Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Saya's laundry is done, she wants you to know that.

(SPOILER WARNING)  Although I tried my best to resist the temptation of ruining anything about this anime, it just wasn't possible.  I felt that fair warning on some things would help me sleep better at night, while also doing a service to anyone who just might watch this.
  I had a hard time watching this anime.  Probably because I am Sayaphobic.  Not because of the character itself, but the memory of watching this anime's predecessor Blood + and having to hear the name "Saya" repeated about five thousand times during that anime.  I swore I never wanted to hear her name again.
 
  Up to this point, I was able to avoid just that until Production I.G. and revered manga creators CLAMP decided to combine forces to once again revive the Blood the Last Vampire series with Blood C.

  Of course, I could have just avoided it altogether and found something else to view. I just couldn't help myself after reading the scathing reviews and how the violence level was in the red (no joke intended).  Curiosity got the better part of me. 

  I can say at least one thing that is positive, I wasn't burdened with having to hear her name as much this time.

   This time we find our heroine working as a shrine maiden with her priest father in rural Japan,  where she skips to school, singing songs about the food she ate, how her dad said it wasn't going to rain, and that her laundry is done.  The important things.

  Saya isn't attending high school on a military base this time around either, but at a normal school where we are introduced to the class representative who has a crush on her, a brooding mysterious student who Saya seems to be attracted to, and a homeroom teacher who gets creepier as the show lumbers on.  Although not quite as creepy as the pair of identical twins who can only be described as the moe version of the twins from The Shining, if they went to a Japanese high school.
  When not in school, she spends the rest of her time in the cafe located by the shrine owned by her fathers friend Fumito, who makes her snacks and coffee.

   Let us not forget that she also battles man eating creatures known as "Elder Bairns" who are terrorizing the quiet village where she lives.

  If all of this sounds boring, that is pretty much all that happens between Episodes 1 and 3, with the exception of a mysterious dog who Saya keeps running into.
 
  As the show progresses, the Elder Bairns and the talking dog begin to hint to Saya that there may be more to all of this than she knows.

  The carnage also begins to escalate as the show progresses, almost to B-splatter horror movie level as various town folk are devoured in gruesome fashions.

  Nothing compares to when a Elder Bairn finds its way into the high school that Saya attends, where mass slaughter takes place as the students are picked off in a myriad of ways.

 .
   Of course, towards the end no one is quite who they appear to be and Saya finds herself caught in the middle of the conspiracy.

  Blood C works at its best during the action sequences, but this is far from a action anime, due to the fact that the action is only here and there.  It hardly works as a horror anime, because when the death count begins to pile up, it isn't scary.

   Basically, all we have a main character and a anime with one hell of a identity crisis. 

  In closing, with the creative abilites of both CLAMP and Production I.G., this should have been a better anime.  Problems with pacing and the use of over the top blood and gore makes Blood C a waste of time and energy.

  OVERALL GRADE: D
  
  If you must, streaming at: www.funimation.com/blood-c
 

                                     OTAKUMG QUICK PICKS
   Another:  Final Destination, anime style.


  Level E:  From the creator of Hunter x Hunter and Yu Yu Hakusho
Streaming at: www.funimation.com/level-e

  Until next time!  Cory J.S.                   

Monday, February 25, 2013

Well, at least it wasn't a Blood C review..yet.

  (SPOILER ALERT...there are spoilers here in this article, but on the other hand, maybe that isn't such a bad thing)

 I have been really throwing around all of the titles as of late I wanted to give my much anticipated opinions on (I know you all have been on pins and needles for that), and as much as I would have loved to comment on Puella Magi Magica Madoka..everyone and their brother has gave their take on it. No reason for me to bother.
  So, I decided that because I had ignored all of the hype over Sword Art Online, I would make that the topic of conversation.
   For some reason, MMO's that impact the character in real life (usually meaning death) seemed to be the in thing for anime that season SAO made it's debut, I went for BTOOOM!

   I liked BTOOOM! fine enough...twelve episodes with cliffhangers at the end of each episode that kept me watching...but wait, this is about SAO, huh?

   The plot goes something like this:  In the year 2022, a virtual reality MMO is unleashed on the world, fully equiped with Nerve Gear, enabling the player to use all five senses in-game for real-life effect.

   The catch is, game creator Kayaba Akihiko also added a component to the headgear that cooks your brain if you die in game or if the headset is removed by someone outside the game.  No way to log out either. Diabolical, isn't it?

   That really leads to the question at hand is that there are isn't some form of law enforcement in 2022?  You figured that Akihiko-san would have been waterboarded until he released the 10,000 "players" in this VR nightmare.

  Enter our main protagonists Kirito, who was previously a beta-tester for the game and Asuna, the almost mandatory strong willed love interest of Kitiro's, who go forth to beat the 100 dungeon bosses to free everyone from the game.

  Meanwhile, they meet up with fellow minded players with the goal of escaping and a computer program named Yui, who Kitiro and Asuna adopt as a virtual daughter.

  The story lines in the anime run, for the most part, episode to episode, summing up things quickly and neatly.  The problem lies in the fact that it is hard to care about the characters (especially Kirito) one way or the other. The action scenes are unremarkable, and the final face-off between Kirito and Akihiko is anti-climatic.

   It would be nice if the story ended there...but it doesn't.

   At episode 15, Kirito (real name Kazuto) is freed from the headgear,  just to find that Asuna is still trapped in yet another on-line game, as well as 300 others from the original game.

  The problem facing Kirito/Kazuto is Nobyuki Sugo,  the GM of the new VR-MMO and persuer of Asuna.

  This forces Kirito to once again go back into the virtual game world (a fairy world named Alfheim), to save Asuna and the others still trapped in their virtual world.

   Along the way, he discovers his sister/cousin Suguaha is also involved in the Alfheim world.

  Episodes 1-15 are run-of-the-mill anime, but the episodes that follow contain anime tropes that viewers could do without. 
 Tentacle rape, the love confession of Suguaha to her brother/cousin and the graphic bondage rape scene in the shows climax turned a fairly average anime into something that can be written off or avoided altogether.
  Even the solid writing, and a griping ending can't really save Sword Art Online.

  I can only recommend this anime to people that don't mind watching shows that are unremarkable at best.

  OVERALL GRADE: D-
               Watch Sword Art Online at:www.crunchyroll.com                                                             

                                                        OTAKUMG QUICK PICKS

Inferno Cop: Imagine if the guys over at Williams Street produced anime.  Quirky is a understatement...


                             Inferno Cop can be found at: www.youtube.com
Boku no Imouto wa "Osaka Okan" :  Humorous anime shorts about tolerance..so to speak.  



Boku no Imouto wo "Osaka Okan" streaming at: www.crunchyroll.com



 Black Lagoon:  If you have yet to see this Action series..shame on you, seriously.
 Black Lagoon is streaming at:www.funimation.com/black-lagoon

  Until next time!!! Cory J.S.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Until the bugs are worked out (again...)

  Reworking this blog altogether to get it back and running the way I had intended in the first place...
  In the meantime check out the OMG Facebook page and give it a "like"
   www.facebook.com/otakumachinegun
  Also, check out the Tumblr page as well. It is the same as it was, but with more content. www.otakumachinegun.tumblr.com
   In the works is a review on Sword Art Online, plus other things in the works as well.
   I plan on keeping most of the music content on the Tumblr page, although music related articles may pop up here from time to time.
    Thanks for being patient with me during all of this!
    Cory S.