Hi I'm Dranzerstorm
You may remember me as a regular contestant on the caption battle contest.
Welcome to Retro Retrospective, my world dedicated to the old guard of the Otaku world; expect some reviews of the old & obscure, and in-depth geeky knowledge with the occasional top ten and I now have a logo.
Little info about me
Well I'm British and I'm in to all things animated and nostalgia.
I've grown up with every cartoon going and have watched hundreds of anime.
Oh and to answer a question I was asked once, no I don't wear glasses in real life, I would wear Loke's sunglasses though.
My last vault entry was somewhat terrible thanks to the crappy nature of the Return to Oz film so lets restore some faith with a bit of Disney magic with the Rescuers.
In a Bayou where an abandoned river boat lies, a young girl drops a message in a bottle, the opening scene plays out to dramatic music and water color painting of the bottle's journey all the way to New York where mice retrieve the bottle and send it to the Rescue Aid Society, a group of mice who help out in international kidnapping cases all discussed and delegated in the United Nations building. The focus is on Miss Bianca, a delegate from Hungary whose passion for her job envokes her to take on the assignment regarding the kidnapped little girl Penny. During the meeting the Janitor named Bernard, makes the suggestion that Bianca takes a co-agent but the naturally superstitious mouse is shocked when Miss Bianca picks him, not knowing that Bianca is smitten with him.
Upon investigating the kidnapping by questioning Rufus the cat at the orphanage, they are led to the main villain and the main plot. Medusa, a pawn shop owner is searching for a rare jewel known as the Devil's Eye and needs Penny to retrieve it from a catacomb only she can fit down but problems back in the Bayou with Medusa's associate Snoops unable to keep Penny in line forces her to travel to the Devil's Bayou herself to get her back using her pet crocodiles Brutus and Nero and again attempt to force her down into the Catacomb, meanwhile Bernard and Bianca travel by Albatross to the Bayou and with assistance from the locals, attempt to free Penny from Medusa's clutches.
This is one of the first Disney Films I ever watched as a child so it holds a lot of nostalgic memories for me.
But its by no means Disney's best, lets start with what I didn't like.
The big flaw of Rescuers in general is Penny, the writers can't decide whether or not she's supposed to be Prewcious, (Not a typo that is sarcasm) or female Kevin McCallister from Home Alone, what I mean is, she gets really upset in some scenes and who wouldn't be, your surrounded by crocs and the villain has no qualms about holding you at gunpoint with a shotgun, but then in other scenes is acting all resourceful and knows exactly how to plan her own escape.
There's also the infamous naked woman frame which baffles me how it even managed to get into the final cut, it's one of those uncomfortable Easter Eggs you wish you didn't find and finally they needed a voice for Evinrude, he's a fine enough character but the noise he makes is dreadful, it's like someone crossed Pokemon language with a Motorboat.
Now onto what I liked, the art is beautiful, the action has great suspense well backed up by the gloriously murky Devil's Bayou, also helped by the fact that Medusa is wonderfully psychotic in her portrayal and I love the music, but the best thing about the Rescuers is the chemistry between Bernard and Bianca, their romance is hinted at and done in a subtle enough way to allow the viewers to draw their own conclusions, this is well backed up by one of Disney's most romantic moments in the song sequence "Tomorrow is another day" which today has a more special meaning to me than it did when I first watched it.
To keep up with everything I've ever reviewed since the beginning I've produced a quick guide saying which Anime and Cartoons I've reviewed, a one line synopsis and a one line verdict for each one. It'll be updated in the near future.
Review time, and today we see another show on Otaku culture, this is Outbreak Company.
Shinichi Kano is an Otaku shut-in who applies for a job that requires his love of Anime, Video Games and Manga, upon succeeding in the interview, he is drugged and dragged into an alternate world, this is the Holy Eldant Empire, which Japan found by accident and now wants to create diplomatic relations by spreading Otaku culture into the alternate world which intrigues it's inhabitants, with his new found purpose, Kano wastes no time in spreading his culture into the world.
This show is both clever and stupid.
The Clever parts
1. The story is well written, it keeps to the subject matter without relying too much on cheap thrills.
2. Much of what is said within the story regarding the culture along with the praises and criticisms are true to real life Otaku Culture.
3. Much of what is said about Eldant's culture can also be true to real life Kingdoms in the past as well as the class systems used in today's societies.
4. The characters particularly Myucel make for an enjoyable experience.
5. The world of Eldant makes for amazing visuals.
Now the stupid parts.
1. You can see the plot twist coming a mile away.
2. Fan Service feels forced.
3. To understand the jokes you need a good knowledge of anime.
4. Many of it's best characters are under used.
5. Shinichi Kano has a nasty habit of switching from good well developed character to horrid cliche otaku fanboy without warning.
6. Petralka's voice hurts my ears.
and 7. The whole story fails to use it's potential to the fullest, I felt like there was more to offer but with only 12 episodes it never really got that far, the best episodes you're going to get from this show are the Soccer episode and the Akihabara episode, everything else is just meh.
While the dub is pretty good, Petralka has no indoor voice and makes ears bleed so Japanese subs is the best choice, this also makes the whole learning Japanese language plot point easier to understand.
Final Verdict: Whille I can see the potential Outbreak Company has to offer in it's clever writing it doesn't quite get the elements it needs to be a rousing success as the show struggles with unused potential that may never be realized.
Now for more reviewing as I look at Legends of Oz Dorothy's Return
With the Wicked Witch of the West long gone, you'd think that nothing bad would happen to Oz anymore? Well her broomstick is picked up by a new villain named Jester, who has his own vendetta against Oz, as he traps all the rulers along with Glinda the Good Witch. Faced with no other option, the Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow summons Dorothy using a Rainbow, with time not passing much between the original story, Dorothy is still rebuilding her farm when a so called Government agent wants to shut everything down. Dorothy then gets sucked up by the Rainbow and dumped somewhere in Oz where she must gather new allies to stop the Jester including a fat Owl, a Princess made of China and a Marshmallow soldier.
Were basically retredding the same tired story, nothing has changed from the original story, it even has a stupidly sappy song to try and start things up but what really makes this fail miserably is that you have all these big name actors and not one of them can make any of these characters interesting.
I've always had problems with the Wizard of Oz, I can't tell if the story is brilliant and the content is terrible or the story is terrible and the content is brilliant. To put this statement into perspective, the musical Wicked was amazing, a lesser known Korean manga where Dorothy transforms into a Witch was amazing along with several parodies from popular cartoons, yet big name productions are really terrible and I include the 1939 film which I believe only gets it's praise from the fact that it was made in color.
I gave this film a fair chance but all I want now is my time back from watching it.
Transformations are the staple of anime culture, from the days of the pioneering Cutey Honey to the current day Pretty Cures, the transformation sequence is always a highlight of any anime series should it have one, however some shows have sequences that are not so good, these ten anime highlight the most embarrassing transformations in anime.
There are no honorable mentions but may be some at a later date.
10. Corrector Yui
While nothing is embarrassing about the costumes per say and the sequences are mostly normal, each one has a facial expression that kind of tells a different story like they are enjoying this a bit too much.
9. Negima Neo
For context this is what I call the alternate Negima. Now you have three different forms. A magical one with great power, a cosplay form with less practical powers and a chibi animal furry form with no use at all that reduces your mind to a childlike state and you can't control which form you get.........HOW IS THAT PRACTICAL?
Kampfer doesn't look so bad at first, you get some cool weapons, you sometimes can use magic and your personality may change to help you fight, but if your a male, you will be force changed into a female whether you like it or not. Not made any better when you become the fan service of the show.
7. Is This a Zombie
How do you add insult to injury when you are already a zombie? By being made to become a magical girl where your main powers give you such a frilly costume that gets more frillier the more you power up, the only thing I can really salvage from this is the fact that your weapon is a chainsaw.
Having the powers of Superman in a handy geeky cassette tape (That's what it looks like) is pretty handy, only one problem, you need to be naked to do the transformation, depending on the version you can't choose between male or female forms and there's a time limit that will leave you naked at the worst possible places. Yeah those powers don't seem so fancy now.
5. Kill La Kill
The power of the uniforms grant great powers, only problem is they look very gaudy and some make you look like a hooker and some are even alive. Ryuko Matoi's revenge has very little dignity.
4. Ultimate Girls
You are made to grow into giant size and then your clothes start fading until you are butt naked for the world to see, fighting phallic monsters wasn't bad enough. Although it would make for a very awkward episode of Power Rangers.
While the costumes look relatively underwhelming for a magical girl show that's not the main issue here, the costumes are basically your male allies, so put that into context for a second, you are wearing pretty male characters as your costume and Himeno's reaction first time around is pretty much how any girl would feel being told that.
2. Agent Aika
While this anime doesn't have much dignity to begin with, Aika's powered form is activated by being groped by a sentient corset that can make her super powered, I'm surprised it still gave her clothing, considering the rest of the anime. (Review coming soon)
1. Jungle De Ikou
The dub summed up this transformation, "the sleaziest transformation ever seen" and they are 100% correct, I won't describe the full details because it's uncomfortable so I'll sum it up. 13 year old girl becomes an adult girl with very little clothing and boobs the size of beach volleyballs, that along with the quote will tell you everything, and this anime wasn't even a hentai.