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August 1st, 2013
Now, anime in general is still very niche in America (and in Japan, too.) and we should be lucky that a few anime distributors still exist in America, although like any business, most of them tend to go under and left a legacy or thousands of anime unlicensed and forever lost in the abyss of OOP (out of print) prices on eBay or hopefully if they’re cheap enough once it’s announced. However, as much as most people want more anime distributors to exist, not many people are going like them and believe me, I’ve been on the internet long enough to know what’s being said about which company does it right or wrong and I’m going to laid my opinion, the pros and cons, of the top anime distributors in North America. Oh yeah, I’m only counting companies whose main specialty is anime, so Disney is out of the running since they are the biggest company in the world, but their anime films is only a very small percentage on their earnings.



So, let’s start out with the most well-known name in anime today that’s still in business.



FUNIMATION



OK, we should all know the deal with FUNimation. They are the biggest and most well-known anime distributor in the US to date for almost 20 years running, which is longer than most anime companies thrive to do, even Bandai Entertainment didn’t last that long, Plus, it helped that most of their anime series was very popular among viewers, such as the very famous Dragon Ball series, Fullmetal Alchemist, Yu Yu Hakusho, Case Closed and they also rescued a lot of titles from Geneon & ADV Films (or at least the most well-known ones) when they went out of business.

Now, to me, FUNimation is that company that can appeal to the anime-loving masses, even to people that might not even watch much anime, considering some of their titles like Afro Samurai, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, Tony Hawk in Boom Boom Sabotage are often content specifically made for American audiences and there’s the fact that they are often the top contributors of the Toonami block, past and present. Plus, their English dubs (Examples: Baccano, Fullmetal Alchemist, Panty and Stocking w/ Garter belt) are always top-notch and considered to be the best of all anime.

However, when it comes to quality anime, they tend to go back and forth on it. Whenever there’s something like Attack on Titan, Baccano, Last Exile, and Eden of the East, some of their titles they chosen are often the cash-grab lazily-written and underwhelming anime like Rosario + Vampire, Heaven’s Lost Property, Fractale, Witchblade and often the stuff they licensed falls into that category like Girls Bravo and Ikki Tousen (the first season). Now, I get that most of the stuff they licensed are due to financial reasons and I can’t fault them for that. It’s a business after all but for innovative reasons, it seems that all their anime is either fan service schlock that gets boring too quick and shows with potential that falls flat on their ass.





SENTAI FILMWORKS



With Sentai Filmworks, they are the rebirth of ADV Films as the same staff, ADR writers, ADR directors, voice actors (with a few either retired or moved to either FUNimation or LA) and they do grab anime from Geneon, also (just titles that get overlooked, that is) and like ADV, they licensed anime that most of the fans want them to get and are often the most interesting anime. I, personally, think their selection of anime is mostly up-to-par or a bit higher with FUNimation’s choices. Titles I like from them include Persona 4: The Animation, Kids on the Slope, Mahoromatic, Towanoquon, and…..yes, I happen to find High School of the Dead an acquired taste.

But the biggest problem of the company is, well, their dubs.

They’re not god awful like earlier ‘90s schlock like Garzey’s Wing but the quality of it is below FUNimation’s standard and as I research, most of the dubs are courtesy of ADR director Stephen Foster, which is where I hear most hate for Sentai’s dubs. However, some of their dubs of theirs are still tolerable and in actuality, some of the shows they licensed, they often outsourced them to either Bang Zoom Entertainment, like ­K-On!!, Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works and Persona 4) or most recently NYAV Post for Queen’s Blade: Rebellion. OK, maybe that title isn’t the best example (I saw the first Queen’s Blade and that’s enough of that shit) but it’s nice to see that specific studio get some work under their belt, thankfully they are dubbing 009 Re: Cyborg with FUNi distributing in the U.S.

Sentai Filmworks only been on the anime circuit for about 5 years to date and maybe their dubs could be better in quality as the years go by. After all, FUNimation didn’t get their best dubbing company status overnight.





VIZ MEDIA



Now with Viz Media, they are often more manga-centric than anime to be precise since they are an anime and manga distributing company but it doesn’t mean they ignore it or don’t do justice to it. It’s pretty much the opposite of how TokyoPop was operating; it’s more of an equal joint effort, especially recently as Viz Media brought on some anime titles that weren’t just Bleach or Naruto, which does help them time-to-time financially despite my personal opinion on both titles (I just lost interest in Bleach, Naruto was painful to watch from the first episode) but most of that is due to bringing their new anime streaming service called Neon Alley, which streams English-dubbed anime 24/7 and something like that was much needed for those who like to watch anime in English dub, considering most sites often don’t do that. The newer anime from Viz like Tiger and Bunny, Zetman, Accel World, the Berserk Golden Age movies & LaGrange definitely made me want to get a subscription to Neon Alley, especially anime titles from another company which we’ll get into.



As for their dubs, they have more variety on who they cast and what company they are from, whether in the past, it’s Ocean (Ranma ½, Nana, Inuyasha, Death Note), Studiopolis (Bleach, Naruto, K, Tiger and Bunny), NYAV Post (Berserk movies, Zetman) and most notably Bang Zoom! (LaGrange, Accel World, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan). Their pronunciation is a bit off but that’s more of a nitpick issue than something huge to complain about since this is an English dub. It’s not always going to be like the Japanese language.



My point with Viz Media is that in the past, their count of anime was lacking in both quality and quantity but later on, they actually got back into the anime grid, especially licensing Gargantia and Blood Lad. I just hope they continue their progress like this.





ANIPLEX OF AMERICA



Ah, yes, the one that every anime fan always like to bitch out, although I can see why. Everyone knows that Aniplex of America is a division of their Japan branch and they produce much quality anime and often they are the middleman as it does get distributed by other companies like FUNimation (Fullmetal Alchemist, Baccano!, Sekirei, Guilty Crown) and Sentai Filmworks (Angel Beats, Persona 4, No.6) but nowadays they often want to get into the licensing business for themselves but with a twist. They would license anime if their Japan branch were the producers of it or part of whatever anime committee the show is associated with.



And that one thing people will bitch about them? Their insane prices on anime and the type of anime they brought to DVD and Blu-ray and here’s the thing about that. Their stuff is specifically catered to the hardcore anime fan and also a lot of extras packed in there, such as the anime soundtrack, artbooks, etc. I can definitely see why it’s expensive although their imported anime (fresh from Japan) are definitely the most expensive, like $300-400, and to me, I would rather wait for a domestic release (and possibly a dub for it if they got it) and speaking of their anime, most of their content they have and licensed……I’m more into them than most FUNimation stuff.



Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know Attack on Titan and some of their other stuff is awesome but it’s as of recently and with shows like Durarara!!, Blue Exorcist, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero and possibly Magi (I hope it doesn’t suck like Valvrave did or be disappointingly dull like Sword Art Online), I was hooked and possibly I should thank Viz Media and Neon Alley for that because instead of paying $100 or more for the DVD/Blu-ray, you could watch it for about $21-42 for 3-6 months and for their dubs, I’m glad that Bang Zoom is still around to make English dubs as from most Aniplex shows I watched, they are the go-to studio they used and they really need the work since a lot of the companies they used to be associated with or work for (Geneon, Bandai, Manga) are dead in the dirt.

My point with Aniplex of America is that they are the Kobe beef of anime companies. If you desperately want their anime, you better have some primo cash…..or are well-off. (That Gurren Lagann Blu-ray costs a mighty grip.)



Now I know there are other anime companies in the west, mainly the ones who just handled distributing rather than dubbing the work and I’m not going to leave them in the dust.



MEDIA BLASTERS (ANIME WORKS)



Now as of late, they had to reinvent themselves as an anime company after letting go of some people and most of their anime licenses expired. To me, they are 50/50 when it comes to anime. For one thing, I love Squid Girl, Berserk, Kite, & Mezzo Forte but on the other hand, I really hated Kanokon, Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, Queen’s Blade, later iterations of Ikki Tousen and Eiken…….oh, I really don’t like Eiken. I don’t think they might dub much anime in the future or possibly get lesser-known dubbing studios to do it.



DISCOTEK MEDIA



This company handles distributing retro style anime; shows made in the early ‘70s, 80s and 90s with some recent 2000s shows. If you are an old-school anime fan, you’ll love them.



RIGHT STUF INTERNATIONAL / NOZOMI ENTERTAINMENT



They are about the same as Discotek, finding obscure shows from dead distributors or titles that became overlooked. Also they have their own online store that sells anime, manga, merchandise, all that good shit. Either way, it’s a win-win.



NIS AMERICA



Now I need to admit, the two reasons why I don’t value NIS America as an anime company much is because some shows I have no interest in and of course, they hardly ever dub their anime (they dub their videogames but not their anime). Yes, people, I prefer English dubs over subs but I don’t oppose subs but I don’t see the purpose of owning a sub-only anime that I can watch on Crunchyroll for free or with a premium subscription. But, NISA have confirmed during Anime Expo 2013 that they could be dubbing future titles but never said which one.



CRIMSON STAR MEDIA





This one is a newer anime distributor based in Georgia. The title they licensed recently is Looking up at the Half-Moon, a 6-episode series from 2006. I’m hopeful they can become the rising anime company that’s needed in this industry.



And that is it for me.

But, tell me, what do you think of these anime companies overall and their status?



Until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
Posted by HybridMedia | Aug 1, 2013 11:49 AM | 0 comments
July 8th, 2013
You know, I have been hearing a lot of controversy about the Kyoto Animation new summer series’ Free – Iwatobi Swim Club and how most male otaku anime fans are pissed off at the existence of this series and they feel like they are getting left out because they are doing a show aimed for female audiences centering around a boys’ swimming club with some fan service for the ladies as well and KyoAni, the anime company is very well-known for doing cutesy moe girl shows like Air, Kanon, Clannad, K-On!, etc. thought it would be a nice change of pace to go to the female demographic (and it is!!)

And do you want to know what I think about this whole thing?

The male otaku fans make me want to beat the shit out of every one of them.

Really!?!?!? They’re complaining about a show that basically not aimed for them and yet they scream out about ‘why there isn’t any anime marked for them’ when there is lots of them aimed for their demographic?

YOU GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME WITH THAT SHIT!

You know for a fact it’s not aimed at you!! You don’t complain about that shit unless you actually saw it and if you do see it and complain about it, at least make it legit and not “SO MANY NAKED BOYZ!!" over and over again.

It’s like rich people complaining about all the poor people; you’re not going to look sympathetic or make us feel sorry for you for saying that. Matter of fact, it makes me disgusted to be associated with one of you idiots and thankfully, some male anime fans are not like that….they’re pretty much more open-minded and frankly, it’s something we need more considering the videogame community already got enough of this misogynistic shit although anime got its side of that, too.

As for me, will I watch the anime myself? I’ll look at it someday or possibly once it finishes airing to marathon it. Personally, I’m more of a (slight) yuri fan but I don’t want it every time and I’m not going to shove it in people’s faces all the time (that can be very annoying) and I can check out a series like this (mostly Ouran High School Host Club) and be okay with it.

And that’s the end of my rant here.

REMEMBER, ANIME MALE FANS, DON’T BE A SELF-ENTITLED DOUCHEBAG LIKE THE MANY OTHERS OUT THERE.
Posted by HybridMedia | Jul 8, 2013 1:16 PM | 3 comments
December 9th, 2012
So, that’s it for the bottom picks and now we will get into the good stuff or at least, the good stuff that I think deserve some praise and effort for either being something that explored more into the anime genre and/or not sucking hard. So let’s cut the small chat and get to the TOP 10.


SEKIREI / animation by SEVEN ARTS / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
I might get slapped for this but not just because of the rampant amount of fan service, considering I panned Kanokon and partially Cat Planet Cuties for this but that was for the fact the humor of those shows were either “meh but not world-class comedy” or in Kanokon’s case, painfully unfunny. Sekirei is a guilty pleasure for me, but while it has things that pleases me that you will never find out unless I want you to, this one has something that resembles a storyline, breasts, funny at sometimes, breasts, characters that doesn’t annoy you too much and at least when FUNimation advertise it, they just straight out know that you’re watching this for the fan service and also, breasts. Hell, it’s even mentioned in the sequel series Pure Engagement, which I would’ve finished but I’ll watch that later. So, yes, I do like fan service shows……when it doesn’t suck that much.


FINAL GRADE: 7/10 – HIGH Watchable


RINNE NO LAGRANGE (LAGRANGE: The Flower of Rinne) / animation by XEBEC & PRODUCTION I.G. / distributed by VIZ MEDIA (English dub coming soon to Neon Alley)
Yep, this is one of the newest anime shows I watched in 2012 and yes, I watched it in the original Japanese version and surprisingly this is a good show that I could re-watch over and over again, although personally I can’t wait for the dub version from Neon Alley/Viz Media (that and I need to learn about the voice actress Kira Buckland aka Rina-chan and her past work as a VA). While the show does sometimes forget that it’s a mecha show, it has a very decent storyline and it also makes up for the loving friendship and bond between the very likable characters of Madoka (different one, you fools!), Lan & Muginami and I know you know the yuri implied undertones of the relationship and yes, I do like yuri elements in anime or other media if it’s not crappy or just cause it’s there. But if you watched the show but I still find it sweet and touching and it’s also something from XEBEC that doesn’t make me pissed off at them for their earlier shows and the fact that Production I.G., their parent company saved their asses around this time.


FINAL GRADE: 7.5/10 – Watchable/ LOW Solid B


HETALIA / animation by STUDIO DEEN / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
Even if I like yuri, I have nothing against yaoi or anybody who is a yaoi fan girl……or boy. Yes, I think I’m one of the few guys that watched Hetalia and liked it. I didn’t loved it like the hordes of fan girls do or hated it like some people do for legit reasons but personally while some things about it bother me at some times, some things about it made me laugh like how America is portrayed as a douche who always has to be the hero but they’re full of it, or Germany, who is always hostile and always gets irritated by Italy too much (I know how he feels). Also, I think I’m the only person who finds Italy annoying and also insulting to someone……who was just born in Italy, let’s be honest, but still he just gets to me but I’m not really that offended by the series. I’ve seen more offensive stuff than this. I will say if you’re Canadian, you might hate this or just don’t care. Like I said, this is a rather good show if it fits in your criteria.


FINAL GRADE: 8/10 – Solid B.


THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY / animation by STUDIO GHIBLI / distributed by STUDIOCANAL (U.K.), DISNEY (U.S.)
So, surprise, I’ve seen a new Studio Ghibli release and it was…….alright. Yes, I’m in the large percentage that finds this film to be okay. I’m not harping it like it’s the greatest thing ever but it’s still entertaining to watch but there are a few flaws in the plot, characters and in the dub and by dub, I mean the Disney version. I’ve seen the UK version earlier this year and guess what? That dub was okay and personally I prefer that one over the Disney dub. Bridgit Mendler was a poor choice of consideration to play Arrietty as to me, it felt too unnatural and very unenthusiastic. There is no difference between the choices of Mark Strong (in the UK dub) and Will Arnett (in the US dub) as both sounds alike even though Arnett sounded like a stumbling drunk and at last, Strong plays someone who isn’t a damn villain. Amy Poehler was fine and she was overall the best thing about the Disney dub. Oh yeah, did I mention they played some stupid inane pop song at the last part of the credits because when I think of this movie, I think of this damn song, not that other song that fits within the tone of the movie. But, yes, Arrietty is an okay movie but I’m sure as hell isn’t going for the US dub again.


FINAL GRADE: 8/10 – Solid B.



DEMON KING DAIMAO / animation by ARTLAND / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Well, once reading Angel’s review of this series, I have decided to check it out for myself and the final result for that show is it’s really good. It wasn’t praiseworthy to me as it was to her but there were some moments that really got on my nerves like the usual “boy sees girl naked accidentally through some awkward occurrence, then girl runs to beat the shit out of him” shtick. There is a very cohesive plot moving on with some these widespread battles, magical elements that are like Harry Potter…..with lots of multi-colored haired anime girls and acceptable fan service that’s not just for…..showing that it had fan service.


FINAL GRADE: 8.5/10 – HIGH Solid B.


REDLINE / animation by MADHOUSE / distributed by BANG ZOOM! And ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
I would first call this movie “Animation Porn”. Why? Because when you hear that this movie took over 10 years to animate and/or develop and you see the final product and it looks so amazing and gorgeous in High Definition that alone is worth checking this out…..well, almost. There are also the steadily detailed race sequences and the character designs of the movie and that’s it. The voice acting is fine but not that worthy of a mention. Now rating an anime just based on the animation wasn’t exactly professional but then again, I’m not really that much of a professional but the story is simple, characters aren’t that complex but aren’t simpletons and completely moronic. It’s kind of like how I look into movies like Tron: Legacy & The Man with the Iron Fists. The concept looks very fun and wonderfully detailed but there is bound to be a lot of flaws throughout but you will still enjoy it.


FINAL GRADE: 9/10 – First Class


PERSONA 4 THE ANIMATION / animation by AIC ASTA / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Okay, I haven’t played the game or any previous effort of the game series that was released in the US by Atlus but when I went into a show based off something I never encountered in my life, who would have thought this series would end up to be that DAMN GOOD!!!! I absolutely love this series but yet, I haven’t finished it all and although I could finish it in sub but like I said in the previous times, I’m more of a dub person so I can wait for that version to be released in the next few months. The animation and character detail is so much like the game from a few clips and pics I saw online, the plot line does balance the seriousness and the humorous details without making it too inappropriate and best of all, this may be a Sentai Filmworks dub, but thankfully they wanted the original VA cast of the English version and the performances were decent but I quickly gotten sick of the bear puns from Teddy and the expressionless appearance of main character Yu Narukami does get too old to give a damn but once you see episode 8, you’ll find it hilarious and this is one anime worth checking out.


FINAL GRADE: 9.5/10 – HIGH First Class (so far)


CODE GEASS: LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION / animation by SUNRISE / distributed by BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT (for now)
People have compared this show to Death Note and some either love the series or hate it completely…..I’m more of the former and even though I haven’t seen Death Note (yet) and still don’t rank that show as high as many people does, I’ll still give it a chance. For Code Geass on the other hand, this was one of my favorite anime that twists their anime elements that isn’t too much of a drag and much like Eureka Seven, it lasts for 50 episodes and never gets too tiring. However, this could have easily would have been a HALL OF FAME but unfortunately, the second series has a few curb stomps like unnecessary character deaths just to kill them off because they have nothing else to develop (SPOILERS: Personally, I was pissed off and sad when they killed off Shirley) and the unexpected but really expected twist at the end of the series which seem so confusing and off-putting. Aside from that, I actually do recommend the show for newcomers but take a break between episodes to know what you are going into.


FINAL GRADE: 10/10 (For Season 1)/ 9.5/10 (For Season 2)



Now, I’m going to introduce you the anime that I highly recommended for all of you to experience. But I will say that this is just my opinion of both of these shows and how I feel about them.


KIDS ON THE SLOPE (SAKAMICHI NO APOLLON) / animation by MAPPA & TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Well, this anime does have a lot going for it especially with Shinichiro Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop & Samurai Champloo (two of my favorite anime ever) and Yoko Kanno (music composer of anime too much to list) collaborating again for something that’s unusual (in some parts) from his previous efforts; i.e., set in the 1960s in Japan and it’s technically a slice-of-life anime but in actuality, more of a realistic tone than most in that genre (like looking at real life through the lens of anime, as most people would say about this) and the dramatic tone of the show has a good amount of drama without being too melodramatic and overbearing that would create big problems out of petty bullshit. Everything about this show is perfect to my ears from beginning to end of the series. The characters are greatly developed as the story goes along, the art style is very good, coming from new anime studio MAPPA (along with Tezuka Productions in some episodes), which is run by former executive of MADHOUSE Masao Maruyama and there is a bit of that Madhouse influence in the animation and of course, the music…….Yes, it’s good and I will end this note on what the hell you reading this for? Find this show somewhere streaming or whatever and watch it. You won’t regret it.


FINAL GRADE: 10/10 – HALL OF FAME


Now, Kids on the Slope isn’t actually the only anime that is the top of my list and for this entry, this is an anime that has been dubbed for this year and the hype on the show has been widespread among with the anime community and some have loved it, others find it overrated and not worth it (they’re fools!!!!) but let’s just cut to the chase……


PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA / animation by SHAFT / distributed by ANIPLEX OF AMERICA
Now, like many others, I wasn’t really into a lot of magical girl anime, although I have watched Sailor Moon in my younger days but never caught my attention at full but after hearing so many reviews about PMMM and thankfully, it was released in the states, dubbed by Bang Zoom! Entertainment and distributed by Aniplex of America, who rarely make dubs and after that, the rest was history. It turned a mundane concept and completely went cerebral and deep as it goes, making it intriguing, suspenseful and tense; that also goes along with the character development and how becoming a magical girl isn’t all cute outfits, slaying monsters, and worrying about any unrelated thing that comes to mind. This is the kind of anime that absolutely deserves all the praise and sales, whether it was the original Japanese or the English dub and I will say it again, this was a well put-together dub and I give my praise to voice actresses Christine Marie Cabanos, Cristina Vee, and Cassandra Lee for their performances as well as the other cast members, especially Vee for her portrayal of Homura Akemi, who really step it up at the latter half of the series as she brought out her emotions exactly right but not too much of being over the top as most people complain about. People have called this a New Wave anime, or nouveau anime as you will, something that completely changes every and any perspective of anime out there and sure enough, this series has done that and yeah, like I also said before about Kids on the Slope, watch this anime right now and see the brilliance of Puella Magi Madoka Magica…..or Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica…….or just Madoka Magica. Yeah, just watch the damn show.


FINAL GRADE: 10/10 – HALL OF FAME





So, that is the anime that I watched this year that I either liked or loathed……Well, this has a good year for me doing this for a full year, meeting and talking to interesting people around Spill, Planet Tyro, the many various Skype chats and everywhere on the internet.
Posted by HybridMedia | Dec 9, 2012 2:19 PM | 1 comments
Well, for those around in Planet Tyro, Spill.com, and other websites that might see this, it’s that time of the year again where we reminisce about what we watch, heard, and/or read and recall what we love, liked, find to be ‘meh’, questionable, hate or loathe but here is where things get different from there. For one, this is a list of the anime that I watched this year but I didn’t have the time to review either because I had too much on my plate and even though I’ve said most of my thoughts on these shows in the message board, those weren’t exactly my full thoughts on them. Another thing is…this is the list of anime that I watched and never seen before on my free time, this isn’t the list of the newest anime to come out (either dubbed or subbed) but some of those are included in the list although I might plan to watch some new “straight from Japan” anime in 2013. It could happen, especially with the review list I’m making for next year. Anyway, there are 20 anime properties (16 anime series, 2 OVAs and 2 anime movies), so I divided them to be a top and bottom 10 lists. Please note this is my list and if you got any disagreements with it, just comment below and don’t act a fool.


First, I’ll get the bottom 10 list out of the way, but before I do, I would like to say that not all these anime are bad but some of them you should watch with caution and most of them you shouldn’t tell your friends about or anyone in your family as a matter of fact. I know I didn’t…..as far as you know. But let’s get this out of the way and start with lowest of the low, the scum of the anime world, that first piece of bread you skip because no one wants that end piece……okay, I’ll stop.

And now can you tell by the quotes, what anime is being described?:

“It's the pathetic tale of a desperate 400 year old horny virgin” & “Bitches have skin that just looks nasty and unkempt and shiny like raw pork in a supermarket”

“They get the most airy, softspoken voice actress to voice a boy so pathetic he could get curb stomped by Elijah Wood and Jason Biggs”

“There's a ton of reasons for why a teenaged boy would not want to have sex, but they don't bother to explain it”

“Also, the male lead was only two inches shorter than the girl and not a damn midget”

"Art Style is fucking atrocious and probably every bad Japanese anime stereotype, with all characters having big eyes, shiny skin, and NO NOSES"

"It's The Brickleberry of Anime."– and the answer is.....


KANOKON / animation by XEBEC / distributed by MEDIA BLASTERS
How did I really hear about this show? Well, in actuality, I heard about it in one of MasakoX’s (of Team FourStar) Anifile reviews on That Guy with the Glasses and he really tore a new one into that show and I decided to check this out for myself. I actually thought it would be a fun romantic romp with some fan service thrown in but unfortunately, it got awfully annoying real fast and quick, especially with the main character Kota, who is that stereotype of a weenie teenaged boy who is too much of a wimp to stand up for himself. Chizuru is one girl that definitely wants to have that boy in her pants and yet and the same can be said for the other girl Nozomu……Y U NO HAPPENS IN RL…or better yet MY RL? Actually, nothing like this happens in real life (unless you know someone like that), no matter how you want it to happen and it’s just fan service fodder, which is no problem for me, sometimes I like a little fan service but the problem of it is plain and simple. It’s not funny, endearing, or even enjoyable. There's a ton of reasons for why a teenaged boy would not want to have sex, but they don't bother to explain it. Also the side characters are not that prominent, very useless and annoying and mostly they are a one-joke character, like Asahina, whose only joke that she’s a prude and loathe dirty thoughts. I fucking get it!! It’s like beating a live horse, shoot it dead, beat it some more over and over, and then doing the money shot on it. Did I mention the people who were in charge of the dub also did Eiken? I don’t mean Media Blasters, the company that licensed it and is slowly dying right now; it’s a company called Arvintel Media Productions and most of the stuff I watched from them so far is horrid and weak. I have no beef with Mona Marshall but this is one of her worst voice-acting roles and she’s got pretty of them (She has good ones, too, but here, it gets too annoying too fast) It’s that bad and just horrible. I even heard that the novel or manga based off was less fan service-riddled than the anime.

SECOND EDIT: I actually did watch it for a second time because I do want to give it a fair chance but this time I just follow the plotline in episode 7 with the long lost sister and yet, it gives no proper or even an closing ending. It’s mostly a read the manga ending leaving questions that I’m pretty sure I don’t care to answer since this pretty much bothered me…..even if I laughed once (only once when her breasts disappeared, that’s it.) The animation is nothing special with the same style you expected from an anime, so hey, nothing new to look at. So just after watching Love Hina and this before, I really don't want to revisit this again.

FINAL SCORE: 1.5/10 – Clownshoes


NINJA SCROLL: THE SERIES / animation by MADHOUSE / distributed by URBANWORLD (now out of stock)
Wow, what a failure this show was and this has been talked out on an episode of DREAMcast episode 16, which feature the debut of yours today and you should watch it (the DREAMcast episode, not the series)…..RIGHT NOW…..or after reading this!! Anyway, the plot and fighting scenes are very monotonous, the characters are forgetful and bland especially Jubei, who I’ve already said looks like a Ninja Aladdin; the music is terrible at all levels and worst of all, has no continuation or even the shine of the original movie. By all means, forget this TV series; pick up the anime movie, which has been re-licensed by Sentai Filmworks and you’ll be fine and my final words for this show is “burn in hell, Ninja Scroll TV series, and burn in hell you will”.

FINAL SCORE: 2/10 – Clownshoes



KITE: LIBERATOR / animation by ARMS / distributed by MEDIA BLASTERS
So this year, I watched the original OVA “Kite” and for me, it was a decent effort by Studio ARMS (and me not hating them for once) but not that great then watched the superior “Mezzo Forte” done by the same studio and after that, “Mezzo DSA” which was a major disappointment to the previous installment and I thought I would never find anything else more as a disappointment to the original……until I watched this. Originally, I was going to review this in 2013 but I had to watch it due to the fact that I actually recommended the first Kite OVA (also Mezzo) to Angel and she also reviewed Liberator and according to her, it was a disaster (the movie, not the review) and I can see why. The plot’s a coherent mess; long gone the main character of Sawa and this new girl doesn’t really sound threatening or believable as a femme fatale, there is a less Hentai feel of this but it’s still worse and that motherfucking ending….what was the point of that? Clearly, Mezzo DSA is looking good compared to this. I’m glad that I saw this earlier because this is no way in hell I’m watching this again. In other words, this should also burn in hell.

FINAL SCORE: 1/10 – Clownshoes



EUPHORIA / animation by MAGIN / distributed by R U KIDDING ME
And speaking of things that should burn in hell………WHY!?!?!?!? Why did I have to watch this? My psyche is forever scarred by these OVA and yes, I know it’s a Hentai. I have seen plenty of Hentai series but not that kind that does that. It’s mostly torture porn mixed with actual porn and the result was violently disgusting. If there are people that liked this, I can’t judge you but don’t recommend this to me. I had enough of that for a 2-episode Hentai.

And the reason I put a screenshot instead of the cover, well, the cover isn't exactly Spill-safe and I don't want a warning....again.

FINAL SCORE: 0/10 – Clownshoes


And now for the stuff that wasn’t that bad but I would say you should stream it first before buying…..if it fits your taste, which is...



WITCHBLADE / animation by GONZO / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
GIVE ME YOUR ECSTASY!!! Mainly because it would certainly be more entertaining than Witchblade the anime. Most of the time, I can get into the plot but I can tell fans of the American comic will be pissed off at this and I stopped only at 16 episodes because it had gotten to be dreary, monotonous, and you just don’t give a damn anyone. Plus, the mother-daughter relationship is more than just unreal at best, I mean, the mother being more of a child than her 6-year-old daughter? Well, the good thing about this is the first opening theme and I do admire the acting style of Jamie Marchi, especially after the dub of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. As for Witchblade, this series is nothing more than just a first glance then you’ll forget about it.


FINAL SCORE: 3/10 – Not Feeling This



CAT PLANET CUTIES / animation by AIC PLUS / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
Originally, I had this show rated lower after watching it but I had some second thoughts about it, mostly after watching Kanokon and it wasn’t that bad after all. It’s still pretty bad in some areas like humor and the fact the main character Kyo is sort of a wimp but he isn’t unlikable at top levels, he can be reasonable but I wouldn’t say relatable. Plus, the fan service gets shoved in too much although it never bothered me….that much but I really hate the cliché tropes such as “what girl will he choose at the end?” because you’ll know that won’t get resolved but you won’t give a shit. I’ll say it’s a guilty pleasure as some levels with the main female characters/love interests of Kyo and the voice acting was an okay effort from FUNimation. Who knew that the kid that was in Full Metal Alchemist would get so much pu—(sound of a slap). Ow!


FINAL SCORE: 4/10 – HIGH Not Feeling This / LOW An Acquired Taste


K-ON! (Both seasons) / Animation by KYOTO ANIMATION / distributed by BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT (season 1)/SENTAI FILMWORKS (season 2)
Every time I hear about this series, I keep thinking about that review of Gigguk of the Anime Zone when he pointed out all they do in that club was “eat cake and drink motherfuckin’ tea!!” and I can see why because for two seasons, totaling up to 40+ episodes, they only slack off most of the time although two members needed to try more to convince the others to get off their lazy asses and practice. But for the music that was added in there, it was very decent for J-Pop music, which I don’t rate that high in the first place. The dub done by Bang Zoom! Entertainment for both seasons (yes, Steven Foster wasn’t involved in this, so, WOOHOO!!) was both alright but irritable at some parts. I noticed that Stephanie Sheh was in this dub and I happen to like her as a voice actress and her past work (mostly Eureka Seven and others not worth mentioning) but she just had to be casted in the most annoying role in the show and if you can’t handle her high-pitched voice than usual, you should avoid. Also, I noticed three other voice actresses that were in a better anime, which I’ll mentioned here later, but they did what they could but thankfully, they’re in better roles now. HINT: Those three actresses’ first names begin with a C. Yeah; K-On is a show that should be watched once and maybe if you’re into this, you probably love it.

FINAL SCORE: 5/10 – An Acquired Taste


EUREKA SEVEN AO: ASTRAL OCEAN / animation by BONES / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
Dammit, people were right on the money about this anime and how disappointing it is and the worst thing about it that I quit after watching 9 episodes and notice how dull and uninteresting this turns out to be. I could say it’s not like the original series but that would be too redundant to say but saying that would be redundant, too. What would be better to say what’s wrong with this is that it didn’t hook me like the original series did. I didn’t give a damn about Eureka’s son Ao because his story is mostly nobody likes him because something happened that was so terrible and blah blah bullshit and la-de-da. Yeah, I can’t really say much about this but this was a letdown sequel to a perfectly great series, although that movie was shit, too.

FINAL SCORE: 5.5/10 – HIGH An Acquired Taste/ LOW Vanilla


B GATA H KEI (YAMADA’S FIRST TIME) / animation by HAL FILM MAKER / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
So, originally, I thought this title was going to be some fan service bullshit that’s going to sound dumb as hell but when I watched all 12 episodes, it was a fair and okay series but I wouldn’t show this to anyone who first getting into anime and no, it’s not because the plot involves a girl wanting to get laid by 100 guys. It would’ve still been stupid if the situation was vice-versa (and if the character were have been a douchebag and/or bitch). The character Yamada can be obnoxious to an umpteenth level but never did I feel like I hated her but the main male interest is such a bore, I honestly forgot about his name. No, really, what was his name? All the other characters play their archetypes and did it well but did I give a fuck about that? Maybe….you have the best friend who has more sense than you, the girl who’s been a best friend to your male character and obviously has a crush on him, not to mention she has big breasts so all the guys will drool all over her and the girl who is deemed to be Ms. Perfect but secretly she’s in love……with her brother. In short, this was okay.

FINAL SCORE: 6/10 – Vanilla


ANGEL BEATS! / Animation by P.A. WORKS / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Was this meant to be taken seriously? No, really, it’s a slice of life show about dead high school students that are stuck in limbo (I think) who all have died under the consequences that at some point they fucked up either by a purpose or accident. The plot of that was all confusing as hell as either a comedic, action-packed, or dramatic series with some characters you like either leaving early in the series or some prolonging their arc for no reason at all. But the good things about this show is the animation done by the growing company P.A. Works and it is actually tastefully and beautifully done with little to no hiccups and the same goes to the music, especially the opening theme, “My Soul, Your Beats”, a gorgeous piece of work which sticks to my head a lot during watching this. The dub was……pretty off and terrible. It’s not High School of the Dead horrible but hey, it is a dub from Sentai Filmworks and we all know about their dubs, right?

FINAL SCORE: 6.5/10 – LOW Watchable
Posted by HybridMedia | Dec 9, 2012 2:14 PM | 1 comments
May 5th, 2012
Anime Relations: Mezzo Forte, A Kite
Both OVAs are directed by Yasuomi Umetsu, which are his directorial debut (he previously work as an animator and/or character designer in Lupin III, Robot Carnival & Megazone 23 Part II) Both movies have very similar elements such as a highly trained female protagonist, the strange comedic tone, extremely violent and incredibly bloody and some over-the-top, stupefied, “fuck your psychics” action sequences. Yeah, that is about pretty much it—oh wait, this is a few sex scenes in both projects although Mezzo Forte has only one sex scene per episode and 2 per episode in Kite. However, they did edit both movies 5 minutes off but really; I don’t get how both movies are classified as a Hentai. Yes, I get the sex scenes but maybe it’s one of those series that focus on story rather than just explicit sex, which is actually a nice change of pace.


I can’t really say that both movies have a plot or that I can think of one. Kite is mainly focus on Sawa, an orphaned schoolgirl whose parents are victims of a gory double murder, who works for Akai, a crooked detective who take her in as guardian, one that forces her to be his sex slave…...that’s where the Hentai factor kicks in. Also, there is a fellow assassin named Oburi, who works with another detective Kanie (which almost sounds like ‘Kanye’. Try picturing that and what is with his starred-off eyes? He looks kind of brain-damaged.) And quickly he and Sawa develop a relationship and gain some emotional strength to free them from their guardians.


Mezzo Forte, on the other hand, has more a team dynamic rather than the backstabbing and betrayal element from Kite. The plot consists of the Danger Service Agency (3 members: Mikura, combat specialist; Kurokawa, the ex-cop & Harada, the technical specialist) hired by a mysterious old man to kidnap Momokichi Momoi, the mob boss owner of pro baseball team, the Peach Twisters. But the plan turns into shit and now his daughter Momomi Momoi wants revenge for her father and she is about as batshit insane as her father, but worse. Way worse. I noticed in the movie that there are two voice actresses for Mikura: One of them happens to be Melissa Fahn, who voices Edward in Cowboy Bebop and another one named Marie Court, who does the English sex scenes for her. Yeah, now that I think about it, hearing the voice of Edward having sex can be a head-scratcher to deal with.

Both of their animation are very lively and archaic and fit their over-the-top style of animation and it is one of Studio ARMS’ better productions. Although, ARMS may have done better in these two series, but does this change my opinion on them?

Actually, No. This was their earlier works and so far either show I watched recently from them either had good material but became too excessive with it (Elfen Lied) or either an massive bulls**t fest (Master of Marital Hearts).

As for music, I liked the music from Kite with its jazzy-like score that might resemble Yoko Kanno’s score from Cowboy Bebop but it is not that high-caliber of a score. Mezzo Forte has that action-feel score it mixes well into the action of the movie like an 80s’ action flick.


FINAL VERDICT: While Kite & Mezzo Forte may have the similar style of work, Mezzo Forte knows that it’s not taken itself seriously and it is a lot of fun to watch; Kite, however, can come as pretentious but not so much. It’s fun to watch, too, but it gets so unbelievably stupid and contrived, it can irk with you for a long mile. However, I would recommend this if you are in the mood for over-the-top anime.

But will I check out the sequels to both movies, Kite Liberator & Mezzo DSA sometime in the future.

Actually, yes on the latter.
Posted by HybridMedia | May 5, 2012 5:52 AM | 0 comments