Anime Blog
Neverending New Beginnings: January 2012

23 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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New winter 2012 anime

Spring and Autumn are usually the season where there are usually many new and interesting anime, with the Winter and Summer ones usually not much and just filling in the 12-episode anime that ended before in their TV time slot. Oddly, I noticed that not happening for Autumn 2011, so that means that it spilled over to the following season, which is Winter 2012. I'm not writing much here because I don't have much to say. More details of each individual would come at a later time if they survived being dropped at the end.

Screenshots are from episode 2 or 3, and may not feature the main character. This list does not include titles that I don't watch or as a spillover from the previous season.

For future reference, I'll be stating if I would continue watching or drop it too.

Aquelion Evo (アクエリオンEVOL)

I picked this up at the 3rd episode at the same time when I dropped Mirai Nikki (Autumn 2011), and just wanting to take a break from the high-school environment that seems so common these days. I haven't confirmed if I would continue watching it or, with Rinne no Laguranje having the same genre airing at the same time, drop one over the other.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Kill Me Baby (キルミーベイベー)
This is an odd one: a more simplified version of Nichijou (Summer 2011) or something. I feel like my IQ level has dropped from watching this.

Chance of dropping? No

Nisemonogatari (偽物語)

A sequel of the Bakemonogatari I watched in 2009. (Has it been that long already?) The only thing I remember are the opening and ending, and scenes like the above.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Rinne no Raguranje (輪廻のラグランジェ)

Comparing this with Aquelion EVOL mentioned earlier, I don't know which is better. In the first episode, it seemed that they just calmly introduced to the robots oblivious to the surroundings. I don't like the protagonist's hairstyle and outfit while inside these machines and the design of the other two pilots.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Another (アナザー)
This takes place in 1999. Electric operated things did seem scarier that that of today's. The time where there are computer-operated things, but things are somewhat still analog. This anime take advantage of technology of that time that are different (and less scary/noisy) today.

If you look at snapshots of this anime, you would notice that the majority of the scenes are dark. Character design is by the same person who did Haruhi (Itou Noichi), and the animation studio (PA Works) is the same as Angel Beats in Spring 2010.

Chance of dropping? Unknown

Inu x Boku Secret Service (妖狐×僕SS)
(What a confusing title  to enter: 妖狐 means mythical fox, and pronounced as "youko".)

An ultra-luxurious apartment of a town is used as a disguise for a group of creatures and people with supernatural abilities to gather together. I don't really get what's this anime is about though.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Daily Lives of High School Boys (男子高校生の日常)

Easily one of my favourites and overtaking Nichijou (Spring 2011) for a slice-of-life anime that has different skits in one episode. This is can't be compared with Kill Me Baby as it's a different... species.

Chance of dropping? No

Waiting For That Summer (あの夏で待ってる)

It's like the middleground of extremes of the other anime:
  • Highschool life, but with no comedy and has a degree of seriousness
  • Special abilities, but not showing it openly, and only to certain people
  • Worried for someone or an event, not for supernatural beings and such.
  • Stretching sci-fi without being futuristic or having spirits/deity/tradition or gundams-like machines
Chance of dropping? No 

Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father! (パパの言うことを聞きなさい)
I don't know what kind of anime is this yet. You could say that it's like Usagi Drops (Summer 2011), but with more people, reduced age gap difference, plus a mix of different genres. What are these genres I speak of? Family, unexpected plot twist, fanservice to some degree. Unlike the 7 or 8 anime mentioned above, there isn't any high school-going main character in it.

Chance of dropping? Unknown

18 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Mirai Nikki dropped

"I used to be able to predict the future like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee."
When the first episode of Mirai Nikki (未来日記) anime came out, I had already spoiled myself by reading the manga from the beginning to the end. The fun of watching it kind of got lost because of that.Actually, even as I read the manga, I never like how much of a coward the protagonist (Amano Yukiteru) is, or how much of a crazy girl Gassai Yuno is. In fact, I felt that the concept of Mirai Nikki itself could have been portrayed better.

Although the anime is based on the manga, the character design seemed somewhat dated (Amano looked like a Pokemon trainer). That omake section at the end of the anime already tells me that there would be quite a number of filters. Having known what the end is like, you would wonder why they had wasted a lot of time with all of those filters. I only hung around to see what difference the anime is from the manga is, but seems like exactly the same thing. If you had read the previous post, I had talked about what my expectations are.

What pushed me to drop it is that I found myself not wanting to watch more episodes, and the massive amount of new winter anime coming in, which themselves seem quite good, I see no reason to keep watching it.

15 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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What Is A Good Anime To Me?

(Cross-posted from my main blog)

K-On! (Spring 2009)

Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (Spring 1999)
Excluding anime that seem to go on forever (eg. Bleach) or targeted at children (eg. Doraemon), I have watched new anime, since 2006. Of course, I had watched some older ones like Kahimashi, Cowboy Bebop, and Lain.

I never noticed it unless I looked back (for anime since 2006) or watched older ones, but character design and background details in general has improved. Or it could simply because more recent ones looked better in widescreen in HD over the older lower-definition letterbox standard.

The early 2000s was a transitioning period for animation studios for doing each frame using computers over a cell sheet. To the viewers, this means that higher detail could be inserted, and scenes with things moving would not have everything else on the scene to be "moving".

Character designs can sometimes be timeless or be specific to the general era, but you can generally tell. The differences between the original Kanon (Winter 2002) and the remake (Autumn 2006) is an example of a big improvement of design. Not just visually, but how the story is executed too.

Death Note (Autumn 2006)
The main thing that tells you about an anime is its opening and ending, and the segments surrounding it. While I do agree that Death Note is the odd one out with the use of (very) heavy metal music, the best ones to me are ones that do not have scenes from its episodes, something that you wouldn't dread looking at many times. Another one, which I don't mind if it's not used, are the way the text of the credits are displayed being anything other than the generic one. Speaking of generic, I noticed that the animation of the ending of some anime, like Hanasaku Iroha (Spring 2011) and Durarara!! (Winter 2010), seems to have very minimal animation. I'm also not a fan of having new ending song in every episode, though I don't mind those once-in-a-while things that reflect a sad atmosphere (eg. the death of a major character). As for those that use a song that has been used in several anime, it's a mixed bag. However, songs like Secret Base: Kimi ga Kureta Mono, is the most often, and the most emotional, one I know of by singers used in Kyou no Go no Ni (Autumn 2008) and Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Spring 2011).

Kill Me Baby (Spring 2012)
Nowadays, anime having an opening some minutes after it started instead of the very beginning seems to be the norm. From my observations, those that don't, or always have a flashback, or have something that repeats every time like Yakitate!! Ja-pan (Autumn 2004), generally don't have a good storyline. On the opposite end, anime that do not have an opening (most commonly the first and last episode), replaced with credits in its place, or have the main episode overlapping with the ending in certain episodes are quite good.

It's hard for me to decide what is a good anime between a slice-of-life anime with simple design with playful schoolgirls in a school as main characters (eg. Nichijou), or lots of action with serious men and highly detail things (eg. Gundam series). Generally, it's easy to tell a bad one, and I seem to find a lot of anime with little content in the middle of the series falling into this group. It's also hard for me to watch one with a good story, but not-so-good in the character design part.

In the past, I used to be able to tell the kind of anime that would be produced just by looking at the name of the animation studio. Before Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Winter 2011), I used to think that animation studio Shaft would be only be producing slapstick-like anime like Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei (Winter 2008). Madoka was a big surprise as they suddenly have moe characters, and a plot that's a big departure from what they (or those with magical girls) normally have. Actually, not really sudden as they produced Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009) in between: still have elements typical of earlier Shaft anime, but a bit more to the serious side.

Angel Beats (Spring 2010)
Speaking of animation studio, I heard that Angel Beats could have been produced by Kyoto Animation instead of P.A. Works as most of the works written by Jun Maeda (Canon, Air, Clannad) are usually produced by former. The reason possibly being that KyoAni was already busy producing K-On! at production time.

What would the the most ideal anime for me?  Protagonist being a smart girl that should not be ugly or extremely sexy. She is a serious girl who could accurately tell if she's lied to, which you can't tell unless you paid attention to her tone of voice. These days, character design seems to be based on that of K-On!. Of course, that won't happen, would it?

13 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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[Review] Ben-To

BEN-TO (ベン・トー )

Screencaps for my Autumn 2011 reviews were/are chosen at random
 I've seem to have been picking up and dropping this anime before, usually because I found it boring at first and, either found out that it got better later on, or, after dropping all the other titles, this seemed to be the better than what I had dropped and don't have much to watch. In this case, it's the latter.

I've been sitting on this since after writing the Un-Go review, wondering how to review this anime, and my mind is a blank. Well, not really. Just short of what I usually write.

To sum this up, this anime really ended the same way it started, which is really about high school students (and older) hanging around at supermarkets waiting for a staff to have the price of lunch boxes be reduced by half. If you're unfamiliar of this concept, it's like unsold sushi close to the end of the day, which should be consumed on the same day it's made. These lunch boxes usually cost around 450 yen (as prominently displayed in the anime), so, to a student, the amount saved matters to them. The only challenge with this is the number of other people fighting (no, really) over the limited remaining quantity of the said lunch boxes.

Logically speaking, I don't think fighting over discount food like this actually happens in real life. At least, not in the way portrayed with this anime. What I'm more surprised is that the supermarket staff, other customers not involved in it, and, if any, security staff, seem to be quite oblivious to this despite the amount injured from the fighting and the noise they make.

I don't get this anime, even after watching all of its episodes.

6 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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[Review] Un-Go

UN-GO (アンゴ)

When I wrote the first impressions of the anime, I never though I would continue watching. It's one of those few good anime where you wouldn't be impressed if you had only watched the first few episodes, which is usually the opposite. This anime is about solving the mysteries of crimes. Of course, there's also the usual things that I'm disappointed that didn't appear.

This anime is quite good in developing storyline and developing suspense, though I don't exactly remember their names despite their name being shown in every episode.

The cases are something you don't quite expect to turn out, but there's always some kind of pattern and I've seen those where the suspense is built up, or something that appears minor that appears in earlier episodes turning out to be something major later on.

At least the main character has some brains instead of being a coward, dumb or perverted. Besides Chihaya Full and anime made up of only female characters (eg. K-On, Idolmaster, Kill Me Baby), I haven't seen any female characters being the protagonist (as in being focused at most of the time) in most anime these days. The closest is them tagging along with the male protagonist.

1 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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[Review] Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

I Have A Few Friends (僕は友達が少ない)

Also known as Haganai for short (based on the non-kanji parts of the name), is a slice-of-life anime.

I don't know what to think of this anime, but this somewhat a love-hate relationship with me. The noticeable thing with the anime compared to others are the eyes and the lips, especially ones of girls. The lips seems to always have some kind of lipstick on.

In terms of content, only the first 2 and last 2 episodes has actual content, and the rest are just filters and fanserverce with little actual content. So much that I actually felt like dropping it.

I don't really remember much at the top of my head, but I do have to say that it's better than Seitokai no Ichizon (Autumn 2009) or other anime that I dropped quickly.