Dream (Level 20)

Time for crap to fly again. Shall reveal what I've got in store in two weeks.
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OniAi (also known as Onii-chan Dakedo Ai sae Areba Kankeinai yo ne!) was a 12-episode ecchi/ harem comedy TV anime series that aired from October 5 to December 21 of last year. It is based on an ongoing light novel series written by Daisuke Suzuki and illustrated by Gekka Uru, which has been published since December 31, 2010. Funimation currently has rights to stream the series online via their streaming site.

The Plot

It's funny, because they want it to happen!
It's funny, because they want it to happen!

After six years of separation, twin siblings Akito and Akiko Himenokoji reunite and live together in the dormitories of Saint Liliana High School. Akiko has developed an incestuous interest in her brother due to their time apart and wishes to act upon those feelings on him. However, she finds this difficult as the siblings share their dormitory with three other girls who each have differing forms of romantic interest in Akito.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Akito Himenokoji- The male lead of the series. He wishes to live his life normally, yet finds himself being hassled by the girls living with him in the dormitory. Akito secretly writes erotic novels to earn income that involve brother-sister incest under the pen name Koichiro Shindo, who is ironically his sister’s favorite author.
  • Akiko Himenokoji- Akito’s twin sister who has a serious case of brother complex in wanting to seduce her brother and isn’t afraid to make her feelings known of him to others, even in public.
  • Anatasia Nasuhara- A half-American, half-Russian girl who is wealthy thanks to being the daughter of a worldwide industry owner. She’s a sharp-tongued girl with a cold personality and has the habit of asking strange and sometimes crass questions. While being well-rounded in knowledge, she is horrible with doing house chores due to her upbringing and has an interest in cute things, keeping a large number of plush animals in her room.
  • Ginbei Haruomi Sawatari- Akito’s childhood friend with an androgynous appearance and masculine personality that lead others to mistake her for a boy. Because of coming from a merchant family, she was raised as a boy and forbidden from finding a job as she is living through her family’s income. Often gets into the habit of mumbling over Akito’s ignorance of her feelings for him.
  • Arashi Nikaido- A third-year student with heterochromia who is often seen wearing an eye patch on her right eye. She is a bisexual who acts sexually aggressive towards anyone who interests her, particularly Akito whom she wants to make into her underground lover or sex slave.
  • Alisa Takanomiya- A 12-year old girl whose family adopted Akito and became his fiancée. She moves into the dormitory with Akito and the other girls in the second half of the show to become the dorm’s caretaker.
  • Kaoruko Jinno- Personal editor of Akito when writing as Koichiro Shindo. Because of the subject matter in his erotic novels, she fears that Akito is in an incestuous relationship with Akiko.

Why It Sucks

OniAi is an ecchi title that milks the typical elements you would find from the genre and harem comedy titles. Our male lead Akito mostly serves as a doormat to the antics that he has to put up with from his unwanted harem, with the girls mostly having stock archetypes for their characters that you would likely see at one point or another from other ecchi or high school themed anime.

Guess someone found out your secret!
Guess someone found out your secret!

While the ecchi behavior in OniAi is not of the gross-out variety, it still can push things quite a bit at points with its content having crass humor, innuendo, suggestive predicaments and fan service shots of the female cast. Outside of the incest element being milked for the title’s ecchi antics with Akiko, things do get a bit uncomfortable in some of OniAi’s later episodes when Alisa’s character becomes part of the household and is milked for some of the title’s ecchi scenes.

Outside of the anime’s failed efforts to milk comedy off the antics of Akito’s unwanted harem, OniAi is mostly a dull affair as there isn’t an ongoing plot to follow and the characters don’t have much in the way of dimension or depth to them beyond whatever archetypes they are following.

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I guess I can say Happy Valentine’s Day in light of my “love” for today. I had this planned out for the past month considering I wanted to kill some time since I’ve been in a pit of a rut lately with finding good anime to watch. But does this mean I will return to doing Ani-Crap on a regular basis? I’ll let you folks decide on that. Pepper me on my Wall or with PMs and there’s a chance Ani-Crap may come back from the dead if I get enough support. In the mean time, on with the review.

Mad Bull 34 was a four-episode crime action OVA that was released from December 21, 1990 to August 21, 1992. It was based on a manga series written by Lone Wolf and Cub creator Kazuo Koike and illustrated by Noriyoshi Inoue for the seinen magazine, Weekly Young Jump, from 1986 to 1990. The series was animated by Magic Bus, who outsourced much of the animated work for Mad Bull 34 to be handled by studios in China and Korea.

Mad Bull 34 was released dubbed on VHS in the 1990s by Manga Entertainment, who lost their licensing rights to the series years later. Discotek acquired licensing rights to the series last year and plan to release it on DVD with both the original Japanese audio and Manga Entertainment’s English dub later this month on February 26.

The Plot

AIM FOR HIS BALLS! AIM FOR HIS BALLS!
AIM FOR HIS BALLS! AIM FOR HIS BALLS!

Daizaburo Ban is the newest recruit in the New York Police Force’s toughest precinct, the thirty-fourth. He becomes the partner of John “Sleepy” Estes, a cop with no regard for the rules as he violently dispatches criminals (even for minor crimes) and runs his own prostitution ring. While Daizaburo hates the reckless conduct of his partner, he comes to learn of Sleepy’s good side as the money earned from his prostitution ring is used to benefit a home for victims of rape and battered homes, as well as a clinic curing STDs. The two team up to tackle the crime-infested streets of their precinct.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • John Estes- Known as “Sleepy” by his friends and “Mad Bull” by his enemies, John is a giant of a cop known for going above the law in his fight against crime in the 34th precinct with his violent execution of criminals and running a prostitution ring. Despite this, he has good intentions with his actions as his “creative” methods of fighting crime help to greatly reduce criminal activity in his precinct.
  • Daizaburo Ban- Nicknamed “Eddie”, Daizaburo is a Japanese American who is the newest recruit to the 34th precinct and becomes Sleepy’s partner. While at first disgusted with Sleepy’s lack of regard for police protocol, seeing his partner’s good intentions lead Eddie to warm to Sleepy’s methods of fighting crime.
  • Perrine Valley- A lieutenant for the precinct introduced in the title’s second episode who helps Eddie and Sleepy with their missions. Becomes a love interest to Eddie.

Why It Sucks

Mad Bull 34 is rather infamous among anime fans for its graphic content and unflattering depiction of 1980s era New York City.

Criminals killed off throughout the series are all offed in some over-the-top graphic detail as gun shots are shown to blow off limbs and make heads explode. It is also rather misogynist as nearly every woman in the series is either a prostitute or winds up being a victim of rape.

Another overkill moment brought to you by Mad Bull.
Another overkill moment brought to you by Mad Bull.

The creators of the OVA also didn’t seem to be well versed in knowing of life in New York City or didn’t seem to care at all. The criminals seen throughout Mad Bull 34 are rather bizarre and over-the-top or strongly stereotypical. Examples of criminals you can expect in the series include a cyborg Mafia boss; two armed robbers decked in Jason masks, tight jean shorts and roller skates; and a gang of Chinese assassins prone to committing kamikaze attacks on their targets.

Yes, they're dressed as nuns. And no one one bothers to ask about Sleepy sticking out so much.
Yes, they're dressed as nuns. And no one one bothers to ask about Sleepy sticking out so much.

The show’s efforts to paint Sleepy as some sort of Dirty Harry-esque character are also rather ridiculous. The guy pulls off stuff that Harry Callahan wouldn’t dare to pull in his movies as Sleepy is regularly seen screwing the prostitutes of his ring and commits enough ridiculous acts such as blowing up a gang of Mafia thugs with grenades attached to his pubic hairs and instructing Eddie to comfort a traumatized female victim by literally sticking a finger up her ass. Worst of all, Sleepy never gets any kind of repercussions for his actions as being presented photo evidence of his actions isn’t enough for his seemingly inept superiors to punish him in any way.

Manga’s English dub for Mad Bull 34 is also worth mention for the title’s infamy. Dubbed at the company’s UK branch, the voice actors are quite inconsistent in the delivery of their lines as they go in and out of delivering horrible New Yorker accents and usually get quite deadpan in the speaking of lines. Not to mention that you can expect regular use of graphic language that wasn’t found in the original Japanese version of the series, another instance of Manga trying to make a horrible anime more edgy to Western audiences with regular use of cuss words.

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Just in time before Christmas, I give you folks another video update looking into what I have in my anime collection.

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Before I get to this review, I’ll spill the beans on my major announcement regarding the future of Ani-Crap. Regrettably, I plan on making this the final article that I plan to put together for my look into the worst of anime. I’ve recently gotten back to working again after over a year and a half of unemployment and I found myself rather drained from the work week, enough so where I felt that I would rather watch something that has good quality to it than plowing through anything that is an utter piece of garbage like the stuff I’ve watched through over the past year. I’ll admit that my Ani-Crap reviews were a nice way for me to kill time when I was drained from my repetitive daily routines of being around my house much of the time and become exposed to titles far worst in quality than anything I would subjectively call overrated. But I don’t think I can keep up with Ani-Crap if I’m back on a 40-hour work week and would want to relax instead of torturing myself. Ending on this sad note, here is my final Ani-Crap review to cover Yosuga no Sora.
 
 

Yosuga no Sora was an animated adaptation of the eroge visual novel game created by Sphere and released on December 5, 2008. The anime was animated by studio feel and aired on AT-X in Japan from October 4 to December 20 of 2010.

 

 Maybe they should have called this "The Fucking Haru Show" instead.
 Maybe they should have called this "The Fucking Haru Show" instead.

The Premise

Fraternal twin siblings Haruka and Sora Kasugano move to the countryside residence of their grandparents following the deaths of their parents from a car accident. Sora is greatly dependent on Haruka for emotional support and personal needs due to being ill and frail since she was born. In this move, Haruka finds himself becoming romantically involved with one of several girls he becomes acquainted with in his return to the countryside.

 

Notable Characters (from left to right)

 

 
  1. Haruka Kasugano- A thin, kind-hearted boy who is capable of making friends with others easily and cares for his sister’s well-being while the two live together alone at their grandparents’ residence. Becomes romantically involved with one of several girls throughout different arcs in the series.  
  2. Sora Kasugano- Haruka’s twin sister who is emotionally reserved and has been ill and frail since birth. She has a troublesome personality as she constantly desires Haruka’s attention and normally carries around a stuffed rabbit given to her by her dead mother.  
  3. Nao Yorihime- Next-door neighbor of the Kasuganos and Haruka’s childhood friend. She and Haruka harbor an intimate relationship with one another, enough so where they had sex with one another before Haruka moved. While she tries to rekindle a relationship with Haruka when he returns to the countryside, Nao does find herself facing hostility from Sora, who fears that Nao is taking Haruka away from her.  
  4. Kazuha Migiwa- The daughter of an influential Japanese magnate burdened with having to hide the fact her father had an illicit affair with another woman that led to the birth of an illegitimate daughter among her group of friends.  
  5. Akira Amatsume- The illegitimate daughter of Kazuha's father who uses her energetic, cheerful and innocent personality as a front to cover up her insecurities and worries on the matter. She practices performing as her town’s resident miko and spends a lot of time helping out the elderly.  
  6. Motoka Nogisaka- A college student/ maid appearing in the show’s bonus omake at the end of each episode looking into her everyday life with financial struggles, drunken escapades and falling in love with Haruka.

 

Why It Sucks

Yosuga no Sora’s premise is pretty much one big excuse for male lead Haruka to become romantically involved with a different gal in each arc of the show and inevitably screw them once any drama within said arc is resolved.

The series is divided up into several arcs featuring Haruka’s romantic involvement with a different girl, having some sort of dramatic development affecting the relationship, engaging in softcore sex with the girl once the drama is resolved and have events be reset to a point where they lapse into a different development involving another of the girls in the series. This style of storytelling screams laziness with writing to feature different “what if” scenarios of whatever girls Haruka gets to nail.

 Take a very good guess at what is happening here!
 Take a very good guess at what is happening here!

The storylines and characters of each girl in the show are nothing to get too thrilled over as they are basically rehashed character archetypes or storyline scenarios you likely would see done to death with conventional ecchi/ romance anime/ manga titles or other eroge games. Because of the limited episode length of each arc, characters are never given much opportunity for depth or natural growth, which make the seemingly speedy progression of relationships with Haruka and the “girl of the arc” look very unnatural.

Not to mention that the softcore sex scenes involving Haruka and the “girl of the arc”, including a few occasions of masturbation with a couple gals, are likely to turn off or offend anyone not among the title’s intended horny otaku fanbase.

Yosuga no Sora’s most infamous element comes in the form of its final arc involving Haruka getting into an incestuous fling with his sister, Sora. Supposedly portraying itself as a “mature incest love story”, the arc is no different from past anime titles that don’t seriously explore the taboo as honestly and tastefully as Koi Kaze. Yosuga no Sora combines the typical flaws you would find with the portrayal of incest relationships in anime as Haruka and Sora’s relationship suffers from melodramatic trappings and is a cheap excuse to feature shocking and perverted content throughout its run.

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Vampire Wars was a 50-minute OVA series animated by Toei Animation in 1990. The anime was licensed in America by Manga Entertainment in the late 1990s, who released it on VHS in 1998 and later on DVD in 2002. Both releases are currently out of print.
 

 Our "hero" conversing with one of his many hookers.
 Our "hero" conversing with one of his many hookers.

The Plot

A brutal attack on a NASA base in an Arizonan desert by vampires gets the attention of a French freelance agent named Kozaburo Kuki, who thinks the incident may be connected to the corpse of a CIA agent seen floating along the Seine River in Paris. Discovering that an actress named Lamia Vindaw is being targeted by these vampires, Kuki commits himself to the protection of Lamia as he tries learning more about the vampires and their reasons for attacking the NASA base.

 

Notable Characters (from left to right)

 

 

  • Kozaburo Kuki- A French freelance agent who is investigating strange happenings connected to a group of vampires and finds himself getting entangled in a complicated plot involving the vampires and government agents who are all after Lamia.
  • Lamia Vindaw- A popular actress who discovers that she isn’t human after having medical tests performed on her and comes under the protection of Kuki when she is targeted by vampires and government groups. 
  • Mirusha- The leader of a group of vampires trying to abduct Lamia for mysterious reasons.

 

Why It Sucks

Vampire Wars is another example of bad 90s OVA titles made in Japan. The anime has some pretty bad writing in properly laying out its plot and characters.

In the case of characters, just about everyone you meet tends to stick with flat one-dimensional archetypes. Characters barely have much in the way of personality (especially in the case of our deadpan hero Kuki) and any depth they are given is sloppily laid on in whatever scene they are introduced. Scenes where Kuki is supposed to portray himself as heroic, despite the violent, merciless ways in which he dispatches thugs and implied to sleep with prostitutes, is quite laughable and a poor attempt at trying to have the audience sympathize with his shallow character.

 Two baddies about to be slaughtered badly.
 Two baddies about to be slaughtered badly.


The execution of the plot is just as laughable as the pacing to Vampire Wars makes events breeze through quickly and major revelations come across more as sloppy and happening too conveniently. The movie gets in the horrible habit of having events with Kuki happen way too conveniently. For example, Lamia’s mother not only gives biological details on her daughter’s condition to Kuki despite supposedly only being Lamia’s talent agent, but also happens to own and be capable of piloting a helicopter that Kuki uses to fly in and raid an enemy hideout when Lamia gets abducted later in the OVA.

The visuals to Vampire Wars haven’t aged too well as the seemingly realistic style of drawing used for character designs look rather ugly and flat. Also for an OVA series, the animation to Vampire Wars borders from subpar to terrible as a number of action scenes feature stilted and unnatural movements from characters thanks to the title’s low frame rate. It seems too obvious that Toei was working with a limited budget when they animated this.

The English dub to Vampire Wars also does its part to enhance how laughably bad the series is. Made at the Manga Entertainment branch in the UK, the dub for Vampire Wars features some voice actors making poor attempts at delivering French accents and tossing in graphic language not found in many parts of the original Japanese script to the series as Manga was purposely trying to bump up the age rating to appeal to older audiences and make the anime seem more edgy.

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