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

Monday, July 25, 2016

Anime: Mangaka san to Assistant san to (The Animation)


The series is about the manga artist Yuuki Aito and his assistant Sahoto Ashisu. Based off the four panel strip in the seinen magazine published by Square Enix, its a fast paced comedy satire about being a manga artist.

The running gag within the series is the perverseness of Aito, and the patience of Ashisu as she keeps up with him even after being the target of his perverted jokes and way of thinking. While working on their mid-poplar seinen series, Aito wants to spread his love for women's underwear through manga, while Ashisu strives to improve her skills by being Aito's assistant. Along the way, with his childhood friend who is also his assistant editor, an airhead second assistant who doesn't know how to draw but admires and loves Aito's works, and a young super assistant who does better work than most manga artists she works for, Aito's studio-office-apartment became a venerable harem where the girls are the targets of his perverseness, but they hide a certain level of affection for him.

although almost all anime girl stereotypes are represented; the tsundere, the airhead, the logical one, the quiet loli and the imouto-type, its not your typical harem genre of comedy. As much as he is perverted, he still values the relationship he has with them.

A series for light, casual viewing, the story line is appropriate for the 13 to 15 minutes each episode has to offer, without stretching the plot out too thin. Although each episode is divided into 3 - 4 part chapters, it still leaves you wanting more and looking forward to the next one.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Anime: Sakurasou no Petto na Kanojo

For a mix of "feels" and "squeals", this series is a good match for you.

In "Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo", "Sakurasou" is a dormitory for problem students of the Suimei University for the Arts Affiliated High school. It means when someone doesn't fit the bill as "normal", they get transferred there from the normal dorms.

And this is where the main male protagonist, Sorata, was unfortunately thrown into as he refused to throw away the stray cats he picked up and kept in the normal dorms. With a normal mind set than his 'artistic' co-inhabitants, which drags him into their weird ruckus everyday, he often refers to this place as a loony bin.

But fate has so much instore for Sorata since the day he met Mashiro, a genius artistic painter who seems like she lives in a world of her own, with not much skill in taking care of herself or interacting through the social norms. Like how he takes in cats, Sorata is forced to take in Mashiro... waking her up, helping her get ready for school, feeding her, doing her laundry, it became known in the dorm as "Mashiro Duty".

With a very well designed animation production and character development, the series advertises itself as a romantic comedy series, but it delves more into facing your insecurities, and personal development. A coming of age story hidden behind a mask of 'slice of life' romance comedy.

If you are hoping for a smooth love story, there are a lot of twists in relationships due to the friction caused by their difference in thinking and talent. Hoping to finally prove themselves, only to be dealt with a flurry of bad hands and twists in circumstances that pull their personal progress to a screeching halt.

But the story makes you anticipate the release of the next episode... keeps you glued to the series until it comes to a final realization..a trip of self discovery of sorts.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Anime: Netoge No Yome Wa Onna no Ko Ja Nai to Omotta

With same premise as "Sword Art Online" and "Danmachi" comes the series "Netoge No Yome wa Onna no Ko Ja Nai to Omotta" (whew... that was a mouthful).

The series revolves around the online and real-life adventures of the Alley Cats, a guild in the MMORPG 'Legendary Age'.

The main male protagonist, Nishimura (online name: Rusian) once proposed to another player only to find out that she was actually a man, so he swore off online marriage and began to think of other players as male.Two years later, another player by the name of Ako, who is also a member of the Alley Cats,  persisted that they get married... and after the tenth time, he reluctantly accepts. In one discussion, Ako claims to be a real girl, and the guild ends up meeting in real life. To Nishimura's surprise, all members of the Alley Cats were high school girls... from the same school he's in. Then began the roller coaster escapades of the group, who formed a real life bond, to help Ako, who seems to blur the line between in-game life and real life... and holds on to the fact that she is married to Nishimura.

...but then... Nishimura fell in love with her. (kyaaaa!!!)

I definitely love the series... from the premise of the story.. to the the development of the plot. Its a nice light comedy romance school life story with not much plot twists aside from discovering that the players were, in fact, females. Its not your typical harem type of anime. There are a lot of female characters to one male lead, but they show no romantic feelings towards him... just as friend and a companion in the game.

It also helped that the characters were cute.. specially Ako (who reminds me of a character from a hentai I watched before), but she could still do without those big bosoms...they're just a distraction on how cute and pure she is.

But underneath all that fluffy fluffy love story adventure are real threats within the net. Especially when playing MMORPG. From identity theft, bullying, to 'social withdrawal' syndrome... and having friction with people who do not have the same values as you.

"Netoge..." is a series I definitely recommend.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Anime: Mayo Chiki

Kinjirou Sakamachi is a highschool student with an abnormal fear of female that causes him to nosebleed and, in extreme cases, pass out , when he comes in contact with girls. While keeping this a secret, rumor began to spread that he is a homosexual because he always runs away from girls and keeps a close relationship with the others boys at school (teh!... thats not what homosexual boys do). One day he accidentally steps into the toilet stall with Konoe Subaru, a butler famous throughout the school, and discovers that he is actually a girl. He is then persuaded by the sadistic mistress Kanade Suzutsuki (man, that name is hard to say at first) to keep Konoe's secret. Kinjirou's life of peace is then shattered as he enters a seemingly friendly love triangle with the two as well as the affection of various other girls from the school.

A light comedy  story derived from your typical "girl disguises herself as a boy at school for a special someone" cliche with some twists of romance. One may be confused with the character of Kanade as she is caring and warm, as she is cunning and sadistic (a ball gag on Konoe? she's your childhood friend for Christ's sake). And the girls seem to mistake Kinjirou's aloof behavior towards women as a valiant gesture to protect their chastity and stuff... like to show that he cares for their well being. Teh, ... don't get me wrong, Kinjirou is still an all around good guy.

This has a good animation production and character design, but I fell as though some character development are rushed so you care about those characters, relying on the viewers adaptation to anime cliches to set them in.

There are a lot of funny (and giggly) moments within the series, but what got me the most is that few seconds where some of the girls dressed up as characters from other series of the publisher "Media Factory". Being a fan of "Kampfer" and... okaaaay, I kinda like "Aria the Scarlet Ammo", that scene really stuck to me.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Anime: Dagashi Kashi

Enter the world of the Japanese Dagashi, or those cheap local candies sold in sweets or candy shops. "Dagashi Kashi" is an anime which delves into the unique eccentricities of sweets, candies and other regional pocket delicacies.

Intertwined in this world is Kokonotsu, a simple teenager who dreams of being a manga artist and refuses to take over the family "Dagashiya" or candy store. In comes Hotaru, a busty girl from a wealthy candy magnate family who tries to get the legendary skills of Kokonotsu and his dad into their company. Also pulled into their everyday antics is Saya, a childhood friend of Kokokotsu who holds an almost one sided love relationship with him.

A large part of the series is an informative narrative about certain sweets sold in these candy stores which serves as the "theme" of the circumstance surrounding the episode's story. Its almost like a documentary with a comedic twist.

The production and art style reminds me a lot of the "Shimoneta" series...and the character design of Hotaru is spot on for "Shimoneta's" Ayame.

This is certainly a light comedy series you can get into for casual viewing.