Dream (Level 21)

Latest Internet update: planning to make a provider switch this weekend. Still plan to cover High School of the Dead this weekend for a holiday edition of Ani-Crap. As soon as I feel settled with my new Internet, will provide another update.
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At Sunday's Dengeki Game Festival in Japan, the original cast and staff of Durarara announced that they will be working on a new anime season that will take place six months after the events of the original 2010 series. A broadcast date was not announced and much of the main staff from the original series will return to make the new season. Instead of Brain's Base though, the animation for the series will be done by Shura.

Durarara was adapted from the popular novel series written by Ryohgo Narita focusing on the paranormal and criminal happenings that took place with the young locals of Tokyo's Ikebukuro neighborhood. Outside of the anime, several video game and manga series were also spawned from the title's popularity. The 2010 anime series is currently licensed in America by Aniplex of America, while the manga is available for print in the country by Yen Press.

Source: Anime News Network

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If you're a Toradora fan, this should be good news for you. NIS America, the American licensor for the series, is planning a re-release of the series that will contain an English dub. This will mark the first series that NIS America released an English dub for since they started releasing anime in America in 2010. Here is who will be voicing the major characters of the series:

The series will be released in Premium and Standard Blu-Ray/ DVD combo sets on July 1 with the new English dub. The Premium Edition will be priced at $129.99 and include all 25 episodes of the series, an OVA and a hardcover book. Bonus features will include clean opening and closing sequences, four mini-episodes, bonus clips and TV promos. The Standard Edition will be sold in two sets for $59.99 each for Blu-Ray/ DVD combo sets and $44.99 just for DVD sets.

Toradora was one of the first anime titles to be licensed by NIS America. It is a romantic comedy based on the popular light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya and Yasu that focuses on two social outcasts, Taiga and Ryuji, who help one another out to try starting up romantic relationships with their close friends.

Here is a trailer for Toradora's English dub release:

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R-15 was a 12-episode ecchi/ harem comedy TV anime that originally aired in Japan from July 10 to September 25 of 2011 and was animated by AIC. The series was based on the light novel series written by Hiroyuki Fushimi from July 2009 to August 2012. The series was aired in an edited format for TV broadcast and released unedited for its video release. It is available for legal streaming via Crunchyroll.

The Plot

Our lead swimming in lingerie and other random stuff.
Our lead swimming in lingerie and other random stuff.

Inspiration Academy Private High School is a school for gifted high school geniuses that is attended by Taketo Akutagawa, who is known to write erotic novels. Considered a pervert by many among his class, Taketo aims to be the top student of the school and attempts to befriend several students among the school's female student body.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Taketo Akutagawa- The main lead of the series. An erotic writer who is unpopular among many in the school as he often has nosebleeds from having lewd fantasies about those among the school's female student body that he uses as inspiration in writing his novels.
  • Fukune Narukawa- A shy clarinetist who is the first girl that Taketo befriends. She struggles to meet up to the high standards set up for her by her father.
  • Raika Meiki- A photographer for the academy newspaper who regularly tags along with Taketo to use him as a model for her work and tends to take photos of him during his embarrassing predicaments.
  • Kurumi Kuroki- The chief of the academy newspaper club normally protected by a pair of bodyguards.
  • Utae Sonokoe- A popular pop idol who is one of the few in the academy to not mind Taketo's erotic writing.
  • Ran Musen- A computer programmer whose proficiency is such that she can hack government satellites and computers. She is the most hateful of Taketo's erotic writing within the academy.
  • Tsukuru Kagaku- An inventor known to make machines and devices that malfunction, usually at Taketo's inconvenience.
  • Ritsu Enshu- Taketo's close friend and a mathematician. When aroused, Taketo normally has him recite pi to calm down.
  • Botan Beni- An avant-garde artist known for painting people's bodies and using other students for her canvases.

Why It Sucks

R-15 is yet another ecchi title with a premise that is a thinly-veiled excuse to show off perverted content involving our male lead and several girls he gets acquainted with at Inspiration Academy throughout the show's run.

Makes one wonder why they even bother airing this on TV.
Makes one wonder why they even bother airing this on TV.

The characters are all two-dimensional archetypes you would find out of high-school-themed and harem titles, many of whom hardly getting much in the way of fleshing out. The plot is mostly centered on Taketo becoming acquainted with a different archetypal girl, earning their trust and using whatever situation each girl is in as inspiration for his erotic novels. Also, perverted content is mostly the norm in this turd with lewd fantasies, revealing attire, undressed moments, innuendo gags, panty shots and compromising situations being shown at many points throughout this series.

Of particular note with this show is the way it censored its content for its TV broadcast. Beams of light are used to cover up any questionable content visually shown. However, there are points where this censorship gets quite overboard and even inconsistent as there are points undressed states like panty and lingerie shots are either censored or not at all, even if said shots weren't gratuitous or bordering on showing outright nudity.

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What was thought to be an impossibility from yours truly has become a reality. It was just announced on Discotek's Facebook pagethat the company will be planning a video release of School Days containing all 12 episodes of the series and the Magical Heart Kokoro-chan bonus OVA series for June 24 of this year. The release will come only with Japanese audio and English subtitles.

School Days is based on the eroge dating sim game released by 0verflow in Japan on PC on April 28, 2005, with the game having been released here in the United States in 2012 via the remastered School Days HQ release. The game is notable for having fully animated scenes that play out compared to the static shots of other dating sims and gaining infamy for its graphically violent "bad" endings. The storyline of the series is focused around high school student Makoto Itou finding himself caught up in a love triangle with love interests Sekai Saionji and Kotonoha Katsura, with any decisions you make in influencing Makoto's actions leading up to one of the game's endings.

The anime adaptation of the series was animated by TNK and aired on Japanese TV from July 3 to September 27 of 2007. The anime attracted a great deal of controversy with its final episode that would involve showing a variant of the game's bad endings. A real-life event in Japan that involved a teenage girl killing her father with an axe led to many of the show's broadcasters cancelling the airing of the episode and replacing it with a slideshow montage of live-action boat shots that led to the popular meme of "Nice Boat" to spawn from the events. Japanese premium channel AT-X would still air the episode, albeit in an edited format to censor the episode's violent content. The episode would be shown in its original, unedited format for its video release.

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Pilot Candidate (also known as Candidate for Goddess in Japan) was a 12-episode TV anime animated by Xebec and aired on Japanese TV from January 10 to March 27 of 2000. The series was based on an incomplete manga series written by Yukiru Sugisaki for the seinen magazine Comic Gum.

The series was licensed for American video release by Bandai Entertainment in 2001 and was broadcast on Cartoon Network's debuting Adult Swim Action block from February 23 to May 11 of 2002. The series was originally meant to be broadcast on the channel's Toonami block, resulting in the series being edited for content considered objectionable to a younger audience when it premiered on Adult Swim. The series has been long out of print for video release.

The Plot

Since when do good mecha pilots need training running on hamster wheels?
Since when do good mecha pilots need training running on hamster wheels?

Humanity has colonized other planets with their civilization under attack by an alien threat called Victim. Protecting the planet Zion from the Victim threat are mecha pilots capable of piloting five giant mecha called Ingrid. To be an Ingrid pilot, one must have a rare blood type called EO and have a special ability known as EX. Zero Enma is a young man who is a candidate to pilot the Ingrid who travels to a training academy called GOA to learn how to harness his abilities in controlling Ingrid.

Notable Characters (from left to right)

  • Zero Enma- A young man who is a candidate to become an Ingrid pilot. An optimistic, impulsive and energetic boy, his personality often gets him in clashes with other classmates and personnel.
  • Hiead Gner- Another Ingrid candidate with a cold and distant personality. His past is implied to be a dark one due to the manifesting of his EX abilities.
  • Clay Cliff Fortran- A smart young man more interested in learning more than being an Ingrid pilot.
  • Kizna Towryk- A repairer of Ingrid units assigned to being Zero's mechanic during his training. She has artificial cat ears due to an accident that damaged her ears when she was younger.
  • Ikhny Allecto- A repairer assigned to Hiead Gner with a timid personality and low self-confidence.
  • Azuma Hijikata- The strict personal instructor of Zero and the other candidate pilots aboard GOA.

Why It Sucks

Pilot Candidate is a series that is quite vanilla in what it offers up with its content and is quite infamous for the lack of developments that its plot and characters undergo due to its inconclusive ending.

And here I thought Gonzo was the king of Conspicuous CGI in their work.
And here I thought Gonzo was the king of Conspicuous CGI in their work.

The premise and characters that this series offer up are all those that have been done before from past mecha titles like fighting abnormal enemy threats with mecha, a training academy for potential mecha pilots and hints of possible shady activity within the mentioned academy. Many of the characters are also stock archetypes found from many anime titles like the impulsive and energetic male lead, the cold and brooding loner, a catgirl, the bespectacled genius and a shy, timid meganekko.

What makes this series particularly bad is the sloppiness of its overall writing and inconclusive ending. Many elements to the show's plot and characters have a decent number of holes to them, are vaguely hinted to yet never explored and nothing is allowed to develop at all with the plot and characters. The series abruptly ends after 12 episodes with the Victim threat still lingering and many unanswered questions regarding major elements to Pilot Candidate such as the backgrounds of characters, the nature of the Victim threat, whether the Ingrid units have some sort of sentience, any hidden agenda within GOA and so forth.

The CG animation used for this during Ingrid and Victim battles is also quite bad with very crude and rough renderings of both teams and poor animation of them in action.

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