Posted on 26 July 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

Okay, so now Fumiaki has reached the point where he’s just gotten annoying. In the previous episode he was still cute, but for the creators to carry this through in even this episode… it’s starting to get on my nerves. Especially considering that he’s gobbling up time that could be spent on the real main character here: Maya, who is a much more interesting character.

Characters like Fumiaki are always a bit of a double edged sword. I can understand flaws and all, but this episode was trying a bit too hard to make him look like an idiot. We’ve got enough anime with idiots already, can’t this series just be about genuinely interesting characters? Heck, I’d much rather watch that strange-haired weirdo and his friend at this point. At this point, I can only hope that the creators know what they’re doing with this guy.

This episode still had some really good jokes, though. Generally, all of the parts that didn’t focus on Fumiaki were really quite interesting and enjoyable. I loved the joke the creators made, when that moth chased Maya and Fumiaki behind Smile and JK. We also get confirmed even more that Maya surely knows a lot about the occult.

Most series about the supernatural just look at one direction: it’s either Shinto, or Viking legends, the Greek gods, or Chinese mythology or any other kind of popular kind of folklore. Only a few combine two of them, so Occult Academy is actually quite rare to actually look beyond the individual legends, and rather examines patterns and similarities between all kinds of different folklore across the world, like with the giant tree in this episode.

Finally, another thing that has me rather worried is the following, but it might just be something about this episode, and not the rest of the series. In terms of mystery, this series is really excellent at building up. But this episode showed that when it comes to revelations behind its questions… it doesn’t pack a whole lot of punches. Fumiaki’s background is pretty much what we could have guessed when he first explained it and the missing girl also predictably was found here. I want to see this series play around more with revelations.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 19 July 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

This wasn’t what I was expecting from the third episode of this series. I mean, it wasn’t that this episode was badly executed, or that it wasn’t original. It’s just that more than half of it was spent on Fumiaki chasing after some girl he met in a restaurant.

It’s not that i can’t understand where this episode was trying to go. I mean, it’s a terrific way to flesh out Fumiaki and all. This also has to be the first moe girl who actually knows how to drive a car. But the thing is that it’s all just going very, very fast. The guy just walks into a restaurant who must get a lot more male customers, and a few days later she’s in love with him. It’s too fast. I’m not buying it. Especially with that kind of a voice actress. Seriously, was she trying to be this annoyingly moe on purpose?

But yeah, you could see that this episode was building up. Something has to be up here. We already know that this series has a tendency to not show anything inside the minds of anyone who isn’t a main character: this series is entirely told from the perspective of these two. Take that girl who randomly disappears for days: that has to be some sort of subtle hint for the future. That girl that Bumnei met is the same: in this episode we mostly saw Fumiaki’s hormones working: we don’t know at all what she’s hiding.

Because this episode was quite well written: it was very different from the first two episodes, and in a good way: this episode was great in bringing in a bit of variety in the series. Fumiaki’s character made leaps forward here and even though Maya played a small role, she still was very enjoyable to watch. I also love how the animators really managed to bring these characters to life. That animation realyl made up for those forced moe scenes.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 12 July 2010 with categories: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

Occult Academy for me had the best first episode of the season. Of course I’m going to blog it! It’s great to see that all of the Anime no Chikara projects get progressively more interesting. Occult Academy once again is an ambitious series that really wastes no time with its limited format of only 13 episodes. A great mentality!

But there’s more. Take a look at Anime News Network, and the staff of the third episode: Osamu Kobayashi will be its episode director. You know, the director of Beck, Natsu no Sora, Paradise Kiss and his unique style. To make things even better, none other than Mitsuo Iso (Dennou Coil!) will finally make his reappearance to be the animation director. And to make things even better, if this guy is correct, the sixth episode will have Ryousuke Nakamura as its episode director. You know, from Mouryou no Hako and Hashire! Melos. Can anyone confirm somewhere whether this is true?

Either way, I’m already a fan of this show. This episode may not be as good as the first, but it still was witty, interesting and the chemistry between the two lead characters turned out to be really good. This series does really well in combining the occult from east (youkai, demons, etc) with that of the west (Nostradamus, the doom scenarios). When I first saw the lead male in the promo art, he really looked like one of those stereotypical scapegoats: you know, those who exist just to get stepped on by the lead character who is eccentric. It turned out to be a bit more nuanced than that, though: the guy is actually fairly normal, though a bit eccentric. It’s only the lead female who he can’t handle. Because he popped up naked in front of her and all. The lead female on her turn isn’t your typical tsundere in the way that she has very strong ideas and beliefs, and really likes to act when she puts her mind on something.

The thing I also really like about this series is its witty direction. I mean, take a look at that flashback at which Abe tells about why he travelled through time, and how he appeared with sunglasses and a holiday suit. Do you really think that that’s how he looked back then? I really think that he was trying to make himself look bigger in his own narration. The episodes so far are full of these nice details. This series also continues to go back to the backgrounds of its characters, rather than saving that for later. Again, a great mentality.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 5 July 2010 with categories: High School of the Dead, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, Some Quick First Impressions

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is the daughter of the head of some supernatural high school.
How awesome. This was everything a first episode should be! Funny, entertaining, tense, mysterious, intriguing, engaging, this episode was all of it. I was really afraid of the way that the promo material portrayed the lead characters, but there turned out to be no need to worry. The female lead at least is a very colourful character, and most importantly: this episode really wasted no time to delve into her background. It just went “screw carefully introducing characters and waiting with their background until the last minute. We’ve got only thirteen episodes here, you know!” This episode was full of weird and entertaining plot twists that had a ton of charms. The jokes were quite creative, and most importantly: while it definitely made its characters out to be a bunch of oddballs, it never turned them into idiots. Especially the part in which that ghost pretended to be the lead character’s dead father, she really saw through such a shallow trap immediately, instead of getting all sentimental about it. However, I do have one thing to say about this episode, and this is a pretty big issue: this clearly was a “let’s go all out with our first episode”-first episode. That is NO EXCUSE for the show to dull in after this. This has the potential to become a classic if all the episodes are of this caliber. However, will the creators really have enough material to make every single episode entertaining, or will they just descend into random fluff after this?
OP: Very neat art there.
ED: A decent ballad
Potential: 95%

High School of the Dead

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is in a school full of ZOMBIES
Yeah, it’s pretty much like expected. The story itself has the depth of a paper bucket, we have a school zombie invasion and your average teen-aged lead happens to be one of the few who manages to escape, along with his love interest. There’s a ton of fanservice as well. Does that matter, though? Of course not! This is just one of those shows that knows exactly what it is: adrenaline. This episode was a great taste in what is about to come, with a tight and over the top atmosphere, with a lot of passion and overacting. Right from the start, this would be a series that’s going to sell itself with its action, and well, in this episode it accomplished its mission! On the cliche side of things, though: while there are definitely cliches here and there (the childhood promise being the worst of them), the lead characters for once aren’t actually useless or weak. the lead female practices martial arts, while the lead male has also showed that he can kick zombie ass.
OP: Decent J-rock, though nothing special.
ED: Again, decent j-rock.
Potential: 75%

Seitokai Yakuindomo

Short Synopsis: Our lead character gets to be in the student council in a school with 90% females…. they’re not even trying anymore, are they?
Oh boy, oh boy! I hope that you’re a big fan of short-jokes, because this series surely has enough of them in its endless attempts to remind us that one of the characters is short. Seriously, the people from GoHands are terrific animators. So why the heck do they keep spending their time with these incredibly stupid premises? While not as bad as Princess Lover, Seitokai Yakuindomo is yet another one of those series in which we get to see cute girls with the depth of a paper bag parade around the screen, all around one male character who gets his usual harem. The jokes here… were terrible. They’re not funny, and some of them get repeated endlessly. I doubt that many people who visit this blog were planning to check this one out, but still: there are so many better shows of this kind. I don’t see anything that sets this series apart from its ilk.
OP: Glad to see that the jokes that the series plans to drag out in the rest of the series are even more terrible than what they showed in this episode.
ED: Obnoxious.
Potential: 0%

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