Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

We’re back in another episode of Supreme Verdict wherein I share my general impression and thoughts about an anime that I just finished watching. There has been a couple of anime titles that has recently ended and a few more that will end in the weeks to come so I am taking this opportunity to discuss some of the titles that I’ve watched upon their conclusion.

Warning: This article contains spoilers so read at your own leisure!

One such anime that I’ve been following would be Tokyo Ravens. For those who’re not aware of the premise of the anime, it’s basically about a guy named Tsuchimikado, Harutora and his cousin Tsuchimikado, Natsume, childhood friends who both enrolled in an Omnyo Prep School located in Tokyo. After a spiritual disaster that took place in their hometown, Harutora decided to become Natsume’s spirit familiar who swore to protect her as long as he lives.

As the course of the story goes, the main protagonist along with their newfound friends eventually encounter the Twin Horn Syndicate who’s bent on kidnapping Natsume for they believe that she is the reincarnation of Tsuchimikado Yakou, the so-called King of the North Star and the most powerful Omnyo exorcist to have ever lived and who they believe would lead them to a new era.

Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

“I said “King” NOT “Fist”!”

Now that we’ve established the setting of the story, let’s go down to business. I am actually disappointed at the last episode of Tokyo Ravens.

Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

VSAT = Viewer Satisfaction Chart

The thing is that the episode seems rushed in a sense that Natsume’s resurrection wasn’t even dramatic as well as the events that soon followed. I do find the part where Ohtomo Jin asked Ashiya Doman to be his familiar very interesting. The battles were not that climactic in a sense that there wasn’t even a scene where the awakened Yakou showed what he can do even if it was momentarily.

Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

I understand that Reiji and his familiar Shaver had to retreat being aware that they cannot defeat Harutora in his current state the same with Takiko Souma keeping her familiar Yashamaru/Shido Dairenji from clashing with Hishamaru, Yakou’s familiar. But damn, the episode would’ve been better if there was a part where Yakou displays his true power against the antagonists. Sadly, there was none.

Truth is that I’ve always been a fan of anime series wherein the beaten up protagonist would awaken into a different and powerful character that’d really kick the ass of their antagonist easily. Similar to what happened here:

 

This will always be one of the most epic fight scenes that I’ve seen in anime history. Yes, Tokyo Ravens is not a battle anime like Dragonball, YuYu Hakusho and or One Piece but having such a scene would make it more memorable.

Also, the anime ended leaving me with a lot of questions like how did the Taizan Fukun ritual actually go that Harutora/Yakou had to leave Natsume? In addition, why leave Natsume alone in the middle of nowhere, and alone for that matter? And without even letting anyone know where she is staying? Did they just have a “hi-ma’am-bam-thank-you-ma’am!” scene over there?

Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

Unfortunately, these are just a few of the questions that we’ll never be able to answer unless of course you start reading the manga or light novel which I am sure is one of the primary reasons why the last episode ended like that. At the end of the day, producing anime is a marketing strategy to sell the manga or the light novels after all.

Anime industry be like “Want more answers? Then give us yer monneeehhh” Yeah, painful truth indeed. However, I had to admit that the part where Kon undid the seals to revert back to her original form was cool, the same as when Kakugyouki arrived to assist her in a timely manner.

Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

“Kon’s true and final form”

My satisfaction overall for the series tends to fluctuate depending on what’s the arc or chapter’s focus but it didn’t dip in any way with the last episode being the only exception. I’d still recommend the series to those who are looking for anime of the supernatural genre with a bit of romance schtick involved. And if there’s something that the anime has it going in it, it’s the plot twist that I must say is really something I found remarkably surprising.

Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

“LRT Taft Station. Yep, they’re now in the Philippines”

I still enjoyed the whole series but the ending was just a let-down. Then again, if a second season pops up then good otherwise, I’d probably end up reading the manga or light novel instead.

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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Supreme Verdict: Tokyo Ravens

“Did you think that this article would end without having an image of Suzuka Dairenji?”

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

It took me a while before I was able to get around into completely watching the first episode of this anime. I attempted to watch the first episode a month ago or so if I remember correctly but thanks to me being fickle-minded, I was unable to finish the first episode (though the truth was that the internet connection at that time was really slow and I was having trouble getting it completely loaded).

Never the less, I took the opportunity to watch it today since it’s been a while since I last watched a new anime title. In addition, I was trying to get myself back into the habit of writing my first impressions of different anime titles that I watch in otakustreamers. I’ve been mostly preoccupied the last few days that I wasn’t able to find the time or the motivation to write my reviews.

Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda which translates to World Conquest: Strategem Star (trivia: Zvezda is Russian for “Star”, as in the celestial body) was written by Tensai Okamura and Meteor Hoshizora of the Japanese game company TYPE MOON(The same people who brought you Fate Stay/Night and Fate Zero).

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

The premise of the story starts with a second year middle school student Asuta Jimon getting involved with a young girl named Kate Hoshimiya (or sometimes called Lady Venera by her subordinates)who seems to have special powers manifested through her rabbit-like stuff toy.

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

“THAT stuff toy”

What makes it more interesting is the fact that she’s assisted by five unique individuals in her ambition to conquer the world.

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

“Unique Individuals alright”

As of the first and second episode, I am totally not sure if she’s an extra-terrestrial being or what but as far as I know is that Kate, the leader of the group is determined to conquer the world and each of her subordinates have their own special abilities or talents, except for Odin who seems to be another normal human being. I’ve yet to find out as I continue to watch the series.

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

“God and her champion. Seems legit.”

The anime is actually reminiscent of Haruhi Suzumiya in a sense that the premise puts the main protagonist amidst characters that are out of this world. Furthermore, Kate reminds me of Haruhi in a sense that both are young girls who seemed determined to change the world in their own fancy way. Also, both stories seems to be told in the perspective of the protagonist who’s just a normal human being while at the same time being thrown into something they are totally clueless about.

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

“SOS Brigade”

I don’t really have much to say about the artwork but I do like the design of the monsters in the first and second episode and yet to find out why the kurukuru(the cute little spuds in the series who make cute weird sounds with each having their own designated numbers) tend to become one big kaiju. The show also has a running gag about the characters that the main protagonist meets who tend to pronounce his name wrong. I also like the humor presented in the first two episodes.

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

“No, they’re not some kind of skittles”

I also appreciate the greetings that Kate and her subordinates have towards each other and find their arch nemesis’ appearance similar to the costumes of the main protagonists of another anime entitled Kagaku Ninja Tai Gatchaman or Science Ninja Team Gatchaman(also known in the US as G-Force).

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

I am even thinking that the order of the White Light is a reference to the former since its members have birds as their code names. And maybe Zvezda represents Galactor perhaps? =p Another thing I noticed is if the main protagonist’s name is a reference to Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta’s main protagonist Judau Ashta. Honestly, the two names just sound alike.

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

Overall, I find Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda amusing and a good watch especially if you want some light humor as well as an interesting plot. As of right now, it’s still one of those on-going anime and I don’t have any idea yet as to how many episodes will this anime have. However, I won’t be surprised if this anime would only have 12 to 14 episodes. For the meantime….

First Impressions: Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda

Thanks for reading,

Raven Knives

@ravenknives at Twitter

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Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

The first time I saw this title posted on the anime updates list on the homepage of otakustreamers got me excited because I am very familiar with the game. I used to play this game a couple of times at a friend’s place a long time back and always get a kick out of playing it. One can say that it’s very reminiscent of another third person action game entitled Devil May Cry (that I wasn’t able to play that much) except that the former is a gun-toting hot witch babe who summons demons to devour her angel opponents for breakfast. And yes I am fully aware that this is a half-ass description of the main protagonist who deserves more but if I were to be serious about it, I wouldn’t be able to get any work done.

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“Yep. That’s her. Only with tight-fitting clothing.”

Frankly, I really enjoy games and or anime titles that incorporate religious references and personalities in them. I also admire how most Japanese game developers design their characters as well as the enemies like the ones in Bayonetta, particularly Fortitudo which I really find cool.

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“No wonder most people aren’t excited to follow the four cardinal virtues”

Basically, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate is the anime adaptation of the game of the same name and follows the same story as the one in the game with a bit of alterations which I am sure those who’re able to finish the game will notice. For those who aren’t familiar with the title, Bayonetta tells the story of the umbra witch Bayonetta who has no recollection of her past and is being hunted down by countless angels from paradise. She is aided by the weapon smith Rodin who appears similar to Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy who serves as the caretaker of the bar “Gates of Hell” which uses the same font that Dante’s office “Devil May Cry” use.

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“In order for you to know your past, you have to defeat The Matrix!”

She utilizes the bullet arts which is an exclusive combat technique of umbra witches that combines melee and gun slinging. And when push comes to shove, she uses her wicked weaves, a technique that’s also exclusive to the umbra witches to summon hell spawn to crush her enemies.

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“Gamorrah’s pleased to meet you.”

Through the course of the story, she encounters angels hailing from the lowest ranks which would be the ones from the third sphere to the higher ones which would be the Auditio where the four cardinal virtues are classified.

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“Temperantia, one of the four tentacled virtues”

I like the artwork of the anime overall though I find the anime’s game counterpart to be more polished and detailed when it comes to the portrayal of Bayonetta’s demons as well as the angels. I also don’t have any issues with regard to the pacing of the story and the anime ended with not much questions left unanswered. The only objection I have is Fortitudo’s lack of screen time. I know the anime cannot retell every part of the story like what’s in the game but for me, I feel that the anime should’ve included the battle between Bayonetta and Fortitude. It would’ve been epic.

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“That ass…”

Hmm, come to think of it, some of the battles were rushed like the part where Bayonetta was fighting against Temperantia and she went right away to summon Hekatoncheir to finish him off. In the game, Temperantia appears first as a large tornado in the middle of the airport but the anime didn’t portray him like that. T’would have been awesome if he was introduced in such a way though but I guess we can’t have everything can we? I do find the battle scenes between Jeanne and Bayonetta decent though minus the lifebar and the menu.

Supreme Verdict: Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

“Let’s rock baby!”

Overall, (I hope I didn’t miss anything and if I did then well, lels) I enjoyed watching the movie though I wouldn’t be surprised if those who played the game and watched it end up disappointed or something akin to that. I admit, when I watched Blazblue: Alter Memory, I wasn’t that impressed overall because I am familiar with the game as well as the main plot unlike with Bayonetta. People who’ve played games that were eventually adapted into anime tend to have high expectations of the anime adaptation which often results to disappointment. Good thing I’ve already come to terms with such matters.

I would recommend Bayonetta: Bloody Fate to anyone, especially to guys, who enjoys watching anime like Devil May Cry or Hellsing since it’s still a good watch for me. I doubt any guy wouldn’t appreciate some sexy chick kicking some angel ass right?

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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Bonus Trivia: 

Hideki Kamiya, the director of Bayonetta used to be the director of the first Devil May Cry title hence the close similarities between the two games as well as the heavy use of reference from the latter. 

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

Starting today, I will be writing about my overall review of different anime titles that I was able to finish watching. And the first title that I want to discuss extensively would be Kakumeiki Valvrave however before I go any further, be advised that this particular article will contain spoilers and if you haven’t watched Kakumeki Valvrave then you may want to stop reading and instead, check this article out.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

If you’re still reading then I’ll assume that you already had watched the whole series or you’re wondering if it’s even worth your time to watch the last remaining episodes of the anime. Moving forward, as I mentioned in my previous article, Kakumeiki Valvrave is an anime similar to your regular Gundam series in a sense that there’s a group of young boys (and girls) who ended up becoming pilots of exemplary and unrivaled mechs called Valvraves while they’re thrown in the middle of nasty politics between opposing factions.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Unit 01”

I like the anime overall but then again; I am disappointed at the ending. It’s as if it was rushed. Suddenly, the Council of the Hundred Handed-One…Wait…Wrong reference! Sorry! I mean the Council of One Hundred and One were eradicated juts because the probably, the animation studio or producer kinda got tired of making more episodes for the series.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Oops! Wrong image!”

For some reason, the last few episodes weren’t that climactic. The battle between Cain and Haruto wasn’t that epic in my honest opinion. If you’ve watched Gundam OO’s, you’d remember that the battle between Gundam OO piloted by Setsuna F. Seiei and Ribbons of the A-laws was really epic in a sense that the battle was dynamic and hard fought. I am not sure if it’s right to compare that battle with a newly introduced mech anime made by Sunrise, who by the way is the same company who made the Gundam series but I somehow felt that the battle between the two was rushed.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Haruto! NOT Naruto!”

I also wasn’t surprised with the idea that Haruto would be possessing L-Elf’s body to be able to match up against Cain at that time. What I also find disappointing was the fact that the sex scene between Haruto and Rukino really didn’t play any significant role in the story. It’s like the producers just inserted that scene for some hot fan service.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Oh god, no. Not this kind of fan service!”

The most I could think of is that it just prevented the protagonist from confessing to Shoko and probably saving her from being sexually assaulted by good ol’ Haruto sometime soon while tying him to his other admirer, Rukino (who I honestly prefer over Shoko). But other than that, I really don’t see the significance of that event throughout the series, especially which Haruto didn’t seem to take responsibility of his deed throughout the story.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Valvrape”

Another issue I have with the anime is that starting around episode 5 or so? Not sure, but anyway, ’round that part of the series, we see the story flashing forward into the future wherein the protagonists already won the war (which obviously spoils the ending in a sense since well, the protagonists won so no need to wonder if they’re going to defeat the antagonists), where Rukino was being chased by this guy piloting a mech which appears to be from the Jurassic period or a mech made by ZEED engineers, while piloting her Valvrave. As the scene progresses, she easily makes quick work of her opponent then looks at a locket, while the picture in the locket not being revealed to the viewers.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Kapewwwwww!!!!”

Frankly, I like the idea of flashing forward but then again at the end of the series, it didn’t matter much. I was even more surprised when Rukino ended up marrying the prince of Dorssia, A-drei, as implied in the ending, hence the reason that whenever the episode starts with a scene involving Rukino , it shows that she has a son who looks like a carbon copy of L-elf, and is referred to as the prince. I was actually expecting Rukino to somehow end up with L-elf because as I’ve mentioned, the kid looks more like L-Elf and NOT A-Drei.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Do you resign to be an idiot?”

Moving forward, there are also the two Magius siblings, Pino and Prue, who serves as the guide program for Valvrave unit II and Haruto’s Valvrave respectively. And the thing is that Prue’s role didn’t impact much of the story other than being the guide program of Valvrave II. In the end, both of them disappeared due to Haruto and Cain’s demise and that’s that. They weren’t remembered at all throughout the end of the series. They were merely treated as guide programs, nothing more nothing less. Pino didn’t even develop a mutual relationship with Haruto other than being a program that needs nourishment coming from Haruto.

Okay, fine, she used to be Marie’s friend and that but the anime could’ve at least developed the relationship of the protagonist and the guide program similar to how X and Tepei of B’T X developed their friendship. That would’ve added more dimension to Pino’s role and gave her more character rather than just being a program who craves for runes.

Supreme Verdict: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“Drop your pants”

Also, at the end of the series, I kind of scratched my head when the memorial room where Haruto’s unit was located was invaded by two extra-terrestrials and encountered Shoko who, instead of acting scared or surprised which should be the character’s natural reaction, offers peace instead! Frankly, these extra-terrestrials made their way there because we can assume that they have a specific mission to accomplish and I highly doubt that they’d be interested in making friends with a random girl. I do like the idea though that Shoko decided to resign as a human to be able to pilot Valvrave Unit I, maybe as a way to atone for her sin.

To sum it all up:

  • Ending was disappointing. It felt rushed. Shoko’s reaction was unrealistic with regard to the alien intruders. Why the hell did Rukino Saki suddenly got engaged with A-drei and bore him a son when Haruto’s the more likely person to give her a son after having sex in the earlier episodes?
  • The series is a good watch but don’t be surprised if you see a lot of unrealistic scenarios. As much as possible, try not to compare this to the usual Gundam you grew up watching even though both are made by the same company.
  • Suddenly, L-Elf was no longer part of the time skip at the latter part of the ending when I think he deserves a scene of his own since well, he’s suppose to be the supporting lead character.
  • The concepts introduced in the story such as the Valvrave needing runes to work, and the anime’s portrayal of extra-terrestrial vampires are honestly unique in my opinion. And I really love Akira’s character and role in the story as well as Rukino Saki. Also would have been better if Shoko died for real in the first part of the series though a revenge plot would probably be too mainstream.

So, is it a good watch? It’s a good watch as long as you’re willing to suspend your disbelief in a number of episodes.  I am not sure if I missed anything but feel free to comment and share your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

I am not really much of a fan of anime which involves politics, wars and or mechs in short; I am not a fan of any Gundam-esque anime. To be fair, I did enjoy most of the Gundam series that I’ve watched in my lifetime with Gundam Wing being the first of them, followed by G Gundam which were all televised locally and dubbed in Filipino. I must say that dubbing done by the voice actors here are decent as compared to their western counterparts.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

Gundam Wing and Gundam G. Space Limitations.

It took a very long time before I found myself watching an anime which involves politics, wars and mechs and coincidentally, an anime made by Sunrise, the same company who brought us the Gundam series. So what do we have going for this anime? For one, it’s not another one of those Gundam-esque series and though the series still sports the usual students or young-uns as protagonists,  they aren’t like Heero Yuy or Setsuna F Seiei who’re extensively trained in the arts of combat and war.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“These boys will surely whip your sorry asses if you don’t behave girls”

And that in itself is actually a bit of my issue regarding the anime. The story takes place in an unknown future which is referred to as the 71st year of the True Era where countless human beings have migrated from Earth to live in various space colonies and planets (Sounds familiar right?). Two superpowers dominate the world namely the Dorssia Military Pact Federation and the Atlantic Ring United States or what’s referred in the anime as ARUS. Amidst these two factions is Japan and Islands of Oceanian Republic or JIOR which is located in the Dyson Sphere which acts as a colony of some sort and is a neutral faction.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“And that my girl is where Hitler died. ‘Nuff said.”

And the protagonist, Tokishima Haruto, gets to pilot a mech, called the Valvrave, the first time and was able to deal with the Dorssian forces that invaded their home, JIOR, efficiently without any training or background in piloting robots. Yes, I find it unrealistic as compared to Amuro Ray who’s more familiar with different mechanisms when he first piloted a Gundam. I do however appreciate how the anime was able to incorporate the concept of vampirism in such a setting.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“I am pretty sure that cheerful face of Haruto wouldn’t save his sorry ass”

It’s rare for the concept of vampirism to be integrated or used in a sci-fi or mech genre anime and as far as I remember (though correct me if I am wrong), this is the first anime I’ve watched that was able to utilize the concept fluidly. I also figured that this is Sunrise’s attempt in toning down the more mature content that most Gundam anime have and made this anime to appeal to the younger audience in particular. And I guess they’re successful in doing so since I didn’t have any difficulty in understanding the plot of the whole series but that’s for another article.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“School girls. Never leave home without ’em”

The artwork is of course, reminiscent of what you usually see in most of Sunrise’s works so it’s good. I do appreciate the tragedy in the first episode and it would’ve been great if they kept it that way but oh well. Then again, I realized that Sunrise put the concept of highly-trained super soldiers in the form of these Dorssian boys, not to mention, the bishounen appeal that were apparent in Gundam Wing.

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

“They’re the goddamn meisters. Not.”

Overall, Kakumeiki Valvrave is a decent watch especially if you enjoy watching anime having mechs and politics mixed together. Just expect a number of inconsistencies as the story go on and if you’re someone who’s particular about realism then I wouldn’t recommend this. That aside, the anime is enjoyable to watch.

Thanks for reading,

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

First Impressions: Kakumeiki Valvrave

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First Impressions: Nobunaga the Fool

What I like about the Japanese is their ability to make an anime out of any particular topic may it be about mangaka or manga artists, sports (you name it, there’s likely an anime for it), cars, agriculture and even famous historical personalities. And the thing is that the plot of the anime is interesting and fun to watch. It’s hard to imagine that someone like me who’s not really interested in sports found myself watching Hajime no Ippo, which is an anime about boxing, or Slamdunk, which is an anime about basketball back when they were being aired locally.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Choose your challenger”

More surprising is finding myself wanting to learn how to drive, particularly drifting because of Initial D which is an anime about car racing and the concept of drifting. In fact, I used to spend money just to become good in playing the Initial D arcade stage games that can be found in arcade centers in mall. Based from my experience I must say that the Japanese are consistently good when it comes to coming up with an interesting plot for any kind of anime subject they could think of.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Wish I could drive like this guy”

But if there’s one particular subject that the Japanese are really good at, it is about how they portray historical characters. And one of the most commonly portrayed historical personalities in most of their history-based anime is Oda Nobunaga. For those who’re not familiar with him, Oda Nobunaga was the first to initiate the idea of unifying Japan under one rule in the late 16th century and ruled Japan until the Meiji Restoration in the year 1868.

Back when he was in his younger years, he would be found running around with the other youth of his age regardless of his status in society. Because of his eccentric behavior, he was commonly referred to as “The fool of Owari” or Owari no Outsuke”. When the first firearms in Japan were introduced, he was one of those rulers who developed a fondness for them henceforth you’d mostly see anime portraying him as someone who wields a gun rather than the usual katana.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

And the anime Nobunaga the Fool is perhaps one of those anime that’s able to closely portray the character and life of the famous ruler of Japan. Nobunaga the Fool is a story about two different stars in the universe; the West Star ruled by King Arthur, and the East Star which was divided into many nations, each amassing its own army in an attempt to conquer each one. The prologue of the story starts with events in each star taking place many years ahead of the start of the story; the first event shows an adult Nobunaga who’s looking over his palace in flames while being attended by a vassal who reports that a certain Akechi Mitsuhide betrayed him. Meanwhile in the west star; a blond girl who’s tied at a wooden stake looks up at the sky and pleads for God to hear her prayers before being burned at the stake by the authorities.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“Ain’t she cute?”

After this opening sequence, the narrator tells the origin of the West Star and the East Star as well as the start of a new era of heroes. The story start with a blond girl named Jeanne D’ Arc having a dream of being burned at the stake. While attending to her morning duties, a mysterious man wearing strange garments who calls himself Leonardo Da Vinci approaches her and hails her as the one who’s destined to travel to the East Star.

Meanwhile somewhere in the East Star, a young man by the name of Nobunaga was being awakened by his friend, Akechi Mitsuhide. Nobunaga tells his best friend of a dream where he saw a blond girl whom he wasn’t familiar with. Little did they know that their fateful meeting was about to take place as the story progresses.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“From that day onward, they called themselves, the Tres Darongas”

The setting of the East Star as well as the mecha (yes, there are mechs in the anime) being utilized by the soldiers reminds me of another anime entitled Samurai 7 which was based from an old Japanese film in the year 1954. I also find the portrayal of the other characters that were based on personalities in different parts of history really interesting like Leonardo Da Vinci being true to the real life personality who was an inventor, Magellan being a character who commands a ship travelling to the east.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

There’s even a character that was based on the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar as well as his friend, Brutus. What’s even more exciting is that they’re both members of Camelot’s round table who’s ruled by King Arthur, the king who unified the nations in the West Star. Also, for some reason, Jeanne’s role as well as her relationship with Leonardo Da Vinci, plus the tarot cards he lets Jeanne pick for divination purposes reminds me of another anime entitled Vision of Escaflowne. Though I wasn’t able to completely enjoy the latter anime, Nobunaga the Fool seems reminiscent of it.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

I also like the character designs and illustration, particularly Jeanne D’ Arc’s when she’s wearing her armor. Overall, the anime is very promising and I hope that the pacing of the story becomes better though based on the story’s prologue; I am guessing that the anime won’t be ending happily ever after but would end in a tragic manner. If you’re someone who enjoys watching anime where historical characters are being portrayed, I’d highly recommend Nobunaga the Fool for you.

First Impressions: Nobunaga The Fool

“DAT ARMOR”

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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First Impressions: Noragami

Noragami is about a god named Yato who seems to live a life of a drifter. He desperately looks for people whom he could provide his services to in exchanging for getting a five yen donation from them which he saves up in the hopes of eventually establishing his own shrine. One day, while undertaking a job which has something to do with a missing cat, a young female student, Ike Hiyori, saw Yato crossing the street to try to catch the cat he was looking for. When Yato was about to get hit by a truck, Hiyori instinctively rushed to his rescue and ended up getting hit by the truck instead.

First Impressions: Noragami

Surprised at what the young girl did for him, Yato used his powers to keep Hiyori alive. However, after the incident, Hiyori tends to fall asleep without her noticing which causes her spirit to come out of her body. From henceforth, she pleads Yato for assistance in helping her return back to normal. Together, they annihilate phantoms, malicious spirits preying on people’s weaknesses to keep the city peaceful.

First Impressions: Noragami

“Kids, don’t do this at home.”

And I must say that I find the plot and the theme of the anime palatable to my tastes. As I’ve mentioned in my previous articles, I enjoy watching anime of the supernatural genre, provided that they’re good and Noragami falls under such a category.  Though the premise of the story somehow reminds me of Shakugan no Shana’s plotline, Noragami has a lighter atmosphere when it comes to the plot. At the same time, I find the relationship of the main protagonists Yato and Hiyori cute as compared to the protagonists of the former even though there’s no hint of romance between the two. In fact, I don’t mind if Yato and Hiyori wouldn’t develop any feelings towards each other as the story progresses.

First Impressions: Noragami

“Destroyed.”

Another point of interest with regard to the anime is that Yato, as well as the gods in featured in the anime, arms themselves with Regalia or Shinki as the anime refers to it. Simply put, Regalia are uncorrupted spirits of mortals who are turned into divine weapons by gods in the story. These weapons are then used to annihilate malicious spirits who threaten the world of humans. With regard to the artwork, I find it decent and reminiscent to the artwork of a manga I used to read a long time back which was entitled “I’s” with the characters’ nose line not being emphasized. Of course, the anime wouldn’t be exciting without this kind of scenes:

First Impressions: Noragami

“Fanservice will never cease”

I also find the design for the phantoms cute and interesting in a sense that they’re really portrayed as entities that come in different shapes and forms. I guess the idea of the phantoms having a lot of eyeballs on their bodies is a bit creepy but I approved of such a conceptualization. Overall, I find the anime’s story more intriguing as compared to Kyoukai no Kanata’s plotline which I stopped watching after episode four. I do intend to watch it again but I don’t think it’d be anytime soon. The story’s pacing is acceptable so far as well as the introduction and development of the characters so I guess I don’t have any qualms about it in general.

First Impressions: Noragami

“Again kids, don’t do this at home”

I am looking forward to the following episodes and I hope that the story continues to get better as well as Hiyori getting more involved in fights rather than a character that needs to be saved. So if you’re looking for an anime under the supernatural genre then you may want to try this one.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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Otakustreamers.com

Yuyuhakusho.wikia.com

First Impressions: Space Dandy

This is one of those newly released anime that I usually see getting uploaded in the sidebar of the Otakustreamers home page on a weekly basis (or so I think it is) and it was purely just because of curiosity that I found myself checking the synopsis of this anime. It was only until recently that I took notice that one of the genres that I enjoy watching would be sci-fi movies and the same applies when it comes to anime.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

Though I am not much of a fan of the mecha genre, I often find myself glued to what I am watching when the story revolves around a group of individuals who are adventuring in space or a protagonist who’s goal is to discover the secret of the universe or shows that have alien invasion themes. Hence, anime like Captain Harlock, Space Ninja Team Gatchaman, Tytania, and the like tend to get my attention. And this anime is no exception.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“No, that’s not Lupin III. And No, that’s not a vacuum cleaner.”

I took the opportunity to watch it earlier this morning with my girlfriend, Liz, (who by the way just had her birthday today) as soon as she got to my place. Her first impression regarding the protagonist, who introduces himself in the anime as Dandy, reminds her of Lupin the Third. I took another glance and also noticed the similarities artwork wise and speaking of the artwork, I find it decent and fit my taste. I guess I tend to appreciate an anime displaying strong colors similar to Trigger’s Kill la Kill and SHAFT’s monogatari series.

The premise of the story is about Dandy who’s akin to a space bounty hunter.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“No, not this kind of bounty hunter”

However, instead of hunting down criminals who have large bounties on their heads, Dandy hunts down the most unique alien specimens available.  I am honestly not sure how he gets his monetary reward in accomplishing such a task but yeah, that’s basically his job description. He searches far and wide throughout the endless space accompanied by an old model robot named QT (which I think is really “cutie”) and Meow, an alien who appears to be a cat of some sort with human intellect.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“It’s called a Breastaurant. You’re welcome.”

What I like about the humor of the anime is the fact that the characters are breaking the fourth wall. For some reason, I am a bit of a sucker when it comes to this kind of narration. Also, the anime reminds me of an old anime that I used to watch in AXN many years ago entitled Galaxy Angels.

First Impressions: Space Dandy

“Would you want to be with these Angels?”

I also figured that the anime is episodic and lacks any sense of continuity after watching the first episode and I’ve yet to find out in the next episode if I am right about this hunch. Overall, if you’re looking for a sci-fi anime series to watch and aren’t particular about story plots and enjoy nonsensical humor then this anime is for you.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

 

imagecredit:

toonami.wikia.com
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www.giantbomb.com

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

This anime was recommended to me by a good friend a long time back and if my memory serves me right, I wasn’t a member of Otakustreamers yet at that time. When my friend told me that the artwork of the anime was reminiscent to the American animation series Power Puff Girls, I gave my friend a look of disbelief at what he was telling me to watch. It’s been so long since I bothered watching American animation and frankly, I am not really a fan of how they do their animation these days. Today’s western animation’s stories as well as artwork are non-comparable to American animation back in the 80’s.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“The first ray-gun was discovered by Wyatt Earp’s Ghost in an episode of The Real Ghostbusters”

I can still remember those Friday nights wherein my family, relatives and I would gather in the living area to watch an episode of The Real Ghostbusters. The former would then be replaced by Stan Lee’s Uncanny X-Men a few years later, then followed by The Simpsons, the latter, which doesn’t have a continuous story but still an enjoyable American animation/sitcom to watch with the whole family. Nostalgia aside, my friend was able to convince me to watch the anime adding that it’s not your traditional comedy anime and sports a mature humor and showed me a random episode of the anime. And little did I know that the “mature” humor he was talking about goes way beyond the meaning of “general patronage”.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“Would you like her to be YOUR guardian angel?”

Panty and Stockings tells the story of the Anarchy siblings; Panty and Stockings (hence the title of the series), angels who fell out of God’s grace for practicing excessive lascivious behavior in heaven. They were banished from heaven down to Daten City (when pronounced in Japanese is a pun for Datenshi which means “Fallen Angel”) which is a place between Heaven and Hell plagued by creatures known as Ghosts. An afro-haired priest (who has a tendency to engage in homosexual activities) named Garterbelt who presides over a church is tasked in guiding the Anarchy sisters in collecting Heaven Coins to be able to return to heaven and only by defeating Ghosts in Daten City can they acquire the coins.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“This ain’t no powerpuff girls”

The anime was absolutely funny and I enjoyed every second of it. As to what my friend mentioned, the anime wasn’t intended for younger audience and contains mature and sexual themes, as well as intense profanity throughout each episode. On the other hand, mature viewers would surely enjoy the humor the anime offers, not to mention that there are mainstream culture references that people would surely recognize and appreciate.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“That ain’t no Megatron”

Each episode runs for fifteen minutes or so and what’s unique about the anime is that the artwork of the main protagonists revert to your usual anime artwork whenever they draw their heavenly weapons in preparation for defeating their enemies.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“And ain’t no Charlie’s Angels”

In addition, whenever they defeat a ghost, a real-life clip of a ghost figurine is shown to explode literally.

Putting On The Panty And Stockings

“Yes, this Ghost figurine”

Overall, Panty and Stockings is a very entertaining anime that will surely get you laughing in each episode. If you enjoy watching lewd anime and has a taste for strong profanity when it comes to humor then this anime is for you.

Thanks for reading

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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otakustreamers
fanpop.com
randomnessthing.com

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

I discovered this anime back when some people in a forum I’ve been hanging out at posted screenshots and images of scenes from this anime. But what made me more interested to watch it was the conversation in one particular scenario which talks about the existence of real superheroes in the real world. If I remember correctly, I asked my friends there if it’s a good watch and they recommended that I try watching it.

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

“This conversation”

After watching the first episode, I concluded that the anime falls under the slice of life genre with a bit of comedy and action though I was eventually proven wrong. The story revolves around a young man named Masayoshi, Hazama who has a strong sense of justice. He dons a superhero suit and calls himself Samurai Flamenco. Claiming to be a seigi no mikata, (which means “ally of justice”), he helps to reinforce the law by calling on those who break the law and making sure to rectify it through sheer force of personality.

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

And when I say law breakers here, this includes people who jaywalks, those who smoke in places where smoking is not allowed and or even young adolescents loitering late in the evening. Yes, we have the same initial reaction regarding the premise of the story. It’s quite funny but at the same time, the development of the story is very interesting that it didn’t take long for me to realize that I am eagerly anticipating the latest episode.

Another point of interest in the anime is Masayoshi’s catchphrase: “A hero will never give up, never hide, never be defeated, and will never accept evil.” A recurring theme in the anime is the concept of reinforcing justice in society even as small as not smoking in places where it isn’t allowed to smoke and throwing your garbage away at the appropriate time. Frankly, this is the first time I’ve watched an anime who shows the truth of what is really happening in society and how even the smallest rules are taken for granted and neglected.

First Impressions: Samurai Flamenco

The anime appeals to me because its story is not just about Masayoshi’s exploits in implementing justice on those who break the law but also about how his relationships with the people he meets in the story develops. In fact, it’s interesting to note that the first episode is about him meeting Goto, a local police officer in the district where Masayoshi lives who’s more realistic when it comes to approaching the concept of justice and what is right as oppose to Masayoshi’s ideal sense of justice.

Overall, I’d highly recommend watching Samurai Flamenco for those who’re looking for a fresh experience in the superhero genre. And the thing is that the anime doesn’t stop there and offers more as the story progress.

Thanks for reading!

@ravenknives at Twitter

Raven Knives

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otakustreamers
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http://genkinahito.wordpress.com/

P.S.

Oh, before I forget, I also love the opening theme of the anime.