Post Number 6 and we look at an anime that is getting quite some interest in the wrong places, our next anime is Keijo.
Now I’m fully aware that Keijo is a current anime that has not long started and there could be changes in opinion in the future but from the three episodes I did see, I pretty much have a fair assessment on what to expect.
Keijo is about a combat sport in which women using their breasts and butts try and knock each other into the water, it’s very much the same as a typical pool party game but some genius decided to make it a sport and give the anime it’s typical over the top flavour it does to all its sports anime, think of it as Hajime no Ippo swimming pool version with girls, our heroine is the gymnast Nozomi Kaminashi who gives up her dream on the Olympics due to Keijo being a sport that can win her more money quickly if she turns professional, joined by other girls, Nozomi will try and turn pro and defeat many major players along the way.
This anime is silly and everyone with a sense of humour knows this and the anime is self aware of this fact, to take some key moments from episode two, the students at the sports college do exercises to improve their butt strength and technique while also learning about and I’m not making this up Asstrology and Boobology, there are also techniques like Butt Guillotine, Butt Gatling Gun and Vacuum Butt Cannon as if it were Monkey D Luffy stretching his butt instead of these girls so if the anime isn’t taking itself seriously then why should anyone else? Well some people do take it seriously unfortunately.
I get so sick and tired of the whole sexist argument when it comes to fan service style anime and while it is appealing to the male audience it’s designed in a way that is not sexist at all.
From three episodes there has only been one male character seen and he has no impact on the story so far and I doubt he ever will and I don’t even think he has a name, that’s important to note, even harem anime has at best one male character and depending on the series said male character is an abuse victim when he’s constantly mistaken for a pervert which is a painfully tired cliché.
People who write and make these shows are not stupid; they know full well that there are people all over the world watching their shows at any one point due to the availability of services like Crunchy Roll and they have to make it for everyone not just a set audience and they are painfully aware of the criticisms it might receive so it does its best to minimize the impact and Keijo would not only pass the Bechdel Test with flying colours, it never showcases the cast doing this sport against their will, each character wants to achieve great things from this sport and as silly as it looks, this is no different to every other sports anime, which makes it painfully predictable but the formula is tried and tested and worth the paper it was written on, Free, Kuroko’s Basketball and Yowamushi Pedal are rated some of the best anime of today and use the exact same formula but with the opposite gender.
Again it’s just a silly anime about a harmless swimming pool game and if you still think this anime is sexist then go watch Eiken, because that is a sexist anime and the worst anime in the world then you’ll see that in comparison this is tame!
Final Verdict: its silly fun at its finest using a formula that is tried and tested, I’m open to an opinion change but I kind of already know what else to expect so I don’t need any more time on it. This show is not meant to be taken seriously and the anime knows this along with 90% of the Otaku community, if you do take this seriously then sorry I can’t help you.
Post number 5 looks at Police anime You're Under Arrest
I find it oddly appropriate that this review is on a franchise that has been around for 30 years as I have also reached that milestone in age as of last week.
You're Under Arrest is about the life and times of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department particular the officers of Bokuto Police Station and on the partnership of two of their finest Traffic Police Officers Natsumi Tsujimoto and Miyuki Kobayakawa. Every episode along with the movie focuses on a crime or a personal character development moment in which we watch the station handle each episode, while the focus stays on the friendship of main characters Miyuki and Natsumi we also get some glimpses of the secondary cast as well.
The show can be very slow paced, very tame and a little sketchy with it's own stories but in general you can pretty much jump in at any time and not know the whole backstory and you can pretty much work out how each of the characters functions as well but to sum up.
Natsumi is the reckless one.
Miyuki is the bad ass driver.
Nakajima is the manly one who is a little awkward with romance.
Nikaidou is the klutz.
Aoi Futaba is probably the best portrayed transgender character in any media.
Saga is another klutz but more tolerable than Nikaidou.
And Toukairin who is Natsumi's foil.
Add in a souped up Honda Today (Common Japanese Car in Japan only) and you've got your whole story there.
Couple of things to really bring up, the same creator did Ah My Goddess and Ex Driver so the art style is quite noticable and the cars are always done to perfection which showcases the creator's love for cars.
And again with Aoi Futaba, you cannot find me another transgender character done any better than Aoi Futaba which is one of the shows main strengths along with the friendship of Miyuki and Natsumi, it's any wonder that there have been four series, a live action version and a movie, yet they all appear to share the same sort of stories.
So it's not for everyone, mainly because it's rival is the eternally famous Kochikame but for a Police show it never really takes it's set pieces onto a higher plain, granted I don't want to see it turn ultra violent but at least show some teeth. Dub is average, some cases of screeching and over acting especially if your name is Nikaidou.
Final Verdict: Take it or leave it, this is very much an anime that will suit some fans better than others, the action crowd will lose out a bit on the tame and low levels of violence but it can be made up by those fans who like character development and nice cars.
Post number 4 and were going classic anime with OVA Sol Bianca.
Sol Bianca is a ship crewed by a team of five female space pirates as they go through the universe plundering what they can find, our ragtag band of individuals are as follows.
April: The main fighter of the group, she acts as the stereotypical male space hero even though she’s clearly female, she also acts as captain when the regular captain is too drunk to be useful.
Feb: The captain and a master tactician and more than a little bit of an alcoholic.
Janny: The butch muscle of the group complete with temper to match.
June: The hacker who is also whiney and a little bitchy.
May: The chief half pint engineer who is often seen piloting a small mecha as well as act as the quote on quote youngest team member with the personality to match.
Now we’ve met our crew all named after months out of pure laziness so what happens?
Well this OVA is only two episodes long so don’t expect it to be ground breaking, the first episode starts with a boy smuggling himself onboard of the Sol Bianca who wants to go to a planet called Tres who is caught in a revolution against the Planet Uno. The second episode the crew steal a large supply of a special mineral apparently worth more than some planets but get caught up by a competent band of bandits who successfully hack the ship and try and get the minerals back. There’s also a subplot about June not being completely human but the anime ends in a way that there is meant to be more episodes but nothing happens because of cancellation.
Sol Bianca had potential and the remake Sol Bianca: The Legacy shows that it wasn’t a total failure but this OVA as a standalone is dull and lazily written with nothing stringing together the plot or anything that really tells the audience what’s going on, I will get to the remake at some point but based on what I’ve seen so far, it might be a bit of a far cry to expect too many changes. At least the art direction and music is good.
There is a dub but the copy I watched didn’t have it packaged with it, which is a shame because some of the actors chosen for the characters looked really promising and may have salvaged a bit more from this anime.
Final Verdict: Lazily written and quite dull, I even fell asleep during episode 2. I have higher hopes for Sol Bianca: The Legacy but at the moment I can’t really give this anime a passing grade.
Post number 3 and were back on Anime reviews, next up is Hidamari Sketch.
Hidamari Sketch is about a group of four Art Students talking to each other.......... That’s it.
Yes were back to the genre where it’s hard to really get a grip on a narrative when there’s nothing other than four girls talking to each other, Lucky Star was the same and it was started by Azumanga Daioh but what makes these shows strong is the world around them and the secondary characters they communicate with and the situations they get themselves into, basically life from the perspective of school students and it’s more effective with female characters.
In this story it’s from the perspective of the four tenants of the Hidamari Apartments next to the school grounds, a typical episode would pick a date and see what happens with the four characters.
Our rousing quartet, are as follows.
Yuno: The sweet girl who clearly looks the youngest with a lack of self confidence, most episodes are shown through her perspective and is always the one to start and finish the episode. Start in bed, finish in the bath with a bath bomb.
Miyako: The energy of the group, who is short on money but big on appetite; expect most of the comedy to come from her.
Hiro: The motherly type who never shuts up about her weight. (It’s an outdated trope cut it out)
Sae: The stoic hard worker who has a little bit of a crush on Hiro, but is easily rattled and embarrassed by her friends.
As most of these shows tend to take place in school we need some teachers and they are.
Miss Yoshinoya: An art teacher with an obsession for cosplay and very young at heart but not that professional and has a tendency to play act the sex victim. (No I don’t understand either)
The Principal: An old man who looks like a Moai head, he spends his time pondering the benefits of school life and punishing Miss Yoshinoya for her unprofessional behaviour.
The Landlord: While not a teacher, she is worthy of noting, she brings gifts to her tenants and is a no nonsense hard smoker/hard worker type.
Ume-Sensei: The artist avatar of creator Aoki Ume, doesn’t do much but appear on screen.
The show itself has a bright optimistic feel to it with well timed comedy thanks to the chibi style art used in gags and actually having interesting topics to talk about, the anime’s shining moments comes when the art direction dives into photo realism when switching scenes and completely nails it when we get to Yuno’s hallucination dreams when she gets sick.
I know this genre really has it’s haters but it’s one of those shows that is relaxing to watch; it’s non offensive, it never over blows the characters personalities, it doesn’t let its own universal rules control the show, it focuses purely on the characters, it’s genuinely funny and most importantly it gets rid of stress.
There isn’t a dub for this anime but I don’t think it needs one; there is a season 2 as well so I may revisit this anime in the future.
Final Verdict: Probably the most enjoyment you can have out of such a simplistic plot.
Post number 2, and this one is a top ten on popular franchises everyone loves but I hate; now to clarify, this doesn’t mean these franchises are bad just for whatever reason I just never got on with them.
Frozen: It’s outstayed its welcome for a good year and we need to move on but doesn’t make this list as it does look like Disney can move on from it.
Haruhi Suzumiya: I’ve always hated Haruhi Suzumiya and the impact to the fandom it brought with it; thankfully it’s faded out of Otaku culture.
Star Wars: Over saturating the market right now but I don’t hate it enough to be on this list.
10. Sword Art Online
Accel World was better and I hated the direction this show went after season 1.
9. Berserk/Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni/Elfen Lied
Having started my anime career in the ultra violence of the 80s, I feel that shows that showcase high violence and gore are only popular because of said gore not some of the deeper meanings these anime shows have which is a shame.
8. Bobs Burgers
I encourage any show that can take on the big three of South Park, Family Guy and the Simpsons and succeed, but not when the art style constantly makes all the characters look stoned.
7. Madoka Magica
I had a hard time warming up to this show and while yes it is very compelling and completely re-writes the genre but then so did Sailor Moon and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. And while it was very successful in its run, it doesn’t really change the current line up of sparkles, colours and optimism that most current generation Magical Girl shows are known for.
6. Steven Universe
I’ve brought this up before and try as I might, there are too many characters I don’t like in Steven Universe for me to really enjoy the show, again I stress that this isn’t the cartoon’s fault it’s just my taste in characters and the fact that I still think you can have a compelling story with just the Crystal Gems and not Steven Universe himself.
5. Grand Theft Auto
When I play open sandbox crime games I’d rather things weren’t taken so seriously which is why I stuck with Saints Row instead, again its taste and the fact that this game is so overhyped that I just can’t stand it.
4. Love Live
My hatred for Love Live is quite well known, an idol show that is nothing new, nothing groundbreaking, does everything tried and tested and is far worst in quality than many of its contemporaries is somehow one of the most popular anime in the entire world. WHY!?!?!
I tried my best with this franchise, when I was young, when I was a teenager and in the last couple of years and I still don’t like Transformers. I only found two out of the god knows how many series in this franchise that I can sit and watch, and my optimism for the franchise has long died since the live action Michael Bay movies.
2. Final Fantasy/Kingdom Hearts
My relationship with Final Fantasy is very much love/hate, I can see myself getting invested in the games but not so much the stories or the overly broody leads they insist on bringing into the games.
As for Kingdom Hearts, I’m not pulling any punches with this one, I hate Sora. I can’t stand Sora as a character and when he’s the main character in an RPG, that’s a problem. I have no problem with the Disney aspect but the Final Fantasy aspect leaves me with a bad taste, it’s not even just Sora, the others are just as bad, in fact the only character I can tolerate is Aqua.
1. Legend of Zelda
20 years I’ve been trying to like Legend of Zelda but every Zelda game I’ve played and I’ve played quite a lot of them, I feel the games are deliberately trying to piss me off; it’s not that I’m bad with them it’s just that whoever designed them has this idea in their head that you’re supposed to already know what to do when you do the numerous puzzles in every game and it can easily add the hours into a game that by the end of the first hour you’re already sick and tired of it and you just want to give up yet every game yields a near perfect score from critics and I don’t know why, it’s like trying to defeat Silver the Hedgehog for the first time, only you have to do that on every god damn quest.