20 of 21 chapters read
You would expect this manga to be all about backstabbing, distrust, and a whole lot of confusion. But essentially what Doubt boils down to is hardly more than a manga version of the Saw movies –– especially, the first one. You remember Saw, right? That movie where people get kidnapped and tortured? Well, there’s no torture or traps here, but the similarities between the two are uncanny.
The manga starts off normally enough, when a group of strangers meet up in one location. They are all playing the game “Rabbit Doubt,” and the only way the can identify each other is by the rabbit keychain on their cellphones. But things quickly turn for the worse when they go for some karaoke and the main character, Yuu Aikawa, gets attacked in the bathroom.
The players wake up in a strange room, and try to figure out a way to escape. They find a dead body in the room next door and have no idea why they are here… I could go on and on about how similar this manga is to Saw. There is even someone surveillancing them the whole time. If you love the Saw movies, then you’re going to love Doubt. If Saw was not your type of movie, you won’t find much appeal here.
There is a brief love story towards the end, and personally I found learning about the characters’ pasts to be one of the more interesting aspects of the manga. Doubt, like its namesake, will keep you doubting and guessing from the beginning through the end. Many times when I was positive who the wolf was, I started “doubting” myself just a few chapters later.
The dialogue was okay: I found it a bit cheesy at times, even for a horror manga. The characters seemed to scream and shout a lot; luckily, because it’s a manga, we don’t have to hear them.
The one main peeve I had with the manga is that even though the plot was unique and different from all other anime or manga out there (that’s what got me interested in this manga in the first place), what started out as a cool psychological horror story slowly slipped into anime clichéness. You know…you have the handicapped loli, the smart guy with the glasses, the tough, cool guy… If the characterization had been just a little bit better, I think I would’ve enjoyed this manga more.
Still, the dramatic scenes gave me an enjoyable sense of tension. I loved the creepy atmosphere, as well as trying to solve the mystery of the barcodes.
It is doubtful that horror fans will pass up on reading Doubt, but I doubt they will give accolades to its doubtfully logical ending. read more
May 20, 2010Madobe Nanami no Windows 7 de PC Jisaku Ouen Comme... (Anime) add
1 of 1 episodes seen
It seems like Bill Gates has decided to target the otaku. And what better demographic to market your newest operating system to than those who spend most of their time watching anime and/or playing dating sim games?
The star of this commercial is Madobe Nanami, voiced by Mizuki Nana who most of us recognize as the voice actress behind Fate Testarossa from the Nanoha series. Madobe means “by the window,” while Nana means “seven.” This OS-tan is much slimmer and less bustier than her RAM-heavy, older sister Vista. She also has four colors in her eyes, reminiscent of the iconic Windows logo. I thought her eyes were creepy at first, but they are cute once you get accustomed to it.
The commercial is only 60 seconds long, so there isn’t room for much plot here, aside from Madobe quickly (and I mean quickly) guiding us through some of the features of Windows 7. If there’s anything you’ll learn, it’s what parts you’ll need in order to build your own PC and how to say “DVD” in Japanese.
Despite Madobe’s cuteness (as an owner of Windows 7, I know I’ve become a fan), there is nothing epic about this commercial, and it's borderline generic. But I guess there are worst ways you could spend that one minute…such as watching food infomercials on TV. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The first episode starts off with a bang; Kämpfer seems like a nice comedy/action series with a little bit of gender bending and even a love story between Natsuru and a soft-spoken girl named Kaede tossed in.
Everything great about this series quickly degenerates, though, so soon as episode 3, when it becomes a yuri love-fest –– male Natsuru, trapped in his female Kämpfer body, stuck between it all.
And that basically sums up most of the series. Kämpfer, to some fans’ delight, started out looking like another Sekirei, but instead resorted to perverted jokes and fan service à la Rosario + Vampire.
Kämpfer, for the most part, has no story, unless you count the yuri love triangle –– er, square –– that persists every episode, which the anime makes no attempt to underplay. What few battle scenes there are only last a minute at most and are definitely not worth the weeks of waiting that it took to get there. I’m glad I held out and marathoned the last 5 episodes. In my opinion, the most interesting twist occurs at episode 7. Unfortunately, the series ended quite open-endedly, which only hints that we’re doomed to get a second season.
The art quality from Kämpfer is inconsistent from time to time. The animation can be sharp and glowly during the more dramatic and intense scenes –– I especially like the depth of field effect when a character is near the foreground –– while sometimes there are obvious mistakes in subtle places that people too focused on the fan service may not notice. For example, in one infamous scene, a chair in the bathroom has no reflection in the mirror. These failures in quality control may come as no surprise, though, since this anime is produced by Nomad, who got caught putting six fingers on Suigintou in Rozen Maiden.
The sound was okay at best and annoying at worst. Natsuru’s male voice was especially ear-wrenching –– makes sense, since he is voiced by female voice actress Marina Inoue (also known for Chiri Kitsu in Zetsubou Sensei). I’ll admit, though, that Natsuru in female form sounded really cute. You may be ecstatic to hear that Kämpfer hosts a plethora of talented voice actresses, mainly coming in the form of the small Entrails Animals. We have the voice actresses of Kotomi Ichinose and Mei Sunohara from Clannad, and my personal favorite, Yui Horie, plays the role of Natsuru’s friend, Akane Mishima. It’s just too bad that all that talent had to go to waste on a series that most people won’t care about a year from now. The OP and ED theme are pretty good, assuming you like bubbly J-pop music. I found the ED theme quite addicting.
The characters in Kämpfer are blatantly generic; you would almost think the producers did it on purpose. Akane is a shy and cute meganekko who transforms into a sour-mouthed Kämpfer with no sympathy whatsoever. Shizuku Sangou is president of the Student Council and, despite her harsh demeanor, has deep passion for Natsuru. Kaede Sakura is the most annoying, in my opinion. I hated her from beginning to end. It’s her selfish personality that really bothered me. She only likes the female version of Natsuru, despite male Natsuru’s love for her. Natsuru’s expressions are cute and funny when he’s a Kämpfer, although he still gets embarrassed a lot, even in his male form.
You’re enjoyment will depend on how much you like gender bending, fan service, and especially yuri. There is a lot of kissing and groping in this anime, but not so much that it would be considered borderline hentai like Kanokon. If you’re looking for action in this series, you’re going to be quite frustrated by the lack of it. I guess the only way you could enjoy this show is if you have a tolerance for the all the awkward situations Natsuru falls in with his female friends and classmates flocking to get their hands on his/her busty body. I’ll give you a fair warning and say that Kämpfer comes no where near the quality of Rozen Maiden –– one of Nomad’s other anime. In fact, I would say I liked Kämpfer only slightly better than Akikan! because of its gender bendingness.
Kämpfer doesn’t break any molds or tries to reinvent the genre. Sure, a guy stuck in a girl’s body is an interesting scenario, but the anime fails to do anything with it, besides having other females literally fight over him…I mean, her. The Entrails Animals were humorous, arguably more than their Kämpers, but we don’t get much of an insight into their personality –– aside from a few one-liners –– until the final episode, which has no relevance to the rest of the series. Kämpfer isn’t necessarily an awful series –– it’s definitely unique from the other forgetful ecchi series out there. The reason it fails is because the first two episodes promise so much potential, but the series totally ends up denying the audience’s expectations, in the end. Kämpfer brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Don’t judge an anime by its first episode.” read more
16 of 16 episodes seen
I had no idea what to expect going into this anime, I didn’t even read the synopsis, but my initial reaction was, “Yes! Finally, an anime that parodies card games like Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon!” Unfortunately, they didn’t make an allusion to either anime. The only reason I watched Weiß Survive was because people were comparing it to Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (which I haven’t seen yet) and its 40-minute running time. Each episode is so short (2 1/2 minutes) that there isn’t even an OP or ED theme, which I was disappointed by, because I could only imagine how comical it would’ve been.
Despite the short episode length, I found the characters in this series surprisingly funny, especially the old man. I liked how, in the initial episodes, they broke the fourth wall. Apparently, there are some Persona references, too, but I didn’t recognize any of them, having not played the game.
The animation style pretty is much what you would expect from a concise comedy anime, with the characters going into a cute chibi form during battle; the production values aren’t very high, but it still works for an anime like this.
One interesting fact about the Weiss Schwarz game is that it is indeed a real-life card game that features decks with characters from existing anime, such as Fate/Stay Night, Nanoha, and Lucky Star –– although, we don’t see any of these decks in Weiß Survive’s first season.
If you decide to pass on this series, I can’t say that you’ll be missing anything significant. But if you’re a fan of short series, like I am, and don’t mind Takeshi’s perverted humor, this is a fun comedy to watch. read more
61 of ? chapters read
The manga is by Kiyohiko Azuma who also created Azumanga Daioh. The similarities between these two are very apparent, and the style of humor is the same, so if you liked Azumanga Daioh, then you don’t want to miss reading Yotsuba&!.
Similar to Azumanga Daioh, you’ll meet lots of new characters as the series progresses, mostly Yotsuba’s friends and neighbors, and they are all almost as odd as she is. XD My two favorite characters are Mr. Koiwai and Fuka Ayase. Mr. Koiwai is Yotsuba’s father. I aspire to be like him when I have my own daughter. He’s kind and is always there to take care of Yotsuba, but at the same time he makes sure she behaves properly (not so easy for a five-year-old). Fuka Ayase is 16-years-old and the middle sister of the Ayase family, who lives next-door to Yotsuba. Fuka is creative and smart, and she is the vice-president at school, but she also gets flustered really easily.
Yotsuba&! is a slice-of-life series, through and through. When I thought about slice-of-life, I used to think about Azumanga Daioh or Lucky Star, but none of them capture the little joys and perks in life as well as Yotsuba&! does.
In the manga you’ll follow Yotsuba to the bike store, the zoo, and much much more, all while seeing what life is like through the perspective of an eccentric five-year-old. It is funny reading Yotsuba's unusual but completely innocent remarks about things such as global warming and cicadas. Youtsuba will say and do the darndest things, and despite her bratty side which appears from time to time, you can’t help but adore her. read more
104 of 104 episodes seen
Chi’s Sweet Home is like the Nintendo Wii of anime. Anyone of all ages can enjoy it: your sister will like it, your mom will like it, even your grandma will like it, if she’s into anime and is cool like that.
The story is pretty clear-cut. A cute kitten named Chi gets lost and separated from her mother, and a human family that lives nearby finds her and decides to adopt her. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the apartment complex, so the Yamada family must keep Chi out of sight, especially from the landlady. The third quarter of the 104 three-minute-long episodes gets kinda repetitive and filler-ish, but once you get over this small hurdle and reach the last quarter of the anime, you’ll remember why you stuck with this series for so long. Chi’s Sweet Home is not only entertaining, but enlightening for future cat owners like me. It’s like an animated pet manual. I had no idea about some of the things I’d have to go through while owning a cat, until I watched this anime.
Some people may complain that more shadows or a darker color palette should’ve been used, but I think the watercolor style reminds me of a children’s book, which complements well with the innocent atmosphere of this anime. The animation stays very true to the manga’s design. Actually, if you were to set them side-by-side they would look almost exactly alike.
The OP theme with Chi the cat singing the lyrics is cute, but odd, to say the least. Even I wouldn’t be caught listening to it on my MP3 player -- and that’s coming from a person who likes Figu@Mate. XD The only thing I can compare the OP theme to is Menchi the dog howling the ED theme of Excel Saga (which is ironic, because it’s sung by the same voice actress). As for Chi’s ED theme…what ED theme? Lol. The rest of the music is standard and bubbly, but in a good way. Simple music for a simple anime. Most of all, I gotta give huge props to Satomi Koorogi for doing such a great job with Chi’s voice. Many times I thought they used a real cat!
The characters don’t have much depth, except the main star, Chi, of course. The parents and the little boy are mainly there to serve their role of caring for and disciplining Chi. Yet, the Yamada family does grow on you. Soon they will feel like distant relatives or close neighbors.
I’ve never said “kawaii” so many times in an anime. This anime is very funny, which may be hard for you to believe until you see for yourself. Chi’s facial expressions and the way she reacts to her owners are simply priceless. This anime isn’t all about comedy, though. It is also suspenseful when Chi is at risk of getting caught, and there are some sad moments where I couldn’t help myself from saying “Poor Chi,” or “Poor Dad.”
Unless you totally hate cats or are allergic to uber kawaiiness, you should give this anime a try. Even though it’s a hefty 104 episodes, the series is only a little over 5 hours in length. Heck, even if you have 30 minutes to spare, you can zip through the first 10 episodes to see if you like it. In my opinion, Chi’s Sweet Home is the best anime about a pet. It’s suitable for all ages, and you may even learn a few things about cats. read more
24 of 24 episodes seen
This is where Shuffle! excels the most. There are at least 4 or 5 arcs packed into 24 episodes, so by the time you finish, you can’t say you didn’t get your money’s worth. I was hesitant about watching at first, but this anime can’t be judged by the impression the first two episodes give, because there’s a whole lot more to it. Every episode you learn a little more about a certain character, which makes a good incentive to continue. Most of the plot is filled with twists, but some episodes (especially the last few) are predictable.
This anime looks much older than it really is. I don’t know if it’s because of the shading or choice of colors, but the characters look really flat, which takes some getting used to. If I had to make a comparison, I’d say this anime looks like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. What I do like is that the animation is very fluid. It’s like watching an oil painting in motion. The backgrounds and lighting effects are especially nice.
The OP and ED themes immediately became one of my favorites the first time I heard it. It was hard to stop listening and sometimes I found myself humming them. The BGM on the other hand is a whole different story. Most of the tunes sound like something out of a 90’s video game. Again, it makes the anime feel more dated than it really is. Although I guess you could call it nostalgic if you want to, since the characters are in their teens. It’s unique, but definitely not for everyone. Even worse, it gets repetitive pretty quickly, but at least the right tunes are always played at the right time according to what’s happening on screen.
Rarely have I seen characters with this much personality. Both the male and female characters are nicely developed (no pun intended). The girls are beautiful on the outside, yet they each have their own set of flaws. I’m sure everyone who watches Shuffle! will find a favorite character -- mine’s Kaede, followed by Primula. XD But I wish some characters would have had more screen time. It seemed two or three girls took over the show while the rest of the cast was placed behind, which is really unfortunate.
I recommend everyone to watch Shuffle! because there’s something for everybody -- comedy, romance, happiness, sadness, and even good fan service. Shuffle! is downright funny, but will have you on the edge of your seat just as often.
There are many harem animes out there, but Shuffle! is one of the few that does it right. As I mentioned above, despite its looks, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill anime. If you’re looking for a good romance, a light-hearted comedy, or just something with a bunch of twists, Shuffle! is one anime that you won’t forget about anytime soon. read more
8 of 4 episodes seen
This anime is REALLY short (4 episodes) -- even shorter than FLCL. And like FLCL, I have to wonder why it isn't any longer.
Dokuro-chan is an angel from the future who is sent by God to kill Sakura who is destined to create the technology that freezes all women's aging once they turn twelve.
Although Dokuro-chan decides to save Sakura, she ends up killing him anyway (multiple times) with her giant spiked club because she is very temperamental.
The great thing about this anime is that every episode had something that made me laugh out loud, and I guarantee you will too.
P.S. I found out on Anime News Network that the Japanese voice actress for Dokuro-chan is the same as Azmaria Hendric on Chrono Crusade. @_@ read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Only a couple episodes are dull. Other than that, the enjoyment of each episode is pretty consistent. The same can be said about the comedy: Midori no Hibi always remains in a comedic, light-hearted mood; only getting serious when it is needed to progress the story, not as an excuse to take a break, like some other animes do.
So have fun, and enjoy watching this anime. You'll laugh in every episode, except maybe the last one... I didn't get to see the ending credits because I was crying through the whole thing. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
One thing that I have to commend Elfen Lied for is that they didn't hold back on anything. Meaning, they show you stuff that other animes are too scared to show you on screen. Although, to my disappointment, there WERE a few parts where they had to draw the line -- they either hid it, or cut the scene short.
Usually when watching an anime, I get tired during the 3rd or 4th straight episode, so I have to stop and continue it the next day. Though with Elfen Lied, I don't know what it was, but something kept me glued to the screen. That is how I was able to finish all 14 episodes in only 12 hours (taking breaks, of course) and only yawned 4 times -- but three of those were because I was sleepy. I don't know if it was the characters, violence, nudity, humor, or animation that held my attention. But now I think it was the animation. The more you watch Elfen Lied, the more beautiful you realize it is. The luscious backgrounds themselves are worth the price of admission.
Elfen Lied will have your emotions running from love to hate and back again with almost every character in the anime; which is hard to believe until you watch it yourself.
With all this being said, Elfen Lied is DEFINITELY WORTH YOUR TIME. To this day it has remained my 2nd favorite anime ever after Excel Saga. read more