Tag Archives: Dragonball Z

Goemon: The Funimation Crew

I’d like to classify this movie as an anime, but that would be a straight up lie. But, when you watch this, you’ll see what I mean. The plot, the action and special effects, everything in this movie is set up to be an anime. The stylistic violence explodes off the screen and Goemon skirts building tops at a Flash-like pace. There’s love and betrayal, there’s status, loyalty, and duty. Brotherhood plays one of the bigger roles in this movie to a point that really took over the movie. Goemon and Saizo, two ninja brothers at odds, rival and play to each other’s strengths, recognizing each other as friends in the end. And this is all supplemented by an amazing English dubbed cast from the Funimation studios that actually did a good job at dubbing a foreign film. Imagine that.

In a very overly dramatic style, this movie tells the story of a young ruffian who found the ways to honor and strength

The cast and its wonderful costumes that won it some awards.

through the teachings of his slain master, Nobunaga Oda. Slain by who you may ask? Well, the evil┬álieutenant, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (acted by Eiji Okuda, voiced by Chistopher Sabat). In a power move that succeeds, Hideyoshi plans to take the Princess Chacha as well (strange name, but all the same…) and all the power he can grab. With the exchange of a small box that was stolen from the royal coffers, Goemon is set on a chase that will reunite him with his sparring partner, Saizo (played by Takao Osawa, voiced by Troy Baker) and the aforementioned brotherhood is rekindled.

The rivalry rekindled!

What ends up happening leads to three huge fight scenes and the dramatic death of someone in the film. There’s some major slaughter, tastefully done I may add, and some traditional face-off scenes between Goemon and the big baddies. With a bigger political and army related plot at hand, the multi-layered elements of the plot may or may not be lost on you when you check this movie out. But, it also begs the question why a lot of the scenes in this movie weren’t as choreographed as I would’ve liked them to be. The special effects were geared more towards destruction than any sort of blood and kill scenes. It does leave you asking for a bit more than was offered, but the plot makes up for that lack of action sequences.

And for those American audiences who complain, “Why do I have to read a movie? I’ll miss stuff!” Whine no more. This is an actually well done dub. Yes, it’s always awkward to watch a film knowing that the foreign actors can hold their own and don’t need a voice actor trying to translate their feelings and emotions into another language, but this film does it differently. These aren’t any old voice actors. These are some of the best from the most well known English anime/voice acting company in America. Funimation. If you were a kid in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, you’ll know of their talent from Toonami. Dragonball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, all these anime and more from Toonami were voiced by those Funimation voice acting wonders.

The stunning visual effects at play in the film.

 

Set sail on this epic tale of battle.

Other than that, this is a well done live action… action movie. It has all the elements of an epic and almost feels like an overdone Japanese play or something similar. The special effects give a heightened stylistic element to it and may leave those of us more keen to a Tony Jaa film wanting a bit more fight oriented element to it. But for entertainment value, this movie delivers quite well. The music was well done and the comedy was on cue, and you may actually shed a tear at one point in the movie or another. Either way, check this out dubbed and let me know what you think. It’s at least worth a watch. 7.5 out of 10.


Dragon Tiger Gate

All hail the great and mighty Donnie Yen! All become confused by the content of Dragon Tiger Gate! This film had a whole lotta promise and became strange as it progressed. It almost feels like some strange live action tribute to an anime. Oh well, Donnie Yen is in it. In this film of a powerful martial arts dojo and the threat looming over them of an evil master fighter, a handful of scenes redeems what was otherwise a comedic endeavor.

The film centers around two brothers in combat, Dragon Wong (Donnie Yen) and Tiger Wong (Nicholas Tse). After a long history of brotherhood between the two as a couple of wig-haired ruffians, these two go on to bigger and better things, in opposite directions. Dragon becomes the hard brawler of the Triads and Tiger fights for the justice of their dojo, Dragon Tiger Gate. The two worlds collide when the two cross dukes in a restaurant when a deal goes horribly wrong.

They have the same hair as children…

The gang is led by Ma Kun (Chen Kuan-tai), this old badass whose daughter and himself can send a softball yard with one swing. Connected to the Luocha cult, led by Shibumi (Louis Koo), it all starts with the exchanging of the Luocha plaque. And then all Hell breaks loose. From the very beginning, there is a shed of light. There are some big fights scenes with a lot of stunts and falls. It’s lookin’ ballin’s and fine. And then there’s some lulls in the action. And then a scene or two of fighting. And it goes this way for a while, culminating in the strangest of boss fights I’ve ever scene. But what can you expect from this anime/Dragonball Z inspired film?

Pretty good, eh?

It’s disappointing to me that Netflix chooses not to show certain foreign films in their original language with subtitles. This is a movie that desperately needed the original voices to save it from the mockery it got in English. This film has some great locations and sets combined with a B-C rated plot, but it just becomes moderately laughable when its done in English. The voice actors (which, I think some of who are the original actors…) don’t have the ability to match the emotions of the character’s facial expressions and actions. It sends a shiver of shame down my spine.

I did like the three main characters though. There’s Dragon and Tiger, half brothers til the end. And my personal favorite, Turbo. Shawn Yue plays this supremely comedic action hero named Turbo who specializes in nun-chucks, is the weaker of the three, but he has all the heart in the world. The Asian version of Rudy. Master Wong may defeat him one too many times, but he vows to become a great warrior. There’s lots of defeat, a strange power gaining scene in this tall pagoda tower with anal beads and an old man, and some cheesy CG effects towards the end.

Good old Turbo.

The movie ends worse than it began, but there’s a great use of weapons and martial arts skills. I was impressed with Donnie Yen’s stunt coordination and fight scenes, which was well worth the watch. I recommend the original version and avoid all the classic hilarity of a dubbed. All-in-all, it’s an entertaining dramatic martial arts film with a plot. Those are sorta rare, so check this one out. A decent 5.5 out of 10.

 


Basilisk: Ninja Powers, Anyone?

So I’ve been watching through every single anime Christopher Sabat has ever done and I found this anime first. Basilisk. The intro explains it, but yes, it involves a bird and a snake. I was surprised and blown away by the basic premise of this anime. The Iga and Kouga clans for centuries now have been subjected to a no fighting pact. And then suddenly, to determine the next shogun, the pact has been dissolved and the two clans slowly relinquish the hate they had for one another. But at the heart of this feud at the two leaders of the clans, Gennosuke Kouga (Troy Baker) and Oboro Ige (Laura Bailey). These two are set to wed and the warring of their clans sets them at odds as the anime progresses.

And that’s not all. It’s a 10 vs 10, winner takes all match, and these highly skilled ninjas have powers. Powers beyond belief. And the that’s where the shows bread and butter comes from. Each of the ten ninjas on both sides have amazing individual powers that’re revealed as the show goes on. (Usually every other episode.) And these are the scenes that make my jaw drop. Whether they be stealth related or upfront attacks, the Kouga and Ige are well matched. And it’s always sad to see one of the ninjas die. But that’s the brilliant thing about the show. You choose which side you’ll side with. And then let them duke it out in an amazing 24 episodes.

For a sort of grown-up shonen (anime geared towards 15 and under boys), this show is known as a seinen (18-30 year old men). It’s got the gratuitous violence and graphic nudity, but besides that, it has animation/art that looks like it could be from the 1600’s shogunate era. Period piece anime like this are what gets my vote for good anime. Historical fiction with a bit of fantasy violence. Thanks. I’ll have some more.

AND THE VOICE ACTORS. Well obviously Christopher Sabat. He plays Kasumi Gyoubu, a big bald-headed master with… well… a power I’d rather have you

Kouga. True champions.

discover. (All the powers in the show are worth watching for. Troy Baker truly is amazing as Gennosuke, and I’ve always though he’s done great, military voices that stand out in anime. Look at him in the video game Darksiders or simply watch the end of Fullmetal Alchemist. (Frank Archer is one of my favorite anime characters.) He mixes his valiant warriors with his sinister villains in a way that you can really see his versatility in delivery. There’s Stephanie Young as the sexy Kagerou. As a purely sexual entity in a mostly manly anime, it makes sense. Jeremy Inman plays a hilarious character in this, Udono Jousuke, the fate, balloon-like (hint hint) member of the Kouga. He’s quite funny, yet dumb and sexist. I love his power and find that he should’ve laster longer than he did. His voice sounds like a

Ige. Pansies.

lot of Dragonball Z characters do. Eric Vale plays the sneaky Jimushi Jubei. Although he’s only on the show for a bit, I love Eric Vale’s characters for their wide-ranging types and voices. Also notable are Mark Stoddard as Yakushiji Tenzen and Justin Cook as Yashamaru. They contradict each other as evil and just, and that’s why I hate one and not the other. I’m biased towards the Kouga and really dispise the Ige, but that was my personal choice from the beginning.

This anime’s worth the watch. It’s find dubbed and probably just as good subbed (seeing as its a period piece). The fights are great (DBZ quality) and the ending is quite good, probably one of the only slightly weak spots in the anime. If you enjoy Naruto or DBZ or any other shonen, why don’t you man up and watch a really good seinen with great characters and powers you won’t wanna miss? Cause Basilisk is what you need if you wanna feel like destroying people after a couples episodes of watching. That, or become a ninja. 9.6 out of 10.

Christopher Sabat. I love you, for you are a badass.


Claymore: The Female Berserk

So we just finished watching this anime in my Anime Club, and I have to admit, it was ridiculously great. As the title of my blog suggest, it was in fact the female version of Berserk, an anime I reviewed earlier (just as equally badass.). I had really no complaints about this show from beginning to end, but let’s get into the heart of the show to start off.

What you have to know about this anime is that it centers around three species that, you could say, derive from humans. There are humans (us), Yoma (evil creatures that resemble intelligent, radioactive zombies/demons) and Claymores, badass women who go around, part Yoma, part human, and destroy the evil Yomas that take on human form. Sensing the Yoki (you could relate this idea of energy to Ki in DBZ, a lot of the fight sequences are similar, just add swords.) of the Yoma, the Claymores go to fear stricken towns and easily eradicate the Yomas.

Now here’s the kicker. Wait. I can’t give away the kicker. You’ll just have to watch. After you get through the first 8 or 9 episodes, things really start to spice up and the blood really starts to fly. I wish I could say more, but it really is a twisting and turn-filled anime ride that is worth taking.

After having watched this over such an expansive amount of time, I find it a bit hard remembering exactly the plot, but that didn’t stop me from sitting silent in my chair (mostly) and just following the plot quite religiously. The animation and drawing is fantastic. The fight scenes, although laden with unrealistic sword clashing and sparks, is quite amazing to watch. You definitely get a DBZ feel watching this as it plays out as every major goodie and baddie talk out their strategy to the “audience.” (Really, who does this? I would complain about the strangness of talking out battle plans to your opponent, but I guess there would be a lot of dead air without it…) The back stories are great and there’s next to no recap in the entire anime. A definite selling point for me.

The Japanese sub was great and I almost want to watch the dub to see if it’s just as good. I mean come on, Todd Haberkorn as Raki, a completely disposable character and letdown of the entire series? That’s great. They even get Monica Rial, (Miria) Caitlin Glass, (Deneve) and Brina Palencia (Priscilla) to play 3 of the biggest characters, and who are, coincidentally my 3 favorite female voice actors (mostly for their work in Gunslinger Girl). Even Vic Mignogna and Christopher Sabat (MY FAVORITE) make appearances in a few episodes. So yeah, might watch that…

But yeah, this show is great. Battle scene after battle scene, back stories on unbelievable characters, and big, badass bosses? SO glad that they came out with a video game for this. It came out in Japan for the Nintendo DS and should probably be here soon. I’ll let you know if I get a hold of it. (Cool feature, control Yoma with the stylus and screen.) So yes, this anime was great. 8.3 out of 10

 

… And if anybody is really paying attention to my ratings, I know I haven’t really given anything a bad review. If you feel I’m wrong, post a comment and let me know. I’d love the feedback.


Berserk: The Most Insane Anime You Will Ever Watch

So… This show has been weighing on my conscious for some time. It’s the inevitable story that gives you nightmares at night, despite how good of a show it was. Let me just say right off the bat that despite being made way back in 1997, this show can still stand among many good anime of the 2000’s. It’s got fighting, strategy, intrigue, rape… Now I say rape in a way that it will haunt your dreams for years to come. I never understood the phrase “tentacle-rape” until I watched this anime. And now it will never leave me. But all of this is beside the point. Let me explain the show in a bit more detail so you can get the gist of it.

Berserk is about a character named Guts. I know, it already starts out badass, and on some levels gross. The character Guts gained his name more through the way he was born than his mother slapped him across his tiny face and screamed, “Guts.” That would also be a cool intro to the show, but not the exact way they were going for. Guts is named Guts because he was born, despite all odds, from the ravished and destroyed body of his mother, plopped right down on the ground from the tree she was hanged on. This beginning already gives way to “violent beginnings bring violent ends.” And that is Guts’ entire purpose.

Guts, main character and badass hero from "Berserk"

And this is where the story picks up. Guts is a badass emblem of light during the Dark Ages. He goes around, arm-mounted crossbow and gigantic sword in hand, and slays what appears to be demonic cross-breeding monsters. This is only the first episode, mind you. After this, we are Gun Graved (Sucks) towards the story’s beginnings. Guts meets Griffith, the rag-tag leader of the Band of the Hawk, and they run train on absolutely every enemy they cross. Guts becomes a major key player in Griffith’s plans, and this pisses off the only female in the show who is worth anything, Casca. I can’t believe how many times she was naked in the course of this anime. Quite shocking for a woman in men’s clothing.

The episodes are quite gradual in their progression and usually deal with one battle at a time. Besides this one episode with an undead super-vampire type deal. That was straight out of left field. And I know I shouldn’t ruin the ending, but prepare to have your mind blown. I’ve tried to explain it to people, but its something better seen than heard. And suffice it to say, there are several other arcs in the story, and this 25 episode anime is only the beginning. Keep that in mind.

Not a lot to comment on as far as voice acting goes. Some characters suffered at the hands of the dub while others prospered. I watched the first episode in both Japanese and English, and based on that I usually choose how I’m going to watch the entire anime. (By the by, I chose Japanese subbed for Samurai Deeper Kyo, those of you who read that review. Far superior.) Two notes to make about the voice acting are that Marc Diraison (Guts) is quite good and brutal, although a bit on the heroic side. Kevin T. Collins (Griffith) was quite good and really brings a true acting quality to the anime. One thing that made the anime for me though was Sean Schemmel’s (Better known as Goku from Dragonball Z) played a minor character, Conrad (although I remember Guts calling him Gaston…). It was fantastic. The animation was typical of the 90’s, but did not detract from the great story and pace of the anime. I would definitely give this anime, and hopefully there will be more of this anime soon, an 8 out of 10.


Samurai Deeper Kyo

Okay, just finished this anime, have to review it. For sure. This show was great. It was like Dragonball Z with samurais. ┬áThe story follows Mibu Kyoshiro, a medicine man who we find out to be Demon Eyes Kyo, the slayer of a thousand men. Pretty intense right? Well a bounty hunter girl named Shiina Yuya wants the bounty on his head, and from there, their journey begins. I saw a lot of comparisons to other anime in the past I’ve watched. My favorite character Meigeira. Although he is not included in the manga, he is a great addition to the anime. If I had to compare him to a character, I would consider him a more merciful Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist. Akira, which appears later in the show, is a great character, on par with Trunks from Dragonball Z. Saizo and Sasuke, two loyal followers of the effeminately voiced Sanada Yukimura are what I would refer to as a combo resulting in Piccolo, my favorite anime character of all time. To be honest though, the main character Kyoshiro/Kyo, didn’t appeal to me at all. The whole, “I’m the bad guy with a heart of gold,” just wasn’t what I was looking for. The fight scenes were great, very DBZ like, although when I first saw swords I thought, “Yes, let’s get some intense fighting scenes going.” That wasn’t the case, but still very badass. The move styles were on par with DBZ and anything else of the sort. (Sorry, huge DBZ fan.) The freeze frames on the action with dialogue were great and took the show into a whole new form of media. The music was a bit corny, but once you’ve heard those songs at least a dozen times, they grow on you, including the theme. All in all the show was a great journey into what it would be like if Samurais were more than just humans. Definitely an 8 out of 10. Highly recommended. (Also, mention of the abyss in there, an actual one, not my review blog.)

Here’s an AMV to give you a little taste of Samurai Deeper Kyo. (Thanks to AlchemistOfRoses for the vid.)