5 Most Underappreciated Anime Movies

Featured Image -- 1515

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

tumblr_ncpyejgvL21r2k7uko1_500

cropped-hylights-2-logo.png

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

110914_0041_BIGHERO6or1.jpg

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

110714_1659_AnimeDiscov1.jpg

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

blood-c-the-last-dark-blu-ray-cover-001[1]

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

EXTRA LIFE Stream!!

http://www.twitch.tv/black_gendo/embedWatch live video from Black_gendo on www.twitch.tv

EXTRA LIFE is here!! And we are going at it for 24 hours along with conversation and stuff!!! (Yeah, we might die from this.)

Additional stream: http://www.twitch.tv/fallout48/embedWatch live video from Fallout48 on www.twitch.tv

If you want to donate, go to our Extra Life page right here – http://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.team&teamID=18217

CAUTION: Viewer Discretion is Advised. There is completely uncensored and raw conversation here during the stream.

Anime Discovery II: ANOTHER – #122

71pU2iaKp2L__SL1280_

Another year, another Halloween, another time to scrounge around the horror anime genre and another time to either be shocked or disappointed in a title and guess what the anime in question to review is?

Well, the title of it is a no-brainer but still confusing to say when bringing it up.

When Kōichi Sasakibara transfers to his new school, he can sense something frightening in the atmosphere of his new class, a secret none of them will talk about. At the center is the beautiful girl Mei Misaki. Kōichi is immediately drawn to her mysterious aura, but then he begins to realize that no one else in the class is aware of her presence.

However, there is more to the story than that as a legend in Yomi North Middle School in 1973 that a student named Misaki died and now in 1998 (where the show placed itself in time), his ghost haunts the school and rumors of a cause have begun to rise as classmates start dying left and right and how can this be stopped?

I was a bit skeptical about the show at first but hearing the overall mystery of the show gotten me intrigued and for the most part, they have done an excellent job on that aspect as everything about the class and the recent murders but when it gets towards the end, it hesitates for a bit as just went into a perplexing yet lackluster mess. The show does leave you wondering about those unanswered questions although it’s likely that you will never, ever, ever get the answer to them. Also 12 episodes for the whole series are adequately paced and never the feeling of it being too short or too long came into mind.

Oh, for the characters…..let’s face it, most of them are going to die anyway so for them to try some character development for most of them would be a waste of time as they are basically standard character types from Mei being the stoic, doll-like, silent character to Koichi being that guy who could be the root of the problem and sees everyone dying in a really fucked-up way.

Did I forget to mention that the characters die in many ways from something as simple as a heart attack to more brutal ways like having an umbrella stab you in the neck or crushed by a broken elevator? (Yeah, I’m not saying what character got those deaths as that’s for you to find out.) Yeah, now I need to make sure the elevator in my college won’t break and it only has 2 floors. Some deaths are plausible while some just seems a bit too cartoony and out-of-the-blue….so like death itself.

Animation-wise, the visuals were mildly gorgeous done by famed animation studio P.A. Works and you do notice their standard animation visual style, as in very vibrant and colorful but with blood and gore this time around.

Musically, the opening theme “Nightmare Contagion” by ALI Project has their usual flair of theme songs in an anime being fast-paced and ominous especially for this show particular. “Anamnesis” by Annabel is more of a different contrast than the opening but I think that it’s actually a good way to end an episode after experiencing the intensity of what just happened before. The musical score for the series is decent at best, capturing some of the horrifying moments on key.

As for the English dub by Sentai Filmworks, it was satisfactory. Not too many good parts but never any horrible parts as some of the performances are pretty much type-casted with Greg Ayres as Koichi and Monica Rial as Mei but those two brought a good performance out of themselves. The rest of the cast was either forgetful or were mostly flat and stilted in some of their scenes.

FINAL VERDICT: Another does its premise justice and you want to know more about the mysteries behind it and it is very well-executed throughout but midway, you are going to wonder what the hell is going on. It does have the typical trimmings of anything horror-related in an anime, although I’m not sure why a beach episode is on there. (Cause ANIME, now SHUT UP!!) I could see myself telling people about this, but I would say to stream it first than buying it.

So would I give this a good or another bad grade? I would give it ….

7.5/10 – High OK.

 

ANOTHER is available on DVD & Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks. Streaming options are available on Crunchyroll, Hulu & The Anime Network.

Oh, and here’s a little treat for some of you.

ALSO…SPOILERS!!!!!


 

Until then, I’m MAKasscre 2.0. AKA The Blue HORROR and……make sure to not die when you walk outside.

 

ANOTHER – animated by P.A. WORKS / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS

31 Days of Horror: PET SHOP OF HORRORS

Featured Image -- 1459

Mark King:

I do another anime review for Another Castle’s 31 Days of Horror event and it is on PET SHOP OF HORRORS!

Originally posted on Another Castle:

It’s been said that a pet can cheer you up whenever you’re feeling depressed or down. If you happen upon one of Count D’s pets from Pet Shop of Horrors, though, just make sure you don’t get too attached. Originally aired in March 1999, Pet Shop of Horrorsis an anime miniseries based on the manga series by Matsuri Akino and animated by studio Madhouse. 15 years after the series release, the 4-episode miniseries maintains its original allure through clever storytelling and character development, while still being creepy as hell.

Story

A pet shop owner by the name of Count D sells unlikely pets to people who want something a little more out of the ordinary, typically following a personal tragedy. However, in order to obtain one of Count D’s oddities, a contract stating the pet shop can’t be held responsible for any unfortunate incidents that may come. Soon, homicide detective Leon Orcot begins linking several odd…

View original 211 more words

AURA FACTION: Story 5 / Lost BETWEEN the Isles

Aura Faction Story 5

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

Panic ensues at the Hybrid Society as humans were rampaging all around town, causing havoc and killing Hybrids and allies all over the city.

Many in the Faction struggled to survive the whole ordeal with one unfortunate exception…….

…….as in Sayuri and Sei ran into some trouble with this hustler named Willis Lam as him and his gang kidnapped Sayuri and let Sei to die in an underground explosion. She was hospitalized and Sayuri is on her way to be sold as a sex slave.

 

And now…..

 

“SOLD!?!?” Sayuri screamed at him as she’s tied to a bed.

“Yes, my dear woman.” Lam said to her, “Sold as in somebody wants to buy you to do whatever the fuck they want with you. Well, actually, we know what they want to do with you.”

She screamed at that as she tried to yank the rope but it wouldn’t budge. They knew she would try and do something like this and so they brought something to inject inside her to shut her up. “Hey, HEY, bitch!!” Then Lam slapped her across the face. “Look, when your friend couldn’t pay for that gas—“

“BULLSHIT!!! We didn’t take it!!!” Sayuri said but then she was slapped again.

“Either way, you belong to us now and your friend isn’t gonna save you this time. Hell, we made sure your friend didn’t make it out alive of that explosion.” He said, “As far as I’m concerned, the bitch is probably dead now!!”

“FUCK YOU!!” Sayuri shouted and spat on him, “You don’t know shit!! Sei made it out on more dangerous shit than this. She’s gonna find me and when she does, she is gonna kick your slimy ass and your asshole gang!!” Then Lam grabbed her by the throat, ease into her face and said to her, “Oh, I see you’re not gonna comply to us, aren’t you? You know, that sassy-ass mouth is not always going to save you!!” Then he punched her right in the stomach and before he left the room, they brought in someone in with a bag over their head as they are a captor themselves. “Here’s a friend to keep you company as, you’re going to be somebody’s new fuck toy after tonight!! Enjoy your company!!!” As he evilly laughs out of the room and they removed the bag from her head and it turned out to be somebody that the Faction knew for a short time. “Wait…….I think I recognize you. You’re that girl my friends rescued…..NANA?”

As she turned to Sayuri and sees a scar on her right side of her face and tears was coming down her face. “Help.”

AuraFaction5 Draft

In the hospital, there lies Sei in a bed with nothing but a hospital gown with bruises. Her signs show that she is responsive and breathing but suffer from shell shock from the explosion. As soon as the others (them being Jin, Jiro, Cyan, Seiki, Leon, Hybrid X & Miki) heard about what happened to her, they rushed to see where she’s being admitted at.

“Excuse me?” Jin asked the administrator. “We’re looking for a Sei Goto. Has she been check in here?”

“Are you any relation to her? A family member?”

“Well, I—“

“Excuse you, Ohi. I’ll do it.” Hybrid X said as he approached the desk. “Excuse me, miss. We are the Faction, a top agency all around the globe and one of our local agents has checked in here and we need to see how she’s doing ASAP.” The administrator then checked the room number for them, “She’s in Room 244. Second floor to your right.”

“Thank you, miss.” He said and then looked at Jin, “Yeah, we got it.”

 

They went into Sei’s room and she hasn’t woken up yet.

“Oh, shit……..Sei is all sorts of fucked up,” Seiki said, “You think she’ll be able to pull through?”

“Argento!” Jin said to her, “Look, I’ve known Goto all my life. I know in a minute or so, she’s gonna pull through. She has survived worse things than this.”

“But what’s worse than being caught in the middle of an underground explosion?” Leon asked. Then immediately Sei woke up screaming and panicking like she was still underground while Cyan and Seiki tried to calm her down. “Sei! Sei! Calm down!! It’s just us!! You’re safe right here in this hospital.”

Sei kept panting in stress as she was coming to the realization that Sayuri has been kidnapped and that’s when tears came coming down her face as she went from screaming to crying. “Sayuri…….I was an idiot. I WAS A FUCKING IDIOT!! I didn’t……..I didn’t…..”

“I thought we were in the clear. I was gonna keep her safe and I had it planned out but….” Sei took a pause and bury her head in shame. “Why did we have to run across that guy?”

“What guy?” Jiro asked. She then sighed and said his name, “Willis Lam.”

“Willis Lam!?” X said to them, “Oh, god….if he has her, then chances are that Sayuri’s chance of survival is slim to none. Lam is not only a known hustler but a pimp and abuser as well since he’s into the Hybrid/Human sex trafficking business.”

“Jin, Jiro.” Sei said as she struggled to get up. “Let me be the one to bring him down. I’m going after them and when I see Lam’s face, he’ll pay for kidnapping her.”

“Are you serious?” X questioned her sanity. “Goto, you’re a fucking mess. Besides, they might recognize you and that could give them more incentive to off Sayuri. I know she and you are very close and that’s the reason why I CAN’T LET YOU IN THIS!!”

“I’m not asking your permission for this. I’M TELLING YOU!! If they hurt Sayuri, I’m gonna–” Sei screamed at him.

“You got no authority over Hybrid X or your superiors!!” Miki said to her, “Miss Goto, let the other agents deal with this. You are in too deep in this.”

 

“With all due respect, Miss Maeda, I really don’t give a shit about what you got to say to me right now. If you excuse me—“ Then Miki got Sei’s arm in a tight arm and this is an injured arm meaning it’ll hurt more than before. “Look, you did this to yourself, acting like a damn cowboy out there and at what costs? Sayuri ending up sold to some strange guy only to have her blowing or riding him!!”

“SHUT UP!!!!” She screamed at Miki. “WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT SHIT!! Jin and Jiro are right there and you don’t even give a damn to consider their feelings.”

“Sei,” Jiro said, “We exactly don’t wholly agree to what Miki is saying but she was right about you acting like a cowboy. Jin and I know that you really care about Sayuri and you would do anything to save her but now it’s not in our hands anymore.”

Then Jin said to her, “I also think it would be best if we listen to Hybrid X right now.” As she leaves the room, the look on her face is discouraging and unsure as she wasn’t exactly agreeing with this. Everyone except Cyan, Seiki & Leon left the room as the three of them helped Sei get back into the bed.

“Yeah….I’m starting to like that Miki girl even less than before. Maybe even more or equal to Hybrid X.” Seiki said. “I know I wasn’t there when that shit happened to you but I’m sure it wasn’t your fault.”

“It was.” Sei said, “I thought I had a good plan on escaping from the riots….I just—“

Then Seiki then said to her, “LOOK!! I never thought I would say this to you of all people but that shit wasn’t entirely your fault. I never seen you like this before!”

“Argento, it takes a lot to break me and me losing Sayuri was a big one.” Sei said.

Cyan stepped in and said to her, “Sei, I know at first we haven’t been on terms as much but a few days ago, you did told me that you can’t let all those bad experiences get the best of you. Remember?”

“True.” Sei said, “And I admit, I was pissed off at you when I thought you assumed I was some emotionless Robocop.”

“OK, I’m sorry about that and I was wrong for saying that. You show that you really care for Sayuri like she was your own sister and how you would do anything to save her and that really shown me a level of respect for you.” Then Cyan grabbed Sei’s clothes and her gun and handed them to her, “So, you think you’re up for it?”

Soon, Sei’s sad look was turning into a smirk, “You know what? You’re right. I’m not gonna let this shit defeat me!! I will save Sayuri. I’M GONNA RESCUE HER WITH OR WITHOUT THE FACTION’S HELP!!”

“See there? That’s the old you talking.” Seiki said.

“YES!! And I—OOOWWW!!! Fuck! I forgot that I’m still partly injured from that explosion and also I need some help from the three of you.” She told Seiki to keep watch for any visitors coming in her room and that she wanted Leon and Cyan to infiltrate Lam’s apartment buildings down in McAllister. They’re thinking of a sure-way plan to get her out of there.


 

Back at the Apartment buildings, we see Nana and Sayuri in a room together and Nana trying to figure out what’s going on. “WH-WHA- What happened? I barely remember how I got in here.”

“I think I did.” Sayuri said. “They chloroformed me, dragged me here and chained me in nothing but a T-Shirt and panties on.”

“Well, at least that didn’t happen to me.” Nana said. “Yet.” As Sayuri finished that sentence for her.

“Sorry. I’m not actually hopeful here.” She said to her.

“I can’t believe I’m in the exact situation again.” Nana said, “It feels like yesterday this all happened.”

“Um…Nana, how did you get here in the first place?” Sayuri asked her.

“Some guys broke into my apartment those Faction guys got me in hiding. I don’t know how they got in here but it seems like I’m not safe anywhere, especially since…….” She took a pause at that since bringing up Psymon, the friend that got killed her, brought back that memory of him being gunned down. “What about you?”

“Me and a friend tried to escape through underground but obviously that didn’t work.” Sayuri said worryingly, “I really hope Sei is still alive.”

“The question will we still be alive after some guy is gonna buy us?” Nana said, “And I really don’t want that to happen.”

Meanwhile in the other room, Lam is in the room with some of his hired thugs and a few buyers for the girls, especially one familiar face. “Really? Why do you care about that other girl we got in there? Especially since we found out that girl is part of that Faction group that’s on your and our asses?”

“Let’s just say that girl owes me something big time.” And it was revealed that Coren Ramsey is one of those buyers. “And believe me, I got unfinished business with that girl.”

“Well…..” Lam said awkwardly like he was more weirded out by that, “If you say so, then I’ll get you that pink-haired girl. You sure you don’t want the other one?” Ramsey gave a quick thought on that and said, “Well…ah, the hell with it, I’ll buy her, too.”

“Excellent.” Lam said.

“And I’ll throw in some extra cash since you did had a loss in your family. Once again, my condolences to you and your brother.” Ramsey said to him. “They really shouldn’t have happen to him, especially in prison.”

“Yeah, I can’t believe my dumbass brother got himself killed in there.” Lam said.


 

Meanwhile, Sei was getting ready to raid on the Lam apartment buildings by masquerading both Leon and Cyan as potential buyers but with Cyan, they had to dress her up as a male, meaning they had to get everything from a fake mustache, fake beard, a fake penis and to compress and seal her breasts to make sure that she was a man (that and losing the bra helps, too) while Seiki is making sure that the other guys aren’t on their tale as Sei does this behind their backs.

“You think they’ll buy me as a guy?” Cyan said in the car dressed as a male gangster with Leon and Sei as they are riding down to find Lam’s apartment. Leon then said to her, “Hopefully, they’ll notice that fake penis we put on you and the fact we had to suppress your breasts.”

“That and this beard is fucking itchy. How do guys like this shit?” she asked, “It feels like grass is growing on my face.”

“Cyan, the beard is a way to distinguish yourself as an adult man. Something about it makes you feel manly inside even.” Leon said to her, “Hell, I started to get more respect when mine came in.”

“OK, you two.” Sei said to them, “Now all you have to do is go in there, be interested in buying some girls to take home and make sure you pick Sayuri, outbid whoever tries to get her and make sure she comes out of there unharmed.” As she hands them a briefcase of $5 million in cash. “Now I got this from the evidence locker back at the Faction as bait but don’t bet it all unless you really had to.” “Gotcha.” Cyan and Leon said as they exited out of the car but Sei grabbed Cyan at the last minute to tell her, “Cyan, please…….please get Sayuri out of there safely.”

“Sei, we will get her out of there.” Cyan said, “You can count on us.” As she went ahead with Leon and Sei is whispering to herself, “Sayuri…..please still be alive.”

“Hey, was Sei alright, back there?” Leon asked, “She seemed tenser than she usually is.”

“I don’t blame her.” Cyan said, “In her eyes, Sayuri is like family to her and I can tell that if something were to happen, she would go ballistic. Believe me, I know the feeling.” They soon got inside there and the first thing they notice that it was surrounded by goons everywhere and that almost makes it impossible to sneak in as not even a fly on the wall could get in there undetected. “Hey!!!” one of them stopped Leon and Cyan at the door.

“What’s your reason for being here?”

Leon said to them, “We just here to buy some hoes, man. That’s all.”

“Nigga, that’s what they all say. You got hoe-buying money, man?”

“Oh, we—“ Cyan said but she then forget to disguise her voice and she quickly recovers with her gruffly sounding voice, “I mean, hell yeah, we got some fuckin’ money right here, man!!” As she proudly showed them the briefcase. “All day, e’ery day, motherfucker!!” As she sells the tough guy gangster act a bit too seriously.

“Well, my niggas, you can come on in and browse around our selection of women we got in store.” They looked around and around for her and they saw a bunch of girls, either from broken-down girls with homelessness etiquette, scared women who seemed to flinch whenever someone approached them or self-defensive since most of them got beaten up in there and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

They were a few customers just thirsty for some ladies and Sayuri and Nana were not looking hopeful at the possible outcome, especially with who shows up the next minute.

“Evening, gentlemen!!” Ramsey bellowed across the room. “And to you, too, ladies!” That he said with a devilish grin. With fear in her eyes and body, Nana proceeded to hide behind Sayuri from him. She kept saying, “Oh no, please no!!” silently as she has a very intense fear of him and part of the reason why she’s been hunted down recently. However, Ramsey might’ve heard that from afar. “Oh, what do we have here!!!!” he shouted.

“It seems you got caught in something again. Am I right, Miss Maizumi? Well, it’s different this time since you don’t have anyone to fight for you……or for you to suck their di—“

“Hey, lay off her!!!!” Sayuri screamed at him. “What kind of a man are you picking on her like that?”

“Oh, I see we got a little badass over there.” Ramsey said.

“Ramsey, that’s the Faction bitch….at least their mascot or something.” Lam said to him and that led to Ramsey saying, “Oh, you must be the runt of the Matsuda siblings. I guess big bro and sis couldn’t help you either since…..well, you’re here on your lonesome.” As most of the people took notice of the argument, Leon and Cyan tried to went closer to Ramsey and see who was he harassing.

“You know what? I WANNA START THE BIDDING NOW!!” Ramsey said, “Especially with those girls right there. Oh…..you two are going to make a nice addition to my surroundings.”

“OK, who the fuck is he talking to?” Leon said to her as he went to get a clear view of what’s going on. “Hey, Cyan…..I see Sayuri right over there and I see some other girl with her hiding from her and…….oh shit.”

“What?” Cyan said.

“Remember that girl you and your crew went to rescue?” he said.

“Oh no…..don’t tell me?”

“Yep, her ass is in here, too. So we need to save both of them and I hope we got enough money for that.” Leon said.

Sei went ahead to call them on their phone. “Any news? You found Sayuri?”

“Sei, good news is that we found her in there.” Cyan said to her, “She hasn’t been sold to anyone yet.”

“Oh, thank God.” As Sei sounds relieved to hear that. “Well, we gave you enough money to ‘buy’ her and we—“

“Well, here’s a problem of that.” Cyan said. “Nana, the girl we rescued before, is also involved in this and Ramsey is looking to buy the both of them and I think he might be loaded with cash.”

“Look…..if he bids on both of those girls, outbid him and if…..and I mean if he finds out about them, I will storm in there and take care of this myself and if that happens, the two of you grab Sayuri and Nana and disappear fast!!” Then she hangs up her call and went to her glove counterpart to get her handgun and cock it in case someone were to get the drop on her, although that might happen in about….1 second.

Someone bangs on the window and that startles Sei got a bit as she grabbed her gun.

“WANT SOME CRACK!!!” some girl was shouting at her.

“The fuck!?!” Sei screamed at her, “WILL YOU GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!”

“Hey, lady, the fuck you doing in that car? You playing with yourself?” she shouted but then Sei got out of the car with her gun aimed at her, “If YOU DON’T GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, I PUT THE GODDAMN BULLET BETWEEN YOUR EYES!!” Then her cellphone rings and it was Seiki calling her.

“Argento, what do you want?” Sei said.

“OK…….That’s a hostile way to answer the phone.” Seiki said.

“Um, you got any reason to call me right here right now?” Sei asked her.

“Well, the rest of the guys are about to check up on you in your room and guess what? You’re not there!! And if you aren’t there, my ass is gonna get fried for it!!” Seiki said to her, “And believe me, if X or that bitch Miki yells at me, I’ll throttle the fuck out of them.”

“Look, just stall them in any way you can and keep them out of that room!!!” Sei said, “Got it?”

“All right, all right, all right.” Seiki said, “Just……make sure you, Sayuri and Cyan come back safe.”

“Thank you, Seiki.” She said as she hung up.


 

“What is with this guy and you? Does he have a personal vendetta against you specifically?” Sayuri asked. “It might as well be,” Nana said, “That and also Psymon was actually investigating him and his organization while protecting me at the same time.”

“Oh……but didn’t him and his friends used Red Mist smoke bombs?”

“It was a cover for him to steal some files of his and transfer them to the Faction agencies.”

“But here’s another question. Why did Ramsey hint the fact that you and him were……well, you know?” However, Nana chose to remain silent on that but the blushed look on her face has gotten Sayuri questioning it for a millisecond. “Wait!! You and Psymon—“

“Look, we did it only once.” Nana said, but the look of her face and twitching eye indicated that it wasn’t just once. “FINE!!! We had sex more than once and……I was the one that made the first move and the rest is history.”

The bidding was about to begin and Leon and Cyan are up and ready to outbid anyone for Sayuri and Nana. Lam brought out his little gavel and stand to do his little auctioneer act. “OK, fellas, you know the rules of the game. Make sure your ass actually have the money on you and if you don’t, my guards won’t hesitate to throw you out on your ass.”

And soon the bids begin at $1000 and many people are betting wildly up to $10,000 to 20,000 and there were a lot going up for them but both Leon and Cyan kept it going by betting higher and higher until a few of the bidders dropped out and call it quits. Both of them and Ramsey kept betting for the highest bid until that were reaching for almost $900,000 and Ramsey has just bid over $1,000,000 for both of the girls.

“Well…….you got any more ammo for me, bruh?” Leon said.

“You really got nothing else for us, dude.” Cyan said to her.

“Oh, really?” he said to them. “2 MILLION FOR THE GIRLS ALL OR NOTHING!!!!” As he laughed and boasted to them. “Oh, I got nothing, huh? $2,000,000 doesn’t sound like nothing? It definitely sounds like I just kicked your ass in this.”

“Well, unless you got something more than 2 Mil, Ramsey gets those girls.” Lam said, “And it looks like you about to run out of mon—“

“4 MILLION!!” Cyan screamed at them. “For both of those girls!!!”

“Hot damn!! $4,000,000? SOLD to those two eager gentlemen!!” Lam said.

“WHAT!?!?” Ramsey screamed out. “Sorry, Ramsey, you got to admit that those 2 guys outbid you good. Now I think you two gentlemen needs to get acquainted with their new girls. Excuse ourselves, boys.” They soon left the room but Sayuri and Nana were still less thrilled about being sold and they were getting very defensive.

“OK, look. While I’m not being sold to Ramsey, you fuckers better not try some creepy shit on—“ However, before Sayuri can finish her sentence and defending herself and Nana, Cyan took off the fake beard and reveal that it was her and Leon that outbid Ramsey.

Nana gasped at them and said, “Wait, you’re that girl who saved me before!!! You’ve come to rescue us!! Oh, thank you!!” As she jumped on Cyan and kissed her a lot for saving her and thanking her over and over and over again. “Wait…..it’s just you two guys here?” Sayuri asked them.

“Where’s Sei? Is she still alive?”

Leon then said to her, “Yes, she is but she did get badly injured during that explosion. She’s been a lookout for us since we had to sneak her from the hospital.”


 

However, Sei is limping her way at the building undetected and as soon as she was about to enter, the phone rang and it was Seiki at the phone. “Argento, not now, we’re about to—“

“Listen, I got no time to argue with you as they are gonna pull a raid down where you at.” Seiki said to her. “WHAT!?” she screamed at her, “A raid? You mean just shoot and blow the place up? Even though they got lots of innocent women down there?”

“From hearing about it, it’s gonna be a massive one and all of you need to escape out of there clean where Lam, Ramsey and/or X won’t find you.” She said to her. “It could be a matter of minutes.” Sei didn’t respond to that as there’s someone pointing a gun at her and they grabbed the phone from her while Seiki is waiting for her to say something. “Sei? Sei? You there? Sei, the fuck? Are you there?”

“Miss Goto is not here right now. She’s pre-occupied with something.” Then they went and smashed the phone and knocked her out, dragging her inside the building. Meanwhile, as Leon and Cyan plan to escape with Sayuri and Nana, Lam showed up at the window and shoots it, having his boys strapped to the toe and aiming it at everyone in there. “So…..you really thought you was going to trick my ass? Really? Mr. Leon Garret of the Faction?” As he slapped him but luckily for Leon, he turned into metal so he’ll feel the pain of it. “OK, smart-ass. Just for that, I’m gonna kill you first.” Then tried to knock him out again, but still forgot he’s part metal.

“Fine!!! I wouldn’t kill you yet but I bet you stop fucking around if I aimed this gun at one of these ladies and yes, I mean, you too with the fake beard and mustache.” As Lam pointed his gun at Cyan then the guys dragged Sei in the center, broken arm and all.

“Sei!!”

“SAYURI!!” then she gets knocked down again. “GET THE FUCK OFF ME, YOU BASTARDS!!” But Lam grabbed a shotgun and got it aiming at Sayuri’s head, “Now……you better not try and make any sudden moves or your little friend is gonna have her head missing from her body and the same goes to this one, too.” As he was pointing at Nana, too. Then all of a sudden, the lights goes off and flickering as Sei struggled to get up and grab a knife and threw it at Lam’s arm as Sayuri knees him in the crotch, grabs Nana and makes a run for it.

However, he got three of his men to chase them while the others deal with Sei, Cyan & Leon.

Sei stood up with her one arm as a guy came running with an axe and she began to lead him on into a sturdy stairway and as she sees a ladder to an attic, she grabbed it and swing on it, duck and knocked out one of them. One guy was pulled out a gun and began shooting at her but he kept missing and hitting mostly the walls and some drunk guy in the arm to the right. “OWW!! You gangbanging wannabe-motherfucker!!” Then Sei grabbed a handgun and then shot him in the junk, although she wasn’t really aiming at it in the first place. “OHH! You bitch!” Then she shot him dead to end his suffering. She is still being chased by Lam and his goons while chasing the girls.

Meanwhile, Leon and Cyan was fending off the rest of them with Cyan duck and dodging attacks from a guy with a whipping chain. “AIIEEE!! I get the guy with the whip? What kind of shit is this?” and Leon’s metal power was waning down and he had to save it for when he needs it, which meant those guys brought a lot of pool cue sticks and was beating him harshly with it. “At least you don’t have a stick up your ass.”

“Come on, you bitch!!!” One shouted at Cyan as he readies his whip and went to strike at her. However, she kept evading the hits as she grabbed a machine gun. “Fuck you!! Fuck you!!” he kept shouting out curses at them while firing from a handgun he got with him, thinking it might give him more power but all it did with made him look like a moron and eventually as he ran out of bullets, Cyan shot him point blank in the head.

“OK, fuck it.” Leon said, “I’m using it now.” He then transformed into his Hybrid mode and knocked a guy with his metallic fist. Some other guys tried to get the jump on him and overpower him but he easily threw them off, even as much as nailing one guy to the wall. “OK……didn’t really expect that to happen.” He went over to Cyan, who was busy pistol-whipping one goon until he was bleeding. “OW!!! DAMN!! Shit, bitch!! OW!!” But then Cyan’s cellphone rang, she answered it and it was Seiki.

“GUYS!!! GUYS!! YOU THERE!!” Seiki screamed at them.

“Yeah. We’re kinda in the middle of fighting these guys and getting the hell out of here.” Cyan said.

“WHAT DO YOU THINK I WAS CALLING YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE!? X has placed a raid where you’re at. They are going to shoot up and bomb the whole place without hesitation. I called Sei about it earlier but I think she—“

“Yeah, we know.” Leon said, “They caught us and now Sayuri and Nana are on the run from Lam and Sei is catching him down and—“

“Wait, wait, wait….that girl Nana is involved in this, too?” Seiki said, “Look, you got about 15 minutes before that come, maybe even shorter. Point is, you gotta get the hell out of there! FAST!!!” Seiki then hung up the phone.


 

For the time being, Sei is busy lurking throughout the building looking for Lam and he was still looking for the girls. “Hey!! I promise that if I ever find your asses, I won’t beat the living shit out of you…..much.” And Sei actually did heard that through the echoes/acoustics of the building. “Lam, you do one thing to those girls, I’m gonna shoot you right in your balls and they will hurt…..very much.” That might have to wait since two of his goons found her first and begun shooting at her right away so she ducked and covered herself from the gunshots and she went into her Hybrid phase, forming a black diamond skin cover on her where she can blend in the darkness of the room and deflect any harm from them.

She punched one in the dark while trying to shoot her and she used him as a shield against the other guys while they were busy shooting up a storm. However, they just shot their own guy and even they seemed dumbfounded by that. Eventually, Sei grabs his machine gun, shoots one of them in the chest and another one in the head.

More guys came running in and this time they decided to go with their fists than guns and for half of that time, it didn’t work since Sei just shoots most of them. “Damn it, out of bullets.” She throws the gun at them and she head-butted one of them with her diamond head, causing his head to bleed a bit. One guy choked her from behind while another one used a brick to beat her with a brick on a rope but she threw the choking guy in the crowd and pulled the guy with the rope and started to beat him with his own brick, even so to bashing and bludgeoning his head with it.

“The fuck? Is that bitch crazy?!”

“WHO GIVES A FUCK!!! JUST FUCKING END HER!!” one guy said as he charged at her but then as that happened, part of the floor cracked as his foot is stuck and as the wood cracks some down, it began to come down as a whole, taking him down along with some other red shirts.

 

Sayuri and Nana are still hiding from Lam and it looks like he’s getting close to them.

“Hey!!” he screamed out while holding a shotgun. “YOU 2 BITCHES ARE GETTING ON MY LAST NERVE!!” As he just shoots up the place in his havoc mode and getting more furious every last second. “YOU GOT ONE MORE CHANCE TO GIVE UP!!! IF NOT, I’M JUST GONNA SHOOT BOTH OF YOU DEAD!!”

Just as Lam went to reload, he sees them in front of them and quickly went to take a shot at them but he was a bit off as he missed and they kept running but he grabbed Nana and took out a switchblade. “HA!! I got one bitch!! Now you! You cause me a lot of fucked up shit to happen over the last few hours!! If you don’t comply, I’m gonna cut this bitch and maybe she’ll see that boy she fucked in the afterlife!”

“SAYURI!!! PLEASE, HELP ME!!!” Nana screamed. “Shut up, bitch!!!” he said while he punched her in the stomach. “Now, you got a choice. Make it wise.” As soon as he said that, something in the dark shadows was lurking onto him and as it went creeping, Lam was stabbed in the shoulder as Nana kneed him in the groin and ran fast as she could and as it turns out, it was Sei lurking in the shadows.

“You….motherfucker…..you are really going to get your ass kicked.” Sei said to him.

“Oh, honey, we are beyond words at this point and just so you know, as soon as I kick your ass, I’m still going after your friends and I will kill them and I’m making you watch.” She threw the first punch at him and made him bleed on his lip. “Pretty sneaky, huh, bitch?” Then he grabbed her broken arm and break it some more, throwing her against the wall. As Lam pulls out a knife, Sei drop-kick him and snatches the knife with her good arm and used it to stab him in the shoulder.

“OWWWW!!!” he screamed out and then she said to him, “I got one arm down and you about to know the same damn feeling!!” She got her brick-rope and swung it at his face and completely injured his right arm. “FUCK!! MY ARM!!!” Now he’s really getting pissed off from her and proceeds to straight-up attacking her from punching her to throwing her downward to the next floor and he went to finish the job but she kept a good grip on a stair rail as she pulled Lam with her to fall and he was the first to impact her fall.

Both were in pretty bad shape as Sei was limping her way to a gun she saw while falling down but then Lam pulled her from that gun as he went to get it but Sei stabbed him in the leg, dragging him further away from it but he kept putting the pressure pain in her arm that she couldn’t take it anymore and that’s when he grabbed the gun.

“HA!! You know what? I’m just about sick of your ass that I’m gonna shoot you right here right now! Besides, you die knowing you fail to save your friend is more satisfying as I think about it.” He cocked the gun and is about to pull the trigger……but the gun is empty. There are no bullets inside them. “The fuck? No bullets? SON OF A BITCH!!” He threw the gun in anger but as he did, there was one bullet left in there and it went and ricochet everywhere, shooting himself in the kneecap. He screamed mercilessly as he was bleeding and crying for help and cursing at the world. “WHY ME!! WHY!!! FUCK!!! OH GOD, this pain is killing me!!!” We then see Leon and Cyan coming down to help Sei and she is still struggling with her arm and everything else. “Sei, you alright?” Cyan asked her.

“Damn, we really need to take you back to the hospital.” Leon said.

“Well, hello to you, too, Leon. But where’s Sayuri and Nana?” Sei asked.

“They’re right behind us.” She said. “We just need to get out of here. We got about….2 minutes until X and his raid crew show up. We need to jet outta here NOW!”

“HEY!!!” Lam said screaming at them, “What about me, you fucks!!”

“Well, what about you?” All three said as Sei, Cyan and Leon all grab their handguns, cocked it, aimed directly at him, and they easily shoot him cold dead, even so much to putting a bullet in his eye. They hear the sirens coming closer and they needed to make a getaway out of there before it began.


 

A swarm of Hybrid officers have the place surrounded and were looking for hostages or anyone to shoot at. Luckily, the latter didn’t happen as most of the shooters are merely dead and they found the girls somewhere and had all of them escorted into a women’s shelter at downtown McAllister.

Before Sayuri and Nana go to them to ensure that they are all right, Leon said this to them, “OK, when they ask you about how they got killed, tell them that the gunfight was too intense for you to remember a familiar face.”

“That and Sei wasn’t really supposed to be here.” Cyan said. “We should get her back to the hospital before anyone notices.”

“Wait!!” Sei said as she’s resting. “Do you mind if I talk to Sayuri before she goes to the Faction?”

“All right.” Cyan said without hesitation, “But you got about 3 minutes.”

Sei walked up to Sayuri, and the first thing she do is hugged her like she has never hugged anybody before. “Sayuri…..I’m so glad you’re safe. I should’ve done more to protect you. I’m so sorry that I……I….” She said as tears was coming down her face. “I really fucked up things, have I?” Sayuri wiped the tears from Sei’s face and said to her, “Sei, you’ve done nothing wrong or irredeemable here. You tried to save me and even though the first time was a bust, you did it in the end with some help along the way. I really appreciate that and the fact that even though you’re in need of a hospital again that you went your way to save me.” Then she hugged Sei back and kissed her on the forehead.

“But for real, you do need to get back to the hospital. I think you might be bleeding again.” She also said to her. “

“Yeah, maybe I do….oh shit, Leon?” Sei said.

“Yeah?”

“Please catch me.” As she falls down from light-headedness. “She’s gonna be alright, isn’t she?” Nana asked them.

“Hopefully…..” Cyan and Leon said to them. Soon, they left on their way to the hospital as Sayuri and Nana went to see the Faction to tell them about what happened in there. In a short minute, she sees Jin and Jiro arriving on the scene and they were relieved and happy to see her alive and kicking and both siblings also shared an emotional moment with her as well.

Meanwhile, one of the coroners reported the dead body of Willis Lam and as they identified his body, one of them called someone on their cell phone. “Yeah, Ramsey? That guy is straight-up dead all right. At least you didn’t get someone to kill him this time and now he’ll never know you killed his brother in prison.”

“That is such a shame. For him, anyway.”

“And you aren’t pissed about that girl out of your clutches?”

“Actually, that girl isn’t worth shit to me anymore. I got bigger fish to fry than them and let’s just say that someone’s aura is about to get disturbed in a matter of days.”


 

NEXT TIME

“We really could use your help for this.”

“I want us to move in together.”

“I GOT SUSPENDED FOR A WEEK!!!”

“Who the fuck are you and what are you doing here? And give me a reason to not kill you?”

“Excuse me, what the hell is going on here?”

“YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO US ANYMORE!!!”

“So…..the two stars of the Faction are fucking each other?”

“Why is a wolf hybrid like you doing fooling around with a panda hybrid like her?”

“ARRESTED!?!?”

“Oh fuck!! Those memories!! That pain!! My hand!!”

Confidante Confidential

© 2014 Studio Katana / K2 & The Faction Project