Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ride Back: Intensified

Currently finished: Episode 6

It was a interesting start, and it just keeps getting more and more exciting. It's like one of those stories that the main character always end up in the wrong place at the wrong time where she has to use her exceptional talent to get herself out of it, except in this case, instead of falling into the event, the main character kind of throws herself into it.

The story keeps a very good balance between the action in the foreground and the plot development in the background. The result is you get the excitement while watching it, yet don't have the feeling of emptiness afterward as most action flicks tend to do.

New score: 85 (Previous: 78)

To Aru Majutsu no Index: I Have a Bad Feeling about This

Currently finished: Episode 20

Even though the name of the anime is To Aru Majutsu no Index, the anime itself has spent more than half of its time on stories that are almost completely unrelated to Index. With only six episodes left to go, I start to get this uneasy feeling that this anime is going to finish with an anticlimactic ending that is even worse then Rental Magica. At this point, the sub-plots are scattered all over the places that I don't see how it is possible to build the final arc so that all sub-plots contribute to it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

[New OVA] Higurashi no Naku Koroni Rei

By now everybody should have already seen Higurashi no Naku Koroni. If you haven't, give yourself a good slap and go watch it. And don't stop until you finish both series.

For those who have seen the whole series, Higurashi no Naku Koroni Rei is nothing like the previous OVA, Higurashi no Naku Kuroni Nekogoroshi-hen. While the Nekogoroshi-hen tries to tell another somewhat plot-related horror story, Rei so far seems to be only a comedy filler arc. This is the kind of things you would question the motive of the producer. It seems all they're trying to do is squeeze on the franchise a little more to see how many people are willing to throw money at it.


Score (so far): 70

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Tower of Druaga The Sword of Uruk: WTF? Seriously, WTF?

Currently finished: Episode 7

In the earlier episodes, it seemed like the we're finally going to deal away with all those nonsenses and start to build a real story. But no, only after two episodes of what I call "normal" content, the story took a sharp turn and start to jump all over the places in the world of nonsense again. Just what the hell was the storywriter/director thinking when they made this? At this point, I seriously doubt that by the end of the series, they'll have enough "real" content to fill up a single short season. This is ridiculous. Keep putting out craps like this, no wonder Gonzo had a 3.7 billion Yen deficit last year.

New score: 65 (Previous: 78) ~ Utterly Crap

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tales of the Abyss: Time to...Die?

Currently finished: Episode 20

In the recent episodes, semi-important people are dropping dead left and right. While most of them are what you would considered unfortunate or unavoidable, some of them just feels it's been set up that way so they can add some more death toll to the story...

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with important characters dying in the story. In fact, I like stories that has deaths of major characters because it makes good tragedy material. However, the effect of death of characters aren't always equal. It actually feels so much less satisfactory when the story writer decide to kill off a character just because he/she feels like it. Quality tragedy caused by well constructed plot is great. But cheap death, in my opinion is worse than cheap ways to save a characters' lives.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

White Album: The Case of Mr Nice Guy

Currently finished: Episode 6

So far this story is like a complicated version of To Heart. While the circumstance and environment are different, the concept is the same: The main guy (in this case, not a douche) is being a "Mr Nice Guy" who tries to help out everybody (especially the girls) around him. The problem, as it was demonstrated in To Heart, is that fact he is not omnipotent and something is just out of his reach. The result, usually is he end up hurting someone that he cares about most.

Unlike many other type of drama, this kind of story doesn't usually have a primary villain who works against the goal of the main character, because the main guy himself is his worst enemy. The end, usually is about how he would come to the realization of this very fact and makes the the ultimate choice on who he really cares about the most.

While this kind of story is very predictable, it still fits somewhat into my interest of seeing the struggle and suffering people in the story have to go through. The only shortcoming would be the fact that it usually ends well for all parties involved where I would much prefer to see stories where it ends badly.

Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai: Now The New Stuff

Currently finished: Episode 5

After five episodes of retelling the Munto and Munto II story, we're finally going to see what will happened after Munto II's end. If you liked Munto series but don't want to re-watch some slightly different retelling of the two Munto story, you can actually start watching this series from episode 6. Though there are some more explaination about what's going on with the world, I don't think you're missing much by skipping the first 5 episodes if you have seen the Munto I and II OVA.

But if it has been a while since you watched Munto OVA, I would recommend you go ahead watch the first 5 episode so it helps you refresh your memory about the world in Munto. If you've never seen Munto OVA before, there would be no need to watch it because the first 5 episodes are scene-by-scene replay of the two OVAs, literally.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo: Out of Their Mind

Currently finished: Episode 6

Remember I said in my initial post that this anime is a huge WTF? Five more episodes later, not only did that not change, it had gotten worse. Most animes that started off with a WTF usually become more and more clear what's going as the plot moves forward, but somehow Sora Kake Girl's plot seems to have the opposite effect...

At this point, it has become one of those animes that is so piled up with WTFs that I just can't drop it any more because I want to know exactly what this is all about. I think I'll actually be less interested in it if it starts to explain what's going on right now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th: Getting Heavy

Currently finished: Episode 6

Maria-sama ga Miteru is one of the few animes I like that is ultra heavy on shoujo element. Most shoujo animes I encountered tend to get overly whiny or repetitive where I just have to give it up. Maria-sama ga Miteru is not like that. By throwing in some dry humor here and there, they managed to keep a good balance between the shoujo and comedy. But I think that is about to change.

Things has been getting pretty heavy lately, in emotion that is. I recall something similar to this towards the end of season two, but that was short and the series wrapped up soon afterwards. With half season left to go, this time it could potentially get a lot heavier than season two.

[New January 2009] Hetalia: Axis Power

Genres: Comedy / Ultra Short
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Retarded

Summary: Personified countries around the world acting...retarded

First impression score: 75 ~ Retarded

Personal comments: It is retaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarded.

Kurokami: Punch Away

Currently finished: Episode 5

Kurokami is one of those mediocre animes that is sitting on the edge of my list which I don't want to just throw away, yet I don't have any urge to see the next episode. I wouldn't exactly call it bad because there are enough stuff packed in each episode to still make it somewhat interesting to watch. It's just that it feels...unpolished. Take the fighting scenes for example, so far it's really the same thing over and over again: punch, punch, punch, punch, and more punch. It may look cool at first, but once you see the same thing ten billion times, you might as well fast forward through them because you know they'll just first throw punches at each other and then the good guy going to throw a "super punch" to win the fight. This is the exact reason why I don't watch garbages like Naruto or DBZ.

Current score: 70 (Previous: 80) ~ Monotonous

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

White Album: *&%$#@?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Currently finished: Episode 5

Animes like White Album never fail to amaze me. At about half way through episode 5, my jaw dropped open and hung open for about next 5 minutes. While the the action of one of the character caused the jaw dropping at first place, it was the lack of reaction from the other caused my jaw to stay open. But come to think of it, this kind of events are somewhat common in show biz animes. Sometime I wonder whether Japanese show biz or even the world of show biz in general is really as cruel as the animes made out to be.

New score: 87 (Previous: 82) Wow

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Slayers Evolution-R: Running Out of Ideas

Currently finished: Episode 4

I think it's pretty obvious that the writers for Slayers series are running out of ideas. Though Slayers tend to go all over the random places, I don't think it has been this bad. So far the wacky comedy is still semi-interesting. But I think I'm slowly running out of patience. They need to either start developing the main plot or come up with some new way to make people laugh.

Viper's Creed: Beyond Hack and Slash

Currently finished: Episode 3

At first I thought it would just be another hack and slash action anime. Now it seems that it's actually going to have some depth to the story. The story actually start to remind me more and more of Bakuretsu Tenshi, which is one of my favorite action animes.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chrome Shelled Regios: Wha......

Currently finished: Episode 3

Every time just as I thought I figured out what's going on with the story, a new "WTF" just pops out of nowhere. So far, asides from some regular character building, everything else has been a series of "WTF". At this point, it's actually more amusing than frustrating. Instead of trying to figure everything out and make sense of all the events, I think I'll just let it sail and see where it would eventually end up.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

[Dropped] Asu no Yoichi: Same O' Stuff

The "urban samurai" idea has been used countless times in animes and mangas. Asu no Yoichi is just another one that tries to beat on it one more time to see whether the audience would fall for it. Though it's not as bad as some other animes, I'd still say this is the borderline "tasteless". If you've never seen this genre, you may still be somewhat amused. Otherwise you'd probably feel the same way I do.

Score: 60

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

[Dropped] Genji Monogatari Sennenki: Cultural Barrier

As I thought earlier, this series is just way too deep into the Japanese history that it doesn't matter how hard I try, I just couldn't get into it. The cultural barrier is something that is very difficult to pass, especially when everything I know about the society is learned through watching animes (lol).

I'm not going to pretend that I understand it. Therefore it is pointless to keep spending my time on it. Because of this exact reason, I'm not going to rate this anime either. I'll just leave that to the "experts".

One thing I did learn, from the few episodes I've watched, is that incest not only big part of modern Japanese culture, it also has a very long history :-)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Maria Holic: The Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei Syndrom

Currently finished: Episode 3

Many people in the anime community liked Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, but I was only fond of it for no more than half of the season. The problem I felt, is the fact they took a very creative concept and squeeze it over and over again, until there's nothing good is coming out of it any more, then beat on it a couple more times just in case there's something left in it. That, in my opinion is exactly what's wrong with the animes/cartoons that are originated in United States, which sometimes you do see it being used in animes that are originated in Japan. Without trying to stay on the creative side, but simply keep squeezing on one concept, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei manage to make me completely lose interest because it had gotten so repetitive and monotonous.

So, you ask, why is Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei is relevant to Maria Holic? Because Maria Holic start to feel more and more like a clone of Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei. However, this doesn't automatically let me give "fail" tag to it, because in the past there are anime series that have showed the signs of "Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei syndrome", but still managed to stay on the creative side and avoid getting boringly repetitive (Hyakko for example). After a couple more episodes, I should be able to tell whether it's able to shake off the "infection" or be dragged into the dark abyss. Let's hope for the best.