Reviewed this week: Alice the Adventure 1, Allison and Lillia 6, Baccano 14, Chi’s Sweet Home 21-4, Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino 7, Himitsu 3, Itazura na Kiss 6, Kurenai 6, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 4, Mnemosyne 4, Nabari no Ou 6, Persona 7-8, Real Drive 4, Soul Eater 3-6, Toshokan Sensou 4-5, Wagaya no Oinari-sama 4-5, xxxHOLiC Kei 5
…and in manga: Claymore 79, Hunter X Hunter 279-80, Tsubasa 189
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Chi’s Sweet Home (2)- Chi goes to the vet
- Kurenai (3) – singing
- Kaiba (4) – memory chip
- Nabari no Ou (7) – ninjas are cool again
- xxxHOLiC Kei (5) – Kohane-chan
- Wagaya no Oinari-sama (6) –fox trap
- Real Drive (8) – a better orgasm
- Soul Eater (10) – Bones does shounen
- Persona Trinity Soul (12) – catch-up, start!
- Himitsu (9) – HARD GAY and siscon
- Toshokan Sensou (13) – library wars
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki (11) – disillusioned
- Itazura na Kiss (14) – everything at or below this line is generic
- Amatsuki (15) – the new Shounen Onmyouji
- Allison and Lillia (16) – yawn
- Shion no Ou (1) – demoted to slow
- Tetsuko no Tabi (2)- is this ever going to be subbed?
- Love GetChu! (5)- light entertainment
- Gunslinger Girl- Il teatrino (3)- licensed
- Himawari!! (4) – needs less plot
- Shounen Onmyouji (6)- end in sight?
*NEW* Alice the Adventure 1: I’ve finally got around to starting the Mahou Shoujotai OVA, consisting of six episodes (or rather twelve half episodes) that were meant to air with the TV series, but had to wait until DVD to see the light of day. In this first instalment, Alice, Eva and Sheila take a visit to a mobile library that travels between dimensions, but when Eva tries preparing a recipe from one of the books, the resulting spell transforms their heads into fish. Although the whole fish-head thing is a little creepy, this is an entertaining episode that only serves to remind me how much I loved the original series.
Allison and Lillia 6: Way back when, the first arc of Allison and Lillia seemed poorly plotted, but no longer, because the second arc is giving it a good run for its money. Having drugged Allison and Wil and thrown them into a cellar for being slightly suspicious, the villagers then sit back and do very little whilst our heroes escape, meet up with Benedict and recruit “Fiona” (aka Princess Francesca) to the active party. Then, for reasons which probably wouldn’t have been clear even if I was paying attention, everyone in the village decides to drop their grudge against the main characters, apologise for their harsh treatment of them and send them on their way. Yawn- next please.
Grandma: Mwahaha, these people seem slightly suspicious! Let’s invite them in for tea and then drug them. Here, have some herbal tea- the herbs are to disguise the drugs!
Allison: Thank you- I see nothing strange about this oddly bitter-tasting tea.
Allison and Wil wake up in a cellar.
Allison: Hmm, there’s an exit right above us- let’s go.
Allison and Wil leave the cellar.
Grandma: Sorry about that whole drugging you thing- it’s just our way of saying hello.
Allison: Don’t sweat it- it’s in the past.
*OVA* Baccano! 14: It’s been a while, but more of the fast-paced controlled chaos that is Baccano is always welcome. This time around, we see plenty of named characters playing dominoes, before moving onto a new psychopath who gives Ladd a run for his money is terms of sheer insanity. I’m still hoping for a second season set in one of the series’ other time periods, but for now this OVA helps me to remember why I enjoyed Baccano so much, even though I hardly ever know what’s going on.
Chi’s Sweet Home 21-4: No matter what other disappointments occur during the week, one thing you can always count on is the power of Chi’s Sweet Home to make it all better again. In this set of episodes, Dad takes Chi to the vet for a check-up, and as you might expect, she isn’t quick to forgive him once they get home again. How many times can I fangirl over the greatness of this series without sounding repetitive, yet what else can I say when it’s so cute and entertaining?
Gunslinger Girl- Il Teatrino 7: It’s been ages since I last saw an episode of Il Teatrino, and since it was a series I didn’t much care for in the first place, the long hiatus doesn’t help. This episode delves into Franca’s past whilst also seeing her get captured in the present, and somehow fails to make it at all interesting at the same time. How have Artland sucked all the life out of what was once such a great manga? Now that FUNi have licensed the series, will anyone actually buy it? These are the mysteries of the week.
Himitsu 3: Even I wasn’t expecting the turn the episode took this week, as the writers strove to prevent me parodying the undertones in the series by making them explicit. As far as the President Reed case goes, a little more digging into his memories reveals that not only was his daughter’s boyfriend a terrorist, but that the President had HARD GAY feelings for him. Meanwhile, Maki is revealed to have killed his best friend and probable HARD GAY lover in the past, whilst Aoki moves out of his parents’ home in order to escape the illicit feelings he holds for his sister. I’m not making this up, really!
Itazura na Kiss 6: It’s another average episode of romantic comedy this week, as Irie prepares for his entrance exams whilst Kotoko tries to sweeten him up with some Valentine’s chocolate. It’s largely standard stuff, although the end of the episode does mark an important progression in the relationship between our leads.
Kurenai 6: It’s time for a break from the plot this week, as Shinkurou and the named characters all get roped into practising a play for an upcoming festival. Cue immense amounts of singing, amusing character interplay and the realisation that I absolutely need Yamie’s skirt. Yes, it’s fairly pointless overall, but at least it’s fun in the process.
Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 4: It’s back to craziness and Excel Saga-style insanity this week on Kyouran Kazoku Nikki as Kyouka-sama starts planning her honeymoon. There are some amusing parts, but it’s mixed up with the white noise of generic craziness, something I feel I’ve probably had enough of with the likes of Pani Poni Dash. If push comes to shove, I wouldn’t mind putting this series on hold, but whilst I have the time to watch it I’ll keep with it.
Mnemosyne 4: I still don’t really know what the whole point of Mnemosyne is, and with only two episodes to go after this one, I doubt we’ll ever find out. Anyway, this time around we jump ahead to 2025, where Maeda’s son runs into a little trouble when a girl from virtual reality somehow shows up on his doorstep and promptly gets murdered. Enter Rin, Mimi, the obligatory gratuity and a plot that doesn’t make a great deal of sense, and there you have it- another episode of Mnemosyne. In truth, this instalment wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t particularly good either, although the character designs remain worthy and there was nice piece of background music that I absolutely must acquire somehow.
Nabari no Ou 6: Rokujou has just been abducted by Yoite, but his captor has a strange request- he wants our lead to use his powers to erase him from existence. Since the other option is to let Yoite use his powers to kill all his friends, Rokujou agress to go along with it. I’m amazingly happy to see Yoite become more than a generic invincible bad guy, whilst this week I find myself appreciating the watercolour style backgrounds.
Persona Trinity Soul 7-8: Yes, I’ve progressed as far as watching two more episodes of this, in which our main characters first head off for an obligatory beach/inn episode, before returning to school in time to meet a new transfer student whose arrival coincides with some bizarre “twisting” at the school. Although the soundtrack of this series really makes me want to go and play some video games, the rest is generally average.
Real Drive 4: It’s time for some more explanation about the nature of the Meta-Real, and as it turns out, it’s a virtual reality that was created to allow humans to experience better sex. With that in mind, Haru is asked to rescue a pervert who was using a female avatar to enjoy multiple orgasms in virtual reality, but can he navigate the man’s powerful whirlpool of desires? This isn’t really what I was expecting from the series, but I suppose it fits in with human nature.
Soul Eater 3-6: Whilst episode three concludes the prologue by introducing us to ‘Death the Kid’, the obsessive compulsive son of the Grim Reaper and his two weapons Liz and Patty, the next three episodes forge ahead with the story. First up, Soul, Maka, Tsubaki and Black Star face investigate a zombie created from their former teacher, leading them to the home of one Doctor Franken Stein, a mad scientist. After that, Kid decides to enrol in the Shibusen school, causing Soul and Black Star to decide to pick a fight with him. This is the shounen series I always wanted, one that’s slick and stylish, but knows not to take itself too seriously.
Toshokan Sensou 4-5: Having left us on a cliff-hanger at the end of episode three, the fourth instalment of Toshokan Sensou sees Kasahara end up in the middle of a hostage situation- albeit one that is resolved rather easily over the course of the episode and doesn’t seem to have much bearing on anything. Next up we have the obligatory parental visit episode, with Kasahara desperate to keep secret the fact that she’s more than a simple librarian. Although mildly entertaining, this episode is also predictable to the point of being painful, but still I feel an odd desire to watch more.
Wagaya no Oinari-sama 4-5: It’s time for more light supernatural entertainment with the next two episode of Oinari-sama, and while it isn’t the greatest thing ever, it is nice to have the next Tactics/Shrine of the Morning Mist here at last. In episode four, Kou’s painful attempts to help out at home are beginning to get her down, but can she prove her worth when a supernatural being threatens Tohru? Next up, Kuu-chan decides to perform a ceremony that will let Tohru meet his mother’s spirit- but the catch is that such an act is strictly forbidden, and it seems certain that Ebisu will be along to claim a price.
xxxHOLiC Kei 5: It’s time for xxxHOLiC Kei to move onto the next arc with this episode, which properly introduces Kohane-chan, the tragic spirit medium girl with an ‘evil’ mother. Kohane features prominently in the manga from hereon in, so whilst this may just seem like a basic character introduction episode, it’s laying the groundwork for what’s to come (including some headache inducing revelations almost as bad as those in Tsubasa).
Claymore 79: There are important revelations in this chapter of Claymore, as we learn that the world of the series is actually just a small island in a larger continent on which a war has been raging for generations- and Awakened Ones are just experimental soldiers being tested for that war. I’m not usually a fan of revelations like these since it means that the original premise has run out of steam, but I’ll stick around for now.
Hunter X Hunter 279-80: Yawn, who cares anymore? There’s more fighting between minor characters, and Knuckle falling into his opponent’s trap- and that’s it, because the series is going on hiatus again. This arc has bitterly disappointed me, and I just want to see the series end now.
Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle 189: Everyone, are you ready for the latest revelation to be thrown into the pot? This week, we discover that Syaoran-Tsubasa is actually the son of Sakura and Syaoran from CCS, and that in return for giving Yuuko her baton, Sakura paid for Syaoran to travel from Japan to Clow Country, in order to meet Sakura-Tsubasa. Don’t ask me why, we haven’t got to that just yet.