Tag Archive: Comedy


The Gods Among Us ~ Noragami

noragami

“Even if things are painful and tough, people should appreciate what it means to be alive at all.”

A lost cat, a strange encounter and a bus. This is how it all started for Hiyori Iki as she walked with her friends on what could have been any ordinary day. As the three friends stop to look at a small ‘lost cat’ poster of Milord, they joke of Hiyori’s closet martial arts obsession and shake their heads as she completely zones out into her own little world. It is then, as they pass by a beautiful stranger with dark hair and piercing blue eyes, that everything changes. Her friends don’t bat an eye at his passing, but Hiyori notices him and turns to watch as he calls for Milord at the top of his lungs. At sight of the small feline across the street, the young man jumps into oncoming traffic only to be knocked out of the way by Hiyori trying to save his life. Oh, what a day!

Noragami yato

After awaking in the hospital, Hiyori finds the young man in her room and he introduces himself as Yato, a minor god. It turns out, Yato is so minor that not only is his name hardly recognized but he doesn’t even have his own shrine and he works minor jobs (such as saving lost cats) in order to earn money and gain a reputation to match his large ego and dreams. The next time their paths cross, Yato points out that Hiyori is a little bit different since they saved each other at the accident: Hiyori has become a hanyou, a half phantom that on occasion will separate from her own body and walk among the realm of the far shore – the realm of phantoms and gods.

noragami Bisha

From that point on, Hiyori becomes entangled in the lives of the gods – beings that exist alongside humans, although most people do not have the ability to even notice them unless the gods allow it. While many gods remain at their shrines, others go out and seek to eliminate phantoms that have crossed onto the near shore, the realm that humans inhabit. These gods fight with weapons called Regalia – spirits who are found and named by the gods after their death and take on a weapon form to work in tandem with their masters. Yato names a new regalia Yukine, a young troubled youth who wishes only to be alive like everyone else and causes much pain to his new master through his reckless actions.  The three encounter other gods in the area as well as their Regalia which bring friendship, loyalty, vengeance and betrayal – with none more mysterious than the disowned and renounced Regalia, Nora.

noragami nora

Noragami (meaning ‘stray god’) is a supernatural/action/comedy manga and anime that was recently aired running 12 episodes. Providing an entertaining premise and story mixed with a beautiful art style, the episodes keep audiences interested throughout their entirety. While the story line itself could easily be more in depth, the way different aspects and elements are strung together create a riveting and synonymous tale from beginning to end. For the length of the series it is very well done and gives an entertainment value that many fail to do quite so well. As the three somewhat unwilling strangers survive trials and grow ever closer, they all learn much about themselves and each other – even when the darkest of pasts come to light.

noragami hiyori

Despite harrowing circumstances, people can sometimes change each other for the better. Friendships are bonded, loyalties remain, and even gods of war and calamity can find light in their irrefutable darkness.

“People don’t realize they aren’t able to choose whether or not to believe something. If they subconsciously believe something, therein lies the potential for a curse.”

Kanoe.Yuuko_.full_.1055797

The typical life of a middle school student usually consists of going to their average school, sitting through endless classes, participating in regular club activities and repeating. But what if the school wasn’t quite so average, the classes not so endless (well, maybe) and the clubs not entirely what everyone would expect?  Welcome to Seikyou Academy; a school built upon the ancient ruins of a shrine with mystery and horror strewn throughout both its abandoned and bustling halls.

Teiichi_yuuko_hold_handsWithin these very halls of the abandoned part of the school building lies the home base of the school’s small and mostly unknown paranormal investigations club – a club consisting of only a few unique members who investigate the numerous mysteries surrounding the school in hopes to uncover the truth about the greatest ghost story of all. The club members consist of Teiichi Niiya, the main protagonist and head of the club, Momoe Okinogi, an extremely enthusiastic girl always ready for the next encounter, and lastly Konoe Kirie, the remarkably less enthusiastic member. Then there is Kanoe Yuuko who just so happens to also hang around the club room and help the team explore the paranormal occurrences and find clues throughout the school. Yuuko does have at least one unique thing about her though and that is that only Niiya and Kirie can see her…oh, and she also happens to be the star character in the most famous ghost stories surrounding the academy.

These stories are said to originate from an event that happened in the old abandoned school building some 60 years ago. A story clouded in mystery involving a catastrophic epidemic and a young girl abandoned and left for dead below the new paranormal investigations club room. It is in that closed off room that Niiya first meets Yuuko and there begins their own story as they work to uncover the truth of what happened to Yuuko; because, as it turns out, Yuuko has no memory at all of the events.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is a supernatural anime encompassing a wide variety of genre from comedic romance to horror andtasogare otome x amnesia suspense. Yuuko may be dead, but her main persona is that of the happy, loving girl she was before her death; however, where there is light, there is shadow and darkness as well. The happiness Yuuko exudes on a daily basis is the complete opposite of the shadow who stalks the very same abandoned halls emitting negative emotions and memories – something the Yuuko everyone knows and loves, lacks.

The anime revolves around a story that has been done numerous times, yet it accomplishes it far better than many. It is a ghost love story with a darker, more tortured twist that checks nearly every emotion off the list as it goes through its 13 episodes. The beautiful art style mixes a sense of haunting dusk and gothic light and is easy to fall into its mesmerizing gaze. Additionally, the music accompaning the episodes as well as the opening and ending themes are fitting and help add to the overall atmosphere and setting.

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, or Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, is a supernatural/love/horror/comedy that will surely catch and hold attention, though not to the point of keeping you awake for endless hours. Horror fans will surely find more intrigue later on in the show as the main mystery is deeper uncovered, yet it is an enjoyable experience throughout. Unlike Yuuko’s memories, it may just end up being something you would rather not forget.

Yuuko_tasogare

“Mysteries become dull once they’ve been solved.”

Baccano!

If you ever had to ask yourself what the most incredible asset to the mafia could be, what would you say?

Guns? Ammunition? Liquor? Fast cars? Finely pressed suits??

How about alchemy and immortality?

Ding ding ding! Now you’re thinking! (Though the other suggestions were good too). But just imagine what can be accomplished when you eliminate the fear of dying…well, dying permanently at least. The possibilities are endless…

This is where a ragtag group of gangsters, thieves, scientists, and even a few bystanders find that they all have at least one common factor between them. Be it by luck, accident, purpose or simply being in the wrong place at the right time, a majority of this large cast of characters has gained immortality – effectively upping the ante on any and all jobs, tasks, or trouble they find themselves getting into.

Baccano! is an anime that accomplishes things that many other animes try to attempt and often fail. First off, it is a very large cast of main characters for the overall length of the series.  The characters all fit into one of five or so different groups that all pass by and coincide with each other throughout the entirety of the series; and yet it feels as though all characters get ample screen time to fulfill their part of the story. As for the story, it is not told in a general ‘first this, then that happened’ type of fashion nor is it told between present time and flashbacks. It is a mixture of everything. Simply stated, you cannot merely watch an episode or two of the series then give up – it will all come together in time. It may sound odd, but its ’round-about almost random selection of event scenes’ way of story telling does not leave out a single detail; and by the time the end comes around, all of the pieces fall perfectly into place.

As for what the story is about, it is hard to go into without giving too much away. It involves an event from two hundred years previous and a slew of exploits occurring within and around the early 1930’s in prohibition era New York. Mafia, thieves, gangsters, violence, alchemy, grand panacea, a mysterious boat expedition and a terrifyingly chaotic and dangerous train ride are all key elements that this series’ plethora of characters find themselves in and around.

It is a show of humor, violence, mystery, blood, action and crime – and definitely worth watching. As with most entertainment associated with the mobster genre, language and brutality should be noted and expected. Maybe it’s not a household name and the characters aren’t well known, but it is an amusing and fun show to watch with nary a dull moment. Especially for its short time investment, even if you aren’t a big fan of the genre you should consider giving this one a shot.

“Cast aside the illusion that there is a beginning and end to the story. The story has no beginning. And it has no end. All there is, is a performance of people connecting, living, influencing each other, and departing. ” ~Gustav Saint Germain


Future Occupation: Demon King

Things never seem to turn out quite how you’d like them to, especially when your entire fate is already decided by the first day of school:

“Future Occupation: Demon King”

Akuto Sai always dreamed of becoming a bearer of light for the people, ranked among the highest order of magicians and changing the world in the best and most peaceful way possible. Yet despite his wishes, Akuto is destined to become the future Demon King – the destroyer of everything; and no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing it always ends up backfiring. However, even despite the general consensus of terror attributed to him by the students of the academy, Akuto still manages to acquire a few quirky “friends”.

These “friends” include the android, Korone, who is a surveillance agent sent by the government to watch over and report on the future Demon King; the whimsical airhead, Kena, who constantly skips class, disappears, and eats more rice than can possibly be healthy; the class representative and Iga ninja clan heir, Junko, who inwardly battles herself on her feelings towards Akuto; a weaker classmate, Hiroshi, who is destined to one day become a hero and affectionately calls Akuto “big brother”; and lastly, Miss Eto, the head of the girls dormitory who dreams of avenging her brother’s death and becoming the next Demon Queen.

Together, this mismatched group faces droves of angry students, strange encounters, rogue demon beasts, unknown magic abilities and a chance to defy the very fate handed to them.

Demon King Daimao is a short 12 episode series encompassing a predictable yet amusing story, charming characters, and a humorous outlook presiding over the entire ordeal. Sure, the first episode pretty clearly shows what the next 11 will be about; but the small trials and odd situations that abound throughout the series are enough to keep you entertained.

It is good versus evil from a devil’s advocate perspective.  What if the greatest future evil is really doing what is best for the world while the good everyone knows is actually holding people back? Which side do you follow? Is there even a reason to this madness?

The anime is obviously not too complex, you don’t need note cards to keep up with everything that is happening, but at the same time it is an enjoyable show to watch. The characters are easy to like and their individual, and oftentimes insane, antics could make even the sternest of individuals crack a smile.  Even though there is only one season, it covers everything it needs to; and I think most people will be fine with how it turns out.  Of course, if for some reason that isn’t enough, people can always fall back on the manga to help fill in loose ends.

Maybe, after all is said and done, the presence of a Demon King could actually bring about some good in the world; and if not, well, at least it was fun while it lasted!

Baka Baka Baka!!!

School really is a drag, isn’t it? Studying, tests, grades, studying…well, you get the picture. Now, what if we decided to make things a little more interesting!?

Fumizuki Academy is a school of academic excellence, marked by a pivotal placement test given to all students at the beginning of the year.  This test not only determines an overall grade but actually places the student in a particular classroom; class A being the best and brightest students going all the way down through F, the “idiot” class.

As if that fact alone isn’t motivation enough to do your very best, each class is significantly different not only in academic level but also down to the very equipment (desks, pencils, chairs, etc.) each class is allotted. Class A, as you might imagine, lounges in reclining chairs, have personal laptops at every desk, and even have their own coffee bar to use at their convenience. Alternatively, class F has fruit boxes for desks, flat cushions to sit on, and their class sign hangs outside the door in pieces held by some thread and tape.

In case it is not obvious already, tests are kind of a big thing at this academy – but there is an even more unexpected reason for this! Every student and teacher at the academy has the ability to summon an avatar, or small chibi version of themselves, which can then fight battles between students. The only catch is that each avatar’s strength comes from the student’s most recent test scores in a particular subject. The battlefield for these particular fights must be activated by a teacher of that subject. For example, if a math teacher grants permission for the battle, both student’s avatars will be measured by their most recent math test. Depending on the difference in scores an avatar has the chance of being either handsomely victorious or completely obliterated, that is their score reaching zero. This ends the fight and the dead or losing student gets immediately swept away to the much feared and loathed remedial lessons.

Sounds fun, right?

The anime Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts follows a set of students who belong to class F. There is Akihisa Yoshii, the main protagonist, probationary student and ultimate idiot of them all; Yuji Sakamoto, the class rep and good friend of Akihisa; Mizuki Himeji, a class A level intelligence girl in class F due to being unable to finish the placement test; Minami Shimada, a tough girl who excels in math but flounders miserably in Japanese; Hideyoshi Kinoshita, the pretty boy everyone loves; and Kota Tsuchiya, never without his camera. A few characters from rival Class A and other classes also appear frequently both friendly and competitively.

It is a light-hearted comedy that truly shows what can be accomplished when even the worst of odds are against you. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your friends and allies can be the difference between victory and defeat. After all, trying is only a means to an end; but so long as you try your best what have you really got to lose?

Problems with studying? Voila, solution: An avatar battle based on test scores with terrifying remedial lessons as punishment. Can you say, ‘Hello motivation!’

Find the opening (with stupidly happy and addicting song ^^) here:  http://youtu.be/mf5W24fdsy0

Axis Powers: Hetalia

“Polish horses never charged at German tanks during the battle of…right anime fans.”

“Germany invaded Poland in ’39…riiight, American fans.”

“Poland is a country! In Europe!”

     Indeed, prepare yourself for a history lesson you most likely never thought you could live without.  The time is World War II as the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan face off against the Allied Nations of Britain, America, Russia, France, and China.  However, this won’t be your average text book history lesson as each country is personified  to a person with all the stereotypical accents, looks, and quirks we come to associate them with.  If you squint your eyes and tilt your head slightly to the left you can almost even find a loose retelling of events, battles, and alliances of the WWII era.

     Each episode lasts maybe ten full minutes including an opening and closing credit, and within that time the dialogue will fly so fast you may be left wondering what just happened.  When I mention that this anime is chock full of stereotypes and prejudices – I am not exaggerating in the slightest.  Be prepared to see America always eating hamburgers, saying “Dude!” during every phrase, and always talking in his “totally hero like voice” to save the day.  Britain often takes the elder brother role; always after America for this and that and loves chatting with his invisible fairytale friends.  France loves his wine, women, and long beautiful hair.  Germany is militaristic and serious, Japan emotionless and honorary, and Italy is a happy idiot who loves pasta and white flags.  Plenty of insults and accusations fly without warning resulting in massive amounts of humor and amusement.  Flashbacks of previous historical events, a witty narration to fill in the chasm of gaps, and a slew of smaller countries/characters  make appearances as well – all adding to the unique perspective and humorous look at the world.  (For example, a small talking polar bear asks “Who are you?” To which the nearly transparent man who has a remarkable resemblance to America shyly responds “I’m Canadia” /sigh)  ^_^

     Here is a glimpse as to how the battles of WWII took place…at least according to Hetalia:

We come upon a deserted beach where Germany, Japan, and Italy are sitting around a campfire by the ocean.  Suddenly without warning they are surrounded by the Allies on top of the cliff overlooking their camp.  America (in his total hero voice) calls out a beginning to the battle with “China! I choose you” *cue pokemon-esque music* at which China, armed with a frying pan, jumps into action swinging at Germany and Japan as they attempt to dodge resounding injury. Italy, as usual, immediately takes up his post of swinging his small white flag and begging for his life. After a few more minutes of banter, so concludes the battle 🙂

     The anime certainly caught me by surprise; and as short as each episode is (52 in total) they pack non stop action, dialogue, and comedy into every minute of it.  I almost feel I need to watch it a second time to fully catch everything that flies by…and I just might!  Axis Powers: Hetalia has a fan base and popularity that is unarguably immense and now I can see why 🙂 Keep an open mind and give this one a try;  for as long as we can laugh at ourselves we will never cease to be amused ^^