With the old site gone, I will be using this thread as a place to archive copies of my old Ani-Crap Review feature I often posted on the original Vice site. For those new to the forum, here's a quick rundown of what Ani-Crap is all about:
This is the feature to Anime Vice you'll see me frequently cover. Having seen plenty of great quality anime titles over the past decade, I thought I would take a dip into anime's more infamous offerings in terms of bad quality. For as overrated or horrible you may think of popular titles like the Holy Shounen Trinity or moeblob titles, the titles I normally dig into for Ani-Crap cover some of the worst titles you would see from the medium we all love, past and present. A good number of the titles I cover include ultra-violent OVAs, ecchi titles, bad adaptations of video games and some duds done in the past by notable figures in anime.
Most of the time, my reviews are decided via a two-week poll I post in a thread on the Just Anime forum of a list of ten titles (five a piece from anything done within or beyond the past ten years) that Vice members are allowed to vote on. Whichever title receives the most votes within that two week period will be what I choose to cover for my next review.
I'd like to give a big thanks to Yusuke52 for giving me a means of storing all the image content I used from the original site to restore what I had used for my written reviews. I did 50 total Ani-Crap Reviews for the original Vice, with only one where I made an attempt at doing a video review with my Kiss x Sis TV review. If you want to see the review in question, feel free to look below:
Otherwise, I will occasionally add on more Ani-Crap Reviews to this section depending on my availability to do so. Here's the first review I covered with Eiken:
A Look at Ani-Crap: Eiken
Eiken was an 18-volume fan service-heavy romantic comedy manga series published in the Shonen Champion magazine from 2001 to 2004 and created by Seiji Matsuyama. A two-episode OAV anime adaptation of the series was released in 2003 and animated by J.C. Staff and GENCO. The anime adaptation was directed by Kiyotaka Ohata, a storyboard artist and episode director for titles like Arjuna and Azumanga Daioh.
Story Densuke is a high school student who enrolls at Zashono Academy who finds himself taking an interest in shy, timid and beautiful girl Chihiru and unwillingly joining the mysterious Eiken Club. Hoping to earn Chihiru’s affections, Densuke is persuaded into entering a school-wide competition he desires to win.
Densuke Mifune- Male lead of the series who is wimpy and trying to earn Chihiru’s affection. Quite often found in embarrassing predicaments with other girls which prevent any relationship developments for him to occur with Chihiru.
Chihiru Shinonome- Timid, shy and beautiful girl with an 88 cm bust, Densuke’s love interest.
Kirika Misono- Purple-haired leader of the Eiken Club with a 99 cm bust who is normally seen sucking on phallic-looking foods and egging on Densuke throughout the school competition.
Komoe Harumachi- A clumsy elementary school student who is the youngest of the Eiken Club members and has the largest bust size at 111 cm.
Yuriko Shinonome- Chihiru’s younger sister with interest in Densuke and quite often likes pressing her body on him or jumping into his face butt or crotch first.Yuriko Shinonome- Chihiru’s younger sister with interest in Densuke and quite often likes pressing her body on him or jumping into his face butt or crotch first.
Why It Sucks Eiken is a huge smorgasbord of various scenarios and character archetypes you would find in ecchi titles. Any kind of plot and character development you would hope to get out of this series is taken out in favor of enough sexual innuendo to spot in just about every scene of Eiken. The series is so ignorant of its plot that it doesn’t even bother exploring what exactly the Eiken Club does and why the students never get in trouble for the suggestive predicaments they get into.
Here’s just a bit of the various forms of innuendo you would be exposed to throughout Eiken: suggestive use of food, butt shots to the camera, clothes flying off, Densuke getting in enough embarrassing moments with girls, suggestive movements between two characters in very close proximity of one another. These moments make Eiken seem almost like a softcore hentai title.
This might be all well and good if you crave ecchi and fan service heavy anime titles. But when there are a number of girls among the cast who have bust sizes that defy genetics (even the youngest of the Eiken Club being among the offenders), then it is rather hard to get turned on and interested in the female cast when that one “certain” area is very unappealing to the eyes. Where They Are Now
Seiji Matsuyama- Last I had heard about Matsuyama, he is still doing ecchi manga with the recent publication of his series, Oku-sama wa Shogakusei (My Wife is an Elementary Student). However, the series had been listed as a “harmful publication” by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in April thanks to the passing of the Youth Healthy Development Ordinance bill.
Kiyotaka Ohata- Ohata is still doing storyboards and episode direction for a number of anime titles, with the most recent notable ones including Baccano, Princess Jellyfish and Natsume’s Book of Friends.
The License- Both the anime and manga adaptations of Eiken are currently licensed by Media Blasters. The anime is still available to buy through the distributor’s Anime Works chain while only 12 of the 18 manga volumes are available for sale with no new volumes having been released in America since 2008.
Manyuu Hikenchou is a 12-episode ecchi/ action TV series based on the ongoing manga series of the same name written by Hideki Yamada. The anime aired from July 12 to September 27 of 2011, being censored in its airing on a number of Japanese TV stations. The manga has been published in the Tech Gian seinen manga magazine since March 24, 2007.
Story In Tokugawa shogunate era Japan, big breasts mean wealth, power and prestige for women while flat-chested ones are barely considered human. The Manyuu clan is responsible for bringing about this mentality to the era as they raise women with large boobs to be future influences in Japanese society. Being against her clan's beliefs in big boobs, clan successor Chifusa Manyu steals her family's prized scroll on secret techniques on how to grow big breasts and revolts against the society that the Manyu have contributed to.
Notable Characters Chifusa Manyu- The Manyu clan's successor who goes rogue when she steals her clan's secret scroll. A tomboy who mastered her clan's Breast Flow technique where she can literally steal the breast sizes of her female foes and make them her own.
Kaede- Chifusa's attendant and close friend who is jealous of her friend's large breasts and tries to fondle them at any opportunity she can.
Kagefusa Manyu- Chifusa's busty older sister who approves of the Manyu clan's policies and was sent to hunt down her younger sister. Winds up being the first victim of Chifusa's Breast Flow technique.
Why It Sucks Manyu Hikenchou's most prominent focus is on the ridiculously large boobs that are prominent with female characters and the feudal era society in which the series is set in. The whole premise of the series, for the most part, is just one big excuse for its ecchi content to go into effect where breast fondling and jiggling, perverted middle-aged and old men and prominent display of the ridiculous jugulars being shown off either through clothing that would be considered way too skimpy in feudal era Japan or frontal nudity.
Adding to the absurdity of the show's premise is that a number of fighting techniques seen in the show revolve around boobs in some form, it makes half-assed attempts at drama from women being victims of their bust sizes being shrunk by Manyu clan members and it's quite offensive seeing women in this series favored just because of their ample bust appearance.
Much like Eiken, there's nothing sexy to get turned on with from this anime if you're an ecchi fan as seeing the ridiculous breast sizes in action from the women of this series is more disgusting than arousing to this reviewer and actually led his stomach to get queasy each time he seen the ridiculous monstrosities of nature prominently shown onscreen.
Master of Martial Hearts was a 5-episode OAV series animated by Studio ARMS, who are well-known for creating Elfen Lied and a number of other ecchi titles. It is currently licensed in America by Funimation Entertainment for streaming and video release. The Story
High school student Aya Iseshima comes across a brawl between two girls competing in a tournament for a prize called the Platonic Heart (Martial Heart in English dub) that will grant any wish to the winner of the tournament. Aya finds herself making friends with one of the two girls, a young priestess named Miko Kazuki, who chooses to retire from the tournament as her wish of making friends with someone came true. However, Aya finds herself placed in the tournament in Miko’s place. When the priestess is mysteriously abducted from her home, Aya finds herself competing in the Platonic Heart tournament against a number of fetish-themed women to learn of the whereabouts of Miko and the true nature of the tournament.
Aya Iseshima- A high school girl skilled in martial arts who takes Miko’s place in fighting in the Platonic Heart tournament to discover the whereabouts of her missing friend.
Natsume Honma- Aya’s cheerful and supportive best friend.
Miko Kazuki- A 19-year old priestess who participated in the Platonic Heart tournament to make friends. After making friends with Aya and Natsume, she drops out of the tournament and is later abducted from her home, serving as Aya’s motivation for advancing through the Platonic Heart tournament.
Haruki Honma- Natsume’s older brother and Aya’s crush.
Why It Sucks Originality is definitely not Master of Martial Heart’s best area. The series takes aspects of Ikki Tousen with its fan service and clothes-tearing fights with many aspects of the show’s plot being an excuse for said fights, even with the occasional hints dropped regarding the true nature of the Platonic Heart tournament. The fights Aya gets involved in involve women in fetish-themed outfits from their professions whose only roles are to pander to the title’s otaku audience and be punching bags to the female lead.
The ecchi content and action scenes don’t even work well in this title because of the subpar animation in Master of Martial Hearts. The quality and detail in the series looks more on par with a TV anime than an OAV and the action scenes weren’t too engaging or fluid as attacks from many female fighters tended to be themed for whatever fetish that the fighters stuck with and shortcuts with animation were quite notable. Also, don’t be too surprised if you see a change in the bust sizes of Aya and Natsume as they tend to switch quite frequently between being normal-sized and huge.
Master of Martial Hearts also takes a page from School Days’ book in trying to create an unexpected and shocking resolution in its final episode when Aya learns the truth surrounding the Platonic Heart tournament (which I won’t spoil here). While School Days made some sense with its shocking resolution with how hated much of its cast became from their actions, the revelations concerning the tournament for Master of Martial Hearts come across as poorly written and mean-spirited in comparison.
Samurai Shodown was based on the cult hit fighting video game series, Samurai Spirits, made by SNK in 1993 with the game being notable as one of the first fighting games that made use of weaponry as part of its combat system. A TV special that loosely adapted the game’s plot and characters was aired on Fuji TV the following year on September 8. The anime was licensed by ADV Films in the late 1990s releasing the movie on VHS and later on DVD in 2003, with both versions being out of print.
Haohmaru and six other warriors are chosen Holy Warriors tasked with preventing the unsealing of the power of the evil god Ambrosia. However, one of the warriors named Amakusa betrayed the other six by breaking the god’s seal to obtain Ambrosia’s power. He proceeds to kill the six in a confrontation yet fails to prevent their souls from escaping. One hundred years later, Amakusa is now the corrupt leader of Japan and seeks to wipe out humanity by freeing Ambrosia from his seal. Fortunately, the six Holy Warriors have been reincarnated and are prepared to fight their former comrade. However, Haohmaru has no memory of his past life as a Holy Warrior and the other five warriors find themselves having to try getting him to recall his former life before confronting Amakusa.
Notable Characters Haohmaru- One of the reincarnated Holy Warriors who has no memory of his former life. The cocky and energetic young swordsman had settled in a small Japanese village before it was wiped out by Amakusa’s forces. Consumed with rage, Haohmaru seeks to avenge the loss of his mother and other villagers, unaware that he is becoming a pawn in Amakusa’s plans.
Amakusa- A powerful sorcerer who was once one of the Holy Warriors. After being fatally wounded in a heated battle, Amakusa used the last of his strength to release the seal on Ambrosia’s power so he could be resurrected. However, this power corrupts his mind and consumes him to destroy the six other Holy Warriors and have the desire to wipe out humanity by releasing the evil god from his seal.
Why It Sucks Samurai Shodown is no different from many horrible anime adaptations of video game titles as the movie’s creators seemed more concerned with making a quick buck off the video game’s popularity than offering a quality anime title to watch.
The title’s Holy Warriors storyline is an anime-original one that has a nice number of glaring plot holes and logical lapses. Considering it took one hundred years in the storyline for the six killed warriors to be reborn and reunite, you would have to wonder why Amakusa didn’t bother wiping out humanity in that time or kill the warriors outright while they were much younger to keep them from being a threat.
Alongside its issues with its anime-original plot, Samurai Shodown carries all the typical flaws you would find in an anime adapted from a fighting video game series. Characters from the video game, regardless of their role, are added in having little depth compared to Haohmaru and Amakusa, seemingly being around just to please fans of the video game. Pacing is clearly rushed which greatly limits any depth one can get from the anime’s plot and characters for one to even care about them. Also, the anime borrows enough clichés from typical action anime such as sudden power upgrades, hammy and cocky villains and way too much emphasis on the main hero despite earlier plot mentions.
Even as an action title, Samurai Shodown fails to deliver good quality in its action scenes thanks to its below average animation. Lazy choreography, reused animation frames and the use of speed stripes in backgrounds are the norm with any action scene you can find in Samurai Shodown.
ADV even had its part to play in enhancing the horridness of Samurai Shodown when they changed Amakusa’s gender into a woman for their English dub, only adding more to the gender confusion folks had of the androgynous villain’s character.
M.D. Geist was a gory action OAV series animated by Studio Wave and Zero G-Room in 1986. Production on the OAV was a mess with much of the direction for the anime done by a then young and inexperienced director named Koichi Ohata and a disorganized animation team, which led to the anime’s producers to have to recruit the more experienced Hayato Ikeda for occasional consulting.
The anime was picked up for North American VHS distribution in the early 1990s by Central Park Media who used the main character of Geist as the logo for their anime label, U.S. Manga Corps. M.D. Geist winded up being one of the distributor’s best-selling titles at the time and decided to collaborate with Ikeda to release a Director’s Cut edition of the OAV which extended the anime by five minutes and cleaned up many of the animation and transition errors from the original release. Manga Corps also helped provide support for Ikeda in creating the title’s anime sequel, Death Forces, and a comic book adaptation called Ground Zero.
Manga Corps would later distribute a DVD release of both OAVs to M.D. Geist in 2002 up to when Central Park Media declared bankruptcy in early 2009. ADV Films winded up license rescuing both OAVs later in the year and releasing them to DVD on the same disc. Manga Entertainment has streaming rights to the anime as it can be viewed legally online via Hulu.
If you want a fun read about M.D. Geist, check out the title's Buried Garbage article from Anime News Network several years back from the site’s media director, Justin Sevakis, as he recalls his painful experience putting up with the huge love that his former boss, CPM founder John O’Donnell, had for the anime during his work for the distributor.
The Premise Geist was part of a group of superhuman soldiers called Most Dangerous Soldiers (MDS) created by the Regular Army to fight against the Nexrum Army in a bloody war on the planet Jerra. Unfortunately, the MDS units had no regard for whom they fought as they would attack both ally and foe. This led to the Regular Army to make countermeasures against the MDS units as they forced Geist into cryogenic sleep and launched him into space by satellite. Years later, the satellite crashes back onto the surface of Jerra and Geist is awakened from his sleep. After encountering a group of bandits, Geist is reunited with the Regular Army as he becomes tasked with trying to save the planet from a doomsday weapon called Death Force set to annihilate all life on Jerra.
Geist- The main protagonist of the series. A member of the MDS units with a strong love of battling who has no regard for whomever gets in his way.
Vaiya- A female member of the group of bandits that encounter Geist after he awakens from his cryogenic sleep. Greedy for money and admiring Geist for his strength, Vaiya makes several attempts at trying to bring the MDS to her side throughout the OAV to no avail.
Colonel Krutes- Leader of the Regular Army soldiers and Geist’s former superior whom Geist assists in the mission to stop Death Force.
Why It Sucks With the messy background on M.D. Geist’s production that I brought up above, it’s no wonder that it is well-known as one of anime’s infamous duds. The title has a nice number of sloppy transitions where changes between camera shots and scenes look badly edited. The animation quality isn’t much better as it has not aged too well and is noticeably low quality compared to other anime titles released in the mid-80s having a decent number of animation errors and resorting to enough animation shortcuts as the liberal use of speed stripes and still frames of characters meshed together are fairly common in the title.
The plot to M.D. Geist is very barebones, mostly just being an excuse for Geist’s gory fights against anything that comes his way. The series attempts a twist ending for its finale, but this lacks any kind of impact due to the lack of depth on elements of the title’s plot.
The characters in the series are not much better off either as they are quite one-dimensional in depth and have very little diversity in their personality. For the lead character of the series, Geist comes across as a stereotypical action movie hero, only having much less personality and too consumed with the desire of wanting to engage in battles for one to even care for the guy.
Seikon no Qwaser was an ecchi comedy/ fantasy/ adventure series animated by Hoods Entertainment that aired for 24 episodes from January 9 to June 19 of 2010. The anime is based on the ongoing shounen manga series written by Hiroyuki Yoshino and illustrated by Kenetsu Sato for Champion Red magazine. It was edited for TV broadcast during its original TV airing and was shown uncensored via webcast on AnimeOne. The anime is currently licensed for American video distribution and digital release by Sentai Filmworks.
At the private Eastern Orthodox school known as St. Mihailov Academy, high school student Mafuyu Oribe encounters a young Russian boy named Aleksander “Sasha” Nikolaevich Hell who possesses the unique ability to manipulate the element of iron. He is one of many superpowered beings called Qwasers who have the ability to manipulate a different element and rely on sucking on the breast milk of girls to replenish their powers. Sasha is in conflict with a group of powerful Qwasers called the Adepts who have sinister plans that revolve around the St. Mihailov campus.
Notable Characters Aleksander “Sasha” Nikolaevich Hell- A young Russian Qwaser with the ability to manipulate iron. He has journeyed to Japan to seek revenge on the Adepts who killed his former caretaker, Olja, as a child and struggles in bonding with others while living as a student at St. Mihailov.
Mafuyu Oribe- A St. Mihailov student who was the adopted daughter of the academy’s last dean and puts up with bullying from classmates. She becomes involved in Sasha’s fights against the Adepts throughout the series.
Ekaterina “Katja” Kurae- Another young Qwaser with the ability to manipulate copper through a large puppet she controls called “Mama”. A sharp-tongued girl who normally dresses in gothic lolita attire, takes on the guise of an innocent girl while around others in public and has interest in sadomasochistic acts which she normally performs on her willing partner, Hana Katsuragi.
Teresa Beria- A Serbian Orthodox nun who accompanies Sasha on his journey to Japan who normally serves as the boy’s source of replenishment for his Qwaser powers.
Tomo Yamanobe- The well-endowed, weak and naïve best friend and roommate of Mafuyu.
Why It Sucks Seikon no Qwaser was part of an ongoing trend of ecchi anime in 2010 that developed some kind of perverted fetish to hook in its horny otaku fanbase, this being the consumption of breast milk that serves as a Qwaser’s source of replenishment of their powers.
Large boobs, breast sucking and lactating are pretty much the norm in this series thanks to its premise, alongside other perverted content as essentially every character in this series is either a rapist, sadomasochist, sociopath, victim, someone who has it coming or someone who has no control over themselves. The anime tries to pass itself off as a serious title on many occasions throughout its run thanks to Sasha’s conflict with the Adepts and a number of the characters having tragic pasts. But because of its breast milk gimmick being a prominent part of the series, serious moments such as battle scenes and character development come across as creepy, awkward and uncomfortable thanks to the sight of breast sucking, nudity and other perverted antics you may come across during such moments.
Looking past Seikon no Qwaser’s perverted content, the anime is essentially nothing more than a clichéd plot with character archetypes you likely would have seen done to death from other conventional anime titles. The protagonists and school students seen throughout the series are a hodge-podge of characters you likely would have seen from high school comedy/ fan service titles like the sharp-tongued loli, the shy gal, the ojou, the ditz and the tomboy. The villains are nothing more than either mooks who inevitably will get killed off or self-centered baddies who think they are better than everyone else and desire world domination of some sort, no different from any baddie you find from a long-running shounen action anime or manga.
Ani-Crap Review #8- Isshoni Sleeping: Sleeping with Hinako
Isshoni Sleeping: Sleeping with Hinako is the second of a series of three OAV titles released by Primastea on February 11, 2010 that involve an otaku pandering premise revolving around its titular female character, Hinako.
Hinako is back to teach you, the viewer, how to sleep! Seriously, this is all there is for the premise. Notable Character Hinako- A former hikikomori who turns into a busty and attractive anime character. This motivates her into wanting to encourage otaku to get into shape. She loves exercising, bathing and sleeping; as well as dressing in lingerie and school gym outfits.
Why It Sucks Sleeping with Hinako is another of many anime titles made in the 2009-2010 period whose sole purpose of existence is only to pander to the otaku crowd.
This OAV is notable in the fact that you can actually program the DVD or Blu-Ray disc of it (if you actually have it instead of a fansub) to let you sleep for 6 or 8 hour intervals and adjust it accordingly depending on one’s sleeping habits. The disc then randomizes different animated footage from the disc accordingly to create the illusion of Hinako sleeping along with you and it would then wake you up via alarm once the amount of time set is up.
Sleeping with Hinako features the typical elements you would find in an otaku pandering work with Hinako being your cute, naïve and well-endowed gal who you regularly get to see enough boob and panty shots with throughout the title. With the gimmick offered through this OAV, there is hardly any type of plot to be found in it, outside of Hinako’s occasional interactions with the viewer. The anime quite often reuses animated frames to go along with the different shots that are randomized when set up for sleep.
If you did wind up getting the fansub for Sleeping with Hinako, then it makes watching the OAV more of a chore as much of the first half of it only features different shots of a sleeping Hinako that would be cycled through on disc releases of it, followed by the title’s “special events” and three different endings.
Gyo is an animated adaptation of the horror manga series created by Junji Ito for Big Comic Spirits magazine from 2001 to 2002. The anime adaptation is a 70-plus minute OVA adaptation animated by Ufotable and released on February 15, 2012. The series is licensed for American video distribution by Aniplex of America. The Premise
Okinawa becomes manifested with a stench of death coming from fish walking on mechanical legs that are leaving the ocean and headed into the cities. A young woman named Kaori tries to find out the whereabouts of her boyfriend Tadashi when the city of Tokyo gets hit by a swarm of the walking fish.
Kaori Sawahara- The female lead of the OVA who was on a trip with her two friends, Aki and Erika, in Okinawa before the walking fish pandemic occurs. She returns to Tokyo to find her boyfriend Tadashi, unaware of the havoc occurring in the city thanks to the walking fish.
Tsuyoshi Shirakawa- A cameraman/ reporter who accompanies Kaori around Tokyo as he investigates the walking fish pandemic.
Tadashi- Kaori’s boyfriend in Tokyo whom Kaori loses contact with when a swarm of walking fish hit the city.
Erika- One of Kaori’s friends. A promiscuous girl who likes using her body to get the attention of men.
Aki- The second of Kaori’s friends. An overweight girl insecure with her appearance and jealous of the attention that Kaori and Erika get from guys.
Why It Sucks Gyo is comparable to bad American horror films in the fact that both rely on grotesque violence and content to shock its viewers at the expense of quality plotting and setting up genuinely suspenseful moments to horrify viewers.
While a well-animated work compliments of Ufotable, Gyo only cobbles by with its plot thanks to the grotesque moments involving the walking fish and the effects that the mysterious stench they emit have on humans. The violent ways in which people get killed off and what happens with the corpses have no real purpose at all in Gyo’s story besides trying to gross out its audience. The OVA doesn’t even bother to explore what the cause of the walking fish are until late in the second half. Even then, it still felt cobbled together due to the lack of foreshadowing over the nature of the fish and the stench they emit.
Adding to the absurdity of Gyo’s plotting, the OVA tosses in failed moments of twisted black humor towards the ending of the series featuring Tadashi’s father and a circus full of twisted performers. The failure with these moments is that they are quite out of place with the horror that Gyo was trying to build up on with its grotesque developments involving Japan’s human populace
The characters in Gyo are not much better off either as they are hardly fleshed-out and are limited in personality to a great extent, limiting how much one can feel for their problems. This means one could care less about Kaori’s problems finding her boyfriend as she is regularly seen worried and angsting over his well-being throughout the rest of the OVA when she arrives in Tokyo.
Speaking of characters, Erika and Aki are perhaps the worst characters within the OVA, considering the former is pretty much a slut making use of her looks to have her way with men (with one instance of her having a threesome with two guys) and the latter being so insecure of her looks that she bad mouths both her so-called friends when left all alone to deal with the mentioned threesome by Kaori. Besides making you wonder how Kaori could be friends with such horrible characters, Erika and Aki are a waste of screen time in the movie as they contribute nothing to advance the movie’s plot and are only around to showcase how they either get killed off or get affected by the walking fish.
Garzey’s Wing was a three-episode OVA series directed by acclaimed director of the Gundam franchise, Yoshiyuki Tomino, and animated by JC Staff. The series was released in in 1996 and 1997. Central Park Media would pick up licensing rights to Garzey’s Wing and release it on VHS and DVD in in 2000 and later issue a re-release of the series on DVD in 2005. While Central Park Media has been out of business for years now, Garzey’s Wing is still available in stock on major retail sites like Amazon and Rightstuf.
Chris Chiaki is a college ronin who has half of his soul transferred to the parallel world of Byston Well. Here, Chris gains the power of Garzey’s Wing, magical wings that grant him the ability to fly and run quickly. In Byston Well, Chris is chosen to lead a rebellion of slaves from the Metomeus tribe for their freedom against the Ashigaba armies from the city of Izumido.
Chris Chiaki- A college ronin who has half of his soul whisked to the world of Byston Well. With the other half of Chris’ body still on Earth, both are able to communicate telepathically with one another between worlds via the necklace they both have around their necks and share knowledge and pain that the other half experiences between the worlds they are in.
Falan Fa- A fairy who accompanies Chris on his struggles in Byston Well and provides him with advice as he adjusts to his surroundings.
Hassan- A Metomeus priestess who was responsible for summoning Chris to Byston Well.
Leelince- A female warrior among the Metomeus who serves as another leader of the tribe and is jealous of the relationship between Chris and Hassan.
Rumiko- Chris’ close friend on Earth who helps support him while the other half of his soul is in Byston Well.
Why It Sucks Garzey’s Wing is one of anime’s most infamous messes in terms of properly laying out a cohesive plot and fleshing out its relevant elements, and for good reason.
The first five minutes of this dud sloppily set up the premise for the series at a breakneck pace and it is quite difficult to follow what goes on within that time. At first, this had me under the impression that Garzey’s Wing was some sort of compilation OVA for any ongoing source material made at the time like a manga or novel, until I researched and realized this was, regrettably, an original work which showed Yoshiyuki Tomino at his worst with directing.
Even when the pace of the OVA settles down afterward, it still flows by at a very fast pace, enough where there is little time for any fleshing out of the title’s major elements and characters thanks to more focus being on the advancement of the plot. Garzey’s Wing is so ignorant of having time to flesh out its premise that it makes major elements of its premise such as the link between both of the Chris’s incoherent and jarring to follow thanks to the lack of time the series devotes in fleshing itself out. This was a series that would have been better executed if made into a TV anime, considering it was attempting to set itself up as an epic-scale medieval/ fantasy action anime in the style of 90s titles like Record of Lodoss War and Berserk.
The English dub to Garzey’s Wing is also worth mention in enhancing how horrifically bad it is. The script used for the dub was a literal translation of the original Japanese script to the point where it made a good number of the spoken lines from English voice actors sound awkward, unnatural and at times, laughable. Also, there was clearly little effort put by the voice actors in expressing their characters as they hardly emoted and delivered their lines rather flatly.
Upotte!! is a 10-episode action-comedy ONA series animated by Xebec and had episodes released from April 8 to June 9 of this year. The series is an adaptation of the ongoing manga series written by Kitsune Tennouji for Young Ace, Shonen Ace and 4-Koma Nano Ace magazines since 2009. The series is for American home video release by Sentai Filmworks.
A young teacher takes a job at Seishou Academy where he is the only human amongst anthropomorphized guns in human form. The students at the school are trained into becoming useful weapons and divided up into different classes depending on how they were made such as submachine guns (elementary school), assault rifles (middle school) and battle/ sniper rifles (high school). The new teacher finds himself being the homeroom teacher for a class of assault rifles and becoming acquainted with an assault rifle named Funco and her group of friends. Notable Characters
Funco- The main heroine of the series in the form of a small, energetic girl who supplies the punch lines for her friends when they play dumb. Being a Belgian FN FNC assault rifle, she does wear a thong due to having a skeleton stock and will often lash out angrily at the slightest mention of it from her teacher.
Ichiroku- The energetic best friend of Funco who is foul mouthed, yet kind, and talks with an Osaka dialect. She normally models for gun magazines and requires frequent maintenance due to the delicate build of the rifle she is based on, the American M16A4 assault rifle.
Elle- A shy and clumsy girl among Funco’s group of friends who is Ichirou’s roommate at Seishou. She is seen as unreliable and is a British L85A1 assault rifle.
Sig- The honor student among Funco’s group of friends. An excellent marksman at mid-to-long range and capable of surviving in frozen temperatures, Sig is a Swiss SG 550 assault rifle.
Modern Literature Teacher- The unnamed new teacher at Seishou who becomes the homeroom teacher of Funco’s class. While he does care for Funco, his misunderstandings about the girl’s nature often lead him to get fired upon by Funco.
What Works For a series clearly geared for the otaku crowd, the premise for Upotte is an original one if one is able to look past the seemingly creepy implications of the “gun girl” gimmick. The quirks among some of the girls are influenced by the real-life firearms that they are an anthropomorphized form of and a number of the show’s comedic gags and innuendo jokes are gags that could be followed by anyone with heavy knowledge of firearms. The anime often takes some time to go into depth on elaborating on the history and specs of many of the firearms introduced throughout the series.
Also for an otaku pandering show, many of Upotte’s elements were tolerable for the most part for me to watch through. Many of the characters don’t get overly obnoxious with their personality quirks and the ecchi content to the series is tame for the most part compared to gross-out and excess ecchi titles like Seikon no Qwaser or Kiss x Sis as much of Upotte’s content is mostly panty shots, bath scenes, clothes changing and the occasional innuendo joke. What Sucks Looking past Upotte’s “gun girl” gimmick, the series is still mostly a pretty typical high school gal pals comedy in the vain of recent titles like A Channel and Tamayura: Hitotse. Many of the girls follow the typical character archetypes you can find of such titles, which would be a major turn off of folks tiring of the excess number of titles using this setup.
Later episodes of the series also have their occasional moments of slipping up with their quality. A later 3-episode arc of the series introduces the character Sako, whose typical psychotic personality and some of her creepy actions (like masturbating during a gunfight) were quite the turn-off for me. The anime also tosses in a few characters seemingly to only be comic relief with their girl crushes on major members of the anime cast and mess with the viewer’s perceptions on their sexuality, a gag which has already been done to death enough in past moe slice-of-life comedies.
The weakest of the series for me came in Upotte’s final two episodes when it tries to make itself more serious when the Seishou gun girls get in a conflict with another group of gun girls. Other than this mood change being way out of place with the mood setup in the show’s earlier episodes, the enemy faction gets very little depth, the conflict was clearly rushed through, there is a cop-out resolution to a major event that occurs during the conflict and it gets left open-ended. Overall I just don’t see where folks consider Upotte to be horrifically bad. While the anime is still otaku bait, much of its ecchi content is rather light and its sloppy moments of writing are nowhere as horrifically bad as past duds I’ve seen like Garzey’s Wing and Harlock Saga. Looking past its “gun girl” gimmick, Upotte is just an average and clichéd title that I imagine would become forgettable for many folks in the next couple years since it doesn’t have much else that sticks out beyond its gimmick.
Vampire Wars was a 50-minute OVA series animated by Toei Animation in 1990. The anime was licensed in America by Manga Entertainment in the late 1990s, who released it on VHS in 1998 and later on DVD in 2002. Both releases are currently out of print.
A brutal attack on a NASA base in an Arizonan desert by vampires gets the attention of a French freelance agent named Kozaburo Kuki, who thinks the incident may be connected to the corpse of a CIA agent seen floating along the Seine River in Paris. Discovering that an actress named Lamia Vindaw is being targeted by these vampires, Kuki commits himself to the protection of Lamia as he tries learning more about the vampires and their reasons for attacking the NASA base.
Kozaburo Kuki- A French freelance agent who is investigating strange happenings connected to a group of vampires and finds himself getting entangled in a complicated plot involving the vampires and government agents who are all after Lamia.
Lamia Vindaw- A popular actress who discovers that she isn’t human after having medical tests performed on her and comes under the protection of Kuki when she is targeted by vampires and government groups.
Mirusha- The leader of a group of vampires trying to abduct Lamia for mysterious reasons.
Why It Sucks Vampire Wars is another example of bad 90s OVA titles made in Japan. The anime has some pretty bad writing in properly laying out its plot and characters.
In the case of characters, just about everyone you meet tends to stick with flat one-dimensional archetypes. Characters barely have much in the way of personality (especially in the case of our deadpan hero Kuki) and any depth they are given is sloppily laid on in whatever scene they are introduced. Scenes where Kuki is supposed to portray himself as heroic, despite the violent, merciless ways in which he dispatches thugs and implied to sleep with prostitutes, is quite laughable and a poor attempt at trying to have the audience sympathize with his shallow character.
The execution of the plot is just as laughable as the pacing to Vampire Wars makes events breeze through quickly and major revelations come across more as sloppy and happening too conveniently. The movie gets in the horrible habit of having events with Kuki happen way too conveniently. For example, Lamia’s mother not only gives biological details on her daughter’s condition to Kuki despite supposedly only being Lamia’s talent agent, but also happens to own and be capable of piloting a helicopter that Kuki uses to fly in and raid an enemy hideout when Lamia gets abducted later in the OVA.
The visuals to Vampire Wars haven’t aged too well as the seemingly realistic style of drawing used for character designs look rather ugly and flat. Also for an OVA series, the animation to Vampire Wars borders from subpar to terrible as a number of action scenes feature stilted and unnatural movements from characters thanks to the title’s low frame rate. It seems too obvious that Toei was working with a limited budget when they animated this.
The English dub to Vampire Wars also does its part to enhance how laughably bad the series is. Made at the Manga Entertainment branch in the UK, the dub for Vampire Wars features some voice actors making poor attempts at delivering French accents and tossing in graphic language not found in many parts of the original Japanese script to the series as Manga was purposely trying to bump up the age rating to appeal to older audiences and make the anime seem more edgy.
Yosuga no Sora was an animated adaptation of the eroge visual novel game created by Sphere and released on December 5, 2008. The anime was animated by studio feel and aired on AT-X in Japan from October 4 to December 20 of 2010. The series is now licensed for home video distribution by Media Blasters, who are releasing the series under the name In Solitude Where We Are Least Alone.
Fraternal twin siblings Haruka and Sora Kasugano move to the countryside residence of their grandparents following the deaths of their parents from a car accident. Sora is greatly dependent on Haruka for emotional support and personal needs due to being ill and frail since she was born. In this move, Haruka finds himself becoming romantically involved with one of several girls he becomes acquainted with in his return to the countryside. Notable Characters
Haruka Kasugano- A thin, kind-hearted boy who is capable of making friends with others easily and cares for his sister’s well-being while the two live together alone at their grandparents’ residence. Becomes romantically involved with one of several girls throughout different arcs in the series.
Sora Kasugano- Haruka’s twin sister who is emotionally reserved and has been ill and frail since birth. She has a troublesome personality as she constantly desires Haruka’s attention and normally carries around a stuffed rabbit given to her by her dead mother.
Nao Yorihime- Next-door neighbor of the Kasuganos and Haruka’s childhood friend. She and Haruka harbor an intimate relationship with one another, enough so where they had sex with one another before Haruka moved. While she tries to rekindle a relationship with Haruka when he returns to the countryside, Nao does find herself facing hostility from Sora, who fears that Nao is taking Haruka away from her.
Kazuha Migiwa- The daughter of an influential Japanese magnate burdened with having to hide the fact her father had an illicit affair with another woman that led to the birth of an illegitimate daughter among her group of friends.
Akira Amatsume- The illegitimate sister of Kazuha who uses her energetic, cheerful and innocent personality as a front to cover up her insecurities and worries on the matter. She practices performing as her town’s resident miko and spends a lot of time helping out the elderly.
Motoka Nogisaka- A college student/ maid appearing in the show’s bonus omake at the end of each episode looking into her everyday life with financial struggles, drunken escapades and falling in love with Haruka.
Why It Sucks Yosuga no Sora’s premise is pretty much one big excuse for male lead Haruka to become romantically involved with a different gal in each arc of the show and inevitably screw them once any drama within said arc is resolved.
The series is divided up into several arcs featuring Haruka’s romantic involvement with a different girl, having some sort of dramatic development affecting the relationship, engaging in softcore sex with the girl once the drama is resolved and have events be reset to a point where they lapse into a different development involving another of the girls in the series. This style of storytelling screams laziness with writing to feature different “what if” scenarios of whatever girls Haruka gets to nail.
The storylines and characters of each girl in the show are nothing to get too thrilled over as they are basically rehashed character archetypes or storyline scenarios you likely would see done to death with conventional ecchi/ romance anime/ manga titles or other eroge games. Because of the limited episode length of each arc, characters are never given much opportunity for depth or natural growth, which make the seemingly speedy progression of relationships with Haruka and the “girl of the arc” look very unnatural.
Not to mention that the softcore sex scenes involving Haruka and the “girl of the arc”, including a few occasions of masturbation with a couple gals, are likely to turn off or offend anyone not among the title’s intended horny otaku fanbase.
Yosuga no Sora’s most infamous element comes in the form of its final arc involving Haruka getting into an incestuous fling with his sister, Sora. Supposedly portraying itself as a “mature incest love story”, the arc is no different from past anime titles that don’t seriously explore the taboo as honestly and tastefully as Koi Kaze. Yosuga no Sora combines the typical flaws you would find with the portrayal of incest relationships in anime as Haruka and Sora’s relationship suffers from melodramatic trappings and is a cheap excuse to feature shocking and perverted content throughout its run.
Mad Bull 34 was a four-episode crime action OVA that was released from December 21, 1990 to August 21, 1992. It was based on a manga series written by Lone Wolf and Cub creator Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Noriyoshi Inoue for the seinen magazine, Weekly Young Jump, from 1986 to 1990. The series was animated by Magic Bus, who outsourced much of the animated work for Mad Bull 34 to be handled by studios in China and Korea.
Mad Bull 34 was released dubbed on VHS in the 1990s by Manga Entertainment, who lost their licensing rights to the series years later. Discotek acquired licensing rights to the series in 2012 and released it on DVD with both the original Japanese audio and Manga Entertainment’s English dub on February 26, 2013. The Plot
Daizaburo Ban is the newest recruit in the New York Police Force’s toughest precinct, the thirty-fourth. He becomes the partner of John “Sleepy” Estes, a cop with no regard for the rules as he violently dispatches criminals (even for minor crimes) and runs his own prostitution ring. While Daizaburo hates the reckless conduct of his partner, he comes to learn of Sleepy’s good side as the money earned from his prostitution ring is used to benefit a home for victims of rape and battered homes, as well as a clinic curing STDs. The two team up to tackle the crime-infested streets of their precinct.
John Estes- Known as “Sleepy” by his friends and “Mad Bull” by his enemies, John is a giant of a cop known for going above the law in his fight against crime in the 34th precinct with his violent execution of criminals and running a prostitution ring. Despite this, he has good intentions with his actions as his “creative” methods of fighting crime help to greatly reduce criminal activity in his precinct.
Daizaburo Ban- Nicknamed “Eddie”, Daizaburo is a Japanese American who is the newest recruit to the 34th precinct and becomes Sleepy’s partner. While at first disgusted with Sleepy’s lack of regard for police protocol, seeing his partner’s good intentions lead Eddie to warm to Sleepy’s methods of fighting crime.
Perrine Valley- A lieutenant for the precinct introduced in the title’s second episode who helps Eddie and Sleepy with their missions. Becomes a love interest to Eddie.
Why It Sucks Mad Bull 34 is rather infamous among anime fans for its graphic content and unflattering depiction of 1980s era New York City.
Criminals killed off throughout the series are all offed in some over-the-top graphic detail as gun shots are shown to blow off limbs and make heads explode. It is also rather misogynist as nearly every woman in the series is either a prostitute or winds up being a victim of rape.
The creators of the OVA also didn’t seem to be well versed in knowing of life in New York City or didn’t seem to care at all. The criminals seen throughout Mad Bull 34 are rather bizarre and over-the-top or strongly stereotypical. Examples of criminals you can expect in the series include a cyborg Mafia boss; two armed robbers decked in Jason masks, tight jean shorts and roller skates; and a gang of Chinese assassins prone to committing kamikaze attacks on their targets.
The show’s efforts to paint Sleepy as some sort of Dirty Harry-esque character are also rather ridiculous. The guy pulls off stuff that Harry Callahan wouldn’t dare to pull in his movies as Sleepy is regularly seen screwing the prostitutes of his ring and commits enough ridiculous acts such as blowing up a gang of Mafia thugs with grenades attached to his pubic hairs and instructing Eddie to comfort a traumatized female victim by literally sticking a finger up her ass. Worst of all, Sleepy never gets any kind of repercussions for his actions as being presented photo evidence of his actions isn’t enough for his seemingly inept superiors to punish him in any way.
Manga’s English dub for Mad Bull 34 is also worth mention for the title’s infamy. Dubbed at the company’s UK branch, the voice actors are quite inconsistent in the delivery of their lines as they go in and out of delivering horrible New Yorker accents and usually get quite deadpan in the speaking of lines. Not to mention that you can expect regular use of graphic language that wasn’t found in the original Japanese version of the series, another instance of Manga trying to make a horrible anime more edgy to Western audiences with regular use of cuss words.
OniAi (also known as Onii-chan Dakedo Ai sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!) was a 12-episode ecchi/ harem comedy TV anime series that aired from October 5 to December 21 of 2011. It is based on an ongoing light novel series written by Daisuke Suzuki and illustrated by Gekka Uru, which has been published since December 31, 2010. Funimation currently has American streaming and home video rights to the series.
After six years of separation, twin siblings Akito and Akiko Himenokoji reunite and live together in the dormitories of Saint Liliana High School. Akiko has developed an incestuous interest in her brother due to their time apart and wishes to act upon those feelings on him. However, she finds this difficult as the siblings share their dormitory with three other girls who each have differing forms of romantic interest in Akito.
Akito Himenokoji- The male lead of the series. He wishes to live his life normally, yet finds himself being hassled by the girls living with him in the dormitory. Akito secretly writes erotic novels to earn income that involve brother-sister incest under the pen name Koichiro Shindo, who is ironically his sister’s favorite author.
Akiko Himenokoji- Akito’s twin sister who has a serious case of brother complex in wanting to seduce her brother and isn’t afraid to make her feelings known of him to others, even in public.
Anatasia Nasuhara- A half-American, half-Russian girl who is wealthy thanks to being the daughter of a worldwide industry owner. She’s a sharp-tongued girl with a cold personality and has the habit of asking strange and sometimes crass questions. While being well-rounded in knowledge, she is horrible with doing house chores due to her upbringing and has an interest in cute things, keeping a large number of plush animals in her room.
Ginbei Haruomi Sawatari- Akito’s childhood friend with an androgynous appearance and masculine personality that lead others to mistake her for a boy. Because of coming from a merchant family, she was raised as a boy and forbidden from finding a job as she is living through her family’s income. Often gets into the habit of mumbling over Akito’s ignorance of her feelings for him.
Arashi Nikaido- A third-year student with heterochromia who is often seen wearing an eye patch on her right eye. She is a bisexual who acts sexually aggressive towards anyone who interests her, particularly Akito whom she wants to make into her underground lover or sex slave.
Alisa Takanomiya- A 12-year old girl whose family adopted Akito and became his fiancée. She moves into the dormitory with Akito and the other girls in the second half of the show to become the dorm’s caretaker.
Kaoruko Jinno- Personal editor of Akito when writing as Koichiro Shindo. Because of the subject matter in his erotic novels, she fears that Akito is in an incestuous relationship with Akiko.
Why It Sucks OniAi is an ecchi title that milks the typical elements you would find from the genre and harem comedy titles. Our male lead Akito mostly serves as a doormat to the antics that he has to put up with from his unwanted harem, with the girls mostly having stock archetypes for their characters that you would likely see at one point or another from other ecchi or high school themed anime.
While the ecchi behavior in OniAi is not of the gross-out variety, it still can push things quite a bit at points with its content having crass humor, innuendo, suggestive predicaments and fan service shots of the female cast. Outside of the incest element being milked for the title’s ecchi antics with Akiko, things do get a bit uncomfortable in some of OniAi’s later episodes when Alisa’s character becomes part of the household and is milked for some of the title’s ecchi scenes.
Outside of the anime’s failed efforts to milk comedy off the antics of Akito’s unwanted harem, OniAi is mostly a dull affair as there isn’t an ongoing plot to follow and the characters don’t have much in the way of dimension or depth to them beyond whatever archetypes they are following.
Mouse was a 12-episode adventure/ harem comedy anime aired on Japanese TV from January 5 to March 23 of 2003, with each episode airing for 15 minutes a piece. The anime was animated by Studio Deen and based on the manga series written by Satoru Akahori and illustrated by Hiroshi Itaba for the seinen magazine, Young Animal, from April 28, 2000 to October 29, 2004. A rather interesting fact about Mouse is that the series actually aired on a children’s channel called Kids Station during the time of its broadcast in Japan.
The series is currently licensed in America by Media Blasters under their Anime Works distribution line, with the series still in print by the company.
A young college art teacher named Sorata Muon takes on the secret identity of Mouse, a professional thief whose exploits have been passed down through his family for 400 years. Assisted by his three highly devoted and attractive assistants, Mouse is able to successfully elude capture by authorities and steal whatever valuables he declares he will steal, no matter how secure and protected they are. Notable Characters
Sorata Muon- A popular college art teacher who follows his family’s centuries long tradition of being the thief, Mouse, and is normally in toll with his three attractive assistants.
Mei Momozono- A busty computer and physics expert and the first of Sorata’s assistants to be acquainted with him. Appears to be a shotacon as she got turned on meeting with Sorata when they first met when he was in his teens and she being older than him.
Yayoi Kuribayashi- A busty biology expert who had a fear of men before meeting up with Sorata to become one of his assistants. Has the most sexually driven personality of Sorata’s assistants.
Kakio Hazuki- An expert martial artist suffering from multiple personality disorder who is the third of Sorata’s assistants. Has a cosplay fetish and the unusual habit of appearing in strange places like the bathroom or a washing machine.
Why It Sucks The major low point of Mouse comes in the form of the three assistants that assist Sorata with his thefts. Clearly being the selling points of the series, their roles are seemingly only being sluts content to serving Sorata and wishing to have their way with him with their suggestive attires and behavior, as well as the prominent large busts found with Mei and Yayoi. While their sexual advances on Sorata are not frequent in Mouse, the three girls still aren’t too appealing on the eyes thanks to the title’s subpar animation as their details look rather crude and rough.
Beyond the assistants, Mouse is focused on a number of storylines throughout its run that involve Sorata’s various thefts, how he met his assistants and crossing paths with an enemy syndicate wishing to kill him and his assistants off for their thievery. While there’s enough substance in the series for some semblance of a plot, all the show’s characters are stuck with whatever character archetype they are tacked on with and don’t do much of anything to grow out of it. The thievery of Mouse and his crew isn’t even too interesting of a plot element to be hooked on as the plans for his thefts are too ridiculous to take seriously, with a couple instances where he literally steals entire buildings.
Angel Cop was a six-episode OVA cyberpunk series animated and released by Soeishinsha from September 1, 1989 to May 20, 1994. The series was released on VHS in the 1990s by Manga Entertainment and later released to DVD in 2000. Both formats of the series are now out of print. Alongside Mad Bull 34, Angel Cop is notable for being among a trilogy of horrifically bad Manga Entertainment releases dubbed the “Holy Trinity of Suck”.
In an alternate universe of 1990s Japan, the country is the world’s economic power with a communist terrorist group called the Red May trying to take down and take over the government. In response to this threat, the Japanese government has formed an agency called the Special Security Force, who have the authority to operate outside the law. However, the Special Security Force comes to discover that a second group is also hunting down the terrorists.
Angel- The main protagonist of the series. A Special Security Force member who believes in completion of the mission over the lives of others.
Sakada Raiden- Angel’s partner in the Special Security Force. After being seriously injured in a mission against Red May, Raiden volunteers to become a cyborg with abilities that allow him to fight on par with the psychic Lucifer.
Ichihara- The mad scientist responsible for giving Raiden his new cybernetic body later in the series.
Lucifer- The main antagonist of the series who is one of three powerful psychics called Hunters tasked with hunting members of the Red May. However, she has more fanatical motives in the goal as she kills anyone she perceives as aiding the terrorists, including members of the Special Security Force.
Asura- Another one of the Hunters who later partners up with the Special Security Force against Lucifer upon realizing her radical motives.
Why It Sucks Angel Cop attempts to create a cyberpunk anime out of events that took place during the late 1980s and early 1990s for Japan with its focused themes on communism, political corruption and Japan’s bubble economy. Unfortunately, the series never bothers to go into much depth with these major themes for its plot as it is more focused on showing off its gritty mood, graphic violence and mostly unsympathetic cast.
The anime never bothers to go into depth about the motivations concerning the multiple factions of the series and why one should care for their beliefs, instead portraying a sense of jingoism with Japan being the sole superpower in the world that others wish to attack for no particular reason. Angel Cop is quite infamous for its later plot twist being quite anti-Semitic when it is revealed Jews are responsible for influencing the problems plaguing Japan. Fortunately, Manga Entertainment did have the courtesy of altering this plot element in their English dub and subtitles, replacing it with the influence being an American corporation.
Angel Cop does sport a good amount of graphic violence with characters shown to be killed in horrible and gory ways. In one notable instance, you get to see a female terrorist being shot in the head, which explodes in gory fashion to show off brain matter and an eyeball flying out.
The characters in the series don’t help matters in the title’s quality as many of them lack depth and/ or are rather unsympathetic. For instance, our female lead Angel is willing to kill off a terrorist and his child hostage in one scene, placing her mission over the lives of civilians.
The visuals to Angel Cop also have their faults in terms of quality and the way its settings and characters are shown. Some of the character designs (particularly Lucifer and Asura) and settings (a music bar with a glam rock band) were meant to depict popular trends of the 80s, yet were hilariously outdated as Angel Cop was animated into the 90s as these trends died out. Also, the animation quality of the series tended to be quite inconsistent throughout its run, having its well animated spots and awful moments in various scenes.
Like a good number of Manga’s early dubs, Angel Cop is peppered with profane language not found in the original Japanese version of the series and has a laughably bad English dub with flat emotional delivery and some unintentionally funny lines in the dub’s script.
Iron Man is the first of four anime titles animated by Madhouse that adapted a popular superhero franchise from Marvel Comics. The series originally aired in Japan for 12 episodes from October 1 to December 17 of 2010. It was licensed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, who aired an English dubbed version of the series on G4 starting in July 2011 and was released on DVD in 2012.
Tony Stark arrives in Japan with the purpose of building an Arc Station that will provide clean energy to the populace and claims to have retired as Iron Man as he is working on a mass-produced version of his armor called Iron Man Dios that will serve in efforts to curb any global threats. However, his efforts are sabotaged by a secret terrorist organization called Zodiac, who steal the Dios armor and plot to hijack the Arc Station for their own nefarious purposes. Tony resumes his guise as Iron Man in order to combat the robotic threats of Zodiac and figure out the organization’s motives. Notable Characters
Tony Stark/ Iron Man- A multibillionaire who runs a weapons manufacturing company called Stark Industries and created the Iron Man armor, with the suit giving him superhuman attributes, flight, adaptability to hostile environments and access to various beam weapons. As atonement for his weapons having contributed to various acts of war and terrorism, Tony swore to use his company’s resources to better humanity and combat global threats.
Chika Tanaka- A Japanese scientist who assists Tony in his Arc Station developments and dealings with Zodiac.
Nanami Ota- A reporter who keeps trying to grill Tony for interviews during his stay in Japan.
Kuroda- The Japanese government’s Minister of Defense who serves as Tony’s support as he adapts to life in Japan and quelling any criticism of his actions in the country.
Nagato Sakurai- A member of Japan’s SDF who usually comes to Tony’s aid in later episodes by making use of a battle armor called the Ramon Zero.
Ho Yinsen- A Vietnamese scientist who helped Tony in changing his beliefs on life when both were captured by terrorists to make weapons. Thought to have been killed during their escape, Tony is shocked to discover that Yinsen had survived and now serves as a member of Zodiac donning the stolen Iron Man Dios armor.
What Works Madhouse clearly put effort into the animation used within Iron Man and it shows with the visual presentation being above average for a TV anime. The scenery of the Tokyo landscape is vast with plenty of detail and vibrant colors shown with buildings and different locales. Character designs appeared to be going for a more Western style with facial designs looking more realistic in their proportions and details compared to more conventional approaches, with a good amount of detail depicted in their designs as well. CG animation was used in the rendering of Iron Man and other robots/ battle armors seen throughout the series which look slick, detailed and fit almost seamlessly with the anime’s regular animation. Battle scenes are well animated with movements looking fluid and intense, taking place on the ground, the air and even an episode occurring in space.
With the series seeming to be made in mind for those who seen the 2008 live-action American movie or read the comics, fans will likely pick up on the subtle nods made to events and characters from both sources. And for those who haven’t seen neither source, there is an episode in the anime that focuses on exploring Tony’s origins as Iron Man and what led him to adapt his mentality to use his wealth for the better of humanity.
What Sucks The main plot to Iron Man is a standard one that has been done enough times in conventional anime titles where the hero (Iron Man) is up against an evil organization seeking world domination (Zodiac). The series adapts an “enemy of the day” style plot for each of its episodes where Tony goes up against a different enemy threat from Zodiac for much of the show. In addition, the motives of the organization and the leader of Zodiac are rather predictable as the series presses on, killing much of the surprise the anime wanted to build up. While these elements are not so bad, they feel no different from the typical premises you can find in more popular anime titles and make the show’s plot feel kind of bland.
The weakest material coming from Iron Man comes in the motives of characters involved with Zodiac. Some of the enemies in the anime’s “enemy of the day” setup are human threats whose motives for joining the organization are poorly written and just an excuse to have them go up against Tony. This is especially a problem with Yinsen’s character as the anime effectively retconned his fate, just to create a weak twist in its plot when his actions and reasoning for involvement in Zodiac are contradictory to the type of character he was in the movie and comics.
Overall While its plot is clichéd and rather forgettable, Iron Man is far from being a dud in my personal opinion. Action anime and Iron Man fans could clamor to the series for its well-animated battle scenes or just be giddy to see Tony Stark made into an anime character. Plus, the anime still has some respectability for its source material in depicting Tony’s character and origins, despite how Yinsen is depicted. However unless you come into this series looking forward to the fights or seeing Tony being Tony, Iron Man isn’t pulling anything groundbreaking with its plot and you will likely be disappointed with what it portrays.
Astarotte’s Toy was a 12-episode ecchi/ harem comedy TV anime that aired from April 10 to June 26 of 2011. The anime is based on an ongoing manga series written by Yui Haga for the seinen magazine, Dengeki Maoh. Episodes of the series are legally available for streaming via Crunchyroll.
Astarotte Ygvar is a 10-year old princess in the kingdom of Ygvarland within the magical world of Alfheimr. Born a succubus, Astarotte is expected to begin organizing a male harem as she comes of age and needing the “life-seed”, otherwise known as semen, of men in order to sustain herself. The princess, however, has a hatred of men and only agrees to organize a harem if the first male she adds is a human, as those in her realm believe humans to be extinct. However, her followers encounter a human male named Naoya Tohara who, along with his daughter Asuha, is brought to Alfheimr to be part of Astarotte’s harem.
Astarotte Ygvar- Known as Lotte by those close to her, Astarotte is the 10-year old succubi princess of the kingdom of Alfheimr. She developed a hatred of men because of the large amount of time her mother spent with her harem. However, this hatred slowly goes away as she starts falling for Naoya as she spends more time with him.
Naoya Tohara- A 23-year old human brought to Ygvarland to be the first addition to Astarotte’s harem. He comes to bond with the princess, realizing she needs more emotional support than any male relationships.
Asuha Tohara- Naoya’s energetic and outgoing 10-year old daughter. She has the habit of running around without any underwear, much to her father’s dismay.
Judit Snorrevik- Astarotte’s head of staff responsible for bringing Naoya to Ygvarland. She is normally sought out by Naoya for advice regarding kingdom affairs and is implied to be a pervert as she has a personal room of various S&M items.
Olav Friomar- Astarotte’s overly-emotional butler.
Elfleda Mirjasdottir- Also known as Effie, she is a well-endowed maid coming from a demon race with traits similar to cows, who is capable of producing high-quality milk through her large chest.
Ingrid Sorveig Sorgrims- Nicknamed Ini, Ingrid is Ygvarland’s most intelligent being, having access to nearly any type of knowledge imaginable within the world. Having lived a very secluded life, her later encounters with Naoya and Asuha lead her to develop a crush on the former.
Mercelida Ygvar I- Astarotte’s mother and the current queen of Ygvarland. A well-endowed and promiscuous woman, Mercelida has a harem containing over 3,000 men of differing races that she uses as a private army. Unknown to many, she is the biological mother of Asuha as she had intercourse with Naoya 10 years earlier during a visit to the human world.
Siguro Sveinnsson Svarthaeo- The second prince of the kingdom of Svarthaeo known for his perversion. He falls in love with Astarotte at first sight and desires her hand in marriage, while declaring Naoya a rival-in-love for her affections.
Why It Sucks Astarotte’s Toy is a series that seemed unsure if it wanted to be a lolicon/ ecchi romp fest or a comedy-drama focused on the developments of Lotte’s character as she spent time with Naoya. Both elements fail at being appealing due to the former appealing to the lowest common denominator of Japan’s otaku fanbase and the latter being riddled with enough clichés you would see from enough similar titles that it lacks any type of freshness.
The ecchi content for Astarotte’s Toy is not as dirty as you would think for the premise for this series. It plays up the old nice guy/ tsundere character dynamic used in past romantic comedies in its focus on Naoya and Lotte’s relationship, with the latter being yet another Rie Kugemiya-style tsundere. To those unfamiliar with what I mean, Rie Kugemiya is the seiyuu for Lotte in this series who has acquired a rep for portraying a number of tsundere characters in her works such as Shana, Taiga and Nagi. The tsundere that Rie typically portray are teenage girls with a childlike appearance having long hair, flat chests and an aggressive “tsun tsun” type personality for their character.
For the character dynamic in this series, it looked like Astarotte’s Toy was ripping off Hayate the Combat Butler with the male lead (Naoya) being man servant to the demands of the rich and spoiled tsundere (Lotte). But while Hayate the Combat Butler had its effective comedic delivery to make the premise work with Nagi and Hayate at least being a few years apart in age, Astarotte’s Toy tries to be more focused on the developing relationship between Lotte and Naoya. The approach fails to work here because the character dynamic has been done enough times before where its quite stale and the creepy lolicon implications of the relationship are present since Naoya’s a full-grown adult (despite appearing much younger) and Lotte has yet to even approach adolescence.
Outside of the relationship developments, Astarotte’s Toy also suffers in its comedic delivery and having some questionable moral elements to its story. For the show’s humor, it dabbles into the typical and tiresome perverted gags and innuendo jokes you would find in ecchi titles that involve intercourse, certain bodily features, arousal and the sometimes too-intimate interactions between female cast members. The title’s moral elements also raise some red flags as it was implied Naoya was underaged when he had intercourse with Lotte’s mother and our male lead having some pretty lousy parenting skills considering he left his daughter to fend for herself during the first few episodes of the series when he entered Alfheimr and having loose conduct with his parenting considering Asuha’s habit of not wearing underwear, allowing her to dress in some scanty clothing and her touchy-feely behavior with members of the female cast.
Violence Jack is actually a trilogy of three stand-alone OVA titles featuring the titular character adapted from a series of manga publications created by Go Nagai since the character’s debut in Weekly Shonen Magazine on July 22, 1973. The OVAs were released in Japan in June 1986 (Harem Bomber), December 1988 (Evil Town) and November 1990 (Hell’s Wind). The OVAs were licensed by Manga Entertainment in the mid-1990s for dubbed VHS release, which underwent varying degrees of censorship to remove the more graphic content found in the episodes. The Evil Town OVA has a degree of infamy to it in Australia where its large number of rape scenes towards women led it to be banned from release in the country. Right Stuf would claim video distribution rights to the OVAs later in the decade and release them completely unedited on VHS in subbed and dubbed formats. Both the Manga and Right Stuf versions of Violence Jack are out of print, though Discotek has since acquired home video release rights to the series. Like Angel Cop and Mad Bull 34, Violence Jack is notable for its inclusion among Manga Entertainment’s infamous “Holy Trinity of Suck”.
Following a large earthquake that wiped out much of humanity’s population, the remaining populace is now divided between the strong and the weak with depraved gangs coming together to inflict varying degrees of suffering to the innocent. A mysterious giant of a man who calls himself Violence Jack is unearthed from the rubble of the earthquake who helps aid the weak against evil threats.
Notable Character Violence Jack- A mysterious giant of a man who wields a large jack knife. Despite his seemingly evil and intimidating appearance, Jack fights to protect the weak in the post-apocalyptic world that he inhabits.
Why It Sucks Violence Jack has a barebones plot that is simply an excuse for the different OVAs to show off the various depraved acts committed by the gangs and the gory ways in which Jack dispatches each of their members. The depraved acts depicted throughout the OVAs include sadomasochism, rape, cannibalism and torture. Women that exist in the series wind up getting raped, beaten and tortured on a regular basis throughout the OVAs.
Like many 1990s Manga Entertainment titles, Violence Jack’s English dub is peppered with profane language not found in the original Japanese version. The addition of it here seems rather pointless considering the graphic violence and rape scenes found throughout Violence Jack would be more than enough to make it appropriate only for older viewers despite any censorship of said scenes being done in Manga’s dub.
Kampfer was a 12-episode action/ harem comedy TV anime aired from October 2 to December 17 of 2009 in Japan. The anime is based on a light novel series written by Toshihiko Tsukiji and illustrated by Senmu from November 24, 2006 to March 25, 2010. A manga adaptation of the series also written by Tsukiji and illustrated by Yu Tachibana is currently being published in the Japanese seinen magazine, Monthly Comic Alive, since April 2008. The TV anime is currently licensed in America by Sentai Filmworks and is available for purchase on DVD.
Ordinary high school student Natsuru Seno wakes up one day to discover he has transformed into a girl with a stuffed tiger called Harakiri Tiger telling him that he has been chosen to be a Kampfer, female fighters destined to fight each other. Natsuru comes to realize this problem when attacked by a mysterious Kampfer armed with a pistol while on his way to school. Notable Characters
Natsuru Seno- The male lead of the series and the only Kampfer who is actually a male. While in Kampfer form, Natsuru is capable of throwing fireballs at her foes. To his dismay, Natsuru finds himself forced to enroll into his school while in female form that gets the admiration and various degrees of affection from those among the school’s female student body.
Kaede Sakura- One of the school’s three most popular girls who is Natsuru’s main romantic interest. However, she only has romantic interest in Natsuru’s female form. She has a large collection of a series of mutilated stuffed animals called Entrails Animals.
Akane Mishima- A shy and soft-spoken honor student who normally wears glasses. She takes interest in Natsuru and has the habit of misunderstanding what others say and interpreting them in an erotic context. Her Kampfer form is foul-mouthed and violent in personality, who wields a pistol for use in fights that she is quite trigger-happy with.
Shizuku Sango- The president of the school student council and one of the school’s three most popular girls. As a Kampfer, she wields a pair of two daggers that are linked together by a chain. Shizuku seeks to learn more about the reason why the Kampfer must fight one another as she hates being the tool of whoever arranged for the Kampfer battles. She is a close friend of Kaede and like the other girls, develops a romantic interest in Natsuru.
Mikoto Kondo- Natsuru’s childhood friend who has traveled the world and returns to see him later in the series. As a Kampfer, Mikoto wields a katana for use in battle.
Harakiri Tiger- A stuffed tiger with its intestines sticking out of its stomach and wearing an eye patch serving as Natsuru’s Moderator in the Kampfer battles.
Why It Sucks If there are two words that come to mind with Kampfer, it would be wasted potential. While the series does have a somewhat unique premise with its battling schoolgirls story, the series rather quickly sets the premise aside to turn itself into yet another unwanted harem anime.
Natsuru plays out as your typical doormat to the perverted antics and misunderstandings he undergoes with the several girls who have interest in him and is ridiculously dense in knowing the affections of those not named Kaede Sakura. The gender-swapping element to his transformation into a Kampfer adds more mindlessness to the series as Natsuru finds herself (for lack of a better word) getting enough fangirls ogling for her and being subjected to varying degrees of sexual harassment and perverted antics from school club representatives and the female student body admiring her for outer beauty or using the attractiveness of her body to enhance club status.
The unwanted harem element to the series gets so bad that Kampfer is completely lacking a plot for much of its run. The series makes an attempt at a plot for three of its final four episodes regarding the origins of the Kampfer and another group of Kampfer that Natsuru and the girls encounter. But due to how rushed and poorly built up this plot element is and how the new characters get portrayed, the horrible plotting only adds to the mindlessness that Kampfer portrays throughout its run.
Dream: Looks like a remake of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni will be airing in July. The original seiyuu from the 2000s series will reprise their roles for the remake and judging from the animation, looks like it will have more polish to it compared...
Mar 21, 2020 21:51:24 GMT
Dream: ...to the 2000s series.
Mar 21, 2020 21:51:30 GMT
Taka: That's interesting to hear. Didn't know it was going to get a remake.
Mar 22, 2020 0:33:35 GMT
Dream: Guess I'm gonna focus on wrapping up Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken whenever it comes out today. Been one of my favorites for the season.
Mar 22, 2020 16:44:54 GMT
Taka: I need to catch up or drop/put on hold whatever series I tried.
Mar 22, 2020 21:25:15 GMT
Taka: 1 confirmed death in my hometown next to 19 confirmed cases. I heard the police are fining folks for not practicing social distancing on Facebook.
Mar 24, 2020 2:31:40 GMT
Dream: At least in New York right now, they're not enforcing it. But non-essential employers who aren't abiding by shutting down at this point will be fined and shut down at this point.
Mar 24, 2020 13:38:28 GMT
Master Menos: Had some serious personal trouble go on, but now I'm through it. On-Topic, where I'm in, everything but the stores (and possibly the restaurants) are closed down.
Mar 27, 2020 17:48:40 GMT
Taka: They closed off beaches and parks along bike paths as well as extending K-12 school closure to mid May while colleges are cancelled for the semester.
Mar 29, 2020 0:47:15 GMT
CosmicNoirTear: Everything closed on my part. I live by a bunch of shopping centers. All of the are ghost towns. Hopefully means most people where I live are taking this seriously. Also got laid off from my job two weeks ago.
Mar 29, 2020 2:46:08 GMT
Dream: My county has 6 confirmed cases. Restaurants and bars have been on take-out or delivery only for about a couple weeks now since New York's the hardest hit state. Hasn't been too different for me any who since I've been out of work and tight on money...
Mar 29, 2020 15:11:51 GMT
Dream: ...to do anything outside of getting essentials and job hunting in recent months. Though with the state pretty much on lockdown, likely gonna have a rough time finding any employer to work with in-person for a while.
Mar 29, 2020 15:13:27 GMT
El_Directo: Stay safe guys
Mar 29, 2020 20:08:55 GMT
Taka: I think the only thing not closed for mass gathering other than essential services would be funerals in my area. The mayor and staff have been pretty busy in clarifying things in press releases. Edit: my mistake. Funerals are closed.
Mar 29, 2020 21:52:25 GMT
Dream: Gonna try whipping up a review for Dorohedoro at some point tomorrow. Find that I have quite a bit to cover with the series.
Mar 30, 2020 3:39:57 GMT