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Jul 24, 2022
Super Crooks (Anime) add
The series actually starts well. The first episode is a genuinely entertaining, funny satire on a superhero origin story. It's got the standard elements of a Mark Millar comic, including high school geeks discussing comics, but ends in spectacular fashion, with earnest Johnny inadvertently hurting (killing?) dozens of people and causing millions of dollars in damage, thus deciding to become...a villain.

Unfortunately, it's all downhill from there.

The next episodes consist of generic supervillain capers with very little humor or ingenuity. Moreover, the entire universe (or "Millarverse" as he likes to call it) is poorly conceived. None of the abilities or battles make a lick ...
Jul 1, 2022
Mixed Feelings
"Nightmare Hakusho" is a neat bonus OVA for fans of the series. It features four different dreams that Yuusuke experiences, all featuring the rest of the main cast wildly out of character, in bizarre scenarios. Genkai is a confused, timid elevator operator and Hiei is friendly and smiles at something other than the prospect of killing a foe.

It's not hysterically funny nor tremendously creative and picturesque, but it's amusing enough, and doesn't wear out its welcome at a mere 8 minutes long.

Fans of YYH and its iconic characters will enjoy this, as I did, but don't expect anything remotely as good or memorable ...
Jun 22, 2022
I'm a huge fan of the Yu Yu Hakusho series that ran from 1992 to 1995, which I consider one of the finest shounen ever, possessing many unique qualities rarely seen in the genre to this day. The various spin-offs and side stories from that time weren't bad, either. The first movie, "Golden Seal", was a solid, action-packed, if unspectacular OVA. The second movie, "Fight for the Netherworld", was feature-length at 94 minutes and didn't know what to do with all that extra time, ending up mediocre but not outright bad. Even the 8 minute side story "Nightmare Hakusho" about Yuusuke's crazy dreams was amusing. ...
Jun 21, 2022
Occasionally, one comes across anime so lame and cringeworthy, it makes one embarrassed to like anime at all. The Yu Yu Hakusho Picture Drama, a slideshow released 15 years after the show ended, with none of the original voice actors, certainly qualifies. To add insult to injury, I'm a big fan of the main series, which I consider one of the finest examples of shounen ever.

YYH was many things, and even had very brief moments of silly humor and chibi animation between all the occult horror and bloody torture and death, but it was never cutesy, cloying, nor juvenile, and treated its characters seriously ...
Jun 17, 2022
Dragon Ball Z (Anime) add
Crappy popular anime can be split into two categories. Those whose appeal eludes me, and those where I perfectly understand the reason for their success. DBZ falls firmly in the latter category. Hell, I loved the series when I was a dumbass 14 year-old!

The premise is practically catnip for a male that age. Martial arts battles for the fate of the Universe against increasingly more powerful foes, with showdowns that destroy literal planets in their wake. As simplistic as it is, what could be fucking cooler than that? It's a young male teenager's power fantasy in anime form. Complete with over-the-top transformation sequences with entire ...
Feb 17, 2022
Netflix is by far the biggest streaming platform in the world, with 222 million subscribers to second-place Disney+, which has 130 million, and adding more every financial quarter.

With all this money, they have been buying up the rights to countless movies and series, as well as producing ones of their own. And since they want an ironclad monopoly, they are doing so for every genre and medium, including anime.

"Bright: Samurai Soul" is an example of a Netflix original, and if this is a sign of the future, anime is doomed.

Even from someone who typically dislikes Netflix productions, I had decent hopes for this, since ...
Aug 5, 2021
Naruto (Anime) add
I first watched Naruto as a teenager, around when it was released, and thought it was dumb and dull. Now nearly 20 years later, as a 34 year-old, I decided to revisit it...and am more confused by its popularity than ever.

Shounen series had been around for a long time when Naruto was adapted into an anime in the early 2000s. Weekly Shonen Jump began publishing in 1968 and big hits like "Ashita no Joe" and "Tiger Mask" followed soon after. Monster 80's hits like "Hokuto no Ken" and "Dragonball" would define anime for the decade and spawned a slew of imitators.

Now, shounen ...
Jun 9, 2021
Tokidoki (Manga) add
Mixed Feelings
As I noted in a past review, author Naoshi Komi wrote my single favorite one-shot, "Island", when he was just 20 years old in 2006. However, his one-shot "E no Genten", written in 2018 when he was 31, was largely bland and uninspired. While Tokidoki is better than the latter, it's very far from the quality of his early work.

Tokidoki has a simple premise. High schooler Iijima discovers that his new classmate Takagi has only a few years to live and seeks to make her remaining time as joyous and exciting as possible. They go to the beach, attend a carnival together, eat ...
Jun 5, 2021
E no Genten (Manga) add
Author Naoshi Komi wrote my single favorite one-shot, "Island", when he was just 20 years old in 2006. I've followed his career ever since and was curious what he produced as a 31 year-old with "E No Genten".

Alas, the answer is "nothing special". It's a pitch for an e-sports shounen series with all the standard ingredients. Aimless protagonist that sucks at school and is obsessed with video games? Check. Serious, academically gifted girl with glasses who turns out to be an amazing gamer and friend of the main character? Check, nevermind that no actual high-level gamer matches that description.

Even Komi's execution, usually so ...
May 24, 2020
Onboro Film (Anime) add
Highly creative, which is no surprise coming from Tezuka.

Done in a purposely archaic animation style, complete with cigarette burns, lines, and two frames jammed together on screen simultaneously long before it was cool, the characters interact with these defects in an amusing manner. Tezuka's Disney-inspired animation style works particularly well with what is supposedly an animated Western from 1885.

It's a single idea executed well over 5 minutes, perhaps even overstaying its welcome with a few gags at the end that fell flat.

Overall though, it's a worthwhile, original animation. Recommended to fans of anime looking for something short and unique.