Weekly Round-Up: March 9th


A while back, I mentioned wanting this figure, but as all too often happens, I’m beginning to change my mind- why have him when I can have this guy (his HARD GAY lover?) instead? I know the colour scheme isn’t as good, but the detailing on the clothes looks a lot better, even if the poor guy is bleeding to death after improperly performed HARD GAY.

Reviewed this week: Busou Renkin 22, Corda d’Oro 9, Kanon 22, Love GetChu 6, Nodame 7, Red Garden 19, ROTK 42

…and in manga: Emma Bangaihen 7, REC 28, School Rumble 215, Shana 10, Spiral Alive 3, NHK 35, Yotsuba& 44

Due to laziness with regards to parodying them, Chevalier 15-16 will appear next week.

ANIME

Busou Renkin 22: Whilst Kazuki’s party reach Newton Apple Girl’s School for an extended cutscene about Victor’s past, the black Kakugane and the possibility of a cure, the alchemic warriors that completely failed to harm Victor before go back for a second try, alongside their FMA armour/Avu Kamuu using leader. It’s rather pointless since we know that only Kazuki and his main character powers can possibly defeat Victor, but

La Corda d’Oro 9: As we fall into the dull, Haruka-esque pattern of exploring every bishie, this episode goes to Shimizu, the perpetually spaced out blonde shota who seems to be subsisting entirely on Sunrise brand dango. In between the unexciting glimpses into his life, Hino realises she must get over her fear of performing in public before the second selection begins. All in all, a generally inoffensive (if uninteresting) episode, with a cliff-hanger ending that promises a tediously painful wave of angst to come. I know I should get out now, but somehow the character designs and musical focus keep me going.


What more is there to life, really?

Kanon 22: To give you an idea of how enthralling I found this episode of Kanon, I must reveal that I paused it twice- once to take a bath, and again to watch my sister play Harvest Moon. Yes, watching someone else play a farming video game was a more interesting prospect than this exceptionally dull episode, in which Nayuki enters a depressive state over her mother’s car accident, and Yuuichi tries to cheer her up even as he remembers his past with Ayu. At least the end is close now.

Love GetChu! 6: It’s a bit sad that a series from last spring has had fewer episodes subbed than some from the winter, but whilst I continue to contemplate watching the rest raw, another episode has come along. This time around, the focus is on tomboy Tsubasa- her preference may be for male roles, but this latest lesson requires her to play the part of a girl on her first date! Fortunately, she can get some practice by going on a real date with a recently graduated seiyuu who she just happens to have feelings for. As always, it’s light entertainment and fairly predictable, but unlike some of its peers it remains enjoyable.

Nodame Cantabile 7: Hino may think she has it tough with her magical violin, but her struggles are nothing compared to those of Chiaki as he struggles to get the best results out of his orchestra in time for their performance. Once again, the shounen-like elements are in force as the underdogs find the key to working together whilst Stresemann’s orchestra inevitably falls apart. A rather predictable episode overall, but at least it kept me entertained.

Red Garden 19: Despite previous experience with other series, it is still customary to expect something to start happening by this point- although unfortunately, Red Garden has other ideas. With the bulk of this episode taken up by such fascinating character development moments as “Rachel chats with Luke/Rook” and “Claire chats with Ewan”, it all remains rather dull and tedious until the closing moments, when Kate is captured by her enemies after rather sensibly standing right outside their headquarters. It should also be noted that the two useless and ineffectual policemen have now been killed, begging the question as to what the point of including them in the first place was.


“His name was Mario.”

Romance of the Three Kingdoms 42: It’s been a while since I last saw a new episode of ROTK, but at last the slow crawl to the finishing line continues. This episode sees Cao Cao send an old classmate of Zhou Yu to the Wu camp in order to persuade him to surrender, but since Cao Cao is a bumbling villain of chaos, it naturally fails to work.

MANGA

Emma Bangaihen 7: Have you ever thought “Emma is such a great manga that it would still be good even if it turned into a series about a squirrel”? If so, then this chapter is for you- the tale of a boy who loses his squirrel on a trip, the chapter follows the fraught night spent by both boy and squirrel. Apart from the surprise of having a panel in which we see the squirrel relieve itself, this actually isn’t bad, even if we are straying further and further from the original story with each passing side chapter.


REC 28: As a refreshing change from romantic complications, this chapter focuses on Aka’s work as she realises that she doesn’t really have what it takes to play her current role. Fortunately, this is more of a learning experience than an excuse for angst, and the series would certainly benefit from more chapters like this one in place of the usual “someone’s threatening our relationship” fare. As if to remind us of the mangaka’s predilection for adult scenes, however, we are also treated to Matsumaru’s tentacle fantasy (NSFW link).

School Rumble 215: In recent chapters, we saw 2-D filming a movie starring Eri and Harima, only for Eri to take both Tenma and Harima’s manga and ask him to choose between them (naturally, Harima chose Tenma and the manga got ripped up). In the aftermath of these events, Harima must deal with the loss of his manuscript and decide what to do next, whilst Yakumo breaks down in front of Sarah as the stress finally gets to her. The good news- it finally feels as if an end is in sight (even though it probably isn’t).

Shakugan no Shana 10: Whilst Yoshida steps forward as the second member of Yuji’s harem, Shana and Yuji discuss what to do about Friagne- and readers can only hope that someday something will happen. The artwork is also starting to get a bit lazy in places; close ups are fine, but anything slightly complex usually ends up with washboard figures, whilst Shana has a disturbingly small head.


Spiral Alive 3: For Imari, it’s all about confessing to the boy she likes, but Sawamura is more interested in tracking down Amanae. Meanwhile, in the wake of the music box killings, the police decide to turn to the one person who has a chance of solving the case- Kiyotaka Narumi. A comparatively slow chapter which is more about setup for the next stage than accomplishing much in its own right- I’m now eager to get cracking with the main story.

Welcome to the NHK 35: Why is it that every time someone seems to be getting better in NHK, it only causes everyone around them to become that much worse? With Megumi’s brother having recovered enough to face the outside world again, everyone else is plunged further into despair, especially the by now irritatingly dishonest Misaki. Yes, I know she has problems- so does everyone else in the series- but that doesn’t induce me to like her.

Yotsuba& 44: Given that this episode is called “Yotsuba& the farm”, you might rightfully expect our pint-sized heroine to do something along the lines of visiting a farm, but unfortunately, it is not to be. With her continuing fascination with milk leading to talk of cows, Yotsuba’s father plans a trip to the farm, but when Yotsuba gets overexcited and ends up with a fever, it has to be called off. It may not be the series’ finest hour, nor really what I was expecting from the title, but a solid chapter nonetheless.