Tag Archives: korean

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

Review: Last Fantasy (Volume 5) Manga | My Reviews 14 MAR 2012

The feverish fight to rescue the town from complete annihilation makes reluctant allies of everyone – Tian and Drei, Anna and her special task force, the religious chick, and, worst of all, Nagi, the thief. And, surrounded by Zombies and with little hope of making it out of the city alive, the lot of them sallies forth into the hordes of walking dead to face death… or worse.

From writer Creative Hon with art from Yong-Wan Kwon, volume 5 of the Last Fantasy Korean manhwa brings to a close the short fantasy/comedy adventures of the low-level magic user who can pretty much only throw fireballs Tian, and the strong as an ox, but dumb as one too warrior Drei von Richenstein, the two unlikely heroes (who are almost always broke) with a knack of turning allies into foes.

Plunging our main characters directly into battle against the hungry horde of zombies right from page one, the action is relentless until the final and satisfying closing scenes, which bring about the end of the main storyline around two thirds into the book – leaving the rest of the volume to be padded out with some extra stories set in the world Creative Hon has created from the inspiration that is Final Fantasy, generating enough story threads towards the end so that should they ever be called upon to one day craft some more Last Fantasy books, they’ll at least have something to carry on from!

Although the book maintains it’s slapstick comedic value from the previous issues, it definitely is a lot less silly in tone thanks to the loads of action and anguish that drives the lion’s share of the story along. There is a lot of drama to be had, and as a whole, this is a really gripping finale to an enjoyable fantasy romp, one that doesn’t seem to have a problem mixing up as many genres as possible and to be frank, getting away with it.

On the artistic side of things, I have to say I really enjoyed Yong-Wan Kwon’s illustrations, with him coming up with some beautifully detailed and full panels, dripping with loads of line work, and with a knack of correctly capturing the mood of the panel based on what is happening in the text. His facial expressions all work, and he manages to capture all the dark and gritty action sequences just perfectly.

In other words, other than his sometimes tiny waists that he puts on his characters, very little to complain about!

In summary, volume 5 brings with it a great end to an enjoyable little comedy fantasy romp, featuring great art and not so bad writing. It’s a pity that the main action is over two thirds into the book, but I guess it could have been worse – they could have just left it unpadded and thus leave you with a much lower page count in your hands!

So worth a read if you are looking for a break from Japanese manga and American superhero comic books, and are in particular a fan of sword and sorcery based fantasy, mixed with a splash of comedy of course.

Related Link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/manga.php?id=5955