Author:
• Friday, April 11th, 2014

Nijigahara Holograph
Nijigahara Holograph could be summed up as a surreal slice-of-life with sprinkles of folklore and mild darkness. Shallow characters you do not know and incoherent story telling makes me not care so hard. Here is a table with a doll for you that does not have anything to do with anything. It requires several reads or getting further in to know who is who when the characters are school kids and then adults. Let us flood the panels with Boogiepop Phantom butterflies that could give symbolism, but let us not give them any so we can give a poor attempt at abstraction and supernatural elements that will not exist. Perhaps I should not be hard on it because it is suppose to have a dreamlike atmosphere with its progression, but I will because because of regret.

Leaving much to the reader to imagine works best if there is something left for them to imagine about or at least a setting and/or characters that can stimilate imagination. With this manga the reader is forced to flip back and forth between the past and present with characters you will not care about. There is not any horror in Nijigahara Holograph despite boasting from hipster bloggers and sites that slap a genre on whatever for a lack of a better genre to classify it. The issue of not knowing which character is which and again the lack of care leads to just simple dark themed panels.

Artwork is of overall solid quality with most effort in the characters than backgrounds. Many pages and panels can either be seen as minimalist or lazy depending on expectations and preference. New chapter, so lets add a little box on a blank white page as a stronger example. Hair lacks layers and detail for characters and background surroundings are too clean and lacking mood for my tastes. Main exception for the lack of mood however is the warm and cultured summertime’y moments that may fill you with nostalgia of warm summer days outside. That of course is dependent on the time of day of reading this, your local climate, and if your school years were remotely similar.

Some of the reason for my purchase of Nijigahara Holograph is the severe lack of new manga licenses, new volumes of what little I follow, and few manga of interest. In short it was the awesome cover art, descriptions, and most of all desperation. My lesson from reading this has been not to give into impulses (pre-ordered) based on deprivation and instead look to older overlooked manga. Perhaps returning it to Amazon would have been a wise, too.

Fantagraphics gave this a wonderful hardcover like the great manga Wandering Son and it has a wonderful printed smell. I will not give hints to the ending, however it does things right that I criticized the rest of the manga for.

Author:
• Monday, January 06th, 2014

http://saki-anime.com/

No need to provide pictures, because everyone’s favorite lesbian mahjong anime is back! This time with a real sequel.

I hate the manga, but I couldn’t wait these past five years for the sequel to never come out, so I ended up reading it. And after countless sleepless nights of prayers, this ended up on my doorstep.

Truth be told, I didn’t think it was possible to make a Saki sequel… The biggest obstacle being the sheer number of talents that would be required to give voice to each of those sweet nubile high school girls. Theoretically, one voice actress can do multiple characters, but this isn’t BlazBlue, the viewers would eventually catch on and there will be hell to pay. I didn’t know what to expect with this series, but the first episode boasts an all-star cast erasing all doubts that these people aren’t afraid to throw all their money into this disgusting garbage anime! i’m lovin’ it

Check it out:
Miyanaga Saki – Ueda Kana
Haramura Nodoka – Koshimizu Ami
Kataoka Yuuki – Kugimiya Rie
Takei Hisa – Shizuka Itou
Someya Mako – Shiraishi Ryouko
Suga Kyoutarou – Fukuyama Jun
Kosegawa Shiromi – Nagatsuma Juri
Aislinn Wishart – Mizuno Mariko (Who is this?)
Kakura Kurumi – Toyota Moe
Usuzawa Sae – Satou Rina
Anetai Toyone – Uchida Maaya
Kumakura Toshi – Morota Kaoru
Karijuu Tomoe – Akasaka Chinatsu
Usuzumi Hatsumi – Tsuji Ayumi
Iwato Kasumi – Ohara Sayaka
Atago Hiroe – Matsuda Satsumi
Atago Kinue – Nakatsu Mariko
Suehara Kyouko – Kotobuki Minako
Fukuji Mihoko – Horie Yui
Ikeda Kana – Morinaga Rika
Yoshitome Miharu – Kanzaki Chiro
Bundou Seika – Matayoshi Ai
Kubo Takako – Yamada Miho
Ryuumonbuchi Touka – Chihara Minori
Amae Koromo – Fukuhara Kaori
Hagiyoshi – Ono Daisuke
Kajiki Yumi – Kobayashi Yuu
Touyoko Momoko – Saitou Momoko
Kanbara Satomi – Kuwatani Natsuko
Senoo Kaori – Shintani Ryouko
Tsuyama Natsuki – Nanasawa Shin
Takakamo Shizuno – Yuuki Aoi
Atarashi Ako – Touyama Nao
Oohoshi Awai – Saitoh Chiwa
Tajihi Mayuko – Furuki Nozomi (Who the hell?)
Kokaji Sukoya – Gotou Saori
Fukuyo Kouko – Nonaka Ai
Pro Oonuma – Miyashita Eiji
Announcer – Koiwai Kotori
Live Coverage Announcer – Tasaka Hideki

And this is just the first fucking episode!!

Author:
• Monday, October 28th, 2013

Arion anime

Arion the anime starts with our hero Arion living a peaceful life with his mother in the ancient land of Thrace. One day Arion’s uncle Hades takes off with him to the underworld so he can use him for against Zeus. Hades has him train for combat and tells that Zeus placed a curse that made his mother blind and the only way to break it is to slay him. Killing Zeus is no small task, as he is the designated ruler of anything land and has a massive military lead by Athena to boot. In and along his way out of the underworld he befriends beast and human, including a child thief that looks up to him as a brother.

Story and characters take bits of themes and character names from ancient Greek mythology. Titans, stories, and gods. I know from not staying at a Holiday Inn, but from watching Xena: The Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys on American television. In stories of many mythologies old gods or god like beings called Titans replace the old and somehow explain how people took over their own destinies. In Arion the mother of Titans is Gaia, but much is thrown out and re-imagined with Titans living with Twelve Olympians names such as Zeus, Demeter, and Ares. Hercules is just a grunt. Pretty sure any mythology buff by now would already nerd rage from that alone.

Arion anime 2

Surprises come into play with the main characters as the story grows closer to climax. The impactful one for me was as abrupt for me as it was for Arion. Despite dropping clues in language and vocals throughout the movie, it still did not click with me. Disbelief lead to multiple re-watching of its revealing to contemplate how I missed everything. It is not as if I am naive or new to anime, but this time my acceptance of quirks and oddities got the best of me. I am not going to spoil it for those that may take interest in it, but it also might also be out of shame.

There are is a lot of deception in this anime with people having their own agendas. Many of the characters like Apollo are displayed as either spoiled, selfish, or incompetent. Apollo in Greek mythology is the god of mostly positive things like healing and truth. I admire the moments when characters show to be more human like when they are either not fully evil or good. This anime has it and shows it even while under the tight time of being a film. Again spoilers…

I regret to say this 1986 anime and the manga it was adapted from has never been licensed. Good news is that you may have seen anime with similar staff from the era. Yoshikazu Yasuhiko is the creator of Arion and the mecha anime Giant Gorg. He has done character design work for many other anime including Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn and the kiddy anime The Adventures of the Little Prince. Comparison before watching or after for more to watch you may enjoy Giant Gorg for Yoshikazu Yasuhiko, similar set up with Sword of the Stranger, and Adventures of Horus: Prince of the Sun for something classic. Could even say The Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok if you are also looking to see Norse mythology and characters snatched ‘n twisted into something new.

There is nothing wrong with this anime for the most part. Nearest thing to a flaw or annoyance would be the musical voice of one of the female characters. She has quite the noisy and loud catching of breath or oooh-uuh sounds.

I am still ashamed and shall take another shower to clean the cooties.

Author:
• Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Are we dead yet? I can never be too sure.

Stoled

As most of the Interweb is aware, Japan is animating Nisekoi. I have to wonder why I care. It is just another lame and predictable romantic comedy from the pages of Shonen Jump that I would never recommend to anyone; but try as I might, the sappy gooey mess that I hide beneath my armor of glamorous gun-wielding babes, and tank-riding schoolgirls tends to find the cracks in my defenses from which to ooze out of. What results is a person much comparable in likeness to myself, secretly downloading the mild-mannered obscenity that is Nisekoi… What can I say, it’s true.

hanami

I absolutely loved Naoshi Komi’s previous work Double Arts, which was cancelled far too early. I was hoping Nisekoi would be a worthy successor, an original idea that could compete against its predecessor in terms of potential. Instead I got a graham cracker and a marshmallow. All the fat lonely slobs of the world latched onto this bait with its promise of promiscuous bath scenes and immoral slip-ups, making Nisekoi Naoshi Komi’s longest and most successful work to date. Good for him.

I was not spared from this underhanded trap, and as much as I pretend to hate s’mores, I brought with me my stash of Hershey’s. The rest is history: this manga fried my brain. How else can I explain my unmistakable joy with each chapter, as vanilla stench takes form in black and white on my monitor screen. At any rate, now that I am fully invested in this series, and now that it has stolen my money… what could possibly go wrong?

They decide to animate it.

Nisekoi wasn’t a very well thought-out series, and I am sure even a seasoned fan can admit that aside from its cute assortment of girls, the story barely has any legging to work with. For eighty-seven chapters the only thread tying the characters together was the protagonist’s unreliable assortment of memories which seems to change details with every flashback. I am a proponent of structure, and really frown upon this style of “make shit up on the go” writing. But I like the mangaka and forgave him every time I felt the sharp sting of pain run across the right bridge of my neck whenever I chose to ignore some glaring flaw in his plot.

All of this is irrelevant because the anime has already been greenlit. I really believe they should have let the series run its course for another year before moving forward on an anime, but as my opinion has very little effect in swaying the powers that be, I did the gracious thing and stepped aside. Now I’m here to promote this shit, and hopefully at some point in the future, someone will buy the manga. Like I did.

Author:
• Sunday, June 30th, 2013

“I hate nice girls. Just by exchanging greetings with them will get them on your mind. Start texting each other, and your heart will be set a flutter. If they call you, you’re done for. Enjoy staring at your logs and grinning like a fool. However, I won’t be fooled again. That’s what your kind calls kindness. If you are nice to me, you’re also nice to others. I always end nearly forgetting that. Reality is cruel, so I’m sure lies are a form of kindness. Thus, I say kindness itself is also a lie. I always ended up with these expectations. And I always ended up with these misunderstandings. And before I knew it, I stopped hoping. A highly-trained loner is once bitten, twice shy. As a veteran on this battlefield of life, I’ve gotten used to losing. That’s why I will always… hate nice girls.” -Hachiman Hikigaya

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When the show ‘Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Lome wa Machigatteiru’ first aired, my very first reaction was “Great, just another romantic comedy harem anime’. Well, safe to say that I was DEAD WRONG!

No, this ain’t your usual “main protagonist is dense and can’t read the feelings of the girls” or “main protagonist is afraid of ruining relationships and pretends not to realize feelings of the girls” kind of anime, this is an in-your-face series that deconstructs your usual rom-com anime.

The anime’s setting is basically your average setting; Guy gets forced into club, meets beautiful girl, etc. but what makes this anime different is how the story goes along. It starts just like any other Rom-Com anime and moves on like a roller coaster ride, all because the main character is different from your normal Rom-Com hero, he’s a silent protector, a dark knight.

The main protagonist is Hachiman, a loner who LOVES to be alone. He hates society and basically bitches about everything. It seems like the only things he actually likes are his sister and the trap named Saika… Yes, this series has a trap and be very careful not to fall for it! He is quite the manipulative bastard and to get things done, he is known to commit “Social Suicide”. He has a very foul mouth and the over-all snarkiness of this guy out matches Kyon from “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya“. The only one who seems to be able to keep up with him is fellow loner Yukino Yukinoshita.

Hachiman_Anime

Then we have this complete and utter clone of ‘Haganai‘s Yozora; Yukino Yukinoshita (yes, that’s her name). Like Hachiman, she is a loner, but not because she likes it that way. She is very beautiful and is famous throughout the school. She was singled out in the past just because she looks better than everyone else. She has an acid tongue and would tear anybody apart with her words. She is the founder of the Volunteer’s club who Hachiman was forced to join in. Also like Hachiman, she is quite snarky and also quite athletic.

Yukino

Rounding out the main character trio is Yui Yuigahama (yes, I know!). Unlike the doom and gloom of the other two, she is that ray of sunshine within the Volunteer’s Club. She is quite ummm… well endowed and is generally very energetic. She rounds out the trio and releases all the negativity from the other two. Yui is also very popular and goes out with the “in” crowd, and because of her friendliness, she kind of makes Hachiman and Yukino a little bit more social. She LOVES to hug Yukino from behind and she clearly has feelings for Hachiman… [SPOILER]with tragic results.

Yui_1

The trio are often forced to help students with their problems from helping out a fat Chuuni with his novels to helping out the trap named Saika with HIS tennis training.

DO NOT FALL FOR THE BISHIE SPARKLE! This is a dude!

DO NOT FALL FOR THE BISHIE SPARKLE! This is a dude!

Over-all, Oregairu is a good anime, artwork is good but not that great but it’s the characters that make it good. It’s rare to see a series with all three members of the love triangle to lovable, especially the GUY. Hachiman as a character is on a class of his own and leaves those generic protagonists in the dust. I give the anime a 9/10 grade.

Author:
• Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
You never go full retard!

You never go full retard!

I think ore no imouto ga konnani kawaii wake ga nai season 2 can be summed up with this picture. About a year and a half ago, Kyousuke gave two shits who was banging his little sister. Behold, after all those months of abuse and being forced to play h-games, he has officially been brainwashed.

But that’s okay. Because incest isn’t the overlying theme of this show… right?

Japan is not a versatile country. Either things are too subtle, or over the top. I’m still trying to discern which end of the spectrum this anime falls. Clearly the incestuous obsession Kyousuke portrays while fawning over his cute little sister is actually Japan’s way of subtly displaying close familial ties. If that wasn’t the case, why did I waste my weekend watching this crap?

In any case, I hate it when plots turn ambiguous. A-1 Pictures spent 276 minutes of my life looking for the next piece of the story, but only discovered more merchandising opportunities. Damn those clever snakes!

OreImo 2 might as well be a hot young blonde who refuses to show you her ID as you get cock-blocked by your pedophile pals. I’m sick of blue balls and Taco Bell; and anime is not helping.