Uncurrency Anime – Bokura Ga Ita

Never have I watched an anime that had me as conflicted as Bokura Ga Ita. Do not be fooled by it’s rather cute, airy, fluffy shoujo feel because this series is very dramatic, frustrating, conflicting, and head wrenching especially in its second half. Relationships is never a straight path especially for High School students and Bokura Ga Ita emphasiez on those crooked parts.

The main couple, Takahashi and Yano, will almost do nothing but frustrate you in the entire run of the series. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST GET ALONG?!!?!? The series spends so much time on these two dumbnuts, making them so annoyingly realistic and flawed. Yano is an asshole and Nana has no guts. They  are not likable at all but somehow that’s what makes this series shine.

It’s crazy that I’m praising this series now, especially after getting way too frustrated at it and dropping it a few years back. If Mysterious Girlfriend X was the perfect example of an anime with a couple that does things right, Bokura Ga Ita is the perfect example of an anime with a couple that does things wrong. Takahashi and Yano lie to each other, don’t talk about their feeling to each other most of the time, and Takahashi takes it to the next level and becomes completely wishy washy. She’s spineless and weak (oh god I’m ranting) and the frustration I have with this series elevates when her internal monologues get too AAARGH WHY CAN’T YOU JUST GET ALONG?!?!?!?

I contemplated with this series for a long time because I honestly thought it was doing all the wrong things thus making it a terrible series but the more I think about Bokura Ga Ita, the more I realize just how amazing it is. Humans always do the wrong things, choose the worst decisions, don’t take opportunities when it’s there and Bokura Ga Ita capitalizes on this. It’s crazy that I grew to love this series even though it got increasingly frustrating as the episodes go by.

One thing to note though, the animation of Bokura Ga Ita is terrible. Oh wait terrible’s not the right word. . . maybe non existent. Most of the time, nothing is animated at all, and this series cheats us with pan shots and one eyed cyclops. The animation is VERY lazy (they probably don’t have a lot of budget for this) to the point that the characters bangs go beneath their eyes. It’s like they just pasted the eyes! Still credit is where credit is due since there’s some strange consistency in Bokura Ga Ita’s static feel. There were never any episodes that had more animation than other episodes and in a sense, you could say it’s consistently cheap. What gives the animation life though is the OST. Damn that OST, making me feel uneasy. Bokura Ga Ita has a fuckton of EDs, insert music seguing to EDs, insert music, and heartfelt background music that can really make you cry at times. The OST is used perfectly and it sort of compensates for the animation.

If you asked me over a year ago on how I felt about Bokura Ga Ita, I’d say that I hated it. Looking back, I realized how big of a fool I was. It’s the exact fact that I hated it that made it amazing. This isn’t going into my all time favorites because I hate it and it made me even more frustrated than Kimi ni Todoke’s frustrating parts but I wholeheartedly recommend it. Just be warned: You will get frustrated.

Execution: 39/40 (Flawless in a sense)

Engagement: 24/30 (Frustration can go overboard at times; I ended up dropping it for more than a year)

Characters: 19/20 (I hated them; Flawed and frustrating but it’s the exact same reason why they’re amazing)

Production Values: 8/10 (Almost non existent animation; Amazing Soundtrack)

Overall: 90/100

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Aquarion EVOL, Sankarea, Jormungand, Mouretsu Pirates, Tsuritama (END)

I’m feeling a bit lazy about this so I’m combining everything else in the past season that I haven’t reviewed yet.

Aquarion EVOL

Besides Fate/Zero, EVOL probably had the best ending out of everything that ended last season. IT also had the best last few episodes. Everything was so overblown, dramatic, yet weirdly fun at the same time. The series does not know the  word “subtlety” and each interaction from the characters are always full of emotion. This series was both sexually charged and heartfelt at the same time and I have no idea how that even worked. The middle episodes of EVOL may have been a bit dragging but I’m gonna be a bit kind since the ending was really awesome.

Execution: 33/40 (Middle episodes were kinda. . .)

Engagement: 26/30 (Ending was really fun)

Characters: 16.5/20 (Ugh @ Zessikage)

Production Values: 9.5/10 (Amazing Soundtack)

Overall: 85/100 ( B- )

Sankarea

I honestly expected this show to be terrible. It was a recipe for disaster: an short unfisnished manga, a terrible studio, a terrible premise that screamed OTAKU BAIT. Astonishingly, the first few episodes were pretty damn fine. There was actually a STORY and the characters were actually pretty engaging and leaving their supposed stereotypes. Rea in particular really had a solid character development, IMHO. Apparently, Studio DEEN decided to hire a bunch of geniuses (SHAFT worker, script writer for Baccano/Durarara, Toradora/Penguindrum Composer) for this which explains why every aspect of the series exceeded my expectations.

It’s too bad though that this series didn’t get a proper conclusion. In addition to that, the stink of the manga which was heavily covered up in the first episodes, started showing. It’s also when I realized that there’s only a few characters that I actually give a damn about. Still I was pleasantly surprised with what went on in this series so I’m gonna be positive in grading this.

Execution: 36/40 (DEEN hired geniuses for this)

Engagement: 24/30 (I didn’t like it as much when the original material started stinking)

Characters: 14.5/20 (I like the main couple but I really don’t like WANKO)

Production Values: 9.5/10 (DEEN finally decided to look nice)

Overall: 84/100 (B-)

Jormungand

In preparation fro Jormungand, I watched Black Laggon and that show was just pure badassery. In the end Jormungand ended up the same albeit with a bit of nuances.

Jormungand is about KOKOLOCO and her arms dealer group doing some KOKOLOCO stuff. Each episode is exciting since all the characters keep on being badass. The story is sometimes hard to follow but the energy of the series really makes up for it. If there’s anything else to say though, I definitely prefer Black Lagoon over this a bit since Rock and Levy are just a tad bit more developed as characters than Koko an co. But still Koko is awesome so it’s not really a complaint.

I can’t seem to formulate anything to say for Jormungand. It’s definitely a series that’s so much more fun watching than writing about.

Execution: 32/40 (A bit hard to follow sometimes)

Engagement: 28/30 (Full of energy)

Characters: 16/20 (KOKOLOCO)

Production Values: 8/10 (Good enough for awesome action)

Overall: 84/100 (B-)

Mouretsu Pirates

It’s Pirates! In space! You’d expect Mouretsu Pirates to be exciting, overblown and full of blasting explosions but this series ended up being very grounded. There’s a number of people that gave up on this series because it was too slow but once it got going, it really got going.

This series doesn’t look down on your intelligence and in a way it expects you to follow the story without baby feeding you with all the information needed. I kinda like that aspect of the series. It’s not bad storytelling at all because it’s easy to follow the series if you pay attention.

The series consists of 4-5 arcs with different focuses. The arc that really made me fall in love with the series is the Gruier Serenity arc with the theme of “A princess finding her origins” kinda thing. I also loved it when Marika’s schoolmates ended up become her crew for like 1/4 of the series. It’s like We’re GAR pirates but we eat cake and shit inside. The last arc was the best though and it showed us what an action packed Mouretsu Pirates can be like.

I definitely enjoyed this series. It’s much better to watch this marathon-style because of the pacing.

Execution: 36/40 (Does not baby feed you)

Engagement: 26/30 (Really fun once you get used to the atmosphere)

Characters: 17/20 (Lots of time for development due to the slow pacing)

Production Values: 8/10 (Good enough to tell a solid story)

Overall: 87/100 (B)

Tsuritama

The other noitaminA series this year, I just have to say. . . I did not like this show. I’ve heard praises on how whimsical and relaxing Tsuritama is but I couldn’t see it. All I saw was baww forced dorama with really angsty male teenagers.

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t hate angst (I don’t hate Shinji) but with Tsuritama, I don’t even like the characters for me to sympathize with their boohoohoo problems. I honestly liked this show for the first few episodes until it started tackling its lol plot. Haru was my least favorite character of the four mains but he especially got annoying towards the end.

And oh my god that ending. It felt like the Brady Bunch with oohh the whole cast comes together and helps save Enoshima from aliens. BUT WAIT- one of them dies with some random explosion somewhere but that’s just a cliffhanger. He ends up safe anyway but whatever. Then woopdeedoo they save the world through fishing!

There’s obviously some good parts but this another Nakamura Kenji failure for me. If [C] had characters with non-existent personalities, Tsuritama had a terrible plot and overly emotional characters. I mean Tsuritama was supposed to correct [C]’s mistakes but it ends up overdoing the correcting.

Well there’s always Tapioca.

Execution: 32/30 (Nothing horribly bad except for the ending)

Engagement: 22/30 (Dwindled towards the end)

Characters: 14/20 (Angsty in a bad way)

Production Values: 9/10 (Admittedly creative)

Overall: 77/100 (C)

Hourou Musuko Manga

So I finally jumped into the Hourou Musuko manga. I’ve always planned to read it since it aired a year ago but I didn’t know where to start. I already knew the main plot and the anime started somewhere in the middle so I kept on thinking if I should find the parts after the anime ended or just start from the very beginning. In the end, curiousity got the best of me so “beginning” it is.

Hourou Musuko tackles on crossdressing and gender identity crisis and this already evident since the very first few pages of the first chapter. What’s very interesting is the way it’s handled. It doesn’t stuff messages on how this should be treated or that but it sort of just acts on what’s happening around the characters and the changes they are having and it’s sort of up to you to figure out the message.

The first part of Hourou Musuko is the Grade School era. This was about 33 chapters and it’s in this part of Hourou Musuko when I realized the depth of this series is. It started by promptly laying out a plot of a boy who wants to be a girl and a girl who wants to be a boy but it slowly evolved into something else. The introduction of Chiba Saori (Ch.3) really made everything so fun and dynamic. There’s also the slow introduction of the relatively large cast with Sasa, Mako, Oka, Doi and of course Yuki-san and Shi-chan. It also showed how Maho became a model and how Shuu was one for a couple of chapters (it was only hinted slightly in the anime).

There really isn’t that much of a main conflict in the Grade School Era. There’s Seya, Maho’s to be boyfriend, thinking Shuu’s a girl, the whole Exchange Diary thing but nothing really sat as a plot. And with Hourou Musuko, this isn’t important at all as you just read to see how the characters interact with each other.

The Middle School Era is the part that the anime concentrated at and for a good reason. It’s certainly more massive than the Grade School Era and it contained probably the most important part of the manga. While reading this part of the manga, I was just completely amazed on how the anime managed to pull off telling this. The Middle School Era wasn’t exactly self contained and characters weren’t re-introduced or anything but somehow the anime made it work.

Probably the most amusing parts of the manga came after the part where the anime closed it off. The characters began evolving even more with puberty being injected from left to right and it was pure joy seeing that there was actually some closure to certain relationships. Saori and Takatsuki actually managed to make up and Doi wasn’t much of an asshole after all.

The current High School Era is really fun. The characters are now teenagers and somehow the theme changed from crossdressing to growing up in general. There’s a lot of blushing from the now slightly sexually charged characters and it’s really fun to see the differences in the way they act from when they were in Grade School til current.

It’s also notable on how Shuu and Anna’s relationship was handled. I swear it was really fun seeing how Anna changed her treatment to Nitori, from a cute little sister to someone she’s actually turned on by. I kept laughing in a certain scene where Nitori was changing to a girl’s outfit and Anna got all flustered because she saw Nitori’s body. Oh wait there’s also the massage chapter where Anna just used an excused to touch Nitori. Oh wait there’s also Anna admitting on getting slightly jealous when Nitroi complements other girls.

This manga was really enjoyable (to the point where it kept me awake in the early morning because I couldn’t stop reading) because on how dynamic it is. It keeps on changing and changing. Characters keep on developing and developing. The art of the manga keeps on developing and it really looks amazing now. I don’t like how I keep using this phrase often but it’s really legit with Hourou Musuko: “I’ve never read anything quite like this”.

Slice of Life in anime is something I’ve been watching for a long time but this is the first time I experienced Slice of Life in a manga setting.Very unique and different but very enjoyable at the same time.

[Carnival] Reflections on Animanga Blogs

Foxy Lady Ayame probably doesn’t know me but I do frequently visit the beautiful world. In any case, she is hosting a carnival encouraging us bloggers to write about what we, as blog readers, want to read when we go to an Animanga blog.

Welp here’s my turn in this craziness:

What do I like to read and for what reasons?

I generally read stuff like impressions on something that I’ve watched, read, etc. It’s like when I watch an anime, I really want to see right afterwards how other people reacted to it. Did they like it just as much as I did? Did they see a certain point I wasn’t able to see? I wonder how people reacted to this scene?

Of course if it was just impressions, I’d go to a forum instead (which I do) so it needs to have more than that. In reading an entry about something, I tend to analyze if I can recognize the person who wrote this. I tend to want to read stuff that is very personalized or just something that I can grasp on in differentiating the personality of the blogger from one another. For a classic example, I remember how I can differentiate it when Omni was writing than when Divine was writing in Random Curiosity. Even if at times, they would probably have the same reaction to a scene, they would write it in different ways. Divine was more careful with his words but at the same time able to cross what he thinks about something while Omni was slightly more frank (well + the really long summaries he makes). Oh wait why the hell am I gasming about RC – I’m supposed to write about what I like to read.

Of course I like reading occasional editorial blogs but most of those are the “One sitting blogs that I glue my eyes for hours and then never go back to til like months later” types of blogs. I’m just being honest (Oh wait DOES THAT MEAN MY BLOG IS ONE OF THOSE TYPES? NO WONDER NO ONE READS MY SHIT).

So yeah, in short I like to read impressions from bloggers with personalities.

What do I do when I stumble upon a new blog?

1) Read a post.

2) Read another post, most probably the one below it.

3) If I liked what I read, I’ll read more posts. If not then buh bye.

4) After Eye Raping the blog for an hour, I’ll look on special stuff in the above categories. Stuff like “Top 30 Anime” or “Recommended Reads” or something like that.

5)Then I realize there’s an about me section so I click that in which I realize that commenter who annoyingly replies to all the posts wasn’t a stalker but the author.

While I did comment on Editorial blogs being “One sitting blogs that I glue my eyes on for hours then never go back til months later” blogs, one thing that they have an edge on episodics is that I’ll almost always read it. Editorials are always very personalized so it’s easy to get addicted to. The only reason I go back months later to a lot of it is because of post rates which episodics can handle more.

I don’t have any grudge on Episodic blogs but it is true that a lot of them are terrible. In writing episodics, one really needs to have a voice that can be differentiated from the zillions of RC copycats out there. For example, Scamp‘s blog is relatively episodic but his snarky and sarcastic nature makes The Cart Driver so lovely to read. There’s psgels with quick, short yet concise impressions, Guardian Enzo with his analytic approach in writing, and Kurogane with his very relaxing, reaction-ish approach.

What must a good animanga blog have and do?

There’s only two important things, in my opinion, that an animanga blog should have.

Have a writing style

Like what I’ve mentioned before, stop writing in a way that you’ll think you’ll be popular. Write in a way that’s most convenient to you. This isn’t high school wherein your words have to be either flowery or formal. This is the blogging community. I guess in a sense, what I’m trying to say is loosen up! (unless that’s not how you write which in any case means you’ve loosened up).

Be masturbatory.

Please SHOW your real self! Oh wait that will never happen but in writing, the writer must at least be able to convey him/herself through their writing style. Also, write what you fucking want to write. I guess in episodic blogs there is such a thing as commitment but in any case my point is that a person should not be imprisoned on something he/she doesn’t want to write. Be a prisoner of popularity writing.

So maybe you wrote your 877th summary post of whatever you’ve watched. . . were you fulfilled with that? Did you achieve your purpose? Oh fine you’re fucking popular but did you really write what you want to write? A good animanga blogger or a blogger in general should be able to ask these questions on themselves in order to become better or at the very least enjoy more the beauty of blogging.

Those two might be slightly contradictory in a sense but my point stands anyway.

In a more personal note, a blog should look good and readable at the same time. Don’t be blog #1234546 WordPress 2011 theme user (lol I think I used to be one) or have incredibly flashy visuals that covers all your writing.

What blogging behaviors annoy you?

Arrogance. This was pretty prevalent during the Aniblog Tourney and reached its peak in the finals and I’m sure if you were participating on the discussions there, you’d know which blog I’m pertaining too.

Lol Dorama. Writing about yourself is nice, but don’t overdo it. I get it, you have a stalker, now get over it. Also stop commenting so negatively on a negative post

DON’T SAY HI TO ME. God, please, just don’t. It’s awkward when I’m reading blogs that are so polite, they even say hi in a post.

Stop using big words! This isn’t the SATs (or UPCAT in my case)!

Stop making yourself look stupid with no variety in words. I’m not in kindergarten.

Going along with arrogance, EAT A HUMBLE PIE! Elitism can be fun but overdoing it (unless you make it a point that you’re self aware) can really be distasteful. Lol again some people in the Aniblog Tourney (especially some of the finalists) should eat humble pie.

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That’s all I have to say I guess. If you’re interested in reading more of this topic, here are other blogs that participated:

the beautiful world 

KANPAII

OG

draggle

Anime B&B

flomu

delucsar

Canne