Anime seems a bit thin on the ground this week, so to make up for it completely coincidentally, this week sees the introduction of new Rankings tables, which are of course a complete rip-off of any and all rankings ever seen in anime blogs before this point. The rankings will be divided into three tables- currently airing (including those that just finished), OVAs and slowly-subbed series. The latter two lists will only be updated whenever a new OVA or ‘slow’ series episode is released. Clear as mud? I thought so.
Reviewed this week: Aria 25-6, El Cazador 12, Nodame 21, Emma II 8-9
…and in manga: REC 31, Twin Spica 3-4
I tried to watch Polyphonica 3, but it was so dull that I stopped after a few minutes.
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil- makes 1337 look average
- Emma II- sheer excellence
- Darker than Black- better than good
- SaiMono II- the pace is slowing
- Nodame Cantabile- flashes of brilliance
- Romeo X Juliet- where did the HORSE go?
- Seirei no Moribito- so slow
- Sisters of Wellber- needs more subbing
- Koutetsu Sangokushi- HARD GAY
- El Cazador de la Bruja- slight improvement
- Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica- beach episode already?
- Ichigo Mashimaro- a slice of enjoyment
- Winter Cicada- actual HARD GAY
- MariMite- more HARD YURI than ever
- Mai-Otome Zwei- more fat cats, less nipples please
- Shounen Onmyouji- ready to resort to raws
- Love GetChu!- light entertainment
- ROTK- hilariously bad
*COMPLETE* Aria the Natural 25-6: As I said in my review the other day, Aria is nothing short of excellent, and these closing two episodes do the series proud. First up we have a story that I read recently in the fourth volume of the manga, in which Akari, Aika and Alic are charged with making all the arrangements for the upcoming autumn Redentore festival, followed by the season finale, in which Akari and Alicia spend a day building a snowman in wintry Neo Venezia. From a beautiful fireworks display to a simple moment in which white hot chocolate is poured, every minute of these two episodes are highly enjoyable and well worth the wait. I desperately need more Aria, but at least there’s the OVA to look forward to this autumn.
El Cazador de la Bruja 12: With the utter boredom of the 7-10 era still providing a baselines against which anything else would seem good, Cazador 12 somehow manages to be watchable despite its obvious mediocrity. In the episode, gunshots are seen for the first time in a while as Nadie and Ellis take refuge in Character of the Week’s camper van when the .hack reject group chases them through the night. In any other series, it would barely be worth watching, but compared to the normal El Cazador fare, these twenty-five minutes pass mercifully swiftly.
Nodame Cantabile 21: Nodame has reached the final round of the competition, but whilst she has the first two pieces down, disaster seems certain to strike when she is unable to memorise the third piece she needs to play in time for her performance. Even though Nodame’s inconsistency is a core aspect for
Victorian Romance Emma Second Act 8-9: The greatness of Emma should never be underestimated, and indeed, somehow the series only continues to improve even at this late stage. Whilst Hans persuades Emma to come back to Molders House, the Jones family are about to endure the consequences of William’s decision to break off his engagement with Eleanor. I may have read it all in the manga, but the anime breathes fresh life into these scenes, drawing you into the characters and their situation as Emma tries to be strong, Eleanor struggles with her heartbreak and William is forced to face the music. Caught between the demands of society and the desire to follow his heart, William’s indecision has cost him almost as much as if he had defied the norm in the first place, but can we really blame him before asking what we might do in his situation. In the meantime, Hans is also developing nicely, and I find myself liking him a lot more in the manga, where he seemed slightly suspicious instead of merely stoic.
REC 31: As volume four comes to an end, a new character is introduced in the form of Aka’s younger sister Ao. Thanks to the family resemblance, Matsumaru can’t deny that she is cute, but when he notices some awkwardness between the two sisters, it becomes clear that there is more angst in the offing. To be honest, this looks like yet another “someone tries to come between Aka and Matsumaru” arc, but so far it is less painful than those that came before, with the promise of some back story for Aka.
Twin Spica 3-4+flashback 1: It’s taken many months, but the first volume of Twin Spica is finally complete, taking us up to the end of the domino-laying exam as well as including a flashback to when Asumi first met Lion-san, and revealing the relationship between him and the local elementary school teacher. It’s basically the same content as the first five episodes of the anime, and so it remains enjoyable whilst offering nothing new.