Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pachi's Anime Review - Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun

You guys feeling in a funny mood tonight? Then get your giggle boxes ready - for my final anime review of the year I will covering my favorite anime comedy this round: Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. And hey, if you're in a bad mood, skip the review and go watch it right now (on Crunchyroll). I guarantee it'll make you feel better. ^_^

As we hit the end of the year, that means once again it's time for my End of Year Retrospective mega review where I touch on some series I skipped in monthly reviews and that I feel played a big part in my consumption of this particular anime calender year. Currently I'm a LITTLE better prepared for the event than I was last year - it won't be delayed all the way to the end of January, I'll tell you that right now. I've got five series (two of which you can likely already guess if you've paid any attention to what anime came out this year and/or my Twitter) lined up this year, and likely I will release each review one every other day or so for a 1-2 week long event. But will it happen in December?Mmmmmmmmhopefully! I've given myself more work than my procrastinating mind is programmed to handle, as usual, so I can't make any promises. I'll do my best not to take forever!

But you're not here tonight for that, you're here to learn more about Nozaki-kun. Then by all means, read on, and enjoy! :D


A struggle I often face in doing these review art pieces is answering the all-important thematic question: "How do I incorporate Penguin into this?" For Nozaki-kun, it was never a debate. The moment I saw Sakura striking her paintbrush over the tanuki in the opening theme, I knew it was meant to be. All too late I realized Mikorin's direction of sight could be misconstrued for looking up Sakura's skirt. He's totally not supposed to be doing that, I swear! Dx This could also be a coded message via the Nozaki-kun cast challenging me to stop putting penguins in all my art. Hm.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pachi's Anime Review - Daimidaler the Sound Robot

It's almost Halloween, ghouls and gals! What scary tales has Uncle Pachi whipped up for you on this wicked week? Prepare yourself for a shocker, a chilling collection of craft that will send your spirit straight to the crypt! For tonight......I am reviewing......A FANSERVICE ANIME.

That's right. And not the good kind of fanservice anime like Kill la Kill, oh no. This is raked straight up out of the bottom-feeders, the craptastic, insulting series that objectify women for a complacent male audience. I've gone on record about lowest common denominator fanservice in my Free review, but what if we were to accurately examine one of these monsters? Let's see how that goes as I review Daimidaler the Sound Robot! Enjoy, if you dare~!


I'll admit, I partially decided to write this review because I wanted to draw the Penguin Empire commandos. Ridiculous front tails and all. And of course I had to show how #2 feels about these 'penguin brethren'. I deliberately didn't apply shading to this one as a postmodern commentary on how fanservice for a male audience is often morally cheap. I'm deep, man.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pachi's Anime Review - Ping Pong

Happy October! The leaves are beginning to change, the air starts to chill, and in lieu of fall-related posts you'll just have to settle for more anime reviews from me! I have three currently cooking in the boiler, the first of which is what you're reading right now. These will most likely be my last three reviews of the year before my annual end-of-year recollection where I take several shows I skipped talking about and review them all at once. I'm planning on including a few less shows this year than last as I was a bit overwhelmed by all the writing, we'll see!

If you know anything about me, you probably know I'm not a sports guy. Likewise, I'm not the biggest fan of sports in anime. The draw is that you hold some interest in the sport in question, but my interest in sports is practically zero. I do swim, which made enjoyment of Free all the sweeter. But even in Free, the thematic point isn't really the sport, but the togetherness and friendship. That's what I'm looking for in sports anime - a serial with a message that can say something to me and not feel like a waste of time only intended strictly for people who play sports. I found such a message in today's review: Masaaki Yuasa's Ping Pong! The pedigree of talent in this show is rather high, so I don't feel properly qualified to talk about it, but I tried anyway. Enjoy! ^^;


My angle for this drawing was to draw #2 in the style of a Ping Pong character, particularly with a disposition Peco might take when 'the hero appears'. I went minimalist in color as the show in question takes much the same approach. I have discovered it's harder to imitate Yuasa's style than I first thought. There's skill to be had in making something look deliberately fluid and free-form. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pachi's Anime Review - Phi-Brain: Puzzle of God

You push your way through the dusty tomb, coming to a clearing where a formation of leveraged blocks protrude from a nearby wall. Compressing the button to your right reveals on several of the blocks these letters arranged as follows:

                 P  I              IS                OIN                  

                                               TO                OT  ON

On your left is a keypad of numbers. Thinking analytically, you surely realize these numbers can correspond to letters of the alphabet. Quickly noting several of the numbers can be rearranged such that all rows amount to the same summation, you find the dim light entering from a minuscule rift in the ceiling illuminates one row of five numbers. Converting the revealed digits to their place in the alphabet, you are able to place your findings and decipher the message on the wall to reveal:

                     PACHI        IS              GOING                  

                                               TO                OTAKON

YES, I am going to Otakon, and NO, I don't know if that puzzle I just lazily transcribed works! :D Tonight, you guys get a review. I wanted to get one more in quick because in just a couple days I will be heading up north to Baltimore for my third time attending annual Otakon. If you happen to be there yourself, dear reader, and wish to say hi, nothing would please me more! An easy way to spot me is that I always carry my Penguindrum #2 Penguin with me even when not cosplaying. On Saturday and Saturday only, I will be cosplaying as Shouma Takakura from Penguindrum all day. If there are multiple Shoumas, just look for the husky one - that's me.

Anyway, if you know anything about recent anime you MIGHT have guessed what tonight's review is about. Yes, it's the puzzle-solving adventure Phi-Brain: Puzzle of God! I hope you enjoy, and I hope to see you at Otakon! ^_^


Something's not quite right in my art for this review: Nonoha is solving all the puzzles while Kaito's leering for the camera. How peculiar. This was a drawing that I didn't really feel came together until I started coloring it. The intricate folds of Gammon's leather suit, the musty, grime-y wall, the glow of the puzzle pieces as they are inserted into place, the dimly lit phi symbols above; this one's got a lot of neat, atmospheric parts I couldn't realize until I started coloring. I like it a lot.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pachi's Anime Review - Kill la Kill

A very late, late evening to all of you! I seem to have lost my way and unfortunately haven't provided any updates in awhile; well I'm fixing that tonight. Sit back and pop yourself some popcorn, 'cuz tonight's review is a long one. Follow the jump below to read my thoughts on the recently completed Studio Trigger action extravaganza Kill la Kill, one of my favorite series of the past year! Hope you enjoy!

P.S. I realize my Review page has been an organizational mess forever, so I tweaked it a bit so it's a little neater. Still not anywhere close to how I want it to appear, but at least I'm not ignoring the blog's cleanliness!


I don't mention this in the review, but one of my favorite aspects of Kill la Kill was how several characters exhibited their own unique visual motifs, such as lighting and backdrop. For this drawing I decided to take my three favorite characters from the show (Satsuki, Mako, and Mikisugi) and make their unique lighting clash. Making the lighting work around each character but also blend into the remainder of the drawing in after-effects was really hard yet enriching experience. It's a lot harder to draw Mako's "HAAAA-LLE-LU-JAH~" arm pose than you might think. Also I apologize if you take offense to radiating penguin nipples. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Pachi's Anime Review - Space Brothers

Eat your vegetables, and don't forget to share them with your friends! You'll be healthier AND happier! All this and more on a special educational edition of Pachi's Portrait! Brought to you by the letter C.

But seriously, welcome back! I haven't seen you since April. Don't worry - there are at least two more reviews for shows that wrapped up during the Winter '14 season on the way following tonight's release. I decided to postpone this review to this week because it's the week of my birthday, and the show I am presenting you with tonight is one very close to my heart. Imagine if I got the gumption to review a beast like Fullmetal Alchemist - that's basically what tonight's review is like for me. So no pressure!

Quick announcement! On the weekend of the 23rd (the weekend after this one), I will be attending my local convention in Raleigh, NC, Animazement! I won't be wearing any particular cosplay, but a surefire way to spot me is by my tote bag in which my Penguindrum #2 penguin (aka my avatar) hitches a ride all about. If you spot us, feel free to say hi! I'm looking forward to another fun convention year!

Without further ado, take the jump below the linear notes to check out my newest anime review, covering the 99-episode Space Brothers! This is the longest series I've covered yet and took my quite awhile to formulate my thoughts on it just the way I wanted. Hope you enjoy!


This drawing pays tribute to the after-episode segment that began airing late during Space Brothers' run: Mr. Hibbit. Mr. Hibbit is a light-hearted series of children's anime shorts chronicling the adventures of anthropomorphized woodland creatures on a quest to become astronauts. I felt my penguin avatar would mesh perfectly into this world of astronautical critters, so I donned him in the suit and sent him to town. Often in my drawings I find myself spending a considerable amount of time on shading and after-effects; it was nice to work on one that purposefully avoided such intricacies for a change. Bright, colorful, and positive, it warms my heart just as much as Space Brothers and Mr. Hibbit does. So I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I think my favorite is Freddie Dog. He always looks so cool.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pachi's Anime Review - Beyond the Boundary

At last, we've reached the finale of the 2013 Anime the end of March. ^^; That took me WAY too long to finish, and I apologize. Thankfully the timing is perfect, as many new shows have just wrapped up along with the Winter '14 season, so I've got plenty of content to cover down the road. For now, I'm concluding the Retrospective with a look at one of my least favorite shows from last year, Beyond the Boundary. Read on and enjoy my displeasure! :D

*Note: This particular review contains some spoilers, as I have alluded to occasionally including in the past. Consider this your warning. (The tell is that I'm much more likely to include spoilers in a review if it's of a show I dislike)