Thursday, December 31, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: The Princess and The Pilot (To Aru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku)

The Princess and The Pilot (To Aru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku)

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Crunchyroll, Hulu (Japanese with English subtitles at both)

Movie-watching is a big part of the holiday season, so I thought it would be appropriate to not only end the year with a movie, but quite a fine one, at that. The Princess and The Pilot (To Aru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku) is a TMS Entertainment-produced (Akira, The Rose of Versailles, Yowamushi Pedal, Fuse: Memoirs of the Hunter Girl), Madhouse-animated film (ONE-PUNCH MAN, Chihayafuru, Death Parade, HUNTERxHUNTER) based on the quasi-fantasy airplane light novel series by Kokoru Inumura.

Monday, November 30, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Young Black Jack

Black Jack…looks kind of different…

[Post Date: Dec. 26, 2015. Intended Post Date: Nov. 30, 2015. Due to computer issues and a whole lot of Christmas decorating… ]

Young Black Jack

Official Site: Japanese
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Crunchyroll, Hulu

In May 2013, Black Jack OVA was highlighted in an installment of "Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month". Since the 1993 work, Osamu Tezuka's popular unlicensed doctor has seen a few TV series and a movie or two, but aside from a 2-eps. 2011 OVA, there has not been a substantial anime starring him in about ten years. So, enter "Young Black Jack", a 12-eps. TV adaptation of an officially-sanctioned prequel manga series by Yoshiaki Tabata (who also penned the scripts) and Yuu Gou Ookuma that is a most curious beast, to say the least.

The telltale staples are still there, from the title character's surgical wizardry and sometimes morally-questionable characters to nods to the OVA's seminal artistic flourishes and involving, sometimes bizarre, episodic tales. The series may follow the steps of then-medical student/wunderkind Kuroo Hazama, but as soon as the first episode rolls, it is clear that it won't quite be your usual Black Jack.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Heat Guy J

Poor J…

[Post Date: Oct. 6, 2015. Intended Post Date: Sept. 30, 2015. ]

Heat Guy J

Official Sites: Japanese, English
Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Hulu,, YouTube

For some reason—and, appropriately, always unintended—I seem to often find myself doing a set of "commemoration" posts for a particular creator around this time of year (between August and October). It is just one of those strange things that occur, but once I find myself covering topics closely associated with someone or a studio, I usually find myself saying, "what the heck?" and just going along with it with a few additional posts. This time, it has been a mix of studio Satelight and director Kazuki Akane, who directed a number of titles there. It first started with April's bonus Pick of Arjuna (the former's first work), then with Satelight's m3 the dark metal appearing in June's "Manager's Special Mk. II!!: Anime Only This Manager Seems to Love…" Pick special, and in last month's Geneshaft, the second of the studio's work, which was directed by Akane. It even spilled its way onto HardDoor: Screenshot Haven with a capture from Satelight and Akane's Noein.

For September, I thought the best way to signify this "Unplanned Satelight & Kazuki Akane Dual Celebration" was to pick out a certain, particular title. One that was done by both the studio and the individual. One that also happens to signify the venerable animation house's unusually-high number of high-profile, notorious flops and trainwrecks (on- and off-screen…). One that, on a more positive note, represents the latter's propensity for the "different" and the sublime. Yes, there could be only one show that successfully fills all of those criteria.  A show that is legendary (if not a byword) for how big a failure it was; the first, and still one of the most notable, black sheeps in Satelight's barn. An anime that, in actually, is rather good and has managed to receive such acknowledge from the few that have actually bothered to see it.

That anime, as veteran fans might guess (or as this mere post has already spoiled…)…is Heat Guy J.

Monday, August 31, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Geneshaft


Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Hulu

For August's Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick, I thought it would be nice to take a stroll to (relative) yesteryear and highlight another one of Satelight's earliest works—actually, its second-oldest, following April's Arjuna—the ever-interesting Geneshaft.

Friday, July 31, 2015

:anime: —Emergency Interjection Protocol Implementation, Article 1, Section 1.1, Sub-Section 1a:: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month - July 2015 Announcement—

A recent look at noitaminA's upcoming schedule has yield a few…interesting developments. "Interesting" enough that I, after much thought, have decided to do something a little drastic with what I had planned. This entails what I was originally going to do for July's Pick, but rather than have all of you wait in the meantime for a delayed post, I will come out and say that it is Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace, Seiji Kishi & Makoto Uezu's debut noitaminA entry, based on the mystery works of the titular author. There will be more on it in the write-up ahead, but you can watch for free right now at and Hulu (though subscribers at the former can catch it as it airs, as opposed to the two-week delay for free viewers there and at Hulu).

Enjoy for now and stay tuned for later…


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Manager's Special Mk. II!!: Anime Only This Manager Seems to Love…

Saying a little prayer that other people may like these anime. Amen.
(Disclosure: Posted July 14th, intended for June 30. Aside from that date turning extra busy, I wound up writing beyond what I intended to, which turned out for the best in the end…)

Thousands of anime titles have been made over the course of many decades. Naturally, some titles become wildly popular, some not quite as much, and others simply fade away into obscurity, with nary an impression. This is all said on the "collective" level, as in reality, what might tickle one or many a persons may not another, regardless of a work's popularity. Yes, even one's lack thereof hasn't dampen a few people's liking of it, nor should it ever. In short, one should like what they like, and I certain have a track record of liking more than a few shows that others have really not.

For HardDoor's anniversary each year, I like to do a special Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick. This time, we have a sequel to June 2011's "Manager's Special", which was done in commemoration of HD's fifth anniversary. In it, I spotlighted two of my top most favorite shows, Gundam Wing and RahXephon. This time, for its ninth anniversary, I will be showcasing nine particular anime, some under-loved, some not-so-well-loved—all of them not quite that popular in their own ways. However, I liked them quite a bit, and on a personal level, that really is all that matters in the end (and in case you are wary, don't worry, these are all free to watch!).

Friday, June 26, 2015

HardDoor--The Ninth Anniversary

Here we are. At HardDoor's Ten…err, oops, I mean ninth anniversary!!! Given the last two months, I was a little nervous that I had not been able to do anything special to commemorate what I wasn't sure was the tenth anniversary or not. Thankfully, it wasn't, but still, I am very thankful to see HD reach its 9 years of age.

That almost doesn't sound right, but yes, it really is that old (not to make it sound like that, mind you…). Ironically, as HD approaches its tenth year of existence, it appears that a number of others have been celebrating their own milestones around this time as well, such as Gundam and noitaminA, which is commemorating its own tenth anniversary this year (and HD, as you may know, is currently in the midst of celebrating it, too). And another one celebrating its anniversary is HardDoor's very own Twitter page, which turned five a month ago today (again, really?!), as did "Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month" last October!! Celebrate good times, indeed! <:d br="">

As always, my great, hearty thank you to everyone who has read HardDoor and its various other sites across these nine years. I don't know what the proper way to start a milestone commemoration is (leading up to it or after it hits?) but that will be sorted out in the near future. But for now, let us just enjoy this ninth year (?!?!?!)

Once more, thank you so much for reading!

…And now, on the road to the big 1-0!!!!!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko)

…It's not what you think…

[Intended Date: May 31, 2015. Original Post Date: June 3, 2015.]

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko)

Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Hulu

Before we get things started, let's play a little game of "speculation". I was originally ruminating about choosing a particular title, but I was unsure about doing so. While I did like said anime (save for the ending), not everyone else quite did (though some still found some good in it). I have no qualms about showcasing controversial or divisive works, but when it comes to a genuine question of quality and execution, it becomes a little less clear. Even I have to admit that not everything went so smoothly, so in the end, I decided to hold off on it—perhaps until a latter date, when I have given it a little more thought.

I might have made it a little obvious, but can you guess which anime I am referring to? Details are being hashed out, but Kyoto Animation may be handling the prizes…

In its stead, I figured I would showcase one that not only is a bona fide good anime, but should go great with the upcoming summer season. Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko) centers on a wishful teen looking to end his final two years of high school—and his adolescence—in style with a change in scenery, after having to relocate to his vibrant aunt's residence. She certainly leans on the eccentric side, but she has nothing on her daughter: an ethereal, silver-haired girl who wraps herself inside of a futon mat and claims to be an alien!

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::05.31.15:: The Three Weeks After…/The Month in Review

[Intended Date: May 31, 2015. Original Post Date: June 2, 2015.]

Can you feel it?

That change in the air? The growing chatter? The warm glow enveloping the sport? The sun rising over the horizon?


Saturday, May 02, 2015

:boxing: Quick Pick:: Mayweather vs. Pacquiao…

While I did have numerous things pop up this week, I am going to be honest with you: I don't care about this fight. Yes, it was finally made. Yes, it is actually being fought tonight. Yes, it technically is the "Fight of the Century", in terms of being the biggest fight since 2000 by way of marquee (only). Yes, there is inherent intrigue and a number of ways it could play out.

But no, it will not "save boxing". No, it is not the best-made fight in years or "this century" (the recent Matthysee-Provodnikov and upcoming Canelo-Kirkland bouts were/are far more mouth-watering). No, I'm not surprised that the very people that said they would never watch the fight (excuse me, "The Fight") because it took too long to be put together and both fighters are "past their primes" are the same that have been drooling, waxing poetic, and talking ad nauseum about it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Bonus Pick!! - Arjuna


Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry
Video [Free {Streaming}]: Hulu (Japanese w/ English Subtitles, English Dubbed)

April 22, as most of you know, is Earth Day, so I figured, what better way to commemorate this than with the most environment-loving anime in Arjuna: a show that that extolls the virtues and importance of protecting our planet, chastises the consumption of processed foods, and advocates out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy(!).

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

:anime: HardDoor's Seasonal Anime Preview 2015 Special:: noitaminA (Spring)

It's the beginning of the spring anime season and with it comes another slate of noitaminA programming—but it comes with a catch this time around…

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

*PNP* Your blog just got hacked by us thank you *PNP*

lols that what you get for rushing and leaving your backdoor open champ. couldnt est a stble linc so we hijacked yur account ot get sgnal b00$T an dish servus oust hur hur hur hur

pérola negra pirotas (blackpearl Pirates) bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Five Shows That *Kinda* Have to Do With Spring

[Disclosure: Posted April 1, intended for March 31. April Fool's Day joke unintended… ;P ]

Spring is finally upon us and many anime certainly enjoy taking place in it, particularly with all of those falling cherry blossoms. So, here are five shows that—at least vaguely—have something to do with the vernal season (vaguely…)!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

:boxing: Quick Pick:: Kovalev vs Pascal

In the midst of Premier Boxing Champions taking up most of the spotlight,we have tonight's big match-up between Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal on HBO. At least, it should feel big, but the build-up to it, even a month or two out, feels lacking. On top of that, it has some sizable shoes to fill following a very enjoyable night on Spike's PBC broadcast. Nonetheless, it is still an intriguing bout, not only for the match-up itself, but for the importance it holds in both combatant's careers at this point.

Friday, March 13, 2015

:boxing: Quick Pick:: Premier Boxing Champions: Berto vs Lopez & Porter vs Bone

Unlike last week's installment, this "Quick Pick" will actually be more like a…"quick pick". The previous one turned into more of a full-out preview, as it was a special case with the premiere of "Premier Boxing Champions". This time, however, it is the "B-Side" of its kickoff, featuring the TV-friendly, but less-marquee bouts of Andre Berto-Josesito Lopez and Shawn Porter-Erick Bone Shawn Porter-Roberto Garcia (Note: the more famous and unrelated Danny Garcia is also going to be featured on PBC on Apr. 11, fighting Lamont Peterson. The official website simply lists "Garcia", which can be misleading, so his name is initialized in the title.) (UPDATE: R. Garcia missed weight and has been replaced). And reflecting the billing, they will be broadcast at 9pm on Spike TV (and also online?), not NBC or CBS.

Friday, March 06, 2015

:boxing: Quick Pick:: Premier Boxing Champions' Premiere: Thurman vs. Guerrero & Broner vs. Molina

Saturday night marks the historic (but-not-very-historic-because-we've-had-boxing-on-network-TV-a-few-times-in-the-last-decade-or-so-but-it's-been-awhile-so-ok-whatever) return of boxing to primetime network television, in the form of "Premier Boxing Champions", a program debuting on NBC at 8:30pm, but will have future air dates on CBS and Spike TV, as well (brought to you by master butcher everyone's favorite clandestine boxing magnate/former music mogul Al Haymon). I'm not here to wring my hands over Paul Heyman's brother-from-another-mother, whine about the demise of a sport that people still show plenty of care and money for (which, if anything, looks to be in the most positive state it has been in years), talk one word about "that fight" beyond these own, or wax globs of poetic about boxing's past on network TV and how things aren't the way they were back then—I'm here to talk about what's taking place on PBC…

Thursday, March 05, 2015

:anime: The After-Review:: Alien 9

Welcome to the party…

(Click here for the preceding review!)

The After-Review: Alien 9

Sometimes, there are things you would like to say in a review, but quite can't for any variety of reasons—don't want to spoil anything,\; too trivial; doesn't really fit in; would really like to say that about a character; but it's not the place, etc. A review tends to be a more formal, focused, and thoughtfully laid-out piece, so I thought, "Why not have something like an "after-party"…but for reviews?"

This originated following 2011's Highschool of the Dead review, as I really wanted to touch on some specific points in the series and talk a little more candidly about it. As badly as I wanted to, I lacked the time to pull it off, and once I actually did, too much time had elapsed where it made any sense to do so. Though I've done other reviews since, I either did not feel the need to do one or thought I had too little to say to warrant one.

Well, Alien 9—thankfully—lends itself that opportunity, so here we are with HardDoor's first ever "After-Review"! Like a good ol' after-party, an "after-review" is much more informal and casual. There is no real format, anything is fair play, and we might go a little off-topic (but magically stay on it!). "Don't want to spoil anything…too trivial…doesn't really fit in…would really like to say…", it's all OK here, and we might go a little bit "behind-the-scenes", too. And since spoilers abound, you have been warned—just now. (Really: read this after you've watched the show. We can wait… ;) )

So grab a favorite beverage of yours from the bar (I'll take on the root beer float), loosen up the tie (don't know what the ladies can loosen up, just be careful nothing pops out, 'kay…), and kick back as we talk a little bit more about Alien 9

Saturday, February 28, 2015

:anime: Final Impression:: Alien 9

You can expect a lot of this…

[Also February's Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick!]

Review: Alien 9
Alt. Title: Alien Nine

Additional Links: ANN Entry, MAL Entry, HD's After-Review
Video {Free [Streaming]}: Hulu

Debuting in 2011, Puella Magi Madoka Magica captivated scores, even non-fans, with its gripping and emotional tale about "magical girls" and what it truly meant to be one. Its subversion of the genre, depth, and level of mastery led to being considered among the best anime ever made. Its approach of the subject was novel, as well, but Alien 9—a now-obscure TV special/OVA made a decade prior—not only compares favorably to it, but perhaps surpasses its poignant heights.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

:boxing: Boxing Bits ::01.31.15:: (or Boxi-Jour…Nah…)

The month of January is drawing to a close, so I thought I would close it out by doing something a little different. This little month-in-review edition of Boxing Bits is being done "Ani-Journal" style, which will feature me basically shooting the breeze about the boxing scene in an (largely-)informal manner.

So yeah, about this month…

Thursday, January 08, 2015

:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month Friendly Reminder:: Saenai heroine no sodate-kata. (Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend.)

As you may know, HardDoor is commemorating noitaminA's 10th anniversary by showcasing its debuting anime as the "Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick(s)" of their respective months. Similar to what was done with Terror in Resonance's start, this is a friendly public service reminder that this month's Pick will be Saenai heroine no sodate-kata., or "Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend.", its official English title (in case you are wondering, "Saekano" is the series' nickname—born either organically or from its producers—and should not be confused with the now-obscure classic, SaiKano (which is returning stateside!)).

With a light splash of Pygmalion, this tale of a motley crew of high-school talents working to create a game worthy of Comiket is debuting today—and for free—at Aniplex Channel, Crunchyroll, and Hulu, in Japanese with English subtitles.