Posted on 2 October 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Basquash!



In today’s age, there are few things that could still be considered truly original and never done before. Especially in anime, in which about 90% of all the series are based off of something else, true originality is even harder to come by. Nevertheless, out of all the series for the past year, Basquash stands out as the most original. I mean, to base a series around cars with arms and legs that play basketball? How the hell do you think of this?

But yeah, this unique setting of Basquash is what prompted me to start blogging it weekly. Overall, it really is the single most inconsistent series of the past half year: it has moments of brilliance, fun, stupidity, boredom, excitement, intrigue, chilchés, depth and shallowness, all packaged into 26 episodes, which makes it really hard to determine if it’s worth watching.

The first eight episodes are especially awesome. They’ve got this real sense of chaos, in which everything is going on at the same time, a lot of characters are developed at the same time, and even though Dan is an impulsive teen-aged lead, he definitely has his charms in his innocence and how he continuously tries to make up with his sister who is in a wheelchair after an accident. It’s all good and very unpredictable fun, but after a while the show becomes much more straightforward, predictable and uninteresting.

To me, it seemed like this series never really knew what it wanted to be. Sure, it gives variety, but some parts of this series are incredibly stupid, and are best watched by not taking the series 100% seriously. At other times however, this series nearly begs for the audience to take it seriously when it spends ages on slowly exploring and developing its characters, which demand a much more personal mindset when watching it. In the end, these parts don’t mesh really well and the drama feels shallow because of it.

Personally, I liked the beginning and finale for this series. the middle part just took itself too seriously among the far-fetched premise of this series, and I felt it hard to care about the characters. The series closes off with a pretty exciting finale though, combined with some absolutely gorgeous visuals. In the end, this series is a great watch at some times, but really dull at others.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Posted on with categories: Basquash!



Aww, it’s still good to see a great ending from this series, considering what an incredibly bumpy ride it’s been. The past two episodes were definitely the most visually pleasing episodes I’ve seen the past three months. Satelight really dominated in terms of Visuals during the past season. Their animation may be rushed but damn, these people surely know how to make things look good.

This episode also succeeded in terms of storyline. All Dan had to do is create a Basquash strong enough to save both Earthdash and Moonies, and sure it took a lot of effort to get there, but they managed in the end. The creators didn’t try to create some forced twist in the end like with Macross Frontier and its Vajra-twist.

Instead, the episode was spiced up with a number of twists on the side-characters, that were surprising and yet didn’t get in the way of what was really important in this episode. Do not ask me how that moon-giant was able to fly to Moonies on Flora’s butterflies, or why Slash turned into a 4-year-old of all things, but they fit inside the series well enough to not be much of a problem. In any case, this episode really returned back the series’ roots of fandom: sure the performers are nice and all, but the fandom can also kick ass, and that was portrayed really nicely in the side-characters as they tried to save the various Moonies citizens that were about to float off into space.

The aftermath was also nice and concise: it slightly developed the characters and actually remained subtle about them, leaving a lot of things to our imagination. I especially liked seeing Coco walk again. A nice twist and perfectly logical if you can accept the fact that Slash of all people invited her to Moonies to begin with.

But yeah, the things I liked best about this episode was that it knew that it was supposed to end with a bang, and how it suddenly found its subtlety back. With the current director, I never expected that to happen. I mean, this is the guy who made Dan fight the police with Basketballs. :P

Reflecting on all of the different series that ended this season, I’m really impressed. Usually during these times, a lot of series end with rather lackluster endings, but this time it’s different. There were perhaps two or three endings that I watched that didn’t deliver, but apart from that all of them closed off nicely. That’s very impressive, especially considering how I watched around 17 endings this month.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 25 September 2009 with categories: Basquash!



Holy crap! The eye-candy! To think that Satelight had saved its best budget for last, that really took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to say this of Basquash of all shows, but this really was the prettiest episode I’ve seen during the entire Summer Season.

And I must say, that the creators actually did it. This episode was actually a pretty good prelude to the final episode that’s going to air next week. It was completely different from what I expected (I expected some Shin Mazinger-esque action-fest, but instead the pacing was much, much slower), but this finale has actually managed to get me excited about this series again.

It really was a risk to switch directors for this series, but in the end it actually worked. I really didn’t know why the first director was laid off when it was first announced, but after a while it did become apparent that he lost his touch around episode 8 or 9. While the characters did get developed, it was all just shallow and predictable, and nowhere near as fun and original as the first part of the series. It was a weird decision to bring in the director of Kiss Dum of all people, and he really took a risk by focusing a lot on build-up, rather than action-scenes, but I guess that it did pay off in the end. Sure, it was stupid at times, but then again I’ve stopped taking this series seriously by now.

As for the next episode… who knows how it’s going to end? It’s most likely going to feature the world getting saved and all, but whether it’s going to be action-packed or slow like the past episodes, I have no idea. At least, it really looks like it managed to avoid the Macross Frontier ending: the bad guys this time don’t feel as shallow that they can suddenly turn into good guys with a Deus ex Machina, and Dan’s love interests are instead all fine right now, and not playing the parts of damsels in distress, but actually turned out to be worthwhile sidekicks. With that, I’m happy enough. In a way, Basquash turned out to be the complete opposite of Macross Frontier for me: great start, great end, dull middle.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 18 September 2009 with categories: Basquash!



Well, as if the plot of this thing couldn’t get any more ridiculous: this episode proves that it can. I have no bloody clue what the creators were actually smoking when they came up with these things. But yeah, I guess it works. I haven’t enjoyed Basquash this much ever since the first eight episodes.

The magic in this show… the gods want Basquash in order to prevent the moon from colliding into the earth, this can be done by creating an effect ball with a godly power into a certain place. The Basquash power is then guided by a huge cable to the earth and this is used to stop the gods. You know, some of these things were already present at the beginning, but I had no idea that they were so integral to the main plot. I just thought that they were some cinematic exaggerations to make Dan look cool…

But yeah, as much as this series disappointed me, it still remains bloody original. Today, it’s very hard to come by ideas that absolutely nobody has thought of, and I guess that you really need someone with the screwed up mind of Shoji Kawamori to think of a bunch of mechas that play basketball as a means to worship a bunch of gods who created the world by playing the same game. the new director… there’s no denial that this guy does not care at all whether or not he makes sense, but he nicely handled the conclusion for this series.

For some reason, Basquash wants to have 26 episodes no matter what, so that means that there are two episodes left. Who knows? Perhaps the creators might actually be able to pull a surprising conclusion.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 12 September 2009 with categories: Basquash!



You know, for all I’ve ranted against this series for the past few episodes, this episode rocked. It did exactly what it’s supposed to do, and for the first time in what feels like a long, long time I’m excited about this series again. At the moment, there still is the danger of the love triangle taking up too much attention in the final two episodes for this series, but if the finale is just as this episode, it’s at least going to end with a good impression.

I’m glad to see that all the build-up paid off in the end. I was really beginning to give up hope on this series, but the impending destruction of both the earth and the moon turned out to be exactly what this series needed to get every character back on track. Incidentally, in this episode Dan also was entirely unconscious. In the end, he didn’t turn out to e the best main character. I really liked him at the beginning of this series, but his development got a bit dull and cliché as the series went on.

But damn, the eye-candy! Now this is the Satelight I remember again. The shots of the moon in this episode were absolutely gorgeous, but apart from that there were tons of other awesome shots and amazing eye-candy. I’m really glad to see that the creators of this series have been saving their budget for the final episodes. Now if only they can keep this up for the final two episodes!

But I still am very worried. I know Kawamori by now, he’s going to go for some sort of cheesy romantic climax in the end. By far the worst part of this episode was the point in which Rouge kissed Dan back to life (no, seriously) and Flora happened to run into them, watching the entire process. PLEASE DON’T FOCUS THE FINALE ON THIS CHEESY LOVE TRIANGLE!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 4 September 2009 with categories: Basquash!



Okay, I admit. This episode was pretty much fun to watch. The plot still is one big failure and mish-mash of clichés, but I don’t think anyone cares at this point about whether or not Dan is going to succeed in saving the world.

For an episode with such a cheesy premise, I really enjoyed this episode much more than I thought I would. In any other anime, an episode in which the male lead finds out that his love interest has had her mind wiped, and manages to get her memory back through the power of love, it would have been an incredibly cliché bore-fest. But with Basquash, in the end I couldn’t really expect anything else. The same goes for the climax of this episode in which the creators try to be smart and seemingly “kill off” Dan. Sorry Kawamori, but after Macross Frontier I’m not buying that anymore.

And granted, it seemed to have been the entire plan of the bad guys to have Dan come, play Basquash with Rouge and then trigger the events for the apocalypse, or whatever is similar to that, so I guess that this show is excused at this point. In any case, this episode finally had another fun basketball match again, and in combination with the concert, it delivered for me. It’s also good to see this series briefly return to its themes on fandom, which is something I remember praising this series for before it jumped the shark and somehow completely abandoned these themes.

Just one thing: something really weird is going to happen for me to blog Kawamori’s next series…
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 28 August 2009 with categories: Basquash!



Okay, that’s it. This series has completely given up any form of logic at this stage. I mean, seriously. It surpasses itself in terms of stupidity in this episode. There were plenty of moments in this episode that just made me ask… “why?!”.

A list of bullet-points of all the wtf-moments of this episode:
– Satelight: what the heck are you doing making Flora fall IN LOVE with Dan. There are five episodes left, for God’s sake. What the hell are you doing slapping on a harem at the last possible minute?!
– In this episode, Dan and Flora end up abandoning everything else in order to be able to reach Rouge’s last concert on time. In order to get through some sort of customs that are in the way, they dress up as women. Never mind the question where they got these clothes from, DAN STILL DOESN’T REALIZE THAT FLORA IS A GIRL.
– To make things worse, even though he thought of the clever plan of dressing up, he ends up blowing his cover, simply by getting into another fight with Spanky.
– There are lots of guards at the customs, with advanced weaponry, mechas and professional equipment. Dan blows his cover right in the middle of them, surrounded by about two dozen of these guys. And yet they let them go. They don’t arrest a criminal who is wanted for committing multiple crimes and who even is notorious enough to have entire billboards full of wanted posters. Yes.
– Also, check this picture of Rouge as she’s lying under some medical thingy. What the hell is up with that waste? I mean, anorexia is one thing, but this is just ridiculous.
– Later in the episode, Dan and Flora get themselves surrounded yet again. All these soldiers are armed with guns. Dan fights them off… with a basketball. A freaking basketball. Versus dozens of guards. And he actually wins.
– To make matters even more ridiculous, Flora finds this a good moment to show her real identity. She pulls off her clothes, under which her full princess outfit was hidden.
– The only thing that all of the guards are able to do is kneel and make weird puking noises. No seriously, what was up with those yelps of pain as they kneeled before the princess?
– Flora uses her authority to stop Dan’s arrest. Yes, being a princess is fun!

But yeah, on the other hand: who cares? I think that we all should have seen this point coming, right when it became clear that the director of Kiss Dum was going to take over this series. In the end, all I’m asking from this series is an entertaining finale. I remember that last year at this point, Macross Frontier did the complete opposite and delivered an incredibly generic and boring finale for me, so my big hope here is that Satelight is able to avoid this and end the series on a high note, rather than with a disappointment. You can see that this series is still building up at this point, so it really can go anywhere at this point.

And for all the stupidity, I also have to admit that this episode was fun to watch. Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but setting aside the newly developed romance it was fun to see Dan and Flora together, and especially Dan’s dress rocked. The new soundtrack of this series is also really good. And finally we have a Kawamori-series with a soundtrack that isn’t based around j-pop.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 14 August 2009 with categories: Basquash!



Okay, so with episodes like this one it may have been better to have recalled the old director, because with episodes like this one you need subtlety, and the new director sure as heck doesn’t have any. The result is that we have an episode full of character-development that may have been a bit too straightforward for its own good.

So yeah, my guess would be that this episode was the new director’s way to just get the character background over with, presumably because the first director either forgot it or didn’t find it too important. We learn how Haruka decided to become a shoe designer because she saw giant footprints when she was still a child. She also dated James Loan for a while because he was the first one to believe in her story about those giants. We also learn that Miyuki had lost her father in an accident when she was younger, and that’s why her grandfather ended up taking care of her.

On top of that, Flora’s sister busts our two male companions out of prison (finally), Flora herself starts realizing that she can’t just follow Dan and the other around for the rest of her life: she’s had her fun, so what’s next? Rouge also finally woke up again from her slumber. Overall, in terms of continuity this was a very valuable episode.

But yeah, the CHEESE. This also was a big episode for the romance, but without the subtlety that this series used to have it was just an onslaught of blushing, embarrassed faces and very cheesy smiles at each other. Oh, and lots of angst in Rouge’s case. That definitely was annoying and not near as good as the romance between Dan and Rouge during the beginning of the series. This is just waaaaay to predictable.

I’m really not sure what to think of the finale, the way it’s being set up. With a finale that’s going to be a cross between Kiss Dum and Macross Frontier, it really can go either way; it’s all going to depend on whether the new director decides to focus on his manly action… or his cheesy romance. Please let it be the former!
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 7 August 2009 with categories: Basquash!



Blegh. The second half of this episode was mostly recap. A really weird place for this show to start recapping, but at least you can see that it’s building up. My main annoyance right now is that there is no way of knowing whether this build-up will come together in the end. With Shoji Kawamori, you’ll never know.

And wtf… Coco has been on the moon all this time?! That’s definitely something I didn’t see coming. I guess that that’s why she’s been out of the picture lately. I first thought that it was James Loan’s younger and wilder version that hung out with her and Dan when they were little, but it turns out to have been Slash. It turns out that Coco used to be much more spirited and talented than Dan when she still had her legs, and Slash turns out to have recognized this talent and promised to take Coco to the moon as soon as she found her groove. After losing her legs, she took a while of calming down, but instead ended up promoting the Basquash through the internet, hence why she ended up at the moon. The question is whether or not she’s going to have surgery to restore her legs. I hope not, but yeah… this is anime.

The first half of this episode consisted out of a bit of development for Sera. But I must say that the basketball matches are starting to get rather boring right now. There was character-development in it (Dan finally stopped trying to do everything himself), but the action scenes didn’t really interest me. That brings me back the start of this series again: the action-scenes of the first eight episodes simply were much better and well done. After that, it really dulled in aside from episode 11 and that part was a filler.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 31 July 2009 with categories: Basquash!



It’s interesting how the new staff got an entirely new soundtrack to work with. It, along with the new direction gave a totally new atmosphere to this series. I’m surprised to say it, but it actually works. It’s not better in every single way (the loss of the subtlety is one example), yet somehow it works. This episode was mostly meant to introduce the upcoming (and probably final) major arc, but it was a solid and enjoyable build-up nonetheless.

But yeah, the loss of subtlety does stand out. This episode really showed that in the fanservice: previously, this series had a lot of fanservice as well, but the jokes it made around it were creative. So obviously, this episode shows moon giant-kun running into Sera as she comes out of the shower. *headdesks*

Anyway, in this episode Iceman quickly takes care of the bounty hunter, getting revenge on the guy who cut off his arm and leg at the same time, by unleashing a new power: the Destroy Tornado. Interestingly enough, he then gets left behind by the others as they receive a sudden chance for another attempt to go to the moon. It seems to be the main prize of a tournament that’s held in some city, and I suspect that either the moon giant or Flora is going to replace Iceman.

In the meantime, Rouge’s manager is evolving into a real bad guy here, when he even tries to kidnap Coco (ransom, I guess), but Mr Perfect manages to avoid it. That does make me wonder about James’ sense of space. He really seems to be able to appear whenever he’s needed, doesn’t he? Is that some kind of secret power of his, or just a case of lazy scriptwriters?

And yeah, my prediction of Rouge turning into a damsel in distress was wrong. She looks more to be developing into the final boss at this rate. Something tells me that that was Shoji Kawamori’s idea…
Rating: * (Good)

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  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 05:10 PM)
    @Aidan I’ll humor you, so I watched it. Honestly, I cannot count how many times I cringed. The main character is annoying as fuck and even with a “screw all” mindset, I wanted to straight up murder everyone in the show.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 04:51 PM)
    @K-Off, don’t put it like that. I find if you enter the sailor moon mindset of screw it lets just go with this (And it is basically a take the piss tokusatsu show)then it’s pretty entertaining. And genuinely funny at times.
    Alright you watch it with the screw logic mindset and see if I am just crazy or if it does have some sort of charm.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 04:44 PM)
    @Aidan You have yourself a newfound fetish.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 04:27 PM)
    Man this Ore no Twintail show is ungodly stupid and silly as hell…yet strangely entertaining. Alright I give up, I can’t figure out why I like this. Let’s mark it guilty pleasure and move on.
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 08:15 AM)
    :-)
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 08:11 AM)
    @Bam I’ve sent you the rough sketch via Deviantart. Don’t expect too much, It’s only done to show the perspective and lighting.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:43 AM)
    @Friend: I’m excited to see it, but unfortunately hadn’t had long access to desktop to draft mine yet :/
    You might wanna leave an indication on yours as to where the shaman goes if you can, that would be great.
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:34 AM)
    Woah, that was a long discussion about the Inca O.o
    @Bam I’m nearly done with the rough draft, maybe a few more hours.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 06:20 AM)
    @Vincent: That was pretty much the entirety of it. We were destined to cross Mississippi and inhabit the west, so why not take an active part in manifesting our supposed fate?
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 03:34 AM)
    @Vincent No shit.

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