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
SuperMario
I know usually we should vote for the actual performances rather than their career, but I get the feeling in some cases it was just a matter of having the right role at the right time and not their actual talent.
SuperMario
I have no problem with Moonlight (instead of La La Land) winning BP as well. Easily the best one out there. Agreed with you on Huppert but Ben Affleck I got mixed feeling on that. He was really great in that role but based on his whole career he doesn't deserve to win it imo.
Kaiser Eoghan
Horray! Based Mel won best editting =O
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I am glad moonlight got best picture and Casey Affleck got best actor. Michael Shannon should have won best actor, Isabelle Huppert should have won best actress.
SuperMario
I just watched the re-broadcast of Oscar. What the heck was going on? How the hell can they mix up the Best Picture name????????????
SuperMario
@Aidan: I will go with whatever new manga he put up. That Happiness manga is currently intriguing as well
AidanAK47
Oh, the flowers of evil author started a new manga and...Oh no. I do not like where this is going.
SuperMario
That Dragon Dentist is looking good; I will give it a proper watch and then review it here. Don't know what to expect thou.
Anonymous890468
man just started a blog called the bran new day blog, this one is very interesting. consider me a regular
AidanAK47
I recommend clearing your browser cache and then checking the site again.
AidanAK47
Then how are we talking on a broken chatbox?
Ffafn
Yes it is. You broke the site. In every way possible. Parse error on the chat? Not broken? Sure.
AidanAK47
No it isn't. It just works better if you have an account with the site.
Ffafn
The chat is broken
Ffafn
Gantz:O is really good
AidanAK47
Horizon: Zero Dawn is another one that might force me to get a ps4.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Not gonna buy a switch until I see one right in front of my face. Considering Ninetdo's scarcity tactic that will be in a while and by then it will have more games.
SuperMario
Seiren finished its second route and well, it was still a mess. I think the story gotten a little bit better than the 1st one, but I found the main girl in the 2nd one less remarkable than the 1st
SuperMario
I myself had been checking this site for 5,6 years before "applied" to become admin here. Mainly to check out his older reviews. Was a real lurker myself; didn't feel the need to comment anything.
Lenlo
Zelda easy, except I refuse to buy a Switch for 1 game.
Vonter
And Nier might be the most unpredictable do to the director not conforming to typical storytelling. But also wacky gameplay design decisions like abrupt shifting from 3D to 2D. And being overall weird.
Vonter
Just asking but between Nier: Automata, Zelda: BotW and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Which one would you play first? Zelda sounds great with only the possibility of technical nitpicks hindering the Wii U version (or not). Horizon seems like a mixed bag, a graphically ambitious game with expected open world elements.
Lenlo
I began reading here back in 11/12, but never felt the need to post to much till now. Cant remember how I found it.
Topgavin
Googled "anime reviews" in 2013 and this was the first thing that came up. Didn't post until Kyoukai no Kanata's ending forced me to rant somewhere; that being here.
Kaiser Eoghan
I began visiting the site in 2009, though started posting sometime in 2010/11.
Topgavin
@Mario yenah don't worry, this website it one of my 6 or 7ish tabs that never closes. I'm sure many here are like this, but it'd feel wrong to stop reading a site you've been reading for a long time. I've only been here 3-4ish years myself, but I know there's some who've been here much longer.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: sex sells baby.SEX SELLS (not sure if anyone biting it thou)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Putting nude screenshots into the Scum's wish posts I see to pull people into checking it out OwO.
SuperMario
@Topgavin: yeah the question is WHEN they will adapt all of these. Great that you're busy now with uni stuffs (always good to be busy) but make sure to check back in often. I don't want to loose the small number of regular viewers here so to speak :)
Topgavin
And yeah, been doing university stuff so haven't had much time at all to do own time stuff.
Topgavin
@Mario Apparently there's a decent amount of content left in the VN, and since it's the first show by the studio I wouldn't be surprised if it gets a second season. Pretty bad look if you neglect your flagship show
SuperMario
and haven't seen you around that often lately @Topgavin. Been busy this season??
SuperMario
For Tanya, there's either this type of episode that focused on war, action and Tanya being badass; or Tanya working her way up rank and fighting with God. While obviously I enjoy the latter much more, I think this was still a solid episode. My 2 main complaints would be I'd love for things go unexpected for once for Tanya and I don't think we have anything close to conclusion this season.
Topgavin
I wouldn't be surprised if the guy that got shot didn't actually die, and that he gets 'helped' by god to be Tanya's main opponent. Or we just continue like normal and that was just a show of Tanya being Tanya. Either way the show is going strong
Anonymous885442
What if Being X decides to help things along?
Lenlo
So I cant remember, whats the gang bosses relationship to Yakumo? I just cant place him.
Lenlo
If she does become a reasonable opponent, there needs to be some sort of time skip or buildup. Theres no way she goes from a little girl in America to a formidable opponent in afew months. Maybe once Tanya grows up some more? I think the Colonel that got killed though would have been fine had they not killed him off so anti-climatically.
HelghastKillzone
Much like how Sophie became the opposing witch for Izetta last season, although I hope to hell it won't suck as much.
HelghastKillzone
We're at latter stages of Vol. 2 LN for Youjo Senki and I think that there is the potential for Mary Sue to become a formidable opponent. She's the only one with any semblance of a motive for going after Tanya personally. Everyone else is either dead or under Tanya's command.
Lenlo
Agreed. My favorite part of the show was Tanya and her attitude/interactions with people. I know shes a badass, now show me where shes an evil monster worthy of being Gods foe.
AidanAK47
I do agree that Tanya hasn't really interacted with those around her. In that regard the shorts show more of that. I think we need to get into her head more as well. We haven't had much monologue these past two episodes.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Deus lo vult. Admitly she's likely going to come into it at a later date but it is important to note that this story wasn't written to be chopped into anime seasons. We got 7 light novels and I hear the web novel has already been completed. My worry is that the majority of this season will be setting up a great conflict. This is going to become a world war after all.
Lenlo
But Aidan, we know nothing about her. Shes in America at the moment, so her getting to the war and becoming any kind of threat is ridiculous. He was much better setup to be an antagonist. He had history with the protagonist after all and was clearly skilled because of his position.

She just has no buildup as a major character that I care about in any way
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Agree on that. It's the drifters thing again, if the enemy doesn't make the main character sweat then there no real tension in the action.
Lenlo
We also dont get many character to character talks as you said. Its mostly just Tanya barking orders and chances for her to show off how smart she is. Aside from being a tad aggressive, nothing she has done has had any consequences, shes and the battalion are in no real danger since not even an unnamed member has died, and she has very few notable faults.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I disagree on that characters inclusion being pointless. I think it's setup for Tanya's antagonist. After all Tanya stole his gun, his gun which was a Christmas present from his Daughter and inscribed with his name. When someone sees that gun, they are gonna want some vengeance.
His daughters name is Mary Sue by the way. If she lives up to the name this will be most entertaining.
Lenlo
There was just very little character progress. Sure, the army and the war advanced, but it was just another battle scene with a named character who I thought was going to be reacurring and important, just get shut down immediatly. He didnt do anything. What was the point of his inclusion?
Anonymous884628
My question is what the end game of this anime is. The structure doesn't make it clear where the story will put a closure. And still there's not that many interactions between Tanya and her peers, the only character interactions that have felt meaningful have been with God.
Anonymous884628
Lenlo - So so. I mean I liked a proper mission that it's easier to see the impact to the enemy, taking a couple of railroads and advancing the infantry into enemy territory. Still on the other hand the character they killed makes his inclusion kinda pointless.
Lenlo
I found this weeks Tanya alittle weak. I was expecting something more after that week break
Anonymous884480
Mirror of Fate and LoS2 felt like they didn't know where to take the story they built on the first game. There's a lack of touch in regards to using Castlevania characters and in short they were a mess. The RE6 of Castlevania. Too big, too unfocused, too shallow.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - LoS 1 is decent. Evidently the developers wanted to make an original game that ended with the Castlevania game placed on it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Apparently Lords of shadow ruined the series.
Kaiser Eoghan
That castlevania fighting game got stale quickly and Takeshi Obata's art wasn't suited to the characters.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've seen friends play the 3D ones, I remember some of the later ones including leveling up elements I think but those weren't so good.
Anonymous884480
Kaiser Eoghan - If you have a Wii or Wii U or a PSP, Rondo of Blood is good. In regards to the handhelds I think Dawn of Sorrow and Order of Ecclessia are the best ones. The latter looking similar to what we've seen of Bloodstained.
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite my interest and enjoyment of Castlevania, I haven't played enough of the series as a should have back in the day. I played symphony of the night, legacy of darkness, dracula x, castlevania 4, bloodlines . I know the horrors of castlevania II.
Anonymous884275
At one moment Mighty No.09. Also seemed Megaman in everything but name. Both Yooka Laylee and Bloodstained are developed with a more modest budget than the former games. Also a key aspect is if they'll learn or stumble about the flaws the old games had. (Collecthaton and recycled enemy designs).
AidanAK47
Bloodstained is still about and that's castlevaina in everything but name
AidanAK47
Same on character design. Though I am worried they might pull out some adventure time character style.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's true about Ippo. It didn't really weaken as Ippo has a near perfect shounen formula. The problem is that it just stopped going anywhere. Still very enjoyable but plot progression is dead in the water. No ending aside it is likely the better anime. You can pretty much stop at the first season.
K-Off
I say Castlevania was fucked the moment it turned into a pachinko machine
Anonymous884097
I've heard Hajime no Ippo starts good and weakens the further you go into it. And I know Joe has an ending, I don't know if Ippo does.
Anonymous884097
AidanAK47 - I'm mainly worried about the western character design they'll use. Since it has the range of being like the new DC animated movies, or something like Korgoth of Barbaria. I think the castle is intended to not make sense given all the things it contains. Is more like a portal to another dimension.
AidanAK47
Looking at the poster image for the castlevainas animated series made me realise just how structurally unsound draculas castle is.
AidanAK47
@Mario, if your are starting something that long you might as well go for the better equalvent, Hajime no Ippo.
AidanAK47
That Castlevania animation has me worried. Fair enough if they are going to attempt it but the people working on it has me worried that they will try to turn it into a comedy. Adventure time Castlevania edition would make me very angry indeed.
Vonter
Like with the Rose of Versailles, or Remy (Le Naki Ko). It feels like witnessing the life of the main character. Since it also builds off the path to becoming a boxer. It's also in a way refreshing having a like-hate feeling for the protagonist, since he can be cool as well as being a total jerk.
Lenlo
Its the Hajime no Ippo predecessor and laid the foundation. Its pretty good imo.
Lenlo
Ashita no Joe is like, the original sports anime
SuperMario
wait... (looking at the details), so there're 79 episodes... well, I MIGHT give it a try but the long-run anime scare the hell out of me now
SuperMario
@Vonter: Really? If you like it that much then I'm gonna give it a try too
Vonter
Guys. I don't even recall how I ended watching this anime. But I'm enthralled with Ashita No Joe. Despite looking really really rough, despite having a rather easy to follow story. This anime feels with weight, it feels like reading a novel in best way.
SuperMario
...But I don't plan to watch anymore of it
SuperMario
@Spike: I watched the first 3 episodes of Akiba's Strip and I enjoy the show for its dynamic animation and its goofiness, after all I think Akiba's trip represents well the goods and bads of anime medium
SuperMario
This week has to be one of my personal favorite KonoSuba episode. Everything was hliarious from start to finish. I certainly didn't expect to enjoy Darkness that much. She's freaking amusing.
AidanAK47
Yamishibai really has gone downhill since it's excellent first season. Second season was alright. Third season was ruined by them relying on visual horror drawings that were more silly than scary. Fourth season is being ruined by the way that the stories don't seem to have a punchline. All the endings have been just let downs.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never expected this but, there's going to be an animated adaptation of Castlevania of all things.
Spike
Akiba's Trip is a real sleeper imo. It's pretty damn funny and goofy borderline trolling at times that make what should be a stupid forgetable show entertaining, worth checking out if you haven't.
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Total users: 22

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Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu – 20

Looking over my old review of episode 12, I find that I didn’t really cover the episode decently. I gave a brief summery but I don’t think I really articulated my feelings on the episode as well as I could. I do remember finding it to be a big heel turn when it came to […]

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Hooray, I’m finally back to this section after a while. I originally plan to review a more in-focus groups of animated films, like Korean movies, anthology movies, female-directed films, etc but now I have a different plan. The days that I cover all these will come, I promise. Instead, this time I want to highlight […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy Review – 84/100

Sometimes you dread for the current state of anime: high school settings, cute girls, fan-service jokes, idol madness… that you wish for once to see something different, and out of nowhere an oddball like this just pop up: a wuxia puppetry show influenced by Taiwanese glove puppetry written by Gen Urobuchi. The sheer fact that […]