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February 29 2012, 12:00 PM

Leap Day Special

Leap Day only comes once every four years, so as a special treat for our readers, I have invited as many current and retired reviewers as I could found to send in a review!

Aiden starts us off with a favorable look at the philosophically minded Ergo Proxy, which he touts as a good thinking man's anime, though with the caveat that certain expectations may dampen viewers' enthusiasm for the show.

Allen gives us a thorough look at the Kimikiss: Pure Rouge franchise, a teen romance that thankfully is far better than it sounds - and shockingly free of fan service.

Bob "celebrates his Ali-like comeback to THEM" with ... our first hentai review in a good long while, covering the Bible Black series, which is accessible through our Adult Reviews tab. And surprise surprise, even a survivor of Cool Devices finds this series too much to handle. His medal for meritorious masochism is already being airmailed to Wuhan as we speak.

Bradley gives us something equally unexpected: a counterpoint to one of our very earliest reviews - in this case, a positive look at the ninja epic The Dagger of Kamui (and amazingly, he doesn't seem to be missing any appendages for the trouble).

Continuing the 80s trend, Carlos takes on the original "biker without a cause" in the 1985 anime classic Megazone 23 Part I, which holds up surprisingly well, in fact, better than its own sequels!

Jake Churosh gives us his first review in a good while, a favorable second opinion of the very recent anime phenom Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which he wholeheartedly encourages readers to experience for themselves.

Jake Godek takes a dive into microbiology (sorta) with Moyashimon, a show that, much like its subject matter, has a hidden side to it that draws out a distinct kind of flavor for those who can appreciate it.

Nick brings all the angels to the yard with his review of Evangelion 2.0: You can (not) Advance. The general consensus seems to be that brushing up and looking over the story has done the show a lot of good, even when it wasn't really bad to begin with.

Sam Arbogast takes time out of his super-busy garrison life as an active duty US Marine Sergeant to present us Pumpkin Scissors, which he finds a decidedly mixed experience due to what he feels are questionable character decisions - what, again, is an avowed pacifist doing anywhere near a battlefield? A pretty good question to ask from someone who's actually been there.

Stig goes off and explores more facets of the fantasy genre, and comes up with the second five-star review of our lineup; Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.

And Tim races over the finish line with the third five-star experience for our once-every-fourth-year lineup; namely Redline, a show with style and energy to spare.

Sure it's been a busy week for us, but we still have our normal three-review lineup on Friday, so enjoy!

- Carlos Ross (with more than a little help from good friends)

 
February 27 2012, 4:36 PM

Fantastic!

Fantastic is the THEM word of the day and that's because whether by quality, title or even just tentatively by genre, we have three 'fantastic' shows for you today.

Carlos shares with us his thoughts on a show that is fantastic, sadly, only by genre. A poor cast leaves Sorcerer on the Rocks... on the rocks.

I have much better luck with the appropriately named Fantastic Children, an old-style adventure story that offers a little of everything to an eager viewer, and also the incorrigibly enjoyable The World God Only Knows, both a parody and a celebration of Otakudom's dating sim culture... with added demons.

That's it but look out for our Leap Day extravaganza on Wednesday. We've got something special planned so look forward to it.

Adieu,

~Aiden Foote

 
February 24 2012, 5:00 PM

How to Disappear Completely

The reviews are still coming thick and fast but happily we have at least one show to heartily recommend for your viewing pleasure.

Starting with the good, we have a review from our newest recruit, Allen Moody, and he is singing the lavish praises of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya - the jewel in the crown of the Haruhi Suzumiya series and a fine piece of animé science fiction in general.

I then take Deadman Wonderland as far as I can considering the length of the manga it's attempting to adapt in twelve episodes. It doesn't scrimp on the gore though.

And finally Carlos brings us yet another 90s OVA, BioHunter, which apparently could have been an awful lot better.

Till next week, adieu.

~Aiden Foote

 
February 22 2012, 4:37 PM

Old is the New New

There is a bit of a vintage flavour to our reviews today but not the kind you would immediately expect.

Carlos graces us with his loving account of sci-fi classic Mobile Police Patlabor OVA, a show that doesn't forget to create great characters and fascinating stories in between its mecha action.

Nick also spreads the love with Hayao Miyazaki's fanciful take on classic fairytale, The Little Mermaid, the charming Ponyo. It's sweet, it's beautiful, it's everything you would expect from Studio Ghibli.

But taking up the rear is my review on dystopian detective series Un-Go a loose adaptation of the classic Meiji era mysteries written by Ango Sakaguchi. I'm sure the original stories are great but you wouldn't guess it from this version.

Adieu,

~Aiden Foote

 
February 20 2012, 8:06 PM

Another Manic Monday

Just like the rest of the world, even THEM has a rough start to the week.

Our resident Sultan and Emperor, Carlos, has had a mixed adventure with Modern Magic Made Simple. Likeable enough but its spell is hardly bewitching.

Nick leads on with the picture book tale, The Diary of Tortov Roddle, but finds it a paper-thin if pretty affair. Not a page-turner in any case.

Lastly, I discovered that there are bridges that really need to be burned, with Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi (aka, A Bridge to the Starry Skies) being the first on my list. Bland, boring and excruciatingly clichéd - HoshiKaka is a show that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemies. Give me the Forth Rail Bridge any day.

Till Wednesday, animé fans.

~Aiden Foote

 
February 17 2012, 3:52 PM

Post Valentine's Day Blues, Coming Right Up

After a pretty consistent streak of good material, we're down on our luck again. Aiden doesn't mince words when it comes to Ben-To, and Carlos finds the Korean OAV Demian to be both simplistic and incomplete. The best thing I've got for you today, ironically, turns out to be a prototype for a later, greater work: Yasuhiro Yoshiura's Aquatic Language, the first short he ever produced and an interesting look into his animation process that's more a work-in-progress than a finished effort. Perfect for fans of Time of Eve and Pale Cocoon, nonetheless, and I'll definitely take that over a finished but poorly thought-out series, anytime.

We'll be back on Monday with more reviews from Carlos, Aiden, and myself. Until then,

Nick Browne

 
February 15 2012, 2:01 PM

Anime underground

Well, not really, but Valentine's Day is. So let's sally forth on to our three reviews of the day.

First up is Nick with Denpa Teki Na Kanojo, a show that's been making waves across the Internet in the last couple of years from the creator of Kure-nai.

Then we have Aiden with another series picking up popularity on the Internet; Mawaru Penguindrum, anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara's first new anime in nearly 15 years.

And last we have Carlos with Indian Summer, which isn't an Internet phenomenon like the other two, but he still likes it.

See you again on Friday, everyone.

- Tim Jones

 
February 14 2012, 4:00 PM

Love is in the air

Even here on THEM Anime Reviews!

We bring you today three anime involving love and/or harems. First up is Nick with Futakoi Alternative, a somewhat more comedy-oriented retelling of the original Futakoi (which has no review on here..yet). Click on the title to see his thoughts.

I have two anime reviews as well. Both anime came out at the same time last fall, both of which I had completely opposite impressions of than what I ended up with. First is Mashiroiro Symphony ~The lover of tildes..er, ~The color of lovers~. I didn't expect much out of this, but I was surprised to get much more mileage out of this than the action harem comedy Majikoi Oh! Samurai Girls. Click on the titles to see my thoughts on both.

Well, Happy V-Day everyone. Go out and celebrate!

- Tim Jones

 
February 10 2012, 3:35 PM

Through the Concrete (And What the Innocent Children Found There)

Another week gone by, another weekend on the horizon, and another day of anime, although it's sadly not the best we've yet had. Aiden, at least, finds something to recommend in Innocent Venus, which, if not exactly a standout, does transcend his usual disinterest in the mecha genre and make for an enjoyable series, but Carlos sees relatively little of interest in the vaguely Lewis Carroll-inspired Kyousougiga (which at least avoids the unnecessary eroticism of another infamous "Carroll" anime). And in a bit of a disappointing bout, I didn't fare at all well with an ambitious movie I'd heard many good things about, but which I unfortunately found to be rather simplistic, as the review will tell you.

We do, however, have one exciting bit of news today to break out streak of disappointments: as of yesterday, a new staff reviewer has joined our ranks! Well, perhaps "new" may be the wrong term, as Allen Moody has long been submitting pieces to our forums, but he has only now just signed on as an official reviewer. Ya'll will hopefully have the pleasure of seeing his reviews on the site very soon, and we're quite happy to have another source of anime commentary and (as always) some solid editorial writing.

Until next time,

Nick Browne

 
February 8 2012, 6:22 PM

The Doldrums and the Dog Days...of Winter?

Once again, the bell curve has caught up with us: while everything that comes our way today is at least decent, if not better, must-see material is sadly in short supply.

On our first stop, Aiden brings us Dog Days, which has cute cat and canid girls aplenty and, in his words, " a potential for mild entertainment", but unfortunately little else.

Next, Carlos presents Morita-san wa Mukuchi, which he cites as a good example that some four-panel manga translate much, much better into three-minute snippets than full television episodes. Read the review to find out his thoughts: to the show's credit, it chose the former path.

And finally, I have a review of two short additions to the Kino's Journey anime that, while interesting, prove to be a bit inconsequential to the overall story. Still an interesting watch, even if 30 minutes per episode seems a bit too short a running time to earn them the designation of "movies".

We return Friday with some more mixed opinions and a few that are much, much less kind before (hopefully) getting some better titles soon after. Stay tuned, ya'll.

-Nick Browne

 
February 6 2012, 7:34 AM

Revenge of the Pop Ups!

Just when you think they were dead...WHAM! I come with a review of Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. A curious little Japanese / American co-production, it's finally reviewed on here only a mere 23 years after its original release. Thanks once again, crunchyroll!

On the non-pop up front we have Nick with his review of This Ugly Yet Beautiful World. This anime was made to celebrate GAINAX's 20th anniversary, though according to him it's as much a celebration as being fired on your birthday would be considered something to celebrate. Read on to see why he's not pleased at all by it.

And last we have Stig with his look at the Korean animation There She Is!, which is our honorary Anime Review of the Day, as he came out happy with what he reviewed.

See you again Wednesday.

- Tim Jones

 
February 3 2012, 6:00 PM

It's Setsubun? Cool beans!

Bit of a late update today, with more reviews to come as they're uploaded.

I get to start off with a quick flashback to the 1990s featuring the cute but inconsequential OVA series Galaxy Fraulein Yuna.

Meanwhile, Nick expresses some reservations about shoujo-ai romance Candy Boy, which ends up a mixed experience for him due to what he feels are some particularly questionable creative choices.

Aiden follows up with the overly conventional Okami-san and Her Seven Companions, in which he runs into a serious case of values dissonance.

And a last minute addition to the review schedule is a quick look at the 1990 one-shot OAV City Hunter: Bay City Wars, in which Ryo Saeba does a fairly good John McClane impression, when he's not distracted by all those pretty girls. (He did it all for the nookie!)

See you Monday!

- Carlos Ross

 
February 1 2012, 12:00 AM

Pop! Pop into pop-up video!

Surprise! Here are a few more pop-up reviews that weren't on anyone's radar until they got written!

Carlos starts us off with a review of the 2011 one-shot OVA Five Numbers! which is kind of a throwback, format-wise, to the old days of anime, but thankfully isn't nearly as bad as the one-shots of yore. It's actually the R1 DVD flipside to Coicent, which he reviewed in the last update.

Nick covers Eve no Jikan, which he lauds as android sci-fi done the right way and marks Yasuhiro Yoshiura's first foray into five-star territory.

Finally, Stig forges through the entirety of Queen's Blade which, despite a truly rocky start, ends up in the "guilty pleasure" category.

More reviews on Friday, so stay tuned!

- Carlos Ross

 
 
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