Blog Archives

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings (2009)

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For anyone who’s played even five minutes of the long-running Koei title Dynasty Warriors, the concepts driving the Capcom franchise Sengoku Basara won’t be all that alien. Basically, they’re what’s quaintly titled a ‘crowd fighting game’. If body count stats are your thing, if you like watching that ticker go up too fast to count, it’s the game for you. Games of this kind I’ve found involve a lot of dramatic posturing, a lot of powering up, and more … (read more)

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Saiyuki Requiem (2001)

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Today’s lesson: the pros and cons of the Original Animated Video, otherwise known as the OAV (or OVA – Original Video Animation – depending on your viewpoint), as exemplified by the Saiyuki movie, Requiem.

Originally, OAV was a term coined to describe the movie-length spin-offs that spawned from existing TV series. These days, they could be almost considered a rite of passage – you’re not a real series unless you’ve done a such-and-such-The-Movie. Well, maybe not, but from Cowboy (read more)

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Saiyuki Reload (2003)

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This is perhaps the second last time you’ll hear me harp on this subject, and actually, I’m sort of wondering what more I’ll be able to say about Saiyuki. With this new series – Reload – the Journey to the Max boys are back, mixing it up with a couple of story arcs from the manga (both Gensoumaden and the new, still on-going manga series, Reload) and a few anime-only episodes as per the standard manga-to-anime formula. The quality in … (read more)

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Saiyuki (2000)

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This is a completely biased review. I’m not ashamed to admit it. Everyone’s got their little secrets, their weaknesses, right? Well, mine’s Saiyuki.

Sometimes known as Gensoumaden Saiyuki, the anime is based on a manga series by Kazuya Minekura that started serialisation around 1996 (and is now published in the US by Tokyopop). It was inspired by the famous Chinese story Journey to the West, better known to Western audiences as Monkey, and it’s everything … (read more)

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Tenjho Tenge (2004)

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Tenjho Tenge is a fan-service wonderland. Or at least, that’s what I’d like to say, but the manga it’s based on actually makes the anime look like material suitable for kindergarten story time. Which kind of makes me – a fan-girl and not terribly impressed by the classic shounen fan-service cues so carelessly and frequently applied to fighting anime titles – want to respect it just a little bit. After all, it’s got to be hard to live up to … (read more)

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Infinite Ryvius (1999)

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Wearing its Neon Genesis Evangelion influences on both of its sleeves, Infinite Ryvius multiplies the number of kids, removes most of the giant robots and keeps the teenage angst simmering at about the same temperature.

Our nominal hero Kouji is a deadringer for Evangelion’s Shinji Ikari right down to the haircut and white short sleeve shirt. Unlike Shinji’s paternal issues, Kouji’s emotional problems come in the form of his younger brother, the rakishly handsome but moody Yuuki, who harbours … (read more)

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