“I’ve heard this joke before.”
Reviewed this week: Antique Bakery 5, Chi’s Sweet Home 69-76, Chocolate Underground 5, Detroit Metal City 1, Hidamari Sketch x365 7, Itazura na Kiss 19, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 14-15, Natsume Yuujinchou 7, Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu 6, Ryoko’s Case File 6, Telepathy Shoujo Ran 8
…and in manga: Elfen Lied 102-4, Tsubasa 197, xxxHOLiC 163
CURRENT SERIES RANKINGS
- Chi’s Sweet Home (1)- cuteness overload
- Hidamari Sketch x365 (3) – 365 times the fun
- Soul Eater (4) – vectors
- Natsume Yuujinchou (6) – Nyanko-sensei forever!
- Xam’d- Lost Memories (5) – what’s going on?
- Detroit Metal City (12) – I’m gonna f***ing raep you!
- Wagaya no Oinari-sama (7) – pure white oni
- Nabari no Ou (8) – tranquil aid to meditation
- Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu (10) – Comiket
- Slayers Revolution (9) – Dragon Slave
- Koihime Musou (13) – Guan Yu has more breasts and less beard
- Antique Bakery (14) – Gaydar overload
- Kyouran Kazoku Nikki (15) – everything at or below this time is wasting my precious life!
- Someday’s Dreamers ~Summer Skies~ (16) – magic can’t do everything
- Real Drive (18) – flashback
- Himitsu (20) – faceless
- Allison and Lillia (22) – plane crash is the new train wreck
- Ryoko’s Case File (17) – giant lizards
- World Destruction (19) – tree
- Telepathy Shoujo Ran (23) – and I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!
- Itazura na Kiss (25) – dislikeable cast
- Chocolate Underground (26) – chocolate is forbidden
Antique Bakery 5: Antique has landed the chance to open a stall at a department store fair, but for Ono the prospect of cooking in front of members of the opposite sex is more than a little terrifying- can he and Chikage manage it? And will Eiji be able to produce the legendary cassis back at the main store? Of course they will, but can viewers take the intense combination of sweet cakes and HARD GAY?
Chi’s Sweet Home 69-76: The fat cat gods of anime are smiling down on me again, for they have provided eight more episodes of Chi, and the series just keeps getting better and better with each marathon. This time around, Chi finds out where the cat biscuits are stored and helps herself, gets a much needed grooming and plays with her own shed fur- cat owners, need I say more? Why must this series ever end?
Chocolate Underground 5: If Chi’s Sweet Home is the poster series for how much can be achieved in the space of 2-3 minutes, then Chocolate Underground must fill the opposite, because after five episodes, we’ve still barely got anywhere. Having discovered the magical chocolate buffet, our heroes are in for a rude awakening when the Chocolate Police show up- although fortunately, there are some convenient escape wagons waiting. Cue a mine cart chase scene that could have come straight out of any number of video games, and before you know it, the two leads have stumbled upon the raw ingredients needed to start their own chocolate underground by episode 13! Now excuse me whilst I go and play some Chocolatier.
Detroit Metal City 1: Okay, so the last ‘episode one’ was actually a preview special, but this time around we have the genuine episode one- and to be honest, apart from a few scene changes, it covers much the same material.
Hidamari Sketch x365 7: After spending so much time at the end of the school year, it’s time to flip back to Yuno and Miyako’s entrance ceremony, and as always, it’s good straightforward fun. From a glimpse of the infamous drying agents to Yuno and Miyako getting ready in the morning, this series just knows how to hit the mark. This may be my new favourite SHAFT series.
Itazura na Kiss 19: Another week, another week of marital bliss for our leads- or so you might say if you were deaf, blind and apathetic to the world. After spending the first half of the episode contriving an engagement between Kinnosuke and Chris, we get back to the happy couple- but Kotoko has just noticed that Naoki doesn’t treat her all that well. Frustrated and angry, she lashes out at him, causing him to admit that he is in fact a robot who was never programmed with human emotions. In the meantime, Keita is waiting to take Kotoko away from her husband, the way responsible friends should. Of course, our leads make up by the end, but next week it looks like a blonde guy will be showing up to hit on Kotoko- what fun.
“…because I am a robot!”
Kyouran Kazoku Nikki 14-15: The tiresome Doctor Gebok is back in episode fourteen, and the only way to reverse the disease that has turned all generics in the city into animals is to defeat him. Cue another bout of pointless craziness that manages to remain entirely dull- if you want to see epic battles against bizarre monsters, then watch the far superior Futakoi Alternative.
Episode 15 continues the trend with an episode in which Kyouka becomes a magical girl so that she can punish Ouka for those two cardinal sins- criticising his wife’s cooking and then forgetting their anniversary. This time around I was reminded of Excel Saga, which, although it hasn’t particularly stood the test of time, was still more enjoyable than this.
Natsume Yuujinchou 7: When Natsume goes on a school trip, he attracts the attention of a little fox when he saves it from some bullying demons- but is it dangerous to form an attachment when Natsume is going home in just a few days? This was a nice, largely sedate episode which seemed to indicate how Natsume is gradually settling into his life and becoming less depersonalised from everything.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu 6: Comiket is here, and in the trend of the Genshiken team before them, Haruka and Yuuto are all set to attend. Unfortunately, the aforementioned Genshiken already did this a lot better, but Haruka has a decent enough stab at it, resulting in a reasonably entertaining episode that seems to characterise the series as a whole- “decent, but nothing particularly inspiring or original”.
Ryoko’s Case File 6: I know we all have series we watch even though we find it impossible to properly absorb what’s going on, and now that Amatsuki is over, Ryoko’s Case File is occupying that role for me. This time around, some other generic bad guys are indulging in generically scandalous activity, whilst the ‘natural treasure’ of a giant salamander wanders around. To be honest, the emergence of the salamander into daylight was much like reliving the X-ATM-092 boss battle from Final Fantasy VIII (complete with music that could have been penned by Nobuo Uematsu); I appreciate not everyone will know what I’m talking about, but the feeling was so strong that I just had to mention it.
Telepathy Shoujo Ran 8: As Telepathy Shoujo Ran gets ever more dull, the only way I can even make it through an episode is by playing rock music in the background- a nice contrast to the tepid contents the episode has to offer us. This week, two generic one shot characters are having trouble expressing their feelings to one another- which is a shame as one is about to move away. Cue some clumsy interference from Ran, Rui and Midori in an attempt to set everything right, and whilst I suppose I should be happy that they wanted to improve someone’s life, one can’t help feeling they should stop horning in on other people’s affairs.
Elfen Lied 102-4: As the end approaches, Lucy goes final boss and starts destroying everything in sight, but when she sees that Kouta is injured, she uses her powers to repair his body- at the expense of her own. Now, Lucy is just a melted pile of flesh and the army is demanding that Kouta and the others hand her over- how can all this be resolved in just three chapters?
Tsubasa Chronicle 197: Syaoran has been sent back to Yuuko’s shop, but he isn’t content to wait in his own world- Sakura needs him, and to that end he plans to pay Yuuko to return to Clow Country. As for what the price will be, even that small detail has been reserved until next chapter.
xxxHOLiC 163: After learning from Haruka that Doumeki only eats food that he is satisfied with (and therefore has great trust in his cooking), Watanuki heads off to teach Yuuko’s new client how to cook- but why does she seem familiar? I suppose she might somehow be a relative of Watanuki’s (perhaps even his mother in some strange twist) but we’ll have to wait until September to find out the truth.