Outlook: Itazura na Kiss

A brief preview of a recently released, ongoing and unlicensed anime available through bittorrent.

Itazura na Kiss

Usually when I write Outlook previews I am trying to let you know about an anime you may want to watch. Itazura na Kiss is different. Let’s just say I am trying to protect you from an anime you shouldn’t be watching. First, however, what is Itazura na Kiss… besides total crap? The main protagonist is a girl named Kotoko Aihara, a high school student, who has been in love with Naoki Irie, a genius at the top of the class, since she first saw him. She finally summons up the courage and presents Irie with a confession letter which he promptly rejects. Then, after a series of unfortunate events, she somehow arrives at Irie’s house to live with him after her house gets destroyed in an earthquake. Itazura na Kiss is based on an extremely popular manga written by Kaoru Tada. The manga was adapted into two TV live action dramas, however, the author died in a tragic accident leaving the manga unfinished. The manga is still serialized without Tada with permission from her husband.

The Truth The animation is horrible. Let’s rewind to the early 90’s and use their animation shall we? Let’s say it’s Sailor Moon (Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn) except without the flashy transformations. In a time of the extravagant settings of Hayao Miyazaki, the spectacular battle sequences of Seirei no Moribito, to the wondrous landscapes of Makoto Shinkai it’s hard to imagine animes like this exist. It’s not funny at all. I didn’t laugh, chuckle… hell, I didn’t even smile while I watched the entire thing. The voice acting is atrocious. I’ve never heard such plain, uninspired voice acting since coming across Itazura na Kiss. I can’t help but wonder if the seiyus were so bored with the dialog they weren’t compelled either that or they just suck along with the anime.

Redeeming Factor There is one redeeming factor. All the stuff I listed above is bad, yeah, but the anime is based off the manga. Not all the plot could be lost right? Naoki Irie is a total jerk. He’s just a plain jerk. It’s really quite interesting to see a romance anime where one of the partners isn’t your total make-the-right-decisions-robot. I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to like Irie, but I sure did since there was nothing else I liked in the anime. It was glorious watching Kotoko get shutdown over and over again.

Bottomline This anime is really bad. It rivals the hideously awful Fighting Beauty Wulong. There are so many better romance/drama animes out there you could be watching instead of hoping that Itazura na Kiss picks up. If you really want it you’re better off reading the manga or even watching the live action TV adaptations.

Where can you get it? Wait… you really want it? Even after all that? Here it is… have fun… Bakawolf & m.3.3.w


Outlook: Bus Gamer

A brief preview of a recently released, ongoing and unlicensed anime available through bittorrent.

Bus Gamer

When I first approached Bus Gamer I thought it was maybe something along the lines of Lucky Star, maybe an otaku that played games on the bus? I was quite wrong. Bus Gamer is an anime about with an original idea. Corporations put trade secrets on a minidisc (I suppose regular CDs or DVDs are too fragile) and have two teams of three fight over the disc. One team starts with the disc and must keep it safe while the other must take the disc within the time limit. Meanwhile the corporation bosses watch comfortably from a distance. The team that wins gains a large sum of money which exponentially increases with each win. The premise, in itself, is quite interesting. Curiously the anime lays in an odd place. Even though the manga was quite popular it was released only in one volume due to serialization issues. It is expected that the writer, Kazuya Minekura, will finish the manga, however, it is not known exactly when. The anime, thus, has only 3 episodes.

Animation The animation is “shōnen” so you ladies out there who like animes like X and other CLAMP related animes may enjoy watching the pretty boy protagonists running around searching for discs. Also there is quite a bit of action as the disc serves as just a mechanism to initiate the inevitable street brawl between the two parties. Though, the animation is not particularly good and the animation studio working on it, Izena, is quite unknown. They worked on Tactics and Law of Ueki but only as helping hands and not with animation. The animation does, however, serve its purpose.

Why pick this up? The place where Bus Gamer really shines is its characters. The three members of the team, called AAA for anonymous, are made up of Mishiba Toki (the reticent cool guy), Nakajyo Nobuto (the badass), and Saitoh Kazuo (the lighthearded nice dude). The uniting factor between these three that really don’t share too much in common is the need for money, a large sum of money. This driving factor serves to bind the team, but not only that, to advance the plot. The question posed at the beginning of the anime is “Why do each of them need so much money?” This serves as a clever plot device and will encourage you to find out the answer to this question as each member struggles to protect his secret. Furthermore, the companies too seem to have their own secrets. I suspect that the characters are mired in a network shrouded by mystery.

Bottomline This is a shōnen anime that is character driven. If you watch the first episode and find yourself curious about each of the characters, or in some cases attached to them, this is probably for you. The animation isn’t so great and the plot has yet to prove itself, though the premise may engage you. Oh yeah, the intro song is horrible.

Where can you get it? Shinsen Subs


Anime Outlook

We’re going to take a quick look at a few unlicensed anime available right now through bittorrent.

Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf (Otami to Koshinryo) is an anime based on a Japanese light novel series written by Isuna Hasekura and produced by IMAGIN, a smaller studio. It features Craft Lawrence a traveling merchant in what appears to be a historical feudal society. So, that’s the basis. No real big change from any other anime. But, wait, get this. Craft has an unfortunate encounter with Holo, a wolf god who controls the harvest of a small town. Holo is supposed to be an angry looking mean wolf god (think Mononoke Hime) but she transforms herself into a cute human-like figure (Suprise suprise! Avant garde!). Holo ends up tagging along with Craft. Yup, that’s the entire premise. Not especially ground breaking.

Strong point Sure the animation is run of the mill but Spice and Wolf is more about story. Though it seems simplistic now remember, the anime evolved from a light novel so expect the plot to really pick up. The interactions between the down-to-earth Craft and the spicy and spunky Holo are humorous and interesting. Though Craft and Holo don’t break traditional anime archetypes they do provide for an interesting atmosphere given the twist of the plot, Holo is, of course, a wolf goddess. In the end, however, expect a well-written plot.

Why should you pick this up? I’m going to recommend this to people who enjoy feudal society animes. Moreover, if you like animes that focus on relationships between different personalities pick this one up. I know you all are suckers for animes where a relationship between two people slowly evolve over time until they are truly tested.

Where can you get it? BSsubs

They Are My Noble Masters

They Are My Noble Masters (Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de) has a rather curious name, but it accurately describes the anime. The anime really does exhibit the fascination of master-servant relationships that some Japanese (well… some people in general) enjoy. The story goes like this, Ren and Mihato Uesegi run away from home due to their abusive father and start looking for a job. By some “wacky” (as it is often put) circumstances they end up at the Shinra (FFVII?) Kounji’s, a famous conductor, household. The estate is filled with mostly females of which you can expect your stereotypical Ren to interact with, help, etcetera as male anime characters are ought to do when surrounded by tons of females. Of course, having sex with any of them is out of the question as an idea like that is totally outlandish in Japanese standards. I mean… living in the house with tons of good looking women and trying to hit on them? No way!

Strong point Think of it like a harem anime except the usually dominant female is also dominant in status not just personality. In Japan, it appears, gender roles are likened to be reversed and it’s kind of refreshing to see a male character grovel, though this is not necessarily uncommon (see Keitaro in Love Hina and any other harem anime).

Why should you pick this up? I’m going to recommend this to harem anime lovers everywhere. If you love seeing one guy being mercilessly hammered by multiple females, one of which stands out as the alpha-female and his obvious future partner, get this anime now! In all honesty, it’s one of the better harem animes out there given just how many there are!

Where can you get it? Anime Yoshi

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