Inazuma Eleven Go vs Danball Senki W

2.5 Two_Five

Name: Gekijouban Inazuma Eleven Go vs Danball Senki W
Japanese: 劇場版 イナズマイレブンGO vs ダンボール戦機W
Genres: Shonen, Action, Sport, Fantasy, Tragedy
Length: 1.30 hour, movie
Producers: Oriental Light and Magic

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<This review may contains spoiler>

Inazuma Eleven Go vs Danball Senki W:is action fantasy movie aimed for children demographic. Despite its fancy colors and incredible action sequences, it isn’t very much satisfying experience.

It’s an okay-constructed movie with good action sequences, multiple colors, and dazzling special effects coming from sports, of all things.There is a kid shooting flame from his leg, and there are toy robots that combine with each other and shapeshift into a giant sword, and many otrher. In fact, these are the reasons why fans would watch the movie in the first place, to watch a great art and to absorb those overexagerrated  feeling that sports and hobbies probably have never been this epic and they will certainly not bore a lot of fans. But sadly,  aesthetic is the only thing this movie got right.

You starts a story properly on a happy day with a friendly match between the Junior and Senior national Japanese soccer teams, then suddenly, a group of unknown threats claiming they have come from the future to “get rid of all battles” and “save the future” before “erasing” everything out of existances. Luckily,  the main cast of Inazuma Junior Japan survive the massacre. They joins up with the cast of Danball Senki, a team of robot action figure pilots and are determined to defeat the villians.

…Except the further you progress into the story, the more you step away from the protagonists. It doesn’t help that the heroes are so bland and argubly a bunch of copies of each other. There are at least two idealistic captain figures, two reliable sidekicks, and at least a dozen of anguish kids with who will attempt to kill each other by a simple prank or mind trick. They don’t have any real development aside from reviewing what they have already learned in their respective shows. There are reasons why I would say the three villains of this show are more important than the +20 heroes promoted in this giant cross-over.

In an unknown future, a young psychic named Fran is taken away from her parents and tortured horribly by some doctors because her ESP power was being accursed for a disease. Fran and her two best friends escape but find out that their world and everything in it is destroyed by… something. Filled with hatred of humanity, the three travel through time (don’t ask how) to the present day to get rid of every “battle” in the world and save the future.

Of course, they are supposed to be sympathetic villains who are wasting the worlds because they are naive and ignorant, and they only want people to love and understand them. Of course, It isn’t very sensible since they just pick random targets and go with them, but that’s sort of what make them so dangerous in the first place.

Sadly, the way they develop them in the movie just doesn’t make them as sympathetic as they seem, and it leaves a lot of bad impressions instead.  Despite that they have apparantly killed millions of innocent on-screen, the show tries to force an idea that Fran and co are really sympathetic and they can be redeemed. The result comes out as chessy as a bad children cartoon, with the villains totally change their ways, become totally saints-like, and regain everything in their life even though it is practically impossible. No punishment, no consequence, no nothing. All while every mishavs they have done are ignored and every people they have erased are left with ambiguious fates. What are we suppose to learn from this?

In the end, Inazuma Eleven Go vs Danball Senki W is great only for graphic and action.It’s watchable as an action movie, but everything else is not as satisfying. The story is average, the morality is ambiguous. The characters are boring, and the villains are not handled very well. The show, to me, is like a waste potential as a whole.

Quick Look: Gunpla Build Fighters

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Gunpla Build Fighters
5/5

Name: Gunpla Build Fighters (ガンダムビルドファイターズ)
Genre: Shonen, Action, Mecha, Comedy,
Director: Kenji Nagasaki
Written by: Yousuke Kuroda

I myself am not a huge fan of “Gundam” series, though I do collect a lot of SD plastic models. After the most recent disappointment with the Level 5’s “Mobile Suit Gundam Age (2011)”, I was actually surprised to notice that the next Gundam series,. “Gundam Build Fighters” appears to be a total opposite to what Gundam Age offered us. No more space drama, no more gaint robot, no more needless bloodshed, but rather a story of regualar teenagers and their “Gunpla” modeling hobby.  Therefore, I’m looking forward to this series. So far,  this apears to be a promising series despite its look.

Gunpla Build Fighters deals with the “Gunpla” hobby, which a plastic modelling hobby and worldwide trend related to a famous mecha  “Gundam” franchise, which people buy, build, and modify scaled sizes humanoid robots. In the fantasy aspect of the series, a Gunpla battler creates a model and use it in a combat simulator that allows the player to pilot their “toys” as if they are alive and real. This concept isn’t something new. Back in 2010, Bandai releasd 3-episode OVA series of “Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G” in 2010 to mark 30th anniversary of the Gundam series and to increase the sells of plastic models. Basically, Gunpla Build Fighters is an expasion of the OVA into a full-time television series, featuring its own cast and setting.

Similar to Clamp’s Angelic Layer (2001), Gundam Build Fighters resolves around middle schoolers building and customizing a toy robot to enter “Gunpla Battle” world tournament, and win the title of the best Gunpla battlers. The show focuses on two protagonists: Sei Iori, the blue haired, regular Gundam loving and easy going kid who has exceptional modelling ability but lack any skill in an actual Gunpla battle, and Reiji, the red haired, mysterious and aggorant combat prodigy who lacks any interest in making a model. The two meet an establish a unique relationship where they have to cope with each other’s differences and overcome. The story is lightheart and idealistic story dealing with how characters fight off challenges and strengthen their friendship bonds as they climb their ways to become the best of the bests. It is particularly interesting how the developers handle the two protagonists, Sei and Reji, as they are totally different in appearance and personalities, and there’s also the fact that they have to function as a team to make any progress.

The thing thats make Gundam Build Fighters superior to Gundam Age is that the story is intentionally made to be a lightheart, parodic, and idealistic story that they are good at making rather than a mixbag of idealiism, child soldiers, and mass genocide Unlike Gundam Age, Build Fighters doesn’t pretend to follow a war-smoking “tradition” of Gundam at all. Instead, the show is designed to appeal children and collectors that can easily associated themselves with the show. Children can enjoy its comedy and battle sequences, and long time Gundam fans and modelliers can discuss the robots, jokes, and references toward older series. Similar to G Gundam (1994), Gundam Build Fighters does not hestitate to be a black sheep of the series, and so far, it pays off really well.

So far, Gunpla Build Fighters is a promising show, being a funny and lightheart show with good actions. Gunpla modeling can attract both children and old school collectors. Of course, this promote consumerism, but at least you do get some good laughs and morality out of it. Crunchyroll allows viewers from some region to steam the series for free with English subtitle. The show is highly recommended.

[Weekly Writing Challenge] I Can’t Stand Myself.

To Mother,

I am having a problem, if you would call it so. It seems that I have played too many video games where you can solve every problem and save everyone. In reality, I can’t really do anything for the world I am living in.

When I watch television news, it is always the same news repeat all over again like old video tapes: terrorisms, crimes, murders, floods, famines, false advertisements, and never ending political arguments. Bangkok is lucky enough to be spared from most of these disasters, but I cannot help but feel ashamed of myself; ashamed of while other people are suffering, I am at home, surfing the internet and eat pasta; ashamed that I cannot do anything to help those people. Worse off, I began to hate television and radio, as they seem to provide nothing but bad news that I cannot do anything about them. The only reason that I have not thrown TV sets and radios at home out of the windows is because they are not mine. Am I being melodramatic? If so, I am sorry. I just need an advice, if you would give me one. Thank you.
————–

Dear Son,

     I can understand that you are concerned of other people and wished to help them. First of all, you have to remember that real life is not idealistic as in the video games you have played, and you have to remember that you are a just a little part of the world. Therefore, it is impossible for you to solve every problem in the world.

     It is indeed a good thing to have a concern for others, but you should not burden yourself with the worry, since it may cause you bad mood and bad health. What you should do is calculating which problems and situations that you can end your hands to help. If it is possible for you to help others, please go ahead and do so. You can donate your food or money to the local charity or you can help picking up litter along the road you are walking in. If the situations are out of your reach; for examples, you cannot contact people from different countries as your, it is probably the best to just let it go. You are not the only person who is capable of solving problems, and it may be better to let the local handle things that you cannot. In addition, troubling yourself with problems that you can never help or solve will not really make anything better.

     Regarding radio and television news, it has to be noted that news are a part of your life. In this era, it is impossible to ignore them, as you need to know at least what is going on in your country and the world. You should listen or watch news once in a while, but you should not let the contents of the news trouble you.

     As I mentioned, if it is possible to help people in need, you should do so, but if you cannot, let it be; and finally, don’t hate news. I wish you have happy Halloween.

Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch (2003)

4.5 Four_Five

Name: Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
Japanese: マーメイドメロディーぴちぴちピッチ
Genre: Shojo, Magical Girl, Music, Fantasy, Comedy-drama, Romance
Length:: 52 episodes
Director: Yoshitaka Fujimoto
Developers: We’ve, Synergy SP, Actas Inc.
Author: Junki Takegami
Based on a manga written by Michiko Yokote

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When creativity team decides to make an adaptation of Han Christian Anderson’s classic tales of Little Mermaid (1837) by fusing it with a magical girl plot, adding songs, and putting in more characters and drama, here you have Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, a shojo anime series that is not only dramatically remind us how we enjoy the legends of mermaid, but the show is also kid friendly, cute, fun, and hilarious.

Lucia Nanami is a mermaid princess of the North Pacific Ocean’s undersea palace. Seven years before the event of the series, she sneaked out of her palace and saved a human boy named Kaito Domoto from drowning as a tsunami was hitting the ship he was on. To preserve his life, Lucia sacrificed her precious magical pearl and went back to the sea. Present day, Lucia, now an teenager, must go back to the surface to reclaim her magical pearl, Lucia proceeds to find her first love, knowing that he’s still holding on to her treasure. Meanwhile, a sea demon group called “Marine,” sends in a sea monster to capture mermaid princesses and plague the world with chaos. Lucia reunion with Kaito, and desperately tries to get him to notice she’s the mermaid that saved his life because of a taboo that prevent her from telling him directly, and meanwhile she has to battle with sea monsters with the help of her two princess mermaid friends Hanon Hosho and Rina Toin… using the power of music.

Mermaid Melody plays a very typical Magical Girl shows like Sailor Moon or Pretty Cure. The story progresses like a typical monster of the week show. Characters have a problem; they try to solve it, they run into monster; fight them; solve their problems; repeat. With magical pearls the three main characters (Lucia, Hanon, and Rina) have, they can transform into singing idols and use their music to scare away the four quirky female sea demons whose intimidating levels are only a bit higher than Team Rocket. Minor episodes are fun to watch, and major episodes provide satisfying drama, plot twists, and character developments for typical magical girl anime’s standard.

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Characters of Mermaid Melody are very stereotypical, right down to stock character types: an extremely dizzy and lovestruck protagonist, a cool and handsome love interest, an overactive best friend, an anti-social girl, a cute series mascot, etc. What make Mermaid Melody’s characters better the others? It may be because the great characterization that makes these characters very much lovable and not too annoying. While Lucia is stupid and mope around at times, there are many occasions that she funny and heroic. Her awkwardness from her relation with Kaito is actually engaging. This is because Mermaid Melody plays with the secret identity plot in an interesting way when it’s comes to the “Love my alter-ego” kind of triangle relationship. Human Lucia loves Kaito, but Kaito loves her mermaid form, so Lucia desperately tries to make him realize she is a mermaid on his own since she can’t tells him directly. Kaito is a rather believable love interest. He is smart, playful, and a bit jerkily, but also caring and protective toward his girlfriend. Hanon and Rina are sort of bland in their normal times, but several incidents can make them shines greatly.

While the animation of Mermaid Melody is rather okay, the focus of the show is, of course, singing. As the show’s plot device, The series makes sure the music’s quality is great. The songs are repetitive at first, but they glow varieties as the story progresses and the heroines get their power ups. The only one problem with the voice actress I have is Lucia’s VA, Asumi Nakata, sounds more like a soft spoken boy rather than a girl, nevertheless, her performance in singing is very great, and I got used to her voice quite easily.

Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is ripe with stereotypes and stock plots, but how to developers put their hearts in the show’s characters and story and how they based these magical girls are based on a classic such as the Little Mermaid make it very notable show with fun characters, engaging romance plot, and in additional, the beautiful songs. If you like Magical Girl genre, you will want to watch this particular series

Akazukin Chacha (1994)

5 Five

Name: Akazukin Chacha
Japanese: 赤ずきんチャチャ
Genre: Shojo, Magical Girl, Fantasy, Comedy
Length: 74 episodes (1994-1995)
Author: Min Ayahana
Developers: Nihon Ad Systems and Studio Gallop

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    Akazukin Chacha is a slapstick comedy television anime series which is based on a manga under the same name. The show itself can be seen as Japanese’s attempt to make a parody series out of the original concept of the fairy tale about a happy and naive young girl wearing a red hood and a wolf who tricks the girl into eating her and her grandmother. While the series does contain signature characters from the original tale, the creators made a lot of changes that the casts are now their own characters. By adding more wacky characters and situations along the ride, Akazukin Chacha is a showcase of Japanese’s silliness that work beyond imagination and it results in funny, memorable experiences, as well as smiles across audience’s faces.

    Chacha the Little Red Riding Hood is a lighthearted, fantasy tale resolving around three young children: the titular Chacha, an extremely clumsy and ditzy witch trainee under the powerful magican named Seravy; Riiya the Werewolf, a heroic, friendly werewolf neighbour with a cuddling wolf form; and lastly, Sheene, a tricky wizard in training under Seravy’s ex girlfriends, Dorothy. The initial episode concerns the certain Demon Lord who wants to conquer the world, but is unable to do so because of Seravy the Magician. In response, he sent Dorothy the cursed mirror that turns her evil, and captures the magician. With Chacha’s, Riiya’s, and Sheene’s afford, and the magical artifacts that temporary turns Chacha into a powerful Valkyrie-like warrior, Dorothy’s curse is lifted and the day is saved. The Demon Lord acknowledges the hidden power the three children possess, and changes his target to them instead, setting up the plot of the whole series where he sends a minion of the week to annihilate Chacha and her two best friends

The basic idea of Akazukin Chacha is a slice of life story about Chacha and her friend’s wacky and hilarious adventures in everyday life as the Demon Lord tries to send his minions to sabotage their activities. Most of these villains are a bunch of weirdoes like moles, vampires, gigantic bears, and joker twins who have rather unique ways to carry out their missions, mainly by using pranks and lies, similar to how the original Big Bad Wolf deceives the Little Red Riding Hood, and the consequences the children face can be threatening; however, due to the show’s nature, the heroes usually find a way to solve the problems hilariously.

While the villains are easily eccentrics, everybody else in the show itself seems to as eccentrics as they are. In Akazukin Chacha, we have characters like a whip wielding, scary looking, but kind and sensitive teacher, an absent minded headmaster, a stalking, shapeshifting mermaid with a crush, a jealousy Little Black Hood, a pink, little kunoichi, and many others whose personalities and traits are intentionally exaggerated for a comedic purpose. There’s also a daily bickering between Riiya and Sheene’s love toward Chacha, and some other girls who involve in the love triangle and end up with hilarity. While the characters are not as original and wacky as those in the show like Ranma 1/2, most characters related to Chacha are much less grubby and less questionable in term of moral values. This makes the show a lot more family friendly and cute to watch. While the show has a huge amount of randomnesses similar to Ranma 1/2 and Keroro Gunso, they are kept at a considerable amount to allow good laughs and an innocent yet sensible journey. People do not watch Akazukin Chacha because of panty shots or half-wit crab hunting contests, they watch the series to observe how these innocent children living their everyday life, how they getting into crazy adventures, and how they trying to get out of the messes with teamwork and their trusts between each other.

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That is to say; even though large portion of the is a mind-bogging slap stick comedy, Akazukin Chacha is still an idealistic series that deliver practical ideas and morals to audience, and the show can get pretty serious when it needs to. Usually, this is invoked during a confrontation with a villain or a controversial situations where the main characters have to decide their actions.. Unfortunately, these moments can be a bit jarring with the ridiculous situation surrounding the characters, and simply doesn’t fit. For example, when Chacha starts to give a speech on how she trust her friend and then said friend start making puppy eyes on the audience while his face’s all bruised up. While I do appreciate the serious moments in the show; it doesn’t work very well, to say the least.

Another weak point of Akazukin Chacha is its tradition to end an episode with Magical Princess Holy Up, or the magical Valkyrie’s transformation battle against a villain of the week. Powered with three magical accessories that draw a link between Chacha, Riiya, and Sheene, Chacha can transform from the Little Red Riding Hood into the Magical Princess, an attractive Valkyrie with magic abilities to vanquish the Demon Lord’s minion in one hit. The main problems with the transformation are that, firstly, it is running on the same stock footage every time it happens, and it gets longer and longer and Magical Princess Chacha receives new abilities, and secondly, it seems not so crucial to the plot at all. It turns out that the transformation section was exclusively added to the anime adaptation of the manga to pay homage to a magical girl series; this is one of a very few things that doesn’t work well with the show thanks to its nature as a parody series. Because of the execution, the whole 2-3 minutes of the process seems like filler than anything, and the developers could have come up with a better mean to deal with an episode’s ending.

    Akazukin Chacha does itself the best for what it is: a family friendly slap stick comedy-parody. It has all the elements they can make a fun out of the original Little Red Riding Hood characters and theme, it has lists of creative and unique characters. The plots are crazy and over-the-top ridiculous yet lovable; and finally, it’s very funny and it’s safe for everyone at every age to watch. There are some serious moments in the show, but sadly those moments are sometimes misplaced. The magical girl element added in the story is also not very effective because how repetitive and how unnecessary it is. Akazukin Chacha is a great story with a very few flaws, and it guarantees to make you laugh and smile at these children’s innocence and craziness. The show is highly recommended.