Category Archives: Summer 2014

Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus – 2

God do I enjoy the fuck out of every last second of this show. There is not a moment that goes by that I’m not grinning like a fool – and I’ve already read a majority of this arc in manga form years ago.

Sebastian joins the troupe with Ciel – something that Ciel is unaware of. Can Ciel really get anything done without Sebastian, undertaker muses? How funny he should say that as that is about to be put to the test in an environment where he can’t rely on Sebastian. For some reason I was thinking that Beast had two prosthetic legs but I guess I got my wires crossed. Loved seeing Sebastian’s athletic prowess put to the test. I’m also convinced the only way to make him mess up is by throwing some sort of cat into the picture. Guy is so driven otherwise!

Hey, by the way, how about that Abberline? Nice to see him again – and completely not dead this time. It seems that Ciel was impressed with his drive.

Just like in the manga, it seems that Book of Circus is keen on showing that Snake is particularly sharp and not quite as friendly as the other circus performers of Noah’s Arc. Not only that, he seems quite a bit more dangerous. It’s hard for me to make approximations on what will happen because I already know how half of this arc plays out, but let me say that we are in for a ride. A dark, twisted ride. Dark even by Kuroshitsuji standards. Ciel and Sebastian end up diving right down into the depraved, black hole of London’s underbelly and boy it is NOT pretty.

Interesting to note is that it seems A1 pictures will be adapting the rest of the Kuroshitsuji manga after this, where we will go straight into the manor murder mystery arc, of which I am completely unfamiliar other than the premise. If they can keep up this pacing and these production values, again, sign me the fuck up already please.

Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus – 1

“After all, I am simply one hell of a butler.”

One day in 2008, I sit in my room on my shitty old HP dv8000 laptop. For the first time in a long time, I browse the “Fall anime” list and look up what I can pick out to watch. “Ooh, Mouryou no Hako. That sounds interesting!” Mouryou is probably one of the greatest shows that nobody ever talks about, but that’s a different story for a different time. “Hmm, Kuroshitsuji? It DOES have a cool opening, that obviously has a correlation with how great a show it is! (please realize this is sarcasm)” I get attached. I get addicted. Episode 8 comes out and as luck turns out, I have school off that day. The next episode? Nowhere to be seen. This was an age before simulcasts – shinsen subs was my only hope. Weeks went by. Eventually another sub group began to churn them out thankfully. But I’ll never forget the addiction that was born that day.

Kuroshitsuji – Book of Circus is essentially a love letter written personally for me – picking up from roughly episode 15 in the original anime, it takes over the story from the point it diverted (Also retroactively retconning non-canon elements such as Asche, Pluto, the queen’s identity) and somehow turning a blind eye to the stuff that was left out (Lang’s creepiness to the guy who defied Ciel at the end of the curry contest). That’s ok because we have an imagination!…YOU have an imagination!

This episode? Fantastic. I was grinning like an idiot because it was like seeing long lost friends again. Here I was with Ciel and Sebastian, enjoying their antics, remembering what it was like following these guys day to day back in college. Even after seeing over 200 series, it hasn’t changed me – I still love this show.

What else is notable? So much. The animation quality is leaps and bounds better than what was shown previously. Art style seems to match the manga a bit better. Action is fluid. Soundtrack is notable. My only hope is that they release an edited version of the first season’s first 15 episodes removing non-canon elements and episodes to better match this season. Release it in a box set and consider me fucking sold.

Sengoku Basara – Judge End – 1 & 2

Sengoku Basara – a game series which is also an anime series that enjoy a confusing history that may or may not have anything to do with real japanese history. Please fully enjoy and digest that needlessly confusing sentence.

So this follows up the latest and greatest Sengoku installment, “The Last Party”, right? Nope! Actually, it follows the story of the games a bit more closely, rewriting certain aspects of the latter half of the second season. Key elements include this major one: Ieyasu is the one who kills Hideyoshi, not Masamune as the second season depicted (which it depicted because of the focus on Yukimura and Masamune). Ieyasu betrays Ishida, Hideyoshi, and Hanbei, with the latter two dying and Ishida thirsty for revenge on his former friend. Remember, this is crazy “I fucked up Masamune” Ishida from the beginning of Last Party, not “I’m changed and had sense knocked into me” Ishida from the end of Last Party. Remember, that shit didn’t happen in this universe!

You may have noticed that Ieyasu has a new advisor. That advisor is actually voiced by none other than series vet T.M. Revolution. Holy shit.

So what happens? Following the plotline of the third game (Given we have the first two games safely behind us at this point), shingen is sick and Yukimura must rise up to take his place. Ieyasu thinks that he can unite the world with bonds rather than brute force – a fact he demonstrates by attacking the fuck out of the Takeda land. Ok. Listen, Ieyasu, that is not how you do this. Usually you build bonds with people by NOT eviscerating the shit out of them.

Kojirou, weakened and hurt, ends up fighting Kenshin and getting owned, also. I always deemed Kenshin and Shingen to be stronger than pretty much everyone but my god they’re not throwing the poor guy a bone, instead treating him like some greenhorn which is kinda annoying. Did Masamune and Kojirou get nerfed or something?

Animation quality is decent but we’re sorely missed product I.G. and Sawano’s soundtrack. That said, let’s see where this goes.

Free – Eternal Summer! – 2

So remember when I was talking about Free isn’t Free without copious drama? Well, we got it here in full force. There’s little to talk about but I have to say I was surprised with how forceful and aggressive Sosuke got with Haruto. It seemed beforehand that he was simply irked but at that moment all came into focus – like a boiling volcano, he was attempting to keep a lid on something that was moments from exploding. And explode it did.

Sosuke is mostly a cool guy with the exception of his overreaction to the way that Haruto treated Rin by getting him DQ’d at the end of last season – To say that this irked him is a gross understatement. As usual, Haruto doesn’t remember or think he did anything wrong (really, he didn’t) and just wants everyone to leave him the fuck alone and can you really blame him? Somebody is always getting up in his face starting shit. Poor guy can’t catch a break.

Sosuke and Haruto end up competing, indirectly, in a relay. Haruto ends up winning (but made me sweat several buckets first) which is good because it’s clear it was personal with Sosuke. To put it bluntly, Sosuke can take the massive chip on his shoulder and shove it up his ass.

Haruto is stoic, but sometimes being stoic and showing less can cause others to rise to greater action and show even more. I’m not sure if this is the thought process but a part of me thinks that Sosuke is bothered because while he and Haruto are acquainted, he doesn’t know him well enough and mistakes his generally stoic nature as apathy – as though he intentionally “dragged down Rin” with the hopes of beating him and using him. That seems like a hell of an assumption to make about somebody, but when you’re pissed, you’re pissed. I doubt thinking clearly is going to be high on the list – instant gratification and revenge WILL be, though.

Sailor Moon Crystal- Episode 1

Hi everyone! (Or anyone who reads this blog, I dunno lol)

 

Melissa here, posting on behalf on Brandon for this girly crappy show. Just kidding, it’s pretty good so far! But first; a little about myself.

I am currently engaged to Mr. Daramue himself (gasp so speshul uhu) and have been in a relationship with him for six years now. It’s been a wild ride, super fun with my best friend, blah blah blah more girly blubberings. Okay, on to the cool stuff. I’ll tell you more about me later.

Think back to a time when you were a little kid. You run home from school, jump face first off the bus and land with a thud as the crotchety old lady who smells of slight whiskey almost runs you over. Good times, right? Yeah, pretty cool. ON WITH THE SHOW. So you’re coming home from school,  you get in the door and throw down your backpack. All is well in your little gradeschooler world. Plop down in front of the boob-tube with a sammich and switch on Toonami. Ah yes, Toonami. The thing that made me miss my homework at least 3 times a week, kept me up at night all the time thinking about what was going to happen the next day, and made my afternoons a wonderful thing. Childhood wonderment…. what a wonder. (/shot)

Sailor Moon was one of those shows that pretty much opened the Toonami block (that and Hamtaro but..huhu.) and it opened my eyes to anime pretty much. I was just a kid looking for something to watch and it just sauntered on in, all pretty, AND PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE HOLY SHIT. It was the most foreign, beautiful, and amazing thing I saw at the time.  The colors! The music! The voices…>>; The FIGHTS!

“Wow!” I thought to myself. “That’s pretty amazing girls can fight like this! I wanna be like her when I grow up!” Sure, that’s what all little girls say when they meet their idols in a tv show, BUT I MEANT IT.  I wanted so much to be like the Sailor Senshi.  I painted my nails and ran around spinning on the playgrounds thinking that if I screamed just loud enough, and my nails were just sparkly enough; I’d HENSHIN- A- GOGO- BABY. But I didn’t. Life was cruel. So cruel. (/ crying.)

But you all may be asking… “But Missi! You speak with such high regard for the old Sailor Moon! You’re gonna be blinded by nostalgia glasses. YOU CAN’T REVIEW THIS. GET OUT LOSER.” And at that point I’d decide to either pick my nose and flick it at you (Gross, I know; but you don’t want that, and I don’t want that. So don’t do bad stuff meanies.) or just break down and cry because I’m a big, fat, smelly baby. Yeah. @w@/)

I can promise you that I will be keeping my eyes open and NOT blinded by no-stahl-ay-gee-uh. As  per Shawn, Brandon’s brother.

Okay, so on to the bloodbath.

So we open the show just like how we did before. Usagi being a big dumbshit and oversleeping. TYPICAL ANIMU GAL AMIRITE? Where’s the toast?! Where’s the missing sock?! The upskirt?! Oh… it’s.. not there? Okay. So far so good.

Usagi decides to run like a crazy bitch to school, squeaking and squacking just like old days when OH NO, CAT. LOOK OUT.  Poor cat gets massacred, show’s over idiots.

*Credits roll.*

No no, they don’t. I’m channeling Brandon’s humor. Is it working? *w*;?

So, this cat is kinda strange and all what with dumb bandaids on it head and stuff. Cool! Let’s rip it off the thing! So, Usagi does what any PETA member would do and free the cat from it’s shackles of oppression! What’ this? It has a strange mark on it’s forehead? Hm, odd. But okay! On with the show!

Usagi does her school thing (Psst, she’s the main character, she sucks at school. All she does is goof off and get bad marks. Oops.) and then decides to head out with her friends for a bit of fun. Heading over to her friend’s jewelry store, they look over some pretty awesome shit. Huge sale going on though, so they can’t get a buttcheek in edgewise. Too many middle aged cat-ladies in the way. Usagi heads on out, BUT SUDDENLY!!!! A BISHIE APPEARS!

“Who’s the douche in a tuxedo? What a luzer. No mesos for that arse. He’s…kinda cute though…” Thinks Usagi as she goes home after an extremely awkward meeting. WHOOP, ZAT VAS AWKVARD.

So, Usagi makes her way home and gets scolded by mom and douchebaggy little brother. What a toolbag. Go home and listen to Seether or something you little twat.

Usagi heads to bed, tummy a grumblin’, when all of a sudden, that cat appears again! And…it talks? HOLY SHIT. BURN IT. IT’S A WITCH.  Her name is Luna, and she’s here to tell Usagi of her mission! To gather the other sailor scouts and save the town! Great… how though? Usagi needs to become Sailor Moon!

On to the most horrid bastardization of everyone’s childhood ever.  The transformation sequence. HOLY FUCK THEY KILLED IT. Shoddy CGI? In my anime? Missi, your standards are too high! No. No no no. This is fucking Sailor Moon, and you’re going to say that’s an acceptable henshin sequence? Good god guys. You have the guy who worked on fucking STAR DRIVER and your trans sequence looks like this? U shame hole famiree.

Whatever, it was shit, we all know it. On with it.

Usagi runs down to where all the shit is going down, and HOLY FUCK ZOMBIES.  Run Usagi, you twit! Nope, bitch still thinks it’s a dream and gets her ass handed to her by a bunch of scary zombie cat-ladies.

Usagi, who has now thoroughly run out of ideas, just reverts to crying… but not just any crying mind you. She channels Danny Phantom and uses her ghostly wail to fend off the zombie ladies. Useful right? Yeah… kinda!

With her chance to get out of the thick hoards of zombies,  Usagi begins to panic and runs away like a baby again.

————-

A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS!!!!

————-

A mysterious man in a tuxedo beckons guidance from the balcony of the atrium, helping Usagi destroy her aggressors with ease! All is swell! The land is safe!  But the masked man with the nice ass makes his quick escape, not a clue left behind. He flirts with Usagi of course, just before jumping off the roof like a badass. Usagi promptly wets herself by witnessing how cool he is, and heads on home like nothing happened.

EXCEPT SOMETHING DID HAPPEN. The next day, her school is abuzz about some new Super Heroine that has surfaced, solidifying Usagi’s fears that the night before wasn’t a dream at all.  She now had to come to terms that she had truly become Sailor Moon!

————————————

Thanks all, for reading my first post! Tune in next time for episode 2 of Sailor Moon Crystal! I had a blast writing this, and I promise you they won’t all be this long! Don’t kill me.

(\ >//,//< /)

 

-Melissa

Free – Eternal Summer – 1

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So, are you guys ready? After cries for more of the free-bros, our pleas were answered. What are some of the changes we can expect this time around? Less drama, more SOL? Wanna know what I have to say to that?

Please – keep it the way it was. I don’t understand how people could be against the drama because as far as I’m concerned, without the drama Free isn’t Free – it’s every other SOL out there. In any event, on to the episode.

Without a giant chip on his shoulder, Rin formally retires as the source of constant drama in the Free-iverse. The captains step down and they have a friendly swimming competition with Iwatobi which results in Haru and Rin setting both personal bests and a pool record. When you think about it, Rin has beaten Haru more than Haru has beaten Rin. With this (counting a draw as a victory for both), this makes it Rin – 3 Haru – 2. Who’s counting though, what is this a fucking shonen.

While I’m certain it’s no surprise, I love how Free interjects small bits of swimming trivia; for example, in freestyle you can actually do any stroke you want – the forward crawl is used most frequently as it is the fastest. It is not extremely uncommon to see the occasional butterflier in freestyle though – Throughout my decade long career in swimming, I had seen more than a handful.

Because I was a swimmer for such a long period of my life, it has had a profound impact on who I am as a person and how I would view a show like this. When you think about it, swimming has gotten a lot of notoriety lately – from Michael Phelps in 2008 and 2012, to even weeaboo shit like Free. Swimming was the only sport I was ever good at and ever enjoyed – I occasionally jump in a pool and swim a few laps for old times sake, too. I hung up my swimsuit for good in 2009 but that doesn’t mean I don’t have extremely frequent dreams about it – and do I ever.

BACK TO ANIME. Sosuke is the new badass drama faggot in this season and if his name is any indication, he will probably have a lot in common with Aizen. Thankfully, his name is NO indication at all so that previous statement is very false. Seriously, you judge a person on their name? How’d that work out for you? Goddamn, you’re such a Thomas sometimes.