Ixion Saga DT Episode #02 Anime Review

Ixion Saga DT Episode #02 Anime Review The opening sequence still starts off making me think of crappy American 80′s cartoons. That doesn’t help set the mood.

What They Say:
After his defeat to Kon, Erec has been left lopsided. Meanwhile, Kon wants to find a way home but the Princess has other plans. less

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the first episode being a bit awkward and kind of wonky at times, Ixion Saga DT got things rolling by bringing Kon into the game world where he’s got some skills, made some friends and made an enemy of Erec after defeating him in battle. It’s no surprise that someone thrust into a game world like this would end up having problems and causing problems and someone like Erec definitely isn’t one you want on your bad side, even if he is a basic comical villain. Kon gives it little thought in the end though as he just wants to get him even though he’s stuck with the others in his party getting the young princess off to the capital for the time being.

On the weird side, we see that the battle Eric was in has literally left him lopsided, an odd visual gag to bring into it that just feels plain weird. But it does kind of go with the way the show has this kind of light and fancy free flutter about it in that it’ll do silly things just to be silly. Erec does at least have serious reason to deal with Kon and his group since there is that mysterious superior that has him concerned that he must get this done before the higher up superiors find out what’s gone on. Playing this out at the same time that we see Kon kind of going through the motions and hanging out with the others at least gives some sense of purpose and story. Kon is just spending his time doing nothing, at least until he’s told he should try and do a little sword training.

The first half has most of this fluff before it descends into battle as Erec gets his troops together and a tank to go after Kon and the others. Kon’s not exactly all on top of this kind of thing but after seeing Sainglain go at it with gusto, he gets himself directly involved as well. But it just turns comical, first with Kon’s weapon turning into a weird hammer of sorts with his sword and then with Erec getting out there on foot and unable to really do much of anything because of his balance issue. It’s comical, but bad comcial. You aren’t supposed to take them seriously and that’s maid plain here as it gets further into the battle with the expressions and kind of attacks that are in play. It’s just unfortunate that the humor all feels forced and very out of place with the character designs used.

In Summary:
To say I don’t have a good feeling about this would be an understatement. While an opening episode gets some leeway to establish itself, you get a better feel for things with the second episode as it starts to move forward a bit. Ixion Saga DT essentially says it wants to be a silly action comedy with a screwball kind of feeling to it that’s reminiscent of my memories of old Saturday morning cartoons. From the opening theme up through the end, I find myself more or less cringing or just feeling nothing at all about the show. I suspect I’ll kick it around for another couple of episodes at least, but so far it’s just archetypes and nothing else going on here with a few trappings of silliness that should appeal nicely to children at the least.

Grade: C

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Faith Erin Hicks Talks Manga & Comics

Faith Erin Hicks Talks Manga & Comics Faith Erin Hicks has been a park of the manga and comics side of the industry for a long time, going back to her original webcomic back in 1999, and now the folks at Viz Media have done up a new interview with the writer/artist that delves into her passion for manga. Hicks has grown steadily as both a writer and artist and had a huge moment last year when she won the Eisner for Best Publication for Kids award for The Adventures of Superhero Girl. You can read our review of that release here .

“Back in October 2014 we met with Faith Erin Hicks, the creator of comic hits such as The Adventures of Superhero Girl and Friends With Boys, to talk about her relationship with the comic arts that she works with every day. Watch this wonderful interview as we go through Faith’s beginnings with comics and passion for manga.”

Japanese ‘Bikini Warriors’ Anime DVD/BD Releases Scheduled

Japanese ‘Bikini Warriors’ Anime DVD/BD Releases Scheduled The short-form summer 2015 anime series Bikini Warriors is underway and now the home video release information for it has been revealed. Coming from Kazuya Direct, the twelve episode series will be released on a single DVD and Blu-ray on December 16th, 2015. The show runs four minutes an episode so there’s more than enough space for it. The DVD is priced at 5,980 yen while the Blu-ray is priced at 6,980 yen.

On disc extras include a promo and commercial collection as well as the clean ending sequence. Packaging bonuses include a postcard as well as a booklet.

The series stars Yōko Hikasa as Fighter, Kana Ueda as Paladin, Ai Kakuma as Mage and Chiaki Takahashi as Dark Elf.

Plot concept: Set in an RPG world with swords and magic, warriors must form a party to defeat the demon lord. But, these warriors are all wearing Bikini armor!! (Source: Official site)

[Source: Bikini Warriors ]

Tiger & Bunny Episode #10 Review

Tiger & Bunny Episode #10 Review While Kotetsu deals with some family issues, Barnaby has found a lead on his parents killer.

What They Say:
Barnaby has finally tracked down the whereabouts of his parents’ killer. Meanwhile, Kotetsu decides to take some time off to visit his daughter Kaede, but on the way he encounters the bombing of a bridge.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the episode title of “The Calm Before The Storm,” you know you’re going to get an episode that focuses more on the characters themselves rather than the action and the larger plot line at hand with Lunatic and what Barnaby is after. And that’s not a bad thing as these characters in their normal forms without the costumes are a good deal of fun and they all have interesting stories that can be told. The time spent with Blue Rose previously was definitely enjoyable and letting us see a bit more about Kid Dragon recently helped to make him something more than just a cardboard cutout character. While we do get a glossing over of several characters here in a few scenes, the main focus is of course on our two leads with Kotetsu and Barnaby.

It is interesting to have a character like Kotetsu as a lead character since he’s the superhero with a sense that justice is the right thing to do more so than ratings, but also because he’s a father character and has experienced life. So many shows give us characters that have no real life experience, which has its place, but that keeps them from dealing with certain situations in interesting and logical ways. They’re more mired in emotion but they’re also often able to try new things that may not have been done before by someone set in their ways. With Kotetsu, he’s just trying to do right by his daughter but finds himself continually rebuffed because of what he believes. A simple idea of getting her a stuffed animal to replace one she lost and to visit her has him getting the wrong thing and then having to skip out on seeing her altogether when an accident happens on the Brox Bridge and he happens to be there.

Barnaby for his part claims to have found the guy who killed his parents and he’s at least in a nearby prison, so that gives him something to deal with. But that gets put to the side, and shows a good part of his character as he does so in order to help out Kotetsu and the others with the small army that seems to have arrived on the bridge to cause a disturbance. There’s an odd feeling to this fight, but it lets Kotetsu shine for awhile until his power runs out, a real damper on his abilities. The action does work well since it brings in a number of characters, especially as we haven’t seen Blue Rose for a bit now. One of the strengths of the show for me is the way they blend the action through on the scene reporting styles and what the others see, so we get some good dramatic moments captured on film but also the harsher look that comes from being actually involved in the fights. And it even finds some amusing humor to work with at times that can certainly make you grin as the cameras are rolling.

In Summary:
Tiger & Bunny has a good interlude episode here as it deals with some minor character bits and a piece that helps to potentially put Barnaby on the right path. While a good part of it is focused on the action, belying the actual episod e title, it does have some good calm moments early on that lets Kotetsu shine a bit and to show some of what he has to struggle with. When it moves forward with the fight, we get some very good action sequences and a big twist just at the end that makes it worthwhile as it sets the stage for what’s to come. Tiger & Bunny continues to be one of the more enjoyable series of the spring season which has largely left me underwhelmed. This episode, even though a relatively minor one overall, has a lot going for it and left me smiling and eager to see what’s to come next week. Fun stuff on a variety of levels all wrapped up in more great animation.

Grade: B

Simulcast By: Viz Media

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #17 Anime Review

Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting – Rising Episode #17 Anime Review Kimura and Aoki try to fire up the crowd, but find that more difficult than expected.

What they Say:
“Episode 17 – Eleki’s Shocker and Papaya’s Coconut”

The Review
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers).
The press conference prior to Takamura’s big fight becomes tense when the Japanese champion refuses to shake hands with his American competitor. Already in fighting mode, Takamura has little time to play nicely and David Eagle can already sense the man’s will to fight. But it’s Aoki and Kimura who have more to worry about, since losses on their end might spell doom for their perceived cool demeanor. In their dressing room the two wait nervously for their fights to come.

When Kimura’s turn arrives, he finds himself overwhelmed by the size of the crowd – there are fifteen thousand people filling the huge arena, and he suddenly feels gripped by nervousness and performance anxiety. It doesn’t help that Eleki, his opponent, is a particularly mean-looking guy who, at the sound of the gong, barely gives Kimura time to breathe before letting loose with a barrage of killer punches. Kimura feels entirely outclassed and resigns himself to a loss until he lands a chance body blow and discovers Eleki’s weakness – his torso is very vulnerable. Since it’s so far into the fight, though, Kimura barely manages to eke out a draw.

Having gotten a new burst of confidence when his underlings bring Tomiko in to see him, Aoki enters the ring feeling pretty good about his chances. This changes quickly once he realizes that Papaya is just as much of a trickster as he is, even going so far as to simultaneously try to use the “look-away.” Added to that is the fact that Papaya’s coconut punch is just as ridiculously deadly as a coconut to the noggin, sending Aoki flying across the ring and onto his face. It isn’t until the fourth round that Aoki is hit with a wave of inspiration; the sweat pouring off of Papaya’s body seems to indicate that he suffers from a severe lack of stamina. The two battle it out well into the final round, and the match also ends in an unsatisfying draw.

With the crowd bored and irritable, the only person remaining to get them fired up again before Takamura’s main event is Miyata. But can he pull it off?

I’m positive the most pressing question on everyone’s mind right now is whether or not a draw saves Kimura and Aoki from having to cut their hair like their competitors, but unfortunately it looks like we’ll have to wait a while to find out. As I kind of feared, their matches are mostly there for comic relief and don’t really seem to matter in the grand scheme of things other than to establish an uncertain atmosphere around the next couple of big fights. In this sense, it’s good that that their matches both fit into one episode; this leaves little room to pretend that there might be some opportunity for character growth hidden deep within the silly fights. At the same time, though, I started to feel a little bit impatient about the whole ordeal.

There are different philosophies that surround when and how to watch anime series. There are people who prefer to keep up on several simulcasts and have the patience to wait from week-to-week to see what will happen next in more plot-based shows. Then there are those who prefer to eschew the weekly discussion and wait until a series is available in full before watching it all at once. I tend to think that the best “method” depends largely on the show and how prone it is to featuring cliffhanger storylines. In this series’ case the overall storylines have always been very fun to watch, but episode-by-episode there seem to be problems with how and when characters are featured and how weighty the fights are, and so I’d almost recommend to people who hadn’t started yet to wait until each story arc could be consumed in full. In my case, I’ll just be spending a week being mildly frustrating before getting to see what I came to see.

Speaking of that, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Miyata’s been doing. I was a little bit surprised to see him show up again this season (though it makes sense – he needs to at least remain in viewers’ consciousnesses since he’s an important character in how he relates to Ippo’s story), and now I’m excited to see his boxing again and how his fight will play out.

On the other hand, I’m starting to have more ambivalent feelings towards David Eagle. He serves as a good counterpoint to Bryan Hawk, and I might just have to go re-watch Takamura’s story arc from the previous season to see the ways in which the two encounters compare and contrast to one-another. All the same though, as a character he’s also very cartoonish, albeit in a different way from characters like Hawk and Sawamura. His “all-American” good looks (because I guess to Japanese people all Westerners are blond, blue-eyed and handsome) and his thus-far infallible sense of honor, duty, and fairness are just as unrealistic as Hawk’s overblown sexuality and blood lust. Despite this, I’d rather watch a nice guy who’s not prone to cheating than a douchey guy who does nothing but cheat and act like a jerk, so it’s somewhat of an improvement in any case.

In Summary:
No anime series is perfect, and this one has always suffered from episodes that take away from the weight of more interesting boxing matches that actually matter to the plot. My harping on the juvenile nature of the humor has probably gotten annoying at this point so I’ll just leave it at that. But as a plot-based sports anime it does a good job building up anticipation in its own way, and bringing Miyata back into the spotlight and giving Takamura a different sort of opponent to face (essentially rotating key characters in and out and giving them some different things to do) helps keep things fresh even a hundred-something episodes in. I have the feeling that the upcoming episodes will really be memorable.

Episode Grade: C

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment: Acer P235H 1080p LCD Monitor connected via DVI input, Logitech S220 2.1 Speakers, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560

Project-H Books Adds ‘Nyotai-Ka!’ Hentai Manga License

Project-H Books Adds ‘Nyotai-Ka!’ Hentai Manga License Project-H Books has announced a new license acquisition for a standalone title that brings together four smaller volumes from Japan with Nyotai-ka! The comedy hentai title aimed at the older set doesn’t have a release date at this point but it will be getting both a print and digital edition when it does hit, presumably in late 2013 or beyond.

English Title: NYOTAI-KA! VOL 1 – 4 (Complete)

Roman-ji: nyotai-ka
Japanese Title: にょたいか 1~4
Creator: Ru-en Rouga 龍炎狼牙
Licensor: Media Factory
Format: Softcover, B&W, A5
Pages: Approx. 200 pages each vol.
SRP: USD $17.95 (CAD$ 19.99)
Availability: Print & Digital
Est. Release date: (TBA)
Genre/Category: Seinen, Hentai, Comedy

‘Yuri Bear Storm’ Anime Gets Premiere Season

‘Yuri Bear Storm’ Anime Gets Premiere Season We learned a few weeks ago that Kunihiko Ikuhara is getting ready to dabble in anime with the upcoming series Yuri Kuma Arashi, aka Yuri Bear Storm. The new series has set him to direct it at Silver Link while Etsuko Sumimoto is handling the character design adaptation from the original manga by Akiko Morishima that was kicked off this past February. The official site has now updated with some new information as the series will now premiere in January on MBS and other stations. The show still hasn’t released any images proper of it but the image below gives us a few clues from the manga adaptation of the stiry.

Plot concept: The “intellectual fantasy” follows Kureha, a “transparent” high school girl who is plain and is barely noticed by others. Seemingly every night, she has a “dream about a bear and transparent storm.” In this dream, her mysterious classmate Ginko Yurishiro appears in the form of a bear.

‘Yuri Bear Storm’ Anime Gets Premiere Season

[Source: ANN ]