Fall 2015 Recap: Crunchyroll Edition
Anime / December 29, 2015

The Fall 2015 season is just about wrapped up! It’s time to look back at the Crunchyroll series I said I’d follow and see if the series I picked to watch were enjoyable! Warning: Minor spoilers ahead! The Asterisk War Quick Summary: Amagiri Ayato transfers to Seidoukan Academy, where he meets and befriends Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld. They are both Genestella, which means they are very powerful in terms of combat capabilities. Schools like theirs exist to refine Genestella warriors. Ayato and Julis have their own goals, and when they’re not making friends like Sasamiya Saya or Toudou Kirin, they’re fighting in tournaments or helping the academy’s elite like Claudia Enfield. I reviewed The Asterisk War’s episodes in this blog. How’d It Do? I liked it! In some ways, it was a typical high-school/super powered/fighting/harem show. What distinguished it, though, was that The Asterisk War gave us more complex, interesting, and likable characters. I felt sympathetic towards Julis and I really wanted to see her succeed. I cheered for Kirin when she broke free of her idiot uncle. I even felt sorry for Claudia despite everything she has going for her because she’s hemmed in and only partially able to determine the course of her life….

Concrete Revolutio Episode 13: The Concrete Hits the Fan
Anime / December 28, 2015

The thirteenth episode of Concrete Revolutio, “Riots in Shinjuku,” cements Jirou Hitoyoshi’s decision to leave the Superhuman Bureau. If you’re interested, you can buy the introductory theme from Amazon! Buckle your seat belts. A lot went down in this episode! Be warned: there are spoilers below! What Happened The Strange Power Risk Management Office has finished their police-commissioned investigation. They hold a press conference to announce their findings: the Japanese and United States governments conspired to experiment on mostly Japanese superhumans; _Antares_ and the medical facility’s basement were filled with over a hundred corpses. Some were as young as seven years old when they died. They say the Superhuman Bureau knew. When government agents try to breakup the meeting and demand Raito Shiba stop them, he points out that the police had hired the Strange Power Risk Management Office in the first place to get to find out what had really happened! The newspaper stories spark protests across the globe. Hyouma Yoshimura, who seems to have taken over the Superhuman Bureau after Claude revealed that Daishi Akita was actually an alien, stresses that the Superhuman Bureau had no idea about the secret labs or superhuman testing. Yoshimura tells Hitoyoshi that he has to apprehend Claude before the…

5 Funny and Light-Hearted Anime Series
Anime , List / December 25, 2015

Do you ever just want to sit down and watch an anime that makes you smile? A show that helps you laugh and push the world back to arm’s length? Here are five shows that are my go-to series to refresh me through humor or big-heartedness. Servant x Service Lucy Yamagami, Yutaka Hasebe, and Saya Miyoshi start work on the same day at the local ward office. Lucy hates her name. She took the job at the ward office was to track down who approved her name on her birth certificate. In spite of that, she’s a diligent worker. Hasebe took the job because he thought he would have plenty of time to goof off; Miyoshi is the only one seriously trying to start a career. Their supervisor, Taishi Ichimiya, struggles to keep Hasebe from wasting time. He also tries (and generally fails) to keep his sister Tōko Ichimiya from disrupting the staff. It doesn’t help he’s also trying to manage the cosplaying part-time worker Megumi Chihaya, who has her own way of doing things. Did I mention they work for a talking and ambulatory stuffed rabbit? Miyoshi is completely unable to socially defend herself, so she ends up spending hours talking to old ladies at the customer…

Concrete Revolutio Episode 12: Why Jirou Left
Anime / December 22, 2015

The twelfth episode of Concrete Revolutio, Hakko Superhuman Crash Incident, shows us the gut-wrenching betrayal that drove Jirou Hitoyoshi out of the Superhuman Bureau. Want to cosplay as Kikko Hoshino? Amazon’s selling a great-looking version of her uniform. SPOILERS FOLLOW! More so than usual! What Happened In the show’s past (December, 42nd of the Shinka era), during a peaceful protest, Hoshino visits a high school to see Jin Nakagawa. He makes the root that we saw her eat at the end of the last episode. She uses those roots as medicine since human medical technology is useless to her. Interestingly, he knows she’s from the demon realm. Ullr confirms she’s on Earth looking for a spouse. Fast forward to August in the 42rd year of the Shinka era. Hoshino, Hitoyoshi, Emi Kino, and Raito Shiba are investigating Claude’s attack on the medical facility (the attack that happened at the end of the last episode). The police have called in Taki, Takahara, and their children from the Strange Power Risk Management Group to aid in the investigation. Taki handed the children jars of special sand. When the children threw the sand into the air, it solidified into the last moments of the crime. The scene showed that…

5 Female Anime Characters I’d Fight Beside Any Day
Anime , List / December 20, 2015

Imagine you’re transported into an anime world and have to fight some nasty villains (of course, I’d look like the Chibi Crow on my banner in an anime world — not exactly intimidating!). Given the opportunity, here are 5 female anime characters I’d choose to fight beside me.* Of course, they could bring along their equipment and weapons. Note that these are women who typically fight for positive things like justice, honor, friends, or generic goodness. Fikatsia Latrova Series: Muv Luv Total Eclipse (collection 1 and collection 2 are available from Amazon). In the Muv Luv universe, Soviet Russia never fell because really nasty intra-dimensional creatures invaded Earth. Fikatsia Latrova is the Commander of the 211th Zhar Battalion, which is made up of flying Soviet mechs. Constantly on the front line, they’re subject to a horrific casualty rate and they’s always pawns in the Soviet political games. She’s on this list because she embodies everything a warrior should be: she’s strong. She’s fierce in her devotion to her people. She’s undaunted in combat, stern when it’s required, and compassionate when it’s needed. She’s also honest in a way that only people who deal with death daily can be. She also knows how to…

The Asterisk War Episode 12: Clash of the (Lux) Ogres
Anime / December 19, 2015

In The Asterisk War‘s 12th episode, The Gravi-Sheath, Amagiri Ayato and his partner Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld go head to head with the Urzaiz sisters Priscilla and Irene. Into cosplay and want to go as Ayato? Amazon’s selling a mock-up (not the real thing!) of the Ayato’s Ser-Versta. You can order the Ogre Lux here! What Happened Priscilla and Irene are much younger, and they are trapped in a war zone. Priscilla is utterly crushed by a cave-in. Irene arrives at the hospital just in time to see her stand up without a scratch on her. Men in suits give their parents a suitcase full of cash. Wanting no part of that transaction, Irene escapes with Priscilla, but in a war zone, food and shelter elude them. Dirk Eberwein finds them and confirms Irene can activate the Gravi-Sheath. Then he offers to take them out of there; for a price. That’s when Irene wakes up on the day of the match against Ayato and Julis. Her dream had been about her first meeting with the student council president of Le Wolfe Black Institute. Ayato proposes a plan to Julis. She says that as long as she wins and gets closer to her goal, she’s happy to…

Concrete Revolutio Episode 11: The Sword and the Sub
Anime / December 15, 2015

The eleventh episode of Concrete Revolutio, “Justice / Freedom / Peace,” features a character cutting the United States submarine Antares in half, lengthwise, with a sword. While he suspended the submarine in midair. By himself. Want to cosplay as Kiko Hoshino? You can buy her regular outfit at Amazon! What Happened? A brown-haired young man runs past some fishermen discussing the new American submarine Antares. He leaps into the air, dons a white helmet, and jumps into the water. While submerged, he confronts the Antares. Meanwhile, Kikko Hoshino is embedded in the crowd waiting to see Angel Stars, the first superhuman band, as they perform for the dignitaries waiting to see the Antares. At the same time, Jirou Hitoyoshi and Emi Kino are talking to the representatives of Imperial Ads about their involvement in previous incidents, as well as their opposition to the Superhuman Bureau and superhumans. The representative corrects him, saying that they aren’t opposed to superhumans — only that the Superhuman Bureau applies the superhuman label to non-humans, which they find offensive. As they’re arguing, Hyouma Yoshimura arrives to take Hitoyoshi and Kino to the Antares‘ concert where trouble is brewing. Raito Shiba arrives at the concert and warns the crowd against a repeat of the incident with Judas. They…

The Asterisk War Episode 11: A Very, Very High Price
Anime / December 13, 2015

“Power and Its Price,” the 11th episode of The Asterisk War, shows us the price an Ogre Lux can impose on its user. Amazon’s selling an attractive mouse pad showing The Asterisk War’s main characters. You can buy it here! What Happened In between matches, Claudia Enfield expresses how happy she is to finally get some private time with Amagiri Ayato. Her happiness is short-lived because Toudou Kirin calls and says she took her eyes off Sasamiya Saya for just a moment, and now the directionally challenged young woman is lost. Ayato’s unsure if Claudia’s really upset or not, so all he can do is apologize and join the search for Saya. While searching for Saya, Ayato encounters Priscilla Urzaiz, who’s being chased by thugs from a casino where her sister, Irene, had caused some problems. Of course, Ayato, being Ayato, helps her evade them. She’s grateful and all seems well until she mentions that she had moments ago called her sister Irene for help — the sister who has a terrible temper, is overly protective of her sister, and who jumps to conclusions. Before Ayato can ask Priscilla to call Irene to explain his role, Irene arrives and threatens to destroy Ayato. Priscilla convinces Irene that…

5 Anime Series to Convert Anime Holdouts
Anime , List / December 11, 2015

There have been times I wanted to share my love of anime with others. And there are times when those “others” don’t want me to share that love. Should I leave these people in peace, ignorant of the joys of anime? If I do that, what will I talk to them about? I’m kinda dull without anime as a subject… Here are five series that I’ve found help me break the ice. I’ve tested some of these on my wife who’s an avowed “not an anime fan,” and she actually enjoyed them. I hope the list works as well for you! So, in no particular order… Sound Euphonium Sound Euphonium (a.k.a. Hibike! Euphonium) stars Kumiko Oumae, who wants to play in the band. She makes friends with Hazuki Katou and Sapphire Kawashima, and they encourage each other as they try out for band and hone their skills. In middle school, Oumae had played in band with Reina Kousaka, who took her instrument and competitions very, very seriously. The opening scenes present a flashback to middle school when they didn’t win a competition. Kousaka felt devastated and Oumae didn’t understand the feeling. Having always been naturally talented, Oumae didn’t understand how it felt to dedicate yourself…

Concrete Revolutio Episode 10: Time and Time and Time Again!
Anime / December 7, 2015

Concrete Revolutio’s 10th episode, Mirage of Destiny, served as the obligatory time-travel episode. Of course, it wasn’t content with a simple time paradox! What Happened Hyouma Yoshimura is preparing to back in the past. The woman helping him prepare explains time period-specific idiosyncrasies like using a pay phone. His mission is to destroy the Advocates of Free History. She tells him that regardless of his success or failure, his body will automatically return after one week in the past — or about 5 minutes her time. The scene shifts to one of the present times — Jirou Hitoyoshi is still part of the Superhuman Bureau. A human cheated by two superhumans in organized crime has taken them hostage and threatens to kill them and himself. He’s in a standoff with police, and the Superhuman Bureau members Hitoyoshi, Emi Kino, Kikko Hoshino, Fuurouta, and Yoshimura are hiding a little ways away. When Hitoyoshi says he’d like to save the human, too, since he was a victim of a scam, Kino reminds him that their mission is to save the two captive superhumans. Hoshino notices what she thinks are two versions of Yoshimura, but before she can say anything, an explosion interrupts her. An airship associated with IQ…

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