2 of 13 episodes seen
The story is about the sly lady thief Fujiko Mine, the mysterious fox that often helps Lupin and the gang. In this installment, it takes us back to before Lupin met Fujiko and the rest of the gang.
This new installment in the Lupin III franchise is delightfully sexy and raunchy, and definitely isn't for the younger audience. With unrestrained sexual tension and nudity, the character interaction is playful and dangerous, and is a whole other dynamic than one is used to in anime. In this world of thievery and espionage, playing dirty works.
How will uninitiated fans react to the show? To be honest, knowing who they are and how the characters interact beforehand is a huge help. As a "prequel" to the franchise, it does a decent job of introducing the characters. However, it feels more like an info recap intro rather than a full on introduction, so fans hoping to get into the franchise now might feel a little miffed.
So Lupin fans rejoice! A full fledged return to the glory days of Lupin III and Monkey Punch, the dorky gentleman thief Pink Jacket Lupin this ain't. This is full on Green Jacket Lupin, the dashing, quick-witted, pervert thief that many grew up with. read more
11 of 11 episodes seen
What caught me was the setting. A computerized system called "Fractale" is used to catalog and maintain the whole human population. A normal boy named Clain is unsatisfied with his life. In comes Phyrne, a doppel named Nessa, a rebel group called the Lost Millennium, and the Temple knocking on his door. He's dragged into a whole world altering mess of conflicts... so why is this show so slow moving?
The pacing isn't very well done. A show is supposed to raise questions in the beginning and answer them in the end. This show fails at the latter. It moves slowly, adding to the setting, and suddenly accelerates into some action the last 2 episodes, leaving you to scratch your head in confusion. "What just happened?"
The show leaves so many questions unanswered. What is the Fractale system, and how does it work? I don't mean some half assed explanation that it uses star power or anything or that it's some mystical computer system designed by aliens. I'm just asking WHAT IS IT. When the show fails to explain the main plot point, it starts getting silly. Phyrne is the key to the Fractale system, and the Temple wants her back. But why IS she the key anyway? How does the whole key thing work? Do they just plug girls into the Temple like some AA batteries in order to keep the Fractale system running?
And what exactly is the Lost Millennium's beef anyway? They're a rebel group. Sure. But what's their motives? They think the world sucks, and the audience sees the Fractale system isn't so great. But how in the world did they reach the conclusion that the world is a dystopia? People live in blissful ignorance of the Fractale's mechanizations, and are brainwashed every year. How did this group of people break out of this cycle?
I blame this lack of information and question answering squarely on the protagonist. We're not supposed to sympathize with the Temple. They're the bad guys! We're apparently not supposed to sympathize with the Lost Millennium either (even though the Granites deserve our sympathy at some points). They're the bad guys too! And we're not supposed to understand or sympathize with Phyrne because she's simply just a plot coupon at this point. So who ARE we supposed to sympathize with? Clain. Our protagonist. Unfortunately, he acts as a third wheel. The Temple's not going to divulge its secrets to him because he's an enemy, Phyrne isn't going to say anything because she doesn't want him to get involved, and LM just wants him out of their hair. And since he's our protagonist, we have to learn information through him. If he's not getting any important information, then what are we, the audience, left with? Just a sequence of meaningless action on the screen, that's what.
It's all supposed to make sense at the end. But when they throw a bunch of disjointed information, it's hard to synthesize it into something MEANINGFUL. And they expect everyone to be fine with this.
But that's just a crazy long over analysis. A show can be fun to watch and still have no "plot" to speak of. They say that the journey is as important as the destination, and it's been a fun ride. There's nothing too deep here. I say this a standard anime show, and I'm glad there's not too much navel gazing or faux philosophy on how to live your life. If you have some time to kill and the premise sounds interesting, I say go take a look and see how it pans out for you. But if you have a packed schedule, I suggest you give this one a pass for the time being. read more
2 of 25 episodes seen
At first glance at the title, the first impression was that the show "Tiger & Bunny" will be a cutesy show with talking tigers and bunnies. It is not.
This may be a disappointment for some.
And looking at the promotional art, people assume "Oh it's some mecha anime. Since I don't like mecha, I won't watch it." I assure you, this show is not about mechas at all. Those "mechas" are in actuality the main characters of the show in their power suits. Calling them "mechas" is akin to calling Tony Stark (of Iron Man fame) a mecha pilot.
Now, you must be wondering what this show actually IS. To be blunt, it's a hyperactive fluffy kid's show, much like the 7:00 Saturday morning cartoons many people used to watch way back when. The plot is extremely simple, and fast moving. It's basically a show about good old fashioned superheroes (attempting to) kick some bad guy butt.
If you're here to know more details, it's better to just look at the description and watch the show. It's extremely simplistic.
However, that isn't to say that there isn't anything for the older viewer. Besides some of the nostalgia rush that I get from watching this show, I see some intriguing plot factors pop up that separate this from any other anime or superhero show (Western or otherwise).
1.) This show is STUFFED TO THE GILLS in product placement. This is not a bad thing. To the contrary, it adds to the appeal to the show. Rather than tasteless placement, it adds to the setting. These superheroes are commodities. Capitalism has taken advantage of the charismatic heroes, and they are used to advertise products. It's not much different from now, with people slapping celebrity names onto products in order to sell.
2.) This show is light. While modern day superhero stories tend to go for "darker and edgier" plots (Watchmen, Batman, etc.), this show remains untouched by such baggage and instead opts for optimism and feel good messages. "Believe in yourself. Be proud of who you are." You'll be rooting for the heroes the whole time.
3.) The main character is an older man with a daughter. Let me tell you: this is mind blowing. Instead of using a child/teenage character as the protagonist, they use an aging papa bear character. The protagonist is someone the audience has someone to sympathize with, and many anime go the lazy route and use a child/teenager as the protagonist for us to sympathize with due to age similarity to the target audience. But Kotetsu is genuinely likable despite his older age setting.
^TL;DR: The story is great and unique, and is quite different from modern day anime offerings and superhero shows. It uses it's premise and setting to its advantage.
The characterization is great. Kotetsu is an idealist, though not frustratingly so. He's basically balancing his own individuality against the expectations of his employers, and his ability to compromise prevents long drawn out misunderstandings. The other heroes seem to have their own agenda, especially Kotetsu's unwilling partner, Barnaby. Characterization through action, not description, is the series' strong point. These aren't just archetypes with faces.
Many complaints with the show deal with the CGI. Honestly, it's not to much of a problem. With some of the Karas staff on board, the CGI is integrated well, with no glaring problems. It beats some of the cheap 2D "QUALITY" animation that we are subject to every anime season.
All in all, this show is wonderful. It makes me feel excited to see what's in store next, though I realize this may not be everyone's cup of tea: the whole "Western" feel of the show can throw people off. But it is this exact "Western" feel that made Cowboy Bebop and Trigun so successful, and I hope that this show continues to appeal to various demographics.
I say give this show a shot for the first episode, and see if you feel like a kid waiting for next week's 7:00 Saturday morning cartoons. read more