Anime Spotlight #9

Speaking of young girls wearing machine parts and fighting aliens…:

Image result for strike witches
Strike Witches!!

With two full seasons, an OVA, and three stand-alone episodes, one could say that Strike Witches did pretty well.  It also has a spin-off, the Brave Witches, which didn’t do nearly as well as Strike Witches did (with only one season completed).

In this parallel-reality Anime rendition of WWII where an alien AI race has invaded Earth, many of the most successful WWII flying aces from our reality have been incarnated in the form of magic-wielding teenaged girls called “Witches.”  Squadrons of these Witches ultimately take inspiration from the three Russian all-female airborne divisions that existed during WWII, the most well-known of them being the 588th division called the “Night Witches.”

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The “Strike Witches” and their real-world inspirations — chart….

Similar to Fubuki in Kantai Collection, the main character in Strike Witches, Yoshika Miyafuji, occupies the first season working to prove herself as a capable member of the squad.  She ends up quickly surpassing many of her comrades, only deplete her magic executing the most OP ability in the entire series — only to, somehow, gain it all back again in the OVA.

Then again, who actually has watched this Anime for the “plot” anyway?

;P

Work of the Week #39

Revamping Azhseg’s relics collection this time around:

Azhseg artifacts

>Azhseg relics = Azhseg railgun (powerful arcannon powered by Chi), Azhseg derelict (Derelict Race arcship traveling to Ancient Gateway), Azhseg starship (stolen Shipbuilders craft), Azhseg omnibus (box for crafting any consumable item), Azhseg ring (ring for turning energy into Chi/Prana found inside the Derelict), Azhseg relic (relic of unknown use found inside the Derelict), Azhseg compass (star chart, calendar, compass, item locator), Azhseg tome (a piece of parchment found inside the Derelict), Azhseg artifact (a tablet with script found inside the Derelict), Azhseg lightsaber (an arclight sword found inside the Derelict), Azhseg orb (a mysterious orb that shows the viewer a possible timeline), Azhseg voice-box (a universal translator device found inside the Derelict).

 

Anime Spotlight #8

POIII!!

Image result for yuudachi
Upgraded Yuudachi action shot (from Wallpaper Abyss).

Girls with the souls of (Japanese) warships past go to battle against alien foes!  In other words, Kantai Collection:  KanColle….

Fubuki — “Bucky” — is the “little warship that could,” in this series.  Fubuki, like her friends Mutsuki and Yuudachi, is a destroyer which means poor guns but good torpedoes.  Adding the three Cruiser sisters (Sendai, Jintsuu, and Naka the “idol”) to the mix, and it’s no wonder this particular fleet is named “Torpedo Squad 3.”  Torpedoes for days!

Many of the girls in the show display one or two traits that hearken back to their real-life warship counterparts.  For example…:  Kongou was “born” in the UK but used and maintained by the Japanese, and as a result Kantai’s Kongou likes to throw English words into her speech.  Kongou, Hiei, Kirishima, and Haruna all belong to the Kongou class of battleships, and not surprisingly the Kantai counterparts are sisters.  Destroyers like Fubuki are small, fragile ships, and in Kantai Collection most of the “lolis” are indeed destroyers (conversely, the tall, mature girls take up the battleship and carrier classes in the show).  Speaking of battleships and carriers, Kantai‘s Akagi and Yamato are shown to be “big eaters” — perhaps to imply their real-world counterparts required a LOT of fuel to run.  Finally, there’s Yuudachi and her near-incessant use of “-poi” which is essentially a “maybe” in Japanese (maybe a reference to the Battle of Guadalcanal, wherein Yuudachi and other Shiratsuyu-class destroyers did a number on American ships — maybe).

This particular Anime is based on a Japanese video game of the same name, and theoretically there’s also a second season of the show out somewhere….

 

Work of the Week #38

This week, it’s time to revamp the Watchers…:

1 = The Peregrine (Cɪrthsta).  Female; Avatar of Lady Light for the current (6th) Age; born as a semimortal being.

2 = Yaw & Way.  Male (Yaw), female (Way); the first line of Etherials; Yaw is white & deals with Life, Way is black & deals with Death.

3 = Gome.  An Essence of Nature; is a guardian of the Interior Labyrinth of Eyaye.

4 = The Fallen Archangel (Bharakeiz).  Male; archangel who was expelled for aiding the Watchers during the Five Waves; his army was cast out with him.

5 = The Risen Demon (Yahuyyul).  Female; a former Starseed, was expelled from the Underworld for aiding the Good Side – alongside a handful of friends – during the Five Waves; became a Watcher & gave up her Starseed status (feeling the fighting was over & thus no more need for her “Daggers of Dyssbord”).

6 = The Headmaster.  Male (usually); a mortal (usually human) being charged with the custodial duties of the Peregrine Academy; the current Headmaster – sort of – is R.E.

7 = The Apothecarian.  Male; Mage, specializes in apothecarian arts.

8 = The Witchdoctor.  Female; Mage, specializes in Voodoo & Druidic arts.

9 = The Wayfarer & Gift-giver.  Male (Wayfarer) & female (Gift-giver); Mages, worked to give gifts to deserving children & homeless in the hope of helping them.

10 = The Merry-maker (Tsriista).  Female; Child, is the ‘joker’ of the group; works to put smiles on people’s faces; can conjure “Familiars” (‘imaginary friends’ sent to deserving children to help them in life).

11 = The Wild Child (Sraasta).  Female; Child, sister of the Merry-maker; likes creating scenes, likes attention; can conjure “Pixies” (little humanoid energetic forms that last for a short time) that she uses to benefit small children.

12 = Dauphinus (Charnugan).  Male; Anthroid Hybrid; pioneer of Prana-harnessing defensive arts, master of Chi-harnessing martial & meditative arts, dabbler in the Individualist lifestyle.

13 = The Hermet.  Male; mortal; worked to master the health & medicinal sciences; also worked to master the art of homeopathic healing.

14 = The Hephaet.  Male; an Earthling, was a master of the smithy arts while he was alive; crafted a number of advanced weaponry & other technology for the Watchers to wield (many are now being used by the Freemen); created the ‘Gear-heads’ to aid any Light-workers in the Mortal Realms.

15 = The Lost Alien (Azhseg).  Female; Alien; was a Starseed during the 5th Age; became a Watcher & helped fight the Five Waves; now travels the Fringe Realms for artifacts & relics.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anime Spotlight #7

It’s Street Fighter meets “Magical Girls” — ViVid Strike!

Image result for vivid strike

Fuuka and Rinne, once friends, grew into adversaries — only to become friends again at the very end of the series.  That’s basically the ViVid Strike plot in a nutshell….

The most powerful fighter in the ring is Vivio (not to be confused with “ViVid” of the show’s title) — the girl with the Christmas-coloured eyes.  She’s the girl that Rinne spends so much time training to beat.

A street-borne fighter her whole life, it wasn’t until a chance encounter with a professional fighter as a teenager that Fuuka (the show’s actual protagonist) was finally given an opportunity to show her fighting skills to a much wider, public audience.  There, she also has a chance to reconcile with her old friend, Rinne, once and for all — will they continue as adversaries, or can they truly rekindle that old friendship they had as orphans?  All is settled, at last, during the epic, no-holds-barred duel held in an abandoned town as Fuuka ultimately emerges victorious (though both are absolutely drained of energy afterwards).

Fighting in the ring, in ViVid Strike, is not your average old-school style boxing tourney!  The girls have to wear special shock-absorbing belts because punches thrown in this ring come with an added punch of magic!  Even so, girls facing Rinne tend to wind up on hospital beds all beaten up.

I found this show entertaining and well worth the time to watch, so hopefully you’ll feel the same!

Work of the Week #37

The Fantasium revamping continues with the Freemen!

1 = The Rogue (R.E.).  Male; founder of the Freemen; self-taught to full mastery of harnessing one’s Chi & Prana (as well as meditative & martial arts); pioneer of the ‘Agorist Lifestyle’.

2 = Akei & Aguyu.  Females; Akei is a Light Angel (Valkyrie) & Aguyu is a Dark Angel of the same level; former Watchers, behave as sisters yet aren’t related.

3 = Ergur & Nazhur.  Imps; long-time partners & lovers; comrades of Yahuyyul, exiled with her; as Freemen now help rescue seized children.

4 = The Clockwork Child (Ekshiedsta).  Female; Child, who was turned to clockwork; unlike the other Children in her land, her Spirit & Soul remained intact (no one knows why…); able to produce weapons with her body.

5 = The Fury (Avress).  Female; possesses an odd spark of magic; made orphaned by Rebel invasion, works to control her ‘powers’ to prevent it from harming her 2 brothers.

6 = Dassan & Kessen.  Males; Feroid Hybrids; the ‘jokers’ of the Freemen.

7 = Mirror (Ictheal).  Female; Changeling (can change into most humanoid & animalian, even hybrid, forms); rescued & brought to the Peregrine Academy as her new home.

8 = Raac & Ragull.  Males; Twin brothers from the Eastern Fringelands who were orphaned & ultimately rescued by Ictheal, brought back to the Peregrine Academy & have since started learning the Chakral arts.

9 = The Warrioress.  Female; enslaved to the Archivists (her true name unknown), made to fight for show; managed to escape.

10 = Blade-mistress (Arreshya).  Female; another rescued orphan from the Archivists; became a master of blade arts.

11 = M.I. Areggz.  Male; a practising bard; writes music & literature promoting “Liberty, Life, & Light”.

12 = Ehnrig.  Male; long-time pirate & merc; became a Freeman in order to escape the Authorities.

13 = The Star-child (Esscey).  Female; maybe of the same kind as the “Skull-bearer”; another orphaned child; name given to her by R.E. (a Star-name play on the ‘s’ & ‘c’ of “Star-child”); her abilities have yet to awaken.

14 = Prega Paringan.  Female; another orphan taken by the Archivists, rescued by the Freemen; learning martial arts.

15 = Runen & Zurin Aerg.  Males; orphaned siblings; artistic & musical prodigies, now good friends with (& pupils of) M.I. Areggz.

16 = Princess.  Female; orphan (name unknown); nickname from her demeanour when brought in; now engages in Freemen outreach.

 

Work of the Week #36

Fantasium is receiving a bit of revamping (again…).

I shall start with the “Ten Kings” *updated*:

1 = Red Dove.  Female; experimental ‘super-soldier’ (1 of 25 including the “White Witch”); was inserted into a ‘bio-suit’ that amplifies her Chi (thus her strength & abilities); wields 2 katanas.

2 = Crowe.  Male; uses special Tarot cards to produce ‘magical’ effects via Prana; Red Dove’s boyfriend.

3 = The Mortal God.  Male; offspring of a god and mortal; no Super-form; has a very long lifespan but still mortal.

4 = The Skull-bearer.  Female; origins as yet unknown; possesses a skull-shaped talisman that channels her Chi & Prana to produce certain effects; wife of the Mortal God.

5 = The Tinker.  Male; Earthling engineer; has built a large number of advanced machines and technology; since built himself into his favourite mech.

6 = The Fawke.  Male; Earthling engineer; is very adept at electronic technologies; brother is the Tinker; large parts of his body are now artificially-enhanced.

7 = The Boar.  Male; ex-mercenary/ex-army man who specialized in collecting powerful relics from the Five Waves; weapon of choice was an Alien hand-held railgun.

8 = The Bard.  Male; a Jack-of-all-trades whose primary interest is in the arts; lived as a radical who specialized in exposing Darkness through songs & artwork.

9 = The Savant.  Female; discovered by the Bard & raised by him; has the ability to learn & master anything she sees within minutes; eventually became his girlfriend.

10 = Merryman.  Male; a former student of the Peregrine Academy; was infected by DarkMagic but remained in control; nickname is a play on his on-mission demeanor.

On another hiatus in May….  Hope to revamp some of the other aspects of Fantasium in due time.

 

Anime Spotlight #6

When Science and Magic meet….

Image result for a certain magical index

In Academy City, students study Science in order to obtain special abilities called “Esper powers.”  The more advanced one’s powers are, the higher their “level” becomes — and thus the higher their status in the city becomes.

The lowest level is “0”, and Touma Kamijou, the main character, is one such person; he’s quite an unlucky person, and he has an odd ability called “Imagine-breaker” which nullifies all abilities it touches, including magic.  Even though the show is named after the white-haired girl (whom we meet draped over Touma’s balcony — her name’s actually Index…), in terms of the show’s story-line Touma is actually the center of focus character-wise.

That’s probably a good thing, though, as many of the other characters don’t really do all that much; Railgun (Misaka) and Index in particular just come along for the ride, it seems.  I like that he isn’t deterred from action by his low level; he’ll even fight against the most powerful individuals around, if he feels he must.  He has only his right hand to rely on, but still he pulls through for the good guys.

Happy Easter long weekend, all!

Anime Spotlight #5

Ange Vierge

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Being one of those Anime shows where the rookie unit spends the series trying to prove itself, and ultimately succeeding, I still found ‘Ange Vierge’ to be a show all to its own.  The primary reason for that is actually the only member of the unit NOT shown in the image above — their “Alpha Driver.”

Despite being locked into stasis by the enemy invaders in the second episode, never to come back till around the second-last episode, the Alpha Driver for the above “rookie” unit ends up still playing the biggest and most important role of all:  SHE’S the reason the other five members, shown above, overcome their shortcomings and pull through to rescue ultimately every member of one of the most elite units in the Academy they all attend.  Not bad for being comatose for 90% of the show!

Here’s the TRUE star:

Image result for ange vierge

She alone is responsible, in her own way, for assembling the unit.  Without her, the starring unit of this show may not have been.

And, of course, her own way of looking after the team that she brought together was instrumental in allowing her team-mates to see during their respective moments of tribulation what they’d failed to see before that point.

There are only 12 episodes to this series, but still well worth the watch!

 

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