Sunday, April 26, 2009

Basquash: The Dark Horse


Currently finished: Episode 3

Scifi + Sports? Mecha + Basketball? When I first heard about what this anime's concept is, I thought there couldn't be any more retarded idea for a story. But to my surprise, this is actually one of the better animes from this season.

While I still think the concept of this anime is ridiculous, I'm loving everything else about this anime. Fast paced plot, thrilling actions, and interesting personalities make this anime the dark horse of this season.

So far I would recommend this anime to most people who like fast paced action filled anime. But if you were the type of people that just couldn't get over a silly concept to be able to fully appreciate this anime, then you probably don't want to bother with it.

Queen's Blade: Fighting = Stripping?


Currently finished: Episode 4

I didn't think there could be an anime that is worse than Ikkitousen in terms of using fan service in place of fighting scenes. Queen's Blade has proven me wrong. It seems that when a fight broke out in this anime, whoever gets to strip the opponent bare first wins the fight. While it is still somewhat amusing at the moment, it does make me wonder how long they can keep it up on coming up with new and creative ideas on how to strip someone in a sword fight.

Natsu no Arashi: It's going to get wacky


Recognize the couple on the left?

Currently finished: Episode 3

Through the on-screen note of the fansubber (which you usually don't get watching the official subs such as crunchyroll), I learned that the original author of Natsu no Arashi is also the original author of School Rumble series. That explains why the style looks somewhat familiar. Knowing what School Rumble is like, I think Natsu no Arashi is going to get a lot more wackier than what it is right now.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

[New OVA] Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari (異世界の聖機師物語)


Official website: http://www.seikishi.com/

Currently finished: Episode 1

Supposedly this is a Tenchi Muyo!'s spinoff. The guy showing in the picture suppose to be Tenchi's half brother. The story, however, takes place in a different universe. It's been so long since I last watched Tenchi Muyo! and I almost don't remember a thing from it any more. But I do recognize the main guy looks very much like Tenchi.

The story, is massively confusing because it starts off by jumping right into the action, without any explaination of background or technology or any of the weird stuff they 're doing. Knowing this is a Tenchi spin off, harem is almost a necessity. And that was made clear towards the end of episode 1 of the OVA.

The length of the OVA is set to be 13, I wonder why don't they just air it as a TV series...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Asura Cryin: Utterly Confused


Currently finished: Episode 3

This is one of those animes that more I watch, more confused I get. By the end of episode one, I thought I got a hang of what's going on. Then episode two and three roll around, I felt I understood less than I started. Sure I can go wikipedia out the answer, but what's the fun of that?

Hatsukoi Limited:This is going to get complicated...


Currently finished: Episode 2

If the second episode is an indication of what to come, this story is going to get complicated and interesting pretty quick. I don't think the mapping of relations are going to get nearly as complicated or messed up as School Rumble, nor do I foresee the drama gets as big as Nana. Knowing the author of the manga, who also wrote Ichigo 100%, there is probably going to some large circular mesh of relationships in the near future. The problem, though, is the fact this is only a 12-episode series. At the current rate, which is one "pair" per episode, we can barely get that chart started by the end of series. And if they follow suit of what they did with Ichigo 100%, we probably never going to see the parts where it start to get really interesting. Reading the manga may be the only way to know what kind of interesting things are going to happen.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity-: Ear! Ear!!!


Currently finished: Episode 2

Ok, she made attempts to hide her tail, but, but, but, the ear! Why would anybody think that's hair style?!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

[New OVA] Koihime Musou OVA: Oh God....


After successfully destroying the ancient classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms with near Hentai material, the producers of Koihime Musou seem to think that wasn't enough. So he went ahead and made the OVA, which is pretty close to be X-rated.

As for recommendation, if you want to watch Hentai that much, go watch a real Hentai anime, you wouldn't be satisfied with a half ass job like this. And if you don't like the concept of borrowing characters from the ancient classic, then you probably wouldn't want to watch this abomination at first place. So unless you have too much time to burn, or you're like me, trying to catalog all animes in existence, you probably don't want to bother with this one.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

[New April 2009] Hatsukoi Limited (初恋限定)


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1424.html
Genres: High School Romance Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A story about a group of high school and middle school student's first love.

First impression score: 80 ~ Errr....

Personal comments: The author of this series is also the author of Ichigo 100%, which I thought was a very interesting anime. The author, must have some kind of fetish with girls' panties, because both Hatsukoi Limited and Ichigo 100% has some focus on girls'. In fact, it was the panty that started the story of Ichigo 100%.

[New April 2009] Slap Up Party -Arad Senki-


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1398.html
Genres: Fantasy / Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A swordsman Baron is traveling around the world to find a cure for his demonic left arm.

First impression score: 60 ~ Retarded

Personal comments: It looks like Gonzo hasn't learned their lesson on why they're so far into deficit. This is yet another stupid low grade anime that is put out by them after The Tower of Druaga. I don't have time to waste on this. It is going directly to the trash.

[New April 2009] Ristorante Paradiso


Info: (Official) http://www.rispara.tv/
Watch Online: Simulcasted on crunchyroll http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Ristorante_Paradiso
Genres: Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Nicoletta came to Rome to find her mother, who has re-married a guy owns a restaurant called Casetta Dell'orso, where everybody works there is middle aged man with glasses.

First impression score: 78 ~ Too weird

Personal comments: I don't know what to think. It's just too weird of a story...

Monday, April 13, 2009

[New April 2009] Eden of the East (東のエデン)


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1397.html
Genres: Mystery / Comedy / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: When Saki Morimi is on her graduation trip in America, she ran into a naked man who lost his memory in front of the White House (!!). After a series of events, they end up going back to Japan together.

First impression score: 80 ~ Err.....

Personal comments: So many things in this first episode are just not right. I mean a naked man with a pistol, in front of the White House, somehow managed to evade police chase? And who would just give a naked guy his pants right on the street? As for somewhat who just lost his memory, he seems extremely calm. This is another work from the author of Honey and Clover. So regardless how outrageous it may seems at the moment, I still have faith in it to become a great story.

[New April 2009] Hanasakeru Seishounen (花咲ける青少年)


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1413.html
Genres: Romance Drama / Reverse Harem
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Kajika is the daughter of the owner of big company. One day her father tells her she has a destiny. But he will only tell her after she's married. Then he asked her to participate a marriage game that she would unknowingly meet three men of his choice and decide who or whether she'll marry.

First impression score: 80 ~ Rushed

Personal comments: Supposedly this was a very popular 80's manga. Episode one, feels like they're trying to pack too much in too quickly. It feels that many things are being rushed.

[New April 2009] Guin Saga


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1414.html
Genres: Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Parro has been invaded by Mongaul. The prince and princess of Parro managed to escape but trapped in a forest with filled with demonic creatures. When they're about to be captured, a leopard-headed man saves them.

First impression score: 77 ~ Confusing

Personal comments: Supposedly Guin Saga is the longest running single writer book currently at volume 126. I didn't see anything in particular that stands out from episode one. If it doesn't get interesting soon, I might just drop it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

[New April 2009] 07-Ghost


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1384.html
Genres: Action / Fantasy / Scifi
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A boy named Teito who doesn't have memory about his past is about to graduate from a military academy of Barsburg Empire. But after a series of events, he became a fugitive that is being hunted by the Barsburg Empire military.

First impression score: 80 ~ Confusing

Personal comments: Fan girls, if you have to pick one anime to watch this month, this is it. There are lots of pretty boy in this anime. So far the story is quite confusing, because no background information has been given and everybody is just using that seemingly magical power at their will. I hope they explain some of them in the next couple of episodes.

[New April 2009] Gokujou!! Mecha Mote Iinchou (極上!!めちゃモテ委員長)


Info: (Official) http://mechamote.tv/
Download: N/A
Genres: School Drama / Children's
I've watched: 0.1 episode

Summary: Story about SBP in some high school.

First impression score: 65 ~ Blah

Personal comments: I never planned to really watch this series, I only grabbed it because the torrent is there. Everything looks childish, obviously its target audience are children. One other thing, I'm not 100% sure, but it looks like the animation is done using cel-shaded 3D object mixed with 2D surface texture for faces and clothes. The reason made me think so is that the movement of all characters are a bit unatural, almost mechanical.

[New April 2009] Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood


Info: (Official) http://www.hagaren.jp/
Download: Fansub by Eclipse http://eclipse.no-sekai.de/
Watch Online: Funimation provides web streaming http://www4.funimation.com/video/?page=show&b=280
Genres: Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Supposed to be a retelling of the original Fullmetal Alchemist story that follows the manga more closely.

First impression score: 85 ~ Exciting start

Personal comments: Though I was never a huge fan of Fullmetal Alchemist, the first episode of this new series still got me excited about this series. If they can manage to keep up the excitements like the first episode, it would definitely be a series that worth watching.

[New April 2009] Tears to Tiara


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1417.html
Genres: Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: In a fantasy land, Riannon, who possesses the ancient blood that could wake up the evil lord, was caught by someone who wants to rule the world using the evil lord's power.

First impression score: 70 ~ Slow and uneventful

Recognized voice talent: Yoko Goto (後藤邑子) as Riannon. She's probably most famous as Asahina from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. In most other animes, including Tears to Tiara, she sounds much different than Asahina. Only other anime I can think of she sounds like Asahina is Lamune.

Personal comments: This was a game produced by AQUAPlus, which was also the creator of To Heart series and White Album. So far none of them had left a positive impression for me, and the opening episode of Tears to Tiara didn't do much better either. It was a very slow and uneventful start, the plot is just not moving anywhere fast. This might be a goner by the next episode.

[New April 2009] Basquash!


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1386.html
Genres: Action / Comedy / Sports / Scifi
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: On a planet far far away, a sports called Big Foot Basketball is very popular. It's basketball played with giant mecha called Big Foot. A boy named Dan fundamentally changed how the sports was played.

First impression score: 80 ~ Stunning

Personal comments: I have a pretty low tolerance level for most sports animes. And the idea of combining scifi with conventional sports is just ridiculous, at least that's what I thought. I was ready to dump this anime before I even started watching when I found out what it's about, but I decided to give it a shot. I have to say, the first episode kind of got me interested to see where they're going with the story.

[New April 2009] Natsu no Arashi! (夏のあらし!)


Info: (Official) http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/natsunoarashi/
Download: Fansub available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Watch Online: Simulcasted on Crunchyroll http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/NATSU_NO_ARASHI
Genres: Fantasy / Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A boy works in a small town coffee shop met an older girl that works there, then amazing things happened.

First impression score: 85 ~ Weird

Personal comments: This anime is like a slightly tuned down version of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi combine with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. If you liked either one of them, I think you would like Natsu no Arashi as well.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

[New April 2009] Saki (咲-Saki-)



Info: (Official) http://www.saki-anime.com/
Download: Fansub available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Watch Online: Simulcasted on Crunchyroll http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/Saki
Genres: School Drama / Mahjong
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Saki is a high school student who is very skilled in Mahjong but doesn't like to play. One day she was dragged to the Mahjong club and the members of the club witnessed her amazing Mahjong skill.

First impression score: 85 ~ Technical

Personal comments: I used to play Mahjong a lot, so I'm familiar with the topic. However, what I'm not familiar with is the Japanese Mahjong scoring rules. It's a quite more complicated scoring system than the one I'm used to play with. But nevertheless, I was able to mostly follow the technical part of the story. After seeing only the first episode, it's already making me want to start playing some serious mahjong again.

[New April 2009] Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity- (タユタマ -Kiss on my Deity-)


Info: (Official) http://www.tayutama.com/
Download: Fansub by Ayako Fansub http://www.ayako-fansubs.eu/
Genres: Supernatural / School Comedy (?) / Hentai Game Adapted
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A sealed stone is discovered during a school construction. Yuuri Mito, a high school student whose family runs the Yachimata shrine had come to call upon the deity that is sealed with the stone. After a series of incidents, the incarnation of the deity become Yuuri's wife (?!!!).

First impression score: 80 ~ Typical Opening episode for this type of anime

Personal comments: This is a very typical Hentai game adapted anime. Though it usually doesn't hold much value, it's still fun to watch. And just like most Hentai game anime, this anime is moe, super moe 萌え.

[New April 2009] K-ON


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1391.html
Genres: School Comedy / Musical (?)
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A group of four girls got together trying to save their high school light music club which was about to be disbanded due to lack of members.

First impression score: 85 ~ Funny

Personal comments: I took a sip of water while watching it, then a scene came up that made most of that water spraying out of my nose. In my opinion, any anime could make me spray water out of my nose is worth keeping. So this is definitely a keeper.

[New April 2009] Shangri-La


Info: (Official English) http://www.anime-shangri-la.jp/english/
Download: Fansub available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Watch Online: Simulcasted on Crunchyroll http://www.crunchyroll.com/library/SHANGRI-LA
Genres: Scifi / Action
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: In a future world that global warming has become a problem, United Nation imposes Carbon Tax on all nations. Because of the environment, Japan built a floating city to move the entire population of Tokyo into. But when it's completed, only the riches and the upper classes citizens are allowed into the city. Metal Age is the resistance organization that opposes the government on these related issues. A girl named Kuniko is the chosen be the next leader of Metal Age.

First impression score: 90 ~ Intriguing

Personal comments: I don't want to stir up anything political in my blog about anime, but, I can't just let go of this topic without comments. Personally, I do not believe in global warming. Though there may be some merits in those research, I think it's largely a fraud and profit making machine for those who are actively advocating it. So I hold strong antipathy whenever this topic pops up. But I'm not going to let my personal belief in politics and sciences get in the way of a good anime, so I'm still going to enjoy Shangri-La as much as possible. Also, don't bother post comments about this issue, because if you do, I would either ignore it or delete it.

This is one of the latest animes that is produced by Gonzo animation studio. Once upon a time, the Gonzo was one of my most respected animation studio, but it isn't so any more because their recent streak of bad animes. This, as I see it, could be a hope for Gonzo to become one of the most respected names in anime production once again.

[New April 2009] Valkyria Chronicles (戦場のヴァルキュリア)


Info/Download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1400.html
Genres: Action / Drama / War
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Adapted from the video with same title. In a fictional 1930's Europe, the land is divided and ruled by Empire and the Federation. Now the Federation is under Empire's attack, their forces has reached a small town called Gallia, where Alicia, a member of local militia run into a guy named Welkin Gunther.

First impression score: 85 ~ Interesting mix

Personal comments: I like its art. The characters appears to be pretty interesting as well. On top of that, they mixed in just the right amount of comedy. I think this is going to be a keeper.

[New April 2009] Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~


Info: (Official) http://www.phantom-r.jp/
Download: Fansub available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Genres: Action / Drama / Assassin
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Hard Edge

Summary: A criminal organization called Inferno has an elite assassin named Ein. Now Zwei, a brain-washed Japanese boy joins her and together they're know as "Phantom".

First impression score: 80 ~ Impressive

Personal comments: This reminds me that I probably should dig out the Phantom OVA buried somewhere in my backlogs. Maybe I'll have a better insight to this series after I watch the OVA.

[New April 2009] Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S (神曲奏界ポリフォニカ クリムゾンS)


Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1408.html
Genres: Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: So far it looks like the prequel to the original Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica.

First impression score: 80 ~ It may contain the answers I wanted from the original series

Recognized Voice Talent: Haruka Tomatsu (戸松遥) as Corti When the first series came out, she hasn't done any significant roles to be recognized as a familiar voice. But since, she has done Lala from ToLoveRu, and Nagi from Kennagi. The biggest characteristic of her voice is the playfulness. Though not nearly as blatent, you can definitely tell from Corti's voice when you try to compare to the voice of Lala or Nagi.

Personal comments: I gave the original Polyphonica the "most premature ending" award at the end of year 2007 because it cast too many questions without answering them. The biggest ones, all have to do with the Crimson Annihilate: why was she being chased and locked up and why was she so famous among other spirits. Hopefully, this series would provide me the answers.

[New April 2009] Pandora Hearts


Info: (Official) http://www.tbs.co.jp/anime/ph/
Download: Fansub available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Genres: Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Hard Edge

Summary: In a fantasy world looks somewhat like a 18th century Europe, a boy who's about to perform his coming-of-age ceremony start to see weird things that are happening around him.

First impression score: 80 ~ Myterious

Recognized voice talent: Junko Minagawa (皆川純子) as Oz. She's probably most famous as the Prince of Tennis. Her voice is quite easy to recognize. Ayako Kawasumi (川澄綾子) as Alice. She's most famous as Nodame from Nodame Cantabile, and Saber from Fate / Stay Night.

Personal comments: There isn't much going on in the first episode, but it does look interesting.

Friday, April 10, 2009

[Ended] Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou: Nice and Light

Just like the first season, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou presents another set of light and somewhat moving stories. I like animes like this because it nice, light, and peaceful. As I said in earlier post that this has many similarities with Mokke and Mushishi. To me, it feels more like Mokke because stories actually involves the life of the main character, where as in Mushishi, the main character is only there to draw out the story and the story itself really dosn't have much to do with the main character.

Drama: 93 (That's what the focus on)
Comedy: 85 (Nekko Sensei could be really funny)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 88 (Slightly simplified style, but I like it)
Sound/Music/Voice: 95 (Love the music and theme songs)
Character: 90 (In depth character development)
Plot: N/A
Ending: 90 (It actually wraps things up by stating Nekko Sensei's motive)

Re-watch value: 80 (It still might be interesint)

Overall (not average): 91 ~ Nice and Light

Recommendation: Even though I would like to recommend this anime to everyone, I think there are people that couldn't stand its slow pace and lack of action. So if you are one of those people, then don't bother. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this along with the first series, Natsume Yuujinchou.

[Ended] Zettai Karen Children: Finally...


I was just digging around on the internet the other day, and found out by accident that Zettai Karen Children is adapted from manga that is written by Takashi Shiina, who is also the author of GS Mikami, one of my all time favorite comedy manga. That's why I thought the art style seems somewhat familiar.

Zettai Karen Children is a long, endless, and almost mindless comedy anime. It's nothing to be taken serious. It's something you watch when you're not in a mood for serious drama or action. Even though there isn't a real ending, it at least wrapped up one phase of the story.

Drama: 80 (All over the place)
Comedy: 80 (Some funny parts)
Action: 88 (Quite action oriented)
Art/Animation: 85 (I like his style)
Sound/Music/Voice: 80 (Interesting)
Character: 90 (It's all about character)
Plot: 80 (You may be able to call it plot...)
Ending: 88 (Wrapped the current phase up)

Re-watch value: 60 (I don't think so)

Overall (not average): 83 ~ It's ok for a time filler

Recommendation: This is one of those anime that it isn't that great, but it's not bad either. So, if you are just looking for something readily available to occupy you for a while, you might give this a try.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

[Ended] Slayers Evolution-R: Big Bang


Consider that I've never really finished any of the previous slayer series, I did pretty well for Slayers Evolution-R. The best part is, I didn't have to drag it out, it was actually quite enjoyable.

Although early on there are too many unnecessary side plots, I think the story development later makes up for it. Especially during the last couple of episodes, it has become very fast paced and very exciting.

But come to think of it, the plot itself is actually quite simple. It was the colorful characters actually made this anime. After finishing this latest Slayers saga, it's actually making me want to go back and finish all those earlier Slayers series that I never did.

Drama: 85 (Epic, in a sense)
Comedy: 83 (There are some drop to ground laughing moments)
Action: 88 (Lots of good actions)
Art/Animation: 86 (Though it's not my favorite style, it still looks pretty good)
Sound/Music/Voice: 90 (Good theme songs, good BGM)
Character: 90 (Very well developed)
Plot: 82 (A little bit too much garbage plots)
Ending: 91 (This saga ends here)

Re-watch value: 80 (Maybe for laughters)

Overall (not average): 89 ~ Nicely done

Recommendation: If you are looking for some quick action anime with some comedies, this is for you .

[Ended] Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th: Peaceful


Maria-sama ga Miteru has always had a special place in my heart. For some reason, I just can't bring out my normal evilness while watching it. It's so pure, innocent, and peaceful that there is no way I could wish for bad things to happen like I do while watching other animes.

This newest season, managed to answer all the questions I had that weren't resolved in previous seasons. More specifically, Yumi's sister situation, and white rose situation. Though I would like to see more of it, but if they decide to end the series, I wouldn't mind it either.

Drama: 90 (Epic drama, girl drama that is)
Comedy: N/A
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 90 (The art was what originally attracted me at first place in season one)
Sound/Music/Voice: 80 (I think they had better BGM in previous season)
Character: 90 (Girls...)
Plot: 87 (There are some twists and turns, but it's still a bit too straight forward)
Ending: 95 (Things need to be resolved have been resolved)

Re-watch value: 80 (I think it'll still be interesting second time through)

Overall (not average): 90 ~ Girl Drama

Recommendation: If you've never seen the first three series (two TV seris and one OVA), you probably would be somewhat lost, especially on the parts that matters: the ongoing relationship between the "sisters". So, there is really no point to watch this unless you have seen or are willing to commit to see the first three series.

[New April 2009] Sengoku Basara (戦国BASARA)


Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1389.html
Genres: Japanese History / Sumari / Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Video Game Adapted

Summary: Adapted from a video game with same title, supposedly it portrait the battles in the warring era of Japan.

First impression score: 80 ~ Fast paced action with almost retarded plot

Personal comments: The characters are dramatized, modernized, and fantasized people that appeared in Japanese History (I think). When I saw this anime, I thought I'd just have a quick peek and probably drop it right after, because I'm really not interested in Japanese history. But this first episode, kind of dragged me in and now I want to see more of it. It's not because it has any good plot, mostly it's because of the fast paced, mindless, adrenaline pumping, and almost retarded actions scenes. It almost makes me want to play the game it's adaped from...

[New April 2009] Queen's Blade (クイーンズブレイド 流浪の戦士)


Info: (Official) http://queensblade.tv/
Download: Fansub available through http://www.baka-updates.com/
Genres: Fantasy / Ecchi / Nude / X-rated
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Huge Boobs

Summary: In a world where the queen is decided every 4 years through a tournament, girls beat each other up, naked!!

First impression score: F-cup ~ That's about the right size...

Recognized voice talent: Aya Hirano (平野綾)~ she's too famous, Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Nana. If you still can't recognize her voice, you've gotten a hearing problem. Rie Kugimiya (釘宮理恵)~ Don't tell me you can't recognize the voice of Zero Luise from Zero Tsukaima, Shana from Shakugan no Shana, or Taiga from Toradora.

Personal comments: When I say girls beat each other up naked, I literally mean girls beat each other up, naked! From the content I've seen in the first episode, it's already beyond R-rated, it's getting pretty close to X-rated. I guess the only difference between this and full blown Hentai anime is the fact there are quite a few famous and respectable voice actress that are staffing the voice of these girls.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

[New April 2009] Asura Cryin' (アスラクライン)


Info/download: http://www.animesuki.com/series.php/1390.html
Genres: SciFi / Supernatural / Magic? / Religion?
I've watched: 1 episode
Art style: Common

Summary: Some dude who has a girl ghost following him all the time, receives a briefcase from his brother. Now the briefcase seems to be cause lots of trouble for him.

First impression score: 80 ~ Interesting start

Personal comments: Nothing is making sense just yet, but it sure got me interested in it. Also, both opening and ending theme songs are done by angela, one of my favorite j-pop group.

[Ended] Tetsuwan Birdy Decode 02: Ehh...


Sometime I wonder myself, why am I keep watching this series? The story is only so so, and the art work feels like they're done in a very cheap way. Yet despite all these, I somehow managed to complete yet another season of Tetsuwan Birdy Decode. The end of season two clearly indicates that there'll be a season three. But this time I'm not going to follow it any more because I think it's going to be mostly waste of time. I not saying it's a bad anime, all I'm saying is that there are lots of other better stuff I can fill in its timeslot if I can free it. It's just not good enough to be a top notch.

Drama: 75 (Eh...)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 80 (Eh...)
Art/Animation: 70 (Doesn't look very good)
Sound/Music: 70 (Eh...)
Character: 70 (Eh...)
Plot: 75 (Not bad, but not that great either)
Ending: 75 (They just want to make more...)

Re-watch value: 30 (Don't think it's even worth the first time through)

Overall (not average): 70 ~ subpar

Recommendation: Even if you have too much time to spend, I still wouldn't recommend this to you. It's just not interesting enough to justify the amount of time I spent on it.

[Season One Ended] White Album: This Guy is Un-f@#king-believable


This guy is unbelievable, just unbelievable. Mostly it's not what he did, it's what he didn't do. Remember I said he's being too nice? Well, I can tell you being too nice sometime is worse than not being nice. And what's up with Haruka, I don't really get it. I guess we'll have to find out in the second season.

So far this anime is just full of frustrating events, and only a very few of them are resolved at the end of this first season. Because this season doesn't provide a accurate view of what this series would eventually become, I would hold off scoring until the second season (starts airing in October 2009) is over.

[Ended] Soul Eater: Grand Finale


After a full year of witch fighting saga, Soul Eater finally dropped its curtain. If you're a regular visitor of my blog, you'd have noticed that I never really commented on this anime asides from the initial one. The reason being it has never been anything for me to comment on. The plot is almost always predictable, and it never gotten good or bad enough for me to want comment on. But the fact it survived on my anime list for four fully packed season would tell you that this is a solid above average anime. I think what made it interesting is the small and quick shifts between comedy and serious plot. And also all the major characters are very well developed and interesting as well.

Drama: 80 (Somewhat epic)
Comedy: 87 (Ther are some funny stuff)
Action: 86 (Interesting)
Art/Animation: 80 (Interesting as well)
Sound/Music/Voice: 80 (Maka's voice seems a bit inexperienced)
Character: 80 (Also interesting)
Plot: 80 (Mostly straight forward, with few turns)
Ending: 80 (At least it ended everything)

Re-watch value: 50 (Don't really need to, and it's a bit too long)

Overall (not average): 85 ~ A Solid B+

Recommendation: If you're willing to sit through a 51-episode series, you might want to give this a try.

[Ended] Tytania: There Shall Be More


I haven't had too much exposure to political drama animes (some of you may consider Gundam a political drama, but I do not watch any sort of Gundam, period). I was especially skeptical towards Tytania before I started watching it because its art style are not quite the type I favor. However, Tytania has changed that. The space political and military play in the story are just so intriguing, that even though the plot movement is very slow, I don't feel it that it is.

Unfortunately, this is another open ended anime where nothing got tied up in the end. However, I have no doubt there will be a sequel, as long as the author doesn't pull a Trinity Blood where he dies before he finishes the story.

The author of the original Tytania novel, Yoshiki Tanaka, is also the author of Legend of Galatic Heroes, which is one of the longest running space opera anime. He's also the author of Yakushiji Ryōko no Kaiki Jikenbo which was somewhat a surprise to me because I don't think they're anything alike.

Drama: 90 (Political drama)
Comedy: N/A
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 80 (Realistic style)
Sound/Music: 85 (Good BGM)
Character: 90 (Depth)
Plot: 95 (Quite some twists and turns)
Ending: 70 (Open)

Re-watch value: 70 (I don't think political drama does too well here)

Overall (not average): 90 ~ One of the best political drama I've seen lately

Award: Political Drama Anime of the Season for October 2008 Season

Recommendation: If you have any interests in this kind of anime, you wouldn't be disappointed.

[Ended] Skip Beat: More, I Want More


This is the best show biz anime I've seen since Kaleido Star. Glass Mask was ok, but it was a bit too technical, and it wasn't comedy. As I mentioned in previous posts that this anime is a blend of many things with nearly perfect balance between the comedy and drama, I think this is one of the perfect example for what defines a comedy-drama.

It's really hard to describe the exact nature of this anime without spoiling anything, so I'm not going to waste my time and just going to tell you that you should watch it because it is great.

The only thing wasn't quite satisfactory is that the ending is completely open. Depending on how you look at it, it may be a good thing or bad thing. It is bad because open endings sucks, but it would be good if making sequels is what they intended for this ending. I would definitely like to see another season of this.

Drama: 90 (Loads and loads..)
Comedy: 95 (Some of the best comedy I've seen lately)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 93 (Great usage of deformation)
Sound/Music: 80 (Not bad, but didn't leave too much impression either)
Character: 95 (This is where it shines)
Plot: 93 (Very interesting)
Ending: 70 (Not really one)

Re-watch value: 80 (I think it would still be funny second time around...)

Overall (not average): 94 ~ Defines Comedy-Drama Genre

Award: Comedy-Drama Anime of the Season for October 2008 Season

Recommendation: Watch it, watch it, watch it.

[Ended] Viper's Creed: Do and Undo


I liked this anime for many reasons, one of them being that important characters die in the story. However, after seeing the grant finale of the story, I realized that's just an illusion. Many things that happened in the anime got undone in the end. Although it's doesn't piss me off as much as those deus ex machina that we see all too often, I'm still a bit disgruntled about it. But I wouldn't burn the in my review for that.

Being only a short series, they spent significant amount of time to build each individual characters that was significant to the plot. They literally used half of the series just showing each viper team members' background story. In my opinion, character building is never a bad thing, though it is a bit excessive in this case.

The story certainly has depth, but it wasn't difficult at all to figure out what's going on along the way. For an action anime that is expected to be hack and slash only, this is superb.

Drama: 85 (Good amount of that)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 90 (Got some good ones in there)
Art/Animation: 80 (Ok, I guess...)
Sound/Music: 80 (Not bad)
Character: 85 (Almost too much)
Plot: 85 (Interesting twits)
Ending: 80 (Mostly preditcable )

Re-watch value: 50 (Action flicks usually don't hold up well here...)

Overall (not average): 88 ~ Action with plot

Award: Action-Drama Anime of the Season for January 2009 Season

Recommendation: This is one that I'd say is worth watching for this season. Though I would call it top notch just yet, I think it's well worth your time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

[Ended] Shikabane Hime Kuro: Unfinished Business

As this series progress, some stuff that in my opinion are quite retarded (such as the weapons of choice for monks' shikabane hime are uzis and sub-machine gun) has become less and less noticeable. Even with the sub-standard voice acting and semi-cheesy fight scenes, I can't seem to dislike this anime anymore. As the backstories of each major character are revealed, I grew more and more attached to them. It is basically a story built on top of a group of unfortunate people with regretable past. That, in my opinion is the best type of materials to build dramas of any kind.

I really can't say much about the story without spoiling the plot. But what I could tell you is that they didn't bother to end it. It is somewhat a stop point as they finished revealing the backstories for the main characters, but the story as a whole has been left wide open.

Drama: 80 (Ups and downs)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 75 (Some are ok, but some are just plain cheesy)
Art/Animation: 80 (Typical)
Sound/Music/Voice: 75 (Bad voice acting)
Character: 80 (Well developed, but there are holes)
Plot: 80 (Got some plot twists)
Ending: 70 (That's not an ending...)

Re-watch value: 30 (Don't really need to)

Overall (not average): 77 ~ Not bad, not great either

Recommendation: Even with somewhat nicely crafted plot to compensate the bad voice acting and somewhat cheesy action scenes, my opinion towards this anime is still neutral to negative. If you really don't have anything better to watch, then this is an ok one just to run off some of your free time. Otherwise, I wouldn't waste time on it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

[Ended] Tales of the Abyss: Epic Finish


Early on during the series, I almost threw this anime away because the main character was the biggest douche I've seen, and was really stretching the limit of how much douche-ness I was willing to tolerate. But luckily, the story took a sudden turn, not only it took my attention off the douche-ness of the main guy, it also managed to turn him into somewhat a normal person.

The story has quite a few twists and turns, though it's not too difficult to figure out what kind of curve ball they're throwing at you, it still provides quite some entertainment value. One other thing I really like about this anime is the fact they're willing to kill characters, important characters. In my opinion, all epic stories need to have some important characters that doesn't survive to the end. Otherwise it would be too boring.

Oh one more thing, what is Mieu's purpose in this anime? I though she'd be useful at some point before the story ends, but she never did anything asides from the early events that introduced her to the party.

Drama: 90 (Almost too much)
Comedy: 80 (Not bad for what it had)
Action: 85 (There are some lame fights, but it's not bad overall)
Art/Animation: 80 (Typical fantasy style)
Sound/Music: 80 (I like the theme song)
Character: 85 (Gone a bit overboard on the douche play...)
Plot: 85 (Quite a few nice little twists)
Ending: 80 (Too predictable)

Re-watch value: 50 (story like this doesn't really hold any re-watch value)

Overall (not average): 88 ~ Epic

Recommendation: If you can withstand 7 episodes of almost non-stop douch-ness, the you would find this anime very entertaining. But if douche-ness causes too much stress for you, then don't watch it, because you'll destroy your TV before you get through the first 7 episodes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

[Ended] Kuroshitsuji: A Real Ending


Nowadays it's all too common for anime to leave a somewhat open ending so a sequel can be made. It's especially common among manga adapted animes since most time, the adaption of anime is long before the manga ever ended. Kuroshitsuji, to my surprise, actually had a proper ending that didn't just leaving everything hanging. Although it ended properly, I still feel they went a bit overboard on making it too sentimental. Normally I would criticize it because it wipes out too much of the final climax. But in this case, an ending like this seems to be more proper than a dramatic climax.

The story itself is quite brilliant, especially with all the interaction between the devil, the angel, and the grim reaper. This is one of those smart plot build up that they seed some events from very early on to make use in the very end.

Drama: 90 (Good amount)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 85 (Some, not too much...)
Art/Animation: 80 (Dark)
Sound/Music: 90 (Love the music)
Character: 87 (Well developed, especially the devil himself)
Plot: 85 (Little twists, but mostly straightforward)
Ending: 90 (Properly ended the story)

Re-watch value: 70 (Maybe to catch some details you missed first time through)

Overall (not average): 90 ~ Very good

Recommendation: This is definitely one of the top 5 animes from October 2008 season. If you don't mind the religious implication, this definitely should be on your to-watch list.

[Ended] Ride Back: Up and Over


It seems that animes in general just can't keep themselves away from over-dramatize the glorious ending. In the case of Ride Back, though, it doesn't really hurt much in doing so. After seeing the final episode of Ride Back, it kind of reminded me the final episode of Macross Frontier. They tried to make the ending so impactful that they added in tons of dramatizing events that almost make the last episode feel somewhat detached from the rest of the story. But, I have no problem about that, as long as they don't get too far off track.

Ride Back is a story about how a series of unfortunate events throws an innocent yet talented girl right down in the middle of the political and military struggle. It's a very intereting and unique blend of politics and character development with the character being the main focus. Our heroine, like to do things without proper rationale, because most troubles she got herself into are completely avoidable if she had just calmed down and thought them over. It seems to be a flaw in her personality that the story doesn't bother address because overall, she doesn't appear to be a hot-headed person who would always make such ridiculous decisions.

Drama: 90 (Lots)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 93 (Great)
Art/Animation: 80 (Wasn't initially fond of its art style, but I learned to like it)
Sound/Music: 85 (Good BGM)
Character: 85 (Certain part of personality doesn't quite fit in with the character...)
Plot: 85 (Nice and straightforward)
Ending: 87 (Good enough)

Re-watch value: 60 (Stories like this usually doesn't hold much re-watch value)

Overall (not average): 91 ~ Very good...

Recommendation: If there weren't Viper's Creed I would award Ride Back the action-drama anime of the season. This is one of my highly recommended animes from this season.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

[Ended] Maria Holic: More?


Obviously, this is one of those "for laughters only" comedy anime that the sole purpose is to make people laugh. And they're quite successful in achieving their goal. Amongst all the new anime series from January, this is probably the one that I want to see more of it the most. Early on, I was afraid that this is going to turn out to be another Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, where they just keep beating on a good concept endlessly until it got so repetitive that it start to suck. Half way through the series, I realize the story writer of Maria Holic is far more creative than those who did Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, and there was no need to worry about Maria Holic ever become dry and boring.

Though this series is officially ended, I believe we haven't seen the end of this anime just yet. Not only you really couldn't put a termination to a series like this, they also intentionally ended the series with a wide open gap. But again, there have been series in the past that ended with big gap with no follow-ups just to mess with the audience.

One more thing, after a little digging on the internet, I found out that the originaly author of Maria Holic also did Hatenko Yugi. That was a bit surprise because these two are nothing alike.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 74 (Some...)
Comedy: 96 (Brilliant...)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 90 (Interesting...)
Sound/Music: 90 (Definitely good...)
Character: 90 (Deep, really deep :-)...)
Plot: N/A
Ending: -- (There wasn't one...)

Re-watch value: 85 (Still funny...)

Overall (not average): 93 ~ Brilliantly funny...

Award: Comedy Anime of the Season for Januray 2009 Seaason

Recommendation: If you like a good laughter, this is the anime from this season you want to watch. Even you're not too much into comedies, this one is still going to make you laugh.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

[OVA] D.C.I.F. ~ Da Capo If


It seems to be a trend for anime production companies to produce spin-off OVA's that uses an alternative plot line that deviates from the original one. It's most common in the field of visual novel converted animes where an alternative story line is already available from the game. In a sense, it's nice to see the different path the original story could have headed if someone had made a different choice. But it cheapens the original story when you can just start to layout "x and y would happen if he/she would have done z". In my opinion, that should be left to the imagination of the audiences instead of having explicitly laid out.

Ok, enough of the theories about spin-off OVA's, let's talk about the anime itself. This is one of the better OVA spin-offs amongst those I've seen lately. Simply put, it tries to express a simple idea in a very simple way. Unlike some other ones (e.g. Kimi ga Nozome Eien ~ Next Season ~) where you are dragged around in circles for no clear reason and eventually end up pretty much where you started. This spin-off doesn't actually affect the original Da Capo story, except it would terminate the story without going to D.C.S.S. or D.C. II.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 75 (Some...)
Comedy: N/A
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 80 (Just like the original as I remembered...)
Sound/Music: 70 (Ok, I guess...)
Character: 70 (Really not that much more development...)
Plot: 75 (Simple)
Ending: 80 (You can totally see that coming...)

Re-watch value: 50 (Why would you...)

Overall (not average): 79 ~ Not bad, but not that good either...

Recommendation: It really doesn't add any value to the original story I wouldn't recommend it.