13 of 13 episodes seen
It’s hard for me to be too hard on the romance anime plot premise, I mean they have pretty much already all been done before and they are all mostly silly as well. Suki na yo is no different, with the unlikely story of the hot and most popular guy in school falling for a shy, friendless loner who kicked him down the stairs because she mistakenly thought he flipped her skirt. The beginnings of true and lasting love if I ever saw it. The girl Mei, and the boy Yamato, both have some interesting personality issues on the surface and despite the silliness of their meeting there was some enormous amount of potential in their relationship. However this is sadly mostly wasted over the course of the story.
Now here is where Suki na yo is a bit different from its other romance cousins. For the most part our lead characters are in a relationship together from the beginning to the end of the series. The typical format is 99% courting with the eventual payoff at the end when our little lovebirds finally realize their mutual affections. While it can often be frustrating when it is drug out with silly misunderstandings and character cockblocks at least by then we have a clear understanding why they both love each other. The show is called Say I love you, but it should probably more aptly called Say why I love you.
Even though I have some pretty serious complaints about the way the shows romance and plot unfolds, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy watching this series. But when you compare it with its peers within the genre and even shows that were airing during the same time as this, it comes across as distinctly average and ordinary.
Much in the same way as the story is underwhelming, so are the series main characters. A romance is by nature very character driven and if we don’t get compelling leads it’s pretty difficult to care if they end up falling in love with each other. Mei is your standard "everyman" kind of girl typical in shoujo romances. She’s cute, though not particularly beautiful, and pretty much average in every other way. She’s a nice girl with a strong spirit but very vulnerable as well. Exactly the kind of girl most people can relate too and can root for as well. It’s sweet how she slowly comes out of her shell and makes friends and learns to trust people again as well. Even though this mostly comes across pretty corny and clichéd. Though hell I like corny and clichéd anyway.
Yamato is less interesting and in many ways is also your typical bishounen leading man. Though I will give him some credit for breaking the trend and not being a cold, aloof, and unfeeling jerk. You get the feeling most of the time he has genuine feelings for Mei but at other times he’s actions around her seemed to be a bit condescending and they he was treating her more like a pet and as an equal partner. I felt some aspects of his personality were also very inconsistent, especially later in the series. For a guy who came across as supremely confident he was surprisingly weak willed at times and his distrust of Mei's feelings at times was implausible considering what the pair had been through to that point already.
The supporting cast is the weakest link though and stereotypical shoujo fair. This plays in to the weakness of the plot but basically the same themes are repeated multiple times over the course of the story. Girl appears, of course hopefully in love with Yamato, drama unfolds, girl is rejected and our leads love continues. And the rejected gets new love and becomes best friends with our dear Mei. While I mostly liked the supporting characters they simply lack the depth for them to be actually interesting. Then of course you have to look past the unlikelihood that two romantic rivals are going to be besties afterwards, particularly when one side was involved in some pretty nasty schemes and bullying.
Despite all these flaws though what Suki na yo really does best is both its artwork and musical soundtrack. Both are typical of the genre but I really did love both of the songs. The seiyuu cast is comprised of mostly veterans but none of them are real stars. I thought they did solid, if unspectacular work. While the artwork may not be a masterwork, it is very fluid and reality based, with clothes and body types that stay in the realm of possibility.
Even though in the end I have quite a few complaints about Suki na yo, it’s still a good watch. If you’re really starved, as I was, for a romance anime with a sweet ending and are not demanding to be shown some that’s never been seen before then you should have a good time with it as well.
13 of 13 episodes seen
Tari Tari revolves around a group of five high schooler's who even though they all have very different goals in life do share a common interest, music. Singing, in particular. They all find themselves in a newly formed club to sing together, for the joy of singing, and not under the structured rules of the other related clubs. As expected we have plenty of drama and squabbling with the power that be as they try to crush our little upstarts at every chance. But despite the clichéd sounding themes of the main plot it does manage to deliver an overall story that is pretty well rounded and within the realm of reality.
Probably what Tari Tari does best is give us five believable protagonists who all struggle with their own problems, mostly typical of your average teenager on the cusp of adulthood. They have realistic and achievable dreams and goals that I think the average viewer can relate to, unlike many of the fantastical settings most anime are based in. Not to say this is a bad thing in all cases, I just think that it’s refreshing now and then to have more down to earth characters. The storylines featuring Wakana and Sawa were clearly the highlight of the series, and even though some of the smaller subplots weren’t really adequately wrapped up I found myself with little to complain about overall.
Because it doesn’t allow itself to get buried underneath a girth of over exposed side characters, Tari Tari's cast really shines. I would challenge anyone to find even one of the main cast that they couldn't like. Even though the show does not really have any one character in which the story is told through, the majority is seen, not unexpectedly through our three female leads. Mostly because of the strength of their own personal arcs, Wakana and Sawa really stand out from the rest. In particular I found myself drawn to Wakana who has the most heart-wrenching back-story. The whole dead parent plot device has been done to death but I felt her story was very moving and powerful.
Of the series antagonists and side characters really only stands out, the vocal club advisor and Vice Principal Naoko Takakura. While she is at first glance just you’re run of the mill constipated anime bitch, she has a humanity about her that makes you feel for her. Too be honest I felt her story was just as interesting as any of the main characters, perhaps because it was also tied to Wakana's story.
The vocal cast features a good mix of seiyuu veterans and newcomers. While I enjoy hearing some new voices, it’s always nice to hear a couple of my favorites such as Saori Hayami and Ayahi Takagaki and a great deal of my overall enjoyment of Wakana’s and Sawa's characters was due to their performances. As a show about music you would also expect a great deal of songs, which there are. Most of these are performed by the cast. The ED theme in particular was my favorite and never found myself growing tired of it. The OP, sung by AiRI is a veteran of many other anime/game projects people are likely to be familiar with but this was best song I have heard from her yet.
I loved all the character designs for the main cast, as they all had believable body types and mostly looked their ages. Konatsu looked a tad young but a pretty minor complaint. The backgrounds and settings were gorgeous; however some of the animation looked a little stiff and awkward (Such as Konatsu's running). Some of the adult characters looked pretty strange and unappealing to me as well, particularly the adult characters that all had some really creepy looking lips. It's just a style that generally does not appeal to me.
So despite my high rating of Tari Tari is it a really amazing anime? No it isn't. But it is very good. In a year that really hasn’t featured a lot of really great shows, Tari Tari stands out as one of the years' better ones. If you’re in the mood for light hearted school drama, you should find plenty to enjoy with this one.
11 of 11 episodes seen
I am sure people will accuse me of being excessively harsh when I say Nise's story... is one of the five worst things I have ever seen. Maybe that’s because there isn’t any story to speak of. What this series promised us was a story about Araragi's younger sisters and their encounter with the black swindler. It also promised some fill in the blanks of some of some of the other story arcs from Bakemono. I was particularly interested in seeing more on how Senjougahara ended up cursed. What we got instead is what I would consider to be a full length DVD extra putting the various girls in the cast in compromising situations and in assorted states of undress. The anime plods along aimlessly, taking us nowhere substantive. When they do finally get around to something other than panties or erotic tooth brushing, it is crammed in to an episode and a half and then quickly buried to get back to what’s really important. What’s too bad is that when they do bother to tell some story I do find myself interested in it. But also I was pissed off that it was all I got. To be honest the entire "story" could have been more productively told with a 2 episode OVA than an entire TV season. (cough: money grab)
Now I am not going to sit here and rail against service in anime, what’s the point? I am not even offended by it and I find it pretty amusing most of the time. Bakemono certainly had its pervy undertones but it didn't revolve around them or beat you over the head with them either. Nise seems to have just taken those elements and decided to make an anime around them. Frankly what offends me the most about the way the service is presented is that it takes itself way to seriously. It’s like somebody at Shaft just discovered you can put this kind of thing in anime and just completely lost their heads. Then have the nerve to act like it’s somehow smarter than anything we have ever seen before. Just because you inserted some witty dialogue and clever puns in between the breast fondling and skirt flipping doesn't turn it into high art.
Second only to the horrible story is what they did to the series cast of characters. Say what you will about Araragi's but for a harem lead (yes fanboys, Bakemono was a harem anime. Deal with it. It’s not a bad word), he managed to be a pretty interesting and compelling character. Well you can throw all of that out the window after viewing this series. He is a shell of his former self as he has been relegated to an immature perverted lolicon and pedophile who would be a registered sex offender in every developed nation in the world. His world view is that of a 10 year old boy, not a high school senior who is a borderline adult. People might try to say he is being ironic or sarcastic or maybe he's just a bully or a clown. But seriously who in high school, particularly a senior still goes around flipping the skirts of elementary school girls?
The rest of the cast fairs no better. The girls get little in the way of character development and are only treated as objects and tools for service. While you may initially feel some nostalgia as the previous cast is reintroduced and it feels like reacquainting yourself with old friends. However, if you went into this show like I did, wanting to see and learn more about Araragi's two sisters Karen and Tsukihi, then you’re in for a rude awakening. (Unless that is you wanted to learn more about their bust size and figures) For a series that was supposedly based around the two of them they have shockingly little actual screen time.
Well it’s not all bad. As expected from Shaft, the shows artwork and animation is absolutely fabulous. As is customary of their productions the screen is full visual overload of information with innumerable references and puns if you’re able to catch or comprehend them. The styling of the show is very much like its predecessor and has a very unique original feeling about the entire production. Even though the artwork is undeniably stunning, I did not always care for it. Another annoyance would be why they decided to cut the hair of every girl in the show. By the end of the series everyone looks the same. I mean... why? If they had changed their hair colors I wouldn't have even known who some of them were. But if you’re just a general fan of art and animation there is a whole lot to love about this show.
The music and voice acting is also equally brilliant. I honestly think this is the one thing Shaft almost never fails at, is picking appropriate music and animation to open and close their anime titles. Like Bakemono, Nise uses the voice cast to sing the various OP songs but it was the show's ED song which stands out the most. ClariS' "Naisho no Hanashi" is by far the duo's best single to date. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because it meant the episode was over?
Overall only the most ardent Bakemono and Shaft fanboys need apply when it comes to watching this show. Though if you were truly a fan of Bakemono I don’t know how you could not end up being disappointed. The lack of any kind of coherent story mars any sensory satisfaction you may get out of the shows artwork and audio track. You can pour and entire bottle of perfume on a pile of crap but in the end its still, crap.
195 of 195 episodes seen
Urusei Yatsura is the first of Rumiko Takahashi's work to receive an anime adaptation. It centers on what is today a tried and true anime concept, a beautiful alien girl, Lum, falls in love with a rather ordinary and none to bright boy, Ataru. While this may or may not have been the first time this had ever been put to film, you can be sure this was the first time it was done so successfully and thus spawning decades of future imitators. Add in a cast of gorgeous girls and other zany and outrageous characters and a memorably stupid and lecherous leading man, you have the framework for an amusing series.
However for modern fans a few things that are missing from the show will likely effect their overall enjoyment. For starters, Urusei is almost a completely episodic anime with absolutely nothing in regards to an overriding storyline. Once characters have been introduced into the series canon they change little if at all. Because of the nature of this format it makes many of the episodes completely predictable and annoyingly repetitive. A basic episode revolves around Ataru chasing girls, Lum becoming angry, followed by Lum electrocuting him. Additionally quite a few characters are nauseatingly annoying or generally grate on your nerves and outstay their welcome.
All that being said, when Urusei Yatsura is good, it’s REALLY good. But any viewer determined to take the leap into this series would be wise to savor it slowly over time. Over the several years I spent watching this series I found a few episodes at a time was the best I could manage in any given sitting. I would suggest that pace for anyone as well. If you are interested at all in the history of anime, UY should be near the top of your list. While most fans may not be familiar with most if not all of its characters, everyone is familiar with them as they live on today after being pioneered in this series.
The alien girl Lum remains today even thirty years later as one of the most iconic figures of anime. It’s pretty much impossible to dislike Lum. Most people think of her as a tsundere type character but she’s not. Lum is honest with her feelings and incredibly jealous. Add her electrocuting powers, she makes for a girl I don’t think any man with a brain would dare defy or cheat on. Since Ataru is an idiot he doesn't ever learn though. Despite her jealousy and frequent use of her power she never comes across as a bully or a bitch. More often than not you find yourself feeling a little sorry for her that she has fallen for such an unfaithful and idiotic man. Love is blind they say...
For Ataru, he is an unrepentant louse and womanizer in addition to being a complete idiot. You might think that because of his personality that he would not be a likable character either but that’s not the case at all. Despite his odious character defects he remains a charming and likable character throughout the series. Whether you just like his antics or like watching him in pain or being punished. While it becomes obvious that Ataru really does care for Lum, his womanizing and rejection of Lum's advances seem to be out of a desire to not be tied down or in liking being chased. Even though he is completely and totally unsuccessful in wooing any woman other than Lum he never seems to give up.
The supporting cast is enormous, as one would expect from a series of this length. The results are mixed. Because many characters have extreme personalities I often found that they became annoying if they were featured too often. Shinobu starts as Ataru's girlfriend and vies for his affections in the early parts of the series. She is one of the rare exceptions to change over the course of the series. I was glad to see her not pine over Ataru for the entire series though she took a rather strange turn from being an ordinary Japanese girl to being a super strong girl. Mendou also shines as the super rich boy who is adored by all the girls, except the one he most wants (Lum). But in actuality he is just as much of a womanizer as Ataru is. He makes for an excellent foil. Others like Jariten, Ran, and Megane are generally amusing but tend to get on your nerves if they get too much screen time. Cherry and Ryuunosuke's father are ALWAYS annoying and generally made me swing from the desire to punch a hole through my television and projectile vomiting.
From an artistic standpoint, due to its success it’s likely to have influenced character designs for an entire generation and eventually lead to what we have today. I think you can probably trace the origins of "moe" back to at least this series as the thin, lanky, and elegant body types of the 70's give way to younger, chubbier, and cuter looking ones. Despite its age though and the peculiarities of animation from this era its still looks fabulous. The characters are extremely expressive and have enough dissimilarity that they are easily distinguishable from each other, with only a few exceptions.
The seiyuu performances are first rate and each brings out their characters to perfection. Whether it be Lum's anger or Ataru's perverted giggling you can’t help but be drawn into Urusei's universe. The series features many different OP/ED themes that vary from your standard J-Poppy tunes that wouldn't be that out of place today and the very dated engrish disco tracks. It’s old enough now that you may just have some 80s nostalgia.
I my opinion everyone should give this series a watch. While it certainly isn't an easy viewing experience, getting through it will give you an appreciation for the history of animation in Japan and an insight on Japanese pop culture. Not to mention it's also pretty damn funny.
12 of 12 episodes seen
What Hidan no Aria gives us as a premise is about as generic and played as it comes. A high school boy... sigh why is it I always have to start it with that? Anyway he goes to Butai High School, a place where Japan teaches its youngsters to be assassins, thieves, and super powered shrine maidens. It’s like any other anime high school except the students all carry guns and katanas. No seriously it’s just like every other high school. So from there our hero, Kinji, suitably useless and powerless Japanese male gets involved right off the bat with the more dangerous female classmates who either want his body or him dead or more often both. Of course Kinji is able to tap into a hidden power of his own called "Hysteria Mode" which he enters from being sexually aroused. Really I'm serious here. I can't make this stuff up. Further nonsense ensues from this point and I honestly couldn’t make heads or tails of any of it from the beginning.
As with most anime of this type it likes to throw out tons of nonsensical and contradictory terminology and other assorted garbage. While in the beginning it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch it really starts to take a turn for the bizarre after a few episodes. That’s when we start having characters assigned names from other fictional and totally unrelated content. Such as Sherlock Holmes, Lupin IV, Jeane of Arc, and Dracula? It’s a mishmash of themes that have absolutely nothing in common with each other and make no sense when even applied to the story. It’s almost like the author of the story just picked random names from a library shelf and jammed them into his story as if they applied some sort of deeper meaning to it. The names don’t even have any bearing on how the characters act either. Jeane of Arc has ice powers, Dracula is a werewolf, and Holmes is a gun totting, dual katana wielding loli. Wuh? This only further confuses an already pointless and directionless story which doesn't seem to stick to one theme for more than a few episodes before meandering off into another direction. All in all it’s bad... REALLY BAD. Perhaps the worst excuse for a story I have seen in anything to date.
That brings us to the characters which really don’t far much better. Our hero Kinji is barely worth mentioning. Seriously when are they going to just stop giving the guys in anime names or even bother drawing on faces on them anymore? Just go ahead and give in to the otaku pervs and just complete the fantasy by having replacing them with faceless stick figures to allow them to complete their 2D on screen fantasy.
As for the girls the results are bad, even for a harem. Other than Aria the other girls are pretty much unmentionable. Aria is your standard loli tsundere. She says all of the things you would expect of her archetype and is performed brilliant by the undisputed seiyuu queen of this type, Rie Kugimiya. As much of a completely uninspired character or even acting performance that makes Aria up, it is Kugimiya that makes this series even remotely palatable to watch. Sure we have seen her do this role dozens of times before but I for one really never grow tired of it. In that sense it is a thoroughly Kugimiya type performance that is right in her wheel house and one that she completely hits out of the park. The real question is how many people are, unlike me, totally sick and tired of it?
J.C. Staff is usually pretty solid with their animation and production values and that doesn't really change here. But a lot like Kugimiya, I suspect a great many viewers are becoming weary of seeing the same damn thing over and over again. It would be nice to see them try to stretch themselves sometimes and be unafraid to take some risks. The one thing that really did stand out to me was how utterly silly the various girls hid their weapons. Take Aria, who is a tiny girl with an impossibly short skirt yet somehow manages to hid 2 enormous pistols under it and yet not be constantly seen when she is not drawing them. In addition to the even more ridiculous dual katanas she hides, under her blouse. It seems Aria's clothes are a lot like Doctor Who's TARDIS: bigger inside than it appears from the outside. Not that this is the first time anime has played with physics before but this really seemed to stretch the realm of believability.
From an acting and sound standpoint, Hidan no Aria is very good. As mentioned I think Rie Kugimiya was in her element and delivered a very enjoyable performance. The rest of the cast played their parts as expected. The music was pretty exciting and good. I especially enjoyed May'n Scarlet Ballet.
I actually found a great amount of this series to be amusing, mostly because I am a Kugimiya fangirl. As nonsensical and clichéd as everything about this anime was there was plenty of amusement to be found in watching the characters act this way. But at the same time I am fully aware that pretty much everything else about this show is terrible. For that reason I can’t recommend it to anyone.
12 of 12 episodes seen
The premise for Freezing seems like it might have had an enormous amount of potential. Mysterious entities called Nova are invading earth intent on wiping out mankind. All that stands in their way are special soldiers known as Pandora and their Limiter partners. Our setting is a school/laboratory called West Genetics which trains future Pandora and their Limiters. This is where that potential I was speaking of starts to get lost. The Pandora are all, unsurprisingly all big breasted girls (hey this is anime after all!) and the Limiters are all guys. Given that the Limiters are timid, weak, and mostly useless this is unsurprising and the only thing they really do is hide behind the skirts of the Pandora and yell "Freezing!" and other clichéd nonsense. The girls on the other hand are violent and uncouth and spend most of their free time trying to kill one another or bully their underclassmen.
Now since I have not read any of the original manga I can’t speak to how well this anime adapts its story. Even if the manga has an amazing story (which I doubt honestly) it is completely lost in its transition to an anime. Really nothing is adequately explained from what the Pandora are to what the enemy is or why or how they are even ended fighting. Eventually by the end you do get some explanation and can make some conclusions from the action and context but this is a piss poor way to present a story to your viewers. Additionally for pretty much two thirds of the series nothing of significance to the plot happens. We get introduced to the lead, Satellizer el Bridget, learn a few snippets from her past, watch her take ALOT of showers, and get groped and bullied by the cunts and bitches she has as classmates and seniors. And for about the first eight episodes that’s just about all that goes on. What story there is remains unresolved with the ending. Though it leaves the viewer with the impression that at least one additional season should be expected. This kind of series always seems to get a sequel if it wants one so it’s really hard to hold the ending against it.
For a series that is at its core about fighting, the overall action is a bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of fighting but the majority of it is crammed into the last few episodes. Most of the early fighting is uninteresting and more about tearing apart the girls’ flimsy school uniforms to expose their breasts. If you enjoy exposed nipples and breasts then the world of Freezing should be like heaven to you. Like most fighting anime, the characters yell out lots of nonsense. With Freezing most of it is mindless technobabble and engrish and little to none of it is ever explained. While you can get the meaning from some of it through context it sure would be nice for the story to explain this to you once in a while.
Like the story the characters are also a major weakness. Neither one of our leads, Satellizer or the boy Kazuya are very interesting. Kazuya is your typically weak and unremarkable anime boy with powers (unsurprisingly) far beyond your typical Limiter. He has a special attraction to Satellizer that is both mysterious and due to the fact she reminds him of his dead sister. I know shocking that someone should have a sister complex in anime right? (Pardon my eye rolling) Satellizer, known in the school as the "Untouchable Queen" is a girl of dual personalities. Her external persona is that of a cold and ruthless killer while her true personality is that of a meek and mild mannered girl with a fear of men. Other than learning every inch of naked body through her regular trips to the shower or having her uniform torn off in all her battles we don’t learn all that much about her. What is learned fits into the narrow stereotype her character has its basis in.
The supporting cast is no different. I seem to beat this point to death in an awful lot of the shows I review but the main issue with Freezing's cast is the sheer number of characters in the cast. It is literally impossible to keep track of all the characters. They bring in 2 or 3 a week, many of which looks almost identical to each other. Their main purpose seems to be only to bully Satellizer who for some reason seems to really butt hurt them. Even so, you’re likely to have at least a couple that amuse or even interest you just a little bit. For me it was Rana Linchen who is a quasi-main but whose personality I enjoyed as well as having a pretty sexy character design.
Artistically, Freezing is also weak. For one the character models are absolutely ridiculous in most cases. While I do like the "full figured" look, the extreme and impossible bust and waistlines really detract from the series. Given how much tits and nipples are visible they really should have done a better job with this. Everyone's figures are pretty much interchangeable and the actual animation of all the "jiggle" is really not that realistic or even appealing. The color palette is very drab and depressing, with maroons, dark blues, grays, and blacks dominating the series. The world is also incredibly dark and depressing. While I am certain this is by design that doesn't explain why there is basically no sunlight at all and while they seem to be stuck in a world of eternal midnight.
Freezing's voice cast is quite impressive as it seems to include almost every current seiyuu of note. However this is a double edged sword as the reason it has so many is because the cast is so enormous. Because of this none of the actors really gets a chance to shine. Additionally Satellizer is horrible miscast with Mamiko Noto. While I really enjoy her work and also seeing her portray a bit of a different character than she normally does (though also exactly the same) I just don't think her voice works for her character. The music is solid but unspectacular action anime fair. The OP is particularly exciting but also really drives home how ridiculous, Satellizer's in particular, chest measurements are.
Even though I never really had any high expectations for it, ultimately Freezing is a failure. I was hoping it would entertain me somewhere between other anime it has a lot in common with such as Seikirei and Ikkitousen. But its lack of a coherent story, bland characters, and unappealing visuals make me unable to recommend this to anyone.
13 of 13 episodes seen
Rio's story is, as expected, dreadfully terrible. Our leading character is Rio, a popular dealer and kind of the mascot of the casino she works in, Howard Resort. Apparently she has some kind of power that gives people luck and causes them to win when she’s around. You can understand why the casino patrons would enjoy having her around but I never could for the life of my figure out why the casino owner himself would. The setting in Rainbow Gate is a whimsical and over the top look into the casino world. Nothing in this anime is really meant to be taken seriously and everything, at least early on, revolves around putting Rio into embarrassing outfits and playing ridiculous games. Honestly, if the series had just stuck with this slice of life type formula it might have been tolerable to watch.
Where things start to come apart is when they start implementing the "story". We are introduced to a kind of competition called Gate Battles, were other top dealers from around the world compete in casino games for the ultimate goal of collecting all 13 cards and getting some prize. Our dear Rio conveniently is a Gate holder so she is periodically challenged over the course of the series until the Gates become the sole plot point. This is when the series really starts to lose itself too. For one, the Gate Battles are silly and downright stupid. They have little if anything to do with any actual casino games and they rarely, if ever, require any kind of skill. Additionally there is the introduction of an absolutely ridiculous super power called "Roll Ruler" that some of the competitors use to control the game or the minds of their opponents so they can win. Believe me when I say that it is stupider than I can actually make it sound.
The characters are marginally better than the plot. Like so many of its contemporaries, there is also way to many of them too for the length of this series. Since it's impossible to ever really get to know them it relies on tried and true stereotypes and cliches. Rio herself is a nice, sweet, and likable heroine but she lacks any kind of depth beyond her heavy udders. She is always thinking of others and trying to help people but she’s a silly , one dimensional character. Any personality she does have is can be solely attributed to the performance of her seiyuu, Marina Inoue. The rest of cast, like Rio, is wholly forgettable. So much so that I am not even going to bother talking about any of them.
Overall the show is pretty to look at. The settings, backgrounds, and characters themselves are all appealing and well drawn, for the most part. The art captures the over the top style of the series as well as bringing to life a lot of ridiculous games and making them mildly interesting. Some of the characters, well most to be honest, have ridiculous chest measurements. But it’s hard to hold the artists too accountable for this, since pretty much every anime is like that these days. The ecchi is pretty tame as well and there isn't any real nudity, only implied through convenient foreground obstacles and strategic clothing. So if you’re looking into this anime because you like that kind of thing, then you’re going to be disappointed. The vocal performances and music are pretty solid, if unspectacular.
In the end, Rio: Rainbow Gate! is pretty much your average run of the mill forgettable anime. It’s inoffensive and completely unremarkable and is unlikely to impress anyone nor did it ever really have any chance to be any good. Fans of ecchi anime will also find little to appeal to them as it is overall quite bland and tame in that area as well. The ridiculous plot and silly characters drags this show down to well below average and isn't worth your time or consideration.
Apr 3, 2011Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ... (Anime) add
12 of 12 episodes seen
The first thing that one is going to notice is just how completely ugly and unappealing the character designs are. Everyone looks deformed, with malformed bodies, monkey ears, and gigantic hands and feet. This decision seems strange considering this is an ecchi title, in which a lot of the humor revolves around sexual content and, apparently, is supposed to titillate the viewer. However it utterly fails at this because I found the artistic choices made to be so god awful to look at that I found it to be wholly inappropriate. Besides the deformed characters the backgrounds are mostly plain and uninteresting and color palette appears drab and washed out. It’s probably the most repulsive looking anime I think I have ever seen.
The overall plot for Onii-chan lacks any real depth or direction. For starters, if you were expecting an incest romance comedy along the lines of something like Kiss x Sis, then you’re likely to be disappointed. What we are presented with is a boy, Shuusuke, who has a little sister complex with Nao, who conveniently has a older brother complex. Like many shows that deal with incestuous content, they seem to give themselves some moral cover by making the pair not blood related. This isn’t much of a spoiler, since it’s revealed about ten minutes into the first episode. The story proceeds along as a slice of life and slapstick comedy.
I found pretty much all of Onii-chan to be disgusting and morally corrupt. The majority of my experience with this show could best be divided between the desire for nauseous vomiting and bursting into flames of rage. The characters themselves are as distasteful and repugnant on the inside as they are visually unappealing. All of the characters are abnormal deviants that run the gambit between being sexual predators, sadists, stalkers, pedophiles, and perverts. It’s not that these things are new or unusual to anime, because they are frankly featured in practically everything these days. However there is really not one "decent" person in the entire cast and the way that most of their activities are portrayed as the norm for people of this age made me want to throw up.
Now that I have gotten off my soapbox about the decline of decent society, the key reason why this show fails so miserably is the cast. Like so many other harem type shows, it’s soon weighted down with way to many girls. We get introduced to their various personalities/perversions and then watch them throw themselves at the lead, much to the series other hussy's chagrin. Rinse and repeat with a new girl after a couple of episodes.
Shuusuke himself isn’t much to speak of. He is typical of harem boys and even more of those from this kind of series. Perhaps the only thing that makes him atypical from his peers is just how much of a sick disgusting pervert he is. I suppose it is not that abnormal for boys his age to be interested in dirty magazines and comics, but they take it to extremes that ended up just making my skin crawl. Such as some of his various fetishes and the demeaning fashion that he ogles the girls panties, breasts, and anything else that seems to sexually excite him.
Meanwhile, Shuusuke's harem of girls is not any more pure. Nao is quite possibly the worst of the entire bunch. She spends her time spying on and finding ways to torment her older brother. At first these seem to be spawned simply just out of jealousy, but soon they take a darker and more sinister meaning. Nao seems to take an euphoric, almost sexual satisfaction in seeing her brother in pain or descending deeper into his perversity. To varying degrees this is repeated amongst the other girls. While they all have deep seeded psychological issues none of them ever seems to be as messed up as Nao. Whether it's Iroha's telescopic observations and sexual advances or Kondou's fascination with BL manga and male nipples.
Despite my overall contempt for Onii-chan, I won’t lie and say that some of it was not pretty funny. Even though finding the humor is akin to picking out the undigested kernels of corn from a piece of shit. I also felt ashamed of myself for laughing at any of it too. Clearly this show was not for me and I would advise anyone to avoid it at all costs. For those of you who really liked this show and thought it was hilarious, I don't think we can be friends.
12 of 12 episodes seen
The story concept for Dragon Crisis! has been repeated ad nauseum. An ordinary school boy with average looks and the personality of an anvil is suddenly thrust into a secret world of the supernatural including, as the title suggests, dragons. Of course most of the dragons just happen to be cute girls who naturally flock to the harem of our slack lipped leading man. The plot is virtually nonexistent since the writer seems to have decided to forgo anything resembling a story in order to load up the cast with every type of stereotypical character imaginable. Instead we are inundated with obscure and nonsensical terminology such as "Lost Precious", "Level 10 Breaker", and "Engage".
What little story it does have mostly falls flat on its face. Red Dragon and loli Rose really loves Ryuuji and shows her affections in a very open and honest way, like a child. It actually manages to be both kind of sweet and creepy all at once. Ryuuji, like any red blooded Japanese boy maintains his puritanical values and attempts, unsuccessfully, to fend off all those cooties carrying girls who throw themselves at him. However because just about every episode introduces a new character, the cast becomes bogged down with characters making the execution of any kind of serious story impossible. What we do end up with has all the sophistication of an elementary school creative writing project.
Much like the shows concept, none of the characters are all that special either. They conform to basic harem archetypes and rarely, if ever, deviate from them. A few of them might just be remarkable for how dull pointless they actually are. Probably the best example of this would be Misaki, Ryuuji's shy secret admirer. She is utterly a waste of the art materials, man hours, and computer time necessary to bring her to the screen. She contributes nothing of value. She has no powers and is just an ordinary human and she basically seems to only be in the cast because the "How To Make a Harem Anime" playbook calls for her type to be included. The only positives amongst the characters, I suppose, would be Ai and Eriko. Though it certainly isn't because of any originality on their parts. It's only because they happen to come across as the most fun and enjoyable characters in the show.
What Dragon Crisis! does do exceptionally well is its music. Yui Horie's "Immoralist" OP is really a great upbeat and exciting table setter for the show. The real shame that the feelings and action displayed in the OP do not really materialize within the show itself. Overall though I think this is easily the best song from any of the anime from the Winter '11 season. On the flip side, the ED "Mirai Bowl" is a playful and naughty and at first glance seems out of place for this anime. It features extreme chibi abuse, which raises it up in my favorability rating but it’s just so damn cute and adorable that I really looked forward to seeing it each week. Of course this also meant the episode was over, which might have contributed to me liking it so much.
The seiyuu cast is also very strong and chalk full of talented actors. They are mostly wasted on this and none of their performances are really memorable enough to worth mentioning. However it should be noted that this is yet again another loli role for veteran Rie Kugimiya. I honestly love Kugimiya to death as an actress but it is really quite distressing to see her continue to be pigeonholed as the same damn character repeatedly either through her own poor judgment or from studio typecasting. Though her role as Rose is not your typical loli tsundere per see, it certainly would be nice to see her try to expand her range a bit. Honestly the been there, done that nature of her performance is one of the reasons this anime comes across as so lame and uninspired.
When you get right down to it my entire experience with Dragon Crisis! was neither good nor bad. A viewer is as unlikely to really hate it as he is unlikely to love it. One can certainly do better, so unless you simply must see every anime about dragons you would be advised to give this one a pass and watch something better.
12 of 12 episodes seen
What really attracted me originally to Kimi ni Todoke was the way it broke the typical shoujo stereotypes and mostly stayed away from them. Instead standing many of them on their heads and having fun with them. It stayed away from love triangles, misunderstandings, and the other typical cockblocks that plague romance anime. This begins to change somewhat from episode one when we are introduced to a new character Kento Miura. A character that could only have one purpose and a type that anyone familiar with the genre could recognize from the start. While in retrospect I probably shouldn't have been surprised that a rival might make an appearance, I also think that it’s a bit out of character for the series as well. Sawako is just too innocent and simple of a personality to have her heart swayed by the appearance of additional bishies. Though his character doesn't really pan out the way I feared he would, I am still left wondering if it was even necessary to include him at all.
As much as Kento's arrival initially annoyed me, the main problem overall with this anime is the frustratingly slow pace. This started to bother me in the first season towards the end but most of the time you just found yourself tapping your cheeks and exclaiming, "Aw, they're so cute!" However now I found myself more often pounding on the arm of my chair screaming, "Get on with it already!" The constant string of misunderstandings and hand-wringing gets old really fast. There is a limit to how clueless, how bashful, and socially awkward two people can be. And this is the source of most of my frustration with the plot.
However, as much chagrin and annoyance as most of the series' pacing caused me it’s almost completely offset by how it ends up. All of my expectations were fulfilled as we are treated to a wonderful culmination of their struggles to reach each other’s hearts. We are even treated to something that we rarely get to see in romance stories, the after the confession story.
Another rewarding aspect of this season is the continued growth of Sawako's character as a normal well adjusted person. As much annoyance as certain characteristics of her personality caused me at times by the end you see a girl who changed quite a bit from the shy and gloomy person at the start of the first season. Even Kazehaya is changed, though it is not as noticeable with his outgoing personality as a shell to cover up his own insecurities.
The rest of the cast remains pretty much unchanged with one notable exception; Kurumi. Her role in this season is greatly diminished but all of her appearances are quite impactful. Each one displays an element of her character, from jealousy and vindictiveness to vulnerability and honesty. Over the course of the series she manages to both stand in Sawako's way and to help her get around her. Though you could say they are technically not "friends", this kind of tough love probably changed Sawako in more ways than any of her other friends managed to. I think that everyone can relate to Kurumi's feelings and her unrequited love. It's hard to not feel a little sorry for her, but while she's still not over Kazehaya by the end its clear she is going to be ok. Unlike most rejected romance characters, it’s hard to imagine Kurumi pining for Kazehaya for the rest of her life.
Artistically there is really no change from this season to the past one. It remains the most beautiful shoujo romance probably ever made. If there is any fault to be had it is with the overuse of Sawako's chibi form. While I myself happen to love chibi style animation, I felt they were used inappropriately at times. Particularly in some of the more impactful scenes which ended up taking away from them. The music and voice acting remains top notch, MAY's "Kimi ni Todoke" ED song I think is the best one of the entire series. Mamiko Noto's performance is also quite memorable. I really believe this is a defining role for her, almost as if the character had been created specifically for her. I cant imagine any other seiyuu voicing Sawako.
Overall the 2nd Season of Kimi ni Todoke is an excellent conclusion to the series. Though even with its excellent ending it never feels like it equals the quality of the first one. Combined with the frustratingly slow pace and an implausible string of misunderstandings, makes the experience as a whole uneven. Despite these warts if you loved the first season your still going to like and perhaps love this as well.