Anime Blog
Neverending New Beginnings: 2010

26 Dec 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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End Autumn 2010 Anime Review

This Autumn season has many interesting anime that I have not seen in a while. I will be covering the review of the entire year later on as I need to gather info since it has been quite a while, particularly Winter and Spring seasons. All of my reviews do not include anime that I do not watch at all, for as far I can remember. I might do a separate review for OVAs, movies, and DVD/BD-only episodes that are released outside the year of the first TV broadcast of final regular episode.

The anime listed below are sorted by what's on my mind the most at the time of writing, and only lists what I had watched.

俺の妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない (There's no way my sister can be this cute)
Category: anime in an anime, otaku, slice of life, siblings
Episodes watched: 12 (completed)

Better known by it's unofficial shortened name of OreImo, this is one of the few anime for quite a while. Though I saw some points that could be improved on, this could be overlooked by everything else.

OreImo is about a middle school die-hard visual novel (rated 18 years and above) on sibling relationship and magic girl anime fan so secret that you couldn't even tell until her brother spotted an anime cover with an eroge disc inside lying around.

To make sure that this secret is not made known to anyone else, especially their father, she made him have "life counseling" sessions, which is just things like making him play her games or heading out to Akiba (Akihabara) to buy her stuff. The money to support her hobby comes from her job as a model.

The opening and ending animation changes with every episode, though the ending animation and song are completely different. There's animation for the opening, but the ending is (mostly) panning around an image of a character art with effects added. That same artwork appears in the background of the sponsor screen after the show, or posters included with the ending song album included with the video disc.

This anime has de-emphasized of the school life as, except for Kirino's close friends and Kyousuke's childhood friend, they don't really show much of what most school-going anime usually has. It's been reduced to nothing more than the place they meet..

There has been announced that there are additional 3 DVD-only episodes, with one being an alternate version of episode 12, but nothing else is known about them other than episode 11 being the determining factor.

Would like to see more of Kirino with black hair though.

とある魔術の禁書目録Ⅱ (A Certain Catalog of Forbidden Magic 2)
Category: Magic, high school, large school, futuristic, religion/cult, science research, several story arches
Episodes watched: 11 (ongoing)

Touma and Mikoto in the left-center. Their parents are seated across.
Picking up on where season 1 left off, this is about a guy with no magical abilities but a mysterious ability to block off or disable magic powers. It's got less of "have most of an episode spent on talking/fighting at the same place" and improvement on character design. The only time we see the characters in their winter uniform are in the cover art of the novel, the manga, and a flashback of the bank robbery scene about 1.5 years before the current timeline in Railgun.

It's spin-off based on the secondary characters (Misaka Mikoto and Shirai Kuroko), Railgun, however, still seems like a better title to watch. Though that takes about the same time frame and occasional appearance of Touma in there, we don't see the the same thing happening in both. Uiharu made an actual appearance in Index2, but not Saten. Though these two did make a brief appearance in Index season 1, more noticeably in both the 1st and 2nd opening.

There are about another 12 or so episodes extending into the Winter 2011 season, and there are rumors of a second Railgun season being made.

神のみぞ知るセカイ (The World God Only Knows)
Category: creatures from above, game addict, several story arches, odd character outfits, high school
Episodes watched: 4 (dropped)

Well, I'm not saying that I dropped this because I don't like it, but this anime seems to slip my mind completely due to the difficulty of being able to watch this and with anime like the two mentioned above that attracts more of my attention. I might watch this later, but I won't review it when I'm done with it except maybe as a brief insignificant tweet.

For the characters, well... I have forgotten their names by now. One is a (visual novel) game addict that he even plays them in the middle of lessons and prefers girls in his games over "three dimensional" ones. The male school uniform reminded me of a character of a movie I watch when I was younger, holding what is obviously a PSP (but calls it by a different name) he plays his games on. The female character is a deity of some sort from the sky or something that is assigned to him as part of their quest to remove the evil spirits residing in the hearts of girls. The only way to get it out is to have the girls to fall in love with him.

Opening animation reminded me of Eden of the East with how the background animation is done.

アマガミSS (Amagami SS)
(This is a 25-episode series as part of the Summer Anime lineup)
Category: several story arches, high school, story that goes around in circles, revolves around Christmas
Episodes Watched: 20 (dropped)

Opening for the latter half of the series

Well, yes, 20 is such a large number for me to drop this anime, but it seems to go very much along the same lines but with a different girl and a different perspective. The Sae story arc (episode 5-8) was a big shock as it suddenly has a narrator only for this arc and disappears again in the latter episodes.

Well, maybe my expectations was kind of high for me to drop this. I've seen TV drama that are more interesting to watch and this is nothing more than a big disappointment that looked as though it's following a template repeated several times. This could be inherited from the visual novel having several different routes leading to different endings, but who wants to watch the same thing 6 times in different ways? (I had watch through all 8 "Endless Eight" episodes of Suzumiya Haruhi [Spring 2009 renewal]) From the very beginning, I wanted to drop this since the 4th episode for having such a rushed ending, but continued on to see what the other arches are like. I don't know what's with the (covered) nudity of the featured girls in the ending too. The second opening was the only thing I liked for being a big improvement over the previous, though the part where the line "ハニかんで見つめあった 優しいキモチ溢れた" is being said keeps poping up in my mind.

Category: story that goes around in circles, high school, club activities, crazy behavior, cross-dressing, revealing costumes, near-incest
Episodes Watched: about 4-5 (dropped)

This opening kind of tells you what the anime is like. Apart from minor changes to some scenes and some weird sound effects added to the music, it's not much different from the first opening.

Err... You can tell at a glance that this is not what I would like to watch.

FORTUNE ARTERIAL ~赤い約束~ (Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku)
Category: large school, vampires
Episodes Watched: first few episodes (dropped)

I found this difficult to pick up with the strange setting and themes I found disturbing.

16 Oct 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Autumn 2010 Anime First Impressions

The new autumn anime offers the most interesting line-up for the whole year. Some of them are second season of anime like Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, Motto To Love-ru, and To Aru Majutsu no Index II (third if you counted the Railgun spin-off). Here are my thoughts of it after the first or second episode, depending on when the first episode aired. I might give an individual episode summary in here, or just have that as part of my general opinion. Except for the second season of Index mention below, I do not know much about any of the anime listed here prior to the announcement of the Autumn lineup.

MM! (えむえむっ!)

Sweet, and gentle at first
But being sweet and all that is not her usual self
How do I say it... the main character likes to be tortured, and another has a fear for males. They head to the second volunteer club (where's the first?) for advice. Then, all the crazy things start to happen. I shall not spoil any further for those who have yet to watch it, as saying what I know could spoil the fun than watching it first without knowing anything. This anime is not recommended if you are looking for non-repetitive action with actual progress in storyline.

My Sister Can't Be This Cute (おれの妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない)
That's a rather long title, even with the title in kanji, so let's just call it OreImo.

(Audio starts at 0:11)
(If these links do not work, blame some subdivision(s) of Sonii)

The opening theme only started in the second episode, but I have to say that it is quite good and it actually goes well with the music. The opening animation looks like it might change according to the location and/or places featured in the episode in question.

As for the ending, it was just horizontal credits scrolling rapidly overlaying the last few moments of that episode and faint background music, like the variety shows I see in the evenings, so I'm not sure if there would be an actual ending animation. If there is, it's probably not showing it yet because of things yet to happen to be in it. I haven't heard the ending song long enough to recall if it was the same song in episode 1 and 2 or how the song goes.

Episode 1 summary:
Kirino has a secret obsession of collecting anime goods and visual novels, including ones rated for people above 18. She hides them behind the cabinet, knowing the father being against having such a hobby, and uses the money from her pay as a model. She eventually drag her older brother (Kyousuke) in with her hobby. She even made him complete the game she had tasked him to do.

Episode 2 summary:
Kirino has never met anyone else who is an anime otaku like her, due to her hobby being hidden from everyone. (Kyousuke was the first person she revealed this to.) So, with some help from her older brother, she follows a group in an offline meeting. Sadly, she didn't manage to talk to anyone at the end of that meeting. She did, however, receive a hand-grabber, and 2 of the people from that group caught up with her and go around shopping around Akihabara.

Relying on the Sky (ヨスガノソラ)
 (or "Sora Relying on Others" if the "Sora" in the title refers to the name of one of the twins)

It's about twin siblings who are moving to their grandparent's place after their parents have been killed in a traffic accident. The younger twin could not attend school because of a disability. The style kind of reminds me of H2O: Footprints in the Sand anime back in Winter 2008: Nice music, small town setting, some heavy stuff at the beginning, a lot of girls, but hard to follow. There's just something lacking that is making me wanting to look forward for more.

The two are identical twins, but gender differences makes the two look different. I need not explain the theory behind how these two are actually the same person, but experience different things.

Yet the Town Keeps Going (それでも町が廻っている)

It's an another anime produced by SHAFT. My dislike towards them is that they add unnecessary things that I find annoying like the rapid flashing of mountains of words in Bakemonogatari (2009) or too much distraction from storyline for Natsu no Arashi or Maria Holic. It's a slice of life anime like K-On (Spring 2009 & 2010), but there's something annoying about it. Maybe it's the way SHAFT presents it.

This kind of says it. 大人気ない means "not very popular"
The glaring annoyance this time is that there is girl whose ugly appearance was not explained. I mean, why is it even there? It looks like an American stereotyped view Chinese/Asians some time ago. It's worse than accidentally drawing 6 or more fingers for a hand. It spoils all the other characters in the anime. Why???
Er... yes. This was what I was talking about.
Except for Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Summer 2007) I have never really liked anime produced by them. (Looks at list)... and maybe Negima!? (Autumn 2006) and Ef: A Tale of Memories/Melodies (Autumn 2007/2008) too. Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009) too if it didn't look so lifeless, fill it with a lot of text that are too quick to read. don't foresee picking this one up. Also, the ending theme is boring. Okay, enough about this. Let's move on.

Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku (FORTUNE ARTERIAL ~赤い約束~)

It does seem interesting to watch, but the feeling of wanting to watch more of it is not there. Maybe I need to watch an another episode to be sure. The protagonist says that he is a 5th year there, but of what level? Certainly too old to be a Grade 5, and looking at them, and a mention of Year 6, it could refer to a secondary education system or High School Year 2 if the first 3 is of a middle school education level.

A Certain Forbidden Index of Magic 2 (とある魔術の禁書目録Ⅱ)

It starts at the last day of the summer holidays where Touma is struggling to finish off the homework he wasn't able to during the summer holidays, which the whole of season 1 took place in, when Index was kidnapped in front of him by a mysterious magician.

Index is back after a long time! I enjoyed the first season and the Railgun spin-off, though the former had the most part of an episode being at the same spot for too long. Besides that, I enjoyed the action and music. For the second episode, I wasn't really paying attention other than there being a lot of Nuns.

There are 4 anime I have listed above that I am likely to drop. I did not mention anything about Motto To Love-ru at all despite it being listed in my watch list, and there are certainly more anime that other anime bloggers and people at Twitter that I did not even mention.

9 Oct 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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End Summer 2010 review

Since I wrote the mid-season summer anime review, there has been some changes of opinions of the anime I had reviewed that aired in the Summer season. This includes episodes 13 to 26 of an even earlier Spring anime and Summer anime that still continues on into the Autumn season.

Occult Academy (世紀末オカルト学院)
 For the third straight anime released released under TV Tokyo's Power of Anime (アニメノチカラ), it still fails to keep my interest despite the nice graphics and original storyline. Maybe it's the storyline part that is the main reason.

For one thing, it started off in July 1999 as the academy principal's death and his daughter, Maya, not caring about him even at the funeral until something strange happened. Then a guy from the future (2012) wanting to fix the bad things from his time that started happening in 1999. Apart from the character designs, I decided to tolerate because of what I saw so far was interesting.

Then, things start to go downhill.

It became filled with boring filter episodes, a love story, family problems, going out with friends, and whatever that has nothing to do with the main character or the academy. This is the point around where I dropped. When I took a sneak peak of the second last episode, it made me at a loss of words: two of the secondary characters were hidden good and evil witches, fight each other, and... you get the idea. I stopped watching at that point. Couldn't stand it.

The other two anime under the Power of Anime are So Ra No Wo To (Winter 2010) and Senko no Night Raid (Spring 2010).

Ms. Okami & 7 friends (オオカミさんと七人の仲間たち)
As mentioned before, this anime has bizarre character designs to the extent to being ugly (though not as ugly as that senior citizen-looking high school girl in a maid-themed autumn anime I watched earlier today) and have useless secondary characters. I don't get what's going on other than a so-called bank that has a posh lounge hidden behind the small, poor-looking room. Oh, the ending animation is a pain to watch with that 8-bit music and the curtain repeatedly opening and closing. It's just summarizes on how awful I find the anime to be, especially when I'm watching K-On!! season 2 ending 2 at the same time too.

Seitokai Yakuindomo (生徒会役員共)
Besides K-On!! and Amagami, This anime is relatively decent enough for me to be able to tolerate during the Summer season. It has somehow kept me away from even thinking of dropping it and wanting for more. In contrast, the other student council I have watched, Seitokai no Ichizon (Autumn 2009) was boring as 85% of the time takes place in the room and lack something to look forward to.

Amagami (アマガミ)
I was just happily watching when suddenly, out of the blue, there is a narrator for Nakata Sae's arc (episode 9-12) and then mysteriously disappears. What was that about?

Anyways, from what I see featured in the opening, it seems that the better (-looking) girls would be featured from episode 13 with the second half, and a newer, better opening from episode 14. Since I last talked about it, it didn't follow exactly the pattern I mention then as some started from the present summer instead of Christmas of 2 years ago or things like that. However, the girls do appear in all of the arcs that doesn't focuses on them, but relatively minor. This anime is still ongoing now.

K-On season 2 (けいおん!!)
This ever-popular anime ended with 26 episodes. The graduation in episode 24 marked the end with the graduation ceremony. It was sad after knowing them for a long time and not seeing them again. Episodes 25 and 26 covers the gap between episode 21 and 23. I was expecting the epilogue and what they are doing outside instead like what was promised in the first episode of the first season (Spring 2009). Maybe we would see it for the OVA later on, but that's a long time from now.

I find it good that they went into detail of the girls' daily lives to show a more personal side of them. What is lacking is Tsumugi's house being featured, as the 4 other main characters had already shown theirs. From the hints of the summer training, and how excited she becomes over seemingly normal things, that's probably enough to know what she lives in. Anyways, the visual quality, attention to detail, and the opening and ending themes are the things that are usually missing in most anime.

The summer and spring seasons had limited amount of anime worth watching on TV, but among those, they are quite good to watch. Due to work constrains and how late anime are usually aired, I had to record them (which explains the channel logo) and watch them at a later time. Sometimes, almost a week later.

The new autumn anime has just started, and I need to watch a few episodes, and maybe that episode a few times, to get what is going on. This would be enough to see what anime to drop, and what to continue watching. There's an anime I saw of a boy who is very obsessed of playing visual novel games and then some crazy things happen. I don't remember what the title is, but it doesn't give me a good first impressions and not something I would continue with.

I haven't been doing any MAD on my YouTube channel lately mainly because I'm not good with creating something new, and the copyright take-down crap going on is unmotivated me to do more. The way copyright law is enforced these days are more of not allowing creativity, and only concerned of their target audience, which is made worse by the people who are outside of it having knowing nothing. Any anime by Kadokawa would at least have ads pasted on it (it's strange that a video footage of students doing the Hare Hare Yukai dance fall into this group too since there's no footage from the anime and the sound is muffled mixed with background noise), but the worse culprits block/remove the video completely are mainly Aniplex (or any company owned by Sony), TV Tokyo, and quite recently, Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS). You could tell from the credits and the 10-sec sponsor screen after the opening and ending animations. A good example is that you don't see anime under those titles. Videos blocked/removed means that far fewer people would know about it and popularity would drop sharply once the first TV airing has ended. An example of this is BakaTest (Winter 2010) as, despite being popular when it was aired, seems to be relatively forgotten as compared to an older popular series that did not remove the unofficial videos. These companies see it as a hindrance to making profit, but they are making it worse by letting fewer people know about it and actually killing themselves. Why would a customer support something they know nothing of unless they are involved with it's production? Previews and low-quality legal online streaming sites (which is not available in all countries for the above reasons) are not enough.

18 Sept 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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K-On! Season 2 Episode 24 (Finale)

(Cross-posted from the Japanese version)

Except for Azusa, it's graduation day for everyone in the Light Music Club.

Yui: "It's the graduation ceremony isn't it?"

Girl on the left: "See you later"

It is this day that the third year students making their final departure from the school. Will they see each other again?

These are the seniors' graduation diplomas, isn't it? (cries) Please don't graduate...
Don't worry, Azu-nyan. I'll give you a picture of us when we were in our first year.
Hokago (After-school) Teatime's last music performance in the school's music room

(For sub-less or closed-captioned Japanese lyrics, refer to the Japanese version)

Azusa is crying.

Although this is the final episode in the K-On series, I don't want to write about it in detail: it's too sad to write about. The next two episodes are extras outside the storyline.

15 Sept 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Culture Japan Episode 0: カルチャージャパン (1時間英語版)

(This video is posted directly from youtube)

Well, here's something interesting that Danny Choo has posted up recently on YouTube. It's about an hour long. As at the time I'm posting this, I'm only at about 33 minutes through, and what I have seen so far is of Fujisawa High School he has visited earlier to show what a high school in Japan is like, which is rarely known except through anime. Earlier on are of various rooms (well, 3 actually. Danny Choo and Sato Satomi doesn't count) that are filled with anime stuff. I had seen the raw footage of that dance somewhere during the first 30 minutes, but a long time ago.

9 Aug 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Mid-Summer 2010 Review

To put it simply, this is my review of the Summer anime that survived the filtering of what I would had watched and the latter half of 24-episode Spring anime. For the summer ones, I am review them from the point of knowing more than what I didn't know at the beginning and watched it long enough to know the direction it's taking. For anime that I might drop in the near future, this would at least serve as to how I found it to be like before it happened instead of just tweeting it and not get noticed or just quietly remove it. Doing a review at the end of Summer instead (beginning of Autumn actually) means that I might not recall it accurately since I don't have reference material for it as I might dropped because of something persistent that I didn't like or something I was hoping would happen not happening.

Light Music (season 2)
Japanese name: けいおん!!
Characters: Very good, but background characters are strangely better
Background Detail: Very good, people and items are not lazily simplified/omitted and there's action even though the focus is elsewhere. Lacks people walking around, but there is interaction between the main character and a non-primary/secondary character.
How clear does it look in 720p?: Very good, 1080p + the above
Status: Watching

Well, I'm sure everyone knows what this is about or at least how popular it is, so I'm skipping the background story.

I'm glad that they paid more attention to the minor characters and explore more perspectives that were absent in the first season. For the first season, they squeezed two academic years into 12 episodes, but for the second season, it was the third year spread over 24 episodes, a 4x increase. What I'm disappointed is the lack of new songs (though Angel Beats that was airing during the first half was an overkill), and... how good the background characters are over the main characters themselves. What we have yet to see is Yui and the others graduating or performing at the Budokan, though we did see that happening at other places or to other people.

Just to add on, the opening and ending animation for the second half of this season was among one of the best I have ever seen since the 2006 airing of Haruhi Suzumiya. Those in-between seem to lack the X-factor even though they can be visually quite good. Also, visual-wise, I've never seen other anime that are at that level.

Okami and Her Seven Companions (Top image too)
Japanese Name: おおかみさんと七人の仲間たち
Characters: What's with the bizarre character designs and personalities? Why does every heroine in anime by JC Staff/Genco look like Aisaka Taiga?
Background Detail: Good, almost the same as K-on season 1. They do detail posters and bookshelves, but the wordings on them are not.
How clear does it look in 720p?: Not good, appears upscaled. Does all anime produced by JC Staff look like this too? Even the BD versions of anime released by them (eg. Railgun) seem to lack something, like contrast levels.
Status: Watching, but thinking of dropping

So, next up is "Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi" that I'm not exactly sure what it's about.

In the first scene of the first episode, we see someone being confronted by... er... what? Who would wear that? And then there's... the annoying narration who is voiced by the same person as the annoying Kuruko of "To Aru Majutsu/Kagaku no Index/Railgun" (another JC Staff produced anime). To add that, we have a shy guy with long bangs hiding in the shadows and abruptly confesses to... her. Then there's a one-sided loving couple, a crossdresser, and a useless magician.

To add on to the bizarreness they put on (ugly) costumes and attack students of a rowdy school just to meet the student council president that was just elected. We see a flashback of a heroine during a particular summer that looks a lot different than her current self. Another flashback scene shown was her being toured and bullied by classmates. It's not known when that was, but she did transfer out to where she met the little red hood . She mentioned that they were in the same class since middle school.

This is too generic mixed with things that I'm tired of seeing. Let's drop this: I don't want to waste time with it hoping what I was expecting that doesn't seem that it might happen. Also, must they put "Ookami-san" in every episode title?

End-of-Century Occult Institute
Japanese Name: 世紀末オカルト学院
Characters: It's worse than Ookami-san above in terms of design that I have ever seen for a post-2005 anime.
Background Detail: Better than K-on actually, but lacks that warm and fuzzy feeling
How clear does it look in 720p?: Quite good. Somewhere between the above two anime mentioned above
Status: Watching, but I'm not sure if I will

Occult Academy is the 3rd anime under TV Tokyo's アニメノチカラ (The Power of Anime) collaborating with people to produce anime originals that have no prior basis on light/visual novels, manga, video games or drama. I think of it as something similar to Fuji TV's ノイタミナ ("Animation" written backwards). Past shows under the Animenochikara brand include Sora no Maninami and Senkou no Night Raid, which, I've both dropped for different reasons.

The anime begins with Maya (heroine; pictured) to attend the funeral of her father that she's not really close with at an academy he founded that is obsessed with the occult, as showed by the "this is a waste of time" look on her face. It should be noted that Hisaka Youko, who voices Maya, also voices Mio of K-On and Shino of Setokai Yakuin-domo too.

After the above, the storyline starts off with some guy who literally came from the sky, well, the 13 years in the future, and tries to stop the things that are happening in the future. Recent episode seems to add in some filters and stray off from what it seem would happen at the beginning. It's hard to watch this with character design that are... err, different from what I'm used to.

Student Council Staff Members
Japanese Name: 生徒会役員共
Characters: Girls that have dirty thoughts in their minds.
Background Detail: Almost at par with K-On season two actually. You could see words on posters in the background, nice background characters to make up the atmosphere. Well, look at the second image in this section.
How clear does it look in 720p?: Appears upscaled too, as visible with the stack of papers in episode 3, but background details make up for it
Status: Watching. Despite the themes featured, I don't find it disturbing unlike certain people

The school Seitokai Yakuin-domo takes place in Ousai Gakuen, which is a former all-girls school that has recently become co-ed. Despite that, the population of male students there is still a handful that Tsuda's (protagonist; that tiny dot in the center middle in the sea of girls on the right image) class only has 2 boys, including himself and, during events like end-of-semester ceremony in episode 6, you can still see that more than 90% of the school population are females. Tsuda chose it only because it's close to where he lives. His sister is planning on joining that school too in the following year.

On the first day, he is unnecessarily stopped by Shino (left of first image), a member of the student council, and held him there long enough until the chime of the first lesson. To "make up for it", she asks him to join the student council as the male representative.

Since it's a slice-of-life genre like K-On and have not read the manga it's based on, there's not much I can say about it in term of storyline. Also, I find this way better than Seitokai no Ichizon of Autumn 2009

Japanese name: アマガミ
Characters: ... a little better than Ookami-san, i guess
Background detail: Building structures are detailed, but not books or posters
How Clear Does it Look in 720p?: Not bad, but background and character designs
Status: Watching. It "resets" with another girl every 4 episodes, so it's annoying to see the same thing again

Amagami is based a visual novel where the protagonist would choose one of the six girls from his school, including his own younger sister, and try to win their heart.The story is repeats itself after every 4 episodes, but with a different girl and with very noticeable patterns:
  1. Waited on a Christmas night 2 years ago for a girl, but she didn't show up
  2. Just as he's about to give up the girl he will get along for the next 4 episodes would show up
  3. Protagonist did something to make the girl fall in love in him
  4. Some talk among other girls
  5. At some quiet corner, the girl would offer the protagonist to lick her belly (Erm, what?)
  6. Some talk among other characters again
  7. Relationship reaches climax around christmas
  8. Time forwards by 10 years where they are apparently married
  9. back to point 1, but with a different girl
Well, this is the pattern it seems to be taking after 6 episodes. It reminds me of "Endless Eight" episodes in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. Number of girls (6) + number of episodes focused on each girl  (4) = 24 episodes, so with season 2 of Index coming up in autumn, I don't think I would watch all the way until the end of the year.

Well, that's all that I had picked up for the summer season, with the rest being already dropped or never picked up, including "High Shool of the Dead" during mid-June you might have seen on my anime watch list before then.

Looking at the upcoming list of autumn anime, I can already see that there would be a large amount that I won't pick up, but I would look at the trailers and the first few episodes to be sure. To end this post, here's a hint of the latest anime episode episode I am at time of publishing.

Hint: No words were spoken in this scene

31 Jul 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Just how many characters is too much?

Watching several anime for some time now, I've noticed things that they all have in common: the number of characters affects how the anime would go. The more the are, the overall focus for each is reduced.

That many main characters?
Take Negima for example. On the image on the right, you would see everyone that appears at least once in the entire series. Sure there's a lot, but the focus is mostly on characters number 8, 13, 27, 28, and that kid in the middle bottom. What happened to the rest? They became just background characters, or supporting the earlier mentioned characters. I would prefer focus on no. 2, 5, 13 (again), 28 as the main characters, but guess they wasted it on filters.

30 Jul 2010

Posted by



This is a test.

13 Jul 2010

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Final thoughts on Angel Beats

Angel Beats was a 13 episode Spring 2010 anime that ended around the third week of June.

Just a little background about the production process: it is an anime original by Key and Jun Maeda, who also did Clannad, Air, and Little Busters. Maeda went to PA Works because he was impressed on how they did True Tears (or Kyoto Animation they usually go with was busy with K-On).

(I am listing the events in chronological order, so you might find some spoilers if you have not watched the episodes of the latter half.)

Did they say what illness she's suffering from that she has to be hospitalized for a long time?

2 Jul 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Final thoughts on "Durarara!!"

Scenes like this seems to be lacking in later episodes.
Durarara was a 23 episode series that was part of the Winter 2010 anime lineup.

Here's a brief background on what this anime is about:
It started as the main character. Ryuugamine Mikado, arrives into the urban Ikebukuro from a rural town to enroll into a high school there with a recommendation from a childhood friend of his, Kida Masaomi (because the latter was lonely). Mikado wanted to be in the city as he sees the urban area as where one would have new adventures there, and that he has never left his hometown his whole life prior to that. At the school, after some commotion caused by missing classmates (Harima Mika, Yagiri Seiji), they met Sunohara Anri.

24 Apr 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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K-On!! first impressions

(note the extra examination mark in the title for the second season)

They actually paid more attention to the background characters more
K-On is now back again after last year's Spring 2009 season becoming popular that KyoAni was too focused on its sequel (and "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya") that they indirectly lost the bid to do Angel Beats as they had previously done other "Key" visual novels (Air, Clannad). Well, to be fair, PA Works studio wasn't too bad either as they had done "True Tears" some time ago.

New opening theme: The cake is a lie
To remind you, this is a slice-of-life anime with no real storyline to follow.

23 Apr 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Durarara!! Episode 2 - Ikkyo Ichijitsu


Constantly Changing Phase and Being Highly Unpredictable

4 Apr 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Angel Beats! Episode 1

(fig.1) You wake up to see a girl in front of you with a sniper pointed towards something

The long awaited anime by Maeda Jun Key (did Air and Clannad too) has begun. There was no opening theme song here, but there is the slow-paced piano version and you might have heard parts of it in the trailers anyway.

(fig.2) Yes, the title is just a white background with black text with a Georgia/Times typeface.
Now, this episode title screen is rather plain...

2 Apr 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Final thoughts on "Baka to Test to Shōkanjū"

The most grandest "battle" (Yuuko vs. Minami)
BakaTest (バカとテストと召喚獣) is a 13-episode Winter 2010 anime that has ended recently.

Well, as mentioned in the Winter 2010 anime post, is is about a school named Fumizuki Academy with contrasts between classrooms, with those with better grades getting the better classroom facilities. This, however, focuses on the worse class, F, and proving to everyone that they are not lazy people.

28 Mar 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Final thoughts on "To Aru Kagaku no Railgun"

When I first heard of this after the last episode of Index in 2008, I wasn't sure what to think of it as Index was boring, but the two girls that appeared in the openings (Saten and Uiharu) made me wonder why they appear there, talking to Kuroko, despite not appearing in that anime.

27 Mar 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Background Characters

Background characters. Though we might be more focused on the more important characters that is the main focus, have you ever wondered why do they look better than the main characters?

27 Feb 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 13

The weather is so hot that I can't eat outdoors~

Misaka-senpai, Kuruko-san, would you help us to be models?

26 Feb 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Durarara!! Episode 1: Kaikou Ichiban


The First Words You Say Out of Your Mouth

Though this isn't as dramatic as Eden of the East or Code Geass, the atmosphere of me wanting to watch it for more is there. This feeling applies to K-On! too: there's no real storyline, but yet, I liked watching it. This used to apply to Railgun too, until they had filter episodes, especially episode 13 onwards and major difference in sequence from the manga and how little it had on parts that co-inside with the main storyline (Index). One of the best anime in the Winter 2010 lineup. A sharp contrast with Winter 2009, where I had dropped everything I had picked up as those were so boring. Look in the archives of this blog dated around April or December for that year or last month for my review.

22 Feb 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 11 & 12

We've infiltrated the office, but she's not around.

What is this?

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 10


Are you sure this is working?

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 09

Kiyama spots some yuri action as it's happening.

N-n-no! You're mistaken. Kuroko was just trying to wake me up.

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 08

Today's topic: "Personal Reality". Let me explain the theories behind this

Argh, he's babbling about stuff I don't understand... again...

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To Aru Kagaku no Railgun 07

(sorry for not reviewing this since November: was busy. Will quickly cover up to episode 20 and maybe cover Durarara in a different style.)

Ah? Onee-sama?

Lessons are so boring...

14 Feb 2010

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Haruka Takahashi

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Celty's head

In the opening sequence of Durarara (デュラララ!!) , you would notice that only this woman does not have a name, but yet appear as an important character.

Enri Sunohara shows her diary of her with Harima, a friend from middle school who had gone missing before school began. Sunohara mentioned that Mika Harima was stalking Seiji Yagari, the guy in the second episode who came late only to declare that he won't be coming to school for "something more important". Notice that Mika Harima likes to wear a hat and clothes that are white and pink.

When I first saw this in episode 2, I didn't realize that there were two empty seats instead of just one right behind Mikado Ryuugami. The other one is in the red circle of the right image.

Sunohara became the class representative as she and Harima wanted to become one. She looked at the empty desk where she should have sat. Since Ryuugami was sitting right in front the empty desk and she was looking for a male class representative (as indirectly mentioned by the old man), her looking at that direction made him raise up his hand.

Who is this woman that has an odd scar that Ryuugami bumped into episode 1 that later became Yagiri Seiji's lover? Notice that the colour of the skin is diifferent. I would assume that this was just after the head transfusion. Well, how do you explain the odd scar mark and the uneven skin tone? The mention of Celty's head gone missing in episode 4 and the head shown in episode six must mean something, though it is revealed that the kidnappers seen in the first two episodes is actually (one of) the supplier(s) for the Yagiri Pharmaceutical.

Here's a theory of what might have happened: The Yagiri Pharmaceutical company (managed by Seiji's older sister) hunts for people that wouldn't be noticed if they had went missing. Yagiri Seiji likes Celty's head, but Mika Harima likes him. Mika Harima might have heard (after stalking Yagiri) that the company does experiments and have somehow acquired Celity's head. So to have Yagiri love Mika, she decides to have her head swapped with that of Celity. Just after the surgery, she decides to have a walk around with her new head. She bumps into someone (Ryuugami), thinking that it's Yagiri, but upon realization that it's someone else, she runs away in horror. (This was the only time we heard her voice) She searches high and low around Ikebukuro, but eventually, she found him.

Speaking of episode 6, this episode revealed a lot of the mysteries from the earlier and made me look back at the earlier episodes and would notice details that I wouldn't notice.