Without further ado. . .
Mashima Taichi is probably Chihayafuru’s most complex character. He’s good at everything but isn’t particularly great at anything. He gave his best at Karuta but he still isn’t in Chihaya’s level. He likes Chihaya but he can’t really get himself to tell her that.
For such a bishounen character, Taichi is fairly human. I’ve said this before already but Taichi has all the characteristics of a bishounen but he isn’t exactly quite like it.There are tons of defining moments that show Taichi as a character that’s frustrated with himself yet at the same time he isn’t. There’s also his inherent selfishness. Taichi has a lot of moments where he asks himself if his goals truly are his goals. Overall, Taichi is a character that thinks too much and the way Chihayafuru presented this is just glorious.
More hyperventilation. KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Dropped: Symphogear, Area no Kishi, Guilty Crown
Hold: InuXBoku SS, Mouretsu Pirates, Mirai Nikki
I’ll just do a fast swing at this since I’ve explained a lot in my reviews
LAND OF THE TERRIBAD:
FAULTY BUT WATCHABLE:
Rinne no Lagrange: 8.0
I felt a bit iffy with the whole Madoka angst but overall, Rinne’s last month felt like a build up to the next season. Everyone’s separated ways after the whole “pretty flowers falling into the sky” act. I never really got the significance of that but whatever. ONWARDS TO SEASON 2 THIS SUMMER!
Nichibros. : 8.3
The comedy started to go slightly dry but the anime insults haven’t. In particular the whole last scene in the last episode where everything was played straight feels like a facepalm now seeing how stupid these clichés actually are. I salute you for this Nichibros., I really do.
The last two episodes were sort of downers, especially since the rest of the series spent time building up the mystery. The BIG REVEAL is mindfuck amazing though, but overall, this isn’t Another’s best month.
Ano Natsu de Matteru: 8.6
Mixed bag for this month. Episodes 9 and 10 were pretty amazing, Top tier quality romance. Episodes 11 and 12 is shit. Seriously, the Sci-fi element cheapens the whole thing! Though Lemon-senpai turning out to be MBI was pretty damn cool.
Step down from Bake, as I’ve mentioned already. Still, that toothbrush scene will always be etched in my mind forever.
Aquarion EVOL: 9.0
I’m including Episode 14 in this because that’s the reason why EVOL is rated so high this month. The level of surrealism in that episode just raised the weirdness bar on this series, which was pretty high already.
Fudo ordered the students to bury themselves on the graveyard to feel death. Mikono was opposed to this so she didn’t follow orders and after a few minutes, the original Aquarion OP starts playing and Mikono’s power was revealed (something about connecting green lines or whatever). Then everyone popped up of the ground and Mikono shouts “Happy Birthday!” to all of them.
Weird but awesome.
I WANT A SEQUEL NOW!
ALL TIME FAVORITE:
Average month I guess. . . not much to say that I haven’t already. I don’t wanna be repetitive. Toodles!
HAHAHA sorry for the delay, I may not be keeping up with my blogging but I definitely am when it comes to watching.
Starting from episode 1, I knew this series was going to be a winner. I’m a big fan of sports series (or at least I have a high regard to the ones that I did watch) and the way that Chihayafuru presented Competitive Karuta, something very niche, is awesome. And what would Chihayafuru be without its awesome set of characters. Whether it was Chihaya and her one-sided mind played wonderfully or Taichi’s complexity or even the other members of the Karuta club, it was played really well. It also has a knack on developing players Chihaya faces really well. Complete with excellent production values, Chihayafuru is definitely the best anime that aired this past two seasons.
Execution: 37/40 (The way such a niche sport was presented in such an outstanding way puts Chihayafuru above a lot of sports series)
Engagement: 28/30 (It filled the void Steins;Gate left behind on my Tuesdays perfectly)
Characters: 19/20 (The fact that you even have attachments to one-episode characters makes Chihayafuru’s development above any other this season)
Production Values: 9/10 (Great soundtrack, great animation, colorful palette; courtesy of Madhouse)
Nisemonogatari is amazing on its own right but it is a step down from its predecessor. Bakemonogatari is my all-time favorite anime hands down so Nisemonogatari had a lot to live up to. Well of course Nisemonogatari is more of the same. The extensive dialogues that go nowhere, the plot that’s built up using words, the crazy animation and wonderful choke of development. What Nisemonogatari lacks is structure. Bakemonogatari has arcs that feel complete afterwards. It even has a sort of epilogue in each arc in which Araragi would have a scene with his sisters and how each story has added something to his character. Nisemonogatari decided on making the sisters actual characters, and the two arcs feel a bit flimsy compared to any of Bakemonogatari’s. Its plot advances but there’s no real end to anything. I didn’t feel the gathering of different clues to achieve the answer (it actually felt a bit “made up along the way”) something that Bakemonogatari always had. With that Nisemonogatari is a bit of a step down to Bakemonogatari.
That’s all the complaints though. Again Nisemonogatari holds up pretty well when it comes to dialogues, plot development, characters and animation and with the monogatari franchise, these are the important parts. In fact SHAFT made sure this looks even more amazing than what they’ve ever done before (tooth brush scene anyone?). Being a step down from my All-time favorite series just means it stepped down from An Almighty God, to a demigod or something like that.
Actually ignore anything I said above. I’m just putting this lower because there wasn’t as much Senjougahara and the only replacement they have with Bakemonogatari’s amazing episode 12 is the toothbrush scene. Plus no Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari.
Execution: 36/40 (Great but lacks the polish Bake- had)
Engagement: 29/30 (Well duh its the sequel of my favorite series ever, so I was eagerly anticipating this week per week)
Characters: 18/20 (Great characters as always. They really keep developing and changing through out the span of both seasons.)
Production: 10/10 (Best set of visuals I have ever seen.)
Rinne no Lagrange
One of the three big sci-fi series of the season, Rinne was my early favorite. those first few episodes were downright amazing. The mix of an intriguing plot, characters, action and an EPIC BGM (i mean it the OST of this series is really good) made this series a winner. It was still good afterwards but it never really topped its first few episodes. The excitement on my heart that I found a series that can make me this well– excited tapered off a bit towards the end. Sure Madoka and the jersey club hold up pretty well towards the end but something was missing. Hopefully Season 2 fixes this.
Execution: 33/40(Amazing first few episodes but tapers off a bit as it finishes its first season)
Engagement: 25/30 (The excitement in my heart on those first few episodes will never be replaced.)
Characters: 17/20 (Madoka and co. are okay and they do have a fair share of development but there’s still something missing to it. 2nd season should polish on this aspect)
Production Values: 9/10(If anything, people should listen to the OST. Fucking amazing)
I love how this show insults many of the cliched aspects of Anime. In a way it sets as an awareness that creators should be more creative to what they make and stop using these cliches. Awareness aside, Nichibros. is a fucking goldmine in Anime Comedies. The way it presents girls as horrible people (again opposite of how Anime usually represents them), the Lit. Girl segments wherein the deep things people say just come out of their asses, and the different shit guys do in Highschool. The characters are no way developed but this series is just to funny and awesome for me to even care.
And yes, Season 2 please. This is how you do a comedy about High School boys (go to hell Kimi to Boku.)
PS. I can’t believe they did a segment where the girls went to London just to beat up other girls; Too much K-ON references?
Execution: 36/40 (The way it presented itself as an anime that anime fans need to watch is very unique.)
Engagement: 27/30 (Your attention sticks to how funny a segment is. Luckily almost all segments are funny.)
Characters: 15/20 (ZERO development but all of them are funny)
Production Values: 7/10 (Nothing special)
Ano Natsu de Matteru
Ano Natsu surprised me on how well done it is. For a melodrama High School romance, this sure holds up well to my favorites. In fact it reminds a lot of Toradora. I can’t compare it to the Onegai Series since i haven’t watched it, but this series really stands on its own. The whole setup with an alien girl falling into a normal guy’s hands feels all fanservice, harem rip-off, but to my surprise it turned out to be a love polygon between a group of friends. Characters are given a healthy dose of development (particularly Mio, Kanna and Tetsurou) and the drama between them just becomes better because of this. The directing is High Tier, with camera angles really depicting the love polygon well (See episode 9).
There are a few downsides to this. While the entire cast has development, the main couple, Kaito and Ichika, are a far cry when comparing them to leads of series with the same genre (notably Toradora, Anohana, Honey and Clover). The added sci-fi element kind of bogs the entire thing down since it didn’t need it on the first place. Minor complaints to what is essentially a great High School melodrama.
Execution: 36/40(My god the directing is so spot-on. The added sci-fi element bogs things down though)
Engagement: 26/30(Romances like these are always very engaging)
Characters: 18/20(Healthy dose of development)
Production Values: 8/10(Pretty good considering this is JC Staff and all)
Horror series are rare to come by (since they don’t sell that well) so I was all excited when Another premiered. The premise is about a class where people die, Final Destination style, because of a curse that happened 26 years ago. The series spends its entire time figuring out who the “Another” is and the big reveal is really awesome. At the start, I thought the characters were a bit one-sided but Kou and Misaki (and their blossoming relationship) really developed after a few episodes of conspiracy building. Combined with an awesome set of visuals and sound, Another holds up well to great anime of the same genre (namely Shiki and Higurashi).
Execution: 36/40(Horror is as hard to execute as comedy and Another did it really well since I was scared shit in my pants watching this every week.)
Engagement:26/30(The overall mystery surrounding the Another was nicely done)
Characters:17/20(Kouichi and Mei are adorable together)
Production Values: 9/10 (It’s PA Works. Can’t go wrong with that.)
Oh god I’m fucking tired typing this and I still have a lot to review. Well good luck to me. Plus that monthly roundup is gonna be done soon. And my Recommended list. Hah! I’m totally not procrastinating.
Side Note: Apparently I’m in the Aniblog Tourney (that circle jerk fiesta where all pretentious bitches win –nah just kidding) so if you’d like to support me, please do.
Your usual Bishounen in Anime is that perfect guy who can do everything and is popular with everyone and is impeccably handsome in an effeminate way. He’s untouchable. He doesn’t exist in real life. He’s something the fujoshi crowd have been dreaming in their bedside for years.
Now what makes Chihayafuru’s take on this trope, more specifically Taichi?
Taichi has all the same traits. He’s smart, athletic, good with everything he does, popular with the girls etc etc. . . What makes him so different? In my opinion, what makes him so different is the realistic delivery of Chihayafuru that makes him so believable. The very same traits that make him great are the very same traits which make him faulty.
The story shows him being good at everything, the way his mom wanted him to be. He has a TIGER MOM. He’s one of those Asian kids that suffer from too much expectations. At the same time though, Taichi realizes he’s just good at everything. He doesn’t have anything he can actually master or concentrate on. He’s the Jack of all trades, Master of None. The trope that he supposedly belongs in is brought down to earth, making him human.
It’s not just that. His character revolves around his inherant selfishness (something we all have) and affects how it affects his interactions in real life. Do I want to be with Chihaya or just want her for myself, making me selfish? Do I not want her to have Arata’s phone number because it might affect her performance or is it for my own selfishness? Do I want to be promoted to Class A in a jiffy or do I want to earn it myself?
There’s also the fact that he does try his best at Karuta. But even though he tries his best, why can’t he get to Class A? He finally poured investment on something, more so a trivial game, yet why isn’t he still the best?
So yeah, Taichi. . . isn’t he such a good example on how to deconstruct the bishounen genre?
I’m dropping on blogging Chihayafuru and Fate/Zero. I’m just totally dissatisfied with the few posts I’ve made with these two series. Maybe with this I can concentrate more in actually making a proper Penguindrum post; which admittedly is a lot of fun to talk about.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love F/Z and Karutashoujoanimu.
Chihayafuru is probably my favorite Fall anime. It helps that I’m a shoujo-fanboy but Chihayafuru still stands out in the fray of shoujo series.
The game of Karuta is addicting to watch since the premise is simple: Find the card that the announcer is saying. Sure its kinda nerdy that you get excited when Chihaya or Arata fwomps the card away, but its not just that. The tension built up really excites you – kinda like Saki.
The characters of Chihayafuru are a real treat too. Chihaya acts her mind out, Taichi calculates his moves, and Arata is softspoken; its a very good balance. Plus its just addicting watching how they become friends and all. The older versions have a little bit of angst but I think the author made sure that they’re still likable and the mood isn’t too serious.
Well I guess that’s my two cents in what Chihayafuru has to offer so far. I’m very excited on how their gonna build the team and what happens with Arata.
Well I finally decided on a schedule to follow now that I’ve seen Guilty Crown.
Friday/Saturday: Mawaru Penguindrum
Pop-uppers: Guilty Crown, BLEACH
Mondays mean Fate/Zero to me. So far, its the anime I’ve replayed a bit too much this season and its only been two episodes. Tuesdays are for Ben-to because I’get really hungry those days. Wednesday is for Chihayafuru and for anyone’s information this so far has the best showing this season; probably my favorite. Fridays/Saturdays are for more penguins as always (though I don’t think I’ll blog it today). I thought about adding Guilty Crown too but that’s just too much work and my schedule is surprisingly comfortable so I don’t wanna ruin that. But I’ll definitely pop a few posts of GC if there’s an awesome episode. Oh yeah, Bleach suddenly started caring about production quality so I’m definitely up for a few posts (I don’t think Bleach is the best anime EVAR but with episodes like this week’s or the one before, its very tempting to say its one of my favorite anime though I do know I’ll be bit in the back pretty much soon since they might be blowing budgets for this.)
What I’m not going to blog:
Persona 4: Hell no.
Bakuman 2: Just because its good now doesn’t mean its gonna be good later.
Ika Musume 2: I was kinda tempted to blog this but it coincides with Chihayafuru so. . .
HUNTER X HUNTER: I’m enjoying this but I don’t wanna blog it.
I don’t have many friends: Might turn into something I’ll hate so PASS.
Mirai Nikki: I loved the first episode but it coincides with Fate/Zero and Ben-to so no.
Others: No more time.