Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review: The Avengers (film)


This film brings the protagonists of the following Marvel movies together: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Incredible Hulk. It also features characters shown in Iron Man 2, so you should watch those movies first.

After being banished from Asgard, Loki, Thor's brother makes a pact with a powerful alien entity. The entity would give him an army and Loki would give them the Tesseract, the powerful artifact Hydra used in Captain America. Loki steals the Tesseract from a S.H.I.E.L.D base and takes control of the minds of Dr. Erik Selvig and Agent Clint Barton (the Hawkeye from the comics). In order to retrieve the Tesseract and deal with Loki, director Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D decides to reactivate the Avengers Initiative. He recruits Captain America and sends Agent Phil Coulson to recruit Tony Stark (Iron Man), and Agent Natasha Romanoff (the Black Widow from the comics), to recruit Dr. Bruce Banner (the Hulk). Thor joins later when he comes to Earth to take the Tesseract back to Asgard and try to reason with Loki.

The movie is great. I can easily say that it's the best superhero movie ever made (Nolan's Batman isn't really a superhero movie IMO). Marvel did a great job. First, they did the heroes' solo films to introduce them and their universe. And then they did a crossover. Joss Whedon handled the direction very well. Since he didn't have to introduce the characters and the setting, he went straight for the plot and the crossover. Now, Hawkeye wasn't really intorduced before, so making Loki control his mind to fight the other heroes worked well to show what he could do. When it was time for him to fight along the others, we already knew what he could do.

Whedon gave a lesson on how to make a crossover. He gave each hero enough time on the spotlight and even managed to throw some development for the Black Widow, since she didn't have her own movie (and probably won't). He also followed the "recipe" well. The heroes at first fight one another, then try to work together but fail and then become a real team to battle evil. The text is also good and very funny. The characters are well written and the movie did a great job in adapting them from the comics.

The action scenes were great and he managed to show the power level of each heroes. While Iron Man, Huk and Thor were doing battle agains very strong foes, the Widow, the Captain and Hawkeye were each contributing by fighting footsoldiers, helping civilians and using the cover of the big guns to do important things. It was nice to see how he used Hawkeye's talent and how he made the Captain a good leader in battle. The desing idea for Hawkeyes bow was also very cool.

The acting was also good, with Downey Jr. doing an awesome Tony Stark and Tom Hiddleston doing Loki so well that it looks like he was born for the role. I still have problems with Scarlet Johansson as the Widow, because she is petit, but I can't complain of her acting. Mark Ruffalo is the newcomer and he made a very good Banner. The other actors pretty much did the same good job they did in previous movies.

This movie was awesome and it changed the paradigm of superhero movies.

Veredict: Must watch.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Preview: Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

Synopsis from mangaupdates:

Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by giants. Giants are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of giants.

Preview: Avatar - The Legend of Korra

 This series takes place 70 years after Avantar: The Last Airbender and follows the new Avatar, a 17 year-old girl from the southern water tribe called Korra. Already being able to ben air, fire and water, she goes to the center of the modern world, Republic City, in order to learn airbending. Republic City a metropolis created by Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko to be a place where people from all the world, benders or not, can live in harmony. But Korra learns that Republic City is plagued by crime and an antibender revolution. Under the supervision of Aangs son, Tenzin, Korra starts to learn airbending while getting into a lot of trouble and entering a professional competition of a bending sport.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Preview: Sankarea

Chihiro Furuya has all the qualities of a normal harem anime protagonists. He's a totally normal guy that isn't good at anything, has two friends, one of them totally perverted, a hot cousin who's always next to him and is   a lit bit too friendly and a cute and quiet (Rei Ayanami style) little sisters. But he has an unusual characteristic: he has a zombie girl fetish. His dream is dating a cute undead girl. When his cat Babu dies, Furuya, whose family runs a temple, gets an ancient book from his grandfather's library that has a recipe for a zombification potion. Furuya goes to an abandoned building to experiment and try to discover the last ingredient since the last page of the recipe was blurred. Suddenly, he hears a scream and sees a beautiful girl screaming in the direction of the bottom of a nearby well. This girl is Rea Sanka, daughter of the renowned Sanka famliy that owns the Sanka High School, a school for girls near Furuya's school. Rea seems to be a perfect lady from a good family. In the next day, he sees her again, but she notices him. They end up trying to ressurect Babu together, but one day Rea makes a strange request: she asks him to ressurect her...

Preview: Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon)

I've written a review for this series. You can read it here.

Kids on the Slope is a much antecipated anime because it's the first time Yoko Kanno and Shinichiro Watanabe work together since the famous Cowboy Bebop. Let's start with the synopsis from wikipedia:

The beginning of summer, 1966. Because of his father's job situation, freshman high school student Kaoru Nishimi moves by himself from Yokosuka to Kyushu to live with relatives. Until then, Kaoru was an honor roll student who tended to keep to himself, but meeting notorious bad boy Sentaro Kawabuchi starts to change him. Through his devil-may-care classmate, Kaoru learns the attractions of jazz and finds the first person he can call a “friend.” He also discovers how much fun it is to play music with a pal. Other characters include Sentaro's kind childhood chum, Ritsuko, who is the daughter of a record shop owner; the mysterious upperclassman, Yurika; and Brother Jun, the much-admired leader among their peers.

Preview: Zetman

Jin Kanzaki is a boy raised by his homeless grandfather. He isn't a common boy, though. He has a halo makr in his left hand and is very strong. He uses his strength to help people, charging 10000 yens for the job. What he doesn't know is that his grandpa worked as a scientist for a screct club where rich people bet in fights between humanoid monsters called players. But one day the players acquired conscience and turned against their former masters. This past comes back to haunt the characters and Jin will find himself part of a conspiracy that involves the players and the former organizers of the fights. He'll also have to deal with his true nature.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Preview: Saint Seiya Omega

Saint Seiya Omega is a non-canonic sequtel to the original story, which continues in the SS Next Dimension manga. The anime starts showig Saori and a baby in the Sanctuary. Suddenly, a villain named Mars (I think it has something to do with Ares) attacks and wounds Saori's arm. Seiya shows up in the Sagittarius cloth and rescues them. Fifteen years later, the baby, called Kouga is now a teenageger that lives in a remote island with Saori and her buttler, Tatsumi. He is also being unwillingly trained to be a Saint by Shaina. Mars attacks again and Kouga, who didn't believe in Athena, learns that the goddess he was supposed to protect was Saori. Mars tries to capture Saori and defeats Shaina. Kouga decides to save Saori and the pendant she had given him summons the Pegasus Cloth, since carrying the cloth around in a box is so 80's. Seiya talks to Kouga through the armor and Kouga's cosmo and Kouga uses Pegasus Meteor Fist. But he fails to save Saori and decides to go in a journey after her. This journey takes him to new friends and to Palaestra a school for Saints.

Preview: Space Brothers

Space Brothers shows two brothers, Mutta and Hibito Nanba. During a nocturnal expedition to the local woods, they see an UFO going towards the moon and decide to become astronauts when they grow up. The show skips to 2025 and shows Hibito in a press conference with other astronauts that are going to the moon. Meanwhile, Mutta, who worked as a car designer loses his job. When Hibito learns that, he calls Mutta and makes him remember his childhood dream, which makes Mutta try to become an astronaut.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Preview: Jormungand

Synopsis from wiki:

The series follows Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer who sells weapons under HCLI, an international shipping corporation that secretly deals in the arms trade. As one of the company's unofficial weapon dealers, she secretly sells weapons in many countries while avoiding the local authorities and law enforcements as most of her work is actually illegal under international law. Traveling with her is her team of bodyguards who are mostly composed of ex-military veterans. Her latest addition to her crew is Jonah, a seemingly emotionless child soldier who is skilled in combat yet ironically hates arms dealers. Jonah joins Koko as he wishes to find the arms dealer responsible for his family's death. What follows is Koko and her crews escapades around the world.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Preview: Hikounin Sentai Akibaranger

4th July 2012 edit: I wrote a review based on the complete series. You can read it here

Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger is Toei's official Super Sentai Parody. It's written, directed and produced by people that actually work in Super Sentai series. And it's aimed at adults, so, as they say at the end, good kids shouldn't watch it. Synopsis from The Morphing Grid:

AkibaRanger will tell the story of three people being part of an otaku club and living in the new "Electric-Town" Akihabara. They will have to fight a mysterious malevolent entity that swore to conquer Earth with cool gadgets created by a brilliant genius. The Akibaranger's secret base/hideout is a "Sentai Cafe," a Super Sentai version of the popular maid cafe in Japan.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger


Synopsis from wikipedia:

The story begins when Banban Akaza arrives on Earth to the city of Megalopolis. He is transferred to the S.P.D. (Special Police Dekaranger) Earth branch by his commander. By that time, Agent Abrella, an Alienizer arms dealer, turns his destructive attention to Earth, helping the criminals there. It's up to the Dekarangers to stop them and bring them to justice. The SPD of Earth are stationed in the Deka Base under the command of Doggy Kruger.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger

 Let's start with the synopsis from wikipedia:

A group of young pirates come from space to Earth to obtain the "Greatest Treasure in the Universe", which can only be acquired after obtaining the "Greater Powers" of the different 34 Super Sentai Teams. However, they end up facing the Space Empire Zangyack, whose earlier invasion forces were wiped out by the 34 Sentai groups long ago before a new invasion force is established under Commander Warz Gill, the emperor's son. As a result, due to their history with the empire, the space pirates use the powers of the older teams and attempt to master their powers to fight the Zangyack forces as the Gokaigers.