This week, the new season continues to show little in the way of promise, whilst more and more swear themselves to the rising cult of Dennou Coil worship. Meanwhile, the world’s finest minds puzzle over how to get their cat to walk through a cat grooming ring.
Reviewed this week: Cazador 14, Darker than Black 13-14, Dennou Coil 7, Doujin Work 1, Higurashi Kai 1, RxJ 13, Seirei no Moribito 13, Shounen Onmyouji 16
In an unprecedented turn of events, I actually forgot about SaiMono until the last minute, and by then I was in Disgaea 2 obsession mode. It will be covered next week.
…and in manga: Emma Bangaihen 9, Erementar Gerad 25, Tsubasa 158-9
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil (1) – S-class anime
- Darker than Black (3) – I love it, but I want answers
- SaiMono II (4) – I hope we can get out of ER soon
- Romeo X Juliet (7) – less mush and more action
- Seirei no Moribito (6) – promised action not so enthralling
- Doujin Work (-) – more perverted Genshiken <- new!
- Sisters of Wellber (8) – needs more subbing
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (9) – HARD GAY
- El Cazador de la Bruja (11) – in this crazy world, flashbacks are better than the present
- Zombie Loan (10) – too generic thus far
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (-) – dull talking <- new!
- Shounen Onmyouji (1)- a new episode after so long
- Love GetChu! (2)- light entertainment
- ROTK (3)- hilariously bad
El Cazador de la Bruja 14: El Cazador takes a trip down memory lane in this episode, not with the dreaded recap, but by showing us an extended flashback of the time Ellis spent with Schneider. Initially a gruff scientist with little interest in conforming to society, Schneider naturally warms up to Ellis over time, causing problems when the experiments he is supposed to be doing on Ellis do not yield the results Rosenberg wants. Overall, it is a highly predictable episode, but as always, something that would be mediocre elsewhere actually seems quite good compared to the depths El Cazador has been known to trawl.
Darker than Black 13-14: I’m starting to enter a dilemma here; I love Darker than Black, but as a 26 episode series, I have to ask- when are we going to get something in the way of proper explanations? Nonetheless, this is a generally enjoyable arc which explores Yin- a hard task given that she is a personality-deficient doll, one might rightly think, but one which the series manages anyway. Whilst we get a glimpse into her past by way of Flashback Mode, in the present, she becomes the target of not only a pair of Contractors looking to identify members of the syndicate, but the episode 7-8 detective agency, who have been hired by her old piano instructor. It’s nice to see some pre-established characters finally make a return, not to mention get a glimpse of Huang doing something other than sitting around dispensing missions, but whilst this is a solid arc overall, I need more information about this world of Contractors and Dolls.
They do say it isn’t over until the fat lady sings- and here she is.
Dennou Coil 7: Ah, how I love Dennou Coil, and each passing episode only seems to cement its position as the best anime ever (this episode even had the unprecedented effect of making my four year old sister sit quietly and watch it alongside me). This episode sees Fumie and Yasako take on a job to find a missing cyber-hamster in the hopes that the data stored on it will reveal the location of a valuable ‘kirabug’, whilst Isako goes after an Illegal and ends up caught in her own trap with Yasako. The concept of “friend and antagonist getting trapped together” is hardly a new one, but Dennou Coil makes it worthy all over again- in fact, aside from Kyoko’s role of constantly being annoying and getting into trouble, everything about this show is ‘1337’, ‘awesome’ and ‘w1n’. I also have to wonder if there was a grain of truth in what Isako was saying about Illegals when she was winding up Yasako; I don’t believe they eat children’s souls, but could there be something more to them than just being computer viruses? It seems likely.
“Do you want to know the truth? You can’t handle the truth!”
*NEW* Doujin Work 1: Where Genshiken showed us the inside story on otaku buying doujins, Doujin Work promises to give us the scoop on making them, as our lead decides to make her fortune from selling doujins. Running at just under fourteen minutes (OP and ED included), Doujin Work plays out like a more perverted version of Genshiken, with some jokes that are amusing, and some that are verging on the realms of being too distasteful. Even so, I’m interested in watching more just by virtue of the novelty of the series.
*NEW* Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai 1: After the ridiculous final arc of the first season, it can hardly be said that Higurashi and I parted on the best of terms, but even so, like a moth to a flame, I found myself drawn to the new season of Higurashi. Sadly, it immediately crushes what few expectations I had left with an episode that sees Mamoru and Ooishi revisit the ruined Hinamizawa in the present day, and have a long conversation about ridiculous plot threads like alien parasites. There had better be some improvement soon, or this second season will quickly be stowed away.
Romeo X Juliet 13: With both Romeo and Juliet having been captured at the end of last episode, the supporting characters can finally make a resurgence here, with Curio and Francisco readying their previously unmentioned HORSES to rescue their mistress. There’s some half-decent action in this episode, and with a distinct decrease in the amount of “Romeo!” “Julietto!” fawning, this episode, whilst hardly particularly noteworthy, is at least an improvement on the last three or four instalments.
Seirei no Moribito 13: After reading blog titles like “Balsa goes feral”, episode thirteen had become a kind of promised instalment that I was looking forward to with no small amount of anticipation. Sadly, such a move was to prove foolish, as whilst Balsa does indeed get her spear out, the surrounding content largely had me falling asleep. As often happens to heroes who swear not to kill, Balsa is confronted by an enemy out for revenge for having his life spared, and in order to get her to co-operate, he promises to kill the first people to ride down a particular highway each day. This results in Balsa randomly playing bodyguard for a travelling teacher and her irritating packhorse driver, a series of events designed to bore and annoy all but the most forgiving of viewers.
Balsa thanks her partner for the HORSE.
Shounen Onmyouji 16: It’s been so long since we’ve had any Shounen Onmyouji that I’m just glad to have an episode of it regardless of quality, although as usual this is the typical light action fare. Whilst villainess Kazane is revealed to be a mere agent of a greater and doubtless more generic magic CCTV viewing villain, Masahiro, Mokkun and Rikugou end up fighting slime monsters in the city at night, with Masahiro taking on the added baggage of being possessed by ghost so dull and generic that it saps his very strength. I’m losing all hope of ever meeting all of the Spirit Summons properly, and so whilst this is hardly the best series ever to grace our screens, I still want a second season.
Emma Bangaihen 9: A little bit more Emma never did anyone any harm, and so it is that I can only welcome another chapter of the side stories, this one detailing how William and Hakim first met as children in India and forged a friendship through playing tennis. As another satisfying insight in the back stories of the characters, this chapter can only make me crave more, but there are now only two chapters left before Emma is over forever.
Erementar Gerad (Elemental Gelade) 25: EG has been light fun up until now, so it’s nice to see a bit of darker content in this chapter- especially as this wasn’t featured in the anime. Whilst Coud attempts to gain illicit entry into the town of Polta Exeed, Viro and Ren spend the day shopping, but beneath Viro’s cheerful exterior lurks a whole other personality- one creepy, evil, and not at all averse to crushing the head of a generic with her hand. It was worth reading this far just for this chapter.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 158-9: Ah, the confusion, how it stacks up in this ever twisting series, but nonetheless, I shall try to clarify what I think is happening. As I sad before, the one we know as Fye is actually his twin brother Yuui, who chose himself over his brother and then stole his name. Fye was then rescued and brought up Ashura, but somehow Fei Wong is also involved, and for increasingly murky reasons he wanted Fye to travel with Sakura and Syaoran from the start, promising that he could use a feather to revive the rotting body of the real Fye. Kurogane is also meant to their enemy since Yuuko prevented him from becoming Fei Wong’s pawn (Syaoran was of course the clone, and Fei Wong needs Sakura for his confusing plans). I can’t help feeling that this whole revelation is just too close to the “Syaoran is a clone!” arc; CLAMP seem obsessed with putting these kinds of twists in to the detriment of the story.