Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pachi's Anime Review - Chaika the Coffin Princess


Greetings to my first proper post of 2015 (3 months in). Now that I'm not consistently sick as a dog from the most persistent cold ever nor spending my time either engrossed with my job or engrossed in doing nothing, I can get back to proper reviews, and we're starting off with one of my favorite fantasy series of last year that wasn't Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. Read on ahead for my take on Chaika the Coffin Princess!


Just when I thought I was running out of ways to insert a penguin into anime (realistically there's never a shortage of ways anime can include penguins), I get the opportunity to draw a penguin in an intricate dress. Chaika's outfit is one of those designs that is both inspiring and painful to look at - it's appealing and unique, but comes with the stipulation that you'd have to draw it over and over again. I'm thankful I only had to draw it once! Honestly I think I've made Chaika less cute by turning her into a penguin.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Pachi's 2014 Anime Retrospective, Finale - Space Dandy

We made it! The dredges of Mahouka are behind us, and all that's left beyond it is ever-expanding space! Space, the final frontier, a metaphor for the possibilities that exist in artistic thought, where we're never truly out of ideas. For me there was one particular series that encapsulated that ideal, that space is the place where concepts can run wild and break barriers. One particular series which, for me, was my favorite anime of 2014 and what I consider the most influential anime of the year, and in fact of several other recent years. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am so pleased you have followed along on my journey back through 2014; there was laughter, disappointment, joy, and just pure hatred. It was a year of many ups and downs. I hope you have enjoyed this year's Retrospective and will continue to support my reviews. I do them for myself and for those who take the time to read them. Even if you don't like my reviews or don't agree with them, I thank you for reading them at all. That's all I need. Regular reviews will resume as soon as I can get off my butt to write them - already I have a few contenders in mind that just finished up. Happy New Year, welcome to 2015, and without further ado, I give you Space Dandy.

One last thing. In a later section of this review, I discuss what could be considered spoilers, but they are out-of-context conceptual bits of information as relating to the character of Space Dandy and his thematic purpose - I don't directly give away events from the show, but those who have watched it in full will know what I'm referencing. Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to give my complete analysis of his character without making this particular reference, so I have marked the place in the review if you wish to skip it. I highly suggest you read it anyway because I put a lot of thought into the analysis and find it meaningful. It is at your discretion whether you skip it or not.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pachi's 2014 Anime Retrospective, Part 4 - The Irregular at Magic High School

This is a very special moment for me, here on Pachi's Portrait. For the first time ever, I have the golden opportunity to review a "most". An anime that is #1 on one of my personal attribute lists. That anime is called The Irregular at Magic High School, or Mahouka for short. I'm not going to say which "most" this show is, but you'll likely be able to guess as you read on. Some of you likely already know the legacy this show left behind and know exactly what to expect from my analysis. To you, I hope solace from the pain is found here. I haven't been so heated and passionate in a review since Sword Art Online, so that'll give you an idea.

So please, join me as we dive into a deep dark crevice. I promise there will be a light at the end of the tunnel - the final Retrospective review is waiting for us in the far reaches of an infinite universe. Let's dredge through this crap to break through to tomorrow. This is...The Irregular at Magic High School.

Pachi's 2014 Anime Retrospective, Part 3 - Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

Good morning folks, thanks for checking in early! Today marks the third day of the 2014 Anime Retrospective, and due to my botched scheduling, there will be TWO, count 'em, TWO reviews coming at you on this fine New Year's Eve. The first will be the fantasy epic with visions of Hollywood in its eyes, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. This evening will feature a show which I have a no doubt highly contested opinion of, Mahouka (The Irregular at Magic High School). I'm saving the crap for when more people are awake because I honestly believe that review is the most entertaining out of the bunch. Lest that be said, I do not intend to pull attention from Bahamut, as that is one I hold dear to my heart and wish to share. Scroll on down to see my thoughts!

Mild spoilers for the culmination of certain characters' arcs and relationships exist in this review, so be wary!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pachi's 2014 Anime Retrospective, Part 2 - Captain Earth

Welcome to the second day of the 2014 Retrospective! Today we're going to take a look at a mecha series known as Captain Earth, a show for me which represents the dulling state of sci-fi anime in light of other, highly more progressive works in recent years. Read on, but be wary, for sort-of spoilers exist in this review. I say sort-of because most of the information here is required knowledge for even beginning to understand what's going on in Captain Earth. Yes, it's that kind of show. Enjoy! Try to keep your head straight as you process the absurd amount of proper nouns!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Pachi's 2014 Anime Retrospective, Part 1 - The World is Still Beautiful


I watched a lot of anime this past year, in 2014! When I take a look back, they kind of run together in my head. I think it went something like this...

Welcome, one and all, to third annual installment of Pachi's Anime Retrospective! If you're new to my blog, this is when I take a look back at anime series of the year I didn't dedicate a review to already, good or bad, and give them their due. These might be series I purposefully saved for the end because they were highly representative of the year as a whole. They might be series that I forgot about or said I'd review later and never got to them. Whatever the case, now is the time to close off the year and give these shows the swift kick to the butt or sincere pat on the back they deserve.

For this year's retrospective I've got 5 series lined up. They are, in the order I will release them: The World is Still Beautiful, Captain EarthRage of Bahamut: Genesis, The Irregular at Magic High School, and Space Dandy. I originally did not think I'd have a Bahamut review ready since the show only finished airing the day of this post, but I have proven myself wrong and gotten one prepared. Since I did not plan the release schedule properly to account for that, two reviews will go up on the 31st; the rest will go up one at a time each day from now 'til the 1st of the new year, starting tonight, with The World is Still Beautiful! I hope you enjoy! ^_^


Much like last year's Attack on Titan collage, I knew without a doubt that this year's art would have to be Space Dandy themed. I always loved the image from the show's pre-opening titles sequence deceptively picturing the hapless trio as daring, fearless bounty hunters, so I went for a mystery-adventure-serial feel with this piece - kinda Scooby-Doo-ish. Like, there's mystery out there, gang, and we're gonna find it! And surrounding them are the various aliens they may yet encounter, here depicted through the other shows featured in the Retrospective. Turning Captain Earth's Earth Engine into Admiral Perry was a last minute decision. Originally he was in that spot in his full, untouched Impacter glory; but drawing mecha is not a strong suit of mine, and he was the last character I drew for the piece, so he wasn't scaled well. It was a great big mess, but thanks to my Wacom tablet I was able to completely re-do his portion in post and focus on the most recognizable feature of the mech - its captain's hat helmet. God bless technology.

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.