hoping.  It really came off as basically any other anime involving a sword wielder, though usually the sword is a katana.  In other words, this series was nothing really new or special.  It wasn't really bad, but it wasn't that good, either.

As far as the story went, most of it has to do with these demon creatures, yoma, which have a craving for human innards.  They are pretty nasty creatures, often hiding out by eating the brain of a victim for their knowledge and memories (not sure how that works, exactly) and then shape-shifting into that victim's appearance in order to imitate them.  They're basically impossible for normal humans to beat.  The answer seems to be from a mysterious organization with no name: create human/yoma hybrids by implanting the flesh and blood from yoma corpses into a human's body.  Oh, by the way, they only use women because men don't last as long.  Seems the long term result of this is that the new warriors will eventually lose their human side over to their yoma side, and as it turns out having your body morph into a monster feels like having an orgasm, or something, so men don't last as long.  Hah, long elaborate sex joke. -_-

I was sort of hoping the show would do something interesting with the yoma, but aside from a little bit in the very beginning of the series, they were pretty stereotypical enemies.  While mysterious origins can be interesting, the show never really even went there, and while it might have added some depth to them by having the victims who the yoma are imitating survive and come through some times, like I said, that only ever turned up briefly in the first episode.  A little more interesting were the "awakened beings", which were really just Claymores who have lost control to their yoma halves.  Mostly, though, the yoma simply served as something for Clare, the title Claymore whose adventures we follow, and her other fellow Claymores to hack apart.

What the story ended up being, though, was a pretty basic story of revenge.  Clare had a pretty messed up childhood, which we did get to see part of, and someone important to her was killed.  Naturally the shadowy organization isn't exactly made up of "good guys", and it's made clear that they didn't create Claymore warriors to wipe out the yoma and in doing so preserving humanity, but rather for profit.  And while it is very difficult to produce warriors like Clare, the organization is perfectly fine using them as expendable assets.

The show also dabbles a bit in romance and romantic drama, or rather tries to.  Raki is a teenaged boy who is exiled from his village because of some suspicion that he might become a yoma because his entire family was killed by one, which then imitated Raki's older brother until Clare killed it.  He's also a whiny loser, who constantly cries like a little kid.  And, despite being a little weakling even by human standards, he has it in his head that he can somehow protect Clare in return for her saving his life (which at the time was only incidental to her job at his village).  Still, somehow we are to believe that Clare develops romantic feelings for Raki.  I just never really got into it, despite part of me kind of wanting to.  I know it was probably an attempt at reversing gender roles, because Clare was strong, able, and relatively stoic, while Raki was weak, practically useless (though a good cook, apparently), and constantly cried and whined.  I've seen other attempts at doing this kind of thing that actually mostly pulled it off, primarily because they didn't turn the guy into a pathetic whiny loser and weakling in the process.

Anyway, I wouldn't say that this series is completely uninteresting – I did watch all of it, after all – but there really isn't anything particularly interesting that might help this series stand out or make it different from any other hack and slash anime.  7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #64 on: September 29, 2014, 11:23:22 AM »
Space Pirate Captain Herlock: The Endless Odyssey
(13 episode OVA)

This is actually a fairly complex story, and it was worth the time to watch it.  There was some oddball philosophy to go along with it, not to mention some serious male stereotyping and the usual romantic vision of pirates, but for the most part the story this OVA told was interesting.

The story starts on a trash heap planet, which people live on despite it being a trash heap.  A scientist type has a rebelling son, Tadashi, who is heading down the path to his own destruction.  Like father, like son, as it turned out.  Naturally, Tadashi ends up joining the mysterious Captain Herlock after the death of his scientist father.  He's basically the odd man out, as things aboard the ship, Arcadia, are not what he expects.  Yet somehow through this, he becomes a man, or so everyone in the OVA insists.

One thing I really liked here was the complexity of the characters.  There were some definite stereotypes, but there was also at least one exception.  There was one character who, for all intents looked to be the next Hitler, turning the "space sheriff's" department he is a high ranking officer of into the space Gestapo.  Later this character seems to realize the error of his ways, and even comes to respect his enemy, Captain Herlock.

The subject matter was surprisingly serious considering the seemingly cartoonish nature of the visual design.  Most of the characters looked kind of like monkeys, and then there were things like a prison satellite being connected by a chain to an artificial planet (the stereotypical ball at the end of a chain), or that the Arcadia had an old galleon style stern and wooden wheel, and sprouted a big knife in its bow for ramming attacks.

As for the story itself, well it's kind of reminiscent of Babylon 5's Shadow story arc – a scientific expedition is entirely wiped out save one person after coming in contact with a mysterious and ancient evil that has remained hidden for a long time.  That's about where the similarities end.  Basically it goes overboard on the whole demons and hell theme.

Actually, one of the things I really didn't care for was how invincible Herlock was.  I know he's supposed to be the one we're all rooting for, but he literally was impossible to beat, which made him something of a Gary Stu in my opinion.  I guess you could say the same about his ship, the Arcadia, which was also basically impossible to beat, and could even run without a crew.  It wasn't enough to ruin the show, but it did kind of annoy me a little.  Then there’s the unresolved cliffhanger ending.  Talk about a Kobayashi Maru.

Anyway, I'd say this OVA is definitely worth a watch, and I'm actually interested in seeing the original version of this now, if nothing else to see if the same kooky philosophy of some ancient evil force being responsible for all the evil in the world and even for the spiral shape of galaxies (instead of gravity, and ignoring all the other types of galaxies) is also present in it.  7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #65 on: October 01, 2014, 01:42:20 PM »
Cosmo Warrior Zero
(13 +2 episode OVA)

In some ways I'm still trying to decide what to make of this OVA as I write this.  It's mostly a fairly typical space opera, espousing the principles of getting along with one another despite differences, living by a code of strong principles, and so on – everything one would expect from something of this genre.  It was also mostly fluff, with a lot of comedy relief; too much comedy relief to really be taken seriously.  The thing is, the series tended to bounce back and forth between having a serious storyline with some actual drama and being a comedy that happily makes fun of space operas.  So that's why I'm having some trouble making up my mind about this OVA.

It doesn't help things that Crispin Freeman is playing the lead role as Captain Warrius Zero, because for those who don't know, he also played the title character in The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, which pretty much was just entirely about making fun of space operas.  It also took place on a crappy old space ship and was crewed by a bunch of misfits who had to learn how to work together as a team.  Then again, Crispin Freeman wasn't using his buffoon voice for Captain Zero like he was for Captain Tyler, so there's yet another thing that only adds to the question of if this series was supposed to be taken all that seriously or not.  I'm leaning toward "not," though.

That's actually a little disappointing, because there were some elements about this series that could have made for a pretty good, seriously played science fiction story.  The background of this story is that cylo- I mean "machine men" have just gotten done kicking humanity's ass, but rather than wiping humanity out completely, they stopped and agreed to a tenuous peace treaty.  This treaty is then put at risk when the pirate Captain Harlock (now called rather than Herlock) and his green ship Deathshadow (rather than Arcadia though it looks about the same) start attacking ships, stations and colonies of machine men.  That could make for something pretty interesting, especially given how dedicated Captain Zero is to treating machine men as friends and equals worthy of his protection even though his entire family was killed by them during the war.  And that doesn't even matter if the machine men were aliens, originally created by humans as a slave race, or as in this OVA, humans who have somehow become machines and given up their humanity for various reasons of their own.  But, this show doesn't really go there, and what it basically amounts to is a grudge match between Zero and Harlock, though the two of them apparently decide that they respect one another.  As an aside, I have to say that casting Steven Blum of Spike Spiegel fame as Captain Harlock was very fitting.

In any case, there is the typical big bad who is behind the scenes plotting some evil scheme, which as it turns out doesn't make much sense when he could have just used brute force all along, given his uber-ship's capabilities and how he just ends up doing that anyway.  The show tries to change things up by adding a villain who is apparently supposed to be worse, but nothing ever comes of it.

And then there's the "special," which basically adds two more episodes to the OVA.  Most of the characters from the rest of the series aren't present, and Harlock and Zero both insist on fighting despite Zero already learning that his assignment to hunt Harlock down was a sham and that Harlock had been in the right all along.  It's like everything leading up to and culminating in the reveal of the evil secret plan at the end of the series proper never happened.  It's mostly played for laughs, and the tone set in the special was definitely lighter than the rest of the OVA.

Oh, veering off the track for a bit, I have to say that I can't understand at all why so many shows like this insist on doing a romantic pairing with the captain and the first officer of a ship.  Fraternization regulations aside, it just really irks me that there are rarely any shows that show a male and female in these roles simply being friends and maintaining their professional relationship.  It's like there's this expectation that men and women can't be adults and work together like grown-ups, and I find that ludicrous.

Don't get me wrong, this was an okay show, maybe worth a watch if you aren't looking for anything that's really serious.  It's definitely not the kind of show Endless Odyssey was, which was way more philosophical and serious.  It definitely had its moments, both positive and negative.  Trying to decide which it had more of is a little difficult, but I don't think I can really rank this higher than a 6/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2014, 12:16:14 AM »
Coyote Ragtime Show
(12 episode OVA)

This was actually a pretty good anime; fun to watch, with a good pace, entertaining storyline, and interesting characters.  This show reminded me a lot of Firefly, or at least aspects of it did - a sci-fi action following a small ship and its crew of misfits looking for the next big payoff.  In other ways, it reminded me of Chiko, both in how there was one under-aged girl traveling around with a band of thieves and acting as their cook (you know, since she's a girl), and in how she was a protégé of the master thief.

This show wasn't good in the normal sense –it wasn't some deep, thoughtful drama or anything- but what it had was a lot of over the top action and never bothered to take itself all that seriously.  Basically this is the kind of show you'd want to watch for some mindless entertainment.  There is a lot going on, and it's one wild ride, but while it would have been easy for this show to get bogged down with politics or some other kind of message, that was mostly averted.  There was some, but it wasn't as in your face as in other animes I've seen, and it thankfully wasn't the focus or even integral to the story.

Otherwise, this show has a lot to enjoy and laugh at, like say the killer androids that look like cutesy anime girls dressed in Victorian goth style clothing, laughing gleefully as they slaughter people by the dozen.  There's also plenty to keep gun geeks entertained, as the people who made this probably crammed as many as they thought possible into this short series.

There's also a certain romanticism of piracy present in this show, which is what the name "coyote" is supposed to be standing in for, given the context.  That makes it a little more amusing considering the people who are actually called coyotes tend to be pretty bad people.  The pirate theme is still played through pretty thoroughly, including a scene in a pirate-themed bar, with pirate music playing in the background before the big bar fight breaks out.  Then there were the bad guys, who looked like more modern versions of the soldiers in Jin-Roh, yet somehow made me still think of the faceless Cobra mooks from G.I. Joe.  Despite absurdities being present, it was pretty much all acknowledged in a kind of tongue-in-cheek manner and played for laughs from what I could tell.

About the only things I didn't much care for was the female inspector, Angelica, constantly chasing the coyote simply referred to as "Mister," the protagonist of the show.  She did add a little to the show, but naturally she ended up being played as secretly being in love with the over-the-top pirate.  She also was played as a voracious eater, which I guess is supposed to be funny, but really wasn't.  Also not funny was her partner, Chelsea, who while supposedly being a police officer, was actually so stupid she couldn't read much above a grade-schooler's level.  Monica Rial's moé voice tended to get to me, too.

Those are the only real down-sides to this show, and it was mostly just fun.  I'm definitely adding this to my list of favorites.  8/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #67 on: October 07, 2014, 09:39:41 AM »
Cromartie High School
(26 episode series)

It isn't very often that I get to finish an entire series in a single day, even if it's one of my days off.  Of course it helps when each episode is only about 10 minutes long.

I'm not really sure how to describe this series, other than that it goes out of its way to be as over the top as possible, and that it's both hilarious and awesome because of it.  A lot of shows will make fun of themselves or other shows like them, so in that way this series isn't any different with them, but it's still pretty good.  It touches on a lot of subjects, including the anime fandom, the manga vs. anime argument(s), and stupid things like getting into arguments on the internet.  There are also times the show actually gets thoughtful and discusses things somewhat seriously, usually to comedic effect.  In a way, it's kind of like South Park ... but not really, that's just the closest comparison I can make.

Other than that, I can't really describe why this show is awesome and hilarious, so I suggest you watch it for yourself if you want to know why.  I'm going to give this an A/Z.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #68 on: October 14, 2014, 11:18:03 AM »
Cybersix
(12 episode series)

This was actually more like 12 episodes of disappointment.  I'd read some things about this series that made it sound promising (you mean you can't believe everything you read on the internet?), and the opening sequence even made it look like it was in the same vein as Batman, only with a cybernetic chick in a stripperiffic costume.  Even the first episode made it look more interesting than that, because the "hero" of the show was actually going around hunting the bad guy's Frankenstein-looking henchmen so she could feed on them (sort of) in order to survive.  So really there was potential there for a kind of anti-hero who wasn't fighting crime, but was instead only incidentally foiling the plans of the bad guy through her interference.  Unfortunately all of this potential for awesomeness vanished before the first episode was even over, and it quickly became apparent that this show was aimed at an even younger age group than Batman: The Animated Series.  Oh, sure, there's some humor derived from that, given that the Cybersix is basically a Clark Kent, only instead of just glasses, she also brushes her hair slightly differently, and dresses up like a nerdy high school literature teacher (though the high school looks more like a stereotypical university).  There's also the humorously stereotypical way some Japanese characters were drawn, especially as this series was animated by a Japanese company.  Yes, there are those things, but it wasn't enough to make me overcome the boredom I felt watching this series, and since most of the humor is the type you would find in an American Saturday morning cartoon aimed at the kiddies.  If anything this show is actually slightly bad instead of just staying safely within "meh" territory.  If anything, the more mature elements that were apparently left in from the source comic book series seem to be more like artifacts from that source, or maybe a parental bonus at best.  Not really worth it to watch, and frankly, I'm surprised I put up with it for the six episodes I did watch.  2/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline Fiery Little One

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 7,791
  • Live Long and Prosper
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #69 on: October 14, 2014, 02:29:52 PM »
Huh. Can't win 'em all I guess. The only thing that put me off, watched it back in the day, was the animation style, and even then only slightly.
Open your mind to new possibilities
-Trip(sort of), The Crossing

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #70 on: October 15, 2014, 03:15:04 AM »
Cyborg 009: Legend of the Super Galaxy
(1980 movie)

You know all those stereotypes about anime and sci-fi (especially the two mixed together) everyone loves to make fun of?  This movie has pretty much all of them: a horribly bad English dub with laughable dialog, a retardedly stupid plot that's just full of holes, characters that know everything despite just encountering something or someone, or leaping to conclusions that happen to be right, and a really dated appearance and soundtrack.

Speaking of appearance, it was made by the same people who made 009-1, so it has about the same character design, which is a bit cartoonish and looks like something from the '70s.  Of course in this case it pretty much was from the '70s.

As for the plot, well, some big bad wants to conquer the universe, and it's up to our plucky group of cyborgs and their alien friend to stop him.  Along the way, a lot of time is made for the cyborgs to angst about being war machines despite wanting to live peaceful lives, and other such clumsy attempts at drama.  Oh, and one of the cyborgs is an infant who can levitate, talk, and has telepathy.

As you can tell by my lack of any real effort on this review, I don't really want to waste much time writing it, which should tell you that you don't want to waste time watching this movie.  It might be good to watch to make fun of, and it would probably be improved with a Rifftrax, but other than that, it pretty much just sucks.  0/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #71 on: October 16, 2014, 10:20:58 AM »
Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier
(51 episode series)

Probably the most notable thing about this series is that it does a fairly decent job of blending the old '70s character designs with a more modern visual direction.  A "darker and edgier" reboot, I'm afraid I don't have any real basis for comparison other than the 1980 movie I reviewed not that long ago.  Compared to that, there is quite a bit of difference, first and foremost that there aren't any aliens or secret evil plans to conquer the entire universe.  Instead, a secret evil mercenary group plots to keep the world at war with itself so it can make money and because it just gets off on that kind of thing.  The big bad of this series also bears a striking resemblance to Darth Vader, albeit actually somewhat more comical in appearance (almost friendly-looking, if it wasn't for the ruthless killing part).  As I tried to watch this, giving it the requisite 3 episodes to sort itself out, I couldn't help but feel that this series was aimed at a younger age group due to the abundance of some rather immature humor.

I tried to get into this series, I guess because I was hoping that it was at least as good as 009-1 or Casshern Sins, but while those series weren't much above okay, they did have something to keep me just interested enough to keep watching.  This series, however, lacked any real draw that I could get into.  I might not have been as quick to give up on it if it had been shorter, but I'm just not willing to sit through 50+ episodes that might all be just as boring as the first 3 episodes.  So I guess I'll pass on this one, but throw it a bone for at least trying to do something: 1/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #72 on: October 17, 2014, 09:15:25 AM »
Dante's Inferno
(2010 movie)

This was a fairly good movie with a coherent if basic plot, considering that it was made using quite a few different animation studios.  I've seen this kind of work before with Halo Legends and Gotham Knight, but this is the first time I've seen all of the different segments edited together as one story – the others were collections of shorts each animation studio produced.  So this movie is impressive in that way.

Story-wise, it was a pretty basic premise of a crusading knight going quite literally to hell in order to save the soul of the woman he loved.  So basically it was a visually impressive hack n' slash, without much depth.  Famous names were dropped and ancient Greek myths were shoe-horned into the Christian view of hell.  Yeah, you could say I was a bit turned off by the viewpoint being presented.  The movie did try to make up for this by pointing out that the Crusaders were a bunch of hypocrites, and that the holier-than-thou protagonist was one of the worst sinners in hell, but it was still selling a viewpoint on religion I just really can't agree with.

As for the characters, the fall-back to a lack of a story, well, not much depth here either, but I didn't really expect that much from an action-oriented movie that's based on a video game.  There were some occasional tales of woe and attempts at drama, but I didn't really get into it.

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not coming down all that hard on this movie.  I didn't like it, but I didn't exactly dislike it either.  Confused?  Well, I like it as a kind of guilty pleasure, because it's full of action-packed ass-kicking.  It might be worth a watch if blood and gore and the like aren't going to upset you, because this movie seems to go out of its way to gross you out.  But if you want some mindless action and don't expect much out of this movie, I'd say go for it.  4/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #73 on: October 18, 2014, 10:43:09 PM »
Daphne in the Brilliant Blue
(26 episode series)

It was clear from the title sequence that this series was pretty much just about fan service.  Basically it's a lot like Burn Up Excess – a group of women fighting crime for money while wearing as little as possible.  There's even a loud mouth, violent, lazy blonde who's perpetually in debt.  That might mean I'd actually like it, except that it actually tends to be a bit boring to watch, and what comedy there is just isn't really all that funny.  I'm a little surprised to say this, but for all the fan service, I just don't find much interesting about this series, at least not enough to watch the whole series.  Hell, I was getting so bored watching this series, I started doing some other writing as I let it play in the background.

At first I thought it might be something akin to a space opera, only underwater with the elite ocean agency the main character was trying to get into in the first episode.  But as it turned out it was basically just another girl cop show like every other one I've seen.  By now I guess I'm just bored with them.  3/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,682
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #74 on: October 19, 2014, 09:58:20 PM »
Dead Leaves
(2004 movie)

As I write this, I'm still trying to figure out just what the hell it is that I watched.  No, really, I have no idea.  Considering what I've come to expect from Production I.G, the visual direction was very abstract, and well, I really don't understand what the plot was supposed to be about.  Basically it has the same kind of gross-out humor as Super Jail (and vague memories of Cool World), with the kind of "what the frak am I watching?" style of FLCL's storytelling.  I think the movie was poking fun, but I'm not sure what at exactly.  There are guns and explosions, a hot chick, a dude with a TV for a head, and a guy with a giant drill penis all trapped in a prison in the tattered remains of the moon.  I really don't know how else to explain the movie.  I mean, honestly, as messed up and confusing as it was, FLCL still made more sense than this movie.  Don't get me wrong, it does have a kind of appeal, as in something to laugh hysterically at that doesn't make any real sense.  I bet watching it drunk would be even more fun.  In any case, I can't really rate this movie higher than a 4/10, even if I did find it kind of enjoyable to watch.  The soundtrack is also pretty fun in its own right.  I'm just not sure what to make of what it was I experienced.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR