Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 2007 New Anime Update: Doujin Works

I'm currently at: episode 4

Comments: I did not notice that this anime is in short episode format (12 minutes long) until episode 3. By now, Najimi's intent to become a Doujin artist has stirred quite a few problems. Conflicts start to get more intense between her childhood friend, Justice, and the first fan of her book. It got some pretty random jokes and many awkward situations. Being in short episode format also helped to have everything stay fresh.

New Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (net gain: 0.4)

July 2007 Toss-away: Shigurui


Reason: Sloooooooooow, and I'm not very interested extremely detailed Feudal Japan history

Last episode I watched: episode 2

Comments: Man, this ought to be the slowest anime I've ever seen. Maybe people that know more about feudal Japan history would be more interested in it, not me. Plus the tone is bit too dark and colorless. Everything has a dark shade on it that sometime it feels it's rendered in black and white. While I don't have a thing for it, nonetheless it is still a very fine piece of art work with extremely fine details. I'm sure somebody would appreciate this kind of art. Oh, and did I mention everything in this anime is moving very slowly? When I'm watching an episode of an anime, if I couldn't wait to see the ending credit, this anime is for sure a toss-away.

Final rating: 2.5 out of 5

July 2007 New Anime: Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho: Tou 2nd Act

Link: (Official) http://www.majin.tv/ (No English sub available yet)
Genres: Drama/Martial Art/Super Natural
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Recommended to: People like this genes and liked first season of this show
Recommendation level: Top of the list

Summary: It seems to pick up right after the first series ended. The end of first series ending clearly indicated that it is far from over and the second series is coming. The villain of the first series had died, but the force behind it was still alive. Now it's stirring up trouble in Tokyo again.

Rating - first impression: 4.5 out of 5

Richard's pick award: Best Drama in July 2007 Season based on Early Impression

Personal comments: Early in the episode, it feels pretty light hearted, but soon it jumps into very fast paced main plot. The plot is very tight. There's almost no waste of time in the episode, reminds me much of how its first season started. What did surprise me is that they did not hesitate at all to kill off one of the main character in the first episode. I guess with the girl's power, it's possible to bring him back alive later. But it's still a big "wow" when one of the main character just dies (well, whether he's really dead is still debatable at this point, nonetheless) in the first episode.

Monday, July 30, 2007

July 2007 New Anime: Shigurui

Link: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1064.html

Genres: Action/Samurai
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Traditional Japanese/Cinematic

Recommended to: People liked serious samurai stories, and don't mind a little blood
Recommendation level: Not sure yet

Summary: Another historical anime that is related to the Tokugawa family. So far all I understood from it is that despite all opposing voice, lord Tokugawa decide to host a samurai competition with real sword in peace time.

Rating - first impression: 3.7 out of 5

Personal comments: The art, the action, the bloodiness, and the fact it's a story has to do with Tokugawa family all reminds me Basilisk. One word of warning though, episode 1 felt extreeeeeemly slow. It might pick up speed later but so far it's just slow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 2007 New Anime Update: Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei

I'm currently at: Episode 2

Comments: Man, it's just getting better and better. Although we only see a brief clash between the ultra optimism and ultra pessimism, the whole episode is still funny as hell. This time, it's caused mostly by the teacher's pessimism and his suicidal nature. This is definately the No. 1 comedy of this season.

Award: Best Comedy of the July 2007 Season (Early impression)

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 (net gain: 0.6)

July 2007 New Anime Update: Zombie Loan

I'm currently at: Episode 3

Comments: The story got really interesting. I think at this point, it's still introducing character. The anime itself is very rich on personalities - the lead characters all have very distinct and interesting traits. Comedic elements are inserted into the right place, making it very interesting to watch.

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 (net gain: 0.3)

July 2007 New Anime Update: Code-E

Status: English sub available http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1061.html

I'm currently at: Episode 3

Comments: It's getting a little more interesting. Mostly due to the clumsiness of the lead female character, I think. The plot is moving on at a normal pace. We still don't know anything about the grant plot yet (if there is any). For now, I'd say follow along.

Rating: 3.7 out of 5 (net gain: 0.2)

July 2007 New Anime: Another one that not worth to watch - Potemayo

Link: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1060.html

Genres: Children's
I've watched: 0.05 episode
Art style: Childish

Recommended to: Children under 6
Recommendation level: Unless you're younger than 6 years old, you probably don't want to watch it

Summary: Err....

Rating - first impression: No, I'm not rating this one either

Personal comments: wha...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Update: AIKa R-16: Virgin Mission

Fan service, fan service, and more fan service. That's the impression of the second episode of AIKa R-16: Virgin Mission.

Last time, I've mistaken it as a TV series, and thought either no fansub is doing it or it's hard to get hold of the source. The fact is, it's an OVA. That explains all the partial nudity in the show.

In the first episode, I've noticed that towards the end of the episode, it was almost drenched with fan service. The second episode, well, almost every scene has some fan service. However, the fan service here is a bit different than the ones from Ikkitousen. The occurrence of Ikkitousen's fan service is a bit strange and unusual (mostly the way forces acts on human body), AIKa on the other hand, has a bit more... um... "normal" fan service, camera angle (very perverted) is the one making the fan service shots (compare to the weird physics cause clothes to rip apart in Ikkitousen).

Without the fan service, there is really not much to the episode itself. However it does make the plot line move forward a little.

Overall value? Not much. Fun to watch, maybe, depending on how perverted you are. Here are some fan service screenshots:

July 2007 New Anime: Mononoke

Link: (official) http://www.fujitv.co.jp/b_hp/mononoke/ (No English sub available yet)

Genres: Horror/Suspense
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: ***Crazy***

Recommended to: People can accept this art style and like horror mysteries
Recommendation level: Anticipating

Summary: It seems that the story occurred after the last segment of Ayakashi - Japanese Classic Horror. It got the same crazy art style, and method for suspense. Story occurs in the same building (I think) as in the last segment of Ayakashi. The medicine sales man is back here once again to get rid of the daemons from the house.

Rating - first impression: 4 out of 5 (it's just so......unusual, gotta give a good rating for it's creativity)

Personal comments: Once I got over the crazy art style, weird conversion style, strange story telling style, I start to like it. Put it this way, there is nothing in this anime is "normal". It is produced by the noitaminA (Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Paradise Kiss, Ayakashi, etc), who is famous for its amazing innovations in both art, story telling, and comedy. This is one of the highly anticipated series of this season. For those that have not seen Ayakashi - Japanese Classic Horror, you can try to download them from http://www.baka-updates.com/ or rent it from netflix http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Ayakashi_Samurai_Horror_Tales/70066032?trkid=189530&strkid=1592090341_0_0

July 2007 New Anime that really not worth to mention: Moetan

Genres: Magical girl
I've watched: 0.2 episode
Art style: Magical girl

Recommended to: Nobody
Recommendation level: sincerely recommend you not to watch it

Summary: Another magical girl anime, except this one is even worse (for English speakers at least). It seems to be an anime that help Japanese kids to learn English, but the English spoken in the anime is just unbarable.

Rating - first impression: No, I'm not giving it a rating

Personal comments: Some f**ked up s**t.

April 2007 New Anime - Short season wrap up: Sisters of Wellber

Sisters of Wellber

Comments: Yeah, it the grand finale. Good defeats evil, everybody is happy, and um... nothing. That sums it up pretty good. What?! Did I just spend 13 episode worthed time watching some fairy tale story has been used over and over and over again? Man, this is such a waste of time. I enjoyed watching it alright, but the plot line is just too... straight forward. There is someone having a mental breakdown, and a psycho serial killer, a thief, a princess, etc. But none of it helps the plot to stand out. Such a waste of time. Although, I did see it coming, but I chose to stay with it.

Final Rating:

Drama: 3 out of 5
Comedy: N/A
Action: 2 out of 5 (cheesy!)
Art/Animation: 3 out of 5 (not the art style I like)
Sound/Music: 3.75 out of 5 (I did enjoy it's theme songs and music)
Character: 3.5 out of 5 (little bit character development)
Plot: 1.5 out of 5 (only a few twists in the plot, everything else is predictable)
Re-watch value: 1 out of 5 (I won't be able to watch it again at all)

Overall (not average): 2.5 out of 5

Recomendation: Don't bother, you'll find better stuff to watch.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

April 2007 New Anime - Short season wrap up: Sola


Comments: I've finished watching Sola about a week ago. Because I was too busy sorting through (and watching) new July releases, I have put off writing wrap-up reviews. Now I'm ready to write the wrap up for Sola, but...I can't seem to remember clearly what happened in the last episode. If I have forgotten the ending of an anime within a week, that can only mean one thing: the ending really didn't impress me at all. To write this review, I refreshed myself with the last episode of Sola. While watching it, the ending seemed somewhat significant. The reason it didn't leave a lasting impression, I think is because it had a too long of the follow up after the final conflict. The final conflict resolved about half way through the episode, then the rest of the episode is a very slow follow up to show what happened afterwards. By the end of the episode, the significance of the resolution of the final conflict is almost completely washed away. I kind of understand why they did it this way, but I think there ought to be a better way.

I somewhat enjoyed the show, but the ending impression (or the lack of) makes me not wanting to tag it as recommended to watch.

Final Rating:

Drama: 3.25 out of 5
Comedy: N/A
Action: 3.25 out of 5
Art/Animation: 4 out of 5 (I really liked the character design)
Sound/Music: 3.5 out of 5
Character: 4 out of 5 (good in-depth character development)
Re-watch value: 2 out of 5

Overall (not average): 3.5 out of 5

Recommendation: If you haven't started it, don't bother.

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 2007 New Anime: Higurashi no Naku Koroni Kai

Genres: Horror/Suspense
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Recommended to: Everybody
Recommendation level: Don't miss a thing

Summary: More than a year ago, we got to witness the mistry of Hinamizawa in the original series of Higurashi no Naku Koroni. (If you haven't seen it, you can no longer call yourself an anime fan.) When the original series ended, there are still many unanswered questions. "Kai", in the title of this new series, means answers. We can finally find out what's going on the the small town called Hinamizawa.

Rating - frist impression: 4.5 out of 5

Personal comments: The first episode is already trying to answer some details from the last arc of the first series, as well as tieing up previous arcs. I'm very interested in seeing how everything is played out. If you haven't seen the original series, you can probably still find downloads from baka-updates. Or you can rent it from netflix (http://www.netflix.com/Movie/When_They_Cry/70068870?trkid=189530&strkid=1484150902_0_0), but they don't have them all out yet.

July 2007 New Anime: Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei

Link: (Official) http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/zetsubou/ (Torrents available through http://www.baka-updates.com/)

Genres: Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Slightly simplified/Cinematic

Recommended to: People like outrages comedies (Some understanding in konji would be a plus)
Recommendation level: Anticipating

Summary: A ultra optimistic girl ran into a ultra pessimistic guy and saved him from suicide. After talking to the girl, he decided to go ahead to proceed to his new job - a high school teacher, who happens to be in charge of the class the optimistic girl is from. While the teacher trying to pass his pessimism around to the class, the ultra optimistic girl always manage to turn it around, well, kind of. All students get to witness the clash of the ultra optimism and the ultra pessimism.

Rating - first impress: 4.2 out of 5

Personal comments: It is really funny to see the pessimism and optimist fighting each other. The comedy is very fresh and original. The special cinematic effects make it even funnier. This comedy so far stood out among all the other of this season.

July 2007 New Anime: Doujin Work

Link: (Official) http://www.doujin.tv/ (Torrents available through http://www.baka-updates.com/)

Genres: Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Slightly simplified

Recommended to: Anybody like a light comedy
Recomnendation level: Follow along

Summary: One day Najimi was dragged into a Doujin convension by her friend. She then found out that she too wants to become a Doujin manga artist.

Rating - first impression: 3.8 out of 5

Personal comments: ... not much to say about this one.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

July 2007 New Anime: Zero no Tsukaima

Link: (Official) http://www.zero-tsukaima.com/ (torrents available through http://www.baka-updates.com/)

Genres: Comedy/Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art Style: Common

Recommended to: People like comedy in fantasy environment and people liked 1st season of this show
Recommendation level: Follow along

Summary: Zero witch Louise is back for the a second season. It picks up from where it left off in season one: even though they've defeated the attack, there is still an immanent threat. To protect the princess, Louise and her "dog" (at least that's what she calls him) Saito steps onto an new journey.

Rating - first impression: 3.5 out of 5

Personal comments: It's always a bit difficult to rate sequel objectively. You always tend to compare it to the original series. It's very easy to overrate it (where the first season failed to deliver, but second season is merely better), or underrate it (where the first season is too spectacular, even second season is good, but never as good as first season). Having said that, I think if I've rated first season, I've given it a 3.5 rating. In which case it's unlikely to underrate the second (unless it really sucked).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July 2007 New Anime: Kenko Zenrakei Shuieibu Umisho

Link: (official) http://umisho.com/ (torrent available through http://www.baka-updates.com/)
Genres: School Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art Style: Flatface/noseless
Recommended to: People like school comedy and don't mind this type of art style
Recomendation level: On the edge
Summary: It's a story about a transfer girl student who likes to swim. But she swims in a very strange style - like a mermaid. She lives on a house that float on sea, and she like to skinny dipping.
Rating - first impression: 3 out of 5
Personal comments: This kind of art style bothers the heck out of me. Normally, animes with this kind of art style wouldn't even last an episode. But the plot line so far is interesting enough to keep my mind away from the art details. However, I'm not sure how long it'll last me.

July 2007 New Anime: Mushi Uta

: (official) http://www.kadokawa.co.jp/sneaker/mushiuta/animation/ 
Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1066.html
Genres: Drama/SciFi/Supernatural/Action
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common
Recommended to:
People like SciFi action series
Recommendation level: Follow along
Summary: In a world where human could be infested with Bug ("Mushi"), when they were found to be infected, they are taken away by some agency. An agency operative is on a undercover mission at a school as a transfer student.
Rating - first impression: 3.5 out of 5
Personal comments: I've only seen episode 1, everything is still quite confusing. It doesn't have anything immediately grabs me, but I'll give it till the plot line start to clear up.

Monday, July 9, 2007

July 2007 New Anime: Zombie Loan

Link: (official) http://www.zombie-loan.com/ (no English sub available yet)
*update*: torrents available on animesuki now http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1058.html
Genres: Light Comedy/Supernatural
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Skinny with sharp edges (like DearS)
Recommended to: Everybody
Recommendation level: Follow along
Summary: A girl has the ability to see the mark of nearly dead and dead people - a dark or black circle on their neck. She accidentally ran into tow "dead" people, who is working for z-loan to capture dead zombie for bounty so they can have their lives back. Because of her ability to see dead people, they dragged her to help them capture dead zombies.
Rating - first impression: 4.1 out of 5
Personal comments: I always liked this type of art style, not quite the skinny part, but the sharp edges. This anime is based on the manga by Peach-Pit, the author of DearS and Rozen Maiden. The female character has DearS written all over it.

July 2007 New Anime: Code-E

Link: (official) http://avexmovie.jp/lineup/code-e/ (no English sub available yet)
Genres: Light Comedy/SciFi/Supernatural
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common
Recommended to: Not sure yet
Recommendation level: Follow along
Summary: The story occurs in near furture, more precisely, 2019. A girl posesses the ability to disturb electronic devices with her emotion. She's been transfering from school to school because of this. Now she just transfered into a new school, a guy found out about her ability. He is determined to study it.
Rating - first impression: 3.5 out of 5
Personal comments: It has something similar to Read or Die, not quite sure what. I've only seen the first episode, it's both interesting and confusing.

Friday, July 6, 2007

July 2007 New Anime: School Days (!!!!!!!!)

Genres: School Love Story/Light Comedy/Tragedy(?)
I've watched: 1 episode
Art Style: Common
Recommended to: People like this genres, or people liked this game
Recommendation level: Don't miss a thing
Summary: A girl happened to be her secret admirer's secret admirer. The girl sitting next to the guy helped to hook them up. However, she is his secret admirer as well. The trinagle love affair begins to unfold.
Rating - first impression: 4.5 out of 5 (ok, don't rely on this score too much, there are influences other than this anime)
Personal comments: School Days originally was a video game. It was the first fully animated and voiced dating game. The game itself is devided into 6 episodes. I was quite obsessed with this game because it has a very interesting story line. Depending on how you handle the situation, the endings of the game range from both girl being the guy's lover to one of the girl stabs the guy and jumping off the building. I have seen almost every path along the game. I'm very curious to see which path the anime picks. Compare to the game, the anime has much better and smoother art work (of course!). The first episode, so far has been almost complete identical to the first episode. The difference is that the anime has introducted much more comedic elements which would be hard for the game to implement. I think they did very well, at least for the first episode.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

July 2007 New Anime: Nanatsuiro Drops

Genres: Magical Girl/Kid's
I've watched: 1 episode
Art Style: Magical Girl
Recommended to: Only hardcore magical girl fans
Recommendation level: Don't
Summary: A guy drank the wrong drink and turned into a doll. Now he has to help a girl to gather nanatsuiro drops to return to normal.
Rating - first impression: ... I just can't rate a magical girl anime
Personal Comments: It's a magical girl anime. The only additional comment I want to make is that the plot seems to be plagiarized from Card Captor Sakura.
Verdict: Gone.

Monday, July 2, 2007

My Pick for April 2007 New Animes

General Category:

Best Drama: Darker Than Black
Best Comedy: Lovely Complex
Best Fantasy: Claymore
Best SciFi: Denno Coil

Drama runner up: Kaze no Stigma
Comedy runner up: Lucky Star
Fantasy runner up: Touka Gettan
SciFi runner up: Darker Than Black

Special Category:

Weirdest: Touka Gettan
Bloodiest: Claymore
Most Talkative: Lucky Star
Most Sexually Explicit: Touka Gettan
Best Original Score: Shinkyouku Soukai Polyphonica
Best Open Theme Song: Darker Than Black ("HOWLING" by abingdon boys school)
Best Ending Theme Song: Claymore ("Danzai no Hana ~Guilty Sky~" by Kosaka Riyu)
Most Disappointing: Shinkyouku Soukai Polyphonica

Comments: It was a difficult decision between Darker Than Black and Kaze no Stigma for best drama for the season. Kaze no Stigma has tendency of inserting comedic element wherever it goes. Sometimes it's great to mix up the atmosphere a little bit, but some other time, it just feels like it's trying to be too many thing at once. Even though Darker Than Black also had a comedic segment in episode 7-8, but the border between straight drama and comedic drama is a very clear cut. There is not mix and blend. For drama anime, I think it's much better way. So I picked Darker Than Black as the best drama for April 2007 new animes.

Everything else is a pretty clean cut.

About the SciFi runner up, I didn't feel Bakurano is SciFi enough to take the place for runner up for this category, and the next one on the list is Darker Than Black.

Horror/suspense would be another category. But since we don't have any in this season, I just skipped this category completely.

Here is the list of candidates I've considered for the pick (some may appear in more than one category):

Drama: Darker Than Black, Kaze no Stigma, Shinkyouku Soukai Polyphonica, Hitohira, Romeo & Juliet, Sola, Sisters of Wellber, Bakurano
Comedy: Lovely Complex, Lucky Star, Touka Gettan, Hitohira
Fantasy: Claymore, Touka Gettan, Shinkyouku Soukai Polyphonica, Sisters of Wellber
SciFi: Denno Coil, Darker Than Black, Bakurano

Sunday, July 1, 2007



Link: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/972.html
Genres: Sci-fi - Apocalyptic
I watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common
Recommended to: Anybody like sci-fi and don't mind some bloody violence
Summary: This is a 3 part OVA. It occurs in a future world where all men had died and women rule the world. Project ICE from long time ago maybe the only thing that could save humanity. So conflicts arise over capturing the specimens from ICE.
Rating - first impression: 4 out of 5
Comments: This is definately a weired one. The art work is normal, but there are some bizare creatures. Also, although most of the anime is easy to understand, parts of it are just plain trippy. Well, actually, now think back about it, the whole thing is quite trippy. At least it's a good trip.