Friday, 14 October 2016

Series REVIEW: Thunderbolt Fantasy

Thunderbolt Fantasy

After producing modern anime classics such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass and Gargantia on the Verduous Planet, Gen Urobuchi has earned the right to a bit of experimentation. His dive into the world of tokusatsu with Kamen Rider Gaim was met with great success, and after a trip to Taiwan he has now turned his attention towards the world of Taiwanese glove puppetry. Thunderbolt Fantasy is a 13-episode collaboration between Nitroplus, Good Smile Company and renowned Taiwanese puppetry company Pili Internation Media – airing in Taiwanese Min-Nan, Chinese Mandarin and of course Japanese.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Anime REVIEW: Macross Delta

Macross Delta

Despite Macross celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, it’s been a whopping eight years since the hugely popular franchise’s last animated outing Macross Frontier (four if you include the movies and its Macross 7-flavoured spinoff). While it did celebrate this milestone with the Macross 30: Voices Across the Galaxy PS3 game, it wasn’t until 2016 that Macross finally returned to television screens with a brand new instalment – Macross Delta (also written as Macross Δ). Series creator Shoji Kawamori returns once more as the chief director and mechanical designer, with animation duties once again handled by Satelight - the studio also responsible for both Frontier and Macross Zero.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Anime REVIEW: Ace Attorney

Ace Attorney

The phrase “video game anime adaptation” is enough to strike fear into anyone’s hearts. Although the list of great anime series based on visual novels is vast, video games in general haven’t been as lucky. While there are the odd gems like Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and Professor Layton: The Eternal Diva, attempts like Tekken and Blazblue: Alter Memory are more than enough to muddy the waters. 2016 finally saw Capcom’s popular Ace Attorney franchise make it’s leap to animated form, something long overdue for the legal exploits of Phoenix Wright (or Naruhodō Ryūichi in the original Japanese version), Miles Edgeworth (Mitusrugi Reiji) and co. Going by the full title of Gyakuten Saiban: Sono “Shinjitsu” Igirari (Turnabout Trial: I Object to that Truth!) , this 24-episode series covers the first two Ace Attorney games and was animated by A-1 Pictures.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Power Rangers Movie First Teaser Impressions

Power Rangers Movie Teaser

As a blog that tends to deal in reviews more than news I've generally avoided covering anything that relates to the forthcoming Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie reboot from Lionsgate and Saban Brands. However with the first teaser trailer making its debut at this year's New York Comic Con, it's time to break that silence. Over the past few months we've been treated to casting news, character posters and even the odd movie still, but this is the very first time we get to see anything in motion. Keep reading to check out the teaser trailer, along with some general thoughts on how the movie seems to be shaping up.

Friday, 7 October 2016

First Impressions: Brave Witches

Brave Witches

Before Japan was invaded by moe girls wearing boat parts, there was a series doing a similar thing with school girls, aeroplane parts, magical powers, animals ear/tails and a lack of trousers. This series goes by the name of Strike Witches, and after two seasons, a movie, multiple OVAs, novels, manga and more it has evolved into a fully fledged franchise. After some time out of the spotlight it’s back for a brand new spin-off series, this time going by the name Brave Witches. Featuring the same production staff as the previous Strike Witches animated entries, Brave Witches is animated by studio Silver Link – who previously worked on the Strike Witches: Operation Victory Arrow OVAs as well as Watamote!, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya and more.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

First Impressions: Time Bokan 24

Time Bokan 24

Their name might not get batted around as much as it used to, but once upon a time Tatsunoko Productions was among the very best anime studios Japan had to offer. As well as spawning the likes of Speed Racer, Gatchaman, Tekkaman and Casshern, Tatsunoko was also known for its Time Bokan series – which among its various sequels and spinoffs included Yatterman. Now Tatsunoko have come together with Professor Layton creators Level-5 for a brand new instalment, simply going by the name of Time Bokan 24.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

First Impressions: Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

When early rumours suggested that the newest Kamen Rider would be a wearing a bright pink bodysuit and a helmet that sported moulded pink hair and cartoon-styled eyes, most dismissed it just like they would any earlier Rider/Sentai rumours. But when Kamen Rider Ex-Aid was fully revealed to the public those rumours turned out be true, unveiling a video-game themed Rider that’s quite unlike anything seen in the franchise’s 45 year history. Forget ghostly hoodies and Eyecons, now comes the time of gaming and Gashats. Written by Yuya Takahashi (Drive’s Type Tokujo specials, Lupin III Part 4), Ex-Aid is the 18th Heisei era Rider series and the 27th overall.

Monday, 3 October 2016

First Impressions: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans Season 2

Following its brief hiatus over the past few months, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has finally returned for its second season! Comprised of another 25 episodes to bring the total count up to a comfortable 50, this latest instalment in Sunrise’ landmark mecha franchise continues the story of the rebellious child soldiers Tekkadan and their struggle for freedom in the era following a catastrophe known as the Calamity War. Like the first season it is written and directed by Mari Okada and Tatsuyuki Nagai respectively – a pair that also previously worked together on shows such as Toradora! and AnoHana.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Series REVIEW: Kamen Rider Ghost

Kamen Rider Ghost

After the sheer insanity/genius of giving a Kamen Rider a car instead of a bike, it’s almost as if Toei went motif crazy in order to make the 2015-16 Rider seem just as innovative. Eyeball collectibles, hoodies, historical figures, a pirate ship that can transform into a giant iguana – these are just some of the facets that make up Kamen Rider Ghost. Spanning a total of 50 episodes, including a crossover with currently airing Super Sentai series Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, the 17th Heisei era Kamen Rider series (and 26th in total) marks Takuro Fukuda’s debut as lead writer and stars Shun Nishime as the titular character.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Anime REVIEW: Love Live! Sunshine!!

Love Live! Sunshine!!

When you've created a juggernaut like Love Live! School Idol Project, you can't just end things when your idols retire. Although μ's seem just as popular as ever, their time in the spotlight is over as a new idol group takes to the stage in sequel series Love Live! Sunshine!!. Once again animated by Sunrise in a joint project with ASCII Media Works and Lantis, this new series takes place sometime after Honoka and co have gone their separate ways, paving the road for a swarm of prospective idols in the titular tournament. Forget about μ's, now comes the time of Aqours.