5 Ballistic Reasons You Should Watch Girls und Panzer

That’s right, not just ordinary reasons — Ballistic reasons. What does that mean different for this top five list? Not much, actually. There’s no point in my reviewing this popular girls-meets-tanks anime because I’d just be saying the same darn things as everyone else. So instead, here are five reasons –ballistic reasons– you should be watching or have already watched Girls und Panties. Take notes.

ONE: There are tanks.

They’re teenage girls squatting in hefty, musty, roving WWII metal boxes of death. Sure, cute girls, but dude, freaking tanks. It makes the Strike Witches look like basic b*tches with iron high-heels. The tanks are designed using 3DCG, but who gives a flying flip? It’s good CG –hell, it’s great CG–and none of the fight scenes are too jarring to make you cringe. These authentic armored panzies (not pansies you pansy) move with such vigorous power that it’s a crime not to stare at their treads and drool. Everything from their movement (drift in episode 12 doesn’t count) to the metallic texture and oil stains just seems legit. This alone should be enough of a push, but since you’re still hesitant, here’s four more reasons for Girls und Privies.

TWO: Their town is on a big boat.

Okay, aircraft carrier. Same thing. In a world where every town and city alike is set adrift on the Atlantic, competition is inevitable. Look here, England’s boat is nearly twice as big as Japan’s. To get your mind out of the gutter, it means that this English team has more funding than the Japanese one. I know these aren’t the main lands on each carrier, but guys, the spirit of competition is out there and everywhere! When you participate in tankery, you not only represent the team or family or the city, but the culture as a whole. Need to pick up some floral tank air fresheners? Stop at your local Ooari outlet, park the ship, then shop ’till you drop, cause it’s gonna be a long ride across the Pacific to Saunders.

THREE: Racism is not funny.

Oh c’mon, you know it’s good stuff. While I don’t appreciate racism, the teams in Girls und Prejudice are basically a hodgepodge of cultural stereotypes. Japan (or is it supposed to be Germany, I digress), England, the United States, Russia, and even Italy all get their faces poked fun at in explosive tank warfare. England (AKA St. Gloriana) calmly drinks tea (pinkies up bruh) and fights with organized justice; the United States (AKA Saunders) boisterously storms with overwhelming numbers and even cheats in their fight, yet proves they still have much to learn; Mother Russia (AKA Pravda) *cue heavy accent* takes to the ice and snow to out-maneuver any opponent who opposes their almighty Katyusha. HAIL. You’ll laugh, trust me.

FOUR: As much as they succeed, they fail.

Not everyone likes a daughter who abandons the family career to pursue their own. Threatening to stray away from the family style is also a huge no-no. In the Girls und Pussies world, girls are the tough ones — they’re the ones riding the tanks, after all! These gals have to suck it up and rub some dirt on their wounds in order to persevere in a world where failure is eminent. These old tanks are smelly; they’re too old and rustic; the treads keep snapping off; these seats are too cold (yet we’ll keep wearing skirts cause thigh gap). All this and more, we root for the underdog, and we get this natural high to shout with them when the odds are against them. They transform failure into lessons, as it should be.

FOUR 1/2: The English dub sucks, but the soundtrack is loaded with incredibly addictive war anthems provided by the marching band.

FIVE: The battles are smart and engaging.

If there’s anything you’ve taken from this lazy-ass list, it should be this. All of the combat performed in Girls und Paint Jobs is highly entertaining. For every wreck the Ooari girls get themselves into, they, as a collective, somehow manage to hash out a plan and take action in a fairly believable manner. You’ll be so left on edge, in fact, that your Panzers you vor will be in a knot, hah! Tactical, intriguing, and always dishing out suspenseful scenarios for our Anglerfish Team, the art tankery itself is by far Girls und Pedophiles’ highest vantage point.

So there are five solid reasons to hit up Girls und Please-share-this-post. I was trying to be humorous with it all, so you should let me know if I passed in the comments. Seriously though, I love this anime! It’s a “Cake” for me! I haven’t seen the OVAs (on purpose, cause there’s supposedly no tank combat and outside the tank, GuP is so boring) or the new movie, but maybe I will if it gets localized. Do you have any other strong reasons to watch Girls und Panzer? Let us all know, thanks for dropping by, and until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Still not convinced? Here’s a clip. Just . . . watch it.

 

 

Advertisements

GJ Club is BOTH Silly and Relaxing? “Gooood Job-buu!”

A spoiler-free review of the 12-episode winter 2013 anime “GJ-bu” or “GJ Club,” produced by Doga Kobo, based on the light novel series by Shin Araki.

 – View in browser, not app, for best experience –

Assume for the moment that this is an anime about a poor boy engaging in harmless games at the expense of a group of totally-pure high school girls. When demons from the underworld aren’t wreaking havoc amongst high-school kids or when bras and boxers aren’t being violently stripped from these fine teens, you have, in this situation, a school-life harem. These cookie-cutter shows are the dreams of many anime fans. I mean, could you imagine a world where after school you hung out in a homey club room with your best friends to discuss the trivial gimmicks of school life, or perhaps spend the entire afternoon eating cake, drinking tea, and playing games?

Last time I played this game was in elementary school. Stubbed my toe pretty bad, too.

Well, that’s what we do in the “Good Job-bu” club, or the GJ Club for short. Its mission is known to none – that is, if it has one – and it inhabits a decently-sized room in a former building of the school. But today is different for this seemingly pointless gang of ladies: Shinomiya Kyouya is kidnapped forced to become a new member – and he’s a boy.

Paging Dr. Kyoro . . . Yeah, you know what’s up.

Each episode of GJ Club begins and ends in the club. Sooooo what is done in the club room stays in the club room. But there’s nothing sinister about it! There is no record of home life or how they act during class. Also, despite it being a harem, it’s neither romantic nor erotic in any sense, never going past that boundary of “what just happened?”

And that is exactly what makes GJ Club the ideal slice-of-life school anime.

They play wacky games, eat tons of meat snacks, read manga; the whole package. As for story . . . . Unless the moral was to enjoy time with friends before high school life is over then there is none. AND THAT’S OKAY. Funny and consistent with its environment, the anime is merely a lighthearted reenactment of our favorite anime tropes. Enjoyable because of the dumb stuff they do and their reactions to it all, but very average in story, characters, and even animation.

This anime doesn’t do anything to challenge the stereotypes. We’ve got the short tsundere club leader, Mao; the overly intelligent yet lacking-common-sense cool rich girl, Shion; the pink-haired airhead, Megumi; the girl who thinks she’s an animal, Kirara (yes, she is a foreigner); and the bratty little one that no one likes (Tamaki). There is also a plentiful batch of token little sisters for those who enjoy hearing “ONII-SAN” five-hundred goddamn times. Watching Megu struggle and obsess over her weight was unintentionally hilarious, though. Same with Kirara’s uncanny strength.

Arm+wrestling_9d36eb_4723495

Best shit in the entire series

image2

image3.PNG

Modesty. The women folk love it.

I suppose the lead boy is a little more interesting, if only he actually developed throughout the series! Nicknamed “Kyoro,” he remains the only male in the club, not that his status as such matters. You see, he is constantly ridiculed as cute or feminine, regardless of that just being his innate politeness when it comes to dealing with women. The fact that he prefers shoujo manga over the more popular mecha and “boku” as his title rather than “ore” doesn’t help his case. To add insult to injury, however, he admits his talent of being able to deal with those of the feminine persuasion, which partially stems from the routinely brushing of his little sister’s hair. And how do the other girls react?

“Baka! Just brush it and get it over with – it’s not like I asked or anything!”

“Shinomiya-kun, would you be as courteous as to demonstrate on me? I am . . . curious.”

“YAY! Your brushing is so cute!” ~<3

*after taming a wild beast*Purrr purr, this is nice.”

“Hey, WATCH IT! It’s MY turn next!”

Me: *eternally bangs head on desk until it bleeds*

Commence: POWERFUL HAIR BRUSHING

The sparkling studio Doga Kobo did the animation for GJ Club, and though it’s nothing spectacular, it should be noted for its consistency and colorful, bright atmosphere – Specifically in the clubroom and the perky hair colors. The eyes take the signature “bubbly anime eye” to the extreme and I always found them weird to stare into. With this anime, however, atmosphere is more important, and I can rest in peace knowing the ideal clubroom was captured in brilliant light and warm tone. Leaving that room on the last episode was the hardest part.

image1
Hot as balls. It happens.

I honestly can’t recall the soundtrack for this anime, but it is not bad without a doubt. I shouldn’t stress something that didn’t stand out. So I won’t. The opening, “Mousou★Koukan Nikki” by Otome Shinto, is my favorite song from the series. Those first ten seconds of sass and choreography of the characters walking towards the clubroom was just awesome! It’s such a happy song!!

If I were to squeeze out a negative, it is that despite how quirky and fun they seem, characters like this will never exist in real life because they are so heavily rooted in these anime clichés. If you do manage to find a group of friends like this (and actually don’t find them annoying), then that’s great. But maybe that’s why this show appeals to me so much: GJ Club provides the after school family I always wanted, but probably will never have. It’s very sad to hear and take in, but hey, it is, after all, just an anime.

GJ Club is a slow anime – I dare say unexciting half the time – but that works in its favor. It draws out unusual comedy, never taking things to far, and milks those scenarios for all they are worth. If you just got finished with the new crazy shounen anime kids are raging about today, or the most depressing romance you’ve seen to date, and are wanting something to give you breath, do consider GJ Club. It’s silly, colorful, and very relaxing.

“There are two types of people in this world. Those who fan, and those who are fanned.” – Mao Amatsuka

+ Ideal slice-of-life school comedy with consistent direction and environment

+ Very relaxing anime to watch after something heavy; nice palate cleanser

– Does nothing to challenge the popular anime tropes

There we go! Had you even heard of this anime before I brought it up? Yes? “Good job-bu!!!” No? Well now you have a pleasant way to spend your afternoon. The entire series is available on Crunchyroll for FREE, yet sadly has not yet been licensed and released in the U.S. GJ Club can be found in the “Coffee” section of the cafe, but don’t let that discourage you from hitting it up. Did you enjoy the review? Let’s talk about it down below (feel free to hit like button to let me know)! Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Soul Eater Review

For just a mere $30 drop, the famous shonen anime Soul Eater has been a daily treat of mine now for the past couple of weeks. Notable for its perfect blend of action, comedy, and awesome characters, this show is responsible for pulling in many anime fans here in the U.S. But does the title live up to its grandiose reputation? I Takuto, your host here at the café, shall present my thoughts to you in a slice of colorful cake.

Everyone has a soul. In the world surrounding Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA), administrated by Lord Death himself, there exist evil humans and monsters known as Kishins, beings that have turn into evil demons by consuming an incredible amount of pure souls. To fight of these Kishins, warriors called Meisters team up with Weapons, people that can transform into various blades or arms.

Once a Weapon has collected 99 evil human souls and 1 witch soul, the Meister’s weapon will advance to a Death Scythe, recognizing you as one of Lord Death’s finest weapons. Not that this concept matters anyway.

Soul Eater follows Maka and Soul, Black Star and Tsubaki, and Death the Kid with Liz and Patty Thompson. While their goal is to gather souls for Death, they have the chief mission of defending Death City and the DWMA from all kinds of wickedly powerful creatures. When they are not on the front lines, however, they attend school and train to become the best!

As the anime introduces its main cast one by one, this seemingly honest idea of leveling up deviates towards a complex and deeper plot. What starts off as a repetition of kids going to school quickly erodes into a story of madness.  Along the way, Soul Eater pressures our heroes into crazy situations that, though obviously not comfortable for them, are extremely enjoyable for us as viewers. Simple values like friendship, bravery, and humanity are also used as mediums for character development, but they can be a bit overbearing at times, especially the way the show cradles some characters.

Maka is studious, short-tempered, and is always thinking of others, but above all, she is determined. Her Weapon, Soul, might just look like a cool guy, but he would actually risk life and limb to protect Maka. Despite the bickering here and there, Maka and Soul’s platonic bond matures into one of the most reliable ones in the series. It was a sheer joy to hear Laura Bailey as Maka, considering that the last I had heard from her was as Ayaka and Evangeline in Negima!?, and Micah Solusod was great as always!

Black*Star is brash, loud, enthusiastic, but more than anything annoying! Wanting to surpass God in terms of power, he provides the comic relief in the show with his ridiculous stunts.  He’s also a fail assassin, shouting his name to all to hear when he enters the scene. Following loyally behind him is Tsubaki, his kind Weapon who is willing to help however she can.

Death the Kid, the son of Lord Death, is calm, smart, and . . . . has an extreme OCD case where symmetry is everything? Yes – He is so obsessed with perfect symmetry that he is willing to stop and marvel at a giant mummy monster just because the sarcophagus is equal in all proportions.  If it weren’t for Liz and Patty, playful twin sisters, to comfort him, then Kid would never stay focused. Todd Haberkorn plays Kid brilliantly!

Other than the cruel witch Medusa (never heard that side of Luci Christian before – its freakin’ awesome!), the underlying antagonist that is frankly a genius in every way possible, the rest of the cast, to me, is meh. I mean, Lord Death’s cheery nature and Arachne’s evil blemishes, though she did nothing, are both definitely cool, but everyone else was either decent or really annoying – specifically Crona, Sid, and Mosquito. Then there’s Excalibur . . .

Nevertheless the likability overpowers and all of the characters are memorable. They each stand out at least a couple times to give you room to judge. Soul Eater functions best when it showcases one character at a time.

Studio Bones delivers a bright tone in a rather dark show, which is a hard thing to get right, but they nail it for sure! When scenes are meant to be light-hearted, bold colors on characters and backgrounds jump out. In contrast, the eerie, haunting parts –with a touch of Halloween – feel ominous. Praise to Eruka and Free’s encounter with the First Kishin – my heart literally jumped out of my rib cage; seriously terrifying!

The use of various angles, smooth animation, and unique moves makes for some of the most interesting action I’ve ever seen, and they’re fantastic! Never once do the fight scenes ever seem pointless or unnecessary. It helps that all of the characters support expressive faces to match the mood. However cartoonish and basic the animation seemed, it was executed with pure entertainment in mind.

Aside from the great English dub performance, sound remains nothing special. There are no memorable tracks other than “Psychedelic SoulJam,” but there are a couple new ones added for the “epic” final fights.

The first opening “Resonance” by T.M.Revolution fits the first half of the show perfectly with its spooky tune.  Meanwhile, the second opening “PAPERMOON” by Tommy heavenly6 beautifully exemplifies the second half. Both are super catchy, and my favorite ending of 4, #3 “Bakusou Yumeuta” by Diggy-MO’ raps out the quirky character styles!

Soul Eater does not have any filler (besides Excalibur. . .), but can be rather slow at times. Dangerous situations are drawn out, specifically that whole Arachnophobia vs the DWMA clash. Crona and Franken Stein dilemmas were especially a drag, considering the fact that I could have been watching more Kid and Soul kicking ass! Also, considering its 51-episode length, it’s a bit of a struggle to the end.

Other than that, Soul Eater is plain fun, offering great action, heartwarming themes, memorable characters, ano stupid comedy – DO NOT try to take this show seriously. Once the secrets of the Kishin are let loose in the first half, however, there is an extreme drop in interest towards the end. As such, this anime is not perfect because of the great distinction between the first and second arcs, and some of the characters can be extremely annoying. But it manages to stay consistent with one goal in mind, and that is one of the strongest points to the show; the end was pretty fair if ya ask me. Though it wasn’t the “best anime ever,” I still had a great time watching this it, and I thank those who recommended it to me!

“People need fear to survive. We experience it so we can grow stronger.” – Maka Albarn

FOOLS! Go watch Soul Eater if you haven’t already – it’s a classic in the shonen genre for a reason! Leave a comment below if you had similar thoughts towards this crazy show! I welcome all newcomers to the café and extend my thanks towards my followers 😀 Hit the like if you enjoyed my review and until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Review

Ah yes, adolescents at its finest. I too, “suffered” from chunibyo, Japanese term for eight grader syndrome, when I was younger, though I wouldn’t call it suffering by any means. Sure, mine was only from elementary school until sixth grade or so, yet they were some of the most fun, carefree years of my life. Today, we invest ourselves in a girl who claims to “live in the world beyond” – yet she’s an incoming freshmen in high school.

The “Dark Flame Master,” AKA Yuuta Togashi intended to leave behind his embarrassing past when his family moved to a different city. Wanting to start anew with his freshman year in high school, he tries to make a fresh batch of friends. This changes when a mysterious girl appears climbing out of her apartment. That neighbor – that same delusional girl in his class, Rikka Takanashi the “Wicked Eye,” hears him speak of his past when he lets it loose on the school balcony for relief. She becomes fascinated, hooked – drawn in by his cool display of chunibyo. This crazy chick is the full on thing, though – eye patch, umbrella shield, battling with the “priestess” (her sister) and more ridiculousness. Together, the two recruit members for a trivial club and hilarity ensue.

Let’s just face it: the characters in this anime are beyond incredible. Yuuta is a simple boy desiring to leave behind his childishness. He’s awkward when trying to meet people such as Makoto Isshiki, a kid who attempts to rate the girls in his class; however, the two become best of friends. Isshiki’s love, Kumin-senpai, spends the majority of the show sleeping – no joke – but is still adorable.

Another duo is Shinka Nibutani, class representative, cheerleader, popular, yet ex-chunibyo sufferer “Mori Summer,” and the middle school servant of “The Wicked Eye,” Sanae Dekomori. Nibutani is beautiful and regarded as gentle or sympathetic by her classmates, but when playful Dekomori is found carrying around a book written by Shinka from her delusional days, she does everything in her power to protect her image by retrieving the tome.

Dekomori’s extremely long blonde twintails, her preferred weapon, are very original in design. She even loads them with weights when she enters harsh combat against the “fake Mori Summer,” for she doesn’t believe that Nibutani wrote the book. Also, unlike Rikka, Dekomori is the highest in her class – smartest, cutest, and rich. This background gives Nibutani and Dekomori great depth and memorable scenes. I love them both :3

Rikka is the epitome of Yuuta’s past, and thus presents major problems to the guy – well, just comedy for us. She finds pleasure in the smallest of things that we as viewers often forgot ourselves, be it in the form of a calculator lock taped to her door or spinning around an umbrella as a sword. But she’s more than just creative, as the two develop genuine feelings for one another to the point where they start dating. Even Nibutani backs down to kindly support Rikka and her motives, returning as “Mori Summer” when absolutely necessary. They don’t get very far at first due to Takanashi’s delusional state of mind, but that’s the time when we get to enjoy the couple, cause from here on the story sadly loses its touch.

The second half of the series throws in a concept that I absolutely love, yet classically hits the viewer like a bus – drama. Rikka’s family and past are delved into with sudden furiousness that made me go “wut, I thought this show was built upon light-hearted comedy and romance, not overused dramatic clichés.” Sure, the events improve Rikka as a character and explain her motives, but that development throws the rest of the plot down the drain. Takanashi and Togashi spend several episodes apart which made me drop most of the momentum their relationship carried through the first half; they had worked so enchantingly hard to sculpt an unfinished project. The writers took the “Chunibyo & Other Delusions!” out of the show, leaving a failing “love” to support the title.

A better side to the show is its visuals. If I tell you anything, it’s that this show is cute! J Kyoto Animation, as always, does a remarkable job capturing the youthfulness of the characters by using bright colors and outlines. Movements are extremely fluid to the point where any few seconds of the show would make a hilarious gif. Characters are lively and background sceneries stand appealing.

The OST, though nothing fancy, sounds fairly decent. To contrast the energetic or more comedic moments in the show are lovely slow-moving piano pieces played during depressing/relaxing scenes. The opening, “Sparkling Daydream” by Zaq is paired up with fun, fast visuals of the characters doing what matches their personality and Rikka shakin’ her ass, which is just awesome!

So, is Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! worth the watch? Yeah, I think it is. I feel younger and older audiences can appeal to the characters equally. The show’s highlights were any of the cute chunibyo-filled scenes and quick-witted character interactions, though they substitute those later on for more, and I put this in double quotes, “”character development.”” Chunibyo is definitely better than most rom-com anime out there, and I enjoyed it a lot; however, I wanted to watch these lovable “kids” goofing around doing stupid stuff and not worrying about real life. It’s a shame we all have to grow up sometime . . . “Reality, be rent. Synapse, break. Banishment, this world!!!”– Rikka Takanashi

You can watch the series to its entirety for free over on Crunchyroll, as it has a really enjoyable Japanese voice cast. Also, it has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks if you wanna pick up a copy. Thanks for reading and hit the like button if you thought this review was somewhat decent! Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Oreimo (season one) Review

Hi. Let me just say that all anime fans and people who disgrace anime alike should watch this series. Oreimo is much more than eroge and brotherly love, as it hits home in the idea of anime and its view to the public. What does it take to be an A+ student, skilled athlete, gorgeous model and all-around perfect?? Balance. And my friends, Kirino Kousaka tries so very hard to keep this balance, even though she is a complete otaku on the inside. Café goers, my mocha and whipped cream for you is the review of Oreimo – My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute! And trust me, this one’s on the house!

Set in your average Japanese household, the Kousakas appears to be the ideal family, that is, until you catch the weak link. Enter Kyousuke Kousaka, the plain 17 year-old teen boy and older brother *Aniki* of Kirino, his hot-headed 14 year-old sister. Kirino, as mentioned before, is an angel to her peers. She is ranked highest in her class, is great at track, has many friends and is even a part-time model for a popular girl’s magazine. Kyousuke on the other hand only has his childhood friend, the even plainer Manami Tamura, and the honor of being “Kirino’s brother.” Not gonna lie, Kyousuke’s life sucks, but it gets even worse as he grows apart from his sister throughout middle and high school. The two practically don’t even speak to each other until one faithful day when Kirino, on her way out as usual, drops a DVD of a well-known magical girl eroge, which Kyousuke happens to witness.

I don’t know about you, but if I was (am) an intelligent, fairly popular student, and I dropped a porno in front of my siblings, I would absolutely die of embarrassment, shock and anger! Even if you don’t decide to finish the series – for whatever reason – first episode itself is worth the watch. The anime is set up similar to a visual novel, showing the multiple endings with the different girls, yet keeping a real end in mind. The anime kicks off strong, introducing all major characters in the first couple episodes.

Speaking of characters, this is one cast to be remembered. When Kirino “needs Kyousuke’s advice,” he recommends that she finds friends to talk to about her hobby. Kirino, willing to do anything to chat with others about “Meruru,” quickly agrees and the two end up at a café meet-up, kinda like ours, actually! There she is introduced to goth-loli Kuroneko and kind, advising Saori, two committed otakus. Add in Ayase, Kirino’s best friend at school and drama begins to spread between the five girls. I love all of them – they are so unique, well designed, and entertaining.

Throughout the series, I started to get really mad at Ayase when she wouldn’t accept Kirino’s otaku ways. Like I was pissed. They have such a strong bond between each other that it shouldn’t matter if anime or eroge made the other happy – Ayase should have known that. True friendship is formed when individuals understand each other, respect each other, and do what it takes to keep things positive, honesty kept in mind.

A neat thing about Oreimo is that AIC’s animation really goes with the soundtrack, and vice versa. You’ll know when Kyousuke gets himself into an awkward situation, as his facial features change, loveably funky music plays, and the voice acting becomes heated and hilarious. Yuichi Nakamura, Ayana Taketatsu, and Saori Hayami, respectively as Kyousuke, Kirino, and Ayase, do amazing jobs with the dialogue! It’s like they were actually in those ridiculous situations, merely trying to talk their way out of trouble. Quality voice acting. Also, I love the opening “irony” by ClariS! So cute!:)

I love Oreimo, I truly do, but the characters I wanted to see, namely Kuroneko and Saori, did not receive enough screen time. They had so many quirks and awkwardness that I really wanted to invest myself in them. I know that there is a second season, so I will definitely check that out.

Is Oreimo worth the watch? Absolutely. Take a break from your hardcore action or intense drama series and laugh a little with this one. The series contains many important ethics regarding anime in society and additionally, it is downright funny! It’s one of those shows that you might not want to binge, however. Oreimo’s heartwarming environment is one that will be missed when it’s over.

Presently, though I did not purchase a subbed copy by Aniplex of America, you can watch Oreimo to its entirety for free on Crunchyroll! Have fun and thanks for reading! Did you watch Oreimo? Let me know in the comments! With that, as I kick your door on the way to my own bedroom, I’ll still smile, because – “I need your advice. . .”

– Takuto, your host