Anime of the Month
Irresponsible Captain Tylor by Tatsunoko Production
The United Planets Space Force and the Raalgon Empire have been at war for years. Justy Ueki Tylor is a slacker determined to make an easy life for himself by joining the UPSF. In his estimation, being a part of the military is easy because they give you free room, board, and clothing. Through a bizarre chain of events Tylor becomes the captain of his own ship despite the fact that he has no real experience. Since the top brass wish to have nothing to do with Tylor they assign him to the Soyokaze, the worst ship in the fleet with every problem case in the space forces. Tylor quickly learns that the crew have forced out every other captain. Tylor seems to survive battle after battle and assassination attempt after assassination attempt of the enemy (and his own crew) through sheer luck. But is Tylor the luckiest man in space or is their some method to his madness?
Irresponsible Captain Tylor can be comedic, dramatic, suspenseful, and action-packed all in one episode. No matter what is going on, the show always exudes an upbeat feeling. The changing between tone never feels abrupt because it has a consistent theme of positivity. Most of the crew is textbook eccentric but they are all fun variations on the stock characters. From the crazy marines to the ships doctor who can only work when drunk they are all guaranteed to bring big ole smile to your face. I would be remiss not to mention that I love Yuriko Star. She is a great, strong female character. She acts as a good foil to Tylor while still being a pleasant, feminine part of the crew.
Tylor himself sells this show. He is easily one of the most entertaining characters in anime. Tylor is an amusing character and every scene with him is infused with a sense of whimsy and energy. He is instantly likable and disarmingly charming.
Manga of the Month
Sugar Sugar Rune by Moyoco Anno
Chocolat and Vanilla are two young witches competing to become queen of their realm. A contest is the way to settle things and the girls are whisked off to the human world. Their mission is to capture people’s hearts but really they are capturing emotions given off by the heart. Chocolat is a hyper, over the top, tomboy while Vanilla is a shy, sweet, feminine girl. Their friendship is built on understanding and knowing they compliment each other. A constant struggle occurs for Chocolat to be herself or to win more hearts (as she quickly learns most guys love Vanilla’s personality). There is also nice dialogue about what it means to take someone’s emotions because once you capture them they forget them (or how they felt about you). Enter Pierre, a boy with a cold demeanor, who Chocolat is determined to win over, but he has his own agenda. This manga’s art certainly sets it apart from a lot of young girls series. The manga-ka is better known for her josei work but actually Sugar Sugar Rune is a perfectly done (and award-winning) children’s manga. It exudes fun and friendship and gives an interesting spin to the magical girl concept.