Posted on 31 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews

Ah, Bamboo Blade. You had the potential to become interesting when you started, though something went wrong. The flaws for this series are a bit more subtle than usual, and I’m still not 100% sure what it was that really caused the downfall for this series. If I had to guess, then it’s a combination of things. Bamboo Blade in the end had its moments, but remains overall boring.

Let’s take a look at the characters first. At the beginning of this series, they really caught my intention, and I admit having laughed quite a bit at their antics. They get a small share of development during the second half, so what went wrong? Well the characters may have been impressive at first sight, but looking back, the creators just took a bunch of stereotypes and gave them one or two original personality-traits. This leads to a quiet and small but uberpowerful girl who is obsessed with cheesy mecha-shows, a beauty who actually is quite sadistic but has a geek as boyfriend, that geek who has managed to score such a beautiful girl as girlfriend.

This is nice and all, but the characters didn’t feel dynamic at all. The creators were so busy, trying to step away from the stereotypes that they forgot that the silent girl still remained silent, the geek remained a geek, and the sadistic beauty remains a sadistic beauty. In the end, nearly every character couldn’t shake away his or her stereotype. The side-characters are off even worse: there’s the obsessive stalker-girl, the old hag, the rival and several of the opposing kendo-teams who are cookie-cutters at best. Because of this, the characters are funny and enjoyable when first introduced, but they just can’t remain interesting for a full course of 26 episodes.

Then there’s the story. It may be me, but it really felt like the creators were struggling to keep it moving forward. Basically, the show’s about a Kendo-club who fights in a number of tournaments. Every single group of opponents gets progressively duller for some strange reason. Especially the two final opponents feel artificial at best. Seriously, this show takes a real nose-dive as it nears its ending.

I really feel that this is one series that would have been best suited for 13 episodes. At least that way, the characters wouldn’t have had any time to get boring. I’ve praised the past Autumn and Winter-Season for featuring a lot of good shows, centring around high-schools, but this is unfortunately not one of them.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino

Before I start with the usual review, I’d like to point out that this is the 250th review I’ve written for my blog. Yay!

In any case, if you’ve watched the original Gunslinger Girl and plan to watch Il Teatrino, there’s one thing that you need to take into account: a lot of changes have been made. The soundtrack has changed, but most importantly the character-designs have been redrawn completely in a totally different style and the animation-budget has suffered a great loss. The bad news: the fight scenes will look fake, and there will be speed-lines. The good news: this is about the only thing that’s wrong with this series.

The change in art style is something you’ll either love or hate with passion. Not considering this though, they do look gorgeous, and even though the animations in the fights looks fake, the animators have tried to make up for it with some awesome fight-choreography. With this, fights are much more than just brainless gunfights, and are much more based on tactics.

In addition, the storyline has developed into something amazing. The most notable thing is that there is NO main character whatsoever. Even though the girls are the centre of this series, do not make the mistake into thinking that they’re the one with the most screen-time. The creators have made sure not to give any character special attention, and because of this, this is one of the very few series where the “good guys” are just as developed and fleshed out as the “bad guys”. And yes, I put the quotations there on purpose, because sometimes it really feels that the girls are the bad guys. Especially Rico can be really scary at times.

Gunslinger Girl is also one of these series that delivers with every single episode. Introductions, climaxes and aftermaths follow each other in a rapid succession, and there’s so much going on in each episode. The cast of characters may be amazing, but it’s the storyline that pushes them forwards. This is one series that knows how to wrap up all of its storylines at the end, and provides a very satisfying climax.

It may be that I just don’t care about the changes that were made, but Gunslinger Girl has turned into one of the best series to air during the past winter-season, along with Porfy’s Long Journey and Hakaba Kitarou. At first sight, the characters may look “moe-ified”, but this series cleverly shows that the girls are much more than just a bunch of cute angels. Really, the adults end up stealing the show in this series much more than they do.

Posted on with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino

Haha! I couldn’t have expected a better finale than this one! Seriously, it’s so great to see that this has been a series where everything went right, apart from the smaller budget, perhaps. This is really why it was such a good thing that the original mangaka had been assigned to do the Screenplay and Series Composition. Sure, some changes may be forced, but in this way you can be sure that the vision of the original writer will be translated perfectly. Seriously, more series should do this.

And here I thought that this episode would primarily be about the fight between Pinocchio and Triela. Sure, it takes up a large part, but yet again Franca came and stole the show’s best moments. She and Franco originally came to rescue Pinocchio, and yet they only managed to rescue Christiano, while leaving Pinocchio behind. Very impressively, they manage to pass two of the girls, though Franca has been hurt too much, and drives off a cliff, taking Christiano and Franco with her.

Looking back, I must say that this series made best out of its limited budget. On one hand you can say that it does look cheap at times (this episode again featured some speed-lines), but if there’s no budged there’s not much you can do. From that viewpoint, I’d much rather see a series that at least tries to showcase some great fights with some great coordination, than a series that just chooses the easy way around with lots of still frames and no animation at all. Shion no Ou really has been the series to show this: the show clearly received a small budget, and yet the animation-department went all out.

That line of Pinocchio was also right on the spot: “who’s the monster now?” Especially since afterwards, we saw Rico mercilessly banging the head of a guy against the window of a car. She and Jan were most definitely the closest things resembling monsters in this series, and that’s the beauty of it, because at the same time Rico is also the most cheerful member of the cast.

Thankfully, there are still two DVD-only episodes left. I wonder what they’ll be about, though I’d guess that they’ll develop the girls some more. I’ll be blogging them when they show up, though for now I consider this series finished. Let’s hope for a third season to get announced soon, because this is one manga that deserves to be fully animated!

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

And with this, the season is nearly over. There are still a few series left to finish, but they should close off in a few days from now. Overall, I must say that it’s been an interesting half year, and nothing like the spring-season that preceded it. It feels like there were less ground-breaking series than usual, but at the same time it feels like there were much less mediocre series. Either that, or my taste has just gotten broader over the past year. The winter-season has also been the best since years, although there weren’t many popular series that emerged.

#30 (28) – Dragonaut the Resonance – (5,9/10) – Wait… Kazuki just turned good that easily? For Christ’s sake. The final episodes lost any spark of potential that was still left in this series, unfortunately.
#29 (???) – Kimi ga Nozomu Eien ~ Next Season – (7,2/10) – Well, this episode basically recapped the television-series, so it wasn’t that exciting, but at least I now know why Mitsuki left.
#28 (24) – Bamboo Blade – (7,3/10) – The one climax was great and all, but afterwards everything dulled out again. It’s a shame, Bamboo Blade had the potential to become an entertaining series, but it ended up being just mediocre.
#27 (26) – Mnemosyne – Musume-tachi – (7,4/10) – This series needs to start to deliver soon, or I’ll lose interest. This episode was nice and all, but it wasn’t anything special
#26 (27) – Hatenkou Yuugi – (7,4/10) – Episode nine was actually pretty good! Really, that one showed that the manga behind this series had really potential, which makes it such a shame that the anime creators screwed up this series so much. Seriously, I expected much better from the director of Sasami Mahou Shoujo Club.
#25 (new) – Bus Gamer – (7,6/10) – This could have been more interesting, though due to its short length it’s a nice series to watch if you need to burn an hour.
#24 (9) – Kekkaishi – (7,8/10) – Okay, so the final episodes aren’t exactly without their problems. There also were some strange animation-problems in the final one, where the creators suddenly changed style. It’s exactly for this reason that Shounen-series shouldn’t play with superpowers. Sure, it looks flashy, but it also eliminates any sense of tactics.
#23 (10) – Darker than Black – (7,9/10) – The DVD-only episode finally got released. Like expected, it did nothing to wrap up any of the plot-holes it left behind, but at least it was funny. I laughed quite a bit at the silliness.
#22 (36) – Hellsing OVA – (7,9/10) – Well, at least it was a bit better than the previous episode, but am I the only one who considers the TV-series to be better than the OVA?
#21 (18) – Gintama – (8,1/10) – Another standard month for Gintama. I laughed, but there were other comedies that were better.
#20 (13) – Kimikiss Pure Rouge – (8,2/10) – The school festival was nice and all, but I don’t feel that his month has been the best month for Kimikiss. It was just a bit of delaying the inevitable, and nothing that we didn’t knew already appeared.
#19 (17) – Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – (8,3/10) – Episode 21 and 22 were incredibly intense, while 23 and 24 were nothing but building up. I really want to praise this series, but if so little happens during one episode, it’s getting really hard!
#18 (14) – Ahiru no Quack – (8,4/10) – The quality of the soundtrack still surprises me. Herman van Veen is one of the very few Dutch singers who can get away with it. Seriously, if you thought that some of the J-Pop was crap, just wait till you hear some of the artists we have. -_-
#17 (23) – Persona – Trinity Soul – (8,4/10) – Whoa, I never expected this series to be so focused at mystery. I like it, though the creators do need to think about their continuity. More than once, I found myself thinking “where the heck did that come from”?
#16 (7) – Wellber no Monogatari ~ Sisters of Wellber – (8,5/10) – Ugh, I’m not happy. This is why a satisfying ending is so important for a series, because that’ll be one of the major things you’ll remember when thinking back. Wellber no Monogatari may have had an amazing finale, but the aftermath was just one bad idea after the other.
#15 (12) – Suteki Tantei Labyrinth – (8,5/10) – If only for the epic revelation of episode 22, this series deserves points. Sure, it’s for the wrong reasons, but you can’t deny that the cheesiness hasn’t been entertaining.
#14 (10) – Shigofumi – (8,6/10) – Fumika’s story came together quite nicely. I can’t say for sure that this has been the best of Shigofumi, but this remains a great series nonetheless.
#13 (11) – True Tears – (8,7/10) – The final month wasn’t necessarily the best of this series, but nevertheless it closed off this anime pretty nicely.
#12 (20) – Saiunkoku Monogatari – (8,7/10) – And it’s finally over. Thankfully, the final episode left the series on a good note, though god knows when the third season will finally be animated.
#11 (15) – Clannad – (8,7/10) – That final episode turned out better than I could have imagined. Heck, I actually cried for Nagisa.

#10 (8) – Hakaba Kitarou – (8,7/10)

What I liked about this month is the consistency. This series has been consistently entertaining. I think that the scriptwriters are to thank for that. They really knew how to keep this series interesting.

#9 (14) – Gundam 00 – (8,7/10)

That final battle featured some really interesting twists for the second season to work with. I especially liked that final episode.

#8 (16) – Spice and Wolf – (8,8/10)

Boy, those final three episodes rocked! It’s great to see that this series has come together.

#7 (19) – Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (9/10)

The big flaw of Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei is that it refuses to develop its characters. Sure, the show develops, but the characters never change. Thankfully, the rest of the series more than makes up for this flaw, and especially episode 7 was wonderful.

#6 (2) – Ghost Hound – (9/10)

The highlight of this month was of course Makoto’s story coming together. This series has been as solid as ever.

#5 (16) – Power Puff Girls Z – (9,1/10)

Episode 51 was sensational! It really deserves to be up there along with the manga-artist as the best episode of this series. This month has been an awesome month for this series.

#4 (5) – Mokke – (9,1/10)

The final episodes rocked! Especially episode 24 was without a doubt the best of the entire series, and it was a real tear-jerker. Mokke, you’ve been one of my top picks for the Autumn-season for a good reason.

#3 (4) – Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino – (9,1/10)

Another very consistent series. Every episode delivers, and is really well written. Please someone announce the third season!

#2 (3) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (9,3/10)

Well, I think episode 13 says it all. Everything that this series has built up for has come together. It’s so heart-wrenchingly sad, though Porfy is without a doubt the best series of the winter-season, and I say that considering the amazing line-up of some of the other series that aired.

#1 (1) – Shion no Ou – (9,5/10)

Talk about a sensational month for Shion no Ou! The final four episodes closed off the series perfectly, and the animation-department was on fire as well. It’s so sad to see this brilliant series gone now.

Posted on 30 March 2008 with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi

Oh my god. I knew what was going to happen! I freaking knew that Christopher and Aneke were about to die! And yet this episode was so gut-wrenchingly sad. Seriously, this episode was absolutely incredible, and Porfy no Nagai Tabi has without a doubt become the best series of the season, even though we’ve only finished the first quarter of this anime.

Anyway, onto the summary. The earthquake happens really quickly, and it’s over after just thirty seconds. Porfy was standing right next to the church when it happened, but thankfully it had been built well and didn’t collapse. The same can’t be said about the rest of the village, though. Porfy rushes to the village, while passing Corrina’s house, which has been completely destroyed. Any sign of life is Corrina’s doll.

Porfy then reaches the local inn, where the three guys that he saw in the last episode hae survived the ordeal, due to the fact that they were sitting outside, so they weren’t below an entire house that fell down. One of them says that it’s the first time since he witnessed an earthquake this big. Porfy says that when he was at the church, he could see smoke coming from the village, after which the three guys get even more worried about the possibility that fires occurred. The three say that they must hurry as fast as possible, and one of them tells Porfy that he’s better get to his own house as fast as possible.

Porfy runs away, and as he passes Zaimis’s house, he sees that that one too has been completely demolished. He then runs into one of the goats, and it seems to be doing fine. As he arrives at Patagos Grand Station, it’s been turned into a wreck, and even the gas pump is destroyed. One of the other goats was also unfortunate enough to be caught under the rubble, and perished.

The real tragedy, however, begins when Porfy arrives at his own house, as there’s nothing left standing. His wooden carved angel somehow made it outside, but there’s no sign of Christopher, Aneke or Mina. He tries his best to remove the rubble, and he does find Aneke’s scarf, though he remains a young boy. His energy soon disappears and he passes out. We just see Barnes arrive at the scene. The Americans have felt the earthquake as well, and he probably rushed over to Porfy’s as quickly as he could.

We then switch to a small camp that has been set up because of the earthquake, where the survivors and victims have been brought to. Porfy wakes up, and tries to think of what happened, and where he is, as he sees the people around him, all hurt in some way. Medics are carrying someone around who looks like Christopher, though it turns out to be somebody else. Porfy runs around a bit, trying to find someone among the bodies who he knows, as a nearby nun notices him.

She tries to comfort him, and asks whether he’s hurt or not. Porfy says that he isn’t hurt, and asks where they are. The nun answers that they’re at a wrecked church (probably a different one than before), where the wounded have been brought. The nun asks for Porfy’s name, and he answers how he’s Porfy, and how his father runs a car repair station in Simitra. He asks where his parents and Mina are, though the nun doesn’t know. She says that she will look into it for him.

The nun then gets called for something else, and then finally someone recognizes him. It’s one of the women from the village: Louisa. Porfy asks her what happened in the village, and she says that there’s been an earthquake, and lots of people died. Louise’s mother was one of the people who died, and she’s now all alone left with her son. She then brings the news that the village chief’s family has died as well, INCLUDING Corrina! Louisa asks whether Porfy has heard anything of his own family, though there’s still no news, and she hopes that they’re all safe. Her son then says how he’s hungry, so she leaves.

The nun then arrives, looking in a hurry. She then takes Porfy to another tent with injured, and there Mina lies. She’s been beaten up, her forehead is wrapped in bandages, though she’s fine. Porfy freaks out by the fact that she’s asleep, though the nun says that she’ll be fine. He then asks where his mother and father are, but before the nun can answer, Barnes appears. Porfy runs to him. Barnes asks whether Porfy and Mina are fine, and Porfy answers that both of them will be all right. Mina just needs to wake up. Though he still hasn’t heard anything about his parents.

Barnes then takes Porfy outside, where the dead bodies have been placed. He then asks him to come to the sea. Barnes says that even though all the terrible things have happened here, the ocean still remains the same. Porfy then says he’d rather return and stay by Mina’s side, and search for his parents. Barnes tells him to wait, and that he was the one who brought Christopher and Aneke to the camp. He tells Porfy to listen carefully: Christopher and Aneke couldn’t be saved. Porfy first can’t believe it. Barnes says that it’s tough, but the truth. When he arrived in Simitra, he rushed over to Porfy’s house, and found him unconscious. Mina was also found quite quickly, though the same can’t be said for Chirstopher and Aneke.

Porfy still has trouble to believe it, and says how Christopher said that he’d protect his family, and he’s probably still searching for him. Barnes, however, says that it’s true, even though it’s painful. He then hands Porfy Aneke’s watch, and says it’s okay to cry. From now on, Porfy and Mina are going to have to live together, and Porfy will be the only one who can protect Mina, that’s why it’s okay to cry now. Instead, Porfy goes back to Mina, in case she wakes up when he’s gone.

When Porfy gets back to Mina, the nun is also with her. She then wakes up, and asks what happened, and where she is. Porfy immediately embraces her, thankful that at least she’s alright. Mina still hurts, though, so he quickly lets go. The nun introduces herself as Helena, and she and Porfy explain where she is. Mina then remembers the earthquake that happened, and how the house was collapsing. Christopher said to run, though Mina couldn’t move her legs. She then asks where Christopher and Aneke are, so Porfy quickly changes the subject by asking whether she’s hungry. She isn’t, she just wants to see her father and mother again.

Porfy, however, is just too scared to bring her the bad news, so Mina goes out to search on her own. Helena tries to stop her and tells her to rest, though Mina says she’s fine. As she tries to look around the bondaged people that are sleeping, calling out for her parents, Porfy stops her, saying how she shouldn’t wake up everyone. She then retorts that she’s doing this because Porfy doesn’t want to say anything. Porfy then finally says that Aneke and Chistopher aren’t there, so Mina asks where they went. Porfy then shows her Aneke’s broken watch, and tells her to hold onto it. Mina then gets even more upset, saying that it’s a precious possession of her mother. It’s too early for her to get it. Porfy can’t think of a good excuse, so he just tells her to hold on to it.

Mina then gets scared of her brother’s strange behaviour, and calls out to her mother again. Porfy then finally yells that their father and mother have died. Helena then comes between them, and brings Mina back to her bed, after which she falls asleep. A bit later, Helena tells him that the dinner has been prepared, though Porfy doesn’t want any. She then asks whether he has any relatives, though Porfy hasn’t. His family just consisted out of his parents and Mina. Helena then says that God will protect him, which may not have been the right word to say to him at that moment, since that “God” just killed off his parents.

That evening, Porfy still can’t sleep, so he heads outside. He then sees Damon again, who only seems to have hurt his hand. Damon is also glad that Porfy is okay, and says that God must have been watching over him. Pofty yells that he doesn’t need God. If there was a god, then why did Christopher and Aneke have to die? They didn’t do anything wrong. He then returns the picture of christ, saying he doesn’t need it anymore.

Porfy and Damon then say a few things I couldn’t understand, though Damon closes with the message that as long as he remains alive, something good will happen to Porfy, and he hands back the picture of Christ. We then switch to the next day, when Porfy wakes up, to find Mina gone. She’s outside, looking at Zaimis. His mother isn’t doing well, though because of different reasons than the earthquake: she’s about to give birth to her baby! Helena tells Porfy not to worry.

However, Zaimis did lose his father. He’s also grieved to hear that Christopher and Aneke are gone too, and prays to god for his mother and her baby, which really make Porfy think about the things he said that evening. A while later, Zaimis is all worried, though then the cries of a baby appear. Helena then arrives, with the message that the girl is healthy. And so the episode ends with at least one joyful moment after the tragedy.

On a side-note: from now on, I’m going to shorten my summaries. They’ll still be detailed, but I feel that I won’t be able to keep up with such an extensive one as I’m doing right now. There was another time where I also wrote very detailed summaries for the shows I watched (just check back on some of the older Higurashi, Simoun or Ergo Proxy-entries), but I just couldn’t keep it up to write so much.

But really, this episode was awesome, and the exact reason why I’ve come to love the World Masterpiece Theatre. They may be slow at times, but they never waste their slow moments, and use them to flesh out their characters. Because of this, when the drama appears, you can be sure that the characters are all dynamic.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Gundam 00 has been one of the most ambitious series of the past Autumn-season. It basically tried to show us a view on the world politics 400 years from now, combined with Gundam’s trademark mecha-action. Usually, this comes along with a great risk of screwing up and delving into an emo-fest, though fortunately the director of Ooedo Rocket and Full Metal Alchemist managed to avoid this pitfall, and delivered quite an interesting series. It may be rather rough around the edges, but there’s a lot to like about this series.

A group of four guys with ultra powerful mecha who use them to solve all armed conflicts in the world. This obviously sounds like an incredibly gullible idea to achieve world peace, but the thing is that the characters are well aware that the thing they’re doing is naive. This series never claims one side to be morally right or wrong. It just presents us several different views on the world.

The strength of this series is that it knows how to carefully build up. It’s got a huge plot and a huge setting that it needs to work with, and even though there are a few errors here and there, you can see that the creators have tried to explain as much as possible. The thing is also that the cast starts out as incredibly unlikable, and yet every single character develops, and at the end of the series has turned into something better and enjoyable. With a cast so large and diverse, you’re bound to have a few favourites.

The part in which Gundam 00 screws up the most is the dialogue, though. You can see that it’s one of the few parts that didn’t receive careful attention, and it just serves to develop the characters and the plot, though it does feel rather forced at times.

Gundam 00 is a series that continuously develops both its plot and characters, and things do come together in the end quite good. I won’t to spoil anything, but let me just say that the second season will be completely different from the first. It’s not the best series, but it turned out better than expected.

Posted on with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00

What the? Did these people hear my prayers or what?? Major spoilers coming up in the next paragraph, and I really mean MAJOR spoilers. This is really an episode where Gundam has really set itself apart from the major other Mecha-epics. This line is here to prevent spoilers to appear on the blog-aggregators like animeblogger antenna.

Great god! I remember making a number of predictions about how this episode would turn out, and none of them came true. Has there really been another series that had the guts to kill off its main cast halfway through? I don’t remember any. And that’s the great thing about this episode, because there were a lot of great characters who remained alive. The technician and Sumeragi are fine and will play a major role in the second season as well, Soma Pieres and Papa Bear also have survived against all odds. Allelujah may be dead, but Hallelujah still shows signs of surviving.

One big surprise was also Graham Acre dying and then getting revived again four years later, bearing the mask that seems to be some kind of trademark for Gundam-series, and the annoying Alehandro Corner kicked the bucket as well. While there was a lack of politics, this remains without a doubt my favourite episode of this series, simply because it shattered so many stereotypes I had about this series. And not to mention, the fights were actually really well done. In the end, it indeed turns out that Livonze will be the major bad guy for the second season.

And then there was the aftermath, and the introduction to the second season. At the moment, I really have no idea what direction it’ll go. The earth is united, there’s no need left for the Gundams, and yet new models have been constructed, along with the help of Nena, the only surviving throne. I remember that the professor once noted that the unison of the world wasn’t Aeolia Schenberg’s original goal, so what would it have been? It looks like Nena will play a whole different role in the second season than I could have imagined.

Saji has also started working on the solar generator, though thankfully four years have passed now, so he isn’t an angsty teenager anymore. Thank god for that. I also loved how Setsuna sent his final messages not to his comrades, but to Marina Ismael. The impact she had on him turned out to be much larger than I expected. I do wonder whether she managed to solve all the problems in her home-country, though.

Some small things: I was surprised to see that Patrick’s still alive. We only see a glimpse of him, but it really looked like Tieria killed him back then. Also note how we never get to see Ali al Sarshes’ eyes. Did something happen to them? And who was this Tieria-lookalike near Louise, and what was Louise doing with him in the first place? The second season will probably shed light into who Nena, Tieria and Livonze are. Livonze also turned out to have some clones with him, so why wouldn’t this be the case for Tieria as well? Although I’d shiver at the thought of an army of Nena’s.

To finish this entry, I just can’t resist another Code Geass reference. It’s just such a good series to show how things should not be done. And the thing I’m talking about here is the cliff-hanger of the first season. I mean, it’s just too predictable: you just know that both Lelouch and Suzaku will both magically survive, and it’s not a god thing to have to wait nine months to confirm that this indeed is the case. Thankfully, in the meantime Dragonaut has showed up and brought us an even cheesier rivalry between childhood friends, and it looks like even Code Geass will be better than that one. I think that the thing that Code Geass needs to do for its second season is to stop putting so much attention to Lelouch, and instead focus more on the side-characters.

Posted on 29 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, True Tears

Love triangles and myself don’t have the best relationship. They’re often predictable, usually get nowhere and really like to distract from the main point of a series. True Tears shows that things can be done differently, though. This series has really been built around a love-triangle, and somehow, it’s managed to avoid the pitfalls that has caused the demise of so many series.

The key is good scriptwriting. The series is originally based upon a visual novel, though the creators made the smart decision to just ignore the storyline and come up with their own. True Tears is a slow series, but because it’s slow, it’s able to really dive into the minds of its characters. The result delivers, because the characters in this series are deep.

This is one of these series where the characters and their intentions can’t be easily described in one sentence. A major theme of this series is sorting out your own feelings, and feelings like that aren’t that simple to describe. Shinichiro, our main male lead also keeps hopping from one girl to the other, making the viewer wonder about who he’ll end up choosing until the final episode. The side-characters also for once aren’t stereotypes. The best friend has an actual personality and his own problems, the main character’s father and mother play a big role in the series as well. There’s just one character whose role remains ambiguous throughout the series: Aiko. I’m still not sure what her purpose actually was.

The visuals are another reason to check out this series, because they look absolutely gorgeous. A lot of attention has been put in the animation, and you can see that this series has received a big budget to work with. Even though there are definitely better series, True Tears remains a worthy series of your time.

Posted on with categories: True Tears

And so it has ended. We finally know who Shinichiro ends up with, though I’ll refrain from mentioning her in the first paragraph in order to avoid spoilers showing up in the blog-aggregators. I can’t say that this was the best episode of the series, but that’s only natural. In the end, this series’ best moments were in the middle, while the final episodes were more like one huge aftermath, and much less tense.

So in the end, Hiromi has won. To be honest, I only saw it coming when Shinichiro openly said to Noe that he loved Hiromi. In the end, Noe helped him to take off, and he’s very grateful to her for that, though it’s someone else he loves. A hit on the head was also exactly what Noe needed, and it made her reflect the stupid things she did. It might have hurt a bit, but she’s now managed to put herself over Shinichiro. In the aftermath, we also see that she’s finally found herself a couple of good friends.

I must say that it’s definitely been an interesting experience, to blog a show I usually wouldn’t blog. In the end, the biggest reason for me to do it was that it was directed by the director of Simoun, and he’s really proven himself again with this series. Instead of mind-blowing, True Tears is subtle, and shines through its deep characters. It by no means has the right to call itself equal to Simoun, but nonetheless it does remain one of the best love-triangles I’ve seen. His next works will strangely enough be directing the third season of Kyo Kara Maoh, which gives me a strange sort of curiosity toward that series, but I guess that I’ll just wait till the second season of Code-E to see the guy’s work again. (really, something’s telling me that the upcoming summer-season will be awesome).

Posted on with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai

Ah, finally I had the chance to watch another episode. This episode can basically be called “Eva the Adventure”, as Alice basically didn’t make any appearance in it at all. Instead, it tells about the origin of the dragon-house, and why Sheila started living with Eva in the first place.

It was quite a surprise to find out that the dragon house originally belonged to Eva, and not Sheila. It started as a pet dragon she took care off, and during one incident it got hit by some kind of laser-beam and grew many times its size. Like the other episodes of this OVA, it was a bit rough around the edges, but I’ve long since understood that for Arusu the Adventure, it’s the big picture that matters, and not the small one, because this episode does give quite some interesting background to Eva.

And as it turns out, Sheila actually started living with Sheila for not that deep of a reason. She just wanted to be near Eva due to the fact that she got a flying dragon house from out of nowhere, and she saw the potential in Eva to grow. That also explains why she was so cold to Eva, even though they lived together. They weren’t good friends at all, and I can understand how Eva would grow on Sheila’s nerves because of her uncertainty.

Studio 4C seriously needs to start working on another tv-series. These guys are really talented at storytelling, though they spend most of their times on just short stories and movies. Mahou Shoujotai showed that they are very well able to deliver a full-length anime. Now that they’ve finished working on Tekkon Kinkreet, Arusu the Adventure and Genius Party, they should be already working on their next unannounced projects. Please let it be a tv-series!


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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 09:02 PM)
    One-Punch Man’s pilot was almost adapted flawlessly. It straight up uses the manga panels as it’s main storyboard, but added just enough new touches to improve the action instead of ruining it. Now let’s see how they animate the mosquitos and all the lasers for the next episode.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:57 PM)
    And that’s why Madhouse is one of the few respectable studios left. I thought that they will be seriously diminished after Masao Maruyama took some of its key members and funded MAPPA, but One-Punch Man showed that they are still one of the best in the business.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 08:51 PM)
    @Kaiser The anime industry isn’t advanced enough in CG to make it look good, is all it is.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.

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