Posted on 31 October 2008 with categories: Tytania



Short Synopsis: Alses continues his manhunt for Fan Hulic
Highlights: Talk about a complete change of mood.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
Okay, so this is something I didn’t really see coming. This episode, instead of focusing on the usual politics instead tried to lighten the mood by focusing on first romance and then comedy. I’m not too much of a fan of Lira yet. I can understand how she would be desperate to keep Van Hulic as her ally, but nonetheless she annoyed me half of the time.

Miranda, however, rocks. She’s the perfect example that women too can be GAR, and the soldier she captured (who seems to be an old acquaintance of her who joined the army) works really well with her in terms of banter. I never thought that I would praise this series for being funny, but there you have it, the second half of this episode was really fun to watch. ^^;

Meanwhile at the Tytania-department, it becomes clear that Alses and Salisch aren’t exactly on one line, and even though Salisch has a higher position, his mother seems to be more attached to Alses. Lydia is still far removed from the plot, and the rest of the family also doesn’t seem to do much in this episode. I think that the introduction is going to take a while longer, since the next episode is probably going to focus on Fan, getting accustomed to the rebels’ hideout. Still, it’s good that the creators are taking their time and not keeping to the same mood, but it indeed takes a bit of patience to sit through it. ^^;

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Okay, so since this list already is huge for this month, I decided to omit the OVAs in this list, along with series that have already finished and belong to the previous season, like Chi’s Sweet Home and Wagaya no Oinarisama, in an attempt to keep this list a bit overviewable (although I do want to say that RD’s ending was probably my favourite ending of 2008). Overall, Fall 2008 is without a doubt the season with the biggest amount of solid titles of 2008 for me. There are lots of series that are already amazing, and just about as much series with enough potential to become amazing later on. It’s especially a season with lots of horror and comedy.

#43 (new) – Bihada Ichizoku – (1,5/10) – Okay, so the first episode was so laughably bad that I’m pretty sure that it’s going to end up as the show with the worst first episode of 2008 and 2007. If you ever want to know how not to write a story, watch this. Else: AVOID.
#42 (30) – Rosario to Vampire – (3/10) – Dropped.
#41 (new) – Kurogane no Linebarrels – (4,5/10) – I really don’t want to sit through another Romeo x Juliet or Dragonaut. Kurogane no Linebarrels shows every sign of a bad Gonzo series. Dropped.
#40 (new) – Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka – (5/10) – What is it with these harem-series and their impossible hairstyles? I mean, it’s not even pretty. Dropped.
#39 (new) – Kemeko Deluxe – (6/10) – The problem with this series is that it tries to be random for the sake of being random. There’s hardly a joke that really feels inspired. Dropped.
#38 (new) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (6/10) – The second episode was horribly dull, which indeed confirmed my fears about this series having no future at all. Dropped.
#37 (new) – Macademi Wasshoi – (6,25/10) – This series just isn’t funny enough, especially compared to the other comedies this season. Dropped.
#36 (new) – Kuroshitsuji – (6,25/10) – The fun in this series quickly ended, the characters turned into stereotypes and the individual stories so far have been simply boring. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Toradora – (6,75/10) – I’ve sat through one season of Shana, and that was more than enough. Dropped.
#34 (new) – Yozakura Quartet – (6,75/10) – The most interesting part of this series were the two minutes of back-story at the beginning of the first episode. That’s got to be a bad thing, right? Dropped.
#33 (new) – Inazuma 11 – (7/10) – So, this is one for the kids out there. I admit it’s better than your average series of the genre, but I see no reason why anyone over 12 years old would get excited over it. Dropped.
#32 (new) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7/10) – It’s a shame that this series had to air during a busy season like this. Otherwise, I would have wanted to give this one a chance, to see whether it’ll turn better over time, but right now there’s much better stuff airing. Dropped.
#31 (19) – Shugo Chara – (7/10) – You know, I could have enjoyed this series if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s just so damned long. Right now, the time needed to put into this series just isn’t worth the reward in the end. Dropped. Again.
#30 (new) – Hokuto no Ken Raoh Gaiden – (7,25/10) – It’s a manly series and all, but I just don’t see any potential in this one. Dropped.
#29 (24) – Vampire Knight – (7,25/10) – I sat through the first season, but I don’t think I have the will nor the patience to do the same with thirteen more episodes. Dropped.
#28 (23) – Noramimi – (7,5/10) – Noramimi is a decent enough show to watch one episode of, but after that there really isn’t much of a reason to continue watching it, especially in such a large season as this one. Dropped.
#27 (17) – Soul Eater – (7,5/10) – Well, I finally decided to drop this thing completely. The thing is that it would have fitted much better as a series with just 39 episodes. Right now, this series is just trying to stretch its airtime with pointless exposition that goes on for episodes at a time. That’s not what a fun-filled action-series is supposed to be.
#26 (new) – Stitch! – (7,5/10) – I originally wanted to keep watching this series, but this season is just too busy for that. It’s a nice children’s series, though. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Kyou no Go Ni – (7,5/10) – If the season wasn’t so busy already, I would have watched this, but this seasons has just too many comedies already. Dropped.
#24 (new) – Kannagi – (7,75/10) – For now, I’m going to continue with this series. Some of the jokes work and the characters are adorable if they really try. However, the animation is incredibly inconsistent: it ranges from incredibly good to incredibly bad. This series also tries too hard to become a harem, it would have been just fine to show the daily antics between the male and female lead. There’s enough material for that to fill up 12 episodes.
#23 (13) – Junjo Romantica – (7,75/10) – So far, nothing special yet, but then again the “hot passion” has yet to erupt. I’m not sure about the exact potential of the love-jealous brother yet, but with a bit of luck Usagi’s past will shed more light into that.
#22 (new) – Tales of the Abyss – (7,75/10) – So far, I’m not sure about the magic-system of this series, and why little girls that are barely ten years old seem to be masters in them. Luke and Tear do have a lot of potential, though, and I expect this series to show to get fired off as soon as its second half starts.
#21 (11) – Clannad – (8/10) – Clannad shines when it takes itself seriously. It falls when it doesn’t, and apart from the first episode, this formula hasn’t changed much in the second season: the comedy just wasn’t interesting, but the serious moments really made up for it.
#20 (new) – Ga-Rei Zero – (8/10) – The big problem with Ga-Rei Zero is that out of all the interesting characters they could have chosen, the producers decided to focus on the least interesting one. The girl is a whiny brat, and really brings down the awesome set-up of the first two episodes. I’m hoping right now that she’s going to develop properly, and doesn’t make this one of those series where the best episode is the first one.
#19 (new) – Chaos;Head – (8/10) – So far, the potential’s definitely there. The only really bad part is the stereotypical sister, but I do see her role in this series. It’s an interesting paranoid mystery-series.
#18 (new) – Shikabane Hime – (8/10) – Shikabane Hime has been pretty solid so far. It’s not the best of the season, but the potential’s definitely there. What stood out the most was the nice characterization and interesting fight-sequences.
#17 (11) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,25/10) – Much of the same, which is a good thing for this series. I do hope that the final parts of this series will at least include some character-development, because this series has been awfully dry on that part. A real shame with such enjoyable characters.
#16 (new) – Tytania – (8,25/10) – Okay, so it’s been mostly (if not all) building up this month, but you can already see that this is going to be a very interesting political thriller once all the pieces have been set right.
#15 (new) – Michiko e Hatchin – (8,25/10) – One of the few new series that’s not some sort of adaptation of something, and it shows. Detailed characterization, an incredibly original setting, and nice production-values to back it up. For now, it’s still a bit one-sided and it’s nothing amazing yet, but I can already see the characters grow into something memorable.
#14 (new) – Kurozuka – (8,25/10) – Kurozuka is basically one big horror-feast for the senses, with a pretty intriguing story to boot. The OP is also my number one for this season.
#13 (new) – Hyakko – (8,25/10) – I’m really surprised, from afar the characters look like a lot of stereotype, and yet the series has been consistently hilarious so far. This one can actually keep being funny through its entire run, provided that the creators aren’t going to stuff in some dramatic climax at the end.
#12 (11) – ef – a tale of melodies – (8,5/10) – Hmm, I think that this series was a bit too keen on getting to the meat of the series, but on the other hand it’s probably going to take six more episodes before we get to see the point that the creators are trying to make. Nevertheless, it’s a very solid series so far, and definitely an example of how a good visual-novel adaptation should be done.
#11 (3) – Bonen no Xamdou – (8,5/10) – It seems that this series is on a short break to let the Japanese broadcast version catch up to the English one, apparently. It should be back around half November, I think.

#10 (9) – Mobile Suit Gundam 00(8,5/10)

This series really can go anywhere from this point, but at least the second season stared off really nicely. Now let’s hope that the creators can keep up this pace.

#9 (25) – Nodame Cantabile – (8,5/10)

So far, it’s a hilarious start of the second season, but the question is of course whether the drama that’s going to pop up in the rest of the series is going to live up to the first season, and whether eleven episodes are enough for that.

#8 (new) – One Outs – (8,5/10)

I think Usagijen says it all. I’m really surprised that One Outs turned into the most underrated series of the season, considering Akagi and Kaiji’s fanbase. One Outs is intense, intelligent and exciting, and even though I don’t understand everything while watching raws, something tells me that I’m going to enjoy this series a lot more than I did with Kaiji, especially since I don’t have to write about it on a weekly basis.

#7 (5) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,75/10)

Woo! It’s finally time to get to the real meat of this series. This month, Porfy has still shown travel-arcs, but the storyline suddenly got much darker as Porfy arrived into France. I’m really curious to see whether this series can surpass the amazing Earthquake-arc.

#6 (2) – Gintama – (8,75/10)

Ehrem… I was eating some very spicy crisps during episode 87… Yeah… That was it….

#5 (10) – Blade of the Immortal – (8,75/10)

An excellent month for Blade of the Immortal, especially the growth of the characters is getting more interesting with every episode.

#4 (new) – Casshern Sins – (8,75/10)

Without a doubt the series with the best art-direction that’s currently airing. Everything about this series looks just amazing. The characters started out a bit dodgy, but I’ve found that the script is surprisingly intelligent and well written.

#3 (new) – Skip Beat – (8,75/10)

Skip Beat so far has been an hilarious shoujo-series, that also continues to develop its lead character, rather than keep with a bunch of bloody stereotypes.

#2 (9) – Jigoku Shoujo – (8,75/10)

This show’s crack! Really, the difference with the first seasons has been huge so far, and yet the third season is incredibly entertaining.

#1 (new) – Mouryou no Hako – (9/10)

Definitely my number one pick of the shows that started airing in the Autumn-Season. It’s got such a complex and mysterious story, the visual direction is awesome and there is so much expressivity in the characters.

Posted on 30 October 2008 with categories: Casshern Sins



Short Synopsis: Lyuze and Ringo return.
Highlights: How come Ringo and Casshern went to exactly the same place?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
This episode returns us to the main storyline, when first Lyuze finally decides to show up and kill Casshern (she’s been following him everywhere, it seems). Even though Casshern still doesn’t remember what he did, he knows that he committed a horrible sin. As it turns out, Lyuze’s sister was the first he killed, and infected with that robot-breaking-down disease.

At the moment, Casshern is some sort of combination between human, robot and immortal being; there are so many facets to this guy: he doesn’t need any food, yet he can shed tears, he’s incredibly powerful, he can heal any sort of wound, and yet he suffers from memory loss and he’s got an alter ego that appears once he’s angry. I suppose that this alter-ego here is the key to everything. My guess is that Luna did something before she was killed, which tried to suppress Casshern’s violent personality, though only succeeded in this partially.

I was a bit disappointed when Casshern suddenly was able to save Ringo from out of nowhere, though. Has it been clearly mentioned that the two had the same destination, which I missed somewhere? Otherwise, it’s a pretty jarring coincidence on an otherwise excellent series. I already really like this series, but it’s just too early for my suspense of disbelief to just ignore these sorts of things. The point the creators tried to make with it was clear, though: up till now, Casshern’s violent side only disappeared when said side calmed down, but this time Ringo was able to call the guy out of it.

It’s very strange; this series is really well-written: the single dialogues are really detailed, and bring out the best of the different characters, and then there are a few things in the set-up that just don’t sit right. This episode too portrayed the ugly robots as much more evil than the human-like robots. It feels as if this series has a crappy guy behind the series composition, and yet the most amazing scriptwriters and art directors. Especially considering the former, this does make sense when you look at the staff-list, since the guy behind the series composition also did those of Claymore, Yume Tsukai and Shakugan no Shana. The chief animation-director also did the same for Mushishi, which could explain the amazing visuals, but I still have no bloody clue where that amazing dialogue comes from. Could it really be, that after directing countless of Dragonball Z-movies, the director suddenly saw the big bright light at the end of the tunnel or something?

Posted on with categories: Shikabane Hime



Short Synopsis: A bunch of teenagers jack a car and are attacked by a Shikabane.
Highlights: TRANSFER STUDENT! TRANSFER STUDENT! TRANSFER STUDENT!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 6,5/10 (Lacking)
Ack, this series was doing so well, and then that transfer-student popped up. This is all just a pet peeves of me, and I don’t care whether it makes sense or not. It’s not even the fact that she’s a transfer-student, but I personally HATE the scene where suddenly a girl whose prettiness somehow outshines every other girl in school introduces herself to the class, how every single male APART from the lead character makes loud comments on how hot she is, and out of everyone out there, she chooses the male lead as a friend, making every other guy jealous at him. I don’t care how the anime tries to explain it; I don’t bloody care whether it’s important to the story. I’ve just seen the same friggin’ scene way too many times, with hardly any variation. The fun is really gone at this point.

Seriously, anime makes it look like every single good-looking Japanese is continuously travelling the country or something.

In any case, the rest of the episode thankfully proved to be interesting enough to stop this episode from being unimpressive and disappointing. The first is obviously the car-Shikabane, which kidnaps unsuspecting teenagers that are looking for an exciting ride. I mean, you just have to think of it. ^^; The whole action-scene within that car maybe lacked a bit of horror, but nonetheless it was very fun to watch.

At the same time, the creators continue to very slowly give more and more depth to the characters. I mean, the big twist in this episode was no surprise for anyone who read the premise of the series, but it’s like I mentioned before: this series really takes its time, and that’s a good thing so far. At the same time we also see the new bad guy, who is the only one of his… organization (or whatever it’s going to be called) not faded out in the OP.

And really, I don’t hate the new characters or anything. They’ve got potential, but the way in which they were introduced was just… ugh…

Posted on with categories: Porfy no Nagai Tabi



Short Synopsis: The reunion with Mina doesn’t become so certain anymore and Major SPOILER ahead.
Highlights: It’s finally time for the creators to use everything they’ve built up for…
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
Holy crap, I knew it! My suspicions became sure at the beginning of this episode: the creators have been systematically removing everything that ties Porfy and Mina to Simitra, up to the point where there were just two things left: Apollo and Apollo’s medallion that Porfy made. Yeah.

The episode starts with Porfy, arriving at a local farm, and he asks the farmer whether he can give him some water. The farmer’s wife then returns a bit later with a rumour about a small girl who travels with her fortunetelling mother in the next town. It sounds too good to e true, but Porfy goes to check it out anyway, as the farmer gives him a few apples, and he and his wife feel pity with the guy.

Meanwhile, we see Mina again. She’s inside a train, and at that point she asks Isabella to tell her fortune. The first card that she opens unfortunately happens to be the death-card (foreshadowing, anyone?). Isabella then comments on how Mina has changed a bit. She’s indeed become more open when compared to when we last saw her.

Porfy meanwhile arrives at the town from which the rumour came, and indeed the villagers seem to recognize the description Porfy gives them. Meanwhile, Isabella’s father has troubles with his back (foreshadowing, anyone?), and they decide to travel on foot because the train won’t show up. Porfy meanwhile finds the inn the rumoured Mina is staying in, though they just checked out. He manages to find them, just before they hit a bus, but like suspected, they are some completely different people.

However, they do seem to know Isabella and the others, and in fact they met them once. Especially the girl was able to accurately describe Mina. They’ve got no idea where they are now, but nevertheless, there’s a good chance that they’re going to be heading to Paris. So, Porfy plans to head North, with the assurance that Mina’s doing fine (foreshadowing… anyone?).

At the local inn, Mina enjoys Isabella’s performance, and then suddenly she breaks down due to some vision she had or something similar (foreshadowing, anyone?). A bit later, we see that Porfy’s lost in some remote forest, with a hunter nearby (if that isn’t foreshadowing, then I don’t know anymore…). Porfy runs into said hunter, who asks what he’s doing there. It turns out that Porfy’s on some private property of that hunter, and even though Porfy tries to apologize and tell him that he’s lost, the hunter doesn’t believe him, and thinks that he’s the guy who has been stealing from his lands. He then sees Apollo and shoots him.

Meanwhile, something strange happens with Mina, and she somehow seems to feel Apollo’s death, and this time, she breaks down completely. She even calls out Porfy, for the first time since they separated. We switch back to Porfy, as he has just created a grave for Apollo. We never see him cry about it, nor do we know whether he did or not. And the episode ends.

I must say that even though there were so many signs of foreshadowing, Apollo’s death still made a lot of impact there. I think that this episode also introduced the final arc of this series. There first was the Greece-arc, which was slice of life, then the Earthquake-arc came, which was downright sad, the Slow Travel-arc then came, in which the stories took up three or four episodes, then the Fast Travel-arc, which was instead episodic, and now the Final Arc comes, which focuses on both Porfy and Mina, travelling to Paris, and it’s probably going to go back even more to the Earthquake-arc, but with an even more depressing mood. The question is of course going to be: does the final arc have what it takes to surpass the amazing Earthquake-arc?

With this episode, we also know for sure: SOMETHING is going to have to happen to Isabella’s father. There’s no other way to interpret his aching back. I also predict that whatever it is that will happen to him, it’s going to trigger Carlos’ time-bomb. What surprised me was how mellow Carlos was in this episode. There wasn’t even a bad word that came out of him.

There’s also something I’ve been wondering for episodes right now, because I’m also watching Perrine Monogatari at this point. Porfy grew up in Greece, so he’s not used to bad weather. Now that he’s in France, and it’s starting to become Winter, then won’t the guy catch a cold at one point? It’s strange, because there have been no signs foreshadowing this yet, and at the same time with nine episodes left, there still is enough airtime left for that to happen.

I’m also wondering: Mina’s death card was about Apollo… but did the creators mean more by that? The creators have been systematically killing everything from Simitra so far. Will they also give Porfy and Mina the same treatment. Like mentioned above: their reunion suddenly doesn’t become so certain anymore.

Posted on with categories: Michiko e Hatchin



Short Synopsis: Obviously, the police isn’t going to let Michiko get away without a fight.
Highlights: Surprisingly genuine.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10 (Good)
Well, since Michiko e Hatchin’s second episode took so long to come out, it’s taken me quite a while to finalize my blogging schedule, but here it is (note that the days correspond to the days in which I can expect to get my hands on them, rather then their actual airdates)
Monday: Blade of the Immortal*
Tuesday: Nope
Wednesday: Mouryou no Hako, Kurozuka, Porfy no Nagai Tabi, Michiko e Hatchin**
Thursday: Shikabane Hime, Casshern Sins, Bonen no Xamdou***
Friday: Tytania
Saturday: Telepathy Shoujo Ran, Jigoku Shoujo
Sunday: Mobile Suit Gundam 00
*airs bi-weekly
**could move to thursday at this pace
***seems to be on a hiatus for about a month

Like always, the good shows seem to have concentrated themselves on two or three days, rather than spreading evenly, so Wednesday and Thursday are going to be pretty busy, while Monday and Tuesday will be quiet.

In any case, I’ve decided to blog this. The first episode could have been better, but there’s definitely potential here. Manglobe is a unique animation company, in the way that they only release a series every two years or so. This is a very risky strategy, because if the sales disappoint, they’re screwed, but this way it does allow them to put extra effort into developing their series, and making everything come out right. In Samurai Champloo’s case, it enabled them to create some really awesome fight-scenes, Ergo Proxy did this with its plot, and Michiko to Hatchin seems to be doing this with its characters.

The fight are not amazing, and neither the plot is very complicated, but the characters so far are feeling much more genuine than with Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy’s case. If given time, I can really see Michiko and Hatchin develop into an excellent duo, which makes up for their own weaknesses. At first sight, they may seem like a standard “Strong and Weak person who Travel”-series, but I’ve yet to see such a series where the strong person is such an irresponsible person as Michiko is. And yet, she does show that she can take responsibility, just as how Hatchin is a strong girl, but can just as easily collapse, since she’s still only nine years old.

I just wonder… why are there two people called Michiko and Hana, walking around in Brazil? They don’t really strike me as typical Portuguese names or something. Still, I do have to admit that I really appreciate it that the creators have chosen such an original settings. There are so many different countries out there, with so many different cultures and potential for juicy stories, and yet 90% of all anime plays in Japan, 5% in a fantasy world, and 4% somewhere either in Europe or the United States (okay, so these numbers are way from exact, but you get the picture). It’s awesome to see a series that attempts to screw conventions and go with something completely different.

Posted on 29 October 2008 with categories: Kurozuka



Short Synopsis: Kurou remembers what happened to Kuromitsu, and the story takes an interesting turn.
Highlights: Matrix, anyone?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7,5/10
I remember that during the winter-season, I was very annoyed with Madhouse for some strange reason. If I recall correctly, then apart from Mokke and Ooedo Rocket, every of their recent series at that time had some sort of annoyance that brought it down: Dennou Coil and especially Saiunkoku Monogatari had their endless amounts of hiatuses, Shigurui and especially Claymore had their disappointing endings, Death Note was unbalanced, Kaiji dragged on and Devil May Cry, Maple Story, Nougami Neuro, Kaibutsu Ojou were just badly written.

And here I am right now, seeing them continue to churn out hit after hit, for three consecutive seasons. Is this really the same Madhouse we’re talking about? I’m not sure what happened, perhaps some high-ranked official found it a good idea to put more emphasis on quality and originality, perhaps it’s just chance, and they’ve chosen a string of excellent series to animate (in a way, it’s like Gonzo’s string of excellent series from 2006 till Summer 2007). In any case, whatever it is, I really appreciate it, and I hope that this string of excellent series will last as long as possible.

This episode of Kurozuka again adds a whole new dimension to the series. We learn that when the screen turns funky, it’s not simply because of the visual effects, but at that time Kurou can also slow down time significantly. We also learn that Kuromitsu has been kidnapped by the strange enemies, but the end of the episode reveals that it was Karuta’s allies that took her away, making this not just a story of good vs evil anymore. It does make me wonder why they were walking around in enemy-suits, though. And why the heck the enemy’s after them, and why they needed Kuromitsu in the first place.

One problem that I have with the series is that it’s aired a bit too soon after Ultraviolet. I just can’t help but think that Kuromitsu and 044 are alike: their character-designs are so similar, and Paku Romi uses nearly the exact same voice for them. She’s going to have to be fleshed out a bit more if she really wants to stand apart from her Ultraviolet-counterpart, especially since their roles seem to be completely different. Ultraviolet was a strong-minded killer on the run, while Kuromitsu feels more like a damsel in distress (please don’t let her end up captured for the rest of the series).

Posted on with categories: Mouryou no Hako



Short Synopsis: Not just heads get cut off in this series.
Highlights: Awesome use of different camera-angles.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Those creators really are out to get me with their incredibly complicated dialogue. Heck, the website even refuses to list the name of the different characters in anything else but Kanji, making it even more difficult to try and put combine the names with the different faces, especially since half the cast doesn’t seem to be introduced yet (Yoriko has a sister?).

So, the beginning of this episode shows the main character with glasses, apparently Tatsumi Sekiguchi is his name, as he’s just cut up several bodies, commenting on how he just can’t get them right. Later in the episode, we see him again, showing a novel he’s writing. We don’t know whether his “failure” refers to his novel, where the cut-up body was just a visual metaphor, or whether he really does have a secret. Yoriko’s sister Kimie is apparently much older than she looks on the official website, and my guess is that she works for the ones who plan to publish Sekiguchi’s novel.

And at the same time, we see Kanako in a strange bed as she’s lost all of her limbs. There is someone who watches her, who I suspect to be the guy with glasses who left a bit earlier and whose name was Noritada Amemiya, I think. Later, strange limbs are found all over the country, but the DON’T belong to Kanako. The detective acts shocked, while the chief policeman in charge (at least, that’s what I thought their roles were) doesn’t act surprised. Suzaki (the most important doctor) then gets killed (probably to make sure that he doesn’t find any weird stuff) and the biggest enemy of Yoko is the detective Kiba. Yoko in some way has a very big role in this, but what exactly is it? For some reason, she also completely flipped once she found out that Suzaki was dead.

Then, a random teenaged girl gets kidnapped, cut up and stuffed into a box, I’m not sure who the guy was who did that. What I guess are a few months later, a new detective contacts Kiba, probably to team up with him, and he tells him about the four limbs that were found, and even though htey weren’t Kanako’s, he believes the two cases to be related. He seems to think that Sekiguchi is the victim, and the night he ran into them in the hospital wasn’t a coincidence, it seems. I wish I could remember who those others were who were with him in the car.

He points Kiba to some guy that Yoko got affiliated with when she was still an actress. Minami Kinuko, could that possibly be her stage name? It doesn’t appear anywhere on the list of names for this series. This is where Amemiya pops up again, apparently he was the one who forced Yoko to retire from her job as an actress. The guy also tells him about a certain doctor “Amakasu”, who is trying something like the doctor Frankenstein: he’s trying to create the perfect soldier that won’t die, explaining why in this series bodies have to be cut up.

What really strikes me so far is that this is a 13-episodes, and yet two of the five main characters haven’t felt like main characters at all (they only popped up once or twice) and two haven’t even appeared yet! I’m really curious to see what this series is going to turn into once it hits its second half, but so far I’m already loving every second of this. I’m in for lots of convolution once in a while, and this series is exactly what my inner mystery-fanboy needs.

It’s also interesting that this series shows the power that still frames can have. Especially that sequence in the beginning: it just consisted out of about ten drawings, there was no movement, and yet it perfectly showed what was going on, it looked excellent, and it set the mood. Madhouse really is an excellent studio when it comes to proving that you don’t need the budget of a small country to make a series look beautiful. You can easily try to save budget by simplified drawings (á la Kaiba) with lots of motion, or go Shigurui and have very detailed drawings with hardly any motion, but as long as you put enough thought into the artistic direction, you can make anything look good this way. This is exactly why I’m a big fan of series that experiment a bit with their graphics. It looks much more interesting than the straightforward drawings that just go with predictable poses and camera-angles.

Posted on 27 October 2008 with categories: Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino, OVAs and Movies:



Short Synopsis: First Rico and Jan travel to Venezia, then Jan, Jose, Henrietta and Rico visit Jan and Jose’s hometown.
Highlights: Haunting as ever.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Am I glad to see more of this or what? The OVA cleverly chose to focus on character-development, rather than action, and it was SO WORTH the fifty minutes of airtime. It would be such a shame if this series was the end of this franchise, because those final volumes of the manga really deserve to be animated. This OVA really reminded me why I labelled this series as the best one to start airing in the past Winter-Season after with Porfy no Nagai Tabi

The first half was basically about Rico, and how she’s probably the most haunting member of this cast. It’s still awkward to see such a killing-machine like her transform to such an innocent girl so easily, and especially that nightmare she had made a lot of impact: to suddenly wake up without having any limbs. During that moment, the creators and especially her voice-actress did a wonderful job at conveying her emotions at that time.

Il Teatrino concludes with the background story of the subplot that had been looming over the entire series: the death of Jan and Jose’s sister, and it’s interesting how both of them decided to live with it in a same way. Jan tried forget her, while Jose tried to not forget her. As a result, Jan has a strange illusion of her when he visits his old house back (and after seeing Henrietta wear some of his sister’s old clothes). At the same time, he also seems to be mourning over the death of a certain “Sophia”, though I didn’t pick up exactly who she was.

I’m also becoming an increasingly bigger fan of Kou Otani as a musical composer. So far, I’m loving the soundtracks he’s produced so far. They’ve all got a folky feel, but all of them are distinctive and different.

One thing that would be an interesting idea for of the third season ever gets highlighted, is for the series to switch production-companies again. In this way, we’ve got a series with three different, yet consistent parts that form a bit story as a while.

Posted on 26 October 2008 with categories: Mobile Suit Gundam 00



Short Synopsis: Marina plans to go back to Azadistan, to try to rebuild her country again.
Highlights: That romance is either going to make or break this series.
Overall Enjoyment Value: 7/10 (Enjoyable)
The ED of this series is starting to sound better and better, and I finally realized that it’s been done by Ishikawa Chiaki (who also did the theme songs of Bokura no). It’s pretty much the best theme song of this series so far, even though it still comes nowhere near the work she’s done for Bokura no.

In any case, this episode was pretty much about romance(or potential romance, in any case): Alelujah and Soma grew up together, but Soma doesn’t seem to realize this (most likely from the time when people messed with her brain, in the first half of the first season. Of course the removal of these berserk tendencies needed to have some repercussions). Then we have Feldt, who sees the image of Neil in Lyle, and Lyle uses this to hit on her. Meanwhile, Marina asks Setsuna to go with her to Azadistan, while both of them proclaim that they’re not in love in stereo (pretty much THE hint in anime of a future couple). Billy meanwhile is angry because Sumeragi “betrayed” him and started to develop new mobile suits for the enemy.

The thing is, that this series definitely can’t use some badly developed romance at this point. The creators are going to be very careful to actually develop all these relationships right, in the middle of the series. I’ll be happy as long as the romance is used wisely, and doesn’t get in the way of what’s really important in this series, and gets used as character-building. I was glad that the second season removed the teenaged-part from the series, but that doesn’t mean that this has given the light for cheesy romance now. It’s just too late now to turn this series into a romance-one.

There’s also one thing I’m wondering for a bit, but that may be because I’ve been watching the second season raw so far. But if four years have passed already, then why hasn’t the Earth-Federation gotten the chance yet to mass-produce the Solar Furnaces? Why haven’t they discovered the workings of the Trans-Am-system they’ve gotten from Alelujah’s machine when he was captured? Their tactics in this episode were pretty weak: they pretty much knew the position of the Poseidon, and yet they only attacked with a small number of Mobile Suits. But I guess that that was meant to be: to show the ineptness of the new white-haired commander, and push Kati up a rank.

And there’s one thing I’m also glad about: neither Saji nor Louise was annoying in this episode. Saji is already trying to work on the Poseidon (so my big fear of him becoming a Gundam pilot is unfounded), and Louise is growing up much more, although I’d like to see more screen-time of her, since she only appeared in two or three short scenes so far.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:07 AM)
    @Friend Yeah cooking is definitely a better deal most of the time. Although for certain kinds of food, you can get a surprisingly good deal eating out. But it also just feels empowering to cook for yourself.

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