The Latest and Greatest in Anime. Presented at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018

The Latest and Greatest in Anime. Presented at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018

 

Panelists: John Fragglepuss Evans, Breanne Evans, Brittany Evans, Lindsay Starke, Alec Unsicker

The following is a list of the anime we reviewed for our Latest and Greatest in Anime panel at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention. In the panel we reviewed anime that started airing its first season in the past year. There are a significant number of new anime, 50 or more each season, so it is not possible to review everything that has started airing. We appreciate everybody that came to our panel and thanks to FanX for having us. Here is a short summary of each anime so that you can read through and get some ideas on new anime to watch.

 

High Score Girl

It’s 1991. A 6th grader prides himself on video game skills until he gets clobbered at Street Fighter II

 

Cells at Work!

Learn all about how the human body works, anime style!

 

How to Keep a Mummy

A student’s father sends him an oversized package containing the most adorable mummy on the planet!

 

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles

Koizumi is constantly on the search for the perfect bowl of ramen

 

Devilman Crybaby

Demons will reclaim the world from the humans unless something stops them

 

Two Car

The thrilling world of motorcycle sidecar racing!

 

Pop Team Epic

Two high school girls with short attention spans find themselves in the most ridiculous situations

 

Harukana Receive

Two cousins (one tall, one short) join forces to start a beach volleyball team in Okinawa

 

Hanebado!

Just as badminton prodigy Ayano had sworn off playing again, she is sucked back in her 1st year of high school

 

Back Street Girls

A story about three yakuza men’s punishment to change gender and become a female idol group.

 

Megalo Box

A nod to 90’s feel anime, Joe’s rise from no-name underground boxer to world-class contender for a world championship title.

 

Wotakuni Koi Wa Muzukashi, Love is hard for an Otaku

Two co-workers secretly hide their love for gaming and try to figure out how to date. Maybe each other?

 

Citrus

Yuzu discovers that she is starting to develop romantic feelings for her new step-sister

 

Children of the Whales

Marked youth with magical powers float on a exiled “Mud Whale” over the sea of sand

 

Holmes of Kyoto

Holmes, a young man whose family runs an antique shop in Kyoto, has the unique ability to read people and instantly distinguish genuine and high value antiques.

 

 

Chio’s School Road

Chio just wants to get through her school life without standing out too much, but for some reason, all kinds of obstacles await her along the path she takes to school.

 

 

Garo: Vanishing Line

While people enjoy its prosperity in the town, there is a huge conspiracy secretly going on which will shake the world.

 

 

School Babysitters

Ryuichi and Kotaro are brothers who lost their parents in an airplane crash. They’re taken in by the chairman of Morinomiya Academy, who lost her son and daughter-in-law in the same crash, on one condition: Ryuichi has to babysit the kids at the daycare room in the school!

 

 

Gegege No Kitarou

People have forgotten the existence of youkai. Suddenly, unexplainable phenomena plague adults of the human world with confusion and chaos!

 

Kokkoku: Moment by Moment

Having failed 19 job interviews in one day, Juri Yukawa’s dreams of moving out of her parents’ home are utterly dashed. However, everything is about to change!

 

 

Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World

A story about Kino, who travels around the world with nothing but guns for protection and the talking motorcycle Hermes.

 

 

Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits

Aoi has always been able to see spirits. Little does she know this trait will lead her into a world of them. And the future bride of one as well.

 

Junji Ito Collection

The works of one of the most famous Japanese horror manga artists, Junji Ito, finally gets animated.

 

Phantom in the Twilight

In a world where the fears and anxieties of people give birth to inhuman shadows. A foreign student fights her destiny and the “Shadow Guardians.

 

The Ancient Magus Bride

Chise has lived a sad of anything resembling love. When all hope seems lost, she meets a magus who makes a bold statement: Chise will become his apprentice–and his bride!

 

Libra of Nil Admirari

Tsugumi agrees to be married to save her family from decline. Before this can happen the book “Maremono”, changes everything forever.

 

A Place Further Than the Universe

Shirase, a girl who has been saving up to travel to Antarctica where her mother disappeared three years ago is joined by two other girls on an expedition headed towards the Antarctic

 

Angels of Death

When Rachel wakes up in the basement of an unfamiliar building, she finds herself lost all her memory. Here she meets Zack, a scythe-carrying serial killer and the journey of life and death begins.

 

Hinamatsuri

Hina, who has superhuman abilities, drops from the sky into Nitta’s (young bachelor and a yakuza) home.

 

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FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018

FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention 2018

Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday September 6th – Saturday September 8th, 2018

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

The FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention (SLCC) was held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Some of the guests included: Jeff Goldblum, Evangeline Lilly, Jason Momoa, Lucy Lawless, Jennifer Morrison, Tim Curry, Chuck Norris, David Tennant, John DiMaggio, E.G. Daily, Jess Harnell, Greg Cipes, and Chase Masterson.

SLCC 2018 features included: Magic the Gathering Artist Pavilion, Azog statue, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang full scale replica, Gaming lounge, Salt Lake Comic Con cars, TARDIS, Delorean time machine, Action figure life-size box, Mandalorian Mercs, Han Solo in carbonite, Supernatural Chevy Impala, Batman full-size statue, 501st Alpine Garrison, Gandalf life-size, Captain America Harley, Iron Throne, Kids Heroes Foundation, R2 Droid Builders Show, Rocket Raccoon statue, Star Commands Seventh Fleet, USS White Buffalo, Jurassic Jeep, Kids TARDIS, Gollum full-size, Umbrella Corp, Life-size Troll statues, Wonder Woman Harley, Rebel Legion, Harley Quinn full-size, REACH, Silver Surfer, Deadpool, Walking Dead Honda, Slimer, Utah Browncoats, Star Wars Harley, Quest Givers, Sparrow, Heroic, Arcade, and Anarchy Girls.

Thanks to everyone that attended out panel this year. Breanne Evans, Brittany Evans, Lindsay Starke, Alec Unsicker, and myself presented our usual Latest and Greatest in Anime panel, where we always have fun. It’s such a blast to talk about our favorite anime of the past year. I’ll be posting the entirety of anime we mentioned on the site shortly.

This year’s Salt Lake Comic Con was a lot of fun. Good panels, expansive vendor selection, and breathtaking cosplay. The convention has modified its layout every year and you can tell how it has improved through the years.

        

Photos courtesy of Breanne Evans. Feel free to use, but please give credit to Fragglepuss.com for taking the photo.

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 240: Two Car

Two Car

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Sports, Sidecar Racing

First Aired: Fall 2017, 12 episodes

Summary: Two Car follows high schoolers Yuri Miyata and Megumi Meguro as they battle six other rival pairs in the sport of motorcycle sidecar racing. The series begins with all seven racing teams arriving to prepare for a special event that will send the winner to an international race in Europe. The teams will battle not only the other racers, but their partners as well, as they train with more intensity than ever to prepare for the important race.

Two Car blends a scoop of drama with a hearty helping of sports to create an anime with a lot of intrigue. If you are familiar with sports anime, you know that they love to give you a background of every team that is being faced, leaving you with conflicted feelings about which team you want to win. Two Car does this to the max. The series begins as you are introduced to each side car team, driver and passenger. Each episode focuses on a different pair as you learn the difficulties they have faced leading up to the race and the difficulties they are currently facing as well. By the end of the series I was familiar with every team and was biting my nails when the race finally happened. It wasn’t cut and dry who I wanted to win and travel to Europe. Another bonus to the show was how much I learned about side car racing, a true test of a quality sports anime. It was lucky for me the announcers were keen to explaining the rules and strategies to all of us novice side car fans.

You might enjoy this if: You like the traditional style of sports anime with getting to know the teams and learning a lot about the sport.

You might not like it if: You are a sport traditionalist and side car racing is too out-of-the-box for you.

Similar Series: All Out, Baby Steps, Free, Haikyuu, Initial D, Redline

Note to the Viewer: Two Car is somewhat unique in that it is an original anime, meaning the anime was created before the manga. It was created by the studio Silver Link as their 10th year anniversary project.

Two Car Trailer

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 239: Lucky☆Star

LuckyStar

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Parody, School

First Aired: Spring 2007, 24 episodes

Summary: Lucky Star follows the life of four high school girls, whether they are discussing Japanese tradition or debating the proper way to prepare and consume various types of food. Konata Izumi is the lazy otaku with little motivation. Tsukasa and Kagami Hiiragi are twins with opposing personalities. Miyuki Takara is the smart and well-mannered friend that brings some reason to the group. Who knows what kind of hijinks and shenanigans the crew will be up to on any given day?

Lucky☆Star is a fun series that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The four friends hang out with each other and other classmates, sometimes getting into trouble, sometimes chatting about minor annoyances in everyday life. While the animation is nothing special and the overarching plot is thin, the series thrives on its characters and dialogue. The conversations are relatable to everyday life, that is if you’re familiar with everyday Japanese societal customs. Even if you’re not, it’s interesting to learn about what’s common in Japanese everyday life.

You might enjoy this if: You are an otaku that has been waiting for “an anime show about nothing”. Lucky☆Star is like the classic series Seinfeld, if Seinfeld were about the life of anime high school girls.

You might not like it if: You’re burnt out on the high school anime setting.

Similar Series: Azumanga Daioh, Nichijou, Watamote, Himouto Umaru-chan, I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying, Lovely Complex, Survival Game Club, Sakura Trick

Note to the Viewer: Make sure you watch until the end of each episode to catch the “Lucky Channel” broadcast.

AMV – Tik Tok by AnimeGirl10129

 

AMV – Mmm Mmm Yeah Yeah! By 某科学的cc君

(This is only partially from Lucky Star, but I love it, so it’s included!)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 238: Ping Pong the Animation

Ping Pong the Animation

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Sports, Psychological, Drama, Table Tennis

First Aired: Spring 2014, 11 episodes

Summary: Peco and Smile have been friends since childhood, despite their drastically different personalities. Yutaka Hoshino, aka Peco, is cocky and carefree. He used to think he was one of the best table tennis players on his high school team, until he was destroyed in a tournament. Makoto Tsukimoto, aka Smile, is quiet and reserved. He’s nicknamed Smile because he never does. He’s naturally talented at table tennis but lacks the drive to become the best. Peco and Smile are on a mediocre high school table tennis team with a fantastic coach. If the players were motivated, they could be one of the best, but they mainly play for fun without the competitive drive. All that is about to change when Kong Wenge, aka China, transfers to their school from the Chinese national team. Kong destroys every member of the team, leaving them deflated and hopeless. After they pick themselves up from the depths of defeat they have a newfound motivation to better themselves and compete with China.

Ping Pong the Animation is directed by Masaaki Yuasa, known for the films Mind Game, Night is Short Walk On Girl, and Lu Over the Wall, as well as the series Devilman Crybaby. Yuasa has a unique style that shows in all his work. He has directed segments for other shows that are meant to be bizarre and trippy, such as the Space Dandy episode “Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Baby”. Ping Pong’s unique animation matches Yuasa’s style, but the content of the series is tamer than most of his other works. That aside, Ping Pong delivers an excellent story that goes deeper than it traditional sports story. The characters are relatable and flawed. Their motives are understandable.

You might enjoy this if: You appreciate the unique animation and get fully involved in the intricacies of table tennis.

You might not like it if: You are expecting the trippy side of Masaaki Yuasa.

Similar Series: Tekkon Kinkreet, Free, Mob Psycho 100, Yuri on Ice, Your Lie in April, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Devilman Crybaby

Note to the Viewer: The original Ping Pong manga was released in 1996. The anime did not come out until 2014, meaning there was almost a 20-year gap between the two!

AMV – Mr. Hero by Kajten BestAMV

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 237: Flavors of Youth / Shikioriori

Flavors of Youth / Shikioriori

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Drama, Romance, Food, Anthology Film

First Released: July 2018, 76-minute film

Summary: Flavors of Youth is an anthology film split into three segments, taking place in three different cities. Each segment explores the simple joys of life and different types of love. The first is a memory of a bowl of steaming noodles, the second a fading beauty finding her way, and the third a bittersweet first love. Li Haoling, Jiaoshou Yi Xiaoxing, and Yoshitaka Takeuchi each direct one of the segments.

Flavors of Youth goes by fast. The short 76-minute run time is split into even shorter parts, so every part is over before you know it. Each part has its strengths and every part is compelling in its own way. The animation is beautiful, from the intricate backgrounds to the stunning food that looks good enough to jump out of the screen and be eaten. The soundtrack is outstanding, bringing out the emotion in various scenes.

CoMix Wave Films is the production company behind Flavors of Youth. They have released many quality films, including all the “Similar Films” listed below.

You might enjoy this if: You need to kickstart your emotions.

You might not like it if: You want your romance stories to always have a happy ending.

Similar Films: She and Her Cat, 5 Centimeters per Second, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words, Your Name

Note to the Viewer: There’s a scene after the credits so make sure you watch all the way to the end.

Flavors of Youth – Official Trailer – Netflix

 

Flavors of Youth Ending Song – WALK by Vickeblanka

(I really enjoy this ending song. I must be a sucker for CoMix Wave endings because I feel the same way about the Your Name ending, such fitting ends to the films. A perfect way to sit back and think about everything you just watched)

 

AMV – Umbrella by chosenpai amv

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 236: Miss Monochrome: The Animation

Miss Monochrome: The Animation

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Music, Vocaloid

First Aired: Fall 2013, 13 short-form episodes

Summary: Miss Monochrome lives in a castle. No one knows why she lives there or how long she’s been the occupant. She dislikes all shades of color and dreams about changing the whole world into black and white. An unfortunate incident leaves Monochrome without any money and kicked out of her castle. She’s on her own to find a new place to live and a manager to support her idol career. She will have to start from the bottom, but Monochrome is an android that’s willing to do whatever it takes to become a top idol!

Miss Monochrome is a fun character in a fun show. She’s an android unfamiliar with human customs that is seeking popularity. The results are great. There’s one episode where she’s attempting to make a nendoroid of herself and constantly fails in hilarious ways. She’s willing to put in the work to become popular, but nothing seems to go her way. The series is quick and easy, so if you are enjoying the show there’s a few more seasons out there to watch.

You might enjoy this if: You are a vocaloid fan that wants to know more about your favorite idols. Think similar to Hatsune Miku. Miss Monochrome has several songs out so feel free to give her a listen!

You might not like it if: J-Pop is not your style.

Similar Series: Watamote, SoniAni: Super Sonico the Animation, Detroit Metal City, Fuuka, K-On, Sekko Boys

Note to the Viewer: The character “Miss Monochrome” was created by seiyu Horie Yui to accompany her songs at the concert, “Horie Yiu wo Meguru Bouken III -Secret Mission Tour”. The anime came afterwards.

Poker Face – Miss Monochrome

(This is the song for the end credits, which was also released in Japan as a Miss Monochrome single. Don’t worry though, the animation in the series isn’t the same as the CG animation in this video)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 235: Re: Zero -Starting Break Time from Zero- and Re: PETIT -Starting Life in Another World from PETIT- (Shorts)

Fragglepuss Anime Review 235: Re: Zero -Starting Break Time from Zero- and Re: PETIT -Starting Life in Another World from PETIT- (Shorts)

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Parody, Fantasy, Short-Form

First Aired: Spring 2016, 25 short-form episodes

Summary: This iteration of Re: Zero utilizes the characters from the main series, transforming them into chibi versions of themselves. Each episode shows a few characters in one location dealing with a minor problem, allowing the viewer to become better acquainted with everyone in the series and the relationships between them.

This Re: Zero is short and sweet. The chibi characters are a nice complement to the original series, allowing for a look at the lighter side of their personalities. The shorts follow the same progression as the series with how new characters are introduced and how certain events unfold, so you can watch a short after each full-length episode if that’s what you’re into. The animation is nothing special and the soundtrack is minimal. The true draw is getting to know the characters. The Re: Zero proper series is like the main course that fills you up while the Re: Zero shorts are a tasty dessert that finishes off a fine meal and leaves you completely satisfied.

You might enjoy this if: You love the original recipe Re: Zero and want to know more. The shorts give details that are not in the regular series, from inconsequential facts like how Emilia hates pepples to interesting Lugnica facts like how the day is split into four timepoints.

You might not like it if: You have not watched Re: Zero. You will be lost and not understand anything about the shorts.

Similar Series: Re: Zero, ERASED, Steins;Gate, Punchline, KonoSuba, Ao Oni: The Animation

Note to the Viewer: -Starting Break Time from Zero- is the first 11 episodes of shorts to accompany the Re: Zero series. The shorts were then replaced by Re: PETIT -Starting Life in Another World from PETIT-. Between the two sets of shorts the entirety of the first season of Re: Zero is covered.

Re: Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Opening

(There is not a lot of Re: Zero PETIT AMVs, so here’s the opening for the original series. You should watch it before watching the shorts anyways)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 234: Phantom Thief Reinya / Kaitou Reinya

Phantom Thief Reinya / Kaitou Reinya

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Short-Form, Thievery

First Aired: Winter 2009, 12 short-form episodes

Summary: A black shadow plagues the city of Oedo by night. Her prey never escapes her! She is the elusive Phantom Thief Reinya! By day she is a mild-mannered convenience store clerk going by the name Reinya-chan, but after the sun sets she is the unrecognizable Phantom Thief Reinya, stealing the country’s most valuable treasures with her mouse partner Chutaro. It’s up to the inspector, policewoman, and detective to catch the mysterious burglar!

Phantom Thief Reinya is a silly show that can be binged in less than an hour. The short episodes are full of jokes and slapstick humor. There are not many characters, but the few that get screen time are enjoyable to watch. Despite the short run time of the series you get to know the characters surprisingly well. I even like the mouse partner Chutaro, especially when he would get hit and turn into a tennis ball. I’m a sucker for live-action footage being selectively added to animation for comedic purposes, and Phantom Thief used the right amount of live-action cutaways at just the right times.

You might enjoy this if: You want fun, quick, and bright. If you have a short attention span, Phantom Thief will be perfect for you!

You might not like it if: You want story and detailed animation. Phantom Thief is clearly about the quick jokes and the fast pace, not the developing plot.

Similar Series: Aggretsuko, Ao Oni: The Animation, BAR Kiraware Yasai, Gabriel DropOut, Kaiju Girls, Neko Ramen, Nichijou, PikoTaro’s Lullaby, Pop Team Epic, Sekko Boys

Note to the Viewer: Phantom Thief Reinya is produced by Kadokawa Pictures Japan, who has produced many memorable anime: Steins;Gate, Deadman Wonderland, Nichijou, Full Metal Panic, and Sekko Boys to name a few.

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 233: Military!

Military!

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Slice of Life, Ecchi, Comedy, Military

First Aired: Winter 2015, 12 short-form episodes

Summary: The story takes place during a fight between the Krakozhia Dukedom and the Grania Republic. Yano Souhei, a seemingly normal high school student, appears to save the Krakozhia Dukedom. Colonel Aira is a voluptuous commissioned officer in the Krakozhia military who is the commanding officer of the trigger-happy Lieutenant Lutgalnikov and the clumsy Second Lieutenant Haruka. On the other end is Sergeant Shakirov, an assassin sent by Grania to eliminate Sohhei.

At least you know what you’re getting into with Military. It’s ridiculous, full of fan-service, and is not shy about it. There is a decent amount of tanks and weaponry as well as an excessive amount of chibi. It’s not to be taken seriously, which is obvious through the over-the-top violence combined with sexual innuendo.

You might enjoy this if: You’re not wary of cartoonish violence and sexual innuendo. You will know if this is the show for you by the end of the first 3-minute episode.

You might not like it if: You want a series with substance and a fulfilling story.

Similar Series: Survival Game Club, Hetalia Axis Powers, Full Metal Panic, Plastic Nee San, Brave Witches, Ben-To

Note to the Viewer: Military is adapted by the animation studio Creators in Pack and is their first release.

Military! Opening

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