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.

Hime Gal Paradise Review

Now for something that will test your trap knowledge.

Himeko is a plain ordinary school girl until a glamourous boy named Mikami arrives to school dressed head to toe in Princess style attire, with his help, Himeko awakens as a stylish beautiful girl, as Mikami is intent on making the whole school glamourous.
Sort of caught this OVA by sheer accident and being honest it's actually a good mini series, reminding me of Princess Jellyfish only the boy in question is way more convincing than any other kind of cross dresser ever seen in anime. There's not much more to go into, it's a rich colour palette, it doesn't outstay it's welcome, there's no dub but it's not required, it's a nice little mini series to digest.
Shojo magazine Ciao have the first 3 episodes on their Youtube page, there are six others that haven't gone up and are hard to locate, finding information on even the manga is limited.
Final Verdict: A cute little OVA that can test your perception of gender in the most fabulous way.

Akazukin Chacha Review

Now for a series that has the weirdest adaption history.

Chacha is a young witch dressed like Red Riding Hood with ambitions of being a great mage like her Guardian Seravy but is bad with her incantations because Japanese Grammer is hard. When it's time for her to start Wizard school she is given trinkets that allow her to become a magical princess in order to defeat the evils of Daimao; to become the princess she requires two trusted friends in the form of werewolf Riiya and young wizard Shiine to use two of the three trinkets. With a hilarious cast of characters, will Chacha succeed and claim her destiny as a Princess?
The way this is adapted is really weird, the first two seasons uses anime only content and the 3rd season actually adapts the manga which makes the first two seasons glorified prequels; the reason for this was to capitalise on the Sailor Moon craze of magical female warriors but for a series of young mages attending magic school with heavy emphasis on gags, the magical princess element feels forced.
The gag element works for the anime as everything is suitably over the top and the expressions take full advantage of it, even the so called best mage in the Kingdom has an unhealthy obsession with his friend Dorothy's appearance as a child which he shows by carrying a doll in that likeness and doing ventriloquism with it.
You can probably guess by now is that it's really silly, 90s silly.
There is a dub which is considered lost media which reminds me a bit of 4kids dubbing. There are some clips around youtube to make your own opinion but since much of the humour relies on Japanese puns and word play it really doesn't work dubbed.
Final Verdict: A hilarious gag comedy with a bolted on magical girl subplot because Sailor Moon said so. I also suggest watching in small doses, it's a little exhausting at times.

White Album Review

This will be a unique experiment in how to make a normally notorious genre into something more mature and grown up.

Set in the 80s, it focusses on the romance between University Student Toya and upcoming Idol Singer Yuki and the trials and tribulations of maintaining a relationship through difficult conditions such as conflicting schedules, advances from rival women including Yuki's Idol friend Rina who starts as a supporter to their relationship only to develop feelings herself and this being a harem there are also childhood and school friends along with another girl that Toya tutors. But there is a difference between this and every other harem series. It's actually a very serious romance story.
Right from the get go, you get a good glimpse of the type of character Toya is and how conflicted his mind is through the silent inner monologues that pop up through out each episode and clearly fears Yuki drifting away from him yet not really knowing how to answer the feelings of the other women that come his way as he deals with the difficulty of staying with Yuki as her career starts taking off. There is so much to read on everything and the anime does a fantastic job of remaking every scene like an encounter from a visual novel which of course is what White Album is based on. The fact that it's set in the 80s takes away the conveniences of modern technology making the telephone a major plot device on it's own. All this from a harem, proving it can act all grown up.
I'd be conflicted with the idea of dubbing this especially if the monologues suddenly got voiced so I'd rather there wasn't one.
Final Verdict: It's a mature grown up romance, harem story that doesn't need cheap fan service to sell. While it is slow paced and the story gets told the same way as a visual novel, it really sets up well with the characters and setting as well as time period. Definitely worth a shot if you are sick of harems being cheap fan service and stock characters.

Cyber City Oedo 808 Review

Now for a history lesson.

Oedo is home to a plethora of crime that normal police aren't cut out for so it's left to Hasegawa to offer three highly dangerous convicts a chance to reduce their sentences by dealing with these crimes instead each under threat of execution by bomb collar. The convicts reluctantly agree and set off to fight some pretty bizarre crimes.
Our convicts are: Sengoku, a street wise smart talker who usually has a good one liner to go with each takedown.
Gogul, a hacker who has a big enough reputation that he's targeted by the military.
And Benten, an effeminate assassin who looks like David Bowie with even more 80s hair, he was supposed to be female but it was overruled which was a better call as he's a lot more memorable and not because of his hilarious British dub dialogue.
This was British dubbed and in a very 90s way, so expect plenty of swearing which actually improves the experience as it's unapologetically dumb and fun, I miss anime like this.
One of the reasons why I deviate to older anime is because I want to watch something fun and action packed; Cyber City fits the bill well as it benefits from being a Cyberpunk show that can forge any kind of plot possible. From episode 1 we get a beyond the grave revenge from a corpse wired up to a skyscraper, episode 2 has an experimental psychic cyborg powered by a human corpse and episode 3 has immortal vampire battles on a space station.
It's easy to like this show for how well it can create stories from it's setting and still work without going so insane that it pulls me out the anime. The only shows I know that can pull this off are Dirty Pair, Slayers and Black Lagoon of which all three shows are in my top 5.
Anime struggles to come up with this today as much of it relies on trying to please certain demographics and trends, even with legit decent anime around I can't go five minutes without someone writing a page on why a certain character is trash or writing bullshit on how the current trendy anime offends everyone.
I openly praise streamers like Retro Crush (where's my british version dammit) for reminding everyone that anime can be fun.
Final Verdict: Cyber City is a perfect blend of cheesy cyberpunk action that only serves to entertain the viewer. It's not complex, it's just pure unapologetic fun and that's how I like my anime.

E's Otherwise Review

Next up, E's Otherwise.

In this world, Espers are ostracized as being dangerous by humanity, luckily an organisation called Ashurum take in Espers who are frequently targeted by humans or are on the wrong side of the law. In return for health care for his sick sister, Esper Kai Kudo joins Ashurum. After a year of training, he is sent on a mission to detain rogue Espers only for his kindness towards humans to back fire when Kai's colleague is shot dead and another is comatosed, this angers Shen-Long, another colleague to the point that he destroys the area leading Kai to be found by an opposing group out to take down Ashurum. After being told that Ashurum are brainwashing it's Espers into becoming stronger in order to eradicate humanity, Kai joins the cause to prevent his sister from being used as a weapon.
I smell the plot of the first live action X-Men film here.
I found this anime to be mediocre. It's a typical 00s anime issue so I'll elaborate.
The problem with E's is that it rushed into the story at breakneck pace to try and establish the main plot so many character interactions feel stale, this is especially problematic between Kai and Shen-Long. Kai's wide eyed idealism rubs Shen-Long the wrong way but lacks any history or weight to it so when a character dies it has no impact, made worst by a lack of emotion in the Japanese dialogue. Shen-Long's rage is justified when he nearly kills Kai for abandoning his sister in a mission but every interaction they had up to that point was mostly Shen-Long being a bully and deliberately trying to trigger Kai to fight him. The other characters introduced within the same time frame have similar problems. While the story does pick up further on, it's poor beginning will likely turn you off, especially if you don't like the characters.
The dub is very much based on taste in voice actors. Greg Ayres doesn't suit a character like Shen-Long but other actors have a slightly easier time and it benefits from better emotive performances.
Final Verdict: The character writing is poor so it's difficult to really continue beyond the first few episodes if you fail to click with it. While the story does stabilise, the damage is already done.