Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Tag Archives: Zetman

Neon Alley – The All Anime Channel on PS3

Getting access to anime in America through official means hasn’t been cheap or easy.  And aside from Saturday night Toonami on Adult Swim, if you want to watch anime on TV you’d need a lot more than the basic cable package.  Which is why I’m excited by the prospect of a new way for viewers to get access to anime in America.  As part of a venture by VIZ Media, PS3 owners can subscribe to a 24×7 anime channel called Neon Alley.  Here’s their promotional video.

This is my breakdown on Neon Alley.  For about $7 a month you get access to an all-anime channel.  I want to look at exactly what this means.  Consider a cable subscription can cost upwards of $60 a month.  Then, investing in a 12 episode series on BD can be anywhere from $30 to $60 or WAY more.  If you’re as big an anime fan as I am and you’ve got a certain series you may be on the fence about, this is a perfectly reasonable price to get a lot of anime for your dollar.

The next question to ask is, “What anime DO I get to watch?”  Well, sure enough you’ll see VIZ licensed / Toonami staples like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece and Death Note.  Then they have the classics like InuYasha and Berserk.  But I’m pleased to see some other impressive titles in their lineup that I think a lot of people may otherwise overlook without access to a service like Neon Alley that lets you sample series that have gone under the radar.  Some of my favorites from this list include Blue Exorcist, Lagrange, Vampire Knight and Zetman.  And while it’s not been announced to show on Neon Alley just yet, VIZ has licensed Accel World, one of the best anime to come out so far this year.

The one complaint I have is that the current list of shows is action, action / comedy and more action.  While that’s fine to get a base started, I worry that it’s going to give anime fans with much broader tastes some hesitation before they jump on board.  But all in all, this is a solid idea in my opinion.  Anime in America needs these kinds of outlets to grow communities and ease access to lesser-known shows that deserve more attention.  So if you want to watch dubbed, uncensored / uncut anime, anytime you want and at a really good price (and you have a PS3) go check out Neon Alley.  And if you want to wait, I think this is worth paying attention to future developments because my instincts are telling me this channel may just succeed at doing for anime what Steam has done for video games and Netflix for movies.

Anime of the Week (4/1 – 4/7)

Anime of the Week – Accel World
What strikes me most about this series is its character design. I’ve never seen such a stark contrast between the hero and heroine.
April 2 Amagami+ Ep. 13 As fanservice goes, this was pretty tame. Beyond that, I don’t think there was anything novel about this series’ finisher.
Persona 4 Ep. 25 I’m curious about how the true ending will depict the events in the game, especially since this episode was so rushed.
April 3 Mirai Nikki Ep. 24 I hoped that Yukiteru would have become more decisive, but he’s still going about things with a wishy-washy attitude.
Accel World Ep. 1 Initial impression – the beginning of something really cool
April 4 Space Brothers Ep. 1 Initial impression – the wrong style (4/10)
April 5 Zetman Ep. 1 Initial impression – too niche (4/10)
To Heart 2 Dungeon Travelers Ep. 1 This series has always been hilarious and ridiculous, so adding an RPG twist really isn’t a big stretch.
April 7 Hiiro no Kakera Ep. 1 Initial impression – deliberately hazy (4/10)

*You could have read these mini-reviews in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Zetman Ep. 1

Initial impression – too niche (4/10)

Spring 2012 (13 episodes) (more info)

Zetman doesn’t seem to have much going for it.  It’s already very clear what the story is going to be about and I fear it’s going to stick to such a standard formula it won’t be able to deviate into something more creative.  I’m also not fond of the very cliché “Dragonball hair” moment during the climax of episode one, but despite my misgivings there’s some great action and the plot builds on some very formative moments that will clearly shape the characters’ futures in the coming episodes.  The art style also isn’t my favorite with a very “Japan hero-show,” design for the appearance of the superhero suits reminiscent of Power Rangers.  It’s very unimaginative and childish for something that clearly wants to market itself to a more mature audience.   So it seems Zetman is firmly going to be a sort of hyper-shounen anime that isn’t strictly bad.  Unfortunately, it has such narrow appeal that the people who like it will really like it, but everyone else is just going to say, “meh.”