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Apr 13, 2018
AIKa (Anime) add (All reviews)
Agent Aika begins with a leisurely boat tour along the flood waters now covering Saitama, Japan. Twenty years after a worldwide disaster submerged 95% of the world's land, salvaging work to recover valuable goods and data from the abandoned cities below has become a booming profession.

An attractive fighter and submarine pilot, Aika Sumeragi, and her spunky megane partner, Rion Aida, pursue salvaging work at the K2 Corporation headed by Rion's father, Gozo Aida. Rion is frustrated with her father's overly generous business practices that have lost profits for the company. Aika intervenes and convinces them to agree to a shady business proposition to collect data read more
Sep 20, 2016
Stiff and inconsistent animation with 90's quality computer graphics; monotonous, boob-obsessed fanservice; vapid characters who yell and clinch their fists a lot to create the illusion of emotion where there is none.

Masou Gakuen HxH is an uninspired clone of better anime that was produced with an appropriately low budget. It takes the premise from Infinite Stratos about the one guy with an ability to help attractive female fighters, and mashes it with the master-slave relationships from Shinmai Maou no Testament using a big tit-shaped sledgehammer. HxH lacks the fun of the former, and the sex appeal of the latter.

On the positive side, Kizuna, the main read more
Mar 25, 2016
“Ruin is the salvation of man and machine.”

Deceptively complex themes hide beneath a flamboyant exterior of fast action fight scenes and fancy shot compositions. The director, Shigeyasu Yamauchi, who has a propensity for psychological studies and aesthetic stylishness, uses Casshern Sins as an opportunity to deconstruct death and hope in a visually arresting way.

The first episode establishes the premise with a satisfying level of badassery. In the distant future, Robots have evolved sentience, and can feel emotions like humans can. A global "Ruin"—with a capital R, implying that it's more than an action—was prompted when Casshern, a highly skilled and gaudily dressed fighter, read more
Sep 5, 2015
Planetes is an uneven composite of politics, terrorism, and Love with a capital L. Underscored by jarringly cartoonish comedy, and contrivances that undermine any serious message it hopes to convey, characters spend much of this 26 episode series expounding their ideals and schemes.

I’m not the kind of elitist anime watcher who demands total realism and seamlessness. However, the scenarios and character motivations, particularly in a drama, need to at least be believable for me to play along, and I couldn't believe much of what happened in Planets because it routinely defied plausibility. I’ll provide an example with mild spoilers.

At the start of episode 5, we're read more
Aug 23, 2015
After a 9-year run, our tour with Ginko through the supernatural draws to a close with a short film adaptation of Suzu no Shizuku (Drops of Bells), the last arc of the acclaimed young adult manga—Mushishi—by Yuki Urushibara.

In the first half of Suzu no Shizuku, a girl leaves her family behind when she’s summoned to be the next lord of a mountain. Thriving lands, called “Rivers of Light”, require the presence of a lord to maintain the balance of the surrounding life. Choosing a human as a lord is an unusual move, however. Such a task is typically delegated to animals since they live with read more
Aug 21, 2015
A person falling in love with an attractive werewolf or vampire is a familiar theme in shapeshifter stories. What's less familiar is for these stories to extend beyond the relationship, and detail the hardships of raising "half breed" children in a prejudiced society. This is what sets Wolf Children apart from the rest of the pack.

On the surface, such a premise may seem difficult to buy into, but Wolf Children works beautifully thanks to the writer/director, Mamoru Hosoda, opting to tell this story as a coming-of-age drama. He balances the tension with delightful humor, embodied by characters who endure hardships we can relate with and read more
Aug 10, 2015
There’s some debate about whether or not Bakemonogatari (pr. bah-keh-moh-no-gah-tah-re) is an ecchi-harem. A mere six seconds into the first episode, one of the female leads is introduced with a panty shot, and several shots of panties, boobs, and butts are dispersed throughout the series. Aside from two other characters that appear in a few episodes, the main character, Araragi, is the only male, and he’s usually surrounded by females who’ve developed a fondness for him after he helped them in some way.

Is it an ecchi? Most likely. Is it a harem? Probably. Regardless, what distinguishes this series from other ecchi and harem anime is read more
Aug 9, 2015
"I wish I was dead."

Spoken by 15-year old prostitute Rune Balot, these are the first words that set the dispirited tone of the anime movie trilogy Mardock Scramble. The story is set in Mardock City, a cyberpunk world where the skyline is filled with skyscrapers, cars glide on fluorescent green roads, and everything sparkles like champagne. It's a stunning place to look at, but it’s also a savage place where cruelty and crime are often left unpunished.

Homicide has become so rampant that the government has authorized a controversial procedure to resurrect victims from the dead to help track down and testify against their read more
Aug 3, 2015
On June 12th, 1929, about ten-years before the start of World War II, Annelies Marie Frank was born to parents Otto and Edith Frank in Frankfurt, Germany. Rendered stateless by the Nazis in 1941, and without any means to flee the country, Anne and her family were forced into confinement for two-years in a cramped attic to avoid persecution. While staying there, Anne documented her life in a now famous diary, which has since been adapted into movies, plays, and even an anime.

It was surprising to learn that an anime of Anne Frank’s diary had been made—by Madhouse, no less, one of my favorite studios. read more
Jul 31, 2015
Texhnolyze is a show about heavy breathing, grunting, and a pissing contest between a group of gun and sword wielding alpha males in suits who speak in bad mob movie cliches. If you force your imagination enough, you may be able to find something deep in the recesses of this art, but the same could be done if you stared long enough at the textures on a rusty frying pan.

There's a subplot about "texhnolyzation", a procedure to repair or upgrade a person using technologies such as mechanical limbs. The transhumanist ideas herein, which have potential, are unfortunately enveloped in a lot of empty atmosphere. Most read more