Category Archives: crunchy roll

Sega Girls Too Hard to Pass Up

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Japan makes anime comedies about all sort of strange topics. Now we have an anime show where three cute girls represent video game consoles.

Sega Hard Girls is a strange collection of hit-and-miss video game jokes. The average anime fan might pass this up, but the beautiful 3D animation makes the show much more enjoyable.

I thought I’d seen every type of anime by this point, but Sega Hard Girls is definitely one of the most unusual shows to date. The show’s full name is actually “Hi-sCoool! Seha Girls,” but most fans just call it by its nickname, Sega Hard Girls. The show has three main characters who each represent Sega video game consoles. Their names are Mega Drive, Saturn and Dreamcast. The game systems in this show are represented in the form of cute anime girls.

These Sega girls are all attending Sehagaga Academy in Tokyo. Their goal is to graduate and become full-fledged video game consoles. Well, at least I think that’s their main goal. For the entire season, I kept wondering what would actually happen to the girls when they graduate. The whole concept is already too strange to comprehend.

segaHard3Thankfully, this show isn’t focused around a serious plot—it’s a comedy based around video games. The main goal of the academy is to earn 100 medals. To earn these medals, the girls have to enter the worlds of old Sega games to perform a specific task. Each episode focuses on funny slapstick jokes that use retro game characters.

The show is a unique mish-mash of 3D anime and video game animation. I’ve seen all sorts of lame 3D anime films where the animation looks incredibly stiff and fake. Sega Hard Girls is the first 3D show where I had an emotional connection with the characters. The brilliant animators of this show took the time to slow the action down and focus on the facial details and expressions of the character models. Because of this detail, the girls look a lot more like humans with feelings and emotional expressions.

The result is a light-hearted cartoon that looks back at the joy and fun of video game characters in the past. Some episodes showed off some really obscure games that were only released in Japan, such as Border Break. Based on the episode I had seen, Border Break looks like a versatile, online 3D shooter with mecha robots. Even if the game’s environment looked a little bland, I really enjoyed watching these girls explore the unique landscape of Border Break.

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The show has plenty of cameos from video game icons, but the funniest parts actually take place when goofy-looking characters wander in from other random Sega games. In fact, Sega Hard Girls is chock-full of visual gags. My favorite jokes took place in episode two, when the girls used martial arts moves against little birds from Flicky, pig men from Golden Axe and a giant beetle from some weird bug game (Mushiking).

Sega Hard Girls is a retrospective of all the funniest moments of early video games. The show is geared for all the anime fans who yearn for the old days of video games, when all the graphics looked a lot more innocent and timeless. Sega Hard Girls also shows off some of the best 3D animation I’ve ever seen.

Sega Hard Girls is available to stream at crunchyroll.com.

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Filed under 3D anime, action, anime streaming, comedy, crunchy roll, fighting

The State of Anime Streaming 2011

Logo for Crunchyroll.com

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, anime streaming websites are spreading like wildfire. At first, crunchyroll.com was the only legal place to stream the newest anime from Japan. Now there’s a flood of new options available over the Internet.

I’ve experimented with many of the new websites, from the dubbed anime on Netflix to the subtitled anime on theanimenetwork.com. Although I like all of the new options, crunchyroll.com remains the best option for people who want to stay on top of the anime scene on a low budget.

Logo for Funimation EntertainmentIf anime junkies are on a really tight budget, they can just rely on the millions of anime streams on YouTube. The Funimation channel is currently a hot spot for many of the shows that are arriving on DVD. Admittedly, Funimation has taken over many of the DVD sales, but they’ve managed to produce some pretty accurate English subtitles. I can’t really complain about the company.

Fans who absolutely want to stay on top of all the latest anime usually end up downloading the new shows illegally over the Internet. Although I’ve experimented with illegal download sites, they tend to act more like hubs for people to search for whatever they want. It also takes up an enormous flow of bandwidth and computer processing power, so people probably shouldn’t rely on downloads if they’re living with their parents or with roommates.

Lastly, there are numerous websites to help viewers discover the rare shows that they probably missed over the last few years. I still prefer to rely on wanabrar.com for the records of the anime shows for every year and every season. The downloadable calendars even have images for people to fully visualize what the drawings look like.

Are there any new options that I may have missed? Feel free to write about them in the comments below.

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Filed under anime streaming, crunchy roll, Funimation

>Crunchyroll review – A headless fairy and Japanese gang wars

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“Durarara!!” is a new masterpiece which combines a motley of unusual characters with a story rich with scientific experiments and controversy.

Produced by the same studio behind “Baccano!”, this series has garnered plenty of attention for its fantasy characters. Some possess superhuman strength. Others are involved with genetic mutation experiments. One of them has no head. All of them live in the eclectic Tokyo neighborhood of Ikebukuro, where gang violence runs rampant.

This review covers episodes one through eight. Each episode is narrated by a different character in the series, with each person bringing their own unique characteristics and powers to the story. The series begins behind the perspective of an incoming high school student named Mikado Ryuugamine.

Although he comes from a rural neighborhood, he grows ever intrigued by the fascinating urban legends of Ikebukuro. Certainly the area is a dangerous hot spot for the Japanese color gangs, including an obscure group known as the Dollars.

But the area is also the home of a headless motorcyclist, known simply as Celty. Her background is based on a Medieval legend of the fairy named Dullahan, who carries her head under her arm and rides a headless horse. However, Celty isn’t carrying her head anymore, because someone stole it. She’s now a mere transporter who rescues innocent people. She’s still hoping to find what she lost.

As far-fetched as the entire story is, the pacing of the series is excellent. There isn’t any single time where you feel as if the characters are spending too much time in boring conversations. Something suspicious always runs amok in Ikebukuro. Gang members kidnap innocent people. Superhuman characters are battling hordes of gangsters. A sleazy gang boss calls his minions to kill off students.

And even if most of the story involves a bunch of high-intensity encounters with extraordinary fighters, a headless motorcyclist and a Russian wrestler, nothing ever feels wasted. Every event somehow progresses the plot in subtle ways.

This is a unique tale surrounding many people who are trying to discover something they loved which was lost. All the characters are caught in a swirling cloud of mystery, in a neighborhood where anything and everything is possible.

Image courtesy of photobucket.com

Click here to watch the series on crunchyroll.com

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Filed under crunchy roll, Dullahan, Durarara, fairy

>Eating Crunchyrolls – Winter 2010

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I’ve been working on a slew of news stories and whatnot, but I should have free time this weekend to write some reviews of anime series on crunchyroll.com, the hottest anime streaming Web site.

Believe it or not, you can watch anime for free on this site, as long as you can stand all the ads which pop up from time to time.

It’s a legit streaming site as well. If you want, you can pay a small monthly fee to watch anime at the same time as it is broadcast in Japan. This money will pay the bills of anime companies we know and love.

Right now I’m watching a variety of series. Look forward to seeing some fun reviews of:

“Soranowoto” – People have compared this to “K-On!”, because it features teenage girl characters who act really cute. Actually, this is a war story about a girl who is inspired to join the military to play a trumpet. It starts off innocent, but eventually the series includes some frightening moments of post-traumatic stress.

“Hanamaru Kindergarten” – A show about an Dragon Quest 9 addict named Tsuchida, who supervises children at a Kindergarten school. The main story is focused mostly on a girl named Anzu, who tries to get Tsuchida to fall in love with her.

“Durarara!!” – A series set in modern day Ikebukuro, where color gangs are duking it out against each other and yakuza are kidnapping innocent people. An incoming high school student named Ryuugane Mikado is looking for fun and excitement in the city, but he ends up finding plenty of shady, dangerous characters as well.

“Gintama” – In the near future, aliens have taken over the world and samurai warriors are now out of work. However, three samurai are making ends meet, taking whatever odd jobs are available.

So look forward to whatever I think about reviewing next.

Image courtesy of photobucket.com

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