Tuesday, June 30, 2009

[End] Chrome Shelled Regios: ...

This is one of those animes that harder you try, harder you can make sense of it. But if you just quit trying all together and follow the flow of the story, it kind of slowly starts to make some sense. On top of that, I think it'll benefit greatly for understanding the story if you go through it the second. Right after I finished the last episode, I went back and dug up the first episode to watch again. Everything there is now making so much more sense than when I watched it first time.

Also, about that little side story it keeps swapping in and out. Towards the end, I kind of get a glimpse of how it's related to the main story and why they put them here. However, it seems to somewhat contradicts something else that looked like an explanation to the same thing earlier.

Drama: 88 (Some interesting drama)
Comedy: 80 (Not its focus)
Action: 87 (Mostly good, some are pretty cheesy)
Art/Animation: 85 (Nothing exceptional)
Sound/Music/Voice: 85 (Not much impression)
Character: 83 (So so...)
Plot: 80 (Somewhat confusing)
Ending: 85 (Tied up most loose ends, but some are still open)

Re-watch value: 80 (Second time through would help greatly in understanding it)

Overall: 81 ~ Slightly above average

Recommendation: It's hard for me to actually recommend this anime to anybody because there's really nothing about this anime that stands out. If you really have too much free time to burn and have already finished all those highly recommended animes, then you might give this one a shot. Otherwise, I don't think you'll miss much by skipping this.

[Ended] Ristorante Paradiso: Intriguing

This ought to be the oddest anime I've seen lately. It's an unusual story with an unusual background illustrated using an unusual art style.

The art is somewhat strange but interesting, kind of reminds me of Paradise Kiss, which is more or less the precursor style to Nana. The setting is even more strange: a reverse harem with middle aged men. Prior to this, I would never have believed that this kind of material could make anything that is even remotely interesting.

What I like best about this anime, is the fact the actually put closures to most issues rised during the story, many of which I thought for sure would be left unresolved at the end of the story.

This is one intriguing and strangely attractive anime.

Drama: 90 (Strange but interesting)
Comedy: 85 (Some weird humor)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 91 (Intriguing)
Sound/Music/Voice: 90 (Fitting music)
Character: 90 (character centric)
Plot: 90 (unique)
Ending: 93 (Brings closures to many issues)

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

Overall: 91 ~ Unique

Anime unique like this aren't seen very often. Even though it's only half way through the year, I would go ahead award it:

Most Unique Anime of 2009

Recommendation: This is one anime I would recommend to most people who can tolerate some slow but interesting story that is unique and unorthodox.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

[Ended] Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity-

This is one anime I should have dropped after the first episode. I know most hentai game adapted anime doesn't bear much intellect, but I haven't seen one this bad lately. I can't believe there are people voted for this to be among the top five of the April season.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 78 (Not that good)
Comedy: 77 (They tried, but no)
Action: 75 (A flash here, a flash there, it's all about the light balls)
Art/Animation: 81 (Cute, to a certain extend)
Sound/Music: 80 (Eh...)
Character: 83 (Ok, I guess)
Plot: 76 (Totally predictable)
Ending: 60 (Suck)

Re-watch value: 0 (Wouldn't even recommend for the first time)

Overall (not average): 72 ~ Typical budget Hentai game adapted anime

Recommendation: Unless you really want to just waste 4 hours of your life, don't bother with it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

[Trailer] Blood The Last Vampire Live Action

I caught this on tv the other day. I wonder how close it follows the plot of the anime movie or the Blood+ tv series, or even has anything to do with it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

[Ended] Queen's Blade: More? Seriously?

Once a while there is an anime that just can't be described by words. If you are really that curious to know what this anime is like, I would recommend to watch it yourself. And do it when there's no children around.

Also, I'm a bit awed that not only this anime is broadcasted, it's also going to have a sequel.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 80 (...)
Comedy: 85 (...)
Action: 80 (...)
Art/Animation: 85 (...)
Sound/Music: 80 (...)
Character: 83 (Quantity over quality)
Plot: 70 (I'd like to know where they're going with this)
Ending: 83 (New beginning)

Re-watch value: 1 (Who would want to re-watch this?)

Overall (not average): NC-17

Recommendation: If you have enough free time, it's amusing to watch this once.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

[Ended] Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S: Hmm...

People say that higher expectation causes bigger disappointment. I think that's exactly what happened here. Even though I gave the "most premature end" award to the previous Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica anime, after finishing this new series, I have to say the previous one is probably the better of the two in my opinion. For one, the art work in this new series seems a bit rough. It doesn't have the delicate feeling the first series gave me. On top of that, the plot seems to have too many inconsistancies and the overall structure of the story just seems to be not very well planned. The comparison between these two somewhat reminds me about a while back when I compared Gunslinger Girl and Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino: the second series in so many ways just isn't up to the par where the first series was.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 80 (Ok, but not great)
Comedy: 80 (Ok but not great)
Action: 75 (Nothing outstanding)
Art/Animation: 80 (A bit too different than the original series)
Sound/Music: 80 (Ok, I guess)
Character: 78 (Isn't much depth)
Plot: 78 (At least it answer the questions we wanted)
Ending: 75 (Totally predictable, and boring)

Re-watch value: 50 (There is really no need)

Overall (not average): 79 ~ High C, that's the best I'll give

Recommendation:If you really want to find out the questions that the first sereis didn't answer, then watch it. Otherwise, you're not missing much by skipping this.

[Ended] Sengoku Basara: 燃え

As a fighting game adapted anime, Sangoku Basara is actually pretty good. Clearly, it is a story that doesn't take itself too seriously. So if you are one of those who tend to look for flaws in a story, you probably don't want to watch this because there are just too many things here could drive a overly critical person crazy (as it seemed had done to one of the readers of my blog who commented on this very issue :-)

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Lots of drama)
Comedy: 85 (Some scenes are pretty funny)
Action: 95 (This is what it's all about)
Art/Animation: 90 (Interesting costumes)
Sound/Music: 90 (Exciting)
Character: 90 (Characters actually have some depth)
Plot: 80 (Short, simple)
Ending: 88 (Wrapped one up)

Re-watch value: 80 (Holds pretty good re-watch value because there's hardly any plot to be spoiled :-)

Overall (not average): 90 ~ Pretty good for an action flick

Award: Action Anime of the Season for April 2009 Season

If you're looking for some good action anime, this is it. But if you're looking for something to have a good plot, you probably should look elsewhere.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

[Ended] Eden of the East: Noblesse Oblige

I mentioned in my last post that I don't see how they can possibly explain and wrap up this complicated story in the only 4 remaining episodes. Well, not only it did, it did so well that I think this is the best anime in 2009 I've seen so far.

Along with some subtle comedic elements, especially the way they handled male nudity, the story is very interesting and well constructed. It kept the big picture under the cover until the very last moment. This really is one of the MUST-WATCH anime in 2009.

The better news, is that at the end of the series, it announced two movies for Eden of the East: King of the Eden and Paradise Lost. Judging from the name, it's either prequels or sequels or one of each for the story. Though it's possible, but I think it's unlikely for both movies to be a retelling of the original story.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 99 (Brilliant!)
Comedy: 93 (Subtle, and just right)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 95 (Much like Honey and Clover)
Sound/Music: 95 (Great choice of theme song)
Character: 98 (Character centric)
Plot: 99 (Brilliant!!)
Ending: 98 (Kind of open, but it's really not possible to close it)

Re-watch value: 80 (Loses the surprise factor, but still interesting)

Overall (not average): 98 ~ Best of 2009 so far

It's still too early in the year to hand off the best of the year award, but, it'll definitely get:

Anime of the Season for Spring 2009 Season

Recommendation: Like I said earlier, this is a MUST-WATCH anime in 2009. If you are going to pick one anime to watch, this should be it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

[Preview] Summer (July) 2009 New Anime Season Preview

As the summer continues to scorch (except for you folks down in the southern hemisphere), the new anime season is also approaching. So it is time for my quarterly new anime preview post. This time, I found some video preview from NicoNico for the summer 2009 season. The original video has a lot more than just summer 2009 preview, so I edited it and made a clip with only the summer 2009 preview part:

Since it's all in Japanese, I went ahead made a list of TV series shown in this preview in the order their appearance (Sorry, I didn't bother with the OVA part of the video).
  1. Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ (うみものがたり〜あなたがいてくれたコト〜)
  2. Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan (ファイト一発!充電ちゃん!!)
  3. Umineko no Naku Koro ni (うみねこのなく頃に)
  4. Aoi Hana (青い花)
  6. Taisho Yakyu Musume (大正野球娘)
  7. Bake Monogatari (化物語)
  8. Element Hunter (エレメントハンター)
  10. Zan Sayonara Zatubo Sensei (懺・さよなら絶望先生)
  11. Kuruneko (くるねこ)
  12. Princess Lover! (プリンセスラバー!)
  13. Kanamemo (かなめも)
  14. GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class (GA 芸術科アートデザインクラス)
  15. Sora no Manimani (宙のまにまに)
  16. Spice and Wolf II (狼と香辛料II)
  17. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (東京マグニチュード8.0)
  18. Yoku Wakaru Gendai Maho (よくわかる現代魔法)
  19. Hetalia Axis Powers Second Season (ヘタリア Axis Powers 第2期)
Now you can match what you see with a name that you can read :-) Below is my traditional preview post that I do for each new season, read on if you're interested in finding out more about the anime previews you just saw.

Aoi Hana


Two friends that has been apart for ten years reunited at high school.

Forecast: Sounds like another Yuri story...I'll give it a shot

Bake Monogatari


A high school boy had some girl fall onto his lap, only to discover she has no weight.

Forecast: Sounds like a interesting supernatural story, might be a keeper


This is adapted from game "428", created by Type-Moon's script writer and character design.

Type-Moon is the creator of many brilliant series, including Shingetsutan Tsukihime, and Fate/Stay Night. This ought to be good too.

Element Hunters


A mysterious natural disaster caused many earth's elements disappear into an alternate dimensions. Element Hunter team is created to get those elements back in order to save the mankind.

Forecast: I'd say the concept sounds somewhat retarded. But again, last season's Basquash! turn out to be quite an interesting anime. This might surprise me, too. Who knows.

Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan


"Plug" is a girl from parallel world, who can "recharge" people down on their lock.

Forecast: Sound like one of those mindless comedy animes. It could go either way.

GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class
GA 芸術科アートデザインクラス


Story about high school art design class.

Forecast: Sounds like something similar to K-On!, could be interesting if made well.

Hetalia Axis Powers Second Season
ヘタリア Axis Powers 第2期


The story of personified countries continues on...

Forecast: For 5-minutes per week, I think I can keep watching...



A normal life of some random girl...

Forecast: I don't think it's a keeper...


After world war III, contaminated areas called Blackspots are quarantine off from rest of the country. Those who survived inside the Blacksports are called Needless.

Forecast: Post apocalyptic world is always interesting. But depending on what they do with it, it could really go either way.

Princess Lover!


A sudden new life of a boy who lost his parents

Forecast: Sounds like a typical harem anime

Sora no Manimani


Story about astronomy club.

Forecast: Probably another anime that is similar to K-On!

Spice and Wolf II


The story of the wise wolf Horo continues.

Forecast: This is the anime I'm looking forward to see the most. At the same time, this is also the one I'm most nervous about. Because the first series set such a high standard, it's hard to image the second series could top that.

Taisho Yakyu Musume


Story about a baseball girl.

Forecast: I'll decide after the first episode...

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0


A story about what would happen if a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hits Tokyo.

Forecast: Standard disastar anime, probably with plot resembles Bakurano.

Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~


Marin and Urin are sisters who live in the sea. On day they found a ring that belongs to a heart broken girl.

Forecast: Shoujo story, might be interesting...

Umineko no Naku Koro ni

From 07th Expansion, the creator of Higurashi no Naku Koroni series, comes a new murder mystery thriller.

Forecast: This is definitely a keeper

Yoku Wakaru Gendai Maho


Seems to be a comedy story about magic in modern world.

Forecast: I like what I see in the preview

Zan Sayonara Zatubo Sensei


The third installment of Sayonara Zatubo Sensei series.

Forecast: I liked the series in the beginning. But I never finished the second series because it had gotten so repetitive that I can hardly stand watching any more. This may be another opportunity to see whether they've gotten some new and creative ideas or kept beating on the same ol' dead horse.

Well, that's it for this upcoming season. In that NicoNico video I mentioned before, there are some bonus materials about what's coming in the fall and 2010. There are quite a few things there that we could all get excited about, namely, Darker Than Black 2, Nodame Cantabile Paris Part 2, and Shakugan no Shana Season 3. Others include White Album Season 2, Koi Hime Season 2, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Season 2, Kiddy Girl-AND (Sequel to Kiddy Grade), Valkyrie Complex, Alive

There are a couple that I still couldn't identify, I'm going to just give you the video so you can figure out yourself :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

[OVA] Higurashi no Naku Koroni Rei: Episode 4

I'm not exactly sure whether I'm happy or pissed off about the way this arc ended. On one hand, it presented a solution you really couldn't find any fault, and it wrapped up fairly quickly and efficiently; On the other hand, the ending basically nullified everything we saw in this arc up to the finale--it feels like we were just played by the story writer.

What seemed like a new puzzle early in the arc turned out to be no more than a mirage that ended in a fairly simple metaphysics discussion. This is quite a big curve ball since we basically went through the whole arc for almost nothing. But after all, this is an OVA, we can't really expect too much serious plot to be packed into so little time.

There is one more episode left for this OVA series, which I think would probably be another silly episode just like the first one.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo: Let Tragedy Stay Tragic, Please

Currently finished: Episode 23

Nowadays, it seems that most story writers believe that the audiences would be more satisfied with turning the story with unrealistic deus ex machina then letting the tragedy go to the end. And it's especially bad when the tragedy gets reversed after all personnel had finished dealing with the effect of the tragedy. Because at that point, turning the tragedy around doesn't contribute the plot any more, it's merely trying to please the audiences. In my opinion, that's the last thing a story write should do.

A little lost? Finish watching episode 23, I think you'll understand what I'm ranting about :-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Natsu no Arashi: Guest Characters

Currently finished: Episode 9

It is interesting that Natsu no Arashi not only periodically quotes famous lines from other animes, it also brings in guest characters as part of the background once a while. In this one episode alone, there are at least five different group of guest characters. Three of them I can immediately identify, the other two looked somewhat familiar but I can't recall which anime is it from:

Guest Group 1 (Mahjong club members from this season's Saki)

Guest Group 2 (From ???)

Guest Group 3 (Light music club member from this season's K-On!)

Guest Group 4 (Dorm manager, Dog, and Father from last season's Maria Holic)

Guest Group 5 (From ???)

So, can someone else help me identify who the other two groups are and which anime are they come from?

Also, a word about the story, before episode 9, things have started to get a bit repetitive and I was slowly losing interest. Episode 9 made a connection between two groups of characters in the story which I didn't think they have anything to do with each other. Now it has gotten really interesting. So, if the contents before episode 9 start to bore you a bit, don't drop it just yet. Episode 9 has an very interesting twist.

[Edit 06/16/09]
An anonymous user posted a comment noting that guest group 5 are the characters from
Idolmaster Xenoglossia. No wonder I didn't recognize them, I only watched about two episodes of that before I dropped it. Now, only if someone could tell me which anime is guest group two coming from.

[Edit 07/31/09]
Another anonymous user (or the same one) posted a comment noting that guest group 2 are the characters from Hidamari Sketch.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S: She's Back!

Currently finished: Episode 8

After 8 long episodes' wait, the Crimson Annihilate finally made her first appearance in this series. Throughout the first series, I was always more fond of the Crimson Annihilate than Corti because the Crimson Annihilate just seems to be much nicer and calmer than Corti. I wonder whether they're going to explain why pre-transformation and post-transformation of the same spirit would have such a big difference in personality.