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[Gakuen Alice] [Legend of Duo] [Grenadier ~Hohoemi no Senshi~] [Yakitate!! Japan] [Genshiken / Kujibiki Unbalance] [Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED DESTINY] [Zipang] [Rozen Maiden] [Ring ni Kakero 1] [BECK] [Futakoi] [Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de] [Tactics] [Gankutsuou] [Bleach] [School Rumble] [Sunabouzu] [Fantastic Children] [Samurai Gun] [Tsukuyomi] [Ryuusei Sentai Musumet] [Kappa no Kaikata] [Top wo Nerae 2!] [Rockman.EXE Stream] [Akuei to Gacchinpou] [Uta∽Kata] [W Wish] [φ-naru Approach] [Viewtiful Joe] [To Heart ~Remember My Memories~] [Kakyuusei 2 ~Hitomi no Naka no Shoujotachi~] [Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha] [Kannadzuki no Miko]
Alice isn't the name of a character or anything in the series - it's the name of the innate magic-type talent that some people have. They go to a school called Alice Gakuen. So why name the series "Gakuen Alice" instead? Don't ask me.
The series actually starts out in some town way out in the country where their school is going to close down because they just don't have any money. Our loveable heroine, Mikan, is trying to save the school by collecting signatures, because they all have so many memories in it! Like when Hotaru transferred into her class in 3rd grade and how they've been best friends ever since... Although Hotaru did tell Mikan that the 1st-10th people she liked best in the world were herself... and she does things like transfer to some escalator school in Tokyo with the only warning to Mikan being a letter sent by Hotaru's invention, the turtle-mail!
So Hotaru leaves Mikan behind and never writes like she promised, but Mikan finds out later that the Alice Academy is actually a school that the government forces you to go to if you have this "Alice" ability, and they pay your family for going there, and you can't see anyone outside of school the whole time you're there... So Hotaru decided to give in and go there, take the money, and save Mikan's school because she likes Mikan, even though she never wants to show it. Awww.... So now Mikan runs away from home to go to Tokyo and try and meet Hotaru! They won't let anyone see her, but when one of the teachers from the school has his magic fail when he tries to convince Mikan to go home, he mentions that maybe she can join the school too...
Gakuen Alice is cute, funny, and adorable. I really like the character designs, especially for Mikan, and the gags so far have been funny, too. Mikan's Kansai accent sounds really cute most of the time, and the character interactions so far portend great things for this series. I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest! Oh, and the OP animation sequence is another great one, with a cute song to go with it. It's really turned out to be a good month for me anime-wise, and this is a great one to close it out with!
Legend of Duo
Wow, I've never seen a colored manga with moving lips before!
Really, that's how much animation there is in this "anime". There is exactly one scene with any other real animation, and it's a pretty faraway shot. The rest of this 5-minute anime is all pans, moving lips, rotating cels, and inferred movement. For some reason, I think the creators woke up one day and decided that they had spent so much time on such great character designs that they couldn't be bothered to actually animate them in any way at all. It's so bad that it's way too distracting to watch seriously. If I'm remembering correctly, the plot is about some vampires or something, but almost nothing substantial happens in the first episode anyway, and it's really hard to watch without laughing.
Anyway, I have no idea why this anime airs during the "Anime Tengoku" program (a program about anime goods and stuff narrated by seiyuu) - I wouldn't let it anywhere near any existing program I had. It's probably the worst thing called "anime" that I've ever seen.
Grenadier ~Hohoemi no Senshi~
Grenadier ~The Smiling Warrior~
Boobie reloading. That sums this anime up in a nutshell. ^^;
A story of a ditzy woman who loves baths and is an expert shooter, Grenadier starts out with a tale of a group of warriors with swords attacking a stronghold that has been taken over by people with guns. They make valiant efforts to charge the castle, but get shot down easily. One guy, however, escapes, although wounded. And in a nearby onsen, he sees a beautiful woman... oh no, the enemies are following him! Where can he hide?! In her boobies, of course... ^^
The episode goes downhill from there, though. We get overly-cliched dialogue, over-the-top crappy action scenes, and just nothing to keep me interested. Even the fanservicey parts are too dumb to really enjoy. Rushuna is a pretty amusing character, but they stuck her in a dumb anime that I just can't like. Oh well, I'm already watching too many anime this season anyway. ;P
Yakitate means "fresh baked", but the word "Japan" is actually a pun - pan means bread in Japanese, so Kazuma is out to make Japan, a unique Japanese bread to compete with the best bread from around the world!
Azuma become obsessed with bread when he was six years old. His sister yelled that their family should start having bread for breakfast sometimes, but their grandfather refused to even consider it, as he would only eat natto, miso soup, and rice for breakfast. Kazuma agreed, saying he didn't like bread, but his sister kidnaps him and takes him to a bread store to show him the wonders of fresh-baked bread. Not only is Kazuma converted, but the owner discovers that Kazuma has the magical "Hands of the Sun" whose warmth makes them particularly suited to making bread. The owner packs up shop and goes to Tokyo to fulfill his dream of making Japan, but Kazuma continues his bread-baking dream as well, and ends up going to Tokyo himself when he's sixteen, to compete for a spot at the foremost bread store in Japan - Pantasia! ^^;;;
I guess with an anime about baking bread, you have to put in a lot of ridiculosity to make it interesting, but it just feels like they've overdone it in a lot of places here. I still can't take this anime seriously, either, and although the character designs are quite nice for some people, it just doesn't appeal to me overall. The OP/ED songs are pretty mediocre, too, so I'll be passing on this one. ^^
Genshiken / Kujibiki Unbalance
Genshiken is short for gendai shikaku bunka kenkyuukai, which means "Modern Visual Culture Research Society". In other words, a fancy way of saying Anime Club. Kujibiki Unbalance (kujibiki = lottery) is an anime portrayed in the world of Genshiken that a lot of the characters watch. So when Genshiken made the transition to anime, they also created three episodes of Kujibiki Unbalance to go with it, which will come with the Genshiken DVDs. We get to see part of episode one in the first episode of Genshiken, as well as the opening song and animation. ^^
Since Genshiken is an anime club, what we have here is an anime about otaku. And fledgling otaku, which is what Sasahara Kanji is when we start. He wants to join some sort of anime or manga club now that he's entered college, but he can't seem to get himself to fully take the plunge. That is, until he goes to visit Genshiken and all of the club members conveniently have to go somewhere, leaving him alone in the club room... where he looks up a the skirt of a figure of Haruka from Kiminozo and ends up looking at some of the club's h-doujinshi. Of course they catch him in the act, and although he's embarrassed and stays away for a while, he ends up joining the club. His first bright idea? Go to someone's house and play pc h-games, since he's never played one before. ;P
The Kujian op was quite cute, and so were the clips from the show, so that's one plus. And while episode one wasn't that funny overall, it did a lot of fun stuff and introduced the characters, so I'm looking forward to what will happen in the weeks to come. It looks like a good series for those of us who are quite into anime, and plus, the girl on the webpage with the cat ear headband is cute, so I'm sticking around~
Kidou Senshi Gundam SEED DESTINY
Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny
More giant robots, more death, more drama, more politics... Still not enough cuteness or likeable characters, though. ;P
I'm not even going to pretend to understand what's going on in the Gundam universe, so this will be brief. There's some guy whose sister and parents die when stray robot fire hits them, there's lots of politics, and some people steal some Gundams. Then there appears a new Gundam, one that combines from smaller ones and strikes a pose with his double-bladed sword of doom! Fear!
Since I never did watch Gundam SEED, I just have no clue what's going on here - apparently there are some recurring characters, some new ones, and some new Gundam types. The blonde-haired girl is actually pretty cute, but she's not enough to get me to watch the series by herself. The OP and ED were pretty decent, although I still don't really like TM Rev. In the end, I think if you like Gundam SEED, you'll like this, and if you're like me, there's nothing really new here to draw you in. ^^
A story about a modern military ship that goes back in time to World War II... somehow, when I heard about this story, I knew that I wasn't going to like it at all.
I'm not even really sure what to write about the plot. The first episode basically consists of the characters getting on their new ship and being dispatched, one of the guys wondering just who is wrong in war, and some journalist coming to the boat and taking pictures and interviewing the guy. I'd have to say that the statement by the guy's father when he was young about the Japanese battleships in the southern islands "fighting to protect their families" is pretty... interesting... but at the end of the anime it has a big note about how it's fiction and has no relation to events, groups, or people in real life (as usual) so maybe this is an alternate-history WWII. I don't know enough about the manga or anime to make a judgement either way.
So I definitely didn't like this anime. I don't care about stupid battleships, and the ramblings of the characters were particularly uninteresting as well. At least with most anime I'm just outraged by stupidity or something, but this was just boring. Once again, the OP was the highlight of the anime - not as good as Ring ni Kakero, but still a pretty decent tune from "Audio Rulez"...
Another anime based on a manga by PEACH-PIT, the creators of DearS... I ended up not really liking DearS, but their character designs at least are usually pretty nice. ^^
Rozen Maiden is the story of a boy, Jun, who won't go to school and stays locked up in his room all day ordering stuff from the Internet. His sister tries to get him to come eat dinner with her or actually go to school, but he stubbornly remains locked in his room. Then one day he plays along with a slip of paper he gets, putting in his drawer and saying he accepts their offer - only to trip over a suitcase which appears in his room with a doll inside... The doll calls herself Shinku, a Rozen Maiden, and generally looks down on Jun and orders him around - which is unsurprising once she makes him into her servant after an animated clown flies in through the window and attacks~
I liked the original designs for Rozen Maiden in the manga, but for some reason they lost some of their appeal to me in the transition to anime form. The premise is decent, but with so many other anime that really interest me this season, I don't think I'll be following this one. The OP is by Ali Project, and they continue their downhill trend of suckiness with this song. I guess it's not horrible, but it just feels "not-good" to me somehow. I didn't get that feeling with the Noir OP, but I have with all of their other stuff. Overall, it's a pretty decent premise, but since I didn't like how DearS turned out, I'm not looking forward to the rest of Rozen Maiden either.
Ring ni Kakero 1
Put It All in the Ring 1
Originally a manga done by the creator of Saint Seiya that started running in 1977, I guess they finally decided to make this popular boxing series into an anime... Apparently it's called Ring ni Kakero 1 because there's now a Ring ni Kakero 2 manga running with a different protagonist. ^^ (thanks carpy!)
So they kind of throw us into the middle of the story here - we're watching the middle school boxing championships with two amazing fighters - Jun, the boxing genius who has been toning his muscles with some crazy machine, and Ryuuji, our hero who is chasing his dream to become a great boxer or something with his sister. His dad was a boxer, too, and his sister and him leave home to come to Tokyo and fight, I guess. Anyway, there's your backstory - episode one is part of the fight.
Which brings me to exactly why I hate shounen sports anime - THE FIGHT DOESN'T END IN THIS EPISODE. It's the stupid analysis of moves crap that always makes me want to hit things. His sister is actually a pretty cool character, and the flashbacks and all that are pretty interesting... But then we have all these characters talking about the fight, plus the ridiculosity of the actual fight itself - Jun's first punch creates a cylinder of light stretching up into the sky in addition to knocking Ryuuji over - making the series painful for me to watch. The best thing about this anime for me is actually the OP/ED. They're both good songs with good animations to go along with them, so at least I can salvage something out of watching this thing... >_<
For an anime whose catchy OP is set completely in America, this anime sure does take place in Japan.
Koyuki is a guy whose name isn't Koyuki - his name is Yukio, but when they were in elementary school, there was another Yukio in their class or something, so his friend Izumi took to calling him Koyuki since he was the short one. Anyway, Koyuki is having a kind of blah high school life - not doing too well in school, not having too much fun going to arcades, getting dragged along to take pictures of the girls in the swim club - when Izumi notices him as one of the guys running away who was taking pictures. I guess she decides it's been too long since they hung out, so she invites him to go bowling, and all of a sudden it's like they had been friends all this time again. Also, Koyuki met this Japanese guy who also speaks English and has a cool dog who looks like he's been sewn together from different parts. After bowling, everyone ends up at this bar where they see that guy, whose name turns out to be Ryuusuke, again. Outside the bar they accidentally get involved with some Americans who accuse them of scratching up their car and threaten to beat them up, but Ryuusuke comes out to save them... and gets beaten up, eventually. He ends up inviting Izumi and Koyuki to come see his band, since he used to play in some band that hit it big in America.
Beck seems to be about some guys and a girl in a band, but I'm not really sure, because that's not really what episode one is about. Maybe later they form a band and go to hit in America, but I dunno. Overall, the worst part of the episode was probably Ryuusuke trying to pretend he spoke fluent English and sounded cool, but I forgive them for that. The actual American guys yelling obscenities made up for it by being pretty amusing, anyway. I really enjoyed this first ep, though, and hope it keeps its kinda quirky and fun feel. ^^
This show is scary. You know how harem anime are scary, right? Well now it's a harem that comes in pairs... >_<
So Nozomu is a boy who moves back to his hometown while his dad goes to Hawaii to work... He's anticipating seeing his childhood friends, Kaoruko and Sumireko, again, especially since they made a childhood promise to both marry him when they grew up! But first he runs into Kira and Yura, the rich twins whose father says they need to experience normal school life, making their first purchases ever at the convenience store. And also Lulu and Lala, the elementary school twins who he's living with. Why so many twins? Because of a shrine connected to a legend about female twins who both loved the same guy and turned into birds who flew away because they couldn't both have him. Somehow. Anyway, Lulu and Lala have a pet goat too, who inexplicably hates Nozomu and tries to kick him a lot, while Nozomu has to endure it because Sumireko and Kaoruko admire his kindness to animals. And then of course he's going to school with Sumireko, Kaoruko, Kira, Yura, and some other twins that we haven't met yet!
I don't know if I can really convey how cliched all of the dialogue is in this anime, but hopefully the ridiculosity of the plot shines through. I'm all for anime with cute girls, but it has to have something to make me want to watch the anime instead of just look at pictures of cute girls. Oh well, hopefully the other Futakoi anime airing in January will be better, because I think that a well done twin anime could be cool. ^^
Haruka Naru Toki no Naka de
In a Distant Time
A girl taken to an alternate world, where the Suzaku, Seiryu, Genbu, and Byakko gods exist and bishounen warriors fight... I think I saw this anime somewhere before.
Anyway, we have some "oni" who comes from a foreign land performing a ritual that summons Akane to whatever world this is, in a distant time, and also brings her two friends, Shimon and Tenma. They're summoned to a Heian-type world, and Akane immediately runs into Fuji-hime, who has been lamenting the fact that there was no one who could save their world... until Akane shows up. The servants and one of the warriors scare Akane into using her magical powers to teleport away, though, and Fuji-hime sends them to find her again, as Akane is likely to be their only hope. Meanwhile, Akane runs into this "oni" who tells her that she is the Priestess of Ryuujin, who seems to be some sort of god who supplants the others. But Akane wants to find her friends, so she runs off again. The villagers call Shimon an oni as well, as his hair and eyes are the colors of oni. But he's accidentally saved by one of the warriors looking for Akane. Eventually the green-haired warrior finds Akane, but he's too forceful and makes her start causing earthquakes and stuff. But Shimon and the blue-haired guy save her and hopefully things are all right for now.
Right, so... So far we've pretty much just been meeting bishounen and establishing that Akane has magical powers of doom which could save or ruin the world to which she's been summoned. Well, that's all good I guess. Fuji-hime is pretty cute. I'm not really into having so many bishounen, so I dunno if this is really my type of anime, but maybe the second episode will tell us more about where this series is going. ^^
Oh, lastly, the subtitle for this is "hachiyoushou" or 八葉抄. If anyone has any idea what this is, please e-mail me or post on the forums. It just confuses me, because the eight must be the "warriors" (loose translation) but I don't get the meaning of the rest at all...
The first of the anime coming out of Mag-Garden's big expansion into anime, Tactics aired in Japan the day after ADV released the first volume of the manga here, so if this looks interesting, go check it out!
Tactics takes place in the Meiji era, and focuses around a scholar of folk customs and exorcist named Kantarou. When Kantarou was young, some spirits he was friends with told him that to become stronger, he should become friends with a tengu called Onikui (demon-eater). Ever since, Kantarou has been somewhat obsessed with finding Onikui, and even during his work, he tries to find things that might be connected to it. So when he stumbles across a case of a man frozen in ice, he not only works on freeing the man and finding out what caused it, but he investigates this kami-rock in the forest. He keeps trying to break the seal that is supposed to be hiding Onikui from the world, and finally does break it in his desperation. The tengu comes forth, but in the form of a bishounen with black wings. Meanwhile, the demon who originally encased the man in ice is at it again, and Kantarou comes to exorcise it. The demon is confident in her power, but then Onikui, who has been renamed Haruka by Kantarou, shows up, and takes the demon down... But Kantarou talks with it instead of just killing it! What is going on?
Kantarou also lives with this cute foxgirl named Youko who does all the household chores and finances. She's unhappy that she's possessed by a fox spirit just because her name can be read the same way as "spirit fox". Tactics was pretty fun - my sister likes the bishounen, I like Youko, and we both like the traditional Japanese mythology aspects. I wouldn't say it was excellent, but a very decent start overall for this series. ^^
The Count of Monte Cristo
Ahhhh! The non-moving patterns! Halfway through this show, I thought that I wouldn't be able to stand it, but I guess my mind learned how to ignore them now... Anyway, this futuristic adaptation of Monte Cristo by Gonzo certainly is interesting. ^^
I've never read the actual story, so I'll just be going on what happens here. Albert, the son of the Morcef house, is in Luna to enjoy the Carnival for the first time with his friend Franz, and as they're riding through in a car, a cute girl throws him a flower. He meets some more people and goes to see an opera, where he sees a mysterious man up in one of the box seats - the Count of Monte Cristo. They meet again out on some sort of pier, and later the Count sends Albert and Franz an invitation to dine with him. Albert starts looking up to the count, and ends sitting with him at the plaza during the execution of three criminals. The count proposes that they play a game... he has a letter to spare the execution of one of the criminals, and will send it up if Albert picks one of the three cards representing each one. Franz warns him not to do it, but Albert picks one... and it turns out to be the one who was bragging of killing ten people, women and children, not the other two who insisted that they had done nothing. So Albert gets mad at himself, yells at Franz, and goes to sit alone... But the girl that threw him the flower shows up again, and says that he shouldn't be alone on the last night of Carnival! Meanwhile, the count fences with someone and declares that his revenge has been set in motion...
Despite my hatred of the patterns, Monte Cristo looks really cool so far. I really like the character designs, and the story and overall look of the anime have a really nice feel to them. Peppo especially is really cute, and I like the fact that her character description says that she's a little devilish. The OP is kinda bleh, but the ED song is pretty cool, and the ED animation is a total blur of insanity - lots of interesting things in there, and there's a crazy winged mecha as well, making me wonder what's to come. ^_^
Wow, a Shounen Jump anime that I actually don't mind watching? These things simply do not happen! Well, there's just something about this one that makes me more interested. And it's certainly not the OP song...
So our main character is Kurosaki Ichigo(the kanji for his name mean "protector" not "strawberry" >.>), a first-year high school student who can see ghosts and beat people up quite well. He does some of the latter because some punks knocked over the flowers he put out for a cute girl ghost and comes home to his annoying father, the only one in the family who can't see ghosts, attacking him. His two little sisters, Yuzu and Karin, eat dinner, and Yuzu suggests that they stop fighting, while Karin points out that Ichigo has been possessed again. The next morning, there's a story on the news about a mysterious explosion near their home, and Ichigo gets caught up in what caused it soon after: a monster is chasing after the ghost girl he was helping yesterday! Luckily, some kid in a black hakama shows up and kills the monster, totally ignoring him. That night, the kid shows up again in his room - preceded by a black butterfly. And it turns out that Ichigo shouldn't be able to see her - she's a shinigami, and he's trying to find another monster nearby. Actually, they're not monsters, they're bad spirits called horou, and eek here it comes! It takes Karin and tries to run off, but Ichigo breaks the bonds that the shinigami put on him and runs after it. The shinigami tells Ichigo her name, Rukia, and that the only way they can defeat the horou is for her to kill Ichigo and transform him into a shinigami as well... So Ichigo becomes a shinigami high school student, with a sword larger than any Rukia has ever seen...
So why think this anime was decent? I think it has to do with the direction and dialogue - it was a lot more fun for me than most Shounen Jump shows, and I wasn't bored half the time with random crap. I like Ichigo's sisters, and the characters from the OP seem pretty cool, too. If Bleach can stay away from the standard "fight talk" that seems to pervade anime like this, I might even end up liking it.
Another school comedy series - I think I'm getting tired of them, because although the jokes in this one weren't really overdone, I can't see myself watching any more of it.
So what we've got going on here is the main girl, Tenma, being in love with this boy named Karasuma at her school, and this delinquent guy who's ostensibly a student falling in love with her. The series seems to be about the parallels of their love, and how ridiculous and stupid they both are. For example, Tenma tries to write a love letter to Karasuma, who's changing schools, but can't write "suki" and instead writes a scroll full of "Don't leave!" and forgets to put her name on it. Then Kenji decides to write a love letter to Tenma, but accidentally sets the meeting up for the same time and place as the challenge that he got from some guy to fight. And the other guy tells Tenma that he's the one that wrote it. So they're both pretty dumb.
While parts of this were quite amusing, others were already going over the standard high school comedy cliches, and made me just dread watching more. The voice acting was pretty good, but I don't really like the character designs. Something about them just bugs me. So I'm gonna say that the series is pretty dumb overall. Just like the characters.
Oh, but the Initial D car cameo was pretty unexpected... ^^;
In some sort of post-apocalyptic world where people scrape by living in cities of sand, there's a guy who always completes the tasks he accepts - Sunabouzu.
So Sunabouzu is out to retrieve some sort of cross pendant for his client, and it's currently in possession of this crazy guy who loves pudding but can't stand to hear people tell him that his mama has a protruding navel. On his way, Sunabouzu saves a couple and their daughter from some bandits and then runs into a woman passed out in the sand city - she drinks some of his water and he immediately falls in love with her nice, bouncy chest. She tells him where to find the guy with the pendant, and Sunabouzu proceeds to go kick their ass... only to be knocked down by an unexpected explosion and have the pendant taken away by... who?!
Yeah, this anime was pretty decent, but not really to my tastes. It does say something that I wasn't totally bored even though I didn't like the char designs or the overall atmosphere at all, though. The humor made it pretty tolerable. The live-action OP was weird and so is the silly ED. I guess that's it. ^^;
Directed by Nakamura Takashi (A Tree of Palme), Fantastic Children is a weird anime about reincarnation, what happens when we die, and where humanity is going. But the first episode doesn't really explain much. About all I can say is that there definitely weren't any robots in it.
500 years ago, some stuff happened on a planet called Greece, and they sent their queen, Christina, to Earth in order to be reincarnated for some purpose. Some other people followed, including some eternally child-looking people who seem to be on a continuous mission to find her reincarnations, because when the reincarnation turns 11, it's too late and she forgets everything and becomes human (and crazy). 100 years after the incarnation dies, a new one is born, and this seems to be the story of Helga, the latest reincarnation, born in 2001. So our story takes place on a tropical island in the year 2012. Toma is this kid who lives there and finds a couple of girls who have run away from some institution on the island, tries to help them out, but neither of them really want any help... So they get taken back to this institution, but Toma is left wondering what's going on, and wanting to do something...
I suppose that Fantastic Children had its interesting parts, but I just didn't get any sort of connection between all of it from watching episode one, and that makes it a lot less enjoyable than it could be. A lot of the stuff I mentioned I actually read on the webpage and elsewhere, so the anime by itself didn't stand on its own very well. I guess I might watch another episode to see if it improves, but the sorta bleh character designs don't help either. At least the ED song by Origa is really nice, but it can't save the anime. :P
Co-produced by ADV Films, we have here a series about a samurai who uses a gun - hence the subtle and clever name.
The show starts out with an episode which induces Ichimatsu to take up the mantle of Samurai Gun again - he had stopped because it was just killing people, but he feels compelled to do it again because these monsters are hunting down women and girls and killing them for fun. So he goes and takes them out. There's also a flashback to when he was little and someone raped and mutilated his sister in front of him. I'm sure it was pleasant.
I dunno, this anime just isn't my thing. Plus all of the action scenes were INCREDIBLY dark, which always bugs me. I know, it's night, but I'd rather be able to see what the heck is going on occasionally. Anyway, it's not the worst show I've ever seen, but the action scenes were worse than usual, and while the rest of it was OK, it didn't really give me any reason to watch any more. So I won't. ^^;
So these three Japanese people are in Germany studying this haunted castle for some spirit magazine - their photographer is a guy named Kouhei who can't see spirits at all, but he's good at taking pictures and capturing them. One night, however, he sees a girl on the tower of the castle who DOESN'T show up in his pictures... He ends up going back with the other two, but he is the only one who can go inside the castle. There's a barrier around it that doesn't affect him because he has no affinity for spirits. So he goes inside, and finds the girl, who calls him "onii-sama". She says her name is Hazuki, and she's originally from Japan, but she doesn't want to explain what she's doing in Germany. She lives in the castle with Vigo, who was told to protect her by his master. Oh, and she's a cute vampire girl of doom, so she ends up biting Kou while Vigo is trying to fend off the other two Japanese people, and manages to be really cute while doing it.
Now that the plot's out of the way, I'd like to point out that behind this vampire story is the fact that Hazuki is still a cute vampire girl who wears cat ears. This is the entire basis for the opening, which seems at first to totally clash with the feel of the actual story, but ends up going together with it really well. It's cute and catchy and wuv. The music in the series is good too, as is the voice acting, and overall it's just really cool so far. Definitely looking forward to what happens next. ^^
Ryuusei Sentai Musumet
Meteor Squadron Musumet
Musumet is one of those sentai shows with the annoying headgear that I could never force myself to like. So I wasn't too surprised when I thought that the best part about it was the OTHER girls... ;p
Musumet is a team of three sisters of the Mishina(three colors) family, Aoi(blue), Midori(green), and Kurenai(red). They put on their helmets and transform and stop airplanes and fight bad guys and stuff like that. Kure-chan gets a crush on the plumber who comes to fix their water, and is then devastated when he is turned into a monster when they have to fight him. There are three other girls, the Saotome(fast maidens) sisters, who attend the elite school right next door the the run-down one that the Mishina sisters attend. I think that takes care of everything. Both sets of sisters are only adopted siblings, or something like that.
Really, the main characters are so boring... The Saotome sisters are cute, though... there's the older one, Shion, who's half-American and talks half in Engrish, the younger one, Kou, who is half-Chinese and is voiced by Momoi Haruko, and the middle one, Marcia, who's half-Brazilian and acts dramatically and sillily. Overall, there were some amusing parts, but I can't get over the annoying headgear, and those parts are outweighed by the general over-the-top ridiculosity which just didn't work for me here. ^^;
Kappa no Kaikata
How to Breed Kappas
Another one of these short three-minute anime... this time, we get to learn how to keep a kappa as a pet! Kappa, by the way, are Japanese water demons, and they're just kind of weird...
So this faceless, nameless guy decides to buy a kappa. He takes the kappa home and can't get it to eat anything, so the book on how to keep kappa tells him that he should feed it a cucumber. Why cucumber? Because sushi with cucumber in it is called "kappa-maki" or kappa rolls. The kappa likes the cucumber so much that the guy decides to feed him some kappa-maki! ...which is a bad idea, because wasabi doesn't interact well with their digestive system and causes them to poop red chunks that stink badly. The end.
... This is very silly. I'm not really sure what else to say about it, so I'll leave it at that. The ED has spinning kappa figures.
Top wo Nerae 2!
Interestingly enough, the eyecatch for the series says "Die Buster" - I have no idea if that's supposed to be the English title or what. Gainax is weird, so I don't try to guess at their intentions.
So Nono, our crazy heroine, journeys from the country to the city, slogging through a blizzard and enduring a long train ride to finally arrive in the city of wires and lights - and spaceships. Nono wants to become a space pilot, and she thinks she has the guts and determination to do it! But a member of the Top Race, some sort of elite piloting organization that fights space monsters and protects the world peace, tells her that they don't need that. They only need those who are able to become Top Race. However, Nono manages to get herself caught up in a battle with a space monster anyway, and is able to lift up the monster and save her employer before she is dragged off into space... Lark, the Top Race girl, thinks she's dead, and tries to avenge her by blowing the space monster to bits, but her robot-thing stops her and she is attacked herself! That's when Nono decides that she has to save her "onee-sama" and pulls of her shirt, to become... "Topless"... and break the monster into pieces! OK, they do sound pretty much the same in Japanese. ;P
Overall, I thought this first episode was good! I really like the characters and voices, the overall setting, and the ED song. However, I didn't like the 3D CG at all, because it really felt like it clashed more than usual. I just wanted those parts to be over quicker. The BGM during the episode was pretty blah as well. So it was pretty good, but could have been better. I'm not sure if I'm interested enough to follow it until it's released here, but it did have its intriguing parts. ^^
Megaman NT Stream
A new year, a new Rockman.EXE season! Although I don't watch the series past the first episodes, I keep getting the feeling that it's quite good for a kids' series. Axess's first episode was good, and this one was fun as well.
The plot this time is that there's a comet of doom approaching Earth, except that it's not really a comet - it's Duo, a Net Navi from outside the Earth, who has been sent from a planet hundreds of light years away to examine planets and exterminate all life on those deemed "dangerous". Unfortunately, Earth falls into that category because of some events 15 years ago involving Dr. Wiley, when the "comet" last passed by Earth. So now Duo is here to eliminate mankind, by creating a huge dimensional field over the entire planet and relasing virii inside of it. The kids manage to fend off the first attack, but Rockman is also under assault from Forte, who wants to absorb his power and become stronger so HE can fend off the attack. It would be a pain to have the human world be destroyed...
So there's lots of new action going on, and everything seems set for another year! Another cool thing about Stream is that the OP is by Buzy, who are still awesome, and the ED song is an Engrishious entry by a group called "babamania", containing such gems as "We bubbling,love and peace has just begun, universe becoming one!" Overall I think Rockman.EXE is one of the better kids' anime out there, and definitely recommend it, although it's not to my personal tastes. ^^
Akuei to Gacchinpou
Gacchinpou with Akuei
A little research seems to show that Akuei to Gacchinpou is actually a new Japanese spinoff series to an original Taiwanese creation about Akuei. Which would explain why they go to Taiwan, but doesn't quite explain why Akuei speaks Japanese. I guess we can't let little things like that bother us. ;P
So, what the heck is this show? I have no idea, but it appears to be about a magical place called Underwater World which connects all the toilets of the world. There's an originzation called U.N.C.O. (unko is Japanese for poop...) which is trying to campaign for cleaner toilets around the world, because they travel through the toilet pipes to get to the Underwater World. Or something. Takeshi is the new inductee to the orginization, because Jasmine has a picnic planned and can't be bothered to go help out Akuei in Taiwan. So he goes there and has crazy adventures trying to stop the evil orginization P.I.P.E.S. from destroying the world. They recruit both Akuei's little brother... and his dog. Who is plotting to destroy the world by peeing in the rivers and flooding everything. How terrible. Oh, Gacchinpou is what the U.N.C.O. members say when they are all done solving whatever thing they set out to do. There's a pose, too.
Overall, this series is totally ridiculous. I don't know what other anime you could make about a magical world connected to all of the world's toilets, but they haven't gone astray from the main point, ridiculosity. I dunno, though, the humor isn't all that great, so I don't really understand the appeal. The concept is a little funny, but the execution is kind of boring. Soo... that's it. Bye. >.>
On the discussion of the name... I'm not really sure what it's supposed to mean - the symbol in the middle is one used for similarity or analogy, and the characters they use are similar to those for "a person specializing in song" in classical Japanese shamisen music, but with the "poetic" character for uta instead of the song character. Maybe I'll have to come back to this after I've seen the whole anime. ^^
Putting that aside, Uta∽Kata is a very cute anime about 14-year-old Ichika, who is having her last day of school before summer vacation. She and her friends are cleaning out a room in the old school building when someone mentions that there are some rumors about the mirror Ichika looks at, she gets really scared! Of course, I can't blame her since the rumors seem to be true, as she saw someone else in the mirror! And when she comes back later to retrieve her cell phone, the cell phone is only in the mirror! A girl named Maika comes out of the mirror, Ichika is transformed into a sun priestess's outfit and sees some sort of god/spirit thing, and Maika asks Ichika to do her homework for her. Oh, and Maika ends up staying at Ichika's house for the summer. ;P
There are some other weird things that happen in episode one, with some mysterious lady, a dream with Maika saying she loves Ichika, and Ichika's parents saying something about it being her "last day". But no lesbian CPR... Altogether, I really liked this first episode and hope that the rest of the series lives up to its promise. I really liked all the voices, and thought that newcomer (I think) Honda Youko did a great job as Ichika. Some really good scenes throughout the ep. And good songs for the OP and ED, too. Exciting~ ^^
The other part of Princess Hour, along with Final Approach, W Wish isn't quite as fun, but it *does* have an ending song by Tiaraway, so it all balances out. Oh, and while the title is written W Wish, the pronunciation and meaning in Japanese are really "double".
W Wish seems to have more girls in it, but episode one focuses on Junna and his sister, Senna. Junna lost his memories in a car accident that apparently killed their parents when he was little, and now he's living alone with Senna. The school wants them to come live separately at the dorms, but they don't want to move, as they're the only family they have. So Senna's all happy, but she still wants Junna to go to the school festival with him so they can make some happy new memories, but Junna says they can make them anytime... I see. >.>
Yeah, so the premise here is again sort of ridiculous, but it's pretty well-executed. I personally liked Final Approach a little bit better, but both of them are shaping up to be decent short series. No complaints from this corner. ^^
I have no idea what the phi-naru part of the title is actually supposed to be implying here, so I'll just ignore it for the most part. But it's pretty silly so I'm leaving it in the original title. ;p
This show is one half of "Princess Hour", a block of shows which is mysteriously not an hour long and is not-so-mysteriously based on some Princess Soft h-games. A girl named Shizuka parachutes out of a plane and rockets herself through the window of the quiet Mizuharas' apartment where Ryou lives with his little sister, Akane. She introduces herself as his new fiancée and proceeds to tell him that Japan has a new plan to reverse the declining birth rate trend - national-level arranged marriages! Ryou isn't too happy about this, and tries to throw her out, but since she has a bunch of men in black suits and has cut off access to the police, and plus she's stronger than he is, it looks like the Mizuhara family will be stuck with her for a while!
I don't think we can really expect anything too deep from these 15-min bishoujo game shows, but Final Approach was pretty enjoyable. It has cute scenes and decent dialogue, and Nogawa Sakura does a good job of making it fun as the voice of Shizuka. The whole Princess Hour thing is pretty silly, but silly is OK if it gives us fun stuff like this. ^^
I never played the Viewtiful Joe game or read anything about its story, so I have no idea how close the anime's plot is, but it makes a decent standalone story, at least. Too bad the OP is incredibly boring.
Anyway, the anime is about Joe, a guy who's totally into this retro hero named Captain Blue, and decides to take his girlfriend to a screening of this long-sealed-away movie starring said Captain. His girlfriend, Sylvia, is your typical woman who wants to go shopping and see romantic movies, not gawk at action figures and see this silly Captain Blue thing, but she's somewhat mollified by the fact that they have the theater to themselves. But then, the movie comes alive and the villains take Sylvia! Joe gets sucked in, too, and after being chased by some enemies, Captain Blue informs him that HE is to be the new hero! Joe is down with that, so he goes and kicks some ass. The villain drives by with Sylvia in a cage, and Joe says that of course it's the hero's job to rescue people, so off he goes!
Sure, the character designs aren't really that pretty, but I think they're good for what the anime is trying to be. I have no intention of following a series like this for 52 episodes, but I was happy with how they did it. An enjoyable twenty minutes spent, which is a lot more than I can say about a lot of recent series... ;P
To Heart ~Remember My Memories~
So they made a sequel series to To Heart using the old game designs instead of the anime designs... NOT GOOD. The original series was one of my favorites, with good animation, characters, dialogue, and everything, but I never could get into the game or manga, because they really improved on the originals for the anime. So this is like a step back, in my opinion. At least they have their original voices.
So the first episode is pretty much Hiroyuki doing various things with most of the characters again to show us how they're doing... Akari hasn't changed much, and neither has Shiho, but Kotone is all director-like and Aoi has gotten stronger, Remy's working in the nurse's office, and that's about it. But then Shiho comes in with some big news! She saw Multi in the teacher's lounge... but something's wrong...
I just can't get over the new (old) character designs, so I don't really have any interest in watching this series. The dialogue isn't as good either, and while the music in the original series is some of my favorite ever, the bgm here left no impression on me. The animation is subpar, and I just don't get the same feel watching this series as I did watching the original. The OP song is pretty good, but I'd much rather have my old To Heart style back... :(
Kakyuusei 2 ~Hitomi no Naka no Shoujotachi~
Underclassmen 2 ~The Girls in Their Eyes~
I couldn't really think of a good way to translate the subtitle, because it's pretty weird. But I don't really care because this was the most boring episode of anime that I've watched in quite a while.
Actually, I don't even really know what to say about it. Nothing happens. There's this guy named Rouma, and he's hurt somehow. He throws a paper airplane, there are some flashbacks, and lots of panning. And there's this girl who tries to get the paper airplane and falls off the umpire chair she was using as a ladder. And accuses Rouma of looking up her skirt. There is no plot so far.
Maybe this anime is designed for people who played the game, but if you haven't, don't watch this episode. The OP promises a bunch of girls and it seems like stuff would be likely to happen, but I guess that's only starting later in the series. I may check back just to see if episode one was a fluke, but I'm probably just ignoring this series. Oh and the OP song is really weird... yan yan yan yan yan.
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Woo, a new magical girl show with Tamura Yukari playing the lead character, Mizuki Nana playing the bad girl, and them singing the ED and OP songs, respectively! And it's cute and fun! Win!
Nanoha is actually some sort of spinoff series from Triangle Hearts, but since I never watched anything but a couple of the H-anime episodes of that, I'm not sure exactly how it fits in. And that doesn't bother me, because Toraha seems pretty mediocre. But Nanoha is great!
Nanoha is a normal third-grade girl with some cute friends who's worrying about what she wants to do when she grows up, since she doesn't think she has any special qualities. But on the way to her cram school with her friends, she hears a strange voice and discovers some sort of ferret-like creature lying hurt on the ground... just like in her dream the previous night! She ends up getting permission from her family to keep the ferret, and looks forward to taking him home the next day... But then he calls out to her to help him, and she finds him being attacked at the vet's office by some sort of monster. And it turns out that she does have a special quality... she can transform into Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha! She even thinks up her own costume... ;p
I actually like the Nanoha character designs, as I was turned off by the dialogue and boringness of Toraha more than the art, so with just about everything going for it, I have a feeling that I will quite enjoy this series. One interesting thing about this episode is that they used a really different animation style for a couple of the scenes. They had a LOT more movement than your usual anime, and almost looked 3D in ways, although I'm pretty sure that that's not the case. It sort of clashes with the rest of the animation, but I personally would be happy to see more of it. Anyway, this should be one of my favorite shows this season, and I hope someone picks it up for R1 release ASAP! ^_^
Kannadzuki no Miko
Priestesses of the Godless Month
Kannadzuki is the Japanese name for the tenth month of the lunar calendar. In pre-Meiji Japan, they believed that in the tenth month, all of the gods from all over Japan gathered in Izumo, and so the tenth month was "the month without gods", which is what the literal name Kannadzuki means. Portent...
This month must be the month for lesbian CPR and strange marks and mecha, because like My-Hime, you can find those all here again. We have Himeko, a nice, clumsy, sweet girl who is incredibly happy to be friends with Chikane, the perfect girl at their school who can do everything elegantly and beautifully. They have lunch in a secret garden and take pictures hugging each other. And they even have the same birthday! Which was supposed to turn out great, but suddenly the sky turns black due to an unforeseen eclipse, a crazy island of earth rises up, and an unknown force grips Himeko's friend Oogami and makes him pilot a mech and attack Himeko! But then he overcomes the possession, fights off the evil girl, and stands in the background as Chikane stares at Himeko's breasts and gives her a nice kiss to finish off the episode~
So a lot of things about Kannadzuki are really weird and don't seem to fit together, but the characters and art style are decent enough to make me interested in seeing how the story pans out. I'm not a big mecha fan, but the designs and battle were semi-interesting, so at least I didn't have to be bored for that half of the episode. But there had better be more lesbian service down the road, too. ;p