Tag Archives: Anime

Anime Spotlight #8

POIII!!

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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….

 

Anime Spotlight #7

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

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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!

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:

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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!

 

Anime Spotlight #4

It’s flip-flap time!

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I’ve no idea why the two main girls have to say “Flip-flapping” whenever they want to become “magical girls,” besides the obvious point that it justifies using “Flip Flappers” as the show’s title.  I’m sure there’s a meaningful reason for it….

In short, the show’s plot is a kind of mish-mash of a number of different shows that “Flip Flappers” manages to improve upon overall.  The notable ones I can recall off the bat are Mad Max (the desert episode), Sailor Moon (the magical girl aspect), Gurren Lagann (the mecha/city episode), and Kill la Kill (the mother-daughter/climactic aspect).  “Flip Flappers” shares the same positive message as “Gurren Lagann”, while improving upon the other three by resolving similar issues present in both shows using kindness and teamwork instead of conflict and opposition.

I’m a fan of happy endings, what can I say….

 

Anime Spotlight #3

Back at it again!

Let’s take a look at When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace:

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Coming courtesy of (some of) the same people who gave us Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill, this specific Anime show delves into the occult while still trying pass itself off as harem + magical-girl kind of Anime.

For me, the girls were mainly “window-dressing” – for the most part.  They usually weren’t all that entertaining on their own; their interest-factor was mainly provided by Jurai, the resident “chunibyou (Japanese for ‘eighth-grader syndrom’).”

Jurai obsesses over “powers” he claims to possess (that soon become very real), as well as various “word-magic” – as I’ll call it; the abilities he and his female friends receive need to be named in a specific way, even to the point where it causes one of the girls to think that he wants to be her boyfriend, but the best example here is the “nickname” he insists on being called:

Guiltia-sin Jurai.

The ability names are chosen based on the symbolism implied by the kanji when compared/contrasted to the katakana; however, his name is purely occult in meaning:  “Guiltia” is from “guilt,” from the Old English verb gieldan = “to pay for/be in debt to” which also derives modern-day “yield” and “gold”; in essence, “guilt” originally meant a debt or payment.  The word “sin,” in the name, is Germanic, from the root *sund- = “truth” from which the word “sooth” also derives; in other words, “sin” is “untruth” or a false truth (this jives with the original Hebrew word for sin, used in the Bible, meaning, essentially, “illusion”).

But, Jurai isn’t the only chunibyou in this Anime; there are, in fact, two boys with this trait.  The other boy is Kiryou – his “nickname” is…:

Kiryou Hell-kaiser Luci-first.

Once again, we have an absolutely occult-laden title:  “Hell” derives from Germanic *halyo = “underworld.”  “Kaiser” is the German transliteration of Latin Caesar (the surname of the infamous, first Roman dictator Gaius Iulius Caesar).  The “Luci-” part is “Lucifer,” which in Latin means “light-bringer.”  Finally, “first” is quite straight-forward….

Yes, I found the “word-magic” more interesting than the other stuff that was going on in the series…!  I did notice two allusions to Kill la Kill in the series, though:  The boxer’s life-fibre gloves, which were worn briefly by one of the Lit-club girls, and a camio by Mako swimming in a pool.

Watching the show, I got the impression that the creators were seriously hoping to produce a second season; a lot of plot points were introduced in the series that are, as it is now, left annoyingly hanging.  I’m hoping for a second season:  I’d like to know how things end!

 

Anime Spotlight #2

Let’s continue on the TRIGGER anime train by looking at Kill La Kill this week…:

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Welcome to the anime series with more word-play than you can shake a stick at….  Literally.  There’s more word-play in “Kill la Kill” than there is blood-soaked action.

The best place to start is with the name itself – “Kill la Kill.”  In the Hiragana/Katakana, “Kill la Kill” becomes Kiru ra KiruKiru has two significant meanings:  “to kill,” apt for the show, and “to clothe,” which also fits the show.

For more, feel free to check out the following links:

http://www.studyofanime.com/2014/03/kill-la-kill-quirky-names-and-hidden.html

http://www.studyofanime.com/2014/04/clever-names-and-lecherous-uniforms.html

Explaining the Mankanshoku Mako Puns in Kill la Kill 23

Though, as you can see, the word-play, etc., is in Japanese; translating it all into English, all that double-meaning and what-not gets lost.

For me, watching “Kill la Kill” was a lot like listening to a David Icke talk – particularly the latter half of the series.  Alien beings that parasitically draw energy from living things until nothing remains, and then they move onto the next world… – sound familiar?

When it didn’t feel like a David Icke talk, it felt like “Gurren Lagann’s” younger sister anime-wise.  This makes sense, since “Gurren Lagann” and “Kill la Kill” were made, for the most part, by the same people; that’s probably why I enjoyed “Kill la Kill,” overall, so much.

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The next post I get around to making won’t be coming til March, now….

 

Anime Spotlight #1

This’ll be something else that I can hopefully post about on a regular basis (gonna try for weekly, but we’ll see…):  I’ve recently been hooked into watching anime, and I feel it’s about time I began talking a bit about some of the best shows I’ve seen thus far.

For this first post I’d like to shine the light on the epic, pro-humanity, mecha-bearing anime called Gurren Lagann!

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The full name for the series is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, but this title in fact refers to one of the “final forms” that is taken by the main mecha (gunman) in the anime – known as “Gurren Lagann.”

This gunman is actually two individual gunman:  “Gurren,” which is the name of Kamina’s (the really cool-looking guy) acquired gunman, and “Lagann,” which is the name given to Simon’s (the kid with the goggles) gunman.

Now, onto the “meat” of the post…:

The power of the human race!

Gurren Lagann, on the whole, can be summed up rather straight-forwardly:  Kamina (recognizable by the funky-looking shades he likes to wear) essentially drives the entire show forward.  It’s his unquenchable desire to see humanity prosper and reach the stars that eventually stirs some fellow villagers to go above ground, following the initial gunman attack, to begin with.  Even when he dies around halfway through the first season, it is most likely Kamina’s unwavering resolve to do the impossible, I think, that drives the remaining Dai-Gurren coalition to continue to fight on and ultimately emerge victorious against the “Anti-Spirals” – their final adversaries.

Kamina, essentially, embodies the imagination, curiosity, and spirit of the human race at its absolute best and greatest; he’s the sort of ideal that, I’m sure, a lot of us would like to possess ourselves.

That’s probably the most meaningful reason to watch Gurren Lagann….  Yoko’s not a bad reason, either…!