Posted on 22 July 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



To answer the most burning question of this episode: yes, Claude was in it. No, he didn’t do anything. He only had two lines and most of this was another Ciel and Sebastian episode, though the next episode shows promise.

In any case, this episode was clearly inspired by Baccano. It really was a step into the right direction here, and I like the concept behind it, creating chaos inside a train full of interesting characters that has a hostage on it. I just don’t agree with the execution.

I think the biggest problem with this episode was that it was a Kuroshitsuji episode. This episode went through a lot of trouble to throw in as many characters as possible into this episode, but in the end they hardly amounted to anything here. There was a point at which everyone was getting pumped up on working together to free the hostage, but then Sebastian came and just god-moded everything back to normal. In fact, this is a problem that I’ve had with with every episode that has Sebastian in it: in theory it would kick ass to have an uber butler at your disposal (and Alois really showed this in episode 1), but if you’re going to use him in this way, a character like him just kills all of the build-up.

To me, this episode felt like it just introduced a lot of stuff for the heck of it. It was a fun episode because of this chaos, but the episode just felt too forced. At times, the direction also seemed to skip entire scenes without any proper transition. Train episodes like this can be done to great effects, though. Wild Arms for example had a particularly awesome one. This one however… it was too unbalanced.

Now, as for the main storyline, with Claude’s appearance (without Alois, interestingly enough), we got a few new hints as to what is going on. We really seem to be back in the past here, or either at the end of episode one we travelled into some kind of other dimension. My guess would be the latter, since I can assume that Ciel in the first season never really talked about this mysterious “spider”. At this point, the question most on my mind is how Claude knew that Ciel was looking for revenge.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 15 July 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



I tried. I really tried watching the first Kuroshitsuji series, but yet again I only got as far as episode two before it became too much of a chore to watch. Shallow, predictable, annoying, I really don’t want to watch more of it. I know that I don’t have the right to criticize the second season without having fully watched it… but I’m gonna do it anyway. Thanks to that first episode, I’m really willing to give it a chance. This show was advertised as that you could watch it even without having seen the first season, so the creators had better live up to that.

So, as for the most burning question: no, there were no Alois and Claude in this episode either. Again, this episode acted like nothing happened. My guess would be that this series is flashing back without announcing it, or something in that direction. Either that, or that mysterious spider hints that Claude was behind the incident of this episode, which if true would really suck because even for him it would make no sense.

This episode wasn’t as awful as episode two, but it still was pretty unimpressive. It showed another character who seems to be a recurrent one: that red haired guy with a chainsaw. I don’t like him, especially in the way that his voice actor continues to ham up his performance. This episode was a bit of a murder mystery thriller, in which someone is setting people on fire.

It all was pretty shallow, the culprit revealed herself pretty early, there wasn’t much attempt given at fleshing her out, so the creators just sent her into a maniacal killing spree without making her really interesting to watch. Her weapon (photographing people to death) was a nice idea, but that also was all it was: a nice idea. It’s neither used well nor would this episode have been any different if she just stabbed people with a knife.

For some weird reason, Tetsuya Endo turned out to be the episode director of this episode… which is strange because he should be working on Digimon Xros Wars. Either way, both here and with Digimon he’s not really showing his best side. This confirms to me that he really is one of those directors who needs good source material in order to really shine. I admit that you couldn’t do a lot with an episode that had a premise like this one.

Okay, so the original author said to give this series a chance until episode four or eight, so I will withhold judgment for now. But seriously, this series is going to have to become a lot better than this now. What I want to see are bold, new ideas executed well. The way that this series has been set up, it’s the perfect opportunity to try out new stuff, but instead it’s been stuck with ideas that it never uses. I mean, this is A-1: they’ve been doing nothing but that in 2010, despite a shaky production at times. I understand that Kuroshitsuji isn’t one of their main series, and that it’s really apparent that they are focusing on Occult Gakuin this season. I’ll be fine with the lackluster animation or the CG horses, as long as the storytelling tries out something interesting.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 8 July 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II



Okay, so in this season my method of choosing the series to blog is going to differ a bit from the previous season. In the past spring season, I was pretty much juggling with the series that I wasn’t too sure about, until I was happy with the series that I ended up with. This season I’m still going to cover twelve anime, meaning that I’ll pick up the seven most interesting new series. However, whenever they end up disappointing or too much of a chore to write about I just drop them so that I can get some extra time, watching some of the older series that I’ve been meaning to check out.

Because honestly, this episode was pretty terrible. The two new characters really were fantastic: Claude and Alois were incredibly fun to watch, and I really want to know more about them. That’s the reason I’m blogging this series. And this is also why I’m willing to try out this series as an experiment, without having watched season 1.

Because after this season, I really don’t want to watch more of Ciel and Sebastien than necessary. Together, they’re decent, but bland. The biggest problem however, is that their friends are all annoying stereotypes and especially Ciel’s fiance is just a complete moron without any personality. This episode also just made no sense, and lacked the attention to detail that made that first episode so good. A flood appears from nowhere. Instead of running away, the characters just stand there like it’s nothing. The fiance somehow finds it a good idea to climb on a boat. There is a dam to which water flows from both sides (how the hell does that work?) and after the flood is over, it really completely disappears. It leaves no marks, or scars to the landscape, conveniently for the plot of the episode like nothing even happened.

The first episode worked because it was so incredibly camp, yet well executed, creative and shocking. The servants were all well characterized and stuff. I’m glad to see that in this link, it becomes clear that Alois and Claude will form a big part of the second season, but it also seems a post that’s mostly focused on calming down the fans of Sebastian and Ciel, portraying them as the good guys.

This really has me worried, because good guys generally tend to get more airtime than bad guys. On top of that, I also really don’t hope that the OP is spoiling the entire plot of this series. Also, didn’t Ciel supposedly die at the end of the first season? Good luck in trying to write that into the series correctly…

Oh, and for those who were wondering: there was no iota of Claude and Alois in this episode.
Rating: — (Lacking)

Posted on 2 July 2010 with categories: Kuroshitsuji II, Some Quick First Impressions

Mitsudomoe

Short Synopsis: Our lead character has to teach a class containing three really annoying problem children.
Granted, some of the jokes in this episode really were terrible, but this still is a series that turned out better than I expected. I thought that this would be another one of those dull moe series like there are so many of this season, but it actually got a number of chuckles out of me. There are a ton of problems in this show, and some parts are just plain wrong, but I admire that in the genre of moe comedies, it attempts to do things a bit different by having cute girls make no attempts at acting likable. There are a TON of fanservice jokes in this series, but think of it this way: who didn’t at the age of ten make tons of stupid sex jokes that you didn’t understand? At the moment, some jokes worked and others didn’t, so this series still can go anywhere at this point. The biggest problem with this episode was its forced stupidity. The teachers are supposed to be the straight men in this series, but at times they fail their job at building suspense of disbelief. At a certain point the girls all asked the male teacher to pull down his pants, and he just obliged to that request without questioning it, just for the sake of a small penis joke. As a straight man, you should build up some sense of realism that can be broken by the comedic characters. This guy is unfortunately too bland for that, and his female teacher love interest is just entirely terrible.
OP: Obnoxious, yet somehow catchy.
ED: Hmm, works surprisingly well.
Potential: 45%%

Shukufuku no Campanella

Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a mind-numbingly boring git.
I… have nothing. Seriously. What was that? It’s these kinds of series that really give anime a bad name. I already suspected that this show would be bad, but the depths that this series would reach were even beyond my imagination. This series is just… unbelievable in how incredibly dull it ended up to be. The characters, the dialogue, everything seems so designed to sap any sort of energy out of its viewers. The characters, and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, become a goddamn chore to watch and listen to when they open their mouth. They just kept yapping and whining about the most pointless stuff, but the worst part was the way in which the creators seem really keen on reminding us viewer how incredibly beautiful the main cast is. Seriously, they just keep going on and on about that. The only way in which this show stands out is that girls can now get pregnant at the age of three. Worst show of the season BY FAR, this is pandering at its worst.
ED: Generic J-pop
Potential: -50%

Kuroshitsuji II

Short Synopsis: Our lead character has some sort of uber butler.
Okay, let me first explain how I went into this series: I have only seen the first episode of the original Kuroshitsuji, and I don’t really feel like checking it out at this point. The first episode felt too formulaic, it tried too hard to make Sebastien look cool and Ciel like a damsel in distress. It was too forced. However, with the new staff, new cast and new approach, I became interested in checking out the second season. And holy hell is it an improvement! I’m not sure whether I can watch or blog the rest of the series without knowledge of the first season, but nevertheless, this episode was wonderfully camp. The lead character here is an just crazy, and his butler here does things ten times crazier than what I saw in the first season. The scene especially between him and his maid was just…. WTF-worthy. And at the same time, the creators also managed to stuff in enough depth on the inner psyche of this kid, along with the weird relationship he has with his butler. It was wonderfully acted, it went over the top, yet it also had plenty of quiet and subtle moments that gave a ton of depth to these characters. Here’s definitely a big surprise this season.
OP: Standard J-rock, but very nice visuals.
ED: Nice ballad
Potential: 85%

Shoutbox

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  • Ebod
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 08:22 PM)
    V for Vendetta for me has always been a more “literary” work than Watchmen, but Watchmen is spectacular because it’s a story that can only be told in full scope in the comic format. While I feel like many major themes and events from V for Vendetta could easily be adapted into, say, novel format, the same could not be said of Watchmen. Also, the racist whitewashing Hollywood does of Asian characters really has to stop.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.

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