The Petite Princess Yucie DVD review is now in the anime reviews section and here.
Petite Princess Yucie is arguably one of the less known series produced by studio Gainax. Gainax has a habit of building on earlier creations and heavily referencing them in later shows (Neon Genesis Evangelion referenced in Abenobashi, FLCL referenced in Panty and Stockings etc.). However Petite Princess Yucie is one title that seems to be out of this “creative loop”. It is a subtle and lighthearted series, which sometimes lead me to believe Gainax created it at a time when the staff was already tired from big or serious titles and wanted to unwind a bit with a simple tale that would bring a smile to their faces.
The Black Rock Shooter OVA Blu-ray review is now available in the reviews section and here.
Boy oh boy is the OVA different from the TV series. The difference is so striking it’s hard to believe both were animated by the same company and were directed by the same director (the character designer was thankfully replaced though). It kind of makes you wonder if the OVA wasn’t some kind of experiment to test the grounds, a short deep in the water before the cast moves on into much deeper water with the Black Rock Shooter TV series. In a way this reminds me of the Strike Witches OVA. But in Strike Witches’ case the OVA was obviously a showcase to be used as a reference later while the Black Rock Shooter OVA does try to stand on its own with a semi-coherent story.
I had a really hard time deciding if I should review this OVA or not. On the one hand this OVA has become very rare and can be hard to find in the U.S. On the other hand it was officially distributed in the U.S. so you probably can still find copies of it lying around in stores. In the end I did review it, if only to show how different it is from the later TV series.
The Black Rock Shooter Blu-ray Box review is now available in the reviews section and here.
This short series turned out to be one of the best I’ve seen in recent years. Since the Blu-ray version has English subtitles and I loved the series itself nothing stopped me from buying it when it came out in Japan (although I did postpone my buy until I arrived to Japan for obvious reasons). Be sure to read the review if this title interests you, and don’t judge this TV series on the basis of the previous OVA. They are, thankfully, very different.
The R.O.D The Complete Blu-ray Box Review is now available in the reviews section and here. As this review is in fact a review of two titles (R.O.D The OVA and R.O.D The TV) I tried a different approach for reviewing it, making it a bit easier on the eye.
Since I haven’t done it recently I thought I’ll do a little trivia section for this OVA and series. See how many of these you already know!
- Yomiko Readman’s first name, Yomiko, is made up of the verb Yomu (“to read”) and the vowel ko, which is traditionally used in Japan as an ending in a girl’s name. So a literal translation of Yomiko Readman’s name in English would be “Readinggirl Readman”.
- The name of the Chinese company Dokusensha is written in Chinese. However the word Dokusensha, if written in Japanese with a different set of kanji, can be oddly translated as “the one who monopolizes [something]”.
- The Read or Die OVA’ opening theme shows several screens filled with English text. Most of this text is incoherent but there are some strangely coherent sentences. For example one sentence says “get 20 quiet cats at a student discount price“. Another interesting sentence would be “a gift from the emperor who doesn’t compensate even if he breaks something during a home run“.
- In episode 8, when Anita is in charge of writing a report on today’s school activities, she writes the following (in Japanese): “The principles’ lectures are always boring and make me sleepy. Rock and Roll“.
- The Midnight Liberation Zone movie poster in Hisami’s room feature pictures of real people (as opposed to drawn images).
The Simoun DVD review is now available in the reviews section and here.
Well-crafted series are always fun to watch and Simoun is one such series. It’s a shame that the series’ biggest flaw is its English subtitles. I usually don’t lower the score of an anime even if it does contain some spelling errors or an untranslated bit here and there. Translators have a hard job and hundreds of words to translate each episode. That said, Simoun had too many mistranslations for me to not mention them, and when such a thing becomes a major issue for a series some review points will be decreased.
On a more humorous note, one of the Simoun DVDs had a trailer for Kujibiki
Unbalanced I bet Media Blasters never even sold a hundred copies of that thing. In fact Media Blasters was probably forced to license it as a condition for licensing Genshiken…
The Sky Crawlers Blu-ray review has been added. You can find it in the reivews section and here.
The characters’ faces in this movie are a bit on the ugly/unimpressive side. Perhaps the most frightening of all is Kusanagi’s daughter. She looks like a murderer!
I really like the concept behind The Sky Crawlers’ universe. It’s a pity the light novels on which the movie was based were never translated to English. There’s a Wii game for it in English though, so if you liked the movie you might want to check it out.