Posted on 23 July 2011 with categories: Summer 2011 Kaleidoscope

Okay. I know what I’m going to do this season: another Kaleidoscope, though in a different format from the previous times I’ve done one. There’s just too much interesting stuff this season, it’s unbelievable. Instead, I’m going to be writing short blurbs and impressions about all (or most) of the episodes that interest me. It’s an experiment. I have no idea whether it’s going to work, but this seems like the perfect season to try it out, with so many great series.

Dantalian no Shoka – 02
Ah, you can see that this show too is in need of more time: this episode felt a bit rushed, and yet it did retain its atmosphere. Overall this seems to be much more about atmosphere than its mysteries compared to its sister-series of Gosick and Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou, and I guess that that’s where this fast pacing works. Now, this episode was flawed (“You may have thought that you stabbed me, but I was saved by this book that I conveniently carried in my pocket at exactly the right place!” – that is one twist you should not pull!), plus the transformation sequence was significantly less interesting when we saw it for the second time (especially in contrast with Penguin Drum), but I really like the experimental animation, the banter is quite nice, the male lead is no pansy and isn’t the idiot that Kujou was. Oh, and another plus is that Dalian so far has been the only teenager in the series. That helps too.
Rating: * (Good)

Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – 42
It’s really hard to imagine what the rest of this arc is going to look like. I mean, normal conventions would say that the next episode would focus on breaking the second barrier, the episode after that on the third layer, leaving a final climax to wrap everything up. This thing however still has a whopping eight episodes left. At the very least. Seriously, this already is an intense thriller and I really like the mind games so far: is it just going to drag on over and over, or is there really such an awesome climax waiting?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Sacred Seven – 03
The main problem with this show so far is not that it’s generic. That’s just something that doesn’t really help. Instead, this show is too one-sided and does a poor job at fleshing out its characters: there are way too many dark and brooding emo characters with very little other traits to their character. Seriously, the main couple is emo, the newly introduced villain is emo, the main side-kick is emo, half of the side characters are emo. That’s not the most interesting combination to work with! The one exception was the action scene of episode two. More of that, please!
Rating: (Enjoyable)

Usagi Drop – 03
Usually when a series addresses workaholics, it’s done quite one-sidedly: parents who fell in love with their jobs and forget about spending time with their children. Even with that, you can get some good drama out of it (the most recent example of this is Showa Monogatari). Usagi Drop however rocks because of how well it takes a look at this topic, how the main character is trying to balance his life as a typical salaryman while suddenly having to raise a child. This third episode made things even better by showing other cases of this with Daikichi’s mother and a coworker of his. I don’t have a child myself, but a lot of my coworkers are in that stage of their life, so this series hits surprisingly close to home for me right now.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Blade – 04
I’m still not sure whether Blade is going to work or not. On one hand, the writing can get incredibly cheesy at times (though thankfully still nowhere near Iron Man levels), and the facial animations also leaves a lot to be desired. And yet this series abandons Japan and goes to the Philippines instead, and out of all of the Marvel-series so far, it has by far devoted the most time to the past of the main character and is by far the most character-oriented of the four series. A main theme of this series is also for Blade to be saved from his really, really dark childhood, which also provides a good reason for the female lead to be there (so likely no more Hisako-esque debacles). Nevertheless though: Madhouse. Please try to spend more time in how to correctly animate facial expressions. It’s really getting silly now.
Rating: * (Good)

Kamisama Dolls – 03
A killer is on the loose, so what does the village responsible for him send to get him back? A little girl. Okay, so this third episode takes care of that by introducing more different characters, and spicing things up quite nicely. The second half of the episode had great chemistry, acting and the dark atmosphere that also made the first episode really good. As for the first half… at least it was funny. Having a comedy director on this thing really helps to get the delivery right. But what’s this about the Kamisama Dolls manga not being finished? I mean, here we have the perfect set-up for an action-packed 13 episode series. Is the story really large enough to warrant more time than that? On one hand, this is a good series to create an anime original ending for. On the other hand: Makoto Uezu is adapting this series. You do not want to give him freedom, because that just screws everything up into a boring fanservice-fest.
Rating: ** (Excellent)


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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 07:03 PM)
    @Realist: still my favourite Asano work is Punpun.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 07:01 PM)
    @Realist: The things that stood out best for me was that bloody scene in chapter 24, the kid who speaks the alien language and I liked the twintails girl. I also liked the little musings of the main characters and it was kind of sad when you know who died. A bit more humour than I’d associate with Asano but it amused me
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 07:01 PM)
    @Realist: I actually just finished reading the available three volumes of dead demons. At first I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of Asano doing something like this but it quickly grew on me.
  • ninjarealist
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 06:43 PM)
    Hi Emma, hope you are well.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 07:40 AM)
    On asano’s work…I have a feeling umibe no onnanoko’s scans have stopped.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 07:21 AM)
    I’d probably take realjustifieds word for it there, I only saw the first episode, only negative thing I’d say about the drama was the acting wasn’t great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 07:19 AM)
    @Realist: Also to avoid confusion this is Emma, posting again as Kaiser. Also Its good to see you have returned. I have read solanin, city of glass, oyasumi punpun, subarashi sekai, nijihara holograph by Asano.
  • reaLjustified
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 12:19 AM)
    @k-off It has good tension and mysteries, very few melodramatic romance, so it’s generally a really enjoyable mystery drama. Although some of them fall short of Ep 1+5’s level of greatness.
  • k-off
    (Thursday, Oct 8. 2015 12:10 AM)
    @Kaiser Yeah, how was the drama for Subete? I usually don’t touch jdramas.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 7. 2015 11:56 PM)
    @Kaiser Eoghan I’m hopeful that Dead Dead Demon’s will get an anime. It seems to have all the right elements to be marketable, unlike a lot of his previous works. Maybe those will be adapted in the future too.

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