Posted on 31 July 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

How good do I consider this season to be? Well, to put it like this: I’ve got eighteen series this season that I’d rate at 8,25/10 or higher. In other words, there are eighteen series that I really, really like airing at the same time. The last time such a thing happened was back in September of 2009, and this season we’ve only just started yet!

The main flaw of this season pretty much what has been the main flaw of every season for the past years: length. There are quite a few series that aren’t going t fit their stories in their allotted time, and there again are too few series that dare to go beyond 13 episodes. With the way that the anime sales have bloomed over the past years though, I really hope tat soon we’ll be able to say goodbye to this very annoying trend.

#33 (new) – Mayo Chiki – (2,75/10) – Now this was just horrible. Just one big excuse for cute girls and fanservice and nothing more. The premise is based around the entire cast being complete and utter morons, and it’s just another one of those really bad fanservice comedies that pop up every season. Ignore this one at all costs! Dropped.
#32 (new) – Manyuu Hiken-Chou – (3/10) – Look. I often tell fanservice shows to be a bit more creative. I have said before that I have nothing against creative fanservice that fits within the setting of the series. And yeah, I guess that Manyuu Hiken-Chou does get creative… but I DID NOT MEAN CREATING OUTRIGHT PORN!
#31 (new) – Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel – (3,75/10) – What the hell happened here? I mean, the original OVA was decent: it was nothing special, but it had some nice morals and showed that being a mahou shoujo really isn’t as easy as it seems. Then this show comes along and it pretty much turns into a really stupid kaitou-busting show full of the most annoying moe antics and stereotypical characters. There’s nothing enjoyable about this: the characters just try to be as energetic as possible but completely forget to be entertaining or even remotely interesting! Dropped.
#30 (new) – Nyanpire – (4/10) – Unfortunately Gonzo’s first series in two years turned out to be Bad Gonzo. I mean, making a kids’ show is one thing, but this was just one huge commercial for a crappy J-Pop band who does the ED. The jokes are also completely unfunny: when I watch a comedy, I want to watch something that makes me laugh, not cringe! Dropped.
#29 (new) – Uta no Prince-Sama Maji Love 1000% – (4/10) – I prepared myself that this would be a campy series. But I never could have imagined the amount of stupidity and cheese that this show ended up delivering. Just about every character is hamming it up, and not to mention how ridiculously stupid the entire premise of this show is. I gave up at the point where the teachers actually forbade the characters to have any romances with each other. What the hell? Isn’t that why you’d want to watch this show in the first place? Dropped
#28 (19) – Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu – (4,25/10) – I’ve seen this one recommended quite a few times, but based on the first episode of the second season, I really don’t get the appeal. It’s just a show about a bunch of idiots and cute girls. I did not find anything even remotely funny about that one episode I watched, and it was a complete chore to sit through. Was that just me, or was it really a bad episode for this series to start with? Dropped.
#27 (new) – Rou Kyuu Bu! – (4,5/10) – This is bad. I mean, for starters we have a show about grade schoolers with a ton of fanservice, but the creators also succeeded in putting together the most obnoxious cast imaginable. The five lead girls all try to act as annoyingly moe as possible. On top of that though, it tries to have a serious story. Those parts don’t mesh! Dropped
#26 (new) – R-15 – (5/10) – Now, there are shows about idiots. Those idiots however completely pale in comparison to the characters in this series: this is the epitome of stupidity. It’s just a bunch of morons pretending to be geniuses filled with random fanservice. It’s nice to see how creative it can get with that for just one episode, but after that it just gets repetitive and actually tries to take itself seriously. There’s no way in which that’s going to work. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Morita-San wa Mukuchi – (6/10) – So, this is nothing but various sketches around a shy girl, nothing more. While I can understand where the creators are coming from, you can’t just base your entire series around this; it’s way too one-sided and forced. Not to mention the utterly poor direction of this thing.
#24 (new) – Yuruyuri – (6,5/10) – At first it looked to be different, but in the end Yuruyuri unfortunately turned out to be exactly what it says on the title: very unsubtle lesbian jokes. It started off pretty decent, but after only three episodes they ran out of inspiration and just kept going with dull lesbian and boob jokes. Dropped.
#23 (new) – The Idolm@ster – (7,25/10) – The Idolm@ster is tolerable, but after three episodes I have to wonder: what makes this show worth watching? The interesting direction of the first episode was immediately dropped, and instead every episode so far has focused on one of the different girls. The first two being the Kugimiya Rie Tsundere and the really shy girl who is afraid of men. The drama around them was weak (especially the one around the tsundere) and the rest of the side characters only used their airtime to just further establish the fact that they’re a bunch of walking cliches. Dropped.
#22 (new) – Nekogami Yaoyorozu – (7,25/10) – So, this show is tolerable. Aaand… that’s a bit of the problem here: yes, it’s better than most of the moe antics shows out there, but still it only gets a chuckle out of me every few minutes. There really are very few reasons to keep watching this series. Only go for this one if you’re really bored. Dropped.
#21 (new) – Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Uragi – (7,5/10) – Okay, so right before I went on my holiday, I wrote up a quick first impression for this series, and published it. At least, that’s what I thought happened, but that post got lost somehow, so that’s why there is no first impression of it. In any case, beyond being the series with the villain with the silliest name, Itsuten is a very cheesy romance show with a lot of angst and moe. Its story does have some potential, but the annoying moe antics, overacting and fanservice certainly aren’t helping its case at the moment.
#20 (new) – Sacred Seven – (7,75/10) – The big problem with Sacred Seven is that it could have been so much more: it’s an original story, it’s got an excellent director, an excellent scriptwriter, and what do they come with? A school emo mecha series. So far in the past four episodes, the emo part is what hurts this series the most: the characters just aren’t well fleshed out and because of that they feel rather unengaging. There are moments where it really shows to be exciting (most notably the second episode), but so at this rate it’s not going to be amongst the highlights of this season. It does have a very good OP, though
#19 (13) – Showa Monogatari – (8/10) – Oooohh…. what the hell happened to that thirteenth episode? I’ve been waiting for ages now and still nothing. This show has had by far the weirdest airing schedule I have ever seen. As for this month, only one episode aired, and in terms of script it was very good. Overall the cast has received quite a bit of depth by now. The bad part is that Kouhei’s voice actor really can’t act, which really hurt during the dramatic bits.
#18 (10) – Sket Dance – (8,25/10) – The music arc was a bit of a disappointment and it lacked the whimsy of the rest of the series, though the other episodes were as fun to watch as ever. This series is really at its best when it manages to stuff in its high amount of energy.
#17 (new) – Dantalian no Shoka – (8,25/10) – After watching Gosick, it is refreshing to see that the main character here actually has a retort to all of his female companion’s insults. Dalian still is smarter than he is, but at least he can have a normal conversation with her without sounding like an idiot. Overall the mysteries in this series need a bit of work, but the atmosphere is really good, and the animation is also quite impressive. Will this work with only 12 episodes, though?
#16 (new) – Blade – (8,25/10) – You know, after the way in which the X-Men turned into a disappointment, I kind-of wrote this series off. Especially when it showed that it had Madhouse’s acting problem again. It’s indeed a bit of a cheesy action series and all, but I don’t know. This series has something, I just can’t put my finger to exactly what. In either case it still has the potential to become the best Marvel series so far if it pulls through: it wisely spends a lot of time on both its main character and villain, and on top of that the side-characters all wisely avoid some of their biggest pitfalls: the female side-kick is useful without hogging over the screen, the enemy vampires pose a threat by killing people actually very often, the main character is bad-ass yet not overpowered. Oh, and this show follows a black vampire slayer in the middle of the Philippines. Thank you, Madhouse for really trying to go around the world instead of just keeping with the same base setting over and over again.
#15 (20) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8,25/10)

A major improvement. The direction is snappier, the story is more interesting, the pacing moves along faster and the atmosphere is more varied. You can really see that a different staff is adapting this series this time, and alongside all the other flops of Studio Deen this year, it’s good to see that at least here they’re showing that they can still put out a good series.

#14 (new) – Ikoku Meiro no Croisée – (8,25/10)

This one turned out to be a series about cultural differences. It’s quite an interesting variation to the usual slice of life set-up, and I really have to praise Satelight for putting down a very authentic portrayal of France of a century ago. the background art in particular is just great. There are some problems in the character department (mostly because of one particularly annoying character), but overall it’s a heart-warming series so far,

#13 (6) – Hana-Saku Iroha – (8,25/10)

During the past month, Hana-Saku Iroha has been really good, but not as good as during June. This mostly is because the main cast didn’t receive that much attention and instead the side-cast was really well developed. What the next month needs to do is give the same treatment to the main cast.

#12 (new) – Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou – (8,25/10)

This series stands out because it had the best opening episode of the season amongst Penguin Drum. After that it dulled in a bit in order to focus on character building, but there still is a lot of potential here. It’s especially the dialogue that’s well written and the mysteries are well built up, but there are weaknesses. Some bad guys are just plain stupid, and it also has JC Staff-esque fanservice that is completely overused and often out of place.

#11 (new) – Blood-C – (8,25/10)

This show is definitely not for everyone, in top of being completely different in tone compared to the other parts of the blood franchise. It’s a simple series that really just planned to use its first four episodes to build up its atmosphere, but I really like it so far. The atmosphere works, the fight scenes are just completely amazing, and I’m really eager to get to the point where this show starts off for real. The big potential pitfall is that there will be too much build-up, but so far it’s heading into the right direction.

#10 (new) – Usagi Drop – (8,5/10)

This one’s by far the most realistic show of the season. It chronicles how hard it is to take care of a young child, without exaggerating this. There’s a good backstory due to the strange family construction that this series takes place in and the dialogue is all wonderfully down to earth.

#9 (12) – Ao no Exorcist – (8,5/10)

At this point, I’m really watching Ao no Exorcist for the characters: they’ve grown into a lovable bunch with excellent chemistry and the relationships between them are all really well done. So yeah it’s a shounen series, with its share of cliches, but that’s not important here at all.

#8 (11) – Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – (8,5/10)

The past month has been a lot of build-up, but the tension was still very high and it was very entertaining to watch. There were times at which it took a bit long to get to its point, like with the old guy episode, but it’s not like we’re back to the really slow pacing of the first season. Now all that’s left is to wait whether or not it’s actually going to pay off.

#7 (new) – Kamisama Dolls – (8,5/10)

This turned out to be a very enjoyable and action-packed thriller. It’s all well directed and balanced, alternating between action, drama, comedy and horror quite nicely and while it does have some fanservice cliches, it’s got an intriguing and nicely fleshed out cast of characters and the exciting parts of this series are really delivering so far.

#6 (new) – No.6 – (8,5/10)

Excellent music, excellent animation, excellent characters and an excellent setting. No.6 is a very solid adventure series with strong, constantly evolving characters in an interesting setting. There’s only one problem with this show, but it is a really big one: the length! There’s no way in which 11 episodes is going to be the right number for this one.

#5 (12) – Natsume Yuujinchou – (8,75/10)

The third season of Natsume Yuujinchou has had a wonderful start. Somehow, the creators actually managed to make it increasingly better with every single episode. The atmosphere is still really soothing, yet the stories it tells are strong and well thought out. It’s still a heart-warming story and what’s more: Natsume’s development is really kicking in now. It’s been a major theme of this third season and every episode seems to contribute to it in one way or another.

#4 (2) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)

This was a month for the plot to progress for Hyouge Mono: a lot of changes have been made, a lot of characters have developed, and risen up in ranks, giving a completely different feel to the series. On top of that, Sasuke is just as eccentric as he’s ever been, and this series is giving him more and more incentives to show that eccentricity. It’s still a rock-solid series with amazing acting and characterization that obviously isn’t for everyone.

#3 (new) – Mawaru Penguin Drum – (8,75/10)

This is good. It’s by var the best series of the new season. The direction is wild, vivid and detailed with all kinds of references of which you’ll never know whether they’re symbolism or foreshadowing. The characters are great, the chemistry between them is awesome, the story is imaginative. Just about everything works here.

#2 (4) – Steins;Gate – (9/10)

What a plot! This month Steins;Gate really revealed how much thought went into its plot and narrative structure, and it was glorious. There are so many questions that it’s asking and the time travel plot is now really hitting some high notes with all of the interconnected twists and turns it takes.

#1 (9) – Tiger & Bunny – (9/10)

At this point, Tiger & Bunny has become bloody brilliant. Every episode has delivered an amazing story that gave a ton of development to the main cast, the main storyline has gotten better and better, and just about every character ended up more enjoyable to watch.

Posted on 30 July 2011 with categories: Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou



The fourth episode is traditionally a place for either the first big climax of a series, or a silly episode meant to flesh out certain characters. This was the latte, in which the cast tries to sniff out an underwear thief.

And yeah, that could have been better, and it could have been worse. I mean, it’s obvious that a show like Kamisama Dolls is better at these kinds of scenes because it’s got an actually good comedy director, but I do like that this episode tried to be serious despite having such a silly premise. It did make the revelation of the true culprit strangely contrasting and funny.

I can understand the need for this kind of an episode: it’s good to break up the mood and show more of the characters. I’d just wish that JC-Staff would pick something other than weird fanservice. The underwear thief wasn’t really the bad part of this episode: it had this nice camp-ness. Instead the creators couldn’t refuse to bring Alice in and start making small boob jokes. That’s where it really turned into the bloody overused territory. Go for something different, will ya!?

But I digress: this was a very good episode for Min. At the end of the episode Alice delivered a very good twist to the story, and I did not suspect that the creators would bring in her father at this point. The story between the two of them is very good, down to earth and yet a bit silly, and it worked out really well., on top of asking a few more questions (why didn’t she recognize her own father).

What puzzles me though is why the creators picked Min of all people to give some real depth. Seriously, she’s the most fleshed out character at this point, having gotten two full episodes of attention. Of course, it would be great if she were just the tip of the iceberg, but that entirely depends on the length of this series. This show is one of the very few series this season of which it’s still a mystery of exactly how long it’s going to be, but Ideally you’d want 24 episodes for this thing. Especially considering how large the cast is, and how much time this episode just devoted to one of them.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Steins;Gate, Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Nurarihyon no Mago – 30
Talk about a massive improvement here. There are the types of stories that should be slow-paced. Nurarihyon no Mago is not one of them. Another big disadvantage of the first season is how little time it spent on backgrounds, so right now this series is really catching up on that, with half of the second season consisting out of background and all. Junji Nishimura really did not fit this series: he should be busy with original stories. That’s where he really shines at. The snappy direction here is much better, especially in this episode. The art also looks much crisper. This could very well be the only actually good thing of Studio Deen this year.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Steins;Gate – 01
After many people recommended it, I re-watched the first episode of Steins;Gate and holy crap What the hell!? If you haven’t re-watched that episode by now: go and re-watch it. Don’t read the rest of this paragraph of analysis and just watch it. This episode did the opposite of what I expected and actually asked more questions than it answered. The big one is the message that Okarin sent to Daru: how the heck did that happen? How the heck did Okarin send a D-Mail when it hadn’t been invented yet? It’s going to be the key to save Mayuri, though: if Okarin never sent the message back to Daru, Daru would never have been able to warn Okarin, and CERN would never have been able to track them down. And holy crap, this show will also turn into a quest to save Makise Kurisu. I totally forgot that some version of Okarin actually tried to warn Makise Kurisu. Now… has the future Okarin created a freaking time-loop for himself? This plot just got even more amazing than it already has.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Sket Dance – 17
This arc was really strange. I really got the impression that it didn’t know what it wanted to do here: there was this huge build-up with the members of the Sket-Dan joining all different bands and having practicing for an upcoming school concert championship… and here this episode comes and throws in a bunch of illnesses and broken arms causing these bands to disband (no pun intended) immediately. It then turns into some moral life-lesson for a violinist as the three members just do the predictable and form a band themselves. I was really looking forward to see all of the different bands compete with each other, but instead this episode skipped across most of the acts for just a few seconds and the only one that we really got to see was this really cheesy J-Rock song in which Bossun suddenly revealed that he has the singing voice of a J-Pop Idol. This series always did so well in capturing school life, but to me, it felt like it didn’t really do this with the school concert. It all just felt too clean. The song that the Sket Dan performed was just too rehearsed (remember that these guys had very little time to prepare. I don’t care how much you practiced, you’re not going to get THAT good in that little time). It’s a bloody shame, because these school concerts are often very fun to watch. Especially because this one looked to be a REAL concert, unlike those silly unimpressive idol acts.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Usagi Drop – 04
Do note that I’m not guaranteeing to blog every series every single week in this kaleidoscope. This time I was merely late with checking out Usagi Drop’s episode, but there may be weeks where I just don’t have any inspiration about the latest episode. In any case, I like how the children in this series really sound like young children, rather than voice actresses trying to act really high-pitched. I also like that this episode introduced yet another single parent, with whom Daikichi can relate with. He’s by no means a perfect parent, but the tension between him and Rin is quite interesting to watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 29 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Ah, the nineties: a time where you still could make huge series based on a simple premise that aren’t kiddie shows. Mahoujin Guruguru couldn’t possibly have been made in today’s age: it’s a non-stop series of 45 episodes, devoted to nothing but RPG-parodies. And this review doesn’t even include the 38-episode sequel that aired six years later.

Let me tel you one thing about this series though: the jokes in Mahoujin Guruguru are quite brilliant. It may be that I’m a big fan of parodies and all, but even taking that into account I have to praise at how creative this series can get with its gags. This series is sharp, witty and has a great time poking fun at all kinds of RPG cliches. It goes far further than just having characters act silly or have them engage in quirky banter: this show is always looking for situations to make actual good and well thought out jokes and clever situations. This is definitely the biggest selling-point for this series.

The length also allows the creators to tell an engaging storyline that brings the characters to all kinds of places and worlds. The storyline here is pretty simple (bad guy evil. kill him), but the various subplots and side characters keep this series moving. There’s even a bit of character development, albeit nothing special, although it remains a nice twist to see that the creators actually used the RPG leveling-system for the two lead characters.

With the length also come a number of problems, though. The jokes of Mahoujin Guruguru are really good, but it does not have enough material for 45 episodes. The result? Running jokes and repetition, while refusing to repeat jokes that had the potential to be even funnier with more fleshing out. It’s not like this series suddenly features a dip in quality along the way: it’s pretty consistent with alternating its good jokes with its overused jokes and its jokes that just don’t work. That doesn’t prevent that from really weighing down on this series.

the mostt notable of the overused running jokes is the old man. This guy. This guy is beyond obnoxious: he will do everything in his power to annoy both the viewer and the characters. And he just. refuses. to. freaking. quit. In the same way there are a few more jokes that are used way too much, and on top of that there are a number of episodes that just aren’t interesting. I’d say: cut this thing down to about 30 to 35 episodes and you’d have a classic.

Right now, this series is fun, but long-winded. On one hand you don’t want to watch this if you’re looking for something exciting, because the good jokes are just a tad too far in between compared to today’s standards. If you want to watch a laid-back series and don’t care about time though, then this is a great recommendation for light-hearted fun. Most shows that claim to be just light-hearted fun hardly have anything that makes them worth watching. Guruguru however has plenty of them.

Storytelling: 9/10 – This show has aged: its pacing is a tad too slow for today’s standards. In terms of the joke department though, this is really, really good.
Characters: 8/10 – There is character development, but again: this is small for the standards of a 45-episode series. Then again though, it does have quite a likable cast that are fun to watch throughout the entire series. WITH a number of exceptions, though.
Production-Values: 7/10 – Again: dated. Very simple graphics and animation that doesn’t make use of this. Good Monster designs, though.
Setting: 8/10 – Has a ton of fun poking, subverting, averting and analyzing the RPG-genre.

Suggestions:
Kero Kero Chime (This is what I’m talking about with more compact: the characters are a tad more annoying, but it is shorter and its good jokes to unfunny jokes ratio is a lot higher)
Mysterious Cities of Gold

Posted on with categories: Blood-C



Holy crap! The fights here just continue to get better and better. This episode once again upped the antes, with some stunning results. It really had me at the edge of my seat the entire time.

There of course was the danger of this series falling victim to the syndrome where the biggest budget is spent on the first episode. And I guess it is true that the animation is not as fluid as we saw in the first episode, but even taking that into consideration the action scenes are just stunning. This episode really surprised me at how far it went with its gore until the censors went crazy. The way the bodies of those fishermen (or whoever they were) moved when they were devoured was really well done, but the rest of the fight as well was just one giant struggle.

A big problem with this series is that the dialogue during the quiet bits isn’t that… interesting. Still, I don’t mind that at tall. One reason is because at this point I’ve got enough patience to wait until the good bits, but the other is that for me this series is really succeeding in building its atmosphere. The slice of life bits are really, really simple, but the atmosphere they create that way in combination with the contrasting dark parts of this series has really caught me in.

I also wonder: this series so far has really outright refused to share any background on just about anything that Saya has been doing. When will this be revealed, or is that going to be the task of the movie? At the very least Saya is something supernatural and that dog is no ordinary dog, but I do wonder when this show is going to start with its background. It’s rare for a series to have so little exposition in its first four episodes.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Hyouge Mono



Oh god. We’ve reached the point now where Sasuke has become a Daimyou. A Japanese feudal Lord. He got his own area to govern over. An area he chose because its name sounded like “Olive” (the color, not the food). So now, he’s the Lord of Olive. If this guy isn’t eccentric, then I don’t know anymore. I can only imagine what he’s planning to do with it. Mind you: we’re not even at the halfway point of this series. There’s still so much that still has to happen (39 episodes for the win!).

Seriously though: some very interesting things have happened since the death of Oda Nobunaga: Sasuke has gradually been climbing up the ranks under the influence of Hashiba Hideyoshi. Under Oda Nobunaga he was just a messenger on the front lines, but with Hideyoshi things are completely different and he was able to grab much more influence by playing his cards right.

Heck, we see very little main characters like him, who actually end up having so much influence, unless we’re talking about nobles, royalty or other stuff that allows you to inherit everything you need from your parents or stuff like that. And most characters who do meet these criteria often try to keep it a mystery of how they made it to the point they are. Sasuke may be from an influential family, but the past 17 episodes really showed in detail that the biggest reason why he is at the place he is now thanks to his own abilities, connections and effort. His family only plays a relatively minor role, and his genes aren’t even hinted at.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mawaru Penguin Drum



Okay. That was awesome!

This really sends back memories to the episode in Utena, where Nanami tried out various plans to get rid of Himemiya. It was really bizarre and hilarious from start to finish, not to mention the hilariously over the top delusions that Ringo had. Finally there’s another series who does them right!

A date going wrong is nothing new, but this episode knew that and just went with trying to create the most bizarre and over the top ways for things to fail, playing around with things like “destiny” at the same time. Now THIS is what I consider to be a good romantic comedy: one with creative jokes that doesn’t just try to regurgitate the same things over and over again with characters who are basically just morons. The direction once again was just wonderful in this episode which made it all the more fun to watch.

The chemistry between these characters is also just amazing, and even when the characters aren’t doing anything there’s the penguins who fill in to keep things interesting; because of that there’s always something going on, and then this episode also brought in that skunk. With so many penguin references throughout this series it’s hard to guess whether it’s actually important or not.

Because that’s the great thing of the symbolism in this series: this series doesn’t just list a bunch of references; it actively plays with them, like the advertisement of the opera that sparked Ringo’s fantasies turning out to be related to her love rival, the penguin pictures, or how apples and trains keep returning in the actual narrative without any kind of forced plot device. Or take the train advertisements: the previous episode pointed to being smelly, and guess what? This episode has a skunk on the loose. Logically that must mean that the next episode will feature something getting stolen. The diary, perhaps?

What’s more, I’m also impressed that this show is already building up arcs, even though the current arc isn’t over yet. This episode suddenly revealed that Kanba has made quite a number of enemies through the girls he dated, and the creators are actually planning to turn this into a major plot point. I’m still really impressed at how good the writing in this series is!
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 28 July 2011 with categories: No.6



Okay, so this episode didn’t reveal the secret of Number Six. Instead, it went for character building. And it did that well.

My biggest surprise was at how much detail was put into Shion’s mother: I just thought that she was one of the token parents who was just set to disappear after the second episode. Here though, they went into her past, how she’s doing and had Shion contact her though Nezumi’s mice. Beyond that, we learned that Nezumi refused to talk about himself, but there were tons of hints to his character (and again a ton of hints at how his character change), the dog girl got some depth and overall this series still upholds its standards of pushing its story forward.

What I especially like here is how every episode so far has been significantly different in terms of themes and focus. This episode takes a look at the characters and the setting in a completely different way and it’s consistently changing and pushing its characters into different situations. With 22 episodes this really has the potential to become a classic. With 11 episodes it will probably be a very engaging series with a very open ending.

The animation also was really well done in this episode. There were very little still frames and a ton of movement, the background art was really well drawn, but also the people and dogs in the background were really well designed. Overall the question of the series with the best visuals is a tough one this season, unlike last Spring where the X-Men very convincingly took that award. In terms of fluidity and movement there’s Blood-C, in terms of consistency there’s Penguin-Drum, in terms of extravagance there’s Dantalian no Shoka and in terms of attention to detail and designs there’s this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 26 July 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate



Talk abOUt a bloody moral dilemma here. Whereas the previous episode was all about Feyris, this one is all about Feyris. I had my doubts about her at first, but heck: this episode really gave her character a different twist by explaining what the message was that she sent back. Spoilers coming up.

So in order to save her father from being killed, Feyris sent a message to her father in ordedr to get rid of a bizarre coincidence that happened to her in the past. Or at least, this is what I made of it: she got kidnapped, at the same time that her father died in a crash. For some reason the kidnappers weren’t able to contact Feyris’ father in time, and my guess is that after that, Feyris probably used her inheritance to set up Akihabara.

Basically Feyris had to choose between her father and Mayuri. If she saved her father, he would still have had to deal with the kidnappers, and he would have gotten the message telling about the IBN5100. I have no idea where that one came from yet, but that is one message that will probably be impossible to erase. In any case, usually when anime pull something like this, they come with this convenient way that allows for both options to come true. Not here though: Feyris deciding to change the past back made all that happened into a bit of a dream.

I really have to praise the creators here by the way: this show isn’t spiraling out of control; it’s getting more and more entangled with itself. It’s currently trying to re-engineer the plot, to the point where the time machine never got made. This forces the creators to go back to all of the major events of the first half. Talk about an awesome plot.

by the same logic, the next episode should then delve into the gender change again. The episode ended with the IBN5100 still not present at the shrine, and this makes sense: it disappeared after the gender change, not after Akihabara’s change. We’re about to find out what the heck could have caused that to happen: why would the girl version of Ruka want to get rid of that machine?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Shiki



Throughout the Shiki series, there were these select times where this blue haired woman turned up. The last time was in a bathtub with a corpse, but we really didn’t know anything about her. This episode tells her story.

Having said that though, that particular story felt a bit too one-sided to me, and was the least interesting bit of this episode to me. I didn’t really “get” the insanity of this woman. Instead though, I loved just about everything that happened around her. This episode actually recapped the entire series from the eyes of some of the side-characters, tying things together in the process. It explains how the fire started, it shows a bit more about the family at the drive-by restaurant of the first episode (when that first episode aired I really thought that they would be important characters), we know who the asleep Shiki was in the house that Akira broke into. Oh, and the nurse also got stabbed through the heart. They didn’t show the process, but the aftermath was there.

What’s more is that Ozaki appears every now and then in this episode, and that surprisingly showed really well how his character developed through the series, and I also liked those tiny details like him trying to relax a bit after murdering his wife.

And so, Shiki is finally finished. There were a few plot threads that I would have liked to have seen a bit more of, for example what happened to Akira, or where that crazy occult woman went who once took over an episode, but overall it has been a wonderful series. Furthermore, I really wonder what exactly got this show 22 episodes of airtime in Noitamina of all things. What convinced the producers to go with what pretty much is a perfect formula if kept up with: Noitamina is big enough for this now.

I think it has a lot to do with the irony of Noitamina in Spring and Summer of 2010: it pretty much was the best half year that Noitamina ever had, delivering three utter classics with Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei, Sarai-Ya Goyou and Shiki, although unfortunately they pretty much flopped. My guess is that the producers are playing things safe for 2011 by not straying from the format they built up (which is something I can understand, after what happened to the Noise-timeslot), but I really do hope that 2012 will show more 22-episode series in the timeslot. That’s really something that can make a great timeslot even better.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 09:27 PM)
    @Swa For sure, I expect my low expectations to sink even lower now that Nintendo’s already announcing a new game system.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 09:21 PM)
    @swa Just my gamepad that’s busted to hell, decided to just get a new one.
    @Vonter Nope, didn’t pick Star Fox up after seeing some reviews. I’ve forgotten about the franchise entirely since that Star Fox 64 remake.
  • Vonter
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:50 PM)
    Not getting Mother 3 with GBA emulator will be disappointing to me considering the trend they have had over the passed two years of re-releasing games of that series by E3.
  • swa
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:24 PM)
    Meh… Can you really be disappointed with anything Wii U related anymore?
    I am waiting for my Fortisimo Edition to arrive, and I will enjoy it no matter what, even if I have to hypnotise myself to do it.
    PS: I’m quite positive you could even get a whole new Wii U for 150, after all I got mine new for 200 more than 3 years ago.
  • Vonter
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:20 PM)
    Have you tried Star Fox Zero. That one demands the gamepad. Although IMO more because of the gyroscope than the dual screen. I mainly swap screens according to my needs.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:46 AM)
    How pissed off will I be when I purchase Mirage Sessions and it turns out to relegate the gamepad screen to some map like so many other WiiU titles. It already seems like it’s incompatible with offscreen play, so that’s not a good sign.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:35 AM)
    Looking at my bill to fix my WiiU gamepad, total comes out to $150 at a local game shop…This is why having an overly high-tech glorified remote controller with a thousand things that can break is such a shit idea.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 08:26 AM)
    @Spike Good point, wordpress already has good plugins like wp-recaptcha that I’m pretty familiar with and it does seem to work well. In the past I’ve had to deal with spambots that could retrieve emails from sites and it took a while to figure out how to tinker with javascript to get that shit sorted out over the course of a month. With this site I’m just a writer hence I cannot install entirely new plugins, hence I was looking for alternatives on my end.
  • Spike
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 07:31 AM)
    Most decent Spambots have IP and MAC address spoofing, you will never be able to ban them effectively. Board needs a string re-CAPTCHA to prevent bots posting all together.
  • K-Off
    (Monday, May 30. 2016 07:04 AM)
    @Aidan Can you somehow give me the ability to ban devices, apart from IP addresses? I get a message every few hours telling me I’ve got a message from that fucking spambot in the Primerose review, whose IP address changes with each new comment and every time I ban one.

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