Sunday, July 15, 2018

First Impressions: Angolmois - Genkou Kassenki Ep 1

A government ship filled with criminals on their way to be exiled is caught in a storm in the middle of the ocean. One of these criminals is a former Kamakura Shogunate retainer, Kuuchi Jinzaborou. A self-proclaimed rich merchant recognizes him but seems to have no respect for his kind. As the storm rages on, the prisoners beg the government personnel to free them from their handcuffs. After some reluctance, the government personnel do so only to have the prisoners mutiny almost immediately and throw them overboard. The mutiny is cut short once Kuuchi points out that they need to find shelter from the storm before they all drown. A large man with sharp teeth, Onitakemaru, a former pirate whom Kuuchi once tried to suppress, helps steer the ship to safer waters.


The ragtag group come within sight of their destination, Tsushima Island, where they are welcomed by no less than the Island Ruler's daughter, Princess Teruhi of the Sou Clan. That evening, the prisoners enjoy a feast prepared by their host. Princess Teruhi soon arrives with her servants and reveals her real motive in welcoming the prisoners to her island: she wants them to fight the Mongols who are posed to invade Japan. When the men protest, Princess Teruhi does not hesitate to give the order to kill all dissenters.


Later, in her private chambers, it is revealed that Princess Teruhi is just putting up an act out of duty to defend her island. That same evening, an advance party of skilled warriors secretly attack Princess Teruhi's camp and kidnaps her. The Sou Clan immediately mobilize their soldiers, including the ones guarding the prisoners, drawing a comment from Kuuchi how disorganized they are. The prisoners easily escape and quickly deduce where Princess Teruhi has been taken.


The Sou Clan soldiers catch up to the advance party but are unable to do anything for fear of hurting the princess. Onitakemaru arrives and starts attacking. Kuuchi also slips through and kills several of the advance party. His fighting style is revealed to be Gikei, the style used by Yoshitsune. However, the advance party's leader appears to be schooled in the same style and holds his own against Kuuchi. As the fight continues, the warriors come to a draw and the leader shows his face to Kuuchi. Much to Kuuchi's shock, he is no Mongol. The warrior escapes back to his ship and sets sail for the far seas while Kuuchi and the rest of the prisoners watch on. Unbeknownst to them, a trio of shadowy figures are watching over them.


The next morning, Princess Teruhi mourns her dead servant and the soldiers of the Sou Clan. Thinking that it is one of her servants who approach her, she comments that war is sad. But it is Kuuchi and he says only that what happened last night was not a war. He is disdainful of her seeming ignorance and wonders if she has the stomach to fight off the Mongols. Princess Teruhi surprises him however of her determination to protect her island. Just then, another of Princess Teruhi's servants, Kano, to warn that the Mongols are coming.


Wooh, historical anime! I like it so far. I don't know how accurate it is or whether the characters are based on real people. But it is true that the Mongols did try to invade Japan but were unsuccessful. It is a very interesting setting and one that has not been done before as far as I know. The characters are interesting. Kuuchi seems like a good main character -- charismatic and appropriately broody but not annoyingly so. Teruhi, despite being a damsel in distress in this episode, is not annoying either. The music is also good. I like the opening theme. The animation is not so bad. The filter is a bit weird and could take some getting used to, but I don't mind it very much. I like this anime. Will definitely watch.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

FLCL Progressive Episode 2

Hidomi dreams of decomposing bodies in an apocalyptic world. The bodies attack and eat each other. Hidomi appears as one of the zombies and she joins the fray but gets eaten in the process. As she lays there dying, a body shuffles toward her and she looks up to find that it is a zombified Ide. Hidomi wakes up and starts getting ready for school. On her way out, Jinyu tries to warn her yet again about a woman on a vespa.

In school, Haruko continues her antics and everyone seems to have gone gaga over her. Only Hidomi seems to be immune. Later, after class, Haruko persuades Hidomi to bring some notes to Ide, who is absent from class that day. After a while, Hidomi takes the piece of paper and makes her way to Ide's home.

It turns out Ide lives in a decrepit part of town. While there, she is propositioned by an old man, who is a regular customer at her mother's cafe. She is saved by one of Ide's friends who takes her to where Ide is. He explains that although Ide acts like he has no problem in school, in reality Ide is hard up and has to do hard manual labor to support himself.

After his work is done, Ide sidelines by selling some weird inventions. A couple of guys make fun of him and then start to beat him. At the sight of Ide being bloodied from the beatings, Hidomi faints. Ide notices her then and carries her back to his place, leaving his disgruntled friend behind.

Alone in his room, Ide attempts to ask Hidomi out to an art gallery while treating her nosebleed. Hidomi agrees much to Ide's delight. In his delight, he attempts to jump her but they are interrupted by Haruko hanging from a rooftop with a camera and a director's hat, calling "CUT!" She then proceeds to walk to the next room where she edits a porn scene into the movie she is making.

At that point, Jinyu appears outside Ide's window. With her car, which has turned into a robot, she grabs Hidomi. Haruko comes out and uses Ide as a weapon to attack Jinyu. While the two women fight, Jinyu reveals to Haruko that Jinyu is just a part of her. But Haruko barely listens to her as she continues to attack with Ide in tow. She hits Ide's forehead hard with her electric guitar and the monster from the first episode pops out to assault Jinyu.


Seeing Ide in danger triggers Hidomi and her headphones start to glow red. The red horn comes out of her forehead and she starts to float. There is an explosion and Haruko finds herself staring straight at a tiny raggedy doll.

Haruko tries to befriend  the doll but the doll just explodes, sending a shocked Haruko, with Ide, into the sky. The doll then zips by and knocks Haruko on the head. Then the doll disappears and Hidomi's red horn pops open, bleeding all over her face. Jinyu caught Hidomi and picked up an unconscious Ide. She put both of them inside her car, which transforms into a medical lab. Ide wakes up then and Hidomi gives her his assignment. At this, Ide laughs and Hidomi smiles.