Posted on 31 August 2009 with categories: Guin Saga



It’s episodes like these that really show how good this series has been at building up. Amnelis in this episode was definitely one of the highlights of the entire series for me. And that’s the thing with incredibly flawed characters in a good series: they start out rather annoying, but when they do develop properly, they make much more impact than any Mary Sue could have done.

Remus’ change from wimp to evil overlord happened very sudden, but with Amnelis, her transition from an incompetent princess to a hate-filled warlord has taken up much more time, and this episode really was the key in her development. Not only did he deceive her, but because he has become unreachable for her to even carry out her revenge, it completely changes the way Amnelis used to be. The question is: is her moment to redeem herself going to happen in the next four episodes? If not, then I’ll repeat the same words again: SECOND SEASON WHERE!?

Last episode’s climax was pretty interesting: it suggested an epic fight between Guin and some mysterious orc-like people… and yet the fight was over within a minute, and it just turned out to be a build-up for the Yellow-haired guy’s plans to bring him down. Again: do we get to see whatever he’s building up to within the next four episodes? I have no bloody clue.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



And finally, two years pass and Anne has grown up to nine years old. While it’s good to see lots of development, this episode also confirmed what I’ve been suspecting for a long while now: Anne is not Anne Shirley of Green Gables. She really is just an incredibly bright girl who happens to look similar to Anne of Green Gables, she just happens to share the same name and same name of her parents with her. And hey, Canada’s a big country. It could have happened.

Because in this episode, it becomes clear that Anne hasn’t been attending school for two years. Anne of Green Gables, however, was fully able to attend school; she just couldn’t attend it in the winter because it was too difficult to travel to her school, something which Randolf and Mildred don’t seem to have any problems with.

This show simply shouldn’t have been advertised as “Before Green Gables”, because it simply isn’t. I remember how Budge Wilson commented that she wasn’t going to try and mimic Lucy Maud Montgomery’s style for the novel, and instead would keep to her own. That’s understandable and I fully agree with that. However, she should have kept the characters in canon with the Anne of the Green Gables novel. She seems to be a famous writer with lots of experience. She should have been able to predict how Anne would have looked like in her childhood, which is nothing like the Anne in Konnichiwa Anne.

Nevertheless, this was a very nice episode if you ignore this. We get some background on Walter, the characters have all developed in an interesting way especially since this probably is one of the very first time in which we see a character as detailed as Anne, develop from seven years old to nine years old. Usually, when characters are shown below the age of ten, the creators usually just pick one age as a base, but this series instead shows Anne as a six, seven and nine-year-old.

Anne really strikes me as a child who grew up too fast. Children her age should still be busy goofing around, and being children. Instead, because Johanna has been forced to get a job after Bert’s job backfired, she had to face her adult responsibilities way too early. Because of this, even though Mildred and Randolf are much older than she is, she acts as if she’s of the same grade they are.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Overall, I’m very pleased with this season. There were unfortunately a few series that disappointed this month, but at the same time there were also a lot of shows that exceeded my expectations about them. I think that the most notable of this season is that it’s the very first season in what feels like three years in which Madhouse doesn’t have any series of notable quality. I’m not sure what happened to them, really. Have they been hibernating through the economic recession or something?

Rankings, like the past months are a bit unusual 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.

#30 (29) – Zan Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (6/10) – Okay, so this series has hit new frontiers of boredom for me. After one episode, this got so bad that I suddenly became fascinated by the pattern on my chair. In addition to this series getting less funny with every episode, the non-funny parts are also getting harder and harder to sit through, with especially the incredibly stereotypical characters growing more and more on my nerves.
#29 (20) – Saki – (7,25/10) – The battle between Saki and Koromo unfortunately was a step down for this series. At this point, Koromo was so unbelievably god-moded that the creators had to god-mode Saki as well to give her a chance against her. So in the end this just became a contest of who could pull off the biggest and cheesiest Deus ex Machina. Afterwards, this series never really managed to recover for me. It’s been one cheesy and predictable scene to the other, with hardly any of the character-depth that made the middle episodes so enjoyable.
#28 (25) – Chi’s New Address – (7,25/10) – Okay, so I got impatient with the slow subs and tracked down the raws for this series. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this series is getting any better. There is just an entire lack of direction, and the show just hangs on a string of random episodes that all fail to live up to the first season. There are too many episodes in which Chi randomly causes trouble and breaks stuff, and I think that this series has hit past its expiration date at this point. Such a shame.
#27 (26) – 07-Ghost – (7,5/10) – I hope that for this series, the creators are going to go with an anime original ending. Don’t get me wrong, but this just isn’t a series that’s going to work with a second season, and with an ending that actually wraps up the story there is at least going to be some sort of closure. This show lately has been getting less bearable, with as the depth the really lame Bishop Exam.
#26 (28) – Needless – (7,5/10) – This show really is one of the most vulgar shows I’ve ever seen. The jokes are amongst the dumbest I have ever seen, same with the fanservice. Still, it does what it intended to do: entertain. In terms of mindless entertainment, it really does the job well and doesn’t try to pretend it’s anything more than what it is. At least I can appreciate that.
#25 (23) – Hetalia Axis Powers – (7,75/10) – This month, Hetalia has been adequate. There were no particularly bad episodes, but there weren’t any that stood out either. It’s nothing particularly boring, but I do hope that this show can pick itself up again after this.
#24 (30) – Bakemonogatari – (7,5/10) – I can see that the dialogue for this series is good, but at the same time I have a lot of trouble connecting to the characters because Shinbo took his style way too far. The screen is way too full with pointless visuals, walls of text that appear at the wrong moments, take way too long, and take the focus away from what’s really important: the characters. Seriously, the lead character in particular hardly gets any close-ups when he talks. The camera is always focusing at either his eye, his ahoge, or something completely different. It’s probably because of this that I found the ending of the third arc to be convenient and cheesy.
#23 (17) – Gintama – (7,75/10) – The thing that the new director is going to have to work at is his climaxes. The past oldies arc was pretty good, but the climax just ended up a bit cheesy and was filled with Deus ex Machina.
#22 (16) – Basquash! – (7,5/10) – Basquash was mostly building up this month. It’s going to need it, because I’ve pretty much lost my faith in this series, and only an entertaining ending can save it for me. My biggest issue with this series is that it doesn’t seem to really know what it wants. If it’s supposed to be a fun and entertaining show, then why does it go on and on in pointless drama? If it’s supposed to be a deep and thoughtful show, then why are the characters so unbelievably stupid at times?
#21 (22) – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – (7,5/10) – Now that the Endless Eight has finally ended, I’ve gotten bugged with another of this series’ problems: Haruhi is annoying. Seriously though, the past three episodes of her Sigh have been surprisingly boring and uninteresting. The characters have been acting way too much according to their stereotypes, rather than as actual characters, and the dialogue also suffered a lot. In fact, the dialogue of the entire second season has been far from as detailed as it was in the first season.
#20 (24) – Kuruneko – (8/10) – This series is surprisingly fun, especially now that Chi’s Sweet Home has stopped being funny, there’s enough cats to laugh about here. But I especially like the old lady who keeps the different cats. She has wit, and I love how she always tries to voice everything over.
#19 (13) – Canaan – (8/10) – So in this month, Canaan showed its true colours. Deranged, over the top and very far-fetched colours. While I admit that I would have preferred a bit more subtlety in the storytelling, it still is a pretty nice action series. Just don’t try to go in it expecting any sort of realism…
#18 (18) – Taishou Yakyuu Musume – (8/10) – I’m starting to wonder whether twelve episodes are enough for this series. There’s still so much left to do, and yet we’ve already passed two thirds of the series. Sure, things have been pretty enjoyable slice of life, the characters are quite charming, but are the creators really all right with only four episodes left?
#17 (21) – Konnichiwa Anne – (8/10) – I still hate Henderson, but granted, she was much more annoying in the previous month. Thankfully Konnichiwa Anne has gotten better right now, with the focus nicely balanced between Anne and the side-characters.
#16 (11) – Umi Monogatari – (8/10) – This has been a peculiar little series. It’s strength is that it’s incredibly dramatic, and yet it never delves into melodrama or something that’s so overacted that you can’t take it seriously. It’s a great example of an emotional series: one that’s meant to bring out emotions. At this, it actually fares off pretty well, but this is a Sato Junichi series we’re talking about. He has done so much better in the past, that this series just pales when you compare it to some of its other works. If you don’t though, then it’s pretty nice.
#15 (27) – Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou – (8/10) – This is yet another one of those series that isn’t supposed to be good… and yet it is. Seriously, it has all the elements of yet another dull moe show: overly cute character-designs with weird hair-colours? Check. Stupid fanservice? Check. Overly cute voice actresses? Check. And yet, this series has something that a lot of moe shows nowadays lack. The characters, especially the main character, are all surprisingly genuine; the way they act, the way they interact with each other. It feels like they’re really behaving like themselves, rather than trying to go for forced stereotypes.
#14 (15) – Umineko no Naku Koro ni – (8,25/10) – I think that the biggest difference between Higurashi and Umineko, at this stage in the series, is that Higurashi was much more of a horror series: it used its storytelling and mystery to create a very tense plot. Umineko instead chooses for censored gore and a lot of talking, which neither come really close to horror. Because of this, I like the first nine episodes of Higurashi better than Umineko. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that the mystery in Umineko doesn’t rock. This yet again is a great series to try and formulate theories of what the heck is going on, only to have them proved wrong by this series.
#13 (10) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10) – It’s a shame that this show went into multiple hiatuses during this month, because I really can’t get enough of the craziness in this series. What’s also very peculiar for a comedy is that it’s just consistently awesome: there’s hardly any bad episode, and every episode has something creative that puts a smile on your face. Sure, the episodes are only five minutes long, but still.
#12 (14) – Shin Mazinger Shougeki Z-Hen – (8,75/10) – This show really has become epic in the past month. I must say that it’s really managed to create an awesome story, based on the premise of a few key characters and a powerful giant robot. The twists and turns have only added to the awesomeness, and this series is only getting better and better. In the coming month, it’s finally time for this series to close off with an epic finale, and something tells me that the creators aren’t going to settle with a straightforward ending. There are so many different villains at this point that it’s promising to be a true clash of the titans.
#11 (8) – Pandora Hearts – (8,75/10) – Every time I think that this series couldn’t possibly pull any more plot twists, it does, and with every plot twist the series only gets more intriguing than it already was. Sometimes the creators keep hanging a bit too long around Oz’s development, but overall this still is an excellent series. Now where is that second season?!

#10 (7) – Guin Saga – (8,5/10)

Lots of politics this month for Guin Saga, and I must say that I like it a lot. The cast of characters is really growing beyond belief, but the creators still managed to give most of them their own identity. The lead characters meanwhile also make sure that this remains an epic series.

#9 (5) – Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood – (8,75/10)

It seems that the manga readers aren’t all happy with this adaptation, because of all the things it cut out. Having not read the manga, however, I don’t care. I personally don’t notice anything of the cuts that were made, and especially episode 19 was really good and well animated.

#8 (12) – GA:Geijutsuka Art Design Class – (8,75/10)

This show rocks! Sure, it’s probably a bit boring if you don’t have any interest in art, but this series really is one of the few anime this year that actually taught me something. Aside from that, the creators have managed to keep a perfect balance between fun interactions, slice of life and the educational parts. Not one episode feels like a copy of the others, and every episode it comes with new material, rather than ripping or milking off previous episodes due to a lack of inspiration. This definitely turned into one of the best (if not THE best, along with Cross Game) slice of life comedies I’ve seen this year.

#7 (9) – Cross Game – (8,75/10)

The thing that makes Cross Game so good is that every single episode, no matter how seemingly insignificant, contributes to and develops the characters, if ever so slightly. The pacing is slow, but for this series, it’s just enough to see the characters slowly get more and more complex and likable. That really is the strength of a series by Adachi: sure, he can only write shows of one type, but he’s really, really good at it and hardly ever repeats himself.

#6 (2) – Shangri-La – (8,75/10)

It’s not the best month for Shangri-La, but nevertheless it’s gotten surprisingly solid now that it’s building up to its finale, and it might actually be able to pull off a very enjoyable one at this pace. At this point, the story has gotten epic without sacrificing what made the rest of the series so enjoyable. All it now needs to do is have something awesome happen at the finale.

#5 (6) – Spice and Wolf – (8,75/10)

The biggest difference with the first season is the relationship between Lawrence and Horo: the two of them have become much closer with this season, and yet the creators manage to keep the romance mature and prevent it from being forced. The talk about trading has been as intelligent as ever, which always is a good sign.

#4 (4) – Aoi Hana – (8,75/10)

This series has really been consistently excellent, like I’ve probably said many times before. The romantic relationships are very down-to-earth and realistic and the creators are really good at very subtly fleshing out the characters.

#3 (1) – Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 – (9/10)

At first, when I finished episode 8, I thought that this series was going to finish with a rather uneventful finale that didn’t really live up to the amazing first five episodes. But then when I realized that SPOILER, it suddenly put the entire series in an entirely different light. That’s got to be the SPOILEREST SPOILER I have ever seen, and I really applaud the creators for SPOILER. This has the potential of being a classic if they manage to end this series well. Apologies for the rather cryptic description, but the ones who saw episode 8 will probably get what I mean.

#2 (18) – Kemono no Souja Erin – (9/10)

Yeah, yeah. So I gave in to everyone who praised this series and marathoned it up to episode 33. And oh my God, people surely weren’t kidding when they said that this was one of the best shows of the year! Because of its long length, it really was able to get the best out of the character. Especially Erin, who has now grown up to be eighteen years old, has become one of the best developed characters of this year for me. This series has become so good at portraying the pain-staking work it takes to tame and take care of a wild beast, but also the newly introduced villain is already an awesome one who is going to pose a serious threat to Erin. The back-story for this series has also turned out to be surprisingly solid, and for those who were wondering whether this series would have gotten a bit too childish with the farting bee-keeper: don’t worry. It’s just a small gimmick that returns occasionally.

#1 (3) – Phantom – (9,25/10)

Now that it’s entered its final arc, this series has become utterly amazing, and without a doubt my top pick for the past spring season. Especially Cal’s character-development has been awesome, but Reiji and Helen have also become a joy to watch with all of the development that this series has put in them.

Posted on 30 August 2009 with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



Apparently last week had some sort of important sport event that caused quite a few series to go into hiatus, among which Full Metal Alchemist. Now that it’s back we can continue with the hunt for the Humonculi, and quite a surprising aftermath to the previous episode.

Because as it turns out, Havoc lost his ability to walk. I’m not sure whether this is permanent or temporary (you never know that in anime…), but nevertheless that was a heavy sacrifice that Roy had to pay in order to be able to kill off Lust. On top of that, Ed and Al also realized (with Barry’s original body being the way it was), that Al’s real body might be rotting away right now, and that he might not even be able to go back to it. At the same time, we also learn that Ed seems to be sleeping an awful lot. Something tells me that this is also going to become important later on.

The rest of this episode focused on a plan to lure out the Humonculi. Scar showed up again, in the city that Ed, Al and Roy happened to be in, and so they come up with the idea to use Scar, in order to lure out the Humonculi who seem to get rid of scar. They suspect this because of the way the Homunculi have been fighting scar, and also that the Fuhrer has a good chance of being a Humonculus, if I understood correctly.

Also, for some reason the facial distortions in this episode were a lot more out of control than usual. Especially with Ed on his fixing spree, and afterwards when he tried to talk to Roy Mustang. The scenes themselves were quite hilarious, but they didn’t mesh too well with Scar’s sudden appearance. I liked it more when the comedy was more subtle. That’s really the moment when you don’t know when to laugh or not.

I wonder how Winry’s going to react when she finds out that Ed and Al were chasing the one who killed her parents for revenge. Something tells me that she’s going to find out sooner or later, and I don’t think that she really would have taken revenge if she was in their shoes. Still, at the moment her part in this series has been rather pointless so far, aside for the emotional support for Ed and Al. I do hope that she’s going to end up doing something useful, rather than hog lots of screentime like she did in the first anime series.

And as usual: when discussing this episode, please refrain from mentioning events that happen after this point in the manga.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Cross Game



A big episode for Aoba this time. Up till now we have really seen both her and Kou acting as directed Wakaba’s dreams, rather than for their own. And while that indeed is important for both of them to deal with her sudden death, it also really gets in their way at times. Especially in the case of Aoba, who despite being technically superior to Kou is doomed to stay in his shadow because he just happens to be able to throw faster.

In this episode, she finally did what I’ve been hoping for for a while now: participate in an actual game. In the past few episodes, you could really tell that she was pissed off being seen as inferior to Kou. She kept teasing him about how he was a year higher than she was, and was very sarcastic whenever she talked to him. There is such a thing as a lovers’ quarrel, like you often see in anime, but in Aoba’s case it’s much more than her simply being a tsundere. Especially the new batters, who kept comparing her to Kou hit hard.

But yeah, in this episode, Senda(what happened to the guy, by the way? We haven’t seen him in a while, have we?)’s friend pops up again, with a proposal for her to join the baseball team of her school. Obviously, she did this without the consent of the rest of her team, but in the end Aoba gets a part of a stand-in. Which of course is logical: the teamwork would have been completely disrupted if the pitcher were to change to some girl nobody heard of.

And you know, it’s still pretty obvious that Kou and Aoba are into each other, but after having seen a genuine smile from Aoba a couple of times now, I’m starting to think that the two of them really should spend some time away from each other. Something tells me that when they’re together, they only remind each other of Wakaba: I suspect that Kou keeps seeing Wakaba in Aoba, and he continues to put up a strong image in front of her. Aoba on the other hand is constantly reminded of the guy Wakaba was in love with when she was still alive, and therefore still feels hurt when remembering her. In fact, have Kou and Aoba actually talked about Wakaba when they were together? This may be my memory, but it seems to me that the topic of Wakaba has become some sort of a taboo between the two of them.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai



Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, or Munto TV, was the biggest disappointment of the past Winter Season. Here the creators had a great chance to take a flawed OVA, and spread it across the airtime of a TV-series so that the setting and the characters could finally get the chance to be developed properly. So, what do they do? A bloody recap. Only the final three and a half episodes featured new material, which was way too little for a story of this caliber. Still, with a movie scheduled, it still could redeem itself. But yeah, I guess that you can all see by the rating for this review that it obviously didn’t.

Oh, the announcement for the movie sounded so promising. Even though it would also recap the new footage for the TV-series, it did promise that it was going to be just a “director’s cut of various climactic scenes”, with “new footage” and it “ends with a finale”. Looking back, that was the biggest piece of crap that the creators could ever have come up with to promote this movie.

Let’s start with the “new footage”. Let me tell you exactly how much new footage there was in this movie: three minutes. No, seriously, it has some three minutes of strange back-story slapped on the beginning. Apart from that, everything else simply recaps the TV-series.

So, how about the “director’s cut of various climactic scenes”? Well, apparently the creators found every single scene a climactic one, because the rest of the movie is literally every single scene of the new footage of the TV-series. Even the useless comic relief ones. The only part that is missing is the final part of the last episode. You know, the scene that PROMISED THAT THE STORY WASN’T OVER YET.

And how about “ends with a finale”? Well, this movie sure as heck ends with a finale. The same that the TV-series ended with. Yeah, the same finale with its Deus ex Machina climax, the same finale in which the characters started to act completely out of character, and the same finale in which Munto dressed up the three teenaged leads into sailor uniforms with extremely short skirts. What the heck was the point in advertising that!?

It’s a shame. This series really had potential; if only the creators actually made a remake of this series, panned over 26 episodes or something similar, it would have been really good. This, however, is just crap. Even for a recap-movie, it’s incredibly cheap, the way it was advertised, the way it promised so many things, and instead just chose the laziest way out and even failed in terms of storytelling with that ending. If you want to see what Munto is about, check out the TV-series, skip the rest.

Storytelling: 1/10
Characters: 1/10
Production-Values: 5/10
Setting: 5/10
Posted on 28 August 2009 with categories: Phantom



Oh my God, Cal just becomes more and more awesome with every single episode. Up till now we’ve only seen glimpses of her new version, and what she turned into ever since she was abandoned by Reiji and taken in by Scythe, but only in this episode we get a full grasp of her deep-seeded hate against Reiji. And this episode yet again was absolutely amazing. People have often asked me why the heck I’m such a big Bee-Train fan. Now THIS is why! Time and time again they end up creating a truly awesome cast of characters.

And while it’s indeed true that they sexed up Cal a bit too much, they do get the point across: someone who started out as a sweet little girl is now cursing all over, lost any trace of compassion, living solely for revenge and has no future at all if she does manage to kill off Reiji. What hit me the most was when Reiji asked her to leave Helen alone. It then all hit her that Reiji indeed was the bastard she imagined him to be, who left her for dead and instead is willing to protect Ein with his life.

At this point, Reiji’s apologies and the words that he thought she was dead obviously can’t easily put things right anymore, since they’re just going to come off as cheap excuses. The fact remains that Reiji just walked off without confirming Cal’s dead body, because he was too occupied by Helen. It’s completely understandable, but it completely destroyed Cal’s chance of growing up happily.

Also, I’ve said this many times before, but I really feel the need to repeat that I absolutely love the soundtrack for this series. In this series, it has become much more than simply a bunch of songs that play into in the background. Bee-Train was already experimenting with this kind of soundtrack during Blade of the Immortal, in which it really worked, and for this series they again compiled a crazy soundtrack that’s full of many different songs, ranging from the quiet ones to the mindfuck tracks. These songs aren’t meant to be simple elevator music, but they’ve become a very important part of the storytelling itself, and I really love the way it turned out.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Pandora Hearts



Whoa. Even for Pandora Hearts, this was a surprisingly good episode. Since it already has been two weeks since the plot disappeared (with the previous week a hiatus and the week before that more aimed at comic relief), but damn, I didn’t suspect that the creators were already going to arrive at Break’s background this early.

So this episode basically starts out as Oz manages to get himself an appointment with the person who most likely is to remember something about the tragedy of Sabrie 100 years ago: Rufus Barma, the longest sitting of the four dukes, and a collector of information. Apparently, Oz had heard of him from before he was cast in the Abyss. Makes sense.

Anyway, it then turns out that Barma likes to play with his visitors, and creates a whole illusion to try and hide who he really is. With the threat of the Baskervilles and all, this indeed seems like a wise move. Anyway, it seems that the biggest reason why he accepted Oz’s invitation is because he wants to learn something from Break. On a side-note, the foursome of Break, Oz, Gilbert and Alice look awesome in formal attire. It’s nothing new, but this series sure is good at its costume designs.

Anyway, while this seems nice and all, the second half of this episode completely turns the chessboard upside-down, to come with an Umineko-reference, when it turns out that Break’s background is much darker than I imagined (or should I say, Kevin’s background). In his original time, his family was murdered and he willingly travelled into the abyss to get their murderer back. He already had a contract back then. He then met the White Alice, who turns out to be no-one else but the “Will of the Abyss”. She then pokes Kevin’s eye out, gives it to Cheshire Cat, and kills his chain. wtf. To make things even more inexplicable, a young Vincent (who seems to be an acquaintance of the Will of the Abyss), brings an unconscious Gilbert (who also happens to know her) in and acts like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

This explains quite a bit: it explains how Break knew of the Cheshire Cat, and what he wanted from him (his eye back), it also is probably going to explain why he has such a deep-seated grudge against Vincent. The next episode is probably going to show Vincent doing something really nasty to him. As a result, it’s probably because of this that Break has vowed to find out what happened in the Tragedy of Sabrie: it’s his wish to find Vincent’s weakness, and what Vincent absolutely doesn’t want is the truth about the tragedy to come out. The reason why he refused to sacrifice Sharon has probably to do with his little sister.

Also… about Alice being the Will of the Abyss, this is just a theory but was the Abyss actually created along with the Tragedy of Sabrie? I mean, the people who returned from the Abyss all were special cases: Gilbert and Vincent were there when it was created if this is true, and this would also explain why Vincent knew the Will of the Abyss so well. Break meanwhile was probably the only human who willingly entered the abyss, which seems to be confirmed with how the Will of the Abyss said that he was the only one who maintained his conscience. Oz was special because he found Alice’s locket, which somehow did something with one of the Alices to make some connection.

Also, was I the only one who noticed the weird Rozen Maiden cameos in the Will of the Abyss’s dolls?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0



The past two episodes of this series made me think a lot about the nature of criticism. Especially after the previous episode, which I slammed down for having Yuki supposedly collapse for cheap drama, even though it’s not that weird for people to get sick in these situations. I also remember people who weren’t happy with that episode because it included robots. But yeah, then you have things as this: is it still unrealistic and unbelievable when it’s being used in real life?

I think that a lot of people (including myself; I’ve caught myself doing this plenty of times), whenever they are turned off they start looking for reasons why. These seeming logic flaws are then very easy targets for these criticisms. Ignoring the obvious cases in which a plot twist becomes so stupid or unbelievable that it destroys the entire suspension of disbelief, these things often aren’t the real reasons for these declines in quality, and in the case of very realistic shows as Tokyo Magnitude, you can see people who start blaming things that turn out to be perfectly normal.

In the end, the only thing that I can really criticize this series for is that I don’t like the OP. I’m one of those people who is too lazy to skip through OPs (aside from perhaps marathons), but at the same time I’ve never been a big fan of neither j-pop or j-rock, and Abington Boy’s School is no exception to this rule, and the song they used for this series’ OP is getting more and more on my nerves.

I think the thing with this series is that episodes 2-5 were utterly amazing, and the past episodes, instead of building up to a great climax at the end, instead went to go for a much quieter aftermath. It’s not exactly the same as Eden of the East, where it became clear along the way that the creators just took too much on their plate and badly paced the series after its initial episodes. With Tokyo Magnitude, I think it’s obvious that the past few episodes lacked the same emotional impact of the first five episodes. The question however is: does it need to be?

I’m getting more and more convinced that this show indeed doesn’t really need to be. I’ve become so used to anime, which nearly all have the general pattern of a build-up that gets increasingly full of tension, but here we have an entire subversion of this trope. During an earthquake, the biggest emotional shock comes right after it happens, and after that the tension, while it’s still there, fades as more and more people regain their sensibilities. The more I think about it, the more realistic it becomes.

Anyway, about this episode, aside from the total chaos in the hospital it was a very quiet one. Yuki turns out to be fine for now, while Mirai has visibly grown up while Mari becomes more and more worried as to what happened to her children. It’s a role reversal here: the reason Mirai managed to grow wasn’t just because she had to look after Yuki, but also because Mari, who started out as a mother figure, started to show more and more of her weaknesses. And that was the strength of episode six: its purpose wasn’t to insert some random illness, but instead show that Mari instead was just a human being, and at that point Mirai realized that her whining wasn’t going to help at all to solve the situation, especially since you can really see that she wants Mari to be reunited with her daughter.

As for the reason why Mari refused to take the scooter in episode: she might actually be running away. Take a look at this episode: instead of walking fast, like what I would do when I was worried about someone, she often walks way behind Mirai and Yuki. It’s as if she’s scared to find out that her daughter died.
Rating: ** (Excellent)
Edit: I rewatched this episode, based on your comments, and you’re right: they’ve given this episode a completely different meaning, and what I believed was a rather quiet episode has now become incredibly sad instead. I really have to give thumbs up for the creators for having the guts to go this far.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Basquash!



Okay, that’s it. This series has completely given up any form of logic at this stage. I mean, seriously. It surpasses itself in terms of stupidity in this episode. There were plenty of moments in this episode that just made me ask… “why?!”.

A list of bullet-points of all the wtf-moments of this episode:
– Satelight: what the heck are you doing making Flora fall IN LOVE with Dan. There are five episodes left, for God’s sake. What the hell are you doing slapping on a harem at the last possible minute?!
– In this episode, Dan and Flora end up abandoning everything else in order to be able to reach Rouge’s last concert on time. In order to get through some sort of customs that are in the way, they dress up as women. Never mind the question where they got these clothes from, DAN STILL DOESN’T REALIZE THAT FLORA IS A GIRL.
– To make things worse, even though he thought of the clever plan of dressing up, he ends up blowing his cover, simply by getting into another fight with Spanky.
– There are lots of guards at the customs, with advanced weaponry, mechas and professional equipment. Dan blows his cover right in the middle of them, surrounded by about two dozen of these guys. And yet they let them go. They don’t arrest a criminal who is wanted for committing multiple crimes and who even is notorious enough to have entire billboards full of wanted posters. Yes.
– Also, check this picture of Rouge as she’s lying under some medical thingy. What the hell is up with that waste? I mean, anorexia is one thing, but this is just ridiculous.
– Later in the episode, Dan and Flora get themselves surrounded yet again. All these soldiers are armed with guns. Dan fights them off… with a basketball. A freaking basketball. Versus dozens of guards. And he actually wins.
– To make matters even more ridiculous, Flora finds this a good moment to show her real identity. She pulls off her clothes, under which her full princess outfit was hidden.
– The only thing that all of the guards are able to do is kneel and make weird puking noises. No seriously, what was up with those yelps of pain as they kneeled before the princess?
– Flora uses her authority to stop Dan’s arrest. Yes, being a princess is fun!

But yeah, on the other hand: who cares? I think that we all should have seen this point coming, right when it became clear that the director of Kiss Dum was going to take over this series. In the end, all I’m asking from this series is an entertaining finale. I remember that last year at this point, Macross Frontier did the complete opposite and delivered an incredibly generic and boring finale for me, so my big hope here is that Satelight is able to avoid this and end the series on a high note, rather than with a disappointment. You can see that this series is still building up at this point, so it really can go anywhere at this point.

And for all the stupidity, I also have to admit that this episode was fun to watch. Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but setting aside the newly developed romance it was fun to see Dan and Flora together, and especially Dan’s dress rocked. The new soundtrack of this series is also really good. And finally we have a Kawamori-series with a soundtrack that isn’t based around j-pop.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:49 PM)
    Well realist I won’t declare her untalented as evidently she is quite prolific and gets a lot of work and its good to see a woman working in the male dominated anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:45 PM)
    She worked on red garden, Fujiko Mine no onna and book of bantorra I will give Okada that. Hanasaku could have been so much better though and fractale’s ending was a mess. I thought initially black rock shooter might go somewhere, the otherworld fight scenes were cool enough but really what was up with/going on with the rest of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:45 PM)
    Isn’t Wixoss that card-battle Jstaff one? In which case why are we talking about it?
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:40 PM)
    Still haven’t watched Nagi no Asakura.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:40 PM)
    I agree on both Sakurasou and Tempest but both series really did show a ton of potential. Tempest was really good for the first cour or so and had some great moments even after that. Sakurasou was a terrible narrative but had great characters. Okada is a deeply flawed writer but I just disagree with people who don’t think she’s talented.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:32 PM)
    Sakurasou, Tempest felt like a waste of potential to me. They had some good going for them but something went wrong and undermined them.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:30 PM)
    @Realist: Nagi no asukara, I watched it before wixoss and was not keen on it, final nail in the coffin for Okada with me, it coloured how little I enjoyed wixoss afterwards also.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:28 PM)
    @Aidan Thanks for that.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:27 PM)
    @Emma Ok, well I’m sorry for misunderstanding your opinion on that. I guess there must be some other explanation for why we had different feelings on WIXOSS.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 09:14 PM)
    @Ninja, Wixoss was a pile of crap on a crap sandwich with a side order of crap.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard03

Mushishi – 07

Now this was such a beautiful episode. We often see Mushi portrayed as parasites. In fact, they are pretty much based on the insects and viruses of their world. There probably are enough real viruses and insects living in the Mushishi world, but they just aren’t the focus of the series. Anyway, what they did […]

Clipboard04

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 06 & 07

This is where this arc gets weird. We’re still in adventure modus, however in these two episodes Jotaro not only meets some of the most bizarre Stand users, it’s also done in the most camp way possible. You can see a clear difference with the first two seasons of Jojo: there it was all about […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 05 & 06

Episodes 05 and 06 are dedicated to character-development. It’s here where Ping Pong shows that it also knows its stuff in terms of storytelling; the develoment doesn’t start too early or too late, and these two episodes really added depth to all of the different characters, despite that there were no big matches. I’m currently […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi – 03 – 06

I have not forgotten about this show. Not at all. I just finished marathoning these four episodes, and holy cheeseballs on a stick! this is the best anime in years! This was everything I could have hoped for and blows just about everything else out of the water. Talk about raw, powerful storytelling. I now […]

Clipboard03

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 03 – 05

Jojo really is not kind to its females. Every time a hint is even dropped to a girl kicking ass here, it comes with this weird plot-twist that undermines any fighting potential of them. In this arc, it’s the rule that says that your stand will kill you if youaren’t strong enough. And so, Joseph’s […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 03 & 04

The opening of Ping Pong wasn’t done in time, so the first two episodes showed a sortof montage as a placeholder. Now we know why, with episode 03 and 04. The creators actually got the single best animator currently in the business to oversee it: Shinya Ohira. This guy understands animation like no other. The […]

Clipboard07

Ping Pong – 02

Yes, I know that more people here were involved in making this series beyond Masaaki Yuasa. It’s written by the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Mashimoto. That guy is awesome. And the combination between those two makes this series even better. Because here’s the thing: anime is significantly different from manga or light novels. Beyond […]

Clipboard02

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 02

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]