GrandMarshal (Level 10)

I unlocked 5 Xbox Live achievements yesterday:
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Finally after a long wait, AMV Hell 5 is out! What are you waiting for go watch it! 
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Just finished watching Ghost Stories ADV Dub. OMG ADV was really trying to fit as many offensive jokes in each 20 minute episodes as possible. In the early episodes there being reasonable but later on they just break the third wall constantly and give up on telling the story of some episodes. It’s brilliant it’s basically like an abridged series but more offensive and the official dub. I found this video on you tube that basically sum's up the whole series.

It’s worth watching if you’re not easily offended, ADV's dub turned a boring repetitive horror anime into a brilliant comedy. The story’s the same for every episode; demon kills someone, main character reads magic book and casts a spell banishing the demon (insert a few racist jokes) then roll credits repeat 20 times (insert more offensive jokes). Dont watch the more modern dub or japanese dub with subtitles becouse its missing the fun.

Overall - 8/10

Story - 1/5

Offencive Jokes - 5/5

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A friend of mine somehow convinced me to watch the Dante’s inferno anime with them. I really didn’t want to watch this because I believed it was going to be terrible mainly because I heard it was going to be animated by the company Film Roman, that instantly sets off warning bells as I’m reminded of the true hell Dead Space: Downfall (hellishly awful.) Which I was convinced to watch by the same friend and I want that hour and a half of my life back. I loved the Dead Space game but the animated movie was awful. The story was dull and the animation was even worse. Film Roman isn’t the company you want to turn a great game into an anime, for one there based in California and one more thing... THEY MADE TOM AND JERRY THE MOVIE!!! They destroyed Dead Space and almost destroyed this anime as well. Luckily Dante’s Inferno is one of those anime projects that is created by multiple animation studios, since the animatrix and halo legends got everyone thinking that’s the cool thing to do.  Most of these studios are actually dam good at making anime. As Dante progresses through the 9 different circles of hell different studios and directors pick up the story and do their own thing.

The introduction to the story and first circle of hell is produced by Film Roman. They somehow messed up what was a fairly strong intro in the game. The first mistake they make apart from there crappy animation. Which reminds me of the bible story animations I was shown at school. Is that in the game Dante fought death, kills him (somehow) and steals his scythe to use against the minions of hell. That’s right in the game Dante kills THE GOD DAM GRIM REAPER!!! In the anime he just finds some door to hell and walks through it or something, I can’t remember it’s so boring and looks so bad. Even though there’s boobs and blood everywhere Film Roman almost ruins Dante’s Inferno. Luckily there then bitch slapped away never to be seen again as the other studios step in wearing their big grown up pants.

The studios that work on the rest of the anime are Manglobe, Dongwoo Animation, JM Animation and Production I.G. At this point I start asking why was Film Roman allowed a part of this film. I can’t even count how many amazing anime the other studios have made. All that matters is they all do a good job on this movie. Theres also a ton of famous anime directors that step in like  Shuko Murase.

Dante’s Inferno is a story of revenge and redemption, as Dante descends through hell the devil shows Dante flash backs to the sins he and his family have done in the past to do the classic devil thing of getting people to doubt there resolve and some of these flash backs are intense. I won’t spoil it but Dante does some messed up thing to some people.

All the studios do their own style of Dante fighting demons and there are plenty of great fight scenes.  The voice acting is brilliant; there is a tone of famous voices actors from other anime. Such as the devil is voiced by Steven Blum (Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop) and he does a great job at being evil. Also Dante’s father is voiced by Mark Hamil (The Joker from Batman Arkham Asylum) which he did a good job at being basically the greediest person in the world but I couldn’t take him too seriously because I just kept thinking I was watching the Joker give batman a speech.  

I also found it hard to take the move as seriously as it deserves from its dark story, this is because of two reasons. The first being that every studio animated Dante so differently. In one version he looks a lot like Guts from Berserk and in another he looks like the incredible hulk.
Also the violence can sometimes just be way over the top, sometimes people have gruesome deaths that make you pray you don’t ever go to hell, other times its just ridicules like people who were greedy being drowned in liquid gold.  There are some really disturbing scenes and I don’t mean just violent ones, there’s a lot bad things involving women’s unmentionable areas. It’s too nasty to write here so if you want to be disturbed and possibly be put off women you will have to watch the movie.

I really thought this movie was going to burn in hellfire like Dead Space: Downfall but I am so glad that Dante’s Inferno is a really good movie. Apart from the truly lack lackluster intro it’s an entertaining movie and shows that using multiple studios to produce one piece of work can work. Unless it’s Halo Legends which so far hasn’t been any good, but that still has some episodes left too air so there’s still some hope.
There’s a lesson to be learnt from this movie and that is no matter how good the source content for an anime or movie is it’s up to the director and production crew to make it good.

Overall - 7/10
Story – 5/5
Action – 3/5
Music - 3/5
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 Soul Eater Episodes 1 - 16

I’ve started watching soul eater because... I don’t know... It looked kind of interesting and I can’t think of any better anime to watch at the moment. I wouldn’t have thought about watching this anime if it wasn’t for the awesome Halloween AMV I saw on this sites not so weekly feature; AMV Tuesdays.  I’m about 16 episodes in and I decided I should write a mini review of my feelings on it so far. I will do my review in multiple short parts as I’m watching the show because its 51 episodes (That’s 17’ish hours of Soul Eater) and I find with any anime that’s over 40 episodes that you get slightly brained washed by the end and forget about how you felt early on. So hold on for part 1 of “Thy soul consumed (by crazy)”.

The first episode did a good job of making me interested to see more. It started off with some crazy fight between the two main characters Soul and Maka fighting a demonic Jack the ripper.  Wow writing that down seems kind of crazy. Soul’s a laid back kind of guy while Maka is a bit of a perfect student kind of girl. After this entertaining but short fight the series starts piling on crazy expedition. What I mean by this is in short there students for a school (Shibusen) that trains “Death Weapon Meister” Meister is German for master and why they say meisters and not masters or anything story wise in this anime is completely beyond me and my levels of logical comprehension. But that’s one of the things I like about this anime so far is how completely crazy and none sensical it is. Like the headmaster of the school is THE GOD DAM GRIM REAPER!!! That just might be the most awesome if completely crazy thing ever. Also for some strange reason he’s kind of two dimensional and I don’t mean he’s lacking character I mean he’s actually flat. If you see him standing next to other people from a side view you can barely see him and his scythe is a person. Did I forget to mention that some people in this series can turn into weapons? No? I must have thought that was too much crazy for one paragraph.

So the students of Shibusen who when there not in lessons are out on assignments to hunt souls of the demon god. I swear I’m not making any of this up. Are paired up with a meister and a weapon. The master being someone who can control the power of their soul and the weapon students... well turn into weapons.

Episode 2 introduces two more characters black star and his weapon Tsubaki. Black star is an over the top wanna be number one Naruto like character so I already hate him and hope he dies. Tsubaki is a kind and quiet person who’s always apologizing for Black stars antics. There kind of uninteresting characters and I couldn’t care less about them. So let’s move on to episode 3 and the only character of soul eater I truly find entertaining. Death the kid (he’s the son of the grim reaper). Ok anime I didn’t like episode two but you’ve got me interested again keep talking.

Death the kid is by far my favorite character of the anime so far mainly because he has serious OCD about everything being symmetrical and that’s like a comedy gold mine. Soul eater has a pattern of each episode being focused around one of the three pairs of students and the episodes that involve Death the Kid are funny and extremely entertaining.

So what do I think of it so far? I’m actually really enjoying it; it’s got some great action in it and is funny most of the time. A large varied cast of characters some I have not even talked about like Dr Franken Stein, Excalibur and the Thompson sisters. Its ability to make fun of historical fiction and non-fiction characters. The large amounts of blood that poor’s out of characters yet they never bleed to death. It’s able to be funny and serious at times and even the characters I didn’t like at first are slowly growing on me. It has a good opening theme but the ending theme is ear bleeding terrible.
 I’ve got a lot more episodes to watch and I’m sure I’m going to go crazy by the end so check back later for part two. Seriously though there teacher is Dr Franken Stein and Headmaster is the Grim reaper. My head hurts from all this crazy I need to lie down now.
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 I really enjoyed the first darker than black series (Darker than Black: The Black Contractor). But when I heard there was going to be a sequel series I was doubtful that it could be as good as the first series. The last darker than black series had a descent ending and wrapped up all the loose ends to the main story. So I thought that a sequel series would feel tacked on and inconsequential to the overarching story that I thought the last series had wrapped up nicely.
Luckily I was wrong and overall I felt that Darker than Black: Ryūsei no Gemini was entertaining and defiantly did not feel like a tacked on sequel. I feel that it actually improved on some of the weaknesses of the last series. 
One of the things I liked about this series is that it’s focused around a new main character. The main character of the last series (Hei) was a great main character for that series but you only ever saw him as the black reaper and a contractor. So most of the time he was an emotionless and apathetic except in a few parts of the series especially near the end. He makes a better supporting role character and that’s exactly what he is in this series.  
One of the things I like about the new main character (Suōu Pavlichenko) is that she doesn’t start off as a contractor but for the first few episodes is actually still human and we get to see her perfect life get ruined when one of her friends becomes a contractor and eventually herself.

For anyone that hasn’t seen the first darker than black a contractor is a person who has gained superhuman powers because of the appearance of the Hell's Gate and Heaven's Gate. But before you discard them as nothing more than a mutant from X-men there more. A contractor’s looses nearly all their emotions; I say nearly because constantly through both series some contractor’s seem to develop some emotions again. The other important fact about a contractor is that every time they use their power they have to do there "Remuneration" or "Obeisance". This is basically a payment for using their power and it can be anything like breaking their own fingers to having to smoke cigarettes. It’s usually something that person hates doing. However its unfortunately not as serious a payment for most of the contractors in this series, more comical most of the time. Which is a shame because it takes away from the overall dark tone of the series. For example a magician who has to give away his secrets or a women who has to kiss someone.

The story is set 2 years after the ending to the last series and it seems a lot of bad things have happened. Remember that happily ever after ending for Hei and Yin? Well apparently something wasn’t so happy because Yin is no were to be seen and Hei has now become a drunken waste. So this series is basically set up into two different mysteries the first being what has happened to the new protagonist Suōu’s father and brother and the other being what happened to Yin. So Suōu and Hei set off together to seek answers. The first episode ends with two main characters from the first series fighting each other and one of them killing the other. This was shock to me because not many main characters survived the last series and to see one die in the first episode of this new series got me interested.
There are only two things I disliked about this series the first was that the ending was way too opening ended. The last series had a solid ending however this ending is surrounded by mystery which is ok if there’s going to be another series. The second problem I had and this is a big one, is the return of a certain character. Mind you this character only returns for one episode but she’s so annoying and unnecessary it almost completely killed the series near the middle. That character is Kiko a pink haired over enthusiastic teenager. The feel that the series its self knows how horrible this character is since when she is first introduced she’s talking to her friend about a movie they just watched and how disappointed they were by the return of a comic relief character and how the film was just getting good and real serious in till that character arrived. I actually Face Palmed when this happened it was that painful to watch.
My only other problem with the series was despite such a strong start the last few epsidoes and the way the story wraps up is kinda poor, something about gods, stars, destiny  and otehr bullshit.  Despite this the action is fast paced and creative due to there being more interesting contractors introduced with even more interesting powers helping set up what I felt were better fight sequences then in the last series. The music is brilliant it manages to set up a great atmosphere. Overall much to my surprises I found this series extremely entertaining. I hope that there is more to come from Darker than Black for this series actually left me wanting more.

Opening theme    4/5
Closing theme    2/5
Music        5/5
Action         4/5
Story         4/5
Overall     8/10
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