Anime Blog
Neverending New Beginnings: October 2010

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

Labels : , , , , ,

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.