Posts tagged anime

Anime Review: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! (Binan Kōkō Chikyū Bōei-bu Love!)

Since the name of this show is long, I have dubbed it Mahou Shounen, or Magical Boys.

When I first saw the artwork, before a description was up, I thought it was going to be another weird reverse harem or otome anime with really effeminate guys. Then I found out that this show was about magical boys, I had to watch it. I was expecting it to be really funny, or really gay, or some combination of both. In the end, this anime turned out to be far better than anything I expected. It got better and better as the weeks went by.

The plot is very contrived, a bunch of bros are forced by a talking pink alien wombat to become magical boys, or “Battle Lovers” and fight the forces of evil, with the power of love. Later we get to meet the bad guys, who have a green talking alien hedgehog helping them out. But the plot isn’t even that important, you don’t watch Mahou Shounen the plot, you watch it because it is the best parody of the magical girl genre ever.

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You know how you may have wondered, and still probably wonder how no one knew Usagi/Serena was Sailor Moon when all she does is change her damn outfit? Well, Mahou Shounen explains that. The wombat’s alien technology disguises their faces and their voices to everyone but themselves, as seen above. There are plenty of other instances of things like this happening.

Also, contrary to what I was expecting, Mahou Shounen wasn’t that gay while being totally gay at the same time. Think of it as being about a bunch of bromances, you know, those relationships guys have that are gay and not gay at the same time. Following this theme, there was not a single female character in the show ever. Not even in the background. Every character in this show, background or otherwise, was a guy. Anyway, not it’s time for…

Why You Shouldn’t Like This

  • When you finish this show it will leave a void in you that can never be filled
  • I missed my chance to preorder keychains of the characters on amiami, there also don’t seem to be figures out yet.
  • This show is one of those rare gems seldom found in anime land. It is the kind of show that raises your standards,  but once that happens it’s easier for you to see what shit everything else is *sigh*

That’s about it. I really don’t have anything bad to say about Magical Boys… it is one of those rare unique shows you can’t help but love and appreciate. I really hope we get a few more seasons, or a movie, even though the ending did conclude everything. It even filled a plot hole they could have simply ignored. It is truly a rare gem, possibly one that is too good and pure for this world.

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Winter 2015 Anime Initial Impressions

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! (Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei Bu Love!)

maxresdefault-620x315So this is that new magical boy series everyone is (slowly) starting to go nuts about. I initially thought it was going to be pretty gay, but based on the first episode it really only looks and sounds gay. They have flamboyant outfits, they have “love making” powers and “love stick”s, but going only on the first episode, no one actually acts gay. I haven’t seen a female character yet, but I haven’t seen homolust either. I’m not crazy about this series, but I don’t hate it. I’m not sure what to think but I love that it’s a little bit unique.

Kamisama Kiss Season 2 (Kamisama Hajimemashita 2)  – This is picking up where the last season left off, I don’t like the new OP as much as the old one but I have no plans to drop this season. There’s nothing else I really have to say since I don’t expect it to differ too much from the first season.

Yuri Kuma Arashi – I’ve already dropped this after the first episode, but I’ll give you all a summary. I thought this was going to be hilarious, it was supposed to be about some post apocalyptic world where a bunch of girls are fighting bears. And it is about that, but the show takes itself too seriously, and there’s too much weird fanservice. I’m not really a fan of yuri (outside of those heavy Madoka/Homura implications).. and the bears are lesbians too. It was just too confusing and weird for me without being funny. So it’s been officially DROPPED

Assassination Classroom (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) – This looks like it might be good, but it looks more like it’ll be not that unique in the end. A octopus monster is going to destroy the earth if a class of junior high school students can’t assassinate him within the school year. I really like the teacher, but everything else is kinda meh so far. I’ll know in a couple of episodes if I’m going to drop it or not.

Gourmet Girl Graffiti (Koufuku Graffiti) Based on summaries, I thought this might be a cute food porn anime, but it seems to be about an 8th grade girl who’s worried she won’t make a good wife and will be foreveralone because she can’t cook well, until her little  cousin shows up and tells her she is a good cook. And MC has food orgasms that are kinda sexualized in a weird way. But the food on the show does look really good, it’s really all the show has to offer, so I’ll try a few more episodes.

And that’s all of the new series I’ve picked up. Personally I think Magical Boys is going to be the best show of the season, since a lot of everything else airing this season looks pretty bad.

Also I’m still watching Bonjour Sweet Love Patisserie and Sailor Moon Crystal continue from last season.

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Anime Reviews: MM! and Kamisama Kiss

I really need to force myself to write these up more often, anyway…

MM!

This is not the type of anime I’d normally watch (as it looked like harem trash), but a friend of mine recommended it and I decided to give it a try while being all anti-social this winter break. It’s about this guy named Taro, who’s a super masochist and wants to get rid of his masochism so he can have a normal life. The blonde girl, Mio decides the best way to fix that is by beating him senseless, which he loves.  The other girl, Yuuno, also tries to help him, but she’s afraid of men because of an abusive relationship she was with and involuntarily assaults any man who touches her. Taro’s best bro is also a cross dresser who developed a princess complex when he’s in drag. There are a few other girls, but they were annoying so I’ll talk about them later.

MM! had it’s moments, I really liked the relationship between Yuuno and Taro. Long story short, she treated him like her dog (sadly she never walked him on a leash but we’ll forget that for now) so she wouldn’t be afraid of him. But now let’s get to….

Why you shouldn’t like this

  • It’s harem trash
  • Taro’s not really a convincing masochist, he’s much too eccentric. It works for the sake of comedy, but more realistically he’d be a bit more humble and subtle about it.I would have liked something a bit more serious with comedy thrown in.
  • It’s not really that unique.
  • It’s harem trash.
  • For whatever reason, Taro’s mom and sister are in love with him. This was more creepy than funny and it made no sense at all to me, but this was harem trash so…
  • There was also a perverted nurse who only liked taking pictures of girls, it would have been funnier if she liked taking suggestive photos of everyone, especially during the episode Taro was accidentally made gay by hypnosis.
  • The end, which I won’t spoil, had too many December birthday feels for me to handle. You’ll only understand if your birthday is in December.
  • It’s harem trash.

For my final note I’d say, if you are a guy that likes harem trash, you’ll probably like this. If you are looking for an anime with a spash of femdom you’ll also probably enjoy this a little. But overall, not really worth watching.

Kamisama Kiss

This also wasn’t an anime I was immediately interested in, but I saw the second season was airing now and decided to give this a try after reading the description. It’s about a girl, Nanami, who finds herself homeless after her dad ditches her and their house is repossessed to pay off his gambling debts. Soon after, she accidentally becomes a god. When she gets to her shrine, a fox spirit familiar, Tomoe, is there, but he’s still emo about the last god vanishing for over 20 years. Eventually Nanami finds out if she kisses Tomoe, that will seal the contract making him her familiar, and she can then get him to do anything she wants. She forces that contract on him so he’ll help her not get killed by a demon, much to his disappointment.  The rest of the anime is about her learning to be a god, Tomoe getting annoyed humans are so frail and that he has to protect her, and a bunch of other youkai that find their way into the story. It’s a little bit reverse haremy but it’s obvious Nanami really only has feelings for Tomoe not too far into the series.

Why You Shouldn’t Like This

  • I saw this series subbed, and then I found out J. Michael Tatum voices Tomoe in the dub. I am sad no one told me this and that I did not see the dub to begin with as I may have liked Tomoe more because Tatum’s voice is sex.
  • Nanami is too nice at times, and really doesn’t order Tomoe around as much as I would in her situation.
  • She also should have just dropped out of school and focused full time on being a god, but she’s still in school for no reason.
  • A few of the other spirits are absolute jerks for no reason.
  • I think there were other plot holes I’m forgetting.

My final words would be, if you’re looking for a cute romantic comedy and if you like Japanese folklore you’ll probably like Kamisama Kiss. At times it reminded me of Okami and Spice and Wolf (but it was no where near as amazing as either of those titles). This anime was worth watching, but I’m not sure if it’s worth watching a second time to hear Tatum voice Tomoe.

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Review: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a retelling of a traditional Japanese folk tale, sometimes called The Bamboo-Cutter’s Daughter, in the wonderful way only Studio Ghibli can do.

I remember first hearing about the folk tale on an episode of Ancient Alines, which prompted me to look up and read the actual story. It starts when a bamboo-cutter finds a glowing stalk of bamboo. He decided to cut it and found a miniature girl inside, since he and his wife weren’t able to have children they saw her as a blessing and raised her as their own. The bamboo-cutter finds more glowing stalks of bamboo that have small gold nuggets inside them, and uses the money to provide for her. As she grows older she gets extremely beautiful, and even though they try to keep her sheltered in the mountains, word of her beauty spreads and five princes show up at once to propose. She sends all of them on “impossible” tasks to delay getting married. Then at some point she gets depressed and finally reveals she remembers she was from the Moon and sent to Earth as a punishment, or for some other purpose. What comes next differs in different versions of the myth, sometimes she would have married one of the suitors, and gives him a potion for immortality before she’s taken back to the Moon by her people and forgets her time on Earth. The prince burns it because he’d rather die than live without her. They say the smoke can still be seen today (Mt. Fuji was more active back in the day). In other versions she didn’t want to marry anyone and leaves after both her parents die because she was sent to take care of them. And in other versions despite her parents trying to protect her, she is taken back to the Moon against her will leaving her parents in tears.

I learned they were making a movie after reading the myth, and couldn’t wait to see it. Then I was informed that it would be premiering on October 17th at a booth in NYCC, so Scott and I decided to get tickets for that Friday 🙂

I won’t say which version Studio Ghibli adhered most strongly too, but I will say that I was happy they didn’t Disneyfy the ending. They gave Princess Kaguya a personality along with hopes and dreams that made her relate-able as an almost real person, but that’s exactly what anyone should expect from Studio Ghibli. They did have her parents choose to make her a princess instead of keeping her sheltered, like in most versions I’ve read of the myth, because they believe it’s what’s best for her and what will bring her happiness. But she’d rather be free than confined to the life of a Japanese noblewoman. The artwork got noticeably different when her emotions become more intense, and it added a lot to the film. Movies like this are what animation as an art form is meant to be. I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil the ending, but this is definitely worth seeing, even if you have to trek into some special indie theater. And now reasons…

Why You Shouldn’t Like This

  • I had travel into the land of hipsters to see it.
  • It was kind of expensive because I was in the land of hipsters
  • One of her childhood friends turns out to be kind of a huge jerk later in the story. (Spoiler)Basically he’s willing to abandon all of his responsibilities (his own child included) for Kaguya.
  • The sense of mystery towards the end was frustrating, but the myth is like that too, so the movie can’t really be blamed.

But those reasons really aren’t much, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it if you want to see something different that’s beautiful and makes you feel.

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Live Blog Review – Sukitte Iinayo Episode 1

Well I’ve never done one of these before, but they amuse me so I thought I’d give it a try. Anyway, Scott and I decided to give this anime a shot after finishing Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. One of Scott’s friends suggested he watch it with his girlfriend. In fact she she described it as “Watch it With Your Girlfriend TM,” so why the hell not? I don’t mind having something to “d’awww” over.

Also I don’t even think I can say Sukitte Iinayo correctly and it’s hard to remember so I’ll be keeping up my usual habit of nicknaming animes with confusing Japanese names. I’m referring to this one as “Shit Romance 1” (the 1 is there because I may watch more shit romances). I think the actual title means “Say I love you” but it was dubbed “Shit Romance 1” long before I found that out, too late to change it up now.

Let’s start this! (Contains episode 1 spoilers, but don’t let that discourage you, since you’ll probably never watch it anyway)

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Anime Reviews: Dusk Maiden of Amnesia and Black Butler II

So I’ve been watching way more anime than I used to. I blame Scott. Anyway, time to review the most recent crap I watched.

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia (Tasogare Otome × Amunejia)

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This anime is something of a super natural romance between the MC Teiichii and Yukko, the school’s ghost. He can see and touch her, and she can touch him. The anime follows their amusing relationship as they solve mysteries and try to figure out how Yukko died, because as the title implies, she has amnesia. It’s 12 episodes long, some are light hearted, some are dark and some are a combination of both. Over all I enjoyed it and loved the ending and now…

Why You Shouldn’t Like This

  • The harem bullshit. One of the other girls is stupid, annoying, and contributes absolutely nothing. She’s the type who’d die first in a horror movie, but does not. The other girl is pretty good, but she looses points for being jealous and self conscious. For once can’t we have a strong female character without stereotypical girly weaknesses??
  • The fan service  I guess this goes with the harem bullshit. Still, I’ve always felt this takes away from good romances.
  • The fact that their relationship is based on nothing (like most anime romances). Well I guess you could say it’s based on sex because of them being able to touch each other and what not, that’s a step up from nothing. But even so, they’re cute together and the show’s amusing enough.

One final word I’d like to slip in is that Yukko is slightly taller than Teiichi, in fact Scott and I could pull off their height difference perfectly if I wore small heels. If they didn’t look so normal we’d cosplay them. Being slightly taller than my boyfriend has taught me to appreciate any fictional couple where the girl is slightly taller. We really need more of them.

Black Butler II (Kuroshitsuji II)

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I first gave this a try when my power was out. I had it all saved onto my laptop and with no internet, I finally got around to watching some of it.

Basically it throws the ending of Black Butler season 1 out the window and comes up with more crap. It’s just amusing and gay as ever, only now we have more douchebags than just Ciel, we also have blondie and his Butler. Again, I went with the dub, because J. Michael Tatum is amazing. Also the sub Grell sounds like a gay Lelouch/Kraft Lawrence… I think I’ll have to do a sub vs. dub post sometime in the future.

I can’t say much more about this season without spoiling you, but there’s a lot of NTR going on with who gets to eat who’s soul. I liked this season almost better than I liked the first one except for one thing….

Why You Shouldn’t Like This 

  • THE ENDING WAS HORRIBLE. If it was a visual novel, this end would be the BAD one. I did not want this ending at all. I did not contrive of this ending. I hate whoever came up with this ending.
  • It’s a clit tease. They imply so much gayness but we don’t even get so much as a kiss. I suppose that’s what doujinshis are for.  I just wish I could find filthier SebastianXGrell ones. 

My final recommendation would be to watch it (only if you’ve seen the first season of course), but skip the last episode. It’s just heart breaking. It’s not sad but… I was extremely unhappy. I’m just going to pretend it never happened.

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Two Wolf Anime Reviews

I recently finished two animes, Ookami-san and Her Seven Companions, and Wolf’s Rain. I’ll start with the shittier (for lack of a better word) of the two. Both of these are about 90% spoiler free, I haven’t revealed anything major so it shouldn’t ruin anything for you.

Ookami-san and Her Seven Companions (2010)

My original reason for wanting to watch this was because in the dub version, Briana Palencia (dub voice actress of Holo in Spice and Wolf), also voices another “wolf,” Ookami-san, the main character. At times she sounds like Holo, and at times she sounds like Ciel from Black Butler. Her sounding like Holo at times was really what kept me going… :/ what else am I supposed to do when I have no season 3?

Anyway, the anime is about a girl nicked-named Ookami (wolf), her friends, and the club they’re all in. They do favors for kids around school with the promise that they’ll be repaid. Every character is based off someone from either a European or Asian fairy tale. But they didn’t go so in depth that them not “getting everything right” pissed me off. It was pretty nice to see the twists they put on it and try and catch all of the references. Although I still don’t get little red riding hood/the wolf/the hunter all being friends.

I got the initial impression that’d it’d be a cute/funny, but short (12 episodes) slice of life anime. For the most part it was, but then some serious drama/post traumatic stress syndrome started coming up, more specifically attempted rape.  It was handled pretty well, but it still bothered me and clashed with the humor. That aside, this anime features an awesome narrator that makes fun of the show (save during the serious parts). However, if you’re watching the sub version, it’s a little harder to pick up on because she talks over the characters and you have to be able to read quickly. It’s not a problem with the dub version, but the voice of the sub narrator is a little better suited for the role.

Why You Shouldn’t Like This: 

  • The main character is pretty cool, except for when she’s being tsundere or having mental break downs from PTSD.
  • The main guy could be cool if they didn’t force him to be the stereotypical sweet husbando with some embarrassing issue. In this case, he’s pretty weak and freaks out when people stare at him.
  • The ending didn’t feel like a true ending, which makes sense because the series is based off of light novels which have yet to be concluded. But I still wish it was a bit more conclusive, or that there was a second season.

I’d say watch it if you’re into fairy tales and don’t want an anime you have to invest a lot of time into. That, the narrator and Ookami occasionally sounding like Holo are really the only things that make it worth watching.

Now onto a much better anime…

Wolf’s Rain + OVA (2003)

I decided to give this anime a go because I saw it listed as being “similar” to Spice and Wolf. The synopsis said it was about a wolf Kiba’s search for the flower maiden that would lead wolves to paradise. Male wolf and a girl in search of a destined homeland of sorts? It sounded close enough to Spice and Wolf for me to give it a try. And at 26 episodes, plus 4 OVA episodes, I figured if it was good I’d be glad it was longer than Spice and Wolf.

It takes place in some nasty (80’s feeling) post apocalyptic type world, it reminded me of Road Warrior or Escape from New York a little. Everything’s gone to shit, people have broken down cars and guns, while the rich people (nobles) have all the “real” technology. You can’t tell exactly where it takes place, at first I thought it was in Japan, but later it seemed like it was taking place in the American south west. It’s believed that all wolves are dead, but they’re really still around and have been using “magic” to appear human. Legends say that when wolves find paradise, the world will end. It sounds depressing, but you really find yourself rooting for the wolves to get there.

The character interaction and development is great, and the show is full of surprises. The dub voices are good for the most part, I was only annoyed with one of them. I can’t say anything about the sub since I was only able to find the dub. I also like how the show handled romance, there are places where you feel like they could be forcing it, but they don’t. The bonds the characters share go deeper than just “kawaii” romantic attraction, and there’s no fan service. Even the music was different. I didn’t really like the opening and ending theme songs, but the music that ran throughout the anime was great. They had a mix of American, South American, European and Japanese artists contribute.

Why You Shouldn’t Like This: 

  • It doesn’t get good until the seventh episode, and there are four recap episodes after it starts getting really good.
  • They don’t really stay true to wolf pack mentality
  • Parts of it were confusing, they were explained down the line, but the (true) OVA ending was somewhat confusing. I think I’ll need to read the manga or consult the internet for an explanation.
  • The villian(s) didn’t have much character development. There was some, but I wish I knew more about what their motives were.
  • The OVA was really (almost senselessly) sad ;__;

If you’re looking for an anime that’s different and doesn’t fit the usual mold, watch this. It’s interesting and unique in so many ways that I can’t describe them all. If you can make it past episode 6, you’re in for a great anime.

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Review: Black Butler Season 1

If you have been to an anime convention, you’ll have heard of this series, even if you never watched it. Why? Because Black Butler’s characters are being whored out by cosplayers, almost to the same scale as Heitalia (but not to the degree of Homestuck). Anyway, Black Butler is about the mysteries 13 year old orphaned and excessively wealthy Ciel and his demon butler Sebastian solve. It takes place in Victorian England and caters to the yaoi crowd.

The Good

-I got a few good laughs out of it and found it to be pretty entertaining in general.

-It was really gay. Which is probably why it was so funny. Every episode I found myself saying under my breath all of the following, “this is so gay,” “GAY GAY GAY,” “I cannot believe they just went there. This is so gay!”

-Some of the side characters were really great, I’m talking about the reaper, undertaker and hell-hound. All were pretty funny, one, in particular, was really gay.

-I was watching the dub, and I found it hilarious that Ciel and Sebastian had the same voice actors as Holo and Lawrence (Wolf and Spice) respectively. It’s like some really weird role reversal if you’ve seen both series.

The Bad

-The second half of the season got pretty slow, mostly because of lame new characters and the disappearance of older ones I really enjoyed.

-Ciel was an annoying little angsty emo bitch.

-As usual, Japan has shown that they can never get another country’s culture and history right. On this note, every so often something just completely did not make sense. But all animes have that, so I shouldn’t complain.

-As gay as it was, **spoiler** nothing major ever happens between any of the characters, or if it does they don’t show it. That really annoys me, for all the  fanservice in these cliche harem animes you think they could show two guys kissing or ass grabbing or something. I was pretty disappoint.

Final Notes: 

I only finished this anime because when I was on the verge of dropping it, I only had about five episodes left, and so I decided to push on. I’m hesitant to watch season 2, because I was happy with the ending to season 1 and I’m not sure how they could really continue it. But I’ll probably watch anyway, so long as it gets less serious and more funny (gay). I recommend it if you’re bored and want a laugh, but aren’t looking for an anime to make a major investment in. I’d give it a 3/5, mostly for the laughs and how funny all of the gayness is.

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I Wish It Was October

Living in New York, I’ve learned that there aren’t many constants. Even in the outer boros, they’re hell bent on developing neighborhoods and destroying the character they once had. You find places you used to like go out of business or move or something else. There’s hardly anything you can get attached to without having the fear of it being ripped away. I know, there are countless things and places I’ve seen vanish, but I will not dwell on them now. But there are a few constants, each has a dear place in my heart, one of them, is New York Comic Con.

Any comic convention is a place of safehaven for nerds. They’re places where you can be whatever you want to be and for once feel like you truly belong. But NYCC has a special extra factor. Friends and acquaintances a like go, seeing the flood of facebook statuses leading up to the event build the anticipation. It’s our local event, I guess you could compare it to your home team (but we hardly have that in NY, seeing  as how many Queens people I know that support the Yankees), it doesn’t just bring one boruough together, but the whole city. Sure hoards from Jersey probably go, but that is beyond the point. It’s a reunion for geeks and more than that. Even if you don’t see all of your friends there you look though each others facebook photos, it’s like going to the convention for a second time.

Then there’s the magnet effect. I love leaving the house in cosplay to take public transport there. Getting on the bus I get stares, less on the first train, even less on the second train. The closer you get to the Javits center, you see other people who you know are going to the convention. Even if they aren’t in costume, there’s something about their state of dress… not even, you can just feel it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. After you emerge from the subway, there are way more people in costume. It’s great, if you forget your way to the convention, you can always just follow people that you *know* are going.

Now of course the convention is totally disorganized, and people are assholes and it gets way overcrowded, but even I have hope that they’ll improve. They seem to be trying to compete with SDCC, and they’ll have to get more organized in order to do so.

I love NYCC, the things you can see there that you can’t see anywhere else. The only downside is that it comes but once a year and post convention depression always follows.  Of course, that depression fades with anticipation for the next convention, where ever it may be. But there’s nothing quite like riding the subway in cosplay, and overcoming the awkwardness and feeling more empowered than you’ve ever felt before. I wish it was October.

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Review: Spice and Wolf (seasons 1 and 2)

This review is free from spoilers, so if you’re looking to avoid them feel free to read. I really only mention a few events in the first few episodes. Also a warning that I use a fair amount of profanity in this post. I’ve been trying to avoid doing so but I couldn’t help myself in some places.

I’m not one to watch a lot of anime. I went through a weeabo phase in high school that died when I got fed up with how women, romance and a number of other things were typically portrayed in anime and manga. Women are so often exploited, romance is bullshit either stemming from childhood friends (I hate this theme, I’ll save my reasons for another post) or is some weird hentai shit, in all girls schools they’re all lesbians or the principal is a man. I went to an all girl school, and believe me they’d sooner torch the place than have a male principal. That shit just doesn’t fly. But I suppose that fits all to well into the “women are weak and exploitable” vibe so many animes and mangas have given me.

Then this summer Scott convinced me to watch the first season of Spice and Wolf with him. It’s available on streaming Netflix if you’re interested. I was completely surprised when I fell in love with it. We finished watching season 2 this week. This is one of the most unique animes I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s about two things, trade in what I think is supposed to be a historically inaccurate medieval Europe and the relationship between the two main characters, Holo and Kraft Lawrence (pictured above).

The story starts when Lawrence, a traveling merchant finds Holo in his cart. She tells him that she’s a wolf/harvest goddess and that this town used to be her home, but since they’ve converted to Christianity they don’t appreciate her anymore and she wants to return to her hometown in the north. She has two forms, girl with wolf ears and tail and giant ass monster wolf.

Throughout their journey the series attempts to explain various aspects of medieval trade. I will admit they often end up confusing the hell out of me. One part in season two reminded me a lot of our stock market, only with all of these random twists that complicated it. However I’m told that the novels go into better detail when explaining exactly how Lawrence is being screwed, or reaping in a huge profit.  What’s also hilarious is how much drama they add to all of it. It’s almost as if people were making attempts on Lawrence’s life instead of just trying to screw him financially, and when he expects to make a huge profit they plant seeds of doubt in your mind to create as much suspense as they can. I found that aspect amusing.

Now onto what really won me over, Holo and Lawrence’s relationship. I love the two of them, so much. Holo’s been removed from society for so long that she finds certain things confusing, but she completely knows how to mess with Lawrence. Later on Lawrence gets the hang of messing with her, but he’s much kinder about it. She has a habit of making him feel awkward, and she’s always right, often referring to herself as “Holo the wise wolf,”

and she is wise, she’s able to tell if people are lying or telling the truth just by hearing them speak in addition to being wise in other ways. She also loves apples, alcohol and expensive food way too much. In short, she’s a female lead, in a Japanese production of all things, that isn’t weak and feeble, exploited or dependent on a man (ok she does need Lawrence to take her to the north, but that doesn’t count). It’s even implied that she’s had well more than a few sexual partners (either wolves or humans or both) in the past. This is absolutely unheard of in anime. I love the irony that it’s much more likely that Lawrence is the virgin in this relationship. It’d explain why she’s always able to make him feel so awkward. They basically start to help each other out, eventually come to almost rely on each other and get along in a rather amusing way.I love their relationship so much because it’s nicely balanced and they seem to be equal partners, despite Holo having the upper hand.

..well more than a few sexual partners alright.

One last thing I love about this show, despite the inaccuracies that I’ll mention later, the music is quite accurate and lovely. There’s happy medieval flute music, Holo is messing with Lawrence flute music, Lawrence just struck a deal music, etc. It reminded me a lot of the awesome music they had at the last Renaissance Faire I went to during the Shakespeare performance.

And now, since I always manage to find a problem with everything I will tell you my issues with the series.

Japan fucking up any history besides their own – Anime, manga and video games  always do this, always. Just look at all of the stuff they’ve named after Norse mythology that’s completely inaccurate. That Loki anime was probably the biggest insult to my ancestors I have ever seen in my life. I don’t know if its the difference in culture that blocks a true understanding, or them just preferring to adapt European history and myths to what they’re used to. In short, the clothing is horribly, horribly  inaccurate, Lawrence’s lack of an actual beard is inaccurate (The dude selling the fake relics in The Canterbury Tales had a Lawrence type beard, my teacher said it was symbolic of him not being a real man) and the spread of Christianity is inaccurate. They make it seem like these towns are just converting out of nowhere… when really the conversions took place much earlier due to Roman influence and such. The only thing that truly makes sense is there still being pagans in the north because the Vikings were the very last ones to convert.

The Japanese voice acting and fanbase – I watched the dubs, don’t even watch the subs, they’re horrific. They gave holo the “kawaii little girl” voice, which does not fit her character at all. I can only assume they gave her that voice because it fits her appearance, and it goes right along with making women seem cute and weak and all of that other bullshit. Now as far as the fanbase goes, I was looking for a Holo body pillow in an effort to help one of my friends repay a prank played on the other. The only one I could find gives her a nervous/scared facial expression. That face does not fit her character at all. She’s the type to make more of a seductive “bring it” type look. She’s not one to be scared and victimized just because she’s small. She always has the option of turning into a giant ass wolf and eating your ass as an afternoon snack. The one who should have that face is Lawrence, though I haven’t looked for a body pillow with him on it.

(By the way, sorry if I’ve offended anyone from Japan. I obviously don’t have a total understanding of Japanese culture, but these are vibes that I’ve gotten from anime and manga and they totally clash with the western culture I’ve grown up with.)

I also think some of the wolf/wolf pack mentality and confrontation that takes place in season 1 is wrong… but this doesn’t bother me so much because there isn’t really any of it in season 2.

But what I love about the problems I found with the series is that I’m able to not let them bother me. Why? because the primary focus is trade and their relationship. I’m able to joke about the historical inaccuracies rather than be super distracted by them. I’m able to avoid the shitty Japanese voice acting  by watching the dubs. The only sad thing is that they haven’t started work on season 3 yet, so I’m going to start reading the books. I highly recommend this series. And please don’t torrent it, I know it’s tempting but I really want Funimation to see earnings come from it to encourage them to make season 3. You can get the first season on streaming Netflix, or you can buy it on streaming Amazon for around $20. It’s well worth it. If you must torrent something torrent the typical shit that has bullshit romances and portrays women as second class citizens.

My final recommendations:

1. Watch this anime. Read the manga. Read the books.

2. Do not torrent it you lazy cheap ass motherfuckers. Support this work of awesome by paying for it in some form, split the cost with a friend or multiple friends if you’re *that* broke. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE!

3. Watch the dubs. Don’t watch the subs, just don’t even go there. They’re horrid.

 

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