Posted on 31 January 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

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There’s a certain pattern that some 13-episode series follow. It’s mostly apparent in Kemonozume. The first X episodes of the series rather goof off with random side-quests, funny fillers, etc. And then at one episode, a huge twist comes and the anime suddenly turns serious, starts working towards its major climax, and the overall atmosphere suddenly feels much tenser. Generally, I don’t like these, as they’re just way too forced and directed. Makai Senki Disgaea is one of the few series which actually did such a twist right up till now. And I’m glad to see that Niea Under 7 can be added to this small list.

This series starts out as a comedy-series. We’ve got this poor cram school student (Mayuko) who has a very annoying alien living in her closet. The fact that the two of them are almost polar opposites makes sure that the two of them keep bickering against each other whenever they meet. This provides some pretty funny and hilarious situations. But that’s not the thing that made me interested in this anime.

The best thing of this series really is Mayuko’s situation. Not only is she a cram school student, she also is incredibly poor, she can’t rely on her parents, she’s shy, and she has to work very hard. Her worries about her situation definitely made this show worth watching. The addition of comedy turned this into a very enjoyable watch. A huge focus is money-struggles. None of the characters appearing in this anime is a huge money-maker, and you can see that even at the places Mayuko works part-time at. This means that whenever a roof gets distroyed, it doesn’t magically fix itself in the next shot, like in most anime. No, here, this roof spends most of its time in the anime being broken, until it finally gets the chance to be fixed.

The style of the character art also is one you won’t see in the anime appearing currently anymore. It’s a pity, since I like the style and it’s by no means low-budget. It’s definitely a sign that anime is changing.

Still, there are a few bad points about NieA Under 7. It did a very good job in not taking any risks by not forcing too many conveniently-timed plot-twists, but because of this, it doesn’t take all the chances that are presented to it. It could have been more. Mayuko could have been better developed. We could have seen more of her struggles, though this anime decided to keep things simple.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

+ Top 5 Anime with one Episode Watched +
This section is getting smaller and smaller, due to the fact that I’m watching more and more shows raw. If this continues, I’m going to combine the two lists again.

#5: Angelique 2007

I wanted to like this series. I really did. But the concept is just garbage.

#4: Giant Robo

Before I’m going to really judge this anime, I need to see a high-quality version of the first episode. If I recall correctly, it’ll be released around the beginning of February. So far, the things I saw are interesting.

#3: Strike Witches

I expected this to be major garbage, though the use of classical music and the fact that it short actually made up for a lot.

#2: Soukou no Strain

Soukou no Strain seems to be in some kind of huge hiatus, seeing that only one episode got released this month. All that’s left now is to wait for its ending. As things look now, it can go anywhere.

#1: Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi

Why, oh why did this series have to air on the number-one prime-time spot for anime? Surely, it’s a great series, but it’ll never become popular. Because only popular shows are allowed at that timeslot, Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi got its original length of fifty episodes friggin’ halved. That’s another thing I have against popular series. They just give no chance against the lesser-known and most often better series.

+ Top 29 Anime with more than one Episode Watched +
One thing I realized after watching one month of the winter-season is that this season has a lot of mediocre series which just are good enough for me to keep watching them. A lot of series are mediocre with one or two very good points, which keep me interested.

#29: Shuffle! Memories

So, wait… this entire series is going to be one huge recap-series? What the heck? At least Wolf’s Rain had a good reason for it’s recap-arc. Dropped.

#28: Kyoushiro to Towa no Sora

I tried to watch this, but failed. Kuu is even more annoying than Himeko, and that has to say something. The laughable cheesiness soon turned into incredibly boring cheesiness. Dropped.

#27: Afro Samurai

Nice action, good animation, but the script. Holy god, the script. It’s a huge collection of clichés. And please teach the creators a bit of physics and the capabilities of the human body. Seriously.

#26: Getsumen to Heiki Mina

Fairly amusing, but way too much fanservice. Some of the jokes work really well, though, but it needs a bit more realism to succeed. Also, please kill all the characters with big lips in this show. Lips like these have never worked, and they never will.

#25: Nodame Cantabile

I still don’t know what to think of this show. It seems full of potential, everyone likes it, but I can’t see what’s so special about it. I’m going to continue to watch the subbed version in the hope it’ll turn better in the future.

#24: Yoshinaga-chi no Gargoyle

Ugh, dammit. The problem with this show is that it doesn’t realize where it’s brilliant at. At one time, it hit the nail, but instead of continuing to hammer this nail, it tries to hit everywhere. Even at the places which don’t make any sense.

#23: Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou

I’ve seen more shows which mess around a bit with their episode-order, placing a late episode as the first episode, in order to give a good first impression. Gintama and Power Puff Z, for example. The thing is, both Gintama and Power Puff Z had rather bad first episodes, and turned better with the following episodes. Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou, however, had an excellent first episode, but the second one was just boring. I hope this isn’t some kind of sign. Still, I must congratulate this series for being the first to include actual grunting in its OP. Now all that’s left is to pick a good song, but it’s a good step in the way of introducing Metal to anime (I’m a huge metal-fan, if you didn’t know already).

#22: Hidamari Sketch

This show certainly isn’t a horrible one, and it most definitely has its funny moments. Impz forced me to watch till episode three, and after watching them, I have to say that this show actually is quite nice. It’s got great direction, however I won’t continue to watch it, unfortunately. Not because the show is bad, but because a pure slice-of-life series isn’t just in my taste. I want something to happen to our main character. See them talk with each other and have fun may look interesting, it won’t make me care about them.

#21: Saint October

Great show, though it keeps milking a bit too much on the sadistic jokes at times, and I wish it’d take itself a bit more seriously at times. Still, I love the bad-guy parodies. You also have to give this series credit for the most original transformation sequence.

#20: Code Geass

This month showed some very interesting developments for Code Geass. Nice plot twists, though for some reason, I just can’t seem to care about its characters. It could be because they’re annoying, and they seem to lack something.

#19: Venus Versus Virus

I’m feeling a bit awkward about this one. It’s a great series, episode three also featured a great case, but it seems to be missing something. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I hope this anime finds it through the course of the series.

#18: Manabi Straight

I was seriously surprised at episode four. Here I was, expecting a rather energetic slice-of-life series, and then here it comes with its incredibly deep character-study of Mei. I never thought that the creators would go that way, but if it’s got more episodes like this, I’m in! Another thing I love about this anime is how its background music features a number of percussion-tunes. Great for giving it a chaotic feeling.

#17: Himawari!!

I know I commended this series after its first episode, but after seeing four episodes, I’m beginning to notice something troublesome. The monster-of-the-week theme is a bit too apparent, up to the point where it actually works annoying. It also seems to be focusing a bit too much on comedy, instead of character-development. It’s a pity, as the fights and antagonists are hilarious, and the character development that actually does get showcased is very interesting to see. I also freaked out when I realized that the ED for each episode is sung by a different voice-actress. Seriously, Himeji’s voice actress SO can’t sing. XD

#16: Demashita!! Power Puff Girls Z

We now turn to the really good series. First of all, Power Puff Z. Especially the Him-episode was really good. He still is the most evil villain of the series, but I’m so glad that the creators gave him a rather humorous side. The original series made the mistake of displaying him way to serious and evil, though this version of Him is just hilarious and scary at the same time. The episode with the carrot, selery and peppers who went to live on another planet was just brilliant.

#15: Gintama

Whoa… this series can be pretty serious when it wants to. Not only that, it’s one of the few comedy-series which can actually pull this off and turn even better because of this.

#14: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

Luckily, my hunch that this series played all its major trump cards in its first four episodes was wrong. This month has been hilarious for Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. I love how it’s such a hugely energetic and fast-paced comedy.

#13: Kekkaishi

Kekkaishi still remains strong, despite being a shounen-fighting series. One of the things that makes it great is that it’s got a cast of hilarious characters, which really brighten up the mood of the episodes. Because of this, it actually managed to make the main love interest a bit believable.

#12: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

This still remains an excellent series. There’s a huge amount of references to Japan’s history, I’d probably get dizzy if it wasn’t for w’s comments. Unfortunately, however, this series has been stuck inside a three-episode intermezzo this month. I’m glad the next episode will get back on track.

#11: Chevalier

Chevalier has just entered its second half, which means that it’s time for this show to prove itself. So far, it’s had some great time to build up. We’ve seen some very interesting scenes this month, there’s a great amount of politics and common sense in this anime, but it still is too early to call it amazing.

#10: Ghost Hunt

This month brought a huge wave of Ghost Hunt-releases. While the third arc may have been a bit too predictable, episode 11 was hilarious, while episode 12 and 13 featured a extremely touching tale about the ghost of a young boy. I can’t wait to find out what the second half of this anime has in store.

#9: Red Garden

Red Garden has been more interesting than ever. It’s been moving away from angst and character-driven episodes towards plot-driven episodes. Especially Hervé was awesome this month. I love his sadism towards Lise. ^^

#8: Night Head Genesis

This month, I managed to finish Night Head Genesis. It definitely was a very original ending. Okay, so it may have been just a prologue to some tv-series, the fact does remain that that was the point this anime ended for me. It’s a bit tricky to decide what exactly can be defined as an ending in this case. It’s just like with manga-based anime. Fruits Basked and xxxHolic, for example. There’s still lots of story, though the anime ended rather abrupt. Still, since I don’t read any manga or watch any Japanese drama, etc, I’m going to consider this as the ending of Night Head Genesis. And boy, was it a great one. :)

#7: Deltora Quest

Okay, when an anime comes with a bunch of puzzles and word games, you know it’s time to switch to the subs. Seriously, the fourth episode was just impossible to understand without proper knowledge of what’s happening. And I’m suspecting that the riddles will only get more difficult with each episode progressing. I don’t want to miss any second of this, so I’m going to be waiting for the subs.

#6: Master of Epic

This show is just brilliant. It’s just so full of hilarious parodies and sketches. Just too bad that of the fourth episode.

#5: Les Miserables

Les Miserables already has left a huge impression on me. Unless it’ll forget that it’s supposed to have 52 episodes, I can’t see a lot of things to mess up this story. So far, I love it. :)

#4: Saiunkoku Monogatari

Shuurei has been fairly surprising this week, when people actually start toying with her feelings. Still, the huge cast of characters was brilliant.

#3: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

With the start of December, Otogi Juushi Akazukin suddenly turned the quality up one gear. And ever since, it’s been dishing out one awesome episode after the other. Even now, this series is as awesome as ever. You just have to love Dark Shirayuki, the dwarves and Gretel, who’s finally going to stand up for herself. And Akazukin’s background just turned out Awesome. :)

#2: Death Note

Death Note is already into one of its major climaxes, and that with still so many episodes to go. The past few episodes have been full of juicy plot twists. I couldn’t help but love them.

#1: Jigoku Shoujo

I’m not sure if the subbers stopped subbing this series right before the awesome episodes came on purpose, but the fact remains that Jigoku Shoujo has been getting better and better. Some of the cases were just insane, while others featured some brilliant plot twists.

+ Newly Announced Anime +
Since there was no December-summary, these are the anime which were announced for the past two months. Ranked from least interesting to most interesting. There are some beauties among them, and, unfortunately, also some horrible-sounding ones. The new trends seem to be remakes of ancient anime and lots of mecha.

Nanatsuiro Drops
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“What if, when watching the stars outside the window… What if, when writing in your secret diary at the end if the day… …A mysterious light suddenly falls from the sky… Tsuwabuki Masaharu, or Haru as is friends like to call him, is your normal middle school student. Now in his second year, his friends push him to speak with his classmates whom he have yet to speak to, but this was still a difficult thing for Haru due to his clumsy nature. One afternoon, his life met with a 180° during a strange encounter in the hallways of Hoshigaoka School. During that fateful encounter, he accidentally drinks a magical potion which transforms him into a stuffed animal sheep during the night! Through later events, Haru learns that in order to return to his original self, he needs to collect “star droplets” that fall from the sky. However, being that his innards are now made of cotton, he will need the help of a “special person,” little did he know that special person was someone from his class. Living a double life between his day self and his sheep form “Yuki-chan”, page one of his story, her story, and the story of nanatsuiro drops begins~” – Ugh… darn it. Another hentai-game adaptation. They stayed away during the winter-season (not counting the abridged Shuffle!), though it looks like they’ll be coming back to haunt me.

Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo
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“This is a heartful school adventure at a high school on the isolated island. They are enjoying their life there, sometimes reacting against each other.” – (taken from Himeyashop) – “Sometimes”? “Sometimes”?! So most of the time, they’re just alone, sitting around like zombies doing nothing? How can characters like these just react “sometimes” with each other. Unless they’re emo, this can never become interesting. But since this is a hentai-game adaptation and it’s listed as a heartful school adventure, I’d say that the chance is very slim that this is going to be something interesting.

Touka Gettan
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No Summary Yet – The staff is going to be the same as with Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabi (note to self: watch it someday). While I haven’t seen it, I can say that this anime will make sure of some great eye-candy, since the genius behind Simoun’s character designs is working on it. Too bad we’re dealing with a hentai-game adaptation here. -_-

Prism Ark
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“Finally getting the acceptance notice, Hyaweh travels to the Isle of Rozenberg, which is holded by the Rozenberg Family, the most powerful family in Wind Land, second to the absence Royal Family. In there is the best school for knights wannabes, privately funded by Duke Kizarov Rozenberg, the number one Knight in Wind Land. However, as it turns out, Hyaweh is actually two whole weeks late and from there on spirals his wacky journey to knighthood in the midst of a devastating war taking place, which will hit home closer than what anyone could’ve imagine.” – (summary taken from Ayyo) – It’s a pity, I like the concept, the art looks interesting, though the fact does remain that we’ve got ourselves another hentai-game adaptation again. After the autumn-season, I really lost my hopes on this genre. I hope this one can at least prove me wrong, but for now, I’m suspecting that this one will fall just as hard as the others.

Darker than Black
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“Suddenly anomalous field impossible to analyze appears in Tokyo. As if they responded to the field named “Hell’s Gate”, people that have new powers and completely different from the current human begins appear. They have lost their minds and sometimes kill people cruelly. People call them “Contractor” with fear.” – (taken from AnimeNfo) – “The main character, Hei is some super top-class agent, at ‘The Organisation’. He’s one of the best in this group of people with supernatural powers, called “keiyakusha”. As such he’s an invaluable member of The Organisation. He seems to be a solitary guy who won’t allow others in his heart. Currently he is posing as a timid Chinese university student called Li Shun Sheng. The seemingly lead female, Yin is a support staff in Hei’s team. She seems normal but she’s got absolutely no emotions at all and is sometimes called “Doll”. She’s also blind, but her other senses have been honed to such a level that she can… instantaneously understand the physical situation around her for a radius of 50m.” – (Translated by wao) – I can’t really say I’m interested in the characters. The main character just sounds like Naru-chan with most of his personality removed (and of course he’s the strongest keiyakusha around), while a female character without any emotions won’t be getting a lot of development, will she?

Hayate the Combat Butler
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“With a debt of 1.5 million, 16-year old Hayate Ayasaki’s parents sell him to the yakuza to pay it off. Not wanting to be cut up and sold on the black market, Hayate escapes from the yakuza thugs, and finds a very rich girl by the name of Nagi wandering in a park at night. Deciding to kidnap the girl for ransom money, Hayate’s kidnapping speech was wrongly taken as a confession of love to Nagi. She finds out about the debt, and, feeling sorry for Hayate, pays it off, as long as Hayate will be her butler until he pays off the 1.5 million (which will take about 40 years).” – Just when I thought that the concepts couldn’t get any worse. Ah well, at least it isn’t a hentai-game adaptation.

Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula
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“The human race has recovered from the cataclysmic disaster now known as the “Equator Winter”. Now, each country begins to battle one another with robots to establish the new world order. A 13-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl operate Japan’s robot. Now begins their robot battle.” – (taken from AnimeNfo) – This is a very ambitious project. It’s got no less than fourteen different people behind its mecha designs. It seems like each person designed a different mecha. Still, I hope the creators aren’t serious with a project like this. I mean, they’ve got to find a very, very good reason to make these two brats pilot the mecha which can control the entire fate of Japan, especially when Adults can do the job much better.

Overdrive
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“The story centers around a boy who aims to become the number one bicyclist in the world.” – (taken from manganews) – This seems like your standard shounen-sports anime. I haven’t been a big fan of this genre. I’m not sure why, actually.

Kaze no Stigma
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“the Story is about the Guy, who got kicked out of his fire Clan because he had no talent. 4 years down the road he comes back to Japan and has power to manipulate the wind, and on his return to japan he is a Suspect in a murder.” – (summary by evil-samurai) – The art looks interesting. This is going to be a shounen-fantasy anime. It does have potential, though the production behind it is rather weak. The character design is done by someone who’s only done mediocre ones before, while the others have only been working on mediocre anime. They’ve got some nice voice-actors, though. The woman who did Yuuko is on it, just as Sakura’s and Karada’s voice actress (from Tsubasa Chronicle and Asatte no Houkou).

Princess Resurrection
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“The story centres on the character of school boy Hiro Hiyorimi who is struck by a car in an accident. Unbeknownst to him, his life is saved by a princess of darkness who feeds him her blood immediately after the incident.” – (taken from Anime News Service) – Based on a “gothic horror / dark comedy / heavy moe themed comic”. I like the goth horror, though the heavy-moe themes worry me a bit. Still, this can become interesting. If the creators somehow manage to make the love relationship between the two characters interesting.

Heroic Age
The only thing known about this anime is that Xebec is producing it, and the character designs are done by Hirai Hisashi. This guy has his own distinctive style, in my opinion, just look at Fafner, Gundam Seed Destiny and Gin-Iro no Olynsis. I’m suspecting we’re dealing with another mecha-anime. I wonder whether it’ll become great, or just turn into a plain old flop.

Potemayo
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Hmm, I haven’t managed to find a summary for this one, but it seems to involve normal schoolgirls who meet up with two strange chibi-witches/mahou shoujo. Some of the people who worked on Venus Versus Virus are also involved in this one, and I’m suspecting that this will be another one of those cute slice-of-life series.

Engage Planet Kiss Dum
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This seems to be some kind of epic mecha-anime, not much is known about it yet. The staff behind it also seems to have worked on Banner and Crest of the stars. I’ve heard that these were good anime, though I’ve yet to see them myself.

sola
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It’s been listed as fantasy, seinen and romance. Apart from that, we’ve got some character designs, and that’s it about the information known about this anime. It actually has me interested so far, but I’m fearing that this will turn into another one of those moe comedies.

Lovely Complex
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“Koizumi Risa, current height 170 cm. Her surname is translated to “small river”. A girl taller than most other girls her age. Otani Atsushi, current height 156 cm. His surname is translated to “big valley”. A guy way below the average height of a highschool boy. They’re both known all around school as the comedian duo for looking like nothing but funny while standing beside each other. Due to this fact, they’ve been on one another’s bad side ever since they first met. One day, a new transfer student shows up and he happens to be very tall! Koizumi immediately gets interested in this boy and Otani suddenly proposes a silly idea to Koizumi. The idea is that they are to help each other out to get their respective love interests by all means! Koizumi undoubtedly agrees to this but as in all other shoujo mangas, things never turn out the way people want it to.” – Ah, finally another shoujo anime to be announced. I’m not sure whether I’m going to like it, but a good point is that I can actually relate to the male main character, seeing as I’m very short myself. We’ll see how this turns out.

Skull Man
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“There are mass murders and catastrophes all over Japan, committed by a masked/caped psychic madman called the Skull Man, and his shape-shifting aide Garo (named after the manga ninja Garo created by Sanpei Shirato), who can turn into various powerful mutant monsters. The calamities caused by the Skull Man are investigated by the Tachiki Detective Agency, with the help of a young man named Tatsuo Kagura, the son of a yakuza in the Kagura Clan.” – (taken from Wikipedia) – Interesting, an anti-hero. Shows about anti-heroes are almost always worth watching, since they offer a nice twist to the usual heroes seen in anime.

Koutetsu Sangokushi
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Not much is known about this anime, but with the director of Master of Epic and the guy who did the script for Jigoku Shoujo, Deltora Quest and many more, I’ll be looking forward to it.

Cencoroll
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“For talented animation creators who want an opportunity to create and distribute an ”original work,” ”ANIME INNOVATION TOKYO” offers funds and equipments. Producers belonging to ”ANIME INNOVATION TOKYO” take care and advise selected creators to make pilot films. Production span is about six months to a year. Basically, the pilot films should be based on ”original plans” from the creators. Any form of animation is possible. We will accept any animation style if we feel that it brings out the best of the creator’s style, and we can offer equipments within each individual project budget. By the spring of 2008, we will select 20 creators, and team up with them to establish joint-venture groups (JV) with LLP, ”ANIME INNOVATION TOKYO” etc., to make pilot films together.” – (taken from Anime Innovation Tokyo main site) – Very interesting. I like what these guys are doing. They take small companies, and give them enough budget to create a new, innovative anime. I’m really hoping for some TV-series out of this, though it seems that they’ll be keeping themselves to films and movies. Anyway, Cencoroll is the first one to be selected. So far, a trailer has been released, and it looks quite interesting.

Blue Dragon
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Blue Dragon follows Shu and his friends as they find themselves capable of manifesting their actions through surprisingly powerful shadows. Not long after, the main cast sets off on a grand adventure that, in true RPG fashion, determines the fate of the world.” (summary by Mr. Sephiroth) – Very interesting, an RPG-adaptation. I’m getting Popolocrois-vibes out of this one, which is always a good thing. I also really like the cast of voice actors. Nearly all of the main characters are voiced by people who have had a lot of different roles, and have a huge amount of experience in the business. It should prove to be very interesting, but Akira Toriyama behind the character design!? What are they, nuts!?

To Terra… (Chikyuu e…)
“Light-years from Earth, where every aspect of life is controlled by the great master computer, if you are a Psychic (called a MU) you’re dead. Hunted tirelessly, the MU have been hiding for centuries from the general populace.” – (taken from Anime News Network) – Sometimes, the more mysterious an anime is, the more interesting it sounds. That’s definitely the case for To Terra. I know almost nothing about this one, but somehow I’m really looking forward to watching this. It’s supposed to be a remake of a 1980-series (the description above also comes from the original series). The staff also sounds very interesting, seeing as it features the people behind episode 18 of Mushishi (which was one of the best one of the entire series) and the character design is done by the same guy who did the character designs for Paradise Kiss and Escaflowne.

Baccano!
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“Baccano features an immortal alchemist, married thieves, Mafia siblings, demons and vampires set in 1930s America.” – (by Sonhex) – And that’s about all that’s known about this anime. This seems to be the first anime the original creator is involved with, so perhaps it’ll feature some new, interesting elements. I have to say that I’m quite interested in the concept. The art also looks gorgeous.

Kaze no Shoujo Emily
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“Emily Starr is sent to live at New Moon Farm on Prince Edward Island with her aunts Elizabeth and Laura Murray. She makes friends with Ilse Burnley, Teddy Kent, and Perry Miller, the hired boy, who Aunt Elizabeth looks down upon because he was born in ‘Stovepipe Town’, a poorer district. Each of the children have special gifts. Emily was born to be a writer, Teddy is a gifted artist, Ilse is a talented elocutionist, and Perry has the makings of a great politician. They also each have a few problems with their families. Emily has a hard time getting along with Aunt Elizabeth, who doesn’t understand her need to write. Ilse’s father, Dr. Burnley, ignores Ilse most of the time because of a dreadful secret concerning Ilse’s mother. Teddy’s mother is jealous of her son’s talents and friends, fearing that his love for them will eclipse his love for her. As a result, she hates Emily, Teddy’s drawings, and even his pets. Perry isn’t as well off as the other three, so his Aunt Tom once tries to make Emily promise to marry Perry when they grow up, threatening that unless Emily does so, she won’t pay for Perry’s schooling.” – (taken from Wikipedia) – Okay, I’ve just fallen in love with another concept. The cases of these four children sound extremely interesting. I can’t wait for this one to air. ^^

El Cazador de la Bruja
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“It’s about a girl named Elis, who finds herself on the run from the so called Hunters of the underground society due to being a suspect of a murder. She meets up with a bounty hunter named Nadi who offers her help and guidance to pursue the truth of her past. For some reason the Hunters are now after her as well.” – (summary by Monir) – When I looked at the list of shows the director worked on, I immediately knew he had to be my hero. He did .Hack//Sign, .Hack//Roots, Noir, Tsubasa Chronicle, and even Popolocrois. With a director like that, I’m really looking forward to this. I’m also getting some heavy Noir-vibes from this one. Should promise to be great. And if things couldn’t get any better, Yuki Kajiura, the genius behind the soundtrack of Noir and .Hack//Sign is going to do the music!

+ Top 5 episodes +
#5: Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette – 03
The climax grabbed me surprisingly tight. I knew that Thenadier would be mean against Cosette, but I almost couldn’t bear to watch the things she did to Cosette, even though most of the action happened outside of the screen.

#4: Death Note – 15
Extremely touching and full of juicy plot twist. That’s how I like Death Note best. I almost couldn’t believe the things that happened to Misa.

#3: Saiunkoku Monogatari – 24
Saiunkoku Monogatari dished out a lot of goodness this month, and I feel that this episode showcased the best of it. The best point, in my opinion was Ensei’s lecture towards Kokujun, though Shuurei herself also was awesome. Oh, and let’s not forget the beautiful drawing that was made of Ensei. ^^

#2: Jigoku Shoujo – 37
The thing I loved about this episode is that you probably won’t get its real meaning until you start thinking about it, or look at some kind of blog post about it. That’s what made this episode so awesome.

#1: Otogi Juushi Akazukin – 30
Akazukin’s past is better than I ever imagined. Episodes like these make this already awesome anime even more enjoyable.

Posted on 29 January 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Short Synopsis: Finally: Akazukin’s background!
Good: Better than I ever imagined. This seriously was an awesome episode!
Bad: The beginning had awkward animation, despite this being a major episode.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 9/10

Seriously, that was AWESOME! Ever since I started with rating the episodes, I never had to give an episode such a high rating. And this episode definitely deserves it! This episode definitely was one of the ones where everything comes together. Those who’ve been reading my other entries about this show know that I’ve been heavily speculating about and anticipating both the background of Akazukin and Baru, since nothing really has been said about them, which means that they had to hide something, didn’t they?

That question got answered in this episode. The reason Akazukin never talked about her childhood was because it’s a rather sad one. Her birth village now lies in ruins. It’s not because of Cendrion’s army, however. Her village was raided by the wolves. They killed her parents, her best friend at that time and his mother. The survivors abandoned the village, and moved to a nearby one. At that point, Akazukin also met Baru, if I’m correct. If I had to guess, she then moved to the same place Hameln was staying, after which she went to the school we saw in episode 10 or eleven.

One of the things that made this episode so awesome was the fact that it built up perfectly. It already started when they didn’t even reach the village, when Souta noticed that Akazukin tried to be awfully happy. Randagio, meanwhile, introduces Jedo-sama in quite a funny way. Still, despite the jokes used, the heavy atmosphere kindof stays.

Still, the best thing about the episode was Kain, Akazukin’s childhood friend. (On a side-note: I almost exploded because of the cuteness of small Akazukin. Seriously, when I thought that things couldn’t get any cuter after Chibi-Shirayuki) The two of them were extremely cute when they were young, and it seems that Akazukin keeps saying “Zukkyun” because of him. Still, the thing is that this “Kain” looks an awful lot like Jedo-sama. It’s a fairly standard plot twist. Your former best friend now is a bad guy because of some reason. At least, that’s what I thought.

Boy, was I wrong. I never expected BARU, OF ALL PEOPLE to be Kain! Seriously, that is so AWESOME! It perfectly explains why he stays with her. To make things even better, Jedo-sama seems to be his brother. That’s why nothing was said about his father. He probably separated from his wife, took Jedo with him, and started living with the Lycan. I’m suspecting that his father was a Lycan, while his mother was a normal person. That’s what made the two of them special. Seriously, with this, this series turned even better. Was this the best of Otogi Juushi Akazukin, or are there even more awesome episodes waiting? I can’t wait to find out. :D

Posted on with categories: Les Miserables - Shoujo Cosette

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Short Synopsis: Cosette finally finds out that her mother has been sending her letters. The only problem: she can’t read.
Good: For now, it seems that this anime realizes its huge length, and makes excellent use of this by developing Cosette into a great character. This episode was no exception.
Bad: Let’s hope that the newly introduced boy doesn’t turn into a bad love interest.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

It seems that this episode skipped another year, since Shushu seems to have grown up into a large dog. In the end, Cosette got to keep him. ^^ I’m really liking how much the creators are developing her in this anime. This episode, she makes her first steps into learning to read and write from the local priest. I can’t wait till she finds out exactly what her mother wrote to her, since the moment when she was able to read her own name into her mother’s letter alone already was awesome.

Meanwhile, in the city nothing much happened. It feels like the entire episode has been building up for Jean, Javert, Fantine and the old man who appeared during this episode for the first time. We see the latter get into an accident at the end of the episode, with Aran in the neighbourhood. I’m suspecting that his role is to give Aran a bit of development. Javert, meanwhile, shows how devoted he is to upholding the law. I’m also wondering what’ll happen to Fantine, and when exactly it will happen.

Still, despite this episode being as good as usual, I’m worrying about the newly introduced young boy (Toron?). I’m really hoping for him to be more than just a love-triangle-inducing character for Cosette. This often forms a pitfall for most anime, I hope it won’t be the same for this anime as well. Also, you have to love the attempts of the poor voice-actors trying to talk French, or Furenchi, in this case. ^^;

Posted on with categories: Master of Epic

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Short Synopsis: An eccentric fashion designer; Warage Black is missing!
Good: The introduction-sketch; The main character gets more screentime than ever (as in, 10 seconds ^^;); I LOVE the smilies.
Bad: This episode wasn’t as good as the previous ones, unfortunately; this show deserves better animation.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 6.5/10

Aw, too bad. While this episode definitely was funny, it wasn’t as outright hilarious as the past few episodes. Especially Waragecha used a rather overused joke, and too many of the jokes centred around people getting beat up. While it is funny once in a while, you don’t want to repeat this too much.

Still, the episode definitely was memorable. Mostly because of one particularly wrong sketch, in which we saw a Pandemos who dressed himself up as a fashion-designer. He also got angry whenever someone dared to call him a male. He really gave a totally new meaning to the word “trap”. And when you think things couldn’t get even wronger, the episode ends in a very strange, and very, VERY wrong way.

I also loved the end of the introduction, where the male Elmony started to chase the Cognite with a giant club. ^^ The main character also actually spoke more than one sentence. We see more of her with every episode progressing.

Posted on 28 January 2007 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo

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Short Synopsis: A guy has lost his wife and son in a truck accident five years ago, and his daughter has been in coma ever since. But why would he want to access Jigoku Tsuushin?
Good: Lots of Ai-airtime this time. Nice ending.
Bad: This episode just doesn’t match up to the quality of the previous episodes.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10

Dammit. Here I was expecting a huge episode, and then it comes with such a usual one. We have this guy who has this grudge against a number of idiots who tried to be on television while his wife just died. Right now, he’s feeling that his time is coming, and he at least wants the idiots to die before he does. In the end, he can’t kill the last of the idiots, so he lets Ai do it for him.

Still, I do feel that this episode featured a turning point. No major one, but Ai and Kikuri were exceptionally present in this episode. Especially Kikuri was finally more than the annoying brat of the past episodes. She finally shows a bit of what she can do, and the effect this has on the different cases. I’m suspecting that the following episodes will continue to delve deeper in this. Ai also actually contributed to the research. Either that, or she wanted to try out being a waitress. I’m not sure what that purpose was, same with her, eating a snack at the Oden. Okay, it was amusing, and she looked REALLY cute, but the point…?

Still, the ending was surprisingly good. Okay, his daughter waking up was unavoidable, though the creators actually found a good reason for her to wake up at that exact time. I also like how this episode put emphasis on the punishment of hell and the punishment of killing someone. The guy now has to live his life with two punishments: seeing his daughter find out that he’s a murderer, and if that wasn’t good enough, he’d have a nice and cosy hell for him as soon as he dies, which probably won’t take long.

I’ve also been wondering… will Hell Boy return? And what about Hajime and Tsugumi? The fact remains that the final few episodes of this series will bring some kind of conclusion to this series. Though so far, we’ve got no clue as to what this might be, in contrary to the first season, which clearly focused on Hajime’s struggle against Ai. I’m suspecting Kikuri and the spider will be playing a huge role in this. Especially the spider. He’s been getting an awful little amount of development, though. I want to see more of him… err.. it.

Posted on with categories: Jigoku Shoujo

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Short Synopsis: Wanyuudo hitchhikes with a truck driver, who seems to have a grudge against an old man.
Good: I love this show; Even though nothing really happened, this episode was amazing!
Bad: How long must Kikuri (not Kirika) continue to ruin the incredible mood this anime sets?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

Seriously, the past few episodes of Jigoku Shoujo have been one hit after another. And then to think that we’ve still got fourteen episodes to go, and something tells me that the creators are planning to save the best for last. This episode also was a special one. Not only is it a rare Wanyuudo-episode, it also is the first episode to hint about his past, when he was still a human. He seems to come from medieval Japan, probably after Ai’s time. In there, he once lead a carriage, carrying an important princess. This carriage then falls off the same cliff we see during this episode. It’s probably after this that either the spider or Ai found him, and recruited him, though we don’t get to see that part.

The case this time focused a lot on atmosphere this time. I’m not sure what it is, but seeing two people talk, while driving a truck on a lonesome road works really well, and the first half of the episode really takes its time introducing the case. It’s was almost like Mushishi. Then, with the second half of the episode, this anime gets its Jigoku Shoujo-vibes back when Enma Ai appears in front of the truck-driver, whose little brother died in a car accident on a dangerous part of the road because an old man refused to move somewhere else, forcing the road to be built dangerously around his house.

The old man, like usual, can’t really be called evil. He’s just an old man, who puts a huge value in his own principles. He’s been living inside his house for ages, it’s logical for him to not want to live somewhere else. Especially since he lost all of his family-members and is all alone, he just kept clinging on his house, which reminded him of his former loved ones. Even though he knew quite well about the dangers his decision caused.

The episode ends quite interestingly. The old man dies from a heart attack, before the truck driver could reach him. Before he dies, he gives Hone Onna the message that he gives all his possessions to the boy who died, aka the truck driver’s younger brother. This was his way of repenting for the sin he committed in order to live in peace for his last few years.

(On a side-note, I’m really looking forward to the thirteenth episode right now, seeing as most anime try to put in some spectacle at this point of the series. Especially with a concept like Jigoku Shoujo, it’s really easy to plan this. The first season already showed this when it featured an episode which focused at a guy, fifty years after he cursed someone).

Posted on 27 January 2007 with categories: Death Note

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Short Synopsis: Before Light gets the chance to kill L, L makes his move. Let’s just say that Misa didn’t like this.
Good: Death Note is getting more exiting by the minute! This episode had some awesome plot twists.
Bad: L’s timing may have been a bit too perfect.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Ah, of course. L can’t just die in front of everyone from a heart attack, since if that’s the case, Light will be getting all the blame. Instead, he had to set up a scene. L, however, managed to beat Light to it. Indeed, if the two Kira’s have teamed up, it means big trouble for L. Especially if Light happens to be Kira.

After the introduction, things start out very light, when Light runs into L, and Misa runs into the two of them later. L then starts behaving like an idiot. It’s pretty funny, but then the episode suddenly turns extremely serious, since he probably knew that Misa was going to be arrested beforehand. Because of this, he snatched her mobile phone, just before she was arrested, since he happened to be a bit in the neighbourhood (It’s like I said above. Death Note is an awesome series, but the timing seems to be a bit too perfect at times).

In the end, it seems that Misa remained an idiot, who couldn’t clean up after her. This caused her downfall. Since she’s the second Kira, L doesn’t want to hold back to torture her. She was so sad when she begged for her Rem to kill her, but the really good stuff happened afterwards. Rem made Misa give up the ownership of her Death Note. When she did this, Rem accidentally moved Misa’s hair which would have been very unnatural if there wasn’t a shinigami near her, and L happened to see that. There is NO WAY he’s not going to use that somehow.

To make things even better, however, Light has lost his opportunity of acquiring L’s real name (So he does have one. This makes me think about his parents again) and Rem also will kill him if he doesn’t save Misa. It seems, however, that Light already has a plan for this, which involves getting rid of his original Death Note, while keeping Rem’s. At least, that’s what is implied. If it will really go that way, then what will happen to Ryuk and his second Death Note? Something is telling me that the next episode is going to be one to remember. :)

Posted on with categories: Ghost Hunt

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Short Synopsis: It’s now Mai’s turn to be possessed by Kenji. But what happened to his body?
Good: Excellent mystery; The Ending
Bad: Why weren’t Matsuzaki and Masato involved in the case? Did they spend their entire time in the church baking cake?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10

After the previous episode, I began to wonder how such an arc could be made interesting. Still, the creators did it. This episode wasn’t good in the way of episode 5, but more of a heart-warming sort-of good. Kenji’s ghost is just too adorable. You almost want him to go to heaven. Especially after what that meanie of a Rin said to him. ^^

I also must congratulate this arc of Ghost Hunt for being the first arc with a really good ending. The previous arcs may have been interesting, their endings have always been nothing special. Still, I really have to say that the moment where Kenji’s body was found had a huge impact. He really did hide in an impossible place: behind one of the statues, high above the doors of the church. There’s indeed nobody who’d even think of looking there. Especially since he dropped his flute in a totally different place (he probably lost it when he was searching for a good place to hide). The scene afterwards, where he finally could go to heaven was beautiful, probably because of this.

This episode had some interesting main characters. Since the usual main characters was out-cold for the major part of the episode, we see the story from the perspective of Bou-san. It’s interesting for a change. Too bad we don’t get to know his thoughts, like with Mai.

Posted on with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari

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Short Synopsis: After the eventfulness of the previous episode, all the different characters prepare themselves for the upcoming events.
Good: Altered OP; Kourin; only now Sakujun’s impact on Shuurei becomes clear.
Bad: Sakujun may be a bit too perfect. I want to see some challenges for him as well. :)
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10

Ah, the aftermath. The chess pieces are preparing themselves to be moved. Quite a lot of things happened, though, since there are so many characters who have a role in this arc. First of all, Sho Taishi seems to have arrived in Kinka. That’s pretty fast of him, considering everyone else took months to reach it. He considers giving the ring to three possible parties: the two governors, Tei Yuushun or Eiki. It also gets revealed that Sa Taiho did some pretty bloody things in order to get the lead over the Sa Clan in the past.

We also see a few glimpses of Tei Yuushun in this episode. I’m not sure what exactly his role is in this anime, but it seems to be a very important one, in order to be nominated for getting the ring. In any case, he’s now been locked up for half a year by none other than Sa Sakujun. Who this guy named Eiki might be… I have no idea. I’m suspecting we’ll learn more about him in the future episodes.

Still, the most important focus of the episode was Shuurei. Only now, it becomes clear how much Sakujun has made an impact on her. The guy is a bastard, though because he seduced Shuurei, she doesn’t see it that way. She hasn’t thrown away the instrument he bought for her. She never tied her hair up again. She never spoke of Sakujun’s real name. I’m wondering where this will go.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 06:02 PM)
    I am beginning to do a write up of next season’s preview and currently doing the research. So far next season isn’t looking good with not many interesting titles.
    When I get something decent made up I will send it out to all you guys to make comments or add your two cents.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 05:41 PM)
    Hmm..I would have thought the missions would be different at least.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 05:39 PM)
    Oh Sure, I will play the easy newcomer version birthright. And after that I will have a scented bath, a nice pedicure and spend the night watching the notebook and sex in the city. Like a pansy.
    Well jokes aside I will be playing birthright first because I am a completion is and I play things in order. But you bet your ass I bought conquest retail.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 04:47 PM)
    @Aidan Oh, I wasn’t complaining about the price, I got Conquest & Birthright off a friend for $35. I was complaining about rather how impersonal the decision feels in the overall story, and in terms of narrative one of those games utterly fails since the prologue chapters before 6 obviously pushes for one side of the story. I would not have wanted to drop additional money for a game I didn't feel was worth it, without spoilers all I'll say is both stories are virtually identical except with different skins. Exception being Revelation of course.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 04:21 PM)
    @K-Off, not really. Like I said, you buy one you get the other at a discount. Considering the length of the games its not exactly unfair to charge for both. But the choice is rather superficial though. Do you want to play the peace loving guys or the awesome warmongers? Kinda like asking a kid “Hey do you wanna play as a pillbug or a velocrapter?”
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 03:59 PM)
    @Bam When possible I’d recommend you try Governor’s Ball, it’s easy on your legs and always has a great lineup.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 03:48 PM)
    @Aidan Absolutely despised how FE Fates advertsies the illusion of choice when the decision is already made at the store.
  • SuperMario
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 01:45 PM)
    @Bam: well, I’m super interested to do volunteer. Indeed I did volunteer in many of the programs just so I can watch show/movies/events for free. The only problem is I’m staying in Australia so it kinda hard to do.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 01:45 PM)
    @Mamamoo: not sure if you’re still around, but I recommend Humunculus as a very decent psychological drama, featuring great art; albeit it launches stronger than it lands. Tropical Citron is a great hidden gem of a manga, and it’s only two volumes. On the action side of things I’ll recommend Vagabond, since it’s a great retelling of the Musashi legend with fantastic linework. Berserk is a classic, so I suggest getting into Vinland Saga when you inevitably get up-to-date.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 31. 2016 01:36 PM)
    I have formed quite a repertoire with the staff, planners, vendors and volunteer coordinators at LiB. I can get you a volunteer position, which makes your ticket free for about 20 hours of helping them with various tasks. Most of the volunteers are great people, so you would have fun and learn quite a bit from these guys. It is also possible to do your hours before or after the show, So you can attend the actual festival days without hassle. Let me know if you’re interested.

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