And so, Winter truly begins – Durarara & Sora no Woto first impressions

January 9, 2010

Lately I’ve been lazy busy, but today I decided to really get going with the winter season. The offerings are poor. But if you persist, there’s always SOMETHING amazing to watch. This season, Durarara is that something.

Durarara!!

Episode 1

I said it before, and I will say it again. Durarara is going to be awesome, period.

Reason #1: Brains Base

Reason #2: Ikebukuro

Reason #3: Urban Legends

Reason #4: Spice and Wolf references

Reason #5: Motorcycles

Aside from all THAT pizazz and luster, this episode did an excellent job of introducing us to what’s looking like a filthy setting; and while not much actually happened I still feel like it made an impact. It’s like someone threw a ball of awesome into the pile of sad, rotting moe shows that are the rest of this season.

I enjoyed the stylizing with the chatroom, also. It reminded me of NHK ni Youkoso. The OP and ED fit in with the feel of the show, and even though it was really simple, I actually liked the design of the ED animation a lot.

I’m thinking (hoping) this is so about to blow everyone’s high expectations out of the water by being even more incredible than we thought. Look forward to next week~

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Sora no Woto

Episode 1

I’m glad I decided to check this series out, because as I expected, the setting was intriguing and the music was good – though the ED was boring. But god, what is with the moe-ness of it all?! I can see how this could be something I’d really like if it did some sort of Haibane Renmei thing where it just gets more and more powerful as it goes on until it leaves you with this amazing flavor that you keep remembering more and more fondly. But if it turns out to be peaceful and moe slice of life, I can’t see myself enjoying it. Sadly this seems to be the likely outcome. K-ON… you’ve ruined everything…

With this one I think we just have to wait and hope.

~x~

Back onto the topic of awesome things… I never knew Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water would be so cool! I’d always wanted to watch it, but could never find it anywhere. In the meantime, I read a lot of reviews of it. So many of them were so serious and critical and there were so many long-winded arguments in the comments sections… I started to be unsure of whether I really wanted to invest time in all those 39 episodes. But when I finally found a batch, I decided not to let other people’s opinions affect me and started watching it. Once I got past the first two episodes, I’ve been love~~~ing it. Anyway, that’s my little out-of-place fangirl-y blurb for today.

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Winter 2010, anyone?

December 18, 2009

Can’t believe it’s almost winter already. Of course here fall feels like winter anyways, so winter to me means spring. That’s weird… the point is that soon enough Darker Than Black – Ryuusei no Gemini will be ending and will have to wait till the end of January for the OVAs. Lucky for me Kimi ni Todoke and Kobato are continuing; especially since the new season looks to be fairly disappointing. Plus I still have all of Aoi Bungaku to watch when THAT ends. And I really should finish Natsu no Arashi. But wait, back to the POINT; which is that we’re looking at a new season!

I’m still a lame slightly noob-ish blogger, so I waited for THAT’s winter preview to get series info. Anyway here are the series that I think could have slight potential.

Nodame Cantabile Finale:


Duhh… although I WAS disappointed in the second season, by that time I’d already fallen hard for the show. So more Nodame in any form is a good thing. Interesting thing to note: the Live continuation is going to be paralleling the anime. They’re both at the same part of the story and they’re airing very close to one another. I think I’ll be watching the anime first, however.

Anyway I assume this picks up right where the second season left off; with Nodame and Chiaki still in Paris.

Sora no Woto:


I was not one of the “K-ON People”, and I never watched any, but I couldn’t really escape it. So yes, it is quite annoying to see such an intriguing looking  show take on this format. This looks like my type of setting since from what I can gather it appears to be set in some sort of post-dramatic-occurrence situation. I also really loved the music in the preview. More pessimistically, however; it’s only twelve episodes meaning we can’t expect much real plot develop – and if there IS any, it’ll most likely be similar to that of Jyu Ou Sei or Toshokan Sensou: choppy and leaving much to be desired. But I loved Jyu Ou Sei and Toshokan Sensou, so I’m still not sure what that’s saying. Plus, maybe I’d really love K-ON. I haven’t watched any of it. Because it looks irritating… POINT = Will definitely give Sora no Woto a try.

Durarara!!:


Despite the silly name, guess what… it’s Brains Base! It looks just like Natsume Yuujinchou! Well… no. But the animation art is the same, which means I love it. Watch the preview. I’m not sure why, but I find it to be quite fantastic. Hope it lives up to this.

HOLY CRAP I just watched the preview again and noticed the Spice and Wolf reference! Oh my god. I’m also getting something of a Welcome to the NHK vibe, which is BERI GUUD. Plus it’s set in Ikebukuro, which I’ve been craving more of ever since Otogi Zoushi. Excellent.

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So… this season the good stuff is pretty scarce. But yes, as I mentioned before, Kimi ni Todoke and Kobato are continuing AND the DTB OVAs are coming out. So it’ll be okay. But if worst comes to worst, here are two more options that I was planning on keeping an eye on – a distant and sporadic eye, but an eye all the same.

Katanagatari:

I still don’t trust SHAFT x Shinbo. Yes, I think they’re amazing; but I do NOT trust them. See Natsu no Arashi Akinai-chuu. Plus the character designs are a bit simplistic; but I did get over that for Kemono no Souja. It’s just the shounen-y story that’s keeping me wary. Going off to collect the Twelve Swords of Master So-and-so? Not the best way to attract my attention.

Hanamaru Kindergarten:

Alright… this does sound suspiciously like possible child porn, but the trailer seemed harmless and rather sweet. Of course I didn’t understand a word of it since it didn’t have subtitles, so who knows… but what if it turns into something lovely like Kobato about people who work at a daycare? Then I might not want to miss it. However… I could be completely wrong.


Darker Than BLACK – Ryuusei no Gemini: Episodes 05-06

December 4, 2009

Wow… Just wow. I am still really, really loving the new Darker Than Black. Things, as always, are confusing; and the plot thickens.

1. YIN! She’s back…

2. …and Hei is starting to return to his old self!

3. This is awesome

So episode 05 we were formally introduced to Norio and his transgender father, as well as his contractor mother. I’m still not sure what exactly Norio’s role is in this. It looks like it might just be a prop to provide comic relief, Suou’s character development and a link for a new contractor to show up (and then die); but maybe Norio will show up again? I won’t be to put out if he doesn’t, though. I’d rather have more Hei being normal again.

Suou gets a mission, which is to help destroy “Inazaki”… which is Yin?! Once Hei realizes it’s Yin he’s trying to destroy (for “Oreille” – remember to figure out who she is) he and Suou back off. This also provides a backdrop for Suou’s character once again: she hasn’t actually killed anyone yet as a contractor (or otherwise). I’m really loving Suou’s character; in fact I’ve just doubly fallen in love with this show again.

The first season was awesome, but this… this just completely brings out the fan in me. I haven’t felt so excited about a show in a while. I’m gonna lose all my desire to be objective about DTB if it goes on like this…


Holy Jesus Again! Darker Than Black OVA Trailer

November 29, 2009

Well, I thought saying Holy Jesus for Ryuusei no Gemini would be enough; but apparently I was wrong. I need to say HOLY JESUS many many more times. Because look at the trailer for the Ryuusei no Gemini OVA!!!

Right?!?! I want to watch it NOW!

If you don’t already know (yes, I’m really slow regarding information about things like this), the events of Ryuusei no Gemini (season 2) take place 2 years after the last episode of Kuro no Keiyakusha (season 1 – which I’m starting to miss due to the new, cantankerous Hei). BONES, the production stupio, has announced that Ryuusei no Gemini will be 12 episodes long, and that an OVA (!!!) will be released AFTERWARDS which covers those 2 years that we have to be clueless about for the remaining 4 episodes of season 2.

The OVA will be a DVD-only release, it will be 4 episodes long, and the first episode is being released with the Ryuusei no Gemini DVD on January 27.

!!! I’m having a bit of a fangirl moment here, and so should you!

I’d already heard about the OVAs on MAL, but from the way their summary is worded (“side-stories”, they said… “side stories”) it sounded like it would be a bunch of fillers. Um, apparently not!


Kimi ni Todoke: Episode 8

November 29, 2009

GEHHHHHHH Rivals… *↔*

Words can’t express the pain in my heart when I think of how the sawayakyaaa Kimi ni Todoke is going to be mauled by the horridness of rivals.

For further understanding, please see THAT’s Kimi ni Todoke post. Most specifically, the part directed at the one they call “Kurumi”. *Shoots daggers out of eyes*

From the loveliness of episode 7…

To the ominous brewing rivalry of episode 8

D:


Darker Than Black – Ryuusei no Gemini: Episodes 01-04

November 28, 2009

HOLY JESUS. I finally decided to get back in line with watching the currently airing Darker Than Black second season. I’ve been putting it off because I don’t want to get to the point where I’m biting my fingernails waiting for the new episode every week and then having only 25 minutes to last me to the next one. However, I realized this is dumb. It is nice to watch in marathons though… Anyway I got up to episode 04 and HOLY JESUS.

I knew the format for the second season would be different; I mean it makes no sense to have it be episodic NOW. But still, due to the shortness of the season, it’s SUPER action packed.From here on I’m not gonna be able to write this spoiler free, so fly away if you’re even more behind on this than me.

By the way, I figured out how to take screenshots with Media Player Classic. Eheheh. I feel accomplished now. Of course that doesn’t mean I’ll stop being lazy; so the pictures on this blog will most likely still be stolen. On to spoilers!

Grahhh this show is as impossible to keep up with as ever. I still can’t figure out whether I’m the stupid one, or the show is the smart one. However, what I’ve gathered as of now is:

  • Something terrible happened between Yin and Hei
  • Hei is a broody, alcoholic jerk with a small beard now
  • Hei has been working for the CIA, but now they along with some Russian group and “Section 3” from Japan are all trying to find him and Shion
  • Everyone thinks Suou is Shion
  • Where the hell IS Shion?!
  • WTF? Why is Suou now a contractor and Hei not?
  • Because Hei definitely tried to use his ability on Tanya and was surprised when he couldn’t; plus his star disappeared
  • Hei and Suou seem to be a different breed of contractors
  • Why is Mao back? Resurrection…
  • July is awesome now; he and Suou are actually quite adorable together
  • OH YEAH! Inspector Kirihara is back in the game! XD
  • Suou’s necklace seems to be some sort of Meteor Fragment
  • Never did understand what those things were all about anyways…
  • As of episode 4: Hei, Suou, July and Mao have teamed up seemingly with the intent to find Shion and they have traveled back to Tokyo

So that’s where things stand. And how is it all shaping up? Really, extremely, overly awesome. Hei’s broodiness is quite aggravating for now, but it just makes me excited to find out what happened to Yin. Suou is going to turn into an amazing character, despite the fact that BONES pulled an Utena and had her ability be to manifest a huge sword-like gun out of her chest. I’m also pretty glad to see the party back in Tokyo, because I HAVE quite missed Kirihara and her reunion with BK201 is definitely going to be something to remember. Hopefully.

Anyway, I like the direction this is heading and it’s great to see it’s still the same old Darker Than Black. No hesitation in killing off characters, comedy strangely but fittingly mixed in, music being awesome. Speaking of music; yes, I really miss Kanno Yoko. But the new guy seems to be doing a good job maintaining the atmosphere and I’ve decided I like the OP.  However… where’s the old OP~?

Now I’ve lost it, I know I can kill. The truth exists beyond the gates.

After looking through the old opening sequences, I’m realizing all over again how different the new season is. But is different always a bad thing?

So the verdict is: Good. More than good. Excellent. And while I miss Yin and Huang a bit, I think Suou and July are more than adequate payback for depriving us of Yin for a little while.

Remind me to download ANBU’s batch when the show’s over for archiving 🙂 I’ve been watching BSS, but ANBU’s a beast.

PS: We need more Russia in anime!


The Tragedy of Natsu no Arashi: Akinai-chuu!

November 26, 2009

I’m writing this as of episode 6, but if something changes in the next few episodes I will hastily stuff all my words back into my mouth and pretend this never happened.

GAHHHHHHHHHHH Shinbo I hate you SHAFT I hate you WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Original manga author  Kobayashi Jin, is this YOUR fault?! What happened to my favorite summer show? What the hell made it so BORING? I’m putting my money on Shinbo, seeing how he couldn’t manage to maintain balance with Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and turned it into a repetitive monotonous panty flashing fest after the first season.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is mainly going to be a bashing party, so leave now if it bothers you.

I actually really liked SZS season one. It was fresh and funny and unique. What Shinbo needs to learn is that it’s NOT fresh after three seasons and countless extra episodes. Same thing with Natsu no Arashi. When I heard there was going to be a second season, I was mainly just excited. But now that I think about it, isn’t that kind of surprising? I mean, all the characters had been introduced, and that was mainly what the show was about. Introducing new characters, traveling back to World War II to help them, having World War II touching moments in really surprising places. So… what did I think they were going to do? Just keep introducing more and more ghosts as the second season went on? Fill up Hakobune Cafe to the brim with em? Start a Ghost Convention? What, would they call it Summer Gho-Con?  Unless they were really bold and insane, the producers wouldn’t do that. So what the hell was the point of continuing production then, HUH?

The only thing left for this show is the Jun’s cross-dressing side plot and scenes at the Hakobune reminiscent of the widely hated first episode of season 1. While I was a little dismayed by the beginning of the second season, thinking it was ONLY going to be about Jun’s crossdressing, at least that’s a PLOT. And hey, I’ve been known to go for crossdressing shows. Hana Kimi Jdrama anyone? But this was just oppurtunities for fanservice. So they tuned down the fanservice after episode 3, but after you take THAT away, the only thing left is the Hakobune. And for some series, this type of set-up is fantastic. It’s subtle, with a little comedy and maybe some character development tossed in. But we all know that doesn’t sound like Natsu no Arashi.

Let me say here and now that I was actually one of the proud and few who didn’t think the very first episode of Natsu no Arashi was complete crap. It was entertaining. But the reason I ended up following and loving Natsu no Arashi was because that first episode was supplemented by some many other things. The interesting NOT YET OVER STYLIZED animation technique, the weird but cool concept, the slightly cheesy narration of Hajime, the nostalgic feel… ALL OF THAT. Zenbu. Now ruined by season 2.

Season 2 is just over done. It’s trying too hard to be cool, it’s monotonous, the bagkground music is really irritating and adds to the repetitive feel, the time-traveling is dumb and boring, the World War II element has been completely taken away, all the episode set-ups are exactly the same, the OP and ED are dull, the OP animation was interesting once, but now it’s monotonous like the rest of the show. It’s completely tasteless. WHAT THE FUCK. Shinbo has now screwed me over twice. This is the tragedy of Natsu no Arashi. Akinai-chuu.

Remember when it was like this?

And now it’s like this… although they don’t look that different, remember it’s whats inside that counts. And what’s inside Akinai-chuu is bull crap. Thanks, Shinbo. Thanks a lot.