The good, the bad and the ugly

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With the new year just around the corner, I find myself mulling over anime I saw this year. Some were horrible, a few were excellent but most were entertaining enough.

I noticed many of the shows I watched had a supernatural or magical theme. I don’t even remember seeing anything mecha-related. Sorry but giant robots leave me cold.

I have to feed the artsy fartsy side of moi now and then so I gravitate toward shows that look unique, tackle an unusual subject matter or tell a tale in a way I haven’t seen before. “Mononoke”, which deals with the adventures of an unusual medicine peddler, fit that bill. You should check out the show when you have the chance. I suppose you could say “Mononoke” was a spinoff of “Ayakashi” since the peddler was a character in one of the featured tales there.

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Yes, I also saw my share of shonen anime from “Naruto Shippudden” to “D. Grayman” this year. The latter ended recently and was a letdown. Since the manga isn’t finished, the animators decided to end the show just after the Black Order’s headquarters get attacked. Lame. I hope they later come out with movies.

Do stay away from the mess that is “Le Chevalier D’eon”. It is loosely based on a historical figure who was a spy for the king of France and who had a fondness for wearing women’s clothing. In the anime, he dons dresses when the ghost of his murdered sister possesses him. The show is a mishmash of historical figures involved in conspiracies, secret societies and other arcane stuff. While the animation is beautiful, the plot is too convoluted and unbelievable. And anyone who loves history better steer clear of this anime which plays fast and loose with the facts.

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When the dead refuse to die

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“Shikabane Hime: AKA” or “Corpse Princess: AKA” is action-packed and tackles a weird subject. Makina, the heroine, is already dead but she still exists among the living. She hunts down the living dead like her and blasts them to Kingdom Come using two guns. It seems she needs to whack a certain number to achieve her goal which isn’t revealed in the first episode though.

But fighting the undead can be a tough assignment and she gets the stuffing walloped out of her in more than one instance. However, she gets revived by the priest who runs a local orphanage. He and other men back up Makina during her hunts.

Ouri Kagami, a teen who was raised in the orphanage, sees one such resurrection when a talking cat wakes him up and takes him to the temple where a beaten up and unmoving Makina lies. He later moves out of the orphanage and on his way to his new apartment witnesses Makina plummeting to the ground. She was fighting with a serial killer who turned into some vampire/monster hybrid.

Copying what he saw at the temple, Ouri holds the still form in his arms and Makina awakens. Does this mean Ouri will later be involved in her later adventures? Well duh Sherlock. It’s called foreshadowing.

No one stinted on the making of this show so the animation, the background and the music are top notch. Here’s hoping the show won’t disappoint later on,

Sucky ending to an otherwise decent show

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One problem in anime shows based on manga (Japanese comic book) is that a lot of them end long before their written counterparts which means that the show either comes up with its own ending or it just leaves you hanging.

Case in point “Claymore.” The series enthralled me with its tale of half demon/half human female warriors working for some shady organization to kill demons in this world. It varied from the manga with its last four episodes. To me, the main character suddenly acted out of character and scenes that were supposed to be dramatic merely elicited laughter from me. It was a cornball fest.

Sad sad sad since the show was so good in the beginning.

Brothers in arms

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OK OK so it’s been ages since I last posted. I’ve been on vacation (whine whine) and was out of the country too. Don’t ask where. Suffice it to say I won’t be back there.

Anyway, I’ve been watching this new anime called “Persona – trinity soul” which apparently is based on a video game. The show is set in Ayanagi City and happens 10 years after the last game. Our protagonists are three brothers who seem to lack the gene for expressing love. This trio of cold fishes are Ryo Kanzato who heads the local police department, his high school-aged brother Shin and their youngest sibling Jun. They had a sister, Yuki, who was Jun’s twin but something happened and she’s no longer with them. Ditto their parents.

I’ve only seen up to episode three and the show still hasn’t explained if Yuki died or was kidnapped or got vaporized. Since I never played the game, I’m reduced to getting my info solely from the show.

In the first episode, Ryo gets summoned to check out a submersible where the crew vanished. At the same time, his two younger brothers return home after several years of living with another relative. He doesn’t seem to relish seeing his brothers again.

There’s a mystery with a capital M going on. People are disappearing. Folks have been found dead and turned inside out. There’s a group of folks who seem to be grabbing certain young people and pulling out what looks to be their souls. Ryo keeps things from his own men much to the chagrin of one cop who thinks he’s up to something. Ryo, who is as friendly as an iceberg to his siblings and underlings, possesses some sort of power that launches a transparent giant robot thingy that saves one of the kidnapped girls and slashes some giant alien thingy that comes out of the kidnapper.

At his new high school Shin hears about “shadow extraction” and sees students doing such a feat on others. He passes out after a classmate, Takuro Sakakiba, and he managed to pull out these giant robots from each other. It seems these robot things are called Personas.

Interesting that the robots look like the models Shin possesses and even dreams about.

Little Jun is weird in his own right, He keeps a dress of his missing twin with him and behind locked doors, Ryo overhears him talking to a girl.

There’s some trouble brewing at a local karaoke bar when Shin and his classmates run into a group of young punks.

The show is interesting so far.