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Chivalry of a Failed Knight (anime review)

Title: Chivalry of a Failed Knight the Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Directors: Shin Ōnuma, Jin Tamamura

Screenplay Writer: Shogo Yasukawa

Studios: Silver Link, Nexus

Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

Release Date: June 13th, 2017

Format as reviewed: Blu-ray/12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Romance, Magical Users, Fantasy, Action

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

Ikki Kurogane may have come from a long line of Blazers, people with the ability to create weapons or devices manifested from their souls, but as far as the Hagun Academy is concerned, he’s been a major disappointment in the magical powers department. He is so disappointing, in fact, that he’s earned the unfortunate nickname of the “Worst One”.

However, things change for Ikki in the most surprising way when Princess Stella Vermillion, the most promising Rank-A Blazer to come along in many years, decides to transfer to Hagun. When she challenges him to a duel where the loser must obey the winner for the rest of their life, the last thing anyone expects is that the Worst One might prove to be a match for the Crimson Princess… and the unforeseen consequences will push the boundaries of society itself!

Commentary:

Chivalry of a Failed Knight takes on many common tropes in the anime world and manages to step up and succeed at some and not quite make it at others. The strongest of the plot devices that it goes after is the romance. It does start off very awkward but overcomes it sort comings relatively quickly. Wishing the first few episodes you become invested in the relationship between Ikki and Stella and root for them the rest of the way through the series.

When the series brings in the little sister and her fixation on Ikki it becomes almost to simplistic and something that should have never been introduced. I am always at a loss when anime finds a need to bring a sibling relationship to the brinks of incest. Thankfully that manages to loose its punch early on and only becomes a side issue that has positive reasoning behind it.

Other aspects of the Chivalry of a Failed Knight that manage to succeed are the character development for Ikki and Stella. Most of the other characters manage to remain secondary and don’t need the development which adds to the strength of the romance. There was also a hint at Chivalry of a Failed Knight becoming a harem early on but that faded as the real plot began to take form.

Overall Grade: B+

Chivalry of a Failed Knight is very entertaining and try to make a real mashup of many different storylines. I think the series does some things well and others were never really given a chance which was reflected in some poor writing. It is very clear to me that if the series had not tried to take on so many plot devices it would have been much stronger.

Overall it is clear that there has been plenty of effort to give the series a focus. There appear to be no plans at this time to give us the rest of the story in anime form, but both the light novel and the manga are ongoing and there is always hope that the studios will take the chance and wrap the story up.

Either way, I found Chivalry of a Failed Knight to be very entertaining and well worth the effort to watch it and hope for a second season.

Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle Anime Review

Title: Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
U.S. Release Date: 4/18/17
Format and Length: Blu-ray or DVD /12 Episodes
Genre: Sci-fi/fantasy- drama/comedy
Industry Age Rating: 17+
Overall Personal Rating: C
Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Tenchi Muyo, Infinite Stratos

Synopsis:

The old brutal Kingdom of Arcadia has fallen during a civil war and in its place is the New Empire Atismata, led by a group of nobles. One of the forces protecting the county are the Drag-Ride Knights, a force that pilots flying mech. They train at the Royal Knight Academy, an all female school since they have the inherent ability to pilot the Drag-Rides. Suddenly, Lux, a former prince of the old government, literally falls through the roof into a compromising situation.

Although he is actually considered a criminal, what to do in a situation like that? Have him arrested? This is anime after all, so he becomes a student to pilot a Drag-Ride for which he is already highly skilled (luckily they had a male suit). And, this instantly becomes a harem anime. School being school, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of studying, but plenty of reasons to suit up in the Drag-Rides, which are the armored suits that serve as extensions of the pilot.

The new government has some manipulative behaviors and on top of that, there are dark forces and plenty of people wanting to use them either for power or revenge. There is hope with the Black Hero who is divinely powerful and benevelent. He is said to have help spared many lives during the war. Another mystery is the Ruins, what they conceal and how to find a way to unlock the way inside the inner space. Finally, what evils lurk in the people who are standing next to you, no matter what they look like.
Commentary:

Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle doesn’t seen to exist in its own cohesive universe. Lux is the main character and is surrounded by a typical harem of the typical, all girls’ school students. Speaking of typical, to me, that is what the story is stitched together with. Perhaps tested and true, story themes and elements that are classic or cliche’. So, where it seems to head off the path is that there is too many story ideas and things dropped in together. Sort of a tossed salad instead of a well blended smoothie. Pick a bunch of well known elements like mech and fighting,  magic, the accidental harems, kingdoms, festivals, androids, evil brothers, mystical runes, giant beasts to reawaken, gender swap, creepy goth girl, etc. …. mix them all together and tuck in a few more that didn’t quite fit (air floating whale for example), even whole scenes that totally don’t seem to fit (an out of place violent jail scene that was too intense to make sense with the rest of the series).

And still in line with typical, well, the usual kind of stuff to fuel the fan service fire. Like, whoops, the room Lux hides in to avoid everyone just happens to be the changing room. Or when he falls, he lands on top of a busty young lady. Then there are the clothes. The school uniforms for the girls have corsets that push up under their breasts then very short jackets so that their breasts (covered by their shirts) hang out beneath.  Hmm, they only guy has a vest and a long jacket. And, enough of a person being all worried about perverts but running around in skimpy clothes. It’s not funny anymore, if ever.

There seems to be a reason to get out the Drag-Rides in nearly every episode, even to settle school disputes. The school duels usually go awry because some bad guy or monster usually shows up and gets involved. The battles are half exciting and half stupid. Too harsh? Well there is a lot of odd delays and just hanging around in the air. The actually engagements are often lack luster, in fact, it is so annoying to see a battle that is supposed to be epic and the whole stadium of people are in danger, but students just stand around making commentary instead of helping or just plain getting out of the way. Even when Lux was being crushed, the other Drag Knights just hung  in the air and didn’t do anything. But, when they do get around to it, the special battle effects are pretty cool. And I did like the split screen where the battle and close ups were seen at the same time on screen.

One final annoying complaint. The completely unrealistic, although maybe rooted in wishful thinking for some, is the overly busty, totally cute teen who is innocent and childlike, who through her ignorance comes across as very sexual and does things like wear skimpy clothes and craws into bed with a guy only to fall blissfully asleep with her boobs squished up against him.

Time for me to mention what makes the anime worth viewing. After all, I did watch every bit of it. Best of all, there is beautiful, dramatic colors, with quality line, design and backgrounds. I do like the art work and style. The mechs are visually interesting in battle, they are like flying extension suits, the characters aren’t inside the mechs, but rather wear them. You can see the pilot and the machines sort of extend their arms and legs.They move and the suit mimics that movement. The music really adds to the dramatic effect, sometimes more than the actions. This anime was only in English as subtitled .

Overall Grade:  C     It was a good brain work out trying to figure out what was going on with all the jumps and plot holes, but, rereading the fan service paragraph I wrote, by trying to understand the story, I think  the point of the series was lost on me and I was not the intended audience. So, if you are looking for some comedic fan service and some actions, Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle could be fun and enjoyable.

Girls und Panzer der Film (anime review)

review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Girls und Panzer der Film Blu-ray/DVD Combo

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima

Studio: Actas

Author: Reiko Yoshida

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: May 16, 2017

Format and Length: Blu-ray/DVD Combo / 120 minutes

Genre: Action, Comedy, Military, School

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Girls und Panzer Complete TV Series, Girls und Panzer Complete OVA Collection, Girls und Panzer This is the Real Anzio Battle

Panzer Vor!

Synopsis:

In Girls und Panzer der Film, when the Ministry of Education goes back on its promise to keep Ooarai Girls Academy open, the task of saving the five-mile-long Academy Ship from the wreckers falls to Miho and her barely-seasoned tankery team. However, things go off track almost immediately.

While the Oorai tank crew may have won the high school tournament, they are now facing a larger and more experienced university team, and if they fail, their armored vehicles will be forfeit! Will they be swapping their tanks for the memories? It is possible, but winning a tank battle is all about tactics and teamwork, and the fledgling Ooarai students have more friends and allies than anyone suspects. Get ready for another high-caliber round of the only sport where “having a blast” does not necessarily mean you are having a great time, as the Ooarai team puts everything on the line!

Commentary:

The Oorai tank crew had to learn a hard lesson at the beginning of Girls und Panzer der Film. They learned that a verbal agreement means nothing because the Ministry of Education does not honor them, but thanks to some very helpful people they are able to get the Ministry of Education to agree to let them fight one more battle to save their school. Basically, it is the TV series all over again but in much less time, with better tank battles and new tanks to show off. I would recommend watching the TV series first because it explains everything that is going on and you will understand why girls are driving tanks that are actually shooting actual artillery and why no one gets seriously injured. It would also be a good idea, because the characters are already developed, and very little further development happens in Girls und Panzer der Film, save for a couple of scenes. The tank battles, always unique, and interesting because of the tactics used, tended towards the end to be over the top, but I think that is what they were going for. And they did do a good job of taking it over the top, and back again. Another thing over the top was the sound. If at all possible save this for a surround sound system with good speakers and bass. They did a great job getting the theater sound into it well mixed. If you do not like loud cannon fire, or explosions, turn it down, as they put a lot of emphasis on good sound quality. The other thing is the CG work. Moving tanks with heavy detail, hand signals, and general quick scenery changes can be challenging for even the most experienced production company to get right. They got this one right. The CG is so well mixed, if you did not know what to look for you would miss it. They did a great job with the animation in general. If you are a fan to the series, or a new comer that just wants to see cute girls driving tanks, this will be one for you.

Extras:

Girls und Panzer der Film includes Girls und Panzer in (about) 3 minutes, clean opening and closing animations, and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This film was released with both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: B+

Sound of the Sky (anime review)

Title: Sound of the Sky (Soro no Wata) Complete Set on Blu-ray
Director: Mamoru Kanbe
Writer: Hiroyuki Yoshino
Studio: A-1 Pictures
U.S. Distributor: Nozomi Entertainment
U.S. Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Format: DVD/ 12 episodes/ 355 minutes
Genre: Sci Fi, Slice of Life, Comedy, Drama
Age Rating: 14+
Personal Rating: A
Similar Titles: Air, Kanon

Sometimes our goals in life lead is to do things and impact others in way we would never expect. They also put us in situations that just might make all the difference in the world.

Synopsis:

A young girl, Kanata Sorami, joins the army to learn how to play trumpet because she saw a solider play “Amazing Grace” and was touched so deeply that it is the only goal she has in life. The army sends her to the outpost in the town of Seize to become the bugler. Unknown to her she becomes one of the Fire Maidens of Seize. These are the historical protectors of the Village. The other members of the squad are Rio Kazumiya, Kanata’s trumpet teacher, Filicia Heideman, the company commander, Noel Kannagi, the mechanic and Kureha Suminoya the other private assigned as the gunner.

In the beginning Kanata does not know how to play the trumpet very well but she has a great ear for sound and with some training by Rio she manages to become wonderful player and even the village begins to enjoy her playing. During this time she becomes a valued member of the platoon and the bonds of these 5 women become so close it almost seems as though they are sisters.

There is a tentative peace between Helvetia and Roma. The current talks are not going very well and the platoon must always be on the watch for anyone coming across the no-mans land just outside Seize. During this period of stress there is a secret about Rio that comes to light that drives her away from the platoon to eventually end up having a overreaching impact on everyones life.

Commentary:

This wonderfully crafted anime brings together several key elements that makes it one to be seen. The first of these elements is the bonding of the main characters that creates a group of women who become true sisters and find that they each have their role to play. They are each very different and have a dramatic past that is at the core of who they are. This is highlighted by Kanata who has the loss of her family and the contact with a beautiful bugler who was playing “Amazing Grace” in such a way that made her think to was the true Sound of the Sky. That was the motivating factor behind her having no fear and wanting to be able to play that piece for all the world to hear. The others also have past experience that make them so special that they each bound together make an unstoppable force. All of this is accentuated buy the strong character development and the wonderful series of events that bring them together.

The second of the outstanding elements has to be the plot structure and the way the story is told. By the middle of the series I was a little concerned that Sound of the Sky as nothing more than a string of unrelated events but in classic Japanese story telling fashion all of these events all roll up together and provide a ending that managed to warm even my cold heart. The stories told about these women and girls consistently brought a kind smile to my soul as I moved through the series and at the end I wanted only good to happen for this loving group of women.

The final and possible most impressive is the high quality of the animation. I found myself blown away by the impressive artistry put into creating the world that these intrepid ladies lived. The monastery where they lived was so well developed it made me feel like I was there and the landscapes were Miyazakiesk and created a peaceful place that we all would want to be a part of. At every turn I found myself in awe of the talented work that went into this loving series.

Overall Grade: A

Sound of the Sky is not one of those knock down drag-out anime that is all about the action, it is a kind gentle anime that does not shy away from action, but rather uses it only when it is important. The creators have given us something to contemplate and use as a guide to what it is to truly care about those others around us. This series should be put on everyones must see list.

Because of the gentle spirit of Sound of the Sky I would recommend Air and Kanon as the two other series to get that loving feeling from.

Nurse Witch Komugi R (anime review)

Title: Nurse Witch Komugi R on Blu-ray

Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi

Studio: Tatsunoko Production

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Magical Girl, Comedy

Age Rating: Teen 14 +

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

Komugi Yoshida wants to be famous, but her efforts as an idol don’t seem to be working out so far. Unlike her prim friend Cocona or her tomboyish rival Tsukasa, both of whose idol popularity is soaring, Komugi seems to be getting only the bottom-tier jobs, like pitching pharmaceutical products to the locals.

However, everything changes when Komugi discovers an injured creature named Usa-P who offers her a chance to be something bigger: a magical nurse! With awesome powers and a cute outfit to boot, Komugi might just be moving up in the world, but is she going to be able to handle the stress of saving the world, being an idol, AND keeping up in school?

Commentary:

Nurse Witch Komugi R is a straight forward magical girl comedy that is clearly aimed at the younger female audience. I found the simple approach a classic style of telling the story and keeping the viewer engaged without making things overtly complex. This is a fun departure from all to many recent anime that want to make sure they keep the viewer on their toes at all times.

The character development in Nurse Witch Komugi R is also very formulaic, but it does not detract from the overall quality of the series. There is a clear development of who we need to root for and who we should be leery of.  This makes everything rather easy to get straight and to keep in order as the action heats up.

Overal Grade: B

Nurse Witch Komugi R is a wonderful little series that keeps the magical girl story alive and well. I enjoyed the way Kormugi’s real life intermingled with her magical existence and the same goes for the other girls. I never got the feeling of dislike for any of them and found myself rooting for them as the series grew.

The animation is clean and suited the series well. I thought the look and feel of all of the elements played well off of each other. If there is a down side it is the simplistic approach and writing. All too often the answers were seen coming a mile away and after a while the antagonists were way too standard and a little tiresome.

If you are looking for some light fun and a magical girl seres that exemplifies the classic natures of the genre then Nurse Witch Komugi R will fit the bill.

Utawarerumono-The False Faces: Complete Collection (anime review)

review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Utawarerumono-The False Faces: Complete Collection on Blu-ray
Director: Keitaro Motonaga
Studio: White Fox
Author: Takamitsu Kono
U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23
U.S. Release Date: April 25, 2017
Format and Length: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 600 Minutes
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Industry Age Rating: 17 and up
Overall Personal Rating: B+
Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Utawarerumono

Synopsis:
Where is he? More importantly, who is he? Awakening in a frozen wasteland, his first memories are of danger as he is instantly attacked by a giant creature. Kuon, the cat-like girl who rescues him, doesn’t know who he is either, but she gives him the name Haku in honor of another mysterious stranger who came to this world. Now, Haku must quickly learn how to survive in a land where monstrous beasts prowl, and where half-human beings rule in a city riddled with intrigue and secrets. With armies to aid, Princesses to guard, and a whole new future to explore, Haku and Kuon will face truth after shocking truth!

Commentary:
Utawarerumono-The False Faces: Complete Collection is a continuation of the original series, and takes place several years after the original Utawarerumono series. I have to say that the original scored very high in my book, as it would have received an A. It was an epic tale, with twists and turns all about. Utawarerumono-The False Faces: Complete Collection (second season is a fair statement) continues to live up to its predecessor. You are introduced to a completely new set of characters, and a new land. There are a few characters that make an appearance from the original series but they are only there for a few scenes, and make little impact. The first ten or so episodes do go slow at first, but they spend all this time building characters and relationships. The characters are very well developed and feel very real. You will develop an emotional attachment to many of them. At first the menial day to day activities will drag, as they develop characters, but after that it turns into another epic story as the action picks up, making it hard to stop watching. Many things will surprise you, and if you are a fan of the original, you will find a few of them will bother you, but rest assured that there is a reason for the turns it takes. The ultimate surprise came in the last episode, and completely without warning. Then it happened. It ended. If you have read any of my previous reviews of animes based on video games, you know it’s a pet peeve of mine that they must wrap up a story, and not use it as a “buy the game to see how it ends” to promote further sales of the game. In fact, there is little that irritates me more, as I am not a gamer. I cannot say that it ended completely, because it did not. It was more an end to that chapter, and more to come, except, there was no more. That was a big let down in the moment, but all things considered they did stop at a good point, if they plan to release another season to continue it. I very much hope they do, because I’m not buying the game. If they don’t, my disappointment will be extreme.

The art work itself was very good. In most scenes, they did a great job of mixing the CG with the animation so it did not stick out like a sore thumb. They also did very well with background scenery. Always active, like real life, the animation did not halt when characters were talking, like they do with many other titles. From tale and ear movements, to overall background action, there was much detail and made it even more enjoyable. Also the music was pretty good. Not epic, but worth listening to and not skipping the openings and endings, unless you cannot wait to see what happens next, like I did. I’m not known for my patience either. Overall, Utawarerumono-The False Faces: Complete Collection was a great story and worth checking it out. Had it wrapped up better instead of leaving it as an end of a chapter with lots of story left to tell, it would have gotten the highest score possible. I look forward, with much anticipation, to the continuation of Utawarerumono-The False Faces: Complete Collection.

Extras:
Utawarerumono-The False Faces: Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: B+

Ajin: Demi-Human (anime review)

Title: Ajin on Blu-ray

Director: Hiroyuki Seshita, Hiroaki Andō

Writer: Hiroshi Seko

Studio: Polygon Pictures

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: May 16th, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episode + Movie / 325 Minutes

Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure, Thriller, Supernatural

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Synopsis:

When the truck slammed into Kei Nagai’s body, he should have died instantly. Instead, the high-school student finds himself resurrected, with all of his wounds somehow healed. However, Kei’s real problems are just starting. Now revealed to be an Ajin, one of a mysterious new breed of demi-human that have begun appearing around the world, he’s been marked with an international bounty, and in the eyes of the world’s governments, Kei is a specimen to be contained by any means possible.

Now he’s on the run, unable to trust anyone except his closest friend, and his only hope is to discover the terrifying secrets behind his new abilities before he’s forced to use them in battle! When you have an infinite number of lives ahead of you, death is only the beginning!

Commentary:

Well, well. Ajin manages to do something I wasn’t sure could be done in the current anime world. It manages to take a interesting story and animate it to almost a sad boring place. Polygon Pictures does a very poor job of animating this series and takes a solid story and almost makes it unwatchable. Fortunately that is where the failures end. The rest of the series is strong enough to give people a reason to watch. I am saying this even though this type of stress has been taken on in other series. Will Kei use his power to harm humans or not? Now I understand it is very common to see this issue in other anime and many of them did a much better job of presenting it. I think it is also very poignant that the real horror is produced by humans and that the Ajin are taught to hate the humans because of it, but of course there are plenty Ajin that are just down right evil.

Overall Grade: B-

Ajin may have found some notoriety by being an exclusive on one of the more notable streaming services, but I think it is great that the first half of the series along with a movie are presented as a set that could have a place in almost any anime collection. I realize that the animation is terrible and it appears as though Polygon still has some work to do with their use of their Computer Graphics program. I am not too sure that some students were given their first shot at animating this one. I realize that Polygon animated Knights of Sidonia and there were some issues with the quality of animation, but the art style and tone of Knights of Sidonia lent itself to this raw CG whereas Ajin really doesn’t.

The rest of the production and writing of Ajin save it and make it worth watching. The story is relatively straight forward, but once again there is enough interesting action and flavor to keep everyone interested.

Even with the poor animation I am still very interested in seeing the remainder of the series released.

Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team (anime review)

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team on Blu-ray

Director:   Takeyuki Kanda (Eps. 1-6),Umanosuke Iida (Eps. 7-12), Shinya Watada (OVA), Mitsuko Kase, Takeyuki Kanda, Umanosuke Iida (Millers Report)

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Rightstuf

U. S. Release Date: May 2nd, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes and OVA and Movie / 355 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team contains episodes 1-12 of the Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team OVA Series plus the Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team: Miller’s Report movie.

The year is Universal Century 0079. The Federation has begun mass production of prototype Gundams for use by its ground forces. Shiro Amada, commander of the 08th MS Team, must lead his soldiers through fierce fighting on the ground. However, the Zeons are developing a secret project which could tip the balance of power! Can Shiro and his ragtag team of castoffs, rejects, and bad attitudes save the Federation?

Commentary:

Okay, now we have a Gundam series that is worth a little praise and a hefty pat on the back. Giving us the a hero how commands a standard grunt force stuck in jungle warfare is just beautiful. The team is made up of a wide variety of personalities and each one of them are just precious.

The overall feel of Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team is rather straight forward and doesn’t leave us wondering what is going on. Shiro is one of those commanders who seems rather calm on the surface but makes it clear that he believes in a rather optimistic hope for all of humanity. This and his apparent affection for a Zeon female soldier help him continue to do the right thing and also save the Federation from the Zeon zealots?

Overall Grade:

I really enjoyed the Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team it gave me the kind of character development I have been looking for in the Gundam Universe without the overwhelming melodrama. There is plenty of melodrama, but it is tempered by the 08th Team itself.

The animation quality is rather good for an older series and placing the series on Earth in a jungle setting helps keep it grounded. The action and overall feel of  08th Team has a lightness rarely found and it is easy to see the the writing team enjoyed doing this one. The directing is also rather seamless between directors which also shows a continuity in the writing that helped.

To put it simply, Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team is good and has plenty of tasty meet still left on the bone.

Galaxy Angel Anime Series Review

Title: Galaxy Angel

Publisher: Nozomi

U. S. Re-Release Date: 2/7/2017

Format: Blu-ray / 26 Episodes / 390 minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Comedy

Age Rating: 14+

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

In Galaxy Angel there is a group of 5 females, they form the Angel Brigade and are part of the government special forces with the underlying task of finding the Lost Technology, unfortunately no one actually knows what that is. Besides that, they keep busy taking on special missions, often hired and paid by private citizens. These vary from the seemingly mundane assignment of finding a cat to the more serious saving a world sort of thing.

Commentary:

The Galaxy Angel anime is a comedy set in a Sci Fi universe with a bit of heart thrown in. Originally produced in 2001, this is a re-release. I specify anime, because there are also games and manga.  There is shared similarities, but the differences really make this a different story set. Here, the ladies/girls are the main characters with no real romance ( if there is any, it only amounts to one side imagination). There is also some action and plenty of character interest to balance everything out.

Noting that this is a comedy is important because there are several things off or overdone but that all leads into the silliness. Or at least can be excused by the context. For instance, the anime cliches’ and the character stereotypes or body forms.

This Blu-ray edition can be watched in English dub or sub. I used the English voice option and thought they did a fine job of matching the characters. The sound track also worked well.

The episodes are stand alone mostly, a little bit of story carries over like bringing up the Lost technology and few stories take more than one episodes. Sure, there are 26 episodes, but they are only 15 minutes each. Generally, this anime is quick paced, but I didn’t feel like it rushed. It just is efficient and doesn’t waste time on fillers.  This format works well because there isn’t one story or direction through out the season.

Visually, I enjoyed the saturated color that made it so visually strong. The animation seemed a bit off sometimes, or maybe old, but since it’s a comedy it works okay. Quirky is part of the charm. Keeping the characters straight was comfortably easy. First, they all have different hair color, very different cliche personalities and at least one really weird trait. What I mean about that, for example, the anatomically incorrect, physics defying boobs -plainly looks stupid but I suppose a hyperbole for comedic effect. The main five represented the no nonsense military type, the robotic emotionless, the frilly homemaker and the ever boy crazy (looking for a husband) and the amazing luckiest girl in the universe.

Overall Grade: B  Cute and entertaining to watch, but didn’t pull me in to really connect with the characters. And I don’t think it meant to.

Although it tells a story with a different template, there is a quality that reminded my of El Hazard, the Wanderers. If you like one, you might want to give the other a go.

 

A Few New Models and Stands Just Came In


SHIN MUSHA GUNDAM SENGOKU No JIN, Bandai MG

Full Armor Gundam (Thunderbolt Anime Color) “Gundam Thunderbolt”, Bandai HG Thunderbolt

Black Action Base1 Display Stand 1/100

Bandai Gray Action Base1 Display Stand 1/100

Bandai Clear Action Base1 Display Stand 1/100
Bandai Saiyan Space Pod “Dragon Ball Z”, Bandai Figure-rise Mechanics