Posted on 25 October 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



Yeah, this episode was meant as one big build-up for the thing that happened in its final 30 seconds. You definitely don’t want to read this entry if you have yet to see this episode.

The creators kept hinting, though I failed to notice that entirely. Erin basically gets summoned to the queen as a token of gratitude for using Lilan to save the royal family. Of course, Damya immediately proposes her to start working as the Queen’s bodyguard. They act really surprised when Erin declines, and so Erin tells the Queen (without Damya, and with Ialu) about the tragedy that happened when the queen was only one year old. Like expected, she didn’t know a thing about it, and everyone from her time has taken great care in order to never mention it again. I’m surprised if there are still people alive who remember it, aside from the Wind Tribe.

But yeah, that came as an utter shock to the queen. I’m not sure what exactly did it: that shock at such an old age, or whether the Psi Gamuls finally succeeded in poisoning her, but whatever it is her death came as an utter surprise to me. This of course has huge implications. I already thought that Damya would cause trouble eventually, but what kept him back was his genuine loyalty to the queen. Now that that’s gone, he’s probably going to pick a fight with the Grand Duke, using that attack as an excuse, and in order to win he’s probably going to do whatever it takes in order to get Erin to cooperate.

If there are indeed only 2 novels, then this marks the beginning of the end. There are nine episodes left, and in those, the story is going to have to come to an end, and I’m very curious to how the creators are going to do it.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 21 October 2009 with categories: Kemono no Souja Erin



So in the end I’m not going to blog Winter Sonata, for the following reasons:
– The release schedule that’s even more uncertain than Aoi Bungaku. Besides, I don’t know a word of Korean.
– The producer: only three episodes are finished at the moment because the lead actor was changed at the last moment. It’s the task of a producer to prevent these kinds of screw-ups!
– I’m already blogging enough angst this season (glares at White Album, and based on the rumours Winter Sonata seems to be even more annoying, if that’s possible).

I also decided not to blog 11Eyes: it really only has those tense moments that are good. The chemistry between the lead couple is just… generic to say the least (in the kind of “I’ll protect you and your bosom!”). And since the rest of this season didn’t have anything else that was promising, I figured that I might as well blog the final 11 episodes of Kemono no Souja, to make up for how I ignored it when it first aired.

Overall, this really is a lesser season. I wouldn’t say that it’s the worst Autumn Season ever, that award goes to Autumn 2007, in which there only were like, 6 shows that left a good impression on me, while this season does have more interesting series. The problem with this season also isn’t the moe overload. Previous summer had that too, and that turned out to be a really enjoyable season. It’s also no problem that this is the first season since ages that doesn’t have any mecha in it. In fact, it’s actually quite refreshing.

I think the problem with this season is quantity: when you look at the amount of series that aren’t sequels, we’re back to the amount of 2005 or perhaps even worse. To add to that, while Autumn 2005 did feature a lot of 26-episode series, right now we have like, what? only four series that are going to be more than 13 episodes (Kobato, Armed Librarians, Kiruminzoo and probably Kimi ni Todoke as well, but even that isn’t certain). It’s really such a shame. Let me tell you, if the Sacred Blacksmith would have had 26 episodes instead of 13, I probably would have blogged that one instead. But what can it really do in just 13 episodes?

And that is what I think is the biggest problem with anime: a majority of the series are just too short. And don’t give me that talk of “yeah, but second seasons can be announced”. That’s what I thought with Amatsuki as well and I’m still waiting for that much, much needed sequel. That’s why the past spring was so good: finally we had a good amount of series that even went beyond 26 episodes: these series really took a risk and gave their series the time needed.

And the same Kemono no Souja: I actually remember that a lot of people were scared away by the scheduled 50 episodes, but thinking back, those were pretty crappy reasons to drop this show. I think that Naruto and Bleach really made this long length infamous, and the currently airing Inu Yasha also prevents people like me, who don’t like the genre it’s in to give it a chance out of the fear of committing time to something that was ultimately not worth it, however I’m now starting to see that at least these series give their franchises enough time to play out. Kemono no Souja Erin has 50 episodes, and it still doesn’t look like enough.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about this episode because it was a recap, but I do want to use these posts as a means of making up to this great series. I originally dropped it for a very clear reasons: the creators. At the time this series aired I really wasn’t happy with Trans Arts: they had this very nasty trend of picking out very interesting premises, only to screw them up:
– Sisters of Wellber? Great premise for a fantasy-series, but THE CHEESE.
– Library Wars? Sounded very nice, but it lacked complete direction and wanted to do way too much in too little time.
– And Chocolate Underground was entirely crap.

So yeah, as interesting as Erin sounded, I believed that they would screw this one up as well, and so when I detected a bit of cheese I dropped it. That was a bit of a stupid decision. This series built itself up very slowly, but in the end it was definitely worth it. This series reminds me of other lengthy shoujo-series as Glass Mask and Kaleido Star, which just focus on one aspect, but really take their time in exploring their subject matter to the fullest.

Edit: oh, silly me. I never noticed that I downloaded the wrong episode.

The “real” episode 40 was indeed much more like it, and did such an excellent job portraying the aftermath of last episode’s shocking climax. The start of this episode was really hectic, in which many things happened at the same time: Erin’s shock at what happened, taking care of the wounded, the queen who collapsed, the fact that Erin pretty much worked herself into trouble by commanding a Beast King right in front of a small army, including Damya.

And yeah, we now know where the Touda eggs which were previously stolen went to. I don’t think that that organization whose name I forgot has that many Touda, but you can clearly see that they’re trying to spark a war between the Queen and the Grand Duke. During these tense times, all Damya has to do is to bite back, and the country is pretty much doomed.

I also must praise how well the relationship between Erin and Ialu has been built up throughout the series. Now this is romance that really takes its time, instead of going down the cheesy part. Very nice.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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