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Dec 17, 2008 3:42 PM
Anime Relations: Jigoku Shoujo, Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori, Baccano!, Natsume Yuujinchou, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou
I've already talked about Hyper Police, Fancy Lala, Koi Kaze, and Gakuen Alice as far as favorites from this director are concerned. However, I have finished all of his newer series and have brought myself up to date with his career and I find myself waiting for the second season of Natsume Yuujinchou just like any other fan would for a newer series.

Me watching new anime? Guess it had to happen sometime! ^_-

I began with the Hell Girl series (or Jigoku Shoujo if you prefer), as the first season led me to discuss the human condition in anime with my previous blog, and I found myself fascinated with the subject matter enough to give the second season a go. The first season introduced me to the idea of people summoning a girl because there is hate in their heart for another person, and they are provided a straw doll to untie a string from to sentence that person to hell. Of course, the sad catch is that the person who pulls the string is also sentenced to hell, making things even more interesting in the process.

Now what makes the second season of Hell Girl (or Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori if you prefer) a modest improvement over the tales of revenge told in the first series is that we find, perhaps, misuses of the services Ai Enma and company provide. The side characters are given life with their active involvement in all the cases in this season, as they investigate the source and the means for them to be called upon. Sometimes we find that it is difficult to pinpoint where the straw doll's use can be attributed, like in the first episode where a girl is trying to figure out who is tormenting her at school, or in other episodes where we find multiple people in possession of a straw doll. There may even be times where some don't use it, or perhaps there's an interesting twist upon its usage. After the series ended with a satisfying message on vengence, I found myself turning to Baccano! for more of what Omori had to offer.

Baccano! is a very difficult series for me to describe, yet is was easy for me to understand. It's a series that focuses on many characters, with several scenarios unfolding here and there, yet the directing proves versatile with seamless shifts between situations, making me anticipate what happens next with each and every scenario. There's also a lot of stylistic touches too, such as the over-the-top action sequences (particularly on a train named the "Flying Pussyfoot"), and even some visual touches here and there when you least suspect them. The story does revolve around the subject of immortality, which felt like the most important aspect of the series to me essentially, as each character involved had a different outlook on eternal life, yet it gave me an interesting perspective on the madness that eternal life gives too. A terrific series all around, I can't say enough good things about it.

Finally, we reach Natsume Yuujinchou, which almost feels like a return to the unique characterizations that Omori's Hyper Police gave me when I first saw that. The series involves a boy who can see spirits, yet none of his friends or family can see them, so he finds himself alone before he discovers The Book Of Friends, something his grandmother left behind from her days interacting with spirits. Watching the main character interact with the varities of spirits gave me some fun viewpoints on religion and even belief (the Dew God in the second episode was a character I was fond of, though I also adored the firefly spirit in episode eight). Also, he "befriends" a spirit he releases by accident that appears to be a cat, but is actually a nine-tailed fox (funny, because much like kyubi fox Sakura threatened to eat Natsuki in Hyper Police to take her power, it appears the fox in this series also desires something from the main character in this series about revisiting Hyper Police in more ways than one!). The warm directing of Omori in this series reminds me of what I felt when I saw a lot of his early works, and I can honestly say he still has it in him to direct quality anime.

Here's hoping that second season of Yuujinchou continues his streak. ^_^
Posted by Milkymagic | Dec 17, 2008 3:42 PM | 3 comments
Rove | Dec 19, 2008 12:06 PM
From what I heard, the third season seems to be a bit more daring in the visual department, which could be a positive or a negative thing depending on your tastes.

"My focus on directors is something of a bizarre fascination, probably stemming from my childhood dreams to be in the movie business no doubt."

Heh, I can certainly identify with that feeling. :)
Milkymagic | Dec 17, 2008 5:57 PM
I'm glad you think he's reliable, I think at this point with what I've seen from him, a majority of his works have become personal favorites of mine. ^_^

I would like to see the third season of Hell Girl actually, I guess I just kept my focus on Omori so I could keep myself up to date with his career and provide commentary on him up to this point in time.

After all, he's finally becoming popular, and that to me is something special. :D

My focus on directors is something of a bizarre fascination, probably stemming from my childhood dreams to be in the movie business no doubt.

But yeah, the first two seasons of Hell Girl have definitely given me incentive to check out the third, that's for sure.
Rove | Dec 17, 2008 5:25 PM
Takahiro Omori seems to be a pretty reliable director, which makes it easier for me to look forward to his works. All the more reason, as if it was necesary, to impatiently await for the second season of Natsume Yuujinchou.

Does your Omori favoritism mean that you're less interested in the third Hell Girl/Jigoku Shoujo series that's currently airing or that's irrelevant at this point?