Hunter X Hunter Season 1 Review

I’ve made it no secret that I like anime. I don’t love the medium as much as I used to, but if a show captures my fancy, then I’ll be sure to at least attempt to watch it. One show that I found myself recently getting hooked on was an anime known as “Hunter X Hunter”. It’s based off a long running manga series of the same name and has had a couple different adaptations at this point.

I attempted watching the show last year, but found it difficult to fully get involved with the characters. A year later, I stumble across the English dub once more and decide to give it another go. To my surprise, I really ended up liking this show! The show did take a few episodes before I got fully invested, but by the time I was halfway through the first arc, I was hooked!

I thought I would started reviewing the series in its entirety, starting with the very first story arc “The Hunter Exam” arc. I guess you could classify this as the show’s first season. I want to tackle every single arc of this show, along with the two movies released to accompany it. I’ll do this sparingly as there is a lot of other projects I’m working on, but I eventually want to cover the entire series. Anyways, let’s get started!

Background Information

Hunter X Hunter is a manga and anime series originally created by Yoshihiro Togashi. This Togashi’s second long-running series, following in the heels of his other successful series Yu Yu Hakusho. With Hunter X Hunter, Togashi used the series in order to deconstruct elements of popular shonen anime. What started as a love letter to classic Shonen series soon evolved into its own thing, turning into a full deconstruction of the genre.

Hunter X Hunter became a very popular series in a short amount of time, but was soon hit by a series of hiatuses. Sadly, Togashi’s failing health caused him to delay the series several times. It’s been announced that by the end of this month, Togashi will be resuming the series once more.

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Is that Lady Gaga in the far right corner?

Plot and Characters

The first arc of the story focuses solely on the main protagonist of this series: Gon. The young man has dreams of following in the footsteps of his father and becoming a “Hunter”. Hunters are people who are allowed to travel the entire world, including areas that would normally be off limits to ordinary people. They have access to all kinds of secrets, and possess some of the most dangerous abilities in the world.

The first arc is known as the “Hunter Exam Arc”, and it involves Gon taking the test in order to become a hunter. He quickly makes three friends: Killua, a mysterious young boy who is also a dangerous assassin, a doctor in training named Leorio, and the ever-powerful Kurapika. The four young men soon find themselves entangled in a quarrel with a pair of powerful men with supernatural abilities.

I’ll be honest, this first arc starts off rather slow. While those first six or so episodes are decent, there’s nothing that groundbreaking or interesting happening within them. It isn’t until the third trial that things start to get really good. The moment our heroes face off against a group of prisoners in a series of intense battles and contests of wit is when the anime shows its true colors.

It balances well-animated combat with darker themes, giving the audience watching it a good mix of action and drama. The characters are very solid, but this early in the show they don’t get as much development. Characters like Killua’s family and Hisoka aren’t fully fleshed out, though they do get their moments and shine as characters.

Something that the story of this arc gets really well is that it actually sets up plot points in advance. Most anime tend to introduce new concepts, plots, and characters out of nowhere. However, Hunter X Hunter manages to detail a lot of its world and concepts before they are fully introduced. For example, we are introduced to “Nen” in this arc, but it isn’t fully fleshed out yet. We’re lead to believe that what the villains can do are actually feats of magic, at least until the next arc comes around and puts that theory to bed.

Of course, this arc does have its fair share of problems. The pacing at the start can feel pretty slow, especially when they get to the island, and certain events take a bit longer than they should. Fight-scenes are thankfully very short, but sometimes they can be a bit too short. It isn’t until the third arc in the series that fights start to feel longer and more drawn out. So, while I can stay this arc is good, it starts off rather bland and dull.

Visual Stimuli

The animation on this show is extremely solid! For a long-running Shonen anime, this show has some of the best animation in the entire genre. Animation looks fairly good most of the time, but really cranks up during action scenes. It’s hard to find a favorite action scene in this series, since most of them are extremely intense and well choreographed!

The voice-acting is pretty solid as well. I’ve mainly kept up to date with the English dub and only watched a bit of the Japanese version, but I can easily say that both versions are pretty well done. While the female voices for the male characters can grate a bit here or there, they do a good job of making the characters their own. None of the English dub actors from the 1999 anime return. This isn’t a big deal, but I really wish Brendan Hunter came back to play Hisoka. His new voice actor does a fantastic job, but Brendan really captured the smug nature of Hisoka well.

The music for this show is good, but it sadly gets repeated a bit too much. The show’s soundtrack is very limited, though this isn’t as apparent during the first story arc. Songs get repeated a lot through-out the show’s entire 148 episode run.  Like I said though, it’s not as bad during these early episodes.

In Conclusion

This show has a bit of a rocky start, but manages to pick up after those first few episodes. The show has an interesting concept and has a protagonist who relies more on outwitting his opponents, rather than overpowering him. Keep in mind though that this season definitely has its problems. Certain episodes can feel awkwardly paced, and some fights feel way shorter than they should.

Honestly though, I feel it’s worth watching. This is a series that prides itself on delivering good action, alongside good characters. The Hunter Exam arc is a good place to start, but the show doesn’t reach it’s true potential until later. For now, I can say that this show is definitely as sweet as syrup and worth your time and money. I recommend this series, and more specifically the first arc to fans of Shonen anime and action series in general.

My Thoughts On My Hero Academia

It’s hard to describe how much I like certain anime. A lot of time and effort goes into most of the anime I watch, and I tend to usually only watch anime within a specific genre. This genre would be “Shonen” anime, Japanese animated series that are often targeted towards teenagers. One such series that I found myself getting hooked on from episode 1 was “My Hero Academia”.

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I don’t know what’s more impressive, those muscles or the fact that he managed to style his hair like that!

I make it no secret that I love superheroes, so an anime about superheroes is right up my alley. However, this isn’t just any simple anime that has superheroes in it. The anime and manga series derive a lot of elements from American superheroes. It manages to meld the elements of a typical Japanese anime with the style and flare of a superhero film. It creates this mixture that’s not only delicious, but also had a lot of flare to it.

The show tells the story of a young man with no powers to speak of, in a world where almost everyone has some sort of super-power. The young man known as Izuku Midoriya is one day bestowed by in insanely strong power by his mentor All Might. In time, Izuku trains to get stronger, while at the same time dealing with fellow school rivals and the occasional supervillain attack.

The show sounds pretty basic, but there’s actually quite a lot to it. It has the structure of any other Shonen anime, but manages to boast some top-notch animation and some fun character designs. Couple this with a solid soundtrack and likable characters, and you have a series that’s both familiar and entertaining.

It’s not a perfect show by any stretch of the imagination. Some plots can feel formulaic, and there are times when the show drags its heels. The first episode of season 2 was a good example of this, where a lot of it felt like a pointless recap and not a whole lot happened in the episode. Regardless, the series has overall been very entertaining. Events feel well-paced enough, so the show doesn’t devolve into that classic of formula of “Let’s fight a new guy for 8 episodes, and then another new guy for the next few episodes!” Instead, it focuses on developing its world and characters more.

It doesn’t feel too rushed, and manages to provide enough entertainment with each episode to leave a lasting impact. That’s why I can wholeheartedly recommend this series. It has problems here or there, but if you’re a fan of Shonen anime and superhero comic books, I think you’ll dig this show. I haven’t gotten this addicted to a show in quite some time, it’s really quite a thrill!

Gundam Seed Astray Is The Best Darn Spinoff Ever

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Who needs Power Rangers when you got junk collectors and mercenaries?

If there’s a franchise that I seem to neglect the most, it’s probably the Gundam series. Giant robots are my jam, but I often find it difficult to go back and watch through all the various Gundam series. Considering there are so many different anime that are spread across decades, it’s certainly a daunting task! With so many differing continuities, as well as various adaptations to take into consideration, it becomes a near impossibility to consume every part of the franchise.

I got into Gundam when I was about 11, though the infinitely enjoyable Mobile Fighter G Gundam series. This show was bombastic insanity, and I knew I just needed more of the franchise! While most Gundam shows are different, they almost always focus on some kind of war fought with giant robots. Eventually, Gundam decided to go back to the beginning with Gundam Seed. Gundam Seed was a reboot / re-imagining of the original show, taking a ton of old concepts and characters and changing them up.

Gundam Seed is a series that can be hit-or-miss to a lot of people. I like Gundam Seed, but I’m not a super huge fan of it. The new characters felt too much like the originals and didn’t do enough to deviate or feel unique or stand out. Fight scenes were great and the new Gundams were well-designed, but it just lacked that punch that the original. In all honest, I think I would’ve liked Mobile Suit Gundam Seed more if it was it’s own entity.

Surprisingly enough, my prayers were answered when I discovered the oft-forgot manga known as Gundam Seed Astray. What is it? Well, if Gundam Seed is the story of Luke Skywalker, then Astray would be the tale of Han Solo. Astray focuses on the junk collector known as Lowe Gear (Lowe Guele in the Japanese version) and revolves around his seemingly bottomless luck. Lowe one day stumbles across a giant robot known as an “Astray” unit, a Gundam that was focused on very loosely on the show. Lowe finds two such units, but the other is stolen by a mercenary named Gai Murakumo.

Lowe pilots the Red Frame while Gai pilots the Blue Frame, and the two quickly become friends and rivals. The two also deal with the third Astray frame, known as the “Yellow Frame”, piloted by a dangerous nobleman known as Rondo Sahaku. The three engage in dangerous battles, as Lowe tries his best to collect junk and improve his mech. What makes Lowe interesting is that he’s one of the few pilots in the series to be able to pilot a Gundam without any augmentations. Lowe is an ordinary human, unlike 99% of the pilots in the series. Despite not being a Coordinator, Lowe is able to tangle with the strongest fighters in the series. Utilizing an old outdated computer as an assistant, Lowe braves the dangers of space and does battle with various threats.

Astray’s plot unfolds alongside the series it’s based on, very frequently crossing over and referencing the series. Likewise, Seed acknowledges Astray as well, creating this really good synergy. Astray got a ton of spinoffs and sequels of its own, including one focusing on side stories revolving around Lowe and friends, and even focusing on Gai and the Serpent’s Tail guild. The series continues to spawn various spin-offs and sequels, but I’ll always remember the original series and R the most.

Astray was more focused on plot, while R acted as a supplementary series to it. R filled in some of the gaps and also had an extremely bad-ass art-style. Then there’s X Astray, which was… Okay. I honestly didn’t like how the series started to veer off after a while and took the focus away from Lowe. It’s not that I don’t like the other characters, but Lowe’s bottomless charisma made other characters feel bland by comparison.

While Seed felt like another whiny melodrama during war-times, Astray was an attempt at telling a light story set in the same universe. Silly space adventures focusing on a happy-go-lucky goofball was the name of Astray’s game. Is it perfect? Nah, but it had a lot of heart to it and I enjoyed it greatly. It just sucks it never got a true anime adaptation, outside of a few five-minute shorts that is.

Honestly, if you can find old copies of this series, I recommend picking them up. They aren’t perfect and the series is over-stuffed with filler at times, but it’s something I can wholeheartedly recommend. Awesome action, nicely drawn artwork, like-able characters, silly adventures, what’s not to love? Maybe one day Astray will finally get an anime adaptation, though I doubt it. To be fair, it’s fine as is and doesn’t really need one. After all, why kick it into high gear, when it’s fine enough in Lowe Gear?

Bomberman Bakugaiden: An Obsure Gem?

The world of videogame to cartoon adaptations is wide, it spans a large range of shows of differing quality. Some shows may be amazing and some are outright forgettable. I think I may have stumbled across something truly unique though. It’s a show I find to be fairly entertaining, despite having very little to actually do with the game that it’s based on. I’m talking about Bomberman B-Daman Bakugaiden. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Bomberman was a popular videogame from the 80s that grew into a large franchise that spanned decades.

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Yes, THIS is from a Bomberman show. Just let that realization sink in.

Due to Bomberman’s popularity, an anime was inevitable. Most people remember the Bomberman Jetters anime, as that was more faithful to the source material while still being it’s own thing. However, Bakugaiden came out a few years before Jetters and even got a second season. One could argue that Bakugaiden was the more popular series. Bomberman Bakugaiden had a lot of trappings of Bomberman, but presented them differently. White Bomber was still the protagonist, while Black Bomber was his rival as always.

Planet Bomber is still a thing, yet White Bomberman is the prince of the planet. This is a far departure from the games, where White Bomber is just another denizen of said planet. In this version, no one throws bombers. Like, ever. It shouldn’t even be called Bomberman, it should be renamed “Erman”. Instead of throwing bombs, they shoot energy-charged marbles out of their chest. That is because this iteration of Bomberman is based off the B-Daman toys. B-Daman got its own anime eventually, which actually made it to America.

I think I prefer the Bomberman version though, just because it is slightly more zany and the characters I found to be more entertaining. Now, back to show itself, I found it to be really enjoyable. I think this comes down to how quirky and silly the characters are. You’ve got the adorable yet headstrong lady Red Bomber, the nervous and laidback Blue Bomber, as well as our hero White Bomber. The show has a ton of characters peppered throughout and all of them are as crazy as the next. The show also has some fun action sequences with giant robots, which is new for this franchise.

It’s weird to have a Bomberman series that centers around exciting mecha battles, but it feels like a welcome addition. After all, Bomberman tends to fight giant robots in the newer games, it’s understandable he finally gets to pilot one of his very own. In this version, the king of Planet Bomber (or “Earth” as the subtitles call it) is being mind-controlled by Dark Bomber. This means our heroes have to rally behind a singular cause in order to stop him.

Yeah, it’s basically Star Wars, but the show is somewhat aware of its derivative nature. This makes it enjoyable, despite its cliche nature. The one biggest flaw I’ve found with this series is the lack of subtitles for the series’ various episodes. About 2 percent of the show is subtitled, there’s 95 episodes that I haven’t been able to find correct subtitles for. It’s a shame, because I think it’s a cute and fun little show.

That’s just my two cents on the series though. I recommend checking out the few subtitled episodes on Youtube if you’re a Bomberman fan and interested in the series. It isn’t the most original series and differs greatly from the games, but manage to bring a lot of silly fun to the table. That’s something I can really get behind. Now, I just need to get around to play Super Bomberman R…

Sweet As Syrup: Slayers Season 1 Review

When it comes to anime, there are few that I’ve ever found legitimately funny. Sure, I’ll laugh at something like One Punch Man or Mob Psycho 100, but a lot of anime I’ve seen just aren’t that funny. However, there was another anime that I watched that managed to strike a good balance between both comedy and action. Not only that, but it managed to fill a fantasy setting with a wealth of crazy and memorable characters. I’m talking about the anime known as “Slayers”.

For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, let me explain. Slayers is a classic 90s anime that focuses on a fantasy universe, complete with swords and sorcery. This universe is populated by zany characters, all-powerful gods, and overpowered sorcerers. It’s a show that knows when to take itself seriously, and when to goof off. So, today I shall review the first season of Slayers. I hope you all enjoy it, and consider watching a season or 2!

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This is Gourry, the best character in the entire show. I mean, just look at that hair!

Background Information

Slayers is based off a light-novel that originally began publication in 1989. The series proved popular enough to gain an anime adaptation in 1995, which ended up becoming the first season of an ongoing saga. The anime proved well enough to get several films and even a few OVAs. The light novels continued going even after the anime ended and it proved to be an overall very popular series that ran for many years.

Plot and Setting

This series takes place in an unnamed fantasy world, full of monsters and magic. Unlike other series, the monsters are actually their own race of powerful beings that can wield their own special brand of magic called “Black Magic”. Certain characters in this universe (including our main character) can wield this dark magic, by calling directly upon the power of monsters. Other kinds of magic include: Holy, White, Shamanistic, and Chaos magic respectively.

The show itself revolves around our primary character: Lina Inverse. It’s hard to really call Lina a “hero”, as she often does things mostly for personal gain. In some episodes, she’ll cause more bad than good. Lina’s biggest draw is that she is emotionally unstable, yet she wields some of the most powerful spells in the entire realm. Lina will flip her lid at slightest insult to her chest-size, and wouldn’t hesitate to nuke a village because of it.

Despite this, Lina is usually the only one who can triumph over the big evil currently attacking the realm, which she always does. Now, our season 1 plot focuses on introducing our characters first. We are introduced to Lina Inverse, the forgetful swordsman Gourry, the powerful chimera Zelgadis, the justice-loving Amelia, along with the occasional guest character. These four are the main protagonists of season 1, who soon find themselves in a war against the forces of darkness.

The Red Priest known as Rezo is planning to awaken a powerful demon, which results in Lina and friends being pulled into a confrontation with him and the dark lord Shabranigdo. After that story arc, the show goes into silly filler adventures, before ending off with another battle against a different villain. Despite the show injecting itself with a lot of silly filler, it never really gets all that boring. The filler adventures often prove immensely entertaining, and allow for the supporting characters to get some screen-time.

The main plots themselves proved to be fairly entertaining, despite being somewhat formulaic fantasy stories. Still, the setup for these main plots can be fairly entertaining in themselves. While the story arcs for the first season of Slayers aren’t too unique in structure, that doesn’t stop them from being immensely enjoyable. Couple that with the absurd characters populated throughout this world, and you have a recipe for a truly enjoyable show.

Visual Stimuli

The show is a 90s anime, and as a result the animation has not aged well. There are parts that look fairly good for the time, but others that just look stiff and awkward by today’s standards. Action scenes seem to have much better animation though, which is a common trait among anime of this era. Characters are fairly well-designed and are varied in appearance. I actually enjoyed this a lot, as it managed to avoid having a near identical cast.

Monster designs are also pretty unique and interesting, especially due to how many strange creatures populate this world. One of the pros of using a fantasy world is being able to populate it with as many strange beings as you want, which this show takes full advantage of. The show will have our heroes fighting wolf-men one minute, to fighting giant fish with human limbs the next.

The voice acting is pretty good for the time, at least in my opinion. I’ve watched a bit of the Japanese version, but mostly focused on watching the English version. The reason for this is that I’m not a huge fan of reading subtitles, and also that I really enjoyed the English voice-acting. While it’s true that this show does have a few awkward voice-actors here or there, it still manages to bring a fairly solid voice-cast into play. Once the primary voice-cast was settled on, their voices were completely solidified in my head. The voices just matched the characters so perfectly that it became impossible to go back to the Japanese version!

The soundtrack for this show is pretty solid, it even has a really energetic and entertaining theme song. There are times where the music can feel a bit generic, but most of the time the soundtrack gets my blood pumping. While the soundtrack isn’t something I’d play in the background while doing stuff, it isn’t terrible either. Despite the somewhat formulaic soundtrack, the sometimes-awkward animation, and the occasional bad voice actor, I still thought the production values on this show were fantastic!

In Conclusion

Slayers is a series that mixes comedy and action very well, while at the same time giving us memorable and unique characters. While the first season lacks memorable villains, it’s still an enjoyable time. With great action scenes and fun filler episodes, it manages to be enjoyable despite its flaws. While the animation is somewhat stilted and certain voice actors do a terrible job, the experience comes together rather nicely and creates a fantastic series.

It balances its fantasy elements well with the silly atmosphere presented with its world, creating a great mixture of realism with surrealism. That’s why I can wholeheartedly recommend this show to fans of fantasy or comedy. This is one of those rare anime that made me laugh, that felt like it appealed to my bizarre sense of humor. That’s why I can say that this show is definitely as Sweet As Syrup and is totally worth a watch!

My Thoughts On Dragon Ball Super’s Universal Tournament

Last year, I put up a couple of posts on my blog noting my grievances with the current state of Dragon Ball Super and how I felt it wasn’t improving in the slightest. After having watched the most recent episode, I regret saying those words. Dragon Ball Super has definitely improved, at least for now. We have a better theme song, a more unique art-style, better animation, and a setup for a multiverse tournament.

Honestly, it’s what I want in this kind of story-arc. Goku and his friends are going to enter this tournament and fight against opponents, both old and new, along with characters who are twists on old favorites. The episode setting up this new arc I felt to be rather well put-together. It was paced expertly, it didn’t feel too slow or too quick. It focused on developing Goku and really showed his flaws and how they affect those around him. I especially loved how they subtly compared the similarities in Goku’s childish demeanor with that of the Zenos.

Goku’s desire for battle is what has become his weakness. Time and again, it’s show that Goku’s own power is what draws a lot of enemies to him and the earth. This episode shows how much Goku has fallen, how his own childish nature and immaturity has changed aspects of him. Goku even flicks a bullet into the head of a human who shot at him, something Goku would normally do! In fact, this move was first used by Goku’s evil brother Raditz in the first episode of DBZ. I think this is some clever foreshadowing and that we’re going to see in future episodes how Goku’s negative traits are working against him.

I love the new art-style and intro was well. The art seems somewhat more stylized with somewhat thicker lines and I definitely like the style they are going for! I also found the intro to be extremely entertaining, with some music punctuated with that unique aforementioned art-style. That’s not even to mention the noticeable animation upgrade they’ve gone though!

I’ve gushed a lot about what I liked about episode 77 and the route the show is going, so what didn’t I like? Well, not a whole lot really. Aside from some parts of the episode that dragged, there wasn’t a lot for me to complain about at all. It also ended on a cliff-hanger, which helps build tension. However, this is only the first episode of a 20-30 episode arc. While it seems promising, I have a feeling it may not live up to expectations. After all, people got hyped for the Goku Black arc. I liked it, but I’ll admit that the second half dragged and that the ending felt rushed.

So, what is it about this arc that gives me hope? It’s the acknowledgement of Goku’s flaws, the somewhat darker tone, the better theme song, and the increased character development. I’ll watch a show regardless of quality if I find that the genre appeals to me. Super could’ve remained mediocre to somewhat good for most of it’s run, and I still would’ve still watched it. I feel that I am now officially invested in what the show has to offer.

That’s why I can say that this is easily the best episode in Super thus far. It got me interested in the proceedings and allowed me to put aside my cynicism for once so I could fully enjoy the project. That’s why I’m looking forward to this arc. Depending on how the arc goes, I may discontinue my Dragon Ball Super rants. It really depends on if Super can keep up the quality from this single episode into future ones. I guess only time will tell.

The Various Problems With Dragon Ball Super Part 1

Before reading this, please know that I love Dragon Ball. I wouldn’t say that I’m a super huge fan of it now, like when I was 8. I’m more of a passing fan of the series nowadays. I still have yet to play the Xenoverse games, but they are something that I’d love to get into. Unfortunately, there are parts of this franchise that I can’t stand. While I love the adventures that the Saiyan Goku and his misfit band of Z Fighters get into, there’s only so much a person can take. I loved the original Dragon Ball anime, thought Z was good, though paled in comparison the original.

I found GT to be an underrated series. Sure, it’s not a good Dragon Ball anime, but I feel that its unique enough to be judged as its own thing. Plus, it’s always hilarious to hear Goku use his sexy voice every time he addresses his arch-enemy “Baby”. I know GT has garnered a fair bit of hatred, but it’s still a series that I can enjoy from time to time. The problem is that I just can’t get into Super. It’s full of plot-holes, retcons, weird plot devices, wasted characters, and the occasional bout of poor animation. While the series has gotten marginally better with the newest story arc, it’s still far from being as good as it can be.

That’s something I’d like to go over today. I usually don’t like to be a negative Nelly on my blog, but I thought I’d put my two cents into why I dislike Dragon Ball Super. Keep in mind that this is just my opinion. I still watch the show on occasion despite not liking it, but I know not everyone will have the same opinion. I’m not trying to knock down the opinions of others, only discuss my feelings about a series that could be so much more. Without further adieu, let’s get into Super!

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No, I don’t know why Trunks has blue hair now for some reason.

What is Dragon Ball?

Before discussing the show, I feel that its only fair if I first talk about the series as a whole. Dragon Ball revolves around an alien superhero known as Goku. He loves eating, fighting strong opponents, and not much else. Sure, he has a wife and kid, but he’s barely around them in the original series. Goku often fights villains using martial arts abilities, his super alien powers, and his multitude of transformations. Seriously, Goku has gone through more hair colors than Ramona Flowers.

The original show ran for over 100 episodes, while its sequel Dragon Ball Z ran for close to 300 eps. Dragon Ball GT ran for a measly 64 episodes, nowhere near as high as its predecessors. After GT ended, for the longest time we didn’t have a new DB show. The series was kept alive by its various videogame adaptations and occasional spinoffs and specials. That was until 2015, when the series was brought back from the brink and aired once more on television with brand “new” episodes as Dragon Ball Super. And this is where our tale begins…

Problem 1: The Rehashing

There are many ways you can start off your show, you can start by telling an all new story, you can begin in Media Res, or you can just retell portions of the story people may have missed. Unfortunately for Super, it chose the third option. Look, there’s nothing wrong with retelling a plot that the audience may have missed. After all, it’s difficult to do a sequel when your audience is mostly blind to the original. The problem? Dragon Ball Super chose to start off its series by recapping two films, that came out extremely recently! Heck, Resurrection F came out just a few months before the series even started!

The first 29 episodes are dedicated to recapping both Battle Of Gods and Resurrection F. 29 episodes, that’s insane! These are brand new films so many fans know about already, why bother recapping? You spent over half a year’s worth of episodes spinning your wheels with filler and hope the audience would stick around after. If this was any other anime, people might have just left then and there. However, Dragon Ball has such a well-known name that people couldn’t really say no.

The recapped episodes do add a fair bit more depth to the original films, but they aren’t really worth watching when compared to the movies that spawned them. Most of the stuff it adds are filler sequences, the occasional new adventure, and a lot of pointless fluff. While it is true that they improve on certain plot developments from the films, they still suffer from many other problems (which we will get to) that stops it from being a good alternative.

Now, lots of series or franchises will rehash their story-lines from time to time. A good example of this was the Justice League Vs. Teen Titans film. It felt like a retread of most of the Trigon arc from the cartoon and comic, but was still enjoyable in its own way. It had problems, pacing issues, etc. At the end of the day though, it was enjoyable. I can forgive Warner Bros. for this as they don’t often rehash plots from their cartoons all that often.

Unfortunately, Dragon Ball is a series that lives off rehashing. There’s Dragon Ball Kai, which is essentially a shortened version of Dragon Ball Z with a lot of the filler cut out. Then we have the “Yo! Son Goku And His Friends Return!” special, which rehashed a fair bit of the Saiyan and Frieza saga. Then there was the new Bardock special, which felt like a pointless retcon to a great character. That’s now even mentioning the constant rehashing the games were doing for years.

I wish those were the only examples I had, but sadly they aren’t. While Japanese anime is known for reusing plots, it never got as bad as Dragon Ball. The problem with the 29 episode retread is not the content itself, it’s the fact that the entire franchise has bestowed its legacy upon this show. I don’t mean that in a good way, as the Dragon Ball series has sadly become the equivalent of a recycling bin. While its true that Dragon Ball is mostly considered a kids show, I’m still disappointed in the fact that the constant reuse of plots has gone this far. The 29 episode recap feels like just another attempt to get more money, as opposed to telling something new or interesting. It’s one of the many things hurting this show so badly.

Honestly, I recommend skipping those early episodes in favor of just watching the last two films. They tell the same story, but are shorter and just way more enjoyable over all. There’s very little substance added to the arcs aside from a ton of filler and pointless additions. You’re better off sticking with the later arcs as opposed to watching those first two.

Problem 2: The Art and Animation

Believe it or not, I’m the kind of guy that can look past the animation of a TV series. If a series looks or is animated bad, I can still overlook it if it brings something unique to the table. An example of this is Spectacular Spiderman. I hated the character designs and art-style on that show, but still found the show as a whole to be one of the best superhero cartoons I ever watched! Sadly, the animation on this show is something that can’t be overlooked.

This series has several bouts of bad animation, such as poorly drawn hands and just awkward looking characters. A good example of this is when Frieza blows up a planet in Resurrection F, it lacks any of the finesse earlier planet explosions packed. When Beerus blew a planet in an earlier arc, it looked like fireworks of death. When Frieza blows up a planet, it just cracks all over and then explodes in a very generic-looking explosion. Animation problems don’t end there as you can find all kinds of weird animation errors anywhere you look in this series.

These aren’t just animation errors you probably won’t notice on first viewing, these are in your face! There are scenes that just look awkward, or scenes that felt like they had no impact. A good example was the Goku Vs. Frieza rematch, which just fell flat. There were issues with depth-perception in several scenes, and battles lacked any weight to them. I mean that literally, as Goku and Frieza would punch each other, but you don’t get that feeling of actual combat from them. It feels like their punches lack impact, leaving the fight feeling boring. It doesn’t help that there’s a scene where Frieza and Goku headbutt each other, but it’s really a single picture just shook around to make it seem like something was actually happening.

You think that’s lazy? I haven’t even mentioned episode 5 from the first arc yet! I think episode 5 is a deal-breaker for most people, mainly due to how terrible it is. A lot of long-running anime will sometimes get an episode with animation so bad it becomes infamous. It gets worse when you consider the fact that episode 5 was the episode that had Goku and Beerus fight for the first time. This was the first time we see Beerus fight against a truly capable and strong opponent in the series.

How does it go? Horrible. Half of the animated sequences in this scene looks like they were made by a 8 year old boy in Microsoft Paint. Goku flails about awkwardly as he attempts to punch a poorly drawn Beerus. Look, I’m no artist, and I’m not going to pretend to be. I haven’t done an art-class since high-school and I have no talent in drawing whatsoever. Despite this, even I can tell that this episode lacked any finesse to it. To better illustrate my point, take a look at this picture:

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THIS AIRED ON TELEVISION?!

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. This is honest to goodness frames of animation from that episode. Goku looks poorly drawn in so many scenes in this episode, and Beerus is not much better. Now, if this was some kind of pointless filler episode, I could forgive it somewhat. As mentioned earlier though, this is a pivotal part of this story arc. This is when we see a fraction of Beerus’ enormous power, enough to easily overpower one of the strongest fighters in the universe. Despite this, half the episode looks like it was drawn by a chimpanzee.

Toei is primarily to blame here. To be absolutely fair, I don’t think Toei is the worst animation company out there. When they produce films, the animation on them tends to be passable to pretty good. I can’t think of too many Toei animated films that I despise, at least animation-wise. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the animated series that they produce. Back in the 80s and 90s, Toei could produce some fantastic looking stuff. However, ever since Toei discovered digital cel animation, the quality has gone down considerably.

Compare Saint Seiya Omega to Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold. Omega was animated by Toei, while Soul of Gold was simply produced by Toei and animated by another company. Soul of Gold looked amazing (despite have a couple occasional awkward bouts of animation) while Omega just looked kind of bland and lacked interesting character designs. Speaking of which, I think it’s time we discuss the character designs on this series.

Problem #3 New Character Designs

The Dragon Ball series has a lot of hit or miss character designs. This is probably due to the fact that Akira Toriyama can only draw about 5 or 6 faces. Heck, when I was a kid I would often mistake Yamcha for Goku due to their similar appearances. To be honest though, I was pretty dumb kid. Dragon Ball Z had a lot of bouts of interesting designs though, especially in its villains. Frieza and Cell particularly stood out at looking very interesting to me.

However, I think this series should earn some kind of award for having the worst designs. I know a lot of time and effort goes into designing a really good character, but it feels like the ball was mostly dropped here. You have a series that was dormant until 2008, with very few characters (Outside of maybe Beerus) who are that striking or memorable. A good example of this is Tagoma, Frieza’s main stooge in Resurrection F arc.

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Watch out, it’s purple Mr. Clean!

That’s a pretty bland design. There’s nothing memorable about this design, it’s just a random alien in a modified Frieza uniform with a scouter that stretches all the way across his face. The alien design itself is pretty bland. Let’s compare this to Dodoria, who looked like a pink fat pin-cushion. His body was bulbous and pink protrusions were spread out all across his head. We remember Dodoria because there was something interesting about his design, he felt alien. While Zarbon’s regular form felt bland, his monster form created a unique dynamic for the character. One form is beautiful and elegant, while the other form is monstrous and hideous.

Tagoma looks like a bald guy painted his skin a light shade of purple and then put on a weird outfit. Even Ginyu had protrusions that erupted from his head to give a more alien-like design. Couple that with Ginyu’s bizarre mannerisms, and you have a character that’s not only memorable but someone you could grow attached to. Also, don’t worry, we’ll talk more about Super’s depiction of Ginyu a bit later. Regardless, Tagoma’s design is just awful.

I’m not saying that all the aliens in the series have to look unique or have some interesting quirk or ability. That being said, Dragon Ball Z had so unique aliens on it! Heck, even Dragon Ball GT had a fair bit of unique and bizarre aliens that appear in its introductory arc. A good example of this was the mechanical alien life-form known as Baby, I freaking loved that villain!

Sadly, other cast members don’t fair much better. Goku and Vegeta get new outfits, but they mostly remain the same aside from a few changes. The blue part of Goku’s outfit is now non-existent, and Vegeta’s outfit has had its blood parts replaced with grey. However, the outfits are still primarily the same, but they still lack the finesse once had. Toei also realized this, and had their outfits returned mostly to normal in subsequent arcs. I say mostly, because they still carry Whis’ symbol on them.

It’s not just redesigns and new characters that the show has a problem with, but also rehashed characters. I know I complained about rehashes earlier, but there was an entire arc dedicated to Goku and friends fighting in an alternate universe tournament. This arc was notorious for having characters who were just alternate versions of pre-established characters.

Frost is just a palette-swapped Frieza, Hit is essentially a purple version of Piccolo, and Champa is just a fatter version of Beerus. And yes, I know that both Champa and his assistant Vados are technically related to Beerus and Whis respectively. However, having a sibling relationship isn’t a super good excuse for bad character designs. Gohan and Goten were brothers as well, but you never saw them wearing near identical outfits did you? You could always tell Gohan apart from Goten! This may be a nitpick, but I just find the lack of unique and interesting designs to be annoying.

Side Problem#1: Over-Hyping and Click-Baiting

Let’s be real here, hype can destroy a good series. Sadly, the hype proceeding Super’s release did not help this show in the slightest. Now, I know that that sometimes the hype can get out of control, even beyond what the creator’s intend. However, the hype for Super was just out of control. The moment it was announced, the internet went insane. People were getting over-hyped for an anime that hadn’t had a new entry in over 2 decades.

It didn’t help that the series premiered just a few months after the last film came out. Super was basically riding off the hype bandwagon from the previous film, using it as a way to get its audience over-hyped. Unlike previous Dragon Ball series, the manga started at the same time as the anime did. This meant episodes were released in conjunction with the manga, which was even more annoying. The fact that the manga was being released at the same time basically made it pointless. Why read the manga when the anime was covering the same material at the exact same time, but in animated form?

The problem is that so much hype was surrounding this show from the start, despite its immensely rocky start. It doesn’t help that various sleazy click-bait sites are adding to the unnecessary hype train. I’m not going to name any names, since I don’t want to get in trouble with any particular new outlets. Still, I want to bring attention to this extremely awful practice. You see, what these sites are doing are posting descriptions of episodes that haven’t even come out yet in the title of their articles. They use this to mainly generate clicks and traffic for their site. It doesn’t help that most of these articles feel like they weren’t even written by fans of the anime or the medium as a whole. I know that click-baiting is legal, but it’s still sleazy to do this for a kids show.

It doesn’t help that it shows up as soon as you Google search “Dragon Ball Super”. This means that episodes will be spoiled for you by the description alone, and there’s no way to avoid them because they show up at the top of the search results. I recommend not giving these click-bait sites your traffic and just going through the Wikipedia search engine and cut out the middle-man. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but it really goes against what the show is supposed to be about. It’s about a group of individuals who fight in order to save the people of their planet and restore peace, never asking for money or monetary gain. And here you have a bunch of sites, who are normally very well-known for providing popular content just using their descriptions in order to leach clicks.

The reason I listed this as a “side problem”, was due to personal preference. I doubt that click-baiting would get in the way of enjoying this show, and it doesn’t hurt the enjoyment factor that much for me. I just find it detestable that websites have been trying to bank off this show since the beginning, even when it started extremely bland. If a site wanted to post articles every 10 or 20 episodes, that’d be fine. It’s just a little too extreme. Hopefully, this evens out more next year and we have less click-baiting articles. Again, I have nothing against these sites personally. They put out fantastic articles and amazing content, but they could do a lot better with providing content to its reader base.

Problem #4: A Very Hole-y Plot

Plot holes and plot conveniences can cripple a good show, but they are especially bad when  they end up in a show that already has a lot of problems to begin with. To be fair, Akira Toriyama isn’t the best writer to begin with. A good example of this are plot elements that come out of nowhere, such as Goku having a brother and being an alien this whole time. Despite this, Dragon Ball Z was never a show people watched for the story to begin with. Likewise, Super isn’t going to be a show watched for it’s plot. Regardless, this show is littered with plot conveniences, plot holes, and inconsistencies.

For example, in one of the first few episode Beerus boasts that he killed all the dinosaurs on earth. However, the dinosaurs are still on earth and they have been there for countless years. It’s entirely possible Beerus wiped them out and they all just returned at some point, but a little expansion on that plot point would have been appreciated. There are various other ones, such as Ginyu’s powers working differently without explanation or the geography of the planet looking completely different for some reason.

Let’s be real here, Dragon Ball GT also had a fair bit of plot holes and inconsistencies. While GT had a fair bit of things that didn’t make sense, Super was much worse in this regard. Heck, the animators couldn’t even get Krillin’s height right, as he is now shorter than he was before. Couple inconsistencies like that with bad off-model character design and lackluster animation and you have a show that constantly bewilders its audience.

I know I shouldn’t complain so much about the plot in a series that has almost always been more focused on animation, but it’s not like Dragon Ball Z has ever had that complex of a story. Sure, the original Dragon Ball series had some pretty good plots, but there was never anything that was truly exceptional when it came to story-telling. The fact that Akira Toriyama fails at being able to tell a story, despite writing this series for many years is very telling.

Keep in mind, I’m still essentially a writer in training. I make mistakes, my paragraph spacing needs work, and I screw up my punctuation all the time. However, I can still look at the work of other writers and see what needs improving. Akira Toriyama has done some truly amazing work, but lacks the ability to tie a cohesive narrative to his works. I’m not saying that Akira Toriyama is a terrible person, it’s just that he has had decades to improve his writing and simply chose not to.

Summing It Up

Dragon Ball Super has a lot of problems, and I mean a lot! In this little rant / review I went over a lot of problems I had with the series. Keep in mind, that even though I think this show is pretty awful, I still watch and enjoy it. It’s entertaining and fun, at least in my opinion. I mean no offense to those who like or dislike it, this is merely my opinion. I love this show and want to see it get better, which is why I tear it apart so.

Now, I know it seems like I nitpicked a fair bit. This is true, but I feel want to get more of personal gripes out of the way before getting deeper into what I dislike about this show. Yeah, we’re only on part 1 of this rant! There will most likely be a part 2 and 3, though I don’t know when those will come out. I don’t want this to become a rant blog, but I feel like expressing a bit of negativity with something I feel could be improved is strangely therapeutic in a way.

I know that lots of hard work goes into making an animated series, but I feel that this show lacks visible effort. Now, I know that the show got really good as of late, especially with the new story arc that just started. That arc is fantastic, by the way! I’ll cover all the things I like about the show at the end of this series, as there are a fair bit of things I found entertaining. Again, this is all personal opinion. If you disagree, that’s perfectly fine. I respect everyone’s opinions and I can see why people like this show. Still, I want to continue with this series and continue expressing why I don’t like it. So, stay tuned for the next part in a few weeks to a month!

Sweet As Syrup: Samurai Flamenco Review

Believe it or not, I have stumbled across many series that I regret not having heard of before. Be this a game series, a film series, or even a comic book series. And yes, this even includes anime series. One such anime that I have kicked myself constantly for having never heard of is today’s subject. This is one of the most divisive, yet refreshing anime I’ve seen in the past decade. It revolves around a young man who wishes to be a superhero, despite having no super-powers or combat training.

Despite this, he fashions himself a costume and becomes a hero anyways. He trains hard, fights crime, and eventually becomes a hero to those around him. However, if you’ve heard of this show before, you’d know that I’m only scraping the surface. This show is bizarre, yet awesome and has divided half its audience. I think it’s about time I discuss the amazing-ness that is this little-known series. So, I present to you all the cult-classic gem known as “Samurai Flamenco”.

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“LET’S SYRUP!”

Background Information

Samurai Flamenco started airing in October 2013 and finished its run in March 2014. The anime ran for a total of 22 episodes and unfortunately never took off with a Japanese audience. The show ended up forgotten in Japan, but was brought to America through Netflix and Crunchy Roll. Here, it garnered a small yet devoted fanbase and remains a cult-classic to this day. The anime itself was directed by Takahiro Omori, who is best known for co-directing the Powerstone anime and directing Hyper Police; two highly underrated anime in my opinion. Flamenco is one of Omori’s latest projects, as he hasn’t directed a whole lot since 2013.

Plot and Characters

Hidenori Goto is your typical average policeman. He works a tough job, fights the occasional crime, comes home, sleeps and does the same thing the next day. However, Goto’s life changes forever when he finds a strange naked young man in the alley. This turns out to be a wannabe superhero named Masayoshi who goes under the superhero name “Samurai Flamenco”.

Masayoshi is also secretly a model, which pays the bills and allows him to purse his rather dangerous hobby. Masayoshi is a hero because of the heroes who inspired him as a child, and he wishes to live up to their legacy. This creates a rather unique concept for a series, it’s essentially Kamen Rider meets Kickass. It gets even wilder from there! Masayoshi becomes famous on the internet for fighting crime, even the minuscule ones. This draws the attention of other would-be heroes like the Flamenco Girls, a trio of magical-girl-type superheroines who aren’t afraid to knee a guy in the groin to win a fight.

Masayoshi is also aided by a cast of colorful characters, including his strict manager Sumi, and his eccentric sensei known as Joji Kaname. It’s up to Masayoshi to defeat the various thugs in the city, as well as people who are after him so they can a hefty reward for unmasking him. It’s actually a really good concept, and the series rocks it… Until the end of episode 7. Now, I feel to properly discuss this show in detail I need to talk about it past episode 7. Episode 7 has a twist that rocked the fanbase and even deterred some people from watching it. So, in this next section I will discuss spoilers that span from episode 7 to 11.

SPOILER WARNING

By episode 7, Masayoshi has cleaned up the streets. Few criminals are around and those that are end up being quickly dispatched by our heroes. However… This quickly changes when a real monster shows up at the end of episode 7! This monster is known as “Guillotine Gorilla” and murders several policeman. Our heroes defeat him, only for a mysterious villain known as King Torture shows up. At this point, the show switches genres from a fairly realistic superhero show, to a Kamen Rider type superhero show.

And this isn’t the first or last time it does this! After the end of this arc, it switches genres again and focuses on a team of Sentai-styled superheroes called “The Flamengers”, which are led by Masayoshi. And the show just gets crazier from there! I would say more about it, but I don’t want to spoil all this show has to offer.

SPOILERS OVER

Generally, while I felt that the plot was all over the place, I enjoyed it. Despite the constant genre-shifting, it is a very entertaining story. The problem comes with the characters, as during some arcs, characters are shoved aside in favor of introducing new characters. Despite this, the old characters do return and get a fair bit of development, which is welcome. Still, I could do without the other Flamengers, as they were never that interesting.

Visual Stimuli

I like the character designs in this show somewhat, especially the superhero costumes assigned to the main and supporting characters. They have a retro feel to them, but also have an added modern touch. It sucks that Samurai Flamenco doesn’t have a defined suit, as it changes every 3-4 episodes. Despite this, I loved the design of each suit Masayoshi wears. Sadly, I can’t say the same about the animation. While the animation is good most of the time, sometimes it can be pretty bad. A good example of this is in episode 11, where it looks as though the animators just gave up. The second opening sequence for the show is another example of this, due to how many little animation is shown in that intro. There is a sufficient lack of actual animation in both versions of the trailers and just feels slapped together.

Luckily, voice acting and sound design is fairly good. I found background tracks to be entertaining, as were the theme songs. The anime also uses a surprising number of tracks that seem to be lifted from other shows and only remixed slightly. I can’t tell you how weird it was when the Pink Panther theme just started playing in one episode. Regardless, I found the production value to be a bit middle-of-the-road. It had somewhat okay-ish animation that dips in quality a bit too much. On top of that, you can tell that their were budget cuts along the line. Still, the production values never got too much in the way of me enjoying the show.

In Summation

I can see why some people don’t like this show. This is a show where the animation can look fairly bad on occasion, the show constantly changes genres, character development is shoved aside in favor of introducing new characters, and the soundtrack seems a bit recycled. Despite this, it was still really entertaining!

It had likable characters, fairly unique concept, and was entertaining the whole time for me. I feel this anime is pretty entertaining, despite its flaws. Sadly, this series never took off and only got 22 episodes, but I still enjoy it a lot. How much you get out of the series will depend on you the viewer, I reccomend at least watching the first 10 episodes. The first 10 episodes are a good example of what the show is, so if you don’t like the first 10 then you’ll probably hate the rest of the series. Just be warned that this show is very stupid, but it’s a good kind of stupid. If you can turn your brain off while watching this show, then I think you can find a lot of enjoyment in this series.

I can definitely say that this anime is without a doubt as sweet as syrup. I won’t get this anime a rating, because I feel its about time I retired number ratings. I feel like attaching a numbered score is demeaning the value of the product. So, from now on, every review will be score free! Though, I’ll still tell you if the product is as sweet as syrup or not!

Sweet As Syrup: Robotech Shadow Chronicles Review

I’ve realized something as of late: I have reviewed that much anime on my blog. Which is weird, because I find anime a lot easier to review than games. Despite this, I have more fun talking about games than I do about anime. However, lately I’ve been wanting to talk about more anime on my blog. After all, there are a lot of good ones out and some not so good ones. One that I’d like to talk about today falls between those two categories.

I’m of course referring to the “Robotech: Shadow Chronicles” film. It’s based off a three season anime from the 80s that combined footage from three different unrelated shows, in order to fill up over 80 episodes. Robotech Shadow Chronicles is the sequel to the original series, which we will discuss today. So, without further adieu, let us delve into a an often forgotten anime film from the mid-2000s.

Background Information

As previously mentioned, this film is a sequel to the original 80s show. It came out over 2 decades after the show ended and was released to the world in the year 2006. In fact, the movie just turned 10 a couple of weeks ago! One of the directors for this film was Tommy Yune, who worked on several Robotech projects and also wrote for the other Robotech film “Love Live Alive”. I highly reccomend not watching that film though, as it is pretty bland and features a lot of reused stock footage.

A comic book prelude was written for the film and ties in nicely to the mythos. Unfortunately, the comic and film retcon elements from most adaptations of Robotech II: The Sentinels. Despite Robotech II being canon, most iterations of the story are considered non-canon due to changes in continuity. Confused yet? The film featured a fair amount of talent associated with it. It features the voice of Mark Hamill as well as a bunch of voice actors from the original series. The film features a good selection of anime and cartoon voice actors such as Yuri Lowenthal and Richard Epcar.

Plot and Characters

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That guy on the left looks super bored.

The film is interesting in that the first 30 or 40 minutes or so is a recap of the finale to the original show, while the rest of film is completely original content. The film catches us up to speed on the finale of the series. It shows the humans repelling the Invid invasion, the use of weapons they have inherited from a mysterious alien race known as the “Heydonites”, as well as a new perspective on the final battle featuring brand new characters. The second half of the film revolves around the humans dealing with an all new threat that’s even more powerful than the Invid.

The plot feels a bit boring at times. Space battles felt like they were spaced too far apart. Also, the film does a miserable job of explaining the characters that occupy its world. I’ll get back into this in a minute, but for now I’ll just say that a lot of these characters will fly over the heads of casual viewers. The world itself feels like it isn’t expanded on enough. For example, they keep bringing up “Protoculture”, which is essentially the energy-source that all the races in the Robotech universe fight over. They don’t go into enough detail on this energy though and they never really explain its history all that well. There are 85 episodes of the original that go into more detail on what Protoculture is, as well as other concepts like Veritech Fighters, Robotechnology, what the SDF, as well as various other concepts. The problem is that the film is more for people who have been following the series since the beginning.

Sure, there is supplementary material that will help the casual viewer get more in tune with both the world and characters, but a film should be able to explain its world to the viewer in a a natural way without extra research required. What’s worse than the rather vague concepts presented by the film is the over-abundance of characters. This film has over a dozen primary characters, yet none of them really feel like the true protagonist.

That being said, I can appreciate the film giving an ample amount of screen-time to most of its characters. This is a near 90 minute film that manages to focus on a number of its heroes. A lot of characters get backstory or pivotal scenes that manage to make me care about them. Characters like Louie from the second arc are really entertaining to see in this film. Louie has a rather entertaining arc where he falls in love with a robot named Janice, who is enjoyable in her own right. Unfortunately, their interactions have a tendency to bog down the film. I felt like a bit too much time was spent on the romance and not enough on the actual events that were unfolding.

The film tends to focus a lot on three new characters: Marcus Rush, Alex Romero, and Maia Sterling. These three feel like they should be the main protagonists, but a lot of their scenes don’t really advance the plot all that much. Maia seems noticeably lacking in screen-time despite being related by blood to the protagonists of the first 2 seasons. The villains get it worse though.

The Regis, who is the villain of third season takes up the plot of the first half of the film. The main villains known as “The Children of the Shadows” are only in a few scenes. Most of the scenes featuring them occur on their ship while they are plotting evil deeds. We only ever see one of them attacking the humans, and he is taken out very easily.

While I don’t think the plot of the film is terrible, it does leave a lot to be desired. It’s overabundance of characters coupled with its lack of explanation of its own plot elements is a bit of a turn off. Despite this, I enjoyed what was here even if it felt a bit basic. The story is pretty basic sci-fi fare, but it’s enjoyable enough, even if it is a bit hard to understand.

Visiual Stimuli

The voice acting is the true star of this film. Having amazing voice talent like Chase Masterson and Mark Hamill is always a treat, as well as having a good selection of both old and new voice actors. The film brings back most of the old cast, which is great because you don’t hear a lot of these guys in shows anymore. The music is pretty good, especially the return of the old theme song.

The animation is okay, sometimes it looks pretty good. While other times, it looks a bit bland. The world offender when it comes to the animation in this film is the CGI. The CGI looks dreadful! It looks like an old Playstation 2 game made in 2001 or 2002. It’s very amateurish and kind of sad. There’s even a scene where a bunch of CGI attack drones are released from a larger ship, and they just kind of teleport out of the ship because of a lack of animation frames. All in all, the visual stimuli is a bit mixed.

In Summation

The film is just okay. Its animation is a mixed bag, the story relies too much on the viewer understanding its source material, but despite that it has a lot of heart. You can tell that the people working on it appreciate the original series. You can tell that they want to create a good sequel to a series fans grew up with. Despite this, the film fell short in several areas. I now see why the reactions to this old movie are bit mixed.

I love this movie in the same way I love Starship Troopers, it’s just a dumb sci-fi movie that is full of cheese and action. It’s got problems, and has an overabundance of characters but is still great to watch. I reccomend checking it out for curiosity’s sake. If I had to give this film a score it would most likely be a 6.5/10. I can’t say that this film is as sweet as syrup, but if you want a silly sci-fi anime to distract you for 90 minutes, give it a shot. Just be wary that it relies a lot on previous knowledge of the series.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure Is Pretty Sweet!

As of late, I’ve been getting back into the anime known as “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure”. It’s based off this old manga that still runs to this day. The series is divided into eight parts and part focuses on a different protagonists. Usually, each protagonist has the words “Jojo” somewhere in their name. Each story arc revolves around some person (Who is usually a muscular dude) fighting vampires, zombies, magic users, dimension-warpers, or any other kind of bizarre entity.

Each arc usually has a different feel to it.The first arc is more of a tragedy, depicting a young man rebelling against his viscous evil brother who becomes a vampire. The second arc is more of a straight-up adventure and deals with the grandson of the previous main character dealing with a group of powerful ancient vampire-creatures. A lot of the arcs are like this, and it’s a ton of fun! It’s also a very dark and violent show, definitely not something for the casual viewer. Though, I do love when a show isn’t afraid to bare its teeth!