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Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection (anime review)

Review provided by Andrew and Katieblade-dance-of-the-elementalers

Title: Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection

Director: Tetsuya Yanagisaw

Studio: TNK

Author: Takao Yoshioka

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: February 2, 2016

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

Genre: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Harem, Romance, School, Supernatural

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: C

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: The Familiar of Zero and IS: Infinite Stratos

Synopsis:

In order to enroll at the Areisha Spirit Academy, where young priestesses learn how to form contracts with Spirits, the ideal prospective student must be pure, chaste, and of a superior lineage. They must also be female as only one man has ever made a Spirit contract and He was the Demon King.
The entire Academy is thrown into chaos and confusion when Kamito Kazehaya arrives at the Headmistress’ request because not only is he very obviously a guy, but he also managed to form a Spirit contract in the short time it took him to walk through the woods surrounding the Academy.
And what other secrets might the new enrollee have hidden? The unexpected intrusion of something male is certain to work the female student body into a tizzy as the answers are revealed in Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection.

Commentary:

Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection is your basic magical harem anime series. There is nothing original about the series and that saddened me. Basically, the plot is full of holes and does not explain much of anything. A great example is how Kamito Kazehaya won a Blade Dance three years prior to the setting of the series, but no one knows that as he was in a robot suit. It seems as if they decided to use the first eleven episodes as filler and the actual series began in the final episode. The battles reminded me of Pokémon battles due to the use of “spirit animals” and the battles lasted far too long for my taste. There was also an over-use of fan-service and there was one scene that bordered on hentai so I personally believe that the age rating should have been higher.

Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection included every character archetype, but mostly focused on tsundere, that harem animes use but there was hardly any development done to the characters. Kamito Kazehaya is the only male spirit contractor in the series so naturally the rest of the characters are wary of him. He has a good nature personality but also teases the other characters. Kamito is a competent fighter and uses his head more than his emotions in his fights. Claire Rougeis one of the tsundere’s in the series; however she is heavy on the tsun and light on the dere. Her contracted spirit is a flame cat named Scarlett. Rinslet Laurenfrost is also a tsundere but instead of tsundere to Kamito she is mostly tsundere to Claire, her childhood friend. Her contracted spirit is an ice wolf named Fenrir. Ellis Fahrengart is another tsundere, but she uses the tsundere to protect her school as a Knight. Her contracted spirit is an eagle named Simorgh. Those are the characters that stood out the most to me. There are others including Fianna Ray Ordesia and Est.

The characters were well drawn but the background animation seemed to get lost. The music was standard for this genre and did not stand out in any way. The voice actors did a good job but some left something to be desired.
Extras:
Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection includes Japanese Promos, Blade Dance Special Mini OVA’s, 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: C
While I was somewhat let down by Blade Dance of the Elementalers: Complete Collection I believe that someone who loves the harem genre will enjoy it.

Dai Shogun Great Revolution (anime review)

dai-shogunTitle: Dai Shogun Great Revolution; Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Takashi Watanabe

Writer: Dai Sato

Studio: J.C. Staff, A.C.G.T.

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: January 1st, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Harem, Pseudo Historical, Action, Ecchi

Age Rating: TV MA

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

In a world where history took a different path, Japan has been isolated from the outside world by steam-powered robots that repel all invaders. Inside Japan, however, the people are divided into feuding and fighting feudal factions. Feisty Keiichiro Tokugawa dreams of changing this and unifying Japan, and he just may be the one man who can use the legendary giant robot Susanoo.

Unfortunately, just touching a woman makes him break out in hives, and the Susanoo ALSO requires a female copilot. In VERY close quarters. And just to twist the katana, while there seem to be plenty of women who might covet the copilot’s seat, not all of them have his best interests at heart! Who can he trust? Kiriko the Ninja? Chiharu the fox-demon? Or will Keiichiro’s rash ambitions be thwarted by rashes and a totally rational phobia of the female form? It’s a giant robot show like no other as the birds, the bees, and the giant robots take flight in Dai Shogun!

Commentary:

Dai Shogun is a series that, simply put, fun to watch. Of course it gets a little lost in the fan service and sexually provocative situations. This is more of a typical harem anime than I expected it to be and it does give us someone to root for other than the bouncing breasts everywhere you look. The story sets itself up for plenty of jokes and some of them are funny but most are rather contrived. Where the series succeeded was in the dramatic aspects and the central love story. Take the dense young man with something to prove and the beautiful, talented, shy woman who falls for his simple boyish charm and make them both virgins who must work together to save Japan. Well, add in plenty of other large breasted women and center the story at a bath house and it equals lots of peekaboo.

Once the series settles in and gets serious about the plot, things get entertaining and much of the sexual tension takes the back seat. This change in posture works, and makes most of the rest of the series worth watching. The writing was strong enough to carry much of the series, but the animation was a let down. It almost as if the series was given a cut rate budget and rather than push the limits, they cut every corner they could. The simple static figures with a moving background left me cold. I would have loved to see someone like Gonzo or even Sunrise animate this series rather than the sloppy work that was done by J. C. Staff.

Overall Grade: B

Now, Dai Shogun isn’t for everyone, but for adults it is a series that I think both men and women can enjoy. It has all the great trappings that a solid Harem anime needs and some of the perversion that a light ecchi anime would have. There is plenty of action and a solid moral backbone to the series that does make a difference.

I would have liked to see more background development on a few of the characters, but I understand that not every anime can tell all of the story. The ending is left open in the event some money should come their way, but I fear that some of the failure in the series will leave it destine to be a one shot series.

Anyway, if you want a decent love story that has a lot of action and plenty of well built women in it then Dai Shogun Great Revolution is something you need to check out.

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

Synopsis:

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.

Commentary:

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.

Extras:

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.

If Her Flag Breaks (anime review)

If Her-Flag-Breaks Premium EditionTitle: If Her Flag Breaks: Premium Edition

Directed by: Ayumu Watanabe

Written by: Takashi Aoshima (anime), Toka Takei (original story)

Studio: Hoods Entertainment

U. S. Distributor: NIS America

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

Genre: Harem, Romance, Comedy

Age Rating: T 13+

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

Souta Hatate is a new student at Hatagaya School. His cold and impersonal manner draws the attention of Nanami Knight Bladefield, a princess of a European nation, and she confronts him about it. He reveals that he is the only survivor of the sinking of the cruise ship Premium Ambriel. On that tragic day he received a special power from a mysterious stranger: the power to see people’s fates in the form of flags sprouting from their heads.

Some flags are simple things like “friendship” flags, but others are more ominous, like “death” flags. Over the next few days, more and more classmates and friends are drawn to him and live with him at the Quest Dorm, and Sota must occasionally use his powers to alter their fates. He and his new friends and dormmates get up to all kinds of fun adventures. However, he eventually discovers that there is more to his power, and the world itself, than he realized.

Commentary:

If Her Flag Breaks falls into the classic Harem / Comedy genre and it follows all of the defined formulas that you would expect to find, even in a story that one of the strangest plot lines I have come across in some time. Why are there flags piping up out of their heads, why not an aura or even a cloud? Once I got past the basic concept I was able to get into Sota’s collection of all these girls. I did find it rather odd that he was able to say just the right thing to get them to fall in love with him. He is a typical sad sack who feels like he shouldn’t be around others because of his strange ability was magically given to him. Well, like I said, the plot line is a stretch and is the one major issue I have with the series.

The writing is solid enough and they do spend enough time developing the characters with a steady pace that keeps you coming back for more and of course I can’t think of a red blooded boy who wouldn’t trade anything for the life Souta and living situation. Still, it leave much to be believed. I found the concept behind most Harem series hard to believe but of course that is not the point. The one thing that I did appreciate was the lack of blatant fan service. It is refreshing to have a Harem series that is more interested in the story than panty shots.

Overall Grade: B

If Her Flag Breaks is a bit of a surprise for me as a NIS America title. I didn’t find it as endearing as some of their other releases like Anohana, Eccentric Family or even Arakawa Under the Bridge. Never-the-less If Her Flag Breaks is a fun Harem / Comedy that keeps you wondering what is really going on and also wondering if Sota will pick just one of them to love and will he break the others hearts in the end.

If you are a true Harem fan then you will find If Her Flag Breaks a refreshing change of pace and a story the defies explanation. The premium edition is slick and the book lives up to the standard for NIS products. I think that If Her Flag Breaks should be a real hit with the target market and I am looking forward to see the OVA if it makes to our shores.

Invaders of the Rokujyõma!? (anime review)

invaders-of-rokujyomaTitle: Invaders of the Rokujyõma!?: Complete Collection

Director: Shin Õnuma

Music by: Zero-A

Studio: Silver Link

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Released Date: Nov. 17th, 2015

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

Genre: Fantasy, Moe, Seinen, Harem

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C

Synopsis: 

When Kotaro Satomi discovers an apartment for the ridiculously low rent of 5000 yen a month, he knows there must be a catch. But it’s not until AFTER he’s moved in that he finds out that he’s not the only one laying claim to Room 106 at Corona House, starting with teenage girl ghost, Sanae, who’s currently haunting it!

Still not enough to break the lease? Let’s add in a Magical Girl, Yurika, who wants to take control of the room in order to block its powers from evildoers, a luscious Subterranean bombshell, Kiriha, who needs the room to launch an invasion of our world, and a fiery space princess, Theiamillis, who… well, you get the idea. Can a lone high school student on a limited budget withstand the combined forces of the supernatural, metaphysical, subterranean, and alien worlds? Especially when they’re all also incredibly adorable?

Commentary:

Kawaii, oh so very Kawaii. Invaders of the Rokujyõma!? is so very Kawaii, but that is where the fun stops. IN the world of harem anime I would have to place this series in the lower half. In many ways it was a homage to the genre and offered plenty of parody to many of the great harems, unfortunately it missed the mark. I think the problem was that it tried to hard  and came off a little bland with the plot and the story devices that drove the series as a hole.

Overall Grade: C

Invaders of the Rokujyõma!? lacks the punch that would make it stand out. The characters are easy to like and at times less aggressive than they should be. They are almost shadows of what they should be. I can’t say that any one of them stood out and all together they gave enough charisma to make the series enjoyable but not great.

Simply put is you are hooked on harem anime and need a fix then Invaders of the Rokujyõma!? is the show for you. You will get plenty of the 4 to 5 way love triangle mess you can handle. There is also a full spectrum of anime girls involved to make you question which type of anime girl is the best.

Invaders of the Rokujyõma!? an easy watch with several funny situations. If it was better written and the characters more compelling it would have rated much higher.  I would have loved to be Kotaro Satomi, he had it better than he thought.

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season (anime review)

Hayate-Combat-Butler-2review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season

Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Studio: J.C. Staff

Author: Kenjiro Hata

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: October 20, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Harem, School Life, Parody

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Hayate the Combat Butler Season 1 and Hayate the Combat Butler Season 3: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Synopsis:

Ever since he first met Nagi Sanzenin, Hayate Ayasaki’s life has become increasingly more crazed and chaotic. Which is a bit of a problem, since, as the eccentric heiress’ butler/personal bodyguard, he’s theoretically supposed to be a stabilizing and protective influence. Unfortunately, Nagi and her friends attract trouble the way dropped lollipops attract dirt, and if Hayate has to take a couple of nasty licks along the way, that’s just part of the job.

The real sucker punch, though, is that Nagi’s increasing attraction to Hayate himself is getting precariously close to transforming their professional relationship into something far less professional and much more like a relationship. Is Hayate up for the emotional perils of a round of “upstairs, downstairs”? Or will the purely physical dangers of life on Her Majesty’s Domestic Service do him in first?

Commentary:

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season begins with Hayate still working as the Sanzenin Butler, and Season 2 features a lot more Hinagiku, as scenarios that include herself and Hayate allude to potentially mutual feelings between them. Nagi is also interested in escalating her relationship with Hayate, since Nagi’s perception of her relationship with Hayate remains based on the miscommunication that occurred on their first meeting. That is basically Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season in a nutshell. Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season completely ignores the filler material from the first season and picks up from about episode 25 and continues from there. With most of the filler material gone and forgotten from season one, the parody moments have dropped significantly.

Thankfully, with Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season we receive the character development that was missing in season one. However, Hinagiku takes up most of the screen time and some of the other characters lose out on their screen time and the other members of the Sanzenin household, Klaus, Tama, and to an extent Maria, take the back seat for a big chunk of the series. However, I feel that the “Hayate owes 150 million yen” arc was basically forgotten. It was brought up once or twice but it was basically abandoned and replaced with the Harem arc.

The art was bright and beautiful but different than the first season. The characters were well drawn and the background animation was pretty. The music was fresh and upbeat and the voice actors brought the characters to life before your eyes. The “Narrator” was drastically downplayed in this season. All in all, Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season was an enjoyable series to watch and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys this type of series.
Extras:

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season 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-

I feel that Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season is much more enjoyable than the first season because of the amazing interaction between characters. Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season has high quality humor and fantastic and likeable characters but most importantly it is just fun to watch.

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: The Complete Collection (anime review)

Sasami-san-Ganbaranaireview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: The Complete Collection

Director: Akiyuki Shinbou

Studio: Shaft

Author: Katsuhiko Takayama

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: October 6, 2015

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

Genre: Action, Comedy, Harem, School Life, Supernatural, Romance

Industry Age Rating: 17 and up

Overall Personal Rating: C+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Bakemonogatari, and FLCL

Synopsis:

Sasami Tsukuyomi is a hikikomori, someone who’s become so withdrawn socially that they refuse to leave home for weeks and even months at a time. Fortunately for Sasami, her brother Kamiomi teaches at the high school Sasami should be attending; and with her “Brother Surveillance Tool,” which lets her view the outside world via her computer, she’s trying to adjust to interfacing with people again.

However, her computer mainly allows her to spy on her brother’s interactions with the Yagami sisters, who seem to have had their ages reversed and have various types if interest in Kamiomi. And then things start to get really weird… Magical powers? Everything turning into chocolate? Is life via the web warping Sasami’s brain, or is it the universe that’s going crazy? Sasami may have to take off her pajamas and go out into the “real” world to set things straight!

Commentary:

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: The Complete Collection is a very strange series but what a fun ride. When I started watching Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: The Complete Collection I could not tell what it was at first. It goes from goofy, to just plain strange, to ridiculous and bizarre. It eventually becomes a character piece instead of the whimsical fun that I thought it would be.

Character pieces need amazing characters and Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: The Complete Collection has some, but it takes a lot of work to bring them out. Sasami is a difficult character to figure out since she seems so weird and detached at the beginning. However, she is actually a strong and willful girl who grows as she comes to make new friends while being just strange enough to make the comedy work. On the other hand, her brother is not as critical to the show as he seems to be in the beginning. There is always something covering up his face and that adds some interest to his character. I believe he is mainly around to creep on Sasami and get smacked around by the characters. Aside from Sasami, the three Yagami sisters add much of the humor. They include a young girl with an adult body (Tama), an adult with a young girl’s body (Tsurugi), and a robot girl (Kagami). Tama is ridiculous to say the least but she still is a sweet, innocent child and is also a strong willed presence. Tsurugi is cool and competent while still being silly enough and works in the mentor/guardian role. Kagami always wants to take a nap and is pretty funny. Her fight sequences are amazing and fun to watch.

Shaft’s knack for great visuals keeps the series looking strong as the anime looks distinctive and often beautiful. The characters are attractive and the action was fluid. The voice actors did a good job and the music was fittingly quirky. The opening theme is energetic and kind of catchy. The ending theme sequences are kind of fun and the song was cute as well.

Extras:

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: 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: C+

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai: The Complete Collection was interesting to say the least and I am hoping for a second season so everything gets wrapped up. We shall see.

Please Twins! The Complete Series (anime review)

Please-Twinsreview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Please Twins! The Complete Series

Director: Yasunori Ide

Studio: Bandai Visual, Studio Orphee

Author: Yousuke Kuroda

U.S. Distributor: Nozomi Entertainment

U.S. Release Date: August 4, 2015

Format and Length: DVD / 12 Episodes + 1 OVA / 325 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Drama, School, Sci-Fi, Harem

Industry Age Rating: 16 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Please Teacher!

Synopsis:

Maiku Kamishiro grew up in an orphanage with no history of his family or of his past. Left with only a childhood picture of himself and another person in front of a house, he believes that the other person in the picture is his long lost twin sister. Upon discovering his old home, two young girls, both carrying the same picture as Maiku, show up on his doorstep one day both claiming to be his long lost sister. Maiku’s life is about to be turned upside down and with two pretty girls living under the same roof as him, how will Maiku be able to keep his mind on school and work while trying to figure out which one of these girls is his sister and which one is the love of his life?

Commentary:

Please Twins!: The Complete Series takes place in the same place as Please Teacher and some of the characters are in both series. Please Twins picks up after the UFO TV special in Please Teacher, however we do not see that part as when the series actually begins Maiku is already living in the house from the picture. Somehow he was able to talk the orphanage into letting him live on his own for high school as long as he keeps a good job. I do not believe that he thought that through very well. The story line flows well throughout the episodes and the comedy is always spot on.

The characters are your basic love triangle/rom-com characters. They do not have much in the way of character development but the personalities make up for that. Maiku Kamishiro is the lead male character who is quiet and standoff-ish. All the girls in school are in love with him and think he is the shy and quiet type. However, he is more interested in working and being able to live on his own. Minna Miyafuji is a very outgoing and energetic girl and she is not shy about anything. Karen Onodera, on the other hand, is a shy and polite girl. She seems very delicate and if she gets overwhelmed she will say “nyu” and faint. She has far too much cute packed into her character. Ichigo Morino also makes her appearance known with her evil laughter. She brings some much needed life to the plot and adds some dark humor in places.

The OVA episode is a lot like the OVA for Please Teacher because all of the over-the-top fan-service is packed into one episode along with some possible incest between two minor characters. The rest of the episodes have some fan-service but most of it is in the OVA and it detracts from the story. The animation is colorful and bright and the characters are drawn well. The small town Japanese backgrounds were beautiful and well done. The music was enjoyable and I loved singing along with it.

Extras:

Please Twins!: The Complete Series includes clean opening and closing animations, image vocals, promotional clip, Japanese commercials, and Nozomi Entertainment trailers as special features. This series was released with both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: B

I really enjoyed watching Please Twins!: The Complete Series and you do not need to watch Please Teacher first but I recommend you do as the characters that cross-over have their development in it.

The Comic Artist and His Assistants: The Complete Collection (anime review)

The-Comic-Artist-and-His-Assistantsreview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: The Comic Artist and His Assistants: The Complete Collection

Director: Takeshi Furuta

Studio: Showgate

Author: Aki Itami

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: September 15, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes + 6 OVA’s / 205 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Slice of Life

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: C

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Kill Me Baby!

The term NSFW was invented to describe this guy.

Synopsis:

Perversion, lechery, and a lack of respect for the feelings of others are all qualities that would normally look really bad on a resume, however for Yuki Aito they are the fundamentals of his art. His art is good enough that managing editor Mihari Otosuna will put up with a lot, including panicked panty runs, barrages of breast jokes, and other even lower-brow forms of self-amusement that Yuki wallows in.

However, when the continuing carnal crudity causes Yuki to fall behind schedule, Mihari is forced to bring in a team of assistants for him. But those assistants are of the young and attractive female type so that schedule will be going right out the window. Will Yuki’s assistants be able to fight him off and keep him on schedule? You will have to watch The Comic Artist and His Assistants: The Complete Collection and see.
Commentary:

The Comic Artist and His Assistants: The Complete Collection is set up in a very interesting way as each of the twelve episodes are less than fourteen minutes long and the OVA episodes are less than eight minutes long. Each episode consists of three to four mini-stories that revolve around one of the assistants and their day with Yuki. There is a large amount of fan-service in each episode and Yuki also cross-dresses in a couple of episodes.

The assistants really made the show enjoyable. Sahoto Ashisu has a high tolerance for Yuki and is his main assistant. This means she takes the brunt of Yuki’s perverted actions. She aspires to be a manga artist herself and when she is not working for Yuki she attends art classes. Mihari Otosuna is Yuki’s editor and is also the tsundere of the series. She is very focused on her work as an editor and is also tolerant of Yuki’s perversions. Fuwa Rinna is Yuki’s fan-girl. She took the assistant job when she had no experience and basically agrees to go along with whatever Yuki wants her to do. She must really like him because he can come up with some crazy ideas. Finally we meet Kuroi Sena. She is somewhat sadistic and proud but she also has a soft spot for cute things. She is also known as “Super Assistant!” in the manga world. She is usually the one to put Yuki in his place and sometimes she has to us a whip to do so.

The animation was normal. Nothing really stood out as amazing but everything looked good. The voice actors were chosen well and added to the characters. Personally, I believe that this series was given the wrong age rating. I think it should be a rating of 16 and up with all of the ecchi scenes. But that is just my opinion.

Extras:

The Comic Artist and His Assistants: The Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations, Japanese promos, episode 12 closing karaoke version, and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language option.

Overall Grade: C

The Comic Artist and His Assistants: The Complete Collection is interesting to say the least. However, that is not a good thing this time. If you enjoy the ecchi genre then you will probably like this series.

Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One Complete Collection (anime review)

Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One Complete CollectionReview provided by Andrew and Katie

Title: Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One Complete Collection

Director: Keiichirou Kawaguchi

Studio: SynergySP

Author: Kenjiro Hata

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23 Films

U.S. Release Date: August 18, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 52 Episodes / 1300 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Harem, Action, Parody

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B-

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Synopsis:

Could Hayate Ayasaki’s life get any unluckier? Because his unemployed parents are good-for-nothings who waste what money they have on gambling, Hayate had to start working at a young age to help out his family. Although such experience has made him inhumanly fast and tough and skilled at things boys aren’t normally skilled at, it has also left him in an awkward position, as his parents have racked up such a huge gambling debt that they have sold Hayate to the yakuza for the value of his organs. Desperate to pay off the 156,804,000 yen debt before he’s converted into black market organ parts, Hayate strikes on the idea of kidnapping oddball heiress Nagi Sanzenin. Unbelievably, however, even that goes wrong and not only does he end up not kidnapping her, he rescues her from other kidnappers. (Apparently this happens to her all the time.)

But maybe, just maybe, there might be a tiny, dim light at the end of the very dark tunnel of Hayate’s existence, and the skills that Hayate’s had to develop to stay alive will pay off. Because Nagi needs a butler/bodyguard and Hayate could just fit the bill. But he will have to survive the on-the-job training first. Fate can be a harsh mistress, but Hayate may have just signed up with an even harsher one!

Commentary:

Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One Complete Collection is a hilarious rom-com that is full of parodies from well-known shounen series. They also include many parodies Japanese television culture jokes along with references to famous idols and random television shows. Luckily, they give some background information at the top of the screen whenever this happens so you can fully understand the joke. The romance part of the rom-com is pretty one-sided for this season, but I believe it will eventually even out.

With Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One Complete Collection being mainly a comedy series, it does not have a strong storyline. However, the vibrant characters make up for it. Each character has their own interesting personality which gives equal balance between characters. There are a ton of different characters in this series, almost too many and they do not have much development happen. I almost wish they would have made fewer characters and had more development for them. But, that is why three other seasons have been released. Nagi has to be my most favorite and lease favorite character of the series. She is the tsundere character of the series and basically acts like a spoiled brat to get whatever she wants. However, she is adorable when thinking about Hayate. Nagi is also your basic shut-in teenager who would rather read manga, watch anime, and play games than go to school. Luckily for her, she is really smart so that does not affect her grades.

The animation was pretty and the colors were very vivid. The voice actors did a great job and you will probably recognize many of them from other series. There was not a lot of fan-service and when it appeared, it was well done and tasteful.

Extras:

Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One 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-

Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One Complete Collection is quite a long series, but the comedy makes it very easy to watch. Parts of it reminded me of Excel Saga and that made me laugh for a long time. If you enjoy comedies with a little bit of romance added in then I recommend Hayate the Combat Butler: Season One Complete Collection.