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.

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.