Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Quick Picks: Wake Up Girls Ep 12 FINAL, Samurai Flamenco Ep 22 FINAL, Buddy Complex Ep 13 FINAL, Kill La Kill Ep 24 FINAL

Wake Up Girls Ep 12 FINAL: The girls returned to do their rehearsal when they noticed Nanase was not performing well. She confessed in the dressing room that she suffered a sprain. They were thinking of withdrawing when Shiho appeared with two of her staff.
She overheard what has happened and got her staff to check on Nanase. They gave a cast to ease the pain until the performance is over. Mayu thank Shiho which she didn't gave a reply. The girls went up on stage when it is their turn. Although Ota and his small group of fans supported the girls, they soon won everyone on stage and cheered for them when it is over.
However the results are out and the girls didn't win the event, losing to another group. A few days later in the office, they got a call from a record company in Tokyo who offered them a contract...

So that's it? A sort of cliffhanger ending with the girls getting a contract and people have started to supported them despite losing the contest. I am guessing that they want the girls to learn that it is not all about winning but rather the journey of getting there. Beside if they did win, I am guessing I-One will not take it lightly on them. Never mind, there is always next time.

Final Thoughts: If Idolmaster is about the dreams of an idol, Love Live is about friendship then Wake Up Girls is about the true reality of an idol. It is pretty realistic as they do show the conflicts among members and higher management. Most idols love to perform on stage which is something they truly enjoy but management just want to get sponsors and profits and will resort to anything especially if you have a golden goose for an idol.

Mayu sincerely want to be an idol but learn the harsh truth from Shiarki's demands. She did fell from grace however fate gave her another chance and joined the other girls for a comeback. People might have doubts of her in the beginning but somehow through hard work and determination, their efforts paid off. The rest of the cast were fine although the only characters development are from Mayu, Airi, Nanase and Kayu. The other three girls were like supporting characters and their development are shallow. Overall, the show was all right but I wish they will continue to develop the story further rather than leaving a cliffhanger ending like that.

Samurai Flamenco Ep 22 FINAL: Years ago, Goto started texting his girlfriend's phone and create the illusion she still exist. Sawada started tauting him by deleting all the message including his girlfriend's last message before she went missing.
Masayoshi learned from Konno that he probed further on Sawada's parents who learned they are in cahoots in faking his death. Masayoshi confronted Sawada and demanded an explanation. He claimed he want to make Samurai Flamenco a dark hero by ruining the people around him. Sawada tried to make Masayoshi wear his first Samurai Flamenco costume but instead Masayoshi refused and strip butt naked.
Masayoshi understand that Sawada is a lonely person and volunteer to care for him. Goto escaped from his cuffs and want to shoot Sawada. Instead Masayoshi claimed he care for him too and if he carried on, his girlfriend will be sad. Goto texted his last message addressed to Masayohi claiming his girlfriend have finally "left."
Mari arrived and beat Sawada to a pulp (And kicking him in the balls.) A few months later, a museum dedicated to all the heroes was opened to the public and Kaname was made the director. The four remaining Flamengers also visited the museum with Masayoshi visiting Sawada in the reformative center.
Masayoshi accepted him but make Sawada promise not to hurt his friends. He and Goto later took a walk to the museum when suddenly a car driver litter on the road which got Masayoshi to reveal his Samurai Flamenco costume inside...

As I have guessed, Love was the only thing Masayoshi needed to defeat Sawada and saved Goto's sanity. Although the way he did it was kind of hilarious and perhaps raised some flags of questionable sexuality? Anyway, Sawada's plot was also kinda of stupid, thinking that by forcing Masayoshi to kill him, he will become the dark hero and therefore heading a path of no return. Unfortunately, Masayoshi is a guy whose heart is very naive and unpredictable which got Sawada all freaked out when he saw Masayoshi's "naked truth." Mari kicking Sawada in the balls is deserving for all the acts he did which I laughed out at Mari's psycho expressions.

Final Thoughts: When this show started off, I thought it is like Kick Ass without all the hardcore violence but when things got weird with a giant mutant gorilla, the show turned into a full blown action series. From amateur hero to hero to Super hero, Masayoshi's imagination just got weirder and weirder every minute. Although I do like the Super heroes coming together and the evil conspiracy plot hatched by the Prime Minister.

Masayoshi is a super hero fan boy who realised his dream of becoming a hero and saving the world. Although he did learned the harsh truth of heroism and why everything bad is falling on him but for a while, I was enjoying the adventures of Samurai Flamenco and the Flamengers every minute. The last arc for Sawada was kinda of disappointing but I guessing the message was anyone can be a hero but it will take love and care to make everyone understand each other better.

Goto was all along the straight guy but somehow he believe in Masayoshi especially when he was framed. He even joined in the fight against the Prime Minister despite having no powers. But when his past is revealed to be broken, it kinda of ruined his image and Mari totally hated him. But not Masayoshi who still treat him as a friend and managed to stop his disillusion.

Mari is very unpredictable as she become an energetic person (and make out with Moe and Mizuki) or turned into psycho heroine who kick men's testicles for fun. A true sadist indeed. The rest of the cast were all right and because of Masayoshi's imagination, they too got involved in becoming heroes of their own.

As long there are crimes no matter how big or small, you can be ensured that Samurai Flamenco will appear to save the day!

Buddy Complex Ep 13 FINAL: The Zogilia forces began attacking the United forces and with Bizon and Hina's coupling system activated (by force from Hahn), they were destroying the fleet. Aoba and Dio headed to find the transport planes for their new units while the others hold the line.
Bizon was about to destroy the Cygnus when suddenly Aoba and Dio arrived with their new units-Luxon Next and Bradyon Next. Elvria told Aoba and Dio that Hina's coupling system has a strange signal coming from it. Aoba called out to Hina which she broke free from the system.
Bizon tried to interfere again and force Hina to do the coupling again. But she refused instead Aoba told her to accept him which worked. The Gorgon cannon fired again and it caused a strange effect when the two machines united. A warp hole appeared and suck Bizon in. Aoba realised it is the same time tunnel that brought him here.
He knew that if Hina will to go back in time to stop Bizon, the cycle will repeat itself. Instead, Aoba and Dio stopped Hina and destroyed Bizon's unit not knowing Bizon has fell into the tunnel. The Zogilia forces retreated after the Gorgon cannon was destroyed as the three units returned to Cygnus.
Later, the head of Zogilia forces appeared in a meeting and it is an elderly Bizon...

So instead of solving the problem, Aoba has created a worse time paradox since Bizon has went back in time becoming the ruler of the Zogilia forces with his obsession of killing him. Although we now know who the true enemies are we dealing with in the next season. With Hina and the new units now joining the crew, it will be a more fierce battle in the future.

Final Thoughts: After Sunrise's horrible train wreck with Valvrave, I have doubts with Buddy Complex at first with it's time travel story and with the psychic abilities needed to pilot the units. At least, Aoba is a more competent male lead than Haruto's indecisive. With no place to go back, he stay with the crew and became family with them. Although he knocked head with Dio, it is obvious these two need each other more.

Dio is the proud rival pilot that Sunrise is famous for. He couldn't accept Aoba as his partner at first but Aoba's stubbornness won him over and he kinda of accept him especially Fiona enjoyed Aoba's company. He might have some father issues but he is a perfect match for Aoba's antics. Hina's development only shine during her time with Aoba in the island and learning of her past. It is clearly that she has a thing for Aoba since she remember how she went to the past. But she might have to deal with Mayuka who also has a slight crush on him too.

The supporting cast were all right with Captain Gengo as the laid back commander and his first mate, Rene who overact like a mother hen but meant well. Mayuka played "the girl who is in love with the male lead but will not get her love return" type. Hopefully she doesn't in the next season. Alfried as the Zogilia commander was pretty cool as he cared for his men and if he even find out that Hahn did the brain wash on Hina, he is going to flip out. Bizon is clearly the villain and now being the head, he has unlimited resources and will stop at nothing to kill Aoba and claim Hina. I could already see Aoba and Hina's disbelief faces when they confront him in the next season.
A good show and hopefully the next season will not be another train wreck like Valvrave.

Kill La Kill Ep 24 FINAL: Everyone started to take down the super antenna but it is protected by a Life Fiber force shield. Ragyo then used her powers to negate all the Kamui clothes causing Ryuko and the others to lose their powers.
Nui tried to kill Mako but Gamagoori shield her and got stabbed instead. Ryuko took off Senketsu and continue battling Nui and Ragyo. Ragyo captured Satsuki and the others and tried to place them inside the Life Fiber. Suddenly Senketsu turned itself into a drill and damaged Ragyo's Kamui.
Everyone was able to call back their powers and battle Nui while Ryuko and Satsuki battled Ragyo. Gamagoori was alive and break open the force field. They then destroyed the antenna and damaged Ragyo badly.
However Ragyo absorbed Nui and the Life Fiber, turning herself into a rocket and headed straight to the satellite in space. Ryuko asked everyone to give her their powers and she became Senketsu Kisaragi to stop Ragyo. Ragyo succeeded in turning everyone into Life Fiber and covered the Earth with it.
Ryuko arrived to stop her but she get beaten up by Ragyo. Ryuko did it on purpose in order for Senketsu to absorb enough energy from Ragyo until she is strong enough to overcome her. She rushed to the satellite and was able to call off the Life Fibers to leave Earth.
Ragyo could not believe that she has lose. Ryuko want to take her back but she choose to kill herself and disappeared completely. Ryuko fell back to Earth and Senketsu shielded her but it is burning itself while entering the atmosphere. Senketsu bid farewell to her and burned up. Ryuko was caught by everyone as she finally called Satsuki "Nee-San."
A few weeks later, the school was disbanded and Ryuko, Mako and Satsuki begin a normal life together...

A great finale from beginning to end with some close shaves! One of the best anime for the 2013/14 line up!

Final Thoughts: When I watch the first episode, I am reminded of Gurren Lagann by it's art work. The story started of as a revenge theme as Ryuko tried to find her father's killer. Satsuki played as the hard core dictator of the academy but as the story progress, you started to feel that Satsuki isn't all heartless and even claimed responsibility of Ryuko's father's death.

Suddenly the show turned into a full blown alien invasion with the introduction of Ragyo, Nui and the Life Fibers. The Life Fibers actually won and everyone both allies and enemies now work together against a common enemy. Ryuko and Satsuki learned the truth of their family line which turned them off for a moment but thanks to Mako and the others, they finally worked together to defeat Ragyo and the Life Fibers to save the world.

Ryuko and Satsuki were great characters. One is hot-headed while the other is cool and calculated. In the beginning, they hated each other's guts but they finally accepted who they are and now begin a normal life as sisters. Mako was the glue that brought everyone together. Her positivie and sometime hilarious preaching make everyone stop what are they doing and listen to her. The Elite Four are also good characters especially Gamagoori who is the most developed among the four and care for his comrades including Mako which I am guessing he has a crush for her. Ragyo and Nui are over the top villains with Ragyo and her megalomaniac mind and Nui's sadistic actions make them one of the most creepiest villains this year. Never wrath a crazed woman!

In all, this is perhaps one of the better animes I have seen a while for the last three years. Highly recommend for anyone who want to get away from all the moe and shouen series. It started off with a standard plot which escalate to one of the best storyline (over the top!) I have seem for a while! It is announced that there will be an episode 25 which is the epilogue that will be out in the final DVD volume. I will take note of that when that episode come!

P.S: This is the last anime series for Quick Pick in the 2013 line up. Next post will be for the new series! Keep an eye for the next post for that! See you!

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