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Kawai Complex Guide To Manors & Hostel Behavior: Complete Collection (anime review)

kawai-complex-guide-blu-rayTitle: Kawai Complex Guide To Manors & Hostel Behavior: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Shigeyuki Miya

Anime Writer: Takeshi Konuta

Original Creator: Ruri Miyahara

Studio: Brian’s Base

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Film Works, Section 23 Films

U. S. Release Date: December 6th, 2016

Format: DVD / 12 Episodes & OVA / 325 Minutes

Genre: Seinen, Romantic Comedy, Slice of Life

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

 

Synopsis:

Some say a home is where your heart is. Others say that a home is where you send people whose brains aren’t functioning quite properly. So, when Kazunari Usa’s parents send him to the Kawai Boarding House while they work abroad, it may take a while to figure out whether this is really his new home, let alone what kind of home it is.

On the one hand, his new roommate is a pervert and a masochist who peeps at girls’ schools, while his new landlady thinks leaving a variety of weapons lying around the girl’s area is a proper form of feminine protection. And when it comes to the trouble-making college girl and the perpetually grumpy working woman… well, let’s just say that those two have some serious issues to work out. On the other hand, Kawai is also home to Ritsu Kawai, who stole Usa’s heart from the first second he saw her on his first day at his new high school. And that alone may just make living in this strange new house worth it!

Commentary:

Kawai Complex Guide To Manors & Hostel Behavior is a simple straight forward coming of age high school romantic comedy. The comedy aspect is what is front and center with this silly story. The love story is between two rather shy kids who for their own reasons aren’t able to show their true feelings, but as the series progresses things are clear that they are headed to a similar place. The strength is based on the comic relief and the other main characters who give us the extraverted side of the tale. From the very beginning the humor is pushing some boundaries with several of the characters, but they hold the situation back just enough to keep things on a relative level playing field. It would have been very easy for the writers to go too far with the perversion that a couple of the characters clearly would like to exhibit.

The other strength happens to be the animation and much of the background and the use of highlights and polished surfaces. With in the first few minutes I was reminded of the work of Mikoto Shinkia. The work my not reach that high of a quality, but it clearly show how the rest of the anime world has watched and learned the power of reflection and highlights. I found the school hallways and classrooms to exhibit much of the slick styling and one you get to the Kawai Complex there is a great deal of time spent on the polished floor and the rich look it provides. There was even an obligatory  railroad crossing scene early one that cemented some of the reference to Shinkai.

Overall Grade: B+

Kawai Complex Guide To Manors & Hostel Behavior is a silly and light comedy that gives us all hope that two rather shy sweet kids can connect even in a world of absurdity swirling around them. Innocence still has its place in todays world and thanks to show like this it is honored and showcased. I would recommend this for the younger crowed but can’t because of the perverted humor that is found in every episode. It is a good story for those 13, 14 and 15 year old girls who want to watch a silly show about a shy bookworm and a sweet nice guy. But, I am sure that the majority of the fan base will be 20 something guys who like slick production and plenty of silly humor and cute gils.

I really did enjoy Kawai Complex Guide To Manors & Hostel Behavior even if it did come cross a little heavy handed form time to time. The animation is stellar for a 13 episode series and the writing kept pace and the story was able to survive under its own weight. So, if you are looking for something that will make you laugh and feel just a little better at the end of the then you should check out Kawai Complex Guide To Manors & Hostel Behavior.

Aoharu X Machinegun Complete Collection(anime review)

814131018090_anime-aoharu-x-machinegun-primaryTitle: Aoharu X Machinegun

Director: Hideaki Nakano

Studio: Brian’s Base

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: November 15th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray/13 Episodes/325 minutes

Genre: Action, Comedy

Age Rating: TV14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis: 

When Hotaru Tachibana storms into a host club to avenge the honor of a wronged female student, the last thing Hotaru expects is to duel the club’s most popular host with airsoft guns instead of fists.

When Masamune Matsuoka’s experience wins out over Tachibana’s brawn, he realizes that he can use his victory (and the large bill for damaging the club) to make Tachibana join his struggling Survival Gaming team. However, what ladies’ man Masamune totally misses is that his unwilling new guy… isn’t a guy at all!

Under the boy’s clothing and strong need to defend justice, Tachibana is all-girl, but, for a number of complicated reasons, she absolutely CAN’T expose that fact to Masamune or his teammate, the erotic manga artist Toru Yukimura.

Blood will boil both on and off the airsoft arena, but it’s not over until the last round is shot in AOHARU X MACHINEGUN!

Commentary:

After reading the synopsis of Aoharu X Machinegun I was sure that it was going to be a remake of Ouran Highschool Host Club but with Air Soft guns. It didn’t take long for me to get past that see Aoharu X Machinegun for what it real is. It is fun to watch and engage with. This odd series gives you almost every reason to walk away, but it also manages to grab and hold your interest all the way through all 13 episodes.

There was plenty of character development, but there was plenty of questions left open at the end. Now it is very possible that a second season might show up at some time I just have a feeling that it really is complete. The way the plot developed and the ending managed to pul a few things together it still had that all too common Japanese ending. The final few episodes reminded me of how culture plays a big role in what we see and how stories play out. In the west there would have been a huge battle that ended with the underdog triumphing over the big dog and making everyone feel good and wonderful. This is not the Japanese way, there is a feel good ending, but it is much more personal.

Overall Grade: B+

Aoharu X Machinegun is a fun series that leaves you wishing you had friends like that. Of course this is anime and the real world might have been much more cruel. I think the one thing that held me back on the series is the inability to open the story up for a deeper connection between the trio.

If you are looking for a series that is just fun to watch and takes an older plot device and gives you something you didn’t expect then Aoharu X Machingun is for you.

Rin-ne collection 2 (anime review)

814131013194_anime-rin-ne-2-blu-ray-primaryTitle: Rin-ne Collection 2 on Blu-ray

Director: Seiki Sugawara

Writer: Michiko Yokote

Studio: Brian’s Base

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: September 6th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray/ 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

Sakura Mamiya’s life was odd long before she started helping her fellow student and half-Shinigami Rinne Rokudo assist lost souls in reaching the land of the dead. However, as strange as the various spooks, specters and other other-worldly entities that Sakura has encountered on a daily basis may have been, nothing is as out and out bizarre as finding herself and Rinne involved in a complicated web of perceived romantic relationships that also include a former childhood friend and now frustrated exorcist, Tsubasa Jumonji, and the air-headed and extremely gullible Shinigami Ageha. After all, Sakura’s not really sure she’s even attracted to Rinne!

On the other hand, given the dangers inherent in foiling the efforts of the soul-stealing Damashigani, worrying about anyone’s love life is going to have to take second place to avoiding becoming part of the afterlife herself. It’s a second round of second thoughts and second chances in the second stunning collection of RIN-NE!

Commentary:

Rin-ne is one of the contemporary classic anime that follows the supernatural world with lots of slapstick comedy and silly comedic romance. With the love triangle between Rinne, Sakura and Tsubasa and of course the more than silly Ageha vying for Rinne the series jumps from situation to situation with much the same result. There are plenty of smiles in this rather silly series and when it comes to playing with the supernatural Rin-ne has a lot of fun.

Overall Grade: B+

With 50 episodes to date this set only gets us half way there. In the world of Shinigami Anime Rin-ne gives us purely comedic look much the same as some newer anime like Kokomo San. It doesn’t get as bogged down as Inu Yasha or Bleach and surely doesn’t have the darkness of Blue Exorcist.

Rin-ne is a fun series and if you are looking for something that has a light romantic tenge or rather silly high school look at a couple of boys after one girl then you should check out Rin-ne. Be sure to start with collection one if you do.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection on Blu-ray (anime review)

My-Teen-Romantic-Comedy-SNAFUreview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection

Director: Ai Yoshimura

Studio: Brian’s Base

Author: Shotaro Suga

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: September 1, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, School

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, WataMote: No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Unpopular, Haganai, and Haganai: NEXT

Synopsis:

Caution! Opposites may attract, but putting them together may result in chemical burns, electric shocks, and explosions. Enter Hachiman Hikigaya, a pessimistic high school student with no friends and absolutely no interest in making any, and the firm belief that everyone else’s cherished high school experiences are either delusions or outright lies. Hachiman finds himself forcibly coerced by his well-meaning student advisor into joining the one member Service Club. There he encounters club founder Yukino Yukinoshita, a smart, attractive, walking superiority complex who looks down on the entire student body.

These two negative personalities are quick to attract Yui Yuigahama, who’s cute, bright, cheerful, and needs the Service Club’s help to… bake cookies as she should not be allowed in a kitchen by herself. Is this a recipe for romance or the precursor for a nuclear meltdown? Will there be cookies or a reason for everyone to play hooky? Get ready for rom-com gone totally wrong as the three members of the Service Club is unleashed on the unsuspecting student body!

Commentary:

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection is the opposite of a rom-com but at the same time it is one as well it just depends on the episode. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection gives you a fresh and exciting spin on anime stereotypes that will leave you bawling in laughter. The storyline is mostly episodic and character-driven. The last few episodes flow together but the rest of the episodes do not need to be watched in order after the first episode.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection really gets its characters and empathizes with them, but it does not make excuses for them. The characters are wonderful and well thought-out. Hachiman Hikigaya, or Hiki, is your cynical and somewhat pessimistic lead male character and his dissections of everyday occurrences and his appreciation for the little things in life bring hilarity to the story. The way he thinks and acts changes drastically throughout the course of the show as he meets new people and learns more about how to be a friend. Yukino Yukinoshita is the incredibly cunning and calculative tsundere of the series. She and Hiki are in the same boat when referring to lack of friends because she lacks them due to her perceived perfection and elitist attitude; while Hiki lacks them for his mistrust of others and cynical behavior. It was amazing to watch them grow on each other in a way that is not very predictable, but extremely well done. Yiu Yiugahama is the air-headed and inexplicable nice member of the group and serves as the glue that sticks them together with her much needed comical outbreaks and genuine emotions.

The animators brought these characters to life and it was amazing to watch. The character designs were bright and the facial expressions added the realism to the series. The opening and closing songs were fun to listen to and were easy to sing-along with. The voice actors did a great job and helped bring the characters to life before your eyes.

Extras:

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The 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+

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: The Complete Collection has made it onto my list of favorite series and I found it quite enjoyable. It is a refreshing and interesting take on the rom-com genre. I hope that there is a second season released soon so the story can be wrapped up.

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection

Sengoku CollectionTitle: Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection

Director: Keiji Gotou

Studio: Brian’s Base

Author: Touko Machida

U.S. Distributor: Lucky Penny / Nozomi

U.S. Release Date: August 5, 2014

Format and Length: DVD / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Parody, Samurai

Industry Age Rating: 16 and up

Overall Personal Rating: C+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Battle Girls: Time Paradox

Synopsis:

Oda Nobunaga is a feisty Warring States era general who is locked in a massive struggle to dominate the land, however, that all changes when a strange light sucks friend and foe alike into our era. But how will the Warring States era generals and their servants adapt to a strange land full of technology? Some will do better than others and become Idols or models while others are determined to go back to their own era. Japan and Feudal Japan will never be the same again when the generals are done wreaking havoc and collecting the “Secret Treasures.”

Commentary:

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection once again brings us an all female cast for the Warring States era generals, but this time they are brought into the modern era. However, I wish that the story line would have meshed together a bit better. Each general had one or two episodes devoted to their adventures in the modern era. The only character that was in almost every episode was Nobunaga. I wish the other characters would have had some more screen time and more advancement of their character. Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection ended up feeling like a slice-of-life anime because the episodes are very loosely related to each other and they did not add much to the main story. The name of this series makes perfect sense after watching because it is basically a collection of all of the generals’ stories with no actual plot. You see hints of a story line in each episode, but for the most part there is none.

There were also some problems with the characters. Some of the characters are horribly written and have almost no relevance to their Feudal image that they should have either been left out of the story or shared an episode with another character. One of those characters would be Tsunehisa Amago, the general that came into our era as a four year old child. Her episode really threw me for a loop. However, some of the characters were well written and brought their episode to life. Some of those characters would include Masamune Date, Nobunaga Oda, and Ieyasu Tokugawa. I really enjoyed their episodes and their voice actors really brought their characters to life. Some of the episodes were awesome, most were okay, and a few were a chore to get through. There were also a large number of parodies in this series but most are Japanese-related media so the average viewer will probably not understand the references.

The art work quality seemed to change from episode to episode, however it did not take away any enjoyment from the series for me. I thought the opening and closing songs were catchy and cute. Every episode had different styles and artists for the music depending on the episode and parodies used in the episode. Be forewarned, there is a ton of fan-service in this series and I felt it took away from the episodes and was overdone.

Extras:

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and trailers as special features. This release only included Japanese with English subtitles as the language options.

Overall Grade: C+

Sengoku Collection DVD Complete Collection had so much potential but it was not executed well. This was still an okay series but at times it was tough to make it through an episode.