Monday, October 25, 2010

MM!: Mix and Blend


Currently finished: Episode 3

While everything still feels like an extreme version of Working!, episode 3 added an interesting twist into the story make it almost feels like an quick instant replay of the second half of Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi, or at least what I thought Ookami-san would have become. Even though the event is self-contained, it definitely adds an extra dimension to this story that I originally thought to be no more than an extreme version of Working! clone.

Very interesting.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

[OAD] Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi


I don't know if it's because new ideas are hard to come by nowadays or people are just not satisfied with the original adaptions, it seems that these days, more and more manga adapted animes that didn't stay "true" the the manga are being remade into either another TV series or OVAs.

Having seen the TV series, but never read the manga, I can tell you that I liked the original Yozakura Quartet TV series, with exceptions of the ending--it is terrible, it doesn't make sense, and because of that, I think the whole series ought to be remade. So when I heard they're re-making Yozakura Quartet into an OVA series that supposed to "stay true to the manga", I was quite happy.

Then I saw the first episode of Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi.

My first impression? I was a bit shocked. They completely changed the art style that neither does it resemble the original TV series, nor does it resemble the manga--it's something completely new and wacky.

WTF?! If the illustrator of the manga has never done any TV work, then I could understand that production studio could have a slightly creative freedom when transforming the art from paper to the screen. But Suzuhito Yosuda (the creator of the manga) has actually done some pretty high profile design works for TV series before, specifically, he designeded the characters for Durarara! and guess what, they look very similar in style compare to the original Yozakura Quartet series. So I don't understand how could the production studio could just completely ignore the style of the original manga and make up some new art style that looks completely out of whack when they're supposed to "stay true to the manga".

Then the problem doesn't just stop there, I think due to the contribution of this strangely different art style, the entire episode feels wacky, whether it's the parts that supposed to be or not. At this point, I just can't seem to be able to take the story seriously any more, like I treated the original series.

I was hoping for something good, something better than the original series, but it shattered it. Unless they can pull off an extremely interesting story in next couple of episodes, I'm probably going to call this one a loss.

Current score: 79

[Movie] Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime


Remember two posts ago I said that most movie remake of anime series are really just the last attempt to squeeze of the franchise? Well, in my opinion, this is exactly what Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime is. It's literally the cut-and-pasted replay of the entire TV series with some plot point changes that is convenient for fitting the entire story into a shorter plot. This modified story, I have to say, makes a lot less, yes LESS, sense than the original story. Some parts of the story, especially those towards the end, are just plain silly and laughable.

Even though they're in the similar situation of shrinking a full long season into a less than two hour long movie, unlike Fate / Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, this movie slows down quite a bit in the middle. Generally, a slow part in the movie would allow the story to insert some background explanation on certain to make the plot clearer. In this case, however, most of them feels they're dragging too much unnecessarily. Maybe it's a certain atmosphere they were trying to set, but I don't think it's very effective.

One other thing, somehow I didn't notice it last time around, due to either ignorance or the fact they didn't literally have the Lombard Street or Golden Gate Bridge in the TV series (or did they? I don't remember at all), the Macross Frontier city is completely, I mean completely, modeled after San Francisco.

Score: 80 - "B", only barely

Recommendation: Honestly, I wish they haven't made this movie--the end of the TV series is already a bit of a stretch when they're trying to go over the top with hyped up excitement, the plot of this movie is worst. In fact, I'd describe the plot for the second half of the movie to be completely out of whack--you literally have to turn your brain off to be able to withstand the bombardment of some most laughable idiotic ideas they're trying to pitch at you. If you liked Macross Frontier TV series, I would actually recommend against on watching this movie. Yes, it is that bad.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

[Movie] Bungaku Shoujo


This is a story about a girl named Touko Amano, who can eat and taste books and stories (yes, literally) and Konoha Inoue, a high school boy who used a female's pen name to write a best selling shoujo novel. However, due to an incident, he could no longer write.

When I first heard the concept, I thought that she only eats books as some kind of habit, what I wasn't expecting, is the fact they made it clear within the first 10 minutes that she literally could "eat" and "taste" the book, not only by reading it, but actually eating it. But soon, I found out that this is only minor detail that merely serves as the lead-in to the real story.

Originally, I thought this is some light drama even light comedy. But then, I realized this is a much darker and more twisted story than I anticipated.

The pace of the story is not exactly fast, in fact, it's quite slow by normal standards. But the story itself is so intriguing that I'm completely absorbed in it that the hour and a half passed by like no time.

If you have to know, this is a story about love and quest to conquer the darkness in one's heart. I think this is a story that fits a very particular acquired taste, meaning not everybody could appreciate it like me and people alike could as I've seen quite a few reviews online that consider it to be mediocre at best. To me, this is definitely an "A" anime. You have to be able to appreciate not only the sentiment it put you through, but also the contrasting darkness hidden deep within some characters' heart at the same time. I found more often than not, people could accept one or the other, but not both at the same time. That's why I think liking this story would require a very particular acquired taste.

Score: 91

Recommendation: Like I said, you may or may not be able to appreciate this story, all depending on your taste. Personally, I would highly recommend this anime movie.

[Movie] Fate / Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works


This is an alternative setting / alternative story line of previous adaptation TYPE-MOON's famous visual novel, Fate / Stay Night.

To shrink a story that is long enough to fill a long anime season into less than two hours, there are a lot of stuff have to be cut out. If I have not seen the original Fate / Stay Night, I'd probably be slightly lost during the first half of the movie trying to figure out the overall premise this story is based upon because it jumps right into the action with very little dialog that trying to explain what's going on. However, the upside of this is that there's never lack of excitement throughout the course of the whole movie--fight after fight, there's never a dull moment in the movie that does not require your full concentration.

For those who like Archer (over Saber that is, which I know quite a few people do), you're in luck, because this movie is all about Archer. Although Saber may still seem to be the main character in the beginning, but the story really is all about Archer, directly or indirectly (I can't say anymore without spoiling anything, but you'll know what I mean when you watch it).

Also, unless I remembered wrong, aside from the alternative setting, there are some major plot points of the story that did not exist in the original Fate / Stay Night anime. But it's possible it has existed in the visual novel all along and I'm just not aware of it since I've never played the visual novel.

Usually, I'm pretty skeptical about movie remakes of existing anime franchise because majority of them are no more than the final squeeze by the production studio for more cash out of the franchise before it's forever forgotten. Before I watched this movie, I thought this is the same case.

But it ISN'T.

To summarize in short, Fate / Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is a fast paced story with some highly explosive actions and quite some original contents that were not seen in the anime series. Although it's a bit difficult to catch on with the background if this is the first time you've seen this franchise, it's still a great action anime just by itself even without the understanding of the significance of what the plot of this movie contributes to overall Fate / Stay Night story.

Score: 93

Recommendation: Highly Recommended! Also, it'll be highly beneficial if you watch beforehand either the original anime series or the Fate / Stay Night TV Reproduction OVA which recaps the entire story from the TV series in two one hour episodes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

[OVA] Shakugan no Shana S


Finally, I can get a break from the new season opener and start to dig into the OVA backlogs I've accumulated over last couple of month. I'll start with Shakugan no Shana S.

Honestly, I'm not sure about the purpose of this OVA. Some say it serves as a transition to the third season, but I failed to see how. There are probably grant total of no more than 5 minutes of scenes that I can see that could potentially support a future plot--that is 5 minutes out of the total close 100 minutes of the OVAs spanning 4 episodes.

So really, this is just the production studio trying to squeeze this famous franchise for a bit more cash in this economic hard time.

Monday, October 18, 2010

[New October 2010] Kuragehime


Japanese title: 海月姫
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1708.html

Genres: Comedy / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary:
Tsukimi Kurashita loves jellyfish. She lives with a group of Fujoshi (female otaku). One day, because of a jellyfish, she brought home a very special "princess"...

First impression score: 84 ~ Noitamina!

Personal comments: Oops, apparently I jumped the gun on rating the best animes of this season. In case you aren't familiar with it, Noitamina is a Fuji television programming block devoted to anime that since its launch had brought us countless classics such as Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Mononoke, Eden of the East, The Tatami Galaxy, and more.
One thing you can count on the Noitamina is that it'll always be something unorthodox, in a good way. Kuragehime is no exception. There is no fancy art or special people involved in the story, but whatever they did with this anime, it managed to grab me less than 5 minutes into the opening episode. On top of that, this is quite an unusual topic as well--most story of this type focus on Otaku that are male; but this, focuses on female Otakus, which is quite a refreshing and unusual concept. In fact, I'm liking it so much that I'm willing to recall my statement for this season top 5 anime to have it replace Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai for the No. 5 slot.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

[Poll] Top 5 for October 2010

Alright guys, that's all the new animes for October 2010 season. Surprising, the season I thought is going to be a big bust turns out to have quite a few decent animes, including a "A" grade initial impression series, which is actually quite rare if you have been following my blog long enough. There are a couple of them missing from my review, namely, Hakuouki: Hekketsu-roku. I'm not going to bother to review because I've dropped the season one half way through due to it being too "dry" in content. There would be no point to watch any of this season since it's just a continuation from season one.

So, before I put up the poll to let the unreliable masses (I've totally lost faith in the masses after High School of the Dead has been voted in for last season's top anime) to collectively decide what are the top 5 anime of the month .

So my top 5 for October 2010 new anime season are:
  1. Otome Youkai Zakuro
  2. Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
  3. Bakuman
  4. Iron Man
  5. [Edit 10/18/10]Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai Kuragehime


Otome Youkai Zakuro
in my opinion is the undisputed best anime of this season. It's just very well made in all aspects, period.

No. 2 and 3, I don't think too many people would disagree with me about having them in top 5.

No. 4, Iron Man,
could be just a shock factor that it had turned out to be a much better anime than I was expecting.

[Edit 10/18/10]
And No. 5, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai, I'm really not thinking too highly of it at the moment, but I do think it has potential to become something much better as the season progresses.

At this moment, Kuragehime definitely tops Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai for the last spot in my top 5 anime of October 2010.

[New October 2010] Iron Man


Info: http://www.animax.co.jp/marvelanime/
Download:
http://www.nyaatorrents.org/
Genres:
Action
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Iron Man!!!


First impression score: 85 ~ Better than Expected

Personal comments: Well, I'm a bit surprised that instead of some major studio in US cashing in the success of this franchise by making a cartoon series of Iron Man, Japanese picked it up first to make an anime. Maybe it is better this way since it's less likely for Japanese to turn this into an endless money cow that get continuously squeezed by the Hollywood executives. I'm actually quite impress by the quality of the show, at least for this opener episode. It is way better than what they've done in the past on anime adaptation off US movie franchise. Although, it is a bit weird hearing Tony Stark speaking Japanese everywhere...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

[New October 2010] Toaru Majutsu no Index II


Japanese title: とある魔術の禁書目録II
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1685.html

Genres: Action / Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: The story of Touma and Index continues
.

First impression score: 81 ~ Not a bad restart

Personal comments: I save it to the last because I feel this series is a bit overly hyped. So I wanted to see the rest of the season opener before I see this. It's an interesting restart to jump right into the action. But as for the story content, I could be wrong, but I don't think anything in this opener story has anything to do with the main story line (the part before the ending credit that is).

[New October 2010] Tantei Opera Milky Holmes


Japanese title: 探偵オペラ ミルキィホームズ
Info: http://milky-holmes.com/
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/milkyholmes
Genres:
Kids
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Story about couple of girls called "Milky Holmes" at Holmes Academy
who has powers called "Toy". But one day they lost their "toy" and became just ordinary girls. They now have to work hard to reclaim their power.

First impression score: 76 ~ Children's Anime

Personal comments: I think I'll pass, too...childish.

[New October 2010] Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku


Japanese title: FORTUNE ARTERIAL 赤い約束
Info: http://newtype.kadocomic.jp/fortune/
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/fortune-arterial
Genres:
Drama
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A guy keeps changing school because his parents' work. One day he's back to a place he lived once before and run into some old friends.


First impression score: 81 ~ Huh?

Personal comments: For the most part, it looks just like a typical H-game adapted anime. However, the first and last 10 seconds of this opening episode make me curious about exactly what this story is about.

[New October 2010] Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt



Japanese title: パンティ&ストッキングwithガーターベルト
Info: http://newtype.kadocomic.jp/psg/
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/panty-and-stocking-with-garterbelt
Genres:
Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Panty and Stocking are two fallen angels on earth who fight ghosts to collect heaven coins to avoid falling further into hell
.

First impression score: 78 ~ Adult Fart Jokes

Personal comments: Someone describe it as Japanese version of Power Puff Girls. To me, style wise, it feels more like Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, another cartoon network show that is similar in style to Power Puff Girls. This show is pointless, it's a purely adult fart joke show. I don't think I'll be keep following it...

[New October 2010] Shinryaku! Ika Musume


Japanese title: 侵略!イカ娘
Info: http://www.ika-musume.com/
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/squid-girl
Genres:
Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Due to pollution, Squid Girl (Ika Musume) decides to revenge by conquer the world, starting from beach house restaurant
.

First impression score: 76 ~ Huh?

Personal comments: ...

[New October 2010] Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru


Japanese title: それでも町は廻っている
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1696.html

Genres: Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Arashiyama is a clumsy girl who works at a maid cafe at the neighborhood shopping district, but she has no idea how to act like a maid. So her friend decide to give her a quick crash course
on how to be a proper maid.

First impression score: 81 ~ Pointless

Voice Talent: Chiaki Omigawa (
小見川千明) as Hotori Arashiyama. She's best known for the voice of Maka from Soul Eater and Jun from Natsu no Arashi.

Personal comments: For starters, you can't help to notice that this anime feels extremely similar to Natsu no Arashi! Well, that's because it's directed by the same guy. Other than that, there's really nothing special about this anime.

[New October 2010] Togainu no Chi


Japanese title: 咎狗の血
Info: http://www.togainu.tv/
Download:
http://www.nyaatorrents.org/
Genres:
Action
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: After World War III (aslo known as the Third Division),
Japan is divided in two. Some street fighting dude was framed for murder. Somebody offered him a deal to get out by participating in some fight.

First impression score: 79 ~ Slow and Unnecessary Poses

Personal comments: One of my biggest complain is the pace being too slow--everybody is just taking their sweet time to talk, to walk, to inspect. Even the fight feels so slow. On top of that, almost everybody make a pose before they do anything. And consider how many pretty guys are in this anime, I'd say the target audience is definitely female.

[New October 2010] Motto To Love Ru


Japanese title: もっと To LOVEる -とらぶる-
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1706.html

Genres: Comedy / Fan Service
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: The alien Lala is still as active as ever, naked as ever
.

First impression score: 70 ~ Pointless

Personal comments: If it weren't for the voice of Lala,
Haruka Tomatsu (戸松遥) who happens to be one of my favorite voice actress, I'd probably drop this series right off the back. As it is right now, the same ol' comedy is getting really old. On top of that, the OVA series have introduced several new characters that I'm not aware of (since I didn't finish it). So if I'm ever short on time this season, this would be the first to go.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

[New October 2010] Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai


Japanese title: 神のみぞ知るセカイ
Info: http://kaminomi.jp/index.html
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/the-world-god-only-knows
Genres:
Drama / Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: Katsuragi is a high school student known as Capturing God who can "capture any girl in gal games. One day he received a challenge to capture a girl
. But this time, it's something that is out of his league.

Voice Talent: It seems that
Ayana Taketatsu (竹達彩奈), the voice of "Azu-Nyan" of K-ON! has been quite busy--this is the third new series of the season she's cast in. On top of that, a voice that is so familiar but haven't heard for so long, Atsuko Tanaka (田中敦子), who is the infamous voice of "Shousa", or "Major" in some translation, Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex.

First impression score: 80 ~ Copycat?

Personal comments: Ok, it's almost a complete ripoff from Yu Yu Hakusho. Instead of having a dead trouble kid earning his way back to live, we have an otaku try to earn his way back to freedom from the contract he made with the devil. On top of that, in stead of riding a oar everywhere, the "guardian" carries a broom everywhere and sweeps. However, copycat or not, so far it's somewhat entertaining. I'd definitely would give it at least till the half season before I make a decision on keep or drop.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

[New October 2010] Otome Youkai Zakuro



Japanese title: おとめ妖怪 ざくろ
Info: http://www.otome-zakuro.jp/index.html
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/demon-girl-zakuro
Genres:
Drama / Fantasy / Comedy?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary:
In a alternate reality Japan, where human and youkai co-exists, Kei is assigned to a department to work with youkai. The problem is, he is extremely afraid of youkai.

Voice Talent: Mai Nakahara (
中原麻衣) as Zakuro. Her voice doesn't really have any distinct characteristics, but the charming passion in her voice can definitely be felt in the role she's playing just as her role as Nora in Spice and Wolf or Nagisa in Clannad or Mai in Mai-HiME.

First impression score: 91 ~ Pretty and Interesting

Personal comments: I vaguely remember a couple years ago, there was an anime with similar setting--alternate reality with youkais. But I was not very fond of it. This, however, has a very interesting opening episode. It's a light drama with some light comedy that are mixed just right. On top of that, perhaps just a person preference, I think the art work is very very pretty. So overall, this winning package earns my first above 90 initial impression rating for the season.

[New October 2010] Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge


Japanese title: 荒川アンダー ザブリッジ×ブリッジ
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1686.html

Genres: Comedy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: More ridiculous stories from residents under the bridge
.

First impression score: 80 ~ Nonsense

Personal comments: It's still kind of funny, but it's getting a little old by now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

[New October 2010] Yosuga no Sora


Japanese title: ヨスガノソラ
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1699.html

Genres: Drama / Harem / Twincest
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: After parents' death, Haruka and his twin sister came to
live in a small mountain village.

First impression score: 81 ~ Twincest

Personal comments: It's slow, it's pretty, and it's clearly twincest.
On top of that, I'm a bit surprised about some random uncensored nudity scenes. If you have problem with this kind of topics, you probably just want to avoid this all together.

[New October 2010] Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls


Japanese title: 百花繚乱 SAMURAI GIRLS
Info: http://www.hyakka-ryoran.tv/
Download:
http://www.nyaatorrents.org/
Genres:
Action / Alternate Reality / Hentai?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: In an alternative history feudal Japan,
a guy arrives at a school. Upon arrival, he was dragged into a struggle between rebels and student council.

Voice talents: One of my (and everybody's) favorite
Rie Kugimiya (釘宮理恵) again is playing a loli girl.

First impression score: 86 ~ Interesting

Personal comments: At first I thought it's going to be something just like Koihime Musou. But it's not. Though it does have some of the similar comedy and action, it actually feels completely different from Koihime Musou. Or maybe I'm just not familiar enough with Japanese history to know. The opening theme song is sung by Feylan, the performer of the opening theme song of CANAAN, and Seikon no Qwaser. In fact, I noticed she's the singer because the this opening theme song feels almost exactly like CANAAN's opening theme song, which I love very much.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

[New October 2010] Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai


Japanese title: 俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない
Info: http://www.oreimo-anime.com/
Download:
http://www.nyaatorrents.org/
Genres:
Comedy / Incest?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary:
A guy accidentally finds out a secret of her little sister.

Voice talents: Not ony this anime features
Ayana Taketatsu (竹達彩奈), voice of Azu-Nyan from K-ON!, as the sister, it also features, Satomi Satou (佐藤聡美), voice of Ritsu is also part of the cast here.

First impression score: 88 ~ ...Different

Personal comments: It's...different. That's all I can say at the moment. But it's definitely interesting.

[New October 2010] Shinrei Tantei Yakumo


Japanese title: 心霊探偵 八雲
Info: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/anime/yakumo/
Download:
http://www.nyaatorrents.org/
Genres:
Drama / Horror / Thriller
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary:
A girl came to find Saitou Yakumo, who can see spirits, to seek help for her friend who's posessed by spirits.

First impression score: 84 ~ Slightly Overdramatized

Personal comments: It's generally good, except the I think they overplayed a bit to make everything "dramatic". Also, there's a cliffhanger at the end of episode one that confuses me a bit. I guess they're trying to use that to lead into the plot? I think they could have done better than that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

[New October 2010] MM!


Japanese title: えむえむっ!
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1690.html

Genres: Comedy / Perversion
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: An extremely masochistic guy wants to fix his problem with masochism
, so he came to Voluntary Club to seek for help, from there, many things start to go wrong.

Voice talents: Ayana Taketatsu (竹達彩奈) as Mio Isurugi. Her voice is better known as "Azu-Nyan" from K-ON!. Also, Jun Fukuyama (福山潤) as Taro Sado. He's voiced too many roles, most famous ones include Lelouch from Code Geass, Kraft Lawrence from Spice and Wolf, and most recently, Shinra Kishitani from Durarara!!!

First impression score: 81 ~ Perverted

Personal comments: Although it doesn't get to the level of perversion as Inukami, but it actually gets pretty close. Perverted, but not disgusting, if made well, I can potentially see it being something similar to Working!

[New October 2010] Letter Bee Reverse


Japanese title: テガミバチ REVERSE
Info: http://www.ani.tv/tegamibachi/
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/tegami-bachi
Genres:
Drama / Fantasy
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary:
Continues where season one left off when Lag meets Gauche.

First impression score: 79 ~ Slow Paced

Personal comments: Grant it this has never been a fast paced series, it just seems that there are so few things happened in this episode. The concept as a whole was pretty interesting to begin with, but season one just wasted way too much time on unimportant stuff, and they didn't start to develop the real plot until the last couple of episodes. At least the beginning of this second series put the plot right into the action--hopefully they will continue to develop the main plot instead of sidetrack all over the place.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

[New October 2010] Sora no Otoshimono: Forte


Japanese title: そらのおとしものf(フォルテ)
Info: http://newtype.kadocomic.jp/soraoto/
Watch online:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/heavens-lost-property
Genres:
Comedy / Fan Service / Sequel
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary:
Sakurai Tomoki continues to live with the two angeloids, Icarus and Nymph.

First impression score: 77 ~ ...

Personal comments: I wasn't impressed by the first series, and the opening episode of this second series is not much of an improvement as far as I can tell. But it seems at least they're going to start up the really plot a bit sooner than previous series did.

[New October 2010] Bakuman


Japanese title: バクマン。
Info/download: http://animesuki.com/series.php/1695.html

Genres: Light Comedy / Light Drama / Slice of life
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A story about two
guys who want to become mangakas.

First impression score: 86 ~ Fun

Personal comments: It's a mixture of very light drama plus very light comedy.
On top of that, a little light romance is thrown in just to spice things up. Judging from the setup of this opening episode, it seems that we are probably not going to see any thing close to the conclusion of the story by the time this anime series ends. You'll know what I'm talking about when you see the end of episode one.

Monday, October 4, 2010

[New October 2010] Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto


Japanese title: STAR DRIVER 輝きのタクト
Info: http://www.star-driver.net/index.html
Download (sub by ggsub):
http://www.ggkthx.org/
Genres:
Fantasy? / Scifi? / School? / Mecha? / Ridiculousness?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: A boy came to a school on an island, then...um...WTF?


First impression score: WTF?

Personal comments: At first, it's like a typical start of an alternative world school drama. Then, it just turn into a..."WTF?". I mean, there's a semi-mecha thing everybody recognize it officially as "
Galactic Pretty Boy". Yes, when it showed up, everybody who knows what it is has a dead serious face pointing at it and screamed "Galactic Pretty Boy!!!" as if it was some super duper type of mecha right off the mecha encyclopedia.

[Ended] Occult Academy: Paradox


It's hard to rant about this without spoiling anything. So I'm going to just touch it slightly. For the most part, the beginning of the final episode creates a paradox that nobody seems to bother to address. On top of that, the final fight...let me just say it didn't make much of sense. As a whole, however, the end result is the creation of yet another but a bit more interesting paradox.

In short, this series is a wild goose chase ended in unexplainable paradoxes. But is it interesting? You bet!

Sometime there really isn't a good way to get around certain paradox that a good story concept would inevitably cause--not everything could be perfect, sometimes you just need to learn to appreciate as it is.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Drama centric)
Comedy: 83 (Humor in unexpected places)
Action: 90 (Lots of actions)
Art/Animation: 88 (Realistic style)
Sound/Music: 82 (Good, but not much impression)
Character: 86 (Interesting)
Plot: 83 (some fillers, and paradox, but mostly good)
Ending: 88 (Unexplainable paradox, but you should be able to look over that)

Re-watch value: 50 (Loses re-watch value without the surprise factor)

Overall: 87 - Pretty good for what it is

Recommendation: Aside from a couple of paradoxes, the series is quite enjoyable. It's definitely among the top ten of the year.

[Ended] Asobi ni Iku yo: Too much filler, not enough plot

It started off really interesting with all the character build up. Then it just went to s*#t. With about 2 episodes left to go, suddenly, they decide "oh, let's put some plot back into this series with whatever the time we have left".

The story definitely had potential, with interesting characters and somewhat an interesting concept. But instead of trying to build a complex plot around it, they decide to make a series comprised of 80% fillers. Since it's adapted from a book, I wonder whether it's how the author wrote it, or it's just the director of the series decide to turn it into a fan service cash cow instead a bit more meaningful story. Highly disappointing.


Final scoreboard:

Drama: 80 (More girl drama than anything else)
Comedy: 80 (Really not that funny)
Action: 74 (Some are quite lame, others are just mediocre)
Art/Animation: 80 (Cute, only because it's designed by Houden Eizou)
Sound/Music: 80 (Nothing special)
Character: 72 (Very shallow)
Plot: 70 (Less than 20% of the series...)
Ending: 80 (It wraps up alright)

Re-watch value: 30 (Once is more than enough)

Overall: 75 - Highly Disappointing

Recommendation: My opinion is, don't waste your time on it. Even if you have too much time to spend, they could be better used else where.

[Ended] Sekirei ~ Pure Engagement ~: Third Stage

Like I said in the previous post, there are many things this anime do that would earn a dings to its score, yet, there is something strangely attractive despite the original series didn't leave much of a good impression at all.

Yes there are lots of boobs in this anime, but in this case, not only it didn't help in giving me a good impression about this anime, it probably hindered it. But even so, I have to admit, at this point, the story is getting more and more interesting. For the most part, I'm really just curious what's behind all these nonsenses. And on top of that, since it's been going on long enough, I have developed somewhat of an attachment towards the characters. Unfortunately, we have to take yet another break because the end of this second series is the launching of what they call "the third stage". So there'll be at least another season to this.


Final scoreboard:

Drama: 83 (Not too bad)
Comedy: 81 (Weird)
Action: 81 (Boob bouncing actions)
Art/Animation: 80 (Huge and almost naked boobs)
Sound/Music: 83 (I like it)
Character: 82 (Further developed)
Plot: 81 (Moves a little bit forward)
Ending: 77 (Wait for season three)

Re-watch value: 50 (Not really, unless you're interested see those bouncing boobs again)

Overall: 81 - Better than first season

Recommendation: If you could tolerate season one, I think you'd find this season much more enjoyable because it furthered quite a bit more plot and character development.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

[Ended] Seitokai Yakuindomo: Um...

In a short, Seitokai Yakuindomo is Seitokai no Ichizon filled with sexual jokes instead of pop culture references. It's really nothing more than something "just for fun" to watch. In fact, I think the only redeeming value of this anime is how creative the author managed to get sexual jokes/references into every day-to-day activities. But I think that by itself, may just be amusing enough that it would worth the 5 hours you put in to watch it.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 80 (...)
Comedy: 84 (Sexual)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: 80 (Typical...)
Sound/Music: 80 (Nothing special)
Character: 80 (Perverted)
Plot: N/A
Ending: N/A (There is none)

Re-watch value: 60 (It may just be as amusing to see it again)

Overall: 81 - Amusing

Recommendation: If you have some spare to watch something completely meaningless and want to be somewhat amused, then this may just be the right cup of tea for you as long as sex jokes don't bother you.

[Ended] Sengoku Basara 2: History on Steroid

Funny thing about Sengoku Basara is the fact as ridiculous as they're making this anime to be, they try their best to stick to the actual history. Just like previous season, the anime itself is not meant to be taken seriously. It's meant to be explosive, flashy without deviating too much from the actual history event. This reminds me much of a Saturday morning cartoon (if anybody still remember those) long time ago called Histeria!, not only it mean to be entertaining, but educational at the same time.

Depending on how well you brain can switch back and forth between real history event and pure ridiculousness, you may either love it or hate it. To me, it's definitely former.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (History drama)
Comedy: 84 (Over the top ridiculousness)
Action: 93 (BURNING!!)
Art/Animation: 90 (Interesting...)
Sound/Music: 89 (Blood pumping)
Character: 90 (Even more interesting)
Plot: ?? (Historic?)
Ending: 86 (There are more to come...)

Re-watch value: 60 (You really want to see more of this ridiculousness?)

Overall: 83 - Really depending on how you can take it

Recommendation: If you like the first one, you probably would like this sequel as well. The problem is, it loses quite some of the freshness from the season one. But in my opinion, it's still a pretty good anime.

[Ended] K-ON!!: Every Good Story Has to End

The first series is a blast. This second series, even though have lost much of the freshness the original series brought, in my opinion, is still one of the top moe comedies I've seen lately.

The biggest downside of this sequel, as I see it, is that it goes onto the offshoot a bit too much to fill in a long season instead of just be happy with another short season. I think the motivation behind this series is a bit more oriented towards being a cash cow than anything else. Granted that's the motivation behind all animes, but when an short series covers two years of school, yet a long series only manages to cover another one year, it seems they have stretched it a bit too far.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 87 (Kinda...)
Comedy: 84 (Lost some freshness)
Action: N/A
Art/Animation: -- (Moe)
Sound/Music: 88 (HTT for the win, but I think season one is better)
Character: 90 (Very interesting)
Plot: N/A
Ending: -- (It really isn't, nor does it need one)

Re-watch value: 70 (May still be funny from time to time)

Overall: 87 - Good, but not nearly as great as the original

Recommendation: All in all, this is still a good series. If you like moe style of comedy, then you would probably still like this.