Movie Monday: Metropolis

This week for Movie Monday I’m covering a move inspired by a Manga that was in turn inspired by a 1920’s Sci-Fi German film. It’s Metropolis!

Plot Synopsis: Humans and robots coexist in the futuristic city of Metropolis, although robots are discriminated against and segregated to the city’s lower levels. A lot of Metropolis’ human population are unemployed and deprived, and many people blame the robots for taking their jobs. Duke Red, the unofficial ruler of Metropolis, has overseen the construction of a massive skyscraper called the Ziggurat, which he claims will allow mankind to extend its power across the planet.

Plot: The plot is okay, but frankly it’s got too much of the Dystopian genre in it for me to really say I even remotely enjoyed it. While my utter hatred for that genre is a topic for another day and column, it doesn’t mean that this was a total bust. One of my roommates in College made me watch the movie so it’s got quite a bit of a cult following and it definitely has a very classic Anime feel due to it being inspired by a Manga from the father of Manga and Anime Tezuka Osamu.

Characters: The cast is okay, but like I said above I really didn’t enjoy this movie’s plot. That being said Shunsaku is probably my favorite character of the movie.

Artwork: Heavily inspired by Tezuka and animated by Madhouse the artwork is really the only thing that I enjoyed about this movie.

Music: The music is very fitting and absolutely perfect for this movie. That being said it’s not super memorable either.

Overall: An okay movie, but much too Dystopian for my tastes.

For those who like: Cult Classics, Sci-Fi, Drama, Dystopia, Action, Excellent Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, particularly the Dystopia part.

Anime Sunday: Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions

This week for Anime Sunday I’m covering another series from the Summer 2017 season. It’s my Knights and Magic Episode 01 Impressions!

Plot Synopsis: In a world where medieval knights use giant robots called Silhouette Knights to fight against demon beasts, magical ravenous animals that devour everything on sight. Tsubasa Kurata, a mecha otaku from Japan who gets killed in a car accident is reincarnated in this new parallel world as Ernesti “Eru” Echavalier, a boy born into a noble family…

Plot: The plot pacing of this series is way too fast for my tastes, which is a pity because they could’ve doubled the number of episodes and the series probably would’ve done fairly well. But we’ll never know now most likely. The pace is half a Light Novel volume per episode, so two episodes equals a Light Novel volume. I’ve stated in the past this is just way too fast for most series, and I stand by that statement still.

We don’t get to see Eru’s rebirth and him getting to actually learn magic and come to serious understanding of it and befriend Addy and Kid. Instead the entire School arc is pretty much skipped over, including probably huge plot points that will be key in later arcs. That being said it wasn’t a bad episode, it just went much too fast when I have my own prior knowledge of the actual source material.

Characters: Eru is a decent main character, but we lack a ton of background on him that was glossed over in this first episode. Addy and Kid are severely lacking in character background, which is a pity as Addy’s relationship with Eru is much more expanded upon and makes her look not nearly as childish in the original source material.

Art: The art isn’t bad, but it’s not ufotable quality at all. It could be better, but so could a lot of things with this series.

Music: The music is okay, but it’s not super amazing either.

Overall: This could’ve been a much better Anime, it’s a pity it got so screwed over with this adaptation. That being said it’s still fun to watch, just don’t read the original source material prior to watching. You’ll hate yourself.

For those who like: Fantasy, Mecha, Magic, Action, Drama, Politics.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or poor pacing.

Manga Monday: Buster Dress by Sadamatsu Ryuuichi

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This week for Manga Monday I’ve got a Quick Review for you all. It’s Buster Dress by Sadamatsu Ryuuichi!

Plot Synopsis: At the end of the 22nd century, the human race has created a new colony called Second Earth. After a mysterious terrorist attack, a unit made up of Buster Dress, an incredibly intelligent A.I. mech, have been deployed to investigate. Aoi Haruto , along with his BDD-223 Gunhawk embark on a journey to solve this mystery.

Plot: The plot is pretty good, it’s a very interesting twist on the Boy becomes Giant Robot pilot trope, as Gunhawk is pretty much his only friend. The action wasn’t as intense as it might be in later chapters but what was present in this first chapter was pretty good.

Characters: We get introduced to Haruto and Gunhawk in this first chapter, but we also got to meet a couple other faces, including a young girl mechanic who obviously has a thing for Haruto. Frankly I liked her quite a bit, but we don’t even get to know her name.

Art: The artwork is amazing, if I didn’t know that it wasn’t I’d say it was published by Shueisha for the excellent quality.

Overall: This looks to be a pretty interesting series, give it a shot if you love Sci-Fi and/or Giant Robots.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Mecha, Great Plot, Excellent Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Manga Monday: Atom by Tetsuro Kasahara

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This week for Manga Monday I’ve got another Quick Review. It’s Atom by Tetsuro Kasahara!

Plot Synopsis: Two prodigies, Umatarou Tenma and Hiroshi Ochanomizu, have spent endless amounts of time researching robots with Tenma wanting to produce a god and Ochanomizu wanting to produce a friend, eventually producing the robot A106. The question the duo were both wondering, would A106 eventually turn into a god or a friend?

Plot: First off I should state that this series is the prequel to Tezuka’s Astro Boy, although which version it is the prequel for I have no clue. I’ve never watched/read Astro Boy because there are way too many different versions of the story. Now that all being said this first chapter was very interesting, but not super original either. Than again, since it’s the prequel to what started a bunch of different tropes, I can’t really blame it. I’ll probably continue reading the rest of the series eventually, but it’ll have to wait for me to clear out my massive backlog of stuff to read.

Characters: Tenma seems to be a pretty interesting guy, if a bit arrogant and wanting to play God with the world. Ochanomizu on the other hand was a lot more interesting to me, if only because he seemed to be the more earnest type. The rest of the cast seems to be rather small thus far, but it was just the first chapter. Six was pretty interesting, if rather quiet.

Art: Definitely a throw back to Tezuka’s original works, this has a very retro art style, but it’s very well done.

Overall: Definitely worth a read, especially for Tezuka fans.

For those who like: Drama, Action, Robots, Astro Boy, Tezuka, Excellent Plot, Awesome Cast of Characters, Fantastic Artwork.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Custom Robo

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a super obscure game from my teens! It’s Custom Robo!

Plot Synopsis: This title of the Custom Robo series, each player is called a “commander”, who pilots and customizes a miniature “robo” to battle each other in a virtual arena called a Holosseum; the average robo is 32 centimeters tall.

Plot: So the game has no plot to speak of, which is fine. The gameplay was the fun part.

Gameplay: This was the first game in the series to be released internationally and was made for newcomers in mind. This made it easy to pick up and play, and it’s great to play with a couple friends in the local multiplayer modes. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Art: The art hasn’t aged super poorly, but it’s not great either. That’s the problem with 3D graphics, they age terribly.

Music: Was interesting, but nothing super special.

Overall: This is a fun game to play with some friends. The “story” was nonexistant so it really wasn’t meant to be a single player game.

For those who like: Fun Multiplayer, Fast Paced Gameplay, Fun.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Space Station Silicon Valley

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that I loved but only got to rent a couple of times back when I was a kid. It’s Space Station Silicon Valley!

Plot Synopsis: The game’s storyline revolves around a space station designed as a “technologically advanced amusement park” and home to numerous animals. In the year 2001, it was launched and vanished seven minutes later. Thought to have disappeared forever, it reappears in the year 3000, and its designer, Professor Cheese, mysteriously vanishes upon an excursion to the station. Following this, a duo of “Heroes for Hire” are dispatched to investigate. Danger Dan and his robotic partner Evo, a “super-intelligent, self-evolving robot” (the end result of the Silicon Valley experiment) arrive to find that over 1000 years, the animal cargo had evolved and merged with the station’s technology; examples include an electronically powered fox with motorized wheels and a steam-powered hippopotamus.

Plot: Well this is obviously not that serious a game, but considering it’s published by the same people as Grand Theft Auto expect it to be as crazy as you might think it could be.

Gameplay: I loved playing as all the flying animals in this game, but I remember this game being very difficult of course I was a kid back when this was first released.

Music: I honestly can’t remember it, which is a pity.

Artwork: It’s nothing spectacular now, but I thought it was the bomb back when I was a kid.

Overall: If you can get a copy you really should play this.

For those who like: Crazy Games, Comedy, Playing as a bunch of different animals.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Light Novel Thursday: Knights and Magic by Amazake No Hisago

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This week I’m covering a series I just read a couple weeks ago for Light Novel Thursday. It’s Knights and Magic by Amazake No Hisago!

Plot Synopsis: A young man from Japan passed away after a traffic accident. His soul was reincarnated in an alternate world into the body of a pretty young boy Ernesti Erchevalier with his memories intact. Influenced by his hobby from his previous life, Eru is a ‘robot nerd’ in this life too. He meets the giant humanoid battle robots in this world — Silhouette Knights. The elated Eru started a series of plans in order to pilot the robots. He drags his childhood friend in this world along as he messes around in this world to satisfy his desire for robots.

Plot: This series is quite like Mushoku Tensei, and that’s a great thing because I love that series it’s probably among my top favorite Light Novel series ever along with Toaru and Sword Art Online. That said Eru, Ernesti’s nickname, is much less of a pervert then Rudeus is in Mushoku Tensei.  Eru is also a hell of a lot smarter than Rudy, because instead of being a NEET and overall scumbag in his previous life Eru was a decent person working a job and was a very successful computer programmer. So when he see’s Humanoid Mechas in this new world he instantly is enamored with them due to his prior life’s hobby of constructing plastic mecha models, in fact it’s probably just Gunpla. There are plenty of great battle scenes as well. So far I’ve only read the first volume, which was amazing, and can’t wait for the rest.

Characters: Like Rudy in Mushoku Tensei, Eru is an aspiring magician and quickly learns magic and starts training it every day to increase his mana capacity. He meets a pair of twins named Archid and Edeltrud, or Cid (pronounced as “Kid”) and Edel. Edel is the girl pictured above looking over Eru’s shoulder who is reading, and yes he really is a guy (apparently he takes after his mother quite a bit). The rest of the cast is interesting and I really can’t wait to read the rest of this series. If only I had the skills and money to read the original Japanese versions.

Art: The art for this series is great, although not as good as No Game No Life’s fantastic work.

Overall: If you like reincarnation stories, or just good old Magic mixed with the Mecha genre, you’ll love this series.

For those who like: Reincarnation stories, Magic, Fantasy, Epic battles, Great art, Mecha.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.