Anime Review: Battle Girls – Time Paradox

Since the last thing I reviewed was something with a unique and creative premise, I figure I should offset that by reviewing something that shows next to no creativity at all, Battle Girls – Time Paradox. It’s a show I previously wrote about during the Spring preview guide, so if you’ve read that you already know I’m not fond of the series, and that hasn’t changed after watching the whole thing.

Modern-day middle school girl Hideyoshi is mysteriously hurled into a world resembling the warring states period of Japanese history, only this time it’s inhabited only by women. This world’s Oda Nobunaga is gathering the legendary Crimson Armor so she can rule the world, and for some reason needs Hideyoshi’s help to do it.

The first thing wrong with this series is its source material. Although calling it source material is probably too generous. It’s based off of a pachinko game (this pachinko game to be precise). So really, the claim that this series contains no creativity is a tad bit wrong. It certainly takes some kind of creativity to make a thirteen episode anime based on a god damn pachinko game. The end result was crap, but still, congrats to the staff for managing to pull that off.

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Anime Therapy, Yeah Right!

Anime Therapy, Yeah Right!

A friend of mine was going to get married. Totally knocked over by this babe. He spoke in nothing but glowing terms & was bound & determined to spend the rest of his life with her.

According to him, you couldn’t find a more compatiple mate for him. So much alike, they were. Both PHDs & teachers. Both pretty much the same interests. He liked certain movies & shows. She liked certain movies & shows. He liked history. She liked history. He liked reading/litturature. She liked reading/litt. He liked girls. She liked ….. uh, yeah.

Her wires must have gotten crossed while she was engaged in correspondance as he ended up recieving a rather explicit letter intended for her “girlfriend”. In short, no wedding, gimme back the ring.

Two years down the road, he drops by to kill some time. I, being something of a sadist, figured he’d gotten over it, thought I’d spring a little something on him. I told him I’d found something he might be interested in & popped the disc in.

Dirty Pair Flash is a 90s reinvetion of the original 80s show/series by Haruka Takachiho. Two young ladies, Kei & Yuri, work for a contractural police agency solving crimes with LOTS of collateral damage, hence the name, Dirty Pair.

One of the three story arcs of the 16 ep series, Angels At Worlds End, involves solving a computer related industrial espionage situation at a planet wide theme park (For some strange reason it resembles Tokyo in the 90s. Why is that?) Along for the ride, is a young man (A computer systems tech/analyst.) named Touma.

In the fourth & least violent ep of this arc (Sparkling Flower Shop of Love) Touma becomes madly infatuated with Leena, a young lady he meets at a flower shop when he & Yuri duck in to get out of the rain. In his pursuit of her, she inquires more than once about his relationship with Yuri (Which is strictly professional.). This gets Touma even more fired up. It’s only toward the end the viewer finds that it’s Yuri Leena is “interested” in.

It was to this ep I clicked & we sat to watch. At one point, he asked if this had anything to do with him &, with a straight face, I promptly lied (I am an “actor” after all.). He sat there with a semi-puzzled look & every so often I’d peripherally see him glancing my way with a cocked eyebrow.

For most of the ep, it looks to be another of those dumb romance animes cluttering up the landscape. “Why on earth would anyone want me to watch this krap?” Why indeed. Heh, heh. I was inspired to do this by a former co-worker who once freaked out some poor soul with some yaoi hentai (gay anime porn).

Well, the end comes around & he’s there with a half frown/smirk on his face. He then busts out laughing along with the Kei character & her crude efforts to comfort Touma.

I was a bit concerned as to how he would take this, but, as he has a sense of humor, he took it quite well. At least it looked that way ….. I think.

Article copyright © 12-31-10 Jay Agan

This article originally posted at Jays’ Tee Vee.

Anime Review: Tiger & Bunny (Episodes 1 – 13)

It’s not often that I watch anime as it airs. I could never really do the weekly episode thing, as I usually end up forgetting to watch a show and letting the episodes pile up. That’s not really any different here either, as until a few days ago I had only seen the first four episodes of Tiger & Bunny, somehow managing to fall nine weeks behind. I also don’t review currently airing series very often, partially because of the aforementioned not watching them, and partially because I just prefer to wait for DVD/BD releases. But since I really like Tiger & Bunny, and it’s being simulcast (even though I can’t watch the simulcast because I don’t live in the US, United Kingdom, or Australia. (Seriously. God damn Australia gets a simulcast and Canada doesn’t)) I figure I might as well review it now that it’s about halfway finished.

Sternbild City and its citizens are protected from danger by a group of NEXT, individuals who have developed super powers, who play the role of heroes on a reality TV show. They get points for saving people and arresting criminals, and each hero has sponsors whose logos appear on their costumes. Wild Tiger is an older member of this group of heroes who has a habit of destroying property in the process of saving people. Things change for him when his sponsor company is bought out, and he’s forced to work with a partner that he has trouble getting along with.

Right off the bat Tiger & Bunny gets points for having an interesting concept. In a time where people are often complaining about anime lacking originality (hardly surprising for a medium made up mostly of adaptations of existing properties) it’s pretty great when a series actually tries to do something new. So a series about superheroes who compete with each other on a reality TV show, like crime fighting is some kind of game, really manages to separate itself from the rest of the herd. Though the reality TV show aspect isn’t as prevalent the further you get into the series, and the idea is never quite utilized to its full extent. That’s a little disappointing since there’s probably some interesting things you could do with a setting where characters view super heroes the same way we do, as characters who exist to entertain them, even if they’re also saving their lives.

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Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS – Mini Review

Zelda Ocarina of Time 3DS was released June, 19, 2011.  More of a revised port than a remake, the 3DS iteration of this classic title is an enjoyable experience.  The story, for those who are unfamiliar, is about a boy rising up to thwart an evil that wants to imprison and rule the land.  This tale has aged remarkably well and retains it’s classic status even to this day.  The story has remained untouched leaving the same dialogue and sound clips from each of it’s previous ports.  Including the dreaded “LISTEN” from Navi.

The gameplay has had a few tweaks and revisions.  The main improvement is that you have a second screen that you can use in real time to switch between items and accessories.  The Water Temple has never been less aggravating as switching the iron boots on and off is less of a chore then before.  Various tweaks and adjustments have made making playing this title more smooth.  There is also the inclusion of a Boss Rush mode that is unlocked after you beat the bosses of each temple.  Master Quest, which is a harder version of Ocarina of Time, is also unlocked after you complete the game.

The presentation is where this game has had the most of an overhaul.  The title is in 3D, as the title suggests, and it seems less of a gimmick and more natural to play in that manner.  There is an amazing depth to the world and it immerses you more then before.  Without 3D the game is still beautiful with improved textures and graphics.  Towns have more life now with added set pieces and scenery.  Shops acually have items stacked against the wall making it seem more like a shop people would visit.

Overall this title is an updated port of a timeless classic.  The 3D adds much to the experience along with updated textures and graphics.  The game play is smooth and more enjoyable with the second screen.  If you have not checked out this classic title you would be doing yourself a disservice for not at least trying it out.  For those with a 3DS and thinking this is just another shameless port by Nintendo, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

2011 Spring Anime Challenge Review: Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens

An art student named Jin Mikuriya carves a statue from the wood of the Kannagi tree only to have the statue come to life in the form of a goddess, who has now taken over the statue. He and “Nagi” work together to destroy the impurities that are gathering in the town.

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Plot:

Kannagi has some tough shoes to fill as a show that is aimed at the hardcore otaku fans, but also attempts to appeal to the non-otaku fans at the same time.  As a show that has to do both it does an adequate job with attempting to please both groups.  There are clichés that most would find in shows aimed at the hardcore crowd.  We have a harem, a cooking contest, the childhood friend who also is a potential loves interest, the otaku who claims he is not an otaku, etc.  Even though these aspects to exist in the series they are not to the degree that they would be executed during the show.   The clichés are touched upon and used but they do not go full head on with any of them.  Even the harem aspect is explained and each girl has a reason to try to be with Jin.  Given that the otaku clichés do exist, those who are not fans of these clichés will be annoyed that they do exists in the show.

In a surprising note, there is some character development present to the main cast of characters.  Each of them has a reason to do what they such as Nagi who as a deity is her job to rid the land of impurities and to determine who she really is.  Given that this is a 13 episode series, this type of development is not usually found in a series that is the length of a standard anime season.

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