Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anime You Should Watch But Haven't!!

This week I decided to do something different because..... I wanted to! :D So yeah, I was thinking about some anime that not alot of people in the states have watched either because they never heard about it or because they might have started to watch it but got bored along the way. One anime that I found alot of Otaku have never heard of was the,
"Gankutsuou-The Count of Monte Cristo"

Animation Produced by: Gonzo
Genre: Suspense, Romance, adventure, drama, science-fiction, thriller
Released in America on DVD by Geneon: October 2005-September 2006- Was re-released by Funimation this year and a complete box set is currently available.
Rating: Pg13- R (nudity, drug use, graphic violence)

This is classic worthy anime at it's best!! Gankutsuou-The Count of Monte Cristo is based on a french novel only titled The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. It's tale of revenge, stolen love and maybe even the naivete of youth. The original novel takes places in France during the 1800's; the anime on the other takes place during the 51st century A.D. primarily in France but also in other worlds and other galaxies.

The tale begins with a young man named Viscount Albere de Morcef and his friend Baron Franz d'Epinay on Luna looking for some fun. They meet a charismatic self made nobleman by the name of the Count of Monte Cristo and befriend him. Albert thinks that the Count is an amazing and kind individual and their meeting ends up leaving a strong impression on Albert. So strong in fact that when the Count visits Paris, Albert ends up acquainting the Count with the city's most powerful families. Therefore setting things in motion for the Count's plans...

This series is beautiful...The cover shot up there is basically what the series looks like. Everything has beautiful textures! From the fabrics on down to the jewelry, all the textures and colors are eye popping. And I've got to say also that the costume design was by Anna Sui, a well known costume designer and the quality shows. Granted there was one dress that one of the characters wore which irritated me but everything else looked immaculate.

This series was critically acclaimed and many people both praised and bemoaned the the eye popping textures and coloration used throughout the series. Seriously, there are times when the bright colors and textures can make watching it a pain after watching a few episodes. But the story is awesome and by the middle your anxiously waiting to see who else will fall by the sword that is the count's revenge and also how... It's a must see and like I tell anyone who watches anime and wants to watch something truly epic; watch Gankutsuou~ The Count of Monte Cristo and prepare to go on the best roller coaster ride!!!!! EVER!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Kampfer-A guy turning into a girl!! uuhhh...

Title: Kampfer
Genre: Action, reverse harem, romance, comedy, ecchi
Animation Production: Nomad
Premiered: October 2009 on Japanese television
Rating: Pg-Pg13

This week I am reviewing this interesting/weird/yuri-esque-but-not-really anime called Kampfer. Kampfer starts off weird by the first episode. A boy named Natsuru Senou thinks he was just dreaming when he realizes that he was a girl fighting another girl who was shooting at him/her. Well when he wakes up and finds that his body has gone through some additions as well as a notable subtraction well...things get weird. Turns out that he was chosen to be a "kampfer" which is an elite who was born to fight but the thing is a kampfer can only be female. So unfortunately (or is it fortunately) Natsuru is transformed into a girl whenever another kampfer is nearby.

At first I was worried that this would be another fanservice laden anime with the Ranma 1/2 aspect of guy turning into a girl but it's really funny. The characters insult each other by saying things like "you a person who sounds like Yui Horie!" Yui Horie is a voice actress and other things more along the pop culture side like "Even though you are a kampfer you're not a mobile suit!", because the girl was dodging all the other girl's bullets. It's funny and they go through the trouble of explaining some of names and such!

I've watched up to the 2nd episode and it looks like girl-girl/guy relationship is going to develop so something to look forward to any yuri fans out there...It's just odd because one character is both a girl and guy but the girl is in love with the girl and not the guy...So yeah.

At the moment the music is not anything memorable to me it's just there so I will not be scouring the internet for music from this series. As far as the animation goes it is impressive and fluid. It's not Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0 but it's is cool and when a fight happens it isn't the cliche still scene followed by another still scene, there is animation and it's cool.

Right now Kampfer has my attention so I will be watching more episodes of this if nothing stupid happens. My rating is a 3 out of 5. It's not life changing but it's definitely amusing to watch.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bakemonogatari 13- secret episode

Title: Bakemongatari "Ghost Story"
Animation Production: SHAFT
On TV: in Japan in October 2009. Episode 13 Exclusively online 11/3/2009
Genre: supernatural, school life, ecchi, romance,

Konbanwa!! This week I'm sorta taking a break from fall 09 anime previews and instead I am reviewing episode 13 part 3 of Bakemonogatari.

The newest episode which premiered online only on Nov.3 is the third part of the Tsubasa Cat Arc. I thought we would see more development in Senjogahara and Araragi's relationship but for the most part it's more fanservice with Araragi escatic over having such a pretty girl as Senjogahara as his girlfriend in addition to bits and pieces of story relevent information. I gotta say though...when Araragi randomly runs up to Hachikuji and starts talking lolicon-ish things I got scared and alot weirded out! I mean seriously!! You're not supposed to be like that!! Put little Hachikuji down and stop molesting her!!!

But yeah...episode 13 was still awesome and cute but it was also fanservice central. First with Hachikuji and then with Hanekawa in her kitty pajamas and cat ears, attached to her head. I hope the series continues onward and at the moment it seems like another episode is slated to be released. The question is when and if it's going to be an online exclusive or maybe even the premiere for the next season. And right now SHAFT is being extreemly quiet when it comes to answering those questions.

This episode gets 4 out of 5!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get ready to get Xam'd!

This weeks review is on an anime called "Xam'd: Lost Memories" or Bounen no Zamudo. X'amd was created by studio Bones, the revolutionary animation studio behind
great animes such as Full Metal Alchemist and Eureka Seven. So far I have only had the chance to watc one episode of what looks like an amazing anime and I want to watch more!

The summary behind X'amd is the story about a normal high school boy named Akiyuki and how his life isn't so normal anymore. On the island of Sentan a war is happening between the military and those with the Hiruko called "Xam'd". One day Akiyuki is on his way to school when suddenly a terrorist attack occurs on the busand he is splattered with some glowing green goo. Next thing we know his arm transforms into this huge thing and he later transforms into some monster like thing called a X'amd. With his friend from high school and a Tessikan woman named Nakiami he learns to control the X'amd while also trying to avoid transforming into stone.
X'amd reminds alot of Eureka seven probably because of how it looks and just how it animates. The thing that Akiyuki ends up transforming into has the same color scheme of Renton's Mirvash so I would not be surprised if the creator of Eureka Seven also created this.

Unfortunately since I only was able to watch the first episode I will not be able to rate at this time. But over time I will more episodes and talk about it on this here blog! :) So stay tuned!!!

So in the meantime please watch this trailer which tells us that Xam'd used to be available only to watch on the PS3 network :D

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Anime~ Letter Bee- Tegami Bachi

Title: "Letter Bee" or Tegami Bachi
Animation Producer: Studio Pierrot
Premiered: October 2009 in Japan
Genre: Supernatural, Steampunk, adventure
Manga?: is currently being sold in bookstores in the US.

Another great anime that has premiered in Japan this fall season is Tegami Bachi or "Letter Bee" in english. The show is about a boy named Lag Seeing whom it seems was abandoned by his mother. A Letter Bee, named Gauche Suede, finds him and deems him a letter that must be delivered to a town so his aunt can look out for him. The time that Lag spends with the Letter Bee really makes him feel a deep admiration for him and what he does so he decides to become a Letter Bee while also making a promise to himself to find his mother.

So far I have watched the first five episodes online and absolutelutely love this anime. It's funny and the characters are endearing. Especially with the introduction of Niche who is a little girl who has animal like characteristics. She can jump really high and run very fast and her hair also turns into swordlike tendrils that cut into anything. Plus there's a scene where Lag is trying to get her to wear underwear under her dress, because she was running around without it for however long; it's just the cutest/funniest thing.

The music is pretty good also. Not quite memorable but the kind of music you find yourself humming along to when it comes on.

When it comes to how it looks, it really reminded me of .Hack//Sign. Maybe because of how the characters look or even how the landscapes are laid out. I don't know...or it could be the silver haired guys running around that remind me of Tsukasa.

All in all "Letter Bee" is looking to be a promising anime so I will definitely be watching this every week and I hope you guys will watch it too. :) My temporary rating is 4.5 out of 5. Definitely try and watch this!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The fall season brings new colors and new anime to watch!

Hey good people of the internet! It feels like it's been a minute since I updated and I apologize for that. I've been a bit busy with real world stuff as well as just finding worthwhile anime to watch and share with you guys....

But enough on that! Like the title says, about this lovely season called Fall, it's also the time in Japan for a new anime lineup. Some of these titles that I have watched are Letter Bee/ Tegami Bachi and Seiken no Blacksmith. There are tons more to talk about but that will have to wait until the next update, which I hope to be sooner rather than later.


Seiken no Blacksmith
Genre: Harem-esque, action, adventure and Fantasy.
Now Showing: On tv in Japan as of Oct 2009

The story takes place after a huge war overruns the land. Our main character Cecily Campbell is the daughter of a nobleman but she's also a knight. One day a mysterious man appears brandishing a sword or more appropriately Katana, that cuts through another sword like it was butter. Yeah..it's that serious.
We later find out that the mysterious man has an amazing power that no longer is easily found...

So far I've watched the first two episodes and I was entertained. The thing that really wowed me was how the animators went through all the trouble of animating the foot work of a character losing her balance or a character evading an attack.

The character designs also are cute/cool also and it generally looks like it'll be fun to watch.
I don't want to rush in giving it a rating just yet since I did only watch the first 2 episodes. So as time goes I will post a rating at a later date.

Next Update: Tegami Bachi

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bakemonogatari-Ghost Story with some romance mixed in

Title: Bakemonogatari/ "Ghost Story"
Produced by: Aniplex, Kodansha, and SHAFT
Animated by: SHAFT
Original Creator: NisiOsin
Runtime: Just finished airing on tv in Japan. Available to watch online.

I came across "Bakemonogatari/Ghost Story" a month or so ago and put a sticky note in my mind to come back and review it when I got the chance. Then I forgot about it. But I went online and seen it up in the ongoing series section and remembered my sticky note and proceeded to watch all 12 episodes in the space of 3-4 days! I love love love this series!!! Ever since watching "Mononoke" over a year ago I became a huge fan of supernatural/ horror anime so I was pleaseantly surprised with "Bakemonogatari".

Taking leave from my absolute gush-fest of this anime the synopsis of this anime is as follows. A boy named Koyomi Araragi is almost back to normal after being bit by a vampire over spring break. Araragi having a close call with an "oddity" himself is very sensitive when it comes to matters of the supernatural. Because of his empathy he comes across several girls who are all victims of demons, ghosts, and a slew of other craziness. And like all other harem anime the girls tend to stick around afterwards and flirt with the main character.

The first thing that caught my eye in the first episode was the way it animates. The way it moves is so smooth! Every step they take even every word they speak is well animated! The backgrounds in every episode are all very dynamic! The anime also has alot of word play in it and that contributes to the cool factor of the show.

My one gripe with the series is that it obviously relies on fanservice a bit too much. Even though I am unfamiliar with the original light series novel so I don't know if it had alot of fanservice but the anime seems to be bogged down by it. It isn't as gratutious as say..."Queen's Blade" but it does hold a presence. In fact in the first scene of the first episode it's there. Then by episode 3 the loli meter starts to go up and by episode 9-10 it hit's the roof! Just...loli...so much loli...

But I'm glad I stuck with it. The twelth episode kinda has a cliff hanger to it as far as the status of the two characters relationship...But I want more Bakemonogatari!! I want stories about crab spirits taking someone's weight away! I want more demons, ghosts, and kami stories!! I don't want fanservice but what can be done...

Trailer to come soon...

Bakemonogatari- 5 out of 5!! Go watch it Noooowww!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Crayon Shin-chan's creator dead?!?!

This is kinda a departure from my regular anime review and along the lines of being anime news; so yeah, I'm wearing my newscaster hat right now! This story first broke out 2 weeks ago when a Japanese newspaper called Mainichi Shinbun reported that the creator Yoshito Utsui was reported missing by his wife after he did not return home from hiking.

Over the weekend a body was discovered at the foot of Arafune mountain and was confirmed by authorities to be the body of Yoshito Utsui. So how did he die? Police have confirmed that the cause of the death was from a collapsed lung and other injuries sustained across his body on the day of September 11 which was most likely sustained from an accidental fall while taking pictures on the edge of a cliff.

When it comes to his manga, the editorial staff at Futabasha's "Manga Town" magazine has stated that the "future publication [of Crayon Shin-chan] is to be determined."
As of September 29, the president of TV Asahi network has stated that they plan to continue airing the animated series of "Crayon Shin-chan" after the death of it's creator.
-Anime News Network

Shin-chan has become some of a hit both in Japan and overseas. It's also interesting that when it come to translation it wasn't translated literally like many other animes. But it changed from something that addressed social concerns in Japan and became some random crass, dark comedic thing here in the states. I watched it on tv a few time on Adult Swim and it is the most crass thing I have ever watched! I'm sorry but kindergartners talking about manipulating men to their bidding... just...doesn't sound appropriate to me and I will watch alot of off the wall stuff.

Some of you out there might be shouting "hooray" from the rooftops while others maybe feeling a deep grief...Personally I am not a fan of Shin-chan so a balloon for those who don't care and pat on the back for those who do.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vacation time is over but summer is still alive in Natsu no Arashi...

Aaawww...I can't believe summer is over... Lazing about in the park enjoying the cool summer breeze, watching anime with wittless abandon, and sleeping until noon; all that is over!....Unfortunately....
But in homage to summer, I am reviewing this cute coming-of-age anime called "Natsu no Arashi".

Title: Natsu no Arashi/ "Summer Storm"
Genre: comedy, romance, slice-of-life, supernatural
Rating: PG
Animation Studio: Shaft
Showing: The first season ended in Japan as of June 2009 and a second season is coming up very soon....in Japan. But it is playing on Crunchyroll.com

I must say that I am a little late watching this but I came across it online again and figured I'd watch and review it instead of reviewing "Soulmate" which is awesome by the way. But back on topic!

Natsu no Arashi is a cute slice of life show about a middle school boy named Yasaka Hajime and how he met this high school girl named Sayako Arashiyama or Arashi for short. Hajime visits a cafe nears his father's house and sees a girl named Arashi working as a waitress. He sees that she is older and is attracted to her boobs and butt and makes a comment about how "looking at older woman makes his butt feel funny." or something along those lines! So a big hulking guy comes in the cafe looking for Arashi and says that he will take her back to her family by force if need be. Hajime, the wannabe hero, makes a promise to protect Arashi and a friendship is born. Later, Hajime learns that he and Arashi, when they hold hands, can travel through time. Oh! And another little secret is that Arashi is a ghost!

My first impression of this is that it's cute and interesting.The people look kinda strange because everyone has this heavy line over their eyes so it kinda gives this weird Tite Kubo(Bleach) look. But as far as the anime goes. I have only watched the first four episodes and I want to find out more about the characters and story revolving around those who are ghosts.

This should definitely be watched at least once and if you start to think that it's an echhi anime. It really isn't. There is a good story intertwined with the madness/randomness. One filled with romance, tragedy, and a spin of comedy.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Queen's Blade"-To Fanservice or not to fanservice?

Queen's Blade- Ruro no Senshi
Animation Production: Arms
Rating: R (Very suggestive themes, lots of boob/crotch shots, and innuendo...)
Premiered on tv in Japan: April 2009
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Ecchi

"Queen's Blade- Ruro no Senshi" or better known as Queen's Blade is an anime with lots and lots and lots of fanservice. So me being a girl my opinion will be vastly different from that of a guy. So..get ready! :D
The story circles around this event called "Queen's Blade", where every four years a contest is held for a new queen to be selected to rule over the land. The rules state she is only to be over the age of 12 years old and the contest is over when one person is either killed in battle or no longer has the capacity to move. Any girl/women from any country can compete and there is no limit on what weapons can be used.

So the episode starts off with a princess named Leina who tries to run away from a life of being married off to some random guy ;since she is heir to her family's kingdom thing. So she runs off and her sisters try to find her but to no avail, but Risty "the bandit of Desert Justice", yeah that's her title from the show, saves her from a demon named Melodana. Now the demon Melodana's boobs shoot out acid that dissolve only clothes and armor; not skin. I just thought I should point this out because that shows you what the show is all about. "Queen's Blade" is ecchi through and through. All the girls have super huge boobs, and there are just crotch shots, boob shots, boob-to-boob shots, everything that a guy or lesbian is into is in there.

There is fanservice everywhere. There is a mud fight in episode 3 between two girls, of course, and I think Leina's sister has a more than sisterly thing for her, and the characters arederived from every otaku's fantasy girl. You have your loli girl, a tough "I'm-out-for-myself' girl, the tragic princess, and even an elfen girl.

Because of the fanservice I did not like this at all. It just seemed extremely gratuitous and I wasn't really presented with a chance to get past the fanservice and try to appreciate the story, if there was one. "Queen's Blade" looks pretty, which must be a prerequisite to appeal to others, but there were just too many unnecessary boob/crotch shots for me to enjoy it.

I give "Queen's Blade" a 1 out 5. :(

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This thing called..."Shangri-La"

Animated by: Gonzo
Now playing on tv in Japan and online at crunchyroll.com

Alright! Well..what got me interested into this anime was the art which was done by Range Murata. He illustrated another of my favorite animes called Last Exile. Secondly, seeing that it was animated by Gonzo also made me want to check it out because even though they did tragedies like "Strike Witches" they also did cool stuff like "Last Exile", "Gankutsuo" and "Welcome to the N.H.K." to name a few. So I figure why not give Gonzo a second chance and watch Shangri-la. The outcome of that decision is...mixed.

Shangri-la is a story about a young woman named Kuniko Hojo who is fighting to survive in a world where carbon credits are traded between different countries and where the dredges of society are numerous and the privileged are the few. The poor reside on a land that for the most part is flooded and the city suffers from periodic missile showers from the city above called Atlas. Atlas is where the rich and privileged live and there are lotteries for the poor to participate in with the hope that they can live in the "Golden City" Atlas. Of course, the government that governs Atlas wants to only a few in but keep everyone else out; thus our heroine Kuniko fights to change that! Or something...

When it comes to how the show looks, it's pretty. The backgrounds are lush and the animation is smooth if albeit a little too simplistic at times. In one episode the quality of the animation decreased signficantly and I had to remind myself that I was still watching Shangri-la and not something else.
The music also leaves something to be desired also. The opening song is okay and the animation is fantastic but it hardly lives up to the ending song which I personally love! However the music in the anime itself is yawnfest and I was slightly upset about that...

Another thing that kinda disappointed me was the pacing of the show. But in hindsight that shouldn't be too much of a surprise because Last Exile suffered from the same thing. The show starts off strong at first but by episode 3 I found my attention wanning and caught myself asking, " Why am I watching this again?". I think the episode was just illustrating what life was like for the disadvantaged living in Duomo and I was just..bored. The main character was depicted as kinda flighty about what role she wanted to take and whatever obstacles they attempted to throw her way was just cliche. Seriously!! An old woman whose son was almost killed,until Kuniko rescued him, blames her becuase she's the reason(indirectly) that the town was placed in danger. Hhhrrmmm...>>

The premise of the series is interesting in that it is set against the backdrop of a world where the sea levels have risen and the forest and jungles have exploded in growth because of high levels of carbon dioxide.In order to keep carbon level low the world trades with Carbon credits to disuade people from emitting high levels carbon dioxide in the air and as a result there are some winners and losers. But the execution is lacking and I'm stuck wondering if the story will pick up or will it just die into oblivion like Studio Gonzo is doing reportedly.
Shangri-La gets an uninspired 2 out 5...

Don't like my review? Well please do head on over to J1studios.com and go to the forum to discuss why you disagree/agree. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Otakon 2009-Oh! So much fun!! XD

Pics from Otakon are posted above this post.:)
Btw..video is of a guy trying to do the dance from the Kannagi opening. Look all the way toward the right..

Alright, this weekend I experienced one of the biggest and greatest cons on the east coast called Otakon 2009. This year was it's sixteenth year, my first, and it was epic in size and in scope. The con lasted for three days (Fri-Sun) and they had more than enough scheduled for each day encompassing 12-14 hours on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is a shorter day because it's last day of the con, so they try to wrap things up by mid-afternoon.

When it comes to the convention's highlights, for me, was the premier of the dub version of Evangelion 1.0. The hall where it was being played was packed with people. Many who have seen the movie and many more who have not seen the movie but loved the series. The experience was awesome, aside from the projector cutting off every so often; but the moans and groans coming from the audience as the picture goes off was great.

Another highlight that was great for me was the quality of the cosplayers. The ratio of good to bad cosplayers was higher than other smaller cons i have attended in the past and i was pleasantly surprised! The wigs were great, no foamy/bad color/nappy wigs at all. The most popular series being cosplayed were Final Fantasy, Naruto, Gurren Laggan, and Hatsune Miku.The one weird thing about it was that there were alot of crossplayer or guys who dressed like female characters and girls who dressed like males characters. I came across one guy that was dressed as Ashley from a resident evil game and there were a couple girls dressed in bikinis supposed to be Naruto or Sasuke or Kakashi. Craziness!!

Now it's time to talk about the bad... Firstly, if you have an issue with being around alot of people...then you will have a difficult time here. Especially on the first 2 days. There are about an estimated 33,000 people that attended this year. So if you do not like wading through people to get to the anime showing then you might want to go to a smaller con. Secondly, standing in line for registration for three and a half hours!! It was a totally different experience for me and if it were not for people selling water and a person giving me water, I would've died 3x over...no lie. Standing outside in the sun with a t-shirt over a tank top is not fun in 90 degree humid weather. And that was about it.

When it comes down to it Otakon was awesome this year. Headlining acts for concerts were Kanon Wakeshima, Becca, and Mell. I attended Kanon's concert and it was sssooo great. I just wished that it was longer cuz as soon as she came on the concert was over :(...So sad....

The con also served as a way to help people who wanted to work in the anime industry to find a way to that. They had panels on topics ranging from translation to career planning for artist/geeks. It was great and I felt like I learned something while having fun!

Anime Conventions are a great way to meet new people, learn about new mangas/animes that are coming out, and learn about the anime/manga industry as a whole. So even if your a fan or if you want a career in this industry oorrr if you want to spend the entire weekend playing video games and watching anime than you definitely have to plan a trip to your local anime convention. It'll be the best experience you'll ever have.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sengoku Basara

Title: Sengoku Basara
Animation Production: Production I.G.
Year: Spring 2009(Japan)
Licensed: Yes, by Funimation.
Rating: Pg-13 (violence, sexual suggestion, language)...for now.

This week I am reviewing an anime that was highly recommended from two people from the J1studios team.
The title is Sengoku Basara and this was based off a game by Capcom called "Devil Kings"; which was released in the states a few years. If you don't remember it, don't worry about it, it didn't do so well...

Anywayz, the basic plot summary is that it takes place during the Feudal States Era in Japan, so various feudal lords are fighting in order to gain control of the country. There are two warriors named Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura who meet and they are instantly bitter rivals. But as the story goes on they become allies in order to prevent Oda Nobunaga, the devil king, from becoming all powerful and taking over the country. So this is just another anime where two rivals meet, determine that they are each other's ultimate rivals, then for the greater cause become allies to fend off this great evil. Yaaayyy!! Awesome-ness!

When it comes to the anime, it is impressive as far as the animation is concerned. It was animated by Production I.G who worked on works such as Ghost in the Shell-Stand Alone Complex and Moribito. This is another studio that is known for high quality animation, and they do not disappoint with Sengoku Basara. When people fight, they fight. Dust is kicked up they become vibrant lights that soar up into the air and clash and change weather conditions. Great stuff! And it's just nice to look at also. There aren't any overdone character designs with alot of cross hatching used for shadows. Oops! Sorry bleach fans...it just annoys me. But seriously, Sengoku moves and looks great. To get a taste to see how it looks the opening animation is below.

So far I have only watched the first episode anndd I was reasonably impressed. I am curious to see where the story goes and also to see if it will revive interest in the video game itself. So right now...I will be going back to watch this episode online; my rating is a 4 out 5. It's interesting...but I'm not crazy excited about it...yet. ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kara No Kyoukai-The Garden of Sinners

Kara no Kyoukai-The Garden of Sinners
Genre: Horror, supernatural, romance, mystery
Rating-somewhere between Pg-13-R..although leaning heavily toward R (Sexual situations,g
ore, and just insanity)
Animation Production: Ufotable
Distributor: Aniplex

Kara no Kyoukai-The Garden of Sinners first premiered in Japan in December 2007. But the series itself started in the form of a novella that was released as a dojin in 1998 by Kinoko Nasu and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi. The novella was later published by Type-moon then Kodansha in Japan while in America it was published by Del Ray Manga.

The plot summary for the series as a whole is "Mikiya Kokuto finds himself intrigued by two things. The first is by Shiki Ryougi a beautiful, yet rather unsociable, girl and the other is the strange series of violent deaths that start occuring in his town. As he attempts to get closer to Shiki, he soon learns that the two are connected and that there are many supernatural forces at work which could very likely get him killed as well." Which turns out to be kinda true.

The series is split up into seven movies with the seventh being released this August.The movie titles in the order they came out are; Fukan Fukei, Satsujin Kosatsu, Tsukaku Zanryu, Garan no Dou, Mujun Rasen Boukyaku Rokuon, and Satsujin Kosatsu prt 2. Another interesting thing about the movies are that they are intentionally being shown out of order. The first movie is the third movie and the first one is...I don't know really I'm only up to the fifth movie which has the most awesome action scenes thus far, there's speculation that it's the last movie.

The movies are awesome but if you like lots of action and hardly any talk then this series is not for you. Throughout maybe the hour of movie there will only be one action scene but lots of talking and storytelling. It's not insufferable talking but after seeing the one fight scene you want to see more.

The music is also great. It's composed by one of my favorite composers Yuki Kaijura (did music for; Mai Hime, .Hack//SIGN, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and .hack//Liminality among others). The music is fantastic throughout conveying the mood for every scene spectacularly.

At the end, I love this movie so far and I can't wait to see how it ends. The only thing that I would notify people of is that if you get grossed out easily, you may not want to see this movie because there are some gruesome images of limbs/people being sliced apart among other things. But if that doesn't bother you than by all means.The dvd is supposed to be released stateside late this summer definitely so buy it or have someone else buy it for you! After watching the trailer below of course. Until next time!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pack the Cars, buses and trains! Anime Convention season is here!!!

Yup! It's Anime Convention time!! If you're an otaku that lives on the east coast then you're most likely waiting anxiously for Otakon. Otakon is the biggest anime convention along on the east coast and is definitely getting bigger and bigger as the years go on. Apparently it started off as a small convention in State College PA but it exploded into the insanity that it is today. One event that attracted a hhuuggee amount of people into downtown Baltimore was the news that L'arc En Ciel, a popular and well known Jrock band, would be performing at Otakon in 2004. From the stories I've heard from friends who went, the line stretched on for blocks.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. If you love anime and you're room is stocked better than most stores then you have to make the unforgettable journey to a convention at least once in your life. What sets anime cons apart from sci-fi and fantasy cons is that the whole venue is devoted to anime and video games that otaku play and love. There is LARP (Live Action Role Play), Anime Music videos(AMV), and all day anime screenings. The convention lasts over the weekend and usually has a Japanese artist do a concert for one evening during the weekend.

Some bands who have crossed the atlantic or Pacific oceans to perform at these events are Mucc, Despairs Ray, L'arc en Ciel, Kalafina, and Duel Jewel; to name a few. By doing these performances the artist expose themselve to an american public and gain a few fans in the process.

Some of the biggest cons in the US are; Anime Expo (San Diego, CA), Nekocon (Hampton, VA), Comic-con International: San Diego (um..San Diego, CA), and Otakon (Baltimore, MD). The bigger the convention the better the vendors are as well as the performers. Oh! And apparently if you stay and help the vendors clean up you can get free stuff! Don't know if this is true...but it is confirmed from one who went to a con last year.So Good Luck... :)

Anime Convention are super fun and you can buy awesome stuff from kimonos to Japanese music albums and cheap/rare anime & artbooks!!! So much yaoi!!! >0< but anywayz... :). If you can afford the registration fees (from $40-$70) than cover transportation then definitely go and enjoy this event. You'll leave with memories you'll never forget as well as memories you'll want to forget! One word "Fat Faye"...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kurokami-The animation

For the past few weeks I have been watching this really great anime called Kurokami- The Animation. What got me interested in this was the image to your left.It looked cool so I thought,
"okay! let's see what this is about!"
annnddd it's...interesting to say the least.
The story begins with this guy named Keita. When he was young his mother got ran over by a car because she seen another woman who looked just like her; so because of his mother's death keita believes that there are dopplegangers which exist out in the world and if you come across one than your dead....Right...
So I'm thinking is he crazy or something but then we find out that he isn't. He later meets up with a short unassuming, hungry, girl named Kuro and her dog that hides out in her jacket. She turns out to be what's called a terra gaurdian. The terra gaurdian is vastly stronger from other humans, which is evident in the way she fights. They also observe the human world by making sure that the balance of terra is maintained.

The animation in this series is awesome! The first fight in episode one just looks like a crazy fight combo scene from a video game. And the animation holds up really well. The animation production is by sunrise who have produces a few of the animes I have reviewed so far (Code Geass, Mai Hime...). And I have really grown up on anime that sunrise has produced and their work is of high quality.

My only gripe with the series so far is that the characters are cookie cut characters.What I mean is they are just those same character types that we see in every other anime. The main character keita is basically the nice-but-distant-guy-who-doesn't-let-others-get-close-to-him because-they-only-end-up-leaving-you character. While the female lead is the ditzy-always hungry-random-dog-carrying girl. She at one time annoys the crap outta of you but at the same she's the coolest and most powerful character.

Kurokami is interesting...but I'm still waiting for it to break away from the cookie aspect of it's characters and story. So for now I am midly interested.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Righteous Insanity that is Code Geass!

:looks at calendar: Well! Would you look at that! This would be my second post in a week!! 0_O :O!! So surprising!!! What's the occassion? Well not only is there stuff to talk about I am also done school and can now make this blog a priority. Yaaayyyy!!! But moving on with the post.

So yeah, I've been watching crazy Lelouch on Code Geass-Lelouch of the Rebellion- R2 which is being aired on Cartoon Networks' Adult Swim and it is the best shit EVER!!
Basic backdrop of the story is "The Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames. Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11's. A Britannian who was living in Japan at the time, Lelouch, vowed to his Japanese friend Suzaku that he'd destroy Britannia. Years later, Lelouch is in high school, but regularly skips out of school to go play chess and gamble on himself. One day, he stumbles on terrorists 11's who've stolen a military secret and is caught by a member of the Britannian task force sent after them, who is Suzaku. As the rest of the squad arrives, Suzaku is shot for disobeying orders, while the military's secret, a young girl, gives Lelouch the power of Geass, which makes anyone obey any order. While Suzaku is secretly made the pilot of Britannia's brand new prototype Knightmare, Lancelot, Lelouch becomes the masked Zero to lead the rebellion to destroy Britannia once and for all." -Anime News NetworkThe character designs for the anime are by CLAMP whose long and flowy style is evident in the anime designs. The manga on the other hand was done by Majiko (Art) and Goro Taniguchi and Ichiro Okouchi (story). Personally, I love the anime so much because the art is awesome. I love CLAMP XD! And also the story is the best story I've experienced on a Gundam Wing level.

The first season takes itself very seriously by playing all kinds of political and strategic plot twists on the part of Zero and Britannia. Everything is done for a reason and many lives are lost for this reason. Zero fights for a better world for his sister to live in and everyone who lives in that world comes in dead last in his eyes. He is one of the coldest calculating characters I have seen but there are times when you love him and when you feel honestly bad for what happens to him. But things really don't get moving until the second season. It's this time when we find out what happened to Lelouch and his sister and also more about their parents. I wish I could say more but anything else would just be a spoiler.

When it comes to the mecha scenes the mechs are different. Their a bit blocky at first but as the series goes on they become more streamlined and awesome looking. My faves the guren and Lancelot. Very sexy :)!!

Code Geass is not be missed! It's a great addition to any anime collection, although it's more of a drama anime than it is a mech anime. But if you don't mind that then I promise you it's a goody!
It's available to watch on cable/satellite on cartoon network's Adult Swim Sunday at 1 am and online on various websites.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Yes an Update finally!

Hey you guys!! I'm back and with the latest news in the anime world. Probably one of the most anticipated animes this spring/summer season is Full Metal Alchemist-Brotherhood. There are probably many of you who think that is a re-make of the original series by the same name leaving out the "Brotherhood" part. The original series recieved many awards and accolades both in the U.S and Japan. It won awards ranging for best anime theme song( "Rewrite" by Asian Kung Fu Generation) and in the Tokyo Anime Fair the series won in the categories of "best series", "animated feature of the year" (Conqueror of Shambala), and "best music".
What made Full Metal Alchemist so special is how deeply it touches human emotions, as well as the quality of the animation and music. The music was done by such well known bands such as; Porno Graffiti, L'arc en Ciel, and Asian Kung Fu Generation. The series also went on to be translated into many different languages such as tagalong, portuguese, italian, and german to name a few. Both the manga and Anime ended up doing very well abroad.

For those who don't know, Full Metal Alchemist revolves around two brothers named Ed and Al Elric. They perform a taboo against the laws of Alchemy by trying to bring their dead mother back to life. As a result Al, the youngest brother loses his body and Ed, the eldest brother, loses his right arm and left leg trying to affix his brother's spirit to a suit of armor. The brothers set out on a journey to retrieve their bodies back at the cost of their lives by becoming state alchemist or "dogs of the military". The boys are relatively young at 11 and 12 at the beginning of the series and they see and experience alot of life/death struggles. Ed almost dies in his first mission as state alchemist and Al has issues with identity and whether or not he lives by his own free will. The series has some heavy moments at times and some episodes really pulled at your heartstrings. But the anime succeeded because there was a balance between depressing and happy/funny episodes. There was also little to no filler, which was a godsend, and the story was immensely engrossing. Even though they wasted no time in reminding you why they were doing what they doing. "We're going to get our bodies back one day Al!!!" -__-....

When talk began about another Full Metal Alchemist anime there was both a collection of groans and moans from fans and otaku alike. "Oh no!! Not another redo!!" especially after the "Rebuild of Eva" movies
, which is not to say that they were bad they were quite awesome really! But to say that recently anime has turned into taking an already established series and just adding or remaking it in order to milk more out of the franchise. And even though this might be happening with Full Metal it looks like this series deserves it. The only problem with doing this is that bar is set so high that the remake has to be as good if not better than the original. So here's hoping for the best!!!

From the first episode on all the character that you know and love are already established and there's even an introduction of a state alchemist that was not introduced in the original series. This new inception is supposed to follow the manga more strictly so it should be interesting to those who have not read the manga yet. I think that "Brotherhood" picks up at the time when the brothers are on their quest to restore their bodies and Mustang knows this.
So far I think that Brotherhood will be a cool addition to the series and with backers like Square Enix and Sony, to name a few, it should look and keep looking amazing.
If you are interested in checking out this out Funimation actually has episodes posted on their website at Funimation-Full Metal Alchemist-Brotherhood.
Not ready to commit well here's a trailer for you! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It;s Spring Time...

I love this time of year...the sakura trees are blooming and we move from bleak dreary winter into color explosion of spring. It makes me happy! :sits while drinking tea:

As far as anime... I've been watching a few stuff...

Recently made a purchase of the Mai Hime box or collection since it's not really a box set per se... Which kinda pisses me off cuz the anime is so awesome!! XD It's basically about this girl Mai and her brother. They are on their way to Fuuka Gakuen (Fuuka Academy). On the ferry ride to school they meet a set of interesting characters and then chaos insumes! There are metal wolves, little girl with gigantic sword, girl with huge boobs and random sister/brother combo! And it only gets crazier from there! I want so much to go into everything else that happens but that would be spoiler alerts so bad... But what I can say is that this anime is not one to be missed.

It's by Sunrise the same people that did the gundam Seed, Code Geass-Lelouch of the Rebellion, among other great stuff!!! So this company does great stuff as far as animation is concerned.

The box retails for $40 US dollars at your local video retailer! But if your money is tight in these troubled times than you can trylooking online for it. Don't know how much luck you'll have but it's worth it. Oh! And keep watching all the way through!!! You'll know what I mean when you watch it ;).
Off to do homework! Until next time!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Gomen Nasai!!

Good Evening everyone! I apologize for having this post come like a month after the first. I've been busy with school and being a senior in college is almost as bad as being a senior in high school...almost. Oops! Look at that. Gave you guys a little tid bit about me ;). It won't happen again...or will it! *suspicious look* Anywayz!!!!

Like I said in the previous post I wanted to include some pics from the upcoming animes that are slated to be released over here in the states. SSssoooo on with the show!! Oh! And little disclaimer. NONE OF THESE IMAGES BELONG TO ME THEY BELONG TO THEIR RESPECTED CREATORS ENTIRELY!!!!!! I gets no money from these whatsoever o_O...

Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.0-You Are Not Alone
and trailer cuz the picture does not do it justice... :D :D

Bamboo Blade-

And the opening sequence. Just because...

El Cazador de la Bruja~ Just a random spanish title..but the anime sounds cool though. And it's also done by the same people that did the .hack// series.

The opening sequence which I thought was kinda weird.

So here it is post number 2. Please wait anxiously for post number 3! Many awesome things await. And don't forget to leave comments! Comments are my sugar and they help me to stay alive... .__. really they do....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Welcome to Celeste's Anime corner!!

Konnichiwa minna-san!!/ Hey all!!
If you are listeners on Radio-Mike's "Reset" podcast and have been wondering where Celeste went well she's right here!!XD So starting now until further notice I will be making bi-weekly/every other week updates on anything in the anime world. This includes new releases in both Japan and here in the states and also my anime reviews will be posted here as well.
So please take a seat and make yourself some nice hot chocolate with the sugar and big poofy marshmallows and let's dive into new anime coming on this winter/spring in Japan and stuff to be licensed here in the states :D!!!
Here in the U.S.A:
Alright, anime that are being licensed now are:

  1. Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.0-You Are Not Alone-This is the first part in the rebuild of Gainax's classic Neon Genesis Evangelion. The major difference is that it's a feature length animated movie with awesome graphics and something of a reinterpretation to the beloved series. At it's core it's the same eva that you know and love plus extra scenes! This is awesome and I must say that I am so happy that they decided to bring it over cuz it's just..superb!!!Can't think of any other way to say it to describe just how awesome this is!
  2. *Blassreiter-Faced with an outbreak of demonic blood, which transforms humans into insane and hideous creatures bent on violence and death, only one man can stand against the tide of destruction. Joseph Jobson, the only man able to control his cursed demonic form, must hunt down the man who cursed him and save the world from apocalypse
  3. My Bride is a Mermaid-A young boy is saved from drowning thanks to the help of a mermaid but, according to mermaid law, if a mermaid's true form is revealed to a human, then they must be killed! But if they get married then they don't die...
  4. *Bamboo Blade- Toraji Ishida is a high school kendo teacher. His friend and fellow kendo teacher makes him a bet: if Ishida can assemble a girls' kendo team that can defeat his girls' team in a practice match, he'll treat Ishida to free meals at his father's sushi restaurant for a whole year. Now Ishida must find five girls to join the team.
  5. El Cazador de la Bruja-created by Bee Train(people behind .Hack//Sign) and is about a young girl named Ellis who is suspected of murder and a bounty hunter named Nadie who tracks Ellis down in Mexico. Wow..now we know where the spanish sounding title comes from. But in the end Nadie decided to team up with Ellis to discover the truth behind the murder, Ellis's past, and a mysterious gemstone called Rosa Del Inca.

This is only the beginning everyone! It is only the beginning of the year so there will be more stuff coming down the line..hopefully. AANNDD Celeste is sleepy so the next post will be pictures/screenshots of the above anime and dvd releases stateside.

So with that Bye bye everyone and feel free to leave comments/feedback! <3