Hi I'm Dranzerstorm
You may remember me as a regular contestant on the caption battle contest.
Welcome to Retro Retrospective, my world dedicated to the old guard of the Otaku world; expect some reviews of the old & obscure, and in-depth geeky knowledge with the occasional top ten and I now have a logo.

Little info about me
Well I'm British and I'm in to all things animated and nostalgia.
I've grown up with every cartoon going and have watched hundreds of anime.
Oh and to answer a question I was asked once, no I don't wear glasses in real life, I would wear Loke's sunglasses though.

eX-Driver Review

One more review just to close out

In the not to distant future, no one drives anymore, the concept of physical driving is obsolete as every other car is automated A.I, however the technology proves unreliable as the A.I frequently goes out of control leading to runaway cars. Enter the Ex-Drivers, a group of capable drivers who pilot famous sports cars in an attempt to stop runaway vehicles, our team consists of capable teens Lorna Endo, Lisa Sakakino and the even younger pre-teen Soichi Sugano.
The concept of this anime is fantastic and has now become more relevant as Google starts introducing driverless cars for general use so a story like this needs a comeback as this anime is a good 17 years old, sadly as this was created by Kosuke Fujishima it plays a little too safe like previous works Oh My Goddess and You're Under Arrest, but it does mean guaranteed maticulous accuracy in vehicle design such as the Caterham Super 7 and Lotus Europa along with the Lancia Stratos but this series does suffer by the fact that all three main characters would not pass a real life driving test due to age. I'm not saying this because I watched all the Fast and Furious movies, nor is it because Riding Bean is one of my top ten favorite anime, but the plot is equal to a big blockbuster movie and having kids do it reeks of 4Kids, (yes I know the irony of that statement with the film Baby Driver out in Cinema) not helped with a poorly acted dub and not being able to unhear Soichi's voice which is basically Digimon's Tai.
I hope the movie can at least repair some criticisms and the one off OVA Danger Zone at least gave an impression of a more comedic approach but overall, a great idea hidden by the creator's habit of playing too safe but at least he knows how to draw some beautiful cars.
Final Verdict: Great idea, and has the potential to come back but the cast needs to be older and a lot more action packed, it's not difficult to do and has been proven to work, so give it another go.

Amagi Brilliant Park Review

Another long gap between reviews, like I said before this is going to be common for a while so hopefully I can post when I can.

Amagi Brilliant Park is from the pen of Shoji Gatoh who you probably know from Full Metal Panic and the obvious reference to Bonta Kun, the mascot of his works, so lets see how this pans out.
Seiya Kanie is a former child actor, forcibly dragged to Amagi Brilliant Park Amusement Park by the well endowed Isuzu Sento; the first impression is not great, met with lacklustre rides, broken scenery and disgruntled mascots, disgusted by what he sees and with encouragement from the park's princess, Seiya agrees to turn around the park before it closes registering the quota of guests needed to keep going however the cast members of the park are actually real magic creatures and the stakes are far higher than simply closing.
The series sort of starts without context which is hard to work with but improves dramatically over time with plenty of Gatoh's trademark humor, but not without faults, for one thing there are some moments that are forced and slightly cringeworthy made worst by a mixed dub and I realize that Moffle, the Bonta Kun ripoff is voiced by his previous actor Tiffany Grant but this is the part where sounding like a male is better for the character and again lack of context prevents me from really engaging with the cast as there is no back story to Seiya's childhood days nor is there more info on how Isuzu managed to bring the park to ruin when she was running things with only a fair idea to work with.
On the other hand the episodes are well written and Seiya's egotism actually makes his character work, also the three main mascots are a mixture of former soldier, delinquent and pervert in order of popularity which makes for many fun scenes along with Isuzu's lack of social skills.
Overall this series could be better but the stuff we did get was fun and memorable.
Final Verdict: Needs fine tuning and requires some polish but a decent watch and very amusing.

Paradise Kiss Review

And finally Paradise Kiss.

Yukari is a student hoping to get into college until one day she is scouted by a group of fashionable teenagers to model their dress for the festival. Yukari initially says no but the words of the group's leader George starts to fill Yukari with new possibilities that question why she should be fixated on college.
After more meetings, Yukari agrees to be the model and quickly befriends the group known as Paradise Kiss, but it soon becomes clear that George's influence is changing Yukari's path as she stops going to school, runs away from home and even sleeps and has sex with George which leads into wanting to pursue modelling as an actual career but more hurdles will get in her way as everything leads to the day that she finally wears the dress for Paradise Kiss.
If you ask me ten years ago, would I watch this anime I'd probably say no but now I'm not only interested but I actually like it.
It becomes more evident that Yukari is a rebel waiting for a cause as she really turns off the path that she was on, really getting to grips what teens her age are going through as they finish high school, and that's really when you start having doubts whether or not going to college is really the be all and end all of finding the perfect job and having a successful life. On the other side of the coin you have to really get into George's head to see if he's really giving advice or throwing insults, he's very cryptic but unlike Edgar in Earl and Fairy actually stays that way right to the end.
If there's anything I don't like is that Miwako has too many scenes, her voice is shreiky and irritating so I don't like it much when she's on screen, the dub is a mixed bag but mostly passable.
Final Verdict: Sophisticated in it's writing, stylish in design, clever in it's characters and a fantastic payoff to end on. Paradise Kiss is a great anime and derserves a lot of praise.

Earl and Fairy Review

2nd review and time to go back to Victorian England.

Lydia is no ordinary Doctor, she's a Fairy Doctor, one who can solve problems by interacting with the many creatures inhabiting the mythical realms of the United Kingdom. Think British Yokai Watch with all the class that comes with being British and it's jolly good setting.
Lydia's world is turned upside down when Edgar the Blue Knight Earl enters the frame, in search of a legendary sword that would grant him this title over the Fairy World, however he needs to prove that he is who he really is and Lydia is not really buying into this either but goes along with it as she's the only one who can solve the problems befalling Edgar.
This is a little easier to understand but the series can be an awkward romance cat and mouse game between Lydia and Edgar as they each trade verbal and emotional blows, Lydia starts off as being skeptical and outright rude to falling in love by the end while Edgar starts off being a suave jerk but later becomes a little too needy and harms his character development as a result, it also doesn't resolve itself by the end so the anime doesn't really have much to close with.
The story doesn't always make clear who is really the protagonist either as Paul seems to be more important in the last few episodes rather than Lydia and Edgar as he sort of takes Lydia's job when a Banshee enters the frame.
I do enjoy the setting and the designs are something I'd admire but I can't really invest myself in the story as it can't decide on the tone without doing the love tug-o-war between the protagonists.
No dub but being set in Britain it needed one.
Final Verdict: Likeable in design but not in story, needs alot of unraveling before you get to the really good stuff but I fear that's all in the manga.

DRAMAtical Murder Review

Three reviews in one day. Hooray!!!

Midorijima Island has been privatized and turned into a resort called Platinum Jail, which resembles a theme park crossed with the cyberspace used to make the Digimon World. The old inhabitants live in peace until a game named Rhyme starts brainwashing people and turning them into what I guess are cyber heads since they are addicted to the game, this draws in Aoba whose unusual dual personality seems to be the key to this mystery as gang leaders and other strange odditities become drawn to Aoba as they work out the mystery behind the brainwashing and it's links to Platinum Jail and why Aoba is such a key player.
My first attempt at trying a more sophisticated anime, as I'm trying to dive into newer territories but this wasn't the best start to this campaign; for all it's flashy color palettes DRAMAtical Murder is a mystery that cannot be solved in 12 episodes and needs to be experienced in game form first.
The bits I like are the Allmates, cute little fluffy pets that act as little computers and having the bad endings in the OVA was an inspired touch.
I'm not keen on the dub voice acting, some scenes are a little flat while others needed a bit more edge to them and the series overall is not something I'd consider watching by choice but I don't regret trying it.
Final Verdict: While very colorful and has great ideas it cannot be done in anime form that easily so I suggest playing the game first.