Dan Carroll

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! S2 #1

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Jul 082016
 

Sequel seasons pretty much ruin even the most beloved of series.

But not with Magical Boys, now this is how you do a sequel. Which is basically to give us exactly the same thing as from season 1.

Having said that, Magical Boys S2 is particularly good in reminding us of all the running gags we may have forgotten while only slightly ramping up the gayness and bukkake-ness of the first season.

I think the key to spotting a good second season vs a terriblefuckingpieceofruinousshitstain is in the number of !. If they stick to just one !, then the second season’s good. If they add a second ! like in K-On!/K-On!!, then it’s the latter.

tl;dr, I dig Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! S2 episode 1.

Manga Review: CRIMSONS: AKAI KOUKAISHATACHI

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Feb 072016
 

So I finally got around to finishing up Crimsons, aka “Eden no Umi” (Eden of the Sea? Sea of Eden?). It’s basically the dramatization of the Sockeye Salmon’s life cycle.

Spoilers after the jump because spoilers are nigh fucking unavoidable if I wanna talk about this manga.

Eden no Umi being a made up pun I made up, ’cause Crimsons is basically Eden no Ori… in the ocean!

I came upon Crimsons when the first couple chapters were first scanlated, and I liked it. But I didn’t really follow it. Welp, I finally got around to looking at it again and it seems it was completed. So I binged read.

Again, if I had to describe it, it’s basically Eden no Ori, but set in the sea. If you’ve never heard or read of Eden no Ori, then lemme describe it a lil’. It’s when a bunch of youngin’s get thrown into a hostile environment and there are sudden bouts of graphic death amidst an otherwise cute/comfy setting. It’s easy to spot. Just look for a character to have a “mind break”-face whenever something dies horribly or if there’s some abrupt death of a main character.

There, I’ve spoiled the early portion of the manga. Kinda unavoidable if I wanna talk about it at all. Oh well, not like it was any surprise. It’s more of a “will they do it or are we getting something toned down?”. I do dig that predators are depicted as eldritch abominations, at least in the earlier chapters. Pity they become less mythical as time progressed.

Anyways, each chapter’s typically broken down to 3 parts. The opening segment focusing on a water flea. The water fleas are awesome. They’re all philosophers and some are outright geniuses. But they’re near the bottom of the totem pole. Then we have the actual Salmon main story, which is interjected with scenes of a professor and his student explaining stuff while engaging in an illicit relationship.

Anywho, it’s a decent read and it’s only 20 chapters + 3 chapter side story. Give it a read.

Koukaku no Pandora #1 & Sekkou Boys #1

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Jan 272016
 

Okay, so this post is a tad late. I wanted to do one post per day so I held off of reviewing these, but stuff came up and I simply haven’t had time to watch any anime.

I just tried watching Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R #1 before making this post, but got interrupted halfway, right before we’re getting to the meat of the story. So I only saw the boring setup part and not the hook. Bleh.

So, just a quickie review for Koukaku and Sekkou, since I’m short on time. They’re both okay. Koukaku has a vibe like it’s based on a manga from the late 90s/early 00s. It’s pretty okay but perhaps a tad underwhelming. I saw half of the second episode, which looked pretty good.

Sekkou Boys, same deal. Kinda good but not quite hooking me with the first episode.

It’ a shame. This season looks like there’s a lot of possibly visually decent though somewhat mediocre series and well, real life just ain’t letting me see if there’s any gems. Bummer.

Haruchika #1

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Jan 142016
 

It seems my time away from anime has built up my tolerances and I’m now able to watch entire episodes even if I’m not instantly hooked.

Haruchika opens seemingly like it might be yet another boring K-On!! wannabe but quickly becomes intriguing by hinting at stuff actually happening.

In any case, while I was afraid it was going to be a pure “comfy” series like K-On!! and its ilk, it turned out to be pretty heavy on the mystery-slash-puzzle solving side of things. On the other hand, the mystery it deals with lacks “bite”. The result is that it’s not quite comfy nor mysterious, but more of an abominable hybrid, a crime against nature called… “comfy mystery”.

The show’s not bad if you’re into comfiness. In fact, it’s a bit better in that sense because it offers a little bite. But in you’re into “bite”, then it’s possibly a tad too dull (in terms of bite, but the show’s hardly super exciting either).

There are worst comfy shows out there, but at least this one has the best cat. We first see the cat whilst licking its balls and then walking off before it could be petted… so yeah, like a real cat, as opposed to the idealized/romanticized cat, which is basically a less hyper puppy.

Super Virtua Food Fighter

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Dec 072015
 

The previous two episodes of Ben-To, 8 and 9, kinda had me worried. I was digging them, but they were straying from the “kick ass to get half price food” bit that was the heart of the series. By focusing on that very specific motivation for fighting, Ben-To had basically become the best fighting anime since Air Master.

But those two episodes strayed from that. The food fighting was referenced. It wasn’t like it disappeared completely. But it was no longer the thing going on. Then the latest episode, number 10, got back to it and delivered the best fight thus far in the series.

I figured these twins were gonna be the second half’s big bad, but I was worried that whatever conflict they wanted to bring about was gonna stray from the path. They seemed to care more about stalking people and playing mind games rather than beating the shit out of you to get some cheap grub. Their antics were pretty amusing, which was a relief since most light novel adaptations tend to get pretty lame when they resort to “antics” to keep your attention.

Instead, all of that now feels like build-up for what went down in this episode. It’s like how the main villain in a shounen fighting series will talk and rant to his underlings or something while the main character wanders about and trains or something. They give you a reason to hate (or love to hate, or root for) the villain by letting him monologue or whatever. Except they’re trying to rape Sato while thinking he’s Ice Witch. Yeah. Something like that.

Whatever, man, I’m just grasping at ways to rationalize how the series went off track. Roll with it.

But damn. That fight where everyone got their asses handed to them by the twins was great stuff. Like, it’s probably the best anime action scene I’ve seen this year that wasn’t in Redline. But what particularly amused me about it was the stylized “blackness” that enveloped all of the twins’ attacks. It totally looked like the “ink” effects you see in Street Fighter 4. That’s especially funny because SF is made by Capcom and Ben-To is blatantly sponsored by Sega. By having the final big bads of the series use a technique used in a rival company’s game is a neat touch. Doubt it’s deliberate, but it’s amusing regardless.