Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Anime Review: Tears to Tiara

I recently watched, then re-watched a show called Tears to Tiara. Now I’ve reviewed a few anime based on video games in the past but this case is a little different. As far as I can tell Tears to Tiara was originally a tactical role playing game…an adult tactical role playing game. What do I mean by “adult”? Well as far as I can tell by “adult” I mean “porn”. It was a JRPG that was porn.

Huh. Well that exists, apparently.

Remember that I try to keep myself from doing any  major research about an anime I’ve never seen before until I finish watching it so believe me when I say the cartoon had nothing to make me think that its source material was pornographic in nature. I would assume the main reason for this is that technically the show is based on the non-porn Playstation 3 remake that came out a few years later. Still to go through the whole show only to find out that it has ties to a game where cartoon girls, several of whom must be underage, are getting sexed up by the main character was shocking. And not the good type of shocking like “Oh man, that was awesome” but more like the “F**k, now I need a goddamn drink” type of shock.

Getting back on track Tears to Tiara premiered in 2009 and was produced by a fairly new studio White Fox (this seems to be their first series). Sentai Filmworks licensed it in North America very soon afterwards. At twenty-six episodes long it’s a pretty full series. Ignoring the porn that it’s associated with does this cartoon manage to stand on its own, or is it just a gimmicky premise that’s not allowed actually use it’s gimmick on Television (It’s gimmick is sex).

Full review after the jump.

 [WARNING: There are some spoilers in this review, fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, but still spoilers.]

Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: The Wolverine (Film)

My original plan was to rent X-Men Origins: Wolverine and review it before this one since that is the only X-Men movie I haven’t reviewed on this blog but unfortunately I kept putting it off and putting it off until I ended up just saying “Screw it, let’s just move on” (Which may be my real life mantra. That’s kind of depressing now that I think about it). I will say that, while I don’t want to completely spoil all my thoughts on that flick, the first Wolverine evil was easily worst X-Men movie ever made. It’s biggest problem was that far too much crap and characters were jammed in there (Seriously, why was Gambit in that movie at all?!).

This brings us to The Wolverine. It seemed like Fox was very serious about making a good Wolverine movie since initially they hired Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, The Wrestler) to direct. Sadly the acclaimed director dropped out when he realized he’d have to be in Japan for a year and was replaced by James Mangold who is…a pretty good director. But after watching his films 3:10 to Yuma and Walk the Line I wasn’t sure he was very good at doing endings (especially with 3:10 to Yuma which was a fantastic movie until the last five minutes ruined everything). Now, like with Pacific Rim, most of what I’ve heard about this film has been extremely positive with most people agreeing it was far and beyond better than the original. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or have gone back to check out the archives you will probably be aware that Wolverine is one of my most hated characters in superhero comics. I once wrote a long blog about why. (He’s not as bad as Barry Allen though; f**k that guy). But I’m a huge Hugh Jackman fan so I’m willing to give it a chance.

Oh by the way; Fox had prior to this film announced their intention to create their own shared superhero universe following the massive success of The Avengers. In theory the shared universe would include the X-Men and the Fantastic Four with this film starting the trend (well, technically it would make the original film retroactively the trend starter, but whatever). So in addition to its own film we may need to look for clues for possible future films seeing as X-Men: Days of Future Past and the FF are both right around the corner.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: This review contains major spoilers. On the bright side they weren't particularly good plot twists but you should still proceed with caution]

Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Pacific Rim

I feel this may be me simplifying things a bit but there are few things in this world I love more than giant robots and Japanese monster movies (i.e. “Kaiju”). So when I first heard that Guillermo del Toro was developing a giant robot/kaiju live-action film I’m pretty sure my head exploded (though I might be remembering this wrong). While del Toro isn’t exactly my favorite director he does have a great talent for bringing larger than life/out of this world spectacle onto the big screen and making it believable so I had faith that he was the man for the job, especially considering the way he gushes about the genre. Hearing him in interviews really made him sound like a giant fan, which is good.

Pacific Rim, as the project has since been titled, has been out a short while now and sadly it did not do the business many were expecting in America. It did not bomb and it’s done extremely well in foreign markets to the point that it can be considered a success, but how more people in this country weren’t super jazzed to see giant robots punching the shit out of giant monsters baffles my mind. Seriously, check this out:

Damn, son, if that doesn’t get your blood pumping than you and I can never be friends. Anyway it took me a while to see this flick but almost all my friends who managed to told me that it was a fantastic movie. We’ll see.

Full review after the jump.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anime Review: Sword Art Online

So I was working on a review of the anime Tears to Tiara but then I ended up watching and finishing Sword Art Online on Crunchyroll.com and I felt a deep desire to talk about it while it was still fresh in my head.

Sword Art Online is a 25-episode anime based on a still ongoing (as of this writing) Light Novel series by Reki Kawahara first premiering in 2012, making the most recent anime I’ve ever reviewed. Produced by the studio A-1 Pictures it was licensed by Aniplex of America and is scheduled for DVD/Blu-ray release on August 13th. It’s also currently in it’s first run on Americans television on Adult Swim’s Toonami block but it can currently be legally streamed on Crunchyroll, like I said.

Now this is base do a light novel series so that spells trouble right off the bat, especially since it’s still ongoing. I’ve reviewed several anime based on that medium and while they’ve ranged in quality (some awesome, others not so much) the mostly seem to have unsatisfying endings in common to leave off on either cliffhangers or otherwise imply further adventures that never seem to happen. Even Baccano!, one of the best anime of all time, did this. Seeing as of this weekend there will be thirteen books in the series and this cartoon only covers the first four I foresee history repeating itself.

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: There may be some minor spoilers in this review]
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