Posted on 30 April 2012 with categories: Phi Brain

You know, the actual goal of the orpheus order isnt’ bad at all. If they can figure out the kinks in the Orpheus bracelet and remove the parts that destroy the wearer’s brains, it could mean a very good way for humanity to evolve, and it’s certainly better than “let’s have humanity evolve by killing everyone.” It’s just that their methods are questionable, having them resort to use involuntary human guinea pigs who can easily die when things go wrong.

Also, this episode broke up the formula that the first episodes tried to set already: Gammon prevented his sister from getting brainwashed. Still, you could say that this all was part of the plans in order to challenge Kaito to a puzzle. This episode pretty much failed for the Orpheus order, because the reason why Kaito nearly became “Phi Brain” was by putting him under constant stress. That’s very hard to do with five of them together like that, supporting each other. Also, this episode revealed all of their names, and they are indeed as weird as the rest of the cast. The main villain of this series is a random card game.

In any case, the bad thing of breaking up this formula is that we didn’t really get to see much more about Gammon’s sister. The most logical solution for this will be that the Orpheus order will find some other way to use her. Can they keep these methods fresh enough for the entire side-cast?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on with categories: Hyouka

My big issue with Kyoani is their lack of ambition. They’ve got some amazing animators in house. The could bring the most amazing stories to life with that. But no, we need the random antics of high school girls! In particular it’s the series Lucky Star, K-On and Nichijou which all failed to capture my interest. worst of all was Lucky Star, which I actually finished in the hopes of finding out why people were so lyrical about it. I didn’t figure it out. And it was a chore. Hyouka features high school students talking to each other a lot, but finally it’s actually going somewhere. The characters aren’t randomly yapping about the same things over and over: there is progression. That’s what caught my interest for this series, and I want to see where it’s going.

Which brings me to another quirk of Kyoani: taking really long to build up and set up everything. This is a double-edged sword: if all of the build-up gets to the point of annoyance, then it will have failed its purpose. The trick with these kinds of series is to still have something redeemable when building up. For example I rate Kobato higher than Mirai Nikki because Kobato’s first half, even though it was random and often cheesy, still was very genuine and had interesting characters. Mirai Nikki meanwhile was a drag because there were too many characters who just weren’t. Kyoani’s series try to tackle this problem with realism: having characters act realistic and down to earth. It worked well with Air and Clannad, but Haruhi and Kanon suffered from characters trying too hard to be moe, leading to me dropping both before eventually giving them a chance to properly sit them out and appreciate what they were building up for.

Hyouka is looking good. The premise of this series hasn’t come up yet (that whole another-like premise of a student dying 30 years ago), and instead it’s keeping itself busy with random trivial mysteries. The way it goes to solve these is actually quite interesting: the train of thoughts of the character sin particular is interesting to watch, even when things are as silly as wondering why five different students would borrow the same book for five consecutive weeks.

The animation of this series is also very fluid and dynamic, but it’s especially the few scenes of symbolism each episode where the artists can really show off to make this a feast for the eyes.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 29 April 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season is massive! Seriously, do you know when the last time was that I ended up listing 49 or more series during my monthly summaries? October 2006. And back then I didn’t watch raws yet, and I included series from past seasons that hadn’t finished yet, along with a bunch of really old series. This season definitely is something special in terms of all of the series that have come out that are trying something interestingand trying to stand out.

Does that mean that we’ve got one of the best seasons ever? Well, no. There is a lot of mediocrity in this season, not to mention there are too many series of only 13 episodes for it to be really able to rival the major seasons like Spring 2006, Spring 2007 and Autumn 2008. I made the mistake in the past of announcing a season as awesome right at the start (did that to both Summer and Autumn 2011), so I’m not going to do that until this season is finished. But damn: things look good here.

#49 (new) – Sengoku Collection – (2,25/10) – Oda Nobunaga… what have they done to you? Dropped.
#48 (new) – Naruto SD – (2,75/10) – The forced attempts at comedy were horrible to watch. Dropped.
#47 (new) – Pretty Rythm – (3/10) – Even for a kids’ show, this one was bad. It was nothing but one girl whine over and over and over and she would just never shut up. Do kids really enjoy watching those kinds of characters?
#46 (new) – Queens Blade – (3/10) – Completely retarded. Also, boobs. Dropped.
#45 (23) – Hiiro no Kakera – (4,5/10) – I tried giving this a second chance, but bailed out immediately. This is an incredibly generic bishie show that is badly acted and has absolutely nothing that stands out whatsoever. Dropped
#44 (new) – Upotte – (5/10) – Wow. That first episode’s only sense of humour came from having random innuendo jokes about guns. Xebec, I really see that you’ve exerted yourself on this one… Dropped.
#43 (new) – Ginga he Kickoff – (5,75/10) – Very annoying lead character. Dropped.
#42 (new) – Recorder to Randsell – (6,25/10) – The gimmick of this series has worn off for me. It’s nice and all for one episode, but two entire seasons of this. It needs to try harder for me. Having “being a cute premise” as the only redeemable factor is not enough for me to keep watching. Dropped.
#41 (new) – Haiyore Nyaruko-San – (6,4/10) – This show also is a gimmick that’s a bit fun for just one episode, but not much more. Yeah, she is an insult to the works of Lovecraft, let’s have a laugh and then drop this to move on. Dropped.
#40 (20) – Ozuma – (6,6/10) – So in the end, what did Ozuma really do? This month brought in some of the background of this series, but that’s what it was: just background that that one girl read as from a script. It made no impact on the rest of the show whatsoever and could have been omitted without changing anything else about the show.
#39 (new) – Yurumates – (6,9/10) – 2 minutes of random college antics. It didn’t capture my interest. Dropped.
#38 (new) – Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – (7/10) – I gave up on this show when it tried to recycle its gimmicks from the first season.
#37 (new) – Tasogare Otome X Amnesia – (7/10) – The guys over at Silver Link really need to learn about how to get characters to act properly. This is their umpth show of theirs that might have been interesting, if only it wasn’t so badly acted. Especially the female sidekick who can’t see ghosts was a pain to watch. I’d almost say: drop all the visual effects, and focus on your basics and priorities. Dropped.
#36 (new) – Gon – (7/10) – Another gimmick show: it’s fun to watch for one episode, but after that it dies off. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Accel World – (7,1/10) – Interesting premise, but the execution leaves things to be desired. Annoying main character who doesn’t belong in this series, Wastes too much time with boring exposition, has no interesting characters whatsoever. I see no potential for this one in the long run, unfortunately.
#34 (new) – Acchi Kocchi – (7,25/10) – Acchi Kocchi is… just there, I guess. It’s just a bunch of high schoolers doing random stuff with its annoying and cute moments. I could find nothing that really stood out or made it more than just random fluff, though. Dropped
#33 (new) – Folktales from Japan – (7,4/10) – Random Folk Tales. They were interesting from a cultural point of view, even though they really played on what a bitch Karma tends to be. It’s not interesting enough to continue watching, though. Dropped.
#32 (new) – Jewel Pet – (7,4/10) – Getting the director of Milky Holmes and Lilpri to do Jewel Pet. Whoever found that kind of madness a good idea? The result was a bizarre first episode that was funny as a gimmick, but unsustainable in the long run. Dropped
#31 (new) – Kuromajo-San ga Tooru – (7,5/10) – Cute, but not cute enough for me to spend my time on. Needs to try harder. Dropped
#30 (new) – Shining Hearts – Shiawase no Pan – (7,5/10) – I don’t care if you’ve got an interesting story. If you don’t try to show this off, then how am I supposed to know? This series really needs more ambition. Try to stand out like a lot of the other shows are trying to do, for god’s sake. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Saki Episode of Side A – (7,5/10) – The problem with Saki is that its characters are quite charming, but its mahjong is an insult. With the first two episodes, I saw no hints that this time it’ll be different, so I’m bailing out while I still can. Dropped.
#28 (new) – Arashi no Yoru ni – (7,6/10) – In the end, this series suffers from too much competition. I had to cut out some series, and I have already seen this story and it is overacted.
#27 (17) – Smile Precure – (7,75/10) – In the end I dropped this series. It’s a nice show and all, but this season has way too much competition.
#26 (new) – Kuroko no Basuke – (7,75/10) – This had some fun first episodes, but I see no future in this series as a shounen jump adaptation. There is no potential for the characters to improve, it probably will drag on with random opponents that also have shounen-like powers. I feel like I’ve seen all that’s good about this series in just the first episode. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Medaka Box – (7,75/10) – I can see potential in this series. The writing shows that it knows what it’s doing, but at other times it’s aggravating to watch and how everyone keeps going on about how perfect Medaka is. This is a show where it really stands out that it violates the “show, don’t tell”-principle, and it’s not like I’m often bothered by that.
#24 (new) – AKB0048 – (7,75/10) – The plot just makes no sense whatsoever! It has potential though, because at least the characters are bearable enough to continue past the first episode.
#23 (new) – Sankarea – (7,9/10) – Here is the thing: that third episode was really, really good. That’s the reason why I haven’t dropped this yet, and I have to admit that Rea is very well acted and interesting to watch. My big problem is that most of the rest of the cast isn’t, in particular that cousin and the other classmates of the lead character.
#22 (new) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8/10) – Saint Seiya’s problem is that it stays a bit in the shadows of everything. On one hand it’s still in the shadows of Heartcatch Precure and Casshern, who both were written much better and had much more interesting characters, and it’s overshadowed by the rest of this season being incredibly good and good-looking as well.
#21 (new) – Jormungand – (8,1/10) – Slick action in a gritty setting, with characters who can’t stop snarking. So yeah, that combination didn’t work in this show’s favor, but as a gun-slinging show it still is quite entertaining and holds a lot of potential.
#20 (7) – Aquarion Evol – (8,1/10) – Aquarion Evol is in the middle of a bunch of training arcs. To make up for this dull-sounding premise, it has made this some of the weirdest training arcs in a long while. This show has gotten completely bizarre at this point. Whether the character-development worked or not depends on the finale, though, because the character-development has been a bit unimpressive. Especially Zessica is in the danger zone.
#19 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

The thing with Nen is that in order to realize how amazing it is, you first need to sit through a bit of explanation about how it works. It’s gonna be worth it, though. I’d also like to say something about the animation in this series: it does have Madhouse’s trademark CG and the inbetween animation can be quite smooth at times. But it’s all feels too much like manga panels that move around. It misses some dynamic movement. Some extra touches on the animation, and I mean more than once in a while showing a character who is shaded really well. Give me interesting movement.

#18 (new) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8,25/10)

The peculiar thing about this season is that in terms of pure comedies, there isn’t a lot noteworthy, if you ignore series like Uchuu Kyoudai, where the comedy isn’t the main focus. I could only find two good comedy shows this season, one of which is Poyopoyo which carried over from the previous season. Still, it’s a genre that is over-saturated, so I don’t mind. Poyopoyo still is awesome in how it consistently manages to take everyday situations for cat owners and make them fun. It’s also surprisingly sadistic at times.

#17 (new) – Hyouka – (8,25/10)

A Kyoani series I care about for once! Great animation and dialogue. The big potential pitfall of this series will be taking too long to build up; something that plagues a lot of Kyoani series.

#16 (new) – Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – (8,25/10)

They actually gave a new coat over the original Yamato series. The first episode followed the plot of the first episode of the TV-series, but a lot was added to it, and the creators still nailed the epic feeling of the good Matsumoto Leiji series. I’m keeping my eye on this.

#15 (new) – Legend of Korra – (8,25/10)

This really is an exception. I am not going to watch Avatar. I do not have the time for that and there are too many other things that I want to spend my time on. Nevertheless, to keep track of this every week is just enough. What I really like about this is how it subverts Korra’s status as a hero and plays with it.

#14 (new) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8,25/10)

This series has no business being as good as it is, and yet, I love it. It’s just about a cafe run by a polar bear that has a penguin and a panda among its regular guests. The panda in particular is very annoying. But this show completely nailed all of these characters and their random conversations. It’s brilliant in how it uses the fact that the characters are nearly all animals and how they behave.

#13 (new) – Eureka Seven Ao – (8,25/10)

Interesting setting, completely different from Eureka Seven’s setting. The action is very solid as well, and the characters also are well acted. I like how there are many different parties with all their own interests. This show is building up to something very interesting here.

#12 (5) – Phi Brain – (8,25/10)

The new season has a ton of potential… IF the creators use it. If not, then it can also come crashing down horribly. That’s the kind of double-sided sword that brainwashing is. So far though, things are looking good with some nice side-character development. The visuals also look prettier compared to the first season.

#11 (new) – Kimi to Boku – (8,4/10)

The advantage this season has over the first: we already know the cast, and they’re already a bit developed. That has made this season much more bearable, and even though the blond kid still is annoying, it’s much less apparent compared to how he was in the past. The result is a very charming slice of life series that really knows its drama.

#10 (10) – Mirai Nikki – (8,4/10)

A fun and exciting ending to conclude the series with. This show really went over the top and delivered some very unexpected plot twists. It had some humps along the way, but with the finale I am still glad to have kept up with it.

#9 (new) – Nazo no Kanojo X – (8,4/10)

A very weird show, but I must say that the interplay between the two main characters is very entertaining to watch. It’s also got a terrific soundtrack.

#8 (new) – Tsuritama – (8,4/10)

This is the most grounded work of Kenji Nakamura to date: it’s just a show about a bunch of guys and fishing. It’s still really fun and uplifting, with a lot of quirky and fun characters to watch, on top of quite an artistic look. Can it live up to his other works in terms of depth, though?

#7 (new) – Natsuiro Kiseki – (8,5/10)

Natsurio Kiseki is forced. But considering its premise, it’s no wonder, and the creators make perfect use of this. Every episode had the girls find out something new about themselves, or come to terms with something,resulting into them growing as a character. This show loves to play around with its cast and put them into interesting situations. And really: the four of them work really well together.

#6 (6) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,5/10)

Mouretsu Pirates has actually gotten better over the past month. The most recent developments are a bit forced to get all of the characters at the right places, but the result of this is incredibly fun and interesting science fiction.

#5 (new) – Lupin The Third – (8,5/10)

Very artistic and mature. You can really see that the creators are trying to turn this into a fun adventure, while also emphasizing on how incredibly feminine Mine Fujiko is. The result has style, and it’s quite fun, even for someone who isn’t a fan of the Lupin franchise. It’s in any case the most unique series of the season.

#4 (new) – Zetman – (8,5/10)

Having not read the manga, I have no idea how good that was, and I don’t care. Zetman is a very fine show with a lot of heart put into it. The animation really knows how to accentuate the characters’ faces, and the acting is bold and gripping. This show stands out, and it has really grabbed my attention, and for that I’m willing to overlook some pacing issues. In fact, I’d say that despite these issues, it still manages to know which scenes to focus on, instead of trying to rush through everything equally.

#3 (new) – Fate/Zero – (8,75/10)

Fate/Zero has really been fired off in this new season, wasting no time and showing huge developments in nearly all of its episodes. The wait after all of this build up was definitely worth it. Episode 2 also was a visual orgasm.

#2 (new) – Sakamichi no Apollon – (9/10)

The star of this season. I can’t believe how well this show is executed. The animation when the characters are playing instruments is incredible, and the best that any television series has ever been in portraying musicians. The drama between the characters is also amazingly well acted. The creators managed to put so much emotion into this series. Oh, and Yoko Kanno… she really delivers on the soundtrack for this one.

#1 (new) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9/10)

In a season with so much competition, Uchuu Kyoudai stands very confidently at the top with pretty much the best characters of the season. No other show comes close to the amount of development that these guys have already had, and Mutta is an absolutely wonderful character to watch. It’s all just so down to earth and incredibly fun to watch. Now let the rumour that this will have 51 episodes be true!

Posted on with categories: Hyouka, Some Quick First Impressions

AKB0048

Short Synopsis: Our lead character wants to be an idol.
Okay, so like expected, my brain just exploded by all of the reasons in which this series just does not make sense. The premise, but also the small details and decisions the characters make; for god’s sake there are just so many things about this series that are in no way possible when you think about them. The good news however, is that this was the best first episode of an idol show that I’ve seen for a year now. For once, it had no annoying characters. Surprisingly, the voice actresses (presumably members of AKB48) actually take up on cues and actually are able to act a bit. It’s nothing stellar or anything, but I expected much blander and annoying than what we got here. And granted, the idol series for the past year aren’t really a big standard to live up to (Uta Prince, Symphogear, Pretty Rythm… only Idolmaster was anywhere near decent), but still this actually felt well paced and had decent writing. It caught my interest. The big question is how on earth are they going to about the ludicrous plot of this. In the original Macross, the idols made sense in the story and had an explanation, but ever since that seems to have gone more and more into the background for Shoji Kawamori. Having an evil government that bans music is by far not enough. Oh, and I also hope that the concert scenes will be better than what they showed in this episode. Ugly dancing CG is something that I don’t ever thing has been done right.
ED: Ugly dancing CG.
Potential: 60%

Hyouka

Short Synopsis: Our lead character gets to be friends with the school idol.
Well, in a season that has so many visually standing out series, Hyouka comes and joins them with some very realistic animation. Along with its own share of very artistic shots. Other than that, this was very solid for a first episode: the dialogue is all well written, and it uses its mystery very subtly by making its mysteries small, and then explaining them with ordinary logic. The characters are already dynamic and far from cliches and it’s definitely the most realistic high school series of this season. However, Kyoani: you are some amazing animators. So why do you always have to go back to high schools? There is a vast diversity of different settings that you could explore. Well, at the very least I’m happy enough because this finally is a show I’m interested in. It’s not just random antics but this episode is clearly building up to something, and with writing and animation that are so good I’m definitely going to follow it. My only fear would be that it would take too long to build up. This series is 21 episodes long, and if it uses this well it can turn into a great series. However if this starts pulling a Pesona 4 it can get boring quite fast.
OP: Nice use of the water ripple effect. The song’s boring, though.
Potential: 85%

Posted on with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

So… much…. character-development.

I can’t believe how well the creators made use of this episode where Mutta pays a small visit to Hibiki. It just shows how much the two changed over the years. And it’s not a simple change either: the two of them evolved multiple times over the years and are by far the two most dynamic characters of the entire season. The bond between the two of them in this episode was also just amazing to watch. And that for an building up episode.

I loved how Mutta kept criticizing the tiny things that Hibiki did wrong throughout this episode in order to distract from his own inferiority complex. But really, it also showed that Mutta is a perfectionist, unlike his brother. This perfectionism probably lead to his car being a success. And really: it’s not like Mutta is your average Joe with no accomplishments either. Mutta continues to look over it, but pulling off such a thing is no small feat either. Hibiki in any case can’t boast to have created something like that.

I also loved the dialogue in this episode, and the way in which Mutta and Hibiki talk to each other: it really feels like these two knew each other for their entire lives. This episode also finally revealed the identity of that dog in the OP, and it turns out to be Hibiki’s. At first I really feared it to be this series’ annoying animal mascot. And yeah, it was annoying for a while, but the great thing about it: it knew when to quit.
Rating: **+ (Excellent+)

Posted on with categories: Fate/Zero

So now that Caster and Lancer are gone, this series immediately moves on to another thing that it has been promising for ages now: Kotomine Kirei. The entire episode was dedicated to just building up to the moment where Kirei would betray his master. The moment itself wasn’t really unexpected, as right when Irisviel requested him to pull back from the Grail war it was obvious that he wouldn’t just let that happen, and afterward he was handed a knife of all things, but the scene itself was very satisfying. Also helped by a lot of budget being poured into that one scene.

Now, let’s see what he can do in this series now that he has some power again, and can act independently. With four episodes this series killed off a huge amount of characters, compared to how relatively few important characters died in the first 10 episodes. It definitely made good use of the build-up.

The one thing I don’t really get as someone unfamiliar with the Fate franchise is the squiggly lines on the priest’s arm that Kirei took over somehow. How does that work anyway? What power does this guy have, and why does he have it? Why did the grail find it good idea to have a guy like this, especially when he’s allied to some of the masters and could have just refueled Tohsaka’s command spells on a whim? Also, if one needs to defeat all seven servants in order to get to the holy grail, then what about Rider’s wish to become human? And does his master know about this? So what’s in it for the servants to win the holy grail war anyway?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Mouretsu Pirates

Now this is where everything just comes together. Talk about an amazing episode here. The plot just got 10 times more interesting.

And the strange thing is that even though when you summarize this episode in just one line, it sounds horribly cheesy: the Bentenmaru saves Jenny Dolittle who has been forced to marry against her will. But the background and detail and all sorts of dependencies and politics that the creators threw into this episode were just awesome. This episode just showed how fragile the pirate business is, and how the Bentenmaru is completely dependent on insurance companies. Those insurance companies can be manipulated. The question remains how Jenny managed to start a company that gained such an amount of wealth, but with her connections, it’s probably not impossible.

Also, I really like how the creators waited 16 whole episodes before revealing that two characters are lesbian. This way it feels much more like being lesbian is just a part of who they are, rather than making their sexual orientation their biggest defining character trait. It worked really well and the two characters in question make for a very interesting and down to earth couple.

Also a nice touch is how this episode toyed around with out expectations and imagination. This series has been so grounded that when the girls started imagining how Jenny must be held captive, in full bride gown and all, it had to be one of those crazy delusions you see everywhere. And in the end, that delusion turned out to be what really happened.

My only complaint is how suddenly everyone is incredibly competent at their jobs. I mostly noticed this at the end of this episode. But really: this episode was the one who put Mouretsu Pirates a notch above the other big Sci-fi shows this year. Let’s see if they can follow.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Nazo na Kanojo X – 03: What sets the soundtrack of this series on top of all of the others is hard to describe, but that one track it has that it always plays at the episode climaxes brings out a ton of emotion. – ** (Excellent)
#2: Natsuiro Kiseki – 04: That rock is very cruel: toying with the wishes of teenaged girls, and giving them a big middle finger when they try to fix it. Nevertheless though, this episode once again had some really good character development. I also really like how well this show uses the fact that some of its characters are athletic, while others aren’t. – ** (Excellent)
#3: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 16: I love how the creators are able to take everyday situations, throw a bit of sadism into them, and make them fun. That Civet cat in particularly worked well with that in this episode. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Shirokuma Cafe – 04: You know I could complain about how Panda was annoying again and all. But they actually showed the polar bear driving a car this episode! The drive-through part in particular was awesome. It’s very hard to correctly explain why this series is so good to someone who has never seen it, though. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Kimi to Boku – 17: This episode was about the twins. Quite refreshing to see the blond kid completely gone. Quite heart-warming to see some of the conflicts between them. – *+ (Great)
#6: Jormungand: The crazy obsessive lesbian is a trope that seriously needs to die. What’s wrong with having just a regular lesbian on the cast? I did like the tension that the boy soldier created in this episode, though. – * (Good)
#7: The Legend of Korra – 03: Very good fight scenes, and the real introduction of the resistance holds potential, but the amount of cliches in the first half was a bit annoying, and this show has this “Saturday Morning Cartoon’-feel to it. – * (Good)
#8: Hunter X Hunter – 28: It’s finally time for the introduction of Nen, the single best power system of any shounen out there. And it lacks a bit of subtlety here. The creators just send waves of random CG without much variation to Gon and Killua. At the very least, comparing the old and new version with each other has given me a new appreciation for how well the 1999 version was made, regardless of how accurate it may have been to the manga. – * (Good)
#9: Medaka Box: If a character is good or bad at handwriting: SHOW this. Don’t just have random characters claim this. Don’t tell me that your animators only know how to do flashy action-scenes, Gainax. – (Enjoyable)
#10: Sankarea – 04: Very annoying episode with lots of cliches. Especially that cousin and those classmates are not interesting to watch at all, not to mention that the creators actually went for a “walking into the shower scene”. this episode was saved by Rea’s changes and development.
#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 04: Rather boring training episode with generic RPG element explanation. – (Enjoyable)

Introducing this season’s Kaleidoscope. I like to experiment with these things, as it’s the perfect format to try out different stuff. This time, because there are so many series that stand out, I’m going to do a ranking: from best to worst, the episodes that caught my attention the most each week of all of the series that I’m not fully blogging, followed by a small blurb for each series (blurbs can also just be “unimpressive”, otherwise it would just take up too much time for some shows). This way I can also share my thoughts of Hunter X Hunter, without having to dedicate an entire entry to it (although I will remove it from this list as soon as the Hunter X Hunter fanbase arrives again and starts telling me how I should enjoy my series…).

Every week on Sunday I will post a new entry for this Kaleidoscope, with weeks beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday this time. I usually try to have weeks start on Monday, but this is much more convenient because nothing airs on Friday and Saturday, allowing me time to catch up (not to mention the ungodly amounts of series that air all at the same time on Sunday, on top of me being very busy on most Sundays with this thing called real life), and I’ll update this entry as the week goes along.

Also, as for the series that didn’t make the cut (meaning the series that I’m not going to watch this season):
Arashi no Yoru ni ultimately isn’t worth it. It’s overacted and I’ve already seen the story before.
Accel World has some potential, but it doesn’t have any interesting characters whatsoever, not to mention that it’s got a pretty dull and annoying male lead.
Tasogare Otome Amnesia has really bad acting. Plus, the girl turns round and the guy immediately goes for her boob. Now that’s bad fanservice that needs to die.
Kuroko no Basuke, I don’t think that it can really improve beyond what it has shown here. It’s still a jump series full of shounen powers, and it will probably follow a very constraining format. It in any case doesn’t live up to the standard that sports series have set in the past.
– I actually enjoyed the first two episodes of Saki. However, that got me thinking: the reason I enjoyed them so much, and why I actually managed to finish the first Saki, is because there were no Mahjong battles. I’m bailing out while I still can, because those mahjong matches in the first season were just an insult.
Shining Hearts needs more ambition. The characterization isn’t good enough to make this a good slice of life series, and for an adventure it just goes nowhere with an entire episode being dedicated to… a nasty storm.
Acchi Kocchi fails for me as a slice of life due to its annoying characters.
Kuromajo-San ga Tooru also lacks ambition and is just too dull.
– And then there are comedies like Gon, Haiyore, Zombie and Jewel Pet, which just aren’t funny enough to warrant a watch.

Posted on 27 April 2012 with categories: Eureka Seven Ao

The setting of Eureka7 Ao is completely different now that Eureka somehow traveled through time, but I like that: it shows that the creators really attempt to go for something different here, rather than to dwell on what worked. The big challenge with this approach will be: what can they do in order to make up for it?

In any case, I like how not nationalistic this series is. After so many series that are about Japan being in danger,this series actually split up the country and made Okinawa declare independence. Of course having this set in a country beside Japan would have been even better, but at least this is a step into the right direction.

This episode also dedicated a lot of time to the islanders and i must say that I like how this series already has many different parties with their different interests. what’s more, the way they are portrayed makes them all feel alive. The best example of this was the scene where Ao arrives back at his grandfather’s house, and saw his grandfather busy salvaging his stuff from his burning house: it shows that even when the camera isn’t focused on them, they’re busy with their own agenda. It’s been a while since I watched a show that had this done well.
Rating: *+ (Great)

Posted on 26 April 2012 with categories: Tsuritama

This episode had a lot of build-up in it, with most f it being devoted to Yuki learning how to properly cast a fishing-line in an almost shounen-like way. On top of that we get a lot of character building. This is the kind of episode of which we can only say whether it succeeded or not at the end of this series. It all depends on whether the rest of the episodes use the build-up provided in this episode well.

The key will be Yuki’s grandmother. This episode revealed that Yuki has very big psychological issues and he gets even worse when something happens to his grandmother. his episode had him sorting his thoughts out on that, but it’s not enough. And no, having his grandmother collapse for real later in the series won’t be enough either. That’s just cliched.

What I did like in this episode was the use of emotion in this episode. Especially the end of this episode where everyone was just yelling out their frustrations worked well with me. This show is well acted, and the characters are quite diverse, while having their distinct personality. The only exception to this is Haru. He’s a bit too overacted.

Also, Tapioca is a duck!? I could have sworn it was a goose.
Rating: * (Good)

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:27 AM)
    I’ve seen salad fingers too , fair enough short animation.
  • Anon
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:24 AM)
    @Emma Fo a moment there I thought you said Salad Fingers.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:24 AM)
    @Bam: I guess some issue would be that it did get a bit convoluted/languid but its an easy 4/5 from me.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:23 AM)
    @Bam: You might also want to watch the double and dead ringers.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:20 AM)
    @Bam: Just finished that enemy film you recommended there. It ticks all the boxes of a proper neo noir, as a mood/athmosphere piece its pretty haunting/effective due to Gylennhall’s acting, the lighting and creepy music . I reckon I mostly followed this, it was good to watch a film with an actual complex plot, I preferred it to prisoners.
  • PabloExpresso
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:11 AM)
    I revel in the fact that it’s me vs. everyone else.
  • PabloExpresso
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:09 AM)
    Aidan: Maybe I will.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Aug 28. 2014 12:01 AM)
    @Bam, curse you. I am still waiting on my crappy internet to redownload dark souls 2 on steam.
    @Pablo, Complain all you like but unless you have a plan to purge the human race ain’t nothing gonna change.
  • PabloExpresso
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 11:53 PM)
    Nostalgia sells, but those who bite are morons. You have to see the merit of the story, not the series.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Aug 27. 2014 11:51 PM)
    Well … I’m setting off to reclaim the crown of the Old Iron King, so Imma disappear for a little while.

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