Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Anime Spotlight : Top Anime from Yesteryear : 2006

It's time to take a trip down memory lane and take a look at the Anime of 2006. 2006 for me had a lot of memorable anime like Pumpkin Scissors, and some might even mention Death Note as their anime of the year. But here are my Top 5 anime from 2006!

NHK ni Youkoso!

Synopsis : Satou Tatsuhiro, a 22-year-old socially withdrawn loner, barricades himself in his apartment, subsiding on a meagre allowance sent by his parents, only venturing to the outside world to buy food under cover of darkness. One day, afraid he might miss the utility person, he opens the door to find a cute, mysterious girl, accompanying an elderly religious solicitor. Through what seems to be a chain of coincidences, the girl, Nakahara Misaki, enters Tatsuhiro's life, and promises him that she will cure him of his anti-social condition, provided that he follows the rules that she sets out for him. This takes Tatsuhiro from a desperate attempt at creating a galge computer game, to unwittingly joining a suicide cult, to participating in a pyramid scheme, to immersing himself in a MMORPG, along the way touching upon everything between hikikomori and otaku culture, existentialism, solipsism, theology, suicide, sacrifice and love.
Tags :  comedy, angst, novel, conspiracy, coming of age, daily life, tragedy
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Thoughts : Welcome to the NHK! was a brilliant comedy by Gonzo that hit a bit close to home with it's main theme. It's a must watch for any anime fan. 

Ergo Proxy

Synopsis : Sometime in the distant future, humanity has managed to survive, but only in isolated cities and through the use of cloning and robotic servants called Autoraves. Life in the cities is strictly controlled by management dedicated to preserving their 'utopian' way of life. But something is causing the Autoraves to become independent and is driving them to seek to escape the city. Re-l Mayer, a female inspector from the Citizen Information Board, learns that the awakening of the Autoraves is caused by an encounter with something called a Proxy. In seeking to learn more, Re-l stumbles into a secret that management is desperately trying to hide and will go to any length to keep suppressed.
Tags : violence, sci-fi, gunfights, action, contemporary fantasy, mecha, angst, android, seinen, conspiracy, post-apocalypse, dystopia
Thoughts : I loved the dark dystopian setting in Ergo Proxy, and Real Mayer is probably one of the most recognizable anime characters out there. though I wonder if the then popularity of women like Amy Lee might have been an influence. Manglobe did a great job with Ergo Proxy visually and auditory. If you haven't seen it yet, slim chance, give it a shot.

Ouran Koukou Host Club

Synopsis : Ouran High School is a school for the extremely wealthy or talented. Haruhi just happens to be more talented than wealthy. Since she had a hair mishap the week before school started and could not afford the school uniform, she was mistaken for a boy.

Wandering into the Third Music Room looking for a quiet place to study, she encounters the school's Host Club — a group of attractive young men who give their time and affections to females, for a fee. After she breaks an ¥8,000,000 vase belonging to the host club, the leader demands that she work off the money by becoming a host. And when they find out Haruhi is not actually a boy, humour ensues.
Tags : comedy, romance, super deformed, slapstick, reverse trap, bishounen, manga, shoujo, school life, high school, clubs
Thoughts : Ouran High school Host Club was one of my favorite shoujo comedies for a very long time. And the better role that Miyano Mamoru played in 2006, yes Suou Tamaki and Yagami Light has the same voice actor. Even though this show had a reverse harem, the humor is aimed at everyone not just a certain demographic. If you need a laugh watch Ouran high school Host Club.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Synopsis : Maebara Keiichi, a young teenager, has recently moved from the city to the rural village of Hinamizawa with his family. He is adjusting quite well to his new life, making friends at the small school, playing games, passing time in relative happiness, when suddenly a gruesome murder occurs...

A mystery begins to unravel — tracing back to events five years ago. As Keiichi learns more about these strange events, he wonders if he will be able to face the truth behind all of this.
Tags : violence, detective, angst, horror, visual novel, seinen, tragedy
Thoughts : Higurashi no Naku Koro ni really took by surprise, it's mix of cute lovable characters with a ton of comedy, and it's harsh darker side. Which did a great job in making those cute characters quite terrifying to say the least. Higurashi featured some really awesome music by Shimamiya Eiko and was filled with mystery. If you are in the mood for a good horror anime. Higurashi is not a bad choice at all.

Black Lagoon

Synopsis : When Okajima Rokuro (aka Rock) visits Southeast Asia carrying a top secret disk, he is kidnapped by pirates riding in the torpedo boat, Black Lagoon. Although he thought he would be rescued soon, the company actually abandons him, and sends mercenaries to retrieve the secret disk. He narrowly escapes with his life, but has nowhere to go. He gives up his name and past, and resolves to live as a member of the Black Lagoon.
Tags : violence, gunfights, action, manga, seinen, mafia, crime, daily life
Thoughts : Ahh Black Lagoon how I wish there was more of this show. Black Lagoon offered a good look into the lives of the gangs and inhabitants of the fictional city Roanapur. If you are looking for gunfights, great characters both male and female, and stunning visuals Black Lagoon won't disappoint you.

Thanks again for joining me on this trip down memory lane, what Anime from 2006 was your favorite? If you need a bit of a refresher this chart might help.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Anime Spotlight : Winter 2015's Most Promising Anime

The First Anime Season of 2015 is in full swing, other than Isuca which hasn't aired yet, so it's time share which 5 New anime is the most promising this Winter 2015! I haven't included sequels in this list as those need no real introduction. In general there has been some interesting shows this season so far and some average shows.

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata

Synopsis : One day, an otaku high school student Aki Tomoya has a fateful encounter with a girl amidst the beautiful cherry blossom trees. This meeting inspires Tomoya to design his very own gal-game (dating-simulation video game) featuring a heroine modeled after the girl he saw. In order to make his desire a reality, Tomoya must persuade a few eccentric creators such as the ace member of the art club, Sawamura Spencer Eriri and the school's top student, Kasumigaoka Utaha to join his development team. Meanwhile, Tomoya is shocked to learn that the girl he idolized as his muse for this whole project was none other than his boring classmate, Katou Megumi! But, this doesn't dissuade Tomoya. He is determined to give Megumi a total make-over within his game and raise her to be the absolute girlfriend that every man desires...!
Tags : comedy, parody, novel
Thoughts : The first episode I saw of Saekano was very enjoyable, yes the show features a fair bit of fanservice but nothing over the top. Characters are well defined and are quite enjoyable, except for the childhood friend character. Had some really good laughs in the first episode and I'm looking forward to see how this progresses in future.

Kantai Collection: KanColle

Synopsis : In a world where humanity has lost control of the oceans to the deep sea fleet, the only hope to counter this threat are the Kanmusu, a group of girls who possess the spirit of Japanese warships. The story revolves around Fubuki, a destroyer who comes to the Chinjufu base to train with other Kanmusu.
Tags : Naval, Comedy, Game
Thoughts : I was fairly surprised by Kantai Collection, I knew it was about girls that are ships, I mean the internet has been full of the fanart for the past year, I initially thought it would be a bit...silly to say the least. Yes it's still silly, but in a good way. The show reminds me of Strike Witches and Arpeggio of Blue Steel, both shows I enjoyed. Production values in Kancolle are also quite high and I'm looking forward to see what they'll do with this show.

Yoru no Yatterman

Synopsis : Long, long ago, a pair of heroes called the Yatterman faced off against the mischievous Doronbow Gang, led by the sexy villainess Doronjo. Now, years later, the Yatter Kingdom is protected by the new Yatterman. But the mysterious new Yatterman have forced the Yatter people into labor, and unrest runs rampant throughout the kingdom. In the spirit of her predecessor, a young new Doronjo reforms the Doronbow Gang in rebellion against the Yatterman.
Tags : Science Fiction
Thoughts : The first episode of Yoru no Yatterman was a great start, a good mix of heartwarming emotions and some sadness with a bit of comedy added. This show seems like it will offer quite a bit of an adventure. I see it's related to the 1970's anime Yattermen, but there is no need to watch that one, as it's not a sequel. Enjoying the characters so far in Yoru no Yatterman.

Junketsu no Maria

Synopsis : The story follows Maria, the most powerful witch who lives during the Hundred Years' War in France. She despises war, so she obstructs battles with her strong magical powers. Her meddling with her succubus Artemis and incubus Priapos has caught the attention of the heavens, and so the Archangel Michael issues an edict. When Maria loses her virginity, she will also lose her magical powers. A beautiful angel named Ezekiel is supposed to watch Maria and make sure the witch does not use magic in front of people, but Maria continues to use magic anyways.
Tags : violence, magic, manga, seinen
Thoughts : Cute witches, succubi, good humour, great visuals, awesome audio, expertly done fight scenes. What more can you ask for? Be sure to watch this Production IG anime. Looks to be a ton of laughs.

Koufuku Graffiti

Synopsis : Ryou is a middle school girl who lives by herself. She has a knack for cooking, and she makes friendships with everyone through her food.
Tags : manga, seinen, cooking
Thoughts : I was initially interested in Koufuku Graffiti as I heard it's an anime about cooking. What I found was a fair bit more than just "cooking". Koufuku Graffiti has some really high production values, then again this is a SHAFT anime. Especially the look of the food and the eating reactions which were glorious. Food and lewd aside. The first episode had some really heartwarming moments in it and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Koufuku Graffiti

There you have it, the list of anime I found most promising this season, excluding sequels of course. Which anime from the Winter 2015 anime season are you looking forward to. Let me know in the comment section.