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[Shinseikiden Mars] [Haibane Renmei] [Kiddy Grade] [Choujuushin Gravion] [Rizelmine 2nd Season] [Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children Light & Dark] [Platonic Chain] [Bomberman Jetters] [Sister Princess: RePure] [NARUTO] [Heat Guy J] [Hanada Shounen-Shi] [Koukaku Kidoutai - STAND ALONE COMPLEX] [Asobotto Senki Goku] [Spiral~Suiri no Kizuna]
Divine Century Story - Mars
Yeah, I couldn't think of a good way to translate the title really, so you'll just have to call it Mars. No relation to the manga, of course, but I hear that this may be the Mars series that Media Blasters picked up for release in R1. No one's quite sure, as far as I know.
But anyway, on to the anime! I watched the opening a week or so ago, and decided to put off taking a look at the title until later. Seemed like a typical robot dumb show. However, I finally got around to watching it tonight, and it surprised me a bit. The whole premise is a little weird, and their supernatural abilities are a little overdone, but the show was somewhat enjoyable to watch.
Basically, the story starts with Mars, the red-haired guy, being found on a forming volcano island rising up out of the sea. He's taken back to Japan and examined by doctors there, but they don't find anything abnormal other than the fact that he's lost his memory, and the only images they can get out of his brain are ones of bleak red-tinted desolation. Mars happens to wake up when the daughter of one of the doctors, Harumi, comes in to bring him a change of clothes. Mars sees her and sees that she closely resembles the woman she sees in his dreams, calling out to him. Before he can do anything about it, however, crazy man from New York arrives and hypnotizes the doctor and his daughter with his crazy stare, then take Mars outside. Apparently Mars is a construction of this group that he is a part of, and he was not supposed to awaken this early. New York guy shows Mars that he has awesome psychic powers too, and eventually takes him back to the volcano where he was awakened.
There we find out that Mars is not a human at all, and neither is crazy New York guy. They're here as part of a secret plan to destroy the Earth, using Mars, this huge, virtually indestructible robot Titan, and some mysterious thing which "collects data" (so far), Gaea. Apparently Mars's mission is to give the order to Gaea to annihilate the entire Earth. It's not clear to me why they don't just do this now, but whatever. We see Titan destroy some stupid battleship (probably American, they're always being dumb with their battleships), and New York guy tells Mars that he shouldn't worry, and the Earth *should* be destroyed. Then Titan moves off towards land. ^^
So basically, we have Mars unexpectedly unsure of whether he should destroy the earth because of his lost memory, with the New York guy and his cohorts urging him to do it, and the girl from his dream telling him that he must not fight. Who knows what will happen next?
The character designs for the series are okay, not particularly to my taste, but Harumi's passably cute. Everything's really rather oldschool in terms of style, but it looks pretty well put together overall. I won't be watching the series but it wasn't a waste of my time to check into it, certainly. ^_^
Greywing League / Charcoal Feathers Federation
HAIBANE RENMEI!! This first episode is just an introduction, but Haibane Renmei looks to be my favorite show this season. The characters, style, music, and what I've seen so far of the plot combine to be just a great anime to watch.
Haibane tells the story of a group of girls who live in an isolated place called "old home", presumably because they have wings and halos, making them kind of stand out in normal society. The older girls are all apparently born from a cocoon-type structure, having traveled there through some sort of dream, different for each girl. The anime starts out with the arrival of a new girl, her cocoon having grown big enough that it's ready to open, finally. The other girls are all excited, and finally it does burst, with some help from the girl inside, who will come to be named Rakka. All of the girls are named after things in their dream, and since Rakka was falling endlessly through the sky, they named her with characters meaning "fall down". Anyway, they take Rakka to a room, give her a freshly-forged halo (it's still hot, and it doesn't quite want to stick right), and wait for her wings to sprout. They do later that day, a very painful occasion, but Reki, who seems to be the eldest or girl in charge, stays with her and combs the blood out until they are a nice grey (hai-iro) color. Apparently no one knows what the Haibane (or greywings?), as they call themselves, are, and they don't remember anything about their past life, except a vague rememberance that there was one. No one remembers them as they were before either. It's a great set-up for what hopefully will be an enjoyable story about Rakka as she adjusts to her new life as a Haibane.
I've never read the doujinshi this anime was apparently based on, but if it was executed as well as this first episode of the anime, I can imagine why it would be so popular. I simply can't wait for next week's episode, and it's almost a week away! ;_;
Just as a little note, I translated Haibane Renmei as "Greywing League" since it's obvious from the first episode that the hai is for grey, and bane means wing. Since they made them into a word in Japanese, I thought "greywing" worked just as well. Then someone told me that uh, the official English name is "Charcoal Feathers Federation"... Right. Well I'll put that up there too, for people's information. ;)
Well there were a few series this fall which were much-anticipated by people I know, and Kiddy Grade was definitely one of them. Good character designs + space stuff = instant hype. Luckily, Kiddy Grade seems to have been able to pull together a good overall show from these elements that look good in previews.
Basically, Eclair and Lumiere are special ES Agents who tend to run special missions for the GOTT, at least when they're not just being information people at the front desks. This first time their mission is bascially to escort this guy to this planet, or so it seems. They actually get all involved with some people from another planet who attacked the GOTT in the beginning, and there is fighting and manipulation of computers by Lumiere. The scene when they arrive looking like pizza delivery girls was quite amusing, Lumiere makes everything work with her attitude and mannerisms. They had quite a few cute tricks in this episode, and although sometimes it's a little ridiculous (Eclair's lipstick), it's still lots of fun. Just like this type of series should be.
Oh yeah, the end of the episode amused me as well, but I'll let you guys see that when you actually watch the show. :)
I dunno, I took a look at the website for this show, the character designs looked kinda cool, didn't seem to be totally stupid, so I was almost looking forward to watching it tonight... Boy was I stupid. Gravion just kind of tries to take "cute" girls, mecha, political intrigue, action, suspense, a boy thrown into action searching for some girl, space invaders, and leet engrish, and throw them all into one mish-mash of a show. I say mish-mash because they completely throw out any attention to detail in their rush to put everything for everyone into the show. Besides the obviously terrible (or is that wonderful?) engrish, just from the first episode, we have a guy who is disguised as a slender girl in a dress with transparent sleeves who then comes out of the ballroom, takes off the wig, fake boobs, and dress, to reveal his BULGING masculine muscles as he runs toward the SUPER-POWERFUL MECHA ROOM which is apparently right next to the changing room for all of the serving girls/security guards. Maybe I'm just nitpicking on this next one, but later in the episode he's flying his little mecha-plane (right after he ALMOST hits the ground because he just pressed random buttons, good thing the controls were just these simple joysticks), and a shadow passes over him... an enemy plane! But.... there's no sun in the sky... or any light source... *sigh*
I can't think of any show I've seen recently that I've so detested as this one. There seems to be no point to watching it, because they have to throw in 2400 different scenes to make all of their genre-combining work, I can't see where they'll have any room for an actual plot. No need for character exposition though, since everyone's just a stereotype, you can remember from all the other anime you've seen!
Err, I meant to stop ranting there, but I got carried away again. Anyway, something about the animation and character designs in this show bug me as well. They're just a little off somehow, like they're *almost* appealing but then some thing here or there just takes it away. Hard to explain, but that's what it felt like to me. All I can really say here is, I'll definitely be staying far, far away from this show in the future. ^^;;;;
Rizelmine 2nd Season
Rizel's back! But this time, she has a secret weapon! A little capsule that can turn her into an adult! It only works for about three minutes on Earth, however, so she has to use it carefully... Right... Yep, it's the same Rizel, but now they can dress her up in adult costumes! Cuteness++! Really, if you liked the first Rizelmine series, you'll probably like this one as well. Although... she doesn't CRY at the end of episode 13! :o
A portent of things to come...?
Shin Megami Tensei Devil Children Light & Dark
Yeah, so Devil Children is like Pokemon, except they named the monsters DEVILS and they actually summon them... using some sort of gun. Basically Jin, Akira, and Rena find a mysterious book while cleaning out the library, decide to try out a spell they find in it, and are transported to a land called Valhalla when they are summoned by Ami, the one with the purple hair. She has called them to try and stop the war that has devastated Valhalla, and calls Jin the Priest of Light, and Akira the Noble of Dark. She wants them to collect the pieces of the Chains of Time, in order to restore peace to Valhalla!
Whee, silly shounen stuff. The show's good enough if you like this stuff, I suppose. It does have the added bonus of having Ami, who is cute but strong-willed, and wears cool clothes. It's a little repetetive already, although that's to be expected. I've just lost any taste I had for watching these shows for the long spans of time that they air. ^_^
On a side note, I was really disappointed in the songs for this season. They're nowhere near as good as the OP song for the original DeviChi TV series, "Go-Round". That was definitely one of the great points about that show. Still listen to the song now and then. :)
I was keeping an eye on this series because the screenshots they had made their 3D CG -> anime look seem like it would be very neat. So when I saw it finally got an air date, I was quite excited. It turns out that the series consists of five-minute episodes, based around some sort of plot about girls in Shibuya and some computer database that tells you what you are the best in the world at doing, for anyone at all (except one person, mysteriously :o ). Episode one pretty much just shows off the animation, and lets us hear a phone conversation about that computer system between Hitomi (on the other end of the phone) and Rika.
The animation really has its bright spots. The people walking around look awesomely real in their movements, but still look like anime characters. However, you can still definitely tell the 3D graphics nature of the characters in some scenes, and I keep getting especially thrown off by the mouth movement when they talk. I'm not sure if it's just because I'm not used to it or what, but the series is short, looks like it will have an interesting little story, and it's a lot of fun to see how the 3D animation turned anime turned out. ^_^
Ohohoho! Bomberman Jetters is a great kids show! It's fun, but not overly ridiculous (mostly...), has the beginnings of a cute little storyline, and isn't just full of stupidity like say, ASSBOT. :P
Jetters is a group that is opposing this very evil guy trying to acquire all of the unique things in the world. In the first episode he goes after the Cosmo Diamond, the biggest in the universe! It so happens that the Mighty, the bomberman from Jetters, has a younger brother who lives on the planet with the Cosmo Diamond, and so Mighty goes to visit him. There ensues a scheme by the evil guy's minion, touching words to his younger brother, and the revelation that his younger brother seemed to be able to emit the light of a hero when his older brother is injured by the bad guys!
Yeah, it's just a kids show, but at least it's a GOOD one. Entertaining even for me! ^_^
Sister Princess: RePure
I'll start off with a disclaimer here. I never could figure out what attracted people to this series. Even with cute girls, some good seiyuu, what have you, I couldn't stand watching the show. And after watching the first episode of this season, I have completely reaffirmed my decision not to do so.
This season's episodes are divided into two parts, the first being a regular 15-minute episode focusing on the girl of the week, followed by a 10-minute story accompanied by animation, told by the same girl. This week's episode (you might have been able to guess) focuses on Karen. We get to uh, hear about how she's obsessed with her brother. For just about the whole episode. The story was better, but the main plot of it was "I love onii-chan, I'm happy the my grandma loved her onii-chan too!" I guess my bias is showing here, but the only good part about the episode was her cute black and pink dress, and she doesn't even stand up while wearing it!! Oh well, they seemed to have structured this season perfectly for the people who do like the show. In fact, even if you just like one character, you just have to find out which week they're starring! I just hope some of the episodes have more point to them. ^^;
Yay, more silly shounen stuff. Uzumaki Naruto, the quick, clever, lonely, many-techniqued, prankster, orphaned, out to prove something! But first he has to graduate from school. Ahhh, a rebel, but Japanese at heart.
Bascially, Naruto gets gypped out of graduating because they choose the technique he's bad at as the sole requirement for graduation. (odd system...) A seemingly nice teacher befriends him and tells him how he can really show those guys, of course by stealing some scroll with forbidden techniques, which he intends to steal and use for his own ends! Luckily we have the strict-but-really-looking-after-Naruto teacher Iruka, whose brave actions save Naruto and impel him to kick the other guy's ass. Of course, in the middle of the killing we must pause to see how Iruka is so much like Naruto, because all moving scenes in shounen must take place during the required breaks in the fights. That's where they have conferences about special techniques and tactics as well.
Yeah, I'm biased against silly shounen shows, but the beginning to this one isn't bad. Momo called it "just another Shaman King", and while I haven't watched that particular show, it does seem similar in set-up to many others. I have no idea where the plot goes from here, although I'm assuming it will go with Naruto's apparently being some sort of werefox or something? The prologue shows some crazy fox-monster attacking some random people, and it seems to have killed his parents too. Oh well, at least the character designs look pretty nice. For a shounen show, at least. ^_^
Heat Guy J
Well, here we go. Heat Guy J is some sort of special unit series, this time its focus seems to be on keeping "machines" out of their city, since they can be programmed to kill humans. Of course, the unit consists of a machine, this slacker guy who drives some crazy thing, and a woman who has a bicycle that FOLDS UP! (I want one!) The woman's the brains, figuring out what's going on and who they need to go beat up. Daisuke, the slacker, tries to go out and do something about it, and then J, the machine, has to go clean up. The machines are huge, super-strong, fast, etc. Daisuke has some special gun that the woman was stingy about giving out, but he still only blew off the machine's arm. Pathetic!
So anyway, episode one kind of throws a lot of stuff at you at once. You see a funeral for the boss of the Vampire family, and his crazy son. There's some cute girl trying to sell pictures, some prostitutes, some old Chinese guy, and of course the trio that J has to take out. It seems that there's something beginning to move behind the scenes, but we don't really get a clue of what it is during this episode. Someone's targeting J, and they don't want anyone to know why. ^^;
The animation in Heat Guy J looked pretty good to me. There is a lot of 3D CG, but a lot of it is cel-shaded, and it blends in pretty well with the normal animation. Some other shots are more CG-looking, but they're mostly by themselves and so don't clash as much. They also are still more cel-shaded than a lot of other 3D animation you'll see. The character designs I think are kinda bleh, they look pretty good from farther away but the details up close just don't do it for me. That's all opinion though, and it's not so bad that I had to stop watching or anything. Overall, I don't really have any intention of following this show, but it seems pretty solid so far for people who would be interested. ^_^
Chronicle of a Boy named Hanada
After watching this show, I decided that there are two major mysteries relating to it. First, why do all the shows that look like this have to show boys pissing and lots of snot, and second, why in the world would they make the OP and ED themes to a show Backstreet Boys songs. Unfortunately, I don't have the answers to the questions, but I think they will be pondered much in the years to come.
That aside, Hanada Shounen-shi is the story of... Hanada Ichiro, typical country Japanese boy. Always getting in to trouble, calling his sister ugly, scared of ghosts, etc, etc. However, his life is changed a little when a car hits his bike (after he rides it off a dead end and down a steep set of stairs), and he sustains a head injury. He has an out-of-body experience where he follows this girl into the clouds, and she turns into an ugly skeleton, but then he wakes up and seems to be just fine, just has to get stiches, but can go home the same day. In actuality, his minor head injury gave him the power to see ghosts (eek!), including that one girl from his experience before, floating above his bed, asking him to save her! Oh my, what will become of this?!
Yeah, at least this show has a fun little plot, it's not boring (unlike some other shows here *cough*sisprin*cough*). I actually might even check out the second episode at least, just to see what the real story is going to be. Beyond that, I think the animation and style of the show put me off a little too much to keep track of the show in the long run. ^^;
Koukaku Kidoutai - STAND ALONE COMPLEX
Ghost in the Shell - STAND ALONE COMPLEX
Ghost in the Shell, the amazingly popular action-thinking film. Now it's a TV series. So how is it? Well I never really liked the movie, but I find the TV series to be quite boring to watch. Each episode seems to be pretty self contained, and although I'm sure it's building up to something, it just seems like there isn't enough there for me to be interested at all. At least with the movie I was interested in seeing how things turned out, but with these two episodes I was just thinking, "Either give me more of an overall plot line or let the episodes end!" I get the feeling they're trying to stick another movie's worth of plot in 26 episodes. Of course, it is just two episodes, but that's why I'm writing this page, to give initial impressions!
The 3D CG looks pretty nice, I haven't had any major problems with it clashing. It does clash in places but it's usually short, minor scenes. However, one of the things that makes the show even worse to watch is that Kusanagi's outfit is TERRIBLE! Who the heck designed that?! And the color... UGH! Makes the show even more painful to watch. Oh well, it could just be my taste, but I'm usually not so put off by outfits when they're just not my favorite kind... The music is by Kanno Youko, of course, and I do enjoy it, especially the opening and ending songs. They kinda caught me when I listened to them for the second episode. :)
I may keep an eye on this series to see if anything interesting develops but I doubt I'll be watching it on any regular basis. ^^;;
Asobotto Senki Goku
Association Robot Goku
Really, they need to stop putting cute girls in dumb shows. Would sure save me a lot of trouble, although this anime ended up amusing me out of sheer ridiculousness anyway, so I'll forgive those silly Japanese THIS time.
So, yes, this seems to be based on that same Chinese legend that Dragonball, Saiyuki, etc. use. However, I'm not well versed in that legend so I'll just ignore it and point out that Goku and Sanzou are definitely here. Anyway, Goku is the leader of the most dangerous pirates in the desert, along with huge catman Tongou and spikey-hat(?) Jou. They get attacked by the bad guys (wait aren't pirates the bad guys? No, no, no, you can tell because the bad guys have GUNS and can't shoot straight. The pirates use REAL weapons, like some throwing weapon and a spiked chain and some crazy staff Goku calls a "joystick", so it's obvious that they are the good guys. Plus the bad guys all look alike. (I'd say they're ugly, but the pirates are ugly too.)) and decide to steal some food and water from them, since it's a desert, but they FORGET, so they end up chasing after them only to have their vehicle run out of control and run into Suuji's (the cute girl in yellow) ship. She's trying to save Sanzou, and the pirate prove useful by ACTUALLY saving Sanzou. And looking up her skirt.
So, they end up going together to go defeat the bad guys, who, by the way, have ROMAN NUMERALS on their helmets, because they don't like INDIVIDUALIZATION (they're bad guys). So they just get roman numerals, which are apparently worse than arabic numbers. They also have some obsession with soccer balls, using them as the main point of their architecture for no real apparent reason. Yeah, there's some fighting, and Goku does his DAIHENSHIN (big transformation), and stuff. Goku uses his mad soccer skillz to use the enemies' own SOCCER BALL BOMB against them, and they find some maps. Yay, maps are good for pirates. But Suuji wants them to help her find her father (gee, he's missing?), and Sanzou does some crazy magical harmonica playing to force them to come along, well, indirectly.
Yeah, this show is weird. It also has terrible 3D CG, and the inhabitants of the enemy town wear really odd clothes. About half of them look like they're living in your typical fantasy world, and the other half are wearing modern dresses or shirts/skirts, etc. The whole series seems rather weird, but I guess that's kids' shounen for you. I must say, it was more amusing than I anticipated. ^_^
Spiral~Suiri no Kizuna
Spiral ~ Bonds of Reasoning
Spiral! The series ran in GanGan Comics, has good-looking character designs, an ending song by Hysteric Blue, and Horie Yui! So I figured, I might actually like this despite it being some silly shounen series. The verdict? I'm waiting on episode two!
Spiral is a mystery anime, the main characters (so far) being a detective, Madoka, her younger brother-in-law, Ayumu, and the genki-crazy school newspaper girl, Hiyono. None of them is played by Horie Yui... *gakkari* However, it was still a fun little episode. Ayumu's mister master observer and reasoner, figuring out the mystery with the smallest of clues! They didn't drag the explanation out TOO much, which made me happy. That tends to be the worst part about shounen shows, all the talking about the characters' amazing techniques, whatever they happen to be. Also, the series seems to have a cohesive background plot to weave the episodes together, so I'll be looking forward to next week's episode. We have to find out who these mysterious Blade Children are, and how they're related to Kiyotaka's (Ayumu's oniisan) death two years ago!
Oh yeah, I want that Hysteric Blue single NOW. Good song, from the few times I listened to it so far. The opening animation has some pretty neat effects too, but it was too static a lot to make it a really good opening. Almost there. ^_^