March Roundup

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

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LAND OF THE TERRIBAD:

none

FAULTY BUT WATCHABLE:

none

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GOOD:

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.

GREAT:

Another: 8.6

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.

LEGENDARY:

Nisemonogatari: 9.0

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.

Chihayafuru: 9.4

I WANT A SEQUEL NOW!

ALL TIME FAVORITE:

nada

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Average month I guess. . . not much to say that I haven’t already. I don’t wanna be repetitive. Toodles!

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Reviews – Chihayafuru, Nisemonogatari, Rinne no Lagrange, Nichibros, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Another

HAHAHA sorry for the delay, I may not be keeping up with my blogging but I definitely am when it comes to watching.

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Chihayafuru

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)

Overall: 93/100

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Nisemonogatari

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.)

Overall: 93/100

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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)

Overall: 84/100

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Nichibros

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)

Overall: 85/100

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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)

Overall: 88/100

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Another

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.)

Overall: 88/100

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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.

Ano Natsu de Matteru – That moment when it crossed the line from “Good” to “Great”

I really liked Ano Natsu de Matteru to begin with. All the essential pieces for a juicy romance is there. It had that spark of directing brilliance that Toradora had in spades, yet it stuck to its cliches. Simplicity at best, if you would put it that way. The thing is though, I still had that inkling where “Hey, isn’t it getting too been there done that?”. The Okinawa trip (probably compulsory for this series) showed lots of cracks in its story though the knack of awesome directing and heavy character development did make up for it. It was averaging out, not becoming better and better which is a bad thing for an Anime. The series hasn’t crossed that line from “Good” to “Great”.

Well of course until episode 9.

 

Yes I am a sappy romanticist but that doesn’t stop me to still objectively realize how good that episode was. Well at least a scene in that episode which was waiting to happen for a long time. NO IT’S NOT KAITO AND ICHIKA FINALLY KISSING. It’s the assist.

Poor Kanna played the good guy and gave Ichika a lesson. “Just tell him you love him!”. I think the part where she said “that’s an option I will never have” hit me the most. In love and war, especially in high school where hormones is at its peak, we spout things that our head says more often than we should now. Kanna was playing BOLD. The courage Kanna demonstrated, something heavily built up from episodes of frustration, was a blast to see.

After Kanna finishes her speech (complete with a “baka”), she runs away in which then Tetsurou consoles her. Also hiding on the side is Mio, who had the most dramatic change in the most subtle way. There was a shot where all three were in a line, I just found that very artistic and a damn fine directing. It totally encompassed the emotions our side-cast was having.

BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER!

Episode 10 focused on its side characters. Sure there was some lovey-dovey time with Kaito and Ichika (which is almost sickening to a point), but the main point of this episode was the aftermath. Tetsurou had a lot of focus, whether it was consoling Kanna, clearing it out with Mio, getting a lecture from his sister, he had it hard. Kanna thought it was a love triangle but it was much MUCH MUCH bigger than that. Once Tetsurou indirectly says that he loved Kanna for a long long time, we get to see a proper finish to Kanna’s failed love story with her confessing to Kaito (and him turning her down like the alien-stud he is). Tetsurou gets consoled by Mio again (I swear that girl has changed) similar to how Tetsurou consoled Kanna. Again there was a damn fine direction here with how everything worked like a line focusing on one character then going down to another character in the love polygon.

So those two episodes. They were really REALLY close in making it to GOD MODE, but what stops this from doing so. It really is about the few cracks it still has. The main problem is that I don’t like Kaito and Ichika. I appreciate their development (and again a fine direction in their love story) but when both are together, its like eating sugar with more sugar. It’s kind of a big flaw when you don’t like your main characters and compared to Toradora’s main couple, Kaito and Ichika are light years away from making me like them together.

Still that flaw doesn’t stop me from loving this series which will probably go down as one of my favorites this year (right now there’s only Chihayafuru and Nisemonogatari standing against it and those two are godly)

Onegai Senpai – 04

Not much to say really besides the continuation of what makes Ano Natsu really good. You could say that this episode was a bit of a down-time with nothing resolved between Kaito and Ichika though the next episode is what I would reckon, the real beginning of the premise of the series.

Touma?!?!?!

Kuroko!?!?!?!?!?!?! Oh god I never knew ToumaXKuroko doujins exist  but I guess Otakus would pair anyone with anything. I’m kinda grossed out of the thought that Kuroko might like someone other than Onee-sama. Or the fact that someone made a fanfic about it.

Is it the face of someone seeing her crush having a date with someone else or having shit like HOTD in the movies?

Onegai Sensei – Midnight Tutorial.

 

Onegai Senpai – 03

That awkward moment when your crush asks you who you like

Remember when I said this series has a great balance between romance and comedy. Scratch that! This series has A PERFECT BALANCE between those two. I don’t know how the hell this series pulls off switching from romance to comedy in a snap, but I wish they would keep doing it til the end.

If I may, I will compare this again to the all mighty Toradora. That series started off really fast on both romance and comedy sides then slowed down for more character development. They showed Taiga’s unrequited love in a snap which really stated the potential of the series. Afterwards (about episode 3) things went off in a slow pace, mostly concentrating on building up the characters and their interactions towards one another. Minori from the first episode became a more dynamic character if compared to the Minori in the middle of the series. Heck Ami was a total bitch from where she started but somehow she became everyone’s favourite character towards the middle. Taiga and Ryuuji’s friendship slowly became something else as the episodes progressed. Nothing was rushed but everything was building up to what I would call “The best High School Romance Anime” I have ever watched.

Now how does this relate to Ano Natsu? This series pulled of what Toradora couldn’t. Ano Natsu’s story flows like water, changing the mood from scene to scene resulting to all six characters being more and more developed. Toradora either concentrated on its comedy or its romance and drama. Ano Natsu concentrates on BOTH at the same time.

Still though, Ano Natsu is miles off from Toradora. I don’t see Kaito and Ichika’s relationship to be as heavy, interesting and well develop as Ryuuji and Taiga’s. I don’t see any of the characters being legendary even though they’re well developed. I don’t think I’ll ever see a dramatic change in character in Ano Natsu like what Minori did in Toradora. Heck if anything the characters in Ano Natsu remind me of the side characters in Toradora. You know. . . the classmates (though admittedly even they were well developed. GOD HOW AWESOME IS TORADORA).

Of course Lemon is the exception.

I’m sorry if you were too distracted in reading my fanboyism on Toradora.