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Mar 012017
 

Based on the title alone, The Seven Deadly Sins (2014-2016) does sound like a show about evildoers with a story plot similar to the movie Se7en. However, that’s not what it is at all. The Seven Deadly Sins are actually a group of heroic immortal knights in the region of Britannia until they disbanded after being wrongfully accused of plotting to overthrow the Liones Kingdom.

In actuality, it was another group of knights called the Holy Knights that took over and captured the king. So the king’s daughter Princess Elizabeth goes in search of the seven deadly sins in hopes of reuniting them to save her kingdom.

The first sin she finds is the leader Meliodas the sin of Wrath. Though he has the appearance of a child, Meliodas is very powerful. He has a comedic side also, which is mainly shown when he freely touches Elizabeth inappropriately without thinking. Oddly, Elizabeth doesn’t seem to mind because she never reacts to it.

The real comic relief comes from Meliodas’s companion Hawk the talking pig. He always reacts to Meliodas’s perverted ways and yells whenever anyone jokes about eating a pig product.

I met Christina Vee, who was the voice of Hawk, at Anime Festival Orlando 2011.

As the three of them travel together in a tavern that’s strapped onto a giant green pig, which is really nifty, more deadly sins are found like Ban the sin of Greed. He’s strong and has a laid back attitude, especially when it comes to stealing people’s clothes. However, Ban is very devoted for those he cares about.

Diane the sin of Envy is a giant girl who is in love with Meliodas, though he’s devoted to Elizabeth. I can see Diane being out of place being the only giant of the team, but she is very much an equal member as far as the other sins are concerned.

King the sin of Sloth is a fairy king that flies with a comfy pillow, which is appropriate. King isn’t lazy though. He’s in love with Diane, but their relationship is complicated because of Diane’s feelings for Meliodas.

It isn’t until much later in the series when the remaining sins are found. Gowther the sin of Lust is book smart but struggles to understand emotions. The best way Gowther does is by studying other people’s actions on how emotions work.

Lastly there’s Merlin the sin of Gluttony. That’s right, it’s Merlin from Camelot. Though shockingly, Merlin is a woman and an attractive one at that. She didn’t participate in the series until much later, but it would’ve helped if Merlin had appeared sooner.

This was an interesting Anime series overall. I’m sure you might be thinking that there were supposed to be seven sins but only six were featured. It’s true that one sin was still unaccounted for, Pride. I wonder who that could be.

Aug 032016
 
Anime Festival Orlando was awesome this year. Among the celebrity guests who attended was voice actor Gregg Berger. He had voiced some great characters over the years and was a really nice guy who enjoys what he does. Here are my favorite characters.
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Odie from Garfield franchise: Next to Garfield, this friendly unintelligent dog is the most iconic. One thing I always found peculiar about Odie is that in a franchise where all animals can talk, he’s the only one that doesn’t and there’s no explanation why. At least Odie understands what the other animals say.
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Orson Pig from Garfield and Friends: I often think that Orson is the leadership figure of the U.S. Acres because he is the most sensible of the group. Orson is also a bookworm and sometimes thinks he’s the hero of the stories he reads. The most common is his superhero alter ego, Power Pig. Of course I can’t blame Orson for wanting to play pretend once in a while since he has to put up with the hijinks of his friends, not to mention his older brothers that treat him like a runt.
On a side note: Gregg autographed my Garfield and Friends, Volume 1 DVD set while doing the voice of Orson.
Floyd the Mouse
Floyd the mouse from Garfield and Friends: We all know that Garfield is not a mouser. As a result, Floyd becomes a good friend of his. As far as I can tell, the only things that separate Floyd from other mice are his bulgy eyes and his brand of humor that works when paired with the funny cat.
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Cornfed Pig from Duckman: This detective is Duckman’s partner and the more sensible member of the duo. Cornfed is highly intelligent and skilled in many ways. I can definitely tell by the way he talks, despite that he also comes off as a chatterbox.
Grimlock from Transformers (80s version): He’s the leader of the Dinobots and transforms into a T-Rex. Like the other Dinobots, Grimlock is pretty stubborn and always up for taking action. When it comes to the Dinobots, Grimlock is really the only one who stands out as an individual. It might have to do with the action figure I have with the other Transformers I’ve kept over the years.
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AB Sitter from Fantastic Max: He’s a toy robot with the persona of an overprotective adult. AB is often intent on telling Max what to do. Of course, Max doesn’t listen. That’s what makes his rule telling so funny. AB may often be uptight, but his heart is in the right place.
What are some of your favorite characters?
Feb 172016
 

In Legend of Korra: Book Three – Change, the results of Korra’s last major battle now allows people and creatures from the spirit world to coexist. This also automatically unlocks air bending powers from certain individuals, starting with Bumi. In hopes of rebuilding the Air Nation, Team Avatar is on the search for the air benders so Tenzin can train them as Air Nomads.

Unfortunately one of those air benders is Zaheer, the new villain for this season. He is the leader of a group of dangerous criminals called the Red Lotus. This is a group that believes that the way to maintain world peace is to take out all of the world leaders, including the Avatar.

Unlike the previous two seasons, there are more colorful henchmen that work along side Zaheer. First there’s Ghazan an earth bender that can also bend lava.

P'Li

P’Li is a fire bender with a third eye and is Zaheer’s girlfriend.

The third member is Ming-Hua a freaky water bender. It took me a while for me to discover that she has no arms.

I met Grey Delisle, who was the voice of Ming-Hua, at Anime Festival Orlando 2012.

This season also introduces an entire city of metal benders called Zaofu that’s run by Lin’s sister Suyin. And to think, Zaofu would not be possible without their mother Toph Beifong who discovered metal bending for the first time in the Last Airbender series.

It’s also revealed that Lord Zuko is still around and can still kick butt as a fire bender.

Korra and her friends have grown a lot since the series began, but it’s not over yet. Check my blog for Part 4 to see what happens in the final season.

Sep 162015
 

If you enjoy watching the Power Rangers battle enemies in their zords, then you ought to see Gurren Lagann (2007-2008). This takes place in the future, where mankind is forced to live underground due to the surface world being so hostile with beast men.

There are some individuals who intend to explore up above like Kamina the hilarious headstrong rebel and Simon the meek young digger. They like to address each other as brothers even though they’re not actually related. I think it’s nice that they do.

I met Kyle Hebert, the voice of Kamina, at Anime Festival Orlando 2012.

Eventually, Simon finds a giant robot head called Lagann and a drill shaped key to activate it. However, the key is tied to Simon’s emotions. So it only works based on his mood, which is hard to understand sometimes.

During Simon and Kamina’s attempt to head to the surface, they meet Yoko. She’s highly skilled with a rifle and knows how to handle dangerous situations. Yoko is also funny while trying to tolerate Kamina, or anyone that likes to gaze at her gorgeous body.

I met Michelle Ruff, the voice of Yoko, at Space Coast Comicon 2015, along with Amanda Miller and Christina Vee. All three of them voiced characters on Sailor Moon.

Together Simone, Kamina, and Yoko become Team Gurren. On the surface, the beast men drive bigger robots called Gunmen and each one is different. Kamina manages to steal a Gunman and combine it with the Lagann to form the Gurren Lagann. It not only can destroy other Gunmen more easily, it bring hope for humanity.

As the series proceeds, the team grows with new members and more stolen Gunmen that are reprogrammed to fight for good. Among those new members are the Black siblings, who are a team of skilled beast man hunters; Kittan and his sisters Kiyoh, Kinon, and Kiyal. They’re such an amazing group.

Many of the beast men are nameless, but one who is reoccurring is Viral. He’s actually more of a half human/half beast man. Although Viral loses against Team Gurren, he always lives to fight another day.

I met Sam Riegal, the voice of Viral, at MythiCon 2013. Of course, I’ll always remember him best as the voice of Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 version).

The leader of the beast men is Lordgenome the Spiral King, a tyrant intent on eradicating all of mankind. He appears somber, but don’t underestimate him, especially in battle.

I should also point out that in much later episodes, the series really goes sci-fi when Team Gurren takes the war into outer space seven years later.

This was certainly a good series with its action and humor. My only concern was that one of the principle characters gets killed off really early in the series. It’s a surprise that I never saw coming.

Jul 152015
 

There are many different villains in pop culture. Some live on to become as iconic as the heroes who fight them while others, not so much. So I put together a list of old villains from movies and TV shows that seem underrated, but still stand out as favorites of mine.

#10) Mouser from The Super Mario Bros. Super Show: Originally featured as a bomb-throwing boss from the Super Mario Bros. 2 NES game, this talking mouse often serves as King Bowser Koopa’s right hand man. Mouser is a stooge but a worthy adversary. However, he hasn’t been featured in the Super Mario Bros. franchise for a long time, among other old characters that seemed to have disappeared off the radar. I wonder why that is.

#9) The Witches from the Volcano of Gloom from My Little Pony (1986 version): They are known as Hydia and her two daughters Reeka and Draggle and come from a long line of evildoers. This trio, along with their giant spider monster Ahgg, is intent on turning the world dark, dank, and dreary and the little ponies are the only ones standing in their way. The witches were the main villains on My Little Pony the Movie (1986) and the ten-part episode The End of Flutter Valley. After that, the witches never returned. It would’ve been nice if they did but this series was not known for its consistency when it comes to villains.

#8) Hurricane Harry from Cool McCool: It does seem that the villains on this show are very similar to the ones in the Batman franchise. That’s mainly because the series was co-created by Bob Kane, the original creator of Batman. However, Hurricane Harry stands out the most. His lungs are so powerful that a single deep breath can easily affect the world’s weather. The most impressive example is when Harry shows his ability to inhale the power of the sun and spit fire like a dragon. It’s unknown how Harry acquired this power to begin with, but it is enough to overlook his lisp.

#7) Jean- Baptiste Emanuel Zorg (Gary Oldman) from The Fifth Element: Gary Oldman has had quite a few villainous roles before. Unfortunately, this was not labeled among his best. Zorg is an industrialist who believes that preserving life comes from destruction and chaos. He may come off as a lame villain at times, but don’t underestimate him. Zorg is ruthless and never likes to be disappointed by anyone. When that happens he won’t hesitate to blow you up.

#6) Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Batman & Robin: I know this sounds strange since Mr. Freeze is a popular Batman villain. However, this particular version is often frowned upon due to the fact that this movie was constantly mentioned as a box office flop, based on many reviews. Sure his dialogue mostly consists of ice puns but Mr. Freeze is highly skilled. He can move around smoothly in that extremely heavy suit and his freeze gun is amazing. It can encase people and objects within ice in only a matter of seconds. The special effects really blew my mind, especially when compared to the effects used in this movie’s predecessor Batman Forever. Seriously, how can you not find this interesting?

#5) Velasca (Melinda Clarke) from Xena: Warrior Princess: This amazon warrior from season 2 was the adopted daughter of Queen Melosa and intended to be queen of the Amazons. When Gabrielle was selected as heir, Velasca became incredibly jealous. Soon after, she ate ambrosia and became a goddess completely intent on killing Gabrielle. Velasca was eventually plunged into a lava pit along with Callisto, leaving the possibility that they would both return. Although Callisto did return in the third season, Velasca didn’t. There were plenty of opportunities to bring Velasca back throughout the series run but it never happened. Any ideas why?

#4) Beastur from My Pet Monster: He’s the evil master of Monster Land and always pops into the real world in his many attempts to bring Monster back with him. The confrontations are always big chases, but I always liked how Beastur keeps getting sent back to Monster Land when he’s defeated. He does have his hilarious moments too and that’s what makes Beastur so memorable.

#3) Tweeg from The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: It’s no surprise that this troll grunge makes this list. Although Tweeg’s biggest evil trait is his greed, many of his evil plots are focused on trying to meet the standards of MAVO (The Monsters and Villains Organization) as well as his troll mother Eleanor. Tweeg is sneaky and cunning, but even with a group of bounders serving him Tweeg always seems to fall short. He can’t even hit anything with a cannonball. Sometimes you just can’t help but feel sorry for the guy.

#2) Prince Gasket and Archerina from Power Rangers Zeo: The oldest son of King Mondo had fallen in love with the daughter of King Aragon (not featured in the series). Since their families were at war with one another, the two of them eloped. That scenario is much like in Romeo & Juliet, except that Gasket and Archerina mostly lived in hiding from their fathers. These two are both skilled fighters intent on conquering the Earth and ruling the Machine Empire. Once King Mondo caught up with them, Gasket and Archerina retreated and were never seen or heard from again. It leaves you wondering what could’ve become of this duo since they only appeared in 10 episodes out of 50.

#1) Prime Evil from Ghostbusters (1986 version): Who better to take the top spot than the Ghostbusters’ biggest archenemy. This creepy character is intent on taking over the human world and has many different ghosts and ghouls serving him. Of course, Prime Evil has his comedic moments also. He takes insults as compliments, struggles to say “Ghostbusters”, and has a hot temper when putting up with his henchmen. Unfortunately, with the other version of Ghostbusters completely overshadowing this series, Prime Evil went down with it but he’s one villain I’ll never forget.

Special Note: It wasn’t easy putting this list together since there were so many underrated villains to choose from. I was also going to include Scorpina from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as an honorable mention, but after learning the reason behind her disappearance from voice actress Wendee Lee at Anime Festival Orlando 2011, I’m going to let that one pass.