Archive for November, 2012

Anime Review: Ah My Goddess: Flights of Fancy

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Studio/Creator: AIC/Kosuke Fujishima

No of Episodes: 24

Distributor: FUNimation

Suggested Age: 13+

My Rating: 10/10

Summary: This is the second season of Ah My Goddess. The series continues from the previous season.  The season introduces Peorth, a lesser goddess, and Helga, Urd’s mother.

Review: This season is a big improvement over the original season. It builds upon what is established in the previous season, so I urge you to watch the original first. This way, you will be more acquainted with the characters and the story.  Flights of Fancy does very little to explain the previous season. There aren’t even any recap episodes! (Big plus!) In fact, I’m going to write this as a continuation of my review of the previous season.  So, if you haven’t read that review, do so now.

Okay, let’s continue. First, I’ll talk about the animation itself. It’s not that different from the first season. To me, that’s fine, because I already liked what I saw in the first season. I don’t think they needed to change anything.

The new characters are great adversaries. Mara is still in the story, but to be honest, she’s not much of a threat.  The goddesses know all tehy need to do is find good luck charms and she can’t do anything. While Mara is a funny person, she isn’t dangerous.

Peorth, however, isn’t evil. She’s actually on the same side as the goddesses, but at a subordinate level. She’d love to be at the same level as them, but wouldn’t dare challenge them because they’re stronger. Instead, she wishes to show evidence that Belldandy is not satisfying Keiichi as well as she should, and thus not fulfilling his wish. This puts her at oods because she actually respects them.

Helga, Urd’s mother, has been trying for ages to persuade her to switch sides.  She tries to do this by having Mara help them or playing to Urd’s more sinister desires. I found Helga to be an excellent enemy because she worked to upset the balance of power rather than work the system like Peorth.

In conclusion, I believe Flights of Fancy is better. It builds on what is already established, and focuses on its conflicts better. If you enjoyed the first season, go ahead and watch the second.

Music/Score: I feel the new theme is much better than the first season. Maybe it’s the bagpipes.

Sub/Dub: Again, the sub is better. Skuld’s voice is less annoying in Japanese.

Violence: (3/10)This is not an action show. Most of what is seen is magic.

Language: (1/10) Not much different from before.

Sexuality: (4/10) Peorth does try to come on to Keiichi, believing she can seduce him better than Belldandy.  Also, Urd tries to encourage a sexual relationship with Keiichi so that Belldandy can become more powerful. (Belldandy’s power increases with the kindness and love she receives.)

Nudity: (2/10): Peorth, Helga, and Urd have clothing that leaves little to the imagination.

Religion: (3/10) Belldandy, Urd, and SKuld are different aspects of love and derived from Norse folklore.  I believe Helga is also Norse. I think Peorth is of a completely different pantheon.

Related Media: This is based on Kosuke Fujishima’s manga, published in America by Dark Horse.

Trivia: Fujishima also created You’re Under Arrest.

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Guidelines for Recommending Anime

I’ve gotten quite a few recommendations and requests since I started this blog. If you look for my username on Christian Anime Alliance, (I’m rocklobster), you can send me recommendations there. You can also place comments here. I’d give you my Facebook link, but I’m having trouble getting that to work. Anyone who knows how to get that to work with HTML commands, let me know. Anyway, before you send stuff, I figure I should let you know what I’m not looking for.

1. Any anime over 100 episodes long.

I’m no longer watching any anime this long ever again. I try to take no longer than three months to watch an anime if it can be helped (if it’s from Adult Swim, for instance, it’ll take longer).  This helps me keep my weekly schedule. I tend to lose interest in these too.  The only title I actually watched all the way through was Galaxy Express 999and that’s because I’m a huge fan of Leiji Matsumoto.

2. Hentai. 

I have no interest in Hentai. I don’t care how good the plot or the animation is, it’s STILL PORN!

3. FLCL or Ninja Scroll. 

These are just not what I’m into. Sorry. Also, I’ve already seen them.

4. Any Manga.

I know, I’m an anime fan, so I should read manga. But I have a problem getting it. My library doesn’t have many complete collections (in fact it only has one: Honey and Clover.). My local bookstore is too far away. I have very little space.  Also, it seems like manga takes longer to read than it does to watch most anime.

5. Anything unlicensed.

I respect the creators too much to watch anime illegally. In the long run, I believe watching anime illegally hurts the industry more than it helps.

6. Anything I can’t get in my region.

I have a region 1 DVD player. That wouldn’t work. Yes, I could use the Internet to watch these, but I don’t want to review an anime I can’t buy myself if I’m so inclined.

7. Any anime no longer in print.

Thanks to the folding of several anime distributors (like Geneon, sadly), many titles are now harder to come by. Many titles have been relicensed, but some of them didn’t do well when they first came out, so I’m sure those won’t be picked up. Sadly, this includes End of Evangelion. I can still review Neon Genesis Evangelion itself, though, because I got it from a friend. If a title is out of print, it’s usually too expensive to buy.

8. Any anime on blue-ray only.

Don’t have a blue-ray player. Too expensive.

So, go ahead, give me some ideas. As long as they don’t meet the criteria above, I’ll consider it.

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Anime Review: Future Diary

Genre: Survival Horror/Suspense/Action

Creator/Studio: Sakae Esuno/Asread

Distributor: FUNimation, streams on Hulu.

No of episodes: 26

Suggested Age: 17+

My Rating: 10/10

Summary: Yuki Amano spends much of his time escaping reality with imaginary conversations with Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space and Time and his assistant, Murmur. One day he begins receiving diary entries from the future on his cell phone.  He soon learns that others are receiving similar messages and that he is now unwillingly participating in a game to see who is the last one standing.

Review: Every once in a while, I try an anime blind. This is one of those times.

The animation is actually pretty good. It had a unique feel to it that made it great to look at.  This isn’t that bad for a studio that isn’t that well-known, like Toei or Sunrise.

Yuki is a great hero. I like the fact that he is reluctant and doesn’t care whether he wins or loses; he just wants to survive. When he met Yuno, I soon thought they made a great team, and I enjoyed working them together. They played off each other well, and I almost forgot they were supposed to be enemies, since the idea was kill or be killed.

Deus and Murmur were a great concept. In a way, they remind me of the Deist concept of God creates the world, but lets it run its course. Murmur is cute and I enjoyed her antics.  They almost seemed like a Greek chorus at times.

Minene Uryu is another great character. I love it when a woman kicks butt and takes names. Like some of the other “players”, her diary is different. Not everyone just gets messages from the future. Minene, for instance, got messages telling her how to escape whatever dangerous situation she is in. I think this was a great spin on what was already established.

The pacing is very well done. I did not think it was too slow or too fast. There were some great moments to catch your breath and it didn’t make me wish it was slower.

To sum things up, if you like stories like The Hunger Games or The Running Man, this is worth checking out. I think it was a great story.

Sub/Dub: I only saw the sub. It was okay.

 

Music/Score: The opening are both good.

Violence: (7/10) pretty graphic stuff. There’s some pretty gruesome deaths.

Sexuality: (3/10) I saw a few scenes where Yuki and Yuno have sex scenes.

Nudity: (2/10) There’s a bath scene as well as the sex scenes.

Religion: (3/10) Deus and Murmur are indifferent to the game itself and Murmur is inspired by a figure in Japanese mythology.  It’s stated that the winner will reset the world, and that this has happened several other times.

Related Media: This is based on the manga. There is a live-action version. The manga was not completely published by Tokyopop due to their bankruptcy.

 

 

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