Reviewed this week: Baccano! 11, Clannad 4-5, Dennou Coil 20, Genshiken 2 5-6, Minami-ke 5-6, Moyashimon 3-4, Romeo X Juliet 22, SaiMono II 25-6, Shion no Ou 3-4
…and in manga: Tenshi Nanka Janai 29
Everything else to follow next week.
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Dennou Coil (1) – they’re coming to get you!
- Oh! Edo Rocket (2) – I love this show!
- Kaiji (3) – nice gambling boat
- SaiMono II (4) – art thief
- Baccano! (5) – there ain’t no getting offa this train we’re on
- Minami-ke (7) – Ichigo Mashimaro II
- Genshiken 2 (6) – secret otaku
- Moyashimon (10) – cute microbes
- Shion no Ou (9) – it’s a trap
- Mokke (11)- magical cat
- Sketchbook ~full color’S~ (12) – lots of cats
- Clannad (13) – sad girls in springtime
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (16) – Takano meets Hitler
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (-) – I’m in despair!
- Tetsuko no Tabi (1)- is this ever going to be subbed?
- Sisters of Wellber (2) – predictable but fun
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (-) – pure HARD GAY
- Shounen Onmyouji (3)- mediocre
- Love GetChu! (4)- light entertainment
- Romeo X Juliet (-) – WOOD
Baccano! 11: There’s more action, violence and plot development as Szilard makes his move against Maiza, Ladd and Chane continue their battle on top of the train, and Rail Tracer gets up to some rather blood-soaked experimentation with inflicting pain on Czeslaw, all packed into but a single episode of Baccano. The blood and body count seems to be rising all the time, but with everything else that is going on, this is far from senseless violence, and even though there’s the air of futility at being constantly stuck in a train arc, this series is remaining enjoyable overall.
Clannad 4-5: Nagisa is still determined to get the theatre club up and running, but until they get three actual members, the student council won’t even recognise it as an active group, which, unsurprisingly, is something of a setback. After Tomoya and various other named characters try to help, the story switches over to focus on Fuko, whose storyline is so similar to Ayu’s from Kanon that I can’t really bring myself to care about yet another spirit of a girl in a coma. All in all, then, the Clannad effect has completely failed to kick in, leaving me mildly interested but not moved to any extremes of emotion.
“They, like, totally used that in Kanon already!”
Dennou Coil 20: Why does this series ever have to end? When I watch it, nothing else matters (slight exaggeration, perhaps, but let’s go with it)- it truly must be the “best anime evar”. In this episode, Yasako, and ‘Aunty’ go after Haraken, who is somewhere on the mysterious other side, but can they make it before the authorities swoop in and perform a major reformat on the region? Even though this episode didn’t raise the awesomeness as much as previous instalments, it was still consistently good, leaving me desperate to spend much more time in the Dennou Coil universe.
Genshiken 2 5-6: If life imitates art, then anime must surely imitate parody at times, and indeed, Genshiken 2-5 is a perfect example of that. Taking a break from actual story development, the episode features Ogiue fantasising over Sasahara and Madarame having a HARD GAY relationship, complete with gasping sounds and awkward scenes that will ensure that the last thing you want are family members wandering in whilst you watch it. Nonetheless, this is the most entertaining filler episode ever, setting the scene for Ogiue’s desire to produce her own doujinshi.
Onwards to episode six, and it’s time the winter Comi-Fes, which an embarrassed Ogiue decides she must attend in disguise. Naturally, the usual sequence of events ensues when she gets recognised by old friends before bumping into the members of Genshiken, but despite the rather by-the-book nature of events, this is still a worthy entry in the series. I must finally get to reading the manga soon.
How not to fill in a CV.
Kaiji 6: Poor Kaiji- every time he gets a great idea that could end this arc, something else goes wrong. This time around, his plan to buyout all the papers in addition to the rocks founders when no one else wants to play his team, and thinks only get worse when Funai, the guy who scammed him way back in the beginning, decides to get even with his own counter-plot that could scupper Kaiji’s chances forever. I am enjoying the series, but I’m about ready to move onto a new arc now, so I hope this latest hiccup can be resolved soon- and that the slimy Funai gets everything he deserves.
Minami-ke 5-6: If, like me, you groan inwardly every time you hear the words ‘beach episode’, then you’ll be happy to learn that in this age where every anime cliché seems to have been done to death, it is still possible to find a good beach episode- and Minami-ke episode five is one such example. Never before has a visit to the beach been so entertaining, and in keeping with the standard set by the episode, the next instalment takes another worthy take on a tried and tested storyline. This time around, Chiaki’s classmate Makoto manages to annoy her so much that she refuses to invite him around anymore, forcing him to enlist Kana’s aid in posing as the female “Mako-chan” so that he can come to the Minami house and admire Haruka. If ever there was a worthy successor to Ichigo Mashimaro, this has repeatedly proven itself to be it.
Moyashimon 3-4: The influx of cute microbes continues in these two episodes, which begin by introducing a new female character who hates microbes and is obsessed with cleaning and antibacterial products, before moving onto detailed information about making sake (interesting if not especially useful). Next up is an episode which sees Sawaki and the other first years get started on their courses, and with their duties ranging from planting crops to getting up close and personal with the rear end of a cow, all I can say is that I’m glad I never wanted to study agriculture.
Oh my god, they misspelled its! I mean, oh my god, he has his hand in a cow!
Romeo X Juliet 22: The RxJ train is slowly pulling into the station as we get to the last few episode, and this time around the revolution that took so long to instigate grabs an amazingly easy victory against Montague, who pulls a number of amusing faces before being stabbed in the back (literally) by Mercutio. All that remains now is to get the series over with, really.
Saiunkoku Monogatari 25-6: My mixed feelings about SaiMono continue with these two episodes; it’s not that I don’t like what I’m seeing, but with each arc we seem to be going further and further away from the characters who were prominent early on, in favour of introducing yet more cast members- I miss the days when Kouyuu, Seiran, Shuuei and Ryuuki got more than snippets of screen time. Instead, this arc is more about Shuurei interacting with the new characters and learning the sad fact that idealism and hard work, which in principle should be enough to get along in life, is not enough to progress in the world of politics. Can Shuurei possibly learn the ways of tactics and manipulation, or will she retain her Achilles’ heel of naïveté? This is the kind of thing editorials are made from, so expect some random SaiMono thoughts to be thrown together in the near future.
Shion no Ou 3-4: Four episodes in, and it’s still clear that Shion no Ou isn’t entirely sure what it wants to be- one minute it’s in the middle of the murder mystery, with death threats, Shion regaining her memory and stereotypical policemen and reporters, and the next we’re in the middle of a shogi tournament with Shion facing our trap anti-hero. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it, it’s just slightly disconcerting watching what feels like two different series sandwiched together, whilst I have to admit that the shogi elements don’t grab me in the way that HnG’s Go and Akagi’s mah-jongg did.
Tenshi Nanka Janai 29: It seems as if the time has come to sort out all the relationship issues for the supporting characters so that the last couple of volumes can focus on the leads and their angst, and so this time around the Takigawa love triangle is pretty much resolved, whilst all other minor characters suddenly express romantic desires in each other that ensure that everyone will ultimately be paired up nicely. If there’s one thing you can count on with this series, it’s that generic shoujo is the name of the game- from start to finish.