Reviewed this week: Aria the Origination 2, Clannad 13, Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino 1, Kaiji 14, Mokke 7, Moyashimon 5-6, SaiMono II 32, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 10-12+Zoku 1, Shion no Ou 5-11, Spice and Wolf 2
…and in manga: Akagi 9, Chokotto Sister 49, Tsubasa 178-9
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Aria the Origination (2) – the Single life
- Spice and Wolf (8) –spicy wolves make for interesting chilli
- SaiMono II (4) – close those eyes!
- Kaiji (5) – ISHIDA!!!!!!!
- Moyashimon (10) – cute microbes
- Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (-) – more despair <- new!
- Sketchbook ~full color’S~ (12) – lots of cats
- Gunslinger Girl- Il teatrino (-)- why, god, why? <-new!
- Clannad (13) – Kotomi
- Shion no Ou (11) – tournament time
- Mokke (14)- magical cat
- Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (1) – I’m in despair! <-complete!
- Tetsuko no Tabi (2)- is this ever going to be subbed?
- Sisters of Wellber (3) – predictable but fun
- Himawari!! (4) – needs less plot
- Koutetsu Sangokushi (5) – pure HARD GAY
- Shounen Onmyouji (6)- mediocre
- Love GetChu! (7)- light entertainment
- Romeo X Juliet (8) – WOOD
Aria the Origination 2: I don’t know why (actually I have a good idea, but let’s not go there), but I never appreciated the healing properties of Aria as much as I did with this episode. This week, Akari’s services are requested by a customer, prompting much speculation from the others as to why anyone would choose a Single rather than the legendary Alicia. Worries aside, Akari goes ahead and does an excellent job on what is hopefully the first step towards to becoming a Prima at the end of the season. And if that wasn’t enough, you have President Aria’s ever-hilarious antics, but shame on him for eating all the doughnuts.
To be fair, he did offer Akari half of this last one.
Clannad 13: The childhood friend angle is pushed some more as Kotomi’s tragic past is revealed- her parents died in a plane crash, taking the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone some world-saving discovery with them. As a result, Kotomi grew up a little unbalanced, and now only her newfound friends can save her- Tomoya works tirelessly in the garden (as you do), whilst the girls buy her a violin for her birthday, only for it to get damaged in an accident. This violin-related accident is surely a blessing in disguise given Kotomi’s ability with the instrument, however. I want to parody this episode, but DS has already done such a good job that I can but link him instead.
Yes, and in space there are giant rubber ducks that orbit the centre of the galaxy.
*NEW* Gunslinger Girl- Il Teatrino 1: I love Gunslinger Girl with a good portion of my heart and soul, and I will always remember Madhouse’s top notch work on the first season- which is why I was already apprehensive at the news of cast, staff and studio changes- would Artland really be up to the job? And when any remaining optimism I had was blown away by the blogworld’s reaction to the first episode, I was reluctant to even watch this, but watch it I felt I must. Having prepared myself for the worst, the resulting experience was not as bad as I had feared, but it was still lacking in many things- gone is the impeccable visual style and atmosphere, replaced with a world where the cars are ugly, the budget is tight and the handlers look like they’re still attending high school. Where season one was gold tier, this is merely bronze.
Kaiji 14: Last time on Kaiji, Kaiji and his friends were walking across a long, narrow, electrified beam- and this week, they’re still there. Even so, and in spite of the setting, the series manages to remain GAR and MANLY as we delve into the depths of the human psyche- who needs a psychotherapist when an episode of Kaiji can go so quickly to the heart of your issues? Most memorable, however, must be the moment of Ishida’s silent death, which brought combined sadness and a feeling of “damn, Kaiji went to all the trouble of saving you for this?”.
“Help, my eyes are melting! Melting!”
Mokke 7: My enthusiasm for Mokke isn’t all that great these days, which is why I’ve only watched one more episode since last I spoke of it. This time around, Mizuki finds herself possessed by something that winds around her neck- could it be something to do with the scarf lost by a friend? This wasn’t a bad episode, it’s just that my appetite for average supernatural series has cooled in the face of other things to occupy my time.
Moyashimon 5-6: Hopefully I’ll have the rest of the series watched by next week, but for now all I’ve got through is this pair of episodes, which introduce a new character and plenty of new microbes. Aside from some indications that Tadayasu isn’t the only one with special microbe abilities, the series never really goes anywhere, but it’s still fun to accompany it.
Saiunkoku Monogatari II 32: SaiMono continues in the Dynasty Warriors theme this week, with named general battles, Shusui losing her free will and Shouka opening his eyes to reveal their evil redness . Meanwhile, Shuuei agonises over the length of his ‘sword’ and concludes that he isn’t fit to service his lovers- although Ryuuki feels otherwise.
“This is why I keep my eyes closed.”
Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 10-12 + Zoku SZS 1: The start of the second season made me realise that I should get my finger out and finish watching season one, and happily it proved more the same bleak, zany and largely amusing humour. I won’t deny that there are segments that fail to amuse me, but there are also plenty of good parts, such as the ‘guilt complex’ or blaming the failure of an adaptation on sticking too closely to the ‘original way’.
Season two kicks off with a fresh injection of cash for the animation budget, with the success of the first twelve episodes also making SHAFT feeling more comfortable in ramping up the zaniness. Whilst the new OP is all about the rumba (appropriately enough I watched it on the way to dance class), the first eight minutes of the episode were either epic or a total sweet potato dango-fest- was it the animators who were on drugs, or was there something hallucinogenic in the chocolate I had eaten before watching? We then moved onto material I was more familiar with from the manga, introducing ‘normal girl’ Nami and her amusing attempts to stand out in a class full of misfits, before the drugs took over again by the end.
Shion no Ou 5-11: When it’s just about the shogi, I enjoy Shion no Ou- tournaments about board games are my thing, after all, even when they are arranged by blonde bastards with dubious motives. Unfortunately, whenever the whole murder storyline rears its head again, it spoils the series for me- everything about it is just so forced and generic that all I can do is sigh and wait for it to get back to the shogi. Meanwhile, in other news, even ‘evil’ old Kamizono has turned out to have his own tragic past and medical condition, although it has to be said that his deceased lover Kyoko looks more like a man than a woman.
Oh, there’s no need to explain- everyone does it.
Spice and Wolf 2: I know I should write about what happened in this episode, but really all I want to do is fangirl about this series, because somehow it feels like the promised anime I was always waiting for (please ignore all the other times I have said this in the past, this time I mean it). The characters, the visuals, the atmosphere, the ambience and of course the content- I love it all, and I just want to watch more and more of Horo and Lawrence.
Akagi 9: So we’re finally at the end of volume one, and Akagi and Yagi are still at it, but to deflect attention from the fact that I don’t have much more to say about this manga than I did last week, I’ll just mention that the group scanlating this series are now set to start on Ten. This is excellent news, given that Ten obviously has no anime adaptation as yet, so watch this space for reviews on that series as well.
Chokotto Sister 49: Now that Haruma is spending all his time nursing the sick Konatsu, Choko can’t help feeling jealous- after all, isn’t she meant to be the main girl? Anyway, it seems that Yurika is ready to move the plot on a little, but that will have to wait until next chapter.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 178-9: Readers, bear with me for a moment whilst I indulge in such internet actions as lol, roflmao and pmsl…okay, you can come back now. You see, some time ago, we learned that Syaoran was a clone, then later on, we learned that Fai was actually the twin brother of the real Fai (deceased)- and in this chapter we learn that the Sakura we’ve known and disliked all this time is actually…a clone created by Fei Wong. See, you’re laughing at the ridiculousness of it all now too, aren’t you? Anyway, said clone has just been stabbed by one of the Syaorans, whilst Kyle has showed up again to take away the real Sakura (I think). Why, CLAMP, why?