Strike Witches Headband: Sanya Ears
Recent reviews of titles here:Gingitsune Blu-ray Complete Collection (S)
Angel Mendez - Nov 19 2014
Rating: Pretty good!
A 9/10 Slice of Life Series with a Special Vibe
Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Goods is a slice of life anime with supernatural elements, centered around developing its characters. The main character, Makoto, is a shrine maiden and high school student who can communicate with heralds or messengers of the gods. The heralds appear in the form anthropomorphized animals. Part of the show deals with Makoto and the unique relationship she has with Gintarou, the herald at Makoto's family owned Shinto shrine.
But Gingitsune is more than a story about shrines and spirits. To me where this series really shines is when it focuses on the personal issues of the people around Makoto. If you are big on well developed characters and slice of life in general, Gingitsune is an anime that should be satisfying to you. I recommend buying the BD version because, even though the show does not have the greatest visuals, it has several neat scenes that should look better in high definition.
Allison & Lillia DVD Complete Collection (S)
Larry Burke - Nov 19 2014
The visuals on this title are very nice - spectacular backgrounds and very nice CGI aircraft (modeled on real-world airplanes). A nice touch is that the planes in the second series are a generation later than those in the first, just like the protagonists. The music is also beautiful - opening and closing credits, as well as the oft-heard "Ueber Meer, Ueber Laend (Over Sea, Over Land)," all nicely-done in a sort of folk/classical style.
The overall storyline - heroes who don't want to be known as heroes followed, in the second half of the series, by their children - is interesting, but the writing, at best, only ever rises to the old "Saturday morning serial" writing: the bad guys are two-dimensional, and seldom get names, the heroes are constantly getting out of one scrape only to get into another, and things just happen without explanation (usually to the heroes' benefit, unless the opposite is needed to maintain the tension). I felt the sub-narrative "romance" storyline was better done than the main plot in the first half, but feels labored in the second half. Also, the final episode struck me as rather unfulfilling - expected, but (again), no explanation of how the hero survived his last peril, and no denoument of the larger story. Perhaps this is a result of the source material (a series of light novels) continuing on past the events of the series.
Might make a good watch for younger teens/tweens. Adults might find it enjoyable if you don't go into it with high expectations (like I did).
Wolf Children DVD (Hyb)
Edward McIvor - Nov 23 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
You WILL need tissues
This one is kinda of a feels fest but it is so well done from start to finish you feel as if you're growing up with the characters. This film is of miazaki quality. I love how we go through joy and sadness with the story and you can't help but fall in love with the art style. Also for this movie being dubbed......PERFECT. This is going to be one of those classic anime's that stands the test of time for years to come.
This Boy Caught a Merman DVD (Hyb)
Samantha Perdue - Nov 24 2014 email@example.com
Emotional and artistically creative, a cute short fairytale romance
This animation was a pleasant surprise that reminds me of something you'd see at an art festival. The art style is lovely with color overlay and texture collage, beautifully artistic backgrounds, and the animation is a little minimal but you are watching for the journey of the story with the art.
As far as story goes, it is a small melancholic tale of Shima who suffers from depression and great loneliness and who is on a downward spiral after his beloved grandfather's death. An accident leads to him being rescued by the cheerful merman Shima names Isaki. Isaki wants to help Shima any way he can, and wishes to cure his loneliness and goes to live with him in a kiddie pool in the middle of Shima's living room. Together, the two grow fond of one another and Shima confides in Isaki his feelings and begins to come out of the dark spell he'd fallen under for a long time.
My only disappointment is that...I must say I was expecting more from the 17+ rating and I can only feel this rating was applied for 1 or 2 reasons. One, this is most certainly a (sweet) romance between two men and the track record for non-heteronormative anime seems to mark even the smallest thing as mature. Two, there is a single scene that very vaguely implies possible sexual arousal. For that, I would mark this as PG-13 at MOST. Now there is a very tender moment but I will leave that for you to discover after buying this disc~!
Also, be sure to watch after the credits for an extra scene that will warm your heart <3
The music is soft and simple, reminiscent of Persona 3 and 4 game background tracks. The Japanese dub track is very nice, and I would give the dub an A- as the actors did try and brought some believable gentleness and emotion to their characters, but sometimes spoke very stiffly or what could be awkward to hear in English. The translation could perhaps be the cause of that, but it's Sentai and their dub record is what it is - at least this is a better job in my opinion!