Posted on 30 June 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost



Just so you know, if the upcoming Summer Season has four or more series that turn out to be really interesting, I might just drop this series in favour of one of them. I’ll definitely keep watching it and give it a proper review, but as a guilty pleasure that has been done many times before, I’d rather spend my time on something fresh, creative or innovative, if it would happen to premiere in the upcoming season.

Basically, for a guilty pleasure from Studio Deen, this series doesn’t even stand out. We have Hiroshi Watanabe’s works for that. As addictive as this series is, it was nothing near as fun as the campness of Suteki Tantei Labyrinth, and so I’m just going to drop it when it’s still fun to blog, rather than wait until it becomes a chore. I’ve found that for the past year, I’ve become much quicker in dropping a series from blogging, but that’s mostly because I’ve gotten tired of blogging dull shows.

Anyway, about the episode: it was definitely no wasted one, as it finally reveals not just Teito’s past, but also that the priests from the church didn’t just “run into” Teito when they were taking a stroll, and knew very well who he was, and especially Frau seems to be hiding something. I really laughed when Frau let that fact slip when he tried to comfort Teito.

But yeah, on the downside, this episode was angst angst angst. Thankfully it wasn’t bad or annoying, but it is getting a bit old now, and I’m hoping that Teito at least is going to grow beyond this angst, rather than remaining in this slump of his.
Rating: (Enjoyable)
Teito’s past revealed with enjoyable build-up and a perhaps a bit too much angst.

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

The interesting thing with this month is that yet again I had no clear favourites. There’s a bunch of shows that I really like, but there’s not been a series for me that really stood above the others this month. I think that because of this, the series that ended up as my number one position is probably one that not many agree with, but it’s the series that I feel this month showed the most improvement and impressed me the most.

In other news, in the upcoming months I’m going to experiment with a new feature on these summaries, by handing out small awards for what stood out as the best at one particular part for the past month (inspired by The Null Set, thanks for the idea). Some awards like “Best ending of the month” are obviously only going to appear when a significant amount of series actually end. Next month, I’m probably also going to include an award for the best episode (I’d love to do it right here as well, but my favourite episode for June came from Higurashi’s OVA, and I stopped including OVAs in these rankings because it’s simply too convoluted to keep track of them).

Rankings, like the past months are a bit strange again, I basically tried to generate the rankings for each show, compared to the others that are currently airing. Say, for example that Show A has a really good setting, and there are only a few other shows with a better setting, it’s going to rank higher than if there are many shows with excellent settings, and vice versa. I know that it’s a bit weird, but for some reason it does more accurately reflect my feelings about the shows this season.

#26 (new) – Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-Chan! – (6,5/10) – Yeah… what’s there to say about this one, really? While I haven’t technically dropped it, I really can’t see myself watching through it entirely unless either the rest of the summer season is going to be really bad or the second episode is going to be really good.
#25 (24) – Koukaku no Regios – (6,75/10) – The ending was a horrible mess. Plot twists came from absolutely nowhere, there hardly was any conclusion or question that was answered. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a finale that was as rushed as we saw here.
#24 (23) – Kurokami the Animation – (6,75/10) – Alas. I really hoped that this series would become good with its second half, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. Especially that ending was a complete joke, but the entire month was basically a disaster of plot twists that were just there to get the most dramatic finale possible. Obviously that failed.
#23 (21) – Valkyria Chronicles – (7,5/10) – I’m twelve episodes in right now, and every time I think that this series is going to impress me… it doesn’t. This show really is getting old right now, and I can only hope that the second half is going to become better, and make up for the lackluster first half.
#22 (15) – Hetalia Axis Powers – (7,5/10) – Hetalia, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be a series that pokes fun at different cultures, not an excuse for gay romance. I’m really not sure what’s up with this series. The jokes have been as good as ever, but there are just too many scenes that just… aren’t jokes. Especially when they devote an ENTIRE EPISODE to a disturbing gay semi-reverse double Oedipus romance between a guy and his grandson.. you have to wonder what the creators are smoking. In a bad way.
#21 (new) – Umi Monogatari – (8/10) – I have yet to see Aria, so I’m really not sure what to expect from this series. It definitely had a solid start and premise, though. Let’s see what the rest of the series can offer.
#20 (20) – Sengoku Basara – (7,5/10) – Well, it’s at least good to see that the series is closing off with an exciting finale that was everything that this show made great: lots of manly action. Of course, when that’s all a series has going for it, it’s never going to stand among the greats. Sengoku Basara has been an enjoyable series, but it really should have used its time better.
#19 (13) – 07-Ghost – (8/10) – So yeah, this has turned out to be pretty much a guilty pleasure for me. Strictly speaking I should be hating it, but it just keeps drawing me in with its characters and nice art, despite the cheesiness and repetitiveness of the plot.
#18 (17) – Gintama – (8/10) – The past few episodes have been hit and miss. While the strange reference holiday was pretty dull, the King of Mayonnaise was absolutely hilarious.
#17 (9) – Basquash! – (8/10) – The thing with Basquash! at the moment is that it seems to be in its “mid-season lull”. For the past month, I’ve been missing the chaos and fun that made the beginning of the series so enjoyable. With episode 12 as a nice exception, perhaps.
#16 (19) – Chi’s New Address – (8,25/10) – More of Chi’s antics as usual. There definitely has been a change since the first season: since Chi can move outside freely now, most of the show is spent not inside, but exploring what’s going on outside of the house, and meeting some interesting characters along the way. Especially that elder cat was hilarious.
#15 (22) – Saki – (8,25/10) – To be honest, I thought that this series would end up falling apart completely with the start of the tournament. And yet, this month probably was the best month so far for Saki. The battles still are based too much on luck and weird skills like causing dust to spontaneously appear when you play a mah-jong tile, but the characters are really saving this series. I’m still surprised at how not annoying they’ve become. Apart from the Kugimiya Rie-voiced brat, perhaps.
#14 (16) – Shin Mazinger Shougenki! Z-Hen – (8,5/10) – Baron Ashura is such an awesome villain. This guy/girl is so incredibly fun to watch, and seeing his surprisingly thought-out plans come to fruition. Really, the only thing keeping him from pwning everyone over and over is the fact that Mazinger is simply god-moded. My only gripe with the show is the little brother and detective: they’re too often used for pointless and usually unfunny comic relief, and sap away screen-time from Ashura.
#13 (18) – Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – (8,25/10) – I like how the past two episodes basically pulled a Seraphim Call Higurashi. It’s a nice idea once you see where it’s trying to go to, and I do have to say that Haruhi too was enjoyable to watch. The past month has been pretty enjoyable slice of life for me.
#12 (5) – Eden of the East – (8,25/10) – You know, everyone keeps saying how this series had some of the best mystery, but I don’t see why. Sure, the mystery rocked for the first three episodes, but after that it dulled in a bit, and I can name tons of series that handled their mystery better than Eden of the East did. But yeah, it’s true that this series has left me somewhat disappointed, but that in no way means that I don’t like it. The animation was as incredibly detailed as ever, and overall the series left with a pretty good cliff-hanger for the upcoming movies.
Award: Best Production Values of the Month
#11 (6) – Natsu no Arashi – (8,5/10) – The ending unfortunately was the worst part of the series. Never mind the lack of conclusion, it felt like it was trying too hard, and kept recycling old jokes. Nevertheless, the rest of the episodes from Natsu no Arashi this month rocked. It again had a very good combination between a deep analysis of its characters, and just plain fun humour. I’m not sure whether I’m going to like the second season as much as this one, but who knows?
#10 (14) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10)

I just can’t help but love this series. It’s completely nonsensical, it’s downright crazy and very childish, yet I look forward to it every week to see what kind of weirdness they’re pulling next. It’s a hilariously charming series so far, and I’m glad that there are at least going to be 13 more episodes of it. The thing with this series is that it’s so consistently creative in all of the crazy situations it puts the lead characters in.

#9 (12) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (8,5/10)

Okay, and we’re nearly to the part where the story diverges from the original series completely. There have been plenty of other differences so far, though. Especially the atmosphere is completely different from the first series, and it’s much more fast-paced and quirky. The characters have been very enjoyable so far, and I’ve gotten very interested in that different storyline.

#8 (11) – Guin Saga – (8,75/10)

The new arc promises a lot of great things for this series: political intrigue, betrayal and much more, with the visuals still being as pleasing as ever. I’m just very curious about how the creators are planning to handle the rest of the adaptation: are they planning on covering all 200 novels, or are they simply going to stop after 26 episodes?

#7 (8) – Ristorante Paradiso – (8,75/10)

The ending was very solid, and really wrapped up the storyline with a satisfying conclusion. Overall, the final episodes of this series were really well done, and made this a really relaxing and engaging series.
Award: Best Ending of the Month

#6 (3) – Cross Game – (8,75/10)

My only problem with Cross Game is its baseball matches. Sure, I understand that they’re necessary and make sure for a lot of character-development, but they just take too long, and they just aren’t what this series is best at: slice of life. The rest of the episodes this month were again a great watch though, as the relationship between Kou and Aoba continues to develop subtly, and the wit that is used while telling their story is as awesome as ever.
Award: Best Storytelling of the Month

#5 (7) – Hajime no Ippo – (9/10)

Seriously, the only way to properly describe the past arc is by simply yelling FUCKING EPIC over and over. With this, I fully understand why this series has become so popular, and I’m of course going to check out that first season some day. I only hope that once Madhouse is going to come with another great series for the upcoming summer season, otherwise I’ll probably be going into a Madhouse withdrawal… (No, Chi’s New Address isn’t enough).

#4 (1) – Konnichiwa Anne – (9/10)

After the move to Marysville, the series has become much lighter this month, with Anne getting to know her new home place and making new friends, but something tells me that this is just one really big calm before the storm. Anne has really been as awesome as ever, and she definitely is the best character of the entire season.
Award: Best Characters of the Month

#3 (10) – Pandora Hearts – (8,75/10)

Thankfully the cheese is mostly gone now, and it shows. The drama so far is poignant and well written, and the art really rocks. Especially with the arrival of the Cheshire Cat, the story has become much more interesting.
Award: Best Setting of the Month

#2 (2) – Phantom – (9/10)

Phantom still belongs at the top-tier this season. Especially now that Reiji has developed and changed completely, there is SO much potential left in this series. Cal has only been introduced for two episodes, and she already is awesome to watch, and I’m really eager for this show to hit its second half.

#1 (4) – Shangri-La – (9/10)

So yeah, when watching Shangri-La there are plenty of points in which you’re going to have to suspend disbelief for a while, but apart from that I feel that Shangri-La has something that many other series are lacking. Despite how it seems messy from the outside, it’s actually growing out to be a very coherent mystery-story that continuously gets developed along with its characters. There’s always something interesting going on and the cast of characters is incredibly strong, yet all of them are flawed and no perfect humans. The soundtrack is also second to only Phantom in this season and the visuals are a huge improvement over what we’ve seen in the first few episodes, with especially episode 13 being a beautiful example.

Posted on 29 June 2009 with categories: Guin Saga


This arc has really been getting more and more interesting, even though this episode pretty much lacked any sort of battles. This is where the adventure part of this series jumps in, and I do have to say that it may be the part where Guin Saga is best at. In any case with episodes like this you’re not going to get bothered by badly animated fights.

So this episode basically followed the two story-lines around Amnelis and Ardnaris’ wedding, and Guin and his party trying to get back to Parro (at least, that’s what I managed to pick up), and both delivered. This episode marks the point in which Naris finally seduced Amnelis, and whatever his plans are, something tells me that they won’t be pretty for Amnelis.

Remus’ development also it becoming really interesting. From the outside he seems to be turning into your average whiny brat, but having his balls drop and getting into puberty has had some interesting side-effects: suddenly, it is Linda who is the weakest of the two. Suddenly, Linda who seemed so mature in the Nosferas arc has turned into the whiny brat who doesn’t take good notice of her surroundings, and Remus has turned into the mature one; despite his brattiness, he does know when to shut up, and the only one he treated with disrespect was Linda. That is SO typical of siblings when they’re in puberty.

Flawed characters like Remus are either incredibly bad or incredibly good, since they’re so annoying when they’re first introduced, but when they’re developed correctly they can prove to be a very interesting addition to their story. I’m not saying that Guin Saga is definitely going to be one of those series that gets it right, but there’s a reasonable chance that it will.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
The characters are really developing strongly. This show is going to be epic if the creators can keep this up.

Posted on with categories: Shangri-La



Oh my god. I’m not sure who exactly was responsible for the dogfights in this episode, but I have to say, that these were the most visually pleasing scenes that I have seen this season. Yes, that includes Guin Saga and Eden of the East; it was THAT good. With this episode, Gonzo has really shown why they are the masters of CG. It may not be the best blend with the rest of the art, but damn. These guys are getting closer and closer to perfection in making CG action scenes engaging. I don’t care what the popular opinion on them is, it’s going to be SUCH a shame if these guys are going to close down due to poor sales. Their bad series are indeed really bad, but their hits really are one of a kind, and for me, Shangri-La has been their best series ever since Bokura no ended. Say what you want about both Gonzo and this series. I’m too busy drooling over the incredible visuals in this episode.

The rest of this episode was also really good to close off the first half of this series. This episode was intense, in which Kuniko for the first time has to really display her leadership, and even though she still has a lot to learn, at the same time you can see that she’s trying her hardest guiding the Metal-Age, instead of sitting back and letting the others do the dirty work.

And while most of this episode was about the Metal-Age trying to bust into Atlas, there also was something interesting going on around Ryouko, as some sort of upper chief has decided to pay a visit. His influence on Ryouko is going to be pretty interesting. There was also a pretty touching moment about Miiko and Mikuni, where you can see that the two have gotten even closer since Sayaka left.

I’m wondering when Kunihito is going to play a role in the story again. He obviously is important, he has a dagger, he is a digma, but so far the only thing he’s done is screw up when Kuniko was around. He definitely was a character meant for the second half of this series, but I’m really wondering what kind of role he’s going to play in the whole series. I’m definitely pumped for that second half. With such an ambitious setting, if this series manages to avoid any major screw-ups, it’s going to be epic.
Rating: *** (Awesome)
Incredible CG visuals, very exciting dogfights

Posted on with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Seriously, can this show get any more adorable? This episode was so incredibly charming, even though it was about a bunch of characters that have yet to be introduced beforehand. The children in this episode were portrayed really life-like. Well, I guess that that’s the World Masterpiece Theatre for you. ^^;

Anyway, this episode starts with a regular day at school, in which Mildred is showing off a brooch with angels that she got from her birthday. Anne stays away from them, but she of course is interested in the angel-story, but when Randolf notices her looking she looks away again. Mildred wonders if Anne is interested in the brooch as well, but Anne answers that while angels tend to grant wishes, they’ll never grant wishes to liars (a nudge to what happened in the previous episode).

During class, Anne actually did better than Mildred (for her grade, anyway), which rather pisses Mildred off. A girl then arrives at the classroom, whose name is Sadi. Her house seems to be poor, and she too apparently has had to stay home to take care of it. Because of this, Anne becomes interested, and sits down next to her during the afternoon break, and starts telling about Elisa and Katie Morris.

Sadi then reveals that she has a number of younger siblings, and the reason why she has been away is because her mother is sick: her father is dead (you have to love how Anne rejoices when she finds this out, having discovered someone who is similar to herself, even though it’s about such a touchy subject), and since her mother has been taking care of the family and making the money, her becoming sick has put them into a bit of trouble.

Anne, still fascinated by the angels, asks her what she wishes for if angels were able to grant wishes. She herself wishes for new ribbons in her hair, since she’s gotten bored of her old ones. Sadi of course answers that she wishes that her mother would get better soon. Meanwhile Mildred is setting everyone up against Anne, and they come up with a plan to frame Anne: Randolf was supposed to put Mildred’s brooch inside Anne’s bag, so that they could blame her for taking it. Obviously the plan goes wrong because Randolf mistakes Anne’s bag for that of Sadi.

At the end of the classes, Anne notices how the brooch is in Sadi’s bag, but at first she’s too afraid to say something. That’s why she follows Sadi to her house. Sadi then comes out of the house and notices Anne, and then tells her about the brooch. It turns out that Sadi never knew of anything, and Anne informs her that it’s Mildred’s.

A while later, they start talking about the brooch with the angels on it along with Sadi’s younger sister and brother, and when the two of them find out that angels are supposed to grant wishes, they wish for their mother not to go to heaven. Apparently, their mother’s condition is much worse than previously thought, because one of the kids overheard her mother say that she’d join her husband soon, that evening earlier.

They then drop by their mother, along with Anne, who gets all shy when the mother gives her a compliment on her looks. When she is about to get up to do the chores, Anne and the other children instead insist on doing the chores themselves, so that she can rest. Afterwards, Sadi gets more and more worried about her mother’s condition, and how she can’t believe that her mother is hiding a serious illness from them. Since they don’t have any income, they also don’t have any money to call a doctor. The children suggest soup with milk, which is supposed to help (hey, they’re 3 years old…), but even for that they don’t have any money. Anne suggests collecting a type of flower, which is supposed to help according to Eggman. In the meantime, Sadi’s mother suddenly gets out of bed and starts doing the chores like there’s nothing wrong.

After a very touching moment in which the children seem to give up all hope because they can’t find that particular flower, they return home… and find out that it’s all been one big misunderstanding. All their mother had was a simple cold. When they overheard her talking that evening, she simply was talking about how she remodelled some of her late husband’s clothes to fit their children, so that it’d be like they’re always with him.

Anne stays until it’s nearly dark, after which they say goodbye but not before giving Anne a new set of pink ribbons,

This really was a mean episode. It was so sad, with especially superb voice-acting from Sadi’s little brother and sister, who really sounded like a bunch of sad children, only for everything to be a simple misunderstanding that was blown out of proportions by these simple kids’ minds. Stories around misunderstandings are often a bit lame, but this time it was the complete opposite, and this episode became so incredibly adorable because of it.

There’s one thing that doesn’t quite sit well with me, though, and it has to do with the continuity with the original Anne of Green Gables. I mean, how often has Anne been praised for her looks by now? It becomes harder and harder to imagine how this would have caused her to start yelling at Gilbert Blythe like that when he first pranked her. But then again, around that age she indeed should have started to get into puberty, so I think that that was the major cause of it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
A light but downright adorable episode.

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews, Natsu no Arashi



After all of the shows that he’s been directing and will be directing in 2009, it’s safe to say that Akiyuki Shinbo has been the most prolific director of the past decade: I can’t think of anyone who directed as much series as he did, especially in the past five years. Natsu no Arashi started out as one of the many dark horses of the past Spring Season. At first sight it looked to be full of your usual shounen clichés and all, but it turned into a very interesting and engaging series.

At first sight it’s easy to label Natsu no Arashi as one of those moe comedies around high-school girls, but that’s only half of the series. The other half is a surprisingly serious and deep storyline about time travel, World War II and people who are deeply affected by the past. For once in one of Shinbo’s series, the characters have strong personalities and yet are more than a bunch of paper bags. Hajime may seem like a bit of an oddball here, but his purpose in the series really is to act as the straight man, compared to the issues and stories that the rest of the cast has, and he pulls this off really well as the main character.

On top of that, this series also has a very inspired sense of humour. As this is a series about time-travel, it really makes the most of it by including jokes that can only be shown in this kind of series. This leads to priceless discussions about a rotten fish, among others. It also likes to poke fun at one of its on-going plot threads, in which one of the characters (Jun) is a cross-dresser. A number of absolutely hilarious episodes are centred around all sorts of crazy situations in which she has to try and keep her secret and pretend to be a guy.

Overall, this series is really well balanced, with the serious and silly episodes alternating so that the end result is a very varied series that grabs the best of both. The only downsides are the first and last episode. The first episode really gives a wrong image of what the series is going to be about, while the last is mostly a rehash of jokes (something that the other episodes managed to avoid so well), and carries Shaft’s style a bit too far. nevertheless, if you’re looking for a series that has both light and dark parts with engaging characters, then this is a show you should check out.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on with categories: Natsu no Arashi



Ah, so there’s going to be a second season this fall. That’s a good thing, because this episode pretty much was the weakest episode of this show so far. Especially the first half was just a rehash of already used jokes with all of the characters somehow dressed in swimwear (including Jun in clothing that would obviously reveal her gender to Hajime, yet nobody noticed), while the second half had some new and funny material, it also seemed to be trying too hard.

However, I am also very wary of the “Curse of the Shaft Sequel”. I KNOW Shinbo, and I’m just certain that he’s going to carry this show’s style way beyonds its limits, making it lose its substance like how Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and a tale of melodies were ruined. Especially this episode was a very bad sign, if every episode of he second season is going to end up like that. That’s why I’m not going to guarantee that I’m going to blog season 2 as well. It’s all going to depend on how awesome the rest of the upcoming Fall Season is going to be.

And don’t get me wrong, barring this episode, I really loved Natsu no Arashi. I just feel that it would have been better if everything was wrapped up in just these thirteen episodes. The past two episodes would have been much better if they took the stories from the manga that explained why the ghosts came back, and the part where Jun finally comes out of her shell, and combine those into an anime-original conclusion.

Rating: (Enjoyable)
Enjoyable to watch, but mostly just a rehash of previous jokes with some really un-subtle references to other shows.

Posted on 28 June 2009 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood


Wait, what? Was it just me, or did we see the evil officer from the mining arc right next to Scar in this episode? I mean, I’m trying to watch both series as different stories, but it’s really making this difficult when this show references events that only happened in the original series…

Thankfully, that was just about the only thing I didn’t like of this episode. I’m glad to see that Greed finally got his introduction, because his story is one that I really liked in the original series. He already starts off as a quirkish character, and so far I feel that Brotherhood did him justice. I was also surprised that his henchmen still are a bunch of Chimera. That means that someone other than Shou Tucker has been creating them.

There were also lots of differences this episode when compared to the original series. My memory is a bit too fuzzy to list all of the differences exactly, but it seems that Izumi is going to play a much bigger role here. It also seems to be the goal of Greed and his henchmen to become like Al: away from all those nasty side-effects that the human body has. Ed also threw a major tantrum when he finds this out, and this part turns out to be quite a bit deeper than what happened in the original series, which was just about the homunculi wanting to become human. Here, Greed and the others are longing for something they hardly know anything of, and something that Ed is desperate to get rid of. This time, it’s Greed who feels uncomfortable with the way he is, rather than Lust.

I also love how the comedy in this series just appears from out of nowhere, especially this episode did this really well. The creators really have managed to integrate it seamlessly with the rest of the series, rather than having clear-cut parts that are funny and other parts that are serious.
Rating: * (Good)
Solid episode; Greed was especially nice.

Posted on with categories: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei


Pure awesomeness. I really have to say, that this OVA couldn’t have been done better. These past three episodes were right up there with the most memorable moments from the Higurashi series. I’d definitely rank this among the best OVAs I have ever seen, along with Rurouni Kenshin Tsuioku-hen and Hunter X Hunter’s OVA. All of them were just incredible: intelligent, inspired and focused.

Most of this episode was just lots of dialogue, but that’s exactly what I liked about it. Rika, who was tortured with the choice whether or not to kill her mother, and abandon the world in which nobody was plagued by sin. This exactly showed the irony of good endings: sure, you may have everything happening perfectly; you may have nobody suffering from the past, and deeply haunted by some of the wrong decisions they made, and that were made for them. But does that make them better persons?

It may all have just been a dream by Hanyuu, but who cares? Thinking back it made sense: how else would Hanyuu have known about the fate of everyone who wasn’t there? The way Rika let herself go and get caught up in the accident really showed her how she has unconsciously taken her own death and rebirth for granted, and how she began to forget how important her mother was.

If I had to mention a down-side, then it was the continuity error of Keiichi’s sin. In the original series, Keiichi’s sin was left out, and I had to read about it in the Higurashi TIPS, about how he ran around with the plastic gun. Those who haven’t read the TIPS will probably feel left out a bit, because that event was crucial to why this episode was so incredibly powerful. It’s still a shame that we never got to see that scene animated, by the way. It would have been damn intense.

In any case, Umineko no Naku Koro ni is about to begin now, and even though I’ve heard that it’s going to be completely different from Higurashi, I’m really looking forward to it, because 07th Expansion has shown himself to be an incredible writer. My only concern is going to be Chiaki Kon; I’m not sure whether she is the right person for this series. Especially considering how she’s also currently working on Hanasakeru Seishounen, and considering the mess that that turned into. On the other hand, Toshifumi Kawase is returning for the series composition. I absolutely love what this guy has been doing for the past few years (he was the one who directed the Higurashi Rei OVA), so perhaps he was the biggest reason why Higurashi was the only thing that didn’t disappoint out of Chiaki Kon’s work.

Rating: *** (Awesome)
Amazing conclusion to an already amazing OVA.

Posted on with categories: Cross Game



So, this episode is the classic “gasshuku”-episode, that every sports series seems to have, but the creators really made excellent use of it. This episode was everything that makes this series so enjoyable to watch: subtle characterization, plenty of character-development, very witty and well-built up jokes…

Speaking of which, the humour was… interesting… This episode has to feature the most disturbing gender-ambiguous character I have seen in that old guy. He’s definitely an eccentric, first fooling Kou about Aoba (who was just taking shelter from the rain at his place), then filming the entire process of Kou, frantically looking for Aoba after finding the shoe that she lost, and never even revealing that he dresses like an old lady…

Meanwhile, it’s interesting how Azuma and the other guy aren’t happy with the work that their coach is putting off. The other coach, in the meantime, shows a completely different side of his during the gasshuku, and reveals him to be the evil trainer from hell, training his team to the limits. It’s also interesting how the previous match has given the team some real motivation to start training and get better. After nearly beating Azuma with a pretty much imperfect team, they really seem to be motivated to get better on their own.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Excellent summer training camp episode with a number of great jokes. And a rather disturbing one.

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Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
Friend
Most of the time they meant no harm, I think it's always about getting recognition. They quickly take them down after I send them a polite email, and I let them save their ego without smearing them on their page.
afgm
(ok maybe a little fault should go to them lol)
afgm
@Friend: That sucks, but its definitely understandable. People can be pretty thoughtless at times (no fault to them of course).
afgm
tiger mask did make it into the upper quartile though, which is surprising
Friend
@afgm I don't have a large internet presence with my work exactly because I've had situations with theft on Pinterest. For work, I just carry USBs with my portfolio pieces in them :/
Friend
@Aramus Heya, thanks for the inquiry. Unfortunately the fell image won't be available openly unless for commercial purposes, but otherwise feel free to contact me in my business email! :)
afgm
ah you know what? I read the title Time Bokan 24 and thought it had 24 votes x)
SuperMario
@afgm: Time Bokan receives 0 vote the last time I checked it. I'm more surprised that people love Haikyuu that much
SuperMario
Such a shame because I enjoy writing it a lot
SuperMario
2 more episodes on Thunderbolt Fantasy and I might break the sites' record (hall of shame really) for covering a show without any comment, haha.
afgm
Also what is Time Bokan and why does it have more votes than 95% of the other anime in the poll haha
afgm
well it's always iffy giving out images without the creator knowing. You can never know where its going to end up. I strongly suggest you contact Friend.
aramus1
@Afgm Sorry, I was the anon. The weird username thing is bugging out. And was going to send it to a friend, did she not want it out there?
afgm
@anon: you better not be thinking about refistributing the image without her consent. youre better off contacting her on her homepage...
AidanAK47
@Anon108797, In the comments he mentions that it's an April Fools joke. So there is hope for humanity yet.
Anonymous108797
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bBa44-FIqk Why does this even exist
Kaiser Eoghan
Can't believe I still haven't read Dragon head or the world is mine yet...I need to fix that.
Anonymous108669
@afgm Awesome! Is there any way to get the source image though, her portfolio doesn't have it unfortunately.
afgm
the footer has the source. it was made special by her
Aramus
Yo, can anyone give a source on the new wallpaper thing? it looks awesome!
AidanAK47
@Mari, no problem. Thanks for for the thanks.
I argee that the fall looks to be pretty weak but it's hard to tell until the season really starts. I have been blindsided by series before.
MariShandy
AidanAK47 and those who helped you, thank you for the season preview. Time to pick the series that I will follow. You make this much easier for me!
Anonymous107505
#nochin
afgm
it reminds me of Durara
afgm
Well Occultic;Nine does have pretty good promotional material, too, and the concept is pretty cool.
AidanAK47
I think the majority of our readers are Steins;gate fans seeing as Occultic;Nine is currently in the lead on the poll.
AidanAK47
Updated the preview with the more tag so episode posts don't get pushed down to the end of the page.
SuperMario
haha so watch the anime with us then
Kaiser Eoghan
Too many chapters of both out at the moment for me to marathon/catch up lol
SuperMario
Good choice, Kaiser. Good choice!!
Kaiser Eoghan
My vote is for drifters and 3-gatsu no lion. Will jump onto the manga where both leave off after.
SuperMario
For reader's info, I've gone ahead and marked this season preview on top page. It deserves to be there for at least few days :). New posts (there's already one) will be under this preview post.
AidanAK47
To those waiting on a 91 Days Episode review, tomorrow. I have done my job tonight.
Total users: 39

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