Madhouse: God’s own studio or merely human?

Wherever anime studios are spoken of, fans can be found singing the praises of Madhouse, claiming how this one studio can turn everything they touch into gold. Naturally, when I hear such things, I have to question them, and so it was that they had to be the subject of one of my pointless studio reviews. The mission- to test the hypothesis that Madhouse are skilled enough to make anything worthy. Continue reading “Madhouse: God’s own studio or merely human?”

Those Were the Days? Fist of the North Star

Remember the old days? Times were bloodier, women were meeker, and MANLY men strode across the lands, showing off their toned muscles to one and all. Yes, this was the era of Fist of the North Star, a tale of a post-apocalyptic era where ugly villains seized power over innocent villagers, and where one man fights for justice. That man’s name was Kenshiro, lone inheritor of Hokuto Shinken, the Fist of the North Star, a powerful and deadly martial art that lets one paralyse or kill just by touching certain pressure points on the body.

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Gainax: Recycling Evangelion and overdoing the fanservice

They may not be the most prolific of studios, but Gainax has been the subject of much debate and discussion over the years, surrounding both their seeming inability to end a series properly, but over the various elements of their apparent masterwork Evangelion. In all this time, perhaps everything that can be said has already been beaten to death many times over, but even so, my desire to write studio reviews means that I have to cover that old ground once again. Continue reading “Gainax: Recycling Evangelion and overdoing the fanservice”

Summer 2007 Preview: It won’t take much to make it better than 2005-6 combined

Yes, that Spring Preview (so important it has to be capitalised) wasn’t a one-off, because now I’m doing another one for summer, so that you can all read what you’ve read a hundred times before on other blogs.

As we all know, during the summer we are expected to be outside enjoying the sunshine and the like, and so the selection of anime offered to us is rather limited compared to the lush bounty of the spring and autumn seasons. Good summer series tend to be few and far between, and even ones that are mildly entertaining can be hard to find. Can this year break the trend, or is it going to be more of the same?

I’m not bothering with movies this time, I never seem to actually watch them.

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Mai-Otome Remix: The ‘True’ Otome Part II


Wind Bloom
Once a significant world power, Wind Bloom has lost status over the generations thanks to a number of ineffectual rulers, but nonetheless retains much of its influence on the world stage thanks the existence of Garderobe within its borders. The previous king and queen were considered capable rulers with a chance of restoring Wind Bloom to its former glory, but died in mysterious circumstances along with the king’s Otome, Rena. Although the cause of death was ruled to be an accident, there are those who suspect that Prime Minister Sergey had something to do with it.

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Mai-Otome Remix: The ‘True’ Otome Part I

This is not Mai-Otome as you saw it onscreen (and for that you must be thankful); this is Mai-Otome as it should have been, and hence much has been liberally changed whilst retaining the essence of the original.

An Otome is classified as any woman injected with self-replicating internal nanomachines that enable her to materialise a protective armoured robe and weapon. Otome are valued throughout the world for their superior education and fighting abilities, and although the cost of contracting them is very high, many leaders choose to do so anyway.

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Production I.G.: From the highs of Chevalier to the lows of xxxHOLiC

I’ve looked at past and present subsidiaries Bee Train and Xebec, but what has Production I.G. themselves brought to the anime scene? The number of series they have brought us may be relatively limited, but from the technological future of Ghost in the Shell to the historical fantasy of Otogi Zoshi and Chevalier, both content and quality vary across the board. Continue reading “Production I.G.: From the highs of Chevalier to the lows of xxxHOLiC”

Mai-Otome Zwei 3: Less nipples, more fat cats, please

I have to admit that I have been terribly wrong about Mai-Otome. How could I, holder of a degree in physics, possibly understand its depth and complexity as well as the random grammatically challenged flamers who came to my blog to comment? Indeed, I totally failed to grasp the deeper implications and cutting social commentary behind Maya and Ain removing everyone’s bikini tops; for that reason, this post will differ from the last two in dispensing with any attempt to grasp the greater plot, and instead rely more on amusing screencaps.

Note: the real reason Iâ’m doing the post this way is because I was watching the raw in the car and didn’t catch all the dialogue.

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Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Why I gave up on StrikerS after just six episodes

Although I will invoke the wrath of a million fanboys, the first two seasons of Nanoha were not particularly good. Oh, they were enjoyable enough in their own way, and I certainly do not regret watching them, but let’s face it- outside the boundaries of that deadly category known as light entertainment, they could hardly aspire to being picks of the year or all-time classics. Even so, they managed to get right what StrikerS has so far got horribly wrong- but just where did it all fall apart? Continue reading “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Why I gave up on StrikerS after just six episodes”

Ceres, Celestial Legend: Anime vs. Manga

As a newbie anime fan, one of the earliest series I ever watched was Ceres, Celestial Legend. Fuelled by a desire to expand my experience with Yuu Watase beyond Fushigi Yuugi, I watched all 24 episodes of the anime in the course of about three evenings, and at the time, it seemed a worthy endeavour. Thus it was that in more recent times, I decided to revisit the series by way of the original manga and a rewatching of the anime- and it was only then that I could see how bad the animated version actually is.

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