Posted on 24 February 2007 with categories: Red Garden

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Short Synopsis: In the end, Hervé spoke the truth. It’s now up to Kate to tell the others about it.
Good: Kate; Claire; Rose; Rachel; Amanda; Hervé; Anna; Lise; Emilio; Yes, about everyone who did anything significant in this episode.
Bad: I expected a bit of Lula, but she was nowhere to be found.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Seriously, I expected an aftermath after the eventfulness of the previous episode, but I never expected it to be such an awesome one. Most aftermaths are quiet, but this one was probably even better than its previous episode. So many characters were involved in so many awesome ways.

In the end, it’s true. Kate and the others will lose their memories after everything is over. She now has to tell everyone about this. It’s almost freaky how different everyone reacted. More on that below. Kate also has to cope with her sister, now that Emilio has dumped her and disappeared.

The news is quite a shock for Claire, but as usual, she manages to control her feelings. Still, she was so sad through the episode. First she tells Kate that she’d rather have that they won’t have secrets for each other anymore, but when they have to tell the news to Rose, she suddenly understands how difficult it is to tell someone some sad news. When they saw that Rose grew so much, and that she finally was able to see her father again, who is working hard for his family, they just couldn’t bring her the news that her memories would just disappear. They expected the same with Rachel, based on episodes 4-6, so they didn’t even bother to try and tell her.

Rose indeed has grown so much. Just compare her with Rachel, who’s currently in the midst of losing all her friends. When the anime started, I could never have imagined Rose actually comforting Rachel like the way she did now. Still, in the end she’s grown so much because of her memories of her family and friends. She breaks when she hears that she’ll lose her memory in the end. She actually starts yelling at Kate.

And OMG Rachel. She actually doesn’t care whether she loses her memory or not. In this episode, we see her officially break up with her friends. After this, she obviously has nothing left. And surprise, Sam, the rather goofy guy who always remained in the shadows gets worried about her, and tries to comfort her. She obviously doesn’t realize this, but I wonder how Sam will act in the future.

Also, Rachel gave some interesting information about Amanda. When Rachel still was alive, she was probably the most popular of her group, and Amanda always seemed to look up to her, and she always wanted to be like her. She now finally managed to win over Rachel, it seems.

Hervé, meanwhile, has been locked up. He’s probably going to escape any episode now, but it’s now clear that he’s cut his ties with his former “allies”, who are now all worried because Lise remembered Hervé. Because of that, they ignore Anna, who’s starting to cough up blood because of her sudden separation with Hervé and Mireille.

And boy, Emilio made sure for an awesome cliff-hanger in the end. He’s obviously not going to directly help Hervé anymore, due to the fact that he’s lost his girlfriend, but it does seem that he’s begun acting on his own. How? By kidnapping Lise. This can become really interesting. Especially if the latter happens to run into Claire, Rose, Rachel or Kate. ^_^

And finally, I must praise the ED. It’s a great way to succeed the already exciting cliff-hangers.

Posted on 23 February 2007 with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Short Synopsis: Finally, the thing that was about to come ever since Gretel appeared in this show: she flees from Hansel and joins Akazukin-tachi.
Good: OMG Turude! Beware for MAJOR SPOILERS below.
Bad: The power of friendship!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8.5/10

Whoa!

Seriously!

The episode was nice and all, but a bit cheesy. It had it coming, but Gretel joining because of the powers of friendship just overflowed with cheese. The episode itself was nice, but it didn’t really solve anything, in comparison to the previous ones. But then, at the end of the episode, I realized something incredible about Turude.

She’s Souta’s MOTHER!!! Holy god. OF COURSE, how could I not see that!? Okay, it isn’t explicitly shown, but with this, all of the pieces fit together. It had to be strange for her to be the only major character left, without any background information or history. Of course that wouldn’t be shown, it’d spoil everything. Only now the creators dropped the first hints about this! That is SO awesome. It also totally explains why Souta’s mother was captured, why Cendrion knew about her, everything!

I love this show!

Posted on with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: Akizuki recovers, while Hijikata and Enomoto conquer Hakodate.
Good: Nice battles, I liked how focused the episode was.
Bad: The timing of that husband was a bit too convenient. Akizuki acted really predictable.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

Dammit, no online-summaries have appeared for this episode yet. Ah well, luckily, it wasn’t as hard to understand as usual. We’ve got a pretty focused episode this time, featuring only a select amount of characters. Heck, Soutetsu, the troupe and the Englishmen didn’t even appear, while Kakunojou only appeared for one minute or something.

I had one major problem with this episode. It was great as usual, but Akizuki was just way to predictable. Heck, how many anime have we seen up till now where a main character gets mortally wounded, separated from everyone else, saved by a bunch of random people, get involved with some of their problems and then becoming a better character? Probably too many to count. It’s not really bad or anything, but when anime keep and keep using this, things become a bit predictable.

Still, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the kid nearly drowning. Akizuki gets saved by a mother and her daughter. The father left to be a soldier a long time ago. Akizuki obviously doesn’t speak much, and he keeps having visions of an evil (and rather funny) Kakunojou. Then, during a rather nasty storm, the child went playing outside, and fell into the ocean. This scene really was meant for Akizuki to realize one of his major flaws: the fact that he always tries to do everything on his own, and that he keeps blaming himself for things that happened. But seriously, Akizuki is about to leave, and the husband suddenly shows up again? I thought the creators knew better than this.

The second focus of the episode featured Hijikata, attacking Hakodate with his army. After the last episode, I said that this episode would probably feature another climax, due to the pattern of this series. It’s surprising to see that this was the first climax in Bakumatsu to not feature Akizuki. Hakodate seems to be a major city in terms of trade with Russia, it even has a European design. I can imagine that it would be heavily guarded, and that it would hold a great strategic value to Enomoto.

Posted on with categories: Death Note

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Short Synopsis: A Matsuda-episode. See what happens when the idiot starts to act on his own.
Good: The beginning of the episode was great. L was too funny at times.
Bad: It’s a miracle Matsuda stayed alive through all this.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

The creators found a nice way to develop the Yotsuba-arc further this episode. Earlier I mentioned that Matsuda is the most unprofessional of Kira’s group, and this time, we see what his stupidity brings him to. Heck, he even gets his own special hair-colour, differentiating from the usual red and blue. The episode would have sucked, if it wasn’t for L’s reaction to everything. He surely managed to turn this entertaining with his constant annoyance at the poor Matsuda. I loved how he had to act as a mere ambulance worker in the end. ^^

While certain parts of the episode smelled a bit too much like “filler”, certain parts were pretty interesting regarding the main plot. First of all, it showed that the security in the main office of the Yotsuba-group is garbage. The fact that Matsuda could sneak in and go to the secret meeting has to say something. You’d think that the members of the Yotsuba group would be extra careful, now that they’re playing with things that can get them in jail for the rest of their lives, but surprisingly, they don’t. Matsuda now also has been stripped from his role as Misa’s manager. As it would be troublesome if people recognized him on the street, it looks like he’s going to be promoted to full-time coffee-bringer.

The climax of the episode definitely was interesting, while Light’s father yet again showed how easy it is to get into the Yotsuba-building when he manages to bring a giant mattress inside of it, in order to save Matsuda. Actually, I’m suspecting that they went to another building when Misa and her friends arrived. Matsuda, however, surprised me with his athletic ability. The two thieves also were interesting in their acting. Overall, a funny episode. I liked how this episode tried to give an actual comedic note to the scenes. Still, Misa remains annoying. I’m suspecting that the Yotsuba-arc will be more of a comedic arc, since it now became clear that it’s being managed by a bunch of idiots. ^^;

Posted on 22 February 2007 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari

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Short Synopsis: Sa Sakujun has no desire to marry Shuurei. Sa Chuushou, however, wants the marriage to happen at all costs. This episode showed how desperate he can be at this.
Good: Shuurei. Amazing character.
Bad: Now I know for sure: Shuurei’s self-confidence is directly proportionate to the quality of this series.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

Yup, now I know for sure. The reason why the past few episodes have been rather disappointing finally became clear to me. It’s simply that whenever Shuurei shines, Saiunkoku Monogatari shines. The reason for the mediocre past episodes was simply because Shuurei had been thrown off her balance a bit by Sa Sakujun. This episode, however, she’s back to her usual awesome self, having turned even stronger because of her experiences. :D

I love the whole Sakujun – Chuushou – Shuurei-triangle in this episode. After the incredibly dramatic episode 26, he turned into quite a nice villain. I especially loved the hair-treatment Shuurei gave him. I think that Shuurei finally realized that Sakujun is just playing around. While he may be annoying, he isn’t really a threat, which is why she starts focusing on the real bad guy: Sa Chuushou. The bastard is planning to set his entire country aflame if Shuurei doesn’t marry his grandson! At least, that’s what he claims. It obviously isn’t enough to trump someone like Shuurei. Which makes me wonder. What measures will he take in order to get the two of them together in the end? He now knows what she’s capable off, and I don’t think he’s just going to sit around and let things happen.

I also liked how Shourin escaped Sakujun’s knowledge. It’s great to see that he isn’t perfect either. Kokujun, meanwhile, still is in his cell, turning crazy. Shuurei will probably find him in the next episode. It’ll be great to see how he’ll act from that point. The point remains that he bears a lot of resemblances to a younger version of Sa Enjun, he just was a bit too shy in his earlier episodes in comparison. Now that he’s actually turning crazy, some murderous instincts might awaken in him.

Posted on with categories: Ghost Hunt

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Short Synopsis: People from the investigation teams start missing, while Mai dies.
Good: That was one disturbing cliff-hanger.
Bad: Obviously, Mai didn’t really die. She really needs to stand up for herself.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10

Seriously, Mai looked so freaky in the end. It would be awesome if she really died, but the fact remains that we’re dealing with episode nineteen here. That’s not the time to kill off your main characters, unfortunately.

My problems with this series continue yet again in this episode. While it’s interesting to see Mai getting pushed over, knocked unconscious, possessed, pulled by her leg, surprised by a falling ceiling, attacked by spirits, nearly eaten by ghouls, stalked by ghosts, attacked by a giant black dog, fainting, having visions, fainting once more, falling inside a well, disappearing, getting deceived by Naru, getting attacked by a windows breaking, getting knocked over by a large bookcase, getting killed, et cetera, well… you get the point, I’d much rather see her actually protecting people from getting pushed over, knocked unconscious, possessed… et cetera. She’s got a great character, but I refuse to believe that all she has to be in this anime is the damsel-in-distress.

One interesting point to note, though: why has Naru-chan stopped showing up in Mai’s visions?

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

This time, three shows I didn’t have much expectations for. A good example of shows that turn out rather good, despite expectations. The strange thing is that while each of these shows was majorly flawed, they still turned out interesting. Especially Rocket Girls surprised me.

Juusou Kikou Dancouga Nova
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Okay, the good news, this isn’t as bad as I expected. The characters so far do look interesting somehow. The bad news, however, is that this seems to have every single shounen-mecha cliché in the book. Children who are being recruited to pilot a giant mecha? Check. One standard incompetent lazy impulsive idiotic guy, combined with three other highly skilled teenagers? Check. Characters aimed at fanservice? Check. Mecha controls which can be understood with just looking at them? Check. No preparation at all in the military? Check. An enemy who just “happens” to appear? Check. Racing cars of the good guys never break while others do? Check. Like I said, this series hasn’t been painful yet, but how can the creators ever hope to create an interesting story with these kinds of elements? The battle at the end of the episode was just ridiculous, while the two girls are just way too perfect for their own good.

Naruto Shippuuden
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I decided to check this out once more, before finally deciding whether to drop it or not. Still, it pleasantly surprised me. For now, it’s actually good enough to continue. Okay, it’s nothing special, but I really like the improvements the creators made on the music. Especially the tracks featuring choirs sounded great, and the OP was amazing. :) The question still remains whether the second season will be an improvement on the first one. The first season had three major disadvantages: it dragged, the fights were way too dramatic, and Naruto was the most annoying main character ever. Now that he’s grown up, that last part should have disappeared a little, but I wonder whether this series can catch my interest. This episode also showed signs of the beginning of a Naruto-Sakura couple. I certainly do not hope the two of them end up together. Let him get together with Hinata or something. Anyway, I dropped the first season around episode 200, since I stopped caring about the fillers. Is there anything that happened in the last 30 that I need to know if I want to watch this?

Rocket Girls
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When I first read the concept about a girl who had been asked to become an astronaut, due to her weight, I seriously wondered how the creators would make the rocket-company desperate enough to pluck a random girl off the street. Well, it seems that they found three reasons for this. The first: the manager is crazy, short-minded and impulsive. The second reason really became clear when the rocket exploded in mid-air. The third reason? Pure coincidence. The girl ends up involved with a small fight between the employees, gets dragged along by someone fleeing from the rocket-base, and then she gets noticed by the manager because she has the perfect weight. Overall, not very convincing. Especially when you add that to the fact that a girl from the local tribe and a girl from the main character’s school will be accompanying her. If you’re looking for a story that makes sense, then stay far away from this one. Still, I have to say that this was a pretty interesting watch. I like the sarcasm in Yukari (the main character) and the others. The story may make no sense, the CG may look fake, there may be a bit of useless fanservice, but somehow, the first episode was strangely enjoyable. (Oh, and the manager has the funniest cigarette-lighter. XD)

Posted on 20 February 2007 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo

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Short Synopsis: One of the strangest episodes yet. Wanyuudo’s past gets revealed when Ai gets summoned to the place where she first met him.
Good: I liked the narrative style a lot. The two cases at the same time were confusing, but very enjoyable.
Bad: This episode had more freaking fanservice than a hot-spring episode of a harem-anime, and that has to say something!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

Whoa, the fanservice, the huge amounts of fanservice. That’s definitely something you don’t expect from a series like this. Almost half of the episode was in a hot spring. While I can understand the small amounts of fanservice that have been featured in the show before, this definitely was way too much.

Still, ignoring the fanservice, we have an excellent episode. It’s one of the first in which two stories are told at the same time. One where Ai meets Wanyuudo, near a local hot-spring resort which just opened, and one where Ai returns after 400 years, to carry out yet another grudge. The interesting thing is that these cases are very much related. The first case is about the owner of the hot springs. He refuses to let a girl marry his son, just because he wants him to marry the daughter of another hot-spring owner. The girl becomes so angry about this, since she already carries the son’s baby, and because of this she sends the father to hell.

At that time, Ai still worked alone. She used a shrine, for her victims in order to contact her. The straw doll also was just an ordinary straw doll, instead of one of her companions in disguise. You’d wonder why Wanyuudo started to take over it’s role, though. She also used to walk to her victims, since she didn’t have the transportation facility that is called Wanyuudo yet. It does make you wonder, though. At one time, she’s able to just appear wherever she’d like, and at other times, she just has to walk.

In any case, during this particular case, she heard a rumour of a Youkai which has been bothering travellers. I assume that she looked for people to help her, and then she finally found what she searched for in Wanyuudo, so she recruited him. Later, she found Ichimoku Ren, in sword-form, like we saw in one of the previous episodes. I’m suspecting that the next episode will be dedicated to how Ai ran into Hone Onna. I think that she also has a small story to share with us.

In the second case, the descendant of the girl who was rejected starts blackmailing the owner, the descendant of the boy she was in love with, because she found out that the owner artificially maintains the hot springs, as it dried up long ago. Things are too late, however, and this gets leaked out before the girl can get sent to hell. It’s interesting to see that Ai and Wanyuudo were the first and the last customers in the hot springs.

Another interesting thing to note is that at one point, Ai decided to make her victims vanish. In the case 400 years ago, she left the body, boiled and all. That was quite the shock. I wonder what made her decide to do this.

Posted on with categories: Les Miserables - Shoujo Cosette

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Short Synopsis: An Eponine-episode. Someone from Paris visits the inn. His stories greatly appeal to her. Fantine meanwhile gets evicted. No Jean this time.
Good: Eponine = awesome.
Bad: Too bad Azelma hasn’t been in the spotlights yet.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

I’m liking Eponine more and more with each episode, and this episode featured a lot of her. Toron didn’t play a role in this episode, but instead a traveller from Paris comes to visit the Inn. In there, he tells about how things are in that city. Eponine then seems to have a lot of interest in Paris, and she enthusiastically keeps asking him questions. She’s really energetic. At least, until Cosette comes in and it seems that she spent part of her childhood in Paris. Naturally, she gets incredibly jealous because of this.

I also love how Thenardier is more than just “the evil stepmother”, whose only purpose in life is to be bullying Cosette. This episode clearly showed that she does have her own problems. It seems that her husband keeps unnecessarily spending the money they earned, and at the same time, Cosette also keeps annoying her, driving potential customers away. All this seemed to have caused her quite a headache. Because of this, when Eponine comes whining to her about how Cosette actually gets treated nicely, she doesn’t behave like Eponine expected her to, eventually, she just ignores her. Because of this, Eponine reaches the limit, and she actually tries to go to Paris herself. Obviously, she has no idea what travelling is like, and when it starts to become dark, she indeed really starts to regret her decision. It’ll be interesting to see how she’ll act in the future episodes. Cosette was the one who saved her in the end, and she looked really grateful to her for once. But will this gratefulness only increase her grudge against her?

I’m also wondering what will happen to Fantine, now that she’s been evicted yet again. Like Cos said before, it’s a children’s show, so most of the darker themes are cut out. It would be great to see Fantine indeed end up as prostitute, but will the creators really go this far with a children’s movie?

Posted on 19 February 2007 with categories: Master of Epic

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Short Synopsis: A typical noob is bothering some players, while “the produces” launches another attack.
Good: Even though cheesy, the Waragecha fighting scene was great. ^^
Bad: While it was definitely enjoyable, there have been funnier episodes. The first sketch also was a bit too annoying, but I think that that was the creators’ intention.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

I must be crazy for liking this show, but it’s got such a cute charm! This episode was no exception. It already starts out good with the introduction, when the Elmony and the Cognite start talking about parties, and the Elmony confuses this with birthday parties. XD Next up is another scene between Chuu and Bukotsu, demonstrating how NOT to behave in a party. ^_^;

The major part of the first half gets dedicated to another example of how to ruin a good party: include a noob. It features some new characters, recycled versions of ones we saw before. While they definitely looked great (the Pandemos, Elmony and Newtar, at least) I’d wish the creators would start to focus on some of the main characters (like the Main Character *cough*). This sketch definitely had some funny moments, but the Elmony (a blue-haired version of Chuu) was just too annoying at times.

The second half stars with a rather strange radio-show, in which the host tries to tell his guest some completely ridiculous story. ^^;

The Waragecha, meanwhile, still are being bothered by “the producer”. While I do enjoy a good continuous story, I’d rather that it was about more than just stolen uniforms. Ah well, the fight definitely was interesting (and what was up with the animation of the robot at the end? XD)

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