"I am the bone of my sword…” Fate/Stay Night, a considerably well-known series around the world. Its debut as a visual novel and transition into an anime, manga, and now, movie, clearly shows its popularity among the crowds. Unlimited Blade Works is named after the route in the visual novel which revolves more around Rin Tohsaka and her servant, Archer. Few to no spoilers will be mentioned in this review.
“Riichi!” 咲-Saki- is a manga and anime series about a bunch of girls playing Riichi Mahjong. One of the best things about the series is its yuri, as it has all sorts of pairings and lots of cute girls blushing at each other. 咲-Saki-, is named after Miyanaga Saki, the main character of the show. The first season of the anime ran from April 2009 to September 2009 while the manga is still continuing. As always, almost no spoilers will be mentioned in this review.
Kuttsukiboshi/Stars Intertwined (subs curtsey of SHiN-gx) is a story about a girl named Kiiko Kawakami who develops feelings for Aaya Saitou, a new student to Kiiko's school. This anime is produced Primastea, which also produced the Isshoni Training series. Depictions of sexual intercourse are implied, but are not shown in the OVA. Minor spoilers to no spoilers will be mentioned in this review.
The pace of the anime feels somewhat slow and its overall plot only really starts to pique interest towards the very end, as Kiiko discovers something that could very well shatter the feelings she had for Aaya. The story is another simple, slice of life and romance with bits of drama. While watching the OVA, I couldn't really get drawn into its pace or plot because it didn't bring enough flare to table. It has a few sweet moments though.
“Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo – Anata to Koibito Tsunagi/A Kiss for the Flower Petals – Linked with your Sweetheart” is an erotic, shoujo-ai OVA about two girls with impassioned feelings of love between each other. Please note that there are graphic scenes of sexual intercourse with the two girls in the OVA. Apologies if you are offended by this. This review will be SFW and contain little or no spoilers.
Through starting the OVA, it may just seem like your stock hardcore ero, with no plot at all. Thankfully, this isn’t the case here as there is a flashback which makes sense of how things came to be and what not. Now this is an erotic OVA, so the plot is relatively simple, but it is full of sweet and pleasant scenes due to the characters and their great voice acting. The story flows well with its compassion between Reo and Mai as it will keep the attention of the viewer.
First of all, if you were like me and watched Sailor Moon as a kid, it was probably the dub version, first introduced by D.I.C., and then by Cloverway. And as with dubs of the 90s, the original Japanese names were changed or altered. So to start off this review, I'll make a crib sheet of the major characters, since when I made a serious effort to marathon the entire series, I got confused at the names. (Japanese names on the left, dub names on the right, all in Western format)
Usagi Tsukino — Serena/Bunny Tsukino(Sailor Moon, Princess Serenity)
Mamoru Chiba — Darien Shields (Tuxedo Mask, Prince Endymion)
Chibiusa — Rini (Sailor Chibi Moon)
Ami Mizuno — Amy Anderson (Sailor Mercury)
Minako Aino — Mina Aino (Sailor V/Venus)
Rei Hino — Raye Hino (Sailor Mars)
Makoto Kino — Lita Kino (Sailor Jupiter)
Hotaru Tomoe — Hotaru Tomoe (sailor Saturn)
Haruka Tenoh — Amara Tenoh (Sailor Uranus)
Michiru Kaioh — Michelle Kaioh (Sailor Neptune)
Setsuna Meioh — Trista Meioh (Sailor Pluto)
The original airing of the first season of Sailor Moon was in 1992-1993, so yes, it is a bit of a throwback. This series merged the concepts of Magical Girl anime, as well as the Sentai genre (see: Power Rangers) in the form of “Sailor Senshi” or Sailor Warriors, and Sailor Moon remains as one of the prime examples in the evolution of anime as a whole. The first season introduces the titular character, Sailor Moon, as well as the inner planetary Senshi as they fight for love and justice against Queen Beryl and the Dark Kingdom. As of this review, I have only watched 34 episodes out of the 46 in the season, so this will be the first part of the review. The second will deal mostly with the events leading to the season finale.
The protagonist, Usagi, meets a mysterious black cat named Luna on her way to school one day, only to find that the cat talks, and with the aid of a transformation brooch given by said cat, Usagi becomes Sailor Moon. The ultimate goal is to find the lost Princess of the Moon Kingdom. All the other Senshi are given transformation pens, which highlights that Sailor Moon is special, and was ALWAYS special (hint hint), from the very beginning. Sailor Moon is a shoujo anime, no matter how you slice it, but one great part is that the youma (demons) in this season were actually scary-looking. In later seasons, they get more ridiculous, especially in season three. So enjoy while they last. As with anything in the Sentai genre, you have The Hero (Usagi), The Brain (Ami), The Big Guy (Makoto), and The Lancer (Rei/Minako). Each has their own specialty, either in their Senshi powers or everyday hobbies or skills.
Yosuga no Sora / ヨスガノソラ (“Sky of Connection”) is a romance anime that tests how mature of a show can really be broadcasted on television. As with a lot of romance animes, this show has been adapted from a visual novel. An interesting aspect of Yosuga no Sora is that it goes in the direction of separate arcs for each heroine compared to only the main canon route for one heroine. The anime aired from Oct 4, 2010 to Dec 20, 2010 and the manga is still continuing. Little to no spoilers will be mentioned. Please note that this series contains nudity and sexual themes and should be viewed by mature audiences. The review however, will be safe for work.
I promise this will be one of the few shots of pantsu I will ever have
With multiple arcs, each heroine’s story must appeal to the viewer. Yosuga no Sora however, successfully does a great job in drawing out emotional impact from each of the heroines’ arcs. The series starts off with the protagonist, Kasugano Haruka, moving in with his sister, Sora. The first episode starts off as a regular starting point for each route and then as the show progresses, the plot diverges at certain points. This enables the viewers to understand how each of the girls came to know Haruka and their feelings for him. Seriousness is the tone throughout the show as it focuses heavily on building the Haruka's relationships, but it does have some comedic bits at the end of each episode for one of the heroines’ side story. I have not played through the anime or read through much of the manga, so no comparisons will be made between them.
Action, explosions, ecchi, cute girls, and moè anthropomorphizations of military planes is what Strike Witches/ストライクウィッチーズ could be summed up with. Strike Witches is simply a fun show to watch. The first season aired from Jul 3, 2008 to Sep 18, 2008 and is currently out as a DVD boxset in *gasp* AMERICA (and Canada). The bluray discs have to be imported though, sadly (they also have no subtitles). As usual, little or no spoilers will be mentioned.
Kicking off to skies, we start with Yoshika Miyafuji as our main character. She gets scouted by Squadron Leader Sakamoto Mio for her magical ability to be part of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing. Strike Witches brings a somewhat unique plot to the table, blending the World War II time period into its story of girls fighting these alien-like machines called the Neuroi. As expected of a plot filled with cute and cool girls, it has its fun, cute, and serious moments. A generally easy and nicely flowing plot with arcs dedicated to each of the Witches of the 501st. Due to its smooth narrative, it gives viewers enough time to develop feelings and attachments to each of the Witches and pick favorites from their personalities. I can’t say much when it comes to comparisons between the manga and show, but there are some great changes from manga.
"I can already see the ending!"
"Don't compare games with reality. A game is a game. Reality is reality. People who try to link them together are the ones who can't tell the difference." (Katsuragi Keima). The God of Conquest makes his way to television with the anime adaptation of the manga Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai / 神のみぞ知るセカイ (“The World God Only Knows”). When he was using his “PFP” portable gaming device, he encounters a fateful message of challenge to “capture” a girl. Little did he know that accepting this challenge would turn his life upside down and place his capturing skills to the test on the girls of the real world instead. Reluctantly, Keima decides to go through the trouble of conquering real girls' hearts. If he does not comply, he and his demon partner lose their heads! This anime aired from October 6, 2010 – December 22, 2010 and the manga is still ongoing. Rest assured to those who be wary of spoilers, this review will contain little to none.