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Triage X (2015)

Triage X (2015)

Triage X is an action anime a bit like Black Lagoon or Elfen Lied. Plotwise it's a bit of a hybrid, considering the main characters are mainly a group of girls - either nurses of patients who went through particularly traumatic life experiences before they found their new purpose (Elfen Lied), and one guy, all whose purpose is now plucking out the 'tumors' of society, as the righteous but still plenty -criminal organization Black Label (that's the Black Lagoon part). There are probably better comparisons, but those two are the ones that come to mind. Black Label only kill the bad guys, but they do kill people.

There's also an almost excessive amount of breasts, and though framed in such a way as to enhance scenes rather than obstruct them, it does get a bit excessive. Arashi Mikami's the main character, and he's usually in good company of at least one girl. Sometimes naked ones. Often with singed or otherwise missing clothes. They never do anything lewd, but they sure do showcase their boobs. Guns. Explosions. Close-up body parts. That's the common combo. I don't know why I'm complaining.

Despite the obvious fan service, Triage X does manage to keep the story pretty serious and sinister on the side, and Black Label's mysterious shadow adversary developing a drug that makes victims derive pleasure from pain helps add in an element of sensual sinfulness as well, a suitable branch for this dark organization. Though there aren't any all too graphical scenes I was surprised at how far some of it went. For an anime.

The visuals are alluring, the animation's great, the action's rampant, and the characters all have their story to tell, but it ends oddly, and jumps between criminals in a way that seems to leave plenty of gaps in the plot line. If you're bothered by oppai that might get in the way too, but I feel the big flaw was the lack of continuity and build-up. It feels fragmented, badly organized and with an inconclusive end.

Character relations don't develop much either, nor between the main ones - or with the villains. It looks, sounds and feels good... but falls flat. It could've been something over the top. Excessively sexual, violent, uncensored and fresh - but though it seems they were on the right way, they don't quite get there.

 rated 3/5: not bad

One Piece - Romance Dawn Story (2008)

One Piece - Romance Dawn Story (2008)

This is One Piece as it should be! Pure, well-animated, fun; straight-forward. Intense when it needs to be, but never too much. It's got it all right. I also liked the older, softer style of drawing better.

The story? The Strawhat's run out of food (after a certain someone ate through the pantry!), and Luffy (the culprit) is sent out on the Mini-Merry to fetch more. He arrives at a small town by the sea, and runs into a girl named Silk just as the Crescent-Moon Galley attack the town. He's only there for the food, but Silk mistakes him for one of the attackers, as do the village people, but no matter: everything is cleared up eventually when he has a run-in with the Galley gang he ends up punching them far off the island, and saving the town that Silk lives in and loves so much. It's a not a spoiler since there's really no other way it could end, but there's a bit more backstory than that, for those of you planning to watch. ;)

It's a feelgood story, and watching this I'm reminded of how I felt when I started watching One Piece, and how far from its roots it's reached over the years. Although things are bound to get more serious as they battle fiercer and fiercer opponents, and gain all the more attention from the law, I miss the light-hearted adventures of old, and the romantic part of it all. That's really all Luffy is: one big romantic with the guts to live out those dreams, and maybe even the stubbornness required to fulfill them.

This took me back, to the good old days of old and gold: the real treasure, One Piece. Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

One Piece - Heart Of Gold (2016)

One Piece - Heart Of Gold (2016)

Here's a prelude to the big One Piece movie this year: Gold. It stars the Strawhats VS Mad Treasure and his crew, all-new characters with interesting abilities, yet behind the scenes - just like with that little recent filler bit (747-751) in the anime, Grand Tesoro (Grand Treasure in Spanish) is pulling the strings.

Unlike the filler, this is a pretty good story, though the play on Nakama over Treasure is getting a bit old. Luffy keeps screaming how important his friends are, and eventually it seems like the villain actually starts listening, and it just feels sad. That's not how you make a message sink in - pummeling your enemies into the ground a bit after proclaiming your propaganda, then take a break to recoup and shout a bit again. Luffy was so much more straight-forward before. Just get on with it! Punch the guys lights out and reunite with yer crew - they learn by seeing what you do, not by hearing what you say!

There's too much emotion on his part for it to feel 'legit'. But, the 200-year old girl (with all her odd personality quirks), and her father, and the long-lost kingdom of Alechmi are nice touches, as is the element of teamwork overall. It's a good spin-off, but clearly not on par with the movie. I hope.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Naruto Shippuuden 478

Man. That was amazing. Amazing. Man.

I'm happy to say Naruto is getting awesome again! And has been for the last few episodes now. Feels like it might soon be over, but suddenly... I donĀ“t want it to end after all. Hopefully people won't want the same thing so heavily they decide to prolonge it a bit, and add in filler - there's nothing like that to kill a good show. But this episode... amazing. It brings me back to what I felt when the show first started out, and I hope it goes full circle until the end.

Assassination Classroom S2 (2016)

Assassination Classroom S2 (2016)

The last episode of Assassination Classroom... oh man... so many feelings. Somehow I didn't think it'd end the way it did. Not after all they'd been through, but with a series like this... you never know how it'll go.

If you thought the premises for this show was totally unrelatable and crazy, you couldn't be more wrong. This season is even crazier than the last - moving away from the trials of school life to professional assassinations, and even to the moon - but it's all the more relatable, crazy as that may sound. Koro Sensei grows each day, as do the students, as do their bonds, and yet the deadline for the potential destruction of the world draws closer and closer. Suspense.

It's really not about assassination, but about growth, and humanity, and when it's not about all of that: it's fun! It's a blast. It's the odd series where action is commonplace and the real highlight is the personal growth each character goes through - especially Nagisa and Karma, and whatever will happen to their teacher. In the end this was so much more than I'd expected it to be. You can read my review of the first season here. Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Fighting Beauty Wulong (2005)

Fighting Beauty Wulong (2005)

The subtitles were whack, but the show was good. It's a story about a high school student and heir to the Mao Fist: Maolang (or Zialong? Walong? Subtitles are whack), and the trials and tribulations she goes through mastering the art - fighting a series of tournaments on her grandpa's behalf.

The animation quality's pretty crappy, but the story moves through a series of fights and relations, and new friends and foes keep popping up along the way... and then there's that final fight. Looks like... she chased out Chunyang's darkness? Though the subtitles raised some mystery and confusion, I enjoyed the show.

It also reminded me of Air Master, though the fight sequences are far from as fluent as they are in the latter, and nor is the story as red-threaded. Where the latter delves into odd fighting styles and moves, this one delves more into chi and history, but they're both good in their own ways, and they both have character (though Air Master much more so). It's not flawless, but as far as female fighter animes go this one's much less known than it's less good than the competition. There's a sequel season too! Looking forward to seeing that one as well when I have some spare time to spar.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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