Hello and welcome to another edition of Annotated Anime, the Japanator recap that watches shows so you don't have to. It would be great if you did too, though. Just so we don't feel too lonely *sniff*
Read on for recapping goodness, tell us what you're thinking of this week's episodes in the comments, and don't forget to read the Late Edition! Y'know, for the full seasonal recap experience.
Cat Shit One: The Animated Series episode 1
In Cat Shit One, bunnies in kevlar vests and military gear murder turban-wearing camels. They also fly Hind gunships and tote AK-47s as well as rocket-propelled grenade launchers, rifles and suppressed handguns.
However, it's really the little things that count when trying to ascertain the show's character. The bunnies Packy (short for Perkins) and Botasky wear military-grade radio headsets to communicate. But, being fluffy bunnies, their ears are arranged on the tops of their heads. Thus, the headsets are actually placed on their cheeks. Their fluffy tails, ears and noses also twitch as they talk, shoot, and generally kill camel terrorists.
From these details (and much more, really), it's easy to realize that Cat Shit One isn't a story, but more of a workout for Motofumi Kobayashi's military fetish. The guns and weapons are lovingly detailed, and at one point during their hostage-rescue mission Packy scolds Botasky on having too many unnecessary "tacticool" attachments mounted on his rifle.
The furry cuteness is little more than an avenue by which the show can portray all that nasty violence and gun porn without having to deal with the ethical fallout of using actual human characters.
Not that that's really a problem, though. The CG is well-animated, the gun battles expertly choreographed. It's really a thing worth watching at least once. Just don't expect anything more substantial than the absurd spectacle of seeing adorable animals play at Modern Warfare.
Shi-Ki episode 3
This week starts off with some creepy narration from Seishin as he's seemingly writing a book in his temple. After the OP the viewer is introduced to the depths that Natsuno is willing to go to separate himself from the rest of the village, maintaining a dislike for everything around him. He finally starts an unsteady friendship with his neighbor Tohru after he busts his bike tire a couple of times. Focus shifts to Toshio, who finds another patient with similar test results to Megumi's just before she died. We then meet a particularly creepy high school kid named Masao who tends to hold his grudges for quite a while. We jump back to Toshio, who is surprised by his patient that he saw in last weeks episode coming in near death with two mysterious insect bites on her arm.
Post eye catch Toshio questions Mikiyasu, the husband of his patient and a childhood friend of his. We find out that Mikiyasu and his family met the new family that lives in the European house on the hill during O-bon. Toshio lies to Mikiyasu about his wife's condition, cursing his inability to save her. Later, Seishin meets a mysterious little girl named Sunako at his shrine who comments on the stories that writes. She reveals that her father moved to the village because of the articles that Seishin wrote about the village. She comments on the scar on his wrist and hops away down the steps of the shrine. The next day they show the funeral procession of Mikiyasu's wife. Masao dashes over to Tohru's house to tell him about the funeral, but him and Natsuno get into an argument and he dashes out of the room. Natsuno passes out on Tohru's bed, saying that he can't sleep well at his parents house. Tohru goes out to pick up a drink and bumps into Tatsumi, the guy that helped the Kirishikis move in during the first episode. The episode ends with Tatsumi accepting an invitation from Tohru in quite an ominous manner.
I'm liking what I'm seeing thus far. Creep-factor is increasing with every episode and the animation remains quite good. Also, looks like we got a case of the vampires with the show, as those bug bites look a lot a toothy fiend got their hands on the victim. At least these vamps seem pretty menacing and a legit threat to the well-being of the village. Can't wait to see where they're going to take this.
Occult Academy episode 3
There seems to be a tengu hanging around kidnapping folks and it's up to Maya to stop it....or not. As usual, Maya's friends gossip about the monster that may be hanging about as she refutes its existence. However, that doesn't stop Maya from passing the info to Fumiaki for to investigate. After avoiding horny cougars and crazy old ladies, Fumiaki makes it home and crashes on his futon and reminisces on what it was like to be a kid. He wanders out of his apartment and calls his old house, but hangs up after a couple of seconds. Fumiaki stumbles into a nearby restaurant and orders curry. After an hour wait he gets his curry and just as he's about to rail at the owner, he finds that he's served by a cute waitress.
Post eye-catch Fumiaki flirts with the waitress, named Mikaze. As he leaves the restaurant, a pair of red eyes pop up from the roof of a nearby building. The next day we see that JK is also searching for the tengu for his Japanese demons class. Over the next couple of days Fumiaki visits Mikaze's restaurant and orders the same curry over and over again. Eventually Mikaze offers to show the town to Fumiaki, leading to some happy smiles and a blush or two. The next day Mikaze picks up Fumiaki at the train station in a bad ass sports car, much to his delight. She also helps buckle him in, much to his delight. Mikaze then drives around the village like she was in an episode of Initial D, much to his dismay. The two continue their date while Maya researches the pattern of the recent disappearances attributed to the tengu. Mikaze and Fumiaki get to an old bunker on the tour of the village. They reach the end of the bunker and find dozens of paper cranes, which makes Mikaze cry. The cranes were made to remember the workers who died while building the bunker years prior. Meanwhile, Maya is in the bunker fighting off the shadow seen previously. She manages to shoot it with a cross bow, but another shadow rises up and the episode ends with her screaming.
Well, this episode was kind of a drag. It was nice to get a little more insight on the village and Fumiaki, but it wasn't particular good, not to mention the hit the animation took. Let's see how next week pans out.
[Occult Academy can be viewed via simulcast on Crunchyroll.com]
Asobi ni Ikuyo! Bombshells from the Sky episodes 1 and 2
This late-comer to Summer 2010 packs a punch. It's one of those stories that sounds really cheesy and cliché when you read the synopsis of the story and stare suspiciously at the sexy promotional artwork (unless you have a thing for furry, anyways). That is exactly the sort of expectation you should have going into this show, because Asobi Ni Ikuyo (Asoiku for short) will blow it up into smithereens.
This SF-romance-adventure title features our bouncy cat-alien, Eris, whose mission is scout out Earth as a representative of the people of Catia, a bored, high-tech, space-faring-only-because-they-ran-out-of-things-to-do alien race. Somehow she lands in Okinawa and befriends a local neighborhood, literally, during a funeral. Our stereotypical harem protagonist Kio plays it straight, but immediately we're fronted with a three-way harem: Manami the next-door-neighbor, and Aoi the exotic transfer student.
It's not so simple; we know right off the bat that Aoi moonlights as a Knight Saber wannabe with her power suit and teleportation powers. It goes to show that just because the bookish chick you dig also enjoys watching Koyaanisqatsi, it doesn't mean she's not working for some secret government project that might get you killed (which is exactly what happened in AsoIku). Manami is not nearly so dangerous as of episodes 1 and 2, but her ties with the CIA and her love for firearms (large and small) naturally situates Kio right in between the bad guys and the end of Manami's barrels.
The plot also tosses in a wild card, third interloper--their mutual teacher at school, Ms. Itokazu. It turns out that Itokazu is one of those fanfiction-writing, hardcore SF fangirl who is also in a militant, extremist organization called Beautiful Contact. As you might guess, Beautiful Contact somehow objects to Eris being the first intelligent extraterritorial encounter--a large-breasted catgirl that speaks Japanese seems just too convenient for them, let alone her ability to breathe oxygen-nitrogen or walk with her hind legs! Sir Arthur Clarke would spin in his graves.
AsoIku is the sort of show that reminds me what is so enjoyable about anime like Gunsmith Cats or FLCL. It is fun, romantic, exciting, and has a lot of explosions involving all sorts of fun SF and western references. As a bonus, there are vintage cars, Star Trek digs, tanks, guns of all sort, cute mascot robot toys, and a lot of breasts. The tropic atmosphere is great for a summer simulcast over at Crunchyroll, who are showing new episodes every Wednesday, and no, this is not a paid ad. I'm genuinely enjoying myself with this slice of 90s anime pie, wrapped with a year-2010 sheen.
The first two episodes actually make a very nice pilot/introduction arc, so catch up and you can follow this annotated anime entry while I continue to write about anime with large boobs in them. Because Brad can't handle them all, can't he now?
[Asobi ni Ikuyo can be viewed on Crunchyroll]
Sengoku BASARA II episodes 2 and 3
The cliffhanger from last week seemed odd (especially given that it spoiled the result and showed Katakura fighting) but we return to see his rejection of Takenaka's offer to join Toyotomi's army. He attempts for fight back,
but is soon defeated and captured. Once this news reaches Date, he decides his next move against Toyotomi and plans to engage him on the field of battle. "Good courage!"
Meanwhile, Maeda Keiji is meeting with Kenshin and Kasuga (who has prepared a meal). He's overly polite, making Kasuga wonder if he really means it, but once Kenshin also chimes in on the food's deliciousness (and plucks a piece of
food off her cheek), Kasuga is thrown into an orgasmic state. Keiji finally asks what everyone's probably been wondering this whole time, "What's up with that?" However, Keiji soon discovers that Kenshin's army will clash with his own
kinsmen's army and that must leave as soon as possible. Not exactly good news to hear at dinner.
Date has his hands full with Toyotomi's men as he confronts Takenaka and the two spar in a ridiculously awesome fight sequence. But seeing his troops arriving, Takenaka takes the opportunity to escape and leaves Date with still no info to go
on as to where Katakura is being held (as well as being stuck in a losing battle). On the other side of the color spectrum, Yukimura is sent out on a mission from OYAKATA-SAMA just at the moment he'd rather be helping Date. What will come next week? Probably some more yelling!
Faced with the possibility that Kenshin will face Maeda's army head-on from last week, Keiji rushes towards them in an attempt to halt their attack. They ignore his pleas and ride past to confront Kenshin, only to discover that he has the majority of his army marching on Kaga already. Faced with either retreating to his city or fighting Kenshin immediately, Toshiie opts to return to Kaga. Once there, he and Matsu find Kenshin's army already waiting for them, and in their haste they're quickly surrounded. Keiji, still intent on stopping the fight, leaps into the battle and begs Toshiie to stop and reconsider his alliance with Toyotomi. Sadly, his words go unheeded and Keiji is left with no choice but to fight Toshiie. Both of them somehow stop direct hits with sword blades into their stomach, suffering only bruises... must have abs of steel! Keiji knocks Toshiie down and out for now, and Kenshin easily wins the battle.
Elsewhere, we see the remnants of Date's battle with Takenaka. Left with only a few men (who he rouses up with "Wake up, guys!"), he vows to march on against Toyotomi. Speak of the devil! Toyotomi walks onto the battlefield, surveying the damages. Date sees a wonderful opportunity and takes the towering villain on. Cliffhanger again!
Once again placed at the end of the episode, Yukimura is riding onward with his troops and stop at a small village for the night. However, it appears that next episode he's going to have to confront some ghosts from his past before moving on.
[Sengoku Basara II is streaming on FUNimation's Video Portal]
Heroman episode 17
How foolish was I to think that Heroman would opt to dick around for, oh let's say, 3/4 of this premier arc episode before delving into that mysterious Skrugg figure in the tattered trench-coat and P.I. fedora. First scene, first shot of the episode...there he is, standing atop a building amongst a moonlit cityscape pulling a serious Rorschach (which is weird, because Stan Lee is associated with this project--Watchmen is DC). Calculating the now 8-episode winning streak of this show seemed to have slipped my to-do list, because I yet again entered into an outing with the thought that this would be the one to backslide into mediocrity. Not only was this a great episode in itself, but it managed to toss out references to things that seemed to have inspired it. Not once, but twice do we see characters paying direct homage to Spider-Man. Neither of which is human.
The episode begins in a split nature, with the sub-section being the Skrugg dude scaring the sh*t out of people and punching police cruisers as he makes his way across the U.S. destroying seemingly random pharmaceutical laboratories. There are many questions that arise here, the most important of which is how the hell did the Skrugg get all the way across the States when they started in Center City, located on the West Coast? We can count on Professor Denton to explain this to us, right? Of course Denton basically knows what's going on, and he promptly summons Joey and Psy to his office for some briefing. Lina tags along, unadvised, and the busty Ms. Collins eavesdrops nearby around the campus, correctly assuming that the trio is up to something--she'll come into play later. Denton proceeds to detail the warpath of the culprit, saying what he is destroying but not who he is or why/how these crimes are linked. Denton is casually smooth and unassuming in the presence of the sole female, because as soon as eager Lina leaves the room for cheerleading practice, Denton drops the bomb on Joey and Psy: this is the doing of the Skrugg. After the Skrugg departed, many of their alien devices were left behind. All the labs that were obliterated just happened to be running tests on said Skrugg remnants. The chain of dismemberment traces from East to the West across America, and Center City is on deck for a beating. Why? Because good ol' Denton kept one of the Skrugg rayguns for himself, packaged up in styrofoam. Classy.
Denton, Psy and Joey quickly devise a plan to take the Skrugg artifact, post up in the school's multi-purpose hall and straight up wait for the Skrugg to come to them. I couldn't decide if this was a ballsy tactic or just a lazy one. Denton sets up high-sensitivity security equipment around the vicinity, so that any movement would set off an alarm and our crew can jump the f*ck on it. After a few hours of playing cards, the cameras detect activity. Joey springs into action and runs to the source, while Psy and Denton stay inside and guard the Skrugg gun (Psy is wielding his hyper-noise guitar, and Denton has the quad-speaker backpack on for their protection). Joey approaches the target with help from his radar wristwatch, and just when crap is about about to get heavy, the possible threat turns out to be that she-beast of the evening, Ms. Collins, sneaking around attempting to poke her nose in Joey's crotch business again. With some fast-talking jive and a bit of Peter Parker-style moves from Heroman (!), Joey escapes Ms. Collins just in time for the Skrugg rematch to go down.
BOOM. Skrugg dude shows up in the multi-purpose hall, lays the smackdown on Professor Denton (not before sticking to the ceiling like the aforementioned Marvel MVP) and is about to give the same to Psy with a crazy, golden dual-bladed staff (which reminded me a lot of the first stage of Koganei's madogu from Flame of Recca, sans one blade) when Heroman shows up with his electrical magnetism whip and grabs the golden double-scythe. After bending that thing like it's a damn paperclip, the fight is on. Not surprisingly the Skrugg dude pretty much hands Heroman his ass (come on, it's the first episode of a new arc...there has to be some build up). The most revealing thing to come out of this brawl is the fact that this Skrugg guy is none other than...WILLU! Lina's douchebag bro! We all thought he had turned a new leaf and left town to right his wrongs, but I guess pricks will always be pricks. Jocks will always come back and try to get the last hit in. It was a surprise to me that the Skrugg antagonizer was unmasked so quickly. Heroman is really expediting its tale as of late, and it's doing an outstanding job at not losing focus on its overall tone/message. Skrugg Will goes on to explain why he is doing what he is doing, declaring that the human race is weak and should not be allowed to possess anything that was once the Skrugg's. Generic villain dialog ensues. (To Joey and Heroman: "If you are the light, then I am the darkness.") Skrugg Will also implies that a new evil is "resurfacing", and if Joey and his gang get in the way they will be decimated. Then, he abruptly leaves.
As our protagonists recollect themselves and try to come up with a forthcoming strategy (they are still struggling with the fact that they will most likely have to kill Lina's brother if they want to succeed), Ms. Collins runs into Heroman for the first time, and screams. Loudly. A comedic ending to a relatively drama-filled episode. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until the show reverts: week after week I find myself applauding Heroman for its excellent execution of nearly every aspect of its production. This story and these characters are becoming memorable. That's what the goal of any anime, or any form of entertainment should be. I knew I said I should stop watching the previews, but I'm glad I went back on my word. What's in store for next week? CHAOS AT THE BEACH. Seaside happenings have proved a go-to scenario for most shows. I know I don't even have to shell out a list for you guys. Heh. Shell. Beaches. Puns.
[Heroman is currently streaming on Crunchyroll]