Dimension W Episode 8: Told You They Needed an SUV!
Anime / February 29, 2016

Dimension W’s eighth episode, The Island That Fell into Nothingness, proves I was right: Kyōma Mabuchi should have taken an SUV to the island instead of a sports car! Plus, the island starts to come back to life and defend itself with huge robots. Interested in Dimension W merchandise? Amazon has some interesting picks: What Happened Albert Schumann safely delivers Mabuchi, Mira Yurizaki, and the sports car to Easter Island. They can’t contact Salva-Enna-Tibesti or any of that crew, but Mabuchi decides to leave them to their own devices and begins his journey. In a flashback, we find out that Salva-Enna-Tibesti isn’t related to the king; he was an orphan the king picked as his successor. Then the queen gave birth to Lwai, who became the crown prince. Salva-Enna-Tibesti didn’t turn bitter, though, and determined to help his brother. A storm had forced Salva-Enna-Tibesti’s airship to crash. The Collectors who had been onboard survived, but several, including the prince himself, are unconscious. As the ship crashed, a glowing sphere entered the ship and touched several of them. Lwai with his robots helps the group find an abandoned cabin where they regroup. Meanwhile, Loser and Elizabeth Greenhough Smith, who had apparently bailed out, land in a different part of the island….

Gate Episode 20: No Expects the Inquisition! And Would You Break That Heart?
Anime / February 27, 2016

In Gate’s 20th episode, we see the effects of Zorzal El Caesar’s Inquisition on his people. We also see the lengths that Sherry Tyueli will go to achieve her mission — and make it to the Jade Palace and the Japanese in residence there. Considering the deteriorating political situation, will Kōji Sugawara allow her entry into the Japanese embassy? Beware: There are spoilers below! Amazon has some attractive Gate merchandise. If you’re interested, please use these links! What Happened? Tarō Kanō receives a briefing: Zorzal has instituted the Committee to Protect and Restore the Primacy and Authority of the Emperor (called the Oprichnina), which is basically a secret police who will arrest, harass, and/or kill anyone who opposes Zorzal. The team tells him many of those who want peace, Zorzal’s primary targets, are coming to the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) asking for help. Kanō is afraid that taking sides will only embolden Zorzal, and he orders the JSDF to lay low for now. The military is not pleased; they hate seeing the friends they’ve made hurt or killed. The general orders them to remain on standby. One of the leading “dove” senators, Marquis Casel, too refuge with the Tyueli family. Unfortunately for all of them, the…

Kiss Shot Acerola Orion Heart Under Blade Figure: Worth the Cost?
Anime , Collectable / February 25, 2016

Back in May 2015, Crunchyroll offered the pre-release of the Good Smiles Company Kiss Shot Acerola Orion Heart Under Blade. She’s the vampire from the Monogatari series. The member cost was $104.99 (which is the same cost as it now). I received it late last week. Was it worth the price and wait? How’s it Look? It’s a big figure. The figure sits on a base that’s 8 inches in diameter; the figure’s five inches tall. With a price tag over $100.00 US and the size, you might expect a lot of detail. And you’d be right! It’s beautiful. Figure 1 shows how the Kiss Shot looks from the front. The figure depicts her crouched in orange/red tinted water, leaning on her sword, a look of determination in her eyes. In Figure 1, you can see the level of detail in the sword hilt; you can almost see the stitching in the fabric (except, of course, that the whole figure’s made out of PVC). Figure 2 shows Kiss Shot from her left. You can see her hair streaming out behind her; you can see some stones in the water on the left. When the figure arrived, it was in four major pieces: the base, the…

Dimension W Episode 7: Mabuchi’s Past and the Coil Sucking Island
Anime / February 24, 2016

In Dimension W episode 7, called The Voice Calling from the Past, Salva-Enna-Tibesti kicks off the Easter Island hunt. We find out about Kyōma Mabuchi’s girlfriend and why she’s not around anymore. Plus: where’s Lwai? Warning: As usual, this review contains spoilers. Please watch the episode first! Then we can have a discussion and you won’t have to live through a spoiler. No one wants that! Interested in Dimension W merchandise? Amazon has a good selection. Here’re four; if you don’t see one you like, search for more! What Happened Mabuchi got into a lot of fights in high school. On the way home in the rain, he came upon Miyabi Azumaya, a girl who had fallen between a wall and a bus. He saved her and was surprised that she wasn’t afraid of him. Things went swimmingly until she stumbled for no apparent reason and they found out she had a degenerative and incurable disease. Mabuchi being Mabuchi wouldn’t accept that fate, so he visited all of the prosthetics doctors looking for someone who could replace Azumaya’s body. Of course, he couldn’t just ask — he had to pick them up and swing them around a bit. He learned that only one doctor,…

Gate Episode 19: Sister on Sister Combat and Tyuule Springs Her Trap
Anime / February 20, 2016

In “Dangerous Sisters,” the nineteenth episode of Gate, Lelei La Lalena faces off against Arpeggio El Lalena, her jealous older sister — with almost catastrophic results. But that pales in comparison to what Tyuule has unleashed. Interested in buying Gate merchandise? Amazon has a decent selection. Here’re some examples: What Happened Zorzal El Caesar uses his father’s collapse in the last episode to seize control of the empire. He gives a militant speech promising to reclaim the empire’s pride in spite of the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF)‘s overwhelming might. His rhetorical tricks turn the people against the Senate and anyone sympathetic to peace. Princess Pina Co Lada, seeing her work ruined, is not pleased. Tyuule, on the other hand, is ecstatic. Zorzal even went so far as to imprison the senators who had supported peace. As if that were not bad enough, he appointed some of his henchmen as generals, and they began planning an asymmetrical campaign against the Japanese, to the point of dressing as the JSDF and destroying their own villages. Pina is aghast. The princess tries to consult with her other brother, Diabo, but he understands the political landscape and is leaving to find allies among the other kingdoms….

Dimension W Episode 6: A Foreign Prince and a Restless Youth
Anime / February 16, 2016

In Dimension W’s sixth episode, The Wind of Africa, we learn that Mira Yurizaki’s not the only one with a powerful artificial body. And we learn — gasp! — that Kyōma Mabuchi can be nice, but not to Yurizaki. Interested in reading Dimension W? Amazon’s selling these volumes and more: What Happened Salva-Enna-Tibesti, CEO of robot maker Islero and COO of Central 60, arrives in Japan on his private jet amid the cheers of adoring young women. He pretends to appreciate their attention, but as soon as he gets in his armored limousine, he tells Lasithi, his Japanese contact, that he thinks slaves covered in ashes were more beautiful. More to the point, he prefers women whose wills he can bind with his power. He’s annoyed when Lasithi tells him that Prince Lwai, someone who’s critical to his plans in Japan, has disappeared again. On his way back from almost visiting the grave of his deceased girlfriend, Mabuchi runs into Lwai. The prince feels disappointed that Japan is nothing like he expected (no samurai running around, for example). Lwai’s excited when he sees Mabuchi, thinking the man’s a samurai, but just then one of Salva’s lackeys tries to retrieve Lwai. Mabuchi happens to be in the…

Gate Episode 18: Lelei Has a Sister? Sherry Takes Command?
Anime / February 13, 2016

“The Magic City of Rondel,” The 18th episode of Gate, introduces Lelei La Lalena’s sister. Tyuule shows that she’s not ready to give up on her plans for revenge after Delilah’s botched assassination attempt. Amazon’s selling the opening theme that includes a DVD of the opening sequence. You can buy it here! What Happened Yes, Yōji Itami may led the team that killed the fire dragon (in the last episode). But, he deserted his unit team to do it. So, this episode starts with his commanding officer stripping him of his position as leader of recon team 3 and suspending him for two weeks. But the magic of Itami’s luck kicked in, and the Lieutenant General also announces Itami’s awards: a commendation from the Japanese Defense Minster for rescuing Noriko Mochizuki, a noble title from King Duran, the title of honorary chieftain from the Dark Elves, and ownership of Yao Ro Dushi (among other things). Then the General orders him to research the Special Region for natural resources. Their first stop is the magic city of Rondel. The city’s older than the empire, and it’s a center for learning. Lelei wants to give a presentation that seems to be the equivalent of becoming a…

Dimension W Episode 5: What Did I Just See?
Anime / February 9, 2016

Dimension W’s fifth episode, “The Possibilities of the Dead,” solves the mystery of the number coil and the ghosts. I think. Amazon has the pre-release of Dimension W Vol 1 (paperback) novel if you’re interested! What Happened? Mira Yurizaki, trapped in the Dimension W-powered reality, meets Shiro Kamiki, the man who in Yurizaki’s present is (was?) the now-dead writer named Shijuro Sakaki. He cryptically asks her if this reality seems alive or dead to her. Before she can answer, he says he is willing to do anything to protect this world — even kill himself or Yurizaki. Back in the real world, a fog rolls in and with it, bubble-like ghosts. Albert Schumann uses Elizabeth Greenhough Smith’s flying reconnaissance robots to coordinate their response. Kyōma Mabuchi finds that the ghosts are immune to his attacks. Retreating into the house, he sees that they can’t go anywhere without the fog. Meanwhile, Elizabeth looks for Yurizaki and Albert searches Sakaki’s room for clues. The crazed woman from the last episode uses chains in an attempt to pull Yurizaki in two. Yurizaki reflects on a philosophical view of reality as perception and wonders that even if she returns to her reality and can live normally, would that still constitute…

Gate Episode 17: The Dragon’s Nest
Anime / February 6, 2016

In Gate episode 17, Decisive Battle, our errors face off against the fire dragon — in its own lair! You can buy the soundtrack from the first season from Amazon by clicking on this link! Warning! This post contains a lot of spoilers. Please watch the episode first! What Happened Warning: My description of the battle’s is a little long. I adored this episode, in part because I think it depicts the most realistic fight against a fire-breathing dragon that I’ve ever seen. With apologies to Smaug (a single arrow brought him down — really?), I’ve always thought that dragons were depicted as too weak. I’ve often wondered what modern weaponry would do against a dragon. Now, I think I know! I’ll mark the battle description so you can skip it if you like. Yōji Itami wonders if he made the right decision forcing Tuka Luna Marceau not only to confront her father’s death, but to face off against the fire dragon in the last episode. Lelei La Lalena helps him think it through, and he comes to the decision that there’s no turning back. Lelei is unhappy her magic didn’t work; Rory Mercury is no less happy her halberd didn’t work. Yao Ro Dushi…

Dimension W Episode 4: Spooky Coils!
Anime / February 3, 2016

The Mystery Hidden in Lake Yasogami, episode 4 of Dimension W, shows us another way numbered coils can be scary. We also get hints that numbered coils mess with time. Want to read the paper back? You can buy Volume 1 from Amazon! What Happened At Albert Schumann and New Tesla Energy’s urging, Mary sends Kyōma Mabuchi and Mira Yurizaki to visit the supposedly haunted mansion where a mystery novelist, Shijuro Sakaki, drowned (in the middle of his study) at the end of last week’s episode. His personal robot recorded some of the event, but there’s a gap where the man actually dies. Mabuchi and Yurizaki were almost there when Yurizaki thought she saw a woman in a white dress standing in the middle of the road. When Mabuchi stops, there’s no one there, and there’s not even an image in Yurizaki’s memory logs. She’s shaken; he thinks she’s malfunctioning. When they arrive, Mabuchi warns her to pretend to be a “normal” robot since there are other guests. Seijyun Makita, the hotel manager, introduces Mabuchi to Marisa Sakaki, the current owner, who’s frail and is the younger sister of the deceased. Mabuchi also meets a loud-mouthed, rude and demanding guest who’s a journalist named Atsushi Hageyama. He recognizes Mabuchi…

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