summer boutiques-francophones Learn more snsflyout Furniture All-New Kindle sports Tools
Profile for John Thomas Anderson > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by John Thomas An...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 47
Helpful Votes: 463

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
John Thomas Anderson (Southern Ontario, Canada)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Okami-san and Her Seven Companions - Complete Series [Blu-ray + DVD]
Okami-san and Her Seven Companions - Complete Series [Blu-ray + DVD]
DVD ~ Joel McDonald
Price: CDN$ 39.98
23 used & new from CDN$ 32.38

4.0 out of 5 stars A short but fun action/comedy series!, June 26 2016
Forget about the alliterations to western fairytales which is prominently promoted in the advertising. Yes the so-called Wolf and major female protagonist, Ryogo has your typical tough girl exterior with good girl interior. And yes her best friend Ringo looks and acts like a tiny Red Riding Hood. While their companions at the Otogi-Bank (a student run help club) and some of their clients are supposed to parody various fables but it's very subtle and frankly easily forgotten.

Instead it's simply another typical action/comedy high school series which revolves more around bailing out fellow students than anything to do with actual school activities. And in it's mix of characters has all the usual anime stereotypes. In addition to Ryogo and Ringo, there's the shy boy Ryoushi who loves her and may be more than he appears, the club president who's the schemer, the hot guy and his jealous girlfriend, the eccentric sci-fi girl, the maid, the evil head of a rival school who wants to take them down, etc., etc. In it's 12 episodes it's a pretty good mix of action and comedy.

If it has a weakness, it's too stereotypical. Every other episode always has a bunch of goons with lead pipes they have to fight for no good reason. And by the end of the 12 episodes nothing really gets wrapped up. Although the ending is fine; it's also quite obvious that they planned to do more which never materialized. So it does feel a bit uncompleted.

As for this collection, it's your typical Funimation Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack with two Blu-Rays and two DVDs. BD's are 1080P native, 16x9 with Dolby True HD 5.1 English and 2.0 Japanese. DVD's are Dolby 5.1 English and Stereo Japanese. Extras are limited to commentaries, promotional videos, Op's and Ed's and various trailers.

Overall, it's not a bad little series but really deserved a second season to finish. 4 stars out of 5.

J. A.

Rozen Maiden: Complete Collection
Rozen Maiden: Complete Collection
DVD ~ Asami Sanada
Price: CDN$ 44.09

4.0 out of 5 stars A story about living dolls that's not for children!, June 17 2016
Sweet and funny, yet also powerful and sad!

Rozen Maiden is another series from the old Geneon stable. Originally in two parts totalling 24 episodes; it came out back in 2007 under the title "Rozen Maiden" followed a year later by the second part called "Rozen Maiden: Traumend". These two series along with a follow-up 2 episode OVA called "Rozen Maiden: Ouverture were then license rescued and re-issued by Sentai in 20ll. And is now being re-released by Sentai once again in this "Sentai Selects" budget/re-release edition. So what's it all about? In a nutshell, living dolls!

The first part basically revolves around a hermit like young man who has been so badly traumatized that he stays shut up in his room instead of going to school. Then one day a box arrives that contains the most beautiful doll he has ever seen and when he winds the key; Shinku comes alive! From there on for the next 12 episodes; it becomes an intriguing mix of mystery, action, comedy and more serious bits as we're slowly introduced to the Rozen Dolls and their destiny to participate in the Alice Game. And the awakening of this young man to friendships and courage that he didn't know he had! It's a sweet little tale that does have it's own proper ending.

The second part (Traumend) starts off similar to the first part. The remaining dolls are introduced, new characters are added and by the time it gets to the last half the tone of the series has gotten much more serious and dark. As now the dolls and their masters are going to be facing the Alice Game and the consequences will be real and tragic. As a result, it's not a tale for the young ones. The last three episodes are at times very moving!

While not perfect as the main character Jun is a bit too obnoxious at the beginning, some of the plotlines and character interactions too unbelievable, bits and pieces too convenient and it's left a little too open ended in case they wanted to do another sequel? (Which they now have called Zuruckspulen which will be out in the Fall.) This is more than compensated for by the dolls themselves which are the true stars with their own motivations, character interactions and dreams. So overall, it's a series I found quite charming and the ending quite satisfactory. This collection also contains the two episode OVA which is basically a prologue of their creation. So that's a nice bonus as well.

The collection itself is on 5 discs, 2 each for the two main parts and 1 disc for the OVA's. Video is 16x9 and both English and Japanese are in Dolby Digital 2.0. Extras are limited to clean OP's and ED's and trailers similar to the original Geneon release. But Sentai has included a nice reversible cover like most of their "Sentai Selects" editions. There will be no Blu ray release of this older series.

The closest things I can compare this to would be series like "Princess Tutu", "LaCorda d'Oro" or perhaps the last couple of episodes of "Petite Princess Yucie". Tales that can go from silly and fun to powerful and sad and back again. It's quite unique. Recommended for those who want something different that doesn't involve space aliens, fan service or magical girls. While not for everyone. For those whom enjoy series like these; I rate it a strong four stars.

J. A.

Lucky Star:  The Complete Series [Blu-ray + DVD]
Lucky Star: The Complete Series [Blu-ray + DVD]
DVD ~ Wendee Lee
Price: CDN$ 50.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A simple little slice of life anime series!, June 17 2016
Lucky Star is yet another great little slice of life schoolgirl comedy that came out originally from Bandai back in 2008 and has now been license rescued and re-issued by Funimation in one of their Blu ray, DVD combo packs. Like other full length Combo releases, this will consist of 4 Blu rays and 4 DVD's housed in a double thick Blu ray case with a slip cover and reversible cover art. All the extras from the original Bandai release including Key Scenes Galleries, textless OP's and ED's, Promo clip The Adventures of Minoru Shiraishi, On Screen Text Reference Guide, Cast Interviews and trailers will be included.

As for the series itself. There's no space aliens, demons, villains out to conquer the world or harems here. It's just a simple little anime series about the day to day lives of (initially) four high school (though in animation style, they look more like public school) girls which expands in the last half to about eight or more girls and their day to day tribulations. The closest thing to it in terms of feel and quality would be "K-On" K:On!: Season 1 [Blu-Ray] (highly recommended) or "Azumanga Daioh" Azumanga Daioh: Complete Collection (also highly recommended). Sometimes it's just nice to have a simple little comedy to watch!

Like Azumanga Daioh, the series is based on a four strip comic series. And again like Daioh, this results in each episode being a bunch of mini-episodes strung together. In the case of Lucky Star, most being about one to three minutes long. None of the mini stories are earth shattering, just fun exploring everything from meal etiquette to study procrastination. In other words, stuff we can all relate to. There's also a ton of references to other anime series that they parody especially Haruhi Suzumiya which also came out from Bandai around that time.

Like K-On and Daioh, I found it the perfect series to watch late at night when you just want to unwind. In a way, it was even better as with such short storylines, you can shut it off almost anywhere and not leave anything hanging!

As a bonus, it's also very interesting right from the very beginning to the very end of each episode. While the Opening is always the same, it's an extremely catchy song and dance number that I never got bored of watching and every ending has a different animated monologue from a very bored voice actress plus different ending credits for every single episode. This is one series where you won't want to jump through the end credits.

Highly recommended by otaku at the time; many of whom are now going to be double dipping to get this newer blu ray version. And definitely recommended if you're a fan of either K-On or Azumanga Daioh. I rate it a strong 4 stars out of 5.

J. A.

Real Ghostbusters, the - Volumes 01-05 - Set [Import]
Real Ghostbusters, the - Volumes 01-05 - Set [Import]
Price: CDN$ 39.61

4.0 out of 5 stars An old classic returns from the late 80's!, June 14 2016
A couple of years after the original Ghostbusters movie came out back in 1984; a brand new animated series based on the movie was produced which ran from September, 1986 to October, 1991 in various formats and name changes. This complete collection contains the first 58 episodes of that series on five DVD volumes slipped into a lightweight box set. (You can also buy the individual volumes separately.)

The series was pretty good for it's time. The same snappy writing, humour and adult cynicism as the original movie and attracted a pretty faithful group of fans that either grew up with it or were young adults at the time. And whom have been waiting forever for a good budget re-issue of this series. Which has never been fully available at an affordable price until now. And not to worry, the remaining 89 or so episodes of the series will be out in another complete box set to match this one in September according to the latest reports from Sony. So for those nostalgic for the series; this two-part re-issue is probably as good as it's ever going to get!

So should you buy it? If you're a fan of the original series; the answer is obviously yes. According to what I've been told on the forums; it's been cleaned up considerably from the old days and is about as good as you're going to get on a 30 year old series with 30 year old masters.

If you're not a fan, have never heard of it or were too young to see it broadcast? That's another story. While the writing and storytelling was top notch for it's day, it's still an older American series intended for broadcast TV. And as such animation is very simplistic and doesn't stand up to today's higher standards. In style and quality, it's similar to what you would expect on an older GI Joe, Simpsons, Batman or Fantastic 4 episode. So judge accordingly.

3 stars for the modern animation fans, they'll probably find the animation too sub-par for their tastes. And 5 stars for the older fans who have been waiting half their lives for this to come out. So I'll compromise and rate this a 4. Depending on what camp you fall into, your mileage will undoubtedly vary.........

J. A.

Super Gals: Complete Series - Collection [Import]
Super Gals: Complete Series - Collection [Import]
Price: CDN$ 44.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Beverly Hills teen done Japanese style!, June 14 2016
Based on the Manga GALS, Super Gals is basically a slice of life action/comedy series revolving around Ran Kotobuki whose life revolves around trendy clothes, shopping, avoiding home work or getting coerced into joining the police department by her police family while all the while defending her Shibuya from criminals and other Gals who may try to take over her territory. It's a very funny and action packed series.

Joined by her best friend Miyu who used to be a gang leader until beaten, err......, coerced by Ran into joining the good guys and who's in love with Ran's older brother who of course is also a cop. And their newest friend Aya; it's just a series of day to day adventures from shopping misadventures to beating off rivals while trying to placate her family who just want her to settle down and join them in the police department. It's the sort of series that really goes good late at night when you just want something light and fun to watch before going to bed.

With the first season originally licensed and dubbed by ADV back in the early 2000's, it proved popular enough that later on Rightstuf licensed the second season but never bothered to dub it. Which is why this new collection of both seasons One and Two has both English and Japanese for episodes 1 to 26 but only the Japanese with English subtitles for episodes 27 to 52. All the extras from previous editions including liner notes, Bios, GALS slang, Op's and Ed's and trailers are included.

Either way dub or sub, it's a very enjoyable series to watch and in this new "Anime Elements" economy collection of all 52 episodes certainly gives you your money's worth.

4 stars out of 5.

J. A.

Zootopia 3D [Blu-ray]
Zootopia 3D [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Ginnifer Goodwin
Price: CDN$ 31.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be careful when removing the 3D Blu Ray!, June 8 2016
This review is from: Zootopia 3D [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Zootopia is yet another CGI movie from the folks at Disney that frequently reminded me a lot of the movies "Brave" and "Tangled". Like Tangled, it has a strong main female lead in the guise of a bunny called Judy Hopps who is the very first rabbit to ever join the police department and has to fight to be taken seriously. While also like Tangled dealing with a con man, err.... fox who eventually comes around as her partner in a most perplexing case of missing animals.

However while at first it appears to be your typical Disney action/comedy family movie. You soon realize that like Brave, there's a much more adult storyline running underneath of racism and stereotypes and a heroine who has to face up to and undo some terrible mistakes on her own part which closely reminded me of Brave. So if you liked either or both of those previous Disney movies; then you'll undoubtedly like this one as well.

The storyline takes a bit to heat up but once she gets to the city of Zootopia it really swings into top gear with action and animation that is top notch. There are scenes where there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of animated characters all going about their daily business in perfect detail. Backed up by a nicely immersive 7.1 DTS-HD soundtrack and some very impressive music. And if you're viewing the movie on the 3D Blu Ray, some very impressive 3D chase scenes through the city center as well.

However be careful removing the 3D Bluray from the right hand spindle (the non 3D Blu Ray is on the left hand spindle under the download security page) as Disney once again has decided to save a couple of cents by not bothering with a flipper so the third DVD disc of the movie is hidden directly below the 3D BD and can be very easily overlooked, picked up with the BD and/or dropped by accident.

As for the Blu Ray movie, it's in a 2.39:1, 1080P widescreen and comes with an English 7.1 DTS-HD soundtrack that's very impressive. It also contains French and Spanish tracks but only in Dolby Digital 5.1. No DTS I'm afraid. The DVD is also 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen with English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. However there is no Spanish audio track on the DVD. There is also a digital download option included which is good until June of 2021.

Extra's are copious on the Bluray. A 10 min. piece on researching animals and their behaviors. Another 10 min. piece on the origin of the storyline and how they radically altered it as they went along. And three pieces of 6 min. each on developing the characters, environment and the animation. In addition there are smaller pieces on hidden references in the movie, a 5 min. piece on making the movie soundtrack, another piece on deleted characters and a 3 min. musical video. There's also a half hour of deleted scenes that didn't make it into the final cut. But only the music video, the soundtrack and trailers appear on the DVD.

Overall I was quite pleased with Zootopia. It does hold it's own very nicely against previous Disney CGI movies like Tangled, Brave or Frozen. So you will definitely get your money's worth if you like those movies. 4 stars out of 5.

J. A.

Kekkaishi: Set 2 (ep.14-26)
Kekkaishi: Set 2 (ep.14-26)
DVD ~ Various
Price: CDN$ 18.46
4 used & new from CDN$ 18.46

4.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Set 1, you'll definitely want Set 2!, June 8 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kekkaishi: Set 2 (ep.14-26) (DVD)
Like other multi season sets from Viz; Kekkaishi just keeps getting better as it rolls along. So where the first set introduced the major characters of Yoshimori, Tokine, their families and school friends and spent most of the episodes in demon of the week type battles. This is now refreshed with the visit of his older and more experienced brother Masamori, the introduction of new Ayakashi who can disguise themselves as humans and most importantly of all, a new major ally in the form of a mysterious boy named Gen who has been sent to aid them.

Then couple that with more episodes that don't necessarily revolve around demon of the week battles, the development of new powers and a bit more maturity on Tokine and Yoshimori's side, while retaining the same zany humour and the beginning of a much more serious look into a major developing threat! And like an InuYasha, Naruto or Bleach, it just keeps getting better.

So where I gave the first set a 3-1/2 star rating; I'd give this set a strong 4 star rating. Definitely worth watching if you like this type of sci-fi/action comedy series.

J. A.

Zootopia [Blu-ray]
Zootopia [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Ginnifer Goodwin
Price: CDN$ 24.89
9 used & new from CDN$ 24.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A buddy cop movie with an all animal cast!, June 7 2016
This review is from: Zootopia [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Zootopia is yet another all CGI movie from the folks at Disney that frequently reminded me a lot of the movies "Brave" and "Tangled". Like Tangled, you have a strong main female character in the guise of a bunny called Judy Hopps who is the very first rabbit to ever join the police department and has to fight to be taken seriously. While also like Tangled dealing with a con man, err.... fox who eventually comes around as her partner in a most perplexing case of missing animals.

However while at first it appears to be your typical Disney action/comedy family movie. You soon realize that like Brave, there's a much more adult storyline running underneath of racism and stereotypes and a heroine who has to face up to and undo some terrible mistakes on her own part which closely reminded me of Brave. So if you liked either or both of those previous Disney movies; then you'll undoubtedly like this one as well.

The animation is top notch. There are scenes especially when she first gets to the city where there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of animated characters all going about their daily business in perfect detail. No static scenes here. Backed up by a nicely immersive 7.1 DTS-HD soundtrack and some very impressive music. And if you opt for the 3D Ultimate collection, some very impressive 3D chase scenes through the city center as well. (But be careful removing the 3D Bluray from the right hand spindle as Disney has placed the DVD directly below it and it would be very easy to accidentally remove and/or drop the DVD by accident.) Of course if you have the regular Bluray Combination release, this is not a problem as the DVD will be on it's own spindle.

As for the regular BD, it's in a 2.39:1 1080P widescreen and comes with an English 7.1 DTS-HD soundtrack that's very impressive. It also contains French and Spanish tracks but only in Dolby Digital 5.1. No DTS I'm afraid. The DVD is also 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen with English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. However there is no Spanish audio track on the DVD. There is also a digital download option included which is good until June of 2021.

Extra's are copious on the Bluray. A 10 min. piece on researching animals and their behaviors. Another 10 min. piece on the origin of the storyline and how they radically altered it as they went along. And three pieces of 6 min. each on developing the characters, environment and the animation. In addition there are smaller pieces on hidden references in the movie, a 5 min. piece on making the movie soundtrack, another piece on deleted characters and a 3 min. musical video. There's also a half hour of deleted scenes that didn't make it into the final cut. But only the music video, the soundtrack and trailers appear on the DVD.

Overall I was quite pleased with Zootopia. It does hold it's own very nicely against previous Disney CGI movies like Tangled, Brave or Frozen. So you will definitely get your money's worth if you like those movies. 4 stars out of 5.

J. A.

Tytania: Collection 1 (ep.1-13)
Tytania: Collection 1 (ep.1-13)
Price: CDN$ 62.99
15 used & new from CDN$ 35.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of Heroic Age, a dash of Capt. Tylor and a lot of Crest of the Stars!, May 31 2016
THIS REVIEW IS FOR BOTH VOLUMES ONE AND TWO

Tytania is a modern space opera very similar in some ways to Crest of the Stars. Based on the first three novels of a greater storyline; it details a universe of grand fleets and an aristocracy that has been in power for over 200 years. It's beautifully animated and like it's fantasy counterpart The Twelve Kingdoms; it's as much about the culture, characters, factions and infighting as it is about the actual action. In fact change the battle fleets to samurai armies and the four Dukes of Tytania and their Clan Lord to Generals and the Shogun and it would play out basically just as well. It's that sort of tale.

As a result if you're expecting all sorts of non-stop sci-fi action; you may be in for a surprise. The four Dukes and their Clan Lord actually play a larger part in the storytelling than the main character Fan Hyulick himself. Who ends up as a reluctant hero with more than a touch of The Irresponsible Capt. Tylor to his character with his unorthodox planning. So yes there's lots of action at times but also lots of planning and debating and lots of double crossing as well between the various factions and Ducal family houses . In fact if you've ever seen the move Dune; you'll get a good idea of how this tale is laid out.

So this is not a space opera for everyone. For every episode with large scale battles, there's two episodes with political intrigue or other nefarious interactions. And while there's a good ending; it's also quite apparent that this is just the beginning chapter of a much larger tale that may very well never be finished. However if you enjoy storylines like Twelve Kingdoms or Dune which are as much about the characters and infighting as about the battles? And you don't mind that this is simply one chapter out of a longer story still to be told? Then there is a lot to admire in this collection.

3 stars for the action crowd; they'll simply find this too slow and aggravating despite the beautiful animation and battle scenes. 4 stars for the Crest of the Stars, Twelve Kingdoms crowd who will find the palace intrigue and planetary politics just as interesting as the battles.

J. A.

Blue Submarine No. 6 Dts Complete Collection [Import]
Blue Submarine No. 6 Dts Complete Collection [Import]
Price: CDN$ 19.55
15 used & new from CDN$ 12.21

5.0 out of 5 stars A high quality OVA series from the early 2000's!, May 31 2016
Blue Submarine No. 6 is another older Bandai title that was originally released back in the early 2000's and consists of four high quality OVA's of 30 min. each. After Bandai exited the North American market it was license rescued and re-released by Discotek (Eastern Star) back in 2013 as a DVD only collection and in 2014 as a flawed Bluray collection with a censored Toonami audio track. It is now being re-released once again in a complete DVD collection with both the English censored Toonami track and the original uncut dub. However if you want the DTS track and you should since it was one of the very first anime OVA's to ever come with a high quality native Japanese 5.1 surround track. It's only available on the Japanese audio track and even though I'm a dub fan; I highly recommend the DTS sub. It's very immersive.

The plot is your typical Japanese death wish/end of the world type scenario. Most of the world has been flooded and a mad scientist with his new breed of mutants has decided that the remaining humans should be eliminated. And it's up to what's left of the U. N. Fleet to stop him. What follows is four of the most intense episodes around. The oceans roar all around you, ships explode and the underwater scenes are very well done. Next to Macross Plus or Submarine 707R (which is similar and also highly recommended), I consider this one of the best OVA's in my entire collection!

A true classic - I rate this 5 stars out of 5!

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20