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.

Wish Upon the Pleiades Review

Post 25 and were closing in on the home stretch, we look at Wish Upon the Pleiades.

Wish Upon the Pleiades started as a web animation by Subaru Automobile Company, yes by Subaru, a car more famous for street racing and rallying has made a Magical Girl anime. Upon a successful run online a 12 episode series was produced which is what were reviewing today.
Subaru (Real original naming) is an average girl who upon stumbling on a Magical Observatory ends up obtaining magical powers which then leads her to the Cosplay Club who are all revealed to be Magical Girls who chase after stars to help a squishy alien repair his ship, but a dark magical boy is also after the pieces so it's a race against time to obtain all the ship pieces from the various reaches of space to repair the ship before their enemy steals them.
This space themed anime is very heavy on dialogue and has a habit of really pushing it's boundaries to try and make us understand the mysteries of the universe and how far it really goes, it's trying hard to be thought provoking but it's hard to really take seriously when you remember it's a magical girl show then it hit me like a well aimed bottle in a nightclub brawl, they're trying to be like Madoka Magica, obviously less dark than that show but Madoka Magica none the less with the main character being the obvious comparison to Madoka herself trying to work out what's right before attempting to bend the universe in her favor, it's rather jarring that they would go for this when the design of the show promised something more whimsical.
A few other things I can't get over are the broomsticks sounding like Subaru cars and Aoi's rather confusing attitude towards everything, I think she has ambigious disorder, there's something wrong but no one can work out what it is which brings me to another issue, the characters, none of them really jump out at me as being well made and none of them are really given much to work with in the backstory department which is important in establishing a magical girl team, in fact Nanako spends more time speaking for the Pleiadian than actually being herself, but I think overall the most jarring thing about this whole project is the fact that Subaru cars made this!!!
That's not to say a Japanese company can't make their animated mascots cute girls and it makes sense for a car company named after a star cluster to do a space themed anime but why not a space action series rather than a Magical Girl show, it's just very distracting and the fact that the series plays more serious cards than light hearted and funny, it's very difficult to concentrate on, especially on a subject as neverending as the universe.
No dub but it wouldn't work as one anyway.
Final Verdict: It's nice looking but it feels far too heavy on dialogue and plot to be a magical girl show and can easily put off audiences expecting something else entirely.

Mask of Zeguy Review

Post 24 returns to my roots as we look at Mask of Zeguy.

You have to understand that back in the 90s it was customary to get anime that was either a little crap or really crap on VHS, further exemplified when you consider that what I used to watch in the early days is exactly the same as pretty much 90% of Youtube Reviewer Bennett the Sage's portfolio, if you don't know who he is then to sum up quickly he's part of a group of reviewers on Channel Awesome consisiting of Nostalgia Critic and Angry Video Game Nerd among others. In short, I'm old and this is what we had to put up with in the early 90s.
Mask of Zeguy is an OVA about time travelling/universe jumping historical figures who try and stop a powerful mask falling into the hands of the deity Himiko who wants to open these mystical gates to control the world but also needs a preistess to complete the ceremony, by chance a regular school girl named Miki is transported to the alternate world in the clouds by accident, Miki's friend gets kidnapped by monsters and is mistaken for the legendary preistess. Miki lost in this alternative world stumbles across a flying machine piloted by our two heroes.
Our warriors on the good side are Hiraga Gennai and Hijikata Toshizo along with a mystic cat and on the evil side working for Himiko but argubly in it for themselves are Zhuge Liang (Named Koumei as that's his Japanese name) and Leonardo Da Vinci who looks closer to an oversized dwarf.
The heroes must stop Himiko from opening the gates while preventing Miki from getting captured.
Okay the premise shows a lot of promise and you could argue that elements of this OVA helped the likes of Read or Die and Inuyasha that have many of it's plot elements however the story in this is confusing at best and at worst downright tedious and incredibly rushed. There is a lot of dialogue and fair play to Tristan Goddard's performance as Gennai in the dub who really took such a mess of a story and made it somewhat understandable but it doesn't stop it from being confusing nor does it really give a clear motivation for the side villains who never really do much once their scenes are over, Himiko is a pretty stupid villain who doesn't catch on the first time that the girl she kidnapped is not the priestess she needs, Toshizo is on the stupid man hero scale who thinks women shouldn't be on the battlefield, a statement that is both redundant and sexist while main character Miki spends the entire anime whining and asking a million questions while saying she's useful which basically confirms what Toshizo has been saying about not getting her involved.
Sigh...Gennai is the only one who actually has a good part otherwise the anime is just really bad, for an early dub it's not bad but doesn't really save it.
Final Verdict: Mask of Zeguy fails to take advantage of a premise that has enough going for it to be creative; it leaves some character motivations unforfilled, a climax that is rushed, a bitchy main character, a bland male hero type and a stupid villain. I'd skip this one.

Cartoon Vault: Tom & Jerry the Movie

Post 23 looks at Tom & Jerry the Movie.

Tom & Jerry shouldn't need a plot but this movie has one sadly; during a series of unfortunate events Tom & Jerry are left homeless when their owners move away and the house gets demolished. After coming across a sort of orphan named Robyn, they decide to help her find her missing father, however she's under lock and key at the hands of her Aunt Figg and her lawyer who wants to claim the inheritence off her father who is declared missing in action.
When it's discovered that Robyn's father is alive Robyn finally succeeds in escaping along with Tom & Jerry who escaped from the pound after being put there by Figg.
After escaping again from a washed up entertainer, Robyn finally makes it back to her original home only to escape a fire that engulfs the home but is saved by her father at the end.
So perils and escapes abound in this film along with far too many musical numbers and Tom & Jerry having full vocals. This is not what I expected from a Tom & Jerry Movie, in fact for a film called Tom & Jerry the Movie it has very little Tom & Jerry in it and that brings up an issue plaguing the franchise since the end of Chuck Jones Era.
From the end of that era Tom & Jerry have suffered from the pain of too much dialogue and acting as the secondary characters to an episode character, even before the old era my least favorite episodes were always ones with too much dialogue either from Spike, the duckling, Tuffy or a human owner. What made Tom & Jerry so brilliant was that the actions and expressions were doing all the talking, even episodes that don't focus on Tom & Jerry's fight but simply looks at slice of life like Mouse in Manhattan which focussed on Jerry touring Manhattan yet his expressions told us more about the story than dialogue ever could. It's not that the cast are devoid of dialogue, it's cleverly mentioned by Jerry that the only reason he didn't speak before was "There wasn't anything I wanted to say that I thought you'd understand" which fair play to the writers actually works in context.
As for the movie characters they all suck, I feel I'm learning a little too much about them especially in some of the weirder songs such as Aunt Figg's villian song or Captain Kiddie's song about his past. Also I don't think Robyn is a strong enough character to really hold a movie together about Tom & Jerry, granted they've been with other speaking characters before but Robyn is very much the typical orphan character with no more than one dimension and it makes even less sense for Tom & Jerry to talk to her when it's clear that no other humans can hear them.
So overall it's not the best experience to have the Tom & Jerry label on it; if it were a different franchise it would have some credit to it but as it does have the Tom & Jerry label it's nothing special just very awkward.

Top 25 Vehicles in Anime

Animation maybe my first love but my second love is cars, so this time we have a special run of the top 25 vehicles of anime; rules this time are, all entries must have a real life counterpart and must be one car per series.
Updated with an honorable mention

Honorable Mention: Ford Sierra Cosworth from Goddamn!
This one off OVA has a number of big name rally cars most notable a 1986 Ford Sierra Cosworth driven by the main character.

25. Optimus Prime from Transformers
Rated low for being a hybrid American/Japanese cartoon. Most early carnations of optimus depict his disguise as a Peterbilt Truck.

24. Officer Jenny's Bike from Pokemon
For a series that glorifies walking & cycling, only the police force can hold onto such wheels in the form of a Harley Davidson Road Glide.

23. Seta's Van from Love Hina
A vehicle Ace Ventura himself would be proud of, a Subaru Sambar Campervan built for durability. Ken Akamatsu himself owned one.

22. Jeep from Saiyuki
Beats walking to India and you don't need to park it as it comes complete with cute dragon form.

21. 6-Wheel Tyrrell F1 from Moldiver
As part of the storyline of celebrating the 20th Century this one off race car becomes the centerpiece of one of the episodes.

20. T-74 Tank from Those Who Hunt Elves
The only way to travel an elven world is a Japanese Military tank possessed by a cat spirit.

19. Ban's Car from Getbackers
A cheapskate car for a cheapskate team, saying that this Subaru 360 has done decent mileage.

18. Hermes from Kino's Journey
A talking bike based on an early 20th century Brough Superior, the engine sounds beautiful.

17. See-Through from Panty & Stocking
The oddly named Hummer driven by the Anarchy Sisters, in true Barbie pink.

16. Lisa's Car from Ponyo
For a little Mitsubishi Minica it does the job when attacked by a Ponyo Storm.

15. Yui's Subaru Vivio from Lucky Star
The most epic scene you'll ever see on the road & she still managed to keep to the speed limit.

14. Lupin's car from Castle of Cagliostro
A Fiat 500 that has no trouble climbing cliffs.

13. Police Cars from You're Under Arrest
For just mere Honda Today, they certainly see a lot of action, although you can only brake with your feet in some of them.

12. Mach 5 from Speed Racer
Borrows many design traits from old Le Mans sports cars most notably the Ferrari 250 Testarossa. Replicas already exist.

11. Karts from Capeta
The most over dramatic scenes of turning a corner you'll ever see.

10. Road Buster from Riding Bean
A hybrid of a Porsche 959 & Corvette Stingray, some other sports cars may have even taken inspiration from it. See Gunsmith Cats Review for a picture.

9. Lorna Endou's Lotus Europa from Ex-Driver
In a world where A.I. drive every car, a team of drivers stops them from going rogue in style. The image near the top is a Caterham Super 7 from the same show.

8. Reiko's Motorcycle from Goldenboy
A sexy looking Bimota Tesi driven by an equally sexy lady, beaten by a pervert on a bicycle.

7. Misato's Car from Evangelion
A Renault Alpine A310 built to withstand the onslaught of angel attacks, still looks like a trash heap though.

6. Toyota Trueno from Initial D
Pity I don't rate the series but everyone will agree that the Trueno is the standout car from all the other cars in this show.

5. Rally's Shelby Cobra from Gunsmith Cats
Loved so much it even made the opening title sequence, admire this piece of American Automotive genius.

4. Celty's Bike from Durarara
A hybrid of a Yamaha V-Max and a Honda RCB, comes complete with dark aura, headless rider and horse noises.

3. Kaneda's Bike from Akira
It looks unreal but one officially approved by the author is doing the rounds in Japan for charity.

2. Haruko's Vespa from FLCL
For an Italian scooter it looks so much more awesome in the hands of guitar wielding Haruko.

1. Yukari-Mobile from Azumanga Daioh
But no car has ever been so terrifying than this one, a beat up Toyota Corolla E120 that has traumatized it's passengers to breaking point whenever it's mentioned. Stay away from this car.

Cartoon Vault: Elena of Avalor

Post 21 and we look into today's cartoons with Elena of Avalor

Elena is a Princess of a far off Latin Kingdom who ends up trapped in an amulet which saves her from death at the hands of a soceress for many years; after being set free by Sofia the First (Long story) Elena must learn how to rule her Kingdom using the tools left to her by her late parents along with her many friends around her.
Pretty simple premise but how does it stack up?
Basically if you've seen Sofia the First this is basically the same with an age upgrade, not really surprising as it's the same universe, same creator and Sofia is even responsible for setting the plot in motion so it's all set in stone, in fact it may as well be an older Sofia learning how to be a ruler but I digress; Elena is at least more interesting in personality and the characters around her are endearing enough to not be too distracting, on the other hand I also feel that this is.
1. Been done before.
2. An obvious post Elsa character that tries to deliver the notion that women are strong independent characters.
and 3. Proves once and for all that the main core Disney Channel is for girls.
Some people may disagree with statement 3 but looking at this kind of show makes it hard to ignore considering it's other programs are Miraculous Ladybug and copious amounts of teen sitcoms that are not worth the script their written on and only girls actually like them.
Because of my rules on pre-school shows, Sofia the First is exempt from review as the target audience are too young to defend it but seeing as this doesn't really deviate much from it, I'd say this review pretty much sums up both shows which in my opinion is that they are okay shows that don't really bring anything new to the table, hey at least Elena's music is better.