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|Title:||Preview Guide To Anime On Demand and It's Spring 2011 Line-up|
|Published:||Tue, 14 Jun 2011|
With the lack of TV anime and long waits for a DVD release for certain series, it was officially announced at Kitacon in April that KazeUK would be setting up a site called Anime On Demand for streaming the latest anime currently airing in Japan. I was both surprised and enthusiastic about the idea; so I signed up to the service to check it out.
The website interface has a very eye-catching look and is easy to navigate, the latest anime episode for any series is always shown on a slide show banner that will take you straight to the video player, and the video menu gives you the A-Z list that shows what is available for you to watch.
As for the video player itself, as you click the play button the stream automatically starts; no delays at all found in the episodes, you can also change the video display resolution, remove the English subtitles or go full screen.
This is a paid service though and in future, when a series is at a certain episode, then free users will not have them available to continue with the series, you will also have to watch adverts at certain parts of the video if you're a free user. To continue watching, you have to buy an annual pass (access to videos for a whole year) or season pass (access to videos for a three months season). This will allow you to watch any series fully; pass-holders will be advert free and there is an option to watch an episode in high definition (720p).
To start with, Anime On Demand is streaming five shows from the spring anime season and I will go through a little preview of the series, sharing my thoughts on what I've watched without spoiling any of them.
Tiger & Bunny
Imagine you were a super hero in a reality TV show and you gained points for saving lives and capturing criminals - that's Tiger and Bunny in a nutshell. A group of heroes called “NEXT” take part in this “Hero TV” show to save lives and sponsor their brands while gaining hero points. The series is centred around both Wild Tiger and Barnaby (a.k.a Bunny) who are forced to team up together to create the first hero double team.
So far the series has surprised me on how appealing it is to a worldwide audience, I've heard viewers compare it to Cowboy Bebop because of its Americanised feel; from what I've watched, Tiger & Bunny is a fantastic action/comedy that shows no sign of slowing down. Wild Tiger in every episode has been one of my favourite male characters showing a real mind-set for being an actual hero while having a great comical personalty. The other heroes aren't ignored as well; even though they are rivals, they show a lot of teamwork and all of them have there own unique and likeable personality.
Tiger & Bunny is highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a thrilling action & comedy anime and even if it doesn't appeal to everyone, you will still get some enjoyment out of this series.
[C] - The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
College student Kimimaro has a dream to live a normal life in the future but currently has trouble with his finances. It is then that a mysterious man offers him a large amount of money but in return he has to travel to an unknown place known as the Financial District, where he will have to fight others to save his huge funds.
With this being one of my most anticipated shows, with such an interesting concept to boot, the series had me confused at the first episode, leaving me a tad disappointed. But as the episodes progressed; everything was explained and set up for what looks to be an exciting series. I would described it as Eden of the East with Yu-Gi-Oh elements, since the fights use monsters for their financial battles. Again it's another show that I feel appeals to a worldwide audience, especially when this series takes the influence of the 2008-2009 Wall Street crash and even the recent bank bonuses revelations here in the UK.
[C] - The Money of Soul and Possibility Control is a smart mystery/thiller that is growing better by every episode and looks to continue that way.
Ganta Igarashi is a normal high school student who is all of a sudden attacked by a monster and results in all of Ganta's classmates being killed in the process. After finding out that he is the only survivor, he is convicted of murdering the whole class and sentenced to a privately owned and operated prison known as “Deadman Wonderland”.
Just around two minutes in to episode one, I was frozen in fear and gripped in awe; the series does not hold back at all, yet it is all explained at a fascinating pace. You really do feel for Ganta's awful misfortune and how he is forced into this prison. The new mysterious female lead is introduced, showing a strange, positive attitude, and the Deadman Wonderland attractions show harsh, inventive challenges to criminals that take part in them.
Deadman Wonderland looks to continue with its gripping storyline and thrilling premise and I can't wait to see what it throws at me in future episodes.
In the city of Akihabara, nothing is quite as it seems, with satellites crashing into buildings and people disappearing into thin air. We are introduced to a mad scientist and his team who are trying to avoid the organization named SERN from being captured and prevent them from finding out a time travel device.
To describe Steins;Gate by just watching one episode is difficult; it's a good start though, it introduces us to our main characters: Okabe is a mad scientist and leader of the group who is obsessed with creating weird scientific experiments; Mayuri, who is more carefree and doesn't have any interest other than sticking around with Okabe; and Itaru who is the master hacker of the group. The series is littered with various theories of time travel and unexplained events which I expect will be discussed as it progresses .
While Steins;Gate is surrounded with mystery, its characters have impressed me and I look forward to more.
With a title that translates in English to “My Ordinary Life” you would be expecting a normal Slice-Of-Life anime but instead the series is utterly insane with a wide range of strange characters that do weird things such as riding a deer to school or a robot with a wind-up key exposed. Welcome to madness.
Being a big fan of comedy I would compare Nichijou to shows like Azumanga Daioh or Cromartie High School in terms of comical randomness and for the time being the series does show great signs of this, The series has a lot to prove in its 26 episode run but if it can keep up this creative humor then I will continue to enjoy it.
If you're a fan of Kyoto Animation's recent works or have been waiting for a full random comedy, then this is for you.
If you wish to join the Anime On Demand service then the web address is: http://www.anime-on-demand.com/
Type the characters you see in the picture above.