Beauty and the Best


Weather Report Girl Review

I seem to be in a trend lately of going back to some of the more obscure, but entertaining anime titles from my younger days, so I thought I would review Weather Report GirlWeather Report Girl has been described as yuri by some, but I consider it more of a sexual comedy, much like many of the anime during the 90's.  Weather Report Girl centers around sadistic woman named Keiko that will stop at nothing to be adored by millions, and sets her sights on doing so by becoming the weather girl of a large Japanese network.  In her pursuit of this goal, Keiko is completely ruthless and stops at nothing to become an idol of television.
I am not going to spoil how she gets her foot in the door, but when you see it, right off the bat, you realize that Keiko is a beast, and she stays on top the same way.  She uses her razor sharp intellect and sexuality to coax people to her side, or run right over them, and her fans love her for it.
The cast of characters include the network executives, which will do anything to make their network #1, her rival, and first weather girl, and a timid and homely man from her past that has been stalking Keiko for years.  I think the funniest folks are the executives, especially, the owner of the network.  They pretty much let Keiko do whatever she wants because they see yen signs in everything she does, and they are typical perverted businessmen.
The animation is decent, but what shines through is the humour.  This, and the sexuality actually made Weather Report Girl a cult favourite among many, and enabled it to be translated into live action media.  Like many of the older anime, it can be found on YouTube, so watching it should be no problem.  For some reason, I don't think it has ever been dubbed, but it is available in sub.

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"Dance in the Vampire Bund"

I had heard a lot of whispers of anticipation concerning Dance in the Vampire Bund, from FUNimation, before it had come out on Blu-ray and DVD. Most of the talk was because it was a lolicon video and that it was being released from such a mainstream anime company. I decided to see what all the hubbub was about and watch it. Here is what I thought.

First of all, Dance in the Vampire Bund is a short anime series about Mina Tepes, the queen of vampires. The story is about the circumstances that arise when she establishes a safe haven for night gaunt. Mina must deal with assassination attempts, human scrutiny, romance and vampire politics while providing sanctuary for her fellow creatures of the night.

The animation was well done...for the most part. The only real issue I had with quality was at a time when the animation really should have shown through; Mina's transformation scenes. I am not going to give away what is so special about it, but I will say the quality looked a little rushed and could have had a little better detail.

So at this point, you must be thinking: "Okay, 'sounds interesting, but why are people talking about this series, and what makes this so controversial?" Mina Tepes, while being hundreds of years old and having a healthy lust for romance, appears as an 11 year old girl. This causes some pretty strange twists to elements of the story that would not normally be issues and twists others that would be considered complicated on their own.

The fact that Mina looks like an 11 year old sticks out at first, and makes for some amusing situations at later points. However, I found her physical age taking a backseat to the story and plot about a quarter or third into the series, except for when was meant to ad edge. A Google Image search will show you tons of art from the anime and manga, and the VERY suggestive things Mina likes to wear. Thankfully, the series is not nearly as spicy and I was able to enjoy it without feeling too awkward or strange.

Like many series, there were some mini-stories. At least one of them might be considered "filler," but they melded well with the series and did not detract from focus of the storyline, whatsoever.

The series resolves in a way that there is a sense of completion, but not of finality, leaving sequels quite possible for the future. As a short series, I would give Dance in the Vampire Bund an 8 out of 10. It is a must have for any lolicon, and like many FUNimation anime, it is available on Netflix, so this should make many of you happy.

--Jason O. N. Roberts aka HERETICPRIME of Otaku no Baka

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