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Posts Tagged ‘Night Raid’

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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I just saw the Juvia episode for Fairy Tail, and I have to say, her fight with Grey is one of the most hilarious things I’ve seen in quite a while. Though it completely breaks her previous image as the mysterious rain sorceress; I have to say its probably a good change, since it immediately cemented her as my new favourite female character in Fairy Tail. To celebrate, I made this:

As always with my wallpapers, click to see full size.

I actually put a fairly ludicrous amount of work into this. I mean, the majority of her images have short hair (which I assume she adopts later on). Therefore, I had to add in her curls to main bikini-clad image (!). Now, since I’ve not read the manga at all, I’m not sure if some important character change accompanies the hair loss. I therefore apologise if I induce any indignant fury in current manga Juvia fanboys, but please keep in mind all I know is the Anime; and I’m the kind of guy who likes longer hair…

Besides that, I modded that image further, fixing up some of the linework and blending and many small other details. Probably amounting to at least 40 minutes of touch-ups followed by an extraction. Phewy.

Finally, there’s also a vastly complex 7 layer weave going on the backdrop, with various interposed clouds and the subtle rainbow; and of course, her face image, which is capped from the anime.

As for her entry into my likes, it was actually quite a surprise. I’ve always watched Fairy Tail because its amusingly exciting in a charming boyish kind of way. I’ve never really felt fanboyish tendancies towards Lucy or Titania at all. Given the new Opening this week as well, I think its a safe assumption that Juvia joins the party. Which isn’t a surprise considering her Love at First Ice with Grey:

When even the hair curls change to reflect her feelings, you know you’ve got trouble. ROFL.

Hmmm, and in related notes, I think I’ve decided to not do an individual post for Hakuouki and Ichiban Daimaou. Neither have really incited any sufficient emotion in me to warrant any comments. At least, if something is dodgy, it might give me cause to bitch about it, but both of these have been distinctly average. Given the current lineup, it appears as though my selections this season will be:

  • Senkou no Night Raid
  • B Gata H Kei
  • Mayoi Neko Overrun
  • Working!
  • ~Maybe~ Kaichou wa Maid Sama
  • Fairy Tail (still going from last two seasons…)

And that’s it…I have to say I’m a little surprised. Normally, I hesitate a bit more before selecting shows, but I’m feeling distinctly apathetic about most of the other shows this season. Angel Beats is irritating me with its gags and needless cruelty to Tenchi. Arakawa just seems too daft for my liking. Daimaou is almost cookie cutter facepalm material (shame, since it had potential with the concept). Even the new season of K-ON has got me wary: it’s suddenly trying to be a cute character drama, which, in my opinion, is not why it exists. It needs the laughs that established it in the first place to continue (Like Dejikko Yui and the Jimi Hendrix puns).

In any case, I’ll probably also get around to finally updating the Unsorted page again soon. Depends on my laziness. Cya again soon.

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And here’s the next set. Again, I’ll start with Mayoi Neko, and go onto Night Raid.

Mayoi Neko Overrun

Here’s yet another surprise for me this season. There was very little information originally on MayoiNeko, so I wasn’t really expecting anything from it, but it turned out to be better than I anticipated. Hardly world class, but worth a giggle or two. Anyway, as previously noted, our setting is a run down sweet shop called (bizarrely) Stray Cats. Takumi is a generic harem anime protagonist (TM) who also appears to be an orphan adopted by the Sister, Otome. He also has another childhood friend, Fumino, whom is textbook tsundere.

Interestingly though, Takumi actually seems to understand Fumino’s nature (as dishonest and double-sided) with an insight rarely exhibited by protagonists, so maybe he has some potential after all.

I assume she was going for a spine breaking wake up move, but it failed. Oh dear.


The middle guy is an Otaku at war with Fumino because he feels she’s too much of a cliche. I had to laugh at that.


Rich Loli with Ninja Maids and a cosplay fetish? Check.
As a hilarious side note, Chise (the Loli) has the voice actress of Index, and the maids serving her are Mikoto and Kuroko from the same series respectively.


One wonders whether the maids are begrudging servants when things like this happen, though… LOL…


Hey, it’s an anime about catgirls, so that makes perfect sense. Of course, in the real world, I’m sure Fumino would be straight-jacketed in short order. Oh, and the loose plot is that a young boy claims to have seen a huge (girl sized) cat that ate an important cake. Despite the fact that we eventually learn that the boy was fibbing, Fumino goes off to search. Fortunately, said cat-girl is actually discovered thieving a fish from the market.


The catgirl has some real serious agility powers to evade capture; and gets away, until the sister returns with…


Oh my gods! Its Patchiouli!

I laughed my ass off when I saw how close the character design was (somehow it didn’t click when I was doing the preview). Especially considering that there have been fanarts of Patchy with cat-ears. I also agree with the sisters sentiment since I’m fond of purple haired, red eyed combos.

Well, like I say, I wasn’t expecting anything, but the fact that this show doesn’t try to lampshade its identity and is rather tongue in cheek scores it alot of bonus points. The daft references help too. I’m not sure about our male lead at the moment, but he has some slight potential due to insight, domestic prowess, and not ~seeming~ to be too perverse. I guess we’ll see.


Senkou no Night Raid

Yet again, I was surprised by this one, and my early estimate had a bit of a crippling oversight. Namely, I thought they were going to play it straight without a fantasy element. I was wrong, since all of the protagonists have some kind of special power.

Because of this, it shares some more similarities with Bantorra besides its artsy style. Everything else about the preview was correct, however. It follows a special Japanese military spy operation in China. The first part follows a rescue operation of an important Japanese Businessman from a Chinese Paramilitary group whom have taken him hostage. However, there is a small conspiracy intertwined when it is discovered that said man is actually selling weapons to them for his own profit.


He hasn’t got a foot to stand on! (wow that’s a bad pun…) Ahem. Anyway, Aoi (right hand chap) seems to have some kind of time control. I suppose it could be telekinesis, but he’s continually going out about ‘running out of time’, so I’m thinking its an ability to mess with causality of certain objects (as in, actually, this bullet from this timeframe was going to hit over there, then I’ll speed to 14X your timeframe and slap you in the face etc.)


This is the guy whom is be rescued. He looked a bit dodgy to me as soon as I saw it.


There’s always time for bike stunts off the side of a bridge girder. LOL.


This shady chap seems to be in charge of the secret service. His shadow bodyguard also seems to remind me of Spike Spiegal, LOL.


They’re pretty advanced for their time period, this lot, with aerial photography and paratrooper assaults.


Natsume the uber sniper shows off his infinite zoom vision by picking off a carefully placed det-pack on a roof from about 3 miles away.


Kazura, meanwhile, has matter tranmogrification. In other words, he can Flash Move to a place he can see, and take people with him.

It’s hardly Allison & Lillia level conspiracy, but the first episode was a pretty fun ride overall. What is especially interesting was that they aren’t afraid to use a good chunk of Mandarin. Its a common anime failing to think everyone in the world speaks fluent Japanese, so its a nice change to see this decision.

Ah yeah, also, didn’t mention the girl operative, Yukina. She has telepathy, long distance mental communication and mind-melding, and really connects the whole team together.

Anyway, it was a pretty (if dark) first showing, and it whet my appetite, so I’m looking forward to this providing a nice action/thriller mixture.

That’s all for now. I think we’re pretty much done with initial previews. I still have to look at Daimaou and Hakuouki, but I’ll probably do those as well soon.

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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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