Well, here is my summary of the month June. Every time I do a post like these, it gets a bit more structure. At least, I hope. I’ve tried out a couple of new ideas, and kept a number of the old ideas. But damn… ranking series can get hard at times. Especialy when there are so many awesome ones.
Last season, the pacing was slow. You’d expect the show to continue this slow pacing in the first season, but instead, it suddenly speeds up. So many things happened during this episode. And even the main plot plays a huge role in this. I haven’t read the manga, though I doubt that things were the same at the manga-arc. Hopeless also noted that Fei Wong did not have a great role int he manga at this point, though right here, his role gets bigger and bigger.
Okay, so what happened during this episode regarding the main plot? First of all: Sakura kissing Syaoran on his glass eye. The two of them were just so cute at that moment! The thing I do like about Tsubasa Chronicle is that the relationship between the two of them gets tighter during every manga arc.
Second of all, it appears that Syaoran indeed is special in some kind of way. We probably won’t hear in what way he is until the second half of the third season has passed, but it indeed has something to do with the fake Syaoran with his eye concealed. This fake Syaoran can control the real Syaoran’s movements, it seems. It seems that the two of them are like mirrors. The anime seems to be giving some very obvious hints towards this.
Third of all, we also learn that Yuuko contacted Ashura, and then she informed her about Syaoran and Sakura. This explains her hospitality. It was her who then offered Yuuko the elixir of eternal life, which gave Yuuko the opportunity to make Mokona do a forced transfer. For some reason, this also caused Fei Wong’s control of the worlds which are to be visited to stop. For some reason, Yuuko really wants to stop him.
Fourth of all, we finally learns some of Fei Wong’s intentions. There is this thing, buried in the ruins of the Clow-Country. That’s what they’re after. For some reason, Syaoran and Sakura have to work for this. The last episode of the first season showed that they don’t want them to find all of the feathers at once. Still, I don’t think that we’ll ever find the reasons for this. Unless the creators decide to end this anime after the third season.
In any case, Fei Wong realized that the Dimensional Witch is the culprit behind the fact that he can’t direct the worlds that Syaoran & co visit, so he’s taken preparations to defeat her. (Interesting note: will this come back in xxxHolic? I suspect not, but it’d be awesome if it were). What follows is his statement that Yuuko is the only woman who managed to use the magic that Clow Reed accepted. Clow Reed appears to be Fei Wong’s lineage. Does that make Fei Wong and Sakura family? This statement was a bit fuzzy, though I think this means that Fei Wong, his minions and Yuuko are the only ones who can travel dimensions. Though then Fei Wong claims that he’ll be the one to grab the power to cross dimensions. But why does he want to do that when he already has the power to do so? (Interesting note: this is the first time we see his assistant smiling).
About the arc: it didn’t make any sense. Why the heck have Ashura and Yasha been fighting, and why did they both show up without an army? Ah well, in any case, it seems that in the past, the two of them were dueling in the castle, and Ashura gave Yasha a scar on his eye. Later, the Yasha appeared in front of Ashura, outside of the castle. Then she realizes that something has happened to Yasha. They end up kissing, and a feather flies by. My theory is that this feather then attached itself to Yasha, in order to keep him alive. At the end of the episode, Ashura kisses Yasha once more, the feather separates and he disappears. Still, it was just a wound on his eye. That’s nothing you’d die from…
Some other unanswered questions about this arc:
– Where are Kurogane and Fye?
– When Mokona pointed out the strongest power source, she pointed towards the castle. Yasha wasn’t there at that time, while he posessed the feather. What could there be stronger than one of Sakura’s feathers?
– Why was Yasha’s statue crying, while Ashura’s wasn’t?
I kept telling myself not to get involved with this drama, though I have to say the following. As you all know, DrmsChr0 started a whole fad of bashing Jason. I have to admit, when I first read it, I felt very inclined to agree with him. But then I started to think. And I thought back about the post I made back in May, when I got kicked off blogsuki.
Basically (correct me if I’m wrong), all people are saying is that Jason sucks because his opinions are horrible, and he doesn’t contribute to the community. I have to admit, my opinion is the total opposite from his. He also isn’t involved in the Anime Nano-community, and doesn’t comment too often. Still, he runs his own forums, and I have had one comment on my blog made by him. Still, I certainly know more people are active when it comes to posting.
Does this make him suck? Of course not. People are forgetting one thing: it’s his site. He can do what he wants with it. The fact is, he isn’t looking for customers. He just wants to show his opinions. What does he get back? Opinions like “you suck”. Honestly, if you don’t want to read his articles, then why do you?
I see people noting that all of the anime bloggers out there are part of a community. Because they are, they have to comment a lot, and be active. This would indeed be true, if we were dealing with some forum. This is not the case, however. I can’t see why people who start a blog are automatically required to comment on other blogs and act like active parts of the community. That’s not the reason to start an anime blog, in my opinion. You should be able to choose this for yourself.
Jyuu Oh Sei really is a series with its ups and downs. Overall, it remains an enjoyable series. I’m glad I watched it. Though it remains flawed. The story is about a young boy, who lives in a sci-fi-like world along with his twin brother. His parents then are killed and he, along with his brother, gets sent towards a planet full of outlaws. Not only that, but the climate is extremely harsh, and full of human-eating plants. He now has to survive, to be able to get out of this planet, and find out who sent him to Chimera and more importantly: who killed his parents.
The plot progression develops in quite an interesting way. The show starts out great, but as it progresses, you keep seeing more and more flaws in the world system that the creators built. Then, as the series progresses even more, the anime changes focus from story to characters. At first, this seems dull. And it is indeed, but then the events start to slightly improve until that arc ends with a very enjoyable climax. The last two episodes then handle the conclusion, and solve all of the questions that were formed during the first episodes of the season. All of this gets closed by a very satisfying ending. Some people hated it, though I really like endings like these. Especially the combination of characters who remained alive was great and original.
Still, the governmential system in Jyuu Oh Sei is so full of questions. It doesn’t make any sense at all. This is supposed to be a world, in which people have to struggle to survive. How come people are living in such huge communities? How are they able to live and gather food? Nothing is explained on that. Then the series also decides to skip four entire years at that point. In order to show the main character, growing up from 11 to 15 years old. First of all, the way he acts is way too old for a fifteen years old. You can only see this by the fact that he keeps making impulsive decisions. Second of all: when we switch back to him, nothing really happened. It’s like he’s been sitting in a chair for the last four years. That doesn’t make any sense at all. Around the later episodes, we also have a character who keeps killing people for some kind of reason. This reason never really is explained.
The fact is, that Jyuu Oh Sei is short. In one case, it’s good, as the storytelling was quite well done. The creators really planned the episodes in, without trying to create rushed scenes, and they succeeded. Though they had to make a sacrifice for this, namely the unanswered plotholes mentioned in the above paragraph.
The music and graphics are nothing really special, though the battle choreography looked quite interesting. Especially during the early episodes you really could see that the creators spent some time into this.
Overall, it’s a short series with only eleven episodes, and I don’t regret watching it, despite the bad moments. Jyuu Oh Sei is nothing special, though if you need something to watch, and don’t have any idea what you want to, I’d certainly recomment to at least check this anime out.
The spring season 2006 began with its ridiculous amount of series which aired. Of course, there had to be a couple of series which got marked by the majority of people as the “worst series of the season”. These series were immediately labeled as bad series. In this case, “High School Girls” and “Makai Senki Disgaea” got this title. I haven’t seen the former, but does the second one deserve that title?
Absolutely not. The fact that most people seem to forget is that this is a children’s show. You will find elements in this show that are meant for children, for example, a male main character who wants to be the demon king and burns people who oppose him to a crisp, and some characters who first appear for a second, only to be blown into the air in a team-rocket fashion because of this. The fact remains, that these events do give this show a character.
If you can not see that this show is a children’s show, you probably won’t be enjoying yourself during most of the episodes. Does this make it a fact that adults can’t watch it? Of course not. Anyone can watch it. All of the characters have personalities who are pretty easy to figure out by children. Though I really noticed after a while that each of the characters has his or her own very enjoyable personality trait. For example, Flonne’s incredible fangirling about love, Laharl’s disgust of it, Etna’s will to depend on Laharl while she actually wants to kill him, et cetera.
Episode 6, 9, 10 and 11 are incredible. In these episodes, all of the characters are really fleshed out, and it works PERFECTLY. The drama works really great. The characters’ intentions are shown, everything which happened before in the plot makes total sense, and at those times, you really can’t help to feel along with the characters. Not to mention the awesome comedy which was thrown in. The fact that this show is awesome is because of these four episodes.
The comedy thrown in also really works at times. At other times, however, the humor is more directed to children. Luckily, this doesn’t happen too often, which results in some very hilarious situations.
The voice-acting is just awesome. The creators managed to find the perfect voices for some of the characters. Especially Flonne. When she’s raving, you can really hear that her voice-actor is giving the best she has. Etna also sounds great, just as Laharl and the other characters. The OST is surprisingly interesting. It’s nothing special, though it does contain some breath-taking tunes, which really contribute to the scenes they’re played in.
The character-design looks great, though the animation might look a bit inconsistent at times. The background art makes totally up for this, though. Every outside scenery looks just stunning. And not to mention the CG. Where the character animation is falling, the CG is really shining in this anime. Especially near the end, it begins to look more impressive by the minute.
Overall, I’m recommending Disgaea to anyone who has a bit of patience. The first couple of episodes may seem a bit dull, though it soon becomes clear that these episodes were actually used to build up for the awesomeness which follows in the later episodes.
Spoilers up ahead. Do not read this post if you haven’t seen the ending of Makai Senki Disgaea yet! While not as good as the total awesomeness of the previous episode, this episode does managed to deliver an ending, worthy of being called enjoyable. It brings us the perfect bland of comedy and drama. Especially Vulcano was great.
The guy attempts to corner Laharl using brute force, but even then he doesn’t stand a chance at all. Seeing him and his minions flee was just hilarious. His beliefs were also very interesting to watch. He’s obviously an angel who’s gone corrupted because of his high status. He then tries to give Flonne all of the blame, though she comes back with some nice arguments that totally kick him into the ground. I know, it’s a simple concept, but it works.
Another thing I also loved was how different Lamington turned out to be from what I thought he would. He nicely broke the cliche of the hierarchy of an evil society. The conflict does not come at all because of the fact that he’s evil. It’s just that his beliefs and personality are totally Laharl’s opposite. Add that to the fact that he does believe in atoning for one’s sins, turning Flonne into the flower she loves most, and you’ve got yourself a very decent climax.
Though what was up with Mid-Boss? Was his only role to just be watching from the side-line and be astonished at Laharl’s decision? I have to admit, at that moment, it really contributed to the scene, though I was expecting some kind of bigger thing. Ah well, I guess we can blame that on the creators, not being able to fit his story in the twelve episodes. It’s the only rushed feeling that the series portrays.
I’ll say it again: SPOILER. Another fact which surprises me, when you consider that this is a childrens’ show, is the fact that Laharl actually gives up his life for Flonne, and he actually dies. Of course, he comes back as a Prinny. But remember the previous episode? At one time, he has to say goodbye to them, for a final time. That would’ve made for an awesome scene.
Overall, the ending was enjoyable, though it doesn’t fall in the category of awesome endings. Then again, there are only few anime who can manage to accomplish an awesome ending. This episode showed a good attempt, though!
Soul Link is a very strange anime. Not in terms of story, but in terms of production. Some parts are extremely solid, while other parts are just totally horrible. It’s a science-fiction and fanservice series. The story is about a space-ship, which serves as a school for people who want to be in the military. This ship gets overtaken by terrorists. Most of the people aboard the ship manage to escape, though our main characters remain. They now have to survive, and find their way out.
Let’s start with the good part: the story. The story is extremely solid. This anime spans twelve episodes, and knows exactly how to use them. Each episode, the plot progresses a bit further, with no boring parts, no rushed feelings until it hits with a satisfying climax. Though the best part about this anime are the characters. While they’re in no way memorable, almost each one of them fits. It’s also extremely interesting that, while this may be a fanservice-show. It’s not like everyone’s falling in love with the main character. This is one of the few fanservice-show, in which we have a good number of couples, who remain faithful to each other. The anime’s also not afraid to kill off a couple of characters, which only adds to the drama. The plot twists are very nicely done and a lot of things make some sense.
Now the bad part. The anime may have a solid story and characters. That’s the only good thing about this show. For some reason, the creators wanted to focus on useless fanservice. The art looks just horrible and inconsistent. The animation is just garbage and some of the voice actors SO do NOT fit the characters they play. The music sucks, just as the sound effects. If you like fancy graphics, then stay far away from this anime, as you won’t be able to survive it.
Overall, I recommend Soul Link for its story. It’s a very decent anime, if you manage to ignore the horrible art. The first episodes start out a bit slow, but while looking back, they were nessecary to introduce all of the characters. You also might run into a couple of clichéd characters in the first few episodes, though don´t worry. They´ll soon move away from these clichés.
Final Rating: 65/100
I don’t know whether it was the episode, or the fact that Shadow Dreams managed to finish the translation before I got to watch the episode, but the fact remains that I enjoyed this episode. A lot. So many interesting things happen. And so many funny things as well. ^^;
We start out with Shiurei, who recieved the message that she passed her aptitude test. This allows her to take her national exam, which will take place in about a month. A lot of people have been coming to the capital in order to take this test. Or take advantage of the people taking the test.
We then see the introduction of a new main character. In the OP, he looked like some kind of girl, though he actually is a 13-year old boy. Shiuei tells Ryuuki that he’s been notified of a disturbing rumour, though it remains a mystery what this rumour might be. It’ll probably be revealed in the next episode. Interesting note: Shiuei and Kouyuu both have the symbol of Ryuuki, the purple flower, decorated on one of their accesoiries. Which means that they’re yet a step closer in loyalty to Ryuuki.
Shiuei then informs Kouyuu that he needs to take care of some business in the red-lights district. Kouyuu doubts that that’s got anything to do with his job, though. ^^; We then flash to the red-light district, and we see Shiuei and the new main character pass each other. Furthermore, we see three suspicious characters, wearing suspicious blue cloths, smiling very suspiciously. This was a great scene, because it actually reveals quite some things about what’ll happen in the episode. Except for the fact that you, as a viewer, don’t realize it at that time.
We then switch to Shiurei, who managed to find another temporary job after working in the palace. She actually works at one of the best sites at the red-light district. As an administrator, not the other thing. ^^; In any case, she seems to know the people who run it. A boy who works there seems to be a childhood friend, and he starts out nicely by insulting Shiurei, and suggesting that she should find some kind of husband who’ll take care of her.
The owner of the place, Kochuo, scares the guy away. She also seems to know Shiurei ever since she was little. In fact, Shiurei, when she was a little child, had even begged her to let her work in the brothel. That was just so cute. At that time of poverty, Shiurei was so determined to help her father that she was even willing of joining a brothel. Her statement that she had to get home at sunset in order to prepare a meal for Shouka and Seiran only made this better. ^_^; I can understand why Shiurei doesn’t like to remember that. ^^;
Kochou then mentions that she’s got something to show Shiurei on her last day of work (apparently, Shiurei’s been going back to her living of taking lots of different jobs for a small time, just like the beginning of the show). Shiurei hestitates, though when Kochou threatens to tell Shouka and Seiran, she gives in. It’s interesting that she didn’t tell them that she was working at a brothel. Hehe.
We then switch to the new main character, or Eigetsu, as he’s called. A regular brought him to Kochou’s brothel, and paid quite a sum of money in order to let the guy sleep there. Eigetsu, meanwhile has a nightmare about his hometown. For some reason, this is sad, as he cries, while having the dream. Then he wakes up.
Eigetsu has a shy character. He knows what he’s talking about, he’s not an annoying brat who keeps acting impulsive, though he remains a child. Imagine how he reacts, waking up in a brothel. Once he settles down, he tells Shiurei and Kochou that he remembered getting into trouble with some thugs and getting dragged into a restaurand. Apart from that, his memory’s fuzzy. Then he finds out that a large sum of his money has been stolen. Shiurei then offers Eigetsu to stay at her house. After all, her house is quite big, and they already had a bear-like person staying there last year. (Ensei? Bear-like person? XD).
Eigetsu then spends the rest of Shiurei’s shift helping her with some accounting, and he appears to be quite a good calculator. Then Seiran runs into them, with the message that he organized the four of them to eat out for the night. At first, Shiurei’s not happy with this, though when she finds out it’s to celebrate her passing of the aptitude test, she thanks Seiran.
In the restaurant, we get some more background on the world of Saiunkoku Monogatari. In this case, the underworld of the capital. But not before three drunk men joke about the fact that women aren’t fit to take the national exam. This gets built up perfectly, until Shiurei almost explodes with anger. Seiran’s about to do something, but Shouka beats him, destroying the table the men sit on while nobody watches. He acts like nothing happened afterwards. If there ever was a thing such as a brilliant scene, this was it. ^^
In any case, the translation on the info about the underworld is a bit fuzzy, The Seikintou are a new bunch of thugs, who try to place themselves in the underworld. They’re pretty impulsive, and they identify themselves by wearing blue cloths. The crime bosses actually manages the downtown hoodlums, and they protect the peace of the downtown when a lot of people are coming in because of the final exam. Or at least, that’s what the translation says. I think I misunderstood a few things…
In any case, things succeed each other fastly after this is told, as Eigetsu reveals that his money was gathered by all of the village members, and he finds out that all of it has been stolen. Shiurei freaks out, and both of them start stuttering. Eigetsu then runs off and Shiurei follows him.
Eigetsu headed for the Seikintou, and for some reason, they’re accusing him of stealing from them. Eigetsu also seems to be looking for a card or some sort. What follows is Shiurei taking Eigetsu, and an extremely enjoyable chase. I especially loved it when the two of them had been running into a circle, only to end back up at the Seikintou again. Though nothing will probably beat Shiurei’s treatment to one of the thugs, when he approached to her. Shiurei Rocks! ^_^
Then, Seiran arrives and they run into a messenger, who tells them to head for Kochou’s brothel. For some reason, Seiran already knew about this, though he’ll explain his reasons later.
Then, everything which has been happening at the beginning of the episode becomes clear when we see Kouyuu, Ryuuki and Shiuei walking though the red-light district, while Kouyuu gets angry at Shiuei for dropping Eigetsu at the brothel. It seems that Ran was the one who put Eigetsu to sleep and brought him to the brothel for savekeeping. He reveals that it’s actually quite safe in there.
It was just great to see the different way these three reacted. Shiuei has been in the red light district many times before. not only because of his work (after all, everyone seemed to know him, and he was a regular of Kochou’s brothel, after all. Therefore, he acts like it’s nothing at all. Kouyuu, however, gets nervous and angry. Though Ryuuki’s reaction was just priceless. He was just so incredibly fascinated by everything which was happening around him. Like a small child in a candy store. ^_^;;
We then turn to the headquarters of the Seikintou. Their chief was quite pissed that Eigetsu managed to escape, though one of the members saw him, along with Shiurei and Seiran, head for Kougarou (which is apparently the name of Kochou’s brothel). None other than the boy from the beginning of the episode (the childhood friend, Keichou) tells the chief about it. The latter then gets the twisted idea to raid that place, and turn it into their head quarters. Keichou, meanwhile, goes to warn Shiurei about this. You’d wonder about his intentions.
The episode ends with quite an amusing scene, at which Shiurei notices Ryuuki inside Kougarou. She immediately suspects him of having a bit of fun in there, and his reply is the most destructive you can ever imagine. Shiurei wasn’t exactly pleased when she found out about this. ^^;
I’m curious about the crime bosses. Their sillouettes were shown for a couple of seconds, and each of them looks distinct. That means that all of them will be appearing at some time during this anime. I wonder what kind of role they play, as I still have no idea whether they protect the townspeople, or they steal from them.
Next episode, we also get to know the deal with Eigetsu. He’s special in some kind of way, as he appeared to have robbed the Seikintou, he comes from a village which witnessed a disaster, Shiuei finds him important enough to put to sleep and keep safe in a brothel and he’s collecting some kinds of strange cards. He also has great calculating skills, and he’s only 13 years old. So, what’s up with him?
(on a side-note: is it me, or has the backgroung music been getting better and better?)
I finally realized the major flaw of Good Witch of the West: it doesn’t give enough time to let the viewer familiarize himself with the world it created. That’s the cause of all that’s bad in Good Witch, as the viewer doesn’t have the chance to live with the story if he or she hasn’t been introduced in it. That’s the toll that has to be paid when you take a series like that and try to stuff it into thirteen episodes. It would really have been better if that series lasted for two seasons, instead of one.
The fifth episode of Simoun really made me realize this. After all, both series started out with a lot of questions about the world in which the story took place. Simoun’s was even fuzzier than Good Witch of the West’s. Then, however, while Good Witch kept spurting forwards, Simoun grabbed the brakes after the first episode, and has been using episodes 2 to 5 to explain the way the world works, to let the viewer get familiarized with the characters and offer some character development. I really have to say that the system of this anime makes a lot more sense than it did when I started this system.
I also rewatched the first episode, and this also refreshed a lot of my memory. It’s like this, we have several Chors, or groups of Simoun Pilots, otherwise known as Simoun Sybulla. These Chors consist of a number of girls, who work together in order to protect the Imperial Nation (I thought that that was the name of that country, though I’m not sure, sorry). The Simoun don’t attack with bullets or missiles, they attack by drawing patterns in the sky with their Simouns, called Ri Maajons. These then take a few seconds, after which they explode, blowing every enemy away who gets too close. There are a lot of different Ri Maajon, including a huge number which hasn’t been discovered yet. The Ri Maajons range from very easy ones, to very difficult ones, depending on the pattern that has to be flown. There are Ri Maajons who can be performed alone and there are those who need more Simouns in order to perform them. When I saw this in the first episode, I didn’t really like it. Though now that I’ve seen more of it, I realize that this is a brilliant system, and I even want to see more of it.
The Chor Tempest was seen as the most elite of the Chors. It was lead by the most talented Simoun Sibulla ever, Neville. Unfortunately, the first episode changed this, when Neville’s partner was taken by god because of a very powerful Ri Maajon which went wrong, Neville has since then been refusing to patrol, two others were killed and two more went to the spring, deciding which gender they should be. This immediately put a halt to the legend that the Chor Tempest had set.
Anyway, about the episode. It was mostly focused around Limone. She’s a prodigy, and the youngest person ever to be a member of a Chor. At the previous episode, she experienced some pretty horrible things, though the problems didn’t end there. Her case is familiar to Nevilles, though slightly different. In Neville’s case, it was her partner who wanted to become stronger. In Limone’s case, it was Limone herself who wanted to try a Ri Maajon she wasn’t able to do. This resulted an accident, killing her partner, who had warned her that she’d be acting too dangerous. Ever since then, she’s been unconciously holding back while flying in a Simoun.
Then over time, she started to listen more and more to people. She only did things because people told her to do so. During this episode, a new member gets assigned to the Chor Tempest, I believe her name was Dominura. In the first episode, her entire Chor was killed off, leaving her as the sole survivor. She now gets reassigned, in order to bring the Chor Tempest back to the position it once had. She decides to do this by trying to improve the weakest link: Limone (she hasn’t been doing too well, lately, as she’s been holding back). The yellow-haired girl (Furoe) made some nasty remarks about this. Dominura looks quite like an evil character in the beginning, though her actions later in the episode made me doubt about this.
Aaeru’s personality surprised me again this episode. She’s just so incredibly to-the-point. Limone, as she’s getting pressured from all possible sides, asks Aaeru whether she’d mind it if the two of them were separated as a pair. Though Aaeru comes with the true statement that if Limone decided so, that she wouldn’t mind. Everyone has a reason to fly in the Simoun. Aaeru does it because she can’t decide whether to become male or female. Apparently, there’s a law which says that when you reach nineteen, you immediately have to go to the spring, though you’re excluded from this if you’re a Simoun Sybulla. If Limone had no reason at all to fly the Simoun, there’d be no problem is she left.
Anyway, Dominura decides to test Limone by putting her in the pilot’s seat, instead of the navigator’s seat. I’m assuming that ever since that incident in her past, Limone’s been refusing to drive as a pilot. And it shows, as her Simoun really can’t fly straight at all. In any case, there’ve been some rumours about some enemy activity, so two Simouns get sent out to check up on them. It appears to be a large number of enemy land tanks. Dominura’s plan was to use this as an opportunity to get Limone out of her depression, though her plan fails as a blizzard is coming up.
What follows are some very intense, but also very awesome scenes, in which the calm Dominura panics, Limone finds her reason why she wanted to be a Simoun Pilot and she performs, along with Aaeru in another Simoun, one of the more difficult Ri Maajon out there. The one she failed at in the past, which killed her pair. Especially seeing Dominura freak out worked extremely well, as it immediately destroyed the calm, evil image I had of her, which was created by the first half of the episode.
Still, I wonder where this anime is heading. It hasn’t even begun with dealing about all the ethical questions that might be induced. After all, the imperial nation is in a war at the moment, and clearly has the upper hand. The Simoun can instantly kill off entire armies. The Archipelago also really needs the Simoun technology in order to survive and live a better life, though the imperial nation has no intention of giving them the information they need, and keeps sending Simoun to kill off the armies from the Archipelago. What reasons do the characters use to justify this? We’re holy and you’re not, therefore we can use the technology, and you can’t. This gives so much material for the later episodes.
Overall, I liked this episode. It was nice to see Limone struggle like that, and some interesting character background never hurts. Neville still isn’t doing much, though I don’t think that this’ll last for the entire series. The episode wasn’t as good as the previous ones, though I did enjoy it. And the music really is awesome at times.
On a side-note: what exactly are those wire-speaker-thingies that connect the Simoun with each other? Are they just for communication between Simouns, or do they have another purpose?
Heck, I may already be blogging too many anime, so why did I get the crazy idea of including another one to my bloglist? Well, because this anime deserves it. To me, this was the surprise of the season, as my predictions of the spring season seemed to be quite accurately. I never saw this one coming, though, and I have to say, it’s pretty awesome.
Okay, so what has happened so far? The story plays in a world with a unique property: all people are born genderless, though with the shapes of a female. When a person has reached the age of nineteen, she can choose to go to a special shrine, at which she can choose to be either a man or a woman, and reach adulthood. In the world, there’s one country which stands for everything that’s holy. They have holy technology in their posession, including the so called Simoun. These are flying vehicles who can have total flight control in the air, and are most probably the most powerful weapons in existance. The only problem is that only genderless persons can control it, and you need two people for it.
The other countries of the world, however, do not have things that easily. Their countries are polluted, and they are barely able to survive, forced to use technologies which poison their air. They see the Simoun as the way to get them out of their miseries, as these are made with some incredible technology. That’s why they aim for a war against the holy country, in order to capture and research one of these Simouns. So far, they’ve got not much luck, as they’re trying to capture some of the deadliest weapons ever. The story follows one of the groups of these Simoun pilots. At the moment, their group is put on standby, as their leader has just lost a number of very important friends, and needs time to process this.
The thing I like about Simoun is that even though it knows that it doesn’t make any sense, it still is able to deliver some quality drama. Both between main characters, but, as this episode showed, also between main characters and guest characters. It also is able to take some overused clichés, then gives this a huge twist, and it manages to turn these into something worthwile. The main character, for example. She’s incredibly impulsive, just like most other main characters. The difference is that she actually knows what she wants, and she’s not afraid to take actions to do this. She’s a person with a great insight, though she lacks the respect towards others. At the beginning of the anime, she didn’t take any other person’s feelings into account at all.
These first four episodes, Aaeru (the main character) changed. A lot. The other members of the Chor Tempest (the group of Simoun Pilots) made her see a bit what it’s like to be working with others. Not much, but it’s only the fourth episode.
The themes introduced in each episodes also are a major plus. This episode, for example, shows us how desperate some of the members of the other countries can be, the fact that Aaeru’s willing to make some gruesome acts and the heavy themes that this show will be featuring. Aaeru takes another member of the Chor Tempest, Limone, out for a ride on the Simoun, in order to practice (even though this is forbidden). They then notice what looks like a destroyed Simoun, so they land down in order to check things out. Then it seems that the stranded Simoun was fake, and set up by a single member of another country, desperate in an attempt to conquer a Simoun.
This plan, of course, was a huge waste. The guy (who looks very interesting, by the way. I liked it) knocks Aaeru and Limone out, though when he tries to pilot the Simoun, things go wrong, as he’s not genderless and he doesn’t have a pair. Not to mention that he seems to have troubles breathing, probably because of the polluted environment where he came from. When he finds out about the way the Simoun work, he gives up, deciding to wait for help. The three of them (Aaeru and Limone concious, but tied up) wait for a couple of hours. This gives the guy the time to reveal that in The Archipelago (one of the other countries, seems to be the major enemy), the system at which you can go to a spring and choose your gender doesn’t exist in other countries at all. People just get surgeon, the minute they are born. Aaeru also reveals that all of her older friends have gone to the spring, and became mature. She didn’t, as she couldn’t decide what to become.
It’s also interesting that the creators tried to give the viewer a bit of sympathy for this man, right before Aaeru manages to cut her ties loose, and charges for him, which drives him mental. He runs towards the Simoun, and starts shooting at everything he sees moving. Aaeru and Limone hide a bit, and decide to think of a trick to lure the guy away from the Simoun. In the meantime, he dies, while desperately clenching himself to the controls of the Simoun. This results in the fact that his hands, as they’ve become stiff, won’t come off. Aaeru then even goes as far as cutting the guy’s hands off, in order to remove him. That was one disturbing scene, but greatly executed nonetheless. Limone, as she’s much younger than Aaeru can’t take this, and decides to hide and close her eyes. Aaeru herself has great difficulty doing this, even with tears in her eyes. The result is a blood-stained Simoun. A freaky sight, especially when you see Limone’s reaction to this.
Ah well, one of the major reasons I decided to blog this is the following: this show is unique. And with this, I mean not a tiny bit, but really unique. I haven’t figured out what makes it so unique, but I hope to be able to define this later on. I’ve also seen some hints from the raw watchers that around episode 7 this anime begins to get incredible, so I’m very curious about how this will turn out. :)