Posted on 24 December 2012 with categories: Magi

There may not have been any action, but for me this was one of the most solid episodes of Magi so far. I like how a prime time series sets its action apart for one week to focus on its politics, and especially Alibaba’s part in this episode was very interesting to follow: he’s nowhere near ready yet, yet now he’s forced to do something in order to prevent an all-out war that could potentially slaughter hundreds of civillians, making the country even more vulnerable for the Kou empire to pick off.

By the way, I’m also glad that I’m finally noticing some arabic influences in the series’ soundtrack. This is just me and my memory, though. I could have sworn that this had been done earlier, but it’s still good because I remember complaining about how not-arabic the OP and ED for this show are.

I also liked Kassim here, how he forced so much out of Alibaba. He knows what he wants, yet he is so obviously manipulated by the Kou empire. With this I’m also much happier with that idiot king there, who thankfully got more depth than just being evil for the sake of being evil.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Anime Reviews

Here’s a quick one: Studio Mappa are some of the talented people who branched off from Madhouse in order to start their own studio. I was expecting great things from the people who among others were responsible for Casshern Sins, and they definitely delivered that with their debut work of Sakamichi no Apollon. Naturally I was very eager to see their next work, which turned out to be something completely pointless and silly.

Seriously, this is what Teekyu is: two minute episodes of four high school girls who try to be as random as possible. This show is nothing but 24 minutes of moe and juvenile madness that makes no sense. Nothing more. There is no progression, nothing really happens. Just that randomness. Still, I managed to finish this show and I didn’t really have to force myself to it.

The thing with this show is that even though it’s completely stupid, it’s well made. Most shows with 2-minute episodes are cheaply made, and the concept of inbetween animation is nonexistent for this series, however the animators make sure to make every frame unique and you can really see them play around with their camera angles. There is a lot of creativity in the jokes and the randomness as well, and I admit that there were quite a few times that I laughed out loud. You do need to be able to stomach hyperactive humour if you want to watch this series though. That’s the only prerequisite.

But yeah, this just is a show to just shut your brains off and watch, and for that it does its job of keeping you entertained on a superficial level. The creators here just wanted to goof off a bit inbetween their projects with something completely silly. And yeah, silly it was. Also, I’m not going to break down this show’s ratings in four categories, because that would be entirely pointless. I just see it as a show with a rating of 77,5/100, or a show that even though it doesn’t hit any heights and may have some big flaws, it’s still worth watching.
Suggestions:
Mr.Stain on Junk Alley
Gag Manga Biyori
Eternal Family

Posted on with categories: From the New World

The first half of this episode had something that you hardly ever get to see in anime: tracking. It was fairly basic: following someone’s sled tracks in the snow, but what made it work was the mystery: Mamoru had some kind of reason to do this, and it wasn’t even sure whether he, with his weak cantus, would have survived.

The revelation of why he ran away… yeah. For some reason the adults found it appropriate to get rid of him. Even though at first sight there might not be something wrong with him. Next episode will probably delve more into that, and why he has to fear for his life and got those copycats after him (which were quite the intense scenes, by the way).

What I’m also quite worried about was that one queerat that this episode showed. This episode avoided the issue, but it WAS walking around in holy territory, which it probably is not supposed to do. I love how gray these guys are on the moral scale: they’re always helpful, and yet there is always something itching about fully trusting them.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 23 December 2012 with categories: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure

Seriously, this show is awesome!

I mean, it keeps finding new ways to stand out while being over the top. I thought that this was impossible. This one did it with nazis. Last episode kept emphasizing how they are everything that is evil. This episode took the nazi stereotypes so over the top that it became hilarious. The people here really did justice to the evil organization by making one that looked completely unlike the others in over the topness: these guys have an actual personality other than “I listen and do stuff like a mindless robot”.

Also, I did not expect the powers that that stone guy turned out to have: the ability to completely manipulate his body and absorb others. And he really used it in a brilliant way when he traveled through the ventilation shafts. The build-up of it all, especially in the beginning was great.

Oh, and I nearly fell off my chair with Joseph in this episode. That dress.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on with categories: Psycho Pass

Now. This was incredibly intense. This latest installment has really pushed this series to new levels and I really was at the edge of my seat through the entirity of the scene between Akane and Shougo Makishima. And hands off for the creators for actually doing it: killing off the girl. From Urobuchi Gen this was to be expected, but many other writers would have chosen to let her live, which would just not have had the same impact.

Because the end of this episode was just hopeless. Akane really looked completely shocked in this episode. She was slightly different and more competent from the usual rookie you see in these positions, but she still is naive, believing that she can just take care of things herself. This episode was so over her capabilities. The direction of this episode really was amazing in bringing this forth.

I just wonder… what idiot thought that the Sybil System would be a good idea? I mean, what it basically does is sniff out psychopaths. The junks and the mentally instable people whose desires go out of control. There is another group of killers out there though: the ones who simply don’t care about human lives. These guys aren’t necessarily psychopaths, they just have no value for anything and just kill whenever they find someone annoying. Or in Shougo’s case someone who just rationally manages to kill people.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 22 December 2012 with categories: Robotics;Notes

How everything is going to tie together, I have no idea. But this episode definitely went into the right direction by providing some great twists for some of the different subplots of this series.

So Kimijima Kou elaborated a bit on how the world would be destroyed, and this episode definitely drove home that Misa now has completely changed, and works for the bad guys now (although I suspect very much that things will get a bit more nuanced in the future). But this episode also laid links between the Kimijima Report and Frau’s mother and subsequently the final episode of Gunbarrel, which ended up being an incredibly pessimistic troll ending.

My guess would be that Frau’s mother knew the same thing that Kimijima Kou knew, and also tried to show this through the Gunvarrel anime, but got found out before the final episode which she used for these hints, came out. That probably explains why Kimijima Kou made the instructions to get to his reports so ridiculously complicated. Why the story is centered on robot building amidst all this… still isn’t clear to me, but who knows?

Also the twist that someone is using the accounts of the top 3 players of Killballad is quite morbid. And surprisingly like that one arc in Psycho Pass, although here the impact is really on the fact that someone is cheating in a completely different way than expected, and using such morbid means in it. The deaths here do make more impact compared to Psycho Pass because the murders there are the orders of the day: it’s a police series about serial killers, while this is a show about building robots.

Also, I was wrong: next week will air another episode. After that we’ll get a one-week hiatus… and then the Noitamina-timeslot will move to Tuesday Evening. Yes, after all those years of Noitamina airing on tuesday, it will finally change its schedule. The question now is: will that retain its viewers. In a way, I can understand it though: over the past years, thursdays got way too crowded: most likely due to its influence, there were way too many shows that aired on the same day and therefore much more competition. In comparison, Tuesday evening has always had much less series. I really hope that the viewers will move along with them and allow the timeslot to be even more successful.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on with categories: Zetsuen no Tempest

Oh no, the world will be destroyed! Just like in 50% of all other action series! Yeah, if you want to do this, then you need to make it count.Just putting the world at stake at this point is adequate, but standalone it just doesn’t make enough impact, to the point where it can even feel shallow. Zetsuen no Tempest is very good at avoiding this.

In this series the world is at stake, and you really feel like the world is at stake. It keeps driving home that this can pretty much happen on a whim: it’s unknown what will happen, and wrong move will just blow everything up. The characters are just thrown between two huge trees, either of which is trying to make this happen. In this episode things started to get really out of control, and even though this series doesn’t show many people gathered at the same place or huge crowds, it did drive home that something really big is so easily about to happen. The shots of the businessmen trying to map everything that the tree was doing was enough for that.

Beyond that, I still love this series’ style of storytelling. It just takes what it has, and then uses one of its characters to completely turn over the logic in this series, again and again and again. I also love the way this series plays with logic: normally this is something that can’t be influenced, but here there are these two giant trees that are playing russian roulette with it. Very good depiction of the utterly hopeless situation that the characters are in.

Also, the soundtrack! The godly soundtrack! Really, I am going to write a post on my favorite soundtracks of the year. I can’t believe how many great soundtracks 2012 had in comparison to previous years. I just need to find a good way to publish it…
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 19 December 2012 with categories: Kamisama Hajimemashita

Um, Kamisama Hajimemashita, you’re ending next week. Don’t you think that with this episode, you’re heading to a rather flimsy climax? I mean I dunno, but this just screams “crap, we’ve run out of time! Quick, throw in some really powerful monster and have the main couple split up!”

I guess it had it coming, but the style of this episode definitely was different from usual. The jokes were ess sharp and the plot took this turn that just screams that the script was rushed. The final episode had better be very good to make up for this, because it’s an episode that I’ve seen so many times before.

A few of the things that did manage to set this episode apart: Nanami’s feelings of being useful. Okay, they came totally out of nowhere, but heck. They give her character. This just is not fitted for the final climax of the story. Problem is that this is the thing that I’ll remember this show by, so I really hope that the creators can still make something out of this. Please…
Rating: 3.5/8 (Enjoyable)

Posted on with categories: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

School festival arcs. Inherently boring, so series really need to add something to make it work. This series does that by just doing what it always does and making the school festival not the central focus. Instead, this was again about working hard to make something good, and very sharp dialogue and lots of addictive character chemistry.

I noticed that the bad school festival episodes just put too much emphasis on the school festival: just doing boring stuff like having a haunted house or a cafe, and having characters walk around without much passion. And really: having a school festival in real life sounds really fun, but only a few anime really manage to capture it. Sakurasou didn’t exactly capture it, but ir rather avoided it. Misaki’s bit with her sister was very surprising and a great way to develop her, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the school festival. Same for Mashiro’s subplot about returning to England.

There is one thing that I’m a bit bothered with: the way this show looks at Shiina. It’s a bit subtle, but sometimes the focus is a bit too much on her as a “pet”, rather than as an actual character. In this episode there was this focus about him not letting Shiina go back, as if she was his property. Only at the cliff-hanger the focus returned to what Shiina really wanted. It’s a missed opportunity.

Also, small detail: I like how Shiina’s painting on the wall stays there. Yay for continuity.
Rating: 4.5/8 (Good)

Posted on 18 December 2012 with categories: Magi

A-1 really grabbed some good animators for this episode. The fight that showed the conclusion of last week’s episode had some really solid animation there. It lacked the emotional impact that last week had because it was just there to resolve things and wrap things up, and introduce this new tsundere princess character who is bound to be important later on. And it was good to look at. The soundtrack was also better than ever.

Then this episode came with its world building, that did make the impact I was looking for. So far the slavery has been fairly simple: it’s evil. This episode put some more depth to it by explaining why there was so much slavery in Balbadd to begin with, with the use simple macroeconomics. It’s definitely the start, but I’m still looking for this show to go further in exploring its characters like this.

This definitely was a good start, but I’m still missing something from Magi. I mean, it has the development of its characters, but it’s not enough as of yet. I can’t put my finger exactly on what I’m missing though, but this episode had a bit of it.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

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