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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reaLjustified
@K-Off Good idea to make a biography page, it looks neat.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Yeah, as much as I enjoy Train to Busan, the plot is very thinly written with just about enough characterization and subtext to make it work. Well, if that's the case I can see myself enjoy Seoul Station even more.
K-Off
In the live action the sole emotional connection (for me at least) was in the main character's redemption, but it was just enough to keep me hooked. In Seoul Station, they built multiple points of interest in people and locations around the main characters. Which is why it was so much more effective in terms of getting us connected very early on. Reminded me of I Am a Hero in that sense.
K-Off
@Mario I'm not too picky with animation, and Seoul Station's choppy frame rate didn't distract me too much from the story. It was solid, there was a believable build up and an intense climax. It felt like a tighter script than TtB which is why I feel like it played its emotional links better.
K-Off
Well, that's that. @Bam @Afgm, create your own bios and avatars, and I'll add them into our "About" page.
K-Off
@Masky Ignore that, it must be your browser cookies that are still keeping that function.
Masky
Huh, register? I just write my name over and over again, I haven't actually registered
Kaiser Eoghan
It was that breaking the habit video I imagine that got you guys listening to linkin park back then.
Anonymous71936
;( Now I can't use my previous handle...
Anonymous71936
Ha... New shout box.
There's a lot more people now too.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: really? I never care one inch about the podcast. It just doesn't appeal to me at all. I guess I pretty much enjoy reading more.
SuperMario
@Aidan: everyone thought Linkin Park was cool back then, but now their songs just fallen apart. I still have a soft spot for Arvil Lavigne, even when her songs getting teenisier as she's getting older. Still can't believe she sing that boyfriend song when she was on the verge of divorcing her first husband
Kaiser Eoghan
I'd be in full support of podcasts being done on this site again.
Kaiser Eoghan
Actually I remember blackanimecritic actually posted on here a few times.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was a guy called animeoverviewer years back who I followed. I can remember watching a few of blackanimecritics videos but not many.
Kaiser Eoghan
I guess I found some amusement from him, he did that re-zero 1-6 review too.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I watched his "will I grow out of anime video" and his "anime dubs video" and a video he made about how anime fans/anime is perceived/is anime mainstream video. Also his video on the harem genre.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Pretty sure I bought a cd of Avril Lavigne and linkin park way back when...and it's for these reasons I wish I could time travel and give myself a good kick up the ass.
AidanAK47
Kaiser, you watch Gigguk?! That's pretty surprising...
SuperMario
My problem is that I rarely have free time myself, but when I do I'm just sort of surfing around all the useless stuffs (like that Digibro's video). Talking about embarrasing taste, I just checked out the CDs I bought back in 2006 and there were stuffs that I had no idea why I bought them in the 1st place: Hilary Duff, High School Musical 2...
Kaiser Eoghan
I've been warned enough about digibro on here to not even bother watching his videos.
The only anime orientated youtuber I kind of watch is Gigguk.
Kaiser Eoghan
Or back in the days where I would marathon a whole series in one sitting.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean I remember one weekend a few years back I watched five films in one sitting and went "Holy shit look at the time" afterwards.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'd be too tired too often. I'd frequently get into something so much that I'd lose track of how long I spent on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Like when I look back on my film tastes from the early 2000s up until 2013, embarrassed by them. I think when I got round to rating anime/films it particularly showed how my tastes had changed.
AidanAK47
Heh, Digimon. Autocorrect can be a pain.
I am not gonna deny that I think there is such a thing as shit taste and even admit my taste in anime was terrible when I started out. However those bitching about others tastes need to be aware of the weaknesses in their own. Again, this guy bitching about shit taste hails K-ON as a anime masterpiece. Nuff said.
AidanAK47
I tend to lose track of time more than get tired. Hell I forgot to write up the Mob psycho reveiw today. God, I never seem to have enough time. Outside of work I don't even know what i did with my time.
SuperMario
About Digimon, I just watched 2 of his videos and they rubbed me the wrong way too. While I agree that everyone needs to have a bias, because bias/preference is what makes you different than others, "taste" so to speak. But bitching about others' tastes is just plain terrible. I have a feeling he never really think through outside of his opinions. Hence you're correct Aidan
SuperMario
Haha, fell asleep as I was writting Thunderbolt Fantasy review yesterday. Makes me wonder of it's just me or any writer having the same problems sometimes?
@K-off: great, tell me what you think afterward. I watched Train to Busan last week and I enjoyed it. It's a great piece of entertainment. The thing I like the most is the pacing. Everything just so quiet until all hell breaks loose
AidanAK47
@Fongstar, we had it faster before but it caused too much stress on the server. Either way the old one didn't refresh at all.
Fongstar
@K-Off well that's not really reliable since it's faster to just refresh the page.
K-Off
@Mario Going to watch Seoul Station tonight.
@Fongstar It updates every 2 minutes.
K-Off
Well this ought to be entertaining. The intern brought some home made chicken sandwiches but it turns out some of the chicken were undercooked. Hope I don't get fucking salmonella.
Fongstar
@Aidan ratsgnoF here ;D New chat box looks nice. Does it update without refreshing page?
AidanAK47
As we said. Still working on it. We will be giving you guys the ability to register with the site as well.
Anonymous71331
the main reason is that the new chatbox doesn't log guest users out correctly, so the only users who can keep their usernames are those who are actually registered with wordpress/the site (i.e. the admins, authors, etc)
Anonymous71331
that's not the only reason
Masky
(yeah I know its because the old shoutbox required you to make a name and give email :D)
Masky
Is it just me or have we had more anonymous users sending messages lately? xD
Masky
Good for you?
Anonymous70992
i lik da hentai
AidanAK47
Even if someone says they hate Re:Zero which I practically love by this point, I can honestly see why they would. I was planning to put that in my final review of the show as while I think it's merits outweigh the flaws, it still does have problems.
AidanAK47
@Masky, yep. I know I have a bias for Fate so in that regard you won't see me attempt to justify its flaws with flimsy logic. I know what's wrong with it. In the same way I know that slice of life, comedy and should just don't appeal to me so I refrain from being to harsh. I know the flaws in the things I like, unlike Digi who still seems to be putting forward K-ON as some anime masterpiece.
Masky
Honestly, I do my best to not actually remember those channels. I don't want to give them more viewers. And yeah, even channels dedicated to hating hate channels are part of the problem.
Anonymous70806
You mean like Keemstar? Or you can even do the whole "pot calling the kettle black" and include channels dedicated to hating channels like him.
Masky
Also I hate google/youtube for keeping reccomending me anti sjw rant videos, I don't fricking care~ I don't watch political videos on youtube goddangit
Masky
Anyhoo, hipster be hipsters, some people will say too much about what tastes other people should have and whatever, but only producers I actively dislike on youtube are the ones who base their channels around insulting other channels
Masky
@Aidan: Just to check, you are completely aware of your biases then? :D
Anonymous70760
Every mother in anime tries to be a milf
Kaiser Eoghan
I know fully well if the H-scenes were voiced in different languages to Japanese I'd probably get more out of them.
Kaiser Eoghan
Such contradiction, find myself unable to stand anime milfs, yet most actresses I'd admit to saying are good looking have been older than me, even in the old films I watched them in when they were younger than they are now.
Kaiser Eoghan
....I think in some cases for H-scenes they get voice doubles.
Kaiser Eoghan
Isn't Roriconfan/thatanimesnob another example of contrarianism? Or maybe its just bias , I think he might be bias toward old scifi anime.
AidanAK47
I bet you that once Re:Zero is over that he will post a video claiming its not as good as everyone made it out to be because he wrote it off fast in its first episodes. He will nitpick the hell out of it to save his pride. I bet you he will.
AidanAK47
It does feel at times that he goes against mainstream opinion for the sake of going against mainstream opinion. I do think there's some value in his videos talking about the industry(except his irrational hate of A1 pictures) but his personal opinion pieces tend to rub me the wrong way.
AidanAK47
A testament to this is those "I can judge an series by the first episode" which are essentailly self mastibutary tripe about his apparent abilty to gauge an entire series worth on its first episode. Of course this opinion is invalidated when the man literally states he has a tendency to drop anything on the first episode and his drop list has plenty of examples of get better later.
AidanAK47
@Supermario, we mentioned Digital before and as I said then I don't like him. He's too unaware of his bais and some have accused him of being a hipster. He tends to backpedal on his videos by stating he doesnt intend to convince anyone but it's clear he believes his own bullshit even when he's just wrong.
AidanAK47
@K-Off, in VNs All Ages doesn't really mean what you think. It's pretty much a version of a Visual novel with sex scenes removed and not much else. So an All Ages VN doesn't literally mean its suitable for all ages.
SuperMario
Just stumbled through "The Most Boring Anime Taste" video essay by Digibro and I found it bullsh*t. He attacked other's taste just because it was too "safe"? Who is he to judge? Why does he get so work up on that nonsense 3x3 mosaic? Why do I even bother to listen to it (and I did). Words fail me.
K-Off
Christ, the site now loads in 77 milliseconds in Europe. You poor Australians with your 7 seconds. Although, I want to do something about that.
@Aidan All ages? Bit weird considering I don't expect many kids to play that game anyways, so I understand fans' gripes. But in the end, people always get up in arms over the dumbest shit like censored nudity.
SuperMario
People actually said that men tend to treat their partner (when they're living together) exactly the way they treat their moms, so here you go.
afgm
I wonder if your attitude towards moms is correlated with your relationships with and attitudes towards women in general.
Anonymous68919
mothers are mothers, if they are bitches, leave them, but don't hate them. never
Anonymous68919
look nice. i prefer the one at the top. just looks more vast to me... and i's a change of pace to the current
AidanAK47
@Anon68842, depends on the type. If it's the abusive drunk ignorant type then yeah, fuck em. But if we are talking the ordinary variety I say give them a break. They do more for you that you might think.
Anonymous68842
fuck them
Anonymous68842
we agrees that moms are bitches
AidanAK47
And in Visual novel news, Dies Irae is getting a localisation. That's another one off the VN bucket list. I heard it was notoriously hard to translate. Though people are making a stink over it being all ages but I couldn't care less. All ages just means no shoehorned sex scenes and that's fine in my book.
AidanAK47
@Topgavin, I never quite got that from Honoka but I prefer a character to be imperfect rather than perfect. Saints are boring and having a character always do right is predictable. While I somewhat understand the appeal, one thing that never sat right with me regarding "cute girls,cute things" shows is how utterly manufactured the characters are.
Topgavin
Started watching Love Live and it's made me wonder; is it better to have an mc that does things annoyingly wrong or satisfyingly wrong? Like, Yui from k-on does a lot wrong but it never leads to anything wrong or bad, but Honoka's rather selfish and ends up screwing things up for people. I know doing this is good for char. development but I honestly enjoy these shows more as moeblob peacefulness.
Anonymous66886
Hey
afgm
i did summer session so I have a midterm every two weeks
K-Off
@afgm Midterms? Most university/college systems would be starting school right around this time.
afgm
Midterms have been slowing me down considerably haha
afgm
@K-off: yeah I did! thanks for that. I've been looking through the code stuff, just getting to know it.
reaLjustified
I think the rabbit character does the job
reaLjustified
I think the banner might look even better without the girl. Or make her tiny and off in the distance. I don't know, I'm not an artist by any stretch so that's just me.
K-Off
Finally bought my first new car, a 2015 Altima, my used Sentra served me well for 3 years but damn was it a pain in the ass, and of course its trade in value was fuck-all. But luckily my credit is good enough for me to land a relatively low annual interest rate. Which is excellent because I need to shave off my remaining student loans to maximize my dti since I want to purchase a home
Kaiser Eoghan
You might say the new banner will be...Friendtastic!
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm fairly content with either the top one or the bottom one either way. Though the current banner does have the character standing on the left.
K-Off
@Friend Looks great, and I prefer the bottom one. Maybe it's just me but the tree hugging the leftmost edge makes it look a little inclusive.
@Afgm Forgot to tell you but I did change your status a few days ago, hope you noticed it.
afgm
It's beautiful, Friend
Fri3nd
@Anonymous Thank you, it's my values, a quick lasso selection and a levels adjustment should give that a quick fix :P
Anonymous60656
Looks really nice. some lighting variation to create a sense of depth and atmosphere would be nice @Friend. It looks quite flat for some reason even though you have four layers to play with
Ikhta
@Kaiser Eoghan Yeah I think the same too. Hopefully. Thanks Kaiser
Friend
Here is what it will more or less look like by the end (https://i.imgur.com/hnB8lpd.png) I'm going to render the rest and add more atmosphere with some wisps of light. Let me know which one you prefer! If I'm not happy with it by the end I might even just scrap it, I don't want to force a design for the site :D
afgm
heard*
afgm
Unfortunately, I have heared that Amanchu is actually propaganda from an alien species set on annihilating civilization through cultural and religious dominance
Kaiser Eoghan
@Ikhta: You can relax on that front and breathe easy, Amanchu is basically simple, cute slice of life quasi-sports comedy that kind of gets more moe-ish later on.
Ikhta
Oops sorry. After I send a msg, I can see my previous msgs. Sorry about that. Weird, why is the chat box like this o_o
Ikhta
I just reloaded the page my msgs are gone. Wth is wrong with this website? Why was msg deleted?
Ikhta
Does anyone know?
Ikhta
Hi can anyone tell me is Amanchu illuminati or not? I'm a christian. I don't want to be watching it if its demonic,anti christ or illuminati.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm syked for baldr sky and that other apparently fucked up one thats getting translated soon we talked about with ninja.
Kaiser Eoghan
...damn you shoutbox...auto-hyphening me as you do...
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, how things change, at 19? I think I was at the time I remember un-ironically thinking school days ending/second half was clever/different/subversive. Now I find it idiotic, silly and manipulative regarding the protag being a cheap attempt to get the audiences hate.
Kaiser Eoghan
Some don't seem to like the second season of EF as much as the first, just putting that out there. I remember its visual style being a selling point and shaft at their A-game stylistically. Wish I'd watched it dubbed though, the eyepatch girls voice was irritating as all hell in Japanese.
AidanAK47
EF is alright. I can promise it's not another school days.
Anonymous59512
Bleh 91days running behind schedule and had to run a recap episode. Doesn't bode well.
Anonymous59460
Do you recommend that I watch EF? I don't want another School Days.
AidanAK47
Yep. They are making it out that shes a relative of Luvia.
Masky
I mean, I didn't even realize she was supposed to be a Finn before you said that, I didn't caught on that when anime called Miyu "transfer student from Finland", its because Luvia sort of adopted her into Edelfelt family or something?(iirc)
Masky
Anyway, so regardless of subjective experiences, does anyone have a clue why Luvia Edelfelt is a Finn anyway? .-. I'd have thought she is anime British... Is there actual reason besides "let's pick random European country"?
Masky
Yeah I wouldn't mind message deletion on those ones
AidanAK47
If you want I can delete those messages. Anyway this chatbox refreshes every two minutes so you might need to refresh the page to see new posts.
Masky
I mean, like, you pointed out that I was talking about superficial stuff right before I point out that I was referring to superficial stuff :'D So yeah, blergh, wasted time writing that
Masky
Also ah dang it, you posted something right before I posted it so you just ninja'd me .-.
Masky
Meant to write "(so countries that aren't England, German, France-)" xD
Masky
Oops typo there
Masky
Well yeah, I haven't checked how many times each of different European countries are mentioned in variety of Japanese media, all I said was that out of lesser known countries(England, German, France, Spain, etc) I have seen Finland referred most and that weirds me out xD
AidanAK47
Anyway I get what you mean but I feel you just focus too much on drawing connections on a superficial level. If you simplify something down you can draw connections between anything but it's the details that make all the difference.
AidanAK47
@Masky, But whats the point of making a statement if that statement isn't true or at least holds ground? Generalized statmements are annoying because they are often said in ignorance because the one making the statement hasn't bothered to verify it and is basing it entirely on an unreliable and selective memory.
Anonymous58340
Things that are generally true tend to be true generally
Masky
This is why generalized statements are annoying, because someone always take them too seriously and nitpicks "but it doesn't happen that often" or "when you say always it isn't always" xD
Masky
I dunno why I bother sometimes, since its not like you want to understand what I mean anyway : D
Masky
@Aidan: Bah, meanie~
afgm
the technology isn't super refined yet, but it definitely has the potential to make drawn animation obselete
afgm
The setting is especially enriched by the CGI
afgm
Berserk is amaaaziiing! Oh my god! The animation is so detailed, movement wise! You can't get that with drawings.
afgm
@SuperMario: lol yeah
AidanAK47
@Mario, That sucks. Though I often find realistionships too troublesome to bother with.
AidanAK47
@Masky, no you often don't. You tend to make random generalized statements. Hence why I assumed this was also a generalisation based on small cases. And it still is.
SuperMario
But Flowers of Evil is a great series, I agree
SuperMario
@afgm: you talking 'bout the anime, right? Because the events after the anime are when sh!ts just got real.
afgm
It's one of my favorite series
afgm
@SuperMario: Flowers of Evil is anti-romance, but it is a celebration of love apart from it. Nothing makes me more hopeful than to watch a protagonist recover from a prolonged and debilitating manic episode.
Masky
So I guess technically she does have Finnish name even though it doesn't really sound like it to my ears...
Masky
Just to note Luvia is tiny municipiality here, never heard of it before though. Edelfelt sounds like it has Swedish origin, but it is name that is name of apparently somewhat famous Finnish painter. I haven't heard of that guy, but I don't really know many Finnish painters because I'm not into art history.
Masky
Joking aside, like I said, Finland is mostly mentioned in otaku pandering material for some bizarre reason. For example, I once saw review of game that is about stripping vampires(not hentai game, can't remember name though) and I noticed it had one random Finnish character who actually did have Finnish name.
Masky
@Aidan: Hah, take that for being arrogant "its on your head" : D I know what I'm talking about most of the time
SuperMario
But isn't it fitting that the anime/manga I'm currently following is Flowers of Evil, a pretty much anti-romance manga. Well, might as well write a reflection on the manga if I feel up to it :)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I wish I were joking, but it's okay. I don't want to bring the atmostphere of the shoutbox down by my personal affairs.
@afgm: thanks man. Well I'm just keep moving on, no use thinking back too much on that.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh. whoa whoa, I thought Mario was taking the piss/joking with that post...thought wrong.
afgm
@SuperMario: That sucks man. How are you holding up? I know long distance relationships can be hard to maintain -- it gets pretty lonely.
Kaiser Eoghan
Really glad to see that Vinland saga has gotten properly good again, it was starting to get back on track slowly but surely, now it, with this new chapters revelation fully has,
Kaiser Eoghan
Ireland was mentioned in Nabari no ou and an episode of original gundam, two of gundam 00s characters are Irish.
Kaiser Eoghan
I don't like generalized statements, much prefer Colonelized ones actually.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was a dating sim adaptation by studio deen in 2003 that did a girl of the week format, one of the girls was finnish.
SuperMario
Just broke up with my girl after 3 years. Figure that it never works out for a long-term relationship... (That's a generalized statement right there)
AidanAK47
So that's one. Can't say I remember seeing Finland elsewhere besides that show where all the countries are turned into anime characters.
AidanAK47
Luvia Edelfelt is from Finland?! Well damn you learn something new every day.
AidanAK47
And now I find a screenshot of them saying Miyu is from Finland. Which is weird because nothing of the sort was mentioned in the manga.
AidanAK47
Most I seen was anime characters saying Norway which was generally used as a means of saying NO WAY.
AidanAK47
@Anon48363, its sad that when I see a comment like this my first reaction is suspecting its a Bot. Thanks though.
@Masky, nope. No they didn't. I think this may be in your head.
Anonymous48363
Been enjoying the site for 7-8 years, if not longer. Thank you for your efforts in keeping the editorial line intact wrt reviews and happy to discover new content in the process. Keep up the good work!
Masky
Anyway, speaks of your "high taste" I guess. Finland gets brought up in some of otaku fanservice material for some bizarre reason. I'm weirded out by that since Finland is most obscure backwater place I've seen mentioned most out of other obscure countries xD
Masky
Of course it is possible I'm remembering wrong too(and did read wrong) and they did mention it only once :P
Masky
How funny you say that and then mention that weird magical girl spinoff right after wards xD The part where they introduce Miyu to rest of class has teacher saying she is transfer student from Finland, unless I read subtitles wrong
AidanAK47
Gonna wait on the Prisma Illya episode post. Figure I cover two episodes in one considering the slow pace isn't giving me much to work with.
Got to say I thought this would give me much more to talk about.
Total users: 26

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