Breimh’s Anime Review – Kanokon

Kanokon’s story revolves around Kouta Oyamada, a young first-year high school student who moves from the country to the city and thus transfers to Kunpo High School. On his first day at his new school, a beautiful second-year female student named Chizuru Minamoto asks him to meet her alone in the music room. When he arrives, she reveals her that she is in fact a fox deity and from that day on the two hang out together. Nozomu is a first year female student at Kouta’s school, she is in fact a wolf deity and in love with Kouta, and a rival of Chizuru for Kouta’s affections
Published by: GPC Films Inc.
My girl and I haven’t watched much of this type of anime, but we found the characters interesting, the naughty scenes hilarious, and the frustration of the characters immense fun to watch. (Yes, there is some PG-13 and even R-17 material in this series.) We both agree, Kota is a wuss, and needs a backbone before he can ever be able to handle one of the girls after him, let alone more than one!

Breimh’s Anime Review – Ore Shura

The protagonist, Eita Kidou, is a high school freshman with excellent grades and a disdain for love. He used to live a regular school life with his childhood friend, Chiwa Harusaki, a girl who’s nearly a sister to him, but then one day the school’s most beautiful girl, Masuzu Natsukawa, confesses to him. However, her true desire is only to fool the eyes of others and pretend to be a couple. With a certain secret of his in Masuzu’s hands, Eita is forced to play along… But a fierce battle over Eita begins as his ex-girlfriend, Himeka, and his fiancé, Ai, join the fray!
Published by: Aniplex
It goes without saying that this series shows how Pat Benetar was right, Love Is A Battlefield. Nearly my entire household enjoys this one. A witty play on the classic love-pyramid, this series has all the elements of any other romantic-comedy high-school anime with dialogue and drama that don’t pull punches but leave out a lot of the angst. A refreshing spin on timeless storytelling, to say the least!
The artistic lines are clean, the color muted but still offering a balance of contrasts that please the eye, so I’ll push it to 4 1/2 of 5 stars.OreShura

Breimh’s Anime Review – You & Me

Friends since kindergarten and seemingly like blood brothers, You and Me follows the lives of Yuta and Yuki Asaba, Shun Matsuokan and Kaname Tsukahara; as well as transfer student Chizuru Tachibana who joins the circle of friends. Together we will watch as they laugh, dance, cry and share the memories of growing up together in everyday life.
(Season 2)
“No matter how many years go by, I’m sure we’ll still be laughing together.” Twins Yuta and Yuki, Kaname, and Shun have been childhood friends since kindergarten. When transfer student Chizuru joins them, their five man school life becomes all the more lively. Through the changing seasons, the boys will find laughter, surprises, love, and new encounters waiting for them. The second season of the boys growing a little every day of their invaluable daily lives is about to begin!
Published by: TV Tokyo
I was very surprised at who much I enjoyed this anime. When I first started watching this anime I wasn’t entirely sure about the artistic style and muted colors, it was different from what I was use to; but the more I watched the series the more I admired it. Along with it’s unique style the characters range in personality and I found my self relating to each of them on some level. Besides the characters and art, this series can boast a wonderful soundtrack, and the slice-of-life story line was one of the most down-to-earth I have seen in any anime. The second season of You and Me is even more fabulous than the first; the character development, the jokes that come through (even in translation) and the compassion for the storytelling of these friends we began to know in the first season leave one wanting to see what is yet to come for each of them. This easily puts it in the 5 of 5 stars position I give it.

Breimh’s Anime Review – The Mystic Archives of Dantalian

Hugh inherits a musty old mansion, along with the entire book collection contained within, from his grandfather – a bibliomaniac who once traded half his lands in exchange for a copy of a rare book. The only condition was that he also inherit the “Archives of Dantalian.” Having arrived at the mansion to put his grandfather’s possessions in order, Hugh meets a girl of 12 or 13 quietly reading amongst the tall piles of books in the basement. She is dressed in jet-black, and wears a lock around her neck. Her name is Dalian, and she controls the gateway to the Archives of Dantalian, where the forbidden mystic books of demonic wisdom are kept.
Published by: Kadokawa Pictures Inc.
This well-drawn and written series pulls in the watcher, in the same way that a good book does. Lovely Victorian backdrop frames each tale, while the dialogue – though sometimes sharp and shocking – guides the viewer as easily as one envisions in their mind the words they might read on a page. With intriguing and charming characters, the watcher is lead through a maze of quests following Huey Disward and Dalian as they seek out and attempt to negate the worst effects of forbidden texts called Phantom Books. Twists abound in these wonder-tales, so pay close attention as each story unfolds; but most of all, may you enjoy these delightedly artful treasures. This one is yet another delight, easily achieving 5 of 5 stars from me and those within my household.

Breimh’s Anime Review – Science Ninja Team Gatchaman

A classic anime, and the first of it’s kind to try to emulate the American Superhero genre, this series has stood the test of time since 1972! Gatchaman centers around five young people employed by Kōzaburō Nambu of the fictitious International Science Organization to oppose an international terrorist organization of technologically advanced villains known as Galactor who are trying to control Earth’s natural resources. The leader of this evil society is an androgynous, masked antagonist named Berg Kattse acting on the orders of an alien superior called Sosai X.
Originally published by: Tatsunoko Productions
This is the series that first got me interested in the anime style and genre, when I watched it many years ago as a child, aired on American television as Battle of the Planets. It has since been re-released under the titles of G-Force: Guardians of Space, Eagle Riders and Battle of the Planets: Phoenix Ninjas. The environmental saving messages that are conveyed through the story line, the sleek lines of craft and costuming, and even the fantastic array of colors initially attracted me to the show, and every so often I come back to watch it again, noting how the forms and lines have changed over the years, but there is still a quintessential aesthetic style that emanates in all anime today.
If you haven’t seen this one, you’re missing out. It can feel dated and simple, in some ways, but is a great romp with true flare. That’s why I give it 4 of 5 stars, even after all these years.

Breimh’s Anime Review – Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends

Hasegawa Kodaka has transferred schools, and he’s having a hard time making friends. It doesn’t help that his blond hair tends to make people think he’s a delinquent. One day, he runs into his bad-tempered solitary classmate Yozora while she’s talking animatedly to her imaginary friend Tomo. Realizing that neither of them have any actual friends, they decide that the best way to alter this situation is to form a club and start recruiting.
That is how The Neighbours’ Club was formed, a club specifically designed for people who don’t have very many friends. As other lonely classmates slowly join their little club, they’ll try to learn how to build friendships through cooking together, playing games, and other group activities. But will this group of relationship-challenged misfits really be able to get along?

Published by: Media Factory
Filled with frolicking fun, a host of great character interaction from the typical anime types we have come to know from myriad other shows, this series deals with uncommon problems of how and why your appearance or attitude can leave you as an outcast, to being incredibly popular but still feeling alone in a crowd, and yet thriving to remain true to yourself instead of forcing you to change to fit in.
The events and interaction that are presented for the viewer are believable, the simple yet elegant style of line, the off-color humor and embarrassing situations all give something one can identify with on some level. In the end, this may be a great way for introverts to identify and unite! While I find some of the humor a bit base, and a couple of characters a bit too easily fitting the over-the-top stereotypes, I thoroughly enjoy this one, and feel that Kodaka has found another friend. I give it 3 1/2 of 5 stars.

Breimh’s Anime Review – Red Data Girl

A modern fantasy based on Japanese Shinto legends. Suzuhara Izumiko is a 15-year-old girl, who has been raised and protected in a shrine deep in the Kumano mountains. She is quite shy and destroys all the electric devices she touches. When she begins to think about going out of the mountains and moving to the city, her guardian Sagara Yukimasa recommends her to enter a high school in Tokyo and forces his son Miyuki to serve Izumiko for life. Miyuki and Izumiko repel each other but their relationship begins to change when a terrifying accident occurs on the school excursion. Izumiko learns her fate as the last representative (yorishiro) of a Himegami goddess and Miyuki learns of his duty as a guardian Yamabushi of Izumiko.
Published by: Funimation
What makes a great mystery? Something I have asked myself from time to time is what the formula is for drawing me into a show and keeping my attention. This one brings up that question again, because it challenges my previous notions of what the formula is. The artistic style for Red Data Girl far surpasses many others of the genre, mixing CGI and hand-line seamlessly. The story, while not my usual cup of tea, pulls at me to continue watching though the attitudes of the characters sometimes leave me baffled as to how they manage to continue to remain in the same space as one another, and at others want me to strangle the writers for throwing in too much below-the-surface tension. But, it is the mystery that holds me transfixed, wanting to watch until the story plays out to the end. I do find things I dislike about this one, but they are personal reasons, and thus I give the series 4 out of 5 stars, and encourage others to offer their own opinions once they’ve viewed it.

Breimh’s Anime Review – 7 Deadly Sins

In a world where humans and non-humans have not yet been separated, the kingdom of Leones is protected by the Holy Knights, powerful magic users both revered and feared by the people. Supposedly the strongest, most fearsome of these knights, the Seven Deadly Sins, betrayed the kingdom and made enemies of all the other knights. Queen Elizabeth doesn’t believe this story, and sets out to find the Sins – but when she meets the first Sin at a tavern, his name is Melodias, and he’s nothing but a boy in charge of the pigs.
Produced by: Aniplex
This absolutely fun romp through the fantasy genre takes it’s place easily in the annals of Anime circles. Comedic timing and one-liners abound while thrilling suspense and action, as well as a few sentimental moments, offset the zaniness in just the right moments to make one keep from feeling like it’s too much to take. Watching this series, my group of friends and I found ourselves noting moments when the show seemed to steal some of the best elements from the latest MMORPG banter or a scene of our tabletop game as if the writers had been eavesdropping.
The writing aside, while there are some classic overly large weapons and ungainly suits of armor, the lines and color – and even CGI work – are superb! This series makes me hope more will be forthcoming, soon, whether in the same setting or with another group of legendary figures. I give it 5 of 5 sins… I mean stars!

Game Review: Bananagrams

By Drew



Bananagrams is a tile laying game where the goal is to be the first player to complete a word grid after the pool of letter tiles has been exhausted.

Initial Thoughts
The game is inexpensive and very quick to learn.  It uses elements from Scrabble and Boggle; so, players familiar with those games will have almost no learning curve.  Bananagrams is a multiplayer game, but you have little interaction with the other players.  The only player interaction is racing to complete your grid first after the last tile has been drawn.  There are no turns.  Everyone places at the same time.

Pros: Bananagrams has very high replayability.  Its easy rule set makes getting new players up to speed a quick process.  If you get bored with the base rules, there are variants to the game that people have posted online.  The game has a heavy dose of luck which does help level the playing field when playing with poorer spellers.  Bananagrams is great for causal gamers and those looking to take a break from more complex games.  The only set up is placing all of the tiles into the middle of the table face down.

Con: I have few, if any, complaints.  The game does bounce between being skill based and luck based, but many games are.  The basic game can get repetitive if you play too many rounds, but that’s while variants exist.  The pieces are high quality.  The packaging is very thematic (it’s a zip up banana), but it can make putting Bananagrams away more difficult.  You can’t just put it at the bottom of your game pile.

Final Thoughts
This game is loads of fun, quick to teach, quick to set up, and a great breather from more complex games.  It’s fun for heavy table gamers and casual players.  Each round is short, and you can keep playing rounds until you are bored with playing making the game last essentially as long as your group wishes.  I highly recommend playing this game.


Breimh’s Anime Review – The Princess and the Pilot

The war between the Levamme Empire and the Amatsukami Imperium has been raging for years. In the midst of this struggle, the prince of the Levamme Empire declares his love for Juana del Moral and vows to end the war in one year, as part of his marriage proposal. When the Amatsukami catch wind of this, they assault the del Moral residence, targeting Juana’s life. As a last-ditch effort to bring the prince his bride, the San Maltilia Airforce employs a mercenary of mixed blood—a bestado—to fly Juana to the prince in secret.
Published by: NIS America

Watching this anime, I was drawn back to days in my youth as I would sneak into my dad’s special comics collection and page through his WWII graphic novels and comic serials. Sweeping views of aircraft whirling around one another in a dangerous dance was only part of the magic of this magnificent movie! The characters, and the story are solid, and offer a cherished tender moment as the hero and heroine realize a shared past. With an understated score accompanying only a few brief moments of the film, I found myself only vaguely drawn toward other distractions, but the dialogue and movement made me gravitate back almost immediately. Beautiful scenery and sleekly drawn characters are sure to make this one a classic in it’s own time.
With it’s ballet of story, breathtaking visuals and sublime interplay of characters, I would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy this one on some level. I have to give it a full 5 of 5 stars rating.