Anime Review: “One Punch Man”

one-punch-man-season-2-of-anime-now-in-production_431r

“That’s the last time you make fun of my chosen hairstyle.”

I’ve been a passive fan of the anime for a while, but I just never got around to seeing it. That is, until now.

I recieved a copy of the first volume of the manga from my LootCrate Anime a while back, and it explained that it used to be a web comic. I thought that was awesome, considering I have been working on my own web comic for a while. I already had a bit of the plot in mind going into this series. I knew it was a parody and it was supposedly hilarious.

viz-blog_saitama

“Okay, I killed it. What now?”

That information was 300% accurate. This anime is a complete riot. It starts out with a man named Saitama living in a city that apparently is infested with really bad villains – there’s a man that turned into Lobster Man because he ate too much lobster – and he finds himself facing this exact villain on the way home from a job interview. He’s so depressed and jaded he didn’t get the job that he doesn’t care if the lobster guy kills him. But, as soon as he sees the creature heading towards a child, he jumps into action and fights him.

From that day on, he decided to become as strong as possible. He trains every day, so much that his hair falls out, and now he’s so strong that he can defeat any foe in one punch. But, now that he’s really strong, he’s easily bored and goes around one-punching all the bad guys.

gfh4k9duyq5qtsthfrad

“Okay, now put the egg right on my palm and it will cook in precisely 3.49 seconds.”

One day, though, he meets a robot-man named Genos. This cyborg is so impressed with Saitama’s powers that he asks to become his disciple. While Saitama isn’t one to really want a student, he accepts anyway, not really knowing what to teach the boy. Soon the pair gets words of a special organization that registers and rates heroes in the city. They go to join just for the heck of it and Genos gets S rank, while Saitama (who smashes all the physical records) only gets a C rank.

These ranks are very important, though. Higher ranks get more donations and poularity, so of course Saitama is pissed. He knows he’s strong, and proves it over and over again, but people think he’s a cheat because he’s only rank C. This only expands on the hilarity of the series, with Saitama actually trying to help people, but ending up scaring them instead.

The key to a great parody anime is to have as little exposition as possible, while still making sure the audience knows what’s going on. I saw it in “Neo Yokio,” and I saw it once more in “One Punch Man.” It leaves the door open for much more ridiculous things to happen. In fact, this anime actually makes fun of excessively long expositions by Genos backstory expanding about thirty seconds of one episode.

Final Words:

Having just finished a really nice parody anime, this was another gem in my belt. I’m a big fan of this style, having seen so many animes over the years. It just pokes fun at all of the fighting ones, namely “Dragonball Z.” The character development is top notch, too, where Saitama goes from basically a NEET to genuinely caring about people, and his new friend, despite the boy’s misplaced enthusiasm.

I would give this anime…8.75/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Blue Exorcist, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Excel Saga

Advertisements

“K” Review

848d08f2488291e980336897ef2cb607

“Did you eat my last tamagomaki?”

I actually saw this anime subbed last year, I believe, but I watched it again dubbed with my best friend and roommate last week. It’s definitely a different experience, and I’m pretty sure Funimation specializes in added a pound and a half of sass whenever they dub something. But this is for sure a somewhat complex anime, and I suppose I didn’t fully understand it the first time I saw it, so a rewatch was kind of nice.

The setting is that of a somewhat futuristic Japan, with advanced technology and a sort of clan system that mimics something of the warring states period (or feudalistic Japan, if you’re familiar). There are seven clans, each with an assigned color, though only two are featured, and the four others only touched on. The red clan, also called HOMRA, appears as a sort of gang with fiercely loyal members, and the blue clan, also called Scepter 4, appears as a police force and more connected to the government.

Each king has a special power, which he is able to give to his clansmen when they join

Homura_Clan

“You told him to wear that?”

the clan. The red clan can create and manipulate fire, while the blue clan can freeze and destroy matter. The king of each clan is the most powerful, however, there is a limit. Their power is represented by a giant Sword of Damocles, which appears in the sky when a king begins to fight.

If the king uses too much power, the sword falls and causes physical destruction. This is shown in the prologue, as it has happened before. In the first episode, the leader of the red clan, known as Mikoto Suoh (or the Red King), is captured by the blue clan leader (Reisi Munakata) and put in a special jail. He actually remains there for a majority of the anime in order to prevent him from causing another incident with his sword.

YashiroHoldsNudeNeko

“I swear I don’t know where her nipples went!”

Now, besides all of this, there is a boy named Yashiro Isana who appears to be a normal high school student. He seems forgetful, as he is known for forgetting his lunch, and often runs around during lunch hour asking for donations, which people gladly give him. He doesn’t seem to care about school, and almost never has his PDA, which is required to enter the school grounds.

However, one day, he’s making his way into town for some errands for the school festival, and a strange man chases him and calls him “The Colorless King.” The man, Kuroh Yotogami, says Yashiro has murdered someone, and he must die. Kuroh’s master, who was the previous Colorless King, instructed him to kill the new Colorless King if that new king is evil. He seems very loyal to his late master, even carrying a recording device with his master words saved on it.

Yashiro insists he has no idea what Kuroh is talking about, and is innocent. With a bit of

38b2cef7611dd05ea8d6a1757305f9ad

“Alright, slowly, slowly…and drop the giant cake…now!”

trickery, the boy manages to escape, but Kuroh catches up with him, only to be stopped by a strange girl, nude mind you, that apparently was disguised all this time as Yashiro’s pet cat Neko. With a bit of convincing, Kuroh decides to let Yashiro try and prove his innocence. But there’s a bit more to Neko than meets the eye. In fact, there’s more to Yashiro than meets the eye.

In the world of “K,” there are people that possess powers, but are not part of a clan. As it turns out, Neko is one of these – known as a Strain – and she can manipulate peoples senses, and even create false memories. Without revealing too much, we soon find out that Yashiro might not be who he says he is after all, and the Colorless King is not who he says he is either.

hfrvmwonk244ypsnipgfxrisyjbykgpd_hq

They seem to be overcompensating.

Despite it being quite a complicated setting, “K” manages to pull together an interesting story of friendship, sacrifice, and loyalty. While I feel Neko was a bit of a token character in the beginning, it turns out she simply wants to protect Yashiro and make sure he’s happy. I really enjoyed Kuroh as a character, being a very loyal person myself, and the twist ending I’d forgotten about had me hooked. I also liked the unabashed sass that Yashiro displays early on, even blushing fiercely when Kuroh carries him to safety a few times.

The members of HOMRA were also very endearing. Yata and his fierce loyalty and youth, jumping at the chance to defend his kings honor with a baseball bat or a skateboard was just as attractive as Kamamoto’s dorkiness and short attention span. The characters were very real, even if you only got a short glimpse of them, like the total of twenty minutes the Mikoto gets. There’s also a member of the Scepter 4 that was once part of HOMRA, and this is even explained in somewhat detail.

Final Words:

Man, I really didn’t realize how convoluted this setting was until I started writing this review, but don’t let it scare you off. Despite being somewhat confusing, it’s very well done, with close attention to characters and their interactions. It’s beautifully animated with each battle scene animated as if a wide angle camera was used. A lot of animes avoid long extended scenes because they cost more and require much more work, but “K” spares no expense. You can see it from episode one how much care went into each part. This is probably very close to a perfect anime as one might get. The only thing that brought it down was how confusing the plot was in some parts. But everything does come together in the end.

I would give this anime…9/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Black Butler (Kuroshitsuji), Magi, Tokyo Ravens

 

The “Yu-gi-oh!” Experience

yugiohhololens

“And this is the card I sleep with every night!”

As a middle-schooler I was obsessed with Yu-gi-oh!, just like I was with Pokemon. I didn’t think about it at the time, but there’s a lot of key features within the actual show that may or may not have defined the “Card Game” genre, which eventually expanded to other things including spinning tops and bead battler toys. As an anime itself, it was a little unbelievable, looking back on it now.

 

The anime itself, before the multiple spin-offs (which included Yu-gi-oh! GX, Yu-go-oh! 5Ds, and Yu-gi-oh! Zexel), came in about five seasons. It started off with a group of middle-schoolers (of which, only the main character Yugi looked the appropriate age) that liked to play a game called Duel Monsters. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically the classic card game War with a few extra things.

The Japanese version is actually quite a bit different, including a complete removal of the true episode one, but that’s a whole other can of worms we won’t go into (stupid 4Kids). Anyway, the entire anime is basically a series of Duel Monsters tournaments in different locations, and an episode usually consists of an entire card game or sometimes even a small part of a card game. If I recall correctly, at least twice, a game extends four to five C_l2hNLXUAAbddiepisodes.

While I’m sure this is an excellent marketing tactic for the company that owns Yu-gi-oh!, going back and watching it now, as an adult, has made me realize how rediculous the show actually is. First, the main character has some kind of ancient spirit within him, thanks to his super cool necklace called The Millenium Puzzle, but he apparently doesn’t realize this until midway through season one. The irony being that he magically transforms into this spirit before every duel, which does nothing to him except make him look more serious, about a foot and a half taller, and have a much deeper voice.

309329_1254912485940_full

“This is how we get all the chicks!”

Also, the games apparently require the use of holographics to make them super cool and playable, so the characters use special arenas to make their monsters come to life. But, sometimes the monsters actually hurt the people. Like, losing actually causes physical pain sometimes, according to a few episodes, and as the series goes on, the monsters seem to get more and more real. I constantly found myself asking “Do they realize this is just a card game?” Apparently not, because the bratty Seto Kaiba decides to throw a tournament just to defeat Yugi, and when he loses, blows up a whole island.

While this genre is mostly aimed at young boys in middle school, it does sometimes draw older people, especially if they grew up in the Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh! era. For me, however, it’s just background noise while I update any various social media sites I have or play videogames.

“Hayate the Combat Butler” Review

So, as you might have noticed, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve used this blog. Since

11817_1

“How very dare you!”

then, I’ve changed the name to go along with my new book-in-progress. Besides, I’d rather write anime reviews than have a set schedule of writing stuff. So, this blog won’t necessarily be a weekly thing, rather I will be posting as I watch series, with occasional character profiles sprinkled in. Feel free to browse the other posts, as I’ve removed all non-anime and non-Japanese posts.

Anyway, enough dawdling! Having finished Hayate the Combat Butler about a week ago, I had been throwing the idea back and forth of even writing a review since it’s not as fresh in my min as I’d like it to be. But, I figured it would be a nice place to start reviewing again. Either way, the first series (noted as “seasons 1&2” on Crunchyroll) is very lighthearted and funny. It’s designed as a comedy with slice of life elements.

Nagi Sanzenin is an extremely rich girl who is the product of a trust fund, and to top it off, she’s actually very smart, though headstrong. She lives in a gigantic mansion with her maid Maria, her pet tiger Tama, and her old semi-retired butler Klaus. On the other hand, Hayate is an unfortunate high-schooler with absent parents who’ve places him in a huge, unbearable debt of 150 million yen (1,325,991 USD according to Google). Of course, a 16-year-old has  no way of paying this back, even though he’s been lying about his age since he was 8 to get some kind of job.

The story starts when Hayate runs into Nagi (who has run away again) at the park and plots to kidnap her for the money. Nagi misunderstands and takes it as a confession (it also doesn’t help that Hayate is too nice to actually do it), but then she actually does get kidnapped by real criminals. Hayate saves her, of course, in the most rediculous way possible, and she sort of adopts him as her new personal butler. The irony being that he’s had so many physical jobs, he literally makes the perfect butler.

So begins the story, where Nagi is always getting into trouble, skipping school, and trying to constantly hint that she loves Hayate. He’s completely clueless, of course, and along with tons of pop culture references, the entirely female cast of characters (save Tama and Klaus) begin to fall for Hayate who is still completely clueless.

It’s actually a very entertaining anime, filled with rediculous situations. The third series “Cuties” is not nearly as well done, and they even hired a new animator, so I don’t necessarily recommend that one. However, I’d have to give this anime a 7.5 out of 10 on my ratings scale, and encourage you to check it out at least once.

Picture source (x)