Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tytania: Rise of Fall

Currently finished: Episode 7

I'm not entirely into political anime. But Tytania so far has been pretty interesting. The pace is a bit slow, but you really can't speed up an anime about politics.

One thing I'm still trying to figure out right now is where is this story heading. Is it about the rise of Tytania family to rule the universe, or the ultimate demise of Tytania empire.

Kemeko Delux: F***ing Crazy

Currently finished: Episode 8

So far this series has been nothing but a nutcase. I really don't have much to say at the moment. I just think it's an interesting screen cap for everybody to see, including the dialog line. Note that is not a "translated" line there, the character in the anime actually shouted that pretty clearly in English...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hyakko: Uh......

Currently finished: Episode 8

Hyakko is one of those comedies that doesn't take itself seriously at all. Very much like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, except Hyakko managed to not become overly repetitive like Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei did. Some parts of Hyakko are just plain retarded. Nevertheless, it was some good laughter material. It also managed to stay pretty creative. I guess that's why many retarded comedy didn't last but Hyakko did.

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

Ef ~ A Tale of Melodies: Simply Cruel

Currently finished: Episode 8

I just commented how evil the plot had become two episodes ago. Now it is really beyond just evil. It has reached a level of cruelty that it is impossible for normal people not get depressed over.

BUT, I am NOT normal.

In fact, I am the opposite to normal. That, means I'm love every bit of it. This is the type of plot that gets me excited about. You just don't normal see the tragedies with this kind of cruelty. I you like tragedies as much as I do, you'd love it too.

The only concern have I have right now is that the story may end too well. It seems so far it's been following the typical drama happiness curve, which I suspect it'll eventually end up on the happy side. The ending of previous series, also supports my suspicion. That may be the only disappointment I'll get from this series.

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

Vampire Knight Guilty: The End is Near

Currently finished: Episode 8

They've been hinting it ever since the beginning of the second season. Finally, it happened at the end of episode 7. If you have an average IQ, you probably have already sensed it somewhere along the way. Though it's not a complete surprise, I did not see it coming up till a couple of episodes ago. It is a very well constructed plot that keeps playing hide and seek with the audience until it has to reveal itself.

What's interesting is that we're only at episode 8, 5 episodes away from the end of the season. Normally, such a plot turning event would only occur 1 or 2 episodes away from the ending instead of this far ahead. Then there is only one explanation: this what looks like a series ending incident is merely a precursor of what about to come; there are something much bigger awaits ahead.

New rating (out of 5): 4.5 (net gain: +0.5) ~ Twists and Turns

Friday, November 28, 2008

Skip Beat: A Blend of Many Things

Currently finished: Episode 8

You may call it unique (in fact, I did in my previous post about this anime), but if you look at it from a different angle, it's actually a blend of many other well made animes. I pointed out in the initial post, it definitely has some similarity with Nana. As the story slowly unravel itself, you also find many borrowed elements from Glass Mask, Full Moon, and Kaleidostar.

While I'm not against stories borrowing elements from other stories, I'm not a big fan of it either. Skip Beat, however, did it in a very interesting way. It is like a big blender, that grabs many good things from many good show-biz animes, then makes them into a somewhat unique style of its own. Then throw in the occasion comedies and deformation scenes very much like Perfect Girl Evolution (a.k.a. The Wallflower, or Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge) to make it even more unique.

New Rating (out of 5): 4.25 (net gain: +0.25) ~ A Blend of Good Things

New OVA: Switch


Synopsis: A story about undercover agents from Japanese DEA trying to find the the source of a new drug in the market.

This is a two episode OVA series with a very intense first episode. The art style reminds me very much of Saiyuki. Fortunately, this is not another work from the author of Saiyuki because I just can't stand the pretty boy posing everywhere in her works.

Also, there's a slight suspicion of yaoi throughout the first episode.

New OVA: Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-

I considered the original Gunslinger Girl series as a very fine piece of art, but not so for the second series, Gunslinger Girl ~Il Teatrino~. While I don't have a problem with the story itself, the art work from the second series just bothers me.

Certain art styles just don't match well for certain types of stories. In this case, it became especially apparent when a different art style which does match well with the story had previously set the standard.

Back to the OVA itself, it is merely some side story that is not really related to either story, nor is it an extension for either series. It makes me question the production company's motive for releasing this OVA at all. To me, this seems to be a release for the sake of sales, rather than making the story better.

Rating (out of 5): 3 ~ I only give it this much out of the respect towards the original story

OVA Update: Candy Boy


When I review this OVA a while back, I thought that was all because the end of episode 2 was somewhat a conclusion. Since then, two more episodes had come out and apparently there are going to be seven total. With the help from episode 3 and 4, also episode EX from DVD, and episode 0, I kind of start to understand what they're trying to portray.

One thing I don't quite understand Japanese culture about is why they're trying to portray it in such a way that it is easily mistaken to be lesbian love instead of just normal love between sisters. Without episode 3 and 4, I could swear that's where they were heading. Do they just not distinguish them in Japanese culture?

Anyway, even with the new development, it is still a ultra shoujo anime. So people don't like (or don't have the patience for) slow, soft plot development still shouldn't bother with it.

Updated rating (out of 5): 3.75

Tales of the Abyss: Sudden Turn

Currently finished: Episode 8

If I knew how quickly things were going to turn, I probably wouldn't have written that previous post ranting about how much of a douche Luke was.

Up till now, I consider this series to be mediocre at best. In episode 8, everything changed. Not only the plot made a sudden turn, it also might potentially cured Luke "the douche". Now this series has become so much more interesting.

I'd like to award it fantasy anime of the month, but, this is the only ongoing fantasy anime at the moment, so there is no point of that.

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

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tales of the Abyss: Douche of the Season

Currently finished: Episode 7

Luke was a little douche early on in the series. As time goes by, I thought he had grown out of it. But I was wrong. Recently, he just become the biggest douche of this season.

Aside from that little annoyance, this series is ok. But they ought to cure his "douchness" quick or I may not be able to enjoy this series any more.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Random Thoughts: Princes Of Tennis ~ Final

I have to say, this is one anime series I am a little ashamed to admit that I'm actively watching. It's not bad as far as anime concern. What is bad is the extreme exaggeration of the tennis play in this anime. As a 3.5~4.0 tennis player myself, I could not bear to watch some of the scenes because they are just pure ridicule. Yet, I managed to finish not only the 178 episode TV series, but also the two OVA series of 18 episodes total (not including this Final OVA).

So you wonder, if I think it's so ridiculous, how could I have managed to watch it. Well, if you have followed my blog long enough, you'd know that I rate animes fairly heavily on the character depth and variety. And Prince of Tennis series are good at both. It is so good that it makes me even forget all about how terrible they have portrayed tennis as a sport.

All and all, Prince of Tennis is still a sports anime. And to me, all sports animes are mediocre at best. Prince of Tennis is probably as good of a sports anime as I'll ever seen.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ef ~ A Tale of Melodies: HOLY CRAP!!!!!

Currently finished: Episode 6

Just as I thought everything is going pretty smooth towards mid-season, two huge twists appeared. About a year ago, towards the end of Myself; Yourself, something very evil occurred in it and I was calling it a masterpiece of evil plot. But compare to this, that was just child's play. This is just pure evil. Whoever wrote it gotta have a evil twisted yet very talented mind. And I am loving it. That's why I am awarding it:

November 2008 Drama of the Month

New rating (out of 5):
4.5 (net gain: +0.5) ~ Simply Evil

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Clannad After Story: Reused Content

Currently finished: Episode 6

If you have seen Key/VisualArts other work, Kanon, you would have noticed by now that they pretty much re-used an entire arc from Kanon in the most recent segment of Clannad After Story. While I don't have a big problem with it, especially considering how well-made it was, I still think it is a cheap shot just to grab an entire arc from another anime to be fitted into this one. It's usually an indication of the story writer running out of ideas. That's never a good sign for an anime, especially when it hasn't reached its half way point yet.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Earl and Fairy: Interesting Blend

Currently finished: Episode 5

The first impression I had about this anime is very similar to Astraea Testament, which lasted about a third way through the season before the amusement ran out. Earl and Fairy, however, seem to be somewhat different.

I said it is very Shoujo heavy anime, well, that part didn't change. But on top of that, there's a blend of light novel, light action, and light comedy being introduced. Because there's has been quite a few high quality light novel animes, my attitude towards new light novel animes are generally welcome with a somewhat high anicipation since the early ones had set a high standard. So, that's enough reason for me to keep watching it till the end of the season (since it's a short season anime).

One thing about light novel, is that generally you'd get the resolution to the problem, but you wouldn't get a clear climax throughout the storyline. If you've been following my blog long enough, you'd know that I really dislike anticlimactic endings. The only genre I'd let go without burning it on the review is the light novel. Because if it's done properly, there would be no need for a climax.

New Rating (out of 5): 3.75 (net gain: +0.25) ~ Intriguing

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New OVA: Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Heart~

"R rated Sekirei", that's what I'd tell you if you ask me to describe this OVA in one short sentence. It exhibits many similar qualities Sekirei has. Basically, this is just another story about big boobed girls fighting each other for a reason that is unknow to the viewer. During the fight, their clothes just convinently rips apart. The only difference is, since this is an OVA, they did no hesitate to show what's underneath a big boobed girls' clothes: BIG BOOBS.

So, if you are a fan of fan service (that sounds pretty retarded), and liked Ikkitousen or Sekirei, then this is also for you. And for everybody else that is not into fan service, don't bother to waste your time on this.

Mouryou no Hako: Stories within Stories?

Currently finished: Episode 5

It's been quite confusing early on in this series, but I think things finally start to come together now. It seem, that this is not just a simple story, or multiple related stories as I previously thought. More and more clue points to that this is a set of stories occurring within another set of stories. More specifically, someone from one of the sub-storyline is creating the rest of the stories. I know this still sounds very confusing, but you will understand it when you reach this point.

Shikabane Hime Aka: "B" Anime?

Currently finished: Episode 5

A "B" Movie, refers to a low budget commercial motion picture. It usually consists of cheesy action scenes, a cheesy story, and cheesy dialogs. In the case of Shikabane Hime Aka, the art and story so far seems to be at standard quality, but the voice acting and action scene, in my opinion, is just plain terrible. There may be many of you do not agree with me. But if you have seen as many anime as I have, the quality of this one is just not up to par.

New Rating (out of 5): 3.5 (net gain: -0.5) ~ Cheesy action scene, terrible voice acting

Friday, November 14, 2008

To Aru Majutsu no Index: Action Anime of the Month

Currently finished: Episode 5

Just as I thought things are getting resolved, a new twist appears. And they manage to make them all into cliffhanger at the end of each episode. Even though I would put this anime under action genre, I think the drama here is almost as good as, if not better than those in the drama genre from this season. So it is getting my award for

November 2008 Action Anime of the Month

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Toradora: Comedy of the Month

Currently finished: Episode 6

Just as I thought the story start to get repetitive, a new character is introduced and all hell broke lose. It made the story so much more dynamic and so much less predictable. The comedies in this series, are very much like Special A, being both subtle and blatant at the same time. That's the best type of comedy I like. That's why Toradora earns the:

November 2008 Comedy Anime of the Month

Lately, I've seen so many top-notch animes that deserve awards leave without any only because there are better series in the same category from previous seasons in the same year. To better express my appreciations towards them, I decide to restruture my award system. On top of my regular year-ending award, I'll start to hand out monthly, and seasonal awards to those who deserve one but may be out scored by some other series for the year ending award.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Skip Beat: Show Biz, Driven by Hate

Currently finished: Episode 4

I'm not interested in show biz, nor the story of someone trying to get into show biz. But, that does not mean I won't enjoy a very well made anime about it.

Skip Beat is a somewhat unique story. I say "somewhat" because there are some similar concepts that had already appeared in other animes, namely Full Moon and Kaleidostar. What does make Skip Beat unique is attitude of the main character. While most other show biz animes focus on "love", Skip Beat had laid its focus on "hate". Though after watching episode 4, I have a feeling that it is going to slowly progress towards "love" as the story goes, for the moment, "hate" is still what drives the story.

New Rating (out of 5): 4 (net gain: +0.25) ~ Unique

Clannad After Story: Extreme Mood Swings

Currently finished: Episode 4

Man, I have not seen anything with such extreme mood swings as it is in Clannad series. A five minutes time span managed to have anger, sorrow, and laughter all to an extreme level. The most amazing part, is that the transitions all seemed so nice and smooth, that you feel it should just naturally be that way.

New rating (out of 5): 4.35 (net gain: +0.1) ~ Mood swing to the extreme

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rosario Vampire CAPU 2: Enough is Enough

Come to think of it, back when I heard the second series for Rosario Vampire is coming out, I thought, this is going to be a one episode throw away. Well, somehow I ended up watching two more episodes before I realized how utterly horrible it is. If you ask me to describe it with one word, it would be "tasteless". I can't even believe that I actually finished the whole first season! With 30+ ongoing animes on my active watch list, I cannot afford to waste time one series that is so tasteless.

Final rating (out of 5): 1.5 out of 5 ~ Tasteless