Mob Psycho 100 by ONE

mob5If you are a fan of the incredibly witty, extraordinarily funny, and still amazingly deep story that is One Punch Man, then you will most likely enjoy ONE’s second series Mob Psycho 100. TheBetterCup and I have seen every episode up to date, and even started the manga, and we have to say Mob is a cute baby angel you can’t help but cheer for. Unlike Saitama, who is an adult and has his own mind made up as to how he should live his life, Mob is only a kid struggling to find balance with inner struggles.

mob3-Plot

Mob Psycho 100 is about Shigeo Kageyama, or Mob (which apparently means background character). Mob is a simple young student in middle school who is average (or a little below average) in his grades, athletic abilities, social life, and just about everything. He dreams to be normal and even a little popular at school. He also seems to lack emotions when he interacts with others and often cannot read the atmosphere. Through the story, you learn that Mob actually has esper abilities (which he has had since a very young age) and that he is also incredibly strong. Because of his esper powers though, (which are connected to emotion, and when overwhelmed emotionally can spill out in dangerous ways), Mob keeps a blank stare and emotionless exterior, which also lends to his inability to socialize. More trouble than just his own personal struggles come his way though as he meets other espers and gains friends he needs to protect.

-Characters

mobkkMob: Shigeo Kageyama is the main protagonist of the story. He is a quiet and average looking 8th grader with incredible esper powers and absolutely little to no other talents or skills (other than empathy, the ability to refuse to harm even the bad guys with his powers, altruism,  and the wonderful talent of hard work and willingness to change himself instead of bitching *cough*Ritsu*cough*). He has lived most of his life suppressing his emotions because when overwhelmed his powers leak out in incredibly dangerous ways, often unknowingly harming those around him (others have described him of having some dark and dangerous monster within). Mob is also very perceptive. He works part time at a spirit consultation office with Reigen (his master/teacher). His biggest goal in life is to live normally, and he feels that esper powers aren’t necessary for day to day life.
mob2Reigen: Arataka Reigen is a spirit counselor, and demon exorcist, and scam artist that uses Mob’s powers to keep up his business. He is Mob’s teacher and a self proclaimed psychic (con artist). Though he seems like scum at first, he actually really cares about Mob and is able to help him through many of his own personal demons. He is very clever and quick on his feet, excelling in persuasion and understanding situations on the fly. He truly is Mob’s mentor, viewing Mob’s inner conflicts and taking them seriously, often giving Mob advice that truly helps him find himself morally.

ristuRitsu: Ritsu Kageyama is Mob’s younger brother (by a year and in the seventh grade). He is smart, athletic, popular, handsome, a student counsel member, praised by his parents and colleagues alike, and everything that Mob strives to be. Though sweet and perfect on the outside, just like Mob, he has a complex, where he wishes he was as talented as his brother (Mob). The only difference is that Ritsu lets this eat away at himself instead of trying to change for the better. His obsession for power leads him down a terrible path that causes him a lot of strife and guilt later, but thankfully, he loves his brother and Mob loves him back so they always have each other by their side’s.

Mob-Thoughts

The art is adorable, bizarre, and simple yet colorful. The animation flows very well with exagerated perspectives and it reminds me greatly of the weird, very Japanese, colorful surrealistic style that can be found in animations such as Mind Games (great movie by the way) or Tatami Galaxy (also good check out my post on it: https://espressocomsaudade.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/tatami-galaxy-by-tomihiko-morimi/). Side Note: Both Mind Games and Tatami Galaxy (by the way) where directed by Masaaki Yuasa, who also directed an episode in Adventure Time (the Food Chain), Space Dandy, and worked on some of the animations of Samurai Champloo. We really love his style.

mob4Anyways, the animation is really top notch and gives it that strange quality to the world that underscores Mob’s strange place in it. We really loved the characters, especially the Body Improvement Club (who are all super strong and scary, but prove to represent the ‘good’ choices that Mob can make such as refusing to be violent and choosing to better one’s self for personal reasons other than shallow ones and accepting others readily). Mob is truly a sweet baby angel who like other Shounen heroes, fights to stick to his moral code even as the world tries to trample over it. He has his own issues concerning his powers, which others would love to have, but he would rather not. We also really loved his relationship with Reigen, who at first seems like a bad con-artist, but whose advice helps Mob try to find his own way to come to terms with both living a normal life and having powers (Arataka is the shit!). The contrast with his own brother (who serves as a foil to Mob) really emphasizes his character. It is by comparing his ability to be considerate and gallant even though he views himself as dangerous and others see him as a loser, to that of others (who also share similar views about themselves but have better lives) that we see how empathetic he is, how perceptive he can be and how heroic he truly is. Also this shit is funny as fuck, but it’s the little details that you watch throughout that add up and emphasize thematically all the inner turmoil and moral struggles that characters face (both normal characters and espers alike).
-Blog Barista and TheBetterCup

Mobk

Cool guys don’t look at explosions

91 Days by Shuka Studios

AngeloTheBetterCup and I have to commute to our respective schools (since we still both live at home). So, we both wake up pretty early every morning (like 6 am) to get to our 10 am classes every day. It isn’t really that great, but at least everyday we make time to watch one anime episode together while eating breakfast or on the commute or any time we are both free. On Thursdays we started 91 Days, because the art looked so good and the plot seemed interesting.

-What is the story?

angelo4So the story is set in Illinios, USA during the Prohibition. 1920’s USA is one of my absolute favorite settings for books, especially if gangs are involved (and of course this is one of them!!).  In the town of Lawless, Italian American Angelo Lagusa witnesses his family’s murder at the hands of the Vanetti family, a mafia gang. After seven years on the lamb (since the family would kill him if they knew he survived), Angelo returns under the alias Avilio Bruno after receiving a letter addressed to him prompting him to exact revenge.

angelo3Avilio returns and infiltrates the Vanitti family under the guise of brewing and selling moon shine (with a childhood friend of his). He befriends Nero, the don’s son and the man who years earlier hesitated to kill Avilio when he had the chance. The story follows Avilio through his 91 days of revenge and the dramatic story that unfolds. angelo1

-How do we feel?

I really loved this anime. It comes off like a giant movie that was broken into segments. The art is beautiful, the story is dramatic, and the authors put in a lot of effort into recreating the world of Prohibition era USA. I love the character designs, and the fluidity of the animation seems high quality. The story can seem to move slowly at times, but every episode leaves you wanting more (literally, since it almost always ends on a cliff hanger). I am excited to see how Angelo exacts revenge (and to see if he can keep his sanity through all of this). I loved his personality and his story, and really want him to have a happy ending (I hope he kills everyone, well almost everyone). Nero is also a main character, and I feel like there may be a chance that they truly befriend each other in the end. So if anything, I hope he can reconcile with him while getting revenge on everyone else. Either way, I can’t wait to see how this revenge ends.

-Blog Barista

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Sekko Boys written by Michiko Yokote

It has been a really long day, and I feel so exhausted. I have been awake for 13 hours and the day is no where near done (plus I slept maybe 3 hours last night). Anyways, I want to post a quick short post on an anime that I really enjoyed watching lately. All summer I have been watching One Piece (like all 754 or so of the current episodes), so I didn’t get a chance to watch new anime. So, TheBetterCup and I decided to watch this anime, Sekko Boys, for no reason other then it looked extra weird (which it is).

thhEc-What is the cartoon about?

The story starts with a young girl named Miki Ishimoto. After graduating art school, she finds herself getting a job as a manager for an idol group. This new rookie group, called Sekko Boys, is comprised of four statue busts: Saint Giorgio, Medici, Mars, and Hermes. And the series follows them as they try to rise through stardom.

-Who are the central characters?

GOODS-00056053_01St. Giorgio: Saint George of Lydda (the guy who slayed a dragon which I wrote a post on that myth) is the leader of the Sekko Boys. He is reliable and mature, but he makes horrible puns and isn’t the most popular between the boys.

GOODS-00056053_04Medici: Guiliano de’ Medici, duke and Italian nobleman, is the cute and extraordinarily popular one of the group. He is very rich and very selfish, but even so, the rest of the group still care for him. He is the only Sekko boy who gets to debut as an actor, in a drama, during the series.

GOODS-00056053_02Hermes: Hermes (the Greek God of thieves, travelers, athletes, and a psycho pomp) is the ‘smart’ one of the group. He is the only bust to be shown to also own the rest of his sculpture. Behind the back of the group, he is shown to be scamming people into buying useless items. He is the rational one in the group.

GOODS-00056053_03Mars: Mars (Roman God of War) is the bad boy of the group. He is tough, ‘muscle brained’ one that had a history of getting into fights and being with many women. He is the one that gets caught in a scandal by mistake. Mars is my personal favorite (with his horrible catchphrase: I’m not needy, just passionate), and TheBetterCup’s favorite is St. Giorgio.

SCa3BXqMiki is a recent graduate from art school who ends up working as a manager for the Sekko Boys. She is hardworking and willing to go with the flow (even though the whole thing seems to ridiculous at first). I love her personality, which is super funny at points.

-How do I feel?

I loved the anime. It is funny, interesting, and pretty unique. I loved the characters and the jokes thrown in. Lots of the jokes allude to mythology and sometimes its so ridiculous. I loved that Miki has a sculpture complex at the beginning (took me by surprise). I also really like how the actual sculptures are done in a different media and look like 3d objects in an anime world. The anime has mostly famous voice actors, and (even though so many people seem to be complaining online about this anime) I feel like the creators purposefully made this anime weird and mixed in witty jokes and different story so that it can be funny. I liked it, and am grateful to have watched it. Also the end theme is great!

-Blog Barista

S.E.K.K.O B.O.Y.S. Sekko!

S.E.K.K.O B.O.Y.S. Sekko!

Magical Girl Manga: Stuffed Animal Additions

I really love magical girls, and these are some that TheBetterCup suggested and most of them are connected back to adorable plushy beings. This is a short post, but the manga are so worth checking out. Also fun fact, kigurumi is the Japanese term for a costumed character and is the word commonly used for the animal onesies that have been popular lately.

CompletedKigurumi by Kurokata Kei

This manga focuses on Makoto, a young middle school boy who enjoys (and is quite talented) in creating stuffed animals. Lately, many have been dying by an unknown disease called Sudden Death, where a perfectly healthy people suddenly die of heart failure, and no one understands why. After a case of sudden death hits a crowd surrounding Makoto, he witnesses the true cause of the disease: giant stuffed bears brutally murdering and eating the people. Together with a small stuffed bunny and a strong bat wielding girl, he learns the true nature of the mysterious Sudden Death.

TheBetterCup loved this manga (I think it is her favorite of the group), and I for the most part also liked it (though its not my favorite). The characters and the plot are very unique with the boy being the main protagonist, but a very feminine theme (stuffed toys) as the main theme. It was a great way of mixing this horror bloody murder and cute fluffy beings. It is a seinen horror and has the art and feel of one. Its not as psychological as Puella Magi Madoka Magica or as violently gory as Mahou Shoujo Apocalypse, but it is still pretty dark. We loved it and plan to continue reading it.

 

KigurumiBoKigurumi Boeitai by Hoshino Lily

The plot for this manga focuses on a young girl named Hakka. She, among other students, have been chosen (because of their pure hearts), to help aid in protecting the Earth from strange creatures invading from another dimension and stealing the hearts of people consumed with desires. Each of the three student (2 girls and a boy) are teamed up with a large (and adorable and sassy) stuffed animal to battle the creatures. Though the students don’t fight, they help the stuffed animals transform for battle through a kiss, in which case they transform into handsome young men.

Of course I would like this manga. The art style is so adorable. The people are long limbed, big-eyed, and have large noses. I love it, and this is my favorite manga on this list. The character personalities are fun and diverse, and the plot still manages to make you laugh and leave deep themes. Its like your basic magical girl, but with a new twist to the plot. TheBetterCup also loved this, but she doesn’t like Hakka as much as I did. She may come off as annoying to some, but I found her refreshing. The students don’t do battle, but she always manages to jump in and be active participant. She is not strong enough to fight physically, but she still tries. I like that youthful spirit. We loved this and plan to continue reading the manga.

 

 

71uWKIf9tPLKatsute Mahou Shoujo toAku wa Tekitai Shite Ita by Fujiwara Cocoa

The story follows Mira, the right hand man and brains of an evil organization trying to destroy the Earth. Facing his new enemy, the magical girl Byakuya Mimori, he falls in love with her at first sight. The story follows him as he fails to follow out command to destroy the magical girl and instead help her out in her difficult situation.

I still counted this with the stuffed animal magical girls, because the magical girl’s familiar (side kick creature) is a giant kirugumi like creature that smokes and takes advantage of the magical girl’s poor economic status to get her to fight. This was an awesome manga! It probably would have been a favorite if it lasted longer. The manga is left incomplete  at the third volume because the author passed away. This was another unique take on the classic magical girl, where the main character is the male bad guy that falls in love with her. The art is also super cute. I loved it and wish it could continue.

 

I felt the post was really short, so I am adding some bonus magical girl manga that were also fun to read. They aren’t stuffed animal related, but they were super cute magical girls and thus need to be shared.

Bonus:

MagicalChangeMagical Change by Homerun Ken

Manaka Hiromi is a high school boy with magical powers helping protect the world from the Devil King. He and his team members (a girl with an awesome and not cute weapon that changes monsters to candy and a boy with an adorable and girly weapon) are unhappy with their magical powers though, especially Hiromi whose power is to turn into an extremely strong but sexy magical girl.

The story is pretty funny, and a good twist on the magical girl/magical boy genre. They are silly characters and for the most part it has an ok manga with pretty shonen art. It was an alright, but we probably won’t continue reading the manga

 

Hope you enjoy,

-Blog Barista

Heap of Magical Girls (Review pt. 1)

I think it goes with out saying that I have read to much manga in the last three weeks! I have to tests, one tomorrow and one on Friday, and here I am writing this instead. But I just can’t help it! There are so many good (and bad) manga that I enjoyed and really want to share. So here is one of three posts that focus on the manga reviews of this month.

DaisukiDaisuki Desu!! Mahou Tenshi Kosumasu by Minazuki Suu

This manga is about Akikaze Cosmos, a little girl who works in her mother’s hostel. She is mature and responsible and lives with these crazy, older characters that include a silly high school girl, a college drunk (she always wears a witch hat) and a twenty year old pervert (who Aki loves). Aki lives a normal life, in a small town surrounded by a nuclear desert that is attempting to swallow up the town, but one day she becomes a magical angel to save the town and all the people she loves.

I did not like this one so much. The characters are annoying and basic (in an unrealistic sort of way). Its nice to see a main character fall in love with a man that is not the typical love interest, even though he is almost a decade and a half older, a huge pervert, fat and gross. It has an interesting story line, that seems creepy sci-fi, but it loses me with the characters. I definitely won’t continue reading this manga.

GyoushouninMahou Gyoushounin Roma by Kurazono Norihiko

This manga was pretty interesting idea. It focuses on this mysterious girl who is collecting the greed of humans by fulfilling wishes using magical items. She seems like a magical girl: she has the little strange but cute creature, magical charms and items, and seems to be helping people. But the end result, after fulfilling their goals, always seem a little negative. This has a ‘monkey’s paw’ sort of feel.

The main character’s name is Roma. She doesn’t seem to care much about the people, and she may not be human (not too sure). I really liked the plot though. It takes the idea of magical girl and makes a little twist to it, but I am not to sure I will continue this manga.

OnnaMahou Onna ga Kuru by Hagio Nobuto

Another manga I don’t plan on continuing, and actually I really disliked. It had such a good chance of doing well too, but its Ecchi and gross, and it doesn’t take it’s plot as seriously as I would have liked. Sakazaki Riko is a 31 year old magical girl (once known as Magic Girl Collie) who is past her prime. Her power was the ability to become an adult, and when she was a young girl, she used it to help lots of people. Now though, she is an adult and her powers are of no use. So single and skill-less, Riko and her other past-her-prime magical girl roommate are searching for the love of their lives (hopefully successful and rich) before they are past that time too.

I liked the idea of what magical girls do after they get older, but I just wish this was not as silly. I like the comedy to an extent, its just that Riko seems desperate and gross, and very materialistic. If the story line was more serious, and we had less nakedness, maybe it would be easier to sympathize with Riko.
OreMahou Shoujo Ore by Moudama Chokusen

Saki is a fifteen year old girl and rising idol. She learns one day that her mother was once a magical girl, fighting for mankind, but is unable to continue now that she is older. A scary yakuza type guy turns out to be her mother’s old magical girl mascot, and he gets Saki to become the next magical girl. Problem is, magical girls are not that magical and actually have to fight fist to fist, so when Saki transforms she becomes a strong man in a magical girl outfit called Magical Ore.

These magical girl manga keep getting more and more creative as time goes by. I also found this one’s plot had a lot to offer. I am not too sure how it goes as you delve deeper into the plot (as I stopped at chapter 2), but hopefully it is successful. I for one will not continue reading this though. the character bored me (she was annoying), I am not a fan that the boy love interest is in love with her guy form (its funny, but I don’t read shonen ai), and most importantly, there is so much going on sometimes that I get a little lost. So though this maybe did not stick to me, I still think you should give it s try and see if you like it.

HeroOre to Hero to Mahou Shoujo by Sogou

I have seen this one before, and actually I read the first chapter once, but never continued. Now that I try it out again, I really like the story line. This is a web manga about a young man who wants to be a hero. One day he finally gets the chance, but when he transforms into his hearts image of a hero, he becomes a little girl. Reluctant and embarrassed, he continues to fight monsters and strives to become a great hero like he dreams. Along the way he meets other hero (including a high school girl and an old lady) while having to battle monsters and other hero who have gone a stray.

This one also has a interesting story line, and I actually enjoy it. I will continue reading this manga. I like the characters, and I like the art style which looks like sketches. As of now, the story has not progressed to far into the main point of the plot, but I feel like it will go very well.

-Blog Barista

Mahou Shoujo of the End by Kentaro Sato

Half way through the week, I am thankful the weekend is almost here. I really feel I need to buckle down and focus more on my work and studies, but as I am saying this, I am in class focusing on the wrong stuff. Oh well, I would like to give a little preface on this: I hate horror/psychologically f*** up manga. It is my least favorite genre on the face of the planet. I try my best to ignore it. Every once in a while, I want to be spontaneous and try something new, and I make the mistake of trying another. I cant imagine finding any of these good (or at  least continuing the manga for long). This one is a horror manga, and I read it because its about magical girls which is my absolute favorite.

101Plot:

Kii Kogami is a dull high school boy. He seems to hate how ‘normal’ or ‘average’ his life feels, but he is the type of person who will go out of his way to avoid adding stress to his life (even ignoring his friend being bullied). One day, as he is looking out the window, he sees a little Lolita girl attack and kill his professor. An Apocalypse begins. Soon the world is taken over by murderous magical girls, wiping all human life. It turns out that magical girls are descendant of a single witch, and their blood was somehow used to create this end of the world.

10Character:

Most of the characters die. I want to say about three or four of them are major characters, but I am not to sure. All I know is that the story is hella messed up. Plot twists everywhere.

Art:

Its well drawn, but extremely gory. The fan service is also too much, but you can get past that. The magical girls are pretty impressive. They can be creepy and cute at the same time, and take a dark twist to what magical girl powers are like.

Final Thoughts:

This is horrific, but really good as far as horror stories go. I loved this! I honestly thought I wouldn’t, but after getting deeper into the plot, I fell in love. At first it feels sickly and gory, but it got so good so fast. The twists really make it worth it, and I love the magical girls!

-Blog Barista

Magical Girls (who are not quite magical girls)

The post for today is one on a bunch of anime I watched recently that seem to fit that magical genre with out being exactly like magical girls. Some have magical boys involved, and most have really unique twists to the basic story line. I didn’t like most of them to be honest, but they were fun to watch.

When Supernatural Battles Became Common Place by Kota Nozomi

screenFor this anime, I watched about four of the episodes. I really liked the art and concept, and I loved the characters (even if they were a little bit on the basic side). For most people, this anime is great in the first half and the second half tends to be either hit or miss. I really liked it though, and felt that it really was a unique story.

The anime is about the five members of the Senko High School’s Literature Club and the class president; each of which have superpowers that awaken in the first episode. Their superpowers become a part of their day to day menial lives until they get mixed into battling others with similar powers.

The main protagonist is Jurai Ando, the only young man in the literature club and a big ‘chuunibyou’ (which means eighth grader syndrome and is someone who still acts like a child, so basically a big nerd). He is the most excited for the powers that he and his friends get. Because of his nerdiness, he is a great leader and strategist. The only problem is: he got the worst magical power. The “Dark and Dark” is a cold and useless black flame that he can light in his hands and that does about nothing. The other five main characters are all females with much more useful powers such as creating and destroying existence, stopping/speeding up/slowing down time, controlling five elements, and so much more.
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Show by Rock by Geechs

73674lThis anime was a completely different kind of magic. I really went ham with this one and watched almost all of the episodes with out stopping. Its not that this is the best anime on this list, but I enjoyed how ridiculously funny this anime was. The art is extra adorable and I love the characters (for the most part), especially the males from Shingam Crimsonz who are the comic relief for the whole story. The concept was also pretty unique. This was based off of a rhythm video game that had these little three dimensional animal creatures playing the instruments. The anime did a great job incorporating this aspect, making the game story line and the anime story mesh well, and even found away to make something so ridiculous kind of good.

The story is about Cyan Hijirikawa. She is a freshman in high school who loves music and wishes to join the music club (but is way to shy to do so). One night, while playing a rhythm game (*wink wink*), she gets sucked into her smart phone. She ends up in this world called Midi City, where music is almost everyone’s passion. She learns that she is meant to help protect that world from dark monsters and then through a series of events joins a lower (moslty unknown) agency. As a part of the Plasmagica band, she and her new found friends perform together in the music scene while discovering the secrets surrounding the world’s problems and how to get Cyan home.

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The Rolling Girls by Yosuke Miyagi

Rolling☆Girls_Haruhichan.com-Visual-02I saw the concept art for this anime about a year ago and was super excited to check it out, but sadly it was my least favorite. Its an interesting idea, but I felt that the first episode kind of struggled to get my attention and make me want to continue. Weirdly enough, I honestly felt put off by the color scheme too.

This anime is set 10 years after the “Great Tokyo War” in Japan. The country is now split up into city-states and constantly fight each other. The vigilantes who fought in the war became hired as ‘warriors’ that representing their city-states in territorial disputes. The main character Nozomi decides to travel around Japan fulfilling requests and searching for heart-shaped jewels, that can make a person possesses unlimited power.

I think the only thing I can say about this anime is that out of all of the ones listed here, it has the BEST fight scenes! I mean, they are really well made and extra bad-ass and still very girly.

therollinggirls

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Gatchaman Crowds by Toshiya Ono

a32d4b90c43b863b2c25c72febea11e1The final series has to be the coolest one on here. The art is cute and pretty basic (like a shoujo) but with bad-ass cg robots mixed in. It felt like a good mix of kawaii and awesome. I really liked the story line as well. It has the basics needed for a magical girl, but also really sci-fi like at the same time. The characters were so so though. the main character is overly optimistic and basic, but her weird quirk with stationary and never being very surprised with how life works makes her likable. And then the other characters are mixed with some weirdos (that I loved) and some that I didn’t (that little panda -_-).

The series is about a group of teens (and some aliens) who have been recruited as Gatchamen (warriors who fight other aliens with special robot suits powered by their souls).

The newest member is the main character, Hajime Ichinose, a 16 year old, quirky, high school girl. She usually disobeys orders and despite seeming irresponsible, her unique point of view helps her be successful.

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Well guys, that is about it!

-Blog Barista

 

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Kira Kira PUNCH

 

Pilots and New Cartoons Review

Ok so TheBetterCup and I are big fans of cartoons. We grew up in a time where TV was full of cartoons for kids and adults, and so I think it is pretty evident this is not some sort of kid’s phase. Anyways, today we started talking about the cartoons we enjoyed on different networks (Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon) back in the early 2000s and we came across some new cartoons and pilots that we just had to watch. As far as cartoons go, we are big fans of things like Over the Garden Wall, Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Gumball, and Regular Show from Cartoon Network. We also love anime, older Disney cartoons, Gravity Falls, and most of the Nickelodeon shows from the 90s and early 2000s (anyone remember Hey Arnold?). So here we go, some pilots we found today. Disclaimer: these are only opnions. Please go watch them if you want to know whether you will like or hate them.

  • Star vs Forces of Evil-
    Basically this is my opinion of the cartoon. AT first pleasant then it burned.

    Basically this is my opinion of the cartoon. AT first pleasant then it burned.

    This is a Disney channel cartoon and the second Disney Cartoon to be created by a woman (Daron Nefcy). It is a magical girl series about a princess, named Princess Star Butterfly (*blarf*), from another dimension who needs to learn to behave better (so she is sent to Earth).  We watched it sometime in March, before it was officially released, but it was such a disappointment. It was pretty bad. I would say that it was trying way to hard, and was far from original or enjoyable. To know if you will like it, think about the current cartoon Wander Over Yander. The creator worked on this cartoon, so if you liked that you will like this too. Personally I thought it was trash, but then I learned about Riding with Burgess and the Jammers and learned that this is trash, but that is not the worst thing a cartoon could be. The characters suck, and the story sucks. I wanted to like it so much, but just could not.-Blog Barista

    I had so much hope for this one. When they first talked about it in the later part of the fall (November?) I was really excited, because this was the basic magical girl (outer space princess with powers protecting the planet), but god damn was I disappointed. The main bad guy is pathetic, the main character Star is annoying, and the plot feels like it might not go anywhere. I really wanted to like it, I even watched all the episodes that where out (3 or 4 of them) but I couldn’t do, mostly after meeting her animal buddy Princess Unicorn Head (*shudder*). -TheBetterCup

  • Back to Backspace-
    I liked her, she was amiable.

    I liked her, she was amiable.

    This one’s plot was a little confusing. It was about a world where deleted items (from computers and phones) go. The main character is a young woman named Patty who we don’t know much about from just the pilot. There are other characters who work with her (it seems to be her job to welcome and categorize the deleted items, fix misspelled words as spellcheckers, and help deleted items either be rehabilitated to enter the real world again or destroy the evil ones). The premise and main character were great, and I liked the way it was drawn. My only complaint is the color palette which just was ugly and unlikable to me and the side characters. I think that they were a little too annoying and stupid (think of annoying, modern day cartoon style). If they were more likable and better developed, maybe then this would be a good cartoon. Over all I thought it was OK, I would not complain if it was the only thing on one day and I had nothing better to do. -Blog Barista

    This cartoon wasn’t all that bad. I liked the idea behind it and even Patty was enjoyable (the way that she gave zero shits, saying horrendous things as if it were mundane). I felt the style was cute and quirky, especially SweatPants (he reminds me of the cartoons I watched in elementary or middle school). My only problem is the characterization of the two side characters and the villain (which I also hated that he was just a letter F, but I would over look that if he was a better villain). I felt SweatPants and his brother Hersh (is that how its spelled?) where imbeciles, and the bad guy is a joke (like Star’s evil chicken enemy). The bad guys have to be threatening at least in appearance, otherwise the character’s tribulations become a joke as well, and lets be honest, what makes Adventure Time, Steven Universe, or Gravity Falls so fun is the depth. With such lame bad guys the show becomes more like Wonder Over Yander (Hater is a mess), and would probably be better off without a bad guy (like Flap Jack). Even the PowerPuff Girls and Courage the Cowardly Dog had scarier villains. But this is still an ok show. – TheBetterCup

  • Riding with Burgess- hojSo this started off as a nice surprise, but quickly became an atrocity once I met the main character. The plot is as follows, in some distant future (6000’s) due to some error in the network a random guy (his name is Burgess) selling hot dogs (or burgers not sure) on the corner of a street was chosen to be the ambassador of Earth. Burgess is your typical dumbass, not taking anything he does with leaders of the other planets seriously, but somehow his dumbassery works out in the end. Now I like cartoons, even cartoons I don’t like I can watch (such as Uncle Grandpa, Chowder, Clarence, Teen Titans Go, etc), but Burgess ruined this show for me. When I first saw the premise, I immediately fell in love with it, and it reminded me (appearance wise) of Regular Show, so I was hoping the main character would be like Mordecai (early twenties, slightly awkward and lazy young adult who does stupid things, but who recognizes his mistakes and tries to fix them); however, Burgress is beyond obnoxious, and of the four characters we meet I only could stomach the girl, so sadly I could never sit through any other episodes of this show (and I realllllllyyyyyy liked the premise of this show T_T). -TheBetterCup

 I hated the main character, I guess everything else was alright. It was not my thing. Aesthetically I found it displeasing, though I liked the opening sequence. -Blog Barista

  • Jammers-
    I hate this spawn of Satan

    I hate this spawn of Satan

    I refuse to explain anything about this cartoon. I don’t ever want to watch it again. I think it was horrible and I guess if you want you can watch it, but it is really bad in our opinions (I can’t believe I sat through the entire Pilot). It was disgusting…. -Blog Barista

    It was insufferable… -TheBetterCup

  • Twelve Forever-
    Super excited to watch more of this. She is like a Magical Girl!!

    Super excited to watch more of this. She is like a Magical Girl!!

    This is a cartoon pilot by Julia Vickerman. It focuses on a young girl (who never seems to be named, except she is called by Twelve her alter ego/alias), who has a key to an island that represents her subconscious. She has a friend named Shane who is much more mature and very accepting person. There is not much known about them nor the story, other than the fact that Twelve does not want to grow up and Shane is very level headed and that the main bad guy is a woman with a man’s voice and a huge smile. I loved the characters. I thought they were extremely interesting and went well together (and the problems seemed real. Like the fact that the entire episode was focused on how she had to learn to think before acting). Anyways, I really liked the bad guy too. I am not sure her name, but she was called Madam by her lackey and Butt Witch by Twelve. I also loved the art style and sense of humor. I really hope this gets a green light!! -Blog Barista

    Now this was almost everything I wanted in a show (almost because I am not sure how in depth this cartoon can get, but it is just the pilot, so I have hope, and even if it doesn’t I can still like it and watch it). I like the premise (girl who wants to be 12 forever and escapes to her subconscious? Sounds amazing!), I like the style (it is adorable), I like the fact that its a magic girl, I like the characterization of the main character and the boy she hangs out with, and most of all I am so impressed with the bad guy, the Butt Witch! This bitch is scary. She looks like a woman, with a dude’s voice, a happy face, and to top it all the way she reacts is so emotionless and belittling that she actually is scary (she reminds me of Him in the PowerPuff Girls). All in all I like this cartoon, I see potential, and I hope it continues, because I know I enjoyed it. -TheBetterCup

I mean look at how awesome this is.

I mean look at how awesome this is.

Go check out the pilots on the Cartoon Network website if you want, and enjoy the cartoons.

Three Anime Review: Day 5

This is the last day for anime reviews. Sadly tomorrow will be the last day of my winter break, so I am not sure if I will have a lot of time to do much other then pack and prepare to return to school. I actually feel real down about it, and I am not too sure why. School may suck, but it is not horrible. Anyways here we go, today has way more positive and fun anime to watch:

World Conquest Zvezda Plot by Tensai Okamura

3b05f84036bb5560005acd7d5fa392571389110928_fullI picked this anime, because I knew TheBetterCup would like it. I really did enjoy it too, but i feel like the fan service is a bit much. The females tend to be over sexualized and many look like children. Heck the main female character may be hundreds of years old, but she has the body of a seven year older (she uses a tricycle for goodness sake).

Kate Hoshimiya is a little girl and leader of an organization called Zvezda. Their goal is to conquer the world (an extreme act where they are basically trying to create a place where they all can fit in since none of them could be defined as a normal and functional part of society). Kate, or Lady Venera, have many people in her organization that plan on helping her with her dream. Soon, a normal middle school boy named Asuta Jimon (who ran away from home) mistakenly gets involved with the group and ends up joining them as well. Together they fight against the White Light and Japanese government as they attempt world conquest.

Anyways, the art is cute. Though the outfits are a bit ridiculous, it is totally acceptable since we are talking about superheros and villains. I thought it was a great idea and definitely one that I have yet to see in anime. It feels a little weird to cheer for the protagonists that you know are technically the ‘bad guys’ and soon to be ‘over lords’.

Noragami by Adachitoka

NoragamiThis anime was a very nice surprise. I did not expect to like it as much as I did (mostly after browsing and watching through so many bad anime). I was actively searching for an anime that had more religious allusions. and this one was highly recommended. I felt like it was really original, very entertaining and funny, and it did allude to some aspects of Shintoism.

The music in this anime is great. I am not sure what to call it, but there is this one weird song that plays in the background that has some rap in it. I just really liked the music which helped make the fight scenes feel more epic. The art is also really nice. It is not super different, but the characters are well drawn. I really liked how their designs were minimal and their clothing very realistic.

Yato God of War

Yato God of War

Yato is a god of calamity (sometimes called a war god, not sure if their is a defined difference in the anime) who has no home and must wander the streets doing small time jobs as a delivery god till he can buy himself a shrine. After his current Regalia (weapons that come from pure souls) quits on him, he takes on a small scale job of finding a cat. One day, he runs out into the street to catch the cat (as a bus is coming towards him), and a girl named Hiyori Iki (middle school student) pushes him out of the way and gets hit instead. The incident causes her soul to be stuck between the living and the dead and becoming a half phantom. The story focuses on Yato and his new regalia, Yukine, and their attempt to build a suitable shrine, as well as Hiyori’s attempt to become human again.

You end up really liking the characters, and none of them feel annoying or overwhelmingly two dimensional. Yato is really funny, but you can also feel some sympathy for the guy. I mean he is a god struggling to get by in this modern society where the youth does not worship as piously to small time gods like they would have 100 years ago in the country-side. So I think the story was one of a kind.

Orenchi no Furo Jijou by Itokichi

I put the manga picture instead of the anime one because this was super cute.

I put the manga picture instead of the anime one because this was super cute.

I saw this on Crunchyroll and thought ‘this looks so cute’. When I found out it was an all male cast, I worried it was yaoi. After watching a few episodes (each only being four minutes long), we quickly realized it was just a very simple, silly, and straight out weird/unique anime in general. I definitely plan on starting the manga now. The story is just so funny, but in a way that is childlike. I loved the characters, who are all so adorable. None of them are overly annoying, but each of them are cute in different ways and different levels (Agari senpai and Tatsumi are so far battling for cutest character for me).

tumblr_inline_nd1bvulE8i1qdffo3The opening sequence is pretty surprising. It is very dark and hardcore, giving off a completely different feel to what the show was going to be like. The music is rock based, and at one point, the main character seems to be drowning. Yet the actual story is far from dark. It is super charming and cute, and the contrast to the opening was very nicely done. The art is cute. All the characters are well drawn (and they look like the creatures that they are meant to be). They look really bright, not shiny, but bright so the anime seems very colorful and pleasant. They have really nice eyes. Also, the art switches to chibi characters constantly, which lends to the sweetness of the story and comedy.

Tatsumi is a busybody high school boy (whoops I swore he was like 23 or something. I think I have officially reached that age where the anime characters are always younger then me 😦 ). He finds a somewhat self-centered but goodhearted merman named Wakasa stuck on land who ends up moving into his bathtub (because the river is heavily polluted). Later on, Tatsumi meets many of Wakasa’s other sea friends including  an octopus, a jellyfish, a sea snail, and a very shy shark.

Actually, we watched a fourth anime called Shounen Hollywood. It was interesting because the art style was more masculine (akin to shounen anime), but the plot was about male idols. It was just really not that good so I did not talk about it. The story was not bad, but over all it was not that good either.

-Blog Barista

*sparkle*

*sparkle*

Earth Defense Club Love! by Takahashi Natsuko

By now, anyone who has seen our posts should be able to tell that TheBetterCup and I have an interest in magical girls and that genre in general. It is not that it is our favorite, seriously we gave a lot of negative comments to the many of the shows. But for some reason I feel drawn to it some how (probably childhood memories). Anyways, we came upon this anime that was released January 6, and by god let me tell you how wonderful it is. Just promise me that when you decide to watch it, you will go in and not take it to seriously, if you do you will feel upset in the end (many people have done that so far). The purpose of this anime is to make fun of magical girls without being overly serious, without any form of boy love, and without too much ridiculous fan service. You go in knowing the intent, you will definitely find it funny. This was also made into a smart phone game (that seems to be the fashion lately).

Plot Line:

Wombat is the magical creature that gives them their magic. He uses the teacher to be less noticeable (does not work).

Wombat is the magical creature that gives them their magic. He uses the teacher to be less noticeable (does not work).

The story is about these five ordinary and lazy high school boys that meet an alien that looks like a pink wombat. The wombat offers them magical powers to complete their destinies of protecting the earth, but they do not accept right away. Together they become the Earth’s Defense Club (against their initial wishes), and they protect the Earth with the power of Love! They fight people who have become loveless monsters.

Characters:

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo7_400tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo4_400Yumoto Hakone- The main protagonist of the show and leader of the Earth’s Defense Club, Yumoto is your typical air headed and happy-go-lucky main character. He is a lolita type boy that loves cute things, food, and animals (no surprise there). He is the red one in the group, and his powers are light based. He transforms into the Sparkling Prince; Battle Lover Scarlet. He seemed to accept everything very easily, though he was surprised to learn that Wombat was an alien. He is very adaptable, thanks to his carefree personality. His family owns the Kurotamayu bathhouse where the boys hangout. Yumoto is a first year (freshman) and the youngest of the group.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo3_400tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo6_400En Yufuin- En is the lazy character between the group. He does things at his pace/leisure and tends to be the one who questions everything the most. He seems to think deeply about very weird an strange concepts (again questioning every thing). He is a third year (senior) and is best friends with Kinugawa. His go lazy and go with the flow attitude then leads to him to accepting everything, but only after trying to avoid the responsibility at all costs. En is the blue character in the group and his power is unsurprisingly water (which is blue and goes with the flow). He transforms into Flashing Prince; Battle Lover Cerulean. FYI he was our favorite character between the bunch.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo9_400 tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo2_400Atsushi Kinugawa- The smart one in the group, Kinugawa wears glasses, makes great grades, and tends to be the more serious one in the group. He is also best friends with En, childhood friends with Kusatsu (student council president and lead antagonist), and is also a third year (senior). He comes from a very rich family and though he notices how weird things seems, it does not bother him to much. Kinugawa is the green one in the group and his power is air (matches his soft and gentle personality). He transforms into the Piercing Prince; Battle Lover Epinard.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo10_400 tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo1_r1_400Io Naruko- Io’s personality seems to be very focused and tactile. He is very much into money and makes a fortune off of the stock market. He is a second year in high school and is best friends with Ryu. He seems to be the less talkative of the group. Io’s color is yellow and his powers are the earth element (for his reliable and sturdy presence). He transforms into the Roaring Prince; Battle Lover Sulfur.

tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo5_400 tumblr_nhtmltqfnD1tk6djfo8_400Ryu Zaou- Ryu is the lady’s man character. He is both obsessed with girls, and popular among them. Because of his personality, he ends up totally ok with the idea of being a magical boy because of how well he looks in is outfit. He is a second year and best friend of Io. Ryu is the pink character of the group, and his power is fire element (to match is passionate personality). He comes off a little narcissistic, but still a good guy. He transforms into the Thrilling Prince; Battle Lover Vesta.

Artwork:

I know I usually complain about ridiculousness of anime character designs and color coding, but since it is a magical boy genre it is totally fine. Except for a few hair colors, the guys are actually not that extreme in looks, and they follow all the magical girl troops to a satirical T. I really liked the way they were drawn (especially the blue one).

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TheBetterCup says ‘they sing better then the pastry people’.

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Chikuwabu-bu

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What do I love:

tumblr_nhsrsz8TDQ1u1btt3o2_400They question the whole thing from the beginning and even run away from the alien creature when it asks for their help (think of all the young magical girls who just accept right away). tumblr_nhvn52rAZx1sqbbypo1_400They are forced into silly outfits that they cannot take off, they say embarrassing things that they don’t want to say, and they don’t take anything they do seriously (random names for attacks). I loved the fact that their key catchphrase for transformation was ‘Love Making!’ and that their weapons are called ‘love sticks’. We could not stop laughing the entire time we watched.

tumblr_nhsrsz8TDQ1u1btt3o5_400 Even the monsters that they battle are funny too. The whole first episode opens up with two of the characters describing chikuwabu which is this piece of wheat food in udon that is basically nothing at all (something you never eat on its own and is just there). Then there is this boy in their class that is being all sad because he is basically as average as he can get and super unnoticeable. Finally he opens his lunch box to eat and all that is inside are two giant chikuwabu, and he just loses it. he becomes a giant, yankee/yakuza tumblr_nhvn52rAZx1sqbbypo4_400chikuwabu monster. The only things the boys worry about when they see him is that he’s chikuwabu (not that he is a dangerous monster).

I think that the protagonist is a little annoying, but I am pretty sure that was on purpose. I feel like all of this is following magical girl troops to be funny (including having an airhead, main character, leader who is super into all of this). They also sing the opening and ending (seems to be something only anime with only male characters do).

-Blog Barista

poke

poke

Three Anime Review: Day 4

These reviews have been really hard for me to write to be honest. I don’t know it may be because I feel anxious and stressed lately, or maybe because I have not been enjoying the anime we picked, I just don’t have much to say about them. Today, TheBetterCup was to busy to watch anime with me, so I picked them on my own. I like them, and you can tell that they move back toward the anime that usually is seen on this blog (sorry).

Gingitsune by Sayori Ochiai

jbkbjkThis was a very refreshing anime that could be described as a breath of fresh air. It is a supernatural slice-of-life that focuses on a simple small town, a shrine, and the inhabitants near that area. Makoto Saeki is the next heir to a Shinto Shrine in a small town. As the next shrine priest, she can see the messenger god of Inari, Gintaro. Though he seems a little rude and uncaring, he loves Saeki and uses is powers of foresight to help her aid the town’s people.

The art is very nice. The scenery is extremely well made and looks like a painting most of the time. This alone makes the world they live in feel magical. Though I did not feel very drawn into the story (mostly because the characters were just ok to me), I still very much enjoyed the how visually pleasing the art work was.

Locodol by Kotaro Kosugi

futsuu_no_joshikousei_ga_locodol_yatte_mita_pv1This anime is really cute, especially the characters. It has a little bit of fan service (which I am never a fan of), but it is still ok.

The town of Nagarekawa is slowly losing its youth population (who go to more exciting places like Tokyo). Nanako Usami and Yukari Kohinata are ordinary high school residents who are asked to become local idols (locodols) to help garner attention to the town. Later on Yui Mikoze joins as the local mascot, and Mirai Nazukari joins as Yui’s substitute. It is a simple and sweet show that will leave you feeling happy and refreshed. I suggest you try it if you have a little free time. It was my second favorite of the three on this list.

Galilei Donna by Yasuomi Umetsu

GalileiDonna_zps4d28df64I really liked this so far. It reminds m of those awesome RPG games that have some futuristic aspects and some older European themes. It looks so cool. I feel it may try to hard when it comes to the machinery in the show, but I do not mind. The female leads are strong and real cool (love Hazuki the most). I am not too sure what the plot is by just watching episode one, but there seems to be a mystery afoot and I want to continue watching. The music that plays during the show is also very good and so is the character designs (nothing that looks overly ridiculous).

The art is great, but the best part here is the architecture. It is a new level of beautiful attention to detail. I think the characters are also really cute and match well with the environment. I love the character designs where they are still different enough to be noticeable, but are not extremely different either. I really love how the people are drawn in general.

The story opens up with each of the girls almost being kidnapped for some unknown reason. Later after meeting with the police, the family goes to pick up their things from their homes. There they meet Cicinho a captain of an air pirate ship who had been the one attempting to get them (for Galileo’s treasure). The girls end up being accused of terrorism (this some how has to do with a conspiracy that is after Galileo’s inheritance) since they are his descendants. To clear their names, the Ferrari sisters embark in a journey around the world to find the treasure before the others do.

These girls are boss! The youngest is thirteen and her name is Hozuki. She is extremely gifted in science and does a lot of tinkering. She is able to fix cars and bikes. The second youngest is Kazuki and is seventeen. She may seem colder, but she is actually really just timid. She is physically talented and strong. She is a capable fighter and knows Shorinji Kempo. Lastly, the eldest is twenty years old and named Hazuki. She dreams to become a lawyer and she is skilled intelligent and strong willed.

Sorry if this seemed short. This time around I did not get to include some of TheBetterCup’s opinions. I hope you guys enjoy these animes.

-Blog Barista

Doesn't this sort of scene make you feel a little happier?

Doesn’t this sort of scene make you feel a little happier?

Three Anime Review: Day 3

For today’s anime, TheBetterCup picked one, I picked one, and we both picked one that we knew would not be very good at all. I am not very sure why we picked that last one, still right now when I think about it I would like to bang my head against the computer screen. Anyways here the anime we picked for today.

Nagi Asu: A Lull in the Sea by Project-118

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I found this one by mistake, and decided to watch it cause it sounded magical. This was a beautiful anime (visually that is). Everything about the it was gorgeous, and extraordinary. The story focuses on four 14 year old students (Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname)who come from the ocean floor. After their school closes down, they have to start going to school on land, and they must attempt to adjust to their new environment (both the land and ocean people are full of prejudice, mistrust, and judgment). By slowly creating a relationship with a son of a fisherman (Tsumugu), they are able to go past their prejudice and accept each other. While growing together and facing personal feelings (that come with this age), they also have to worry with the keeping the Sea God pleased as the Land People move away from the ancient traditions.

I really liked the art of this anime, but the characters did not win me over in the first episode (so I will not continue watching), except I really liked Tsumugu. Anyways, it was not bad. I think if this went more down a ‘Ghibli’ path like more innocence and growing and less interest in love (like adults), then this would be great. Like I loved the ideas of Manaka getting that fish on her knee type curse, or getting caught in a fishing net. It was all so cute. And I know I said this before, but the art was AMAZING!

Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie written by Ryo Aoki

horriblesubs-bonjour-sweet-love-patisserie-01-480p15-12-27Bonjururu everyone!

This was the one that was bad. I hated it (at least that is my initial reaction, I admit the parts with out the teachers as love interests are not that bad). It was only five minutes for each episode, but I felt like those were bad five minutes spent. The story is really cliche to the point that the pastry chef teacher were glittery and spinning when they ‘baked’ goods. They looked like magical girls. The opening sequence had the men flying in space riding giant desserts for goodness sake. It wasn’t even meant to be a comedy (if it was this would not be so bad). This anime was made as hype for an otome game, but it may have been a better idea to release the game first. Then it would do what Diabolik Lovers did and become successful through the fan base (cause in a game this would not feel ridiculous).

The art can be cute sometimes, but you can tell there are times were it just looks bad. Also the side profiles are not very good. The scenery is nothing special (even the pastries are nothing special). The characters seem poorly designed (look better for the games to be honest) with unrealistic colors for hair and really tacky clothing (personally).

Sayuri Haruno begins to attend an elite confectionery school that looks like a castle called Fleurir (cliche French word as name) on a scholarship. She dreams to open a pastry shop. While at school she meets several ‘charming’ young men including three teachers, one student, and two other men who are the brothers one of the teachers. One of the teachers has a fiance he is being forced to marry too. Just add that to the number of really random and unnecessary parts to this. All of these men have very basic personalities, and so do all the class mates. Sayuri is your typical Otome game heroine (anyone who plays knows what I mean), so none of the characters stand out in any way. Not a lot of time is given for these characters to form deep relationships and talk about their dark pasts, it is just so fast. Should I also mention that the head teacher is so out to get the main character girl, that every male she is seen with is accused of being in a ‘illicit sexual relationship’ with her (even when they made that dog a birthday gift). Even their voices are typically what you would expect. And oh god! How could I forget, the male characters SING the intro and ending themes. As TheBetterCup puts it, ‘they sing badly’ on top of all of it too. But you know, I can kind of see how the anime would be a fun way of killing a little time.

Kyousougiga by Miho Maruo

bAvjZFeThis one feels harder to talk about. The plot is a little confusing, and it is hard to tell just from initial impression whether it will be good or not. I feel like it has so many things I adore, but two simple things make it hard for me to jump on the train.

Myoe, a priest with the ability to give life to his drawings, was treated as an outcast by the villagers in his town. One of his drawings, a black rabbit called Koto, falls in love with him and makes a deal with Bodhisattva to take human form (Lady Koto). Together they start a family by taking in a war orphan named Yakushimaru, and drawing two others, Yase and Kurama. Because of circumstances, they chose to live in a different plane in one of the cities Myoe drew. But Lady Koto has to keep her promise and must leave. Myoe and Lady Koto leave the children in hopes of discovering a way to stay together, and the children wait for centuries in hopes that their parents keep their promise of return (I love the kids who each end up being a little messed up since their parents left, and I love the parents who always tried their best). After all that time waiting, a girl named Koto (protagonist) appears. The story of her attempt to go home, to discover her past, and of the children bringing back their parents becomes complex and interesting fast. But most of all, I have a feeling it may not end perfectly (maybe its still happy, but I have this feeling it has a bitter sweet end). It may be the fact that the dad says ‘I will come back with the beginning and the end one day’ while the mom’s presences threatens the stability of the universe.

The art is gorgeous and the idea is unique. I felt drawn to it by the story of the parents, while I think TheBetterCup was first interested in the solar system opening scene. I love the fact that this has some mythological/religious allusions. Also, it gives off a very surrealistic and tragic vibe. What makes it hard for me to love right away is that I feel like it won’t end very happily. I would not mind if was with out me knowing, but since I have this feeling in the beginning its hard to continue. The story is just Wow. I cried so much, and I love all the characters. The sound track is amazing, and it is all so well thought out. I know I have the feeling something bad will happen, but still really want to watch this, I probably will.

These were enjoyable and 2 of the 3 were definitely very beautiful. I am not sure if I would continue any of them (probably would continue Kyousougiga if it was not so sad). I feel maybe if they were more slice-of-life and simplistic in plot it would be more enjoyable, but I could be wrong in that assumption. Trust me though, I really do like sh***y baking animes. Yumeiro Patissiere was my jam in like 11 grade!

-Blog Barista

I wanna live here!

I wanna live here!

Three Anime Review: Day 2

I think I may need a break from all the love stories soon. So many of the manga I read lately have to do with love. I really need a change of pace soon. Anyways, today’s anime had love in it, but two of the three were definitely a change in pace. Was this a ‘good’ change? Probably no, but still. Today’s review is not as positive as the first day’s.

Daibolik lovers by Shinobu Tagashira

Diabolik-Lovers-OP-1-1

Oh God. This piece of ‘art’ is something I have known about before. Both TheBetterCup and I like otome games, so of course we have stumbled over this before. When I saw that this was an anime, I just had to watch it. Now to get serious, and I am sorry but this is just my opinion, this is a piece of garbage. The game is something that I cannot stomach very much (you need to have specific taste to be able to enjoy it) and the anime is somehow even worse. The art is nothing special, the characters are as basic as an anime can get, and the creepiness of the entire thing just does not help it. I hate yanderes. I understand that some people love them, but I personally just find the idea scary and unappealing.

The story line goes like this: When Yui’s father moves abroad, she is sent to live in a new town. She soon discovers that the six Sakamaki brothers (yeah send your teen age daughter to live in a home alone with six men who are some what abusive, great) are vampires. They abuse her psychologically and physically, often feeding off her. Some how this girl optimistically accepts her situation. I honestly could care less ‘why’ or ‘how’ she is connected to them. This stinks of trash to me. Neither of us could sit through the first episode comfortably, and half way through (since it was obvious that this twisted reverse harem was poorly written) you won’t even care about the actual plot. I regret ever seeing the game, and I really regret the anime. I really should have known better. But, there are many who do like this. So if this seems to be interesting to you then please try it. It was not for us, but you never know if you like it with out trying, right?

DRAMAtical Murders by Nitro+chiral

drBoth TheBetterCup and I had mixed feelings about this one. We picked it cause the name was just so intising. The art was for the most part very well done (excluding a few of the characters that is), and the setting was also great. This was also a game before being an anime. It was really well drawn, mostly the scenery. The characters were over all good, except the main characters stuck out a little to much. Their entire beings were shiny (like plastic) and colorful, and they did not match well with the distopian, cyberpunk background. Even before the story began, or the characters were introduced, you could tell who was a main character only because their clothing were more noticeable to ridiculous levels. The grandmother of the main character also had stupid looking, unnatural looking hair (worse then usual). It is a rule of ours that anime with characters that have brightly colored, unrealistic hair and ridiculous clothing are usually what we ignore (think the most recent Pokemon). Crazy weird looking anime characters, with eye brows or eyes that show through hair, and characters that use cards or animals to battle each other make the hall mark  of anime in the eyes of western society. Those are usually not good anime. This one had some hints of that, but if it had kept a creepier and darker plot line it would have been fine.

Aoba Seragaki lives in the poorer portion of town called Old Residential District and works in a store called Junk Shop Mediocrity. He hopes to live a peaceful life, but is soon dragged into the popular cyber game Rhyme. Here they use Allmates (mobile devices disguised as robot animals) to battle in a virtual world. The story is full of disappearing people, gang turf wars, and a struggle between the gangs in Old Residential district against the owner of Platinum Jail (the rich resort area, why was ‘jail’ a good idea for the name?). This is actually a BL game (boys love), so the male main character falls in love with one of the other guys.

Ao Haru Ride by Io Sakisaka

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_43pxoi8ni680g0kcokw40gc00_1280Ao Haru Ride is one my of my all time favorite manga. It follows the typical love story with a girl meeting her childhood love and rekindling those feelings, but there is so much more to love. Yes there is a lot of drama, but all of that is not the simple love story problems. It focuses more on the hardships of disease and familial death. I found the drama to be of deeper kind, and all of the characters are actually quite complex and wise. I ended up loving all the characters, and actually cheer for both the male love interests (both are so wonderfully cute!). I am getting ahead of myself let me tell you what the anime is about first. It is a great way to introduce yourself to the manga.

140Futaba Yoshioka is a very cute and feminine girl who tries her hardest to act in an unattractive way (no longer feminine) in an attempt to keep from being ostracized like she was when she was in middle school. Some time in the second semester of freshman year in high school, she meets Kou Mabuchi (a boy from middle school who she loved and never got the chance to be with). 148Kou went from being a sweet, shy, and calm person in middle school to a much colder man in high school. the story revolves around her recreating herself, reliving the love she felt for Kou, and learning what he went through to make him so different. They make many friends along the way, and all the characters are really wonderful.

The art work is very great, though the manga is even better. The characters are long limbed and the girls have these really nice and round eyes. I also love how the artist includes the details of lips (many manga/anime just never define the lips). I love the story, I think it is cute how they progress through there relationship. It’s not just ‘oh I hate you’ and then ‘no really I love you’. In this, I felt there was a slow progress. Best part is, at one point you could actually see the two main characters not getting together in the end. It made it seem a little more natural and realistic knowing that it may not work well. Usually I am all for a main male who teases and is a little mean to the girl, but I really liked Kou the way he was before. I wanted him to stay sweet, soft spoken, and shy. And Toma is so wonderful, I love how he blushes so hard all the time (so cute…..). The story also does not focus on only the girl understanding herself and feelings, and connecting with friends. Much of the time also focuses on Kou reaching out to his friends and understanding himself more.

So I know these were not as positive, but we went out of the general genre that we do here on this blog so that is good. Anyways tell me what you think about these anime in the comments below. 🙂

-Blog Barista

I think this image captures the feeling of the manga very well.

I think this image captures the feeling of the manga very well.

Three Anime Review: Day 1

So I only have one week of freedom left, and TheBetterCup has already begun her school for this second semester. We decided that we would watch three anime each day this week until my school begins. Our choices ranged from randomly picking based on name to picking based only on the cover art to hunting down those we promised to watch but forgot. Some are pretty bad, some huge disappointments, and some fantastic. Now lets get started.

Edo Nekoe Jubei Otogizoshi by Maru Nagao

jubeiThis was picked because of the art style. It looks old fashioned, with some traditional aspects mixed with anime and that goes well with the plot line. The story is about this young man and a mythical two tailed beast (basically a talking cat). Jubei, the young man, is a cat painter in Edo and each episode tells of the different encounters he has with the cats in the city, usually with some little magical elements.

What we did not know till we watched the first episode is that this is actually more of a moving manga. Everything is drawn as manga panels with only some parts actually moving (like blinking eyes or cat’s tail swishing). You hear them talk, and you hear the sound effects (like of a person walking), but there is not all the movement to go with it.I really liked the idea, and I felt the simplicity of that style suited the era of story line very well. Everything is drawn great, especially the cats, and the story just panels in and out as the episode progresses. It is very whimsical. The main character is very likable with his understanding and calm personality. The cat demon is very sarcastic and crude sense of humor. He also has a very deep voice. The first episode was very sad, but it was a wonderful way of introducing the plot and anime.

Denki Gai no Honya-san by Asato Mizu

i90SQ91uiMXNyThis is a much stranger anime that focuses on the workers in a manga store. Each of the coworkers are unique and a little strange (some very strange), all become very close friends. It is a typical slice of life but with the characters being more ‘moe’ than sometimes natural. It was a good watch though. despite the cute art style, this is more for adults with concepts of yaoi and erotic manga being commonly mentioned (whole plot of episode 1).

The art is super cute, and more a style that TheBetterCup liked verses my own taste. It is very chibi-like and moe, but it works well with the story type. It is youthful and matches with the innocent feel. It is overall very funny and sweet, but more for adults. Only one thing really stuck out to me in a way that was a little ridiculous. I just cannot understand how the female main characters are about two feet shorter then all the other people (male and female).

Wolf Girl and Black Prince by Ayuko Hatta


vkss_ookami_shoujo_to_kuro_ouji_ch_005_img001I picked this one off of a whim, I thought it would match the anime I usually liked. To be honest, I wanted more from this anime. I feel like the plot has so many possibilities that were not taken. The opening sequence had so many scenes that were never actually shown. The story is about a wolf girl (young girl that lies about most all things) who needs the most popular boy to help her by pretending to be her boyfriend. He accepts readily, but only in the condition that she becomes his dog (he is super twisted). In the anime, I hated how desperate she was and how cruel he was. At one point, it felt hard to continue. This sort of thing was a little less extreme in the manga (at least to me). I really wished that the part where they keep up the charade lasted longer. I feel like this girl fell in love very quickly, by like episode three, and it was to a guy who is not very nice to begin with. But some where in the middle of the anime, he just gives a complete turn around.

I really like the art style. It is the typical shoujo art, but the author is really great at ikemen (handsome men). So most of the best parts was how well drawn the cute guys were. I was really surprised by how much I ended up liking the manga. I say try it if you got the time.

-Blog Barista

7

Space Dandy- by Masafumi Harada

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So, I seem to be posting about once a week, and it will probably stay that way for a while. It is only the end of week three and I already feel overwhelmed in university. Honestly, I had so many posts planned, but between classes, studying, and tutoring/working, I find it hard to get in time for sleeping let alone writing awesome posts on anime and mythology. Anyways, my sister and two friends stayed up real late Saturday night, and decided to watch Space Dandy.  TheBetterCup had mentioned that this reminded her of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, and all four of us knew how messed up that show was (none of us recommend it). So we looked this up and saw the plot preview; then we watched episode one. We all fell in LOVE with this anime and the characters. I definitely recommend it!

Plot:

Space Dandy follows the story of an alien hunter named Space Dandy as he and his robot assistant search the universe for unknown alien races. They are (and I am quoting this from another site) “dimwitted and next to useless.” That is actually really apparent from the beginning and it is just so funny! I am not sure there is much else for the plot. Each episode something new happens, and there are discontinuities between them. For instance they may die in one and be back for the next episode. It is a lot of heroic stupidity which is extremely amusing and interesting.

Character:

tumblr_myzko34v9o1qzqnxxo1_500Dandy is the main protagonist and titular character. He is an idiot basically. He does as he pleases and tends to be forgetful sometimes. I feel like he must have gone through an existential crisis at one point where he questioned the point of doing things he did not want to, and it lead him to be easy going. Dandy is captain of Aloha Oe (their ship). He is super exaggerated, ridiculous, and comes off as a greaser from the 50s. Though he is super heroic person, he comes off as a total goofball and super uncool. Basically, he is an antihero.
24063QT is the robot member of Dandy’s space crew. He is the most intelligent and competent of the three characters, but also the one that easily gets sucked into doing stupid stuff with Dandy and Meow. He is a pretty old model though, so no matter how great or smart he is, the old software causes him lots of trouble.
tumblr_n8a05zh7wi1rsfepao1_500Meow is the very slow cat-like alien that joins the Aloha-Oe crew. His real name is hard to pronounce. His job on the ship is to lead Dandy to rare aliens. Meow is a big ole’ pervert too, but in a shy and embarrassed sort of way.
Art:
The art style is fantastic. I just adore everything about it. The characters are extremely expressive and the movements are lanky and exaggerated. The series keeps the unique flare like Bo-bobo, but also includes some very beautiful graphics. When you see the space, you just fall in love with how gorgeous it is and how colorful it is too.
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Final Thoughts:

I definitely loved this anime. I am too excited to continue watching more episodes and utterly delighted to have found it. It is hilarious with how extremely ridiculous Dandy and his buddies are, and I adore how they frequently break the fourth wall. Space Dandy is random, fun, well written, and fantastically drawn. I recommend this one hundred percent.

-Blog Barista

With the pressure this semester feeling almost suffocating, this is what I am like before most classes.

With the pressure this semester feeling almost suffocating, this is what I am like before most classes.

Love Lab- by Ruri Miyahara

Untitled

TheBetterCup and I stumbled on this anime about 3 months ago. It is so promising. From its characters to the plot, the cartoon is just likable. I highly recommend it.

-What is the cartoon about?

Love Lab follows the story of the Fujisaki Girls Academy’s student government body. The school is especially pretigious with students who are extremely proper. They all admire the most demure and perfect student, the school president Natsuo Maki. The main character though, Riko Kurahashi, is very a forward tomboy that is also highly regarded for her strength and courage. One day Riko acciddently sees Maki kissing a body pillow and learns the president’s secret that she is not as composed as people believe. She promises to protect the secret and to help Maki learn how to behave during romantic activities. Slowly the others of student government body also get involved.

-Who are the central characters?

love-lab-cast

Eno (top left), Maki (bottom left), Riko (center), Suzune (right), Sayo (farthest right)

Riko Kurahashi is the main character of the series. Very popular among females because of her bold personality, she joins the student council so as to help Maki with love advice. She acts as if she knows a lot about love (though since she is more practical, she really does understand more than Maki), but lied about her previous romantic experiences.

Maki Natsuo is the president of Fujisaki Girls Academy. She is polite, calm, and perfect to the point that most every student and teacher loves her. She is extremely capable and talented, but oddly enough, she fails at anything to do with love. She really wants to learn more about romance, and owns a body pillow called Huggy that she uses to practice with. It is with Riko’s help that she learns about romance, and learns to be able to rely on others for help.

Suzune Tanahashi is the student council secretary. She is small, shy, and easily frightened. At first she tries to avoid and hide from Riko and Maki, but soon joins in their antics. She makes all the paper fans that are used to slap each other with (these slap sticks are a recurring joke, where one character, usually Riko, will hit Maki with the paper when she is being ridiculous like slap stick comedy).

Yuiko Enomoto (Eno) is the former student council president. Eno is a tsundere that holds a small grudge against Maki at first because of Maki’s inability to rely on others. After some time she and her best friend Sayo rejoin the student council. Eno joins as new vice president.

Sayori Mizushima (Sayo) is the former and rejoined student council treasurer. She has a strange and almost wicked personality, but is really very caring. She loves money and becomes greedy with the student council money (which is why she was kicked out of the student council), but joins again later. She is the only girl with a boy friend at the start of the anime.

-How is the Artwork?

The art is super cute with very few flaws or laziness occurring through out the series. They also switch into chibis and exaggerated expressions very easily making it even cuter. I just love how it is drawn.

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-What makes the cartoon awesome?

The story is ridiculous, but cute. The characters are more than 2D. They are extremely likable with very prominent personalities, but they are not predictable at all. The way they interact with each other are so enjoyable.Best of all this anime, though focused on girls and love, has male characters. I have seen some anime where girls struggle to fall in love with boys with out any appearing in the anime, but this one does not do that.

-Blog Barista

Could you imagine a Disney princess like Maki. Now that I think about it Charlotte was pretty close.

Could you imagine a Disney princess like Maki. Now that I think about it Charlotte was pretty close.

Tatami Galaxy- by Tomihiko Morimi

ep3titleI am ready to introduce to you the strangest possible anime I have ever encountered. I have no idea how TheBetterCup stumbled over this jewel, but you know this is one that I am so excited to have found and get to watch. It is wonderful, unique, bizarre, and beautiful. There are few anime that people out side of Japan can see that escapes from the basic molds in plot and characters, but Tatami Galaxy is one of those.

-What is the cartoon about?

How do I explain the plot? The story is about this third year university student that is never named. He went into uni thinking he would have the most idealistic and magical time being super social and doing lots of cool activities, but in freshman year he met a bad egg named Ozu. He ends up having the exact opposite of the social life he imagined, doing crazy almost immoral things that make people hate him. His only other friend is this first year girl named Akashi who he made a promise to (but the promise changes each episode).

-Who are the central characters?

nkdsThe Unnamed Protagonist is a young college student who feels he has wasted about half of his wonderful college years because of bad company. I feel like he is an anti-hero with a tendency to blame others for his bad choices (just stop listening to the demon child and life will be great). He is super straight faced, almost unemotional at times. He comes off as super logical, but proves to be the opposite of how he seems. He is easily manipulated by Ozu to do immoral things that destroy his idealistic college social life, usually Ozu pokes at his emotions to do this, inciting great anger from the protagonist. He is super shy which obviously does not help him in the whole making friends department. The Unnamed Protagonist is the most realistic and ‘normal’ character, but also the most powerless and easily pushed around (like he has no idea what is going on).

hfdbjldOzu is the weird pointy eared, pointy teeth, bad egg that The Unnamed Protagonist ‘befriends’. He seems to represent evil, and actually comes off like a demon that is haunting the protagonist. He is a third year student that is very mischievous messing with everyone’s lives by acting like he is helping but actually making it all worse. Sometimes, Ozu helps the antagonist just to mess with the main character and cause him distress. He is great at manipulating people, mostly our protagonist (first time I saw him I was weirded out by the fact that he blinked and his eyes closed horizontally). He seems all knowing at times and acts as a foil to the protagonist.

djkAkashi is the main love interest and what seems like the sole ‘friend’ to the protagonist. She is very stoic (breaking out of that very rarely), and she comes off as apathetic, but really she is sweet and likes the main character. She is a freshman who has an extreme fear of moths and needs to touch one of her key chains to calm down when feeling anxious (she lost one and the narrator found it, but he does not have the balls to give it back to her). She disagrees with all the bad stuff he and Ozu do, but she always helps him out of a bind. The narrator makes a different promise to her every episode, usually he does not keep it by the end of the episode, but the original promise is to take her out for ramen (which he also struggles to do till the end).

-How is the Artwork?

The art is super weird as far as anime is concerned. It is in a traditional animation style mixed with modern anime style. It is very vibrant with very realistic backgrounds, but it is always colored in a very monochromatic type of way. Only the characters are left white with black outlines, as if they were unfinished. The actual movement is very exaggerated and cartoony.

tumblr_lxrp3lreOR1qc0iibo1_500 tumblr_lkekcma2Um1qgpkhro1_500 giphy tumblr_lws8ob0Jyt1qeumowo1_500 tumblr_lgxwzzr6rG1qzypfko1_500 tumblr_mv9hz4agrH1r922azo1_500 tumblr_lrtvt5loXx1qdc388o1_400 tumblr_mhkz79olgg1rxa6lco1_r3_500 tumblr_m4lkdxHcNb1qju1iho1_500

-What makes the cartoon awesome? 

There are so many reasons to why this is a good anime. I personally loved the concept and how it was set up. The episodes have a strange deja vu quality. It is very repetitive, changing the social group and promise but always revolving around the same ideas of the protagonist being mad that he was manipulated to be bad, have an non-ideal college life, and having some sort of feelings for Akashi that end in a promise that he fails to keep (until the end that is). Some times the narrator becomes self aware and notices the time loop, breaking the fourth wall. There is a Tatami Galaxy (a universe with many unending halls and rooms type thing) that is a recurring theme, and so lots of weird happenings that make no sense in one episode will be explained in another as if each episode was a different universe, and they connected through those little details. This is full of adult themes like drinking, lust, fetishes, and just being an asshole (but no like explicit scenes so no worries). I also enjoyed how they depicted the characters, who are far from cookie cutter and so very flawed/strange. The protagonist speaks so very fast it makes it all dizzying adding to just how bizarre it all feels. Just try it out, it is so worth a try.

-Blog Barista

Don't you wish you knew what the heck was going on here?

Don’t you wish you knew what the heck was going on here?

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha- by Masaki Tsuzuki

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When it comes to magical girls, there are few who are as well known as Nanoha. I see it as a trinity of the most famous magical girls: you have the one directed at girls the goddess of magical girl’s Sailor Moon, you have the one directed at young men the innocent yet not super girly Nanoha, then you have the one directed at old men the fucked up story of Madoka. I first watched this anime in the 2nd year of high school, and then I completely forgot about it. My initial thought is that the style is not very aesthetically pleasing, but as I re-watched and paid more attention to the plot I learned that the main character is a third grader with lots of panty shots (more tastefully done then most of our 80’s counterparts yet still displeasing).

What is this anime about?

magical-girl-lyrical-nanoha- dl

Though I said that the art is not cute. this one scene was perfection. I feel like the artists were lazy the entire time, and then BAM they put in a lot of effort at one small point.

The story follows Nanoha as she becomes mixed up with an archaeologist from a parallel world. Yuno needs her help to collect twenty one Jewel Seed, ancient artifacts that prove to be dangerous when they come in contact with living beings causing them to become monsters. One day, Yuno becomes badly hurt while fighting one monster and transforms into a ferret. Nanoha finds him and takes him to a veterinarian for medical aid. He sees that she has a strong talent with magic and requests her help. Together they gather Jewel Seeds as Nanoha continues to live her ordinary little girl life.

Who are the central characters?

nanoha_wp02

Nanoha Takamachi: Nanoha is the brunette in the for front of the picture that sports pigtails. She is the protagonist and titular character of the anime series. Nanoha is your normal everyday nine year old that goes to elementary school. She lives with her parents and two older siblings. Her only problem in her life is that she feels distant and directionless. She always feels like a third wheel (her parents focus on each other, her older siblings are closer to each other and not so much with her, and even her two friends are better friends with each other), has no close friend, and has no idea what she wants in life (she is only nine though so I do not see why she worries about this one). Anyways when she meets Yuno, Nanoha learns that she has a special aptitude with magic. Nanoha is a typical sweet third grader. She is dense, trusting, and innocent. Yet she also proves to be supportive, insightful, and diplomatic heroine. One of her more unique characteristics is her ability to be understanding of other characters (instead of just falling into the Misunderstandings that come up in the over dramatic magical girl plot line).

Yuno Scrya: Yuno is the little blonde boy in the back of the picture. He is a magical humanoid from a parallel world called Midchilda. He is nine years old and works as an archaeologist (duh). He recruits Nanoha’s help to collect the Jewel Seeds. Yuno is super responsible for a nine year old. He is very reliable and level head.

Fate Testarossa: Fate is the second main protagonist (like a second magical girl) who is also Nanoha’s rival for most of the series. At the end she becomes Nanoha’s friend. She has a very sad back story that i will not tell for fear of ruining the story. She is searching for the Jewel Seeds to give to her mother for certain purposes. She is the serious, quiet, lonely, mature, and super beautiful character (that is like the mold for the rivals in magical girls). Fate is kind of naive sometimes, and tends to be a little shy so she hides behind her toughness. At first she dislikes Nanoha, but slowly opens up (of course) revealing her kindness and protectiveness.

Arf/Alph: The tall red head in the back. Arf is the familiar of Fate. She is very loyal and the only freind Fate had. zshe is protective of Fate, can use teleportation powers,and can communicate telepathically. She is a puppy/wolf from the world Midchilda. She almost died with a disease and was saved by Fate.

How is the art?

I would describe the art as ugly and bad. Now do not get me wrong, this is part is completely based on opinion, I just do not find this style pleasing aesthetically. The characters are those thicker kinds, with huge eyes that are too big for the face and placed too low on the face, with mouths to high up, and ridiculous hair. I know they are little girls but they do not look like third graders, they look more like they are in eighth grade (which maybe would have been a better idea). Every once and a while the art changes and becomes super nice, which is why I think that the whole thing could have been better. My biggest complaint in the art is the hair off the characters. All the characters have the exact same fringe where the bangs stick out on the side. It is extremely generic, unoriginal, and unrealistic (not to mention the fact that there are way to many Japanese third graders depicted with colorful hairstyles. That would never happen in real life). But you should be the judge for yourself.

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What was awesome?

My final thoughts concluded to be a little more positive then what I expected. The plot is different and very intricate which is always great. The transformation was interesting and unlike any other magical girl thus far. Many consider it to be one of the better transformations, but I disagree. I hate the panty shots, mostly because she is only eight or nine years old and that is fucking sick and disturbing to see fanservice like that, but it is not alarmingly out there and disgustingly ridiculous like many others. I would just like a round of applause for the character designer, who some how created the one magical girl whose outfit covers her entire body (with out it being body hugging clothes) and yet still finds a way to try and sexualize her. I will leave you on a serious note. Though I was not a fan of the panty shots, character design, or art style in general; the story is still incredibly unique and many people loved it. The only way you can possibly know if it is good is if you watch and be your own judge.

-Blog Barista

This is what true fabulous looks like... only Pewds knows how it feels

This is what true fabulous looks like… only Pewds knows how it feels

Sugar Sugar Rune- by Moyoco Anno

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Sorry these are coming late, but here’s the 25th magical girl anime, Sugar Sugar Rune. Off the bat I can say it is a cute show, and it is not entirely the typical magic girl. The plot seems basic at first, but becomes intricate with drama and good guys turning bad, and so are the characters. Ironically the witch type of magic they use is unique as most magic girls don’t use what westerners traditionally consider magic. All in all, I don’t like it, but I don’t hate it either.

What is the anime about?

11The Magical World is having their crowning ceremony where the future queen is chosen between two young witch candidates. To determine who will be queen they send the witches to the Human World where they compete to collect the hearts of boys. The one who has the most by the end of the competition is the winner. This time the two candidates are not only best friends, but also complete and total opposites, Chocolat Meilleure (daughter of a former competitor from the last competition) and Vanilla Mieux (daughter of the current queen). Aided by a guardian/pop idol, Rockin Robin, and their furry companions, they first set out to collect hearts, but they soon realize that they have many other things to deal with. An evil king named Glace, mysterious boys, and a friendship strained by rivalry. Yup drama bombs.

Heart Rankings

So the girls collect these stones, which house the emotions someone feels towards another thing. Doing so tends to dull the intensity of that emotion in a person; however, if it is strong a second heart appears instantaneously. The Magical world uses these gems as an energy source. Each type of heart varies in emotion/strength/color.

Yellow/jaune is surprise and the lowest heart.

Orange is infatuation.

Green/vert is friendship.

Blue is respect.

Rainbow is amusement

Pink/Rose is limerence (romantic attraction with an obsessive need to have their feelings reciprocated).

Purple/violet is forbidden love.

Red/rouge is passionate love.

Black/noir is hatred/jealousy/fear.

White/blanc is a purified noir heart and is used to turn familiars into their former forms.

Who are the central characters?

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Chocolat Meilleure [In French, meilleure is comparative form of the word ‘good’ so when translated it becomes ‘better’]

❤ Extroverted, aggressive, energetic, forceful, and tomboyish, Chocolat is the most popular witch in the Magical World. She expects to be just as loved in the Human World, but her intimidating nature causes all the boys to fear her (yet her personality lets her become close friends with boys rather then a love interest). She is never afraid of creepy crawlies or snakes, and she introduces herself by threatening to kick anyone’s ass if they cross her. She has a caring and loyal personality (like all magical girl protagonists) and always encourages Vanilla, but she acts as if she does not and is prideful. Her familiar is Duke, and her mom is Cinnamon (there is a huge wtf moment when you learn who is her father).

Her spell is Sugar Sugar Rune! Choco-Rune!

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Vanilla Mieux [In French, mieux is comparative form of the word ‘well’ so when translated it becomes ‘better’]

❤ Vanilla is the opposite of Chocolat and the second candidate to be the next witch. She is extremely shy, gentle, sensitive, and kind, but because of how timid she is if she is nervous and scared she immediately starts crying and is a bit clumsy. She is organized, intelligent, compassionate, and cute so she is very popular among boys in the Human World (not so much in the Magical World, which is not good for her, since she is the current princess). Compared to Chocolat Vanilla is very dutiful, but at one point she does start to feel insecure and inferior to Chocolat, which leads to a lot of drama involving the Ogre Kingdom. Her familiar is Blanca, and her mom is Candy. Her love interest is Houx.

Her spell is Sugar Sugar Rune! Vani-Rune!

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Pierre Tempete de Neige

❤ The most popular boy in school, handsome, and the president of the student council, we all know that this is Chocolat’s romantic interest. He’s captain of the fencing club and tennis club, and he as a fanclub of crazy, mean middle school girls. He, however, has a cold heart and is quite mysterious, nonchalant, and uptight. He also proves to be the basic tsundere, as he slowly reveals his feelings. He is involved in most of the drama, and his past is part of a huge plot twist, so I cannot say anything else without giving away something important.

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Duke and Blanca

❤ Duke is Chocolat’s familiar and a frog. He is laid back with a “go with the flow” attitude. He isn’t very helpful, but he does have an extensive knowledge on hearts. He has an intense rivalry with Blanca, and he is also a giant flirt. There is a plot twist with him, revealing his past and some important familial ties. Blanca is Vanilla’s familiar and a sassy mouse. She can be snobbish and mean as she teases others, but she is really loyal to Vanilla. She really wants Vanilla to win and will do anything, even cheat. Her story is not as important to the story of the show, so I don’t mind revealing a little bit. She was once a witch, who lost her heart to a human (she fell in love), so as punishment she became a familiar.

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Cinnamon Meilleure and Candy Mieux

❤ These are the mothers of Chocolat and Vanilla. I will say nothing here, except that they were previous Queen candidates. From the start we get that Candy is selfless, caring, and a great queen. Little is known of Cinnamon (without ruining the story). Just keep an eye out for them and their story.

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Houx and Soul (their names are the french words for holy and willow)

❤ They are twin brothers who are also childhood friends with Chocolat and Vanilla. Both have a crush on Chocolat, even though Vanilla likes Houx. They both go to the Human World to protect the girls. They are brash, brave, and always getting into trouble.

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Rockin’ Robin

❤ Chocolat and Vannila’s guardian in the Human World. He is a pop idol, and steals the hearts of his fans during his concerts. He seems rude and straight forward, but he does have a caring heart. He’s also over 6000 years old.

How is the artwork?

The art is definitely cute and a bit unique. The eyes are enormous, the chins are thin and pointy, the legs and arms are long, and the outfits are extravagant. Its obviously a shoujo with lots of pink.

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What makes this awesome?

The manga is better then the show, with a lot more drama. The magic reminds me of the western version of witches you think of during Halloween. Another unique aspect of the show is that the girls’ hearts can become black, when they fall into “despair,” and their hearts can be saved. Its like a nicer version of Madoka.

-TheBetterCup

Ahhhh summer :)

Ahhhh summer 🙂

Episode 1:

Nanatsuiro Drops- by Tamaki Ichikawa

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Nanatsuiro Drops came out in 2007, when I was somewhere in middle school. It was an anime where I watched the first episode and then completely forgot about it till now. It was not that the story was bad, but as cute as it seems, the animation style still bothered me too much as a kid. Now that I grew up a little, that does not bother me at all. Its a cute story and the 24th magical girl in our marathon (which is slowly coming to a close).

What is the anime about?

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One day, Masaharu, a young student, bumps into a strange figure. A potion of his is accidentally swapped with Masaharu’s soda, and when he drinks it he finds himself transformed into stuffed animal sheep. Each night he becomes the stuffed animal and to be able to return to normal, Masaharu must collect seven stardrops with help from a magical girl partner. He soon discovers that his fated partner is a new classmate, and he cannot give away his identity or else he will be stuck forever (the plot set up sounds dumb the way I explained it, but it is actually really interesting).

Who are the central characters?

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Masaharu Tsuwabuki: Masaharu is the main protagonist of the series. He is a glasses wearing male student who has difficulty being social (even going so far as to stop talking to his own friends). He is the one who mistakenly drinks a potion instead of soda and transforms into a stuffed lamb. He is very quiet and easily persuaded.

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Sumomo Akihime: Sumomo (pink haired girl in the center) is the magical girl of the series and the love interest of the protagonist. She becomes a Steller Spinner to help Yuki (Aka Masaharu as a lamb) return to his home land. She is supposed to be the cute, sweet, shy girl that cries a lot. But she is not a whiny cry baby, but an emotional person who freaks out about everything and deals with problems by crying. Personally she came off as really annoying (though sometimes cute), and a little weak. Since this a magical girl anime, I bet she resolves this by maturing as she quests for stardrops, but I did not finish the entire story so I am not sure how much she grows.

Nadeshiko Yaeno: Nadeshiko (black haired girl to the right), also known as Nako-chan, is Sumomo’s best friend. She is observant, over protective, violent, and angry (but not to Sumomo). She looks out for her shy, cry baby friend and acts kind of like a sister.

Nona Yuki: Nona (blue haired girl to the left) is a Steller Spinner from the magical world. At first she is a friendly rival to Sumomo, and later they become friends. She starts going to school with them so as to learn the human culture. She is reserved, mature, quiet, and intelligent (but struggles to understand much of the human world).

How is the artwork?

This is super cute and colorful. My only problem are the huge eyes of the girls that look like they are misplaced on their faces, but that seems to be characteristic in older, light novel based anime that depict little girls. Obviously the artists are really striving for young and innocent.

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What makes this awesome?

This anime is a light novel that was aimed more at young male readers, so it does tend to have some soft fanservice (mostly emphasizing the girls’s innocence and child like behavior/personality). I personally do not like that he looks like he is in high school but all the girls look like grade-schoolers, but the fanservice is not enough to be down right annoying. Since this was intended for a male audience, it does have a different perspective on the magical girl anime tropes. This has a unique plot, that could have been taken into deeper levels, and has a male protagonist (not the sole case, but the only one we have mentioned thus far). Most noticeable is the fact that a human classmate becomes the magical creature that accompanies the girl. All in all, it is worth a shot to see if you like it. I personally did not, neither did TheBetterCup, but you may.

-Blog Barista

 

Sassy Magical Boy

Sassy Magical Boy… I want to BE him

Check it out here:

http://www.gogoanime.com/nanatsuiro-drops-episode-1