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.

Gundam Wing Review

Yeah I'm still alive, motivation still proving a challenge.

The year is After Colony 195 and the colonies of outer space send a number of Gundams to Earth to stop the Oz organization. These five Gundams and their pilots become intertwined in a war that looks set to test their moral gray areas.
So it's standard Gundam practice but Gundam Wing holds the unique position of being the first Gundam for many and that's not a good thing. To view the classic Gundams after this is met with disappointment as it's no where near as good on the war narrative as they are but perhaps the boy band leads can shed a different approach.
Heero Yuy: Pretty much does what he's told but his path is skewed by his encounters with Relena who in turn discovers that she has more to do with this than she thought.
Duo Maxwell: At least he's cheerful and somewhat resourceful given that he involves himself with resourceful people including Hilde.
Trowa Barton: Doesn't really have a personality to begin with but then some how gets even less of a personality halfway through which Catherine protects with her waifu support.
Quatre Rabareba Winner: An emotional wet blanket who can't stop being angsty despite the fact that he's the only one backed up by his own army, this leads him to a confrontation with impressive eyebrows Dorothy which tests his beliefs against someone who loves war.
Chang Wufei: A misogynist with this weird back and forth code of being a warrior which leads to him being the actual rival of enemy Trieze. But his misogyny starts fading with his meetings with Sally.
Even the enemies have the same setup.
Zechs Marquise: Torn between his loyalty to Oz and his family's beliefs as he constantly finds himself on the wrong side although Noin is freely offering herself to him in support.
Trieze Krushranada: Definitely a magnificent bastard with a unique code of ethics, explains why he was so eager to fight honourable duels during conflicts. Lady Une acting as a devoted follower with two distinct personalities each wanting to be noticed by Senpai.
The point of this is that each male has problems and has a woman to confide in with Relena and Lady Une standing out as being more than waifus.
But what about the stuff you come to see, mecha battles, action and story?
The story spends the early part of the series using alot of stock footage, never really gets to the big parts until half way through the series, even when it does get to big moments it can easily be spoiled by angsty melodrama and finally the dub acting is really amateur in places.
You may think I dislike it but that's not true, on it's own, it's a solid anime but having seen other Gundam series including series that both predate and follow Gundam Wing, it really hasn't aged well.
Final Verdict: it's not terrible nor is it mildly bad, it's actually decent but compared to other entries in the Gundam franchise it's only major selling point is that you have a pretty boys with problems boy band you can use for your terrible yaoi fanfics.

What's Michael Review

I'm happy to be watching anime again after a slump so here is another 80s title.

What's Michael is broken down into two story styles. The first is Michael's daily life at the apartment building in which everything happens through tabby cat Michael's point of view or sometimes other animal characters, the other is an anthropomorphic series of stories of whatever Japan was into at the time featuring the animal cast in everything from a crime thriller to a simple baseball game, often with the punchline of cats failing to control their instincts. Each segment is about five minutes long through a 45 minute run time per episode, an hour if you include commercials.
Hold on, this sounds an awful lot like Garfield? Actually that's a surprisingly accurate reaction; Michael even has a cartoonist for an owner who dresses in the same colours and the fact that he's a ginger tabby creates some close comparisons to Garfield. The biggest difference is that the humour relies on Michael's reaction to his environment as a regular cat. Even when he does talk for the Anthro sections it's broken by the long running joke of Cat's lol instincts.
With a lengthy run time and very limited scenarios, What's Michael runs out of steam quickly making it a chore to finish.
It was never dubbed and I'll be surprised if it made DVD as all I could find were VHS recordings.
Final Verdict: It's basically Japanese Garfield that has more grounded rules while the Anthro shorts are standard Japanese animal anime series. It's long run time wears the series out fairly quick and with over 40 episodes you'll be lucky to finish five.

Magical Idol Pastel Yumi Review

Let's return to the 80s with a magical girl series.

Pastel Yumi is part of Studio Pierrot's big four magical girls along with Creamy Mami, Magical Emi and Fairy Persia, the difference with Yumi is she relies on her magic to aid the situation rather than relying on becoming a teen idol. The setup is the same, other worldly beings grant Yumi magic as a result of her kindness and she takes each scenario as it comes. Her magic is formed through drawing, summoning anything she desires but with a time limit, Yumi must be more creative in each approach to succeed.
It can get really 80s at times but it's largely one of the more tame ones and Yumi's charm makes her the strongest in personality of the four girls as well as having the strongest plot.
No dub, none of these shows ever made it to English speaking territories but you can grab any of the shows in every other major European language.
Final Verdict: Removing the teen girl transformation does alot to clean up the narrative hazards of the show and is much better for it. Yumi is a charming, whimsical magical girl show worthy of it's target audience, 80s-isms not withstanding.

Sekko Boys Review

You'll never be ready for the insanity I'm about to unleash.

Miki is a former college art student hoping that managing entertainment can break her away from the constant sketching of stone sculptures, sadly the boy band she's been asked to manage are four stone head statues of famous individuals of Greek and Roman history. These are the Sekko Boys, literal talking stone head statues with the boy band personas to match; aided by idol singer Mira, Miki will attempt to manage the four rocky singers to the heights of stardom.
This really isn't the Anime to show people that the medium takes things seriously, granted this is deliberately silly and barely over five minutes per episode means the whole 12 episode series can be watched in an hour but something in your mind always asks why? What person thought that statues of Greek and Roman historical and mythological figures would make a boy band?
It's utter disregard for common sense just makes it baffling and all you can do is either embrace the chaos or avoid it.
No dub to speak of but it would be chaotic to see one.
Final Verdict: It's a chaotic short series that will either entertain or confuse you depending on your taste, I'm fine with it myself but then again I've watched over a thousand anime.

Kiddy Grade Review

This is from the regular project 1000 and was planned before the special stage.

With mankind expanding into space, a galactic police unit known as the GOTT is formed to combat crime across the universe. Utilizing 12 young individuals with unique superpowers known as the ES Force, even the biggest crimes can be stopped.
Our main story focusses on two low level ES members named Eclair and Lumiere who take on missions under the watchful eyes of a Galactic Auditor. Eclair possessing super strength triggered by lipstick while Lumiere can manipulate and hack electronics by just merely touching the ground.
All seems well until a public protest triggers the duo to go against orders making them the enemy of the GOTT, as they avoid getting hunted down, the pasts of these girls starts to reveal itself showing that they aren't as they seem.
A lot of care went into building this unique universe from it's characters, their powers along with the universal laws the plot follows and it's unique mech and battleship designs, however this extreme attention to detail works against them with Eclair and Lumiere.
This is only really a spoiler if I show them what they look like towards the end of the series as they look radically different from the picture I used which is their appearance at the start of the series. This might be just me but when you change a character so radically, you start disconnecting with them to the point that it's hard to see them as the same character, since I can't spoil this I'll use Disney's Cinderella as an example; her official design from the 1950 is iconic and one of the most recognisable faces of Disney but in the last decade she was given a younger look to try and make her more modern, but she now looks less Cinderella and more someone trying to cosplay her; while makeovers and redesigns are not an uncommon sight in anime especially when the characters are supposed to grow up if allowed, Eclair and Lumiere look like completely different people when it happens to them and it only gets more complicated from there.
Dub is really good especially when this was Colleen Clinkenbeard dub voice of Luffy and Erza Scarlet's first major anime role.
Final Verdict: While the world building and universe are sublime, the complicated back story of the two leads makes me disconnect from them and leads to an overly complicated mess of a 2nd part.