I'm rewriting this to re-clarify some of the things I won't do on my blogs.
Android Ana Maico 2010: Again it's so boring there's nothing to pick from it that I can review.
Akira: I still won't review Akira as I have to invest a lot of time into the film.
Ghost in the Shell: Nor will I review this one for the same reasons.
Spirited Away: Or this one as well, again same reasons.
Video Game Reviews
Final Fantasy: I won't cover Final Fantasy as I don't have enough experience of the franchise to do it justice.
Kingdom Hearts: I hate Kingdom Hearts with a passion but I know a lot of people like it so to avoid a backlash I won't review it.
Video Game Politics: I want to avoid it like the plague so I won't mention anything to do with Gamergate or any other controversies.
UAFC Battles: I will not use Bleach characters.
Hopefully that makes things a bit clearer although despite me not doing anything to review these shows, games or use characters, they are still all eligible for any top ten list.
I've reviewed OVAs in the past but there are many that don't require their own pages for and these three certainly live up to that.
Handsome na Kanojo
Actress and model Mio Hagiwara meets a young director named Ichiya Kumagai and falls in love with him, however Ichiya is too fixated on his movie to notice and it's only when he escapes a nasty motorcycle accident that he realizes his feelings for Mio. This story was one of many attempts by artist Wataru Yoshizumi before finding success with Marmalade Boy. Translated as Handsome Girl and the term is used within the OVA by Ichiya to describe classy Hollywood ladies like Lauren Bacall.
Despite a good setup and a fantastic art style this 1991 OVA goes too fast leaving little time for chemistry to develop between the leads.
Final Verdict: Out of the three OVAs this one is the most solid in terms of setup and story but is still forgettable and overshadowed by the artist's more popular works.
Prince Muscat of the Galaxy Empire holds a martial arts tournament to find people to travel with him across the universe which draws the attention of wrestling fairy Lu and the mecha suited K.K. Together along with the spaceship's pilot travel across the universe starting with a desert planet where they thwart a smuggling operation of antique wine.
It sounds like a good idea but with nothing much to work with in the character department, there are plenty of moments where the viewer will draw blanks such as the poorly constructed plot twist in the last five minutes of the feature. Then again this was made by the same person who did Ultimate Teacher, an anime deemed unreviewable by Bennett the Sage of Anime Abandon.
Final Verdict: Out of the three, this 1987 OVA is probably the only one that could've been serialized if a bit more care was taken over the final product particularly the poor characters.
Katsugeki Shōjo Tantei Dan
School Girls Yuriko and Shizuka attempt to save their rich friend Midori who gets kidnapped as part of an operation by the chairman of the school to steal a military weapon hidden in Midori's mansion.
This is the worst of the three as the characters are designed to be stupid within a story that makes utterly no sense in a world with such a lousy color palette. My first review on this blog was Debutante Detective Corps which you could argue is a more sophisticated version of this anime which is like saying a McDonald's is high class cuisine. But there is a fundamental difference between this 1986 OVA and the Debutante Girls, at the very least the Debutante Detective Corps made an effort to suck while this OVA is lacking any effort at all.
Final Verdict: It's such a low to see such crap being dredged up from the distant past and I thought Circuit Angel was bad, this is just insulting.
Today we look at a movie from everyone's favorite pirate crew the StrawHats as we dive into the film Strong World.
We begin with a breakout as a veteran villain escapes the marine's prison going by the name of Golden Lion Shiki, a pirate captain who used to fight Gold Roger back in the day.
Later on with rumors of the East Blue facing several vicious attacks, the StrawHats decide to return to East Blue to save it but a chance meeting with Shiki whisks the crew off to a number of floating islands which ends in the crew getting scattered about the islands with Nami getting captured by Shiki, after battles with some fantastic looking monsters and a round one defeat to Shiki, the StrawHats descend on the stronghold and promptly kick ass in style.
Eiichiro Oda provided much of the support for this film personally but to be honest his contribution is less improving the story and more drawing as many fantastic animals as possible which don't get me wrong, it's his biggest talent as an artist but it didn't warrant extending the film's running time, it doesn't help that some action scenes are a little rushed, but the one scene that saves the film is the epic moment when the StrawHats all dressed in suits descend on Shiki's palace surrounded by hundreds of pirates and promptly blast them all to pieces with high powered guns; One Piece is often criticized for being less pirate and more fantastic adventure but that scene reminds us that Luffy and co are pirates and not to mess with them, it truly is one of One Piece's finest moments.
As for everything else, Shiki is a decent villain, his henchman are pretty terrible and we could've done without Japanese slapstick or fart shoes, I know One Piece does comedy pretty well but that stuff is more at home on the Muppet Show.
Dub is good but I prefer the subtitled version.
Final Verdict: It's a longer version of all the other One Piece movies, even with Eiichiro Oda's support, this doesn't break any new ground but the stuff it does well is really well done and makes the experience worthwhile.
Part of my New Years resolution is to make more interesting lists so I thought I start with portrayals of fairy tale favorite Cinderella.
This list will only show animations that have used the Cinderella story to some degree in universe, all entries must have the three crucial scenes of the Godmother, the Ball and the Glass Slipper.
So without further delay lets begin.
10. Alvin and the Chipmunks
This version is obviously told through the Chipettes as Brittany refuses to do chores and not surprising doesn't get to go anywhere, so cue the Cinderella dream sequence with all the bells and whistles you can expect from the story. Simon's role as Fairy Godmunk is particularly hilarious to watch.
Lead human Laura gets picked for the title role but the slipper goes missing during the play so it's up to the Ham-Hams to get it back to her. Like I said in my review of Hamtaro last year, it's the ultimate in super safe anime.
8. Betty Boop
Cartoon's first femme fatale is the oldest entry on this list with all the classic sing song and slapstick of cartoons of that era, she also has red hair which is quite unique as her hair is normally black.
7. Keroro Gunso
One of only two genderswap entries in this list. Giroro wants to declare his love for Natsumi at the ball she's going to, so using a device borrowed from Kululu, he makes himself human and dances with her, you know it's only a short but you can't help but hope for a happy ending.
6. Pink Panther
The Pink Panther cartoon has always been an interesting one as each short is done with just music and sound effects and no dialogue. In this version the Pink Panther finds a witch's wand and helps out a girl in need of some luck and love which the Panther is more than happy to help with, what makes this more interesting is the fight he has with the witch.
5. Strawberry Shortcake
The only Cinderella story I know to feature stepsisters who apologize mid insult. It's even better in the German Dub.
4. Family Guy
One of the rare moments where Meg Griffin is allowed to get her own back a bit, it's surprisingly well done for a relatively new episode as it's in the same season as that other episode that killed Brian off.
3. Cardcaptor Sakura
The other genderswap version and boy is it hilarious as Toya pulls off the manliest looking Cinderella ever. Brooding males seem to work as princesses, who knew?
2. Smile Precure
The Precures go into the Cinderella world to try and save it by making sure the story finishes on a happy ending. Cure Happy is obviously Cinderella, but we got Cure Beauty as the Prince (Yuri Writers smile in delight), Cure Peace as the Godmother and Cure March & Sunny as the horses, yeah you heard me, horses.
1. Sakura Wars
But the best ones at doing Cinderella are the Imperial Floral Assault Team, as the lead goes to Sakura Shinguji as part of her character development but that's not the end of it. In a spinoff Columns puzzle game, all the girls have a go at becoming Cinderella with some surprising results particularly how well Kanna cleans up in a dress despite the fact that she almost always passes for a man, it must be the Monkey D Luffy voice.
I'm feeling better so I can now post my review on Watamote, also to save time I'm just going to modify my last post as it's pretty much setup for reviewing this anime.
Tomoko is a new high school girl hoping to be popular just like in her Otome games, however reality isn't so generous as poor Tomoko is a social outcast finding it very hard to talk to people not helped by a look which tells the world that she's an insomniac or pumping drugs and just generally trying to fit into a society that's no longer as simple as it was back in middle school. With this in mind, Tomoko tries her best to find ways of becoming popular with each one failing miserably.
Now this anime can be taken in three ways, a comedy or a study of social anxiety or a mixture of both, which has led to some criticism that opens it's audience to some uncomfortable truths about themselves as some anime fans are social outcasts and I'll admit that I sometimes dive into that category as I hate my own company.
On the other hand, the forbidden love child of Keima Katsuragi & Sunako Nakahara, Tomoko is someone you want to see succeed, from moments when she loses her fatigue lines, to a good day with her blossomed buxom best friend, to a moment of kindness with her brother, to a hug that the audience have been wanting to do since episode 1, you want to see her succeed and yes it is another 12 episode anime but you do actually want to continue the manga afterwards to see if she does succeed. The dub is top quality but you'll find it difficult dropping the sub version as Tomoko's original voice is rated one of the best. Also the music is incredible, definitely one of my favorite opening themes in recent years.
Final Verdict: Approach this anime the same way you approach Welcome to the NHK and other anime with similar protagonists, you may get some uncomfortable reminders about yourself but you also get a hero that you want to see succeed, more so than the harem kings and queens who don't deserve it.
Definitely worth a watch.