Ongoing Investigations: Case #143

It has been awhile since I saw Last Exile but overall I remember liking the series so I was eager to watch Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing. Right off the bat the series reminds you of one thing: Range Murata is definitely a lolicon. Any perusal of one of his Robot art books will remind you of that fact. So when Fam starts the series in her underwear and sleepwalking I am not exactly sure why people were SUPER surprised. It does set an odd precedent as the episodes I have seen since then never have that odd level of fan service again. Perhaps Gonzo thought this was putting their best foot forward but I think most people would disagree. Other than that poor choice it is mostly the Last Exile you remember. Apparently the prediction that moving to an abundant planet would stop the conflicts was optimistic thinking because it seems war had broken out again. But really without giant airship battles I don’t think people would be anywhere near as interested in Last Exile. Since the Guild is no more they don’t have the musket battles but in their place there are air pirates so you can get your Skies of Arcadia grove on. Fans of the original series will notice that Dio is alive and well. Still sort of loopy but definitely calmer. How exactly he survived after Last Exile has yet to be explained (if it will be explained at all.) After three episodes I have yet to make a firm decision on the series. It has a primarily female cast. While there are men the three main characters and primary focus are all young ladies. So that means no wading into harem territory like people accused the series of doing with Claus but it then does lend itself to the yuri subtext being in everything that the world of the pink ghetto casts. Fam and Giselle seem fine with Fam being the spunky one and Giselle being the quiet one. Millia is not only a princess but also a princess character and that means she can be a bit grating. The action has been pretty good so far and the plot has potential. But as far as I can tell the main villain’s problem seems to be that everyone is far too happy and he will not be having that which could lead to a very corny developments. I am interested enough to keep watching but still hesitant to give it a recommendation yet.

As many others did, when I got Sailor Moon vol. 1 I also got Codename Sailor V vol. 1. This was new to me, I knew about it of course and had looked at some of it, but never really got to read it. Having read Sailor Moon first of the two, it put me in the exact mood for the young girl fantasy that is Sailor V. The big difference between these two so far is that Sailor V is decidedly free of any serious romantic entanglements instead focusing on peppy Mina’s daily struggles with classes balanced with sometimes saving the world as a Sailor Guardian thanks to talking cat Artemis. Mina amuses me greatly in her slacker fashion which prefers video games and idols to studying and saving people. Since this is a primer for Sailor Moon you can obviously see a lot of Usagi in Mina but they are still different because Mina is very physically capable. This is also what makes her so fun as she loves kicking baddies once she is roped into caring. Sailor V also becomes something of a legendary icon as the story goes on getting her own video game, fan club, and even a police detective rival among other amusing things. Once she has been in action a while, Mina gets more serious and both her and readers start to wonder who is “the boss” and why Mina was chosen for this role. I am curious to see how this ties in swiftly to Sailor Moon.

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S.W.A.T. Reviews: Summer 2011

Four years into the blog has taught us, to a degree, what works and what needs changing. When we started the blog the season reviews were some of the most popular posts but as time went on we have seen a distinct decline in interest. A large part of that has to do with Anime News Network now doing a seasonal review and in a very timely fashion. In response, we sat down to decide how to revamp the seasonal review to stay relevant. Our idea is to do micro-podcasts instead of a whole article. The premise behind the S.W.A.T. (Season Watching Anime Taskforce) reviews is simple: watch the first episode of a series and then immediately sit down a record a review podcast. The reviews are five- to ten-minutes long and entirely off the cuff. The reviews have been going up on Anime3000 but in case you missed them there we collected them here for your listening pleasure.

Blade: We review the classic tale of a half-vampire VS. vampires. Now with extra Marvel/Madhouse blandness.

Blood-C: We review the OTHER vampire vs vampires anime. Now with CLAMP. Which sadly does not help.

Bunny Drop: We review the tale of an ace sniper and pathological lair who is a brave captain of the sea. Sorry. That is Usopp Drop.

Croisee in a Foreign Labyrinth: We review (up soon!) an anime about France that is not The Rose of Versailles. We are as shocked as you are.

God’s Notebook: We review the spiffy keen NEET detective agency. The main character is a Speaker for the Dead.

The IDOLM@STER: We review a show about idols in training that is better than you would think it would be. That does not make it good.

Mawaru Penguindrum: We review the new Kunihiko Ikuhara anime. In fact, we are wondering why you are not watching this RIGHT NOW!

Mayo Chiki!: We review what proves that on all lives a little rain must fall. If you watch this, there shall be a downpour of sadness on your heart.

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian: We review (up soon!) the autobiography of Otaku USA’s Caleb Dunaway.

No. 6: We review the most obtuse remaking of Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner.

Sacred Seven: We review (up soon!) a Tokusatsu show cleverly disguised as an anime. But with maids, butlers, mecha, and Greek mythology.

Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%: We review a show about idols in training that is better than you would think it would be. But is also actually good. We cannot forget to mention: Norio Wakamoto. ‘Nuff said.

Yuruyuri: We review a show of boy-friendly lesbians in training that is just as bad as you would think it would be.