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May 6, 2020
Gunnm (Anime) add (All reviews)
This OVA makes the case for the sheer extent that good direction matters when adapting a work.

Robert Rodriguez's live-action movie contains a good 75% of the same story beats and all of the same characters as this movie here, but thanks to Rodriguez's keen eye for visuals and his ability to elicit strong performances from his actors, that version stands strong.

In comparison, this OVA here is a far inferior version of the same story, coasting by on the strength of the source material and that's it. The animation is fairly poor, the art direction isn't as impressive, and the bizarre choice was made to read more
May 6, 2020
OZ (Anime) add (All reviews)
Despite having nothing at all to do with Oz and having the production values of, well, a 1992 anime OVA, there's some pretty funky stuff in this movie that makes it interesting to the point that if trashy late 80s/early 90s sci-fi is your thing, it's worth checking out. The second episode is much more interesting than the first, even if the ending isn't exactly gonna blow your mind or anything.

For some reason there's an actual transgender character in the story and a frank discussion about it, even going far enough to use the word dysphoria and everything. I mean, it's handled about as well read more
May 6, 2020
This is too long, yet too simple to be anything more than a novelty, but I think this is definitely in the upper level of the Dragon Ball Z movies, and by FAR the best of all the TV specials/OVAs. We get to see the story of a villain falling into a seeming curse and then failing just at the last moment to prevent disaster.

Basically, this is a kind of Greek Tragedy-lite, Revenge of the Sith-style story where Bardock sees visions of a future he doesn't understand, visions of his son's accomplishments, and in his quest to figure them out and prevent tragedy, ends up read more
May 6, 2020
Like my last review on "Pink: Water Bandit, Rain Bandit," we get another extremely solid, very funny adventure short out of an old Akira Toriyama one-shot manga. This one's longer, actually feature-length at 47 minutes, and drags a bit accordingly; the first half is more talky than I'd like, and the world is a bit less vibrant than the likes of "Pink" or either of Toriyama's mainworks (Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, if you somehow don't know). Still, when this gets going, it GETS GOING.

If I recall correctly, "Dragon of Konpei Island" as a manga was essentially the prototype pilot episode for what would become read more
May 6, 2020
Ah man! This thing's awesome! Thanks to Akira Toriyama's impeccable cartoonish worldbuilding sense, and some really funny moments, this thing's a fast-paced adventure that easily rivals the best of Dragon Ball. The short length of one-off OVAs sometimes work against themselves, but this one makes the best of it; it doesn't overstay its welcome and doesn't get involved in any subplots to slow things down.

Watch this if you enjoy fun. Don't watch this if you hate happiness.

Also, one of the villains speaks in Nagoya dialect, which is how you know Toriyama put his all into his work because he only ever does that when read more
May 6, 2020
Cipher (Anime) add (All reviews)
This thing's wild. It's a jumbled up montage of music videos stripped of context, and then an MTV-style "real bro interviews" thing where the main actor has a very noticeable accent, completely breaking the illusion of the character, along with a few real bad voice actors to go along with it.

Yep, this is a Japanese anime movie where it's voiced entirely in English. It's not much better than you'd expect.

It's wild and barely comprehensible, but it's also pretty short. 15 minutes of the 40 minute runtime are actually a making-of featurette after the fact; that's pretty nice and I appreciate it.
May 6, 2020
Not as good as the poster would suggest, and nowhere close to its sequel Redline, but Trava: Fist Planet is pretty good, and very goofy. I love just how strange the sci-fi world in Redline was, and we get to see even more of it here, even if it isn't nearly as entertaining. I'm not normally a fan of this very "Adult Swim"-esque risque and racy sci-fi world, but for some reason Redline, and Trava by extension, work very well for me.

I feel like I'd have enjoyed this way more, except that this only had Hungarian subtitles, and the English ones refused to load. Some read more
May 6, 2020
This is really good, though some of the grossout/ultra-violence humor was a little too much for me. It's like they compressed an entire mediocre 13-epsiosde anime into 55 minutes, and I LOVE that. If you think Mad Max Fury Road had a crazy-fast opening scene, just watch the first five minutes of Dead Leaves. Seriously, this was really awesome, and it's pretty as hell.

Director Imaishi Hiyoyuki has a very nice reputation for his insane works filled with excess and violence and racy elements, and while I think Dead Leaves is a success story in that regard, I also think it isn't fully refined into what read more
May 6, 2020
The men in this thing are terrifying hulking monsters, but this IS based on a shoujo manga, so that isn't exactly unexpected.

However, I know well that fantasies of having a crush on some handsome adult man who will you them like a princess are very widespread among teenage girls, but is it really okay to make a movie about a teenage girl that successfully makes out with a man almost twice her age? I really don't think these dudes thought about the repercussions of what they were suggesting when they were making an anime targeted at 8-12 year old girls telling them that it's read more
May 6, 2020
Listen, I can't give this lower than a three stars on account of it being Project A-ko, but this is a big step down from the first three because of its responsibility to "conclude" the series (there are two more after this but they appear to be spinoff-sequels), and its inability to actually do so.

Yeah, the thing is hilarious, and the animation got an upgrade for sure. As usual, a bunch of disparate plot threads converge into one wacky, nonsense-filled action extravaganza in the finale, but this time, the connecting points are very weak and at least one subplot ends up being a dead end read more