Category Archives: Anime

Fall 2010 At A Glance: The World Only God Knows

Have you ever felt yourself wishing that all those hours you’ve invested into videogaming could actually be put to use in a positive way? That somehow the countless hours you spent earning 100% completions for each game you buy would contribute to saving the world? Not to burst anyone’s bubble but that is probably never going to happen. But if you take the time to watch one of this season’s hottest new shows, The World Only God Knows (Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai) , you will get the very amusing opportunity to see just what it “might” be like.

The World Only God Knows, an anime adaptation of the best selling manga by Tamiki Wakaki, is the story of Keima Katsuragi, an otaku gamer whose disdain for the real world is matched only by his potential to save it. Known across the net as “The Capturing God”, conqueror of over 10000 galges (short for “Gal Games”, essentially a dating sim), Keima is mislead into signing a binding contract with a demon from hell, in order to hunt down and capture “runaway spirits”. Selected for his purported ability to “conquer” any girl’s heart, he and his demon buddy, the adorable but air-headed Elsie set about the task of chasing out the evil spirts from the gaps within girl’s hearts, a task that quite often requires true love’s kiss. For the first time in his life a very reluctant Keima must put the skills he has honed in the virtual world to use in the reality he despises, as his very survival is dependent on the fulfillment of his contract with Elsie and her taskmasters in hell.
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Fall 2010 At a Glance: Shinryaku! Ika Musume

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Time to clean things up a bit after yesterday’s review and make the big jump over the pure and innocent side of the scale. Today’s Fall 2010 Review will focus on “Shinryaku! Ika Musume (Invasion! Squid Girl), Diomedea‘s new comedy series with some rather goofy “aquatic” themes. At the time of writing we are two episodes into the series so be sure to check out this review and get to watching if it interests you!

Brief Summary: Attempting to retaliate for the reckless pollution of the world’s oceans, Ika Musume (Squid Girl) launches an all out invasion of Japanese coastline, attempting to establish a foothold on her path to world domination. Sadly after one damaged wall and a gaggle of irritated cafe patrons, our heroine’s invasion seems to hit a bit of a lull. Entirely unprepared for what awaits her on the surface world soon finds herself in the care and unintentional employ of the Aizawa siblings, who run the Lemon Cafe on the beach. What follows is a series of hilarious misadventures as Ika Musume begins to explore and experience life of the surface with the help of her new found friends (subjects? enemies?).

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Fall 2010 At a Glance: Yosuga no Sora

Sora-Haru

Starting tonight I will be bringing back the Anime Insights “At a Glance” Series as we attempt to go through the Fall 2010 Anime Lineup and discuss our early opinions of this season’s titles. I decided it might be wise to come back with a little “flare” so lets kick this off with one of the season’s edgier and yet most stereotypical titles: Yosuga no Sora.

Before going any further lets make it clear that Yosuga no Sora is not a PG-13 anime, in fact with some slight nudity and much suggestive content it is definitely in the upper bounds of the rated R category. If that kind of thing or one of Yosuga’s main premises: implied and realized incestuous relationships, is too much for you to handle I would recommend avoiding the series. Another in a long line of anime-adapted VNs and eroges, Yosuga no Sora, definitely pushes the boundaries of what is commonly seen in mainstream anime while yet in many ways proving to be yet another run-of-the-mill Harem show.

The basic premise: Following the death of their parents in an accident (stereotypes begin here), newly-orphaned twins Haruka and Sora Kazugano decide to move into the house of their late grandfather in the small, tranquil village of Okukozome-chou. From the outset it appears that the twins have drastically different outlooks on their new life. Haruka (Haru) seems to look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with the past, rekindling the friendships and memories of yesteryear. His sickly and fragile sister Sora however seems much more stricken by past events, exhibiting a shy and isolated personality while clinging selfishly to her brother. As the twins settle into their new environment and attend their new school, a whole host of new relationships and potential romance awaits them. Not to be forgotten however is the mysterious reason for which they first decided to return to the town, and the long-lost item which they are searching for…

descent’s take after the jump…

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High School of the Dead Episode 1

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Here we go, the first episode of the personally long-awaited series. The art remains much the same with lots of risqué shots and simulated physics. The story remains pretty faithful to the opening chapter of the manga and the animation really does bring the story to life. Add on the proper music for a series such as this and overall we have a nice opening chapter to my beloved series.

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High School of the Dead

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This is a series that I have been following for a LONG time now. I came across it while digging around for REC scans and one of the groups (say hi to XLG) happened to do HSotD as well. The manga went on hiatus back in summer of 2009 out of the blue and just as suddenly came back when the anime was announced. So I have been pretty happy recently.

There’s nothing really that stands out about this anime, but I have grown to like the stereotyped characters. On one hand they’re surreal, and on the other they’re so realistic with their inner conflicts and concerns. The art is a bit on the fanservice side and the plot is pretty bare right now. Zombies are loose, and no one really knows why. One particular thing I wonder if the anime will copy from the manga that was very touching was the short backgrounds on the people that had important roles in the past act; it added a very real touch to a very harrowing experience.

I am looking forward towards the anime and see it’s take on the series. Here’s hoping for a good season, although this will probably be the only series I’ll be covering personally for this summer.

Lupin the Third: Castle of Cagliostro

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First off, let me apologize for taking so long to finally get a post up. I’ve been pretty busy the last few weeks plus I was out of the country on vacation for two weeks. Hopefully I’ll be able to start posting regularly now.

I was first introduced to Lupin the Third when it was shown on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim in 2003 when I was still in high school. I’m a bit surprised Lupin the Third is not more popular in the US but actually a major reason is that when it was being released in Japan there were still copyright issues for use of the name in Western nations. For those who do not know:

Arsène Lupin III is the grandson of the fictional gentleman thief  Arsène Lupin. Daisuke Jigen, his closest ally, is an expert marksman who can shoot a target in 0.3 seconds. The two are occasionally joined by the expert swordsman Goemon Ishikawa XIII. Sexy but deadly femme fatale Fujiko Mine sometimes works with them, but she is almost always in it for her own interests. They are pursued by Inspector Koichi Zenigata of the ICPO who has devoted his life to chasing Lupin down.

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An Update, Angel Beats 6, and Midweek Links

Hello everyone! Let me start off by saying that we will finally be getting things going again this week here at Anime Insights. After an exciting start a variety of demands on our time including a extremely busy end to the college semester for most of us as well as some overseas travel definitely curtailed our productivity.  We look forward to getting back to covering a variety of shows and topics and will hopefully be bringing you our first convention coverage early next month.

I have done my best to keep abreast of this season even with the busy schedule and I must say that it has continued to shape up very strong indeed. Angel Beats continues to shine as the best show of the season through 4 excellent episodes since my last post and I cannot wait to be blogging on it this Saturday. K-ON!! and Working!! have been very solid and I have continued to tune in each week. Kaichou wa Maid-Sama has essentially been my introduction to Shojou story telling and I honestly have enjoyed it. Giant Killing is definitely a watchable sports anime. Finally I have to admit that B Gata H Kei and Mayoi Neko Overrun both left me unsure for a variety of reasons early this season but I have really warmed up to them and will enjoy watching their conclusions this season. There definitely is a little bit for almost everyone going this season and with Bleach finally returning from filler for some half-way decent episodes even Shonen is looking up in my book for the moment.

I guess I should spend a moment talking about Angel Beats Episode 6. Things definitely got real this week and the SSS fresh off deposing the cute, mapo tofu loving Tenshi aka Kanade Tachibana (whose name I LOVE) found out that the formerly though-to-be NPC Naoi was actually a sadistic hypotism-using murdering god-aspirant who suffered through his own terrible childhood which was rather hurriedly described to us during the homoerotic scene pictured at the top of this post. I have absolutely loved Kanade’s characterization over the past two episodes. After being starved for glimpses of her personality she has definitely made herself even more of a hit if the wave of fanart overtaking the internet is any indication.  As for Otonashi, while not approaching the level of an iconic lead, I have so far greatly enjoyed seeing the story as told through his eyes. The emotion and deep thinking with which he approaches many of the situations he encounters sometimes borders on the over-dramatic but mostly just adds to the meaningful feeling many of the more somber moments of Angel Beats possess. I am somewhat surprised by the amount of Yuri hate that has been going around various online communities. Far be it from me to deny that she has been a huge jerk at times, especially to Tenshi, but nevertheless she is often shown being very concerned with her subordinates and is the only other character outside of Otonashi in the SSS who is shown deeply analyzing the developments surrounding Kanade. She was the first to begin theorizing on Kanade’s true nature and saw her entire theory behind the world they live in shaken once she confirmed Tenshi’s humanity, but kept her cool and continued on. Her latest appeal to Tenshi for help should settle the situation in everyones mind and while I enjoy Kanade’s character much more, Yurippe has many appealing traits as well.

We’ll be back later tonight with a bit more and other content is coming down the pipe for the weekend. Thank you for bearing with us during the lull and I look forward to hearing from you all. Lets end this post with some links:

  • Translator irreduciblerepresentation has begun translating the remainder of the Angel Beats Illustrated Novel
  • New Scanlation group Bakanahaven has begun translating the 2nd Angel Beats Manga, Heaven’s Door
  • A collaboration of posters over at AnimeSuki helped to scanlate yet another adorable segment from the Angel Beats 4koma.


Buried Gems: Le Portrait de Petit Cossette

Here at Anime Insights, we don’t just cover the currently airing series. No, our coverage expands to other and older works which may have been overlooked by time or overshadowed by other popular series, but are still highly recommended.

With that said, welcome to Buried Gems! This is a new segment where I, ramenpoodle discuss some “underground” series that I think that, for whatever reason, deserve a watch. Today we’ll be discussing one of the most underappreciated OVA series of all time, Le Portrait de Petit Cossette.

Le Portrait de Petit Cossette is not perfect, and it’s not for everyone. The patchwork, nonlinear storytelling and dramatic filler sequences may put off some viewers looking for action, explosions, and giant robots to fill their anime void, or black hole, or galaxy, or what have you. The OVA series, which has a total runtime of about 3 hours, easily could have told the same story in a span of 15 minutes, and the story itself isn’t particularly novel or groundbreaking. That said, I’m not sure you can even call the series “fun”, as the only thing that even comes close to “fun” in this series is the temporary high you may get from having horrific images of surrealist origin permanently etched into your brain. Kinda like End of Evangelion, remember that, kiddies? Fun, right?

But know that Le Portrait de Petit Cossette is one of the most beautifully directed and illustrated pieces of cinema that I have ever come across. And if this OVA had been only 15 minutes long, it wouldn’t even be as half as fantastic as it is.

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The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya licensed by Bandai Ent. America

This is not the real movie poster but it is funnier. Also it contains 2 spoilers but you won't know unless you've watched the movie.

A few days ago I had the pleasure of experiencing the new movie The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. I won’t divulge any key details or anything, but if you are familiar with the first and second seasons of Haruhi, then this movie is required viewing. (If you are not familiar, then I urge you to watch them; the first season is especially highly recommended.) Already it is shooting to the top of everyone’s lists on sites such as MAL and AniDB, and has become an overnight hit even with people who hate the franchise. However, if you plan on watching the movie within the next 8 months, you have to watch a camrip with less-than-stellar quality. Or do you?

Bandai Entertainment America has recently announced that they have picked up Disappearance for release…well, sometime. They haven’t announced any dates for season 2 either, so it could be that they will be released simultaneously within the same time frame. But it could mean a shorter wait for those who want to get their hands on DVD/Blu-ray quality of what thousands (myself included) are already calling the movie event of the year.

What we do know, though, is that the movie will be screened a few times. Unfortunately for the A.I. team this will be nowhere near the east coast, but maybe a few of you readers will be lucky enough to catch the showings in San Fransisco on May 21 and in Hawaii in June.

More Midweek Angel Beats Fun

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(Credit for picture and many thanks to graphic designer Moonie at AnimeSuki, please find his other amazing sig and wallpaper work here.)

Hello again! descent here to share some more Angel Beats! awesomeness from around the web. If you read my review you can tell I am just getting more into this show every week. It looks like Jun Maeda really has a winner here, especially for the way it has sparked so much interesting and often heated discussion across the web. Now on to some links:

  • To lead off again, the PV for this week’s episode, My Song (spoilers! duh, its your discretion)
  • SubSmith has translated the first chapter from the Illustrated Angel Beats novel, Track Zero. There is no spoiler material here just the start to what looks like a pretty awesome prequel story to the main anime arc. It appears to initially be focused on Yuri and Hinata. I thought it was a good read and even had a funny scene involving Tenshi and Yuri. Smith will not be continuing this translation but hopes someone will pick it up as the hype continues to build. There are seven released chapters so far. Many thanks to 戏言君 and hades9053 for the original Chinese translation.
  • Here is a gallery which includes a sample chapter from the Angel Beats 4-Koma which has been in serialization since December. This is actually pretty funny and I LOVE the chibi characters. Once again this is not yet being regularly scanlated(in English) but after this recent effort by SubSmith and the positive feed back I’m sure it will get picked up soon enough. There is another associated manga, Angel Beats: Heaven’s Door, but there are no current translations something that will hopefully change soon enough.
  • My interest in this Anime was first piqued by its awesome previews and it appears that this was the case for many others as well. Responding to that demand Tortise Fansubs has translated and packaged all 8 PV spots, 4 of which are 2 minutes plus and have provided them for your viewing pleasure.  Here is the Tortise sub of a behind the scenes production special, not necessarily my cup of tea but if your are fan of this stuff it is now available too. It is interesting how confident Maeda and his staff are in this show, there are many comments around the net and in interviews about their devotion and commitment to this project, hopefully it will continue its path to becoming a classic. I also didn’t know the Seto Hanayome director is directing this project as well.
  • Where did I get my awesome picture for this post? Want to use something like it for your wall paper? Well just follow this link to more of Moonie’s great work over at AnimeSuki where he has prepared several HQ wallpapers of Tenshi, Yuri, and others for your enjoyment (including what you see above).
  • Something for the figure and magazine collectors out there. A writer at Anime-Envoy recently received their Dengeki G Festival Deluxe Angel Beats collection. It includes some pics of the figure and super high quality magazine included. While this deserves to be here I must go on record saying I DO NOT approve of what they have done to Tenshi, in case you haven’t been able to tell I am NOT that kind of Anime fan (but its ok if you are!!).
  • Finally an update on the Tulip-TV character poll, thanks to all fans, otakus, and angel-connoisseurs everywhere for helping Tenshi over the hump ((here’s to you FlareKnight). Props to TK-fans as well ofc.

Hope everyone enjoys this, have a great week and keep looking forward to Episode 3: My Song, Broadcasting this Friday!