Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Poll for April 2010 is open

This April anime season isn't nearly as big as what it usually is. On top of that, the qualities of the new series aren't stellar either. I guess the current economic slump is still to blame. But even among mediocre animes, there are still quality differences between them. So, participate in the little poll on the right side, see if we can get a consensus on what's the best of this season.

[Dropped] Kiss X sis: Time Waste

Finished: Episode 2

If they want any audience other than a 13 year old boy or hentai perverts like this type of stories, they ought to do something creative like they do in the Aika series or Queen's Blade series. I followed those two series not because I'm interested in the anime itself, it's because I found them highly amusing in terms of being creative. Take away the amusement value, ecchi animes like this has nothing to offer, period.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

[Dropped] Mayoi Neko Overrun: Pointless

Finished: Episode 2

Sometime people ask me how do I decide to keep some seemingly pointless anime, yet throw away others? The answer is simple: it all depends on how likable the characters are to me--if an anime is pointless, but the characters are likable, I'll probably keep watching until the end of the series, then shred it to pieces with the end of series review. But if somehow I feel the characters aren't likable, or I just couldn't form a bond to any characters in the story, I wouldn't hesitate for a second before I drop it. That, is what's happening to Mayoi Neko Overrun right now. It's pointless harem/ecchi anime that doesn't have anything new or impressive nor could I form a bond to any of their characters. Therefore, it's out!

[New April 2010] Yojouhan Shinwa Takei

Japanese title: 四畳半神話大系
Info: (official)
[edit] Apparently, the English translation of this anime is called "The Tatami Galaxy", it seems that funimation has picked up the distribution right and it's being shown on hulu.
Watch online:
Drama? / Supernatual?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Some dude is having a weird encounter with a self-proclaimed deity at a mysterious ramen stand.

First impression score: 85 ~ Intriguing

Personal comments: This is one of the newest noitamina, which brought us excellent animes like Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Mononoke, Moyashimon, Library Wars, Eden of the East. It definitely inherited the unconventional approach of noitamina--everything, from art to the method of storytelling are all quite strange. The animation is in a very rough style, and the 90% of the talking is first person narration. Very intriguing indeed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

[New April 2010] Saraiya Goyou

Japanese title: さらい屋五葉
Watch online:
Drama / Slow Action
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A ronin who was just fired by his master run into someone looking for a bodyguard. Later he finds out he belongs to a Robinhood type organization who robs the rich and gives to the poor.

First impression score: 78 ~ Still Strange Looking

Personal comments: It's very easy to tell that this is from the author of Ristorante Paradiso who was the receiver of my Most Unique Anime of 2009 award. The both the art and storytelling style are very unique. One very interesting thing about his work is that the flow of the story is usually pretty slow but it doesn't really feel as slow as you think it would. Ristorante Paradiso turned out to be surprisingly interesting, so I have somewhat a high expectation for this one as well. If you can just get used to the strange art style, I think you'll find it somewhat intriguing as well.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seikon no Qwaser: Hot Spring Episode? Holy $^#)*!!!

Currently finished: Episode 13

Every anime has to have a hot spring episode, Seikon no Qwaser is no exception (even though there are plenty of bath scene in every episode). Being the type of anime it is, however, assigns new meaning to the word "hot" in "hot spring episode". If this isn't enough of a clue what this episode is, take a look at the screen cap above: this is captured from the CENSORED version. You can image what the uncensored version looks like.
Seikon no Qwaser has now officially jumped ahead of Aika series to become the most lewd anime while still pretend to be a normal anime.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

[Dropped] Heroman: Ur...

Watched: 2 Episodes

What's wrong with it you ask? Well, let's see, the lightning that comes from the electric storm caused by alien's space jump has the power to turn a toy into complicated superhero robots. Do anybody feel this is a bit too far fetched to be believable even in a superhero cartoon? Seriously, who came up with this idea?

Then there's the character, I thought it'd be next to impossible to happen, but somehow, they manage to make an anime that all characters feels like they're acting!! I don't even know how they do that.

This, I'd say is officially the worst anime of the season, if not the year.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

[New April 2010] Rainbow

Japanese title: RAINBOW 二舎六房の七人
Crime / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Seven young people met in juvenile. But they have yet to lose their hope for a good life.

First impression score: 75 ~...

Personal comments: I don't know what's going to happen next, but so far, there doesn't seem to be anything interesting at all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

[new April 2010] Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru

Japanese title: 裏切りは僕の名前を知っている
Drama / Supernatural / Yoai?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: ???

First impression score: 72 ~ WTF is going on?

Personal comments: Everything from this anime reminds me of Monochrome Factor, which I dropped in 2 episodes. The art is in the ultra shoujo style pretty boy style, which annoys the hell out of me. I'm gonna see if next episode gives out anything new. But most likely, it's gonna get slashed before I ever finish episode 2.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

[New TV Special] Shoka


Edo period Japan, a technique which utilizes drawing to summon monsters is being used to disrupt the peace and order of the capital. The clan that holds the secret to this special technique is put in charge to find out who are the enemy and for what purpose they're causing this.



This is a TV special that is only one episode long. The art style is very interesting. It's somewhat rough but orderly, feels somewhat like the style Windy Tale was done in. The concept feels like it's mostly borrowed from Read or Die, and the story is really nothing more than a typical good vs. evil where the evil is just a small grudge the bad guy holds against the good guy. I think if they give it a real plot and expand upon it, it would be a somewhat interesting series.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

[New April 2010] K-ON!!

Japanese title: けいおん!!
School Comedy / Musical?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Sequel to the original K-ON!. Stories of five girls and their light music club.

First impression score: 85 ~ Funny as usual

Personal comments: K-ON!! just has the special touch with the character and the comedy. I expect no less from it than the original series. Come to think of it, it has rolled quite fast through the timeline: the first series is a short season, yet it already rolled through two years of high school. This new series begins at the third year of the light music club.

[New April 2010] Senkou no Night Raid

Japanese title: 閃光のナイトレイド
Action / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Shanghai, China, 1931, stories about a team of spies with supernatural powers carries out missions for Japanese government.

First impression score: 78 ~ Weird

Personal comments: I'm not sure what this is all about yet. I'll have to see whether it gets more interesting. Also, their spoken Chinese in this anime is just plain horrible.

Friday, April 9, 2010

[New April 2010] Mayoi Neko Overrun!

Japanese title: 迷い猫オーバーラン!
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Huh?!

First impression score: 84 ~ Huh?!!

Personal comments: This first episode, is full of "WTF?!" The story is about a group of students who works in a cake shop. Aside from that, everything is just...weird.

[New April 2010] Giant Killing

Japanese title: ジャイアントキリング
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A guy who left their home town soccer team now is back to bring their soccer team once again to glory.

First impression score: 80 ~ Better than expected

Personal comments: I think I said in the preview post that I'm not going to watch any sports anime. Well, I probably have to take it back, because this has turned out to be quite interesting. It's not really a sports anime, rather, it's a sports management anime :-) Who knows, it may become something like Eye Shield 21 where I quickly lost interest. But it could also be like Prince of Tennis where I followed it all the way to the end.

[New April 2010] Arakawa Under the Bridge

Japanese title: 荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ
Comedy / Drama / Supernatural
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A guy whose motto for life is not to be in debt to anybody was saved from drowning by a girl who's homeless and lives under a bridge. She claim she's from Venus. He has to repay his debt to her according to his belief, but the only thing she wants is to be his girlfriend and have him move in with her under the bridge.

Voice actress: Maaya Sakamoto (坂本真綾) as Nino. It's not difficult to recognize that she's the voice of Ceil Phantomhive of Kuroshitsuji as well as Shiki from Kara no Kyoukai.

First impression score: 85 ~ Wacky

Personal comments: This is one messed up wacky anime. At the moment, I really don't know whether they're really what they say they are. I assume we'll eventually find out?

[New April 2010] Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

Japanese title: いちばんうしろの大魔王
Watch online:
Comedy / Harem / Ecchi
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A guy comes to a Magic school to study magic. All new comers go through a career prediction (like Harry Potter's sorting hat :-). The prediction for him is "the Devil King". But all he's be wanting to be in life so far is good.

First impression score: 90 ~ Brilliant

Personal comments: There are plenty fan service scenes in this anime. But, I don't think that's its selling point. I mean even if you cut all of the fan services out, it doesn't reduce the value of the anime at all. So far, this is definitely a keeper.

[Ended] Kimi ni Todoke: New Year, New Beginning

Come to think of it, Kimi ni Todoke is really just another shy girl meets popular guy anime. The only difference, in comparison to other anime/manga of same type, is that Sawako is a lot more aware of her situation when it comes to social situation and she's a lot more oblivious when it comes to detecting the guy's feeling.

Don't get me wrong, I loved this anime. In fact, this is one of the best stories of this type I've seen lately. Though not quite as moving, but I'd put it up near Bakura ga Ita, which is one of my all time favorite stories of the similar type.

Another thing about Kimi ni Todoke is that it felt real. Unlike many other shoujo story, which felt they can only exist in books, Kimi ni Todoke actually felt quite really. Because of that, it's a lot easier to attach to the character and feel their happiness as well as their pain.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Great)
Comedy: 90 (Deformed characters are so funny)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 92 (Great all around)
Sound/Music: 88 (Very fitting)
Character: 90 (Very well developed)
Plot: 83 (Kinda slow)
Ending: 80 (Open, but ended on a good note)

Re-watch value: 60 (May still have some entertainment value)

Overall: 88 - Great story

If you have to pick one shoujo anime to watch from 2009, this would be it. I'm handing it

Shoujo Anime of the Season for October 2009 Season

Thursday, April 8, 2010

[New April 2010] Hakuouki

Japanese title: 薄桜鬼
No Known English Sub Available
Samurai / Japanese Historical / Action
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Late Edo Period Japan, a girl came to Kyoto to look for her father. She accidentally run into a fight involves Shinsengumi. Soon, she finds out Shinsengumi too is looking for her father.

First impression score: 80 ~ Not bad

Personal comments: Normally, I'm not too interested in stories that involves too much of Japanese history. But this first episode kind of got me interested in seeing what's going to happen next. I'll probably keep following it until I get bored or running low in time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

[New April 2010] Working!

Japanese title: エンジェルビーツ
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A guy who love tiny things starts to work in a diner. Soon enough he finds out people works there are weird yet colorful.

First impression score: 90 ~ Hilarious

Personal comments: I saw the preview episode about a month ago. It was so interesting it become another one of my highly anticipated new series. The character are very interesting, so are the comedies. I can already tell this is a keeper.

[New April 2010] Angel Beats!

Japanese title: エンジェルビーツ
Comedy / Drama / Supernatural
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A guy found himself in the world of afterlife and being recruited by SSS whose goal is to defeat angel to take over the world of afterlife.

First impression score: 90 ~ Strangely interesting

Personal comments: This is one of the new animes I'm looking forwards to see the most. The story is written by the guy who's behind the story of Air and Clannad. That by itself is enough of a reason for me to follow it all the way to the end because I love emotional roller coasters (Yes, I'm weird like that), and both Air and Clannad are prime examples of emotional roller coasters. On top of that, the art work is great and this episode one is a hella more interesting than I was anticipating. This is definitely a keeper, at least for me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

[Ended] Tatakau Shisho - The Book of Bantorra: The Ultimate Showdown

Intricate yet powerful, those are the most fitting words to describe the story of Tatakau Shishou - the Book of Bantorra. Cruising through the plot felt like assembling a highly complex system without knowing its purpose. All you know is to follow the instructions to put pieces of the puzzles into place. Only in the end, you realize it's a trigger to something so powerful, which will completely blow you away. (well, kind of)

Another interesting aspect of this story is that all sub-plots are daisy-chained from beginning all the way to the end. Each and every one of them involves a unique subset of characters. Almost no subplots involves all characters. Depending on your habit, this could be good or bad--I've heard people complain about how throughout the series, there isn't a single character that can be defined as "the main character". So for those who normally like to form an attachment with main character of the story, unless you can do it with all characters, or the group as a whole, you won't be able to find one that is "suitable" to be attached to.

Underneath this complex yet brilliant technical layer, the core of the story is really a simple tried-and-true concept: it doesn't matter how ugly it may look on the surface, it's still a beautiful world. Yes, yes, I know it sounds strange coming from me, but this is what this story is really about.

One other thing worth mention, maybe you've already guessed it, is the fact not everybody from the story gets "saved". There are quite some casualties throughout the story. What's more interesting is that those casualties are actually a lot more important than you think.

Tatakau Shisho - the Book of Bantorra is not an ordinary anime. While it's satisfying if you have managed to followed it to the end, it also requires lots of patience. Like many other anime of similar nature, unless you can stay with till the very end, be able to see how all puzzles pieces fit together, you won't be able to enjoy it at all.

Last, I'm going to hand it:

Best Long Season Action/Drama for October 2009 Season

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Totally)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 93 (Great)
Art/Animation: 88 (Unique)
Sound/Music: 91 (Very interesting)
Character: 95 (Bunch)
Plot: 93 (Smart)
Ending: 95 (Well terminated)

Re-watch value: 80 (You might be necessary to be able to catch all the details that leads to the final showdown)

Overall: 92 - Intricate yet Powerful

I'm am a big fan of well constructed stories, but you may not be. It is possible people find stories like this is painful to follow. If you're one of those people, this is not for you. Otherwise, I would recommend you to give this anime a shot, who knows, you may end up liking it as much as I do.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

[New April 2010] KissXsis

Japanese title: キスシス
School Comedy / Ecchi / Harem (kind of...)
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Story of a guy who live with two sisters that aren't related by blood. Even the guy isn't quite into it, the sisters seem completely onto him. What's worse, their parents are encouraging it as well.

First impression score: 70 ~ ...

Personal comments: This is one topic only Japanese would touch. I mean seriously, what kind of parent encourage this sort of thing?

[New April 2010] Kaichou wo Maid-sama

Japanese title: 会長はメイド様!
School Comedy / School Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Misaki is a hard head female student body president in a high school where male students have very bad reputation. She's working to fix that. However, she has a secret, one day,

First impression score: 90 ~ Very impressive first episode...

Personal comments: The art is lovely. It gives me a very pleasing feeling: pretty, yet not too shoujo. The story is fun too. The best part is probably the character and the chemistry between characters. The art and animation, reminds me much of Ouran High School Host Club. The style of comedy reminds me of Lovely Complex. Those are two of my favorite school comedies. So I think this going to one too.

[New April 2010] B Gata H Kei

Japanese title: B型H系
School Drama / Ecchi
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A very attractive virgin freshman high school who wants to have many sex partners just couldn't get it started. Now she had chosen the one man she wants to lose her virginity on...

First impression score: 80 ~ A very unusual concept...

Personal comments: To be honest, I don't know why is it so difficult for an attractive girl to be a slut when it is her goal. Maybe this is some weird thing that only occurs in Japan...

[New April 2010] Heroman

Watch online:
Action / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Joey often gets bullied at school. He's been repairing a broken robot he picked it. One day it turned into a giant robot which he calls him "Heroman"...

First impression score: 78 ~ Um....

Personal comments: Let's see, the setting of the story is west coast continental United State, which looks pretty strange in an anime. Then, it actually feels like one of those superhero cartoon that originated in the states. Then mix in some typical duel based anime action, we have here "Heroman". Honestly, I'm not see myself watching more than 3 episodes of it...

[New April 2010] Shin Koihime Musou ~Otome Tairan~

Japanese title: 真恋姫†無双 ~乙女大乱~
Action / Comedy / Ecchi
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Another weird story about the Romance of the Three Kingdoms continues...

First impression score: 68 ~ Not that good

Personal comments: It didn't take long for me to drop the second series. I think I'm going to just drop this one right out...

[New April 2010] Ikkitousen Xtreme Xecutor

Japanese title: 一騎当千 Xtreme Xecutor
Action / Drama / Ecchi
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: The story of female fighters who inherited the spirits of the warriors from the Romance of Three Kingdoms continues with more panties showing and boob bouncing...

First impression score: 80 ~ It's actually better than I though...

Personal comments: To be honest, I thought I won't be watching any of this new Ikkitousen series since I've already skipped two previous one. This newest series turns out to be something much better than I was expecting. That might change after another episode or two into it, but for the moment, I'll give this series a second chance.

[Ended] Ookami Kakushi: Blah

Early on I really thought this is the real spiritual successor of Higurashi. But it really isn't. The story is really too plain and flat to make any impact. If I have to rate it, it's a solid mediocre anime, but nothing more.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 75 (Mediocre)
Comedy: 75 (Mediocre)
Action: 80 (Slightly better than mediocre)
Art/Animation: 75 (Mediocre)
Sound/Music: 75 (Mediocre)
Character: 75 (Mediocre)
Plot: 75 (Mediocre)
Ending: 75 (Mediocre)

Re-watch value: 30 (Not)

Overall: 76 - Solid Mediocre

Recommendation: If you feel like watching a mediocre anime, this would be it. Otherwise, just skip it.

[Ended] Dance in the Vampire Bund: It continues

Clearly, the story doesn't end here. However, it is still unsure whether the rest of it would be made into another anime.

Using the studio that produced Bakamonogatari for the production of this anime is a great choice. With this topic and theme, I can't think of a better fitting style than this.

As for the story, well, it was somewhat an old concept which keys the whole plot on the relationship between vampires and lycans, but there are some new ideas. Like Bakemonogatari, the story consists of multiple arcs and climaxes. The only problem with this format, is the fact that sometimes the bigger climax is not at the end, rather, it's at the end of a middle arc. When that occurs, it tends to leave audiences in an unsatisfied state because endings tends to feel somewhat too anticlimactic.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Great)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 89 (Interesting style)
Art/Animation: 90 (Strange yet interesting)
Sound/Music: 88 (Fitting BGM)
Character: 92 (Well developed)
Plot: 90 (Multiple climaxes)
Ending: 80 (Not really)

Re-watch value: 60 (Still might be somewhat amusing)

Overall: 89 - Very well made

My ranting above maybe a bit misleading, let me make my opinion a bit more clear about this anime by handing it

Anime of the Season for January 2010 Season


[Ended] Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu: Brilliant Concept

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu is many things, but it's nothing conventional. While trying to make fun of all duel based anime, it also tries to get a point across: test grades aren't the absolute measure of how good a student is. On top of that, the strange relationships between the different pairs are also interesting to watch. All in all, this is quite a brilliant anime and it deserves

Comedy of the Season


Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Brilliant)
Comedy: 93 (Even more brilliant)
Action: 85 (Duel fights are interesting)
Art/Animation: 84 (Typical)
Sound/Music: 83 (Not much impact)
Character: 90 (Very interesting)
Plot: 90 (Pretty good for a comedy like this)
Ending: 90 (Acceptable)

Re-watch value: 80 (Amusement value is significant lower, but may still be fun)

Overall: 89 - Brilliantly made

Recommendation: If you're going to choose one comedy from January season to watch, this probably would be it. Even though I wouldn't quite put it on a "must watch" list, it's pretty close on getting on it.

[Ended] Letter Bee: More to come

The story of Letter Bee is interesting, however, I feel as the story progresses, it lost its original touch that I felt attracted to at first place. Obviously the ending of this series indicates there's more to come. It's hare to make any final judgment at the moment since it seems the real story is just starting. I'm probably going to wait for the entire series to be complete before I make my final decision on how good or bad this series is.

[Ended] Kiddy Girl-AND: Errr...

It started off as a big disaster. Slowly, it seems to start to shake it off. But when it comes to the ending, it become even a bigger disaster. I kind of see what point they're trying to get across, it's just that the method they chose is plain terrible. I don't even know where I should start on the big list of problems. What's even worse, the end of this series managed to revert the assumed tragedies of the original Kiddy Grade, which was one of the main reasons I liked it that much to begin with. Now I really wish they haven't made this series...

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 81 (Only a little)
Comedy: 78 (Most are pretty lame)
Action: 77 (Not that good)
Art/Animation: 81 (Mediocre at best)
Sound/Music: 75 (Some characters' voice are highly annoying)
Character: 70 (Not well developed)
Plot: 80 (Quite lame)
Ending: 76 (What the crap)

Re-watch value: 30 (Shouldn't even watch it first time)

Overall: 70 - Not that good

Recommendation: If you didn't like the original Kiddy Grade, then don't bother with this one. But if you liked the original Kiddy Grade,
I still wouldn't recommend this, because this is much worse, and it will destroy the good image of Kiddy Grade.

[End] Nodame Cantabile Finale: Grand

If you ask me, among all three Nodame Cantabile series, the original is still the best. But that doesn't mean the other two are bad. In my opinion, they are all exceptional animes, it's just that the original series set a standard which is a bit too high for anything comes afterward to surpass.

About the so called "finale", depending on how you look at it, you could be either satisfied or disappointed. On one hand, it eliminated most uncertainty in the paths that all the characters are going to take; but on the other hand, the ending is almost complete open, meaning if the author feels like, she can totally just make another run at it again. Personally, I think it ended in a good note.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (All about drama)
Comedy: 86 (Not as good as original, but not bad)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 82 (Still think the art still is a bit strange)
Sound/Music: 94 (Love the music)
Character: 90 (Well developed)
Plot: 83 (Kinda slow...)
Ending: 87 (Good enough)

Re-watch value: 65 (It may still be fun)

Overall: 89 - Wrapped up...kind of...

Recommendation: Nodame Cantabile series is one of the best made music themed anime, period. If you haven't seen the first two series, I recommend you start watching. You're missing out a lot of good stuff.

Friday, April 2, 2010

[Ended] Kobato: Feeling it...just a little bit

Much like a typical work from CLAMP: it has a good point, but it dragged on for a bit too long. Many times throughout the series, I was ready to let go of it. But it seems that the director knows the tolerance limit of a typical audience so they feed just enough information about the overarching plot every once a while to keep them curious enough that they'll be willing to put up with them for a couple more episodes. Very clever tactic indeed, because that's how I was able to finish this series. In my opinion, there are way too much extra stuff that could be cut off without hurting the main plot. It is totally possible to shrink this into a short series instead of a lone one.

Having said that, this series is not without merit. The end is predictable, but the climax right before it was somewhat moving, especially they way they setup the "no escape" dilemma. But that's about all the merit for the ending I'd give them. If I were to write the story, I probably would have ended it an episode earlier. Really, the last episode feels more like a bolted on epilogue than part of the story.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 78 (Somewhat)
Comedy: 80 (Not that great)
Action: 81 (Stuffed animal battle...)
Art/Animation: 80 (CLAMP)
Sound/Music: 80 (Typical)
Character: 83 (Interesting)
Plot: 88 (Well developed)
Ending: 78 (Too predictable)

Re-watch value: 30 (

Overall: 79 - Only if it's shorter and ends better...

Recommendation: Even though there are things like from this anime, I just can't recommend this to anybody. At best I'd rate this a mediocre.