Hi I'm Dranzerstorm
You may remember me as a regular contestant on the caption battle contest.
Welcome to Retro Retrospective, my world dedicated to the old guard of the Otaku world; expect some reviews of the old & obscure, and in-depth geeky knowledge with the occasional top ten and I now have a logo.

Little info about me
Well I'm British and I'm in to all things animated and nostalgia.
I've grown up with every cartoon going and have watched hundreds of anime.
Oh and to answer a question I was asked once, no I don't wear glasses in real life, I would wear Loke's sunglasses though.

Sakura Wars OVA 1+2 Review

I'm reviewing these two together for convenience as it takes place in the same timeline.

Sakura Wars is a steampunk RPG dating simulator made by Sega, the OVA here acts to fill in the gaps for the game's prologue and gaps within the game to give characters a chance to shine outside of combat.
Ova 1 is the prequel which showcases the development of the mechs, the discovery that only certain people can use them, the build up to Ohgami and Sakura's recruitment, the team's first mission and a one off just to prove that Ohgami is the ideal commander. OVA 2 pairs two of the girls together per episode with the last two focussing on Sakura going to help a wedding ceremony for a family member with the rest thinking she's getting married but it showcases a real dilemma when it hits the girls that if one of them did marry they may decide to retire, of course Sakura doesn't marry and it's all one big misunderstanding.
Mixed bag here, the 1st OVA may as well have been game DLC, which would've helped clean up the narrative alot so lets focus on the character driven episodes of OVA 2.
Sakura and Maria: Maria's past catches up to her as a mafia hitman comes after her but working with Sakura she manages to overcome it, even perfecting the trick she failed at the start, both work well together and gives both a healthy boost in character strength.
Iris and Reni: Iris has a sulk after an argument about her being too young to lead a play, leaving her into the city causing trouble only for Reni to bail her out, they don't gain much from the experience and feel weaker because of it.
Sumire and Kanna: The team encounter a film set haunted by a former silent film actress driven to suicide when the introduction of sound drove her out the industry, this is my favourite episode as it shows a softer, stronger side to the normally stuck up Sumire, while Kanna doesn't do much, I still enjoy an early rendition of what would later become the voice of Monkey D Luffy.
Orihime and Kohran: The team help out a village overrun with Yakuza by using one of their plays of a comicbook hero as inspiration to drive out the bad guys, nothing really achieved here either as their characters are pretty much the same as normal.
Episode 5 and 6 is a giant misunderstanding but the use of silence and music really captures the mood set at the beginning of episode 6, this is sadder in context when you realize it also reflects the actresses who play the girls as it was only a few years later that saw Sumire get an Ova just to showcase her actress' retirement, what makes Sakura Wars unique among other franchises is the stage shows as OVA 2 in particular has plays that are done in the stage shows and all the main actresses play their characters, so when it came to end it hit everyone pretty hard.
Dub is a mixed bag as some voices were recast between OVAs but not too bad.
Final Verdict: They definitely hit the right tone and notes throughout the OVAs and while some characters don't improve, others do but it's frustrating to watch this and not be able to play the games due to the Japanese only stamp.

Adventures of Tom Sawyer Review

Bet you didn't expect this to be anime did ya?

Everyone knows this story, Tom Sawyer is Mark Twain's story of a young mischievous boy growing up in the Southern States of early United States. Along with Huckleberry Finn and a host of other colourful characters, it's pretty much the origin story of the class clown way before the creation of Dennis the Menace and Bart Simpson.
Since the Japanese love adapting western novels, it came as no surprise when they tried their hand at Tom Sawyer and it's remarkably well made, so much so it became America's most faithful animated adaption.
Now being British, this doesn't hold much weight for me in nostalgia, so this slice of wholesome Americana is not something I can give a fair review for as in my opinion if you see one episode, there isn't going to be much difference in the rest, but I also didn't have the benefit of reading the story when I was young so take this with a pinch of salt.
Of course there's a dub, if they couldn't dub this properly then they should apologise to Uncle Sam; thankfully the dub is solid.
Final Verdict: I can see alot of care went into this and I can see why it's the best version but I'm also British and lack the nostalgia goggles for it so I leave it to the viewers to judge this more fairly.

Relic Armour Legaciam Review

Now for a complete waste of time.

The Planet Libertia was once known as the Planet of Death until the inhabitants installed giant mirrors to try and curb the extreme heat.
Alicia and her grandfather Professor Grace are developing the armour unit Legaciam said to be capable of surviving extreme heat but a group called the Guild led by a former friend wants the armour in order to investigate a mysterious tower, which is also what Professor Grace wants to do so together with Zeno they break out of the Guild's grasp and head to the tower which never gets resolved.
That was a waste of time, nothing gained from the effort put into the armour which Alicia is too petrified to even pilot, there appears to be some form of class war but it's barely touched upon, it's unclear what the ultimate goal is either, all we know is the tower makes a horrible sound that makes people die and that Legaciam was found there, nothing gets resolved.
No dub but wonderful musical score, wish you spent more effort on the story.
Final Verdict: Waste of time but the music is at least nice

Karasu Tengu Kabuto Review

Now for something awesome.

In the Tensho era Japan, evil rises as the Black Night Demon returns to lay waste to the land, only the half crow demon Kabuto and a band of warrior gods, the human forms of Genbu, Byakko, Seiryu and Suzaku along with a talking sword can rid the land of evil.
This is so 80s, they had to release it in the 90s; it's art style, rock anthems, dark gritty colour palette and nonchalant attitude to violence is all 80s in aesthetic almost reminding me of a Japanese GI Joe of how casual everything seems in regards to action.
It was apparently licensed for western release but good luck finding a copy let alone any sign of an English language release
Final Verdict: There's not much to say, it promised 80s style action and that's exactly what you get, no complexity just a good old fashioned ninja anime where it's just beat the bad guys, what more do you want?

Fairy Girls Review

Now for a manga spinoff for a change.

Fairy Girls is a bunch of filler side stories to the main manga Fairy Tail, featuring prominently are Erza, Juvia, Lucy and Wendy as they take on various jobs and ultimately get drawn into shenanigans including such situations as looking after a lost baby, infiltrating a school as students, waifu wars as well as many ecchi situations; this among the regular Fairy Tail filler types of poorly constructed villains vs Fairy Tail.
What more could you ask for? Well they chose a guest artist named Boku to draw this version which is fine but Hiro Mashima's style is missed in this.
It's pretty harmless, they chose the timeline between Grand Magic Games and Tartaros which I always considered the point where Fairy Tail peaked, at four volumes it doesn't out stay it's welcome either.
Final Verdict: A nice breather to read before Tartaros arc as I always believed that arc to be brutal and emotionally draining, while the art and situations aren't for everyone it's still a good read.