Posts Tagged ‘Toonami’
Look, I know it’s technically not a single show but I feel the need to review this because Toonami was a part of my childhood and I was more than a bit excited to see that it was coming back. Especially on Adult Swim. No more censorship. So what I’m going to do is a rundown of all the shows, my recommendations based on the episodes, and then a simple review of Toonami itself.
First show up is Bleach. I have a full review up already so I’m not going to bother talking about this one.
Next show, Deadman Wonderland. Series premiere and my god this show is ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve run into such a dark show in a long time. A friend of mine was trying to get me to watch it a while back and man I am pissed at myself for not taking his suggestion. The show is ludicrously dark sure, but my god is it interesting. The basic premise is that a middle school class is randomly slaughtered, leaving the main character as the only survivor. He is accused of the crime and, due to what appears to be fake video footage, is sentenced to life in Deadman Wonderland. Deadman Wonderland is a prison theme park deal that is all that’s currently left of Tokyo. The show is massively messed-up but I am intrigued. I’ll be hopefully reviewing the whole thing for you guys soon.
Next up, another new one, Casshern Sins. This show, was odd. To say the least. As far as opening episodes, unlike Deadman Wonderland, it really doesn’t set up the premise that well, leaving with more than a few moments with me scratching my head in confusion. Weirdest thing, I knew I recognized the art style so I decided to look up the show on Wikipedia. Apparently this show is a gritty reboot of an old Tatsunoko anime. Weird stuff. Anyway, it seems that the basic premise is that the world is currently in ruin with mainly robots left, there are implied to be humans although in exceptionally small numbers. Casshern returns to this destroyed world with no memory of who he is and all of the robots then begin to hunt him down without remorse, believing that consuming him will stop the rot that has so infected the world. So yeah, first episode is Casshern having flashbacks and slaughtering robots, trying desperately to remember who he is. Not bad, just not really a very strong opener. Still gonna watch it though.
Next up, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Not gonna bother with this one for now. Just watch it.
Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG was on after that. Truth be told, I caught the episode but it didn’t really appeal to me. Seems like I may have caught it mid season, wouldn’t be all that shocked. It was good, animation was great, characters were interesting, and cyberpunk is always awesome, but I couldn’t really get into it.
Moving on, we have one of the greatest animes I’ve ever seen: Cowboy Bebop. Let me just say in advance that I, up to that point, had never actually seen Cowboy Bebop. Now I’m very angry at myself that I hadn’t. Started watch it yesterday and just never stopped. This show is absolutely amazing and even if you don’t like anime, this show is fantastic. The premise is that two characters by the name of Jet and Spike work on their ship, Bebop, as bounty hunters, also known as cowboys (understand the name now?). This show is just one of a kind and a must see for anyone who considers themselves a fan of television in general.
As for Toonami’s reboot, it was interesting. Was definitely nice to see Tom back in command of the Absolution and they managed to bring new anime to the table that I had never even heard of, which was precisely what Toonami should be doing. I was a little bit pissed that the revival wasn’t nearly as grand. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t expecting a 30 minute montage of the series’ awesomeness, but was expecting maybe one show from Toonami’s history back (maybe a Gundam or something).
As far as things go though, it’s nice to see Toonami back and it’s nic to see decent anime appear on Adult Swim again. Keep it up Adult Swim and I’ll be back every Saturday night.
Ah yes. Let us continue with the reviewing of old Toonami shows that I grew up with. Yu Yu Hakusho was yet another one of the shows that helped to introduce me to Japanese animation. Since I already did all my introduction to Toonami look during my G Gundam review (which you should totally read by the way), I’ll just dive into the concept stuff in this first paragraph instead. Here’s the concept: A 15-year old punk of a kid dies while saving a young kid from getting hit by a car. The punk (known as Yusuke Urameshi) apparently was not supposed to die at that point in time and gets aid from Spirit World (basically Heaven) to get his body back. I know I’m giving away spoilers but after a short five episode arc of getting his body back, the show actually warps into something completely different. Essentially what happens after Yusuke is revived (spoiler alert) is that he is dragged into service with spirit world as their detective on Earth. His job is to basically fight demon’s and keep Earth safe from attack. The concept is fantastic but lets delve further into this show.
The characters are absolutely amazing. The one thing that I really like about this show is that it manages to keep it’s cast small. It’s not like Dragonball Z, where there are about 500 characters that no one cares about all wandering about. Let me just explain a bit, there are only four main heroes (well maybe five when you add in the Masked Fighter) and that doesn’t increase very much. Oh sure there is a supporting cast but they manage to keep them pretty minimal and yet still interesting. While we’re on characters, the voice acting is absolutely fantastic. This is truly some of the best dubbing that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. All the voices are fitting and I cannot watch the subtitled Japanese original simply because I see these characters without hearing the voices that I have associated with them for so many years.
Let’s move on to the miscellaneous stuff shall we? The art style is excellent to say the least. It’s sharp, interesting and the effects are generally quite cool. Another thing that happens to go really well in this show was that the action scenes are (unlike Dragonball Z) really really good. There are no powering up for three episodes crap here, one fight, one episode seems to be the show creator’s stance. There are probably only two fights that are actually longer than one episode and those are all season ending, story arc ending massive battles so it actually makes some sense. Another thing, the music is freaking amazing. I seriously still watch episodes of this show just to listen to some of the music. What else what what else…hm…I feel like I’m missing something here. Eh whatever I’ll remember it soon enough.
So what else is there to say? Yu Yu Hakusho is a ridiculous, over-the-top action anime, with moments of pure hilarity spliced perfectly in. The voice acting is wonderful, the action is not only good but actually realizes that it shouldn’t drag you along for fourteen episodes, the art’s great, the characters great, and so on and so on and so on. Another thing, this show knows when to end. It doesn’t pull what modern anime seem to doing by refusing to nend. I can genuinely call this one a five out of five everyone. It’s truly one of the best thing’s I have ever seen. I seriously say you all go out and find this and truly enjoy everything this show is because you will. Anyway, I’ll have a new review for you on Monday.
Let me quickly explain something before I start this review, I grew up in the era of Toonami. Now some of you might not know what Toonami is, so let me explain. Toonami was a block of dubbed anime that was on Cartoon Network around 4-7 pm. Now it doesn’t exist anymore but it had some of the most famous anime of all time. Dragonball Z, Dragonball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, Gundam Wing, and the list does on and on. Now this little block of dubbed anime was HUGELY influential on me as a kid. I became absolutely obsessed with anime when I was that old. While everyone else was watching Spongebob and Rugrats and etc, I was paying attention to a multitude of characters, story arcs and watching some ridiculous action. But here’s one of the one’s that’s closest to my heart, since I managed to actually finish the series when I was younger: G Gundam.
G Gundam’s concept is an interesting one. Essentially the human race has moved to space colonies in the recent centuries and earth has basically been left to the poor people who could not leave for space. Each nation has its own space colony (aka, Neo-Japan, Neo-America, Neo-France, etc.) and each has what are known as Gundams. Now to make it so that war will not exist in this new order, the Gundam champions of each nation go to earth every four years and battle it out until only one remains. That one that remains claims the title of Gundam of Gundam’s and brings home control of all space to his/her nation. Basically they have made it so that all war is decided by gladiatorial combat. Now in the show, you follow the fighter from Neo-Japan named Domon Kasshu. He is looking for someone on a photo (I’m not going to tell you who, as this show does actually have a plot). But essentially you follow his journey into the Gundam fight, making friends and enemies, and trying to find the man from this photo.
Here’s the one thing though, this show is ridiculously campy. INTENSELY campy. Why? Well because each fighter is a complete stereotype of the nation they represent. The American fighter is wearing football gear which turns into boxing gloves. For the love of god, it has a bare chest after its shirt shoot’s off. Yeah I don’t get it either. The French Gundam is essentially a knight, utilizing rose robots and a rapier. Also, they all shout out their finishing attacks, and most call most of their moves in general. When one considers the Gundam’s set-up, this makes some sense as their stuff is motion sensitive, so it makes sense that they might have some voice-commands. However, I’m not gonna bother defending this because you know what, I like it. A lot. The campiness is half the reason the show is so amazing. It is not trying to be your average Gundam series. It is basically a martial arts show that just happens to include robots. Once again, this is also not a problem.
I’m just going to opt to cram the rest of this stuff into a single paragraph. The music is also absolutely fantastic. Sure after like the 25 episode it really starts repeating. However, once again, this is not a bad thing as the music absolutely ROCKS. The art style is generally really quite excellent. There are some noticeable hiccups which cause some very odd art mistakes. The voice acting is also absolutely fantastic. I can’t even watch the Japanese version. It just isn’t the same. I suppose it’s because I grew up with the dub but I actually like the dubbing quite a bit. The voice actors are fitting, sound realistic (except for random moments when Domon Kasshu makes no sense).
In general it’s a fantastic show. The characters are fun and interesting, the plot is original and a bit insane, the voice acting is fantastic, the music is amazing, the art is awesome and there is really nothing more to say. It’s just overall epic. However, I have to say I can understand why someone would not like this show. It’s really REALLY campy. And I am not going to argue that if someone happens to not like it. I thoroughly enjoy the ridiculous campy nature of it. So for that sake I’m giving it a four star out of five rating. I say, if you like anime, go out and watch it. Maybe you’ll hate it. But maybe you’ll be like me and absolutely love it to death. Hell I have a King of Hearts card in my wallet at all times thanks to this show. So yeah. Watch it. I’ll be back tomorrow.