Posted on 31 January 2010 with categories: Hanamaru Youchien



Tsuchida surely sucks at reading books. What the hell is he doing, criticising a manga for 5-year-olds for being not realistic enough? :P

Still, the first half of this episode pleasantly surprised me. A huge theme of this show is role-playing and that cheesy romantic scenario that the kids came up with was really cute, and hilarious to watch. In a way, this series is also a very subtle parody-series, which also comes forth in the EDs. I by the way really like that this show is going for a different ED every episode. Nice touch.

The second half saw Tsuchida away, and Anzu spent all her time with Yamamoto who had to fill in for him. I’m glad that we at least got a bit of a more colourful look at Yamamoto. It still doesn’t help that she’s completely clueless about romantic issues, but this half was enjoyable enough.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Random Posts

The future of this blog: I have no idea, to be honest. Tomorrow I’m going to say goodbye to my lazy student life, and start a five-month internship. It’s going to be the first time in my life in which I’m full time busy with something. After that, I’m planning to find a job, and move out of my father’s house. 2010 is very likely going to be the year with the biggest amount of change in my life, and I’m going to have much less time to work on this blog.

However, I have no idea how much that amounts to. I have no idea whether I’ll still have the time or energy to blog twelve series every week, and I may have to cut back on that amount. In the same way, I don’t think you can expect me to churn out reviews on other anime at the same speed that I’ve been doing for the past years now. If there are delays in posting, it’s also simply because I won’t have as much time on my hand as I once had.

However, I do want you to know that I have no intention to simply quit this blog. At this point I like blogging and the community too much to just go on a permanent hiatus and stop writing. Unfortunately, with my life about to go through huge changes and with the anime industry gearing more and more towards moe and fanservice, I have no idea how I will be thinking about this in a year’s time.

As for my to-watchlist, I might as well give you an update on its status, for when I do get the chance to watch more of it, I’m about to get to the stuff I’ve been really looking forward to: when I started it out, combining it with any additions I made in the process, I had a list of 209 series to go through. At this point there are only 63 series on that list left. As soon as I get to fifty I can get to the stuff that I’ve really been looking forward to (you know, the Honey&Clovers, etc). First I still want to finish off a few sequels or spinoffs before that, though.

Posted on with categories: Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood



I didn’t quite understand one part in this episode. It might have been because I missed a detail in one of the earlier episodes, but even then that part in which Mai Chang grabbed that book of hers, unravelled all of the pages and laid them so precisely in such a way that they formed the transmutation circle that Father is trying to carry out… First of all, how would you even think of such a thing, and second of all: what exactly does it mean anyway?

In any case, I liked the building up that this episode did. We finally got to know a bit more about what Roy’s former subordinates have been doing, and Sloth has finally finished his tunnel, bringing Father another step closer to his plans. Also, Rose returns. Seriously, talk about an improvement over her development in the original FMA!

Hohenheim’s trip inside of Lior (in which you can still see the remains of Ed’s battle there, hehe), in which he finds the tunnel and encounters Pride. Well, so much for the strongest of all Homunculi: he can only use his full powers inside that tunnel for some reason. It’s pretty much the same as with that flask, although he did seem to have found a way somehow to go in the outside world through that boy appearance.

Also, Drachma attacked Briggs at the end of this episode. Talk about irony in which an outside force has to make use of people from inside the country in order to make their advances.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Cross Game



Well, the moment I’ve feared has finally arrived: the tournament has officially started. Seeing as how I didn’t really like the previous tournament, I was ready to fear the worst of this series. And yet, here this episode comes and pleasantly surprises me.

I was ready to expect another predictable match against the former coach… and then Miki comes. It’s great to see a guy like him back after what was it? 30 episodes or so? His match was predictable, but well delivered and written and he really deserved to have won. It also build up for the next episode very well, in which Kou and the others are going to have to face him and his team.

I also liked the focus on the second years, but to be honest I’m not sure about the point that the creators tried to make with them. Usually the teammates in Adachi’s series who aren’t central to the plot are just “there”, but this episode made four carbon-copies try to hit on Aoba at the same time. Try to make them a bit individual if you do want to spend time on them, please!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

Well, so I’ve said that out of all the season in which I’ve been active as a blogger, this one is the worst of them all. There’s not just a lack of new shows in this season, but there also were relatively few series that carried over from previous seasons. However, does that mean that there are only one or two worthwhile anime? Of course not. There still are tons of enjoyable series. Just not as many as usual.

#26 (new) – Omamori Himari – (3/10) – Oh god, this is just the worst. Ripping off just about every generic harem show under the sun, without any ounce of its own content, going for the cheapest and safest way possible, and then thinking it can get away with it. If you like these sorts of shows, then good for you. But I personally hope that shows like these aren’t going to become the norm for anime in the future. Dropped
#25 (new) – Ladies Versus Butlers – (3,5/10) – This is one of those shows of which you’d wonder: why isn’t it a hentai? The plot is just an excuse to show a lot of naked maids getting it on with the lead character. The acting is terrible, the scenario is ridiculously bad. Why try to make this into a TV-series when you can go all the way with the hentai format?
#24 (new) – Kaito Reinya – (4/10) – Cheap flash anime. Dropped
#23 (new) – Chu Bra – (6,5/10) – This show is the product of deranged minds. While I have to give this show points for creativity, I’m just not a fan of this show’s sense of humour. The characters were dull. Dropped.
#22 (new) – Dance in the Vampire Bund – (7/10) – At this point I’ve lost all my patience with Shinbo. Wake me up when he’s not trying to make way too many shows in too little time, creating six generic shows instead of one really good one. Dropped
#21 (new) – Seikon no Qwaser – (7,25/10) – So this obviously is not my kind of series, but at least I’m glad that it chose to not just go for cheap fanservice, but also tries to stuff in some sort of story. But with the kind of fanservice it has chosen for, there’s no way for me to take this thing seriously. Dropped.
#20 (17) – Hetalia Axis Power – (7,25/10) – Nothing much to say about this show for this month. Only one episode aired and it was boring.
#19 (new) – Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu – (7,5/10) – Fun for one episode, but I don’t see the potential for an entire series. Dropped.
#18 (13) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (7,5/10) – Bleh. This month has been a major step down for this series. The cases were repetitive, the characters were predictable and the charms it had in the first 13 episode seem lost now.
#17 (19) – Nodame Cantabile – (7,75/10) – Yeah, this is just as I feared. The creators are putting too much emphasis on Nodame’s quirks and the charms and spirit of the first season seems completely lost at this point. Right now, this series is just another average romantic comedy, and there are plenty of funnier series in this season.
#16 (new) – Ookami Kakushi – (7,75/10) – The mystery and screenplay in this series are very good. But throughout this, it seems to be forgetting one important thing: the characterization! The characters have hardly made any advances through the past four episodes, they’re still the same caricatures that they were at their introduction. I don’t feel like we’ve gotten to know ANY of them better.
#15 (19) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – So this month showed the big climax for the Kurumi-arc. And I have to admit that the drama worked sort-of, but at the same time the creators were just stretching it on for waaay too long.
#14 (new) – Hanamaru Yochien – (7,75/10) – The big flaw of this show is the female love interest. She’s just another carbon-copy of tens of thousands other clueless romantic interests. The rest of the cast however is interesting enough to make this an enjoyable enough slice of life series.
#13 (new) – Cobra the Animation – (7,75/10) – Yeah, very much a guilty pleasure. The plot can be ridiculously stupid at times, but it has the single best soundtrack of the season for me. Plus, I have to applaud the creativity of the creators, and how they’ve managed to throw in quite a bit of neat ideas for Cobra to run into. The visual direction is also very good and overall it’s entertainment… but you don’t want to watch it with a straight face.
#12 (new) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – I really like the deadpan execution of the seemingly endless dialogues in this series. This show has subtle wit, the characters have their charms an the graphics looked fresh and pleasing to the eye. It’s not anything deep, but it knows how to make fun of itself and yet carryon with a serious story.
#11 (16) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8/10) – Long hiatus is looooong, but surprisingly, I’ve been looking forward to this show’s return. Here’s something I did not see coming, but I’m still very much enjoying this series’ bite-size chunks of horror (pun sort-of intended).
#10 (10) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10)

We’re past forty episodes and this series still is able to consistently raise laughs. I’m glad that this sequel was made with plenty of inspiration in mind.

#9 (new) – Gag Manga Biyori + – (8,25/10)

It has the same bizarre sense of humour as the first season, and I’m enjoying this series a lot. The pacing has to be among the fastest I have ever seen. Just one thing: was I the only one who had a bit of a deja vu moment at episode 4?

#8 (14) – Letter Bee – (8,25/10)

In this month, this series has won me over. The fillers are just as good, if not better at times, than the manga-material, and even though this series is episodic, it makes very well use of its formula.

#7 (new) – Sora no Oto – (8,25/10)

While it has its flaws and a bit of an idiotic lead character, I’ve found a lot to like about this series so far. The characters start out a bit one-sided, but the past four episodes have already given them much more depth than I could have expected. The real gem in this series is the setting, though. It’s a true mystery of where this series is playing, and the creators put in tons of little details to make us guess and wonder what’s going on at the background of this series.

#6 (15) – Kobato – (8,5/10)

In this month, Kobato really grew on me. The build-up has worked, and it’s no longer that moderately enjoyable series, but Kobato has become a wonderful character to watch, and the side-characters all have their charms, despite the simple storyline.

#5 (9) – Marie&Gali – (8,75/10)

Marie&Gali has possibly become even better this month now that it removed one of its very few weaknesses. It’s true that Marika once was a bit of a Mary Sue, but even that is completely gone with the past few episodes, in which she has crawled completely out of her shell. And really: it’s still an over the top fun-filled science adventure that sparkles with creativity.

#4 (6) – Cross Game – (8,75/10)

This show still manages to deliver incredibly charming and witty slice of life. The characters have really grown to me at this point, and they’re just consistently enjoyable to watch.

#3 (new) – Durarara – (8,75/10)

Out of the newly debuted series, this is without a doubt my favourite. A terrific style, every episode so far had a different style of storytelling, it’s varied, the characters are charming, the dialogue is well written and the scenario is very cleverly constructed. I’m very much looking forward to more of this, especially considering it’s going to be 24 episodes long.

#2 (5) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9/10)

This series just keeps getting better and better now. The back-story just continues to get fleshed out, and the huge cast just gets more and more complete with every episode. Bones’ animation as done a wonderful job so far and I’m getting more and more excited with this series.

#1 (2) – Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra – (9,25/10)

This season, I have no doubts whatsoever in choosing my favourite show: this one. It just continues to weave all sorts of fascinating storylines into one and it does so with an incredible amount of creativity. The direction is so powerful that it makes a treat out of every single episode.

Posted on 30 January 2010 with categories: Letter Bee



What an adorable episode. Lag has cried for God knows how many times by now, but this was the first time at which it actually got to me. While it’s of course not good for a series to try and bang its head against a wall until it gets through, but I really feel like Letter Bee has gotten much better and consistent compared to the first thirteen episodes. The past month, we’ve seen what? One flawed episode and three very charming ones? That’s a huge improvement.

Now, I haven’t seen the OVA or anything, but was this story really what it was about? I expected something more… central to the plot, but instead neither the plot nor the characters are of any importance to the main plot or cast, or it’s very unlikely that they do. The only link is that they were very friendly with the current Head Bee and we actually saw something of him in his childhood.

In any case, Darwin surely was one awesome geezer of a Dingo. This episode did such a terrific job in characterizing him: without making him talk or show any obvious signs of his backstory, the people around him all shed light on his affections for his late master. I especially loved how despite being more than 100 years old, he still managed to outrun Lag, and save him from plummeting to his death.

Now then, the big problem in the future of this series is obviously going to be that it won’t be good if it closes off at 25 episodes, like most other series. Not with the amount of time that was not spent on the main plot. Episode 25 is currently 8 episodes away and while the fillers are nice, there’s hardly any time left for the main storyline to unfold.

I can only foresee a disaster of an ending if the creators indeed plan to end this show in two months…
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Cobra The Animation



I have to admit, it’s been a while since I watched a series that I considered a guilty pleasure and actually enjoyed. With series like these, I just have one thing I’m looking for. It’s obvious that the characters in this show are just shallow stereotypes, and there’s no way for the story to make sense, so instead I’m just looking for one thing: creativity. And that’s where this show delivers. I have no idea how faithful this series is to the Cobra manga, and despite the flawed storytelling I’m at least glad that they’re not shying away from strange ideas, and don’t try to play this series as safe as possible, just because of the financial crisis.

The villainness in this episode was just hilariously incompetent. At first it seemed like a nice idea for her to pretend to be nice to Cobra later, but then she actually tried to kill him. By pushing him over the edge of a boat. Despite knowing fully well that Cobra can breathe under water. She never even stops to think, and instead just keeps going on with her imaginary evil laugh, for Cobra to take plenty of time to shoot him. I also loved her reasoning: men are nothing but egoistic pigs. Overgeneralization FTW!

There are so many scientific holes into that story of the frozen women in the underwater current, but I have to admit: it’s a pretty neat idea. It was neatly built up, overall an exciting episode and while the visual direction wasn’t exactly up to Osamu Dezaki’s standards it still was fresh and imaginative, so I’m not complaining.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

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



Seriously, this has to be one of the fastest OVA releases I have ever encountered: only a month after the original series ended. In any case this OVA was nothing like I expected. I loved it to bits, but it never really resolved any of the plot-holes that it seemed to have promised to answer.

Instead, this is very much one of those classical extra OVAs: the ones that aren’t important to the plot, and instead focus on the characters and fleshing them out so that they can’t exactly be called useless. Much like the Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino OVA, or Birdy the Mighty Decode – The Cipher you do not want to judge these episodes as standalone products. But they really are everything you could hope for in character chemistry.

Because GOD, this episode was satisfying. The entire first half was just spent on Hei and Yin, spending time together in some sort of tropical resort, on their run from the Syndicate. Mao is there too, but he’s just in full time cat-mode throughout the entire episode, so that Yin and Hei can finally get some quality time for themselves. In terms of plot, we don’t exactly learn something new, but Yin does start to show signs that she’s not as obedient as you’d expect of a doll, and this episode also shows one of the attempts of the Syndicate to capture her.

The animation also looks very good, and the music was as terrific as ever. Those who were hoping for lots of plot will be disappointed, because it just wasn’t there. Who knows. Perhaps a third season will some day in a couple of years get announced, which will fill in all of the question marks that are still left. However, with the current trends in anime, which still somehow seem to believe that there is not enough moe in anime, I’m not getting my hopes up.
Rating: ** (Ezxcellent)

Posted on with categories: Seikai no Monshou



I love how this series plays around with morals. In the first episode, it really seemed like the Abh were your stereotypical evil empire full of evil emotionless Nazis that like to conquer people. And yet now that we’ve gotten to see a bit of their side of the story, then we suddenly see that these people are surprisingly human, and despite having power-hungry leaders, it’s not like all of them are heartless monsters. Cultural values and differences also play huge differences on hate and distance between the Abh and other nations. That makes me wonder what the Abh themselves think about their habit of not getting involved with the nations they conquer. Could it be that it’s not like they keep out of the nations they conquer because they believe they’ll be hated and nobody would want to cooperate?

This episode was mostly about these complex kinds of politics, rather than two previous episodes, which were more focused at just Jinto and Lafiel. And it did well in making it sink in that wars can take multiple centuries before being resolved. I hope that one of the future episodes will show the story from the perspective of the opposing alliance of those four countries. That will really allow us as viewers to form a complete picture. That sudden attack of them to the ship came seemingly out of nowhere, so I’m very interested in their exact reason and mindset for initiating that attack.

Overall, we probably won’t see her again after this point, but I liked that captain of the ship a lot. Before she appeared, I had this totally distorted image of the Abh, but she showed that the Abh are a varied race. That’s something that I often miss in stories that make up their own races: sure, the humans are varied, with all sorts of different bastards and nice guys walking around. And yet the elves are tree-loving, intelligent and use bows, dwarfs are small, grumpy and live in caves and the angels are all stuck-up and pretentious. With small tribes, I can understand: the herd instinct will likely develop these people with slightly similar personalities. But entire races? Nah.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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



I’m sorry for the delay of this entry. I’ve got a bit of a cold at this moment, so I’m not at my fastest.

But what a hell of an episode we had this week! Even though it was just a build-up, it was in no way inferior tot he other Armed Librarian episodes. The way in which this episode built up tension, simply by letting Hamy take a “while” to catch up to Volken was brilliantly done, and in the meantime it revealed an increasingly interesting back-story behind this arc.

This episode subtly gave a whole new dimension to a ton of different backgrounds. First of all, take a look at the OP: you can see the young Vend Ruga right next to young Hamy. Therefore, it’s pretty likely that Hamy’s grudge against Vend is something personal. The thing is, however that Vend Ruga was a True Man: one whose book was very interesting to read, and yet she rebelled against the Church, and therefore also against the Armed Librarians. In a way, that makes her one of the good guys. What complicates matters is that somehow she has split her soul across many different bodies. One of the things that makes Hamy so frustrated is that she keeps killing off these bodies, but can never seem to get all of them.

Now, Olivia Litlet. It is very likely that the ship we see in this episode was the same that Hamy blew up in episode one, only Olivia was lucky enough to leave the ship before it happened. On that ship she was desperately deceiving the owner of the boat, using his meats in order to perform a ritual to get something back. However, remember that she has Vend Ruga living inside of her. How much different were the kind of containers that Hamy killed off in this episode’s flashback to the meats we saw in the first arc (the ones who kept going “Kill Hamyuts Meseta”). In fact, I think that that was the revenge ten years later that the Governor of Paradise was talking about.

It might be that Olivia, when she kept using Yucklyuck in order to bring a “certain person” back, she might have been doing it for Vend Ruga instead, which might relate to her past with Hamy. But on the other hand, if that’s the case then Renas’ statement doesn’t really make sense. Another theory on why Hamy was so hellbent on getting rid of Vend is because she was “trying to destroy the heavens”. Now first of all: what are the “heavens” exactly in this series in which everyone turns into a book at death? How does the Governor of Paradise and the tree fit into this, as they both seem to be allies with Hamy for some reason.

we all know that Hamy doesn’t care about dying, but could it actually be that she doesn’t want heaven to be destroyed, whatever it may be? If that’s true, then it would explain why she’s so extreme in trying to get rid of Vend Ruga: she was a true woman, who could have had the power to destroy this heaven. If we link this further to Hamy death wishes: could it be that Hamy isn’t the key to destroy the world, but rather something really really good will happen if she reaches this “heaven”?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

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  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 12:15 AM)
    @Anon: Better late than nver as goes the phrase lol I am glad to see madhouse doing a show that doesn’t involve phoning it in again, its a return to form of what madhouse once was. I don’t like the anime character designs for parasite though and the concern would be that the adaptation would be censored.
  • Anon
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 12:12 AM)
    @Emma I’m just really surprised that they’re making an anime of Parasyte so late. This really doesn’t happen much, and moreso I’m surprised that Madhouse is doing it. They’ve fucked up good manga in the past.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 12:10 AM)
    @Anon: The princes androygenous features carry an appeal to me.
    I’ve read the manga for parasyte, I like the relationship between the hand and the protagonist, it delivers on the violence angle and I liked how the protaganist was effected by his experience, had a good sense of humour to it too. The art was hit or miss and the endings alright.
  • Anon
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 12:05 AM)
    @Emma Prince Baka confuses me sexually. Is Bam gone? Because I want to talk about Parasyte. WHAT THE FUCK, the anime hasn’t even come out yet and they’re throwing a live action movie out the front door.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 12:02 AM)
    That Prince guy from level E, he really makes it what it is, its a good comedy.
  • Anon
    (Friday, Aug 22. 2014 12:00 AM)
    @Emma Analogous to that, I think, is Level E.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 11:58 PM)
    I’m sure space dandy has its audience, but with episodic comedy based stuff I expect the first episode to be a good indicator and I just found it childish.
  • Anon
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 11:55 PM)
    @Raggers Yup, it’s used as comedic relief.
  • Raggers
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 11:54 PM)
    @Emma: the only thing potentially alienating (pun intended) about Dandy is: it’s focus on boobs & bums. But then that’s kind of it’s thing and fits naturally into the show, and I’ve yet to see it played for anything other than a joke.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 11:54 PM)
    I didn’t buy redline largely because while it was beautifully produced and I can appreciate it for that, an anime movie about car racing doesn’t really appeal to me.

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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 […]

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Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]