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Apr 122017
 

If you thought Sailor Moon was a cool anime series, then I have no doubt that you’ll find Glitter Force (2015-2016) just as interesting. This Netflix original series is about five middle school girls who gain superpowers from Glitter Charms and protect the world from the evil Emperor Nogo and his forces.

The heroes are the optimistic but clumsy leader Emily as Glitter Lucky, the tough jokester Kelsey as Glitter Sunny, the shy artist Lily as Glitter Peace, the loyal athlete April as Glitter Spring, and the highly intelligent Chloe as Glitter Breeze. Together these five friends are the Glitter Force. The team members are introduced one at a time per episode but at least that’s not spread too far apart like some shows do, like Sailor Moon and Sgt. Frog for example.

Of course every superhero team should have a guide. The guide for the Glitter Force is Candy, a pixie from the magical kingdom of Jubiland. She’s cute and hyperactive, especially when it comes to her ears being styled like hair buns.

I met Debi Derryberry, the voice of Candy, at Anime Festival Orlando 2013.

There’s also Candy’s older brother Pop. He’s not featured as frequently, which is too bad since he’s more vigilant than Candy and can transform into different things.

I met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Pop, at MegaCon 2012.

Now we get to the villains. Hailing from the Shadow Realm, four fairytale based creatures use their power to absorb negative energy from innocent bystanders in order to revive Emperor Nogo. The first is Ulric the wolf who is very cunning and based on the Big Bad Wolf.

Brute is a troll that prefers to use brute strength over intelligence. Of course trolls are very common in both fairytales and the fantasy genre.

Third is a wicked witch named Brooha that uses magical contraptions and can clone herself easily. She’s based on different fairytale witches.

Then we have Rascal the jester. Despite his annoying voice, he’s pretty creative. He fights with magical playing cards and has a playful, but sadistic persona. He wasn’t featured in the series very much but I like his style, for a villain.

When the villains decide to attack and gather negative energy, only one of them goes to Earth at a time. Then he/she creates a monster out of a random object called a Buffoon, which always has a giant body and a clown face. Whenever the Glitter Force defeats it, a Glitter Charm appears and gets added to their arsenal.

Image result for glitter force

This was an interesting series for its superhero action that’s on the level of Power Rangers. At the end of each episode, there’s a song and dance number by the Glitter Force. The songs are pretty good and they only change after four episodes. If you are a Sailor Moon fan, I would suggest giving this show a try.

Feb 242016
 

Normally when a new season begins, it takes place shortly after the events of the previous season, but not this time. Legend of Korra: Book Four: Balance takes place three years later. The Red Lotus has been taken care of, but the Earth Kingdom is still in chaos without a ruler.

Apparently, Team Avatar has gone their separate ways. Korra has recuperated after a rough battle with Zaheer, but is going through a lot of self-doubt. She even changes her clothes and cut her hair as she slowly gets back in fighting form.

Mako has become the bodyguard of Prince Wu, the heir to the Earth Kingdom. However, Wu is more into living the high life than taking his royal duty seriously, which makes him a handful for Mako.

Meanwhile, Bolin works as an Earth Nation soldier along with Varrick and Zhu Li. Speaking of Zhu Li, it wasn’t until this season when she actually speaks and really lets Varrick know how she feels about him.

Their leader is Kuvira. She was Suyin’s protégé and captain of the guards. Now Kuvira sets out to bring peace to the Earth Kingdom, but believes that the only way to do so is by force. She even uses manipulative methods to get people to join her. Anyone that refuses gets imprisoned, plain and simple. That only makes Kuvira a tyrant, even though she announces herself as the Great Uniter.

Therefore, Kuvira has become the new villain for this season along with her fiancé Baatar Jr., who also happens to be Suyin’s oldest son.

I met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Baatar Jr., at MegaCon 2012.

It turns out another old character from Avatar: The Last Airbender is still around. Toph Beifong, who was once the chief of police, now lives in a swamp as a hermit. She has fought many battles in her time, but Toph gave up that life knowing that crime would never stop. So she decided that living in the swamp was the only way to live peacefully.

Tenzin’s children have also grown as stronger air benders and even have an adventure like the original Team Avatar used to have.

With the chaos worse than ever, Korra must stop Kuvira but first she must defeat the enemy within herself in order to do so. It goes to show that the biggest heroes/heroines always seem to go through the biggest torture when going up against tough enemies.

There you have it, an excellent series about the next generation of Avatar: the Last Airbender. It had plenty of action and adventure with the usefulness of more modern conveniences. However, there was also quite a bit of romantic drama throughout the series that I didn’t care for. That could’ve been toned down, just a little bit.

Apr 292015
 

Based on the Nintendo DS game, Sands of Destruction: The Complete Series (2008-2009) is about a post-apocalyptic world where the seas have become sand and humans are slaves to beast men. I like the idea of talking animals co-existing with human beings, but some of them can be pretty brutal at times.

The heroes are a group of travelers called the World Destruction Committee. Leading the pack is Morte a young warrior with a troubled past. She feels that the only way to save the world is to destroy it and she has the one tool that can make it happen. It’s a black sphere called the destruct code.

Her companion is Kyrie. Though he is cowardly and doesn’t know how to fight, Kyrie loves to cook and wishes for a better world where humans and beast men can live in harmony. In a way, he’s a good influence on Morte. Of course, she’ll never admit it.

I met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Kyrie, at MegaCon 2012.

 

Then we have Taupy the bounty hunter. He’s a talking dwarf bear that always ends most of his sentences with “Kuma”, no matter the subject. For some reason, Taupy doesn’t like to be called a bear, even though he obviously looks like one.

Together the World Destruction Committee has faced many dangers and enemies. On occasion they meet up with Agan. He’s a smuggler that delivers all kinds of goods with his ship, as long as the price is right. Agan does seem trustworthy and glad to help out when Morte, Kyrie, and Taupy are around.

The main enemies the World Destruction Committee faces are the World Salvation Committee, which only consists of two members. The first is Naja, who is an intellectual half-man half-beast. I don’t see how he is half beast, since he looks really human.

The other is Rhi’a, who is a pretty dragon girl with a short temper. She’s quick to use brute force over words when enraged. I admit that Rhi’a is a cool fighter, especially when she reveals her dragon wings, tail, and horns.

I met Trina Nishimura, the voice of Rhi’a, at MegaCon 2011.

This was a good Anime series. It’s unlike most that I’ve seen, especially since I never played the video game, but still contains much of the action and humor that I find enjoyable.

Jan 072015
 

Chrome Shelled Regios: The Complete Series (2009-2010) takes place in a post-apocalyptic Earth that’s overrun by giant monsters called contaminoids. Humanity’s only defenses are students from the Academy City of Zuellni, who participate in the military arts. They all have cool swords with DITE power, which are voice activated with the word, “Restoration”.

Of course these contaminoids are not easy to kill. No matter how much damage anyone dishes out, the contaminoids reassemble and they never stop attacking. What does it take to kill those beasts?

There are quite a few platoons at Zuellni, but the main focus is on the 17th platoon. Leading the team is Nina Antalk. She’s strong willed, but insecure when it comes to losing training competitions against other platoons.

I met Brina Palencia, who was the voice of Nina, at MegaCon 2012.

Other members include Harley the DITE mechanic, Sharnid the sharpshooter, and Felli who has psychokinesis.

With the 17th platoon one member short, they find a replacement, but an unlikely one. He is Layfon Alseif. Now Layfon was originally registered for general studies, but has amazing skill and strength worthy of military arts. Yet Layfon doesn’t want to join.

I had also met Todd Haberkorn, the voice of Leyfon, at MegaCon 2012.

However, Layfon is forced to because the safety of the city is a bigger priority, according to Kalian, who is head of the student counsel and Felli’s older brother. At least Nina has a complete platoon now.

Layfon tries to make the most of his situation. On top of that, Layfon has girl trouble. Like Tskune Aono from Rosario Vampire, several girls like him and he can’t focus on just one. It usually ends up with Felli kicking Layfon in the shin.

Another group of students often featured are Mifi an aspiring journalist and her two best friends, Naruki an aspiring police officer and Mayshen an aspiring baker.

I met Brittney Karbowski, the voice of Mifi, at Holiday Matsuri 2011.

Mayshen is shy, but takes a real liking to Layfon after he saves her life when she was caught in the crossfire of a student spat. Yes, she is one of the girls Layfon has to choose from.

Apparently, Layfon has a girlfriend that lives back in his hometown of Glendon. She is Leerin Marfes, who often writes to Layfon. For some odd reason, her good friend Synola is obsessed with grabbing Leerin’s chest. Now what’s up with that?

I met Colleen Clinkenbeard, who was the voice of Leerin, at MegaCon 2011.

This was a good Anime series with plenty of action and humor. It’s also interesting to know that many of the voice actors from XXXholic, Soul Eater, and Rosario Vampire, who I have met at quite a few different conventions, are featured on this show.

Other voice actors I have met from this series are Trina Nishimura at MegaCon 2011, who played 5th platoon member Shante Laite, Jamie Marchi, who was police officer Naruki Gelni (also at MegaCon 2011), and Kara Edwards at MetroCon 2011, who played Heaven’s Blade Wielder Cauntia Valmon Farnes.

 

Jul 232014
 

When it comes to Anime features that are based on video games, for a long time the only ones I was familiar with were based on the Street Fighter franchise. Well, a while back I found out about an Anime series based on a video game called The Tower of Druaga: Part One – The Aegis of Uruk (2008-2009).

The hero is Jil a young adventurer that’s intent on climbing to the top of the tower and defeating the evil god Druaga. Jil was once part of a group of climbers led by his older brother Neeba. Although Jil is strong willed and a skilled fighter, he’s a less experienced climber than the others are, which labels him to be completely worthless. So Jil is fired for it. Now that doesn’t sound fair, does it.

I met Todd Haberkorn, who voices Jil, at MegaCon 2012.

Of course that doesn’t stop Jil from chasing his goal, so he starts his own team of climbers. No one takes Jil seriously at first, but he does find some climbers to join him. It starts with Kaaya a mage who eventually becomes Jil’s love interest.

I met Trina Nishimura, who voices Kaaya, at MegaCon 2010.

Another team climber is Ahmey. Now she’s an excellent ally. I like her. Not only is Ahmey an experienced climber, she is also an amazing warrior lancer.

I met Brina Palencia, who voices Ahmey, at MegaCon 2012.

Then we have Melt. Sure he’s a complainer, which makes him funny, but don’t underestimate him. Melt can shoot lightning-based spells with rods that are used much like golf clubs. I like his style.

Coopa

 

Melt also has a young servant, Coopa, who carries everything for him. Coopa isn’t one to complain about that because she’s surprisingly strong.

The tower has many dangers and different new adventures on every level. Although Jil’s climber group is the main focus in this series, there are others trying to reach the top also. It’s mainly to obtain the blue crystal rod, which grants a wish to whoever gets it first. One of these other groups includes Neeba and his remaining climbers, Fatina the warrior magician and Utu the strong and hilarious knight. Occasionally, Neeba and Jil bump into each other at different levels of the tower, but no matter what, Neeba is never satisfied with his brother. What is with that guy?

I met Jamie Marchi, who voices Fatina, at MegaCon 2010.

Even the Royal Army of King Gilgamesh is involved. Leading that group is General Kelb. He tends to look down on Jil and his group, but he has his funny moments also.

Colleen Clinkenbeard, who I met at MegaCon 2010, voices the role of Kelb’s lieutenant Ethana.

In the second season, The Tower of Druaga: Part Two – The Sword of Uruk, a druid named Henaro joins Jil’s group. At first she appeared to be dragged into it, but proves to be a worthy ally with her crossbow that casts magic bolts to either fight enemies or help her companions. Where do you suppose she got that thing?

I met Brittany Karbowski, who voices Henaro, at Holiday Matsuri 2011.

This is quite a good series with action, adventure, and humor. One thing I really don’t understand is the opening title sequence. If Tower of Druaga is supposed to be an epic fantasy series, why are the characters featured in a real world setting? It’s very misleading and makes no sense.