Simulblast! Week 001 Of Summer 2014

Posted on Jul 15 2014

Simulblast Summer Week 001 2014

Simulblast returns! It’s a fresh new season with a fresh new set of changes to shake things up! Brand new Tokens, same great taste!

Samurai Jam ~Bakumatsu Rock~ (Episode One)
Player: Kanashimi
Class: Boss


I’m just going to be honest because I assume everyone thinks that I’m totally in for male fanservice, but I am not excited for this series. I love history, and media that explores older culture is fascinating to me. I highly doubt this will be the case after reading the plot outline for this series. Have you read it? You know what, don’t. Just… let’s experience this journey together. I’ve got a bucket of cookie dough ice cream to cry into, and I’ll share.

So, apparently the Tokugawa Period totally has strobe lights, microphones, and glow sticks! Wow! How was Japan so advanced back then and yet still lost World War II?! Okay, that was low, but c’mon… don’t insult my intelligence here. These fangirls in kimono are screaming for the government official idols or something, and we discover these are meant to be the Shinsengumi. Oh dear, my Hakuoki experience is going to get tarnished here, isn’t it? So I assume we’ll see names such as Hijikata, Saito, Okita, Harada, and so on.

We see a glint of our main protagonist with flaming red hair, guitar, and fiery kimono. He then licks his lips randomly as we cut back to the fangirls going nuts over pictures of the Shinsengumi. Oh wow, they had cameras, too! Interesting fact, since I mentioned WWII; the Japanese camera industry boomed before the war back in the 1930s. Their cameras became popular in the West due to the people stationed there. So hey, at least that’s something that… totally isn’t historically accurate whatsoever in this show. Either way, our protagonist jumps into the group of fangirls, knocking them all to the ground, and declares that they should all, “Listen to my song!” That’s totally how you win fans: by possibly injuring them. The girls respond, rather upset, and chase after him, pelting random objects at his head. As he rushes by, a random boy with blonde hair notices his guitar.

Cue opening theme with explosions, audience members, practice jam sessions, and all that other stuff you’d expect from the Tokugawa Period! To be fair, I like the song, and visually it’s awfully appealing. It makes the show seem interesting since these characters seem to fight and pull out their katana.

Oh look, our protagonist, Ryouma is ordering a pizza… Oh, no, this is his job. He just tries to eat customers’ food. Now he’s been ordered to chop wood in the backyard without a shirt. I guess almost seeing his crotch was my fanservice for the day. Anyway, Ryouma seems to have issues conveying his music to anyone. They don’t understand his passion or drive, but instead the warriors who used to instill fear in people are sought after due to their singing and dancing.

Eventually, blonde-haired boy from earlier reveals himself and compliments Ryouma’s guitar. He states that, in Edo, guitars are confiscated by the government, so you don’t see them often. As the two talk, a friend of Ryouma runs up with a notice that there’s an audition to play “Heaven’s Song.” This is an official song by the government, the only one permitted to be played if you will. Ryouma has deep disdain for the song however, but his friend tries to convince him that he could audition and then just swap music when he gets on stage. Sadly, he needs an invitation to audition, so there goes that.

Apparently a teacher can get you said invitation, but Ryouma had a master that called himself as such. He refers to him as the shaggy master, and gave our hero his guitar. Blonde boy appears again as Ryouma runs into two girls crying over not getting into the Shinsengumi concert. He claims Ryouma will play him a lovely song, but before he can, our two other fanservice boys meant to rock with Ryouma appear! A guy with blue hair and one with glasses claim he stole or took the guitar. The one trying to beat up Ryouma is Shinsaku, and the one with glasses is Kogorou.

The two declare the guitar belonged to their master, Yoshida. There’s a flashback sequence where Yoshida gives Ryouma the guitar because he caught him singing it on the beach. He tells him to play with passion with his burning spirit! As the trio begins to discuss what has occurred, they begin to somehow converse over rock music. This music apparently came from the West, but how they know what the West is… well, that’s beyond me.

Ryouma tries to play again, but Kogorou’s “samurai radar”… I kid you not, goes off. It’s essentially a PokeDex that detects random members of the government. Gotta catch ‘em all! The samurai in question is called Heisuke, which leads me to believe it’s Heisuke Todo, who was the eighth unit captain of the Shinsengumi. His departure and death are actually rather sad with some miscommunications all around. Read up on it for some fun learning, or let your brain melt by watching this! Anyway, he wants to take away Ryouma’s guitar, and he also threatens to arrest him.

Haha, okay, here’s the cleverest thing I’ve heard in this show thus far. They talk about how the concerts held by the government are only available for the rich, while commoners have to spend all of their money on raffle tickets to get in. This is a parallel to the idol market in Japan. The unique thing here is it’s essentially showcased as evil, and the practice is rather controversial. For example, some people will buy 10,000 or 20,000 CDs just to get a chance to shake hands with an idol they adore. These two things are very much in the same vein, so whether it was attempting social commentary is really up for debate, but I do indeed like it.

They also threaten to arrest the girls who were listening, but they just seem excited to be arrested… so whatever. Okay, so I’m crying… wait, give me a second. He gives a passionate speech, and suddenly he’s summoned fireworks and sparkles. Not only that, he begins to transform; like legit transform. Also, he forces glasses boy and blue haired man to also transform with him. They’re suddenly playing rock together, because a bass and drum set materialized out of thin air due to his sudden transformation sequence. Also, their clothes exploded, so I got more fanservice, I think?

Some dude delivers a message to the Shogun and makes sure to mention this threat to the world. This dirty rock music from the West (even though I don’t know how they know of the West)! Also, he activated something called a Peace Soul. It doesn’t matter; the government has a Peace Soul as well. In this case, I think they should worry about shortage of clothing. Also, now the trio is friends because they shared an embarrassing transformation sequence together.

Oh, thank god, it’s the ending. My stomach hurts too much to take anymore right now. I don’t know… I legit don’t know. I mean, this was hilarious, and I don’t think it was intending to be. It had so much B movie cheese that I couldn’t take it. My recommendation is watch with friends and get drunk to survive or make the experience better. I just don’t know… I have no hopes or dreams anymore.

Kana Challenge Successful

Watch Samurai Jam ~Bakumatsu Rock~ on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Captain Earth (Episode Thirteen)
Player: Bobby Henshin
Class: DJ

Captain Earth Oh my Glob! Time for a new season of Simulblast and the continuation of the Captain Earth reviews. That last challenge was hard as heck. And I still failed it! But now that there is no challenge, it’s time to let you in on what happened to this point without the poor grammar.

Here is a quick summary. The new character, a green-haired teen named Baku, is a slave child to a mafia boss, and his daughter is supposed to
inherit his business. He makes her choose one boy from his underground prison to be her slave, and she chooses Baku. She has a constant nightmare about this every night. Baku fights in underground, illegal boxing matches to make money for himself and the family. The daughter is actually in love with Baku and hates her family. She is also engaged to this jerk who, if you remember, was the mafia guy that was trying to force Zin, the casino worker, to use his powers to help them get more money. The Midsummer Knights find the boxing matches and see the champion fight when Amarok and Moco show up to fight. They didn’t use their powers to make him wake up and just leave.

Now for episode thirteen! The daughter is having another nightmare, this time about a yacht explosion that happened one year ago.
She tells Baku about the dream and that it has been reoccurring for the last year. Baku remains silent as she pulls out a deck of playing cards and asks if he
can preform this magic trick that he does. Turns out he has the power to restore broken objects by holding his hands together. She tore up all the ace cards and asks if he can only revive the ace of hearts. Baku says that his powers aren’t that developed yet. A flash back shows him using this to restore a picture of the girl’s mother that her father ripped up.

Outside, the man engaged to the daughter hears and sees their conversation and is not too pleased. He goes to the announcer of the fights and says that tomorrow is to be Baku’s last match. At the evil Kiltgang truck, Zin is looking up news stories and finds nothing about the guy he killed last night with his powers. This raises a red flag for them. At the training base of The Midsummer Knights, the gang believes that the green-haired champion has to be the person they are looking for and decides to go back to the boxing ring. Finally! They are actually getting on track for once. I was starting to worry.

From my standpoint, it seems like the villains are the main focus of the anime so far. We hardly get any story about the main characters except for a few times. Like Daichi and his father who died fighting Amarok. Or Teppai being a clone child of a convict turned Kiltgang. And Akari being the boss’s daughter and a hacker. Heck all we know about Hana is that she was a naked princess in a bubble with magic songs… That’s it! A little more depth into the main characters of the story would be nice, please! Heck, in the last, what… five episodes? They have been hardly seen at all until the action starts. Sorry I went into a bit of a rage there. I’m fine now.

After Baku’s match, The mafia guy and his men meet Baku at the locker room and hold him down. The mafia guy holds a gun to his head, says that he doesn’t like how close he is getting to his fiancé, and is about to shoot him when they hear a girl’s scream from the hallway. It was the daughter. Baku breaks free and gives chase after her. Amarok and Moco lead Baku out to a pier where they have the girl hostage. They agree to let her go if Baku (or his Kiltgang name Bugbear) lets them awaken him. The exchange happens and Baku (I mean Bugbear) is awakened. The girl is thrown aside, and Bugbear runs to her and helps her up… Wait a second! When the others were awakened, they didn’t care about anything of their past selves and acted like completely different people. But now Bugbear still has feelings for the girl. Actual good character development!? Finally! It’s so beautiful.

Anyway, as Bugbear heads for the girl, the mafia men show up and open fire on him. The girl leaps in front of him to block the bullet. But the girl is completely fine! Everyone is surprised to see this. But both the girl and Bugbear now the truth. Flash back to one year ago. The entire mafia family was having a party on the yacht. The daughter hates her family and her business so much that she is planning to detonate a bomb and kill everyone on the boat, including herself, to stop it. She goes through with it and the yacht explodes. Bugbear doesn’t want her to die, so he uses his powers to fix the boat and everyone on board. His true power, though, is that he doesn’t fix things, he actually creates an illusion of the object or person between his hands and makes it look like it is fixed or unharmed. Doing this, he creates a temporal space anomaly. So in truth, everyone died on that boat, and Bugbear’s illusions were keeping them alive with his sheer force of will. The girl holds her hand on the crying Bugbear’s cheek and says it is okay. Please let me wake up from this nightmare. That line actually struck a chord with me. I was almost in tears. The girl and the mafia guys start to fade away in a green light and then disappear.

Daichi and Teppai show up and see everything go down. Bugbear has made the decision that this world holds nothing for him anymore, and he will devour everything. He jumps in his Goodfellow, which is a melee-type mech that has extending fists and legs. Daichi jumps into the Earth Engine Ordinary (I can never get over that name) and starts to fight Bugbear. Daichi is being thrown around as Amarok hits a ring bell and is giving announcer-like commentary about the fight. A nice touch, I do say. Daichi can’t keep up but he realizes that Bugbear is not giving any force behind his punches. Like he almost doesn’t want to fight. The two back off and run at each other for one last punch. As the smoke clears, the head of the Goodfellow falls to the ground and Daichi is the winner. Everyone begins a retreat.

The sun rises as the Kiltgangs drive off in their boat. Moco comes to see Bugbear staring out into the sunrise. She notices the
bear keychain that the girl gave him in the last episode and says that it’s cute. Bugbear yells and says not to touch it. She shrugs and says “Say goodbye to your town.” Bugbear responds with “That’s right…My town.” And thus ends episode thirteen.

This episode had to be the best of the series so far in my opinion. Baku was such a well-written character that you felt for him as you learn more about his past. The love he felt for this girl, and even after he was reactivated he still felt feelings for this girl when the others cared nothing for the Earth after they were. Just to see the pain he went through just makes me want to tell him it’s going to be okay. I just hope that in the future he leaves the Kiltgangs and joins the Midsummer Knights. Same with Sora. Those two don’t seem so evil to me. Next episode we get to see Setsuna again! Stay tuned and enjoy the season.

Bobby Challenge Successful

Watch Captain Earth on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (Episode Thirteen)
Player: Elk
Class: DJ

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders

Elk has missed the deadline for his summary! He gains no points for this week, and has FOUR more chances to miss his summary before he is out of the competition.

Elk No Show

Watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

The Irregular At Magic High School (Episode Thirteen)
Player: Kayarath
Class: Content Provider

The Irregular At Magic High School

It’s time to get back in the game! The Irregular at Magic School is a twenty-six episode series, so I’ll continue to cover it for this season of Simublast. I’d rather be playing Final Fantasy 14. I’ll be doing double duty for the next two weeks to catch up, so this is a review of parts five and six of the Nine Schools Competition, which is magical teenager olympics. Next week I’ll do seven and eight, and that should work it all out because this isn’t done in episodic plotting.

So it starts off with an accident in the magical surfboard race event. Someone literally crashes into Mari Watanabe at high speeds, which is still a bad thing. Tatsuya, of course, handles the situation like a boss, and she’ll be all right, although unable to compete in the rest of the events. We then have a CSI: Magic mini-episode where the cast, lead by Tatsuya, deduces that the accident was no accident! It appears someone on the inside engineered it through a complex and well thought-out plan. Due to having one of their best taken out, the team tags Miyuki to compete in an advanced event. She’s hesitant at first but can’t say no to everyone and her brother egging her on.

We then start the rookie competitions. While the major events require the competitors to compete in school uniforms, the rookie events’ dress code is far more relaxed. Since this is Japan, you know what that means… Cosplay battles! In such a serious show, seeing people in do events in kinomo and dramatic get-ups is a lark. As the events go on, it becomes apparent that Tatsuya’s engineering skills are a huge boost to his team. One of the girls he assisted broke out in tears when she won a race. He’s getting mobbed by girls by the end of it.

However, Tatsuya keeps his eyes towards the future prize; taking on his family. He can’t take them on yet, but he’s readying himself for the day he can. In the meantime, he has other issues to worry about. The mob was the one that caused Mari’s accident, and it looks like they have more things in tow.

Kayarath Challenge Successful

Watch The Irregular at Magic High School on Daisuki or talk about this episode on our forums.

Terror in Resonance (Episode One)
Player: Whiskahs
Class: Technomancer


The first episode of Terror in Resonance is an interesting take on an introduction to a pretty standard tale. The episode title, “Falling”, is a callback to Alice in Wonderland in that our hero, Lisa, is thrust into a surreal world that exists in parallel to the one in which she was living. Terror in Resonance differentiates itself from the trope a bit by not dropping Lisa down a rabbit hole or having her find a magical portal, but by instead having her jump out of a bomb-blasted building into the arms of a possibly genetically enhanced terrorist below.

The terrorist welcoming Lisa into this somewhat violent tale goes by the name Twelve, and, in combination with his counterpart, Nine, seems to either make up the entirety of or part of a terrorist organization whose goals are not yet clear. Twelve seems to be the more light-hearted and carefree of the pair, seeming to prefer jumping into things head first with a sort of focused excitement. Nine is Twelve’s opposite in many ways, being cold and calculating in addition to being more focused on whatever goal is on hand.

We’re first introduced to Nine and Twelve at the beginning of the episode where they steal (what I assume to be) high-grade nuclear fuel from a storage facility somewhere in Japan. After a well-animated chase scene, the two escape before flashing forward to the two in Tokyo a few months later. It’s revealed that they had just moved there and enrolled in a school as a cover for their illicit activities, with which Nine seems more preoccupied with than Twelve. During one of Twelve’s lapses in concentration, he ends up smelling, finding, and then jumping into a pool fully clothed, which is how he first meets Lisa.

Lisa seems to be a bit of a troubled youth. We meet her at the pool mentioned above where a group of girls are attempting to force her to dive in while dressed in her school outfit. She obviously doesn’t want to, but tries to convince Twelve otherwise when he happens upon the scene. Twelve’s random dive into the pool seems to get Lisa off the hook, however, as we see her in the next scene completely dry. Lisa also seems to have troubles on the home front too. Her mother seems to text her more or less continuously throughout the day, and it’s during one of these text streams that Lisa throws her lunch away and vomits from stress.

After a bit more of Nine and Twelve chatting, we’re treated to a few scenes elsewhere before the resolution of the episode at the tower. The first of these scenes is a dream sequence where a very young Nine and Twelve scale a fence to escape some sort of facility, and another is where we’re introduced to Shibasaki who appears to be a washed up detective working in the police’s records department. We don’t get to see too much more of Shibasaki in the episode, but I imagine he’s going to play more of a role once the investigation of the bombing begins.

The tower scene is what brings the three main characters together. After knocking out the power to the building, causing the people inside to evacuate, Nine and Twelve begin to lay thermite explosives throughout the building disguised in stuffed toys. The bombs are triggered by phone, and after the bombs are laid in the first area, Nine begins to set them off from a safe distance. Just in case people hadn’t yet evacuated, the thermite bombs trigger the fire alarm systems before exploding, which consequently gets Lisa’s attention while she is sitting in the bathroom on her phone. On her way to the emergency stairwell, she runs into Twelve who gives her one of the bombs to hold onto before heading off, but not before telling her to make sure she holds onto it. It turns out that Twelve does this so that Nine can kill her if he decides that she’s a risk to exposing them, but instead of just pulling the trigger he somehow calls Lisa and gives her the option to place the last bomb and join them or die. She joins them.

I’m feeling pretty optimistic about this series at the moment. While the character design and such are a bit trope heavy, the writing and animation appear to be pretty solid. The show definitely feels like the polar opposite of No Game No Life, in that I don’t particularly expect to laugh much or see any fan service. Actually, I’m pretty sure about the only thing I’m expecting at this point is that a lot of people are going to die.

Aero Challenge Successful

Watch Terror in Resonance on Funimation or talk about this episode on our forums.

DRAMAtical Murder (Episode One)
Player: Sho
Class: Content Provider


Time for the first episode of DRAMAtical Murder. I can’t say I haven’t heard about DRAMAtical Murder before, with all of the yaoi and drama that comes with it. It definitely looks interesting as a premise, though: an online cyber game that pulls a boy in who originally doesn’t want to play.

So, into the actual stuff, it looks like a cool anime so far. The animation style is nice and reminds me of some older anime. The first episode explains some things, but not that in depth. For example, it’s a futuristic Japan and there seem to be gang-like groups called “teams” that several characters seem to affiliate with. It goes through this first episode a little cliché, having the main character Aoba run into a bunch of people he knows, revealing information about them and a little about his backstory.

As mentioned before, the anime is about Aoba, an average dude with blue hair with a rough childhood. Unique, right? Get this, he’s done with a life of crime and he’s trying to live a good clean life. Not only that, though; all of his friends are trying to get him to join the thug life again. Backing up a bit, Aoba works at a junk shop running the register and sometimes delivering items. He’s also got a few kids that like to harass him and his boss every once and a while. Little twerps.

When we meet Kojaku, a charismatic hairdresser, we get a glimpse into Aoba’s childhood: he was ridiculed for his girlishly long hair. Kojaku comes into the scene, and he scares the bullies away, inadvertently misgendering Aoba for a girl and receiving an adorable girlish cry in the process—protesting that Aoba was indeed a boy. Aoba and Kojaku seem to be good friends in the show, but Aoba refuses to have Kojaku cut his hair.

The rest of the show revolves around a popularized and flashy cyber-game called “Rhyme” and the teams around the area that Aoba lives in. Aoba has no interest in either this team life or the hyper popular game. The teams around the island seem to engage constantly in hand-to-hand combat and fight for power around it. Mizuki, a member of a group called Dry Juice, stops some strange team from beating up Aoba, and we get some insight into the teams that control the island.

This game called “Rhyme” is strange. It doesn’t seem to be MMO kind of game that we’ve seen with anime like Sword Art Online and .Hack// that are pervasive throughout the main character’s interactions. It instead seems like a fighting surrogate for people and teams on the island for show and competition.

Towards the end of the episode, more interesting things start to happen to Aoba. A strange program downloaded itself on Aoba’s uh… watch, and it seemed to be a Legend of Zelda 2 clone—a little out of place in the futuristic setting—that played itself for a short while before it showed “To be continued.” Very cryptic and strange. Like someone is trying to contact Aoba! Maybe it’s a secret organization. Or some sort of team trying to recruit or bait him. Well, whatever it is, it will probably show more of itself by the end of the next episode. Then when he goes to deliver stuff for his boss, he ends up trapped in a “Rhyme” fight against a slew of deadly bunnies. He gets physically damaged during this fight, just dodging and being confused, but then something snaps in his head. He displays an enormous amount of power, defeating the bunnies in what seems to be one hit. Kind of overpowered there. The episode ends when he defeats the bunnies and the screen fades to white.

So let’s see, takeaways. It has potential of being interesting, although it’s not that interesting yet. The opening and ending don’t have me hooked, and the music isn’t good enough to brag about. It’s definitely a shounen anime, so the romantic boys love side that I’ve been hearing of hasn’t shown itself yet, and it will probably hopefully focus on the plot and action of the show.

Knightshade Challenge Successful

Watch DRAMAtical Murder on Crunchyroll or talk about this episode on our forums.

Week 001 Tally

  1. Kanashimi: 1255
  2. Bobby Henshin: 1190
  3. Elk: 1010
  4. Kayarath: 960
  5. Whiskahs: 950
  6. Sho: 680
  7. The Editor: 115

Week 001 Token Counts

  1. Kanashimi: 0 Tokens
  2. Bobby Henshin: 0 Tokens
  3. Elk: 0 Tokens
  4. Kayarath: 0 Tokens
  5. Whiskahs: 0 Tokens
  6. Sho: 0 Tokens
  7. The Editor: 1 Tokens

Next week’s challenge: It’s summer! Beach bodies! Bikinis! Hot dogs! Since it’s too early in most of your series for a beach episode to have happened, let’s improvise! Spend at least one paragraph of your summary imagining a beach episode of your show for thirty points. Want a little extra? Make it three decently-sized paragraphs forming a cohesive beach story (with a full plot and ending!) to earn a Token!

Make sure to vote for your favorite review below! You can give your favorite a Token!

You Might Also Like...

  • Dracanisa July 15, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    I vote for Bobby Henshin

  • nerdwerld July 16, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    I’ll vote for Kana, now a part of me doesn’t want to because she won simulblast, however her review was fun to read.

  • You must be logged in to comment. Log in