Tuesday, September 28, 2010

[Ended] Giant Killing: All the Excitements!

Sports anime has traditionally never been my favorite category because aside from a few exceptions, it's always a one man show of how an extremely talented person manages to conquer all obstacles to become the best in the sports.

Fortunately, Giant Killing IS among those few exception.

I'm not a big fan of soccer nor sports animes in general, so before I even started watching it, I already tagged this anime as "watch one and throw away" because there was nothing in the description of this anime sounds interesting, at least to me. But one episode is all it took to change my mind on that. Maybe it has something to do with the ongoing FIFA World Cup at the time, but Giant Killing really is a sports anime of a different kind for many reasons. For one, even though there are some character centric development throughout the story, it's never been just about one person. On top of that, the story introduced a crucial element of team sports that most other sports animes usually ignore: coaching. This added a dimension known as strategy into the a story that normally would be dominated by only hardcore action and one man's determination. And that is what made this story so interesting.

Although the story itself is far from over, the anime ended at a point that everybody could be happy about. They could easily extend this series into another season but that really wouldn't be necessary. So in short, I think it ended on a good note.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Sports drama)
Comedy: 86 (Not its focus, but fun for what it has)
Action: 90 (Soccer action)
Art/Animation: 86 (Interesting style)
Sound/Music: 84 (Adds to the excitements)
Character: 92 (Very well developed)
Plot: 83 (semi-formula, but still interesting)
Ending: 88 (Well enough)

Re-watch value: 70 (Loses some excitement, but still fun)

Overall: 88 - Best sports anime I've see lately

Recommendation: I've read someone's review saying Giant Killing is GTO trying to reform a soccer team. I think that has much merit to it. So if you like GTO type story, and don't mind sports anime or soccer, you definitely don't want to miss this. Or if you just like sports animes in general, this is probably one of the best sports anime I've seen in last couple of years.

Monday, September 27, 2010

[Ended] Kaichou wo Maid-sama: Ends Well

Come to think of it, there is really nothing special about this story--typical high school comedy/romance, popular guy and unpopular (well, kind of) girl, and a secret she desperately wants to keep. However, by mixing and blending them just right, they managed to create an very interesting story. Whether high school romance comedy is your cup of soup or not, this is definitely one of the better animes of the year.

Having said that, however, this anime does have its short comings. For one, the story follows a very typical formula of the stories of same type: heroine gets in trouble, hero comes to rescue. It does get old fairly quickly especially for a long season series. In fact, I think the story writer too realized it about three quarter of a way through that they have to introduce a new "competitor" out of blue just so the story would continue move forward. I wish they could have done something more creative or simply reduced it to a short season.

One other thing I would like to note is the ending--most series like this tend to have a very open ended ending. In this case, even though it felt a bit rushed and cut off in the final scenes, it actually has somewhat of a conclusion. And it's not an one sided conclusion like we see in so many shoujo animes, it actually ended in an agreement that you feel comfortable enough to just leave the story as it is without any regrets about missing out on the "real" ending.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 80 (Really depends on how you look at it)
Comedy: 87 (The deforming scenes are always fun)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 90 (Cute characters, and funny deforms)
Sound/Music: 82 (So so)
Character: 82 (Typical, but very likable, and with some depth)
Plot: 75 (formula)
Ending: 88 (Good enough of an ending)

Re-watch value: 60 (Maybe...maybe not)

Overall: 82 - Solid

Recommendation: A long season is a bit much to invest in a series like this. But if you want some soft romance served with a dose of comedy
, it's definitely the top choice from this year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

[Ended] High School of the Dead: Yeah...

Finally, this boob bouncing panties flashing zombie killing action comes to an end. Apparently, Zombie + high school student + huge boobed girl is one of the most popular anime formula ever created--a couple of posts ago, I made some comments criticizing it, I got more feed back comments disagreeing with me than all comments I received in past month combine.

Honestly, I really don't see why everybody is so hyped up about this anime: it really is just stereotypical apocalyptic plot plus large amount of fan service. By my standard, it's mediocre at best. But again, this would be a wet dream of a 15 years old boy who's looking for nothing more than boobs, panties, and zombie slicing actions.

I guess I should stop writing before I literally shred this anime to pieces. Here is the final score board:

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 80 (Maybe...just a little...)
Comedy: 80 (Not that funny)
Action: 90 (Pretty good action, especially those produces fan service)
Art/Animation: 83 (Fan service, fan service)
Sound/Music: 83 (Nothing special)
Character: 82 (Easier to identify with boob sizes...)
Plot: 74 (Stereotypical)
Ending: 75 (Not)

Re-watch value: Depends (whether you want to see those boobs and panties)

Overall: 74 - This is as high as I'm willing to score it

Recommendation: Just for fun, maybe, but it really doesn't hold any intrinsic value what so ever.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Asobi ni Iku yo: It's Nagi!

Currently finished: Episode 10

For some reason I didn't recognize it until now--the voice of Manami Kinjou is done by one of my favorite voice actress, Haruka Tomatsu (戸松遥), also known for her voice as Nagi from Kannagi, Corti from Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica, and Lala from ToLoveRu.

As for the story, after about almost half a season worth filler and random stuff, it seems it's finally back on the track for some more serious plot. But at this point, it's a bit too little too late.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

[Ended] Kuroshitsuji II: Ended, Again

When the first season of Kuroshitsuji ended, I thought they've sealed up the entire plot pretty tightly that it's highly unlikely they can't produce any sequel to the story uses the same characters. Then at the beginning of this second season, they introduced a new rival to Ceil Phantomhive to make this supposed "sequel".

It's pretty clear that this sequel is mostly a afterthought because there are quite some elements don't really fit into the whole plot that nicely. On top of that, this whole ending feels just too...convenient. But it does spark a conflict within your own mind on whether you should feel sympathetic because what happened to the characters, or a satisfied for the exact same reason.

Overall, other than the feeling of this whole series is too much of a "bolt-on", I don't really have much against it. Depending on whether you like to keep an pristine memory of the original series, you may or may not want to watch this one.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 83 (Kind of...)
Comedy: 80 (Not really much)
Action: 80 (Nothing special)
Art/Animation: 87 (Same ol' dark style)
Sound/Music: 83 (Nothing special)
Character: 82 (Feels a bit shallower than the original)
Plot: 82 (Acceptable)
Ending: 85 (A permanent seal this time?)

Re-watch value: 30 (Really isn't much there to watch again)

Overall: 83 - Acceptable, that's about it

Recommendation: It's not bad, but like I said, depending on whether you want to keep a pristine memory of the original series, you may or may not want to watch this one.

Friday, September 17, 2010

[Ended] Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi: Slice of Slice of Life

You might call this a "slice of life" anime, but in my opinion, it's not even a "full slice" of life. They had a chance to make it a bit less "ordinary" by adding some dark twists in the plot that relates to Ryouku's past and build a grant finale by redeeming all the favors in this final fight. But no, that didn't happen. Not only the finale is highly anticlimactic, it also came an episode too early. Come to think of it, though, the entire series is about each individual character's back story, including that "supposed" big plot, is merely the back story of Ryouku.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 78 (Mediocre at best)
Comedy: 80 (Barely acceptable)
Action: 80 (Nothing special)
Art/Animation: 80 (Typical)
Sound/Music: 83 (At least May'n sing the opening theme song)
Character: 82 (Good depth, but really nothing exceptional)
Plot: 77 (Barely any)
Ending: 72 (Highly anticlimactic)

Re-watch value: 10 (Don't even think it worth watching the first time)

Overall: 78 - Less than Mediocre

Recommendation: No. That's the recommendation. Even if you have too much time to spare, do something else, you don't need to waste your time on this.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

[Movie] Broken Blade 2

Fortunately, after that highly anticlimactic ending of the the first movie, we didn't have to wait too long before the second movie came out. This second movie, however, seems to have completely shifted its focus to try to make this anime a "typical" mecha anime by adding the emphasis on mecha technology advancement, pursuit of the "better" mecha, and the worst of all, the screaming slow-mo final strike. I really don't understand why people still find these things entertaining when same stuff have been done countless times in every single mecha anime.

Other things that worth to note, is that because the first movie ended in such a highly anticlimactic manner, in order to keep the plot flowing, the climax of this movie actually occurs at the beginning of this movie. And it's especially apparent when the second half of this second movie is almost nothing but still images with conversations. I wonder, why instead of a single hour and a half movie, they decide to make two forty minutes movie?

I have to say, this second movie of Broken Blade is quite a disappointment. But if you're a fan of huge mecha battles, you still might enjoy it. Otherwise, this is mediocre at best.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Amagami SS: The Wrong Turn

Currently finished: Episode 10

Is this just me or this anime starts to getting worse and worse in trying to work bizarre sexual fetish into it? Sometime I'm quite confused what they tried portrait the main guy as: earlier on, you can still kind of sense that the story is trying to let audiences sympathize with the unfortunate encounters in this guy's life, lately, however, it seems that the story has solely been focusing on how he's unintentionally trying to take advantage of every girl he met. So...are we supposed to like him or hate him?

Having seen the previous adaption of same company's game, Kimikiss Pure Rouge, I can definitely say when it comes to producing high quality anime from similar genre, J.C.Staff (the producer of Kimikiss) beats AIC (the producer of Amagami SS) hands down. I hope the game maker of Amagami don't hand AIC for producing any of its future project. So far, in my opinion, they have ruined Amagami SS quite badly.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Asobi ni Iku yo: Getting a bit...tired of this

Currently finished: Episode 8

Well, I've been busy for last several week, and my blog has been in hibernation since late august, now it's time to bring it out of it.

So, back on the real topic, even though I've been somewhat entertained by this anime early on, at this stage, I think it had just taken a turn to move towards what I would call "tasteless". I mean seriously, an anti-matter bullet whose sole purpose is to disintegrate matters other than human body? Doesn't this just scream "unnecessary fan service" or what? And I found it funny that in most anime, when this kind of technology gets invented, girls would be the sole target for them--hardly any guy ever gets shot by one of these things.

In fact, if it weren't for the fact this anime's original character design is done by one of my favorite artist, Houden Eizou, I would have dropped it long time ago. This is how bad it has gotten.