Tuesday, May 29, 2012

[Dropped] Shining Hearts: From Bad to Terrible

Last Episode Seen: Episode 5

I thought it was pretty bad to begin with, but since then, they seem to have pulled hand break--it has just become unbearably slow. I'm sure these characters they're "slowly" introducing are probably somewhat important people that they would cash in their early favors to fight the grand boss, but there ought to be a better way other than this extremely slow one-per-episode business. On top of that, I had just about enough of these extremely nice talk of the girls.

One problem of typical RPG adapted anime is that sometimes they tend to follow the game too closely. These boring short arcs we've seen so far in Shining Hearts probably would have been a bit more interesting if it is in the game, since you're actually involved with the story. But when you're strictly an outsider watching what's happening, it's become almost unbearably boring. However I think this is rather localized problem that probably mostly caused by directors and screenwriters, because some anime series such as the Tales series are much better quality in terms of directing and the plot flow. Shining Hearts just so happens to be a badly written and directed anime.

Final Score: 43

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Natsuiro Kiseki: the Unexaggerated Comedy

Currently finished: Episode 6

Comedies tend to be exaggerated. It's been a recent trend that funnier you want your comedy be, more and more exaggerated you should make it. Natsuiro Kiseki however, went the other direction, which showed us how comedy doesn't have to be bouncing off the top: a lighthearted story with some subtlety could do equally as well on making people laugh. It actually reminds me much of Hanasaku Iroha in style and varieties in characters, but with a bit lighter overtone. It too break out some melancholy moments once a while. So in certain way, it might feel more like Ano Natsu de Matteru, except it's womance instead of romance ^_^.  To me, it seems that they've gotten most elements right for a series like this, however, according to anime discussion sites, it seems that so far not nearly as many people are fond of this as Hanasaku Iroha or Ano Natsu de Matteru, which puzzles me quite a bit.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nazo no Kanojo X: That's some...weird fetish

Currently finished: Episode 5

When I say fetish in the title, I don't really mean to say the characters in the story have some weird fetish (well, that's well known), what I want to say, is that the author of the story got some really weird fetishes. More I watch it, stranger it gets; stranger it gets, more intriguing I actually felt. While I'm definitely interested enough to want to see to the end of this, every time when anything scene involves spit exchange comes up, I just couldn't help myself but feeling some discomfort in my stomach >_<

Aside from that, I have to say this story is getting more a more weirdly interesting. More and more things start to show up to suggest that there are even more weirdly strange things hidden in the back. Unless you just couldn't stand this weird fetish, I'd say it's mostly worth it to  keep on going at it...for now

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tasogare Otome x Amnesia: A Refreshing Mix

Currently finished: Episode 5

While some of you may consider this to be just trolling around in a schizophrenic fashion, personally, I think this mix and blend of horror and comedy with seamless transitions is quite refreshing. Frankly, I don't think I've seen a good horror genre anime that is also a good comedy at the same time. If anybody know any, please do recommend, as I'd like to explore this rare genre a bit more.

One problem, as  I see it right now, is what this series is trying to achieve. While everything is amusing, I'm not sure where it's heading. Maybe it's still just too early and they're still in the character development stage, but I can't seem to recognize any grand plot it's trying to push. The few potential ones I can think of, are more or less voided in the first three episodes. As it is right now, it's just wandering around aimlessly. Consider this is only a short season anime, they'd need to develop some sort of plot soon, otherwise it'd feel extremely rushed towards the end or end up being incomplete.

Accel World: Rushing the Plot

Currently finished: Episode 5

Is it just me or does it feel like they're rushing a bit too much? Don't get me wrong, I'm liking this series very much so far, it's just I can't help but notice people's change of heart and emotional transitions are unnaturally fast. Like someone had their heart set on certain things, then it took only one blow for them to change their heart, I mean, genuinely (the keyword here is genuinely) change their heart to admit their wrong doing. I think they could have done a bit better transition on that or put more thought into it. But again, if they did, I might have been making a post criticizing they're dragging LOL.

Anyway, the bottom line is that so far I'm really liking this series. (Don't mind my ranting above, pretend I'm just trying to pick bones from eggs...out of respect, lol). Even it didn't initially pop into my top 5, I think in mid-season review, it'd definitely be in my modified top-5 list.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

[Poll] April 2012 New Season Poll is Open

Now the last of the new season is out, let's take a look at what the best of the season has to offer. Compare to last couple of seasons, we have seen quite some amazingly good series coming out. It seems the good anime drought is indeed over--again I'm having trouble deciding what series to cut  instead of what to put on my top five. After quite some deliberation, I finally narrowed down my top 5 picks. Let's start from the bottom, shall we:

No.5: Sakamichi no Apollon. While it's not anything exciting, it has a very interesting beats to it. I can't quite grasp just yet what is it I'm like it so much for, it's definitely something I'd like to keep watching.

No.4Sankarea. The overall premise is weird yet intriguing, on top of that, it is just very well executed in terms of translating the manga to the screen.

No.3: Fate/Zero 2nd Season. Well, this technically isn't a "new" series, since it's only the second part of a long season series. Nevertheless, I need to mention it here because as far as quality goes, this would definitely seize the No.3 spot of the season.

No.3 (the real one): Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? of the Dead. I think there are many people out there just don't understand this series. Personally, I just think there are so much brilliance that are worked into into the series. One side note, I think you'll have to watch the first series to understand this one. Otherwise, I don't think you'd appreciate it nearly as much.

No.2: Tasogare Otome x Amnesia. I don't think anybody going to argue this series deserves to be one of the top 3 anime of the season. The character has great chemistry, the comedies are funny, and it's very well directed. The most intriguing part, is how they have mixed comedy and horror in the same place and you can distinctively feel them both very well.

No.1: Jormungand. My mind had quite some struggle on deciding who should take the top seat of this new anime season, specifically, deciding which of the top two should take the spotlight. They're both excellent animes (or should I say, animes with excellent first impression). Ultimately, I think the little extra action and explosiveness and the message it was passing off (about weapon is the the tool to keep peace instead of disrupting peace) won me over. It actually felt like an unique blending of CANAAN and Black Lagoon, which both are excellent action animes.

So those are my top 5 pick, feel free to cast your vote on the right side. I'd like to see how much my opinion deviates from my blog readers ^_^

p.s. my friend danchou (the guest author of this blog) (^_^)v may post his top 5 soon as well. I'm very much interested in what he has to say about them, since our opinions differed a bit over past several season.

Friday, May 4, 2012

[New April 2012] AKB0048

Info: http://myanimelist.net/anime/12149/AKB0048
Download: available through http://www.nyaa.eu/
Genres: ehrrr...Idol?
I've watched: 1 episode

Summary: After another world war, earth try to rebuild its society by eliminating entertainment so people's emotions could be easily controlled (I've seen something similar before...that's right, the movie Equilibrium). There's a however idol group performs rouge concerts named AKB0048.

First impression score: 73 - That's a Dumb Concept

Personal comments: The concept just sounds...retarded. But, I'll give it a chance to see where it's heading.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

[Ended] Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam: Another Epic Journey

Now the new season surge is completed, I'm finally having some time to complete some series I wanted to finish from previous season and share some thoughts. 

While GONZO hasn't always produced top-notch series, Last Exile is definitely one of their flagship animes that showed us they indeed are a production powerhouse. However, after they made some bad decisions to produce lots of less-than-mediocre series instead of fewer good series, they were forced into bankruptcy. This new pseudo sequel to Last Exile, can be seen as the first real product of the newly reformed GONZO after they emerged from bankruptcy.

Overall, I have to say they've done a decent job. To make the plot less complicated, they chose to use two female lead characters so romance wouldn't be getting in the way of the central plot's development. The biggest difference, however, is that instead of a conventional villain, an antihero took the role to appose the heroines of the story. Though it's only a simple swap of role, the effect it had towards the overall feel of the story is actually large: in the original Last Exile, there's always someone everybody could hate on--the villain; in this case however, it's really difficult to place blame of the misfortune of everybody on the antihero because everybody, hero or the antihero all had noble intent. It's just that different people had different perception about what's good and what's evil, and how much evil is acceptable in order to obtain greater good. That has always been something people have struggled with, whether in history or in fiction. I'm really glad this story made this the focus of the plot because personally, I'm always intrigued about how different authors attack this topic. Even though the plot became increasingly predictable towards the end, what it built up to that point is still rather moving.

Because of the topic it touched, I think I tend to get a little excited about the story. Naturally my scoring of the anime would reflect that. So there is no need for arguing with me why this is not as good of an anime as I made it out to be--this is my person opinion, and may deviate quite a bit with others. ^_^

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 92 (Highly Dramatic)
Comedy: 83 (For what it had)
Action: 80 (Some CG are not well blended)
Art/Animation: 86 (Mostly good, with some less desirable CG blending)
Sound/Music: 94 (Love the music)
Character: 90 (Good blend of old and new)
Plot: 90 (Typical antihero plot)
Ending: 91 (Predictable, but wrapped nicely)

Re-watch value: 60 (So so)

Overall: 91 - An Epic Story, Renewed

Recommendation: This new Last Exile is a good story, and I found it particularly interesting about how they fit the casts of original series in. Criticize as you may, but I think GONZO had finally produced another worth while anime.