Gate Episode 16: The Dragon’s Pretty Big Up Close!
Anime / January 31, 2016

Gate Episode 16, The Dragon, Once More, shows what happens when Yōji Itami and Tuka Luna Marceau face off with a huge fire breathing dragon. You can buy Vol 1. of Gate anime (appears to be season 1) from Amazon here. Note: As usual, my review contains spoilers. What Happened Delilah is walking through the streets of Alnus singing about how wonderful it is to be there. So as a viewer, you know immediately something terrible’s going to happen to her. When she gets back to her room, we find out what. A scroll with an Italica seal is waiting for her. It orders her to kill one of the Japanese. We know from last week who: Noriko Mochizuki. Tyuule is in her cell lamenting that as the proud queen of the warrior bunnies, she hates trusting her fate to her enemy (the empire). Bouro visits to tell her her message had been delivered. Tyuule revels in the knowledge that her spy in Alnus is about to kill Mochizuki. The queen’s particularly happy that she’s tricking Delilah into the murder, because Delilah has sworn to kill Tyuule. Tyuule’s goals remains: crush Zorzal El Caesar, the one who destroyed her people, and his empire along with him. As Delilah prays…

Dimension W Episode 3: Numbered Coils Revealed!
Anime / January 29, 2016

In episode 3, Chase the Numbers, we learn what numbered coils are in this episode — and see the enormous danger they present to our reality. Interested in the visual novels? Amazon has them here! What Happened Mira Yurizaki is giddy when she’s paid millions of yen for her role in her first job (last episode). She offers to pay Kyōma Mabuchi rent for the little corner of his house that he lets her stand in, but she makes it clear she’d like a place to sleep and shower, too. He refuses, saying that she’s a robot, and she explains that her nano-tech needs sleep time for repairs. Unable to bear her long explanation, he helps her buy a small recreational vehicle (RV) and bring it back to the gas station. Since she bought it with her own money, she’s giddy about it, too. When she buys some of her own furniture, she has to be sneaky so no one sees her carry it all home — especially since it’s a couch and several other pieces of furniture that she carries by hand. Through the streets. As she’s cleaning her RV, some kids try to play in the junked cars next door (the…

Gate Episode 15: Tuka’s Descent
Anime / January 25, 2016

“Tuka Luna Marceau,” Gate‘s fifteenth episode, shows the lengths to which Yao Ro Dushi is willing to go to save her people. And though I can’t hate her, I am seriously displeased at what she did. Brave enough for a Rory Mercury body pillow? You can buy one from Amazon now! What Happened Akira Yanagida tells Yōji Itami that Yao Ro Dushi asked the JSDF to destroy the fire dragon and save her people. Itami could guess the response. Yanagida says he can give Itami an excuse to go on the mission by calling it a resource recon mission. Itami refuses, unwilling to subject himself or his people to such danger. Yanagida cryptically tells him to visit Tuka Luna Marceau. He finds Tuka in tears as Rory Mercury and Lelei La Lalena try to comfort her. Tuka sees Itami and mistakes him for her father, and she complains that others have been trying to tell her he was dead. Lelei puts her to sleep and Rory tells Itami that Yao forced this information on Tuka. With Tuka asleep, Itami takes Lelei and Rory with him to confront Yao. She lays it out for him: she’d heard that the three Special Region women were important to Itami and…

Dimension W Episode 2: Mira’s First Mission
Anime / January 24, 2016

In “Loser,” Dimension W’s second episode, Mira shows how well she can handle herself on a mission and Mabuchi learns something about numbered coils. If you’re interested in reading the books, Amazon has a whole collection of them here! What Happened Kyōma Mabuchi and his new assistant, Mira Yurizaki, arrive at the museum where a mysterious figure named Loser announced he intends to steal a display piece. Since Loser has never succeeded in actually stealing anything, Mira wonders why they’re bothering with him. Mabuchi tells her that where there’s powerful and illegal communications equipment like Loser’s using, there’s probably illegal coils. A crowd has gathered because of Loser’s publicity. He arrives amid fireworks containing communications-jamming confetti. Mabuchi tells Mira to find the communications hijacking equipment as he tries to confront Loser, who disappeared into the museum. As Loser evades the security systems, Mabuchi keeps up with him until they reach a hall with armored defending robots. The robots interpret both of them as intruders, so after conforming that Loser won’t hand over the illegal coils, Mabuchi decides the two should combine forces to neutralize the robots. As the fight wraps up, Mira realizes she needs to get away from the chaff that had been…

Gate Episode 14: Well, That Escalated Quickly!
Anime / January 16, 2016

The 14th episode of Gate called The Imperial Capital Quake (the 2nd episode of the second season) gave Sergeant Shoni Kuribayashi a chance to show her hand to hand combat skills. And shot a lot. Like Rory Mercury? You can buy a wall scroll of her from Amazon! What Happened An earthquake strikes the capital. The Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) are used to earthquakes in Japan, so they quickly evacuate their wards outside so they won’t be trapped in rubble. Princess Pina Co Lada and one of her knights are terrified. She’s stupefied when Yoji Itami and Koji Sugawara walk nearby as Itami tries to decide if this is a Richter Scale 4 or 5 quake. When Itami warns her to expect after shocks, she insists on warning her father, and she won’t leave without Itami, even though Itami is uneasy about being an enemy soldier appearing before the emperor. Once they reach the palace, they find it in disarray. Pina takes charge and brings order while her father, surprised she was the first of his children to arrive, watches. After she brings calm, the emperor asks who the strangers are, and she introduces Sugawara and the others as Japanese citizens who she’s brought…

Dimension W Episode 1: Wow, Gasoline is Expensive!
Anime / January 14, 2016

The first episode, which is called Collector, introduces us to a world where gasoline is almost $100 a gallon and almost all energy comes from Dimension W. All of the nations of the world depend on that energy. What could go wrong? Want to read the paperback version of this series? You can buy it here from Amazon! What Happened? It’s 2037, and the world draws its energy from Dimension W. Sixty towers located all around the world stabilize this energy and make it available for consumption. A single company, New Tesla Energy (NT), controls these towers. Individual devices pull power from the towers via small coils. Of course, there’s a black market for them. Kyōma Mabuchi is a Collector, which means he retrieves illegal coils for a living. His employer, Mary, sends him on a mission to retrieve a stolen shipment. At about the same time, Mira Yurizaki discovers that her apartment’s drinking water is sludge again. She tells her ailing father, who looks a lot like the previous CEO of New Tesla Energy who’s been missing for several years, that she’s going to go buy potable water. On the way home, she somehow senses the illegal coils that are nearby, and she…

Winter 2016 Anime Slate: Funimation Edition
Anime / January 13, 2016

Funimation’s Winter 2016 season has some intriguing shows! Here’re the ones I’ll be watching: Dagashi Kashi Kokonotsu Shikada dreams of becoming a manga artist. His father, Yō Shikada, the eighth family owner of his candy shop, wants his son to become the ninth. Kokonotsu adamantly refuses to even consider it. One day, Hotaru Shidare shows up with a request from her father: will Yō join her father’s company? Apparently, Yō is famous for his snacks, and Shidare’s father would like them to join forces. He agrees on one condition: that Shidare first convince Kokonotsu to take over the store. Then he’ll gladly join her father’s company. There’s a lot of funny lines in the first episode, and many of them come from Shidare. She’s already a bit of an internet sensation. Sites like Deviant Art have published a lot of fan art featuring her, and her character is beautiful. Wacky, too — I think she’s eaten too many sweets. She has a far-ranging imagination, loves sweets, and seems to have few inhibitions. Kokonotsu is obviously interested in her, but Shidare has a rival in Kokonotsu’s friend’s sister, Saya Endō. Endō is shy around Kokonotsu, but she’s really strong and has no problem pounding her older brother into submission when he…

Winter 2016 Anime Slate: Crunchyroll Edition
Anime / January 12, 2016

The Winter 2016 season’s underway. Here’s what I’m watching on Crunchyroll! Note: There are spoilers sprinkled throughout these descriptions, so it’s best if you watch the first episode of each before reading. Or, if you don’t plan to watch a show at all, maybe reading the description will pique your interest! Active Raid A technology called Willwear is basically a kind of mech, and it’s available to the police and to folks who don’t have legal intentions. Asami Kazari is assigned to a Willwear police unit that has a terrible reputation. She tries to make an impact, but she quickly finds out field work is a lot different from what she expected. Hinata Yamabuki, for example, appeared disorganized and inattentive. But when the unit goes after two suspects wearing Willwear, Yamabuki proved that she knew exactly what she was doing. Yamabuki’s job isn’t easy, as not only does she have to deal with perpetrators, but also insane unit members like Willwear pilot Takeru Kuroki, who has a tendency to inflict more property damage than is strictly necessary. I’m curious to see why the higher-ups thought this unit wasn’t performing well, because it looked like they did a fine job. Does someone have a political agenda? Is…

Gate Episode 13: An Earth-Shattering Experience!
Anime / January 9, 2016

Gate Episode 13 (or season 1 episode 1) digs deeper into the empire’s depravity. It also shows that getting to know the down-trodden can be life-saving! If you enjoyed the soundtrack, you can buy it from Amazon! What Happened Working with Princess Pina Co Lada, Koji Sugawara of the Japanese diplomatic team host a garden party for the peace-leaning senators and their families. Sugawara makes sure his best chefs are there so woo the families. But the real reason for the get together is for Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) First Lieutenant Yoji Itami and his team to demonstrate the capabilities of their small arms to the senators. The goal is tohelp these senators understand the situation they’re in. Meanwhile, Crown Prince Zolzal El Caesar is forcing Tyuule, a former chieftain of the Warrior Bunnies, into degrading and rough sexual acts. These acts are payment for him keeping her people from annihilation. A count interrupts him with news of the party that Pina is hosting. Convinced the count gave him the information exclusively instead of the emperor, he leaves to crash the party. He arrives to find only the senator’s families; Itami’s team noticed their approach and gave the senators time to escape…

Caw of Fame: Corpse Princess (Shikabane Hime)
Anime , Caw of Fame / January 4, 2016

What’s it mean to be in the Caw of Fame? It’s a take-off on Hall of Fame, and since crows make the sound “caw…” For a series to earn this “honor,” it has to meet these two criteria: the last episode has to have debuted at least a year ago and I have to like it. A lot. As in re-watching it over and over. This series has two seasons: Shikabane Hime: Aka and Shikabane Hime: Kuro. This review treats them as a single series. Amazon has a great price on the Super Amazing Value Edition (SAVE), which contains both seasons. The show’s also available for streaming at Funimation. Shikabane Hime: What’s It About? Strong regrets bring some people back from the dead. If a monk from the Kōgon Sect doesn’t quickly make a contract with them, the person will become a shikabane, a powerful undead monster that kills humans. If a monk can reach them in time, and if that person is a young woman, the monk may become her Contract Monk. She then becomes a Shikabane Hime, a Corpse Princess, who exists to destroy shikabane. Characters and Plot Keisei Tagami is a high-ranking monk in the Kōgon Sect. He’s compassionate to the Shikabane…

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