Entries Tagged as 'Anime'

Anime Review: Black Blood Brothers

Recently, I had the opportunity to finish the Black Blood Brothers: Box Set and I have to say that while it’s not in my top tier of favorite animes, it definitely ranks high up there in the next tier. This vampire based anime talks about how vampires and humans have set aside their differences and lived peacefully in a place called The Special Zone. There is a barrier that holds any vampire away from this area unless invited by a human being that is from here. Yet, there is a rogue clan of vampires called the Kowloon Children that are out to basically wipe both vampires and humans from existence. Think of them kind of like the infectious guy from Blade II.

So the point is that there is an older more chivalrous school of vampires called the Old Bloods, that do everything in the way of the old. They are the most powerful, but they also bound by rules and regulations that determine how they fit into society and how they judge are to be judged. There are multiple vampire houses like the Sei house, the Warlock house, and the Sage house and in the middle is a human controlled “Company” that is the neutral party. The entire political structure is actually pretty simplistic although in the anime, you soon realize that there is a public face of peace while the underlying foundation shows a darker and more sinister side.

The entire story arc is about Jiro Mochizuki, the Silver Blade, or Kinslayer, a name that was given to him after the Hong Kong Crusade ten years prior due to him defeating the Kowloon King and the majority of the Kowloon Children. It’s also about acceptance, and how two cultures come to see one another and how there was intermediaries that helped smooth things over to make a place for all people, vampire and human alike.

I personally found this story to be fairly well thought out although the depth wasn’t as much as GitS or FMA. What’s also interesting is that the end seemed to come rather quickly but left it open for a second season. Especially with how it left it open, it wouldn’t surprise me if another publisher would have picked up this story arc and ran with it again.

Anime Review: Darker Than Black

So here I’ve been watching a new anime series called Darker Than Black. While most studios are hit and miss, anything that’s touched by Bones seems to be fantastic and when you can afford to get Yoko Kanno to do the music, it’s probably one of the better animes out there.
So knowing all of this, the standard is set higher. Which also means that there’s a lot more detail that a reviewer pays attention to since it’s no “ordinary” anime.
Thankfully, Darker Than Black doesn’t have that issue at all. Years ago, the stars in the sky were wiped out by a false “sky” of sorts due to the appearance of an unknown body within Tokyo called Hell’s Gate. In this “sky”, stars appeared that correspond to individuals that have fantastic powers that are used to kill with a price. The story arc revolves around Hei (黒, Chinese: Black) whom acts like a chinese student as his cover but is actually a Contractor for the Syndicate known as “The Black Reaper”. While every other contractor seems to have a price, he alone seems to be able to move able easily and can control electricity without having paid any price (I actually have some thoughts about this, but they’re not justified thoughts). Pay attention to his appetite. Perhaps that’s his price?
All the while, there are other contractors out looking for him, British intelligence contractors called November 11 are out for him and an unknown there, and he doesn’t exactly know where the Tokyo superintendent that is in charge of dealing with contractors stands.
There really isn’t too much currently on why he’s searching for his sister whom he lost in an implosion at the South American gate (whom I assume is the name for white) and there’s probably some significance to the color choices. I also really love the fact that this is one of the few times that anime is using Chinese characters for characters, which is kind of neat.
If you’re a big fan of assassin type storylines with super powers, I think that you’d definitely like DTB.

Anime Review: Jyu-Oh-Sei – Planet of the Beast King

Many of the better anime series have a darker theme to it. I think that Jyu-Oh-Sei, fits that realm well due to the fact that they’re a bunch of young boys that are sent to a penal colony planet after their parents were murdered in a conspiracy to keep things quiet.
On Chimera, only the Beast King is allowed to leave the planet via the Dagger Pagoda. To become of the Beast King, you have to defeat each of the leaders of the rings and eventually the Beast King. And thus begins the conquest of Thor, whom tries to make it all the way to the end with the help of a few friends he meets along the way.
I would say that this series really hits home on the dog-eat-dog world and how sometimes you have to make incredibly difficult decisions, especially when it comes down to if it’s a life or death situation between you and the other guy. Alliances are also frail so whom you trust could in the end become your biggest regret.
A really good series, albeit short, but one of the few darker ones that I thought was worthwhile to buy. So if you’re looking for the box set, it’s going to put you back a little over $50USD.

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Anime Review: Elfen Lied

Based on a manga series, Elfen Lied where basically mutant humans that are designated with some horns like cat ears and have transparent arms called “vectors”. These Diclonius, are supposedly what will bring the end of the world and thus condemned to being sub-human lab animals.
From here, one of them, Lucy, has a split personality and is found to be living with Kohta, a university student. The storyline itself shows the entwining of Kohta and Lucy’s past and why he can’t really remember what had happened to his father and sister. There are also a lot of societal themes such as animal cruelty, revenge, child abuse and other types of negatives of society. It basically shows that being human means making mistakes, but it also means that there are ways to find yourself through even the worst of things.
This anime was actually very interesting although it is definitely NOT for children at all considering the violent and societal themes along with nudity that roll throughout the series. The first seven minutes of the series at the beginning is supposed to be one of the most controversial since it has extreme violence and nudity and you’re basically thrown into it without understanding what’s going on at all. The plot really doesn’t develop until later, and I could see why it would throw some off if they saw these first minutes and didn’t continue to trek forward.
All in all, it was a great series as long as you could stomach the adult themes. I would definitely recommend it although good luck if you ever want to see it on television. This anime is bloody enough with enough nudity that I don’t believe you could actually watch it without censoring most of the series.

Anime Review: Witchblade

I have to say that this series was very interesting in the fact that it was drawn for men…. but the plot seemed to be written more for women. Which was baffling.
The style of drawing was done in a very similar way of Aeon Flux in the sense of over-accentuating the female form. But on the flip side, this anime was actually very much about a mother’s love for her child and what she goes through to protect her child. The end seemed a bit rushed, which makes you think that they knew that there were only going to be so many episodes.
Interestingly enough, this storyline was done as a cooperation between Gonzo and Top Cow (who owns the franchise). And unlike the usual storyline, this was done with all new characters, new plot, and all that.
Overall, I enjoyed this series although I think the ending could have been a little bit more drawn out instead of seemingly to fall all on the last episode. Sometimes, the wrap-ups are all a bit … hurried in many animes and this didn’t seem different in that sense. If you like what you see, I’d probably look into getting the Witchblade Box Set since it’s actually a pretty fair price when it comes to anime series box sets.

Anime Review: X

With both X – The Movie and the X television series, X is one of those older animes that talk about post apocalytical battle.
Basically, the main character must choose a side to fight it out and depending on his choice will undoubtedly change the course of the world. Pretty usual, and the fights are actually pretty good if you watch the anime first. In fact, I would recommend not to watch the movie until you finish watching the anime itself since it wouldn’t make as much sense otherwise.
The film itself is the exact same story but with a bit more focus on Kamui and less on the Dragons of Heaven and Dragons of Earth.
All in all, it was a pretty good series, although I have to say that the very first episode was entirely strange until you realize later on what it meant. Basically, it’s supposed to be a primer for the series for those that haven’t read the manga, but it really just gives away bits and pieces of the story. The only bad thing about it is that you don’t know how each part fits in since that’s all the dreamgazer for the Dragon of the Earth saw. For the most part, the entire storyline is pretty tragic and sad, but that’s also to be expected from such apocalyptic fiction.
Personally, I still find that my favorite of this genre still is Ergo Proxy, but X definitely had a nice feel to it nonetheless.

Anime Review: Darkside Blues

An older anime, but definitely very interesting since Darkside comes from this mirror world where he’s been banished for eighteen years and comes to protect one of the last places on earth where it’s free: the Kabuki-cho district of Tokyo.
In this futuristic era, the Persona Century Corporation has taken over most of earth lead by these people whom watch from above in a satellite orbiting. Many are cyborgs, enhanced with armaments or have extremely fast movements. In this case, they are lead by one that only dons a golden mask whom is trying to quell the rebellious faction called Messiah whom is based in Kabuki-cho.
Darkside Blues is definitely one of those interesting movies, but you don’t understand half of what’s going on since you didn’t read the manga (which means, read the manga before you watch the movie). It ends with a closing scene that obviously is an opening for a sequel, but even that is hard to describe why it ended the way it did. Very strange, but captivating older anime film.

Anime Review: Lady Death

In 2004, ADV films released Lady Death – The Motion Picture, based on the Lady Death from the comic book Evil Ernie by Eternity Comics. The premise is pretty interesting since Lady Death is the daughter of Lucifer where in life, her love was taken from her and she could not forgive her father (whom she did not know was the devil) for taking her loved one. For tricking her into hell, she vows to destroy her father.
It’s a conflict within the Gates of Hell, where an offspring of the the Prince of Darkness takes on the Prince on in an all out war in Hell. The overall movie itself is done in a very 1990s fashion which is surprising considering when it came out. Obviously the budget for this film was low too since there are a lot of cheesy lines and the voice acting is pretty terrible in my opinion. It’s almost like a B-rated film in animated form.
While the comic book art is actually pretty amazing, the animated form is a bit lacking. Not exactly my cup of tea, but if there are those that are fans of Lady Death then there might be some nostalgic value in this film.

Anime Review: Last Exile

If you’re a fan romance and a somewhat steampunk style of fighting, then you should get a hold of Last Exile – The Murata Range Complete Set Edition [affiliate].
The storyline is about Claus and Lavie who a team that pilot a Vanship in a Victorian type era where water is scarce and there is warring going on between two lands while a much more advanced culture named the Guild controls it all. There really is no mention of Exile and what it is and what it does until later in the storyline, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone when it does come out as to why it exists.
Obviously, this seven disc set is one of those great series that I wouldn’t hesitate to collect. In fact, it seems that I already collected the two disc OST earlier.

Music Review: Last Exile O.S.T.

Been watching an anime series lately called Last Exile. It’s actually very good and a bit older, but what got me to buy the OST was two things. One was the opening song. Not many anime series begin with a dance track and Cloud Age Symphony is just one that you can bust out some dancing with.
But it also was very nice that it didn’t cost the same as usual import CDs. For both Last Exile, Vol. 1 and Last Exile, Vol. 2, it only cost about thirty bucks. That’s not bad at all for imports.
The music overall is background music so there is a lot of more classical and dance. The nice thing about this is how the music interacts with the actual anime since it’s more of a steampunk type of animation. This makes it a strange but fascinating combination to see steam-powered technology that has dance and classical together. Weird, but actually flows well together.