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Oh, the wonderful women of Black Lagoon.
In a bust out and mind expanding experience, this show kicked my ass and said, “We won’t apologize for that.” Black Lagoon, in its entirety and breadth, covers Western cowboy shootouts, Piracy and the high seas, and in-your-face American splendour violence with guns and swords. There’s nowhere this show won’t go, and all of the women have big boobs, just how male viewers want it. I don’t care that the show jumps from arc to arc like a pogo-ing hoodlum. This show delivers heaps of entertainment and doesn’t give a single damn for it. With anime like this that can take a modern action movie
Sexy Lara Croft anyone? Thank God for you, Two Hands.
and slap it with their Desert Eagles, I get behind that anime 100%.
With this dazzling introduction, I had better “WOW” my readers, right? Well strap into your El Camino there, Wild Bill. This show will clash cars in the air, and unleash more shells than the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans combined. More carnage, more elite killings than anything I’ve seen since Christian Bale unlocked the gates of Hell in Equilibrium. And its done more graphically. As I’ve always said, what a cartoon can depict, when done maturely, can be more gruesome than any movie can depict. And you don’t need stunt actors or movie make-up special effects. This show depicts mass carnage on a monumental scale, and the main character has the mouth to back up the high content rating.
The crew of Black Lagoon (minus Benny).
Who is the main character, you may ask this post? Well, Revy (Maryke Hendrikse) provides the tomboyish, action star who looks quite similar to Lara Croft in this rollercoaster ride. Hendrikse provides an unlikeable, demeaning voice to Revy that let’s you know she wasn’t brought up by any Chinese American tycoons. She was backstreet, cat alley, chopshop material from day one. And she has the backstory and sailor’s mouth to prove it. She has a soft spot like any action star needs for the audience to connect with her, but it’s a small one at that. For her character in particular though, you may wanna check out the subbed version, her dubbed is a little bit harsh.
But be sure to check out the dub in general for everyone else! This Canadian dubbing team has worked on Gundams, Death Note, and various other anime worth checking in on. Hell, Ocean even did
The wonderfully frightening and sexy Roberta.
the original Dragonball dubbing! For a lot of the lines and attitudes to come across as cool, I was happy to see that the dub shows that. Even a lot of the lines in the original and in the manga were written in Japanese/English, showing that it was always meant to be transferred into an English context. And with all its praise for spaghetti Westerns and American action films with its references, it was only a matter of time.
As gritty as it gets for Rock.
So, yes! The dubbed version. You have Brad Swaile as Rock, the male lead of the show. Used in contrast to the rest of the characters in the novel, Rock is dropped in to a world he would never survive in. As chronicler of this tale, Rock acts as a moral compass in this show that has no meaning or need for direction. His white collar lifestyle and good guy attitude should’ve gotten him killed at this point, but the port town of Roanapur is amused with what he has to offer. He’s determined to change things, and this is an interesting role for a main character whom you’d expect to be pissing himself 90% of the show (the other 10%, would involve the other end).
There’s Dutch (Dean Redman) and Benny (Brian Drummond), respectively, the leader and muscle of the squad with his big black attitude, and the brains behind the operations with his American ideals and his Jewishness (which I didn’t get at all in this show). Dutch is a fantastic leader and motivator for the team, staying neutral at all times so as not to jeopardize his crew and endeavors. Benny lays low like Rock does, leaving the crew to 50/50 on manpower and gun control. With the rest of the cast of Roanapur’s finest, there’s bound to be bloodshed, booze, and boobs galore.
The tag says “She’s back.” Perfect.
What this show follows is an erratic plot of gigs and tradings that the Lagoon Company gets themselves into. At first, it was just Dutch, Revy, and Benny. But after a botched job that lands Rock in their laps, the Japanese get involved and that’s where the show turns into a Japanese man’s perspective on the seedy underbelly of the Southeastern area of Asia. There are heists, Nazis, shipments of drugs and guns, and fights between the clans. I don’t want to give too much away, but every clan becomes involved at some point in the show, with one of Black Lagoon’s dealings or another. There’s a great secondary cast of mercenaries who always populate Roanopur, but there’s one character you have to look out for.
That character is Roberta, the maid. This Columbian maid has come to find her charge in one of the arcs. After that, she becomes one of the most badass characters in the show. She’s calm, cool, and collected, and never leaves anything to chance. She won’t die, and there’s so much more I could be telling you that I’m leaving out. Let’s just say she’s so amazing that they made an OVA storyline about her. Get some of that Columbian underground.
One of the great secondary characters!
I can’t talk highly enough of this show. It has everything an adrenaline junky is looking for, and then some. Action fans of the world unite and check out this anime, especially if you have no idea what an anime is. The plot and dialogue is insightful enough for a gun toting anime, and there are some unbelievable things that will surprise you. Entertaining to the end, Black Lagoon is one of those few shows that I watched everything related to it. Even those cute and funny little omake episodes they made that’re on Youtube. Everything about this show screams badass. And it should make you scream too. So check out this pumped up gun ride on the high seas. It was never more f#$%ing cool to be a pirate. A 9.5 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: action anime, action star, adrenaline junky, American action, Atlantic Ocean, backstory, backstreet, badass character, Benny, big black attitude, big boobs, big mouth, Black Lagoon, bloodshed, booze, Brad Swaile, brains behind the operation, Brian Drummond, bust out, Canadian, carnage, cartoon, cat alley, Chinese American, chopshop, Christian Bale, chronicler, clans, clashing cars, Columbian, cool and collected, cool attitudes, crew, Dean Redman, Death Note, Desert Eagle, Dragonball, drugs and guns, dubbed version, Dutch, El Camino, English, entertaining, Equlibrium, erratic plot, gates of Hell, good guy, graphic violence, great dub, great secondary cast, gruesome, gun ride, gun toting, Gundams, heaps of entertainment, heists, high content, high seas, in contrast, in your face, insightful, Japanese, Jewish, kicked ass, killings, Lagoon Company, Lara Croft, leader, main character, male lead, male viewers, manpower, Maryke Hendrikse, mature content, meet your maker, mercenaries, mind expanding, modern films, moral compass, motivator, muscle, Nazis, no stunt actors or special effects, Ocean, omake episodes, OVA, Pacific Ocean, piracy, pirate, pumped up, Revy, Roanapur, Roberta, Rock, rollercoaster ride, sailor's mouth, seedy underbelly, shells, shootouts, soft spot, Southeast Asia, spaghetti Westerns, subbed version, swords, the maid, tomboyish, transferred into English, violence and guns, Western cowboys, white collar, Wild Bill, won't die, Youtube | posted in Anime/ T.V.
Cover of the first manga.
Naruto. What is there to say about Naruto? What is there to truly say about one of the most ballin’ animes currently running? Well there’s a lot more to say than that it’s just balling. This show fulfills every young boys’ dream of becoming a ninja. And not just any ordinary ninja, but a true Shinobi with Ninjutsu and Thaijustsu for days. You got the Kunai and Shuriken, and the classic substitution technique. These young children Shinobi put legitimate ninjas to shame. They are unstoppable. And this show is infectious.
But there’s just one debate we have to deal with before we move on to the plot of Naruto. And that is: Naruto Dubbed vs
Naruto and the power of his Nine-Tailed Fox.
Naruto Subbed? There are those younger kids who would argue dubbed, due to an ability to watch a show (not read, though not a valid argument) and a lot of younger kids watched this on Cartoon Network. There are a handful of good voice actors in the show that make it worth watching it. But there’s the flipside of the coin. The subbed version, when it comes down to it, is better done. There’s swearing, and Rock Lee’s secret technique isn’t called Loopy Fist. That was a bit of a disappointment. For a more serious tone for the older fans of Naruto should watch the subbed version. But it all comes down to a preference of English vs Japanese. It’s the same show, just a different feel. It’s all up to you.
The starring team: Sakura, Sasuke, and Naruto!
So, Naruto is a show about Naruto Uzumaki (Maile Flanagan). He is a ninja in training and hoping to become the leader of the village he lives in one day, known as The Village Hidden in the Leaves. The Third Hokage, leader of the village, sees much promise in Naruto and hopes that his sensei’s, Iruka Umino (Quinton Flynn) and Kakashi Hatake (Dave Wittenberg). With his teammates Sasuke Uchiha (Yuri Lowenthal), the cool calm-headed prodigy out to prove himself, and Sakura Haruno (Kate Higgins), the hot-headed and pretty much useless book smart girl, Naruto can’t fail in his mission to become the best. Believe it!
So many great characters in the world of Naruto!
There’s a lot of arcs and sections in this show. There’s the introduction of all the characters, the Chunin exams (the test that sees if you’re ready to become the next level ninja), and the battles between Orochimaru (Steven Blum) and his henchmen. With each trial for Naruto comes more responsibility and more powers. The show culminates in a huge twist and leaves more than 60 episodes of fillers that have nothing to do with the main plot. That’s not to say that there aren’t fillers throughout that aren’t cool and entertaining, I personally found a lot of the fillers to be funny and not so much a detraction from the show as an enhancer of the lesser characters. And how many cool characters there are.
There’s the 12 Ganin, 3 of which I’ve already mentioned. There’s Kiba Inuzuka (Kyle Hebert), the dog master of Akamaru and a master of, well, I’ll let you check everyone’s powers out. Shino Aburame (Derek Stephen Prince) is the master of bugs, and one of my favorite Shinobi in the show. Filling out Team 8 is Hinata Hyuga (Stephanie Sheh), the master of soft palm. She has a huge crush on Naruto but never
Team 10, led by the great Shikamaru.
reveals it in the original Naruto, an unfortunate thing.
Team 10 is made up of some real destructive masters as well. Choji Akimichi (Robbie Rist), the expanding fat kid with a penchant for lots and lots of niblets and chips. Shikamaru Nara (Tom Gibis) one of my favorite characters in the show and one of the only truly gifted in the series. His ability with shadows will leave you… breathless. And then there’s Ino Yamanaka (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), the useless girl who is more useless than Professor X. (You’ll see why.)
Look at Shino back there, bein’ all wiznerd and whatnot.
And then there’s Team Guy, the most masterful of all the masters. Led by Might Guy (Skip Stellrecht), his mastering of the physical Thaijustsu is just too legit to quit. Under Guy’s tutelage is Rock Lee (Brian Donovan), the only kid who will never quit and always fights to the end with his Flying Leaf Hurricane. Tenten (Danielle Judovits) is a weapons master and is always twirling and releasing weapons on everyone’s asses. And the semi-leader of the team is Neji Hyuga (Steve Staley) master of his cousin’s soft fist and intelligent as Hell.
All of these awesome characters flesh out a show about honor and friendship, being the best and doing everything in your power to prove your self worth. There’s self discipline, training montages, and
And Team Guy, they pack a whallup of a punch.
everything you wanna see in a shounen of this magnitude that needs to be seen by all young men out there that need a great role model in their lives, or just a great action cartoon/anime. Oh, and don’t forget the villains! I already mentioned Orochimaru, but there’s the best character and best voice actor that needs to be mentioned, nay, worshipped. Gaara (Liam O’Brien) is a disciple of the Village Hidden in the Sand, and a true beast of a fighter. With a gourd full of sand that does his every bidding, there’s more than meets the eye to this character. And he will completely slaughter you. Two words: SAND COFFIN.
And don’t ever forget Gaara. SAND COFFIN.
So watch this show for sure. The production value gets better as the show goes along, and for those that like dubbed anime, it’s not the worst in the world. And that brings up an issue. Maile Flanagan ruins this show. She may have a similar voice that can mirror the tone that Naruto Japanese version can do, but that’s just a bit of a stretch. Maile Flanagan’s whiney voice and childish lines leave a lot to be desired from a leading role. Oh, and, well, it’s just gross. Sorry there, Flannie old pal, but it’s probably for the best the dubbed version was cut off in the middle of Naruto Shippuden. But, for overall story and deliverance, Naruto as a whole, for all it’s worth, deserves a 8.8 out of 10. Definitely top 10 anime of all time to watch before you die. (You can skip the fillers.)
3 Comments | tags: 12 Ganin, Akamaru, Anime, awesome characters, ballin, beast of a fighter, believe it!, best character, better subbed, book smarts, breathless, Brian Donovan, Cartoon Network, childish lines, chips, Choji Akimichi, Chunin exams, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, cool and entertaining, cool headed, cousin, currently running, Dave Wittenberg, decent production value, Derek Stephen Prince, destructive masters, disciple, dog master, dubbed versus subbed, English, enhances characters, fat kid, favorite characters, fight to the end, filler episodes, fleshed out, Flying Leaf Hurricane, friendship, fulfills dreams, funny fillers, Gaara, good deliverance, good voice actors, gourd, great action cartoon, great role model, gross, henchmen, Hinata Hyuga, honor, hot headed, huge crush, huge twist, infectious, Ino Yamanaka, intelligent, Iruka Umino, Japanese, Kakashi Hatake, Kate Higgens, Kiba Inuzuka, Kunai, Kyle Hebert, leader, Liam O'Brien, Loopy Fist, Maile Flanagan, main plot, master of bugs, masterful, Mighty Guy, missions, more power, more than meets the eye, Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, Naruto Uzumaki, never quit, ninja, ninja in training, Ninjutsu, Orochimaru, physical, powers, prodigy, Professor X, quality of voice, Quinton Flynn, Robbie Rist, Rock Lee, Sakura Haruno, Sand Coffin, Sasuke Uchiha, secret technique, self discipline, self worth, sensei, serious tone, shadows, Shikamaru Nara, Shino Aburame, Shinobi, shonen, shounen, shuriken, Skip Stellrecht, soft palm technique, Stephanie Sheh, Steve Staley, Steven Blum, story arcs, substitution technique, swearing, Team 10, Team 8, Team Guy, teammates, Tenten, Thaijutsu, the realest, The Village Hidden in the Leaves, Third Hokage, Tom Gibis, tone, too legit to quit, top 10 anime of all time, training montages, trials, truly gifted, unstoppable, useless, Village Hidden in the Sand, villains, watch worthy, whiney voice, younger audience, Yuri Lowenthal | posted in Anime/ T.V.
I’ve seen Akira Kurosawa’s film, 7 Samurai. The second that I saw there was an anime dedicated to it (and supplied with the voice acting talents of Chris Sabat as Kikuchiyo) I had to see it for myself. In what I would call a very honest and original ode to Kurosawa, this 26 episode anime series follows the classic tale of the mighty vs. the meek. I saw this film quite a while ago in my film appreciation class and found it to be quite cinematic for its time (1954 in fact). With great characters and a good helping of action, nothing could be wrong with this film and anime classic.
The basic plot of Samurai 7 is that of David vs. Goliath. In a small rice village named Kanna, field workers and peasants must fulfill quotas of rice production to be paid to the bandits. These bandits are former
The cast of Samurai 7.
humans who have encased themselves in the wave of the future. In these new Gundam like bodies, the bandits hold sway over the lives of the peasants and demand rice in exchange for the peasants lives. And yet, despite their payment, the bandits take women to the imperium to become slaves.
After years of this slavery and menial servitude, the peasants decide to secretly do something about it. The village elder sends Komachi (Luci Christian), Rikichi (J. Michael Tatum), and Kirara (Colleen Clinkenbeard), the village’s water maiden. With her divining skills, the three peasants seek out the help of human samurai to fight the samurai encased in metal. Over the course of the show, 7 samurai are recruited in order to defend the rights of the lowly peasants of Kanna. Within this plot comes another plot (NOT INCEPTION B.S.) unlike the Kurosawa film. With an imperial plot by the merchants of the city, the 7 samurai must find the strength to fight off multiple enemies.
That's a legit battle right there.
What I really loved about this anime was the character designs of the 7 samurai. Shimada Kanbei (Robert Bruce Elliott) is the leader of the clan of samurai, wielding the most power. His brusque attitude can come off as disconnected, but he always has the goal in mind to help the peasants in any way he can. Okamoto Katsushiro (Sean Michael Teague) is the timid member of the group with a hidden power that is not revealed until the opportune moment. He also provides the majority of the love interest in the story for Kirara, although it becomes convoluted towards the end. Katayama Gorobei (Bob Carter) provides the easy, laid back man of wisdom with a protective attitude. Shichiroji (Duncan Brannan) plays the right hand man to Kanbei’s leadership in an almost transparent role. He never contradicts or creates any conflict with Kanbei, as I sort of expected. Kikuchiyo (Christopher R. Sabat) plays the outcast of the group as the robotic samurai, out to prove his worth to the humans around him. He plays a great comedic element in the show and provides an endearing character who, despite his buffoonery, inspires hope. Hayashida Heihachi (Greg Ayres) is the quiet, well to do good guy who only wants a good living and nothing more. And Kyuzo (Sonny Strait) plays the no nonsense badass turncoat. Great characters all around.
No words for this awesomeness.
And the animation was, I thought phenomenal. Interesting fact. To produce each individual episode, 32,500,000 Yen, ($300,000) were spent on each episode. The fluent switch between animation styles and the fighting scenes really stood out to me. The robotic digital animations were well coordinated with the samurai fights and the picturesque backdrops of different areas of the world created by Toshifumi Takizawa was a sight to behold. AND THE MUSIC. The keyed up traditional Japanese music with every fight scene and the melancholy tones of the peasant workers were just as good as the music from Kurosawa’s film. Funimation did a fantastic job with the dub and it all came together for a good two weeks worth of watching this on Hulu. I gotta hand it to Hulu, but they stream some quality looking entertainment. So hands off to all those involved with Samurai 7 and hell, how about it for Hulu? Best anime I watched in 2012 so far. 9.4 out of 10.
Will they be saved? Watch to find out!
2 Comments | tags: 1954, 23 episode anime, 7 Samurai, Akira Kurosawa, amazing score, anime version, badass, bandits, big budget, Bob Carter, bumbling comedic element, Chris Sabat, Christopher R. Sabat, cinematic, classic tale, Colleen Clinkenbeard, David vs Goliath, digital animation, dubbed, Duncan Brannan, Funimation, good quality streaming, great characters, Greg Ayres, Gundam like suits, Hayashida Heihaci, hidden power, honest and original, Hulu, imperium, J. Michael Tatum, Kanna, Katayama Gorobei, Kikuchiyo, Kirara, Komachi, Kyuzo, leader, love interest, Luci Christian, merchants, Okamoto Katsushiro, peasants, phenomenal animation, rice village, right hand man, Rikichi, Robert Bruce Ellliott, robotic samurai, samurai, Samurai 7, Sean Michael Teague, Shichiroji, Shimada Kanbei, shounen anime, slavery, Sonny Strait, soundtrack, Toshifumi Takizawa, turncoat, water maiden | posted in Anime/ T.V.
So I had watched this anime a while ago in my Anime Club. I instantly fell in love with it. Sadly, after only 6 episodes, our club decided to drop the anime due to its wild and erratic nature. The absurd comedy and spontaneous content appeared to be stupid and pointless to most. But I found the silver lining. More like gold mine. More than a year later, I sat down and watched the 26 episode, ten minutes per episode anime. In one day. And I loved every second of it.
Cromartie High School is the story of a bunch of badasses. These badass delinquents constantly fight for dominance as to who
Check out this group of badasses.
the true boss of all badasses is. And it’s a fight that’s never resolved. You can choose your own champion, but it’ll get you nowhere. These guys are stupid, impulsive, and nonsensical. They have no idea of the concept of normal or logical. And this is quite an endearing quality if I do say so myself. (Not in reality, mind you.) So this show comes down to a bunch of instances in the first year of a group of idiotic boys attending an unsupervised high school.
According to the anime, Takashi Kamiyama is the main character. After transferring to Cromartie, Takashi befriends Shinjiro Hayashida, a purple mohawk wearing badass. With this friendship, Takashi encounters the badasses around his school and embarks on a series of hijinks. And that’s not even the best part! Takashi isn’t even the main character! Some episodes don’t even include him. With a multitude of lowlifes and delinquents, this show has some interesting characters.
Is that? Yep. That's Freddy... Mercury?
Akira Maeda, a fellow member of Cromartie, constantly has his home invaded by his so called friends and other badasses from Cromartie. His hurt feelings and trashed house means nothing to anyone but he and his mother who appears to look exactly like him. Shinichi Mechazawa, a robot appearing robot, known as the biggest badass of Cromartie, refuses to fight and refuses to believe that he is a robot. The entity known as Freddie, is another badass, but more for his mute behaviors and the ability to ride a bucking bronco. With his strange resemblance to Freddie Mercury, this delinquent shouldn’t even be in school. But he makes up for it with his suspenders and bare chest. Gorilla, the gorilla. Anything else I should say about that? Yutaka Takenouchi, the leader of the Cromartie High School badasses, has motion sickness. Despite his attempts to keep his bossish facade in the forefront, his constant use of transportation threatens his credibility. Also making appearances are Takeshi Hokuto and his reluctant lackey known only as Hokuto’s Lackey, due to the fact that no one will allow him the time to tell them his name. Add rival schools with amazingly comedic leaders like Noboru Yamaguchi, the afro haired appreciator of true comedy, and you have one amazing show.
What makes this show even greater? The animation. There is next to none of it. Besides the traditional lip-flaps, characters rarely move. Cromartie High School
Did I mention there was a live action movie?!?!?
consists of head shots mixed with color shooting star background indicating intense emotion and actions. The comedy comes entirely from what the characters say and the tiny absurd actions that occur in the background. It’s almost worth another watch because of all the hilarious things going on in the background.
What more is there to say about Cromartie High School? The content, the dialogue, the characters. It all adds up to comedic genius of the most absurd kind. This show isn’t really meant for everyone, so I wouldn’t highly recommend it. To the few who would appreciate a really weird, yet funny sort of comedy, then watch this for sure. 9.3 out of 10.
Leave a comment | tags: 26 episodes, absurd, actions, afro, Akira Maeda, animation, Anime, Anime Club, badass, badasses, boss, color backgrounds, comedy, Cromartie High School, delinquents, dialogue, erratic, fighting, Freddie, Freddie Mercury, Gorilla, head shots, high school, Hokuto's Lackey, horse, leader, lip-flaps, love, main character, mohawk, mother, motion sickness, movie, Noboru Yamaguchi, nonsensical, Queen, rare movement, rival schools, robot, Shinichi Mechazawa, Shinjiro Hayashida, spontaneous, stupid, Takashi Kamiyama, Takeshi Hokuto, true comedy, weird, wild, Yukata Takenouchi | posted in Anime/ T.V.