Summer 2016 Recap: Funimation Edition
Anime , List / September 29, 2016

I didn’t enjoy very many of Funimation’s shows this season. For whatever reason, only three of them looked interesting to me. And of those three, one went on hiatus! That being said, I looked forward to the remaining two shows — and I even chose one of them to review every week. Here’s my wrap-up of Funimation’s Summer 2016 season! Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars By the fourth episode, I was starting to get into the plot that centered on, ruler of the Enastoria Empire, and her mysterious older sister Rena Asteria, who actually looks much younger. Without giving too much of the plot away, the empress finds herself piloting a very powerful mecha (Regalia Gear) on behalf of her kingdom. The fourth episode ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger as her mecha was in a tight spot. Then Anime News Network carried an announcement that the show was taking a break to remediate some quality issues. Takayuki Nagatani, the producer, explained that they wanted to up the quality. To be honest, I had no qualms with the show’s quality. It wasn’t on par with something like Fate/Zero, but it was no slouch, either. Even when Anime News Network published an…

D.Gray-man (HALLOW) Episode 13: Walker, the One Who Walks
Anime / September 26, 2016

In Walker, the thirteenth and final episode of D.Gray-man HALLOW, Allen Walker tries to regain his strength when he retreats to a place from his past; Cross Marian, in that same past, reveals what he knew of Allen’s history when he rescued him; a surprise Exorcist, thought dead, reappears with no improvement to his disposition, with one important exception; and Allen continues the long fight against reemergence of the Fourteenth. Amazon has some great D.Gray-man merchandise. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Cross Marian had found Allen shortly after the Earl of Millennium had tricked the boy into bringing Mana back to “life” — as an Akuma. What we didn’t know is why Cross Marian had been searching for Allen. In this episode, we learn the answer. Was it because Cross Marian pitied the child? Because the child simply needed help? The answer is something more subtle and surprising. Meanwhile, the Exorcists are still divided. Some remain pro-Allen; others are convinced of his treachery. Noise Marie and Lenalee Lee are commiserating between missions when the last person they expect appears before them — for a reason even they didn’t suspect. Will the Fourteenth overcome Allen? Will Allen finally throw off the traitorous Noah’s influence? The rest of this review may have…

D.Gray-man (HALLOW) Episode 12: Allen at the Crossroads
Anime / September 20, 2016

In “My Home,” episode 115 (or 12) of D.Gray-man (HALLOW), Tyki Mikk offers Allen Walker some candid and oddly useful advice; Lenalee Lee encounters Akuma interference as she tries to catch up to Allen; the Black Order Exorcists find out that the Third Exorcists have come back, and they are very, very unhappy; and Malcolm C. Lvellie suggests that he knows more about Apocryphos than anyone expected — but what, exactly, does he know? Amazon has some great merchandise from D.Gray-man. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) The European Branch of the Black Order is in an uproar. Exorcists form parties to search for Allen. The scientists debate what happened. Has Allen really betrayed them? What other explanation could there be? Even some of Allen’s friends like Johnny Gill feel upset and confused. Lvellie, Renny Epstain, and Zuu Mei Chang visit the cell where last episode’s battle took place. Howard Link remains there, unconscious. How much does Lvellie and Renny know about Apocryphos? What does Chang mean when he questions Lvellie about the real reason behind the Third Exorcist project? Realizing that Allen’s left arm and its Innocence are leading Apocryphos right to them, Tyki prepares to slice off the arm — much to Allen’s dismay! Tyki lays it out for Allen: the…

Taboo Tattoo Episode 12: The Kinda Final Battle – I Think
Anime / September 19, 2016

In Taboo Tattoo’s final episode, The Deciding Battle, Princess Aryabahta’s sisters get a terrible headache; Justice Akatsuka learns a valuable life lesson about revenge; Bluesy Fluesy has terrible luck with prosthetics; and Tom Shredfield steps forward as the show’s pivotal character. Look. I’ll be up-front and honest with you. This is going to be a negative review. I admit I was foolish to hope the ending would somehow turn things around. So it you don’t care of negative reviews, no hard feelings if you want to skip this one. That being said, do you want to see if the books are better than the series? You can purchase the first four volumes from Amazon! What Happened (Spoiler Free) Why did Akatsuka lose his battle against Aryabahta at the end of the last episode? We find out at the beginning of this episode: the Princess spells out for him exactly what trait prevents him from becoming more powerful. Is it too late for Akatsuka to make adjustments? Meanwhile, Sanders considers detonating the nuclear weapon he stashed in the ruins. Tom tries to talk him out of it as Bluesy and Tamaki try to battle the Princess. How will this final battle end? Will anything that…

D.Gray-man (HALLOW) Episode 11: Shouldn’t Innocence be Innocent?
Anime / September 13, 2016

In “Hidden One,” episode 114 (or 11) of D.Gray-man (HALLOW), we learn that any given Cardinal might not be quite the respectable pillar of the community that you might expect; that Allen Walker has some previously unknown relationship to Innocence that puts him at elevated risk of death; that Road Kamelot really does care enough for Allen to put her life on the line; that the Black Order’s leadership, and the leadership of the church in general, is hell-bent on ignoring fact and making knee-jerk decisions; and that Howard Link was earnest when he confessed his sorrow to Allen. Amazon has some great D.Gray-man merchandise. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) The Cardinal, leaving unconscious guards in his wake, enters Allen’s cell. Howard hesitates to intervene. After all, the man’s a Cardinal, and all his life, Howard’s been conditioned to obey the church’s leaders. Allen’s screams of pain quickly weaken Howard’s resolve. Far away, in his secluded bed, the Millennium Earl awakes in a panic. He senses that the Fourteenth is in danger. Finally, Howard gives into to reason and tries to stop the Cardinal using binding talisman. The Cardinal’s too fast and begins using the same kind of attack on Howard that he used on Allen….

Taboo Tattoo Episode 11: Our Heroes Finally Gain Traction, But to What End?
Anime / September 12, 2016

In Taboo Tattoo’s eleventh episode, called “In the Palm of the Hand,” we learn that Cal Shekar is still alive, and even without her most dreadful power, she’s still formidable; Justice Akatsuka is much stronger but still struggles when it comes to situational awareness; Bluesy Fluesy demonstrates how well she can fight with an artificial arm (hint: very well!); and Princess Aryabahta shows that planning ahead has major benefits. Amazon has some great Taboo Tattoo merchandise. Please check it out: What Happened (Spoiler Free) Akatsuka and Tom Shredfield find the spot just above the Tattoo ruins. Tom stays at the top to relay radio signals back to base (where Wiseman, among others, is listening). Akatsuka uses Void Maker to tunnel straight down. As he emerges into the cavern, Cal Shekhar attacks him. Bluesy tries to fight both Lisa Lovelock and R. R. Lurker. Why is Lisa fighting her? Why is R. R. Lurker so incessantly lewd, and how can he fight while talking so much? At the same time, Takami has his hands full with a Sealed whose power spikes when she’s close to death. Can Bluesy and Takami break free to support Akatsuka? Can he survive against Cal Shekar to fight the Princess herself? And even if…

D.Gray-man (HALLOW) Episode 10: Lvellie’s Fury, Allen’s Shackles
Anime / September 6, 2016

In D.Gray-man (HALLOW) episode 10 (or 113), Sinner in Despair, Malcolm C. Lvellie extracts a terrible revenge for Allen Walker not brining Yu Kanda and Alma Karma back from the hidden place; jealousy ferments among the Noah, both at Road Kamelot’s relationship with the Millennium Earl and the Earl’s relationship with the Fourteenth; a Church Council carefully ignores all evidence contrary to their convictions and keeps Allen imprisoned; civil war ferments among the Exorcists living in the European Branch as several of the most powerful, like Lenalee Lee and many scientists, fume at Allen’s captivity, while others demand his execution; and an Arch-Bishop decides to take matters into his own hands. Amazon has some great D.Gray-man merchandise. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) At the North American Branch, Allen tries to work with Tokusa to save the Third Exorcist’s life, but Howard Link, his suspicions of Allen at an all time high, restrains Allen. The Millennium Earl chastises the Black Order for its role in creating the Third Exorcists — and how that act transgressed the very laws of nature. Taking the Third Exorcists with him, the Earl withdraws. Lvellie, furious that Allen disobeyed his orders, throws Allen in prison. Road Kamelot watches over the Earl as he sleeps, exhausted from his confrontation. Why does Tyki Mikk confront her about her relationship with…

Taboo Tattoo Episode 10: A Year Passes but No One Learns…
Anime / September 5, 2016

Letter of Challenge, the tenth episode of Taboo Tattoo, shows how much Justice Akatsuka‘s capabilities can improve with intensive practice and guidance from the memories of Brad Blackstone (a.k.a. BB); shows the furor that Princess Aryabahta’s overly-sexualized and condescending challenge video has on Akatsuka, Bluesy Fluesy, and the team; and, finally, shows that the American military has a singular ability to not learn from its past mistakes. At all. Not even a little. Amazon has some cool Taboo Tattoo merchandise. Please check it out! What Happened (Spoiler Free) After reliving BB’s memories of his escape from the Selinistan Kingdom, Akatsuka agrees to continue the mission to destroy all tattoos. A year passes, and Akatsuka continues training. He’s able to integrate BB’s strengths of planning and combat execution; he’s become a formidable opponent. Princess Aryabahta’s forces discover their location and leave them a video message. The princess, apparently on a carefree vacation on a private beach in California, taunts them to meet her at the Grand Canyon. Bluesy gasps as she recognizes the prisoner. Whose captivity could so upset Bluesy? Wiseman explains the trap that the princess has set. He urges the team to stay away until Akatsuka can become stronger. After all, if…

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