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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Anime Blog 91: MAR: Marchen Awakens Romance

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%84R

MAR is a 102 episode Shonen anime.

The story follows Ginta, a kind of geeky kid with glasses, who constantly dreams about a fantasy world called MAR: Heaven. Well, in the middle of class one day, Ginta gets sucked into the aforementioned fantasy world :D

Upon arriving in MAR: Heaven, Ginta suddenly gains super-strength and no longer needs his glasses. He meets a witch named Dorothy and after a little adventure (no spoilers!) he gains a special ARM (pronounced air-um--a special accessory that is imbued with magic power) named Babbo (he's special because he can talk and has a will of his own).

MAR: Heaven is in danger. There is a group, called the Chess Pieces, who are trying to take over MAR: Heaven. Ginta travels with Babbo and his goal is to defeat the Chess Pieces. This is done tournament-style (Mortal Kombat anyone???). Ginta gains many allies and enemies along the way.

I really love this show. I watched it when it came on Toonami but I finished it my Freshman year of college. Honestly the whole time I was watching it in 2010 I was like "dude...I feel like Alviss sounds like Sasuke from Naruto..." Lo and behold, he's played by Yuri Lowenthall!
But moving on, I loved the idea of the bad guy's rank being based on Chess Pieces...that's actually how I learned what the pieces on a chess board were (shhhh...don't tell anyone that!).
I didn't like Ian at first but by the end he was one of my favorite characters and I love Alan's aversion to cats! There were just so many awesome characters!
AND: just to list a few big names, Spike Spencer plays Ginta, Wendee Lee plays Dorothy, Dave Wittenberg plays Kannochi, and Vic Mignogna Plays Alibaba.

There are so many fairy tale references in this show, it's fun to pick them all out! To name just a couple obvious ones from the list above: Dorothy & Toto from The Wizard of Oz, Alibaba from Alibaba and the Forty Thieves, and Alviss' companion fairy, Belle from Peter Pan.

Such a fun show! So, time for art!

Jack, Dorothy, Snow, Ginta, Babbo, Alviss (Belle above Alviss' shoulder), Nanashi, Alan, and Edward (the dog)


The English ending for MAR is one of my favorites of all time! "GENTLEMAN-I COMMAND YOU!" & "SIC'EM TOTO!" are the best lines EVER!

video


Time for pros and cons!

Pros:
  • Great story
  • Good art
  • So many awesome characters
  • Lots of great VAs
  • Good ending (very important to me!)
  • Great Eng. Ending
Cons:
  • ummm...well. The only con I can think of is the typical: Those doggone annoying characters that I really don't like...and there were a number of them...Phantom, Halloween, Candace, Peta, Chimera...basically the whole Knight Class!
So, my opinion: watch it! Thanks for reading! Until next time,

~Kei

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Anime Blog 90: Lucky Star

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Star_(manga)

Lucky Star is a 24 episode Shonen with an OVA episode.
**there is also a 10 episode OVA spin-off series called Miyakawa-ke no Kuufuku

I'm going to start by saying that I ADORE this show! It's just so cute!

Lucky Star really doesn't have a cohesive plot line. It's episodic and that's what I love about it, each episode can really stand alone for the most part :D The show is SUPER slice-of-life and I just love that it's an anime that makes fun of anime.

In the English dub, the main character Konata is played by the same woman who plays Yoruichi in Bleach! And both her Japanese and English voice actresses played Haruhi Suzumiya as well :D

So the story follows 4 high school girls, Konata, Tsukasa, Kagami, and Miyuki. Other girls are introduced later in the series. That's pretty much the whole story right there :D So many Haruhi Suzumiya references!

So, art!

Tsukasa, Konata, Kagami, and Miyuki
Ayano, Patricia, Tsukasa, Yutaka, Konata, Kagami, Minami, Miyuki, Hiyori, and Misao



Also, Lucky Star has one of my favorite anime openings!

video



Pros and Cons:

Pros:
  • SOL
  • ADORABLE!
  • Episodic
  • Anime making fun of anime
  • Awesome opening!
Cons:
  • ...cons...hmmm....
So there you have it! It's really cute and easy to watch! Don't forget to watch the endings for the after the credits specials!

Thanks for reading! Until next time!

~Kei

Monday, November 9, 2015

Anime Blog 89: Ichigo Mashimaro

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry_Marshmallow

Ichigo Mashimaro is a 12 episode Seinen with 5 OVAs.

The show follows Nobue, a 20 year old still living at home, her sister Chika and Chika's friends Miu, Matsuri, and Ana (Ana is an English girl who has lived in Japan so long she can no longer speak English).

The show is very slice-of-life, it just follows the 5 girls throughout normal daily life doing everyday things (going to school, not doing summer homework, building a snowman around Christmas...etc.)
It's so friggin KAWAII! The show honestly doesn't have much substance but it's just cute, light, and fluffy. Episode 12 almost made me cry because Matsuri still believes in Santa and although the rest of the girls don't, they try to make sure Matsuri keeps believing. XD

The OVAs were a sequel to the show itself and they're really cute. The only problem is that I could only find links on YouTube and all of them are Spanish Subbed. I can get the gist of it...but I totally wish they were English Subbed... :(

All-in-all, super cute show. And it's short so it's good to watch, especially after watching lots of serious stuff :D

ART!

Miu, Matsuri, Ana, Chika, and Nobue


So, pros and cons:

Pros:
  • Cute, fluffy
  • SOL
  • Cute art
  • Adorable characters
  • Short and easy to watch
Cons:
  • I can't think of any cons for this show :D
  • Except maybe Miu...I would so NOT be her friend :D
  • OVAS NEED ENGLISH SUBS!
Thanks for reading! Until next time,

~Kei

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Anime Blog 88: Loveless

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loveless_(manga)

Loveless is a 12 episode Shonen-ai that has 6 little mini-OVAs titled "Good Morning Loveless-kun!"

The show follows Ritsuka, a 12 year old boy in this very strange world of cat ears and tails. In this world, people have cat ears and tails until they lose their virginity (they are then considered adults). There's also this confusing fighting with words aspect of the show that I didn't really understand too well while I was watching it. But it's important because the fighting is done in a team using a sacrifice (in this case Ritsuka) and a fighter (in this case a 20 year old named Soubi).

Ritsuka meets Soubi and Soubi claims to have known Ritsuka's brother (who died before the show starts), they form this fighting team and stumble their way through, because although Soubi is experienced at this, Ritsuka is brand new. These people have "true names" that are used in this fighting, Ritsuka's is Loveless (TITLE DROP!) and Soubi's is believed to be Beloved because it is carved into his neck (if you read the wiki page you'll discover that this is however, incorrect and it will tell you the real answer, not that it mattered in the anime).

The OVAs are little shorts about 2 minutes long. From what I recall they were kind of recaps and just little funny moments. They're sort of in a chibi-esque style. I can't remember where I watched them but I did find them on YouTube (Spanish subbed) and they're all there.

I watched this because a friend of mine suggested it...I didn't care for the ending (I suppose it left space for a sequel...) and that always ruins my impression of an anime. Overall I just thought this was weird.

ART:

Ritsuka and Soubi


So, pros and cons.

Pros:
  • Decent art
  • Unique
  • KITTY FEATURES!
Cons:
  • Hard for me to understand the plot
  • Bad ending
  • Does this show count as Shota??? (12 year old and a 20 year old...)
Yeah. So. It's not on my "I highly recommend this" list...

Thanks for reading! Until next time,

~Kei

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Anime Blog 87: Love Stage!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_Stage!!

So, here's the yaoi warning!

Love Stage!! is a 10 episode yaoi with 1 (ADORABLE) OVA.

The story goes that Izumi is the son of 2 famous showbiz parents...but he wants to be a mangaka (despite failing at art)...when he was a child his parents starred in a wedding commercial, but the girl who was supposed to be the flower girl didn't make it so the cast dressed Izumi as a girl for the commercial. He played alongside a little boy by the name of Ryoma. Ryoma is now a super-model! and has always been in love with the little girl from the commercial...the network decides to do an anniversary commercial using the same actors as before just all grown up...this relationship begins.

Also involved is Izumi's older brother, Shogo, who is a rock star. And the family's butler/assistant? Rei. Apparently there's a secret relationship there....oooooh.

I REALLY love this show! The art is friggin awesome, the story is cute, and all-in-all...I just want more of it. I like this show so much that the manga is on my Amazon Wishlist...I want to own it.

Also for those who watch the show, don't forget to watch the OVA, it's so cute and just really makes me happy!

As for the important bits...ART!

Shogo, Ryoma, Izumi, & Rei



Now time for pros and cons:

Pros:
  • Great art
  • Cute story
  • Izumi in a wedding dress
  • Ryoma
  • RyomaXIzumi
  • This whole show
Cons:
  • MORE PLEASE!
There are no other cons to this show. So for all fans out there...WATCH IT!

Thanks for reading, Until next time,

~Kei