Posted by psgels on 23 July 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope




Okay. I know what I’m going to do this season: another Kaleidoscope, though in a different format from the previous times I’ve done one. There’s just too much interesting stuff this season, it’s unbelievable. Instead, I’m going to be writing short blurbs and impressions about all (or most) of the episodes that interest me. It’s an experiment. I have no idea whether it’s going to work, but this seems like the perfect season to try it out, with so many great series.

Dantalian no Shoka – 02
Ah, you can see that this show too is in need of more time: this episode felt a bit rushed, and yet it did retain its atmosphere. Overall this seems to be much more about atmosphere than its mysteries compared to its sister-series of Gosick and Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou, and I guess that that’s where this fast pacing works. Now, this episode was flawed (“You may have thought that you stabbed me, but I was saved by this book that I conveniently carried in my pocket at exactly the right place!” – that is one twist you should not pull!), plus the transformation sequence was significantly less interesting when we saw it for the second time (especially in contrast with Penguin Drum), but I really like the experimental animation, the banter is quite nice, the male lead is no pansy and isn’t the idiot that Kujou was. Oh, and another plus is that Dalian so far has been the only teenager in the series. That helps too.
Rating: * (Good)

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – 42
It’s really hard to imagine what the rest of this arc is going to look like. I mean, normal conventions would say that the next episode would focus on breaking the second barrier, the episode after that on the third layer, leaving a final climax to wrap everything up. This thing however still has a whopping eight episodes left. At the very least. Seriously, this already is an intense thriller and I really like the mind games so far: is it just going to drag on over and over, or is there really such an awesome climax waiting?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Sacred Seven – 03
The main problem with this show so far is not that it’s generic. That’s just something that doesn’t really help. Instead, this show is too one-sided and does a poor job at fleshing out its characters: there are way too many dark and brooding emo characters with very little other traits to their character. Seriously, the main couple is emo, the newly introduced villain is emo, the main side-kick is emo, half of the side characters are emo. That’s not the most interesting combination to work with! The one exception was the action scene of episode two. More of that, please!
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Usagi Drop – 03
Usually when a series addresses workaholics, it’s done quite one-sidedly: parents who fell in love with their jobs and forget about spending time with their children. Even with that, you can get some good drama out of it (the most recent example of this is Showa Monogatari). Usagi Drop however rocks because of how well it takes a look at this topic, how the main character is trying to balance his life as a typical salaryman while suddenly having to raise a child. This third episode made things even better by showing other cases of this with Daikichi’s mother and a coworker of his. I don’t have a child myself, but a lot of my coworkers are in that stage of their life, so this series hits surprisingly close to home for me right now.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Blade – 04
I’m still not sure whether Blade is going to work or not. On one hand, the writing can get incredibly cheesy at times (though thankfully still nowhere near Iron Man levels), and the facial animations also leaves a lot to be desired. And yet this series abandons Japan and goes to the Philippines instead, and out of all of the Marvel-series so far, it has by far devoted the most time to the past of the main character and is by far the most character-oriented of the four series. A main theme of this series is also for Blade to be saved from his really, really dark childhood, which also provides a good reason for the female lead to be there (so likely no more Hisako-esque debacles). Nevertheless though: Madhouse. Please try to spend more time in how to correctly animate facial expressions. It’s really getting silly now.
Rating: * (Good)

Kamisama Dolls – 03
A killer is on the loose, so what does the village responsible for him send to get him back? A little girl. Okay, so this third episode takes care of that by introducing more different characters, and spicing things up quite nicely. The second half of the episode had great chemistry, acting and the dark atmosphere that also made the first episode really good. As for the first half… at least it was funny. Having a comedy director on this thing really helps to get the delivery right. But what’s this about the Kamisama Dolls manga not being finished? I mean, here we have the perfect set-up for an action-packed 13 episode series. Is the story really large enough to warrant more time than that? On one hand, this is a good series to create an anime original ending for. On the other hand: Makoto Uezu is adapting this series. You do not want to give him freedom, because that just screws everything up into a boring fanservice-fest.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

15 Responses

  1. kurini says:

    Yeahh! Another kaleidoscope! This will please many people! :D

    Ah, I have to agree that the book-stabbing thing in Dantalian is just too convenient…

  2. Algent says:

    In S7 I love how they suddently put a scooter scene in the middle of the action… >.>

  3. Wandering Bunny says:

    Regarding Kaiji; at least two episodes would drag a bit, specifically probably next episode and one episode before the end. However, most other episodes should be thrilling!! We’re only past the first hurdle! There’s a llllot of moves to be done by both parties in the coming episodes~

  4. Joojoobees says:

    If you weren’t able to provide useful insight in just a few sentences I would have preferred a single thoughtful review, but I like the kaleidoscope reviews. You usually make some very good points when you force yourself to be succinct, so we get several interesting insights in one post, just spread across different series.

  5. m says:

    Having no knowledge of the series, I wonder if they’re cramming an entire LN into each episode of Dantalian no Shoka. If that is the case then I’m inclined to give them a little credit for how well it comes off despite that. Still, it really breezes right by and I find myself wishing the episodes were twice as long so that I might have some feel for each setting. Though with 13 episodes they might not be able to clear many volumes at a sane pace.

  6. Mi-Mi-Mikuru says:

    Are you ignoring Usagi Drop in favor of blogging any other average show?

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Mi-Mi-Mikuru: patience, patience. I just didn’t get to watch it yet.

  8. Tan-Tan says:

    About Dantalian: When I was watching it and saw how the book save him, I immediately thought, “Oh psgel isn’t going to like this” XD

  9. Hogart says:

    Nice, thanks for trying such kaleidoscopes!

    Dantalian did play some cards right, and at least hinted that Dalian put something in Huey’s coat, but it wasn’t a very interesting or convincing episode. They didn’t seem to be piecing things together, so it felt like Huey just randomly thought of the solution and Dalian just felt like being cryptic and abrasive. I wish the show was more animated (in every sense of the word).

  10. garfield15 says:

    “(”You may have thought that you stabbed me, but I was saved by this book that I conveniently carried in my pocket at exactly the right place!” – that is one twist you should not pull!),”

    Um, if you watch the scene before that, Dalian was the one who put the book in his coat. When he picks up his coat and says “Dalian, what’s this?”, it was to indicate that she put the book there since she was suspicious of her.

  11. detraephot says:

    or is there really such an awesome climax waiting?

    Oh yeah and it’s gonna be great :)

  12. Mi-Mi-Mikuru says:

    I didn’t say anything… *blush*

  13. Joojoobees says:

    @ garfield15: “Um, if you watch the scene before that, Dalian was the one who put the book in his coat.”

    How did Dalian know she would try to stab him THERE?

  14. tanukichan says:

    @Joojoobees: For all we know, he could have had another book at the other side of his coat, so it doesn’t matter which side she stabbed him. ;)

  15. Learn Kana says:

    Wow, very interesting stuff! I haven’t seen any of these series but I’d really like to watch Usagi Drop; it addresses concepts that I really don’t remember seeing in other shows.

    Thanks for sharing! :D

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

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