Anime, MMORPGs, and PvP (Psychopaths very Present!)

Player_Killers

In my recent efforts to spend more time watching anime, I've been watching two series - the currently-running Log Horizon and 2012's popular series Sword Art Online - with themes that, at first glance, seem quite similar: the idea of MMORPG players being drawn into the world of the game and then mysteriously trapped there. Think along the lines of the entire World of Warcraft player base getting stuck in Azeroth the next time they log in, and you kinda get the idea. At closer inspection, the … [Read more...]

In-Console-able: Review of Aoi Sekai no Chuushin De (aka the Console War anime)

aoi sekai chuushin de

Loyal readers may remember that, about a year ago, I wrote an article about my top 5 pick for weirdest anime concepts ever. Number two on the list was Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de, a medieval fantasy anime based around, of all things, the classic console wars between Nintendo and Sega during the ‘90s. All the characters were loose parodies or personifications of the various franchises both companies were known for, made into magical heroes locked in a deadly faction struggle. Well, with the Xbox … [Read more...]

First Episodes, First Impressions: Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club

free

Fanservice… it’s not just for male otaku any more. In my earlier article on straight female fanservice moments in geek culture, I mentioned that I held off on including anime and manga as it had a much better track record in showing off “hawt menz” than Western media. But even with a long and storied history of willowy bishonen who sparkle and make smoldering bedroom eyes at the heroine/the camera/each other, never has anime fanservice for the straight gals and gay guys been this… um… … [Read more...]

Mecha Anime, the Movie: Review of Pacific Rim

pacificrim

Huh. So apparently, Hollywood is making anime now. Oh, don't be fooled. Pacific Rim might look like it's a live action Hollywood movie, with its Guillermo del Toros and Idris Elbas and Ron Perlmans. But at its heart, it is 100% grade A mecha anime. Add to that a heaping helping of classic kaiju movies and silly summer blockbusters, and it's a perfect storm of geeky interests. Yet for some reason, Pacific Rim has not been doing as well as people expected, despite a huge amount of positive … [Read more...]

First Episode, First Impressions: Princess Jellyfish #1

Cast of Princess Jellyfish

It’s time for another First Episode, First Impressions, where I look at the pilot episode for a series to judge how well it stands on its own and how well it draws people in to watch the rest of the show. This week, I’ll be looking at a series my friend recently showed to me, a 2010 anime show called Princess Jellyfish that centers on the tenants of an unusual apartment complex in Tokyo… where all the tenants are dorky, obsessive, and absolutely nutty female otaku. Wait, a bunch of women all … [Read more...]

Shoulda Picked Renegade: Review of Mass Effect: Paragon Lost

Default female Shepard from Mass Effect 3

As some of you might have already picked up on, I have a rather unhealthy affection for the Mass Effect series, questionable ending of ME3 aside. So when I heard that there was going to be a Mass Effect anime, I was excited. Two of my favorite things together at once? Sign me up! Oh my gosh, the aliens, the other worlds, the Citadel, the cool spaceflight, the battles, and above all, the amazing characters? This is going to be so totally amaz... Wait, it's about James Vega? *sigh* Cancel … [Read more...]

Which Witch Is Witchier? Review of Little Witch Academia

Poster of Little Witch Academia

It’s not uncommon for the anime lovers I follow on Twitter to be talking about this or that new anime; it is, however, unusual for the non-anime fans or former anime fans to start gushing about a new show. Thus, when my Twitter feed started to light up with multiple mentions of a show called Little Witch Academia, I took notice… and when it turned out that it was legally available with English subtitles on YouTube, I knew I had to check it out. Little Witch Academia is a 26 minute short … [Read more...]

Someone Call CPS! Bad Parenting in Anime and Manga

Gendo Ikari, Father of the Year

  The relationship between parent and child can be one of the most varied, complicated, and interesting dynamics in media. So why is it that anime seems to have this weird habit of consistently presenting Exhibits A, B, and C for Worst Parenting Ever? It struck me today as I was glancing through my anime collection that every single one of them had parents that would keep most people in therapy for the rest of their lives. And sometimes, the parents that look the best of all are actually … [Read more...]

First Episode, First Impressions: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn #1

Mobile_Suit_Gundam_Unicorn

Our parents always told us that first impressions count, and while I suspect they were gently trying to explain why scruffy shirts and unwashed hair is not the best ensemble for a job interview, the statement is particularly true of anime, manga, or indeed any serial entertainment that starts out with a pilot, or Episode One. And it makes sense… our time is valuable, and we need to know in a reasonably short span whether this new manga, comic, anime or TV show is worth our commitment. To this … [Read more...]

5 Worst “Leave You Hanging” Moments in Anime and Manga History

filler arcs

A series should never waste the fan's time, and yet, they do it constantly. We can all think of examples: the comic story arc that just goes on and on and on for too long, the series finale that doesn't provide any closure, the video game that has at least twenty hours worth of padding which makes no impact to the plot. And it's always frustrating as a fan to be left hanging, either waiting for something, ANYTHING to happen, or wondering, "Wait, that's IT???" Anime and manga are both … [Read more...]