Sunday, January 5, 2014

How dandy was space dandy?

So it’s finally here! The long awaited bastard child of Shinichiro Wantanabe and practically everybody who was involved in the CowboyBebop Movie has finally aired (in both English and Japanese!) So did it blow my mind?

In a word: No.

If I were to be completely honest I wouldn’t be surprised if some people found episode 1 underwhelming and, personally, this was a worry I myself had for a while now. It’s true that Wantanabe has been involved in some major works, the fun Samurai Champloo and favorite of myself and many Cowboy Bebop, but the thing with those shows was that they not only had a plot of focus but while they did have their comedic episodes the tone was usually serious. Space Dandy is slated to be a full on comedy, and while Shinichiro definitely has talent, humor is always, ALWAYS going to be a grey area. What’s funny to one person won’t always be funny to another and so on, while some aspects of humor can be discussed humor is usually what one makes it. One Japanese man (and his crew) going up against the whole world on the battle field of comedy for 24 to 26 weeks is a gamble to say the least. That said however, I don’t count space dandy out.

Aside the fact that one episode simply isn’t always enough, it wasn’t as if Space Dandy was absolutely dull. The beginning of the first episode did make me chuckle with some of the fourth wall breaking and I did enjoy Dandy’s monologue about the world needing more ass man (in the English track at least, but I’ll be touching on that as well). There wasn’t anything especially funny in the boobies restaurant but it did show off some nice animation regarding dandy chasing meow . The second half of the episode is where things get a bit… trippy. Unknown to dandy, he’s being chase by what appears to be an alien gorilla in a ship that has the head of the statue of liberty ball gagged, this doesn’t mean much of anything however as meow accidently sets off warp drive sending the current main cast to a planet where not only an amusing and trippy animated chase scene happens but by the end of the episode the main cast apparently dies due to the whole planet being nuked…only to bring up in the preview for the next episode that they somehow survived. While I wasn’t laughing out loud the episode was very amusing, especially in the second half and the animation is, as expected great. One of the reasons as to why I don’t exactly count out space dandy however is that the humor seems to take a card from the episode title and just goes with the flow. In the boobies section we could have easily forced in a lot of fan service gags, but most of the jokes, whether they worked or not, seemed to come out naturally depending on the situation and in my opinion nothing really seemed forced. This leads me to think that this may be a slow burn and that the best material will probably come a bit later.

Of course I can’t talk about space dandy without acknowledging the fact that the dub will not only be airing alongside the original Japanese airings, but it also arrived in America on toonami first. I’ll be frank, I’m not a person who pays much attention to voice actors or seiyu so I don’t mind listening to anime in either dub tracks or the original Japanese. Out of the two versions I only saw the first half of the episode in subtitles while I saw the entire episode from beginning to end in English. For me the dub track seemed to help the humor especially with dandy’s boobs vs. ass rant and while the cast itself didn’t produce the best dub ever the end result isn’t bad either. Do not take this to mean I feel the Japanese track is inferior, aside from them filling their roles well too, there are actually some script differences between the two versions. The one I took most notice to what the introduction of Honey and her brief talk with Dandy. When she asks what it is dandy does for a living dandy simply gives her a hint that it starts with ‘a’. In the subs she calls him an ass while in the dub she calls him an… asteroid belt? What is this 2000?! Aside from the sub version just being funnier there the dub version doesn’t really make much sense. After doing some digging (essentially forum browsing) I happened upon a postfrom one of the people working on the show that little script changes like this will be present even further throughout the show and that while small it may affect the story at large. Why these changes are occurring is anyone’s guess but due to this I’ll be listening to both tracks. I stand by my opinion so far that I think the dub is a bit funnier, but I also want to get the original intent of the show as well, meaning I will have to see the subbed version first.

When all is said and done I feel space dandy will ultimately be a show people will be talking about for a while and hopefully it won’t be a case of simply trying to ride on the coat tails of its predecessors.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

To aru Majutsu no Index: Miracle of Endymion

In all honestly I probably enjoyed this film the most, however that doesn't exactly mean it was the best.

I've made it pretty obvious before, but I'm a total fan of Index...even if it is flawed....really flawed at that, ok fine it's a guilty pleasure! As such while I was excited about the film I wasn't expecting anything grand but a good popcorn action flick and for the most part I got what I wanted...for the most part. Basic synopsis this time is...well...Touma meets an Idol, and in usual Touma fashion gets in the middle of some pretty serious shit, where the ultimate solution is punching someone in the face in GAR fashion.

The story is pretty simple but for the most part moves fairly smoothly, especially the opening scene which really got me excited for what I was about to watch. However the middle part of the film may feel like it meanders a little especially since the movie is trying to have as many characters make a cameo as possible (except for you Hamazura, better luck next time). Then it reaches the third act where the pace really starts to pick up, much to it's determent however. The final confrontation wasn't all that impressive due to over saturation of characters involved and the rushed feeling of it all, and the plot twist at the end of the film winds up being confusing, if not rage inducing (due to being a fan of the light novels themselves).

Despite that however the film wasn't that terrible one of the best things about the film is just how well it looks. This is Index with a film budget (which apparently gets transferred to Railgun almost seamlessly.) and when the action scenes arise they are really fun to look at, as all action scenes of this franchise should be. Depending on how well you liked the characters before, it'll be a pro or con to know that they all act in character as a result of the light novel author writing the story himself, and for me it's definitely a plus (except for when Kuroko has to show up). As for the movie original characters the only two you really need to pay attention to are Arisa and  Shutaura. Both characters do their jobs and fill their roles but are nothing extremely noteworthy, while I find Arisa likable enough (it's a relief when these types of characters aren't annoying) I think Shutaura has the stronger character overall. There's another character too but she's just a pawn in the overall scheme of the plot whose fate may get a laugh out of you if you are sadistic enough. There was potential for her to be a more interesting part of the movie but oh well, sour grapes. Music for the film was effective as usual  and featured mostly remixes of tracks used throughout the series and contains a few pieces of it's own which sound great but depending on your taste of music probably won't stick in your head for many days after.

Here is the important thing to note: This is a film for Index fans. If you have no knowledge of he series before hand or are just a fan of railgun, there is little point to watching this movie, especially due to how simple the overall story is and numerous amounts of character cameos and continuity references and jokes it makes. That all said, speaking as an Index fan, I thought the film was fun. Flawed, yet fun. For someone who not only liked the first 2 seasons well enough, but is also a fan of the original source material it was nice to see these characters get a feature to themselves, it only falls short on execution near the end but the creator himself said that he basically wanted this film to be like 'a festival' of sorts to celebrate the series being around and popular for 10 years and on that end, I feel he succeeded.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hunter x Hunter Phantom Rouge

You know, when I was reflecting on the movies I was looking forward to seeing, I told this to myself "No matter what One Piece did, Hunter would probably top it somehow" Heck, I thought this was going to be the best one out of the four...and yet it wound up being my least favorite film out of the four.

 As with last time, I'm assuming most of you have seen the movie already as well as have an Idea as to what Hunter X Hunter is, but I will give you a basic synopsis: It's every fangirl's fanfic ever-made Kurapika's lost his eyes to a friend that's supposed to be a dead Kurata tribe member and Gon and Killua head out to figure who took them and get them back.

First off let me just say it is indeed nice to see Gon, Killua, Leorio and Kurapika in the same screen as each other again, however that's more of a brief strip of luck. As usual its mostly Gon and Killua's show, and as much as it sucks that Kurapika and Leorio are once again shoved off to the side, we're used to that, but that isn't exactly the problem lies. Gon and Killua's 'friendship' is a lot more Ho-yay this time around, and yes I KNOW Ho-yay is a basic undertone within the HxH series, but it was just that, an undertone. Within the film, both Gon and Killua seem to act as though they're two characters in one of those crappy yuri-moe shows. This is shown in the very first scene of the movie where they have a couples spat over whether Killua was staring at Gon's sleeping face, and it doesn't really get better from there. That in of itself however isn't the part that gets on me the most, it's when the movie OC girl comes into play that things become really stupid. Reira herself isn't really bad (but she's not memorable either), what's irritating is Killua's sudden transformation into a jealous Tsundere over Gon being with her. Its very lame to watch an otherwise very charismatic character act like this, especially considering that Gon and Kil have met other people before whom Gon would be friendly with. Sure, Gon is the one Killua is the closet with, but should he really be THAT jealous about this? Especially considering in their first meeting he didn't know Reitz was a girl! Because of this, I really couldn't get into Killua's whole turmoil about abandoning Gon, the whole thing could have worked but it was just really poorly executed, to the point where I thought I was reading a fanfic (and trust me, I know my way around those).

Ah, but what about the Phantom Troupe and Kurapika? Two words: side-lined. Sure, Kurapika does get a segment in the movie where he gives a flashback on his past with his past friend Pairo, but personally it didn't do much for me as it's the same thing I read in 'chapter 0'. While it would be nice for those who haven't read it, it did feel pretty weak to me that all we got out of Kurapika's story was a flash back, some 'creepy' words from Pairo and a pretty damn obvious conclusion that didn't really surprise me. The phantom troupe themselves don't truly show-up more than twice through out the film, any other time it's their fakes and all those do is supply some decent action scenes. Speaking of the action, this film came out during the time where the only one of the main four who had a nen ability was Kurapika So of course Gon and Killua couldn't exactly show off a whole lot. While the fights between phony Uvo and Phony Illumi (the first one anyway) were nicely done, it's just Gon and Kil getting their asses kicked. I don't know what went wrong but the climax battles were really underwhelming, especially for something related to 'Hunter'. That said I think the only thing I enjoyed out of the last act was when the church burned to the ground with the movie OCs in it and after silently looking on for a while our heroes just suddenly declare their goals, with Killua remembering he doesn't have one! (yeah he'd make an awesome MC right?)

Animation and Music wise:

The animation wasn't anything I was expecting from a movie adaptation, it looks pretty much like the TV series. There are of course some off model shots of the characters but otherwise it looks decent, especially doing its job when action happens. However this really felt around the same level as any TV episode, if it weren't for the running time I doubt you could tell the difference had you just jumped in at any given scene. The music was decent and did it's job, my personal favorite track being emperor time. The rest of the track, while not bad, just doesn't stick with me as much, and it doesn't help that the movies theme song was basically the 3rd ending theme(which again isn't the film's fault).

Let the next film be better!
When I finished the film I didn't know what to think at first, Hunter x Hunter is without a doubt one of the best shonen series to still be running (out of technicality) today and has given us the best anime adaptation of any series in said demographic. It was because of these expectations that I felt the film was a disappointment, but as easy as it is to forget it's still a shonen jump flick, there is already another film that is set out to release in Japan this December. If this series really does get the treatment of many feature films I can only hope that a director like Mamoru Hosoda comes along to work his magic as he did with One Piece's 6th movie. In the mean time though we're left with this film, which I feel really fails to meet the standards that made the series enjoyable. I have heard others say they enjoy it just fine, so maybe while it just didn't do it for me, it may work for others as well. I'd just go ask them about it first, because I honestly couldn't recommend this to a fellow HxH fan unless they were a GonxKillua fan girl.

On a final note, there is an interview somewhere with Masoda saying he did have interest in making a hunter x hunter film, so there just may be hope...

Friday, September 6, 2013

One Piece: Film Z

Hi guys! Remember those movies I mentioned I would be looking forward to in one of my older posts? Well I've seen almost all of them and boy do I have a few things to say about them! I'll begoing through them in order of when I saw each film so first is One Piece, second Hunter x Hunter, Third Blue Exorcist and last will be Index when I actually see it. So without further ado, lets get started!

I'll be honest, I didn't expect myself to be seeing this film as early as I did, though part of me wishes that I hadn't due to the downright shitty video quality, but I'll get on that in a bit. Really the big questions are these: Is Film Z a good movie and does it Surpass Strong World?

The answer: Yes and Yes...though neither are probably in the way you were hoping.

I'd like to assume that most people reading this have seen the movie already, and at least have a good understanding of the series, but for those who haven't: stop reading this and/or go do so. If you're still here out of stubbornness(or actually have seen the film making this section pointless towards you) here's the plot in a nutshell: Z's a bad mother fucker, he pissed off Luffy and the two fight a lot.

As simplified as I make it, there actually is quite a bit of back story and development for Z himself through-out in this film. Things one would already know about his back story, that he was an ex-marine admiral his arm fatally injured and got tuned into a big ass mech arm, the works. However, there is a bet of melancholy to his tale as Zepher isn't some villan who wants to take over the world just to be a dick, he was a genuine believer of Justice. Of course if you know one piece then you know the marines and world government aren't exactly the most righteous group around, and their nature pretty much screwed Z over on many levels to a point where he just quits. Of course something must have happened to his head during that time as well as his ultimate plan to 'end the pirate era' is so bombastic even the corrupt government thinks he's insane, of course that could be his personal way to say 'fuck you' to the navy...

As an antagonist, he one of the better ones to come out of the One Piece films as you can legitimately understand where he's coming from and that he does have some layers to him. Despite his goal being so over the top, it doesn't seem to lessen his character and he still manages to come off as a credible threat to both Luffy and his crew. It's a shame I can't say the same for his allies, heck I can't even remember what their names were! They were just sort of there to provide extra obstacles for ours heroes to go through and slightly to bring a little more fanservice (more on that in a bit). We know they're loyal because Z trained them but otherwise, that's it, all they do is just ride on his coat tails.

Speaking of our heroes, the straw-hats themselves were pretty on point personality wise. One of the many things a fan would say about one piece is that even in non canon material they don't  diverge off character to much, and its kind of hard to do so when their personalities are a lot more larger than life compared to other characters who require subtlety. Their interactions with each other is really good here too, you're really shown how these guys have each others backs and respect the crew itself as well as their captain Luffy, for as much of a dumb-ass as he can be. Speaking of the captain, his struggle with Z is mostly the same as one would expect for Luffy to act towards any big bad, however because Z has outclassed Luffy before, when he decided to make it personal it really works. There is even a scene somewhere in the middle which has Luffy in a face where he honestly looks defeated. It's not angst mind you, he doesn't say a word but the face he has speaks volumes. It was because his crew was there with him reassuring him and ready to back him up that he decided to pick himself back up and go at Z again, which really is a staple of the series.

If there's anything negative to say about the crew it's that because there's 9 total, it's hard to give them a bunch of good scenes to themselves. Some members of the crew will appear more important than the other even though they're supposed to make up one whole group, and really even the series itself has that problem from time to time. There are even a few added on gimmicks for them such as Nami being turned into a loli, Robin being turned into a 18 year old and Chopper becoming more of a chibi than he already was. This even happens to brook to, but the result is a lot more hilarious than the others. As I mentioned there is fanservice, which is caused by the female member of Z's crew but as is usually the case with this series, its not in the way we usually Identify it. Yes Nami's been turned into a loli and Robin's curves are showed off a lot more, but that's really it. You're not going to get To love-ru type material here.

The story itself is, as I said, simple, it's the Strawhats vs. Z and his "neo marines". It has quite a number of great moments but there isn't anything really groundbreaking going on here. It's more character based, riding on Z's character and Luffy's conflict with him. There are some cameos from marine admirals Akainu and Kizaru, and Aoikiji's presence in the film is a very interesting one. By that, I mean most of the time, these sorts of films have nothing to do with the main story's canon, however as one piece fans will notice, this film is really the first time we truly see Aoikiji since his mentioned fight with Akainu and departure from the Navy, seeing hat scars he's recived and getting a few hints as to what his next actions may be towards the future. As interesting as that is, within the context of the film, he's just the wild card that also knows Z.

Action's OK. As a shonen jump action property one would be expecting really off the wall action scenes and while the animation itself is good what actually happens in the fights isn't exactly eye-popping, especially if you've been a fan of the series for a while now. The majority of Luffy's crew gets to fight the mooks that make up the Neo navy which while fun to look at due to their odd set of abilities, it's still a fight against a bunch of mooks. Zoro and Sanji's fights are the ones that have a lot of great animation pushed into them, but neither of them amaze as to what actually goes on. One piece fans have come to expect these two to be able to cut and kick their way through almost anything, so seeing them cut bullets or kick through super powered plant life really isn't going to surprise us. The angles and dynamic animation of the fights are pretty much wasted since their opponents aren't really a challenge to them, which is another discredit to Z's main allies. The best action scenes are mostly when Z himself is involved, one would think he's be a sloppy fighter with that giant metal arm he has, but he puts that thing to good use. He was able to stand up against Kizaru and almost utterly treat Luffy like a child, even making a GUN work against him. While part of this may be due to the series "rock beats scissors" like structure of world building, Z himself is a pretty damn good fighter in his own right which brings to some of the movie's best fight scenes.

In the animation and music department, it's handled as well as you would expect a insanely popular property like One Piece(In Japan) would be handled. The animation is really nice with a great color palette and works with rotating angles a lot, often making sequences where there are almost no cuts and sort of follow the characters in one long shot. It's really the sort to thing that needs to be seen in HD to be appreciated. Music wise it has some nice pieces as well, one being "Kaidou", which brings a really somber, yet honorable feel to the listener. There are a lot of orchestral pieces that match well with the series's setting and only a few rock and techno pieces are used (which are pretty good as well). Of course one can't talk about the music of this film's music without noting the songs done by Avril Lavine. Look people, I don't really pay attention to a lot of singers or celebrities here so this is going to be my honest opinion of these songs: I don't mind 'How yo remind me of you' as it sounds like just about any song some teenage kid would use in their AMV to make it sound "cooler" but I don't really care for "Bad reputation".

Overall I thought Film Z was a good film, not as good as it hyped itself to be or as much as people hoped but it holds up decently well. As far as in comparison to other OP films, I dons't beat film 6 but it's definitely up there, achieving it's goal in topping Strong world in both antagonist and action.

Lastly, for those of you utterly disgusted by the fact I talked about a shonen series, especially one that you feel is "overrated" as One Piece, there are other blogs, (here's one)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

UPDATE 8-25-13

Yeah... I dun goofed...
It's been months since I ever did anything with this blog and or those few who were actually waiting for me to do something, let me say first and foremost, I apologize, especially considering the last thing I did was an update containing a bunch of stuff I WOULD be doing from that point on wards. I'm officially a college student now so that means now even if I felt like it I probably won't have as much time as I'd like to focus on things like this blog, and believe me I have quite a few other things I do other than this. This time What I'm going to do instead is not make any promises with the exception of the fact hat I will not forget about this blog and do nothing to it for months on end. Even if they aren't weekly anime or manga reviews I still have quite a few things I'd like to talk about regarding the medium of anime and manga (and eventually light novels). I will probably be posting things a lot more infrequently as a result but before I did any of that I felt that the first order of business would be to do this first.

Once again I apologize and I hope my next post will be alot more enjoyable than this. Til next time;


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Final Winter season Impressions

Its late, but with the winter shows done and the spring shows popping up, I think its about time I wrap up my final thoughts on the winter season of 2013! I did drop a show this past season, that show being Maoyuu, simply because I had VERY little motivation to keep track of it anymore, but in turn I picked up a new show:

Problem Children: Like Kotura-san, this was a show I sort of heard about as the season went on and checked it out as a curiosity. All in all it was fun, but that was about it.

The story is essentially that a trio of teens from different time periods with different powers are sucked into this fantasy world and are challenged to participate in these gift games. In these games you can bet anything, powers, pride, land, all of that jazz, and the goal of the group these children are in is to try and rise up from being no-names to being their own powerful- blah blah blah, I don't really give a crap about all of that. To put the story of this series shortly; its like when I first watched Index, there was too much talking and monologuing about stuff that I just partly paid attention and just looked forward to the parts when my favorite characters got to strut their stuff or be funny(which was sort-of cured when I began reading the novels, but that's another topic). In this series case the four main characters are more than enough reason to watch.

Black Rabbit, this show's resident bunny girl, first appears to be the useless fanserivce character, but not only is she actually a bit more entertaining than that, she's also just as much of a badass as the children, if not possibly more. She serves as a sort of a moderator for the games the children gets involved in (even when they bet her) as such, she's very knowledgeable about this world and has to keep her self at a certain level of authority...which the children don't respect in the slightest. Izayoi is most guilty of this and is very shameless about it, but as far as I care he has every right to be shameless.  In a world where LN main characters seem to be spineless or bland, its nice to get a flat out ass who asserts himself in every way possible. He's smart, takes shit from no one and has the power to back it up. You(a character not 'you' yourself) and Asuka are likable characters that either just want to make friends or learn more about the world, and develop friendship that doesn't devolve itself into yuri undertones (See Railgun? It CAN be done!). While they aren't by any means revolutionary actually feel a bit more like characters rather than members of Izayoi's harem. Now that I mention it, Izayoi DOESN'T have a harem, which is another refreshing sight. He causally flirts and makes perverted remarks, but none of the female casts are fawning over him, and I think what's even more likable is the fact that they can group up to cause trouble as showcased above. The only one you could possibly say does is black rabbit, but that's just barely as its mostly just her reactions to his insanity.

Now as I said earlier, this show was fun, but that's really about it. While I realize there is more story within the LN source material (which I plan to read later) this first season never felt as though it went anywhere and I never felt compelled enough to care. No matter how high stakes seemed to be I never really felt any like there was anything to legitimately worry about. That also leads into a bit of a problem Izayoi has: he's too perfect. As refreshing as his antics may be, he doesn't seem to have any weakness or any personality traits that could make him feel a bit more human. Its nice to have a smart main character, but even smart people make mistakes and aren't on top of everything. Even superman has a weakness and Batman had his share of bad days(I'm not exactly a comic book fanatic, but I've heard he had a pretty bad run in with someone who crippled him once) It doesn't help that we don't know what the heck his power is, all I know from spoilers is that he can apparently destroy a star, but that really doesn't lead us anywhere. As a certain someone from Hunter x Hunter put it: 'you can't have that much power without giving up something'. Or you know, something along those lines.

All in All I still like the show, but it seriously needs to fix somethings to be a better series. After all the last thing I want is for Izayoi to go from fun and refreshing to grating and obnoxious.

Kotoura-san: Lets get this elephant out of the room right now: Episode 11 SUCKED.

While there wasn't exactly an issue I had with the serial attacker being too obvious, the execution of such and how the problem was dealt with was so lack luster that it's worthy of face palming into your keyboard. While I may write out these sections I don't find myself to be much of a critic who can be come off as critical about each and every detail, but THAT was simply bad.

Fortunately it was only one episode and the actually last episode pretty much reminded me why I even liked this show so much to begin with: the relationship between Manabe and Kotoura. Not only are they entertaining to watch together but its a bit heart warming as well: through out the series Manabe has been shown to genuinely care and love Kotoura, knowing when its time to stop pushing a joke and actually care about Kotura herself and Kotura herself feeling the same. The relation between Mifune and Muroto was also very interesting, Muroto acting as something of Mifune's consciousness and the times when it shows how much he means to her. I think the only character here who doesn't really get that amount of sympathy is Moritani as its sort of hard to ignore what she did in the beginning of the series and even though the anime tries to make us forgive her it's hardly effective(though the anime does the great job in torturing her after she joins the club for awhile). That  feeling of genuine emotion goes hand in hand with the balance it has with its comedy which really hits (at least to me, comedy and humor are subjective) and is aware of what the story itself is. That's what makes episode 11 so frustrating, as it makes you wonder if the series really can keep that sort of balance when it slipped up so badly. I would love to read the source material to confirm this, but for now I'd rather remember it for what it did right, as it managed that for at least 11 episodes(oh the irony).

Oreshura: After some episodes of typical harem shenanigans we actually get Masuzu's arc, which wasn't quite what I was thinking it would be but this worked just fine as well.

Usually once we get to the last episode we get some sort of faux drama or recap episode that simply lets you know that "everything is the same as always". This show however didn't do that... exactly. Basically, Masuzu's had enough of pretending and decides to let Eita go so he could be happy with people who actually love him, since she can't bring herself to act that way towards people who were actually kind to her. Eita can't weasel is way out of this like most MC's because he hears Chiwa AND Himeka confess to him in front of a large and massive crowd (Ai didn't exactly get an announcement, but I think Eita already got the picture) so when Masuzu goes up on stage to announce that she and Eita 'broke up', Eita stops her and drops the ultimate bombshell: he announces that he loves her, and everyone in the crowd re cements them as a couple...mostly.

While we are back to the way things were in a sense, its a lot more obvious now that things will be going in a much different direction and because of that the ending feels all the more satisfying. Because Eita is actually more aware of his standings there will actually be something to look forward to should this series get a season 2(BTW, the anime has covered four volumes of the so far 6 volume series)

We're right back to where we started...perfect!

Tamako Market:

Dera really needs to take a lesson from Luffy: everything that lives and talks poops.

And so it ends....alright...

So basically all of that stuff about the prince finding a wife really doesn't mean much of shit anymore and in the end we get a standard conclusion where Dera JUST MIGHT leave, but doesn't due to some wacky means. All is well and they lived happily ever after, the end. All right, to be honest its not like this is a bad ending or anything, but for me, they usually work best like this: I genuinely get to like the characters, and the final episode makes me get ready to miss them and their antics. While I consider this show to be a step above K-on, it's still only a step. I don't think I'll particularly miss it or care if there's a 2nd season or not. I don't find it to be a bad show, I did like Dera and some of the goofy antics the towns people would occasionally bring, but I wouldn't say I loved the show either. It actually leaves me a bit puzzled as to why I bothered to keep up with this show when the show I did drop had much more obvious plot constructing going on. Oh well, it entertained me for the moment but it didn't really leave much of an impression on me...

...We'll see if the next Kyoani show does.

Hagenai Next: In the end, I stuck around because I was a stubborn bastard, and if you aren't Bleach or Fairy Tail, I'll at least try to see you out through the end. and to be honest...I was kind of surprised. I just figured the show would just stay into rom-com ecchi that went no where, but surprisingly we actually went somewhere.

Kodaka's ignorance towards the feelings of the female characters is actually being addressed as him pretending, Sena makes a move and Rika's a bit more serious...its somewhat jarring really. I could say that this came out of left field, but if I recalled correctly some of Kodaka's narration was in the tone of him recalling something before a bigger event happened and some of the scuffles between Sena and Yozora haven't all been played for laughs (I think my favorite episode was when Sena called Yozora out during their initial film making episode) and as I said before, Rika has been getting more and more serious about Kodaka's interactions with the club. The last two episodes were the most surprising and satisfying and it makes me hope that when the next light novel(s?) comes out we get an OVA or something accompanying it. Otherwise I wouldn't mind tracking the source down to read it.

Don't let what I just said however give you the wrong impression, as a whole only those latter episodes were really enjoyable and the beginning was rather dull to me. In fact, much like the end of season one, what has this show on my good side is the promise of what's to come. I could say I liked this more than season 1, but in all honesty that's not saying much, especially when Yozora is a bit more likable.

All in all the winter season had three shows that I really liked and four that I would like to see more of, not bad for the 'weakest season' of the year if I do say so myself. These weren't the only shows I was watching though as I did have some carry overs from the fall season(Robotics;Notes, Psycho Pass, Little Busters etc...) but I think I'll just give them their own reviews at some point rather than shove them in here, especially considering some of those shows may or may not have more content to take into account. I'll have my spring season first impressions up when I see at least two episodes of each of the shows I plan to watch(No, I'm not covering Flowers of Evil, I'll wait a bit to see where that heads first) so til then;


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Midway thoughts on Winter season and upcoming Spring season!

So we're about at that halfway mark with most of the winter shows and the new chart for the spring season has come about, so I figure now may be a decent enough time to post about what I've thought of the winter season shows sofar as well as my expectations for next season. So here we go!

My thoughts on the show in a nutshell

"Hey wait a second, this wasn't on my the winter season first impressions!" Well that's what usually happens with me and anime seasons, sometimes I happen to hear enough of a show mid season to make me want to check it out. for the fall season last year it was for Kokoro Connect, and for this season its for Kotoura-san. I avoided this show initially because it seemed like it was going to be the drama of some girl with psychic powers and there'd be crying every 5 seconds. In a way it still very much is, but I decided to give it a shot after nonchalantly watching a video from Jesu Otaku who described it as "funny as fuck". I don't find myself to be someone who matches her tastes in anime to a tee (hell I mostly watch the reviews on that site for entertainment most of the time) but that description made me curious and I'm glad I was.

Since I'm sure most of you have probably seen the show (and if you haven't take advantage of the myanimelist link I put in the shows title) I'll proceed to talk about it disregarding spoilers and without plot summary. In a way I could see what she was talking about as in the beginning dramatic part I was pretty much banging my chair asking why Kotaru san didn't simply keep her trap shut and so the expected discrimination came. The only time I felt any true sympathy for her was when her mom pretty much tells her she wish she never gave birth to her and ditches her. Then there were a few more scenes just to show how much life seems to hate her to which, I will be honest, I sorta laughed when no one would even let her take care of a damn cat. However none of that is particularly the reason why I enjoy the show, its the moment when the Kotaru, now in high school and is pretty much in 'fuck the world mode' anticipates all of her classmates negative thoughts against her and then she looks at the guy who she has to sit next to and she sees....


  a large green flag showed up for me that I was going to like this.

I like my goofball characters and the fact that this guy is the main and has such a great interaction with Kotaru made this a very easy Marathon venture yesterday. Even though there is some drama, which after that beginning was to be expected in my eyes, I didn't find it as annoying as I thought I would, it ain't perfect but good enough.

Oureshura: Normally with the new set of characters in these harem shows, its at the point where I get ready to start liking the show a little less, however I'm oddly not having that effect here. I suppose that's because in there own right new characters Himeka and Ai have been pretty funny to me, which I didn't see coming. I have to say that's all it has going for it though there wasn't anything particularly eventful after the 'burning fighting fightah' episode, and Masuzu's possible story arc isn't being handled that well in my opinion. It merely keeps coming up in short bursts within the humor and Himeko's appearance, this was the worst in episode 7 where there was supposed to be an emotional moment for Masuzu but it made Himeka the focus all of a sudden. While I do enjoy Eita stepping up to defend the members of his harem, pacing for that scene made it hard for me to fully appreciate it. I'm still watching since I find it to be one of the funnier shows I'm watching this season but I seriously don't expect it to be anything special in the long run, which is better than what I can say for some other shows...

Tamako Market: If anything else the show is charming enough, and thanks to Mochiyucky and some inklings of an overall plot, it isn't boring me like K-on. I can probably assume that the show is trying to subtly build up to something from episode to episode, as the song Tamako sings and certian other things seem to be dropped off from episode to episode, wether it will have any pay off or not is to be seen but I do think the show is holding something back and I'm curious enough to see what it is. I'm not the the type to be disturbed by moe or anything I just don't want to be bored (ala K-on) and this show is definetly a step above it, it ain't Nichijou or Chuu2 and it sure as hell ain't Hyouka or Haruhi but its enough to keep me watching for a while.

Mayoyuu: Admittedly, I'm kind of behind on this series, as for why, well I find it hard to fixate my full attention to this show. It has interesting Ideas and all but that's it, my charm with the Maou and the Hero has been decreasing and I'm finding very little to care about. the last episode I remember seeing was when the Hero was about to go into demon world to help his mage friend. I still plan to keep some tabs on it but I really can't get motivated enough with this series...I hear people keep comparing it to some other show, I wonder if that's more fun...

Haganai NEXT: I'm not finding this to be as funny as the previous season to be honest. It does have its momments, there are a few small points that I'm interested in seeing and my fimilarity with the series but that's really all that's keeping me from dropping this season.

I posted a section about some manga I got with gift card money and Attack of the titan was one of those titles. I had heard of this series for a while and after seeing a pretty kick ass trailer for it I decided to buy volume one and...yeah you guys know that I'm interested in the series so watching the anime is pretty much a no brainier. I should probably buy volume two before it debuts though...

I think its pretty obvious that I'm a fan of Index at this point but I have a love/hate relationship with its spin off railgun. I found season 1 to be mostly boring and annoying due to more Kuroko screen time, and I felt like I got gypped as the biribiri screen time I was initially hoping for turned out to be slice of life shenanigans. Its not like I have an issue with slice of life but I wanted Misaka to do more things involving the dark side of academy city or do SOMETHING that was relevant. We have a magic vs. science scenario on our hands and we're just flipping skirts and putting up with Kuroko? "WHAT A WASTE!" I thought (though I did like Misaka's additional moments with Touma and her fight with the giant fetus)

This time however its different. I fortunately read the manga (which I feel is better despite character designs) and found a little gem of an arc that focuses on Misaka's first encounter with the sisters and the level 6 shift project. "FINALLY!!" I thought, THAT was what I wanted! And to add whipped creme on, Kuroko has pretty minimal screen time here! the only down side is that I know how its gonna end since I saw Index and while I don't have an issue with the conclusion, it kinda stunk that the best part about the series in my opinion had to borrow that heavily from the main least the arc afterwards has proven interesting enough...

Doing a bit of reaserch, it this is a reboot of one of those anime classics that's been out for a while now and I suppose this is the continuation. As with Minami Ke, I cannot enter this blindsided and will have to see the reboot from the begining.

Eh....I suppose...

As you can tell from my tone I wasn't especially a fan of season 1, which mostly goes to Kirino just being unlikable to me (again, from a guy who can tolorate f**king Haruhi) however the characters around her were likable enough and the last few extra episodes that ended after the series first run were pretty fun. The more I think about it the more I'm willing to check this one out. It will overall depend on how much I can deal with Kirino, but that's the joy of having a sizable cast, if you don't like one character, you can pay more attention to the other ones.

As for the OVA's and Films the only ones noteworthy for me is the Setokai Yakuindomo OVA, which is stuck in the Kissxsis OVA cycle apparently and that thing that wasn't my childhoo- I mean DBZ movie. All I can say for both is that I'll look at them when they come out, talk about them as well as their overall series abit but these are hardly series worth writing multiple paragraphs over in the name of speculation. That's all for now so til next time;