Archives for : Funimation Entertainment

Riddle Story of Devil (anime review)

704400088117_anime-Riddle-Story-of-Devil-DVDTitle: Riddle Story of Devil complete series +OVA

Director: Keizo Kusakawa

Studio: Diomedea

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: December 8th, 2015

Format: DVD / 325 Minutes / 12 Episodes + OVA

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Drama, Action, Yuri

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B


Based on the manga from Yun Kouga, creator of the beloved manga Loveless, Riddle Story of Devil sends twelve female assassins to a prestigious boarding school to compete against each other in a secret killing game. The winner will be granted anything her heart desires, but only one girl can come out on top.

The mission is simple: send fellow student Haru Ichinose to an early grave. The task should be easy for heartless assassin Tokaku Azuma – but everything changes when she finds herself strangely drawn to her naive target. Her decision to use her lethal skills to keep her new friend alive will raise the stakes of the game and push the girls closer together as the other beauties threaten to tear them apart.


Riddle Story of Devil makes two series in one week that hit me by surprise. I had very low expectations for this series and in the end I was surprised and entertained. Within the first few episodes I thought I was watching another unfortunate version of Battle Royal or Danganronpa. Just another anime trying to cash in on a story line that has been run to death. Once it worked its way into the plot and story Riddle Story of Devil managed to find its own voice and became something more than another knockoff anime.

I can’t say that I fell in love for any of the characters nor did I find their development anything special. The story was much more predictable that I expected but in the end I liked the fact that there wan’t some mind-blowing twist. The animation itself was a little flat and never made much of a difference in the overall impact of the series. One other item that left me wondering why it was even there was the OVA. I had begun to think we were out of the useless OVA period. I guess there was a need to give us one more episode that made no since what so ever.

Overall Grade: B

Riddle Story of Devil somehow managed to find its own space in a crowded field of battle high school anime. The odd thing was that there was a conscious effort to provide fan service without really putting it out there. This made all attempts to toss out gratuitous bath scenes almost inept and they just became another uneventful aspect to the series. The area that the series really wins is in the way it tells the story and how it becomes a story of redemption. One other aspect that I liked about the series was a story device that I first saw in Judei Chan: The Lovely Eye Patch. Now I am not going to be able to tell what this is because it would be a major spoiler, but anyone who has seen Judei Chan just might understand what I talking about.

Anyway, Riddle Story of Devil manages to win me over in the end even if I feel as though it is nothing more than a weak knockoff anime. I wonder how much longer we will have to live through this string of anime chasing the money?

There is one very curious part to all of this and that is the fact that this Funimation release is just a DVD. Not the Blu-ray / DVD combo  we have all come accustom to or the DVD Blu-ray being separate, but rather just a DVD release. I guess something must have happened in the manufacturing of the Blu-ray or maybe Funimation just wants to save some money.  Very odd indeed.

Dragonar Academy: The Complete Series (anime review)

Dragonar-Academyreview provided by Andrew and Katie

Title: Dragonar Academy: The Complete Series

Director: Shunsuke Tada and Tomoyuki Kurokawa

Studio: C-Station

Author: Noboru Kimura

U.S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U.S. Release Date: November 24, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray –DVD Combo Pac / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Fan Service, Harem, School Life, Ecchi

Industry Age Rating: 17 and up

Overall Personal Rating: D

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: The Familiar of Zero


Learning to ride and tame dragons comes easy to most students at Ansarivan Dragonar Academy.
Known by his fellow classmates as a “problem child”, hot tempered student Ash Blake is one of the only students who have yet to get his own dragon companion. Many of his fellow students also hate the fact he has a skill no one else has, the power to ride other’s dragons, any dragon. Poor Ash is the laughing stock at school because, despite his unfashionably large star-shaped brand that marks him as a future dragon master, he has nothing to show for it. His dragon has never appeared. However that day finally came, and Ash’s dragon awakes in full glory, but appears different than any dragon ever seen before—in the form of a beautiful girl! What’s worse, Ash soon discovers that this new dragon has attitude to spare, as she promptly informs him that she is the master, and he, the servant. Ash’s problems with dragon riding have only just begun.


Every once in a while an anime series comes along that looks like it’s going to be absolutely awesome. Then you watch it. Very few animes have disappointed more than Dragonar Academy. Two dimensional, excessively cliché characters, who do not know how to keep their clothes on, combined with lack of story and uninspired storytelling, and unfortunately, horribly excessive fan service (bordering on adult) combined to ruin a very promising premise. Anime is full of time honored clichés that never seem to disappear and Dragonar Academy is so packed full of them, it shows just how void this show is of any creativity or imagination. Giant bouncing breasts on all women characters, naked magic girls showing up from nowhere and mood swinging tsundere characters are ripe and abound in this series. It felt that it could not even do that right, not bringing anything original in, but more a copy/paste of many similar series that did equally as poorly.

There was hardly any plot in Dragonar Academy as it was abandoned, or completely sidetracked within the first three episodes. The premise behind it all was great but the execution was horrible. It seems as if they decided they could not fit everything from the source material into a twelve episode season, so they just did what they did. The characters were very boring and none seemed interesting in the least. None of them stood out from the others and made the series drag on.

I was also disappointed when I saw the dragons as I thought they would be more along the looks of a Chinese style dragon more instead of what was shown, which looks like a t-rex mated with a European style dragon and that was their kid. The dragons looked like a fantasy dragon with grossly exaggerated character designs. The dragons are also pushed into the background so that the fan service can take over the series. The rest of the art was okay but nothing special. The voice actors did a good job but I do not think anything could have made these characters interesting.


Dragonar Academy: The Complete Series includes episode commentary, commercials, promotional videos, clean opening and closing animations, U.S. trailer, and Funimation Entertainment trailers as special features. This series was released with both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: D

Dragonar Academy was a letdown across the board. It had so much potential but they instead went the fan service way. I would recommend watching The Familiar of Zero or any other series like that instead of watching Dragonar Academy.

Black Lagoon Complete Series + OVA Premium Edition Blu-ray (anime review)

Black-Lagoon-Premium-EditionTitle: Black Lagoon Complete Series + OVA Premium Edition Blu-ray

Director: Sunao Katabuchi

Studio: Madhouse

Music: Edison

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: November 17, 2015

Format: Blu-ray/ 29 Episodes / 600 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure, Crime Drama, Seinen

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: A


Take a twisted trip to the city of your nightmares in this hard-boiled shootout inspired by masters of action like John Woo and Quentin Tarantino!

Rokuro was an ordinary Japanese business man. A suit hired to entertain corporate high rollers and serve as a whipping boy for the big bosses with the real juice. A mission to deliver a mysterious disk to the deadly waters East of China seemed like his big break, but some things just weren’t meant to be. A ruthless gang of mercenaries fronted by a gunslinging femme fatale in scandalously short shorts kidnapped Rokuro and held him for ransom. When his company refused to pay, he became their property. To survive, he was forced to reinvent himself as Rock, the brains behind the beauty and brawn of Black Lagoon: the most cutthroat crew of mercs ever to hustle the mean streets of Roanpur. A nightmare of a metropolis where the bad guys are really bad – and your friends might be even worse.

Contains episodes 1-12 of Black Lagoon, episodes 1-12 of Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage, and episodes 1-5 of the OVA, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail.


Black Lagoon is an action packed seinen title often with dark and depressing undertones. Taking place in the fictional modern-day city of Roanapur, Thailand, the anime centers around the life of Rokuro “Rock” Okajima as he is attacked out at sea by some pirates and is taken hostage. After being with them when one thing after another goes wrong possibly due to Stockholm syndrome. If so, Rock never regrets it, although he continues to use words over fighting. The Lagoon Company, the pirate-mercenaries Rock works with, all are much more jaded and his unwillingness to fully embrace the ideals, or lack thereof, of the darkest of the underworld and pick up a gun causes tension, especially for Rebecca “Revy”, the company’s main fighter and one of the deadliest around.
Black Lagoon  is a great example of existentialism with a myriad of examples. None of the major characters are at all flat and most of the secondary characters like Mr. Chang all have twisted and distorted pasts. All of the ones revealed make Rock’s past look kind of mild in comparison. The best two examples of this are third (episodes 8-10) and fifth (episodes 13-15) mini-arcs.
The third arc has the Lagoon Company transporting Garcia Lovelace for the Columbian mafia. En route to their destination, they discover there is more to the situation they weren’t told. Garcia is convinced that he will be saved by his maid, Rosarita “Roberta” Cisneros, a unbeknownst former FARC guerilla trained in assassination known formerly known as “Hellhound”. After Garcia saw Roberta in battle, he did not know what to think. However, as the arc went on her devotion to saving him and seeing her like that and comparing it to the happy memories of his past reminded him that he really cared for her, not a maid, but as family member. The arc ends on a happy note with Belilika, a former Soviet military officer who now works for the Russian mafia out of Hotel Moscow, helping out Garcia, Roberta and the Lagoon Company for Roberta’s unexpected aid in helping the Russian mafia and a sense of owing the  Lagoon Company help for their past dealings.

 Roberta’s Blood Trail is a continuation of this arc with the Lagoon Company thrown back into the mix trying to save Roberta from her own madness and Rock begins to become much more of the chess master which is a little out of character for him.

In contrast, the fifth arc does not have such a happy ending. It is about two twins, Hänsel and Gretel, who have dissociative identity disorder in which they can both reverse the role of  Hänsel and Gretel, but in such a way that those personalities are distinct from each other in both voice and mannerism. The twins were taped by the Russian mafia for guro pedophilic films and later were forced to kill other children in order to escape this kind of treatment. There is evidence to suggest they were based on the twins from Stephen King’s The Shining. It’s not known what gender either are, although it is implied that they are both females. In the anime they are hired by Verrocchio because of their ability to be overlooked. However after killing one of Belilika’s men, they decide to dispose of them. Before that happens, the twins realize this and slaughter Verrocchino. However, Belilika, pissed at the death of her comrade, hunts the twins down. After splitting up, Gretel contracts the Lagoon Company to save her and befriends Rock, the only person other than her “brother” she felt comfortable with since she could remember, she is shot in the back from the contact they went to who was paid by Hotel Moscow.
These two arcs, along with the final arc (episodes 19-24), show that outside Rock, Belilika is possibly the most complex character. Unlike Rock, she does not put her feelings above business and getting the job done, but also seems to have a side who would still like to see things have a happy ending when it doesn’t cause her problems. In the case of the twins, the death of her comrade by some of the most torturous means imaginable was too much as she considered all of her military comrades as family. This is also why she probably goes out of her way to find a reason to help Garcia and Roberta and praises Garcia for the way he acts in the end.
Overall Grade: A
Black Lagoon works on many levels. On the surface it is just another action anime with some comedic elements to break up the often bloody and intense atmosphere and could easily be mistaken for that just seeing one episode. However, the series really deals with the human condition and what would make someone turn their back on a normal life and seek a life in the underworld of crime. For Revy, that answer is simple; she never had a good life to begin with; Revy’s past was seen to be the worst for much of the series having never had a good life living in a crime filled neighborhood where she had to kill just to live. However, the fifth arc showed that there is always someone worse off.  For Rock, his life was going just fine, but when confronted with the choice he wanted the life of freedom. In spite of his weak-willed personality, he really enjoys the intense moments to the point that their boss, Dutch, fears the consequences should he really be pushed that far; instead he prefers him to work as the accountant and negotiator.
The series constantly has Revy and Rock arguing about idealism in this world. For Rock he wants to hold on to it because of his past and for Revy she never had it because of her past. She is constantly berating him for putting his morales first and causing him, and by extension her and the Lagoon Company, trouble. In the final arc he is confronted by another who also berates him for living within the twilight ― not wanting to live a normal life in Japan, but not wanting to fully embrace the life of the underworld and crime.

More than that though the series plays upon the general themes seen in such epics Paradise Lost by John Milton. In this all of the characters start out with great dreams and ideals hoping to make the world better or even just their family happy. However, each one is tempted after some incident and falls from grace to the underworld of crime or the like. Unlike the poem though, it wasn’t some incarnation of evil itself that caused these people to fall; instead, it was the betrayal of other humans they knew personally or the general abandonment by the rest of humanity as trash. Even then, they still long for their ideals; however, their eyes are opened and they knew ideals will never come to pass. Sometimes, like with Roberta, they could find a new ideal to live for, but for others, like the twins, it was too late.
In the end the only thing I am disapointed about the series is that it did not explore Rock’s persoanlity enough. Outside the first arc, he wasn’t really pushed to the edge and his ability as a skilled negotiator capable of resolving disputes without the need for bloodshed was only hinted at. As mentioned before, Rock still is one of the more idealistic members in the series and it seems clear he has not reached the level where he comfortable with what he’s become (and not criticizing those around him) while still maintaining his ideals.

If you enjoy hard hitting series and have not been introduced to one of the more thoughtful existentialist series then you need to check it out. It is a great reminder that if violence is needed then the story needs to say something other than kill, kill, kill and hey don’t forget we are humans. Black Lagoon shows us how easy it would be to turn someone into a heartless killer and how we are not as wonderful a species as we might think.

Buddy Complex (anime review)

Buddy ComplexTitle: Buddy Complex: The Complete Series

Director: Yashiro Tanabe

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: November 11th, 2015

Format: DVD/ Blu-ray / 13 Episodes + 2 Specials / 375 Minutes

Genre: Mecha, Sci Fi, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+


It’s shaping up to be another boring day for high school student Aoba Watase until a bright light appears in the sky and a giant robot attacks the city. As the mechanical menace closes in on him, he’s saved by a classmate who’s piloting a mech of her own. After accepting a cryptic offer to join the alliance she’s a part of, Aoba is thrust into the future where a new world war threatens to tear the planet apart. With no other choice, Aoba must pick a side, learn to pilot a mech, and fight his way through an army of enemies as he tries to find a way back to the past he left behind.


Going into Buddy Complex I was a little concerned that it was going to be just another Gundam want-to-be. Well, to my surprise it managed to be much more. The series started off feeling rather familiar with the innocent high school boy suddenly becomes a hero mecha pilot. I know if there is a plot line it worn out it would be this one, but in this case it becomes a rather impelling story. The key is the writing and the ability to maintain the dramatic focus of the series. The other series I would compare it to is Aldnoah.Zero, but alas it doesn’t hold up to the same standards I found in that newer series. In this case I would blame that on the animation. I know that Sunrise is one of the top studios for mecha anime and I think in the case of Buddy Complex they rested on their old habits which hut more than helped.

Overall Grade: 

Buddy Complex offers a new look at an age old storyline and for all of the heavy history weighing down on it’s shoulders the outcome is positive. I am not sure why Funimation opted not to dub the series, but I am glad that they didn’t. I think that in this case the Japanese voice acting is so strong that I just don’t see any American voice acting doing justice to the series. On the other hand I think the lack of dubbing may end up missing a very important fan base. I just don’t see new younger fans taking the time to read as they watch. I know that there are still plenty out there, but they are looking for series like Danganronpa to quench their thirst.

There is something about the way the series ended that left me a little flat, but I guess that some things are always hard to Finnish off. It was easy to tell that a great deal of effort was put into the overall plot and development of the series and when trying to tie up some loose ends it can get a little messy. I don’t think it really matters much, Buddy Complex is very entertaining and delivers enough drama to keep you going and at the same time provides a story that is reminiscent of older Mecha series.

If Mecha is your game then Buddy Complex is for you.

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ Movie (anime review)

Dragonball-Z-Resurrection-FTitle: Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ Movie

Director: Tadayoshi Yamamuro

Studio: Toei Animation

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: October 20th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / DVD/ 95 minutes / Feature Film

Genre: Fantasy, Shonen, Action, Adventure, Supernatural

Age Rating: TV PG

Overal Personal Rating: C-



Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is the second Dragon Ball film personally supervised by the series creator Akira Toriyama, following Battle of Gods. The new movie showcases the return of Frieza – one of the anime world’s greatest villains. Frieza has been resurrected and plans to take his revenge on the Z-Fighters of Earth. Goku and Vegeta must reach new levels of power in order to protect Earth from their vengeful nemesis.


Sparkling Blue and Golden are sometimes not what you think they are, but in this case it is not surprise. Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ gives up a strange colorful greatest hits for this never-ending series. I think it is interesting that Akria Toriyama supervised this film because it has serious reminders of the endless battles that took place and that fact that there was a mindless movement from fight to fight.

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ brings back Frieza with the intent to make us all remember how great the series was back in the early seasons, but there is a problem with that. Frieza is most notably the weakest of all the enemy and also nowhere near as interesting as the others. I get the nostalgia, but why not extend the story rather than back track.

Overall Grade: C-

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ is one of those films that was great for proving that anime is not dead and that people can get sucked into almost any thing with the title Dragon Ball Z. I have to say that the most disappointing aspect of the movie was the heavy handed Computer Graphics. I would have thought that the production company (Toei Animation) would have been able to a better job of giving us a film with a clean slick style of anime rather than a hard edged inexpensive CG rendering of the iconic characters.

Anyway I doubt if there is anything I can say that is going to make a difference in the minds of those rabid DBZ fans out there, but I have a feeling that there are some fans that will see that they missed the mark with this one. It is also very disapointing to have it become one of the highest grossing anime theatrical release in the U S. I guess it says a lot about what makes it into theaters and how much money is spent on marketing. Well, if you are looking for almost 2 hours of Dragon Ball Z nostalgia then this one if for you.

Full Metal Panic? Fomuffu (anime review)

FMP-FumoffuTitle: Full Metal Panic? Fomuffu the complete series (anime classic)

Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto

Studio: Kyoto Animation

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: September 15th, 2015

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

Genre: Mecha, Comedy, Romance, Action, Adventure

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B


Sousuke’s locked, loaded, and ready to attack – which would be awesome if he was going into battle. But he’s just going to high school, and all the qualities that make him a good soldier make him an amazingly awkward classmate.

Poor Kaname knows that better than anyone, since Sousuke’s her undercover bodyguard. The guy’s supposed to protect Tessa too. But how “top secret” can he really be when he’s sneaking around in a teddy bear suit, blowing up lockers, striking out with every girl in sight, and taking a mech to the hot springs? Sure, Sousuke’s methods are a little intense, but high school’s tough. Collateral damage is to be expected, right?


There are classic series and then there are ethos special series that are a little more than just classic series. Full Metal Panic is one of those very special series that is more than just a classic. Of course I am huge fan and since I first saw the original series. Now  I can’t say that Fomuffu stands as high on the ranking as Full Metal Panic or Full Metal Panic Second Raid. The reason is because the series is much more silly and looses itself in side stories that are there just to be funny.

In FMP and FMP Second Raid the humor was blended in with the overarching story which made them special and help raise the popularity of the franchise. Now Fomuffu being what it exists because there was a move form the original studio (Gonzo) to Kyoto Animation (their first production) and a clear imperative to make this grouping of episodes more episodic and only related to the series by characters. This concept worked only by providing 12 very entertaining episodes that are strong enough to stand on their own, not because of its relationship to the original anime.

Overall Grade: B

Fomuffu is a pure comedy and provides plenty of laughs. There is also the familiar characters who bring a smile to my face any time I see them. Much of my grade is based on a sentimental fondness for the series, but I have a feeling that new eyes to the series will also see the humor that exists in these episodes.

The thing that I both like and dislike about Fomuffu is the stand alone aspect to the episodes. Now there are some that are 2 episode arcs but on a hole the series is much more about the story in easy episode rather than an overarching plot line. Normally I dislike this approach because it mimics a pattern developed in the west to make each episode stand on its own. That makes for little development and little substance when you are dealing with a 25 minute episode.

I do have to hand it Kyoto Animation for their first production and their ability to follow one of the superstars in the anime world at that time. They did a great job and I didn’t see Fomuffu and looking dated that way I see many other shows form that 2003 time period. The look is clean and easy to watch.

If you are looking for a comedy that does not require any long term development in the story then you need to check this out. Better yet, if you are looking for 12 episodes that will make you laugh then you really need to spend some time with Full Metal Panic? Fomuffu.


Space Dandy Season 2 (anime review)

Space-Dandy-Season-2Title: Space Dandy Season 2

Director: Shinichiro Watanabe, Shingo Natsume

Studio: Bones

Producer: Square Enix

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: September 22, 2015

Format: DVD / Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Comedy, Absurdity

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B


Space Dandy is a dandy guy in space! This dreamy adventurer with a to-die-for pompadour travels across the galaxy in search of aliens no one has ever laid eyes on. Each new species he discovers earns him a hefty reward, but this dandy has to be quick on his feet because it’s first come first served! Accompanied by his sidekicks, a rundown robot named QT and Meow the cat-looking space alien, Dandy bravely explores unknown worlds inhabited by a variety aliens. Join the best dressed alien hunter in all of space and time as he embarks on an adventure that ends at the edge of the universe!


Space Dandy Season 2 upholds the insanity that started off on the first half of the series and takes you to another level of both stupidity and confusion. To say the least I found myself enjoying this group of episodes much better than the first group. Even with the story taking on so many strange turns and nonsensical events that I finally was able to connect with several of the strange group of characters and almost wanted to see two of them finally find the love they were searching for.

In this second group of 13 episodes I did discover a side of Dandy that didn’t turn me off and also made it easier to watch. The absurdity that follows in almost every episode kept me scratching my head and made me want to kept watching. I also enjoyed all of homage and parody to Anime and the silly Sci Fi world we all live in. It remixed me of some of the humor from Stein’s Gate but never really gave any focus to how the story wove together. Space Dandy is one of the shows that you can get everything you need from one or two episodes and even after watching all 26 episodes you may still never figure out what it was all about.

Overall Grade: B

I have to say that the last 13 episodes felt much more put together and polished, and at the same time had very little focus. I had many laughs and enough confusion with what was going on to leave me wondering and interested enough to stick with the show. It is truly a strange series with plenty to make you smile.

The true strength of the series is the animation. I saw plenty of work that reminded me of Red Line and also a short anime clip in the live action film A Taste of Tea. The fast movement and colorful blend of color does several things for the series, It keeps the action fresh and also makes everything very lively. There are several episodes that employ a flatter more muted color pallet but the artistic aesthetic keeps the anime fresh and very easy to watch. Over the history of anime there have been many series that employ several different art styles and some of them like Samurai Champloo have managed to he very successful. I’m not sure that Space Dandy will command the iconic status of a classic anime, but only time will tell.


Selector Infected WIXOSS (anime review)

Selector-Infected-WixossTitle: Selector Infected WIXOSS

Director: Takuya Sato

Studio: J C Staff

U.S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: Sept. 22nd, 2015

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

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Psychological Thriller

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C


In the popular game WIXOSS, there are special cards called LRIGs that few players know about – cards that possess personalities and wills of their own. Ruko is a teenage girl who just found one of these rare cards. Now, she can use her LRIG to battle in a strange, dark plane of existence. If she wins, her wishes will be granted – but what happens if she loses?


The brief synopsis of Selector Infected WIXOSS tell you everything you need to know. Of course there are plenty of other girls that have these cards and of course they all have their own desires that that would like to realize. The trouble is that it is not very inventive and thus explains why the series only managed to push out 12 episodes.

The series itself goes from being somewhat interesting to just another series that is here to sell you a dark story that finds a hard time catching your imagination. Over the past few years there have been countless others that promise something new and end up providing just more of the same old archetype in a almost new skin.

Overall Grade: C

Not all of Selector Infected WIXOSS is boring, there are several characters that lend them selves to a positive light. They end up being the crust of the show. Some of the action is fun and involved, but I keep getting sucked back into the tiresome aspects of the show that drag me down.

I found Selector to be somewhat difficult to watch about midway through the first episode, but as it developed it became a little more interesting. The one thing it does provide is a world of strong female characters who eventually begin to understand themselves better and are able to hold their own.

If you are looking for another cute girl anime that is steeped in the dark fantasy world then Selector Infected WIXOSS is a series you need to check out.

Tokyo Ghoul season 1 (anime review)

Tokyo-Ghoul season oneTitle: Tokyo Ghoul season 1

Director: Yutaka Yamada

Creator: Sui Ishida

Studio: Pierrot

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

U. S. Release Date: Sept. 22nd, 2015

Format: Blu-ray & DVD / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Supernatural, Thriller, Dark Fantasy

Age Rating: TV 17+ (violence)

Overall Personal Rating: B


In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of Ghouls: mysterious creatures who look exactly like humans, yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary young man, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about Ghoul society, his new found powers, and the fine line between man and monster.


Tokyo Ghoul has already taken on a hype that hasn’t been seen since Deadman Wonderland first made its way to our shores. I use Deadman Wonderland as the prime example because the story feels a lot like it. It just has enough story line changes that very few people will see the similarity. There is also the over used young whinny male lead that we have seen over and over since Evangelion first aired. Ken is a nice young man given a terrible gift to remain alive and now must whine about not wanting to kill for the next 11 episodes and honestly I for one am getting very tired of this charter being forced upon us over and over again.

Tokyo Ghoul is much better than Deadman Wonderland and no where as confusing as Evangelion, but that doesn’t help it get over the punk factor. I get where they are coming from by making the humans nothing more than cattle to the ghouls. That concept is nothing new or different. The main draw to the series is most likely the graphic amount to blood that splatters the world they live in. The only reason they create the moral conundrum is to give the series a point.

Overall Grade:

My great hope for Tokyo Ghoul is that it makes it past the overwhelming anime history that it has decided to emulate. I am looking forward to the second season because the end of the first season gave me a peek at something that could in fact take the series to the next level. I just hope Ken looses that Kenji whinny persona because it makes me want to turn off the blu-ray player and never watch it again.

The production values are that standard fare from studio Pierrot and the writing manages to give us enough solid footing to keep the viewer moving to the next episode. The one thing that is for sure is that the U. S. audience is clearly a sucker for a bloody series that just might go absolutely nowhere. Maybe there will be a surprised or maybe just maybe it will fall apart and prove to be another series that never made it Japan and was sold to the U. S. Viewer as something really special.


Captain Earth Collection 2

Captain Earth Collection 2Title:

Director: Takuya Igarashi

Writer: Yoji Enokido

Studio: Bones

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

U. S. Release Date: August 11th, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 325 Minutes / 13 Episodes

Genre: Mecha, Sci Fi, Romance

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B


Things are looking grim for Earth’s defenders. Although Daichi and Teppai have managed to slow or stop most of the Planetary Gear’s direct attacks so far using their Impacters and Livlasters, there’s no denying that the numbers are slowly turning against them. Not only have their opponents managed to recruit a half dozen of the Designer Children, but now new cracks are forming in the Midsummer’s Knights’ own alliance.

During a brief break at the seaside, Hana’s confusion over her own nature and her relationship with Daichi comes to a head, leading to an unexpected revelation. But as stunned as Daichi might be, it’s nothing compared to the shock that Kube is about to receive at the hands of his own allies. Twists, betrayals, and amazing new powers are about to be unleashed, a new Livlaster joins the Knights, and Setsuna finally comes out of seclusion to let loose her own brand of mayhem as the war for Earth’s Orgone energy builds to the inevitable climax.


Captain Earth does something that is relatively common in the anime world and that is rely on a rather old narrative to follow through the second half of the series. After the first few episodes of collection 2 I realized that I was seeing a rehash of decades of battle anime unfold in front of my eyes. Now as a fan of the art form I realize that this looks cool and says a lot about the cultural aesthetic of the Japanese. I just wish I could see a new approach to how the protagonist and antagonist end their conflict.

Captain Earth also takes the love of ones environment and makes it a key feature in the outcome of the battle. For Captain Earth it was all too clear that the Kill-T-Gang was going to either sub-come to the natural beauty of the planet they wanted to devour or that they would perish by the hands of a weaker foe who just so happens to have a faith and love that will overcome all obstetrical. As much as this archetype is I don’t think it was the best modus operandi.

Overall Grade: B

Even with the tired plot devices I still enjoyed Captain Earth and feel like all Mecha fans will find something in it that they will like. For the non Mecha fandom I would think they will shy away from the series just because it is simply a Shonen Mecha.

I will say that the animation is top notch for a series that relies heavily on CG. Studio Bones did their standard quality production that allows the series to live or die based on the writing and voice actors.  So, simply put, if you are a fan of the Mech series then Captain Earth is for you.