Tuesday, November 30, 2010

[OVA] Air Gear: Kuro no Hane to Nemuri no Mori - Break on the Sky

Even though Oh! Great is one of my most favorite manga artist, I have to admit that his stories are usually quite out of whack. That is no exception for his Air Gear series.

The original TV series aired quite a while back (like 2006 or so), so I don't remember much details about the story. But I do remember it was filled with some pretty far-fetched gibberish. And 4 years later, when they decided to make this OVA, I can tell that they went full out on their nonsense making and made it filled with some most ridiculous stuff you could see, along with some symbolism that didn't quite make sense and a semi-straight face while trying to convince you they're being serious about the story they were telling. Did they honestly think anybody actually going to buy in this load of BS?!

*Sigh*, Oh! Great, your art is still amazing as ever, but would you once a while write some stories that actually make sense?

The bottom line is, if you were actually a fan of Air Gear, go ahead proceed with this OVA (you do need prior knowledge from the TV series to understand this though). But if you've never heard about Air Gear or Oh! Great before, don't bother with this OVA. Your time is better spent elsewhere, because honestly, this OVA holds no value I can see what so ever.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Amagami SS: ?!

Currently finished: Episode 21

We're finally down to the last (Tsukasa) arc of this infinite reset series. I have to say, even though I wasn't initially really fond of this "reset" play, it did kind of grow on me (no, not the reset, I'm still not fond of it, the anime grew on me). I think it's mostly due to the fact the quality of the arc has been getting progressively better, the main character has been acting less and less like a total pervert, and most importantly, the lead female has become more and more likable.

Back to the current arc, the reason I had the "?!" as the title is due to the fact while this opening episode looks just like a setup episode of any other arc, there was something really weird happening in the last 10 seconds. That had me scratching my head, and for the first time in this series, making me actually really eager to see what's about to happen in the next episode.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Yosuga no Sora: Did She...rape him?!!!

Currently finished: Episode 7

I'm a bit confused, about whether they're really trying to imply that's what happened or did I just completely misunderstood them...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Toaru Majutsu no Index: More than Just Index

Currently finished: Episode 7

This anime should be re-titled from "Toaru Majutsu no Index" to "Stories of Academy City", because, really, there are just enough none Index-related subplots as Index-related subplots. In fact, the biggest complaint I had against the original series is that they went too far and too long off the side-arcs (as oppose to Index-related arcs). If they had indeed named it "Stories of Academy City", I'd had no complaint what so ever against it. Grant it the title "Stories of Academy City" is nowhere near as catchy as "A Certain Magical Index", but with some thoughts, the author really ought to be able to come up with a less misleading and equally powerful name.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sora no Otoshimono Forte: There was a reason I kept this one on my list

Currently Finished: Episode 8

By my standard, this series should be long gone from my watch-list because unlike most regular series, this is 80% filler, 20% contents. However, as it slowly unfolds the story in that 20% content of its, I find it is somewhat intriguing that this little substance can actually build such an interesting plot, with some moving moments. (Yes, yes, laugh as you may, I actually thought episode 8 is somewhat moving...well, just a little bit...)

Anyway, what I want to say is that while by no mean I would consider this at "good" anime, this most definitely would not fall into the category of "bad" anime--even though the majorities is made of highly formulaic fillers, it's still quite entertaining. And add in some once awhile "moment", it actually makes it somewhat a mediocre anime.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ok, Who Copied Who?!

While I was trying to catch up on Sora no Otoshimono Forte and Motto To Love Ru, which are pretty much the two lowest priority animes among everything I watch, I ran into to episodes that both involves mutant watermelon!

So I wonder, exactly who plagiarize who? Or is this just an cooperative effort of the anime industry to sync all event together to boost watermelon sales? (or hurt watermelon sales?)

This is just dumb. It shows you how low has the anime industry has fallen from its peak creative era a couple of years ago to this ridiculous nonsense nowadays. I guess when the economic suffers, so does human intelligence.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Densetsu no Yusha no Densetsu: A Good Anime Many People Don't Know About

Currently finished: Episode 19

Started in the same season with extremely overhyped High School of the Dead, this has evolved into an epic story that involves magic and politics play of several different countries in a fantasy world.

It started off pretty simple. However, as the story rolls, it starts to get more and more complicated as more side story start to merge into the main branch. Now, it seems all parts of the grand plot has been revealed and the story is about to roll into the ultimate showdown.

Because this is not one of those highly advertised, overly hyped story, many people I talked to who watches animes aren't even aware of this anime's existence.

True, there's nothing in this anime is as nearly exciting as bullet dodging boobs in some other animes. But the complexity of the story itself is more than enough to make it up. If you like an anime with some substance, you should really try to pick it up if you haven't yet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Otome Youkai Zakuro: Pushing the Right Buttons

Currently finished: Episode 6

I've spoken very highly about this anime early on in the season and considered it to be the best anime of the season. Now, 5 episodes later, I would like to reaffirm again how good of an anime this is.

First off, the screenwriting and directing strikes a near perfect balance between fast action and slow transition, thought provoking plots and light hearted comic relief, local climax and setup for the overarching storyline. It has everything, in the right dose and at the right time. This is literally one of the best screenwriting and directing I've seen lately (Shyamalan, learn to direct like this).

They insert just enough information and comedies so that it doesn't feel being dragged through the slow part of the episode and they don't get too carried away in the fast paced fights and maintains a nice rhythm with that interesting little lullaby.

Then there's the character development. It is nice to see the character developments blended right into the moving plot, because nowadays it's quite often to see story become either too character focused which we end up with a very sloppy plot, or too plot oriented that all characters end up feeling completely two-dimensional. A good balance between them makes characters come to live and letting you develop an emotional attachment at the same time. If juggled well all the way to the end, it could well become one of the best anime experience you've ever had.

At any rate, that's enough praising for a single post, I better stop now otherwise people will think I'm being paid to write this for them.

While I'm liking it so much mostly due to more of a personal preference--I guess it's just pushing all the right buttons for me, still, you can't deny the fact this is just a very well made anime, period.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Star Driver: This is Retarded

Currently finished: Episode 5

From the get-go, this anime has shown us that it wants to be as far-out as possible in terms of ridiculousness by having names such as "Galactic Pretty Boy". Then every step along the way, as if they feel they haven't been ridiculous enough, they throw in more.

Take this episode for example, early on, when they were setting up, I thought, "you know, it'd be retarded if the bad guy lost the battle against GPB this episode because of that flaw in the character". Then 5 minutes later, GPB literally defeats the bad guy using that retarded flaw.

The level of retardedness is just reaching higher and higher. At this point, it's not that I'm following this anime because it's good--I just want to see how much more retarded it can get.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Amagami SS: More Playfulness

Currently finished: Episode 18

This arc (Rihoko) is by far my most favorite one among all so far, topping my previous favorite, the Haruka (1st) arc. Reason? Well, I guess it's because I actually like Rihoko as the lead female and Junichi is not acting like a complete pervert this time.

On top of that, the voice of Rihoko is one of my favorite voice actress that I haven't heard her as a leading role for a while: Ryoko Shintani (新谷良子). You could probably recognize her easily if you have seen any of the Galaxy Angel series, as it'd be pretty difficult to forget the ultra playful voice of "Milfie".

So far, I think this series has been plagued by cheap plots and asserting too much of the pervert contents. I'd be much less critical towards it if they'd been more sincere about each character's story rather than trying to make them all about sex.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Meta-Tropes?

Currently finished: Episode 5

I'm not sure if I'm right, but I think I'm getting an idea about the underlying point of this series: it's an exhibition of dating-sim tropes!

Really, the main character is just going through the different scenarios from different dating-sims in "real life". It's a meta-meta-tropes wrapped in one more layer of meta-trope! It's so meta that before I wrap myself inside this infinite meta-loop, I better quit writing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yosuga no Sora: H-Game On TV?!

Currently finished: Episode 5

The hell? is this the new trend the anime business going? After AmagamiSS, Yosuga no Sora is another anime that instead of trying to create a more original plot that blends many elements from different threads into the same story, it chose the cheap method of hitting the reset button at the end of each short arc to recall the "save" point so that you can see what happens if a character had chosen to make an different decision. It literally became an H-game that is being automatically played out for you on TV. What's more, it actually made all, I mean ALL aspects of H-games available in the anime, including the R-rated contents. Do they actually air these uncensored on network television in Japan?!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Toaru Majutsu no Index II: Return to the Roots

Currently finished: Episode 5

I have to say, this first "real" arc of this second Index series is actually somewhat impressive, consider how low of an opinion I had after watching the second half of the original series. The reason, I think it's the fact they've returned to the root that made the series so popular at first place--action oriented plot as building blocks for a grander arcs. The first series start to lose momentum half way because they had fall to making small arcs that doesn't really contribute to a grand plot. In fact, I believe two of their arcs from the first series are inserted into the first series mostly serve as a lead-in for their Railgun series. So the returning to making the building block for a grander plot in the first arc of the new series couldn't make me any happier.

Having said that, however, the preview at the end of episode 5 suggests that the next arc is going back to the silly crossover with Railgun again. Well, I hope that doesn't last too long, 'cause to me, that is one sure way to kill my interest for this series.