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Oooohhh, I remember this from my childhood!
14 January 2017
"For Better or for Worse: The Bestest Present" is a Christmas cartoon special that was produced in 1985, and first aired on American TV on this year. It was directed by Sebastian Grunstra, who also directed all sequels except from "A Storm in April".

Basic plot: During a rainy day before Christmas Eve, Michael and Lizzie are taken by their mother to a shopping mall. When they return to their home, they discover that Lizzie's stuffed bunny is gone...

Being an IMDb user, I haven't written a single review for a long time, until now when I just happened to accidentally find a somewhat rare Christmas special I haven't seen for many, many years since my early childhood. "The Bestest Present", that is the first of the "For Better or for Worse" TV-specials, is a very cozy cartoon that is suitable for everybody. The animation is very easy but nicely done, and the story is very easy to follow. Now in this afternoon prior to this review, I almost took to tears in one scene thanks to the childhood memories I've got from watching this, when the father comforts Lizzie by singing a goodnight song to her.

In my early childhood, we used to have the TV-special as recorded on VHS, and I think it was dubbed in Norwegian of course, since most cartoons for kids are dubbed in my country. What I have always remembered are: That funny dog drinking from the toilet, the car driving to the shopping mall, all the raining, and that stuffed bunny. But since my English and memories weren't as good as today, I've never remembered the title, until I finally discovered this cartoon today, something that made me happy.

If you like watching cozy animated Christmas movies/specials suitable for all audiences, I'll highly recommend you to find this, and watch this at least once. Some other Christmas stuff I'd like to recommend include: Any Christmas specials from Rankin Bass like "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", as well as Disney's "From All of Us to All of You".

My overall rating: A well deserved 9/10.
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Super Mario 3D World (2013 Video Game)
Pretty unique 3D-platformer game with Mario and co.
18 December 2015
"Super Mario 3D World" is a 3D-platformer game which was released for Wii U by Nintendo near the end of November 2013. It is a sequel to "Super Mario 3D Land" which was released for Nintendo 3DS.

Basic plot: Our famous heroes Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad are about to enjoy the fireworks outside of Peach's castle, when they discover a Clear Pipe. Lots of items and a green Sprixie Princess burst out from the pipe. The Sprixie Princess needs help, and tells the heroes about six of her fellows having gotten kidnapped by Bowser. Bowser suddenly emerges from the pipe and kidnaps her, so Mario and company have to save all the seven kidnapped Sprixie Princesses...

This is a game which I got during Christmas Eve 2013, and I enjoyed from the first second I began playing it. Besides from the different 3D-worlds and the various challenges, I also liked the new items, including the Cat Suit which allows the heroes to climb up high walls. And if that isn't enough, I also liked the idea of having up to 4 players to play the game, and not at least choose any of the four characters. I, for the most part, played as Peach.

And if you are interested, an another character named Rosalina can be unlocked in the first Bonus World.

Conclusion: If you enjoy anything related to Mario and company, but yet haven't play this game as of today, then I recommend you to buy this game, if not only play this one at least once. My overall rating: 9/10.
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Bubble Bobble (1986 Video Game)
One of the legendary classics in the history of video games.
21 November 2015
"Bubble Bobble" is a video game, originally made as an arcade game in 1986, and later ported into other consoles like Commodore 64, PC, Game Boy and Sega Master System to name a few.

Basic plot: Simply put, this game involves Bub and Bob, two dragon twins who's girlfriends have been kidnapped by Baron Von Blubba and must be saved.

Through 100 levels (or 200 if you played the Sega Master System version), Bub and Bob must shoot bubbles from their mouths in order to trap their enemies, and then defeat them. Food can be collected every time, and items which are mostly useful against enemies can be collected as well. If you manages to fulfill some challenges, a secret door may appear on certain stages.

This is one of the best and legendary video games I've played for Sega Master System, a console my family still owns at their hut. Most of the stages the player(s) have to go through are pretty easy and funny, the graphic is very nice and easy to look at. Even the whole game-play is very easy as well. And who doesn't remember the good old music mostly played through the whole game...? This is a very famous game most people around the world must have played already.

Seriously, this is one of the Sega-games I've been playing the most, some other games being "Sonic the Hedgehog", "Alex Kidd in the Miracle World" and "Lemmings". Sometimes, as long as I and my big sister played this game, we had some trouble trying to find a Magic Candle, a special item which allows the player to automatically light up all later stages which would normally be played through as black screen. Otherwise, we used to have lots of fun playing this game.

As I have mentioned already, this is a game most people must have played already. If not, then I highly recommend you to try this game. Trust me, you won't regret even one second of playing it. In my opinion, this game highly deserves a full rating of 10/10.
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One of the better animated movies coming from the Soviet Union.
17 October 2015
"Tayna Tretey Planety", also called "The Mystery of the Third Planet", is a Sci-Fi/Cartoon movie directed by Roman Kachanov in 1981. It is produced by an animation studio called Soyuzmultfilm.

Basic plot: In the late 22nd century, a little girl named Alisa, her father professor and a pilot are on a space mission to find some rare animals for their Moscow Zoo. Instead for what they are supposed to do, they stumble on a case which involves Doctor Verhovtsev, who holds a conspiracy against two legendary captains. And so they are given a chatter-bird, which is the only clue for this mystery...

I recently finished watching this film in Russian, before writing this review. As I have already watched multiple animated films from Soyuzmultfilm, I have to confirm this as one of the best animated movies which were made in the Soviet Union. For something made in 1981, the traditional animation is very typical for something made in the same country, and the setting is pretty similar to various Science Fiction/B-grade movies which were made during the 60s to late 70s. You may even be hooked both by the animation and how the plot unfolds itself, like I was. The background music is pretty great as well. This 48-minute long film is a great movie to be watched by whole families.

Are you into Russian animation, as well as anything set in future and space, then this animated movie is really worth to find and watch. In my opinion, I think this film deserves an overall rating 9/10.

Some other animated films from Suyuzmultfilm I'd like to recommend, include: "Maria, Mirabella" (1981), the "Maugli" film-series (1967-1971 and the 1973-movie), and "The Humpbacked Horse" (both the 1947- and 1975-version).
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Sailor Moon (1992–1997)
Sailor Moon meets Chibiusa...
28 September 2015
"Bishôjo Senshi Sêrâ Mûn R", or simply known as "Sailor Moon R", is the second of the five seasons of the "Sailor Moon" anime series. It was produced by Toei Animation, and originally aired on Japanese TV from 1993 to 1994.

Basic plot: During the first arc, Ail and Ann (two aliens disguised as humans) are seeking human energy in order to restore their life tree. Usagi and her friends, who had forgotten their lives as Sailor Senshi, have their memories restored...

In the second arc, a little girl named Chibiusa is sent from her future to search for the Silver Crystal. The new enemies, including the Black Moon Clan, the Ayakashi sisters, Prince Demando and Wiseman to name a few, are searching for the same crystal as well, in order to take over the future. Sailor Pluto also makes an debut in this season.

Several months earlier prior to this review, I made a review about the first season: It was a great classic within the world of magical-girl-anime. In common with the said season, "Sailor Moon R" is a pretty good season. It has cute animation, good soundtrack and an okay plot, as well as a good portion of humor, dramatic, romance and not at least action. The first arc in this season is basically a filler arc, but the Black Moon arc is pretty interesting.

As I have watched the Japanese version of this anime, the eye-catch which shows the Sailor Senshi as Chibis (short humans) is simply my favorite sequence, by the overall eye-catches shown throughout the entire "Sailor Moon" franchise. For those who don't know what an eye-catch is, it is simply a short sequence made for a commercial break.

Dali's epic song "Moonlight Densetsu", which was played in the first season, also serves as the theme song for the second season.

Conclusion: If you like watching anime made in the 90s, as well as anime dealing with magical girls, then this one may be a good choice for you. However, it is strong recommended that you watch the first "Sailor Moon" season before this. My overall rating: 9/10.
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Fantasia (1940)
Disney's musical masterpiece
19 July 2015
"Fantasia" is an animated movie from 1940, produced by Walt Disney and directed by multiple directors. It is the third Disney animated feature having been made, the first two was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and "Pinocchio" (1940).

Basic plot: In this film, eight segments are set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, while music critic and composer Deems Taylor makes an introduction to each of the segments.

Just to point out some of the segments: In "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", Mickey Mouse attempts to try out some of sorcerer Yen Sid's magic tricks. "Rite of Spring" deals with the evolution of life on Earth, from volcano eruptions to dinosaurs. In "Dance of the Hours", animals like hippos and alligators perform a comic ballet in four sections. In "Night on Bald Mountain", a devil summons evil spirits and restless souls from their graves to Bald Mountain, so they can dance and fly through the air...

Not only has "Fantasia" been a great part of my childhood, but I'll confirm this to be a great favorite within the world of Disney animated movies. Here, the classical music and the animated segments fit perfectly with each other. The animation is just wonderful for something made in 1940. And besides from Deems Taylor introducing the segments, this film proves the fact not all movies need to always have dialogue in order to make a good story. It is also amazing on how "Fantasia" still holds the record for being the longest Disney animated movie, with the running time of at least two hours.

Favorite segment: In my opinion, "Rite of Spring" wins.

Most funny segment: Here, "Dance of the Hours" takes the cake.

Most scary segment: "Night on Bald Mountain", clearly.

This is how I grew up with "Fantasia": My family used to have this film on a British VHS originally released 1991. Together with several other animated features like Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" and Toei's "Panda no Daibouken", I could watch "Fantasia" many times without getting bored. "Night on Bald Mountain" was the only segment I couldn't manage to sit through. And I thought "Rite of Spring" was kinda creepy as well, thinking about how the Earth (which looked like a giant fireball) came closer and closer to the screen. The rest was no problem, as I watched it with pure pleasure. Prior to my big sister getting the same film on DVD several years ago, my family decided to get rid of the VHS.

In my opinion, when it comes to musical animated features, as well as Disney movies, then nothing beats "Fantasia". This film can be watched by everybody, both children and adults. If you still haven't watched this film, then I highly recommend you to watch this one at least once. My overall rating: A well deserved 10/10.
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Princess Minerva (1998 Video)
A kinda funny anime OVA.
20 June 2015
"Princess Minerva" is an action-packed Comedy/Anime, directed by Mihiro Yamaguchi, and produced by Group TAC and Toho. It was originally released in Japan during 1995.

Basic plot: Princess Minerva longs for the action and adventure of a hero's life. So she enters a fighting tournament as a idol-singer-martial-artist, where the winner is offered a fortune. But most of the women who take part in the tournament aren't fighting for money, but lots of other stuff like pleasure, revenge and for the heck of it. When one of her dearest bodyguard friends gets kidnapped by an evil sorceress, Minerva must become a true hero to save her.

This is one of the kinda funny anime OVAs I have seen, by those which were made in the 90s. It has lots of action and humor. The animation is pretty typical for anything of the 90s, and so is the humor. Most of the time where characters fight or get exposed to something bad, it mostly end up in a silly situation. I sat and giggled several times, thinking how silly the entire anime was. The fighting tournament itself was kinda interesting, and I should wish I could see more of it.

Conclusion: If you enjoy watching action-packed but humorous anime of the 90s, then this one is a good choice for you. My overall rating: 7/10. Some similar anime include: "Detatoko Princess" (1997), "Don't Lose, Makendo" (1995) and "Megami Paradise" (1995).
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Mission of Darkness (1997 Video)
One of the most bizarre Hentais Japan made in the 90s.
9 May 2015
"Inju Daikessen", also known as "Mission of Darkness", is a pornographic Sci-Fi/Anime produced in 1997. Like with "Idol of Darkness" which I wrote a review many months earlier, this one was directed by Kotaro Ran, and produced by Pink Pineapple.

Basic plot: A meteor lands on Earth. Later on, women are being violently impregnated and then brutally killed by an alien life form all over Japan. Scientists, politicians and the National Guard will do anything to stop the alien, but only make things worse. And so they get a big surprise when an over-sized alien woman appears on the scene...

By those adult animations Japan made during the 90s, I'd like to say: "Mission of Darkness" has to be one of the most bizarre animations of this kind I've ever seen. I mean, I was seriously speechless when I watched as multiple women's stomaches grow big with alien fluid, and then eventually burst with lots of blood splatters. There are a few more brutal scenes on the way, but I think I'll leave it there...

An another bizarre scene involves a hilarious event in which the military people hire a bunch of call girls, hookers and various attractive women, and take them outside town in order to lure the monstrous creature into the place. How will this situation turn out, just find it out by yourself...

The animation itself, however, is very typical for any of the Hentai OVAs Pink Pineapple made during the 90s.

Since this OVA is in reality pornographic, and pretty violent and gory in some scenes as well, this anime is strictly forbidden to be watch by anyone under 18...and not recommended for any weak-hearted people as well. On the bright side, if you like watching any adult animation involving aliens, tentacle rape and any sexy female character in the size of Godzilla, then this OVA is really for you.

Mainly for the bizarre and hilarious moments taking place throughout this anime, I'll give this one an overall rating of 9/10.
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Sailor Moon (1992–1997)
The classic Sailor Moon
19 April 2015
"Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon", also called "Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon", is a Magical Girl-anime which debuted on TV Asahi, a Japanese TV-channel. It is based on the manga illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. It was produced by Toei Animation in 1992, and is the first of the five seasons Toei made during the 90s.

Basic plot: Usagi Tsukino is a 14-year-old school student who is clumsy and crybaby as always. Always failing at school and getting scolded by her family. One day, she meets Luna, a talking black cat which gives her the power to transform into Sailor Moon.

As Sailor Moon, she must defend the world from falling into the hands of the Dark Kingdom and it's ruler Queen Beryl. But she can't do all this alone; Her friends Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury), Rei Hino (Sailor Mars), Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter), Minako Aino (Sailor Venus), and even Tuxedo Mask will all help her to defeat the evil power.

By all anime series I've seen so far, this one is a timeless classic within the world of Magical Girl-anime. When I first saw this and "Sailor Moon R" online during the first half of the Easter holiday 2014, those seasons did go straight into my heart. "Sailor Moon" is simply a cute show which has nice and colorful animation, as well as humor, action and romance.

Nice to see how the epic relationship between Usagi and Mamoru Chiba is building up over the course of this season. And it was great to see how the girls fight off one monster-of-the-week after another. Funny how Usagi and Rei always have to bicker with each other, just to have that said. XD.

The only thing is the fact, while the "Sailor Moon"-franchise has been released/aired in many countries over the world (including Sweden, USA, Germany and Italy just to name some), it has never been released in Norway. Which is a great shame, considering the fact it's a classic show anyway.

Just for the sake of some trivia, Toei Animation also made a second anime adaption of the manga, a web series called "Sailor Moon Crystal" which began to get uploaded during summer 2014. This anime follows the manga's storyline more closely than the original anime did in the 90s.

For the sake of an another trivia, I have a bunch of Sailor Moon-figurines which I've got in Christmas Eve 2014. The pretty expensive set I have was originally made as a part of the Japanese 20th anniversary celebration.

Do you like watching anime consisting of magical girls, but yet not having watched "Sailor Moon", then this one is definitely for you. My overall rating, both for this season and the rest of the anime series, is clearly a 9/10.
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Strega Nona (1977)
I can still remember this Weston Woods animation...
19 March 2015
"Strega Nona" is a short animated film from 1977, based on the children's book by Tomie DePaola. It was directed by Gene Deitch, and produced by Weston Woods Studios.

Basic plot: Strega Nona is a female witch doctor who is known all over Calabria (Southern Italy) where the story takes place. She has for a long time helped many villagers with their troubles, including curing headaches and helping women to find their husbands to name a few.

A young man named Big Anthony secretly watches as Strega Nona uses her magic to produce lots of cooked pasta. When Strega Nona one day leaves her residence under the young man's care, Big Anthony decides to try the same: To produce a lot of pasta...

This was one of the Weston Woods animated shorts I saw as a little boy. Now, when I think about it, this short film had some nice and funny drawings, and a very easy storytelling which any children should be able to follow. This film happened to follow the book very closely.

I remember this short film, mainly because the local library where I'm working used to have this film on a very old VHS. This VHS, which was released in Norway by Nord Video during the very early 80s, also had three other shorts being: "Googles" (1974), "The Three Robbers" (1972) and "Changes, Changes" (1972). Such a nice but funny childhood memory I'll never be able to forget...

Because of this film following the book closely, and this film being most of all one of my childhood memories withing the world of short animated films, I would like to give this a rating of 7/10.
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Somewhat rare, but pretty nice Magical Girl-anime from 1986.
3 March 2015
"Mahou no Idol Pastel Yumi", also called "Magical Idol Pastel Yumi", is a Magical Girl-anime which was produced by Studio Pierrot, and broadcast on Japanese TV during year 1986. Number of episodes: 25.

Basic plot: Yumi Hanazono lives together with her parents at their flower shop, and pretty much likes flowers and comics. Upon being in some trouble, she meets two flower fairies who decide to help her. These fairies, named Kakimaru and Keshimaru, give her a magic cane and a pendant. Anything Yumi draws in the air using the cane takes form and becomes real, but the magic doesn't last long before it vanishes. Yumi wants to use her magic for good stuff, but causes trouble around her for some reasons...

As I just finished this anime just around a hour earlier prior to this review, I'd say I pretty much enjoyed it. It is a pretty good magical girl-anime which can be watched by any family around the world. It has typical but nice and colorful animation as expected from any family-friendly anime. Many cute or funny characters which many people can rely to. Nice soundtrack as well. As with most anime, there are some dramatic scenes here and there, but otherwise this anime has many funny moments which actually made me giggle several times.

This is the fourth Magical Girl series Studio Pierrot produced during the 80s, the first three was "Creamy Mami" (1983), "Magical Girl Persia" (1984) and "Magical Emi, the Magic Star" (1985).

I found this one to be a nice recommendation for anyone who are into magical girl-stuff like "Creamy Mami", "Sweet Mint", "Tokyo Mew Mew" and not at least the classic "Sailor Moon" from 1992. My overall rating: 8/10.
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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (2014 Video Game)
This SSB-game can't be better than this...
20 February 2015
"Super Smash Bros. for Wii U" is a fighting game made for Nintendo Wii U during late 2014. The DS-version was released a few months before, making this the fifth one in the series overall. Like all the other SSB-games, this one was made by Masahiro Sakurai.

Like in the other games, popular video game characters like Mario, Pikachu, Captain Falcon, Zelda and Donkey Kong fight each other. As usual, they can run everywhere in each stages, pick up items, get blasted into the sky, etc. Many old characters appear in the game, as well as newcomers like Rosalina & Luma, Little Mac and Palutena. Together with new stages, several retro stages like 75m, Halberd and Norfair (one of my favorite stages from "Brawl") appear as well with improved graphics.

As much as I often did with "Brawl" for Wii, I pretty much enjoy this game which I got as a Christmas gift. The HD graphics in the game are just as great as it could be, somewhat improved since the Wii-epoch. There is a great selection of multiple characters, stages, music and items. And as if that wasn't enough, there is a great selection of different game modes to play on, including "Classic Mode", "Smash Tour", "Target Blast", "8-Player Smash", "Multi-Man Mode", "Special Orders" and a drastically different variant of "Stage Builder" to name some.

Speaking about some of the modes: "Smash Tour" plays as a board game where players use a Mii character. The "Classic Mode" is a little bit different from how it was in the previous games I've played, but very funny. "Target Blast" is also a bit different as instead of hitting every single targets in fastest possible time, you use a bomb on multiple targets at once. Up to eight players can fight on the versus mode.

This is a game I will pretty much recommend to anyone who owns a Wii U-console, mainly due to all the fun one can have with this. My overall rating: A full 10/10. Let the battle begin...
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Red Asphalt V (2006)
Car accidents...It can still happen to anyone...
25 January 2015
"Red Asphalt V" is a short driver's education film produced in 2006, and is the fifth "Red Asphalt"-film California Highway Patrol had made since 1964.

Basic plot: Like the first four films, this one deals with traffic accidents on Californian highway. This time teenagers are in focus. Here we see shocking real life footages of young people lying dead in such incident, and we get to watch several interviews with some of the teenagers who had witnessed or survived such tragedies, as well as CHP officers who respond to such deadly collisions on a daily basis. According to CHP, car accidents happens everyday in Californian roadways. And this can happen to any people, at any age, and anywhere.

Car accidents happen as a result of doing dangerous stuff like speeding, drugging, inattention or impairment behind the wheel. This film was originally made for students to motivate them to drive carefully.

We, the people, may don't like it. But unfortunately we hear about car accidents everywhere, and everyday, like it had become a part of our daily life. It's on the news on TV and radio, and sometimes it's written on newspapers and Internet. Speaking about real life, even my big sister has unfortunately gotten in car accidents two times so far. Luckily, she survived both of them.

I'm so lucky I got to see all of the five "Red Asphalt" films online. I mean, these films are not made for entertainment. They aren't funny. Their footages might be disturbing to some people, but these films were made to give the viewer a warning about the consequences of driving too fast, not wearing safety belt, drinking before driving, etc. These movies deserve to get watched by as many people as possible, then the amount of car accidents may get reduced. Because of how the CHP handled this topic, how they warn people against dangerous driving and such stuff, I wanna give this fifth film, (together with the other four films) an overall rating of 9/10.

Take responsibility and pay attention while driving.

Some other important driver's ed-films include: "Signal 30", "Highways of Agony", "Wheels of Tragedy" and the very rare "Drive and Survive".
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Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986 Video Game)
Before Sonic the Hedgehog, there was Alex Kidd.
11 January 2015
"Alex Kidd in Miracle World" is a 8-bit platform game which was first released for Sega Master System in Japan 1986. It is the first game to have the popular character Alex Kidd.

Basic plot: This game is set in a fantasy world called Miracle World. Here Alex Kidd is in search for his lost brother Prince Egle, who (together with Princess Lora) has been captured by the villainous Janken the Great, who then has taken over the peaceful land of Radaxian. Before Alex Kidd meets up with Janken the Great, he has to pass Janken's three henchmen who performs the game "Rock, Paper, Scissors".

Also, before Alex Kidd can continue to next stage, he must get into a hamburger. Or a Japanese rice food called "onigiri" if you have the original version of the game.

Why there hasn't been any reviews for this game here on the IMDb-site until now, making me the first one to comment about this game on this site, is for me a great mystery. Together with the first Super Mario-games for Nintendo, this game is a classic within the world of Sega. The game's theme music, and all of the other music used in the game are unforgettable. The nice 2D graphics and landscapes which should be remembered. The items Alex Kidd could collect or buy, like a motorbike or the bracelet which allowed Alex to shoot "shocking waves of destruction" at enemies and blocks. And not at least, who would forget the "Rock, Paper, Scissors"-game which Alex Kidd had to perform in order to win over Janken's henchmen, who's heads were formed as hands.

I remember this game very much. To be more right, this game is one of my greatest childhood memories within the world of video games. This is because my family used to have Sega Master System before the time we got Nintendo 64. This game was a built-in game for this console, making this being the most known Alex Kidd-game ever. If you turned on the Sega console without any game cartridge put into the machine, this Alex Kidd-game would start by instant.

Alex Kidd was Sega's main mascot during the second half of the 80s, and was supposed to be Sega's answer to Super Mario. This was until Sega made the first Sonic the Hedgehog-games in early 90s. Since then Sonic has for a long time been Sega's mascot.

Together with a lot of old games, this game could also get downloaded into the Wii console via Virtual Console.

Due to this game being one of my childhood memories within Sega Master System, I give this game an overall rating of 9/10.

Several other great memories I have of the same video game console include: "Sonic the Hedgehog" and it's sequel, "Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck", "Castle of Illusion" and "Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse".
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Bubblegum Crisis (1987–1991)
Pretty cool cyberpunk OVA of the late 80s
14 December 2014
"Bubblegum Crisis" is an 8-episode anime OVA-series which was released in Japan through 1987-1991. Made by AIC, Artmic and Youmex.

Basic plot: The year is 2032 in MegaTokyo, seven years after Tokyo was destroyed by a giant earthquake. Genom Corp, the big company which recreated the city, began mass-producing cyberdroids called Boomers meant to serve mankind by taking part in recreating MegaTokyo. When the Boomers started to run out of control, the A.D. Police tried to stop these cyberdroids, something which proved to be more difficult but deadly than imagined.

But, the hope isn't over yet, because four girls who have banded together as the Knight Sabers are also in MegaTokyo. These girls in powerful armor suits are strong enough to defend the city from Genom and the Boomers. And their names are: Sylia Stingray, Priscilla S. Asagiri, Linna Yamazaki and Nene Romanova.

I first heard about this anime around year 2004. However, for some reasons, I didn't get a chance to watch this anime until late autumn 2014. And I'm so glad to get to see this for once, at least with Japanese dub. This anime was epic, with lots of cyber/robot-action, car chases, humor and a pretty cool soundtrack which all together made me hooked from beginning to end. The MegaTokyo-setting in this anime was fairly realistic.

This anime was originally planned as a 13-episode long OVA-series, but was cancelled after 8 episodes due to legal problems between Artmic and Youmex. However, a 3-episode sequel called "Bubblegum Crash" was made. Still, the entire franchise remains a cult classic among anime fans.

This anime is highly recommended for any fans of Japanese cyberpunk animation set in future. I mean, if you haven't seen this yet, then this anime is not to miss, the same with "Bubblegum Crash". My overall rating for such a classic is therefore: 9/10.

Some similar anime also to be recommended include: "Angel Cop", "Appleseed", "Genocyber" and "Battle Angel".
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Space Runaway Ideon (1980–1981)
I wish more Mecha-Anime-fans to watch this masterpiece.
27 November 2014
"Densetsu Kyojin Ideon", also called "Space Runaway Ideon", is a Mecha-Anime-series from 1980 which consists of 39 episodes. It was directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino, also known for other Mecha-series like "Gundam" and "Heavy Metal L-Gaim".

Basic plot: During an attack on planet Solo, a group of people discover the ruins of a long dead alien civilization, a three-part combat robot called "the Ideon", and later a huge, powerful spaceship. After the "Ideon" and the spaceship (now called the Solo Ship) suddenly get activated, the crew on the Solo Ship (now in space) get constantly attacked by a group of pestering but powerful aliens called the Buff Clan, who are trying to get a hold of the "Id", the mysterious energy which powers "Ideon".

Just after watching the first two-three episodes, I just got hooked on this series. For something released on Japanese TV in very early 80s, nearly each episodes have lots of intense battle sequences which should satisfy any fans of combat-robot-anime, and the Mecha-animation is just as great as it could be. The soundtrack was pretty great, and fits perfectly for not only the combat scenes, but also most of the scenes of other stuff like dramatic, mystery and tragedy. Upon watching this anime, I got sympathy for most of the crew on the Solo Ship, including Cosmo Yuuki, Karala Ajiba and Sheryl Formosa just to name a few.

Originally, 43 episodes were supposed to be aired on TV, but due to low ratings, the rest of the series was cancelled after 39 episodes. Following said cancellation, due to demands for the remaining four episodes, two movies were made: The first one named "The Ideon: A Contact" is basically a summary of the first 32 episodes, with a few additional scenes only made for the movie. "The Ideon: Be Invoked" however contains the final unaired episodes which should end the Ideon saga once and for all.

Such a great anime this is, this one highly deserves to be released outside Japan where it was made, and I should wish that more people (mainly fans of Gundam-like Mecha-anime) would get to discover and eventually watch this masterpiece at least once. My overall rating is a full 10/10.
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The Gambler (1980 TV Movie)
Enjoyable made-for-TV Western
8 November 2014
"The Gambler" is a made-for-TV Western-movie, directed by Dick Lowry in 1980.

Basic plot: Brady Hawkes (played by Kenny Rogers) is a famous poker player everybody wants to play against. On his trip to New Orleans, he gets to know about his son, who asks him in a letter to help him and his mother. Together with Billy Montana (played by Bruce Boxleitner), an avid poker gamer and a gunman, they are on the way to Hawkes' own problems; including an old enemy of Hawkes sending three assassins against him...

I just finished watching this on VHS before writing this review, this because I actually enjoyed this Western-movie. The storytelling was good, and music artist Kenny Rogers does a great performance as the famous gambler who does things with honesty. Bruce Boxleitner also does a great job as a gambler, but also a gunman.

The old VHS edition I have was released in Norway by former video distributor VIP Scandinavia AS/MDC Video during the 80s, and was rated 16. According the the video cover, this film was the most popular feature being shown on TV in USA in 1980.

For a conclusion, I wish to recommend anybody who enjoys TV-movies or Westerns to watch this movie at least once. My overall rating: 9/10.
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Beware of drugs.
16 October 2014
"Drogs Sterco Di Dio", also called "Drugs: A River of No Return", is a Mondo/documentary film by Stelvio Massi, year 1989.

Basic plot: This film deals with an atrocious and inhuman truth of various worldwide drug problems, according to the text which scrolls in the opening sequence. Some of the problems include: Drug trafficking, investigations and how drugs can be affecting to some people.

After the opening birth sequence, this film shows us how some of the drugs are being made by some people around the world, including tribe people and Indian people.

Later on, we get to see how crime scenes are being investigated in some places around the world, including Hong Kong and some jungle places. In some of the worst cases, bodies have to endure some autopsy as packages of drugs are being put into these bodies (pretty disturbing). Several airports around the world use dogs to sniff out illegal drugs.

This film also tells about what could happen if anybody should be a drug addict.

I found this film to be interesting and important. I mean, even though some of the scenes could be somewhat disturbing and gross at times, I would at least recommend any people who are into drugs and smoking to watch this film at least once. At least one of the objective of this film was to warn any people from the world of drugs, and eventually save even one life from such fate.

Once again, I would recommend any people (at the age of 18 and over) to watch this film, at least to learn about the scourge of drugs and to stay away from such stuff. In my opinion, because of how the topic has been handled by the team behind this film, I would give this film an overall rating of 7/10.
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Yuki's Sun (1972)
Nice short directional debut by Hayao Miyazaki alone.
5 October 2014
"Yuki no Taiyou", also called "Yuki's Sun", is a 2-minute short animated pilot by Hayao Miyazaki year 1972. This pilot was based on a popular girls' comic by Tetsuya Chiba which was serialized around 1962-63.

Basic plot: As in the comic, this short pilot centers around Yuki, a 10-year old orphan who's being adopted into a family.

In my opinion, this short pilot has nice 70s animation and wonderful drawings. The story has some dramatic moment, but is told in a way so children should manage to follow.

This short film is to be remembered for at least one thing, because this one marks the first time the great Hayao Miyazaki has directed something alone. This one was made as a pilot for a television series which for some reasons was never realized.

Ever since this pilot, Miyazaki went on to make lots of amazing animated movies like "My Neighbor Totoro" (1988), "Spirited Away" (2001) and "Howl's Moving Castle" (2004), until his retirement after his last film "The Wind Rises" (2013). Because his movies went very popular around the world, I believe this director will be remembered by many fans of his films.

As a pilot for a never-realized anime series, I think this highly deserves an attention, and should be something to look at. In my opinion, I give this one a full rating of 10/10.
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James Glickenhaus' grim vengeance action-movie, earlier banned in Norway.
23 September 2014
"The Exterminator" is an Action-movie, directed by James Glickenhaus, 1980.

Basic plot: John Eastland (Robert Ginty) and Michael Jefferson (Steve James) are two friends who are coming home to New York from the gruesome Vietnam war. Sadly, a few years later, the dark colored Michael gets brutally attacked by a ruthless gang of thugs, and gets paralyzed for the rest of his life. When Eastland gets to hear about this, he sets out to kill many of the thugs, and later on every criminals he meets. On the other side, detective Dalton (Christopher George) is assigned to the case, and will do anything to stop "the exterminator".

This film is very brutal, even for a action-flick that deals with vengeance. Whenever scenes of violence occur on screen, they mostly end with a grim result. Some of the notable scenes that must be mentioned here include the realistic beheading scene during the opening Vietnam war, and the scene in which Eastland sends a man into a meat grinder.

I really love how Eastland quotes his catchphrase "if you're lying, I'll be back", while threatening a tied up thug with a flamethrower. For some reasons, I also find Mr. George's appearance as the detective to be great.

Not only did this film suffer various censorship while being released around the world, this film was banned from being shown in Norwegian cinemas. It was later released on VHS by the now defunct NOVIO A/S, only to become the very first video movie to get banned in 1984 in relation to the heated topic being "video violence". Since early 2000s, this film is now completely legal in it's uncut version, hence the fact I have a Norwegian DVD copy containing this version.

Do you like action-movies that deal with vengeance, this film is truly a must-see. Actually, I don't hesitate to call this film one of the greatest "vengeance movies" I've seen in several decades, and therefore I give this film an overall rating of 10/10. A similar movie to be highly recommended is the 1974-movie "Death Wish" with Charles Bronson.

The other three movies from James Glickenhaus I've seen include "The Soldier" (1982), "Blue Jean Cop" (1988) and "McBain" (1991).
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One of the most sleazy/disturbing Japanese movies of the 90s.
17 August 2014
"Rape Panic Mansion" is a 1996 sleazy Softcore/Horror-movie directed by Yoshifusa Ide. It was produced by Pink Pineapple.

Basic plot: On the way to her apartment, a woman is kidnapped by two psychotic rapists, and brought into a couple's apartment. There the two women in the house are held hostage by the rapists, and endure hours of rape and crazy games.

I have very little words of what I think about this 60-minute long sleaze from Japan. To be more right, I was nearly speechless when I saw this film online in the year 2013. Here is why: This film has little to no plot and acting skills, and basically has nearly nothing more than graphic rape, screaming and beating. For a typical Japanese Softcore sleaze, there is nudity as well.

However, if you (like me) are into sleazy Horror/Softcore movies from Japan, then you might want to check this film out. The easiest way to see this is online, as it was only released on VHS in it's homeland. On the other side, if you get offended by graphic rape, senseless violence and similar scenes, then I suggest you to stay away from this.

Before I now end my review for "Rape Panic Mansion", let me tell you: When it comes to direct-to-video adult-oriented movies from Japan in general, there actually are better movies to watch than this. And some of them include the controversial "Tumbling Doll of Flesh" from 1998, and last but not at least the infamous "Guinea Pig" film series of the 80s. I can eventually recommend you these movies more than this one.

For the overall content in "Rape Panic Mansion", I give this one an overall rating of: 5/10.
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The Body Electric (1985 TV Short)
Cool, short post-apocalypse cartoon. Must be something for the fans of Rush.
12 August 2014
"The Body Electric" is a short, but pretty rare made-for-TV cartoon from 1985, directed by the uncredited David Feiss. It was produced by the former company Atkinson Film-Arts.

Basic plot: Red Sector A was not only a paradise for man's machine, but was also the home for the last people on Earth, until a mysterious force made the robots to get the people out of the city and right to the wasteland outside.

In the middle of the domed city, which is now in ruins, Woody and Andrea meet each other. And together they only have a few hours to escape, as the city is about to explode due to the shield generator approaching meltdown. But they soon learn that they're not alone...

This 23-minute short piece of animation was great. This short mature-oriented cartoon even uses songs from Rush (a Canadian rock band) as background music for the entire film. Even the film's title and the city's name Red Sector A are based on two on their songs. For the fans of Rush, this pretty rare film is not something to be overlooked.

Speaking about the film itself, I found this animated film to be pretty entertaining, even though the story isn't exactly original as it has the "man versus machine" scenario. The animation itself is very typical for anything being made in Canada during the 80s. And it's not often Canada makes animated films which deal with post-apocalypse.

Pretty recommended for fans of Rush the rock-band, and for the fans of 80s animation for the mature audience. All in all, I give this pretty rare animated masterpiece a rating of 8/10.
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Urusei Yatsura (1981–1986)
One of the greatest Comedy-Anime ever...
4 August 2014
"Urusei Yatsura", also called "Those Obnoxious Aliens", is a classic Comedy-Romance-Anime originally broadcast on Japanese TV 1981-1986. It is based on the comic by Rumiko Takahashi and runs for 195 episodes + 2 TV-specials.

Basic plot: The unlucky high school student Ataru Moroboshi become the chosen one to play the game of tag, where he has to grab the horns of an Oni (an alien race) within one week, or the Earth is to be taken over by the aliens anyway. Wishing for his marriage with the lovely girl Shinobu Miyake, he happens to grab the horns of the cute alien girl named Lum Invader right on the final day of the competition. Lum misinterprets the marriage wish to be a proposal to her by Ataru, but falls in love with him and moves into his house anyway. And this is just the beginning of the series where one unexpected event comes after another.

However, Ataru basically has little to nothing more than girls on his mind, and goes on with his constant flirting with a bunch of pretty girls, only to get punished by Lum with her electric shock.

As I have seen all of the episodes, as well as all of their movies and OVAs, I just have to confirm the entire "Urusei Yatsura" franchise as one of the best anime I've seen when it comes to humorous anime. Compared to the newer Comedy-Romance-Anime being made in Japan in the last ten years, this one actually made me laugh pretty often. Even in the supposedly serious episodes, you just can't take these episodes too seriously, because something funny and unexpected always has to happen at the end.

Pretty much happens in the series than just Ataru running after girls and Lum giving him electro shock. We also get stuff like; Ghouls and ghosts, evil spirits, slapstick violence, horror stories which often end comically, and not at least vulgar/perverted humor.

Also, we get unforgettable characters like: Lum's infant cousin Ten, Shutaro Mendou, Benten, Ran, Ryuunosuke, Oyuki, Sakura and her monk uncle Sakuramboo/Cherry, and even a little fox.

Unlike most long-running series like "Naruto" and "Bleach", this one basically goes episodic, meaning most of the episodes mainly don't have any connection to previous episodes. Should you happen to miss out at least one episode or big deal.

Pretty thanks to the entire anime franchise, I actually happened to be a little fan of the character Lum. As if that wasn't enough, I also happened to get a figurine of her, which I bought during my summer vacation at Amsterdam 2014.

Are you a fan of anime in general, this one is highly recommended and should not be missed. A truly humorous classic which I want to give a total rating of 10/10.
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Combustible (2012)
Short masterpiece, from the director of "Akira".
30 July 2014
"Combustible", also called "Hi no Yojin", is a short Drama-Anime movie from 2012, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. It is a part of the feature film compilation called "Short Peace" and runs for 13 minutes.

Basic plot: Set in the Edo period this film is a story of Okawa, the daughter of the merchant family. She leads a lonely childhood, despite the friendship between her and the boy next door Matsukichi (who dreams of becoming fireman).

Many years later, the now tattooed Matsukichi joins a brave fire brigade. But Okawa isn't so lucky as her parents are busy to arrange a wedding for her. Longing for Matsukichi to save her, she accidentally starts a great fire...

By all of the four short animated "Short Peace" movies I've seen, this one is my favorite. In common with the timeless classic "Akira" also made by Katsuhiro Otomo, it has a great story build-up and great animation, which makes this film as realistic as overly possible. The soundtrack which can be heard during the film's climax is pretty stunning as well. Pretty great story of love, honor and firefighting in the ancient Japan.

Highly recommended to be watched by any fan of mature oriented, but realistic animation from Japan.

My overall rating: 9/10.

The other "Short Peace" movies include: "Possessions" (Tsukumo), "Gambo" and "A Farewell to Weapons" (Buki yo Saraba).
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Au Fou! (1967)
Japanese animated short...Just...Bizarre...
12 June 2014
"Au Fou", also called "Satsujin Kyou Jidai", is a surreal animated short film, directed by Yoji Kuri.

Basic plot: This short film contains little to no plot, and is mostly a compilation of surreal death scenes involving: Man running miles just to kill one man with a knife...; Man stranded on island and waving to a boat...; Woman dying by farting... Man falling down from skyscraper roof and seeing a woman...etc.

Having watched several animated shorts made by Yoji Kuri, I find this one to be one of the most bizarre shorts I've seen from him, mostly due to the black humor. Also the best of the director's short films I've seen so far, as several of the segments put in this one often have somewhat unpredictable and surprising endings.

Originally made in black-and-white and running for nearly 13 minutes. This film also exist in a colored "international version" in which two segment have been cut off, and segment titles are in French.

Besides from some weird soundtrack and strange voices, this film has no actual dialogue.

If you are into bizarre and surreal animated movies coming from Japan, and cartoons with black humor otherwise, I can recommend this one to you. My overall rating: 7/10.

Some other bizarre short films coming from Yoji Kuri include: "Love" (Ai, 1963), "Aos" (1964), "The Window" (Mado, 1965) and "Human Zoo" (Ningen Doubutsuen, 1962).
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