Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hetalia Axis Power: Nice

Currently finished: Episode 8

Just want to show this screen cap to everybody. Now, carry on...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

[OVA] Higurashi no Naku Koroni Rei

Currently finished: Episode 2

So apparently the episode one of Higurashi no Naku Koroni Rei is the only filler episode in this OVA series. Episode two is the beginning of a new arc, Saikoroshi-hen (賽殺し編), where it continues from the end of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, that they have solved the puzzle and everybody survived. Then something unimaginable happened (sorry, no spoiler in my blog, if you really want to spoil it yourself, go wikipedia it) and we're back into this revolving story once again.

Even though I'm still a huge fan of Higurashi, I just can't help to wonder how long can they squeeze on this single idea before nothing good could come out of it.

Score (so far): 85 (Previous: 70) ~ There is indeed a plot...

Monday, March 23, 2009

April 2009 New Anime Season Preview

April is one of the bigger anime seasons of the the year, it is no exception this year. Even though it's not nearly as big as October season, there are still 24 new series that I believe to have good potentials. Adding 24 new animes onto my list is no laughing matter. But luckily, most January seasons are short series. So my time slot should be able to start to free up when the April new season arrives. Let's take a quick look at what April has for us:


In a gothic fantasy world, a orphaned slave with mystical past are being chased by the force of Empire.

Forecast: The art work sure look nice, the story also sounds interesting

Asura Cryin'

A story revolve around a boy who's haunted by a ghost girl who is his childhood friend. (?!)

Forecast: Sounds interesting enough...


A Sports sci-fi (seriously?!) anime about basketball...

I don't know, sports anime usually doesn't last too long for me...

Before Green Gables

Prequel to supposedly famous Anne Shirley book series.

Forecast: I don't know, somehow I don't see this one lasting long...

Cobra: Rokunin no Yuushi

It's either a re-make or a sequel to a really really old anime called Space Adventure Cobra, which is a story about space pirate.

Forecast: I'm already not liking its art style....

Eden of the East

From the author of Honey and Clover, comes a story about a girl who met a man with mysterious past.

Forecast: I loved Honey and Clover, I will hold this one to the same high standards as well

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The second TV series to Fullmetal Alchemist.

Forecast: I was never a huge fan of the first series, but I'm willing to see what they have to offer in this new series...

Guin Saga

In a fantasy world, a person named Guin who lost his memory roams around the country to save people from demonic creatures.

Forecast: Looks like a typical fantasy anime, 50/50 it'll go either way...

Hanasakeru Seishounen

Seems to be a story for gal who's forced into a arranged political/business marriage.

Forecast: I do like the art. The story is based on an 80's manga. I think it's most likely a keeper.

Hatsukoi Gentei

From the author of Ichigo 100%, comes a complicated story of love lives of eight school girls.

Forecast: I actually read some of the Hatsukoi Gentei manga. And I loved Ichigo 100%. This one is a keeper.


Story about a high school music club.

Forecast: Not so sure about this...

Gokujou!! Mecha Mote Linchou

No clue what's about, but from the name, it has something to do with student body president.

Forecast: Looks a bit too childish...

Natsu no Arashi

A boy meets an older girl, then something strange happens.

Forecast: Sounds too wild, I'll mark it as maybe...

Pandora Hearts

Something to do with magic, not exactly sure what the story is yet. But it looks pretty. I was actually planning to start reading the manga.

Forecast: Looks very pretty, but having learned the lesson from Nabari no Ou, pretty anime isn't necessarily good...

Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~

A story about some assassin. That reminds me I need to dig out the OVA and finish it before I start to watch this...

Forecast: I might be able to tell you more once I watched the OVA...

Queen's Blade

In a country that the Queen is selected by a tournament every 4 years, many worriors comes from different places to compete.

Forecast: Hm...Girls, with big boobs, dressed in chainmail bikini beating each other up. What could go wrong here?

Ristorante Paradiso

Seems to be a story about a restruaunt. That's all I can find out...

Forecast: Both the art and story seems similar to Bartender, which was an excellent anime. I'll put this one down as maybe.


A girl who's very skill with Mahjong got dragged into the mahjong club. But she hates Mahjong.

Forecast: I always liked playing mahjong, I think this one ought to be interesting.

Sengoku Basara

A story occurs during the warring period in Japan.

Forecast: I'm not that interested in Japanese history, this probably gonna get dropped early...


Another story based off the whole global warming crap.

Forecast: It's made by Gonzo, in the past I'd have high expectation, but not any more...

Tears to Tiara

Another typical fantasy adventure story that was originally a visual novel by Leaf.

Forecast: After seeing White Album, I'm really not that impressed Leaf any more. This can go either way...

Valkyria Chronicles

A war anime about the world in a fictional 1930's world.

Forecast: War and politics, if made well, it could be a really good one.

Shinkyoku Sokai Polyphonica Crimson S

Continues where the first series left off.

Forecast: Looking forward to it, mostly because I want to know the back stories about Crimson Annihilate.

Tayutama - Kiss on my Diety -

Another fox diety anime?

Forecast: Japanese sure has a fetish on fox ears and tails...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

[ONA] Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuutsu

Everybody should be familiar with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by now. This Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuutsu (or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya-chan), is a chibi-style anime shorts that is released over Internet through Youtube. It features the full original voice cast for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. If you're familiar with the original story, you would find it quite entertaining.

[Ended] To Aru Majutsu no Index: The End?!

My fear had come true. The end of Index is not really the end of the story, it's just an end of a regular arc, not even a snowballed arc. I think I named this the Rental Magica Syndrome a while back since that's the first anime I reviewed in my blog has such problem.

Obviously, the epilogue is telling us there is already a sequel in production, so this is merely the end of the first segment of a multi-season series. So this is really no more than a mid-season break.

One other problem with the series, is the fact it doesn't really have a overarching main plot. Usually, it makes the series a light drama by definition. In this case, however, Index isn't really quite fitted to be a light drama because light drama tend to have only loosely coupled elements between different arcs where as in Index, several arcs are actually closely related.

The story is far from complete. Just like Vampire Knigh, Tower of Druaga, Index is meant to be a two parter (or multi-parter) where for some odd reason they decided to not to run the whole thing at once. In certain aspect it's a good idea because it could avoid the problem of having too much garbage fillers that comsumes a good series and turn them into something completely worthless like they did to Bleach. However, I think they need a better execution. Shakugan no Shana is a primal example of how a multi-season story can be made where there isn't too much hanging loose at the end of the season.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 85 (Definitely enough of that)
Comedy: 80 (Some funny parts)
Action: 90 (Great action scenes)
Art/Animation: 90 (Very nice)
Sound/Music: 95 (Great BGM)
Character: 85 (Lots of them...)
Plot: 75 (Too loose)
Ending: 60 (It's not...)

Re-watch value: 60 (Some parts are still entertaining)

Overall (not average): 80 ~ There is no ending yet...

Recommendation: I'm pretty positive they'll make a second season of it. As it stands right now, it has lots of potential. A proper termination to the story in the next season would be great. It may upset you for the lack of ending, but I think it's still a worth a while anime to watch.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

[Backlog][ONA] Hoshizora Kiseki (星空キセキ)

This is a simple story of a girl who likes astronomy discovers how she came to such affection towards the stars in the sky. Too many things in this story are just all too ambiguous. After finishing the anime, all I can say is "Huh?" It's not quite the level of "WTF?", but it's definitely in that region. The unique thing about this anime, is that they did not go with the general trend of "sacrifice one, save the rest" plot line that most stories nowaday adopt. The "why should I have to sacrifice myself for the greater good" question become the key issue when it comes to the conclusion of the story.

In my opinion, this anime really doesn't have much to offer. So unless you really have too much time to burn. Don't bother with it.

Score: 70

Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th: The Soft Spot

Currently finished: Episode 11

For some unknown reason, I always had a soft spot for the characters in Maria-sama ga Miteru series. While I always wish for the worst for characters in other story, I can't seem to bring myself do so here. Maybe it's the fact the characters in this story are all too perfect, I can't seem to pin down a single flaw in their personality and wish someone could exploit it. Or maybe it's the fact everybody in this story is too pure and innocent that I couldn't stand to watch them suffer. Whatever the reason is, this anime seems always make me to take pity on the characters whereas for most other animes, I just want to see the people in them suffer.

Friday, March 20, 2009

[Ended] Sora o Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Seka: Not So Good

When it started, I didn't realize this series is only 9 episodes. With the first six episodes being the scene-by-scene replay of the first two Munto OVA's, the last three episode really could just been seen as Munto OVA III.

To be honest, after seeing the end of this story, I wish that they would have just left it at the end of the second OVA. Although the end of TV series brings closure to the story, it's not a very satisfying one. It really is just a series of miracles that turns the inevitable to something else. That's the type of ending I really really don't like. Nevertheless, it did explain everything that needs an explaination. So I guess it does have its value.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 75 (Not that good)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 80 (Ok, I guess)
Art/Animation: 80 (Pretty close to the original)
Sound/Music: 75 (Not that impressive)
Character: 80 (Somewhat flawed)
Plot: 80 (Only 1/3 is new...)
Ending: 70 (kind of cheap...)

Re-watch value: 30 (No need to)

Overall (not average): 77 ~ The OVA is better in my opinion...

Recommendation: If you really have to see what's after Munto II, just grab episode 7~9, because the first 6 are scene by scene replay of first two OVAs. If you've never seen Munto OVA, I don't think you're missing much. I think there are a lot better animes to spend your time on.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

[OVA] Switch

This is a pretty intense police anime about undercover Japanese DEA agents and local drug lords. Though the story falls in the general category of hot-headed inexperienced brats almost causing the whole plan to to fall apart, it still has some uniqueness of its own. Besides, being only two short episodes, there are really not much fillers at all, making the plotline very tight.

When I saw the first episode, I speculated that some yaoi element might surface in the second episode. But in the end, I guess they really didn't have time to put them in, or they just didn't feel there's the need to turn it into a yaoi themed anime.

Overall, I think this is quite a good OVA series that is worth watching.

Score: 88 ~ Intense

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Viper's Creed: This is Good

Currently finished: Episode 9

I have to say so far Viper's Creed is the biggest surprise for this season, surprisingly good that is. When I saw the synopsis and first episode, I thought it's just going to be another shallow action anime follows a simple plot. But I was totally wrong. There are a lot more twists and turns than I expected. I would crown it

Action-Drama Anime of the Season for January 2009 Season

This is only a 12-episode short series. Since it spent almost half of the series on the background stories for all the main characters, it makes the main plot feels a bit too compacted. That may not be a bad thing though, since long series tend to overextend and have too much filler.

New Score: 88 (Previous: 80) ~ Twists and Turns

The Tower of Druaga The Sword of Uruk: Converged

Currently finished: Episode 10

I've been bashing this series ever since its first season. But after seeing the most recent episodes, I start to see the caliber of complexity of the story that I do not see early on. It start to feel like the layout almost similar to Stand Alone Complex or Dennou Coil where there are drop-in blocks all over the place, but they only become useful towards the end.

However, even though the cleverness of the plot layout changes my opinion towards the overall story, I still think they have sidetracked way too much throughout the series. If they compact some parts and get rid of all the fillers, I think they could fit the whole story into a single season. That would have been much better.

New Score: 80 (Previous: 65) ~ Connecting the dots

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

[Ended] Clannad After Story: Why, Why, Why

My fear about this anime had come true: not only they dismissed all tragic elements of the story from early on, in my opinion, they dismissed them using one of the worst possible method.

I understand that to please the masses, they want to end the story in a way that is acceptable to the mass. But this ending is one of those "unreasonable turning point" where the miracle just pops out without any real justification. This kind of ending just feels cheap. Personally, I think 9 minutes into the last episode would be a better ending point for the story.

Nevertheless, Clannad After Story did somewhat satisfied my craving for tragedy a little bit. It has already gone into a lot of regions of tragedy where most animes wouldn't go. Still, they could have done better.

Final scoreboard (out of 100):

Drama: 95 (Intense)
Comedy: 85 (And still funny)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 90 (Beautiful art work)
Sound/Music: 85 (Gread BGM)
Character: 95 (In-depth development)
Plot: 80 (Some contents are borrowed from their other works)
Ending: 75 (Went too far...)

Re-watch value: 70 (The first half would still be funny, but the second half wouldn't give you the same feeling)

Overall (not average): 83 ~ Only if it had ended differently

Recommendation: This is a tough call, because the first half of the anime really doesn't have much to offer. But even though they're somewhat waste of time, they're still somewhat essential for the plot development so you can't really skip them. So it makes the whole series feels like a waste of time. For those who like tragedies as much as I do, you probably going to get some satisfaction but disappointed by the ending, but it's still worth watching. For everybody else, if you like the first series or the movie, you probably would like this. Otherwise, there's no need to waste your time on it.

[Movie] The Sky Crawler

This story happens in a world where forever peace has been achieved. But in order to keep peace, there's need for war. So two companies are contracted to fight an endless war. The plot follows the life of a fighter pilot that works for one of the company.

This is as much summary as I'll give out, any more in my opinion would have spoiled the plot.

This is not an anime that you simply watch for "entertainment". This is a epic story to make you think, or even initiate a philosophical debate. On top of that, the pace of the story is not very fast. So if you don't have patience for a stories like this, don't bother to waste your time on it.

This movie is directed by the director of Ghost in the Shell movie and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. If you look carefully, you could definitely see the subtle similarities among them.

Score: 88 ~ Epic

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Skip Beat: The Perfect Balance

Currently finished: Episode 22

I said in my last post about Skip Beat that it is a blend of many things. Now I would like to add that it is almost the perfect blend of everything it has.

From very serious drama to falling on the floor laughing comedy, Skip Beat managed to keep the perfect balance between them. Another recent anime that I can think of having such a big contrast in mood is Clannad series. However, compare to Skip Beat, Clannad swings a bit too extreme to both end of the spectrum, where as Skip Beat only try to swing within the distance of what feels natural. This, in my opinion is the nearly perfect (if not the perfect) comedy-drama.

Maria Holic: Comedy of the Season

Currently finished: Episode 9

I don't think I can describe very well in words how funny and perverted this anime has become, so I'll just leave it to yourself to experience. And I'll just go ahead crown Maria Holic

Comedy Anime of the Season for January 2009 Season

White Album: The Case of Mr Nice Guy, Part 2

Currently finished: Episode 9

Ever since the second episode, every time I watch White Album, I want to slap someone or punch someone in the story. Most time it's the main guy.

Once you've seen enough of the "Mr Nice Guy" story, you actually learn an important lesson for life: Being nice is ok, but being too nice usually isn't. Because it often results in the situation of carrying too much responsibility. Sooner or later it'll reach the limit of a single person could carry, but everybody else still expect to pile on more. The end result is somebody is going to get hurt from it.

Ok, enough about how I see this story as a lesson for life, let's get back to the story. In many aspect, part of it start to look like a chunk of Nana, where all relationship start to fall apart. The difference, though, is that the person receiving the favor from the main guy actually tried and successfully prevented the main guy making a mistake. Good for her.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sora Kake Girl: Ahhhhh~~~~~~~ x2

I know I just screamed about this anime just a couple of posts ago, but I just can't help it, to scream, again, only after one episode,


[Dropped] Kuragane no Linebarrels

Gonzo was once my most favorite anime production studio, but with Kuragane no Linebarrels as the final blow, I will no longer favor Gonzo's anime over other other production studio in the future.

Kuragane no Linebarrels, is not nearly as bad of an anime as some of their other recent works (e.g. Tower of Druaga). But some other factor causes it to slip down to the absolute bottom on the list of 20-some onging anime series that I actively follow. So when there's a shortage on time, it's the first to go.

In my opinion, the problem lies partially in the fact they made the main character too big of a douche in the beginning. He was so douche early on, no matter what he does in the later episode, he'll always be remembered as the "douche who got superpower". That really seals the fate of this anime, because douche bags is just something I couldn't stand for long period of time. And that is the reason Linebarrels get dumped before Tower of Druaga.

Dropout score: 55 ~ Disappointing

Saturday, March 7, 2009

[New OVA] Denpa teki na Kanojo (電波的な彼女)

This is a relatively short (40 minutes) and strange story. How strange you ask? Well, this story is by the author of Kurenai, if you have seen Kurenai, you can probably get an idea of the strangeness of this story. And just like Kurenai, it's strange, but not enough to be called bizarre yet.

The interesting thing about this story, I think, it's the fact most part of the anime is about these bizarre and strange events. In the end, everything is explained by a couple of clips that each run no more than 10 seconds that are inserted throughout the main storyline. It was quite brilliant.

Denpa teki na Kanojo literally means "electromagnetic girl". Being "electromagnetic", I recall in Japanese slang, is somewhat equivalent a nutcase as we call it in English.

Score: 85 ~ Strange and Interesting

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai: Got What I wanted

Currently finished: Episode 7

For those who liked Munto but confused by it, we finally got an explanation about everything. Though some parts are still a bit iffy, the key concept and history of the world in the story have been explained. That, itself is enough to earn at least a passing grade from me for this anime.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo: Ahhhhh~~~~~~~

Currently finished: Episode 8


With that, I will award it:

WTF of January 2009 Anime Season

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Prince of Tennis Final OVA: Ridiculous!

I don't even know where should I start, the fact this is one of the most ridiculous thing I've seen lately, or this anime completely destroys the image of tennis as a sport.

After 6 long years, we finally get to see the end of this sports saga. Sometimes I can't believe that I'm actually watching this.

Ok, that's it, I'm done talking about this anime. I'm going to bury it deeply in my memory and try to pretend that I've never seen such an anime.

Kuroshitsuji: God coming?

Currently finished: Episode 18

Alright, first we have the Devil, then we met the Grim Reaper, now the Angel decide to crash the party. So, are we going to see God in the grand finale?

By having the Devil on the good guy's side, they portrayed the Angel in a very interesting way.

At the current rate, I somehow doubt they'll be able to resolve the mainline by the end of the series. But it's very typical for an anime that is based off an ongoing manga. I just hope they don't hang it like they did in Trinity Blood.

New score: 85 (Previous: 80) ~ Epic

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th: Quests and Solutions

Currently finished: Episode 7

By the end of this season, there are two things I would like to have answers to: whether Touko would become Yumi's sister, and who would become the next White Rose. The White Rose situation is a question I had since season one, but the Touko problem, I never thought it would become an issue until recently.

Clannad After Story: Sad to the Touch

Currently finished: Episode 19

If you aren't ready to shed some tears, you should never watch anything produced by Key/VisualArt, because that's what they do.

Early episodes of Clannad After Story have been nothing but fillers. Though it somewhat contributed to the major event, I think they're insignificant enough that the story would work just as well without them.

The recent episodes, however, has been giant waves of sadness that I constantly finding tears silently escaping my eyes. It's a beautiful yet sad story. Even though I knew what was coming (I've seen the movie), I still couldn't prepare myself for the highly intense emotional moment that knocked me over like a small tree in a hurricane. But this is why I love tragedies. There's nothing else could give you the kind of stir in emotion like this.

While I'm happy about getting the dose of tragedy, there are still something that concerns me: There are four more episodes yet to come, and at the rate they're going, they might completely erase the effect of tragedy and turn it into a big happy ending. I'd much rather see they to continue play up on the sadness instead of reversing it. They're going to ruin a perfect tragedy.

New score: 90 (Previous: 87) ~ All the sadness