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Posts Tagged ‘K-ON’

Well, not as late as it could have been, but I digress.

We’re roughly on episode 9 territory for most episodes at the moment; and though I’m a little behind, so far, I have to say it’s been a season of serious ups and downs. I’ve picked up, dropped, returned to, and switched shows more times this season than ever. Which is pretty odd, eh?

Anyways, as usual, I’ll summarise the five shows I am currently watching:

B-Gata-H-Kei

Oddly enough, this is show that I’ve remained watching all the way through. It’s had consistant development and an ever-present entertainment value. Hilariously, for a show dedicated to Yamada getting laid, there’s almost zero fanservice involved; and you know what: it’s far better that way. I know the concept would put some people off; but you really have to give it a chance. I’d hazard it’s probably the most entertaining of all this season.

And ye gads…there’s far more relationship progression in a show like this than is usual. Though it’s Yamada, so she gets the order wrong all the time (our progression is: Show chest => Put through Hell => Vote for me! => French Kiss => OMG A rival appears => Somehow fall for => Take photos of me! =>OMG Romance => Realise Feelings => Amazingly gutsy public confession from male character => Actually I don’t mind => OMG A rival appears again)

The fact that I can make that flow chart so long is incredible. A normal ‘romantic comedy’ might not manage that in 26 episodes, but B-Gata has done it in 8 one shots!


Yamada re-affirms her lifelong goal. Cue Ojou-sama laugh. Bwahahahah! (It! ITS OKAY! I’m not in love, everything is fine!!)

Although ^ this girl ^ is the real Ojou-sama (the aformentioned ‘rival’). She has a perpetual sparklies aura and a two-face personality. And she loves her brother too much.

Wait, you’re not allowed to compliment me now. Wait what? Wait, Yamada is confused. Gah…

Anyway, it’s gone from strength to strength, and I look forward to seeing what they do with the ending (I mean, content wise it’ll be fairly obvious, but the execution continually surprises me in a good way).


K-ON Season II

I was very wary of what they might do to K-ON this season, and whilst it has had it’s ups and downs, it has been generally decent. There’s been very few laugh out loud moments like they managed in season 1 though. I hear alot of people have been bitching about the fact that there’s not been enough music (there’s only been 1 new song so far, and almost all their performances are cut short to under 30 seconds). Even so, I’ve often been of the thought that the music side of things was always merely a Plot McGuffin to give us a basis for the comedy to spring from, so it hasn’t really bothered me too much.

One does have to wonder about KyoAni, though. They seem to be rich enough these days to Sponsor THEMSELVES in the most recent episode. Which, whilst funny, does make you wonder if they’re being a bit arrogant, eh?

The recent episodes have had more gems in them such as this one. It was an episode studying Yui’s relationship with her Guitar, Gitah. The way they treated Gitah as somekind of boyfriend character was pretty funny.

Which led to Mio getting all broody over her Bass and even calling it Elizabeth. (Eleezabassu, in Japanese, LOL)

And then there’s comedy gold with Yui and Asuza doing the Manzai routine. (i.e. The straight guy/funny guy act, complete with slaps from the paper harisen (Fan))

It looks as though K-ON will almost certainly end with Season II, however, as the girls have just done their senior final exams; and Asuza will be left in the Light Music Club all by herself (!) for a year. Though, who knows what tricks will be pulled?


Mayoi Neko Overrun

Well, I’ve never seen a show so intent in taking the piss out of itself than this one. This works magnificently up to about episode 5; especially their freaking amazing take on the cliched hotsprings episode [4], which had me REALLY splitting my sides, it was that good: from the Nyaa-Fan, through the epic table tennis battle, right up to conservation of body heat rule gone VERY VERY wrong.

Unfortunately, it goes so damn far at certain points, like in episode 6, that it sort of stops being funny and loops into this feeling like they’re trolling the viewers because they start to head into Excel Saga stupidity and randomness, whilst dropping the interesting relationship development, good character cliches and just the right amount of tongue in cheek.


Thankyou for that insightful comment, Nozomi.

Epic Table Tennis battle from episode 4 that had slow motion Matrix moves (and of course, crazy needless fanservice).

And now, suddenly it’s a cliche Mecha show called Grand Braver. Wait what!?

I’ve been a little reluctant to carry on past episode 7 after the crazy mecha show piss-take, which, whilst funny in its own way, seems to have completely lost the plot. I have heard that things suddenly find themselves again on episode 9, however, so I may get around to plowing through the 8th episode, which is apparently about Jenga (yes, the blocks removal game…).

This is the textbook case this season of ups and downs, which it really has had…nevertheless, I certainly recommend you look into the earlier episodes, as they are pretty great.


Senkou no Night Raid

This has been suffering from a rather slow translation speed, with a 2-3 episode lag. However, this is actually to be roughly expected, since it mixes up a copious amount of Mandarin and Japanese and covers a highly contraversial bit of history, so I guess it’s quite a challenge for the fan-translators to keep up. It is very interesting, from what I’ve read about later episodes, that they’re not afraid to tread highly contraversial ground (the Japanese don’t like to talk about the Mukden and Manchuria incidents).

What’s even better is that they’re perfectly lampshading that fact by overlaying the political, historical story with a whole bunch of very well chereographed battles between people with powerful special abilities and contrasting beliefs. Hence, if anyone calls them on their views, they can just say: “look its a fictional story, no really!!” and actually get away with it.


Whenever Kazura and this guy fight, you know you’re in for a treat, as they both have instant rapid teleportation, which makes for some great fight scenes.

Epic Subtitle, eh?

I’m sure this cat also has special abilities. It steals a bag and perfectly wears it without anyone noticing. Why a screencap of it? Who knows?

Though it didn’t turn out at all like ‘Allison & Lillia’ as I first anticipated it might do, I am rather pleased with it’s direction and look forward to seeing the eventual translation of the later episodes.


Working!

This is one of those shows where you may not laugh immediately upon seeing the gags, but somehow, when you think about it later, it cracks you up. Well, at least this was the case with me. Many episodes leave you with a hmm, but by the time the next ep swings around you sort of want to watch it again, like some kind of persistant habit. I guess this is because the whole situation is so…dysfunctional. I’m sure any regular resturant with these staff members would be out of business faster than…well…they wouldn’t last long…

What is perhaps most interesting here is how they sort of did a heel-face turn on main characters. It LOOKED like Popura was going to be our female lead, but really, Inami has gradually slipped into the spotlight, and Popura has become just a target for height gags. I was at first immensely irritated at her wild destructive androphobia, but they have gradually twisted it into something marginally likable; especially when it was finally explained in the most recent episode with a decent moral about how bad parents can really screw up a kid (and it was, in fact, a very good episode, despite involving crossdressing…).


Poor Souta. When HE was a 4 year old, his father thought it would be best to make him into a trap.

GO GO Magic Hand! Only 3,980 YEN! It’s a modern miracle! A device made for dealing with Androphobic girls! Every good male anime protagonist should have one!

Inami, now is not a good time to admit your hobbies…poor Souta…

Yeah, though we’re clearly on the Inami route now, I’m not too concerned anymore, though its a little bit of a shame that Popura got shafted as a result, since she IS probably cuter. Though this is (I think) an original anime, it does almost lend itself to being made into a visual novel. Which would be an ironic reversal.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Hope you enjoyed this mid-season post! Stay tuned!

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EDIT: This is for April- June. If you want to see the preview for the June- Sept 2010, click this below:
Summer/Autumn 2010 Anime Season

This is for the period of April – June, so I call it the Spring/Summer season in the same way that the previous season was Winter/Spring.

I’m little bit later this time (or, more like, only two weeks early, LOL). Spring is usually moderate in terms of new shows, and my early estimations put 10 new shows out there. This is discounting the usual kids stuff and the sequel and spinoff series. I’ve also discounted three baseball shows… since there’s always alot of those.

As usual the Format is: Title, Promo Image, Description, My Thoughts/ Enthusiasm Scale. Let’s get this started, eh?

B Gata H Kei

Well, here’s something stupid to start the report with. This apparently covers a girl called Yamada whom is strangely like a typical lonely otaku: that is to say, sexually inexperienced and full of ridiculous ideas for sexual fantasies. A whole 100 of them, in fact. So much so that has a proverbial ‘devil on the shoulder’ (an erogami-sama, so to speak).

The plot revolves around these strange ecchi desires of hers, and also branches out in a apparent real life romance with a plain looking boy whom she falls for, Takashi. Whether or not she forces her lewdness on him is yet to be seen.

In other words, another Harem show that verges on softcore porn, by the sounds of it. Which begs the question of why so many would watch this rather than going out and actually getting laid. But such is the strangeness of the Anime Industry.

Anticipation: You might have One Hundred Sexual Fantasies, but I only need one, baby.


Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

‘Oh no, not more maids!’, I hear you scream (well, maybe you don’t, but I certainly do). Fortunately, this is not an oblivious harem comedy again (though there are plenty of those this season), but rather a Romantic Comedy show based on a Shoujo manga. It follows Misaki, the student council head who fancies herself a bit of superior girl and despises most men, especially the slovenly, foolish and foppish examples set at the school where she attends, which was once an all-male academy until recent years. This even extends to the local bishie, Takumi.

Nevertheless, she has a ‘shameful’ secret. She works at a Maid-Cafe afterschool! This secret, as you might imagine, is somehow stumbled upon by hapless Takumi, and the anime follows the backlash.

It’s a silly premise, but I’ve heard that manga is very good. Since Kimi no Todoke looks to finishing now as well, this may satisfy my fix for romantic comedies in the meantime, if it turns out well.

Anticipation: Five out of five frilly aprons of fun.


Angel Beats!

Purple haired Haruhi with a silver Berreta, anyone? That silliness in character design aside, I can’t actually decide from my notes whether this is some kind of fantasy world with angels or actually some interpretation of heaven. In any case, it seems that all of the characters are some kind of angels; whom are apparently forced to fight to determine what is going to happen to them.

Some Angels are aghast of this apparent scheme by the almighty, and form a society called the Shinda Sekai Sensen, who rebel against god. Our purple haired girl is Yuri, the leader of said organisation of Rebel Angels. It appears that the rebels are (sensibly) denied the ability to use angelic powers, and instead of forced to resort to firearms and such to battle against the order (which has no such issue in causing devastation with supernatural magics). And so the anime details the gun-toting angels vs. Magic angels, I’d imagine.

What is perhaps most interesting is the mix of prolific crew on this: the director of Seto no Hanayome, the animators of CANAAN, and character designs by the ever famous KEY. Quite a set, eh? No doubt it’ll be full of screwed up theology too, so that’s always a plus.

Anticipation: Eight Glowing Halo’s, two unloaded shotguns.


Hakuouki

Another day, another samurai with heterochromia. I think every season needs a character with mismatching eye colours in there somewhere, eh? (damn you, Asuna, for starting this trend!). This is based on a PS2 visual novel from a couple of years back that seems to have been of a dark shoujo theme. That is to say, told from the pespective of a girl, Chizuru, whom becomes involved in the ever famous Shinsengumi in the 19th century.

In case you were guessing, by the way, that is a guy in the picture, Toshizou. Definately being a trapworthy bishie. If you thought it was a girl, go back and brush up on your trap detection skills.

Being a Shoujo base, there is the usual one girl for an armada of pretty guys, but I hesitate to call it a reverse harem comedy, since it seems too dark for that. We’ll see, I guess.

Anticipation: Six sharp katanas, four dull blades.


Arakawa: Under the Bridge

Another strange tale of lunatics and snobs forced into a blender for no apparent reason other than entertainment. Basically, it follows a lovely and beautiful homeless girl called Nino (which is a contradiction in terms, really). She lives under a bridge over the River Arakawa (hence the anime’s namesake) and thinks that she is a martian abandoned on earth. Oh dear.

One day, a young upper class man called Kou (or is it Riku, seems to be different info around or is it a nickname?) is saved by Nino of the bridge, presumably from commiting suicide, but this isn’t too clear. Apparently, however, it is his policy to not owe a debt to anyone. As a result, he decides to shun his prior ways and live under the bridge with Nino.

Well, it’s a weird concept, as I’m not quite sure how you can base either a Romantic comedy or a slice of life on this, but then, I dunno. I suppose there’s some potential there for a watch, at least.

Anticipation: Seven stable girders, three rickety planks.


Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

Sai lives in a world ruled by magicians whom also form part of their countries clergy (A Theocratic Magiocracy?!? Marx would have a heart attack!). He is a young man who aspires to join his countries elite Wizard Saints and contribute to society. To do that, he studies hard and is admitted into the Constan Magical Academy. However, his future aptitude test suddenly predicts ‘Lord of Darkness’ as being his career of choice! Thus begins his difficult school life in which he is equally resented, desired, hunted and guarded by a bevy of peculiar girls (the usual, you know).

Basically, another magical harem comedy along the lines of Rosario to Vampire or Maburaho, by the sounds of it. However, it is based on a light novel, which to me has a better than usual track record, so we shall have to see whether it can overcome the cliches and actually provide some entertainment. I’m not holding my breath, though.

Anticipation: Six crazy succubi, four laughing devils.


Kiss x Sis

Apparently not convinced with the throughly ridiculous OVA of late, they actually decided to give the green light to making a full series of Kiss x Sis. Which really kind of puzzles me, since I seriously doubt there’s enough plot to make a series of it.

In any case, this series is pretty much ‘how close can we make a show to hentai without it actually being hentai’. Guy lives with sisters, sisters are retarded and totally smitten for him (and of course, are not blood related. We can’t have that; it might actually provoke some controversy! Wait what?). Cue insane close to hentai scenarios.

As you might tell, I’m nearly downright hostile with this. Apologies, but I highly doubt it can redeem itself easily given its source material. I guess we shall just have to see.

Anticipation: For the last time, I’m not bathing with you now you’re grown up.


Senkou no Night Raid

Another one with suprisingly artsy animation (similar to Bantorra, I guess), this one is a historical action/thriller. It’s set in China in the 1930’s and follows the exploits of a military spy organisation (presumably the Japanese spying on the Chinese, in this case). In case you’ve forgotten your history, this period is following alot of wars (the Imperial Japanese Army fight alot of people in the period between WWI and WWII!).

By the sounds of things, this is going to be intrigue and conspiracy heaven (though I guess it could equally possess infiltration and actiony parts too, who knows…). It might be interesting as its actually a period of history rarely covered by Anime and Japanese entertainment in general. For obvious contraversial reasons they often try to forget about the Imperial period. Also has a semi-unique distinction of being an original anime work rather than being based upon something.

Anticipation: Seven Cheongsams, three loose neckties.


Mayoi Neko Overrun!

Takumi (lots of Takumi’s this season, eh?) lives with his elder sister Otome (whom is, of course, totally unrelated by blood…[headdesk]…) in their dodgy somewhat run-down sweet shop, which for no apparent reason is called ‘Stray Cats’. Why you’d want to buy sweets that promised being made of delicious kitten is beyond me, but whatever. Of course, a strange homeless catgirl gets adopted into this scenario whilst wondering the local streets. Cue the, err, plot?

Considering the vastly vacant amount of information about this, one assumes they’re trying to sell it based upon the cute loli’s acting like kitties, and perhaps trying for a cash in on the popularity of Nyan Koi, whilst simultaneously completely forgetting what actually made that one pretty good.

Due to my absurd love for cat related plotlines, I guess I shall have to watch an episode, but I can’t say I wait with baited breath.

Anticipation: Four purring kittens, six hissing alley cats.


Working!

Technically, this has already started: the first episode has already aired, and I believe it then continues on the 4th of April.

It’s based on another 4koma, so much like Lucky Star or Azumanga Daioh, the skits come on thick and fast. The focus this time is a family resturant in Hokkaido called Wagnaria. Souta is recruited to work part time at this place by his sempai, Popura (Poplar, like the tree, is her actual namesake). Despite being named after a tree with the pretense of her growing taller, she is actually a 17 year old with body of a 12 year old (go lolicon bait). Apparently Souta likes small cute things (oh dear) and so takes the offer.

We then subsequently see his various silly exploits at work and interactions with the other eclectic employees. The boss has a no-nonsense attitude, and the other girls besides Popura seem inclined to violence (of course). They’re joined by two mysterious male chefs.

Having looked at the first ep, it made me chuckle a couple of times (though not roar in laughter like my first K-ON viewing) so it might have some potential. We shall see how it shapes up.

Anticipation: Eight Scoops of Ice Cream Sundae, Two violent waitresses.


Although I’m not normally here to discuss sequels, speaking of K-ON, yes, we have a second season starting to air on the 7th of April, in case you were interested. Of course, this is sometimes a mixed blessing, as second seasons can occassionally wear out their welcome. Nevertheless, I’ve heard they still have plenty of the manga to cover, so we’ll see.

And, phew, I think that’s about it. As usual, there might be sudden surprise announcements and extra shows creeping into the schedule. I of course have no control over this, and if one does show up that warrents my attention, I may or may not do an additional post about it.

With several things finishing, I imagine my schedule is going to be completely empty except perhaps Fairy Tail (which I’d imagine, being a Shounen type thing, will likely break the usual 26 episode limit).

Anyway, hope this post helps you with your selection this season. Enjoy, and stay tuned!

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Yeah, I know, its a day late. Busy, busy, etc.

Well, I haven’t got a specific anime this time like I had with the K-ON spot the difference. So this is really a miscellaneous bunch of spot the difference exercises, mainly showcasing ridiculous things that have been found in the anime and games world recently. Its also hopefully funny and perhaps even marginally educational. (LIES!)

Exercise 1: A Loli wearing nothing but a copy of Zelda: Twilight Princess?
bakemono-webguys

Yup, The IGN guys even somehow managed to find their way into Bakemonogatari!

I had to rewind to see this again because I burst out laughing too hard.

The exercise here is to guess which part is causing the reaction. The Loli or the game?

I guess this meme has taken a life of its own. I believe they are known as bakagaijin on 2channel. Which is amusing.


Exercise 2: And behind magic curtain number 2, is… <drumroll>:
gendai-mahou-unfair-god

Its like that daft game of chance in Mario Party, where you just choose doors until you die. Except with curtains. And, uh, more lingeries.

Despite a ridiculously rushed and rather contrived ending, Gendai Yokou Mahou had its moments like this. It amazed me to see the curtains opening simultaneously apparently by Kaho’s telekinesis. She’s so hardcore, she doesn’t even have to look to know its going to be an unfair deity moment.

Speaking of mystery curtains, why aren’t there any cheesy gameshows on television anymore? Everybody loves the Price is Right and Strike It Lucky. Or am I just showing my age? (or perhaps my disgust at so called ‘reality television’, which is drivel in my opinion).

And I just see Yumiko being that obligatory girl modelling on the top prize sports car. LOL.


Exercise 3: Testing your Trap Detection capabilitiestrap-detection

Yessiree, you have 5 seconds to decide which of the above is male, and which is female.

Times up! Answers on a postcard to the comment box.

Gotta Love Maria+Holic. Easily one of my favourite shows of the season it was in. Mainly because it was just innately WRONG, I suppose. And no, the above is not a trick question at all, which you will understand if you have actually watched the anime. One of the above is Maria, and one of the above is Shizu. One is a trap, the other is a reverse trap.

See, reading blogs is not a waste of time. This is actually developing survival skills! (well, survival skills for watching anime, anyway)


Exercise 4: Learning to play the pure/vile maiden guitar?Maria-vs-Yui

With you powers combined, I…AM…Captain Gibson!

Which do you think makes a better riff, Mio’s Panties or Matsurika’s Bloomers? Both are instruments of the finest caliber? Its hard to say, isn’t it? I guess some of these exercises are a bit mean. Sorry.

LOL, this combines the old and the new. That is to say, I managed to stuff some K-ON in here again, and double the Maria+Holic for double the fun.


Exercise 5: King of Heroes and Queen of Gaps: A match made in hell?Gap-of-Gensyoko-vs-Gate-of-Babylon

Yukari vs. Gilgamesh. Gap of Gensyoko vs. Gate of Babylon.

Holy cow, I’d pay good money to see that fight. But I don’t have to, as it is happening right above as I speak.

In before causing a storm of excrement, who wins? I imagine its a standstill. Depends on how many Flandres can be pulled out and their effectiveness against the blast of Ea. Are the roadsigns epic artefacts in same realm as noble phantasms? I’m sure Yukari thinks so.


Exercise 6: And we’ll be right back after this…

Lets go full circle to finish and close up with another comment from our new friends, the IGN bakagaijin guys!
finish-yoake-mae-yoriruri-iro-na

Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na’s anime adaption was one of those that makes you lose your faith in humanity. I mean, everyone can tolerate some animation cuts, but the animation in this was…sheer eye cancer. The above shot of the Anime Feena is actually a pretty good shot as far as some of them go. The anime is legendary for the slanting eyes of doom and the never ending lettuce of death. So much so, it became known as Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na: Cabbage Love among more cynical 2channel viewers.

And of course, considering how amazing the ingame art is, many fans of everyones favourite lunar princess died a little inside that day.

Its also one of the reasons that I am VERY wary of most dating game adaptations these days. They can be done right, like with Akane Iro Somaru Saka. But more often than not, they can be done wrong. Very wrong, like the above. And VERY, very wrong, like the soul crushing travesty that is Da Capo Second Season.

Anyway, thats all for now. I’ve exhausted all the spot exercises I could think of! Enjoy!

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Well, here’s something unexpected.

This week on K-ON, they decided to have yet another beach episode. Which is a bold move, given that such territory is rarely touched twice in any given series. Hence, it really almost boils down to Spot the Difference, K-ON style.

Of course, this weeks version includes 100% more Asuza. Who is herself already a big sufferer of cloning, seeing as how her character design is almost entirely a rip-off of Kooh from Pangya. Check this out:

Kooh-Asuza-Split-At-Birth

You can click the above to study closer, if needed.

What’s more, there’s further ‘Deja Vu gone wrong’ goodness in this episode, with Asuza’s amazing ability to gain a full body tan in EXACTLY ONE MINUTE (of screen time). Here’s the evidence:
K-ON-954-NoTan
Asuza is on the far right. This is at 9:54. Now compare:
K-ON-1054-Tan

This shot is taken at 10:54! Exactly one minute and she’s like a crisp!

You’d think they’d at least of tried to have some more gradual progression.

Nevertheless, I still LOL’ed, given as I got the feeling that this was deliberately NOT trying to be serious, especially as none of the others got even a smidgen of darkness. It was like someone clicked the ‘Tan’ switch on her.

For more hilarity, they actually did a proper Deja Vu scene with re-used, recoloured animation at the start and the end. So here’s round two of the spot the difference! Check it out:
K-ON-Spot-the-differenceK-ON-Spot-the-difference2

LOL. Its rather tongue-in-cheek, isn’t it? It’ll be even more amusing if she now manages to drop the tan entirely by next weeks episode.

Anyway, Summer fun aside, personally its not usually one of my favourite seasons.

Why? You ask? Probably because I usually end up like this:
K-ON-Yui-handles-the-heat

Much like Yui, I can’t seem to handle the heat. It drains my energy away and makes me even lazier than usual (and you thought such a thing wasn’t possible, didn’t you?!? ROFL). What’s more, I have a distinct distaste for the extra insects that the summer months seem to generate. Though I guess the extra sunlight is fine as long as there’s a decent wind to go with it.

Oh well. Nevertheless, this episode inspired my creativity again, for some reason, and I’ve made yet another widescreen wallpaper to commemorate the wonderful, wicked heat of summer, K-ON style. Enjoy!

jt-1440-Summer-K-ON

As always, click the above to get the full sized wall.

Is it too chockablock full of fanservice? Probably. But that’s surely part of the appeal, right? I’m quite pleased about the work that went into this. I created the Background from Mio’s image as a basis. It also required several extra masks for the sunlight. Not to mention I basically had to re-build the top part of Yui, as well as changing Asuza’s arm and hair since they got in the way. Mugi is disturbingly lovely in this picture of her, I have to say. I also spent awhile on getting the font right. Its supposed to look as if Yui carved it into the wall before conking out.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this K-ON madness. Stay tuned.

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Terribly sorry for my extreme tardiness.

I’d like to come up with some amazing excuse, but unfortunately, there isn’t one. I’ve just been lazy during the evenings (typically playing either Battle Moon Wars or Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer) and work’s been kicking my ass with overtime for the rest. Well, that and having to re-organise the slot of my old D&D game to Thursdays to co-inside with my day off, but anyway.

So yeah, I decided to finally do this little post. We’re roughly into the sixth/seventh episode of most seasons anyway by now, which is the half way point for those ones that end up just being 13 eps, but is typically the point where longer shows start to pick up pace.

My selected six for this season

Continuing from before:

Kurokami

Well, obviously. This show just goes from strength to strength, which is actually pretty unusual, especially in a Shonen anime. There’s not once when I’ve been unexcited about watching an episode. Oh, don’t get me wrong, its certainly a There is no kill like overkill type of show in that various random power-ups and awesome fight scenes are used as lampshades for the plot. However, its animated so well and the backstory is sufficently decent that I can forgive a little bit of hand-waving from the writers. Because, hey, its cool. And sometimes that’s enough.

Kuro1

Kuro and Keita got a massive power-up when she started wearing a Chinese Dress for combat.

Wha’dya mean, why? Does there need to be a reason for it? Its a Shonen Anime…

Kuro2

Giga-Exe, the upgrade of Mega-Exe, is a hilarious attack. Makes me wonder if there’s going to be a Tera-Exe to follow up the chain in her next power up. (You know, like, Kilobytes > Megabytes > Gigabytes > Terabytes?)


Eden of the East

Yup, definately. This show has style, baby. Its also got a rather bizarre and interesting backstory that’s really getting into its swing now. Basically, some dude going by the handle ‘Mr. Outside’ has designated a bunch of people, called Selaceo, to save Japan. To achieve this task, they each have a mobile phone. But its no ordinary phone. On it is 10 Billion Yen (Roughly £69 million or $105 million) in pay-as-you-go credit. And with it, Takizawa, our male protagonist, can phone the mysterious Juiz. Who can make any request happen within moments. As demonstrated by the other Selaceo, this includes killing people you don’t like, bribing officials, constructing hosptials, and clearing up murder scenes. The cost of said action is then deducted from your credit. The catch? If you’ve not ‘saved’ Japan before your dosh runs dry, you’re killed. Yikes.

eden-saki

The developing relationship between Saki and Takizawa is both fascinating, nice, and tragic all at the same time…

eden-phone

Talk about ‘Phone of Wishes’. Its quite literally a modern genie in a bottle.

‘Noblesse Oblige’ is another title for these twelve people picked to save Japan, by and the by.


K-ON

Maybe not as laugh out loud funny in the last few episodes, but that was evidently the opening act into the story. Its instead taken the role of being the quite charming 4-koma. So far, its been fairly masterfully switching between its humour and WAFF, in fact, which is great to see, since only Lucky Star managed to do this quite as well, in my opinion. Like a good cheesecake, it is light and enjoyable and makes your day. Well, maybe that’s just me…

K-On-WTF

Well, uh, what can I say about this? How about WTF?

K-ON-Sisterly

Awwww…this scene was so full of cute sisterly love. Nice. Real Nice.


Valkyria Chronicles

And here’s another one which likes to frequently play the style card. Its pretty with some lovely animation. And whilst the Edelweiss tank was intially the star of the show, they have actually started some alternate character development now, especially with Alicia and Welkin. What I do like is that Welkin is actually a fairly stable, noble, slightly eccentric and lovable guy, and yet, still manages to still be a tactical genius. Normally in Anime, great generals nearly always have some character flaw. Like being a complete bastard. (I’m looking at you, Lelouch) So yeah, I’m still quite interested in this.

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Yes indeed. What are you doing?

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Wise man is Welkin. A commander worth his salt indeed.


Ristorante Paradiso

Well, this was a sheer surprise entry for me, as I’m sure I noted before. But, despite the fact its clearly a Shoujo anime, I find it mightily charming, the drama of this little resturant in Rome with its bespeckled staff of older men and the girl caught between their antics. Everyone is characterised so interestingly, I can’t help but be somewhat amused.

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Sure you were, Nicoletta. We believe you.

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Ye gads, even as a middle aged man, he manages to be a charming bishie. (though that’s a contradiction in terms, I know…)


Wait! That’s Five shows, I hear you cry!

Yeah, that’s right. My remaining slot is still contested. At the moment, much to my shock, Hanasakeru Seishounen is still ahead to take it, which again is because it has a nice WAFF feeling to it.

But it is a three-horse race, with the fate of two still to be determined. The other two are Phantom ~Requiem for a Phantom~, and PandoraHearts. Pandora has had some serious ups and downs. Alice and her Scythe-weilding rabbit form are pretty cool. The bit in the actual abyss was cool. Not sure if I appreciate how quickly they managed to get out of there though, since I prefered the sheer lunatic feel of it. It also has a distinct danger of turning into a monster of the week show. Phantom started amazingly, but has been reluctantly dragging its feet a bit since then since its been spending SO much time with plot exposition. Still, its not bad.

So I’m kinda stuck, ya know?

Anyway, I apologise once more for my tardiness in posts as of late. I can’t assure you blank-outs like this won’t happen from time to time but please don’t hold it against me. (its, uh, writer’s block! Yeah!)

Also:
5000-hits!

I can hardly believe I’ve had so many visitors in the last six months or so. A big thankyou to you all for visiting, and hope you enjoy the blog!

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Well, I’ve now had time to look at the first few episodes of the new season, specifically, Asura Cryin’, K-ON, and Phantom~ Requiem for the Phantom, so I’ll post an inital look at them. I’m not going to put in full plot summaries or anything here, just a few thoughts and notes and stuff.

Phantom:

Actually the first thing I looked at from the three, so I’ll do it first. The first episode involves a little bit of timeskip to involve us in the action. Presumably, what happened before will be explained in later episodes.

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We open with our mail and female protagonists infiltrating a villa.

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We then flashback to the male protagonist remembering his first ‘test’.

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She looks pretty scary in that mask, no?

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That’s almost a bit artsy. We learn that the girl and the guy have been assigned the names Ein and Zwei respectively (literally, one and two).

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Apparently, no one else on the beach seems to care much about the giant explosion just a mile from them. Shocking…

Well, this was very slickly animated. Ein reminds me alot of Kirika from Noir. I’ll probably keep an eye on it.

Asura Cryin’:

Well, I’m still a little suspicious of this due to my general lethargy in general to mecha series, especially since nothing groundbreaking has happened yet and I’m generally confused about what the hell is going on since the shit hits the fan rather quickly. I mean, I’m fine with the whole ‘I nearly died and got a ghosty girl companion who only can see’ thing. In fact, I thought the first 10 minutes were pretty cool, but then all of these people started fighting + random unexplained characters appeared + there’s a mecha in a suitcase (is it inflatable?). So I eventually got to the general conclusion of ‘Lul Wut?’.

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Ghosty Girl is Ghosty. And has the same Lul Wut? expression I did, I think. Hehe.

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Heterochromia is so popular these days! Damn you, Asuna!

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Bitchslap of death punishment. Well, he did seem creepy. LOL at the reaching hand in this image.

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…guys what’s goin’ on? I laughed at the ghost boasting about how she was stylish because she could change clothes.

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A lesson to you. DO NOT open strange suitcases. Even in a three way fire-fight. Even if your ghostly companion says do it. Resist!

Though there could be a Loli in there; this could also show up. Its like a Chance card in Monopoly.

Well, I’ll definately look at episode 2. Hopefully the tempo calms the frack down and we see development for ghosty girl and deathslap girl. If so, I might enjoy it.

K-ON:

Quite possibly overhyped? Almost definately. But, nevertheless, its pretty good from what I can see. Its definately got an episodic 4-koma feel like Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star. (In case you’re not aware, a 4-koma is basically an anime/manga version of a comedy sketch programme, like Monty Pythons Flying Circus. They’re usually based upon 4-panel comic strips, which is where the name comes from.)

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This girl REALLY takes the De-jikko archetype (careless/airheaded) to new levels.

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My god, McDonalds employees get more terrifying by the second.

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Yeah, because the Light Music Club is SO going to be like this imagination bubble…

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She can’t get her sentences out right, and they think she’s a shit hot guitarist who loves Jeff Beck. By far the best sketch in this episode. I laughed at loud at them misinterpreting Jimi Hendrix and then Jeff Beck.

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‘I think I’ll actually join your club because you all suck.’ Yeah. That’s really the tack to take, girl.

Yep, there were so reasonable laughs to be had here. Its a very solid start. I hope it continues to grow.

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Well, its already swung around to the next quarter, despite it being hard to believe. That means its time for another new anime season!

I’m obviously looking for more shows to fill the gaps this season as well since pretty much everything that I’ve been following has just ended or is about to end. Only Kurokami and Kohako no Regios are continuing from the last season. Toradora, Tytania, Index, Maria+Holic, Rideback and White Album are all leaving the schedule! Fortunately, there’s alot waiting there to leap into the slots.

So, a preliminary look at what I’m possibly interested in…

  • Asura Cryin’ Well, I’m not normally into the mecha stuff, but this one piqued my interest again, since its got some kind of dimension hopping going on as well as a haunted main protagonist. Could be interesting. I’ll have to research it more.
  • asura-cryin
  • PandoraHearts Some kind of thing about a guy with Amnesia (yawn) who gets sent to Carceri (or some other prison plane) and ends up forming a contract of some description with a girl. It seems tremendously generic, but again, I’m a sucker for dimensional travel and weird planes of existance, so I’ll give this a shot.
  • pandorahearts
  • K-ON! Based on a 4koma, this sounds like a typical one of those. This one has a bunch of girls who form a music club and each take an instrument. These things can be amazing, like Lucky Star, but can also fall and splat themselves. We shall see…
  • k-on
  • Phantom ~Requiem for a Phantom~ What? Thats an awfully repititous subtitle. Something about a female assassin whose cover is blown by the random male protagonist. Fortunately for him, he has some kind of knack for killing himself and she decides to train him. Sounds a bit like a reverse version of Daughter of 20 faces, so its got my attention.
  • phantom
  • Shikyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S MOAR CORTI!!!!!!! Well, I loved Polyphonica’s concept. The actual anime was a bit…meh…but its a great theory. Spirits that are fuelled by music. And, I’m Corticarte’s ravenous fanboy, so I’m definately watching this. Also, can’t forget Phoron’s bike. It transforms into a church organ, dont’cha know?
  • corti-2
  • Senjou no Valkyria I’ve heard some talk about this. Its based upon a PS3 game or something. I don’t have a PS3 and probably never will, being Nintendo’s bitch. Maybe I’ll look into it.
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  • Cross Game Some kind of timehopping/snapshot romantic comedy with a big baseball sports element. Though I can hardly believe it, I have to admit I’ve enjoyed these kinds of sports romantic comedies alot in the past, so I’m very interested in this.crossgame
  • Hanasakeru Seishounen Some rich girl is issued an ultimatum to select a suitor from a pool of three guys. But apparently, these guys are not aware they’re being targeted by her or something. Sounds weird and political. But so mysterious, I may look into it.
  • hanasakeru
  • Natsu no Arashi Some weird pseudo-sci-fi romance about a guy who likes a girl but has suspicions that she’s actually a ghost after finding an ancient photo of her. Its by the School Rumble guy, so I’m a bit suspicious about it, but we shall see.
  • natsuarashi1
  • Tears to Tiara Haha, well, I’ve played the game and reported to you guys on it. Now its being anime-ised. Considering that the game is awesome and that Utawarerumono had a fabulous anime adaptation, I suspect this might be pretty good too. Of course, taking away all of Arawn’s wives kinda spoils the fun, but whatever. As long as Rhiannon has her oven-glove snake hand puppets, the anime will automatically be awesome. That said, what the heck happened to the character designs? Llyr looks good though, so hey, whatever.
  • tears
  • 07-Ghost From the same stock as Hatengou Yuuki, which despite being a Shoujo manga, I actually enjoyed a bit. Sounds kinda fantasy action oriented too.
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  • Ristorante Paradiso Nicoletta, the heroine, goes to the restaurant to confront the mother who abandoned her as a child. As Nicoletta has already studied at culinary school, she decides to apprentice at the restaurant (owned by her step-father) while she repairs her familial relationships (with encouragement from the head waiter). EDITED ~ Thanks to Rman for correcting my somewhat off description! I guess I didn’t research this one enough! About a girl whom, attracted by the bishies in a resturant, decides to become an appretice chef there. Though its a daft concept, I think its funny her doing this for all the wrong reasons. Almost sounds…like GTO…or something…
  • ristorante
  • Eden of the East About a Japanese girl on a field trip to america and whom gets saved by a naked guy in front of the white house. What?!? Well, the sheer lulwut factor will get me to watch at least the first episode of this.
  • edeneast

That’s not all. I’ve already eliminated 11 shows I’m not really interested in.

Hence, the Non-Starters are: Sengoku Basara, Queens Blade, Basquash, Arad Senki, Gokujou! Mecha more Iincho, Guin Saga, Shangri-La, Tatyutama Kiss my Deity, Saki, Souten Kouro, Hatsukoi Limited.

Yeah, I know that’s alot to dump, but hey, 24 new shows is pretty damn stupid. I doubt I’ll even watch all of the aformentioned 13. You know, with time constraints and all that.

In fact, considering that I’m holding onto Kurokami and Regios, I suspect I’ll have to pick maybe six new shows to watch.

Anyway, I may also post more on the subject as and when episodes start rolling out.

Hope this report is handy to some people at least…

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