Sometimes I just can’t help being evil; telling children about the slaughterhouse whilst they’re playing Harvest Moon, persuading them that complete Iliana rings can just be mined straight out of the earth, arguing that Albel is HARD GAY for Fayt- is there nothing I won’t do? Then again, sometimes interesting things spring from my madness- for example, my sister has taken a liking to the nickname “Pink Supervisor”.
Reviewed this week: Aria the Origination 9, Clannad 19, Kaiji 21-2, Minami-ke Okawari 8-9, Mnemosyne 2, Mokke 16-18, SaiMono II 37, Shigofumi 9, Shounen Onmyouji 23, Spice and Wolf 9
…and in manga: Busou Renkin 1-37, Chokotto Sister 58, Claymore 78, Elfen Lied 83, HxH 271, Moyashimon 2, Tsubasa 184
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Aria the Origination (1) – banana peel
- Spice and Wolf (3) – spice and lamb
- Kaiji (2) – ざわ, ざわ…
- SaiMono II (4) – Ran clan
- Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (6) – mind-altering drug
- Shigofumi (5) – Fumi+Mika=Fumika
- Persona Trinity Soul (7)- Mushi-Uta’s successor
- Shion no Ou (8) – die, Satoru!
- Minami-ke Okawari (9)- not quite the same
- Clannad (11) – drop kick
- Gunslinger Girl- Il teatrino (10)- Marco
- Mokke (12)- rainy season
- Tetsuko no Tabi (1)- is this ever going to be subbed?
- Himawari!! (2) – needs less plot
- Sisters of Wellber (3) – predictable but fun
- Love GetChu! (5)- light entertainment
- Shounen Onmyouji (4)- end in sight?
Aria the Origination 9: Alice has just graduated from school, and so Athena suggests they go out for the day, but what our young Pair doesn’t know is that she is being tested to see if she is move onto the next level. Although it’s a shame that Alice ultimately moves beyond Akari and Aika in this episode, it nonetheless remains a powerful instalment that sees the birth of the Orange Princess. There’s also plenty of President Maa for cat lovers.
Clannad 19: The theatre club has finally got a part-time share in Koumura-sensei, but whilst Nagisa is keen to put on a play, Tomoya feels his part is done- at least until he moves in with the Furukawa family to get away from his father. Given that most of the theatre club members are just there to make up the numbers, I can’t really care much about their efforts, but Akio and Sanae are always entertaining.
Kaiji 21-2: What awesome MANLY GAR! The time for the final round of E-card is nigh, and Kaiji seems certain he can pull off another win, but will Tonegawa see through his strategy? The odd thing about this episode is that while I spent the majority of it secure in the narrative convention of Kaiji pulling off another victory no matter how much Tonegawa tried to second guess him, the moment the episode ended on a cliff-hanger, the tension skyrocketed and I became uncertain of the outcome.
Fortunately, episode 22 is quick to resolve the outcome of E-card, but when Kaiji demands that Tonegawa kneels down and apologises for all those who died, the chairman decides that the only way to get a sincere apology is to have him kneel on a roasting hot steel plate- not an easy sight to watch. It seems, however, that we will have time for the tissue box raffle arc at the end (or at least the beginning of it, I have no idea how long the arc is in the manga).
Minami-ke Okawari 8-9: Just as I thought I was building up tolerance to Okawari, watching two episodes in the same day has broken it right down again- for whilst Fuyuki was blessedly absent here, these instalments seem to typify the problems with this season. If the original series was a stream of clear water, then Okawari is a stagnant pool, running tired old jokes into the ground instead of picking up a thread and building on it. Whilst episode eight is a lacklustre pool episode, episode nine lacks much in the way of appeal, combining such randomness as Kana dreaming of the future and Makoto trying to give up being Mako-chan yet again. I actually began to manifest physical symptoms related to boredom and irritability in this episode, something that hasn’t happened since Bartender episode 2.
Mnemosyne 2: Another instalment of Mnemosyne has finally come our way, and whilst it lacks the sheer awesomeness of the first episode, it is still worth a watch. The OVA seems to be settling into a “cyberpunk for the 21st century” role, with this episode featuring HARD YURI, the search for a rare stamp and a mysterious yet deadly angel. Meanwhile, we now know that both Rin and her friend gained immortality when time spheres entered their bodies, but this only goes for women- their effect on men is to turn them into violent, short-lived angels who immortal women are irresistibly attracted to.
Mokke 16-18: Three more episodes of Mokke have been cleared, and once again they offer rather mediocre fare. Episode sixteen is the best of the bunch, as Shizuru befriends a transfer student with a habit of skipping classes to hang out in an old music room- an unremarkable story, but one that is at least more upbeat than the usual instalment of Mokke. Meanwhile, seventeen sees Mizuki discover a strange tree whilst looking after a neighbour’s visiting grandson, whilst in eighteen both sisters and their grandfather go to stay with a family who have been plagued with strange noises ever since they picked up a particular rock.
Saiunkoku Monogatari II 37: I know I’m a week behind with SaiMono, but the situation will have to persist until next week. This time around, Ryuuki meets up with the spirit of Riou’s sister and must face up to the fact that he is still not considered the best candidate for emperor- should he step down, or can he prove himself worthy? It seems that it is finally time for Ryuuki to grow up, but that may well mean making an important decision between committing to the throne and pursuing Shuurei. Would Jyuusan-hime be a better partner for him after all?
Shigofumi 9: Shigofumi lapses back into the unremarkable with this instalment, which combines the standard holiday episode with some back story for Chika. I suppose I should care about Chika’s life being tragically cut short just as her lover was about to propose to her, but when I saw him in the first scene I thought he was her father, so thinking of him as a lolicon generally spoiled the moment.
Shounen Onmyouji 23: It’s all about getting to the end in an efficient, business-like manner with Shounen Onmyouji right now- the series has dragged on so long and been so unremarkable that I don’t really care about anything other than completion. In this episode, Masahiro must angst for a bit before deciding to accept the power that can kill Guren- who will reincarnate, but without his memories of the series. Is that truly such a bad thing, I wonder- I certainly wouldn’t be too disadvantaged without said memories.
Spice and Wolf 9: I’ve toned down my praise for Spice and Wolf over the last couple of weeks, but with this episode I’m ready to fangirl in full force once more. This week, Lawrence and Horo hire the services of a young shepherd girl to escort them to the next town, but how will Horo react to the ‘new woman’ in Lawrence’s life? Not only does this episode introduce a new character who briefly appears in the ED, but it truly exposes the awesomeness of Horo- any time when she seems to be acting predictably tsundere she’ll suddenly laugh it off and prove that there is much more to her than any stereotypical character.
*CATCH-UP* Busou Renkin 1-37: The effort of reading some Busou Renkin manga has finally been made, with the first four of ten volumes now cleared. So far, everything is proceeding as per the anime, with these volumes covering the Papillon arc and taking us well into the LXE arc; what remains to be seen is how the latter volumes differ from the animated version.
Chokotto Sister 50: Volume six concludes with this short chapter, in which Choko goes to play at Yurika’s house for the day (complete with obligatory fanservice and a scene in which Choko finds that all of Yurika’s bras are too small), whilst Chitose passes up the opportunity to romantically pursue Haruma in order to nurse the sick Konatsu instead.
Claymore 78: Deus ex machina has arrived in the form of Clare and her allies, and it seems that their combined abilities might just be enough to combat Agatha. Naturally, the action in this chapter follows the usual “few slashes- opponent is sliced to pieces” pattern, but I’m still enjoying the series more than I once did.
Elfen Lied 83: The forces of evil have forced their way into Kohta’s home, but when they start playing rough with his harem, they risk awakening the beast that slumbers within Nyu. Although I hardly wanted our protagonists to be attacked in their own home (which somehow makes it seem worse than all the extreme violence that has come before), it’s good to see the series moving up a gear and pushing the plot ahead towards its conclusion.
Hunter X Hunter 271: Togashi has been propped up and pumped full of drugs (or whatever the situation is), and so HxH is back for another ten weeks, in which the story should advance infinitesimally. In this chapter, the mysterious narrator gives us an excruciatingly slow blow-by-blow account of the various battles that are occurring, to which one can only respond “who cares anymore”? The only interesting thing to note is the way the artwork can vary from detailed to scribble from one page to the next.
Moyashimon 2: The second chapter of Moyashimon pushes us into episode two of the anime, covering Hasegawa’s attempts to test Sawaki’s abilities to the limit, before he detects the unmistakable evidence of brewing. There’s not much more to say, since we’re just mirroring the anime.
Tsubasa Chronicle 184: Syaoran, Fai and Kurogane have made it back to Clow Country, but everything seems strangely peaceful and uneventful- at least until it becomes plain that the country is trapped in some sort of Groundhog Day-esque phenomenon. I was hoping this arc meant that the end of the series was near, but I should have known- it’s clearly going to be dragged out for as long as possible.