Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Third week of April. The final batch of new spring anime shows have aired, and so here is the final batch of first looks.

SKET (Support, Kindness, Encouragement, Troubleshoot) Brigade. No actual dancing.

SKET Dance (streaming at Crunchyroll) is a pretty entertaining show about a group of high school students who are… well, basically they’re handymen. They take on jobs that no one else wants to do. I guess you could call it sort of a detective-themed show, with a case or two per week. This was actually from the first week, but got buried. It airs in prime time for kids (6 PM JST on Thursdays), so no naughty stuff and not much violence.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s the second week of April, and the new season is rolling along. I introduced a few of the new shows last week. Before I get too far behind, I figured I’d throw out a few whole slew more.

Akechi Mitsuhide, Date Masamune, Oda Nobunaga, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Historic Japanese figures, all of them. Look it up.

Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox (streaming on Crunchyroll as “Battle Girls – Time Paradox“) knows its audience: People who know their history and are into cute girls portraying versions of the historical figures, much like Samurai Girls or Battle Vixens. Sengoku Otome is not (yet) as blatant as those two. It’s based on a series of characters from pachinko games instead of a manga or novel, so I’m not expecting much from the storyline.

Read the rest of this entry »

Have you guys gone and watched Nichijou/My Ordinary Life yet? I haven’t! But I recently noticed the credits for its opening song, “Hyadain no ka-ka-kata*omoi” (“Hyadain’s un-un-unrequited*love”). Maeyamada Ken’ichi, also known as Hyadain, has been one of my favorite remixers for years, and it was a big surprise to see his music featured in an anime.

From this quirky op, you can see lots of Hyadain’s musical trademarks – chiptune sensibilities, and a whole lot of backing himself up with falsetto. Check after the jump for more of his work, from cute and harmless Dragon Quest remixes to slightly risque love songs to Mega Man.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s April, and the new anime season has begun. (Although, due to the continuing effects of the earthquake, several shows from the last season have not yet aired their conclusions.) Since there are so many new shows starting up this month, I decided to break up the “first looks” post into pieces. So here we go.

Boy meets girl... er, princess... er, dog?

Dog Days kicked off the season with a bang. Tsuzuki Masaki (writer), Kusakawa Keizou (director), and Seven Arcs (animation production) from the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series and movie teamed up with a first-rate voice cast for this highly-anticipated show. The opening song is done by one of Dom’s favorite singers, the character designs and art are strong, and all the pieces look to be in place. It remains to be seen if Tsuzuki and Kusakawa can tell a compelling story or if this just becomes an eye candy fluff piece.

Read the rest of this entry »

Akazukin Chacha, which ran in the shoujo manga magazine Ribbon for almost 8 years (October 1992 to August 2000) and as an anime for a year and a half (January 1994 to June 1995), is coming back as a one-shot revival.

Chacha and the gang are getting back together.

The one-shot, by original manga artist Ayahana Min, will run in the April issue of the shoujo magazine Cookie, which goes on sale March 26.

“Media Mix” is an entertainment industry buzzword for having a property – in this case, let’s say THE IDOLM@STER – span various different types of media in its quest to conquer the universe. So it starts off in its original form (for Im@s, a game) then branches out to other forms (anime, manga, radio shows, live performances, whatever else you can think of).

Idolm@ster 2 - Sleeping Beauty

Chihaya wants you to buy her manga, "Idolmaster 2 - Sleeping Beauty".

The strategy is to increase awareness and to get more overall sales by having a bunch of products available for people to buy. It works, too, because although not everyone can afford $60-80 for a game or a Blu-Ray disk, it’s much easier on the budget to buy a manga magazine or a light novel for $4-5.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stolen from her blog. I liked that one.

This isn't the most appealing picture of her, but I like it anyway.

This is Takagaki Ayahi. She got her first starring role in 2007’s Venus Versus Virus and after a few well-received roles (like Isurugi Noe in True Tears, a personal favorite), her career really took off after she joined the seiyuu idol group Sphere in 2009. Along with young stars Tomatsu Haruka (Kannagi), Toyosaki Aki (Yui, K-On!) and Kotobuki Minako (Tsumugi, K-On!), the four of them have gotten pretty popular as seiyuu and singers. You may have heard Sphere’s music while watching recent shows like Sora no Manimani, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, or Asobi ni Ikuyo.

But in my mind, Sphere isn’t long for this world, because Takagaki Ayahi is due to bust out and leave her less-talented group members in the dust. Why do I think this?

I’m glad you asked.

Amusingly, Seiya has pointed out that this isn’t just any version of “Oh Happy Day” – it’s the exact version that appeared in Whoopi Goldberg’s immortal hit, Sister Act 2. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself.

More of her music after the jump, along with my favorite game, “spot the anchor”!

Read the rest of this entry »