Sunday, May 2, 2010

The good, the average and the atrocious, april 2010

So here it is, the long awaited monthly Watching Log! ‘Cause ‘watching log’ would be an excruciatingly boring title, I’ve decided to dub it ‘the good, the average and the atrocious’ just for the sake of originality :-P!

For the first time since the beginning of my anime career, I’ve started watching currently airing anime (usually I’m allergic to airing series because I hate waiting a week for every episode). Yeah, I’ve thrown myself into the dark abyss of Angel Beats, Arakawa Under the Bridge, B Gata H Kei, Giant Killing, Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Katanagatari, Major Season 6, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, Sarai-ya goyou, Uragiri wa boku no namae o shitteiru, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei and Working!! I’ll do a ‘first impressions’ blog on these series soon enough, but for now I’ll just discuss the series I’ve watched and finished in this month. I rate my series according to the 5 star system on Anime Planet, if you want to know how I use my ratings you can check my Anime Planet user profile ^_^!

Now we have all the formalities out of the way, let’s see my daily average amount of episodes for this month. Usually, it’s something between 8 and 10 episodes (because I’m an incurable addict), but this month it was only 6,5. That’s the lowest average of this university year so far *feels depressed*. I guess they’ve made me work my ass off... I hardly had time for my beloved hobby T_T. I haven’t really seen any masterpieces this month, but there were still a lot of enjoyable series!

Trigun, 3½ stars. Trigun is about Vash the Stampede, a bandit with one of the highest bounties in the world. Though he’s acting goofy, he’s carrying a lot of dark secrets with him. Who is Vash and what is he trying to accomplish on the desolate, desert-like world he lives in?

I was attracted to this series because I had heard a lot of comparisons with Rurouni Kenshin (one of my ultimate favourites xD) so I couldn’t help myself but take a look. While the whole thing was certainly highly enjoyable, I did miss the drama and deep intensity so characteristic for RK. Still, aside from some aspects of the series getting old a little quickly, I still believe the main characters of both series are alike in a lot of ways: dark pasts, goofing around to conceil their sadness, badassness and refusing to kill are some prominent similarities. It also has some strong moralistic messages, so it’s not only action, comedy and emotion. This anime is a very charming one and is considered a classic among vast amounts of anime fans. It’s certainly a series that anyone should check out once in their anime career. To me personally, it came really close to getting 4 stars but I just guess the emotions weren’t intense enough for me ^_^

Gintama, 3½ stars, ep 10-30. The earth as we know it has been taken over by the alien Amanto with their highly-advanced technology. Gintoki, a former samurai, tries to scrape together a livelihood together with his partners Shinpachi and Kagura. They are the yorozuya and will complete any job for money. Although Gintoki seems comedic and unmotivated, he’s carrying a dark past with him.

Well, what can I say xD... I’m progressing slowly but steadily with this one. I think the humor is great and idiotic (I especialy enjoyed the psychological warfare of the nabe episode (25-ish) xD), but at the same time I suspect Gintama isn’t showing it’s true colours yet. So I will patiently wait for it to become so freaking badass that I can’t stop myself from watching (at least, that was the plan...). I’ve still got a long way to go but then again, I’m a student so technically I’m supposted to have all the time in the world :-P...

Inuyasha Final Act, 4 stars, ep 22-26. The final battle with Naraku is approaching. Will they be able to beat this demon that has caused everyone so much sadness and suffering? Will they survive? And, most importantly, are we finally going to see the long awaited kiss between Inuyasha and Kagome?

Inuyasha, though excruciatingly slow, dragged on and annoying at times, has a certain charm that I find irresistable. It’s probably the ‘legend’ or ‘fairytale’ feeling it has. Inuyasha Final Act has managed to actually keep a good pace and it has delivered a mind-blowing finale. It was a great ending :-D!

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, 3 stars. Idiots, Tests and Summoned beings. Seriously, this doesn’t need any explanation. The title covers it all xD... 24 carat idiot Akihisa and his friends in class F try to get a better classroom by beating the higher classes with summoned beings and showing them that intelligence isn’t everything!

While at times brilliant, the idiotic humor was basically everything it had going for it. The yaoi-references were really funny, as well as the shounen parodies. Some things (like the volcanic nosebleeds and Akihisa being beaten to a bloody pulp) had gotten really old by episode 10, though. It’s idiotic fluff, probably some of the best idiotic fluff of the genre, and while at times highly enjoyable, for me it was probably a bit too much of a good thing xD.

Sora no Woto, 4 stars. In a post-apocalyptic world, 5 girls are guarding a fortress in a quiet village at the border of no-mans land, while vividly playing brass. While they are trying to fulfill their duties, we learn more about their pasts.

The quiet ambience and slice of life feel immediately reminded me of Haibane Renmei. While it was by no means as deeply symbolic or even trying to be, Sora no Woto quietly connects you to the main characters and lets you learn more about them, slowly but steadily. As a calm, character driven anime heading towards a great finale in the end, it’s one of the best shows of the winterseason of 2010. It also has one of the best opening themes I’ve heard in a while, it’s currently my favorite (It’s called Hikari no Senritsu).

Jyu oh Sei, 3½ stars, Thor and Rai are deported to the prison planet Chimaera, where they try to survive under extremely harsh circumstances. Thor must try to become stronger than anyone else to become the beast king and take the only ticket off the planet.

This anime was a very enjoyable watch. It was incredibly captivating; I rushed through the whole thing in one evening. While I rather like survival stories in weird environments and enjoyed that aspect of the series a lot, Jyu Oh Sei’s flow was seriously disrupted a few times so I can’t really give it 4 stars. At times, it lost it’s focus of what was really important and it just wandered around aimlessly. The ending, while pretty epic, was also fairly cheap. It’s one of those classic ‘could’ve been such an awesome, kickass series if only...’ cases. Still, it’s highly recommendable for any fan of survival anime ;-).

Dance in the Vampire Bund, 3 stars, the vampire princess is trying to establish a save haven for vampires in the human world, with the help of her loyal servant and a lot of underlings. At the same time, there are many forces oppressing her power and objectives.

Here’s another of those ‘could’ve been such a kickass series if only’ anime. I’ve got some weird vampire fetish so I usually go kyaaaaa over every little thing that smells of vampire, but while this show was somewhat enjoyable to watch, it was also a bit of a disappointment. The story had absolutely no focus, a lot of things just randomly happened whithout a clear purpose. Somehow, it kinda failed to stay engaging halfway through. Still, it was not boring and easy to watch through and I also kinda thought Akira (the servant) was really sexy, hence the 3 stars xD!

Excel Saga, 3 stars, ep 6-8. Excell works for the idealistic evil organization Across. Together with her colleage she tries to accomplish the tasks they are given by their Lord. While she’s at it, every anime genre out there is being mocked without any mercy.

While it’s really funny at times, I guess the idioticness factor is just a bit too much for me. I’m only progressing through this at a very slow pace, and while I will definately finish it, it’s not among my most favorite anime. At the same time I know that other people adore this series for this very same idioticness. Well, what can I say. It’s a classic and a must-have-seen xD.

Serial Experiments Lain, 4 stars, ep 2-13. Lain seems to be a normal schoolgirl. When she receives a computer and connects to the Wired (an evolution of the internet) strange things start to happen and the borders between reality and the wired start to blur more and more. Who’s Lain and what’s happening in the Wired?

While it’s boring at times and you won’t have a freaking clue about the meaning of certain scenes or even whole episodes, once the picture is completed it reveals an intelligent cyberpunk anime with a lot of philosophical questions embedded about identity, reality and communication. I will definately rewatch this thing in a while to catch the messages I missed on my first watch, because I wholeheartedly believe it’s worth it. Still, some episodes were a pain to sit through, because of the totally apathetic characters and the long silences. I also think it wasn’t a good idea to watch the majority of Serial Experiments Lain after 12 in the night, when I was already braindead xD. Next time I’ll probably watch it on full mental capacity in the middle of the day, that might just help ;-).

Nyan Koi, 3½ stars. After accidentally knocking over a cat statue, the unfortunate Junpei is cursed. If he doesn’t hurry up and help every cat in the neighborhood with any request they have, he’ll turn into a cat himself and die of his cat allery!

This anime was definately a surprise win! Sure, it got a bit repetitive at the middle, but it was freaking hilarious most of the time seeing all the misfortune that plagued Junpei’s daily lovelife. The humor somehow reminded me of Ouran High School Host Club. If you like pointless romances going nowhere embedded in great, refreshing humor, it’s here for you to take.

Samurai Deeper Kyo, 2½ stars, ep 1-3. Samurai Deeper Kyo is a story of two men in one body - the humble, polite Mibu Kyoshiro and the legendary samurai Onime-no-Kyo, who has a price on his head. Consequently, Mibu Kyoshiro is captured for having an uncanny resemblance to the samurai. As the story of SDK progresses, we learn more about the two unique souls that inhabit the same body (synopsis taken from Anime Planet).

Trying to be badass while it’s not is a good way to summarize the story so far. I hope it will get better and I hope I’ll be able to finish this 26 episodes thing (out of idiotic stubbornness, I usually refuse to drop series xD).

Koi Kaze, 3½ stars, ep 1-6. A salaryman who just got dumped meets a highschool girl. He feels comforted and takes a liking to her. Later they learn that they are brother and sister – they had no idea. From that point, an uneasy story begins to unfold about one of the most powerful taboo’s of human society.

This is a very interesting anime. It’s quiet and slow-paced, but what makes it so good is the air of uneasiness it permeates. While the girl so far has no idea of her brother’s feelings for her, the guy feels torn between his romantical love for his sister and his feelings of disgust and guilt for himself. I’ve only seen half of this series so I don’t know if it’s gonna become more intense. I’ll continue watching this highly intriguing story.

I also sort of caught up with One Piece (4½ stars) and Fairy Tail (3½ stars). One Piece is one of my great loves, but I kinda dislike the recent developments in the manga. Now I’m grinding my teeth when I watch the anime for it’s all gonna be *SPOILER BEGINS* for naught *SPOILER ENDS*. Still, I can’t help but love it. I hope something good will happen soon. Also, I hope I’ll see my beloved Zoro back sometime in the near future, for I have missed his sexiness for way too long by now. Fairy Tail is also doing great, it’s one of those shounen with a great happy-go-lucky feel. I’ll be definately keeping my eyes on it eagerly.

In May, I’ll guess I’ll catch up with Naruto Shippuuden and Bleach (I’m currently around 15 eps behind on both). Also, I’m planning to pick up Great Teacher Onizuka again, finishing Excel Saga, watch a lot of Gintama, possibly Ranma, and a lot of other series. Naturally, I’ll closely keep following all airing series previously mentioned. Sadly, this will probably one of the busiest months of the year (I’ll have a huge exam on Test Construction, the most notoriously boring subject of Psychology, I have to write a difficult essay and I’m still trying to complete my Social Skills Practica) so I really don’t know how many anime I’ll be able to watch, but as always, I’ll try my utmost best!


  1. Wow, you've been watching a ton of shows. Sora no Woto did have an amazing OP, and I gotta agree that Nyan Koi's humor was quite enjoyable. This also kinda reminded me that I really have to finish up Inuyasha some day. ...Some day XD

    I'll be looking forward to your impressions on the new shows of the spring season! ;D

  2. Hey nice watching list! lol great minds think alike :D I like the blog, makes me want to add another things to work on along with all my other jumbled hobbies.