Posted on 31 March 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Otogi Juushi Akazukin


Otogi Juushi Akazukin is a children-aimed fantasy-series which can be fun for every age. It’s deeply rooted in the old European fairytales, with characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, the City-Musicians of Bremen, Rapunzel, Hansel, Gretel and the violinist of Hameln making cameo-appearances. The story is simple, an evil which had been sealed long ago broke free, and needs to be resealed again by our main character: Akazukin. Still, despite this fairly simple concept, I found myself mesmerized by this anime again and again.

For starters, it’s got some of the cutest character-design ever. The animation may range from flawed to good, the character-designs and imaginative background-art more than make up for it. The music also gives a perfect fairy-tale feeling to the whole atmosphere. Thumbs up.

Still, the parts where Otogi Juushi Akazukin shines the most are the characters and the storytelling. The series comes with a set of characters who complement each other perfectly. They start out as one-dimensional characters, but they soon gain lots of depth as the anime continues. Each with his or her own story. Overall, these characters were adorable, as they were featured in both serious, funny and cute moments.

Through the course of the anime, lots of different stories are shown. Even though some side-characters just serve the purpose of fleshing out some of the main characters, they worked out quite well. Still, the best stories were the ones who focused on the group of main characters. Especially after the second half kicks in, the show picks up steam, and some of the episodes were just amazing to watch. Each character got enough time to show his or her background, and near the end, there’s given enough time to close of their stories, some of these stories ending in the most amazing episodes. My personal favourite was the surprisingly sad Randagio-episode.

Any bad points? Well, the ending. Or episodes 36 and 37 to be exactly. After most of the stories have closed, and only the main storyline remains. Through the course of the series, this anime has done well at keeping its level of cheesiness just low enough for it not to be annoying, but these efforts all fail when it goes and uses some of the biggest clichés in the book. Thankfully, the final episode closes off the series well enough, but the fact remains that these episodes left a nasty thorn in an otherwise excellent series.

Excellent as it may be, I can see a lot of people disliking it. Especially people who believe children’s shows are too childish. There’s no denying that the series is childish at times, but for me, that was just part of its charms. If you’re not bothered by the fact that this is a children’s show, then it’s definitely worth it to give this a try, as the characters were just amazing.

Posted on with categories: Otogi Juushi Akazukin

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Short Synopsis: The final episode focuses on the partings of the Fandavalians.
Good: Glad to see this anime ending with a good episode.
Bad: Hot springs?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

Ah, thank goodness. The final four episodes of Akazukin weren’t a complete waste after all. While the ending was nothing special, It did leave no unanswered questions, it was in no way rushed, and the overall-episode was quite heart-warming. It’s also nice to see people back in Erde. And of course, Souta’s talking to flowers remains cute.

The climax only had one annoying point: Souta coming back to say a final goodbye to Akazukin, after having stated not to do so. It’s not necessarily bad or anything, but I’ve seen this happen a bit too many times. Still, the other events more than made up for it. I especially loved Ibara’s kiss. Overall, it was great to see the different antics of the characters for one final time. My favourite was Randagio. He still didn’t notice that Cendrion has been sealed, and he was still trying to get Erde’s key for Cendrion. So cute. ^^ Oh, and let’s not forget the voice in which Baru told Hansel that he’s not a dog. XD

Well, it’s finally time to say goodbye to this wonderful anime. It’s been great fanboying about this. It’s definitely one of the better anime I’ve seen. Even when you do count episode 36 and 37. It’s sad to see that it’s finally over. Sayonara Akazukin, it’s been very fun.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

And it’s the 1 year anniversary of the monthly summary. Because of this, it sounded like a good idea to try out a few more categories, while keeping the individual lists a bit smaller.

+ Top 5 Funniest anime +
#5: Kekkaishi

Kekkaishi proved to be not only heart-warming, but also incredibly funny with Yoshimori’s quirks. It’s really one of the few shounen-series with an actually interesting male lead. And that has to say something. Toshimori also was very cute in the episode he got dedicated to him.

#4: Power Puff Girls Z

Power Puff Girls Z probably remains the strangest anime on my current watch-list. While Blossom’s love was boring when compared to Bubbles’, the disco-fever-episode cracked me up.

#3: Master of Epic

It’s sad to see that Master of Epic is gone now. When it aired, it’s always been a very good source of MMORPG-parodies.

#2: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

Yamato Nadeshiko keeps delving more and more into the absurd, but that’s probably why it keeps getting funnier and funnier. Especially the Valentine-episode was hilarious.

#1: Gintama

I agree with everyone else here: episode 20 was just classic. Apart from that, I just loved the witty humour that came from Gintama during this month.

+ Top 3 anime with 1 episode released +
#3: Hitohira

Hitohira: cute, some great characters, and some duller ones. Still the greater ones make this a potentially good series. Now let’s hope the rest of the series delivers.

#2: Freedom

An OVA that shines in its climaxes. The second instalment also was very interesting to see, and despite the main character who looks in every way like a shounen-hero, I actually liked him and his search for the girl, who happens to be from Earth.

#1: Strange Dawn

I’m not kidding when I say that I LOVE this series. In only two episodes, it accomplished what usual series only could dream of. It broke so many clichés, the characters are awesome. So far, it’s been a true masterpiece. I really hope for the rest of this series to arrive soon, as it deserves to be more known than it is now.

+ Top 10: +
#10: Kekkaishi

It seems that Kekkaishi went into another one of its hiatuses again, as after episode 19, I couldn’t find any more episodes of this. Still, the episodes that were released were some good stuff. I especially liked the Toshimori-episode. I’m not sure why, but the slice-of-life elements in a shounen-series like this are really worth watching.

#9: Jigoku Shoujo

Jigoku Shoujo has nearly finished, and it does show this with some very interesting episodes. While these episodes didn’t surpass my previous favourites like I hoped, there were some very strong ones among them. Now let’s hope it’ll finish off well.

#8: Master of Epic

Master of Epic avoided the pitfall of many comedy-anime: suddenly falling into cheesy drama for the final episodes. Instead, it just came with the regular funny sketches, and ended things off with a bang. ^^;

#7: Death Note

While the Yotsuba-arc got on my nerves a bit too much, episode 24 was one to remember. Especially that evil smirk of Light.

#6: Saiunkoku Monogatari

The Sakujun-arc ended magnificently. March has been as strong for Saiunkoku Monogatari as usual.

#5: Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette

In march, the focus of Les Miserables was about equal for Jean and Cosette. Especially Cosette was better than ever.

#4: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

Bakumatsu has been extremely solid for its final few episodes. Okay, nothing amazing happened, but there were almost no weak or silent moments, which is something I appreciated. Combine this with some very interesting direction and I’m hooked.

#3: Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi

You know, this would have been a very fine show to blog about. Unfortunately, I’m realizing this a bit late. The different arcs delve surprisingly deep into the different characters and their backgrounds, and because of the huge research the creators of this anime conducted, they’re able to provide a number of very interesting and intelligent cases. I’m definitely hoping that this show will set some kind of new standard for others, but it first needs to get a bit more acknowledgement for that. Definitely a neglected series which doesn’t deserve it.

#2: Red Garden

Red Garden showcased some beautiful final episodes. Especially the climax was heart-wrenching. So far, it showed that its deep character studies definitely worked.

#1: Chevalier

Seriously. The first half of this series was interesting, but the Russia-arc dragged horribly. But then episode sixteen blew me away. If I were to believe Wao, then episode eighteen is going to be even better. If this continues for the entire series, then we’ve got ourselves a gem here. It’s the same with Ayakashi Ayashi: it’s a shame I didn’t blog this when it first aired. It would have been perfect for that.

+ Biggest surprise +
Saiunkoku Monogatari

A strong contender with Chevalier here, but the plot twist of episode 35 was just too amazing. There are these kinds of moments that make watching an anime all worth it, and that was definitely one of them.

+ Disappointment of the month +
Otogi Juushi Akazukin

With shows as Code Geass, I already knew that they were bad. But Otogi Juushi Akazukin went from the most amazing episodes to some horribly cheesy ones. It’s just too bad. It’s been an outstanding series till the horrible episodes 36 and 37.

+ Newly Announced Anime +
Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho

Summary: Kaname Okimura, a student of Prefectoral Umineko Shougyou High (“Umisho” for short), joined the school’s swimming club in order to learn how to swim, but the club is filled with weirdoes, let alone teach him swimming. Then, a sunny, happy-go-lucky girl named Amuro Ninagawa who was transferred from Okinawa joined the club. Her extraordinary underwater speed and unorthodox swimming style (plus her personal habit of nude swimming — a powerful magnet to teenage boys) surprised every club member, especially Okimura, because she reminds him a mermaid-like creature he saw only once in his early childhood. – (taken from ANN)
Thoughts: Okay, when the promo-art covers a nude girl right in the centre of it, you know that this one’s going to be bad.

Bokusatsu Tenchi Dokuro-Chan

Summary: Sakura, our main character, has an angel living with him. The only problem: she likes beating others to death and revive them afterwards.
Thoughts: The problem with the first season was that the first episode was hilarious, only for the ret of the episodes to suck hugely. Are the creators really planning to continue this?

Puchi Eva EVANGELION@SCHOOL

Summary: A new project, Puchi Eva EVANGELION@SCHOOL has been announced. This SD series will initially launch in the form of figurines, designed by Hamamoto Ryuusuke and packaged by Yotsuba Stuidios, but the project is expected to accommodate conventional anime media as well. – (taken from Eggplant)
Thoughts:Okay, this is just scary. Are these people really planning to milk the evangelion-cash-cow even more? Don’t get me wrong, I loved Evangelion, but I’d wish the creators would focus their attention at something that would equal and possibly even surpass the series.

Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de

Summary: H-game it may be, but female fans may also enjoy the premise: in the game, the player’s character is a butler who must serve a demanding wealthy heiress. The Kuonji family is a very old and very rich one with three daughters, each of whom has her own wait staff. It’s a Kuonji family tradition for the wait staff to swear absolute loyalty to their masters, so when teenage runaway Ren Uesugi and his sister Mihato are desperate for the job (and the money), they agree to make the pledge.
Thoughts: Your usual harem-premise. Yawn.

Zombie Loan

Summary: When a human is marked to die, a faint grey line that is invisible to most appears around their neck. As time passes, that ring becomes darker and darker, until it is eventually black, and that person dies. Kita Michiru has an unusual gift, she posses “Shinigami eyes,” which allow her to see these rings. When Michiru notices that two of the boys in her Class, Akatsuki Chika and Tachibana Shito not only have rings, but that they’re jet black, they reveal to her that the were supposed to die in a tragic accident six months ago. With the help of the Zombie Loan loan office, they were given a second chance at life, should they be able to pay for their debt by doing the work of Shinigami and killing malicious zombies. They petition Michiru to assist them in their efforts, and she finds her everyday life changing dramatically.
Thoughts: So far, I’m not impressed. This looks just like the 20 other anime in which a cute girl teams up with a bunch of guys so that they can slay monsters for no apparent reason.

Clannad

Summary: Tomoya Okazaki is a third year high school student who dislikes his life. Everything seems to be unchanging for his school life until he meets Nagisa, and Tomoya finds that his life is about to change. Tomoya’s mother died when he was young, leaving him to be raised by his father alone. After the accident, Tomoya’s father turned to alcohol and gambling, and they used to argue all the time. However, one day in a fight, his father slammed him against the wall, dislocating Tomoya’s shoulder. Ever since then, his father started treating Tomoya nicely, but distantly, as if Tomoya and he were strangers instead of family. This hurt Tomoya more than constantly fighting, and the awkwardness of returning home led to Tomoya’s constant desire to stay out all night. In addition, due to the injury, Tomoya couldn’t play in the basketball club anymore and quit his school activities. In this way, his delinquent life began. – (taken from Wikipedia)
Thoughts: Okay, so this isn’t a hentai-game adaptation, it’s just a visual novel. Still, it does remain a harem. Is there a reason for all major side characters to be female, while the only male has to be the main character, apart from pleasing the moe-loving otaku? Of course not. Still, I have to hand it to this anime for featuring the first harem-lead with a bit of a background-story, which actually doesn’t centre around the girls he’s about to meet. Still, after watching the trailer, I’m afraid to say that the character-designs still look ugly.

Dragonaut -The Resonance-

Summary: ?
Thoughts: Ah, Gonzo’s next victim. They seem to be going for another original story, as I couldn’t find anything about where they based it on. So far, we know that it’s going to be a science-fiction series. This worries me a bit, though. “Gonzo” and “standard” don’t go well together.

Doujin Work

Summary: Doujinwork is a story about the main character’s exposure and adventure into the world of doujinshi. We follow Osana Najimi, a high schooler tempted into becoming a doujin artist after seeing how much her friend can make at a convention. A sucker at drawing, Najimi soon learns that the road inside the doujin world is not paved with roses as she expected, but, as she attends more conventions and meets more people, manages to find a group of very interesting friends. – (taken from Cardcaptor’s blog)
Thoughts: Ah, an anime about a group of doujin artists. It seems we’re talking about a comedy-series here. While it’s always tricky to see how a comedy-series will turn out in the end, I like the setting for it. I’m a bit afraid of the huge amount of fanservice-jokes that the manga this anime will be based on is supposed to have though.

Hatenkou Yuugi

Summary: A young girl named Rahzel is booted out of her house one day by her father with the instructions to ‘see the world.’ And so her journey begins, However, she won’t be doing it alone … for she befriends a stoic young man named Alzeido seeking revenge for his father’s murder. Alzeido and Rahzel are like oil and water … but even still, they feel strangely drawn to one another. This could be either the result of an underlying attraction — or their shared powers with magic. And so, the two reluctant allies travel from town to town, using their powers to help the helpless, while discovering their own respective places in the world. – (taken from Baka-updates)
Thoughts: Ah, a light-hearted fantasy-series about two polar-opposites who travel together. Reminds me of Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran. That was a fun series, so it’ll be perfect for a light watch. I hope.

Shigurui

Summary: “Shigurui” is ostensibly based on the first chapter of Nanjo Norio’s novel “Suruga-jou Gozen Jiai”, but it’s been so expanded and re-written that most folks tend to agree that the manga has become something else entirely. The series starts in the 6th year of Kan’ei. Tired of the Suruga martial arts tournaments and eager to see some blood, Dainagon Tokugawa Tadanaka orders his men to host a sword dual to the death for his enjoyment. The lucky contestants turn out to be one-armed Fujiki Gennosuke and his blind opponent Irako Seigen. – (taken from Nomad Soul)
Thoughts: Bloody, but bloody interesting as well. The manga it’s based on is supposed to have a very compelling and strong story. It’ll be worth it to at least check this one out.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Summary: The story revolves around Itoshiki Nozomu, a teacher who is beset by immense pessimism and paranoia. Starting off his first day at his new class attempting suicide via hanging, he is stopped by Fuura Kafuka, a super-optimistic student of his. Still alive, he goes to class and introduces himself, but much to his chagrin, Kafuka notices that his surname, when linked together to form a single kanji, gives him the title ‘Teacher Despair’. And so the story revolves around the weird, far-out stuff that Nozomu and the various students of his class do together. – (taken from Lolicontrol)
Thoughts: You know what? I like this! There’s a possibility that it may be a bit too slice-of-lifey, but a desperate teacher can definitely be interesting to see.

Rose Marie
Summary: ?
Thoughts: It’s near-impossible to search for this anime, as all English sites list all kinds of females, while the Japanese search results direct me to cooking-blogs. Still, I don’t know why, but I like this.

Kara no Kyoukai
Summary: I’ve been trying to find a good summary, but I failed
Thoughts: At one point, I did read the summary of this though, and I have to say that I was impressed by it. It’ll probably take a loooong while before the movies will arrive in the English community, but it’ll be worth the wait.

Shinryougari -GHOST HOUND-

Summary: The main crew behind Ghost Hound includes director Ryutaro Nakamura (Serial Experiments Lain, Kino’s Travels), scriptwriter Chiaki J. Konaka (Serial Experiments Lain, The Big O) and character designer Mariko Oka (Jigoku Shojo, Jing: King of Bandits). The story will be co-developed by Crossroad. – (taken from Animation Magazine)
Thoughts: The people behind Serial Experiments Lain, Kino’s Journey and Jigoku Shoujo? Haleluja! This will definitely be something to look forward to.

Mononoke

Summary: Bake Neko Spin-off
Thoughts: Yes! Yes! Yes! I know I already talked about it, but this is just too awesome not to mention.

+ Top 5 Episodes +
#5: Jigoku Shoujo – 49
Ah, great episode. Loved the twist at the end.

#4: Red Garden – 22
That ending was, like mentioned above, heart-wrenching. Apart from that, this episode was very sad to watch.

#3: Death Note – 24
Light was SO evil in this one. Great to see everyone who left back again.

#2: Saiunkoku Monogatari – 35
My faith in Sakujun was immediately restored with this episode. Pure brilliance.

#1: Chevalier – 16
You’ve got your episodes which feature some amazing event. But only rarely do you run into an entire episode that just blows you away. with me, that happened with this episode.

Posted on 30 March 2007 with categories: Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto

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Short Synopsis: What I suspected to be a Kanna-episode turned into a plot-based episode in which the castle Enomoto has built takes off in the air.
Good: As solid as usual. I liked the direction a lot.
Bad: The deaths are getting a bit too frequent.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

One thing that irked me during this episode: an awful lot of people have died in the past few episodes. This time, two more characters suffer this fate: Kanna and Taiyou. The creators are really trying to eliminate everyone apart from the main characters. I’d rather see them bring something in at the climax, but I’m glad to see that my favourite ones (the troupe) still remain alive for the final episode. Especially Shiranui has to have some kind of role left, after seeing Taiyou die like that.

Anyway, one thing I liked about these final episodes is how solid they’ve been. Okay, some plot events were a bit too much (the flying castle), and I’ve yet to be blown away by the events, but there haven’t really been any weaknesses so far. Bakumatsu seems to have chosen to prioritize solid storytelling, and I can appreciate that. I also really liked how this episode didn’t have a common theme. It’s a bit of everything. Kanna’s death, Taiyou’s death, Akizuki’s background (which was really appreciated, by the way), Enomoto, the Lord’s Head’s plan, Kakunojou, Akizuki’s quest and Kuroda Ryousuke all played a small part in this one.

And then, with only one episode left, the usual question to ask is: will this end right? Will this series end too abrubt? Well, it would be a huge shame if it did, as this series has been building up and up, even in this episode. I’d love to see every side-character play a role in this. The fact remains that Akizuki is the only one who can seal the lord’s head, and he’ll definitely fight Kakunojou. I’m hoping for the others to take care of Soutetsu for some reason. (Still, there has to be a reason why Soutetsu took the trouble of inviting the troupe to Hakodate, hasn’t it?)

(On a side-note: did I misunderstand this, or did Kakunojou also spend a bit of time with Shouten-sama? See the scene about the child-version of Akizuki? All of his friends get picked up by their parents, while he is the only one to remain. One of these friends looks an awful lot like a young version of Kakunojou)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Ghost Hunt


Ghost Hunt is an arc-based anime, focusing on a group of people who exorcise haunted buildings, like mansions, houses and school-buildings. Every arc ranges from one to four episodes, in which some kind of supernatural being has to be taken care of, sometimes resulting in rather bloody scenes. The series clearly did its homework, as it’s able to present the viewer with complex cases, and if offers some quite complex ghosts and exorcism rituals. Interesting premise, but does it deliver?

First, let me say that the best episode of the series is arguably episode five. It’s a masterpiece of fast pacing, tension and great characters. After that, the anime tries, but it never quite manages to reach the same heights of that fifth episode. This is mostly due to the main character of this series: Mai. She’s a normal schoolgirl, who gets recruited for the group in order to handle some of the smaller tasks, like paperwork, fetching coffee, installing cameras, etc.

Mai’s character is quite useless throughout a major part of the anime, apart from some prophetic dreams she has, perhaps. All she does is wander around, talk to people, get scared, and let others do the dangerous work. It’s such a pity, as her character works best when she’s actually in danger and has to fight for herself. But when she keeps getting saved by others, the fun quickly dies. Only two arcs bring an exception to this: the second and the final arc. Because of that, these two arcs showcase the best of the series, and possibly the only arcs which I really enjoyed.

Ghost Hunt also messes up its side-characters a bit. They work good on paperwork, but they aren’t just used to their full extend. In one particular arc, some of them also end up baking cakes, in order to conveniently have them out of the scene for a bit. Attempts are given to give them a bit of background, but apart from one case, these backgrounds are never finished. Speaking of finishing, a lot of questions also are left unanswered after the final episode.

In terms of graphics and music, however, this series shines. Character-designs are crisp and detailed, the use of CG is brilliant and the animation is very acceptable. (Someone also noted that the different characters end up wearing something different for each single day.) The OP and ED are definitely something to remember, some of the monsters and ghosts look very creepy, while the music fits the tension-full series perfectly. And I could go on for a while longer.

About the question whether this anime was worth watching, well, it is. The second arc, the final arc and also the small fifth arc were definitely enjoyable. The other arcs were just decent stories, nothing special.

Posted on with categories: Ghost Hunt

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Short Synopsis: The end of Ghost Hunt. Naru wakes up, his secret is revealed, and the case gets solved.
Good: Matsuzaki was in her element.
Bad: A few important questions remain unanswered.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10

You know, for a Ghost Hunt-episode, this wasn’t such a bad one. I quite enjoyed it, actually. Especially Matsuzaki was great to watch. There were a nice amount of climaxes, all of them were worthwhile to see. I also liked how this episode didn’t go into the “worst case scenario” as well, and chose the most natural solution instead.

Still.

Leaving the last part of a manga you’re based on out never is a good idea. xxxHolic was the only anime so far who left an acceptable result, but the fact remains that Ghost Hunt did leave a number of unanswered questions behind. First of all, Naru’s parents. While it’s nearly obvious that it’s that professor, I’d like to see it actually confirmed.

I was glad to see that Matsuzaki’s story felt the most complete after this episode, and therefore, it’s my favourite. Bou-san could have used a bit more explanation why he ended up in both a rock-band and a monk as well. For Mai’s case, we still don’t know how she got her powers, and why it’s Naru that always appears in her dreams. John doesn’t have any background at all, while we still don’t know why Naru is so incredibly friendly towards Masako. Overall, this could have been done much better, so I’m hoping for some kind of OVA to finish all these stories that were left in the final two books who haven’t been animated yet. But that probably won’t happen.

Overall, I expected a lot from Ghost Hunt, but overall, it rather disappointed. Episode five was awesome, but I still have yet to encounter an episode that managed to beat it. It would have been better if a bit more emphasis was put on the side-characters. That’s why I liked this final arc: because it put one of the main characters out of commission for half of its airtime.

Posted on 28 March 2007 with categories: Death Note

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Short Synopsis: Higuchi dies, while Light’s plan gets revealed.
Good: With this episode, my faith in Death Note is entirely restored again.
Bad: What? No fingerprint analysis?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10

Holy god, this episode clearly proved the point I’ve been making for episodes: evil Light is awesome. I can’t believe how awesomely evil he was, ever since he got his note back. His plan also was pure brilliance. I can’t believe he believed in this enough to actually risk this. But then again, if your life is at stake you start to behave strangely. I hated the Yotsuba-arc because of the horribly dull good Light, but with this I can finally enjoy Death Note again to its fullest.

And it’s a more ingenious when you start to think about it. It took me a while to figure out that Light first made Ryuk write some fake rules in Light’s Death note. Light then gave up the ownership of the Death Note he got from Misa to Rem, making Rem the owner. Rem then gave this Death Note to Ryuk, making Ryuk the owner. Ryuk then dropped it yet again, so that Light could pick it up. His own Death Note then transferred to Rem, making Rem the owner. Because of this, when the police would find Higuchi’s Death Note, they’d find a list of the people who were killed by Light, instead of Misa’s actions. This would probably make the policemen less wary about the existence of the second note, though it seems that L has seen beyond that.

Light would then use the Death Note, owned by Ryuk, Misa’s original Death Note in order to bring back Misa’s memories. He buried it, gave Ryuk some instructions, and then he later gave up his ownership. My only problem: how come Light’s fingerprints haven’t been found on the Death Note? Or do they actually disappear after a number of days? And how about handwriting analysis?

Still, I loved how Light used Misa in this episode. This just shows the incredible confidence he has in himself. Before, he was a bit wary about using her, but now it seems that she’s doomed to accompany him (otherwise Rem will kill him) he’s probably planning to get her full support, and make full use of her eyes. That was so evil. And of course, seeing Ryuk back was awesome. :)

In terms of Misa’s life-span, it’s interesting to wonder how much she’s got left. If I’m not mistaken, she now has a quarter of the lifespan of an average shinigami. Aren’t those supposed to live very long? Still, judging by Rem’s and Ryuk’s reaction, she doesn’t have much time left. I wonder how much it is actually. It can’t be too short either, otherwise Rem would never have allowed her to make the eye-deal for the first time.

Posted on with categories: Some Quick First Impressions

And the spring-season has started! To be honest, only the summer-season of 2006 has started off with a great first batch so far, and the spring-season didn’t really change this. Hitohira was cute, though Keitai Shoujo and Idolmaster Xenoglossia belong in a garbage-can somewhere. But then again, I never had high expectations of these two anyway.

Keitai Shoujo
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Short Synopsis: Ordinary schoolboy has a childhood-friend who’s in love with him, he’s in love with her as well.
Good: Finally, a harem that’s short! Only 4 minutes per episode.
Bad: Harem; Childhood friend; Annoying classmate; The usual.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 5/10
Well, the spring-season started out quite horribly with Ketai Shoujo. But then again, it’s not like I expected something different. And at least it’s an OVA-harem. Those usually have a bit more creativity than the usual TV-Series-harems. _summer, for example, was horrible, but it did feature some interesting direction. Keitai Shoujo on its turn only has 4 minutes per episode, excluding OP and ED, so at least it won’t be able to bore you to tears. But then again, four minutes per episode, with only five episodes in total. There’s no way the creators are going to get some good development out of this. And heck, Keitai Shoujo, the phone who turns into a girl has yet to even appear. Anyway, It’s not like I’m going to continue this one. Dropped.

Idolmaster Xenoglossia
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Short Synopsis: Girl auditions to be an idol, gets selected, but doesn’t know that she’s actually going to pilot mechas
Good: Some funny characters, solid animation.
Bad: Cast of stereotypes, useless fanservice-jokes, why are these girls the only ones who can pilot mechas?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 5/10
Idolmaster Xenoglossia got aired on its website for its first lucky 1000 visitors. Obviously, this had to leak out somewhere, resulting in raws getting posted for everyone to view. After watching this episode, it’s clear that we’ve got ourselves a sunrise-anime here, as it just screams “Mai Otome”. Not that that’s a good thing, though. The main character is your usual clueless girl who will end up piloting a mecha without any prior experience, she’s joined by a rather shy girl and a loudmouthed one. So far, these characters didn’t really catch my interest, though I do admit that the loudmouthed one was funny. I wish I could say the same of the small fanservice-jokes which slip in occasionally. Those who are into solid animation could check this one out, but don’t expect the character-designs to be memorable. Dropped.

Hitohira
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Short Synopsis: Extremely shy girl gets recruited for the drama-club
Good: Charming main character, some very interesting side-characters.
Bad: Other side-characters, though, were rather clichéd.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10
I’m glad to see that Hitohira actually turned out good. The first episode definitely showed that Mugi is more than just the standard shy girl of a harem whose only goal is to get into the harem lead’s pants. She’s got a really cute personality, especially if she doesn’t know what to say. She’s more versatile than I imagined, which is always a good thing. This series comes accompanied with quite a few interesting side-characters as well. My main problem lies with two characters: the head of the drama-club and the Mugi’s love interest. The first is a bit too nice to her, while the second just screams “harem lead”. While it’s good to see the latter being abused and chased around, and his sense of humour is nice, I just can’t help but fear that his relationship with Mugi will be too forced.

Posted on with categories: Random Posts

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I assume that most of you have already seen the infamous episode 22 by now. I’ve already shortly expressed my opinion about the episode in the shoutbox, but I figured to dedicate a post about it, since it confirmed something that’s been irking me about Code Geass for quite a while now. I adore series full of plot twists, which would naturally mean that I’d enjoy Code Geass as well, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into it. Now I finally know why.

Not just in this episode, but throughout the entire anime did Code Geass have the nasty tendency to feature a bit too perfect of a timing. Events are so arranged that they create the biggest sensation. The plot twists don’t rely on the characters or the plot, but they rely on coincidences, just like your standard soap-opera. Just think of when Lelouch found out about Suzaku’s identity because his mecha was cut just in the right way to reveal his face and not kill the guy or stop him from moving. Or in episode 21, when Lelouch, C.C., Shirley, Suzaku, Kallen, Ougi and Villetta all somehow end up in the same warehouse at the same time. Or Suzaku just catching Kallen when she’s bathing, and I could go on for this for a while longer.

Sure, one coincidence in a series never hurts, and neither do two or three of them. But when a series practically lives off the stuff, something has to be wrong. I’d much rather see a cleverly thought-out plot-twist than the result of what happens when two characters “accidentally” bump into each other. It just feels cheap.

I’m quite surprised that this series is so enormously popular, as it’s not really that good. Because of this series, the cleverly-written anime like Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi get nearly no attention at all. Overall, it’s sad to see that Clamp’s talent got wasted on this one. Ah well, at least the character-designs look nice.

(on a side-note: my favourite part of episode 22 has to be Lelouch’s father laughing at everything that’s happening. I wish he’d get more screen-time, the anime would turn a lot more interesting with this.)

Posted on 27 March 2007 with categories: Ghost Hunt

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Short Synopsis: More people die as the sprits are trying to free whatever is trapped inside of Naru.
Bad: Most of the episode was boring…
Good: … but the ending was awesome.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7.5/10

Most of the episode did not what I’d like it to do, and yet again it reduced Mai to just a bystander, who just stands on one place while the others do the work. Okay, the possessed Kazuyasu in the middle of the episode proved to be at least something for her to do, but overall, the episode felt a bit boring to me. The death of the guy also lacked a bit of impact.

But then the ending came. Boy, that was one powerful cliff-hanger. Okay, I’ll scream if the next episode comes with a dues ex machina, but I’m just feeling that this arc is building up for something. It’s great to see that Mai was actually being hurt, other than just fainting at random places.

That’s also quite a strange use of an op they have there. First, it’s being left out, and then the tune appears at the time of the climax. Heh, quite interesting, and it works as a perfect background-tune for the cliff-hanger.

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  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 03:10 AM)
    I rather like the idea that there’s a way to distinguish a critic from the average person with an opinion. Usually, to me, it seems to come from the person’s wealth of knowledge about the subject, leading them to better understand a piece on multiple levels. That being said, for the layman audience, a layman interpretation may be all they need.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 03:05 AM)
    Course, reviewer is synonymous to critic nowadays, but that’s what I understand as separating a critic from the layman.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 03:04 AM)
    I’ve been told that you can’t just be a critic by having seen a lot of the medium. You have to dig into its history and understand the work’s place in the whole of the medium. Because then you’re getting as comprehensive a view of the work itself as you could reasonably get.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 03:03 AM)
    To distinguish a critic from the average person now who can just pawn info from the Internet, it’s someone whose views are consistent because they’re grounded in a certain foundation of knowledge and understanding. Now, those foundations can certainly change over time, so maybe consistent is the wrong word. But to put it simply, they can put reason to views rather than just echoing others. Of course, there are plenty with flimsy reasoning, but yeah.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 03:01 AM)
    They’re exposed to information, but for a good part, the general audience might not understand what information to be looking for. They’ll certainly pick up patterns and they’ll expect to see that in quality works. But that’s also where you get that discrepancy with evaluations. Since if a set pattern could automatically pump out a high-quality work, we’d have machines do all of that.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 02:57 AM)
    Good answer =)
  • Nyangoro
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 02:50 AM)
    I think that the internet has, to an extent, weakened the influence of critics. Now, everyone with enough spare time can be a critic. In this deluge of people with their own opinions, it’s hard to figure out who’s opinion is, for lack of a better word, better. Rather than look at any one critic, they may look at a conglomeration of critics. Even still, with the wealth of info about any given thing, they may just decide to see it for themselves.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 02:47 AM)
    I guess I’m curious as to how effected people are by the professionals reviews when they decide to see a film.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 02:45 AM)
    well, critics are part of the audience too. they’re just more “knowledgeable” about the field.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 02:45 AM)
    yeaahh! Lia ED, been so long (i think).

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