Category Archives: Reviews

Anime Rewind: Follow your dreams! Taking a look at the best eps of Sailor Moon Super S


Lately, I have been watching the original 90’s Sailor Moon anime series just for the nostalgia. That said, if you take into account the story telling and animation, this series (although doesn’t really hold up in this day and age) is one of the most cleaver animated shows. Being able to do drama, as well as comedy and deliver it with perfection is rare, something that anime shows which are made now are missing. Sailor Moon Super S was one of the seasons that a lot of fans tend to avoid, but I want to say that this is the season everyone should be watching. With the recent release by Madman Entertainment with the new English Dub, we are going to take a look at some of the best episodes from Sailor Moon Super S.

This for me was one, if not the best episode of Sailor Moon Super S. So basically Minako (Sailor Venus) is dating two guys at the same time. Of course, Minako thinks she’s able to date two both men and get away with it….only problem is when she has a date with both boys at the same time. The comedy aspects and animation is absolutely hilarious and leaves you in stiches from laughing so damn much. The best scene from this whole episode is Minako explaining the situation to her friends in the café.

Ep 152 – Flames of Passion: Mars’s Raging Super Attack

Rei suddenly develops celebrity status as being the shrine maiden that has the best love charms. This as a results ends up with a girl who wants to be like her ‘idol’ Rei. The episode is a great way to show it is important to be what you want to be and not something that you are not. The episode has a lot of comedy, but it is balanced with a lot of heart as well. A very well constructed episode.

Ep 154 – Clash of Dreams: Minako and Makoto’s Broken Friendship

This is a great episode that deals with the theme of friendship. Jealously and selfishness are the catalyst for Minako and Mokoto friendship to hit a snag. The realisation that they are better and more powerful together than apart is told throughout the episode. You see the destruction and re-build all in one episode. It is a favourite of mine because Sailor Moon/Usagi kind of takes a step back from being the central focus of this episode. Did I also mention that this episode is absolutely hilarious with Minako bringing the comedy factor throughout.

Ah yes, my favourite episode. So in this one Usagi and the girls are studying at Mamoru’s apartment when due to some rather unforeseen circumstances Mamoru’s apartment gets absolutely destroyed. Rei suggests that Mamoru stays at her shrine as they have lots of room, which of course does not go well with Usagi, given the past between Rei and Mamoru. The episode is hilarious with Usagi trying to ‘protect’ Mamoru from Rei by becoming a ninja of love, and Rei walking in on Mamoru naked. Absolutely ridiculous but absolutely brilliant.

 

There are so many great episodes of Super S that I would love to talk about more, but these four episodes, even if you haven’t seen any of the previous eps are good stand alone episodes. As I said this is a great season of 90’s Sailor Moon. Got an AnimeLab account, well…I have linked the episodes for your viewing pleasure. 

 

Review: Genocidal Organ (Blu Ray)

Genocidal Organ is another film from the Project Itoh Collection. Project Itoh, for the uninitiated, is a collection of manga that have received the anime treatment, with Genocidal Organ being the debut release. Another film from the collection is Harmony, which we’ve previously reviewed and can check out here.

Continue reading Review: Genocidal Organ (Blu Ray)

Review: VIXX Shangri-la In Sydney

*Reproduced with permission from Asian Pop Radio*

Welcome to the first of a series of reviews from the Asian Pop Radio team on VIXX’s Shangri-la tour in Australia! We will be covering both the Sydney and Melbourne legs of the tour; showing you, our APR crew member’s experiences and each sharing our favourite highlights.

Our first review comes from crew member Katy, who attended the Sydney concert on Monday the 27th. Please look forward to the others we have in store for you!

On Monday evening VIXX kicked off the Australian leg of their Shangri-la tour, performing at the Big Top in Luna Park, Sydney. Fans lined up from early in the day, and were excitedly chatting with each other around the venue, setting the place abuzz with energy well before the show started.

As a ST☆RLIGHT; a member of VIXX’s fandom, I too was excited for the evening performance. This would be the first time the 6-member group would be coming to Australia, and expectations had already been raised when Ravi appeared at Rapbeat: promising a tour together with the other members soon after. Now the day had arrived, and I was more than ready to get inside and dance to their live performances!

When we were finally allowed inside, the attendees were more than ready to start the concert as soon as possible. Cheers and fanchants erupted even as the music videos counted down the minutes until the boys appeared on-stage.

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Finally, the time came and the screams grew even louder as the six idols stepped into view. From my spot in the Silver standing section I had a clear view of the stage, and was able to watch all of the amazing choreography that accompanied the songs. Starting with the more recent songs: Fantasy and Desperate, VIXX set the standard for the evening very high straight away.

Midway, VIXX took the chance to answer several questions posed by fans; showing what they had been doing recently, where they had been in Sydney, and throwing in some aegyo for good measure. Main vocalist Ken was being his usual cheeky self; messing around and teasing leader N whenever possible during the talk, while youngest member Hyuk forced Hongbin to pull cutesy poses.

​My favourite parts of the concert were towards the end: as the show drew to a close, VIXX returned to their earlier hits: On and On, Error, Love Equation and Angel. The fans in the venue went wild; chanting, singing and dancing along, and I couldn’t help but join in too! As the concert drew to a close, everyone kept calling for more songs, and the show finished on a high note. All the members looked happy and waved farewell with smiles and many love hearts.

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​I thoroughly enjoyed the evening out, and was very happy with the experience I had. Though there were fewer people there than at other concerts, this gave those in the standing area room to dance and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

I hope that VIXX return soon with another concert, and for Melbourne ST☆RLIGHT: this is one concert you don’t want to miss!

Written by: Katy Phillips
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Twitter: @sonymusicsg

Review: Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)

This review is late, very late in fact but there’s a very good reason why this review of Super Mario Odyssey is late. Probably the last one to hit the interwebs and the reason is…I just couldn’t tear myself away from it. It’s so perfectly crafted from the bite sized levels to the exquisite music playing throughout the levels.

The story is predictable to say the least however this is part of the charm of any Mario game. Yet again, Princess Peach finds herself in peril when forever bad guy Bowser kidnaps her with the intention of marrying her. I don’t even know how that would work? Anyways, Mario sets off on a rescue mission around various lands that are all diverse, satisfying and amazingly visualised. Let’s start at the beginning. All levels while new, pay homage is some way or another to past levels in Mario games. From a modernised water level, lava level, sky level and more, it’s so hard not to feel nostalgic when you find yourself comparing what you’re playing with past Mario titles.

I mean just take a look at these pics in this review (thanks Nintendo) but seriously…how beautiful does this game look? And playing it in handheld mode is a wonder for the eyes even if it a drainer on the Switch battery. I know I mentioned this before, but these levels have been crafted at perfect playing times for public transport. If you’re just playing straight through without wanting to get 100%, these levels will test you up until the obligatory boss battle. The boss battles themselves have foes that are varied and fun to beat with different techniques required to master if you want to get the better of them.

The game really showcases the free roaming, open world design very well with literally everything that can be climbed, bounced on, ridden on or interacted with in one form or another. And they’re a real feast for the eyes as well varying from cartoony levels right through to levels with the photo realism ramped right up, every level is a joy to play. You have a certain amount of Power Moons to find in each level, with a different minimum amount needed to power up your ship, The Odyssey, allowing you to travel between worlds.

The gameplay is usual fare, bouncing on enemies to dispose of them or throwing your cap, possessed by a spirit called Cappy, at them. Most enemies can be controlled in this manner giving you new abilities from flying, smashing through obstacles, not slipping on ice and heaps more. In a cute touch, when you possess an enemy in this manner, they get the familiar Mario moustache on their face. Ever seen a Goomba with a Mario moustache? Cute or even better, a T-Rex? Where else can you see this? There are various checkpoints littered throughout the levels which allow you to warp from one to another to get to the other side of the level really quickly without risking being wiped out by an enemy.

In an absolute stroke of genius, scattered in various location across the level are stages where you get absorbed into the background and it becomes an 8-bit version of the game and changes from 3D to old school side scrolling platform game complete with retro sounds and music.

The levels also have stores in which you can spend your hard earned coins on various outfits from shorts to a dapper suit, samurai suit and so many more. You can also buy stickers for the Odyssey and knick knacks for the inside of your ship. The outfits themselves aren’t just for aesthetic reasons, there are sections in the levels that can only be accessed if you’re dressed appropriately so if you want to complete everything then these are a must and will have you doing even more exploring to find all the coins.

The game features a two player mode where another player controls Cappy but this requires the utmost coordination and communication as often Mario will be running one way while your friend is throwing Cappy in the opposite direction. Expect many arguments playing this way like any good co-op game.

There’s a neat feature where you can go into picture mode and even apply Instagram like filters which are fun to play with. This mode is highly customisable and lends itself to some stunning pictures. This feature rounds out an already tightly packed game filled to brim with amazing gameplay, lush visuals, stupid over the top fun, music that you’ll find yourself humming when you least expect it and a throwback to other awesomely fun Mario games such as Super Mario Galaxy. Super Mario Odyssey is magical, charming, full of that “one more go” feeling and an absolute must buy, system seller for the Switch. Nintendo have crafted yet another highly memorable Super Mario title and one that will keep you playing for ages if you want to find all the Power Moons and coins. Super Mario Odyssey will be at the front of your gaming shelf not pushed to the back with lesser played games. Welcome back, Mario…we’ve missed you.

Final score: 10/10

Review: Erased Volume 2 (Blu Ray)

Erased Volume 2 is the latest release from Madman of the time travelling adventure and it deftly picks up where Volume 1 left off and if you missed that one, then I suggest you click here to bring yourself up to speed. This release features episodes 7 through to the stunning climax in episode 12. I won’t go into much detail as I don’t want to reveal any spoilers and the gist of it was covered in our Volume 1 review.

If you recall, episode 6 finished on a MASSIVE cliffhanger which is where episode 7 picks up. As in the first half of this anime, the second half doesn’t let up and continues with the tension as we see Satoru try and escape from his current predicament. There’s time travel a plenty in this half with quite a few episodes taking place in the past as Satoru tries to prevent tragedies occurring from both the past and the future by creating time ripples by changing events in his past when he was still a young boy.

This one of the more exciting and engrossing anime’s I’ve watched in a while as you always want to think that everything will end up being ok but sometimes, when things are at their most darkest, you really don’t know how events will resolve themselves leaving Satoru and those he cares about in a good place.

The extras from Madman include audio commentaries, textless opening and closings and trailers.

*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*

Final score: 10/10

Review: Is This A Zombie? Season 1 & 2 (Blu Ray)

Is This A Zombie?, or Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka, from Studio Deen is one anime I’d always missed out on seeing but finally got around to and let me say, the wait was totally worth it!

For those new to the series, the main protagnist Ayumu Aikawa has the unfortunate luck of being a victim of the neighbourhood serial killer. Lucky for him though, necromancer Eucliwood Hellscythe, or Eu for short, brings him back to life as an undead zombie. Eu doesn’t speak a word and instead communicates with handwritten notes. As if that wasn’t complicated enough, she moves in with him where he takes up the mantle of her servant. Upon battling one of the monsters in the series known as Megalos, he encounters Haruna, a Magical Girl.

During the battle, he accidentally absorbs her powers resulting in him becoming a new Magical Girl complete with cute Lolita outfit. Haruna also decides to move in with him and Eu resulting in hilarious encounters. Thrown into the mix some other interesting characters as well as an encounter with the serial killer who murdered Ayumu in the first place and you have a fantastic series loaded with fun, action and beautiful animation thrown in.

I found the story a bit reminiscent of Bleach with the whole substitute Magical Girl angle but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Did I mention that it’s loaded full of fan service? If this is your thing, then this series has it in spades. Upskirts, panty shots, very busty females, there’s very little left to the imagination.

The packaging itself from Madman is really attractive though with a bright pink sleeve and attractive artwork, front and back. The discs themselves are beautiful as well although the only gripe I have is that they don’t mention Season 1 or Season 2 on them. The packs is a 4 disc set so if you mix the discs up, you really have no way of knowing which order they go in. If the season was printed on them, I couldn’t find them. I just had a quick look as I was typing this to double check and damn…the artwork on the discs is really exquisite!

Overall, this is a great package with a fun series that doesn’t take itself too seriously and audio/commentaries, trailers and textless openings/closings.

*Thanks to Madman for the review copy*

Final score: 7.5/10

Review: Monster Hunter Stories (Nintendo 3DS)

Capcom return to the Monster Hunter series with a new entry that ventures into new territory that’s different to the series while at the same time retains the charm, action and adventure that fans have come to know from this universe. This is Monster Hunter Stories!

Continue reading Review: Monster Hunter Stories (Nintendo 3DS)

Got an hour and forty minutes to kill? Review on Death Note (US) 2017…

The adaption that nobody asked for was finally released….

When I write a review about something I try to remain positive and optimistic. I try to see the good in a project and give it a fair go. I went into watching the new ‘Death Note’ film that has been released on Netflix on August 25th with an open mind. With that said my mind was blown as to how bad it was. It was just plain terrible.

Now, before I continue I must confess. Although I have seen a good majority of episodes, I have yet to complete ‘Death Note’ anime series. That said I know the characters and the general plot of the story where Light becomes the holder of the Death Note book and any name that is written in the book would face their untimely death.

Now this production was exactly what Netflix would produce, an over budget show filled with gore and sexual content. We start the film on such a confusing note, the main character Light Turner is an ‘edgy’ teen in a typical American high school that mysteriously ends up with a book that fell from the sky. I wish I was making that up but that is exactly what happens.

The pacing and general plot of the movie was so ridiculous when I was watching it I would be questioning my own sanity as to why I was still watching. The script was just bad. Some of the dialogue between the characters was just so ridiculous you felt as if you eyes would roll back so hard in your head. The characters in the film were just not what you would expect, particularly from the main leads, Light (Kira) and Mia. From what the film makes it out to be is that Light and Mia team up to use the Death Note to get rid of the scum, getting their thrills from doing this. It was just an odd development for the characters and completely unrealistic. It makes it even more insane towards the end of the movie. On note of the characters, the actor that plays Light/Kira was completely terrible. This movie could have had some sort of potential if they got an actor that could actually act. He was just bad. I can’t even be nice about it.

I want to rant and rant more about this movie, but it would be spoiling it for everyone. It is just not my cup of tea. It could have been a decent adaption for western audiences if they paid more attention to the script, plot devices, the main actor and general delivery of scenes. I was one of those people that crave more adaptions of anime to western screens, but if this is what they are putting out into the universe, just keep it. Was there anything redeeming in this film? Sure Willem Dafoe, the dude is damn scary and brilliant, only perfect casting choice in this film. Also the soundtrack was interesting. It took on a strange 80’s vibe which actually strangely fit the darkness that this film was trying to portray.

If you are a Death Note fan I strongly suggest you stay with the anime. If you are a casual fan what the hell give it a shot, but don’t go into watching this film thinking it will win any awards. It is a teen angst drama filled with sex and gore. It would be like if Twilight was given a budget.

I rate this 1/5.