Posted by psgels on 22 July 2012 with categories: Summer 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Polar Bear Cafe – 16: I have no idea whether Mr Necktie was just a one-shot character or whether he’s going to make more appearances, but seriously: this guy is awesome! I know it’s getting boring to keep putting this series at #1 for these rankings, but this episod had me yet again in stitches. The first half was incredibly corny, while the second half really shined with Mr Necktie’s inner monologues. – (Excellent+)

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 39: YES! YES! This is the episode I’ve been waiting for. The point at which this series goes “Shounen conventions? Screw shounen conventions, we have a story to tell!Ägainst my fars, this episode worked, plus there were a ton of new background songs introduced, which indeed confirms my suspicion that the creators have been saving the best tracks for later. – (Excellent)

#3: Sword Art Online – 02: Two questions: if everyone is playing with their real-life avatar, then what about the guy with blue hair? Why do creators bother with hiding the faces of important characters if they’re prominently featured in the OP? Beyond that, awesome animation! More detail on Episode 03. God, I am so late. – (Great)

#3: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – 15: I do think that the male lead is trying a bit too hard to brighten up the mood at this point. I mean, there’s being silly, and there is taking that oo far. But using Macbeth as a weapon? This episode has definitely made up for it. – (Great)

#4: Tari Tari – 03: While I do appreciate that more and more foreigners are appearing in anime and that those voice actors doing a better and better job of not sounding too Japanese, can we now please portray these characters as actual people, rather than one-joke characters? Just look at Gunslinger Girl: not all Italians are weirdoes or players. – (Good)

#5: Kokoro Connect – 02: Okay, I have to admit that this was pretty amusing, and much better than the first episode. Rather than throwing some lesbian scene fro out of nowhere the characters actually went into the gender issues and what it’s like to be suddenly personality-swapped, rather than Ömg I’m a girl now! Must touch boobs!” – (Good)

#6: Tanken Drilland – 02: This episode introduced the third main character. And he is annoying. And uselesss. Thankfully, he realizes that he’s useless and annoying, so at least the creators are using this. Also, a fantasy series in which bullets are limited is not something you see every day. – (Good)

#7: Saint Seiya Omega – 15: The side-character of this episode apparently was someone from the original Saint Seiya series. So let me ask the people who saw that one: was he always such an idiot? I mean, the concept behind this episode could have worked, if only he didn’t have such stereotypical character-design (this is especially surprising considering one of the best character-designers out there worked on this series), and he wasn’t such a moron. “You are my enemies! So let me carefully explain what’s going on to you.” Also, that summoner silver saint… did he actually do anything this episode? I mean, I know this episode wanted to point out that he is just interested in his creations, but also the golems just… stood there. – (Enjoyable)

#8: Phi Brain – 40:So, Rook has finally returned. With this episode it’s finally time for him to show what he’s made of after such a long absence. So what’s his match against? An old dog…. truly an opponent worthy for what once was the main antagonist of the series. Seriously, I get that this was meant to show how ruthless the Orpheus Order are, but why spend this story on Rook? Why so late in the seris? This just felt like any other episode now, and nothigng would really have changed if any other character replaced him. Even Nonoha could have dealt with this! Also, the long-haired bad guy has reached the point where he’s so bad that he becomes funny. Not a good sign for a show that takes itself seriously. – (Disappointing)

#9: Dog Days’ – 02: I couldn’t complete this episode. In the end, the fight scenes, the central focus of this series, just aren’t that good. People just spam beams and make weapons explode until the armor of the opponent breaks (or in the girls’ cases: their clothes tear up). I mean, I can understand it if you want to have a premise that trivializes war and all, but if you do: go for it all the way and actively use this. – (Disappointing)

36 Responses

  1. PocariSweat says:

    Pretty sure that Spanish/Italian guy is going to play a more important role since it’s highly implied that he knows Wakana’s mother. Maybe her music partner or something when she went boarding to Europe during her university years or something maybe.

    You’re right in that the Spanish/Italian guy portrayed as a joke character though. Didn’t bother me though since it did give me a chuckle :p. I DONTO MONEY :3

  2. RABUJOI says:

    The Spanish guy WAS a little cringe-worthy, but we did like Wakana’s approach: yell things at him in broken English, then RUN!

    One nice little detail we liked was that Wien didn’t say “excuse me” (ojamashimasu) when entering Taichi’s house.

    We were also relieved when Taichi’s sister didn’t overreact (scream, kick, slap) to Wien seeing her scantily clad.

    • Mekem says:

      Honestly, I find the scenes with Wien more cringe-worthy than the scenes with the Spanish guy, if only because Wien knows the language and has less of an excuse for not knowing the culture. On that note, I think Spanish guy is freaking awesome.

  3. Kaiser Eoghan says:

    I get a bit of a mixed reaction to these portrayals of foreigners in anime/manga on one hand they become caricatures, but are often amusing to watch despite been often annoyingly presented.
    The more I see or hear of dog days the less motivated I am to look into it.

  4. AidanAK47 says:

    Nothing to comment on that certain scene in dog days episode 2 Psgels? That scene was pure out of left field and pretty much was outright disturbing.

  5. Cytl says:

    About the Tari Tari Spanish guy, if you carefully look at the OP you’ll probably find a surprise.

  6. teelaelmes says:

    Toori HAS TO try hard to bright the mood is his contract if doesn’t he dies.

  7. Vicious says:

    #99: Saint Seiya Omega – 15: This week episode was really boring, totally predictable and lacked any kind of subtlety. Also there were some stills that looked really low quality.

  8. UltimateReaper says:

    I’m glad you’re warming up to Horizon a bit. The only thing that bothers me about it as of late is the slow pacing, I want to see them start collecting the armaments, or however you spell that

  9. Might want to change the title to Summer 2012 Kaleidoscope.

  10. hoiut says:

    Are you going to give Kokoro Connect a shot? I watched episode 2 twice.

    Some really interesting themes permeate throughout. My theories:

    – Yui (androphobe) is a victim of sexual violence
    – Iori (genki) has relationship issues (stemming partly from her mother) and masks existentialist depression
    – Himeko (tsun) has some domestic issues that rub off on her personality, possibly involving her “brother”
    – The two male characters have yet-unhinted issues of their own.

    All the signs are there. Watch episodes 1 and 2 again — tons of potential here. With these theories in mind, the rationale behind some seemingly anomalous behaviors become painfully apparent. Some other things (Yui being thrown bodily to the ground by a threatening male authority figure, for instance) take on more meaning, too.

    • Cholisose says:

      Kokoro Connect is definitely one of the most intriguing anime this season. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the depth that’s been hinted at in these first two episodes. Excellent voice acting too, as all the seiyuu have to mimic one another.

    • TheUltimateReaper says:

      Wait are you serious?

    • Scruffy says:

      I think you’re right .. or at least I hope you’re right .. for where Kokoro Connect is going to go. At first glance it looks like a random fanservice show where gender swaps occur with boob groping / toilet humour ensuing. Ep 2 did look promising however in that the swapping will look at what it means to be that person and perhaps expose their living situations to each other. Of course it could just turn into random fanservice gags. :S

      • wicked says:

        The light novel maintain a certain level of seriousness, the gags might be about body switching, but it wont be fan servicing

    • Kaiser Eoghan says:

      Something tells me Hoiut you should be the one out there writing the anime plots. Its an interesting way of looking at it and i would think it nice for you to be right.

    • Taara535 says:

      Psgels – definitely watch the 3rd episode of Kokoro. It’s getting better and better. I think it’ll be my favorite series of the season at this rate.

  11. Rolca says:

    “Also, the long-haired bad guy has reached the point where he’s so bad that he becomes funny. Not a good sign for a show that takes itself seriously.”
    He was always funny to me: in S1 he throws his chair at the screen, only to have it bounce back. Now he kicks and jumps on his sofa! Besides, I don’t think a show that has a trap for the hell of it and where the main guy spends an entire episode in a princess dress has that brand of seriousness.

    • Pillow Predator says:

      But that was clear from the start
      ok some things are serious more or less but come on… puzzles as most popular thing in the world? Competitions about it?
      You CAN’T take that seriously (not to mention that deer thing and few other along the way).

      Well of course you could, but that is missing the point (or trying to find something that it’s not there).

  12. Hades says:

    Glad to know you’re enjoying HxH, specially because you almost dropped it.

  13. DuelEX says:

    Ichi wasn’t as much of a joke character in the original series for two reason: First, pretty much all the jokes about him were because of how he looks (he looks like that since he was a little kid) and two because he wasn’t around as much (he has had more lines in Omega than in the original series).

    Ichi had an episode early in the series in which he fought against one of the Legendary Saints that hasn’t been introduced yet, but despite Ichi’s confidence in his own skills, his poison abilities were completely negated by his opponent’s power, and Ichi was thoroughly beaten. After that he pretty much became a background character, only really doing two things in the rest of the series and that was in group with the other Bronze Saints that were left behind (Geki among them).

    So yeah, prior to Omega, Ichi was just a minor character that look sort of funny. Omega’s staff said that they were planning to have some fun with him and this episode shows that they were talking about. His whole talk about beauty and holding a rose appears to be a nod towards one of the original Gold Saints that also fought with poison.

  14. kazid33 says:

    Psgels, I really like some of the series your are seeing, but i am waiting for your opinion of Sword art online ep 2 and 3, seriously so awesome to be missed for you.

    • meow says:

      Hm. I think he shouldn’t. I personally think it’s a brilliant series but has elements that psgels won’t enjoy. Especially episode 4, depending on how they do it. Perhaps it’s because I’m feeling pretty emotional right now after watching 3 but I’d rather not see psgels pan this series next week due to differences in taste.

  15. meow says:

    If everyone is playing with their real-life avatar, then what about the guy with blue hair?

    Apparently, that’s what he looks like in real life….?

    Why do creators bother with hiding the faces of important characters if they’re prominently featured in the OP?

    I assume you’re talking about Asuna. Well, the OP depicts both her and Kirito much later in the story. I think they wanted to hide Asuna’s standout appearance. During the meeting, if everyone had known how beautiful she was, most of the guys there would be all over her and Kirito would be partnering with someone else. Convenient plot device, anyone? XD

    Sigh. Gotta warn you, psgels. This is a shounen story with teen-level romance and fanservice. The guy who wrote it wrote Accel World. I’m kinda smitten with SAO myself but that’s just me. I think Kokoro Connect’s drama might be more your thing.

  16. boo says:

    re: Kokoro, so….they switch bodies because some odd creature dropped by and said it is so. Arg, why?

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:07 PM)
    And I’m more than open for an anime to do things a bit differently from the source, I mean look at the new berserk they included an action scene that wasn’t in the manga, I liked that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:59 PM)
    @Mike: Makoto Takahashi! Makoto Takahashi! I know who he is, I spent a while looking at his art, best example of good oldschool shoujo style. He also is credited with kickstarting the shoujo-ai genre I think…
    @Bam: flowers of evil both improved on and took away from its source material.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:16 PM)
    Furthermore, it’s not as if Berserk is so special by itself that a decent adaptation is automatically impossible. You’re watching one right now. If you think otherwise than it boils down to personal preference.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Vyse It’s obviously not trying to cater to children, the studio knows its audience. I wouldn’t automatically assume that just because it’s an anime adaptation that it’s an attempt to please everyone.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Because the story is so dark and so violent, its hard to cater to a middle ground audience that includes kids or maybe even adolescents.
  • VyseLegendaire
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 03:45 PM)
    Hey Bam, the reason for Berserk’s neglect is how unadaptable it is to other media. As a manga it stands as a monolith. but the thematic and graphical content -as well as the long and rather convoluted presentation – don’t lend well to either anime or games.
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:58 PM)
    Yeah, you could even easily do a spin of series in the berserk universe, it’s that well thought out unique and huge. I dreamt myself continously into that world – mostly because of it’s bright, shimmering side, which aren’t mentioned that often because of it’s ultra dark counterpart.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:47 PM)
    I never understood how a franchise like Berserk with huge sales and avid fan base struggles so much to get anything made. The PS2 videogame was never released outside of Japan, and it took 20 years for the anime to get a follow-up. And after all of that we get a slim-budgeted series from an unknown studio, all the while D.Grey Man gets a full-blown slick looking second series that nobody asked for. Quite baffling.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:42 PM)
    @Badesh: well the creator of the Souls series Hidetaka Miyazaki is an outspoken Berserk fan. The games are replete with Berserk references.
    Cheers to you too m8.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:38 PM)
    @Aidan: for some reason I thought you were talking about the iOS game Berserk: Raging Wave of Mercenaries. Looks like the Musou game is getting a North American release, which is good news. But the weird part is that it’s a Sony exclusive, for whatever reason.

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