Monday, May 22, 2017

Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode Ep 16 Review: Yukari's Deception

Let's Cooking! This is my review of Kira Kira Precure episode 16 and Yukari has her suspicious on Rio for a while and decide to play it out.

As the girls were discussing about Julio's recent attacks, Yukari has her own suspicious on who he really is. After a day at the Patisserie, Yukari left without telling anyone and Akira caught up with her. Rio interrupted them and Yukari suggested to everyone to come to her house for a tea ceremony.

The girls were amazed by Yukari's tea making display which oddly enough Rio was able to mimic her tea-brewing. Rio later met Yukari and she claimed that her parents care more about her older sister and she find life so mundane.

Ichika who was inspired by Yukari's tea making decided to come up with an ocean theme for their Patisserie with the Whale Strawberry Daifuku as the menu. After the event, Yukari's fangirls were attacked by Julio and Yukari transform to confront him.

Julio managed to caught hold of Cure Macaron and even taunt about her older sister. At that moment, Cure Macaron knew that Julio and Rio are the same person since she make up the lie of having an older sister. Julio realised he was duped and tried to attack her furiously.

Cure Macaron used her new skill-Macaron Perfection to even the odds and the rest of the girls joined in to finish off Julio's weapon. After the battle, Yukari make some tea for her grandmother which she commented that it is not good. Yukari laughed to herself that she finally knew what enjoyment is about all. Although the tea that Rio make before has also raise some suspicious.

Meanwhile, Julio set his sights on Ichika...

This confirmed that Yukari is the most cunning girl in the group and how she has her suspicious on Rio since Day 1. The only problem is Yukari is more of a loner who decided to take on Rio/Julio and not letting the others know. Probably she knew that Ichika or Himari might screw up her plan.

At the same time, Yukari decided to play "the Lonely girl" act to get Rio to lower his defenses by lying about her older sister getting all the attention from her parents. Sure enough, when Julio later mentioned about Yukari''s sister, she knew that Rio and Julio are the same person since she only told  him before.

Other than Cure Macaron's solo battle with Julio and Macaron Perfection looked like Spin Saucers blades, this is so far a pretty heavy episode of Yukari trying to unravel Rio's true identify and we get to know that Yukari is still trying to find a purpose in her life since we knew that she is Miss Perfect. Although tea making will probably a past time for Yukari to enjoy and perhaps strive for perfection. But I am still waiting for the episode where Yukari will act out of character since she alway play cool and collective as seeing that expression will be priceless.

Overall, an episode that doesn't involve a third party but Yukari herself overcoming her doubts and unraveling Julio's identify. However Julio is pissed that Yukari has ruined his plans and decided to set his final experiment on Ichika. As seen in the preview, Ichika lose her Kiraru energy by Julio and the rest of the girls must figure out a way to get it. Until then, see you in the next post!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode Ep 15 Review: My Beloved Sister!

Let's Cooking! This is my review of Kira Kira Precure episode 15 and today we are introduced to Akira's younger sister, Miku!

Hey little girl, want some sweets? (Ichika looked like some dirty old man preying on little kids)

When Akira was first introduced in the series, she mentioned she had a younger sister, Miku who is warded in hospital for a certain health condition. So when the girls met Miku for the first time, she was very lively and full of cuteness that the girls immediately make her a waiting staff at the  Patisserie.

Akira was resistant to the idea but saw Miku trying her best despite forgetting the order and messing up the sweets decoration. Later Miku told Ichika that she want to make something for Akira for all the support she gave her (which even Rio supported her)

Ichika came up the idea of a chocolate poodle cake and Miku was able to make it for Akira. She was touched by it since she recalled how she calmed a young Miku (by giving her chocolate) when she was frighted by a poodle dog.

Of course, Julio appeared and sucked Miku's Kiraru energy to make his weapon which looked like a trident and Cure Chocolat went head-on desperately trying to get back Miku's Kiraru energy.

Similar to last week's episode with Cure Gelato, Cure Chocolat could feel Miku's energy and she used it to create Chocolat Aromase which looked similar to Cure Whip's special attack. Once Julio retreated with him now being pissed off which is odd since everything he claimed he did is just an "experiment", Akira brought Miku back to the hospital (I forgot to mention the doctor gave her a day pass to leave the hospital) and the girls told Miku that she is welcome to the Patisserie anytime...

Despite the title of this episode claimed it is about Akira but it is more of introducing Miku. Miku is the sweetheart to everyone as she showed liveliness even though I got a feeling it is to cover up her health condition. (You know, for kids?) Although the reason why Miku love chocolate was Akira giving her to coax when she was frightened by a dog as a child and even have some spare chocolates make by Akira which Miku called it her treasure.

However compared to Aoi's episode, Akira in this episode wasn't that impressed since we already know she will do anything to protect her sister and even went head-on against Julio which failed obviously. Even Cure Chocolat's new attack, Chocolat Aromase didn't feel amazing as it is just Chocolate cream shooting all over the place. (Seriously Toei, you are going everyone a bad case of sugar rush by the end of the series)

Overall, an okay episode since Miku is the one who stole the show but an unimpressed fight with Julio. Next week, Yukari decided to take the offensives to find out who Rio really is. Until then, see you in the next post!

P.S: Miku is voiced by Honda Kadea and she is the voice of Aoba from Keijo (Ass of Babylon) and Miyoko of Handa-Kun (Eraserrrrrr....) Those who watch Handa-Kun will know what this means...

Monday, May 8, 2017

Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode Ep 14 Review: The Lion and The Dolphin

Let's Cooking! This is my review of Kira Kira Precure episode 14 and Aoi is revealed to be an Ojou Sama!

After last week's little moment of Aoi not willing to appear in front of the camera, we finally got an answer this week and after a mysterious (and handsome) butler "abducted" Aoi during her live concert, Yukari (for reasons unknown) got Aoi's home address and they paid a visit.

You know, Aoi is pretty sweet among the three junior girls.

What caught them (minus Yukari) by surprise was a well dressed Aoi and her family is well-known in the business industry. Aoi's butler introduced himself as Mizushima and he is pretty strict towards her. Although the girls learn from him that he was adopted by Aoi's parents and became a surrogate brother to Aoi.

It actually make sense for Mizushima to repay Aoi's parents by coming a guardian to Aoi. I felt that Mizushima behave more like an older brother disciplining his sibling despite having a poker face which of course got Aoi upset since she was not allowed to go to her performances or work with the girls.

My god! What did they do to you, Rio?!

The girls were discussing what to do next until Rio came in and tried to give discouragement to them. But of course, Ichika is pretty dense and decided to do the opposite! By making Mizushima and Aoi coming to an understanding and with the power of cooking, they created Blue Jello with a dolphin stuffed in!

Rio was speechless and Yukari who is most observant knew something was wrong with Rio's words but decided to keep mum about it. The girls crash into a party hosted by Aoi's family and Aoi did her gig with her band (Though how did her band members sneak in is another question? I know Aoi's working staff did supported her by getting her band members but setting up a stage in record time did raise some questions)

Mizushima was annoyed by the stunts however Ichika let him eat the Dolphin Jello and listening to Aoi's performance which he was moved by it but he kept a poker face and remarked that it is a waste of time. Rio after seeing the people in the party having Kiraru energy while listening to Aoi decided to make his move and started sucking the Kiraru energy including Mizushima.

A battle ensure and Julio spotted that there is some Kiraru energy left in Mizushima but Cure Gelato deflected his attacks and realised that Mizushima do care for her and she absorbed his energy, turning it into her new attack-Gelato Shake (Which again why Toei is taking the easy way out by having Cure Gelato way back at the background while her attacks is at the foreground)

I am smarter than I looked, Ichika!

After Julio retreated and everything went back to normal, Aoi returned back to the Patisserie and Mizushima allowed her to go for her performances and work in the Patisserie as long she keep her grades up which surprised Ichika since she assume that Aoi is not good with her grades and Aoi tease her...

Overall, this is a better character developed episode than last week as it show that Aoi is pretty different from most typical Ojou characters like Minami or Alice. For her, Aoi is very free spirited and her friends accepted her for who she is and not what she is.

Mizushima's nagging is understandable since he is given the responsibilities to take care of Aoi since how Aoi's parents are not around all the time. It make sense for Aoi to do something she really enjoyed and to keep herself occupied. (It could be worse, Aoi might mix with bad company given how she like to potray herself as a rock singer)

Miku is the "Sweetest" sister!

Next week, we are introduced to Akira's younger sister, Miku and she is the next target for Julio! Can Akira protect her from him? Until then, see you in the next post!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Kira Kira Precure Ala Mode Ep 13 Review: Mascot Reporter Himari!

Let's Cooking! This is my review of Kira Kira Precure episode 13 and Himari is given the task to promote the shopping district.

This episode is kinda of expected for Himari's development since she is very shy among strangers and for some unknown reason, the fruit seller (who saw Himari's commentary on the Flamingo Churros) insisted that Himari is the best person to promote the shopping district.

Despite the many fumbles she had to go through, Himari nearly give up promoting until she saw a little girl asking her mother about how Churros were made. It actually flashback to Himari as a child who was fascinated about Puddings and learn everything about it.

So I am guessing every episode, we will be seeing a different look on Julio's staff so what is next? A whip, a hammer or maybe a Transformer?

Himari realised she might have the knowledge all to herself but to share with others is more fun which I am guessing what this episode is teaching us about. This also gave Himari/Cure Custard the courage to face Julio later in the episode after he mocked them and him treating everything as an experiment.

I mean, seriously Toei, this is the best you can do for Custard Illusion?

The only grip I have was Cure Custard's new attack-Custard Illusions. Although it is basically endless machine gun barrage however the graphics was really awful when she fired it. I meant just having her figure at the background with no details or even an impact to make it memorable. (One word, Toei's laziness)

In the end, Himari overcome her shyness and the video they uploaded got better views. Overall, It is a "Play by number" episode for Himari however it could be better. (Not that I am biased but the yellow cures usually have the best character developments throughout their run, look at Yayoi/Cure Peace or Kirara/Cure Twinkle)

Next week, we shift to Aoi and guess what, she is actually a rich girl but it seems her family is against her love for rock music and "abducted" her back home! Find out why in the next episode! Until, see you in the next post!

(I know this review is short but given that most of you have already watched the episode and I kinda of expecting Himari overcoming her shyness through the battle since it is basically Precure 101 to have such a scenario every season)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Five Favourite Mecha Shows that does not have "Gundam" or "Macross" in their titles!

Hi everyone! I have given some thoughts on how to improve my blog and instead of doing reviews for current shows, why don't I give some recommendations for completed series? As you can tell from the title, I will be talking about one of my favourite sub genre which is the Mecha genre or some will call it "Robot Anime"

Don't get me wrong from the title. Gundam and Macross actually make many changes to the Mecha genre but it will be too easy to name any of the Gundam and Macross series in this list as there is a whole chunk of them.

So I present you five of my favourite Mecha shows in no particular order and this is not an official list but these are the shows I will watch it again and again. Also these shows are shows that I finished watching it so don't expected me to watch every mecha shows that come out now or then. (I will get a burnout if that happened)

Gunbuster: or it's actual title-Toppu o Nerru is a 6 episode OVA series created by Hideki Anno. Before Hideki went all coco puffs on Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gunbuster is a story of two young girls who inspired to become space pilots to battle the oncoming aliens race simply known as Space Monsters.

Noriko is the naive and hard working girl who looked upon the talented and beautiful senior Kasumi however both girls faced different trials like Noriko trying her best to become a pilot despite lacking of talents and Kasumi who is in love with their instructor, Ohta and the fear of losing him due to Ohta's terminal illness.

Gunbuster doesn't even make an appearance until episode 5 when Noriko took upon herself to pilot it after an attack by the Space Monsters. This show also deal with the Space Time Dilation as the Space Monsters are hiding far in the galaxy, the crew travel further away from Earth which results in a difference of time displacement. For the crew, it was only 6 months in space but 10 years has passed on Earth.

Noriko and Kasumi finally accepted the responsibility of protecting Earth despite Ohta's passing and Noriko losing the people she care about back on Earth. They travelled into the heart of the universe to destroy all the Space Monsters after 12000 years has passed on Earth.

For the girls, it was only a few hours after the final battle and they wondered if the Earth survived or does anyone remember them. When they finally approached Earth, the two girls saw something unbelievable that it had remained one of the best memorable scenes in Anime history.

Overall, this is one of the shows I recommend despite a slow start and Gunbuster doesn't appeared until later. But the finale was worth watching for this 6 episode OVA.

Shin Getta Robo-The Last Days of Earth: I love Getta Robo since it was the pioneer for creating the combiner robots for similar shows. Even Transformers was influenced to have combiner robots like Devastor in their shows so you have to thank Getta Robo for that.

Shin Getta Robo was actually a previous idea created by Getta Robo creators-Nagai Go and Ishikawa Ken for the 4th Super Robot Wars game for Playstation 1 however not much lore was given to Shin Getta although it did make an appearance in Getta Robo GO manga but not in animated form.

When it was announced that Shin Getta Robo is getting a 13 episode OVA series, I can't wait for it to come. What came was both shocking and confusion after watching it. As a young teen, I didn't really understand some of the changes like Lead Pilot, Ryoma is voiced by Ishikawa Hideo and not Kamiya Akira (Who is one of my favourite voice actor of all time) and why there is a focus on newcomers Go, Kei and Gai in the second half of the series?

Now as an adult and re watching again, it actually make sense for the changes. Ryoma in the manga is completely different from Ryoma in the original 1974 anime. Manga Ryoma is a hardcore and almost deranged psychopath that he is the perfect candidate for Getta Robo which feed on instinct and rage.

Furthermore, the OVA already started off with Ryoma being framed for murder of Getta's creator, Dr Saotome and when he was released to kill a revived Saotome later in the episode, his first words to Saotome was to send him back to hell. (Ryoma is totally crazy in that scene but it was awesome)

What came was a great series that make Shin Getta one of the most crazed robots with over the top action and an epic story from start to finish. I won't spoil the ending but Shin Getta has become such a fan favourite that it remind a staple character in every Super Robot Wars game after that.

Shin Mazinger Impact! Z Chapter: If Getta Robo was the pioneer who started the combining robots then Mazinger is the one who started the Super Robot Genre. After close to 40 years, Mazinger's main core story still remind the same unlike Getta Robo.

However Shin Mazinger actually rebooted the lore of Mazinger and give it a more epic back story on why Mazinger is the father of all Super Robots. With Akabane Kenji replacing Ishimaru Hiroya as the voice of Kabuto Kouji after nearly 40 years, Mazinger started off pretty weird with a single night for Mazinger's debut battle to last for nearly the first 8 episodes!

But after that, little info were spread out here and there though out the series about the connection between Mazinger, the Kabuto Family and the Mycenaeans which is an ancient civilization that series villain, Dr Hell reverse-engineered their technology to create his mechanical beasts.

Furthermore, the series also paid tribute to Go Nagai's other series like Violence Jack, Dai Maou Dante and even Energer Z which is a prototype story before Mazinger was created. The battles were fierce and epic which Kouji not just have to battle Dr Hell and his mechanical Beasts but even battle Satan himself. (No, Seriously!) Guess which God did Mazinger was based on? 

The only flaw the show has was the ending which was left hanging as the anime studio that was responsible declared bankrupt as such no sequel was done. However Nagai Go did Shin Mazinger Zero which is another retelling and it has one of the most epic final battles that it is a love letter to fans of Mecha shows in general.

From left to right: Tamaki, Asagi, Izuru, Kei and Ataru

Majestic Prince: If there is one thing that Mecha shows taught us, it was Super Robots shows are colorful, over the top and pilots who are more hot blooded and optimistic. Real Robots shows tend to be more realistic, have darker themes and pilots who sometime throw a fit for no reason.

But here come a little show called Majestic Prince that is technically a Real Robot show but this rag tag team of pilots and crew members are people that I want to get along with! Basically five pilots (Izuru, Asagi, Kei, Tamaki and Ataru) from MJP academy are the worst team to perform in combat and everyone shun them.

However the five pilots codenamed Team Rabbits were given the chance of a lifetime to pilot state of the arts mecha called AHSMB to assist in the evacuation of a military base during an alien invasion. However Izuru saw civilians who were unable to evacuate decided to take the leap to defend them and his teammates follow suit.

Soon the five of them were nicknamed "Majestic Prince" in the media and the team learn to work together with their supporting staffs and discovering the aliens' true motives.

Sounds pretty standard for a mecha show but what make this show enjoyable was the cast of characters with Izuru who is an amateur artist who dream of being a hero, Asagi who get a stomach upset whenever he is nervous, Kei who has a sweet tooth but is horrible in making sweets, Tamaki who goes after any hot looking guy and weapons geek Ataru who can't stop talking about any awesome weapons lying around.

The five of them compliment each other and they don't get upset or emotional like most teens do. Furthermore, their supporting staff which include a sexy lollipop sucking female captain and a busty chief mechanic was always fun to watch.

Although the show started off slowly in the early episodes but once the main plot is revealed, everything is shifted to overdrive and it is non-stop to the end. Furthermore, there is an extra episode that bridge the conclusion of the TV series to the movie which is a continuation from where they left off. If you want a mecha show that doesn't take itself too seriously, I will highly recommended Majestic Prince as a good Real Robot show.

Gravion and Gravion Zwei: If Majestic Prince is a love letter to Real Robots then Gravion is a love letter to Super Robots.

Created by Obari Masami, (The guy who draw his Super Robots like hot sexy humans!) Gravion is the story of Eiji who is searching for his missing elder sister, Ayaka who was last working with the mysterious Mr Sandman. Eiji discovered Sandman has created a task force called Gran Divas to deal with the upcoming alien invasion by the Zeravire who started attacking Earth.

From Far left to right: Leele, Eina, Luna, Mizuki, Eiji and Touka 

Eiji was thrust by Sandman to join Gran Divas and piloted 1/6 of a super robot named Gravion together with Main Core Pilot and slightly dense Touka, Tsundere Luna, Timid Maid Eina, Sexy Lady Mizuki and Quiet Leele.

Every episode played like a typical Super Robot episode with a monster of the week with a better budget. The combined sequence in every episode is also paying tribute to 70s and 80s combined robots shows and a new weapon appearing every episode. (You wonder why there was never a toy on Gravion till this day since it will make a perfect toy for collectors?)

Despite all the silliness and over the top moments, the show also has it's serious and deep moments especially for Eiji's search for his sister and Sandman's true identify and motives. The sequel, Gravion Zwei which continue from the first season also gave some more back stories from the various characters and how the Earth governments aren't going to let Gravion take all the credits.

However unlike Majestic Prince's governments who are run by stubborn men, the Earth government finally respected Gravion and they actually work together in the finale. Overall, a highly underrated Super Robots show (Sure, it has fan service) but a near perfect Super Robot show in my opinion.

That's five of my favourite Mecha shows. Sure, there are other Mecha shows that I recommended but these are the ones that I will watch it over again. If you have a chance, take a look at these shows and if you want me to do a similar topic like this one, leave a comment. Until then, see you in the next post!