Anime Discovery II: ATTACK on TITAN – #125 (AD II Finale)

Shorewood Blu-ray Ocard

attack-on-titan-part-2

It’s that time again. Once in a blue moon in the anime world, there is that one hit that manage to become one of the biggest hits of the year and still continue to be throughout the years ahead for them. Many anime in the past has been from Akira to Sailor Moon to Cowboy Bebop to Fullmetal Alchemist and now we have the latest anime to achieve this and that is Attack on Titan. Who would’ve known that this anime title from the spring season of 2013 that didn’t have much recognition at first and ended up where it is now?

Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by giants. Giants are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by enclosing themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of giants. Flash forward to the present and the city has not seen a giant in over 100 years. Teenage boy Eren and his foster sister Mikasa witness something horrific as the city walls are destroyed by a super-giant that appears out of thin air. As the smaller giants flood the city, the two kids watch in horror as their mother is eaten alive. Eren vows that he will murder every single giant and take revenge for all of mankind.

We know of the director of the show being Tetsuro Araki, known for directing Death Note, HighSchool of the Dead, and Guilty Crown but unfortunately only 1/3 of the shows he directed gotten positive reaction although that might have something to do with the material given to him so it’s difficult to see if he can pull it off and luckily, this show did.

From beginning to end, the show has an action-packed, intense and terrifying ride with a simplistic story of people just trying to survive and fight for their lives and to not be eaten by these giant human-like creatures that almost look like naked humans with no genitals. The show gets the viewer engaged either it be from the action sequences, the human conflict, or the much-needed humor throughout the series but when it comes to the political aspects, the show does have a slow pace for a while but yet that’s because many events are happening simultaneously instead of one event that drags on for too long (as in many shonen series do that) and the way series concluded, it leaves you wanting more of the show and that’s something a show like that should do.

There is a wide assortment of characters in this story and there are 2 reasons why I won’t delve into every one of them. First being that most of them are going to end up being titan chow and I tried to not get too attached to the ones I like although they are characters I really didn’t like or just found to be annoying (*cough cough* Jean! *cough cough*) and second…..yeah, that are too many to be named. It’ll be all day I mention every one of them. But let’s get some main and little reoccurring characters out of the way. Eren, our main lead, is the hot-headed one in the group who makes it his sworn vengeance to kill every titan out there and he does get emotional with that but then again, can you blame him? He saw his mother get eaten alive. You would be like that, too, and the more I think about it and with some re-watches, I’m glad what happened at the end of episode 5 that led to the next one as it never felt like some cop-out or easily disposable moment. Mikasa is one of the best female characters in the show, next to two other ones I’ll mention later, as while she kicks a lot of ass in here, she never comes off as being some generic tough girl lead and you can sense she really cares for her friends. Armin is our other protagonist and he is more of the strategist/thinking type of the trio and he does have an inferiority complex on how he’s cowardly and has to rely on his friends although he can stand up for them various times in the show and proven himself he can be courageous in other ways. For additional characters, Levi is known for being the badass Superman-esque titan killer on the show and he’s fine… I just never had that much concern for him but the scene-stealers of the show in my opinion happens to be two other ladies and they are Sasha Brause aka Potato Girl and Hange Zoe, the mad (crazy-ass!) scientist as they happen to the most funniest characters on the show and like I said in the beginning, delivers the humor that is very needed to contrast the darker moments that happen.

While people have said that Production I.G. is responsible for the animation, they’re right but it is the debut of a branch of them called Studio WIT and yes, this is their first production and the animation they brought us good. Maybe not the best as most people tend to describe it but this is decent animation with some still shots in there. The designs of the Titans, especially their faces, are terrifying from either the smiling titan or the Moe Titan as they’re going to be looking at you as they try to kill you. Hell, the Armored Titan is what you really should be afraid of as they charge at you like a quarterback going for a touchdown pass.

And now one of the moments you’ve been waiting for……the music.

The overall score for the show is handled remarkably by Hiroyuki Sawano and it has some great score pieces especially during the action scenes and set-ups. Of course, you know the main theme “Feuerroter Pfeil und Bogen” (紅蓮の弓矢, Guren no Yumiya?, “Crimson Bow and Arrow”) by Linked Horizon is the theme that instantly become mega-popular once it dropped and many people were loving the hell of it. Me on the other hand? Yeah, I liked it. The song does its purpose of getting the audience pumped up at they begin to watch an episode and for the other theme for later episodes, “Die Flügel der Freiheit” (自由の翼, Jiyū no Tsubasa?, lit. “Wings of Freedom”) by Linked Horizon, it does the same thing, too, although everyone is not on board on it as much as the first one but it still fares as well. The ending songs are a nice touch, too. The first one, “Utsukushiki Zankoku na Sekai” (美しき残酷な世界?, lit. “A Beautiful Cruel World”) by Yōko Hikasa, is a big contrast of the opening theme with a more soft and solemn tone that does fit after an episode and the second ending “great escape” by Cinema Staff is more of what people wanted the second opening to be but this one is also alright, too.

And now the English dub brought to you by FUNimation and this is…..one of the top dubs in 2014. Maybe not the best but it’s a good one and actually made the viewing experience better in the dub. Also, to be honest, I don’t have any awkward problems with the adapted script. Yeah, there were a few weird lines here and there but nothing that threw me off. Now for the cast. Mikasa and Armin, played by Trina Nishimura and Josh Grelle, respectively as those two were acceptably well into their roles, especially Grelle in his emotional moments and how well-delivered they are. Nishimura’s performance as a whole for Mikasa does have her in a light that really hasn’t been noticed before. Of course with a big anime title like Attack on Titan, there are bound to be some L.A. voice talent in there, but the biggest surprise being the lead Eren is played by Bryce Papenbrook, who has had the hot streak of anime lately with shows like Blue Exorcist and Sword Art Online and in here, this might be one of his best performance since voicing Rin in Blue Exorcist and also one that requires a lot of yelling. Matthew Mercer delivers his usual grandiose voice acting as Levi and it made me care a bit about Levi and there’s another unexpected role with Lauren Landa (Kyoko from Madoka Magica) as Annie and she’s not really as notable in the dub but she does well in here. Now, the two highlights for me does go to both Ashly Burch for her role as Sasha and of course, much love goes to Jessica Calvello as Hange Zoe as both ladies easily made their best performances in voice acting to date with Burch being silly and lovable and Calvello nearly embodying the character of Hange.

FINAL VERDICT: There is no doubt that this is the case where a popular anime is a good show and Attack on Titan shows that it is a good show with thrilling and intense action that has characters that you can easily be invested in and be concerned with something were to happen to them. Granted, pacing can be an issue but nevertheless a small one at that. I could say that this is an example of a getaway anime to get people into the medium.

And with that said, ATTACK ON TITAN crushes the competition with an

8.5/10 – Low FIRST CLASS

 

ATTACK ON TITAN is available on DVD & Blu-ray from FUNimation Entertainment. Streaming options are available on Hulu, Crunchyroll & FUNimation EVS. At the time of this review, the show has been aired or still airing on Adult Swim’s Toonami program block.  A Second season has been planned for an initial 2016 release.

 

Well, people, this has been another year of Anime Discovery and the first year on this site as well. But don’t fret!! I will bring the Anime Discovery Christmas Special later on in December.

More news will come to Anime Discovery for 2015 at that time!

And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and don’t act like a Colossal Titan on the Thanksgiving TABLE!!!

ATTACK ON TITAN – animation by PRODUCTION I.G. / STUDIO WIT, distributed by FUNimation Entertainment

AURA FACTION: Story 6 / Confidante CONFIDENTAL

Aura Faction Story 6

WARNING: The following written material that you’re about to read may contain acts of violence, graphic language, and sexual content. This is meant only for MATURE AUDIENCES. Reader Discretion is advised.

PREVIOUSLY (or here’s the tl;dr version) ON: AFaction

Tomoki and Cassie revealed their relationship to most of the Faction crew (by that, I mean Cyan, Seiki, Leon, Loyuka, MAK and Kai) and of course, they are being blackmailed by Miki and Hybrid X. Both girls already told MAK about them and they want him to keep that quiet about in front of them.

And now……

AuraFaction 6 Draft

It’s been two weeks after the Hybrid Society incidents and things were back to the normal at the Faction and by normal, I mean with some exceptions, of course. We see Sayuri sleeping her ass off at Jin’s break room again and in comes Seiki getting something out of the fridge.

“I guess ol’ girl is sleeping in again.” She said. “Damn, does she ever be awake when she’s at work?” But then Seiki thought of a sneaky prank at her when she notices her tongue was sticking out while she was napping and she brought out a bottle of ScoJo’s Southern–style HOT SAUCE and as she dash some in her tongue, she then made a run for it and Sayuri woke up and screamed, “AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!” She kept running and screaming for water as she run for the fountain and quickly dose some of the water on her.

“IF YOU WANTED TO WAKE ME UP, WHY HOT SAUCE OF ALL THINGS!?!?! And that brand, too!!” Sayuri screamed at her. “You know that shit is fuckin’ spicy and that was the mild flavor!!”

“Well, I couldn’t physically harm you and this is actually funnier!!” Seiki said, “Now come on, Jin is expecting you in the next room and not sleeping on the couch…..again.” Then we see the others in the conference room waiting for them to show up. “So, what do we need to discuss that we haven’t already talked about previously?” Leon asked.

“Aside from the fact that we really need to buff up protection for the citizens since ‘Grand H’, figure out and capture Ramsey and we need more info on that front?” Cyan said, “And you still need training on controlling your powers with me on board?”

“Oh…” Leon said.

“And speaking of that, how’s that going?” Loyuka asked them. “Well…..” as both Cyan and Leon said with hesitation.

“Not that good, huh? Hey, I bet it can’t be all that bad.” Loyuka said to them. They still remained silent as those lessons have been mostly awful for the time being. “OW!!! Can you please not feel my shoulder? I still can’t get the feeling after what your metal ass did to it!” Cyan said to him.

He said to himself silently, “Not my fault you’re about as flimsy as a plywood board.”

“WHAT WAS THAT!!?” She screamed at him. Basically these two have been mostly tense and at each other’s throats for occasionally messing up.

“Will you two get a hold of it?” Jin said to them, “I know all of us have been stressed out since that day but we can’t be sloppy the next time this happens. We NEED TO BE PREPARED!!” And as Sayuri and Seiki walked into the room, “Sayuri, I really hope you didn’t just get through sleeping….again. You know how important this—“

“THIS IS due to what happened with you last time.” Sayuri interrupted and said to Jin. “Jin, I know and believe me I don’t want that shit to happen to me again.” She said to her. “I overslept and I know, I know, this seems like me but I didn’t really slept that well the past 2 days.” Actually, it was more of 2 weeks.

 

Meanwhile, Tomoki has busy filing with material about Ramsey as requested by Hybrid X and Miki was keeping under her supervision. “OK, I looked at every file on Ramsey and so far, nothing new seems to come up on him and it’s….15 minutes PAST ME GETTING OFF!!!” She was about to make her way out of there but then Miki stopped her on her tracks and said, “Miayama, we still got some more files to inspect.”

“Oh, come on!!! I looked over a lot of files today and nothing showed up!! I think that’s enough for today!!” “Um…..you can’t just call it quits just because you’re tired!” Miki said. “This isn’t 9 to 5 over here!!”

“LOOK HERE, DAMMIT!!!” As Tomoki said to her as she is getting very tired and pissed off at her, “You’re not going to ride my ass all day long with this shit!!!”
“OH, and what?” Miki said, “As opposed to you wanting to ride Miss Lyles later on?”
“WHAT YOU SAY?” She said as she grabbed Miki by the collar.

“I watch my tone if I were you.” Miki said as she notices both Hybrid X and Jiro walking out of the jail cells and she quickly let go of her. “Is there something the matter, ladies?” Jiro said. Miki looked like she was about to squeal to them but then she said to them, “Oh, everything’s fine. Ms. Miayama was just showing me how to defend myself from any human/Hybrid attackers and I’m gonna show her my finishing move on them.”

“Wait, what?” Then Miki grabbed Tomoki by the leg and flipped her backwards to the wall, then punched her in the gut. “OOOHHHH……” As Tomoki was really beginning to faint, the rest applauded her for showing that she had some fighting skills, although she knew she can kick Tomoki’s ass up and down here, either by brains or brawn.

“Nice moves you made there, Maeda.” Jiro said, “I’m very impressed.”

“Isn’t that the truth?” X said to him. “I did teach her some moves myself. Hopefully she didn’t hurt Miayama too much.”

“I’m still in pain over here.” Tomoki said.

“Wow, I guess I don’t know much of my strength.” As Miki said to them, easily fooling Jiro with that as X did knew to a certain extent of what she was really doing to Tomoki.

“Well, let’s hope not too much pain.” Jiro said, “You got about another 45 minutes until you can go.”

“What….” She weakly said, “But I thought I was supposed to—“

“Go home now?” Jiro said, “I wish I could let you go now but we could really use your help for this.” Tomoki knew that she had to work later than usual and just had to suck it up for now and also kept her mouth shut about her, Cassie & Miki. “OK, fine.”


Time has passed by as Tomoki met Cassie after work for their planned date. “Well, that took a long time for you to get here.” Then notices the limp in Tomoki’s walk, “Um, what happened back at the Faction?”

“Here’s a hint: It has white hair, two-faced, and blackmail our asses for a living.” Tomoki said.

“Her again?” Cassie said with a stressed sigh, “God, how long do we have to endure this? It’s bad enough that she got most of the Faction sweet on her but…..well, you and me are the only ones that see how wicked she really is.”

“Exactly, it’s you, me and MAK.” Tomoki said. “Assuming he didn’t tell anybody else.”

[20 MINUTES LATER]

“YOU GUYS ARE BEING BLACKMAILED BY THAT WHITE-HAIRED GIRL!??!” And those are the words that came out of Kai as Tomoki and Cassie are on a double date with her and MAK.

Tomoki then looked at MAK with an annoyed grin on her face, “You and your big fucking mouth.”

“OK, I had to tell Kai sooner or later since I really can’t keep secrets from her. But that’s it. No one else knows about you two, Miki and Hybrid X.” MAK said. “I told you already that I can get you help on tracking those two as they watch your every move.”

“And now you know, Kai.” Cassie said, “Look, we don’t want to bombard you with our drama and all since the Grand ‘H’ riots. Plus, Cyan would have our necks if we drag you two into another situation like this.”

(FLASHBACK)

Cyan said to them, “Guys, I know you two hang out with my sister and MAK a lot since the riots and look, I got nothing against that. I’m glad that the 4 of you can double date and hang out with each other but after that stunt you pulled during there……DO NOT GET THEM INVOLVE IN SHIT LIKE THAT!!! EVER!!!!”

(END FLASHBACK)

“But doesn’t Cyan know we can handle ourselves?” Kai said, “I mean, I’ve been dealing with what’s in the Hybrid world longer than her. OK, not by that much but still more than her. I can handle myself.”

“I think she knows, Kai.” MAK said, “But I think that’s the reason why she might be scared for you. To be honest, I am, too, but you know that I’m not gonna hold you back.”

“OK, let me worry about my sister. You guys are being blackmailed by those two and under the Faction’s nose at that.” Kai said, “I don’t like that happening to you guys, especially when you let us know about your relationship being public…at least to us. We love you too much for you to be bullied like this and frankly, I don’t care if X or Miki knew that MAK and I know about it. We could take them on.”

“You….would do that for us?” Tomoki said. “You too, MAK?”

“Yeah. I didn’t have to think about that. You guys are our friends and you would’ve done the same for us…although you did way back.” MAK said. “And like I said, I do have some additional help from me if you need it. We got your back.” Cassie then got a little teary at the fact they both care so much about her and Tomoki, then she went to hug both of them. “Kai-Kai and MAKky – You two are some real friends and believe that I will cherish this moment as long as I live. Thanks, you guys!”

Then Tomoki went in and got on into the hug. “For real, that really meant something for what we’ve been through.”

“Excuse me, people?” The hostess was standing around waiting for them to order. “Are you ready to order?” All of them got out of the hug and resume their normal double date they got.

 

Later on, Tomoki and Cassie was about to call it a night and they went on to Tomoki’s place to crash as they got out from MAK’s ride. “Alright, you two, y’all take care now.” As Kai said to them as they said their goodbyes. “Talk to you both later.” As MAK said to them as they drove off.

“Well, Cassie…..after that crappy day at work, I think I had myself a good night at the end.” Tomoki said. “Yeah.” Cassie agreed. “Especially since we know we really got some good friends looking out for us. I was really moved by that.”

As they entered the apartment, Cassie was beginning to feel a bit amorous towards Tomoki. “Hey…..um….you know we don’t have to show up at work early tomorrow.” As she slowly unbuttoned her shirt, taking off her skirt and throwing both on the floor and was really coming up to Tomoki. “And you know what that means, don’t you?” Either way, Tomoki immediately jumped on her and began to make out with Cassie and now the two are in their state of aggressive yet passionate love-making. “WOW!!! I didn’t think you would go that fast!!” Cassie said, mostly muffled as Tomoki kept kissing her over her body and mouth.

“Should I stop then?” Tomoki asked. “I didn’t say all that now. You’re doing great!” As Cassie insisted that she liked what Tomoki was giving her and she even started to undress herself as well.

An hour has passed by as Tomoki was giving oral sex to Cassie, she wanted to ask Tomoki something. “Tomoki?”

“Yeah?” she said. “There is something that I wanted to ask you for some time now.” Cassie said while experiencing oral pleasure from her. “It’s….well…….I WANT US TO MOVE IN TOGETHER!!” Tomoki then stopped and said, “What?”

“I want us to live together.” Cassie said, “We have been dating for some time now, actually more than that and I think we should live together and see how it’ll goes. We got nothing to hide anymore and if Jin or Jiro asked, we can just say I’m moving to help you out on bills and stuff.” Tomoki then got up from below her and said to her, “Cassie, I….I don’t know about this. I mean, I love you and I love to live with you for the rest of my life but right now we got too much to deal with….and no, I’m not stalling on this like I did with telling everybody about us. Whether it’s work or Grand H or Hybrid X and Miki or that beeping on the wall right next to us and—wait what?”

That red beeping they wall was actually small micro cameras and they were in the living room, bedrooms, and kitchens…..just about everywhere. “The fuck? What in the flying fuck?” Then the phone happened to ring at that time. “Hello?”

“Did I interrupt your fucking session again?” And it was Miki on the phone.

“MIKI!! YOU BITCH!! How did you—“

“—I get this number?” As Miki interrupted Tomoki on that question. “Well, Hybrid X do have access to everyone in the Faction from their addresses, email addresses and their phone numbers, including you. But enough about that……I see you made another worthwhile show for me tonight!!” That really got Tomoki even angrier that she smashed one of those cameras. “Hey, some of the fellas enjoy you fucking the daylights out of your girl. I think one of them blew his load after you took off her panties. Also, I hope y’all plan on ending this soon. You got work early in the morning.”

“WHAT!! Work, my ass! We don’t have to show up early!! Jin told us so!!” Tomoki said.

“Yeah, well…..now you got to get up in the morning now. Enjoy what little sleep you got.” Then Miki hanged up the phone on Tomoki. “Hello? HELLO!!! YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO US ANYMORE!!” This was no response and she angrily shouted out, “FUCKING BITCH!!!” As she hung up the phone.

“What happened?” Cassie asked.

“We got to get up early tomorrow and Miki just had to remind them.” Tomoki said in an aggravated way. Cassie really groaned at that. “Welp, there goes that good mood we had for a few hours.”

“That’s it. That’s fucking it!! I’m gonna do something that I should’ve done a long time ago.” She went to her cellphone and dialed the number, “Hello, MAK!! You said you got help for us? We could use them right about now!!”

MAK told them that he’ll set up a meeting for this week despite her calling him at a bad time (A really bad time), “Also, why I hear Kai giggling in the background and some mus—oh, never mind.”


LATER IN THE WEEK

So, Tomoki and Cassie, along with MAK and Kai were heading their way to the Darksiders hangout….actually their new hangout. They relocate to another HQ near the Hybrid Society after what happened in Parish Heights. “I see they got a new hangout.” Cassie said.

“All right, we made it.” MAK knocked on the door and one guy was at the front, “Password?”
“What password?” MAK said, “Lex didn’t tell me anything about a password.”

“Then fuck you!!” As the guy slammed the door. “HA!!! I’m just fucking with you!! Lex told me you were coming up, MAKalicious!! Come on in.” Puzzled and confused, they went on into the building. “Oh yeah, I’m a new member of the crew. Name’s Cameron, I’m Devo’s cousin and assistant to Magnum. They told me a lot about you guys….well, MAK and Kai but who are the other two? Friends? Relatives? Side-chicks?”

“Um…..no.” Kai said, “The two women with us are friends of ours. You know where’s Lex and Aka at?”
“Yeah”, Cameron said, “They’re in the master room, down to your right.”

As they enter the room……. “So, Blue Hybrid,” Lex said doing a bad Don Corleone impersonation, “You come to my HQ on the day of……well…..Wednesday and you asked for us to…..actually, no, you were never clear on that. What do you need from us?”

“Yeah,” Aka said, “And also, please respond so Lex can stop with that awful impression.”

“AWFUL!!?” Lex shouted, “You told me you loved it the first time.”

“Yeah. The first time, but not the other 12 times you did it!!” Aka said. “Anyway, we’re getting off topic! So, what do you two need us to do?”

“Well, it’s not exactly from us.” MAK said, “Our friends Tomoki and Cassie are being harassed at work by this top-blowhard asshole and his bitch assistant.”

“Wait….those two from the Faction?” Lex said, “Somebody from there wants our help?”

“Yes, we two do.” Tomoki said, “But they can’t know anything about this. They wouldn’t believe us anyway….aside from some few people like Seiki and maybe Cyan.” Lex then spit out his drink at the mention of Seiki’s name ever since she cracked his hand before. “And now the pain comes back.”

“Look,” Cassie said to them, “All we want for you to do is that keep track on them, get some Intel of them, what they could be planning next and somewhat stop them in the process. Those guys badgering us all the time is really getting on my last nerve, especially since…..” She took a sigh at what’s she going to reveal to them (sans MAK and Kai) next. “…..since the two have been blackmailing me and Tomoki whenever we get close.”

“Huh?” Lex said. “Come again?” Aka said.

Tomoki then spoke and said, “Me and Cassie are a couple. Girlfriends in the sense that we date, kiss, and mostly fuck on the regular basis much like you do, except—-“

“OK, OK, WE GET IT!” Lex said, “This is personal to you guys and I get that.”
“Same here.” Aka said, “I got a sister who was once in the same situation as you and her and believe me, I would do anything to help her out.”

“Wait…..So you’ll do it?” Cassie said.

“Well, yeah. We’ll do it.” Aka said and as that happened, Cassie jumped for joy and then hugged Aka and Lex for that. “Sorry. I’m mostly a hugger sometime but THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!”
“And notice me not touching her, Aka!!” Lex jokingly said. “I KNOW!!” Aka said.

“For real, guys,” MAK said, “We really appreciate you helping us with this and I will pay you for it top dollar.”
“And that is much appreciated, MAKky.” Aka said.
“Very appreciated, man.” Lex said. “I’ll get the gang to rally up for this ASAP. But we’re going to have to pre-plan this if we can pull this off.”

“But with what?” Tomoki said. “She got surveillance on me and Cassie at both of your apartments. At work, we’re mostly powerless there.”

“We’ll plan right here.” Kai said. “I think I might have something up my sleeve and those two will be off your back in no time.”

“Kai, you thought of a plan?” Aka said. “You think it’ll work?”
“I’m sure. But all we really needed to do is play it cool, be sound and mind of ourselves and….” Most of it just turned into whispers.


OPERATION S.A.B.O.T.A.G.E

We see an approaching van at a building, there is one of Miki’s goons carrying a package and making his way to Miki’s surveillance HQ. Then we see one big guy in a trench coat and two girls walk on by and they bump into the goon. “Hey, watch were you going, bitch!” As he said to them but the big guy grabs him and said, “Uh, what did you say, motherfucker?” And it was revealed to be Magnum under the coat. “You wanna start something right here, right now?”

“OWW!!” one of the girls said. “Baby, my heels broke.” And of course, those girls happened to be Murasaki and Nola. “YOU SON OF A BITCH!!” Nola said to the guy, “You made her lose her balance.”

“What? Just get the bitch some new shoes. She’ll be fine.” The guy said to Nola but that got under her skin a bit. “BITCH? You limp-dick mothe—“ But Magnum had to hold her down from getting hurt by the guy. However, while that was happening, we see a blue-haired braided girl and another guy watching the whole thing and they are Nanashi and Devo focusing on their target.

“OK, we see the target fighting with Mag.” Nanashi said. “You said we need to switch packages?”

“Exactly as we planned.” Kai said to her via Bluetooth from the hideout. “But Devo has to get the box without him noticing. Aron, Rolo, you got control on street cameras?”

“We got visual on the fight.” Rolo said. “But I think you got a minute window to switch before he notices.”
“Well, Nanashi can just blind his ass and steal it, plain and simple.” Aron said.
“That’s not gonna work.” Kai said, “We need to be stealth on this. Any harm on him and next time you’ll know, they’ll come after us.”
“Yeah, Kai’s right.” Nanashi said, “Besides, I might plan that blind thing soon. You wanna be a contestant for that?”

So, Devo went for the minute window and quickly swap the boxes without the guy noticing but the guy slapped Nola for trying to jump on him as he drove his way out with the other package. “HEY!!!” Saki screamed at him as she was holding Nola, “Come back here and fight me if you want to hit a girl!!! Asshole!!” But the hit really didn’t affect her that much as Nola said to her, “Good thing I can take a hit unlike him. But don’t worry, Saki baby, I’m fine.”

“He’s on the move now.” Magnum said. “Who’s gonna track him by foot?”
“Don’t worry. I got it under control.” Kai said, “MAK, you on it?” and now we head on to MAK in the streets, mostly shivering because it is very cold where he’s at. “Yes….did I forget to mention I’m freezing my ass off? Is the target approaching near me?”

“He’s heading your way, MAKky.” Kai said, “Keep a close eye but don’t let him see you. We know where he’s headed and you are much needed there. We already got Lex and Aka on location, just get there in time.” MAK then sees the car but remained as slyness as he could until he got to the HQ. Inside the offices, we see Lex and Aka enter the building disguised as custodians to examine the room. “OK, we’re in.” Lex said to Kai. “You got some good visuals?”

“Yeah.” Kai said. “Aka, you got our mini-cameras ready?”

“Got ‘em.” Aka said. “We just need to place them on some specific areas and not leave any blind spots. We need to see all of their reactions of what we about to pull.” They soon place the cameras on every spot they can find available before anyone could notice.

The car finally arrive there with MAK casually walking the whole way there. “OK, I’m at the place now. Lex, Aka, I repeat, I have arrived. You two need to vanish. Fast.” They got out of the place as soon as the guy came in and open the package. Inside it was a new security camera system drone to be placed in Tomoki’s apartment and the guy brought it over to Miki and see if it works. “OK. Thing seems to be function well. All right, it checks itself out. Send it to Miayama’s place. There’s no way she can’t break this.”

However, as they were about to send the drone to her place, MAK sees it heading its way out and he has a smartphone on him and as he enters the number 266 and then…… “Adios, space drone boy!”
As MAK silently shouted. *KA-BLAM!!* The drone explodes before entering the place. “The fuck?” Miki said, “Why the fuck did they blew up!! We got the right drone, didn’t we?” One of the tech officers went to see what was wrong with it but while the drone was destroyed, all of their technical equipment is going haywire, causing all systems to overload with them saying “ERROR!! ERROR!!” and completely got most of their stuff just reset. “Well….” MAK said to Lex and Aka, “We did our part here.”

“Then why are you walking slowly like you’re in a cheap action movie?” Aka said. Yet she sees Lex doing it, too. “Oh, come on!! It didn’t explode near us!!”

“I know.” Lex said, “It doesn’t mean it’s not awesome as fuck.”

“Don’t worry. I’m far away from their cameras and besides their shit doesn’t even work now. I’m good here.” Then he went to call Kai to confirm the mission success. “Kai….we did it.” As he said with a smug smile on his face.

“Yeah, I see from here.” She said to him, “I think we all did great on this. We really did Tomoki and Cassie good…..and now I’m about to go see them to tell them about it.”

Meanwhile, at the Faction Gym, Tomoki and Cassie were busy working out there, mostly to establish an alibi in case something where to went wrong but most of the time, they along with Loyuka and Seiki were watching Leon learning how to control his powers with Cyan but hilarity and hijinks ensue. “OWW!!! OOH!! DAMN! EEK! FUCK!” Which is what Leon kept repeating as Cyan was throwing a lot of objects to help him stop it before it can get him. “How is you throwing shit at me going to help me control my powers?”

“It’s mostly controlling your anger!” Cyan said. “As in even under the duress of the situation, you can’t spontaneously lose control of yourself.”

“Won’t this make it worse?” Leon said. “Well, duh.” Cyan said to him, “You think these guys are going to take it easy with you when they kick your ass? Hell, no!! You need to take whatever shot they bring to you and retaliate!!! GIMME YOUR BEST SHOT!!” So Leon did a counterattack practice move on Cyan by evading her and making her unable to move. “See? Now you’re getting it.”

“So how you two been doing? I hardly see or talk to you that much anymore.” Loyuka said to Tomoki and Cassie. “Well, it’s been good and Tomoki and I have been a lot closer than ever.” Cassie said, “Although I am trying to convince Tomoki that we should move in together at her place.”

“But who’s going to move in your old place?” Loyuka said. “And how do you feel about that, Tomoki?”

“I think we’re going about this too fast. Isn’t that what I said to you yesterday, Cass?” Tomoki said. “Yes, you did.” Cassie said, “But I think there might be something to change your mind eventually…..you know, it can any ‘ol thing.” Tomoki almost didn’t get what Cassie meant but she then gave the eye expression of Don’t Tell the whole Fucking Building. Then Sayuri came in the room with a giddy attitude, “Ladies and gentlemen….or just Leon….here…..guess who came back from the hospital!!” And here comes Sei, fresh out of there with a cast on her shoulder. “Hey guys, it’s really been a while.” Then Sayuri just give her a fresh hug to her, probably still relieved and happy that she is alive. “Damn, Sayuri, you haven’t stop hugging me since I got out. I’m doing fine now.”

“I know.” Sayuri said, “But I’m still relieved that you’re alive and here as well.”

Then Kai came in there as well with news to bring to Tomoki and Cassie, “Um…Hi. I’m looking for Tomoki and Cassie?” “And who are you?” Sayuri said. “Oh, I’m Kai Barrett. Nice to meet you.” She said shaking Sayuri and Sei’s hands.

“Wait, you’re Barrett’s little kid sister?” Sei asked as she looked back and forth to see the semblance. “OK, I believe you.”
“Wait, Kai?” Cyan said, “What are you doing here? We’re kinda in the middle of something.”
“I’m here for Tomoki and Cassie.” She said. “For what?” Cyan said. “My guess is for them to do some girl talk or something like that?” Leon said. “Basically what Metal Man said? Besides, I like talking to the girls, gives me more of a chance to bond with them.” Kai said to her, “Which reminds me….Hey Loyuka? You know you can spend time with us if you want.”

“I wish I could,” Loyuka said, “But unfortunately my ass is swamped with all this work I got from the RHL. Hopefully another time.”

“Well, damn, maybe another time then.” She said. But then as Tomoki, Cassie and Kai were walking out of the room, Hybrid X abruptly stop them and said, “Excuse me, but where are you ladies going? Miayama and Lyles, it’s not time for you to leave yet and….oh, I see the other Barrett sister is here.”
“Oh yeah, the guy MAK calls a dickhead.” Kai said. “How’s fucking over my friends going for you?”
“Great. How’s being the spouse of an immature Hybrid human being going for you?” Hybrid X said. “Well, I don’t know about that. Don’t you have an assistant like that?” Kai sassed him back.

“OK, anyway, you two aren’t going anywhere right now.” X said. “You still got work to do here.” However, Jin came in the other room with a staggering announcement, especially for Hybrid X. “Guys, I got news from Miki that the assignments she got prepared have been corrupted on her system. And since all of them are destroyed, most of you are free to go for the day.”
“Wait, what?” X said. “Yeah, Miki called me a few minutes ago and said all of her systems are offline. We can’t transfer any work in and out, so….we’re done for that for the day.”

“Well……damn, X. I know Miki tried and all.” Cassie said, “But those are the breaks. We’ll see you tomorrow!! Oh, wait, actually, we’re off tomorrow so…..the day after!!! See-ya!!” As Cassie chuckled behind his back at that.

AuraFaction6

EYE CATCH


 

At the Turner Express, Tomoki, Cassie, Kai and MAK along with the DarkSiders raise their glasses and cheers for a successful mission today. “Oh, today was a good day!!!” MAK said, “And I wish I could see X’s face after you had to leave early!!! I bet it was priceless.”
“It is!!” Kai said, “I even took a picture of it afterwards!!” She then showed him the photo which MAK laughed outrageously on. “HAHAHAHA!!! Sorry motherfucker!!” He is a bit sloshed at the moment at everybody is getting drunk off their asses in many spirits.

“Yo! Kati! Yuan!” MAK shouted across the room. “Yeah, MAKky?” Kati said. “Got anything you want, man?” Yuan said. “Well………I’m gonna be treating to myself and some friends tonight. So…..” He then pulled out $300 out of his pocket, “….I want the best shit you got.”
“Oh, and MAK, since you buying,” As Kai said to him, “Can I get that one drink I’ve been hearing about? The Zombie?”
“Oh shit, really?” Yuan said, “You want that? Do you have a death wish, girl?”
“All I heard is this girl is brave enough to try it!!” Kati said. “Either she’s brave or crazy as hell!! One zombie coming up!!” Then Yuan gave MAK a 911 number and a remedy in case of Zombie OD. “You might need it, man.”

“OK, I know people who drink this shit gets fucked up but why doesn’t Kati?” MAK said.
“Since she’s a Hybrid/Human, her immunity is never having hangover symptoms. It’s like her liver is made out of steel. I know few Hybrids can outlast this like your friend Cass a few weeks ago but……um…..your girl….” Then Kai really took one gulp of it and continues to drink it down. “Just keep that number in case.”
“All right, I guess.” MAK said with a shrug.

Minutes later, MAK then went to make a toast. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to dedicate this night for 3 different reasons here. First is for Tomoki and Cassie, may your love continue to shine bright from the day to the night and let no one break that up from you. To the DarkSiders, the best crew and friends I enjoy working on this operation. Really couldn’t done it without you. And last and definitely not least, my lovely and crafty girlfriend Kai—“ Then he was interrupted by her as the Zombie is really getting to her as she kept laughing and drinking it. “Hey MAKky-wakky!!! This is actually great!! I don’t know why people are freaking out about the Zombie. It’s really hits the spot!!!” Then she really kisses him with the smell of Zombie in her breath.

“—My girlfriend Kai, who is really enjoying herself and she should!! A toast to all of us today!!” All of them raise their glasses and partied the night away with drinking, conversation, flirting, and some bar games.

Come morning, all of them are back at the Darksiders’ hideout, mostly getting over a hangover as Tomoki woke up from her drunken stupor with a passed-out Cassie in her arms. Everybody else was fucked up from the alcohol and we mean everyone. “Damn, we must’ve got—“

“Wasted?” Aron said.
“No one says that anymore.” Rolo said.
“Turnt up?” Magnum said.
“Yeah, that.” Rolo said.
“I think I need to go to the bathroom.” Cassie then woke up, “Hey Moki……oh…..Damn, we must’ve had a good time last night. My breath doesn’t smell like vomit again, does it?” And at that moment, they see Kai on the floor, having the worst stomach pains mostly due to the Zombie and she needed to go to the bathroom this instant. “Oh god…..I feel like death.” She said to them, “I think I drank too much.”
“You drank the zombie, huh?” Cassie said. “How did you know?” Kai said.
“Experience it myself.” Cassie said,
“Come on, if you need to puke, I’ll help keeping your hair vomit-free.”
“Thank you, Cass.” Kai said before she proceeded to puke.


 

A few hours later, we see that one guy from yesterday (the package deliverer) was driving somewhere and yet he spots Magnum coming out of a fast-food joint, eating a burger and listening to music on his mp3. The guy got out of the car and went to punch him, “You motherfucker!!”

“Um, fool…..who the fuck are you and what are you doing here? Just beating a dude trying to eat?” Magnum said with a pistol tucked in his pants. “Oh, and give me a reason to not kill you?”

“You and your crew are under arrest.” He said to them.

“Wait, what?” Magnum said laughing his ass off, “Who are you supposed to be? A cop or something?”

“Actually….” Then it turns out that wasn’t really that guy from yesterday, it was actually Hybrid X out of transformation mode. “You can say that.” Magnum then try to run from him, getting as far as he can but he was surrounded by Faction officers, ones that he wrangled. Magnum tried to reach his phone to call Lex but X told a hold of his phone, “Oh, we’re on to you Darksiders. We know it was you that sabotage Ms. Maeda’s base with that fake drone.” Soon, all of the Darksiders are being hunted down one by one with the hideout where they got the majority of them. Aron, Rolo, & Cameron were the first to be caught, even resulting to them being tasered by stun guns. Nanashi and Devo were probably the toughest to get as they were the first to run out of there before they got to Nanashi by the ladder while they got Devo earlier. However, Saki did sent Lex and Aka, who were out at the time a text before they got to her and Nola. It said, “DON’T GO TO HIDEOUT! COPS GOT US! HELP!”

Aka read the text in time before they got home, “What? Lex, I got something from Saki and she’s telling us not to go to the house.”

“Huh? Why would she say that?” Lex said. Then a police car and sirens came behind them, “Lex Jaga and Aka Taiga, you are under arrest for obstruction of property and destruction as well.” Both of them ran fast from the police, checking every vacant space from any street they see. “Oh fuck!! They might’ve found out about us and the drone.” Aka said. “Damn it!! I knew we wasn’t as stealth on that. Where’s MAK on this?”

Meanwhile, MAK was busy typing on another review he has to do for one of the sites he works for. “OK, Got to think of something else about the animation…..it was vibrant…no, no, I need to say more than that.” But then Lex and Aka came busting in the door, hoping no one followed them. “Um….Lex, Aka, how nice of you to drop-kick in here.” He said in an aggravated mood. “MAK, we got no time for that!!” Aka said, “They know!!”

“Know what?” he said. “They know about that review you made for money and all. WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK THEY KNOW!!?” Lex angrily shouted at him. “They know we sabotaged that drone. They got every Darksider except us.”

“Where’s Kai?” Aka said, “Faction people are involved in this as well!”
“She’s at the mall, trying on swimsuits and other shit with Tomoki, Cassie, and Kati as well.” MAK said.

“And you didn’t do with?” Lex said. “No, really, you didn’t go with your girlfriend and three other girls who—“
“NOW NOT’S THE TIME!!” Both Aka and MAK said to him.

“Wait….did you manage to lose them on the way here?” MAK said. “You didn’t pull any stupid shit that can lead them he—“ Before he can finish that sentence, a swarm of police and Faction agents barged into the room, grabbing Lex and Aka, pinning them down on the ground and using a tranquilizer on them and severely use excessive force against MAK. “The fuck? This is my apartment!! I didn’t do shit here, you fuckin’ cops!!”

“Oh, really?” Then out comes Hybrid X. “Because some people say otherwise….and you should come with me anyway.”


“So, guys…..how does this one look on me?” A black-and-white bikini-clad Kai said to the girls as she is trying them out in the dressing room. “Well, like MAK, I fuck ya.” Kati said as Kai did blushed a little bit while laughing a bit. “But no, really, you looking great in it. It’s actually kinda appealing and it does make your tits look good as well.”

“Yeah. What she said.” Tomoki said awkwardly. “And……” That’s when Cassie showed up, trying out her swimsuit and its bustier than Kai’s. “How’s mine?” That resulted with Kati shouting out, “Well, goddamn.” And Tomoki and Kai nearly fainting. “I don’t know who’s luckier. You or MAK.” Kati said to Tomoki.

Cassie then went to get Tomoki off the floor, “Honey, you can stop drooling now. This is just a sneak preview of what’s coming, especially with…” Then she whispered at her ear about that and the fainting continues…

“OK, I think Moki here needs a breather or something.” Kati said. “You 2 try to get dressed or something.” As both of them were getting dressed, Kai wanted to ask some things with Cassie, “So, with X and Miki off your back now, you still thinking of asking Tomoki to move in with her?”

“I think things are looking up on that.” Cassie said, “Why you ask?”

“Oh, I was just wondering about that. I think you guys moving together is sweet and all but I hope you’re not rushing things altogether with this.” Kai said. “You don’t want things to go sour at the first day.”

“Oh, I’m not.” Cassie said, “Tomoki and I practically know each other from our likes, dislikes, and vices.”

“Living together is a mighty big step, Cass.” Kai said. “But I do trust your and Tomoki’s judgment on it. The more I spend time with your both, the more I really think you two are meant for each other.”

“I do appreciate that, Kai.” Cassie said, “It seems that whenever Moki and I go out dating in public or even when we were kids, I always have this ominous feeling that people think ‘Why is a wolf hybrid like you doing fooling around with a panda hybrid like her?’ or ‘This wolf bitch is your friend? She’s such a punk-ass’. You ever had that happened to you before, Kai?”

“Yep.” Kai said, “Some real assholes at my school used to tease MAK all the time and wonder why I like spending time with him. It really got on mine and his nerves. But yet, in the end, what matters is the relationship between us grew and yours is going to, too…..Hopefully, not into those dumbass Nicholas Sparks romances. We’re actually smarter than that….and also not white.”

Cassie laughed at that last remark but did get what Kai was saying in the end. “Yeah….I think me and Moki might be good from here on out.”

Then we cut to Tomoki and Kati. “So…..you two are still thinking about moving in?” Kati said to her.

“If this is your attempt to make me faint again, then you failed.” Tomoki said. “But…..I’m thinking about it.”
“Well, let’s get your positives out of the way. No one is spying on you any longer, both of you can help each other out with rent and all that, all the love and fucking you get without having to drive anywhere…..yeah, it’s looking pretty positive from here.” Kati said. “Plus, I see the girl’s look in her eyes around you. She looks happy and blissful and not throwing up because of the Zombie. Moving in is a big step for the both of you and it’s not going to be an easy ride but I do hope you two the best.”

“I hope so, too, Kati.” Tomoki said. “I just hope all of this works—“ Then all of a sudden, her phone rings and it was Loyuka on the phone. “Hello. Loyuka.”
“Hey, Tomoki, you and Cass really need to come down the Faction immediately.”

“Wait, for what?” Tomoki said. “We have the day off. Why do we need to come down there anyway?”
“Hybrid X and Miki arrested those guys…..you know, The DarkSiders and they kept this other one hidden from us.”

“The Darksiders!? ARRESTED?!” Tomoki questioned her.

“Yeah, Someone caught them swapping a defective package from them that cause that HQ to shut down. They hunted them down and anyone else associated with them today. We have to get the answers out of them today.”

“OK, I get there ASAP.” She then hung up the phone, “FUCK!!”

“What happened?” Kati said along with Cassie and Kai noticing it. “The Faction got the Darksiders!! In jail!” She said to them, “And I think they got MAK with them, too.”

“Wait, MAK’s arrested!?” Kai said. “MAKky’s in jail?!” Cassie and Kati said in unison.

“They didn’t say but I know he’s the only non-Darksider there.” Tomoki said, “We got to see what happens there.”


In the meantime, back at the Faction, we see Jin and Jiro heading to the interrogation room to take a look who they are bringing in to arrest. Hybrid X was very giddy to bring in you-know-who into the building. “Matsuda siblings….” Hybrid X proudly said to them, “I figured out who was responsible for that sabotage and you definitely need to see this.”

“X, what’s going on?” Jin said. “I thought it was just a simple error in—“

“That’s just what I wanted you to think.” X said. Then he went to show them who they caught and behind the 2-way mirror are all the Darksiders. “Behold….the Darksiders!! Remember those guys?”

“Yeah, we know of them.” Jiro said, “They pull shit like this all the time.”
“However, they have someone working with them….take a look to your left.” As X directly pointed to the one in the shadows and notice that was a roughed-up MAK over there. “And lookie here….we got ourselves a little Blue Hybrid here.” Both of them looked very shocked to see him like this. “Wait…him? MAK?” Jin said. “He’s the one….you’re the one that did this!!?” She said directly to him but he can’t heard her through the two-way mirror.

Soon, X then made an announcement to everyone in the Faction that MAK2.0 is in the custody of the Faction and he will interrogate him about why he destroyed Faction property along with the Darksiders. Knowing Cyan and Seiki and the rest hearing about this, they are really not too pleased with him about this.

Hybrid X and Miki are now interrogating all the Darksiders about what were their motives behind it all but some of them weren’t talking. They were keeping their mouths shut about or either spouting out ‘Fuck You’ to the both of them. However, when Cyan came and interrogate him, Lex just straight told her (or mostly white lied her), “OK, fine, you got us. We were just fucking around with this girl in that apartment complex. We didn’t even know she was a part of the Faction.”

“Didn’t know? Really?” Cyan said, “I don’t know whether to believe you or not, Lex. I know you would lie about something like this and with MAK involved in this, you’re gonna tell me why.”

“Look, I got nothing to hide.” Lex said, “And that’s the truth.” But then he sees Seiki coming into the room, ready to ask questions for him. “Hey, C. I’ll take over from here. I might get some answers out of him.”
“Oh fuck!! Those memories!! That pain!! My hand!!” Those were the words Lex shouted as soon as he saw Seiki. “Hello to you, too, Lexington!”

“Oh, come on. I said I didn’t know much. Please don’t fuck up my hands again!!”


Hybrid X and MAK are now in a small room and the animosity between them is brimming with anger for one another. “So……..MAK, you finally slip up, didn’t you?”

“I don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.” MAK said, “If anyone is slipping up, it’s you, nigga.”

“Me? I’m not the one going around destroying other people’s property and being some wannabe rebel warrior.” Hybrid X said. “You got a lot of balls saying some shit to me like that.”
“Said the guy that does nothing but belittle his allies, especially verbally abusing close friends of mine. If anybody’s a fucking wannabe, it’s your dumb ass and of course, your partner-in-crime.”

“Why whatever do you mean by that?” X said convincingly to him.

“Oh, don’t go with that ‘I know nothing’ bullshit. You basically giving shit to almost everyone in the Faction from berating Cassie and Tomoki to disrespecting Cyan and Seiki because they’re humans. You’re just as scum as the people who attack Hybrid beings every day.“

“You mean, people that you happened to be fond of?” He said to MAK. “You’re judging me like I’m the bad guy here. You’re the one with the unauthorized grudge against me along with those girls. What makes you any right to fuck up my place?”

“Because I know everything.” MAK said to him with a darker tone than before. “I know all about you spying on Tomoki and Cassie while in their private moments. I know all about you blackmailing them and having them obey your every move. And you know what? I don’t regret myself and the rest for fucking that up for you. Cause if you even think about touching me, your ass will live to regret it.”

“Oh, really?” Hybrid X said as the lights go dark and the next thing he disappeared from the room. MAK wondered where the hell he went then out of the blue Miki sucker-punched him and knocked out one of his teeth. “Not so dumb now, am I, you prick?” She said with much snarkiness. “You little bitch.” He said as MAK went to knock her out but she dodged it completely and counter-acted by stunning his leg and picking up/slamming his body to the ground. “You know, I thought you was going to put up more of a fight with you being the Blue Hybrid and all. I guess what I heard about isn’t completely true.” However, MAK wasn’t hearing all that and he tries to get one hit but she then punches his jaw and hits him with a pencil sharpener. “Damn, this is really disappointing. I guess like the women you hang out with including the one you fuck, you’re useless and bitch-made.” That comment really got MAK pissed off. MAK then got into his Hybrid stage as his eyes glow blue and all his anger is channeled at her. It looks like Miki was about to finish him off but then he grabbed her neck and started to slam her against the wall and starts beating the ever life of her. “If you ever threaten my friends and call my girlfriend a bitch again, I SWEAR I WILL FUCK YOU UP PERSONALLY!!! AND THAT ISN’T A THREAT!! IT’S A PROMISE, YOU BITCH!!!”

Before MAK can do any more damage, Jin, Jiro and Leon got into the room and see him like this and both guys had to restrain him from harming Miki anymore and had to get a tranquilizer to calm him down. One didn’t do enough so they had to inject over 3 into his system and he then began to settle down and then went to sleep. “What in the hell was that?” Jiro said.

“I don’t know.” Miki said. “I think he went into his Hybrid mode and just straight attacked me out of blind rage.”

“And to think, this guy was supposed to be a savior to Hybrids.” Jiro said. “He can’t even control his powers at the moment of distress.” That last comment does have Leon thinking moreso of him trying to control his powers or he might end up like MAK. “Oh damn.” Leon said, “What am I gonna tell Cyan or her sister about him?”
“I’ll take care of it.” Jin said.


 

Later on in the Faction, Kai, Tomoki and Cassie are in the break room. They were waiting anxiously to see what happened with the Darksiders and MAK. “You think they might question us about what happened with them?” Kai asked.
“I don’t know but this is starting to worry me.” Cassie said. “I know they won’t drop the ball on us but—“
“Cass, at this point, I don’t blame them if they said it was our idea.” Tomoki sadly said to her. “I don’t want those guys to take the blame for us just because we continue to hide a secret from everyone.”
“Moki, I know.” Cassie said, “But what can we do from here?” However, Kai did thought of something. “Well, I actually have an idea but you won’t like it as much.”

“We’re listening….” Tomoki and Cassie said.

5 MINUTES LATER

“You did WHAT!!!!!???” and that was the collective screams from Cyan and Seiki after Kai, Tomoki and Cassie told them everything that happened with Hybrid X & Miki and the Darksiders. “Fucking hell!! I can’t believe you two!” Seiki said, “I know you couldn’t tell us straight up that you were blackmailed but destroying property of theirs doesn’t make it any better!!”

“Tomoki, Cassie, what the flying fuck were you thinking?” Cyan said angrily. “This shit could end up suspending your asses for a week. What you did was fucking foolish of you.” And then she turned her attention to Kai. “And you…..knowing my own little sister was a part of this Sabotage and being the mastermind of this? I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT YOU A PART OF THIS SHIT!!!” Then Cyan and Kai are now arguing in Tagalog about how Kai is saying that she doesn’t need to be treated like some dainty little girl all the time and that she can handle herself but it gotten more heated than before as Kai ended up throwing an orange at Cyan.

“OK…I don’t speak Tagalog but I think Kai called her a bitch.” Seiki said. “A fucking orange. Really?” Cyan said. Then she threw an apple at Kai. “OW!! That hurt, dammit!!”

“So should we tell someone else about this?” Cassie said. “Why not?” Tomoki said, “It couldn’t hurt any worse, right?”

Actually, no, it did.

They went to tell Loyuka about this and her response was her slapping the shit out of the both of them. “Stupid!! DUMBASS!! Stupid!! DUMBASS!! I can’t believe you two!! You could’ve told me about X and Miki harassing you!”

“They wouldn’t believe us anyway.” Cassie said, “Or even you at first. And did you have to hit so hard?”

Then Loyuka said, “First off, yes, I have to hit you hard for how stupid this is and I would’ve believe you anyway but now you got all those Darksider guys arrested and MAK, too!! And you, Kai? I’m surprised that you cooked up a plan like this!!”

“You’re not going to throw apples at me, aren’t you?” she said to Loyuka.

“No, not really.” Loyuka said, “Plus, Cyan did that part already but still…..you know eventually you going to have to confess to Jin and Jiro about this. You can’t keep yourself hidden for long. Hell, they might gave you away anyway.”

Then after they really had to break the news to the only two people that’s not Jin and Jiro that they haven’t told. “So……what you’re telling me is that Miayama and Lyles are dating now but Hybrid X and that girl Miki has been blackmailing them and recording them having sex. And now you got those guys they arrested and that Blue Hybrid guy that Barrett’s little sister is dating are now involved?” And that’s Sei and Sayuri getting caught up to speed about this whole ordeal. “Are we missing any details or are we square?”

“No, you’re good.” Seiki said.

“I always did suspect Miayama and Lyles to eventually fuck and hey, I was right.” Sei said. “So……” Sayuri slyly said, “One thing I got to ask you two.”

“Sayuri, if the question is how the sex is between us, you’re shit outta luck.” Tomoki said, “Because I’m not sharing that shit with you.” But then see Sayuri and Cassie whispering about it behind her back. “What the f—CASS! Really?”

“Hey, it wasn’t about that!!” Cassie said, “You think I was going to tell what we do in private to others?” Then Sayuri got back to whisper to her, “So, Tomoki likes getting spanked on a regular basis?” That and also Kai heard it, too. “Dammit, not you, too, Kai.”

And last but not least, Leon was informed with what’s really going on and his reaction was as expected from him. “You crazy-ass women!!” However, that line didn’t help much when he’s in the room with a bunch of women. “OK, wrong choice of words but all this shit going on with you, the riots, not to mention we had to put MAK in intensive care because of—“
“WHAT!!!!” All the girls said in unison.

“What happened with MAK?” Kai said, “What did you do to him?”
“HE just went and attack Miki and me, Jin and Jiro had to tranquilize him to get him under control. He’s now comatose and resting inside one of the hospital wards. He got too crazy in there. He even got into his Hybrid stage and he was brutal with her. We’re lucky she’s still alive but it looks like now things may turn for the worse not only for him, but for y’all as well.”

“Like what? Suspension? Firing? Outright banned?” Cyan asked him. “Suspension is a maybe for him.” Leon said, “But since he isn’t a fully-fledged Faction member, he gets a restraining order more or less but after that beating, he isn’t going to get off scot-free.” Then an announcement from the intercom addressed that Leon, Cyan and Loyuka are needed in assistance in pursuit of local vigilantes/snipers between on Depina Road and Walker Alley.

“Well, it looks like we’re needed for work.” Cyan said. “But as for you, Tomoki and Cassie, consider this a strike against you. I let that time at the riots go but not here. This is Strike 1 for you and as for you, Kai, you’re suspended from coming here for a week.”

“WHAT? I GOT SUSPENDED FOR A WEEK!? A week?!” Kai shouted.

“I got no more to say to you. Other than you three really disappointed me today.” Cyan said, “Don’t make any attention from yourselves from here on out in the Faction. By tomorrow, the Darksiders will be let out and MAK depending on his status will be, too, but you have a lot to think about.”

TO BE CONTINUED


 

NEXT TIME….

“If it isn’t world’s greatest super-save-A-Hybrid service known as The Faction.”

“Here they are. Two of the fastest guns in this side of the Hybrid Society.”

“You seem cute.”

“Your sister isn’t really that fond of my friends nor me.”

“I will never join the ranks among you amateurs.”

“These creatures….those animals…..all of them will eventually die at my hands.”

“I have any things to describe my anger.”

“PLEASE!!! We need someone like her for this!!”

“Loyuka Zaki, what I want in return is….”

Switchblade: THE HIRANO SISTERS

© 2014 Studio Katana / K2 & The Faction Project

Holiday Gift Buying Guide: Anime Edition

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Originally posted on Another Castle:
Being a wanting geek is hard enough, but buying for one when you aren’t one yourself can be even worse. But don’t fret, Another Castle is here to aid your shopping woes with a few of our handpicked favorites, perfect for that special nerd in your life. Direct from our writers,…

5 Most Underappreciated Anime Movies

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Mark King:

This time on Another Castle, I take a look into the 5 most underappreciated anime movies!

Originally posted on Another Castle:

When it comes to the selection of anime movies out there, people typically first think of Studio Ghibli features, filmmakers like Mamoru Hosoda, or any movie that continues an anime series such as Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist or Madoka Magica. However, there are plenty of great anime movies with the all the key elements the more recognizable studios and directors create, but have faded into obscurity or are simply less notable. 

Angel’s Egg

In a desolate and dark world full of shadows lives a little girl protecting a large egg and meets a mysterious man.

One of the earlier projects from Ghost in the Shell movie director Mamoru Ishii, Angel’s Eggis a hauntingly dark, visually stunning marvel that does get cerebral once the movie gets into philosophy and theology, which does get over your head for a bit.

The story is relatively straightforward, unassuming and little dialogue is spoken between the only two…

View original 715 more words

Anime Discovery PLUS+ : Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun

Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun

Greetings to all you wonderful readers of the Mind of the Hybrid One; let me introduce myself. My name is Scott_PJ or “Scojo,” and I have offered to help the creator as he has been working on some original content. As our blog likes to cover as many current anime as possible, I’d like to cover a few forgotten gems, personal favorites, and some fun retrospectives of shows that made a statement.

A few years ago, I got burned out on Japan’s sense of style, comedy, and romance that put me in a real negative funk against the medium. Part of that happened when I helped The Hybrid One write some blurbs against the travesty of humanity known as Kanokon. However, thanks to anime titles such as Madoka Magica, Space Dandy, and Kill La Kill, I have come back to the genre with a revived sense of splendor. Now as I’d like to go back on anime I’ve really come to appreciate throughout the years; I’d like to focus on a really good show that just came out last season. And many people I’ve talked to consider it to be the funniest anime to come out in years.

So let’s start off this new author by reviewing Gekkan Shōjo Nozaki-Kun or Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun!

With a cast this pretty, of course it’s shojo.

 

 

Series Director: Mitsue Yamazaki

Series Composition: Yoshiko Nakamura

Screenwriter: Yoshiko Nakamura

Original Author: Izumi Tsubaki

Character Design: Junichiro Taniguchi

Art Director: Jirou Kouno

Animation Production: Doga Kobo

Licensed by: Sentai Filmworks

Streaming: Crunchyroll

Synopsis: High school student Chiyo Sakura has a crush on schoolmate Umetarō Nozaki, but when she confesses her love to him, he mistakes her for a fan and gives her an autograph. When she says that she always wants to be with him, he invites her to his house and has her work as an inker. Chiyo discovers that Nozaki is actually the renowned shōjo manga artist named Sakiko Yumeno. She then agrees to be his assistant in order to get closer to him. As they work on his manga, they encounter other schoolmates who assist them to make his manga “Let’s Fall in Love” a success.

You can feel the comedic, 4koma atmosphere as many episodes set up and transition through jokes like Lucky Star or Seitokai Yaukuindomo. What gives Nozaki-kun the edge is that not every joke is pushed along only through humdrum conversations. Some of the best gags come from funny flashbacks or revealing a critical flaw of being a bad writer. There are lots of funny moments of Nozaki trying to re-imagine a romantic plot device to expand to different audiences, but he never quite succeeds. Many of the inspirations for the written manga come from watching the protagonists’ circle of friends with a careful balance of friendship and parodied investigation. The show not only succeeds at being a funny send-up of shōjo themes, but works as a strong romantic-comedy in its own right.

 

The friends, as they are shown in the really catchy opening song, are a decently diverse set of characters with their own charms and quirks. The best is probably Nozaki’s best friend Mikoshiba, who comes off as being suave and cool, but is secretly very aloof and embarrassed of his attempts to attract women. With these traits, Nozaki based the female protagonist in his manga off of him. The list continues on with Chiyo’s best friend, Seo, who is not only a punk girl with a mean streak and voice like a goddess but also the duo of Kashima and Hori from the drama club who often get involved with the mangaka’s shenanigans.

 

As funny as those two are, they have one of my few, big issues with the show that’s just a weak trend of comedic anime in general. Hori often attacks Kashima when her princely appearance and attitude disrupts the drama club, despite being a woman. I’m not a fan when this more commonly happens with the genders reversed, but it’s somehow even more uncomfortable here with Kashima’s not-so-subtle crush on Hori. Especially when most of the time, it isn’t her fault as her female “followers” tend to ruin most things. Why yell at Kashima instead of the actual problem of the obnoxious fan-girls?

You can’t blame a pussy magnet for doing it’s job.

 

Thankfully this is made up for with more of the funny side characters that bring out Nozaki’s strong feelings. His editor, an overweight, no-nonsense man named Ken, is the most serious character in the show. All he wants to do is publish the manga despite Nozaki’s weird ideas and surprisingly doting attitude to him. That really comes into play as Nozaki’s former editor, Maeno, is constantly driving fellow mangaka/neighbor Yukari mad from his narcissistic, aloof ideas and obsession to insert Tanukis into everything. Although these side characters don’t contribute that much to the show, they are really great at fleshing out the main protagonist’s emotional depth.

 

Gag-heavy animes are incredibly hit or miss when it comes to the humor as they often go too broadly or stay too closely within the genre’s comfortably clichéd bosom. These characters feel real for the most part, despite clashing a bit too often. The only fanservice comes from the (what I assume was intentional) character designs and Chiyo’s high expectations for romantic conquest. The fact that it trends this line so carefully is what has made it so such successful parody, similar to what was great about Ouran High School Host Club.

 

One of the best examples of this is the 4th episode, where Mikoshiba and Nozaki get advice for talking to girls by playing Dating Sims. But wait, it gets better than that, as Nozaki tries to push his own manga plot-line into the dating game to Mikoshiba’s frustration. The best part is as they play through the entire game, they realize the best character for the protagonist romantically is his ever-supportive male best friend. It makes them want to create fan-fiction regarding that flaw in the video game and it’s glorious.

In the second half, the plot starts to move into giving the characters specific arcs. Hori and Kashima are trying to script and act out a play, while Seo and Nozaki’s basketball kohai Wakamatsu are slowly creating a romantic friendship. These play out decently as the others get comfortably wrapped into subplots such as Kashima learning to sing or Wakamatsu trying to find ways to counter his insomnia. Around this point, the humor does slightly stale as the characters are almost blissfully unaware of how everyone feels for the one another, but it isn’t the central focus. The friendship really grows into different teams as it goes along. One of the funniest moments is when Nozaki has a sleepover with the guys, but is secretly using all of their hobbies as inspiration for a girls’ slumber party in his manga. The later half is filled with great potential and mostly succeeds.

That’s what makes Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun so wonderfully fun. Nozaki isn’t just the straight-faced, ever-oblivious male character, he’s incredibly confident and wants to do whatever he can to make the best shōjo series. Chiyo isn’t just a romantic cipher, she cares for all of her friends and still wants to be grounded even with her obsessive flaws. There’s some good satire too, as they explore in a few scenes how Nozaki is a better housewife than Chiyo could be. It goes to show that you can make a really funny anime that isn’t so painfully dependent on everyone’s shortcomings.

Going back to the negatives, some critics have debated about the ending of the anime feeling as a copout or lacking progression. I really loved the ending though because it really encapsulates what the series is all about with the humor and the blossoming relationships. And this is the type of show that could easily continue on into a second season with more jokes, more characters, and more ways to skewer the country’s depiction of romantic comedies. And as much as I like the opening theme, the ending theme is too fluffy and sappy for the theme of the show. This might sound like a nitpick, but there are often additional scenes past the credits you need to see as build-up for the next episode.

 

Final Verdict: Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun is a delight to watch and really delivers on some needed comedy within modern anime. It might stick too closely to some obnoxious conventions, but it’s going to remembered as being one of the best laugh-out-loud shows to come out in a while. No matter how things may look, Chiyo and Nozaki are ever entertaining, grounded duo that you genuinely root for and hope they become close later on.

 

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun is currently available on Crunchyroll and is licensed by Sentai Filmworks. The original manga is ongoing, written by Izumi Tsubaki and published by Gangan Online/Square Enix.

For more of his work, you can find it on the site One of Us.

(Hy)Lights #29: Over the GARDEN Wall

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Over the recent years, Cartoon Network has been steadily improving on their animation roster with shows that managed to appeal to both kids and adults like Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gumball and currently a favorite of mine Steven Universe. Yes, they have their blunders and misfires as well (Teen Titans Go!, Uncle Grandpa) but next or close to current Disney animation shows, they are the strongest contender we have for good animated shows in the States (and yes, Nickelodeon won’t have that anymore once Korra ends).

Now on the real topic of today, Over the Garden Wall.

Over the Garden Wall is one of the first animated miniseries they have commissioned by the network. It is created by Patrick McHale, a cartoonist very known in CN for being a writer and storyboard artist for The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and the former creative director, writer & storyboard artist for Adventure Time. The miniseries is also based on a short he created while back called Tome of the Unknown as part of Cartoon Network Studios’ shorts development program.

The series centers around two brothers, Wirt and Greg (voiced by Elijah Wood and Collin Dean respectively), who become lost in a strange forest called the Unknown. In order to find their way home, the two must travel across the forest, apparently magic, with the help of the wise, elderly Woodsman (Christopher Lloyd) and Beatrice (Melanie Lynskey), an irritable bluebird who travels with the boys in order to undo a curse that has affected her whole family.

Now, a show with a concept like this is mostly easy to screw up if the story meanders itself to repetitive and makes the journey unbearable and dull through false interpretation of being profound and deep, wanting you to get the destination faster than before so you won’t have to sit through it.

That is not the case for this show. This one is actually good. No, scratch that. THIS IS GREAT!!

The premise does sound humble at best at the first few episodes but getting into it halfway through, you are deeply absorbed into this magical world that you really want to stick around for. Not to mention the show manages to pull some twists and turns in the latter part that felt natural and spontaneous at some times. It clears McHale knows the journey he has created knew its beginning, its middle and its end. What also helps the show is that while it’s 10 episodes, they last 11 minutes each like any other runtime they give most CN (and Adult Swim to an extent) shows, given the full series’ runtime of approximately 2 hours so it is a breeze to watch and that’s the show’s greatest strength in a nutshell.

Another strength that the show has is its atmosphere and animation with its rustic yet sepia aesthetic throughout with the country side. The tone of the series has this creepy yet audacious vibe that’s resonant to many Grimm’s fairy tale stories to say the least.

Did I mention that the music is easily the best part of the series? No? Then yeah, the music is the part of the series. From the first second the music plays to the short but effective folksy opening theme throughout and the majority of the songs here, it has that lasting mood that really sets in the show and possibly even makes you think of memories of your own with this setting.

The show has a great amount of characters although there is mostly development for the main characters as some you only see once but yet this doesn’t come as a problem for them as they managed to keep them interesting and likable. I do like Wirt and Greg, both of whom have a normal relationship between brothers although I did get used to Greg as he might seem annoying at first but understands he’s looking life more of a positive aspect, more so than Wirt. Beatrice might be the most interesting out of the main 3 with her plotline explained in the show. The voice cast provided some outstanding performances with grand voice direction from Kristi Reed. Of course, Elijah Wood and Melanie Lynskey gave some good acting as Wirt and Beatrice along Christopher Lloyd carrying a well-done creepy performance as The Woodsman. Collin Dean as Greg performed well here, too, as I never did hear this kid before or at least he doesn’t seem recognizable in roles he has gotten before. Guest appearances by John Cleese (playing two characters I’m not going to give out), Chris Isaak, Fred Stoller, Bebe Neuwirth, Shannyn Sossamon, Shirley Jones among others were performed very accurately into the characters upon them, especially Tim Curry, whose voice seem unrecognizable at first in his role.

FINAL VERDICT: Finally, a show with this kind of concept that knows how to be interesting, funny, and effectively dramatic at some parts that can kind your attention. Over the Garden Wall is another great animated show on Cartoon Network with great characters, a simplistic storyline that expands itself with something more with moments we never saw coming, and an imaginative and energetic atmosphere that actually does more to help the show than harms it.

And Over the Garden Wall goes over the score with

9/10 – FIRST CLASS

 

And with that said, this is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the elements….Over the Garden Wall.

OVER THE GARDEN WALL – courtesy of Cartoon Network

BIG HERO 6 (or Stay Puft Man: The Movie) – HM Movie Reviews

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We are back at the world of……..wait, this isn’t a Marvel movie or something like that? Oh, it’s a Disney movie animated by Walt Disney Animation Studios but based on a Marvel comic book….that really isn’t like the movie at all? OK. Well, yes, this is the first animated Disney movie to feature Marvel characters, which makes sense since Marvel was bought by Disney.

Anyway, the studio has gotten a renaissance ever since Tangled debuted in 2010 and continued with Wreck-It Ralph and of course, the phenomenon of 2013 and maybe still in 2014 that is Frozen and with Big Hero 6, the hype is anticipated and intensified to see if this is either top their previous efforts or just be as good as that.

Robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius-thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to his closest companion-a robot named Baymax-and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.

Welp, an hour and 33 minutes past by and I can easily say that…..Disney has done it again with Big Hero 6 as it is one of the highly enjoyable, entertaining and heartfelt movies that they made but it’s not without its fair share of flaws into it. Yes, we all know the story isn’t that wholly original but that problem shouldn’t even be in effect anymore as long as if it’s executed correctly and 80% of the time it is, especially when it gets to those whole-hearted moments that does connect with its audiences and that for all ages, whether you’re a kid, teenager or adult. The other 20% of it has some elements may have been predictable and we totally guess what might happen in the next scene and like any other superhero movies we see in the past, it is that 3rd act that really doesn’t know what to do next but do the usual things that most superhero movies suffer through. Honestly, I’m not at all burned out on superhero movies, I just don’t view them as just superhero movies or get that obsessed with them.

Character development and interaction are high with the leads of Hiro and Baymax as we do see the connection Hiro has with his brother Tadashi and how genuine it felt through the time of the movie, especially once the movie gets rolling and with Baymax, that feeling still continues as he may be the MVP for best character for being one of the funnier and adorable parts of the movie with an exception of one scene (Yeah, it’s the tape scene. It was funny in the trailer but meh in the movie.)

The other supporting characters……they were decent but I wish their roles were more prominent with what they got. I’m not saying that they have to be front screen and center and most of them are likable characters. Fred is most standout out of the supporting cast as he was more of the funnier parts, second to Baymax. Honestly, I like GoGo and Honey Lemon (Is she supposed to be from the South or something?) and I wish I have gotten to know more of them in the movie but as for Wasabi, he’s okay but most of the time he got a little annoying with his cautiousness state and I get that is what his character is but I wanted to slap him most of the time for that. Mind you, I never had any instance of hating him. The main villain mainly seems like an afterthought as he doesn’t have much of a presence until the latter half and the reveal isn’t really that surprising either.

The animation is exactly as impressive as you think it would be. The fictional town of San Fransokyo really has the feel of San Francisco and Tokyo combined with many Eastern & Western influences in there, much like the universe of Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Plus, the action sequences are definitely animated to its fullest in there.

Voice-acting, you got an impressive voice-cast especially from Scott Adsit (30 Rock) as Baymax as he did gave an endearing and amusing performance. Ryan Potter as Hiro was excellent as well and even T.J. Miller as Fred was one of the highlights of the movie. The other voice actors like Jamie Chung (Gogo), Genesis Rodriguez (Honey Lemon), Maya Rudolph (Aunt Cass), Daniel Henney (Tadashi), Alan Tudyk, James Cromwell all performed very well and even Damon Wayans Jr. as Wasabi as much as I’m iffy on the character, I still think Wayans Jr. performed the role solidly.

FINAL VERDICT: Big Hero 6 isn’t a perfect film by any means but it is a damn good enjoyable and entertaining movie to watch with either your younger relatives, your family or even yourself if you’re into superheroes and giant robots.

And so, with Big Hero 6, the movie gets the grade of

8/10 – Solid B.

And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the heroes (OK, well 6 of them) in one San Fransokyo.

BIG HERO 6 – courtesy of WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS / WALT DISNEY MOTION PICTURE STUDIOS

Anime Discovery II – HELLSING Ultimate: #124

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THE BLUE HORROR IS BACK!!! I have come to reign terror in….Oh……Halloween is over. But you know what? I’m still going as this because this has been a review coming for a long time, and by that, I mean when they were going to eventually wrap this up.

Yes, I’m talking about Hellsing Ultimate, the long-running OVA series reboot of the series based off the manga by Kouta Hirano and all of 10 episodes have finally been completed (in 2012 but dubbed this year) and here’s a little refresher to what Hellsing is all about.

Vampires exist. It is the duty of Hellsing, a secret organization sponsored by the British government, to hide that frightening fact and protect the blissfully unaware populace. Along with its own personal army, Hellsing has secret weapons. Alucard, an incredibly powerful vampire, has been controlled by Hellsing for years. It is unclear how he feels about being a servant to the Hellsing family, but he certainly enjoys his job as a vampire exterminator. Seras is a fledgling vampire and former police woman. Although reluctant to embrace her new self, she is a valued member of the organization. Integra Hellsing, the current leader, is usually fully capable of fulfilling her duty, but lately, vampire activity has been on the rise. Unfortunately, the cause is more alarming than anything she could have imagined. A group long thought dead has been plotting in secret since their apparent destruction over 50 years ago. Plotting to plunge England, and perhaps the entire world, into war.

And now, here’s the question that’s burning everyone’s ears. Is this adaptation superior to the TV ser—OK, of course, this is vastly superior to the TV series by a long mile and faithful to the manga as well and comparing the manga, the 2001 TV series and the OVAs….I say going to the TV series would be a waste but I’m not saying Ultimate’s better just because it’s faithful to the manga. As its own entity, it’s stylish, over-the-top, ridiculous and….mostly what the TV series was in a way for most of their time but in here, it’s less disorderly and more well-thought-out. Sure, the story overall for the series isn’t exactly known for its writing but we got from it was some balls-out action and gruesome horror that will make you have nightmares for almost a week. No, really, the horror element is about as blatant as you imagine it and that’s a plus. I know I have been complaining about overly excessive gore and violence in horror anime recently but in here, it doesn’t feel out-of-place or distorts the tone it has already.

Character development is a plenty throughout the series from the awesomeness of Alucard, the fierceness of Integra, the sheer brilliance in badas that is Seras and it does help that every episode of the series is either 40 min-1 hour runtime to cover that. To be honestly fair, every character does have their moment to shine in the show from the supporting characters like Walter and Pip, to the villains like The Major and Alexander Anderson and especially the villains that you really love to hate like The Valentine Brothers, Rip Van Winkle, Zorin Blitz, and even Schrödinger (and no, not his cat.) as they are often the highlights even in only a single episode.

The animation…..for one thing, yes, this is a better effort than what Gonzo did for the TV and while the animation is better here, it does varies from episode to episode as the OVA has 3-4 animation studios doing the animation production and those studios are Satelight (1-4), Madhouse (5-7) and Graphinica/Kelmadick (8-10, and yes, the actual name of that studio is Kelmadick). If I had to rank what studio had the best animation throughout the OVAs, Madhouse would be first, followed by Satelight and Graphinica/Kelmadick being last. The action animation was stellar throughout the whole series although it wasn’t as flawless as most people think it is, especially during episodes 9 and 10 where I do see some noticeable flaws in there but never enough to distract the experience.

Musically, you got the whole orchestra layout for the dramatic and epic scenes with some electronic sounds wired in there but yet there is the only factor that the TV series is superior to the OVA. Some ending songs captured my attention in most of the episodes but not enough to bring a quick memory of it. Some of them ranges from dramatic/serious to playful in some aspects and also having some aspects of the TV series in there.

And now we get to the English dub….and guess what? IT IS AMAZING!!! They used the original dub cast back when Geneon was still in business with New Generation Pictures and thankfully while Geneon went out of business at the time it was still recording and FUNimation rescued it, they brought back the same cast and this was one of the few smart moves FUNi did for the release. But what’s left to say about it? Crispin Freeman owns the character of Alucard in sound, body and spirit; K.T. Gray and Victoria Harwood still owns it as Seras & Integra, respectively. Gildart Jackson got the insanely evil angle down as The Major. Steven Brand is terrific as Alexander Anderson and for Walter, all credit for his role goes to three people: Ralph Lister, Liam O’Brien (as a young adult) and Jessica Stone (as Young Walter). Other performances I give credit from Yuri Lowenthal as Pip, Patrick Seitz and Josh Phillips as the Valentine Brothers, Kari Wahlgren as Rip Van Winkle, Rachel Robinson (and also Hellena Taylor for one episode) as Zorin Blitz, Laura Bailey as Schrodinger and various VAs from Kyle Hebert, Todd Haberkorn, Travis Willingham, Karen Strassman among others.

FINAL VERDICT: All-in-all, for those that felt cheated or wronged by the TV Series, this is the definitive version of Hellsing that fans have been waiting for as this is completely faithful to the source and a fun ride even as a standalone series. Granted, it isn’t a grand overarching tale in the first place but yet you really don’t care about that as you really get into the series. Hellsing Ultimate is highly recommended for a fan of action and horror….just don’t show it to any of your kids. Really. Don’t show it to them.

 

And does Hellsing still got some bite in it? HELL YES!!

9/10

Planet Tyro rating: FIRST CLASS

 

HELLSING ULTIMATE is available on DVD/Blu-ray via FUNimation Entertainment with all the episodes. Streaming options are available on FUNimation.com EVS and Hulu. Also, the series has been previously aired on Adult Swim’s Toonami block.

Oh yeah, one more thing…….you should definitely watch Hellsing Ultimate Abridged by Takahata101 / Team FourStar. Why? Because it’s funny as hell and it’s one of the few abridged series I’d recommend to people.

Plus, Jessica Calvello definitely killed it as Rip Van Winkle in the abridged version.

Now then, stay tuned for later weeks as the finale of Anime Discovery for the year will come this month….or within a few weeks ahead.

So, until then, The Hybrid of the Blue is my name, eating my wings to make me tame.

 

HELLSING ULTIMATE – animation by SATELIGHT / MADHOUSE / GRAPHINICA / KELMADICK and licensed by FUNimation Entertainment (formerly Geneon)

Anime Discovery II – BLOOD-C: The Last DARK – #123

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I know what you are thinking right about now.

“Um, MAK, why are you reviewing the Blood-C movie? Don’t you need to see the series’ first?”

Good question, anonymous person I made up.

I actually did review the series as my other persona for Another Castle’s 31 Days of Horror and if you want to know my opinion of that show…….it wasn’t that good at all and easily the worst entry in the Blood franchise. Now with the movie, The Last Dark, it does have the appearance of it being somewhat competent but then again, so did the series at first glance. Let’s hope for the best that this doesn’t completely suck.

Tokyo has enacted the Youth Protection Ordinance, minors are forbidden to be out at night, and the internet is policed however, Sirrut, an underground rebel organization, has declared war on Fumito Nanahara. Sirrut uses the internet to try and find information in cyberspace, and they discover something more gruesome, TOWER, a mysterious organization behind Fumito that is rumored to be conducting experiments involving human beings, and alluding to people being…eaten. Enter Saya – a young girl who uses a Japanese blade to slay the Old Ones. The same Saya who lost everything dear to her in that horrifying incident in Ukishima Province. What sort of “experiment” is Fumito and “Tower” trying to conduct using the Old Ones? And can Saya finally deliver vengeance to Fumito?

 

Well…..I’m surprised to say that this is a major far cry from the TV Series as for one, it manages to stay consistent with its tone, which would definitely make sense after all the drama that happened afterwords. However, it felt like a different beast than what we would’ve expect out of a Blood entry such as this whole dystopian component and what of the rebel group Sirrut feels like if this was supposed to be intended for another I.G. Project or rejected cyberpunk characters that didn’t make it as their own series. The other aspect of the movie, mostly another main character Mana and her story, per se, doesn’t have much grasp or meat to get the viewer invested as it felt like it was written in the last minute just to say, “Well, we should probably do something with this character.”

Characters are slightly more useful and effective although they are more of an afterthought but the one good characteristic about them is they aren’t written as people that show up and then die as the plot TRIES to progress. Saya is no-longer the sweet girl you seen in the series but gotten colder and introverted at the start and it actually works for her to be like that as it would be out-of-place if she didn’t acted that way. The Sirrut characters aren’t really that stimulating throughout but never strike me as being infuriating, just mostly character archetypes from the slackers, the responsible leading one, the nervous type and the token loli. (No, I don’t know why they got a token loli.)

As for the art and animation, the action scenes are the greatest highlight of what Production I.G. has brought to the table as they are about as good as you think they are but I am slightly mixed on the CG animation as it really felt out of place and dodgy. Yes, it does have blood and gore as the show implies but this is more subtle and less disproportionate this time around.

The music isn’t really that substantial or memorable in the slightest as its basically stock action-horror music with an ending theme that I didn’t stick around to listen to. As for the English dub provided by FUNimation, it was still as okay as it was in the series although I will say that I did like Alexis Tipton’s performance as Saya since I never do hear Tipton play the cold-brooding type before, or at least in a lead role.

FINAL VERDICT: Thankfully, this wasn’t a waste of time as the movie manages to do most things right that the series did wrong although that really isn’t saying much. I think you might have to watch the series to get the movie or just run through the series through spoiler recaps as the Blood-C series isn’t really worth anyone’s time in my opinion. I don’t know whether to say to see the movie since it does follow the series but if you willing to, just read recaps of the series and watch the movie if you’re still interested.

The Last Dark
gets the final grade of

6/10

PLANET TYRO RATING: VANILLA

 

BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK is available on DVD & Blu-ray via FUNimation Entertainment. The movie and series’ (if you really want to) streaming options are available on FUNimation’s EVS Service.

 

And until then, this is MAKassacre 2.0 aka The Blue Horror, bringing all the creepiness and sheer terror in one package.

Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

BLOOD-C: THE LAST DARK – animation by PRODUCTION I.G. / distributed by FUNImation Entertainment

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