Actually, this post has nothing to do with Easter- I was just too lazy to get it finished on Friday.
Reviewed this week: Aria the Origination 11, Clannad 20, Kaiji 23, Spice and Wolf 11-12, Tsubasa OVA 3, Zoku SZS 5
…and in manga: Hunter X Hunter 273, Minami-ke 22, Shion no Ou 13-16, Tsubasa 185
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Aria the Origination (1) – never give up
- Spice and Wolf (2) – wolves
- Kaiji (3) – ざわ, ざわ…
- Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (5) – I’m out of despair!
- Shigofumi (6) – Fumi+Mika=Fumika
- Persona Trinity Soul (7)- Mushi-Uta’s successor
- Shion no Ou (8) – Hani Meijin’s secret videos
- Minami-ke Okawari (9)- not quite the same
- Clannad (10) – drop kick
- Gunslinger Girl- Il teatrino (11)- Marco
- Mokke (12)- rainy season
Aria the Origination 11: Dear Aria, let me worship you and bask in your excellence forevermore, for once again but a single twenty-five minute episode has captured my heart. This week’s episode covers two themes- looking at the one who was promoted ahead (Alice) and her friend who was left behind (Aika). Akira knows that Aika is nearly ready to become a Prima, but at the same time she can’t help worrying that her protégée will have become demoralised by Alice’s promotion- although in fact, Aika feels inspired and energised by the progress of the “genius girl” Alice. Meanwhile, Alice’s new busy schedule has taken her away from her friends, but she feels she can’t just call them up for no reason- will Athena notice her growing loneliness? There are so many emotions and undertones in this episode, reminding me not only why I love this series so much, but developing Akira’s character in a way it never has been before. I want to see the triumphant conclusion and bask in its inevitable excellence, but at the same time I wish it would never end.
Clannad 20: I know I’m getting behind on Clannad, but bear with me- it’ll all be over soon enough anyway. Anyway, this episode sees Tomoya and Nagisa try to identify the story that Nagisa wants to turn into a play, but when it comes uncomfortably close to uncovering a skeleton in the Furukawa family closet, Akio decides to let Tomoya in on a secret. There’s a reasonable mix of drama and humour in this episode, but as always, the highlights for me are Sanae and Akio- I just love their character dynamic.
Kaiji 23: It’s a rather slow week for Kaiji, for whilst the tissue box raffle has at least made it into this season, it isn’t going anywhere fast. This instalment is basically all about Kaiji demonstrating to his generic allies how he plans to cheat at the tissue box raffle, whilst they help him refine his plan by pointing out the flaws in it. There’s something anticlimactic about the whole plan depending on cheating from the start- I suppose there’s some interest in the strategy of cheating, but it’s more enjoyable when a character is pushed to cheat after the game has begun, if they must do so at all.
“That would be nice- is it like those scuba diving holidays?”
Spice and Wolf 11-12: According to Duncan Bannatyne, an entrepreneur in debt is also one that’s in business, but obviously no one wants to remain in debt forever, and so it is that Lawrence decides to go for the riskiest venture ever- smuggling gold in the stomachs of Nora’s sheep. Unfortunately, when you choose to embark on such an endeavour, problems are bound to follow, with everything from treachery to wolves threatening to derail the entire plan. Will Lawrence and Horo emerge victorious by the end of the series? Can we viewers possibly continue in a world where no new Spice and Wolf is airing? The answers will be revealed soon enough.
*COMPLETE* Tsubasa Chronicle Tokyo Revelations 3: The Tsubasa OVA is now complete, and whilst it wasn’t anything special, it was at least leagues better than the TV series that preceded it (and only really hampered in content by the original manga). This episode sees Fai become a vampire and Sakura go off for her FFX-2 adventure, the latter of which seems to have been spiced up from the basic “Antlion battle” of the manga. There are some oddities, such as the random appearance of Card Captor Sakura towards the end, but overall this has been a solid adaptation- even though the manga becomes near-nonsensical from this point onwards, I wouldn’t mind more OVAs to continue the story in animated form.
No, you don’t have to- honestly, why do criminals always make these excuses?
Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 5: The lack of new episodes has left me in despair, but no longer, for episode five has appeared at long last. In this episode, the randomness seems back down to season one levels as our despairing sensei and his pupils plan how to divide everything into science, liberal arts and athletics, before discussing leftovers and how people only do favours in order to look good. It’s a solid episode overall, and another chance to despair and laugh at human nature.
Hunter X Hunter 273: What can I say this week that I haven’t said before? As always, the battles between minor characters creep ahead slowly, although at the end of this chapter Gon and Killua finally show up again. At this rate, Togashi may well pass on before this arc even finishes.
Minami-ke 22: Another short chapter, unsurprisingly, this time focusing on Kana trying to be nice to Chiaki in order to curb her violent responses. After the disappointment of Okawari, it’s nice to get back to the original source and experience the humour that made season one enjoyable.
Shion no Ou 13-16: Another four chapters of Shion no Ou bring us up to the start of the open tournament, and as before, it’s very much like the anime. If you’ve already watched these events, you probably won’t want to bother rereading them, unless of course you’re like me.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 185: Lest anyone take action too quickly, the team decides to experience another couple of cycles of their Groundhog Day-esque situation, complete with apples. It seems this isn’t even Groundhog Day but actually Groundhog Two Hours, with everyone falling asleep before the reset, and Kurogane complaining of pain in his artificial arm. Hopefully this is leading up to something.