Archives for : Magical Girl

Flip Flappers: Complete Collection (anime review)

Title: Flip Flappers: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Kiyotaka Oshiyama

Writer: Yuniko Ayana

Music By: To-Mas

Studio: Studio 3Hz

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 27th, 2018

Format: Blu-ray / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Magical Girl, Absurdity, Adventure, Sci Fi

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Grade: A


As a middle school student, Cocona has been trying to decide what to do with her life. Magical Girl, however, wasn’t a career path that she’d ever considered. When suddenly a strange girl named Papika thrusts her into a secret organization called Flip Flap, Cocona’s outlook does a radical flip-flop. Her views start to change when she is dragged into an alternate dimension called Pure Illusion where she’s charged with gathering crystal shards and fighting strange creatures.

Now, between running missions and facing off against a rival organization, Cocona doesn’t have much time to consider alternate career choices. What are these shards, and why is gathering them so important? There’s a mystery to be solved and multiple worlds to be saved!


Flip Flappers is another great example of the direction anime has begun to explore as we see new creative teams finding the financing to create new and imaginative series. Only 13 episodes long there is a great deal of action, weirdness and story packed into Flip Flappers. Looking at the series as a whole I can say that I see Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Fooly Cooly, Puella Madoka Magica and even Space Dandy all rolled up into it. In fact I feel as though that the list is on the short side. I would consider Flip Flappers a true post modern production the way it takes the past and manages to deconstruct so many anime and reconstructs it into a crazy series that leaves you smiling and scratching your head at the same time.

Overall Grade: A

Just the animation for Flip Flappers makes it a winner for me. With some solid absurdity and plenty of surreal surroundings take the series over the top. There are a few weaknesses and I think the the character development of Cocona and Papika could have been drawn out a little better with more hints and story development earlier on. The real meat of the series doesn’t come into play until later in the story line and it would have been nice to give more glimpses of their past together before we get to episode 9/10.

I think Flip Flappers is a big surprise for the winter releases but I am afraid it will be over looked for other big name releases. So, if you are looking for a series that will keep you guessing and make you smile all the way down the rabbit hole then Flip Flappers is the series for you. It is not too often that we get treated to a new series that will blow your mind from the very beginning and keep blowing it all the way to end.

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei! (anime review)

prisma-illya-2weireview provided by Andrew & Katie

Title: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei! On Blu-ray
Director: Shin Onuma and Masato Jinbo
Studio: Silver Link
Author: Kenji Inoue and Hazuki Minase
U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23
U.S. Release Date: February 16, 2016
Format and Length: Blu-ray / 10 Episodes / 250 Minutes
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Magical Girl
Industry Age Rating: 17 and up
Overall Personal Rating: A-
Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya

The magical girls are back and are ready for a new adventure! However, with great powers come great responsibilities including cleaning up the aftermath of your previous adventures. Which means that, instead of getting a break after saving the world, newly changed magical girls Illya and Miyu have to help deal with the side-effects caused by the sealing of the Ley Cards.

Still, that shouldn’t be too hard, right? Wrong! Not only are the ley lines failing, but to make matters worse, Illya somehow ends up with a magical clone… and that sinister clone has plans of her own! Worse yet, since the “dark” version of herself is drawing its power from the same source as our heroine, Illya’s own powers are being reduced proportionately. These are definitely not the kind of problems that the average girl should have to deal with. It’s double the trouble as Illya’s split personalities face off and the personal conflicts get physical in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei! On Blu-ray

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei!, the second season of the magical girl spin off of the Fate multi-verse, follows the continuing adventures of Illya as a magical girl. If you have not watched the first season, I strongly suggest you do or you will have no idea what is going on. They provide a brief but lacking synopsis of the first season as it does little good to update you on events thus far. You will need an understanding of the first season to understand the story of Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei!.

To be or not to be, that is the question. There are many other questions visited in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei! including: does one person have the right to turn back time when another person would cease to exist? When one person becomes two, does either really have a say in the other? It almost seems as if Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei! asks very difficult and philosophical questions in every episode. The characters are the same from the first season with the addition of Kuro as named by the group, or Chloe as named by herself. Kuro’s introduction to the series could be summed up with such difficult stances. The characters are well developed already coming into this season, but it hardly means they did nothing to build upon what you already thought you knew. They continue to build them up and even made previously unlikable people seem likeable. The second half gets less into the philosophical and more into the lengths people will go to protect what is important to them, even when there is nothing they can really do. The story itself was much deeper than you would expect, and in all truth it does not hit you right away how deep it gets, till you are longing for the 3rd season, which I hope Sentai Filmworks will get out sooner rather than later.

One thing that most series of this genre use is simple animation that will appeal to the younger of fans, but instead the animation was beautiful and the battle scenes, with seamless CG (not the CG that stands out like a sore thumb) and multi angle viewpoints were something to behold. There was fan-service but nothing distasteful or in excess. The voice actors brought the characters to life and made the series very enjoyable. The opening and closing songs were catchy and fun to listen to. I have always had a special place in my heart for magical girls, beginning in my early days of anime long ago. Even now I find myself very much still loving the genre. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei!, the second season of the Fate/Type Moon magical girl spin off, has earned its place among my favorite titles.
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei! On Blu-ray includes 2wei! Shorts, TV Spots, Clean Opening and Closing Animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: A-
If you love the magical girl genre then I think you would thoroughly enjoy Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2Wei.

Fate / kaleid liner Prisma * Illya

Fate / Kaleid LinerTitle: Fate / kaleid liner Prisma * Illya on Blu-ray

Directors: Shin Onuma, Takashi Sakamoto and Miki Minato

Studio: Sliver Link

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: September 2nd, 2014

Format: Blu-ray / 11 Episodes / 275 minutes

Genre: Magical Girl, Comedy, Action

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: C+


llyasviel von Einzbern’s normal life is suddenly halted by the Kaleidostick Ruby, a magical wand on the run from her former master who instantly decides that little Illya has all the right stuff to become the next great magical girl. However, Ruby’s previous owner Rin Tohsaka isn’t exactly thrilled to be de-wanded, especially since she’s just accepted an assignment to collect the seven legendary Class Cards. It seems the only solution is for Illya to take up the task and learn the ropes under Rin’s supervision.

Meanwhile, a girl named Miyu has been chosen by the Kaleidostick Sapphire as HER new master, much to the irritation of Sapphire’s previous master, Rin’s arch rival Luviagelita Edelfelt! Exactly what kind of plan are the wands conjuring up? Find out as the Fate/stay night universe “kaleids” with a healthy dose of magical girl mayhem!


The Fate franchise is a being fan favorite and most of the fans will be happy to enjoy the fun that comes with Fate / Kaleid Liner. Of course I went straight to the connection with the past and began to see this as a modern day version of Cardcaptor Sakura. With Fate / Kaleid Liner being much shorter and much less diverse leaves it lacking in impact and entertainment. Fate / kaleid liner is fun and funny along with having plenty of action but it ends up leaving me a little flat.  The real reason for this lack of impact is clearly linked to the limited development of the main characters.  Both Illya and Miyu have great potential and their characters are left on the floor with only limited understanding of who they are. In fact there is so much about these two that is suggested that it is disappointing that we just don’t find out who and what they really are.

If you can set the week character development aside the rest of the story was solid but once again rather single layered. There is a lot that happens and plenty of action along with a solid growth in the girls abilities, but there end up being more questions than answers at the end of it all. I guess that the second season of the series will explain most of these dark secrets.

Anyway, I can say that the series is good looking and I understand why it is released on Blu-ray. The production is slick and everything looks very good. With the action happening at night it is easy to make this look rather dark, but the overall artist style of the series saved it from being too dark. There is also the look of the heroins, they all come off looking great. The silly magical girl look for Illya and Miyu sets a goofy tone and at the same time pokes fun at the entire genre.

Overall Grade: C+

As I am sure that the Fate fans will enjoy this I have a feeling that other might find it lacking depth and context. Without a solid understanding of Rin & Luvia’s background it might be hard to get into the series. Their obvious tension and loathing for each other and yet ability to fight with some very special unity is a little confusion from time to time and most notably in the opening episode. The things that make this series worth watching art the fights and the overall good look and artistic styling to the series.

I am very interested to see how these characters are played out in the next part to this story which just wrapped in Japan on Sept. 10th, 2014.

Cardcaptor Sakura Complete Series

Cardcaptor Sakura 1Title: Cardcaptor Sakura

Creators: Clamp

Director: Morio Asaka

Studio: Madhouse

U. S. Distributor: NIS America

U. S. Re-Release Date: Aug. 5th, 2014

Format: DVD / 70 Episodes / 3 volume set / 1750 minutes

Genre: Shojo, Magical Girl, Romance

Age Rating: T for Teen 13+

Overall Personal Rating: A



Ten-year-old Sakura lives a pretty normal life with her older brother, Toya, and widowed father, Fujitaka. Or she did, until the day she returned home from school to discover a glowing book in her father’s study. After opening the book and releasing the cards within, Sakura is tasked with collecting each of these magical cards, while trying to live the life of a normal fourth grader. In the monumental task of collecting all the cards, Sakura must rely on her friends and family, and decide what she finds most important in life.

As Sakura’s journey to recapture the Clow Cards continues. With most of them captured, she finds that the remaining cards are going to put up a fight. Along the way, she must also navigate the struggles of moving on to the fifth grade and contend with the ever-evolving romances in her life. And before long, she discovers that there’s a not so pleasant surprise waiting for her at the end of her card-capturing journey.

After a harrowing journey to collect the cards and prove her worth as their master, Sakura finds herself in a whole new world of trouble as mysterious events begin to threaten the small town of Tomoeda. To make matters worse, Yukito seems to be having some unexplained troubles of his own. With no cards left on the loose, Sakura must form a special bond with her cards to quell each new disturbance, and discover what could possibly be causing them before the lives of Tomoeda’s residents are damaged beyond repair!


It has always been common place to see older shows brought back and re-released. Some of them deserve to be revived and some are better of left to the annals of the anime world. For Cardpator Sakura the re birth just might the biggest one this year with the least amount of fan fair. I know that there is another one slated for November that is an all time favorite for many, but I feel as though Cardcaptor has a lot more to bring to the table than the other super girls coming later this year.

The big difference is the creators and their vision. Clamp has always been known for their shojo and the overall popularity of everything they have created. The anime of the popular manga series had to stand up to the critics because of what it was and yes it still stands the test of time. The fact that there is deliberately written into the show consistent costume changes is seminal for the series and also the high quality of action produced in the magical summoning scenes make a difference in the over all enjoyment factors.

I understand that this series was developed for the younger female audience, but I would not want anyone to shy away from it just because of that. The writing is so well done that all ages and genders can find this series a lot of fun and very easy to watch and get caught up in. With other famous shojo anime there always seem to be a serious dark element to each of the characters, but with Cardcaptor Sakura, the characters are just average kids who are put into these unusual circumstances.

Overall Grade: A

It would be very easy to go on about how well this series was written and developed, but it is very easy to see why it deserved to be brought back to life. Simply put, it is a lot of fun. It is well made and most of all it is easy to watch and enjoy with the entire family. I found myself rooting for Sakura in every episode and also appreciating the aspect that she is aging. I know it is not much, but Sakura does age and change classes, but even more importantly the costumes she wears are great and I for one would love to see a cosplay con be dedicator to this series. I think it would be great to see all of those strange and funny costumes come to life.

If you are looking for something that is for everyone and that is one of the best series going,then you need to go out and pick this up.

Magical Play: Complete Collection (anime review)

Magical PlayTitle: Magical Play: Complete Collection

Director: Hiroki Hayashi

Studio: AIC / Magicaland Magic Union

U. S. Distributor: Sentia Filmworks / Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Dec. 3rd, 2013

Format: DVD / 5 Episodes / 150 minutes

Genre: Magical Girl, Comedy

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B+



Becoming a Magical Girl isn’t easy, but Padudu thinks she has most of the bases covered. She even has a magical pet and a magical cloak! Granted, her pet’s a talking fish that she wears as the cloak (and occasionally snacks on), but now all she SHOULD have to do is wander the countryside, fight in official Magical Battles and collect enough Hanamaru stamps to become an official Magical Girl.

But life isn’t always that simple, and when Padudu accidentally breaks a law, she ends up on the run and traveling with some really odd companions. There’s MyuMyu, who wears a pair of cats as a bikini; Pipin, who dresses like a rabbit and wears her magical pet bunny as a back pack; and the nefarious criminal Nonononn, who also wanted to be a Magical Girl, and has both a Hammerhead Shark and mysterious ties to the Queen (who’s nowhere near as nice as her PR would have you believe).



December was a month were strange off beet anime made a real showing. Magical Play is decently one of those strange anime that specializes in the absurd. From the very opening where we see a young girl dressed in a fish suit being dropped onto another unsuspecting magical girl to the final 3D episode, Magical Play throws one curve ball at you after another. This short series proves that sometimes less is really more. I have a feeling that if there were more than 5 episodes that the entire series would fall apart and become more of a nuisance that a comedy that should be seen to understand. This type of work was exemplified in, Fooly Cooly, another strange series that proved that some story need to remain short.

The humor in Magical Play is simplistic but at the same time odd enough to keep you slightly off balance. That is were is really shines. The fact that these girls clothing is alive makes it strange enough, but when that very same clothing becomes food is something very different indeed. I really enjoyed this odd rather quirky style and it made me laugh enough to keep the series fresh throughout all of the episodes.

The animation was rather fitting for the subject matter and AIC seemed to understand that this simple happy approach was best. On the other hand when the 3D was spotlighted much of the charm wore off and the humor was pushed to the background. The last episode is completely in 3D and with just a few exceptions I found it to be the least funny one of the collection.

Overall Grade: B+

With all of the quirks and odd humor that goes on in this short collection I found Magical Play to be very enjoyable. I laughed enough to keep it interesting and also loved the way the characters and their clothing interacted. I think that the real key to this series is the anime stylings and overall production quality. Keeping the satire solidly in the magical girl genre was the point and even though it is only 5 episodes this common thread was not lost. The final 3D episode was by far the weakest of all and even though it was made to not only satire the magical girl genre but also the 3D arena too, I found it to loose track and not be as effective as the other four episodes.

If you are looking for something that will keep you off balance and also keep you smiling then Magical Play is something you should check out. This one looks like it is perfect for younger audiences but some of the subject matter and humor might not be well suited for those under 10 or 11. I will keep this one close by just in case I need a laugh and don’t want to invest a lot of time or emotion in the series.