Weekly Round-Up: May 23rd

Reviewed this week: Allison and Lillia 7, Amatsuki 5, Baccano! 15, Chi’s Sweet Home 25-8, Himawari!! 4, Itazura na Kiss 7, Kurenai 7, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 5, Nabari no Ou 5, Persona Trinity Soul 9, Toshokan Sensou 6, Wagaya no Oinari-sama 6, xxxHOLiC Kei 6

…and in manga: Akagi 12-13, Elfen Lied 85, xxxHOLiC 121-57

OH

ANIME

CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS

  1. Chi’s Sweet Home (1)- Chi scratches
  2. Kurenai (2) – singing
  3. Kaiba (3) – memory chip
  4. Nabari no Ou (4) – ninjas are cool again
  5. xxxHOLiC Kei (5) – Kohane-chan
  6. Wagaya no Oinari-sama (6) – fox trap
  7. Real Drive (7) – a better orgasm
  8. Soul Eater (8) – Bones does shounen
  9. Persona Trinity Soul (9) – catch-up, start!
  10. Himitsu (10) – HARD GAY and siscon
  11. Toshokan Sensou (11) – library wars
  12. Kyouran Kazoku Nikki (12) – disillusioned
  13. Itazura na Kiss (13) – everything at or below this line is generic
  14. Amatsuki (14) – the new Shounen Onmyouji
  15. Allison and Lillia (15) – yawn

SLOW RANKINGS

  1. Shion no Ou (1) – demoted to slow
  2. Tetsuko no Tabi (2)- is this ever going to be subbed?
  3. Love GetChu! (3)- light entertainment
  4. Himawari!! (5) – needs less plot
  5. Gunslinger Girl- Il teatrino (4)- licensed
  6. Shounen Onmyouji (6)- end in sight?

ANIME

Allison and Lillia 7: Even by A&L standards, this week’s episode is a particularly pointless instalment, in which our heroes steal a plane (not that they particularly needed to) and spend the entire episode flying to the capital so that Fiona can claim she’s the princess- even though she isn’t really the princess. Meanwhile, the Benedict X Fiona angle is predictably played upon, and next week some people question whether this random girl who has just shown up is really the princess she claims to be! How dare they!?

Benedict: I have to tell you the truth…I’m actually a woman!

(second half of sentence may not have appeared in actual episode).

Amatsuki 5: Another episode of Amatsuki comes and goes without too much fanfare, as the Princess reincarnates into her reverse trap body, Kuchiha has some flashbacks about the past, and some other stuff happens that I can’t even remember a mere day after watching it. Even the villains don’t seem to be taking their role seriously, so I’m not really sure how or even if I’m expected to.

Baccano! 15: The Baccano! OVA continues to improve in this episode, in which we get some insight into Nice and Jacuzzi’s past (including how she lost the sight in one eye), before flashing forward to just after the Flying Pussyfoot incident. Jacuzzi’s gang has taken in Chane, but when she gets kidnapped by the new character (who has mistaken her for Eve Genoard), Jacuzzi rises from his hospital bed to get her back- because that’s what friends do. It was actually refreshingly different to be able to follow what was going on for once, although that didn’t diminish the quality at all.

Boys and girls, this is why we have goggles.

Chi’s Sweet Home 25-8: When Chi starts scratching the sofa and Dad’s vintage jeans, the family decides something must be done, but in typical fashion she doesn’t understand what her newly-purchased scratching post is for. In the end, the family is forced to clip her claws, which I don’t really like to see done to cats, but other than that quibble, this is as entertaining as ever.

Himawari!! 4: Another episode of Himawari!!, another monster of the week, and this time around it’s Himeji who’s targeted- by a group of micro-ninjas. With the ninjas invading her body, it’s time for a Fantastic Voyage style trip into her body to fight them off- a story that, if not particularly good or inspiring, is at least better than the last few instalments.

Itazura na Kiss 7: It’s not like I’ve really liked Irie up to this point, but in this episode he really crosses the line- which is a shame as the series was finally ready to graduate from high school romance to, well, college romance. Anyway, trouble starts when Classes A and F end up having their graduation dinner at the same restaurant; naturally this leads to Irie insulting Kotoko in front of his classmates and Kotoko responding by showing everyone the photos of young Irie dressed as a girl. Anyway, the upshot of it all is that Kotoko finally seems to realise that Irie is a bastard who isn’t worth wasting time on, but in a manipulative turn of events, he decides to make it harder to forget him by kissing her. Kotoko, defy the story and leave him! Find a decent guy!

Kurenai 7: Each week, Kurenai brings me more reasons to love it, and this instalment was no exception. Whilst Shinkurou is away, Tamaki decides to show Murasaki a little more of the outside world by taking her into college; a place where Tamaki is well established as a man-eater who scorns women who are desperate to hang onto their boyfriends. After getting dumped by her latest conquest, however, even Tamaki has to admit that she is no different from those women. In the midst of all this, we have an interesting range of both amusing and poignant dialogue, before moving onto a flashback about Murasaki’s mother and the revelation that an ally of the Kuhouin family has finally tracked down our diminutive heroine. I’m not sure if I’m ready for this turn of events (especially if it means we have some Seirei no Moribito-esuqe Eight Evil Men coming after her), but I’ll place my trust in the series not to let me down.

Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 5: It’s finally time for the honeymoon, but after the obligatory family beach scenes, a troupe of evil monkeys attacks the hotel and abducts Yuuka. It’s clear the series isn’t going to live up to my early expectations for a worthy crazy comedy that could break the mould, but at least it’s watchable enough for now.

The Hakuoro look is back in this summer.

Nabari no Ou 7: We’re ready to move ahead into the next section of the story with this episode, as the head of another village approaches our heroes and offers to give them the scroll they need if they’ll just assassinate an evil CEO named Mr Frosty (no, not the crushed ice maker). And if that wasn’t a good enough deal for them, she also has a special ability that lets her read minds and expose people’s darkest secrets. Despite the lack of action, this is a worthy and indeed interesting episode, although I have a hard time believing that our heroes will actually be able to kill Mr Frosty when it comes down to it.

Persona Trinity Soul 9: Jun gets to go out with an older woman in this episode, which otherwise doesn’t see a great deal happen beyond the revelation that Jun actually has transplanted tissue from his sister’s brain, explaining his alternate personality in the way that only anime can. Still, I must forge ahead if I’m ever to catch up with and then finish this series.

Toshokan Sensou 6: When this episode started with Komaki and Kasahara in the middle of a face-off with the Media corp, I wondered if I’d missed something as the last episode certainly hadn’t ended on a cliff-hanger. Fortunately, a cut to flashback reassured me that I wasn’t going mad, and that our heroes were trying to protect the Book of Prophecy, a banned tale of a society in which books are banned (possibly Fahrenheit 451). Unfortunately, it all got a bit messy as the current story was blended with a flashback to one of Dojo and Komaki’s early missions, with the result being a ‘decent enough but nothing special’ episode.

Wagaya no Oinari-sama 6: I’ve revised my expectations for the series down once again- it’s now firmly in the light entertainment category that housed MagiPoka, Himawari! season one and its ilk. Anyway, this episode takes more of a harem slant on the series, with Misaki worrying so much about Kou and Kuu living with her beloved Noboru that she decides to invite herself over to his house. Cue speeches about friendship, cooking disasters and various other anime staples, all presented in a generally entertaining but occasionally painful format (how many times do we have to see Kou and Kuu breaking things?).

xxxHOLiC Kei 6: Although the series somehow manages to make an entire episode out of mahjongg this time around, I don’t mind- after all, I did watch and enjoy Akagi. It’s all pretty predictable stuff, with Yuuko, Mokona and Doumeki completely thrashing the beginner Watanuki, but it’s still entertaining enough. Meanwhile, next episode’s water gathering was originally for the sake of the Tsubasa X world, but I hear the Tsubasa connection has been removed for the anime.

MANGA

Akagi 12-13: Well, the first arc is finally over, but Akagi is ready to plan for his second match- provided that the wager is high enough to hold his interest. After writing such a long post about Kaiji and his character, it’s interesting to go back and consider Akagi once again, a man who can win by abandoning his fear of death and putting everything on the line where others would be too afraid.

Elfen Lied 85: A surprisingly long 95 page chapter this time around, in which we get a glimpse into Lucy’s past, and how she befriended a girl, only to watch her get killed when the authorities came hunting for Diclonii (hmm, who would have guessed?). Meanwhile, in the present Nana’s “Papa” has become a little unhinged after the death of Mariko, the villains continue plotting and everyone moves into Yuka’s mother’s place (I think), although she has an instinctive mistrust of poor Nana. It’s all par for the course, really.

*CATCH-UP* xxxHOLiC 121-57: Cheer, everyone, for after many months of hiatus, I have finally caught up with xxxHOLiC, and apart from a little too much crossover with Tsubasa, it remains good. The artwork is as stylish and high contrast as ever, whilst the number of stand-alone stories has drastically reduced in favour of storylines about Watanuki’s lost memories, his link with Syaoran, and the spirit medium Kohane. Dare I say that I actually enjoy reading it, which is more than can be said for Tsubasa these days.

4 thoughts on “Weekly Round-Up: May 23rd

  1. “Mr Frosty (no, not the crushed ice maker).”

    I thought his name was familiar, I never did get one of those for Xmas 🙁

  2. I agree with you on Chii´s sweet home. Poor Chi 🙁

    And finally Wagaya 06!! I want to see some sweet Kuu again. Female form that is… male for sure he looks though but bah, female form is way better 🙂

  3. Necromancer: Me neither, and I always wanted one 🙁 But then I looked it up on Amazon as part of my ‘research’ for this post and it looks really cheap and crappy so we were probably better off without it *remembers how much I wanted an Etch-a-Sketch until I got one and it was really hard to draw anything*

    manga: I like both forms but luckily for you she’s been mostly female so far .

  4. I was always pretty handy with an Etch-a-Sketch, although it certainly wasn’t something you could draw the Mona Lisa with. :p Anyway, I digress…

    Nabari no Ou has been a real shifting sand in quality terms, from a bit dull to full-on awesome moving from one episode to the next. I hope a point comes where all the slower build-up episodes become less necessary and they just stick to the good stuff, when it works as a series it really works well.

    I’m pretty sure there’s a reason for Kuu using her female form most of the time, and that reason is: demographics. :p

    Otherwise, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki has become decidedly average, and I’d better not even start on Allison to Lillia or I’ll be here all night…

    Oh, and Kurenai is absolutely brilliant week in, week out, lest we forget.

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