Reviewed this week: Amatsuki 1-2, Chi’s Sweet Home 13, Himitsu 2, Kaiba 2, Kurenai 4, Real Drive 2, Wagaya no Oinari-sama 3, xxxHOLiC Kei 4, Zoku SZS 12
..and in manga: HxH 275-8, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 13-20
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (3) – the state of modern society has left me in despair!
- Chi’s Sweet Home (4)- Chi
- Kurenai (5) – Murasaki
- Kaiba (1) – memory chip
- xxxHOLiC Kei (8) – wow, it’s actually good
- Wagaya no Oinari-sama (6) –fox trap
- Real Drive (7) –Meta-Real
- Himitsu (9) – President Reed is dead
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki (10) – family frenzy
- Soul Eater (12) Bones does shounen
- Persona Trinity Soul (13)- I really should catch up with this
- Shion no Ou (14) – Hani Meijin
- Allison and Lillia (15) – a bit disappointing
- Itazura na Kiss (16) generic so far
- Amatsuki (11) – the new Shounen Onmyouji
Amatsuki 2-3: Two more episodes down, and Amatsuki has gone from generic historical/supernatural series to, well, even more generic historical/supernatural series. In episode two, Toki learns that Kuchiha is possessed by a dog spirit before proceeding to play a trick on a couple of samurai who harassed her, whilst episode three sees him asked to pay for his transgression with a spot of babysitting- although after two hours of walking, all he manages to find is trouble. I have little doubt that the series has set a standard of mediocrity that it will stick to throughout, but it’s beginning to feel increasingly wrong to ever drop anything.
Chi’s Sweet Home 13: Another short and sweet (pun intended) segment of Chi’s life, this time seeing Chi get excited when Youhei drops some bouncy super balls. I’ve already read this story in the manga, but as always it’s fun to see it in animated form.
Himitsu 2: Having broken us in with a one-off story, Himitsu tries us out with a longer arc starting in this episode. Our team of HARD GAY investigators and generic hangers-on are called on to help the FBI after the legendary US president Reed is assassinated, but as they probe into his memories, a conundrum involving a photograph is revealed. What exactly is the truth behind the murder of the president, and what secret could be so important that he took it with him to his grave? Find out next week, if you can look past the generic characters, that is.
Kaiba 2: The deceptively childish-looking adventure continues in episode two, which sees Warp/Kaiba’s body used for grotesque extremes of Pleasure, whilst his memories remain stuck in a rather clunky body. Along the way we meet a memory smuggler with multiple girlfriends, and learn how cheaply the authorities treat bodies now that most people have converted to storing their consciousness on chips. Confusing, perhaps, but definitely interesting.
Kurenai 4: Four episodes in, and Kurenai continues to prove worthy, with this instalment seeing Murasaki intrude on one of Shinkurou’s mediation jobs, forcing him to turn to his martial arts and embedded arm blade to protect her. I’m becoming particularly impressed by the slick animation and excellent placement of background music, but the series seems so rich in detail and potential that I almost want it to go on forever. This is what Seirei no Moribito should have been.
Real Drive 2: I still don’t have much of a clue what this series is driving at, but after showing us the meeting with Haru from helper girl’s perspective (along with her background), Haru gets to turn young again as he dives into the Meta-Real network to repair the island’s power grid and save all the old people there. That’s fair enough in an episodic sense, but even though the animation of the Meta-Real and the grandiose orchestral soundtrack elevate this series somewhat, I really need some kind of plot to get my teeth into. What is this island with old people? How does the Meta-Real work? What’s the point of anything that anyone is doing?
Wagaya no Oinari-sama 3: A slightly weaker episode this week as the brothers go back to school, leaving Kuu-chan and Kou to first flounder at home before taking a visit to school themselves. It’s a fairly predictable romp, but I’m willing to forgive the series these weak interludes if they’re not too frequent.
I hear floral designs and statement jewellery are in this summer.
xxxHOLiC Kei 4: I was afraid that Kei would take a downturn after the first arc, but happily it managed to deliver a solid enough one-off episode this time around, adapting the manga chapter in which Yuuko and Watanuki visit a dream merchant. Never before has the need to catch up with the manga been so pressing.
Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou 12: Zetsubou shita! The fact that there is only one episode to go has left me in despair! This time around, we learn of the dangers of not winding down properly, how easy it is to get caught up in other people’s dramas and the whole counter-current phenomenon of getting interested in something via its spin-offs, adaptations and merchandise. This is the kind of great episode that I watch the series for; for this I can forgive some of the less entertaining earlier segments.
Hunter X Hunter 275-8: I semi-intentionally forgot to read any HxH for a few weeks, but even taking in a batch of chapters at once can’t really make it seem any better. In this quartet of instalments, we see Gon release a bit of his pent-up rage, before switching to various other battles, none of which are particularly interesting. Oh well, we’ll be back on hiatus in another couple of chapters.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 13-20: Volume two has been devoured in its entirety, and even though most of what was featured has been in the anime, it doesn’t matter- because here I can pick up everything I missed when it flashed past at lightning speed. My appetite for despair has never been greater.