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)

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Anonymous181098
Are you kidding??!! Tokyo is amazing if you want excitement & you want to experience social life. But I agree go to Osaka. If tokyo is like Quebec then osaka is like toronto. More laid back
Anonymous180231
OPM was a shoe-in. It's showing very good success on Adult Swim on US TV and Viz is throwing big dollars to keep the gravy train rolling
AidanAK47
One Punch Man season 2 was announced. Expected but most certainly welcome.
...now I need Re:Zero season 2.
CJayTiiii
Honestly, if you are going to Kyoto essentially no shrine is worth visiting in Tokyo because none of them are as nice as the ones in Kyoto and they are essentially all tourist traps.
K-Off
If you guys insist I'll give Osaka serious consideration. But again I'd hate to gloss over Kyoto or Tokyo. But anyhow my 4 week stay in Seoul will be eternity compared to the Japan trip.
CJayTiii
Ikebukuro is probably used almost as much as shibuya? Specifically for durarara right around the station (east side) is used a lot. Kabuki-Cho in shinjuku is definitely used a lot but I couldn't tell you in what off the top of my head.
CJayTiii
Also as someone who lived in Kyoto and now lives in Tokyo, I would suggest spending as much time as possible in Kyoto as there is just so much stuff to do there. Tokyo there honestly really isn't that much stuff to do here other than going out to drink I feel. Lol also Osaka is only a 30 min train ride (about 5$ USD) from Kyoto so it's easy to go there for a couple hours
K-Off
@Mario I'll be home by new years unfortunately, I'll have to settle for Christmas in tokyo.
@CJay Thanks, any suggestions for Tokyo? I'm trying to avoid cliché locations for anime-related scenery. Like Shibuya.
CJayTiii
For Kyoto, Tatami Galaxy is probably the best anime for side by side comparisons. Kamogawa river, Kiyamachi street, and shimogamo shrine are famous areas that pretty much constantly make appearances throughout the show.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Disney Tokyo? haha If it was me I've chosen somewhere more... locally. But who I am to judge as I celebrated last New Year Eve in Times Square, the most tourist spot of them all. But I really hope you can spend some time to go to some shrines for the New Year in Tokyo.
K-Off
@Mario The person I'm travelling with wants to spend Christmas at Disney Tokyo, and unsurprisingly nearly all places will still be open, same as NYC. Christ, I'm more worried about my wallet.
SuperMario
@K-Off: Makes sense. I'd say better stick in one place for long days rather than short trips in several places. Even 10 days for those 2 places wouldn't be enough imo, well especially during Xmas since the streets will be busy and many places could be closed (I guess?)
K-Off
@Mario It doesn't seem like I'll go to Osaka, the goal is to explore Kyoto and Tokyo and much as possible for a week and a half. If I can squeeze it in there I will, but that means spending less time in Kyoto and/or Tokyo. The bulk of my trip will be in Tokyo for now.
SuperMario
Yeah, Kenshin had a whole Kyoto act, but it was more historical anw and I feel it didn't explore the city that much (more of a ruined city)
Really, only uchoten Kazoku, tatami galaxy and durarara come to mind. Are you planning to go to Osaka as well? I heard from my friend Osaka is about an hour drive from Kyoto only.
K-Off
@Anon174851 Ah good one.
@Mike Thanks. Durarara is a good suggestion, but I haven't watched Rurouni Kenshin.
Mike
@Kaiser Sure, the story doesn't do anything for me but it's not a waste of time.
@K-Off You can do pretty much anything in Tokyo I'll bet. Anime in general aside from shows like Durarara don't emphasize the setting very much... Kyoto is more interesting, rurouni kenshin is the first thing that comes to mind.
Anonymous174851
uchouten kazoku is a really good one set in kyoto!
K-Off
Haven't heard of it. Anyways, do you guys have any suggestions for favorite anime series set in Kyoto or Tokyo? I'm planning my itinerary and the idea is to take a lot of side by side comparison pictures from their anime depictions to RL. I have YuruYuri, SYD, Detective Conan, and various KyoAni spots in mind, but my brain isn't remembering others.
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm considering finding some War/military manga to read, has anyone read Gunka no balthazar? Is it worthwhile?
AidanAK47
@Anon164960, They announced a second season for it so they ain't done with that trainwreck yet.
Anonymous165129
Gate
Anonymous164960
So Rewrite took the "Bad End" route. Interesting. Their choice, not the show of course which was a freaking mess from start to finish.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, reminding me that I have not left Ireland since 2012 when I went to Rome. Although I have floated around the idea of maybe going to Slovakia.
K-Off
@Mario Thanks, although I'll be working the whole time I'm at Seoul with sundays off. Expecting about 40-50 hours of work a week. Sucks that your trip got canned, in the Winter there's no place you'd want to be other than southern California.
SuperMario
Congrats K-Off. Hope you enjoy the trip. I myself originally planned to go to US on this December but now the plan got wrecked. Should be fun spending Xmas in Japan especially
K-Off
Got my international drivers permit from AAA today, and it also looks like I'm stuck with over half the travel fees since I've signed myself off the agency plan. It's now official, I'm going to Seoul and then spending my christmas holidays in Tokyo. Been a long time since I left the country, last time was in 2011.
SuperMario
That was me Mario
Anonymous140274
@Masky: it wasn't, but Gui Niao did mention the pipe has multi-purpose functions: do far he uses the pipe to write, to create a hallucination smoke, to make an actual bushfire, to open the lock, now to be a sword-pipe. What's next? To be a wifi modem? to be a boomerang? to shapeshift into an umbrella?
Masky
So Thunderbolts Fantasy :D Totally called the pipe being a sword (assuming it wasn't shown earlier and I just forgot about it)
AidanAK47
@Anon146321, typos are hard to avoid when you write fast. What's really important to is that the point gets across, which it did.
Anonymous146321
Medium not meduim
Masky
I wonder if trolls consider people explaining why their trolling is bad a successful trolling .-. I mean, my experience is that most of trolls aren't really smartest or most creative of people, I think most of them are happy if people just talk about them.
AidanAK47
@Anon141285, oh come on boy. Put some effort into trolling. You need to get people to actual think you believe what you are saying. Here you have already messed up because you use the old "Chinese cartoons" which is supposed to piss of anime fans because it suggests you are ignorant of the meduim but then you reference the nukes showing full well you know where they are from. You have failed.
Anonymous141285
Chinese cartoons proof that two nukes weren't enough. Or were too much depending on the perspective
SuperMario
oh, talking about teenage horror female movie, make sure to check out Raw whenever its available online. That is one hell of a fun cannibal ride!
SuperMario
my point is we tend to spend our stupid 20s phase feel like its wasted, but really it does help develop our hobby/sense/wisdom, whatever it is.
Kaiser Eoghan
I find myself now that I've grown up wanting to punch kid characters from horror films lol
Kaiser Eoghan
About the watching stories with younger female characters...its starting to feel like I shouldn't be or that it doesn't feel appropriate, actually sort of awkward/skeevy.
SuperMario
True enough. But remember that even Quentin Tarantino had his 20s basically just a movie-clerk, watched movies like a maniac and he made that classic Pulp Fiction when he was like 33
Kaiser Eoghan
Looking back It feels dickish that I laughed reading NHK.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean look at Re-life, I mean ow, everyone went through that.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think we'll find that stage where we'll get irritated by stories reminding us of our stupid 20s phases eventually just as some teenage focused anime/manga annoyingly remind us of being teens.
Kaiser Eoghan
In terms of anime/manga, much as I'd still see myself liking NHK I could see myself getting more frustrated with the lead character now being in my early 30s.
Kaiser Eoghan
In the past year I've been looking at hentai/ecchi imageboards not as often as I used to.
Kaiser Eoghan
Judy Delphy and Juliette Binoche have aged surprisingly well...
Ah its less fancying/finding them attractive, moreso taking notice of them.
SuperMario
I can understand the others but Meryl Streep too? Man, you're aging I can tell
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Julianne Moore, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Sreep, Susan Sarandon, Cate Blanchett.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: like whom if I may ask?
SuperMario
But I'm always interested in women issues myself so Mustang just hit me hard
Kaiser Eoghan
Its a sign of me aging I guess too. I'm noticing older actresses too now where I wouldn't have in the past.
SuperMario
Looking forward to Under the Shadow too, also really keen to see how The Bad Batch would turn out to be
SuperMario
Strangely I've become more engaged with teen, coming-of-age films recently (well, Aku no Hana is sort of teen drama as well),but yes, old man's psyche is my thing too
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Synecdoche, the passenger, winter light, anomalisa , wild strawberries , la notte for example.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: The day is coming where drama centred around twentyboppers won't have the same level of effect on me. Had I seen buffalo 66 5 years ago I would have been all over it. Old man/middle age angst is becoming more my thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm honestly having a harder time getting into films that focus on young girls/teenagers.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Theres only a few upcoming films left I'm looking forward to, Elle, Valley violence, whispering star and under the shadow.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I appreciate mustang for the issue it deals with and addresses but I felt it predictable and the drama didn't hit harshly enough. It feels like an academy/oscars film.
SuperMario
Kaiser: remember I mention about watching those 96 Cannes line-ups? I think I will get to watch them soon, since I downloaded all the movies already
SuperMario
@Kaiser: btw, you hated Mustang? It's also one of my favorite film so far.
SuperMario
but maybe think of it that way will make the manga more entertaining...
SuperMario
You see Aku no Hana as a dark comedy? haha I'm speechless
Kaiser Eoghan
Like you Mario I don't care for heavy infodumping and that took me out of the new world.
Kaiser Eoghan
Bebop had that problem for me in that I saw outlaw star and trigun first.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still feel aku no hana is a guilty pleasure manga, a crazy dark comedy or maybe thats just my humour.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hataraku had me laughing up to episode 7, while Amagi felt stale from the start.
Looking back on Baccano I still like Claire and Russo but the other characters not so much, the main series is enjoyable enough but the extra episodes hold back the score.
I've never watched Habane straight through although I have finished the series. Ghost vs ergo? Ergos final episode wrecked the show.
Topgavin
I thing Hataraku was a lot more consistent, but Amagi had some standout episodes. For me the OVA, the pirate ship episode and the school episode were great. "Simply put, we have to go lewder" is one of my fav quotes
K-Off
How was that by the way? I never bothered to watch Amagi Brilliant Park all the way through because I felt so cynical about it after the first two episodes. Hataraku Mao Sama on the other hand was genuinely refreshing for the first half of the season.
SuperMario
In other news, The Eccentric Family is getting 2nd season. Now I'm filled with joy
SuperMario
Still feel bad to compare an 1-cour series (Baccano) to an 4-cours one. But in this case Baccano would take my cake.
Topgavin
I reckon The Devil is a Part Timer vs Amagi Brilliant Park would be a fun one, and I wouldn't know which would win.
AidanAK47
Baccano vs Durarara might make a good matchup. Baccano is the better one but Durarara does seem to be more popular.
Syndrome
Yeah it is a bit obvious and they dont share much in common anyway. Just that they are two of the most well known anime out there. I enjoyed NGE more than Cowboy Bebop, but I agree on the later beeing overall a better anime.
AidanAK47
Oh look. Berserks Manga is on Haitus again. Muira...just..at this point I ain't even mad. Just disappointed.
SuperMario
Well, new post on Flowers of Evil is out. Come eat it up.
SuperMario
@Syndrome: was thinking about that match-up (NGE vs Cowboy Bebop) but isn't it too obvious? I always intend to pick something that caught you guys off-guard haha
AidanAK47
@Syndrome, no contest. Cowboy Bebop wins outright.
Syndrome
On a serious note, for related anime, I would be curious about something like Ergo Proxy against Ghost in the Shell
Syndrome
Go for NGE vs Cowboy Bebop and watch the world burn
SuperMario
Yeah, I agree it's one of the main factors, but even so From the New World had a higher grade too. But I wouldn't pick Haibane Renmei against From the New World if I didn't think it had a chance to win. Those who loved the former really loved it, while people more appreciate From the New World than actually love it. Well, can't beat the consensus I guess.
Topgavin
I'd say a major reason for that would be the popularity difference. On MAL, Haibane has a following of 110k people, with FTNW having 270k.
SuperMario
I'm personally quite disappointed with the results. Will try harder for a more competitive match-up next time
AidanAK47
@Mario, if you say so. I say by now the victor has been decided.
SuperMario
@Aidan: we don't need to sticky the Versus Show again, as I will put up the Aku no Hana post tomorrow anyway
AidanAK47
Yeah the brightness got a bit much in some places after episode 18.
Topgavin
I thought the brightness was done well in the episode with Rem sitting beside Subaru's bed and her smiling/crying, but yeah this was too much
SuperMario
@anon125687: my thought exactly. While I was watching it I thought to myself that it's too bright!!
Anonymous125687
Why do final episodes overdo the blur effect and fuzzy lighting its literally over dramatic cancer. Just let it end normally ffs
afgm
Well, it's hard, since it doesn't really feel finished, so even if you know it will eventually end well if given a chance, you can't really put your full confidence behind those bets
AidanAK47
Got a bit long winded in that review and yet I feel like I really didn't get across what makes the series so good.
AidanAK47
Well that's the Re:Zero review written up. I will get to work on 91 days next and maybe Prisms Illya maybe after that. Lost all entuasim after they messed up that last episode in Illya. Overall it's been pretty disappointing.
AidanAK47
As for that twist. I think they could work it easily into a first episode. The impact would still be there for people marathoning the thing in the future and it would be a good "Oh Shit!" moment to start the second season. If they jump ahead a bit to a certain moment it would actually make for a great opener.
AidanAK47
I say the only chance of season two not coming would be if White Fox doesn't like money. Considering that the pace which the light novel adaption has sped up from every few months to a release every month I guess that they want to make that second season as badly as we want it. At this pace they could start a second season in maybe a years time. Maybe every half a year depending on cour length.
Syndrome
Also, if season 2 ever come (that would be a surprise if not, and truly annoying), I dont know how they will manage with the "twist", as something this impactful would come way too fast without any kind of setup. Wait and see, I guess.
Syndrome
After seeing the last Re:Zero I couldnt help but spoil myself, and I kind of understand why WhiteFox went with that kind of ending, skipping what would be a giant shtstorm on the internet. Even though, in a sad world where there would be no season 2, Im still a bit disappointed with the ending. Its nice to wrap it up this way but its a stale regarding the plot and there is no food for thought.
SuperMario
@aidan: you sure are fast when it comes to Re:Zero haha. Alrighty, we'll go with that then
AidanAK47
@mario,I am putting up a Re:Zero post. Tommarrow. I will unsticky it for a day and then we can sticky it again.
reaLjustified
@K-Off No worries, it's so messed up. Stay safe.
SuperMario
@Aidan: if you going to post Re:Zero review soon, you can unsticky the Versus Show post, otherwise I will take it down in 2 days
SuperMario
@K-Off: I feel for ya. Glad that there were only minor injuries. I heard a blogger claimed that he did it because of the gay rights. Sound bullsh*t to me
K-Off
Shit ton of manga have gotten updates but I don't feel like talking about them for a while, lost my appetite.
K-Off
@Kaiser Living in NYC all my life I remember 9/11, flight 587 crash in Queens, the Hudson River water landing, and now this.
AidanAK47
So far it seems most of the people calling it disappointing are those who know whats comes after that last scene and were looking forward to how the fanbase reacts to it. But it would have been a pretty terrible as well as evil way to end the series.
Topgavin
Yeah, I thought it gave enough closure for us to be satisfied yet still desperately wanting the next season.
AidanAK47
@Anon120947, I really don't see what's so disappointing about it. I thought it was a pretty solid way to end the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think at most the worst thing that happened in my area was two conmen going around and an gangster attack on a nearby hotel.
Kaiser Eoghan
@K-off: Honestly, glad to hear you're safe. And having a bomb go off nearby would make me feel paranoid.
@Anon: I'm waiting, waiting for reviews written after the show ends.
Anonymous120947
Feels like it has been done this way in case of a never happening season 2... to kind of close it.
Anonymous120947
Wow, that last episode of Re:Zero was pure straight disapointment... finishing like this feels is real suffering.
K-Off
Well, we don't know yet. We don't know who did it, if it was connected to the pipe bomb explosion in jersey, etc. But the second device found on 27th street does seem to point the situation towards terrorism.
afgm
Luckily it doesn't seem to be a terror attack
K-Off
Yeah. I was a good 8 blocks away inside a restaurant so I didn't even know until later. It must have been a pretty small bomb since all the injured have apparently already been released from the hospital.
AidanAK47
Damn. Just looked it up. Good thing you weren't at the area when the bomb went off.
K-Off
Fucking hell, transit is so congested I still can't get home. Luckily it seems like there's no fatalities according to the initial reports, there are still a shit ton of people around central for shelter. I didn't hear or feel the explosion at chelsea, and currently I'm at lenox with my bicycle. So congested it looks like I'm going to have to walk my bike a few more miles before I get picked up. L
AidanAK47
Watched The Empire of Corpses. I makes me sad to see a great idea be turned into such a mediocre movie. I think this concept could have been put to much better use but instead it decided to go with the blandest option.
SuperMario
The guy who will direct it is a live-action director who only had Psycho Pass the Movie (not a good one) as an anime director. WTH? Don't know what to think about this new FLCL now
SuperMario
and it will be co-produced by Adult Swim on top of that?
SuperMario
How comes I just noticed this old news that FLCL will get two-seasons sequel...
Masky
And by that I mean "Huh, haven't checked the blog for two days"
Masky
Yay commenting on two days old blog posts
AidanAK47
Finished rewatching Re:Zero and now ready for the finale. Let's see how this goes.
AidanAK47
I will be mourning the now dead hope of a somewhat decent Berserk adaption.
The last few episodes were not bad but purely on the merits of the source material and not the adaption.
SuperMario
@Bam: I'll be mourning indeed.
@Anon 112098: I haven't watched Chef, but it has more to do with me not interested in chef's life whatsoever. Is it good?
Bam
I'm out of town until Sunday evening. The Berserk finale post will hopefully be up early Monday mourning, followed by the overall cour review a bit later in the week.
Anonymous112098
Habe u seen Chef with John Favreau?
AidanAK47
I am quite upset with how Sliver link handled that scene. It was the one scene I wanted done right. Just that one scene...and they screwed it up.
SuperMario
He scored the Prince of Egypt? I didn't know that, but yeah I remember it had a great score. Also "When you believe"
K-Off
Well, a lot of his earlier work is just brilliant. Prince of Egypt in my opinion is his greatest work.
SuperMario
*nothing wrong
SuperMario
Well, Hans Zimmer could do nothing really; but that's a reason why I have a bit of problem with his scores. Everything he made are solid but ultimately sound the same to me.
SuperMario
Agree that the music has been excellent. Not only the soundtrack thou, but the sound editting in general is great (that ringtone during the Great Whale for example).
AidanAK47
@Mario, Understandable. As much as I love this show, I admit that it has elements I am sure could turn off people.
Also I really should have talked about the music in this series more. It really is a phenomenal soundtrack. I hear they were going with a more cinematic approach to it with Hans Zimmer being a primary inspiration.
SuperMario
@Aidan: it has been a fun ride, I'm glad I stick with it till the end; although I'm not as enthusiastic about it as you are. :)
AidanAK47
Re-watching Re:Zero in preparation for the finale. Still is awesome a second time through. In fact the middle part of the series I felt dragged fairs a whole lot better when marathoned though. Noticing a number of things watching the second time. For one Roswell has a really goddamn annoying way of talking. I say I will be giving this on a very favorable review.
Anonymous110962
Hugh Mungus
AidanAK47
@TopGavin, I haven't watched it yet but I hope what you said about the animation isn't too bad because this is where they need to be on top of their game.
Topgavin
So that fate episode was interesting, lotsa stuff happened. Seemed like the animation was worse than usual and my god how could the subs screw up the incantation.
reaLjustified
@Aramus Why would you want to send the picture to your friend? Tell 'em to see it for themselves at the site! lol.
Friend
Most of the time they meant no harm, I think it's always about getting recognition. They quickly take them down after I send them a polite email, and I let them save their ego without smearing them on their page.
afgm
(ok maybe a little fault should go to them lol)
afgm
@Friend: That sucks, but its definitely understandable. People can be pretty thoughtless at times (no fault to them of course).
afgm
tiger mask did make it into the upper quartile though, which is surprising
Friend
@afgm I don't have a large internet presence with my work exactly because I've had situations with theft on Pinterest. For work, I just carry USBs with my portfolio pieces in them :/
Friend
@Aramus Heya, thanks for the inquiry. Unfortunately the fell image won't be available openly unless for commercial purposes, but otherwise feel free to contact me in my business email! :)
afgm
ah you know what? I read the title Time Bokan 24 and thought it had 24 votes x)
SuperMario
@afgm: Time Bokan receives 0 vote the last time I checked it. I'm more surprised that people love Haikyuu that much
SuperMario
Such a shame because I enjoy writing it a lot
SuperMario
2 more episodes on Thunderbolt Fantasy and I might break the sites' record (hall of shame really) for covering a show without any comment, haha.
afgm
Also what is Time Bokan and why does it have more votes than 95% of the other anime in the poll haha
afgm
well it's always iffy giving out images without the creator knowing. You can never know where its going to end up. I strongly suggest you contact Friend.
aramus1
@Afgm Sorry, I was the anon. The weird username thing is bugging out. And was going to send it to a friend, did she not want it out there?
Total users: 40

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