Posted on 30 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 12: I usually use Media Player Classic to watch episodes, but I watched Natsuiro Kiseki’s finale on Windows Media Player (on my crappy laptop I have experienced that it’s the best in terms of smoothness). Unknowingly I had the player settings stand on repeat. So yeah, I got quite a scare when suddenly the episode started looping, ESPECIALLY with this kind of episode. Apart from that, what can I say about it? Wonderful idea for a final episode and a really heart-warming finale. – ** (Excellent)

#2: Hunter X Hunter – 36: Yes, Madhouse: this is how you do action scenes. With lots of dynamic movements instead of frames that look like they have been directly copied and pasted from a manga. This episode did drag on a bit too much, but hey: this definitely is a start. Up next will be the arc that I found to be the single most boring of the 1999 series, so this is really where this show can make the difference. – ** (Excellent)

#3: Nazo no Kanojo X – 12: This episode yet again was chock-full of teenaged hormones, though they were used well. The tension between two lead characters is what makes this show fun, and this episode had more than plenty of that. – *+ (Great)

#4: Kimi to Boku – 25: Kimi to Boku goes with the “random episode”-ending, but it’s a fitting one: it’s about the future of the characters, it had a ton of Chizuru being annoying, and instead of being the most dramatic episode of the season it ended on a mellow, yet charming note. Well done. – *+ (Great)

#5: Jormungand – 12: So much for the interesting trio of last week. As for the other antagonists in this episode: the guy who killed off all of Valmet’s comrades was just another snarking bad guy who kept smiling even though all of his subordinates got killed. I know he’s a killer himself too, but wouldn’t he at least be annoyed or something? I like the guy with the many nicknames, though. That scene where we first see him with his family is exactly the thing that the other villains in this series lacked. Also, who did they get for that one great song that popped up in the middle of the episode? There is no way that that guy is Japanese. – *+ (Great)

#6: Sankarea – 12: Well, that was inconclusive… this episode definitely had its char in nothng happening, but having nothing happen also is a bit of a dwnside for an ending. I’m sure Studio Deen are going to milk this into a second season and all, but still this was a strange way to leave. – *+ (Great)

#7: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 25: Great to see that Poyopoyo seems to continue for another season. This episode perhaps tried a bit too hard with the slapstick, but it still had quite a few inventive jokes. – *+ (Great)

#8: Shirokuma Cafe – 13: Okay, so for episode 13, this series dedicates itself entirely on to Handa and the comedy takes a much less prominent role. I think that that’s one of the main issues with this series: it dabbles tooo long on one particular subject, because Handa already was a main focus of last episode, and this episode only established that he wants to date Sasako, yet can’t muster up the courage. This episode did have its charms with the Tanabata, though. Also, Mr Tortoise’s wish had me in stitches. – * (Good)

#9: Saint Seiya Omega – 13: The fight of this episode was boring in which the main cast had to take down some strange fly guy, but I do like that the creators at least went itno his motivation for being evil (being unhappy with Athena). Oh, and Aria finally did something. – * (Good)

#10: The Legend of Korra – 11 & 12: Ouch. Amon’s background was good and all, but the ending… that was not good. Not only was it a huge Deus ex Machina ending, but it also rendered so much of the earlier episodes useless. I really found the idea to take someone’s bending away forever a great idea and it’s part of what attracted me to this series. But yeah, as soon as Korra lost her bending it became obvious that the creators were trying to look for a way to cancel all of that. And really? By having a bunch of dead people show up from out of nowhere? – – (Disappointing)

Okay, now so to wrap things up:
Number of series consistently covered: 11
Series that made the number one spot in these rankings: Natsuiro Kiseki (4x), Another’s OVA, Kimi to Boku (1x), Legend of Korra (1x), Hunter X Hunter (1x), Nazo no Kanojo (1x), Shirokuma Cafe (1x).
Series with the highest average rankings: Natsuiro Kiseki, followed by Kimi to Boku, Legend of Korra, Nazo no Kanojo and on place 5 there is Shirokuma Cafe.
Series with the lowest average rankings: Saint Seiya Omega, followed by Sankarea and Medaka Box.
Biggest improvement: Hunter X Hunter’s latest episodes. Sankare and Medaka Box also improved.
The Best Week: Week 23; every series delivered there and there were many awesome episodes to be had.
Worst Week: Week 26; endings are hard to do really well.

My plans for the next season.
Overall, I really enjoyed these posts, so next season I’m going to do them as well. There are six series that look interesting enough to weekly blog. The rest of the series will be summarized in these Kaleidoscope posts. Now, there is only one thing: Phi Brain doesn’t deserve an entire post dedicated per week anymore after what it pulled for the past arcs, so that series will too be delegated to the Kaleidoscope serie. So what should I replace it with? I’m currently toying with a few too many ideas, so I need a bit of guidance.

What should I do next season?
  
Posted on 24 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Hunter X Hunter – 35: Holy crap! What happened here? Suddenly the fight animation has turned incredible. I was fearing that the creators would put the shading overdose with the Hisoka fight again, like what they’ve been doing many times now when he comes into the spotlight, but the movements were amazingly fluid and dynamic here. – **+ (Excellent+)

#2: Natsuiro Kiseki – 11: Again, this was very impressive. The audition scene in particular showed a completely different side of Yuka, but the rest of the cast also got its share in the spotlight. The rock will probably pull one more nasty trick, which is probably what the final episode will be about and on top of covering the audition, this episode also built up for that wonderfully. – ** (Excellent)

#3: Kimi to Boku – 24: The best romance this season doesn’t come from any romance shows, but instead of shows that happen to have romance in them. Kimi to Boku, I applaud you with such a subtle portrayal of Kaname’s romanc. The implied love triangle with the younger sister was a bit pointless, but Kaname and his romantic interest were really well acted. – ** (Excellent)

#4: Legend of Korra – 10: This episode was meant to show the character development, especially on Korra’s part, as well as starting up the actual climax of this “Book”. The action scenes were still good, even though not among the best, but the plot twist at the end was a big one and I like how far the creators went with that. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Jormungand – 11: The bad guys of this episode were better than usual. Their personalities combined together better than usual, and they were actually built up as a threat, rather than just some more cannon fodder for Koko&co. Valmet’s backstory also helped. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Shirokuma Cafe – 12:: An entire episode dedicated to trolling pandas. Oh dear god, Panda really was more sadistic than usual here to Hand, and yet it again had quite a few hilarious moments, the best probably being the point where they took over the zookeeper’s office. – ** (Excellent)

#7: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 24: Amidst random sketches about passing the time while it rains, this episode stood out because of that giant frog. After nearly two seasons, Poyopoyo can stil manage to find new ways to be adorable. – *+ (Great)

#8: Nazo no Kanojo X – 11: This episode was indeed better than expected considerng the build-up. The creators didn’t go into the corny love triangle route, but instead kept tihngs fresh. I do have a different complaint about this episode, though. Nazo no Kanojo is all about the subtle tease: saying a lot with relatively little fanservice. this episode was all “Screw that! Here are naked girls over and over! Let’s have wacky hijinks ensue when the male lead accidentally sees them!”. – * (Good)

#9: Sankarea – 11: I have no idea what to make of this episode. On one hand it had some really good partsand twists, it used a few anti-climaxes nicely and all. and on the other hand there was the really weird decision of the creators to randomly dress up Rea for no particular reason (not to mention the question how these maids managed to dress up Rea when she was in shackles and all), the incredibly silly tone after all that build-up, the return of the cousin with her really bad dialogue and the uncanny ability of the creators to focus on her boobs and ass whenever she appeared. Sankarea: you have potential. Why do you have to be so goddamn annoying as well? – @#*% (?!?)

#10: Saint Seiya Omega – 12: This was watchable fodder in which Kouga shows yet again that he’s the chosen one, though it was interesting to see some more back-story revealed of what I presume was the first season. In order to put the spotlights on the new cast, the creators had to pull some tricks here and there to get the old cast out of the picture, and yeah, I guess being defeated to the point of being crippled for life is a good option. – * (Good)

#11: Medaka Box – 12: And Medaka Box closes off with a return to the mundane “character of the week” routine while waiting for Medaka to heal and the new bad guys to arrive. It had some merits, like showing what the cast would do when the lead character is absent, but this isn’t really the kind of episode you’d want as a mid-season finale while waiting for that second season. And yeah, this one got a sequel. I didn’t expect it, but it does help, considering how little the first actully got done. – * (Good)

Posted on 16 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Shirokuma Cafe – 11: Polar Bear Cafe, you just surpassed yourself. The first half of this episode was just surreal, and pretty much was the funniest thing I’ve seen all season. I couldn’t stop laughing while watching it. – *** (Awesome)

#2: Medaka Box – 11: So yeah, this arc was completely different from the rest of the series, but it worked. It was so over the top, but at the same time it used the development of the first half of the series and I also liked how it toyed with the shounen conventions. I have no idea how this show plans to wrap itself up in just one episode, but still this was Shouji Saeki‘s best work as a director on a full series. I guess it really helped that he was both the director and the main adapter, because as flawed as this series is, it does have one thing: a big picture, and that can’t be said of every incomplete adaptation. – ** (Excellent)

#3: The Legend of Korra – 09: I’m not really fond of how the creators continue with the love triangle and all, but the second half of this episode took some really interesting twists and turns here. I like how there are many different parties who are up against each other here and it makes for a great plot. But what will this show do once everything is over? – ** (Excellent)

#4: Kimi to Boku – 23: This episode was about Mary, and as expected it got a lot of very neat character development in. What I didn’t expect was that the twins also got some unexpected character development; it was subtle, but definitely there. Both worked really well here. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san OVA – 03: Azazel-San’s latest OVA came out this week, and this one takes place directly after the TV-series. It’s 30 minutes long, with an OP that hints at many characters who haven’t appeared yet, so the creators are definitely planning more of these OVAs. This episode introduced Lucifer, a very narcissistic Koala, and the direction was in top shape all over this episode, with a creative direction and a lot of hilarious visual jokes. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 23: This was another one of those episodes in which the creators tried to cram as many different sketches into one episode as possible. people chatted, launched themselves, rode a bus, visited a movie, cleaned for spring, were bothered by lots of rain and… are these episodes really just 2 minutes long? – ** (Excellent)

#7: Sankarea – 00: A ton of shows are on hiatus this week, but Sankarea did have an OVA coming out. And really, I expected to be this pointless OVA of some sort, but it actually had a very clear point to it. It was a tad uneventful and that coincidence at the end was just unnecessary, but as an explanation behind the notebook, and therefore the concept behind the entire series, this was actually a pretty interesting use for a prequel OVA. – *+ (Great)

#8: Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou OVA – 01: So apparently Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou has DVD specials that contain extra sketches. This one was just two minutes long and was mostly just buiding up to one joke. And despite being rather corny, that joke made me laugh. – *+ (Great)

#9: Saint Seiya Omega – 11: At the very least: the stakes are now much higher and more interesting beyond high school tournaments. This episode was not as impressive as the previous two weeks, but still it had its merits. Just don’t let this drag on by again having one episode focus on a different cast member, because that’s getting really formulaic. – * (Good)

#10: Jormungand – 10: Hmm, this may have been me not paying attention, but was it explained how Koko was able t find that Balkan leader so easily? I’m still trying to puzzle out why this series leaves me relatively indifferent, even though its subject matter is pretty interesting. This episode also had interesting dogfights… but it all just goes too easily for out main cast. – * (Good)

#11: Nazo no Kanojo X – 10: This week… was building up to something really corny here. And I am not sure whether it’s smart to end the series with that, people. Childhood crushes are a dead horse by now so it was very tedious to see the writers use that to create a love triangle. It’s a good thing that Tsubaki and his “ex”-crush were well acted so they managed to save this episode with that, but this show will be ending in two weeks. This isn’t the time to introduce cliches. – * (Good)

#12: Kingdom – 02: Dear god, I can’t watch this series anymore. It’s one thing to be dramatic, but this was some of the most overblown melodrama I have seen in years. On top of that the script tends to repeat the obvious over and over. I unfortunately got my hopes up way too high for this one, and it’s definitely the biggest disappointment of 2012 so far. Dropped. – — (Bad)

Posted on 9 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: The Legend of Korra – 08: This episode caught me off-guard. Every time I thought “oh, they’re finished now”, it only got even better. This had it all: excellent action, it was full of emotion, it played with Korra’s hypocrisy and touchy politics. The best episode of this series yet, without a doubt. – *** (Awesome)

#2: Nazo no Kanojo X – 09: I already had a suspicion when the episode started up, and a quick look-up on ANN confirmed it: yes, Shigeyasu Yamauchi was behind this episode, and he really succeeded in making an already excellent adaptation even better. This episode was even more expressive than usual, and his camera-angles and different poses that focus on subtle movements really brought the characters to life here. – *** (Awesome)

#3: Saint Seiya Omega – 10: Okay… I was originally intending to drop this series; it still hadn’t caught my attention, but I figured that I might as well give it one more episode. And then this episode proceeded to surpass the entire series in every single way: better acting, better action, better music and better use of it, there is better character-development and the plot got a lot more interesting, not to mention that the drama also finally delivered. A quick look-up revealed that Rie Matsumoto was behind this episode, and it really shows. Keep an eye out for her, because she really is Toei’s latest rising star, and let’s hope that the next episode can keep up with this momentum. – *** (Awesome)

#4: Natsuiro Kiseki – 10: And with this, this series is back to its old level. The rock was at its trollish best again, and the entire episode was just based on a great idea with time travel. This one was all about youth memories, and a really creative way to show more about the cast when they were young. – **+ (Excellent+)

#5: Shirokuma Cafe – 10: A hilarious episode. It pretty much was the best use of Panda in the series so far. He is such a troll, and this episode had a ton of fun with that by having a group date with Handa of all people. Penguin also was priceless in this episode. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Kimi to Boku – 22: Very cute episode, again with great romance. Plus, having a graduation ceremony has been done many times before, but it is a great way for character-development. – ** (Excellent)

#7: Sankarea – 10: This series really is trying to get its basics right: background, background and more background. This is the third episode that just takes one of the members of the cast and devotes the majority of its time to show her background and her issues, this time it was the mother’s turn. And really: this was good. It showed who she is, why she is with that asshole of a father and how she changed over the years. Plus: none of the annoying characters made an appearance! Or at least a conscious one. – ** (Excellent)

#8: Medaka Box – 10: And we’re over nine thousand here with Medaka Box. This episode was not as creative as last week, but the change of tone really is apparent here and I like how the creators pulled all of the plugs, while still remaining consistent in the themes it explores. – *+ (Great)

#9: Jormungand – 09: An episode of contrast. It worked very nicely, with the combination of an escort mission giving a new dynamic to this series, while on the other side the small moments take enough time for the characterization of the main cast. The fanservice was annoying though, and this series chronically ignores to give any sort of interesting background or touches to the villains beyond the basics. – *+ (Great)

#10: Hunter X Hunter – 34: That one scene with the electricity: that’s where the animators finally loosened up a bit, and there were other scenes during Killua’s fight that finally had a direction that didn’t seem like it was pasted from manga-panels. The rest of this episode had plenty of those shots, but it’s definitely good to have a start here. What I also appreciate is that the creators bothered to fully let this arc play out, even though that meant having a few repetitive fights. – *+ (Great)

#11: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 22: This week’s episode was a cute story about a crow. Nothing stand-out hilarious for this series’ standards, but it remained very cute. – *+ (Great)

NB. Yes, Poyopoyo is actually last this week. What that means is that pretty much every series on this list delivered and was really enjoyable to watch, and I have very little to bitch about. That’s the great thing about this season: the huge quantity of series worth watching.

NB2. Overall, I’m really enjoying doing these rankings each week with short summaries. I’ll probably do this next season as well.

Posted on 3 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Another – 00: I don’t feel like writing an entire entry about Another’s OVA, but I do want to say: this is how a prequel OVA should be done. If you liked Another’s quiet moments, then this is a great recommendation because it adds a lot to Mei’s character here. The suspense build-up also was really well done, and the shout-out at the end of the episode was a very nice touch as well. Excellent way to close off this series. – **+ (Excellent+)

#2: Medaka Box – 09: Now this is more like it. Finally stuff happens, and I like the new direction. The action scenes finally delivered, and I really like how the different weapons and moves used poked fun at shounen conventions. Will this be enough considering there are only three or four episodes left, though? – ** (Excellent)

#3: Nazo no Kanojo X – 08: Lots of teenaged hormones running rampant this week, but they were done with such restraint that the tension really got addictive. Usually boob touching is completely and utterly shallow and just for the sake of fanservice , but here it played a huge role in pushing the main couple closer to each other. – ** (Excellent)

#4: Jormungand – 08: One of the best Jormungand episodes so far. They came with an interesting character for Koko to face, it used its politics nicely and some more side-characters got fleshed out. Let’s hope that the next episodes will also be like this. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 21: What’s so amazing about this show is how easily it is to relate to these characters. This episode was a wonderful example of highlighting all sorts of different habits that pet owners have, and I don’t even have pets. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Shirokuma Cafe – 09: The first half of this episode was boring. The problem with Rin Rin is that he’s just an over the top stereotype, and focusing more on his characters just exposes his flaws. The second half though had Penguin and Polar Bear both in their best element. – *+ (Great)

#7: Hunter X Hunter – 33: Getting back to the explanations: so first we have an actual match in which some of the powers are explained. Then we have the aftermath in which Hisoka explains his powers. And now we get even more explanations as Gon and Killua also have to figure out what’s going on. Just weave that into one; it’s not really a major fight that deserves so much airtime. The end of the episode though. That was quite good. I’m still not a fan of how this series prefers shading over actual animation during the really heavy standout parts, but finally Killua showed off something new. – *+ (Great)

#8: Saint Seiya Omega – 09: Things are finally getting excited. The problem with the first episodes was that the fights lacked impact. Here though, they were interesting to watch and exciting as they were intended. The animation still has miles to go before it can reach Heartcatch Precure and Casshern’s levels, though. – *+ (Great)

#9: Sankarea – 09: An episode entirely dedicated to the sister. Okay. Surprisingly, this resulted in all of the annoying characters being completely absent, and resulted in a much more bearable episode. It was a kindof touching episode. On a side-note: Sankarea is stating to turn into a pet, rather than a human being. She needs to do things for herself as well. – *+ (Great)

#10: Natsuiero Kiseki – 09: This is a strange week: the boring series surpass themselves, while the usually strong series have a week off. The problem with this week’s episode of Natsuiro Kiseki was that it was too forced, but in a bad way. Some parts that would be really surprising are just slided off for the sake of convenience. The biggest example was the end of the episode: when a naked girl just randomly appears, it should be a huge shock, but the two girls here seem to have forgotten about that mere seconds afterwards. Not to mention the bad boob jokes. – * (Good)

#11: Kimi to Boku – 21: Hmm, this was the weakest episode of the second season. I’m not really a fan of the “let’s see how much trouble the characters can work themselves into”-storylines, especially when they involve slapstick, and it was too forced. Better luck next time. – (Enjoyable)

Posted on 26 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 08: I love travelling series, and this episode captured that perfectly. Trips are fun and all, but getting there is very often underestimated. As much as I like the direction Kimi to Boku turned into, in the end I do like Natsuiro Kiseki better, because it accomplished the same thing, while needing half of that airtime. – **+ (Excellent+)

#2: Kimi to Boku – 20: This time it’s the turn for Shu’s brother. As annoying as he was in the other episode he was featured in, as charming he was here. Seriously, that was some good romance there, especially for a guy with as little airtime as him. – **+ (Excellent+)

#3: The Legend of Korra – 07: By far the lest interesting part of the Legend of Korra is its romance, but that really got a push into the right direction with this episode when everyone finally seems to drop all of the tension. Aside from that, once again the action was great and I indeed saw confirmed that I’ve been suspecting all along now. – ** (Excellent)

#4: Nazo no Kanojo X – 07: The male lead’s big flaw is that he is very unremarkable. There is one point at which he sets himself apart from his counterparts though: the way he reacts to his girlfriend. Add that to a played down performance that isn’t trying too hard, and you’ve got a male romance lead that I really don’t mind watching. Nevertheless though, the female characters in this series remain the better ones. – ** (Excellent)

#5: Shirokuma Cafe – 08: A grizzly bear, a polar bear and a panda go fishing. I never imagined that they’d actually make an anime out of that. That bird in the first half of this episode was also hilarious, not to mention Shirokuma’s past. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Jormungand – 07: Nice episode, especially in terms of the gunfight. Koko’s date was a bit anticlimactic, though, but this show is steadily making its cast more interesting. – *+ (Great)

#7: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 20: The thing with this series is, that the entire cast is just fun to watch. It’s not just Poyopoyo, but the brother and sister tht own him are well acted and just as fun as he is, if not even more. – *+ (Great)

#8: Hunter X Hunter – 32: This is one fights which was done completely different when compared to the 1999 series. Overall, I prefer the waythe 1999 version did it, for one main reason: this episode went overboard with the explanations. It just went on and on with guiding us through every step in the ultimately brief fight. At times it also felt like the characters were talking to the audience, rather than each other. It’s a shame, because with the right execution the creators could really have done some impressive stuff here. Also, I disagree that my arguments can be dismissed because “this is a shounen series”. Genre conventions are guidelines. Be bold! Screw conventions! Break them! Hunter X Hunter is the perfect series to do that with! – * (Good)

#9: Saint Seiya Omega – 08: Okay, so apparently I dropped this show right at the wrong time: stuff actually happened here. I admit that the golden saint is interesting, but this episode did not fix the character issues I have in that they’re just too bland and uninteresting. That gold saint was one of the best characters so far for a reason. – * (Good)

#10: Sankarea – 08: There is one thing I am really struggling with with this series: it has parts that are really good. But it’s completely boring during the rest of its time. Now, will it get better/ Knowing Studio Deen, they will milk this show into a second season, but even thhen this is a manga adaptation where a lot of focus will be on how they handle the ending.This episode was already dragged out, despite the good bits at the end of it. – (Enjoyable)

#11: Medaka Box – 08: You know, it’s nice and all that the genre shift is about to begin now… but this show will be over in four weeks. Yeah, it’s only a 1-cour series. So yeah, in the meantime we have another dull episode about some random police officer who takes het job way too seriously. Also, if she didn’t have another uniform, what happened to the one she was going to make Medaka wear? – - (Disappointing)

Posted on 18 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Kimi to Boku – 19: Are Japanese girls really so weak that they faint if you so little as even bump on them? I know she was tired and all, but these girls have health issues… Anyway, I digress. An amazing episode with the love triangle finally moving somewhere. Chizuru in particular changed significantly. He’s the type of character who often gets done wrong, with some horrible results. With this though, he really redeemed himself. – *** (Awesome)

#2: The Legend of Korra – 06: This series has also just surpassed itself this week. Really good action scenes, and the creators just keep building further upon Korra’s naivety. I really like how this series is set to subvert a number of often-used fantasy cliches. – **+ (Excellent+)

#3: AKB0048 – 03: I do not have time right now so I’m going to delay deciding whether or not to blog this, and how on earth I’m going to fit this into my schedule, for one more week. But seriously, what the hell did I watch here? Yet again enough proof that the creators know what they’re doing here: this show glorifies idols, but this episode also showed the uglier side of this bizarre premise. Especially Mari Okada was on fire on this episode: this was full of emotion, yet not as extreme as with Black Rock Shooter. – **+ (Excellent+)

#4: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 19: Oh my god, this was one of the best episodes yet. The sketch where Poyopoyo gets caught in quick drying cement was priceless. I was wondering why there were less jokes than usual, but the build-up was totally worth it. – **+ (Excellent+)

#5: Natsuiro Kiseki – 07: I hate the idol business in Japan. So why are the idol themed series so damn good? A thoughtful episode that highlighted the layers of the different characters and how they feel about the rock. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Nazo no Kanojo X – 06: That’s some impressive romantic tension you’ve got there, Nazo na Kanojo X. Nice aversion of the love triangle, and a very good potrayal of Tsubaki’s insecureties that make him less bland as a character. – ** (Excellent)

#7: Shirokuma Cafe – 07: Polar Bear is without a doubt my favorite character of this sereis. His deadpan humour in this episode especially was just hysterical. And that while the premises of each episode remain absolutely corny. – ** (Excellent)

#8: Hunter X Hunter – 31: “Let me drag out this fight by holding long monologues in order to explain you exactly how my powers work, giving you plenty of hints on how to stop me!” – This is exactly why I dislike the shounen genre dammit! The pacing keeps slowing down here! – * (Good)

#9: Jormungand – 06: I’m still missing something with this series. I mean, the backdrop of Africa is good, it’s nice to see the characters getting fleshed out and slowly reveal their pasts and the diplomacy is also nice, but I don’t know. The charcters still feel too one-sided and stereotypical. – * (Good)

#10: Medaka Box – 07: This was Medaka Box’s worst episode so far. Dull and forced fanservice, bland premise about art and a forced way to flesh out that new council member. Also I hate how creators can’t think of any light-hearted way to open a scene, so just go for the “walking into changing”-scene. Why has this turned into a default scene to use? – - (Disappointing)

#11: Sankarea – 07: Seriously? An entire episode dedicated to that cousin? With no scene of Rea whatsoever? And it only reaffirms her character as “I like the main character”, with nothing beyond that? Come on, Sankarea, weren’t you supposed to be this romance with creative twists? – - (Disappointing)

#12: Saint Seiya Omega – 07: I’m dropping this series. It has consistently ranked last amongst these rankings, and it got me thinking: what did it really offer in the past seven episodes? Nothing stood out, it was just a bunch of random hot blooded fights without much soul to them. There are too many other gret series this season for this. – - (Disappointing)

Posted on 12 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 06: Brilliant characterization! Developing the same character in two different ways, based on a simple whim. This show just keeps getting better! – *** (Awesome)
#2: AKB0048 – 02: I have been asked very persistently by a certain someone whether or not I’m going to blog this series. I’m going to withhold that answer for next week, though. Why? Because I want to know what happens next. The intro is done, and what now? Will this turn into yet another boring school series like so many series with promising first episodes have done (lookin’ at you, Saint Seiya…), or will it evolve with the promise of these first two episodes? So far it’s good stuff, though. – ** (Excellent)
#3: Nazo no Kanojo X – 05: This episode again contained that mysterious charm that this sereis has with its bizarre fanservice, even though it was a beach episode. It was restrained, and very nicely played with that. Now if only the male lead were a bit less bland. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Jormungand – 05: Interesting back-story arc with the addition of Koko’s brother here. Good to see Jonah’s backstory earlier. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Kimi to Boku – 18: Aw, what a cute little romance. Naturally this only blossomed after one of the two had to move away, so that’s a bummer, though. – *+ (Great)
#6: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 18: This has to be the most tsundere cat I have ever seen. This episode really shined in how it managed to emote the different cats here. – *+ (Great)
#7: Hunter X Hunter – 30: The fight was boring with again unimpressive animation, attack names and weird musical choices. The aftermath however was surprisingly dark, and actually done better than the first season. Also YES! Kurapika’s arc has started! One detail that I think the 1999 series did better there is that we saw things from Kurapica’s perspective there: when Nen was used, we didn’t see anything. – *+ (Great)
#8: Shirokuma Cafe – 06: This episode had too much panda. the charm of this series is that all of the other characters are hilarious too. Although the punchline at the end of the episode was as hilarious as usual. Why the village people of all things? – *+ (Great)
#9: Medaka Box – 06: Well, this episode did stand out by subverting its own cliches a bit, but I don’t know… it still feels so forced for some reason. – * (Good)
#10: The Legend of Korra – 05: So the only way they decided to spice up the tournament arc was with having a very menacing and egotistical end boss and a lot of yelling for romantic reasons. Not the most interesting episode. – * (Good)
#11: Sankarea – 06: Agh, this show is frustrating! On one hand it’s well acted and written. But the attempts at comedy are so cringe-worthy. It’s also that grandfather who tries way too hard at being funny, resulting in especially the first half of this episode to turn into a chore to sit through bad jokes. – (Enjoyable)
#12: Saint Seiya Omega – 06: You know, the more I’m watching this series, the more I’m convinced that it doesn’t really look all that good. You can have a great character-designer, but even those designs look rather ugly if you don’t use it. – (Enjoyable)

Posted on 5 May 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Natsuiro Kiseki – 05: What a completely adorable episode. The characters just continue to grow here. even though there was no stone today, this was one of the best depictions of a cold in a long while. – **+ (Excellent+)
#2: Shirokuma Cafe: I don’t get it. Some of the jokes in this seris are horribly predictable. This episode again had all kinds of animals suggest bizarre dishes around their favorite food, and Shirokuma’s bad puns. And yet it’s hilarious and so refreshing to watch. The punchline to the parfait fair also was delightful. – ** (Excellent)
#3: The Legend of Korra – 04: Cheesy romance aside, this is the first time I’ve been impressed by this series. The creators used Korra’s brashness in an excellent way here in combinatiton with the politics. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Kimi to Boku – 17: This episode played up Chizuru’s annoyance to the max again, but I’m not bothered by that as much as I used to. Again this episode was really charming and simple. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Sankarea – 05: Very torn on this episode. It would have been #1 if it wasn’t for that annoying cousin. Excellent build-up and pay-off, although I do wonder whether turning zombies in assaulters was the right decision. – ** (Excellent)
#6: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 17: I’m still amazed at how short this series is: not including the OP and ending screen, its episodes are only two minutes and ten seconds long. This episode had 6 different sketches in just that time-frame. All of them were fun. – ** (Excellent)
#7: Jormungand – 04: Good episode for Koko as finally her character was a bit more rounded. Also, “I am an American! I have blond hair, I work for the CIA and I am an asshole!” – *+ (Great)
#8: Nazo no Kanojo X – 04: A bit of a step down compared to last weeks, mostly because the saliva is starting to lose its gimmick, but nevertheless that girl whose name I’ve forgotten had some nice moments together with Urabe. – *+ (Great)
#9: Medaka Box – 05: I noticed that Medaka is often able to hold the higher moral ground, solely because she’s so ungodly good at everything. Will this get used later? Also Gainax, there are times where a slideshow is good, but there are also times where a slide-show is just lazy. For a Gainax series I am surprised how actually mediocre the action in this series is. – * (Good)
#10: Hunter X Hunter – 29: Uh, Hunter X Hunter… are you serious in this? Do you really intend to have people call out the names of their attacks, accompanied by huge letters? Is that your idea of how to best represent Nen? – * (Good)
#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 05: Is the entire series going to be about training and people being hot blooded? – (Enjoyable)

Posted on 29 April 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: Nazo na Kanojo X – 03: What sets the soundtrack of this series on top of all of the others is hard to describe, but that one track it has that it always plays at the episode climaxes brings out a ton of emotion. – ** (Excellent)
#2: Natsuiro Kiseki – 04: That rock is very cruel: toying with the wishes of teenaged girls, and giving them a big middle finger when they try to fix it. Nevertheless though, this episode once again had some really good character development. I also really like how well this show uses the fact that some of its characters are athletic, while others aren’t. – ** (Excellent)
#3: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 16: I love how the creators are able to take everyday situations, throw a bit of sadism into them, and make them fun. That Civet cat in particularly worked well with that in this episode. – ** (Excellent)
#4: Shirokuma Cafe – 04: You know I could complain about how Panda was annoying again and all. But they actually showed the polar bear driving a car this episode! The drive-through part in particular was awesome. It’s very hard to correctly explain why this series is so good to someone who has never seen it, though. – ** (Excellent)
#5: Kimi to Boku – 17: This episode was about the twins. Quite refreshing to see the blond kid completely gone. Quite heart-warming to see some of the conflicts between them. – *+ (Great)
#6: Jormungand: The crazy obsessive lesbian is a trope that seriously needs to die. What’s wrong with having just a regular lesbian on the cast? I did like the tension that the boy soldier created in this episode, though. – * (Good)
#7: The Legend of Korra – 03: Very good fight scenes, and the real introduction of the resistance holds potential, but the amount of cliches in the first half was a bit annoying, and this show has this “Saturday Morning Cartoon’-feel to it. – * (Good)
#8: Hunter X Hunter – 28: It’s finally time for the introduction of Nen, the single best power system of any shounen out there. And it lacks a bit of subtlety here. The creators just send waves of random CG without much variation to Gon and Killua. At the very least, comparing the old and new version with each other has given me a new appreciation for how well the 1999 version was made, regardless of how accurate it may have been to the manga. – * (Good)
#9: Medaka Box: If a character is good or bad at handwriting: SHOW this. Don’t just have random characters claim this. Don’t tell me that your animators only know how to do flashy action-scenes, Gainax. – (Enjoyable)
#10: Sankarea – 04: Very annoying episode with lots of cliches. Especially that cousin and those classmates are not interesting to watch at all, not to mention that the creators actually went for a “walking into the shower scene”. this episode was saved by Rea’s changes and development.
#11: Saint Seiya Omega – 04: Rather boring training episode with generic RPG element explanation. – (Enjoyable)

Introducing this season’s Kaleidoscope. I like to experiment with these things, as it’s the perfect format to try out different stuff. This time, because there are so many series that stand out, I’m going to do a ranking: from best to worst, the episodes that caught my attention the most each week of all of the series that I’m not fully blogging, followed by a small blurb for each series (blurbs can also just be “unimpressive”, otherwise it would just take up too much time for some shows). This way I can also share my thoughts of Hunter X Hunter, without having to dedicate an entire entry to it (although I will remove it from this list as soon as the Hunter X Hunter fanbase arrives again and starts telling me how I should enjoy my series…).

Every week on Sunday I will post a new entry for this Kaleidoscope, with weeks beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday this time. I usually try to have weeks start on Monday, but this is much more convenient because nothing airs on Friday and Saturday, allowing me time to catch up (not to mention the ungodly amounts of series that air all at the same time on Sunday, on top of me being very busy on most Sundays with this thing called real life), and I’ll update this entry as the week goes along.

Also, as for the series that didn’t make the cut (meaning the series that I’m not going to watch this season):
Arashi no Yoru ni ultimately isn’t worth it. It’s overacted and I’ve already seen the story before.
Accel World has some potential, but it doesn’t have any interesting characters whatsoever, not to mention that it’s got a pretty dull and annoying male lead.
Tasogare Otome Amnesia has really bad acting. Plus, the girl turns round and the guy immediately goes for her boob. Now that’s bad fanservice that needs to die.
Kuroko no Basuke, I don’t think that it can really improve beyond what it has shown here. It’s still a jump series full of shounen powers, and it will probably follow a very constraining format. It in any case doesn’t live up to the standard that sports series have set in the past.
– I actually enjoyed the first two episodes of Saki. However, that got me thinking: the reason I enjoyed them so much, and why I actually managed to finish the first Saki, is because there were no Mahjong battles. I’m bailing out while I still can, because those mahjong matches in the first season were just an insult.
Shining Hearts needs more ambition. The characterization isn’t good enough to make this a good slice of life series, and for an adventure it just goes nowhere with an entire episode being dedicated to… a nasty storm.
Acchi Kocchi fails for me as a slice of life due to its annoying characters.
Kuromajo-San ga Tooru also lacks ambition and is just too dull.
– And then there are comedies like Gon, Haiyore, Zombie and Jewel Pet, which just aren’t funny enough to warrant a watch.

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  • Friend
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 05:54 AM)
    The more I use it, the less appealing Deviantart becomes. I’ve only been using it for 6 months and I have some problems with the community at large. I don’t mix well, basically :-/ I think I’ll start posting my art in other places, like Google+.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 05:03 AM)
    Oh right it’s Halloween….I completely forgot.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 03:43 AM)
    @Bam And Happy Halloween to you as well.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Emma Wish I could tell you more.
    @Bam I’m going to engage in copious sitting in my room and sleeping because I had a bear of a day at work. Left some fruit-flavored corn sryup snacks on the porch for the kids.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 03:22 AM)
    Happy Hallows’ Eve everybody! Go engage in copious debauchery of the highest order, but just remember to make it back alive ;)
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:56 AM)
    @Realist: =< Ah I see, was asking around just in case it was worth watching.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:42 AM)
    @Emma I haven’t seen that one, no.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:25 AM)
    @Realist: Have you seen only lovers left alive by Jim Jarmusch?
  • afgm
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 02:05 AM)
    @Syndrom: Don’t strat too hard…
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Nov 1. 2014 01:00 AM)
    @Emma Very true. But a lot of people don’t realize or acknowledge that.

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