August 18, 2007

Help the economy! Spend! Spend! Spend!

It's been a month and a half since my last order, which frankly ended up being pretty disappointing. Godannar and Aoi Yori Aoshi sit unwatched, and I don't even remember what else was in that order. Whatever it was, it didn't make much of an impression.

Anyhoo, I've been accumulating a list of things to probably include in the next purchase, presented here not in any particular kind of order:

Mezzo -- Action/fan-service. Probably not very good, but the eye candy might be OK. 13 eps for $30. I'm thinking it's probably like Najica Blitz Tactics except without the panty fixation. (And without the emotionless girl. And probably with less fan service overall.)

Also, there's a special called "Mezzo Forte" that comes in two versions. There's a censored release, and there's a "Director's Cut" which apparently includes full hentai. Robert's got that one behind his "18+ only" wall (along with titles like "Bondage Queen Kate" and "Milk Money"). I don't think I'll get that immediately, but if the TV series is OK, it might be intriguing. The censored version is 55 minutes; the uncensored one is 60 minutes, and only $2 more. Such a deal! Maybe. Later.

Mezzo is not really the kind of show I usually like, but I think I may be channeling myself a bit too much and I need to branch out a bit more.

Grenadier -- is another one outside my usual tracks. 12 eps for $27, so it isn't much of a risk. The main girl is cute and busty and it might be fun. (A gorgeous busty blonde with a BFG can't be a total waste of time, can she? Well, yeah, but it's not that much money.)

Onegai Twins -- is the canonical siscon show, a fetish I usually stay far, far away from. But Jeff Lawson just wrote about it, and makes it sound like it might be OK. If it doesn't offer anything else, it's got cute girls and bathing scenes. (Also, Kaneda Tomoko and Kawasumi Ayako.) 13 eps for $35.

And at least they do resolve the main story. One of the two genuinely is his sister, and by the end of the series we really do find out which one it is. I think it will be interesting to see if I can guess it before they reveal it.

UFO Princess Valkyrie 4 is a lock. The last two remaining episodes of the series, which still don't wrap up the story, but I gotta have it anyway.

Ramen Fighter Miki -- the first DVD is out now. It's harmless fun. (It's also a guilt purchase. I downloaded and watched the first episode on fansub.)

Slayers -- Funimation picked up the rights from Central Park Media, and got hold of a new print from Japan. They kept the original English dub (which doesn't matter to me) but apparently the new video transfer is a lot better. Hope so; it'd be hard to be worse. What I'm mostly interested in is whether the Japanese sound track is improved. The sound track on the CPM version I've got was terrible.

If I were a bigger fan of the series I'd probably pick this up. But I'm not, and even though it's only $30 I'm probably going to give it a miss this time. Maybe later.

Best Student Council -- is the requisite "really weird title" for this order. Cute girls? check. Angst? Apparently not all that much, since it's a comedy. Wise cracking puppet? Check. Yuri? Just a little, for flavor. (Nothing wrong with a bit of yuri, is there?) Mysterious pasts and mysterious powers? Evidently so. Overwhelmingly powerful student council? That, it seems, is what the show is about. I gather that this particular student council puts the one in Shingu to shame when it comes to overwhelming power.

It sounds offbeat and it sounds like it could be a lot of fun. (And it's a great cast.) I don't have very high expectations, but it's got Kawasumi Ayako and Nabatame Hitomi so it can't be all bad. Five DVDs are out now and the last one comes out in three weeks, but I think I'll just get the first one to see what I think of it.

The Third -- only the first DVD is out, so getting it is probably a mistake. Still, it sounds interesting and I think I'm going to go for it.

Actually, the following might be the real "really weird title":

Aoi and Mutsuki -- is $16 for 13 eps. It's a sequel, but the first half of the series costs twice as much. What hooks me is the cover art: the girls are round, like in Ninja Nonsense. Girls should be round.

It does the "Simoun" thing backwards: everyone in this race starts as a boy but at age 16 they choose their sex. So Aoi changes from nice boy to gorgeous woman. At which point you've got a blonde (Mutsuki), a brunette (Aoi), and a redhead (Mito).

I haven't found any reviews of this anywhere! Chris Beveridge hasn't gotten to it. ANN doesn't have any reader votes. No one has written a capsule review of it for AnimeNFO. But the investment is small, and it looks like it might be stupid fun. And if it turns out to be even slightly decent, I can always go back and pick up the previous series.

One more "first DVD is all that's out" that I'm going to pick up, and probably regret, is My Otome. It's another one that's outside my usual tromping grounds. What the hell...

[No spoilers in comments, please, not even inside of spoiler tags.]

UPDATE: OK, the order just went in:

DBZ Movie 12
Grenadier (boxed set)
Onegai Twins (boxed set)
UFO Princess Valkyrie 4
Ramen Fighter Miki DVD 1
Best Student Council DVD 1
The Third DVD 1
Aoi and Mutsuki (complete)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 09:13 PM | Comments (16) | Add Comment
Post contains 978 words, total size 7 kb.

1 Now I DID warn you about Grenadier....

http://brickmuppet.mee.nu/fanboyrecidivism/placeholder7

Click at own risk as post contains some minor spoilers...but, IMHO, it is better to spoil the a few points of plot than spoil six hours of your life.

Posted by: Ken Talton at August 19, 2007 05:55 AM (9ha+4)

2 I didn't get particularly icked out by Onegai Sensei, but Onegai Twins definitely has some problematic moments. Both the family issue and to a lesser extent the age issue are conflicts that drive the plot. But at least the characters recognize these problems and take them seriously, which makes it easier for the viewer to take as well (or it did for me). Everything works out so satisfyingly in the end that it's worth the emotional trip, and though the characters do agonize interminably over their particular problem at least its a genuine problem with especially poignant resonance for them given their backstories.

I watched Onegai Sensei once and liked it but never felt the urge to go back. But Onegai Twins has several memorable episodes that I have rewatched several times. It's an emotional rollercoaster and if you can push through the initial ick you really come to care about the characters.

But then I absolutely loved Ai Yori Aoshi, so my tastes are probably a bit suspect.


Posted by: mparker762 at August 19, 2007 06:35 AM (C9sxL)

3

I wrote about Twins back in 2005, calling it "my secret shame."  That was before I was exposed to Ikkitousen, and before I realized just how good Twins was.  The thing of it is, it's not really a "siscon" show, as you'll see.

Grenadier is dumb, but fun.  Mezzo is crepe.

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 19, 2007 07:22 AM (fEnUg)

4

Ken, your post about Grenadier pretty much confirms what I expected it to be.

Wonderduck, I did have mixed feelings about Mezzo, and I think I'll take your advice and skip it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 19, 2007 08:49 AM (+rSRq)

5

At least in overt terms the story concept for Onegai Twins fails. The guy has a photo of him with his sister when he was young. I found a frame grab, and the sister is wearing a hat, so you can't tell what color hair she has.

But is the guy suffering from amnesia? He doesn't remember if his sister's hair was red or blue?

I guess I'll find out when I see the show. It's an obvious enough logic problem so that presumably they do handle it.

There's also the question of why the girl who is the sister doesn't remember growing up in that house, or contrariwise why the one who isn't the sister does remember it. Neighbor, maybe? If the only thing all of them have to go on is three copies of the same photo, then there must have been an amnesia epidemic.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 19, 2007 11:49 AM (+rSRq)

6 I liked large parts of Grenadier. I didn't get even halfway through Mezzo, and Mezzo Forte did nothing for me, with or without the two completely gratuitous sex scenes that interrupt the story.

I have mixed feelings about Twins; I like most of the original characters, and hate what was done with the crossovers from the original series. And the resolution of the Big Mystery, well, that would be a spoiler.

-j

Posted by: J Greely at August 19, 2007 12:02 PM (9Nz6c)

7

Interesting approach to anime you're developing there: Skip the originals, watch the sequels.

You might actually enjoy Please Twins more for not having watched Please Teacher.  Yes, there are a few throwaway bits that you're going to wonder about, but you won't have to deal with the way that some of the carryover characters have changed.  Ultimately, I liked Twins better than I liked Teacher, as the former has some particularly nice moments, but both have flaws; I'll look forward to your thoughts on it.

I haven't seen My Otome.  I have seen its predecessor My Hime, which started out as "cheese done right" and ended up somewhere else that I wasn't incredibly thrilled with.

Posted by: pflorian at August 19, 2007 12:46 PM (xGSSk)

8

I'm certainly going straight for the sequel with Aoi and Mutsuki. But Onegai Twins isn't really a sequel to Onegai Teacher; it's more like it's a new story placed in the same situation.

And what I've read is that My Otome isn't a sequel to My Hime so much as it's a reimagining of the story using the same basic characters. It's sort of like Magical Project S compared to Tenchi Muyo. (Sort of.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 19, 2007 12:52 PM (+rSRq)

9

He doesn't remember if his sister's hair was red or blue?

My feathers changed color between six and 18...

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 19, 2007 01:46 PM (CJ5+Y)

10

Forgot to mention... I watched the first two episodes of UFO Princess Valkyrie today.  Does it get any better, or is that it?

Posted by: Wonderduck at August 19, 2007 01:47 PM (CJ5+Y)

11 Well, they're toddlers in the photo, so I think the best explanation is that they were too young to remember. They were separated at a very early age.

That said, I make no warranty with regard to Onegai Twins... the show has some obvious flaws (which I mentioned in my recent blog post), but those flaws weren't so troublesome that they affected my overall enjoyment of the show. I'm pretty forgiving, though.

Posted by: Jeff Lawson at August 19, 2007 02:06 PM (VgF1Y)

12 My hair has changed from blonde to sun-bleached white to brown over the years. As for OT it's made clear early on that they were too young for real memories, which is why that photo is so important to them. Between Ai Yori Aoshi, Kare Kano, and Onegai Twins you get the impression that the Japanese don't treat their orphans very well.

Posted by: mparker762 at August 19, 2007 02:22 PM (C9sxL)

13

Wonderduck, I assume you're talking about the first UFO Valkyrie series. No, it doesn't get any better. It does get progressively more stupid, however. And progressively stranger.

Once you're past the episode with Sanada and her catgirl gun, the scenario is pretty much established.

The second series is the only one I recommend, and you don't have to have watched the first series in order to watch the second one.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 19, 2007 02:44 PM (+rSRq)

14 I don't have fond memories of Mezzo. Chock full of untranslated puns, though the translator did make a good effort... but by the time I got to the project, a volume had already gone out with none of the puns translated whatsoever. (Possibly a kindness. Kurokuwa didn't so much tell puns as spew them forth in a torrent.) Let's just say working on Mezzo was one of the few times when I've run into problems related to affirmative action and leave it at that...

Mezzo Forte came out first, and was essentially done as an action story that had some porn added to get it funded. The initial release in the US had some of the porn cut out (it was child rape.) Hue and cry resulted, and eventually there was an uncut release. The Mezzo TV series came later, and aside from a well-animated first episode, was pretty meh afterwards... not totally devoid of redeeming values, but for someone with otherwise good shows sitting around, it's not a good buy.

Best Student Council looks a lot older than it is, but it's not half bad - that damned puppet steals/makes the show.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at August 19, 2007 03:21 PM (L270l)

15 Hopefully Steve, you got the non-Hentai version of Mezzo Forte.  The hentai version basically have some sex scenes tacked on to generate sales.  The director's cut version is the tamer version.

Posted by: BigFire at August 19, 2007 05:08 PM (4PGcX)

16

I appended a list of the things I ordered. Mezzo Forte isn't on that list at all, in either version.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at August 19, 2007 05:29 PM (+rSRq)

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