Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Episode #16 Anime Review

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Episode #16 Anime Review Lancer tells it like it is.

What They Say:
Shirou is devastated since he was unable to save Illyasviel. Together with Rin, he is determined to fight Caster and the others. Out of the blue, they are visited by a Servant who is willing to lend a hand!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There was little hope that Illya could be saved at the end of the last episode, and despite Shirou finally becoming unable to restrain himself, it was not to be. Given that she was the last hope he and Rin had for a partnership in this war, her Servant had already been taken care of, and a new enemy beyond the scope of what they could’ve imagined has appeared despite the assumption being that there would be no more participants in the war, one who happens to be partnered with someone who holds a grudge against them and can’t be reasoned with, Shirou jumping out in front of them with no methods by which to combat them seems like it should be throwing his life away altogether. Fortunately, Rin is able to just barely avoid the outcome that would end the series for the protagonists with a little threatening that confirms how much of a handicap Shinji is to this amazing and mysterious new partner, who is finally called by his name of Gilgamesh.

Because of how close a call that was, Rin realizes that it’s finally time to have an important talk with Shirou about throwing himself into danger for the sake of everyone but himself. It’s one of the most important themes that this series discusses, and it shows just how obsessive Shirou is about these questionable ideals. With the kind of person he is, even the words of someone he cares so much for do little to sway his way of thinking, and the conversation ultimately ends up with Rin blushing from Shirou’s smile and way of addressing her being a little too radiant.

That’s nothing compared to what happens when another familiar face joins the conversation, though. Who could possibly be left? Ah, there was that one last Servant that the two had counted out of possible alliance configurations immediately, the one whose Master is still unknown and who hasn’t gotten to spend any quality time with our young couple since he was busy killing one half of it and being generally antagonistic to the other. But as if realizing that he’s the only one left who can keep this series going as it’s supposed to, Lancer shockingly offers himself up as an ally to the pair as they’re busy bickering over who will be protecting whom from the exceedingly patient presumed enemy. As if this marriage-like banter wasn’t enough, Lancer’s flattering words to Rin inspire only jealousy and protectiveness from Shirou, which leaves Rin more embarrassed than ever. As she tries to prevent her head from exploding, Lancer looks at her red face and Shirou’s unbearable earnestness and can do nothing but laugh and continue to fan the flames by pointing out how obvious their relationship was even to someone who had been around as little as him, working exactly as intended on Rin and even more amusingly having no affect on Shirou. Lancer is reminded more than ever why he liked these guys, and after all this, it’s honestly not hard to imagine why someone as good-humored as Lancer would want to team up with them.

In Summary:
This is by no means an action episode, but it’s no less valuable because of that. The dialogues that make up the episode cover a wide range of topics and emotions. There are plot revelations regarding just who the mysterious new powerhouse is (with plenty of mystery left), philosophical debates regarding whether or not it’s healthy to live one’s life only for others, beginnings of new alliances, and of course lots of hilarious embarrassment. Even without any fights, it’s a good time.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Custom-Built PC, 27” 1080p HDTV.

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Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Episode #16 Anime Review

Kadokawa Adds Second ‘Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation’ Anime Promo

Kadokawa Adds Second ‘Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation’ Anime Promo The Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation – series has a couple of episodes under its belt so far as part of the fall anime season and now Kadokawa has put together a new nearly two minute promotional video for it. The piece does double duty of introducing the show to the viewers while also highlighting the home video releases, the broadcast information and a look at the novel side of it.

The staff for the show has Makoto Kato directing it at studio TROYCA based on scripts by Takayo Ikami. Makoto Bessho is serving as the assistant director while Michio Sato is on board as the character designer and chief animation director.

The cast includes Shizuka Itou as Sakurako Kujyō, Junya Enoki as Shōtarō Tatewaki, Ayaka Imamura as Yuriko Kōgami, Masako Isobe as Housekeeper / Ume Sawa, Hiroki Takahashi as Hiroki Utsumi, Akira Ishida as Itsuki Isozaki and Tetsuya Kakihara as Haruto Imai.

The light novels come from Shiori Ota and the work translates as A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako’s Feet. The property originally appeared on a Japanese writing community site a few years ago and Kadokawa picked up the property in 2013, with the seventh volume releasing this week in Japan. It’s gotten illustrations by Tetsuo and there’s been three radio dramas for it as well, giving it a pretty decent reach overall. With mystery shows often doing well in general and seemingly always having an audience in Japan, it’s expected this one will have a pretty solid staff to it when the details are revealed.

Plot concept: Shoutarou Tatewaki, a high schooler living in Asahikawa City, Hokkaido, meets Sakurako Kujou, a bone-loving ojou-san who has an ability to analyze specimen. Because of meeting her, he has to accompany her to various cases.

Kadokawa Adds Second ‘Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation’ Anime Promo

New ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Images Arrive

New ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Images Arrive With the realignment that went on during the last couple of episodes of the first season of Agents of SHIELD, it’s no surprise that the Men in Black look of the first season now has a dirtier and more rough and ready look with this new image. We get a good look at the cast for the second season here with all the primaries still accounted for, particularly with Ward off to the side that makes for a nice effect, but also the inclusion of the new team members Nick Blood as Agent Lance Hunter, and Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie.

Check out the cast image below and click here to see more images from the first episode of the season.

New ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Images Arrive

Season concept: Coulson and his team are now wanted fugitives with limited resources–but that’s not stopping them from keeping the world safe from powerful and unseen threats everywhere. However, with new members they hardly know, will S.H.I.E.L.D. ever be trusted again? Watch “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” on the ABC Television Network. Guest starring are B.J. Britt as Agent Antoine Triplett, Nick Blood as Agent Lance Hunter, Adrian Pasdar as Brigadier General Glenn Talbot, Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, Patton Oswalt as Agent Billy Koenig, Lucy Lawless as Isabelle “Izzy” Hartley, Wilmer Calderon as Idaho, Reed Diamond as Daniel Whitehall, Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Brian Patrick Wade as Carl Creel, Matthew Glave as Roger Browning, Simon Kassianides as Sunil Bakshi, George Stephanopoulos as self, Raquel Gardner as Carla Talbot, Ben Turner Nixon as Hydra Officer, Franco Vega as Military Leader, Rich Ceraulo as Soldier #1, and JB Tadena as Private Tilden.

New ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Images Arrive

Jormungand Episode #02 Anime Review

Jormungand Episode #02 Anime Review A few new characters are introduced, and a few more are actually developed. Fortunately, Koko may be the sanest one of her group.

What They Say
A ruthless arms dealer on a quixotic quest for world peace. A child soldier born into chaotic conflict. Their lives will intertwine as they journey together through the seedy underbelly of the world’s arms market.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With this second episode, I’ve come to realize that Jormungand and Koko Hekmatyar herself are a lot smarter that I’d given them credit for. There’s a definite method to Koko’s madness, and it’s illustrated in this episode. The show also has the decency to trust the audience’s intelligence enough not to talk us through the entire setup. I’m much more excited for this show than I was previously, and much of that is due to how much this episode does right.

The second episode picks up some time after the first, with Koko’s caravan driving along a highway and set to make a few stops on the way to rendezvoux with Valmet and Tojo past the border crossing ahead. Unfortunately, Koko’s finding communications are cut off, and her trucks are waylaid by some IEDs set up on the road. She and her entourage are taken into custody at a military facility that she was scheduled to stop at anyway. Something is amiss.

It seems the Lieutenant Colonel Grant she had made a deal with for delivery of some anti-aircraft missiles is gone, and been replaced by an ambitious Major Pollack. Additionally, a ground war has started in earnest over the territory surrounding a valuable oil pipeline. The reason communications have been cut off is that cel towers and radar stations have been bombed, and Koko suspects the Major’s troops are killing civilians and journalists as well to make sure the land grab stays covert. A hotspot like this would seem to be a great find for an arms dealer, but Koko seems displeased that the Major wants to request additional arms from her group. And it doesn’t seem to be just because the Major only promises to pay once he’s won.

Another arms dealer, a President Curry from CCAT, and his two companions, Mildo and Lou have arrived at the hotspot as well. Koko clearly hates other arms dealers, and she’s fairly disgusted at Curry’s selling of stinger missiles to the Major. Koko wants to leave as soon as possible, but the Major requests a radar unit from Koko’s company as well. She says it’s out of her control, but Curry reveals that Koko is the heir of a certain Floyd Hekmatyar, and her power in the company is not insignificant. Now trapped, Major Pollack puts minders on Koko’s group, and tells them to go over the border, where cel towers are available, so that she might place an order for the radar unit.

Koko wants to ditch the minders and run, but for the first time, she seems awfully reticent about wasting human life. She’s able to communicate with Valmet and Tojo and set up a trap to capture her minders. President Curry is less fortunate, as the unbalanced Mildo gets pissed off at her military escorts and ends up killing them both. The two groups meet up at a clock factory, where Koko and Curry come up with a scheme to evade the Major’s troops and escape the country.

There’s a great deal of development in this episode. Koko’s plans finally seem to start making sense. Her deals with the missing Lt. Col Grant imply she’s interested in providing only enough arms to act as a deterrent, in order to cut down violence, rather than instigate it. When she encounters other arms dealers, she either kills them, or in episode one, or betrays them, as can be seen here. Her saying that she deals arms in the interest in world peace may not just be hot air, and it’s a rather daring mix of idealism and realpolitik. It’s intoxicating to think she might be able to get away with it.

Only two of Koko’s comrades have seen any real development at this point. Lehm, the always smiling mercenary is Koko’s man on the ground who is able to provide battlefield analysis and more prosaic advice as well. The most developed (in more ways than one) is knife-wielding Amazon Valmet, whose deadliness seems unimpaired by her only having one eye. Apparently a betrayed solider, Valmet is cool and competent and utterly devoted to Koko, seemingly to a romantic degree. The other standout character in this episode is Mildo, a clearly crazy mercenary who seems smitten by both Koko and Valmet. She challenges Valmet to a knife-fight which she soundly loses, further illustrating her oddball charm and Valmet’s superior skill and composure. It can only be hoped that other the other characters are as interesting as these few.

In Summary
In this much stronger second episode, Jormungand shows it’s a lot funnier, intelligent, and enjoyable than I had previously given it credit for. Koko’s attempt to bring about world peace through arms sales is potentially plausible in this world, and it will be exciting to see if her theories will be challenged, and how much success she might see. It’s now incredibly clear why she has been able to assemble such a loyal group of followers. I’m incredibly enthusiastic about this show now, and it has quickly become the most pleasant surprise of the season.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Funimation.com

Review Equipment: Sony VAIO 17″ HD screen

Jormungand Episode #02 Anime Review

Disney Frozen Graphic Novel Out Soon

Disney Frozen Graphic Novel Out Soon

Frozen by Disney has become the 5th highest grossing movie of all time After sweeping theaters worldwide like a snowstorm for over half a year, Frozen has grossed a whopping $1.219 billion at the box office! According to Variety, the film raked in $400 million-plus in the U.S. alone and $194 million in Japan. Frozen has also become the top-grossing animated flick ever. This has promoted a new graphic novel to be commissioned and will come out November 29th.

The graphic novel costs $14.99 and will run a staggering 394 pages. Over 100,000 have been sold so far on a pre-order basis from customers on Amazon and comic book stores.

The graphic novel is basically retelling the same story that occured in the movie. “Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey – teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven – to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf along the way, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. Audiences who thrilled to the adventures of Anna and Elsa on the big screen can relive their favorite moments in this oversized graphic novel keepsake featuring an introduction by Leonard Maltin. With hundreds of movie stills and over 300 pages of adventure and laughs, the Frozen Cinestory will transport fans back to Arendelle time and time again!”

A frozen graphic novel will likely sell like gangbusters once it comes out in late November and many parents will be purchasing it for their little kids for the upcoming holiday season. A standalone comic is also planned by Disney for January 2015, and will clock in at 48 pages. No word yet if a digital edition will be available.

Disney Frozen Graphic Novel Out Soon

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Military!’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Military!’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup There’s not a lot of short-form anime series kicking off 2015, which is unfortunate because they can be a heck of a lot of fun, but Crunchyroll has grabbed one of them with Military!. The series of five minute episodes is set to debut on January 8th at 2:30pm ET for premium users of the service and a week later for free members. Military! will be available to Crunchyroll’s audience worldwide ex Japan.

With five manga volumes published between 2009 and 2013 and a new series that kicked off this year, Miritari! from Mamo Williams is set to run with five minute episodes when it debuts. The four panel manga series pretty much gives us the idea of cute girls and military material to work with as it wants to play up the continuing trend that’s out there. Hiroshi Mitani is directing the series at Dream Creation, which works on numerous short-form series, with Yoshihiro Nagamori working on the character designs.

The series stars Nao Toyama as Lieutenant Rtgalnikov, Misaki Suzuki as Aria, Ayane Sakura as Second Lieutenant Haruka, Ayano Terasaki as Yukari Mizuno, Inori Minase as Shachirofu and Yoshitaka Yamaya as Souhei Yano.

Plot concept: The story takes place during a conflict between the Krakozhia Dukedom and the Grania Republic. In the midst of the fighting, a savior appears to the Krakozhia Dukedom, and it is a high school student named Sōhei Yano. Two female soldiers, First Lieutenant Ruto and Second Lieutenant Haruka, appear in tanks to intrude on Sōhei’s everyday life, followed by the enemy soldier Shachirofu, all of whom use firearms without hesitation at his house.

Crunchyroll Adds ‘Military!’ For Winter 2015 Anime Lineup