Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kurenai: Dark Humor

Currently finished: Episode 7

It's hard to say whether the series tries not to take itself seriously or this is the calm before the storm. Recent episodes has been, um..., "idiotic". As I'm unsure about what this anime truely is, the recent development just throws in more confusion. On the other hand, even though it's slow, it's still highly amusing. I guess it's all about expectation: I wasn't really expecting anything from it, but it turned out to be a bit more interesting than it initially did.

New rating (of 5): 4.1 (net gain: +0.1) ~ Amusing

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kanokon: Enough is Enough

With so many anime in the queue, I gotta be a bit more strict on what to keep. As I said earlier, so far I've found no substance what so ever from this anime. It showed some hints for the main plot at the end of last episode. But in the very next episode, it just completely went back to its usual business. My patience towards this anime has ran out. It's time to stamp it with a big "Fail" and throw it away. Life moves on, sucky anime gotta go. There are plenty of other good animes from this season.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Toshokan Senso: Speechless (In a good way)...

Currently finished: Episode 6

At first, I only thought the concept is interesting, the exaggerations are funny. As the story goes on, I was awed by its creativeness of the author. I mean I can't really think of any other anime take the raw exaggeration to this level yet still keeps a straight face.

Normally, with this much of exaggeration, the sense of "normal world" start to break down. Usually, some extreme comedy are used to cover it up so it is still smooth and enjoyable. But Toshokan Senso didn't bother with any. It presented this outrageous world "as is", and the audiences have to take it at its face value.

So many times, a scene goes by and I tell myself "man, that's just ridiculous". But that doesn't translate into any negative impacts against the show, nor does it seem to fuel it to become the outrageous comedy that a show like this would normally become.

So far the story has been nothing short of completely amazing.

Second thought (of 5): 4.5 (Net gain: +0.5) ~ You'll have to see it to understand...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Kanokon: Worthless...

Currently finished: Episode 5

Worthless, worthless, and worthless. That's all I can say about this series. It's on the same level of Rosario Vampire or maybe even worse. The borderline hentai, in my opinion, makes it feel even cheaper.

However, in the most recent episode, it introduced something that looks like THE main plot. How or whether they can develop on it would be another question. At least it didn't do what Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun did - introduce the main plot in last 3 episodes. It still has a chance to redeem itself (although I'm not having much hope on that).

New rating (of 5): 2.75 (Net gain: -0.25) ~ Slowly slipping away

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Itazura na Kiss: Plain...

Currently finished: Episode 4

From what I've seen so far, there's only one word I can think of to describe this anime: plain. No twists, no turns, everything is developing in its natural course. It's not necessary bad, but there is nothing exceptional either. It's like looking at a woman with completely flat chest: not exciting.

This is actually one of the worst for me to deal with. Because there is a difference between plain and boring. This is a bit plain, but not boring, yet. At the moment, it's not good enough for me wanting to keep watching it, yet it's not bad enough that I can stamp it with a big fail and throw away either. Very frustrating...

Da Capo II Second Season: Foreshadow

Currently finished: Episode 4

I think episode 4 is the part of the series that foreshadowing some coming events. This technique has been used in many anime series where a small event occurs early in the story actually signifies the end result of the big event.

If that is the case here, that means they're going to eventually "fix" everything in the end. In my opinion, that sucks.

Happy endings are seen way too often. It'll be nice to see some good efforts go unrewarded, or even some good efforts backfires. I do not favor the usual "good guy always gets the good ending" scheme very much. I'd prefer to see some "too bad, life sucks, and you're in it" scheme to be used more often.

Anyway, back to the main topic, if I didn't read it wrong, it looks like there are probably going to be some "divine interventions" towards the end of series that make things turn out to be on the happy side.

RD Sennou Chosashitsu: Um...

Currently finished: Episode 4

The first episode of this series didn't make much sense what so ever. The next couple didn't do much better either. The story itself, I think is being explained pretty well at the moment. But, the background is still a big mystery. The worst part is once a while it still "teases" the audience by making some insertion that references the background story.

As I said in previous post, I don't mind slow stories as long as they jump into the main plot quick enough. This one, well, it jumped in half-way, and quietly using the other half to test my patience.

However, there are some mystious force in play here again: there is almost not a single thing I like about this anime -- I hate the art style and the plot is slow. But deep down, I have no urge to throw it away as I did to many other animes.

Kurenai: Slow, but Interesting

Currently finished: Episode 4

In general, I'm not a fan of slow animes. However, there are exceptions. Kurenai happens to be one of them.

What it did is instead of showing a painstakingly long introduction block, they jumped right into the main plot. It gave me a chance to decide whether I like the main story without having to seek out every last bit of my patience.

With a blend of very light comedy, some brutal action, and a naive little girl, it created a very unique story, so far.

New rating (of 5): 4 (net gain: +1) ~ Unique Blend

Allison and Lillia: Story...ending?

Currently finished: Episode 4

What I thought to be the main plot line for the whole series, ended in episode 4. So...what's next? I guess we haven't seen the other main character of this anime -- Lillia yet. So far, I have to say it still exceeds my expectation. Mostly, I think it's because I was not expecting anything I'd like from this anime to begin with.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Neo Angelique Abyss: Too Shoujo

I like light dramas animes, sometimes, I even like a series that some people would call it chick flick. What I'm not into is full blown shoujo animies. They may appear to be the same on the surface, but there is a subtle difference deep within. In light drama, plot development is usually the focal point of the series. In shoujo anime, the focus is usually concentrated on the character development down to the finest detail.

With moderate amount of shoujo element in a light drama anime, I can withstand. Once the shoujo elements overwhelmingly take over, I would throw the series into the trash without looking back.

Neo Angelique Abyss in my opinion was not so bad in the first episode. But somehow, the second episode just went so deep into the shoujo route that I have no desire to see any more of it.

On top of that, there are just too many new series in this season, I need to throw away some anyway. This is the least favorable one on my list at the moment, therefore, it's gone.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Macross Frontier: Anime Classic, Remade

Currently finished: Episode 4

There are just too many formulas that are directly taken from the classic Macross (Robotech part I). Like I said last time, it contains all Macross essential elements. Now, add one more: the plot.

I hope it doesn't end up becoming a re-telling of the original Macross series with different setting, different character. So far it sure looks like it's heading that way.
Even though it looks like they're plagiarizing their own story, it is nevertheless still a good series so far. Maybe because the original Macross is so old that the "freshness" alone from Macross Frontier is enough to overcome any shadow that is caused by their "plagiarism".

To be honest, I was not expecting much from this series. I didn't expect it to last me for more than 4 episodes. But this first 4 episodes exceeded my expectation so much that I'm actually eager to see what's coming next.

New rating (of 5): 4 (net gain: +0.25) ~ Much better than I expected

Vampire Knight: Towards the Dark Side

Currently finished: episode 4

In episode one, it was about half comedy and half slightly dark drama; in episode two, there are still some comedy there; in episode three, it took a sudden turn towards the dark side; by episode four, this series had turned completely dark.

As I see it, this is the true identity of this anime. The comedy in early episodes, are likely just for attracting a larger group of audience by the usual "bait-and-switch" technique.

A word on the plot, (no, I'm not going to spoil anything). The "No.1 good guy" is acting pretty strangely in the latest episode. Somehow it's making me suspect whether he's going to become the ultimate villain. But that just seems all too simple...

New rating (of 5): 4.6 (net gain: +0.1) ~ Dark, dark

April 2008 Late Comer: Penguin Musume Heart

Genres: Comedy
I've watched: 3 episodes
Art style: Wacky

Summary: A girl named Sakura Nankyoku (Nankyoku translates to "South pole") transfered to a new school and somehow became student body president. Wacky story starts from here...

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.5 ~ Funny, that's about it

Personal comments: Wacky, highly comedic, half-length episode (11 minutes) all reminds much of Galaxy Angel (The original series, with the original character set, not the Galaxy Angel Rune series). It's a series just for laughs, and nothing else. It's fun and amusing for now. Galaxy Angel series kept me interested for long time, I'll see how this one does.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Some Bad News...

Just ran across some news on the internet: Three Japanese were arrested in Japan on May 9th on suspicion of sharing copyrighted content (more specifically, recorded anime) on the internet. These three people, are rumored to be some biggest source of raw animes that are used by sub groups. So, in near future, there might be a shortage of new episodes of the current ongoing series, thus affectting the production of new subbed episodes.

Hopefully, there are other people that are willing to share new episodes of anime. Let's keep our finger crossed.

Original article is found here:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Quick Summary of New Series from April 2008 Season

There are total 24 new series from April 2008 I'm actively following. I think 90% of the new series came out in April are accounted for. The other 10%, I'm either totally not interested (like Code Gease season 2, I'm through with CLAMP, until they finish up X manga, I'm probably not going to watch another series by CLAMP), or it's clearly not going to fit my taste.

This is a quick overview of these series:

By Genre:

Toshokan Senso (Library War), Nijuu Mensou no Musume, Crystal Blaze, Da Capo II Second Season, Himitsu - Top Secret, Kurenai, Vampire Knight, Nabari no Ou, Wagaya no Oinarisama
Comedy: Itazura no Kiss, Special A, Kamen no Maid Guy, To Love Ru, Kanokon
Mecha: Macross Frontier, Blassreiter
Scifi: RD Sennou Chosashitsu, Zettai Karen Children
Fantasy: Allison and Lillia, Neo Angelique Abyss, The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk, Amatsuki
Weird (other): Monochrom Factor, Soul Eater

By Tone:

Super Light:
Kanokon, To Love Ru, Kamen no Maid Guy
Light: Wagaya no Oinarisama, The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk, Soul Eater, Zettai Karen Children, Special A, Itazura na Kiss
Normal: Amatsuki, Neo Angelique Abyss, Allison and Lillia, Da Capo II Second Season, Nijuu Mensou no Musume, Toshokan Senso (Library War)
Semi-Dark: Nabari no Ou, Vampire Knight, Kurenai, Monochrome Factor, Macross Frontier, Crystal Blaze, RD Sennou Chosashitsu
Dark: Himitsu - Top Secret, Blassreiter

My Personal Recommendation:

Looks Good: Toshokan Senso (Library War), Soul Eater, Vampire Knight, Nabari no Ou
Has Potential: Nijuun Mensou no Musume, Kamen no Maid Guy, Macross Frontier, Da Capo II Second Season, Allison and Lillia, Himitsu - Top Secret, The Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk, Wagaya no Oinarisama
Impreovment Needed: Itazura na Kiss, Crystal Blaze, Special A, Zettai Karen Children, Blassreiter, ToLoveRu, Kurenai, Kanokon
Looks Like It's Gonna Suck: RD Sennou Chosashitsu, Neo Angelique Abyss, Amatsuki
Probably going to be elimiated soon: Monochrome Factor

My Top Pick in Drama category goes to (drum roll)...

My Top Pick in Comedy category goes to (more drum roll)...

My Top Pick in Mecha/Scifi/Fantasy/Other category goes to (even more drum roll) ...