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.

Rio Rainbow Gate Review

I guess this review came as no surprise to anyone who's been watching the Fantasy Zone. Time now for Rio Rainbow Gate.

Rio Rainbow Gate is an anime created off the back of Tecmo Koei's line of Pachinko games. Rio herself also appeared in Dead or Alive Xtreme which also sums up the shows content.
The story is about a Casino Dealer named Rio Rollins who is the daughter of a more famous Casino Dealer. She works at Howard Resort who is owned by a perverted yet strangely good and honest boss. Her mission is to get the mystical Gate Cards which will grant her a wish and hopefully get her closer to her missing mother who isn't really missing. Along the way she must take down her step sister who is also her greatest rival.
Oh boy Formulaic or what, it sounds like YuGiOh zero with boobs and that's exactly what it is and it comes with an impressive checklist of cliches.
1. Annoying child character who becomes an episode plot point and ends up as a surrogate younger sister.
2. Main character is loved by everyone and is ridiculously talented at what she does and knows Heart of the Cards Magic.
3. Early bad guys talk big but still lose.
4. Side characters do nothing but look pretty, one of them will be emotionless.
5. Clumsy character is ridiculously adorable and over exaggerated.
6. There is a line of sexy cosplay to look forward to.
7. Rival shows up unexpected but acts as a friend.
8. There's a robot girl with a gimmick of losing her head.
9. Casino Games are a bit over the top and always serious business.
10. Big enemy shows up and derails main character using psychological torture.
11. Rival reveals that she's behind all this and challenges main character.
12. Rival is stronger than main character and crushes her spirit in the process.
13. Early bad guys switch sides out of respect for their former enemy.
14. Main character goes on a self discovery journey and reclaims her lost spirit and confidence through an unknown spirit guardian who is really someone close to her.
15. Main Character challenges rival again and wins.
16. Big enemy gets desperate and tries to do an ass pull moment.
17. Main character pulls a Madoka Magica God Scene.
18. Series ends with sudden new characters indicating a second season that won't happen.
I don't normally write with this much sarcasm in my language but it kind of warrants it. Rio Rainbow Gate proves how bad Yu-Gi-Oh's storyline was by re-writing it as a proper anime show, adding boobs and even more lousy cliches.
At the very least the show is reasonably entertaining, you can easily find yourself absorbed in the weirdness around you particularly Ania Helsing when she manages to destroy three supercars through bending trees by accident through her sheer clumsiness. But still it's budget anime at it's finest and you certainly won't gain anything watching it. No dub thank god, it's bad enough in Japanese.
Final Verdict: It's terrible but good terrible, for the price you pay for it, it certainly is worth the money and worth at least one viewing and I will admit that I want to go to a Casino now, so at the very least it's achieved it's primary goal.

Cartoon Vault: Katya and the Nutcracker

Sometimes when you look at that cheap cartoon DVD on the bargain shelf you don't want to buy it knowing that it's nowhere near the same standard as the original but a handful of these productions may surprise you like this film, Katya and the Nutcracker.

While you can get a DVD in my country and possibly Europe & Australia the chances of finding this cartoon movie is incredibly low. You have a better chance of finding an out of print anime.
The story is your typical Nutcracker story. Katya gets a Nutcracker in the shape of a soldier from uncle Drosselmeyer for Christmas. After a fight with her brother the Nutcracker gets broken but over night the Rat King (Who wears a Nazi gas mask for some reason) tries to takeover the Toy World bringing the toys alive and shrinking Katya to toy size. After a battle between the toys and the rats, the Nutcracker Prince takes Katya to a fancy party to watch the Sugar Plum Fairy perform a dance similar to Fantasia followed by an Ice Dance between Katya & the Prince.
There is no dialogue in the entire film using nothing more than the musical score to the Nutcracker and it actually pulls off a decent production, almost to Disney standard if not for the animation art style being a bit hit and miss.
The Atmosphere the movie creates is both magical and immersive. You especially get drawn into the Biplane scene where Katya & the Nutcracker travel to the palace through the blizzard.
If I could find a Youtube video I will certainly post it.
If you wish to take anything away from this review is the knowledge that the lowest level cartoons can often surprise you even if there is next to no information about it all over the world wide web.
And I am fully aware that it says Katya and the Mouseking in the picture so don't bother pointing that out.

Top 10 Worst CGI Cartoons

I don't know what's worst, the fact that I had to be reminded of these god awful works or having to re-watch some of them for research.
Anyway this is my Top Ten Worst CGI Cartoons. This will include a lot of films.
Dishonorable Mentions
Final Fantasy Spirits Within: Boring but not compared to the ten on the list.
Barbie Movies: Only missed the list because they are at least well made but still pretty terrible.
Fleabag Monkeyface: Oddly enough these ten are worst than this show.

This film reduced the Nostalgia Critic to insanity

10. Ice Age: Continental Drift
After three good movies Continental Drift was awful, because someone decided that Peaches should speak and make her a snarky teenager while adding some pirate storyline that had no business being in the film, everything just feels forced in. What's worst, I paid money to watch it.

9. CGI Thomas the Tank Engine
The idea of don't fix what isn't broke was clearly lost on the makers of Thomas the Tank Engine when it came to the CGI Era. What they did was remove any relevant terms regarding the Railways and dumb it down to three year old level. Actually no that's insulting, make that two year old level.

8. Space Chimps
A bad idea to begin with which suffers from lousy jokes and is horribly outdated in an era where Wall-E was released. Even worst they made a sequel which must never be spoken of.

7. Bratz
For what it's worth the only thing Bratz have really done wrong is try to promote an outdated stereotype of teenage girls. It doesn't help that the characters look like hookers.

6. Matt Hatter Chronicles
How can you make a show about fighting B-Movie monsters and villains so boring. This has some of the worst fight scenes in CGI cartoon history. A CGI Cartoon about Slugs is better than this. (Yeah one exists look it up)

5. Nuttiest Nutcracker
It has talking nuts...................ummmm yeah this is just plain terrible, you've taken a well respected production of the Nutcracker and insulted it by placing in talking food. It wouldn't surprise me if the same studio did FoodFight.

4. Foodfight
Speaking of which, what do you do with 65 Million Dollars? Answer is blow it on buying licenses for advertisement mascots waste ten years on production and ultimately release a film that's hideous, racist, stupid, fetish fuel and pointless with some horrible writing, poorly written jokes and a huge waste of money. And for all the money they spent on advertisement mascots they don't even do anything remotely useful. At this point being British is an advantage because I don't feel as betrayed by the misuse of advertisement mascots as Americans do and plus I think the next three are worst than Foodfight.

3. Monster High
Released at the height of the Twilight phenomenon, Monster High is the biggest insult ever to the monster genre. Like Bratz it promotes an outdated stereotype of teenage girls but this time they are all Fashionista Monster girls. (I really hate the word Fashionista I feel disgusted saying it)

2. Gormiti Nature Unleashed
Gormiti was actually a good cartoon, it had a certain charm to it. This CGI series is utter crap. Do you remember that arrogant hot headed hero type that made up 90% of laughably bad boys cartoons? Well times that by four and remove every female character from the show and hope it sells toys. Only problem is they forgot to actually animate properly as the show glitches constantly during battle scenes. If you're going to make an action cartoon then actually animate the battle scenes!

1. Anything by Video Brinquedo
Video Brinquedo is a Brazilian Animation company that has no ideas of it's own and pretty much rips-off every CGI movie that sold well, both Pixar & Dreamworks. It's just the sheer shamefulness of their products that makes you wonder why they haven't been sued for every penny and shutdown. To give Foodfight one bit of credit is at the very least when they ripped off something they didn't make it so damn obvious.

Now after all that I can use a few Rums to forget what I just saw.

Top 10 Impossible Costumes

Every so often a costume comes a long in anime that you have to say to yourself, "that can't possibly exist in real life" and yet cosplayers still have a go at pulling off these costumes, some with better results than others. So here are the top ten impossible costumes.
Honorable Mentions
Lina Inverse: Difficult to make sense of but not impossible.
Anything Skin Tight: Not impossible but horribly impractical.
Most of the Strike Witches: I doubt anyone is brave enough.

10. Juraian Kimonos from Tenchi Muyo
While not impossible and ain't half as impractical as their bizarre spaceships, it certainly looks like it takes some effort to put on.

9. Bloodberry's Costume from Saber Marionette J
Has actually been proven in real life to be impractical mainly for the rope loops on the back of the kimono. Then again this is the same show that has characters with cheeks that make them look like they swallowed a coat hanger.

8. Dragon Kid's Hair Decorations from Tiger & Bunny
How do you fight with those disc things on your head? Seriously Dragon Kid is quite a mobile character when she gets going so how on earth do you support those disc things?

7. Knight Sabers from Bubblegum Crisis
I could say the same for other battle suits but these ones are especially notable for their high heel design for the feet, as they are part of the suit itself they cannot be taken off so easily so you definitely don't want to walk in them for long missions.

6. Yuuko's Kimonos from XXXHolic
Clamp does impossible clothes quite a lot but Yuuko's takes some effort to pull off. Many a cosplayer find it easier to make up a design for Yuuko to wear rather than copy her directly.

5. Haydee's Dresses from Gankutsuou
The Art style plays more of a role in this than the actual costume, although her opera dress is especially extravagant.

4. Neya's Cyber Dress from Infinite Ryvius
Provides the image for this top ten list. It looks like it was made from colored tin foil.

3. Lacus Clyne's Entire Wardrobe from Gundam Seed
Whether it's a kimono that can't fit a spacesuit or a dress that seems to defy physics, Lacus Clyne always looks fabulous.

2. Erza's Armors from Fairy Tail
The Heaven's Wheel Armor alone is on a different level to other battle armors. But looking at her extensive catalog of clothing it's fair to say that Erza doesn't always have eyes for style or practicality.

1. Any Stage Dress from Aikatsu
Seems to be a trend for Idol shows these days but Aikatsu takes it a bit further, either through it's impossible color schemes or over the top decorations and wings, you can guarantee that the Aikatsu stage will always light up.

Bonus: A close real life example would be Heian Period Kimonos. Hard to put on and so many layers to wear.

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Review

Sorry for the lack of updates as I've been on the convention trail but before I left for the convention I finished an anime series I was desperate to review but ultimately ran out of time. Now that I'm back and eager to recover quickly here is my review of Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.

In the distant future the world is devastated so the human race moved to the heavens but something went wrong and they are forced to return to the world which was still very much ravaged; however Japan is still functioning so the human race gets squeezed into their country using pocket dimensions to separate each nation. The nations in control are called the Divine States while the pocket dimension nations are called the Harmonic Divine States.
At this point the worlds decide to reenact history from 10,000BC in order to rediscover their lost technology and return to the heavens all run by the Testament Union, but in 1413AD War broke out and the Harmonic Divine States invaded the Divine States and split up the States to each group in a similar way to how Sengoku Era Japan worked.
In 1648AD the residents of Japan now live on the battleship Musashi but rumors of an apocalypse coming soon creates waves of concern within the Testament Union who precede over the viewing of history. Taking advantage of this situation, Tori Aoi, head of Musashi Ariadust Academy's Supreme Federation and President of the student council, leads his classmates to war against the Harmonic Divine States in order to reclaim their homeland and recover the lost emotions of his android girlfriend Horizon; which being an anime is in the form of weapons and strictly speaking each nation is controlled by student councils and anything and everything you can expect is there including ecchi.
That is a long ass explanation for this series, it's any wonder this light novel series is longer than most western manuscripts.
So is it any good?
Well it's difficult to keep up with and set universe laws seem to break pretty easily; the assortment of characters are all unique with little to no focus on Tori Aoi who often walks around naked for no reason, Horizon herself barely has any focus at all either despite being the title character, as other characters often steal the spotlight. I do give this series a lot of creativity points for unique character designs and equally unique battles, but getting through the story was a tough enough barrier and I pretty much wore myself out just explaining the plot.
The dub is okay but Season 2 suffers with audio issues with too much clashing between music and dialogue and with such a complex plot it can be a little daunting to read subtitles and it really needs the dub to be clear and precise.
Final Verdict: It needs a bit of love and care to get past a heavy barrier of plot and dialogue but within lies a host of unique characters and action that leaves you feeling more satisfied by the time you finish season 2. The light novel goes on for much longer and there's little to no info about future seasons.