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.

Gosick Review

Time to do what I do best.

In 1920s Europe, Kazuya Kujo, the son of a high ranking member of the Japanese Imperial Army is sent to St Marguerite Academy, a school with a history of mysteries and ghost stories. In the library exists a mysterious blonde girl who spends all day reading books wearing dresses fit for her doll like figure. Upon meeting this girl, Kujo is dragged into the many mysteries that follow the girl named Victorique, but perhaps the biggest mystery maybe Victorique herself and why her mind is so well functioned to be able to solve cases most detectives struggle with?
This is a show that I like, it builds it's mysteries really well, each step is carefully explained and the setting gives it a unique identity among it's contemporaries backed up by a fun cast of characters, Victorique easily being my favourite tsundere.
While the regular mysteries shine, the over arching plot of Victorique can easily cause the immersion to collapse with the villain's ultimate goals being more or less the same as quite a high number of comics, movies and even other anime. It does it better than most as I find it less of an annoyance but after such a good 1st half, I expected something a bit more original.
Dub is pretty good and well cast.
Final Verdict: Gosick is a fantastic mystery series backed up by a gorgeous early 20th century European setting, and I wouldn't feel too put off by the second half as there is a sequel, even if the second half is something you've seen many times before.

Red Photon Zillion Review

Now let's look at an Anime based on a Sega Master System game.

The planet Maris is under attack from a malevolent race known as the Nohzas. The humans are granted access to three guns containing a powerful energy known as Zillion which can one shot kill most beings. Using these guns are an elite team of teens called the White Nuts, no that's not a typo, that's what they're called but at least the translators were more kind to give them the name White Knights.
Our team consists of idiot hero JJ, who now I think of it looks suspiciously like Yuri on Ice's JJ.
Champ who acts as the leader.
Apple who keeps them in check.
Dave who is support and carrier pilot.
Amy and Mr Gord who give orders.
And to tie it to Sega, Opa Opa is here.
I want to like this, I really do, but it's very formulaic; the Nohzas attack a major target, White Nuts are deployed looking like a laser tag team, JJ does something stupid, at least three times an episode and they somehow make it out having foiled the Nohzas attack.
It doesn't help that the guns are stupidly over powered and only fail on command for plot devices, not made any easier by the lack of character development with the exception of Apple who still makes the anime watchable.
The soundtrack is brilliant though, I'd be happy just getting the CD Soundtrack.
Dub is not that bad but stupidly rare as they only dubbed five episodes and the OVA.
Zillion seems to have some unique factoids.
1. The anime featured in music video Scream by Michael and Janet Jackson.
2. Opa Opa is likely the first Sega character to appear in an anime and one of the earliest examples of a guest character.
3. Zillion the game was so popular in Brazil that it prolonged the life of the Master System long after it was defunct and Japan even had to make merchandise exclusive to the region.
4. It's also Production I.G's first ever anime.
5. The dub was also sampled on the single Cyberpunks by Del the Funky Homosapien (the rapping ape that once sang with the Gorillaz)
6. The guns were modelled on Sega's Light Phaser Gun for the Master System.
Pretty unique title.
Final Verdict: It's formulaic but an okay watch, it's place in anime and gaming history is a lot more interesting as well as the soundtrack.

Pretear Review

Last review got a bit serious so here's something a bit more straightforward.

Himeno is a plucky young girl straight out of a fairy tale as she literally is in Cinderella's shoes as a stepdaughter to a wealthy step mother along with two step sisters, a stuck up one and a much more introverted one. Hey at least her father is still alive.
A chance meeting with broody man Hayate creates a bright light between them meaning Himeno is the chosen one to become Pretear, a magical girl who can call upon the 7 Knights of Leafe to give her the power to save Leafe, the natural life force of the world from the Princess of Disaster who creates monsters for Himeno to fight. The catch is that the Leafe Knights literally become her magical girl costumes so she can fight.
This can only have been made in the 00s, an obvious candidate for ADVfilms trash but that's a little harsh; for a reverse harem at least the lead character is interesting, she isn't bland or completely reliant on the knights to hold her hand through the experience and learns very quickly how to adapt to each power she receives and each knight seems to bring a nice balance of personalities, even the side characters can bring some much needed comic relief particularly in the overly dark 2nd half of the series as it becomes more obvious that someone close to Himeno is pulling the strings and the Leafe Knights know much more than they're letting on. I like the twists in the anime more than the manga as the anime handles the build up better.
Dub is a collection of the dub actors most type cast roles it seems, I guess that can be it's own glowing recommendation but if you're used to these actors then you can't help but hear their more famous roles.
Final Verdict: A solid attempt at a magical girl series mixed with reverse harem tropes that feels a little gimmicky at times but is a decent watch overall.

Otaku no Video Review

This is an important anime, not the best but important.

In early 80s Japan, college student Ken Kubo gets drawn into the early craze of otaku culture in the hopes of being crowned Otaking establishing a business in selling model kits in the process only for his friend to steal his business; unhindered, Ken bounces back with his remaining friends by creating a popular anime named Misty May ending with both friends reuniting and marvelling at the success they created for their culture. The live action sections are broken up by interviews with Gainax staff and actual Otaku of the era as well as two shorts depicting the anime sequence to Daicon III and IV.
I'm not big on anime reflecting the otaku culture as quite often it portrays it in a negative light hence my extreme hatred of Comic Party. With Otaku no Video it looks at it from both sides, I find it ironic the anime chose the good side to focus on, as passion for a simple animation about robots, alien women or magical girls, the most popular genres of that era can lead to fulfilling careers in the industry, the Gunpla having been created in much the same way to give more power to the adult fans seeing as shows like Gundam, Lupin and Urusei Yatsura cannot be considered kid friendly therefore toys couldn't be made nor can said anime get vital sponsorship. Without these early pioneers we wouldn't see this sort of support today. On the live action front, many of the people interviewed are the type of people that Japan feel ashamed of, shut in perverts with no ambition but to admire drawings of fictional characters portraying a world much better than their own some of which coming from Gainax themselves who have made some of the greatest anime in existence for better or worse. This era doesn't seem to have changed much just that the quality is better and were much more open about our interests, but added to this era is the internet which were all too keen to hide behind when people judge us.
It might seem harsh to bring all this up but that's reality.
Dub really isn't important in this title.
Final Verdict: This is the most honest look at Otaku culture without being patronizing. You need to see this so you can really see otaku in it's purest form both the good and the bad. It's a little dated but not much of it has changed in nearly 40 years.

Slayers OVA and Movie Series Review

Now a reasonable look at the Slayers series.

It's not immediately clear which order this is meant to go in as most of the episodes take place before the events of the main series apart from Slayers Premium which takes place after Slayers Try.
The episodes frequently feature Lina Inverse travelling with a busty sorceress named Naga the Serpent who is just as capable but extremely full of herself and will laugh alot.
A typical plot often involves coming across a minor to mid level evil that needs vanquishing and Lina and Naga often doing more harm than good to resolve it, it keeps to formula extremely well despite the lack of characters for Lina to play off on and the quality can be some what mixed, the Slayers TV series is also guilty of the same problems but are usually surrounded by better episodes while the OVAs and films only have one shot per attempt with mixed results. Even the longest movie, Motion Picture can spend half it's run time dealing with filler villains before the main one shows up. My only other issue stems mostly from Premium but some of the others have it as well, the comedy is cringy.
I will give the dub props as the voices for Lina and Naga actually suit them better than their voices in the TV series especially Lina who sounds more spunky than her Amy Rose voice.
Final Verdict: The OVAs and films keep a solid formula and is well backed up with a decent dub, it's humour can be cringy but each episode and movie is at least fun.