Welcome to the latest installment of Annotated Anime, brought to you by the Church of GunplaBattology. In the header you can see the benefits being a Build Fighter™ can bring to your life. Our two latest recruits have g...
It’s been a while since we’ve visited the world of Ranma 1/2. It was my favorite anime growing up, though I never came close to seeing all that the series had to offer. Like many people out there, I’ve tried to pick up the out-of-print DVD sets in recent years, but Viz Media recently came to the rescue with a re-issue of the entire series on both DVD and limited edition Blu-ray.
I noted after reviewing set 3 that it was time to hunker down now that all of the main characters had been established, and it would be interesting to see if the series was able to maintain momentum into later sets. For those who don't remember, Ranma 1/2 follows our martial artist protagonist, Ranma, who's fallen under a Chinese curse that causes him to turn into a woman when splashed with cold water. There's what I'll call a love hexagon (or several?) as various characters fall in love with his male and female forms as well as each other.
Set 4 marks the half-way point in the series, and while there isn't anything that takes the series forward in terms of an overarching storyline, the majority of what's here is highly entertaining.
Of course, that's really only a spoiler to the most stubborn and obnoxious of curmudgeons. There was really no other way for this show to end. And to be frank, it ended as it should have: Full to bursting with sappy, sentimental, idealistic, feel-good cliche.
Exposition. Rising Action. Climax. Dénouement. These should be familiar, if you remember your grade-school literature classes.
Real life, however, isn't so convenient. More often than not, life is a lingering anticlimax bracketed by exposition, and for the unlucky, catastrophe. And even then to reduce a real life to those terms is to do it a disservice.
Naruto is a name known throughout the anime and manga world that stands alongside shounen action staples such as Dragon Ball and Bleach. Masashi Kishimoto’s orange-clad ninja has been around since 1999 and has grown up with a generation or two of anime and manga fans, with the manga concluding last November in Japan. The last manga chapter of Naruto offered up a glimpse into a decade into the future, introducing new characters as well as showing old friends all grown up.
Bladestorm: Nightmare is not a Dynasty Warriors game.
That bit of information might be good or bad news, depending which side of the fence one falls on with regard to Tecmo Koei's long-running brawler series.
At the same time, though, the game does manage to capture just enough of the essence ofDynasty Warriors to drive away those who dislike it, while disappointing those who come in hoping for a more conventional entry into the franchise.
Which is a shame, as despite being an almost eight-year-old design, Bladestorm still has a few tricks its more popular cousins could stand to crib.
As we roll into the endgame for Shirobako, our longtime Producer-san Jeff Chuang faces a crisis at his own day job, and called me in for support. So far, so Shirobako, and here I am to take over the weekly recap for the time being.
And just like the old, reliable fellow that steps back just far enough for the youngsters taking his place to realize how they'd taken the old-timer for granted, things get about as loud, heavy, and outright violent as they ever have in this anime about making anime.
Over the past few weeks, I've been re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender with a friend. He enjoys the characters, setting, martial arts, and story because Avatar is a really good show. But the last two episodes we've seen; The Swamp and Avatar Day rubbed him the wrong way as they both concluded with antagonists becoming allies. The change of heart to resolve conflict is very common in very childish shows but didn't fit the mature manner Avatar treated most themes. This intro does have something to do with this weeks Annotated Anime on One Piece and not a glorified excuse for me to talk about Avatar.
It's been a while since we last checked in with JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but the fun thing about this kind of story is that not a lot of plot movement happens from week to week. The true character of the series really only unfolds over the course of the arc itself, which is one of the interesting ironies about these types of fighting stories. More often than not, who wins a fight isn't as important as what the fight itself reveals about the characters, and their roles in the story at large.
And for what it's worth, the last few tangles reveal quite a bit.
Like many games of its type, Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines features a tiny graphic in its text boxes to remind players they can press a button to advance to the next line. Usually the graphic is of an X or O button pressing itself, but Oreshika's is of a little weasel pushing a button with its nose.
It's animated, and viewed from the side the little weasel can also look just like a person, sitting on their knees Japanese-style, bowing respectfully, over and over. That behavior's almost emblematic of the game's attitude, as it's so eager to let players do what they like (sometimes to their own detriment) that it almost comes off as desperate.
But hey, they're gonna be dead soon anyway, so perhaps some deference is warranted.