Thursday, January 28, 2016

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash Impressions

Starting off with all of its main characters "awakening" in a fantasy world clearly unlike their own, Grimgar evokes memories of Sword Art Online and Log Horizon.   Though there are some differences, are there enough to justify returning to such a recently well-used idea?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bottom of the Pile - Jan. 19th, 2016

I keep forgetting we left the flying Batmobile behind in the pre-Flashpoint days. Admittedly though, a flying bike is pretty sweet. Either way, this month's Batgirl features Bluebird and Spoiler helping Batgirl work a leg of a case. As much as Bluebird annoys me as a character and as much as I think Stephanie Brown's the One True Batgirl, I liked this issue. Batgirl's got about as much seniority as Dick Grayson so it's cool to have her show some of the "junior members" around. I DO miss Babs Tarr though--two artists couldn't quite measure up to her art, even if this panel's adorable.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Why Marvel is Trouncing DC, or How a "Rebirth" Could Kill My Favorite Comics Company

Let's preface all this by saying that Rich could be yanking my chain and we could all be panicking over absolutely nothing.  It's rare--most of the time Bleeding Cool is on point with its biggest rumors--but it's happened before.  To explain: there's a rumor (started by BC) that DC is planning on relaunching their entire line from #1, adding some new titles that focus on more of the television/movie properties they'll be using for the next three years, and double-shipping a lot of their biggest sellers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Active Raid Impressions

Active Raid has been described by some as similar to the 2014 series Rail Wars, where a collection of youngsters join a group that protects the Japanese Public Railway system. Having watched the first episode of both, I'd say that I agree: Active Raid is like Rail Wars if it weren't horrendously, depressingly boring.

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Watch List: Television

2016 just got started, and even though the fall season is largely a mystery, there's still a lot to look forward to in the way of good TV.  Possibly even too much, which is why I tried to narrow this down to the seven best series--and three honorable mentions--coming to the screen this year.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Musaigen no Phantom World Impressions

Phantom World is probably the clearest example of what the otaku fanbase has done to anime. It's an anime with a relatively novel concept and a great way of explaining it, but falls prey to having to adhere to classic "ecchi" tropes and situations. The series takes place in a world where a virus infects the entire human race, fundamentally altering our brainwaves to allow us to view the supernatural inhabitants that share the world with us. These inhabitants, called Phantoms, can be anything from cute mini-sized fairies to giant, malevolent demons. Humans try their best to live in harmony with the Phantoms, but when that's impossible, intervention is required.

Enter our main characters, part of a school club that deals with sealing phantoms. Haruhiko, a young boy with the ability to seal phantoms after sketching them, whose intellect offers Intel on the various Phantoms they encounter. Also, his friend Ruru, a Phantom herself who happens to be a little pixie girl. Then there's Mai, the muscle of the team who uses incantation to battle the vigorously feeling herself up. Finally, there's Reina, the new girl who has the ability to seal eating them.

It's an eclectic mix of characters that just narrowly avoids being your typical harem, and combining that with the premise WOULD make this a neat new series. Unfortunately it runs into idiotic issues to help pander to fans of ecchi. For instance:

The group's first mission is against some haunted, dancing electric poles. Through some hilariously convoluted logic, the team decides the only way to get rid of THESE troublesome spirits is by limboing them into the afterlife. One by one, they're eliminated...leaving only ----. She's their most athletic member, but there's a problem: her boobs are too huge to make it under the last bar!

....That's actually pretty hysterical, but it's also mind-numbingly stupid. What's actually a good concept is wasted with "accidental falls" and boob groping.  I gave the second episode a try, but with very little noticeable improvement, I had to drop it.   (There's an issue when you make the most interesting character on the show simultaneously the character everyone else calls the most useless.)  One down, nine to go.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Films To Watch Out For: 2016

It's still early enough in the year to do Most Anticipated Lists, right?   So, expect to see them for the next week or so.  We're going to kick things off with films because for me that's as easy as it gets.  Pile all the superhero films and a couple of choice comedies in and bam, that's done.   I'm skipping January because frankly it looks terrifyingly dull, so let's just start with February and go from there?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Divine Gate Impressions

Divine Gate's plot is the kind of gibberish that you only get from anime. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation - The Student Council MMO

When I started the PSO2 anime, I expected a Sword Art Online clone--something like Log Horizon but nowhere near as clever or with as detailed a display of MMO mechanics, classes, and gameplay.   The opening minutes seemed to confirm my suspicions...and then the OP finished, and suddenly I was plunged into your stereotypical high school setting, complete with it's own Omnipotent Student Council. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Macross Delta Thoughts: You Got Your Magical Girl Idols in My Giant Robots!

After hem-hawing about for a few days, I finally sat down to watch this "special preview" of the first episode of Macross Delta.  I'd checked about a few forums for comments and giggled at how people seemed absolutely dumbfoundead at the first episode of this newest entry in the Macross franchise, wondering if series creator Shoji Kawamori had finally lost it.  I mean, magical girls in Macross?  How absurd is that?