Posts Tagged ‘moe

27
Jul
14

Robotics;Notes, Accel World

Robotics;Notes

The moe robot is what really sells this show.

Aside from having inappropriately used a semicolon in the title, Robotics;Notes is actually not a bad show. Unfortunately, it’s not a particularly good show either. Robotics;Notes takes place in a fictional near-future Japan in which giant robots are real. A high school robotics club is trying to make their own giant robot for display in an annual robotics competition. The first several episodes revolve around the club’s two members as they try to recruit new members, secure funding and parts, and deal with general stressors of high school life. These were the show’s strongest episodes. As the show goes on, it bites off more than it can chew with crazy conspiracies, completely unnecessary side plots, a pointless villain, and an idiotic moe AI we are supposed to feel sorry for. When Robotics;Notes was focused on the robotics club, it was interesting and funny and surprisingly fresh. When Robotics;Notes diverted its attention to so many other things, it quickly devolved into a mess. The conspiracies are lame, the pointless villain is indeed a waste of time, and all the side plots distract from what had been a good story about “real” robots. In the end, the show was good, but significantly lacking. It was the lack of focus that ultimately hurt Robotics;Notes.

Verdict: Average

Accel World

The main character is fat, which is unique for an anime, but that’s the only thing interesting about this show.

Accel World is yet another entry in the very long line of anime with great concepts that were squandered. The premise is that everyone has a computer interface tied in with their brains. They are able to use software to help with their daily lives. The main character is given a mysterious online game called “Brain Burst” which accelerates the synapses of his brain so much that the world appears to move in ultra-slow motion. This is a very cool concept. There are myriad ways in which he could use this power for good or evil. Naturally, being an anime, this intriguing concept is eschewed for punching people in the face. That’s right, the second part of “Brain Burst” is an online fighting game. Each character needs to fight others, and the fighting doesn’t use their special slow-mo powers. Nope, it’s just people punching and kicking each other. This comprises the bulk of the show. And since this is based on an ongoing light novel series which hasn’t concluded, there is no ending. Accel World is a waste of time. They took a great concept and threw it away immediately for generic, uninspired brawls in stupid looking costumes.

Verdict: Shitty

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17
May
14

Attack on Titan Restored My Faith in Anime

“I can take him, no problem.”

My faith in anime was at an all-time low. I had thought about completely giving it up more than once. The last show I really enjoyed was Gurren Lagann and before that, Akagi. Those series came out in 2007 and 2005, respectively. Since this is 2014, that means there had only been two great shows in the last seven years. That’s pathetic. Nobody in Japan seemed interested in creating a good series any more. All they care about is selling moeblob merchandise which cater to the lowest pedophilic denominator.

And then I watched Attack on Titan.

I’m not going to say this series is perfect. It’s not. It isn’t the next Cowboy Bebop or Haibane Renmei. It has flaws. But it is a huge step in the right direction. It tones down the moe factor, ramps up the action, and even took the time to include a plot. These are the only things I ask for in an anime. Unfortunately, most anime are incapable of meeting these three criteria. Attack on Titan, however, made all the right moves.

Continue reading ‘Attack on Titan Restored My Faith in Anime’

07
Jun
13

Steins;Gate, Black Rock Shooter TV

Steins;Gate

Why are these stupid assholes in outer space?

Steins;Gate is a completely forgettable anime which, naturally, has almost universal acclaim as a “Masterpiece.” I’m not sure why, because it’s anything but a masterpiece. Piece of trash? Sure. Piece of crap? OK. Piece of cliche story recycled from better ones? Definitely. This show is about time travel. But it’s not really about time travel. It’s about moe bullshit. It likes to showcase cutesy girls and cutesy boys who look, talk, and act like girls in the most annoying fashion possible. The main character (who holds the trademark on the most grating laugh of all time) is constantly travelling back in time in 3-day intervals in order to prevent the death of his friend. In doing so, he fucks up things more and must do even more travelling to right the wrongs he caused. It’s a good concept when executed well. However, in this anime, it serves mostly as a method of showing the same crap over and over again, and letting us listen to girls who talk like cats in maid cafes. I’ll admit there were a couple of riveting episodes (number 13 comes to mind), but there was nowhere near enough material to last 24 episodes. This could have been great as a 2-hour movie, but since this is Japanese anime, they stretched it out to something bloated and not recognizable as good. A single day after I finished this series, I tried to remember how it concluded, but I couldn’t. It was so bland, so flat, that I couldn’t remember what happened one fucking day later. If that’s not a testament to mediocrity, I don’t know what is.

Verdict: Bad

Black Rock Shooter TV

At least she’s a hot alter-ego, right?

I complain about anime being too long so often it has almost become a mantra. In Black Rock Shooter’s case, they didn’t make the show unnecessarily long. At only 8 episodes, it is the perfect length to tell a compelling narrative and then conclude without pointless tangents. Unfortunately, Black Rock Shooter doesn’t have a compelling narrative to tell. It is a travesty, an insult to good story-telling. This is a school-age drama with cute girls homolusting after each other in the way they could only do in a Japanese anime. Simultaneously, we see a fantasy setting with the same girls blasting each other with high-tech weaponry and coming off without a scratch in the way they could only do in a Japanese anime. We learn that these are some kind of mysterious alter-egos of the main characters, living in an alternate dimension or something, and the reason they fight is because the real world people are sad. If their fantasy counterparts die, then the real world people become happy again. Black Rock Shooter kills all her friends in order to make their counterparts happy. Ummm… sure, why not? The grasp this anime has on logic is tenuous at best. The action scenes are cool to watch, but other than that, it has nothing else to offer. Unless, of course, you like shitty acting and shitty storytelling.

Verdict: Shitty

09
Jun
12

Shana Second, Wolf’s Rain

Shakugan no Shana Second

snore

I reviewed the first season of Shana a couple of years ago. What I thought would end up being a horrible slice of life moe shitfest turned out to be a rather entertaining fantasy/action series. It had this unexpected dark side where Shana would mercilessly obliterate her enemies. The action was fun and the pacing was good. Plus, it had an incestuous brother and sister, and everyone knows incest improves everything by 10,000%.

So when I got around to watching season 2, I was fairly excited. It started out pretty good with a couple of action-packed episodes. After that, the series settled in to a long stretch of really annoying slice-of-life/love-triangle bullshit that was so badly written it was only tolerable to watch on fast-forward. Now, this kind of stuff was in the first season, too, but usually there would be one or two episodes intermingled with the other story/action episodes. Season 2 just gives a seemingly endless onslaught of these crappy episodes. Everything is so boring, so contrived, so inconsequential that it is impossible to give a fuck about any of it. Plus, we get to see Yuji training for about a thousand episodes, and that certainly could have been condensed into two or three.

Nothing even remotely interesting happens until episode 16. And then we get another lull until the writers finally decided they needed to have something happen so they could claim this season had some semblance of a plot. Episodes 19-24 feature a battle between the protagonists and Sabrac/Bal Masque. The fight drags on for several episodes and even though they “kill” Sabrac, he somehow manages to survive, which destroys the payoff and makes the entire thing seem like wasted time a la Dragonball Z. 

Overall, this season was a huge clusterfuck. They should have rethought the pacing and story structure. If they didn’t have enough material to keep 24 episodes consistently entertaining, then they should have pared it down to 12 episodes. That would have at least been respectable. I’m not sure about the third and final season of Shana, hopefully it fares better.

Verdict: Shitty

Wolf’s Rain

Wolf’s Rain cast.

I originally included this in my list of the 20 Awesomest Anime of the Decade (2000-2009), and since then I have given the series a rewatch. So, did it hold up to my original review? Yes it did. Wolf’s Rain remains a phenomenal series. There are very few TV shows and movies I would consider a work of art, but this would be one of them. The tone is far more subdued than in most anime. There are no annoying moe characters. There is no stupid love-triangle. There is no intent to sell merchandise. There is no pandering to the audience. The only agenda Wolf’s Rain has is to tell an incredible story, and it certainly does that.

The setting is a bit murky, we don’t know for sure if it takes place on Earth or just some unknown fantasy planet. Wolves are semi-mythological creatures that have super strength/speed, can speak, and have the ability to make themselves appear as human. And no, they aren’t werewolves, it’s more a trick of the mind that humans perceive them to look like other humans. In this world, wolves are foretold to open the door to Paradise, which may or may not bring about the ultimate destruction of the world.

The visual aesthetic of the series is amazing. There is attention paid to even the smallest detail. The animation is so intricate that you can see all the dirt and grime, the crushed out cigarettes, and the wasted plant life. The world looks realistic, and a lot of this is due to the high-quality work by Studio Bones. Just like Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, a lot of work went into the details. The budget must have been relatively high, as there is rarely any recycled animation, there is minimal use of well-integrated CGI, and character movements are quick, fluid, and well animated. I can’t rave enough about how great everything looks. I imagine this is how a Final Fantasy anime series should look, if anyone could ever make a decent anime of Final Fantasy.

The voice acting is excellent in both the original Japanese and the English dub. You can’t go wrong listening to either one. The music was composed by the legendary Yoko Kanno, so expect to be listening to the soundtrack over and over again. The characters are all unique and have well-formed story arcs. The pacing is nearly perfect. There was a period of maybe 4 episodes in the middle that dragged a bit, but if anything they give more insight into the characters. There is a lot of humanity amongst everyone, the story is fascinating, and there is a healthy dose of action. Also, this is the only anime I’m aware of where the opening credits play a role in the story.

The story never verges into cliche territory. With most anime, you pretty much know how things are going to end. With Wolf’s Rain I was never quite sure. They always manage to give an unexpected plot twist or simply pull the rug right out from under you. The climax at the end is simply astounding. The first time I watched it I found the ending to be tragic. This time, well, it was still tragic, but I found much more hope than the first time around. Wolf’s Rain is such a wonderful, rare anime series, that it deserves to be seen by everyone. It really is a work of art.

Verdict: Awesome

01
Jan
12

Awesomest/Shittiest Things of 2011

Last year I wrote a list of the Awesomest and Shittiest Things of 2010. I thought I would do it again for 2011. Last time it was a struggle to find just 10 things for the Awesome category. It was an even greater struggle to limit the Shitty category to a mere 10 entries. So it goes. I’m writing less this year, mostly because I don’t give a fuck. I guess 2011 was extra crappy, huh? Check it out:

Awesome

  1. Occupy Wall Street – I like the idea of protesting those goddamn fuckos on Wall Street. Those fucking pigs take all our fucking money and the masses get fucking shit upon. It’s been that way since the dawn of civilization. The have-nots are always going to be jealous of the haves. At least some people are letting it be known that they’re pissed off about it. The U.S. population is usually so goddamn complacent, that Wall Street’s behavior is considered OK because nobody says anything about it. I congratulate this group for protesting, and I hope they are successful. Fuck Wall Street.
  2. Harry Potter Ended – And it ended well. They somehow managed to film all seven books, over a period of 10 years, and they kept the entire cast. Well, the original Dumbledore died after movie #2, but the guy they replaced him with was a million times better. I’m completely amazed that one of the kids didn’t die from a heroin overdose or leave after movie #6 to pursue “more artistic endeavors.” The Harry Potter films were cool, and they did a phenomenal job creating them. I’m glad they all turned out so great. One of Hollywood’s few non-fuckups.
  3. Lego Man Appears from the Sea – In Florida, an 8-foot tall Lego man rose from the sea. He sported a green shirt that read, “NO REAL THAN YOU ARE.” The Lego corporation denied any involvement in this. But that’s not the end of the story. He washed up on a beach in England in 2008, and on a Dutch beach the year before that. Are these all the same guy, or perhaps a race of Lego Supermen with terrible grammar who are hellbent on conquering Earth? Whichever it may be, all I know is that if we are conquered, it’s going to be hard to not have a good time. Legos are super fun.
  4. Arab Spring – A wave of revolutions, both peaceful and violent, across the Middle East has toppled dictatorial regimes. It’s excellent that after decades of suppression, the people can rise up and take control of their countries. Better to have a free country than one that is ruled by fear. Right, U.S. Republican Party? Hello? Anybody there?
  5. Several End of the World Predictions Fail – American Christian radio-show host and lunatic Harold Camping predicted several times that the world would end in 2011. He prophesied that Judgment Day would occur on May 21 and The Rapture on October 21. Neither of which happened. He changed the dates to later in the year, and again they didn’t happen. He’s not exactly an expert on this kind of stuff because he predicted the exact same shit in 1994 and that didn’t happen either. I guess you could argue that the film debut of Chris Tucker in House Party 3 in 1994 was the apocalypse, but most people aren’t going to agree with you. (I would, though.) Anyway, now that it’s 2012, get ready for a boatload more failed End of the World predictions!
  6. Cobra Goes Missing from the Bronx Zoo – In New York City, an Egyptian Cobra escaped from the Reptile House. Everyone promptly went apeshit, afraid of the imminent reptilian uprising. Snakes on a Plane no longer seemed like a far-fetched disaster movie. This was the real deal, man! Eventually, they found the snake, still in the zoo. All that worrying was for nothing. I hope that snake enjoyed his day off. Those zoo animals work really hard.
  7. Charlie Sheen’s Meltdown – He’s got Tiger Blood in his veins. He’s not bipolar, he’s bi-winning. He’s an F-18. The only drug he’s high on is himself, which will melt your face off and your children will weep over your exploded body. Charlie’s my kind of guy. With quotes like that (and a million others just as good), how could he not be one of the awesomest things this year?
  8. Colbert Super PAC“Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.” Once again, Stephen Colbert proved that the U.S. government is completely out of touch with reality. A PAC (Political Action Committee) is a private group organized to elect officials or to influence public policy. Super PACs can raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, individuals, unions, etc. Members of the media are not allowed to participate, as their influence is too far reaching. Well, Colbert, who is a member of the media, successfully lobbied the FEC (Federal Election Commission) to allow him to form a Super PAC. He appealed to them in character, in the most smug, satirical manner possible. He stated he wanted to have a Super PAC so he could raise money for political ads and “normal administrative expenses, including but not limited to, luxury hotel stays, private jet travel, and PAC mementos from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.” And they gave it to him. Bravo, Mr. Colbert.

Shitty

  1. Occupy Wall Street – Even though the concept of protesting Wall Street Fuckos is totally awesome, the ways these dumbass hippies are going about it are all wrong. For example, Occupy Denver elected Shelby, a three year old border collie, to be its leader. The Colbert Report interviewed members of OWS, and (of course) Colbert picked the two biggest weirdos from OWS to be on his show. If they are any representation of the rest of the group, then I’m about to side with the corporations. Come on guys, you need to come up with at least one concrete demand. Otherwise, you’re just a bunch of homeless people sleeping in a park.
  2. Royal Wedding – Prince Baldhead and Princess Whatsherface got married this summer. Everyone around the world was super pumped about it. Who gives a fuck? I’ve been to plenty of weddings, and 99 times out of 100 they are trashy, and waste a perfectly good Saturday. Why would anyone want to waste a Saturday watching a fucking wedding on TV? You don’t even know them. Get a life, people.
  3. Japanese Tsunami – Japan got pummeled early this year with a massive tsunami which led to a near-nuclear meltdown. Japan is like a magnet for nuclear disasters. I guess that’s why Godzilla keeps attacking it. At least people recognized this as a major issues, and did something about it. If Japan got obliterated, then who would create all the shitty moe anime? Korea?
  4. Arab Spring – Kind of like OWS, the Arab Spring turned out to be not so great in the long run. A lot of the peaceful protests turned violent, there was a civil war (perhaps more on the way), and now there is all sorts of religious persecution in the fledgling governments. Violent revolutions have a greater tendency to lead to violent regimes as opposed to peaceful ones. Who can really say what the end result of all this will be? But I do know that the Middle East remains completely fucked.
  5. Republican Presidential Race“OBAMA IS DESTROYING AMERICA! ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE DESTROYING AMERICA! GAY MARRIAGE IS DESTROYING AMERICA! PROSTESTORS ARE DESTROYING AMERICA! ONLY PRIVATE MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS CAN SAVE AMERICA! LET’S ELECT THE RICHEST CANDIDATE BECAUSE THEY’LL BE MOST IN TOUCH WITH THE AVERAGE AMERICAN! NO CANDIDATE WITH LESS THAN TWO MARITAL AFFAIRS WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR OFFICE! FLIP-FLOP ON THE ISSUES! LIE! THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS STIFLING BUSINESSES AND KILLING THE ECONOMY! DOWN WITH THE EPA! FUCK THE ENVIRONMENT! GRRRRR!”
  6. Black Friday Now on Thanksgiving – Apparently, starting the sales at 4:00 AM isn’t early enough for some people. Over the years, as the sales inched earlier and earlier, I used to joke that eventually they’d start having Black Friday on Thanksgiving. Well, guess what? Black Friday now starts on Thursday. Now all the greed and blood-lust associated with the holiday season can get going one day sooner.
  7. NASA Ends the Shuttle Program – How will I meet hot alien babes like on Star Trek if you guys shut down the shuttle program?
  8. People Upset About Steve Jobs’ Death – Boo fucking hoo. This guy was a world-class asshole. He was a dick to his customers, and he treated his employees like shit. Yet people were crying in the streets over his death. I saw about a million fucking Facebook posts from my “friends” mourning him (they were all promptly removed from my friend-list). The dude was a complete dick. He made it onto the Shitty List from 2010. He ran his company like a fucker, and most of his employees hated him. Don’t go around acting like he’s the Jesus of computers, some martyr who should be worshipped now that he’s dead. Get over it. Go and be sad about the death of someone important, like Kim Jong-Il. *sniff* What will we do without our glorious leader? How can we go on? *cries*

Well, the year 2011 has given us plenty of awesome things, but way more shitty things. I suppose every year is like that. Let’s see what happens in 2012. I’m sure there will be no shortage of shit that will piss me off.

27
May
11

Samurai 7, Eden of the East, Strike Witches

Samurai 7

Samurai 7's cast of assholes

Samurai 7 is an anime reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s classic film Seven Samurai. The movie is incredible, a truly epic tale of samurai, the futility of war, life, death, and the end of the samurai era. It should be seen by everyone, especially those who take an interest in film and/or Japanese culture. Samurai 7, on the other hand, is none of those things. It’s a watered down, cheesy, stupid, badly animated piece of crap from none other than Gonzo, the kings of shitty anime. What they did was take a 3 and 1/2 hour movie and stretch it into 26 episodes, roughly 13 hours. To do this, they obviously needed to include more shit. They added great stuff like a merchant lord trying to kill samurai because he thought their poor, farmer companion was hot, the same merchant lord discovering he is a clone of the emperor, a group of omnipotent merchant bat-people, and of course samurai flying through the air and destroying the shit out of giant robots with puny swords. In classic Gonzo style, the animation quality varies wildly, the CGI (of which there is plenty) is amateurish, the writing is weak, half the story makes no sense, and the thing drags on and on. It might have worked as a 13 episode series, but 26 was way too long. Half the episodes were filled with nothing happening. Gonzo didn’t rush the ending, which is unusual for them, but it wasn’t enough to save this series from being crap.

Verict: Bad

Eden of the East

Don't waste your time with this show

Another series from troll master Kenji Kamiyama. This is the same asshole who did an amazing job with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, and then turned around and intentionally created the shitfest known as Moribito. Eden of the East falls somewhere in between. While it isn’t a huge piece of shit like Moribito, it does not reach any level of greatness or even goodness. It has an interesting premise, but it isn’t executed well. The series is only 11 episodes long, but somehow manages to drag its way lethargically through half those. The writing is aimless, boring, and has no clear sense of where it is going. The first couple of episodes were cool, and the last few weren’t half bad either. But I can’t forgive it for essentially having no direction. Clearly, Kamiyama had no idea where he was going when he started it. Also, nothing is wrapped up by the end of the series. Oh sure, there are two more movies that supposedly conclude the story, but my interest in watching good things will preclude me from watching those.

Verdict: Average

Strike Witches (AKA Cameltoe Heaven)

Why aren't any of them wearing pants?!

Uuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhhhhh. Typical, horrible, eye-gougingly bad piece of moe shit. Let’s do a quick checklist of what this series has to offer.

  1. Super moe characters.
  2. Super moe characters with flat chests.
  3. Super moe characters with flat chests and annoying voices.
  4. Weak plot.
  5. Shitty “action” sequences.
  6. In this alternate universe, women do not wear anything below the waist (i.e. skirts or pants).
  7. On second thought, item number 6 isn’t so bad.
  8. Oh, who am I kidding, item number 6 just makes the show all that more retarded.

So, pretty much every I hate.

Verdict: Shitty

25
Apr
11

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

I recently finished playing No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. I reviewed the original game and gave it an Awesome rating. It was a super-amazing game, and if it was legal I would have married it. The goddamn religious-right in this country continues to claim that marriage is only allowable between a man and a woman. Until I die I will fight for a person’s right to marry disc-based media. But I digress…

As I loved the original game, I had very high expectations for the sequel. Fortunately, it did not disappoint. The sequel improves almost every aspect of the first game. There were a couple of changes I didn’t like, but on the whole, they pulled off a superior sequel.

The story is more or less the same. You play as Travis Touchdown, the former number one ranked assassin in the world. After attaining the top status at the end of the first game, he walked away, hoping to never be seen again. However, his friend was murdered, and he was brought back into the fold with an eye for revenge. To get his revenge, he must kill the current number one ranked assassin. Unfortunately, Travis has fallen to rank 51, and has to climb his way back up. Continue reading ‘No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle’




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