Devilman Crybaby: an interesting, disturbing new anime from Netflix

Devilman Crybaby, is a 10 episode series based on the 1970’s manga of the same name. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa, the series is the first anime to be Japanese produced by Netflix. The original series was written by Go Nagai in 1972. Devilman was suppose to be a sequel of sorts to a previous series, Demon Lord Dante. That anime followed the protagonists, Akira and his childhood friend Ryo. After they investigates Akira’s father’s  death they find an ancient mask and Akira puts it on becoming possessed by a demon. Devilman Crybaby is similar, but is presented in the present.

However, Akira is possessed by the demon Amon at an orgy. While there Ryo uses a broken bottle to cut up the teens at the party, summoning the demon with blood. Akira is possessed by Amon, but not completely, resulting in a “devilman,” half man, half demon. The series is full of bright colors, nudity, sex (not hentai levels), violence and blood. However, this debauchery is why Ryo believes that humanity isn’t worth saving. Masaaki Yuasa (Space Dandy, Ping Pong: The Animation, and Adventure time), provides his trademark fluid and vivid animation.

If you enjoy the Neon Genesis Evangelion series or Berserk, much of some of the content of this series will not phase you. Akira is an interesting character and while he was more so prior to being possessed. Ryo is a sociopath and unsurprisingly unlikable, if you watch the entire series it will make perfect sense why that is. The overall tone of the show while entertaining is ultimately dark and a bit nihilistic. The series doesn’t end in a predictable manner and that was refreshing. I would recommend this series but consider your willingness to watch sex and violence.

 

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FLCL season 2 and 3 trailer

The second and third season trailer of FLCL was released. Cartoon Networks Adult Swim, along with Production IG revived the series. There will be a dozen episodes, divided between the two seasons. FLCL 2 and FLCL 3 will be released in 2018. The animation and style in the trailer is consistent with the previous season. However, the question is without the majority of the cast from the previous series, will FLCL still maintain elements that made it good?

Cannon Busters (First Look)


 

The video speaks for itself. Personally, I’m impressed with the quality of animation I’ve seen in the trailer (below) and the amount of talent involved in the project. Cannon Busters looks like it could be a hit. The anime was funded on kick-starter and they already reached their goal of $150k. If you want to learn more information and stay updated try:

Tokyo Ghoul

I’ve been hearing about “Tokyo Ghoul” for a couple of weeks now so I decided to give it a try, I wasn’t disappointed. Tokyo Ghoul is an anime series that was adapted around the manga of the same name. Created by Sui Ishida and serialized in Weekly Young Jump. The series was licensed by Funimation  for streaming in the United States.

 

Episode 1

Higeki (Tragedy)

Gh3Tokyo Ghoul opens up with a very gory ( though not explicit ) scene of Rize Kamishiro consuming several dead humans. She is called a “binge eater”, due to her eating behavior. She is interrupted by someone wearing a mask. He claims that  he has orders to “take her alive”. He says that before he does he wishes to take a limb. With pliers in hand he attacks her but she easily evades him and escapes.

We are introduced to Ken Kaneki and his friend Hideyoshi Nagachika nicknamed Hide as they discuss his boring date ideas. We also meet Kirishima Toka who become important later. Hide tries to hit on her as Ken tells him to quit it. A beautiful woman walks into the shop, she has purple hair and glasses.

She pulls out the same book that Ken is reading. He successfully asks her out and she agrees. During their date Ken reveals more about himself, how his parents are both dead. As he walks Rize home they become secluded in an alley way. Ken asks Rize for another date, she agrees that shes “interested” and while giving him a hug she bites him.

GH2She proclaims that she finds him delicious and that she asks him if she “knows” what she likes more than reading. While Ken has utter terror on his face, she says “pulling out all the organs of someone “. He unsurprisingly flees in terror but doesn’t get to far. She throws him through a wall, and tears out some of his organs. While attacking him some of the steel beams fall from the ceiling killing Rize.

The Doctor operating on Ken uses some of Rize organs to save his life. He wakes up  having “lost” his sense of taste. While listen to a television show Ken hears a scientist talking about the eating habits of ghouls. He begins to panic as he eats everything in his house fearing he might be a ghoul. While out in public the following night he begins to have urges to eat humans.

He rushes to his house and sees that his eye is similar to Rize. He attempt to commit suicide but fails. While back out side he smell something sweet. He follows the scent only to find that its a ghoul eating a human and the scent was from the body. As the ghoul offers him a piece, the ghoul is killed by Nishiki. Nishiki attacks Ken and attempts to kill him. Ken is saved by Kirishima who dominates Nishiki in a short fight. Ken beings to panic as his hunger consumes him and Kirishima forces some flesh down his throat.

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Opinion:

It’s way too early to determine whether I like this series or not but I really liked this episode. I find the story very interesting especially considering the fact that Ghouls are familiar to the larger society. The society appears to treat this fact as ordinary and doesn’t seem to be afraid to go out in public (even at night).

I want to see more of the fighting to get a greater sense of this series but it seems to be brutal. The tone of the series is perfect, its dark and intense which is completely appropriate. Clearly ghouls can die, but can regular humans kill them and how. More of the story will obviously be revealed later and at the point of this three episodes were released I have some to get caught up.

 

Review Scores: Tokyo Ghoul

Animation: 8

Story: 8

Characters: 8

Overall: 7.7

 

 

 

New Anime Horizon – Kill La Kill 01

Kill La Kill

Episode 01 – “If Only I Had Thorns Like a Thistle

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Kill la Kill is an anime series being produced by Trigger. The series is directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima. Together they worked on one of the most critically acclaimed anime Gurren Lagann. The quality , excitement and style of that series is clearly reflected on this series.

Story

The story of “Kill la Kill” is rather simple, revenge (Kill Bill Style). Ryuko Matoi is the main protagonist. She is a young  girl who travels in search of the person that killed her father. Armed with a single red scissor blade she arrives at the “Honnoji Academy”. Apparently her father’s murder has the other half of the scissor. Honnoji Academy is a high school that’s ruled by a  student council, led by the student council president, Satsuki Kiryuin. The school uses powerful uniforms known as Goku Uniforms.

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When Ryuko sees Satsuki she instantly instigates a fight. Her revenge is halted when Takaharu Fukuroda (Boxing Club Captain) interferes. After being thoroughly defeated by him she flees.  While sulking in the rain she decries her defeat to her father. Ryuko (aided by homeroom teacher Aikurō Mikisugi)  comes across a living school uniform named Senketsu, who forces itself onto Ryuko. Now with Senketsu, Ryuko returns to the school to stand up against Satsuki. She defeats Fukuroda destroying his uniform in the process. This episode ends on a cliff hanger and I can’t wait for the next one!

Character Design & Concepts

The character design of “Kill la Kill” is pretty simple. The uniforms seem standard Japanese school uniforms we’ve all seen before. However, the leaders of the Honnoji Academy student council seem to have more unique qualities. Ryuko’s uniform Senketsu unifrom clearly is designed with fan service in mind. A combination of metal and fabric ( what little it has ) is different from other uniforms in this series so far. The concept of the Goku Uniforms (instantly thought of Dragon Ball Z) isn’t the most unique but interesting.

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Ryuko’s uniform leaves little to the imagination

Basically, there are four levels of uniforms identified by the number of stars. They range from no stars to three stars (only one to three have superpowers). Ryuko is armed with half of a scissor (obviously much cooler in anime than real life). Senketsu doesn’t appear to have any stars but we could assume its at least stronger that a two star. After Ryuko defeats Fukuroda his uniform disappears as her sword destroy it and her uniform absorbs a strain form it. I’m guessing she’ll gain power from each student she defeats (and maybe more fabric).

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Action & Animation

Trigger has my confidence when it comes to animation. With Gurren Lagann Imashi and Nakashima clearly have the talent to create great animation and it shows. The same fluid quality animation that was used in Gurren Lagann is used here. The camera angels are dramatic and there’s a combination of moving animation with detailed stills. The abilities of some of the characters are interesting particularly Fukuroda (in this episode anyway). I’m hoping that this is a precursor to more unique abilities that add to what seems to be a promising anime.

Conclusion

Overall, Kill La Kill is an entertaining, funny, violet and a little sexy. Kill la Kill has a rapid pace that can be too much to take in at first causing confusion. However, once you re-watch the episode a few times it will make more sense. If this episode is any indication this series has a lot of potential. It’s clear that Kill is inspired by Gurren Lagann (Ryuko and Simon are almost identical) this can only be a good thing. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations and the excitement episode 1 created.