Anime Spotlight #18

Well, it’s about time I made a post on this show…:

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Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Syukufuku wo! means “God’s Gift upon this Wonderful World!” — in other words, we’re talking about the Anime show called KonoSuba.

KonoSuba is meant as a comedic twist on the plot concepts used in the show Sword Art Online that preceded it.  It’s set in an MMO-type world where a number of species and classes of people can interact and complete quests for rewards.

If Kazuma’s brief life on Earth was anything to go by, one would expect him to be the most useless member of his new band of misfits.  However, he certainly surprised me by quickly becoming quite a reliable member of his new team once he arrives upon that Wonderful World with Aqua in-tow.

Aqua, despite being a goddess, can only really be counted on to provide supporting magic for her crew; that said, the magic she can bring to effect is rather impressive and potent.  Megumin is only as reliable as the first explosive spell she can manage to cast, in which case one must hope she hits something with it.  Finally, Darkness can’t make her myriad of attacks hit their mark even if her life depended on it; as a result, she channels her inner masochist and becomes a human shield for her team (the only thing she can do effectively).  As a result, in order for the team to succeed, Kazuma needs abilities that can pick up the slack; though he fights well and good when he needs to, and is even quite cunning to boot, the abilities he learns often end up being wasted on “parlour tricks” such as relieving cute girls of their undergarments.

It’s a wonder those four can ever complete any of the quests they undertake!  Though they have their own respective incompetencies, the fact remains that they can still be relied upon to do what needs to be done.

There’s two full, entertaining seasons out so far.  Let’s see if there’s a season 3!

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Anime Spotlight #17

“I, Robot” — Anime-style:

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aka, “Dimension W.”

Dimension W, this Anime’s title aspect, is a fourth spatial dimension independent of the three we experience daily as well as of the dimension taken by time.  But, Dimension W is linked to the other spatial and temporal dimensions and as such is able to store and release multitudes of energy.

In other Words, Dimension W is an invisible realm that, in this show, people are able to siphon limitless, free energy from to satisfy all of Earth’s power needs.  This energy is drawn out using devices called “coils” — and “Dimension W’s” ‘Dell Spooner’ counterpart absolutely despises these devices!

As with Dell of “I, Robot,” a major accident in Kyouma (of “Dimension W”)’s past is the source of this lingering loathing.  And, as with Dell, circumstances conspire to bring Kyouma to work with a robot who embodies that which he detests.  The ‘Sunny’ of “Dimension W” is a gynoid named Mira.

Of course, there’s also an over-arching mystery to solve.  Like with “I, Robot,” in “Dimension W” it starts with the suicide-death of an important inventor.  Starting to sense a pattern…?

Despite the myriad similarities, though, “Dimension W” is still wildly different from “I, Robot.”  The plot of “Dimension W” revolves around the coils, not robots.  Of course, the setting is in a futuristic Japan, instead of New York.  Also, the minor plot points in “Dimension W” are quite unique to the show.

This show has actually been dubbed, so that’s nice….

Anime Spotlight #16

So…who’s “Zestiria” anyway?

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It’s not any of these people, I know that much….

“The Tales of Zestiria (the X)” is primarily about Sorey and his friend Miklio going on adventures and trying to redress the imbalances caused by the influences of Dark Forces on Human souls in the world.  Along the way, Sorey has a King Arthur moment and becomes a near-messianic figure charged with cleansing bodies made impure by the evil spirits that have inhabited them.

And then there’s Alisha…the REAL reason I enjoyed this show!

While most other people we meet have a neutral or grim outlook on human beings in this show, Alisha becomes a kind of “light in the darkness.”  Her greatest contribution to this series is her libertarian nature — outstanding, considering she’s a princess.  While everyone else wants to start a war, she orders her army instead to stay defensive and only to fight if an enemy picks a fight with them first.  While the other nobles and politicians selfishly stay safe behind the walls of the palace, she’s out there on the front lines risking her life with the men and women who serve her.  She’s the kind of person voters keep hoping for when they vote on election days.

There definitely needs to be a second season of this series, since there are still loose ends in Season 1 that could use some conclusion to.  That’d be great!

 

Anime Spotlight #15

KanColle, on steroids:

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Robots, aliens, warships, and magical girls all meet in Arpeggio of Blue Steel!  Basically, if KanColle and Strike Witches had a baby Arpeggio would be the result.  The best aspects of robotic warcraft and magical girls from those two Anime are on display in Arpeggio; gynoids (“Mental Models”) control powerful alien vessels, known as the “Fleet of Fog,” that take the form of various 20th Century warships (mainly Japanese).

The main character here is a starfish-loving loli gynoid named Iona, who controls the overridden Fog submarine taking the form of the Japanese I-401.  Her “heel turn” isn’t revealed until the movie Cadenza, but upon making contact with Chihaya Gunzou — her only directive upon being slate-cleaned is to find and then unquestioningly obey this man — virtually every single Mental Model-driven Fog vessel who fights her either dies or does a heel turn themselves.

I’m glad to see that Iona and Gunzou both remind me a lot of similar protagonists from prior Spotlights:  Hibiki and Genjuuro from Symphogear, Akane from Vividred, and Miyafuji from Strike Witches.  They’d rather try to reach a mutual understanding with their foes, but will still take up arms and fight if they must.  It’s no wonder so many Fog turned Good after facing the “Blue Steel” team!  Also:  Happy endings!  Yay!

One can only hope a second season is in the works here….

Anime Spotlight #14

Get a load of this Anime!

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Ore, Twintail(s) ni Narimasu!

“Weird” doesn’t begin to describe this show, yet still I enjoyed it immensely (not sure why…maybe because it’s so weird it’s hilarious).

On the flip side, it certainly is unique:  What other Anime has a male character that transforms into a little girl in order to fight invading reptilian monsters that have serious fetish problems, all in one show?!  It’s still a Magical Girl Anime in the same vein as Sailor Moon and Strike Witches, but the similarities largely end there.

It ain’t just the foes who are tapping into their inner, deepest lust for the sake of power; in order to power their respective “Tail Gear,” even the protagonists need to get cozy with their “attribute power” (a deep desire/lust for something, basically like a fetish).  Not all attribute power is created equal, apparently, and the twintail hairstyle attribute, according to this show, is the most potent of them all — great news for Mitsuka Souji, the main protagonist!

Not much in this series really makes any sense, but then again I’m sure it wasn’t meant to.  You basically watch Ore Twintails for the same reason(s) you’d watch KonoSuba or Monster Musume….

 

Anime Spotlight #13

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Another Harem Anime….

Anime shows starring a boy with a harem of magical girls is definitely nothing new, and it sure is nice that “Trinity Seven” takes a unique spin on the magical girl and harem tropes in Anime.

Firstly, magic in “Trinity Seven” is portrayed as being the exact opposite of that which is “natural” and “logical.”  Those that can wield magic, the Mages, do so according to a specific discipline — kinda like Science; however, Mages study their discipline’s inversion — with Science, when one studies a discipline like Biology that is exactly what they study.  Magical disciplines are divided via the Seven Deadly Sins, so a Mage chooses a Sin that best suits them and then becomes everything that Sin isn’t.  For example, Lilith, the red-head, is a Mage of Lust yet she is the farthest thing from lustful in “Trinity Seven”; indeed, she is actually one of two tsunderes in Arata’s harem.

Speaking of tsunderes, Arata is actually fairly tsundere-proof.

Of course, some things never change, like the fact that every good Anime harem needs a loli or two:

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Appearances are deceiving in “Trinity Seven”; these three girls are in fact grimoires.

Unlike boys in other Harem Anime, Arata is well aware of the harem he’s acquiring as he keeps on his quest to get Hijiri back.  Meanwhile, he discovers he’s pretty-much Satan’s left-hand man and he’s actually meant to use the Trinity Seven to destroy the World and remake it anew again.  Thanks in part to Hijiri, though, all Arata wants to do is control all magic in the Universe so that he can return her to Earth and keep his new friends safe.

Because Mages gain the most of their magic when they’re irrational, it makes sense that “Trinity Seven’s” plot also be irrational.  Characters flip sides on a whim, and they sometimes do things that make absolutely zero logical sense in the scheme of things.

The rest is best left to watching the show itself.  The first season is also dubbed!

Work of the Week #41

The Gatebuilders’ “Gateway” — now with friends!

gateway

>The “standard” Gateway teleports people from one area to another, and even from world to world.

>The “stellar” Gateway teleports spacecraft from one world and/or star system to another.

>The “universal” Gateway can teleport people and ships from any area, world, or system to any area/world/system located in another universe.

 

Anime Spotlight #12

Tachibana Hibiki:  Fisting the Cabal and their plans one Noise at a time!

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That’s basically Senki Zesshou Symphogear (or, “Swan Songs of the Valkyries”) in a nutshell….

However, this Anime is actually a lot more than that — once you start to really watch it (even for a Magical Girl-type Anime).  First off, it’s an Anime version of a Musical; the protagonists must sing in order to make use of their empowered “outfits,” and at least one of them must continue singing in order to keep these outfits at full power.

But wait, there’s more!

“Symphogear” is one of the most pro-humanity kind of Anime I’ve seen yet, but even more interesting is that this show goes almost David Icke-levels of depth into the Occult.  You pretty-well gotta watch one of Icke’s 4-6 hr-long talks on YouTube to be able to fully appreciate all the Occult references made in the show’s three-going-on-four seasons so far.

Back to Hibiki:  This isn’t the first Anime I’ve seen where one main protagonist and their actions basically make the entire show.  Prior examples include Amane from “Ange Vierge” and Akane from “Vividred,” but Hibiki puts them both to shame!  She alone is responsible for all the foes that become friends over the course of the three-to-four seasons, and so far most of them have turned, and that is primarily because she refuses to fight other humans especially when humans can be reasoned with and thus understood.  When she does fight, it’s to protect friends and civilians alike by disabling human enemies — not by killing them!  In fact, not a single human death in all of “Symphogear” has ever occurred at the hands of a protagonist; not a single one (yet — suicides don’t count).  Hibiki and Genjuuro are mainly to thank for that; that said, there is now one instance of a protagonist willfully causing major bodily harm in the form of Yukine blowing off Sonia’s brother’s leg in Season 4 in order to prevent him from succumbing to an Alca-noise.

I’m a big fan of Happy Endings, and as such “Symphogear” is big on such Happy Endings.  I always enjoy shows where most, if not all, of the protagonists vanquish Evil and survive to live another day; even better are the shows where the protagonists don’t kill off the “bad guys,” because — like it or not — even bad people are still people.

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