Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Five Favourite Mecha Shows that does not have "Gundam" or "Macross" in their titles!

Hi everyone! I have given some thoughts on how to improve my blog and instead of doing reviews for current shows, why don't I give some recommendations for completed series? As you can tell from the title, I will be talking about one of my favourite sub genre which is the Mecha genre or some will call it "Robot Anime"

Don't get me wrong from the title. Gundam and Macross actually make many changes to the Mecha genre but it will be too easy to name any of the Gundam and Macross series in this list as there is a whole chunk of them.

So I present you five of my favourite Mecha shows in no particular order and this is not an official list but these are the shows I will watch it again and again. Also these shows are shows that I finished watching it so don't expected me to watch every mecha shows that come out now or then. (I will get a burnout if that happened)

Gunbuster: or it's actual title-Toppu o Nerru is a 6 episode OVA series created by Hideki Anno. Before Hideki went all coco puffs on Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gunbuster is a story of two young girls who inspired to become space pilots to battle the oncoming aliens race simply known as Space Monsters.

Noriko is the naive and hard working girl who looked upon the talented and beautiful senior Kasumi however both girls faced different trials like Noriko trying her best to become a pilot despite lacking of talents and Kasumi who is in love with their instructor, Ohta and the fear of losing him due to Ohta's terminal illness.

Gunbuster doesn't even make an appearance until episode 5 when Noriko took upon herself to pilot it after an attack by the Space Monsters. This show also deal with the Space Time Dilation as the Space Monsters are hiding far in the galaxy, the crew travel further away from Earth which results in a difference of time displacement. For the crew, it was only 6 months in space but 10 years has passed on Earth.

Noriko and Kasumi finally accepted the responsibility of protecting Earth despite Ohta's passing and Noriko losing the people she care about back on Earth. They travelled into the heart of the universe to destroy all the Space Monsters after 12000 years has passed on Earth.

For the girls, it was only a few hours after the final battle and they wondered if the Earth survived or does anyone remember them. When they finally approached Earth, the two girls saw something unbelievable that it had remained one of the best memorable scenes in Anime history.

Overall, this is one of the shows I recommend despite a slow start and Gunbuster doesn't appeared until later. But the finale was worth watching for this 6 episode OVA.

Shin Getta Robo-The Last Days of Earth: I love Getta Robo since it was the pioneer for creating the combiner robots for similar shows. Even Transformers was influenced to have combiner robots like Devastor in their shows so you have to thank Getta Robo for that.

Shin Getta Robo was actually a previous idea created by Getta Robo creators-Nagai Go and Ishikawa Ken for the 4th Super Robot Wars game for Playstation 1 however not much lore was given to Shin Getta although it did make an appearance in Getta Robo GO manga but not in animated form.

When it was announced that Shin Getta Robo is getting a 13 episode OVA series, I can't wait for it to come. What came was both shocking and confusion after watching it. As a young teen, I didn't really understand some of the changes like Lead Pilot, Ryoma is voiced by Ishikawa Hideo and not Kamiya Akira (Who is one of my favourite voice actor of all time) and why there is a focus on newcomers Go, Kei and Gai in the second half of the series?

Now as an adult and re watching again, it actually make sense for the changes. Ryoma in the manga is completely different from Ryoma in the original 1974 anime. Manga Ryoma is a hardcore and almost deranged psychopath that he is the perfect candidate for Getta Robo which feed on instinct and rage.

Furthermore, the OVA already started off with Ryoma being framed for murder of Getta's creator, Dr Saotome and when he was released to kill a revived Saotome later in the episode, his first words to Saotome was to send him back to hell. (Ryoma is totally crazy in that scene but it was awesome)

What came was a great series that make Shin Getta one of the most crazed robots with over the top action and an epic story from start to finish. I won't spoil the ending but Shin Getta has become such a fan favourite that it remind a staple character in every Super Robot Wars game after that.

Shin Mazinger Impact! Z Chapter: If Getta Robo was the pioneer who started the combining robots then Mazinger is the one who started the Super Robot Genre. After close to 40 years, Mazinger's main core story still remind the same unlike Getta Robo.

However Shin Mazinger actually rebooted the lore of Mazinger and give it a more epic back story on why Mazinger is the father of all Super Robots. With Akabane Kenji replacing Ishimaru Hiroya as the voice of Kabuto Kouji after nearly 40 years, Mazinger started off pretty weird with a single night for Mazinger's debut battle to last for nearly the first 8 episodes!

But after that, little info were spread out here and there though out the series about the connection between Mazinger, the Kabuto Family and the Mycenaeans which is an ancient civilization that series villain, Dr Hell reverse-engineered their technology to create his mechanical beasts.

Furthermore, the series also paid tribute to Go Nagai's other series like Violence Jack, Dai Maou Dante and even Energer Z which is a prototype story before Mazinger was created. The battles were fierce and epic which Kouji not just have to battle Dr Hell and his mechanical Beasts but even battle Satan himself. (No, Seriously!) Guess which God did Mazinger was based on? 

The only flaw the show has was the ending which was left hanging as the anime studio that was responsible declared bankrupt as such no sequel was done. However Nagai Go did Shin Mazinger Zero which is another retelling and it has one of the most epic final battles that it is a love letter to fans of Mecha shows in general.

From left to right: Tamaki, Asagi, Izuru, Kei and Ataru

Majestic Prince: If there is one thing that Mecha shows taught us, it was Super Robots shows are colorful, over the top and pilots who are more hot blooded and optimistic. Real Robots shows tend to be more realistic, have darker themes and pilots who sometime throw a fit for no reason.

But here come a little show called Majestic Prince that is technically a Real Robot show but this rag tag team of pilots and crew members are people that I want to get along with! Basically five pilots (Izuru, Asagi, Kei, Tamaki and Ataru) from MJP academy are the worst team to perform in combat and everyone shun them.

However the five pilots codenamed Team Rabbits were given the chance of a lifetime to pilot state of the arts mecha called AHSMB to assist in the evacuation of a military base during an alien invasion. However Izuru saw civilians who were unable to evacuate decided to take the leap to defend them and his teammates follow suit.

Soon the five of them were nicknamed "Majestic Prince" in the media and the team learn to work together with their supporting staffs and discovering the aliens' true motives.

Sounds pretty standard for a mecha show but what make this show enjoyable was the cast of characters with Izuru who is an amateur artist who dream of being a hero, Asagi who get a stomach upset whenever he is nervous, Kei who has a sweet tooth but is horrible in making sweets, Tamaki who goes after any hot looking guy and weapons geek Ataru who can't stop talking about any awesome weapons lying around.

The five of them compliment each other and they don't get upset or emotional like most teens do. Furthermore, their supporting staff which include a sexy lollipop sucking female captain and a busty chief mechanic was always fun to watch.

Although the show started off slowly in the early episodes but once the main plot is revealed, everything is shifted to overdrive and it is non-stop to the end. Furthermore, there is an extra episode that bridge the conclusion of the TV series to the movie which is a continuation from where they left off. If you want a mecha show that doesn't take itself too seriously, I will highly recommended Majestic Prince as a good Real Robot show.

Gravion and Gravion Zwei: If Majestic Prince is a love letter to Real Robots then Gravion is a love letter to Super Robots.

Created by Obari Masami, (The guy who draw his Super Robots like hot sexy humans!) Gravion is the story of Eiji who is searching for his missing elder sister, Ayaka who was last working with the mysterious Mr Sandman. Eiji discovered Sandman has created a task force called Gran Divas to deal with the upcoming alien invasion by the Zeravire who started attacking Earth.

From Far left to right: Leele, Eina, Luna, Mizuki, Eiji and Touka 

Eiji was thrust by Sandman to join Gran Divas and piloted 1/6 of a super robot named Gravion together with Main Core Pilot and slightly dense Touka, Tsundere Luna, Timid Maid Eina, Sexy Lady Mizuki and Quiet Leele.

Every episode played like a typical Super Robot episode with a monster of the week with a better budget. The combined sequence in every episode is also paying tribute to 70s and 80s combined robots shows and a new weapon appearing every episode. (You wonder why there was never a toy on Gravion till this day since it will make a perfect toy for collectors?)

Despite all the silliness and over the top moments, the show also has it's serious and deep moments especially for Eiji's search for his sister and Sandman's true identify and motives. The sequel, Gravion Zwei which continue from the first season also gave some more back stories from the various characters and how the Earth governments aren't going to let Gravion take all the credits.

However unlike Majestic Prince's governments who are run by stubborn men, the Earth government finally respected Gravion and they actually work together in the finale. Overall, a highly underrated Super Robots show (Sure, it has fan service) but a near perfect Super Robot show in my opinion.

That's five of my favourite Mecha shows. Sure, there are other Mecha shows that I recommended but these are the ones that I will watch it over again. If you have a chance, take a look at these shows and if you want me to do a similar topic like this one, leave a comment. Until then, see you in the next post!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode Ep 11 & 12 Review

Let's Cooking! This is my review of Kira Kira Precure episode 11 and 12!

Episode 11: Since most of you have watched the episode, I will just go straight to my thoughts. Overall, it is a good episode since it developed Ichika's relationship with her father, Genichiro. He was a little overreacting in the beginning since Ichika refused to go to the Sweets Festival with him like they always does every year.

But like what Yukari said to Ichika later that Genichiro does care for Ichika since his wife, Satomi is still overseas so the responsibility to take care of their daughter weight on him. (It will actually make more sense to have this episode during the Father's Day period but we probably will get a Mother's Day related episode as a Precure tradition)

Of course, the big development is the battle against Gummy and his comrades and the introduction of Julio and the Candy Rod. For once, fighting a mash up version of Gummy and his comrades was tough for the girls and Genichiro's love for her daughter also pushed Cure Whip to her limits.
The big power up was pretty interesting and unexpected since it involved the townspeople to give their Kirakira energies to the girls. (Which should be reserved for Final Boss Finale but whatsever)

Their final attack which is called 3,2 Wonderful Ala Mode remind me of Heartcatch Original attack with the spinning of their Rods although being crushed by a giant size cake is bound to give anyone a bad case of Sugar Rush.

With that, Julio who was watching everything afar begin his next scheme...

Episode 12: Julio disgused himself as transfer student Kuroki Rio and joined Ichika's class. He won the hearts of his peers but his real target is Ichika as he keep on asking things about Ichika and her love for sweets.

Later Gummy and his fellow spirits asked for forgiveness and they were treated to sweets by the girls. Gummy also explained that they were tricked by a masked man into wearing the Black Star belt that corrupted them.

Finally Ichika's friend, Risa wanted Ichika to make cupcakes and Rio tagged along to see the Kira Patisserie. The others were skeptical about Rio especially Yukari and Rio mentioned to Ichika that he does not know how to make pastries.

However during the stirring of the cream, Rio was able to give correct instructions on the mixing which surprised Ichika but Rio was unable to explain how he knew that claiming it was just "common sense"

Later Risa was preparing to eat the cupcakes when Rio extracted Kirakira energy from her which somehow Ichika was able to hear Risa's screaming. (Enhanced Rabbit Hearings?) The girls arrived to find not Rio but Julio and he created a sword filled with Dark Kirakira energy to battle the girls.

The girls were no match for Julio's skills until he fired a special beam at Cure Whip which she suddenly remember the stirring method that Rio taught her earlier. She countered the beam with her own attack (Which I still don't know what is called) and the girls quickly finished off the sword.

Julio retreated but now is obsessed in defeating Ichika/Cure Whip...

After Episode 11 gave us a "hearty" experience, this week's episode is what Maho Tsukai Precure should have done-Giving us a real adversary to face for the girls. Julio or Rio is a textbook example of Sociopath. He put up quite a front, acting as the perfect student to his peers but deep down, he is twisted and obsessive in defeating the girls. (Sounds like the perfect candidate for a villain turn to good later in Precure tradition?)

We do know that Julio was the one who corrupted Gummy and his friends and later in the battle, Cure Whip saw the exact same Black Star on Julio's sword. Unlike tradition Precure villains, Julio actually extracted the Kirakira energy from humans to create new powers which bear the question whether will there be a monster of the week for this season?

I am suggesting of course that Julio is working for someone higher up and he himself is a victim of brainwashing. Furthermore, his claim of never making pastries raise suspicious as he was able to give proper instructions in the cream mixing. So there's a high chance he might turn good later in the season...

So I am guessing now the girls are using the Candy Rod like swords instead of using their fists. Smart move, Toei to find a loophole but seriously Toei, you got to give names for the girls's attacks!

Overall, a good episode as we begin the Julio Arc and look like Himari is the focus for the next episode as she overcome her shyness in reporting the news?! Until then, see you in the next post!

P/S: Thanks to everyone who send me questions and comments. It was fun answering back to you guys! I will consider doing some anime series depending on my own schedule! I can't make promises but will try to do something to make the blog better!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I'm Back!

Hi everyone! I just came back from Japan so I am still settling some matters before any movements on the blog. I know many of you are wondering my thoughts of Kira Kira Precure Episode 11 and the short version was I like it!

Anyway, there are still many shows I have yet to go through for this season. So please be patient with me.

I also want to do a shout out to my friend, David who just started his website-http://wandererkingsraid.weebly.com

If you are a fan of this particular Korea online game, you can take a look. I have also put a link of my blog at his website and tell him that Kragito send you.

Overall, I hope to get things going before this weekend. Until then, See you!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode Ep 10: Fruitty Fruitty Pie!

Let's Cooking! This is my review of Kira Kira Precure episode 10 and Yukari and Akira are tasked in finding ingredients for the upcoming Sweet Festival!

Getting the two of them manning the front counter was Genius, Ichika!

Business was good at the Patisserie thanks to Yukari and Akira manning the front counter. Ichika decided for the Patisserie to enter the upcoming Sweets Festival and she suggested to make a fruit tart pie.

Yukari and Akira were tasked to find the ingredients in town however most of the fruits were sold out due to the festival. At the same time, the remaining three girls were harassed by two group of girls who claimed to be from Yukari and Akira's fan club. The fan club girls claimed that Yukari and Akira doesn't deserve to work at the Patisserie and demanded they should return the two girls back to the fan clubs.

Instead of finding ingredients, Yukari decided to browse at an accessories store. Akira was a bit annoyed that Yukari isn't focusing at their task however Yukari was getting ideas on the decoration and even encouraged a little girl to get a more mature looking brooch instead of a kid's brooch.

After that, Akira helped an old lady find her emerald stone that came off from her ring. This time, it was Yukari's turn to get annoyed that Akira is going all out to help the old lady and indeed Akira did found the ring although the old lady mistaken Akira as Yukari's boyfriend which she accepted it as a compliment.

Although Ichika was troubled by the fan club girls, she managed to make the perfect tart pie and was about to show it to Pekorin and Elder. A new general, Tarton appeared and want to steal the tart leading the three girls to battle.

My Yuri Senses are tingling!

The three girls were not strong enough against Tarton until Yukari and Akira joined the fight. This time, Cure Macaron and Cure Chocolat combined their attacks and defeated Tarton easily. Before Cure Whip could say anything, Yukari and Akira transformed back and told the others they are heading to the next town to get ingredients.

Finally the Fruit Tart Pie was completed. The fan club girls returned again but instead Ichika treated them to eat the Tart and everyone enjoyed it with Akira and Yukari claiming they like the Patisserie...

At the same time, a mysterious masked man was looking at the Sweets Festival brochure with a plan in mind...

The Running Gag in this episode is having Ichika shouting "COME BACK" in English!

People has been particular about too much Ichika-focus episodes can sign a relief as this episode is about Yukari and Akira. To be honest, I was expecting such an episode for the two older girls who have complete personalities. Yukari did things in a calm and relaxed manner where as Akira was being helpful and trying to get the task done ASAP.

Both have their merits as they help others in their own way and both respected each other. The odd things was the looks of the fan club girls which I know they are stock characters but couldn't Toei give them proper eyes rather than Mickey Mouse eyes which scare the hell out of me.

Aoi also make a point regarding Akira and Yukari since both of them are in high school and why are they hanging out with three Junior High girls instead of their peers? From Akira's words, she claimed she like hanging out with in the Patisserie and For Yukari (Although she didn't said anything), her life was too perfect and being a Precure actually make her realise how big the world really is.

The fight scene was not bad as both Cure Macaron and Cure Chocolat combined their powers and created a pretty good finisher. Although their attacks really need names for it because reciting "Kirakira Kiraru" is going to get tired very fast.

Look like Emiru, Tatsumi and Midori came to see the girls in the Festival.

Although it might change in the next episode when the Mysterious Masked man and Gummy began to attack the Sweets Festival and the girls get their first power-up item! Until then, see you in the next post!

P.S: I will be in Japan this Tuesday and I will probably watch episode 11 over there. I might not be able to do the next review until I come back next week.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode Ep 9: Cookies and Pandas

Let's Cooking! This is my review of Kira Kira Precure episode 9 and today is all about  Love, Cookies and Pandas!

Basically the Kira Patisserie is portable since it can turned into a small hand case and carried around. With that, the girls tried to find a suitable place to start their business. From a busy traffic street to a field of domestic cows, the girls couldn't find a good spot.

But when the Patisserie was placed in front of a Childcare Centre, a young man, Tatsumi who was looking for the best cookies in town saw his childhood crush, Midori who was working at the Childcare Centre.

However Tatsumi was tongue tied seeing Midori and ran off. The girls later found out Tatsumi has a crush on Midori since elementary school. (After feeding him with sweet pastries) Midori offered him to share her cookies during their school field trip which is the reason Tatsumi is looking to get the perfect cookies as a gift for her.

Ichika decided to make some cookies for Tatsumi and he went to see Midori. Of course, the villain, Cookacookie tried to steal the cookies but the girls quickly dispose of him easily.

The girls watched as Tatsumi tried to confess his love for Midori but he screwed up his lines. Instead, the girls invited them to the Patisserie with a zoo theme and the two of them enjoyed some cookies together...

Although seeing the girls trying to find a suitable place to do business was funny in the beginning, the plot of this episode was pretty typical for a Precure series. Tatsumi who couldn't even muster the words to his crush, Midori was expected

The girls actually help to get their relationship going by setting up a zoo theme in their Patisserie which make me think this episode remind me of those old mahou shoujo series in the 80s like Minky Momo where efforts was make to help the people in distress and it paid off in the end.

In a way, the girls are actually helping people rather than themselves which is the most basics rule in Mahou Shoujo or any Henshin heroes series which is helping people in distress. Sure, Ichika is the one who came up with the ideas since she understand how food can bring people together but did the other girls did anything when Tatsumi left in disappointment the first time around?

Yes, I agreed there is slightly more focus on Ichika at the moment but she didn't do everything on her own. Her friends also help in the making of the cookies so it is still considered a team effort. The battle which I agreed is still lacking but the girls did used their basics powers to their advantages like creating walls or ropes to help one another.

Overall, the episode was okay and I like the ending since the girls did manage to push Tatsumi and Midori's relationship to at least to a friendship level. Next week, why is Yukari and Akira are competing each other? Until then, see you in the next post!