Posted by psgels on 9 August 2012 with categories: Summer 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Hunter X Hunter – 42: Half a year ago, when the build-up still was a drag to get through, I remember noting how it was impossible for this series to get Senritsu (or Melody in some subs) right. Imagine my surprise when in this episode, the voice actress gave a great performance as the gentle yet sharp music hunter. Beyond that, Madhouse delivered some really good animation on the arm wrestling, and it’s just so much fun to see all of the chess pieces moving into the right position for the action to start. Rewatching the Hunter Exam arc really took a toll on my patience, but it was worth the wait. – 5,5/8 (Excellent)

#2: Tari Tari – 06: Ah, I see the formula now: every member of the cast gets a few episodes of time to tell his or her story. This concludes Wakana’s story, and to be honest this was really heart-warming to watch. The use of a dead mother was a dangerous cliche to use, but the way she came to terms with everything really worked quite nicely here. 5/8 (Great)

#3: Kokoro Connect: I tend to dislike plots like the one of this episode, because they’re rather overused and often underutilized, but at least it was well explained. I like this series and its really sharp dialogue, but it is not my favorite of the season and I do have a bit of criticism for it: this could be more balanced and sometimes feels a tad too forced. It’s either really silly for a long time, or really dramatic for a long time. Change things up a bit. Play with the scenario. Flesh the characters out in interesting ways. Also, this is a light novel adaptation, right? Will this all fit in just 12 episodes? – 4,5/8 (Good)

#4: Saint Seiya Omega – 18: Interesting. A few years ago I watched a lot of those episodic travelling adventures, and what annoyed me with most of them is a refusal to split up the main party, even when this would have been the most logical turn of events. Because of this, I like what the writers did here and did not expect that to happen. The character in question definitely emerged as a better one out of this episode. – 4,5/8 (Good)

#5: Polar Bear Cafe – 19: An average episode for Polar Bear Cafe’s standards. It brought in a lot of new characters, though. The penguins in the first half in particular were funny, but in the second half there were a few too many of them, to the point where they took over the entire story. Which wasn’t really that interesting. – 4/8 (Nice)

#5: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – 17: This was a much better improvement and a very fun episode to watch. The innuendo jokes perhaps were really cliched, but everything else was pretty damn interesting. The best was that wolf guy who literally fought with the justice of England on his side. How do they come up with it? – 4/8 (Nice)

#6: Phi Brain – 42: I’m actually liking this series again, and the new direction of trying to save the villains is starting to work for me again. It’s still not as good as what the first season was at this stage, but it’s definitely getting there. The puzzles are also interesting and varied again, thank god for that. – 4/8 (Nice)

Maji de Otakuna English! Ribbon-chan OVA: This is an OVA that appeared a few weeks ago, along with Kyou no Asuka Show. It’s five minutes long, and it’s pretty much a parody of really bad otaku-targetted mahou shoujo. It had some nice ideas highlighting how hopeless these productions sometimes can be, and the way in which it was basically the same take trice with different narrators was a nice touch. Do I recommend it though? Nah, the jokes just weren’t good enough for it, and even though it was parodying cliches, most of its jokes were dead horses themselves. Only check this out if you’re a fan of the genre. 3/8 (Mediocre)

#7: Total Eclipse – 06: Oh for god’s sake, Total Eclipse. This was the final straw. You already were on a thin line, and then you come with such an atrocious episode as this one. This was the kind of episode that I feared would appear ever since the director got announced. And yeah, with this he strikes me as a guy who is just plain incompetent. He tried to do both the direction and series composition here, so I can see that he’s a fan of the Muv Luv franchise, and I like how he focused the first two episodes on one of the side-characters, but beyond that, he just has no clue how to tell an interesting story and instead just heads off into bad acting and fanservice. It’s a pity for him that he ended up getting that depression, because he probably worked really hard on this, but a directing job is just way above his league. Dropped. And Welcome to Island!!! – 1/8 (Terrible)

#8: Kyou no Asuka Show OVA: Ah, people warned me not to check this out, but I just had to give it a try for myself. Kyou no Asuka show is basically a 5-minute OVA, and it turned out to be about one single joke: a girl whose skirt was stuck under her bag. This episode was basically every guy who ran into her getting flustered and horny, and this was as badly delivered as it sounds. Who greenlighted this? – 1/8 (Terrible)

37 Responses

  1. snu says:

    “Will this all fit in just 12 episodes?”

    Research a little bit more please.

    • UltimateReaper says:

      It appears that there are 4 more light novels after the current 4 being adapted into this anime, I am a bit surprised as this struck me as a short type of story, if anything we may be seeing a second season. Hopefully actually, I hate unfinished butchered stories, like Deadman Wonderland, I’m not much of a manga reader, so that sort of thing hits home for me.

  2. UltimateReaper says:

    This episode actually hit me by surprise, I suppose I haven’t seen enough anime to call anything a cliche, I’ve only got around 20 series under my belt, but as for flaws, the resolution was rather quick and things could have been more dramatic/well executed. As for 12 episodes, I think it depends on the pacing from here on out, Sometimes all a story needs is a last major arc over the course of 3 episodes that wraps things up neatly. Lets just hope its not a cliffhanger/half assed ending

  3. jzar says:

    I think the last episode was awesome. I’ve watched a tons of anime like you but I fail to see this as a cliche. They were going to kill off a main character. That was cool and refreshing. I loved how they all reacted to it, it was sad and funny all at the same time.

    Warning Spoiler next,

    I thought they did some fresh looks at it and I loved the little kiss thing. Nicely done without too much drama and it made perfect sense. They really built up well to this episode. 6/8 for me.

    • nodbgp says:

      Well the cliche in it, is the fact that they didn’t kill the main character. Still I wouldn’t rate the episode any less because of it, since the event fitted both the setting and the characters (specially the heartseed gu… err thing?) and wasn’t there just for the sake of being there and build drama like zillions of other series do.

    • AidanAK47 says:

      “They were going to kill off a main character. That was cool and refreshing.”

      No. They pretended to kill off the main character. That’s a fake death which has been used since god knows when. It’s a common writing tactic to fool the reader into thinking that “Shit just got real” and increase anticipation only to pull a “Just kidding” and negate it. For examples reference Yu yu Hakusho, Mawaru-Penguindrum and every shounen battle manga in existence.

      • wicked says:

        Did everyone really expected her to die? I mean forget that it’s only the 5th episode and the expectation of of a cliche. There was no build up to her death at all and she didnt die instantly, only information you get came not from a doctor, but via an emotionless god knows what. for it to be a “Shit just got real” tactic, it didnt exactly do its job. It did more for the character than the audience

      • rubix22 says:

        Not to knock at your point, as I agree, but I rather you didn’t use shounen as your examples towards Kokoro Connect. And Mawaru-Penguindrum as well… since, you know. It’s really hard to say what happened there…

        • Scruffy says:

          Well in Mawaru-Penguindrum they did kill off the two main characters in the end as they ceased to exist or at least could not be observed by anyone after the final station.

        • AidanAK47 says:

          I was using shounen battle mangaa as examples of fake deaths.
          And mate, Mawaru-Penguindrum was full of fake deaths. Shouma, Ringo, Himari and Masako all “Died” at some point in the series. Himari in question had three fake deaths.

          • Scruffy says:

            yup … Himari was a walking fake death all though the series. The surprise with her was that she actually lived.

          • Kaiser Eoghan says:

            I think we can all agree symphogear’s ending is a recent example of the fake death thing at its worst. Only thing that had going for it was the music and fights the story and characters were horrible.

          • rubix22 says:

            Well… I was speaking about using examples that are more relative to the subject… like for instance other dramas. As for Penguindrum, which I suppose is in fact a drama, well, I have my opinions on that, but I’d rather not say them in the comments section of an article that’s not really related. So I’ll drop it.

  4. rubix22 says:

    From the looks of it, Kokoro Connect ended its first ‘arc’. Though, since everyone’s problems are solved, where can it go now?

  5. Bunny says:

    BUT EVERYONE’S PROBLEMS AREN’T SOLVED!!!! they have just opened up about them it doesn’t mean, “hey i told you my problem so im better now”, its “hey im struggling with this problem i have and don’t know what to do”. Even when taichi gave advice it didn’t fix anything he was just reassuring the characters that he is here for them which doesn’t mean the problems fix.

    • Chu says:

      Problems were fixed.

      Yui agrophobia’s has largely dissipated after her nighttime experience with Tachi. Iori, after a near death experience, has presumably learned to put less weight on her numerous persona(s) and the interpretations that she believes people construe from them. Inaba’s “problem” isn’t an issue in a true sense – her friends accept her admittedly lackluster personality, for better or worse.

      I’m curious about the reason Inaba developed the way she did; I can’t buy the “born-this-way” argument. Some material can be presented on this point.

      • wicked says:

        Here’s the thing, issues in fiction tend to be fix by one game changing event. The bitch who picks on you becomes your friend when you save her puppy. Nah, usually she continues to be a bitch, just maybe a little less bitchy. It’s not really the case, or else therapy wouldn’t cost so much time and money. It didnt happen in this either. Issues are revealed, dealt with, but not completely cured

        • Chu says:

          I hold the optimistic belief that mental issues, given enough attention, can be completely cured.

          Therapy is of subjective value. Lots of therapy is not equivalent to quality attention. Where therapists perform a job, I’d like to believe that Tachi conducts a service.

          Friends can be powerful.

          • wicked says:

            That’s not my point. People usually dont turn around and have break through at the drop of a hat, or after one event like portrayed by fictions. It usually takes a series of incremental steps

          • Scruffy says:

            You’re equating personality defects with mental issues. Personality defects are NOT mental disorders and yes people are born with them. If they are particularly bad they either learn coping mechanisms or become outcasts.

          • wicked says:

            I dont really equate them I’m really strictly talking about issues, though my example was probably misleading.

            Coping mechanism can be a a great variety of thing. Take Yui’s fear of men for example, it came from a previous trauma , the way she coped with it by changing her behaviors and eventually is condition into fear. It’s not always so easy to rid of a phobia like that, even if she rationally understood there’s nothing to fear, she’s already been conditioned to deal with it a certain way, so it take a conscious effort to slowly get more comfortable.

            Others alter their personality to cope, people with trust issues(usually stem from family in teens) tend to act independently, become less receptive and in personality types that doesnt repress well, they lash out, which can be interpreted as bitchy

  6. Kaiser Eoghan says:

    I can’t completely buy the idea of everything being settled though, if it is then I see that as not very believable for it to washed over and solved so soon and easily but this is nitpicking from my end.

  7. Chu says:

    The emotional impact of the episode was ruined. I think Inaba should have died; Heartseed should be evil.

    Did anyone catch that “expression” Heartseed had just before his timer went off? Call me crazy, but I believe that Inaba was fated to die; something outside the control of everyone (including Heartseed) occurred, changing the event timeline.

    Conspiracy theories – go.

    See the moment I’m referring to at: http://i.imgur.com/UPJqq.png

    • Kaiser Eoghan says:

      I don’t agree with regards to the emotional aspect being ruined but I think wheather heartseed is evil or not or whether Inaba died or not I would have accepted it either way and been emotionally involved with that episode.

  8. boo says:

    Inaba is lackluster? She doesn’t just has trusting issues she is a paranoid, not sure you could call that a dull personality.

    I agree, none of the currently presented issues has been cured. At this point the progress has stopped at self-awareness and I doubt the issues will be “cured”. Realistically speaking these kind of issues never fully go away, you just learn to cope better and to avoid triggers.

    Additionally nobody has dealt with the guy’s issues, yet. I’m not completely sure what’s Aoki big secret, but Taichi seem to have a “Nice Guy Syndrome”, “selfless freak” is just a nice way to put it.

    Also, I kind of have the feeling that had they choose wrongly and had Taichi (or anyone else) committed self-sacrifice Iory would die. This whole incident was to teach a lesson and to test them.

    • Chu says:

      Very well explained.

      However, I do hold the optimistic notion that issues such as these can be fully cured. The question of whether it has occurred to the characters in this anime remain uncertain.

      “selfless freak” is not a bad label. I believe it’s Inaba’s hidden inferiority complex that causes her envy of Tachi. Nothing wrong with being a nice guy.

      Also, I took lackluster to mean “far from perfect”, not “dull”. In this sense, Inaba has a very lacking character, to put it lightly.

      • boo says:

        There are plenty of wrongs with being a “nice guy” in that particular context. Inaba has already pointed out one major one when discussing Iori with him in the earlier episode.

        Thing is in anime a “nice guy” is as often a male hero as a doormat girl is often a hero in romances, so it really could go both ways. I guess we will see…

        • Chu says:

          I do agree that taking the place of Iori was faulty and incorrect. I’m referring to Tachi’s desire to help others out of intrinsic motivation.

          That’s much better than Inaba, who creates drama for the sake of creating drama. She’s that person nobody (outside of anime conventions) wants to hang out with.

  9. RABUJOI says:

    I’m a sucker for these plots, especially when they’re this well done. I was willing to suspend my disbelief in what most of the episode was proposing (the death of a major character), something one has to do all the time if you’re into Star Trek (every other episode, a major character is in jeopardy). Once you’re over that hurdle and can enjoy the execution and details of the episode, which were both superb.

    Also, this wasn’t merely a “reset button” episode: confessions were exchanged which will have lasting implications. The peril may have been manufactured by the godlike being, but the emotions it brought out were very real, and won’t be soon forgotten by the characters. In our opinion, this was the best episode of Kokoro yet.

  10. AidanAK47 says:

    “The peril may have been manufactured by the godlike being, but the emotions it brought out were very real, and won’t be soon forgotten by the characters.”

    Oh ho ho…you think? I bet you that the emotions present here will never amount to anything and will soon be forgotten once the next arc starts.
    We shall see the answer in one or two episodes time.

    • Mitleser says:

      It’s an very well-done adaption of a series of light novels.
      Don’t make such bets, if you don’t know about the plot of the source material.

      • AidanAK47 says:

        I am making a bet because I know light novels. I know the formulas and I can guess the ways a writer will take it. And from what I have seen this writer hasn’t shown himself to be good enough to use such development.
        So I will bet. I am not saying that it will be that way. I am guessing. There is no harm in that.

  11. HybridBloodsZak says:

    Wow… Madhouse couldn’t have chosen a worse place to end the episode XD
    This Saturday is going to be a LONG WAIT for the EPICNESS that is going to ensue. I can’t freaking wait!

  12. AidanAK47 says:

    About total Eclipse Psgels, I am pretty sure this wasn’t the Directors fault. I haven’t read the source material but I know the writer so it’s possible this was in the source material too. The writer isn’t above such shameless tactics. Muv Luv did start off as a very generic harem after all.
    But yeah…an island. It’s not as if that hasn’t been done to death…(Yes, that is sarcasm)

  13. Carbine Gammaximon says:

    And finally, I won the bet! A friend and I where arguing just how much mind-numbing Psgels could take from Total Eclipse. I said ep6.

    I read the manga only because I hadn’t heard of Muv-Luv before the anime and I can only imagine some people sat down and simply decided “Lets make this one of the worst this season but hook people with a high quality premise”. Ep6 almost made me curse “Guilty Crown”. but to each his own.

    PS: Just curious, does the author of a manga have a say in who has the anime adaptation rights? I can’t say i’m knowledgeable enough to conclude that’s the case.

  14. kobester11 says:

    About muvluv psgels, Inagaki just directed the first 2 episodes. Masaomi ANDO directed episode 3 onwards… So, yeah… don’t blame it to Inagaki.

    Kokoro just finished the first LN. After Heartseed, what misadventures will the group encounter?

    For some reason, Tari tari is working out for me. I mean I’m afraid since it has only like 13 episodes but basing from the recent episodes I thinks it’s gonna work out but still; True tears >>>>>> Tari tari

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  • joesan
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 03:39 AM)
    Glad ps is back. Hope he keeps his motivation up. Reading his previews really helps me sort out whats new each season.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 03:14 AM)
    @Emma: Are you talking about the Charles Burns Black Hole or the anime?
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 03:10 AM)
    Are you guys familiar with the Ayakashi offshoot Mononoke directed by Kenji Nakamura? If not then I highly recommend this creepy miniseries, but it is better to watch the Bakeneko arc of Ayakashi 1st so you become familiarized with the badass simply known as The Medicine Seller.
  • Raggers
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 02:53 AM)
    @Emma: I know the name only because I ran into it while dling Bakemono (early in my anime life) and thought they may be related. It’s been in my archives for ages.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 01:40 AM)
    @Ninja: Flay I believe was meant to be antagonized, specially pass the 2nd act. As for Makoto, I never had the displeasure of watching School Days.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 12:56 AM)
    Does any one remember Utauwerumono on here? I can recall some of its arcs were quite watchable, had an actually intelligent, adult male lead. Animation could have been alot better if I recall correctly, ending was a mess however.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 12:50 AM)
    @Emma: ooooh Velvet Glove looks trippy! Will do, thx.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 12:15 AM)
    @Bam: Try Black hole and Like a velvet glove cast in iron.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 12:12 AM)
    @Realist: I believe so yes as far as I remember she hated the co-ordinators, she was pretty much an outright racist and representative of that theme in the show.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Sep 21. 2014 11:48 PM)
    @Emma But do you think Flay was intended to be hated?

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