Archives for : anime in StL

D-Frag!: The Complete Series (anime review)

D-Frag!Title: D-Frag!: The Complete Series

Director: Seiki Sugawara

Written By: Tomoya Haruno (Original Story), Makoto Ueze (Anime)

Studio: Brain’s Base

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: April 28th, 2015

Format: DVD/Blu-ray/ 12 Episodes/ 300 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Harem, Seinen

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+


Kazama is a wannabe delinquent on a mission to rule the school, but a run-in with the cray cray cuties of the Game Creation Club derails his plan for power. Instead of conquering Fujou Academy with his fists, Kazama is plunged into a hilariously-twisted world where pain is the name of the game.

Ruled by the adorable underground boss Roka, the Game Creation Club is comprised of pretty psychopaths who enjoy snacking, setting things on fire, burying adversaries up to their necks, and tazing the ???? out of anyone who stands in their way! As Roka vies for ultimate control of the school club scene, Kazama scrambles to maintain his sanity and survive the whacked out games these girls play. There’s no escaping the Game Creation Club!


D-Frag! started off with a real dud for me. I was thinking how painful it will be to sit through 12 episodes of some rather base humor that looked to be going nowhere. It wasn’t funny, it was sad the way they introduced the characters and it felt like a bad derivative of some many other comedy anime that I just cringed. Although after the first few episodes I began to see the writing begin to come together and provide a few solid laughs and hit home on some rather quirky personalities that are always present in large group settings. Even if I do feel like they tended to go for the hyper caricature of a couple main personalities. Things did manage to come together and I thought the comedy is what saved the series.

Of course the plot was all over the place and tended to meander in the woods from time to time. I had a feeling that the writing was more concerned with the punchlines rather than have a plot that took us somewhere. I know that it is a honest genre option to stick with absurdity when it comes to following a plot line, but in the case of D-Frag! I don’t think it was intentional.

Overall Grade: B+

There is plenty to praise about D-Frag! and the animation itself was very nice. Brain’s Base proved why they are getting more and more work over the last 13 years. It is clear and clean with a color pallet to match the tone of the series. It would have been very easy to lean toward a fan service profile with the series but they didn’t. Of course there is the obligatory young lady who is well endowed, but it was the exception rather than the rule and because it wasn’t the focus to the story it help make some of the humor more viable.

D-Frag! gave me grave concern at the beginning thinking that it was another silly series that missed the boat when it could have been a very funny series, but instead it ended up making laugh out loud enough to praise it for the simplicity of where it takes us. I would have like to see the plot be a little bit tighter, but the laughs took me where I really needed to go.

If you are looking for a series that is all about the funny and doesn’t seem to need to turn to mean spirited pranks to make it funny, then I can say with certainty that you will enjoy D-Frag!

Space Brothers collection 1 (anime review)

Space Brothers collection 1Title: Space Brothers collection 1 on Blu-ray

Director: Ayumu Watanabe

Music By: Toshiyuki Watanabe

Studio: A-1 Pictures

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 24th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 13 episodes / 325 minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Slice of Life, Action, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Grade: A-


Mutta’s life has hit rock bottom. He’s been fired, blackballed from his profession, and even had to move back in with his parents. Meanwhile, the career of Mutta’s brother, Hibito, has taken off like a rocket as he trains for the job Mutta once dreamed of: becoming an astronaut. But is it ever too late to go after your dreams? Through a little coercing and a bit of covert activity, Mutta’s family and friends can get his resume on the right desk, but from that point on it’ll be up to Mutta himself.

Does he have what it takes to turn his life around and put his footprint on the moon? The first step on the highway to the stars is always the hardest, and in a job where crash and burn isn’t just a euphemism, it’ll be the biggest risk Mutta’s ever taken. But with the right support team, maybe he’ll find what he needs to rekindle the spark inside him and light the biggest candle of them all!


Space Brothers is a breath of fresh air in a room filled with sexual innuendoes. I have been loving this series for its simple straight forward story telling and the fact that it doesn’t need a bunch of young partially dress girls or boys to make it interesting. Space Brothers doesn’t pretend to ben anything other than a warn hearted story about two brothers who once dreamed the same dream but got separated and are now back on the path of realizing a special bond they experienced in their youth.

Of course, there are strange quirky things happening to keep it lively, but in its true essence it is all about he incredible optimism of youth and the though road that must be taken to follow those dreams. We may not know much about Hibito, but Mutta feels like he could be one of us. He has his odd quirks and his self doubt along with a relatively strong sense of self awareness that helps him stay on corse.

The writing of this series is what makes it special. The characters feel like normal humans with both fears and joy that go along with the big and little things that make up our daily lives. I think that if this series was about two brothers that wanted to be truck drivers it would still work based on the presentation of both the story line and the cast of characters.

Overall Grade: A-

There is a lot going on in this series even though it appears to follow a simplistic glide path. Knowing that it has a long way to go is a both frustrating because they manage to get the viewer involved and rooting for Mutta in a way that makes us want to know if he gets to his special goal. On the other hand that built in tension with the progression of the series makes it special to watch and it is even better if you space out the episodes.

Space Brothers is not a series that I would recommend binge watching. There are just too many episodes and the story needs to set in your mind so that you can discover the real pleaser that the series will provide.

I am finding Space Brothers to be a genuine pleasure and am looking forward to the next collection. I think that anyone who is close to a sibling and at one time dreamed about the future with them or even a best friend will find this series something to treasure.


Unbreakable Machine Doll (anime review)

Unbreakable Machine DollTitle: Unbreakable Machine Doll 

Director: Kinji Yoshimoto

Original Story: Kinji Yoshimoto

Anime Writer: Yuko Kakihara

Studio: Lerche

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: March 3rd, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / DVD/ 12 episodes and 6 OVAs / 390 minutes

Genre: Echii, Action, Fantasy, Romance, Harem, Moe

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: B


Raishin Akabane and his beautiful companion Yaya enroll at Walpurgis Royal Academy to study Machinart: a dangerous blend of magic and technology. Raishin is a puppeteer capable of using magic to power up Yaya, his automaton, for ruthless battles no mere human could survive.

In the wrong hands, Yaya is a deadly weapon, but the honorable Raishin, despite his mysterious quest for vengeance, takes no pleasure in killing for sport. Instead, he joins forces with a harem of gorgeous classmates to unmask those responsible for a rash of heinous human experimentation. If new enemies and terrible grades don’t spell doom for Raishin, he and Yaya might live long enough to conquer the school where magic meets machine!


Unbreakable Machine Doll followed a week worn path of magic users and the vessels that they use to wield their magic. At times I could feel the series channeling Harry Potter and at other times it felt more like Madoka Magica. None-the-less it still had the impact that I’m sure it was after.

From the very opening I knew this wasn’t going to be a simple magic users series, it was really going to be about the fan service and how often they can play off other sexual tension created between Raishin and the other women in his life. Not to mention his magical doll/weapon, Yaya.

Over the course of the 12 episodes I saw the plot develop and strengthen to appoint that made me some what sad that the series relied on sex appeal to draw in the viewers. There is enough story here without having Yaya take her cloths off and try to bed Raishin every other episode and to then present one character that for all of her innocence she still manages to make her breast more prominent than her sweet character. It almost pained me to watch the story unfold through the bouncing bounty that crosses the screen.

Overall Grade: B

For as much as I thought the breast parade got in the way there was still a plot line that was coherent and impelling. I really want to see Raishin grow in strength and come to the point where he faces his brother in battle and also manage to weed out the unethical magic users that wish to become god. I see Raishen and Yaya as something else that manages to elevate themselves above the shackles of lust and greed to help the other discover their own goodness. Unfortunately, this side of the story is not given the ability to grow and prosper and we are left with just another echii series that leaves us wanting for more.

Unbreakable Machine Doll not only has potential to be a fun series to watch and own, but it could have finally brought the two worlds together in a way that justified the silliness that goes on in each episode and the lack of completion that is yet to follow.

I sincerely hope that the funding is found to help complete this series and bring this potentially epic story to an end.


Along with the 12 episodes there are also 6 OVAs. Now it has been know that sometimes the OVAs manage to pick up where the series left off, but in this case they follow the other age old path of just being silly reasons to show off the characters boobs. I was really hoping for some closure, but alias not this time.

Fairy Tail Collection 3 (anime review)

Fairy Tail Collection 3

review provide by Luther

Title: Fairy Tail Collection 3 Blu-ray/DVD Combo

Director: Shinji Ishihara

Studio: A-1 Pictures and Satelight

U. S. Distributor: FUNimation

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 6th, 2015

Genre: Magical Adventure and Comedy

Format: DVD/Blu-ray Combo, 600 minutes, 24 episodes

Age Rating: 14+

Overall Personal Rating: A-


The last battle was over and Laxus was kicked out of the Fairy Tail Guild, but other members of the Thunder legion have stayed. Now Juvia has stayed as part of the guild, sporting a great new look. Master is still considering leaving, but everyone wants him to stay.
Lucy hadn’t won the Mis Fairy Tail pageant, so she is still looking for a way to pay her rent. When a reporter from Sorcerers’ Weekly comes to do a story, Lucy is hoping that fate is coming her way (in the form of money and romance) and it is time for her big break. The reporter is an enthusiastic fan boy, who is so excited that he continually spouts words like Cool! and Amazing! She does meet a new guy but when someone puts it in her head that she ought to be with Natsu, she begins to read that possibility into almost everything. She is getting embarrassed around him and her thoughts are going crazy.

Juvia is in love with Gray and gets a love potion from a not-so-great shop. It doesn’t go the way she expected and now all of the guys are getting all macho and challenging new rivals. The whole guild hall is in a tizzy.

Lucy’s father shows up. He’s broke and is now traveling to a merchant guild to join. She doesn’t really want anything to do with him, but when she hears that something bad has happened at that guild, she find herself stepping in to help.

The dark guilds have become more active. The light guilds need to stand together. A coalition of magical guilds forms an Allied Force to confront the Orashion Seisu, which is posing a serious threat. Fairy Tail sends Lucy, Natsu, Gray and Erza. They meet the other ally members, which includes The Blue Pegasus team of 3 very charming guys, and from another guild, a kid named Wendy who is a blue haired  girl with a companion, a flying cat named  Carla.

The Orashion Seisu is seeking to release the magic of Nirvana. Part of its destructive power is the ability to change someone who is wavering on the lines of good and evil away from their co nature. As the coalition allied force attempts to stop them, the Orashion Seisu is plowing through them. Erza is the most seriously hurt and is close to death. Wendy and Happy are kidnapped, it seems her type of magic can be the key to resurrect a wizard to unleash Nirvana. The allied force splits up in search of Wendy only to be confronted by minor dark guilds in big numbers.

Nirvana continues its march to destroy Wendy’s guild along with a dark secret. Team Natsu and the coalition – as well as an unexpected ally – go full-force against the top sorcerers of Oracion Seis to expel the ancient city’s evil curse before it becomes unstoppable!
Then, when Natsu goes on a mission to see a woman about a dragon, his trip becomes a trap that could force him to turn Magnolia into ash and rubble! Can his friends snuff the Salamander’s involuntary rampage without torching their friend?


Fairy Tail is an anime that can appeal to a wide audience and I am thankful that is dubbed because that keeps it available to everyone. It has a little of something to fill most wish lists. There is lots of creativity with this anime, seemingly endless on the various wizards characters and their different magic, as well as in the locations and story lines. Occasionally, I thought it was getting a bit formulaic in spots. For example, with the overwhelming foes that they end up beating, but wait, they aren’t quite down yet. There is plenty of dramatic or intense moments, that are woven together with slapstick and silly times. My favorite comedic moment is when Happy answers the question to why he is blue.

One area of strength for Fairy Tail is its cast. It continues to grow. There are plenty of cute characters to go around. I can see that after looking back, there is lots of character growth. They are all getting stronger and developing their skills. Even the relationships are building. Lucy seems to really star in many of the episodes and although she down plays her importance, she has grown the most. Natsu is stronger, but his impulsiveness is his weakness. Some of the characters, especially the villains have some odd characteristics or qualities that only seem to serve the purpose to be odd. Odd for the sake of odd was distracting, memorable yes, but not a plus for the series. One last note on characters, dead people aren’t always dead.

I really enjoy the art work and details. The color alway looks great  and well planned. The visuals match the creativity of the story, the endless ideas and the cool magic techniques are portrayed skillfully. The special effects are great. Since there are all these different types of magic and power, they keep producing new ways to show them. Take time to listen to the music, it does a great job at supporting the story and action.

Fairy Tail continues to deliver a great product. They keep upping their game and still maintain the quality of the story content and action. It is one of those anime that is fun to watch again.  It has definitely gotten to the point where you have to see what happens next.

It is very typical for Fairy Tail to load itself up with action. but this set is overflowing. I was truly assented with how fast this set moves. From the battles with the Oracion Seis to the potential destruction of Magnolia the episodes speed past and leave you breathing heavy at the end.

Well at least they are lots of fun. While watching these episodes I found myself thinking about other long running shonen series and how they always end up on the goofy lead character who manages to sustain themselves in pure righteous indignation and always take up the armor of love and friendship to help defend against the evils that would threaten their families. Several times I saw Naruto saying “Believe It” and then Ichigo going on about friendship but it wasn’t until at one point when the relationships slipped into the classic Naruto vs Sasuke love/hate thing that I almost turned it off. I stuck it out and was not disappointed. I’m sure everyone who watches will see what I am talking about when you reach that point. I guess the point I am trying to make is that even though the plot and structure of the story may be tried and true I guess that it is the way that these characters help bring it together that makes the difference.

Overall Personal Rating: A-

When it is all said and done the final question is if this is fun and entertaining? In the case of these 24 episodes I have to say yes, very much so. I think the only detractor that I have is that the creative staff and even Mashima and Sogo have made Lucy way too much of a wussy. I get that she still lacks a high degree of self-confidence, but she doesn’t need top be that weak. She has plenty of power and to be a full member of the team she needs to be stronger. Other than that I think that Fairy Tail Collection 3 is simply put, just fun.

Any time you can build a full blooded series on top of friendship and love it is almost impossible to miss as long as you are able to keep it moving. Fairy Tail has done that so far and I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the 175 episodes. Still 103 more to go.

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth (anime review)

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth Title: Fantastic Detective Labyrinth

Director: Hiroshi Watanabe

Studio: Studio Deen

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 6th, 2015

Format: DVD / 625 minutes / 25 Episodes

Genre: Drama, Supernatural

Age Rating:  TV 13+

Overall Personal Rating: B


Thirty years ago, Tokyo was destroyed in a massive earthquake. Most people have moved on to a new capital, Shinto, but a string of bizarre murders and supernatural events keep occurring in the ruins of the old city. The only one with the ability to see through to the heart of these mysteries is the enigmatic Mayuki Hyuga, a boy with extraordinary detective skills and powers that even he doesn’t yet understand. Together with his guardian and butler Seiran Shinano, Mayuki must not only help the police solve cases, but also uncover the secrets of his lineage.

Mayuki Hyuga has more than the unknown about his family history to contend with. There is a burden that his heritage will exact and at the same time may cost the lives of his friends and those closes to him. Will he be able to find the right path in time?


For whatever it is worth, Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is a odd but very entertaining series. From the very beginning it sets up a plot line that has nothing to do with the real story and ends up leaving things very confusing. On a whole this twist is not a detractor, but rather a tool that proves to be a real positive for the show.

Of course the story really revolves around family and friendship which is a nice touch and it gives us something to root for. The characters are interesting even if they are a little stiff from time to time. With this being a series aimed at a younger audience it is easy to see why the characters are developed in this rather stoic manner even if it does end up letting the series down. There is always the opportunity to interject yourself into the group and feel apart of the story.

The writing does manage to weave a story that maintains itself through all 25 episodes although it does struggle at times to keep things lively. The animation is really stiff and by far the weakest aspects to the series. i felt like the animators were too interested in the dolls because they were the most interesting in their artistic development. The others lacked a vibrance that would have helped the flat writing and possibly elevated the series to a higher rating.

Overall Grade: B

If you are looking for a exciting series that really shows off some serious abilities you may not want to take on Fantastic Detective Labyrinth. If you are looking for a series that keeps you guessing for most of the episodes them Fantastic Detective Labyrinth will hit the spot. The real strength to the series is that it should appeal to a younger audience that need some excitement and also can feel like it is close to their own world. I think that the stylistic approach to the dolls is something that a younger male would really enjoy and of course the friendship and family bonds will appeal to the younger female viewers. The mystery will cross a lll lines and even appeal to a older age group such as myself.

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth is a solid series that presents itself as a entertaining show that keeps you interested and guessing almost all the way to the end.

Live-Action Attack on Titan Cast Revealed

aot-live-action-300x194news provided by Tokyopop

Life-sized Titan statues in Tokyo, an Avengers crossover, and now a reveal of the live-action cast in costume – let’s just say it’s been big month for Attack on Titan!

Before you judge the casting choices, live-action Attack on Titan producer Yoshihiro Sato explained that the production team didn’t concern themselves at all with whether or not the actors looked like their manga counterparts. Instead, after several talks with series creator Hajime Isayama, Sato “carried out casting on the basis of whether or not the actors could embody the spirit of Isayama’s originals.”

Still, fans shouldn’t have too much trouble telling who is supposed to be Eren or Mikasa, played by Haruma Miura and Kiko Mizuhara, respectively. Armin might be a little harder to recognize, but at least he has his signature bowl cut.


Other characters revealed are Jean, Hans, and Sasha. In addition to these six familiar heroes, seven new characters have also been announced. Isayama himself was involved with creating the new characters and constructing the film’s story alongside director Shinji Higuchi, which is described as a hybrid of existing ideas and new elements.

As with any adaptation, a few tweaks are expected to make the story fit its new format, and also to make things more accessible for viewers who aren’t already long-time fans of the franchise. One key difference: not all of the Survey Corps are making the series’ iconic twin swords their weapon of choice. Since everyone wears a nearly identical outfit, there’s a chance of first-time viewers getting confused as to who’s who, so the production team decided to make characters stand out by giving them all unique armaments, such as rocket launchers and battle axes.

Another key difference with the anime and manga: fan favorite Levi is nowhere to be found! Levi’s spot in the lineup seems to have instead been claimed by newcomer Shikishima, billed as humanity’s strongest warrior and played by Hiroki Hasegawa.

We’re not sure why Levi was left out of the live-action film, but we are excited to see the film anyway. What do you think of the casting choices?