Review of My Hero Academia (Season 1)


My Hero Academia is a bit like the reverse X-Men. Rather than being the minority, in this series, super powered mutants make up most of the population. Some folks use their special abilities to commit crime, whilst others opt instead to become costumed law enforcers. Teenage protagonist Izuku Midoriya (nicknamed Deku… because he is a scrub) has always dreamt of becoming a superhero. Unfortunately for him, he happens to be part of the twenty percent of people who never develop a superhuman skill. His hopes and dreams seem to be over, until one fateful day when he bumps into the nation’s mightiest hero.


One thing that I like about My Hero Academia is that Deku earns his power through courage and effort. He isn’t one of those anime dweebs who acquires an “I win button” by randomly stumbling upon a huge mech or cute kitty that gives away magical girl outfits. Deku inherits the abilities of a Superman clone (named All Might) through a tough apprenticeship that involves cleaning up a beach. Deku possesses far more willpower than myself. I would pass on super strength if ridding the seaside of litter were the cost. Plucking dirty syringes and used condoms from my local coastline isn’t worth the hassle.

All Might is looking for a worthy successor, who he can transfer his powers to, because injury has severely depleted his super hero work hours. On an average day, All Might can only fight crime for a period of 180 minutes. After that time limit elapses he morphs from The Rock into Pee-wee Herman. With his days numbered All Might accepts a mentorship role at an academy that tutors the next generation of Marvel rip-offs. Deku enrols at said U.A. High School after gaining a portion of All Might’s power, which he accomplishes by devouring a strand of the hero’s hair. I accidently ate a hair follicle once, which was served in the soup of a dodgy restaurant. Rather than boost my fortitude it gave me indigestion!


Like a motion picture from Marvel Studios, My Hero Academia suffers from villains that lack depth. The season finale however teases that the evildoers, who show up in the third arc, may get some development in future episodes. On the plus side Deku’s classmates make up for the weak antagonists. They are a colourful bunch, whose ranks include a gravity defying love interest, a hot-headed rival and a bespectacled speedster. Oh, and let’s not frog-et best girl Tsuyu Asui. She’s an amphibian who can leap high and literarily give out tongue-lashings with her elongated mouth organ.

I am awarding My Hero Academia (Season One) a four out of five. Unless the subpar DC movies have killed your passion for all things superhero, I can highly recommend this thirteen episode series. The action is good, there are some funny moments that will make you chortle and most important of all the characters have heart. Clearly I am not the only person who liked My Hero Academia. The series has since spawned a lengthier follow up and a third season is already in the works. That’s plenty of content to keep fans of capes and tights occupied, until the next instalment of One Punch Man comes out.

Review of Attack on Titan (Season Two)


Carnivorous giants aren’t the only things that are huge. The gap in time between seasons one and two, of Attack on Titan, has been pretty big too. At long last however, the wait is finally over for British anime fans. Sony Pictures, who replace Manga Entertainment as the show’s UK distributor, has released a DVD set containing all twelve episodes. Things pretty much begin from where the last series left off. In case you don’t recall, season one’s finale revealed that the walls keeping danger at bay are in fact made up of Titans. It’s a secret that the clergy kept hidden from the military. Child molestation and Titans… priests sure do love their cover-ups.


Despite only containing a dozen episodes, a lot of entertainment is squeezed into these two discs. Not only do the Scouts have to battle against tall nudists, but this time round they also have to contend with King Kong. Um… I mean the Beast Titan. Unlike his mindless brethren, said ape possesses intellect and can even speak. He’s not the only threat though, as the colossal titan makes an appearance too (joined by his armoured buddy.) Eren, Mikasa and Armin have their hands full with that duo, so it falls upon the supporting cast to locate the wall breach where all these monstrosities are coming from. Giving the other characters screen time is nice, as I can only stand so many scenes of Eren wailing.

Without giving too much away, Reiner Braun and Bertolt Hoover play a “huge” role in this story arc. Pint sized blonde Krista Lenz and her faithful companion Ymir also feature prominently. Their backstories are revealed via flashbacks, which offer some clues on the origin of Titans. I was also pleased to see that Sasha “Potato Girl” Blouse got a moment to shine. Her gluttonous antics never fail to make me smile. On a more serious note she also got to show off her archery talents, in an episode where she protects an orphan from a Titan singlehandedly. Just when Hunger Games fatigue was starting to make me dislike babes with bows, Sasha shows why females who fire arrows are cool.


My rating for Attack on Titan (Season Two) is a five out of five. The series was well worth the wait. Wit Studio has managed to maintain the high benchmark set by the debut series four years ago. Back when season two aired I heard murmurs that the pacing was slow, but I couldn’t disagree more. Every episode had me captivated thanks to the surprising revelations and character development. Viewers who tune in just to watch gory deaths won’t be disappointed either. Many auxiliary warriors succumb to the titanic horde and ultimately meet their demise in a most gruesome manner. In their final moments, they must have felt like the Jelly Babies I devour.

Based on this impressive showing, I cannot wait for the summer season to arrive. No more pesky rainfall to worry about and Attack On Titan season three hits Japanese television. In the meantime fans can enjoy themselves with the upcoming video game, which is due out on all current gen systems imminently. I may also occupy myself by checking out the parody series Attack on Titan: Junior High. Let me know, in the comments section below, if that 2015 spin-off is any good. I very much doubt that Junior High can match the quality of season two. Just like Sasha Blouse, I would have to say that Attack on Titan season two is truly spud-tacular.

Review of Thor: Ragnarok


When it comes to dysfunctional families the Norse gods of Marvel’s cinematic universe are tough to beat. Odin and Thor have a strained relationship, to put it mildly, and Loki doesn’t get on with the thunder deity either. The god of mischief lives up to his reputation by routinely betraying his brother. In Thor: Ragnarok we learn that Thor has a long lost sister named Hela. She is the goddess of death and has returned from exile with aspirations of claiming the vacant Asgardian throne. Hela’s thirst for conquest will put her at loggerheads with Thor, who seems to be blighted with unruly relatives.


Don’t let the movie’s title fool you, a substantial chunk of Thor: Ragnarok takes place outside of Asgard. After getting trounced by Hela, a hammerless Thor ends up marooned on the alien world of Sakaar. The planet’s ruler is a nutty chap named Grandmaster (who is played by Jeff Goldblum, who appears to have walked on set wearing his morning gown.) Grandmaster enslaves Thor and forces him to compete in mortal combat. In effect Thor is now a gladiator, who fights against other gladiators, in a gladiator arena… just like that Ridley Scott movie whose name I cannot recall.

Thor: Ragnarok boasts a star-studded lineup. Many of the big names are limited to brief appearances though. That’s what happens when 130 minutes has to be rationed out between such a big cast. Benedict Cumberbatch’s reprisal of Dr Strange is constrained to a cameo. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is relegated from nemesis to comic relief. If you came to watch a memorable performance from Karl Urban, I “dredd” to inform you that he is nothing more than Hela’s lackey. I didn’t mind that Mark Ruffalo barely featured in human form though. I found the chattier CGI Hulk to be more entertaining than his alter ego Bruce Banner.


My rating for this motion picture is a Thor out of five. Overall I would have to say that Ragnarok is a big improvement over its predecessor Thor: Dark World. If you enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy I imagine you will like Ragnarok too. Both films deliver on sci-fi spectacle, tons of action and lashings of humour. If anything, the script was a little too saturated with gags. Most of the jokes are hilarious, but there were some moments of slapstick that missed their mark. Another grievance I had, with the witticisms, is that on a couple of occasions the mood was ruined by an out of place quip.

I’ll conclude by saying that the ladies acquitted themselves well. Hela is just a generic Marvel villain, who looks like a blade wielding Maleficent. Cate Blanchett made the role work though, with an over the top portrayal that is cartoonishly evil. Tessa Thompson also did a good job as the booze swilling Valkyrie. As someone who loves blondes, I was disappointed to see that Valkyrie doesn’t resemble a traditional Scandinavian war maiden. Tessa did however match the boys when it came to fisticuffs. She’s actually tougher than some of the guys (Loki and Banner I am looking at you.) Okay, I take that back. Banner is a badass. Best not to upset him with insults. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.

Review of Mr Massagy


How did you beautiful people spend Valentine’s Day? Did a secret admirer confess their feelings to you? Perhaps your significant other invited you to a romantic dinner. In my case, February fourteenth was a solitary experience spent at home. The only love I received came from the virtual women that dated me in Mr Massagy. Developed by Green Lava Studios, this comedic dating sim is currently available to buy on the PlayStation Network and on PC via Valve’s Steam service. Who needs a girlfriend when video games can fill the void in your heart for the price of some Valentine chocolate?


Mr Massagy sees players assume the role of a Casanova named Johnny. The aim of the game is to swoon the bachelorettes that you meet on an app named Linger. Getting dates on said Tinder knockoff isn’t too difficult. In most cases the babes will accept your advances, providing that you select a suitable profile pic and accrue enough stars (earned each time you go on a date.) The dates in Mr Massagy are quick affairs were you respond to questions pitched by your love interest. Make a good impression and your date will invite you back to her place for a sensual massage.

To simulate the abovementioned back rubbing players are advised to place the PS4 controller on their shoulders, relax and enjoy the soothing vibrations. Lesbian players may prefer to rest the controller elsewhere… if you catch my drift. What makes Mr Massagy stand out from other games in the genre is the unorthodox roster of ladies available to flirt with. Some of the more colourful characters include a werewolf, an extra-terrestrial, a bovine nudist and a phantom surfer. If you have a fetish for inanimate objects fear not, because it’s also possible to go out with a body pillow and a jar of mayonnaise!


My rating for Mr Massagy is a two out of five. It’s not a great game, but I must admit to having some fun with it. The manner that the romantic rendezvous play out made me chuckle on several occasions, as they are so weird. I also can’t say that I regret my purchase, because the software is available to download for less than a fiver. On the graphical side of things, I would have to say that the artwork lacks polish. I did however like the character designs and must commend the artist for imbuing each girl with tons of personality. They did an eggs-cellent job of showcasing how bashful the mayonnaise is for example.

If I had to recommend Mr Massagy to anyone it would be to achievement hunters, as it offers a platinum trophy that can be acquired in less than two hours. One interesting feature that Mr Massagy boasts is online leader boards. High score tables are not something you normally associate with dating sims. If you are so inclined its possible to compete for the honour of most three star dates or longest massage. At the time of writing there is someone who has clocked 12,679 minutes worth of massage time with the body pillow. Evidently, no matter how lonely I was during Valentines, there are people out there who are even more desperate for affection.

Review of Justice League


A horny new god named Steppenwolf has returned from exile and plots to take over the world. Unfortunately for the citizens of Earth, after the events of Batman versus Superman, the Man of Steel is no longer around to save us from peril. In his absence, the responsibility of guarding Earth from invasion falls to DC’s Caped Crusader. His only super power is wealth though, so Bruce Wayne will have to recruit beefier allies to help him fend off the impending alien threat. The group that answers the call are known as the Justice League. For all intents and purposes they are Warner Bros’ version of the Avengers (only not as cool.)


After the convoluted plot of Batman v Superman, Justice League elects to keep things simple. The narrative is a straightforward tale of heroes banding together to stop the villain from collecting three MacGuffins. Steppenwolf is no Lex Luthor, so audiences are spared from schemes that pit protagonists against each other and tricks that dupe rivals into drinking pee. The antagonist of this tale is a generic evil conqueror who looks mean, akin to Thor’s enemy Malekith the Accursed. Justice League might fail to mimic the box office success of Marvel’s motion pictures, but its script does at least replicate the competition’s two-dimensional baddies.

Debutants Aquaman, Cyborg and Flash join Batman and Wonder Woman, who have previously been established in other films. Aquaman reminds me of Drax the Destroyer (Guardians of the Galaxy). They both look tough, but don’t do much other than make silly remarks and get smacked about by the opposition. Cyborg is the half man, half machine token black guy. His sole purpose in the movie is to hack Steppenwolf’s gizmos. To be fair, overriding extra-terrestrial tech with mechanical appendages is more plausible than Jeff Goldblum uploading a virus. Flash is the unfunny comic relief. His displays of speed lack the creativity found in the X-Men scenes that feature Quicksilver.


My rating for Justice League is a three out of five. An average superhero flick that fails to match the standards set by Marvel Studios. Thank goodness that I didn’t pay to watch this at the cinema. It’s mediocre and the CG effects lack polish. For fans of spandex crime fighters, I would however say that the DVD is worth a rental, as the action is decent. I also appreciate how Justice League is less serious than its predecessors. The biggest beneficiary of the lighter tone is Superman, who returns near the end. He makes some quips and is finally presented as a beacon of hope. What a relief. In prior movies it was weird to see how the last son of Krypton was grouchier than Batman.

Now that Superman is back (not a spoiler given that he is on the box art) I wonder how he will be handled in future sequels. The biggest issue with Superman is that he is too darn strong. In this movie, for example, the entire Justice League is powerless against Steppenwolf. Superman on the other hand can pwn him without breaking a sweat. Perhaps they can reduce Superman’s strength by cutting his hair. That worked against Samson. First up they can start by shaving his facial hair. It amazes me that digital effects had to be used to hide Henry Cavill’s moustache. How dare you refuse to shave for a role? Who do you think you are? Only Cesar Romero’s Joker can get away with that.

Review of Juni Taisen: Zodiac War


Western calendars are so dull. I think it would be much cooler if we switched over to the Chinese system. We could then name the years after awesome animals! To coincide with the upcoming year of the dog, I have decided to review Juni Taisen: Zodiac War. Based on Nisio Isin’s novel, this twelve-episode anime is currently available to watch on Crunchyroll. I would best describe the series as a Fate like battle royale, where various warriors compete for the prize of any wish they desire. Rather than being based on historical figures, the cast of Juni Taisen are styled after the critters that make up the Chinese zodiac. Sadly we missed out on a sexy bunny girl. The rabbit fighter is a barely clothed male psychopath!


Every twelve years the Zodiac War is waged. This event allows the wealthy elite to wager on the outcome of a contest, which pits the planet’s twelve mightiest mercenaries against each other. Just like a Scottish swordfight, in the end there can be only one. Each competitor is forced to ingest a poisonous gem, at the start of the competition, so fleeing the brawl is not an option. To avoid a toxic demise one needs to exchange eleven gems for the antidote. Easier said than done though, because rivals are naturally unwilling to surrender the gem stored within their gut. You want to disembowel me for a Gem… that’s outrageous truly, truly, truly outrageous.

At first I thought the series would follow the pacifist Monkey and dozy Rat. The pair appeared to be the good guys, as they banded together to determine a way of ending the conflict with zero casualties. Juni Taisen however is an ensemble piece that shares the spotlight between all of its characters. Each episode focuses on a particular combatant. Viewers see the instalment’s protagonist scrap in the present, and glimpse into their origins courtesy of flashbacks. It’s an effective way of fleshing out the cast, without sacrificing action. The narrative however falls into an Akame Ga Kill cycle. Whenever someone is humanized, via backstory, you can practically see their death flag being hoisted up.


My rating for Juni Taisen: Zodiac War is a four out of five. If the series were just eleven episodes long it would be a contender for best anime of 2017. The cast are a diverse bunch and the action is top notch. Unlike the Monogatari franchise, which is heavy on dialogue, you cannot accuse this Nisio Isin adaptation of being slow paced. When the warriors clash it’s exciting to see who will triumph. Some characters outwit their opponents with subterfuge and others rely on brawn. The special techniques on display include Snake’s power of flight, Horse’s impenetrable defence and Boar’s Tommy Guns (which have infinite bullets.) I wonder if she stole said weapon from the Resident Evil 4 merchant.

The thing that prevents Juni Taisen from getting five stars, from yours truly, is its ending. Some people might consider the finale to be clever, as it illustrates how someone’s biggest strength can also be their biggest weakness. For me however it was anticlimactic. We witness such a high death toll just for things to play out like that? Given how serious and grisly the preceding episodes were, the story’s resolution comes across as a bit silly. My misgivings with the conclusion aside, I would still rate Juni Taisen as an excellent show that animation fans will enjoy. In hindsight, given that the series was produced during the year of the rooster, I should have expected that they would “cock” up the last episode.

Review of Battle Chef Brigade


Match three isn’t just confined to puzzle games you know. Years ago, for example, we saw how HuniePop would simulate romantic dates via the mechanic of lining up like-coloured tiles. In a similar vein, cooking dishes in Battle Chef Brigade revolves around match three gameplay. The tastiness of the meals you prepare is dependent on how well one combos the various blue/green/red ingredients. Said ingredients are harvested in 2D fighting stages, where players need to slay beasts to procure their meat and yummy organs. How violent! The chefs in this game rival Gordon Ramsay when it comes to aggression.


In Battle Chef Brigade players assume the role of Mina Han, a teenage chef who has left her village in order to compete in a cooking tournament. Think Food Wars, set in a fantasy kingdom, minus the food orgasms. Mina’s participation in the contest is chronicled across six chapters, which will take the average person around ten hours to clear. The story shows how Mina ditched her family restaurant, fought against rivals and investigated a plague that is contaminating the local wildlife. Apart from the main campaign there are also daily challenges to tackle, where players can see how their culinary skills compare to others in the Switch online leader boards.

One of the reasons why I downloaded this title, for my Nintendo handheld, is because of the eye-catching visuals. Although the game’s animation would benefit from some extra frames, one cannot help but admire the gorgeous hand drawn graphics and character designs (that resemble The Legend of Korra.) Indie developer Trinket Studios has done a fine job of combining puzzle segments, which play like Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, with fun 2D combat. Mina hunts for food by using martial arts, casting magic and hurling daggers. I enjoyed the action, even if I cannot comprehend why Mina doesn’t forego bloodshed in favour of buying ingredients at the supermarket.


My rating for Battle Chef Brigade is four Michelin stars out of five. The game isn’t too difficult, but I can’t say that the simplicity ever got repetitive. Every match feels unique, as you can’t rely on churning out the exact same dishes all the time. Different judges oversee each encounter. If you wish to get maximum points, from them, Mina needs to tweak her menu to appeal to their distinct tastes. The game also keeps things fresh by introducing new mechanics on a regular basis, such as poisonous ingredients that explode when stirred. A toxic dinner, that detonates, sounds like something I would make in my kitchen. I suck at cooking, so when it comes to satiating hunger I stick to microwavable meals.

A gastronomic brawler sounds like a weird idea for a game, but somehow Trinket Studios have managed to make it work. My only grievance with Battle Chef Brigade is that the story is a bit short. Sadly there’s no multiplayer mode to extend the title’s shelf life or unlockable characters to encourage additional playthroughs. Perhaps that is something to consider for a potential future sequel? Either way, I can highly recommend Battle Chef Brigade to anyone who owns a Switch. The game is on the Steam store as well, so the PC master (chef) race can play it on their hardware too.