So I honestly don’t know what I was actually thinking when I said ‘I would like to review this one for the site’. When I got this copy thank to our friends from Madman Entertainment I looked at the rating and said to myself I just need to be open minded and give it a go.
‘The Testament of Sister New Devil’ is that show you can only watch on your own, late at night. It isn’t your regular fan service series, however it is an intriguing series no less. The plot *as dumb as it sounds* of Basara, an adolescent guy who has been wanting to be a brother to a sister has his wish granted when his father remarries and he ends up with two step sisters, Mio and Maria. The ‘sisters’ of course are not what they seem, one being a newly formed demon and the other a succumbus. Of course this leads to Basara revealing his true self, however this also leads to him becoming Mio’s master, leading the characters to over the top Ecchi situations. Wild, I know.
Now, I am really open minded when it comes to series like these and I generally try to find the positives. What I will say is that the animation is really well done, and the dub is very cleaver, but this series is just not my cup of tea. Sometimes the ecchi moments just got too extreme and unnecessary at times, and the whole ‘sister’ thing was just not good. Surprisingly there is a moderately decent plot but this is that series that is clearly in for the over the top fan service and ecchi.
Did I love it? no, did I hate it? no, I am in that fine line where I could have loved it if it wasn’t so over the top with certain moments, but I am definitely wondering the mind frame of the original creators of this particular story. If you are a fan of fan service and ecchi than this is the one for you.
Yes, it’s that time of year again when we all get excited as the Madman Anime Festival rolls into Melbourne for 2017. Last year was the debut of the festival, put together by Australia’s largest distributor of quality anime, manga and heaps more otaku goodies, Madman. 2017 also saw the festival branch out to Perth and Brisbane before hitting up Melbourne for the last local convention of the year.
Japandaman will be at both days joined by Japandaman.com editor, Farrah! We’ll be doing our weeb best to bring you pictures and videos of all the fun and action going down over the weekend. Make sure you check out our social media links below and give us a follow so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
Ever watch an anime and felt like questioning your own personal existence? I felt like that just recently watching ‘Kokoro Connect’
So a couple of nights ago I was scanning through the dub catalogue on ‘HiDive’ the new anime streaming service from Sentai Filmworks that has hit the scene and I was curious to see what titles they had available for international audiences. I will admit I am extremely impressed with what is available for fans to enjoy. Like AnimeLab this streaming service is completely user friendly and gives fans a good back catalogue of dub titles.
So on my lookout for something to watch I came across ‘Kokoro Connect’ and I was somewhat intrigued. So I got started on the series and from the first two episodes I was completely and totally hooked.
The anime premiered in 2012 producing 13 episodes that was directly simulcasted and four more episodes (OVAS) that were released after. The story involved five high school friends who are club members of the ‘Student Cultural Club’. However a supernatural being going under the name ‘Heartseed’ who takes up host in the club’s teaching representative Mr Goto creates phenomenons for the club members to test their friendships and themselves on a personal level.
Sounds confusing? It does seem ridiculously far fetched, however the plot moves along and you become drawn to the characters within the story. Each main character is a reflection of what the average teenager growing up in high school would be. But what this anime decides to do is show that not everything is as it seems and that there is always more to each person on a deeper level. We see that not everything is perfect and normal, that people can have issues or struggling in silence and no one would have any idea about it. It is an anime that forces the audience to open their eyes and reflect.
What was a draw card for me was that throughout this journey of learning about each other and developing a strong friendship is that these friends were put through a test to see whether or not their friendships were strong enough and that they themselves were just as strong personally. It also makes you think ethically about situations. One in particular where the friends had to decide whether or not they would let their friend die or would they take their place. It purposefully shows the strength that a person would have to go through to even come up with that particular decision.
In terms of animation and soundtrack, this anime just got it. The subtle comedy and drama intertwines beautifully and the pacing of the show makes sure it covers what it needs to cover. I love that this had a solid ending and that any loose ends would be cleared up by the very last episode. I won’t go into too much of a spoiler however I believe this was one show that managed to leave me completely satisfied with its ending.
So if you love shows that challenge your own perceptions, has a bit of drama, some silly moments and great characterisation and animation then this is the show for you. If you are a dub fan I highly recommend it as you have the likes of Greg Ayres, Monica Rial, Luci Christian and Emily Neves just to name a few lending their voices to this dub. They give the characters a life that they deserve.
I definitely will go back and watch this series again because I feel I have missed some important points but also because the show has a charm that I was not expecting. I would give this show a 4.5/5 purely because I just enjoyed it and found myself binging on episodes because I just wanted to find out more.
The show is available on dvd and blu ray from Hanabee but can be streamed right now on HiDive and Crunchyroll.
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.
This past weekend saw SMASH! roll into Rosehill Gardens in NSW. It’s an event that everyone at Japandaman HQ looks forward to as it’s always such an amazing event with loads to do and see. Throw in some absolutely stunning cosplay, stellar guests and it’s not hard to see why SMASH! is an event that everyone waits each year for, drawing massive crowds each time.
This year was no exception with an amazing array of guests that entertained the crowds with signings, photo opportunities and panels that were informative and a way to learn more about their favourite artists. This year we had voice actress Shizuka Itoh, voice actress Shiori Mikami, voice actor Daisuke Sakaguchi, manga artist Asami Hagiwara, cosplay duo Baozi and Hana, producer Hiroaki Yura, illustrator Yusuke Kozaki, illustrator redjuice. Throw in some guests for the after hours party including D-Jadeabella, Kenaz, Yui Kanan and Teddyloid and you can see that SMASH! spares no expense in gathering an exciting array of guests each year.
The first thing I noticed was that the Artists Alley had expanded enormously compared to past years. In the past, it was relegated to a hall that was a decent size however this year saw the attraction moved to another area of the venue that was easily 3 times bigger with many amazingly talented artists showing their stunning creations all available for very reasonable prices. I filmed some of the Artists Alley which I’ll put together in my video wrap up but the level of art was completely fantastic with a variety of genres covered across anime, manga,video games and more.
SMASH! also hosts the annual Australia leg of the World Cosplay Summit for 2018 with this year the Australian team being successful were Kirilee Cosplay and Giorgia Costumes. We wish them all the luck over in Nagoya in 2018!
Speaking of the guests, I was lucky enough to interview the voice of Krista Lenz from Attack On Titan, among many others, Shiori Mikami! She was extremely pleasant, down to earth and really friendly. Unfortunately it was an audio only interview with no video allowed so I’ll be transcribing the interview for the site in the next day or so. My amazing co-host on It’s Japan, Man!, Neko, also did a couple of interviews. She was lucky enough to interview one of the DJ guests, Teddyloid, as well as super cosplay duo, Baozi and Hana. All the guests were amazing to talk to and we were so grateful for their time during what was a very busy weekend for them!
If you’ve never been to this amazing convention before, I really can’t rave enough about it. It has the elements which make it a successful event that keeps the public and special guests coming back. There’s an awesome energy and vibe in the air which a lot of other conventions don’t have enough of and the space allocated to it was huge. Speaking of space, 2017 marks the last year for SMASH! at Rosehill Gardens as 2018 will see it hosted at the International Convention Centre which is the middle of Sydney CBD. This should make it easier to get to as Rosehill Gardens is literally close to an hour away from the CBD. I personally can’t wait to see it at the new venue and along with the new venue, it also has a new time slot. It won’t be in August as it has been since we’ve been going, instead it’ll be in July from the 14th and the 15th.
From cosplay, Gundam, Maid Cafe, video games, art and heaps more, there’s something for everyone and without a doubt, every year it’s something to look forward to. A massive thank you to the SMASH! family who look after us including Susan Ma and Sinead Simpkins.
If you were lucky to visit Japan in recent years, you would have see the awesome RX-78-2 Gundam at Odaiba standing proudly outside Diver City. Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and the Gundam was dismantled. *tears*
BUT…there’s a new Gundam in town, it’s a Unicorn Gundam which stands nearly twenty metres tall. The previous Gundam stood 18 metres tall so this is a upgrade in more ways than one. This new Gundam first showed up in 2010’s Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.
Some locals have snapped pictures of the assembly in process and they caught a good look at the head.
WonFes 2017 just wrapped and if you missed it, Japandaman figure expert Kat did a post on it which you can check out here! Apart from the awesome figures that are on display, there’s always a massive amount of cosplayers who are all keen to show what they’ve been working on. Thanks to YouTuber, Rescue The Princess, here’s a look at the WonFes cosplay with some amazing outfits on show.
It’s that time of the anime season where we have been graced with at least three episodes to make up our minds on whether or not we are going to stick with a series. Now, I’ll be honest with you I came into this season with very low expectations. With the knowledge that some shows (the ones that I really wanted to watch) would be extremely difficult to get access to legally I figured that this would be my season where I would be catching up on series I haven’t completed from previous seasons. That said I have found myself now watching seven new shows this season and I feel that I will not be giving up on them anytime soon. So here are my picks for the season!
My first girlfriend is a gal [Hajimete no Gal]: Crunchyroll & Funimation
Imagine if ‘Prison School’ and ‘Nisekoi False Love’ had a child, this would be the result. So far each episode has left me in tears and sides hurting from laughing. It is definitely a no holds barred comedy which gives the female characters more power over the male characters. It is not one you would watch with the family as there is a lot of sexual content but take it from me if you are looking for something to laugh at and something that doesn’t take itself very seriously go and check out this one.
Love and Lies [Koi to Uso]: HiDive
This premise for the show had me hooked from episode one. Imagine if the Government controlled who you would end up marrying even though you are in love with someone else. This show explores that concept. I don’t know what it is about this show but the healthy mix of drama and light comedy makes this show not to be missed. This show has the making where there will be lots and twists and turns and that we are all going on this insane ride with all four main characters. Admittedly there have been some slight animation problems in the recent episode, but the context of the story is what keeps you hooked.
Tsuredure Children: Crunchyroll
If you are looking for something sweet and wholesome this season then look no further than this show. Each couple is explored with a sweet avoidance of getting to the point. The flaw I find with this series is that each episode is so short and you crave more story but at the same time you don’t mind because you don’t want to be emotionally exhausted. It is one of those shows that takes people back to their high school days with their crushes.
Netsuzou TRap (NTR): Crunchyroll
What I would consider the most sinful show this season, this is definitely NOT one you would watch with the children. This show is dark from the set up. Best friends entering an unhealthy practice relationship with each other (admittedly its very one sided) to make it easier for one of the friends to establish a more adult relationship. It is definitely a dangerous show to watch because there are themes that might make you go ‘nope’ but it is a show that is like a car crash that you know you shouldn’t look at but you do.
Welcome to the Ballroom [Ballroom e Youkosu]: PrimeVideo
If you haven’t figured it out already this one is my favourite this season in terms of the new shows. Everything about it just makes me smile. The characters, plot, dance routines and yes even the animation style is all I want in an anime. There is something so incredibly wonderful about this show that it instantly connects you to the characters. It reminds me so much of ‘Nana’ in regards to animation but has heart like ‘Yuri on Ice’. Definitely one to check out because I feel it is only going to get better and better as episodes continue to come out.
I came into watching this show with no proper exception but I have left curious as to where the story will progress. Whats not to love about an anime that genuinely makes you question everything that you believe in. The series has a unique approach to it delivery of story that it is one you can definitely watch for the suspense/mystery factor. The animation alone is worth sticking around for. I will admit this probably won’t be everyones cup of tea but if you are into something a bit more adult in terms of themes the give this one a go.
Princess Principal: AnimeLab & HiDive
This one is just brilliant. I remember watching the first episode and thinking ‘Okay this is good’ and then coming to watch the second episode and my mind being blown away. This is an anime that is set up in the steam punk era where these girls are spies who pose as high school students at a very prestigious school. The style and animation kill me with how good it is and the story is going to flat our ruin me I just know it. Definitely my dark horse favourite this season.
There you have it, an intriguing season of anime for all of us to watch! Of course I am still watching My Hero Academia and Sakura Quest as they are still continuing this season and my God if you haven’t started watching those shows, you really need to get onto them now. MHA is going to a dark place in the anime whereas SQ continues to tell an absolutely beautiful story with the animation to support it.
As the risk of outing myself, I’ll fess up and admit that I never really got into the Naruto anime. I’ve tried a few times in the past but never made it anywhere near the end of the first season. Still I was very curious about Boruto: Naruto The Movie having heard great things about it from may friends and fans alike.
I’m glad I heeded their advice and gave it a go.
First some quick background, Boruto is the son of Naruto who is now married to Hinata Hyuga, who has attained the level of Seventh Hokage and is a fully fledged ninja with a boring office job. His son, Boruto, is just as tenacious as his father was at his age with the exception that Boruto is much better skilled with jutsu than Naruto ever was. Naruto also has a younger sister, Himawari who idolises her brother and really looks up to him. Boruto is coerced into signing up for the chunin exams after coming across a scientifically designed ninja tool which can store the chakra in little capsules thereby releasing the jutsu when you need it. When Naruto hears about this device, he bans it from the exams.
However Boruto enters with the device which he uses to progress through the rounds. Naruto finds out about it, confronts him and promptly disqualifies him from the exams. It’s then that two strangers appear and begin to wreak mayhem on the arena before revealing that they’re after Naruto. Naruto seemingly sacrifices himself and disappears into another dimension with them. Sasuke contacts the other four Kage who travel to the world where Naruro is being held prisoner, along with Boruto to try and bring him back.
Without a doubt, this movie looks beautiful especially the fight scenes. Their are a few through the film but of particular note is the climactic battle at the end, it looks absolutely gorgeous. It’s the first time I’d ever seen Boruto the character at all but his design is really cool and I love how the creators didn’t just do a miniature version of Naruto. Speaking of Naruto, it’s so cool to seen him as an adult now after seeing countless pictures of him throughout the years as a young boy. The Hidden Leaf Village looked great as well, I remember it being more rural but as a non-watcher of the series, I’m guessing that the look was upgraded over the lifetime of the series.
Also, I didn’t feel that I was missing out on anything by not being a Naruto regular, the characters all stood on their own and not having prior knowledge was not a disadvantage to me whatsoever. Of course, if you are a fan, then it’ll be a kick to see all your favourite characters all grown up with their own young families to guide through life. Overall, great film maybe a little short at just under 90 minutes but the time went flying, it was that well paced with a great story.