Posted on 19 July 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



So, this mostly was a build-up episode in which Yuki travels to the main Giou mansion. We get to see some new characters who live there and a lot of hints at the long-awaited background of Yuki and Takashiro. This series often puts a lot of emphasis on travelling to build up its tension: first Yuki’s journey to the Twilight Mansion and now again.

The light hearted moments still are… awkward though. I understand what the creators are trying to do, but most of the attempts to create laughs worked mostly unintentional because of how stupid they were.

Despite that, this wasn’t a wasted episode at all, and thankfully we got a number of scenes that showed a bit of the depth of the characters. Takashiro’s worries were addressed here, plus one of the new characters (a genius professional shougi player) sent out a strong hint to Yuki at how serious the fight against the dumas should be taken.

Also, there’s a new OP and ED this week. The OP is fine, interestingly it’s Takashiro again who steals the show. But the ED… oh, god. Talk about an anti-climax. Who found it a good idea to end such a gloomy series with silly upbeat j-rock?
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 11 July 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



This series has this really strange tendency to introduce all kinds of powers from out of nowhere, and then acting like it’s the most normal thing in the world. I mean, hello?! A rabbit just turned into a catgirl here! Couldn’t at least act a bit surprised?

Either way though, as an aftermath this episode was pretty damn good. It was all about solidifying the characters’ relationships against each other: everyone talked about their issues to each other, and quite a few disagreements were either settled, or accepted. After watching quite a few series in which people just refuse to talk to each other, seeing how honest this episode was was quite a refreshment.

Especially Luka surprised me, and the way with which he has accepted the current situation. He’s had plenty of time to sort out his own feelings, and ended up deciding to support Yuki, whatever she ends up with. The episode ended with the promise of back-story, so I’m actually quite interested in this show at this point.

The angst in this series feels like it’s done right for once, compared to, say, Vampire Knight angst. While angsting, the characters really are thinking about themselves and the influence they have on others, compared to, say, how much they hate or love a certain character. I have to give the manga author that: these characters are well thought out, and the anime staff did quite a good job at bringing this to life.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 4 July 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru




This was the climax of the first half of this series, and you know what? It was the best episode of this show yet. There was of course Yuki’s angst over Kanata and all, but seriously, this was a very exciting episode that also pushed these characters a bit further. And surprisingly, it was Takashiro of all people that stole this episode for me.

This episode also showed how good the soundtrack of this series can be, and the entire episode really looked gorgeous with all of the visuals that JC Staff were experimenting with. Seriously, I prefer the way they render blood far above the ketchup you usually see in anime. On top of that, we got plenty of hints of background for Reiga (plus Takashiro, which explains pretty much why the Giou clan is used to hunt for these things).

Overall, I’m happy now, and with all of the mid-bosses dead at this point, I’m very interested in the second half of this series. It’s here where the creators really are going to have to use the development of these characters, in order to develop them even more. They’re going to have to spent a number of episodes fully detailing how the characters were in their past lives, and how they changed, ESPECIALLY Reiga and Takashiro. The prospect of that alone is bound to make the second half more interesting than the first.

By the way, does anyone know how far we’re into the manga?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 27 June 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



Luka. He is so badass that even rose petals instantly want to commit suicide by his sword.

Seriously though, I know I often criticise this anime, but episodes like this one really show that it knows how to build up an atmosphere. I really have no complaints whatsoever about that, because this really was an engaging episode to watch. The creators made well use of the background music, characters and visuals to create a bit of a creepy atmosphere that I was able to take seriously, despite the angst and large amount of suicidal themes of this series.

As for the graphics… this episode pretty much showed that we shouldn’t expect too much of the animation itself. The action scenes just consisted out of a bunch of still frames of wounds, and cut a lot of corners. The eye candy here really was in the visual effects, as the creators of this series may not be good animators, but they’re pretty good at CG and blending it in with the rest of the drawings.

Without the CG, this really feels like this kind of retro series that could have just as easily aired fifteen years ago. It’s definitely got its charms because of this.

But really… regarding Shuusei… how? Do we really not get any kind of explanation, other than that Yuki zapped him? I mean, what did the manga artist have in mind when he created him? Having an all powerful character with Yuki, who can apparently heal any kind of wound, while also being able to stop all kinds of powerful magic with his crosses. That’s really hard to balance out! At a certain point the tension will just completely vanish because there’s no reason to fear for any of the characters to die here. Luka with his extreme powers is one thing that still is within bounds, due to his flaws, but Yuki is about to go too far in this.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 20 June 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



“Muaha, I am the bad guy of this series. I currently dislike this group of people with annoying powers who have been killing off all of my comrades and subordinates one by one, so they need to be taught a lesson. So what do I do? I shoot one of them with an energy ball. Hah, now that should keep their healers busy for a couple of hours! I am a genius!”

… I mean… I think we’ve found ourselves the most pathetic bad guy of the season here. Even considering that he did intend to kill Tsukumo and did not know about the crosses that Yuki made, isn’t it just common sense to just… you know… check whether the body really is dead? There’s a ton of magic in this series here that has unexpected effects, that energy ball could easily not have been fatal. So far, that girl at least has come up with a pretty solid plan to take care of the good guys. All he has been doing is trying to look cool, poking people and dropping wine glasses.

This series really has parts at which it’s very good, but others at which it leaves so much to be desired. I mean, the lead cast still is excellent: every episode so far has continued to add more to these people, and this episode was no exception in the way that it pushed Zess and Hotsuma to new levels. The soundtrack is still really good, and this episode added even more great tracks for this series, and it also knows how to create an atmosphere.

The bad guys however… nah. There’s also no originality here whatsoever (I mean, you can compare this show to a ton of other series and concepts and it only stands out in the way that it used the things it stole from all sorts of other stories.

But yeah, I have to give credit where credit’s due: I’m beginning to like Zess more and more. I first didn’t really like him, but the way this episode showed him all eager to get some action made up for a lot. He had this smug air of “I’m gonna kick ass and there’s nothing you can do about it, bitches”. In the quiet moments around Yuki he also was much calmer, compared to the obsessive stalker he was in the first few episodes.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 13 June 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



Costumes in anime have generally always been rather questionable. The mature series are often fine, but there are also tons of costumes in anime that make you ask “…why”. Seriously, most of the good guys of Uraboku wear normal clothes, even the red-haired guy’s outfit can be attributed to some fashion statement. But Zess, where the heck do you get the inspiration for your clothes from?

Seriously, most of the comedy in this series just doesn’t work, but this guy is comedy gold. His shirt in this episode looked like he violently ripped off the sleeves or something. It’s just hilarious how this guy just acts all cool with a continuous serious and deadpan expression, yet goes overkill at such weird times. My personal favourite scene of him so far was when he summoned that gigantic dragon to just take care of a bunch of weak bad guy underlings.

In any case, a big weak point of this series is definitely the cast of villains. This episode showed a bit more of them, and yet we hardly got to know more about them aside from what kinds of powers they have (oh, and that one of them likes hot guys). Who are they? Why do they do the things they do? There hasn’t even been a hint of this so far, and their characterization just feels bland. These people seriously need more work.

The good guys however are the ones who make me keep watching this series. This series continues to explore them, and build further on their stories. This especially was a good episode for the side-cast, and even though a terrifyingly large amount of people here have suicidal tendencies, the creators did a decent job in making it believable. It’s nowhere near amazing yet, but at least it’s still going into the right direction. It’s going to be interesting to see whether this show can pull off a strong second half.

Also, the golden rule of anime: characters don’t die unless we see this confirmed. The next episode is going to be the first test for this show how annoyingly it will try to hold on to this rule. The problem is especially with Tsukumo: if this guy lives, then the main bad guy will be absolutely pathetic in his job. On the other hand, it will be very cool if those guys actually died, and I admire the balls of the creators if they go there.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 6 June 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru




Ooh, what a surprise: this episode was actually quite good again. I didn’t expect this show to pick itself back up after those… rather lackluster previous two episodes, but this episode returned to the parts that made this series good. It was very angsty, but at the same time it allowed Hotsuma to develop quite a bit. We finally get to know him, which is a very good thing to see.

Before this series started I was hoping for it to be something like the next Night Head Genesis. Okay, so in the end it didn’t. It’s got far less interesting ideas, while Uragiri doesn’t really offer anything in terms of its plot. Nevertheless though, the characters do have their charms. The creators know how to develop their characters and they do that very nicely, being just subtle enough to prevent the angst from going out of control *(especially the end of this episode was quite emotionally gripping), plus the pretty good soundtrack are enough to keep me interested for now.

The only thing of note here is how the creators decided to show Hotsuma’s and Shusei’s background. It’s in the same way as Yuki’s background. We don’t get an entire background arc that outlines the lives that the characters used to live. Instead, it’s brought in a bit of a memory-fashion: we get to see the key points in their past, without really learning what kind of children they were. Doing such a thing is risky, but it works surprisingly well for them.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 30 May 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



Yeah… tons of fanservice in this episode. It’s annoying when moe shows do this, but with the bishies it’s just as bad. Especially during that bathing scene I’m surprised that sparkles didn’t start flying off the characters. You could also really see that Yuki used to be a girl when he started making necklaces for everyone.

So yeah, this was another laid back episode meant to flesh out the characters. It did its job well, we got to know a bit more about zess (he finally doesn’t feel like a one-dimensional paper bag anymore, though he still looked like an idiot when he brought Yuki to school). It’s nice and all, but this episode did remain boring. It’s not a chore sitting through it, but that also pretty much everything positive you can say about it.

The first and foremost priority of the creators is avoiding to pull another 07-Ghost here. These past two episodes are one thing, but the show shouldn’t stick too much inside its own fillers. Whether these came from the manga or not shouldn’t matter. The manga should also have tried to make these chapters more interesting.

Having said that though, the background art in this episode was quite good.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 23 May 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru



“Muahahaha, I am the bad guy of this series, and I shall demonstrate this by dropping random glasses full of wine on the ground. Now that should keep those cleaners busy for a couple of minutes!”

It’s things like this that make it hard again for me to take this series seriously.

This series overall is a very mixed bag, and especially this episode showed it. I like some things about it quite a bit, while others still need a lot of work. Yuki? I like the kid, he’s interesting and compelling to watch. I also like Takashiro, Touko and Tsukumo, they’re interesting side-characters and I like how they show that they care about Yuki and feel guilty about the things they’re going to do to him, yet remain down to earth about it. Zess on the other hand… nah. This guy should get a life.

And then this episode comes and introduces a whole bunch of new characters, nearly all of them stereotypes. The worst of them was of course that bad guy (seriously, wtf), but the others also felt like cheap cliches. Here’s a washing-list of all the newly introduced characters:
– Twin bad guy henchmen who are eager to do bad stuff.
– Bad guy henchgirl who is also eager to do bad stuff.
– Zess’ freaking animal mascot (or ‘familiar’ as he calls it).
– The shy maid.
– The eccentric doctor.
– The energetic and harassing old guy (read: between 25 and 30 years old) with a hat that I reckon was meant to be stylish.

I mean, come on! Can you introduce any more cliches in just one episode? The worst thing here is that just none of them tried to set itself apart from its stereotypes, this was just overkill. A bit of development is probably able to save a few of them, but the cast of this show is already getting alarmingly huge. I’m especially worried about that bad guy.

I guess that the creators wanted to have a cast of interesting characters besides the lead ones. The problem is that they really should have spent more time into that. I’m not sure whether this comes from the anime or manga staff, but my guess is that most of the blame falls to the latter. This clearly was meant to be an arc to introduce the side-cast, but these are way too many cliches to just screw up. The anime staff is of course at fault too: they could have easily brought a bit of character into these guys.

A good example of this is Zombie Loan: it’s basically built around the same premise: a lead character meets a group of interesting zombie-hunters. While Zombie Loan was way too goddamn short, it did one thing right: the characterization. All of the side-characters were interesting to watch, and they all had interesting and charismatic personalities that kept you interested. Here, these side-characters couldn’t even charisma themselves out of a paper bucket.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 16 May 2010 with categories: Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru




Whoa, I admire the balls that the creators have with this series. This episode was really heavy, and pretty much showed that this isn’t going to be a happy adventure. They really went as far as actually having the bad guys possess little girls in order to deceive Yuki? I give my thumbs up for that.

There were a few things about this episode that were kind of cheesy, like the point in which Yuki claimed that Hotsuma saved him because he cared about him. Hello, you know him for what? Twenty minutes? Hotsuma’s motivation also is a bit weird. I mean, if I were to run into a guy who would be able to heal any wound, I’d be pretty happy with it. The only thing that I can think of here is that he had some kind of really big grudge against Yuki when he still was a girl. This episode actually hinted at how the current Yuki is completely different from how he used to be, which… does pique my interest seeing of how a goodness-loving flower-child he is right now. But yeah, I can imagine that the person that Zess fell in love with to be as socially inept as he is.

In any case I wasn’t sure about the orphanage to start this series off with, however the emphasis on little children in this series has been surprising, to say the least. Most shows of this kind usually have the protagonist wandering stupidly into dangerous situations to get some action going on, but these girls give this a completely different dimension here.

And as for the action… it again was surprisingly good. This show isn’t particularly well animated, but the art itself and the CG around it are really good. It’s also interesting that Zess doesn’t know the meaning of “overkill”, especially when summoning that enormous dragon (or… um… salamander…) of his. It looked awesome in any case.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:34 AM)
    @Vincent No shit.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:14 AM)
    @Bam Slightly. Did americans use manifest destiny as an excuse to steal land from the natives?
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:05 AM)
    @Vincent: I guess we were slightly more honest about it. It is funny how we use the fact after the matter as evidence of our divine providence. It’s like holding a gun to somebody and saying “fate wants you to die”, proceed to shoot them, and then say “see! I was right” lol
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:56 AM)
    @Bam But unlike the american concept of manifest destiny, the Japanese used it as an excuse to wage what they were really doing: a war to hoard resources.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:52 AM)
    @Vincent: I see. A similar doctrine to Manifest Destiny.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:49 AM)
    @Bam Not to my knowledge. From the government, at least. It was always about expanding the glory of the homeland or something like that, which is why the Japanese took glee with the invasion of Manchuria and the Philippines, places they had no ethnic ties to.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:46 AM)
    *admitably
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:46 AM)
    @Vincent: I am admirably not too knowledgeable when it comes to the history of that region, but I still know that atrocities were committed.
    The interesting thing is that Japnese believe that their ancestors actually came from Korea. I wonder if this fact was ever used as a propaganda for why they have the right to annex Korea.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:40 AM)
    @Bam There also was the fractures within the Korean Peninsula itself. Quite astounding, really, that a nation as small as Korea is divided to this day. Not even counting the Japanese and Chinese aggression.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 02:39 AM)
    @Vincent: you probably know of it twinfold: both with the aborigines and then again with the Japanese invasion of Korea.

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