Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ToLoveRu (Ended): Just About Enough

It was a rough start with ToLoveRu because it seemed that everything in it was stolen from other animes. The ending, was almost equally as rough as the beginning. At one point, I almost shout out "Cheater" to the screen when it looked like it's going to end in a very cheap way, but the last moment saved it from being what I considered "cheap" ending.

Overall, it's an interesting anime when you follow it episode by episode, because it provides some non-sense comical relief to some other series. If you watch it all together at once, I'm not sure you'll get same satisfaction, because its repetitive nature.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 3 (Not quite its focus)
Comedy: 4 (Some outrageous comedies, but a bit overly repetitive)
Action: 3 (Not quite its focus either)
Art/Animation: 4 (Lala is cute...:-))
Sound/Music: 3 (Nothing left big impression)
Character: 3.75 (Not exactly rich, but quite a few)
Plot: 3 (Pretty retarded)
Ending: 3.75 (Almost a "cheap" ending)

Re-watch value: 2 (I don't see any reason to)

Overall (not average): 3.5 ~ Above Average Comedy

Recommendation: If you do end up watching it, I recommend to watch it in multiple segments, because it will get old pretty quick if you just keep going.

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Happily, Ever After

It's hard to criticize animes like Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, at the same, it's also pretty hard to praise about them either. There just aren't enough good or bad things about them. It's deemed to be a mediocre. It's just so typical any way you look at it.

Of course, animes like this would always have a happy ending. Most likely, the happily ever after ending. This is no exception.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 3 (Lots of light dramas)
Comedy: 3 (Mediocre)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 4 (I do like the art syle)
Sound/Music: 4 (Interesting music)
Character: 3 (Not much depth)
Plot: 3 (Little bit, not too much)
Ending: 3 (Typical, very typical)

Re-watch value: 3 (Could get some more laughs out of some episodes)

Overall (not average): 3.5 ~ Not bad, but not great either

Recommendation: This is definitely a solid mediocre anime. So, if you have time to put in mediocre animes in your schedule (I assume that you already scheduled the "great" and "good" animes :-), this probably would be a solid pick.

Zero no Tsukaima: Princesses no Rondo (Ended): Mood Swing

Another season of Zero no Tsukaima has ended. To be honest, I'm not really impressed. It seems the overall trend to be that in each season, one of the major supporting characters get to picked on and has to be saved by Luise. It just seems getting a little repetitive.

One thing I did notice is that this season has a lot more mood swings. It could go from serious to wacky in matter of seconds. I don't think the previous seasons have as much mood swing as this one.

Oh, one more thing, didn't they get married towards the end of the second season? Why nobody ever bring up that issue? Or did I misunderstand it?

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 3.75 (Good amount of that)
Comedy: 3.75 (Little cheesy, but not too bad)
Action: 3.5 (I don't think it's the focus here)
Art/Animation: 3.5 (Same as before)
Sound/Music: 3.5 (More or less the same as well)
Character: 3.5 (Not many new character or new depth)
Plot: 3 (It's still quite confusing in the end)
Ending: 3 (Another hanging end)

Re-watch value: 1 (There is really no need to)

Overall (not average): 3.25 ~ Above average, not by much

Recommendation: Well, if you've seen the first two series, I'd say spend the time to watch this, because there are more to come in the future that is building the bigger puzzle. If you haven't seen the first two series, I'd say hold it off, until next couple of seasons come out.

Nabari no Ou: Slow Up, Slow Down

Currently finished: Episode 24

It's been a while since I last commented on this one, mostly, because there hasn't been anything exciting lately. Everything ought to happen happened, and everything shouldn't happen didn't. It's not that it's uneventful, it just feels...plain. The pace of the story is not exactly fast either. When something major happened, there's always a slow ramp-up and slow cool-down. There almost no sudden events.

With only one episode left to go, I'm not going to bother change its rating. I'll just do that in the final review.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

RD Sennou Chosashitsu: Masterpiece!!!

Currently finished: Episode 23

It's been quite a while since last time I commented on this anime. What I though is something that is not going last more than 4 episodes for me turn out to be one of the best of 2008 in my book. This is truly a masterpiece. It took a bit to work into me, mostly I think because I hated the art style. By now, I still can't say that I like its art work, I just learned to accept it.

As I mentioned last time, Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗), the creator of highly acclaimed the Ghost In the Shell and Appleseed series, is responsible for the concepts of this anime. All have been highly philosophical suspense thrillers with scifi as background. RD is a bit less action oriented than his previous work. That might be another reason that it took longer to work into me, because fast paced action like Ghost In the Shell tends to pull me in a lot quicker.

There are three more episodes to go. As it stands right now, this is one of the anime series in 2008 would earn a spot on my "MUST WATCH" recommendation list. So, if you haven't started watching it, go get it now! As for award goes, it's not really fair for it to compete in drama category head-to-head against Macross Frontier, they're just a bit too different. I'll have to think up some special category for it, because it IS GOING TO EARN an award from me.

New rating (out of 5): 4.75 (net gain: +0.75) ~ Too Good

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wagaya no Oinarisama (Ended): Another Weak Snowball

A while back, when I made a comment about Wagaya no Oinarisama being a snowball anime, I hoped that it doesn't suffer the same fate as Rental Magica where the snowball doesn't roll into a good size before it terminates. Well, sadly enough, it happened again just like that. However, it's slightly different than Rental Magica. Rental Magica had a somewhat evolving plotline where it piles on more snow as it rolled; As for Wagaya no Oinarisama, the snowball effect only adds more character. As for the effects on the overall plot, well, there is no main plot, so it really couldn't be affected. The whole anime is just a collection of many short stories featuring the same characters with someone new added every time. It almost feels like the sole purpose of this anime is to somewhat get people hooked with the characters, so when the anime is over, people would want to go buy and read the manga. If that's really the case, I have to say they're pretty successful because now I am a bit hooked with the series and do want to go find the mangas to read.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 4 (On and off, there are shot drama segments)
Comedy: 3 (Not really its focal point)
Action: 3 (Mostly ok, but there are some cheesy parts)
Art/Animation: 4.5 (I love the fox)
Sound/Music: 4 (Above average, I guess)
Character: 4 (Many, some have depth, others don't)
Plot: 3 (There aren't really any)
Ending: 2 (Oddly attached)

Re-watch value: 3 (Maybe if you just like to see the art)

Overall (not average): 3.5 ~ Average as a whole, but interesting concepts

Recommendation: It's hard to recommend it because nothing stands out about this anime. However, it's still interesting. I'd say put this on your time filler list, that is, if you happened to have a block of time to allocate and don't know what you should watch.

OVA: School Rumble 3rd Term: OMG! OMG! OMG!

This, is what I call a truly surprise ending. The fact that it actually ended the whole series is surprising enough. I mean, literally, it ENDED the series, not just another open ending.

Now, the ending, itself is somewhat a surprise as well. I have to say, people liked School Rumble as it is in the tv series are probably going to be shocked a little bit. I'd say you're probably better off not watching this OVA unless you absolutely definitely want to see an end to this non-stop drama. Some may be satisfied by it, but I think more will be disappointed or even angered by it.

So, ask yourself, do you really really want to see it. If there's any doubt, don't. That's my advise.

In case you do want to see it, here is where you can find it:


My rating (out of 5): 4 ~ Shocking!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Special A (Ended): Typical Ending

The ending of Special A, is the most typical ending you'd find for most comedy-romance animes. You'd have seen it coming even before the series reaches the half way mark. However, I happened to think this type of ending is the most approprate ending for it (asides from the more creative ones). Because comedy is the main focus here, ending it this way doesn't make it any worse off. Finally, Gonzo managed to make a comedy that I feel it's the top of the line. Well done.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 4 (There are actually quite some dramas)
Comedy: 5 (One of the best I've seen lately)
Action: 4 (A bit over exaggerated)
Art/Animation: 4 (A bit to skinny, but still good)
Sound/Music: 4.5 (I like the theme songs as well as the score)
Character: 5 (Character rich)
Plot: 4 (That's not the focus, but for what they have, not bad)
Ending: 4 (Very typical, but not bad)

Re-watch value: 3 (Could get some more laughs out of some episodes)

Overall (not average): 4,75 ~ Well made comedy anime

Recommendation: I'm pretty sure this is going to be my pick of Best Comedy of 2007. Highly recommended.

Sekirei (Ended): This Is Retarded

Inconsistent plot flow, excessive fan service, with "Ikkitousen Syndrome", I don't know how it managed to stay on my list until the end, well, the end of first season. I so wished that I didn't waste my time on this. I hope they don't make a second season because if they do, I have to waste more of my time to watch it because I want to see answers, answers that they didn't bother to give in this season.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 2 (I wouldn't really call it drama)
Comedy: 2.5 (Some, but pretty dull)
Action: 2.5 (Pretty cheesy)
Art/Animation: 2.5 (Aren't that good looking)
Sound/Music: 3 (Acceptable)
Character: 3 (Got some character, most are pretty shallow in my opinion)
Plot: 2.5 (Pretty retarded plot)
Ending: 2 (Feels a bit rushed even for season break)

Re-watch value: 0 (I wouldn't even recommend for the first time)

Overall (not average): 2.5

Recommendation: I'd say definitely the lowest priority even if you want to put it on your watch list. You're better off allocating your time for other better animes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Clearing the Backlogs: OVA: Candy Boy

It's a short GL (aka Yuri or Lesbian) anime that portraits the love between two twin sister (or at least that I'm getting from it). It just feels so wrong in so many levels. I wouldn't exactly call it interesting. At least it's short, two episodes about 10 minutes each. Still, I'd recommend anybody what want to spend 20 minutes on anime go look elsewhere.

My rating: 3 out of 5

Ah, This Time of the Year Again...

First it's Himitsu Top Secret, then it's RD Sennou Chosashitsu. I think there are more series end in September than any other month of the year. That makes September, especially the middle two weeks so unbareble because everything that is going to end this month would come to the biggest cliffhanger in these two weeks.

Himitsu Top Secret: Holy Crap

Currently finished: Episode 23

For the first time I caught up with the latest episode of Himitsu Top Secret, it's also the first time that I could not wait to see the next episode. I wish I had waited a week for the next episode to come out so I can watch it back to back. Now I'm just left haning at probably the biggest cliffhanger in the series. Damn that sucks. However, after having survived the extra wait for School Days, I think I'll be able to wait out this one. One thing does concern me, though, is that the series supposed to 25 episodes total, this is only episode 23, which means this could be a three parter. That's extra suck. Maybe I should just wait another week so I can watch the last two episodes together...

New rating (out of 5): 4.5 (net gain: +0.5) ~ Good cliffhangers

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: It Always Ends Up In That Situation

Currently finished: Episode 9

Now the whole "secret" thing is finally over, we proceed to personal relationships. The very typical situation is to have the main girl catches the main guy in a awkward situation with another girl. It seems to be the standard formula for all school drama/comedy anime that involves relationships.

Now, come to think of it, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu so far has been nothing but following the standard formula of all school anime genres. It's almost feels like a version of Lucky Star which is not trying to make fun of itself. Even though the characters are likable, the plot couldn't exactly be called boring, if they don't come up with something creative, this will get old fairly quick.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Natsume Yuujinchou: A Series of Heart Touch Stories

Currently finished: Episode 8

It started off just like Mokke with different setting and character. As it progresses, I realized that it has a much heavier tone than Mokke or even Mushishi. Knowledgewise, I'd say it can still be tagged as "Mushishi light". But this anime is just filled with rich emotions. So far the whole series have been a collection of heart touching stories, not necessarily tragic, but heart touching.

New Rating (out of 5): 4.5 (Net gain: +1.0) ~ Heart Touching

Monday, September 8, 2008

October 2008 New Anime Season Preview

Alright, it's almost October again, which means the biggest new anime season of the year is right around the corner. I thought this April was a big season. But after some digging on the internet, I found out that October season is even bigger. Man I'm going to be so busy in October. If the turn out rate is as good as April season (20 out of 24 reviewed are keepers), I don't know where I'm going to find the time to watch them all.

Since there are too many new series coming up, I have to first weed out those that I'm not likely to watch at all. I applied four filters to limit the number of previews: Series that looks too stupid; A Sequel to something I've already rejected; Sports anime; and BL (a.k.a. Gay) animes. I think the rough count of new series is 28. Oh, yeah, all Gundam animes are automatically filtered out, too. No need to waste time on them.

Vampire Knight Guilty

This is one of the most highly anticipated series. Hopefully, it could wrap up what they left off from season one without going to season 3.

Forecast: It's definitely on my TO WATCH list.


Something to do with galactic warfare in a imaginary universe.

Forecast: Hard to tell at the moment

To aru Majutsu no Index (とある魔術の禁書目録)

Some random dude got involved with some weird stuff when a sister calls herself "Index" appeared. Has something to do with magic.

Forecast: Sounds interesting, I do like its art style.

Skip Beat!

I've seen its manga before, the art style was not particularly the type I like. It's an anime about someone's singer career. I'm usually not keen on this type of anime. But there are exceptions such as Fullmoon. I'll have to see.

Forecast: I'll at least give it a couple of episodes...

Mitchiko to Hatchin (ミチコとハッチン)

A story of a super duper diva helps a girl to escape her brutal foster parents. The trailer makes it looks somewhat like Black Lagoon. The art style is not the kind I'm particular fond of.

Forecast: I'll give it 4 episodes...

Macademi Wasshoi! (まかでみWAっしょい!)

Something to do with magic again, in a magic academy. It looks like a pointless comedy type.

Forecast: I don't know how much more pointless comedies I can stand before the year ends...

Kyo no Go no Ni (今日の5の2)

There was an OVA with same title came out in 2006. It's a Azumanga Daioh style comedy, and it's hilarious. It's about daily lives of a group of 5th graders. If the TV is anywhere near the quality of the OVA was, this would definitely be a keeper.

Forecast: Looking forward to it...

Linebarrels of Iron (鉄のラインバレル)

Something to do with somebody got hurt and woke up with strange power to rebel against something. (Hm....it sounds very familiar, oh yeah, Code Geass. Even its art style looks like Code Geass.) Oh, one more thing, this is an anime produced by Gonzo, I'll definitely be all over it.

Forecast: It's Gonzo, unless it's really really bad, I'll probably see to the end of it...

Ga-Rei -Zero- (喰霊-零-)

Some guy with supernatural ability meets some girl with supernatural ability (it always happens that way). Together they're finding and kill evil spirits.

Forecast: The art style seems very elegant, the type I like, I think this might be a keeper...

Ef ~ A Tale of Melody

It's said to be the sequel of Ef - A Tale of Memories, though I'm not sure whether the characters from season one are going to appear again. Those who followed my blog last year would know that I speak highly about Ef - A Tale of Memories. Though they manage steer away from the type of ending I like, I still think it's a great anime. It combines music and visual effects to create a atmosphere that touches deeply in your heart. I expect no less of this new series.

Forecast: Oh yeah, this is definitely a keeper...

Casshern Sins

About a cyborg fighting robot armies that wants to rule the earth. Sounds much like a classic robot anime.

Forecast: I think this one going to get dump quick, I just don't have enough interests in this type of things...

Alive Saishu Shinka teki Shounen (アライブ 最終進化的少年)

I've seen the manga somewhere, but I don't remember anything. It's about a boy, in a time where everybody either "evolve" or commit suicide. Apparently, there is a grander plot behind all these.

Forecast: I'd put this one down as a wild card, not sure what to expect for it...

Zettai SHougeki ~Platonic Heart~

I'm not quite sure what it is about, it sure has many girls with big boobs. It has a video game like art touch to it. And it's a 5 episode OVA.

Forecast: I think I can finish a 5 episode OVA, besides, I do like its art style...

Goku Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei (獄・さよなら絶望先生)

More story about the suicidal teacher and his weird students. It was funny at the beginning, but it get way too repetitive. This is a two episode OVA.

Forecast: I think I'll pass on this one...

Tetsudo Mesume ~Girls be ambitious~ (鉄道むすめ ~Girls be ambitious~)

Seems to be a show about a bunch of girls works in subway. This kind of career animes are usually hit or miss. There has been some good one in the past like Rescue Wings.

Forecast: There's a 50/50 chance for it to go either way...


The description I can find are all too confusing. All I've gotten out of is some dude run into a blog site that predicts murder case, and there is a picture of a cute girl in the anime.

Forecast: It looks pretty good, sounds interesting, and it supposed to be a combination of horror, psychological, romance, scifi, supernatural, thriller, it gotta be something good, right?

Shikabane Hime: Aka (屍姫 赫)

The title literally means "corpse princess". It's about some undead girl to go hunt down 108 corpses to go to heaven. (Hm..., that sounds familiar...oh yeah, there's a tv series called Brimstone)

Forecast: I do like its art style, and it's always fun to watch hot girl slicing up zombies, right?

Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (かんなぎ)

Some art student carved a statue which come to life. They now work together to destroy the impurities gathering.

Forecast: Sounds like a good comedy idea. We'll see...

Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae (地獄少女 三鼎)

The third installment of Jigoku Shoujo. I somewhat liked the first series, but not so for the second series, because it's just the same thing over and over again. The third, I'll probably watch the first episode, and if it couldn't grab me, it's gone.

Forecast: It's all depending on the quality of episode one.

Tales of the Abyss

One of those typical fantasy anime. It doesn't seem to bear anything special quality.

Forecast: Probably only going on my watch list if I have enough free time.

Hokuto no Ken Raoh Gaiden: Ten no Haoh (北斗の拳 ラオウ外伝 天の覇王)

Supposed to be a spin-off to the infamous Fist of the North Star. I was never a big fan of it any way.

Forecast: I'll probably just sample one episode and throw it away...

Yozakura Quartet (夜桜四重奏 ~ヨザクラカルテット~)

Four teenage heros all have some special ability except the token boy. They protect the city from supernatural threats. The art looks pretty good. Looks like another light comedy/action anime.

Forecast: I'd give it a couple episodes, but I think it'll probably on my to watch list.

Nodame Cantabile: Paris (のだめカンタービレ 巴里編)

OMG! The anime I awarded "Best Comedy of 2007" is making a come back.

Forecast: There is no question about that there will be a spot for this one on my TO WATCH list...

Kuroshitsuji (黒執事)

Another anime about butler. Though this one has much elegant look than the recent butler animes.

Forecast: I think I'll put this one down as a wildcard.

Clannad After Story

Clannad could have made the best tragedy of the year if they haven't decide to detach the ending and make it into a movie. However, the original Clannad is still a piece of fine art. I'm not sure where this "after story" going to lead us, but it's from Key/VisualArts animation production, and I trust them in producing quality animes (especially tragedies :-))

Forecast: This is also an automatic qualify onto my TO WATCH list because of the original series.

Toradora! (とらドラ! )

A school comedy about a gentle but mean looking guy and a really mean girl. Sounds like a great comedy idea.

Forecast: I like the art style, as well as its concept. I think it could be a winner in comedy category...

Rosario + Vampire Capu2

Oh, I don't know. The first season didn't impress me at all, I somehow doubt this season will.

Forecast: Even though it's produced by Gonzo, it's still not enough to earn a definite spot on my to watch list...

Hyakko (ヒャッコ)

I have no idea what this one is about, aside from the obvious that it has something to do with school life.

Forecast: Since I know nothing about it, I'll just put it down as a wild card.

Itazura na Kiss: Still Interesting

Currently finished: Episode 17

Last time, I thought everything is going too easy too quick, there won't be anything interesting any more. However, that didn't make anything easy on Kotoko. The fact is, jealousy didn't go away, it might just reversed the direction.

New rating (out of 5): 3.75 (Net gain: +0.5) ~ Good, but not great, yet

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sekirei: Boobs, Boobs, and More Boobs

Currently finished: Episode 9

Last time I commented about Sekirei of having the "Ikkitousen Syndrome", there were only one pair of "recurring boobs". Since then, it has added several more pairs of "recurring boobs". Boobs that shows up over and over again in the anime.

I'm not a fan of huge fan service animes, because most fan service animes are mostly pointless. Somehow Sekirei feels different. Boobs in this anime doesn't really serve any purpose, it also doesn't give you any bad taste as series like Ikkitousen does. So, I have nothing to complain about these "boob shots". Besides, why should I? :-)

Allison and Lillia: Light Novel It is

Currently finished: Episode 21

Remember I said a couple posts back that this anime is actually based on two light novel series: Allison, and Lillia and Treize. Having seen so much of the series so far, I can see that's exactly what this anime is: Light Novel. It's a series of short stories connected only by common characters. There's no grand plot (or at least none that I can tell). It's in fact very "light". But it's still very interesting. Though I have commented about the weird physics and aerodynamics, there is nothing wrong with the story. In fact, each sub plot is so compact and well connected, there isn't a point make me want to just take a break from the series, where many other series with "grand plot" had such moments.

New rating (out of 5): 4.5 (Net gain: +0.3) ~ Light and interesting

Friday, September 5, 2008

Macross Frontier: Towards the Grand Finale

Currently fihished: Episode 21

I usually put Mecha anime into "other" sub category when I rate animes because I don't care much about them. Macross Frontier, however, would be rated in the "drama" category because that is really what its focus is at.

The whole series so far have been building up towards a grand finale that finally start to reveal itself. In the process, a surprise tragedy just poped out of nowhere. That, would earn bonus rating from me. (For those who don't know that part of me yet, you should read this post, and this post)

Several days ago, I just commented on the anime most likely to be the best comedy of 2008. Now I think Macross Frontier is the anime most likely to be the best drama or even the best anime of 2008. Yes, it's that good. If you haven't started watching it yet, start now. No anime fan should miss out on a great series like this.

New Rating (out of 5): 4.9 (Net gain: +0.9) ~ Perfect So Far

I've always been biased against mecha animes. I think it came from me not liking any of the Gundam series. When I rate animes, there is a neutral rating, which is the starting point where I add or substract as the series go. Since I don't like mecha anime, it usually has a lower neutral rating than other animes.

Having explained that, now you should understand the significance of the rating I just gave to this anime.

Blade of the Immortal: Some Messed Up Stuff

Currently finished: Episode 4

It's a somewhat unusual series to begin with, but I never thought it gets this fucked up as it goes. Last year, there is an anime called Shigurui, which is in similar art style, similar theme, and even the slow going speed. I threw Shigurui away only after two episodes because I can't stand its slowness. Blade of Immortal, however, is different. The amount of weird and fucked up stuff just continue to pile up. Even it's still slow, it just keeps making me say "damn", "shit", "that was wack".

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Special A: It's a Winner

Special A is fast approaching the tipping point of a unbeatable edge over all other series in this year in the comedy category. In fact, I have no problem awarding Special A the Best Comedy of 2008 without even seeing the October line-ups. But I'll let it play fair: I'll at least look at the first several episodes of October line-up before I decide who the Best Comedy of 2008 award goes to.

So far, it is hands down the best comedy of the year. The only one that comes even close is Clannad. But Clannad is not going to compete in the comedy category. On top of that, the comedies in Clannad are always foreshadowed by the upcoming tragedies in the later episodes.

One thing that Special A did so well is that every comedy moment has a blatant side and a subtle side, and they were mixed so perfectly.

One thing I'm unsure at the moment is how it's going to end. There is the obvious one. There is also the unfinished one. At the moment, I really can't think of a way they could mess up the ending. Since Gonzo is behind the production of this series, I wouldn't worry too much. Although the ending similar to Ouran High School Host Club is probably best to terminate a series like this, a normal "hang-over" ending wouldn't be too bad either.

New rating (out of 5): 4.75 (net gain: +0.25) ~ Just Great