Author Topic: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)  (Read 30883 times)

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2014, 12:16:02 AM »
Black Magic M-66
(single episode OVA)

Ah, more androids, and they aren't the focus of the story ... more or less.  In any case, the story actually follows a sexy news reporter, Sybel, who reminds me a little of April from the old Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles show I watched as a kid back in the late '80s and early '90s.  She's arrogant, driven, temperamental, and has to constantly fight off the advances of her co-worker, who is something of a leach with aspirations of his own.  Oh, and she's a hot brunette with short hair. 

In what is basically a fish-out-of-water story, Sybel noses her way into something big and ends up being hunted by both the military and the android killing machines created by some crazy scientist type.  Some mishap occurred in transporting the things, and they end up on the loose, somehow programmed to kill their creator's spoiled granddaughter, though only after they've ripped a grizzly bear and a couple of hikers to shreds, just to show us how dangerous and indiscriminate they are.  Sybel, being the just caring enough person that she is, takes it upon herself to break free of military custody, during an attack by the killing machines no less, so she can personally save the scientist's granddaughter.

Thankfully this movie wasn't completely horribly clichéd, so the soldiers weren't all evil, even if they weren't real big on the freedom of the press, and actually catch on to the fact Sybel is trying to save the same person they are, and she basically ends up completely forgiven for nosing in on their big state secret.  The end credits actually show us some mildly amusing snippets from her continued exploits, and let's just say that she doesn't change a bit.

Hmmm...  How to put this?  Well, this movie didn't suck.  The plot was straightforward, there weren't any hugely annoying and obvious political messages to ruin things, and the main character was an interesting if not really what a viewer could really entirely sympathize with.  I'd call her a chaotic neutral anti-hero ... maybe.  Yeah, there were some clichés, and really not all of the movie makes sense, but it was still fun to watch, even if there was some obvious ripping-off of The Terminator at points.  7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2014, 10:11:48 AM »
Blassreiter
(24 episode series)

Set in a future Germany, this series both entertained and annoyed me.  Annoyed because of the anti-US slant that turns up late in the series, and because of how annoying some of the characters could be, not to mention some of the clichés that reared their ugly heads.

In a problem that is entirely unique to Germany, human bodies have started coming back to life as these strange monsters that are really hard to kill, have devastating attacks, and apparently just appeared out of no where.  Then, just as icing on the cake, most of the victims tend to come back to life as these monsters themselves, sort of like really angry and fast zombies that can blend with machinery to become even worse monsters.  Their origin is finally explained toward the end of the series, and isn't exactly a huge surprise thanks to the many hints dropped from the beginning of the series.

The story focuses mostly on one team of elite police, the Xenogenesis Assault Team, which actually reminds me a bit of FUNERAL from Argento Soma in the type of team members present.  As it turns out, one of their number, Hermann, has a friend who is infected and becomes one of these monsters, but to an extent he can control it and he retains his humanity.  This mostly has to do with the manner in which he was infected, which leads into what becomes the main plot of the series.  At first, it seems like this Gerd guy is going to become something like a Batman figure in that while he continually fights the good fight against the monsters, only a few people (and later only his friend) stick up for him and most regard him as simply another monster.

Well, fooled me.  As it turns out, that wasn't the case, and it only set things up for the main plotline, which is of mysterious figures from the past of yet another anti-hero character plotting to force their brand of evolution on humanity.  We eventually learn the past of this anti-hero, Joseph, and through that the solution to the big mystery that's been dragged along since the beginning of the series.  Then, like Argento Soma, there's a betrayal from within the team, but the difference is that here the betrayer never redeems themselves and most of the team dies, and the storyline shifts to follow formerly secondary characters accordingly. 

Then towards the end, the US bullies the UN into letting it unleash nuclear armageddon on Germany in order to prevent the spread of the monsters to the rest of the world.  Oh yeah, and the Knights Templar make an appearance and turn out to not be that much better, except for a few people who mostly all die saving the day.

At times this series grew quite tiresome, either from slow pacing or from the anti-US bullshit, not to mention the hugely anvilicious anti-xenophobia aesop, but I guess overall I don’t regret watching it.  It is another series that could have gotten to the point more quickly, but it's still okay.  I'd say it's about 5/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2014, 09:54:50 PM »
Blood: The Last Vampire
(2000 movie)

It's safe to say that while I liked this movie, it was also somewhat lacking in story development.  We're very abruptly introduced to the story, and the pace never really slowed down enough for me to absorb as much of it as I would have liked.  We're introduced to the characters very quickly, though the only really important one is Saya, who her handler David describes as "the last original."  He and another character named Lewis are apparently part of an organization called Red Shield, which is charged with battling these bat-like demon creatures referred to as chiropterans.  We're never informed of the origin of these creatures, who or what exactly Saya is, or how Red Shield is able to cover things up so completely despite so much evidence from the various battles that take place.

Movies like this tend to give us an "ordinary" person to sympathize with, and this is no exception.  In this case, it's a plump American woman who is the school nurse at the high school on Yanato Air Base in Tokyo.  She's actually quite annoying, and a pretty negative stereotype of Americans.  Saya has to repeatedly save her, though at one point she seems to lament not being able to kill her.

Saya herself seems to be a vampire, but she doesn't seem to be affected by any of the stereotypical things associated as weaknesses for vampires, and we never see her drink blood.  The title actually seems to have to do with the method Saya employs to kill the chiropterans, which is the only way to kill them, through a single blow that causes massive blood loss.  Saya herself is somewhat difficult to sympathize with as a character due to her temperamental and abrupt nature, but she definitely kicks plenty of ass.

Overall I'd say that this was an enjoyable movie, though somewhat short.  It asks a lot of questions without really answering any of them, and while I kind of like that to an extent, in this case I think there were way too many unanswered questions.  It's still worth a watch though, earning a solid 7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline Fiery Little One

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 7,805
  • Live Long and Prosper
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2014, 01:46:24 AM »
I've heard the title of this one, but I'm not honestly sure if I've seen it as well.
Open your mind to new possibilities
-Trip(sort of), The Crossing

Offline TNC

  • Board Legend
  • Posts: 10,654
  • Stuck in the middle of nowhere...
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2014, 07:01:17 AM »
  • Akira - review
  • Black Lagoon
  • Blood: The Last Vampire (2000 movie) - review
  • Blood+
  • Casshern Sins
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
  • Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
  • Durarara!!
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
  • Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • Evangelion 1.11: You Are (Not) Alone
  • Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance
  • Outlaw Star
  • Summer Wars

I've seen these, currently watching Black Lagoon on Toonami/Adult Swim (They're in what I think is the middle of a Yakuza story arc as of 8-10-14).  I think I've seen Blue Submarine No. 6, IIRC it was half CGI/half anime, something about humanity fighting genetically enhanced sea creatures with submarines...

CX, do you mind if other people post anime recommendations/comments here?

Hmm... I've seen 2 of the series on your recommendation list, Ghost in the Shell - mostly the first season and the odd episode of Bebop. Heard of a few others. I've seen more from your index list. I look forward to seeing what you have to say about some of them (even the 'anime-like' shows I noticed on the list), but take your time.

You should dig up the second season of GitS, I'd say it's probably the best anime I've ever watched.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 07:07:29 AM by TNC »
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”

Offline Fiery Little One

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 7,805
  • Live Long and Prosper
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2014, 02:31:35 PM »
I've seen the odd episode here and there, whenever I've been in the States and they're running it, but by the time I made that post I had already bought the most recent (as far as I know) box sets. ;)
Open your mind to new possibilities
-Trip(sort of), The Crossing

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #31 on: August 13, 2014, 12:56:53 AM »
I certainly don't mind if people post their own recommendations and comments here, as part of the point of this thread is to discuss the different stuff I'm reviewing, as well as what you think of my reviews.  ;) 
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline TNC

  • Board Legend
  • Posts: 10,654
  • Stuck in the middle of nowhere...
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2014, 05:37:11 AM »
Regarding Blood: The Last Vampire, I'd have to agree with your review, though it's been a while since I've seen it.  I saw it after watching the series Blood+.  I liked the fact that there was some bilingual moments.  The channel I watched it on likes to show anime in the original Japanese, or so I assume since they showed GitS 2: Innocence in Japanese.  In this movie, most of the dialog was in English but there were a couple scenes with people on the street speaking Japanese.

Also, regarding Akira.  I liked it, but I'd have to agree with your review for the most part.  The ending was a bit of a WTF moment.  It's worth watching though as it probably influenced later anime (and the South Park "Trapper Keeper" episode) and it has some cool moments.

Anywho, my recommendations (in no particular order):
  • Attack on Titan
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror of Shamballa
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Blue Exorcist
  • Several Mobile Suit Gundam series including: 00, Gundam Wing, Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz, 0080: War in the Pocket, 0083: Stardust Memory, 8th MS Team, Gundam SEED
  • Samurai 7

There's probably more, but that's all I can think of at the moment...
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2014, 09:43:36 AM »
For the longest time, Innocence didn't have a dub.  I forget when they finally gave it one, featuring the cast from the series' dub, but it wasn't until the late 2000s sometime.  Incidentally, it's actually become somewhat difficult to get a hold of a copy of it, so apparently it didn't sell very well.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2014, 09:48:46 AM »
Blood: The Last Vampire
(2009 live-action movie)

Based on the animated movie, the live action version adds a lot to it, which in the end I feel improves it a great deal.  A lot of the mystery is lost, which may be why a lot of fans of the original may react so negatively to it, but the story is much more fleshed out to the benefit of the movie, I feel.

Some of the differences are that instead of a school nurse, we instead have Saya rescuing the daughter of Yanato's commander, both from the chiropterans and from rogue elements of Red Shield.  David also doesn't play as big of a role as he did in the original, and Lewis either changed races or was omitted and replaced by another character.  And rather than just a few chiropterans, there's practically an army of them that has infiltrated quite a bit of both Yanato Air Base and Japan in general, and there are also some main antagonists for us to focus on.

More or less, it's the same story of Saya (who's now officially a blood-drinker), working with Red Shield to kill chiropterans, and at one point infiltrating the high school on Yanato Air Base to do so.  From there it leads into a larger story than the anime movie, and while the resolution isn't all that clear, it at least felt like I’d seen an entire movie rather than just half of it.  There are still some absurd parts, the worst offender being the point that Saya fights a massive crowd of chiropterans by herself, rather like a certain scene in Kill Bill that was played for humor.

I'd recommend this movie, but while you could enjoy this movie without seeing the original, I would suggest that you do watch the original first, if nothing else to compare them so you can make up your own mind about them and how they compare to one another.  8/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline TNC

  • Board Legend
  • Posts: 10,654
  • Stuck in the middle of nowhere...
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2014, 12:07:12 PM »
For the longest time, Innocence didn't have a dub.  I forget when they finally gave it one, featuring the cast from the series' dub, but it wasn't until the late 2000s sometime.  Incidentally, it's actually become somewhat difficult to get a hold of a copy of it, so apparently it didn't sell very well.

I don't remember when I saw it, but I think it was some time in the last 4 years.  IIRC I recorded it of of IFC, same as Blood: The Last Vampire (again IIRC).  I'm pretty sure I saw The Last Vampire in 2009, as they were showing commercials for the live-action movie during the anime movie. 

Speaking of "difficult to get a hold of", that reminds me of another anime series I'd highly recommend.  It's called Monster, and despite what the title may suggest its the only anime I've watched that doesn't have a heavy science fiction or fantasy bend.  Unfortunately, I've read that its near impossible to find now.  I'd have to say this is quite possibly the best anime I've ever watched, or at least tied for best along with Ghost in the Shell: SAC

It's about a brilliant Japanese neurosurgeon, Dr. Kenzo Tenma, who's working at a hospital in Germany.  One day he gets called in to do a surgery on a political big shot and at the same time a kid (Johan Liebert) is brought in with a gunshot to the head.  He's ordered to do the surgery on the big shot but instead does the surgery on the kid.  Which turns out to be a huge mistake, since the kid is the gone horribly right result of an old East German program to create supersoldiers through physiological manipulation.  So years later the kid begets a bunch of murders through manipulating other people to kill for him and Tenma decides to quit working at the hospital and hunt the guy down and kill him.  Meanwhile, Johan's twin sister (Nina Fortner/Anna Liebert) is also trying to hunt him down and kill him.

If I had to compare it to anything, I'd loosely compare it to The Following, as like Joe Carroll, Johan acquires something of a cult following (though not as heavily as Joe Carroll IIRC and not as crazily).  Pretty much anyone who associates with Johan over the course of the series winds up dead, including the people who work for him/think he's working for them.  Here's a Wikipedia link to the manga it's based on (which also includes details about the anime) expect SPOILERS.  Oh, and according to this link HBO is collaborating with Guillermo del Toro to produce a live action TV show based on Monster (as of 2013).
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2014, 12:30:28 AM »
That's on my list of things to watch, actually.  Of course that list is pretty big.   :-\
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2014, 11:19:21 AM »
Blood+
(50 episode series)

This series is a reboot/reimaging of the original movie, giving us a much more epic and complex story.  This time, all of humanity is at risk, and our only hope is a (seemingly) teenaged girl who is having memory and post traumatic stress issues from something horrible we see her do in the opening of the first episode.

Saya is shown as being a "normal" high school student, and part of an adopted family, but naturally things come along and ruin that for her.  Of course, all along there have are hints that Saya is anything but normal, but it takes an attack from a chiropteran and the return of her chevalier, Haji, to bring out the killing machine that she really is.  She ends up struggling to remember her past and trying to deal with what she is, and while that could be somewhat dramatic, I tend to think it was drawn out and that it tended to happen at times that made it really, really annoying.  In fact, Saya seemed pretty useless for about the first half of the series.

The series also changes a few other things up, like giving Saya a sister named Diva, whose blood is as toxic to Saya and any chiropterans (which chevalier's and even Saya and Diva are also) she makes by feeding them her blood, and vice versa.  In fact, Saya's blood is the only way to kill the bat-like creatures that Red Shield has been fighting for over a century, which was usually complicated by the fact Saya is only active for a few years and goes into hibernation for something like 30 years.  During the series, the complication is that Saya doesn't remember her past and freaks out at the changes that happen to her when she cuts her finger or thumb on her special sword and kills chiropterans.

Actually the connection with blood was done pretty well, not only in making it the only weapon against Diva's chiropterans, but also in the connection between Saya and Diva, and all of the chiropterans.  The series was pretty well done, and kept a fairly good pace for the last half of it, all while teasing us with Saya's past and how the situation with the chiropterans started.  It's pretty messed up, actually, and no one is really clean, so to speak.

I will say, though, that it seems like someone at Production I.G seems to have an anti-US axe to grind.  While it's ironic, seeing as most of the good guys surrounding Saya, including her adoptive father, are all Americans, this series does pretty much everything it can to paint the US military and US government as evil.  There are even a couple characters that turn up to conspire with Diva's faction who very strongly resemble Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice.  I'm almost surprised Bush didn't get the same treatment, seeing as in some cases the Rumsfeld character was making statements and taking actions which would have been more appropriate for the President anyway.

That aside, the series was pretty good.  It wasn't as good as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, which was also made by Production I.G, but it was still worth the watch.  I'd rate it a 7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline Fiery Little One

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 7,805
  • Live Long and Prosper
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2014, 02:12:32 PM »
As soon as I read the words 'when she cuts her finger or thumb on her special sword' I knew I had seen a few episodes here and there of this one. From what I recall it did seem interesting. It was on one of those 'here today, gone tomorrow' specialty channels.
Open your mind to new possibilities
-Trip(sort of), The Crossing

Offline TNC

  • Board Legend
  • Posts: 10,654
  • Stuck in the middle of nowhere...
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #39 on: August 18, 2014, 12:46:24 PM »
I second CX's recommendation of Blood+.  IIRC this is one of those shows I didn't get into when it first aired (on Adult Swim at the time), I ignored it until I caught a rerun and then started watching it.  I don't remember the anti-U.S. stuff that CX talked about, but its been several years since I've seen it and I probably forgot about it.
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #40 on: August 18, 2014, 12:58:35 PM »
The big secret evil plan was that there was something in the food that turned people into chiropterans, thus creating a problem only the US would have a solution to because they had super soldiers based on the Shiff (or whatever they were called), thus creating an excuse to invade and occupy whatever country they wanted.  And, being evil, naturally they decided to test out how the food worked by handing it out at an air show being hosted on an Air Force base.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline TNC

  • Board Legend
  • Posts: 10,654
  • Stuck in the middle of nowhere...
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #41 on: August 18, 2014, 03:57:22 PM »
Ah, yeah I forgot about that.

Speaking of which, another anime series I'd recommend that I forgot to add to my list would be Sword Art OnlineSword Art Online takes place in the near future in Japan and is about a virtual reality MMO named... Sword Art Online.  The series follows a Japanese teen who goes by the name Kirito in the game.  SAO (as it's called in the show) is fantasy game without magic.  The first episode starts all normal until Kirito and another person he meets in-game decide to log out of the game and there's no log out menu icon.  Turns out the guy who developed the game didn't include a log out option, the only way to escape the game is to clear all 100 floors and defeat the final boss.  Much like The Matrix if you die in the game, you die in real life (because the VR headset the player wears microwaves the user's brain).  If someone on the outside tries to disconnect you from the game, the VR headset microwaves your brain.

Between the first and second episode quite a bit of time passes (several months IIRC), lots of players die, and no one has even located the first boss' lair.  Eventually Kirito falls in love with this girl in the game named Asuna and they get married in the game.  The series is divided into two seasons (AFAIK) with a time-skip between the two seasons.  Season one focuses entirely on Kirito and the other player's trying to get out of SAO. 

At the start of season two, SAO has been beat and Kirito is back in the real world; however, some of the people in SAO are still in comas, including Asuna (as it so happens that's her real name too).  Turns out Asuna's stuck in another fantasy VRMMO game called Alfheim Online.  In case you're not familiar with Norse mythology (I wasn't until after doing some research after watching Thor) Alfheim means "land of the faeries".  While that sound's kiddy, Alfheim Online is not kiddy, and actively encourages PvP and (as the show calls it) PK-ing (player killing), and since the player characters are faeries, there's a flight mechanic in the game.  Alfheim Online isn't a death trap, so Kirito goes into the game to search for Asuna.  Along the way he runs into another girl who happens to be his sister (well, actually cousin IIRC since he was adopted) and some awkwardness occurs.  As it turns out there's a sinister purpose behind the former SAO players who are still in comas, that revolves around the main human villain (I forget his name at the moment, but he's a fucking creepy pervert who's obsessed with Asuna).  SPOILERS: He's using the VR interface to create mind control technology.  Basically he snagged people from SAO as it was being deleted after Kirito beat the final boss to experiment on.

Overall the series is pretty good, has lots of good action, and some humor (IIRC).  Although there is the whole "awkward teen love" story between Kirito and Asuna, plus the... complicated relationship between Kirito and his sister (who's name I've forgotten).  Also there's some uncomfortable moments towards the end of the second season (let's just say there's a reason I called the villain a fucking creepy pervert).  One thing that bugged me is that SAO's programmer's motivation for making a death game was well... I think "WTF was he thinking?!" fits.  It's actually pretty dark too (especially in the beginning when damn near everyone Kirito works with winds up dieing, in some cases its kind of his fault).
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 04:16:33 PM by TNC »
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #42 on: August 19, 2014, 12:06:20 AM »
Blue Submarine No. 6
(4 episode OVA)

This was an interesting take on the whole post-apocalyptic type of story, even with the annoying environmental message.  Essentially, some Dr. Moreau type has gone nuts and somehow not only managed to flood most of Earth's surface by creating a polar shift, killing a good chunk of the population, but he's created an army (navy?) of intelligent human/animal hybrids to kill as many humans as possible.  He later denies that was the purpose, but his motivations are rather difficult to understand anyway.  Apparently he hatched his evil secret plan after losing his family in an ethnic cleansing while he was off figuring out how to create more food for the world's population.

In the meantime, the world's surviving navies have banded together and formed "Blue Fleet," a futuristic submarine force, of which Blue Submarine No. 6 is a part of.  It's a little frustrating that they didn't give the sub its own name, as most of the other subs in the fleet do have their own names, but that doesn't really affect the story.  The fleet continues to fight the water-borne forces of Dr. Moreau – I mean Zorndyke, losing many of its number along the way.

Due to these massive loses and an acceleration detected in Earth's polar shift, Blue Fleet plans to attack the tropical Antarctic (yeah, really) stronghold of Dr. Zorndyke in an effort to break the will of his creations to fight.  Dr. Zorndyke interrupts their little briefing and lets them know that he's on to them, right before the massive phantom ship that has been systematically wiping out Blue Fleet turns up at their base to kill them all.

Blue Sub 6  had picked up a former crew member, Tetsu in the first episode, and during one of these fights, he, for no real reason, takes pity on the pilot of one of the machines that was moments ago trying to kill him and lets her go (kind of a fish girl/mermaid I guess).  This comes into play as the Blue Fleet base is destroyed and he is shipwrecked in the process of allowing Blue Sub 6 to escape, as he is in turn rescued by the creepy mermaid he had returned to the water early in the OVA.  While I'm glad they never went the romance route, it would have been interesting to have the two develop more of a friendship, but sadly it didn't come to much, other than this mermaid changing her way of thinking and not seeing humans has her enemy.

What does come of it, and from the help of another friend who has been turned into a sea creature by Zorndyke, is that Tetsu is able to infiltrate Zorndyke's "base" and kill him, thus preventing the nuclear strike that was Blue Fleet's original plan, which actually would have finally brought on the end of humanity through the pole shift.  The moral of the story is supposed to be that we should try to get along instead of fighting each other, but it's left somewhat ambiguous as to whether Zorndyke's creations will make an effort to get along with humans or vice versa.

Made by the same studio that would go on to make Last Exile, some of the character designs look rather familiar.  There's even a short-haired tomboy, Kino, who is unfortunately more annoying than anything.  She's moody, unreasonable, and cries a lot, which kind of contrasts the professional officer image they initially tried to sell her as in the beginning of the OVA.   Most of the other characters we meet are interesting enough, though I have to say that the main fish creatures manning the phantom ship (a battleship/whale combination) were a bit too cartoonish for my taste.  The captain of Blue Sub 6 was likable, and actually reminded me a bit of a Star Trek captain, which is probably what they were going for anyway, including with the look of Blue Sub 6 herself (not to mention a Scottish chief engineer).

While an okay anime, this probably isn't what fans of submarine movies would like, simply because it doesn't have much of that feel, which is very firmly in the sci-fi side of things.  I kind of wished that they'd gone a more realistic route, and gotten a more appropriate soundtrack, for that matter.  Other than that, it was okay, so it might be worth checking out.  7/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2014, 11:11:40 PM »
Boogiepop Phantom
(12 episode series)

While Baccano! managed to pull off the ADD editing somehow, this series made all the skipping around a bit annoying.  It also tended to skip around in time and location, though each episode was basically its own self-contained story.  Each tended to intersect with more than one other episode, however, so it could get a bit confusing to follow.  There were also so many different characters that it became hard to remember their names, at least, to even really see how much each storyline might intersect with another.  It also might have helped if I'd understood what was going on or what the show was even really about. 

The title character basically goes around and disappears various characters that all have special powers of some kind, usually after chastising them for the use of those powers.  She alternatively refers to herself as Death, and as "saving" the people she makes disappear, so it's hard to tell if she's a villain or not.  I normally like ambiguity, but this was just confusing.  I guess making them disappear into thin air (or cocooning them as is revealed close to the end) is somewhat better than the obviously evil "composite" humans who literally ate people who were supposed to represent evolution within the human species.  The big evil organization they belonged to apparently controlled everything while actually preferring to just observe, except when it came to preventing change, as in evolution in humans.  That's pretty much all I got out of the series.

According to my research (as in, I read the Wiki article), this anime was apparently made with the assumption that the viewer had read the source material, and that this wasn't an adaptation so much as an addition to it.  That could be why the anime seemed to hit the ground running and never really slowed down to me, but even if that wasn't the case, I'd say that this series was severely lacking in story structure and development.

I guess if you like having your mind screwed with a bit, this might be worth a watch, but I'm guessing most would simply find this series confusing and hard to follow.  3/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #44 on: August 23, 2014, 12:07:21 AM »
Burn-Up!
(single episode OVA)

This show was immature and actually a little painful to watch.  It focuses on a mostly female police squad as it investigates a female slavery ring run by some gangster type.  As one might expect, this means some fan service, but while I usually kind of enjoy this kind of thing, it really wasn't worth it to watch this stinker.  The English dub was especially annoying, but having to read the moronic conversation taking place in Japanese didn't improve on anything.  It was just stupid, both the plot and the characters.  There's a certain amount of corn one might get some enjoyment out of, but I didn't think it was really enough to overcome the many, many problems this stinker has.  The one thing it has going for it is that it isn't all that long, although it seems longer than it is.  0/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline TNC

  • Board Legend
  • Posts: 10,654
  • Stuck in the middle of nowhere...
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2014, 11:19:30 PM »
Attack on Titan
As I'm currently only 15 or so episodes in, I can't evaluate the series as a whole, but what I've seen so far is pretty good.  If you get Cartoon Network they are reruning the first 12 episodes this Saturday (8-30) from 11 pm-5 am (Central time).

The series is set in a roughly Renaissance-era (technologically) world where humanity lives in a large walled-off area.  Outside the walls are giant, humanoid creatures called titans.  These titans range in size from 4-17 meters in height and are mostly a complete and total mystery.  They seem to get all the energy they need to survive from sunlight and lack a digestive system, yet they eat people.  They appear to be lacking in intelligence (to put it mildly) but are near impossible to kill as they can regenerate their heads within 5 minutes.  Their only weak point is a small area on the back of their necks.  The soldiers fight the titans using ODM (omni-directional mobility) gear which consists mostly of a pair of grappling hooks and gas-jet propulsion (the ODM gear has a nozzle that ejects gas at high pressures to propel the user).  The ODM gear's controls double as sword hilts and each soldier carries four blades (two pair for each sword).

As one would predict, the outermost of the three walls are breached by the titans in the first episode.  This leads the three main characters (Erin, Mikasa, and Armin) to join the military as teenagers to fight the titans.  Erin comes off as one of those hot-headed kid protagonists that seem common in anime (at first at least), while Mikasa is the badass girl, and Armin it the confidence lacking genius (at first at least).  Also as one would predict, this show is pretty violent, gory, and dark.
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2014, 11:13:35 AM »
I saw the first episode of that a while back, and couldn't help but wonder about how they handled agriculture for some reason.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline TNC

  • Board Legend
  • Posts: 10,654
  • Stuck in the middle of nowhere...
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2014, 11:40:53 AM »
In the third or fourth episode they show some soldiers that couldn't hack boot camp and said something about them going to work in the fields or something to that effect.  The middle and outer walls actually seem to encompass a large amount of land judging from the areal shots they show later on in the series.  Most of that land looked undeveloped though, it seems the cities are confined to the N, S, E, and West sides of the walls.  They also mention that meat has been scarce since the fall of Wall Maria (the outermost wall), probably because they don't have the room to raise livestock (or had to abandon a lot of the livestock while fleeing the titans).  Plus they mention food shortages in the second or third episode (right after Erin and company make it out to safety).

That said they mention that 20% of the human population died after Wall Maria fell.  Most of the survivors of the fall were sent on a suicide mission to retake Wall Maria as the lands inside Wall Rose (the middle wall) couldn't sustain that many people.  The inner most wall (Wall Cina) looks like its pressed against a large castle (where the King lives) and I'd imagine that its almost entirely supported by the territory beyond that wall.  How humanity managed to enclose such a large area with walls 50 or so meters high while being decimated by the titans, well that's another question... (Of course, maybe the walls existed before then...)  (In a later episode they mention that there's a cult that believes the walls were a gift from God.)
“Battle is not a simulation. It’s blood and screams and funerals.” – Capt. Georgiou – Star Trek: Discovery – “The Vulcan Hello”

Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2014, 12:49:11 PM »
Burn-Up W
(4 episode OVA)

This OVA didn't have much to do with the first one beyond names, so I guess it had that going for it.  For about the first half of it, it seemed like it was going to be all nudity and comedy, not unlike GoldenBoy.  There was a villainous plotline in the background the whole time, but it seemed like it was more about making a VR orgasm machine than anything really threatening or dangerous.  Honestly I probably would have enjoyed the show a lot more if that were the case, but it turned out to be something actually sinister, and the show took a turn for serious with the third episode.  Basically we got introduced to one of the character's friends only to have that friend wind up getting shot in the face.  And even after the show turned mostly serious at that point, it still tried to throw some comedy and fan service out there, and that didn't really come off well in my opinion, because the mood shift had already happened and there was no going back, at least not for me.

Really this show would have been improved had it simply chosen whether to be serious or to be a comedy, because mixing the two just didn't work for it.  4/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR


Offline CX

  • Distinguished Member
  • Posts: 9,686
  • Bully!
    • View Profile
Re: Teh CX Animu Review Thread (Contains some spoilers)
« Reply #49 on: September 02, 2014, 11:28:23 PM »
Burn-Up Excess
(12 episode series)

This series was actually fairly good as far as being basically a sex comedy.  As with the 4 episode OVA, this series pretty much focused on fan service and comedy, which was mostly about the fan service.  It's refreshing to see an anime that doesn't really take itself too seriously.  Actually, this series reminds me a little of Desert Punk as far as how over the top the action and comedy can be without overdoing it.  The problem is, much like Desert Punk did toward its end, this series just had to get serious suddenly in its last few episodes.  We're talking a major terrorist plot here, along with major betrayal from characters who were supposed to be "good guys."  It's somewhat frustrating that once again, the people making this series had to ruin what they had by introducing a serious plot.

As for the plot itself, well, for a while it was refreshingly episodic with some minor connection with the big evil secret plan that finally reared its ugly head at the end of the series.  The character design and voice talent is the same as Burn Up W, which at first lead me to believe Excess was a sequel to it, but as someone turned up who was killed in the OVA, I guess there is no real continuity between the OVA and this series.  Oh, and speaking of character design, the Warrior Squad's only male team member, Yuji, looks a lot like the main character of GoldenBoy, so that helped sell both the OVA and this series to me initially. 

I'd say this series is worth a watch if you're up for some adult comedy.  Much as with the OVA, though, the ending kind of spoiled my enjoyment of it, so I'm not going to score it much higher at 5/10.
"Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough." - TR