Posted by psgels on 7 August 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Sacred Seven – 05
You know what? I liked this episode a lot. It’s not that the characters suddenly gained a ton of depth, but rather what impressed me was the vast array of stuff that the creators throw at the main characters. That giant living pyramid: I love it, and it also was really well animated. It reminded me a lot of the series Betterman: there the focus also lied in trying to not die, while waiting for the superpower to arrive to take care of everything. If this ends up going beyond 13 episodes, it still has a chance, because the protagonist HAS potential: he’s this tall goofy guy and actually quite different from your usual protagonist if he wasn’t so damn emo. Because of that I’m willing to wait for his development. Oh, and I just discovered that Sayo Yamamoto was the one who directed the OP, which really does explain why it works so wel amongst Yuki Kajiura’s song and all. But seriously, she should direct another series. Seeing these awesome storyboarded OPs is nice and all, but she’s way too good a director for just that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Kamisama Dolls – 05
I may not be blogging this series, but I still love this show. This isn’t necessarily because of its story, but rather its storytelling: the way in which it presents its storyline, the way in which the action is written, the episodes are balanced, the atmosphere is created. That is done really well with this series. Seriously: it’s really rare for the most prolific company during a season to deliver in every single show that they’re producing, but Kamisama Dolls is an excellent action thriller show. Every episode so far has been full of emotions and covered a wide variety of moods, without feeling jumpy or unbalanced. This episode continued that trend and only solidified it. The village back-story finally got a lot more depth, the sunglasses guy revealed himself to be quite an interesting character and not the antagonist he once seemed to be, and the chemistry between Kyouhei and Utao: the tension between those two is just great and I have to praise how well they’re acted. Now all that’s left is some development.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Blade – 06
Here’s one surprise. This episode actually seriously made me consider the plot of Blade to be the best amongst the Marvel-series. The reason for that is its underlying themes: Iron Man was about really corny morals, Wolverine was about determination, and the X-Men tried to be about peaceful coexistence, although all of them didn’t really spend too much time on them. With Blade though, it really explores the vampires, and what it means to have them kill a loved one, and having to kill a loved one because they turned into one of them. And here this episode suddenly comes and hints at a possibility that humans can be prevented from turning into vampires with the right care. What does this mean for all of the vampires that Blade has killed? The episode ended tragically, but it still is an interesting thought experiment here.

Overall, I think that aside from Iron Man, the biggest problem with the Marvel series isn’t what they are, but what they aren’t. They’re all pretty good series, but this isn’t the best that Madhouse can do. In fact, the last time we really saw them at their best was more than a year ago, with Yojou-han shinwa Taikei (no offence to Kaiji: it is good, but again nowhere near their best work). Compare that to 2009, which had Aoi Bungaku and to a lesser extent Hajime no Ippo, Kobato and Ride-Back, 2008, in which they completely dominated the entire year with Kaiba, Mouryou no Hako, Himitsu, Casshern Sins and Ultraviolet, 2007 with Shigurui, Dennuo Coil and Ooedo Rocket, 2006 with Death Note, Kemonozume, Black Lagoon and Nana and 2004 with Beck, Monster, Paranoia Agent and Jubee-Chan. What happened to that Madhouse?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Nurarihyon no Mago – 31
Nurarihyon no Mago has one really big advantage over every show aside from Penguin Drum this season: it won’t be over in two months! It’s a bloody shame that the first season didn’t make use of it, because the length is without a doubt the biggest problem with the current summer season. There’s also the other side of the coin: taking your length for granted and dragging on. The director confirmed that the new season will animate up to the end of the Kyoto-arc, which makes me wonder how large that arc must be to dedicate 23 entire episodes to it. What do the creators have in store to prevent it from dragging on? In any case, at least, the past two episodes had solid background, though in terms of storytelling they did end a bit anti-climactic: the most interesting part of this episode was the Omnyouji at the end, and the actual fight with Hagoromo Gitsune felt a bit uninspired for who was supposed to be the previous lord of the pandemonium. I blame Nurarihyon, who did nothing but just try to act cool and take hits without even flinching. I mean, especially at the end they could at least have shown someone freak out at the huge and gaping hole inside Nurarihyon’s chest I also believe that “I’ve put up this barrier which will keep all youkai out for the next 400 years” could have been done a bit more subtle.
Rating: * (Good)

16 Responses

  1. Rintarou says:

    Sacred Seven is confirmed to be 12 episodes. Howeever, it’s also likely that Sunrise is experiminting with split 2-cour series like with Gundam 00, since Sunrise never do 1-cour series. Kyoukai Snejou no Horizon (Sunrise’s fall series) has also been announced to be a split cour series (unknown if it’s split 2-cour or split 4-cour though).

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Ah, crap. That indeed changes things, and I do hope that they indeed pull through with that 2-cour series.

  3. @#$%^&*&^%$#@$%^Y&I*&^%$#@#$%^& says:

    Love the OP.

  4. @#$%^&*&^%$#@$%^Y&I*&^%$#@#$%^& says:

    They see me rollin’
    They hatin’
    Patrollin’
    they tryin’ to catch me ridin. dirty.
    Tryin’ to catch me ridin’…dirty….ridin’ dirty

    I forgot how the rest goes

  5. Deyes says:

    Kamisama Dolls seems to have quite a bit of people disliking it (mostly seen it being called generic, which I never minded in a series personally), but I absolutely love it. I’m still not entirely certain on Sacred 7 (1 ep I like it, the next I find it mediocre or worse), so I decided to watch the first 4 episodes of Kamisama Dolls and adored it.
    I like the characters, the animation, the bits of action, premise, but mostly, as you said, the storytelling. I like how it has a mystery element (to the viewer and characters who aren’t from the village) and a bit of thriller elements as well. It’s just fun to watch. Glad you made a post about it.

  6. mango says:

    I love Sacred Seven and wish it didn’t get so much hate. =( It isn’t anything special or amazing but somehow I just find it fun to watch…

  7. AidanAK47 says:

    The main problem with Sacred Seven is that it keeps trying to tell a serious story when it has a block that says hell with every sentence, a girl who’s love of rocks goes against any logical sense, school anti’s, stupid character quirks and most of all…that god-damn maid army. Honestly, did they have to be bloody maids! Add some men to that army, give them real army uniforms and maybe then they won’t break the mood and make me say “that’s just ridiculous”
    Sure, it’s also generic, has dull unimaginative characters and character/mecha designs. But I would consider it more enjoyable if these stupid pointless elements were removed.

    Now that I think about it Code geass also had stupid crap like this. Like the student council stuff and the maid ninja…

  8. Souther says:

    @AidanAK47:

    It did, but compared to the amount of time Sacred Seven has already spent on stupid and/or predictable crap for the first 5 episodes, Code Geass at least tried to bring up more interesting things by this point in the broadcast. You didn’t get a true school episode until the fifth, which is IMHO a better way to do it.

    Nor did that show do anything crazy with the maid until the second season, as opposed to making that an obvious part of Sacred Seven from the very beginning. So yeah, there’s a similarity…but I don’t think it helps this new show.

  9. Snowolf says:

    Yeah, I agree- I absolutely love Kamisama Dolls and in fact find it to be the most non-generic show there is right now. C’mon- the main protagonist not being the superhero, the one who has the powers being a little girl while the rest of the cast are much much older and are in their university years? Tag that with a lot of mystery steeped in a village bound by secrets and the contrast of urban and rural life and it’s maddeningly good. Even the small amounts of fanservice don’t drag it down and I don’t understand the Utao hate at all, because I mean, she’s a kid and if anything she’s attached to her brother and wants to please him- of course she’s going to act the way she is. The episodes are perfectly balanced in terms of comedy, light-heartedness, subtlety, foreshadowing and seriousness with a nice cliff hanger at each end. The thriller part of it is fascinating and I just really, really like this show so far. I won’t lie that it has its share of cliches but it doesn’t go overboard with them at all (except for that heavily used scene of Aki and Kyouhei in the past but whatever). I’m really glad that you made a post psgels! :)

  10. @Aidan, you’re totally right Sacred seven sucks balls… lol maid army, that’s what I thoguht when I first saw it. tooI just found myself not really caring about anyone in that show, and then the had a fking beach episode. . .after like the 3rd minute in (when I realized they were really going to do a beach episode) I realized that they aren’t trying to make a decent show.

    Unfortunately, to all the fan girls of the show: I dont like Kamisama Dolls either, The characters are just too stupid. . .Im talking about the little sister obviously

    AND the older brother is just. . .so typically Japanese anime wimpy lead annoying ness

    combine that with the annoying detective, and his retarded UFO-otaku daughter, and it just feels like Ive been watching the same generic copy+paste bullshit that has been plaguing anime for the past few years. . .

    oh and dont give me the excuse about “oh the annoying kid is supposed to be annoying becuase shes a kid* bs there are lot of child leads that are awesome such as

    Hatchin (Michiko e hatchin)

    Cossete (Les Miserable)

    The little girl in that french themed show this season

    Rin (Usagi Drop)

    the Prince kid in seirei no Moribito. . .hell all of the children major characters in that aniem as well!

    Honoka, Isamu (Noein)

    The kids in Ghost Hound

    The WHOLE cast of Dennou Coil

    The kids in Soul Eater.

    I can go on and on. . .There is no EXCUSE as to how that little girl can be so stupid AND not suffer realistic consequences (i.e. Bokurano) in that you’d have more than just a nosy detective and very few eye witnesses to a giant robot thing in the air shooting a laser in to an apartment building IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCKING TOKYO, Or for that matter the *Bad guy* killing all those people with his Robot in KABUKUCHO of all places! and no one having seen it. . .

    Hell even in the park they were training at there are lots of people there at all hours of the day (I know. . .I live in Tokyo)

    I just found it annoying as fuck and the fact that people are trying to defend the stupidity of pretty much the little girl (and really the whole cast) on the *kiddie defence* when there is so much better example of Great child leads who STILL had lots of room to develop and DID. Anything less is like a slap in the face

  11. orpheust says:

    Don’t you have better things to be pissed off at than a character who fights in the middle of a city in a shonen anime series? Got to watch that blood pressure ^^

    The show’s got a lot of flash and thunder but much real substance after that. There are times though when people feel like watching that kind of stuff over a show with “good characters” and “good plot”

  12. miguel says:

    what happened to that Madhouse?
    Well: 1º) Statoshi Kon dies leaving a unfinished work. 2º) Make Redline, a film with various years of production that doesn´t recaude well. 3º)Have financial problems and have to afront a fusion with the NTV,
    For this three reasons i think that this isnt´t a good year to do a super-proyect as a series, if not like don’t do anything only do it for 2012 when the things are more calm.

    Maybe other reasons is that lack a series do by a top director, i really enjoyed watching Supernatural and Rainbow, but i considere them like “training series”, maybe doesn’t have to be a great director only one that is indicate for the work, ¿Araki directing a manga writed by hentai autors?¿it isn’t a bit low for him?,¿yuzo Sato the gambling expert doing a superhero series?, this no fix well.

    but if you go to the autum series aside koujina doing Hunter, Morio Asaka is going to direct Chihayafuru a shojo/josei/spokon series, with some of the staff of nana. Jun Shishido is directing to Aru hikushi no tsukio, a romantic adventure movie, and he did Sainkoku. And if the staff os Another is true, nakamura is doing a adaptation of a mistery novel with the staff of mouryou(plus kenji kawai) this are a lot more logical i think.

  13. Nayrael says:

    Is this correct week to post this ep of NuraMago? I just watched episode 6 (32) ^_^;

    “taking your length for granted and dragging on. The director confirmed that the new season will animate up to the end of the Kyoto-arc, which makes me wonder how large that arc must be to dedicate 23 entire episodes to it.”

    Kyoto Arc is 84 chapters long (for comparison, S1 animated 46 chapters)… which for a decent pacing would require a 3-cour Anime. Rushed pacing will be the problem, not stretching and it is rushed pacing that creates most problems in this ep.

    The battle with Kitsune was kinda weird when animated (episode being rushed didn’t help either), but when she decided to stop underestimating, she was already hit by the Exorcist (which I find kinda annoying as well). Thankfully, villains like her don’t make the same mistake twice.

  14. tomphile says:

    Giant pyramid maybe…but Sacred Seven just feels contrived at the moment.

  15. psgels psgels says:

    Nayrael: yeah, I was a bit late with checking out this episode. Hence why I just posted it with this week.

  16. AKI says:

    @Carbuncle – don’t forget the whole cast of BOKURANO in your children themed rant. Hehe.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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