Reviewed this week: Aria the Origination 13, Chi’s Sweet Home 1-4, Clannad 23, Clannad the movie, Mokke 24+special, Shigofumi 12, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s 1
…and in manga: Chokotto Sister 51, Gunslinger Girl 33-50, Nodame 109-113, Someday’s Dreamers ~Summer Skies~ 1, Tsubasa 186, Yotsuba&! 54
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Aria the Origination (1) – Prima <-complete!
- Kaiji (3) – ざわ, ざわ…
- Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (4) – I’m out of despair!
- Shigofumi (5) – Fumi+Mika=Fumika <-complete!
- Persona Trinity Soul (6)- Mushi-Uta’s successor
- Shion no Ou (7) – Hani Meijin’s secret videos
- Chi’s Sweet Home (-)- cute kitty <- new!
- Clannad (8) – Mei <- complete!
- Mokke (9)- GRANDMA!!!! <-complete
- Minami-ke Okawari (10)- not quite the same <-complete!
- Gunslinger Girl- Il teatrino (11)- Marco
*COMPLETE* Aria the Origination 13: Oh noes, the end of Aria is here- I want to cry MANLY and UNMANLY tears because now it’s all over. Even worse, this episode sees Alicia retiring- why couldn’t she have stayed on just a little longer? Even though the ending was generally positive (and complete with a nice little anime-only addition), seeing Alicia go was just too sad. Still, I love and adore Aria beyond all measure- I think Origination may be my new favourite anime of all time.
*NEW* Chi’s Sweet Home 1-4: When it comes to kicking off a new season, what could be better than a daily dose of cute kitty antics? At three minutes per episode (including OP), Chi’s Sweet Home slowly tells the tale of Chi, a kitten who gets separated from her mother and ends up getting taken in by a family. Every episode offers a little vignette into Chi’s new life, from being given a bath to getting easily distracted despite her intentions to go home to mother.
*EXTRA* Clannad 23: In this extra episode, Mei comes to visit Sunohara, leading to various mildly entertaining antics and an amusing section in which Tomoya imagines Sunohara X Mei and Sunohara X Tomoya pairings.
Clannad- the movie: If KyoAni’s TV series didn’t sate your appetite, then you can find some additional nourishment from Toei’s “big eyes” movie. A retelling of the story, the movie fortunately focuses more on Nagisa without the distractions of the other girls, but whilst that and the continuation into the after story are refreshing, Tomoya seems less likable and Sunohara more extreme, ensuring that overall this is nothing special.
*COMPLETE* Mokke 24+Special: For various reasons that will become apparent as you read on, I’m actually going to talk about the special episode first, which takes place four years prior to the main series. It’s a rather uneventful episode even by Mokke standards, with Shizuru getting angry because Mizuki is so excited about a visit from their mother that she pays little attention to their sick grandmother.
Meanwhile, episode 24 is perhaps the most heartfelt episode of the series, featuring nothing less than Grandma’s death. There’s something about the death of a grandparent that really gets to me, so this was a bit of a tearjerker, in that a less stony-hearted person than I might have cried.
*COMPLETE* Shigofumi 12: Well, Shigofumi is over, and I can’t help feeling a little let down by it all. The series started well, but ultimately it ended with a fizzle rather than a bang as Fumi-chan mopes about in real life and Mika seemingly disappears, only to show up as a mail carrier at the end. If only the whole Fumi/Mika back story could have been covered in an OVA or movie, leaving this main series to focus on the more interesting one-off stories.
*MASOCHISTIC MADNESS* Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s 1: Yu-Gi-Oh is, like, awesome, people, I mean it’s totally rad! I love card games! Or, to be more accurate, I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity to watch something that could be more laughably ridiculous and awful than playing card games on motorcycles. Anyway, I have no idea how many episodes of this I’ll bother to watch, but let’s make it all worthwhile with a short parody of the episode.
Narrator: Welcome to the future, where an entire city is in ruins but everyone has time to come and watch kids on motorcycles play card games! We even have a “Duel King” Jack Atlus- I’d say he’s the one with the stupid hair, but everyone here has stupid hair.
The Duel King and various other players, including our Destined Lead, get on their motorcycles and play cards. Unfortunately, he loses and has to go home to his house of poverty, where various generic mechanics fix his motorcycle.
Lead: Why did I lose? I should have Destiny!
Little Girl: Here, I found this random computer chip that will go in your motorcycle and give you Destined Powers!
Lead: Thanks! I think I’ll go and get a job, er, I mean play card games!
Lead heads out, but he gets stopped by two security guards.
Security Guard: I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to pull you over for speeding.
Lead: You can’t do anything to me- I play card games!
Security Guard: What a surprise- I play card games too! Let’s settle this with a duel!
Security Guard #2: Uh, sir, shouldn’t we just take him down to the station or give him a fine?
Security Guard: Silence! Real men settle things with card games!
Lead and Security Guard get on their motorcycles and somehow create a virtual reality field to duel in.
Security Guard: I summon an ugly monster!
Lead: I summon a different ugly monster!
Security Guard: Fool- that monster is weaker than mine!
Lead: Yes, but it has a special effect that makes it stronger when it attacks”
Guard: Damn! But this monster also has a special effect- it can come back from the dead!
A couple more turns are played, and then…
Guard: Gwakaka! I summon a special dragon with 3000 attack points!
Lead: This looks bad, but I have destiny on my side! I summon some weird special power-up that creates my own powerful monster! And it has enough attack power to defeat your dragon!
Guard: Damn you! Who’d have thought I, a mere generic character of the week, would lose to the lead?
Lead: Who cares about you? I must defeat Jack!
To be continued…?
Chokotto Sister 51: Volume seven begins with Choko going over to Yurika’s house for a sleepover, whilst Chitose continues to angst over her feelings with Haruma. With the series drawing towards its close, I suppose it might not be too much to ask for some sort of relationship to develop somewhere.
Gunslinger Girl 33-50: I’ll post a dedicated review for these few volumes of Gunslinger Girl in due course, but for now all I need to stress is how awesome these few volumes are. Although the focus is mainly on new characters Alessandro and Petrushka, it doesn’t feel like the usual “running out of material so we’d better introduce new faces” cop out, because their character dynamic reveals a new aspect of the handler-cyborg relationship. And even if they aren’t featuring as prominently before, there are some powerful scenes involving Angelica, Claes, Triela and Henrietta- even if Jose/Giuse/Giuseppe now looks like his Il Teatrino self.
Nodame Cantabile 109-113: Whilst Mine comes over to support Kiyora, she is busy preparing for her competition- as are Tanya and Yun Long. Is this the last chance for them to prove themselves in the world of music- and if they fail, what direction will they take? It’s actually a nice change to focus on supporting characters instead of Chiaki and Nodame for a little while, although it does seem like this series could go on forever.
*NEW* Someday’s Dreamers ~Summer Skies~ 1: A new Someday’s Dreamers series has begun, and from this first chapter, it seems like this will be another worthy outing. Sora is a young mage who is about to head off for her mage training, but before that, will she confess to the boy she likes- or will she hold back out of respect for her friend’s feelings for him? Will the romance aspect even have much effect when Sora is going away? Will she meet a new man in Tokyo? Keep reading to find out.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 186: It would have been perversely amusing if the Groundhog Day chapters had gone on forever, but now everyone in town is melting away thanks to the changes Syaoran and friends have introduced. And it seems that this time period is actually right before Sakura’s seventh birthday- will they be able to change anything by going to see her?
Yotsuba&! 54: A new arc begins in this chapter, as Yotsuba and friends go to a festival. This time around, Yotsuba gets to look around and play on the taiko drum, but there’s plenty more to fill the next few chapters. Of course, I’m still waiting for the Yotsuba at school arc to begin, because I have high hopes for it.