Posted on 1 October 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Dantalian no Shoka – 12
Well, that was a bit of an anti-climax… this show ends with the three main libraries… sortof meeting. Again, it’s the “let’s hope for the second season that’s most likely never going to come”-episode. The atmosphere was nice, but Huey’s near-death felt shallow to me, and in fact this episode didn’t really amount to anything, as I never really got what Dalian’s alter ego was supposed to be. At the beginning of this series I praised this series for Dalian and Huey having a solid chemistry where they both were equal to each other, compared to Gosick and Kamimemo. But here’s the thing: they never changed, making them end up the worst couple of the three. Is it also the worst series of the three? That’s something that I won’t say. Its individual stories were great enough to make up for that.

In any case, this marks the end of my Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope. It was an interesting experiment, though I won’t be doing a kaleidoscope for the upcoming Autumn season. At this point I’ve got 7 shows that I’m pretty sure of that I’m going to blog, while I’m still heavily debating about the final three,
Rating: * (Good)

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji
This was a very bizarre ending in which especially Kaiji himself went completely out of character. I mean it had it coming that he’d get screwed over, but he started acting like a complete saint here, only to blow all of the money he had left on pachinko. This episode showed that over the course of 50 episode… he hasn’t really learned anything. Also, here’s the thing about manly tears: they work well when well timed. These past few episodes have been nothing but grown men crying over and over. I mean, show some restraint, people! At least the first season had a great ending, but this just felt weird.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Kamisama Dolls – 13
This ending was better than I expected. Instead of going with some cheesy fight, this was almost immediately resolved and instead the entire episode focused on Kyouhei. Much more interesting to close this show off, even though the story is nowhere near finished. I know that the end of this episode hinted at a second season, but I’m not going to buy it until I see an actual confirmation of that. There have been too many series that pulled the same, and yet never came with a sequel. Overall when you look at the series that Seiji Kishi directed, this probably is my second favourite, after Angel Beats. Kamisama Dolls however has shown that he is growing as a director, because even though Angel Beats had a much better plot (hey, I liked it!), Kamisama Dolls felt more balanced than his previous series: it had the right formula of comedy, action, drama and romance smashed together in 13 episodes, which made it very entertaining. Still. For god’s sake stop making people run into a romantic confession. That poor horse is already dead enough!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 21 September 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukinai – 00
I’m not going to put this on first impressions because it clearly was intended as just an appetizer, is just 10 minutes long and was not the start of this show at all, but I do want to share a few impressions of it. In the end, this one turned out to be an abusive harem. You know, the kind where the male lead still is surrounded by girls, girls and nothing but girls, but instead of your regular harem this show thrives on abuse. The big twist is that the females suffer just as much for a change, rather than just have everyone tsundere on the male lead. This episode had a nice sense of irony about it, but it’s going to be very hard for this show to escape its harem roots once it fully starts, especially with so much competition. These are the kinds of twists you can’t keep pulling forever.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

The World God Only Knows OVA
Yeah, I was completely fed up with this series, though after having been told that this OVA would contain some interesting developments I did give in at the end. And yeah, I guess that this episode contained an interesting twist… that is completely pointless to end the series with. You need another season with that, but I do not think that I can bear to sit through another season of this thing. This episode was fairly tolerable because three of its core characters were some of the best characters in the series (including that random side-character who popped up). Elcie however still is a huge pain to watch. Being a moron is one thing, of course, but this girl feels like she had her head lobotomized. I do not want to watch anything of her anymore. Please someone tell me that she gets better quickly!

The musical parts of this episode also were really bad. The OP in particular was just horrid, and also don’t ask me why studying on English automatically improves your musical abilities? I mean, their song at the end wasn’t exactly good, but it still was miles better than their first attempts. That’s the problem with just about every musical performances in anime: the creators just slap some random J-pop tune behind it and expect them to make sense, while instead this nearly always just turns everyone out of character and inserts random instruments that just aren’t there.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – 25
God dammit Kaiji, you’re still not done yet? Ah well, at least the pachinko arc is over, but to use the old man like that… I am not looking forward to it. Overall the ending of the pachinko arc just felt underwhelming due to how ridiculously dragged out it was. Even this episode was full of pointless symbolism, endless monologues, and other ways to just randomly stall time. Seriously Kaiji: there have been plenty of series that took up just 20 episodes. It has been done before. This isn’t an issue about production or budget anymore because if this series was shorter it would actually flow much better AND be a lot cheaper to make.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Kamisama Dolls – 12
Oh thank god. I could have sworn that this show only had 12 episodes, but thankfully it got one extra, which was very welcome in terms of timing. I was really afraid that the creators would make Hibino’s near-rape the climax of the series, but this episode thankfully restored itself by focusing on Kyouhei. The way they used Hibino was a bit boring, but at this point that pretty much is the only way for him to really unleash his inner beast, so I understand why the creators did it. The whole Kyouhei vs. Village was quite well developed in this episode, but the problem is that the rest of the cast feels half-hearted and unfinished.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 17 September 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Blade – 12
This episode had the single best action scene of the entire Blade series. How’s that for an excellent conclusion? Seriously, I’m really glad to see that this one closed off with a good ending, and it was everything it needed to be: exciting, action-packed and conclusive. the scene in the air where Eric and Deacon Frost are both falling in particular stands out as creative, and an excellent climax to the series. This really made up for the cop-out finale of the X-Men.

What’s even more interesting here is that this episode seemed very similar to the ending of No.6, but instead here everything was done right. A huge building was blown up, but half the series had actually been preparing for that moment, making use of the huge weakness of the Vampires, the Sun. There was an actual climax in which the characters share a few words, and then move on, rather than just leave without any random explanation.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Sacred Seven – 12
Well, at least I got a good laugh out of it. If the rest of the episodes would have been like this, at least it would have been a lot more entertaining. Don’t get me wrong though this was hilariously bad. The ridiculously over the top villain was more funny than threatening (Doors?! We don’t need no stinkin’ doors!), but the way in which the creators also randomly decided to just kill him and let Faye be the final villain also made no sense whatsoever. And yes, because of that we got a “talking the monster to death”-ending. What also struck my mind was how hilariously silly the new monster designs were. I mean, were the creators really serious with Knight’s “costume”? And what was up with that green teddy bear or the face of the main villain? Also, this show took “human shield” a little too literal here.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Usagi Drop – 11
Aand like expected… this show just ends. The big climax is Rin losing two teeth. I get the symbolism, but I still would have preferred it if the creators also showed the growing up parts. I know that the ending of the manga is rumoured to be terrible, but you can rewrite or completely ignore that. Right now, this does feel a bit incomplete, even though this series probably had the easiest task out of all the series that I’m currently watching to create a good ending. Standalone though, this episode again was as good as usual. I especially liked how the adults ended with themes about giving up your entire life for your children. That was a very good climax for this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 11 September 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope




Sacred Seven – 11
Ah whatever. With this, at least this series entertained me like it should have done at the beginning. Finally this show just said “screw it”, and realized that it wasn’t going anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, this was bad. It pulled all sorts of ridiculous twists out of its ass and all, but for once it was action packed, like it should have been from the beginning. The main villain also reached the “so bad he’s good” territory here. His performance was ridiculously hammy, but that was far better compared to how ludicrously boring he was throughout the rest of the series.
Rating: * (Good)

Dantalian no Shoka – 09
Awesome! Three episodes in one week are experimenting with a new style, visual and direction. What a timing! This episode looked amazing, with its washed out colours, and it had a great premise behind it. Probably one of the best episodes so far. And the best thing is that we’re not even done yet. Keep an eye out for episode eleven: Osamu Kobayashi is going to return again. That should be completely awesome!
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Blade – 11
Yeah, Makoto is the best female companion out of all of the marvel series. She was much more than just a token female, and she actually got something out of Blade, and made him a different person. There was no attempt to make her as obnoxious as possible, nor was there any attempt to try to get her hog fall of the screen-time in favour of the main cast. This was balance. Now, as for the final episode, I really wonder how it’s going to fare. Iron Man’s ending was abysmal, and the ending of the X-Men significantly lowered my opinion of it, while Wolverine’s ending did about the opposite. Where oh where will Blade place itself?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Sket Dance – 23
Anime needs to be more experimental and we need to see more episodes that toy with their animation style. Because of that, this week really delivered here. First we had Penguin Drum, but also Sket dance actually tried to shade their characters smoothly, plus throwing in all sorts of interesting visuals in the background. It was a bit of a silly episode, but it worked surprisingly well. It in any case was much better than the first kid episode, which was a bit annoying. Bossun’s frenetic energy worked well here though.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Appleseed XIII – 02
This episode was actually surprisingly interesting. It was based around an interesting premise, and the dialogue of most of the characters was well written. The dogfights in the air were also quite interesting to watch, and the background music turned out to be excellent. It’s got its flaws, though. First of all, with a huge plane being jacked, the only people who are sent in to take care of it are two people on a holiday. That’s some serious understaffing if you ask me. Also, most of the cast is well acted, but Deunan is trying too hard. At this point I can’t blame it on her period anymore.
Rating: * (Good)

Kamisama Dolls – 10
You know, the thing about insane characters is that you can always try too hard. That made the first half of this episode amongst the most cringe-worthy parts I’ve seen of this series. The second half however got back on track thankfully. Overall I like how just the introduction of two characters answers a ton of questions that have been lingering since the first episode, and at the very least the creators did well and immediately got it on with that psycho girl’s background. It redeemed her a lot. The animation was also gorgeous, although it’s a bit of a pity of the CG.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 3 September 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope






Okay, so I’m finally starting to feel a bit better. Due to that cold of mine I just had enough enerty to keep up with the series that I’m blogging, although even there I probably said quite a number of tactless things. In any case the result of that, combined with how busy I’ve been lately left me with a huge backlog of different series that I still have to get through.

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – 48
Like expected, the creators really wrap up the tension here and this was an incredibly nerve-wrecking episode, but god dammit, they’re still not done yet?! There still are four episodes of this thing left before either that ball goes in or Kaiji loses? Holy crap!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Blade – 10
Holy crap! This actually was by far the best episode out of all of the Marvel series combined (and yes, I’ve seen all of them). Out of nowhere, the series came with even more background: that of Deacon Frost, and it was actually really good! With this, it definitely has the best villain out of all the Marvel series, and the last part of this episode also showed that it has the best female sidekick out of them. Heck, just about the only parts where this doesn’t overshadow the others at this point is the animation (X-Men did that better) and the action itself (which was done better in Wolverine and the X-Men again). Aside from that though…. I’m really impressed here. It even turned its cheesy acting into a charm.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Kamisama Dolls – 09
Solid build-up, but this also showed me (someone who hasn’t read the manga) that the creators don’t intend to close this off at all. The length really is the big problem of this season, with just too many series that are too short. In any case, this episode had fun getting the characters to snark at each other and it was pretty interesting, but that new girl had better have a very good reason to turn Kyouhei into a harem lead!
Rating: * (Good)

Dantalian no Shoka – 08
The characters that Dalian and Huey meet in this episode were… pretty much the least interesting ones so far. For one they remind me too much of the idiots of Gosick, but also the reasoning in their stories is just… strange. Usually in Dantalian no Shoka, it’s the phantom book’s effects that are far-fetched. This time it’s the characters actions that are.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Sacred Seven – 10
Well, that was corny. Was Ruri’s backstory really worth it spending an entire episode about? It felt like it came from a soap opera. Seriously, the thing with this series is that it’s trying to be something that it isn’t. It thinks it has depth and so tries to act like it takes itself seriously, while the story and characters are completely shallow. For god’s sake, I can understand that you want to keep your series simple but effective and all, but at the very least make it effective. Do something that catches the viewer’s attention! Anything!
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Blade – 09
This is bizarre. Blade just used one of Wolverine’s side characters better than how Wolverine used them. Seriously, I don’t know if there are any other people who are still watching this series, but I’m currently having a blast with it. This episode once again was a really entertaining action episode that is gonna make the perfect conclusion for the Marvel Series. We’re going to Cambodia next? Awesome! Also, you have to give props to the soundtrack guy here: this guy pretty much made four kickass soundtracks without any apparent weaknesses whatsoever, all with their distinct and incredibly engaging tracks.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Sket Dance – 22
Thankfully this show has recovered from its string of weaker episodes. The first half of this episode was quite hilarious in which they raped the legend of Momotaro (the guy that’s born from a peach), and the second half was simple but heart-warming. It perhaps wasn’t the show’s best episode, but it was fun.
Rating: * (Good)

Nurarihyon no Mago – 35
Here is my question for the rest of this arc: the creators did a good job of making Hagoromo Gitsune incredibly powerful, even up to the point where she can easily take control of Kyoto’s best Omnyouji like it’s nothing. So how the hell is Rikuo gonna be able to make a difference without introducing some serious power level inconsistencies?
Rating: * (Good)

Dantalian no Shoka – 07
A surprisingly charming episode about scents. Its effects still are rather far-fetched, but that’s the entire nature of the phantom books. This episode was well told and had a great conclusion, although Dalian still needs work. Oh, and this show also makes pretty good use of its music. Gainax, start doing 26-episode series again!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Nurarihyon no Mago – 34
Okay, so that training arc was rather boring, but what really caught my attention in this episode was the surprisingly addictive direction of Hagoromo Gitsune’s quest to conquer Kyoto. Especially the use of that skeleton she dug up in this episode worked well. Also, I’m not sure what it is but in this new season the awesome character designs stand out much more than in the first.
Rating: * (Good)

Usagi Drop – 09
Entire episode dedicated to Kouki, and it just shows the differences between raising a boy and a girl. Although I do think that this series idealizes girls a bit too much. They too have their quirks that are unfortunately a bit glossed over.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 25 August 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Just a note here: I’m going to be really busy for the upcoming weekend again, so expect some delays. This Saturday I’ll be at Abunai Con, one of the biggest anime conventions in the Netherlands. If you happen to go as well, let me know. ;)

Sket Dance – 21
What a surprise: I was getting tired of this series at this point, and here it comes with one of its best episodes so far. The creators pretty much removed one of the stereotypes from this series. Giving the goth emo girl a make over isn’t anything new, but even before that makeover, this episode treated her as a character who could just hold a normal conversation, instead of overplaying her own stereotype. On top of that, it was rather fun to just see the main cast hanging out. And to have a boy and a girl go out without turning it into a romance. It even toys with that very effectively. The drama during the previous episodes of Sket Dance was rather cheesy, but this worked really well. Just… what was that shiritori thing at the end of it?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Usagi Drop – 08
I have one criticism for the episodes of Usagi Drop so far: Compared to other slice of life series my emotional investment is not as big as it could have been. This show is undeniably well executed, but the emotional connection with the characters could have been done better for me. Cue this episode, which was packed with tons of subtle emotions. Rin’s mother was great when she finally saw her daughter again, Rin was great when she learned about grandpa’s flowers, and Daikichi was gtreat standing in the middle of it. This episode was very good at portraying the feelings of the different characters.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Kamisama Dolls – 08
Interestingly enough this episode included some nice jabs at the usual fanservice cliches. Beach episode? Haha! Typhoon! Is the restaurant owner going to let his daughter and a young girl dress up in weird outfits? Of course not! There unfortunately was some fanservice that was used straight, but none of it was solely for the sake of fanservice. The second half of this episode once again was excellent, and I especially love the way in which this series is turning the female lead into more than a pair of boobs who stand on the side-lines or get kid-napped. The best part though is that I can still see this one closing off well! The episode ended with everyone back in Tokyo. Five episodes should be enough to give all of them a good climax and to wrap up all of the main plot lines. The thing I’m anticipating the most is Kyouhei’s background. The thing is: the previous episode was excellent, but I really feel like Kyouhei only told part of the truth: it in no way explained why Aki hates him so badly, nor does it explain the very first scene of the first episode.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Sacred Seven – 08
What the hell, man? What the hell? Sacred Seven, you had an awesome OP. Why did you switch it out for something cheesy like that? Beyond that, this series did so many things wrong. It could have been so much, and yet it’s completely boring. As much as the trolls would like to convince you, the reason for that isn’t Arama. He’s pretty good, he just plays his part. He has a decent backstory and he’s interesting to watch as this tall awkward guy. The big problem is that every single other character is completely boring. I actually can’t think of any sort of exception unless you start looking at the characters who just appear for one minute. This episode was without a doubt the worst. Why did the creators find it a good idea to turn this into a dating sim? Ruri completely degraded what character she had left.
Rating: – (Disappointing)

Posted on 21 August 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope


Blade – 08
Okay. That was one mid-boss that I didn’t see coming. With this, I’m sure: on top of having the best characters out of the Marvel-series, Blade also has the best story.

Sket Dance – 20
I’m… not sure what to think of this episode. You see, my opinion of this series has gone down during the second half; it just isn’t as funny as it used to be, and more and more jokes fall flat or just don’t work. And here this episode comes… and it’s entirely devoted to bad jokes. I don’t mean the jokes that are so corny that you’re forced to laugh. No, this episode was entirely about either jokes that fall flat, or jokes that are so ridiculously obscure that on a few people who know the context will get it. The subbers also completely missed the point of this episode by trying to explain them. But yeah: listening to jokes falling flat over and over remains annoying, whether they’re tongue in the cheek or not doesn’t matter here.
Rating: * (Good, but very annoying))

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – 46
And this is the point where this show is starting to drag on again for me. This really reminds me of the first season again, in the arc where Kaiji’s ears were on the line and things took absolutely forever to move on. This episode… did not really know what it should talk about while waiting for Kaiji to run out of nearly all of his balls (so that it can really ramp up the tension next episode) and just started to repeat the same thing over and over again. Especially that narrator was guilty of that. The background on Ichijou was nice, but didn’t really fit well at this stage. Oh, and the creators are trying too hard with the old guy. Being insane is nice and all, but those antics serve no purpose and distract from what’s really important here: defeating that damn bog.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Dantalian no Shoka – 06
This episode was… strange. Not only did the main characters make no appearance whatsoever, they were replaced by a priest like figure and a girl with the worst fashion sense imaginable. Normally I just use that as an insult against shows who give their characters overly complicated outfits, but this girl actually walks around in a straitjacket. In any case, what I like about Dantalian is how its mysteries are always incredibly far-fetched, yet imaginative. This episode was no exception and it came together really nicely at the end. The town it all placed in also was really well designed, and I don’t just mean the live action-like buildings that were used: the entire scenery and city lay-out just looked unique.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Usagi Drop – 07
This episode started a bit out of place when it was suddenly revealed that Haruko has relationship problems and ran away from home, and for about four minutes this suddenly turns into a romantic comedy. Daikichi’s acting also felt a bit unnatural and overall it felt a bit weird. And then this episode just made up for it with a terrific analysis of Haruka’s character. This show is about raising a child as a single parent, and this time it took a look at the cases where being a single parent is just impossible: housewifes. Haruka really feels like she made the wrong decisions during her twenties, even though she kept looking to the future. The thing however remains that the creators used Haruka’s character to prove a point they wanted to make, instead of doing it the other way around. Because this show is so realistic, this does stand out.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 10 August 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



A small household note: upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday I’ll be completely busy, both due to real life appointments, and two certain posts that take up a lot of time to fully write, so I won’t have the time to blog shows as Usagi Drop and Dantalian no Shoka even if I wanted to, so again I’ll mostly cover the series that air early in the week or some of the stuff that I couldn’t watch on Sundays. Apologies for picking these shows a bit repetitively.

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – 45
Now, to be honest I did find the method for beating the pinchers a bit far-fetched. It assumed that there were no spare parts, that Kaiji could get his hands on some custom pinchers within a very tight time-limit, that they’d fail right at the exact moment, and that nobody noticed anything about the strange weight distribution of those things (hiding a chemical bomb in them is bound to feel differently from usual wood). Tilting the entire building with 20 tons of water though, was just awesome. It’s deceptively simple and yet completely unintuitive. Although I do wonder what Kaiji meant with that they wouldn’t be found out on the daily level check on the roulettes? I mean, if a level check was used, wouldn’t it reveal his entire plan? The device that they showed is meant to check whether something is level, not whether something tilts very fast. Unless of course a gimmick of the casino is that ALL of the roulettes are tilted… Also, I’m still baffled with that there are still at least five episodes left. The pacing so far has been pretty much what I expected, and yet they’re still nowhere near done yet?
Rating: ** (Excellent; gets promoted to Awesome as soon as I can find a good explanation against the level checks)

Kamisama Dolls – 06
Okay, so aside from that really out of place fanservice scene, this was a really good episode. There’s quite a bit of character development, the sibling subplot is turning out quite interesting, now that Utao wants to make up with her twin brother. There was a ton of background in this episode, the creators explained how the flying dolls work, we got to see the families of the lead characters, and overall the characters and the setting got a nice amount of depth. The series is halfway over, and you still could have fooled me with that it’s going to wrap itself up within six episodes. So far we’ve got a well told series that alternates between comedy, action and drama really well with only the fanservice feeling out of place. The lead character is bland at first, yet he does have some interesting flaws to his character. Everyone’s well acted, it’s funny, and it knows how to build up. Now it’s up to the second half to use this. And solve the problem of having an ongoing manga…
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Nurarihyon no Mago – 31
This episode introduced all kinds of potentially interesting characters. Too bad that they’re just used for a training arc. So far, I’m not really that impressed by it. Nura learned the technique a little too easily, but most importantly there doesn’t really seem to be much depth to his technique. Overall, Nura’s reason to go to Kyoto seems kinda weak at the moment: his classmates suggested to go to Kyoto and then he suddenly remembered that the killer of his father lives there. I do hope that this will grow into more than just a simple tale of revenge. Nurarihyon kicked ass, though.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Sacred Seven – 06
Ack, it’s a shame that this will only be a 1-cour series. That pretty much changes everything. Of course there is the slight possibility that the creators have a second season planned, but I’ve seen too many series that promised the same thing to really be able to buy that. Because of that, we’re already halfway through the series… so what has it accomplished? Is it building up to an interesting plot? No, Knight is a very boring and emo villain. Its atmosphere? Nope, that also seems rather random and disjointed, more aimed at silly comic relief than consistency. Characters? They’re still emo, their acting is still flat, and in this episode Ruri went pretty far out of character in the quiet scenes. Setting? It’s a school and people have superpowers: nothing really interesting. In the end I can only praise this show for its action scenes: those are really good, and this episode was no exception. The solution?? Why didn’t you just make a 6-episode OVA with a compilation of the best action scenes?
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Posted on 7 August 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Sacred Seven – 05
You know what? I liked this episode a lot. It’s not that the characters suddenly gained a ton of depth, but rather what impressed me was the vast array of stuff that the creators throw at the main characters. That giant living pyramid: I love it, and it also was really well animated. It reminded me a lot of the series Betterman: there the focus also lied in trying to not die, while waiting for the superpower to arrive to take care of everything. If this ends up going beyond 13 episodes, it still has a chance, because the protagonist HAS potential: he’s this tall goofy guy and actually quite different from your usual protagonist if he wasn’t so damn emo. Because of that I’m willing to wait for his development. Oh, and I just discovered that Sayo Yamamoto was the one who directed the OP, which really does explain why it works so wel amongst Yuki Kajiura’s song and all. But seriously, she should direct another series. Seeing these awesome storyboarded OPs is nice and all, but she’s way too good a director for just that.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Kamisama Dolls – 05
I may not be blogging this series, but I still love this show. This isn’t necessarily because of its story, but rather its storytelling: the way in which it presents its storyline, the way in which the action is written, the episodes are balanced, the atmosphere is created. That is done really well with this series. Seriously: it’s really rare for the most prolific company during a season to deliver in every single show that they’re producing, but Kamisama Dolls is an excellent action thriller show. Every episode so far has been full of emotions and covered a wide variety of moods, without feeling jumpy or unbalanced. This episode continued that trend and only solidified it. The village back-story finally got a lot more depth, the sunglasses guy revealed himself to be quite an interesting character and not the antagonist he once seemed to be, and the chemistry between Kyouhei and Utao: the tension between those two is just great and I have to praise how well they’re acted. Now all that’s left is some development.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Blade – 06
Here’s one surprise. This episode actually seriously made me consider the plot of Blade to be the best amongst the Marvel-series. The reason for that is its underlying themes: Iron Man was about really corny morals, Wolverine was about determination, and the X-Men tried to be about peaceful coexistence, although all of them didn’t really spend too much time on them. With Blade though, it really explores the vampires, and what it means to have them kill a loved one, and having to kill a loved one because they turned into one of them. And here this episode suddenly comes and hints at a possibility that humans can be prevented from turning into vampires with the right care. What does this mean for all of the vampires that Blade has killed? The episode ended tragically, but it still is an interesting thought experiment here.

Overall, I think that aside from Iron Man, the biggest problem with the Marvel series isn’t what they are, but what they aren’t. They’re all pretty good series, but this isn’t the best that Madhouse can do. In fact, the last time we really saw them at their best was more than a year ago, with Yojou-han shinwa Taikei (no offence to Kaiji: it is good, but again nowhere near their best work). Compare that to 2009, which had Aoi Bungaku and to a lesser extent Hajime no Ippo, Kobato and Ride-Back, 2008, in which they completely dominated the entire year with Kaiba, Mouryou no Hako, Himitsu, Casshern Sins and Ultraviolet, 2007 with Shigurui, Dennuo Coil and Ooedo Rocket, 2006 with Death Note, Kemonozume, Black Lagoon and Nana and 2004 with Beck, Monster, Paranoia Agent and Jubee-Chan. What happened to that Madhouse?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Nurarihyon no Mago – 31
Nurarihyon no Mago has one really big advantage over every show aside from Penguin Drum this season: it won’t be over in two months! It’s a bloody shame that the first season didn’t make use of it, because the length is without a doubt the biggest problem with the current summer season. There’s also the other side of the coin: taking your length for granted and dragging on. The director confirmed that the new season will animate up to the end of the Kyoto-arc, which makes me wonder how large that arc must be to dedicate 23 entire episodes to it. What do the creators have in store to prevent it from dragging on? In any case, at least, the past two episodes had solid background, though in terms of storytelling they did end a bit anti-climactic: the most interesting part of this episode was the Omnyouji at the end, and the actual fight with Hagoromo Gitsune felt a bit uninspired for who was supposed to be the previous lord of the pandemonium. I blame Nurarihyon, who did nothing but just try to act cool and take hits without even flinching. I mean, especially at the end they could at least have shown someone freak out at the huge and gaping hole inside Nurarihyon’s chest I also believe that “I’ve put up this barrier which will keep all youkai out for the next 400 years” could have been done a bit more subtle.
Rating: * (Good)

Posted on 30 July 2011 with categories: Steins;Gate, Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope



Nurarihyon no Mago – 30
Talk about a massive improvement here. There are the types of stories that should be slow-paced. Nurarihyon no Mago is not one of them. Another big disadvantage of the first season is how little time it spent on backgrounds, so right now this series is really catching up on that, with half of the second season consisting out of background and all. Junji Nishimura really did not fit this series: he should be busy with original stories. That’s where he really shines at. The snappy direction here is much better, especially in this episode. The art also looks much crisper. This could very well be the only actually good thing of Studio Deen this year.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Steins;Gate – 01
After many people recommended it, I re-watched the first episode of Steins;Gate and holy crap What the hell!? If you haven’t re-watched that episode by now: go and re-watch it. Don’t read the rest of this paragraph of analysis and just watch it. This episode did the opposite of what I expected and actually asked more questions than it answered. The big one is the message that Okarin sent to Daru: how the heck did that happen? How the heck did Okarin send a D-Mail when it hadn’t been invented yet? It’s going to be the key to save Mayuri, though: if Okarin never sent the message back to Daru, Daru would never have been able to warn Okarin, and CERN would never have been able to track them down. And holy crap, this show will also turn into a quest to save Makise Kurisu. I totally forgot that some version of Okarin actually tried to warn Makise Kurisu. Now… has the future Okarin created a freaking time-loop for himself? This plot just got even more amazing than it already has.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Sket Dance – 17
This arc was really strange. I really got the impression that it didn’t know what it wanted to do here: there was this huge build-up with the members of the Sket-Dan joining all different bands and having practicing for an upcoming school concert championship… and here this episode comes and throws in a bunch of illnesses and broken arms causing these bands to disband (no pun intended) immediately. It then turns into some moral life-lesson for a violinist as the three members just do the predictable and form a band themselves. I was really looking forward to see all of the different bands compete with each other, but instead this episode skipped across most of the acts for just a few seconds and the only one that we really got to see was this really cheesy J-Rock song in which Bossun suddenly revealed that he has the singing voice of a J-Pop Idol. This series always did so well in capturing school life, but to me, it felt like it didn’t really do this with the school concert. It all just felt too clean. The song that the Sket Dan performed was just too rehearsed (remember that these guys had very little time to prepare. I don’t care how much you practiced, you’re not going to get THAT good in that little time). It’s a bloody shame, because these school concerts are often very fun to watch. Especially because this one looked to be a REAL concert, unlike those silly unimpressive idol acts.
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Usagi Drop – 04
Do note that I’m not guaranteeing to blog every series every single week in this kaleidoscope. This time I was merely late with checking out Usagi Drop’s episode, but there may be weeks where I just don’t have any inspiration about the latest episode. In any case, I like how the children in this series really sound like young children, rather than voice actresses trying to act really high-pitched. I also like that this episode introduced yet another single parent, with whom Daikichi can relate with. He’s by no means a perfect parent, but the tension between him and Rin is quite interesting to watch.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

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  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 08:49 AM)
    @K-off: too close for coincidence, wonder who is truly pulling the strings of ISIS?
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 07:51 AM)
    @K-Off Wow ISIS, what utter morons. Darwin, do your thing please.
  • Vickie
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 06:47 AM)
    K-Off: Wow…Just…wow. I have no words. That terror group are true cowards.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 06:06 AM)
    The frustration at the knowledge that an intelligent, innocent man was killed by dumbass fundamentalists is the most ironic part of it all.
  • K-Off
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 05:52 AM)
    So, a second American journalist, Steven Sotloff was beheaded by ISIS (or now known as IS). Another night on the bottle, as Israel steals 400 hectares (988 acres) from Palestine. Fucking shit.
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 05:42 AM)
    As for romance, I once had this girl I was interested in during High School. I didn’t have the balls to get her #, and I graduated. The end!
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 05:06 AM)
    @Awesomeperson Yis.
  • Awesome Person
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 04:59 AM)
    still being salty?
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 04:45 AM)
    Or in this case the post office, for ticketing my car just because it was parked in front of the mailbox.
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Wednesday, Sep 3. 2014 04:36 AM)
    Fuck the police!

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