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Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier

(51 episode series)

Probably the most notable thing about this series is that it does a fairly decent job of blending the old character designs with a more modern visual direction. A "darker and edgier" reboot, I'm afraid I don't have any real basis for comparison other than the 1980 movie I reviewed not that long ago. Compared to that, there is quite a bit of difference, first and foremost that there aren't any aliens or secret evil plans to conquer the entire universe. Instead, a secret evil mercenary group plots to keep the world at war with itself so it can make money and because it just gets off on that kind of thing. The big bad of this series also bears a striking resemblance to Darth Vader, albeit actually somewhat more comical in appearance (almost friendly-looking, if it wasn't for the ruthless killing part). As I tried to watch this, giving it the requisite 3 episodes to sort itself out, I couldn't help but feel that this series was aimed at a younger age group due to the abundance of some rather immature humor.

I tried to get into this series, I guess because I was hoping that it was at least as good as 009-1 or Casshern Sins, but while those series weren't much above okay, they did have something to keep me just interested enough to keep watching. This series, however, lacked any real draw that I could get into. I might not have been as quick to give up on it if it had been shorter, but I'm just not willing to sit through 50+ episodes that might all be just as boring as the first 3 episodes. So I guess I'll pass on this one, but throw it a bone for at least trying to do something: 1/10.

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Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier

(51 episode series)

Probably the most notable thing about this series is that it does a fairly decent job of blending the old character designs with a more modern visual direction. A "darker and edgier" reboot, I'm afraid I don't have any real basis for comparison other than the 1980 movie I reviewed not that long ago. Compared to that, there is quite a bit of difference, first and foremost that there aren't any aliens or secret evil plans to conquer the entire universe. Instead, a secret evil mercenary group plots to keep the world at war with itself so it can make money and because it just gets off on that kind of thing. The big bad of this series also bears a striking resemblance to Darth Vader, albeit actually somewhat more comical in appearance (almost friendly-looking, if it wasn't for the ruthless killing part). As I tried to watch this, giving it the requisite 3 episodes to sort itself out, I couldn't help but feel that this series was aimed at a younger age group due to the abundance of some rather immature humor.

I tried to get into this series, I guess because I was hoping that it was at least as good as 009-1 or Casshern Sins, but while those series weren't much above okay, they did have something to keep me just interested enough to keep watching. This series, however, lacked any real draw that I could get into. I might not have been as quick to give up on it if it had been shorter, but I'm just not willing to sit through 50+ episodes that might all be just as boring as the first 3 episodes. So I guess I'll pass on this one, but throw it a bone for at least trying to do something: 1/10.

NOOOO!!!!!

this is an awesome anime, guys!!

i've seen it on animax and it was my favourite one when it aired. i've seen it all and the setting is somewhat like 'Darker than Black'

if i had to rate it, i would give it at least an 8/10

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:shrug: Your mileage may vary on pretty much any show. For instance, having read the descriptions of Darker Than Black on both Wikipedea and TV Tropes I can't say that it looks all that appealing to me and I don't plan on watching it.

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Dante's Inferno

(2010 movie)

This was a pretty good movie with a coherent if basic plot, considering that it was made using quite a few different animation studios. I've seen this kind of work before with Halo Legends and Gotham Knight, but this is the first time I've seen all of the different segments edited together as one story – the others were collections of shorts each animation studio produced. So this movie is impressive in that way.

Story-wise, it was a pretty basic premise of a crusading knight going quite literally to hell in order to save the soul of the woman he loved. So basically it was a visually impressive hack n' slash, without much depth. Famous names were dropped and ancient Greek myths were shoe-horned into the Christian view of hell. Yeah, you could say I was a bit turned off by the viewpoint being presented. The movie did try to make up for this by pointing out that the Crusaders were a bunch of hypocrites, and that the holier-than-thou protagonist was one of the worst sinners in hell, but it was still selling a viewpoint on religion I just really can't agree with.

As for the characters, the fall-back to a lack of a story, well, not much depth here either, but I didn't really expect that much from an action-oriented movie. There were some occasional tales of woe and attempts at drama, but I didn't really get into it.

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not coming down all that hard on this movie. I didn't like it, but I didn't exactly dislike it either. Confused? Well, I like it as a kind of guilty pleasure, because it's full of action-packed ass-kicking. It might be worth a watch if blood and gore and the like aren't going to upset you, because this movie seems to go out of its way to gross you out. But if you want some mindless action and don't expect much out of this movie, I'd say go for it. 4/10.

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Daphne in the Brilliant Blue

(26 episode series)

It was clear from the title sequence that this series was pretty much just about fan service. Basically it's a lot like Burn Up Excess – a group of women fighting crime for money while wearing as little as possible. There's even a loud mouth, violent, lazy blonde who's perpetually in debt. That might mean I'd actually like it, except that it actually tends to be a bit boring to watch, and what comedy there is just isn't really all that funny. I'm a little surprised to say this, but for all the fan service, I just don't find much interesting about this series, at least not enough to watch the whole series. Hell, I was getting so bored watching this series, I started doing some other writing as I let it play in the background.

At first I thought it might be something akin to a space opera, only underwater with the elite ocean agency the main character was trying to get into in the first episode. But as it turned out it was basically just another girl cop show like every other one I've seen. By now I guess I'm just bored with them. 3/10.

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Yeah, I do, it's just that for all the good ones I've seen, there have been a lot more bad ones. ;)

As for the Gurren Lagann review, wish granted:

Gurren Lagann

(27 episode series)

Yet another post-apocalyptic offering, this series is definitely more in the "over-the-top" category, much like Desert Punk. Just as Desert Punk is set in a world that has been devastated and reduced to a desert due to some past cataclysm, depends heavily on over the top humor and action, and isn't really meant to be taken even a little bit seriously, so to is Gurren Lagann. It does have its serious moments, mostly dealing with death, but I never much got into that, I guess, but then that was kind of how I felt about the series at times.

There are actually a lot of things about Gurren Lagann that I normally hate about anime, and actually caused me to stop watching this when it first aired on the Sci Fi Channel (now SyFy). One is the heavy use of mechs. It’s a staple of a lot of anime, about as much as samurai swords and magic-based attacks that require the attacker to loudly announce their attacks in elaborate manners, which this show also does. So, like I said, I pretty much tuned out of this show when it first aired. Based on the advice of my friends, I gave it another try, and it did fair slightly better with me this time, mostly because I realized the things I mentioned above were being done to be funny. Part of me was still annoyed by it, but the other part was just laughing.

I'd have to say that the appeal of this show is pretty much summed up not long into the first episode: kicking logic to the curb and doing the impossible. That's pretty much what the show does, and we even got a catchy theme song out of it. With all the themes of fighting progressively impossible fights and coming out on top in the end, I can see why this show has caught on with quite a few people. It's my understanding that in the UK, there was a poll on the possibility of updating the Union Jack, and the version that won was the addition of the Team Gurren symbol from this show. I actually kind of like the idea myself, to the point of wanting my university to change its sporting name to Team Dai-Gurren, with the symbol as our new mascot.

Then, of course, there's the fan service. Yokko definitely has to be the show's other big draw, what with constantly running around in nothing but a bikini top and short-shorts for the majority of the show. She doesn't play as much of a role as I, personally, wish that she should have had. Mostly she was on a supporting role, and had an unfortunate tendency to have a thing for guys who wind up dead.

Speaking of, I was somewhat surprised when a main character actually died, and only about a third or so into the show. What made it surprising was that this character had been through a lot and lived earlier in the show. But I find I actually liked this aspect of the series, not so much because it was used to occasionally pull at our heartstrings, but because it meant that the show actually did evolve a little, adding new characters and in this case losing at least one of them.

That tended to get lost in how the show pretty much was just one progressively larger battle after the other. What started out as a battle against one and then a few mecha, here called "gunmen" pretty much just turned into fighting larger and larger versions of these things. At one point there were actually gunmen being used to pilot larger gunmen being used to pilot a gunmen that was literally the size of the moon. I personally found that kind of boring, because it was becoming basically the same thing over and over again. So really at its base, it's the humor driving this series.

Some people have complained about the ending, and I won't spoil it too much for you, but I can't say that I see it as a bad ending. I've seen much worse, whether it's that a show simply ends without resolving anything, or that it very quickly and sloppily tries to resolve everything at the last minute (see Blue Gender for an example of that), that's more what I consider to be a bad ending. In this case, the series ends on somewhat of a downer note, but only in the sense that the hero doesn't accept staying on as some great leader figure and seeks life as a wandering homeless man offering small bits of help to strangers while others rebuild the empire, so to speak. I'd actually argue that this makes sense, because this character had tried to be the great leader once, and that didn't work out so great.

Which brings me to the one thing that I really disagree with this show about. At one point there's what I would consider to be a major betrayal, with two of Team Dai-Gurren betraying their leader, conducting a coup, and going as far as sentencing their former friend and leader to death. The show and the betrayed character instantly forgave them, much in the same way Battlestar Galactica did when Commander Adama carried out a coup against his president. I never really understand when a show or the characters in it suggest that such betrayal should be forgiven, but then I don't take betrayal well.

Anyway, while I didn't like this show nearly as much as I did Desert Punk, it was still fairly good. There isn't a whole lot to it, but with shows like this, there doesn't have to be. The characters were likable, and it was funny. It's worth a watch, if nothing else so you can see it and decide for yourself if you like it. You might want to try sticking it out to at least episode 6. 6/10.

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Dead Leaves

(2004 movie)

As I write this, I'm still trying to figure out just what the hell it is that I watched. No, really, I have no idea. Considering what I've come to expect from Production I.G, the visual direction was very abstract, and well, I really don't understand what the plot was supposed to be about. Basically it has the same kind of gross-out humor as Super Jail (and vague memories of Cool World), with the kind of "what the frak am I watching?" style of FLCL's storytelling. I think the movie was poking fun, but I'm not sure what at exactly. There are guns and explosions, a hot chick, a dude with a TV for a head, and a guy with a giant drill penis all trapped in a prison in the tattered remains of the moon. I really don't know how else to explain the movie. I mean, honestly, as messed up and confusing as it was, FLCL still made more sense than this movie. Don't get me wrong, it does have a kind of appeal, as in something to laugh hysterically at that doesn't make any real sense. I bet watching it drunk would be even more fun. In any case, I can't really rate this movie higher than a 4/10.

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I haven't head of Shiki before, actually. As for Samurai Champloo, I caught bit of it on Adult Swim, but nothing really piqued my interest about it. It seems like something that might have its moments, but I'm not planning on watching it at this point. Of course I'm still in the Fs on my list, and at the pace I'm going I'll have a while before I get to the Ss to decide if I'll add it or not.

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DearS

(13 episode series)

You know, it's hard at times to separate crap that I just can't get into, and crap that I can. On the surface, this series was pretty much like Chobits or Ah! My Goddess, but whereas I hated Chobits and was barely able to keep watching Goddess, I actually liked DearS, just probably not the way one was expected to.

Don't get me wrong, there's plenty on the shit list, like the whole slavery fetish, and the female protagonist/love interest being back of the short bus special, and it did annoy the hell out of me, but there was way more for me to laugh at. The humor written into it could have its moments, but really, what I was laughing at most of the time was all the stereotypical stuff I like to make fun of about anime. I mean, there was even a catgirl who constantly said "nyah". You know, the kind of stuff you would probably just think was weird if you didn't know anything at all about anime. There's just so much there, I was cracking up quite a bit. Hell, they even threw in a couple of stereotypical "cool dudes" with the lamest come-ons and innuendos I've ever heard just for fun.

Of course they also threw in weird kinky S&M sex tidbits, and some of that even involved minors, and that was just so very wrong. And I never got into the whole romance plot either, even though that's basically what the whole plot was, played for laughs with the usual "shy, nerdy dude has hot chick foisted on him" stuff that's in basically every show like this. And hey, if you’re into that kind of thing, here you go. But even if you aren't, then there's plenty here to make fun of without being bored out of you mind while you wait for it. 4/10.

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Demon Fighter Kocho

(Single episode OVA)

Since this OVA is pretty much all about the fan service, I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of it, and that's pretty much what I got. The story is told mostly from Kosaku's perspective, a young male college student. There is a teaser opener that plays out like pretty much every teen slasher movie you've ever seen, where a young promiscuous couple end up having bad things happen to them. We're told right afterwards that they're in the hospital and weren't actually killed, but we never see them again so it's not like it really matters.

The whole rest of the story is mostly devoted to seeing Kocho naked so both Kosaku and the old man acting as their Astrology club advisor/teacher can drool over her (and subsequently get beat up by her). Just to make that angle even more fun, even though it's really obvious that Kosaku and Kocho want to hook up and the nutty professor just wants to watch, Kocho's sister shows up and literally throws herself at Kosaku. The "love triangle" bit of Kocho and her sister competing for Kosaku was obviously meant to be funny, but mostly it came off as the tiresome teenaged male fantasy that it was. Not that seeing animated boobs and camel toe doesn't just brighten up my day or anything, but the humor pretty much fell flat. Probably the only thing that got much of a chuckle out of me was when the professor had a magical girl transformation scene, complete with a black dot to cover his bits.

Oh, there was also a plot going on that had something to do with the ghosts of some young master (who turns out to be really young) and his servants haunting the community college this OVA takes place at. Kocho kicks one of them in the nuts, they swing some katanas around, and that's about it.

While anybody who knows me knows that I don't mind fan service at all, or a show not having much of a plot as long as it's funny, I have to admit that this OVA was kind of ... "meh". It was okay-ish, and that's about all I can sum it up as. Burn-Up W and GoldenBoy were both a lot more entertaining and had a lot more laughs despite not having much of a plot and consisting almost entirely of fan service. Demon Fighter Kocho just lacked jokes that worked very well, or characters that I could really like, even as a lovable buffoon. I'll throw it a bone though for trying and give it a 3/10. It didn't completely suck, but I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone. I guess if you do want to bother watching it, it only wastes about a half-hour of your time, so that's something.

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Detroit Metal City

(12 episode OVA)

I guess this could be called Japan's answer to Metalocalypse, mostly because it deals with an insanely popular death metal band that has a legion of obsessive fans. Of course while Deathklok from Metalocalypse lives the kind of far out "metal" life that the manager of the title band Detroit Metal City wishes its members would live both on and off the stage. The thing is, only the drummer is like that, with both the bassist and the lead guitarist/singer being more or less normal. But then the Death Records President judges how good songs/movies/concerts/whatever are based on how wet they make her, so there you have it.

Oddly enough, with a character like that, there isn't really all that much in way of fan service (fan dis-service if anything). The focus of the series actually is on a male protagonist, Soichi Negishi, a somewhat meek character who you would never take to be the very metal band member Johannes Krauser II. Negishi claims to only be doing it for the money and at a few points actually threatens to quit the band, but really he's just too good at being Krauser. Actually, a lot of the humor is derived from the fact that things tend either work out to make it look like he's being very much in character even when he isn't trying to be, or how he'll get caught up in the moment and instead just slip into being Krauser, usually when he's trying to woo a girl he knows from his days in high school.

Of course the idea of a death metal band living very normal lives that are nothing at all like their band personas while their fans insist on living as "metal" of lifestyles as possible is entertaining as it is. This also separates it from Metalocalypse, which is pretty much just played straight. It's actually a bit unfortunate that there couldn't be a bit of a crossover there somehow, but the closest it gets is in the form of Jack ill Dark, a death metal artist from the United States whose "metal" lifestyle turns out to actually be true, unlike the members of DMC, who have all made up stories to go with their death metal characters.

I've read that all of this is actually based somewhat on KISS or is at least a tribute to it, which can kind of be seen in the form of the makeup and costumes of the DMC band members.

This is definitely a fun little series, and I'd definitely suggest it to you if you like Metalocalyse, because it is very much in the same vein. I'm not actually sure what to rate this, since it doesn't really fit into any of the normal categories I tend to rate things by. The characters are fun and the series is fun, and that's mainly what matters, so I guess I'll give it a 9/10. If you're wondering why it's not higher, there were still a few times that it felt like things were dragging, and the jokes involving Negishi telling his love interest that he wanted to rape her and/or kill her got a bit old after a while.

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Devil Lady

(26 episode series)

I can't say that I really cared for this series all that much. For as much fan service as there was (combined with lesbianism), I still frequently found myself bored while trying to watch this series. And while it was supposed to be a horror series, I can't say that it really ever got particularly scary or creepy, at least not in my opinion.

The series follows a Japanese supermodel, Jun Fudo, who as it turns out is a monster. The basic premise of the series is that humans are evolving into these strange beast-like creatures (simply referred to as "beasts") who have a tendency to kill humans in horrible ways that usual involve dismemberment and/or eating them. Some of them seem to be able to go between looking like a monster and looking like a normal human, and Jun happens to be one of those, who can also keep her mind intact while in her "beast" form.

Now, turning into monsters would put most people off just by itself, but seeing as most of them tend to kill any humans they can find, it's not hard to understand why Japan has reacted to this problem by having the military and a special police force blow them away as soon as one reveals itself to them. That doesn't stop the series from repeatedly sermonizing that this is somehow wrong and humans are just evil bastards. Mostly this comes after they've turned on Jun, though they claim that she is the traitor. Kind of like the other beasts accuse her of being since she's being used to kill them by this special police force and the psycho lesbian/tranny in charge of it, Lan Asuka. I found that amusing, too, because she only ever killed any of these beasts after they tried their best to kill her first.

Pretty much what the series turned into was a very formulaic format where Asuka would say some pretty mean things to Jun, Jun would cry, some monster would appear and kill a bunch of people, Jun would be forced to fight it, the monster would make some attempt at being a sympathetic character, and Jun would either be forced to kill it or someone else would finish off the monster for her. Either way she'd end up being lectured, and Kazumi Takiura, the young girl she saved from a bunch of other beasts who killed her family, would mope about Jun never being around to sleep with –I mean spend time with, and some creepy little boy monster would threaten to kill Jun and Kazumi. When every episode of your series can pretty much be summed up the same way, I'm sorry but your series kind of sucks.

Now there was a kind of ongoing evil secret plan involving Asuka in the background, but it never really came out much until towards the end and we see that Asuka is pretty much exactly what you could tell she was from the first episode. I guess there is the odd gender switch that never really got explained (Asuka started out as a man and then somehow became a woman), but that doesn't really count as much of a twist or surprise.

There's also some US-bashing, but in the end that turns out to be more amusing than anything.

Now I know some people may like this, but really the whole monsters fighting each other every week thing doesn't really appeal to me. It ends up getting so boring that I end up fast-forwarding through a lot of it, which is exactly what happens here. In fact the only reason I didn't just stop watching was the fan service, so this review owes most of its length to me being a pervy bastard who likes seeing animated breasts and girl on girl action. In this case the girl on girl action wasn't as nice though, because most of it ended up being rape. Yay. 1/10.

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Divergence Eve

(13 episode series)

This series started things off by doing something that really annoys me – it started at what was actually pretty much the end of the story and then jumped back to what was superficially supposed to be the start of it. That style of storytelling has been done so many times that it just grates on me whenever I see it. This isn't helped by the fact that while suddenly finding myself immersed in the midst of what's going on is supposed to make me interested, in this case it just left me wondering what the hell was going on.

Even as the story went back to what was basically the beginning and I learned more, the series still tended to be kind of hard to follow. I could tell that it was trying to mess with my head and trying to be something in the vein of 2001, but no, sorry, didn't work. While I did find some of the aspects of the conspiracy developing in the background interesting, the plot constantly skipping around just tended to ruin my enjoyment of what little there was to enjoy, at least of the story, anyway. Not a lot in the story made sense.

For instance the existence of the massive station, Watcher's Nest made a kind of sense as it was vital to Earth's faster-than-light flight capabilities. But when the 10 million civilians who are there because of overpopulation on Earth, the point tends to be lost somewhat since if overpopulation is a problem, why are all these civilians on the station and not colonizing a new planet? Since the station is under constant attack, there aren't a lot of ships coming from earth bringing even more people, but the need for keeping those attacks secret from the civilians was entirely based on the fear that they would all want to head back to Earth, which is overcrowded.

Which brings me to my next example. One of the four female pilots the story focuses on decides she's no longer up to the task she finds herself facing, so she apparently has to have the last two years of her memory erased in order to keep the big secret of the attacks. Why so much when she hasn't been there that long is never explained, especially since while this pilot may have washed out in this "elite" area she was training for, she still would have theoretically had promise as a regular officer or even as a regular pilot who didn't have to kill monsters from another dimension for a living. Well as it turns out, they didn't just erase two years of her memory, they erased all of it and reprogrammed her to be some random janitor on the station. There is never any explanation as to why, and the matter is never even discussed after it is brought up.

Of course, I wasn't expecting all that much out of this series to begin with. Pretty much the only reason I watched this series was the fan service. In this case pretty much all of the women had massive breasts, with the type of exaggerated physics you'd expect to go along with that, and there was even some occasional nudity. Actually maybe a bit more than occasional. From what I've read, this apparently caused some butthurt from a lot of people. I can't say that I had a problem with any of the fan service, but then I usually actually like fan service. When it comes to shows like this, I pretty much like to make fun of it. You see the same kind of focus on breast size in a lot of other sci-fis, like the last two Star Trek series, which both featured large-breasted women in skintight "uniforms". I've criticized Star Trek for that, but I guess when it comes to most generic sci fi or action movies I just recognize it for what it is and laugh at it. Go figure.

Anyway, I guess if you like seeing large animated breasts that move around a lot more than they should in a generic sci-fi atmosphere, this is definitely the series for you. Anyone looking for something exciting or the least bit serious, don't even bother. 3/10 (1 for story and 2 for breasts, get it? ;) ).

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Divergence Eve: Misaki Chronicles

(13 episode series)

The sequel to Divergence Eve was actually a little more interesting than the original, probably because there was more focus on the plot and characters. Oh, the fan service was still there to enjoy, though it was toned down a bit. Instead of showing the main characters naked at every opportunity it was only almost every opportunity. ;)

The plot this time wasn't the mixed up jumbled heap that the first series had, or at least it wasn't as mixed up and jumbled. This is in spit of a story that revolved almost entirely around time travel and the concept of multiple parallel universes. Which is to say that at times it still didn't make all that much sense, since at the bottom of it all was that the title character, Misaki, was trying to get back to her friends. Mostly the point of all the time travel seems to be to tug at the audience's heart strings a little, but since I don't have many of those left it didn't really work for me.

Since this series picks up right where the last on left off, the same evil secret plot is there in the background, only this time it revolves entirely around the main bad guy, Jean-Luc LeBlanc. I still don’t really get this character, who apparently has gone through a lot of convoluted planning and effort to destroy the universe because he hates science (

). There's a revelation about his creation and his relationship to the rather odd female scientist Prim Snowlight (who also happens to have a huge rack). It doesn't really make all that much sense to me, particularly in light of his position of power aboard Watcher's Nest that allowed him to carefully plan and carry out his evil secret plan.

As for the characters, well, I hate to say it but I never really found any of them all that interesting. I suppose I could find some of them somewhat sympathetic, though mainly that would be Misaki because she's been trapped in the weird alternate universe/time, and Suzanna, who's had her memory rather unjustly erased. The thing with the later case, which I mentioned in my previous review, is that it is never really addressed beyond trying to tug at our heartstrings of how horrible it has to be for the busty British chick to have had the last two years of her life erased and false memories implanted in their place. But never once are the ethics of it discussed, and one of the people who was involved in it, Lyar Von Ertiana, never talks about it with Suzanna, much less apologizes for it, even if for the supposed necessity of it, and she's basically become the de facto protagonist of this series since Misaki is trapped in time. Actually having Suzanna participate at all in the important mission that takes up the last half of the series really doesn't make sense, because while Suzanna does recover some of her memory along the way, for all intents and purposes all of her military training has been erased and she's now just a janitor. A janitor who knows how to fly a spaceship and a mobile armored suit, apparently.

Overall, Misaki Chronicles was an improvement on Divergence Eve, even if it wasn't much of one. I'd say that the same conditions apply to this series as with the original if you want to enjoy it, mainly that you aren’t expecting all that much out of it. As this series continues right where the last one left off from, it might be a little difficult to skip the first series and dive right into this one, but there is a little flashback/explanation, so it might be possible. 4/10.

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Dominion Tank Police

(4 episode OVA)

For a while there, I wasn't entirely sure what age group this OVA was aimed at. The only thing that was clear was that this was meant to be a comedy romp. Initially I thought that this was meant for kids due to the immaturity of the humor and just the way the voice actors were treating it, not to mention how the tank squad commander freaked out when the tank squad had been assigned a "gooyal". Then again there were things like the twin cat girls doing a strip show to distract the police (and it working), giant inflatable penis and ball sac mines, the occasional cuss word, all the fan service, and just all the lame sex jokes in general. Then again there wasn't much cussing, no actual nudity (unless it was artwork) and no one actually died (on screen), so I suppose this actually could've originally been aimed at kids in Japan.

Okay, I suppose I should pause a bit to actually introduce this OVA properly. Really it's just a basic dystopian future sci-fi, which looks like it was inspired quite a bit by Blade Runner. It's set in a city with very organic-looking skyscrapers that is being shrouded by a poisonous bacterial cloud that forces everyone to wear respirators if they go outside (except as it turns out humanity has had to deal with it for long enough that the masks aren't really needed anymore). There are also androids, though it doesn't appear that they only get to live 4 years or that there is any restriction against them living on Earth. The reason there is a tank squad within the police force is that there has simply been so much escalation from the criminal element that it was a controversial way to give the police a definitive advantage. Of course they seem to cause a lot of damage no matter where they go, including tearing up the road the way a real tank with tracks would ... except these are tanks of the future that roll around on big plastic-looking balls.

Cool, so a bunch of police cruising around town in tanks. Sounds awesome, right? The only problem is that this is an over-the-top comedy and not an over-the-top action piece like Black Lagoon. Admittedly, over-the-top action is usually funny, too, but in a different way that doesn't involve giant penis mines (usually). There's also the guy who talks like a medieval monk they all call "chaplain". Why'd I make a point of bringing him up? Because he's annoying and not funny, at all. Actually I'd say that most of the humor fails, either being too immature (coming from a pretty immature guy), or being just plain unfunny. Example: apparently it's supposed to be funny for the police to torture criminals and to mock violating their civil rights to whoever wrote this. They even had Leona Ozaki, the resident "gooyal" dress up in a bunny suit to turn it into a kind of game show for the tank squad on one occasion. Personally, I wasn't amused.

As an aside, I have to admit to some pleasant surprise that Leona was actually dressed the same way as all the male officers (usually), as opposed to the typical stripperiffic "uniforms" that seem to be standard issue in sci-fi in general, let alone in future cop shows like this. Kind of ironic, too, seeing as some of those are actually supposed to be taken seriously, and this show was completely fluff. Of course Leona is still treated like the stereotypical klutzy, initially semi-cowardly, eventually extra gung-ho woman one tends to find in anime comedy cop shows like this, so I suppose it kind of balances out.

Anyway, back to the story, it seems that there's some kind of evil secret plan involving urine and Greenpeace, which sounds hilarious, except that it's about creating a green-haired fairy chick, whose significance is left unknown by the end of the OVA. So basically there isn't a lot of plot, except something secretive about the poisoned atmosphere and their fairy chick.

I'd say that this OVA was decent enough. I honestly don't mind mindless fluff on occasion, though in this case it still wasn't particularly good, it just wasn't horrible. 6/10.

Oh, did I mention that it had a catchy intro theme?

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New Dominion Tank Police

(6 episode OVA)

This OVA seems to follow the same basic continuity as the first OVA, though it seems to skip over an awful lot. At first I actually thought that this was just a rehash in the same style as the Burn-Up franchise, where each new incarnation has its own separate continuity even if they are all based on the same source material. I thought this because while the story still took place in the same alien-looking city and both the characters and the tanks looked pretty much the same, there were some slight differences in appearance and characterization. For instance, the android cat girls twins from the first OVA weren't nearly as criminally minded, to the point that they were appalled at the suggestion that they might have killed someone, not to mention that they worked a lot with the police. That's pretty much the opposite of how they were in the first OVA. The poisonous atmosphere also doesn't seem to be as much of an issue, and the storyline with the fat criminal and the green-haired fairy girl from the first OVA seemed to have been dropped. Doing a little reading, though, it turns out that the first OVA was a prequel to the original manga and that this OVA was a sequel to it. That's a little different from most anime I've seen, which is usually just a direct adaptation of its source. Mostly, though, I'm a little disappointed because it seems like a lot went on that I missed out on, such as the resolution of the Greenpeace plot started in the first OVA. Yeah, I could just read the managa, but when it comes to movies and TV shows, I shouldn't really have to read something else separately in order to understand everything that's going on.

Moving on, this OVA seems to be at least somewhat more mature, and it's definitely more serious in tone. There is a much more obvious evil secret plan going on from pretty much the beginning of the OVA, and really overall this OVA comes off more like a typical "buddy cop" show. That's not to say that there isn't still plenty of fluff, but the change in tone is pretty apparent. Speaking of a change in tone, I have to say that I kind of missed the theme song they came up with for the first OVA, which was a lot catchier than the generic guitar riff theme they came up with for this one.

Anyway, what was once just mindless fluff turned fairly serious, unfortunately. While the end goal of the evil secret plan was never really made all that clear, what was made clear was that corporations, and especially corporations that make guns are evil. So, basically the storyline got ruined by the injection of contemporary politics, using the same basic plot and clichés of movies like this that have been being put out since at least the '80s. The whole issue with guns was apparently so important that no one bothered to give the evil corporation an end goal for any of its actions beyond making guns and "expanding". The mayor of the fictional city this all takes place in was also given what amounts to presidential power, as she was somehow able to get a bill passed banning the private sale and production of firearms, which would be kind of pointless if the ban was only for within the city limits, which is as far as an actual city law would go. Of course there's a police tank squad in this city, so it's not like this OVA was really going for realism.

So basically this OVA was a bit worse than the first one. The serious subject matter really dragged it down for me, so I'm going to have to rate this a 4/10.

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