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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.

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.

Sep 102013
 

In this hilarious Anime comedy, Squid Girl (2010-2011) is a girl from the sea with squid-like qualities like tentacles as extra arms, glowing in the dark, spitting squid ink, and her love of shrimp. Boy, does she love shrimp. Squid Girl vows revenge on mankind for polluting the ocean. As determined as Squid Girl is, she isn’t very bright and always fails when it comes to dominating people.

The first building Squid Girl finds after coming out of the ocean is the Lemon Beach House, which she originally planned to make as her base of operations, but after damaging one of the walls, the beach house manager Eiko has her work off the damage as a waitress. Eiko is a strong-minded girl. When Squid Girl drives her crazy, it always leaves me laughing.

However, the one who really keeps Squid Girl in check is Eiko’s sister Chizuru, who is the beach house cook. Sure she appears kind, but Chizuru has incredible strength and fighting skills, which is enough to make Squid Girl afraid of her. It makes you wonder where Chizuru learned those skills.

Then there’s Takeru, who is Eiko and Chizuru’s little brother. He enjoys Squid Girl’s company and loves to play with her, no matter what her game is.

Yuuta

At MythiCon 2013, I got to meet Marianne Miller, who voices the role of Takeru’s friend Yuuta. When she talks about Yuuta, she often mentions that he talks about poop. This is a reference to the episode when Squid Girl builds a sandcastle that looks like poop.

Occasionally Goro, who is one of the lifeguards, comes to the beach house and Squid Girl always secretly swipes the shrimp from his meals. Goro is devoted to his job and many girls find him attractive. If only he had the courage to talk to Chizuru, whom he has a crush on.

Later on, Squid Girl meets other human friends like Sanae, who has an obsessive crush on her, as well as surfer girl Nagisa, who actually fears Squid Girl. Squid Girl loves to take advantage of that as a big break in her attempt to invade mankind.

I met Christina Vee, who voices Nagisa, at Anime Festival Orlando 2011.

There are also extraterrestrial researchers who believe Squid Girl is an alien. Leading the group is Cindy Campbell. She’s obsessed with getting Squid Girl to admit that she’s an alien, even though she isn’t.

If you think Cindy is funny, you should definitely see the rest of her team. Harris, Clark, and Martin are just as obsessed as Cindy is if not more so. They are hilarious, despite that they always brag about being MIT graduates.

Of course even beach houses have competition. The strict owner of the Southern Winds Beach House, whose name is never revealed for some reason, finds out about Squid Girl and tries to capitalize on her popularity. He has his shy daughter Ayumi wear masks of Squid Girl’s likeness with crazy gadgets inside that often backfire.

I can’t help but feel sorry for Ayumi when that occurs, but she becomes a little more comfortable when she works at the Lemon Beach House occasionally.

I also met Tony Oliver, who voices Clark and the unnamed beach house owner, at Anime Festival Orlando 2010 and again at AFO 2013.

I enjoyed this Anime series. Even though Squid Girl intended to invade the surface world, she ends up finding friends and family instead, not to mention a few unwanted admirers.