Posts Tagged ‘superhero’

Every so often a series comes along that is a haven, a resting place, a place of nourishing and respite where you catch a glimmer of something longlasting. Such a series stands out from the crowd the way that a single ray of light slices through an entire overcast sky. Chuunibyou Demo Kai ga Shitai is a series like that; it is heartwarming, innocent, hilarious, fragile, beautiful, real, and far, far, too short. I’ve put off writing about it because summarizing it meant an end to the dream.

Chuunibyou is the story of Rikka, who has a serious case of 8th-grade syndrome. What is that? Eighth-grade syndrome is the (over-)dramatic expression of living as your own self-created super-hero, at least that’s what it means initially. The problem is that she is an admirer of her next-door neighbor, who is one year older. He too was once in the grip of eighth-grade syndrome, but has abandoned it (mostly) now that he is in high school. Rikka has not.

The main characters are:

  • Rikka Takanashi (Wielder of the Tyrant’s Eye)
  • Tooka Takanashi (The Priestess) — Rikka’s older sister
  • Yuuta Togashi (Dark Flame Master)
  • Sanae Dekomori (Mjollnir Hammer) — Rikka’s faithful servant
  • Shinka Nibutani (Mori Summer) — Sanae’s foe
  • Kumin Tsuyuri — the nap girl
  • Isshiki — Yuuta’s friend, hopelessly in love with Kumin

The story charts, with tender detail and depth, the relationships between each of these characters as they get to know one another, and as the winds of romance whirl through their lives. There is character development in spades, and the plot flows from that, as they struggle to keep their club in good standing, and as the school year begins and ends.

I haven’t included a guide because each and every episode is worth watching, with the last four or so the best of all. However, if you want a feel for the show, check out the Chuunibyou Demo Kai ga Shitai Lite mini-episodes. If you can’t find them, then I’ve hosted episode #3 here.

There are rare bits of uncool material, and by rare, I mean a few seconds worth once in a while. For instance, two moments during the beginning and ending themes; profanity crops up now and again, but nothing blasphemous. There’s one non-serious reference to a black mass. Some risque material crops up with the same frequency, but it’s openly derided; no pervy camera angles in the series itself.


Sanae (Dekomori)

Highly recommended by OO.

Visit the following fansub groups or the torrent hole of your choice:

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There are some anime` series that I really don’t get. The Alice Academy (Gauken Alice) is one of them. Although it’s spazzy and bubbly, the undertones are bleak to the point of nihilism. Take for instance the main character, Mikan. She tries to pursue a friendship with a girl who never, ever returns it. This is heartbreaking in itself and not really funny unless you’re a fan of cutting black humor; admittedly that is occasionally entertaining, but to have it thrown in your face over and over again is dispiriting.

Ok, let’s say that you can handle that much, but things get worse for our heroine. By episode two, she finds herself in a school comprised of elitist bullies who take delight in tormenting her in embarrassing and typically true-to-life jr. high/high school ways. Maybe I’m just too emotional for my own good, but I sure remember junk like that. Mikan never gives up, but that’s a bit unrealistic; by this point, a lot of people would be crushed. However, she still hasn’t endured enough. Her friend finally comes to defend her, after admitting that so doing results in her sacrifice of being honor student of the year and insults Mikan, publicly.

The Alice Academy pretends to be funny, but what it holds up as comical is all-too real. I really couldn’t continue watching it after two and a half episodes.

Welcome to the graveyard, Alice Academy.

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I wanted to like Mission E, which is why I held on for about five or six episodes before throwing in the towel. The concept is wickedly interesting: girls with the ability to manipulate electricity, who may or may not have been part of some government experiment. Two rival organizations seek them out, one to protect them, and the other to exploit their powers. And one more thing? When they use their powers, they disrupt anything electrical nearby (cell phones, elevators, and so forth).

The intro music keys you in to what this series is about: a retro-spy kind of superhero thing, and that’s plenty enjoyable for what it is. However, the show never turns its attention away from the two main characters, which is a shame. Every other episode, it seems, they rescue another young girl, whom you never see nor hear from again. The training of the girls is never touched upon, and while there is some character development from show to show, it’s so slow that To Heart: Remember My Memories seems rollercoaster-ride fast. And plot? Don’t expect anything more involving than the usual stand-alone disposable missions (spiced with occasional history/in-group intrigue).

So we have the usual elements for a massive anime` fail: great concept, slow pace, and linear plots. To top it off, there’s a bit of otaku humor, with the episodes occasionally referencing other anime`s like Pretty Cure.

Welcome to the graveyard, Mission E.

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