The Salty Anime Challenge – Day 2: A Popular and/or Hyped Anime that You Didn’t Care For

The one anime that really comes to mind here is Kill La Kill.

I hadn’t heard much of a bad word against Kill la Kill. I had many people suggest it to me, and they gave it very high praise for how crazy, funny and action-packed it was, but I just found it to be, overall, irritating. It’s a lazy plot coupled with a mostly uninteresting main lead and antagonist with one of the most overpowered and ridiculously designed battle outfits I’ve ever seen.

I still can’t wrap my head around this. How does she breathe without triggering the censors?

Outside of that, it’s pure noise. It is trying way too hard to be the ‘craziest anime ever’. It never takes a damn break from the gigantic blocks of red text being pelted at the screen every three minutes to the constant yelling to the somewhat ugly art and animation.

I’m no stranger to crazy loud anime, but they usually know when to pump the brakes. Kill La Kill is like running on a treadmill, setting a time to get off and then realizing you’re handcuffed to it. You think it’s alright at first, but eventually, it gets exhausting and miserable.

Let me be completely fair – I never completed this series. I never made it beyond the commercial break in episode two. I really don’t like doing that, but I had no interest in going further. Maybe it gets better. I don’t know. But I didn’t feel like I was enjoying it enough to give it more of my time.

Episode One-Derland: Terror in Resonance

Plot: Nine and Twelve are two teenagers who survived a mysterious incident as children. In the fire and chaos, they managed to escape and live their lives independently.

Today, they appear to be domestic terrorists attacking Japan while posing as high school students. While they’re carrying out their latest attack, Twelve, in an effort to get Nine to overcome a past trauma, puts the life of their classmate, Lisa, on the line. He can either let her be another casualty or try to save her life. Likewise, Nine gives Lisa a choice – die where she stands or become an accomplice.


Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe with music by Yoko Kanno?


Ahhhhhhhh, I’m just joshin’ ya……..Okay, not really. It’s going to get that verdict. Just scroll a tad. But I’m not the type of person to fangirl over directors or composers….usually.

Terror in Resonance doesn’t give a lot of information off the bat. All we know is that Nine and Twelve escaped from some facility when they were kids with some other children. Nine watched some kid fall behind him and get murdered, which traumatized him.

Today, they appear to be domestic terrorists, but I doubt it’s that simple. Their first viewed act of crime is stealing something from a nuclear repurposing facility. Six months later, they’re posing as normal teenagers in a high school and planning a multi-bomb assault on a huge building.

We don’t know why they’re doing these things, due to this series being a thriller, but it’s an interesting concept.

The role of Lisa could be interpreted as someone just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’s initially helped out by Twelve when she’s being bullied by some bitches, but he later decides to reel her into their plot one way or another to help Nine resolve his childhood trauma. Twelve believes if Nine chooses to save her, he’ll stop having nightmares because it’s his guilt from being unable to save the other children from their escape that keeps him up at night.

It’s obviously an odd form of therapy considering they’re the ones planting the bombs in the first place, but I can see where he’s coming from. In this instance, Twelve is particularly intriguing because he bounces back and forth between his goofy nonchalant self and a clearly more sinister personality.

Back to Lisa, she spends much of the episode hiding in the bathroom and dodging texts from her mother, of which I can’t read. In addition to finding the restroom as a hiding place from the bullies, she also seems to have stomach problems. She flushes her lunch down the toilet and nearly throws up several times. I might say she has bulimia, but she doesn’t seem to be triggering her regurgitation on purpose.

Lisa just happens to be in the building that Nine and Twelve target, and the rest is history.

Despite the fact that she seems to be incredibly depressed, perhaps to the point of physical illness, she chooses life over death, even if it means that she’s an accomplice to the crime.

This episode does a great job at setting the stage for the rest of the story. While I will admit that we don’t learn much about these characters or the backstory of this whole situation yet, I don’t believe we’re meant to do so, given the genre.

The art and animation is gorgeous…..except the people. Their bodies are designed just fine, it’s the faces and hair that put me off a little. Some of their features seem either scrunched or stretched too much, and this series has an annoying quirk I liked to call ‘hooky mouth.’ No matter what angle the characters are looking in, their mouths are always curved to a slight hook. This is merely a pet peeve, but it’s still there.

While we’re on the subject of animation, it is downright amazing, and just to fangirl a little, some of the choices in direction are simply mind blowing. That scene on the snowmobile during their escape was one of the best action scenes I’ve ever watched. It sucks you into the scene in an instant and brings you along for a great ride.

I don’t believe I even need to mention that the music is great. I’ll admit that nothing’s jumping out at me as a song that I can’t live without, but it’s still wonderful. Yoko Kanno’s style always has a very dreamy feel to it that I just love.

As for the voice acting, I watched the English version on Funimation’s website…..and…it’s okay. No one’s voice is annoying, but Christopher Bevins plays Nine in a very boring and monotone fashion. I can’t say if that’s the way he’s meant to be conveyed, though it very well might be because Nine is the stoic dark bad boy to contrast Twelve’s goof-ball nature, but it comes off poorly.

This episode also solidified that I am no longer a fan of Aaron Dismuke. I feel like an ass for saying that because I loved him as Al in FMA, and puberty is a massive bitch to young voice actors, but it’s just how I feel. Still 100% respect him, though.

He definitely still has his acting chops, but his voice is, for lack of a better term, weird to me. Not annoying – just weird. And I didn’t make any snap judgments going in – I had no clue who was voicing whom until I watched the end credits. I thought him sounding weird in FMA:B was just him trying to adapt to voice acting with his older voice, but it’s been a few years now and it still sounds off to me.



It looks like this will be a great thrill ride, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the story is heading.

Edit: I have now completed and reviewed the series. This post will be updated when the review is posted.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Episode One-Derland: The Seven Deadly Sins

Plot: Ten years ago, a slue of extremely powerful Holy Knights, guards to the King himself, were slaughtered in an instant by a band of criminals called The Seven Deadly Sins. It was rumored that, after this incident, the seven of them were quickly killed. But word has it that they’re all still alive and well, wandering the countryside.

A young boy and his pig own a mysterious bar where a girl collapses while wearing a suit of rusty armor. He helps her recover, but a group of knights show up at the bar’s door demanding to know where the person in rusty armor is in order to interrogate them on information regarding The Seven Deadly Sins.

The boy helps the girl escape, but they’re soon cornered by the leader of the knights, a massive and ruthless man named Twigo. He identifies the girl not as a member of The Seven Deadly Sins, but as Princess Elizabeth. He has his orders to bring her back alive, but doesn’t care and attempts to kill her anyway, planning to explain it away by saying she died as an incident of battle.

In an effort to save her, the boy faces off against Twigo with a broken sword, but manages to handle him with ease. Twigo finally recognizes the boy as the legendary leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, Meliodas. He defeats Twigo with ease and he and Elizabeth set off on a quest to find the other Deadly Sins in an effort to band them together to help defeat the Holy Knights, who have secretly overthrown the king and plan to create a massive war.

Breakdown:  This one was suggested to me a while ago on Twitter by @hotchocolate29, also known as Meliodas Aino. Now that I know the main character of this anime’s name, I’m going to go ahead and assume they’re a fan. I always like seeking out requests and suggestions, so here I am. Sorry it took so long, though. 😦 While I usually take a while to complete whole series, I figured after all of this wait time I at least owed an Episode One-Derland to them.

So how did this fare in my eyes? Good…..but plenty of room for improvement. As a first episode, the show does a pretty good job at establishing the world, the main plot, the backstory and our main characters. They actually do a little too good of a job on the backstory part because I feel like they repeated the story of The Seven Deadly Sins a bit too much.

The story isn’t anything to write home about. It’s a pretty typical tale of super powerful sword-wielding warrior bands together with a group of other super powerful people in order to take down an evil group of powerful people under the pleading request of a princess.

Despite the fact that these guys are called The Seven Deadly Sins, I see nothing relating to the actual seven deadly sins. They’re not named as such individually and I haven’t heard nor seen any powers relating to it. It’s possible that it’s just a title, but that’s a missed opportunity if it is.

Still, with a strong cast of characters and good enough writing, even a seemingly stale plot can be a gem. And I believe they do have a pretty strong crew here.

Meliodas is pretty likable. He’s very laid back and not overly dramatic about his desire to help and save people like a lot of shounen anime protagonists. Still, I feel like he might end up as an annoying main character over time simply because he seems a bit overpowered. He blew away the bad guy of this episode without even batting an eyelash and he never seem concerned in the least. Either he has to be badass enough to let this slide or he has to face some challenge very soon. Staying like this will just drain all of the tension out of the show.

Elizabeth….is….nice….Maybe too nice. Who wakes up to someone shamelessly squeezing their boob over and over and doesn’t even react? Meliodas does it again later and she still doesn’t react. Plus, like a typical princess, she seems very much inclined to the damsel in distress trope. That trope is even more painful when you have legit knights and she’s a real princess.

Then we have Hawk, Meliodas’ talking pig sidekick……Hawk is awesome. It’s very difficult for me to enjoy talking animal sidekicks since they always seem more annoying than they are endearing, but Hawk’s just great. Practically every line that comes out of his mouth is funny, and he has great chemistry with Meliodas right off the bat. He also serves as a great foil for Meliodas on several occasions.

Twigo is probably a one-off bad guy, but he’s just a bit ridiculous. He kills everyone just because he doesn’t care. He doesn’t get some pleasure out of it, he really just doesn’t care. He’ll even flippantly kills off his own men. He doesn’t have to kill Elizabeth, in fact he has orders to bring her back alive, he just doesn’t care. I guess he just wants to kill people for some reason.

In the art department…..Okay, call me a hipster, call me old, call me a nitpicker….I just don’t like the newer styles of anime. This show has a look about it that a lot of new anime seem to have. The characters more or less have ‘baby fat face’ syndrome where there’s a lot of overly rounded edges in the face, the details seem sparse, the lines appear too thick and even the colors seem too saturated for my tastes.

I will say that all of these things, except the baby fat face thing, are probably to make more fluid animation more easily. This is actually kinda odd because shows like these tend to have moments where the animation is ridiculously cheap then they have moments that are so fluid that I feel like they’re rotoscoped. The art’s not particularly bad, and the animation can be very great sometimes, I just want to be honest in saying that the art style is really not my taste.

Music-wise, nothing really hooked with me so far but it’s very fitting for the story, tone and theme.



It may have been a slightly disappointing first venture, but I believe this episode showed that there is enough here to keep you entertained even through the tropes and cliches. I hope this series only gets better as we move on.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) Slugterra


Plot: Will Shane is a respected man of justice in the world of Slugterra – a world miles beneath the surface where people battle using slugs with various powers. While combating the evil Dr. Blakk, he is met with Blakk’s newest creation – corrupted slugs. One of them opens up an interdimensional void that sucks Will up, but not before he sends his faithful slug, Burpy, to the surface world to notify his teenage son, Eli, of his fate. After Eli learns of his father’s fall, he follows the instructions on a letter he left behind to finally go to Slugterra and earn his rightful place as a shane, if he wishes it and only when he turns 15.

On his 15th birthday, Eli heads down to Slugterra and follows his father’s directions to find a place to live, a mode of transportation and some starter gear. However, he’s aggravated when he learns that Slugterra has been taken over by thugs in the years of the shanes’ absence. Since Eli has no formal training and only one slug, he is quickly tossed aside when he tries to enforce law and order.

In order to help him out, a seeming burglar of his father’s hideout, Pronto, tells him to earn respect and training by winning a local tournament. Eli is pumped to finally start fighting, but since he’s just starting out can he even win a qualifier?

Breakdown: Okay, I really need to start paying more attention to Disney XD because they seem to get way better shows that whatever they sling on cable.

Slugterra didn’t look like much to me when I first glanced at it, but I was surprisingly intrigued by this show….they shoot animals out of guns at each other, and they transform in mid-air into awesome monsters! Out of context, that’s seemingly a hair below animal abuse, but it’s actually really cool!

In just our starter episode, part one no less, we are introduced to all sorts of interesting slugs, creatures and characters that get you amped up to see more.

I do have some bones to pick, though.

First, the pacing is kinda break-neck. We go from Will’s battle to his fall to Eli learning of his fall to him being 15 and going to Slugterra in just a handful of minutes. I think we could’ve made this a bit smoother considering this is indeed a part one.

Second, Eli’s response to his dad ‘falling’ (IE Dying) is uh…less than emotional. I swear, he looks sad for about a second then gets pumped when he learns of the letter his dad left, instructing him on how to start his shane training and how to get to Slugterra. It’s really off-putting. The families of soldiers and law enforcement officers are also prepared for something bad to happen to their loved ones, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have an expected emotional response to it happening, especially when Will seemed like a single dad.

This lack of emotional response is even more off-putting when he gets to Slugterra and has the gall to complain about the vehicle his dad left him. Gee thanks dead dad for leaving me full instructions on how to get to this awesome fantasy world and leaving me a place to live, new clothes, a blaster, a powerful slug etc etc. But this vehicle’s a hunk of junk. Pft.

It’s somehow even worse when it’s revealed that the vehicle in the hideout wasn’t even the one he was talking about and Eli’s real ride is super cool. You don’t deserve a cool ride when you’re a spoiled brat.

Third, for seemingly being the hotshot of the tournament, Shockwire’s battle with Eli was kinda lame. If it’s so well known that his slugs can misfire when they’re overworked, surely this crowd favorite would know about it and not shoot off his slugs willy-nilly. And after one hit by Burpy he surrenders? Come on, dude.

I do commend Eli for asking which of Shockwire’s slugs wanted to go with him instead of just taking one. That shows a level of respect for both the slugs and the world that no one seems to have.

Finally, I hate to say it, but the overall plot is cliché city. From the dead dad to the upstart son to the evil bad guy of badness who is named, of all damn things, Dr. Blakk, and the corruption that puts the world at risk. I’ve seen more creativity on the nutritional value chart on my multivitamins.

Overall, however, this is a very fun and engrossing show that I will be glad to continue. Sadly, this show seems to be in limbo because no new episodes have been made since October 2016.



If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Ergo Proxy Review


Plot: Humankind is on the brink of extinction. The earth is a desolate wasteland with a toxic atmosphere, and trying to live on it has proved to be near impossible. To retain humanity, cities were created under protective domes. One such city called Romdeau was formed, only allowing those deserving of becoming ‘fellow citizens’ to live within its walls while the immigrants from other cities try their hardest to earn citizenship.

An immigrant from the city of Mosk named Vincent Law seems to have trouble following him everywhere, and he gains the attention of one of the Intelligence Bureau’s top investigators, Re-L Mayer. While investigating both him and the strange cogito virus that is plaguing the city’s AutoReivs, she uncovers the existence of an odd creature called a proxy. What is its connection to Vincent, the cogito virus and the fabric of humanity itself?

Breakdown: While it was a fairly bumpy one, this was a really interesting and intense ride of an anime. I have no clue why I dropped this a few years ago, but I’m glad I picked it back up.

Ergo Proxy is touted as being a psychological and philosophical dark thriller. That means a hell of a lot of talking, introspection, inner monologue and more talking. However, there is plenty to keep your attention in terms of action, mystery, conspiracy and intrigue. Just because an anime is dialogue heavy doesn’t mean it’s boring.

This show tricks you the tiniest bit in not outwardly focusing on Vincent from the start. It focuses more on Re-L in the beginning along with her AutoReiv entourage, Iggy. AutoReivs are assigned to pretty much everyone in one way or another. They come in various types such as companions, entertainers, caretakers, medical practitioners, work assistants and more. While many of them are very clearly mechanical beings, some of them, such as companion AutoReivs, are designed specifically to mimic humans in both physical appearance and actions. However, they do lack a soul, so even with the technology being amazing in how they can mimic humans, they still can’t really pass for human.

The aforementioned cogito virus is said to give AutoReivs a soul, but the reason that it’s a problem is because it’s causing many of those infected to start becoming violent if not homicidal for whatever reason. But that’s really only one piece of the puzzle.

In investigating this, Re-L discovers Vincent as well as his tendency to attract trouble. Soon after, she has a run-in with the masked monster later referred to as a proxy. She becomes completely consumed with finding out what the proxy is and what Vincent has to do with it. She later goes rogue because it’s obvious that the government in Romdeau want to keep the secret of the proxies under wraps.

I wouldn’t be spoiling entirely too much to tell you that Vincent is the proxy, but the mystery about who he is, what he is and his past remains until the end of the series, for the most part. He doesn’t even realize what he is or what proxies are until later. I can quell fears that this is another ‘oh god I’m a monster and must become a lone wolf because of it’ story, so that’s something.

This show has a really good pace up until the halfway point where you can almost hear the screeching of the brakes. While there is still new information being found about the proxy and Vincent, actual plot-related revelations slow down a hell of a lot in lieu of cryptic clues, character development and introspection. This is by no means bad. Taking time out for character development and deeper thought is fine, but you lose speed on the story. This is more than made up for in the end, but it’s still a bit of a trial to get through.

The tone is really the issue in that department. It has ‘dark’ in its description for a reason. This show’s tone is so serious and downright dreary that the slow moments start to drain you. If it didn’t have an interesting premise, likable and three-dimensional characters and Pino, it would probably require you to take a break from it after a few episodes.

This is why episodes such as the game show and Smile Town become so jarring. I honestly couldn’t believe it when they had an entire episode parodying a game show, but it ended up including dark humor and somehow squeaked in information about the proxies. Hell, it still ended up actually having a purpose in the series as a whole. It’s like they knew that the audience needed a break for a second, and while it was jarring and weird, those episodes were a welcome breath of fresh air from the constant bleakness.

In that regard, we have our one comic relief character in the little girl companion AutoReiv named Pino. I can’t believe they actually pulled her off to be likable, cute and funny, but they managed to do it. Making her the comic relief character was a great choice. She’s not in your face with jokes, she’s just funny because of her mannerisms and childish nature. She is also infected with the cogito virus, but, despite this, she never becomes violent for some reason. If anything, she’s the happiest being in this show, and I really liked her.

Vincent has two sides to him. On one hand, he can be pretty fun-loving, especially when playing with Pino. On the other hand he’s played by Liam O’Brien, one of the most emo-typecast VA’s in existence alongside Sasuke himself, Yuri Lowenthal, who also has a role here as the creepy Daedalus (and yes, the symbolism with him is exactly what you’d expect). He laments, monologues, philosophizes and makes speeches like there’s no tomorrow. And there might not be—oh oops, spoilers.

Re-L, and yeah that’s her name, pronounced Ree-El, is a bit harder to like for most of the series. On one hand she’s an awesome, kickass, strong, smart and resilient female lead who will find the answers to these mysteries no matter what. On the other hand, she kinda falls victim to the trope of ‘strong female lead? Better make her a complete spoiled bitch!’ Thankfully she starts getting better in this regard, but she did grate on my nerves a little.

The actual answers as to what the proxies are and what its connections to, well, pretty much everything was a lot more inventive and surprising than I ever anticipated. I never saw it coming. I first thought they were failed attempts at genetically engineered humans or something and Creed was trying to rule the world or end it, but it’s a lot bigger and more complicated than that.

As a final note, the ending delivers pretty damn well. It’s a bit much to take in all at once, especially since the regent basically dumps a huge load of exposition near the end, but it actually creates a satisfying ending.

Art and Animation: This part has me torn. A part of me wants to make sweet love down by the fire with the art and animation done so wonderfully in both 2D traditional and CGI by Manglobe, producer of such series as Samurai Champloo and Deadman Wonderland. However, another part of me wants to punch whoever was in charge of quality control in regards to the characters faces because there are way too many moments where the faces look so off and awkward that a couple of them are nearly laughable. I believe the good outweighs the bad by far, but it’s still so distracting when you have such a stylish and appealing art design coupled with amazing animation only to have derpy faces on occasion…(And, no, I’m not talking about inbetweens)

Music: I love the OP. In fact, I’d say it’s now one of my favorite OPs ever. The BG music is very nice and the ED is also decent, but I ended up skipping it most of the time.

Voice Acting: English – I believe everyone was very well-cast for this show. The acting was very good, the voices fit, and, besides a few touchy moments with Re-L’s voice actress, Megan Hollingstead, it was a great dub.

Bottom Line: The constant dark tone, slower pacing in the middle as well as some jarring shifts in tone and even time and place can be a little trying to deal with, but it’s still an incredibly interesting story with great characters. I can’t bring myself to say it’s a masterpiece, but I’d gladly watch it again both for enjoyment value and to learn more about the psychological and philosophical aspects.

Additional Information and Notes: Ergo Proxy was directed by Shuko Mirase, who also directed Witch Hunter Robin and Gangsta. It was written by Dai Sato, who has written scripts for Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf’s Rain and Samurai Champloo. It was produced by Manglobe and is currently licensed in North America by Funimation.

Episode: 23

Year: 2006

Recommended Audience: No nudity or sex, some swearing, quite a bit of blood and some amounts of gore. The biggest moment of gore being near the end, but coming in close second was a shot of a baby dying from its carriage falling down an escalator. No real gore there either, but there is a big puddle of blood, so thought I’d warn you there either way. The heavy tone and subject matter is already enough to refute a recommendation to kids anyway. 14+

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) Huntik: Secrets and Seekers

Break your spine today, Sophie?

Plot: In a University in Venice, Italy, a college student named Lok and his friend, Sophie, accidentally find Lok’s long-lost father’s journal and an amulet in one of his old artifacts. Before they even begin to look into it, a group of people in black suits burst into his house and attack him with strange powers. They’re after the journal, but Lok travels all over Venice to ensure its safety.

Along the way, he gets imbued with similarly strange powers from the amulet he found, and he finds some sense of security with a man named Dante, who helps save him from the people in suits. He reveals that the suited people are from an evil group known only as The Organization. They utilize ancient powers and summon powerful titans from their amulets for nefarious purposes. Those who possess these powers are known as Seekers, and there is a benevolent group of Seekers known as The Huntik Foundation, who aim to take down The Organization.

While Lok quickly wants nothing more to do with the situation, Dante reveals that he already is a part of it since the amulet synced with him, making him a Seeker. The Organization returns for another face-off, this time with more firepower. Will they be able to make it out in one piece?

Breakdown: This show has awesome music.

The instant I heard the opener, I was sold….but maybe I was a bit cheap because there’s not much going on in the originality department here.

Missing dad? Check.

Main Character suddenly dragged into a huge conflict with mysterious powers and monsters? Check.

Obvious love interest? Check.

Being so vague about your enemy that they’re literally bad guys in black with a non-descript name? Check.

Suddenly saved by mysterious guy with insane powers and luxurious hair? Check.

It’s not the most cliché thing in the world…..but it’s up there. Being fair, they put plenty of action in there to hold your attention, but nothing about the story really grabbed it.

Just to get these minor annoyances out of the way, here are some minor annoyances.

– Lok seriously didn’t know what an amulet was. Not what THE amulet was – what AN amulet was…..he’s a college student.

– Bad guys are after the journal, journal falls into water, stops Lok from going into water, make no effort to go into the completely calm canal water to retrieve journal. They don’t even stick around long enough to see him surface. Good job.

– Sophie was reaching for a precious and delicate artifact left behind from your father, is having no real issues reaching it or getting it down, yet you act like she’s about to be hit by invisible falling debris and tackle her, ensuring that the artifact breaks. Good job, Lok. Though, being fair, it’s rude as hell to get all grabby on what is clearly a delicate ancient statue.

– How did Lok’s dad get that stuff in that statue anyway?

– Sophie describes Lok as a nerd, and he can even complete a full crossword puzzle in less than two minutes, but he’s super lazy in school, never bothered to open his textbooks out of their plastic wrapping and needs to copy Sophie’s notes.

– They were too lazy to animate him completing the crossword. It was an actual plotpoint, but they skipped it through black fades. They animated a completely pointless Indiana Jones dream sequence, but not him completing a crossword. They even have to have a little note on screen that says ‘Less than two minutes later.’

That out of the way, the art and animation is Italian. That about sums it up.

Alright, I’m not being fair. Sorry Italy. But, really, can someone point me to some Italian animation that doesn’t look like it was given the budget of a bucket of nails? I feel like I’m unfairly building a bad view of it just because I keep coming across shows like these.

The art itself is alright. Passable enough. It’s the animation and lip-syncing that make me gnash my teeth. This series was produced by Rainbow s.r.l., the same people who brought us Winx Club. It’s done in that same style, but to the best of my knowledge, the quality is much worse. That might be the fault of their co-producer, Big Bocca Productions, but damned if I can find a single word of that company that isn’t ‘They helped produce Huntik.’

Huntik’s level and type of animation problems can only be summed up in one way – It’s exactly the same as those old religious cartoons from the 90s and early 00s. I can’t describe it any better than that. I was almost expecting this to be produced by a company that made some of those shows and specials, it was just that similar.

As for the lip-syncing, I have no clue how they produced this they way they did, but whatever system they used to work between America and Italy to fuse the animation with the voices did not work. Keep in mind, this show was not originally voiced in Italian. There is no language gap to jump, excusing the poor syncing. As a fan of anime, I would be more than glad to turn a blind eye to that (mostly).

I assume Big Bocca Productions is the American company who did the scripts and voice work. Rainbow did the animation and designs. Rainbow has the responsibility of matching their animations to the script and voice work, so I guess I have to mark off Rainbow for this.

The voice acting as a whole is just alright. We have some actual voice actors here such as Yuri Lowenthal, Marc Thompson and even Maddie Blaustein. They’re not putting their all into it, but they’re not really phoning it in. The sound mixing and editing is sometimes terrible, though. There will be instances of characters accidentally talking over each other, and sometimes the music drowns out the voices.

Marc, however, is doing a terrible job as Cherit, the little talking bat-creature thing. Just imagine one of your parents putting on a high-pitched witch-like voice when they would read to you at bed time, and that’s basically what he’s doing.



Just barely eeked out ‘undecided’, mostly because A) music is still awesome, B) it intrigued me enough to at least plug on for now. Maybe it has more to offer to set it apart from the crowd. At the very least, I might get to see some laughably terrible stuff.

…….But seriously, he had no idea what an amulet was.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Cartoons Step-By-Step: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) S01 Ep01 – Things Change


Plot: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo are four turtles that have been mutated into anthropomorphic beings by strange ooze. Throughout their lives, they have been trained in the art of the ninja by their master, Splinter, an anthropomorphic rat and ninja master.

When their sewer home is infiltrated and destroyed by mouser robots, the turtles are separated from their master. They’re able to contact Splinter via shell phone to confirm that he is alright, but they still have the task of finding out who sent the mouser robots, finding a new place to live and reuniting with Splinter.

Trapped, with the integrity of the tunnel compromised, the boys decide to hit the surface world for another route through the sewers. Raphael is forced to dash and hide all over the street to avoid being seen by other people while in search of another manhole cover to reenter the sewers in. They manage to find another manhole, but it’s being blocked by a huge truck that some gang members are currently using to perform a robbery.

While Raph tries to move the truck, they hear the gang members start to return, so Raph quickly hides in the truck, only to be locked in as the gangsters leave. As Leo, Mikey and Donny try to follow Raph, Splinter gets cornered by mousers in the sewer.

Once they catch back up with the truck, Donny manages to open the electronic lock and free Raph, but their reunion is shortlived when the gang members return and face off against the turtles. However, the boys easily defeat the entire crew, and the gangsters run off. Just as they celebrate their victory, they find themselves surrounded again – this time by a mysterious group of ninjas. While the turtles struggle to take down the ninjas, Splinter manages to defeat the mouser robots.

However, the damage done by the robots causes the floor to crumble beneath him, leading him to an unexplored area of the sewers.

The turtles take the truck, escape from the ninjas and return the stolen money to the cops as they get back to the sewer and reunite with Splinter. He leads the boys to a huge chamber that they’ll be calling their home from now on since their previous one was destroyed.

Meanwhile, a mysterious man meets with the gang leader from earlier as he relays the information about the lost truck and money. He’s not given mercy from his master, and screams ring out from within the temple.

Breakdown: I love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, past and present. They have such a ridiculously goofy premise that works so well that it has managed to stay not only relevant but very popular throughout many different incarnations.

The 2003 version, co-produced by ew4Kids is known as one of the darker versions, though still not touching the original comic’s darkness. When this first aired, I watched it fairly closely, but I won’t deny that I was a bigger fan of the 80s version.

So what does episode one bring to the table? Well, first, there’s no explaining the backstory of the turtles at all, which is odd because the theme song, unlike the 80s version, doesn’t talk about it at all. Yes, TMNT is so popular and well-known that most people already know of the backstory, but considering how silly the concept is, you’d think they’d take the opportunity to explain to the younger folks in the audience as to why everything is as it is.

That being said, they do a great job of not only keeping the turtles loyal to their specific personalities, but they also update them a little to appeal to a more current audience. Mikey and Raph in particular had some great moments and lines, some even earning legitimate laughs out of me.

The story is solid enough – the turtles are forced above ground and meet up with some thugs in an effort to get back home, and things aren’t quite as they seem. They run into even more trouble with a more viable threat and regroup back home with Master Splinter. Nothing groundbreaking, but a decent amount of action, suspense and little tidbits for the more seasoned TMNT viewer such as poking at Shredder and interrupting Mikey before he can fully say ‘Cowabunga’.

I honestly didn’t remember that the Purple Dragon gang worked for Shredder, but it makes a lot of sense.

A few things were left up in the air though, like who sent the mouser robots and why. Shredder didn’t seem to as he doesn’t seem to know of the turtles at this point, and the gang leader didn’t mention anything about them.

Also minor and expected, but for an episode that spent a decent chunk of time teaching the turtles that they need to be as hidden as possible, even during an attack, they sure did give mixed signals in one scene. Mikey does what he does and decides to stand out in broad daylight right in front of a thug for like ten seconds and making a joke before attacking the guy. This wouldn’t be a big deal if Leo didn’t praise him for it. Yes, he did knock out the thug, but he just broke the main rule of both ninjas and their family to make a joke.

The art and animation are actually pretty nice. I should be clear and say 4Kids only had a hand in this series’ production. It was co-produced by Mirage studios with the art and animation being done by Dong Woo Animation. I’ve seen some people criticize the 2003 art for being a bit too muscular and craggy, but I actually like it quite a bit. It fits in well with the environment that’s been created, and it suits the darker and more serious tone better than the curvy cartoony 80s version.

The music is also pretty well done. I don’t know if 4Kids made the theme song, but I wouldn’t be surprised as it’s an earworm with some kinda cheesy lyrics. The BG music fits well with the series, and it does a good job at amping up some action while also not interfering with the more lighthearted moments.

Overall, this is a pretty good episode. Not anything epic or even great, but it was still enjoyable the whole time through with some great jokes and action.

Next episode, the investigation into the mousers leads the Turtles to a new lair and April O’Neal.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

3×3 Eyes Review


Plot: A girl named Pai is the last of her race – the demonic immortal beings known as Sanjiyan Unkara – and she longs for nothing more than to become human. Along her journeys, she meets and cares for a sickly man who wanted to help Pai in her quest to become human. However, he died of his illness before he was able to do so and passed on the task to his son, Yakumo.

After searching for him for over four years, Pai finally found Yakumo and he begrudgingly accepted the task. He is soon accidentally killed by Pai’s friend, a demonic bird named Takuhi that lives in her signature cane. In an effort to save his life, she bonds her soul to his. This action not only revived Yakumo, but it also made him a Wu, a completely immortal being whose main role is to protect the one they’re bonded to. The only way they can die is if the sanjiyan they’re bonded with dies. Now they both quest for the statue of humanity in an effort to make them both human again.

Breakdown: This is an anime I rewatched because I never gave it a proper review before. I remember I really enjoyed it, and I also really enjoyed it this time around, if not more.

The characters are all likable and easy to grow attached to, the plot is pretty interesting, and the two main leads are great. I also liked that Pai had two personalities – Pai, the innocent and child-like girl, and Sanjiyan, the cold and focused warrior. The show does have some really intense and epic moments that make this a great ride to sit through.

However, there are some significant issues here.

The first episode is very rushed to the point where it’s bordering on ridiculous. Later episodes get better pacing, but it’s still a problem. I would’ve liked to have seen this show have more episodes to space out major events better. I think 3×3 Eyes should at least have eight episodes, but I would’ve hoped for 10-13. It deserves a much longer run outside of four episodes. Because the manga’s story is smushed into this short OVA, many characters don’t get fleshed out much if at all.

The final episode, while being good, ends on a cliffhanger for many aspects of the story. Where’s Pai? What happened to her? What is the deal with the statue of humanity? Why do so many beings want it? It sounds like it only has the purpose of making beings human, but why is being used for resurrections too? Is Benares dead? Are sanjiyan only immortal in the aging aspect if they’re not immune to murder? It seems silly to me that they have the power to make others immortal from all types of death, but not themselves.

Art and Animation: The art is dated and not that great. I can’t bring myself to dislike it that much. I’m a sucker for the old styles. Still, the facial features are the worst of it as the actual character designs and landscapes are pretty well done. Animation’s decent, but not fantastic.

Music: Only BG music available, and I really enjoyed it, especially the song that usually plays in the opener (but it’s not the OP). It’s very fitting, energetic and impacting.

Voice Acting: Japanese – Pretty great performances all around, except for a few lines here and there. Pai’s VA did an especially good job switching between the high-pitched and child-like voice of Pai to the deeper and more pronounced Sanjiyan.

Bottomline: I have a soft spot for this series, and it really is worth a watch. I am disappointed that it never got a longer series to work from, but there is a three-episode sequel I have yet to see that hopefully fleshes things out further and gives us a legit ending.

Additional Information and Notes: 3×3 Eyes was directed by Daisuke Nishio, director of Dragon Ball, several Dragon Ball movies, the first 199 episodes of Dragon Ball Z and Air Master. It was produced by Toei Animation and it is licensed in the US by Geneon. There was a sequel released in 1995 called 3×3 Eyes Seima Densetsu.

Year: 1991-1992

Episodes: 4

Recommended Audience: No real nudity, but a girl who is about to get sacrificed is in barely any clothing. No sex at all, but maybe a grope or two. Little bit of swearing. The main note here is the violence and gore. In order to show off Yakumo’s immortality, he dies several times over the course of the series in bloody and gory ways. He gets impaled with giant talons, gets brutally run off over with a bus, has a bridge fall on him to the point where he’s so injured after that his head pops off like a pez dispenser, hacks off his own hand etc. There’s also a gory scene with a girl who is possessed by a demon (and the reveal of this possession creeped the hell out of me). So……14+.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Episode One-Derland: Guilty Crown


Plot: The year is 2039 and Japan has been crippled by an outbreak of a mysterious virus. A boy named Shu tries to live his life normally, but typically has problems socializing and connecting with people. He stumbles upon a girl named Inori who is injured, barely says a word and is trying desperately to protect a small robot and bring it to a man named Gai. Shu fails to protect her from being captured by the government organization called GHQ who take her in as a terrorist. He takes it upon himself to bring the small robot to Gai to finish what she started. As he brings the robot to Gai, he and his group are attacked by mechs and Shu is reunited with Inori only to find that he possesses the power to pull a powerful sword from her body that helps them take down the enemy.

Breakdown: This series doesn’t have a good reputation it seems. THEM anime reviews says it barely passes for mediocre since it doesn’t do much to stray from the typical post-apocalyptic norm and I’ve seen several other people say it’s, at best, fun garbage.


Well, what did I think of its first endeavor?

Once you get over how pretty it is, and it really is pretty……..It’s fine. Story-wise, yeah I can see how it doesn’t stray too much from the norm. Shu is basically a Gary Stu at this point. He’s a socially awkward yet perfectly normal looking guy who suddenly discovers he’s awesome and gets to use super cool new powers that he rips from a hot chick’s chest, something I will have to address in a minute. There’s nothing really wrong with him, but he really seems like Shu Everyman.

Inori is also okay so far. She starts off pretty brave in the opening, and she seems determined, strong and honorable. When she meets Shu, however, she basically turns infantile and stupidly throws herself at the enemy when there’s no guarantee Shu would’ve given in or the robot would’ve been protected.

Gai is a bishie badass with a stone face and Tsugumi is a loli bitch.

We don’t really explore anyone besides that, and Gai and Tsugumi appear so late that we learn little to nothing about them. We also don’t really learn anything about Inori, which might be on purpose. It’s hinted that Shu knew her as a small child, but it’s not explored yet.

We learn the most about Shu, but even then we really only know his personality traits and nothing about his actual life besides he’s awkward socially and tries to live a normal life in school.

I’d like to actually know what this virus is. It’s blurted out in one sentence of narration and we never learn what it really is besides devastating.

I’m pretty much okay with the GHQ and Guilty Crown itself not really being explained thusfar as it allows for exploration in the future, but I would’ve liked Guilty Crown to at least be explained a bit.

What we can surmise of it from merely seeing it in action is something…..*sigh* I really never wanted to think of this show again, but it’s the exact same power, beat for beat, of the soul bladers from Shining Tears X Wind. Exactly the friggin’ same. Trigger a portal in some girl’s chest, pull out giant sword. I was going along with this show fine until it seemingly ripped off and/or reminded me of that heap of trash. And don’t worry, I’ll get to that show soon enough.

Art and Animation: Like I said, this show is very pretty. Not horribly stylized, but still very pretty. The animation is very fluid, and got its time to shine during the fist fight with Gai. Production IG did a wonderful job here.

Music: I’m also digging the music here. The OP, at least of this episode, was beautiful, the BG music was fitting albeit a bit forgettable, the insert song was great and the ED was fine.

Voice Acting: Japanese – No stand out performances or voices, but everyone seemed fitting and fine in their roles.


No one is really giving me hope that this show will get any better from episode one. In fact, Nihon Anime Reviews claims the show really starts getting bad after the halfway mark. So what’s my status here?


This isn’t so much a reluctant ‘yes’ in hopes of finding something redeemable about this show beyond the art and music and moreso an ‘I’m curious as to how bad this show really is’. At best, I’ll get something laughably bad or stupidly fun. At worst it will just turn out to be boring.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

AVAHS – Kim Possible: A Very Possible Christmas


Plot: The Possible family is gearing up for their big Christmas celebration and Ron believes the best gift he can give Kim is an uninterrupted Christmas with her family. When an emergency arises, Ron takes it upon himself to stop Dr. Drakken’s latest plan. He’s, surprisingly, successful in foiling the plot, but Drakken and Ron accidentally send Drakken’s air ship plummeting to the ground at the north pole. Kim realizes that Ron is missing, and, with the help of Wade, she searches the globe for him to no avail. Will Ron and Kim be reunited for Christmas, and are the holidays ruined despite Ron’s good intentions?

Breakdown: Another favorite cartoon of mine as a teen was Kim Possible. One of the first ever animated crime-fighting shows I was exposed to where there was a kick-ass female lead. Granted, it seemed like they purposely made Ron a bumbling fool to equal the scales on stereotypes, though. I love Ron, don’t get me wrong, and he definitely has his moments, but most of the time he’s relegated to causing accidents or having his pants fall down. Plus, this was the first Disney show that broke the ‘four seasons/100 episodes only’ rule.

This Christmas special is one I can go without watching every year, but is still a good special. The Possibles, despite also seeming to have that weird Christmas special tradition of ‘decorate and do everything for Christmas that should be planned/done before Christmas on Christmas’ thing, do a hell of a lot for Christmas, which I guess should be expected of them. I got kinda jealous. I have to prod my parents to do a lot of Christmas stuff, but they have a whole day and night loaded with holiday festivities.

It’s a nice gesture of Ron to go do ‘superhero’ stuff to give Kim a quiet Christmas at home, even if Wade should’ve had the forethought to stop him since, well, it’s really a terrible idea. Ron really only succeeded in his mission because Shego wasn’t there. She took Christmas off to vacation at the beach.

Some more points that I enjoyed/thought were minor but sweet;

– Kim crying due to not being able to find Ron. She’s usually pretty stonefaced in the crying department, and it was nice to see her crack her shell a bit more when her best friend is missing and might be hurt.

– Drakken saving Ron from the polar bear. They don’t even mention him doing it, but he clearly pulls Ron away from the bear when they notice it behind him. And Drakken’s heart grew three sizes that day.

– Drakken and Ron bonding over Snowman Hank. There is a very old Christmas special for kids (in this universe) that is called Snowman Hank. Ron loved watching it each year as his own little Christmas tradition, but was devastated when he found it was canceled in lieu of some x-treme snow sports show called X-treme X-mas. Now, most of the old beloved Christmas specials I grew up on are still airing on Christmas, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and A Charlie Brown Christmas, but this is actually kinda ironic because this very episode is one of those ‘lost Christmas specials’ to me. If I didn’t have the internet, my Christmas would be partially barren of these old special episodes.

Drakken and Ron have always seemed similar, just like Shego and Kim have a lot of similarities, and I liked when they decided to start a truce to just have their own little Christmas, celebrating Snowman Hank, in their hollowed out and decorated trash pod. I especially liked how Drakken said with a big sincere smile “Come the New Year, this truce is over. I’m going to open a bag of freak on all of you!”

Kim’s family following along was also a nice touch. It’s emphasizes that the holidays are also about being together with your family, even if they’re fighting a giant anaconda in the Amazon.

There’s a highly noted moment in this episode where Kim kisses Ron on the cheek because, of course, mistletoe, but even though I liked that moment when I was a kid, I can’t help but think it’s a bit….meh now. Not just because they now have entire season where they’re dating, it’s just a bit on the predictable side. I mean, it’s cute, but the mistletoe moment between the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ characters is just a giant yule log of cliché.

All in all, this is indeed a great episode with some nice holiday cheer, funny moments, action and some great character interactions, but it’s still not one of those ‘can’t miss’ Christmas specials to me. I still love the show and everything, and this was nice to watch this time of year, but I can do without it.

Also, there’s one specially made Christmas song in this episode and it’s just alright. Kinda catchy, kinda cheesy; just alright.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at