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Hakuoki-Demon of the Fleeting Blossom: Record of the Jade Blood (anime review)

Title: Hakuoki-Demon of the Fleeting Blossom: Record of the Jade Blood (on Blu-ray

Director: Osuma Yamasaki

Studio: Studio Deen

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: December 13, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 10 Episodes / 250 Minutes

Genre: Historical, Supernatural, Romance, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overal Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

Hakuoki Record of the Jade Blood contains episodes 1-10 of season 2.

Betrayed by the shogun and forced to flee to Edo, the Shinsengumi are fighting a desperate battle; not just for their lives, but for their very souls and the ideals they swore to stand for.

Now, as Harada, Shinpachi, and Saito launch a dangerous thrust to fight their way out of Koufu, Chizuru must decide whether to hold true to her own oath to Hijikata. Will she stand guard over the wounded Kondou and Okita, or will she succumb to the hopelessness and disillusionment that has shattered their ranks?

As the Fury’s advance, Hijikata must face the greatest test of all: can he keep the Shinsengumi together? Can the powers to be gained from the Water of Life ever justify the nightmarish price? As the fires of war threaten to consume Japan, the last hopes of salvation lie in the courage and steel of a chosen few in Hakuoki: Record of the Jade Blood!

Special Features: Hakuoki Sweet School Life ~ Chizuro in Danger?!, The X-Day that Calls Forth a Storm, Extra Chapter, Clean Opening and Closing Animations.

Commentary:

The popular series Hakuoki is back with the second season that deals with the Shinsengumi and the external forces looking to destroy both their way of life and them if possible. The series gives us the feel and context of heavy melodrama that detail the world of these two unrequited lovers. The heavy melodrama tends to slow down the story and make it tough to watch from time to time. Even with the heavy hand I was still able to get into the series and the second season takes farther down the road and help us feel like that there might be a future for Hijikata and Chizuro.

I appreciated the character development and the almost historical thoughtfulness that was included in the story.

Overall Grade: B

The animation for Hakuoki-Demon of the Fleeting Blossom: Record of the Jade Blood is above average, but it leans on CG a little too much. I find it better if historical stories stick to a rather traditional anime format rather than trying to make things look too slick. It wasn’t anything overly disturbing but it detract a little.

The area that I found to have the greatest impact on the story was the writing and the melodramatic overtures that ran through it. I guess that with so many of the characters so serious it was hard to see some of them come across as less dedicated. I also thought that there was way too much dark presence in the film to allow the viewer to become relaxed and get with the story.

Hakuoki-Demon of the Fleeting Blossom: Record of the Jade Blood is a good second season to the series and it should be approached as a way to find more and more about these two how have the pressures of war and lineage pushing them in different directions. If you are looking for a solid historical series with plenty melodrama romance and mystery and a bit of supernatural essence then Hakuoki-Demon of the Fleeting Blossom: Record of the Jade Blood is something you should check out.

Turn A Gundam part 1 on Blu-ray (anime review)

Title: Turn A Gundam part 1 (on Blu-ray)

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer/Creator: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Sunrise

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 7th, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Romance, Steampunk

Age Rating: TV 13

Overall personal rating: B

Synopsis:

For 2000 years, a separate race of humanity has lived on the moon. Known as “the Moonrace,” their technology is leaps and bounds beyond those that stayed behind on the Earth’s surface. Now seeking to return to their original home, the Moonrace send three teenagers – Loran, Keith, and Fran – down to Earth on a reconnaissance mission to test the viability of its environment.

After spending a year on Earth, Loran has become good friends with Sochie and Kihel, daughters of the prestigious Heim family, and he looks forward to fully integrating into Earth society. But before Loran gets the chance to make his report, the Moonrace launch a surprise attack. Earth’s primitive airplanes are no match for the superior power of the Moonrace’s mobile suits. However, in the midst of the initial attack, Loran and Sochie uncover a long-forgotten relic: a white mobile suit. As a Moonrace, Loran is quickly able to grasp the basics of piloting it, but by doing so, he inadvertently places himself in the middle of a war.

Commentary:

Gundam Fans get in line for here come the resurrection of the mysterious Turn A Gundam. Reaching back to the year 1999 Sunrise with the help of Nozomi have brought back a slick version of the a series that many people can’t waited to get the next installment of and everyone else figures it may be time to give it a rest. Personally, I am a believer that the Gundam franchise may have seen better years, but honestly I found Turn A Gundam every enjoyable. Of course it felt dated and the writing fell flat more than a few times. Even with those detractors the story held my interest and gave me a reason to think there is more to this than meets the eye.

Compared to most of the older Gundam renditions I feel as though Turn A Gundam builds on a simple story and support both our future and past. There is obviously the leaning to the earth bound humans and a slightly sinister approach to the Moonrace humans. I’m not sure that there is a real need to make one more sympathetic than the other and I think that ben though the Moonrace has better technology that doesn’t mean their lives are that much darker. If I was human and bound to a dead rock where we have to manufacture everything even the air you breath I would be a little bitter about the selfish earth bound humans who are too ignorant the understand what they really have.

I’m not saying that all of the Earth humans are portrayed as naive or even good natured and not all Moonrace humans are evil. That would be against all anime doctrine and would also fail the entire Gundam universe. What I am saying is that I could see myself siding with the Moonrace and wanting to drive out the stupid Earthlings so that someone who would appreciate the earth for what it is could be in control.

Overall Grade: B

Turn a Gundam is a new twist on an old Gundam plot, but it does a good job of telling the story. I just wish the animation was better. By 1999 – 2000 anime productions values had really found a new look and Turn A Gundam held on to some rather tired old artistic values in this series. I get that it is a Gundam series, but for gods sake they should have made it look a lot better than they did.

One other thing that I reality like about Turn A Gundam was the fact that human technology was all about the steam power and Steampunk ruled the day. This added romantic ideal did help give some beauty to the visual aspects to the series and it helped give me a reason to keep watching in some of the slower moments.

Even with the poor production value I still find it to be a solid series with plenty of Gundam goodness packed into it. There is one other thing that I must mention and it is the disc art work. The five disc have possibly the best disc art covers i have ever seen. If the series would have looked that good it would have overtaken the Gundam and Mecha anime world and blown everyone away.

I am looking forward to seeing the second half of the series. So all you Gundam fans get ready for the one true Steampunk Gundam coming at you. Now on Blu-ray makes it even better.

Beautiful Bones-Sakurako’s Investigation: Complete Collection (anime review)

review provided by Andrew and Katie

Title: Beautiful Bones-Sakurako’s Investigation: Complete Collection

Director: Makoto Katou

Studio: TROYCA

Author: Takayo Ikami

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: January 10, 2017

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Mystery

Industry Age Rating: 17 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: The Perfect Insider, Heaven’s Memo Pad

Synopsis:

Shotaro Tatewaki knows that Sakurako Kujo is not a normal person. After all, most young women have multiple interests revolving around things like work, fashion, and sports, but Sakurako is fixated on just one thing: bones.
While she already has a huge collection of them, mostly animal, she is always trying to gather more, especially those of the human variety. This can be quite a problem for Shotaro; especially since he and Sakurako have a positively unnatural aptitude for discovering dead bodies together.
Fortunately, Sakurako is a naturally brilliant detective who unearths the mystery of what happened to the owners of those bones, but it is up to Shotaro to make apologies for Sakurako’s odd quirks and tendency to make off with the evidence.

It’s a grave business that can leave him literally bone-tired, but for the wheels of justice to turn, there are always more skeletons to be bared and new secrets to be exhumed in Beautiful Bones-Sakurako’s Investigation: Complete Collection.

Commentary:

Beautiful Bones-Sakurako’s Investigation: Complete Collection is an interesting series as it was basically the anime version of a female Sherlock Holmes and her sidekick Dr. Watson. Sakurako seems to know everything and always has an answer for everything she sees. She also have a magical girl style transformation whenever the latex gloves come out, complete with the skeletons of many different creatures. It could be described as CSI meets Mahou Shoujo. It is very episodic in nature, and it actually seems like a slice-of-life series, and every one or two episodes presents a different and new mystery. Some of the mysteries were better than others but overall, they were complex and suspenseful. I really wish they would have finished the storyline that involved Hanabusa but there is always hope for a second season.

There was very little character development throughout the series until the last episode. In the last episode, we learn how Sakurako and Shotaro met each other and worked their first case together. It seemed completely out of place to have this episode at the end of the series because they did not wrap up the series and instead decided to focus on the background story that would have been better suited in a different episode.

The animation for Beautiful Bones-Sakurako’s Investigation: Complete Collection was pretty and colorful and the background was true to life in the way the plants moved. The voice actors did an amazing job bringing the characters to life and it seems like they had fun making this series. The opening and closing animations were catchy and well animated.
Extras:

Beautiful Bones-Sakurako’s Investigation: Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language option.

Overall Grade: B

All in all, if you like the mystery crime genre then I believe you will enjoy Beautiful Bones-Sakurako’s Investigation: Complete Collection.

My Love Story Anime Review

Title: My Love Story

 

Publisher: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date:12/20/16

Format: Blu-ray /24 Episodes and / 600 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Age Rating: 13+

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

*As the twist in this story happens early on, this commentary will contain some things that may be considered spoilers.

High school students Takeo and Suna have been friends since their childhood.  Suna is the cool, silent, good looking type that all the girls flirt with. Takeo could be considered the opposite, the big, beefy, simple one. One day on the train, Takeo rescues Rinko, a young lady on the train who is being harassed. She wants to thank him by baking something sweet for him. From this a friendship develops between the three of them. Rinko’s love of baking matches up with Takeo’s love of eating. Even so, he mistakes her attention as attachment to Suna and vows to help them become a couple.

It is not only Takeo who doesn’t understand, most people don’t see what she sees in a gorilla type of guy like that. But in truth, he is on the simple side, but his heart is made of gold and he is dedicated to loyalty.  She may be the one girl who can see past his appearance and understand the value of his friendship that Suna already knows. Takeo has no idea of how to act and becoming a boyfriend is part of new education.

Commentary:

An equal comedy and romance ratio, My Love Story is a refreshing change to many of the high school age romances. Many of them are about the long process of getting a significant other, not actually being in the relationship. In this series, the relationship begins early on. The biggest difference is who falls in love, telling the story of an unlikely guy that we don’t get to hear about too often. It also makes a wonderful point on how people perceive things in different ways. As the saying goes, appearances are only skin deep.

The characters were likable and easy to sympathize with. Takeo was more outrageous and cartoonish than everyone else but the setting and story line make his comedic presence the heart of the comedy. He is balanced with Suna’s serious and aloof personality plus Rinko who is sweet and adorable, the young woman who can find joy in so much of life. Takeo’s parents were a nice addition, their comedic addition brought another brand of humor to the show. It was fun to see where he inherited his unique traits.

My first introduction to My Love Story was a manga. I haven’t kept up with the manga, but what I had read went along the same path. I watched it some in Japanese with subtitles and the rest in English. Both were just as much fun, although the English dub makes Takeo seem more goofy and undesirable.

My only complaint is that the romantic naivety was a little too much towards the end. After 24 episodes, it seems like it would have been enough time to loosen up and understand their situation better. Much of  the situational conflict comes from misunderstanding and being afraid to talk to one another, not want to burden others or risk ruining friendships. I would have like to seen some growth in this area. Hopefully to keep pace within the development of friendships and relationships.

Overall Grade: B    My Love Story is for anyone looking for a comedy or romance, something fun with a message but not too heavy.

 

In the Radius: If you like My love story, I also think you will like Say I Love You.

 

The World God Only Knows Ultimate Collection (anime review)

Title: The World God Only Knows Ultimate Collection

Director: Hideyuki Kurata

Studio: Manglobe

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 3rd, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 36 Episodes and 4 OVAs/ 1000 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, School Life, Video Games

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

The World God Only Knows Ultimate Collection contains episodes 1-12 of season 1, 1-12 of season 2, 1-12 of season 3, and 1-4 of the OVA.

Keima Katsuragi’s skill at winning women’s hearts is so legendary that he’s called The God Of Conquests, but that’s only in dating video games, not the real world.

Suddenly, Keima’s life takes a turn for the weird when he answers what he thinks is an online gaming challenge. Instead, he ends up with a demon contract, and now he has to help perky demon hunter Elsie track down a bunch of demons that have escaped from hell!

The reason: the demons have hidden themselves within the hearts of a group of random girls, and the only way to get them out is if Keima can make the girls fall in love with him. Also, just to make sure that Keima is properly incentivized, his failure will result in the loss of something important: his head!

Hopefully, the tricks Keima’s mastered with virtual girls will work just as well with live ones. Otherwise, things are going to get really messy in the spectacular ultimate collection of THE WORLD GOD ONLY KNOWS!

Commentary:

 

In the overarching collection the shinning star are the first two seasons. Watching Keima go from unwilling participant to someone who has a secret love for the chase is fun and entertaining. The parody of the otaku world is not lost and there are some wonderful examples of the reality that has gripped the entire world when it comes to gaming and almost any other fandom.

The story itself is a rather silly, but it creates some wonderful situations  that are played out in a witty and humors fashion. The writing for season 1 and 2 manages to prove the point  that if it is clear what needs to be done then the story can write itself.

For season 3 Dating Game master Keima Katsuragi’s skills at conquering hearts in the virtual world have translated into real life so well that he and Spirit Hunter associate Elsie have already captured 14 of the runaway spirits attaching themselves to the souls of different girls. But is even the God of Conquests up to the task of romancing six REAL Goddesses?

The fate of the world may depend on it, because if Keima can’t do it six more times, a renegade faction of demons will use the Goddesses power to unleash an even more dangerous and powerful group of demons. That could mean the devastation of both Heaven and the Earth! (Not to mention Keima losing his own head.) And if the situation wasn’t difficult enough, it seems that the Goddesses’ souls are hidden inside girls that Keima has already had to make fall in love with him before. As part of the magic spell, they’ve all forgotten about him… or have they?

It is understandable that the overall popularity of the series pushed the studio to make a 3rd season. It is also understandable that there was some attempt to use the earlier plot line to help drive the current story. I can appreciate both, but as it all too often comes to pass, I can say that The World God Only Knows: Goddesses doesn’t even come close to being as entertaining as the first two seasons.

It is great to see all the characters come back and to have the wide array of personalities to play off of it just felt forced and more than just a little contrived. Of course it is natural that anime come across contrived because it is contrived. Once in a while an anime will feel somewhat natural, but most of the time you walk away thinking to yourself that they really pushed it this time. The World God Only Knows: Goddesses doesn’t pull any punches in that category.

One thing I have learned over the years is not to expect much from OVAs. As for The World God Only Knows OVAs I can say that I found them to be both disappointing and pleasing. On the dissapointing side of things I thought 2 of the OVAs were simple through away episodes that didn’t really catch the essence of the series but on the two that dealt with Tenri and Diana proved to be both entertaining and helpful with back story that is key in the Goddess season.

The other two OVAs were a simply there for a quick smile at best. At worst they added nothing to the story and made a few of the characters look a little silly. I’m always amazed when I see OVA’s come out I hope and pray that they wrap things up but more often than not they just give us nothing but a laugh if we are lucky.

Overall Grade: B

When looking at the complete body of the series I find that the balance of interest must fall on season 1 & 2. Season 3 is a weak reminder of the essence of the story and the OVAs are just a money grab.

After being such a fan of The World God Only Knows and having the OVAs tossed out there a reminded that anime is more of a business than an art form and the reality is that they are trying to make a profit. I can’t be to saddened by this release because there is some material in the group that is relevant to the series. I also see the other OVAs as simple comic relief and nothing more.

If you are a serious fan of The World God Only Knows then this set is something that you will want to own. If you aren’t then I would say look else were for your entertainment.

Extras:

Japanese Promos, Music Videos, Clean Opening Animation.

Wakaba Girl: Complete Collection (anime review)

review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Wakaba Girl: Complete Collection

Director: Masaharu Watanabe

Studio: Nexus

Author: Yui Hara

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U.S. Release Date: December 20, 2016

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 14 Episodes / 112 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, School Life, Slice of Life

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Kiniro Mosaic, Lucky Star, and Is the Order a Rabbit?

 

Synopsis:

Even though her ridiculously wealthy family tries to give her everything, it is not until the sheltered Wakaba Kohashi fails to get into an upscale school that she finds what she really needed: a group of friends who want to know the real her, and not her status.

Her new school mates may not be up to date on haute couture, but Wakaba is enthralled by their knowledge about the outside world, including the flashy “gyaru” fashion. Soon, Wakaba is helping, or trying to help, her newfound friends with their newfound high school girl problems.

From helping innocent Moeko though gymnastics, standing in for Nao in a beauty contest, and inadvertently helping Mao act like a rich girl, to simply enjoying the joys of girl talk and sharing ice cream, there’s a whole new world of everyday wonders waiting to be discovered in Wakaba Girl: Complete Collection!

 

Commentary:

One of the latest entries into the cute girls doing cute things genre, Wakaba Girl: Complete Collection is about a dim-witted, spoiled, socially inept, rich girl, who seems to have a lot of difficulties making friends. Having little knowledge in speaking to normal people, her aristocratic up-bringing, constant moving, and sheltered life have contributed nothing but difficulty in grasping the realities of normal everyday life. Being in class she manages to get surrounded by a group of three other girls that give her a chance, and teach her what she needs to know, by doing normal every day things that most people do with friends after school. The individual episodes are very cute, and short, lasting a total of seven minutes each. The show does a good job in the short spans of its episodes. One thing when you make a series so short is the difficulty involved in developing characters and story. Keeping it somewhat episodic does help with the story. As for developing characters, they actually did a real good job in the short time they had. Each of the three girls got an episode where they took the spotlight, revolving around Wakaba of course, but it was enough to make the characters feel real and to show individual personalities. They all did fall into classically defined archetypes, but it worked well. The activities were real simple, things you did with your friends after school, but helped to move everything along. They also developed a decent amount of comedy in between it all.

 

Extras:

Wakaba Girl: Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language option.

 

Overall Grade: B+

Definitely a good addition to the collection of anyone that loves the “cute girls doing cute things” genre.

Kimba the White Lion Anime Review

Title: Kimba the White Lion (Anime Elements edition)

U. S. (Re) release date: November 1, 2016

Format: Blu-ray or DVD/ 52 Episodes/ 1145 Minutes

English Dub

Genre: Youth, Action, Comedy

Age Rating: All Ages

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

A young lion cub escapes from hunters, to find himself alone and orphaned. He spends time with some humans who help him. He learns to appreciate their culture and speak the language. He sets out to make his way in the jungle. A natural leader, he begins to gather friends and rallies the other animals to help protect themselves from  the dangers in the jungle, especially the hunters. Kimba believes that peace will only be maintained if the animals and people learn to communicate and respect each other but he won’t back down from a fight. Along the way, Kimba searches for his past and learns to gain strength from his ancestors.

Commentary:

Kimba the White Lion is a classic of anime originally aired in the 1960’s, a comedy/drama series meant for children. I don’t intend that it should be put into the same grouping as an American cartoons. It isn’t what we are used to. The characters don’t seem so far off, but it is the story telling and some of the situational elements that make it different. It’s been noted that a similarity exists between Kimba the White Lion and the American The Lion King, and I can see those points, but this story has the time to go in depth (it is 52 episodes) as to the meaning of community, our place int the world and even an early form of conservation.

Who do I recommend Kimba the White Lion for? As a classic, any anime fan should catch a few episode to see part of the development of the art form and story telling. It was created by one of the early stars of anime/manga, Osamu Tezuka, who also created Astro Boy among others. really, I think it has little to hold an adult’s attention, it is definitely a kid’s show. (Wonderfully, this is an English dub, the kid’s anime I’ve seen so far hasn’t been, which doesn’t make sense for the American market.) Another reason to watch, is the Kimba versus Simba. It’s fun to see how you will think about the similarities. I don’t know if one influenced the other, but as you watch, remember Kimba predates by decades.

Visually it has some of the characteristics we know and appreciate from the contemporary anime of today. It has the bright colors and big eyes with the enthusiastic lead character.  There is quite a bit that does make it dated, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are bad things. It is a representation of the times. The art style isn’t what we are used to now, but familiar at the time, even in America. The sound effects also come across as dated, as to what I mean, think “pow” and “boing” of the original Batman TV series.

Overall Personal Rating: B   As a viewer of modern anime, I wonder if Kimba can find much of an audience, but I hope everyone at least gives it a try for the sake of  it’s 50 year history.

 

 

New Arrivals 12.13.16

Accessories

Button: Hetalia – America Chibi

Button: Hetalia – England Portrait

Button: Hetalia – Germany

Button: Hetalia – Russia

Necklace: Haikyu!! – Hinata

Necklace: Haikyu!! – SD Koshi & Karasuno

Necklace: Haikyu!! – SD Tobio & Karasuno

Necklace: Haikyu!! – SD Yu & Karasuno

Necklace: Haikyu!! – Sugawara Dog Tag

Necklace: Haikyu!! – Tsukishima

Necklace: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Jotaro’s Hat Icon

Necklace: Persona 4 – Card

Necklace: PSYCHO-PASS – Public Safety Bureau

Necklace: Puella Magi Madoka Magica – Soul Gem Ring

Necklace: Sailor Moon S – Star Power Stick Jupiter

Necklace: Sailor Moon S – Star Power Stick Mercury

Necklace: Sailor Moon S – Star Power Stick Venus

Phone Charm: Fairy Tail – Erza

Phone Charm: FLCL (Fooly Cooly) – Canti Head

Phone Charm: Hetalia – England

Phone Charm: Hetalia – SD America

Phone Charm: Hetalia – SD England

Phone Charm: Hetalia – SD Russia

Phone Charm: Sgt. Frog – Keroro

Phone Charm: Sgt. Frog – Keroro Metal Strap

T-Shirt: Fairy Tail – Group Squares Blue (XXL)

T-Shirt: Fairy Tail – Happy Fly High (Junior XXL)

T-Shirt: Fairy Tail – Team Fairy Tail (M)

T-Shirt: Hetalia – Allied Powers Earth (Junior M)

T-Shirt: Hetalia – Crew New Version (L)

T-Shirt: Hetalia – England Red (S)

T-Shirt: Hetalia World Series – Crew Color (S)

T-Shirt: Sword Art Online – Kirito Corridor (M)

T-Shirt: Sword Art Online 2 – Kirito Gun Fight (Junior L)

Bag: Saint Seiya – Bronze Saints Messenger

Attack on Titan Vol. 3 (Manga)

Berserk Vol. 15 (Manga)

Berserk Vol. 16 (Manga)

Berserk

Dogs Vol. 6 (Manga)

Dogs Vol. 7 (Manga)

Dogs Vol. 8 (Manga)

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus Vol. 2 (Manga)

Monster Hunter: Flash Hunter Vol. 5 (Manga)

Monster Perfect Edition Vol. 2 (Manga)

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 1 (Manga)

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 2 (Manga)

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 3 (Manga)

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 4 (Manga)

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 5 (Manga)

Ultimo Vol. 12 (Manga)

Blanket: Fairy Tail – Natsu & Happy Throw

Blanket: Sword Art Online – Immortal Object Throw

Blanket: Sword Art Online 2 – Sinon Sublimation

Mug: Fairy Tail – Natsu & Happy

Mug: Hetalia: Axis Powers – Pet Buddies Tumbler

Playing Cards: Sword Art Online

Key Chain: Hetalia – Axis Italy, Japan, Germany

Key Chain: Hetalia – Metal Allied Powers

Key Chain: Inu Yasha – Kikyo

Inu Yasha: Kirara 9” Plush

Pencil Case: Fairy Tail – Guild Logo Tin

Fabric Poster: Berserk – Guts & Brand of Sacrifice

Fabric Poster: Black Butler – Sebastian & Ciel Knife Attack

Fabric Poster: Black Butler – Sebastian, Grell, Ash & Ciel

Fabric Poster: Fairy Tail – Erza Pose

Fabric Poster: Fairy Tail – Natsu Pose

Fabric Poster: Hetalia – Sky Background

GE775Fabric Poster: Hetalia World Series – Group Dog Pile

Models

#1 WING GUNDAM 1/100

#3 GUNDAM DEATHSCYTHE 1/100

#7 GUNDAM DEATHSCYTHE H 1/100

EW-02 Wing Gundam Zero Custom, Bandai HG-EW 1/100

EW-06 Gundam Sandrock Custom, Bandai HG-EW 1/100

Wing Gundam Proto Zero Ver EW, Bandai Master Grade

#15 Gundam Exia, Bandai Real Grade

#37 Denial Gundam “Gundam BFT”, Bandai HGBF

RX-77-2 GUNCANNON, Bandai Master Grade

Sazabi Ver. Ka, Bandai Master Grade

Transient Gundam Glacier “Gundam Build Fighters Honoo Try”, Bandai HGBF 1/144

MSN-06S Sinanju “Gundam UC”, Bandai RG 1/144

Gundam Barbatos Lupus “Gundam IBO”, Bandai HG

Gundam Barbatos Lupus “Gundam IBO”, Bandai IBO Full Mechanics 1/100

Angelic Layer on Blu-ray (Anime Review)

Title: Angelic Layer on Blu-ray

Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori

Studio: Bones

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Dec. 13, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 650 Minutes / 26 Episodes

Genre: Sci Fi, Comedy, Action, Adventure

Age Rating: TV 13

Overall Personal Grade: B

 

Synopsis:

From the moment twelve-year-old Misaki Suzuhara first arrives in Tokyo to live with her aunt, she finds herself swept away by the amazing world of Angelic Layer – a fast-paced high-tech game where dolls called “Angels” are controlled by the thoughts of their operator, or “Deus.”

Discovering that her new friends are as interested in Angelic Layer as she is, Misaki builds her own Angel, Hikaru, and begins competing in battles where will and determination count far more than size and strength.

The competitions are going to be fierce and, with the national championships looming on the horizon, you can bet that not everyone Misaki meets will be on her side. Can Misaki handle the pressure of non-stop competition while struggling to adapt to life in an unfamiliar city?

From the amazing minds and pens of Japan’s legendary all-female creative team, CLAMP, it’s the coming of age adventure that’s become an all-time anime classic – ANGELIC LAYER!

Commentary:

The Japanese have long had a fascination with creating a doll and then using them to battle, there are many of the highly overrated trading card games. Angelic Layer grew out of the hype of the times and by the early 2000 there was a gap missing for the younger female audience. That is where Angelic Layer fits in. The story is strong enough to have 2 seasons and smart enough not to push it too far.

I like the way we are introduced to all of the characters. I found it interesting and obvious enough not to loose me from the very beginning. With the added humor tossed in it becomes a very likable series. I may not be the target audience, but it still managed to take hold and make me want to keep coming back for more.

Overall Grade: B

Even though the series is a little dated and the animation was clearly made for TV it is obvious that there was some care taken to provide a quality series. I believe that almost any 10 year old girl will fall involve with this story and want to become another Misaki. The thought of being small but still powerful is a great draw for anyone who see’s themselves as somewhat of a n underdog.

I wish the writing would have been a little smarter, but with the age of the series it is strong enough to provide a clear path to follow. The animation is nothing to write home about and I am not too sure that Angelic Layer needed a Blu-ray edition. I do believe that it could use a re-release and this is clearly the right option at the right time.

Clamp is one of the most beloved writing team in the manga world and Angelic Layer is a solid story from them. If you need to find a series perfect for a younger audience the Angelic Layer is the one you want.

Gatchaman Crowds insight (anime review)

814131016393_anime-gatchaman-crowds-insight-primaryTitle: Gatchaman Crowds Insight on blu-ray

Director: Kenji Nakamura

Studio: Tatsunoko Production

Writer: Toshiya Ono

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Nov. 22nd, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Action, Adventure, Super Hero

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Synopsis:

Gatchaman Crowds insight contains episodes 1-13 of season two of Gatchaman Crowds.

You can’t keep a good Gatchaman down, especially when a new organization called VAPE (short for Violent Ape) starts hijacking CROWDS technology.

The ensuing wave of “Red CROWDS” incidents targeting high profile targets like the Prime Minister make it clear that the good team needs to start recruiting; fast. Fortunately, help arrives quickly, and with a rather… loud entrance. The alien Gelsadra’s ship crashes in a rice paddy in Nijima!

Besides being generally peaceful, Gelsadra has a unique power involving comic-book-like speech bubbles that display a person’s inner feelings, rather like an emoji.

There’s also the fireworks enthusiast, Tsubasa, whose life becomes the focus of millions of viewers when she’s chosen as the newest Gatchaman – on nationwide live television!

As if that wasn’t enough pressure for a teenage girl to handle, she’s also assigned Hajime as her mentor!

Will she survive? Will the world survive? Things are about to get really wild and crazy in GATCHAMAN CROWDS INSIGHT!

Commentary:

Are you looking for a series that is colorful, cheerful and rather bizarre then you need to look no further than Gatcham Crowds insight. From the very opening sequence it is easy to tell that this one will keep your attention.

The story is rather simple with plenty of oddities thrown in. It at times leaves you wondering why you are watching it and at other time thinking that this is simply great. I’m not real sure that the switch between great and weak does the series any help in fact this change is a true reflection of the writing and if the writing is not consistent then the series suffers.

Overall Grade: B

Even though the series has some obvious flaw in the writing I still found it to be a enjoyable series that provides enough odd insight to be more than just average. Gatchaman Crowds insight takes the new animation style of bright and bold to a new level and makes sure you eyes are glued to the screen. This outrageous animation added to a strange story of hers and aliens that goes from sugar sweet to somewhat weird makes for entertainment.

I’m not sure Gatchaman Crowds insight is for everyone, but if you are looking for something different then this one is for you. You do not need to see the first season of Gatcham Crowds because for once there is a brief explanation of the prior season to open this part of the series. Also, if you just want wierd here you go.