The school season is here once again, and within the course of the summer vacation, I have not managed to write a single substantial entry. Shame on me.
On the other hand, this would be a really good time to look back at the previous spring season’s offerings, as well as anything else of interest.
For starters, let’s have a look at the shows from the spring ’08 season, plus whatever else I’ve watched recently:
Do note that spoilers and/or NSFW images may or may not be present.
Another of those fanservice-filled shows that caters to titillate to many a lonely otaku, this show started mediocre, and as of writing, probably still is. It suffers from a rather boring plot – girl from outer space falls in love with guy, hijinks ensue – though I guess it’s enough of a premise to shove breasts in the viewers face. While the animation quality was generally acceptable (I have low standards), the lack of substance in the show itself had me turn away from it after just the first viewing. Assuming it follows the manga, I doubt it will have any significant change in anything else. Perhaps it was just boredom that led me to reading the manga, but now that it’s past, I find no real point in watching this show other than having it as a “filler” of sorts.
Quite a good show, this one is. I can’t really pinpoint the main draw of the series. Be it the above-average production values with generally consistent animation quality (though as LianYL pointed out, Murasaki seems to constantly change height), the intriguing story, the voice acting (yes, Murasaki’s voice in unbearably grating, but let’s ignore that for now), or any combination of the above-mentioned factors. One thing about the series that keeps me going is how the show decides to do the exposition within episodes. It ever so slowly gives hints on the Kuhouins, on the pasts of the each of the characters (though a certain glasses-wearing girl seems to have been shafted in this area), and all sorts of other things that have to be taken and dissected by the viewer in order to get a fuller understanding of the world they live in. Another draw would be how the show just keeps you watching – you start to sympathize with the characters, and the more you do, the more you need to keep on going – to find out what happens to each of them; “Will Murasaki ever be able to live freely as she wants? What will happen, now that she’s been taken back? What COA will each of the characters take?” These sorts of things go through your mind as every episode ends, and sometimes even past that. It’s this sort of thought-invoking stuff that makes me keep wanting to watch the show, despite its flaws.
The Tower of Druaga – The Aegis of Uruk
I never actually got past the second episode of this show. I’m guessing what a lot of people liked in the first episode was how GONZO was actually able to deliver some really good parodies and humor with a fantasy RPG setting. However, as the show went on, it delved back into typical GONZO stuff. The first episode, while entertaining, was unfortunately not followed through with subsequent episodes. The second showing was pretty boring, as far as anything went, and even had the main character (whose name I forgot) get framed for killing the king – how cliché. Right now, I’ve not a clue on what’s going on in the show (I don’t read episode summaries) so I can’t say much on the plot. However, given that the second episode was already enough motivation to get me to drop the series, I doubt it could get any better – this is GONZO after all. On the other hand, scenes like this get me to change my mind.
Softcore porn. That’s really the best way to describe this show. Rather than taking the roundabout route that To-LOVE Ru chose, the studio decided to just throw as many naked and risqué scenes as possible. Like To-LOVE Ru, I read the Kanokon manga out of boredom. When the drive I had for the manga disappeared, so did the drive I had for the show, leading me to drop it around episode 2 or 3, if I’m not mistaken. Plot? Action? Cast all pretense to the curb, because really, there is no other reason to watch this show other than the fanservice. That being said, if you like that stuff, then go for it. Unfortunately, I am not. Being already busy with all sorts of stuff (like school, IIDX, trying to get better at drawing, and so on. plus anime), I doubt I’ll ever find the time to watch this show again.
Nabari no Ou
One of the most promising shows this season, but unfortunately, I was let down. The show started off well, with lots of ninja action. The premise itself was actually interesting, with ninja clans fighting over control over someone who has the ability to gain infinite wisdom and all that. This clearly set the stage
for lots of awesome fight scenes, but unfortunately degraded into exposition-filled episodes and whiny emo kid crap. Still currently pondering as to whether I should keep going, seeing as I’m already halfway through, or if I should just drop it altogether.
Zettai Karen Children
“PENIS BEAMS FUCK YEAH” were the thoughts I was able to gather from the first episode, but unfortunately, other villains have yet to top this power as of late. The first episode was enough to get my interest, which unfortunately waned away at around the fourth episode or some (whichever had the girls move in with Minamoto). Because this show’s pretty low priority, I haven’t watched enough right now to form any half-baked thoughts on the series, but given the motivation, I’ll get back to watching it.
Quickly dropped at the second or third episode, if I’m not mistaken. A lot of factors led me to this decision, but there were two prominent ones: (a) GONZO CG and (b) lack of any subs.
(b) is rather glaringly obvious. If one were to search “BLASSREITER” in a certain torrent directory, one would clearly notice the lack of English-subtitled releases beyond the third episode.
(a) is rather self-explanatory too, with GONZO constantly using CG in everything – the cars, trucks, motorcycles, whatever those things were, and Hermann, which irked me because of the inconsistency with the hand-drawn animation. In other words, they didn’t blend in well.
Thanks to the above-mentioned factors, actively following BLASSREITER pretty much became an impossibility (mostly thanks to [b], of course).
Kyouran Kazoku Nikki
What I loved about this series was how it was so much like SHAFT productions without actually having been touched by SHAFT. The insane pace at which the show goes is pretty fun and while not as insane as say, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, it does have a more coherent plot, rather than just randomness. Like with most other shows, I have yet to watch the more recent shows out of lack of motivation. Sometimes, you just can’t get the energy to watch anime, weird as it may sound. On the other hand, it seems it gets more and more out of hand when compared to previous episodes, so I’m very much looking forward to it.
A decent action show, but there are still, of course, flaws to be found. Firstly, while background art is incredibly well-done, lush, and detailed, the foreground – the main area of focus – is rather lacking in visual detail. It doesn’t bother me, given my low standards for quality, but it may be an issue for some. Maka’s voice acting is still flat as ever, but I think I’ve gotten used to it, for the most part. However, the biggest problem I have with the show is how it handles itself. Is it more of an action show, or comedy? In just about every single fight scene there is, there seems to be some sort of slapstick between the characters which disrupts the flow of what could be a good, well, fight. Still, it’s entertaining enough for something to watch, say, on a Sunday morning (which unfortunately is not an option for me because I have to fulfill Christian obligations or something like that).
Sky Girls TV
Yes, I know, slowpoke.tif, etc. but believe me, I have several days of anime burned onto DVDs which I will probably never touch again – it was on a friend’s recommendation that I fished it out of storage and watched it. So far, I’ve gotten to the halfway point in the series, and as a friend of a friend of mine said, “it’s a good anime, but it has serious pacing issues.” Right now, it feels that a lot of the things that happened could have been omitted or sped-up so the animators could squeeze in more content or something. Still the inclusion of the Vic Viper was a really funny reference that any idiot could get. If there is some sort of IIDX reference in there, I will seriously laugh. Hard.
Hopefully, the show can pick up the pace and do some plot twists or something. Also, Eika is moe and love.
The gay crap was enough to put me off.
That said, it’s not too bad, but.. ugh.
Wagaya no Oinari-sama
The show drags on forever and nothing happens.
Lazy to watch.
And now, for stuff I bought:
I actually got the manga a few days ago, with the Byousoku 5cm DVD around 2 Sundays ago, but I never got to writing about it until now. Negima!, as I’m sure everyone knows about, isn’t much to write about, considering everyone’s probably tens of chapters ahead already anyway (at chapter 213, to be exact). I was actually surprised at how ARIA and AQUA the manga are different from the show. A lot of chapters are in completely different areas, with some characters being present, other absent, and of course, the actual order in which they are presented. Of course, this sense of familiarity, yet unfamiliarity (dare I liken it to a Venn Diagram?) gives me incentive to experience the manga and the anime separately. And.. I guess that’s it for now.
Given that I’m not very good with putting thoughts into words (this post alone took three days of on-and-off writing), I really can’t think of anything else to say now. Of course, that could be because I’ve been listening to みさおマニア mixes the entire time, but hopefully, I’ll find something in school to relate with anime. Or perhaps get some inspiration from said school, or something. Whatever.