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I said it in my video review of the insanely average 2016 movie Max Steel. The super hero trope is always going to be a hit and miss concept with me. It’s one of those genres that’s so done so to death that if it doesn’t at least try to do something new and interesting I’m no doubt going to find it lack luster. Movies like Spider Man and Superman are both cliche in a sense that both of them follow a very cookie cutter formula. A protagonist that’s always on the side of good and often has an incorruptible heroic ideology with an entire slew of villains with self-serving motivations of revenge or hatred. Most popular Marvel and DC comic adaptation follows these tropes. It’s like every comic book in america is the same damn thing. Or at least the ones that are fucken popular. A few exceptions do exist like The Punisher and The Walking Dead. But if I asked you out on the street or the bus or some shit for some recommendations of popular comics that don’t feature super heroes. You wouldn’t be able to mention very many right off the top of your head. You would have to think very long and hard to name a few. At best, you would probably be able to name three.

So, when I first heard american comic book connoisseur Stan Lee had teamed up with Hiroshi Nagahama you could probably understand how I wasn’t at all to intrigued. But since it was a collaboration between america and japan I decided, what the fuck, I’ll give it a chance. I mean shit  we need as many reasons to unify as ever these days. And Stan Lee isn’t at all new to the whole japanese anime thing either. He previously collaborated with studio Bones on 2010’s Heroman as well as the Ultimo manga series with the creator of Shaman King. So, while I doubt Stan watches a lot of anime he does however have some knowledge of how the anime industry works. I guess.

But see…. the problem here is…it really irritates me when its anime that tries to do these types of things. It’s a medium that has a reputation for putting forth some of the most original shit ever seen. And since its japanese animation theirs always some bizarre imagery or characters with over extravagant designs or stories that don’t make a lot of sense. And that’s the following animes problem. It tries to copy what makes super heroes so appealing on american shores yet contorts it with its own aesthetics. Japan has its own version of the super hero trope and it’s not exactly what you would call substantial”. And it becomes extremely obvious when watching this that the japanese idea of a super hero is significantly different then the american version. And that reflects a lot here. Plus, it’s just really poorly put together. Not only does this attempt at a collaboration fail as a superhero anime…it also sucks visually.

Fellow human filth I’m the Angry Misanthropist Freak and this is my review of Stan Lee and Hiroshi Nagahama’s…The Reflection. Let’s do this shit.

This anime is flawed in many, many ways. It’s not good. Like at all. From its animation to its story, to its characters. Everything is just poorly conveyed here. But its greatest flaw is that it tries to be a unique take on the Super Hero genre when really it’s just riddled with the same dumb ass clichés and character stereotypes that’s making me start to hate superheroes in film. I mean the very reason people are given super powers in this universe is through this world-wide catastrophic phonomenon known as The Reflection that brings forth an age of this animes equivalent to the fucken X-Men called “The Reflected”, humans with various super powers. And the story follows a number of these reflected in america. Again, this is a collaborative work with an american so yeah. It’s going to be set in the states. And of course, since super powers are so damn scary and unpredictable there is of course prejudice and discrimination between humans not effected by The Reflection and The Reflected themselves. Gee doesn’t that sound familiar.

And since there’s discrimination there are of course a bunch of Reflected who are pissed off at humanity or Reflected that simply think they can do whatever the fuck they want to do because their Reflected. Hence forth, we have the villainy. And this leads to different factions going into play. Some want to destroy humanity others want to preserve it and show that not all reflected are evil.

And at the forefront of this cast is Eleanor Evans whose power is basically a rip off of Kurt Wagner, only she sucks at using her power. At least at first. I mean we don’t get to see her use it effectively until the later half of the 5th episode. Which is where I actually stopped watching. And trust me I actually wanted to stop watching loooong before that. I fucken hated this anime after the first few episodes. What really got to me was when I got to know Lisa. A paraplegic character with daddy issue and her superpower. Which is basically…a wheelchair that turns into a mecha.

Yeah, again don’t forget, a collaboration with japan. And to be honest I wanted to drop it right then and there. But I honestly wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I didn’t stick with it and give it the proper chance every anime deserves. But it was literally fucking torture just watching how bad the fucken animation was here. This is something I would’ve expected from crap studios like fucken Toei or some fucken small independent studio who probably do only tiny little internet animations. But not fucken Studio Deen! We’re talking about the same people who brought us the critically acclaimed Higurashi franchises. Granted animation wise that was pretty average too but it was a lot better than this crap, proving that they are indeed better than this. So it really left me with an “oh god why” kind of feeling.

In a single episode, I think only a good half plus quarter of it was actual animation. The rest was pretty much just several seconds of still backgrounds. Some almost with no detail put in to them.

And most of it honestly looked like it could’ve very well been done in flash mx or some shit. It was literally that bad. And fluidity and continuity be damned here. The imagery here never stays consistent. In one frame a gient monster thing is literally the size of an upturned SUV but in the next frame its tiny as all hell. And this flaw remains consistent throughout the entire five episodes I watched.

 

The animation here is just bad. Bottom line. As you can see the animators at Deen took this shit very seriously. And it’s just really lame how this is what I got when Deen has proven to not be the best – but still be pretty damn solid when it comes to action oriented anime. We’re also talking about the same people who made Vampire Knight and the first anime of the Fate Franchise before it was taken over by the much better Ufotable.

Now granted what they were trying to do here was sort of mimic the style shown in american graphic novels. In the first episode we get shit like the “pow and zap” bubbles in the first few episodes reminiscent of our own comic books. And if I was to be honest they nailed that type of visual pretty damn well here. If you want an animation style that truly brings the look of american comic books to life, here you go. It just doesn’t do it very well. Plus, this isn’t a comic book, this is animation. And animations supposed to flow like a river. And it doesn’t do that here. There are a number of weird ass cuts and dragged out scenes. In one second it’s a still frame, the next were in a flyby CGI background with a lame ass attempt at Sakuga.

And as for the character designs. There handled by Yoshihiko Umakoshi who’s done characters for Casshern Sins and Boku no Hero Academia as well as shit like the Heartcatch Precure! manga. (sigh) And I wouldn’t really have such a problem with them if the designs of these characters didn’t look like something straight out of the fucken 80’s. Nah, Stan and company had to go with the cheesy ass old school american comic designs mixed together with something you would see from My Hero Academia. Instead of something more realistic looking like the getups from the Bryan Singer films we just have characters that look all flamboyant looking. There are a few exceptions here like this one women who looks like Scorpions fucken long lost divorced wife.

Anyway, the story here follows Eleanor who teams up with a very apathetic hero calling himself Exon who has the power to mimic other people’s powers no matter how fucking bizarre. And the two of them go on a road trip in the hopes of learning more about a Reflected named Wrath.

And along their journey they meet other reflected belonging to various factions. One of which is led by a blind man who has the ability to see whether a person is a Reflected or not and leads a pacifist party who wants to show society at large that Reflected are not the bad guys. And all of these big-time characters that they meet through the first half all belong to these various factions or no faction at all. The evil of which are a bunch of supervillains who are sick of being discriminated against and thus plot against the normal human populous.

By now I hope you get it. As you can see the pattern repeats itself once again here. There’s nothing new here that deviates from the traditional super hero formula. This is every major american super hero tail blended together with japanese clichés of their own to create an extremely lackluster production that’s presented in a bizarre fashion. It’s like watching Craig Mazin’s Superhero Movie, minus the comedy factor.

And we’re talking about a director that brought us shit like Mushishi. The Flowers of Evil and Detroit Metal City. Showing clearly that this is a man that likes to experiment. But this anime is something that really shouldn’t have happened. There are other good superhero animes out there. If you want some cool animes with superheroes – or at the very least superhero’esq characters that have a diverse range of superpowers – then try for animes like A Certain Scientific Rail Gun. Or better yet Darker Then Black. One of the best animes I’ve ever fucken seen. And if you want anime based around american super heroes then check out the 2010 collaborations between Marvel and Madhouse. There five times better thin this garbage.

But if you or someone you know really, really loves the old super hero comics or loves everything superhero that came out of the genres heyday, and can ignore things like clichés and really stupid looking low budget animation, then I cannot recommend this shit to you more. Me on the other hand, I’m sick of superheroes.

The final verdict for Stan Lee and Hiroshi Nagahama’s The Reflection is an extremely disappointing….3 out of 10… and gets the Superhero and Face Palm Seals of approval. If this was handed off to a studio who actually gave a fuck about all of the superhero marvel shit like Madhouse has proven to for example, I feel this could’ve been way better. But that shit didn’t happen here. I’ll be waiting for another attempt. That old deal between Madhouse and Marvel showed that american based superhero anime can be done right. But as a person who hates clichés. I’ll be waiting with low expectations. And with that I’m fucken done.

Super Hero Seal of Approval

 

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What is it that makes a cast of characters memorable?

Ones that make you think back once in a while and go “god I miss those fucken gitty ass little bitchs” or something like “Gee. Wouldn’t it be great to see those guys again in some kind of sequel or continuation?”

What is it that gives us these feelings of nostalgia and makes us want to rematch past shows and makes us hope we can see these characters again in some form of continuation. Is it the diversity of their tropes? The subject matter that the show is centered around? Or is it really just something as simple as “fuck you, their just funny.”

Many opinions fly around out there but really it just comes right down to the fact that there just isn’t really a clear discernable answer.It’s one of the very few questions out there that all just amounts to personal opinion really.  But honestly, I don’t think it’s any of those reasons. While all of them maybe indeed contributing factors to what makes up a good cast, I don’t think that’s the core value of one. I believe what makes a memorable cast is there bonds with one another. How do they see each other and how well do their character tropes mingle with one and other?

And above all…how well do they mesh? Or don’t mesh for that matter. Memorable characters are made when the differing character tropes clash in a setting that they all unite around. The following anime has a cast that does just that.  The problem is however while the subject matter the characters bond over is interesting and everything. It’s something that’s arbitrary and heavily convoluted with shit that really shouldn’t be here.

Since it’s centered around game development I was expecting it to be somewhat serious. When I first read the description on Anichart back when its first season aired back in the latter half of 2016. I jumped the gun – illogically – and thought I was going to get something like Bakuman or Shirobako. Something that kept the comedic feel of regular anime but went into depth about the profession in question.

And looking back on it I don’t know why the hell I thought that. I guess because this only came out a year after Shirobako all the while the third season of Bakuman was still fresh in my mind. I guess I was just used to expecting serious animes centered around certain professions. I mean if Bakuman and Shirobako tackled these kinds of things in humorous but serious ways then why couldn’t the following anime. So, I watched it and I was immediately disappointed at the fact that what I got instead was just the same rehashed moe shit that modern-day anime is so dead set on keeping around. But while in the end I was disappointed in that regard.I still found myself enjoying the anime. Why? Because the characters here are just simply fun as hell to fucken watch. That and there also all nerds. Fellow human filth I’m the Angry Misanthropist Freak, and this is my review of…New Game. Let’s do this shit.

Get your insulin ready folks because this is one of those kinds of animes. Heads up right from the fucken start. Do not watch this anime if moe and colorful flamboyant animation is something you’re not interested in. To be frank if the characters here weren’t so into gaming as well as other geeky shit. I would’ve honestly dropped this after my five-episode rule of the first season was up. That is literally how surgery sweet this anime is. And since this is a slice of life comedy there’s no real plot or narrative. Instead, what we get is just a setting that the characters simply act around. Thankfully it’s just a fucken setting that a lot of people well be able to find interesting.

The plot – if you can call it that – follows fresh high school grad Aoba Suzukaze who achieves her lifelong dream of joining the gaming company Eagle Jump as a character designer. Due to the fact that the company is behind her favorite gaming franchise Fairy Story. A game that  has cute graphics which she fell in love with. And once there she finds out that her boss just so happens to be the head art designer who worked on the Game.

Yeah, it’s one of those yuri relationship impication type of animes. But after some howdy-doos Aoba gets to know her coworkers and begins life making cutesy ass games under her idols tutelage.

And really…that’s it.

That’s the setting and the story here all crammed into one brief ass jest. What follows is just an episode by episode depiction of Aoba and the rest of the girls simply working at the company. What the fuck have you come to expect from the slice of life genre? Adventure and hijinks? Tissh Fuck. You don’t watch a lot of anime, do you? The slice of life genre is something that you watch for the characters…not its narrative. Because eighty-percent of the time there is no narrative. Just the characters and them doing what they enjoy. And that’s what this anime is at its core. And it’s not to say that there aren’t things as insidious as character development here.

The characters grow and learn skills throughout the course of the series as game development is a creative group effort. We see newbies breaking into programming, making their own doujin games and shit, and eventually they go on to compete for a spot at the company. So yeah, there are such things as character growth here. And I guess you can say there’s drama here to. But the problem with that is that it’s often over stupid shit that really shouldn’t be such a big fucken deal. Like damaged pride and another insignificant B.S. You’ll see the characters often stress over the dumbest shit. I mean if you’re artwork is what practically sold the company yet a newbie comes around and shows you up. Is that really an excuse to be a bitch? Let alone have the other party get all sobby when they lash out. This is what happens when you try to inject drama into a fucken cutesy ass slice of life. It comes across as extremely cheesy. If you’re not one for extremely lame drama or find characters getting upset over the dumbest shit. That’s another reason you’ll probably want to pass on this.

But the reason this anime disappointed me wasn’t because of its slice of life aesthetics or the whiny characters. It was again simply the fact I jumped the gun thinking I was in for something serious when in reality what this is is basically a fucken office comedy centered on game design. But, it’s that concept that’s this animes selling point. This appeals greatly to people who like gaming or better yet people who make games themselves. Of course, gamers and game designers are going to want to see a show about game development. That’s a fucken no brainer. And there’s also the fact that this anime got a two-season run, which is very rare because that usually only happens with animes that generate a decent fan following and considerable revenue. And that leaves a lot of people asking the question – including me.

“Why the fuck is an anime that looks like this popular enough to be allowed a two-season run. When certain other animes are not”.

But is that a question that really needs to be asked? I mean look at the fucken cast here. Not only is the entire cast made up of all females. But there also fucken geeks to boot.

We’re dealing with a pack of otaku women here. Straight up. Umiko Ahagon is the lead programmer of the company and also happens to be gun otaku. And when I say otaku I of course mean fucken otaku. I mean you would have to be obsessive if you literally take to  sniffing shotgun shells and shit. She’s often seen shooting people who piss her off with BB Guns and seen in the OVA hosting a survival game in the snow. And then there’s Hajime Shinoda who’s the spray big tited energetic lover off all things super sentai and collectable. You can obviously see where the appeal in this lies if you do a little bit of critical thinking. This would especially be the case in japan of all places. This is popular for the same reasons animes like fucken High School DxD were so popular.

Because the characters are obviously aimed at socially challenged japanese nerds who are in love with gaming and are to S.I to interact with women of the flesh. So, they turn to fiction for their release. That and there’s not very many attractive women who are like this in reality. And if there are, the bitches are already taken by the vast majority of gamer guys out there. The fact that the entire cast is all female without the single appearance of a guy solidifies the notion this shit is aimed specifically at the lonely japanese otaku. The only difference between this and H.S.D.X.D is the subject matter is actually interesting and boobs aren’t the primary factor.

The very creator of the koma four panel gag manga that this is adapted from is known for creating cute average quality artwork. With a very few small acceptations. And this all comes to fruition when you see the types of games these girls are actually making. Games about Fairy’s and Anthropomorphic Teddy Bears are the only things Eagle Jump has under their name. The games these girls are making are about as far from Resident Evil and Devil May Cry shit as you can possibly get. Do not, I repeat DO NOT give this any kind of attention if you can’t handle loli’s or any type of overly redundant adorableness. I cannot stress this enough.

Go watch animes like Fate Apocrypha or Princess Principle from this season if you want something more serious and plot driven. Still though the characters and their geeky ass hobbies here are the reason I and other people can enjoy this. I’ll admit I did hate the fact there was game design going on in the background that was never fully explored.

There were things like programing competitions going on here but with little focus on the actual programming. There were times I couldn’t stop staring at the computers in background to get ahold of the code they were typing. I actually wanted to know what kind of coding laugange they were using. I mean is that shit GML or JavaScript?  And the fact that I was at times more interested in what computers in the background were saying more than the fucken subtitles is of course saying a shitload here.

I mean would it really have been so boring as to have a cute little chibi version of Umiko pop up here and there to explain what an interface was or how coding coincides with the action seen in a game. Is this shit really so lame and uninteresting. We’re talking about a country who’s known to put anime characters in their textbooks in an attempt to make learning more fun. Why can’t this be something ?simmiler

Another negative aspect about this plot however would be that the subject matter in some of the episodes is borderline stupid and uninteresting and not only have nothing to do with game development but are completely boring and uninteresting topics. I mean a plot in of one of the earlier episodes is centered heavily around a stolen pudding.

Instead of you know…. game design! The shit this anime is supposed to be about!  The game design aspect here is merely a pretext. Thankfully though the interest in the subject matter continues to fluxuates between stupid and interesting quite frequently. In one episode were dealing with missing pudding while in the next where at a shooting range with two characters playing airsoft and the next there at a merchandise give away. That’s the one thing I can give this anime credit for. Each girl has a nerdy hobby and personality type that  works well here by forcing these personality types into one cramped ass little office cubical.

And what makes it special is the fact that these character types are practically polar opposite from each other. The fact that He-fumi Taki-moto is a shy introverted socially inept weakling who can only communicate effectively though I. M’s means vocal interactions with characters like Haj-ime and Yun who are both social little butterflies often pose humorous scenarios.

What it comes right down to though is that this is simply just the daily lives of game developers. An all-female cast of game developers. And the fact that there are zero male characters here tells you something. It’s all a combination of factors that just paints the picture of “yep this is for lonely ass males to get off on.” Who wants an anime with dudes when your sex starved and are already surrounded by men. One thing I like about this anime though is that there self-aware about it. You know how in most animes with an all-female cast they don’t question the fact that there are only women in their immediate group.

But here it’s actually a subject that’s addressed at a certain point. Once, but still it’s gone into which is a small plus. At least one of the girls here are questioning there all girl cast. I guess one can argue that there isn’t a single heterosexual man alive who would want to work on games like these. So I guess the theme here justifies the lack of a male character or two. But the thing is though this animes cast – all female or not – is extremely fucken memorable.

Weather its Hifumi and her antisocial nature. Or Hajime and her spry conduct. It’s never a dull or boreing episode. Pudding or no pudding. I guess ever since Bakuman was conceived of I’ve just come to both crave and expect animes that delve into certain professions. If there’s one thing Bakuman proved was that anime could go deep into certain professions while at the same time fall in well with the flamboyant style modern anime has. These characters are all otaku passionate about making games. And that’s the main thing people are going to identify with here. That’s why I loved it despite having certain qualms against moeblob.

The animation here is by a studio who I can tell is never going to change. Doga Kobo is pretty much no different than many of the other lesser known studios in terms of their themes. Look up there works on MyAnimeList and you’ll see the colors pink and purple appear more than just a few times.

This is a studio no different than studios like Lerche who’s narrowminded style isn’t at all impressive. Granted there are a few acceptations to this like 2008’s Ryoko’s Case Files and I guess Hidan no Aria. It had the same kind of color palate and character design as this. But hey…it had guns!

I guess I shouldn’t bitch about their style too much. I mean they also brought us Plastic Memories, one of the most touching – and I’ll admit logically flawed – animes since Ano Hana. But the animation here complements the themes that go along with cute gitty girls doing cute gitty shit. Until you kind of realize…these characters aren’t gitty girls. These characters are all supposed to be adults. But they sure as hell don’t make it look that way.  I had to keep reminding myself every time I watched this that these girls are in fact full-fledged grownups.

Aoba is a fresh high school grad. And the majority of japanese high school graduates are 18 years of age.  Meaning this girl is supposed to be a grown ass woman

Yeah. This girl right here is supposed to be an 18-year-old. She’s the clear-cut definition of a fucken legal loli. And see this little thing right here:

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/animevice/images/b/b6/Kou_Yagami_Stitched_Cap_%28New_Game_Ep_11%29.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160914055349

…20.  She’s fucken 20! These characters are literally old enough to buy both beer and ciggies and indulge in both of them while finger fucking each other to lesbian porn.

Yet these characters conduct themselves like the type of characters you would see from a typical anime set in high school. I know it shouldn’t really fucken matter all that much but it was a constant factor I just couldn’t help but smirk at every time Aoba kept trying unsuccessfully to come across as an adult by drinking coffee or getting all defensive when people called her suit a school uniform. I know this isn’t the only anime that does this. And trust me! The others with adults as the main characters with animation like this gives me the same damn feeling.

And lets also not forget how the animators just loved to shovel moe fan service into my face in the forms of various title cards and shots of Aoba in adorable outfits. And their of course frames that love to cap off compromising shots of her legs and skirt. I’m not actually bitching about this. I’m just pointing it out. I actually have no problem with legal lolicon. And that’s why I want to quickly point out the stupidity that was shown back when the first season was airing back in 2016.

Stupid people – mostly on the right – attacked and criticized the anime for being “child porn” after momentary clips of Aoba striping to get into her pajamas was seen by a few dumb ass bloggers.

Yes, there are scenes like this including a few bathhouse scenes because again, this anime is just more mainstream moe shit targeted to a japanese minority. But calling this shit child porn? Shut the fuck up. You have to realizes the cultural traits of the country this shit is coming from. People in japan age extremely well. A fucken 80-year-old can easily be mistaken for a god damn middle-aged woman therefor age in anime characters is going to be pretty obscure.

It’s natural for popular culture to grow around certain facets of that culture and produce comedic material based around it. And because of that characters that look young makes a shit load of since. Since there adults as well as fictitious characters it’s perfectly fine and acceptable to put them in fanservicey positions.

And I couldn’t possibly care any less that porn in japan looks like it stars underaged girls. There all fucken adults and have provided age verification and everything so there legal, fuckable and allowed to look as young as they fucken want to, so fuck off.

But getting back to the anime, the animation is tolerable and fitting of a setting of its kind. But it’s animation that’s – once again – only going to appeal to a small group of people, at least in the western world. While I’m somewhat glad that this was given a second season that allowed more character growth. There’s an extreme sense of irritation here. The fact animes like this are able to be granted a second season whereas better animes like Elfin Lied or High School of the Dead do not, is a bit of a fucken travesty. But its whatever I guess. It’s just another factor of the anime industry among many that I’ll never fully understand.

While this is an anime that slightly disappointed me, it was just because I jumped the gun and thought I was going to get something serious. What I got though still wasn’t bad. I loved this for the characters. They’re going to go down as some of the most memorable for a while. Yes, it’s about as surgery sweet as a bag a skittles and reses peace’s, but if you can look past that you can actually find something to like here.

I usually fucken hate moe but I make an acceptation if the anime has something I’m into. Since these girls all happen to be fucken geeks I found something to identify with here so I watched both seasons front to back. And honestly, I have no regrets. I find a very fair final verdict for New Game would a very well earned….7 out 10. And sure, as hell gets the Moe Blob Seal of Approval. I definatly recommend this if you want an all-girl cast who’s in to gaming. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and expect this to be a serious look into the japanese gaming industry. If you want animes that go into depth of what certain industries are like in japan watch shit like Bakuman and Shirobako. There both fun as well as serious.

I hope sooner or later we’ll get an anime that shows us what the gaming industry is like over there from a serious more hands on perspective.But until then it looks like our only choice is loli fap fuel.

And with that I’m fucken done.

Moeblob Seal of Approval

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Harem animes. I am fucken sick of generic ass Harem animes. And when I say generic that of course means I’m not referring to the entire harem genre collectively. I’m talking about the good sum of the harems that come out every season that does absolutely nothing new to add to the genre. Ones that have the same redundant ass done to death formula. An awkward dumb ass male lead who gets placed in a very implausible scenario surrounded by an all-female cast and gets all flustered and stupid whenever one of these women gets the least bit friendly. And often these women sport fucken F to G sized – and sometimes fucken beyond – bust sizes with one exception often being a self-concisions flat chest. Along with an assortment of other done to death facets like the ever-redundant accidental panty peak and fanservice in cliche beach and bathhouse scenes.

Name one harem anime that doesn’t have at least one of these staples. You can’t! the majority of them are all the same. And if you can name a few, you likely can’t name many. These are the ones I’m talking about. The stupid ones. And again, its not to say there aren’t some good ones. Once in while there’s one that comes out and dose something different and unique that sets them apart from the majority of the other filth.

Take 2010’s High School of the Dead for example – my most favorite harem anime ever. That anime had heavy ass fucken fanservice. As well as a bathhouse scene and over a dozen other of the same clichés I’m talking about. But there was actually plot added on top of all the boobs. A good one. One that had a very dramatic narrative with very down to earth and humorous cast of characters made up of both sexes. Not to mention the animation was of high-quality with a bad ass soundtrack and a delightfully vulgar ass english dub.

And these are positives no matter how much a lot of dumb ass fucken critics with pet peeves towards fanservice like to bitch about it. I don’t give a shit if there was a panty shot of a girl while she’s being devoured by the undead. It really fucken irritated me when this first came out way back when and I had to listen to the people criticize HOTD about having nothing other than boobs and zombies as its core values. Like that was the only thing it had going for it. When really that wasn’t at all the fucken case. There was more to that anime that no one seemed to want to acknowledge. Forget about the chaos that goes with societal collapse it’s all about the milk bags. Never mind the legitament drama of a love triangle between Takashi’s best friend and his ex-girlfriend, it’s all about Rei’s bazongas. Never mind Takagi’s parental issues, it’s all about her god damn lovey lady lumps. There were a lot of things to love about that anime and its even on my very short list of harems that I’ve actually felt the need to actually buy.

Another grate example is Trinity Seven just because its protagonist isn’t a shy awkward pussy ass. Arata was a straight up in your face laid back perverted mother fucker who just didn’t give a fuck. And I loved that.

While yes, the rest of the anime was crappy in pretty much every other facet. The fact that it had a male lead that didn’t turn into a fucken blob every time he saw a bra was enough to make me watch it from start to finish. Because protagonist like these in harems are so damn rare that there practically unheard of. We need more brazen male leads like Arata in our harems.

When I say generic, I’m talking about harems that don’t deviate from the same cookie cutter big boobed, ecchi, introverted character mold that modern anime just seems dead set on holding on to. Harem anime with aesthetics and characters that try to be something more serious and realistic is something I can actually get behind. But sadly, nothing like that is to be seen here in the following anime. Not only is it just more of the same rehashed bullshit all over again. It takes it to absolutely asinine levels. Honestly the only reason I’m reviewing this in the first place is to use it as a reference point for everything a harem anime should not be. So, whenever someone asks me “hey AMF what do you hate the most about harem animes” I’ll be able to link them to this post without having to write a fucken essay.

So fellow human filth, I’m the Angry Misanthropist Freak, and this is my review of Hajimete no Gal or in english…. My First Girlfriend is a Gal. Let’s get this shit over with.

So, in order to grasp the setting of this anime you first need to understand what a Gal is. A gal – also known as a Gyaru – is a Japanese transliteration of the English word ‘gal’. A word that literally originated from a 1970s brand of jeans called “gurls”, with the advertising slogan: “I can’t live without men”, and was applied to fashion conscious high-school girls. But since the early 2000’s its grown to include fashion concisions adults as well. You’ll often find them indulging in the most popular clothing lines in japan with literally bags and bags of clothing strewn on their arms and often sport legitament – or spray on – tans. And well often use their sex appeal to entice young, horny and no doubt sexually starved ass japanese men into buying them their shit.

So to sum it up in western terms there basically the japanese equivalent of a Basic Bitch. Air headed hoes so self-conscious with how they look that a fucken building can be burning down around them and the only thing that they’ll care about is if they look good in the lighting or not. Clearly one of the lesser points of the japanese culture I so dearly love.

The story here starts with our main lead Junichi Hashiba whining and crying alongside his small group of friends because there all sad and depressed that they have yet to find love in high school while at same time being surrounded by couples. And why are they all single? Well. Why is any anime character single in these fucken harem animes? Because there all a bunch of fucken weirdos of course.

Seriously getting to know these guy’s in the very first episode was all I needed to know that this anime was going to be bullshit. Each one of these characters are pretty much attributed to some arch type akin to the japanese pervert. And I guess I should just go ahead and get the fact that one of them is a fucken lolicon out of the way. He’s the fat one of course. But since he’s a side charterer I didn’t get much of him story wise in the 8 episode’s I watched. Which was actually a small plus. He’s often seen daydreaming about underaged girls or fawning over them in one episode where he literally gets a fucken part time job at a firkin kindergarten in order to save money to pay for a trip to the beach. Much to the terror of his coworkers. But again, he’s a fucken background character who’s just another staple of the “comedy” factor. Like a type of side show clown at a circus. But I understand how it would be pretty hard to find a high schooler dreaming of little girls as comedy. But me, I didn’t think anything of it. It’s just another dumb fictitious anime with dumb weird ass fictitious characters. Get the fuck over it. Still though I wasn’t intrigued. In fact, it was just another annoying aspect about this among many. It’s nice however that our main character is the one voice of reason in this little group. He himself thinks their freaks and often subtly denounces them for it.

But whatever points this earns him are immediately taken back when you realize just how much of a generic harem protagonist this mother fucker actually is. I mean it’s his friends idiocy which leads him to actually scoring with lead heroin Yukana Yame. Technically they strong-armed him into doing it but whatever. It surprisingly goes right as she accepts him. The anime then goes on to tell the story of their budding romance, which has very little progression I might add.

An anime of the Winter 2016 season Momokuri had this same problem. It featured two main characters in a relationship that never fucken went anywhere. And honesty the only reason I watched it was because I was happy to finally see an anime that featured two characters in an actual relationship. Sadly, that was its only saving grace about it. And here it’s the same damn thing, the two of them go on dates and everything, but the main character is just such an infuriating wuss that pretty much every moment he was on screen was annoying to watch.

No matter what the fuck kind of harem anime comes out, 9 times out of 10 every male lead is the same damn thing: introverted, shy and a bumbling moron, HOTD’s Takashi had these types of traits but they were minuscule and he stepped up to the challenge even if boobs were a stepping stone. And Trinity Sevens Arata. Fuck. Let’s face it. Arata’s just my fucken hero.

And lets of course not forget that there’s the list of classic harem anime clichés. The trip and fall on the girl’s boobs clichés, the awkward misunderstanding between other girls cliche. The fighting that goes on between the girls fiending for the male leads attention cliche. This is all of that, all over again. For like the 8-millionth time. I mean I knew there was going to be a fucken fanservice beach episode right from the very beginning. It’s a fucken pattern, you got the boobs, you got the shitty love story, the shy ass characters. Those are all fucken flags indicating that yes…there is indeed going to be a cliche ass beach episode. That’s actually the fucken reason I stuck with this torture for the 8 episodes I did.  Just to see if I was correct in assuming there was going to be such an episode. And I was right. This fucken solidifies it. If it carries the harem tag, then its official. Theres going to be a bikini somewhere in here. This genre has literally become this fucken predictable. Even Highschool of the Dead found some eccentric ass nonsensical way to fucken wedge a beach OVA into a zombie apocalypse setting which to this day confuses the shit out me. I guess the one saving grace to be had here is that this can still be considered a legitament romance. Despite what you may think these two legitamently give a fuck about each other, even though there to fucken scared to say it to each other’s face of course.

Other characters include two other Gals one of which is Nene Fujinoki who actually doesn’t start off as one. Since she’s literally ga ga for Junichi she at firsts mimics a little sister’esq Imouto character because she’s aware of the types of games he likes to play. But once she sees how Junichi falls for Yukana she immediately jumps personas into a fucken Gal girl, just so her senpai well fucken notice her. And this really made me hate her.  She literally hates being herself and tries to be something that she clearly is not in order to please a guy she likes. And the other Gal is Yui Kashi who’s just as unlikeable. When Junichi turns her offer for sex down due to being a faithful boyfriend she snaps and reveals that she’s simply a fucken lesbian in love with Yukana and just wants to sabotage the fuck out of their relationship. Instead just telling her how she feels she instead tries to destroy her friends love life. Yeah Yui that’s going to really make her love you, assuming she’s even gay or bisexual in the first place.

Everything about the story is annoying. The setting is annoying,  the characters are all annoying. And the only thing that leaves is the animation. And what the fuck do you expect from an average ass harem anime. This is by a studio called NAZ whose visuals have never really been anything to talk about. There biggest success was apparently a fucken anime adaptation of a Boys Love Visual Novel showing clearly where there expertise lies. And their low budget shows keenly here. No one scene stands out to me as better than the other in terms of visuals. Unless you’re honestly the type of person who’s eccentric about boob animation and find it a crucial factor of an animes overall visual quality. If so, okay! In that case the animation gets a fucken 8 out of 10. But to anime goers in the general sense, this is near the bottom of the barrel. Plus, the anime itself is just rife with stupid humor. I especially found the parts where Junichi debates with his inner personas very stupid.

In a very weird ass way this works in a comedy sense but if this is honestly what you find funny then you have an extremely low ass set of fucken standards.

We’re dealing with ecchi here. Lots and lots of fucken ecchi. Like ridicules, retarded ass amounts of it. There isn’t a single fucken episode out of the ones I watched that didn’t have at least six to seven-minute scene involving something raunchy. And most of the time…it isn’t even sexy or funny. We’re talking about tits the size of casaba melons and panty shots with very disturbing looking bulges. And when I was downloading the subs I had the option of getting a censored version. But damn my curiosity I went ahead and went with the uncensored downloads instead. And my god I wish I hadn’t. Normally I’m okay with fanservice. Sexually objectifying hot women is awesome, plus its good for em. Most hot women are so fucken stupid that sexually objectivating themselves is the only way they can get by. But if you have fanservice in an anime it has to do two things. One, it has look appealing, this does not. And two, there has to be context behind why it’s happening. Very rarely is there a legitament reason for most of the fanservice that goes on on screen here.

I’ll give a pass to certain select scenes because there legitament loving encounters between certain characters. But a fucken scene involving a simple confession of love shouldn’t be dragged out with scene after compromising scene of a character’s sexy bits nore should the perverted fantasies of a virgin high schooler during a date constitute for a lengthy softcore porn skit. Seriously these fantasies are stretched out for several dozen seconds at a time. I literally found myself yelling at my monitor a few times at Junichi telling him to fucken come back to reality so we can move what little plot there was along. If you’re against redundant context’less fanservice then you’ll hate this right from the start. And I understand that this is supposed to be a comedy relying on shock humor. But this is a very childish lame ass form of comedy despite it has an R+ rating. I guess if you find a group of gal’s playing with each other’s boobs humorous then congrats, here you go. Your perfect anime. I just won’t be taking recommendations from you anytime soon.

If you want a funny harem anime go watch Seitokai Yakuindomo. Best comedy harem there is. But I can immediately give you a solid recommendation to stay clear of this. Comical boobs are literally this animes only selling point from a purely visual standpoint.  Its equally on par with everything else. It’s just all-around fucken lame.

But if there is one thing I actually can give this credit for here…is the english dub. And I say this very fucken rearly. In truth, I swore off english dubs eons ago when I first heard Rebecca Forstadt portrayal as Higurashi’s Rika Furude and on western licensing in general when Sentai Filmworks cut the insert song “Katyusha” from the english release of Girls und Panzer. But as I said in regards to HOTD’s dub, I’ll make an acceptation if the voice acting proves full of cuss words or vulgarity. And I overheard an extremely…. giggly…ass little bird state that the english dub was actually pretty fowl.

Untitled

So I decided to take his word for it and give it a chance. And honestly…it didn’t disappoint.

(snicker)  I often lump english dubs into the same trashcan where they belong. But I have to admit this was decently raunchy. And apparently Jamie Marky can pull off a surprisingly good preppy stupid blond making here a real decent fit for Yukana. Like seriousleeey!

I guess we are talking about a voice actor who’s won several awards here. So, she has to have some kind of talent. And it shows here pretty well, I’m not going to lie.

But then of course there’s Brittany Lauda as Nene who also does a fairly decent job as far as english dubs go. But to be honest she just made me hate Nene’s character even more by showing just how fucken desperate for Junichi’s dick she is. This bitch is willing to literally completely overhale her entire fucken vocabulary for a guy who’s obviously not into here. And that shows just how fucken weak of a person she actually is.

Still though, a decent dubbed performance. I honestly replayed certain lines.

But still though it doesn’t save the overall package. Hajimete no Gal is yet again just another worthless ass harem anime with the same worthless fucken tropes. It wasn’t even a fucken full season 12 episode production. They pulled a fucken KonoSuba and cut it short at only 10 episodes. Almost like the animators knew it wasn’t an anime worth finishing. I only recommended this shit to hardcore fans of ero/harem/fanservicey bullshit on levels matched only by shit like Highschool DxD. Which I really hope isn’t a lot of you. But when you think about it there are probably in fact a lot of fucken freakish pricks in the anime community who’ll pay actual money for the DVD once its released by Funimation. Why else have we gotten several seasons of DxD. There’s obviously a fucken audience for it apparently. But even if you like this kind of shit I highly recommend that you torrent it. Do not buy this shit. Don’t fund more of this idiocy. These fucken generic ass harems need to fucken stop.

The final verdict for Hajimete no Gal – My first girlfriend is a gal – is a very deserving 3 out of 10. With an Ecchi and Face Palm Seal of Approval. There’s nothing worth seeing here unless you want something slightly funny, crude and low quality. If you want a harem anime, watch Trinity Seven, that anime actually has a protagonist that isn’t a fucken pussy. Or even better… High school of the Dead. That one has action, believable romance as well as superb visuals. Don’t give crap like this the light of day. We need to see to it that shit like this stops. And the sooner we stop funding it the sooner that’ll happen.

And with that, I’m fucken done.

Ecchi Seal of Approval

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You know sometimes an anime can flat out fucken suck. The animation may be poor or have a low budget. The characters are probably annoying, or the story could just be fucken weak. The entire thing can just be a piece of fucken low-quality garbage.

But the premise.

If there’s one thing the following anime has taught me it’s that something as simple as a unique premise can save the entire thing. If the idea is something new and unique and has never been done before I’ll enjoy it for just that one aspect.

 

In the end, even though it was a surgery sweet mesh of moe blob bullshit. I just couldn’t  put it down. So, while this anime doesn’t go down as the best anime of the entire summer 2017 season. It definitely goes down as one of the most interesting.

Even though I still dropped it after 8 episodes.

Fellow human filth I’m the Angary Misanthropist Freak, and this is my review of… Centaur no Nayami…Or in english…. A Centaur’s Life.

Now…don’t get me wrong. First and foremost, the setting itself here doesn’t make a lick of fucken sense. What we have here is an alternate version of our world where human evolution has basically taken a significantly different course. But I’m not talking about something awesome like X-Men or some kind of fucken superhuman shit or even us intermingling our genes with plant or other animal life.

Nope, nothing so plausible.

In this animes version of humanity, evolution has lead up to humans taking the form of mythical creatures.

Yep! In this version of humanity instead of Caucasians, Africans and Asians we’re all a bunch of species ranging from Merfolk to Angles and so on. And the story – if you can call it that since this is just another slice of life – focuses on several of these humanoids. The main of which being a centaur girl named Hem-eno Kimi-hara, as well as her and her two friends – the demon girl Nozomi and the Satyr Keouko – who all coexist with kids of various other species.

So as you can tell this really is not your average slice of life. Most slice of life’s – if not all slice of life’s – follow regular ass human beings as they live as fully human beings. Ones with actual arms and legs and shit. And that is this animes prime selling point. And it sells it off splendidly.  And, I’m well aware. This brings to question plausibility. While the whole “evolution taking a different course” thing is an interesting concept. One might argue an ape is highly unlikely to evolve into a horse like humanoid.

And while thankfully the backstory of all this is explained here in length by a teacher. If you’re a college student majoring in Biology or Evolution or some shit and take such matters seriously, you’ll no doubt crease your fucken brows when you hear the scientific explanation as to why humanity evolved in such a manner.

Yeah pretty eccentric, but  here’s the deal. Even though plausibility be damned with this scenario, I am very fucken grateful for this explanation. If it dumped this setting on to me without an explanation as to why it’s like this. I would’ve been more compelled to drop this sooner.But the writers here are at least trying to put this into terms that makes sense. And there being extremely creative with it.

Most animes just dump a stupidly implausible scenario on my lap and just expects me to role with it. But this anime actually gives some kind of basis. It gives me context as to why these characters are the way they are. I mean the reasoning is far from adequate. I mean this is logic straight out of fucken Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

But it’s at least something to go off of. And I appreciate that. Plus, you have to remember. Not only is this fiction. It’s also fucken anime we’re talking about. 70 percent of time it’s not supposed to make any sense. So really, who the fuck cares.

I mean if I can suffer through bullshit like Infinite Stratos and the explaination’less reasoning as to why its protagonist is the only man in the world capable of piloting a mecha that can only be piloted by women. I can sure as hell suffer through this. If you’re an intellectual, just let it go. The premise itself is not the only intriguing aspect here.

Whats even more intriguing is getting to know these characters and this alternate version of this human society. A lot of the scenes here go into detail about things that otherwise wouldn’t matter but are still shown. Like how Centaurs go to the bath room, how do they get into cars, there biology and their thought processes as well as the thought processes and lives of the other races shown here.

Getting to know the merfolk specifically was really interesting. And no, it’s not just because there topless.

The merfolk are basically mermaids and since they spend 90 percent of the time in…. knee deep water?… there a species that live their lives topless a good portion of the time.

And I want to really quick point out why I actually fucken love this kind of fanservice. These characters don’t where shirts nore bras simply due to being a sea based species. This kind of fanservice I love and appreciate because there’s context and reasoning behind it. If your living in water 24/7 you’re going to no doubt grow tired of cloth sticking to your flesh every time you come up to see the sun.

So, it makes perfect sense that their society would do away with something as irritating as clothing. Yet in one of the earlier episode we see them with bathing suits on during a visit all of the land based species made to a merfolk school. So why did they choose to cloth themselves at that time. Because bearing their breasts is considered “inappropriate” around land based species.

And this brings up another fantastic factor about this setting. This is a very in depth alternate version of humanity. Us humans in our world evolved with a certain set of moral issues. These are a different version of human being so they have a different thought process. And that means we have to come to understand a new set of laws and reasonings. In the merfolk’s case covering themselves up to please the laws of another culture is no different from foreigners who come to live in america. There expected to assimilate and accept a new set of laws. And that’s a really intriguing notion. This is something that can please people who want something serious and logical as well as someone who wants titties in their anime.

Unfortunately, I could only find the censored version of the anime for TV so the sexy parts were creatively blocked out by sun beams. Yes, my minds in the fucken gutter but so are other peoples. Only in certain cases I’m worse. And that brings me to the obvious question a lot of people might have but are obviously too scared to inquire about.

Just how the fuck does these species inter-mate!?

I mean if you’ve seen this already go ahead and lie to my face and say you haven’t rustled with the question of how these centaurs have sex, especially with other species. I mean in one of the early episodes a guy who isn’t a Centaur literally gives a love letter to Heme-no, which actually turns out to be perverted so she of course denies him.

And these kinds of interactions just made me quiver.  I mean seriously. How the fuck!

I mean if you’ve ever seen a video of two horses having sex you’re probably going to fucken have nightmares at the thought of these two doing the nasty. This would be an extreme fucken hurdle to overcome if these two characters actually became a thing.

Seriously this is one of the very few animes I’m honestly scared to look up hentai doujinshi for. I mean unless Himeno’s giving head it’s pretty much bestiality because your obviously fucken the animal half. I’m officially putting this on my list of things not to look up on Fakku. Right up there with Boku no Pico and Iken.

And aside from my perversion, this anime itself can also get pretty fucken weird at times. I mean in the fourth episode Himeno and her two friends literally look at each other’s privet parts because Himenos “self-conscious” about how her pee pee place looks.

Thankfully though moments like these are few and far between. And as far as other characters go there just as interesting as they all belong to a certain other species. The two that stand out the most by far…. Are the Antarticans.

And thus, my favorite character is of course the Antartican girl whose name is way too hard to pronounce so I’ll just call her “snake bitch”, who hails from a species from Antarctica. Hence fourth the name. Which is another thing that doesn’t make any evolutionary sense here as there’s no way snakes in the Antarctic could survive as their cold-blooded reptiles who have to hibernate in the winter time.

But whatever. Again… anime! But I still fucken love this character.

And not just because her character designs stands out from the other’s. But because her people’s way of living and thinking is actually explained. Her species is classy and has a very mature manner of speaking as her species is portrayed as highly logical. But of course, being a snake girl, she’s often misunderstood. She can’t even smile without looking like she’s about to bite your head off.

But characters and setting aside. What completely destroys this anime however is its extreme moe factor. This anime is retardedly cute.

Kei Murayama – the mangaka of the source material this is based on – pretty much only does moe blobby shit which really irritates me. I really prefer if artists expanded upon their designs and covered a wider range of topics and themes. And the fact he’s a dude drawing this kind of shit really leaves me irratated and wonder what this guy is all about. Murayama-san could really stand to do a more serious fantasy action series for example. After all there is some action to be seen in the manga.

And speaking of the manga. That brings me to one other thing this anime does that I hate. This anime disregards the manga a lot of the time. By a lot. Yes, there’s quite a bit of material from the manga shown here, such as Himano almost getting run over by a car and the awkward love confession by that angle dude.

But the studio –  Haoliners Animation League – picks and chooses and rearranges events at their leaser and often cuts things out or rearranges things to the point I didn’t get to see a lot of it. I got to the baseball chapter of the manga for example and stopped reading as I waited for the anime equivalent to come around. But it never did. And it was one of the many reasons I dropped this. If you want to see this in the fashion the original creator intended, skip the anime and read the manga.I’m pretty sure it would have probably adapted that chapter at some point but I wasn’t going to wait several episodes for that to happen.

As for the Animation in general, it’s nothing special as again this is extremely moe. This anime well makes anyone who isn’t a fan of cute and adorable literally sick to their stomach. Especially when children are on screen. There were several times that I cringed while watching this and felt like it would be high school all fucken over again if someone caught me watching this. And since the moe factor is something this entire anime relies heavily upon its animation is only going to appeal to a small majority of people.

I – who love animes like Berserk and Death Note – dropped it after eight episodes primarily because I grew to damn sick of all the cute. And there were other animes that simply looked better that I wanted to make time for. I can only stand so much sugar in my coffee. But the reason I stuck with it as long as I did was for the characters.

One might think that “hey there just centaurs and angles and mermaids, whats the big deal?” And that’s true, we’ve literally got books and books about these mythical creatures that we can read. But whats cool here though is the society that these characters are centered around and how keenly well-defined it is. Centaur no Nayami is a stupid anime with over excessive cute but its selling point lays in its originality and character dynamics. I highly recommend this to people who are begging for something original after suffering through all of the redundant over used mecha and harem shit and want something new in intriguing to watch.

But I warn you, this shit is adorable. If you can’t stand animes like Azumanga Daioh or Non-Non Biyori stay far away from this. While I hated it for the moe I just couldn’t stop watching for its setting. It’s like two horses having sex. It’s disgusting yet you just can’t look away because it’s something that’s just so damn rare to see.

So, I’m going to be nice. The final verdict for Centaur no Nayami – A Centaur’s Life – is a good… 7 out of 10. And gets the Moe Blob and Fantasy Seals of Approval. I only dropped it because I was obsessed with other animes this season and because I grew sick of its incessant cute and disregard for its source material. Horse sex can only intrigue me for so long. If this had a more serious plot and wasn’t just a simple slice of life I would’ve probably watched it up to the very end.

Fantasy Seal of Approval

It could have stood to maybe add a little bit of drama or bloodshed and toned down the moe elements somewhere near the middle. Weather it did past where I stopped watching. I don’t know. If it did, my apologies. Let people know in the comments that I’m wrong. But with everything said and done animes like this only come along once in a while.

And if it appeals to you, Grate! But just don’t expect a second season with the ratings its gotten. And with that, I’m fucken done.

 

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You know, anime to live action often doesn’t work, I’m well aware of that. Name one good live action adaption with anime as its source material and you could only – at best – name one or two. Three at max if you’re a forgiving soul who doesn’t worry about stupid shit like all that fucken whitewashing bullshit.

But, why do all these movies fail? What about them is so damn awful? The definitive answer to this is of course: The source material. It isn’t fucken whitewashing, the direction or even the fucken casting that screws up an anime adaptation. It’s the anime itself that’s the problem. It all hinges on the nature of the source material. How crazy exactly is the material that these studios are trying to adapt into a real life looking medium. Does it feature some kind of freak with retarded ass super powers? Such as a fucken mutant shapeshifting hand for example? Or a fanservicey shit fest with its only saving grace being boobs. Movies based on things like Dragon Ball or even fucken Attack on Titan with their bizarre ass looking monstrosities and ridicules fighting techniques are just too damn hard to fucken translate into real world people doing real world things while at the same time trying to make it look believable let alone interesting.

But what if the setting was more realistic with setting featureing real human beings with no flamboyant super powers or idiotic overextravagant esthetics. Just a story about real, normal people – at least as normal as possible. As well a setting that doesn’t involve mecha, bouncy boobs or kamamahs! Settings like those can be done right. The following film proves this splendidly. It is damn good.

And honestly, I’m going to tell all of the fucken dumb fucks out there who are obsessed with stupid idiotic shit like whitewashing to immediately fuck off away from this review. Your stupid insignificant critics are wearing very thin on my nerves. There called fucken “adaptions” for a reason. The definition of adaptations is a noun derived from the verb “adapting” which means making something suitable for another medium. In this case live action film.

Adaptation Definition

So of course, it’s not going to be an exact copy and paste of its original material. And this doesn’t happen with just anime and manga.  There are multiple versions of the same character in comic books and movies everywhere. Look at the fucken Spider Man and The Amazing Spider Man movies. Same characters, different stories and directors.

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It happens all the fucken time. Different universes, same characters have always been a staple in creative media throughout the world. Why is something like a white guy playing an originally japanese character or a japanese playing a fucken originally black character such a big make or break thing. I said this in my text review of Ghost in the Shell. It’s not character ethnicity specifically that makes or breaks a movie. How about the acting? The direction? The cinematography? The special effects and all of them combined to make the final package? Do those factors not mater as well? The answer is of course “fuck no!”.

The problem with most movies that try to adapt anime is that the fucken source material is way to fucken freaky to be translated well into the real world. It’s why Dragon Ball failed, it’s why Attack on Titan failed and why so many fucken live action japanese films fail. If you make it too much like the source material it’ll look fucken stupid. And if you divert it too far from the source material fans are not going to be into because it’ll probably look like something entirely different. Death Note’s one of those animes that are much further down to earth and realistic and stares regular human beings. (Minus the existence of reapers of course). That’s what makes a Death Note live action possible. And why the Japanese movies weren’t as bad as other lame ass attempts at japanese filmmaking. While yeah, the japanese adaptations are far from good, there sure as hell not as bad as Dragon Ball: Evolution or Devilman, correct? There just too damn crazy to do anything with. But Death Note is different, and that’s why it works here.

Director Adam Wingard directed shit like “A Horrible Way to Die” and “You’re Next” and the three screenwriters – yeah there were three – all understood very well what made Death Note so awesome as well as how to make a thriller and how to make americans happy with an adaptation. They wrote the scripts for 2011’s Immortals and 2015’s Lazarus Effect, both of which were average according to critics. But told highly dramatic and thrilling stories. And that talent reflects brilliantly here.

So, what does Death Note do correctly? What Vertigo Entertainment did well despite the fact that it stares a white kid named “Light Turner” – don’t know what the fuck his parents were thinking there – but what this movie nails spectacularly… is its thriller esthetic. We get pretty much the same thing here plot wise. Ryuk, one of many gods of death drops a Death Note which has the ability to kill anyone who’s names is written in it and our white version of Light picks it up and starts to kill criminals with it with the aid of his love interest Mia. With a firm motive being Lights mother that was killed prior to the movies start. And eventually the black version of L who is an Orphan turned super sleuth decides to try and bring him down. I found L’s back story is a bit different from the anime and manga here but that’s a minor insignificant detail.

But of course! This is where the fucken dumbass whitewashing bullshit comes into play but I’ll get to that in a minute. What I don’t get is why people think this movie doesn’t capture the essence of Death Note. Everything that made Death Note interesting is to be found here. The morbidness, the rivalry between Light and L, the moral issues surrounding killing criminals. It’s all here. Yes, there are somethings that are different but that’s because of its american setting. There’s no crazy ass potato chip scene anywhere here but its thrilling none the less.

The thrills here are awesome, and in certain ways even a liiiittle better than the original anime. And the acting? I don’t give a fuck about the god damn ethnicity of the characters here. The quality of acting here was pretty damn well done. I loved Keith Stanfield portrayal as black L. Mainly because this version is much less stoic. I mean japanese L is understandably calm and cool due to the fact the japanese are traditionally a calm and logical people, so a weird stoic little otaku looking version of L is understandable. Plus the setting here is america and since we americans are just naturally barbaric by nature The characters here feel a lot more emotional. Tons more that was seen in the anime and live action adaptions. And this shows in there acting. This version of L goes nuts in the latter half of the movie, and so does Light as everything pretty much just comes crashing down on him hard near the end.

And Light is still a genius here but it shows a lot less. And don’t get me wrong he’s still extremely intelligent here. We see him doing another kids math homework and getting paid for it in the beginning showing that he’s smart as hell but willing to break the rules. Which gets him into trouble latter on as this is high school and there are of course bullies and shitty teachers. And the fact that this is high school is probably the reason a lot of critics are pissed off at the violence and the R rating. Yeah there’s violence here. The peak of which is a scene straight out of something like the fucken Final Destination films

That clip right there is pretty much as violent as the movie gets. But really who the fuck cares!? it’s a high schooler who kills people. We’re fucken barbaric ass americans so that shit happens every day here. Kids are gonna fucken kill people without games or movies okay, so shut the fuck up! And the movie itself is about a notebook that kills people so yeah there’s gonna be some gruesome deaths. This is a notebook that magically forces people to commit suicide and die of heart attacks so yeah theirs going to be people dyeing horribly here. And the whole Death Note thing has led to some real-life stupidity in the past. But no one actually fucken died. Save that stupid bullshit for Fox News.

And then we have the sexy chemistry between Light and his love interest Mia Sutton, played by Margaret Qualley. There are going to no doubt be a bunch of fucken soccer and christen parents turned off by the fact that two high school kids are fucken macking each other. But again. America mother fucker. Plus, horny teenagers. This shit is again very understandable. Character wise Mia is pretty much this movies Misa Amene but comparing these two is just so damn fucken difficult because their level of competence and cunning is vastly different then in the anime and japanese adaptations. Yes, Misa was cunning in the anime, sneaking around and killing people behind everyone’s back in a few episodes and even had her own fucken little song insert.

But it was all overshadowed by her ditzy idiotic demeanor. She was even the root cause of a lot of Lights hurdles in the manga. And here in the movie it’s the same thing. But the difference here is that this particular bitch is just straight up fucking evil. And this leads to my first real qualm with Nat Wolff’s Light. He’s way to fucken forgiving. Later around the end of the second act the bitch pulls something that really is something deserving of a heart attack. It kicks in around this time just how much of a fucken bad bitch she actually is. And when I say bitch I mean biiiitch. I mean she claims she loves him but then she does something that would make any boy want to write the bitches name and cause her as painful a fucken death as possible. And Light does take a bit of a retaliatory measure but it was a spur of the moment thing that he regretted later on. So, there was a bit of illogical story telling there, I’m not gonna lie. And it really didn’t seem like something Light in the anime would put up with. But again, different versions of a character. Let it go. Still though, Mia is a pretty wicked character. Seriously if Misa and Mia were enemies and both of them had Death Notes Misa would still fucken die. Without a doubt.

And then we have Ryuk’s character of course. Mo caped and acted splendidly by both Willem Dafoe and Jason Liles and holy shit does he looks more awesome and realistic here than the fucken CGI shit show in the japanese adaptations. This really is the best Ryuk yet. Hands fucken down.

And Dafoe has always been good at villainous roles due to his crazy demeanor on set. He played the Green Goblin in Spider Man as well as other crazy antagonists making him a perfect fit for the character. He seems to be able to do creepy insane characters pretty well. And he lends all of that splendidly as the voice of Ryuk. And the amazing thing about this is the mother fucker didn’t even read the fucken source material? Nope. He stated clearly in an interview that he didn’t “feel the need to”. Weather it was because he was to stuped to to comprehend the whole reading comic books bakwerds thing or whatever I don’t know. But Adam just gave him the direction and he just rolled with it. And this right here solidifies  his right to be casted as any fucken lunatic monster/supernatural/human character in film ever. This Ryuk still laughs like a pot head and still loves apples so that shit hasn’t changed. And he clearly states that he’s not on Lights side, that he’s just a spectator and has no problems betraying him. In other words. He’s still the Ryuk we know and love.

And of course, now that I’m thinking of him now there are of course a few things that are different about the Death Note itself.  There are more rules in this Death Note that weren’t in the anime. A lot more. Like…a ridicules amount more.

So yeah there are a lot of things that are different here. Thankfully all of the rules in the Note Book aren’t given much light and are merely glossed over. But still, Light uses them splendidly. Again…genius. And there’s also Wateri of course. L’s butler pretty much in the anime. Whose of course fully japanese here in the movie. But this Wateri is also a father figure to L which makes him the reason he goes nuts later on. And I’ve already stated how the fact L is black here shouldn’t fucken matter to anyone but I know this fucken raciest ass country of ours is and there are going to be dumbasses in the anime community particularly who are going to bitch about it. But honestly I think Adam Wingard took this in to account and just wanted to piss off the community off intentionally. And really in this one particular regard…I thank him for it.

If there was really anything to bitch about here really it would definatly be the chase scene. There’s a chase scene here between L and Light and while it was good, it was also really dragged out for far to long and there were a couple of things that confused me. Like Light flipping over a chair in order to slow L down when he was clearly nowhere near it. But aside from that I really can’t find anything wrong with this movie. There is very little flack you can logically give it! It’s all very solid all the way up to the fucken epically portrayed Farris Wheel scene near the end. There’s also still the same phycological impact a lot of the fucken anime had here. And its all caped off brilliantly with Ryuk’s signature phrase:

And it’s all accompanied by shit that definatly makes it an american movie meaning now viewers and fans of the anime alike can find something to enjoy here.

And the musical score handled by the Ross Brothers was spot on. Especially with the scenes involving Ryuk’s sinister moments. All you fucken shit heads bitchen about whitewashing need to shut the fuck up. Even the fucken original creators of the franchise Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata themselves stated that they’ve enjoyed the movie. So, I really think that we can all agree whitewashing is not a legitament reason to pass on an anime adaptation. Hell, the thriller aspect here is in a way even better than the anime at certain points or at the very least definatly lives up to its level. The anime was more psychological warfare. This right here is legitament thrills.

Sorry anime community, but Vertigo Entertainment’s Death Note…gets a well-deserved….9 out of 10, and gets the Thriller and Blood and Gore seals of approval.

It’s time we stopped bitching about minor insignificant things such as whitewashing and instead focus on the quality of the movie as a whole. Casting decisions are not the only thing that makes up the worth of a movie. The message a movie is sending, its direction and its visuals are the hallmarks of what makes a good movie. The Death Note franchise has always had that and this film has that to. So, shut the fuck up, put down your goddamn Dakimakura and support Adam Wingard and Vertigo Entertainment for this really solid iteration of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata manga. It deserves a fucking chance. And with that, I’m fucken done.

Seals of Approval

 

 

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You know as a person who critiques media I should be open to all opinions. After all I love anime. And anime possesses a whole slew of differing opinions as it comes from a culture that’s not our own. And plus, the point of being a critic is to aid the people producing a product and to help them improve upon their designs. But sometimes the redundant whining over the smallest insignificant detail in mass can get really fucken irritating, especially when it’s my community that is being stupid.

When the following movie was first announced I suddenly learned just how trekkies who actually liked the new Star Trek reboot must have felt. Watching people who are anime fans/otakus grip, bitch and moan about this shit nonstop was just unbelievable. The post release backlash that Ghost in the Shell received was blown so far out of proportion that it was ridicules. The comments about  “white washing” – a word that I had never even heard of until this movie was announced – were pretty much the only concern people in my community had. I mean there were even whiny ass YouTube PSA bitching about this shit before the movie was even released.

Hell, there was even talk of white genocide by the conservative community regarding the movie. Fucking white genocide. And that amount of stupidity really just blows my fucken mind. A white girl getting casted for a character that isn’t white in the source material somehow well lead to genocide? Tssh okay, whatever! Your entitled to your opinion no matter how stupid it is.

But it was just unbelievable watching the backlash this had pre-release on the level that it was. No matter what forum I went to discussing this…weather it was MyAnimeList,  Gaia, Anime Planet, Reddit or fucken Animesuki. All people kept bitching about was aaah A white women is casted as a japanese role meeeh! Hollywood is killing the world’s best anime aaaha. The Asian identity is under attack mmaah. All I saw was bickering from everyone regarding race in film adaptations instead of the actual movie itself. Nothing about the director or how the cinematography might look, the characters or how they would tackle the setting and themes that the anime touched upon.

Nope! Everything was all about fucken race first, movie second. Fuck notions of direction and acting skills! There’s a white woman playing a japanese role so its automatically gonna suck. Why was it that this was the only thing people were giving this movie crap for even before it was shipped to theaters? Is race the only thing that defines a movies worth based on a source material that’s set in a specific country? I’m pretty sure that it’s not.

So now I finally got the chance to rent the DVD of the movie people wrote off as bullshit right from the get go without even watching it. And honestly, I’m going to admit. It wasn’t grate. It has its fair share of problems. But it sure as hell is not deserving of the bullshit reviews it’s gotten.

First off lets come at this movie from the common movie goer’s standpoint. Which honestly, I think is the reason behind a lot of the bullshit people are giving this. I want to first in I put the notion that this is supposed to be based on a world renowned japanese anime franchise into a box…along with my fucken weeaboo biased and then lock it up and put it on a shelf too high for all of the bitching whining ass little kids complaining about stupid shit can’t reach it. I’m going to come at this with the mindset that the people who saw this in theaters or bought the DVD thought they were watching just another movie of the cyberpunk genre.

Because I fucken love cyberpunk. It’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Ghost in the Shell so much. I’m just naturally drawn to cybernetics and stories that philosophically explore the human condition. And from these specific standpoints this movie…honestly isn’t all that bad. Like at all! But don’t get me wrong. There are still a lot of things here that makes this movie suck. As well as things that would make even a person who hasn’t seen the anime think the people directing this were some serious weirdos with a liberal agenda and a possible pot addiction. I mean one of the first things I noticed right off the bat – aside from the fact we were dealing with a very stoic and emo ass version of The Major – was just how diverse the cast actually was. It wasn’t until the entire cast gathered in one room that I actually saw just how much cultural appropriation was happening here. If you guys thought just Scarlet Johansson getting cast as the fucken Major was strange. Holy shit! take a look at the entire cast as a whole.

This movie might as well be titled “Cyberpunk: Multiculturalism”. In the original anime and manga this is based on we have a cast that is of course all japanese as Section 9 – the group the story of the anime, manga and films are all centered around – is a police intelligence agency centered in japan. Here however the cast is an entirely mixed ass bag of fucken ethnicity. We have a Danish guy playing Batou, a Chinese Togusa, a fucken Fijian Ishikawa and a fully japanese Saito just to name a few.

And honestly this shit is totally fucken okay with me! I’m a fucken globalist progressive liberal so a mixed ass cast of ethnicity’s is all good from a purely philosophical point of view. But the question I kept asking throughout this entire movie was “where exactly is this movie set?”. Is this supposed to be japan? If this is then I guess in the backstory of this particular version of Masanori Ota’s universe Japan has completely abandoned there heavily xenophobic conservative agenda by the turn of the 22nd century and have adopted a mass immigration policy. I mean in the anime series refugees were a reoccurring factor in the story due to the third world war but they were mostly form other Asian countries. But hell, honestly considering japans population crises right now, immigration by this point would be a very logical step to take. So really there are a lot of things that could logically explain away the mixed ethnicity of the cast. Things the idiots in my community didn’t take into account. But whatever. Apparently japan in this universe is fully accepting of foreigners so really I didn’t find there to be a fucken problem with the casting choices here at all. That wasn’t the problem this movie suffered from.

And the cast members acting out these characters? Were they bad? Fuck no! Not at all! The acting was good. At least for an average cyberpunk. You could tell that the cast didn’t really give a fuck about the characters they were playing and were just concerned about their pay. What I found a bit strange was Chief Aramaki’s character. He’s played by Takeshi Kitano, a full-fledged japanese man and speaks japanese throughout the entire movie while the rest of the cast speaks plain old English. And this felt a little unbalanced to me. And it all happens without losing a single beat.

But this can easily be argued away by the fact that hey…. cyberbrains! In this universe, cyber brains are an cyberbrains! In this universe, cyber brains are an everyday highly used and thoroughly integrated in to society factor in the stories universe. And a key factor in the entire series. And linguistics is a cake walk for a cybernetic brain and can process the language. I mean in the anime there were firkin characters downloading fighting techniques in the middle of battle so interpreting language in under a second and implementing it in a conversation is not at all too farfetched. But still a lot of casual movie goers probably wouldn’t really caught on to that unless they were aware of the anime. But honestly who the fuck cares!? I’m loving the shit out of this multicultural setting.

And don’t even get me started on the choreography and high-quality direction of the action scenes here! There is absolutely zero logical flack you can give this movie in regards to its production values. The direction by Rupert Sanders and Cinematographer Jess Hall is absolutely fucken superb here. There was not a single poorly done fight scene here in the entire god damn movie. The gun fights were awesome and some of the action flowed like something straight out of the fucken Matrix.

There are gun fights in the streets and in a fucken Yakuza occupied night club all of which were accompanied by a superb musical score by Clint Mansell and Lorne Balfe. Anyone who takes issue with the fight choreography and the direction. Fuck you! It was all awesome. Give fucken Jess Hall free fast food and a night’s worth of hookers because the mother fucker deserves it. But of course – all of that aside – does it still work as a Ghost in the Shell movie?

The answer to that would of course be…. Fuck no!

It works really well as a standard Cyberpunk. Like extremely well. Seriously, go see this if you like military sci-fi! You well love this! But we of course I have to compare it to its source material. And just as you would expect that’s where this movie crashes and burns. Horrifically! It’s not the fucken forced meshing of cultures or the fucken whitewashing or any of that stupid insignificant bullshit that screws up this movie. What they fucked up here big time is the Ghost in Shell aesthetic. Everything that made Ghost in the Shell so amazing is not here. The characters – even though there acting was good – did not feel at all like the characters of the anime. Nore did the movie explore the same type of themes the anime and manga explored. Trans humanism, the human condition, philosophy, all of the fucked-up notions that go along with cybernetics and the meshing of souls and metal. All of that has been forsaken in place of a stupid little story about a very emotionless Major getting lied to by a bunch of corporate scumbags about her origin and thus fights to learn who she really is.

This completely fails as a Ghost in the Shell movie. The issue here isn’t something as stupid as fucken whitewashing. I loved the casting choices and the notions of an ethnically mixed japan. That shits fucken awesome. My qualms with this movie are purely with its narrative. This is not a Ghost in the Shell Movie. This is a mainstream cyberpunk that Jamie Moss, Ehren Kruger and DreamWorks collectively all just slapped with the Ghost in the Shell label. This is not The Major and this is not Batou. While the acting was good none of these people felt like characters from the anime. Plus, really none of them are as flushed out here. This is only a 106-minute-long movie while we’ve literally had several animated movies and 50 plus episodes of the anime to get to know the majority of the cast. While the characters we get a lot of here such as The Major, Batou, and Aramaki don’t feel like the characters from the anime at all the story does adhere to some of the interactions seen in the anime. We get some chemistry between Botou and the Major going on here along with her and villain Kuze. And speaking of Kuze while he was a member of the Individual Eleven terrorist group in the 2nd season of the anime his role here is contorted to more of a role akin to that of the puppet master from the 1995 movie. Manipulating people’s cyber brains from the shadows and such. But still he was quite different having a fully functional body here in the movie…somewhat.

And of course, they changed his character motivations to that of more of a tragic victim of corporate scheming instead of a full-on rouge AI like he was in the anime. You know…. everything that made the puppet master such an omnipotent and philosophical villain.
While the acting was good and no one’s acting felt fake or forced. They didn’t have anything Ghost in the Shell feeling about them. I mean stating the Majors characters is stoic would be an understatement. I can tell you right now – aside from maybe a few select personality quarks in the original 1995 animated movie – this is not the Major Kusanagi we’ve come to know and love. But the thing you have to understand about The Major is that throughout the various iterations of Ghost in the Shell she’s never the same exact women. In each iteration, she’s a slightly different person. In the original manga, she was a kind of sassy type and possibly bisexual. And in the first animated film back in 1995 she was a kind of stoic but she was also a by the books in your face kind of women who just didn’t give a fuck.

That and highly philosophical, as per the entire franchises theme. The Majors always been a bit a stoic philosophical character, always chatting about her ghost and her other various musings

But she was never…a fucking selfless loner. She’s always had a fun loving and snarky twinge to her, but Scarlet’s portrayal of her was just way to damn emo. And then there are the matter of the shots of the cityscape, whats with this movie and those redundant shots of the environment.

Seriously fuck all those shots of the city. They overused the shit out of these shots. I estimate there was about 6 to 7 minutes of the film devoted to these bird’s eye views of the city that really overdid the dystopian future vibe. While yes Ghost in the Shell has always been a textbook dystopian future setting this is just not that.

And then of course there’s the biggest thing that pissed me off about this. My most favorite characters of the entire Ghost in the Shell franchise were not here. And those are the fucken Tachikomas. In the anime we’ve all come to love there are of course the Think Tanks. Robots otherwise known as the Tachikomas. Those lovable big ass blue fucken spider bot mother fuckers with their childish ass voices chatting each other up about everything from ghosts to the human condition. They were pretty much the fucken comic relief of the Stand Alone Complex anime with specific episodes dedicated to just them and their conversations. And I fucken loved the shit out of them. They were moe, but it was the kind of Science Fictiony mature type of moe that has just never happened in any other anime…other…then Ghost in the Shell.

But unfortunately, DreamWorks did not grace us with their presence here. One can argue it would be impossible to incorporate something that sounds like that into a live action film of this kind and not have it come across as absolutely fucken retarded. But when you think of some of the things they put here and whats been achieved by live action cinema in the past… I honestly feel that it very well could’ve been done. And it would’ve sure as hell brightened the bleak air established around Scarlets Major by a shit ton. The Tachikomas could’ve been implemented here in a manner that gave them a more serious and adult vibe all the while still keeping their quarks in check. You can do a childishly stupid sounding robot in a mature fashion. It’s been done before. But they didn’t. No Think Tanks here. And that was a huge disappointment here.

The only thing we got that remotely resembled a Tachikoma was the spider tank at the movies climax, ripped lovingly from the 1995 film. And this of course brings me to the nods this film makes to the original animated movie. They were clearly using that film for the basis here, which didn’t have the Tachikomas but whatever, I still would’ve preferred they be here. But we’ve all seen the trailers and saw the snippets of the Major beating the shit out of that guy. There are also several other nods the movie makes to the source material like Kuze hacking the two garbage men to do his bidding and the opening credits where we see the major coming into being. But those are merely nods to the look of Ghost in the Shell. Not to its values.

Yes, Ghost in the Shell has always had fist and gun fights but that’s not what made the franchise good. Ghost in the Shell has always been about the human condition and what it means to be human. It touched on deep philosophical topics. This movie doesn’t do that. I can’t fucken shake how wrong this feels as a Ghost in the Shell movie. And that’s why I think the best thing DreamWorks could’ve done with this is just simply… not link this to Ghost in the Shell. I’ve already stated this works splendidly as a Cyberpunk movie in of itself. If they took the Ghost in the Shell label off of this and tweaked a few names and terms used here and made it something…… “stand alone”…(ha ha)…then this could’ve honestly gone on to spawn its own franchise.

Yeah! I honestly saw that kind of fucken potential her. One might say people would obviously then draw a correlation between it and Ghost in the Shell. But people have done that with the new Deus Ex games. And guess what… that’s because the designers have already stated that they were inspired by Ghost in the Shell! Hell, the fucken Wachowski Brothers have stated that they were inspired by Ghost in the Shell! Imitation is – in fact – the greatest form of flattery.

But if you imitate something you need to imitate its selling points. DreamWorks Ghost in the Shell does not do this and that was the mistake that did it in.

Ladies in gentlemen, no matter what people claim are its faults this was just simply a bad idea from the get go. This should be the final lesson studios everywhere should learn from this. Listen and take heed:

Do not adapt anime into fucking live action! It doesn’t fucking work!

It was just another anime licensed live action destined to end the same way as all the others. But even though it sucks as a Ghost in the Shell movie, I still have to give it praise for its direction and fight choreography. It was damn awesome. Therefor I honestly think a fair score for Ghost in the Shell is a surprising…7 out of 10. And award it the Science Fiction, Action and Face Palm Seals of Approval. While it was destined to be a disappointment in the eyes of fans it wasn’t as big of a disappointment to cinema in general. At least to the point everyone thought it would be. It was just another attempt to adapt the unadaptable. But as far as unadaptables go it wasn’t something completely awful. To any fan of dystopian future cyberpunks with bad ass action scenes, I can highly recommend this to you. But be prepared for some serious mixing of ethnicity. But if you’re a hardcore fan of the anime this is something that you’ll probably want to pass on.

 

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