Uncurrency Anime(s) – Dantalian no Shoka, UN-GO, BLOOD-C

Dantalian no Shoka

The thing that I like about this show is the individual little stories that it tells. Its fun figuring out the mystery in each episode and the episodic nature of the series really get into you. I mean, even the episodic characters get a lot of development in what little time they aired in. The downside to that is that Huey and Dalian ar as developed as paper. The whiny brat who insults everyone she sees in Episode 1 is still the same brat by the end of the series; same goes for Huey. But still I’m quite favorable to this series since the little stories it does tell are REALLY good. To bad it never overarchs and we probably will never see a sequel for this one. Still, it’s eons better than the likes of GOSICK and Memochou.

Execution: 35/40 (While it never really ties up together, the individual stories are quite a treat.)

Engagement:25/30 (I guess there’s minus points that I finished this so late.)

Characters: 17/20 (Main characters are as thin as paper but episodeic characters are unbelievable well fleshed out. Sometimes even better than Huey and Dalian themselves.)

Production:10/10 (GAINAX nailed it.)

Overall: 87/100

UN-GO

The thing that I like about this show is how witty it is. All the details for the mystery are there and all you need is to pick up on it. Unlike GOSICK in which Victorique has a script, UN-GO’s mystery-solving is more believable. You get really into it when everyone starts pointing fingers making you go “who the hell is the culprit?”. I would say the last arc has the best mystery I’ve seen for a long time with how layered yet conneced it is. Also the theme of War and Nationalism is strong in this series and it’s quite nice to actually see different views of it (especially in an anime). I would say one of the things to look out for is Kaishou Rinroku’s opinions which was subtley shown in the last episode (very creepy).

The downside of this series is that the characters are underdeveloped. With a series this thick, 11 episodes are totally not enough. We don’t even now any of the main’s cast actions or motivations since there’s too little time and everything’s all compact to gether.

At least in UN-GO, they manage to somehow conclude it and all the different mysteries actually come together.

Execcution:36/40 (Nicely-paced though it does cause problems in another department)

Engagement:27/30 (Those mysteries really hook you on, but its too short)

Characters: 16/20 (Very likable but the tight pacing doesn’t give them as enough characterization as you want.)

Production:9/10 (Its nicely made though the series doesn’t exacly require that much movement since everyone is just pointing fingers. Great OST though)

Overall: 88/100

BLOOD-C

The disappointment of the year, I’m still quite torn on how much CLAMP screwed up with this anime. On paper the story of Saya sounds extremely delicous but WHY OH WHY did it take so much time to reveal that ONE PLOT DEVICE which wasn’t exactly the most mindblowing thing ever. Adding insult to injury are the characters (except Saya) who were already terrible in the beginning and when their true identities came, it was as if CLAMP spit on me sayin “HAHAHA WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT WE DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE LIKING IT OR NOT!”. To be fair, the last episode was well into my liking, and actually got me excited for the movie. I just wanna see Saya kick the hell out of those bitches for making her sing like a retard every single day.

If one thing, CLAMP should get advice from Urobuchi Gen on how to make engaging horror stories.

Execution: 20/40 (sigh.)

Engagement:21/30 (I actually had a fun time laughing at how bad it is in the second half.)

Characters: 13/20 (Saya was okay.)

Production: 9/10 (Admittedly good.)

Overall: 63/100

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animeoscarslogo

Anime Oscars Production Category

Qualifications: Anime that have proved themselves through their production.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Fate/Zero

Sure there are a lot of anime that’s as good in animation as Fate/Zero, but Fate/Zero stands out as the anime that looks like a movie. Kudos to ufotable for that of course, as their Kara no Kyoukai adventures really paid off; I can only wish that they do more anime of this caliber.

Notables: Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Ben-To, Mawaru Penguindrum

Best Production nominee: Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero takes place 10 years prior to the events of Fate/stay night, detailing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. The War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete to obtain the power of the “Holy Grail,” which grants a miracle. After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.

BEST ANIMATION

Nichijou

Kyoto Animation’s work for this year introduces how far animation can go with its imaginative ways on telling Nichijou’s quirky and fun jokes. Not only that, the fluidity of the characters movement in Nicihijou is unrivalled, much like most of KyoAni’s work.

(To tell you the truth, it was a big tossup between this and Hanasaku Iroha)

Notables: Hanasaku Iroha, Fate/Zero, Star Driver

Best Production nominee: Nichijou

While the title suggests a story of simple, everyday school life, the contents are more the opposite. The setting is a strange school where you may see the principal wrestle a deer or a robot’s arm hide a rollcake. However there are still normal stories, like making a card castle or taking a test you didn’t study for.

BEST ARTISTIC DIRECTION

Mawaru Penguindrum

Mawaru Penguindrum always brings something different to the table with its production. Whether the way it interprets the story, the varied train scenes, or the majestic sets (note Episode 9), Mawaru Penguidrum never fails to amaze me with its creativity.

(Again this was a tossup between Penguins and Meguca)

Notables: Madoka Magica, Yumekui Merry, Dantalian no Shoka

Best Production nominee: Mawaru Penguindrum

Three siblings, twins Kanba and Shouma, and the in-and-out-of-the-hospital Himari who’s in poor health, live together at the Takakura home. One day, when the siblings are out on a trip to the aquarium, Himari collapses. The doctors state that nothing can be done for her anymore, but then, a miracle occurs…

BEST BACKGROUND DESIGNS

Hanasaku Iroha

Hanasaku Iroha makes many scenes look realistic with how detailed their backgrounds are. Also their use of CGI is very applaudable. Unlike shows which just paste their CGI here and there (ehem Last Exile and T&B) Hanairo actually bothers in making their CGI look very seemless with its 2D designs. Sometimes you’d be surprised that the background of Hanasaku Iroha was made and not real life. Sometimes you’d be surprised that the Hanairo backgrounds look even better than real life ones.

Notables: Dantalian no Shoka, Madoka Magica, Kimi ni Todoke Season 2, Horou Musuko

Best Production nominee: Hanasaku Iroha

After her single mother decides to run off with a boyfriend to dodge debt collectors, the young and energetic Ohana is sent to live with her grandmother. However, her grandmother is the strict owner of a hot springs inn and requires her to work at the inn to pay for her living expenses. Although Ohana is unhappy about this situation at first, she decides to make the best of her situation and work hard. Ohana’s life is suddenly filled with fun, mischief, and drama!

Best Soundtrack

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Sure there were a lot of awesome OSTs this year but what makes Madoka Magica triumph over all? CUS ITS FROM YUKI KAJIURA that’s why! Not much can be said except how the OST here is quite different from the usual Yuki Kajiura making it a lot yummier to listen to. Oh yeah go check out Mami’s theme song if you haven’t.

Notables: Hanasaku Iroha, Ben-to, Anohana, Ao no Exorcist

Best Production nominee: Madoka Magica

Beloved family, good friends, laughter and tears – these things make up the ordinary life of Kaname Madoka, a second year student of Mitakihara City Middle School. One night, Madoka dreams of a mysterious dark haired girl struggling against a terrible evil; the next morning she discovers that the girl, Akemi Homura, has transferred into her class. This encounter will lead to an incident which will alter Madoka’s fate forever.

Best OP/ED

Nichijou OP1 and 2

Haaydin is fucking awesome. In this two songs of Nichijou, he manages to make the voice of a male and a female and not make it look like so. I was really surprised when I learned about this. Also KyoAni went wild with the accompaniment animation for this which makes Nichijou’s two Ops the best this year.

Notables: To Aru Majutsu no Index II OP 2, Steins;Gate OP, No. 6 ED, Gosick ED

Best Insert Song

STAR DRIVER: Monochrome by Haruka Tomatsu

While I love Mami’s theme and most of Hanairo’s insert songs, STAR DRIVER’s Monochrome beats out the rest with how catchy it is and how it really fits with the battles on STAR DRIVER.

Best Production

Nichijou

It’s safe to say Nichijou was the best this year. It had awesome and creative animation; it took the initiative to really incorporate its animation with its jokes and most of all, it never ever looked bad. No awkward character designs, everything was fluid; you just can’t get any better than this (for this year).

Nominees: Madoka Magica, Mawaru Penguindrum, Hanasaku Iroha, Fate/Zero

 

More in store in the next Anime Oscars Category: Story

AUGUST ROUNDUP

Magazine cover thanks to ahelo- oh wait that’s me.

10. Ao no Exorcist: 32/50 (4)

Ao no Exorcist has taken quite a dip this month. I guess I just don’t like the way it handles original material since characters like Konnekomaru get ruined. The easy-going pace it has that I actually quite liked disappeared with the twists and turns too. But I still like it, and by the looks of where its headed, we might get a good finale.

9. Hanasaku Iroha: 36/50 (6)

It managed to save a little more face than AnE, but it surged down a lot too. Why is Minko annoying again? Why does Tohru keep showing up and making love triangles everywhere when I clearly don’t like him? Who the hell cares about Enishing and Takako? The only thing is has going for it is Grandma which is getting a lot of great lines.

8. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Nii: 38/50 (14)

It may not be as funny as the first season, but its doing a lot of things right. The “trying to find who was taking the pictures” arc went a tad bit too long, but it had its moments. The main gist of my praise though is the Minami-centric episode which was perfect in every way.

7. No. 6: 39/50 (8)

Well I don’t get the hell what’s going on most of the time, but hey I’m having a lot of fun with it. I love the overly metaphorical dialogue everyone has, the getting-gayer-by-the-second relationship of the main characters, and the overall story they are telling. It never changes feel and its firm with its grip on its story.

6. Kamisama Dolls: 40/50 (7)

I really like Kamisama Dolls, if you haven’t noticed. Its storytelling is very solid, and completely flaunts it off in the flashback episode. Man, that episode with the teacher was awesome, albeit a bit creepy (the teacher’s actions). It also sets a more darker edge to the series (well not really, haha episode 8) but. . . OH WHATEVER I JUST LIKE IT.

5. Dantalian no Shoka: 42/50 (10)

Unlike Memochou which never got out of the “I think there’s something missing” and is slowly getting worse, Gainax’s Dantalian no Shoka just gets better and better in my eyes. Of course the beautiful animation helps, but the story it presents, the little mysteries, have quite a soothing feeling to them. Some have relevance to today’s otaku society (too much sometimes) like the fujoshi who keeps killing the writer because he’s not writing the end the fujoshi wants, or the followers of that Frankenstein Girl. Also they’re putting a lot of Gainax trademark, like the lovers who turned into a new being (fujoshi episode), some fight scenes that utilizes that black color, and more.

4. Mawaru Penguindrum: 45/50 (5)

It just gets more awesome doesn’t it. From Penguin Queen trash-talking Ringo, to Kanba’s moment of manliness, to Ringo making a frog lay eggs on Shouma’s back on hot temperature to her trying rape, and Fabulous Max,. . . god I love this anime. I am getting worried that I like way too much anime this season.

3. Usagi Drop: 46/50 (3)

Usagi Drop is DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. This is why I don’t blog it.

2. Nichijou: 46/50 (1)

There was no moment that reached Mio’s wrestling episode, but there are a lot of skits that came close. Did I mention that I also LOVE THIS ANIME.

1. Steins;Gate: 49/50 (2)

I think its appropriate to put this on first. It started slow with the Rukako episode, but quickly picked up pace with Moeka’s and to Mr. Braun’s. It got really dark and creepy, death toll went up, and finally we see Kurisu leave. Well not after a kiss and confession. Also after she leaves, Suzuha reveals that World War III will happen in the future. I don’t know about you, but that’s plot talkin’.

JULY ROUNDUP

So it’s July and it’s time for a roundup! I decided to screw the Mid-month impressions since I realized it was a bad idea so I just tried to stick with the traditional monthly impressions. The total score per month would be 50 and by the end of the season, I’ll add everything up and do a seasonal ranking. I love rankings btw.

16(new) BLOOD C – (15/50)

The fourth episode was very interesting, a step up from the disappointment of the first three. It’s still a disappointment though, these four episodes, and CLAMP needs to give better execution for me to rate this any higher.

15(new) Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi – (18/50)

I think I’m gonna hold this for a while. While it has an interesting story, it doesn’t execute it well. The characters are bland, there’s the bad type of fanservice, and it has a problem of telling and not showing. For now, I’d consider this dropped.

14(new) Baka to Test To Shoukanjuu Ni! – (22/50)

I love the first season a lot. I guess this one is much of the same but those first two episodes were very lukewarm and boring in terms of making me laugh. I just hope it doesn’t go to the same pile as Maria Holic.

13(new) Sacred Seven – (23/50)

It has an interesting premise but not executed well. I’m very engrossed to the series but it has a lot of glaring faults. There’s still a lot more episodes to fix that though.

12(new) Mayo Chiki – (27/30)

It would’ve made it to the passing mark but the third episode sucked. I think this is my guilty pleasure series this season though so I’m tentatively positive about this one.

11(new) It’s the NEET thing to do – (34/50)

The dialogue and the mystery is the main hook for me. It’s well done and it’s just so witty. There’s still something lacking though and I can’t point my finger at it but it’s a nice start for this series.

10(new) Dantalian no Shoka – (34/50)

The GOSICK this season, Dantalian doesn’t disappoint at all. Animation-wise it;s the best this season, and the plot is also pretty good. The main characters have great chemistry (the fact that they’re both smart is already a win factor) and its building up to something interesting. Again though like the other mystery-solving series before it, there’s something lacking that I can’t point my finger at.

9(new) Moe in Paris – (35/50)

It has a solid start for a heartwarming, educational, and cultural story. It is very laidback, the soothingness creeps to you slowly making you go AWWWW and Dawwwww. I realized though “WHY THE HELL AM I BLOGGING THIS?!!?”. It didn’t cross my mind until now that it gives me the same feeling as Usagi Drop and would be hard to blog. AHAHA I’m dumb.

8(new) No.6 – (36/50)

This is the BL Dystopia fantasy anime of the season. One moment everyone’s serious and then the next moment everyone’s hinting BL undertones on each other. Not that it’s a bad thing since it’s so LOL and they are chugging in an awesome plot. . . I’m very excited for this!

7(new) Kamisama Dolls – (38/50)

This series is completely appealing to all my Anime tastebuds. Interesting story: Check!, Interesting Characters: Check!, You know it will explode sometime soon: Check!, There’s the intrigue you really like in anime: Check!. This is how awesomely Kamisama Dolls rolls.

6(4) Hanasaku Iroha – (38/50)

I think I went overboard in praising this. Episode 16 I was all like, “It reminds me of Toradora! This is the shit!”. Then episode 17 came in to ruin he day. Damn episode 17, Hanairo was getting really consistent! I do hope they start tackling the main characters again now. It seems that the series is at its best when they put Kou-chan (though I personally lost interest in him when he dissed Ohana). Besides it was gonna be hard topping last month’s awesomeness.

TOP 5

5(new) Mawaru Penguindrum – (40/50)

There’s actually two new series I’m in love with this season. This is the one of them. Now that I’ve watched Revolutionary Girl Utena, I totally get why people are so excited about this. It’s very layered with symbolisms (not as bombarding as Utena) and there’s a good story to be told. It seems that the series is concentrating on beliefs; Fate or no fate. It’s not technically bltantly pointed out, but it’s something to realize. Also, those penguins are awesome.

4(5) Ao no Exorcist – (42/50)

It had an awesome mid-season climax; not to mention how it’s getting more and more exciting with the plot starting to finally roll. Big-boobs is a great addition to the cast. The awesome thing about this series that differentiate this from other Shounen action is the focus. It’s very character-oriented. Friends are a dominant team as also is teamwork. Also one must note that this series is really coll. Saying it’s not cool means your blind or something.

 3(new) Usagi Drop – (42/50)

When I watch this series, the thing that keeps coming out of my mouth is the word “DAWWWW”. Damnit the parenthood being shown in this series is so realistic and down to earth. It can really attack anyone who’s watching this. Rin is the most adorable thing ever and I’m glad 2ch isn’t into boning her because if they did, Imma kill all of them. Nice to know that sometimes, people like the idea of parenthood. Afer a long meditation, I realized I liked this quite a bit more than Penguindrum, thus the high score.

2(3) Steins;Gate – (49/50)

The series is completely chugging the plot. . . it’s getting more and more interesting as the episodes progress. I love the idea that Okarin and co. is trying to reverse engineer everything to the point that Mayuri wasn’t endangered at all. But yeah “No hope goiys” so far. . . SUZUHA!!!!!!!!! L

1(1)Nichijou (50/50)

So it manages to be funnier than it already is. . . WHATTUP! I think Mio’s wrestling spree propelled this into a perfect 50.

Addendum:

It seems that the gap between second and third place is getting bigger. Steins;Gate and Nichijou just keep on getting better and better! The new series are sure to challenge that though, especially Ping Duramu and Usagi Drop. So far no disappointments besides BLOOD CLAMPYCLAMPCLAMP.