Posted on 30 November 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

In this month, there have been a lot of different series that impressed me. Especially my top 5 for this month is very close, with each of those series being amazing in its own way. Now, this season does have its share of flops, but for every disappointment, this season also came with a surprise, and that’s what I like about this season.

The main problem with this season is the series length. I’m currently watching 24 series, only seven of them will continue past December. That’s way too little. Granted, there are some series that are currently scheduled for a good length, but there still are too constrained by their series length.

#25 (29) – Iron Man – (5,75/10) – Well, the good news: Iron Man has gotten slightly better: it has an actual plot now. The bad news is that the plot is so ridiculously corny that you could feed an entire orphanage for a month with the cheese it produces. I mean, it’s good to have a villain who has a backstory for once, but the way it was written was just way too sloppily.
#24 (21) – Yosuga no Sora – (6,5/10) – Now this has just become porn. I’m glad that this show doesn’t shy away from the fact that teenagers can have sex and all, but when it boils down to the lead characters running from one girl to the other, just to have sex with her (followed by a convenient reset-ending), then it’s just become softcore porn. Dropped.
#23 (19) – Togainu no Chi – (6,75/10) – I really fail to see the point of this series if it’s just going to have 13 episodes. Right now, eight episodes have passed and this still is a forgettable series, full of hammy acting and bad directing. And really, the plot might actually have been very nice, but the entire show is just ridiculously cheesy. The worst offender is that guy who keeps sprouting these nonsensical lines that are supposed to be symbolic.
#22 (13) – Marie&Gali – (7,25/10) – When some of the scientific explanations turn out to be actually wrong, things have really gotten down hill. This episode continued to pretty much repeat jokes that have already been used by previous episodes, so they lost a lot of their charms.
#21 (16) – The World God Only Knows – (7,25/10) – Here’s my problem with this series: it’s currently overshadowed by a ton of other series in every single way. the conquests are shallow and there are tons of better character studies out there. The characters are dull and forgettable when you look past their gimmicks, the voice acting is unimpressive at best, and so the only reason why I’m still watching it is for the entertainment value, and yet there are so many series this season that are funnier than this show. The best episode of this series still is the one with the broken game, but apart from that this has been just mediocre.
#20 (23) – Arakawa Under the Bridge – (7,5/10) – Still haven’t dropped this, and I have to admit: the characters can be quite interesting. If this was a regular drama, I probably would have loved it. Still, it’s a comedy. And I still don’t find it funny. Perhaps it manages to get a chuckle out of me every two episodes or so, but that’s way too little considering the huge amounts of jokes and antics the creators throw at the viewer.
#19 (22) – MM! – (7,5/10) – This show… should just have ended at episode four. Seriously, it’s a complete mess now, full of random fillers that don’t really progress the characters in any way and contain a fair number of scenes in which the characters start acting ridiculously out of character. And yet, I really have to admit that this is a huge guilty pleasure for me. I laughed like crazy at episode eight, episode seven was also completely hilarious. This show has gotten ridiculously stupid at this point, but at the same time it has not lost its charms, which is more than I can say than for a large amount of other moe and harem series.
#18 (18) – Fortune Arterial – (7,75/10) – The big problem with this series is that when it’s fleshing out its cast, it’s really dull and cheesy. It’s nothing bad, but still pretty much like your average antics you see in a moe show. And yet, the main storyline is actually fairly good. I’m surprised, but the characters have actually developed fairly well, the plot is not too ambitious yet very focused on the main characters, and aside from a few strange decisions that the characters made to increase drama, I’m fairly impressed here.
#17 (11) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (7,75/10) – Here’s the thing: the new and added content for this show was usually really good, and yet then there came a bunch of episodes that completely ignored some of the supposed awesome parts of the manga. I just don’t get that. Also, the fact remains that the overall story of Nurarihyon no Mago still isn’t the most impressive one and there likely isn’t going to be a second season considering the low DVD sales.
#16 (20) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (8/10) – The nun arc showed a lot about the different fractions of the catholic church, but at the same time it was a bit boring and not very interesting. The following arc was actually very good, and it lacked everything that annoyed me of Railgun. The new arc excels in the chemistry between the different characters, but there’s just too much pointless fanservice at this point.
#15 (7) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10)

And finally we’re nearing the finale of this thing. The penultimate Katanagatari episode was neither the best of the worst instalment of the series, but it still has the addictive dialogue that made this anime so enjoyable. At the moment my biggest concern is that the main villains are rather flat, so I hope that the final episode can still make something out of them.

#14 (12) – Bakuman – (8,25/10)

Okay, so instead of the manga making process, this month has mostly focused on the romance. Obviously I’m curious to the point at which they actually start making a manga, but the romance itself has gotten much better since the early episodes: it’s moving at a steady pace, not exactly annoying and gets some interesting scenes out of the different characters.

#13 (15) – Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – (8,25/10)

As a bit of a combination between slice of life and a comedy, it has worked surprisingly well. It’s especially the way in which it manages to portray its characters that’s surprisingly down to earth, and yet it can be quite funny and quirky at times. It’s also quite creative, and finally in a good way for a Shaft series again.

#12 (6) – Shinryaku! Ika-Musume – (8,25/10)

There are a few segments that aren’t as funny as the others, but it’s not like this series has run out of material by far. The has been plenty of new and fresh hilarity within this series and Squid Girl remains as adorable as ever. The only thing is that unfortunately, the animation budget has ran out, so the animation isn’t as good as it once was.

#11 (9) – Tantei Opera Milky Holmes – (8,25/10)

Seriously, the jokes in this series are good. It never ceased to amaze me how well and effective this series makes fun of both itself and other series of its genre, and it’s got some amazing comedic timing. The acting still is completely over the the top, but that’s a huge part of the charms of this series. The best jokes still are the first four episodes (nothing has still beaten the sarcophagus), but this month has provided enough other material to laugh at.

#10 (17) – Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt – (8,25/10)

In this month, Panty and Stocking did what I really hoped it would do: pack some variety. Some episodes packed some very creative action, others went more into the parody direction, episode 9’s second half was really charming, and I also really enjoyed the zombies and transformers. The sex and toilet jokes is just a gimmick, what’s really impressed me about this show is its creativity, and that’s something it definitely showed in this month.

#9 (14) – Yumeiro Patissiere – (8,25/10)

The title of this show is wrong. It should be “Yumeiro Business Consultant”. Sure, it’s less catchy and all (although I’d argue that that would make this show even more awesome), but this is pretty much what Ichigo and the other lead characters have been doing over the past nine episodes: helping other characters set up a successful shop, guiding others to get their certificates, and travelling to all kinds of different places in the process. And yes, this is a shoujo series, proving that you can very much make a good shoujo series without resulting in the usual cliches. Take that, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

#8 (13) – Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – (8,5/10)

Finally! After sixteen episodes, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu has finally gotten awesome. The plot finally has gotten interesting, the characters finally have developed, the scenario finally manages to hold my attention again. Seriously, a ton of characters who once were really annoying have suddenly become very interesting to watch. That’s a really good sign here. Just too bad that it took so long to get there.

#7 (10) – Otome Youkai Zakuro – (8,5/10)

The characterization of this series really turned out to be excellent: the different couples play off each other really well with some actual genuine tension between them. They suffer from their romantic cliches, which prevent their relationships from really developing, but beyond that they’re really well portrayed. The most intriguing is definitely Zakuro’s past.

#6 (3) – Star Driver – (8,5/10)

The thing with Star Driver is that every time I think that I know what’s going to happen next, this show does something completely different. It’s so delightfully unpredictable, and the story definitely got a lot of new dimensions during the past month. On top of that, the characters are also getting neatly fleshed out here, so all that’s left for this series now is to actually start using all of this build-up.

#5 (2) – Letter Bee – (8,75/10)

Nichi’s arc was amazing, creative and really gave a new dimension to the plot, but beyond that, the Sylvette episode also rocked. It’s been a really excellent month for Letter Bee, where also the visuals turned out to be more stunning than ever. I really hope that it can keep this up.

#4 (4) – Shiki – (8,75/10)

This was an excellent month for Shiki, and it is at this point where it really set itself apart as a unique horror series. The entire month was just full of despair: just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse… they do. The decisions that the characters make just keep surprising me.

#3 (8) – Shinrei Tantei Yakumo – (8,75/10)

I’m not sure how many people still are liking this series, but I currently love it: the random stories have gotten actually a lot more solid in this month,but the series really started shining when the main storyline popped up. The latest arc has given a ton of depth to just about every important character. The soundtrack also has become as amazing as you’d expect from a Bee-Train series, the direction has become a lot more solid. It’s really now obvious that the creators were trying to rush through the beginning chapters in order to give these important stories enough time in the space of 13 episodes. It’s risky decision, but it worked out wonderfully.

#2 (5) – Kuragehime – (8,75/10)

Kuragehime turned out to be an amazingly fun series to watch the cast is incredibly dynamic, and the series really shines when it mixes the energy of all kinds of characters with each other, brilliantly making use of all of the flaws of the different characters.

#1 (1) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,75/10)

In this month, Heartcatch Precure went on a hiatus, showed a bunch of light-hearted intermezzos and showcased an episode that surpassed itself yet again. Perhaps it wasn’t as consistent as the previous months, but this series really never ceases to amaze me. The work it put in this month is really making sure for this series to not lose itself in its own epicness in the finale, so they were episodes well spent.

Posted on with categories: Nurarihyon no Mago



Wait, this was supposed to be a complete filler? I really would not have guessed if I wasn’t told this in advance, because this was actually a very good calm before the storm episode, which did exactly what the previous episode failed to do: create an atmosphere and tension. The sense that something really major is going to happen.

On top of that, it also fleshed out Tamazuki, telling a bit about his past and the weapon he wields (why didn’t the manga do that, I wonder?), and I liked the little talk that Nurarihyon had with the tanuki. On top of that, it also was an interesting idea for him to look up Kana, not to kill her, but out of simple curiosity. The dialogue in this episode felt quite natural and overall it really made up for the previous episodes (also notice how everyone is suddenly moving in the backgrounds).

And yet this remains a very strange adaptation. Just like how JC Staff put the wrong director on Bakuman, Studio Deen put Junji Nishimura on the wrong project: this episode really shined because of his influence, but he really is a guy who is at his best when working on original stories. I have to confess that my favourite parts of this series were indeed around the anime original scenes, and yet at the same time this series just glances over the supposed best parts of the manga and keeps delaying the point at which it is supposed to get really good.

I know that there are a lot of rumours and all, but I’m only convinced when an official announcement will arrive on the second season. At the moment, there are a lot of parallels with Letter Bee’s first season, which also padded itself out in order to put the good stuff in a potential second season, but there’s one crucial difference here: with Letter Bee, you could really see that it was building up to something amazing. I’m not seeing that with Nurarihyon no Mago. For all I know the story could end perfectly just at episode 25, and the only single indication I have that the story will end up awesome is the words of some of the manga readers.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Shinryaku! Ika Musume



Another hilarious episode, especially the first two parts rocked and were able to get the best out of Squid Girl. The first part was awesome because of all of the things that go on inside Squid Girl’s head, the second part was awesome because of her antics, while the third part was more focused on the side-characters, and was probably the first story in which Squid Girl did not take up one of the lead roles.

The first part was really good at Squid Girl’s usual habits of making an elephant out of a mosquito when it escalates a simple game of Knock Knock Ginger to the point of Squid Girl getting a new best friend. (On a side-note: that game really has different names in all kinds of different countries: the Japanese call it “Pin-Pon Dash”, while in the Netherlands we call it “Belletje Trekken”, which roughly translates to a childish version of “Pull the Bell”). I especially liked how her antics in this cased managed to surprise even Shizuru, who usually is in control of everything.

The second part was all about makeup. It started all innocently with some lipstick, but I especially loved the scene in which Squid Girl went to get some tips from those trendy girls and ended up looking absolutely ridiculous. This episode also had a lot of fun putting makeup on the rest of the cast, which worked surprisingly well.

The creators did miss a chance to include some neat continuity when Squid Girl ended up painting her face with some coloured marker. The segment ends quickly after that with Squid Girl looking perfectly fine in the next one. In the third segment, they could have had her complain about how long it took to get that off, to introduce some interesting continuity between the different episodes. Also, at the end of this episode the entire restaurant gets destroyed. I really fear that the next episode will just skip to the rebuilt restaurant, though it will be awesome if the next episode focused on rebuilding the entire thing.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 November 2010 with categories: Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope



For the Autumn 2010 Kaleidoscope I’ve been talking about different series each week. Otome Youkai Zakuro’s ninth episode makes for the last series I want to say something about. For December, I’m going to fill this category with posts about the series that I think will have the most interesting finales, which probably will be posts focusing on Panty and Stocking and Otome Youkai Zakuro.

Oh and on a side-note: I’m probably not going to go a kaleidoscope for the upcoming winter season, because of the simple reason that TOO MANY SHOWS ARE ENDING at the end of December. With that as a result, I’ve got room for eight new series; nine when Heartcatch Precure ends. That’ll be plenty of room to blog all of the good shows, plus also a bunch of premises that I normally wouldn’t even consider.

In any case, this episode is a good point to talk about this series, because a) we’ve gotten some significant build-up at this point and know where this show is heading to, b) I can praise a lot about it and c) I can also criticize a bit about it.

Starting with a), Otome Youkai Zakuro definitely has built up the best cast out of all the shows I’m not blogging this season. It’s got three couples who play off each other really well, and the past episodes have developed some really genuine relationships between all of them. the most intriguing being Zakuro and the mystery behind her: she’s a really tragic character who was really well explored in the past eight episodes.

Now, this episode was meant as a bit of an intermezzo between the heavy arcs, mostly focusing on fleshing out the romances a bit. It was enjoyable because we’ve seen relatively little of the cast in light-hearted situations due to the short length of this series. This episode was enjoyable, simply because the characters have been very well developed at this point, and because of that they were fun to watch.

And yet, this episode also enlarged some of the major flaws of this series. For that I need to go back to the source material, or its original author Lily Hoshino. When you look at the different covers of some of the other manga she has written, there’s one thing that immediately caught my attention: they all look the bloody same! Nearly all of them feature two people looking mellow and hugging each other. I couldn’t find a premise for most of them on ANN, but the premises I did find were just completely stupid and cliched, most notably that one about a family which forces all of its children to marry guys.

The creators here really gave a wonderful adaptation of the Otome Youkai Zakuro, but at the same time you can see that the romance is bound by these stupid cliches. The romance is mostly mature, and yet because of that premise the characters never really become couples, even though how obvious it is that Susukihotaru and Yoshinokazura are into each other, with the same going on for Bonbori and Hoozuki and Hanakiri.

Zakuro also suffers from these romantic cliches, though slightly different. In her case it’s indeed more logical to become good friends with Agemaki due to the large tension between them, and I actually really liked the point at which her crush on Hanadate was revealed. But yeah: he’s a bad guy, making what could have been a mature love triangle into a cheesy shoujo affair and Zakuro closer and closer to a standard tsundere. It’s pointless twists like these that are really holding back the otherwise truly excellent execution of this series.

Again though, I really like this series despite these criticisms. What’s even more impressive here is that JC Staff is really busy this season: they’re working on four different series at once, and yet all four of them are actually pretty good. Obviously some are better than others, but compare that to AIC which was in the same position during the previous Summer Season, working on four moe shows at the same time, where in the end every single one of them turned out to be dull and boring.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: OVA Impressions



Megane na Kanojo consists of four separate stories of about 12 minutes long each. They don’t have anything to do with each other, and pretty much tell the stories of random couples, all in which a girl with glasses pays a big role. Hence the title, Megane na Kanojo. Right… so where to star?

The first two episodes are just plain boring. They’re based on two completely stupid premises that really don’t go anywhere and are just padded out with stupid and boring romantic antics. Only go for these if you’re a big fan of teenaged antics, otherwise don’t even bother with them.

The third part is slightly better, and at least tries to get something genuine off the ground (it’s also the only episode of the four that doesn’t feature teenagers), but in the end it shoots itself in the foot with its own cliches and stupidity. The fourth episode is the only one of the four which isn’t ruined by its own stupidity, but instead we’re treated to a cheesy romantic flick with a ton of teenaged angst.

So overall, it’s a big resounding “meh”. Megane na Kanojo isn’t exactly bad, it’s just unbelievably boring. It’s based on very unremarkable short romantic stories, but most of the airtime is just filled with boring and cheesy teenaged dialogue, and whenever it wants to get to some genuine drama it immediately ruins its own build up with its own stupidity. The only episode I’d even remotely recommend is the third one, but even there the lead character is a complete airhead, but at least her inner monologues were a bit charming. Otherwise, this is nothing more than AIC with its moe again.
OVA Episode Rating: 6.5/10

Posted on with categories: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo



Again: I’m baffled here. We all know that the first episodes had problems due to being rushed and all. And so here this episode comes with the main plot of this show and it suddenly becomes incredibly solid. Seriously, this episode was amazing in both its plot and atmosphere, and showed more than ever that Koichi Mashimo isn’t the only big talent that’s walking around in Bee-Train.

I’m really impressed by the plot here, and especially how it focused on just about everyone here: both the main characters and the villains. I just love how this episode tied everything together, the plot is both disturbing, imaginative and deep. And I really have to admit here: the bad guys in this series kick ass. They don’t just look evil, their actions really pack a punch here, from the trauma they inflicted on Yakumo’s mother by first raping her, murdering her boyfriend and then getting her to kill her own son, to recruiting little girls by having them kill off their own family. I also love the subtlety with which Yakumo now remembers his past. He’s obviously silent and introvert, but it’s not like he’s angsting over it either. I also really liked how he as a kid didn’t really like Takeda Shunsuke, and only much later found out that he was dating his mother.

Now, the one point at which I have criticisms of this episode was the way in which Gotou suddenly arrived at exactly the right time behind Miyuki Nanase, but I’ve seen far worse coincidences: Takeda Shunsuke made sure to tell everyone the location of Yakumo, with Gotou using a car with a bit of a delay, he could catch up to Haruka who took the train.

Speaking of which, Haruka again just ran into a situation unprotected, even though Takeda Shunsuke advised her to stay, but for once her actions make sense here: she was being targeted by Miyuki Nanase, and hiding would have actually worked against her favour: Miyuki would have easily captured her, just going to Yakumo would have saved Miyuki the trouble of dragging her over to Nagano, which is why she was left untouched. The way Miyuki was defeated may perhaps been a bit of a cop-out, but really: it was the only way. It’s already been established at this point that she’s completely badass, and that there’s no way that she would have lost in a real fight.

Also, what the hell was up with the animation in this episode? I mean, that’s not Bee-Train. I mean, smooth frame-rates are one thing, but there were tons of shots in this episode which had completely fluent movement, with more frame-rates than I’ve probably ever seen in a Bee-Train series. That scene in which Nanase told about how she murdered her parents was also just amazing: there was a TON of style within just those thirty seconds.

I now understand what this series is doing, and why the first few chapters were so incredibly rushed: they were simply trying to go through those chapters as fast as possible, so that they could put more emphasis on these final few episodes. You know how a lot of series waste too much time on their introductions, so that their endings get rushed? Denyuuden is a good example of that at the moment: it’s currently amazing, but it did take sixteen episodes with a lot of boring build-up to get there. That’s what the creators most likely wanted to avoid here, so for that they had to sacrifice some first impressions due to these rushed chapters.

The current Autumn Season wasn’t the best one for the reputation of series that feature adults as main characters, with Iron Man, Togainu no Chi and Hakuouki with their cheesy stories and characters and in a bit less of a way Panty and Stocking and Arakawa who have their minds in the gutter and riverbed respectively, but at the same time I really appreciate how there still are series like Otome Youkai Zakuro, Kuragehime and Shinrei Tantei Yakumo that try to come with mature storylines that aren’t chockful of teenaged antics. They may have a few cliches, they may be a bit rushed, but they really are the proof that anime hasn’t entirely been taken over by whimsical teenagers.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 28 November 2010 with categories: Heartcatch Precure



We’re getting close to the end now, Dune is about to unleash his chaos onto the earth, the Sabaku are getting more and more desperate to take out the Precure, and the grand finale is only a few months away. So naturally, this episodes puts our cast in a kindergarten and has them fight a giant stuffed animal. Of course!

This is exactly what this series needs at this point though. The problem with a lot of these light-hearted series that get near their end is that they become too epic: things either become too serious, letting go of the charms that made them once fun to watch, or the saving the world feels so out of place or sense that it becomes just cheesy. This episode was exactly needed in order to keep the light hearted fun still in the series while the creators are closing off the story. It’s exactly because of this that the creators waited so long with going to the kindergarten, because it’s really effective at that, and on top of that it’s also more than just another “child with worries”-episode. Seriously, when was the last time we had an episode that followed that formula anyway?

I also have to praise this show for not giving Tsubomi any magical upgrades because she’s the main character: this episode again very much stated that Cure Moonlight is by far the most powerful Precure. It’s really great to see that the creators stayed true to this, even through the various stages in which the powers of the Precures were developed.

On the topic of the next Precure series, it finally got its own website, but apart from that no new information has been revealed. Based on the logo it’ll probably revolve around music, but then again: Heartcatch Precure’s main theme was flowers, and yet you don’t see any of that, while Fresh Precure had a very watery-themed logo, and yet I failed to spot any significant hints to liquids in the episodes that I watched aside from an occasional pool. There are some interesting possibilities for this becoming an animated musical of some sort, but for that to work the creators had better prepare an awesome soundtrack that can dwarf even Heartcatch Precure’s, otherwise it’ll have lost its entire point.

Toei, you’ve really set yourself a challenge here. Heartcatch Precure pretty much already is really close to the perfect way to handle the classic mahou shoujo premise. At this stage, it’s very much possible that Suite Precure will be some sort of cash-in, however Toei is strange. I’d love to see them really grab the ambitions to try and trump even Heartcatch with the next Precure. But ah well, once the staff gets announced we’ll be a lot wiser.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Star Driver



Yet again: an episode that gives a complete new spin to the story. And we’re only nine episodes in yet; normally you see these kinds of things ten episodes later or something. This episode again did something that went completely against my expectations, it brought in A TON of new stuff, characters and plot threads.

Mizuno, the west maiden really brings a huge new plot along with her. From out of nowhere, she introduces a new Crux Brigade member (replacing the head, who went on a holiday after what happened in the previous episode), who turns out to be Mizuno’s twin sister, entirely in it to protect her sister from being found out (even going to the point of setting up a flamboyant act for it), not knowing that her subordinates (four also totally new characters) have formed their own brigade and are pretty much just using her as a tool. This definitely brings some great new potential to the series. Also, this episode on top of that introduces painter R. We have no clue who it is apart from that it’s special to both good guys and bad guys.

I don’t really understand the whole point of the shrine maidens at this point, though: why is the West Maiden necessary to reach third phase? I mean, I can understand it if you’d need 1 maiden for phase 1, 2 for phase 2 etc (opening up the possibility for a phase 4 as well), but the fish girl just left and the brigade members still were able to enter phase 2.

This wasn’t the most enjoyable episode because it spent quite an amount of time introducing these new characters (plus, I’m missing the fish girl song). The fight scene in this episode also was a bit unremarkable (again, it was just used to build up and nothing more). The romantic hi-jinks were also not the most enjoyable, but the fanservice could have been much worse I guess. There were no stupid cliches nor was there too much of a focus on the fanservice, so I guess it’s all-right.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Letter Bee



Ah, a wonderful conclusion to the second part of Nichi’s arc. I expected this episode to delve into what happened to Nichi after she was thrown into the ocean, but instead this episode was all about her sister, and her feelings throughout the past 200 years. That too really worked, because she really is a great character. I also really want to applaud this episode for its portrayal of how she uses her hair as a weapon. Nichi looks like a bunch of chopsticks compared to how she’s able to use it.

Now, it’s obvious that the manga chapter in this case was a bit too short for 20 minutes, so there were quite a few flashbacks. The ones that were shown right after the OP and the break were just shallow, but I have to admit that watching the parts again in which Lag found Nichi really got to me. Flashbacks like that really work when they show exactly how much the characters in question have grown.

This episode also gave an answer to what those strange frozen Gaichuu were, but it still was rather vague, but at the same time it made it a bit more likely why Gauche went after them. I also really wonder what’s in store for Lag now that Nichi isn’t with him… something just tells me that he’s going to run into Gauche again…
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 November 2010 with categories: Bakuman



Another episode where the biggest airtime is devoted to the romance. If I had known this at episode 2 or 3 and wasn’t forced to blog this series, then I probably would have given up on this series, but at this point things definitely have gotten better. The problem was really was that it made some bad first impressions, the way in which Moritaka likes the girl whose mother was liked by his uncle and whose best friend has a crush on Moritaka’s best friend, not to mention that she wants to be a voice actress: the creators used it well for the story, but it was just too convenient.

The romance is well developed, though. This episode had a lot of fun sorting out Akito’s love live, which was pretty enjoyable. I’m also glad that the romance is actually moving forward at a steady rate instead of getting stale. It’s far from True Tears or White Album levels though and it still has a long way to go, it made use of some annoying cliches that make no sense, like when someone pretended that you can only like or dislike someone, with no inbetween.

Also, my memory may be fooling me here, but this may be the first time in which someone was actually suspended from school for a while, due to a violent incident. In any case it’s something you don’t see often. I also liked how Ishizawa did not get punished, which lead characters to discuss some very down to earth flaws in their school rule system. Quite realistic.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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

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

Hisone to Masotan – 11 [The Sky of Montparnasse and the Trash Girl]

What’s there to say about HisoMaso? I’ll be blunt but I see this whole final arc a missed opportunity. It builds from neat ideas, but the way the show creates and resolves its conflicts are hammy at best. Take the two main struggles this episode: Hisone decided to quit the job altogether and the grandma […]

Hinamatsuri – 12 [Snow Festival]

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the hypest episode of the season, as Megalo Box lays everything on the table for next week’s finale. Lets just jump right into it. Megalo Box has a lot going on this week. We saw the return of multiple characters and got updates on their lives. We were shown backstories […]

Steins;Gate 0 – 11 [Pandora of Forgotten Existence -Sealed Reliquary-]

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Golden Kamuy – 11 [Everybody, Get Together! It’s a Murder Hotel!]

Welcome to Bates hotel!! Alright, make no mistake, this is the funniest episode of Golden Kamuy we will ever have. Still dark, have very little to do with the main plot, but it’s spooky fun. Even trashy fun with all the dick jokes. This is Golden Kamuy at its loosest shape. Which is not a […]

Hisone to Masotan – 10 [Melting in Love]

Pretty visual aside, I wonder how much fuel left for this aircraft before it runs out of ideas. HisoMaso has never been a show with detailed world building, or even thick plot to begin with, and as the usual case for me, nothing much happened in this episode. The biggest plot point of this week […]

Hinamatsuri – 11 [A Man Thirsty for Blood, Violence and Money]

The theme of this week is the kind hearts of our cast, and we have 2 parts that take the idea and go into different directions. Remember when I mentioned before how Hinamatsuri would be if Anzu takes Hina’s place? That’s exactly the idea behind the second half. I’m glad that Nitta has some major […]

Darling in the Franxx – 21[For You, My Love]

Huh…wasn’t expecting that to be resolved so quickly. So as predicted Zero Two makes it to Darling and as predicted they power up and drive off the aliens. Also as predicted Zero is is now dead…or dying…or in a coma…or in some state that leaves her dead eyes by episodes end. I admit to be […]

Megalo Box – 11 [A Deadmarch]

Incredible Megalo Box… Simply incredible. This week was perfect in every way but one, and at this point that one is easily overlooked. Let’s skip this preamble and jump right in! Megalo Box had a lot going on this week as we see the culmination of a lot of characters big arcs. Starting off, lets […]

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Violet Evergarden (2018 Winter) Review – 76/100

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