This one’s a bit smaller again, after last month’s huge list. It’s probably going to be the last summary of 2006, as I’ve got something special in mind for December. :)
+ Top 8 Series With One Episode Watched +
8: Dai Mahou Touge
The third release of Dai Mahou Touge didn’t really improve my opinion about this series. Too forced. It felt like this series tried too hard at being funny, and ultimately failed. This series really would’ve been better off as just one standalone episode. The great thing about the first episode of this anime was the shock factor of its concept. Now that we already know that this is a bloody series, the fun really died down fast.
7: Yoshinaga-chi no Gargoyle
Hmm, not as funny as the previous episode, unfortunately. I hope that this anime isn’t going to make the mistake of sacrificing comedy over uninteresting drama. Ah well, at least we can be sure that no sappy love interest will mess up the rest of this anime. Let’s hope the next episode will turn out better.
Seriously, this probably has to be on of the shortest tv-series ever. And it still manages to deliver something entertaining. This anime really is perfect for a light watch, but let’s face it: Hanoka isn’t going to win any contests.
5: Sci-fi Harry
Even though this anime is from 2000, Shinsen-subs has somehow picked it up. A good decision, as it’s quite a good anime. I like the fact that some police officers have been involved with the story.
4: Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi
I tried watching this raw, though I failed. It may not look like it, but Ayakashi Ayashi is extremely dialogue-driven. Basically, I’ve just been waiting for the subs to catch up with me. It’s a good show, superb animation, even though you wouldn’t think so after seeing the simplistic art style.
There’s a reason why I haven’t watched episode 3 and 4 yet. It’s because Lunar somehow got the strange idea to release all of their files in HD, which means murder to my computer. I’m either hoping for another fansub group to pick it up, or the people from Lunar to get into a generous mood and release a low-quality-release. Anyway, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like this series. It’s another case-based anime, which is reason enough for me to keep watching it, and episode 2 has been rather interesting, despite its light mood.
FLAG turned out really great. I’ve just read that its second season will start in January, which means that the final half of this series will probably arrive somewhere in April.
1: Saiunkoku Monogatari
I’m feeling like Saiunkoku Monogatari is going to replace Mushishi and Noein in this category. This month has once again delivered an excellent episode, despite being an intermezzo.
+ Top 25 Series With More Than One Episode Watched +
25: La Corda D’Oro
I’m not exactly a fan of this anime. The main character is doing absolutely nothing herself. She’s just being carried by others. She’s being protected by others. And whenever she gets the chance to prove that she can do something on her own, or when she has to face the jealous eyes of the people who were offended by this, some random bishounen steps in and makes sure that she won’t have to do anything. The main romance also is way too forced. Out of all the shows I’m currently watching, this one’s got the biggest chance of being dropped.
24: Black Lagoon
While the Hansel and Gretel-arc was beautiful, this month has been rather disappointing. I’m feeling that Black Lagoon is losing its focus a bit. It’s an anime about a salary man from Japan who comes to work for a pirate company which specializes in delivering goods. What the second season has been doing is forgetting this and placing Rock and Revy into a large amount of forced situations, which happened to be convenient for the plot. The second arc started off in a funny way, but it contained way too much action and way too little substance, not to mention random fanservice which didn’t make any sense. Episode nineteen could have been good, if it weren’t for the horrible Engrish. Seriously, Revy and Balalaika sounded horrible.
Okay, so it’s got drama. While I do admit that Makoto being who she is is interesting, it’s also the only interesting part of this anime. The slice-of-life things have really been getting more and more on my nerves, not to mention the extreme focus on making these girls look as cute as possible while they have, in fact, rather ugly character designs. Making them say Auu or Uguu doesn’t work either. I do have to admit that episode 8 was okay, apart from some things which didn’t make any sense at all (sparkling field of grass in the middle of winter? Sure. Keeping a cat inside a house, but away from persons with allergies is good enough for these people not to be bothered by the hairs this cat sheds? Sure. Why not?).
22: Ayatsuri Sakon
This indeed would have been better as a 13-episode series. The cases haven’t been as interesting as the first two arcs. The current arc was interesting, but it was nothing amazing.
21: Code Geass
A good show, nice tension and I really like the conflicting interests of the main characters. Lelouch’s wit also is very interesting to watch. Still, the introduction of the harem-element didn’t do this series much good. In fact, it only hurt this series. Each ingredient is present: the love-triangle-inducing main love interest, the useless best friend, the student council president, and, of course, the silent girl who appears to kick ass.
20: Kemono Zume
Kemono Zume (I still haven’t found out whether it’s Kemonozume, or Kemononozume) tried to be extremely dramatic with its pre-ending episodes, though the finale actually cracked me up at some point, where it started to delve into the absurd. It was very strange, but a very nice touch. Still, this series hasn’t managed to turn into something amazing.
19: Power Puff Girls Z
Mojo Jojo in a dress was probably the freakiest thing yet to appear in this series, including the camera-guy. Still, I do admit that it cracked me up. The series is very refreshing when compared to its American counterpart. Also, I remember noting one major annoyance about this show when it first aired: the huge focus on sweets. Well, I’m glad to see that that’s gone now.
18: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge
Ow, I hope I’m wrong with my fears. While Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge has been funny, it’s been a lot less funny than the previous month. I’m hoping that this is not one of these series which starts off awesome and gets a bit worse with every episode progressing.
While there have been better comedies, Gintama still manages to crack me up every episode. But can the creators keep up with this for so many episodes? We’ll see. :)
16: Le Chevalier D’Eon
The story has been as strong as usual. It’s yet to reach amazing, but we’ve yet to reach the second half of the series. Other Summer-series have proved to turn up the awesomeness with this milestone, so with a bit of luck, Chevalier will follow them.
15: Ghost Hunt
The first arc was a very solid piece of work, probably meant to set a base for the rest of the anime. I’ve heard some good things about the following episodes from the Singaporean people. Can’t wait. :)
You know? When I first read about this series, I never could have imagined how good it turned out. Despite the fact that the main character is a 14-year-old brat, he’s actually funny. Once in a while, you run into shounen-series at which actually some time has been put into developing and fleshing out its characters. While it’s a bit too early to be comparing this to The Law of Ueki, I do have to say that this anime has a very good combination between action and comedy. Not to mention the animation, which is top-notch.
13: Soukou no Strain
Even though this is a late-comer, it’s been proving an interesting watch. It’s got an epic plot it wants to bring in only 13 episodes, so it’s forced to have a considerable pacing. Every episode at least has one dramatic act, most have more of them. So far, this series has yet to disappoint.
12: Jigoku Shoujo
As with the previous season, Jigoku Shoujo first comes with a set of “normal” cases. They’re very enjoyable, but this series has definitely been better. But then again, we still have a considerable amount of episodes to go. :)
11: Tsubasa Chronicle
And the second season has ended. While the series has been better, the final arc was a great watch. I’m really looking forward to the third season now.
10: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto
While the brainwashing scenes have been a bit too much, the good scenes of Bakumatsu have been really good. Excellent animation, exciting battles, great plot, awesome music, what more could you want?
9: Red Garden
Red Garden has been one huge chunk of emotions from beginning to end. The way the girls react to the things happening around them turned out really good, and Hervé’s sudden background also gave this series a step into the right direction. Right now, the series has only just started. I’m wondering how the later episodes of this anime will turn out.
8: Death Note
Death Note has been a great watch. Episode 7 showed some great scenes, while episode 8 showed that it’s also able to display some crazy scenes. It’s interesting to see how Death Note has its own kind of humour.
7: NHK ni Youkoso
Thankfully, this anime has turned out good. The first half was a huge pain to get through, though I’m glad I did, as this anime only really kicks off with the suicide arc. Episode 20 also was a great example of this, seeing as it focused on life-altering decisions. The only complaint I have is the rather bad art of episode 19. It’s the same with The Third. Normally, I’m not bothered by things like these, though when a series with excellent art suddenly displays an episode with a totally different style, it sort of ruins the mood.
6: Night Head Genesis
After a small botch around episode 10, Night Head Genesis managed to recover, and this month, it’s really been an awesome watch. The building up of the first half of the anime is finally paying off, and the cases are getting more interesting by the minute. The background music also has been as awesome as usual.
5: Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club
I’m about to shoot a kitten if episode 8 doesn’t turn up soon. Seriously, even on Share it’s nowhere to find. In any case, the episodes that did find my way were good stuff. Really good. Both the action-packed episodes as the character-based episode were great to watch. :)
4: Otogi Juushi Akazukin
I’m still in love with this series. As quite an amount of episodes has passed already, it’s interesting to note that the characters are beginning to get more and more interesting, as they keep getting fleshed out in the different episodes. A real must watch for any fan of cute characters or fairy-tales.
3: Popolocrois 2003
I’ve finally managed to catch up with the fansubbers, and really. The episodes I saw this month were awesome. They actually managed to blend the action, drama and humour together perfectly. Something you really don’t see everyday. This made sure of so many cute moments. Awesomeness. :)
2: Asatte no Houkou
Episodes 5, 6 and 7 have featured a rather slow pacing. And I still loved them. Then episode 8 returned with serious scenes, which were even more awesome.
1: The Third
I don’t think this is coming as a surprise, no? I’m still fanboying over The Third. Especially episode 22 was pure awesomeness.
+ Newly Announced Anime +
I was planning to do the preview for the winter-season here, though I decided to put my season-previews in standalone posts from now on. The monthly summaries will continue to list the new anime which have been announced. The main reason for me to decide this was because so many awesome-sounding anime have been announced over the past month. While September and October featured almost no newly announced series, November suddenly comes with a huge wave of awesomeness. Here’s my attempt to list these series, as usual, they’re sorted from least anticipated to most anticipated. This time, the major source of information was Animesuki’s “Newly Announced Anime” thread.
Zero no Tsukaima, Second Season
But first, let’s start with the ones that aren’t really that exciting. From the things I’ve read, Zero’s ending was supposed to be conclusive but left open a lot of plotholes. I guess that it’ll now have its chances to fill these. Still, that doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly feeling the urge to check out the rest of the first season.
Ikki Tousen ~Dragon Destiny~
So, what we have here is a second season of the horrible fanservice-fest that is Ikki Tousen. It’s actually rumoured to be a remake. Something tells me to stay away from this one. Especially with such a cheesy title.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Second Season
Sigh… it had it coming. Good luck to the fanboys. I still can’t see why this anime turned so darn popular. I only managed to endure four episodes of it before I dropped it.
A street racing anime. “One day, Akio Asakura, a third year high school student, is driving his Fairlady Z (Z31) and is challenged by Tatsuya Shima, a doctor, in his black Porsche 964 Turbo (nicknamed the “BlackBird”). With a friend in the passenger seat and two girls in the back, Akio pitifully tries to win, but is defeated. Determined to become faster, he goes to the junkyard to buy parts for his car, when he sees a pristine, unscratched midnight blue Fairlady Z (S30) in the junkyard. Intrigued as to why such a machine is about to be junked, he buys it. He soon finds that the car is unnaturally fast due to a tuned L28 engine, bored and stroked to 3.1 liters combined with a Twin Turbo which produces 620bhp. He also finds that all of the car’s previous owners had unfortunate accidents in it, starting with the first owner’s death. The manga follows Akio’s various encounters, though the central plot revolves around his constant battle with the BlackBird for superiority.” I’m not really a fan of racing-anime, though this anime could become good. I’m just worried about the fact that the manga it’s based on started in 1993, and is still running, suggesting that we’ll be seeing another one of those never-ending anime like Naruto and Bleach.
“Hishou, Ginga, Ace, Hayate, and Ikazuchi all work at a studio doing various idol-related jobs at the request of their manager, Reiko. But in reality, These five teenagers are really the Reideens, a group of superheros who fight the Super Devils sent by Lushu, a mysterious being. Little do the Reideens know, these Super Devils are being sent for a more important purpose….” – Okay, here’s the deal: in 1975, an anime aired, called Yuusha Reideen. In 1996, it got a remake, and right now it’s about to receive yet another remake. At one point, I caught the first episode of the first remake, and I can’t really understand why people would want to remake this, as it bears so many resemblances to the power rangers, and it didn’t even attempt to be funny. Still, with the same staff as Blood+, perhaps this could turn interesting. But then again, Blood+ did have its flaws as well.
“A transferred student Asai Mugi is a painfully shy girl. She is so shy that she can’t speak when she becomes seriously nervous. However, for some reason, she is spotted and recruited as a member of drama club.” – I do admit that when I first saw the website, I began to fear the worst. Still, after reading the premise, it could turn out interesting, if the creators manage to turn the main mood of this anime serious and don’t insert some crappy love-story. But this is supposed to be a moe-seinen story, so I think my hopes will be in vain.
Yes! Pretty Cure 5
“Misumi Nagisa is an extremely sporty, popular student who hates studying, and has a very extreme sense of justice, Yukishiro Honoka is a top student who appears to be elegant, but is actually very clumsy. They are both second year students at the Verone Middle School for girls. One night Nagisa and Honoka meet Meppuru and Mippuru, strange creatures falling from the sky. They have fled to earth because the evil Dotsuku-zone has overcast their homeplanet, Hikari no Sono. Meppuru and Mippuru award Nagisa and Honoka the power to transform so they can fight in order to protect Earth. The two girls, who have totally different interests and personalities, unite their powers and fight against the enemies that are sent out from the Dotsuku-Zone. Will they be able to protect Earth?!” – At least, this is the summary for the first Pretty Cure series. It seems that Yes! Pretty Cure 5 will be its third season of 50 (omg) episodes. I do have to confess that I never really checked out this anime, despite it being a mahou shoujo. There is also no way I’m going to try and catch up with the first two seasons, but if the third season doesn’t leave too many questions, I might end up watching it.
Seto no Hanayome
“Nagasumi visits his grandmother near the sea during the summer. While visiting, he goes for a swim, and drowns right after entering the water. Fortunately for him he is saved by a young mermaid. Later as he tells the story to his family, a young girl named San appears at his home and begs Nagasumi to marry her. She’s followed by two large thugs and they take both him and his parents to San`s home under the sea. If that wasn’t strange enough, it turns out San`s parents are mob bosses. Nagasumi is left with the choice of either death or marrying San. He chooses to marry a mermaid. This would likely be that, except San`s father and some members of the mob are not exactly thrilled to have Nagasumi courting San and are determined to bring an end to their relationship–or him. And there is also the matter of keeping it a secret that San is a mermaid.” – Another standard harem, with two twists: the thugs an the mermaid. I’m not expecting much from this, but I do admit that there’s more creativity in this story than in the majority of other harems. The show is listed as a comedy/romance/shounen-series. There might be a 1% chance that this’ll actually be funny.
Rather bloody title, isn’t it? Anyway, not much is known about this anime, except that it’s a 6-episode OVA about a princess who likes to kill people.
“The story is about a love triangle between the male protagonist Makoto, and the two heroines Kotonoha and Sekai. Makoto develops a love interest in Kotonoha, a girl in the same year but different class. Although they both take the same train to school, she is unaware of his existence. His classmate, Sekai, manages to put the two together despite holding strong feelings towards Makoto.” – Another harem, but a special one. It seems to have 21 different endings, and it’s become notorious for some of them, which turned out horribly bloody and disturbing. It’ll be worth to check this one out, though the fact does remain that it’s based on a hentai-game. Let’s just hope that the creators stay away from the clichés that plague all of these games.
“The setting of the story features a fictional world where towns are abundant and Humans live in coexistantence with demons called Yoma. The Yoma consider humans as their main source of food, and are capable of concealing themselves among human society until they strike. In response to this horrific threat, a group of skilled warriors formed a un-named organization for defending against the demons. Due to their immense Claymore weapons, the people came to call them “Claymores”. To combat the demons, the “Claymores” have willingly infused themselves with demon flesh and blood, becoming half-human hybrids. The organization hires out their warriors for profit, answering calls from needy villages. The story of Claymore follows the adventures of a beautiful Claymore warrior named Claire, as she fights demons and struggles to hold on to her humanity.” – The typical formula of a fighting-anime. Still, it seems that it’s a bit more heavily themed than your average shounen-series, as people seem to die quite often. Still, the thing that immediately caught my eye was the art of the manga. It definitely looks unique, but how will the anime be handling this?
“A fantastic story about two sisters. Shizuru is a high school student who can see monsters which ordinary people can’t, while her little sister, Mizuki, is easily haunted by these monsters. They are living with their grandfather’s home separately from their parents because of their abilities. The theme for each story is not horror-centric, but rather, of a heart-warming nature.” – Interesting, a fantasy slice-of-life series. While I’m not a fan of the standard slice-of-life genre, I am fan of supernatural stories. I’m wondering whether this anime will be able to keep me interested. It’s also been listed as a mystery-series, which also is a good thing.
“Two men attemtped to climb Mt. Everest in the winter. One was Saruwatari Gorou, a Japanese, and the other was Jack F. Woodbridge, an American know as “Lostman”. The two, having succeeded in climbing the world’s steepest mountains, gaze at the international space station above, which was the instant it became their next target. In January 2005, mankind found new value for the moon, in the form of a natural resource Helium 3, a replacement for fossil fuels. The ample reserve was enough for a thousand years worth of energy for the entire mankind. Concurrently, NASA announced the next generation energy development project “NEXUS”, soliciting construction workers globally to work in space. Accepting NASA’s offer, Gorou heads off the NASDA as an astronaut-in-training. At the same time, Lostman, who at the time was the ace of the U.S. Navy, was invited by NASA to pilot the shuttle, meets the crew of the ISS (International Space Station)” – This’ll be another science-fiction anime, with apparently some heavy political themes. It promises to be interesting, as not all countries agree with NASA’s decision, and a second gulf war erupts.
“Orphan Hanazono Karin is a below-average girl who just lost another person dear to her; her best friend and loyal cat, Shi-chan. While visiting Shi-chan’s grave, she meets Kujyou Kazune, a smart prettyboy who insults her right after meeting her. She runs away from him, hoping to never see his face again, but fate seems to have other ideas — the girl she bumps into the very next day is none other than Himeka, Kazune’s cousin. During her second meeting with Kazune, something strange happens to her ring, the last thing she has to remember her mother by. Afterwards, strange events happen all day around her, with no explanation. The fourth meeting with Kazune explains quite a bit; her ring has the power to turn her into a goddess. With Himeka’s support and Kazune’s guidance, Karin begins her training to become one of the divine.” – A shoujo-series. Judging by the fact that the creator of Digi Charat and Pita Ten is behind this, and the fact that the title is a chibified form of “Kamisama Karin”, this’ll probably be a comedy. So far, it’s got good ingredients, but will it be funny? The only way of knowing is to wait till it gets released and watch it.
Piano no Mori
“Amamiya-kun turns over a leaf at his new school, but he soon finds himself bullied by the other children. A dare to play the mysterious piano in the local forest ignites his meeting with an equally mysterious child who goes by the name of Ichinose Kai. Who strangely enough is the only one capable of getting sound out of the thought to be broken piano.” – Another interesting concept. A seinen, school-based comedy-drama which actually doesn’t focus on the love relationship of its main character. Nice one.
Great to see another RPG getting an anime. An MMORPG, to be exactly. This one focuses on chibi-characters, rather than realistic ones. I played it myself for a while. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of story the creators are having in mind, and what kind of characters they’re planning to use. In any case, this is something to look out for.
Romeo and Juliet
“Do people still need a summary for this” – Is it me, or have the creators looked a bit too much at Good Witch of the West for the character designs? XD In any case, this is the infamous adaptation from Shakespeare’s classic. And it’s indeed perfect to be turned into an anime, as it focuses on the love between two teenagers (they were around fourteen years old, I think. Something many, if not all, western tv-shows seem to be forgetting). It’ll be interesting to see how true Gonzo will stay to the book. Judging by the site, they’ll use some kind of fantasy-location for the setting. I’m also hoping that they won’t be focusing on fanservice, and that they’ll put a big focus on the naivety of the two main characters, which in the end killed both of them.
Saiunkoku Monogatari, Season 2
Yay! Yay! Yay! After the first 39 episodes, there’ll actually be more.
Wellber no Monogatari: Sisters of Wellber
“10 years since the great war, tensions were mounting within the country of Wellber, which was barely capable of keeping peace, as war could commence at any time with its neighbouring country, Sangatras. In order to avoid warfare, the king of Wellber, Haidel planned on marrying off his daughter, Princess Rita, to Sangatras` Prince Guernia. However, Rita stabbed her groom to be and ran away. Infuriated, Sangatras` King Ranbahnhof threatens to wage war unless Rita is captured and publicly executed within 14 days. In order to avoid the worst case scenario, Rita decides to head for the neutral country of Greedom. Meanwhile, the woman thief Tina sneaks into Castle Wellber, seeking its treasures, when she happens to witness the stabbing of Guernia by Rita. Whether it be by coincidence or necessity, Tina receives information that the “Wasp Man” she was after is in Greedom, her sworn enemy who took the life of her parents. Tina agrees to become Rita`s bodyguard as they head out to Greedom. Shouldering their fate and destiny, the two meet, leave, and set out on their journey. What awaits them is war or peace, vengeance or death…” – The Spring Season of 2007 is promising to be an awesome season for the fantasy-anime. First we had Tsubasa Chronicle and Seirei no Moribito, two titles I’m really looking forward to, and now this anime arrives, another fantasy title. So far, the story looks very interesting, and the art looks gorgeous. This is one title to look forward to. :)
Tetsuko no Tabi
Based on a manga. “This is a slightly odd sort of manga: basically the “story” is that a manga artist is asked by her boss to accompany him and a travel-writer on various train trips around Japan and draw a manga about it. The kicker though, is that it’s completely non-fiction — the creator really did go on all these trips, and the manga simply records what happened, with no embellishment. There’s a little disclaimer at the front that says “This is non-fiction, so I apologize for the lack of drama,” and indeed, it mostly is just about them riding trains from place to place, waiting on platforms, etc.; there’s none of the silly artificial melodrama that sometimes accompanies info-manga. Despite the disclaimer, however, it’s really very entertaining.” – Okay, am I the only one who thinks that we’ve got ourselves a brilliant idea here? XD I’ll definitely be looking forward to this.
Yume da Maya Kidan
And when I already was already looking forward to Wellber no Monogatari, I’m actually looking forward to Yume da Maya Kidan even more. Why? Because it’s story has been written by an amateur. It seems that some kind of contest was held, called the “5th Animax grand prix”. It’s theme was “Story that you want to make into animation”. It’s always great to see a story made by an amateur, as Higurashi already showed that stories like these can include elements that commercial companies would find too risky. I also love the title: “Strange Dream Story”.
“On a typical day during a summer vacation, a group of 15 children discovered a mysterious man living in a seashore cave, along with his high-tech gadgets. The man claimed to be a game developer creating a video game with 15 giant robots defending Earth from alien invaders and asked those children to test the game for him. The kids agreed happily at first, but soon they began to find the game horrifying, not only because of its realism but also for the first fatality among them happened right after their first victory. Worse yet, they had no idea how to stop or leave the ‘game.’” – But this is the series I’m really looking forward to. Not only is it similar to Narutaru, Yuuji Nomi is going to do the music. She (He?) also did the music on Hi no Tori, and that truly was a brilliant piece of a crossing between tension full and classical music. Still, the only problem: Gonzo. Right now, they’re doing an excellent job with Red Garden, but a horrible one with Pumpkin Scissors. I’m hoping they’ll put the same people from Red Garden on Bokurano.
+ Top 5 Episodes +
It was very hard determining the ranking this time, as there has been quite a large amount of awesome episodes this month. Ah well, not that I’m complaining about that. ^_^
5: Asatte no Houkou – 08
This episode really showed how awesome Karada can be. It also gave some great insights about why she acted the way she did.
4: Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club – 18
Itoki comes to invade the school, and let’s just say that things don’t go according to plan. ^^ This episode featured a perfect pacing, in my opinion.
3: Popolocrois 2003 – 19
Awesome fight against a crazy giant monkfish, Gamigami also was as brilliant as ever.
2: Night Head Genesis – 18
Note to self: do NOT mess with Naoto. In any case, this episode has probably been the best one of this series yet. A nicely fast pacing, lots of revelations, awesome music. I really enjoyed it.
1: The Third – 22
The climax was simply beautiful. The entire Rona Fauna-arc built up perfectly for that moment.