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Seishi's Blog

April 3rd, 2009
Well, with the new season upon us, I figure this is as good a chance as any to do this.

Fall

Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka - Complete - D
The random parts that actually were amusing didn't make up for the large amount of the show that was just downright stupid.

chaos;head - Complete - C
I'm not sure what the creators of this were smoking. In any case, it ended up a huge mess later on. I couldn't really take it too seriously.

Hyakko - Complete - A
A wonderful show using the four schoolgirl ensemble formula. Lots of fun supporting cast members put it a cut above the rest I've seen.

Kannagi - Complete - A
Great comedy involving a physical god and the boy she lives with. Good supporting cast. Genre shift to drama later on, but wraps up quite nicely at the end.

Nodame Cantabile Paris Chapter - Complete - A-
More of the same stuff, just not done as well. The romance seemed a bit better/funnier in season 1.

QUIZ Magic Academy - Complete (OVA) - B-
Hilarious magic school show that seems to be based off a game. A lot of random fun.

Toradora! - Complete - A+
Quite possible the best high school dramedy I've seen. Though the first half is heavy with comedy while the latter half has more dramatic development, especially in the last quarter. Taiga is officially the best and most believable tsundere character I've seen in anime.

Shikabanehime Aka - 6/13 - C+
Not sure about this one yet. It doesn't really see to have the styling that previous Gainax series have, and some of the voice actors sound obviously new.

Tales of the Abyss - 19/26 - B-
A good fantasy ride from Sunrise. Pretty and clean presentation, but noticeable pacing issues. I have not played the game, either.

Toaru Majutsu no Index - 19/24 - C+
Started with massive potential, only to squander it quickly. No real plot cohesion anywhere, but some random quirky characters make it not too bad.


Winter

Asu no Yoichi! - Complete - C+
Barely avoids being an unenjoyable accidental-pervert-protagonist-gets-beaten-on-regularily series due to the nature of the protagonist himself. Some of the other characters are a bit to over the top for me; had a lot of funny moments but the pacing near the end bugged me.

Akikan - 7/12 - C
Ridiculously stupid show, ridiculously stupid characters. It seems stupid enough that I can enjoy it on some level.

Chrome Shelled Regios - 11/24 - C+
I still don't know what's going on in this show. The main character is ridiculously broken. Even though Felli is cool, she seems like obvious moe pandering.

Kurokami - 6/24 - B+
A fun action ride involving a kickboxing girl and not-so-average everyman. Complete with cheesy synchronization scenes; hell yeah!

Maria Holic - 5/12 - B
Reminds me a lot of SZS; same director, studio, humour, and many of the same voice actors. I'm not convinced it will sustain the humour throughout, but the idea itself is enough to impress me so far.

Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou - 1/13 - A-
The adventures of spirit boy and his strange companion continue. More of the same good stuff.


Other shows recently completed

Sky Girls - B+
Impressive mecha musume show. Lots of dramatic tension, character development, and action thrown in. This show should not be watched "for the mecha action", though.

Zero no Tsukaima (re-watch) - A
Still one of the best blends of fantasy, action, comedy, ecchi, and romance. Believable main characters; yes, even Louise.

Hayate the Combat Butler (OVA) - B+
A very nice way of getting re-acquainted with the characters. Some obvious tsundere pandering, but given how this is done by J.C. Staff (and more specifically directed by Iwasaki), I wouldn't be surprise if the series had a lot more of it.
Posted by Seishi | Apr 3, 2009 10:49 AM | 1 comments
December 29th, 2008
Okay, since MAL doesn't seem to believe in keeping the Touhou doujin anime projects in the database (lol ZUN), I figure I should blog some thoughts about the new work from Maikaze, Musou Kakyo. This show isn't for everyone, especially people who think they can get an idea of what Touhou is about from simply watching this. However, it definitely is a work for fans, by fans.

Animation: Not as bad as I initially thought, still giving it the benefit of "doujin bad". Character designs were mostly pretty good too.

Voice Acting: A real winner here, featuring a few of my favourite female voice actors. Reimu and Marisa pretty much sounded exactly as I figured and wanted them to, since any other style of voice from Sawashiro wouldn't really fit Marisa. I kinda wish Aya sounded more like Kyouka, but I prefer her style over the even more kiddy-sounding Remilia. The others did pretty well.

Sound/Music: No complaints here. Good opening and ending songs, good use of sound effects throughout.

Characters: Most of the characters are brimming with personality, especially Aya who really stole the show for me. Without Yukari around, there is no real foil for Reimu; Marisa hardly counts, though her presentation was great in its own right. Remilia and Sakuya's master-and-servant relationship is definitely played into the show.

Overall: While not a whole lot happened in the first half, the show remained dialogue-heavy and entertaining. My only big gripe is the cliffhanger, since I know I'll probably have to wait at least another half year for the next part. All in all, a remarkably ambitious effort from a doujin circle I hope to see more from in the future.

8/10
Posted by Seishi | Dec 29, 2008 8:25 PM | 5 comments
December 26th, 2008
Okay, I have to say...thank you to the people who took time to leave a "Merry Christmas" message and/or card on my profile. Even if most of them were factory produced, it still brought at least a smile to my face.

If I'm not busy most of next Christmas (and actually have stable internet to use) I will most likely get off my lazy ass and send out something.

Until then, cheers~
Posted by Seishi | Dec 26, 2008 11:48 PM | 2 comments
October 28th, 2008
Anime Relations: Bamboo Blade
Lately, I feel like I have treated anime watching as somewhat of a necessity, for whatever reason. I can't just enjoy shows like I used to. My marathoning days seem to be pretty much over; no show can really hold my attention for long enough, and when I force myself, I end up burning out rather quickly.

Do you ever have those shows where you get a rather bad first impression of, end up putting it on-hold or even dropped, only to have someone convince you that you gave up on it too early, thus forcing you to re-visit the show? What if you did and then found out they were right? Can a person change their first impressions that easily?

Yes, they can. I had originally planned to write a "review" for Bamboo Blade, but retrospects are best saved for blog entries. I don't think I have ever been so wrong about a show as I did with my first impression back when this show aired. It will have a profound effect on my anime viewing for some time to come.

The formula is simple: create a base with a lesser-known sport in the western world, throw some cute girls in, splash it with a few litres of comedy, a few cups of drama here and there, and then a few dashes of some intangible ingredients. Bamboo Blade is just a show like that; it manages to do pretty much everything well, without being outstanding in any one field with the possible exception of characterization, which turns out to be the most important in a show like this.

I don't think characters have ever grown on me like they did in this show. Every main character, including the guys, manages to get some kind of important development, whether easily measurable or not. While some of the side-characters in the 2nd half of the show seem pretty paper-thin (Rin), the main cast remains strong, and even after it's all said and done I still have a hard time choosing a favourite.

Most importantly, this show re-taught me how to have fun while watching anime. It brought me nostalgic memories of my early anime-watching days when I used my free-time to enjoy shows with little outside distraction, whether it be marathoning or taking it easy.

All in all, I gave this series an objective final score of 8/10, but I hope I will never forget the lesson I learned in watching it.

I hope whoever reads this will feel the same.
Posted by Seishi | Oct 28, 2008 5:11 PM | 7 comments
October 15th, 2008
Well, last month I had the ambitious goal of trying to complete a bunch of shows, but as I figured, my lousy attention span prevented me from doing so. Right now I want to focus on this season's anime, so like pretty much everyone else, I'll give a short opinion on each show I've seen, plus assign a letter grade. The number in parentheses indicates the episodes seen.

A-range

To Aru Majutsu no Index (2)- Off to a roaring start with this show. Likeable main characters, a good mix of comedy (at least in the first ep) and action. Looks like Shakugan no Shana with more potential. A+

Toradora (2)- Another great set of leads. Fast pacing in the second ep, but this looks to be one of the better best romantic comedies I've seen. A

Kannagi (2) - A frontrunner for best overall animation production. If the writing and characters stay sharp, this could be the best series of the season by the end. A-

B-range

Clannad After Story (2) - The series already throws us for a fun ride at the beginning. I'm still weary about the possible botching (again) of the drama scenes that seem inevitable. B+

Nodame Cantabile Paris Chapter (1) - GYABO! I missed this show. B+

Chaos;HEad (1) - Not really sure what to think, but the show has promise. B

Tales of the Abyss (3) - Ridiculous fantasy show based off a popular RPG game? Alright, I'm down. B-

Shikabanehime Aka (1) - Probably my only "dark action" fix for the season. Hopefully the voicework improves. B-

C-range

Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka (2) - Generic, generic, generic. At least the execution keeps me somewhat entertained. I'd like to see more dynamics from Yuuhi and Junichi. C+

Hyakko (1) - Not overly exciting, but I really dig the animation style. If I don't see more from ep 2, I might end up cutting this. C

Yozakura Quartet (1) - A snoozer with mediocre animation at best for the first 3/4 of the show. I would have dropped it if not for Hime's bullet-swatting scene. C-

Kemeko DX (1) - Really random and only half-enjoyable. It looks like it could turn into another show where the protag gets beat on constantly for ridiculous reasons. C-

Hakushaku to Yousei (1) - A BIG snoozer here. The two lead voice actors also grate on me in pretty much all their roles. The dialogue at the end kinda made me obligated to check another episode out, though. C-

D(ropped)-range

None so far! :D
Posted by Seishi | Oct 15, 2008 12:02 PM | 3 comments
September 14th, 2008
As the title states, I will be finishing off a lot of my "in limbo" titles this month, which I will document in this post as I go, so feel free to check back anytime for those interested.

Red = I don't have the anime in any form, yet
Blue = I have the anime in some form
Purple = I'm in the process of watching (and should be finished soon)
Green = Completed

Aria the Animation - 4 eps
Baccano! - 5 eps
Black Lagoon - 3 eps
Blue Drop - 5 eps
Da Capo - 7 eps
Hayate the Combat Butler - 3 eps
Hidamari Sketch - 7 eps
Ichigo Mashimaro - 4 eps
Lovely Complex - 5 eps
Night Wizard - 7 eps
Maria-sama ga Miteru - 3 eps
Polyphonica - 3 eps
Ramen Fighter Miki - 9 eps
Rosario + Vampire - 2 eps
Saikano - 10 eps
School Days - 8 eps
Shigofumi - 2 eps
Shion no Ou - 4 eps
Toshokan Sensou - 8 eps
Cromartie High School - 4 eps

Also, I'll be keeping track of fresh series.

Red = I don't have the anime in any form, yet
Blue = I have the anime in some form
Grey = Downloading, or partially downloaded.
Orange = Re-watching. Plan to watch and watching statuses for these will both be in orange
Purple = Currently watching, with episode number
Hot Pink = On-hold
Green = Completed

Strike Witches
Ghost Hunt
Battle Angel Alita
REC
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Now and Then, Here and There
Akagi
Mushishi
Seirei no Moribito
Kaiba
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series
Mononoke
They are my Noble Masters
FMP! TSR
NeiA Under 7
Seikai no Monshou - Finished rewatch
Seikai no Senki - Finished rewatch
Seikai no Senki II

Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam I
Mobile Suit Gundam II
Mobile Suit Gundam III
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 (Compilation Movie)
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Posted by Seishi | Sep 14, 2008 8:31 PM | 3 comments