Ongoing Investigations: Case #197

This might be a slightly controversial analogy but I would say that  The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke is to Zettai Karen Children as Legends of the Dark King is to Fist of the North Star. They are both prequels that show how an overpowered villain came to be the head of his own army before he started clashing with the heroes. But the thing is Zettai Karen Children is hardly Fist of the North Star therefore the mass murder of soldiers by the protagonist of The Unlimited is a bit of a shift in tone from the normally comedic series.

The best way to think about The Unlimited is as if it were one of those silly OVAs from the 90s. It has lots of action and killing but it does not have the gore and tits you would find in an 80s OVA. Hyoubu Kyousuke has always been very much a dark reflection of Koichi Minamoto but his darker activities are usually alluded to in the main series more than seen. Here we see him in his full Magneto mode.

The story of the first episode is pretty simple. Kyousuke purposely gets captured so he can break someone out of a prison for psychics. While on the inside he meets a seemingly powerless psychic (who of course is hiding a super powerful ability) and they team up to stop the evil wardens who are killing prisoners to use their bodies to make super soldiers. Kyousuke defeats everyone almost effortlessly and then nukes the facility with his powers.

He also saves a pre-teen girl because this is still a prequel to Zettai Karen Children. No amount of bloodshed gets a leopard to change its spots.

The real question is if fans of Zettai Karen Children are going to like this series and vice versa. I’m going to say that Zettai Karen Children readers are more likely to be happy with The Unlimited than people who new to the series via the Unlimited are going to get into the main series. While there are some harder themes and action in Zettai Karen Children for the most part it is a goofball comedy. It shares many of the themes of the X-men but not nearly as much action. So I see people being a bit bored with the antics that make up 70% of Zettai Karen Children. One the other hand Kyousuke is popular enough that I see more (but not all) Zettai Karen Children fans wanting to see an action series that is the same universe is more likely. Some fans are going to check out of any series without the Children or the light feeling they bring without a doubt. But I feel like anything with Black Phantom has eased Zettai Karen Children into some darker stories.

Still a fun little series if a bit trashy. I think it is worth a look if you like a popcorn action series.

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Barrage came to an end before its time. I thought it had a lot of fun elements. Also there was a space whale!

But anyway, things were wrapped up with ch. 16. Everything after they defeat the rock bandit takes place in a town that was supposed to be under military rule but has been corrupted and taken over by the aliens. There aren’t a lot of humans left, and those that are either end up underground or as slaves. Astro and Tiamat meet the heavily armed Tiko who is out to take down the aliens one at a time.

I could tell that Astro, Tiamat, and Tiko would have had a good dynamic were the series to go on. I was really pleased that Tiko was had a lot to offer in the end and she plays a role in the major town battle and even gets her revenge.

I thought they were able to get a lot in, reveal the most important mysteries (and surprise me!), and have an enjoyable final confrontation. So even though it was clearly supposed to be longer, it wrapped up in a satisfying way.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #196

narutaki I have started watching Fullmetal Alchemist (eps. 1-14), the first series by Bones. I had actually seen about 20 or so episodes a couple of years back, but I’m starting again from the beginning. It is a show from a period of anime where I was a little out of the circle so it has been on the “to watch” list for a while.

I was really impressed that the first scene is so dark and intense and gets right down to business to show the heart of the series. It has an ominous feeling from the get-go. In general, I’m was appreciative of the weighty questions the show brings into the story from the outset dealing with morality, ethics, politics, and religion. It has its silly moments here and there, but it doesn’t shy away from all of these topics which makes me even more impressed that the series was as popular as it was.

I also really like that there is a bit of an investigation bent to the series, at least here in the beginning. The mysteries of Al and Ed’s father as well as that of the Philosopher’s Stone and the military plus many others keep me speculating every time we get another tidbit of information.

I’m nearing where I stopped before, which really had nothing to do with the show being bad, so I’ll be curious to see if they series changes a lot past that point.

P.S. Mustang is the best.

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As the season is wrapping up it is a great time to talk about some series that just finished.

My Little Monster just ended its 13 episode run. It was definitely a cute little shojo series with a distinctly energetic vibe. It was always a refreshing treat every week. Sadly you could tell it was also a series based on an ongoing series.

The funny thing is that the first episode left me this distinct impression that the last episode was going to be the conclusion of some majorly important story arc filled with tears and confrontations. If you were waiting the whole series for that you were going to be very disappointed.  The penultimate episode takes place around new years and has a very transitional feeling. Nothing is definitively resolved. Unrequited loves mainly remain unreciprocated and strange relationships  are still quite unusual and somewhat poorly defined. But there is a feeling that things are changing and that the status quo will not remain that way for long.

That also means if you were hoping for an anime original ending you were just out of luck. The last episode even felt more like an extra episode OVA than a finale. There is a little bit of a personal  revelation from Shizuku but realistically that awareness could have happened at any point in the last 3 episodes without missing a beat.

I may be in the minority but with the fact that manga is much more prevalent in English I am far more accepting of a “go read the manga now” ending to an anime. So really I just saw My Little Monster as a great way to introduce me to a quirky shojo series that will hopefully make a great read if it is ever licensed.

The Ongoing Investigations are little peeks into what we are watching and reading outside of our main posts on the blog. We each pick three things that we were interested in a week and talk a bit about them. There is often not much rhyme or reason to what we pick. They are just the most interesting things we saw since the last Ongoing Investigation.

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People Still Watch Anime?: A Guide for Fallen Fans

hisuiconRecently my old friend Ben McGraw, make a post request that we  felt was a brilliant idea for the site. He wanted a list of anime that he could watch as someone who loved Cowboy Bebop but had not watched anime since. Regular readers of the blog may have seen most if not all of these shows. That is because this list is not directly for you. This is a list for your friends, family, and coworkers. We picked 10 newer shows that will appeal to fans who have either fallen out of anime fandom or were never that into it in the first place. Everything on this list is licensed, has a dub, and is easy to obtain so there is no major obstacles to overcome when watching any of the shows below.

I know I certainly have friends who aren’t in on the anime scene anymore, so this list is something that runs perfectly along those lines. They are probably never going to stay up on what’s new each season or even want to spend enough time digging through all the new shows to find the ones for them. While this list is of course not the only shows that we would recommend, they all are good, most even great, and have enough to make the impact on fans who have been down and out for a while. It’s not a bad idea to remind people why they started watching anime in the first place.

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