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Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun (anime review)

monthy-girls-nozaki-kunTitle: Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun Complete Collection

Directed by: Yoshiko Nakamura

Written by: Yukari Hashimoto

Created by: Izumi  Tsubaki

Studio: Dogakobo

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: March 29th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Synopsis:

You know how the story goes: girl crushes on guy, girl confesses feelings to guy, guy mistakes confession for a job application.

Okay, maybe that’s not how it usually goes, but that’s what happens when Chiyo Sakura finally gets up the nerve to tell her classroom crush Nozaki how she feels. Since she doesn’t know that he’s secretly a manga artist who publishes under a female pen name, and he doesn’t know that she doesn’t know, he misunderstands and offers her a chance to work as his assistant instead of a date!

But while it’s not flowers and dancing, it is a chance to get closer to him, so Chiyo gamely accepts. And when Nozaki realizes how useful Chiyo can be in figuring out what girls find romantic, he’ll be spending even more time with her “researching” while remaining completely clueless. Could Chiyo’s romantic frustration possibly get any more drawn out of proportion? The answer will be profusely illustrated in Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun!

Commentary:

I was very weary going into this anime. I have seen plenty silly romantic comedies that were just one gussy scene after another. Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun manages to take this basic plot line and turn it into a very funny and enjoyable comedy. I found myself laughing out loud from the first episode all the way through to the last.

The real strength to the series is the writing. I thought the character development was well above par and the dialog superior to most romantic comedies being produced lately. The cast of characters was a great fit for the strangeness of the series and with there only being 12 episodes things kept moving at a perfect pace.

Overall Grade: A-

The only thing that I found disappointing was the high pitched persona of Chiyo. She managed to be a little annoying, and too shy about her crush. Other than that the blend of odd ball characters managed to keep the laughs coming and the relationship between Yuzuki and Wakamatsu. They appear to make a totally mismatched couple but are really perfect for each other and Wakamatsu is just a pushover for her and doesn’t even see it.

Anyway, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun is a blast and I recommend it to everyone. I think almost every anime fan will find something about this series that they can appreciate and get plenty of laughs to go along with it. On other thing, I love Tonuki.

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.

When They Cry: Complete Collection Season One on Blu-ray (anime review)

when-they-cry-1Review provided by Andrew and Katie

Title: When They Cry: Complete Collection Season One on Blu-ray

Director: Chiaki Kon

Studio: Studio Deen

Author: Ryukishi07

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U.S. Release Date: March 15, 2016

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller

Industry Age Rating: 17 and up

Overall Personal Rating: A+

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Elfen Lied, Another, and Future Diary

Synopsis:

Moving to the picturesque town of Hinamizawa is going to be a big adjustment for Keiichi Maebara. For all its beauty, it is also very small, so small that there’s only one school, one where most of the students have known each other all their lives.

Fortunately, he soon meets four girls… Rena, Mion, Satoko, and Rika, who are willing to let the new guy in town join their afterschool club. And for a while, things seem wonderful. Until Keiichi starts discovering strange things, like when the project manager for a controversial dam project was found dismembered five years ago.

As he digs deeper, there are whispers and rumors of other murders and disappearances, stories of a town curse, and mysterious rituals. And then people he knows start to die. What secrets have the people of Hinamizawa kept hidden from the rest of the world? Could his new friends somehow be involved? The shocking answers to these and other questions will be revealed in When They Cry: Complete Collection!

Commentary:

When They Cry: Complete Collection epitomizes how you should never judge something by its cover. It looks like a simple, generic harem series at first glance; however When They Cry: Complete Collection is anything but that. When They Cry: Complete Collection is nothing short of genius and the whole setting, atmosphere, and mood are incredibly well executed. The plot may seem simple at first with a new kid moving to a strange, new town and meeting new friends but beneath the exterior appearance of this seemingly tame series lays a dark story of murder, violence, and mystery.

When They Cry: Complete Collection has a plot that consists of arcs. Although these arcs seem disjointed at first, it is all part of the plot and is actually an important part of solving the mystery of the Hinamizawa murders. However, When They Cry: Complete Collection is not a simple, generic murder mystery where the solutions are force fed to us. It is up to us to decide between what is true and what is not. This way we think and interact with the story. Each arc has a twisted finish that will leave you saying, “What just happened?”.

While When They Cry: Complete Collection is full of mentally instable characters, however they are extremely well written and developed. Luckily, the mental instability of the main characters does not take away from their personality and interaction. Each and every character serves a purpose to the plot in some way, shape, or form so be sure to pay attention to what a character does in different arcs.

The animation was normal for the age of the series but the background animation was breathtaking. The opening and closing songs were amazing and fit the series perfectly. The voice actors filled the series with psychotic laughter, blood-curling screams, and extremely cute voices in order to bring the characters to life.

Extras:

When They Cry: Complete Collection includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. When They Cry: Complete Collection has both English and Japanese with English subtitles as language options.

Overall Grade: A+

I cannot begin to explain how excited I am that Sentai Filmworks licensed When They Cry: Complete Collection! I hope they release the rest of the series so that we can learn what else happens. I recommend that you watch When They Cry: Complete Collection if you enjoy the horror or psychological thriller genre. You will not be disappointed.

 

 

 

New and Re-stock DVD and Blu-ray Anime

Free-Eternal-SummerHere is a list of new and re-stock DVD and Blu-rays that just arrived.

Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Collection 1 Blu-ray

Wizard Barristers DVD

No-Rin The Complete Series Blu-ray/DVD

Tokyo ESP Blu-ray/DVD

Free! -Eternal Summer- Season 2 BD/DVD

Free! Season 1 DVD Complete Collection

When They Cry Season 1 Blu-ray and DVD (Release Date 3/15/2016

no-rinDaily Lives of High School Boys Complete Standard Edition BD

Black Lagoon DVD/BD Complete Series

Student Council’s Discretion DVD Seasons 1 & 2 Collections

Gundam, Mobile Suit UC (Unicorn) DVD Parts 1 thru 4

Lupin the 3rd Vs Detective Conan The Movie DVD

Lupin The 3rd: From Siberia With Love DVD

Lupin the 3rd: Bye Bye, Lady Liberty DVD

Lovely Complex (Love*Com) DVD Complete Series

Black-Lagoon-DVD-Blu-ray-Complete-Series-Hyb-Anime-Classics-Seasons-1-2Cutie Honey DVD Complete Collection (Original 1973 TV Series)

Tsuritama DVD Complete Collection

Captain Harlock: Space Pirate DVD Complete TV Series

Fate/Stay Night DVD Complete Collection

Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya DVD Complete Collection

Towanoquon Blu-ray Complete Collection

Girls und Panzer DVD Complete TV Series

Phi-Brain – The Puzzle of God Season 2: Orpheus Order Collection 1 & 2

wizard-barristersPhi-Brain – The Puzzle of God Season 1 DVD Collection 1 & 2

Un-Go DVD Complete Collection

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 DVD Complete Collection

Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc DVD

AKB0048 Season 1 DVD Complete Collection

AKB0048 Season 2: Next Stage DVD Complete Collection

Planzet DVD

Celestial Method (anime review)

celestial-methodTitle: Celestial Method the Complete Series on Blu-ray

Director: Masayuki Sakoi

Writer: Naoki Hisaya

Studio: Studio 3Hz

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: March 22nd, 2016

Genre: Slice of Life, Fantasy

Age Rating: TV PG

Overall Personal Rating: A

Synopsis:

It’s been seven years since Nonoka Komiya last lived in Lake Kiriya City. However, while she knew that there would be changes in the town, she’s still unprepared for what she finds upon her return: A giant saucer hovers over the entire city, as it has since shortly after she and her family left.

Stranger yet, a girl she doesn’t know, Noel, is waiting for her, claiming that they have met before. Confused, Nonaka tries to focus on reconnecting with her old friends, but odd memories, suppressed in the wake of her mother’s death, begin to float to the top of her consciousness.

Can it be that she has met Noel before? And how does this connect with the appearance of the saucer itself? To solve the riddle, Nonoka must join with her friends and rediscover the events that occurred before she left Lake Kiriya. Because there’s more than a mystery that must be solved: there’s a promise that has to be kept in Celestial Method.

Commentary:

There is one thin that can be said about anime and that is that it covers a great deal of ground from hard edge dramas to silly strange comedies. Celestial Method is a series that is dear and sweet that explores friendship and the bonds that transcend space and time. There is also a very buhhdist  idealism running through it regarding connections and happiness.

I found much of Celestial Method to be a reminder of Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day in how it approached the groups of friends but with the group not being so damaged there was a sweeter side of them coming back together. This kindness made the series a great fit for the younger audience.

Overall Grade: A

I realize that it might seem strange seeing Celestial Method as a top notch anime, but there is something very simple and heartwarming about it that made it great. Celestial Method is another example of a anime geared toward a younger audience that was not  given and English dud and that for me is a great mishap. I know that older viewers won’t have any issues with the subtitles, but it would be wonderful if there was a English dub for those viewers under 11 or 12. Over the last 12 to 18 months there have been a good number of anime that fall into that category and each one of them have been solid titles that would have helped foster a new generation of anime fans. Alas, they will just have to wait until they are older and only want to do sub-titles.

As you can read, I really like Celestial Method. It is a solid little anime which offers a tad bit of a tear jerk at the end, but all in all it reminds you of the friendship. So, if you are in the mood for heartwarming story about a small group of friends then Celestial Method is something you should see.

Space Brothers Collection 7 (anime review)

space-brothers-7Title: Space Brothers Collection 7 on Blu-ray

Director: Ayumu Watanabe

Music By: Toshiyuki Watanabe

Studio: A-1 Pictures

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: February 16th, 2016

Format: Blu-ray / 11 episodes / 275 minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Slice of Life, Action, Drama

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Grade: A

Synopsis:

Whether in the planning rooms for lunar missions or the claustrophobic steel confines of an undersea laboratory, the one thing that every astronaut must learn to deal with is pressure.

But as deadly as the blowout of a pressurized cabin may be, the peer pressure that weighs on brothers Mutta and Hibito may be even more crippling. As Mutta prepares to journey to the bottom of the deep blue sea for NEEMO training, Hibito’s path descends to even lower depths as his inability to recover sends him into a downward emotional spiral. Will a trip to Russia be the cure for Hibito’s malaise?

Or, having once reached the stars, will he now end up forever grounded by NASA and JAXA? Yet even as one rising star falters, a second prepares for his ascent to the heavens as Mutta’s quest to reach space advances to the next level in the seventh spellbinding collection of Space Brothers!

Commentary:

I know that by saying how much I like Space Brother makes me sound like a broken record, but the simple fact is that it is one of the more humanistic slide of life series I have seen. It doesn’t just tel a story to make you cry or be happy. Space Brothers comes at you with real life lesson that make you stop and think about your own life and how you might react in the same situation. Space Brothers collection seven provides us with more trials and tribulations for the brothers and also give us a glimpse at what it means to be a brother, either a younger one of a big brother. There is something special about family that has a universal understanding about it.

I had my concerns that with a series this long that it will lose it’s way and either become a silly redundant story about brotherhood and achieving dreams. Instead it gives us a plot line that makes thing tough for both brothers and shows us how life can be about choices and decisions rather than just dumb luck.

Overall Grade: A

Again these 12 episodes put you in the mood to stand up and applaud what you have just watched. Space Brothers is written by a person who have experience life in a way that makes it interesting with a understanding of the universal struggles that we all go through from fear, anger, frustration and competition against friends. I was impressed how each emotion was brought out and exposed in both of the brothers. There is also the aspect of understanding and friendship that comes into play for each. I found myself looking at myself and trying to see when I was in a situation like this. No I am not an astronaut and yes these struggles are not the same for everyone, but when you watch the series and get to these episodes you will understand what I am saying.

This is a great series and I know most anime fans will not even care about it. It may not be Free or Attack on Titan, but it much better. Space Brothers is about us, humanity and how we go about working toward our dreams. So, if you are looking for a heart warming series that gives you more to think about than how many bad guys get killed then you really need to pick this up. Be sure to start from the beginning. You will thank me later.

Bring on the last collection!!!!!!!

 

Just In Re-stock Anime

shirobako-Here is a list of the re-stock anime we just go in:

Sword Art Online Season 1 vol. 1, 3 & 4

Sword Art Online Season II vol 1

Ah My Buddha!

Evangelion 2.22 Blu-ray

Samurai 7 Complete Series

Shirobako

Desert Punk

arrowGhost in the Shell 2nd Gig S.A.C.

Ah! My Goddess Complete Collection vol 1-6 (26 episodes Season 1)

Wizard Barristers (anime review)

-wizard-barristersTitle: Wizard Barristers Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Directed By: Yasuomi Umetsu

Written By: Michiko Itou

Music By: Kayo Konishi, Yukio Kondoo

Studio: Arms

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

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

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Supernatural, Action, Drama, Mystery

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: A-

 

Synopsis:

When the laws of magic are broken, it’s the duty of the Police Department’s deadly Section 1 to enforce them. But, since even craven maven Wizards and nefarious Necromancers have the right to a fair trial, the job of defending them belongs to the Benmashi, the Wizard Barristers!

It’s a tricky profession, requiring both arcane ability and a judicious sense of jurisprudence, and at just seventeen, Cecil Sudo is the youngest Benmashi that Butterfly Law has ever employed. That means a lot of late nights burning the midnight brimstone, summoning up summaries, parsing phrases with paranormal paralegals and cutting deals with opposing counsels from hell.

And when a young Benmashi starts to discover that her own charm may be more magically-based than she realized, there’ll be a hex-tra incentive to work wonders outside the courtroom as well! Every trial is a witch trial as the most enchantingly Adept Attorney ever becomes a Master of the Art of Defensive Spells in Wizard Barristers!

Commentary:

Okay, I know that there are some of you that think I am crazy for giving such a high grade to Wizards Barristers. The truth is that I found it rather appealing. I saw it as a true amalgamation of a lot of anime and western pop culture. Right off the bat I saw Cecil as a new form of Sawa from Kite, and a strange blend of Fullmetal Alchemist along with a health dose of Harry Potter. Cecil is the girl who holds the key and doesn’t remember her past. She is destine to be something very special and she is very unaware of it. There are wizards on both sides that want her and she is surrounded by a group of people who are there to be not just friends but protectors too. This series is a interesting blend of  the world of supernatural story telling and if not watched with a curious eye much will be missed.

Overall Grade: A-

Wizard Barristers has much to offer and provides it all in a lively colorful package. The one drawback for me was the animation. I found the computer generated (CG) work to be a little stiff, but with the advances in CG it is easy to watch.

The rest of the series had plenty of light humor tossed in to keep you interested and a lot of dark questions kept coming up that made it a must to watch the next episode. The ending felt a tad rushed and there are some gaps in the plot that I personally would like to see explained in an OVA or a second season. With Wizard Barristers being only an Anime property I just don’t see more coming and that is too bad. If you like Harry Potter, Kite and Fullmetal Alchemist then I believe you should enjoy Wizard Barristers. It is worth the time to check it out.

New Items In

Here is a list of new items that have come in. This is not updated as an inventory.

1Pillow:

Sebastian

Playing Cards:

Bleach

Death Note

Naruto

Soul Eater

Vampire Knight

2One Piece

Megaman

Fairy Tail

Hetalia

Buttons:

Tokyo Ghoul

Phone Charms:

Tokyo Ghoul

3Wallets:

Tokyo Ghoul

Wristbands:

Tokyo Ghoul

Anime:

Letter to Momo

Space Dandy

4Summer Wars

Eden of the East

Manga:

No Game No Life

Terra Formars

Tokyo Ghouls

Magnets:

Love Live

Figures:

Baby Metal Pop!

Bleach Pop!

Cardcaptor Sakura

Fate Stay Night

Kuroko’s Basket Ball trading box

Naruto Trading Box

Durarara Celty

Love Live

Tokyo Ghoul Pop

Ultraman

Racing Miku

Plush:

Kyubey

Tipo

Wall Hanging:

Tokyo Ghoul

Your Lie in April

Black Butler

Key Chains/Charms:

Fairy Tail

FMA

Messenger Bags:

Soul Eater

Naruto

Durarara

Stickers:

Lots of them

Buttons:

Lots of these too.

Watches:

FMA

Black Butler

 

New Arrivals

Here is a list of merchandise just arrived. This list is only for information and not updates as an inventory.

1Accessories:

Persona 4 phone charms

Sword Art Online Wall Clock

Hellsing Mug

Grell Pop! figure

Sebastian Pop! figure

2Naruto trading figures

Len and Rin Pop! figures

FMA  Keychain

Hellsing Keychain

Anime: 

Aldnoah Zero Season 1

Manga:

Assassination Classroom 1

Black Butler 1

Dogs 0,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

1JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 1

Tokyo Ghoul 2

T-shirts:

Angel Beats

Bakemonogatari

Berserk

Black Butler

Bleach

Blue Exorcist

Card Captor Sakura

Cat Planet Cuties

Cowboy Bebop

Date A Live

Deadman Wonderland

DBZ

Disgaea

Durarara

Evangelion

Fairy Tail

Fate/Zero
FMA

Future Diary

Gundam

Gurren Lagann

Haikyu

Hetalia

High School of the Dead

The Irregular at Magic High

Kill La Kill

Llama

Lucky Star

Madoka Magica

One Piece

Ouran High School

Persona 4

Rurouni Kenshin

Sailor Moon

Shakugan No Shana

Spice and Wolf

Sword Art Online

Trigun

Trinity Blood

Tsubasa

Your Lie in April