Reviewed this week: Baccano! 12, Clannad 6-7, Mokke 5-6, Romeo X Juliet 23, Sketchbook 4-6
…and in manga: Chokotto Sister 47, Claymore 74, HxH 265-6, Mozart Doesn’t Sing Lullabies 9
Consider Higurashi Kai dropped for now; I might go back and watch the second half of the series at a later date, but I can’t work up the enthusiasm for it right now.
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil (1) – they’re coming to get you!
- Oh! Edo Rocket (2) – I love this show!
- Kaiji (3) – nice gambling boat
- SaiMono II (4) – art thief
- Baccano! (5) – there ain’t no getting offa this train we’re on
- Minami-ke (6) – Ichigo Mashimaro II
- Genshiken 2 (7) – secret otaku
- Moyashimon (8) – cute microbes
- Shion no Ou (9) – it’s a trap
- Mokke (10)- magical cat
- Sketchbook ~full color’S~ (11) – lots of cats
- Clannad (12) – sad girls in springtime
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (1) – I’m in despair!
- Tetsuko no Tabi (2)- is this ever going to be subbed?
- Sisters of Wellber (3) – predictable but fun
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (4) – pure HARD GAY
- Shounen Onmyouji (5)- mediocre
- Love GetChu! (6)- light entertainment
- Romeo X Juliet (7) – WOOD
Baccano! 12: It’s perhaps a little worrying that we’re one episode from the end and I still don’t have a firm handle on everyone’s motives (at least I can remember their names now), but nonetheless Baccano weighs in with a worthy entry for its penultimate instalment. Whilst the various factions continue their ever escalating conflict aboard the Flying Pusyfoot, a past confrontation between named characters continues to unfold. Memorable moments include Czeslaw recalling how he sadistically tortured to test his immortality, Rail Tracer’s rather disturbing arguments to justify his place at the centre of the universe (don’t argue with a man who’s soaked in the blood of others) and Isaac and Miria’s much needed and always welcome comic relief. It’s a shame that such a unique series will be ending shortly.
Clannad 6-7: Fuko’s story continues in these two episodes, and although I was expecting the arc to be concluded by now, there’s at least one more instalment to go to wrap it up. Although, as I said last week, it’s hard to get involved in what feels like quite a formulaic Key tragic girl story, I do quite like Fuko, and the moment where her sister didn’t see her was quite a sad one even for the hard of heart. On another note, I’m also feeling quite benign towards Tomoya, for even though he’s a bit of a prankster, he somehow lacks the evil of the hated Yuuichi.
Mokke 5-6: A few years ago, I came up with the concept of “Episode five syndrome”, an inevitable condition whereby the fifth episode of a series (often the first instalment on the second DVD) always seems to be dull and subpar. Although such a condition has been in abeyance of late, Mokke turned out to be afflicted with a bad case of episode five syndrome, with the instalment in question featuring a forgettable minor character using teru teru bozu to clear up the rain before a baseball match. It’s dull episodes like these that lead to series being dropped, but luckily episode six had something better to offer, with Mizuki being given a Keseran-Paseran (a white hairball that brings good luck) to raise. Although I thought this would turn into a standard cautionary tale about relying on charms for good luck, it actually turned into a demonstration of why anime parents are so often absent, for when the girls’ parent show up, it becomes clear that their mother hates the whole supernatural side of their lives. All-in-all, then, it isn’t particularly outstanding, but at least episode six was good enough to take away the unpleasant taste of its predecessor.
Romeo X Juliet 23: RxJ is slowly grinding to a close, and now that final boss Montague has been dispatched with ease, all that remains is for Juliet to nip off and take Escalus’ place. Naturally, Romeo isn’t about to let his one true love leave him for a tree, and so the two confront each other in the crumbling depths of Neo Verona Keep. It probably should be heartfelt and dramatic, but it’s just somewhat bizarre.
Sketchbook ~full colour’S~ 4-6: Sketchbook has become a sort of slice-of-life lite for me; it doesn’t hold the allure of Aria and its peers, but at the same time it is too enjoyable to merely put aside. Whilst episode four sees Sora take a trip on a rainy day and episode six features an overnight stay at school, the true highlight of this triple bill is the cat-centric episode five, which follows the exploits of the felines of the series. Without their huggable presence, the series would no doubt seem much closer to average, so it’s nice to see them showcased in the way they deserve- in fact, I demand a full spin-off series just for the cats.
Chokotto Sister 47: If you like fetish cosplay, then this is the chapter for you- having decided that Chitose should try to seduce Haruma, Makoto dresses her in various revealing and sexy outfits- and that’s pretty much all that happens. Despite the high level of fanservice, however, this series manages to retain some kind of hold on me- just because I need to see where the characters go next.
Claymore 74: We’ve had a few months of welcome side stories, but now it’s back to business for Claymore, and the series wastes no time in pitting Miata against Galatea- right in the middle of the holy city of Rabona. Despite my earlier criticisms of the series, this is actually a rather enjoyable chapter, although how I’ll fare on just one instalment per month remains to be seen.
Hunter X Hunter 265-6: I have to admit that I’m almost at the point of not caring about HxH anymore. With each chapter being bogged down by narrative and each character’s thoughts on the situation, the battle only moves forward incrementally, ensuring that this lengthy arc is less than enthralling. Let’s just get it over with and finish the series.
Mozart Doesn’t Sing Lullabies 9: As Beethoven and Sirene continue to investigate the mystery surrounding Mozart’s death, they find themselves trying to crack a code that may turn a meaningless message into an important clue- but when all signs indicate that the scale of the mystery might be larger than anticipated, just how safe will it be to keep poking around? Meanwhile, it becomes clear that those closest to Beethoven are worried about his hearing loss, but will the cranky composer react well to their concerns? As always, this is an enjoyable chapter, but the gaps in between instalments do interrupt the flow of the story.