This week, we have “not enough time and inclination to watch all the anime that was released edition”. Enjoy.
Reviewed this week: El Cazador de la Bruja 25-6, Clannad 3, Dennou Coil 17-18, ef 3, Genshiken 2 3, Gundam 00 3, Higurashi Kai 15, Kaiji 3, Mokke 2-3, Shana II 3, Shion no Ou 1
…and in manga: Akagi 6, Bartender 3, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 11
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil (1) – the best of the best of the best, sir!
- Oh! Edo Rocket (2) – I love this show!
- Kaiji (5) – nice gambling boat
- SaiMono II (3) – art thief
- Baccano! (4) – eternal life
- Genshiken 2 (9) – Comi-Fes
- Minami-ke (8) – Ichigo Mashimaro II
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (11) – I’m in despair!
- Shion no Ou (-) – it’s a trap <- new!
- Moyashimon (12) – cute microbes
- Mokke (10)- seven flowers of autumn
- Sketchbook ~full color’S~ (13) – lots of cats
- Clannad (14) – sad girls in springtime
- Gundam 00 (15) – double balls
- Rental Magica (17)- episode seemed to go on forever
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (18) – pure HARD GAY
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (20) – Takano meets Hitler
- ef- a tale of memories (16)- tomorrow’s me won’t be the same
- Shakugan no Shana II (19)- harem+1
- Romeo X Juliet (23) – what’s the point anymore?
- El Cazador de la Bruja (24) – it’s over!! <- complete!
El Cazador de la Bruja 25-6: At long last it’s over and we’re free of the boredom of El Cazador, although it wasn’t about to go down without a fight. Episode 25 is the actual conclusion to the plot (such as it is), with the dull final boss fight against Rosenberg, whilst episode 26 is an excruciatingly boring epilogue in which Ellis and Nadie are living quietly until the HARD GAY guys from the first few episodes (now grossly overweight) show up and spur them to start travelling again- this time for the sake of it. What an underwhelming ending to the world’s most incredibly dull series.
Clannad 3: Since I just mindlessly take the advice of commenters, I watched Clannad episode three subbed, and whilst it made some of the humour easier to pinpoint, my lack of need to concentrate as hard rendered large sections of it quite dull. In this episode, Tomoya and Nagisa make some small effort to re-establishing the drama club, Fuko gives Tomoya a wooden star, Nagisa’s mother gets upset over bread-related matters again and comic relief Sunohara is once again the target of amusing violence. The only moment that really hit home as being better in the subbed version was the opening scene about the girl and her mechanical robot.
Dennou Coil 17-18: It’s been a while, so let me start by reaffirming my love for Dennou Coil, one of the few series that can shake off the general apathy I have been feeling towards anime lately. Anyway, this double bill continues the excellence as we inevitably knew it would, as Isako tries to use her kirabugs to create an encode that will open a portal to the mysterious other world- the place where the souls of Kanna and her brother may be trapped. Mere words cannot express how much I love this series and its central mystery, but I desperately need more, and even when the series is over I shall crave fresh exploration of its imaginative world.
*HIATUS* ef- a tale of memories 3: The somewhat distractingly extreme aspect ratio of this episode aside (seriously, what was up with that?), I’ve decided to move ef to the backburner for now- I’m struggling to fit in all this anime as it is, and after this episode, I’m in no hurry to follow this series up. Although the first half, which focused once again on Renji, Chihiro and the subject of memory loss, wasn’t too bad, once we switched over to Hirono and the other characters, I swiftly lost interest. This latter aspect of the series is not only turning into generic harem, but it is hard to see how it can possibly develop. Since the series is only 12 episodes overall, I will probably get back to it some day, but for now there’s no need to clutter up my schedule.
Genshiken 2 3: The Comi-Fes arc comes to a worthy end in this episode, as we see our intrepid team selling their doujinshi with the aid of cosplay and even some crossplay. It’s an enjoyable ‘seller’s take’ on the Comic Festival, but the preview for the next episode promises even better things to come.
*HIATUS* Gundam 00 3: What am I doing, even pretending to be a Gundam fan? I won’t deny I haven’t enjoyed selected episodes of certain series, but to religiously follow a Gundam series week by week is a step too far- especially when this instalment was so boring that I can barely remember what happened. I think I’ll let a good lot of episodes build up before I get back to this one.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai 15: As I’d hoped, we cover more of Takano’s back story in this episode, explaining how she escaped the clutches of the generically cruel orphanage and came to live with Doctor Takano Hifumi and study Hinamizawa Syndrome. Although she was quite a sympathetic and hard done by character in the past, however, it does nothing to change the fact that in the present she is a villain of gwakaka class, whilst Hinamizawa Syndrome can never be anything other than ridiculous.
Kaiji 3: Poor Kaiji- no sooner had he formed a group of three to fight the odds together than one of his new allies tries to cheat him, although as it turns out he fails and Kaiji lets him rejoin. It seems, however, that this desperate situation has honed our hero’s tactical ability, and through the fog of desperation the slimmest thread of hope appears- but will it be enough to overcome the odds? Since Kaiji is the hero, we can assume he will indeed win the star chips needed to get off the boat, but never before has the build up to a game of rock paper scissors been so absorbing. Bring on the next episode.
Mokke 2-3: Mokke continues to entertain in these next two episodes; first an instalment in which Mizuki is possessed by a being claiming to be a god- and whatever he is, he certainly seems to want to help. Next up is an instalment in which Shizuru gets worried about a being she can see attached to her best friend’s brother- both tales are fairly standard and predictable, but with a touch more thoughtfulness than the average series would give them.
Shakugan no Shana II 3: Laziness caused me to watch this episode subbed after all, but sadly it did not really enhance the experience. Hecate-a-like Konoe has joined school as a new transfer student, and whilst she immediately takes the role of shy and clueless harem member, Shana becomes determined to see if she is indeed an enemy. Naturally, all evidence points to Konoe being no more than she seems, which as we viewers could have guessed, is all part of a clever plan. I still feel compelled to stick with this series through franchise loyalty, but it will probably go on hiatus soon.
*NEW* Shion no Ou 1: In the memory of Hikaru no Go, I’ve decided to whet my appetite for Asian board games with Shion no Ou, the tale of a mute shougi genius who witnessed the bloddy deaths of her parents seven years ago. Although it doesn’t yet seem to be certain as to whether it wants to focus on the murder mystery or straight up shougi playing, this is still good enough to warrant a fair chance, especially with such unique characters as a trap who is trying to become a female pro (apparently faster than becoming a male pro) to earn money for his sick mother.
Akagi 6: Akagi continues to dominate against Ryuuzaki, but there’s a nasty surprise waiting in the wings- rep player Yagi. Will this first time player be able to stand up to a yakuza pro, or will he crumble and cause the series to end prematurely? Well, it’s hardly difficult to guess what’s coming, and reading in small graphically inferior chunks isn’t as satisfying as marathoning 26 episodes of anime, but a little bit of Akagi here and there will help keep the GAR meter ticking over.
Bartender 3: The eponymous Bartender returns for a third outing in this chapter, in which two very different people show up at his bar- one a hard-working office lady, the other a young man who has tried and failed to get into the acting scene. Could it be that the same drink will help them both find their path in life? Yes, it’s that simple, but it is the straightforwardness and brevity of this chapter that makes it far more enjoyable than the animated version was- these are just satisfyingly short vignettes rather than painfully drawn out experiences.
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 11: Another short chapter, this time about tanabata wishes, prompting Sensei to reflect how they may as well write down their most hopeless desires. It’s not the nest chapter I’ve read, but again this series needs to be read in more than one chapter chunks.