Category Archives: Anime

First Impressions: Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic Anime

Image from project-maji.com

At Yaoi Con last year, I saw lots of cosplay from this manga. After looking into it I had seen that it had just started as an anime in October! So of course I added it to my Cruncyroll queue, because the character design looked right up my alley. So far, I’ve been right!

From what I have gathered, it includes a mixture of different characters from One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. Two of the main characters are Aladdin and Alibaba. But the main plot seems to be something completely different, despite the familiar characters.

I did my thing again where I just jumped into this show, without looking into it. I do enjoy that because it leaves a lot up in the air for me – I don’t know what’s coming next. Of course sometimes this has a downside, because of the potential confusion.

But anyways, I jumped. I’m four episodes in, and I am enjoying it! I still feel like the overall goal of the show is a bit uncertain, but I think in the next episode we will get there. And they have already revealed some of the characters we will meet in the future, and let me tell you.

I think I can stick around for awhile at least.

Why hello.

Hello to you, too.

 

Anime Review: Kuroko No Basuke

Okay guys, I’m going to be reeeeal honest right now. I haven’t finished this yet. You know why? Because I remembered I don’t like sport-themed shows.

But in all seriousness, I feel like I really tried with this one. I watched 14 episodes, trying so hard to stick with it. Some of the characters I was interested in, but there was one main problem in this for me.

It was about basketball.

Sounds petty, I know. And I know I was really taking a risk by watching something that I had suspicions I wouldn’t like. But hey, I ended up liking Madoka Magica, so I wanted to try broadening my horizons even more.

It didn’t work out well. I had to break up with those pretty basketball boys.

I think my biggest problem with the show is it had something like Naruto/DragonBallZ syndrome – you know, when you come back three episodes later and it’s still the same battle? This show had that, but with a basketball game [okay slightly exaggerated  but you get the idea]. I couldn’t get past the dramatics of each individual move, strategy, basket, miss. It was like watching a bad soap opera to me. I’ve actually looked into how other people responded to this show, and they seem to like the cliffhangers of each game.

So maybe this genre just isn’t for me. Here is one note I wrote around episode 8 [yes I really do take notes when I watch anime, because I have a terrible memory]:

lol this show is so dramatic
its fucking basketball

I feel bad about this, I really do. This show gained a lot of popularity, and I’m wondering if it’s something else, something that isn’t in the show itself. Is the popularity fueled by the all male cast and the endless possibilities of slashing?

Tumblr would definitely suggest YES.

But for me even that wasn’t doing it for me. I didn’t connect enough with any of the characters, I didn’t really see any bromance, and what was with the guy with the kitty face? Can I just say it? He really bothered me.

Seriously, why does he have a cat face. I don't know why this bothers me.

So I think in the end, I will have to table this one aside in my Crunchyroll queue for now and move on to other things. Maybe one day I will finish it, and there is a season 2, but who knows.

For now I think I will just appreciate all the fanart that comes out of this fandom though, and leave it at that.

If you like sports animes though, the word on the street is that this is one of the best ones to have come out recently, so I would still suggest checking it out!

Anime Review: Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi [World’s Greatest First Love]

In my quest to try to branch out and watch new anime, I decided to suck it up and try watching one based on a boys-love manga. Now, I know that I read a lot of LGBT books, but I have a serious problem with most Japanese boys-love anime/manga. This problem mainly comes from the fact that one person is almost always fighting back. If there is one thing that I can’t handle, it’s anything even remotely close to forced intimacy. Can’t do it. Nope.

Aww look he's so embarrassed!

I decided to give this one a try, and knew that when it got too bad, it would be done for me. However, I ended up finishing both seasons [24 episodes total]. That alone should say something.

Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi was originally a manga and made into an anime last year. The storyline follows three main “couples” that all happen to be involved somehow with Marukawa Publishing. If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because it was the same company in Junjou Romantica – this anime is actually a spin off of it. Junjou Romantica is actually one of the animes that I couldn’t finish, so this wasn’t something that stood out to me right away.

I will admit that I was a little confused by the different storylines at first, and had to actually make a chart to keep track. This way I could make notes about the specific story line, instead of each episode. I have never watched soap operas, but I imagine that people who do might experience the same problem. So I am going to go about this couple by couple after the jump. It’s easy to talk about these couples separately because only once do stories actually overlap.

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What I Managed To See At Comic-Con [Part 1]

I had the opportunity to go to Comic-Con this year, though it was for my day job. Due to this, I wasn’t able to see a whole lot, but I wanted to share with you what experiences I could. Unfortunately I must keep my day job top secret [I feel like a superhero, that’s kind of on topic, right?], but here is what I can show you!

This post is brought to you by the amazing collage function in Picasa so it isn’t a million pages long. o/

First, one of the most amazing things about Comic-Con is how it takes over all of downtown like some sort of creep [ten points if you get the reference].

 

I did manage to run into some cool people while I was running around on the floor! I may have super fangirl freaked out when I met Claudio from Coheed and Cambria. I also got to briefly say hello to Marie Lu as she was leaving her signing! I blame work for keeping me away! DX

”]And then of course there was all the awesome stuff in the exhibit hall. I want all the Mass Effect statues in existence, especially the one of Garrus. Also, the X-Men display made me want to cry.

SO MANY SHINIES

There were also cosplayers, though not as many as I thought I would see. Though I bet that many of them stayed out of the exhibit hall, because it’s so crazy in there. Also, I’m possibly lame and was at times too tired to register that there were people in costume around me.

Can you spot Fortune Cookie from Defective Geeks? 8D

And then of course, the swag! I had to avoid a lot of the random free stuff because I was mostly always running around working, but I still managed to come away with some cool stuff.

SWAG!

Some items of note:

  • Signed copy of The Armory Wars by Claudio Sanchez
  • The first three volumes of a comic on the Trojan War signed by the writer/artist  [DONT LAUGH history is cool guys]
  • A signed copy of Legend
  • A signed copy of an issue of Arsenic Lullaby, which has humor that is not for the light of heart at all

Stay tuned for my post titled “How Much of a Supernatural Fangirl I Am.” XD

Madoka Magica – Actually Not Cute, Just Really Effed Up

I know what you must be thinking.

“But Alex, these girls look so cute and adorable! This is obviously just a fun show about magical girls with some potentially tough stories but in the end everything is great! They even have a sidekick cat!”

I’m sorry, dear internets, but you would be mistaken. Terribly. Mistaken.  Also? That ‘cat’ is an asshole.

As I mentioned in my First Impressions post, I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this anime. The first episode had my eye twitching, had me worried that this was just not going to be my kind of thing. Fortune Cookie from Defective Geeks stressed to me that I had to watch it to at least episode three. So I did.

And episode three is where everything changes. I actually gasped, and wrote the words holy shit holy shit  in my notes as I watched. And then sat there with my jaw on the floor.

And then watched the next episode. And the next.

From that point on, things are just…a mess. Really, terribly, a heartbreaking mess. Every episode is just full of terrible things happening to the group of girls, specifically to Madoka. As the overall plot of the story unfolded, and the stories of each girl were revealed, I just felt worse and worse for them, thinking WHAT ELSE COULD GO WRONG.

Look, what I’m saying is, I’m a rabid Fullmetal Alchemist fangirl, and the Elric brothers weren’t put through as much of a shitty time as these girls were.

And really, I do think that this is what kept me watching. I felt bad for these characters. They weren’t just magical girls prancing around and clumsily fighting off bad guys. Their stories were all tragic. Why they were magical girls was tragic. What inevitably happened to them was tragic. I was intrigued that the story was nothing like what I imagined, and ya, a part of me felt bad for judging the show just on the character art.

This anime is sad, but also kept my interest, and I would actually recommend it. Who saw that one coming? Certainly not me.

First Impressions: Madoka Magica Anime

Okay, instead of just jumping into an anime review, I decided to approach this one like I did for Tiger & Bunny. Madoka Magica is in a genre that I generally don’t get into these days, BUT it seems to be extremely popular in the cosplay community. So I’m curious.

I didn’t do any research prior to jumping into the anime. All I knew is that there were guns and girls in cute outfits, and I always see the blonde one cosplayed. And so, here is what I got out of the first episode.

The main character is a young girl, Madoka, who has a creepy dream featuring a bad ass girl fighting and a talking cat. This intro scene is cool, kick ass, rock music, I could dig it.  The cat says Madoka can save the girl, stop all the destruction, by making a contract with it.

Then she wakes up. I don’t like her Mom, but maybe that’s because she talks about how Madoka needs to be flashy and how a woman’s appearance is the one thing she can’t afford to get looked down on, and encourages her daughter to act as though she has secret admirers because that’s the secret behind every pretty girl’s success. Cue eye twitching, but maybe that’s a personal issue I should consider working out another time. /deep breaths

When she gets to school, that same girl from the dream shows up as the new girl, named Homura. Later that day, Madoka hears someone calling out, and upon wandering down a creepy lot witnesses a fight between a monster and the new girl, and Madoka and her friend get caught [of course]. Then, BAM, magical things happen, ANOTHER girl named Mami shows up and kicks ass, creature escapes, the talking cat is there [named Kyubey] , and ohey, wants Madoka and her friend Sayaka to become magical girls.

Yay! [?]

There is of course the magical transformation moment, and as a Sailor Moon/Ronin Warriors fan, I can’t roll my eyes. I can’t. I mean, I used to wake up at 6am on weekdays to watch these shows that both featured magical transformation and cheesy dialogue. I’m not sure yet what it is about this anime that has me twitching. But I am told by Fortune Cookie from Defective Geeks that I should keep watching.

Perhaps it’s because it ends with the cat asking them to become magical girls, and that’s that. No explanation, which I guess is supposed to drive viewers to say OH WHAT DOES THIS MEAN and entice them to watch the second episode. But for me, I wanted to know right then and there, exactly what that meant. Am I getting too old for some anime? D;

I am going to keep the promise I made to Fortune Cookie tonight over delicious carnitas fries and watch at least to episode three. A promise made over those fries is precious.

Anime Review: Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

Not your typical Count.

This anime was first released in 2005, and I had heard of it, but when it became available on Hulu I finally decided to check it out. It should be noted that this series is labeled as “loosely based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas”. It is definitely a loose translation, but one that I ended up enjoying, despite all its strange interpretations. I love the book – I have two copies, and one of them is really worn down. I read it several times in high school. I think this book is what started my love for angst. If you haven’t read it before, I highly recommend it. Revenge, love, angst – it’s awesome. But this anime can be enjoyed if you haven’t read it before. It does make it a bit more exciting if you have, though, since you can then laugh with joy as things begin to be revealed, and you just say “THAT’S RIGHT!” to the people who deserve everything that comes their way.

*cough*

One of the cool things about this anime is the animation style. Elements such as hair and clothing were made with Photoshop textures, which gave the setting a very unique look. It was admittedly a little jarring at first, but I quickly got used to it. The story kicks off with us being immediately introduced to Albert Mercer and Franz d’Epinay, who are set up as the key characters, instead of the Count as in the book. The Count is revealed in the first episode as being obviously set apart from the crowd – he has blue skin, fanged teeth, and an eccentric wardrobe. Albert sees him across the opera hall, and his eyes immediately light up at the sight of the Count, and I’m sitting here going WHOA WAIT WHAT IS THIS.

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