Rss

Archives for : Nozomi

Turn A Gundam part 1 on Blu-ray (anime review)

Title: Turn A Gundam part 1 (on Blu-ray)

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer/Creator: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Sunrise

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 7th, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Romance, Steampunk

Age Rating: TV 13

Overall personal rating: B

Synopsis:

For 2000 years, a separate race of humanity has lived on the moon. Known as “the Moonrace,” their technology is leaps and bounds beyond those that stayed behind on the Earth’s surface. Now seeking to return to their original home, the Moonrace send three teenagers – Loran, Keith, and Fran – down to Earth on a reconnaissance mission to test the viability of its environment.

After spending a year on Earth, Loran has become good friends with Sochie and Kihel, daughters of the prestigious Heim family, and he looks forward to fully integrating into Earth society. But before Loran gets the chance to make his report, the Moonrace launch a surprise attack. Earth’s primitive airplanes are no match for the superior power of the Moonrace’s mobile suits. However, in the midst of the initial attack, Loran and Sochie uncover a long-forgotten relic: a white mobile suit. As a Moonrace, Loran is quickly able to grasp the basics of piloting it, but by doing so, he inadvertently places himself in the middle of a war.

Commentary:

Gundam Fans get in line for here come the resurrection of the mysterious Turn A Gundam. Reaching back to the year 1999 Sunrise with the help of Nozomi have brought back a slick version of the a series that many people can’t waited to get the next installment of and everyone else figures it may be time to give it a rest. Personally, I am a believer that the Gundam franchise may have seen better years, but honestly I found Turn A Gundam every enjoyable. Of course it felt dated and the writing fell flat more than a few times. Even with those detractors the story held my interest and gave me a reason to think there is more to this than meets the eye.

Compared to most of the older Gundam renditions I feel as though Turn A Gundam builds on a simple story and support both our future and past. There is obviously the leaning to the earth bound humans and a slightly sinister approach to the Moonrace humans. I’m not sure that there is a real need to make one more sympathetic than the other and I think that ben though the Moonrace has better technology that doesn’t mean their lives are that much darker. If I was human and bound to a dead rock where we have to manufacture everything even the air you breath I would be a little bitter about the selfish earth bound humans who are too ignorant the understand what they really have.

I’m not saying that all of the Earth humans are portrayed as naive or even good natured and not all Moonrace humans are evil. That would be against all anime doctrine and would also fail the entire Gundam universe. What I am saying is that I could see myself siding with the Moonrace and wanting to drive out the stupid Earthlings so that someone who would appreciate the earth for what it is could be in control.

Overall Grade: B

Turn a Gundam is a new twist on an old Gundam plot, but it does a good job of telling the story. I just wish the animation was better. By 1999 – 2000 anime productions values had really found a new look and Turn A Gundam held on to some rather tired old artistic values in this series. I get that it is a Gundam series, but for gods sake they should have made it look a lot better than they did.

One other thing that I reality like about Turn A Gundam was the fact that human technology was all about the steam power and Steampunk ruled the day. This added romantic ideal did help give some beauty to the visual aspects to the series and it helped give me a reason to keep watching in some of the slower moments.

Even with the poor production value I still find it to be a solid series with plenty of Gundam goodness packed into it. There is one other thing that I must mention and it is the disc art work. The five disc have possibly the best disc art covers i have ever seen. If the series would have looked that good it would have overtaken the Gundam and Mecha anime world and blown everyone away.

I am looking forward to seeing the second half of the series. So all you Gundam fans get ready for the one true Steampunk Gundam coming at you. Now on Blu-ray makes it even better.

Magical Users Club OVA & Series (anime review)

magic-users-club-ovaTitle: Magical User’s Club (OVA & TV Series)

Director: Michiru Oshima

Studio: Triangle Staff (OVA & TV Series), Madhouse (TV Series)

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

U. S. Release Date: April 4th, 2016

Format: DVD / OVA – 6 Episodes, TV Series – 13 Episodes / OVA – 150 Minutes, TV Series – 325 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Supernatural, Comedy, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating B+

magic-users-club-tvSynopsis:

OVA – This Magic Club can do a lot more than card tricks!

Exactly one year ago, aliens invaded Earth. But it wasn’t the kind of invasion you’d expect. After descending from space and destroying any opposition, the giant spaceship known as The Bell just… sat there. For a year it’s been floating silently over the ocean, quietly observing how Earthlings live. Everyone’s pretty much used to it by now.

Everyone, that is, except the Magic User’s Club. They’re a small band of misfits who can do actual, honest-to-goodness magic! Their leader, Takeo, doesn’t trust the aliens to stay peaceful. He wants to fight the alien menace, but it’ll be a tough task when his club consists of a perverted president, a flamboyant VP, a flaky princess, a bumbling new recruit, and her temperamental best friend! Can this motley crew pull it together and save the world?

TV Series – More Misadventures with the Magic User’s Club!

The Magic User’s Club is a group of five well-meaning misfits who do more than card tricks – they can use actual magic. And with that magic, they managed to defeat a giant ship from outer space! But their close encounter left an enormous cherry blossom tree right in the middle of the city. It’s so big that it blocks out the sun!

Takeo Takakura, the club’s noble (but perverted) president, calls a special Sunday meeting to take care of the tree. It seems simple enough, but when magic is involved, nothing ever goes according to plan… What’s more, there’s a ghostly figure hidden among the branches, watching their every move. Who is this silent specter, and what does he want?

Commentary:

The list of re-release of late 90’s anime keeps on coming and Magical User’s Club is one of the most recent made available. This some what silly and a little sexy series gives us a glimpse into the fun that was happening almost 20 years ago. The story line is nothing special, but the development and offerings is different. For Magical User’s Club the release of the OVAs came first and because of the story it is important to watch them first and the TV series followed. To me it is obvious why this series was a hit in the 90’s and why it might come across as timely, but also dates now. The characters give us everything from a naive young girl to a oversexed gay student in love with the club leader. It is wonderful how the world is blended into this comedy.

Overall Grade: B+

Both Magical User’s Club sets are more than worth being checked out. The animation might be somewhat aged, but the story and the character development are superior and make all the difference for this series. I loved the way the club was made up of such wonderful individuals and of course they keep you smiling all the way through.

I know that many people are a little hesitant to pick up an anime that is almost 20 years old unless they experienced it as a child, but I can’t stress how good this series is and how fun it is. Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

 

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection Two on Blu-ray (anime review)

mobile-suit-zeta-gundamTitle: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection Two on Blu-ray

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi/ Right Stuf

U. S. Release Date: April 5th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Mecha, Sci Fi

Age Rating: TV14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

A new force enters the Universal Century conflict. Can the A.E.U.G. fight a war on two fronts?

The Universal Century world is locked into an escalating conflict. While the A.E.U.G. resistance group strives to convince the world of the justice of its cause, the brutal Titans continue to suppress dissent through violence and fear. Now the struggle enters a new phase as a powerful third force enters the battlefield, and the A.E.U.G. and Titans race to enlist the support of the mysterious Axis renegades. Confronted with his past, Char Aznable at last decides to embrace his role as leader of the A.E.U.G. But his choice may have come too late, for the Titans have completed their most terrible and devastating weapon.

Commentary:

In the world know as Gundam there are often conflicting messages, but one thing stands true, women make great shields. I think Zeta has the greatest body count of martyrs than any other Gundam series. The one thing that runs through most of this plot devise is that most of them die for the wrong person.

Zeta Gundam is still one of my favorite series of the franchise and yet it manages to frustrate me and remind me how backward much of the mindset set was back in the 1980’s. I am not proud to say that I come from the era and less proud to relive the foolishness that was viewed as high entertainment in the anime world,

Overall Grade: B

The series as a whole is good enough and is clearly a stand out in the Gundam universe. I know that there are a good deal of fans that will climb over each other to get their hands on this series and plenty that will stand back and scratch their heads. I do understand the fandom, I may not always agree with it but I get it.

So, all you Gundam fan get your Zeta hats on and get ready for part two of the Mobile Suite Zeta Gundam series to hit the store shelves. I know you will like it.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (anime review)

mobile-suit-zeta-gundam-Title: Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection One on Blu-ray

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi/ Right Stuf

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

Format: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Mecha, Sci Fi

Age Rating: TV14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

The Earth Federation stands victorious, but are they still on the right side?

In Zeta Gundam, we see the future world of the Universal Century through a dark mirror. Having defeated the Zeon menace, the Earth Federation has itself become cruel and oppressive. A new generation of Gundam mobile suits is created not to fight for peace, but to punish the enemies of the state, and yesterday’s villains must become today’s heroes in order to balance the scales of justice. When a young civilian named Kamille Bidan is caught up in the rebellion, he little suspects the price he will pay in the fight for freedom.

Commentary:

I really wanted to like Kamille and I wanted to root for him, but that didn’t last. Once he joined the A.E.U.G. he became even more obnoxious. In the beginning he was a thief and then he just became a whinny little Japanese main character. Other than the obnoxious main character I found the series rather enjoyable. To be honest I don’t find the older series rather tiresome, but Zeta Gundam has some interesting points of view that are well developed and explored in a very deliberate manor. The philosophical viewpoint from A.E.U.G. is rather forward thinking for a series that is almost 15 years old.

Overall Grade: B

When the name Gundam is mentioned I know that I am in for a long conversation with a fan who are immersed in a universe of contradictions and  fanciful flights of science fiction that tend to defy any real grounding in physics or understanding of the universe we live in. Zeta Gundam manages to find some reality but the strength of the series is in its viewpoints not the understanding of the physics that surround them.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam is a fun series and I have a feeling that the second collection will round it out and bring it home with a bang. I know that Gundam fans will grab this one up, but if you are new to the series this is a good one to start with. The animation is reasonable for a TV series and the writing is better than several of the other series in the Gundam universe. So, if you want to dip your toe’s in the world of Mobile Suit Gundam then Zeta is a great place to start.

 

Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series (anime review)

Umi-Monogatarireview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series

Director: Junichi Sato

Studio: Zexcs

Author: Toshihiko Tsukiji

U.S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

U.S. Release Date: November 3, 2015

Format and Length: DVD / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, Supernatural

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Aria The Animation

Synopsis:

Marin and Urin are sea folk, people who live in a peaceful underwater world surrounded by bright fish and colorful coral. But one day, a beautiful ring falls from the “sky” – that dangerous place above the water – and the two girls decide to return the lovely trinket to its owner.

While the surface world holds amazing wonders for the pair, it also hides a great darkness… a darkness that Urin accidentally unleashes when she opens a stone box at a local shrine. Now it’s up to Marin, Urin, and their new friend Kanon to set things right again before that darkness swallows the entire world! Will they set everything right again in time? Will this new friendship survive? You will have to watch Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series and find out.

Commentary:

Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series was a refreshing and laid back series to watch as it is part magical adventure and part romance yet neither part overshadows the other. Unlike many similar series, Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series managed to stay on task for each and every episode and not devolve into a series of filler (Marin and Urin go to school) and fan-service (Mermaids at the Hot Springs) episodes half way through the series. Yes, there was fan-service but it was not over-done. I did feel like the storyline went very slow, there was not much action most of the time and many people may find Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series to be boring do to the pacing. However, the drama picks up in the last few episodes and the ending wrapped up all of the important story elements.

Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series has some interesting characters to say the least. Marin and Urin are both sweet and likable girls who are also “pure” at heart. These sisters are naïve to the surface world’s ways, though perhaps not as much as they should have been. Sadly, even with the decent amount of background on their relationship and their past, it does not feel as if you really know them that well. Kanon felt like the most emotionally invested character in the series. She is a bit darker than Marin, but most people would be as Marin is full of love and energy all the time. Kanon is just a girl who wants to be liked but does not know how to show it to people. She is often referred to as “evil” or having an “evil aura” but she does not act evil. That may have been a mistranslation or something. The background characters were well done as they were fairly deep and interesting characters but their screen time was kept to a minimum to focus on the main storyline. The villain, Sedna, was very intriguing because she seems like that dark inner voice that everyone hears from time to time. She is a terrifying presence despite not having a physical form.

The animation in Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series was very beautiful. The sky and sea worlds were just beautiful and the magical effects and action were well animated. The character designs were amazingly cute and the voice actors did a great job in the series. The opening and closing songs fit right in the relaxed mood of the series.

Extras:

Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series includes Marin’s “What Is This?” episodes 1-4, clean opening and closing animations, web promos, promotional video, commercials, and Nozomi/Lucky Penny trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English Subtitles as the only language option.

Overall Grade: B

Umi Monogatari: The Complete Series was a relaxing series to watch. I enjoyed it but I feel like they missed the mark by only having it subtitled because I think children would love this series and they would probably like to watch it dubbed. I would recommend this series if you enjoyed Aria The Animation.

Turn A Gundam part 1 (anime review)

Turn A Gundam part 1Title: Turn A Gundam part 1

Director: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer/Creator: Yoshiyuki Tomino

Studio: Sunrise

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi/ Sunrise

U. S. Release Date: June 30th, 2015

Format: DVD / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha, Romance, Steampunk

Age Rating: TV 13

Overall personal rating: B

Synopsis:

For 2000 years, a separate race of humanity has lived on the moon. Known as “the Moonrace,” their technology is leaps and bounds beyond those that stayed behind on the Earth’s surface. Now seeking to return to their original home, the Moonrace send three teenagers – Loran, Keith, and Fran – down to Earth on a reconnaissance mission to test the viability of its environment.

After spending a year on Earth, Loran has become good friends with Sochie and Kihel, daughters of the prestigious Heim family, and he looks forward to fully integrating into Earth society. But before Loran gets the chance to make his report, the Moonrace launch a surprise attack. Earth’s primitive airplanes are no match for the superior power of the Moonrace’s mobile suits. However, in the midst of the initial attack, Loran and Sochie uncover a long-forgotten relic: a white mobile suit. As a Moonrace, Loran is quickly able to grasp the basics of piloting it, but by doing so, he inadvertently places himself in the middle of a war.

Commentary:

Gundam Fans get in line for here come the resurrection of the mysterious Turn A Gundam. Reaching back to the year 1999 Sunrise with the help of Nozomi have brought back a slick version of the a series that many people can’t waited to get the next installment of and everyone else figures it may be time to give it a rest. Personally, I am a believer that the Gundam franchise may have seen better years, but honestly I found Turn A Gundam every enjoyable. Of course it felt dated and the writing fell flat more than a few times. Even with those detractors the story held my interest and gave me a reason to think there is more to this than meets the eye.

Compared to most of the older Gundam renditions I feel as though Turn A Gundam builds on a simple story and support both our future and past. There is obviously the leaning to the earth bound humans and a slightly sinister approach to the Moonrace humans. I’m not sure that there is a real need to make one more sympathetic than the other and I think that ben though the Moonrace has better technology that doesn’t mean their lives are that much darker. If I was human and bound to a dead rock where we have to manufacture everything even the air you breath I would be a little bitter about the selfish earth bound humans who are too ignorant the understand what they really have.

I’m not saying that all of the Earth humans are portrayed as naive or even good natured and not all Moonrace humans are evil. That would be against all anime doctrine and would also fail the entire Gundam universe. What I am saying is that I could see myself siding with the Moonrace and wanting to drive out the stupid Earthlings so that someone who would appreciate the earth for what it is could be in control.

Overall Grade: B

Turn a Gundam is a new twist on an old Gundam plot, but it does a good job of telling the story. I just wish the animation was better. By 1999 – 2000 anime productions values had really found a new look and Turn A Gundam held on to some rather tired old artistic values in this series. I get that it is  a Gundam series, but for gods sake they should have made it look a lot better than they did.

One other thing that I reality like about Turn A Gundam was the fact that human technology was all about the steam power and Steampunk ruled the day. This added romantic ideal did help give some beauty to the visual aspects to the series and it helped give me a reason to keep watching in some of the slower moments.

Even with the poor production value I still find it to be a solid series with plenty of Gundam goodness packed into it. There is one other thing that I must mention and it is the disc art work. The five disc have possibly the best disc art covers i have ever seen. If the series would have looked that good it would have overtaken the Gundam and Mecha anime world and blown everyone away.

I am looking forward to seeing the second half of the series.  So all you Gundam fans get ready for the one true Steampunk Gundam coming at you.

Looking Up At The Half-Moon (anime review)

Looking Up At The Half MoonTitle: Looking Up At The Half-Moon

Director: Yukihiro Matsushita

Studio: Group TAC

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

U. S. Release date: April 7th, 2015

Format: DVD / 6 Episodes / 150 minuts

Genre: Romance, Love Story, Coming of Age

Age rating: 13+

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

Even though Yuuichi Ezaki is in the hospital recovering from an illness, he’s constantly sneaking out. One day he’s caught by the head nurse, who makes a deal with him: she’ll overlook his future excursions if he’s willing to befriend a new patient, Rika Akiba. Due to a serious heart condition, Rika has spent most of her life in the hospital, and doesn’t really have any friends. As Yuuichi and Rika spend time together and learn more about each other, their relationship soon blossoms into romance…

Commentary:

There is something about the Japanese mindset that lends itself to these bitter sweet stores of love and loss. We see it stand out and revered in classics like Clannad, Kannon and Air just to mention a few. Looking Up At The Half Moon is a perfect example of a slice of life that not only shows the strength of love but also show the tragedy of life and the fragility of the human condition. The story is straight forward you realize what is going to happen by the end of the second episode, but that still doesn’t ruin anything at all. In fact knowing what to expect makes it all the better as you get to move this sweet little series.

There is a lot about this series that draws you to it and with it being only 6 episodes long it provides for a great source of entertainment in an easy to watch period of time. The characters are exposed to us at a reasonable pace and as you warm up to them you see all of the dynamics start to change and bonds become stronger and frictions begin to light up. This progression shows how well written the series is and how it has stood the test of time now that it is almost 10 years old. Of course I expect that the story will remain strong for some time because it is about young hearts find something very special with a heavy burden hanging over the entire situation.

Overall Grade : A-

For all that is good about the series I have to say that the animation was not the best. It came across flat and some-what anemic from time to time. The color plate was too muster for its own good. I would have like to see a little more color and maybe even a brighter overall feel to the production level. I understand that there is a certain amount of melancholy to the story that might require a bit of a muted paler, I feel as thought it was take too far with the series as a whole.

The writing is superb and even though it is only 6 episodes the story managed to develop at a pace that seem well suited and even though I would have liked to see a few more episodes to maybe complete the story with a defined understanding how much time remained in their story together I didn’t really mind having it end there. The character development was ok and it gave enough depth to the main characters to support what need to be there, but again I think that there could have been more opportunity to give us more background if the series was longer.

Looking Up At The Half Moon is both a easy watch and a touching story that can easily make you cry for joy and sadness at the same time. There is nothing more heartwarming that the development of love at a time of great distress and also watching two young adults find their way through some of the most confusing moments of anyones life.

If you are looking for a good love story to warm you hear then look no further than Looking Up At The Half Moon.

 

You’re Being Summoned, Azazel DVD Complete Collection (anime review)

Azazel, You're Being SummonedTitle: You’re Being Summoned, Azazel DVD Complete Collection

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima

Studio: Production I. G.

U. S. Distributor: Lucky Penny, Nozomi

U. S. Release date: Feb. 3rd, 2015

Format: DVD / 26 Episodes / 338 Minutes

Genre: Comedy

Age Rating: TV 17

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis:

Have a stalker you just can’t shake? Fear your spouse is being unfaithful? You might consider hiring Akutabe, a detective who summons demons to do his dirty work. While his methods might seem unorthodox, he always gets results. However, as powerful as Akutabe is, manipulating demons is a delicate art. His new part-time employee Sakuma, a young college girl, doesn’t get to spend too much time exploring the finer points of controlling demons before Akutabe forces her into a demonic contract with Azazel. Azazel is lazy, lustful, and depraved… Everything you’d expect a demon to be. Sakuma needs to keep Azazel on a tight leash, but to do that, she may have to dabble in a little depravity herself.

Commentary:

There are plenty of shows out there that aim to push the boundaries of absurd and questionable. As for Azazel, You’re Being Summoned will be treated some of the best and worst of this style of comedy. After the first episode I thought it might stay somewhat straight forward, but with the introduction of  Beelzebub any chance for redemption goes straight down the toilet. Or rather it should go down the toilet. Any time you have a major character that feeds on feces you can be sure that things will only get stranger from there, and they do.

This comedy is fine and sometimes funny, but I began to find it rather tedious and unnerving. I did appreciate the way that Rinko developed and ended up becoming a little more edgy, but in the end she still retained some of her original humanity. Akutabe on the other hand is the kind of person that I typically detest and in this case he still ends up being nothing more than a jerk, but the fact that he doesn’t have any eyebrows is cool.

Now when it comes to the demons I almost would have preferred that they didn’t revert to their chibi form when they come to the human world, I could have gotten a better sense of what they really were. The story line was simple and stayed on tract which I think help make it easy to watch and maybe even saved it for some of the over the top things that happen.

Overall Grade: B

Azazel, You’re Being Summoned is not for the under 16/17 age group and at time was hard for this middle aged man to watch. There were plenty of other moments where I laughed out loud and found the humor to be spot on. It reminded me very much of an Austin Powers movie that was mashed up with something like She Devil or even a stranger Elfin Lied or even Archer. Much of the story made fun of the weakness in our own human nature and in a few rare occasions made a valid point about the dichotomy of humanity.

If you are looking for a comedy that pushes the boundaries of what humor is and will make you uncomfortable at the same time then you should pick this up. The base humor is in line with American sensibilities and may make you laugh and at the same time be a little sad that you are even watching it.

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth (anime review)

Fantastic Detective Labyrinth Title: Fantastic Detective Labyrinth

Director: Hiroshi Watanabe

Studio: Studio Deen

U. S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

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

Format: DVD / 625 minutes / 25 Episodes

Genre: Drama, Supernatural

Age Rating:  TV 13+

Overall Personal Rating: B

Synopsis: 

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

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

Commentary:

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

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

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

Overall Grade: B

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

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

Space Pirate Mito: The Complete Collection (anime review)

space pirate mitoreview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Space Pirate Mito: The Complete Collection

Director: Takashi Watanabe

Studio: Triangle Staff

Author: Fumihiko Shimo

U.S. Distributor: Nozomi, Lucky Penny

U.S. Release Date: November 4, 2014

Format and Length: DVD / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction, Adventure

Industry Age Rating: 13 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Project A-ko

“Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!”

Synopsis:

Most teenage boys have enough trouble just dealing with the pressures of school and dating, but 15-year-old Aoi Mitsukuni’s life becomes exponentially more complicated when his mom returns from a long “business trip.” He discovers that not only is his beautiful mother actually an alien, but she’s the notorious Space Pirate Mito to boot! She’s known as the galaxy’s most dangerous pirate, a wanted criminal who destroys a dozen police space cruisers every day before breakfast. But all she really wants is to be called “Mom.” To make matters worse, Mitsuki the girl Aoi likes at school is actually a secret Galactic Patrol agent attempting to find and arrest his mother. However, the three of them end up saving the Universe! No one ever said being a teenager in love was easy!

Now a malevolent entity calling herself the true Queen of the Universe appears with enough power to destroy entire planets. Aoi must defend her new throne, but she needs Mutsuki’s help. Mutsuki must come to terms with her own feelings for Aoi so they can defend Earth together and become the galaxy’s first royal pair of queens. Will the Universe survive this epic fight? You will have to watch Space Pirate Mito and find out.

Commentary:

Commentary:

Space Pirate Mito: The Complete Collection is an odd series but is still enjoyable with its colorful art style and strange cast of characters. Just do not try to make too much sense of the plotline as you will severely hurt your brain. I liked the first season the best because it was not as crazy as the second season and it seemed that Aoi just had some issues with his mother. The second season seemed really out there because of the introduction of the First Queen, Hikari. She takes strange to a whole new level and her reign as queen can be described as an age of fear.

There was a good amount of character development between the two seasons. Aoi really grew as a character and it was interesting to watch how bizarre his alien biology was. Let’s just say that it will be an eye-opener when you watch the series. Mito is an absurdly youthful mother but only in appearance because she looks like an elementary school student if she takes off her Mail Suit; plus she is a space pirate. She also wears a giant waist ribbon that is so large that its tails have little bows on them.

Mito’s crew on her pirate ship is mostly animal’s that have human bodies and are able to function as humans. I lost it during the first episode because it was so funny but it also made me realize that this series would be better suited to a younger crowd. The story line is not hard to follow but it keeps your interest. The music was fun to listen it and the opening and closing animations were cute. I did feel that the space ships looked very “CG” but they did look awesome. The voice actors did a great job of bringing characters alive and jumping off the screen.

Extras:

Space Pirate Mito: The Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations, TV commercials, promotional videos, a special bonus episode, and Lucky Penny trailers as special features. This series was released with English as a language option for the first 13 episodes and Japanese with English subtitles for the entire series.

Overall Grade: B-
I would have no problem showing this anime to my children once they reach third grade or so. I really feel this series is geared to children and I think they would enjoy it.