Back to reviewing anime and next is the World is Still Beautiful.
Nike, the 4th Princess of the Rain Dukedom has been reluctantly picked to marry King Livius of the Sun Kingdom, a man dubbed as a tyrant for conquering the world in three short years, upon arriving she discovers that Livius is still just a child and will have her work cut out for her to try and make the marriage work, in doing so Nike discovers that there is more to Livius than his reputation suggests and with everyone else being reluctant to see the relationship succeed it's up to Nike and Livius to beat the non believers. Did I mention that Nike can make Rain with singing?
As a romance story, World is Still Beautiful really gives you a good indication of how a real romance works, there will be non-believers on both sides who take one look at this child and seemingly unknown woman and think "this will never work" but work they do and it takes a lot of communication, effort and understanding faults and weaknesses to really succeed and that's real life and this anime does an excellent job of portraying it. Okay so Livius looks like the forbidden love child of Ciel Phantomhive and Lelouch vi Britannia and Nike's song sounds laughable when they speak the English Phrase "It's a Tender Rain!" but it really adds to a fun atmosphere when it focusses on more lighthearted moments and it makes the show more accessible and even the moments of drama seem stronger for it.
There is no dub but I doubt it would be as effective and the voice acting choices would be a little too obvious if it were.
Final Verdict: A good story with a very believable romance and while it tires out some of it's plot elements near the end it doesn't become a burden on the series and ends on a tender note, hoping for more to come.
Canada we need to talk, now I love your country, your people are the nicest in the world and that's only scratching the surface of the compliments I can offer you, but I can't stand your cartoons, don't get me wrong a handful are decent but the majority are just god damn awful and this one is inexcusable.
Basic premise and that's all it is, four kids and a monkey try and make the mundane awesome every episode but it always goes wrong in some way, now this comes from the early 2010s era where the term "Awesome" was exhausted to the point that I feel the word is now resigned to history along with Gnarly, Bogus and Cowabunga.
This cartoon is trying way too hard to please it's audience and it feels like a direct ripoff of the much more popular Phineas and Ferb who were at the prime of their popularity. It's main issue is that it feels obnoxious, you really get the sense that none of these characters really deserve to have such abilities, the animation style is a little creepy and I just want to shoot the cheerleading in the background. I don't even like the characters, Lars is an obvious stereotype, Lester and Thera may as well be Johnny Test in both genders, the Monkey is the standard cookie cutter Monkey mascot and Noam is........actually he's okay in fact the cartoon would be an improvement if the main character was just him but as he isn't the cartoon is a piece of crap.
In fact apart from League of Super Evil, everything made under the Nerd Corps banner is total crap, I hope I don't have to review the other shows anytime soon.
Welcome to a new feature known simply as Second Opinion where I take stuff I have already reviewed and add a new perspective to it, I will go through four titles at a time and the feature will show up occasionally to offer fresh opinions should I rewatch a series or watch more of an ongoing series, so without further delay lets begin.
I originally said that Super Sonico was a mixture of really good and really bad episodes depending on what the episodes focus on, while I still think that is the case I have a bigger appreciation for Sonico being one of very, very few anime characters with a real life body type and while it's easy to criticize the fan service, you get the sense that the writers were being very sensible with the character, you also don't notice at first but you see a cameo from another Nitroplus idol as she grows more confident from shy girl to idol, it's not immediately obvious but the more you look, the more you see her and that makes for a very impressive easter egg.
Despite it's shortcomings with some episodes, even those episodes being not terrible, Super Sonico is a really good anime to watch.
I originally said that RWBY was a great spectacle within a mediocre story, but upon viewing more of the series it really starts raising the stakes and the story just improves within a short amount of episodes, maybe a little too dramatic but it gives me great hope that Season 4 can really bring everything full circle, also I'm really enjoying RWBY Chibi as it's extremely funny and always makes me smile.
RWBY just keeps improving and I hope it really comes together in Season 4.
I originally said that Steven Universe was not as good as it should be, while I still maintain that opinion I also expand on it more by saying, there's really a lot I don't like about Steven Universe, again it boils down to Steven himself but the ever expanding cast never really drew me in either, Peridot, Lapis Lazuli, Ronaldo, Onion and Lars are just a list of characters I really don't like and while I do see a lot of the great work done into the writing, I feel distracted by a handful of really bad characters that really damage the spectacle.
So I find myself hating it more now than I did before, sorry to other fans, I really don't like this show.
Wander Over Yonder
I originally said this show was okay but I actually really like this show now, it's full of boundless fun and optimism and the villain is actually really hilarious, it's like the Kooky Lego Villains with much better writing. Wander himself is a well balanced character, he's not so generic that he's boring but equally he's not so annoying that he out stays his welcome and Sylvia makes for a great companion that can really create a nice universal balance to the show.
Wander Over Yonder is a good cartoon border lining great and needs more support than it got, maybe Cartoon Network should buy it but then again it hates it's old creators seeing as the same guy did Powerpuff Girls and look how that turned out on the remake.
We move on to an intriguing film about Mexican culture, this is the Book of Life.
The movie begins as a Tour Guide explains to some detention students the origins of the Book of Life and how it functions in Mexican culture, claiming that it tells every story in the world. This particular story comes from the town of San Angel.
The story of San Angel begins at the Day of the Dead festival where the spirt realms are ruled by La Muerte who controls the Land of the Remembered and Xibalba who controls the Land of the Forgotten are granted more freedom within the mortal realm, upon seeing two friends, Manolo and Joaquin compete over a girl named Maria, the two gods hold a wager to see who would marry Maria in the future with leadership over the realms at stake.
Xibalba not wanting to lose, gives Joaquin the Medal of Everlasting Life that grants him invincibility; during an incident caused by Maria releasing a stampede of pigs, Joaquin and Manolo display talents that their respective Parents/Guardians see potential in, at the same time Maria is sent to Europe to train as a refined young lady.
Over the years Joaquin becomes the new town hero while Manolo is torn between bullfighting and singing. When Maria returns she learned how to be more independent and denounces her potential matches at first but starts warming up to Manolo. Still not willing to lose, Xibalba tricks Manolo into killing himself to win the bet which succeeds but comes back to haunt him as La Muerte gets pissed off about the whole cheating deal, it is then revealed by the Candle Maker (Which at this point I'm guessing is god in this story) that Manolo wasn't meant to die and Manolo does a great test of courage to return to life, meanwhile Joaquin is stuck defending the town against the actual villain Chakal, a notorious Bandit who seeks Joaquin's medal, upon returning, Manolo helps win the battle against Chakal and all is back to normal in San Angel.
This has two sides to it, the great stuff and the terrible stuff.
The Great Stuff
1. The art style is beautiful and really gives a great artistic view of the world in this movie, both the living and non living.
2. The romance and emotional moments are really touching and really gives a feel about how this festival is celebrated.
3. La Muerte is the best animated character in recent years.
4. Pretty good comedy moments.
The Terrible Stuff
1. The so called actual villain is dreadful.
2. The story feels disjointed when you realize that Xibalba was not meant to be the villain.
3. The pig was unnecessary.
4. Maria, oh god Maria, I can tell when characterization is forced and it's obvious with Maria, if this was meant to be a "strong" female character then Maria isn't it, strength in a character needs to be earned by that character and having Maria know Kung Fu was dumb, I applaud that she doesn't fall into the obvious damsel trap but revoke it when you realize that she could've defeated Chakal without Manolo and Joaquin's help.
So yeah overall I'm torn as to whether I like this movie or not, for it's emotion, art and culture, yes, for it's story and handful of bad characters, no.
I'd still say give it a try, especially if you enjoy Mexican Culture because the actual Day of the Dead Festival is really something to behold.
Back to anime reviews after a hiatus, it's time to get into Dominion Tank Police.
In 2016, the Japanese town of Newport is surrounded by toxic air and packed full of crime, to combat this, the Government reluctantly forms a Tank unit to combat these threats, titular character Leona Ozaki whose dedication to her job leads her on the path to the Tank Police, despite having problems at first, Leona manages to fit in with her own Tank creation Bonaparte, a mini tank no more bigger than a real life Smart Car. Leona is just as destructive as her contemporaries as she helps defeat corrupt weapons manufacturers, terrorists, two catgirls of whom were considered rare in anime at the time of release and a terrorist working for a fictional Greenpeace that has nothing to do with real life Greenpeace.
This anime is pure fun, it uses it's comedy well, it's action is a major selling point and it's lead character is one of the strongest women in anime culture. Under normal circumstances this anime would be ignored as it's part of an era where most of the shows that weren't Ghost in the Shell or Akira were really terrible or forgettable, yet Dominion Tank Police even in this era still holds up remarkably well considering the anime it has to go up against, and that's a testament to Masamune Shirow's creativity in making these Cyber Punk worlds as he also lists as his works Ghost in the Shell, a fan favorite among the older anime fanbase and Appleseed.
It's not without problems, the orginal OVA's second plot is not very well written and in the newer six episode series it ends on a rushed note as the villain were expected to follow gets written out awkwardly and the plot kind of unravels in the last 20 minutes as Leona resolves the case by being in the right place at the right time. It's also a time sensitive anime as it takes place in 2016 as evident from a still image of a gravestone, I say this because it can't be considered a futuristic anime anymore and more a product of it's time, if it thought 2016 would be a crapsack world packed with police riding in Tanks then you'll be left disappointed much like the hoverboards Back to the Future promised us.
Apart from that, Dominion Tank Police is an excellent watch and well recommended for any anime night.
In a rare moment of dubbing, there is an English Dub but it was made in the UK so it's rightly referred to as a British Dub which is good to watch.
Final Verdict: Great fun to watch and packed full of strong well defined characters with the comedy and action more than enough to get the blood flowing and leaving you asking for so much more.