Tag Archives: Anime

Anime Madness Part 2: D-Gray Man & Sands of Destruction (Plus A Surprise Bonus Feature!)

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…and lo, out of the ashes rose something that resembled strings of sentences regarding Anime.

And it was good.

And the people rejoiced and threw ceremonial watermelons at chipmunks.

And that was good too, but not for the chipmunks of course.

DISCLAIMER: NO CHIPMUNKS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF THIS BLOG.

Ladies & Gentlemen, let the madness continue. I have been itching to write about these two Anime series as they brought me much joy during my rigorous procrastination sessions. Chop chop, no time to waste! Onward to demons and magic!

D – Gray Man

Enter; the world as we know it, well, maybe a good few centuries into the past let’s say the 19th Century… and not actually our world. This version of our world is threatened by a Demon-Maker, The Millenium Earl. Feeding upon the grief of humans, The Earl molds these desperate and clinging souls into demonic weapons, ‘Akuma’ soldiers, pawns in his war against humanity and the God that they believe in.

I believe this is the part where you all collectively go ‘Who ya gonna call?’

(go on do it, indulge yourselves)

D-Gray-Man

D-Gray-Ma

The answer? A kick ass army of humans that wield weapons made of a celestial material called Innocence. Of course, they call themselves exorcists. Though I’m quite sure you guys knew that already. The exorcist we follow is the young, yet wise beyond his years, Allen Walker. A boy with a Parasite type Innocence Weapon (his left entire arm) who begins his journey as a fully qualified Exorcist of  The Black Order at the tender age of 15.  Although I was hesitant at first regarding D-Gray Man, demons and magical exorcists are a dime a dozen, I really, really enjoyed this anime series.

Allen is accompanied by other young Exorcists each sporting unusual not to mention gender specific weapons with funny names. Observe:

a) The only girl exorcist at The Black Order, Leenalee Lee (yes, that’s her name) fights Akuma with her weapon known as, wait for it… THE DARK BOOTS (oooohhoowwoooo spooky). These babies are plain old black boots that transform into high heels, sprout wings and deliver devastating blows when activated. They also give Leenalee a great excuse to wear teeeny tiny shorts and skirts during the series. Yay.

Leenalee Lee and THE DARK (sexy) BOOTS

b) Then we have the mysterious yet charming Lavi who wears an eye patch for unknown reasons and wields an anti-akuma weapon called Iron Hammer. He also refers to this as his ‘Big Hammer, Little Hammer’ as it can grow to RIDICULOUS sizes (he achieves this in battle by screaming the words ‘GROW GROW GROW’…giggle) The Hammer is also often used for transport on long journeys.

Lavi & his Big Hammer, Little Hammer

Lavi & his Big Hammer, Little Hammer

Believe me, there’s a string of other lovable characters in tow. I could talk about them for a very long time. But I won’t.

The series begins mostly with Allen & his cohorts picking fights with small time demons and discovering new Exorcists to join their cause. Such as the awkward Miranda Lotto, who finds her Innocence weapon in a Grandfather clock. Her innocence can temporarily stop and reverse time. Handy, no?

The journey towards some kind of earthly peace continue and all of our protagonists are sent on miniature journeys of self endurance and enlightenment. Good and Evil become intertwined as each character assesses the true nature of power, constantly developing their uses of it to benefit the mankind and the trapped souls of the Akuma Weapons.

So, over all the series has your typical war stained backdrops, steadily woven together with cryptic evil of the Earl and his subjects The Noah (descendants of the biblical Noah, basically evil humans with terrible stigmata and evil powers) against the determined Exorcists  to create that bigger picture of loyalty, love and courage in the face of utter, slimy, black despair.

With fun & comedy along the way, guaranteed.

Sands Of Destruction

An anime series based on the Japanese Role Playing Game of the same title. The first things that came to mind when I started watching this short but sweet series were two very specific words: Super Cute.

Rather like Gurren Lagnann (see my previous post)  this particular world is inhabited by humans and a dominant race of Beastmen and (for convenience’ sake) is covered with a vast Sand Sea. We follow the protagonist Kyrie Illunis, an innocent boy with an unknown past who excels at cooking and cleaning. Whilst living disguised as a Beastman, Kyrie encounters chronic fatalist & awesome giant blade fighter lady Morte Urshela, a member (the only member) of the World Destruction Commitee. Disillusioned by the inequality and injustice that the human race has suffered, she steals a device known as The Destruct Code (fabled to destroy the entire world when activated) and is intent on destroying the world dragging a very unwilling Kyrie in her stead.

Sands of Super Cute Destruction

Sands of Super Cute Destruction

Along their path to “world destruction” the duo pick up some wanted and unwanted company. The first and most important side character is the ADORABLE dwarf bear warrior Toppy Toplan, who insists that there are two kinds of EVERYTHING and finishes all his sentences with the word ‘Kuma’. He becomes their smallest comrade and loyal friend who packs a hell of a punch for a creature so tiny. Also, did I mention that he’s adorable?

"I will kill you with this stick, Kuma."

“I will kill you with this stick, Kuma.”

But it’s not all cuddly fuzz bears for our adorable protagonists. OH NO.  Inevitably, where there is a threat of destruction, there is also the threat of salvation and our heroes(?) are constantly being tracked down by two Beastmen from the World Salvation Commitee. A calm and calculating half wolf called Naja and a bad tempered dragon lady named Rhi’a. You’ll notice that I have spent most of the time talking of these wonderfully drawn characters and hardly enough about the story line. The hard nose of this story (because stories have noses) and it’s outcome seems to really revolve around Morte and Kyrie (aptly named, no?) and Morte’s inner struggle with her feelings for the world she hates so much and the future with her new comrades that she is (quietly) reluctant to lose.

Personally, I came away from the whole viewing experience with a  new goal to benefit mankind by acquiring a dwarf bear and teaching him to say ‘kuma’. He will be wonderful. My overall rating for this Anime Series is pretty good, I wish I had a Sega or a Nintendo so I could attempt to play the game. So, if you’re looking for an Anime series that is short, sweet and to the point that comes with an extra kick of swashbuckling Sand Pirates and a giddy little surprise at the end of the plot, this is the very show for you (most suited for quiet and warm evenings in with your favorite person/teddy/pet or if you have a combination of all three, go crazy!).

AND NOW FOR OUR SUPER SPECIAL SURPRISE BONUS FEATURE!

Sekirei

Sekirei: Just LOOK at those personalities.

Sekirei

Good Gorram Shinsplints where the hell do I start? This is by far the most ridiculous & hilarious anime series I have watched in my entire life. I can easily sum it up in one very plain, blunt word: BOOBS.

I am not joking folks, this raunchy Anime series tells the story of a mysterious, humanoid alien race of 108 men & women (mostly women) that have unbelievable fighting powers. Fighting powers that can only be unlocked by mucous contact, a passionate kiss from a ‘special’ person known as their Ashikabi. These are humans with unique genes that empower the Sekirei, and after the mucous contact has been made (isn’t that a lovely image?) the Sekirei is bound to serve their Ashikabi in any way possible. In this case, all the Sekirei in Tokyo are isolated within the confines of the city by the evil company that discovered them, IBM, and are forced to find their Ashikabi & fight to the death by the crazy evil Game Master, Hiroto Minaka.

Our protagonist is the awkward loner Minato Sahashi who starts out by acquiring his first Sekirei Musubi entirely by accident (she literally falls from the sky and lands on his face). From then on, he steadily becomes a popular Ashikabi choice for many other Sekirei. So… poor awkward Minato is surrounded by women with VERY large breasts who love him dearly and swear to fight to the death for him to win the GRAND PRIZE of the deathly Sekirei Game…

Watch this series at your peril…or if you really, really like boobs.

Well my dears, that about wraps up my mystical journey into Anime madness for the time being. There may be more journeys like it to come. But we won’t know when…because they are so DAMN mystical.

Until next time Unicornlings,

Peace Out.

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Anime Madness Part 1: Devil May Cry & Gurren Lagann

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Cartoons are awesome.

Who doesn’t like to watch colourful pictures on the tellybox?

Especially when the pictures involve badass Anime chicks and dudes kicking ass and defeating fantastical demon monster robots. 

Ergo, Anime is Awesome.

If the above really doesn’t appeal to you; you are probably not human. (Or maybe anime isn’t your thing, which is cool.)

This week, I have decided to dedicate some blogs to a few wonderful Anime & Mecha Anime series that I have recently spent most of my allocated procrastination time watching. Because I so intensely enjoyed watching  these shows, I am going to take a moment now to say that I am placing them all under an umbrella statement of wonderfulness and will recommend all of you to watch at your leisure. So, for all of you that love you some post-apocalyptic/alternate history anime worlds…

Check These Bad Boys Out:

Devil May Cry

Yes, some of you may be quite familiar with the Video Game Franchise. This Anime series IS based on the plot of the game, as far as I know. I have not had the pleasure of playing the video games (Aisling Fail) but I thought the TV series was BADASS. So I have a feeling that the games are probably just as awesome.

So the world is full of demons (SHOCK HORROR!)  and the cocky, half-demon devil-hunter Dante is there to make their slimy horned heads roll. He carries a GIANT sentient sword that NO regular person could EVER carry (á la anime) and is very partial to Pizza (no olives) and Strawberry Ice Cream Sundaes ( I can relate, Dante, I can relate)

While there is not much to be said about the fairly standard plot motivation, I really liked some of the characters on offer in this series. The mysterious character ‘Lady’ whose origins are unknown is one that intrigued me most. She’s basically a fellow demon hunter with serious trust issues. Still, what the hell is her deal?  There was too much ‘wall’ in front of her character for my liking, however, I did only watch the TV series.

(Here is usually where I fret about not having read the manga series or played the games, so if you have done so and haven’t bothered with the series, think of me as your poorly financed conduit.)

As the demons steadily work towards their climatic unveiling of an uncontrollable evil, we get glimpses into other characters such as Trish (a lightning shooting demon made in the image of Dante’s mother) and the incredibly annoying Patty Lowell who, for all her whining, tends to keep Dante in check. The Demons themselves are pretty well presented, as expected. There is an implied ‘hierarchy’ that seems to stem from Dante’s demon father ‘Sparda’, I can’t get into that without giving everything away, but essentially, I would have liked to have seen more development in this area . Again, I will probably have to read more on that.

Overall, with regards to Cultural Context the dystopia in the backdrop is not really commented on. Just kinda hones in on Dante and his ‘Devil May Cry’ business. The demon slaying is the priority and the gory and grim imagery makes that happen for us viewers. I really did like this series, I love demons and blood as much as the next girl. The only real problem I had with it was that there are only 12 episodes and there seemed to be an awful lot missing or out of focus. Of course this may have a lot to do with the fact that the series is so short and my lack of insight into the entire Devil May Cry franchise. However, I DO think I shall be going to my nearest comic book establishment and scoping out the manga or purchasing the video game.  So if these features are your bigger interests, I’d say look into them for more background knowledge.

It will also automatically make you a very cool person.

Devil May Cry Like a BADASS

Devil May Cry Like a BADASS

Gurren Lagann

GET READY TO ROCK.

This Mecha Anime is fully loaded with action, humor and an exciting post-apocalyptic backdrop that will make you wish for the world’s end.

So, Gurren Lagann (also known as Teggen Toppa Gurren Lagann) begins in a fictional future on earth where the evil Spiral King Lordgenome has forced humanity to live in subterranean villages. Until, the shy and insecure digger Simon and his delinquent older friend Kamina uncover a mechanical gunman while mining and break out of their underground village and into the surface world.

Their adventures follow them and their human comrades (Team Dai-Gurren!) rising up and fighting against the tyrannical Sprial King and his Beastmen in their gunman robot Gurren Lagann.

I loved this series.

The story was really awesome and the characters were very engaging. The depiction of earth under the sway of Spiral Power was something I immediately got on board with. A power regarded as dangerous for the evolution and constant development it brings and Simon begins as the digger whose drill (strong-ass-manifestation-of-spiral-power) will ‘Bust Through The Heavens’? Awesome.

Simon’s character is a great one to follow, along with the many interesting ones they meet on their travels. His relationship with Kamina is heart wrenchingly lovely in the first episodes; they endearingly refer to each other as ‘Bro’ and are constantly bouncing egos off each other, particularly when Simon starts out as incredibly insecure and doubtful of his role in the world. The other key character is Yoko who you will love, if not for her actual character, for her cleavage alone. A badass chick whose a dab hand with an electric rifle and struts around in a bikini top and hot pants? I ask you, what is there not to love?

There’s a lot to love about the politically charged plot too. There’s something about overthrowing power that just makes me want to dance with fire. The existing regime in Gurren Lagann that casts mankind underground and controls its numbers in an attempt to repress it, is fought against by the mighty Team Dai-Gurren in their shiny giant robots (YAY!).

The politics and a true fight for a balance of power becomes much more evident as the series continues. In accordance with this quest for power, the overall theme of spiral power and energy becomes more dominant as the series goes on. The theme itself is imagined as a spiral, a shape that represents something infinite and constantly developing/moving much like the very capable human race. Eventually, the development of earth and spiral power is stunted by another nemesis, the anti-spiral. Who steals the moon and is presented as a badly drawn person. No Lie.

And this is ONLY THE BEGINNING. The series becomes this giant energy ball of excitement, or at least I was excited. And it’s not just the ballsy fighting robot action that gets to you, it’s the humour and the characters that got me more than anything. This series is evidence of some really good character writing, I beg you all to watch it if your partial to anime or beginning to become partial to anime. I will most definitely be looking into the manga.

Gurren Lagann: Kamina, Simon & Yoko

Gurren Lagann: Kamina, Simon & Yoko

And that, my friends, is where it’s at.

As you can see, this blog holds giant raging piles of nonsensical awesome for you spry young readers, particularly those unknown to the anime world, to go out and discover for yourselves!

Isn’t that WONDERFUL?

Next time, there will be more demons.

Peace Out.