This week in anime, old series are finishing whilst new ones begin, and licensing forces me to resort to raws once again. The question is- will I ever get around to seeing the rest of Love GetChu and Shounen Onmyouji (surely not the hardest series to understand with or without subs)?
Reviewed this week: Darker than Black 11-12, Dennou Coil 6, Cazador 13, Nodame 22-3, RxJ 12, SaiMono II 12, Seirei no Moribito 12, Emma II 10-12, Winter Cicada 3, Zombie-Loan 1
…and in manga: Claymore 1-73, Claymore Side Story 1, Yotsuba& 47
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil (1) – makes 1337 look average
- Emma II (2) – missed out vital parts, but satisfying ending <-complete!
- Darker than Black (3) – good set up, worse pay-off
- SaiMono II (4) – I hope we can get out of ER soon
- Nodame Cantabile (5) – enjoyable overall <- complete!
- Seirei no Moribito (7) – predictable but entertaining
- Romeo X Juliet (6) – seems to be in a dull mid-phase
- Sisters of Wellber (8) – needs more subbing
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (9) – HARD GAY
- Zombie Loan (-) too generic thus far <- new!
- El Cazador de la Bruja (10) – getting dull again
- Ichigo Mashimaro (1)- a slice of enjoyment
- Winter Cicada (2)- tragic HARD GAY <- complete!
- MariMite (3)- more HARD YURI than ever
- Mai-Otome Zwei (4)- more fat cats, less nipples please
Darker than Black 11-12: We come infinitesimally closer to getting some explanations in this arc of Darker than Black, which sees Hei sent to infiltrate PANDORA (don’t even ask me to repeat what it stands for- it’s too ridiculous). Unfortunately, after some good setup in episode eleven, episode twelve feels a bit disappointing, basically coming off as a “this guy is the only suspect, he must have done it” resolution. That being said, the music helps to elevate episode twelve beyond its basic content, as does the confrontation between Hei and the character of the arc, although the ending remains a bit of a drug induced conclusion more worthy of Sunrise than Bones.
Dennou Coil 6: Dennou Coil stays on top form in this episode, in which Fumie and Yasako try to find out more about the relationship between Haraken and Satchii. Although the lack of Isako and presence of Kyoko means this isn’t the best episode of the series so far, it is still entirely worthy, with a hilarious exchange between Grandma and an old man at the hotsprings, some revelations about the origins of Satchii, and a look at Fumie and Yasako as they switch off their glasses for the first time in a year. Right now, it looks as if the series will be heading more in the direction of investigating illegal programs and their connection to a tragedy in Haraken’s past than investigating the idea of lost memories and erased data, but I’m still eager to see what happens next.
El Cazador de la Bruja 13: After the brief flicker of interest that made the last two episodes bearable, Cazador has slipped back into boring territory as it reaches the halfway mark. In this episode, our intrepid heroines venture into a compound apparently closed down after the populace contracted a fatal infection, but could the truth behind whatever happened here offer vital clues to Ellis’ past? In principle, this should be the point where the plot shows and starts to get going, but the way information is presented here makes it all exceedingly dull, and even an attempt at an action scene seems more like a half-hearted overture to necessity than something that really inspires the viewer to keep watching.
*COMPLETE* Nodame Cantabile 22-3: Having forgotten the rest of her piece, Nodame is forced to recompose it on stage- a move that will surely doom her chances in the competition, and possibly terminate her fragile interest in taking the piano seriously. Meanwhile, Chiaki and the Rising Star Orchestra put on one last performance before various key members leave to study overseas, but will Chiaki find the right moment to admit that he too is headed to Europe? Overall, this was a satisfying ending to a series that has had its ups and downs, and whilst I became disillusioned with it at times, there were always enough worthy elements to make me glad I stuck with it. Now, onwards to the manga.
Chiaki looks forward to the Pleasuring possibilities of Europe.
Romeo X Juliet 12: If the last few episodes are anything to go by, RxJ seems to have hit a mid-series lull, and it doesn’t seem ready to snap out of it any time soon. After a long and dull scene of our young lovers fawning over each, we finally cut back to the more interesting supporting characters of Neo Verona, only to quickly whip away when a HORSE-riding minor general of evil is sent to retrieve Romeo. Even in the original play, the leads pale in comparison to the supporting characters, and Gonzo would do well to heed this lesson if they wish to maintain my interest in this series (which obviously they don’t, since they couldn’t care less about me, but the point still stands).
Saiunkoku Monogatari II 12: The medical team has finally made it to the scene, but as You takes charge of the surgery, not all of the doctors seem to have strong enough stomachs for the reality of cutting someone open. Sadly, whilst I can put some of my attitude towards the episode down to my lack of comprehension at the time, I have to admit that this whole medical arc has dragged on too long for my liking- I don’t find watching the minutiae of diagnosis and surgical procedure particularly interesting, and I didn’t really sign up for some sort of period ER. I realise it would damage the series to catch up with the novels too quickly, but I really want to progress beyond this.
Fortunately, there are at least a few other story threads to keep me interested, such as the whole tangle with the Jasenkyou and the Hyou clan, which seems about to move to the fore, happily.
Seirei no Moribito 12: Even though little has changed, Seirei somehow seems more interesting in this episode, which tells the predictable yet entertaining tale of Chagum challenging a foreign boy to a Rucha (Lucha?) match after he insults the emperor. Even though it’s a tale we’ve seen many times before in various media across the world, it still manages to be more enjoyable than the last few episodes, with the promise of Balsa’s next action scene now just around the corner.
*COMPLETE* Victorian Romance Emma 10-12: With the subs having ended due to licensing reasons, I decided to conclude the series in raw, deciding that my knowledge of the manga would help make up for any gaps in understanding. In this trio of episodes, we see Emma angst some more, whilst William falls afoul of Viscount Campbell when practically everyone refuses to deal with his company. Luckily, everything works out well in the end, although certain chunks of the manga were cut out along the way.
“Hakim, I choose you!”
*COMPLETE* Winter Cicada 3: The tragic tale of HARD GAY lovers Kusaka and Akizuki finally comes to a close in this depressingly miserable episode, which sees Kusaka sheltering a morose and near suicidal Akizuki in his guest house in an attempt to hide him from the government. It all ends in misery (and double suicide, in fact) for our two leads, with a sex scene thrown in earlier for good measure. Inevitable as this ending was, it seems a far cry from the unintentional amusement of the first episode, and whilst in retrospect I am unsure why I picked it up, this isn’t actually too awful compared to some of the other OVAs I have tried to wade through.
*NEW* Zombie-Loan 1: The latest Peach-Pit anime adaptation is here, and sadly, whilst it proved to have a surprisingly high level of parody potential (should I parody it- let me know your views) I otherwise wasn’t too impressed. The concept of having two bishies who have actually died and must now banish undead to get their bodies back alongside a lead who can see rings around the necks of those who are about to die does seem novel, but in practice the whole thing currently feels a lot more generic than that. The ditzy meganekko lead is stereotypical and irritating in the extreme, whilst all the other characters have been borrowed from various other sources- I’ll give it another couple of episodes, but I don’t see myself being in this for the long haul.
“If I want Hyper Self Pleasure, I’ll damn well have it!”
*CATCH-UP* Claymore 1-73: As readers of the review I posted earlier in the week will know, I have finally caught up with Claymore, but where everyone else enjoyed it, I just haven’t been drawn to it as yet. Were my expectations too high? Am I just insanely hard to please? Whatever the case, although I want to continue reading this I just can’t rate it too highly.
*NEW* Claymore Side Story 1: Continuing the Claymore theme, this side story takes us back into the life of Teresa at her prime, when she gets a black card from the Number 2 Claymore. Normally a Claymore asks to be killed by the one who knew them the best, but Teresa actually barely knew Number 2, who only wants her to come so that she can have a proper fight with the woman who stole her number one spot. In all honesty, I actually enjoyed this rather more than most of the main Claymore manga, although that could just because of my curious love of Teresa’s character.
Yotsuba&! 47: Hmm, didn’t we already have a chapter called Yotsuba& the Farm? Either way, we still haven’t actually got to the farm, but in this chapter Yotsuba, her father, Jumbo and ‘Tomo of the series’ Yanda finally start to make their way there. As usual, not much happens in the overall scheme of things, but even after 47 chapters the series remains entertaining and amusing. Bring on the actual farm visit.