Software Movie Reviews
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Utena, superficially, is the story of a determined young girl who goes through many trials for the sake of her friend, the Rose Bride, Anthy Himemiya. Underneath all that it is a heavily symbolic story about the balance between masculinity and femininity and humanity's struggle against its own flaws.
Utena is directed by Ikuhara, who also did Sailor Moon - but be warned, Utena is nothing like Sailor Moon. While the anime is still lighter than the original manga, it deals with controversial subjects such as incest, rape, and lesbianism. Young children can watch Utena without fear, as it contains no nudity or violence whatsoever, but a ten-year-old simply won't get the complexity of plot in Utena, which was written for teenagers.
Ikuhara's handling of Utena is superb: the music, the animation and the voices are great - but the English pronounciations are still awful (Utena TenjOH, people, not Tenjoo). Utena is a geart watch even for guys; you can't call yourself an otaku if you don't see it!
What I like about this serie is that it's original, I mean, which other serie can you name that has an unwilling heroine looking for a mysterious prince from her past ending up in a strange academy where people are fighting to possesss the equally mysterious 'Rose Bride'?
Initially I only watched the first load, the Rose Collection, it was left me by my cousin, and afterwards I was just like...man, why didn't he have the REST?!!! It's truly an original masterpiece, just what I'd expect from the director of Sailor Moon.
Anyway, I was really impressed though I thought I would dislike this show.
The story revovles around a 15-year-old expert sorceress Lina Inverse, the Dragon Spooker (according to my sub). Yet Lina isn't the typical, slutty, thin, sweet tempered, naive herione. Insteade she is short, has a crappy attitude, and is very down to Earth. As you follow Lina's travels, you will come across the cute, blonde, yet dumb as a rock swordsmen Gourry. Personaly I think Gourry puts new meaning to the term, "dumb blonde". Together they are traveling to Atlas City, yet they don't get there as planned.
When Lina robbs a mob of Bandits known as the Dragon Fangs, she and Gourry stumble upon an artifact that can change the way of the future. Yet Lina is not aware of the power of what she finds. Enter Zelgadis. A half human, half Chimera. He is also after the artifact, but not to rule the world.
Soon the team meets up the the exentric little princess name Amelia, who tags along with the Slayers team. Amelia is my favorite character. At first she only joins the group because she wants to learn Lina's most power spell, The Dragon Slave. But soon alterior motives keep Amelia from going back home.
To add with all the chaos going on, the team has another group of followers, only they are trying to draw the group to the city of Sairag. What is the angle of the mysterious and not too smart persuers of the Slayers gang? And what is the secret of Rezo? Also what mysterious powers dose Gourry possess? Finally, how will Lina be able to survive all the madness of multiple people trying to kill her?
This seris is non-stop, you just can't stop watching it. Not to mention, it is just too hillarious. Although I do advise you to be mature when veiwing. Some of the humor has a sexual sence to it. For example all the jokes about Lina being underdevoloped, and Lina losing her powers at 'that time of the month'.
The voices of both versions are really good. The dubbing of this seris isn't as bad as some of the other English jobs I have seen. In the orginal version, the talant of Megumi Ayashibara portrays Lina Inverse, and sings the opening and ending theme song.
Every otaku should veiw this seris, you will not be disspointed
Think of it as mixing "South Park" with the perverted jokes that you hear in the locker room. Juvenile humor at it's best with plenty of fart jokes, mooning and an extra load of perverted humor. That's what "The Ping Pong Club" is about. So, if you don't like this type of humor...stay away!
For those familiar with Japanese television shows, think of it as a live version of "Giragameshu".
I first heard about this series a few years ago through my friends and a female friend from Japan collected the manga and I just remembered how interesting the character designs were for the anime. I also remembered how interesting this anime after watching the episode, so once I saw this DVD for sale, I asked myself this question: "Is America ready for The Ping Pong Club"? I guess this remains to be seen.
The story is about a group of interesting individuals who are members of a Ping Pong Club. The stories feature the lecherous duo Maeno and Izawa who are perverted but have an ability disguising themselves. These guys are truly off the wall. Then the other members. One is a guy who has a problem with body odor and a belly button with an extreme outtie, the president is your normal guy who likes the beautiful but overly tough girl of the club, then there is the short member with a big head who likes to get his thrills from animals and the playboy of the group. Each make up the "Ping Pong Club".
This series really is off-the-scale perverted humor and what do you know, it's available in the US and on DVD but the weird thing is, Software Sculptors released this DVD not from episode 1 but starting at TV episode 23 through episode 34.
Yes, television episodes and most likely shown late night.
Well, don't worry...the show doesn't necessarily have a typical anime series plot. Each episode is different.
The episodes are similar to the "Urusei Yatsura" and "Crayon Shin Chan" series. Each half hour episode contains a total of two 15-minute episodes.
So, what kind of humor will you find in these episodes?
One episode has Maeno and Izawa helping an elderly ventriloquist after they busted his doll. So, Maeno is forced to disguise himself as a doll and together with the ventriloquist performs at a local school of young kids. Unfortunately, Maeno's perverted mind kicks in.
Another episode features the group trying to find their missing membership dues. Someone in the club took the money but what this member is using the stolen money for is shocking.
Again, this anime is not hentai. There is quite a bit of nudity and fart jokes, so you know where this anime is going.
As for the DVD, it features a trailer, title free OP credits and Software Sculptors trailers.
It's actually quite entertaining and if you are in a mood to watch something unusual, funnier, raunchier and more entertaining than "South Park", this anime is definitely for you!
With that out of the way, the series was interesting and it did keep my interest. It's not a superb anime but it was entertaining. The anime though is not as sharp as other OAV's that came out during the mid or late 90's. It seemed like TV quality OAV's.
As for the DVD, special features include the first episode of the series (is this a special feature?) and a "meet the cast" which is nothing and the trailers which are from Hasegawa Katsumi's (screenwriter) other works.
Perhaps if I had a DVD-Rom, I would say more positive things but at this time, if you can rent it...rent it. It is a good anime but again...nothing great.