Reviewed this week: Allison and Lillia 3, Chi’s Sweet Home 9-12, Himitsu 1, Itazura na Kiss 2-3, Kaiba 1, Kaiji 26, Kurenai 3, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 2, Mnemosyne 3, Real Drive 1, Shion no Ou 19, Soul Eater 1-2, Wagaya no Oinari-sama 2, xxxHOLiC Kei 2-3, Zoku SZS 11
…and in manga: Chi’s Sweet Home 2-41, Roman Club 1-2, Tsubasa Chronicle 188
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Kaiba (-) – memory chip <-new!
- Kaiji (1) – ざわ, ざわ… <-complete!
- Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (2) – the state of modern society has left me in despair!
- Chi’s Sweet Home (3)- Chi
- Kurenai (4) – Murasaki
- Wagaya no Oinari-sama (5) –fox trap
- Real Drive (-) –Meta-Real <-new!
- xxxHOLiC Kei (6) – wow, it’s actually good
- Himitsu (-) – a trifle problem? <-new!
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki (7) – family frenzy
- Amatsuki (8) – the new Tactics/Shounen Onmyouji
- Soul Eater (-) Bones does shounen <- new!
- Persona Trinity Soul (9)- I really should catch up with this
- Shion no Ou (10) – Hani Meijin
- Allison and Lillia (11) – a bit disappointing
- Itazura na Kiss (12) generic so far
- Tower of Druaga (13) – don’t lose the humour! <- no time for this
Allison and Lillia 3: Even though it’s still a middling series at best, I’m slightly warming to Allison and Lillia, with this week seeing Allison and Wil breaking into the enemy stronghold to rescue the old man- all in pursuit of a generic ‘treasure’ I don’t really care much about. It doesn’t seem that this series can raise itself much beyond light entertainment, but for now it’s solid enough (and yes, I’ve said that about many series right before dropping them, so it’s still touch and go).
Chi’s Sweet Home 9-12: The week is made all the better for Chi’s cute antics, with these four episodes proving that the anime is staying largely faithful to the manga whilst adding just enough spice to make it worth following both (not that I don’t love Chi enough to do so anyway). In these four segments, we see Chi finally get the hang of the litter tray (although I feel sad that she’s lost her ‘playbox’ now), before the family try to re-home her- only to realise that fate, destiny and the power of the story want her to stay with them.
*NEW* Himitsu- the Revelation 1: The first of many new series to be covered this week, Himitsu takes us to a world where technology enables named characters to dive into the brains of the deceased- a rather invasive process, to be sure, but one that enables them to solve murders. Our first case involves a man who wants to keep the secrets hidden in his wife’s brain, but when the truth comes out, a sorry love tangle is found. Provided it doesn’t do a Shigofumi, this should make for a good episodic series, although there do seem to be hints of HARD GAY between the two main characters.
Itazura na Kiss 2-3: Desperate to make Irie notice her, Kotoko decides to study extra hard for exams so that she can get into the top fifty- a first for any Class F student. As it turns out, Irie is roped into tutoring her, and for a moment it seems that he might soften- at least until an unknown party publicly reveals that they are living together. Then it’s all rivalry again as the classes compete against each other on Sports Day- the one event where Class F usually shines. Yes, it’s still generic light entertainment, but I’m sticking with it for the ‘after marriage’ part of the story.
*NEW* Kaiba 1: With all the raving over this, I was prepared not to like Kaiba, but for once I’m with the intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals- the series is great, if a little reminiscent of the infamous Dead Leaves. Anyway, beneath the simplistic yet oddly adorable character designs, Kaiba is beginning to unravel the tale of a world where memories are stored in conical chips for transfer between bodies- where disembodied personalities await their own flesh and ‘non-contributors’ can be deleted at will. This is the sci-fi world I’ve been waiting to visit, and I look forward to spending more time in it.
As good a reason as any to delete someone.
*COMPLETE* Kaiji 26: Kaiji has finally come to an end, and what a gory end it is, for in his attempts to play the chairman, Kaiji finds himself played- and the price he must play is all four of his digits. Having obeyed narrative convention throughout, I was surprised to see Kaiji fall flat on his face in the final episode (especially given the consequences), but I’m also glad that the ‘easy win through cheating’ didn’t pan out as Kaiji intended. Now, if only there was a second season to continue the story…
“Haven’t you watched any Disney films?”
Kurenai 3: Even though there was a strong element of harem-building in this episode of Kurenai, that doesn’t mean the series is beginning to disappoint- because against all expectations, I love Murasaki (in a completely legal, platonic fashion). Her exploits at school and the crossed wires with Shintaro were hilarious, whilst the later interaction between the two was worth the price of admission alone- is it better to stand up for what’s right, or just not rock the boat too much?
Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 2: Episode one may have set the tone for comedy, but this week KKN injects something a little more serious in between the zaniness. It’s shakedown time for the new ‘family’, but for Yuuka, all is not well- her nervousness has earned the scorn and ridicule of her classmates. Even though this part of the story is (temporarily) resolved in a suitably crazy way, it does serve to inject a tone of poignancy into the proceedings, and although I’ve read spoilers regarding the actions of the Suigintou-like character who appears at the end, it will be interesting to see where this series goes next.
Mnemosyne 3: I actually watched this last week, but for some reason even sitting through 45 minutes of Mnemosyne wasn’t enough to remind me to write about it. Anyway, I’d like to recount what happened in this episode, but aside from noting that time has jumped ahead to 2011, I’ve completely lost what vestiges of the plot I had (did I really praise this series so much in episode one?). I must, however, comment on a rather uncomfortable and completely gratuitous HARD YURI scene with Mimi- yes, I know she’s immortal and older than she looks, but that hardly made it a welcome interlude.
*NEW* Real Drive 1: In the spring preview, I was really looking forward to Real Drive, but after episode one I have to admit I have only the barest grasp of what’s going on- yes, there’s a Meta Reality, a guy who was in a coma for fifty years and various other things, but so far it doesn’t make a great deal of sense. Could this be the Ergo Proxy of 2008? Will I ever actually finish watching Ergo Proxy?
Shion no Ou 19: At long last there’s another episode of Shion no Ou to watch, and as we all surmised, Hani Meijin seems to be the killer (although his motive remains unclear). By this point, of course, the once hateful Satoru is now a sympathetic character, and if he can rescue Ayumi from the HARD GAY clutches of his brother, they might have a chance of exposing the culprit, Poirot-style, by episode 22.
*NEW* Soul Eater 1-2: I hadn’t really wondered what it would be like if Studio Bones attempted an SJ-style Shaman King/Bleach fusion, but as it turns out, Soul Eater is pretty much the result. A series about weapons masters trying to turn their living weapons into certified Deathscythes, Soul Eater has thus far saved itself from shounen mediocrity by having a sense of humour and solid production values. Each episode here focuses on a different pairing, with episode three also set to introduce further new characters, and aside from the predictably of our leads failing at the last hurdle and having to collect 99 more souls in the episodes to come, it has been a generally enjoyable experience.
Wagaya no Oinari-sama 2: Kuu-chan has come home to live with the boys, but if s/he wants to use her full power, she’ll have to seek out the local god first. As well as a chance to get a proper look at male Kuu in action, this episode is another entertaining slice of supernatural action, cementing the series’ place as Shrine of the Morning Mist’s spiritual successor.
xxxHOLiC Kei 2-3: To my surprise, I’m still enjoying xxxHOLiC Kei, perhaps because a) it’s just good to see these manga chapters animated and b) this part of the series has some ongoing threads instead of being entirely episodic. These two episodes pretty much wrap up the Watanuki’s eye arc, which means we’ve got the thunder god, the truth about Himawari and the spirit medium girl (already seen on TV in episode one) to come- and after that I need to catch up on the manga so I know what’s coming.
Zoku Sayonara Sensei 11: In true ZSZ style, the first two segments of this episode take us to an alternate universe- one where Sensei is a detective who only solves his cases after everyone has been murdered. Even though I usually prefer the ‘real world’ segments, this one was highly entertaining, whilst the last part about wishes coming true in the next life was also amusing. Even so, the impending end of the series has left me in despair!
*CATCH-UP* Chi’s Sweet Home 2-41: After reading so many chapters of Chi’s Sweet Home, I can only say that I love it even more- the cuteness levels are off the scale, and every little vignette of Chi’s life is a joy to read about. From one-off escapades to ongoing threads such as the mysterious giant black cat who Chi befriends, this series is nothing short of delightful, and has fast become one of my favourites.
*NEW* Roman Club 1-2: Since I love Aria so much, I’ve been wanting to read Kozue Amano’s earlier works, and at long last the first two chapters of Roman Club have been made available. Set in a contemporary high school, the titular Roman Club is an after-school club which investigates strange phenomena. So far, we’ve met the four members- main character Katori who possesses second sight, club leader Ayano Kouji (who later appeared as Woody in Aria), stone spirit and all-round cute fairy Koron-chan and quiet girl Tsukuyo. The artwork is a bit rough around the edges when compared to Aria, but it’s still proving to be an entertaining series thus far, and I look forward to reading the rest of it.
Tsubasa Chronicle 188: We’ve finally reached the ruins, a place where time has stopped completely, and I’m more confused than ever- apparently Syaoran had to pay Yuuko by having his time turned back from adult to child some years ago, all so that he could save Sakura at some point in the past. Aagh, I think my head is going to explode- someone draw a timeline for me that shows me how it all makes sense.