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July 29 2013, 8:09 PM

Fantasy Falls, a New Tokyo Rises

Today, Dallas brings us a long overdue of the fascinating sci-fi anthology, Neo Tokyo, known as Manie Manie before American licensors, having just seen the success of Akira, re-christened it. Regardless of the misnomer, he's got great things to say, especially about Otomo's segment.

Stig fares less well, being saddled with the trite moeblob fantasy of Zettai Boei Leviathan. If it wasn't ever okay to make a fantasy story where FRIGGIN NOTHING HAPPENS, it ain't okay now.

We'll return next week with more, and let's hope Stig's next pick brings him more joy.


July 22 2013, 11:25 PM

Verdurous Gardens All Around

Two weeks of duds roll by, but the ensuing karmic reward is quite good: we have two four star reviews at once, and by a strange and utter coincidence, they are directly adjacent to each other in the review index. That's certainly convenient!

Allen starts us off with Makoto Shinkai's newest movie, The Garden of Words. Read on to find out just how enthralled he was at Shinkai's continually astounding visual prowess.

Then I've got my second show of the new season, Production I.G's Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, and thankfully it's a big improvement over my last pick. Though not perfect, it's one of the better sci-fi series of recent years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Not sure if we'll be back next week, as many of our reviewers are on hiatus currently, but we will keep you up to date. As a side note, I need to get around to Children Who Chase Lost Voices From Deep Below, as its now the only Shinkai movie we haven't covered. Onward!

-Nick Browne

July 15 2013, 7:00 PM

It's My Party And I'll Cry If I Want To

With Carlos turning thirty-four on Wednesday, he's decided to open up his gift a few days early ... only to find last year's Christmas fruitcake! Ewwwwww! What we get is the failed 2012 pilot See Me After Class, a brainlessly raunchy high school comedy OVA in the vein of Kanokon and To Love-Ru (neither of which would ever qualify as a THEM favorite) that nevertheless managed to stay well underwater in Japan, and hopefully won't end up regifted to American audiences.

Nick fares little better, getting saddled with the pedantically unthrilling When They Cry - Umineko which falls far short of the standard of Higurashi and never gets a real grip on its own story. The real mystery here: why they even bothered marketing this poorly handled drama as a tie-in, as the resulting series seems to have actually damaged the brand.

Here's hoping for some better anime next week -- or it'll be one long summer.

-- Carlos

July 8 2013, 8:00 PM

Beware of One-Hour Photo Places!

Dallas gives us a measured second opinion of the thematically intriguing but graphic TV series Speed Grapher which he finds a mixed, but ultimately enjoyable experience.

There is absolutely no ambiguity or ambivalence in Nick's thorough lashing of Photo Kano, which he calls "the most disturbing series I have watched in recent years" thanks to the the idea that we're somehow supposed to root for a voyeuristic "protagonist" who essentially wins girls over by sexually harassing them. Thanks a bunch, Enterbrain!

Will we have better luck next week for my upcoming birthday? Somehow I don't think so ...

-- Carlos

July 1 2013, 9:58 PM

Angels and Vanships

We return with an update after having a small but sufficient burst of reviewer activity, and as is often the case with these "surprise updates" (in a sense) the two titles we have are as divergent as can be. Ah well. I'm just happy that we can put something up.

Stig plows ahead with his coverage of the Heaven's Lost Property franchise, finding the movie Heaven's Lost Property: The Angeloid of Clockwork to be an inferior addition to the canon as he criticizes it for recycling material and having production values that really just aren't good enough for a feature film. Let's wish him better luck with the (upcoming) third season, I suppose.

And ten years after its release, I have a second opinion of Last Exile, a fantasy series that once generated a great deal of buzz and is still highly regarded among loyal fans of the genre. It looks like I may wind up on the receiving end of some angry emails, my opinion, it's a flawed work whose fictional universe never quite gels together. It's still worth a watch, but classic or no classic, I think that this particular vanship may have needed a few more weeks in the shop.

Anyway, we hope to be back next week (we'll have at least one new review), and at some point I plan to cover the recently-released followup to Last Exile, the sequel-slash-spinoff Fam: The Silver Wing, so keep your eyes open.

-Nick Browne

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