Friday, October 31, 2008

Immortal Rain Review

On rare occasions, I find a work of fiction so thoroughly enjoyeble, that as I think of ways to pick it apart and poke fun at it, I can't help but feel a tinge of guilt. Similar to kicking a puppy I would imagine. Kaori Ozaki's tragically underated foray into the world of shoujo fantasy/action is one such gem.

Sappy shoujo shit. Now with scythes. SCYTHES!


Immortal Rain (known as Meteor Methuselah in Japan) tells the story of Machika Balfatin, a spunky young bounty hunter following in her grandfather's footsteps. Balfatin Senior, otherwise known as Zol, was a legendary bounty hunter who despite his skill, failed to catch the legendary immortal, Methuselah. Machika thus takes it upon herself to carry her grandfather's legecy and accomplish the one thing he could not; a feat she accomplishes pretty quickly, as she meets said immortal in the opening pages of the first book.

Run Lola. Run.

Now if this was some uninspired post-Dragonball shounen dribble, Machika and Methuselah would spend the next 50 pages powering up and screaming. But this is shoujo baby! And in shoujo, the one rule of the universe is that girls fall in love with tall, mysterious bishounen. And to sum up two books worth of character development, Machika develops a fascination (later love, awwwww) over Rain (Methuselah's real name) and starts following him around. Action, adventure, and soppy love scenes ensue.

For the most part, the love between Machika and Rain is well executed and kinda sweet. There's just one problem though; he's a 624 year old immortal, and she's fucking 15. I don't care how cute a couple they make, it's fucking wrong when the man you're bedding is old enough to be your great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather.

No this is not sweet you stupid fangirl. It's pedophilia.

Whilst the romance is the focus of the story, it takes place in a backdrop of a post apocalyptic world, with a dastardly plot to revive ancient biological weapons in the mix. Also, this huge jerkass named Yuca is trying to destroy the world. To make matters worse, the fucker won't stay dead as he's trapped in the eternal cycle of rebirth.

One of the strengths of Immortal Rain's story is the constant presence of the antagonists. One problem I've had with a lot of fantasy and action manga is that the Evil Council of Doom never seems to actually do anything except sit around a table in a poorly lit room while gloating over how smoothly their supposed plan is proceeding.

Like Team Rocket. But badass.

You can rest assured that none of that shit happens here. The baddies are in your face and present. They are always just one step behind the heroes and will gleefully ruin their day. And not just the faceless generic mooks or one shot villains of the week. No. Big, named baddies are everpresent threats, which creates a gripping feel of suspense, which is sadly lacking in many manga.


Machika Balfatin
The main heroine. A spunky scythe wielding assassin in a cute dress. In love with an ageless pedophile.

Yin-Yang motifs are in this Spring.

Rain Jewlitt
The main hero. The legendary 600 year old immortal that everyone wants to capture to learn the secret of his immortality. Like all bishounen, has a tragic past and doesn't want people to get close to him, for fear of hurting them. Is a pedophile. Goh would be proud.

Gaze into his well toned chest and flowing blonde hair! Oh beauty! Thy name is Jewlitt!

Yuca Collabel
A former friend of Rain. Is continously reborn, but retains all memory of his past life. This has made him an angsty little bastard, and he wants to end all life to escape the cycle of rebirth.

Don't let the bishounen tears fool you. If you see this guy on the street, rip his fucking balls off.

One of the main antagonists. The vice president of Calvaria, but she is the one who calls the shots in the company. By the way, did we mention that said company is an evil organization that is dedicated to unearthing ancient weapons? Because they are.

Sharem tragically forgot that eating the brain only lets you steal their powers, not lineage.

Sharem's Husband
Sharem's husband, the most whipped man in the history of marriage.

Can you say whipped? Whipped.

Dora Folk
A mad scientist with a stupid last name who works for Calvaria. Is pretty much batshit insane, and one of the most dangerous adversaries Machika and Rain encounter. Also, the bastard never gives up.

This is a scientist. He does science things.


The artwork of Immortal Rain is rather pretty. Ozaki is obviously a character artist, and her characters are expressive and well drawn. Furthermore, Ozaki has considerable control over difficult angles and posses, as evidenced by some of Machika's elaborate and atheletic kick attacks.

Like countless other manga, expect to see a lot of pretentious religious imagery. Seriously, why is it so common? Does someone get off this shit?

However, the quality of her backgrounds are average at best, and fail to really display any real character. Thus they appear bland and uninspired, which may be forgivable in close up shots focusing on the character, but are rather offputting in wide angle views of whatever location they are in.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.


Reading over my review, I fear I may have come across as more negative then I had intended. If so, I would like to remedy this now; Immortal Rain is a thoroughly splendid experience. It's story is gripping, and it's characters interesting. It is not perfection incarnate, and it has it's failings. However, it is still definitely one of the better mangas in it's genre.

Seriously Japan. What. The. Fuck.

Personally, the one greatest sore point for me was Machika's age. Was it really that hard to just add three years to her and make her 18? It'll still be kinda disgusting, but at least it'd be legal. I mean, part of the story is how Machika matures, but it really doesn't serve the plot in any way for her to be that young. This was an otherwise well written love story, spoiled by the fact that Rain is a pedophile so epic, that even Godannar's heroic pedo Goh would be impressed.

Being swung around by sweaty men and thrust into the still warm bowels of other sweaty men. Exactly how I want to live my life.

If you hungry for a break from the uninspired trash that populates the fantasy adventure genre, Immortal Rain might well be your title. The story doesn't really break ground, but it's excellence lies in it's execution, which is poignent, gripping and well paced. It is licensed by Tokyopop, so please try to support the author and buy yourself a copy.

On that note however, good luck with actually finding yourself a copy. I seriously have no idea where to even buy this fucker, and have had to search high and low and gather up the seven issues I currently have. Seriously, if anyone knows where the fuck I can find this round Sydney, I will love you forever...or at least for 30 minutes.

15 year old tits. Goh is fighting the biggest erection of his life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Something is rotton in the state of Jiiha

Look at the picture above. Something is wrong with it.

Can you tell me what it is?

The less perceptive amongst you might have said that Kamina is a woman. No. That is not what is wrong with this picture.

For generations, fans have drawn their favourite characters in the opposite gender, presumebly to satisfy some strange sexual fantasies.

No, this is a far more fundamental breach of universal laws;

Girl Kamina is hot.

Kamina is the manliest man in the history of manhood. This is a man so manly, that any other man in a 5 kilometre radius of him will instantly turn into women, so that the universe wouldn't be completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of masculinity and implode into a new point of singularity, specifically at where Kamina stood.

So then, the ultimate question must be asked; why is this finest specimen of manhood, this Hercules made flesh, this shining piller of what it is to have a penis between one's legs, so utterly and completely desireble as a woman?

I realize that other characters have often been feminized, and quite effectively too. However, most anime males are feminine looking girly men who probably already more developed mammary glands then they do prostates. For them, the transition is not so bizarre, some might even find it rather natural.

In Kamina's case however, he is such a walking definition of 'Man' that not even the sight of a hundred Hulk Hogans in evening gowns would be a suitable real life equivalant to this defiance of natural order.

And yet, despite all this, if I was a cartoon character, I would totally bone Girl Kamina.

My mind is blown.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Godannar - First Impressions

So I found the Godannar boxset going for $45, which is a fair bit cheaper then most boxsets they sell round Sydney. Being a bit of a super robot fan, I quite gleefully picked it up, despite being fairly skepticle about the series in general.

Anyway, I've watched the first five episodes of the series, and whilst I've enjoyed it, I can't say that I've really been blown away or anything just yet.


The story is fairly basic; in the future, funky alien things attack earth for reasons and Goh, a heroic robot pilot with a huge chin, and a few other pilots fight them off with their zany robots. The battle is eventually won, and five peaceful years past. Suddenly, the alien dudes are back and pissed, and now Goh and his new wife Anna, have to save the day once again.


Saruwatari Goh
The main character who defeated the alien menace five years ago and saviour of all mankind. Has a huge chin. Married to a minor. Is a pedophile.

The face of the worlds' most heroic pedophile.

Aoi Anna
The heroine. A 17 year old schoolgirl who is married to the 29 year old Goh. Has kept her marriage a secret to her friends, presumably so they won't call the cops on her husband.

Anna's clothes seem as if they were designed to rip easily

Saruwatari Shinobu
Goh's younger brother. Bit of a wuss, but at least he's into girls his age.

This man wants to screw his sister in law. He is the least fucked up member of the family.

Fujimura Shizuru
Cold and serious. She seems to be the long distance specialist of the team.

I didn't take a screencap of Shizuru. But if you'd like a description, she's got long black hair, and like every other woman in the Godannar universe, backbreakingly huge boobs.

Aoi Kiriko
Anna's incredibly slutty mother. Is the brains of the joint. Keeps things in between her tits.

Where all self respecting scientists keep their mobile phones.


What would a super robot anime be without robots? Well, Godannar has them in spades. Aside from the titular Godannar, there are a whole host of robots, most of them with brightly coloured paintjobs and gimicky attacks, as is gospel in the super robot genre.

Combining is a big feature in Godannar, and most robots are generally the combined form of two vehicles, or smaller robots. Generally, they look pretty good, and the combination scenes are well animated, though the stock footage gets a little tiring after a while.

Volspina, a robot whose combination sequence is so epic, it's breast grow to double their original size. Also, they jiggle. They frickin jiggle.

Godannar, the titular robot, is the combination of Goh's Dannar and Anna's Neo Okusear. Being the main bot, it's the one that gets the most screentime, which is kinda disappointing since Godannar, whilst not being particularly bad to look at, doesn't quite seem as inspired as the designs of some of the supporting robots.

Godannars always had a bit of a problem with stutering.

As with all super robot shows, a good super robot needs its signature finishing move, and Godannar's is a two part affair. It's first is the multiple meaningly named Heart Breaker, which is a explosive punch which somehow turns the monsters white. This is followed by the less cool sounding Soul Breaker, which is a jumping kick, akin to the type you see in Japanese henshin shows.

The attacks are pretty cool, and work well within the super robot format. However, they are hardly the best finishing moves I've seen in a robot anime, Gurren Lagann's Giga Drill Breaker still sets the benchmark for me, and Godannar, whilst good, has yet to show an attack that can reach that level of epic. However, I've only seen up to episode 5, so hopefully Godannar still has a few moves up it's sleeve.


Godannar is hardly a deep and moving insight into the human condition. It is a super robot anime, and embraces all the cliches and tropes of the genre; hot blooded pilots, brightly coloured robots, over the top attacks, and shameless fanservice are all the order of the day here. Oh, also, the main character is a pedophile. Which is sorta of fresh I least for an anime that isn't hentai.

This is a mechanic. She does mechanic things.

There is a suprisingly large cast of characters, though most of them lack any significant characterisation to ever propel them beyond the realm of background cast. Aside from Goh and his underaged wife Anna, there's the couples' immediate family, the staff at the base, the other robot pilots, and a newly introduced 12 year old girl, whose just joined Goh and Anna's household, and is no doubt already testing poor Goh's marriage vows.

His pedophilia knows no bounds.

Being a super robot anime done in the style of old classics such as Mazinger and Getter Robo, Godannar strives to be a whirlwind of mindless fun in an industry saturated with post Evangelion copycats. And in this regard, it succeeds. Goh's child lusting aside, the fights are fun, the characters are pretty to look at, the fanservice is shameless, and the theme song is quite possibly the greatest theme song of all time. With lyrics such as, "Burst into flames! Bam! Bam! Heart Breaker! Clang-ca-clang!" you know this is going to be a fun ride.

This is also a mechanic. She also does mechanic things.

The target audience of Godannar is unashamebly male. I for one, had to strongly suppress any feminist beliefs and opinions to even get through the opening credits. Most of it is fanservicey in nature, which I guess isn't all that bad, however, there is the far more concerning nature of gender roles as shown in Godannar.

After years of studying womens' breast. Japanese scientist have perfected their masterpiece.

Anna, in both marital life and in as a robot pilot, plays a clearly supporting role to Goh's far more dominant one. This should already be obvious given Gohdannar's name is a combination of Goh's own name, and the name of his robot, Dannar, no mention is even given to Anna or the Neo Okusear.

Similarly, the Neo Okusear is obviously designed as a support robot, meant to aid the Dannar but never to steal the spotlight. Even Anna's mother Kiriko mentions that Neo Okusear is weaker then Dannar.

Now I know Japan has a very traditional view on gender roles, and that a lot of anime expouse these societal expections, and Godannar is no different in that regard. However, that doesn't make it any less disconcerting.

The anime constantly mentions how talented she is as a pilot, yet Goh is the one who always takes charge, leaving Anna not much to do but just look pretty. Similarly, Goh has a tendency to scold Anna as if she were a child (to be fair however, she is. Which brings a whole host of other problems), further solidifying the inequality between the couple.

Perhaps I'm simply overeacting and actively searching for fault to critisize the show over. Nonetheless, I found Godannar's potrayal of gender roles to be offputting and tasteless. This however isn't going to stop me from watching it, though I've been tempted several times to just fast forward to the next battle every time Goh's giant chin pops up.

Robot posse.

In closing, Godannar doesn't seem like too bad a show. Its no masterpiece, and as I've made clear, I find the gender roles displayed in the show to be objectionable. Nonetheless, as a super robot anime, its a fun though by the books number. I'll watch it to the end, though I don't think I'll be raving about it the same way I've been since I finished Gurren Lagann.

Please don't judge him too harshly. It's just that women are easier to please before they hit puberty.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Re: Cutie Honey Review

Before we get started, I need to make something clear. I am not one of those anime fans who compulsively watches all the latest anime of the season whilst reviewing them as the series progresses. I pick and choose whatever interests me, regardless of how new or old it is. Therefore, you will most likely see reviews of some very recent stuff, along with some older titles that everyone in the world has already seen.

Anyway, on to the review. Re: Cutie Honey is a three episode OVA produced by Gainax, and headed by Hideaki Anno, the bastard responsible for a giant robot anime so laced with mindfuck, it would have been less painful to have a man literally trust his throbbing penis repeatedly up your cranium.

Thankfully, Re: Cutie Honey is free of strange blue haired albino girls and whiny little bitches who stare at ceilings. Instead, we're treated to three 45 minute episodes of glorious and utterly unashamed camp. Also, whilst there is no full blown hentai, expect a lot of nudity.

Chibis generally don't make very effective policemen.

The story of Re: Cutie Honey follows the same general plotline of the 2004 live action movie. If you don't know the story however, let's just say its a little on the light side. Basically, Honey is a robot who dresses like a slut who was built by her scientist father as a replacement after his biological daughter (presumably also a slut) died in a horrific car accident.

Anyway, instead of boring you with further details, lets just say theres an evil organization (most of whom dress like sluts too) that wants Honey for some evil reason, and they go round doing evil stuff and Honey has to stop them...whilst losing what little clothes she wore in the first place.

She was built to resemble her father's dead daughter. I don't know which part of that sentence is creepiest.

The characters in Re: Cutie Honey generally follow fairly basic achtypes that never really challenge the viewer. Nevertheless, they are well presented and fairly likeble. Some of the more important ones are:

Honey: The main character, works as an office lady in civilian life. A ditz and a slut (well, more of she dresses like one). A slutty (in dress) ditz.

Natsuko: A serious no-nonsense policewoman who initially acts as the foil to Honey, but eventually becomes her close friend. Might be a lesbian. Closet slut.

Hayami: Guy who claims to be a journalist. Helps Honey and Natsuko, but whilst obviously keeping secrets from them. Has a hat fetish.

Sister Jill: The big bad. Wants Honey for reasons revealed over the course of the series. Also dresses like a slut.

Gold/Cobalt/Scarlet/Black Claw: Jill's four henchmen. They're not all that important.

Balls Man: Appears in episode 1. Has balls.

Penis Man: Appears in episode 1. Has a penis.

As an interesting note, all three episodes of Re: Cutie Honey are directed by a different individual, with Anno being a grand oversear of soughts who directs the overall feel of the series. The contrasting styles of the different directors are painfully obvious, and the change may either be a good or a bad thing, depending on your individual tastes. One thing for certain however, is that it'll definitely be noticed.

Now for some context to this picture; Gold Claw has just shot her breast missiles (they are exactly what you think) which have just hit Honey's presumebly firmer breast. The missiles then bounce off. Yeah...somewhere in the world, some kid is jerking off to that.

Episode 1 is my personal favourite and was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, the man responsible for FLCL and Gurren Lagann, and who in some circles, is worshiped as the second coming of Jesus. As should be expected of Imaishi, the animation of ep 1 is both of the highest quality, and in my opinion, the most distinctive of the three. Favouring the use of strong, neon colours, and stylistic representations, ep 1 harkens back to the glory days of old 70s and 80s anime. I was watching a couple of episodes of the original Cutie Honey series, and they seemed like clear predescessors to ep 1. If you only watch one episode from this series, let it be this.

Natsuko's solo run against some random mooks is one of the high points of episode 1

Episode 2 is in my opinion, where Gainax dropped the ball. Directed by Takamichi Ito, a man whose only other directorial work was an anime adaption of Kanon, a porn game, this episode seems like a far more by the numbers piece as compared to the far more inspired episode 1. Not that its bad persay. Taken on its own merits, its a solid piece of animation, however, it fails to live up to the high standards of episodes 1 and 3.

Where the fuck did her nipples go???

The final episode is sadly a mixed bag for me. The animation is a high adrenelin affair with long ass Clamp-esque limbs, and sharply angular action scenes. Honey's fight against an one of the named enemies, and Natsuko's run up a giant creature, were definite highlights which showcased Masayuki's mastery of action scenes. What saddens me though, is the fact this episode is the heaviest on story, with the least amount of screentime dedicated to action. Personally, I would have preferred he directed episode 2, and have Ito direct this one.

Episode 3 fights rule

Summing up, Re: Cutie Honey is camp, mindless, and more then a little ecchi. And it doesn't try to hide it, in fact, it revels in it. Your enjoyment of the series is likely to be directly proportional to how much well animated cheesiness you can stand. If you're one of those angsty little bastards who insist that real art is angsty, then do yourself a favour and burn all copies of Re: Cutie Honey in a 10 metre radius. However, if you're some suger high kid with ADD who has a hard on for fun over story and brightly coloured animation, would probably already have watched this. Though if you haven't, then do it now! Also, stay the hell away from me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Gurren Lagann - Gurren Gakuen Hen First Impressions

I am a Gurren Lagann fanboy. No. I am better then that. I am a Gurren Lagann bitch. If Gurren Lagann came up to me and told me to suck it's dick, I would do it.

With that in mind, let me start off with Taikutsu Remedys' first ever review; chapter 1 of Gurren Lagann - Gurren Gakuen Hen; the first of presumably many spin offs Gainax is going to throw at us to milk all it can out of the Gurren Lagann franchise.

Gurren Lagann - Gurren Gakuen Hen is an alternate universe spinoff, where all the Gurren Lagann characters are now in a Japanese-esque high school setting. Also, as a touch of awesomeness, the actual school itself is the wonderfully phalic Dai Gurren, though he's sadly lost his vitality in this iteration of the GL universe.

The characters all make reappearences in typical high school achtypes that fit their original personalities; Kamina is the epic bastard he always is, Simon is the kid who just wants to be normal, Yoko is the hot childhood friend, Kittan is Kamina's oft ignored rival and Nia is the innocent daughter of the school principal.

So far, only one chapter has been translated into english, and as far as I know, only two chapters are available in Japan, so I can't really talk too much about it. Suffice to say however, the first chapter was entertaining shit.

Like it's source material, Gakuen Hen doesn't take itself seriously, and is an affectionate parody of both Gurren Lagann, and high school mangas in general. Admittably, a fair few jokes are tailored more for a Gurren Lagann audiance, though I would believe non GL fans (ie demonspawns and heretics) would still find it an enjoyeble read. Nontheless, having prior knowledge of GL is probably the best way to enjoy Gakuen Hen.

In conclusion, Gakuen Hen is still very young, and its too early to tell if it will crash and burn as a poorly planned attempt to milk the cash cow, or if it will blossom to an enjoyeble series in its own right. So far however, signs seem to be pointing to the latter, let's hope it travels that path.

Behold! Yet another anime blog in a sea of millions!

So yeah, welcome to Taikutsu Remedy. As you can see by its pretentious little tagline on the banner up there, this here's a blog about anime, manga, games...and life or some shit, I dunno.

Anyways, thats pretty much it, I'll be periodically updating this blog with reviews and impressions about anime, manga and all that zany stuff from the land of the rising sun. With a particular focus on the anime scene in Australia (where I live), which has been growing rapidly over the past few years.

So! What makes this blog any different from the millions of other anime blogs written by fellow weeaboos? Simple! It's penned by me! And who am I? I am a pretentious, arrogant, little bastard who thinks he's better then you! And I don't give a shit that I probably got the meaning of the word 'taikutsu' wrong, or if the context of it's use is fucked up!

So stick around folks, this shits gonna get heavy.