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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Kaiser-Eoghan
Btfo Alexander of Russia OMO.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hahaha YES The peoples will has been mentioned in golden kamuy, excellent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: She's a coin toss with me .
AidanAK47
Made some changes. Try joining again.
SuperWooper
The Discord button works for me, Anon. I'll bring it up with Aidan to see if there's anything we can do on our end.
KTravlos
Ok LOGH episodes 10 and 11 were quite good, and it hit me harder than the original on how much talent the alliance lost at Armistar. That said episode 10 at the end showed a major problem with rendition which is long filling shots (in this case the imperial fleets taking flight).
Anonymous2254364
The Discord "Join Server" button leads me to an "Invite Invalid" page, and from there to: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001556852
SuperMario
I'm thinking of catching Maquia in theater as well. I'm not too hot on Mari Okada but every anime releases in global cinema should be a cause for celebration
Kaiser-Eoghan
Part of me is considering seeing Maquia , anime films don't get shown over here often, I feel I should support the cinema releases.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That was essentially my concern, that the writers would muck up Yuri's decision and create some hole in the story. Though they definitely need to commit to killing him off now.
Lenlo
I had a suspicion it would happen Amagi. I figured it would be a question of Yuri's character which way he went, even if I suspected this would be his choice
Amagi
@Lenlo & Kaiser: I expected this to happen. I was only unsure because I didn't know how deeply integrated Yuri's gear was. It's the only good way to conclude his character arc and the series as a whole. Kinda hope that all those "die"-death-hints are actually just a metaphor for the death of gears and the commercialised power-augmentation in sports.
Amagi
@Aidan: yeah and they're overinterpreting stuff. When you really love a series and watch it 10+ times you'll notice things nobody else will ever see and things that are most likely not even there or at least not planned. Then they see a sequel or somethign for the first time and of course they won't see the same 100 hints and deepnesses they believe to see in the original
Lenlo
Alright. Personally, I am pumped for Megalo Box's finale. I am so glad I was right in what Yuri did. It was great at building it up. Heres hoping it doesnt throw it away next week
AidanAK47
Like that's what really annoys me about Evangelion fans. The way they talk about the show, they assume that Anno was completely aware of the impact the series would have from the start and planned every intricate detail to perfection regardless of importance. But that's not just untrue by opinion, but is objectively proven untrue.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, There are some legitimate complaints like the audio Muxing not being great. But I hear stuff like the original character in the first season being SO much deeper and think "What?". If it's one thing that really annoys me, it's when people start talking about a show like it's a planned masterpiece.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Risky move there by Yuri in megalobox ep12.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes the voice acting isn't good in both versions, Elfen lied and the original flcl didn't have great voice acting either in English or Japanese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got into the habit some years ago of watching most anime with dual audio because I used to do short reviews once upon a time and switching back and forth between subs and dub while marathoning a show gave me best of both and I could talk about both the English and Japanese versions when reviewing.
Amagi
I usually don't even watch dubs but considering that there is no other option here (yet) I did it and think it's pretty good, especially Haruko.
Amagi
@Aidan: Was thinking the exact same thing about FLCL. I fail to see how the original is much different than the sequel. For me it's pretty much the same thing - they tried to keep the style but change the frame to avoid copying it 100%. I enjoy the new series and love the characters.
AidanAK47
Dubs pretty good. Watched it dubbed myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably a good thing then that I haven't seen the original in a long time then, which I thought was alright but got better as it went along. How is the dub? Only the dub is out as far as I looked on Nyaatorrents.
AidanAK47
Alright, finished the 3 episodes out. I enjoyed it. It was a fun watch. But I gotta say that the reaction online is rather annoying. I see the original series getting placed on a higher and higher pedestal. Part of the reason I may be enjoying this series is because I didn't examine the previous series under a mircoscope and pretty much acknowledge that it was just a animators showcase.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Probably not as GREAT as Onizuka though.
AidanAK47
So I started watching the new FLCL and let me say that this new teacher is the greatest teacher I have ever seen.
AidanAK47
Don't think it's on Netflix. Though I think that Stardust crusaders is airing dubbed.
Amagi
Is this series on Netflix? It was always one of the few anime that were very popular in the West while still airing weekly and with subs (and despite the fact that we didn't even have the manga in the West)
Amagi
Man that's awesome. Also I have to admit that part 6 is probably my favorite so it's great to know that they'll most likely animate everything.
Amagi
What the hell
AidanAK47
JoJo's part 5 anime announced and it's about goddamn time.
Lenlo
Id agree to that. Im mostly interested in where it goes after what looked like a pretty final ending. Im guessing timeskip of some kind, or World Line switch
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't think any of the drama in this episode rung false.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pretty satisfied with steins;gate this week, kept things moving and the stilted style of the show didn't get in as much the way of the setpiece that was in this episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite surprised by how I've gotten over a 100 chapters in and Asirpa hasn't been fanserviced explicitly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
HH Holmes had a death hotel actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I think one of the criminals was based on a real person.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The author really likes referencing real people to, Bonnie and Clyde , Ed Gein, some American agriculturist and the inventor of some refile .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its very true that golden kamuy does get goofier and thats true for the manga also, though theres a prisoner weirder than the one in episode 11 he does advance the plot further. One of the soldiers gets some backstory too. Sometimes the goofiness works but at others doesn't.
SuperMario
I'm watching the new FLCL and planning to review it once it's done. Maybe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In my quest and love of historical manga I wound up running into this, these guys are translating it over at their site: https://blog.manga.club/blog/mangaclub-blog-vol-10-jose-rizal-serialization/
Lenlo
Not yet, no. Plannin on it this weekend
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are three episodes of the new flcl out. I haven't seen it yet and its been ages since I saw the original, has anyone watched any of the new series?
Lenlo
I can understand that. Anything less than a 3 I often dont finish/deem worthy even being talked about. In anime or movies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its too hard to give 1/5s or 2/5s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite my complaints I gave it a 3/5.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....feck sorry about that. I didn't think anyone else on here would have been interested =< Thanks for removing it.
AidanAK47
Come on Kaiser, even if I didn't get anything out of it doesn't mean that other people won't. Best not to put a big spoiler on the front page of the site.
AidanAK47
Just deleting a spoiler there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That production company tend to do quite poor trailers that misrepresent their films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would probably punch someone for laughing/talking during a horror film though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Babadook did the grief horror better. Though honestly my favourite horrors this year weren't American ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Upgrade might end up being more fun, which is an action horror comedy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: While terribly schmalzy and lacking a proper ending, quiet place had a better idea and atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end it just felt like comparisons to Rosemary's baby and the Exorcist hurt the film. I just thought it was an awkward mix of commercial and indie horror. Like a lesser version of the conjuring.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I didn't laugh but I also couldn't really feel it/connect with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I also disliked how it answered its questions and story rather than leaving stuff unexplained and the actual exposition in the last act was quite awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: I saw it on Thursday, it doesn't live up to the witch or even it comes at night. On one hand I appreciate limiting the jumpscares and gore, going more for atmosphere and character drama. Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne kind of hold it together for me. But the two kids, like in most horror films were awful.
AidanAK47
Just seen Hereditary. The so called scariest film since The Exorcist.
So scary that people in the cinema were laughing.
Vonter
I've been playing Hollow Knight on Switch. It's perhaps the longest metroidvania game I've ever played. The game has a nonlinear progression with a lot of optional areas, which add wonder to the somber and mysterious tone of the game.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also like how much Nagai overstylizes, overdesigns his characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not that its abandoned its comedic elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Sash: The twin tailed girl got impaled and its gone in a somewhat darker direction yes.
Sash
apparently cutie honey is getting devilman vibes.. haven't watched it though so take this with a grain of salt
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Somewhere in my head is an image of Baraka from mortal combat in the same picture as Himiko Toga.
Lenlo
Hero Aca, still my favorite Shounen.
AidanAK47
Just got the Re:zero Blu-ray a whole ten days before it's officially released. Gotta be the first to see the dub.
Lenlo
Yeah. Her whole scene was terrible. As much as I loved Maho in a pando costume, it should have stopped there. We didnt need the groping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
FERRIS NYAN-NYAN OmO kill it, kill it with muh-fire, kill it with muh-fire.
Lenlo
Also, Megalobox, hot damn. I love it. I love it all. Mmmm I cant wait.
Lenlo
Partly, yeah. Im mid writeup for it. Suffice to say the fan-service was... alittle awkward to me
Kaiser-Eoghan
Filler episode of Steins; gate this week.
Lenlo
I cant wait to see it, ive heard good things
Amagi
Damn I love Megalobox so much it's my favorite series this season.
AidanAK47
I can't wear a suit to work everyday
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wotaku's
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware that you un-intentionally stealth cosplay as watoki's protagonist each time you go to work.
AidanAK47
Pretty sure Psgels is paying to keep the site up but it's not a sum that one would consider significant. Site is dirt cheap.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've thought about using MPC as an extra player, while mainly using vlc, but vlc can be buggy for me sometimes in that it lags and pixelates the video often , I've used MPC on videos that vlc bugs-out on and they work better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Out of curiosity, what videoplayer (example media player, realplayer, winamp, vlc, mediaplayer classic)do all of you use for watching anime?
Lenlo
You silly old people
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol how do you think I feel, I've been at this for 20 years =P
SuperMario
All these "confessions" just underline how old we all are; and still keep on that stupid hobby after all those years :))
SuperMario
I first visited the site around 2009, 2010 but was pretty much a lurker until I started writing for the site.
SuperMario
As far as I know, psgels gave the admin privilege for K-Off and Aidan, and it's K-Off who pays for the site now (other admins pls confirm)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I have no idea how much it costs to keep the blog up, he could always end up stopping paying for it if he needed to cut costs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually curious in estimating how much longer the blog has left. Obviously psgels must be still paying to keep the site up, but he is, of course only mortal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The blog began in 2005, but I started reading it in 2009, began posting on the chatbox in 2010.
Amagi
I wonder which weekly review was the first one I've read on psgels. I remember .hack//roots but not sure if it was the first one. Could very well be the case, though.
Amagi
Nevermind, despite being an old as shit reader I never actually read the whole text of the about-part.
Amagi
How old is this blog anyway? I am a regular reader since 2006 or something although it was only recently that I started talking here.
Lenlo
Oh I know all about that Kaiser. It was amazing to read about
Raggers
Wow, this is still going? Good on you guys
Kaiser-Eoghan
*wiki article
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Read the cultural impact of the original ashita no Joe on the youtube article, Japanese actually mass mourned him
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some writers just know how to get an un-explainably effective rhythm going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always struggle with commenting/reviewing mood pieces and slice of life mood pieces especially, even when I finish something in the genre sometimes I'll go "I don't understand why this worked so well for me, why wasn't it boring?"
Anonymous2194677
Microsot E3 Press Conference was nuts, they showed too many games.
Anonymous2189608
Hey guys, I made/edited my very first video about a show I greatly love, hope you'll give it a watch too:

https://youtu.be/PdjwePOIbQA
Anonymous2187735
Yeah, and an NES prequel to Bloodstained Ritual of the Night launched a couple of weeks ago. And while easier than NES castlevanias it's quite fun. Also very cheap only $10.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Alas, I've not kept up much with the videogame scene in a number of years. I know there's a spiritual successor to castlevania being made though.
Anonymous2187735
Sorry Nightmare Creatures its what it's called.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually come to think of it, the 64 games probably had more vampires than the others I played.
Anonymous2187735
Have you played the game that inspired this Castlevania? Deadly Creatures?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Never did get round to playing as Henry though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the garden stage being especially frustrating as Schneider because of how slow he moved.
Anonymous2187735
Also that game demands you to play on normal or higher to play beyond that nitro stage.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember having to finish the game in a day because I was saddled with constantly rubbish memory cards for my N64.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry, I post fast and long so some of what I say probably might get missed/skimmed over.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually I did mention it, called it the nitro stage.
Anonymous2187735
Still I think despite the flaws it's has become fun for me because I surprisingly get better each time I play it. and last time I make the game chug because of how fast I was progressing.
Anonymous2187735
Yeah. But I'm surprised you don't mention the worst part. The Nitro and Mandragora level. In which you have to go across several rooms without jumping.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I remember the game punishes you for using the item seller guy too much aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember the mansion level being creepy back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the werewolf thing was pretty rad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And then there was that crumbling labyrinth stage. I remember on hard mode you have to fight the chainsaw gardener too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The art tower stage is also annoying if you run out of day/night cards.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also it wouldn't let you finish it properly if you took too long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The N64 castlevanias have so many flaws, weird controls , bad camera , the day and night feature is kind of cool but it also puts a timer on things and certain parts become a pain because of it. They had frustrating bits too like the ice castle part with the weird jump sections and the nitro carrying stage.
Anonymous2187417
Lords of Shadow was another IP the developer had to accomodate into a known IP kinda like Star Fox Adventures.
Anonymous2187417
The other Castlevanias I haven't played are Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. LoS was ok but very long. and it's interquel Mirror of Fate put me off playing LoS2.
Anonymous2187417
I haven't played that one. Seems like a mixed bag. Like Zelda 2 or Metroid 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've seen playthroughs of simon's quest, but we all know why thats a notorious mess.
Anonymous2187417
Castlevania 64 and Legacy of Darkness are also my guilty pleasures. I think if Konami still made Castlevanias it would have tried aping the Souls type of gameplay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember some very very silly voice acting and dialogue in symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I preferred when they were just platform games. Later ones incoperated level up elements if I recall.
Anonymous2187417
After SOTN I think the game coming closer to that greatness is Order of Ecclesia if anything it keeps the difficulty of the classic Castlevanias and puts it in the Metroidvania formula. It has a platforming challenge level that's very satisfying to play.
Anonymous2187417
I've played most of them. Castlevania 3 is a very tough game, but that also makes the journey feel long and rewarding. Rondo of Blood feels like the cornerstone of the series since it's the Castlevania that got most of it's sprite reused in later games.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminds me, the game, clocktower is vaguely inspired by an old Italian horror film.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And symphony of the night.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually feel I should have played more castlevania back in the day, I've played bloodlines, castlevania 4, Dracula X, legacy of darkness, admittedly the last one isn't a good game and is more of a guilty pleasure.
Anonymous2186526
They could still meet Grant in the Clocktower.
Anonymous2186526
I wonder if the second season will be the journey to the castle like in the game. And the third season is entirely in the castle.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Already a season 3 announced.
Lenlo
Oh god yes. I cant wait
Kaiser-Eoghan
New netflix castlevania episodes out next month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was going to mention that. Wish more shows would do o.
Lenlo
Yeah, a lot of plot threads are converging and I like it. My favorite part though was Iglesias and their commitment to non-japanese languages. They were good!
Kaiser-Eoghan
*his bit
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Glad that sachio gets hit bit of backstory and that its well connected to the rest of the overall plot.
Lenlo
Alright Megalo Box was pretty good this week. So much to say
KTravlos
Indeed the Alliance system is atypical of mass democracy. There seem to be no organised parties and lists. Instead administrations seem to be formed on a personalist basis(me and my chums). And the Assembly seems to have very weak powers of oversight. A very flawed institutionally system. But I digress . It is still anime and even from Tanaka I do not expect deep discussion of democratic politics
KTravlos
I mean if two of 9 ministers in an administration resigned in any current representative/competitive election system it would be a big news and embarrassment to the goverment. My guess is that they were blackmailed to stay on, or were too afraid of the war party.
KTravlos
busy weeks (finals and deadlines). Watched the latest LOGH:NT episode. It was ok. A bit dry, but so are many of the episodes of NT or the Original on their own. One think it led me to think is that neither the books , nor the OVA, nor NT explain why Rebelo/Lebello and Huang Rui (the two politicians opposed to the Invasion of the Empire) did not resign in opposition. (Turnhit also opposed but..)
Lenlo
I think its cause of Daru's voice. Hes so overt about it and his voice makes it so clear hes not really being serious about any of that, cause it completely changes when hes talking serious subjects
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah I am watching CCS but funny enough I fell behind too, so it might be someone else you're thinking of
Kaiser-Eoghan
Always felt that Daru strikes a hit when it comes to pervy/otaku characters. Most of them tend to be incredibly annoying.
Lenlo
This episode was nice and chill while still moving stuff forward. I enjoyed it. It does seem like we are hitting the main conflict though, with Amadeus and Maho
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I feel with this episode the plot is really moving along now.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Thats the question aint it? How to savem both? We know he does, cause of the original, but alot happens along the way. Its a great ride
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Featured Posts

Megalo Box – 12 [Leap Over the Edge of Death]

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Megalo Box – 11 [A Deadmarch]

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Steins;Gate 0 – 10 [Pandora of Provable Existence -Forbidden Cubicle-]

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Golden Kamuy – 10 [Fellow Traveler]

New episode, new season, new plan, new scenery and possible new set of enemy too. Considered Golden Kamuy’s track record, I won’t be surprised if the new face Kiroranke, at the risk of Asirpa slaps me on my face for saying so. He’s in the interesting position in all this, both an ex-7th Unit Hokkaido, […]

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