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MAK's Anime Reviews
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As I was sleeping the night away from all the various Skype calls around the world (not celebrity-wise but still noticeable) and also contributing to the latest call-in show via message board (which we can say that our 13-year-old selves was awoken that day), the cell phone ring and the person on there was Jon, who I haven’t seen since the Hybrid Clone incident, and the reason he was calling was to hide from Nu, mainly because he put up a video that does resemble her voice and it wasn’t the first time that happened for her and now she wants to kick his ass for it. So I got up, was dressed, took a shot of Blue Leaf so I can be awake, and immediately called Tron, Paradox, and Neon & Lucky for backup to cool down the situation and NOT get anyone killed. Then out of the blue, Jon just showed up at the apartment, gasping and breathing for air from running all over the streets and I was really hoping that he didn’t lead Nu to this apartment and then she’ll kick my ass and the others (Yes, they’re involved in this, too, and they should get the same treatment as me)……and speaking of pissing off women and everyone in general, this is SCHOOL DAYS.





WARNING: The following review will contain spoilers of the whole show. If you have not watched the whole show, you should immediately leave this review now and see it for yourself but if you heard of it via show and other reviews, then stay tuned.




From what I heard about this anime, some say that this was either the best-worst anime they ever seen, although most of the time, I think the only evidence they can provide was the ending of said anime. Now it was based on a Japanese visual novel from 0verflow in 2005 and later for the PS2 and PSP, which does have minimal gameplay and are viewed from a 3rd person perspective.



School Days focuses on the life of Makoto Ito, a first-year high school student living in the fictional city of Haramihama (which is repeated very much in the series, I mind you) and he begins to take notice of Kotonoha Katsura, a soft-spoken and cute schoolmate who share train rides with him every morning and has a newfound crush on her and to help him get closer to Kotonoha Katsura is new upbeat desk partner and acquaintance Sekai Saionji, who really takes a special interest in helping them both but as Kotonoha & Makoto gets closer, Sekai eventually becomes jealous and has some sentimental feelings for Makoto, too, and when that happens, all of Sekai’s friends and acquaintances started to get in the involvement of Makoto’s love life and causes more friction that will spread the flames around the school.



Well, all I can say for this title is from what I heard is the ending is the most satisfying thing in the whole show and yet does it mean that it’s good?



No.

I’m sorry but I can’t really agree to that statement because even though the ending was very satisfying and was really unexpected, it still doesn’t mean the show is good only on one thing.

For example, the characters in this show I really loathed with all my heart. I can’t tell if it they wanted me to feel sorry for them when really I want to see them having terrible things done to them and want to see their heinous and petty actions to be justified. I can’t feel any drama from any of them because they always want to get somebody over and the worst of it all, the one person who could have prevented it doesn’t bother to help at all.


Take Makoto, I really hate this character because he is the definition of a dickhead character who he supposed to think that he’s the good guy. He’s not because he either lies or bullshits about the relationships he has whether with Kotonoha or Sekai and speaking of one of those two, how much of a bitch Sekai is? Kotonoha is basically the moe and quiet character but she’s nothing interesting to look over but Sekai has the role of being the sweet best friend but really, when she’s not that persona, she can be a real bitch to anyone behind their backs. Also, there is her friend Setsuna Kiyoura, who constantly tells Makoto to be faithful to Sekai and alienate Kotonoha and tells her to stay away from her and don’t fuck her but she also wants a taste of Makoto and betrays her friend. See the hypocrisy on that character? Then 4 or 5 more girls (I think) suddenly wants Makoto for their own purposes (as in, to bone) and most of them bullied Kotonoha for lying about him being her lover but then they want to fuck him for themselves.
.


Here’s my problem with the series, if it’s trying to be a breakdown of the slice-of-life genre of anime like Puella Magi Madoka Magica was the breakdown of Magical Girl anime, then School Days failed in that department. It’s basically like most of the slice-of-life anime with eechi in the mix and very tiresome CW-like drama. Most of the series is just so…..bland from the animation, made by TNK, an anime studio which I have never aired of but I think they either assisted on other anime in the past; the character designs are the basic moe girl with the innocent look that can deceive you and the music….which is very forgettable except that one particular scene I keep telling you about.



FINAL VERDICT: You know what, it’s no secret that I just hated this anime mainly because the characters are despicable, especially the main character who I desperately want to stomp on his privates and most of the female characters, who really needed to shut the hell up for their bullshit. It’s basically a show from The CW, ABC Family or any other teen soap as viewed in anime lens and I can’t support that. I’m sorry but this show really just upsets me.



So, does that mean I’ll give it a Clown shoes? Well, no. Like I said, the ending was the only good thing about it, so the final rating is...

2/10

Planet Tyro Rating: NOT FEELING THIS (AT ALL)



So, Jon has been hiding in here for almost 5 hours and I was certain that Nu became tired of searching and decided to go on home. So, Lucky and I went outside to check on Nu for a minute and then as the door closes, Jon notices an open window and then closes it but unfortunately, as he turned around, out comes Nu, smiling and grinning like a Cheshire cat and was ready to attack. As Jon screamed harder than a Twilight fan as he run for his life as Nu is beating his ass with a wooden pipe and was shooting at his feet and yet, me and Lucky didn’t hear anything from outside as we kept looking outside and we thought Jon was fucking with them. Meanwhile, Tron came out of the bathroom and immediately saw Nu holding a pistol, aimed at him and asked, “Where’s Jon?”, and Tron responded with a “I don’t know” shrug and then shoots him in the kneecap and lands on the toilet (a la Pulp Fiction) and he screamed “Why?” and Nu said, “It was in the script.” ---OBVIOUS FOURTH WALL JOKE---Jon then escaped out of the apartment and smacks Hybrid in the face and then said, “Hey! You didn’t notice me being smacked around in there and Tron just got shot---in the knees!” Then, Nu came out and grabs Jon and said to them “Look, I could smack you around, shoot you, stab you and possibly kill you, but then again—wait, I thought you can turn into a beast, what the fuck happened to that power?” Well, we can blame it on lazy or forgetful writing but…..yeah, there’s that. So Nu let him off with a warning and the next time would not be so friendly and then Tron came out with a bleeding knee and for retaliation, he shot Nu in the legs. Now everybody is going to need an ambulance (well, except myself & Lucky). Oh, and where was Neon the whole time
?




SCHOOL DAYS – courtesy of Avex Entertainment, Marvelous Entertainment, Lantis, TNK, Pony Canyon Enterprises
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Now everybody is going to need an ambulance (well, except myself & Lucky). Oh and where was Neon the whole time?

Well, Neon was guarding the roof in case Nu was to try the aerial route and while he was doing his job for the past 2 ½ hours, he notices somebody on the roof doing parkour and quickly assumed that it was her and then Neon went to check it out but only after he leaves, Nu actually did came from the roof and whom Neon did discover at that time, they were not a friendly and soon Neon got knocked the fuck out.

After some time, Neon awakens and on his left, he finds an unconscious Jumper strapped to a chair and he is not looking very fortunate since it resembles that he’s been trapped for some time now. His eyes looked bloodshot and very tiring and when Neon tries to wake him up, he was screaming “PHOENIX! PHOENIX! LET ME OUT OF THIS PLOT!!!” forcing Neon to calm him down but control his heart rate at that but then one person came in to the room with a screw driver and the sign imprinted on his arm that says “JYU-OH-SEI” or PLANET OF THE BEAST KING.




So…this is somewhat a fascinating sci-fi anime title from Studio BONES, the guys that brought you Wolf’s Rain, Eureka Seven & Xam’d, based on the manga series written and illustrated by Natsumi Itsuki.

On that, the plot of the series is that three hundred and fifty years have passed since humans first settled the Balkan star system, located approximately 150 light years from Earth, where a number of planets have been "terraformed" to resemble Earth. Two 11-year-old twins, Thor and Rai, live on the space colony Juno until they come home to find their parents have been murdered. The unknown assassins drop Thor and Rai on Chimaera, a secret planet used as a penal colony where day and night last 181 days each and the planet are marked by extreme weather patterns.



In other words, the plants dominate the ecosystem of the planet and have many defensive techniques as well as carnivorous varieties as a hazard to the people. In the society, there are 4 groups of humans called “Rings” that plays as governs via the Ochre Ring, Sun Ring, Blanc Ring and Noire Ring, which are based on skin color. Each ring is led by three people: the Top, Second, and Third, with the Top as the leader.

On characters, there isn’t a strong point on that faction. For example, take the main character Thor (yes, his name is Thor; I’ll spare the Marvel jokes and there is also the usage of names from Norse Mythology i.e. Odin, Loki, Heimdall) who at first seem like a weakling and eventually grow to be a stronger character than he was. Rai, on the other hand, isn’t much of a highlight considering he was annoying, whiny, and did slowed Thor down at some times and also was the first to die by the plants. That wasn’t really much of a spoiler; he gets killed off in the first episode. Tiz is an interesting character but there isn’t much motivation from her besides that she wants to marry Thor and have his children since on the planet since women make up 20% of the population and the chosen mate is not allowed to refuse. Third is a bit of a shifty character and it seems like he really can’t be trusted and without revealing anything, we can’t really be sure upon that. The other characters aren’t worth mentioning considering some get killed off quickly and/or we either don’t know much about them, making us not really care for their lives.


The series is only about 11 episodes and for me, the pace is a little too quick. I get that there isn’t filler and that is a plus but most of the time, they would leave out some important details that could’ve help the series progressed but it’s very flawed on that detail, much like Eden of the East and their follow-up movies.



The animation by BONES is actually good. The jungle scenery and sets has a realistic feel to it and the character designs are a bit jarring, especially with the designs of Thor and Rai, which I first assume was effeminate males although that design isn’t exactly new and then again, their child versions are voiced by a female voice actor so there’s no harm done. The background music was okay at the time but I really didn’t like the opening theme that has a taste of ‘90s boy band music and I really detest that kind of music but the ending was much better suited for where it’s at.


FINAL VERDICT: This was an okay series that really should’ve extended its episode count by at least about 3-4 episodes or even some extra OVAs. The pacing goes rapid and leaves out some details that could’ve been used for later. Some characters you can’t really care about when most of them might die after an episode or two or we just forget about them until the next time they appear. I would say to watch this, just to past the time.


So, Planet of the Beast King has earn the rating of

6/10


PLANET TYRO Rating: VANILLA



So, as that person enters the room and Neon was ready to fight for his life and as the guy waved the screwdriver and what he did was…..unscrew the locks out of Jumper’s chair and release him cautiously and then nothing else. He was free to go and Neon seems really puzzled about this. He wondered why Jumper was trapped under here and the guy explained he was going under stress therapy, meaning he had to perform many activities (either physical or mental) that would make him calm under pressure, such as hit by rocks, beaten with umbrellas, slapped by sumo wrestlers, watching Sucker Punch in a repeated loop and this girl named Kitty who threw mayonnaise on him. Neon had that weird look wondering is Jumper into that stuff and then Jumper outright defended himself and said, “NO!! You think I like having mayonnaise dumped on me? Beaten with umbrellas and rocks? Slapped around? And worst of all, having to watch that abomination known as Sucker Punch? I just went in here for some therapy, not be a contest in Fear Factor!!! Can I go home now?”

So, they went home and by home, I mean, back to the apartment. They came just in time after Nu injured Jon and was shot by Tron who was shot himself and Ani was wondering where the hell Neon has been, although she assumed that Nu easily handled him but I think Neon would rather say that than him being knocked out and kidnapped for no apparent reason. Then Hybrid and Lucky came back to the apartment with Hybrid eating shawarma like no other business while everyone stares and he offers some to anyone and everyone eats…..and eats…..and fade to black.

MEANWHILE AT THE HOSPITAL…….

“HELP NURSE!!” Tron screamed, “THERE’S SOME CRAZY WOMAN WHOSE BEATING ME WITH MY OWN CAST”. And Nu isn't even awake.





JYU-OH-SEI: PLANET OF THE BEAST KING – animation by BONES / distributed by FUNimation
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Previously……



MEANWHILE AT THE HOSPITAL…….

“HELP NURSE!!” Tron screamed, “THERE’S SOME CRAZY WOMAN WHOSE BEATING ME WITH MY OWN CAST”. And Nu isn’t even awake.


NOW

Tron tries to make a run for it because his efforts were proven to be lackluster since his legs still hurt from being shot there. As for Nu and Jon, they were still resting from the treatment that they needed plus the morphine and watching “Reading Rainbow” with DMX does help……..well, not the latter, the nurses had to turn that down due to the inappropriateness and the bit of hilarity of it. Then, suddenly, one nurse whose name is “Angel” spotted Tron limping from peril and shouting “help” in every way he gets and like a normal human being, she asked if he needed any help ASAP or if there’s any urgent danger. After they exchange pleasantries, the crazy woman comes back and continues to beat up Tron mercilessly and as Angel was about to call security, the woman grabbed her walkie talkie and then slaps her and tells her to get lost. Pissed off, Angel then decide to take matters into her own hand and just knock her out once, then slam her head against the wall and quickly said, “Yeah, hit me again and see what happens next.” Tron then called outside help (mainly the crew) and then the lady stands up again and her and Angel is about to come to fisticuffs and wait, what review is this again? Oh yeah, SAMURAI 7.





First, let me influence you on the movie directed by Akira Kurosawa in 1957. The plot is described as that it follows the story of a village of farmers that hire seven master less samurai (ronin) to combat bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops. The movie itself is being heralded as “one of the most influential films ever made” by many critics and audiences worldwide, especially since there was a western that was inspired by it called “The Magnificent Seven”, which many people have said that I need to see.

My opinion on the movie that it was a fascinating title that I think anybody who is into film should check out, although I only saw it once mostly to know what I’m getting into and what I gotten to, it’s something that I would highly recommended although the pace felt slow to me, but for me being new to the movie and if I see it again, it wouldn’t feel as long.



Now the anime still has some of the elements in the original film but it also has the elements of steampunk and/or the mecha genre added in there to give it more of a futuristic look. There is also a change that a Mikumari (or water maiden) named Kirara & her little sister Komachi (who isn’t in the original movie) led the search to find those samurai, as in the farmers in the show were too much of being pussies, especially one character who I will mention later, they send a water maiden and a little girl into the city to find samurai.

The samurai in name are Kanbei, the first samurai recruited by the villagers and the leader, described as a wise samurai who has survived many battles, though he feels no joy from them; Katsushirō Okamoto, a young and inexperienced samurai who wishes to be Kanbei's student, calling him sensei almost from their first meeting. Gorōbei Katayama, a skilled samurai who has made his living since the wars' end by entertaining people on the city streets and also knows Kanbei by reputation. Shichirōji, Kambei's former lieutenant, which he joins him again. Heihachi Hayashida, genial samurai who wishes to avoid fighting as much as possible and prefers to eat rice instead and man, that guy really likes rice so much. Kikuchiyo is a would-be samurai (right down to the false noble birth certificate) who eventually proves his worth but in the series, he is a cyborg with a mechanized exoskeleton and then there’s Kyuzo, a silent and mysterious swordsman who declined the offer once but later joins them.


The initial cast of samurai isn’t exactly developed but they don’t stray away from the movie, with the exception of Kikuchiyo being a cyborg, and they basically play their roles perfectly.

Some characters in the original film that doesn’t have a larger role there is actually some integrated more into the plot like Rikichi, who also led the search for samurai in the anime and shares the painful secret about his wife. His wife (who is named Sanae) does actually appear there more than in the movie. However, the character of Shino is greatly mishandled as she was the pivotal female role in the movie, but Kirara took that role right out of her hands, especially being Katsushirō’s love interest since Shino was the one in the movie.


The antagonists are more well-known in the anime than the movie but really, they are never that memorable, pretty easy to forget, and also not worth talking about.

Oh yeah, Shino’s father, Manzo, is the biggest cowardly weenie out of all the farmers out there, considering the fact he tried to sell out the samurai to the same people that wants to harvest their food and/or take their women and children. I get he wants to protect his daughter but he is doing a piss-poor job on it.



Now into the animation, which was made by studio GONZO…………oi. Okay, remember when JesuOtaku said about GONZO’s animation that when it’s good, it’s good and when it’s bad, it is HORRID?

Yeah, she knows what she was talking about.

A few times the clashing between 2D and 3D effects can be jarring a bit but not a complete turn-off. Some of the fighting animation is actually well-done and made but when they run out of their ¥32,500,000 ($300,000USD) budget, the laziness ensues and man, does it look awful, mostly trying to imitate the surrealism take on Studio 4°C and most of Madhouse shows. They are not those companies and they really should have tried harder on the animation. The background music for the first few episodes is very movie-inspired with the usage of Japanese musical instruments although I had a very Inuyasha vibe to the score, but then again, the same guy Kaoru Wada, also compose the score to that show as well. The opening and ending theme songs aren’t really much to talk about, they’re just either forgettable and/or not much to care about.


FINAL VERDICT: For fans of the movie, you might find this unfulfilling but I don’t think you’ll straight hate this but more likely to think that it was a completely different beast than the original work. As for fans of general anime, it’s nothing special to herald at but you won’t get bored with most episodes as they do pack a lot of action in them and never feels slow and since this show is now airing on Toonami and if you hadn’t already seen it, I would suggest giving it a chance before you switch off.



So, Samurai 7 actually gets some different ratings today.

7/10 – Watchable (in general)


6/10 – Vanilla (for the fans)


THE MOVIE - FIRST CLASS



Soon, Angel and the crazy lady start to really get gritty as she grabs a fire extinguisher, sprays it on her and continuously beating her with it and Tron did receiver some help from the crew but only Hybrid and Don showed up, mainly because everybody else had food poisoning due to bad shawarma meat and Hybrid was still feeling nauseous from it and where has Don been? Well, hell, I don’t know, he didn’t tell anybody. So, meanwhile, the ass-beating continues as Angel begin to show struggle as she was being strangled by a morphine cord and the lady notices something furry distracting her and as she figure it, Angel has a……tail? Yes, she has a wolf-like tail and with that, Angel delivers the final blow to her and won, only to reveal the furry ears behind her nurse’s hat. However, Tron also notice Angel’s real identity and not only that, she was also the flying wolf girl that Hybrid notice a few weeks ago. However, Tron was really feeling destitute and weak as he needed another impromptu surgery and Hybrid and Don showed up in time to see how he’s doing while Angel quickly hide her true form from everyone else. Don wondered who’s that nurse that Tron and why there was a broken fire extinguisher. I looked and asked the staff and they all said that no one exactly knows her name but people always call her “Angel”.

But really, there was more to Angel than what all of us know but what exactly?



SAMURAI 7 – animation by GONZO / distributed by FUNimation.

SEVEN SAMURAI (the 1957 movie) – courtesy of THE CRITERION COLLECTION
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Soon, Tron was safely put to sleep for the rest of the night and will be watched by many security guards that should’ve been in here in the first place but after Hybrid and Don check on him and make sure everything is alright, they are still skeptical of the actions of the one nurse named Angel and they soon follow her upstairs. As Angel makes sure the coast is clear from any unknown watchers, she sprout out her wings, run close to the edge of the roof and begins to take off flying but suddenly, Hybrid got the jump on her and tries to stop her from escaping with both of them fighting it out with Hybrid asking who was that lady that attacked Tron and Angel saying she doesn’t know anything about them or why this is happening and basically telling him to get the fuck off her or she’ll throw him to the ground. Don is patiently waiting for Hybrid to get the info but spots him and Angel in the air, but then Angel’s wings start to lose flight ability and they both begin crashing down and fortunately (or not), Don helped them landed into a safe spot…….into a garbage bin and then looking pissed off, Angel punches Hybrid and knocks him out.

After that mishap, Hybrid wakes up and he is in the car and finds Don in the driver seat, Nu and Jon out of the hospital & apparently Angel in the backseat while I was resting. When I woke up, I was startled for a bit and still wondering who she is. She explains to us that she did knew who I was the whole time and she used to work as a patroller/guardian angel to the Anime Gods and once hearing upon their “deaths”, she decided to go freelance (i.e. unemployed) and kept me and whoever with me on watch. She knew about the various activities that the Anime Gods made me do, including the Madhouse incident, the around the world scandal, the clones and the Initial stage. Angel has been keeping a low profile of her for a while, having to go undercover as a nurse and did some training for that. However, after she told me that, I was even more skeptical of her than before and got me thinking that she could be a double agent. I didn’t say it out loud but since she can be some help, especially to our cause (whatever the hell that is) and especially on the medical tip considering our friends back at the apartment has been sick from the shawarma.






Now let’s get into Marvel Animation. Like DC Comics is having trouble with their theatrical releases aside from the Nolan Batman movies, Marvel is doing worse in their animation department considering from I heard on the internet about the two beloved series Spectacular Spider-Man & the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes got canceled mostly due to Disney being a part of Marvel and after seeing Ultimate Spider-Man, fans were pissed at the result of that show and while that happened, Marvel decided to cross into anime territory along with the help of studio MADHOUSE with Marvel Anime, a 4-part anime project that reintroduces them for Japanese audiences and the following feature players were Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men & Blade. Now I’m only covering the Blade anime for today as the others will be on another day (summer 2013, coming soon).



Erik Brooks was half-man, half-vampire after his mother Carol was attacked by a vampire named Deacon Frost. He sought assistance from Noah Van Helsing and over time, vampires worldwide fear him as the "Daywalker" or "Blade". He investigates a vampire organization in Asia called "Existence" starting from Japan all the way to Southeast Asia.

Okay, I know most of you have heard some of this plot before and if you haven’t, you didn’t see the first Blade movie.

Yes, the plot of Blade hunting down Deacon Frost for killing his mother is a part of the first movie but in the series, the killing of said mother takes place in England, which I heard that Blade was originated from in the comics so yeah, Blade is British.



Joining the hunt alongside Blade is Makoto, a female vampire hunter who at first hunts Blade for killing her father, even though she should’ve been hunting for Frost since he turned him into a vampire and Blade was just doing his job and making sure she doesn’t die. There is also Noah Van Helsing, most likely the one who supplies Blade with weapons and for that, he does a better job of that than Shen from the live-action TV series and he has a wolf-dog whose name I don’t know or too lazy to find out.

Most of Frost’s flunkies or either vampires of the High Council are served as easy targets for Blade whether he comes close and it doesn’t seem much of a fight but just as a fly in his face and the weirdest (and dumbest) thing about it whenever Blade finishes an adversary, he calls out a move like it’s a damn videogame move. All the other very minor characters in the series often share their backstories but we as an audience can’t get too close to them since after that episode, that part never gets mentioned again. Even Deacon Frost just turns out to be a pretty generic villain and yet I don’t know this version of Blade is better or worse than the Stephen Dorff version and yet both versions want the vampires to rule the world, even going against the purebloods……which is the exact same thing that happened in the movie but in here, it feels too much of what we already seen in most action-oriented and/or comic book series.



So, in the U.S., the show (along the other Marvel Anime) aired on the formerly geek-centric G4 and the dub of this was made by Studiopolis, Inc., an ADR production company who worked on dubs (either anime or Western animation) in the past such as Afro Samurai, Blood+, Bleach & Naruto. The voice of Blade in this effort was Harold Perrineau, whom you know from Lost, OZ & Link from The Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions and he was fairly decent in his part, not better but still better than Sticky Fingaz’ effort.



While the animation by MADHOUSE does look very beautiful and dark to look at but the action scenes animated there rate from sub-par to weak, since I mentioned the calling-out your move when finishing an enemy earlier and the character design of Blade looks……odd in some way but not in a bad way but very strange. The music overall is awful in this series, mostly a generic rock theme for the series that never fits the tone whatsoever and the rest of the music is standard anime music but not exactly being a standout.


FINAL VERDICT (THE ANIME): Very, very uninspired and overall boring. I will say that plot is more Blade-focused rather than going for the other characters’ less important side story and most of Blade’s past in the series has more detail added than the movies but the action gets rather too repetitive too quick and too monotonous. I can’t judge the whole Marvel/MADHOUSE project too quick since those I’ll check out later but for this one, I’ll say watch only once.



Marvel Anime: Blade gets the rating of 4/10 –

Planet Tyro Rating: High NOT FEELING THIS/A LOW Acquired Taste



Meanwhile at the apartment, the rest (or some) of the team (i.e. Ani, Neon, Lucky & Paradox) are trying not to vomit too much. Ani was lying down on the couch moaning, Neon was banging on the door while Lucky is in the bathroom and Paradox is screaming “Damn you, Robert Downey Jr.!!” for some reason that many of you might guess what it is. Then the rest of the guys got back into the place and introduce Angel to everybody and they’re not feeling quite ecstatic but not because of her. Ani, with little balance she got, introduce herself to Angel and said it’s good that we needed more people to be a part of your little crew and as she is about to welcome her aboard, she started to feel even more sick and headed to the bathroom and luckily Angel brought something to cure them quickly.

After administering the cure, Angel tells them all the stuff she told earlier in the car and some of the reactions to that have made assumptions that Angel might be a double agent and could betray our trust and has us killed and Lucky is definitely keeping watch on her, mostly due to the fact that she’s part wolf. The rest of the crew has very mixed reactions to having another member but they still agreed to let her in our inner circle of wandering eccentric people.

And the night goes on………but as for Tron………


Well, there were some unexpected visitors that pay him for a visit.



MARVEL ANIME: BLADE – animation by MADHOUSE / distributed by SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT & MARVEL
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At the hospital late at night, a few hospital workers on the late night shift were to keep watch on Tron while he’s resting. Everything was going smooth but when one of the workers went to get some morphine, they were ambushed, drugged, and kept locked in the storage room by some unknown entities. Everybody else was wondering where that guy went to and so, most of them went to check on him but two people remain in the room. So, the same technique happen again and again with the other workers and soon after that, as it turns out, these people were somewhat associated with the Anime Gods but are in a completely different faction called One Blood and they are basically the dirty deeds men to the Anime Gods but now they’re continuing their work starting with Tron. They questioned him all about The Hybrid, his past adventures and his teammates/friends but Tron refused to speak about them, even spitting back at their responses. However, that just pisses them off even worse as they were to go to drastic measures but unfortunately for Tron, it was not going to end well. Tron kept screaming, “NO!!”, “Please!!”, “Stop! For the love of God, I beg of you”, but the pain and punishment was so harsh, it can’t be described…..yet. As for now, let’s get into the BBB or should I say…..Black Blood Brothers.




I don’t know if you notice lately or before but there was been a numerous amount of anime with vampires in the main element. Much like movies in the past, present and the future, the vampire boom has been around anime ever since the ‘80s (as far as I know) and there were many hits such as Hellsing, Blood: The Last Vampire, Karin, Vampire Hunter D and many others to be named. But I wonder what can be different about this series or different from any vampire media……well, let’s hope it won’t be like that other vampire franchise but let’s focus on this now.

During a war called the Hong Kong Crusade, an Old Blood Black Blood Brothers, Jiro Mochizuki, a.k.a. the Silver Blade (Gintō), fought and defeated the Kowloon king and also most of the Kowloon Children. Ten years later, Jiro heads to Hong Kong with his little brother, Kotaro Mochizuki, in hopes of reaching The Special Zone, a thriving secret city where Vampires live. They soon realize that a plan to infiltrate the Special Zone is being hatched by the Kowloon Children survivors. As they travel to The Special Zone, Jiro encounters enemies from the past and new threats that may endanger the safety of the Special Zone. The abduction of Kotaro, by one of the Kowloon Children, thrusts him even further into the battle.


Most of the time in the series, they place the story of Jiro and his late lover in the beginning segments before the main plot surfaces onto the screen. It can be confusing for the first few times if that story doesn’t intersect too much with the original focus but it didn’t seem to bother me in the that track time. The pace for the show wasn’t really quick but for an 12-episode series, it didn’t drag out too long and it got to where it needed to be at that time but at the series’ end, it should added at least one more episode to explain some further details but then again it was one of those “you have to read the manga to find out more” type of show but it’s mostly saying, “Read for once in your life, you lazy fuck!!”.


The characters in this series are not as flattering or even noteworthy of being memorable. Jiro plays the archetype of the vampire who still mourns for his lost love and somewhat an unstoppable force to reckon with……well, not really. Water is his weakness. Yes, we can survive bullets and sometimes the sun since he does be in the daylight but water can really mess him up. Kotaro…….should I feel bad that the first I see him in the show and he was banging on the coffin and Jiro beat him around, I laughed at that? But, yeah, Kotaro is basically the cheery comic relief of the show and he’s not really helpful in this and the fact he does get kidnapped and put in danger a lot. He just seems more to get in the way of things then actually helping out. Mimiko wasn’t too bad of a character to deal with, although she does chastise Jiro many times in the story. The only other character that actually does contribute to the story is Cassa, once friends with Jiro and his lover, Alice Eve (not the actress) but betrayed him by killing her. Every other character (like Kelly Wong) gets tossed aside from show altogether, practically not caring whether their story matters at all.



The animation is rather bland and uninteresting. It looks well done with 50% of the fight scenes but there’s nothing more to that. Group TAC & Studio Live, the companies that provided the animation, really don’t have anything else noticeable in their resume, aside assisting other animation studios on their projects but I don’t know if they’re going to have any future projects after this. The music is also surprisingly dull, albeit has a switch of melodic tone from the OP song to the ED song. The BG music was nothing to expect anything new but average at best.

FINAL VERDICT: It would be cliché to say Black Blood Brothers brought nothing interesting or exciting to the table but it holds up to be pretty average in my book. Some parts you’ll find to be remotely watchable and consistent but aside from that, it can be a mess to go through with. I would say BBB is only good for a one-time watch and that’s it.




So, Black Blood Brothers gets the final grade of

6/10


PLANET TYRO RATING: VANILLA


The next morning at the hospital, as one of the administrators arrived at work, they founded the unconscious bodies of the night shift workers and then checked in every room to see anything wrong with the patients and so far it was a close one until they went into Tron’s room and saw something horrific, so vile, and so cruel. His body was as limp and lifeless as they found it……and according to them, it looks like an overdose of morphine in his system but really, One Blood injected some poison with the morphine and it eventually made him spaz out and blood was coming out of every orifice, eventually causing death at the matter of minutes. The rest of the crew eventually heard about the news via Angel, as she got a call that early morning since she was his day shift nurse and as the crew mourns his unexpected death, One Blood is planning out their next move and that is to eventually hunt the remaining members who’s known of the Anime Gods and it unfortunately spells out doom for everyone involved in this (i.e., Don, Neon, Nu, Ani, Jon, Jumper, Prof. Paradox, Kris, GSXR, Lucky and especially both Angel and Hybrid himself) and now more than ever, they will need prepare for war and it will be the fight of their lives and I can’t really say that everything is going to be all right…..because this is something that they can’t assume they’ll be alive after.


BLACK BLOOD BROTHERS – animation by STUDIO LIVE/GROUP TAC, distributed by FUNimation
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It has been some time since the death of Tron and after the group had him cremated and spread his ashes across the ocean, the group really have to stick together now since all of them are being hunted by One Blood, the tough-gong assassins responsible for his death. But the group is thinking of splitting up for good, covering their traces, changing their names and moving on with their lives, but Hybrid wasn’t going to just give up just like that. He had to rally them to not give up…..without being too cliché and after-school special-ish but Don had to slap some sense into him (literally Don had to slap the shit out of Hybrid) and had to yell at his face that he is basically killing us slowly by making us stay here. Hybrid had the look of disappointment and disarray, saying that if they want to leave, and so they left but said nothing to him…..and after that Hybrid went to a bar and start to drink his sorrows away, raising his glass to the Tron’s short-lived legacy and uncontrollably bellows his voice all around the bar and soon after he left, someone started to follow him on the way back to his place although he was too pissy-drunk to notice. As somebody with a switchblade is about to charge at him when suddenly Angel sneaked around the guys, subdued them by pistol and grabbed Hybrid before One Blood got their chance and Hybrid was really surprised when she arrived even he reeks of booze and cigar smoke (Hybrid doesn’t smoke cigars BTW.) Then she notices more gun shots coming from One Blood and decides to fly her way out of there and meet back to Hybrid’s place but unfortunately for her, more One Blood assassins came over there just as she got there but thought of a quick plan. She quickly ran into the building, having them chasing her and Hybrid to one specific spot when as soon as she got there, she threw me in the attic when Jon, Jumper and Paradox grabbed me and Neon was waiting his cue with the katana sword and Angel finally gave him the word and he sliced the assassin……in half. Top and bottom and there was blood spewing over everywhere and wait, there’s more but for now……..the review of CANAAN comes to mind.





The girls-with-guns movement is spotlighted again during my time and this show has come to mind to have some elements of shows like that in the past and wondering that will this be a déjà vu comparison to those other shows? Well, first, the name “CANAAN” is a reference to the Old Testament, describing a land with milk and honey. Also, the anime is based on the scenario of a visual novel game 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de made for the Nintendo Wii and onto a sequel to the game, it centers around three women and their connection to an anti-terrorism summit two years ago, Shibuya was ravaged by a biological terrorist attack using the deadly Ua virus. Maria Osawa was saved when her father inoculated her against the virus, but is left with partial amnesia from the shock. She works as a cameraman when she reunites with a girl named Canaan in Shanghai, China. A gifted assassin with synesthesia, she is under orders from an unknown organization for a yet unspecified mission.



You know what? I already sensed the déjà vu situation describing the plot details of this anime…….mainly because it all reminds of the Bee Train trilogy of Noir, Madlax, & El Cazador de la Bruja, three shows whose plots are not really that different from each other and the fact the latter two are spiritual successors to the original. Personally, I do like the Bee Train trilogy more or less (Madlax being the less, El Cazador being the more) but I have developed a sense of what to come across to these types of show, for example:

1.The show is set in an exotic place other than Japan.
2.Sometimes the theme is war (either inner or outer) and an organization unknown to the world is somehow involved.
3.Main female character is an assassin or bounty hunter; the other one has amnesia and can’t remember shit.
4.Sometimes one is stoic (or both in Noir’s case); the other can be the picture of innocence and naiveté.
5.The tone of the relationship between the two female characters has more or an equal amount of Yuri tones. (i.e., I sense a lot of fan fiction about these girls wink wink).



So that’s basically what I sense when I watch these types of anime………



Now as for characters, Canaan herself is the basically stoic female assassin we seen and she can get pretty dull to know about (she became an assassin due to death of her parents and her mentor Siam and wants revenge against the person that offed him) but she was interesting for a while. Maria Osawa is the archetype character of being the eyes of an innocent naiveté young woman and she was a likable character from start to finish (and cute, too. I’m just saying). There is also her boss Minorikawa or Mino-san, who feels more like he’s just in for the ride, like a role reversal considering Maria would fit into that role. Then there’s Yun Yun, the eccentric and energetic young girl and the comic relief (which is kind of new in my book of these types of shows) and one of the surviving test subjects of the Ua virus experiment. The prominent antagonist of the show is Alphard Al Sheya, the leader of the terrorist organization Snake and Canaan’s archrival and there is Alphard’s top lieutenant Liang Qi and I got to say that she has got to be one of the craziest, obsessed, and deranged secondary characters I’ve seen……..it scares me a bit but, hell, I love that about her. Her almost OTT appearance makes it seem believable that she is that fucking insane about what she does. I actually cared more about her than the main villain or the main character.



I would say that Bee Train is somehow involved in the production and they are, but they don’t do the main animation, it’s the work of P.A. Works, the same animation team behind Angel Beats and Another and it looks absolutely beautiful. There was no noticeable mistake and hiccup in any of the fight scenes and I applaud them for that. The character designs were a bit basic for anime design of character although I keep thinking of Yun Yun as a little girl rather than an older female. The opening song of the show comes out a bit obnoxious especially with the electric keyboard in the beginning. The rest of the BGM and ending song were quiet, melodic, and sometimes stealth for a while.



The dub by Sentai Filmworks was alright, however I should have talked about this guy already the last time I reviewed something from Sentai (that wasn’t a re-release from Geneon) and yes, for those who know what I’m about to say is about the ADR director/writer Steven Foster, who is responsible for the dubs of High School of the Dead, Ghost Stories, and the majority of most Sentai Filmworks dubs today and he can be either decent or awful and fortunately for him, it’s on the line of listenable for me. I will give praise to the voice actors/actresses including Shirley Calene-Black, Hilary Haag, Andrew Love, Serena Varghese and especially Jessica Boone for her role as Liang Qi. Yeah, you can tell I really loved that performance.

FINAL VERDICT: I can easily say that I really did enjoy the series all throughout the run, even if most of the plot either seems already done in an anime but some of the time the dialogue is a bit awkward and jarring to hear because of the adapted writing, but I’ll say that if you like any of the girls-with-guns anime trilogy, you’ll like this. If you don’t (and I know some who don’t), then you might want to skip this.



So for me, Canaan gets the well-deserved rating of:

7.5/10


PLANET TYRO RATING: Low SOLID B.



Suddenly, Nu came out with a fucking sledgehammer and easily smashed the guy’s ribcage into pieces and Ani cut one of them in the Achilles’ tendon, easily disarming them. Then Angel went to the one that hasn’t been injured or died yet and tells him you better surrender quickly or things are not going to end well for them. He called her bluff and said that who’s going to be after us and then Don, Kris, GSXR & Lucky were all pointing guns at him and as for Hybrid, Paradox had to give him the Blue Leaf to reduce his alcohol content in his system and he’s back to his normal state. It was time to interrogation and Hybrid came in with a hammer, but he was sure to not kill the guy or torture him too much so that we get the info we need. But as expected, he won’t answer a question and swears that One Blood will destroy me and as another threat, he say that he might kill me last just so he’ll watch my friends die. That comment did anger me a bit and those words gave me more reasons to just kill him……but Hybrid had to control myself and that Angel and Ani came in to interrogate him. Then the guy started to act like a sexist pig and was staring at them like the typical pervert, even trying to put a hand of them. Angel then started to punch him like in the eye and stomp him in his junk, telling him to quit with the bullshit and tell us everything about One Blood. He wouldn’t budge and whisper something else in Angel’s ear. I’m not going to say what but it’s very unpleasant. Soon, Ani decides to step in and she has something hidden on her person and what it is……it’s a power drill and from that sinister smirk on her face, Ani tells Angel to leave the room and tell the others to not enter for 5 minutes and for that next 5 minutes, all we heard was a lot of screaming and hollering; Ani telling him to answer the question and after more minutes of pain, he finally confessed to everything about them, including that they have not only contracts out on Hybrid but Angel is definitely a top target as well. Why were they going after her? He said that sooner or later, they were going to get rid of her and they might as well stick her with the rest of us.

Angel feeling more than betrayed by her bosses and Hybrid more angry than usual , asking that do he have more than enough info on One Blood. Ani said yes and she wonders why about that and has a dark thought in her head as she rushed into the room as Hybrid calmly walks into the room and executes the guy by shooting him in the torso twice and in the head point blank. Everybody walked into the room to stop him but it was too late. A dark cloud was hanging unto Hybrid’s mind as he said that we need to disappear…..fast but he needed to call someone for assistance.

“Hello. Listen, I know right now you’re just coming back from Japan and seeing the sights, buying some stuff, checking out the girls but how fast can you get here?.........Because right now it’s on."


CANAAN – animated by P.A. WORKS / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
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As Hybrid continues to wipe the blood off his face from shooting that guy and disposing the body, Kris came up to him and confronted him about the whole One Blood and he needed to fully know how much of a big threat these guys are; Hybrid explain these guys have tons of automatic guns, sharp objects, poisons, and mostly anything that can kill them all and Kris replied that we’re screwed and walks off. Soon after that, Angel slapped Hybrid and confronted him about shooting and killing that guy and begins to wonder if he’s starting to become just as devious and cold-blooded as the assassins but Hybrid interrupted Angel by yelling/confronting her on the fact that the Anime Gods were going to off her just for the hell of it. Then Ani added in that at least Angel didn’t get drunk and decides to just straight shoot the guy out of revenge but Ani remembered that she used a drill to get answers out of him. While the three argue, Neon spotted three vehicles pulling up in the parking and the people that came out of the car are loaded with a lot of machine guns, pistols, grenades, swords, basically all the stuff that Hybrid mentioned earlier about that. Neon sounded off like a siren, warning the guys immediately to evacuate the building but it wouldn’t be best to shout that so loud, the assassins could hear it from outside and one of them began to aim at Neon’s head but he escaped at the last minute as a barrage of bullets are coming at him and he ran into one of them as they pulled out their gun and tried to shot him but Neon manage to dodge it but ends up being shot in the arm, also stabbing the guy and he tries to run it off despite the pain of his arm bleeding and Don & Nu ran up to him, sees he’s injured and being followed as Don carries him while Nu handled shooting the assassins busting out of the window while more assassins are barging and trashing the place…..much like the apartment of one Katsuhiro Sato, i.e. Welcome to the N.H.K., motherfuckers!






Are many of us afraid to become a NEET or a hikikomori nowadays? You know, where you basically don’t go to college or have a job, not contributing to society as most people calls it and instead you’re living off your parents for money, becoming closed off to the world, anti-social to everyone you know (or at least that’s what most people think of being anti-social, but mostly to the people you don’t give a shit about) and basically you’re referred to as a freak? Yeah, I’m not going to sugarcoat this but this does exist in the world and it can discourage you at most times during the time of your adult life. It can happen to anyone through anything.



Tatsuhiro Satou, a 22 year old young man, is a NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) and a hikikomori (meaning acute social withdrawal). He believes everything around him is a conspiracy, including the reason why many people, himself included, become hikikomori. Due to this, Satou (mostly influenced in his high school days by Hitomi Kashiwa, or as he calls her Senpai, yes, someone actually uses that word. Make all the “I hope somebody-Senpai notices me” jokes you want) creates a strange conspiracy theory which includes the Nihon Hikikomori Kyōkai (NHK), a secret organization with the intention of producing a hikikomori filled world. Satou intends to break free from the NHK's clutches, but cannot, since he finds it too frightening to go outdoors by him; that is, until he meets Misaki Nakahara, who selects Satou for her "project" that she claims will cure him of his hikikomori ways and yet he wants to prove to her that he’s not one by telling her he’s a stay-at-home game designer working on his next project with the help of his irritable next-door neighbor Kaoru Yamazaki, who seems like a NEET but actually goes to a school and a bit more stable than Satou but still messed up in the head.



Now, the premise of the series does seem a bit odd like why did somebody think of this in the first place, leading them to thinking that this would not work at all but in actuality, it fits perfectly fine as the series goes along with the tone of dark humor involving tropes and references of anime, online gaming, manga, and conspiracy theories among those. Somebody going outside of their world, feeling strange to surroundings that they are not familiar with and trying not to fail connecting or crossing in that world seems new to the world of anime since I’m not sure if anyone uses that concept before, maybe in a few movies or TV series but not in an anime before.



Character-wise, the show mainly has the focus on four main characters and that’s what I’m going to do. Sato is an idiot, but I can’t say he wasn’t relatable or unlikable to anyone out there and not the stereotype of what most people think of NEETs. He may be a hikikomori but his problems are like what every day normal people goes through. It’s another story with Yamazaki, I wanted to feel for this character but sometimes they are reasons why he should get his ass kicked and also close to the stereotype of the reason why geeks and nerds can’t get laid……that and that damn song he played at the beginning of the series got stuck in my head. I do like Misaki as a character since she does have good intentions on helping Satou with the counseling but it is obvious that she has a crush on him, I even spotted that from the beginning of the show. Hitomi may be a part of the past life of Satou but most of the time she’s never relevant in the main plot except for a few episodes in the halfway mark. The dub voices of them by ADV Films were done well by Chris Patton, Luci Christian, Stephanie Wittels & Greg Ayres but I will say for Ayres if you can’t tolerate his voice, then you will hate his character overall.



The animation of the show is done by Gonzo. Okay, even though Gonzo is known for doing good animation in the earlier stages of an anime and then they’ll fuck it up when they ran out of the animation budget but I don’t hate Gonzo considering the past work I liked from them was Afro Samurai, Afro Samurai: Resurrection & Romeo X Juliet. What I said about Samurai 7 and their animation, the same can be said for this one but it felt like a better effort put into this since this falls under slice-of-life and they often get bigger budgets. The music is fairly okay with the main score sounds like something out of a Sundance Film Festival entry and the opening of the series is a standard light J-Pop sound but the ending music…….oh, the ending music, I really love the ending song to this because it feels like one acid trip after another but unfortunately, that song only lasts for 12 episodes, the other song……I won’t speak of.



FINAL VERDICT: Welcome to the N.H.K. is a daring series that doesn’t bullshit on the details and it has all the elements of what you expect from an indie comedy-drama movie. I can see some people ranking this as high on their list but I’ll say I consider this a must-see but not something you put in your hall of fame chest. The characters are relatable to an extent where it gets confusedly weird to get to, the animation is good at some times but can be bad and overall, while it can get depressing at some parts, it’s still something that most anime (even non-anime fans that might get into anime) should check out.



So, what would I give this anime? (look both ways in case of the NHK watching me)…….

9/10

Planet Tyro Rating: FIRST CLASS



Meanwhile, Lucky began to snatch guys, subduing and/or killing them, and putting grenades in their mouth just to throw them back at the guys just to kill them while Jon helped by bashing most of the guys’ skulls into dust and Jumper lures the assassins on his trail and have Paradox blind them with a flash bang before GSXR executes every last one of them by pistol. Kris then has to tell Angel and Ani (and Hybrid, of course) to keep their fucking calm down and reminds them of the hoard of assassins charging and shooting at everything. However, things are not looking as good for Jon as the assassins shot tranquilizer darts at him, making him weak and vulnerable to attack but Jon continues to fight them as long as he can. Angel, Ani and Hybrid armed with pistols, a shotgun and a machine gun, respectively, fought their way out of the groove as even more people by the droves attacking them, in which Angel clotheslined and shot one, Ani stabbed one of them in the neck and Hybrid just jammed his fingers in one of their eye socket, very violently. They run into Don, Nu and Neon at the end of the hallway as more assassins closing in on them but then Hybrid shot the ground in a circle and crashing down to the next floor and runs for the exit then following Kris covered in blood, his and mostly the assassins’, GSXR & Jumper and also Paradox by being thrown out of a window…..luckily, Jumper caught him. But Jon was limping out of there last and as he’s close to the people, encouraged by Hybrid to make it out alive and then……Jon was shot in the back, bleeding progressively as the crew was shocked and mortified as one of their own was killed by One Blood and Hybrid especially felt responsible and guilt-ridden by this but soon a large plane appeared out of nowhere and Hybrid grabbed everyone and transported them into the plane and then did the same with the plane and where they went to next…....



WELCOME TO THE NHK – animation by GONZO / distributed by FUNIMATION (formerly ADV Films)
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Well, as we last left, everyone was transported into a passing airplane while unfortunately Jon has been gunned down by One Blood, leaving Hybrid remorseful and fully aware of what his capabilities of keeping them from being killed. The stress and guilt was eating at him so much, he decided to inject more than the recommended dosage of Blue Leaf whether One Blood strikes again. Then Hybrid spotted someone checking in the back and needed to hide quickly so he won’t be spotted and he noticed who it was. It’s Habib, the one guy Hybrid met during the MADHOUSE scandal and he quite gave him a scare that time and as he makes a quiet escape, something went haywire with his power and then he appeared in front of Habib and the first reaction to that is…..him smacking Hybrid for that scare the last time. He asks why he is in the plane and if he’s going to do some more strange shit with his powers but Hybrid was feeling too melancholy to explain and he told Habib all about what happened. After 20 minutes of explaining everything, Habib came to the conclusion that Hybrid fucked up dearly, he was an idiot but understand him being remorseful and regretting his earlier actions and needs to counterstrike quickly and not get anyone else killed. Habib agreed to help him attack One Blood and begin to ready the weapons but he also asked where the others at? Then Hybrid remembers where he transported them to……and he suddenly remembered it was near a vacant desert……and it leads to our next review DESERT PUNK.







When first knowing about this anime and reading/watching other reviews of the series, it’s a space western that much akin to Trigun and there are some major comparisons to that show, which we’ll get into later and believe it as looking into Desert Punk, you’ll recognize some similarities to it.

In the future, Japan is a wasteland. In the Great Kanto Desert, scattered humans eke out a living in the hot sand. Among them, a short-statured man they call "Sunabozu (Japanese version)" or “Desert Punk (English Version)” – real name being Kanta Mizuno makes a living as a bounty hunter. Like a demon of the sand, he seems unbeatable. Yet, like all men, he has a particular weakness for the opposite sex.




For characters, Kanta is a selfish, arrogant, sex-addicting, boob-obsessed, crude short perverted asshole…….and that’s what I like about him. Yeah, most of the traits I sometimes loathe in most characters, whether in animation or live-action form within my heart and he’s the protagonist but at least he’s being straightforward with his intentions. He isn’t trying to be the hero of the wild west of Japan. He’s doing this to survive by any means necessary although sometimes he can mess it up by being his somewhat normal self. Then there’s Kosuna – real name being Taiko Koizumi, the later apprentice of Desert Punk as he defeated her old apprentice The Shimmer Sniper and she begged him to be his apprentice and he accepted her offer……mostly after she shown him a picture of her large-breasted mother….or some woman that she claims to be her mother. Yeah, she’s whiny and seems like she can’t handle being a mercenary but as the series progresses, her character strength and motivation grows.




Speaking of big breasts, there’s Junko Asagiri, known as “The Vixen of the Desert” and the female rival and sexual desire to Desert Punk as she often uses her sex appeal to get her way and every other time, DP tries to cop a feel of her very large breasts and yes, he does get slapped and beaten for that. She does contribute the fan service part of the series but it never gets that risqué or close to a Hentai. It’s more eechi but not so annoying, you’ll get turned off. There is Rain Spider, who is equivalent to DP when it comes to combat and he is not to be fuck with when you tried to run away from him and he’s quite humorous in his scenes, especially that one particular scene. There are other supporting characters like the Machine Gun Brothers, who are childhood friends to Desert Punk but they even know that he’s an asshole and there is their sister Natsuko, who is also DP’s childhood friend and (you guess it!!) wants to fondle her breasts especially when they were young and you wonder why the Machine Gun Brothers would want to kick his ass.


Now the show’s perverted humor and okay timing has been made a staple of this series and it did a decent job of delivering on that but halfway of the show, it completely does a 180 and the tone changes in some areas, just like Trigun. However, somewhat like that aforementioned series, the execution of changing the tone did a little hit or miss. For example, the first opening theme completely fits the first half of the series much like the opening theme for Trigun fits for the first half of the show but once the serious episodes begin, that theme feels so inappropriate and out of tune. The second opening theme of Desert Punk just got out of the way with showing “Tits and ass” at first and then “Shit gets real, y’all”. The animation was done by Gonzo and this was actually done with a budget that didn’t run out of money that fast. There might be small hiccups that are hardly noticeable and has the post-apocalyptic/western clash that looks like it came out of Mad Max minus the Thunderdome. The background music plays some orchestral sounds for the action & serious dramatic moments while most of the time it plays something that sounds like it’s coming from a soft core porn but it’s passable at best. The FUNimation dub was an earlier but satisfying effort with actors like Eric Vale as the title character. Luci Christian does sound a bit whiny as Kosuna but it feels more suited within the character and Kenny Green surpasses all expectations as Rain Spider. Other actors such as Callie (or Stephanie, I don’t know which) Young, Jamie Marchi & the other FUNimation extras are very acceptable in their parts.



FINAL VERDICT: It’s rude, crude, unabashed, shameless, and yet it’s hilarious. Yeah, most of the characters (especially one in particular) you don’t know whether to like or question or loathe but it’s so unconventional that you wouldn’t really care less about it. For most people that would be fans of eechi titles, this one is something I would say to check out but I wouldn’t rush to get it just that quick.


So this Desert Punk gets the ultimate rating of:

8/10

PLANET TYRO RATING: SOLID B
.


As it turns out as Hybrid was transporting the rest of the crew, he sent them into a vacant desert where no one could track them and would be put out of harm’s way but as it turns out, Habib is flying near where they’re at and that’s where he’s stopping at as he drops Hybrid off with the others. However, as Habib begins to take off, a gun was pointed at his head and suddenly it was One Blood that appeared and now he was wrapped into this, too. Why? They needed a plane for some unexplained reason and they figured that they found a ride and their captives; they hit the jackpot and then execute their plan to snuff them out. Kris then kept a hidden gun in his person and while nobody is looking, he disarms a gang member, took his gun and shot him in the kneecap twice and then in the torso three times. The leader then shot Kris in the leg almost got him in the head but Hybrid grabbed him, took his gun, and shot him in his foot. Soon a barrage of bullets flying fast past everyone and now it’s coming down to that moment of truth.


DESERT PUNK – animation by GONZO / distributed by FUNimation
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As it all falls down, The Hybrid and the crew are battling it out with One Blood by using everything they got with Ani shooting out their legs; Nu, Don, and Neon scrapping it out on the battlefield; Angel on aerial mode to strike them down; GSXR and Jumper via bike assault and me battling the main guy with Lucky assisting and taking out all the others. Since Habib had pretty much nothing to do with this, he had to get Kris away from the gunfire since he’s been hurt and Paradox was to help them with the first aid. The battle seem to go on forever with no stopping the other guys but just as it‘s winding down, things take a turn for the worse as one guy stabs Don several times in the torso, shot down GSXR’s ride with Jumper breaking many bones as possible, Ani and Angel being cornered and taken down instantly and soon even Lucky is being outnumbered by them. Nu was holding her ground but starting to show her weakness as multiple members’ kept shooting at her but then, Neon kept deflecting the bullets from her and Nu kept steadily shooting and tearing them apart and as Hybrid is heading toward the leader, he violently grip every neck by cracking, ripping throats and just straight killing them and it approaches as we get to review of LOVE HINA.




Like any other anime among casual fans and otakus everywhere, this happens to have a massive fan base as it was based on the manga series by Ken Akamatsu. However, I know little of the harem genre of anime, aside from the fact it’s usually a guy living and/or being with a variety of girls or the opposite being the reverse harem, where it’s a bunch of guys surrounding a young lady with examples of shows like Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, Ranma ½ & Tenchi Muyo.

Keitaro Urashima is determined to be accepted into Tokyo University, the hardest Japanese University of all to get into, because of a promise he made to a girl when he was young... a girl whose name he can't even remember. After failing to get into Tokyo U twice, he is kicked out by his parents and goes to live with his Grandmother at her hotel, but it seems it has been turned into an all-girls boarding house. What's more, much to his surprise and to the tenants disgust, Keitaro is made manager of the boarding house.



So watching all the initial 25 episodes, I am the guy that usually isn’t quick to judge on an anime even before watching it but after a few episodes, my reaction to this show is pure disgust and hatred. Yeah, that’s right, I really hate this show and I mean genuinely hate it from the bottom of my heart.



Let’s start with the storyline and the romance. The show isn’t exactly episodic to an ump, mostly Keitaro trying to get into Tokyo U. just to find his true love he promised to meet but he isn’t exactly the sharpest mind and the same goes to Naru Narusegawa, a girl who looks similar to his crush and also trying to get into Tokyo U. Most of the time, it evolves around as the somewhat couple-to-be and there herein lies the problem. They are a terrible couple, much like a beaten housewife and an abusive husband, only Keitaro the former. I mean, really, Naru has got to be one of the worst female characters in all of anime and for that; I officially take back what I said about Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion. All the time when Keitaro always gets in these awkward positions, especially ones designed to be perverted, he gets the shit beaten out of him…ALL THE TIME and I mean every damn time!!! Hell, every time I think of that, the Kendrick Lamar song, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” comes to mind, only replace the word “drank” with “hit, punch, or ouch”. Hell, if you make a drinking game out of it, you’ll die for sure. Keitaro as a pervert is nowhere near the level of most characters like Desert Punk but he is quite the moron in this show as I don’t know why he has the patience of not only her but the rest of the girls living there and it’s obvious that both have a crush on each other but Naru has the nerve to tell him to be a man and say something about it, while she is definitely worse in the department when she can’t even tell the dork that she loves him, too. She kept talking about how problematic and pervy he is but she’s violent, temperamental, petty, immature and juvenile, just like this show. They are mismatched as a couple as Kim Kardashian and…….anybody stupid enough to marry her (for a couple of days).

I would speak about the other characters but what’s the point about that? Most of the plot involves around the two main characters and I can’t stand either of them (and yes, that includes Keitaro, he’s just a dense moron who often has the IQ of a weed-infused porcupine) and the other characters involve themselves into that cycle and really, that’s the whole other problem. Kitsune, the white-haired resident, is mostly the one who’s doing the meddling in their problems and does manipulate people just for a sick kick. Motoko practices the art of kendo and sometimes uses it to beat and threaten Keitaro, and just about everything, even for something out of his control, it’s “I’ma kill you, Keitaro!!!”. Shinobu is basically the poster child for “I hope Senpai notices me” meme as one of the only character that actually doesn’t rag on him, however, it is obvious that she has a crush on him. Hell, you got to have a neon sign if you’re that dense of the situation. Su basically have Ed (from Cowboy Bebop)-like similarities but the only exception to that is Ed is likable while Su just causes more trouble for everybody and as for Sara McDougal……..the less I say about her, the better as she annoys me whenever she’s on screen. Mutsumi is the ditzy girl who has a crush on Keitaro but Naru kept cock-blocking Keitaro, but we all know she’s jealous of them being together, no matter what she say. Haruka, on the other hand, is actually the only person who actually has a pleasant presence on screen as she’s the only person who’s actually enjoyable to watch but that’s not enough to favor this. As for the two best friends…….FUCK THOSE GUYS…….HARD!!!!



That’s part of the problem of this show. It thinks it’s being funny and humorous considering there is nothing funny about some defenseless dweeb getting beat up over and over again by violent women whose first response is beat the living shit out of them without any explanation. It would’ve been fine if it was some guy who deserves it a lot but apparently, FUCK THAT SHIT!, it’s all about turning the harem genre upside-down, much like Elfen Lied, but like that, it gets too damn tiring and the hype turns into disappointment but here, it goes into hatred.

Now for the animation, it is done by Xebec, a division of the acclaimed animation studio Production I.G. and they mostly do adaptations based off manga while I.G. does original content. However, I watched Kanokon this year and I have more to that about that coming up. It’s actually…..nothing special and I suspect most of it being gag-based especially with the punching Keitaro silly scenes. The character and production designs are passable but still bland compared to better shows. The opening theme is most likely the one to skip because I couldn’t stand it the first time I heard it. The ending theme is not as bad but still I wouldn’t stick around to listen to it. The BGM is alright to a full extent but is very amateurish at best with its clustered style. The dub (yes, I watched the dub with subtitles to know the direct translation) is grating in some areas but not as bad. Wendee Lee, who voices Su, directs the adaptation for this for a dubbing company that’s not Bang Zoom!, but while she’s a fantastic voice actress, she’s no Mary Elizabeth McGlynn when it comes to directing.




FINAL VERDICT: It’s no contest that I really hate this show and all it does is cater to the lowest common denominator of anime fans and what sickens me about it is that people find this to be funny. I cringed every time I watch an episode of this show. I despise the despicable characters and I know there is no deeper meaning of this but really, this is the best? I fear for those people and if I had one wish, it’s to never watch this again.


And guess what, I’m not going easy on this, this deserves the lowest rating of them all and I’m usually generous on a few anime, but this time, this is a….

0/10


Planet Tyro Rating: CLOWNSHOES


That’s right. It has the same level of quality as Eiken and Kanokon. Cringe worthy and painful to watch.


Soon it was down to a few people on each team as Don is down for the count, GSXR is either unconscious or twitching, same goes to Jumper, Lucky was bleeding from the brutal beat downs, Neon is getting tired from deflecting bullets but unfortunately Nu caught one in the shoulder and leg. Plus, Angel and Ani are still standing but soon Ani began to cough blood and last but not least, Hybrid was ready to attack the leader with his Blue Leaf power but he used Red Mist to render him weak and powerless and he began to kick Hybrid while he’s down but he grab the guy’s leg and stab him in the foot. Angel grabbed a copper string and used it to choke the guy’s throat but then pull down Angel and while being distracted, Ani threw rocks, glass and pistol-whips him (I don’t know why, just go along with it), Neon is about to deliver the semi-final blow when he stabs Neon in his ribcage but the leader notices him being stabbed……twice and it was Nu who was the second wielder and then she grabbed a pistol and shot him in the head. Thus he is dead but soon Neon was beginning to lose blood, so we needed to stop the bleeding but suddenly one lone survivor began to creep on Ani but then I pushed her safely out of the way and shot him in the throat and face while he is shot himself and Hybrid falls down wounded and almost slipping to comatose. In short, the war was done but there was some losses with Don stabbed, GSXR & Jumper from an auto accident, Jon got shot, Neon suffering stab wounds and possibly a blood clot, Lucky bleeding everywhere, and Hybrid injured all around. Once all the others came about here, they got their own ambulance and drove their way to the hospital and then…….FADE TO BLACK.


LOVE HINA – animation by XEBEC / distributed by FUNimation (formerly BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT – and that was before they went under)
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So……usually, I don’t review anime shows this length but since I’m being blackmailed to it or a certain lynx will reveal my whereabouts to you-know-who, I should probably get started on this. Monster Rancher……Yes, I know the Japanese version of that is Monster Farm but today we are doing the English version that aired on the now-defunct (and fortunately) Fox Kids. Now it is based on a series of life simulation RPG videogames created by Tecmo (the company that brought you Ninja Gaiden & Dead or Alive) having over 14 games across different videogame platforms.


In the anime adaptation, it revolves around Genki, a 12-year-old middle school boy who really loves to play videogames and one day, he discover the Monster Rancher game and as he plays it, he is zapped into their universe where he meets the rest of the team: Holly, a 14-year-old girl on the quest along with their monster team, Mochi, Suezo, Golem, Tiger and Hare (No, I’m not calling them Tiger and Bunny) to find the ancient Monster Phoenix, and it is the only powerful monster that’s able to stop the dastardly……..MOO!



Yes, his name is Moo. What happened to Mistress BAA? Overlord BARK? Princess SQUEE? Hell, where is Grand Master MEOW?



Now, you’re wondering that this anime reminds you of something. You know, that type of anime that involves battle monsters and traveling in unknown strange lands especially when the travelers are very young and it’s also based on card game/videogame franchise. I know what this anime reminds of……..it’s like…..DEATH NOTE!!!



OK, I’m just kidding. But the difference between Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Digimon & Death Note is Death Note doesn’t have those noticeable COPYCATS and generic ones at that (unless somebody can correct me)!! WHY anyone would needed another one of this type of anime? I get that it’s something for kids to watch and even though this came out when I was a kid, I never knew about its existence but I guess that were trying to cash in on the Pokémon/Digimon/Yu-Gi-Oh craze and I don’t think it worked that well considering Monster Rancher only lasts about 72 episodes and the other ones just go on forever even if we had enough.



Well, the story is generic, there’s no doubt about it. Now the characters: Genki is fucking annoying……there, I said it. Basically he is the stereotype of this type of anime where he’s very determined, optimistic, and hopeful and likes to yell something at the top of his lungs. Man, do I want to strangle this kid and tell him to SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU DAMN MORON!! Most of the dialogue is so annoying in this show and for example, the antagonists in the show? They are referred as “baddies”. Yes, They say that on this show and you know what, whether I think of that word, I’m thinking of somebody playing a drinking game to this show and you got to take a shot whenever someone say “baddies”. I guess that no one survived. Most of the monsters with the exception of Tiger are very forgettable, mainly because he bothered me the least and Holly…..yeah, she was important, too…….kinda. The name MOO as a villain is still stupid and I mean really fucking stupid.



I’m ashamed to say who did the animation of this, considering they made one of my favorite movies (not just anime movies, but overall movie of all time). The studio is TMS (Tōkyō Movie Shinsha) and what they made before this was Akira of course, Little Nemo (yeah, that movie was animated by a Japanese animation studio. Go figure. I didn’t know that at first.) Anyway, the animation level here is about average for a now-vintage kid show but speed lines do occur sometimes and it makes it seem like they are slipping in that department and character designs are a bit average.



The music……me screaming at the top of my lungs would sound better than this played-out Wal-Mart style Pokémon rap they played and also that damn side song that goes “Get a disk, take a risk, spin it fast, through the past”. I could’ve ended it with, “I rather get shot in the ass.”



Now, on to the English dub and surprisingly to me, this wasn’t made by 4Kids. No, really, 4Kids are not responsible for this dub, for once. It was made by a dubbing company in Canada called The Ocean Group and yet the anime & western animation they dub or just voiced before and after this were better made. Here are a few examples: Black Lagoon, The Girl Who Leap through Time, Escaflowne, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Death Note and Inuyasha….freaking Inuyasha!! Yes, Inyuasha isn’t that great IMO but I rather watch that than this. Most of the voice work in here do sound so very kiddy-like, it hurts and it gets very irritating by the minute hearing those voices, especially since I recognize some voices that came from Ed, Edd, N Eddy.



FINAL VERDICT: I could easily say that this show makes me want to curse kid-aimed anime, such as this, Beyblade and Scan 2Go, but even as a kid, I wouldn’t be as interested in shows like that and in the present day, I still won’t have an interest in it. But as much as I want to trash the show, I can’t but one of the reasons why is that the show can get genuinely decent for most of the time, especially in the emotional moments in the show gives it a plus in my book but still that gets shadowed by the idiocy of the writing, the marketing and the shallowness that basically carried this show. Now even though for you have any kids or younger relatives that might be interested in this and it reminds them of those other shows I mentioned before, just tell them those shows are better than this.


As for the second season............I just gonna say what was the point of that? Because there really wasn't unless they wanted more exposure but that failed.



In other words, Monster Rancher gets the grade of

3.5/10


PLANET TYRO RATING: HIGH Not Feeling This/An Acquired Taste


MONSTER RANCHER - animation by TMS ENTERTAINMENT / courtesy of BOHBOT Entertainment (aired on FOX KIDS / first-run syndication)
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Well, here’s the thing about this anime right here. This is a spinoff OVA to their sister series SoulTaker and yet I’m going in without watching the original series. From what I heard about the show, people absolutely hated it, mostly because they found the character Komugi was so annoying in SoulTaker, a whole OVA series that revolves around her would spell anger into a lot of fans, non-fans and even anime reviewers, especially a certain wolf/angel-based reviewer I know. *wink wink*.



Ungrar, the King of Viruses, has escaped from his prison cell in Vaccine World. Maya, the Goddess of Vaccine World sends Mugimaru down to Earth to find a human to accept the powers of Vaccine World and become the Magical Nurse. He finds the best (and the only willing) person for the job when he meets Komugi Nakahara.



“Komugi is a playful, lazy, and easily distracted (typical) teenager whose dream is to become a cosplay idol and balancing her career with the Kiri-Pro Promotion Company and her new job battling Ungrar's loyal henchman and the Magical Maid Koyori.” – That’s what part of the plot synopsis said when I read it on ANN, I swear.



Well, Komugi is all those things but sometimes she gets very cringe worthy to deal with and it’s not just her. I really can’t stand the constant bickering between Komugi and Megumi, who mostly tease each other’s breast size and they do it every time and it gets real old real fast……in other words, I can’t just both of these girls. Then came Koyori, who is Komugi’s friend that works as a model and cosplayer and yet she’s also her rival when it comes to them being magical girls. But how does she turn into that? She loses consciousness………yeah. There is also Runa, a child star who also works for Kiri Pro with Komugi and also teases her about her being flat-chested but yet she seems to be the one that annoys her the least but not a favorite of mine.



Matter of fact, nobody on this show is a favorite character of mine. There are either too bland or too annoying to give a shit about. I’m sure some of the characters from the original series have more character than they do here. They scream, yell too much, overact, and try to overexcite one too many times.



Now for the animation department, Tatsunoko Pro, being the original animation company for SoulTaker but in here, they are around with the help of Kyoto Animation……yes, that Kyoto Animation and for what it is, the animation is fine with what it is and there is some hiccups especially in some of the magical girl and fight sequences in between the series, thankfully it lasted 5 episodes or 6 if you count episode 2.5 or the other OVAs that I didn’t know of.





The music does have that very cutesy J-Popish sound that many people know and the music is about as bland as the rest of the series. The first time I listened to these songs I just wanted to skip the whole music sequence together and for you either liked these songs, then all the power to you. As for the English dub, some of the original SoulTaker cast from The Ocean Group/Geneon dub does appear in here, although NWK was distributed by ADV Films but yet it was such a chore to go through. The voice actress for Komugi, Jocelyne Loewen, is really grating on the ears and feels like her motivation in the script is to annoy you. Luci Christian does play the role of Mugi-maru and yet it’s sad to see her doing this part considering she really is a great voice-actress and they got her sounding like Webby from Ducktales smoking up menthols.




FINAL VERDICT: As it all comes down to this, this OVA is really so damn annoying but it’s nothing to rage about and the simple fact that it’s too dull to rage this series. It’s something nobody really wanted or needed but either way you watched it and regret it but not really care for it.



As in, this series ----- here’s the truth, I’m….

PLANET TYRO RATING: NOT FEELING THIS


2/10
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NURSE WITCH KOMUGI - animation by TATSUNOKO PRO/KYOTO ANIMATION and distributed by ADV FILMS
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Well, just like when I reviewed Neon Genesis Evangelion back in January 2012, it’s time to look into another mind-fuck anime that was made in the ‘90s, only this time I’m revisiting the works of one writer named Chiaki J. Konaka and character designer Yoshitoshi Abe and yet their only other work I have ever reviewed is Texhnolyze and yet I felt like I couldn’t get into that anime but yet I wonder, what can be different about today’s review? Besides that this is only 13 episodes and it should a breeze to watch, it is still worth the mindfuck.

Here’s a little backstory of the series. What is The Wired you may ask? “The Wired” (not just the internet) is the human communication network through telephone services and internet networks as it can be linked to enable unconscious communication between humans and machines without being face-to-face. Part of that project is courtesy of Eiri Masami, the project director of Protocol 7, who included his code for his creation to have control of The Wired by “uploading” his consciousness into there and then, died a few days later in actuality. If such a link was created, the network would become equivalent to Reality as the general consensus of all perceptions and knowledge. The thin line between what is real and what is possible would then begin to blur.



Now you must be wondering, where does the character Lain comes in and what it is about her?



At first, Lain Iwakura is introduced as this very painfully shy and introverted junior high school student with a few friends and interests, not really knowing much about the world or even in computers, considering in the first episode she either didn’t know much about it since the first episode was about a fellow student named Chisa Yomoda committing suicide and an email from her was sent to all the students and Chisa tells her (in real time) that she is not dead, but has just "abandoned the flesh", and has found God in the Wired. Now onto the character of Lain and usually I would state that if she is likable, relatable, important to the plot, all of that and well…….it’s no second guess that she is most of those things because most of us did felt like Lain once upon a time and it’s very common that people have this trait and it can’t just be solved overnight. Her home life isn’t exactly daisies, although it’s more like pushing them, i.e. the mom is very harsh and apathetic, the father does care for her but is often busy with work and her sister is kind of a snooty bitch.



The show covers the themes of communication, loneliness, mental illness, reality and theology. Communication as one of the theme is an example of Lain’s friend Alice (who does act like a real sincere friend and can relate to how Lain is) trying to help her socialize with other people including the clique she usually hangs out with and going to the nightclub Cyberia (not that Siberia). Loneliness is the prime example that represents the character of Lain herself and her aforementioned family life.

Mental illness does play a big part of the series as in the divided world of The Wired and reality (also part of the theme) but when she enters the world of “The Wired”, personalities of her begin to grow, multiply, and expand as the shyness continue to diminish a bit and yet more of her darker side and split personalities separate from her and could take over her physical life as well as her Wired life. The first one is her real-world self, second one is her Wired personality, and last her evil, devious personality which can put the real Lain or the ones close to her harm.



From what I get from here, this is one anime that isn’t very linear in his story section and at some parts, I got confused with some of the dialogue that was written and most people even thought that Neon Genesis Evangelion was an influencer to the series. It was denied by Konaka and seen he never seen it until he finished the fourth episode of Lain. I can see a little of EVA but while EVA just spread thin during the last 2 episodes, this fits the right amount of just 13 episodes and doesn’t drag for too long like their later effort Texhnolyze.



The animation was brought to you by Triangle Staff, whose other famous shows include Slayers, NieA under 7 and assisting on other works and yeah, this series shows its age and vintage as it’s been around for almost 15 years, so it’s evident enough the show may not look that good to fresh eyes and character designs are much the style of Yoshitoshi Abe with his trademark character appearances.



Music is almost minimal with the exception of a few music choices of grunge and industrial tech music used as background music. The OP theme "Duvet” was written and performed in English by the British band Bôa was one of the many anime songs that I listen to willingly, even if I’m not watching the anime itself. It’s still a very great song in its own form. The ending theme, "Tooi Sakebi" (Distant Scream), was written and composed by Reichi Nakaido, was an okay song but it never stuck to me like the opening theme. The English dub, made by Animaze/Geneon (now FUNimation is distributing it in North America), wasn’t bad and yet it had its odd hiccups with the acting although Bridget Hoffman playing Lain was the best and only standout performance throughout, although Kirk Thornton as Eiri Masami deserves some praise as well.



FINAL VERDICT: This is one mind-fuck of a series and it is a damn good mind-fuck, possibly enough to say that I like it more than Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is pretty easy to like an anime better than that show. Most characters of the show are mainly some people I felt close related to in a way, especially with Lain. The story can be confusing to make a detail out of it but maybe a re-watch, you’ll probably get it.


Lain is definitely worth the watch if you have the time, and that’s why it is a

PLANET TYRO RATING: FIRST CLASS / 9/10


SERIAL EXPERIMENTS LAIN – animation by TRIANGLE STAFF / distributed by FUNimation Entertainment (formerly GENEON)
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It was a cold and wintery evening and out there was this underground pub no one outside the anime realm knows about called, “BONES Brewery”, where people who are anime fans, reviewers, or even producers come to either to have a good time there or drink their sorrows away with a few drinks. There was a man who was just so damn depressed, you swear if he was on the verge of a catastrophic breakdown until somebody who had their face covered with a yellow scarf arrived and ask for one pint and sat down with the guy. He asked what was his problem and why was he drinking his ass off and he said he was having flashback nightmares about his tenure as a soldier during the Long Days’ War and needed to drink to forget (pardon the corny X-Men Origins Wolverine reference) and he preceded to tell me his tales of guerilla warfare, brutal deaths, and terrorism…which leads to the topic of JIN-ROH THE WOLF BRIGADE.




Now before reviewing this, I remember seeing this movie way back on premium movie channel Encore Action and as of today, I questioned why it was shown there considering the movie isn’t much on action but more focused through the drama and hardships of World War II, or in this case, it’s an alternate version of a post-World War II where Germany has taken over Japan, instead of the United States.



After witnessing the suicide bombing of a terrorist girl, Constable Kazuki Fuse becomes haunted by her image, and is forced to undergo retraining for his position in the Capital Police's Special Unit. However, unknown to him, he becomes a key player in a dispute between Capital and Local Police forces, as he finds himself increasingly involved with the sister of the very girl he saw die.



Now I really don’t talk politics much in my reviews mainly because I’m not really much of an expert on that but the movie does have its political references from Japan’s own situation from the 1960s and 1970s where massive student protests for the ANPO Hantai movement and the interesting fact about it is that not only Mamoru Oshii, the writer of the movie, was involved in back in their hayday but so was Studio Ghibli regulars Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) and Hayao Miyazaki.



Part of the story in Jin-Roh also parallels toward Rotkäppchen (or Little Red Riding Hood / the real Grimm fairytale version) as the girl in the red hood in the beginning as like Red running from the wolves but from what I saw from the movie and saw from other reviews (either professional or amateur), the roles of the that can be switched, making it somewhat more unexpected than the usual story. As for the main character himself, Fuse is that character who may be a constable and associated with the army, but I think some people, especially those who went through what he did, can relate to the guy and the trauma that he is suffering from. On a small note, the movie’s pace can be slow for the majority of the film, so it would be better to watch when there is nothing on and the graphic violence may not be suitable for the squeamish, although it’s shown for the brutality of make a message and not just to show violence for the sake of it.



As for the animation, it is done by the amazing Production I.G., and the animation is dark, broody with muted colors and yes, it is centered more of a realistic Japan rather than the same style that we’re used to. I’m not going to bitch about what style of whatever animation and character design most animators do and for what it’s worth, it did an outstanding job for that.



The music wasn’t that very noticeable as that wasn’t anything that captured any attention to my ears, but the score was decent. The English dub done by The Ocean Group via Bandai Entertainment was actually one of their more well-acted
productions considering I didn’t have kind words for them last time (fucking Monster Rancher) but here, I can see why they get work for many anime worth watching.



FINAL VERDICT: Well, I will say that Jin-Roh is worth watching and it is, but sometimes for an hour and 40 minutes, it can feel like 3 hours at a time. The character development was handled extremely great and really dug in deep into knowing them and their emotion but after you watch it (or watch it for reviewing), it isn’t something you would watch again.



And so, Jin-Roh the Wolf Brigade gets an honest grade of

Planet Tyro Rating: SOLID B - 8/10



And so after hearing that whole story that was very similar of the plot of Jin-Roh, the yellow-scarfed man did developed more sympathy from him but he’ll implore the guy to stop drinking himself to death and just buck the fuck up….but it was too late for the drunken guy as the alcohol begins to make him….well, it begins to make him belligerent and much like a drunk, he starts to get confrontational and began knocking the guy out flat on his ass. Then the drunkard was attracting attention from all the tough guys, just thirsty for a bar house fight and when the yellow-scarfed guy was more conscious, he removed the scarf to reveal his identity and do you know who was the guy with the scarf all along? Yep, it is the Hybrid in disguise. What he did next started the whole bloody and bruising affair as he grabbed some beer bottles and started to beat him down but not trying to kill him. He grabbed the guy and said, “Look, buddy, I was trying to make you not feel so bad about you suffering with your bullshit and yet, you beat my ass for no apparent reason? I get you’re drunk but dammit, you can’t be doing this shit.” Then Hybrid got up, left him and as he got close to the exit, two guys blocked him and said these words to him, “So……you’re the Hybrid, aren’t you?"



JIN-ROH THE WOLF BRIGADE – animation by PRODUCTION I.G. / distributed by BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT (at least for now, that is)
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Posted 8/5/13
“So……you’re the Hybrid, aren’t you?”

Those words send a chill in Hybrid’s spine once some bounty hunters in the bar found out his identity but one of the guys disagree and said, “Nah, they can’t be him. People said he was somewhere out there hanging out with some angel wolf girl he knew.” Then the conversation continued with, “I thought that was some guy named MAK. Aren’t we looking for The Hybrid?”, “LOOK!! The point is not about whom the fuck ever is MAK or some wolf girl….The Hybrid, the guy that faced the Anime Gods himself is right there in our own eyes. Somebody wants him alive and we get a large bounty of him.” Then Hybrid got confused at that comment and responded to what bounty was he talking about and he found out he was worth over $6 million and Hybrid continued to read the rest. “Well, boy….” one of the hunters said as he grabbed Hybrid by the arms, “I suggest you come with us nice and slow so we can get our money.” Then Hybrid proceeded to grab his gun and shot him in the knee and said, “Now, the bounty said they want me alive, right? And I know how this shit works…….and if you think about killing me just for the hell of it; this money will be nothing but a pipedream.” Hybrid walks out and then out of nowhere, he was snatched by a rider and their accomplice….which leads out to our following review of BLACK LAGOON.






For the time worth watching this, people have been describing this as the younger sister of “Cowboy Bebop”, being the anime equivalent to the big action blockbuster Hollywood movie (The Rock, Bad Boys, any 80s’ action flick you can think of) with the many details of graphic violence, excessive cursing and language, sexuality thrown in there and a bit of inspiration some such filmmakers as Quentin Tarantino & John Woo, although the former did a bit of anime in his venture (yes, you should know what I’m talking about).

The story follows a team of pirates/mercenaries known as Lagoon Company, which smuggles goods in and around the seas of Southeast Asia in the early to mid-1990s. Their base of operations is located in the fictional harbor city of Roanapur in southeast Thailand (somewhere in the Amphoe Mueang Trat district, likely on the mainland north/northeast of the Ko Chang island or on the island itself). They transport goods in the 80-foot (24 m) Elco-type PT boat Black Lagoon. Lagoon Company does business with various clients, but has a particularly friendly relationship with the Russian crime syndicate Hotel Moscow. The team takes on a variety of missions—which may involve violent firefights, hand-to-hand combat, and nautical battles—in various Southeast Asian locations, even going as far as Phu Quoc island of Vietnam and when not doing much, the members of the Lagoon Company spend much of their down time at The Yellow Flag, a bar in Roanapur which is often destroyed in firefights.



Now for the characters of the show, it does have a very vast range of characters but sometimes that showcase as little as they can. Rokuro Okajima, or Rock, is the main protagonist of the show as the Japanese salary man who is so bored and displeased with his daily life and no one exactly gave a shit about him. Actually, when the company he worked for send him out to deliver a package and he gotten captured, they just abandoned him as he was expendable to them. Aside from being captured, Rock manages to keep his mild-mannered and humble attitude throughout the whole show, which is in contrast to our next character, Revy, also known as “Two Hands” (at least she didn’t swing chains). She is one of the most foul-mouthed, merciless, sadistic and fatal characters of the show and that really got the show in drive. Hell, most of the opening sequence is practically her being showcased in action and while she often gets irritated by Rock in the first season but she is protective of him as the series goes along.

The other members of the Lagoon Company include Dutch, the black leader of the company, who is more of the easygoing and relaxed members and last, there’s Benny, the tech specialist member who in his past gotten into the mafia and would’ve ended up dead if Revy didn’t saved him. Now, I would like these characters to have backstory in the show but unfortunately, it’s being taken up by the former two characters of the series, which really disappointed me considering they seemed like interesting characters to know…maybe they might be in the manga, though.



Like I said, there was a wide variety of characters in the show that will probably be too many to mention and name drop like Balalaika, the boss of Hotel Moscow, one of the many gangs that are mentioned in the show and not only she is very skilled at what she does but practically a character that makes her presence to be feared. There is also the Hong Kong Triads lead by Mr. Chang and his top assassin Shenhua; The Colombian Cartel, The Church of Violence, The Aryan Socialist Union (Neo Nazis.) and The Washimine Group (Japanese Yakuza), who are more heavily-involved towards the end of the show.

The show is total 24 episodes, with the first and the second season called “The Second Barrage”, and I will say that the second season has more of a storyline while the first is just random missions with little storyline aside from the main one and yet for some characters like Roberta and her arc makes me crave for more of her (luckily, there is an option for that) but the vampire incestuous twins Hansel and Gretel didn’t feel organic to the series or even to most of the plot. They could’ve been thrown out of the show entirely and not much of a difference would have been made.



As for the animation, the credit all goes to Madhouse for the many use of blood, detailed fight scenes and gun battles, chase scenes, beautiful scenery, and for the opening and ending sequences, which the music for both worked well. The OP theme, “Red Faction” by MELL will get your blood pumping as the show begins, although singing it….I would not suggest if you get the lyrics and the ending music….yeah, music, it’s not much of a theme but many people complained about it being slow, depressing, and drags down the tone of the series…..maybe it does but most of the time when the show have its serious moments, it’s appropriate to rather end on that note rather than just generic hard-driving rock music. The ending music for episode 15 was actually one of my favorites but the last ending theme music was more of a “meh” to me.



Now, as for the dub from Geneon/Ocean, it is a bit 50/50, on the one hand, the dub fits more naturally than the sub, considering its flair is more international and some characters speak English naturally, performances from Brad Swaile, Maryke Hendrikse, Brian Drummond & Dean Redman, which from him I will say this: “Finally, a black character in an anime is voiced by an actual black guy.” This is a good thing, people. But, unfortunately, some of the voices either irritated or creeped me out like the voice of Hansel and Gretel really had me freaking out a bit, considering I heard them before on a show that in a conscience that I’m not telling you….well, one of the actresses was the voice of Nurse Witch Komugi. Garcia just seems annoying and grating whenever he speaks and whoever voiced Shenhua has the worst and slightly offensive Chinese voice I have ever heard. It sounds like that fake accent most people would put in a black-owned hair salon and that’s about as Chinese as the Panda Express.



FINAL VERDICT: By all means, Black Lagoon is worth seeing and definitely worth buying. This could be one of the few anime that I see Western culture getting into, maybe not as much or iconic as Bebop but still. It has a very in-your-face tone mixed with dark comedy and sometimes even darker drama once it gets more storyline driven. Your friends will love this but I wouldn’t recommended seeing this with family or kids…..unless they into that, too.



So, what does Black Lagoon get?

Planet Tyro Rating: High SOLID B. 8.5/10




As Hybrid was being snatched by a masked rider, all the bounty hunters got to their rides and thus, began the chase. The masked rider had to tuck Hybrid down their sidecar and she began shooting at them with taking out a few at a time and Hybrid had his sight at more of the rider’s weapons and when he gotten one and started to shoot, the recoil wasn’t that friendly as his hand gotten sore from that, which activates his power to blast at hyper speed, leaving the others in the dust and having Hybrid holding on to dear life at the rider and it seems that the coast is clear and as Hybrid tries to knock out him, the rider explained, “Look, I’m not here for your bounty nor am I to kill you.” ,“Really?”, Hybrid responded, “Why should I believe you then?”, “For two things, 1. We do have mutual friends around us that want to keep you out of harm’s way and 2. Don’t you ever remember me, Hybrid?” Then the rider revealed himself…..or should I say her? As it turns out, it was GSXR the whole time and Hybrid sighed in relief that is with her and said to her, “Girl, I thought you got wrecked up the last time I saw you. How did to you manage to recover?” GSXR explained that at the hospital had her stitched up for a few months until they needed to be taken out and couldn’t ride for a while until today, that is. I ask her are the others still alive and willing to help me out and she responded with a yes and no…..and said she’ll explain later once we head to our next destination where one other person is running the show
.

BLACK LAGOON – animation by MADHOUSE / distributed by FUNimation (formerly GENEON)

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So, GSXR explained that some of the others are either alive, in critical condition or either dead from the Red Blood tragedy and the ones that escaped the turmoil vow to never get involved with the Hybrid again and live a life away from reviewing anime or anything else. Hybrid thought long and hard about that day and what happened there; he asked about Kris and according to GSXR as she spoken to him last, he said if Hybrid ever comes within 10 feet of him, he’ll kill him…..and he meant it. She described his very pissed-off and angry mood when your name is mentioned and how he felt about that. She also explained that Don’s body was never discovered after the shootout. No one knew if he was alive or dead, he just disappeared out of the thin eye. Nu just disappeared and has never heard from again and for Jumper and Emperor…..we heard of them traveling to Greece and Tahiti, respectively. But GSXR said that one person of that group did thought of finding him and regrouping but for a while, it seems efforts were futile until that person had GSXR’s help and who was that person?

While you ponder on that, it’s time to review Bacca—I mean, Durarara!!!




Well, you can say after the debut of Baccano! In Japan and possibly the states, you could say you hope to find more anime that’s similar to this with its’ large cast of enteraining characters and their larger-than-life wild and serial antics but luckily, this series is also adapted by a light novel from the same author Ryohgo Narita and is also made by the same animation company Brains’ Base.

Ryūgamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn't want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called "Dollars." Nervous from Masaomi's stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Scarves will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point.



Like in Baccano!, this show has a very large cast of characters and the majority of them are very entertaining to watch and you would want to watch them over and over and over again. For example, Celty Sturluson aka The Black (or Headless) Rider, who came to Japan to search for her stolen head and the only way of her communicating via PDA, which to me, is a small shame, considering when the audience hears her voice, it’s actually quite pleasant. Throughout the series, she lives with underground doctor Shinra Kishitani and eventually both of them pursue a romantic relationship with each other, which to me, is something I find to be sweet and weird at the same time…..I mean, think about it. I don’t think many people would want a girlfriend with no head….actually, no. ALL PEOPLE don’t want a girlfriend without a head! Despite that, I find their plotline and relationship interesting and fascinating. Next up, it’s Shizuo Heiwajima, a blond man in a bartender’s suit who hates to be angered and loathes violence but when his fuse gets shorter and when he fights, he has the strength of 100 bodybuilders and when these moments happen, you feel so into these character, much like Ladd Russo in Baccano!, only this guy isn’t a crazy killer, just pretty damn crazy.


Then it’s the four supporting characters that you wish you want to meet in real life: Kyohei Kadota, Walker Yumasaki, Erika Karisawa, and Saburo Togusa. Kyohei is the leader of their group, especially after all four quitting the Blue Squares, and really hates to be called Dotachin. Walker and Erika are passionate otaku and manga reader, which I get many of them, will know the references. There was a few times that Walker may seem dumb due to that smile in his face but sometimes putting a dumb look can help hide your true intentions (if you hide it right). Erika likes a lot of yaoi/fujoshi and is a Boys Love fan. It is also implied that they are romantically linked and there’s Saburo, who is the driver of the group and gets mad whenever his van is wrecked. I just really like the dynamic of this group, like they are actual friends; they think together as a group and would stick together through some tough events.



Of course, there is Simon Brezhnev, a tall Black Russian man who runs a sushi shop and while he is a force to be reckoned with, he’s more friendly and uses his mind in case of confrontation; Plus, Orihara Izaya is really the asshole of the series but the asshole you love to hate, which is a great deal in my book, mainly because of his rivalry with Shizuo. Now, the last 3 main characters (Mikado Ryugamine – the new kid of the block, Masaomi Kida – the best friend and mostly a douchebag at some parts, Anri Sonohara – the bespectacled quiet timid girl who befriends the two boys) were not that bad in characterization as they are mainly the observers and they developed partially but compared to the others, they’re kind of bland and worst of all, half way through the series, the show mainly focuses of them. Now, I come to say that their part involving the Dollars, Masaomi’s deal with the Blue Squares and Saki being in the hospital, and the possession of Saika, are not boring. I was invested in those plotlines, too, but the others never had a resolution solved and leaves me wanting more of that or at least a second season, although this series’ strongest point is that it had more episodes and needed more.



As for the animation, Brains’ Base made some bad-ass animation for the first 12 episodes, but when it gets to the second half, the animation has beginning to lag at some of the movements, the fights, the character animation and the designs. I guess budget problems got the best of them (hopefully not Gonzo levels) but it was a decent effort. The score overall has a major Baccano influence written all over but the opening and ending themes are where it shined, mainly the ending themes more than the openings. However "Uragiri no Yūyake" (裏切りの夕焼け; Betrayal of the Sunset) by Theatre Brook, I find more listenable than the second opening "Complication" (コンプリケイション) by ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D. As for the ending themes "Trust Me" by Yūya Matsushita and "Butterfly" by ON/OFF are equally listenable but I lean towards the latter for being more into the series than the first being just a J-Pop single.



Now for the dub brought to you by the wonderful Bang Zoom Entertainment studios and it was the first dubbed anime to be licensed by Aniplex of America and they don’t do much dubs due to business reasons, which I can respect, but glad this was dubbed however, there were some flaws I licensed in there but for the good points, there were great performances from Steven Blum, Crispin Freeman, Patrick Seitz, Yuri Lowenthal, Johnny Yong Bosch but the standout of the dub has got to be Kari Wahlgren as Celty. Some of the mid-weaker performances from Darrel Guillbeau and Bryce Papenbrook were noticeable, especially from the former, and Michelle Ruff was really off in her performance as Anri, which I’m sorry to say because she is a great VA but the worst of all is when they did a cameo from that other series that I mention (and I won’t spoil for those who haven’t seen it) and the voices are really off and that cameo was really unnecessary to do.


FINAL VERDICT: I really wish when Adult Swim aired this, I’m would’ve watched this sooner because I had some thoughts about it being boring and dull (I was young and foolish once) but as it turns out, to me, this was better than Baccano! By all means, this is an excellent anime for most of the first half and some of the second. In the end, it leaves you wanting to explore more into these characters like what any form of media should. Could it have been more interesting if that stuck with more of the better characters? Yes, but it didn’t stop me from loving this show.



Durarara!! Gets the perfect grade of

Planet Tyro rating: FIRST CLASS / 9/10







Then all of a sudden, the masked accomplice of GSXR came up to his face and told him about the mistakes he made in the past and how he messed up the relationships of the people who truly accepted me in my time of need but realize that he needed to repair them. Hybrid wondered if they’ll even speak to him ever since and what of the outcome then the accomplice said that she’ll give them a good talking to and told Hybrid to eventually calm down about it and then said, “After all, I’m the person that led the search to find you.”, and then she took off the mask to reveal herself and it turns out to be……Ani. Ani then said, “Surprised it was me?”, and then smiled at me and GSXR, too, as they got a long way ahead to get everyone back but there was to be a problem, as in, since Hybrid is wanted for a bounty, how are they going to elude from the bounty hunters? And the worst thing of all is that Hybrid can’t use Blue Leaf due to the new tracker devices that can sense the essence of it and he’s on a low supply so either way he’s screwed…….that is until Ani & GSXR thought of a plan
.


DURARARA!! – Animation by BRAINS’ BASE / distributed by ANIPLEX OF AMERICA.


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