Thanks to the airing of a certain series, we can now identify a new shade of cat- darker than black. What differentiates a regular black cat from a new darker than black cat? It’s hard to explain, but you’ll know when you see one.
On another note, I once signed up to Facebook under a fake name to look at some photos, yet people have actually been sending pokes and friend requests to that account. Does this mean that Burtholomew Ffaffington-Smythe is now a little bit more real than he used to be?
Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto: Chess Piece Spin-off
If, like me, you feel that the English chess piece group needed more attention, then you’ll be happy to learn of this special spin-off series that follows their adventures. Join Queen, Knight, Rook and Bishop as they complete secret assignment on behalf of tea-drinking England- missions filled with intrigue, action and the historical setting you’ve come to know and love. Better yet, the first DVD comes with a bonus disc featuring the doujin game “IrohaWarriors”. Don’t miss it!
Readers may be familiar with the toy store “Build A Bear Workshop”, a place where you choose your plushie, have it stuffed, name it and select clothes for it. Now, this basic concept has been extended to Build-A-Generic Workshop, a similar store that lets one order squads of generics for any occasion! From medieval soldiers to modern day city crowds, Build-A-Generic Workshop can satisfy any and all demands for generics! Here’s how the generic building process works:
1. Choose them: choose the gender and build of your generics.
2. Voice them: an optional step in which a limited amount of dialogue can be selected for the generics.
3. Dress them: choose clothing for your generics, based on what era they will be needed for.
4. Style them: select a hairstyle for your generics- Bakumatsu/Meiji era wigs are not recommended.
5. Program them: program simple looping movement sequences into the generics if necessary.
6. Deploy them: have the generics dropped into the scenes where they will be needed.
An Introduction to Shining Tears X Wind
Welcome to Shining Tears X Wind, a world so nonsensical that catgirls can appear out of nowhere and girls can pull swords out of their chests just because the hero needs a weapon. Here’s a brief overview of the wonders the first two episodes offered us, in no particular order (and excluding the dull school scenes for fear of readers dying of sheer boredom).
You know a series is going to be bad when the main character starts having an erotic scene with an ugly generic.
Oh no, the evil elves! This is about as original as Eragon.
“Excuse me, but is that a monster wang?”
“My name…is Tabby.”
“Don’t you recognise me? I’m Haseo.”
“Ever since Roots, I’ve had an insatiable desire for BI sessions with generic monsters.”
“In this land we have both Generic and HORSE.”
I think it’s fairly obvious from the episode name that this is a HARD GAY series.
Even the anime itself is amazed that anyone would watch more than one episode of this crap.
Coming soon: Man X Man.
Haseo practises his Fei Wong ‘Sword in a Hole’ Technique.
Yep, this is definitely a .hack rip-off.
Heroine’s default pose in Moping Status: battle strength 0, defence 0.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a good ‘Damn you’.
“Of course, as a Lord of Darkness, she must try again…and again…and again…”
Actually, that’s just a bowl of sake.
This Week in Anime
Apple gets peeled in Guyver.
Tomato makes rare appearance to combat overuse of apples.
The man from Del Monte reminds us all to eat five a day.
“Here’s how we turn a tomato into juice.”
“I crush the tomatoes, and they sluice down into vats.”
Anime Awards: Retooled and Revived Yet Again
Most incredible hair of the week goes to Juliet of Romeo X Juliet, who has masses of hair but somehow tucks it all away into some kind of no-space when she dresses as a boy.
New Crossover: What floats in the air above Aria’s Neo-Venezia? Could it perhaps be the aerial city, Neo Verona? With their Italian names and futuristic settings, it may well be that Romeo X Juliet and Aria are part of the same world, and that RxJ takes place in Aqua’s skies.
Anime of the Month: Whilst SaiMono takes the award once again for ongoing series, the backlog presents a winner in the form of Fafner, a series that whilst not exactly perfect, is still oddly addictive and enjoyable.
Manga of the Month: Gunslinger Girl picks up the prize for its absorbing fifth volume, but CLAMP classic Tokyo Babylon is also worthy of an honourable mention in this category.
Special- Spring Season Early Awards
The ‘I don’t remember this happening in the original play’ award for Most Creative Adaptation goes to Romeo X Juliet for putting an almost unrecognisable spin on Shakespeare’s play, but still proving enjoyable in the process.
The Gone Already Award for Fastest Dropped Series is shared jointly between the dull Hitohira and the awful Shining Tears X Wind.
The New Lows Award for Potentially Worst Anime Ever: Another award for Shining Tears X Wind, which in principle may be better than Disgaea and Hime-sama Goyoujin, but is still entirely unappealing.
The ‘Looks Promising’ Award for a Good Gonzo Adaptation: It may be too early to hand out an award like this, but for now Bokurano is holding its own.
The ‘I want it all on DVD now!’ Award for Incredible Quality from the Start goes to Darker than Black for weaving a surprisingly worthy story from the outset (and including its own darker than black cat), although of course I have long wanted all of SaiMono to be with me right now.
The ‘Breaking the Curse’ Award for an Excellent Second Season goes to SaiMono for thus far maintaining the quality that made me love the first season so much.
The ‘Upholding the Curse’ Award for a Lacklustre Third Season goes to Nanoha StrikerS for taking a formula that offered well animated light entertainment and turning it into a dull procession of insipid new characters and HARD YURI undertones.
The Sumptious Visuals Award for Quality of Setting goes to Seirei no Moribito for its beautiful settings and backdrops that almost make the story a mere extra.
The Zhuge Liang Award for most HARD GAY series should probably go to Winter Cicada since it is an actual yaoi OVA, but somehow seems more fitting for Koutetsu Sangokushi.
The Azure Flame Award for Best Parody Candidate is shared between Seirei no Moribito, El Cazador de la Bruja, Winter Cicada and Koutetsu Sangokushi.
The Bee Train Hates Action Award for most Dull Girls With Guns series is awarded to El Cazador de la Bruja for so far making every twenty minute episode feel like a laborious twenty-five hours in length.
The ‘Not Bad’ Award for most Inoffensively Average Series goes to Heroic Age, which will hopefully improve and not make me curse the time wasted watching it later on.
The ‘I know I said I would but I can’t be bothered’ Award for series I just can’t bring myself to watch must go to sola, which Hinano almost persuaded me to parody until I faced up to how boring it was going to be.
The Slow Burner Award for Most Hopeful Looking series goes to Claymore, which hasn’t had an excellent start but if manga fans are to be believed, will improve later (and yes, right now I believe them).
HARD GAY corner: Record of Lodoss War OVA
Parn always loved HARD GAY, but with his father long gone, it was only when he discovered his destiny as a Sword-wielding warrior that he learned its true possibilities. Whilst the Staff and Axe of his companions was satisfactory, however, Parn’s true love lay with King Kashue, and despite Deedlit the elf’s attempts to turn him STRAIGHT (a duty of elves in this world), his crush on Kashue was too great to be ignored.
Fortunately, the couple was able to consummate their relationship when Kashue taught him the ways of Sword, but Parn’s appetite for HARD GAY only continued to increase, leading him to challenge Ashram, the most HARD GAY man in the land. Ashram too had a female elf who wanted him to turn STRAIGHT, but by ignoring her, he was able to have mighty Sword with Parn before being consumed by a RAGING HARD-ON.
Parn was not the only man to seek HARD GAY in this world, however, with the legendary kings Beld and Fahn know as long time partners with opposing Swords whose power increased in each others presence. Unfortunately, their final HARD GAY was fatal to Fahn, and Beld himself died shortly after.
OST spotlight: Madlax OST 2
Those familiar with Yuki Kajiura’s work will recognise all the themes on this OST, which combines strains of her work on Madlax CD1 with the likes of Noir and .hack. That being said, if you can get past the degree of remix, this is actually quite a worthy compilation of tracks, featuring energetic restylings of Madlax’s key themes, and quietly poignant piano pieces.
Notable tracks: We are One, Open Your Box, Fall on You, Saints, People are People, She’s Gotta Go, Madlax
- Zero no Tsukaima (Geneon): Even the original novel isn’t really good enough for me to want to buy it, and the anime is that much worse. After two episodes of fanservice and tiresome characters, I put this aside for good.
- Innocent Venus (ADV): Another series that didn’t last long in the viewing stakes, Innocent Venus seemed like it might be promising, but turned out to be a bland rip-off of other series that was so dull that I could barely concentrate on what was happening. All hope of worth vanished when the irritating pirate characters showed up.
- Kiba: Apparently this gets better later on, but when Zed’s generic light entertainment story proved better than Noah’s angst, it didn’t seem destined to have long term appeal.
Mini-editorial: How is the next generation of recordable media going to affect anime collectors?
With Gunbuster 2 carrying a higher price tag thanks to Bandai Visual’s attempts to erase the pricing gap between Japanese and American anime DVDs in preparation for the day when the two countries are in the same region, it’s time to start thinking about the future of buying anime. Are the lives of importers looking for the cheapest deal or the fastest release going to be greatly restricted by rising costs and region limitations? Will the situation backfire if anime becomes so unattractively expensive that everyone decides to just download everything they want? Is anyone actually all that concerned about starting to collect anime on Blu-ray or HD-DVD yet? I know that personally, DVD is good enough for me at the moment, and I see no need to wade into the next generation format wars and spend money on something that will be cheaper and offer more variety a few years down the line.
Harem of the week: Seina Yamada (Tenchi Muyo GXP)
He may have had the worst luck in the galaxy, but his ability at attracting women was surprisingly phenomenal. Unlike other harem leads, he didn’t even have to choose which girl to end up with, as he got them all.
Amane Kaunaq: The seductive older woman with large breast and a forward personality.
Kiriko Masaki: The childhood friend and strait-laced girl, natural foil to Amane.
Ryoko Balta/Erma: Tough space pirate with a soft spot for Seina, she also diguises herself as the Wau Erma in order to get more screen time.
Neju: The priestess with the body of a loli despite her seniority in years.
Fuku: A cabbit who will be able to turn into a humanoid girl when she grows up- fills in the furry contingent.
Other girls: Four spies from an alien federation who posed as Seto’s ladies in waiting and ended up marrying Seina in order to bulk out the numbers.
Seiryo Tennan: Harbours a hatred towards humans since his defeat at the hands of Tenchi in the OVA, and considers Seina his rival and nemesis.
Fashion Police: Pai
Although her Roots form is worse, this game art is the best picture I have of Pai and so I’ll have to work from it instead. As I said in a Roots rant a while back, Pai might not seem too bad at first glance, but take a closer look and the flaws become apparent. Even discounting the bizarre style of the big hair, Pai remains too scantily clad for her own good, whilst oddly shaped accessories like the pouches on her legs simply defy reason or explanation. She wins a few points for her ‘sexy meganekko’ upper body, but promptly loses them again when we turn to Roots and discovers that she looks like a man in drag under Bee Train’s ministrations.
Fashion sense: D- (game), E (anime)
Amusing Search Terms
Old favourites: Hack Perfect Audition, you toube sex, bouncing breasts, “A Three” doujin
anime swap bodies episode: Murder Princess, or one of the other ‘hilarious’ examples of this (so hilarious, in fact, that I cannot recall them right now)?
What do you think Light Yagami is suffer: A lack of a sense of humour.
Utawarerumono H-game?: Yes, it is.
trio lesbian: The shy meganekko, the angsty girl and the dominant girl.
weed season 3 coming?: Maybe you should wait for season 2 first.
rpg bouncing breasts: Fear my attack- Boob of Death!
yuri bondage: the yuri fangirls are out in force this week.
Harvest Moon how to cook animals: Poor cows, sheep and chickens! Sorry, but as a game marketed at the younger audience you can’t just push your animals into the refrigerator.
rmxp gundam seed sprites: I did say something about making sprites on request, didn’t I? But that’s only for people who comment.
tokiko nude buso renkin: Beats Papillon nude, I guess.
reading rumble: Is this a printed version of Tuesday Rumble? Or some sort of battle where participants beat each other over the heads with books?
is azure kite gay: Excuse me whilst I actually laugh out loud.
harvest moon magical moments egg festiva: Ah, those magical moments…wait, my game doesn’t have an egg festival.
yuri rape: oh dear, they’re getting more perverted.
mosters niples: if you’re going to search for something like that, at least learn how to spell.
gay yaoi: Wouldn’t STRAIGHT yaoi be something of a contradiction?