The Latest and Greatest in Anime Panel. Presented at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention Fall 2019

The Latest and Greatest in Anime Panel. Presented at FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention Fall 2019

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

Here is the list of anime covered during our panel at the Fall FanX convention as well as a short description. Thanks to Salt Lake Comic Convention for inviting us to another con. Thanks to everyone that attended the panel. If you were unable to attend, here’s the full list of every anime we mentioned. I must say, there has been some great anime in the past year. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to trim down the list because there are so many fun anime coming out.

 

Double Decker! Doug & Kirill

Doug and Kirill are partners trying to make the world right

 

Kemurikusa

Sisters live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with the simple goal of finding fresh water

 

Rilakkuma and Kaoru

Salary woman and lazy bear live together in the most adorable circumstances

 

Are You Lost?

Four high school classmates wake up marooned on an island and must learn to survive

 

Fire Force

Fire brigades deal with instances of spontaneous human combustion, where humans turn into insatiable Infernals

 

Magical Sempai

A seemingly normal high school boy gets recruited into the Magic Club as an assistant to the magical sempai, the only additional member

 

Release the Spyce

Momo crosses paths with an agency that will help her realize her dream, saving people in need

 

The Promised Neverland

Set in the year 2045, The happy orphanage surrounded by giant walls and mysterious adoptions

 

Bloom Into You

Confessions of love bring two young girls together as they learn to be true to their feelings

 

Conception

Two high school are transported to a world where they must help to fight impurities of the land by creating “star children” with the “star maidens”

 

Try Knights

A rugby player with the perfect build and a rugby player with all the knowledge of the game band together to save their team

 

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts

During war, one side made super soldiers. Now that it’s over what will happen to the beasts that lost their humanity for the war?

 

Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?

Masoto is carried away to a game world but is confused why his mother is on the adventure with him

 

Cinderella Nine

A story about a new high school girls baseball team

 

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War

Although they like each other, they are too proud to confess their love as they believe whoever does so first would lose. The story follows many schemes to make the other confess

 

 Dororo

An ambitious man makes a deal with demons for power and his son is born deformed. The child is discarded but survives to fight the demons with a plucky sidekick

 

Bem

Three humanoid monsters protect humanity and hope to one day become humans themselves. When a Mysterious Lady arrives, everything is turned upside down

 

Vinland Saga

Set in 1013 AD a boy living in Iceland longs for adventure and is eager to know more about the world. His family must prepare for the impending battle

 

Lord El-Melloi ll’s Case Files

Waver Velvet is temporary head of the El-Melloi household. He teams up apprentice Gray to solve mysteries and cases involving magecraft

 

Fairy Gone

Special soldiers are implanted with Fairy organs, allowing them to summon Fairies to fight under their command. A government agency is formed, whose sole purpose is to combat illegal Fairy users.

 

Robi Hachi

A pair of complete opposites have fate bring them together. The two decide to travel across the galaxy together in search of Isekandar

 

Violet Evergarden

Violet is no longer a soldier. Now she must adjust to her new life and her new mechanical arms

 

Cop Craft

15 years ago, a gate opened in the middle of the Ocean. Beyond that gate lay a realm of faeries and monsters. Sergeant Matoba does his best to enforce order in this new city

 

Dr. Stone

A high schooler awakens to find himself lost in a world of statues. His science-loving friend has been there for a few months and he’s got a plan to kickstart civilization with science!

 

Run with the Wind

An enthusiastic fourth year student has been stealthly gathering men for the track and field team. He dreams of participating at a famous relay university marathon race

 

Granbelm

1,000 years ago all magic in the world disappeared, and most people have forgotten it. A cheerful high school student is transported to a new world of mechanical dolls

 

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

A charcoal merchant now demon slayer, sets out seeking revenge to for his family’s murder and find a cure for his sister who has been turned into a half-demon

 

Sarazanmai

Three students are transformed into mythical creatures To regain their human forms, they must acquire magical organs belonging to zombies

 

The Rising of the Shield Hero

Iwatani Naofumi is expected to be a great warrior, but he turns out to be too weak to prosper and becomes the target of shunning. Consumed with rage he sets about getting revenge

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 277: Kemurikusa

Kemurikusa

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Action, Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic

First Aired: Winter 2019, 12 episodes

Summary: Several sisters live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with the simple goal of finding fresh water in a world that is severely dried out. Survival is further threatened by encounters with angry red bugs that constantly cross their path. The sisters use powerful kemurikusa to do everything from defeat bugs to find water. Everything is status-quo until they discover Wakaba, a mysterious being that does not recall his past. Is he a human or an advanced red bug? His red blood indicates bug, but he can control kemurikusa in a way that bugs are unable to. It is up to the travelers to uncover the mysteries of the world and themselves.

Watching Kemurikusa was an interesting experience. I popped on the first episode and was immediately distracted by the CG animation. It’s not the best. I decided years ago I wouldn’t let animation on its own deter me from watching an anime, so I stuck it out. A few episodes in I was still on the fence about the story. It was slow paced at times and the characters weren’t doing much. Next thing I know I am seven episodes in and cannot wait to watch the rest! The series is a slow burn buildup in the best of ways. By the end I cared so much about what was going to become of Wakaba and the sisters. The mystery sucked me in until I felt I was part of that fantasy world. The vastness of empty space and void-like atmosphere got to me, especially at the end.

You might enjoy this if: You adore sci-fi mystery as much as I do. If we are talking live-action movies, it reminds me of Annihilation on a lot of levels. It is also similar to Ex Machina and Under the Skin.

You might not like it if: You are looking for a quick light to sci-fi fire.

Similar Series: Chaika the Coffin Princess, From the New World, The Lost Village, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Made in Abyss

Note to the Viewer: The literal English translation of “Kemurikusa” is “Smoke Plant”, which makes a lot of sense now that I have watched the entire series. I wish I would have known that beforehand. I went through all 12 episodes thinking, “I wonder what that means, never heard the word Kemurikusa before”. I’m sure I could have looked it up before finishing the series, but I didn’t and now here we are. At least if you go out and watch the series after reading this review you already know.

Kemurikusa Opening – Kemurikusa by Nano

 

Kemurikusa Opening 8bit Cover

(I’m a sucker for these, I don’t know why)

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FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention Fall 2019

FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention Fall 2019

September 5-7, 2019

Salt Lake City, Utah

Written by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Fall FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention (Don’t call it comic con), was a wonderful experience all around! It has been a few years since the inaugural “Salt Lake Comic Con”, and every year the organizers have worked out more of the kinks. The layout is always improving, the number of photo opportunities is constantly increasing, and the guestlist is always impressive. Some of this year’s celebrity guests included: Tom Holland, Christina Ricci, Kiefer Sutherland, Lana Parrilla, Hayden Christensen, Billy Zane, Matthew Lewis, Katie Sackoff, Dolph Lundgren, John Rhys-Davies, Billy West, Jonny Cruz, Lucie Pohl, and many others. Some of the features included: Charlie the Impala, The Doctor Who Experience, Gaming Lounge, Kiss my Axe, Star Labs, Zorb Track, U.S.S Galileo, Virtualities, and a mystery escape room.

 

I had a wonderful time attending panels this year. I always say I am going to attend more panels, and this time I finally did! I wish I had time to attend more, but some of my favorites included: Terror of the 2020s Where Horror is Heading in the Next Decade, IDIC Diversity Throughout Star Trek, Overwatch Spotlight on Johnny Cruz and Lucie Pohl, Geek Ink Tattoo Artists Defining Popular Culture, and of course Twisted Toonz.

 

The KidCon really kicked it up a notch this year with its activities. There were stations for kids of every age, from the Jedi training station to the “Isle of Tots” for those age 3 and under. Several features filled the area, including: Kid-sized landspeeders from Star Wars, a pirate ship made of balloons complete with mermaids, a face-painting station, a wardrobe section for young aspiring cosplayers, a Portable Planetarium System set up by Salt Lake Community College, various video game stations, as well as other activities.

 

Thanks to everyone that attended our panel on The Latest and Greatest in Anime. Our panelists included: Breanne Evans, Brittany Evans, Lindsay Starke, and myself.

We had a fantastic time presenting! Keep an eye out full the full list of anime covered during the panel if you were unable to attend or showed up late and were unable to grab a pamphlet. Thanks to FanX for inviting us to the convention, we always have a fun time at the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention, no matter what time of year or what it legally must be called.

  

Photos provided by Breanne Evans

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 276: Double Decker! Doug & Kirill

Double Decker! Doug & Kirill

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Comedy, Police, Buddy Cop

First Aired: Fall 2018, 13 episodes

Summary: The city of Lisvaletta has been overrun with a devastating new drug, Anthem, which can cause the severe side effect of turning the user into a superpowered beast with intense abilities. Once the user goes into this state of “Overdrive” they are irrational and uncontrollable. The “Seven-O” special crime investigation unit is tasked with stopping the spread of the dangerous and unpredictable drug. Among the investigators are Doug Billingham, the seasoned veteran that keeps to himself, and Kirill Vrubel, the voracious rookie never lacking a question or concern.

Double Decker is a fun buddy cop series with an anime twist. Doug is the classic veteran that has seen everything so many times that nothing surprises him. He has an answer to anything thrown at him. Kirill is the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed rookie with countless things to learn about the real world, especially when it comes to Anthem. While the series is mainly focused on the two investigators, the other members of Seven-O are a major part of the series. Pink, Rookie, Boxer, Robot, and Boss all play an integral part in Seven-O’s success or failure as an organization. They all bring unique knowledge and experience to each problem thrown their way. You quickly learn it is up to the whole organization to stop the city’s drug problem.

You might enjoy this if: You want a buddy cop show that includes magic bullets and grotesque monsters.

You might not like it if: You prefer more of a Lethal Weapon vibe.

Similar Series: Psycho-Pass, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Dimension W, Gangsta, Baccano, Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens, Paranoia Agent

Note to the Viewer: Be careful which episode you start on. The first episode I watched did a deep dive on the characters that was confusing. The next episode felt like I was missing information. The third episode was a hot springs episode. That’s right, three episodes in and they’re already busting out the hot springs. Don’t they know that’s an episode seven thing? So, the fourth episode starts and the title states, “Episode One”. Come to find out, VRV had put all the OVAs first, BEFORE the actual series. Make sure you’re not a fool like me and you watch starting at the first episode.

Double Decker Opening

 

AMV –Numb by Yns

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 275: Why the Hell are You Here Teacher!? / Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!?

Why the Hell are You Here Teacher!? / Nande Koko ni Sensei ga!?

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, School, The Name Says it All

First Aired: Spring 2019, 12 episodes

Summary: Ichiro is a completely average teenager who always finds himself in inappropriate situations with his teacher, Kana Kojima. Adding to the awkward nature of their encounters is how Kana has a reputation of being overly cruel and mean to her students. If there is any teacher you want to avoid upsetting, it’s the demon Kana. Unfortunately for Ichiro, he is always in the wrong place at the wrong time, constantly crossing paths with the evil teacher. He isn’t even safe outside of school, such as when they run into each other in the laundromat under unfortunate circumstances.

“Why the Hell are You Here Teacher?” is as inappropriate as it comes when referring to anime. This is one of those shows that could not be made into a live-action series due to the content. The situations between Ichiro and Kana are completely over-the-top and ridiculous. If that’s the kind of anime comedy you’re into, this might be the show for you. The fan service is through the roof and totally unbelievable, but that’s Ecchi anime for you.

You might enjoy this if: Absurd, unbelievable Ecchi anime is what you’re looking for.

You might not like it if: You do not want to see the inappropriate mishaps between student and teacher.

Similar Series: Food Wars, Garden of Words, Monster Musume, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Shimoneta

Note to the Viewer: An interesting side note is how the manga differs from the anime. The anime features one student and one teacher, Ichiro and Kana. The manga on the other hand features a different pair of student and teacher in each volume.

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 274: Hinomaru Sumo

Hinomaru Sumo

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Sports, Action, School, Sumo

First Aired: Fall 2018, 24 episodes

Summary: Ushio Hinomaru has never been the biggest kid in school, but that has never stopped him from reaching for his goal of becoming a Yokozuna, the highest rank in professional sumo wrestling. As a young child he was a great sumo wrestler, but mysterious circumstances caused him to retreat from competition and focus on his training. Now, as a high schooler, he has reemerged to rebuild the Dachi High School sumo program and compete once again. It won’t be easy with the school lacking interest in sumo, but Hinomaru is passionate and dedicated as they come!

I was in love with Sumo before watching this series, and it deepened my love. Hinomaru is a lovable character with unbridled determination to become a top-rank sumo. He makes up for his small stature with hard work and determination, focusing on skill instead of raw power. This series comes at a perfect time, because in real-life Japanese sumo right now there is a Hinomaru-esque wrestler climbing the ranks. His name is Enho and he recently joined the top sumo division (Makuuchi), despite his small stature. Enho uses a lot of techniques not normally seen in the Makuuchi division, and he is able to do so due to his fast moves and how low he can get. Enho is usually outweighed by his opponent by at least 50kg and sometimes over 100kg!

You might enjoy this if: You want to learn about sumo in an entertaining way. If you want a brief introduction to sumo as a whole, check out my Fragglepuss Introduction to Sumo post.

You might not like it if: You are tired of high school sports anime.

Similar Series: All Out, Baby Steps, Free!, Haikyuu!, Ping Pong the Animation

Note to the Viewer: If you want a quick introduction to Sumo, you can check out my Sumo post here. It includes

AMV – Hail to the King by KeiSuki9 AMV

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 273: Okoshiyasu, Chitose-chan

Okoshiyasu, Chitose-chan

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Kyoto, Penguin

First Aired: Fall 2018, 24 short-form episodes

Summary: Chitose-chan is an adorable penguin who lives in Kyoto. She is a local celebrity that wanders the streets, being fed delicious food as she goes. Chitose is not worried about much in her life besides wandering around and making people happy.

Chitose is one of the cutest anime I have ever seen. The penguin is as sweet as it comes and leaves you with a happy feeling in your heart after every episode. It is interesting because the concept is simple, and the episodes are short, but they introduce various aspects of Kyoto as they go. One episode has Chitose visiting Kiyomizu Temple, while another has her at Ginkaku Temple, both in Kyoto. Standard Kyoto food is also introduced throughout the series.

You might enjoy this if: You are troubled with the terrible state of the world and need a pick-me-up to make you feel better. You will also enjoy it if you are familiar with Kyoto or looking to become more familiar with the city.

You might not like it if: You hate penguins.

Similar Series: Bananya, Donyatsu, Bonobono, Lovely Muco, Mitchiri Neko, Nyanbo, Neko Ramen, Nyanko Days

Note to the Viewer: The Okoshiyasu, Chitose-chan manga has been published in the Be Love Magazine since 2016. It has been collected in three volumes so far.

Okoshiyasu, Chitose-chan Trailer

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 272: Mr. Tonegawa Middle Management Blues / Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa

Mr. Tonegawa Middle Management Blues / Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Parody, Psychological, Office Life

First Aired: Summer 2018, 24 episodes

Summary: Mr. Tonegawa is the right-hand man to the president of the Teiai group. The president becomes bored and begins asking Tonegawa to organize various games between the employees to keep him entertained. One week it may be a game of revolutionary Rock, Paper, Scissors, while another week might be a game of human Mahjong. No matter the game, it’s up to Tonegawa and the rest of the subordinates to the keep the president entertained.

Mr. Tonegawa is a spin-off of the Kaiji series and features many of the same characters. Besides Tonegawa, most of them are seen as simple black suits and part of the project team. There are some exceptions, such as the female black suit and the assistant black suit. One of the key elements of the series is the various games they come up with and their ridiculous nature. The Rock, Paper, Scissors (with a twist) is completely over-the-top. Mr. Tonegawa is a nice series in that you don’t have to be familiar with the original Kaiji series to enjoy it. The characters are fun and the stories are enjoyable.

You might enjoy this if: You understand how office life can be tedious and needs a shake-up every once in a while.

You might not like it if: You are not a fan of the “black suit” sub-genre, i.e. Men in Black, The Matrix, Reservoir Dogs, etc.

Similar Series: Aggretsuko, Assassination Classroom, Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto, The Master of Killing Time, Nichijou

Note to the Viewer: The Mr. Tonegawa manga has only been in publication since 2015.

Mr. Tonegawa Middle Management Blues Opening

 

AMV – Fight Back by Brandon Anime

(Warning, there’s a decent amount of cursing)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 271: Calamity of a Zombie Girl / Aru Zombie Shoujo no Sainan

Calamity of a Zombie Girl / Aru Zombie Shoujo no Sainan

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Horror, Supernatural, Zombies

First Released: July 4, 2018, 79-minute Original Net Animation (ONA)

Summary: A few University students sneak into the library late at night in search of treasure. Instead of treasure they find two mummies from Italy. One of the students, Sayaka, takes the “stone of life” out of one of the mummies before leaving the library. This results in the mummies waking up after a 100-year slumber and becoming zombies in search of the missing stone of life. They will do whatever it takes to hunt it down.

Zombie Girl is full of brutal kills and wicked fights. The two zombies want their stone back and are willing to kill anyone who gets in the way. The story is told well. The animation is well done. It feels like you’re watching a B-list horror movie, from the over-the-top violence to the creative kills. I’m a sucker for the genre, so watching Zombie Girl was familiar and a lot of fun. There were flaws in the anime, but I forgive it because it was so enjoyable.

You might enjoy this if: You are a fan of horror movies like Evil Dead and Nightmare on Elm Street, with the comical amounts of blood and violence.

You might not like it if: You are a stickler for pacing in your story.

Similar Anime: Devilman Crybaby, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls, Death Parade, Boogiepop Phantom, Castlevania, Hellsing, Parasyte

Note to the Viewer: Calamity of a Zombie Girl has been a long time coming. Kadokawa originally announced the anime in 2012, accompanied by a short trailer. It wasn’t until early 2018 that studio Gonzo announced they would be releasing the anime as an ONA.

AMV – Crazy by ReYu AMV

(Warning, the AMV contains minor spoilers and whatnot. It’s also pretty violent)

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Fragglepuss Anime Review 270: Pastel Memories

Pastel Memories

Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Akihabara, Otaku

First Aired: Winter 2019, 12 episodes

Summary: Otaku culture has declined over the years. The Rabbit Shed Shop used to be an eclectic store to find anything and everything anime. Due to the declined culture, the shop focuses on selling coffee. The cause of the decline is somewhat mysterious but can be linked malicious virus. It’s up to the heroine employees to help people remember various anime and bring Otaku culture back to Akihabara!

Pastel Memories is full of a colorful cast of characters that work at the Rabbit Shed Shop. It’s difficult to memorize them all because of the overwhelming number. Each episode begins with an unusual circumstance taking place in Akihabara that the gals must investigate. The gals are transported into another dimension with the intent of destroying the virus that’s infecting the other world. At the end of each episode they find Maya, the antagonistic villain that travels world to world, spreading the virus. Each episode is formulaic, so if you like one, you’ll like them all!

You might enjoy this if: You like the “Monster of the Week” episode format, where is episode features a monster that the heroes will inevitably destroy by the end.

You might not like it if: You are averse to fan service. The most blatant example is the ending credits of each episode. It is a slap in the face with fan service.

Similar Series: Akiba’s Trip: The Animation, Punch Line, Dog & Scissors, D-Frag, Gabriel DropOut, Konosuba

Note to the Viewer: Pastel Memories began as a video game for Android and iOS. It is a role-playing game developed by FuRyu in 2017.

Pastel Memories Opening – Believe in Sky

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