Posted on 31 October 2009 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



Okay, so this episode was meant to be a step back: an intermezzo to flesh out the characters between the action. And even here this series sets itself apart by avoiding and subverting so many tropes that it almost gets scary.

I’m pleasantly surprised to see that this series can be really funny when it wants to be. That book joke in which Mirapoc was sent to look at a seemingly important book, which turned out to be a cheesy romance novel was absolutely hilarious, not to mention the big advantage of having a show that only is about adults: alcohol.

And yeah, it was also really nice to see a bit of what the characters were like when they were younger. I didn’t expect that to show up this early in the series. But yeah, the thing that stood out the most was this: Volken has run off and betrayed the Armed Librarians. In your average anime, you’d see his childhood sweetheart angsting, and then finding some deus ex machina to turn everything back so that they can be together again. So what does Mirepoc do? She erases her ownmemories and rids herself of any memories she has of Volken. Talk about subverting to the extreme!

Also, is it me or does the main character of this series change with every episode? First we had Volken, then Hamyuts, then Colio and now Mirepoc, and yet I have still no idea who is supposed to be the real main character of this series…

…and in a way, I like that. It really makes this show unpredictable.

Also, new animation for the OP. If the visuals are any indication to future action scenes, I’m really going to have to take back my statement of this series having unimpressive animation.

And on another side-note: someone gets smashed into a wall and stands up with dust all over her clothes. Finally a show that realizes that walls aren’t made of cardboard!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: White Album


Touya… Touya… Touya. What the heck do you think you’re doing? Every time you think this bastard couldn’t possibly surpass himself… he does. WTF.

In any case, let me start with summarizing the major flaws that made the first season so unbearable:
– The set-up itself: how the heck do all these five girls pick Touya of all people to fall for. However, you can’t hold this against the second season, as it’s already part of its premise.
– The huge amount of drama that resulted in people who kept missing each other. This doesn’t return in the second season.Touya bought an answering machine, and he and Yuki actually meet a lot.
– The huge contrast between the drama: it was either incredibly subtle, or totally not. And really, the second season has been much better balanced in terms of drama.

yeah, as much as I hate to admit it: this was a really emotional episode. For the first time in this series, I really felt along with the characters, without being hampered by angsty melodrama getting in the way. The drama was definitely heavy (I mean, Touya kissed two girls WHO WEREN’T YUKI), but it felt much more heartfelt than anything I’ve seen in that first season. Am I going crazy?

Yuki.. finally she too gets suspicious of Touya, thanks to a major screw-up that he made. Or rather, two. First of all, he flaps out about how he’s been meeting Yayoi. Nice one there, dude. On top of that, when Yuki proposes to go and see Rina together. Touya declines and says that he’s got enough to do. ONLY TO SEE RINA THAT DAY, AND KISS HER. Holy crap, what an asshole. On top of that, he also starts ignoring Yayoi, even after Yuki already left, which also puts him on bad terms. Not to mention that some mysterious dude has photographs of the two hitting it off together.

I really feel like this episode was the beginning of the end. And someone shoot me: I’m beginning to like this series again!!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Kuchuu Buranko



Ah, we get a look into the authors of cheap romance novels. Again, it had a very simple conclusion: just start writing good novels! The fun in this episode yet again came from exploring the life and carreer of this guy.

As I’m also somewhat a writer, I can identify with him a bit: so you’ve written a masterpiece. Then what? You’re popular as hell thanks to your hard work. Now what? I can understand how this guy would eventually fall into a habit of writing stuff that sells good, yet are utterly crappy and formulaic. For a starting author, this means complete suicide, however an already famous author can pull this off and still sell items.

While I’ve never written a masterpiece myself, I do recognize how you can be incredibly passionate about something when you first start out. If you happen to know the right techniques, then despite your lack of experience you can put down an incredible piece of work.

This episode was all about getting in the right mindset. It’s not about writer’s block; this guy was very able to churn out novels if you ignore his vomiting problem. Instead, it was focused on getting him from writing half-assedly to passionately. And that’s something I do recognize from my own writing, especially with my episodic reviews: the more passionately I write abot an episode (whether it was good or bad), the better that entry is usually going to be.

… and yeah, you could probably guess that this wasn’t such a passionately written entry. -_-
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

So yeah, compared to the previous seasons, this Autumn Season is a bit of a step back. The problem isn’t the huge amount of moe-shows; every season has that. It’s also not a disappointing season because of the lack of mecha; in fact, that’s rather refreshing for a change. Instead, I think that the reason is that while there are a few truly interesting series, there just aren’t enough of them.

Because of that, my top 10 is going to be a bit weird again, especially places 8, 9 and 10 are probably going to raise a few eye-brows here and there. But yeah, let’s just be glad with the things that we have. It’s not a bad season in either way, and these three series are also really enjoyable (otherwise I wouldn’t have put them in my top 10 this month at all ^^;)

Right now, I’m watching too many series, and I still need to drop two or three of them. any suggestions as to which ones?

#43 (new) – Himitsu Kessha Taka Tsume Countdown – (2/10) – This is just a very lazy attempt at comedy. It almost feels like a Sunred rip-off, but nothing feels like any effort was put into it. The jokes are dull and overused. Skip this one. Dropped.
#42 (new) – Kiddy Girl-And – (4,5/10) – Look, I really hope that what everyone’s saying about the Kiddy Grade franchise is true, because the first three episodes of this series have been outright terrible so far. If I had to pick one thing that annoys me the most, then it’s the lead character’s voice actress. I want to bash the screen every time she opens her mouth, and she just won’t shut up
#41 (new) – Miracle Train – (5,25/10) – Kenichi Kasai is an amazing director, but even he couldn’t do anything with this bad of a source material. It would have been a nice series, if some ACTUAL TIME was spent on fleshing out the different females, the bishies wouldn’t look so ridiculous, they’d behave like actual people, rather than stereotypes and the humour wasn’t so dull. Dropped
#40 (31) – Shugo Chara – (5,75/10) – Shugo Chara, while fillerish, wasn’t exactly bad. It was decent, though Shugo Chara Party somehow just decided to screw its current target audience, and focus on small children instead, making the series lose the small bit of magic it still had. Dropped.
#39 (new) – Kämpfer – (6/10) – Very, very generic moe fighting show. It’s really not subtle in all its fanservice jokes, the lead character is utterly ridiculous and the rest of the characters also are dull and one-dimensional. Dropped.
#38 (new) – Gokyoudai Monogatari – (6/10) – This could have been a nice idea, but it’s badly written. The characters all act like complete imbeciles, but none of it is really funny or enjoyable. Nobody acts like how he’s supposed to act. Dropped.
#37 (30) – Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu – (6,25/10) – My big problem with Nogizaka Haruka is that its sense of humour is abysmal. It’s supposed to make people laugh, it made me cringe. Besides, I’m not interested in the otaku-business at all, so this still just isn’t my kind of series. Dropped.
#36 (29) – Koihime Musou – (6,5/10) – The characters in this show are just too stupid for me. I tried giving it a second chance, but I don’t think I’m ever going to like this series’ cheesy sense of humour and stupid cameos from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Fairy Tail – (6,5/10) – You know, I like a good shounen once in a while, but when said shounen proceeds to rip off just about every other shounen with badly executed humour that tries way too hard, I bail out. Dropped.
#34 (new) – Nyan Koi – (6,75/10) – For a show about felines it has the most unrealistic and boring cats I’ve seen in a long while. The romance was promising… before it went down the road of generic harem. Dropped.
#33 (28) – Asura Crying – (7/10) – I’m still not exactly sold on this series. The characters are just too stupid and stereotypical for me, and lack any sort of charm. Dropped.
#32 (new) – A Certain Scientific Railgun – (7/10) – Perhaps a fun series for some, but not for me. Especially that twin-tailed lead character was a pain to watch. Dropped.
#31 (new) – Sora no Otoshimono – (7,25/10) – I’m really not a fan of fanservice humour, and especially the unsubtle kind often just bores me. I think it’s not much of a surprise that I quickly dropped this series when the panties started flying around.
#30 (new) – Inu Yasha – (7,5/10) – The first episode didn’t motivate me to watch the rest of this series. Sure, there were some potentially interesting storylines, but not interesting enough for me to want to sit through hundreds of episodes. Dropped
#29 (new) – Seitokai no Ichizon – (7,5/10) – Out of the teenaged moe comedies this season, I agree that this has been the best. The problem however is that it also got old really fast. That’s why I’ve dropped this series before it could get too boring, because the characters just are too stereotypical to really make this work in the long term.
#28 (25) – Needless – (7,5/10) – I’ve finally dropped this show. It was fun while it lasted, but I’m trying to cut back on the amount of shows I’m watching each season, so this one obviously had to go. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Table Cat – (7,5/10) – Well, so it’s obvious that this show really isn’t going to become anything special, but it nevertheless consists out of some decently amusing antics. And hey, the episodes are only five minutes long, so not much effort has to go into watching this.
#26 (new) – The Sacred Blacksmith – (7,5/10) – Here’s the thing with this series: I fully agree that it has potential. If the creators handle it well, they can get a nice story out of this series, despite the overload of moe. But within 12 episodes? I don’t think so. Wake me up when a second season gets announced. Until then, dropped.
#25 (11) – Natsu no Arashi – (7,5/10) – Here’s the thing with this series: the first season was fresh, it had enough material to work with and kept throwing in new things to keep it interesting. The new season has focused three of its four episodes on Jun’s cross-dressing and Hajime’s ignorance about this. That’s way too much, and really a sign that this series’ creativity is running out. The jokes feel forced and overused now. The story itself seems to be advancing pretty nicely though, so at least that’s a good thing.
#24 (new) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,5/10) – At this point, Kimi ni Todoke is a fairly standard shoujo series, clichés included. The first four episodes haven’t exactly impressed me, but there is potential for the future. The characterization for the lead male may be dull, but the three lead females have a nice chemistry between them. Whenever they’re not into some sort of forced drama.
#23 (new) – Cheburashka Arere – (7,75/10) – One thing I like to do with all of the short-episoded series this season is save all of them during each week, and then watching them all at once. Cheburashka Arere is… well.. very childish, but it’s nice, simple and enjoyable. It’s a bit nonsensical at times, but the quirky characters are surprisingly likeable for a show about nothing.
#22 (new) – Winter Sonata – (7,75/10) – Okay, so it didn’t really help that the series started out with a flashback, turning this supposedly mature romance into yet another teenaged romance. What annoys me the most is the male lead right now: he’s trying too hard to look rebellious and cool at the same time. However, I do have to say that the show is well animated, or at least that the motions of the characters are very well done and imaginative.
#21 (new) – Kobato – (7,75/10) – I’m not yet sold on this series, but I can see some potential. Especially Kobato is an incredibly genuine character, and the story, albeit dull, is nicely told. If it’s building up to something, I’d like to find out what that is.
#20 (new) – Thriller Restaurant – (7,75/10) – Yeah, this is pretty much a kids’ shows, but I’m actually enjoying it. The stories are incredibly simple, and often they’re quite a bit flawed, but the storytelling keeps me interested. Also, since the stories are all very short (usually around ten minutes), it makes this series into something like a quick fire horror stories anime. Oh, and the music is also pretty good too.
#19 (new) – Yumeiro Patissiere – (7,75/10) – I really didn’t expect anything from this series when I first started watching it, but I have to admit: it’s pretty solid. It goes along perfectly with this season’s line of surprisingly good kids’ shows. The lead character is likable, but a hard worker. And regarding the drama: every time it starts it really seems like it’s going down the path of cheesy and overdone drama… only to prove my suspicions wrong and turning into something genuine.
#18 (22) – White Album – (8/10) – Ah, Touya. How I hate thee. I have to admit though: as a character, this guy is pretty good. He’s a complete bastard, but a well-developed one nonetheless. I’m going to withhold my judgment for this series at this point, because I have no idea whether it’s going to turn good or fall apart completely in the end.
#17 (23) – Hetalia Axis Powers – (8/10) – Haha! 38 episodes in, and finally The Netherlands show up. I like how we’re portrayed as an evil bastard.
#16 (15) – Kuruneko – (8/10) – Perhaps not the funniest month for Kuruneko thus far, but honestly I don’t mind. It’s fun enough to watch the lead character and her tendency to voice everything over. This series really doesn’t need anything more, and it knows this.
#15 (new) – 11Eyes – (8/10) – This really is something I didn’t suspect from an eroge adaptation: it’s actually pretty good! Sure, the slice of life is annoying, but the characters are well defined and have their own share of depth. They’re all interesting to watch, and the direction during the action-scenes also knows how to keep everything interested. Very nice, but can it do everything it wants in just 12 episodes?
#14 (new) – Letter Bee – (8/10) – While the start is a bit cheesy and follows the standard start of a shounen series, I actually see potential in this. The chemistry between the two lead characters is pretty nice to watch, and any series that has a forest of broccoli in it deserves extra points.
#13 (2) – Konnichiwa Anne – (8,25/10) – Watching this show is like driving across a very hilly road. It can be amazing at times, but at others it can be really painful to watch with all its cheese. This month, it kept hovering somewhere in the middle: the episodes dedicated to the Hammond family were great: you really see a lot of detail into dysfunctional families. The episodic stories however… weren’t good. They were cheesy, and at this point I’ve really had it with those cheesy stories from this series.
#12 (new) – Sasameki Koto – (8,25/10) – This series is really surprisingly good. This mostly can be attributed to the lead character, who is really fun to watch and has an excellent voice actress. Especially episode four was hilarious. But (and this is a pretty big but), this series has a pretty simple formula, hasn’t it? How long is it going to take until it gets dull? I fear that this series isn’t going to make the end of this season.
#11 (new) – Kuchuu Buranko – (8,25/10) – Kuchuu Buranko did well in setting itself apart from Bake Neko and Mononoke: this isn’t a series that should be enjoyed because of the depth of its stories, but rather because of its entertainment value. Its unique style of storytelling and the crazy visuals are a lot of fun to watch, and while the characters may not be as deep, they’re lovable and interesting to watch. I don’t see a classic here, but at the same time I see no way in which this series can possibly screw up.
#10 (new) – Anymal Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8,25/10)

Call me crazy, but I’m really enjoying this series. It may be aimed primarily at kids, but I keep thinking that the creators put a layer of adult jokes behind the cute and cuddly exterior that will fly past the kids’ heads. And yeah, it has the catchiest opening EVER. ^^;

#9 (38) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10)

Still no signs of any loss of inspiration. In fact, every episode has been a hit so far, and the writers seem better than ever at this point. Let’s hope that it can keep this up.

#8 (12) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10)

This series still doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. This month yet again showcased a number of very creative episodes. I especially loved the birthday episode, which was surprisingly touching for Gali.

#7 (13) – Cross Game – (8,5/10)

For Cross Game, this month was mostly build-up to the second half of this series. The baseball match was nice enough to watch, but it really doesn’t match up to the baseball matches in Touch. Nevertheless, now that the second half has started with the arrival of “her”, I’m curious to see where the creators are going to take this series.

#6 (10) – Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini – (8,75/10)

I know fully well that the set-up of this season and its short length isn’t going to make it surpass the Yin-arc of the first season, but nevertheless this has been a very interesting sequel so far. It’s come with an interesting story and a rock-solid execution and action-scenes in which many things happen at the same time. Everyone has different ideals and purposes and it deserves in my top 3 of series that started airing this fall season.

#5 (11) – Kemono no Souja Erin – (8,75/10)

It’s taken a while, but the plot has really heated up. It’s been really well prepared by the first half of this series, and the fruits of all that build-up are really showing off now. Especially now that the politics and the main story have converged, we’re in for a great finale.

#4 (new) – Armed Libarians – The Book of Bantorra – (8,75/10)

Excellent series. It’s got a multi-layered story already four episodes in. It’s surprisingly well written, it’s got a strong cast of characters and especially Hamyuts Meseta rocks. The animation disappointed a bit in the first episode, but even that got better in the subsequent episodes.

#3 (8) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9/10)

The past month has really given the plot of this series a whole different dimension to the storyline, in a large number of surprising plot twist. I’m really starting to see how well this series is constructed.

#2 (new) – Aoi Bungaku – (9/10)

What an amazing series so far. No Longer Human (the first story to be adapted by this series) just keeps getting better and better, with an amazing set of visuals and a very tight direction that just keeps your attention. Definitely among my highlights of the Autumn Season.

#1 (16) – Umineko no Naku Koro ni – (9/10)

An amazing month for Umineko. The plot took a completely different turn with a number of amazing plot twists. Beatrice has really shown that she’s an awesome character with this, and episode 18 has been the highlight of the entire series for me. On top of that, the murder mystery just gets more and more intriguing, and it’s always a blast trying to find out what’s really going on behind the buckets of red herrings thrown at the screen.

Posted on 30 October 2009 with categories: Darker than Black - Ryuusei no Gemini



This wasn’t exactly the type of episode I’d expect from this series, On one hand, it’s still got the serious air, creative action-scenes and the dark nature of Hei. Suou has also gotten a lot better now that she’s a contractor, and Kirihara also is back and seems like she’s going to be a major player in the story. And at the same time this episode introduces a bunch of goofballs, including a bunch of punks, the father of one of these punks, who works as a cross dresser, and Suou gets sick fro having eaten very old noodles.

So yeah, overall I do regard the first season as superior to the second, mostly because of its very short length and I’m fully aware that this second season isn’t going to be able to top the Yin-arc. However, the execution has gotten much tighter at least (from what I remember of it, anyway). Especially the humour is better balanced here: the comedy episodes of the first season were amongst its worst episodes, especially that silly OVA was just pointless, but here it actually fits and contributes to the overall story, rather than being annoying.

In any case, I’m glad to see that Suou has indeed stopped being an annoying teenager now that she’s turned into a contractor. I like this set-up a lot and it works really well with Hei’s development from the first series. Or at least, I think he has developed. It’s hard to tell whether he did or not considering how he’s been acting most of the time, and we’ve never really seen him in a situation like this, in which he had to train and take care of an annoying teenager.

I also wonder: what’s Suou’s penalty? Hei said that he noticed that she used her powers when he was away, so it’s got to be something that alters her looks, but I didn’t quite pick up yet what it was.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews



Anime Innovation Tokyo is a project meant to sponsor young and talented creators in creating something new and innovative. These people often have great ideas, but lack the budget and experience to really put these into practice, and that’s where this project helps them out with. I really like this idea, and therefore I’ll gladly promote their efforts. Cencoroll is the first project of theirs to be completed.

Cencoroll mostly stands out with its animation and storytelling. Regarding the former, you can see that the creators have gotten themselves a nice budget, but a limited one nonehteless. They make up for it with really good keyframes though: they’re very expressive, and well drawn, and a lot of time went into each frame.

I also like how down to earth the characters remain: despite that this is an action-series, none of the emotions of the characters are ever cheesy or overdone. In fact, the lead character is as nonchalant as you can realistically get. The storytelling also has a little bit of wit inside of it, when some plot twists aren’t explained and the writers assume that the viewers themselves are able to figure out that A + B equals C, which is something I appreciate.

The question however is: is this movie truly innovative? To that question, my answer is no. I wouldn´t exactly label this series as unique. However, it does have a “screw conventions we´re going to do it our way!”-mindset, and that’s the thing that counts: you can really see that the creators wanted to be innovative, and this is actually a great start for Anime Innovation Tokyo, as they come up with a concept that will generally be very well liked, andnot just be popular amongst the arthouse fans, while at the same time they put in a few neat ideas. I’m hoping that the future projects are going to be a bit more daring in trying out really new things, but it’s a great start nonetheless.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 7/10
Posted on with categories: Top 10 Anime

A few weeks ago, there were a lot of requests for a this, so here you go: in preparation of Halloween, here is the list of my 10 favourite horror series. It was an interesting list to compile, because even though I’m a big fan of horror, I never really thought about my favourite series of the genre.

Of course, there are many different kinds of horror. Anime is hardly ever truly scary, but it does have a wide variety of horror series with a genuinely creepy atmosphere, and that’s what I was looking for when compiling this list. This can be done with gore, scary images, monsters, but also psychological horror, and the classic Japanese style of horror that tries to creep the viewer out with a tight storytelling. I tried to include a bit of everything in this list, because I don’t believe that there’s one sub-genre that’s inherently better than the others.

Again, like with my other lists I’d love to see some other people’s top 10 (or whatever suits you best) horror-series. I’m also interested about other sorts of Top 10 lists you want to see on this blog. I might as well try to create a different Top 10 list every month.

Some series who didn’t make the list but deserve a honorable mention: Hakaba Kitarou (for those who are interested in the combination between horror and comedy), Betterman (a bit long-winded, but pretty nice survival horror) and Mouryou no Hako (has some horror elements, but not enough to really make it to this list).

#10: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Higurashi’s biggest focus isn’t horror, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a number of genuinely creepy episodes in its first season. Especially because at that point, you’ll have no idea what the heck is going on, which only contributes to the atmosphere. It has gore, characters going insane and a setting in which you can trust nobody, all packaged under such a seemingly cute exterior.

#9: Boogiepop Phantom

Boogiepop Phantom is really more of subtle psychological kind of horror, but like Higurashi it also really likes to confuse the heck out of its viewer, and takes this sense of mystery further than any series I’ve seen. This, combined with a number of disturbing cases of messed-up personalities earned this series a place in this top 10.

#8: Kurozuka

So yeah, we all know what a mess Kurozuka ended up to be in the character-department, but as an action-horror series it truly shines. It had a really powerful set of visuals and a constantly tight atmosphere and some incredibly tense and well-written action scenes. Madhouse really knew how to make a huge visual spectacle out of it, and the genuinely creepy atmosphere made this into a unique series.

#7: Perfect Blue

This is the only movie I have on this list, but it really deserves to be here. This is everything that psychological horror should be, and Satoshi Kon succeeded in creating a schizophrenic and paranoid 90 minutes. It’s an excellent character-study of the darker sides about being an idol, dealing with obsessive fans and the like. While it’s not the best thing that Satoshi Kon has written, it still knows how to capture its audience and stands out as the best animated horror movie for me.

#6: Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror

Of course, this is one series that can’t be missing in a top-list of horror anime. This actually was the series that introduced me to this great genre, and it really shows what you can do with it. It consists out of three stories, and while the second one isn’t exactly impressive, the first and third really manage to deliver in disturbing antics and very tense storytelling. They’re both well built up, and especially the third story Bake Neko (which would later spawn its own series called Mononoke) is storytelling at its finest.

#5:Paranoia Agent

More Satoshi Kon, as he takes another shot at psychological horror. This series was supposed to be a collection of stories that didn’t fit into his movies, and the result is a number of excellent character-studies about a collection of people who breaking down mentally. This is of course great horror-material, and he really manages to combine this with this creepy atmosphere in which you never know what’s real and what’s just an illusion. It’s a show that loves to play with irony, and another great horror recommendation.

#4: Gilgamesh

I’m still not sure why this series is so often hated, but I digress. At its core, Gilgamesh is a dark series with a constantly tight and cold atmosphere. Unlike the most of the above-mentioned series, the type of horror is nether gore, scary images or psychological, but instead it really tries to captivate its audience with its storytelling. It’s a series with a creative storyline that fits this type of series perfectly, resulting into an excellently creepy series.
(On a side-note: try finding a good image for this series. Thank you very much, Fate/Stay Night.)

#3: Jigoku Shoujo

Every episode of Jigoku Shoujo has pretty much the same concept: someone has a grudge on someone, someone accesses the Jigoku Shoujo Website, and someone gets sent to hell. But this series really makes use of this ritualistic set-up in its storytelling, again creating a very creepy atmosphere that never dies, even after 78 episodes. It’s a series that really knows how to build up its stories, and while they indeed may be hit or miss, this series however really hits hard and often enough.

#2: Shigurui

I think it was pretty obvious that Madhouse would end up dominating this top 10: five of these ten come from them, and Shigurui stands head and shoulders as their best work in terms of horror. It’s the only series that actually managed to freak me out while I was watching it, that’s how powerful the storytelling is. This series is absolutely brutal, and spares nobody: every single character is a huge bastard, and nobody gets spared when it comes to the incredibly well-drawn gore. Nothing is too much for this series and it shows this again and again and again. If you want to freak someone out, then this is my top recommendation for it.

#1: Ghost Hound

But in the end, nothing can beat Ghost Hound for me as my favourite horror-series. With its huge attention to detail in terms of psychology, it knows exactly what to do in order to create an incredibly creepy atmosphere, and on top of being an excellent psychology lesson, this series also really manages to create a unique atmosphere that attempts to do much more than being simply creepy. If you want to get in the mood for Halloween, then this is my top recommendation: Ghost Hound knows how to capture its audience, and it does so with a frightening consistency.

Posted on with categories: Umineko no Naku Koro ni



It’s episodes like this that really remind me why I’m still such a fan of anime. This episode was just… beyond awesome. Major spoilers coming up, do not read this entry if you haven’t seen the episode, and for the rest I can say little else than:

What the Fuck!?

I sort-of suspected that this episode would end with a bang, but this kind of a bang… I never saw coming: freakin’ Beatrice set everything up. The reason why her acting felt so forced was that it was SUPPOSED to be acting: there’s no way Battler was going to notice, and instead Beatrice started playing the innocent victim, while creating a new villain in Evatrice. Holy crap, talk about an awesome plot twist!

I’m now starting to see why Beatrice was supposed to be such an awesome character. The sheer cruelty in which she continuously keeps thinking of scenarios to fool Battler, and does it every time, and at the same time you can see that she isn’t perfect. My guess is that she originally didn’t plan to include the Evatrice plot in this arc, and instead just tried to use her Teacher to confuse Battler, but when he cornered her (when Ronove interrupted her when she was about to give away an important clue) and they went into that emergency meeting of theirs, they decided to go for such an elaborate illusion.

On top of that, Beatrice seems to have two intentions that contradict each other: her first goal is to “win” from Battler: make him acknowledge that she’s a witch. However, on top of that it’s also her “job” to “win” the game endlessly, and she seems to be under the orders of Lambdadelta. While seemingly contradicting each other, could it be that the first goal of hers is also just a red herring? That she simply already is a mage, but needs to keep the Ushinomiya-family in that endless loop of theirs for some reason? That could explain why Battler’s sister suddenly popped up as a major player.

Anyway, back to the murders: the survivors this time are Battler, Eva, Jessica, Krauss and Rosa. It’s interesting how Evatrice confirmed that Jessica isn’t one of the murderers, and neither Eva nor Battler killed Nanjo. However, that doesn’t go for Krauss and Rosa. In fact, while I don’t think that Krauss was the murderer in the first two arcs (perhaps he got killed off before he could get started), but he actually seems like a pretty likely suspect this arc: remember how he said that surprisingly nice comment about how he regrets having been so mean to his family members? After Beatrice’s act and all, I don’t believe one word from that anymore.
Rating: **** (Fantastic)
And remember, I reserve the right to delete posts that talk about what happens in the novel after this episode

Posted on 28 October 2009 with categories: Kimi ni Todoke



I’m not exactly happy with this episode. It was all angst, angst and more angst based on a misunderstanding, and I feel like the creators were really forcing it in order to get as much drama as possible. Wasn’t this supposed to be a very simple romance? When I think of simple romances, I think of Sasameki Koto, not this kind of series in which the creators try to create as much misunderstandings between the lead characters as possible.

Yano and Yoshida, overhearing Sawako talking is classic romantic fodder. Instead of letting these romances play out naturally, the creators just had to drag on these misunderstandings, hadn’t they? It would have been fine if this was just a short misunderstanding, but the creators were dragging it on for way too long. Angst isn’t necessarily bad, I really liked how Bokura ga Ita did it, but this episode just felt forced and pointless.

One thing I do like more and more was that teacher and his crazy midget theories about Sawako. He’s getting funnier with every episode. But seriously though, I hope that the rest of this series is going to be different from this episode. There definitely is potential: even though Kazehaya is rather dull, Sawako, Yano and Yoshida are nicely characterized. Just not in this episode.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on with categories: Konnichiwa Anne



Every week I keep hoping for Anne NOT to go to school, and this episode listened to my prayers: it was an entire episode, dedicated to the Hammond family, and holy crap! Spoiler alert!

Hammond was bound to die, we all knew that. However, I didn’t think that the creators were going to be this fast with it! We’ve got eight episodes left. I really thought that the entire second half of this series would be spent on the Hammond family, in contrast with the Thomas Family, and that Hammond’s death, and Anne’s subsequent leaving of that family as the major climax. This episode gives my entire expectations for the rest of this series a whole new dimension.

Hammond’s death didn’t have the same impact as the Bert’s, but that’s only logical. He’s only had the screen-time of about four episodes, and really didn’t have the time to truly make an impact. And not to mention that his death was a bit cheesy. Did the creators really have to pull down these angelic lights for it? Nevertheless, this was a great episode that really gave a lot of depth for the Hammond family for as far as possible. We see how the couple fell in love, and how Mr. Hammond just kept working himself to death, in order to support his family.

The death scene also showed a fundamental difference with the Thomas family. One thing I really liked about that scene was the random passer-by: he immediately tried to do everything he could to try and save Mr. Hammond. That’s not something you see often in anime, is it? It really showed that Mr. Hammond is well liked in his town, completely the opposite of Bert, who people refused to help even when Noah was in trouble. You could call Mr. Hammond naive, but at the same time he strikes me as someone who didn’t want to give in to his illness: with his heart, he knew that he wouldn’t see his children grow up, and therefore did everything he could to ensure them a future as good as possible: he kept taking on large jobs to give his wife financial support, he searched for Anne to support his wife for after he dies. And in the meantime, he simply tries to forget about his problems by being nice, fantasizing like Anne and generally looking at the bright side of life.

But yeah, the problem is going to be: what will the rest of this series focus at? Anne is going to have to leave eventually, but how long will that take? We know that she and Mrs. Hammond don’t go well together, and I think that Mrs. Hammond will use that reason to send Anne to the orphanage. Still, I do think that the two of them are going to spend a few more episodes together.

I also really wonder what this series is going to do for its climax, and what this series is going to look like once Anne does arrive at the orphanage (which at the same time seems so close now). At this point, episodes in this series can either be really good or really dull, with nothing in between: at this point I’ve really lost my patience with this show’s cheesy episodic stories like what we saw in the previous two episodes. However, at the same time the themes of dysfunctional families have been fleshed out really well now, with the Hammond family to contrast with the Thomas family.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:15 AM)
    Or Inception.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:14 AM)
    depends on how your psyche handles externalization and dissonance.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:14 AM)
    Although deep space nine was always my favourite.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:14 AM)
    or like a god
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:14 AM)
    I recall there was an entire star trek next generation episode that dealt with lucid dreaming.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:12 AM)
    I’ve never bothered trying to have a lucid dream. I heard that you feel like a mute ghost.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:11 AM)
    @K-off: Dreams can be used for therapy and the ERM cycle of sleep is so integral that the act of memory inscription cannot function correctly without it. Many thinkers such as Avicenna or even modern scientist such as David Bohm have used dreamspace to solve hard problems.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:10 AM)
    I remember George Carlin once saying, “Symbols, are for the symple(pun on symbol and simple)-minded.”
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:10 AM)
    @Raggers: Off topic but, you may be interested to know the no game no life novels have been licensed by yen press.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 02:08 AM)
    The thing used to be legal here since it’s so rare and unknown so I ordered some. The tea is horrendously bitter to the point of vomit. I couldn’t drink the whole thing and definitely got me feeling more sick than lucid. Maybe the construction of additional pylons was necessary.

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