Posted on 22 September 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost, Anime Reviews

To be honest, until a week ago I still wasn’t quite sure how to review this series. I mean, there obviously was something wrong with it, but I just couldn’t put my finger to exactly what. Nevertheless, with the final two episodes (which were very exciting, by the way), I finally know where this series went wrong, and why it went from a very promising series to just… boredom.

Imagine yourself as the villain: you’re placed high in the military. A certain kid escapes your clutches, and this kid happens to hold the evil godmode powers of doom, and it is vital to get these powers back, so you are assigned this task. You’ve got a number of competent henchmen and you youself also are an experienced commander. It shouldn’t be too hard to come up with a plan to capture a 14-year old boy, right?

Well, this guy here sits on a chair for more than 20 episodes, looks evil and hardly does anything, and the plans that he does carry out hardly can be called the most effective ways to get to his objectives. In a lot of series, a good villain can really make a series, and really, Ayanami would have made an excellent villain if this guy actually stood up and DID SOMETHING.

the major problem with 07-Ghost is that it drags. Horribly. The plot here could have been carried out in one quarter of the time it actually used. So in the process, the lead characters have to find ways to keep them busy. Sometimes this is meaningful, but often it’s just way too angsty, melodramatic and shallow. Not really worth the investment of 25 episodes.

Which is a bloody shame, because this show definitely has some right ingredients. The direction during the action scenes is actually quite good: with an excellent soundtrack it knows how to entertain by pushing the right buttons at the same time. The series is full of creative shots and camera-angles, and the animation also hardly has any distorted faces. This is exactly why I was excited about this series: it sounded like an epic premise, but in the end the creators could have done so much more with this premise.

This series takes place in a church for the most part, so there is a unique religious feel about this series, so it’s really a bit of a shame of this wasted potential. Unfortunately, it’s really typical of the director: he did the same one to Hatenkou Yuugi, ruining it by an abysmal pacing. This guy really knows how direct technically: he knows how to make things exciting. However, in terms of content and especially pacing he still has a lot to learn. The best episodes in this series really ended up being episode 1 and 24. That has to say something.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Posted on 30 June 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

Just so you know, if the upcoming Summer Season has four or more series that turn out to be really interesting, I might just drop this series in favour of one of them. I’ll definitely keep watching it and give it a proper review, but as a guilty pleasure that has been done many times before, I’d rather spend my time on something fresh, creative or innovative, if it would happen to premiere in the upcoming season.

Basically, for a guilty pleasure from Studio Deen, this series doesn’t even stand out. We have Hiroshi Watanabe’s works for that. As addictive as this series is, it was nothing near as fun as the campness of Suteki Tantei Labyrinth, and so I’m just going to drop it when it’s still fun to blog, rather than wait until it becomes a chore. I’ve found that for the past year, I’ve become much quicker in dropping a series from blogging, but that’s mostly because I’ve gotten tired of blogging dull shows.

Anyway, about the episode: it was definitely no wasted one, as it finally reveals not just Teito’s past, but also that the priests from the church didn’t just “run into” Teito when they were taking a stroll, and knew very well who he was, and especially Frau seems to be hiding something. I really laughed when Frau let that fact slip when he tried to comfort Teito.

But yeah, on the downside, this episode was angst angst angst. Thankfully it wasn’t bad or annoying, but it is getting a bit old now, and I’m hoping that Teito at least is going to grow beyond this angst, rather than remaining in this slump of his.
Rating: (Enjoyable)
Teito’s past revealed with enjoyable build-up and a perhaps a bit too much angst.

Posted on 23 June 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

I really don’t get it. I’m really starting to agree with the criticisms against this show: for the past twelve episodes, Ayanami an his henchmen hardly did anything other than turning people into ghouls and having Frau kill them. Teito turns out to be the key to either saving the world or destroying it, and because of that he’s exceptionally talented when handling magic. Been there, done that.

An yet every single time I’m ready to dismiss this show, I watch another episode and it violently drags me back into its fanbase. 07-Ghost sucks and rocks at the same time. This episode again wasn’t that special on the plot development: we see a new woman who also turns people into ghouls, Ayanami in his turn also starts killing more people with ghouls. Teito develops his power even more, like he did in the past episodes and his new roommate obviously turns out to be his the guy from the previous episode and they spend the episode bickering.

So why the heck did I like this episode so much if it was so formulaic? I’m still not sure myself, but I do have to say that the art in this episode really looked awesome at the times when the bad guys did their stuff. While the animation of this series has never really stood out, the art really has been consistently solid, with a number of greatly drawn money shots. I looked up who the animation director of this series, and I finally understand why the art in this series looks so good: the animation is done by the same guy who did directed the animation of Amatsuki. That too was a powerhouse of great shots and camera-angles. While his work here on 07-Ghost is admittedly much less impressive than what we saw on Amatsuki, you can definitely see the similarities. It’s also interesting how this guy’s works didn’t really stand out before he dealt with Amatsuki, but it’s very interesting to see that from that point on, his works became significantly better (also note that he was the one who animated parts of the Blade of the Immortal OP).

In any case, I’m also surprised that I’m still laughing at the characters’ quirks in this series. Usually at this point of a comedy, when the characters haven’t been developed properly the series in question just stops being funny, and yet I’m still enjoying this series immensely.
Rating: * (Good)
Very nice visuals and a yet again a really enjoyable building-up episode.

Posted on 16 June 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

Oh my god. I couldn’t stop laughing this episode. Even five minutes after that doll went down I was still snickering like an idiot. It’s been a while since I laughed so much at one single joke. I still keep seeing Frau running around like crazy with that very weird laugh of his. I’m not sure who exactly voiced that very high-pitched laugh of his, but that guy was hilarious.

Apart from that, this was another slow paced episode. It’s really apparent that you don’t want to watch this series for the plot, because it really isn’t the major focus. It’s like trying to watch One Outs for its deep characters: it ain’t gonna be amazing, so stop hoping for it; and instead the shows are enjoyable for very different reasons. For 07-Ghost it’s the characters, who for me are both funny and compelling when the drama starts.

Basically, Teito polished up his skills a bit in this episode, and started learned how to control the Eye of Mikhail, and how to take care of ghouls. (with one of the practice targets being that ridiculously voiced dummy that Castor modelled after Frau; it still cracks me up thinking about it). This episode also introduced a new character, who turns out to be rather cocky. I’m interested to see what that guy can add to this series’ second half. In fact, I’m really curious to see what this series can do with its second half. I’m not hoping for the story to get back on track, but instead I’m waiting for the character-development, or something else that’s going to spice up the characters and make them even more enjoyable to watch than they are now.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
If only because of that hysterical doll.

Posted on 9 June 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

With all the dislike going on for this series, I’m starting to wonder why I’m still enjoying this series so much. Seriously, at times it feels like I’m the only one who isn’t a rabid fangirl who’s still into this series. While I agree that the pacing has been slooooooow, but is it really a universal truth that fast = good and slow = bad? It’s not like every episode looks the same or anything. Or am I missing something here?

In any case, this episode yet again didn’t convince me that this show is dull when Teito from out of nowhere got possessed by the Star of Mikhael, and I mean really out of nowhere: Frau and Castor were talking in front of an unconscious Teito, the episode really had this air of building up after the previous episode, and then suddenly without any prior warning all sorts of crazy stuff starts showing up. That really took me by surprise.

The rest of this episode though is really an aftermath, including the obligatory “angsting and being shown the light” subplot. I know that they’re really necessary to each plot, and characters would be a bunch of unemotional paper bags without them, but they remain boring. Still, they’re worth it for the character-development. And in this episode Frau and Castor did a pretty good job of keeping the viewer busy while Teito was busy with sorting out his own feelings. It was pretty simple this time, but I’m still curious what this series can do once it hits its second half and the character-development really starts kicking in.

One thing that I don’t like in this series is something that plagues just about 90% of every anime: Teito’s fate can either save or destroy the world. That’s pretty much the most generic and overused subplot you can think of, and yet NEARLY EVERY SHOW uses it. But yeah, I’ve long ago given up on complaining every single series that attempts this, so complaining about it every single time it gets used obviously isn’t magically going to solve it.

Rating: * (Good)
Standard aftermath with quite a nice surprise in the middle

Posted on 2 June 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

You know what? Who cares about the cheese! There is good cheese and bad cheese, while most of it falls into the bad category: overblown and overly sappy drama that you just can’t take seriously. There are cases in which the cheese is meant to be overly emphasized and becomes awesome to watch because of that (any Hiroshi Watanabe-series, especially Suteki Tantei Labyrinth), and there’s a very select amount of series in which the cheese is actually played straight… and yet somehow works. And what do you know: for me, 07-Ghost turned into one such series. The bond between Teito and Mikage really was adorable, despite the sappiness of it all.

I must say that I really feared the worst when I was spoiled about how Mikage was going to reincarnate. I was ready to expect a very overdrawn death scene of his… only for him to get back to life at the last possible moment. But really, the creators handled his resurrection very well: I never expected the bugger to return as a stuffed animal-like creature. And with the church and all, the whole reincarnation fits perfectly into the setting. I’m usually very much against it when anime bring back a dead character, because it often nullifies any sort of impact that their deaths would have had, but here you can still see Mikage’s sacrifice.

And on a completely different note: the animation sure was awesome in this episode. I don’t mean that in the same way as Eden of the East, in which there was a lot of detail in just about every movement, but there were so many creative poses and camera-angles. This episode had lots of really cool shots that really made this episode a feast for the eyes.

Now that the Mikage-arc is over, I’m curious to what the rest of this series can offer. It’s really building up Ayanami as some evil overlord, but thankfully the creators fleshed him out nicely enough. In fact, I’m always waiting for the guy to make his move again, because whenever he does you can be sure that it’s going to result in a very interesting and exciting fight. As a villain, he has presence, I guess.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
As a series with a lot of emphasis on building up, the climaxes are of course very much worth it. Also, the animation direction was really good.

Posted on 26 May 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

To give a bit of an indication of how much I’m liking the current Spring Season: out of all of the shows I’m blogging right now (at the moment twelve of them), I like 07-Ghost the least. And yet the rest of this post is going to be nothing but praises for how much I liked this episode. This season may not have another Birdy the Mighty, but that’s also just about the only negative thing I can say about it. And really, if it can keep this up, it’s definitely going to turn into my favourite season since Spring 2007.

And Yes! It’s finally time for Mikage to show how he wasn’t exactly set free by Ayanami. The anime made it especially obvious that something was going to happen to him, and made it no surprise that he’d not live to see the second half of this show, and I must say still this episode in which we finally see his true colours doesn’t disappoint at all.

Because really, the past few episodes have really served their job in fleshing out Teito and Mikage, so that as an audience you’d really get to know the two of them. If the creators would simply have sent a brainwashed Mikage to Teito and immediately had him start trying to kill the guy, it would definitely have lacked impact. Now however, I loved seeing the relationship between the two being broken up by Ayanami. It was the moment everyone had been waiting for ever since Mikage popped up from absolutely nowhere, and yeah: it was great.

As a fantasy-series, 07 Ghost indeed doesn’t have the complex and imaginative setting that Shangri-La and Guin Saga can boast, nor the complex characters and well written dialogue of Pandora Hearts, but this series takes a much smaller setting and focus, and because its focus is so small (this series is just about Teito, who isn’t out there to save the world; you know the bad guys right from the start, the only setting of importance is the church), it really as the time to charm the viewer with this small story and bring out the best of it. And that’s the strength of 07-Ghost: it doesn’t feature much, but what it does, it does really well.

Rating: ** (Excellent)
I’m still amazed at how this episode was 20 minutes long, because it sucked me in completely. Finally the moment we’ve been waiting for has come.

Posted on 19 May 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

O yeah, this show is building up so much right now. While it indeed is true that the past few episodes have simply featured Ayanami sending a bunch of Ghouls at Teito, there was no way that the creators could have omitted them, because there would have been no way to flesh out the characters and the setting that way. It’s indeed been one of the least eventful shows this season so far, but you can really see that it’s nowhere near the meat of the series so far.

And besides, it’s not like the ‘fillers’ are bad either. There indeed is the formula of Ayanami sending badly disguised Ghoul at Teito, but there’s lots of stuff going on besides it. The ghouls sent always have something that Teito and Mikage can relate to in some way and to be honest, the battles do kick ass at times, and they’re meant to be predictable: we now know that Teito has hidden powers and Frau is going to easily take care of any Ghoul out there, and Ayanami knows that like no other. It’s really being established that the past fights weren’t pure luck, but based on Frau’s skills none of those Ghouls had a chance whatsoever, so Ayanami is really going to have to come with something more hard-hitting than that.

My one complaint about this episode was that random group of punks that appeared from out of nowhere, tried to look cool and got blasted to bits. I mean, I understand that this show is also trying to establish how l33t Ayanami’s Goons are, but the creators could have spent a bit more time fleshing these guys out, even though they’re probably never going to appear again.

Rating: * (Good)
Call it a ‘filler’, but at least it was a fun filler that served its purpose.

Posted on 12 May 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

Interesting episode, and I’m still surprised at how good the battles in this series are. This episode starts the offensive of Ayanami to get Teito out of that church, and while this episode only showed the beginning of his wave of attacks, he did immediately use Mikage’s sister for his plans. We still have no idea why the heck Mikage was released in the first place, though.

And with this episode it also becomes clear that Teito has hidden powers, but ah well, I guess that there was really no other way with him being exceptionally talented for a student, and everyone and his dog in the military having to go after him. Ayanami now also knows that there’s something really strong protecting Teito, so it’s going to be interesting to see what his next plans are going to be. Frau and the others can’t protect Teito forever, and while their weapons may be strong against ghouls, they’re going to have to face trained military artists now.

My prediction though, is that Teito is going to remain in the church just fine until at least episode 13, at which probably something major is going to happen. In the meantime, this show is doing a good job of fleshing out the characters and their strange customs. There’s an entirely different culture inside this church, and the light-hearted moments of this show have really allowed to show some interesting customs and rituals of what goes on inside the church. Because of the Ghosts, I can imagine how the church has managed to survive for ages without any influence from the outside, and so they really were able to explore what they found were important.

Rating: * (Good)
A bit clichéd, but nevertheless the fight rocked.

Posted on 5 May 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost

This episode seriously was one big question mark. Seriously, what the hell is going on!?

Things start fair enough: as Teito wanders around the church, he slowly regains his memory, and he turns out to be the prince of some country. A bit cliché, but that does of course explain why Ayanami’s bosses are so intent on getting the bugger back. It has potential.

But then, suddenly from out of nowhere, Mikage shows up. MIKAGE. Wasn’t the guy supposed to have his family killed off at the previous episode? Wasn’t he so determined to not betray Teito? What the heck is he doing free, and what’s more, how the heck did he find Teito? What’s more, we also see that Ayanami has finally found Teito’s location and because he can’t enter the church he’s resorted to stealth tactics, and yet based on his reactions, he was the one who sent the Ghoul in this episode, not Mikage (even Frau comments on how the Ghouls are targeting Teito), and yet at the same time Mikage knows that he’s not going to stay with Teito for much longer, so he definitely got to leave on a special condition, but what are his true intentions?

Agh! There are really so many questions that popped up in this episode and I’m really frustrated that none of them really was answered and yet I’m very curious to what the next episode has to offer, since it’s definitely going to shake things up a lot. And yeah, this episode really showed that the characters are gay (or at least bi), but in the end: who cares? There hardly has been any cheese so far, which is the biggest thing I’m concerned about.

Rating: * (Good)
Very intriguing episode that really makes you want to watch the next one; animation was rather buggy, though.


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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 10. 2015 09:32 PM)
    Good getting that quick glimpse into the three doctors backgrounds this week on black jack. An hyperdrama approach to be sure and with a weird outcome but it worked.
    I was glad to see utawerumono step up a bit this week but it really needs better animation. I guess by having those insect monsters as villains it beats the non-developed villains of the first one.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 10. 2015 01:08 AM)
    Although it looks like my final picks for the season are in, subete, garo, young black jack with me on the fence about utawerumono.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Oct 10. 2015 12:59 AM)
    Okay new garo you’ve got my attention as a violent action show, but you can go further than that. Also I can’t see these protaganists having the same charisma as Germain and Ema.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:09 AM)
    @Kaiser Sunny looks interesting but I’ll be honest, when I say Slice-of-Life I actually mean Cute-Girls-Doing-Cute-Things.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 02:07 AM)
    @Kaiser I actually haven’t seen Black Mass.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 9. 2015 12:57 AM)
    These new Batman shorts called ‘Batman of Shanghai’ are pretty awesome:
    Props to Wolf Smoke Studios for the style and execution. I think this borrowed a lot from the Studio 4°C segment of the Batman: Gotham Knight anthology series. I haven’t been this entertained by a Batman cartoon since the original Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 11:09 PM)
    I have to finish the world is mine someday…and read all of Yamamoto Naoki’s works, looks like some good obscure seinen there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:52 PM)
    @Realist: Slice of life fan, you’ll want to go off and read Taiyou matsumoto’s work, Sunny being one of them.
  • Kevin
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:50 PM)
    @ninjarealist Ha u that one nigga that jet lol nice way to sneak back, I missed you. Remember me?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 10:48 PM)
    @Realist: I imagine you will be seeing black mass?

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