Reviews and random thoughts brought about by various movies, series, music, books, travels, social behavior and what not...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Anime: Denki Gai No Honya-san

Based on a light novel, this slice-of-life anime follows the day to day activities, interactions and mis adventures of the employees of a doujinshi shop in a fictional "Electric Town" (while making obvious reference to the Akihabara city skyline and its association to manga otakus and Comiket).

Its contemporary production themes and cute character design, along with its light hearted non-linear storyline and comedy is inter-connected with the underlying romance rising from the relations of the employees.

The motley crew of characters ranging from your stereotypical manga freak, camera maniac, struggling comic artist, closet fujoshi, zombie maniac to the silent strong type makes their daily interactions interesting.

Mix it up with fan service like innuendos and misunderstandings of the intentions of the characters, plus various comical reference to pop culture, makes it more hilarious.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Anime: Tamako Market

Tamako is a daughter of a mocchi maker, that soft sweet and tender Japanese traditional confection, that is well loved by the people at Rabbit Mountain shopping district. Living an almost carefree and innocent life, until a mysterious bird came into her life. A bird that could talk and is looking for a bride for the prince in their royal court. The series goes into the daily life and grind of her family, friends and members of the shopping district.

Tamako Market is a slice-of-life/ school life anime good for light viewing, with almost no plot twists and a feel good plot surrounding the story.

The characters and their development is well produced throughout the series, with looks and attitudes comparable to Yui,Ui, Ritsu, Azusa and Nodoka from the "K-On" series (so does the character design and art production).

There is an underlying love story that viewers would likely love to see come into fruition, a bit of yuri-love in the beginning, but was concluded early on.

The series also contains a lot of traditional Japanese celebration due to the fact that the family business delves into traditional Japanese culture.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Death Note (2015 live drama adaptation)

I just got off an all nighter with the recent episodes of this year's adaptation of the popular series 'Death Note' by Nihon TV, which I incidentally saw the ad at a book store in Chiba with the re-release of the manga.

Now, as someone who read the manga, watched the anime, and all live movie adaptaions by Warner Bros., I think nothing can shock me now, since I know the plot and story inside out. But a sudden surge from the net in an uproar because they cast Near as a girl, got me thinking... maybe this is to renew all that yaoi fan art stuff that burst through the seams in its hayday.

Then, upon seeing the trailer ad, I became curious.

And boy, I was wrong.

Its like a 'what if' universe of the original series, with all the twists and turns but still satisfactorily teis in back to the main plot. As soon as you relax and think 'Oh boy, this is gonna happen' (because you know the series already) then, BOOOM you get served a halthy serving of story twist that leaves you wanting more.

As Yagami Light, actor Masataka Kubota has nothing going for him in potraying the series anti-hero. He delivers Light as a traumatized youth with a gloomy outlook , but still kept in check by his college buddies. Unlike the bishonen, ultra intelligent and livin the good life but too stubborn to realize it Light that we know, Kubota brings a certain level of helplessness, gloom and bleak outlook...add that with the past of the character, makes for a more believable roots of the twisted form of justice which is Kira. And as the series progresses, I cant help but notice the transformation of Kubota's face...from a helpless teen, to a paranoid and delusional person absorbed by the power of the Death Note.

Kento Yamazaki gives the familiar 'L' that we all know, but his relationship with Watari (played by Kazuaki Hankai) gets a more comedic times.

Then there was Near...and her ventreloquist doll Mello (?!?).

Well, at first I said...well, that was a cute a little sister trying to impress her big brother. But it was later apparent that the doll is the personification of her split personality. In episode 4, it shows that Mio Yuki-san was actually providing the voice for the doll, having fights and a scream match between Near and Mello. And as the scene closes, she was laughing manically as screen fades.

I suddenly fell in love with the new Near/Mello character.

It was also refresing to see some of my fave supporting actors in a different light. Like Jiro Sato (Densha Otoko, Jin, Gokusen) and Yutaka Mastushige (Love Call Center, Propose Daisakusen) was quite refreshing.

I can7t wait what twists awaits me on the next episodes.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Anime: Genshiken

As an otaku myself, I love watching anime or dramas that portray slice of life comedies about otakus and the various elements that surround their lives. Although fictional, a lot of us does come across those awkward moments from time to time, making this genre a part of me as it does become a part of a lot of others out there.
But after seeing the genre over used.. or watched horribly written series on the subject...overusing various cliches in a very unimaginable ways... I was turned off to the genre.

Then, I happened upon a series called "Genshiken". I watched it half-heartedly, but before I knew it I was looking forward to the next episode. This thing I call "The Geshiken Legacy" is composed of 2 seasons and a next generation-like third season. Although each season can stand on their own, you need to watch from start to finish to fully enjoy the inside stories and subplots within the whole series.

Aside from the nice production work, I was fascinated with the development of the characters and the inter connectivity of the stories within each season. There are a lot of things that they seem to include in the anime that I think happened only in the manga, which puts me off a bit (because I don't get to see it actually unfold). But overall, the series itself is a must see to all otakus, those intrigued by otakus, or those who don't understand otakus in general.

The quirkiness of the various characters complement the stories as the whole gang of otakus goes on with challenges in their lives. Like... school fairs... facing ordinary people...bouts with figures of authority...and the greatest challenge of all... releasing their own book in ComiFest (or Comiket). But underlying all the craziness are the way their relationships change, forging bonds that they themselves failed to see in the first place. And there is nothing more cuter than watching otaku love blossom.

While the series entertains me a lot, there are also within a touch of reality, where all things generally end up to. Not all things come with chuckles and giggles... not all things otaku goes on forever. But we must not lose the fire that keep us with our passion

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Anime: KanColle (Kantai Collection Anime)

After the long wait, the anime adaptation of the famous online card game "Kantai Collection" (also known as KanColle) was finally released...and I got to watch it online this morning.

The KanColle anime adaptation is the latest in the long line of "moe anthropomorphism" of war machines in Japanese pop culture. I was drawn into the series because of my love for 2 things, battleships and cute girls.

The anime seems to follow the series "Fubuki, Gambarimasu!", where it features "slice of life" and "school life" of the ship girls from the point of view of special destroyer "Fubuki".

The anime is like a mash up of the values and attitude of "Strike Witches" with the animation production quality and intensity of "Aoi Hagane no Arpeggio". I also liked the launch sequences, which is like Iron man meets Gundam 00 meets Strike Witches.

Can't wait for the next episode...I already watched the first episode thrice already today.

Hweeeeeeeeeeee... Fire cannons you foxy destroyer you....BOOOOOOOM!!!!