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.

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
Havnt had the chance to watch it yet, but Reflection apparently looks like a comic book but has weird fight scenes? Ill get that write up tomorrow once I watch it tonight.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*hear
Jesus Christ what happened to my spelling
AidanAK47
That's one of the things that mainly turned me off. The battle system is essentially button mashing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The regular complaint I here from Tales of naysayers is a dislike of the battle mechanics/system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I avoided the anime adaptations of the tales games mostly because I assumed they presumed previous knowledge of the games. I actually only saw Phantasia due to having been familiar with the games story when I was younger.
HelghastKillzone
No Re:Creators this week. I get a week off which is good since I'm stuck on an army base.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, A lot of people say Vesperia is their favorite as well. I only have played Abyss so far and was really not impressed with it.
K-Off
@Kaiser Damn, Detective Conan has a long way to go then.
K-Off
Phantasia was my first Tales game (and its anime is the best amongst anything after) but Symphonia really did take it to another level. In general I think most fans will agree with Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia in their favorites.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe Kochikame is the longest running manga of all time 1,960 chapters, 200 volumes, actually does have a record.
K-Off
@Aidan I remember you saying how it's funny that no two fans of Tales will have the same favorite title. But that's definitely because Tales has changed very little over the years, and they've always been solid games, and so for most fans they'll remember the first title they played.
K-Off
@Vonter With you there. The art direction in Tales hasn't been really that exciting since Xillia, and as a long time fan of the series I finally got sick of the gameplay after Vesperia.
K-Off
Jeez, detective Conan is reaching its 1000th chapter. Pretty sure it's a milestone for some Guinness record.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Embarassing
**Here
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also agree about complaints made about the mumbled dialogue when it does occur.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thin red line is a good thing to bring up hear as throughout much of Dunkirk I was thinking about how much more Mallick's film did for me, how I should have been re-watching that instead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet at the same time I couldn't connect with it, it became repetitive, disjointed and the shots/Zimmer score towards the end were embaeassing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There were definitely aspects to praise, to be fair there is no shortage of action, it eschews exposition and tries to visually immerse the viewer to make them feel as if they are present.
Lenlo
Im ready. Reflection comes on tomorrow, so heres hopin its worth it
Anonymous1279803
it was trash. just british propaganda
Vonter
I finished Tales of Berseria. And I'm conflicted. I really liked the story and the characters, essentially a Tales of were the story is told form the perspective of the villains. I also saw the episodes Ufotable made of the beginning of the game, and I want moar. It's was a waste as game, considering the archaic and dull game design. It mainly came up to buying time in regards to things to play.
KTravlos
I also watched it. I thought it was a great war film. Very intense and unrelenting, but still at points the images reminded me of Thin Red Line. My only quip was the end. The film did a great job in getting me to feel the hopelessness the soldiers felt. So great that the attempt at making a "happy" end was forced and fell flat. Beyond that I liked it.
Anonymous1279184
I already lost interest when I saw Inception which I didn't really like. My favorite Nolan movie will always be Memento.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, saw Dunkirk, I think at this point I'm done with giving Nolan any more chances, this like his other works, I can appreciate them to some extent but come away honestly not giving a damn.
SuperMario
and this week's Sakura Quest is damn great as well... This backstory of Chitose and Kadota rocks
SuperMario
Just watching the 2nd episode of Gamers, It was actually pretty good. I can't believe they fleshing out that annoying hot guy into such a relatable guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I recall the extent of my interest in Linkin park in my early teens was strictly the breaking the habit video and that was it.
SuperMario
The frontman of Linkin Park commited suicide by hanging himself... sad news. Never been his fan but I feel sad nonetheless
AidanAK47
Actually forgot with all the impressions and whatnot but I do believe we said we would review the Castlevania Netflix series. Now that everything has calmed down I will see if I can do a write up next week.
AidanAK47
I was busy trying to discern whether the story had any point besides "Life is shit"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, while I enjoyed punpun, the excessive internal narration, when marathoned, I had to take a break.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come to think of it, I don't even have a phone that does that, haven't bought a new one since 2004.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, you see I could never force myself to browse/type/use the internet on a phone, too used to using a desktop exclusively for that.
AidanAK47
Oh bloody hell. Stupid phone autocorrect. Yeah I meant Punpun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Read Freesia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
AidanAK47
Finished reading Goodnight Pumping. Really not sure on what to think of it. The story kept me reading but it just felt really empty.
Anonymous1276500
There are 2 Nyaa's now. This one is considered the 'real' one: https://nyaa.si
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like anirena is down for me. Although it looks like nyaa went back up as this: https://nyaa.pantsu.cat/
SuperMario
Aidan: Fate/Apocrypha, Made in Abyss, Kakegurui
Mario: Princess Principal, 18if, Youkoso
Lenlo: Touken Ranbu, The Reflection
Wooper: Ballroom, Shoukoku no Altair
Helghast: Re:Creators
SuperMario
Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
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