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Elfen Lied Review

Lucy, a Diclonius, is being held captive in a government facility. Lucy begins a horrific killing spree during her escape. A teenage boy named Kohta and a teenage girl named Yuka find Lucy on a beach after her escape. Finding Lucy begins a story of jealously, murder, and the resurfacing of lost memories.

Plot

Lucy is a mutant called a Diclonius which are females with pink hair, red eyes and horns that look like the ears of a cat. A Diclonius has invisible hands called vectors that are mainly used to kill. Lucy develops a split personality named Nyu after a bullet shatters part of her helmet during her escape. Just like Lucy & Nyu, the story has two intertwining stories. The one part of the story is the main objective of the government facility to recapture Lucy before she kills any more people. The another part of the story is seeing Nyu as an innocent, child like person being taken cared of by cousins Kohta and Yuka. This series shows how tragic events and repressed memories have an effect on people in different ways. The series ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and it would be interesting what happened if the story continued.

Characters

Lucy/Nyu

Lucy can be seen as the protagonist and the antagonist. Her backstory shows how she became a murderous person and why she had to be kept at a government facility. When she switched to Nyu, it was hard to imagine someone who innocent & naive could turn into a heartless killer. Her split personality could represent the best and worst in us.

Kouta

Kouta comes back to a summer home eight years later when he begins school in the area. His father and little sister have both passed away. This story digs deep into a tragedy that Kouta has buried deep into his mind until certain triggers bring those repressed memories rushing back.

Yuka

Yuka is Kouta’s cousin who she last saw eight years ago. She is Kouta’s link to the past he has forgotten about and realizes that Kouta doesn’t remember anything from the last time she saw him. Yuka becomes jealous of Nyu because she receives so much attention and concern from Kouta. Aside from being jealous, Yuka is also shows her caring side to anyone who is in need.

Mayu

Mayu is a runaway who saw Lucy dismember a man sent to kill her. She returned an umbrella to where Kouta and Yuka were living thus beginning her friendship with them. The reason why Mayu ran away was heartbreaking. Besides having a horrible home life, she is the only one who has seen both sides of Lucy.

Nana

Nana is known as Number 7 at the same government facility Lucy was being held. Since the Diclonius can sense each other’s presence, Nana was sent to find Lucy and bring her back to the facility. Because of their encounter with Lucy, Nana becomes close friends with Mayu.

Kurama

Kurama is the director of the government facility where the Diclonius are being held. His main objective in this series is to get Lucy back to the facility. Kurama is a father figure to Nana and she refers to him as Papa. From the moment he begins working at this facility, Kurama’s morality is questioned many times with which Diclonius to kill and which Diclonius is worth saving.

Art and Animation

This is a very graphic, uncensored anime. Lucy’s vectors will cut a head and limbs off so smoothly. It will get to the point where Lucy looks funny not having any blood on her or surrounding her. The visual of seeing the switch from Lucy and Nyu does catch your eye. Nyu is smiling and her eyes are big, bright and full of innocence. That innocence changes to darkness over her eyes and the eye that is exposed is full of evil. The theme song brought that eerie, uneasy feeling that will that anxiety of something is not right. This anime is not recommended for children due to extreme violence, excessive blood and nudity.

Verdict

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Elfen Lied is a rare gem that I discovered several years ago. Having the opportunity to watch it again reminded me of how much I enjoyed it. The exploration of repressive memories and traumatic events was a constant theme throughout the series. Even the opening theme song prepares you for the dark place the viewer is about to enter. The cliffhanger left more questions so I would be interest to see if there will be another season to finish the story. I give Elfen Lied 7 out of 10. See you next time!!

Megalo Box Review

 

A man called “Junk Dog” is a fighter who fights in fixed matches in the underground. After an encounter with the Megalo Boxing Champion, Yuri, “Junk Dog” is motivated to enter Megalonia which is a tournament for the best Megalo boxers in the world. Along with his trainer, Nanbu, and an orphan named Sachio, “Junk Dog” begins his journey to Megalonia in hopes to fight Yuri.

Plot

This story is about an underdog who knows he is better than throwing fights in the underground. He wants to show that he is better than where he is in Megalo Boxing. Megalo Boxing is boxing with Gear which enhances the fighter’s punches. “Junk Dog” finally meets his match when he meets Yuri. After Yuri challenges “Junk Dog” to fight him at Megalonia, “Junk Dog” becomes “Joe” and his three month journey to Megalonia begins. The story has a great amount of drama and action which will have the audience rooting for Joe and Team Nowhere to make it to the big event. Each character has their own reasons to reach Megalonia. As the story progresses, the audience will see if these reasons help or hurt the journey to the big event. The way the story ended was different and satisfying because questions are answered as fast as you begin to ask them.

Characters

“Junk Dog” aka Joe

Joe is the protagonist of the show. His past is a mystery but that does not take away from his present or future. His determination and focus is what makes his drive to be the best something to admire. Every time he is knocked down in and out of the ring, he will get back up. You cannot help but to be in Joe’s corner.

Yuri

Yuri is the antagonist of the show. He is the Megalo Boxing Champion with Team Shirato. Yuri is the motivation behind Joe’s determination to make it to Megalonia. Yuri’s past is also a mystery but this also does not take away from what is happening in the present. Yuri is equally as motivated to fight Joe in the ring. He goes to extreme measures, including making a big sacrifice, to make sure he is at his best when it is time to fight in Megalonia.

Nanbu

Nanbu is Joe’s partner in the fixed matches in the underground. He turns into Joe’s trainer when Joe expresses his interest in entering Megalonia to fight Yuri. His past is explored with being a trainer and having his own boxing gym. His decisions cause him to be in the situation he is in at the present time. His decisions and bad habits still effect the present and he does pay a hefty price. Despite all of this, he believes in Joe and will stop at nothing to get Joe to Megalonia.

Mikio Shirato

Mikio Shirato is the second protagonist of the show. His sister, Yukiko Shirato, is the president of the company who is hosting Megalonia and the person behind Yuri’s Gear. Mikio had the most notable character development. He had something to prove to his sister, Yuri and Joe. Mikio was devious in his plans to prove his point. In the end, he will lend a helping hand to whoever needed his assistance and learns from his mistakes.

Sachio

Sachio is an orphan who becomes the third member of Joe’s team, Team Nowhere. He has an impressive knowledge of Megalo Boxing and the Gear being used. The story does reveal how he became an orphan and how he gained the knowledge of Megalo Boxing. To be so young, he is the moral compass and the motivator of Team Nowhere.

Animation and Music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The animation and music of Megalo Box was just as incredible as the story. The animation gave you an old school feeling but it was still modern. At some times, I got the same vibes I would get watching one of the greatest anime ever, Cowboy Bebop. Joe resembles Spike Spiegel from his hair and the boots he wore during a match. The music has to be mentioned because there was a hip hop influence in the music. The hip hop influence went so well with the storytelling.

Verdict

Megalo Box has become one of my favorite anime shows this year. The story is entertaining and enjoyable because we all love a story about an underdog going against all odds to make it to the top. It can be a rocky road getting to the top but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. The hip hop influence of the music gave it the extra bump of enjoyment. Megalo Box receives an 8 out of 10. See you next time!!

 

Marvel Anime: Blade Review

Marvel Anime: Blade

Blade is on a mission to find the vampire with four fangs. The vampire with four fangs is Deacon Frost. Frost is the vampire responsible for biting his mother when she was pregnant with Blade. Because of this bite, Blade became half human half vampire. This vendetta takes him across Asia. Along the way, Blade makes a new ally and reunites with old allies who help him along the way to lead him to Deacon Frost.

Plot

This story is told by using flashbacks and continuing through present day. The flashbacks explain how Blade became what other vampires call a daywalker. Since Blade is half human half vampire, sunlight does not effect him. The flashbacks also take you to Blade’s childhood, how he went from his birth name, Eric Brooks, to being known in the present as Blade and how he got his training to become a vampire hunter. These flashbacks were helpful to understand why Blade become who he is in the present day and why he wanted to kill Deacon Frost. Deacon Frost knew Blade was after him but Blade was only a small factor of accomplishing his own agenda. Frost was seeking his twisted form of justice but he needed Blade to live to make sure justice was served.

Characters

Blade

Born Eric Brooks, Blade endures the struggle of being half human half vampire. He became a vampire hunter to rid the Earth of vampires. Most importantly, his vengeance drives him to search and kill Deacon Frost. His character development is shown through flashbacks. The flashbacks provide a glimpse into Blade discovering who is and his training to become a vampire hunter that vampires fear.

Deacon Frost

Deacon Frost the protagonist of the story. He is the four fanged vampire who bit Blade’s mother and ultimately caused her death. Through flashbacks, we learn that Frost is a scientist. A heartbreaking event was the turning point of his mortal life. This event stirred him to become a vampire himself. Becoming a vampire and utilizing his scientific background was a drastic action for Frost to seek his own form of justice and vengeance.

Noah van Helsing

Noah van Helsing is Blade’s mentor. A flashback tells the story how Helsing met a young Blade and how he created a Retro virus serum hoping to cure people who were infected with the vampire virus. Instead, the serum suppressed Blade’s urges for blood. From there, he trained Blade to become a vampire hunter. In the present day, Helsing and his dog Razor aid Blade in his mission to find Deacon Frost.

Makoto

Makoto is a vampire hunter alongside her father. They run into Blade at vampire nightclub where Blade first encounters Deacon Frost at the beginning of the series. Driven by vengeance against Blade for killing her father after he was bit by Deacon Frost, she follows Blade across Asia. After learning about Blade through Noah van Helsing, she becomes an unlikely ally to help Blade find Deacon Frost.

Art and Animation

It was pretty cool to see an anime of Marvel characters. The main thing that was especially great was seeing Blade look like an actual black man. Blade was not made to have large pink lips. He had full lips but not to the point where it could be seen as racist like Mr. Popo from the Dragonball series. Most of this series took place a night so the tone was dark. The blood moon was noticeable in the night scenes. There were only a few scenes in the daytime so that showed that Blade was indeed a daywalker.

Verdict

Marvel Anime: Blade was entertaining and it was a good choice for an anime. There were some parts of the story that were unnecessary . There were other parts of the story that could have used more of an explanation like Deacon Frost and the High Council of the pure blood vampires. I give Marvel Anime: Blade a 6 out of 10. It could have been better but it was not awful. See you next time!

 

Dragonball Super: Future Trunks Saga Review

Future Trunks Saga Review

After the Tournament of Destroyers, Future Trunks makes a return to the Dragon Ball series. The future he lives in is on the brink of destruction and humanity is almost extinct. After previously traveling to the past in hopes for a better future, a new threat puts the future in jeopardy. This new threat goes by the name Black. Future Trunks is no match for Black. Future Bulma has enough fuel for the time machine to send Future Trunks to the past to get help from Goku and Vegeta to defeat this more powerful threat to the future.

Plot

The Future Trunks saga is the second original story arc of the Dragon Ball Super series. This story arc centers around the identity of Black and his intentions for Future Trunks’ world. The first observation is that Black looks just like Goku which is why Future Trunks calls him Goku Black. The mystery of Goku Black unfolds in a clever way that will keep your attention. One minute you think you figured out who he is and then another event will have you questioning his identity again. Even the God of Destruction Beerus and his servant Whis were having a hard time trying to figure out Goku Black’s identity which made finding out who is more intriguing. Once his identity is revealed, the little seeds being planted up to the reveal will be clear and the reveal will be satisfying. In this story arc, the heroes couldn’t just fight their way out this situation and save Trunks’ future. They had to use their brains along with physically battling an invincible opponent. It was refreshing to see everyone from Goku to the Supreme Kais get together again to figure out how to take down someone like Goku Black. Time travel plays an important part of this story arc. According to Beerus and Whis, traveling through time is forbidden so learning that humans have time machines is shocking to them both. Traveling through time has consequences as Future Trunks has learned the hard way with the existence of Goku Black.

Characters

Future Trunks

He’s the main character of this arc. He has gone through the most emotional hardships of all the characters in the series. He’s still fighting for his future even after Cell & the Androids were defeated. He even prevented Majin Buu from being released. Throughout this arc, you see him become stronger & reaches another level of power which surprises Goku Black. We see him put the weight of the future of humanity on his shoulders. We see a side of him helping the surviving humans which is a side we didn’t see in Dragonball Z. He’s constantly putting himself on the line for everyone to ensure humanity survives & the future he lives in gains peace.

Goku Black

He’s one of the main protagonists of this story arc. The main question throughout this arc is who is Goku Black? He looks exactly like Goku but he’s killing everyone on sight. His obsession with power, strength & justice is what made him a formidable villain. Besides looking like Goku, Goku Black was a unique character because of the focus on trying to figure out his identity. There hasn’t been this much focus on other villains in the series. He reaches a new form of Super Saiyan that is introduced as Super Saiyan Rosé. His fighting with Goku, Vegeta & Future Trunks helped him gain this more powerful form which makes it more difficult to defeat him.

Zamasu

He’s the second main protagonist of this story arc. Due to his fighting skills, he became the Supreme Kai in training under Supreme Kai Gowasu in Universe 10. His character development is the most interesting. We see him as a calm Kai who has questions of the role of a Supreme Kai when it comes with dealing with mortals. It takes one interaction to push him over the edge. This interaction begins his downward spiral into becoming the villainous Kai.

Art and Animation

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the beginning of this arc, the animation & the music took a bit of a darker tone. Future Trunks’ timeline was visually dark which fed into the danger of his time. The present timeline was always sunny which reflected a more peaceful time. The visuals of each fight scene captured each blow from each fighter to where you felt that punch in the gut & that energy blasts that sent someone straight back to the ground or through a building. With today’s animation being in high definition, everything is crisp, clear, & bold.

Verdict

The Future Trunks Saga was a breath of fresh air to the Dragonball Super series at this point. The storyline could get a little confusing because of the different timelines but it was good for the audience to pay attention to the story & not so focused on just the fighting. The fight scenes were still awesome. Seeing the villain not being defeated by a spirit bomb or a Kamehameha wave was also a great decision. I give the Future Trunks Saga an 8 out of 10. Until we meet again!