Posted on 21 August 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope


Blade – 08
Okay. That was one mid-boss that I didn’t see coming. With this, I’m sure: on top of having the best characters out of the Marvel-series, Blade also has the best story.

Sket Dance – 20
I’m… not sure what to think of this episode. You see, my opinion of this series has gone down during the second half; it just isn’t as funny as it used to be, and more and more jokes fall flat or just don’t work. And here this episode comes… and it’s entirely devoted to bad jokes. I don’t mean the jokes that are so corny that you’re forced to laugh. No, this episode was entirely about either jokes that fall flat, or jokes that are so ridiculously obscure that on a few people who know the context will get it. The subbers also completely missed the point of this episode by trying to explain them. But yeah: listening to jokes falling flat over and over remains annoying, whether they’re tongue in the cheek or not doesn’t matter here.
Rating: * (Good, but very annoying))

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – 46
And this is the point where this show is starting to drag on again for me. This really reminds me of the first season again, in the arc where Kaiji’s ears were on the line and things took absolutely forever to move on. This episode… did not really know what it should talk about while waiting for Kaiji to run out of nearly all of his balls (so that it can really ramp up the tension next episode) and just started to repeat the same thing over and over again. Especially that narrator was guilty of that. The background on Ichijou was nice, but didn’t really fit well at this stage. Oh, and the creators are trying too hard with the old guy. Being insane is nice and all, but those antics serve no purpose and distract from what’s really important here: defeating that damn bog.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Dantalian no Shoka – 06
This episode was… strange. Not only did the main characters make no appearance whatsoever, they were replaced by a priest like figure and a girl with the worst fashion sense imaginable. Normally I just use that as an insult against shows who give their characters overly complicated outfits, but this girl actually walks around in a straitjacket. In any case, what I like about Dantalian is how its mysteries are always incredibly far-fetched, yet imaginative. This episode was no exception and it came together really nicely at the end. The town it all placed in also was really well designed, and I don’t just mean the live action-like buildings that were used: the entire scenery and city lay-out just looked unique.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Usagi Drop – 07
This episode started a bit out of place when it was suddenly revealed that Haruko has relationship problems and ran away from home, and for about four minutes this suddenly turns into a romantic comedy. Daikichi’s acting also felt a bit unnatural and overall it felt a bit weird. And then this episode just made up for it with a terrific analysis of Haruka’s character. This show is about raising a child as a single parent, and this time it took a look at the cases where being a single parent is just impossible: housewifes. Haruka really feels like she made the wrong decisions during her twenties, even though she kept looking to the future. The thing however remains that the creators used Haruka’s character to prove a point they wanted to make, instead of doing it the other way around. Because this show is so realistic, this does stand out.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

8 Responses

  1. tomphile says:

    There wasn’t too much of a mysterious this week for Dantalian and I quite liked the introduction of the new characters. They’re going to be a good foil for the main cast.

  2. gandalf8 says:

    I’ve always had this feeling to Dantalian, as if each story is rushed through. This was especially evident in episode 3 with the 2 episodes-in-one. I would have loved this series more if they took the time to really flesh out each story rather than rushing through the major points in each standalone episode. I guess they had no choice with it being just a short 13 episode series. Hopefully one day I get to read the light novels, the original material to enjoy the full story of Dantalian no Shoka.

  3. Hogart says:

    I really liked the Twilight Zone feeling of this ep of Dantalian, though it was really cheesy. Though the new duo were over-the-top and still annoying, it was nice to get a break from Dalian and Huey’s usual boring schtick. I agree with tomphile that there’s a lot of potential for to tap by introducing them, but also with gandalf8 that there’s probably no way they’ll do so in 13 episodes.

    Usagi Drop kind of annoyed me. It got on my nerves to only see the wife’s side of the story, and it was tough to empathize with her without that material. She seemed more like a fickle woman than a woman scorned. But at least the series doesn’t go out of it’s way to portray her like a saint, as it does with Rin and Daikichi, so that’s a bonus.

  4. Whisperer says:

    man, I love Sket Dance, it’s currently the only anime that I eagerly await each week. Bossun’s facial expressions are just epic. Hell, I’ve seen 50 episodes of Gintama so far and, while that one does manage to make me laugh like crazy sometimes, I’d pick Sket Dance over it in an instant.

  5. info600 says:

    @ Hogart : I hope you get scorned and “outlawed” by your inlaws (if you get married)
    …there is such a scenario where the wife loves the husband but hated by her inlaws; darn, it hit rather uncomfortably close…doubt reading the manga before hand can lessen the impact here…

  6. Hogart says:

    @info600, I am married. And I’m well aware of the inlaw problem.. this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of it :)

    I just can’t empathize with a wife who runs away from home because she’s too timid to talk to her husband. It’s understandable, but the moment she starts to shift all of the blame to him is the moment when the story needs to explore it more fully or risk becoming insipid – and it didn’t do that (yet).

  7. info600 says:

    @ Hogart: I have a suspicion that her relationship with her husband is just as bad (check Reina’s conversation with Rin earlier in the episode)

  8. Hogart says:

    Exactly why I was annoyed.. I hope I’m really just being too impatient :)

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  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:30 AM)
    anyways, Shaft’s pretty much built on that “stagnating” style, it’d be like telling Apple to stop being UI-focused and open their walled garden up and be more like Android. Change is only desired when you don’t like something.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:24 AM)
    oh, when I said “more or less the same,” I meant that it’s easy to tell when they did something because you can recognize their trademarks from other works.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:22 AM)
    You’re not going to see any sudden, steep climbs of improvement, they’re already past that stage and into the subtleties of mastery.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:22 AM)
    They all have a style that’s more or less the same. It improves, but it’s only noticeable if you follow them closely. We’re talking about pros that are getting better at what they do, not just in purely visual means, but output efficiency, layout design, frame rate control, etc, while still trying to keep two subjects happy: their dedicated audience and themselves.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:19 AM)
    and I still don’t understand “stagnating.” It still sounds like “more of the same old, just in different strokes” which would refer to progressing consistency. Hiroyuki Imaishi, Mitsuo Iso, Masaaki Yuasa, Yo Yoshinari, Masahiro Ando, hell, let’s even throw in Shinichiro Watanabe.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:17 AM)
    even without the edits, they employ a nice modern style, focusing on sharp, sleek designs with lots of symmetry and emphasis on form. “detail” is exactly what I think when I see their architecture and environments just spiraling with mathematical forms and stylized lighting.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:09 AM)
    @K-Off as for Shaft’s backgrounds, Rebellion is enough to blow any viewer’s mind, new or veteran. Their TV series undergo tons of BD edits (as sites like Sankaku Complex will lovingly detail with hundreds of screenshot comparisons). Granted many of them can seem insignificant, but that’s attention to detail, no mistake, even if it’s unnecessary attention lol.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:04 AM)
    In either case, South Korea doesn’t have strong enough support for the animation industry to launch series of their own (else they’d probably go through everything Naver has). Not much point when dramas and games are more popular, thus draw in more money, and people can get their anime fix from Japan. Although with more global successes, it seems like there’s some rumbling in the industry, but likely most of these series are going to be like weekend morning offerings in the US.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Although that could also be because of the shifting to digital procurement of media.
  • Jalapeno Bagel
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 09:59 AM)
    @K-Off just like in the US or even in motherland Japan, the hardcore anime communities are a small percentage of the overall population. I said stigma, but it’s not solely present in Korea. Animation in general is usually aimed at a younger audience. You could even say animation is somewhat suffering in the US, compared to perhaps back a decade ago when animated cartoons were filling timeslots to the brim.

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