Archive for Anime

Anime Review: Soul Eater (Part 1)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Set in the world of the “Death Weapon Meister Academy,” Soul Eater tells the story of students who partner with weapons in order to battle demons and monsters. The weapons are normally human, but they transform into swords, pistols, and various other inanimate objects in order to do battle. Their goal is to collect the souls of 99 evil humans and the soul of a witch in order to create the ultimate weapon for their head master, the Grim Reaper himself, Death.

The series centers around three pairs of student “meisters” and their humanoid weapons. Our main heroine is the spunky Maka Albarn with her cool-as-a-cucumber scythe, Soul Eater. They are joined by their classmate, the self-centered and egotistical Black Star, and his chain scythe weapon, the sweet and motherly Tsubaki. And finally, the Grim Reaper’s own son, the comically OCD Death the Kid, eventually joins the team with his twin pistols, Liz and Patty.

There has been a lot of hype about this anime series from the anime community since it debuted two years ago. I have seen a huge number of Soul Eater cosplay at anime conventions, so I feel like I was already familiar with a lot of the characters even without ever watching a single episode. And at last year’s New York Anime Festival, both FUNimation and Yen Press teamed up to make a major push for the series to become the main event of the convention that weekend.

But like all very popular mainstream anime series, I was very skeptical as to just how amazing this series could possibly be. So I popped in these first 13 episodes preparing myself to be very disappointed.

So did I find Soul Eater to live up to all the hype?

Oh, hell yeah, I did!

In fact, I loved every minute of this kick ass anime series.

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Anime Review: RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Rin Asogi and her partner, Mimi, run a “consulting firm” in Shinjuku. It is all just a front, of course, as the two girls are actually private investigators who specialize in the dark and paranormal. While pursuing a missing cat, Rin runs into Kouki, a mysterious man with his memory erased. But when she decides to take on Kouki’s case of missing identity, she goes down a deep dark hole of a major conspiracy, and eventually she ends up dismembered into a bloody mess.

But there’s a catch. Rin and Mimi are actually immortal, so no matter how many times Rin is gunned down or dismembered, she sprouts right back to life. So sets up RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~, an epic 6-episode OVA* thriller spanning over 65 years and multiple generations.

And it is the first “must watch” anime series of 2010.

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Anime Review: Linebarrels of Iron (Part 1)

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Middle schooler Kouichi Hayase has always wanted to be a hero, an “ally of justice” as he likes to go around saying. Well, his wish comes true when a naked girl,Emi Kizaki, suddenly comes crashing down on him, killing the boy instantly. Emi has no choice but to revive the boy by infusing him to Linebarrel, a big ass battle mech.

Now with the power to call on Linebarrel and pilot the machine, Kouichi becomes of interest to JUDA, a weapons manufacturer working with the United Nations to fight off a global mysterious alien threat. But after Kouichi joins JUDA, he quickly finds out the truth behind their enemy, and how closely these aliens are connected to Linebarrel and Emi.

When I announced that I would be reviewing Linebarrels of Iron over Twitter, I could hear the collective groans of everyone following me. Clearly this was not a very popular series. So while I did not particularly find it to be the worst thing I have ever seen, it sure did not win me over in these first 13 episode.

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Anime Review: Spice and Wolf

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Set in a fictionalized old European world, Spice and Wolf tells the story of Holo, a pagan wolf goddess who has helped a small village harvest a plentiful wheat crop year after year. But the townsfolk started to get tired of the goddess and accuse her of slacking off, so she escapes from the fields and stows away on the cart of a traveling merchant named Lawrence.

Upon discovering the fox girl sleeping buck naked in his cart, Lawrence offers her a job as his partner in trade. The two begin traveling from village to village peddling goods. Holo keeps her identity hidden from others while Lawrence teaches her his craft. All the while they must deal with rival merchants, currency conversions, dangerous animals, and that blasted Christian church!

I think it’s safe to say that the hype around Spice and Wolf has been pretty big lately, especially since Yen Press just released the light novel this series was based off of. But after seeing all 13 episodes of the first anime series, I really found it hard to see what all the hype has been about.

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Anime Review: El Cazador de la Bruja

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Set in a wild west Mexican world, El Cazador de la Bruja tells the story of Nadie, a feisty, scantily-clad female bounty hunter who is a pro with a pistol. She ends up with more than she bargains for when she pursues Ellis, a timid little girl with a bounty on her head. After discovering that innocent Ellis has no memory of her past, and that she has super telekinetic powers, Nadie takes a sisterly liking to the girl. She gives up her pursuit for the bounty, and the two begin an epic adventure down south to find out the truth about Ellis and her mysterious powers.

El Cazador is the final entry into the “Girls with Guns” trilogy of anime series from studio Bee Train, right after Noir and Madlax. I have never seen Madlax, but Noir was one of my favorite series when I first got into anime many years ago.

With FUNimation releasing both halves of El Cazador (Part 1 and Part 2) on the same day this week, I got a chance to marathon the entire series last weekend. While I was initially disappointed that this wild west incarnation of Noir didn’t live up to the greatness of its predecessor, it eventually won me over as being a great series on its own merits.

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