Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kurozuka: WTF? WTF? WTF?

Currently finished: Episode 2

Ok, I think this anime is going to be getting WTF of the year award. First, I thought it's going to be something just like The Blade of Immortal. But after the second episode, I'm not so sure any more. It literally feels like an acid trip. I mean it's like a series of flashbacks that just jumps between each other with no explaination. I'm so tempting to just throw it away, but it has sparked so much curiousities of mine that I just have to find out what's going on.

Monday, October 27, 2008

To Aru Majutsu no Index: Exciting

Currently finished: Episode 3

This by far is the best new series I've seen in October. It's just nonstop fast paced excitement from the beginning to end of each episode. It also have very good cliffhangers at the end of each episode, so good that I pull episode 3 out of queue to watch it (I watch anime with chronological orders, so I usually don't watch episode 3's until I finished all the episode 2's from the same week). The character, the art, the fight, everything is just so great, that's why it is

Best Early Impression for October 2008 Anime Season

New rating (out of 5): 4.25 (net gain: +0.25)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kuragane no Linebarrels: When a Douche Bag Gets Superpower

Currently finished: Episode 2

Though douche bag male are usually the main character for majority animes, I think this one is among the worst. It's especially bad because this douche bag happens to get some superpower for no reason. So what does this douche bag do? Try to become a bigger douche bag of course.

A mecha anime, with some major douche bag showdown, this is really getting on my nerves. If they don't down play this douche bag a little in coming episodes, I'll dump this anime even though it is a Gonzo production. I just can't stand douche bags.

Weed Out Time!

Not counting the automatic rejects, there are 26 new series from October 2008 season. Stack that up with the ongoing series from previous seasons, there are more than 30 animes on my active watch list. That's 12 hours of animes a week just to keep up with the schedule. Even being the biggest Otaku around here, I still have other things to do in life other than anime. So, I need to weed out those below stands quick. Otherwise, I'll be playing catchup game for rest of the season.

The first to go is Macademi Wasshoi. It's an ok comedy, but to me, it's just not a great anime, nor do I see any future potential in it. So, I'm letting it go.

The next one is Kyou no Go no Ni. Just like the OVA, this is just a bunch of fifth grader's fart jokes. But compare to OVA, the art is not nearly as good, and majority of the jokes are just repeats from the OVA. With nothing new to offer, this is being crossed out from my list.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Clannad After Story: OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!!!!!

Currently finished: Episode 2

Ok, remember what I said about that Clannad's ending is being less than satisfactory? Well, after seeing the second episode of Clannad After Story, I think I can get over that completely. Simply put, it is worth it to go through the first series just to see the second series. I mean, the comedy they play in this anime is just simply brilliant. Unlike some other "in your face" type of comedy anime, the comedy in this one is subtle and blatant at the same time. Those two usually don't really go togehter very well, but they managed to do that in this anime so well that it makes me roll on the ground laughing.

New rating (out of 5): 4.25 (net gain: +0.25) ~ Brilliantly Funny

Friday, October 24, 2008

Telepathy Girl Ran: It Got Everything

Telepathy Girl Ran is one of those animes that aimed at breadth instead of depth. It's not necessarily a bad thing. Like Telepathy Girl Ran, when it's done well, it could still be a very interesting series.

The reason I call it an anime with breadth, is that it got everything: from horror to comedy; from suspense thriller to heart touching moments. It really has everything.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New OVA: Lucky Star (らき☆すた)

If you are a fan of original Lucky Star, then you probably don't want to miss this OVA. It's packed with same type of contents that references many things from today's pop culture. If you're not up to date with Japanese pop culture, you probably will miss a lot of the joke, because most of them are made in reference with Japanese pop culure.

Also, my favorite voice actress, Aya Hirano (平野) is one of the original cast in Lucky Star. It's just amazing how she can sound so different playing different roles from different anime. I mean if I haven't read the credit for Lucky Star, I would have never guessed she is the voice of Konata Izumi.

Score: 3.9 out of 5

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Michiko and Hatchin

Info: (Official) http://www.michikotohatchin.com/
Download: available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Genres: Action
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Weird ~ Somewhat feels like Cowboy Bebop

Summary: Michiko had escaped from maximum security prison; Hatchin is a girl being treated badly by her foster parents. They're now together to go find freedom.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3 ~ It's a little...bizarre

Personal comments: The art, music, even background scenery all reminds me much of Cowboy Bebop. So far I can't find any link (creator, art director, studio, etc.) between these two. Maybe they're not related at all, Michiko and Hatchin is just copying Cowboy Bebop's style. Put that aside, the first episode is actually quite depressing. But, it looks like the depressing part is over and the interesting part is about begin.

October 2008 New Anime: Ga-Rei Zero (喰霊-零-)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1315.html
Genres: Supernatural / Action
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common / Hard Edge

Summary: In a world evil spirits often cause problems, an anti-paranormal special force is created to deal with them.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Nobody is safe

Personal comments: This is an action filled first episode. What did surprise me, though, is the amount of deaths of seemingly important characters. I mean, if this is the first episode, where are they going later?!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Tytania

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1326.html
Genres: War / Politics / Scifi
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Semi-realistic

Summary: Tytania family is the most powerful family in the universe. Now a rebellion force is rising against them.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.5 ~ Complicated

Personal comments: War and politics is never my favorite topic for anime. However, if it's properly made, I'd be really interested in it too. So far Tytania had shown good potential. I think I'll at least give it till mid season.

Three October New Animes Did Not Last For More Than 5 Minutes

Casshern Sins

Maybe I'm just not smart enough, I just don't get it. Nothing makes any sense to me, period.

Bihada Ichizoku

I can't even start to tell you what I hate more in this anime, the ultra shoujo style art, or the fact it's a story about beauty contest, or every single character in this anime is just U-G-L-Y.

Shin Kyuseishu Densetsu Hokuto no Ken: Kenshiro Densetsu

This is supposed to be a prequel to The Fist of North Star. I had nothing against the Fist of North Star because I though it's ok anime for what it tried to do. But my opinion is forever changed after seeing The Fist of Blue Sky, yet another prequel to The Fist of North Star. It was just plain horrible. So, ever since, all animes related to The Fist of North Star get an automatic reject tag. If you are a fan of The Fist of North Star, go find it yourself. I'm going to just pretend this anime does not exit.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

RD Sennou Chosashitsu: (Ended) Best Scifi of 2008

It is always amazing how an anime that I thought would not last more than 4 episodes for me ends up earning a best of the year award from me. In this case, not only it came up earning the award, it also knocked out a very tough opponent, Macross Frontier, which at one point I thought no other anime this year could have surpass it. On top of that, RD Sennou Chosashitsu is now one of the candidates to receive my Best Anime of 2008 award.

Early on, I couldn't stand its art style at all. So many times I was considering dropping it because of that. But the story was so good that not only I kept watching, I ended up somewhat liking it towards the end.

This, in my opinion is one of the MUST WATCH anime in 2008 for almost everyone who likes anime, except those who are not interested in highly philosophical topics. I said it before, but I'll say it again: Masamune Shirow (士郎 正宗) is truly a master of using carefully crafted Scifi story as medium to discuss highly philosophical topics.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 5 (One of the best)
Comedy: 4 (For the little it had, it's not bad)
Action: 4 (Not its focus, but still good)
Art/Animation: 4 (I did not like it, but learned to accept it)
Sound/Music: 5 (Love the music)
Character: 5 (Best part of the series)
Plot: 5 (Couldn't ask for anything better)
Ending: 5 (Resolved and reasonable)

Re-watch value: 4 (Many valuable stories worth re-watching)

Overall (not average): 4.95 ~ Best Scifi of the year

Award: Best Scifi Anime of 2008

Even though it earned a best of 2008 award, recommending to others isn't that easy because I know there are many people out there prefer story that is not so deep into philosophical discussion. Simply put, if you don't like too much thinking, then this is not for you. For everybody else that watches anime, this is another MUST WATCH anime in 2008. And please give it a chance even if you hate the art work, you are missing out a lot if you don't.

October 2008 New Anime: Macademi Wasshoi (まかでみWAっしょい!)

Info: http://www.macademi.tv/
Download: No English Sub available yet
Genres: Magic / Comedy / Childrens?
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Children's

Summary: During a summon exam in magician's academy, Takuto accidently summoned a very powerful creature. Things start to go wrong from there.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.5 ~ Funny

Personal comments: Before I started, I thought this one is a sure throw-away. But now it looks like it'll stick around for a little longer. There are some initial amusement, but how much longer it'll last is another question.

October 2008 New Anime: Kurozuka (黒塚)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1320.html
Genres: Supernatural / Horror? / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Realistic / Dark

Summary: Not entirely sure yet. Seems to be about a woman with eternal life.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3 ~ Bizarre

Personal comments: It felt a lot like Blade of the Immortal, both the story and the art. At the moment, depending how much free time I have, it may not stay on my list.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Mouryou no Hako (魍魎の匣)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1322.html
Genres: Mystery / Supernatural
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Semi-realistic / CLAMP

Summary: Not sure yet, it's a very bizarre first episode.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Weird, but I like it

Personal comments: This reminds very much of Ghost Hound (that reminds me that I never manage to finish Ghost Hound, I need to though...). Everything is just weird and bizarre. However, this is another one of those mysteriously animes I couldn't take my eyes off it.

October 2008 New Anime: Kemeko Delux

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1312.html
Genres: Comedy / Weird Mecha?
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Stupid

Summary: Some big mecha fall into this guys house, then a chibi robot saves him and claims they're married. Then some more weird/retarded things happen.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3 ~ The art is on the border I hate

Recognized Voice Talents: Haruka Tomatsu (戸松) as Emuemu. As I mentioned in previous post that she is the voice of Lala from To Love Ru and Nagi from this month's Kannagi. She sure has been busy.

Personal comments: Some people like this type of retarded comedy with retarded art style, I'm not one of them. The craziness of this anime is at the same level with To Love Ru, but the retarded art style just turns me off. I just can't stand something that isn't visually pleasant.

October 2008 New Anime: Chaos; Head

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1325.html
Genres: Supernatural / Horror? / Suspense / Thriller
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: A guy who only cares about video game and anime accidentally saw a web site that showed a picture of a murder in the future. Now his life is forever changed.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4.25 ~ Suspense Thriller

Personal comments: I think this is the best first episode among all the new series I've seen so far. If they keep it up, it might have a shot for best short season Scifi/Drama.

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Kannagi (かんなぎ)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1307.html
Genres: Comedy / Supernatural
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Slightly Simplified

Summary: A guy carved a tree trunk into a statue. Suddenly, it comes to life and claims to be the goddess protects the land. Now he's stuck with her and has to help her fight the impurities in the town.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Funny start

Recognized Voice Talents: Haruka Tomatsu (戸松) as Nagi. She's fairly new in voice acting and hasn't done much big projects. But her voice is actually quite easily recognized as being the voice of Lala from To Love Ru. It's actually not hard to notice becaues her voice has so much playfulness in it. I think she's now one of my favorite female voice for comedy animes.

Personal comments: Funny thing about the voice of Nagi is the same voice for Lala from To Love Ru, is that these two anime has much in common. Even Lala and Nagi has much in common as well. As far as I can tell, this one is probably going to be an all-out comedy anime just like To Love Ru.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 2008 (somwhat) New Anime: Vampire Knight Guilty

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1289.html
Genres: Vampire / Drama / Action
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Hard Edge / Petit

Summary: Continues where the first series left off.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Getting Complicated

Personal comments: This is one of the my most highly anticipated anime from this season. Rather than calling it a new series, I think it's more appropriate to call it the second half of the Vampire Knight series since the first series didn't really end.

October 2008 New Anime: Kyou no Go no Ni (今日の5の2)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1316.html
Genres: School Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Childish

Summary: The class of 5-2 is in session again. There are some slight overlap with the OVA series.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 2.5 ~ Ugly and Retarded

Personal comments: I cannot believe how much worse this TV series is compare to the OVA. The OVA's art is clean and elegant, this is rough and ugly; the OVA is brilliantly funny, this is just plain retarded. I could not believe merely changing production studio would made an anime that was so good so much worse. I once respected Xebec because they've done some great works, now all those respects I had toward Xebec are almost completely wiped clean.

October 2008 New Anime: Nodame Cantabile Paris

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1293.html
Genres: Music / Romance / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Noitamina

Summary: Continues where the first series left off, Nodame and Chiaki are now in Paris.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.75 ~ Light start

Personal comments: Generally, the original series are usually used as the measuring stick for its sequel. Better the original series are, harder for their sequel to succeed. In this case, the original Nodame Cantabile had set a very high standard. If the sequel doesn't deliver at least the same level, instead of "medicore", people tend to think it's "bad" because it doesn't live up to it's original series. Let's just hope it is not the case here.

October 2008 New Anime: Kuragane no Linebarrels (鉄のラインバレル)

Info: (Official) http://www.linebarrels.jp/english/index.html
Download: Available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Genres: Mecha
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Fafner / Gundam Seed style

Summary: Story about a highschool student who got hit by something came out of sky, and gained ability to control a giant robot called "Linebarrel".

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.5 ~ Mecha.....

Personal comments: Mecha, arrrrr... Well, at least it's made by Gonzo, which usually means mecha is usually a cover story for the real drama behind it. Since it's Gonzo, I'll fulfill my obligation to watch it for at least till half season. The opening episode, felt very much like the opening of Dragonaut. The art work, is unlike anything I've seen from Gonzo, it very much resembles Fafner or Gundam Seed.

October 2008 New Anime: Skip Beat!

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1317.html
Genres: Drama / Romance / Pop Music
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: A girl followed her childhood friend (male) who is on his way to become a pop star in Tokyo. Then, she overheard something unthinkable. Now she is too trying to become a pop star.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.75 ~ Good opening episode

Personal comments: Episode one is definitely a stunner. Howerver, at the same time, it feels awfully similar to Nana. Nevertheless, for now, it's a keeper.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Ef ~ A Tale of Melodies

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1318.html
Genres: School Drama / School Romance
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: Not sure yet, but seems to be either a prequel or sequel to Ef ~ A Tale of Memories

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Weird as the first one, but interesing

Personal comments: The opening of this series is just as weird, if not more weird than the original Ef ~ A Tale of Memories. The first series turned out to be a great piece of art, so I expect no less from this one. However, sometimes higher expectation causes bigger disappointment. I hope it won't be the case here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Kuroshitsuji (黒執事)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1302.html
Genres: Dark Drama
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Hard Edge

Summary: Story about a kid, who is the head of a toy company and his loyal butler Sebastian.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Dark and weird

Personal comments: Somewhat creepy looking but interesting. The other clumsy workers at the house add some comedy values to the story as well.

October 2008 New Anime: Rosario Vampire CAPU 2

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1300.html
Genres: School Comedy / Vampire / Monster / Supernatural / Fan service
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Fan Service

Summary: Continues where the first series left off.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3 ~ Too much fan service

Personal comments: The biggest fan service anime of the year had made its return, as if the first series isn't bad enough. Since I managed to finish the first series, I might as well stick around to see what are the new stuff they can bring in the second season.

October 2008 New Anime: Earl and Fairy (伯爵と妖精)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1298.html
Genres: Shoujo Fairy Tale
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Shoujo

Summary: Lydia is a "Fairy Doctor" that lives in 19th century Scotland. One day she's kidnapped by a guy named Edgar to find the sword that belongs to the blue knight count.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 3.5 ~ A bit too...shoujo

Personal comments: A very shoujo heavy fairy tale, the art reminds much of the Astraea Testament. Generally, shoujo anime may be amusing at the beginning, I usually lose interest quick. Let's see if this will last at least 4 episodes for me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka (あかね色に染まる坂)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1303.html
Genres: School Drama / School Comedy / School Romance
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Video Game Style

Summary: Some dude ran into a girl who was in trouble and helped her out. She turned out to be a new student in the same class with him. With a series of misunderstanding, he ends up kiss her in front of the whole class, while neither of them knew that their parents already arranged their marriage.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Many WTF moments

Recognized Voice Talents: Two of my favorite voice actresses, Aya Hirano (平野) (Haruhi Suzumiya from Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Konata Izumi from Lucky Star) , and Rei Kugimiya (釘宮理恵) (Shana, Louise from Zero no Tsukaima series) are in this anime together. This is a good sign that this will be at least a semi-decent series.

Personal comments: The pre-opening and opening kind of confused me a little bit. Also, there are many moments made me jump up and down shouting "WTF!" Nevertheless, it got me curious what's going to happen next. The art, setting, and characters are very typical of a dating-sim game converted anime like Da Capo or Shuffle!.

About the screen cap: People say a picture worth a thousand words, but you rarely find one that actually does. Well, in this case, I think this picture does worth a thousand words.

Natsume Yuujinchou (Ended): Nice Touch

I once thought Natsume Yuujinchou is just another "Mushishi light", I was wrong. Natsume Yuujinchou is much more than just an ordinary ghosts and spirits story. Compare to Mushishi and Mokke, Natsume Yuujinchou is focused much more on creating atmosphere for emtional moments. Ghosts and spirits are just the medium.

As most series like this doesn't really have an ending with resolution, Natsume Yuujinchou is no exception. The ending, is merely a big gathering. I saw that coming long time ago. Howerver, there is some hooks left in the last episode that indicate there might be a season two. I'd be really glad if they do make another season. Series as heart touching as this nowadays are pretty rare. That's why I'm going to award Natsume Yuujinchou with the

Most Heart Touching Anime of 2008

I've once thought Clannad would be the one earning this award. However, the tv series just didn't deliver enough to deserve this award.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 5 (Very dramatic)
Comedy: 4 (Not its focus, but pretty good for what it had)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 4.5 (Not quite fond of it in the beginning, but I slowly learned to like it)
Sound/Music: 4.5 (Perfect music for the theme)
Character: 4.75 (Very well developed)
Plot: 5 (Good collection of short stories)
Ending: 4.5 (Good enough for a series like this)

Re-watch value: 4 (Some emotional moments are worth to be relived)

Overall (not average): 4.8 ~ Heart Touching

Recommendation: If you like traditional Japanese ghost stories, this one is for you. If you like heart touching stories, this one is also for you. If you like both, this should be the No. 1 series on your "to watch" list. If you like neither, well, give it a shot anyway, it might change you.

October 2008 New Anime: Clannad After Story

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1188.html
Genres: School Drama / School Comedy / School Romance
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: VisualArt's/Key Style (like Kanon, Air, Clannad)

Summary: Continues where Clannad TV series left off.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Still funny, still emotional

Personal comments: If you liked Clannad, you do not want to miss this. Hopefully, this wraps up what was missing from the original tv series.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Allison and Lillia (Ended): Ends Well, Too Well

For a split second in the last episode, I thought for once they're going to carry out a real tragic ending. Immediately, I realized that's not going to happen. People nowadays just like happy ending too much. No one wants to see the cold hard reality brought out by tragedies. Guess what, I was right. Not only they destroyed near perfect tragedy ending, they did it in the cheapest way.

Put my feeling against the ending aside, Allison and Lillia really exceeded my expectations in many ways. Though there are some obvious shortcomings, such as blatantly incorrect physics and aerodynamics, and inconsistent plot devices, everything else in this series is just so well made that all those problems almost doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I like it so much that I'll create a new award for it -- since this falls into the Light Drama category, and Library wars has already been crowned that title and I really don't want to take it away, I'm awarding Allison and Lillia

Best Long Season Light Drama Anime of 2008

Obviously, Library Wars would become Best Short Season Light Drama of 2008. Even so, it still creates a problem: technically Spice and Wolf should be competing in this category too, and I liked Spice and Wolf so much that I believe it should earn a "best of" award. However, there is nothing can remove Library Wars from its position at this point, I'll have to figure something else go give to Spice and Wolf.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 5 (Great!)
Comedy: 4.5 (Many funny moments)
Action: 3 (Physics just doesn't in some of them)
Art/Animation: 4.5 (Not so much on the Allison half, I like Lillia half much better)
Sound/Music: 4.5 (Light, fits in pretty well)
Character: 4.75 (Though some are heartless, they do kind of explain why eventually)
Plot: 5 (Very well made with many cliffhangers)
Ending: 3.5 (They should at least explain a little...)

Re-watch value: 3 (I think it's still interesting second time through)

Overall (not average): 4.85 ~ Very good

Recommendation: If you like light drama, this should be among top 5 in 2008 you should watch. But if you're not interested in light drama, don't bother, because there is nothing else but light drama.

October 2008 New Anime: Tales of the Abyss

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1291.html
Genres: Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Fantasy

Summary: It's a story about a teenage boy named Luke, from a fantasy world far far away.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Probably the best looking fantasy of the year so far

Personal comments: First episode is pretty interesting. Even though I'm not a big fan of fantasy, it still manage to grab me.

Blassreiter (Ended): Again?

The year of 2008 is filled with anticlimactic endings: Rental Magica, Crystal Blaze, Nabari no Ou, Nijuu Mensou no Musume, and many more. Now, Blassreiter decided that it too will follow the same pattern everybody is going for: An Anticlimactic Ending!

When you know there will be a super boss fight in the end of a series, you tend to expect a lot out of it. But if it doesn't deliver, you get very disappointed. In the case of Blassreiter, there IS a boss fight that delivered close enough to the expectation. The problem, is how that final boss fight ended. It just doesn't quite fit there.

Putting the ending aside, Blassreiter does have a impressive death tolls. Though I still think it'll be more interesting if the story had ended "the other" way (you know, the more evil way :-), nevertheless, it's a somewhat entertaining hack and slash action series. I mean you ought to lower the standards for the story when it's an action series, right?

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 4 (Good amount for an action series)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 4 (All over the place)
Art/Animation: 3.75 (Pretty good usage of 3DCG)
Sound/Music: 3.75 (I do like some of their theme musics)
Character: 4 (Good depth, though most don't live long enough to matter)
Plot: 3.5 (Pretty good twists)
Ending: 2 (Anticlimactic)

Re-watch value: 2 (Once is probably good enough)

Overall (not average): 4 ~OK for an action series

Recommendation: I'm not a big fan of action series unless there's a good story that comes with it. In thise case, the story actually is good enough I'd recommend to put this on your secondary watch list; Or, if you're an action hack and slash fan, you'd probably just put this on the top of your queue.

October 2008 New Anime: Yozakura Quartet (夜桜四重奏)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1305.html
Genres: Modern Fantasy / Supernatural / Superhero (maybe) / Action
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: In a town where humans and daemons from the other world live among each other, a group of four teenager hero protects the town from supernatural threats.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Interesting concept, love the music

Personal comments: Definitely a good start. Great background music is also another plus. Another keeper for this season.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nijuu Mensou no Musume (Ended): Weak!

I have to say this is one anime I wished that I didn't spend my time on. Sure it's a nice story. But that's about it. No hidden or twisted plot, no highly emotional moments, no exciting action scenes, it's just a story. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a bad anime. It's just not great.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 3 (I don't think it's enough)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 3 (Nothing exciting)
Art/Animation: 3 (Not the particular type I like)
Sound/Music: 3 (Didn't leave big impression)
Character: 4 (In depth character development, but some fell short)
Plot: 3 (Too flat)
Ending: 2 (WTF?)

Re-watch value: 1 (Don't even need the firs time)

Overall (not average): 3 ~Barely pass

Recommendation: Another one from this season I would not recommend to anybody, period.

October 2008 New Anime: Hyakko (ヒャッコ)

Info: (Official) http://hyakko.jp/
Download: Only available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Genres: School Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: Four first year high school girls, got lost in their huge campus during the first day of class, became friends. These are their stories.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ This is definitely a keeper

Recognized Voice Talent:Aya Hirano (平野) as Ayumi Nonomura. Ever since the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star, she become one of my favorite voice Actress. Her other well known roles are Reira from Nana, and Misa from Death Note.

Personal comments: Remember I said Special A will most likely get comedy of the year award? Well, if any anime could take the award away from it, Hyakko would be it. It made me burst into laughter at least once every five minutes. I mean, it's just brilliantly funny. Also, it has some great background music. For now, this one is definitely a keeper.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nabari no Ou (Ended): Good to Bad

Early on, I had very high expectations for this anime. The result? I'm completely disappointed. I guess higher expectation you have, bigger disappointment you get. I wouldn't exactly call Nabari no Ou bad, it's just that it ended up being way worse than what it started with. The story definitely dragged on for too long. Half way through the series, I stopped to care. It barely had enough going for me to not drop it half way. Also, I guess the last episode suppesed to be the "wrap-up" episode, but it felt more like an useless filler to fill up the time slot for the tv station.

Overall, I think the series had gone from "good" to "suck".

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 3.5 (Isn't strong enough)
Comedy: 3 (Faded away)
Action: 3.75 (Some are acceptable, some are pretty cheezy)
Art/Animation: 4.5 (I still like its art work)
Sound/Music: 3 (Didn't leave big impression)
Character: 4 (Whole bunch of emos)
Plot: 3 (Sloooooow)
Ending: 2 (What kind of ending is that?!)

Re-watch value: 1 (Even once is more than enough)

Overall (not average): 3 ~Pass, that's about it

Recommendation: In my opinion, you wouldn't miss much if you just skip this series. Even when you have extra time to burn, I'd recommend other series than this one.

October 2008 New Anime: Shikabane Hime: Aka (屍姫 赫)

Info: (Official) http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/shikabanehime/
download: (Lunar Anime) http://a.scarywater.net/lunar/
Genres: Drama / Supernatural / Action
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Dark / Common

Summary: There's boy who grew up in a temple run into some weird stuff: A dead girl who's actually "alive". She calls herself "Shikabane Hime" which translates to "Corpse Princess". Her goal is to fight other "alive" corpses so she can go to heaven.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Definitely an interesting start

Personal comments: It looks quite good. Though one thing does bother me is that the art seems to be very fuzzy on the edge. It could be the problem from the source, but I know animes that intentionally not to use sharp lines. I personally perfer sharp lines over fuzzy lines.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Slayers Revolution (Ended): Break Time

Slayers is the type of anime that doesn't take itself too seriously. This one is no exception. Although the main plot is pretty clear, they still sidetracked all over the place. However, I have to say it's still interesting and entertaining. The fact is, this is the first Slayers series I managed to finish. So, there might be some reference in it that I didn't completely understand. When I squeeze out some free time, I'll try to go finish up the previous series.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 4 (Definitely good)
Comedy: 4 (It's totally out there)
Action: 4 (Comedy styled)
Art/Animation: 4 (Not my favorite, but not bad)
Sound/Music: 4 (Fits pretty well)
Character: 4 (Recurring characters from previous series)
Plot: 4 (Not a bad story either)
Ending: 4 (Little open ended)

Re-watch value: 2 (Do you ever watch Slayers more then once?)

Overall (not average): 4 ~ Solid Above Average

Recommendation: This supposedly to be only the first half of Slayers Revolution series. It's been confirmed that second half will be aired after a seaon break. So, if you have something else to watch, do so. You might wnat to wait until at least the beginning of second series.

October 2008 New Anime: To Aru Majutsu no Index (とある魔術の禁書目録)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1311.html
Genres: Supernatural / Magic / Comedy? / Action / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: In a world where supernatural ability is common, a high school student ran across a girl dresses like a sister and call herself "Index", who supposedly possesses tens of thousands of books of magic.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Love the art work, very interesting story too

Personal comments: Smooth and elegant, this is the art style I really really like. The story, too is very interesting. I think this definitely is a keeper for this season.

World Destruction (Ended):Nice

If I say I'm not surprised by the ending, I'd be lying. However, if I say I didn't see it coming, I'd be lying, too. On and off, episode by episode, it slowly hinted what truth lies behind the surface. It's in fact a very interesting story. It's not as impacting as Macross Frontier, nor as deceiving as Denno Coil, nor as emotional as Natsume Yuujinchou. But with the mixture just right, I'd say World Destruction is still in the top quarter among all animes I've seen this year.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 4 (Definitely good)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 3.5 (A little cheesy, but not too bad)
Art/Animation: 4 (Unique)
Sound/Music: 4 (I liked it)
Character: 4 (an interesting set)
Plot: 4 (Little surprises, but not too much)
Ending: 4.5 (Though I like tragic endings, this one is also acceptable)

Re-watch value: 2 (When the hidden factor is gone, it's really not worth it to watch again)

Overall (not average): 4 ~ Solid

Recommendation: Well, if you are a casual anime watcher, I'd say pick this one up, but not with very high priority. If you are a hardcore anime watcher like me, this should be in top half of your to watch list.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 2008 New Anime: Toradora! (とらドラ!)

Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1297.html
Genres: School Drama / Comedy / Romance?
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: School / Loli

Summary: Ryuji is a nice guy, but he has a very mean looking face. So everybody in school is afraid of him. One day, he accidentally discovered a secret of Taiga. She is the meanest girl in the school, who's also very small. That's why she has a nickname of "Palm Tiger". Now Ryuji is kind of stuck with her.

Rating (of 5) - first impression: 4 ~ Quite interesting

Recognized Voice Talent:Rei Kugimiya (釘宮理恵) as Tiaga Aisaka. With her distinct shouting voice, I immediately recognized she's the voice of Shana from Shakugan no Shana series, as well as Louise from Zero Tsukaima series.

Personal comments: It may look like another ordinary school drama/comedy, but I think it has a lot more potential than just a oridinary school drama. It somewhat felt like the openning episode of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, in term of the unique beginning.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Himitsu Top Secret (Ended): Oh Boy

In general, I'm not a big fan of detective animes. They don't offend me like Mecha animes do, they just usually don't interest me. Himitsu Top Secret is quite a different kind of detective anime. The concept is quite unique, and instead of making it a "hard scifi" story, they made it into a rather "soft scifi" story, which in general, much more acceptable to me.

Because it's a detecive show, measurement of how well written the twists are comes into play while trying to rate it. In the case of Himitsu Top Secret, I wouldn't call it brilliant, but there are at least enough twists to be interesting.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 4.5 (Good amount of that)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 3 (Some pretty cheesy ones...)
Art/Animation: 4 (Not exactly the type I like, but I've grown to like them)
Sound/Music: 4 (Good theme song and score)
Character: 4 (Pretty good depth)
Plot: 4 (There are some interesting cases)
Ending: 3.5 (Feels like somewhat being cheated...)

Re-watch value: 2 (Most detective animes aren't meant to be rewatched)

Overall (not average): 4.1 ~ Unique and Interesting

Recommendation: As a detective show, it's quite good; as a drama, it may fall slighly short because its plot isn't tight enough. However, I think it's enough to creep up onto the last spot of the "must watch" list.

Yakushiji Ryoko no Kaiki Jikenbo (Ended): Over Exaggerated

Yakushiji Ryoko is the kind of person that would only exist in fictions, the kind that survives everything. After the finishing the series, I felt a bit unease, not exactly about the story, just an overall feeling of unease towards the whole series. While the story is very interesting, I personally feel that they over exaggerated a bit in some parts. It's just a bit too much "heroism" to handle from an anime like this. Nevertheless, it's still an interesting series.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 4.25 (Pretty dramatic)
Comedy: 3 (For what it worth...)
Action: 4 (Pretty good)
Art/Animation: 4 (Elegant)
Sound/Music: 4 (Interesting)
Character: 4 (Bit over exaggerated, still, good depth)
Plot: 4 (I really didn't see it coming)
Ending: 3.5 (Feels a little...cheap)

Re-watch value: 1 (Once the surprise factor is going, it's not that interesting any more)

Overall (not average): 4 ~ It's not superb, but still good

Recommendation: Another anime that isn't quite good enough to make onto the "must watch" list, but good enough for a high position on the standby list.

Koihime Musou (Ended): Speechless...

I am truly speechless at the end of this series. I don't know which one is worse, Ikkitousen or Koihime Musou, in terms of destroying the story of The Romance of Three Kingdoms. So, if you are a serious fan of The Romance of Three Kingdoms, you probably don't want to watch Koihime Musou, period. If you've never heard of The Romance of Three Kingdoms before, Koihime Musou actually provides some very amusing entertainment.

Final scoreboard (out of 5):

Drama: 3.5 (Well, if you call that drama...)
Comedy: 4 (There are some amusing comedies)
Action: 4 (Some interesting action)
Art/Animation: 4.5 (Very...pretty and elegant)
Sound/Music: 4.5 (I like them)
Character: 4 (Not too much depth, but character rich)
Plot: 4 (Pretty retarded, but interesting)
Ending: 4 (Completely destroys The Romance of Three Kingdoms)

Re-watch value: 3 (Only for amusement purpose)

Overall (not average): 4 ~Consider how much it destroys an ancient classic

Recommendation: Like I said, if you are a serious fan of The Romance of Three Kingdom, this probably would destroy it for you. Otherwise, it's quite amusing to watch.