Blade and Soul First Impressions

blade and soul


Alka, a member of the sword clan, is on the run and trying to find the woman who killed her master so she can follow some code that may or may not involve killing the person responsible (they are maddeningly non-specific on that aspect).

First Impressions:

Okay, so I’ve kind of watched about half of this series before I’ve bothered to do first impressions but that’s okay. I still have about 7 episodes to go so plenty of things can change before I do my final review.

Firstly, I received this as part of my last Hanabee Mystery Box so I’m actually enjoying it enough for the price I actually paid for it.

Secondly, apparently I’d started this anime before (possibly on Crunchyroll but maybe somewhere else), though it took until the third episode before anything happened that jogged my memory that I’d seen it before (and amazingly enough it was the stupid armour the ‘Pleasure Gang’ were wearing that tipped my memory.

That said, given I didn’t finish the series the first time I watched it, and given even as I remembered that I’d started it before and dropped it I started thinking about all the things wrong with the series, my first impressions aren’t great.

Certainly, this show is watchable (provided the outfits on some of those girls don’t make you flee but you can figure that out from the art work). The biggest complaint I would have is actually Alka. She’s an incredibly boring protagonist and no one else has really stuck around long enough to leave much of an impression. Plus the show has this nasty tendency to introduce characters only to kill one of them off in a totally preventable manner but have Alka and other strong fighters just stand around and let it happen. That’s when the highly overpowered villain isn’t just turning people into red mist.

I am going to finish this because despite that complaint I’ve actually found a lot to enjoy. It’s ridiculous and the story is moving incredibly slowly (which is probably a good thing given there doesn’t seem to be much story) and the characters are all kind of caricatures rather than people but it’s the kind of ridiculous that is mostly relaxing to watch and if Alka develops some sort of personality it would almost be recommendable as a binge watch on a rainy weekend.

So that’s my first impression of this series and as I said it still has time to actually go somewhere or do something amazing.

Before I finish I’m going to add in one more major complaint. The guy who follows around the girl who either serves or is manipulating the villain (yeah, I’ve paid a lot of attention to names here). He only talks in grunts and seems less articulate than Chewbacca from Star Wars and yet the girl responds to his various noises as if he’s an ace conversationalist.

Hanabee Mystery Box

Recently I bought another Hanabee Mystery Box. Last time I got the pleasure of watching Tokyo Fish Attack (and yes, that pleasure was mostly from laughing so hard at the storyline or just the general staring at it wondering what was supposed to be going on). I also received Girls and Panzer complete OVA series that I just haven’t got around to watching but will do so eventually and will probably not be overly thrilled about.

You might ask why I would buy another box when you don’t know what you are going to get and you don’t know if you will like it. I like the surprise and I like finding new things. I would never have gotten to watch GYO Tokyo Fish Attack if it hadn’t arrived in the box and while I wouldn’t really recommend it I certainly had fun watching it.

So, what’s in the box?

This time I got two complete series on Blu-Ray.

The first is Devil Survivor 2. I’ve watched it before and I remember quite enjoying it until the last couple of episodes but I don’t really remember much else about it so I’m putting it in my DVD stack to rewatch and then review. It won’t be an overly favourable review unless my memory is faulty, but it was also enjoyable enough to try again.

The second was Blade & Soul which I’ve never watched. I’ve had it on various watch lists but have never gotten around to it so I’m actually kind of looking forward to the watch once I’ve got some time.

And will I buy another box should another be on offer down the line? Definitely. So much fun waiting to see what arrives and then the anticipation of watching something different. Anyway, keep an eye out for future reviews (although given my current schedule they are probably going to be a ways off).

GYO Tokyo Fish Attack


Kaori and her friends are taking a graduation trip when walking fish suddenly attack?


I’m going to put this one in context. I had never heard of this movie but I received the disc when I bought one of Hanabee’s mystery boxes and decided to give it a go after a very long week when I was very tired. It probably didn’t help that I watched it with someone equally tired who also hasn’t watched all that much anime. I’m not even going to try to avoid spoilers because there just isn’t enough plot to be able to spoil in this case.


You know how after you’ve watched a lot of anime you kind of feel like nothing will ever make you wonder again? GYO proved beyond all doubt that this is a false sentiment. No matter how many completely random, weird, or bizarre set ups I’ve seen, nothing really prepares you for walking, sort-of-zombie, marine life and then gaseous diseased humans being strapped onto walking apparatuses and having various tubes inserted places they should be all the while releasing yet more of the gas into the already pretty heavy atmosphere.

The movie is short (running just a bit over an hour) and that is more than enough. No, you still don’t know what caused the whole walking fish thing (other than one crack pot scientist’s theory that it was linked to some biological warfare testing during the world wars – but this is never confirmed beyond his own ramblings). Only one of the characters you know the name of makes it through the whole thing seemingly uninfected and she (while making various statements about truth being only what you see, doesn’t seem to care what caused anything having spent most of the running time trying to reunite with her fiance.


This is an absolute mess of a movie with possible sci-fi links, a b grade horror kind of feel in places (check the friend who likes having sex and is one of the first to turn into a bloated human while still wearing her very skimpy underwear), a terrible romance, and a bad action all kind of mixed together. The bottom line is it doesn’t handle any of the elements well and it quickly becomes predictable from a narrative point of view even while individual scenes catch you off guard (the shark in the bus was pretty weird no matter how you look at it).

That said, by the midway point I wondered when we would see an octopus groping a girl and sure enough the scene came up a few minutes later. Totally unnecessary and it was literally the only time in the entire movie we saw an octopus but clearly cohesion isn’t what some of these scenes were going for given one of the mob-scenes toward the end included a cow that was infected.

After all of this I’m left with a few questions.

Firstly, why are Kaori, Aki and Erika (I may have one of those names wrong) friends? Aki seems to hate both Kaori and Erika, Erika is clearly not interested in female friends and Kaori is totally fiance obsessed. They have nothing to talk about and that is clear in every interaction they have. It’s actually a relief when Kaori bails on them to return to Tokyo.


Secondly, how did Kaori not get infected? She was cut in one scene, pierced in another and she should have been pierced in a couple of other scenes. That said, she also should have had multiple broken bones and a concussion after getting thrown around in a few of the scenes and she probably should have outright died in the plane or the train crash so she’s apparently the luckiest person on the planet.

Finally, what is supposed to happen now? Essentially the zombie-fish things won only they all blew up and now there are people and cats and dogs and cows on the walking apparatuses that seem to just keep appearing.

If you don’t mind adult content (nudity, sex, and human mutation) you might get a laugh out of this movie. Or you might just spend the whole thing trying to pick your jaw off the floor. As I said, there are moments that are genuinely entertaining but the story as a whole never comes together and the characters are kind of painful.