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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tokyo Ghoul: Re Ch 1 - The One Eyed Ghouls of CCG

Posted by: Arthur Hargrave on Tuesday, October 14, 2014



If the ending to both the manga of Tokyo Ghoul and it's anime adaptation disappointed you, fret not as both have returned. The anime's second season will in fact air during the 2015 Winter season and the manga has returned with a sequel that takes place three years after the ending of the original manga. The new main cast is centered around a unique team of CCG agents under the supervision of Akira Mado (Kureo Mado's daughter). What makes this team unique you wonder, they're all Quincke; a CCG term for one eyed ghouls (half ghouls). Yup, the CCG are now creating and employing half ghouls of their own. The special unit is led by Haise Sasaki who I'm not sure is a one eyed ghoul himself or simply an investigator capable of overpowering them.


Of course the big question of this new series is "where is Kaneki?" Is he really dead and was turned into Arima's newest Quinque or is he locked up in the Ghoul Detention Center being used as a experiment in the same manner as Rize? Either way, the ending of the original manga wasn't enough to fully convince most of the readers of either of those scenarios.


Either way, the new cast are an interesting bunch of characters.

  • Haise Sasaki: The protagonist and reliable leader tasked with handling a rowdy group of half-ghouls.
  • Urie Kuki: the analytical lone wolf who has the best chance of becoming the one who can surpass Arima but also seems to be the least controllable among the group due to his lone wolf style.
  • Tooru Mutsuki: a meek and soft spoken individual who is the most controllable among the group but also the weakest by far. He wears an eye patch, proving he's not very good at handling his ghoul side just yet.
  • Ginshi "Shirazu" Fuchi: a reckless fighter with an obsession for besting Urie.
  • Saiko: the sole female member of the group who seems quite lazy and has a tendency of shirking her duties.

This is interesting sequel to the original story especially considering how the CCG treats ghouls, this unique team will have quite the challenge earning the respect of their peers and managing to successfully fight together as a skilled unit of CCG investigators. Ishida will most likely answer questions regarding Kaneki sometime in the future (I hope) but for now, I think I'll enjoy this new group of characters and the strange Kaneki look-a-like MC.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

First Impressions: Celestial Method and Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Posted by: Arthur Hargrave on Saturday, October 11, 2014



Celestial Method

Studio: Studio 3Hz

Genre(s): Slice of Life, Fantasy, School Life

Summary:
The story begins one winter day when the wish of a few girls was realized with a miracle, changing the landscape of a town. "In the skies above this town, a disc is always there."



This seemed mildly interesting at first with the whole UFO hanging right above the city kind of thing but quickly became an emotional bore-fest. So a little alien girl has come down to Earth to grant our MC Nanoka a wish which will most likely involve something like her and her old friends reconnecting and staying friends forever. You can see the ending from a mile away.


The first episode is suppose to capture my interest and the only part that was a little interesting was the giant hovering alien spacecraft which is just sitting above town. Oddly enough, there are no government agencies, international news outlets, panicky or hysterical civilians anywhere to be found, taking away from the little sense of mystery and wonder such an scene would normally cause. There's really nothing to motivate me into watching the second episode other then the fact that I give all series at least three episodes before dropping them. Hopefully, Celestial Method will turn itself around by then.




Wolf Girl and Black Prince

Studio: TYO Animations

Genre(s): Slice of Life, Romantic Comedy, School Life

Summary:
The story centers on a 16-year-old high school girl Erika Shinohara. She is always showing off by talking about love stories with her boyfriend, but the truth is that she has never had one in her entire 16 year life. One day she takes a sneak shot of a good-looking boy she saw in town and makes a display of it claiming he's her boyfriend. Then soon she learns the boy is Kyoya Sata, who goes to the same school as her. He agrees to keep the secret and pretend to be her boyfriend, but in return he orders her to be his "dog."


So, this season of romcoms brings us an abusive relationship brought about by a series of lies from a girl horribly afraid of becoming of an outcast during highschool. Wow. To be fair, there are a lot of Freshmen horribly afraid of not being able to make friends and end up becoming an social outcast to their peers....... I was not one of those individuals which leaves me with zero sympathy for Erika. Being the girl who cried wolf just to fit in is bad enough but to agree to being some sadist's personal lapdog just to earn the favor of two stuck up bitches is just annoying.


Here we have a weak minded MC who is more than willing to throw herself into an emotionally abusive relationship which by the looks of it might end up turning into a full blown romance between sadist and masochist which is disturbing in it's own right. This show was made more for the women who enjoy being treated like trash and talked down to but frankly there is some comedy to be found. The humiliation Kyoya dishes out on Erika as well as Erika trapping herself in her own lies tend to be the major source of comedy tho. Again, I'm not expecting anything great but I'll give this series three episodes before dropping it.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Fall Anime I'm Looking Forward to The Most

Posted by: Arthur Hargrave on Tuesday, September 30, 2014


One season ends and another arrives. This coming Fall doesn't look very good but there are a couple of gems and some series that look interesting enough to give them a chance but nothing solid. Psycho Pass' second season has finally come and I'm hoping for some closure on Kougami. Studio Trigger's newest work is here also, while I'm still waiting for the Little Witch Academia sequel but hey guys, no rush. Overall the fall just isn't looking that good and I'm expecting to drop half of the series airing this season. Even with such impressions of the season before any series even aired, there are five anime that I am interested in viewing.


5. Parasyte
Studio: Madhouse
Genre: Action, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural, Sci-Fi
Air Date: October 8, 2014

Shinichi Izumi is a normal high school boy whose right hand has become infected with an alien parasite that names itself "Migi" ("right"). Migi is the first parasite to develop a symbiotic relationship with its host, as he and Shinichi slowly develop a grudging friendship. Migi isn't the only Parasite on earth, however, and as cases of Parasites killing humans begin to emerge, humans seek to kill off Parasites. Shinichi and Migi find themselves caught in between these two sides of the struggle over planet earth.

Kind of weird that it took nearly ten years after the series ended before it received an anime adaptation but I guess it's better late than never. A classic that I've largely forgotten about since it's been nearly six years since I finished the series but I do have great (and slightly foggy) memories of it. This coming adaptation makes me what to return and reread the whole manga. Parasyte is a bit dark but the interactions between Migi and Shinichi tend to be pretty comical.


4. Psycho Pass 2
Studio: Tatsunoko Pro.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller, Futuristic
Air Date: October 9, 2014


Having learned the true nature of the Sybil System, Akane Tsunemori chose to obey the system, believing in both humanity and the legal order. She's part of a new police section and spends her everyday life facing down criminals. Unbeknownst to Akane, however, a monster who will shake the system to its core is about to appear before her.


I'm hoping that monster will be Shinya Kougami as I highly doubt he has decided to just leave the Sybil system be. We all know Akane is troubled about such a system staying in place after learning the truth but none the less, Sybil is still a necessary tool in the world of Psycho Pass to keep the peace even if its decisions may not seem just. Even I have a slightly difficult time in deciding whether or not the Sybil system should be shut down or left standing but I hope Akane and Kougami will decide the fate of Sybil.

I'm expecting a fight to the death between Akane and Kougami (if he returns) but I'm hoping for the two of them to prepare some kind of coup d'etat to usurp Sybil's rule.

3. World Trigger
Studio: Toei Animation
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Shounen
Air Date: October 5, 2014

One day a gate to another world opened in Mikado City. This entities of the other world, called Neighbors, sent out an invasion force that overran the area surrounding the gate. Given the technological superiority of the Neighbors, the destruction of the city seemed only a matter of time. But then suddenly Border appeared in the town, an organization that researches the technology of the Neighbors to protect this side of the gate. In a short time they built a huge base and became established as the line of defense against the Neighbors. One day a student named Yūma transfers to the same middle-school class as Osamu, a teenager who belongs to Border. He has a weapon called Trigger that is only allowed to be possessed by people in Border, and claims to have come from beyond the gate.

World Trigger reminds me quite of bit of World Embryo (and a few other series). Basically, this is not a new concept but yet again, this is another series in which I'm interested in because of word of mouth. Kids fight beside a secret government organization who employ special weapon wielding individuals to fight against a more advanced/powerful species who can only be killed by these special individuals; nothing new. As you can see below, the animation looks "meh as fuck" but the story seems pretty good so I'm willing to give it a chance.

2. Inou Battle in The Usually Daze
Studio: Studio Trigger
Genre: Supernatural, Comedy
Air Date: October 6, 2014

More light novel adaptations anyone. I don't always give light novel adaptations a very fair opinion but this doesn't look bad. A bunch of kids from the literature club wake up one day to find out that they all have powers but sadly they're lives are relatively unchanged as there are no evil forces threatening the universe or even their neighborhood so they sit on standby waiting for the day in which their super powers will be needed (if that day ever comes at all).

All of the stories and comics about people who have gotten superpowers tend to have an antagonist in the same boat who just happens to use their power for evil, calling upon the do-gooder of a protagonist to use his/her powers to stop the antagonist. Inou-Battle in the Usually Daze explores what would happen if there wasn't an antagonist in the same setting. What would life be like if one day, you and a few friends gained superpowers and that was it? I'm not expecting big laughs from this series but it takes the "regular joe gains superpowers" in an interesting direction.


1. Seven Deadly Sins
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Air Date: October 5, 2014

This season, Hiroyuki Sawano will be lending his services to the series my club's former president has been praising for quite some time now. The Seven Deadly Sins were once the most powerful group of warriors the Liones Kigdom had to offer but were disbanded after their supposed attempt to overthrow the ruling family ended in their defeat. Defeated at the hands of the Holy Knights who ten years later actually did overthrow the royal family and usher in a tyrannical rule. The young Princess Elizabeth sets on a journey to find the seven sins and hopefully receive their help in defeating the holy knights.


SDS seems like it will be a great action/adventure series with some ecchi thrown in but still interesting. It's been a while since the last time I actually wanted to watch an action/adventure anime and if any of the hype my club throw around for this series even turns out to be half true, I think I'll love it. Combined with Hiroyuki Sawano's composition and A-1 Pictures' animation doing the manga justice, it will at least be a great series in terms of visuals and music.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Favorite Character of the 2014 Summer Season

Posted by: Arthur Hargrave on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Anime: Tokyo Ghoul
Character: Kaneki Ken

I originally loved Five from #Zanterro but looking back over the course of the season, I actually liked Kaneki's character more. Originally starting off as a whiny character who gradually came to accept his new reality with time. Even though Kaneki didn't become a badass until the last episode, he is my favorite character this season because his development as a character. His indecisiveness taught to him by his mother, him being the bridge between humans and ghouls and then his torture at the hands of Yamori pulled it all together, turning Kaneki into a heartless and brutal creature. His growth into the awesomeness that appeared in the final episode was a true joy ride and for that, Kaneki Ken is my favorite character of the 2014 Summer Season.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tokyo Ghoul Second Season Coming January 2015

Posted by: Arthur Hargrave on Friday, September 19, 2014

Yesterday was the finale of the Tokyo Ghoul anime adaptation and it was a pretty horrendous ending. As an episode it was absolutely amazing, as a finale it was terrible but it looks like that assumption came a bit early as the news of a second season has officially hit the internet the day after the anime's finale. The second half of Tokyo Ghoul will air during the 2015 Winter season as told by the official Chinese website.


Well this is great news as the ending was the most opened ended finale I've ever seen in anime but it still worries me as this first season certainly do the manga justice and I'm afraid, the second will not either. Nearly 80 chapters were shoved into 12 episodes and the second season may very well attempt to shove the remaining 62 chapters into another 12. Oh well, it was an above decent series so I'm looking forward to the sequel but I really hope it won't be as rushed as the first.


UPDATE: It's been de-listed.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Top 5 Opening and Ending Songs of the 2014 Summer Season

Posted by: Arthur Hargrave on Monday, September 1, 2014


Top 5 Opening Songs:

5. XXX
Artist: XXX
Anime: XXX
Release Date: XXX
I didn't find anything worth placing. Everything else just didn't interest much at all.


4. Grilletto
Artist: GRANiDELiA
Anime: Irregular at Magic High School
Release Date: July 30, 2014
The techno combined with GRANiDELiA works well together. "Grilletto" reminds me of GRANiDELiA's piece for KLK's opening; action packed visuals that are complemented by battle focused song.


3. Heavenly Blue
Artist: Kalafina
Anime: Aldnoah.Zero
Release Date: August 6, 2014
I didn't enjoy this at first but after the third episode it really grew on me. "Heavenly Blue" has an angelic feel to it, especially with the first few seconds and choir in the background. 

2. Sekai wa Koi ni Ochiteiru
Artist: CHOO with Honey Works
Anime: Ao Haru Ride
Release Date: August 6, 2014
Your typical feel good romantic opening song but none the less I love it. "Sekai wa Koi ni Ochiteiru" is beautiful, upbeat, catchy and just plain lovely to listen to.


1. Unravel
Artist: TK from Ling Tosite Sigure
Anime: Tokyo Ghoul
Release Date: July 23, 2014
Are you surprised? Probably not. Unravel by TK is by far the best opening this season and for good reason. The opening visuals give away very little but the lyrics explain the entire theme of the series; Kaneki's struggle with attempting to live as both human and ghoul while attempting to stay alive. TK's voice is pretty high pitch but it works. Unravel is just of those opening songs that gets the blood rushing. 




Top 5 Ending Songs:

5. Kyuusei Argyros
Artist: Yousei Tukoku
Anime: Tokyo ESP
Release Date: August 6, 2014
A hardcore metal song that reminds a lot of Mirai Nikki's second theme. A high energy song that sounds like something serious is about go down are those types of theme songs I love.


4. Seijatachi
Artist: People in the Box
Anime: Tokyo Ghoul
Release Date: August 6, 2014
For such a blood thirsty show like Tokyo Ghoul, this song is incredibly chill. The laid back, perfect day feeling song is just something I couldn't get out of head while getting up in the morning and biking my way to work in near perfect weather.


3. Dare ka, Umi wo
Artist: Aimer
Anime: Zankyou no Terror
Release Date: September 4, 2014
Hauntingly beautiful. "Dare ka, Umi wo" performed by the wonderful Aimer and written by the great Yaoko Kanno. I love music like this and like most of the soundtrack, "Dare ka, Umi wo" plays to the dark undertones of the series.


2. Sable
Artist: Nano
Anime: M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane
Release Date: July 23, 2014
I fell back on my episodic blogging of M3 SonoKuro but I plan to write a full review soon. Anyway, The second ending song comes from the amazing Nano and like the rest of her songs used for anime theme songs, "Sable" is one of her best. An entirely English song which was unexpected touched my heart with it's "let me decide my own fate" theme.



1. aLIEz
Artist: Hiroyuki Swano ft Mizuki
Anime: Aldnoah.Zero
Release Date: September 10, 2014
One of the best ending theme songs I've ever heard. "aLIEz" is one of those tracks that defines a cliff hanger. I'm always looking forward to hearing this track which doesn't happen often with me. "aLIEz" is the "Don't Lose Your Way" of this season for me.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Top 10 Most Hated Anime Characters as Chosen by the A-P Community

Posted by: Arthur Hargrave on Monday, August 25, 2014


Anime Planet, one of the largest anime recommendation sites on the web comes jam packed with a number of features and list giving one a sense of the overall community. For this post I will run down the top 10 most hated characters of all time as chosen by the users of Anime Planet. Of course with the addition of newer anime titles and a growing number of users, this list is subject to change with time but for now, here's the list:


#10: Kabuto Yakushi

Despite his drive to become the next Orochimaru, I honest can't hate Kabuto after hearing his back story. It's just too messed up. Even though he helped create an army of the undead to help Madara in his goal for world conquest, I can't help but feel he would have grown up to become a good guy if he wasn't manipulated by Danzo and then by Orochimaru. Kabuto's existence seems kind of like a child soldier. Yeah they probably killed a ton of innocent people but where they are now in life isn't really their fault.


#9: Orochimaru

Truthfully, Orochimaru is a great villain like Aizen is in Bleach. He's manipulative, merciless, hell bent on obtaining more and more power and no matter what ever seems to happen, this guy never dies. He's a great villain and like any great villain, he manages to get the viewers to hate him the same way the protagonist does. Orochimaru is the cool type of evil character but none the less, his complete disregard for human life, blatant experimenting on people and his near enjoyment of tossing his subordinates and test subjects aside like trash certainly gives a clear list of reasons as to why he's so hated.


#8: Koichi Shido

AP describes him as a sadistic, manipulative and cold-hearted to the extreme, believing that only the strongest will survive in these dark times. Even with a disturbing perversion for young women and questionable motives, he is looked up to as a leader of many who survived the zombie attacks. A character from High School of the Dead who practically becomes a cult leader after the zombie apocalypse and he is also a pedo. This guy is your standard power tripping psycho sexual deviant nutcase but he's also a complete loser when put into a dangerous situation.


#7: Danzo Shimura

Danzo Shimura, a power hungry man who threatened to send the entire village of Konoha into a downward spiral with his war-hawk like rhetoric and authoritarian views. Danzo was responsible for one of the Naruto series most screwed up events; the massacre of the Uchiha clan. Of course that event ended up being the trigger for a heap of other problems including Sasuke's hatred toward Itachi which led to his death. On top of that he even implanted ten Sharigans into his arm that were taken from the corpses of those killed by Itachi and even attempted to have the third Hokage assassinated.


#6: Misa Amane

From the series Death Note, Misa is also an admirer of Kira (Light Yagami) and plays a crucial role in L's death. I'm surprised to see her so high on the hate list but I personally think most of that hate stems from her part in killing L (a well loved character) and her near annoying willingness to be Kira's plaything. Misa serves the dumb blond role perfectly but I'm not seeing a big enough reasoning behind her ranking; especially when compared to other characters like Makoto Itou (#13: School Days) and Nobuyuki Sugou (#17: Sword Art Online).


#5: Near

Near, also from Death Note was the one responsible for bringing down Kira/Light (arguably). Near isn't really a character people hate him for any particular reason but simply despise his existence and view him as unneeded. By that, I mean he is hated for being a replacement to L and as comments on his character profile suggest; having a child like Near become the successor to the almighty L is a slap in the face to fans of L. Near is viewed as a ripoff and did no actual investigating in order to uncover Kira but simply pieced together all of L's research.


#4: Nina Einstein

Ah, Nina Einstein the psycho-lesbian table rapist from Code Geass. This crazy chick was so obsessed with Princess Euphemia that she created a weapon of mass destruction in order to use it to kill Zero/Lelouch. Even though by the end of the series, she returns to her normal shy and quiet self, her actions mid series turned her into one of the most hated characters ever. Raping a table, building a bomb that was used to kill over 35 million people, her insane yandere like love for the princess and not to mention her xenophobia just made her plain unlikable throughout most of the series.


#3: Shou Tucker

The only thing I'm shocked about here is that he's third on this list. If you don't know, Shou Tucker comes from the series Full Metal Alchemist and carries the title of sewing-life alchemist. His talent resides in his ability to sew and reconstruct DNA in order to create chimeras. This guy became one of anime's most hated characters after he not only turned his wife into a chimera but fused his daughter together with the family dog, creating a chimera that lived in pain and agony before being given a mercy killing by Scar. Shou takes the cake for worst parent in anime and is definitely in the running for the worst character in history.


#2: Sakura Haruno

If you've watched anime for quite some time, you have most likely heard someone somewhere speak about how useless Sakura is. In the Shippuden series, she begins to become of more use due to her monster strength and skills as a medic but still she remains one of the most hated characters of all time. I can't really come to a decision on this one because it's really the pre-shippuden Sakura that's receiving all of this hate (that I agree with). Shippuden Sakura is pretty good as a character and a ninja in my opinion tho.


#1: Sasuke Uchiha

The hate for Sasuke has almost always been strong. He is certainly annoying and this is where the hate for him comes from. No one seems to have sympathy for the emo kid. He had his entire village slaughtered and when he finally exacts vengeance for their killer (his older brother), it turns out that his big bro Itachi wasn't really given much of an option. He's left all alone, an enemy of the state and the blood of his only brother is on his hands. It's hard not to see why Sasuke grew up to be such a messed up kid but that doesn't stop people from hating the guy. This number one spot is certainly undeserved but I'll be the first to admit that Sasuke does annoy me as a character from time to time.


Things to be aware of:

  • Near and Nina constantly switch places due to the number of people that hate them being so close in number.
  • Kabuto also tends to switch places with Orihime Inoue (Bleach) for the same reason.