Friday, March 30, 2012

Anime Review: Ga-Rei Zero

Ga-Rei Zero is a 2008 anime prequel (As opposed to an adaptation) to the popular manga series Ga-Rei by Hajima Segawa. The cartoon was produced by AIC, the studio responsible for such classic anime as Green Legend Ran, Amitage III (Both among the first first anime I ever watched), Bastard!!, the Bubblegum Crisis series, the Burn-Up series and the Tenchi Muyo! series. It was dubbed by FUNimation Entertainment who brought it to North America in 2011. In the original broadcast it was advertised that this show would be a completely different story from the manga and featuring an all-new cast but that turned out to be a red-herring as the second episode firmly establishes it as a prequel story focusing on (From what I understand) the comic's secondary main character and initial villain before they were enemies. Or something. It's really hard to know for sure because Ga-Rei was never licensed in America. That's right; the anime spin-off has been brought to America but not the original source material manga. So, in a very real way, this anime is kind of pointless for us; it was almost certainly created to help bring more attention to the manga, or at least give readers better insight to certain key characters. However us Western viewers don't have any (legal) access to the comic so we don't get any of that. Thanks for nothing anime industry.

If you recall with our last anime review I mentioned I ended up watching three entire anime series back-to-back (Roughly eighteen hours) in one sitting, nearly driving myself insane in the process. This was the second of the three. As you may know I didn't exactly care for Demon King Daimao, so the question is did Ga-Rei Zero do anything to ease the pain.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: There are some spoilers here from very early on in the series (First two episodes).  If you would like to watch Ga-Rai Zero blind to capitalize on that fact do not read this article.  However I do not spoil the lot of the show so if you're cool with that full steam ahead]

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse NOW! Video (Shameless Self-Promotion)

In yet another instance of self-promotion here's a video I just whipped up of my band Zombie Apocalypse NOW! playing at an annual event in Holland, MI called "Wo-Stock". Check it out.

By the way the web address is slightly wrong. You'll want to click here for the Facebook page.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Doctor Who - Series One (2005 Revival)

Today we’ll be talking about the first season (or “series”, if you’re British) of the revived 2005 Doctor Who TV show. After the failed attempt to bring the show back in 1996 with the American TV movie plans to get the Doctor back on the air lingered for the next few years. Writer Russell T Davies, a longtime fan of the series, made it his goal to retrieve the show from hiatus. Talks began in 1998 before the show eventually returned in 2005. Davies wanted to update Doctor Who for the 21st Century and took cues form modern drama, notably Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His show would be about 45 minutes long per episode and encompass season long storylines with a “Big Bad” style of antagonist. Apparently there were some other pitches for revving the show floating around the BBC at the time, including a straight up reboot of the series and a “Gothic-style” show (Whatever the hell that means). Regardless of what you think about Davies as a writer and a showrunner I think that we got the best of the bunch. The net result was the show was a big hit and continues today, production having recently started for Series 7.

Anyway this will probably be the first of a series of Doctor Who reviews. While it’s impossible for me to talk about the first series of the new Doctor Who without comparing it, at least somewhat, to the proceeding series as well as Classic Who I will base my final option and the Panda Score solely on this season on its own. Is this season actually any good or highly, highly overrated and overexposed?

Full review after the jump.

[Warning: The following  reviews possesses relatively minor spoilers, but spoilers none the less.  Read at your own peril]

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beta Versus Doctor Who

So for months, and I mean months, The Lady has bugged me about writing about Doctor Who. If you’ve checked out her blog (She Geek) then you probably already realized it’s her main nerdy fandom. I myself only started watching early last year, going through the entire new series to that point and getting started watching various stories from the classic show. I’ve finally decided to give in to The Lady’s demands and do some reviews of the long running science fiction series, mainly in order to capitalize on that sweet, sweet Whovian fandom web traffic. So tomorrow I’ll be releasing my review of the first season from the new show. However it occurred to me that like myself prior to my Who Awakening last year most of my readers may not know that much about the show. And seriously there’s a lot to talk about. So I decided to have a little intro separate from the main review, mostly because I don’t want a 3,000+ word article.

Anyway Doctor Who is a British science fiction television show that first aired in 1963. In a lot of ways the series is the UK’s equivalent of Star Trek. A big difference between the two is that while the original Trek series was canceled after only three seasons due to low ratings Doctor Who was a hugely popular program heavily ingraining itself in British pop culture. That show managed to go on until finally being canceled in 1989 in a move that seems to have just as much to do with BBC politics as it did with ratings. In 1996 an attempt to revive the series was made in the form of an American television movie (Which is considered part of canon) but didn’t spin-off into the ongoing TV series some hoped. Finally in 2005, under the helm of Russell T Davies, a new series hit the airwaves and became a huge international hit. Today the new Doctor Who is filming its seventh season while also gearing up for the highly anticipated 50 Year Anniversary.

More on the Doctor after the jump.

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