Posts from March 2010

Ladies versus Butlers

Camera angles low, skirts short, females buxom and bath scenes aplenty, Ladies versus Butlers never forgets to pepper each episode with some pointless nudity or contrived situation aimed at keeping the chronically distracted engaged. Odd then that it routinely forgets its own premise, most of its own rules and the chest size of many of its cast. Moving away from the cringe inducing antics of Kanokon, the series guides the noseless female protagonists through a variety of light-hearted storylines, culminating in a predictable and tedious love triangle with the vacuous male lead. To its credit though, not once does it stray from the cheerful light humour that it competently achieves.

memorable more for playing fast and loose with human anatomy than ever

Akiharu's first day at Hakureiryou academy is fraught with misunderstandings - chased across campus by one of the schools top students, Selnia Iori Flameheart, he is only saved by his childhood classmate, Tomomi Saikyou. His training to become a butler is subsequently beset with problems as he is dragged from one situation to another by the snooty, devious and arrogant members of the school which run the gamut from a princess with a penchant for magical girl anime to a mute foreigner with an overzealous bodyguard to a confused transvestite. As Akiharu becomes more well known, his admirers begin to increase and it isn't long before he has a bevy of blossoming young ladies inexplicably smitten with him, much to his chagrin.

Please note: the remainder of this post contains images of nudity, if you are offended by these or are otherwise unable to view these images within your municipality due to laws or moral obligations, please do not proceed.

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Sora no Woto (Sounds of the Sky)

Something happens at episode seven of Sora no Woto: what seemed like a placid mongrel dog suddenly bared its teeth. Brief and unexpected, it gives the animal a presence it hid so well previously. Rarely does it show them again and in the series' brief run of twelve episodes the dog remains serene and predictable - the bite never comes despite ample opportunity. Contrary to earlier predictions based upon the first three episodes, the series meanders but never succumbs to the obvious and though it may leave more loose threads than is justifiable it most importantly has a heart, a feature lacking in so many other series.

Facial features are wont to wander and only the unflattering military garb prevents the same happening to limbs and other body parts

In the distant past, a disaster befell the Earth and much of the knowledge of technology was lost along with much of population and fauna. After joining the Helvetian army as a bugler and assigned to the 1121st Platoon, Kanata must adjust to the slow paced lifestyle of the remote border town of Seize and her comrade's idiosyncrasies, all while improving her bugling skills. Her misadventures include the exploration of a haunted, ramshackle school, an impromptu training exercise as well as rescuing children from a vicious typhoon. Her squad mates include the precocious Kureha, the solemn technical genius Noel, the big sister Rio and their whimsical leader Filicia; over the course of the series they rebuild of the multipedal tank: Takemikazuchi while their pasts are revealed and motivations explored.

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Summer Wars

Following up the critically acclaimed and astoundingly brilliant The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was never going to be an easy prospect but with a timbre shift sure to cement Mamoru Hosoda's role as a world-class director, Summer Wars proves to be a worthy successor both creatively and aesthetically. Taking the fluidity Madhouse gifted his previous film with, the animation is dialled up until innumerable characters are all raucously moving at once - breathing, laughing, talking and living on screen. Pomp and flair help avoid the stereotypes that so often go with virtual-world stories and though it still degenerates into a touch typing marathon, the excitable charm it displays throughout elevates it from the standard, tepid blockbuster fare.

a blend of virtual worlds, rogue AIs, questionable mathematics and enforced time limits

Kenji is asked by one of the prettiest girls in school, Natsuki, to help with a summer job; unbeknownst to him however is that her grandmother is soon to be turning ninety and Natsuki has told her family about a fictional fiancé that he must now assume the role of. Travelling out into the countryside around Ueda, he is introduced to the bustling, varied personalities of Natsuki's extended family and the palatial house and grounds that have belonged to the Shinohara clan for generations. In the virtual world of OZ however, a malevolent entity is wreaking untold havoc - shutting down vital utilities and gobbling up user accounts with nobody able to stop it. Inconvenience is only the start when it transpires the entity has a close link with the Shinoharas and it may only be Kenji, Natsuki and other members of the family who can stop real world devastation from occurring.

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