Posted on 31 October 2012 with categories: Kamisama Hajimemashita

Now that was just completely adorable. This episode was the best episode of Kamisama Hajimemashita so far since episode 01. It was all about the recurring characters this time. And Tomoe gets turned into a kid.

What I’ve noticed with a lot of comedies that lost my interest is that they introduce these characters with gimmicks, and the blow all of their best jokes on the episodes that these characters are introduced in. The result are heaps of characters who feel like one trick ponies. Then Shinjirou Kurama returned in this episode (the idol), and he was much funnier in this episode compared to the second episode. The chemistry between him and Tomoe and Nanami in particular was hilarious.

And at the same time, the serious bits again were really good: this episode again kept switching back and forth comedy and drama. The drama was really genuine, especially near the end of the episode. With the previous episode we already got to see Tomoe’s worries about Nanami, but this episode went even further with him feeling depentant on Nanami, and being ashamed of showing his weak side to her. Nanami on the other hand was really well acted when she properly fell in love with him there after seeing Tomoe’s new haircut.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season? Delightful! A-1 is on fire with six series at the same time, two of which are the best of their respective season. After years of begging, there are two Akitaro Daichi series airing at the same time. After years of complaining, Shounen Jump adaptations suddenly show their best sides since the OVA of Hunter X Hunter. After years of complaining, Shoujo suddenly is prominent again with actually good characters. There is very little bad fanservice stuff, and there are plenty of series that treat its audiences as adults. Hell yeah, bring this on!

#38 (new) – Onii-chan Blahblah – (2/10) – I refuse to spend any more time to try and get the name of these godawful incest shows right. Dropped.
#37 (new) – To Love-Ru – (2.6/10) – Just make this a hentai already! Dropped
#36 (new) – Busou Shinki – (3.1/10) – This one really was surprisingly bad. I mean the OVA was decent, albeit unremarkable. This was nothing but the most blatant of wish fulfillment with some of the dumbest characters of the entire season. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Aikatsu – (3.5/10) – The CG! The horrible, horrible CG! Dropped.
#34 (new) – Liche Light Club – (3.9/10) – A proper studio should have gotten this. What could have been an incredibly dark and twisted comedy got reduced to badly delivered sadism jokes. Dropped.
#33 (new) – Monsuno – (4.25/10) – Very cheesy kiddie shounen series that moves way too fast. Dropped
#32 (new) – Girls und Panzer – (4.6/10) – Why, Girls und Panzer. Why did you take yourself seriously? Did you seriously think that that would survive in this season? Dropped.
#31 (new) – Wooser no Sono Higurashi – (5/10) – Has a nice idea, that wears off after 30 seconds. Dropped.
#30 (new) – Hidamari Sketch – (6.25/10) – Hidamari Sketch never really hit me. It’s a combination of Shaft and characters that never really appealed to me and never really caught my attention. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Hayate the Combat Butler – (6.5/10) – I still haven’t found a reason to watch Hayate the Combat Butler. It wasn’t particularly annoying or anything, but absolutely nothing grabbed me over the three first episodes that I watched. At this point this series has gotten way too long for me to want to bother with it. Dropped
#28 (new) – Chousoku Henkei Gyrozetter – (6.75/10) – Hilariously bad. Seeing little kids who handle actual cars like they’re total pros was worth quite a laugh, but there is no way I’m going to continue with this. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Chuuninbyou demo Koi ga Shitai – (7/10) – Really good animation, but apart from that I have little reason to continue with this show. The characters are annoying, and there is just too little that happens for my tastes. There is much more interesting stuff going on this season, especially considering that there are so many other romance shows airing at the same time that may not be as well animated, but have much more compelling characters.
#26 (new) – Bakuman – (7.25/10) – If Bakuman was just 26 episodes long, it would have made a killer series. I don’t want to bother with it for 75 though. Dropped
#25 (14) – Sword Art Online – (7.4/10) – Well, here is one show that jumped the shark. I really liked the conclusion of the Sword Art Online arc. After that though, the new arc just kept making no sense (I don’t care if it’s explained in the novels), it has the most stereotypically evil villain and I really hate the way in which Asuna has been reduced to a mere damsel in distress, allowing Kirito to expand his harem even more.
#24 (new) – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – (7.4/10) – My problem with this series is the male lead. He’s way too forced: on one hand he’s too perfect, on other he’s too flawed. He’s trying to be everything in just one character, making him an unlikable asshole. The female lead deserves better. Because of that I’ve dropped this series. During a quiet season I would have watched it, but there is too much competition that is just more interesting.
#23 (new) – Medaka Box – (7.5/10) – The second season of Medaka Box is… boring. To me it just feels like a parade of over the top characters with crazy powers, but it lacks personality or any kind of engaging story other than “High School” and “Let’s evolve humanity by killing off lots of people”. The new villains aren’t compelling at all and are very much of the same. Will this really end well?
#22 (new) – Ixion Saga – (7.6/10) – My standards for comedy are high: I really want to laugh when I watch one, and Ixion Saga just wasn’t funny enough and it repeated itself a little too much within the three episodes that I watched. Dropped.
#21 (new) – Little Busters – (7.6/10) – I’m beginning to fear that this will end up more like Kanon, rather than Air and Clannad: nice, but ultimately lacking. Air and Clannad were amazing because they went beyond the formulaic “group of sad girls”. With the build-up that we’ve recently gotten here, I don’t see any hints for the same with Little Busters. It’s funny and enjoyable, but the girls have got some major issues. Their acting is pretty bad at points as well, especially the ditzy girl.
#20 (new) – Teekyu – (7.6/10) – … I’m still watching this series. Why!?
#19 (new) – Code: Breaker – (7.75/10) – My problem with Code: Breaker is this: what the hell is this series about? Witht he other series this season, I know what they’re trying to do and convey. Here though, we’re three episodes in and the only thing we know is that a guy is killing bad guys and a girl is trying to stop him. There is no depth to this so far and the terrible comedy during the school scenes isn’t really helping.
#18 (new) – K – (8/10) – K doesn’t have much depth. What it does have however is the best animation of the season and it’s very fun to watch in the way that it combines lot of different plot threads together. It could have been a bit more ambitious with these ingredients, though.
#17 (new) – Sukitte Ii na Yo – (8.1/10) – Here is an interesting romance: it neither claims its male lead nor its female lead as perfect. Everyone is flawed in this series. Also, unlike Kimi ni Todoke, it doesn’t take bloody ages to get somewhere. Its drama is a bit forced at times, and it tends to get a little overboard with jealousy, but it’s quite a charming series.
#16 (new) – Gintama – (8.1/10) – Gintama still has its problems, like how it’s still formulaic how everyone gets beaten to a pulp with lots of drama, only to walk away fine moments late, but the creativity still has me, especially the way in which the Kintama arc ended caught me by surprise.
#15 (new) – Magi – (8.1/10) – Magi is an adventure show. It can be a bit silly at times and it tends to have one-dimensional villains, but it’s fun, and it’s full of creativity. It’s also got an engaging main cast to follow: Ali Baba and Aladdin have a good chemistry together.
#14 (new) – Btooom! – (8.1/10)Btooom shows the ugly side of humanity. It’s got the bad luck that it airs right next to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure though, because in terms of adrenaline it unfortunately lost by a long stretch. Still, it works as a suspense, even though the bombs aren’t quite realistic. The atmosphere of everyone trying to kill each other works well.
#13 (7) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8.25/10)

This month hasn’t been Polar Bear Cafe’s best, but it still managed to deliver its typical dry humour, sarcasm and corny wordplay. Highlight was the halloween bit.

#12 (new) – Robotics;Notes – (8.25/10)

This show had a slow start, but it’s fun and interesting. The male lead needs a bit of work, but the female lead is quite compelling to watch, and the characterization of the side characters is also pretty good. I’m not going to expect the next Steins;Gate here though.

#11 (new) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (8.25/10)

This show has really good chemistry. Its characters are all interwoven with each other and even though they seem like really bad clichés at first sight, they soon grow to be much more than that, and much sharper than I imagined.

#10 (new) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (8.25/10)

Fantastic soundtrack, and this show had the best first episode of the season. After that it lost that status when it went a bit too much into building up, but nevertheless this show has great characters, an interesting back-story and excellent action. This can really turn into something amazing with time.

#9 (10) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8.4/10)

It’s pretty much the same story as usual for Poyopoyo: it’s still delightful slice of life with lots of small relatable scenes that are also really hilarious.

#8 (new) – Jormungand – (8.4/10)

Jormungand’s second season really surprised me with how much it improved over the first one. The characters are actually good, and the villains stopped being snarky and generic. The plot twists were particularly impressive here.

#7 (new) – Psycho Pass – (8.4/10)

Psycho Pass is fascinating. It aims to create these complex moral dilemmas that aim to really make you think. On top of that it’s got some great suspense and an amazing soundtrack to boot.

#6 (15) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8.5/10)

Saint Seiya has really gotten good here. Even a simple recap episode had me at the edge of my seat. It’s simple hot blooded action, but this was done so well in this month with the conclusion of the first half of the show.

#5 (new) – Kamisama Hajimemashita – (8.5/10)

Out of all the romances this season, Kamisama Hajimemashita by far has the best execution. Perhaps the story itself needs a bit more time to get going compared to Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, but the delivery is just perfect: it is really good at combining comedy and drama together, and every single episode is wonderfully built up, ending at an incredibly charming conclusion.

#4 (new) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (8.6/10)

This series definitely is not for everyone, but it really has been a while since I saw an anime with so much adrenaline as in this series. There really have been moments in which I just wanted to yell loudly alongside the characters. This show is just so completely over the top in every single way, and the creators look like they’re having so much fun in the process. The voice actors as well ham it up, but they ham it up with so much passion that it becomes an incredibly addictive series.

#3 (6) – From the New World – (8.75/10)

After one month, this is the series that has made the biggest impression on me. Its setting is completely original, but what also struck me is its consistency in its characterization: it just keeps building further upon the characters and they make this show compelling. I also absolutely love its variety: every episode has been significantly different so far.

#2 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (8.9/10)

The past month for Uchuu Kyoudai has been slow, but incredibly detailed because of this. Especially the latest episode was just amazing in how well it portrayed the shuttle launch, and everything leading up to it. I didn’t get bored for a single moment here.

#1 (3) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.9/10)

This show has surpassed itself yet again this month. The spider troupe is for me the single best evil organization in any shounen ever. They’re just so professional and work so well together. Kurapika on the other hand got some amazing development. And we haven’t even reached the best part yet!

Posted on with categories: Psycho Pass

Now this was an excellent episode here from Psycho Pass. At this point I really like what this show is doing: create thought-provoking cases of morders in which no side really is right. It aims to show these moral dilemmas.

It’s not exactly a murder mystery: in this episode it quite quickly became clear that the bullied worker was the one who murdered the three people, but instead what stood out was how it was delivered. The portrayal of this facility was great, and the creators got a particularly good voice actor for the boss of this facility.

The main character also stood out here: the previous two episodes showed him as this level-headed guy, but this episode portrayed a very dangerous side of him that enjoys the thrill and action of crime fighting. It also showed that the female lead is going to have to keep every single one of the characters in check, because all of them have their issues, mixed in with their good points.

Also, the opening for this series is really good. A quick look at the staff for this series reveals why: Sayo Yamamoto, the director of Michiko e Hatchin and Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna. She often gets jobs to do OPs, and they always really shine with their style and execution, and this is no different. She really should do another series again.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 30 October 2012 with categories: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

What also fascinates me about this series: it’s two cours long, and already really engaging. This isn’t like Sankarea or Nazo no Kanojo X that just go on for one season. It’s got me intrigued, because it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen such a long romance series that made good use of its time.

This episode was quite sappy, but I liked it a lot. The point of this episode was pretty much to get Sorata to stay at Sakurasou, but the way in which they made him realize this was something I really liked. There were a lot of subtle and not so subtle hints thrown at him, and I really like how Shiina turned into his inspiration to pursuit game development.

Jin meanwhile is quite a bit unpleasant to watch at times, not necessarily in a bad way though. It’s not just his utter refusal to date Misaki despite his obvious feelings for her, but also how he stops Misaki from running after Sorata… only to go after him himself. As if he doesn’t trust her with anything.

EDIT: Holy crap, I just realized that Rintaro, my favorite movie director along with Satoshi Kon, directed the ED for this series. The ED indeed is quite stylish.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on with categories: Magi

Keeping with the theme of not getting the main party together early, this episode told two different stories: one about Ali Baba and what happened to him, and one about Aladdin and a tribe he runs into.

I remember how a lot of adventure series troll their characters with treasure: every time they look like they’re close to getting vast riches… some deus ex machina comes along and makes them lose everything. Supposedly because they need to remain underdogs or something. Because of that I like how Ali Baba put his treasure to some actual good use. And at the same time it’s a very good reason for the pink haired girl to join him.

Aladdin meanwhile got lost in some local power struggle. This episode was meant to show that there is much more to this world than what was shown in the first three episodes, and that a lot of people in power can be big assholes. I like the politics, and this also seemed to show that “Love and peace” will be big themes for this series. Let’s see whether it can add something new to this mix.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 29 October 2012 with categories: From the New World

I love these kinds of episodes: the episodes that just say “screw it” to consistency, and instead go on with their own style based on the vision of someone on the episode staff. It may look weird, but I find that it gives each episode so much personality. I really encourage creators to put i their own styles to spice up the story they’re animating. It’s so much more interesting than the same thing over and over again.

This episode’s animation may not have been as crisp as usual, and there were a lot of distorted faces, but yet the animation was really good. It was full of creativity: the camera angles brought out so much in the characters, and there were plenty of scenes that had movements and actions that are very uncommon in conventional animation. It’s not just the scene at the beginning of that Queerat blowing up, but also where Satoru gets cut on his forhead, the scene at the end of the episode with the slime. The backgrounds looked utterly gorgeous inthsi episode as well, and what also caught my eye were the scenes that focused on touching. They had a strange focus in this episode (not to mention the near-sex scene was stunning).

So let me check for a moment who was behind this episode… and everything suddenly becomes clear: Shigeyasu Yamauchi was behind this episode. Holy crap, this guy is just amazing. I’m not sure whether I want him to do another series, or to keep doing episodes like this, because he is both incredible as an episode director and a series director, bringing out the best in the characters and not caring for conventions at all. This is the first time since Casshern however, that I’ve seen him on an episode that was intended for a more mature audience. Seriously, this is where this guy belongs. His work on shounen shows and romance series is nice and all, but this episode was just incredible, and this is where his style shines like no other.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on with categories: K

This was a build-up episode. It was fun, and I get its purpose, but something tells me that the creators could have been a bit more ambitious with it. Every single subplot was dropped aside from the one between Shiro and Kuro save for two small scenes, even though the chaos of having so many subplots is part of the charms of this series.

What I liked most about this episode was how Shiro and Kuro were retracing Shiro’s steps during the night of the crime, trying to find an alibi. The abovementioned chaos. thankfully was present in that night when a lot of crazy things happened that night. They were all played for laughs, and it definitely got some nice chuckles out of me, but with such an idea I wonder whether the creators could have taken it a bit further by toying with that flashback even more. Right now they’ve got gold in their hands with that if they use it right.

Just forget what I said if this was just a build-up, and the creators used this episode to set up things for later when things really get crazy. There were a lot of hints in this episode that more happened than what was just shown in this episode. It’s tricky to do that though. And in the case of this series, I have no idea whether the creators will actually be able to pull it off. I mean, this series has shown that it has a knack for animation and character chemistry. Build-up is an entirely different matter, though.
Rating: 4/8 (Nice)

Posted on with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

Agh! That build-up!

This was probably one of the slowest episodes of the entire series. Holy crap, it took its time. They showed everything, from gearing up Hibito in his seat, locking the cabin, the wait for everything to get ready, the procedures in the control room. And Mutta getting kidnapped by this old NASA instructor.

But that’s also what made this episode so incredibly good. I can only imagine that one major part of the experience of such a launch is the wait and the tension that builds up. If the creators immediately cut to the launch here and didn’t use that damned dog as a red herring, the end of the episode would never have had the same impact as it did now, and I also wouldn’t be yelling at my screen at that cliff-hanger.

Space Brothers has really nailed the slow pacing. It’s really dangerous to use, because you still need to be continuously interesting to avoid dragging on and taking way too long. Space Brothers for me has never had a dull moment, and this episode in particular had me on the edge of my seat, hoping that everything would go right.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 28 October 2012 with categories: OVA Impressions

Kyosogiga is so delightful, even if it isn’t about anything, like in this episode. Whereas the previous installments were about something heartfelt, this was about a lost remote (no, really). But there is just so much passion put into this show that it doesn’t matter how silly it is.

This is a short post because the episode itself also was just seven minutes long, but I just have to talk about this show and highlight what a wonderful project this is (I’ll also do this with Masaaki Yuasa’s upcoming project when it gets released). Screw the standard episode length of 20 minutes if 6 minutes also fits this show well. This episode had plenty of style to make up for it and the animation in particular just went all out.

And again this is more than just style over substance because it did create a very enjoyable cast of characters with very simple means. The crow chase scene in particular was great, and even though the henchmen of that one girl were all huge stereotypes, they were also for the first ime in a long while actually lovable. They’re different from the usual thugs you see who always yell at every opportunity. It’s a small difference, but definitely stands out here.

Posted on with categories: Hunter X Hunter

Holy crap. I knew what would happening this episode. And yet, it was a shock to see it again. This is just so un-like any other shounen out there. I mean, Hunter X Hunter already was unique as a shounen series, but this time it really set itself apart. This is something you’d just never see elsewhere.

I think it’s clear now why the Phantom troupe is my favorite shounen villain group ever. With this episode, it just becomes clear how cunning they are, and how far they’re willing to go. They actually managed to hi-jack the entire auction with their powers and connections. Last episode’s battle ended with a huge anti-climax, orchestrated by Chrollo himself. And at the end of it it was revealed that Chrollo could have easily killed the Zoldyck family if he actually tried to kill them, instead of taking their powers. This episode just screamed professionalism in every way. Aside perhaps from Kurapika’s actions.

Kurapika. All of that build-up has come now together in this episode. After all his hard work, someone beat him and defeated the Phantom Troupe instead. He felt utterly terrible in this episode, and the creators portrayed that so well. That only lead to an amazing scene where he was forced to bid for the scarlet eyes.

Seriously, this episode had like three moments that I was looking forward to for SO LONG now. AND IT WAS SO WORTH THE WAIT. Oh and for your information, after this there will be a short part left, and then we’ll reach the part where the original Hunter X Hunter TV-series ended. After that will be part that turned Hunter X Hunter into one of my favorite shounen series ever.

Overall, the 2011 series is a lot shorter than the 1999 series. At this point, without taking future episodes into account, I still recommend the 1999 series over this one. The Hunter Exam arc in that series is just better, and that’s necessary for a good introduction in this series, rather than having to wait through like forty episodes to get to the good stuff. However, I do have to say that the Zoldyck, Skytower and Yorkshin lead-up arc are done better in the 2011 series.

As for the actual Yorkshin arc itself. I’m not going to even bother compare. Everything about this arc is amazing. I don’t care whether some details are done better in one or the other. It’s not worth it. Just watch any version you’d like.
Rating: 6.5/8 (Amazing)

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  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Nov 28. 2014 12:58 AM)
    @Enka, not sure where you are getting Chun lee from that picture. I mean sure the girl has legs but well..it’s kinda part of female anatomy.
  • Enka
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 11:50 PM)
    The heck is with Chun Lee in the bottom right picture?
  • Friend
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 10:52 PM)
    :( it seems the scanlators for Kawaiisou has been showing down.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 10:16 PM)
    @Aidan: I just saw that. Although they’re not saying anything new I still think DS2 was a poor one to choose as it has many cheap deaths, or many things that were straight up copied from the previous two games. But I will say that an inclusion of a difficulty setting would ruin the Souls franchise and enrage the hell out of the fanbase.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 04:58 PM)
    @Bam, Extra Credits made a video praising Dark souls 2’s difficultly system. Never have I disagreed with them more.
    @Ninja, I read the beginning chapters of Love Tyrant but it was just too slapstick for my taste.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:52 PM)
    @Realist: I also noticed in that story arc with the talking cats, it mentioned cats of ulthar, which was also mentioned in a HP Lovecraft story.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:20 PM)
    We have reached the moment of truth and what we waited for in space brothers manga. The next chapters cannot come fast enough.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:16 PM)
    @Realist: Like that skull head guy a bit.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Apparently in bloodbourne they are upping the violence…I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:13 PM)
    @Bam: Scott Snyder at least…is one of them.

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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]