Reviewed this week: Baccano! 6, Dennou Coil 15-16, El Cazador 23, Mononoke 8, Mushi-Uta 10, RxJ 20-1, SaiMono II 19, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 7, Seirei no Moribito 23, Shounen Onmyouji 18, Sisters of Wellber 9
…and in manga: Chokotto Sister 42-4, Tsubasa 167
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil (1) – the best of the best of the best, sir!
- SaiMono II (2) – recap, damn it
- Oh! Edo Rocket (3) – bizarre yet fun
- Baccano! (5) – I don’t know what’s going on, but I like it
- Mushi-Uta (6) – best episode yet
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (4) – I’m in despair!
- Mononoke (7) – incense
- Darker than Black (8) – caring at minimum
- Doujin Work (9) – this is becoming a guilty pleasure
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (10) – pure HARD GAY
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (11) – evil uncle
- Seirei no Moribito (12) – Flashback Mode
- Romeo X Juliet (13) – what’s the point anymore?
- El Cazador de la Bruja (14) – useless Nadie
- Tetsuko no Tabi (2)- demoted to slow
- Sisters of Wellber (3) – predictable but fun
- Shounen Onmyouji (1)- now getting its own musical!?
- Love GetChu! (4)- light entertainment
Baccano! 6: You’d think I’d have some idea of what was going on in this series by now, but with each passing episode I actually have less of a grasp of what’s meant to be happening. This time around, there is a confrontation and some bloodiness on the train, before catching up with various other characters such as Ennis and the past adventures of Isaac and Miria. I wish I could say more, but my grasp of events in this series is slipping away, even though my enjoyment remains consistent.
Dennou Coil 15-16: Dennou Coil, no matter how many times I pledge my worth to you in these paragraphs, it isn’t enough, so let me once again dedicate my life to serving as your high priestess. I now feel unworthy for even fearing that the series could not continue to outdo itself, for in this pair of episodes the bar is raised once again, as we learn more about old space, 4423 and the deepening twists and mysteries of the Dennou world. Both Yasako and the deceased Kanna could use a power called Imago to detect old space- but was that the reason Kanna died? Is it true that those who go too far into old space and remove their glasses lose their souls along with their Dennou bodies? Is there any reason why I can’t visit the reality of this most excellent anime? I want to know and watch everything this series has to offer, but at the same time, I never want it to end.
El Cazador de la Bruja 23: There is a fairly well-known quote that goes “Parsifal – the kind of opera that starts at six o’clock and after it has been going three hours, you look at your watch and it says 6:20” and with a few changes here and there, this saying could surely be used for El Cazador. Every five minute interval of this show stretches into eternity, until it seems as if it must surely never end before you expire and quit this earth once and for all. Anyway, somehow this episode was completed, in which Ellis heals Nadie’s HP, Blue Eyes offers plenty of exposition, and Rosenberg takes a plane to the final boss location (begging the question as to why he didn’t just fly there with Ellis in the first place). Watching this is a pain, but I’m going to love ranting about it in due course.
Mononoke 8: An interesting new arc begins in this episode, in which four men gather for an ‘incense battle’ in which correctly identifying various scents will win them the hand of the contest setter, Lady Ruri. When one of the men fails to show up, however, a certain medicine seller takes his place, in search of a Mononoke he believes is close by. Even disregarding the fact that there is more going on, the incense game in itself is interesting in its novelty- I almost want an Incense Battlers anime to come out.
Mushi-Uta 10: Our three leads have started finding out the truth about each other, and now it’s time for the revelations to continue as Rina discovers that Daisuke is actually Kakkou, whilst Shiika wonders if her status as a Host means that she should stay away from the people she cares about. Along the way, we learn more about the shadowy GARDEN (echoes of FF8, anyone?), learn that the evil bishie knew everything from the start and was trying to manipulate everyone, and witness a confrontation between Rina and Daisuke. The latter is somewhat predictable- why bother pitting main characters against each other when they are both protected from death status? Aside from this predictable turn of events, however, this is a generally good episode- roll on the finale and then season two.
Romeo X Juliet 20-1: As we approach the final stretch, the plot is finally moving in Romeo X Juliet, but naturally, it is a case of too little, too late. Whilst Juliet learns that she may have to become a tree to save the world, Romeo’s Harvest Moon dreams crumble to dust, forcing him to return home and confront the city-burning Montague. It all seems like an exercise in pointlessness, with time wasted on such trifling aside as “oh, by the way, Benvolio and Cordelia have been having a relationship off screen and are now getting married”, but it is a slight improvement on the long middle stretch.
Saiunkoku Monogatari II 19: After the disappointment of recap last week, SaiMono is slowly beginning to build into a new arc, introducing two new characters and seeing Yuushun sworn in as prime minister- complete with ten conditions designed to prevent the abuse of power. Once, Yuushun seemed like a mere one rung above generic, but with his ten resolutions he secures himself in the realms of 1337, whilst the new characters also look interesting, even if the cast is getting a little unmanageable by this point.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 7: As a mere gaijin, I felt unable to get the best out of this episode- whereas the many references of this type of show don’t usually bother me, this time around I floundered a little and was unable to appreciate much of the humour. Fortunately, whilst the doujinshi scene and the later part with the pi prodigy and other people being lauded didn’t do much for me, I did gain a measure of entertainment from the coloured chicks (nice PPD reference there). I hope I’m not going off this series, but perhaps I just need to reschedule when I watch it to reduce distraction.
Seirei no Moribito 23: Last episode, I barely noticed when all of winter passed in the space of a few minutes, but this time around I tried to be ever so slightly more engaged as the parade of dullness marched on. Whilst Chagum grows up enough to start wearing a new costume, the Tanda x Balsa angle is played a bit more (leave it alone, please, it’s too late for that now) before something finally happens when Shuga and the others find Chagum in time to help defend against La Lunga’s attack. I have to admit the closing scene was one of the more engaging parts for a while, but really by now I just want to get it over with.
Shounen Onmyouji 18: A rather pointless episode this time around, in which Masahiro’s previously unmentioned older brother and his family are menaced by a baboon demon, and Mokkun starts acting strangely- simply because he doesn’t like children. Although it initially appears to be the start of a new arc, this episode ends up being a standalone story, and one so pointless that you have to wonder at its inclusion. The only thing of note is the proper introduction of another Spirit Summon, Kouchin, but this series really needs a second season.
Wellber no Monogatari ~Sisters of Wellber~ 9: it’s an entirely predictable episode this time around, with Tina making a promise to stop stealing, only for a female thief to show up soon after. Naturally, we in the audience know that Tina is innocent, but Rita cannot help suspecting her on the weight of some apparently damning evidence. It’s all content we’ve seen before, but staying in this sort of safe territory is what makes Wellber a decent piece of light entertainment.
Chokotto Sister 42-44: Over the last few chapters, it’s been tempting to assume that the mangaka had grown up a little and thrown out the fanservice in favour of a proper slice-of-life/romance combination, but alas, it seems he ran out of ideas and reverted to type in this chapter, which introduces new nipple shots and a new character in the form of Haruma’s cousin. Having run away from home, said cousin promptly blackmails Haruma into letting her stay with him (after all, does he want his family to know he’s living with a little girl that ‘Santa’ gave him?), before establishing herself as the ‘forward’ harem member type. I’m not too enthralled about this new twist in events, but since chapters come through at a trickle, I shall keep reading.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 167: Okay, so in the last chapter Kurogane gave up his left arm so that everyone could get out of Celes (I totally missed that), and now he and Fye are in Nihon country with Tomoyo- and from the looks of things, Fye wants to end their HARD GAY relationship now that he knows Kurogane is secretly STRAIGHT for Tomoyo. In the meantime, Syaoran (whichever one it is) has just met with Watanuki, but why? What’s going on? Does the fact that we’re visiting the home worlds of the leads mean that the series is finally going to end? And if it does, how will CLAMP earn their money?