Anime Review: Nobunagun

f86f9fd7b31f0374748a7704670266491389044977_fullAnime Stats

Directed By: Nobuhiro Kondo

Written By: Hiroshi Yamaguchi

Music By: Yutaka Shinya

Opening Theme: Respect For The Dead Man by Pay Money to My Pain

Manga Writer: Masato Hisa

Manga Run: May 12, 2011 – ongoing

Original Run: January 5, 2014March 30, 2014

Studio: Bridge

Licensed By: Madman Entertainment (AUS), FUNimation (NA)

Episodes:13

After the mindfuck that was FLCL two weeks ago, I’ve decided that it’s time I review something a little more normal instead. So with that in mind, lets look at a series based around a high school girl with the e-genes of Nobunaga fighting off a Starship Trooper styled alien invasion with a giant freaking mini-gun, while working for an agency set up by a space bunny. Okay maybe it’s not completely normal but it is when compared to FLCL okay.

Excuse me Mr Nobunaga but you may want to get away from that fire behind you.

Surprisingly enough Nobunaga isn’t a terrible singer.

In the world of Nobunagun, the human race is under threat from a ruthless race of insectoid creatures known as “Evolutionary Invasion Objects”. These EIOs are completely immune to all forms of conventional weapons and to make maters worse. they can also adapt to their environments by evolving seamlessly at will. The only weakness are weapons created by E-gene holders using an item called an AU ball.

One such E-gene holder is our protagonist Sio Ogura, a Japanese school girl who happens to also be a massive military otaku. One day while on a field trip in Taiwan, she ends up in the center of the first major invasion by these EIOs. Despite being in a state of total terror, she still risks her life to save her new friend Asao only to end up being saved by one of these AU ball users, who also happens to be the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper. Seems like the AU balls aren’t exactly picky on which E-genes use them.

Unfortunately her attempt to save her friend only distracts Jack long enough to get injured by a EIO and in desperation, she picks up his AU ball and active her own E-genes. This in turn causes her to create the Nubunagun, which is a huge freaking gun that looks like a Mega Buster on steroids. What happens next is the first of many awesome fights before we learn that Jack is part of an organisation that was set up to protect Earth from these creatures, which are called DOGOO or the Defense Organisation aGainst Outer Objects.

Just follow whatever that Japanese schoolgirl armed with a Mega Buster on steroids tells you to do.

Well this picture is pure badass.

Because she is one only a handful of people capable of killing these OIEs Sio reluctantly agrees to join DOGOO and she becomes a member of the second platoon, whose besides Jack includes the reincarnation of Isaac Newton and Gandai.

Despite the whole possible end of the world scenario that Nobunagun presents, the show is pretty lighthearted and at times even goes in shounen territory.

Sio herself is one of the highlights in the show. Her geeky outbursts whenever she sees a piece of military gear is always fun. On top of this we see her grow from being your standard anime frightening flower into a strategist with some of the most out their plans. I mean one of her plans include jumping into a hurricane after dancing to a song sung in her head by Nobunaga. Guess Nobunaga has more of an influence over her then she thinks.

I'm amazed that nobody could find Jack the Ripper when he apparently had a skull for a face.

I’m amazed that nobody could find Jack the Ripper when he apparently had a skull for a face.

Besides Sio the rest of the cast are all really good and they each get their own moments to shine. They include the reincarnation of Isaac Newton who has the whole dominatrix thing going for her in battle but outside it is so innocent she gives everyone french kisses and Ghandi who has the perfect weapon for his reincarnation, a barrier which can only protect not kill. Hell even the coward Hunter from the special unit gets his one moment of badassery (is that even a word?)

Later on in the series we also get to see the first platoon in action. They are first introduced in an almost horror styled filler episode but later become part of the overarching plot thanks to one of Sios plans. While I do like each of them, I must admit that I really feel sorry for Gaudi. His only a small kid but his forced into action against the OIUs with two women who love poking fun of him. It’s a shame too because he has one of the best powers, the ability to move the earth and create whatever constructs he wants including a giant ball.

Despite how good these characters are, they all get outclasses and out badassed (okay that can’t be a word) by the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper. You know because when you’re fighting an alien invasion, you’d want to infamous London killer on your side too right. He was the previous saved elected leader of the second platoon before Nobunagun appeared and despite claiming otherwise the two work extremely well together and he is insanely powerful.

His AU power comes in the form of a giant knife which can turn into multiple smaller ones and he can cut through anything like butter. He also loves his job way too much though I can say the same thing about Sio whenever she gets caught up in the action and those blood-red eyes appear.

Speaking of the fighting scenes, if you’re a fan of Hellsing you’re going to love them. There extremely well done and always a blast to watch. I also really love the way the show changes the color palette and music whenever the OIUs are involved. Usually Nobunagun uses has a very bright and colorful color palette to the point where you could easily mistake the show for something like Baka and Test.

And here you can see the "Your bloody Screwed" face that this show seems to love.

If you ever see a Japanese schoolgirl with this type of grin, RUN FOR YOUR DEAR LIFE!!

However once the OIUs are involved all of a sudden the show switches to a darker color scheme, favoring colors such as dark purple and black. This along with the change of music into ominous noises and rock really helps make the OIUs feel like more like the world devouring threats the show constantly claims they are.

Speaking of the soundtrack I really like the appropriately titled opening theme “Respect For The Dead Man” by Pay Money to My Pain. It’s a great track that really amps you up for the show, but every time I heard it I couldn’t help but remember the much better opening theme of Deadman Wonderland. I feel that the reason for this is because the Deadman Wonderland theme feels more alive, while this one feels more like a last-minute inclusion.

Despite everything positive I’ve mentioned so far about Nobunagun, its time to talk about the negatives. For starters while I had no real problem with it, some people might take offense to the amount of sex jokes, especially the ones that take the piss out of Sio and her ever-changing breast sizes.

While I’m on the topic of things people might take offense to, why the hell does she nearly get tentacle raped by an alien kraken (well that’s another sentence I never thought I’d write). It comes out of nowhere and boy did I want to fast forward over the part where the kraken tries to remove her armour. I mean why the hell did the OIUs evolve themselves to learn that. What are the OIUs a massive fan of Urotsukidoji.

My final problem with Nobunagun is that the show never really takes full advantage of the whole reincarnations of famous people from history killing aliens concept. Don’t get me wrong it was awesome watching in reincarnations of Nobunaga (who I wish showed up more), Jack the Ripper, Isaac Newton and Gandai slaughtering aliens but there were so many other famous people they could have also used.

It may be a small detail but I love its small overlay they sometimes use.

It may be a small detail but I love this small overlay that Nobunagun sometimes use.

Could you imagine a team made of Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun or even William Wallace or Michael Collins going against aliens with strategies created by Napoleon. This E-gene idea is a gold mine of possibilities for sequels, spin-offs and more. That being said I understand why they only used a limited number of E-gene holders, after all a small cast of awesome characters is better than a bloated cast of dull one.

Despite my few problems with Nobunagun, I loved it. The action was awesome, the soundtrack was great and the characters were a blast to watch. I especially like Sio as she was a genuinely entertaining character to watch. She was both hilarious and at times unpredictably awesome. Do I need to mention the hurricane scene again.

Sure the overarching plot was a little predictable in places and the animation is pretty standard for this type of show but I couldn’t stop myself from smiling throughout and I lost track of how long the episodes were. To be honest that’s all I can really ask for when watching anime.

Okay tears and a moving story are nice too but like I said in the FLCL review not every anime has to be the next The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Sometimes all you want to do is watch some entertaining characters be awesome you know. If you a fan of action anime or shounen anime I recommend that you give Nobunagun a shot.

That being said in two weeks time I’ll be going back into the insane (and unpredictable) when I review Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Hope to see you then.

download (14)

Advertisements

Anime Review: FLCL

Anime Stats

downloadDirected By: Kazuya Tsurumaki

Produced By: Hiroki Sato, Nishizawa Masatomo

Written By: Yōji Enokido, Kazuya Tsurumaki

Music By: The Pillows

Studio: Gainax, Production I.G

Licensed  By: Madman Entertainment (AUS), FUNimation (NA), MVM Films (UK)

Number of Episodes: 6

Length: 25 minutes each

Released: April 26th 2000 to March 16th 2001

You may have noticed that usually when I review something I always write about character development and the plot. When screw all that this week because I’m reviewing the mindfuckery that is FLCL.

"You will obey my authority!!". Yay for South Park references.

“You will obey my authority!!”. Yay for South Park references.

Seriously I don’t even know where to start with FLCL, by the way is pronounced Fooly Cooly, but I suppose the plot is as good a place to start as any. FLCL follows the tale of a surprisingly cynical 12-year-old called Naota Nandaba, which considering all the crap that happens to him, its impressive that his capable of remaining so cynical and not go completely insane.

He lives in the boring town of Mabase and often hangs out under the bridge with his mentally unstable (at best) friend Mamimi Samejima, who by the way is 17. His life though is changed forever when he gets run over and then smashed in the face by the   Rickenbacker 4001 guitar belonging to Haruko Haruhara. Oh and by changed forever I mean robots now come out of his freaking head, did I mention this show was a mindfuck yet.

After the first episode were also introduced to Naota’s extremely childish father (who runs a pop culture magazine) and his grandfather. By the way I know it’s a little early in the review to mention this but I love the fact that in the first scene where we see them, the show decides it wants to become an animated manga. Anyway because his in love with her Naotos father, Kamon decides to let Haruko and the robot that came from his son’s head (just roll with it) stay.

From here the show descends into utter madness as episodes involving baseball shaped meteors, a family day out involving airsoft guns and even the Department of Interstellar Immigration get involved in the insanity. It’s this constant insanity that makes the show so much fun. When you not shouting “WHAT THE FUCK” you’ll be too busy smiling ear to ear and laughing your ass off.

Why does Mamimi always pucker her lips anyway?

Why does Mamimi always pucker her lips anyway?

Along with assaulting your senses with insanity, FLCL also loves its pop culture references. Naota’s father is the worst offender of this by far, constantly referencing titles like Gundam and MTV. He even dresses up like Lupin the Third at one point. Hell the show even references South Park of all things.

You see the problem with reviewing FLCL is that its unlike any anime ever made because it was designed to “break all the rules” of anime according to the creator Tsurumaki.

To quote Kazuya Tsurumaki in an interview with PULP

“Maybe it looks hip because ordinary anime has certain rules that they all follow; however, I made FLCL so it doesn’t follow that tradition.”

The idea behind the show was instead to be “short, but dense-packed” and this shows since FLCL is sadly only 6 episodes long.

Welcome to the first five minutes of FLCL.

Welcome to the first five minutes of FLCL.

This “break all the rules” approach can also be seen in the soundtrack which is from a band called The Pillow and is amazing. Something you should know about me is that I’m a sucker for anything to do with guitars and electric guitars especially so you know I love this soundtrack. 

Going back to that interview for a minute the reason he choose a band for FLCL was because:

“Normally, anime uses a background music that’s classical—strings, pianos. I don’t listen to that—I like electric guitars, drum sets; i.e., bands. Now, I thought, is there some reason they don’t use bands on anime soundtracks? I thought I’d give it a try and see if it worked out for my show.”

Finally lets talk about the visuals. FLCLs animations really are a in a style of its own. The characters themselves are really well animated for a 2000 – 2001 anime. Again going back to the interview, the reason for this style choice was because it’s styled after “a Japanese TV commercial or promotional video”

So that’s my review of FLCL and I loved it. FLCL is a ton of fun it watch. It’s insanely hilarious and in a weird way it reminds me of fireworks. Sure they both lack any emotional depth and your never going to leave a fireworks display moved by the actions of one particular explosion, but just like fireworks I couldn’t stop watching FLCL and I smiled the whole time.

FLCL is one show I can guarantee you I’ll be watching again but come back in two weeks when I’ll be reviewing Nobunagun. Hope you enjoyed this review and see you next time.

Anime Review: Bleach: Memories of Nobody

Bleach_memories_coverAnime Stats

Directed By: Noriyuki Abe

Written By: Masashi Sogo and Tite Kubo

Music By: Shiro Sagisu

Cinematography: Toshiyuki Fukushima 7

Distributed By: Toho (Japan), Viz Media (North America)

Release Date: December 16th 2006

Run Time: 96 minutes

Well it certainly has been awhile since I last looked at something from the Bleach series. Well to be exact its been nearly 2 years since I covered the first 20 episodes of its first season with a Lets look at. Well its time to return to Tite Kubo series with its first movie titled Memories of Nobody.

LAUGH DAMN IT!!

LAUGH DAMN IT!!

Taking place after the Soul Society arc, Memories of Nobody kicks off with Ichigo and Rukia saving a pure soul from a hollow. Shortly after this (and some cringeworthy comedy involving Ichigo and some paramedics) the movie remembers that there’s a plot and we’re introduced to Nobodies after they mysteriously appeared in Karakura Town.

These Nobodies (or Blanks as there called in the Japanese versions) are white ghost like beings which are the results of a spirit not reaching the Soul Society. Now they endlessly search for anything related to the former lives and for some reason are prone to attack, seamlessly at random.

At the start the only clue the Shinigamis have on what’s going on it is that a mysterious group are somehow controlling these things and searching for the Memory Rosary. Besides that there’s also the matter of the new character Senna, a carefree, upbeat girl who somehow has the power to turn into a shinigami

Something that surprised me about the Memories of Nobody is how much I enjoyed the movie. The reason for this is because since its tied to a (at the time) ongoing series I though it would be the usual higher production value show with disposable characters and villains that I would find forgettable, think the Disgaea anime.

Please, please I'm willing to hug all of you, just wait your turn.

Please, please I’m willing to hug all of you, just wait your turn.

A scene that sticks out to me in the movie was when Ichigo and Senna found the pure spirit of a little kid. While Ichigo would usually just send them to the Soul Society without a worry, Senna instead decided that she would help the kid find his dad who died at the same time. That scene sticks out to me because it showed off Senna so well. She’s a carefree free spirit sure, but she always tries to help out whoever needs it.

The worst thing about Memories of Nobody by far is the forgettable villains. They’re all members of a former clan in the Soul Society who were exiled because of some reason that’s never explained.

Were did he get that spear? I'm just asking because it never appears again.

I could make so many dirty jokes right now but I won’t.

They call themselves “Dark Ones” which is a generic name in and of itself and due to being exiled, they now want to destroy both the Soul Society and the Human World by using a Nobody and Memory Rosary bomb. Why they want to destroy the Human world too is beyond me but they basically have the moral compass of a Saturday morning cartoon villain. There also made because of how boring they are. They all dress the same and they all have no real personality or personal goals.  A least their fight scenes with the captains are awesome.

Speaking of the fight scenes, the extra production values really do them wonders. Every fight scene in the movie is a feast for the eyes, especially the ones involving the captains. Fans are going to love watching the Bleach captains going to work against the bad guys, as each captain pulls out their own bankais and weapons. Or in the case of Kenpachi its hard not to smile watching him fight.

I quickly want to bring up the new character Senna and Ichigo again because when the movie started, Ichigo really didn’t like her. Shes loud, always getting distracted and she is more interested in riding the ferris wheel, then helping Ichigo.  However as time goes on Ichigo started to grow more attached to Senna as they spend time and we learn why the villains are after her Ichigo is the only one that stands by her.

The reason why the villains are after her is because SPOILER ALERT Senna is the Memory Rosary that both sides are after. What this is means is that Senna is mostly just a collection of other people’s memories but underneath all that, Ichigo recognised that like everyone else she feels happiness, pain and more. Because of this he is willing to defend her even from the Soul Society who only want to lock her up so no-one can get to her.

The least they could have done is give each member of the "Dark Ones" a different design.

The least they could have done is give each member of the “Dark Ones” a different design.

The Memory Rosary and the Blanks are also themselves interesting because until the movie came out, we always just assumed that the souls always made it to the Soul Society. The idea of a soul losing its way to the Soul Society and eventually losing what they are and becoming a Blank is a level of sadness and depth that I didn’t expect from a tie-in movie of all things.

It’s because of this and how much I liked Senna as a character, that I was annoyed when the movie tries to pulled a Pokemon the First Movie and make it so the characters forget everything. The reason the movie gives is because you can’y remember the memories of a Nobody. Thankfully though it’s revealed during the credits that Ichigo remembered her.

Speaking of the ending, some viewers will be annoyed that nothing from the movie every really cares over to the main series. The movie is basically just filler but as far as filler goes, its pretty awesome. That being said its a shame that the movie is never really brought up again.

Hope your impressed by my bankai because I only do it once in the whole movie.

Hope your impressed by my bankai because I only do it once in the whole movie.

Animation wise Bleach: Memories of Nobody looks great with awesome visuals, especially during the already mentioned boss fights. While the movie has some nice songs, there are some boring ones too.

So that’s my review of Bleach: Memories of Nobody and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. Sure the movie had some cringeworthy attempts of comedy and the pace dragged a bit early on but I really liked Senna as a character. On top of that the movies fight scenes were awesome and they’re a treat for fans of the series. That being said I can only really recommend Bleach: Memories of Nobody to fans because the film isn’t very newcomer friendly.

Anyway that’s my review of Bleach: Memories of Nobody and remember to come back next time when I’ll be reviewing the quite frankly insane show known as FLCL.

download (3)

 

 

 

 

 

Anime Review: Katanagatari

Anime Stats

172251Directed By: Keitaro Motonaga

Music By: Taku Iwasaki

Studio: White Fox

Licensed By: NIS America (NA)

Original Run: January 26th 2010 – December 11th 2010

Number of Episodes: 12

First Opening Theme: Meiya Kandenrou by Kuribayashi Minami (Uploaded to Youtube by Serene Teo)

First Closing Theme: Tasogare no Gekka by Yousei Teikoku (Uploaded to YouTube by EvilBaffe)

If I was to tell you that Katanagatari was a show about a martial artist and a strategist traveling around Japan looking for 12 magical swords with ninjas added to the mix because ninjas are awesome so why not, you’d probably think that Katanagatari was very formulaic shonenn anime and you’d be wrong.

Weighing in with 12 episodes that last 50 minutes a piece, Katanagatari is a very meaty anime that manages to focuses heavily on character building (there’s that word again). On top of this Katanagatari is also a surprisingly tragic show but more on that later.

Your going to hate this guy, trust me.

Your going to hate this guy, trust me.

At the start of the show Shichika and his older (and very creepy) sister Nanami are living on a deserted Island but this peaceful life is disrupted when the strategist Togame comes to the Island looking for their father, who was the hero of a rebellion. Sadly he died before the events of the show so Togame is forced to settle for his son Shichika.

Togame came to the deserted Island so she could recruit a member of the famous Shichika clan, who are masters of the Kyotouryuu school of Sword. This school uses the wielder body as a sword since the Shichika clan themselves can’t wield swords.

That last fact alone makes them the perfect target for Togame to recruit for her quest for the 12 Deviant Blades and speaking of these blades, each one gets their own time to shine (hence the 12 episodes) and the shows fight scenes are very entertaining if a little short.

The reason I’m bringing the fight scenes up this early in the review is because there arguable the least important part of the show and the build up to them tends to surpass the fight themselves. The worst example of this is episode 11 where after we get a lengthy conversation with (No I’m not going to name who), the fight itself barely lasts more than 4 minutes.

How exactly does a suit of armour count as a "blade"?

How exactly does a suit of armour count as a “blade”?

Of course the build up for these fights wouldn’t be so good if the “blades” themselves and their welders weren’t so interesting as well as a little tragic. The reason for this is because most of the 12 “blade” carry a “poison” in them that can turn even the most noble warrior into a person obsessed with keeping the swords even at the cost of their own lives.

For example the second episode focuses on a lone samurai called Mitsuru Miyamoto. His a master of a sword style capable of killing any opponent in one hit and his Deviant Blade Namakura makes it so he can do so perfectly very time. However Miyamoto lives in a castle in the region of Inaba, a once beautiful region which has been reduced to a desert and while he stayed everyone he loved ran from the desert.

You may have noticed by now that I’ve been using quotation marks whenever I right about the Deviant Blades. The reason for this is because some of these “blades” include a suit of Western armour, a wooden bokken and hell one is just a freaking hilt.

Moving back to the plot for a second I want to talk about Togame and Shickika’s past. These two really are the most unlikely of partners, especially when you consider that back when Togame was a kid, Shichika’s father killed her father. The trama of this event is what caused her hair to turn white and her right eye to make that weird snake shape whenever shes scheming.

CHEERIO.

CHEERIO.

Despite this she still searched out the Shickika clan but before hiring Shichika, Togame tried to collect the 12 “blades” by hiring the 12 heads of the Maniwani Ninja Corp. These 12 ninjas are split into four different groups and despite being labelled the antagonists early on, they very quickly start dying off to whoever is that episode focuses on, whether it’s a particular Deviant Blade owner, Shichikas sister or in one odd case their own leader.

Part of what I love about the Maniwani Ninja Corp is there outfits because each of them are dressed like the animal there based on. Their members include the bumblebee Mitsubachi, Oshidori the duck, their leader the phoenix Hoo and the cute Penguin Maniwani.

Something else I love about the Maniwani Corp is that as the show goes on they become the underdogs (who doesn’t love an underdog) and after a while you start to feel sorry for them because all of the heads are actually friends and the only reason they want the swords is to sell them to fund their failing ninja village.

Something else I loved about the show was the development of Shichika’s character. At the start of the show Shichika was more like Togames sword. He would jump-start into fights and didn’t really care about or think about killing people. Hell in the second episode Togame had to stop him from killing a group of thugs.

Yet throughout the journey Shichika slowly grows as he meets more interesting people and through his time as Togame. In essence he goes from being Togames heartless sword into a human being.

Hell hat no furry like two pissed off girls of power. Oh and Togame got her hair cut and I personally like the look of it.

Hell hat no furry like two pissed off girls of power. Oh and Togame got her hair cut at some point.

It’s also this character development that may cause some people to hate the final episode and yes there will be spoilers here. So now that those who want to avoid the spoilers has left, at the end of episode 11 Togame gets shot and killed because two pistols also count as Deviant Blades and despite Togame admitting that she never cared about Shichika and even planned to kill him, Shichika goes mad with grief, becomes a blade again ands the Shogunate and his retainer.

So people may hate the last episode because this goes completely against everything that Shichika went through but considering his grief, it made sense considering how he thinks.

Despite being at times a seriously depressing anime (I dare you to not want to cry at the start of the last episode) Katanagatari does have some moments of humor which always involve something between Togame and Shichika. Examples of this include Togames schemes which are always insanely evil and one involves roosting someone alive in armour and these moments just add to the shows at times unpredictable nature.

Almost as if they did it on purpose, Katanagatari animation style is very colourful especially when compared to the shows tone. Personally I really do like this style although characters bodies remind me of the character designs during the animated cut scenes of Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.

Finally there’s the soundtrack which is awesome and better yet isn’t filled with generic samurai era music like say Samurai Gunn was. Instead we get some great tracks including that haunting main.

Something weird about the show is that for half of the series there’s no opening theme and even after they include one, the show consisted changes it.

Shichika has a wierd obsession with Togames hair.

Shichika has a weird obsession with Togames hair.

So that’s my review of Katanagatari and I personally loved the show. The character development for the Deviant Blade wielders was great and there was moments when I genuinely felt sad when one of the “villains” died. I also loved watching Togame and Shichika together and the Maniwa Ninja Corp were also fun and once I started watched the show I couldn’t stop.

That being said I can’t recommend the show to everyone especially those who are looking for a high action show and laughs. That being said if the show sounds even remotely interesting I highly recommend checking it out.

Thanks for putting up for the long wait for this review. Katanagatari was simply one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written for this blog. I have seriously spent most of today writing and rewriting this review so I hope you liked it but come back on Friday because I’ll be reviewing the first Bleach movie called Memories of Nobody.

images (25)

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