Alderamin on the Sky is told as a history of a legendary tactician and general, who became great because he was lazy and had no interest in fighting. It is set in a very steampunk universe, with compressed air rifles and airships, and a technology base from around 1820 or so. It opens with our protagonist traveling with a childhood friend he is escorting on her journey to a military academy. They meet new friends on the ship they are sailing on, which runs into trouble leaving them stranded behind enemy lines. I was hooked by the end of the first episode, and every episode since has been better than the one before. We are up to the 4th episode, with a new episode popping up every Friday.
I didn’t find many genre Movies or TV shows this week, although Paddington is a fantasy as well as a children’s tale, so should be included in this list. Certainly it has some of the best CGI effects playing the part of its title character I have seen in a while. There is a live action Japanese movie that fits the genre criteria coming out this week, in the form of 2013’s Arcana. When you watch the trailer see if you can spot the actor who played the primary villein in the Korean sci-fi TV romantic dramedy My Love From Another Star. While not genre, Inherent Vice is based on the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, so should be both darkly funny and appropriately twisty.
We do much better in Anime this time around, starting with D-Frag!, where Kazama’s plan to rule the school using violence is tanked when he runs into the pretty psychopaths of the Game Creation Club. Now he will be lucky just to survive the whacked out games these girls play. In Nobunaga the Fool: Collection 1 the giant mechas were built by Leonardo Da Vinci, and Joan d’Arc needs to convince Nobunaga Oda to use them to unite both planets under a banner of peace. Then there is Hayate the Combat Butler: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, another 12 episodes forming season 3, continuing the epic fight for Hayates life, and his charge’s freedom and well-being.
World conquest has been a dream of would-be dictators for centuries, but has never actually happened. At least not until one girl pulled it off in World Conquest Zvezda Plot, possibly the strangest tale of world domination ever told. I should also mention a couple of classics being re-released for another generation this time around: Fushigi Yugi (a book transports 4 friends into a parallel universe, giving them 52 episodes of adventures before they can escape) and Saiyuki (4 reluctant heroes are just as concerned about having a good time as they are about saving the world for 50 episodes). My super-short description of the two tales may sound similar, but they are far different than you might suspect. Plus, they are both absolute classics of their kind, and well worth your time to watch and enjoy.