This is a gritty crime drama, set out in a town that is ruled by crime lords, so everyone is miserable all the time. It emotionally rains every day and life is very cheap. Welcome to “Gangsta” (“Gyangusuta”).
We are in the town of Ergastulum. It is not truly identified as such, but it had a Mediterranean feel to it, almost Italian. We follow the lives of two ‘handymen’, Nicolas Brown (far left) and Worick Arcangelo (right next to him). Many years ago, Worick had Nic as a personal bodyguard, but when Worick’s father stubbed out a lit cigarette in his eye (you did notice the eye patch, right?), Nic dispatched the family and they both went underground. You see, Nic is ‘special’.
He is known as a ‘Twilight’, a person with superhuman abilities, gained from the drug Celebrer. He is deaf and uses sign language to communicate, but reads lips well. They are dispatched to clean up the dirty jobs that a lot of the other crime families won’t even touch. The two ladies? At the far end is Alex Benedetto (Ally) who was working as a prostitute, but is saved by the two guys (she plied her trade in the alley just across from their office/apartment) not only from her life, but from her abusive pimp. The little girl is Nina and works for Dr. Theo, one of those back-alley doctors who patches up people after the rather numerous battles and helps get the Twilights their Celebrer.
The series details their lives in this gritty town and the machinations in place that seem bent on eliminating all the Twilights. Continue reading
This was a rather confusing show, “Yosuga no Sora” (“Sky of Connection”), in that you were never really sure where the reality was, if what you were seeing was merely the overheated fornix of any of the characters or if it really was as it really was, which made things more disturbing than it had to be.
We start off with the tragically orphaned Kasugano twins (she, Sora; he, Haruka; both to the right). They travel to their grandparents’ countryside residence via train, hoping to reconstruct the shards of a shattered life. Two lonely souls, so physically alike, yet so spiritually divergent, that they are unaware of the challenges ahead of them. Sora is weak, frail since her birth, and so is predisposed to being reclusive and unrelentingly dependent on her brother for everything. Haruka is damaged emotionally, as he clings to memories of the past, hoping to find the strength he needs to protect his ailing sister and move forward towards a better, new world for them. Yeah, you already see the storm clouds on the horizon.
“Osomatsu-san” (“Mr. Osomatsu”) is a throwback show, something I have not readily encountered. The show originally ran from 1966 to 1967, in what would have constituted the First Wave of anime (and could have been shown on US television, when I had my initial encounter with anime back in 1964). It was everything you might recall from that time: flat or non-existent backgrounds, overly–broad characters, simple art design and pointless plots.
Screenshots from promo videos for The Ancient Magus’ Bride, Children of the Whales, Dances with the Dragons, Girls’ Last Tour, Himouto! Umaru-chan R, Osake wa Fūfu ni Natte kara, Recovery of a MMO Junkie, and Two Car.
A new crop of anime series debut next month and I’m interested in a handful of them. I also sampled Neo Yokio and didn’t like what I watched. Continue reading
If there are any folks out there that recall the series “Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse”, this series is the prequel to it. “Schwarzesmarken” (“Black Marches”) takes place 18 years earlier, across East Germany, when humanity thought they still had a chance to win. Let’s back it up a bit for the new ones.
In 1958, oddities were noted on the surface of Mars, but no one paid it any heed. These oddities got to the moon by 1967, got identified and the fight began. They landed on Earth in 1973 and things really took off. And who are they? They are the BETA, which stands for “Beings of the Extra-Terrestrial origin which is Adversary of human race”. I guess. I mean, we could have easily called them “Terrible, Ugly, Rapacious, Destroying Space-types”. Anyway, there are eight caliber of these BETA, but we usually see the Grapplers, Tanks, Soldiers and Lasers. They all can be destroyed, but their advantage is sheer numbers.
Hiroko Katsuki, her son Yuri, and Minako in Yuri!! on ICE
I began watching Yuri!!! on ICE over the weekend because I figured I should see one of last year’s most acclaimed anime series – it topped many year-end lists and won Crunchyroll Anime Awards in all seven of its nominated categories: Anime of the Year, Best Boy, Best Animation, Most Heartwarming Scene, Best Couple, Best Opening (OP), and Best Ending (ED).
It had a fantastic first episode with main character Yuri Katsuki heading home to Hasetsu in Kyushu and trying to figure out what he wants to do with his figure skating career after some recent failures. I recognized some things during the skating sequences from watching Winter Olympic and other competitions over the years. My goal is to finish watching YOI in the next week or two. Continue reading