Thursday, April 28, 2016

2016 Voice Actor Draft - Cardcaptor Sakura

It's time... for the 2016 Voice Actor Draft! This year it'll be a little different. Instead of 32 anime series picking voice actors, it will be 3 different shows getting 7 picks of their top characters. For the first round of the Voice Actor Draft, we will begin with Cardcaptor Sakura, which of course is my #ThrowbackThursday anime. Remember: this is all in fun.

1. Sakura Kinomoto - Caitlin Glass
Sakura needs a polished voice actress, and that's just what she gets with Caitlin Glass. Glass has proven with Winry Rockbell that she can provide pretty much anything she needs to bring to the table, and as a result, she's a great first pick for the main character.

2. Tomoyo Daidouji - Stephanie Sheh
Maybe I'm playing it safe here by picking the voice actress best known for Hinata Hyuga, Orihime Inoue and Mikuru Asahina, but Sheh has proved even with Sailor Moon that she can go with any voice necessary for her character. She fits Tomoyo's character perfectly.

3. Li Syaoran - Yuri Lowenthal
What better choice to fill the voice of Syaoran than the voice of Sasuke Uchiha? He fits this role perfectly. He offers a lot of range to cover whether Syaoran is in his usual bad attitude, or whether he's feeling a bit "soft." Great pick right here.

4. Meiling Li - Tiffany Grant
You need someone to provide that bossy, stubborn voice, and Tiffany Grant of course knows that so well from playing Asuka Langley Soryu. No doubt that this is an excellent choice to fill in this spot. Grant has so much experience that this is a guaranteed successful pick.

5. Kero - Cassandra Lee Morris
Morris has experience from playing a "mascot" in Kyubey, so she fits perfectly into this role. She provides the amount of range necessary for Kero to be both his playful self and his serious self. And she doesn't need a Brooklyn accent!

6. Toya Kinomoto - J. Michael Tatum
Tatum can bring absolutely anything to the table. He's got great range and can fill a wide number of roles. Fitting him in to voice Sakura's brother is one of many roles he could possibly play, and this one is the one that has been decided to go with. Great choice.

7. Yukito Tsukishiro - Vic Mignogna
For Yukito, a softer voice is needed, and Mignogna fits that role perfectly. Obviously he can do soft voices or raspy voices, but in this case, he fits great with the soft voice role. This is a great pick, and it really works well for Yukito.

And there you have it. That's Round 1 of our Voice Actor Draft; stay tuned for Rounds 2 and 3 the next two days!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Anime Bowl Toonami Podcast - Episode 44

Intro: 0:00
Dragon Ball Z Kai: 0:34
Dimension W: 3:40
Hunter x Hunter: 7:36
Samurai Champloo: 12:55
Naruto Shippuden: 18:34
One Piece: 20:58
Who won the night?: 25:59

Monday, April 25, 2016

Samurai Champloo 17: Purple Rain

Samurai Champloo episode 17 review


This was a typical Samurai Champloo episode. Nothing really jumped out at me, yet it still was a solid effort. This show has really grown on me ever since I wrote that I was dropping it. I've come to love Fuu and her antics, to respect Jin and his attitude, and to bear with Mugen and his invincibility.

Now to be totally honest, this episode didn't really wow me, but at least we had that little bit where Fuu talks with Mugen about the "samurai who smells of sunflowers." The sentiment is that Fuu wants to meet this samurai for the point of revenge. However, I get the feeling that there's more than what she's letting on, and that it's not real revenge. But maybe I'm just crazy guessing here. Who can forget the final season of How I Met Your Mother, when the "mother" was introduced only to be killed off anyway in the final episode? I get the feeling something similar's coming in Samurai Champloo.

Episode rating (out of four stars): **½

Sunday, April 24, 2016

HxH 2: These are my testing supplies

Hunter x Hunter episode 2 review


I know everyone keeps promising me that Hunter x Hunter isn't just your average shounen show, but right now that's all it looks to be. This episode is an extension of the first one. The characters have to take a test to get to the test. So the test they take to get to the test is a test that tests what they were to do if they were tested. Leorio chooses the right answer, and the three advance. And that's pretty much all there is to this episode. Are we going to finally get to the actual test before episode 10?

I know it sounds like I'm being a little harsh on this series, but keep in mind, any TV show has up until the first commercial break of the first episode to hook you. If it can't by then, then the viewer has turned it off and is watching something else. Here, in this case, Hunter x Hunter has had two episodes to get me hooked, and so far I'm still chasing the worm. Who knows, maybe this does turn into a Bleach that I really like. But Bleach hooked me from the first scene I ever saw (and no, it wasn't fanservice). Still a long way to go for Hunter x Hunter.

Episode rating (out of four stars): **

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dimension W 9: My head is spinning

Dimension W episode 9 review


The first half of this episode made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Instead of picking up where we left off with the confrontation between Kyoma and Loser, we were put into an episode-long montage of flashbacks dealing with Kyoma and the prince of Africa. The flashbacks were hard to follow along, and scenes were blurred together in such a way that you couldn't tell when each scene was occurring. In the end, we didn't learn much, until one scene near the close of the episode.

That scene was when the one Collector woman told Mira that she was actually built to be the replacement body for Kyoma's fiance. This now makes a lot of sense, that Kyoma hates Mira because she was only built for the purpose of saving his fiance, but of course that experiment didn't work out. This at least gives some pretty good background to Mira's character, which I appreciate. It's just a shame that the first half of the episode was so abstract and bizarre that I didn't know what was going on.

Episode rating (out of four stars): *½

Friday, April 22, 2016

#FlashbackFriday: Sailor Moon episodes 19-20 review

Two interesting, if not great, episodes of Sailor Moon this week. First was an episode where Tuxedo Mask sent a love letter to Usagi. Problem is, he sent one to every girl in the school. It didn't take Ami's brain to figure out that this was a trap, but both Naru (Molly) and eventually Usagi fell into the trap. Eventually the real Tuxedo Mask showed up on the scene, along with Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars, and they managed to help Sailor Moon and Naru escape disaster. The bad guy who impersonated Tuxedo Mask remains at large, however.

Episode 20 is the swimsuit episode of Sailor Moon! There's one in every anime, I'm telling you. But in this episode, Rei books a spooky hotel for the girls to stay in, and they end up being chased around by a ghost. Luckily, the ghost just ends up being the psychic powers of a girl who had been secluded in the spooky hotel for years. Not really a very eventful episode, but hey, what do you expect from the swimsuit episode?

Episode 19 rating (out of four stars): **½
Episode 20 rating (out of four stars): **½

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#ThrowbackThursday: Cardcaptor Sakura episodes 19-20 review

Finally! Meiling Li shows up on the scene, and Cardcaptor Sakura is hitting its stride. Our first episode was a very quiet, slow slice-of-life episode, which took almost the entire 22 minutes to get going. But the chase for The Move card and the attempted capture of it was pretty fun, and then things got awesome when Meiling (Meilin, as I remember her name) bursts into Syaoran's house and starts causing her brand of trouble. The episode wasn't great, but that final portion of it was a lot of fun.

Then Meiling joins Sakura's school in the second episode, #20. A mysterious person is beating up people, and no one can figure out who it is. Sakura comes to the conclusion that it must be a Clow Card, but when she goes to capture it, it's Meiling who tries to fight off the Clow Card. Meiling gets beaten up, and even Syaoran gets beaten up, before Sakura pulls out The Power card and uses it to defeat The Fight card and capture it. And all the while in the episode, you've got Meiling competing with Sakura and also crushing on Syaoran. She's a hilarious character who instantly lights up the show by her very presence. This should start to get really good with her hanging around for a while.

Episode 19 rating (out of four stars): **
Episode 20 rating (out of four stars): ***