Anime Review: Zombie-Loan

Anime Stats

images (24)Directed By: Akira Nishimori

Studio: Xebec M2

Manga writer: Peach-Pit

Licensed By: Discotek Media

Music By: Hiroyuki Sawano

Opening Theme: Wolf Throat by The Birthday(Uploaded by MrMandrake6)

Closing Theme: Chain Ring by Mucc (Uploaded by SoulDevilKyuu)

Original Run: July 3, 2007September 11, 2007

Episodes: 11 and 2 OVAs (basically bonus episodes)

Sorry to start this review off on a somber note but eventually we’re all going to die, yes even that weird occult girl you may have a crush on. But what if there was a way to cheat death, what if there was a way you could take out a Zombie-Loan?

Tell me you wouldn't want a Zarame plushie too.

Tell me you wouldn’t want a Zarame plushie too.

Zombie-Loan follows Michiru Kita, a girl whose born with Shinigami Eyes. This power means that she has the ability to see the rings around peoples necks. You see in this world, as a person gets closer to their deaths a grey ring will start to appear around their necks and once their ready to be killed, said ring turns pitch black.

This ring symbolizes fate and humanities inability to stop death. These rings also happen to be very valuable to the other two main characters of Zombie-Loan Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana. These two happen to go to the same school as Michiru and to everyone at school they seem to be good friends.

This couldn’t be further from the truth though because they hate each other but their “destined to collaborate” because they both have each others hands and if they stay apart, they’ll rot off and they need these hands to summon their weapons to fight zombies.

After learning about Michirus special eyes, they end up forcing her into the world of Zombie hunting which in turn gets Michiru killed (a fact that caused me to cheer a little). Now tied to their Zombie-Loan Michiru must overcome her shyness and help Chika and Shito located zombies with a high bounty.

"I'm sorry to have to inform you that the second season of Zombie Loan has yet to be announced".

“I’m sorry to have to inform you that the second season of Zombie Loan has yet to be announced”.

Before I can continue I must mention that I hated the first two episodes of this show. Their way too slow and Michiru spends these two episodes screaming her head off which is especially annoying due to her naturally high-pitched voice.

However I recommend that you keep watching the show because after a slow and boring start, Zombie-Loan thankfully remembers that its based on a really good manga series and the show kicks itself into gear.

You see after spending the first two episodes in a school, the show thankfully moves away from that setting, preventing Zombie-Loan from becoming another supernatural high school based anime.

As the show barrels along we also get to learn more about our lead characters and they become both more likable and therefor more fun to watch. We learn that Chika wants to be come human again so he can go back to living with his family (which includes his cross-dressing father) and we learn about Shitos very mysterious past.

This means that to me Chika stopped becoming another short-tempered hyper-active anime character and becomes someone I wanted to watch win and Shito went from a cold heart jerk to a surprisingly tragic character.

Who said Zombies have been be rotting corpses, they can be anime school kids too.

Who said Zombies have been be rotting corpses, they can be anime school kids too.

Hell even Michiru develops into a fun character. She gains a will to live, she learns the value of friendship (did 4Kids help with her character?) and she learns to stand up for herself, which is sometime more people myself included need to learn about. Oh she also treats the Reaper Zarame like a toy when they meet him after becoming super deformed which is hilarious.

Since I brought up Zarame, lets talk about the side characters who are all completely insane in their own little way. From the mysterious head of Zombie-Loan Bekko and his MALE assistant Yuuta to the medical student Otsu who gets called Old Man all the time by Chika, Zombie-Loan has an awesome cast of side characters. It’s just a shame that Zombie-Loan ditches a couple of them after episode 7.

While I’m at it I should bring up the character Koyomi and her split personality Yomi. Koyomi is a member of Michuri dorm and she’s your stereotypical hyperactive anime character friend, with the unique ability to get drunk off of Fantan (Personally I’m more of a fan of Koca-Cola).

This happens almost EVERYTIME Yomi appears in the same scene as Michuri.

This happens almost EVERYTIME Yomi appears in the same scene as Michiru.

However her other half Yomi has the ability to channel the words of the dead and also has a crush on Michuri. By crush I of course mean that Yomi has a habit of fondling Michuri breast and they have a hot spring scene together because anime.

While I have touched on the story a couple of times throughout this “review” (lets face it you already know how I feel about Zombie-Loan), I want to go back to it for a second because Zombie-Loans plot is filled with twists, tragic moments and moments that had me laughing. Seriously the “Longing for Freedom” episode

Finally before I finish this review I want to bring up the shows soundtrack and to my surprise the soundtrack was great. I especially love the main theme titled Wolf Throat which made me want to increase the volume on my laptop and headbang to it. Sadly the ending theme isn’t as good though.

So that was my review of Zombie-Loan and despite how bad the first two episodes (seriously there terrible), I really enjoyed the rest of the show. Anyway come back in two weeks time when I’ll be reviewing Katanagatari so get the tissues ready. Also sorry for the late review.

cheerino

Anime Review: Samurai Gun

Anime Stats

samurai-gunDirected By: Hideki Sonoda

Studio: Studio Egg

Licensed By: Madman Entertainment (AUS), ADV Films (UK, USA, CAN, GER)

Opening Theme: “SAMURAI CREW” by ZZ (uploaded onto YouTube by Lovesteryar

Closing Theme: “Ienai Kotoba” by Aiko Kayo and  “Zutto… Issho” by Minori Chihara (ep 12)

Original Run: 4 October – 21 December 2004

Episodes: 13

Seriously though Samurai Gun kills alot of prostitutes.

Seriously though Samurai Gun kills a lot of women and prostitutes.

Just how far should people go in order to save the weak from a powerful organisation abusing their power and will you be able to survive when you push them too far.

Samurai Gun takes place in Japan as the country enters the Industrial revolution and the shogun are losing their power. In an attempt to keep their power base and to spread fear amongst the peasants, the shogun have begun campaigns of beatings, rape, imprisonment and even murder and their being protected by the

In order to save the peasants from the shogun and to “purge evil”, a shadowy organisation called the “Council” have created an organisation of Samurai warriors armed with the latest technology named the Samurai Gun. However the Shogun themselves set up a Anti-Samurai Gun bureau so there’s going to be plenty of action.

But before we talk about the action lets first talk about the characters and our main character, the one-eyed silver-haired Samurai Gun, Ichimatsu and no they never explain how and when he lost his eye. During the day time Ichimatsu works in a local tavern with another Samurai Gun member called Kurenai (she has an awesome singing voice by the way) but at night he ruthlessly kills people in the name of justice despite claiming that he hates killing, although he is willing to using sleeping incense to save people’s lives.

Behold the Uzi, which for some reason is the most powerful weapon  in the Anti-Samurai Gun bureas arsenal.

Behold the Uzi, the most powerful weapon in the Anti-Samurai Gun bureau arsenal.

Despite claiming that Ichimatsu doesn’t want to kill anyone, he actually has a burning desire to kill the man who killed his family. This leads to an interesting dilemma because Ichimatsu wants to stop being a Samurai Gun but he can’t because if he quits he’ll never be able to find the man and the “Council” will hunt him down too.

While Ichimatsu is an interesting character, the problem I had with him is that his too one-note and nothing really changes about him. Throughout the series he continues to have nightmares, his a badass in combat, he whines before every single mission briefing but goes anyway and he remains completely blind to the love given to him by Ohana. What is it with anime characters and their inability to recognise a women love.

Speaking of Ohana, Ichi (as Ohana likes to call her) is overshadowed by most of those around him like his best friend Daimon. Daimon is a fellow Samurai Gun who unlike Ichi, likes dealing Justice as a Samurai Gun and in his spare time also works for free as a teacher. I also liked the dialog between him and Ichi because there fun to listen too and we see that they do care about each other.

Theirs also the Anti-Samurai Gun Bureas Mitsumune Watou, a man who seems to have been given the same training as the Samurai Gun in that he can dodge bullets. What’s odd about him is that we never learn why and how he learned to do this, and his not the only character like this.

Why the FUCK is this in the credits? It has nothing to do with the show.

Why the FUCK is this in the credits? It has nothing to do with the show.

For example at one point we learn that Daimon did something that pissed off the leader of his clan and that for this crime he was forced to commit Seppuku. The reason I bring this up is because Daimon mentions this when Ichi asked him why he became Samurai Gun and then after showing us this image we never learn what happened next.

Because of unexplained things such as this and the fact that one episodes ends with two characters talking during the credits theme, I feel that Samurai Gun should have longer, at least this way we would have seen more action.

Speaking of the action every episode builds up the action scenes quite well, as we see everything leading up to each fight scene. The fights themselves are great to watch and we really get to see how good the Samurai Gun really are as go on a variety of missions ranging for resuces, assasinations and scouting missions that turn into bloodbaths.

I’d say I feel sorry for the villains there gunning down with modern-day pistols (in I’d like to remind you 1860 Japan), if it wasn’t for the fact that every villain in this show has the moral standards of a Saturday morning cartoon villain. Seriously they’re all rapists, mass murdering dicks.

"Why does Ichi get the cool slek black outfit when your stuck dressing up like glorified Power Rangers?"

“Why does Ichi get the cool sleek black outfit when your stuck dressing up like glorified Power Rangers?”

Unfortunately Samurai Gun does that irritating thing that anime due where it drops its animation quality during some of the action scenes. I know that its supposed to make the fights look more fluid and faster but it just feels lazy and it cheapens the otherwise fun to watch action scenes.

It’s a shame too because Samurai Gun looks and sounds really good. The soundtrack is really good and I especially love the opening theme called SAMURAI CREW. Its got a great punch to the second part of the song and the final part sounds really laid back and cool.

The rest of the soundtrack suits the setting very well even if it does sound like it’s ripped from “Stereotypical Shogun Japanese Music side B” (personally I hate side A), although it does have some great piano pieces.

So that’s Samurai Gun and if you’re looking for a good action show to check out, then I recommend this. Just don’t expect to falling in love with the hero or to see any sympathetic villains.

Well that’s my review of Samurai Gun and boy was that a long review. Anyway come back in two weeks when I’ll be reviewing the action comedy, Zombie Loan. See you then.

download (9)

Anime Review: Blood Lad

Anime Stats

47677Directed By: Shigeyuki Miwa

Written By: Takeshi Konuta

Opening Song: ViViD by May’n. (Link is to Full Openings YouTube account)

Closing Song: Bloody Holic by Yuuka Nanri. (Link is to A » Snowical Summer 2013 YouTube account)

Studio: Brain’s Base

Licensed By: Hanaee (AUS), Viz Media (NA), Anime Limited (UK)

Original Run: 7th July 2013 to 8th September 2013

Number of episodes: 10 (not enough)

Out of all of those creepy, eerily monsters that used to keep us up at night and set our imaginations on fire, the vampire has to be the most successful and it’s not hard to see why. Afterall if written well enough vampires can become either the hero (Jiro from Black Blood Brothers), badass anti-hero (Alucard/Hellsing) or in today’s case an otaku of all things.

"Yes I did see her chest. Yes I know there impractically large. Now stop calling me!"

“Yes I did see her chest. Yes I know there impractically large. Now stop calling me!”

The vampire otaku in question in Statz or Statz Charlie Blood to use his full name and unlike nearly every other vampire in anime, he has no interest in drinking human blood. Instead he’d rather spend his time playing video games, watching anime generally being a lazy bum, despite also being the boss of a gang territory in the Demon World (more about the Demon World later).

His life is changed forever though when a female human girl called Fuyami stumbles into the Demon World through a portal that she found in her wardrobe of all places. After having a short if hilarious geek-out with her their time is cut short as she gets eaten by a carnivorous plant (just go with it) and Statz vows to resurrect her.

While the show starts off with a pretty simple [Vampire] Boy vows to save Girl plot, the show quick takes a turn into the insane as Statz gets involved in a boxing match with his best friend Wolf (guess what he is) over Fuyami, gets put into a hellish prison by his cute but powerful little sister Liz, fights a demon over a pair of magical panties and more.

Someone was clearly playing Tales of Symphonia when they tought up of Liz's weapon.

Someone was clearly playing Tales of Symphonia when they tought up of Liz’s weapon.

But all these events have to happen somewhere interesting right and in the case of Blood Lad, that would be the Demon World. The Demon World of Blood Lad is a lot different thanb how Demon Worlds tend to appear in anime because instead of having a hellish landscape, here for the most part it mirrors the Human World. The style of the Demon World reminds me a bit of Soul Eater which does make sense because the Manga its based on’s art style also resembles Soul Eater.

Something I love about the plot of Blood Lad is that the show does a great job of keeping the pacing of its episodes as each episode manages to increase the stakes while at the same time still remain entertaining to watch.

I also enjoyed Statz as a character and its great to see him develop as a person. He knows that his generally considered to be a bad person but through his interactions we see him becoming a brother for his little sister, take his responsibilities with Fuyami more seriously and more.

Ah Wolf, why didn't they do more with you?

Ah Wolf, why didn’t they do more with you?

However this is also the biggest problem I have with the show because it’s one of those shows that spends the last two episodes setting up for a season two, which at the time of writing still hasn’t been announced yet.

Animation wise, it definitely suits the show to a tee and if you’re an otaku yourself you’ll love all the little references and jokes to manga and anime that the show throws at you. Hell Statz even attempts Goku’s Kamehameha at one point and goes into a massive nerd rant when the villain of the moment calls it a “third tier move”.

Say hi to Vlad D. Braz. Why do so many cool characters in anime have a D for their middle name?

Say hi to Vlad D. Braz. Why do so many cool characters in anime have a D for their middle name?

The last thing I want to mention is but of the shows theme songs ViViD and Bloody Holic. Both of these songs are pretty catchy and I have caught myself mumming ViViD at least twice. While ViViD has a lively tune that suits the show to the ground Bloody Holic is the more interesting one.

The reason for this is because while ViViD focuses on highlighting the shows mood, Bloody Holic focuses more on the relationship between Statz, Fuyami and Bell. The animation even made me feel sorry for her because she falls for Statz who is too focused on resurecting Fuyami to even notice the bloody obvious.

But that’s Blood Lad and in case you haven’t guessed by now I highly recommend the show to anyone looking for a great action/comedy show to check out. Now the only question left to ask is when the hell is season 2 coming out?

Anyway come back in 2 weeks when I’ll be taking a look at Samurai Gun. Hope you check it out.

samurai_gun_9

Time to reveal what I’m reviewing next week. Oh and there’s also a shameless plug.

Since I won’t be writing a review on this blog this week (normal service will be back next week) I figured some of you might be interested to hear that over on The Gamer Headlines my review of Warhammer Quest for Steam has been uploaded.

Basically I’m just promoting my own work right now and I can promise this won’t happen often but I figured some of you might want to check it out. Here’s the link: http://www.gamerheadlines.com/reviews/warhammer-quest-review-pc-version/.

Any come back next Friday when I’ll be checking out the animated version of Blood Lad.

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Anime Review: Itsudatte My Santa!

Anime Stat

Directed by: Noriyoshi Nakamuradownload

Original story writer: Ken Akamatsu

Studio: TNK

Licensed By: Funimation Entertainment (Canada, North America)

Release Date: December 7 2005

Number of Episodes: 2 (the second story is an original story for the show)

So how old where you when you stopped believing in Santa? Personally I think I was either 9 or 10, since I have a pretty active imagination. This isn’t a completely random question either because Santa happens to be very important to today’s review, Itsudatte (or Always) My Santa!

The reason I ask this question (besides general curiosity) is because the show starts with the same question being asked by our protagonist. The episode kicks off on the night of Christmas Eve inside a beautifully lit shopping mall. In the middle of this scene we see people walking around with their loved ones enjoying the holidays, well everyone except our main character who of course hates Christmas.

One of the bonuses of her powers is that she can also learn any martial art style with san in its name.

So in her mind its more fun to be in a fight then play a fighting game. I’d love to see what she’d do at Evo.

To be fair Christmas won’t exactly be your favourite day of the year either if you were born on December 24th meaning your parents, who abandoned you by the way, named you Santa. Due to these issue Santa doesn’t celebrate any holiday traditions or his own birthday and treats Christmas as another day.

But that all changes on Christmas Eve when he runs into the Santa trainee Mai, who also happens to be your stereotypical hyperactive anime girl with magical powers. In this case her powers allow her to summon anything with “San” in its name.

Despite originally rejecting her offer to spend a night with her, Santa eventually agrees and they spend the night together which changes his view on Christmas forever. Well by agree I mean after he “saved” her from a Traid boss who was pissed off because of his ruined cake. Gangs just seem less threatening in anime.

They even have time to deal with Santa’s issues with his parents and his lack of interest celebrating his birthday.

Don't insult the stuffed reindeer. You won't like it when its angry.

Don’t insult the stuffed reindeer. You won’t like it when its angry.

When I revealed last week that I would be reviewing IMS I said that   “Because even Christmas needs to have a Harem anime“. Well the funny thing about that is that I was wrong. This show falls more into the magical girl genre than harem, because on Christmas Eve night if she has enough Christmas powers (which she gains through people’s belief in Santa) she can transform into her adult form. Of course her transformation focuses a lot of attention on certain parts of her body growing, because anime.

Episode 2 on the other hand has nothing to do with the first one and instead focuses on Mai and Santa’s relationship, oh and Mai’s friend/rival Sherry and her little sister MaiMai show up to provide comedy. The episode feels completely different from the first one and that’s probably because it wasn’t in the original manga.

Before I say my opinion on the show I first want to bring up the animation. For the most part the animation is kind of standard for the genre, just like with Shining Heart: Shiawase no Pan but (and this is a big but) I have to say I love the setting of the first episode.

Say hi to Sherry, she can be a bit of a bitch sometimes.

Say hi to Sherry, she can be a bit of a bitch sometimes.

So let me paint you a picture, its Christmas Eve night in a busy city. It lights are shining and in the background the snow is slowing drifting in the wind. There’s just something about snow falling over a lit city at night that I love and it looks great here too.

That my review of Itsudatte My Santa! and I’m surprised to say that I enjoyed the show more than I originally though I would, and by show I of course mean the first episode. I still won’t recommend the show to most people because the second episode is quite dull but if you have nothing else to watch this Christmas, you could do worse than watching the first episode of Itsudatte My Santa!.

Well come back in the second week of next year when I’ll be review the second part in a show I already reviewed.

Well its been awhile hasn’t it ^^

I really wasn’t joking back in July when I said that blog seems to find a way back into my writing life but I’ll be back to writing anime reviews next week with the Christmas anime called Itsudatta My Santa or as I like to called it Because even Christmas needs to have a Harem anime. It’s a two episode long OVA.

While I am coming back I’d like to point out that I won’t be writing reviews every week because well I’m still writing for The Gamer Headlines but I can say that you should expect a review every two weeks starting the second week of January. What I want to enjoy my Christmas/holidays/what you call it too.

Anyway its great to be back and I hope you enjoy reading the future reviews as much as I will enjoy writing them.