kaigou: It's dangerous to go alone, Alphonse says, and holds out a cat: here, take this. (2 dangerous to go alone)
[personal profile] kaigou
Well, No.6 is over. Le sigh. Great series, if you ignore the fact that a) it was too damn short, b) the final episode was one big honking deus (dea?) ex hornet, and c) it was too damn short. Now if someone would just translate the novels, there might be hope. (Note: not the same people who translated the 4th volume of Twelve Kingdoms, please. Or at least not the same copyeditor. Or maybe just make sure to hire a copyeditor, and not your neighbor's 10-yr-old.)

Break Blade finished a while back, but so incompletely and abruptly that I had to go digging to make sure it was really over. It might not be -- Production IG was going long and inconsistent gaps between hour-long OVA-like releases -- but it seems to be. Over, that is. And it ended on kind of a "well, uhm, let's end it here," note. Actually pretty disappointing, especially the way it sank in the last episode or two into the law of adaptations. I was hoping it'd hold out, but apparently not.

And Natsume Yuujinchou is now complete, but in three months the fourth season will begin. Woo, and may I add, hoo, although I'd have to say that if you'd asked me at the end of the first season, I never would've expected this series to continue. It's so episodic, with so much weight on character development over any truly over-arching arc, with limited bad guys (and oftentimes, no true 'bad' guys so much as opposing protagonists). It's so well-written and animated and voiced, that I would've expected it to remain a hidden, unappreciated jewel. Still. Waiting three months is gonna be hell.

Aaaaand Nurarihyon no Mago continues apace. It's faster this season, but sometimes sketchy, and wtf was it doing with ep12 being nothing but one big recap? Oi, I know Hollywood likes to treat its audiences like idiots, but at least we don't get entire episodes that are nothing but recaps. Just how short is the attention span expected to be, among Japanese teenaged boys? Other than that, the second season seems -- err, so far -- to be a little better on Kaigou's Rules of Adaptations. The girls are getting a bit more of a role, but I'm none too keen about the classmates being thrown into the mix, as well, seeing how they don't play any part in the manga's version. Then again, the end of season 1 totally ripped the manga's approach to the Kyoto arc rather than stick to canon, so I'm curious (and somewhat dubious of) the potential for ripping in the anime's end to the actual Kyoto arc. Sheesh.

Tried Towa no Quon, which is a BONES/Bandai production, but damn if it doesn't feel like the character designer dreamed up the love child of Toward the Terra and Casshern Sins (the remakes of both, that is). The hair! The sleek and pointy body armor! Okay, without Toward the Terra's bright and clear colors and backgrounds, and without Casshern Sins' amazing highly stylized approaches to, well, everything -- it's just the main character. Everyone else looks like Bandai-standard, character design no.17. Other than that? The usual motley crew, the usual underground militaristic anti-freedom high-tech bad guys, the usual crack settings that are supposed to pass for, idk, more motley. At least the first episode got the fanservice in there and out of the way, as annoying and blatant as it was. BONES is following the Break Blade pattern on this one -- is this a new thing? -- of doing one-hour OVA/episodes in lieu of half-hour regular season episodes. No idea why; it's not like you can't do two-parter arcs.

On the recommendation of Star-Crossed Anime, I checked out Phi Brain... which harks back, stylistically, to a redux of the mid-90s style. Think... oh, crap, the name just went right out of my head. Cards, kid turning into adult version, spiky sideways-liberty-hawk in black and blond, I know one of you knows the name! It's... oh, whatever. Visually, this has nothing to write home about, since outside the main character's stereotypical slacker-boy outsized mullet (what is with the stupid ponytails on these shonen heroes?), the rest of the cast are remarkably low-key, even dull, designs. And the story? Uhm. Something about solving puzzles! With definite major (and I do mean major) suspension of disbelief required. From there to using the brain (via an armband instead of something, idk, that would go on the head, because if it's for the brain, what's it doing on the arm? and what's with the buddhist-mandala connection? is this an actual positive representation of Buddhist-derived religion, or at least of its religious iconography?) and where was I. Right. Something to do with using puzzles to solve, err, save the world. And stuff. Reminds me of Kaiji, actually -- that same kind of storyline that seems awfully stupid on the face of it, and maybe you watch because you just love the ride. Me, I haven't bought my ticket yet on this one.

One thing that is a nice change, with Phi Brain -- the spunky female school-friend is not just the brainless brawn who'll still fail and need rescuing. She's athletic, sure, but it's her observation (of a detail the protagonist missed) that actually solves the big puzzle at the three-quarter mark. Nice change, there. A'course, she still needs rescuing by the Great Brain in the end, but that's what we have sidekicks for. I was just pleased that this sidekick wasn't entirely dead weight, but that doesn't mean I'm holding my breath that it'll last. I mean, look what's been done to NuraMago's girls.


Dantalian no Shoko, which (I believe) is over, now. I could only take so much, which might be why Natsume capturing me was so unusual, being equally episodic. Oh, wait, I remember now: Natsume Yuujinchou had beautifully and fully-rounded characters with consistent and gentle development. Four episodes into Dantalian and I was still waiting for some kind of development payoff, however slight. It was the highly phallic/sexualized imagery in the transformation sequence that did me in, in the end. Once was bad enough. Four times, and oh for crying out loud, just slap "AND HE TOOK HER CHERRY" on the screen and move the hell along.

Aoi no Exorcist -- which seemed to be improving (for a little while) on its so-formulaic manga roots, but then veered off into anime-original territory and crashed into a small vending machine. One that hadn't been maintained since the mid-90s, and still took just quarters. The characters had their moments, and the girls weren't completely useless -- only about 75% so! -- but still. It's pretty obvious when the director has no clue where to go next, and is just casting about for some way out of the wreckage he's caused. Well, with a good director, it's not obvious. This time, it was, and you can draw your own conclusions.

Coming up...

Eiyū Densetsu: Sora no Kiseki is based on an RPG, which is usually a good indicator of some total suck. (Persona 4 fans, I love you, but come on.) On the other hand, the teaser has some amazing work, and the animation for the first five or so minutes doesn't look total suck, but cripes, the animation team clearly studied up on how to make sure they hit every single cliche for every single anime opening ever. Okay, so does everyone, but I think I have limited patience for the constant running, these days. (One way in which Star Driver did shine, at least in its OP. There, the running made sense.)

A crossover between Gintama and... Sket Dance? That's some serious wtfery. Wait, Gintama is already a bundle of wtfery. I had no idea anyone could come up with a way to make it worse. But it doesn't end there; another crossover is planned, this time between Sket Dance and Bakuman, and if I didn't know better, I'd be thinking it's like those horrible sitcom crossovers that's a sign a show's either jumped the shark or tanking so fast in the ratings that the producers drag more popular characters in from a more popular (related or not) show, to try and spread some of the audience love. Because, honestly, Sket Dance? I guess there's one argument in favor of a Shonen Jump house style: visually the shows would merge. Better than a crossover between, say, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. At least if you crossed Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Tactics (or even Senkou no Night Raid) you'd be in roughly the same time period. Uhm. Give or take about twelve years. Taisho? When did Taisho end? Okay, just Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Fullmetal Alchemist, then, and I should probably stop before anyone gets any ideas. No, wait, I take that back: someone should write that*.

*someone who is not me.

Oh, gawd: Kuroshitsuji and Tatami Galaxy.

I should stop now.

Kurogane sounds awfully... formulaic. I'm pretty sure I've read this one already. Several times. Oh, wait, one of those versions was yaoi. Not the live-action version, which IIRC was either with Miura or Oguri. Ah, it's Samurai High School, with Miura Haruma. Then again, he agreed to star in Crows Zero and Koizora. Maybe the excessive bleach required for the latter did permanent damage. How else can you explain Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta?

But I digress. Sort of.

How much longer until Fam: the Silver Wing is released?

If I got bored with Usagi Drop (no matter how much I did like the manga, frankly, I think My Girl -- manga and live-action -- was just a more delicate handling of a similar dynamic), I'm not seeing me as up for something as pedestrian and episodic as Kimi to Boku.

Cripes. Three months until more Natsume.

Winding down the war

Date: 4 Oct 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
ext_141054: (Default)
From: [identity profile] christeos-pir.livejournal.com
Yeah, rapidly running out of stuff. I need a new Pellinore to love, as the Wart said.

Only one more Ao-Ex (I know you didn't like it, but it had its moments and IMO got better in the backstretch). And NuraMago, which I'm dispiritedly watching just because it's there -- don't know why, because this season has more to offer than previously, in theory, but I just have not been able to get interested in it.

Which leaves me with nothing until I find some new interests, other than waiting for next installments in OVA series: Quon ep.2 (it's not Last Exile or even Xam'd, but it'll do despite its obvious love of Akira-meets-Tron), Mardock Scramble ep.2, Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo ep.1 (still waiting...), and of course Last Exile Fam.

Re: Winding down the war

Date: 4 Oct 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
ext_141054: (Default)
From: [identity profile] christeos-pir.livejournal.com
(OK, Hoshi Kodomo is probably going to be a one-shot, but you know what I mean.)

Date: 4 Oct 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
hokuton_punch: An icon of Edgeworth and Gumshoe from the Phoenix Wright games, looking over a file. (phoenix wright edgey gumshoe molested)
From: [personal profile] hokuton_punch
Oh man, what am I going to do until more Natsume. D: I have fallen so deeply in love with that show it's kind of scary. (Really hope someone requests it for Yuletide this year, I'd love to write for it but haven't really had the energy for anything but my WIP.)

At least I still have Mawaru Penguindrum, which is not as wonderful as Utena so far but still pretty engaging, and then, I didn't fall in utter love with Utena till the Black Rose arc, so Penguindrum still got plenty of episodes to seriously hook me.

... oh, and there's Beelzebub, my shameful love of the moment. No really stupid show why do I like you so much.

Date: 6 Oct 2011 06:24 pm (UTC)
littlebutfierce: (natsume yuujinchou fear the paw)
From: [personal profile] littlebutfierce
Here via [community profile] animanga_news -- just had to say I am definitely requesting Natsume for YT, & I am sure I won't be the only one... but if you don't want to wait until then, there are a few requests for it for Kaleidoscope too. ;)

Date: 5 Oct 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
sharibet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sharibet
I'll have to check out No. 6--nothing airing recently has really sparked my interest

Blue Exorcist is proving quite a disappointment--as you pointed out, it's a mess without much story direction. To that I will add that I think one of the problems contributing to the lack of focus is the fact that the purported hero of the show really has no goals big enough to drive a series. He tends to react to events, but he's not actively working towards anything, which makes him rather uninteresting to me.

Natsume Yuujinchou OTOH, has proved a delightful surprise and I'm so pleased it's continuing.

Date: 5 Oct 2011 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 7scimitarroll.livejournal.com
Now if someone would just translate the novels, there might be hope.
The person at http://9th-ave.blogspot.com/ is working on translating No. 6, and is up through the first chapter of Volume 3. The translator says (http://9th-ave.blogspot.com/p/q.html#q1) that it's a liberal translation, but it seems readable. Does this help?

Date: 5 Oct 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] taithe
I'm still holding out for maybe a OVA for No.6 because I'd really like some more please. Even if it's just filling in something between episodes.

Haven't finished Natsume yet partially because I don't want to admit this season is over. Didn't know there was another one coming up soon so I'm really excited. :D

Not anime, but isn't Korra arriving in Nov? Or is it being delayed?

Kuroshitsuji and Tatami Galaxy.

I... I want this. It'd be a fun ride.

Would you recommend watching Toward the Terra/Casshern Sins? I watched the first episodes of each but got distracted by other shows when they were released.

Date: 15 Oct 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
haya5h1: Drunk cat. (Default)
From: [personal profile] haya5h1
so I take it that I shouldn't watch Ao no Exorcist beyond episode 12? That's a damn shame. The manga's gotten pretty interesting lately, but the fact that it's running in JSQ - hence 30 or so pages once a month - makes it a painfully frustrating exercise in patience.

I love Natsume, but I am getting kind of turned off by the fandom's fixation on the Matoba being The BEST Thing Ever about the series... I prefer Natsume's encounters with individual youkai, myself. Subsurface conspiracies are overrated.XD

This season I'm looking forward to (well it's already started, but torrents here are slooow) the shojo anime Chihayafuru, which is something like Hikaru no Go except the protagonist is a girl and the game/sport is karuta. Not much else looks worth watching, so I'm plumbing previous seasons for Hanasaku Iroha (it's Fruits Basket-ish) and am finally starting to watch Tiger & Bunny - once I finished downloading a batch torrent and figured out how to recompress HD .mkvs into something that won't break my computer's brain.