Posted on 22 July 2011 with categories: Blood-C



I don’t know who are exactly the ones who put together the fight scenes of this series, but I once again have to praise them, because in that aspect this series is the best of the season. Even though the runner-up Dantalian no Shoka has a bigger budget and also plenty of interesting visual ideas for itself, this one goes a step further in the way in which it animates Saya’s struggle with the monsters she fights. It’s not the writing that rocks here, it really is the animation that really brings those to life.

As for the rest of the series… I still like it a lot. It’s indeed unfortunate that it uses many cliches, but for me at the moment, the good points overshadow the bad points enough to make me not bothered by it. I mean, this show has obviously been building up for its first three episodes, and with that I don’t mean a complex story, but I’m more pointing towards its atmosphere. Whether everything has been balanced out properly is unfortunately something we can only say a year and a half from now, when the movie has properly aired. With that, I can understand the inclusion of the fights that Saya has: they have two functions: to build up the atmosphere themselves, and offer a sharp contrast with the slice of life scenes to prevent this series from really getting dull, seeing as how mundane the quiet scenes in this series are.

At this point, I don’t feel yet that Blood+ is wasting its time. But then again, we can only tell that for sure when everything has aired. In my experience the really unbalanced series only tend to show this from their middle part, not their first three episodes.

As for the criticisms on the characterization, I can understand some of them. Saya is a bit dull, and it’s during the quiet scenes that the animation also dulls in. I still think that these past episodes have been great ways to get to know the cast, though, as ordinary high school students. This episode explored how they spend their time after school and other mundane stuff. What makes it different from the series with dull characterizations is that 1) the acting is good and solid (most of the overacting you’ll hear here is those twins, and Saya actually doesn’t have the vocals of a J-pop idol), along with the dialogue that talks about inspired topics, courtesy of Clamp.

Now, the end of this episode was excellent foreshadowing, and it seems like the plot is also going to get interesting next episode.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 15 July 2011 with categories: Blood-C



And the third series I’m definitely going to blog this season: Blood-C. Before I decide on the others I first want to watch Dantalian no Shoka and Kami-Sama no Memo-chou’s second episode that air this evening. As a fan of Clamp though, I really like this series so far. It’s got a lot to like, but at the same time I can also understand that it’s not for everyone.

For the ones complaining that this is too slow, though: that’s pretty much both Clamp and Blood+, albeit in many different ways. Blood+ took a really long time to get going (like, 15 episodes or something), while Clamp’s stories are always filled with a lot of laid-back scenes, describing the different characters. It’s that kind of charm that I really like, because of how they always end up delivering upon it later, using the slice of life scenes to create memorable characters, even those who are supposedly one-sided at first. My only worry right now is the 13 episodes, but at the same time I’m very curious as what Clamp can do when they have less time than usual to work with.

Oh, and the fight scenes! This series definitely has the best action of the season. This is because you can actually see what happens: characters’ movements are detailed and actually anatomically correct. Saya really feels like she’s struggling with the enemies she fights, and instead of the cameras just focusing on some weird angle, they really allows us to see how she moves and tries to attack. This has been a knack of Production IG for ages now. I really feared that they abandoned this philosophy with Sengoku Basara, but thankfully Blood-C shows them once more animating some excellent down to earth fight scenes.

Now, the big potential pitfall for this series will be spending too much time on build-up, and (most importantly) too little on actually delivering. I liked this episode, though. The non-action bits were good slice of life, and felt very personal. The characterization was pretty good and down to earth, especially of the cast as a whole, and the characters talking to each other actually kept my attention throughout the episode. When describing the slice of life, the dialogue is actually quite natural, the characters discuss down to earth topics that actually secretly flesh them out really well. My only problem is that Saya acting embarrassed felt awkward. Her acting overall has its moments where it’s a bit weak.

Oh, and for the people who haven’t seen Blood+: don’t worry. It’s not yet sure whether or not this Saya is the same Saya as in Blood+, because we don’t know whether her father is telling the truth about actually being her father and all, but this really seems like an original story. There have been no references to other series
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 2 July 2011 with categories: Blood-C, Some Quick First Impressions

Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%

Short Synopsis: Our lead character enlists on a school for idols.
This. Was camp. Heck, if you took four body-builders and made then play bagpipes while playing monopoly they still wouldn’t be as camp as this. I’m not sure how the creators did it, but they somehow succeeded in getting every single scene in this episode to not make any sense whatsoever. This show takes every reverse harem cliche, and takes it even further. The guys in this episode are completely ridiculous stereotypes, drawn by girls who I can only imagine haven’t spoken to guys in ages: that’s how ridiculously hammy they all were. Seriously,t his series takes bad acting to a new level. An sich, there is nothing wrong with campness: Antique Bakery did it and did this with great results. The thing however was that Antique Bakery had real characters. This is just a collection of badly acted stereotypes with an extra dose of sparkle. The one positive point is A-1: they made sure to make this show look good, plus the soundtrack too is surprisingly good. Whenever characters aren’t singing, though.
OP: This one is just… wrong.
ED: Again: it’s well produced, but the vocals are pretty bad.
Potential: 20%

Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel – Kyun Kyun Tokimeki Paradise

Short Synopsis: Our lead character are magical girls who fight crime.
What the..? This is really weird: at first sight this series seems exactly like the OVA. In fact, the entire first scene was completely borrowed from the OVA. However, as the series went on, it became clear that there was one major difference that changes pretty much everything: they changed the villain! If you never saw the OVA you might wonder why this is such a big deal, but here is the thing: the OVA was meant to subvert the magical girl genre: it showed that fighting crime shouldn’t be taken lightly and it uses its far superior villains to teach the lead characters not to goof off just because they have special characters. In this episode however, the creators swapped this villain out for a bunch of total idiots. The result is that this series is now a really camp kaitou-series, with the bizarre effect that it tries to deliver a bunch of really weird scenes straight. This episode tries to take itself seriously while pulling a number of horses who have long since been beaten to death. This isn’t in the way most harems keep repeating each other. This episode was full of the plot devices that nowadays only appear in parodies. They’ve been long since beaten to death that writers don’t even bother with them anymore, and here this show comes and expects them to still make sense. It just doesn’t work, especially with all of the silly acting.
Potential: 20%

Blood-C

Short Synopsis: Our lead character hunts monsters.
Oh boy! Talk about a standard set for the rest of the season. This episode was rock-solid in every single way. Even the Noitamina series are going to have their hands full on trying to come close to the level of detail in this episode. Especially the big action scene at the end: now THAT is how you animate a fight scene. This episode also really screamed Clamp, but I really mean that in a good way. It has some of the elements that return in a lot of their other series, but also plenty of new stuff for them, not to mention the rock solid characterization. Saya is a teenager this time (who has nothing to do with the Saya of Blood+, by the way), but most of this episode was laid back and made excellent use of this to establish the main cast. They already seem like a unique bunch. Everything was really well acted, the pacing was really fluid, the characters are strong. All that’s left now is an engaging story. Please, someone say that this will go on for more than 13 episodes!
OP: A strong contender for the best OP of the year. Utterly gorgeous with music that fits it perfectly.
ED: Simple but effective.
Potential: 95%

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.

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