Posts Tagged ‘Toriko’

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #122

April 22, 2011

If there are two current Shonen Jump properties that would easily integrate into one another, they are One Piece and Toriko. What with Luffy and crew’s constant island hoping, and penchant for eating large quantities of food, meeting Toriko is right in line with things. So just when the Strawhats find their cupboards bare they spot an island. Luffy, Chopper, Nami, and Sanji head out to find food and run into giant pigs that while still alive already have that yummy barbecued smell and flavor. This is also where they meet Toriko who mistakes Chopper for another piece of rare cuisine. Let the fighting and eating commence! This was actually my introduction to Toriko and it was a lot of rambunctious fun! And that’s all it is, though I don’t know if there is any over arching plot beyond discovering these foods to worry about later on, it just doesn’t need it.

Before we kicked off watching Toriko for the season preview we decided to watch the one hour One Piece/Toriko cross over special. The purpose of the cross over is simple. Toriko is new and they want to build an audience for the show and One Piece is insanely popular so it will draw viewers by default. Despite that cynical reasoning the two shows cross over easily in a very organic fashion. It begins with the One Piece pirates and the Toriko gang landing on the same fantastical island of food. Since both groups are gluttonous little gourmands the fact that they would team up to get delicious but dangerous dishes the logical conclusion of their meeting more than a forced plot device. They have to do the prerequisite fight that is quickly broken up to turn into a team up rather quickly. After the initial misunderstanding is cleared up Toriko and Luffy band together to take down some tasty monsters and rescue their weaker party members when they are kidnapped. I did notice that the Strawhats got a bit of the short end of the stick. Half the pirate crew was on the boat most of the special and Luffy seems to be underpowered in order to let Toriko shine. But this was really made to hook people on what a manly man Toriko therefore if Luffy is destroying everything he meets than people will forget Toriko before they even get a chance to know him. But that does not diminish this fun little side quest. It is recommended for fans of either series or anyone who likes humorous shonen fighting shows.

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Spring 2011 Anime Guide Part 2: Fast and the Furious

April 21, 2011

Watch:

Tiger and Bunny

The title Tiger and Bunny doesn’t exactly bring to mind power-armored superheroes, but that is just one of the delightful oddities about this series. The reality TV show aspect adds all kinds of entertaining variables including collectible cards, behind the scenes drama, hamming it up actors, and washed-up heroes. And that washed-up hero angle found in Kotetsu is what was both funny and endearing in the first episode. Even though he gets a second chance, it is obviously a rather suspicious deal that plays on the real-life seedy reputation much of the Hollywood machine (or the Japanese equivalent) has. Tiger and Bunny has tounge-in-cheek humor, cool action, a colorful cast, and even a bit of social commentary.

Tiger and Bunny right off the bat remind me of Astro Fighter Sunred in the fact that Tiger and Bunny does for superheros what Sunred does for Tokusatsu shows. It has a dry wit where it both acts as satire and homage to the genre it is looking at. But where as Sunred is mostly slice of life with no real plot and lots of gags Tiger and Bunny has a good deal of action and an overall plot plus its humor is also a bit more subtle and in the background. The humor naturally springs from the fact that there are corporate sponsored super heroes who fight crime with powers and super suits while earning points on reality TV. We clearly have a buddy cop formula with the old-timer who is being left behind is teamed up with the cocky young know it all. It is a fun show that knows how to take a ridiculous premise and ground it in something solid to produce an entertaining show. Kotetsu is sympathetic as a struggling single dad who wants be a proper hero in a world obsessed with appearances and his likable personality really sells the show. It looks like it will be a fun show to watch. I do wonder if the plot is going to get darker as we go on as even the first episode implies that this reality TV show might have a more sinister agenda.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #115

February 18, 2011

I am not exactly sure what I was expecting with Amnesia Labyrinth 1 but I know it was not this. The story was by Nagaru Tanigawa who wrote the Haruhi Suzumiya books. Narutaki and I were interested because it was being sold like it was a creepy murder mystery. And the book does not lie about that. The fact of the matter is that it probably underplays how utterly messed up this book is. If you go in expecting the happy-go-lucky antics of Haruhi Suzumiya you will be in for a shock. The story has two faces. There is the mostly lighthearted investigation of Souji Kushiki and Sasai Yukako trying to discover who has been killing the most gifted students at school. While there is a dark undercurrent in this half of the story it is mostly upbeat. But the second half of the story resolves around  Souji Kushiki and his family and that is always hyper sexual in the most disturbing way possible. All three of his sisters are clearly engaged in some form of sexual relationship with him. It is really odd in the fact that I am not sure how much these scene are played for the purposes of titillation and how much they are just supposed to be flat-out creepy. They are always seriously creepy. Whenever one of his sisters is flirting with him (or in one cases sleeping with him) there is a distinct feeling that everything going on is very unnatural and sick. But at the same time there is also an air of eroticism in these scenes. I don’t know if it is going for both at the same time or if I am selling short the nudity and sex for just being there for the sake of nudity and sex. But you have to be aware that this is present in the series before going in. There is an intriguing possibly supernatural mystery going on but some people are going to be turned away but the omnipresent twisted sexuality of the manga. The art is oddly variable. At times backgrounds are detailed and complex and other times they are utterly non-existent. Also for some reason the art remind me of a really professional done doujinshi in the character designs and page layout. Overall I can’t place my feelings on this manga. All I do know is that this is not Haruhi.

I had heard of Amnesia Labyrinth probably for the same reason as anyone else has, it is written by the Haruhi author. I also knew it was a mystery series so of course I was curious about it. The book starts with the death of a third top-of-the-class student who we learn later was a friend of Yukako who runs the The Intelligence Committee (which has exactly one member). Souji has just transferred back to the school and also is readjusting to home life and eventually gets swept up in Yukako’s desire to find the culprit. That sounds all well and good, but everything about this series is creepy and it makes you suspicious of everything and everyone involved; I know you wouldn’t think it from that top picture but it is true, in a certain way it is playing with your expectations. Though I won’t say the series doesn’t start out with a not-quite-right vibe, it only becomes more pronounced as the volume continues. Despite things like the clear harem aspects of the series, an enticing mystery is woven in the first volume that made me want to know the answers but kind of afraid to find out. Why did Souji leave previously? What’s with this crazy incest family? Who is that guy who looks like Souji? Why is Yukako so attached to Souji? Does Harumi have multiple personalities? Some of these are actual questions and some of these are my speculations, but I like a mystery that is this meaty. I won’t lie though, the sexual situations in this title made me very uncomfortable, but at least for the moment I’m giving Amnesia Labyrinth the benefit of the doubt because I think we are supposed to be uncomfortable. So turn those pages quickly! I really had to mull over my feelings on this book, but I came to the conclusion that at least for the moment I want to continue. Read the rest of this entry ?

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