Saturday, February 27, 2010

[Ended] Hanasakeru Seishounen: Love Conquers All

Overall, I can see many similarities between this and Saiunkoku Monogatari. I wonder, though, whether this is because all the reverse harem stories are really all the same. Don't get me wrong, I think Hanasakeru Seishounen has many great things. It's just there aren't enough reverse harem animes out there, so every time a new one comes out, you just can't help to compare with others.

Hanasakeru Seishounen is a very good story. In my opinion, romance and politics is almost always an interesting mix. Here we high level politics, high level inter-corporation play all mixed up with a strange romance. On top of that, all characters are really well developed. Despite many seem somewhat unrealistic (well, maybe it's just that I don't know enough about how extremely rich people live), you still get a sense of connection to the characters.

As for the way it ended, generally, I'm not a big fan of nearly perfect endings. But in this case, I have to say, after watching what every character has to go through, I think they've earned it.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 92 (All about drama)
Comedy: 86 (Not bad for what it had)
Action: 82 (Somewhat corny, but not bad)
Art/Animation: 80 (Looks somewhat...unusual)
Sound/Music: 80 (Nothing special)
Character: 89 (Very well developed)
Plot: 87 (Twists and turns)
Ending: 90 (Tied up all loose ends)

Re-watch value: 30 (Wouldn't be nearly as interesting)

Overall: 88 - Well made reverse harem

Recommendation: Being a season and a half long (39 episodes), I don't think people with little patience would be able to even get through the first half. But if you do manage to get through the first half, you'll find this is a plenty interesting story.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sora no Woto: Um...Terminator?!

Currently finished: Episode 7

Were they fighting AI robots?

Kiddy Girl-AND: All the Sadness

Currently finished: Episode 18

While many people aren't very fond of mood swings in stories, I'm actually quite a fan of it, because, frankly, that's how quite a few stories hit me right on the spot.

As for the current status of Kiddy Girl-AND, while I wasn't very fond of its earlier episodes, I'm slightly more satisfied with their recent development (that doesn't mean I don't have problems with it any more, in fact, I still think about half of its contents every episode up till now could be cut off without affecting the overall plot much).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tatakau Shisho - The Book of Bantorra: Confused, But...

Currently finished: Episode 20

It seems everything has been set up for the final showdown. While personally, I'm somewhat fond of their presentation and think it is indeed quite interesting, from all the reviews I've been reading online, however, it doesn't seem like it has gained much acceptance by the masses. I think an unconventional story like this requires audience to have certain delicate taste in order for it to be fully appreciated, much like how not everybody liked Gankutsuou, which in my opinion is one brilliant anime.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Omamori Himaari: Good is Evil; Evil is Good

Currently finished: Episode 6

Alright, from the typical harem prototype, Omamori Himari has evolved into the next form that is often associated with harem anime: a role reversal where the supposed good guy is actually a evil, and the supposed bad guy is acting as the good guy. I wonder how many typical harem anime archetypes would this anime touch befre the end of the series....

Dance in the Vampire Bund: Bakemonogatari?!

Currently finished: Episode 6

Granted this is produced by the same production company that produced Bakemonogatari, but they didn't have to make it so obvious by having everything feels completely the same as Bakemonogatari. Right now that's exactly how this anime feels like. If I didn't know better and someone told me this is th next arc of Bakemonogatari, I would totally believe that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hanasakeru Seishounen: The Final Twist

Currently finished: Episode 37

The huge showdown is somewhat over. With only two episodes left, with only two episodes left, you would think they'd just let it go down with a smooth sail. But no, there seems to be one last twist up their sleeves.

The problem here, as I see it, is the fact even though they're throwing this last twist, everybody knows how it's going to end. I mean, in previous episode, they pretty much have eliminated all other possibilities to end the series. On top of that, you know there's no way they're going to end this series in a terrible tragedy. (If it's up to me to write the story, I totally would) So really, this last twist might as well not be there at all.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

[OVA] Darker Than Black 2 OVA

Currently finished: Episode 1

This is what supposedly had happened between the original Darker Than Black and Darker than black 2 Ryuusei no Gemini. After watching episode 1, it feels that even though this is the "middle" story, there are still some missing parts between the beginning of this and the end of the original series. However, this is only the first of four episodes. Hopefully, by the end of this series, it would fill in all the missing block we had in question for the second series.

This opening episode, in my opinion is quite well made. It has a quick jump start into the story, then slow down into a moderate pace to try to sort through what has been happening. If you are a fan of the original and the second Darker Than Black series, you would definitely enjoying this as well.

First impression: 89

Tatakau Shisho - The Book of Bantorra: Strange Yet Interesting

Currently finished: Episode 19

If I'm not wrong, I think they've just revealed the grant plot, or at least part of the grant plot in this episode.

The structure of the story up to this point is quite interesting. Each sub plot actually focuses mostly on a single character. But while the character is being thoroughly developed, it also pushes the overall plot nicely along with it.

At think point, I really hope the story is seeking for a resolution rather than simply describing the world and let it sit at status quo. It took me quite some patient to get into the story. While at the moment I'm rather enjoying the series, I just hope those patients it took early on during the series didn't just go waste by a substandard ending.

Also, while it doesn't stand out that much as being a "weird" anime, I think this would be a potential candidate of being one of the weirdest anime that ends in 2010.

Ookami Kakushi: Mysterious

Currently finished: Episode 5

Compare to Umineko this feels more like the spiritual successor of Higurashi. The mystery feel almost just like Higurashi where it shows you just enough for you to wanting to keep watching while keeping the information revealed to a bare minimum. If you liked Higurashi, but not quite fond of Umineko, I suggest you give this a try.

Friday, February 5, 2010

[Poll] January 2010 Poll is Open

Finally, after Katanagatari, all new series from January 2010 are out. Let's see everybody's opinions about this new anime season. This is a relatively small anime season, but in my opinion, there are quite a few high quality ones.

My top 5 picks are:

Dance in the Vampire Bund Intriguing, that's the word I would use to describe it. I think at the moment, I think this has very high potential for being the best anime of the season.

This is a very unique blend of comedy and light drama. It doesn't have anything too special. But it gives you a very refreshing feeling.

Durarara! Just like Baccano!, it's hard to make sense of the overall at the moment. But I can feel they're secretly constructing a much bigger plot.

Nodame Cantabile: Finale Some of the jokes are getting old by now. But Nodame is still funny as ever.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Mocking all card battle based anime, this is just a brilliant idea.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dance in the Vampire Bund: Intriguing

Currently finished: Episode 3

Despite what I said in the last post about this anime, it is slowly growing on me. It seems to have the magic touch that I can't seem to get a grasp of. But its effect is quite obvious: I'm enjoying it more and more as I watch it.

It's not difficult to see that there are many distinct similarities between this and Bakemonogatari. That's because they are all produced by the same comany, SHAFT.

At this point, I'm liking it so much, that I would definitely put this in the top 3 of this season's new releases.