Saturday, March 28, 2015

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Review


Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

I've mentioned before that comedies are my guilty pleasure. I like a lot of comedies that I've seen, ranging from anime (D-Frag, Lucky Star, Azumanga Daioh, TV shows (2 Broke Girls), and movies (Clueless, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, She's the Man). I've read parody books of the famous vampire paranormal scene, but the majority of them are sub-par.

This anime sounded interesting when I first heard about it at the ripe old age of 12. I was expecting crude humor and a lot of sexual puns, but I didn't get a chance to watch it until more than a year later.

So, what did I think? Was it as good as other western cartoons that its style was based on, as well as its humor?

I'm going to start this off by saying this show isn't for the faint of heart. There is a lot of crude humor in this show, swear words thrown in a lot, and mentions of sex, and so on and so forth. But this actually didn't annoy me as much as I thought it would. Though the humor can get a bit old at some points, and the "ending" (Let's pretend that never happened) is a bit weird and out of place, I deeply enjoyed Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt maybe a little more than I should have.

Let's start off this review with the story:


Story

For this anime, we focus on the angel sisters named Panty and Stocking, after they are kicked out of Heaven due to bad behavior. They were sent to Daten City, a pun on the word datenshi, which means fallen angel in Japanese. Daten City is located in between Heaven and Hell, and the girls are both under the eye of the minister known as Garterbelt. 

In order to get back to Heaven, the two sisters must achieve enough Heaven Coins by defeating Ghosts, which are evil spirits that live in Daten City. They are able to fight these monsters by turning their undergarments into weapons. Panties for Panty, and stockings for Stocking, which is self explanatory enough.

However, their adventures take them many places, such as a famous star's cruise, and investigating an incident at the Daten City high school. But there's also their natural interests, which are sex and sweets. What's an angel to do?

Overall, the story for this anime was actually pretty interesting. It was really cool how the staff incorporated new situations to write ghosts into, and how the angels dealt with problems in their way. These can range from not getting any coins for a period of time before the demon sisters arrive at the high school, to them getting into an argument that has them not speaking to each other for about an hour, not getting enough coins, or staying in their living room for an extended period of time doing nothing but ordering food.

I also found it funny how the angels were foul-mouthed, and the demons were very proper. Thinking about this, you would expect the demons to be more crude, but it's in fact the opposite, which is actually interesting.

The final few episodes lead up to a destructive battle in Daten City where the angels battle the mayor named Corset. Events that happen before this include Panty regaining her virginity while trying to have sex with Brief to make her 1,000 men to sleep with goal complete, Stocking returning to Heaven for a few days, Breif's penis being the key to Hell's Gate with him getting captured, which leads to Panty having to live on a farm with a grandmother and a cute assistant, which then leads to the ritual to unlock the said Gate. During this battle, Panty has sex with Breif successfully, regains her powers, and together, she and Stocking defeat Corset (with the help of their mother), while maxing out Garterbelt's credit card in the process to buy weapons.

The events that follow after the credits are very bizarre, and make no sense. It does set the stage for some sort of special, however it will most likely not happen due to the show's low sales in Japan. So in my opinion, it's best to ignore it, unless you want to feel like this:




Characters

I will be talking about most of the main characters, but I will not include Brief. I find him to be really wimpy at most times throughout the series, and the only time he actually shows some strength is in Episode 12 during that whole "wedding" thing. Other than that, he's kind of weak.

Let's talk about the Anarchy sisters first:


Both of the girls are interested in very different things. While Stocking prefers cakes and bundles of sweets to keep her busy, Panty loves men and sex, and would rather sleep with at least 1,000 men before she goes back to Heaven.

Panty doesn't really take her ghost hunting duties seriously, while Stocking manages to even go check out a ghost rumor when Panty and her get into a argument. Their interests are different, as shown above, and their behaviors are different as well. Panty is very rude to nearly everyone around her, including the men she sleeps with. Though Stocking is nicer than Panty, she can also be just as brash as she is. In Episode 2B, Panty and Stocking become celebrities with a preview of their first feature film, Panty LOVES having this attention, as it gets her closer to the things she loves, in fact becoming slightly more famous than Stocking. Until she screens a porn film that she starred at their official movie premiere, and her fame has the potential to go down the toilet. Until she and Stocking decide to rescue the copies that were sold in order for Chuck to eat them.

And after this, Panty only cares about her fame, so she asks the director to scrap Stocking out of the film entirely. Stocking of course gets her revenge, and this show how selfish Panty can be.

However, they still have love for each other as siblings, and they often work very well together while fighting as a duo. Panty can use her panties to summon a gun known as Blacklace, and Stocking uses her stockings to summon katanas known as Stripe 1 and Stripe 2.

Overall, I liked Panty and Stocking as characters. They had their bad moments, yeah, but they remind me a lot of our own siblings, and how they work. Even though we often always argue, we still love each other at the end of the day. And that's what matters. Also, they just work very well for sisters.

Let's move on to Garterbelt:


Garterbelt is the reverend of Daten City, and probably has one of the only Afros that you'll see from some modern day anime characters, He is the one in charge of giving missions to Panty & Stocking, and is often very aggravated by their behavior. 

In his past, Garterbelt used to be a criminal who committed crimes under a wide variety. After he is shot and sent to Heaven, God tasked him with finding the blood kin of Hellsmonkey, which would help unlock Hell's Gate. When Garterbelt refused this task, he is punished with immortality, and is not allowed to die until his mission is completed. Also, despite his efforts, Panty & Stocking really don't give two craps about him.

When Garterbelt is not involved with helping the angel sister on getting back to Heaven, he can be found practicing bondage, having a slight interest in young males, and will occasionally sneak out of his residence to become Master G, an alias that he goes under whenever he feels like it. You only get to see it once though.

Garterbelt is, at most, very unique with a lot of character traits. I'm stunned that the creators were able to compile these all into one, but it does have its advantages. Though, it's pretty sloppy, and I've seen animes where this has happened, and they've done better, like cliches you see in anime over and over. Some will use them better than others. Regardless of this though, Garterbelt isn't that bad.

Last but not least, the Demon Sisters:



Scanty and Kneesocks first appear in Episode 6 when Panty & Stocking return to Daten City High School, and realize that popularity changes FAST! Not only have the Demon Sisters taken over the ranks, they've passed down some new rules too, which include uniforms. They are under the guise of Corset, the mayor of Daten City, and while in public, they claim they're his daughters. They also oversee the creations of ghosts in Daten City.

Both of the sisters share the same personality traits. Both of them are obsessed with rules, as well as being very formal. However, Scanty is more likely to blow her top when plans don't go her way, and Kneesocks's face turns beet red when she gets too excited. Weapon wise, Scanty has two pairs of panties that she can transforms into revolvers known as Double Gold Lacytanga, and Kneesocks uses her kneesocks to summon a pair of scythes called Double Gold Spandex.

Overall, I enjoyed Scanty & Kneesocks. At some points, they are the type of villains whose plans always fail, yet they still keep trying anyway, with little to no success. But their plans involve different scenarios, whether it's going under disguises, or a volleyball game at the beach. It's always nice for villains to have variation, and they both have that.

Other characters include Brief (A student at Daten City High School who's too wimpy for my tastes as mentioned earlier), the angel sisters sidekick who's often used as a punching bag and a pet, the mayor of Daten City (Corset) who's our main antagonist, and the demons sisters' sidekick. Both of the sidekicks are dog like creatures with zippers on them. Last but not least, we have our ghosts that were encounter in most episodes,


Animation

The animation for this series was provided by the studio Gainax, who are also known for Medaka Box, Gurren Lagann, and The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. Oh, and let's not forget gainaxing.

The majority of this show's animation is styled like a Western cartoon. Which is very fitting, seeing as the show overall was inspired by some of them, along with their dirty humor. Either way, the animation is pretty good for a parody for cartoons.

But however, Gainax still has some moments where anime style runs supreme in this show. Especially during the angel's transformations:


These scenes also look very nice, and besides the transformation sequences, they appear for brief moments in the series. But it's never inconsistent. So overall, it's still a good animated show with some great anime styled scenes.


Sound

The score for this series was composed by Taku Takahashi and TCY Crew. Taku Takahashi is most known for his producing on certain Japanese singles, and this is TCY Crew's first and only anime OST composition as of 2015. TeddyLoid, a Japanese electronic producer most known for his remixes of anime songs, also contributes tracks to the series as well.

Overall, the OST tracks don't do a lot to fully distinguish it itself from other series for me, minus a select few. Those select few probably being mainly the ones produced by TeddyLoid. They're all pretty enjoyable, Of course, some of them do have weird names, such as Beverly Hills C**k, and Dancefloor O**y. However, these two are some of my favorite OST tracks. Heck, my high school even used Dancefloor O**y in an advertisement for the school newspaper. So, anime songs FTW. 

My favorite songs out of all of them would have to be the transformation songs for both the Angel and the Demon sisters. Take a listen to them here:




Overall, both the Japanese and English versions offer around the same experience. However, the English dub ramps up the crude humor and language a tad. Both versions are great, but it's up to you on what to watch. Here are some clips to compare:



(Start at 1:56 and end at 3:29)


Highlights in the original Japanese are EVERYONE!

Highlights so far in the English dub are EVERYONE!

Let's be fair, this is a comedy series, and everyone does do rather well for their respective roles. So, cheers for everyone!

Verdict


For a comedy anime as raunchy as this one, I was pretty satisfied with this. Yeah, it isn't the best series who people who hate crude humor and language, but I still think it deserves a watch. Just skip the post credits after Episode 13, and call it a day.

Overall, this anime was super fun despite a couple problems, and it managed to keep me entertained. Also, the majority of the characters are pretty interesting, and some of the scenarios are wacky and fun.

Score: 8.5/10

Positives

Unique story.

For the most part, great characters.

Interesting animation style.

More electronic pieces of score.

Great either Japanese or English.

Highly enjoyable.

Negatives:

Not for people who don't like crude humor.

Some characters not developed enough, or aren't interesting.

Some pieces in score aren't that interesting.

Post credits in Episode 13.

Next up on my list, is a Winter 2015 anime season wrap-up. And because I love MLP puns, let's throw one in right now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tenchi Muyo OVA's 1 and 2 Review


Tenchi Muyo OVA's 1 and 2 Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the first two OVA's of Tenchi Muyo, which consists of Episodes 1-6, special 7th and 13th episodes, and Episodes 8-12. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you and onto the review:

Ah, Tenchi Muyo. You may remember my review back in August, when I said how much I LOVED Tenchi Universe. It's one of my most favorite animes, and it leaves a special place in my heart. Well, Ryoko leaves a special place in my heart, but moving on from that.

I did mention at least once that that was the first Tenchi series I watched. I hadn't seen the classic OVA's yet, and since I was curious to see them, I requested my local library to get the OVA Collection that FUNimation had released a couple months prior. It was successful, and in late March, the first set was in my hands.

So how was it? Was it as good as Universe?

Well, it's not horrible. I actually still found enjoyment in it, and I still love the characters for the most part. But as a whole, it's not as good as the series is. There are issues with the story being incredibly choppy during the end of the two separate sets, and some things are just put in there to "develop" our characters, but aren't properly explained. It also pioneered the harem genre, so with it, it might have started trends that I'm sick of seeing in about every harem these days. I do know there's a third OVA, but I'm not so sure I'm going to watch it, because people say it's garbage. 

Now it's story time! Let's see how the story is different, and yet somewhat the same:


Story

So basically, Tenchi is kind of unlucky. He's not really memorable, not very strong, and he doesn't always follow his grandfather's wishes. One day, after he specifically tells Tenchi not to go into a cave near the shrine, Tenchi decides to go into it anyway because he's been told not to all of his life. When in there, he accidentally releases a space pirate trapped in that cave for 700 years, by the name of Ryoko. Once unleashed, and after Tenchi takes a nap on his school roof, it's a wild goose chase throughout said school, destroying it entirely, and giving us an excuse as to why Tenchi's school life is hardly mentioned. Well, it is mentioned that he goes to school in Universe, but we never actually see him there. That's better anyways, as we're only there for 1 episode, with a guest character whose friendship with Tenchi seems so artificial, it's like every single girl and girl friendship in every paranormal YA.  Oh, and Tenchi punches him too. :D

After this, it is revealed that Tenchi may have more power than he lets on, and Ayeka comes to planet Earth to try and find her brother Yosho. Oh, and to capture Ryoko too, since Yosho has been missing for oh quite some time. 700 years is not that long. After getting captured from a failed escape attempt on Ryo-Ohki, Tenchi meets Sasami, and she says that she will help him out if Tenchi goes into Ayeka's bedroom, and takes her head ornament. Well, that attempt goes splendidly. After telling Ayeka that Yosho is probably dead, Ayeka lets them go, but not without a fight! After Ryoko crashes their ships together, and puts a lot of pressure on them, they are destroyed. So now, Ayeka and Sasami can't get back home. 

So as you see, the backdrop is a little different for this series. Tenchi and Ryoko do meet first still, however while in the OVA's she was trapped in a cave. In Universe her ship crashed to the ground. There are also differences in Ayeka's backstory a bit, how she and Tenchi first met, and other mild differences. Though compared to Universe, this feels a bit faster paced. 

But this fast pacing backfires, especially towards the ends of our two respective sets. When our villains for each OVA are introduced, specifically Kagato and Dr. Clay, the pacing goes out the window, and the anime lays down fact like it's the law. Not only are their motives mostly never answered, but they feel VERY forced, and put onto the episode just for you to process more information. The first OVA is worse than the second, as Dr. Clay is given a bit of background with Washu, and appears in the beginning of Episode 11 rather than shoehorned in the middle of it, such as Kagato in Episode 5.

It's not that the show has many bad moments. The humor is still VERY good, as hence the video linked below. The first funny moment is one of my favorites of all time:



Plus, the special OVA's The Night Before the Carnival and Here Comes Jurai are HILARIOUS! But the pacing is much worse than Universe when the villains come in. 

Now, let's compare the characters from their forms here, and in Universe:

Characters

Majority of the characters still have some of their main personality traits as in Universe. However, some of them, plus some backstories, are changed in Universe. So, let's start comparing, shall we?

Tenchi is more of a stereotypical harem lead in this one. However, he is more tolerable than ones I've seen in this anime season. He is more of a idiot, has no clue that Ryoko and Ayeka want to get in his pants, and he has a VERY SPECIAL power. He is able to use the Lighthawk Wings, which are powers of the goddesses. However, we only see him use it in Episode 6, and he can't master the power due to the fact that he is still a teenager.

Ryoko was actually created by the great scientist Washu, which makes Washu Ryoko's mother. She is still a space pirate in Universe. However in the OVA's, she was of service to Kagato. After a battle between her and Yosho, which resulted in her getting sealed in that cave, Tenchi accidentally releases her in Episode 1. Her power source is from 3 gems, and she is able to use the majority of the powers I first saw in Universe. 

And yes, Ryoko and Ayeka still have arguments. But they don't have the childhood rivalry thing, where one of them lies about the other in order for Tenchi to sympathize with them more.

Ayeka is still a princess from the plant Jurai, and she comes down to Earth after detecting Ryoko. She has been looking for her brother Yosho for the past 700 years, as he was pursuing Ryoko. He promised Ayeka when he got back, he was going to marry her. So Jurai doesn't have an issue with incest. She is also the daughter of the emperor this time around, rather than coming from a royal family in Jurai.

Sasami is still Ayeka's little sister, who is still as adorable as she always is. However in the OVA's, she is actually a merged spirit with the goddess, Tsunami. 700 years ago, while Ryoko was attacking Jurai, Sasami wandered off into Jurai's Royal Arboretum, and was mortally injured after falling a great distance. Tsunami absorbed Sasami's body into her own, and is now merged with her. Sasami actually does not know this however, as she believes she is a "copy" of the real Sasami. 

This is a bit confusing, and feels like it's kind of dumped on the viewer for shock value. It's a worse case than Washu's, and some questions are still not answered by the time the 2nd OVA wraps up.

Mihoshi is still Mihoshi, though slightly less dumb. Oh, and Kiyone isn't with her either.

Washu is still the GREATEST SCIENTIST IN ALL OF THE LAND! In the OVA's, she is actually the catalyst on how some of the bigger conflicts in the series happened. She used to be a director at the Galaxy Academy, where she had a baby with someone from the royal Kuramitsu family, but since their marriage was technically forbidden, the baby was taken away from her. This is revealed in the 8th OVA episode, and it's also revealed that she can change forms from a pre-adolescent that she's usually in into a grown adult. They don't care to explain this, either.

She is also the creator of Ryoko, and was sealed for over a thousand years on Kagato's ship. She also makes Tenchi her research project once she moves into the Misaki household, much to the latter's chagrin. For example, one of the more famous Washu moments of the show:


Some other characters return into the OVA's, where Yosho is still Tenchi's grandfather, but he can turn back into his younger form. And don't expect to get an answer for this, because the show only shows this in Here Comes Jurai, and they don't bother to explain it.

We also get to meet new characters, such as Dr. Clay, his robot Zero (who becomes a copy of Ryoko when she is kidnapped, and forced to go into Dr. Clay's ship), and Ayeka and Sasami's relatives from back home. Misaki, Ayeka and Sasami's mother, is easily my favorite out of the new characters. Not only does she mistake Ryoko for Sasami seconds after first appearing, but she also is pretty hysterical throughout the episode.

You still know who my favorite character is though. ;)

Animation

The animation for this series was done by AIC, which stands for Anime International Company. They are also known for producing Haganai, El Hazard, and Oriemo.

For a 90's anime series, this show actually does have some decent animation here. Don't expect anything AMAZING, since this show is 2 decades old, but I still like the animation for what it is.

Also, it's a great way to compare fanservice from 2 decades ago, as least compared to ecchi shows today. It's only in 4 episodes though (briefly), and it's not sprayed everywhere just for money purposes.

Sound

The score for this series was composed by Seikou Nagaoka, who also composed OST's for series such as Strike Witches, Tenchi Universe, and Chaika- The Coffin Princess.

Overall, like Universe, the score is really good. It does have uniqueness in it that scores sometimes don't have these days, and a lot of the tracks are memorable. 

My favorite would have to be Ryoko vs Tenchi. It was a nice track to listen to during the first battle, and also at various moments of the show, such as Tenchi running away from Ayeka's bedroom after failing to take off her head ornament. It was even in Universe too!

Take a listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX8s4pSzAPQ

Another cool thing is that the 1st OVA opening is only instrumental. And it's a good one at that.

For audio wise, it's the same as in my Tenchi Universe review. Japanese is fine, and so is the English dub. Even though it does have a lot of awkward moments, and some weird pronunciations, it's still good overall. It's a bit better than some other dubs I've seen today at least.

Highlights from the original Japanese include Masami Kikuchi, Ai Orikasa, Yumi Takada, Chisa Yokoyama, Yuku Mizutani, Yuko Kobayashi, Yoshiko Sakakibara, and Mitsuaki Madono.

Highlights in the English dub include Matt K. Miller, Petrea Burchard, Jennifer Darling, Sherry Lynn, and Grace Zandarski.

Verdict


Overall, this is a good show for one that managed to popularize the harem genre into today's modern day anime. But for a reimagination of a story to be better than the original source material is kind of a letdown. But, I wouldn't call it bad. And hey, the second OVA is better than the 1st after all.

This franchise is worth checking out, and the specials are hilarious. Both have great comedy, and can be entertaining on their own. Though it might need some actual watching first, as it does have some things you will be confused about.

In the end, Tenchi Muyo is still very good. And I recommend it to everyone I know. Hopefully this year, I watch the first movie, and Tenchi In Tokyo too.

OVA 1 score: 7.5/10

The Night Before the Carnival score: 10/10

OVA 2 score: 8.5/10

Here Comes Jurai score: 9/10

Overall score: 8.5/10

Positives:

Great story.

Interesting characters.

Good animation.

Awesome score.

Nice in Japanese.

HILARIOUS specials!

Nostalgic.

Negatives:

Some character traits aren't properly explained.

Villain development is wonky.

Episodes 5-6, 11-12 have habits of dumping information.

OVA 3 doesn't look promising.




Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jormungand Season 1 Review


Jormungand Season 1 Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the first season of Jormungand. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Sometimes, I go into anime with a fairly good idea what the story's about, and what might happen to our characters. Other times, I don't have as big of an understanding as I should. but sometimes, it works out for the better.

Jormungand is a show that aired in the spring and fall seasons of 2012. So around the time I first joined Youtube, and online for that matter, this show was airing. In fact, I didn't even know this show existed.

That is, until August 30th, 2013. I remember it was an early release from school that day because of the humidity we were having. After coming home from Cross Country practice, I noticed on FUNimation's blog that the cast was announced. I watched the clip they uploaded, thought to myself, "Ooo, this looks good." and watched some of it over my friend's shoulder from time to time. Then, I watched the series for myself.

I also remember the first trailer of it coming out when a good friend of mine released his Cycle 7 opening for his show. October 1st. XD

Anyways, the series was surprisingly very fun and exciting. There were a lot of moments where I was on the edge of my seat, and it was very interesting to follow Koko and her crew. (Doesn't anyone think of Need for Speed when they keep on dropping that word in the dub?) I remember Jormungand mainly for its main characters, but also for other things. This is the first show I watched with a lot of violence, the first show where it talks about arms dealers and a bit of warfare, and the first show that embarrassed me the most, mainly with the first couple minutes of one particular episode. More on this later.

Now, onto our story:


Story

The story for this series revolves around Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer who works for the company HCLI. This company does have an international trading business, but runs dealing arms on the side. Koko sells weapons in many countries, and of course, it's in secret. I mean, it's illegal under international law, and we wouldn't want to get caught, right? I thought so. ;)

Coming with her on her journeys is a highly skilled team of bodyguards/ex-military veterans/almost a reverse harem/people who kick ass and aren't sorry to. Her newest recruit comes in the form of Jonathan Mar, also known as Jonah. He's a child soldier, who doesn't range in the emotional department, yet he is incredibly skilled. However, he also hates weapons and arm dealers in general, which is ironic, considering that he now works for an arms dealer, and he carries a gun at most points throughout the series.

Koko's adventures lead her to Russia, Dubai, South Africa, London, Italy, Slovenia, and north Africa. Along with a personal quest to get revenge, main character development, and various other mishaps, this is going to be one fun ride! 

Overall, the story for Jormungand is actually interesting. They don't really repeat any formulas. One time, it may just be delivering weapons in Russia and meeting "old friends." And another time, the show focuses two episodes on trying to assassinate the assassin duo known as Orchestra. It always manages to surprise me, and that my friend, is a good thing.

Despite the show seeming to have a dark nature, there are moments of hilarity and comedy. This may come from moments in the show, or rather from some of the English dub's script lines. However, don't be fooled. When the show gets serious, it GETS serious. And the show is able to do this pretty well actually. For example, in Episode 3 when Koko and Valmet go out shopping, they are encountered by Chinatsu, 1 out of the 2 known as Orchestra. It goes from calm to relaxing, to serious at the drop of a hat.  And this produces some great thrills.

Now, I'm going to talk about some of the characters:


Characters

I won't discuss each and every member of Koko's crew, since all of them don't get development. Some of them do, but it's not as much as Jonah and Valmet. And others don't even get development whatsoever. And the ones that might not even get the chance in season 2 as well.

We'll start off with the one and only Koko Hekmatyar:


If anyone has seen the joke, "Her name is Koko. She is loco. I said oh no!" It's from one of the OST tracks called Time to Attack, which is one of my personal favorites out of the series.

Koko is a young arms dealers and is the daughter of a global shipping magnate known as Floyd Hekmatyar. She also has a older brother named Kasper, who is also an arms dealer. Though they both work for the same company, they often don't get along on similar things. Another interesting thing about them is that they were born on a shipping container at sea. So although we don't know where they're nationally from, I think they're possibly from America or Japan.

Koko is psychically attractive, known in this series for her unnaturally pale skin, long white hair, and piercing ice blue eyes. She also tries to put on her best attitude during dire situations, but you BETTER NOT piss her off.

She also has a very secret plan, one that she hides from most of her crew, except for Dr. Miami and Chinatsu, who is killed shortly after hearing it. All will be revealed in the second season. and hint, this project's name is the show's title. XD

So yeah, overall Koko is my favorite character in this show. Not only is she the source of the show's more zany moments, she is also capable of some of the best moments this show offers. I like her charisma and personality, and it would be a joy to work with her. Well, if her personality traits were implanted into someone outside of the arms trade.

And these moments are all worth it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjJ5WEzP8_4

I'm going to move on to Jonah right now:


Jonah is a child solider of Arabic origin. After being orphaned at a young age when his parents died, he joined the mountain infantry and was assigned to a base with 4 other children. He became really close with a girl named Malka, but she was killed after she stepped on a landmine while searching for them. This caused Jonah to go berserk, and pretty annihilated the base by himself in order to avenge her death, as well as protect the others.

After being disarmed by Chiquita, Kasper's bodyguard and Lehm's former wife, he meets Kasper Heckmaytar for the first time. Kasper reveals that the particular base was going to be destroyed anyways, because it was in the way of a road that Kasper's arm trading business in Asia would benefit from. After Jonah was released from a cage after killing Kasper's men, and a test for his character, Kasper reveals that he was the person who sold the weapons that destroyed Jonah's childhood village, which makes him indirectly responsibility for Jonah's parents deaths. After Kasper makes a deal in which he promises that the other 3 children will live good lives in Japan, Jonah is employed as a bodyguard for Kasper's sister Koko. It is because of this that Jonah hates weapons and arms dealers in general.

Despite being very good with a gun, Jonah isn't very smart. He is given tutors for math by various members of Koko's crew, and he'll often try to escape. Or reply with an answer that requires the classic "We all fall down." comedy gag.

I also liked Jonah a lot. He can be a bit dumb, but he is actually pretty good with a gun, but since he was a child soldier, I guess all of that training comes in handy. Don't think of him as being too weak, because he might prove you wrong.

Last but not least out of the characters that manage to get more development than others, Valmet:



Sofia Valmer, also known by her code name Valmet, is an ex j├Ąger (which in German, means hunter) major from the Finnish Rapid Deployment Force, who is very skilled at anything regarding knives. Since she joined up with Koko as her first bodyguard, she has developed a crush on her, aka an insane crush. She is often unsure to when Koko will return her feelings.

Her backstory in the military is first previewed in Episodes 6 and 7, and then explained in Episodes 11 and 12 when Koko and her crew go to Africa. when she was still in military duty in Africa, Chen Guoming annihilated her Finnish-led squad. She was lucky, as she only managed to come back from that attack with a missing eye. Ever since then, Valmet has always been anxious to step back onto African soil.

In the last 2 episodes, when koko and her group leave for Egypt, Valmet splits up from them to track down Chen's headquarters in North Africa, cutting her hair in the process. Since Koko was already aware that she was going to leave anyways, she send Jonah to accompany Valmet on her journey. As Valmet doesn't want anyone to join her, and would prefer to be alone, she drugs food that she gives to Jonah. However, Jonah is able to fight off it rather quickly, and is able to shoot a sniper outside of Chen's headquarters that was about to kill her. After talking to Chen in his office, both him and her get into a knife fight, which Valmet wins, and kills him successfully.

Overall, Valmet is a pretty strong character. At first, she does seem like one of those overly attached people who has a crush on someone, but she does have really strong motives in the last part of the series. Though she may seem a little selfish for not wanting any help in her quest to kill Chen, she is able to do the job, with a littler help from Jonah first.

Other characters include Koko's bodyguards (some of them are memorable, while the others not so much), Koko's older brother, his head of security, the member of the CCAT, a ruthless and comical CIA agent, his ditzy assistant, Guoming Chen, his assistant, Koko's friend who is a expert of robotics, and Orchestra. The villains, besides Chen, are a little forgettable though, so don't expect anything flawless.

Animation

The animation for this series was done by White Fox, who are also known for the pretty animation for series such as Steins Gate, Super Sonico The Animation, and The Devil is a Part Timer.

Overall, this series is very polished, and doesn't suffer from it. The best parts of the entire series have to be the action scenes. This is where the team stepped into high gear, as it looks amazing. The gun cartilages shine in the light, and there's a lot of great moments animation wise that managed to caach my attention.

Now onto the first few minutes of Episode 9, which has the most fanservice out of the entire show. and I'm not talking about the past few shows I've revealed, with boobs and butts. Oh no, I'm talking about lots of ab shots from pretty much all of Koko's crew, minus Koko since, you know, she's classy. It's one of those anime moments that had me blushing as red as a tomato, because it SO MUCH MEAT! Even Jonah is pretty muscular even for a person in his early teens, which is kind of weird.

So, it's one of these moments:



But then again, me like some manservice once in a while, so who knows? Maybe I'll get used to it.

Oh, and props to White Fox for fanservice equality.

Sound

The score for this series was composed by Taku Iwasaki, who is also know for his contributions to Black Butler, Ben-To, and Soul Eater.

When I first saw this series, and found out who the composer was, I was shocked. This score is completely different from Taku Iwasaki's efforts from Black Butler. He mainly incorporates interesting elements to this score, and it isn't as orchestral as Black Butler's pieces are. My favorites would have to be Time to Attack and Explain Music

Take a listen:




For dub or sub preferences, it's purely up to your choice, because both of them are pretty good. I did watch this show in its English dub for the most part, so I do prefer that. Besides the time in Episode 2 when Koko calls Jonah Micah, aka Micah Solusod, who does play Jonah in the English dub. XD

Mitsumi Tamura does his voice in Japanese, and does do fairly well as a male, considering her voice as Kio wasn't as good. She's one of those female seiyuus who are fairly good at playing males and females. So basically, along with Romi Park (Toshiro from Bleach), Megumi Ogata (Nagito from Danganronpa 2), and Mitsuki Saiga (Haruka From Cuticle Detective Inaba)

Highlights in the show's original Japanese are Shizuka Ito, Mitsumi Tamura, Sayaka Ohara, Unsho Ishizuka, Masaya Matsukaze, Katsuhisa Hoki, Ami Koshimizu, Saori Kato, Megumi Toyoguchi, and Gara Takashima.

Highlights in the English dub include EVERYONE! Because all of the actors give there best efforts, with the main highlights of course going to the leads.


Verdict

This show isn't for people who aren't a fan of darker topics, but it still manages to bring some comedy into the mix. Overall, this show was really fun, There were a lot of intense moments that kep me hanging, and I enjoyed pretty all of what this show had to offer.

It is sad that some of Koko's crew weren't developed all the much, but hopefully at least some of them get interesting backstories that are enough to make me care for them.

Let's see if Season 2 is better, on par, or worse than the first. I'm excited to find out!

Score: 9/10

Positives:

Great story.

Interesting main cast.

Nice animation.

Interesting score.

Amazing Japanese & English audio.

Intense when it needs to be.

Good balance of light hearted comedy, and action.

Negatives:

Not all of Koko's crew gets development.

Villains besides Chen aren't that interesting.