“Gangsta” Life

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

You Have “Failed”

As of late, I have been running into a lot of fighting academy shows, where people of varying degrees of talents and abilities are shipped off to this particular institute or that particular school to hone their particular fighting skills, in that they may defend this country or do battle against other schools for honor and glory and taiyaki. It’s like being in “The Goblet of Fire” but without Cedric Diggory. (Hmmmm……….this is like déjà vu all over again). Much like “Sky Wizards”, “Asterisk War” and/or/perhaps/either “Bahamut”, this one, Rakudai Kishi no Kyabarurii” (“Chivalry of a Failed Knight” or “The Heroic Tales of the Failure Knight”) continues in that same vein. Continue reading

Year of the “Asterisk”

An asterisk is that little star you sometimes see, next to things like ‘free* checking’ or ‘free* bat day’ or ‘free* Willy’. It is an indicator that things are not on the up-and-up. That is certainly the case with “The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water” (“ Gakusen Toshi Asutarisuku” “Academy Battle City Asterisk”). But, first, we must go back to the front.

In the 20th century, a disaster called Invertia led to the destruction of numerous cities across the world. (Well, I assume the world. I mean, only Japan got pulverized?) In response to the declining economy, the Integrated Empire Foundation is organized to assume the world’s leadership. The parallel city of Rikka, also known as Asterisk, has six academies which hold tournaments called “Festas”. Seidokan Academy becomes the 5th highest-ranking academy in Asterisk. Now, the thing about Rikka is that it is designed to look like a stylized asterisk, with the six academies as the points of the star and the festival battlegrounds as the center.

Continue reading

“Punch” the Keys!

opm

I am so very tired of superheroes. Everywhere you turn around, another superhero pops up, having epic fights with epic villains or the Old Guard is trotted out to battle yet another implacable foe, bent on world conquest or world destruction or world series. I had some resistance to “One-Punch Man” (“Wanpanman”), as I felt it was more of the same. Well, it IS more of the same, but it is done in such a cavalier, toss-off, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot kind of approach, you are drawn into it, like a cheese log at the company party. Continue reading

Reach For The “Sky”

Sky_Wizards_Academy

This one is a combination of magic and survival shows, kind of what might happen if “Chrome-Shelled Regios” and “Blade Dance” merged ideas, so we end up with “Sky Wizards Academy” (“Kūsen Madōshi Kōhosei no Kyōkan”, “The Instructor of the Aerial Combat Wizard Trainees”).

In the alternative world of the future, humanity was driven off the land by the threat of magical armored insects and now lives in aerial floating cities. Its defenses lie in wizards who fight the insects with magic in mid-air. They are able to float and soar about and use a variety of weapons to dispatch these ‘Devil Beetles’. Continue reading

Baby, You Can “Drive” My Car

Valkyrie_Drive_Mermaid

There are two anime genres I do not really like: yaoi and yuri. It’s just that it comes across to me as letting me know it’s OK to watch two guys or two gals expressing how they feel about each other in a rather intimate manner. I guess. But this show that I saw, “Valkyrie Drive Mermaid” (“Varukirī Doraivu Māmeido”) has two gals making out, but it’s a real means to an end and not just to show canoodling…..although that splash panel up there makes me a liar, eh?

The world that they live in is fraught with peril. Some girls are infected with the A Virus (no, not ‘a’ virus, the A Virus.) “A” means “Armed” and some ladies can turn into weaponry. Those are known as Exters. The other part of the virus gives us a Liberator. When these two get together, via some foreplay arousal, the Exter goes into “Drive” and becomes the weapon, although you have no idea what she will be: a sword, a mace ball, a powerful rifle. It’s pot luck at best. Continue reading