Tag Archives: fanservice

Review: Air Gear: Break on the Sky (2010) Anime | My Reviews 29 NOV 2012

Ringo’s position in Sleeping Forest can no longer be ignored. As the time draws closer to the opening of Trophaeum Tower, Sleeping Forest begins targeting all major teams and riders capable of challenging them. Among the victims is Simca, who is attacked and temporarily crippled under Ringo’s orders. When Ikki discovers Ringo’s role in incapacitating Simca, he considers her a traitor and runs from her. Realizing she has no other method of showing Ikki her and Sleeping Forest’s true intentions, Ringo challenges Ikki to a one-on-one Dash-Type Battle.

The ever popular mangaka Oh Great!’s Air Gear was a fun little shonen battle action anime which featured over the top characters on rather over the top, powered up inline skates. However, despite the actually pretty cool concept, the series (both manga and anime) quickly lost sight of the really cool inline skate dynamic and instead got bogged down by stupid power and ability escalations, leading to a very overwrought and somewhat silly franchise.

Nevertheless, four years on from the end of the original anime run in 2006, someone decided that the fanservice-laden silliness needed some screen time again, and so the Break on the Sky OVA series was announced, this time animated by studio Satelight in place of Toei, with Shinji Ishihara as director and Jun Maekawa as script writer.

The result is thus far three 28 minute long episodes, the first of which I’m discussing here.

First off, the animation is really cool as per usual. High octane, high detail, very kinetic and loads of fun to watch. The character designs are pretty cool as always, and as expected, the girls are looking pretty hot, with loads of unnecessary fanservice thrown in to boot (well, this is a show courtesy of Oh Great! after all).

The voices all fit the tone and action perfectly, and the soundtrack and opening and closing musical tracks all work well.

However, then there is the story. Yeah, not particularly good. Plenty of action as to be expected, but very, very overwrought, very silly over the top antics, and in the end, serves to remind one just how difficult it was to watch the original anime series through it’s entirety. Unless of course you are a hardened Air Gear fan – in that case you’ll no doubt enjoy this outing (though be warned, it isn’t particularly high on the usual Air Gear comedy hijinks).

So in other words, don’t worry too much about missing out on this one.

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Gear#OVA

Anime Opinions: Plastic Little | Marvel Anime: Blade | Armageddon Anime | My Reviews 05 APR 2012

Plastic Little (1994)

Young Tita Mu Koshigaya is the female captain of the ship, the Cha-Cha Maru, whose business it is to capture exotic creatures in the ‘sea of clouds’ of the planet Ietta, apparently a gas giant of some kind, and selling these captured creatures to collectors and zoos.

By chance, she saves Elysse Aldo Mordish, a young woman of her own age, from a rogue faction of Ietta’s own military forces, led by the armored commander Guizel – who already killed Elysse’s scientist father. As the military conducts a vicious chase for Elysse, it becomes apparent that she holds the key to a secret that could determine the fate of the entire planet’s independence.

Plastic Little is a great example of a 90’s OVA in that it features some pretty slick and detailed animation combined with fantastic mecha and mechanical designs, shows off a fair bit of skin of the ladies for the requisite 90’s OVA fanservice quota, features great vocal and aural tracks, and makes for a short, compact and enjoyable watch.

Unfortunately though, we can’t really count it as one of the classics, in that its short length causes the story to hurtle along at such a pace that there isn’t time for any real character development or building up report with the audience, meaning that by the end of its run, you are left a little ambivalent towards what just happened, but at least you were entertained and the visuals were pretty hot.

Worth watching if you have it, but not necessary to hunt down if you don’t.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_Little

Marvel Anime: Blade (2011)

Eric Brooks is probably better known as Blade, a “Daywalker” vampire hunter who was born with both human and vampire blood in his veins, following a vampire attack on his mother while she was still pregnant with him.

His ongoing mission to hunt down the four-fanged vampire Deacon Frost, the killer of his mother, takes him to Japan, where he encounters other vampire hunters, before being drawn into battle against “Existence”, a vampire organization seeking to rebel against their European counterparts through the machinations of their leader – Deacon Frost.

The ensuing hunt leads Blade across all of Asia, as he and his new partner Makoto tackle a host of different vampire types in their quest for Frost’s head!

The Marvel Anime project continues, with Blade being the fourth 12 episode installment, following Iron Man, Wolverine and X-Men. Written by Kenta Fukasaku, Blade probably slots in at number three on the enjoyment list, with X-Men leading the pack by miles, followed by Iron Man despite its very episodic nature. Unfortunately the Logan character design and simply too over the top action sequences banishes Wolverine to the last spot.

Anyway, Blade is a competently written action adventure, filled with enough drama to make it a serious show, and comes with the added bonus of varied locations which are used to introduce us to the various Asian vampire lore that exists, certainly something I haven’t previously been exposed to.

As will all the titles up until now, the Marvel hero gets teamed up with a Japanese counterpart, with Blade delivering to us a young precocious vampire hunter in the form of Makoto, who prefers to kill vampires up close and personally, with silver blades and a set of silver knuckledusters secreted around her body. Only thing is, she’s also after Blade’s head for killing her turned father.

The show is well paced despite the frequent location changes, and the story unfolds to deliver a decent mystery with resolution, leaving a satisfying tale in its wake as the final credits draw to a close.

The animation is top notch, with some fantastic character designs, particularly when it comes to the various types of vampires to be encountered. A lot of the action happens in the dark, something which Madhouse needs to be commended on for handling so well, particularly when you look at how detailed, fluid and choreographed the animation actually is.

Aurally, Blade is a polished production, featuring great music and voice acting, with Akio Ohtsuka providing an excellent voice for the protagonist.

All in all, Blade is a solid and entertaining television anime, suited particularly to those who enjoy action packed, vampire-fuelled stories, or those who are already followers of the Blade franchise.

Worth picking up if you come across it then!

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvel_Anime

Armageddon (1996)

Four billion years ago in the Andromeda Nebula, an ambitious project was launched. An ancient race of aliens, seeing that there was no other intelligent life in the universe, set their massive supercomputers the task of seeding more races that could grow to sentience. The project was known as the Omega program.

The human race was the result of the project. However humans were not the only races to grow from the Omega program and lurking in the future is the deadliest threat to the human race ever. In time, the products of this program are destined to clash in violent opposition. Hopelessly outnumbered by the technologically superior enemy, Earth has one last hope. The secret fail-safe of the Omega program – The Delta Boy, living avatar of the supercomputer that began life on Earth!

It’s no small secret that a large chunk of both Western and Japanese animation actually gets farmed out to Korea, and thus it is no surprise that eventually the Koreans started to produce films for themselves – unfortunately for us though, 1996’s Armageddon from director Hyunse Lee isn’t exactly a classic.

Pacing is completely thrown out of the window as the story hurtles towards its conclusion, with huge leaps in time made, not assisted by an almost nonsensical storyline that eventually becomes so silly that you can’t keep a serious face while trying to make head or tail out of it! There is almost no character develop of Delta Boy (or any other character for that matter) whatsoever, and the chopping around from one place to another is likely to leave you with a headache.

This train wreck of a story and storytelling is further hindered by some rather dreadful animation, in part thanks to the cheesy CG affects thrown in, but mostly because of the wildly vibrant, trippy color palette that gets used throughout, not to mention the quite frankly terrible character designs and stiff animation!

This is a difficult watch, and when the two supercomputer avatars finally finish the big end fight, you’ll be kind of happy to eject this silly disc out of your player and drop it at the back of some dusty old drawer somewhere.

Not worth pursuing, not worth watching, unless you want to experience something a little different from the normal American or Japanese fair – and even then you’re going to be disappointed, so best just leave this one completely alone!

Related Link: http://movies.tvguide.com/armageddon/review/132836

First Impressions… Queen’s Blade: Utsukushiki Toushi-tachi Anime | My Reviews 25 MAY 2011

Ero-anime Queen’s Blade proved to be a popular hit with Japanese (and Western fansub) audiences, first prompting a sequel to follow on from the original twelve episode run and now doing it all over again, with a 6 part OVA to round things off.

Queen’s Blade: Utsukushiki Toushi-tachi or Queen’s Blade: Beautiful Fighters is a 6 part OVA released over the period of August 2010 to February 2011, once again directed by Kinji Yoshimoto (who has handled the reins right from the start) with animation produced by ARMS (who have also been handling that particular assignment since the beginning).

The goal of this OVA is to flesh out the anime Queen’s Blade universe a little more, and thus each of the fanservice-laden six episodes focus on a different subset of characters arising out of the anime, churning out a new story that relates to the main series but with a lot of flashback and backstory to paint just that little bit more detail into the Queen’s Blade world.

For example, episode 1 entitled “Faith! Elina’s Unshakable Bond” tells the story of how Elina finds herself alone in defending the castle against the enraged surrounding fiefdoms, and eventually comes up short when going up against the slithery Echidna who captures and essentially crucifies her, waiting in hope that Leina will eventually appear to save her hot-headed sister. The story then for the most part then focusses on the bound Elina’s thoughts, as she traces her relationship and infatuation with her older sister.

Of course, this is Queen’s Blade, a recognised ero-anime, and as such there are loads and loads of panties, bare bum, jiggling boob and nipple shots to take in, never mind Echidna’s snake who has a penchant for acting like a pair of panties and of course slithering around other girls’ bodies.

But outside of that, the story and action remain as solid and enjoyable as the original, something which helps to raise Queen’s Blade status just that little bit out of the gutter.

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