Wednesday, January 30, 2008

LOL Nice Boat

I ran into an entry on Urban Dictionary ( Supposedly, it's a wikipedia-like online dictionary that specialize in slangs. I happened to run into the "Nice Boat" entry on this dictionary

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

January 2008 New Anime: They Are My Noble Masters

Ahhh, Australian Open is finally over, now I'm back on track with animes. For some reason I forgot to review this new anime. Oh well, it's still January, it's not too late to write it.

Genres: Comedy / More Comedy / More Comedy
I've watched: 3 Episodes
Art style: Mostly common, but something about the main guy's look is odd

Summary: A brother and a sister are running away from home and desperately in need for a job that provides boarding. One day, they run into a girl seems to be from a rich family. Now they're on the way to become servants of a very rich family.

Audience: For starter, you ought to like outrageous comedy. If you watch a lot of anime, you'll catch more jokes. Oh, and wouldn't mind some hint of hentai.

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.9 - Interesting enough

Personal comments: First two episodes are just mostly blah. The third episode, in my opinion, brings a lot more liveliness into the series. It has lots of reference of other animes. That's why I say you'll catch more jokes if you watch lots of animes.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lagging a little + Music video

I haven't been watching much anime this week because I spent all my free time watching Australian Open. To me, tennis is equally as important as animes. So I'll probably be a bit behind on animes until the Australian Open is over.

In the meanwhile, I found an anime music video I made long time ago (I think it was 2002) while I was cleaning out my harddrive. I went ahead uploaded to youtube. I'm also thinking of making another anime music video, probably using Darker Than Black. Haven't decide what song to use yet. Let me know if you have a suggestion on songs.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January 2008 New Anime: Gunslinger Girl ~ Il Teatrino ~

Link: (official) (English sub available through
Genres: Drama
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Audience: Needs to be tolerable of the concept, tolerance to graphical violence to some degree

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.5 - Not as good as first one

Personal comment: Instead of Madhouse Studios, the animation production is done by Artland. I can definitely see lots of traces of Bokura ga Ita (also produced by Artland). Though I didn't mind Bokura go Ita, I liked the original Gunslinger Girl's art work better. Also, just a hunch, I feel that the overall theme is much much lighter, not nearly as heavy as the first series. I very much prefer the heavier theme because of its concept.
One other thing I'm not quite comfortable with, is that it does not try to conceal them as much as the first series does. There are things like showing up as agents in front of normal roit police and chasing the criminals with the girl carrying a P90 on a public street.

Friday, January 11, 2008

January 2008 New Anime: Spice and Wolf

Genres: Supernatural / Medieval / Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Audience: Everybody

Summary: In a village that believes in the "wolf god" who protects and help the locals there, a travelling sales man one day actually ran into this "wolf god" (actually, she is a "goddesss"). She appears to be like a human girl except for the ears and tail she possess. They set off to travel together.

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 4.25 - Unique

Personal comments: It's not something normal. But I couldn't really call it strange because I've seen far more strange animes than this. This anime is, quoting Yuki Nagato, "Unique". It has a very interesting concept and very good presentation. On top of that, its art style is one of my favorite type. The wolf goddess, somewhat reminds me of Amber from Darker Than Black in her teens.

January 2008 New Anime: True Tears

Genres: School Drama / School Comedy (light) / Supernatural (maybe)
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Audience: Everybody

Summary: A high school boy dreams to be come a novelist (I think). There is a girl living in the his house who is adopted by his father who is close friend of her parents. Her parents had passed away a while back.

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.75 - Little strange, but interesting

Personal comments: So far there are some unknown strangeness going on, but I can't quite tell what. The strangeness feels somewhat similar to Ef ~ A tale of memories.

January 2008 New Anime: Shigofumi

Genres: Supernatural / suspense
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Round corner / Slightly simplified / Slightly low contrast

Audience: People like supernatural suspense low action series involve death

Summary: The straight translation of the title, "Shigofumi", means "After Death Mail". It talk about a mailman (in this case, a "mailgirl")that carries mail for people that just died.

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.75 - Interesting but needs improvement

Personal comments: The setup reminds me of Jigoku Shoujo (a.k.a. Hell Girl). Episode one ended in a cliffhanger, but I have a feeling it's going to be like Jigoku Shoujo, where the whole seires are made of many unrelated short stories. Episode one had some really interesting last minute twists in plot. If they keep doing that, I think it has potential to be an excellent series.

Monday, January 7, 2008

January 2008 New Anime: Persona - trinity soul -

Genres: Supernatural
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Close to realistic

Recommended to: People like supernatural spirit fight stuff...
Recommendation level: Somewhat, got to warn you it's a very slow start

Summary: There are something weird supernatural...thing someone possess. Some try to eat other... That's what I got so far...

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 3 - Slooooooow

Personal comments: I'm sure the conversations are supposed to build characters. But there are just waaaaaay to much, and they didn't help on understanding the plot. It is definitely a slow start. Hopefully, it'll speed up later.

January 2008 New Anime: Hatenko Yugi

Link: (Official) (No English sub available yet)
Genres: Supernatural / ???
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common / Round eye (some people are bothered by it)

Recommended to: ...Wait till I figure out what this anime is about...
Recommendation level: Interesting enough, so follow along for now

Summary: Not quite sure what's going. So far it seems to be a girl that got kicked out of her house and was told to "go see the world" by her father. Then...she meets one guy, and anothe guy, together they are out to..."see the world" and make some money along the way.

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 - Not sure what's going on, but interesting, and I like its art work

Personal comments: Introduction is a bit too brief. Have no clue about anybody's background yet. The girl seems to be a bit naive and bossy, but not the spoiled brat type. It got some dark humor in it. So far it's quite enjoyable. Probably just need more time to get to know the characters.

January 2008 New Anime: H2O ~ Footprints in the Sand

Genres: School Comedy / School Drama / School Violence
I've watched: 1 Episode
Art style: Common / Cute

Recommende for: Well, this is a difficult one, let's just say, everybody for now
Recommendation level: I think this one has some potential

Summary: Takuma is a blind boy that just transfered to a rural high school. He meets several girls from the school. Life seems to be all happy, but there's something unusual going on at the school.

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 + 0.25 for excessive display of violence = 4.25 - Something...unexpected

Personal comments: This is an anime that is mostly charming and light hearted. But man, the dark side of this anime is just so rough. 95% of the anime is light and even somewhat comedic. Then there's the other 5% (the pre-opening scene is part of it), which involves guys beating up a girl senselessly in the rain and in the classroom. I mean how do you put these into the same anime? This reminds me the just finished Myself; Yourself, which doesn't have these excessive display of violence, but with a very very evil plot.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love plots that are unusual. This is definitely some unusual plot. It was just so unexpected that it caught me by surprise. Here is some cut scenes, judge it yourself whether I'm right calling it "rough".

Sunday, January 6, 2008

January 2008 New Anime: Rosario + Vampire

Genres: Vampire / School Drama
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Recommended to: ...
Recommendation level: follow along

Summary: A normal human high school student somehow end up in a high school that is not for human. More specifically, it's for monsters that disguised as human. First day to school, he met a beautiful girl who is a vampire. Things start to get messed up from there on...

Richard's rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.5 - Interesting, but I really don't like the extra stuff they put in

Personal Comments: Lots of unnecessary fan service and prolonged transformation scenes, just as they did in Kaze no Stigma. Gonzo is walking a dangerous path. Lately, they've been producing animes that are filled with repetitive nonsense jokes and lots of fan services. It's not the Gonzo I used to like any more.

January 2008 (Not so) New Anime: Sisters of Wellber Zwei

Link: (Official) No English sub available yet
Genres: Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common/Fantasy

Recommended to: You got to really like the first series to want to pick this one up
Recommendation level: Depends...

Summary: Princess Rita finally reached her destination, but Tina's journey just began. To help Tina find the person who killed her family, princess Rita set off to another journey with Tina.

Richard's rating( of 5) - first impression: 3 - Average, average, average...
Personal comments: One thing I'm not quite understanding is why princess Rita should go with Tina on the journey. She's never useful and always cause extra trouble.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Recap of 2007

2007 has passed, let's have a quick recap before I get busy with all the new January 2008 releases.

January Season really didn't offer any anime that is worth watching, except two: Nodame Cantabile and Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kempucho To. While Nodame's art style is not the type I like (actually, it's on the borderline of the type I hate), it is a Noitamina anime, where some quality animes such as Honey and Clover, Kai Ayakashi, Paradise Kiss have been seen. It turns out that Nodame Cantabile is one of the best anime of the year (see the award section below).

Then April Season rolls around the corner. Generally speaking, April and October tend to be the bigger seasons where January and July tend to be the smaller transition seasons. More quality animes are seen in April and October season than the other two. This is no exception for 2007. Many great animes were released in this month, namely, Claymore, Darker than Black, Romeo x Juliet, Sola, Lucky Star, Bokurano, Lovely Complex, Denno Coil. There are also some that I thought had some good potential but did not fully deliver: Shinkyoku Sokai Polyphonica, Sisters of Wellber, Kaze no Stigma. Some are just there to test your patience: Touka Gettan, AIKa: R-16, Inukami Movie. This is quite a blooming season. Many of them end up earning my awards.

Though July Season is a small season, but it is not as miserable as January. Quite a few good series started this month, namely, School Days, Higurashi Kai, Mononoke, Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kempucho To 2nd Act, Baccano!.

Then October Season showed up with a bang, but not nearly as big of a bang as I was hoping for. Quality series like Bamboo Blade, Myself Yourself, Clannad, Ef ~ a Tale of Memories, Moyashimon, Shion no Ou, Mokke showed up, but there are some semi-disappointing ones such as Da Capo II, Blue Drop, Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun as well. Nevertheless, it's an above average season.

Now, it's time to hand out the awards. If you've been following my blog, you should already know the several major ones in the general catagory.

Best Drama of 2007: Darker Than Black
Best Comedy of 2007: Nodame Cantabile
Best Horror of 2007: Mononoke
Best SciFi of 2007: Denno Coil
Best Fantasy of 2007: Claymore
Best School Drama of 2007: School Days

As I said in an earlier post, I feel bad but Baccano! got bumped in the last moment:

Best Anime of 2007: Denno Coil

Then there is the special category:

WTF Anime of 2007: Touka Gettan

Weirdest Anime of 2007 (and possibly ever): Mononoke
Best Scene of 2007: The Killing Spree in School Days
Most Evil Plot of 2007: Myself; Yourself
Most Anticipated Anime in 2007: Higurashi Kai
Most Sexually Explicit Anime in 2007: Tied between Inukami Movie and AIKa: R-16
Bloodiest Anime of 2007: Baccano!

Most Satisfying Ending in 2007: School Days
Clumsist Character of 2007: Megumi "Nodame" Noda (From Nodame Cantabile)
Dork of the Year 2007: Itoshiki Nozomu (From Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei)
Most Disappointing Ending in 2007: Da Capo II

Cheesiest Anime of 2007: Devil May Cry
Most Premature Ending of 2007: Tied between Moyashimon and Shinkyoku Sokai Polyphonica

Also, there are some honorable mentions, because these animes are just barely beaten by others in its category:

Baccano!: Drama Runner-up and Anime of the year Runner-up
Lovely Complex: Comedy Runner-up
Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kempucho To 2nd Act: Drama Runner-up

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Clearing Backlogs: Air Movie

Air never failed bring tears into my eyes, despite that I've already seen it multiple times. Apparently, it also applies to Air Movie. I don't recall when I got it or why I didn't watch it immediately. I found it when I was clearing up my backlog during Christmas/new year break.

Because they have to compress so much into a hour and a half air time, only the main story is kept. Rest of the side plots are cut. I found this format actually makes the main story much clearer. The way they blended the old legend with current ongoing event actually makes more sense.

Looking at the release date of Air Movie, it was released in theater around the time when episode 4~5 of the tv series are airing. Normall, it would seem to be a bit odd to release an alternate re-telling of the same story while the tv series haven't finished airing. After watching the movie, I kind of see the reasons behind it: the construction of the main plot of the tv series is a bit confusing and bit diluted by the other side plots. The movie does just enough to clear up the main plot yet without rendering the tv series useless.
Even though the plot is short and compact, when it comes down to the last moments, I still couldn't stop my tear from running out of my eyes.
Air is one of my all time favorite tragedies. It's light heartedness throughout the series highly contrasted the emotional tragic ending. Air by itself is a little confusing, and Air Movie makes it complete.

Recommendation: If you have seen and liked Air, you should not miss out on Air Movie because it makes Air complete. Fortunately, it has been released in US and netflix carries it, you can just go rent it: