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
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
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Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

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Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

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