Redline -Fast and Furious can go to hell!

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A distant future, a 70′ looks bad boy leads and his sexy-smart love interest, a cyborg dictatorship, and a free for all speed race in another galaxy: take all this, mix it with splendid graphic and you’ll get the winning formula that makes Redline an unforgettable movie with a feast for the eyes.

Redline is a 2010 movie (or is it 2009?) made by Madhouse, which brought many good animes productions. It took seven years to makes, but all that time wasn’t wasted at all: the production value is incredible! The graphics are absolutely stunning and makes you wish for more. But first thing first, let’s start with the summary.

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JP is a street racer, and a good one – a speed junky who targets the top. He is choosen to participate into the biggest race of the universe, the Red Line, where the best of them all compete in a race where everything is permitted. One of the competitor is Sonoshee, a cute smart punkish lady who gets in JP’s eye. But the Redline competition is held in Robotworld, where the government is against the competition and will do anything to destroy anyone participating in it. Up against all, with the help of his mechano Frisbee, JP will bet it all to win the race… and Sonoshee’s heart.

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Story: The story is the weak spot of this movie. Don’t get me wrong: weak spot is a relative words, it’s just that if you compare to the others aspects,it’s the weakest. Not that it isn’t a good story, but it’s something we got to see a few times. In this case, it works pretty well and the movie goes on smooth and fast. The movie starts with a bang: the Yellow line race and ends with a bang, the Red line race. Between these two, the interaction between the characters is the most interesting part. I really liked how they built the relationship between JP and Sonoshee, and how they presented the sides characters. Only real complaint: the ending was a bit cut short, so they could have wrapped it a bit more nicely.

Story: 8 on 10

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Characters:  The characters are awesome. Seriously, awesome. For a movie, they are really well developed and the protagonists are easy to love. The viewer is brought to genuinely care about them and by the end, you want them to win. Even if they are based on clichés, they get a  life of their own and get’s away from the “generic anime character”. Even the secondairy characters are interesting and original. This movie really made them come to life on the screen.

Characters: 8.5 on 10

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Graphic and animation: One of the selling point of this movie: the amazing graphics and the stunning animation. It took seven years to makes it and it worth it. Everything is well made, but there’s also a little plus of funky effects and cool camera angles. The movie is far from the usual anime standards and this is for the better. Every scene, every plan looks alive. The characters move in a credible way, even the most strange aliens; the background aren’t stactics but don’t gets in the way of the action either; the cars are really originals and the races are splendid. This is the proof that animation is an art in itself.

Animation: 10 on 10

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Music and Sound: The music is cool and fits pretty well into the movie, really adds a plus to the scenes, but that’s all there is to say about it. This isn’t an OST I would buy. On the other hand, the voice acting is amazing. Really smooth, natural, every voices really fits the characters. It’s one of the best I’ve seen.

Sound: 9 on 10

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Enjoyment Factor: The enjoyment factor is over the top! This is a movie that does really well it’s purpose: entertain. And this is entertaining like hell! This is the kind of movie that gives chills to the viewers and let’s us wanting more. This is the kind of movie I could watch again. And since the graphics are so amazing, it adds a little something to the excitement of watching it.

Enjoyment: 9.5 on 10

Total note: 90 on 100

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K Project review: Cool Kings and Cool Kids

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The K project anime was a mysterious one: a special name with one letter, no information on the story, previews showing only a cast of various characters fighting, the studio working on it wasn’t really know, a cast of great voice actors and a busty front girl. As the anime started in October, the impressive visual and the premises shows in the firsts episodes really draw our attention  and  many of us where comparing it with other urban-fantastic tales. Unfortunately,  K didn’t keep up the quality. But let’s start by the beginning, the summary first.

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Summary

Isana Yashiro is an high school boy who  is know by anyone but don’t really have any close friends. His high school is on an island near a big city, and one day, as he goes to an errand for the school festival, he is chased by a group of violent youngster who claim that he killed their friend, Tatara Totsuka. They have Yashiro’s face on camera just before he kill him and declare he is the new seventh king.  The group is Homra and is led by the red king, Mikoto Suoh. Fortunately, someone come and rescue Yashiro, a young man named Yatogami Kuroh who carry a katana and have samurai manners. But instead of saving him, Kuroh claim he have to kill him since he is the new colorless king and he is bad since he killed someone. Yashiro persuade him that he can prove he is wrong so Kuroh come and live at the school with him and Neko, a young female who have special power of illusion (and becoming a cat…). At the same time, another group named Scepter 4, a militia like group ruled by the blue king Reisi Munakata, wants to stop Mikoto Suoh because of the way the power of the kings works, he could bring mass destruction.

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The review

Story: 6 on 10

Like many anibloggers (wow, first time I use this word…), I was intrigued by this anime, for the many reasons listed before. The first episode gave us some good elements for the story and the whole concept of the world where K is set is interesting: a modern city in Japan but where seven kings with special powers attract people to them, but with the constant danger of the “sword of Damocles”, a big sword that appears in the sky each time they use their powers. And then, the young man who get into this mess by accident… or not, since he isn’t really sure if he could be the murderer. Helped by his side-kick (Kuroh) and the hot chick (Neko), he have to get to the bottom of this tangled situation. But the story goes in all direction and things get… not so well. This a fun anime, but many things are left unexplained or unclear and the end left me with a bitter taste. I enjoyed the ride, but this could have been much better.

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Characters: 5 on 10

The main problem about the characters is that I don’t really care about them since we didn’t really get to them and they don’t get any development. Yashiro is funny and quite mysterious, but I couldn’t bring myself to cheers on him.  Kuroh, who looks really cool in the first episode, become Yashiro house wife for whatever reason. I understand how they wanted to bring a funny side of him and make him more human, but it just makes him annoying. Neko is obviously there only for the fan service and to conveniently be used when there’s a plot hole, since her power is the one to create illusions. The others characters are cool, but we don’t really get to know anything about them, so it’s pretty difficult to understand their goals. The two others characters we get to know a little more ( and only a little) are Yata with his skateboard and Fushimi who betray Homra for Scepter 4. Even the blue and red king aren’t people we care about, and we couldn’t care less about the one who was killed. This could have been avoided if the anime was a bit longer:  knowing each team and theirs members, how they interact together, who was Totsuka, more about the past of Weisman and how the Damocles sword works (or why, for that matter…),etc. The viewer could love the characters a bit more and relate to them. Because as it is now, we don’t get to know them, they don’t get any development and we don’t really care about what happens to them.

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Animation and visual: 9 on 10

The visual is really the good point of K: every thing looks gorgeous. The characters are really well draw, the background are superb, the animation are fluid, the battle scene great, the color are brights, this was spectacular. The visual of the opening and ending are interesting too, even if the opening was mostly using clips from the anime. And the quality of the animation doesn’t wears off as the serie goes on. This is really a good point of this anime.

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Music and sound: 7.5 on 10

The cast doing the voice acting is really good. most of them being popular voice actor and every voice seemed to fit the character. I really liked some characters voice a lot, like the voice of the red king with the “I don’t care” feeling or the psychopathic voice of Fushimi when he says “Mi-sa-ki”. But on the other side, I didn’t really enjoyed the music. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. The opening was forgettable and the too many change of pace in the music makes it hard to remember (except the start of the song, which annoyed me a lot). The ending was a cute little song that I really like, but this isn’t something I’ll really listen to. The music during the anime is a mix of many kind, electro, a bit of street beats, hip hop, etc. This is really urban, not bad music, but not really good either. I sometimes felt the music was out of place, like slow beat during a battle.

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Enjoyment: 8 on 10

Even with all these flaws, K was fun to watch. The intriguing story and the many plot twist were funs to follow, the characters were cool (yeah, even with all I says, they were cool!), the setting interesting… I enjoyed the ride. But a few more episode to explain more and to get to know the characters more would have been better. I suppose they put all the budget on the visual, so there wasn’t anything left for the rest… just kidding! But K is a fun anime, with flaws, yes, but fun to watch anyway.

Global note: 75 on 100

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Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita review: anti-social heroin and creepy fairies

What kind of species would take the place of humanity if we decline in a (not so  far) future? The answer of the creator of this summer strangest anime: fairies. But not the kind of “nature-loving green leprechaun fairy dancing with a bucket of gold” fairies, the fairies in Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita are little cute things with a big smile, that love sweets and only wish to have fun… which often leads to catastrophic  results. Of course, an anime with only littles fairies having fun by themselves wouldn’t be interesting enough, so there we have the heroin of our show, who isn’t named for twelves episode, so let’s call her “Watashi”, since she is the point of view of the whole show. In fact, no humans are ever given proper names…

Summary: The anime works in mini-arcs of two episodes each, with only a few exceptions of stand alone episodes. In every arcs, we follow Watashi in her work as a mediator between the fairies and the remaining humans that lives in villages with few commodities. There are still remains of the world as we know it, but the people seem s to have a rural way of life. The fairies are usually hidden and don’t really mix with the humans, living in their own communities, but not too far from the village. In her work, Watashi obviously meet fairies that often help her and even save her and other times really get annoying. The girl visit many strange places, like a factory build by the fairies, an ancient abandonned city underground, a city slum that develop in a big city, an island, a school, etc. During her adventures, she is often accompanied by Assistant, who is… well, her Assistant! Watashi’s grandfather also work as a mediator and he send her to missions with the fairies.

Story: Put this way, it doesn’t seems really exciting, but it is difficult to resume the story without spoiling it. It’s even more complicated since the episode aren’t in chronological order and the whole point of the anime isn’t really in the story as a whole, but in the critic of the society that are made in every arcs or the funny situations the fairies bring.

Only in the first episode, we a confronted to suicidal-carotte bread, flying head-less chickens, sarcastic commentary made by an heroine with a strange moral sense, a big factory without any workers inside and little fairies smiling while talking about all the humans dying starved to death… And this is only in the first twenty minutes of the show! The story can be taken as a whole, but each arcs can also stand by themselves. This show is a pretext to criticize some of our modern behaviors and some nonsenses in our lives. The message could be “if we continue in this way, the humanity will really decline”. The clash between the color pastel and the down to earth message really is an interesting one. I quite enjoyed the stories, even if some were less interesting than other and all episode doesn’t have the same story telling qualities. Some mini-arcs of two episodes could also have been made in only one episode. Well, I still loved the show.

Story: 8 on 10

Characters: The main character was brilliant! I love how her cute look doesn’t match her personality. When I’ve seen the picture of the show before it aired, I thought this would be a boring story of a cute gentle little girl becoming friend with fairies… how wrong was I! This girl have no social skills, is full of sarcasm, is sometimes really mean, have a strange moral compass… brief, she isn’t your average heroine! But she can still be nice and all her qualities and defaults makes her more realistic. The secondaries characters aren’t all of the same interest. The assistant is pretty funny, and the fact that he doesn’t talk is a good reason to put jokes. One of Watashi’s friend, M (or Silver Hairs…) is an energetic girl with a pure love for yaoi stories and is really fun to watch. There were a few other fun characters, but the fact that we don’t really see them more than  in more than one or two episode makes it difficult to really care about them. But this isn’t a show to watch for the characters development, so it feels alright in global.

We can’t talk about the characters of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita without talking about the fairies. In this show, the fairies are approximately ten centimeter tall, have big smile, little eyes and wears bright colored clothes and hat. They likes sweets and everything fun, but they don’t really understand the humans way of being and  this bring a lot of creepy commentary on humanity.  I really thing the fairies in this anime are creepy. They have no moral sense! I think they are the second main character of the show, or else the main subject. I really liked how they interact with Watashi and I feel we didn’t saw the extend of their power in these twelves episodes.

Characters: 7.5 on 10

Graphic and Animation: The whole world of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is in pastel color, which makes it strange for an anime that makes so many critics of the society. This is one of the characteristic really  defining the anime. The characters are cute and really move well,  and this is overall  a show that is enjoyable to watch. The OP animation was funny, but I really liked the ending animation.

Animation: 8 on 10

Music and Sound: the Op was funny, but pretty standard. On the other hand, it quite suited the anime in a whole, talking a bout sweets in a joyous tone (with dancing fairies everywhere…). Like I says in the graphic part, the ending was stunning, I really liked the feeling it gives and the music was beautiful. Other than that, the voice acting was good, but nothing overwhelming and the fairies had a creepy voice that suited them well….

Sound: 7.5 on 10

Enjoyment factor: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita was a fun anime. I wasn’t really prepared for what it was, since I thought this was going to be an anime with a fluffy atmosphere and girly questions with fairies solving it… or something around theses lines. But I was  surprised: I really loved the sarcasm and the heroin attitude. The theme were well chosen and and were diverse, plus the fact that the story is tell in the disorder add  some fun. But some of the mini-arcs were less interesting than other, some were rather long and could have fitted in a whole episode and the end leaves us with an empty felling. After watching the twelfth episode, all I was thinking was “that’s all?”. It would have been good to have one last episode to wrapped all the stories together. But the way they put it was intriguing  and it was a joy to watch this anime all summer.

Enjoyment: 7.5 on 10

Final score: 77 on 100

 

Jormungand : guns, child and crazy weapon dealer… review of an exploding cocktail

The second season of Jormungand will start in a few week, so I had to catch up the few episodes I hadn’t watched yet. All cleared. My verdict: an explosive mix of action with original but cool animations, crazy leads but somehow a forgettable rest of the cast (including the antagonists).

But the question is, did I enjoyed it? A lot. This was a funny action-packed ride. You don’t watch Jormungand for the character development or relations (even if there are interesting ones), but the adrenaline emanating from it. Each episode have a fight of some kind. Well, let’s review now.

Summary: Jonah is a child soldier and he is hired by Koko Hekmatyar as a soldier of her cool protection and action team. As a weapon-dealer, she travels the world to sells these deadly products and many people wants to see her death. The CIA, represented by the fool mouthed Scarecrow and the glutton cute Chocolate, also  sees her as a threat. Many assassins are sent to eliminate her.

Fortunately, Koko also have a team to protect and help her: Valmet, the woman soldier, specialist in knife fight, infatuated with Koko; Lehm, the veteran bodyguard sniper who used to work for Koko’s father; Mao, a Japanese solder who let his family behind; Lutz who was in the anti-terrorist police and is disgusted with killing people; Ugo, the ex-mafiosi who  drives the car; and e few others less meaningful. Now, let’s review.

Story: The story is divided in mini-arc of one or two episodes each. There is probably a more complex story coming for the season two, but here it looked like “monster of the week”, or “assassin of the week” in this case. Even thought, these mini-arc were entertaining. Like I’ve said in the introduction, this isn’t an anime worth watching for the storytelling or the characters development, it’s fun to watch for the action. We have a little character development and the behind story of a few characters, particularly Valmet and Jonah, a bit of Koko’s past too, but that’s all there is.

I understand that as a weapon-dealer, she have to keep a number of trained soldier by her side for protection, but the little number of episode (12) don’t let place for the development of each one of them. On the other hand, This isn’t a serie that should be more than 25 episode (season two is coming after all) and the second season will probably be more linear than episodic.                                                                                                   Note: 7 on 10

Characters: Like many others bloggers have stated, what we retain of this anime is “her name is Koko, she is loco I said oh no!”, because Koko is what hold the show. Sure, Jonah is interesting and his reactions are funny to watch, the fact that he is a child could have been shocking, but sice he is sometimes threated as a child it become less deranging. The author puts in the story other young killers, but the show don’t really focus on this side of the reality, more on the gun fight and cool tactics moves. So, Koko is the real main character here, even if we follow the point of view of Jonah. Koko is interesting: a young beautiful and cunning woman, a genius of business but with a crazy side. Sometimes too crazy, it become ridiculous, but she is fun to watch.

Well, Koko isn’t the only crazy character around…

Valmet, who have one of the only background and characters development of the serie, is interesting. She is absolutely in love with koko, and is so cute with her, but she is also a very well-trained soldier and is serious in battle. I would have liked to have more of Lehm back story, he seems to had an interesting life and is the down-to-earth of the team. The others member are quite forgettable. Lutz is pretty cute, but we don’t get to know him much. The antagonist were forgettable, “bad of the week” style. The first assassins from orchestra were funny, but other than that… The CIA couple, Scarecrow and Chocolate are also funny, but there isn’t much to say about them. Not much to say, is like many of the characters  .                                                                           Note: 5 on 10

Graphics and animation: The graphics of Jormungand aren’t your usual “anime-style”, they are original and gives a little touch to the show. It’s a bit strange at first, be after getting used to it, it gives a special vibes that I really like. It gives a more brutal look to the show. There are also little detail added here and there for the artistic touch, like a view like the camera was full of blood. The many guns and weapon seems to be depict quite realistically (well, as far as I know), idem for cars or building. I really liked the background: in the desert, it feels like the desert and Europe looks like Europe, which isn’t always the case in animes. The animation were fluid, the battles exciting, and the characters had normal movement for the most. I can says the graphic side of the show was really good.                                Note: 9 on 10

Sound and  music: The sound of Jormungand is excellent. I even bought it! A mix of many musical style: electro, classical, middle-east voice, a bit of rap, calm guitar, etc. It also really fitted the serie. I usually don’t really listen to background anime music, but this one was really well made and is fun to listen to. The Op was dynamic, fun but a bit cliché for the genre, with the gratuitous English, but somehow fitted well. The ED was a cute calm music, but not really special either. Sound was gun fight. I’m kidding, but nothing to add on this register.                                                                   Note: 9 on 10

Enjoyment factor: the enjoyment factor is really important when reviewing an anime. Why? because some anime don’t have a great story neither great characters, the plot isn’t complicated or mysterious but they are fun to watch. Jormungand is in such categories. I liked it a lot, I liked the characters, even if they don’t get development, I like the fights, I like the concept, I liked the music, brief, I liked it a lot! I’m really looking forward the next season ( in a few week!) so this anime was fun. It’s not for everybody and it have many flaws, but it’s still good enough for me.                          Note: 8.5 on 10

So, overall, Jormungand have many flaws, don’t have any development between the characters and poor antagonist, but it is fun to watch. So if you are looking for an action-packed anime with funny side and original animation, this is for you. If you are looking for deep story, nice people or development, go watch something else. This is a crazy ride with many explosive moments involving guns, weapon, a child soldier, crazy weapon dealer, lesbian veteran, brief, an exploding cocktail on the screen!

Final Score: 77 on 100

Koko’s twisted fantasy…

Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon review

The second season currently airing this summer, I was curious to see what exactly Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon ( freely translated Horizon in the middle of nowhere) was about. I had read reviews stating it was absolutely fabulous, other saying it was an horrible anime or people watching it only for the boobs jumping everywhere on the screen… Well, this isn’t as bad as I thought, but this isn’t good either. And the girls really have strange bodies… But I enjoy it a little. So now, let’s review!

The summary is difficult to make because of the complexity of the setting. But don’t get me wrong, the story isn’t that complicated, it’s even a bit cliché! The action is set in the future, but after some kind of big apocalypse, the survivor had to share the last piece of land that could sustain life on Earth, the Japan.  So the remaining countries tries to share the land and replay the whole history based on the Testament.  Years is something like 1648 or whatever… When a piece of land named Mikawa is destroyed, an automaton who have the soul of a dead girl must take responsability and commit suicide. But Aoi Tori, the hero, was going to tell is love to the girl, so he goes to rescue her before she dies. Everyone in his classroom share his goal and help him in his quest.

Stated like this the story seems easy to follow, but don’t be fooled: it’s a total mess. Too many genres, too many characters, too many explanation that in the end explain nothing, too many goal, too many way to fight, too many organizations, too many setting, in brief this series is too much. It feels like the author (since it was based on light novels that aren’t that light….) wanted to write about everything he likes and get something out of it. Or he tried to be original but it didn’t worked. But some of those ideas are interesting. I like the idea of “rewriting the history” and of an evil organization controlling it. The melange between the traditional shinto and the mecha is interesting. The Seven deadly sins armament taken from the emotions of a young girl is also good.

The characters are of all kind: some good, some bad, but all of them fell unatural. First, the body design are strange. Some girls have huge hair or huge boobs or even huge arms wich makes the characters looks like a  caricature. There is a boy who looks like a cartoon Indian and makes curry (how racist is that?)m another one who is nude and have horn but no genitals, one that is a kind of robot… There even are lesbian angel-witches… This is a too huge cast and it’s easy to get lost. It also makes it difficult to actually care for them when they are involved in a battle since we don’t gat enough time to know them before them get into fights.

The two protagonist, Aoi Tori and Horizon Ariadust (is this really a name???) are a little more depicted but not so much. We learn a little about Aoi past, but his annoying and perverted habits makes it difficult to take him seriously. He even doesn’t really have any power and the his only power is to be able to support his friends. Horizon, being a doll doesn’t express any emotions and she don’t really care about dying, which makes it difficult for the viewer to care about her death. Some characters would have been more interesting if we could have been able to learn more about them. Futayo Honda, the samourai girl with the Tomboki spear  is interesting and have a good design. Noriki, a boy in the class could also have been interesting. The young blind girl  is interesting and Masasumi Honda background could have been explore a little more since it bring depth to her personality. Muneshige Tachibana was an interesting opponent too. All the other were or annoying or superfluous…

Mahou Shoujo! uh no…

The visual wasn’t too bad. Yeah, some characters design were annoying, I have talk about it before. But the rest of the visual was pretty nice. I love the idea of the flying ships that let a trail that looks like water around. The costumes were strange but okay I guess (except the big mecha girls like Gin Tachibana who looks crazy….), futuristic fan-service oblige. The animation went smoothly and most of the battles were well done.

The sound was bad. Really bad. All of it. The opening song was is some kind of bad Japanese pop-techno, the music during the anime was also bad and the few ending theme were forgettable. The “Torimasu” song sing by P-01 (Horizon doll) is the only enjoyable music out there, and the dance version during Kimi show is really really bad.

So, in a whole, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t good either. I’ll probably go watch the second season now, because I’m curious to see where it goes, but the annoying sides of the show could makes me stop before the end… It’s a bit annoying to have to search the Internet for the terminology of word inside an anime… I don’t know. My personal opinion about all of this: this is a self-insert story by the author, Minoru Kawakami, and his own avatar in the world he created is Toussaint Neshinbara… this boy makes what he write the reality! Anyway, maybe the novel is better, but in the end, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon is an anime not to take too seriously. Final note: 5.5 on 10

Characters: obey me! I am your creator!

Ok, let’s end this on something better…

Sankarea Review

A zombie is usually a dead person animated back by a mysterious power. It’s decaying, brainless and sometimes eats flesh or brains from other living humans. Would you fall in love with such a being? Well, the protagonist of Sankarea have this utterly strange fetish: he wants to have a love story with a zombie. And he even achieve his dream in this spring 2012 anime.

After the death of his cat Babu, Chihiro Furuya wants to bring him back as a zombie. He found a recipe in an old book and try to makes the potion to bring him back. In the yard of the abandoned building where he makes his experiment, a young girl comes and shout her anger and distress, thinking she is alone. But Furuya-kun sees her. She decide to help him with his experiement, but she took a bit of the potion and drink it. After falling from a cliff, she comes back as a zombie girl and go live with Furuya. Her name is Rea Sanka, Sanka Rea in the usual Japanese manner of writing.

Story: 6.5 on 10. The premise of Sankarea is really interesting: a guy obsessed by zombies get himself a zombie girl. How does it turn out? how can you get her body not to decay? Is she dangerous? But as interesting a premise is, a story can’t only live on this. The pace of the anime was annoying: a great few starting episode, some episodes in the middle where almost nothing happen and the episode 10 and 11 to get to the climax,  and a last episode that resolve nothing. Between episode 5 and 9, it’s more like slice of life, other characters view, a light ecchi and minimum mysteries. This anime have difficulties keeping a good pace. It’s a waste since the premise was interesting, the characters too, the graphic good, but if the story don’t keep up, the anime gets bad. I can enjoy an anime with bad graphic if the story is good, but not the contrary.

But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all that bad, I enjoy it, but it could have been better, a lot better. And since I’ve watch it recently in a marathon, I understand how frustrating it must have been to have to wait between each week for something to happen.

Characters: 6 on 10. Sankarea have a cast of interesting characters. A few ones were annoying, but most of them were greatly depicted. The protagonist, Furuya Chihiro, is really cute with his hair like cat ears. A really like how he react to some events, his lack of interest in anything not related to zombies and his childish way of acting. Rea Sanka was a bit annoying. I sometime felt her reactions weren’t natural and her reserved and shy personality kind of annoyed me. Wanko, who is Furuya’s childhood friend was energetic and dynamic, but her love for Chihiro sometime felt a bit forced. Mero-chan, Furuya’s brother, was one of my favorite character. She looks like a ghost and isn’t really expressive, but I quite liked her reactions. Same for their grandfather, a crazy old fart who is always surprised by what’s in his soup.

The antagonist, Rea’s father was creepy as hell, but didn’t felt realistic. Her mother neither and I have some problem with the way she have react to when she heard her husband was taking nude picture of Rea. I would have call the Children Protection, but she was just jealous.The annoying characters were Chihiro’s friends: the pervert one was way too cliché in is search for a girl and the other one felt like a child. Every scene they appears in  could have been cut. Mero-chan friends, that we only sees in one episode were forgettable too.

Graphics: 9 on 10. The graphics were pretty well done. The background felt like photos, the characters moved smoothly, are well draw and have different clothes each days, which add to the realism. I also liked the fact that even if this was a zombie (to some extend) anime, the atmosphere was more bright, except a few scene were suspense  was on. The opening was also interesting and gets well with the rest of the anime.

Sound and Music: 8 on 10: I really liked the OP song, it feels so cute and suits the anime and the whole smooth ambiance. The ED song was forgettable, I didn’t really listened to it more than once. The ambient sound and music were okay, didn’t stand out but didn’t deranged either.

Enjoyment: 7 on 10: Sankarea was a good anime. Not a great one, but not a bad one either, just okay I guess. The whole anime was exciting to watch, but the pace problem was sometime getting on my nerves. I was also reluctant to watch it because of the “ecchi” tag, but it finnally wasn’t that bad (well, since I’ve watched Queen Blade Rebellion, I shouldn’t be scare of any ecchi for the rest of my life…). Only a few scene were deranging, not because of the ecchiness, but because of their random feel: a zombie wont  rip the shirt of a girl to lick her breast, a zombie would crack open her skull and eat her brain…

The ending was a bit boring: nothing was resolve. There could be a season two, but there could also not be one and that would be alright, since this isn’t an “open” end: the protagonist was beaten. everyone is happy, yeah there are still some problems, but the optimistic future will help us… So, Sankarea was good. Did I enjoyed it? yeah, that was fun to watch. Will I rewatch it? no, one time is enough. Do I recommend it? Yes if you like love story with a twist, if you watch the twelve episode in a row and if you have nothing else to do. No if you really wanted to watched zombie stuff, if you are looking for super-ecchi, if you hate story with strange pace or if you are annoy by cliché girls.

Alien, Fishing and Friendship: A Tsuritama Review

What does fishing and aliens have in common? Well, not so much, except in the excellent spring 2012 anime Tsuritama.

Summary:The story is about four boys who start to go fishing together and learn a lot about human relationship and end up saving the world from a danger for the whole humanity. There is Yuki, a social dysfunctional high school boy who makes a scary face each time he don’t know how to react in society. The boy who start it all, Haru, is a self proclaimed Alien who came to earth to fish and goes around talking to a fish or shoots people with is water gun. Natsuki is a young fishing champion but also an introvert boy who doesn’t know how to act with his family. And there is finally Akira, a 25 years old Indian spy send to Enoshima to keep an eyes on Haru. He have a domestic duck called Tapioca and he doesn’t really know how to have friends or laugh.

The Story: 7.5 on 10.

The story is really amusing. The idea of fishing, a underestimated sport and aliens, clashed with the social outcast bring a crazy but interesting story. The pace before the story really start was a bit slow: the first part of the show is really about  the techniques for fishing and presenting us all the cast. But when the setting is set, the story takes a surprising turn and is really enjoyable!

The Characters: 9 on 10.

The characters are really the best thing of the show: every single one of them is interesting, even minor characters like Akira’s boss or the old shinto  priest at Enoshima Shrine. Enoshima itself takes a great place in the story. But I’ve felt that the show could have be a bit longer to really present us each characters: we really learn to know about Haru and Yuki, a bit more about Natsuki and his family but Akira’s story is a bit left out and he join the cast a bit later. Some minor characters, like the girl working to the  shrine feels important in the two first episode but isn’t really used after this. I think that if the anime was a few episode more, like 16 or 17 (I know, there isn’t animes of that length… but 20 or 26 episodes would have been too long) we could have learned a bit more about everyone.

The visual: 9.5 on 10.

I loved the visual! Everything was so bright, so joyful, so fresh. A lots of original ideas (the Duck team with their fantastic intervention costume were cool), some fantasist colors here and there, but with a touch of realism that makes Enoshima and the area easy to recognize for anyone who had already been there. The Op visual was great too with the dance and all, and the animation made like “collage” in the ending or in the introduction to the show were original too.

The Sound and the Music: 8 on 10.

The opening song was really fun and catchy, it really suits the show. The ending song was good, but forgettable. The sound during the show suits the story and I really liked the Enoshima dance. But overall, the sound were ordinary. The voice acting was interesting and well done, but nothing exceptional or special there. But this isn’t a story that need a special voice acting or voice modulation. But Haru’s voice really suited him and sounded real (for an alien who is learning human relationship).

So did I enjoyed Tsuritama? A lot! It’s one of my all time favorite! I really liked it and since I marathon-ed all the episode in two days (something I rarely do), I can says that it was pure enjoyment. Of course there were some flaw in the story and this isn’t a story everyone will like. But personally, I loved this anime and the original story, the lovable cast, the funny visual… it’s a cute little anime without being pretentious, something to watch on summers days. I must says my enjoyment was also due to the fact that I love Enoshima, it’s a place I want to return absolutely. But even if the story was somewhere else in Japan (there are so many places with fishing histories), I would have enjoyed it.

DUCK!

The little details like Tapioca, the domesticated duck, the anti-aliens agency (“DUCK!”) with turbans, the young love-sick boat captain, Eno-shima-Don, all those little things made me fall in love with this anime. Of course this isn’t for everyone, but if you like a light and original story, strong bonds of friendship and great  characters development with an original visual and a summer vibe, you will likes Tsuritama for sure.