Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Third

Original release by Fansub no Tameni (FnT)

The Third what ?

The Third are a group of people that fiercely guard the technological secrets of the past from the rest of mankind - the small rest of mankind that is still alive after a devastating war. Of course, it's for their (mankinds) own best. And anyone who violates the techno taboo will get more or less severely punished. I honestly haven't found out what exactly on has to do in order to violate the techno taboo: the heroine for exampel drives around in a gigantic tank piloted by an autonomous AI with more firepower than blackwater - and she apparently has no problems getting munition refills. She also has a mechanized battlesuit that could give Iron Man some pointers, so the techno taboo doesn't seem to be there to make humans more peaceful.

Anyway, the story revolves around said heroine who earns her keep by doing jobs that amount to a modern version of monster hunting - or mercenary work, if you will. She built herself quite a reputation due to her - here comes the stereotype - swordmanship. She is later occasionally accompanied by the token mysterious stranger, a lesbian school teacher/part-time merc that fell in love with her and a little kid she knew from way back.

"OMG, NOT ONE OF THOSE SERIES" you might think. A series where a skilled swordsman (or rather katanagirl) dodges bullets and is inevitably superior to the average machinegun user. Relax, it's not that bad.

In fact this series tries very hard to not fit the genre-mold:
While there is plenty of well made action, it doesn't define the show, meaning it's not about rivalry, the daily monster or the latest special-move or power up. Her companions come and go and come again, since they have their own lifes and ain't just two-dimensional sidekicks. Her ability to cut steel with a sword works only because of spoilerspoilerspoilerspoiler and not because swords are usually decent alternatives to grenade launchers and homing missiles. She doesn't behave like a schoolgirl on vacation in madmaxland and there is no evil overlord madly laughing while escaping or any such crap.

You really get the impression that the author wanted to create a world, populated it with life and observed this world for a while before actually starting to write the story.

On the downside, the author's imagination stopped at making a boring desert with a few towns and the regime of The Third, who spread the occasional unhappyness. They call themselves like that because of their third eye, by the way. The third eye is located on their forehead and is a kind of USB-port of the future, which allows them to interface with all kinds of computers. But honestly, if my fellow übermenschen had such a power, we'd probably name ourselves something cooler.

I can recommend this anime. It has all the elements that you expect in a science fiction series, convincing and likable characters, well executed action and even a small storyline. It has it's funny moments, suspense, and mysteries to discover.

Sex&Violence: Moderate violence, a moral lead character and no nudity. Some people might object to the horny lesbian teacher/merc, but even she is more interested in a real relationship than in just getting girls into her bed. And besides, anyone who objects to lesbians belongs to the moon. ^_^

Conclusion: Good action without focusing on violence. Fun without slapstick and romance without schoolgirls. Definetly recommended!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Infinite Ryvius

Original release by Anime-Kissaten
IRC: #anime-kissaten@efnet

Space, the final challenge. And the best place to kill hundreds of innocent kids ... after all, that's what governments and the military is there for, no ?

I guess you see where this is going: This is not a cuddly feelgood experience.

A whole academy of space-service trainees (pilots, stewardesses, cooks, engineers, navigators, etc.) are absolving their curriculum on a training space-station near a space phenomenon called the 'Geduld'. Then suddenly the station start starting uncontrollably into said phenomenon - which would mean certain death.

They manage to survive, of course, and get to board a mysterious battleship hidden inside their space station. Ignore the stupidity of that - you've seen worse. Completely without any guidance - all teachers are dead and the only adults still on board are the imprisoned guys who tried to kill them in the first place - the students have to figure out how to pilot the ship and how to survive as a group without clear leadership.

Powerstruggle ensues.

This series is more or less a study on human behaviour. The kids practically haste within months through social structures that the more civilized societies try to avoid like hell. From anarchy to dictatorship to police-state complemented by forced labor and intersected by several revolutions, the kids situation goes from bad to worse.

Meanwhile, the rest of the earth military actively tries to kill them for no discernible reason, forcing them to learn how to use the ships' weapons and defense systems at breakneck speed.

The series really focuses on the crew as a whole, which can be seen by the individual presentation of nearly all of the about 500 surviving students. Nearly everyone gets some screentime - be it a major role or just a short cameo appearance. This care for details can be seen in nearly every aspect of the series - from the characters, the (bogus) physics, the weapon systems and their limitations, space navigation, the enemies and the art.

So much for plot and quality. But how fun is it to watch ?
Well, so-so. It's moderately exciting, the mysterious parts feel rather weird as opposed to enigmatic, the characters are pretty unlikeable, the action is solid and the atmosphere is rather pessimistic. It's not for everyone. Definetly not for the Naruto crowd, but the Evangelion people might take a shine to it.

Sex&Violence: Pornwise I didn't see anything offensive. Thematically yes, there are some exacting topics not necessarily fit for children - like revenge, killing and torture. And even the kids themselves are acting disturbingly cold and cruel at times. But if the watcher is able to read the subtitles then he should be old enough to figure out that torture is bad.

Conclusion: An excellent anime, but not mainstream enough to be a blockbuster.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi

Original release: Lunar

Download here

Ayakashi Ayashi is your typical samurai monster-of-the-week anime.

The location is japan (big surprise) , time is the middle of the 19th century. That was the time when japan was in it's most isolationistic phase, when the greatest crime was being a foreigner (still a social stigma nowadays).

And japan was full of monsters. Or rather gods - you never know with japanese monsters. Anyway, the term used is Yōi which is scribbled like this: 妖夷

Why do I show you those japanese letters ? Because one of the yoi-busters has the unique (and uniquely stupid) power of drawing out those scribbles from any living being and transforming them into a goofy looking axe, spear, whatever. This power even gets explained extensively in the series but listening to those explanations is a waste of time unless you happened to major in japanese. The feeling of awe manages to abstain when hearing that the "Prickus Dickus" (just an example, ok?) has it's origin in the word "Prick", which was much much earlier written with a character that looked like a spear held by a woman, hence the name transforms into a spear.


That's a superpower worthy of the X-Men ... ok, maybe not.

So, said dude is a 39 year old bum who once entered the other world as a child and came back, fearing and longing for it at the same time. By chance he teams up with a group of established yoi-busters: A drag-queen priest, a young tomboy, an aborigine (yeah, japan had aborigines before it was settled by korean emigrants - and even those aborigines came from korea), an aztec girl who somehow came to japan from middle-america and her talking demon horse

The rest is typical anime action. Average design, average animation, occasional humor, average plot but a pretty detailed depiction of historical japan. The whole setting is a bit xenophobic and i can't help but think that the author agrees a bit with those xenophobic tendencies.

But if you are willing to ignore those hints - after all we ignored the blatant racism found in 'Lord of the Rings', too - then you're in for a decent series which contains many historical persons, events and places (minus the monsters).

Sex & Violence: Weeell, there are whores inside, but you get the impression that their main job is giggling, drinking and applying tons of makeup. Violence is moderate - mostly monster fights. The scenes where people get hurt are very toned down. No severed limbs and such. The occasional gruesome monster victim, but thats it.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daphne in the Brilliant Blue

Original release by: Blitz, Sirus

First things first: THIS IS NOT HENTAI (google if you don't know what that means. Afterwards wash your eyes with soap.)

Technically this is an action series (NOT HENTAI ACTION!) with 5 chicks who work for some kind of head-hunter jack-of-all-trades company.

The setting is the earth which just recovered from a world wide Flood that submerged the entire earth, killing billions of people and leaving only a few underwater cities in existence.

After hundreds years under water, the cities rose to the surface to reclaim the earth ... or rather water, because there's still no land in sight. You don't get an explanation why they didn't float up hundreds of years earlier but hey, if you are going to watch a series with girls in outfits like those, you probably don't care much about science and logic in your daily dose or por-... ahem: THIS IS NOT HENTAI!

Anyway, despite mankind barely having survived the apocalypse, this is a happy-go-lucky kind of series.
One chick (forgot her name) lost her apartment and was saved from homelesnes and other stuff by the leader of the other 4 chicks. In return she has to work for them and wear a hentaiish swimsuit which is too small to even cover pubes - if anime chicks had any.

You get plenty of action, some funny situation and - surprise - NO FANSERVICE. Nothing is able to overfanservice these swimsuits, so they probably didn't bother. There is no connecting story to speak of. In the very last episodes you get to see something which could be called a storyline, but don't expect too much of it.

Let me be frank: This series is crap. It has it funny moments - I laughed pretty hard at some scenes - but it's just brainless entertainment. Anyway, I'm not ashamed to admit that I watched it to the end ... but then I'm pretty anonymous here, hehehehe.

This series is obviously nothing for US-kids. Titties in abundance and some of those girls know what they are good for. Violence is medium. Much shooting, but no killing. Apart from the terrorists (you know, terrorists are everywhere!!!).

-- DF

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Original release by: ANBU

Planetes is a science fiction space anime.

I know, you're expecting giant robots and big breasted schoolgirl pilots now. Or a fleet of space cruisers, flying around space, explore the unknown regions
of the galaxy, meet alien civilizations and bomb them to kingdom come in the name of peace, democracy and the terranian way.


This series is about the glorious adventures of the ... garbage collection department.

Ok, their job is pretty vital for the future of manned space ... a single screw orbiting earth with several kilometers per second can definetly be called a hazard and removing those hazards is a challenging and important job ... but it's still garbage collection.

It's the near future and mankind managed to build bases on the moon and mining operations on other planets of the solar system with about the technology that is available now. A bit futuristic but very recognizable.

Anyway, this anime is not for those expecting brainless fun. It treats space and it's dangers realistically and with respect, it considers political and economical development in a time of space exploration and exploitation. It has it's funny moments, some romanctic ones, drama, tragedy, suspense and no fan service.

The art is good, animation fluid, the characters are likable and pronounced and grow considerably throughout the series.

It irks me a bit that I can't honestly degrade this series with cynical remarks, but I'll give it my best shot: The show seems average. It's good in every respect, but excels at none. But if that's the worst you can say about a show, you can be assured that you won't waste your time watching this.

To sum it up: This anime puts the science in fiction and is excellent entertainment.

Sex & Violence: No sex, few violence. Ok, there are terrorists, but terrorists are everywhere. And when the violence happens, it is not glorified or made to look cool. You fear for the characters lifes - because the show made it very clear that people can die. And even there it's realistic: Sometimes people don't die in accidents or battles. They suffer. And that little part gets omitted too often for my taste ...

Conclusion: Highly recommended! Fun, excitement and education wrapped in a nice little package.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Kamichu! Episodes 1-16
Original release by Exiled-Destiny

This anime is cute.

It is cuter than "Snow Fairy Sugar meets the Teletubbies". It's protagonist is a very young tiny cute girl with an ultra cute voice that became a god.
A tiny cute japanese god, not the mega-god of the west (see 'Spirited away' for reference).
Japanese gods are more like spirits, pests, Gartenzwerge ... whatever. In Japan you apparently can't spit without hitting a god. There's probably even a god of drool around.

Anyway, the cute girl became a cute god and has absolutely no idea what a god is supposed to do, which is kinda cute. So she and her friends go on finding out how to best use her godlyness in a cute way.

If you can stop puking you might as well enjoy it, because despite all it's cuteness and clearly WAY underage target audience it's quite an amusing (and cute) watch. Probably because the situation is so absurd and everyone treats it like it's rare but totally reasonable ("You became a god? What of? Can I offer you my prayers? Thanks for blessing me, buhby.".

Sex & Violence: No violence apart from a tiny bit of governmental power abuse. Never even suggests violence apart from a catfight (cat fights cat). Safe for all ages.
No sex anywhere. Some swimsuit scenes, but if 10-year old flat girls with full body swimsuits count as suggestive to you, you probably go to the crapper blindfolded. Safe for all ages.


PS:Some screenshots here: