Antique Bakery, is a small bakery that’s run by four handsome man. Tachibana, the owner. Chikage, who was send by Tachibana’s family to watch over his childhood friend. Ono the “demonically charming” gay master pastry chef. And Kanda, a former boxer and Ono’s apprentice.
Hmm… So, I enjoyed Antique Bakery. Does that imply anything about me?
Great! On to the review!
Antique Bakery really excelled in having a absolute balance of everything.
Two layers of romance, a slice-of-life in between. Topped off with a thin spread of mystery. Three dash of Yaoi’s on the side. Shred some comedy on top for additional flavoring and serve with a warm cup of Earl Grey. A slice of lemon at the side.
So wonderfully tasty!
I Eff-ing love the music theme. Opening, closing and background music. Every single opening and ending, my head would just freaking bop non-stop. Like those bop figures you stick in your car. But of course, my head would be in tune and so smooth that chicks would find me irresistible.
Hmm… I should find a place where all the chicks hang out. Then start bopping my head. That would get me a date for sure.
As a personal preference, I “normally” hate open endings. Those with loose ends, unresolved romance, etc. etc. You get the idea.
Yet despite not having much resolved, the ending came out as strangely fulfilling.
Upon giving it a second thought, I realized that the focus of the anime was not on catching Tachibana’s kidnapper. Instead, it was resolving it as an obstacle. How Tachibana faces it as a past which he might or might not be able to put behind.
Same goes for Eiji, Ono, and Chikage. As they matured both as waiters, patissier and more importantly as people.
Again, animation using soft lines with the colors slightly faded. Antique Bakery really wanted viewers to take notice of their cakes as the contrast between them were really big. The color of their cakes would be so rich. Yet everything else were slightly faded throughout the anime.
And it worked, by the way. I found myself munching on snacks every single episode. Lol!
I would get hungry every episode.
I HAVE to comment on one thing though, regardless of how good the anime is. The male kiss scenes, and skin to skin hugs, and sleeping on the same bed freaking flipped the panic button in my head. Which was actually rather funny.
It’s like, the moment any two guys got close, started moving the lips in an awkward way. And I could hear my own panicking self from a mile away
So, anyone got any other Yaoi’s to recommend? Lol! Again, strictly no lovey dovey scenes. The Jean Baptiste scene, for example, was already too graphic for me. I’d say that my limit would be at about 1 kiss scene every 5 episodes. Anything more and I might faint.
Continuing where the first series left off, it follows Kraft Lawrence a experienced traveling merchant and his sharp tongued wolf god companion Horo on their journey to return to Horo’s home to the north called Yoitsu. A tender relationship has blossomed between the characters, as they make deals, travel between cities, encounter religious fanatics or vice versa and mostly just do what a traveling merchant has to do to get by.
I haven’t seen how others rated Spice and Wolf Season 2, but it was underrated. Even if you gave it a full score it would still be underrated!
In Spice and Wolf II, we have probably the 2 smartest characters in anime history, Horo and Lawrence. I’m not talking about full scores in some high school exams, or those who can spout meaningless crap as Snark points out in this post. I’m talking about mature, street smart, realistic-like intelligence. Intelligence that actually makes perfect logical sense. Sometimes the conversation between Horo and Lawrence get so verbal that even I fail to comprehend (Watching too many animes and lack of human interaction does that to you). But even so, their body language, the face expression, the music, everything works out to fill in any doubt you might have.
The sarcasm is well treasured as it not only gives you a good laugh but gives you a chance to actually give your brain some work out. Yes! Spice and Wolf is actually an anime that is BOTH ENTERTAINING AND EDUCATIONAL. When the fark have you ever hear me say that?! In fact, when in the world have you ever heard anyone say that about an anime.
At time of posting this, I am looking for Spice and Wolf Season 1. And if it is anywhere as brilliant as season 2, I will convert to Spice and Wolf-ism. For now, I’ll also be patiently wait for Season 3.
The opening and closing theme were both excellent. Although it’s one of those few times where I actually prefer the Tv sized version. And for both songs at that. Instilling a sense of joy before and after every episode. Needless to say it was quite a satisfaction.
Episode 1 to 6, got me all worked up as it showed the best the anime can offer. Bringing tension from the “Amati’s Contract” story, while Lawrence and Horo showed off their ability as a skilled merchant and powerful analytical skills. This was so good that it got me watching till 3am when I had to work the next day (Leaves house at 7am mind you).As that story ended, I thought to myself
“Fuh! That was excellent. I am thoroughly satisfied and couldn’t ask for anything more. Will catch up on sleep the next day.”
Only to be drowned in yet another brilliant story the following night. This time with more passion as Horo and Lawrence faces the possibilities of going their separate ways. Again another sleepless night, which was well worth every single bit!
This isn’t a fault or complaint regarding the anime, but I recently find myself watching too many animes with what feels like similar graphic styles. Soft lines with slightly faded colors. I’m getting just a little agitated and need something with greater contrast.
It has been three months since Hayate was abandoned by his parents and started work at the Sanzenin Manor as a butler to pay off his parents debt. However, being the butler for the otaku-crazed lady of the house, Nagi Sanzenin, is a hard task, not made easier by the friends and enemies of the Sanzenin, of which Hayate always ends up in the middle of the problem. And his life may get even harder when Student Council President Hinagiku Katsura begins to realise her own feelings for the debt ridden butler.
I did not watch season 1 but hearing about this anime so much in the blogosphere; I thought I’d give it a go and see what it’s all about. I guess not watching season 1 proved to be a fatal mistake.
I lost my patience at episode 11 and dropped it. End of review.
Hayate no Gotoku 2nd Season
More info: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Gaaawwr…… I know deep down in my gut that Natsu no Arashi is a brilliant anime. The animation is more than satisfactory. Making good use of vivid colors and lively environment. Nice character designs with fluid movements. Although the occasional drop in quality is slightly noticable.
Love the vocals too. Really matches the personality of each character well and expresses vocal emotions so effortlessly. Characters are more than solid. Something you can really get attached to as you watch on.
You have Hajime, a schoolboy who passionately chases after his dream of being a superhero like we all once did and of being Arashi’s man. Spontaneous and confident in everything that he does. He is slightly unique in that he is possessed by a female ghost, which is Arashi. Kind, caring, friendly and slightly clumsy. Arashi died 60 years ago and has been a ghost ever since. Upon finding someone who Arashi can “synch” with, she gains the ability to travel through time. An ability shared by other ghosts. The other characters in the anime are just as interesting as the leads. But I rather no spoil if for those who hasn’t watched this yet. Cause the characters really are Natsu no Arashi’s strongest and best aspect and I want to leave the satisfaction of exploring the characters to you viewers.
But still it will not get a fat-5. The pacing of the anime felt somewhat slow. I’m not talking about episode 1 cause it was a “preview” episode of sort about the future and also gives the viewers a good idea of what to expect from the series. Instead, I’m talking about episode 2 to 8. How these episodes lacked the punch to keep me entertained. Despite having give the characters excellent depth with sufficient scenes of their past and exploring their personalities, it still managed to feel somewhat boring. They should have script a juicier plot in between mid series to give the viewers something to bite on to. Or at least made full use of the depth character had to play a more captivating plot.
If they pushed up Kanako and Yayoi’s story 2 to 3 episodes early. Now that would have been perfect. Unfortunately, having a big gap of excitement in mid series drops this down to a good solid 4-Stars. Still, loved the beautifully laid ending they had in episode 12.
Sneaky little trick here, using silhouettes of the female characters to give what seem like a naked pose to make sure no one could resist skipping the opening theme. I fell for it every single episode. :p
Natsu no Arashi
Mugen is a fierce animal-like warrior with a unique Bboying (break-dance) inspired fighting style. Jin has a more traditional style but don’t think of this as a weakness because his skills are amazing. The two contrasting samurai warriors are far from friends, yet their separate paths seem to cross anyways. Mugen is wandering aimlessly through the city when he stumbles upon a teahouse where he meets Jin and Fuu (A ditzy waitress, but don‘t think she doesn‘t have anything hidden up her sleeves). Fuu convinces them both to come with her in search of a mysterious samurai that smells like sunflowers and their journey begins. This modernized hip-hop tale breaks the barriers of the common, historical, samurai anime.
Hmm… Really bring about mixes feelings on this one when starting this series. It’s been a long time since I reviewed an anime that doesn’t come with school girls. Lol! Refreshing indeed. Samurai Champloo is really unique in how it rewinds and fast forwards, jumping around scenes which may or may not be related -.-“ Have yet to come across an anime which does this so extravagantly.
You have Mugen, the afro haired dude, cutting through whatever he wants, whenever he wants. Always eager to battle strong opponents to test his skills. Wielding a wild style consisting of leg work and using flair to jump around anything in a quick counter-attack.
Then you have Jin, the pretty boy of the anime. The traditionalist yet stunningly old fashioned conservative. gives the obvious impression as someone who does everything by the book yet knows how to bend the rules whenever required. A little stiff at times but still cool nonetheless.
And Fuu. Who is suppose to be the x-factor of the trio. Being unpredictable and bringing comedy and fun to the combi…
Hmmm… I’m writing about the characters in Samurai Champloo. I hate writing about character in my reviews. It normally mean 2 things. 1st is that I either have no other idea on what to write on. 2nd is that I resent a certain character enough for me to spent a paragraph hating. One-two liners are fine by me though :p
Heck even the sypnosis in ANN is better than my review. Shit!
If anyone didn’t enjoy even a single opening or closing theme from Samurai Champloo, they are retarded. Trust me…
Despite including clues and hints in every episode of the whereabouts of the sunflower samurai, certain fillers still felt redundant. I should list a few episodes as an example but I’ve already forgotten them. And I just finished Samurai Champloo today. That’s how meaningless they felt. With the exception of Sara’s mini arc which was great!
What I CANNOT forget, however, is the excellent ending. Blardy Hell! I love the ending! Every tough decision made, every action the characters took, every reaction which followed. Words were flying around in my room as I raised my voice at the monitor during the last 2 episodes
“Mugen’s gonna fark your arse”
“What the fark?!”
“Don’t do this man!” etc. etc.
Obviously I only listed spoiler free lines. Despite all the flashy effects, stylishly exaggerated (at times) fight scenes, viewers will be reminded every now and then that this is a matured series as heavy sacrifices are incorporated to the story throughout the series. Not heavy enough to to shed a tear on, but will still put weight on your chest. 4-splendidly-ended-Stars!
Negi Springfield has graduated from magic school and is sent off to Japan to further his studies. He becomes the homeroom/English teacher at an exclusive private school and has run-ins with an enemy of his father, as well as with Asuna, who makes his life a living hell, and that’s before she discovers his secret. He learns about (and from) his students and about himself in order to become a master mage, like his father before him.
Finally got around to watching Negima!?, the remake of the original series, Negima!.
Oh Man! The graphics were on another level. It looked as though they cranked up the color output or saturation (or whatever jargon you use in the animation world) 200%. Flaunting their overly rich colors every single episode. And they were doing it in style!
Another thing about Negima!? was that everything other animes have, Negima!? has it better. A good example would be the action sequence. Not only were the fight scenes good, it actually provided a weird sense of satisfaction**. Character movements when exchanging blows were more fluid than Nanael’s milk itself.
It should even be a surprise that an anime of this genre was able to provide such good action. When was the last time you saw good action coming out from a magic + school life + lots of moe anime? Alright, Asura Cryin was good. But that doesn’t count, it had robots.
Being able to satisfy most anime fans makes Negima!? among the better of the rest. But it will not satisfy the demanding as it still packed a plot which lacked the intensity it needed to excel.
More moe than K-on,
Action scenes on par with Munto Tv,
Graphics as lush as Casshern Sins,
But with a pace less enthusiastic than Akikan! itself.
It is just not worth going through the series when there is only a handful of episodes worth watching. Even I have a limit on how much moe I can digest before getting bored. A perfect example of when an anime should go 13 eps and leave fans wanting more. Instead of going 26 and ultimately becomes boring. Though, this series could have been better enjoyed if spaced out between sessions. Maybe watching 3 to 4 episodes every now and then, so it doesn’t get boring. Unfortunately, I’m not a patient man. :p
To end the review, I want to thank the anime gods for giving me the chance to watch Negima!? in my lifetime. I now truly believe that I have grasp the meaning of moe.
And as far as moe is concerned Negima!? > K-On and pretty much all others.
Simple, ask yourself if you rather have 4 moe-blobs or 31 moe-blobs? (33 if you count Negi’s sister and long time pal, Annier). Although, knowing most of Anime3R’s visitors, I’d say the majority of you will say “None”. Lol!
Negima!? / Magister Negi Magi (Season 2)/ Mahou Sensei Negima (Season 2)
Torrents: No reliable source. So you guys are up to your own on this one. Just be careful not to confuse Negima! and Negima !?. ! being the original and !? being the remake.
Also feel free to check out these links…
Negima! review – From comparing the reviews, the flaws of Negima!? really becomes apparent.
Negima! characters – What in the world was I thinking when I did this. -.-”
You guys were lucky! Initially I had plan to do a super screenshot spam post for Negima!? where I would post a large sized picture of every single 31 student character in the anime. I would have killed your bandwidth instantly. But I guess Daisy SkullCrusher took pity on you all and decided to BSoD so that I would lose all my pictures. Stupid PC! Now I’m not bothered enough to go through the anime again to take those “perfect” screenshots. Bah Hum-Bug!
**Later found out that it was the pedophile in me. Ohz Noez!
Imamiya Satoshi, “Sasshi” to his friends, has grown up in the Abenobashi Shopping Arcade in Osaka, along with his childhood friend, Asahina Arumi. Now, all that was stable in his life is in ruins. His family’s bath house has closed and been torn down, and Arumi’s family is moving to Hokkaido – and taking her with them. In the midst of all this, something happens to the framework of reality, and Sasshi and Arumi slip into a weird parallel world. It’s still Abenobashi, but not their Abenobashi. Strange things are afoot, and Sasshi must find out their meaning, in order to reach a goal that he barely understands.
This show is a freaking riot! I was laughing so loud I woke my sister in the next room in some episodes.
Dynamic drawing makes sure you never get bored. And when I say dynamic, I actually mean characters with a million faces and a whole bunch of animation style which just keeps coming and coming. The parodies of other animes or movies in Abenobashi were strong, plentiful and pure laughter. Abenobashi practically defines randomness, from robot themes to Kenshiro the Nine-star-North-fist guy to Dungeons and Dragons, this anime has it all.
I love Arumi’s voice, especially her slang. While every now and then, the narrations felt like they did it freestyle; full of vibrant energy.
Although there are some naked butt scenes of Arumi and a whole lot of “boings” from other characters, this is by no means hentai. Heck! I even thought it was a children’s show at some point when I started this series. Of course, that thought changed when I notice more and more of Arumi’s flashes.
I’m very surprised at the fact that I’ve never came across or heard of this anime before, seeing how hilarious this series is. But then again, this is from 2002.
Sasshi and Arumi is now among the top comedy duo/group anime characters in my book. Somewhere just above the Hyakko gang.
1st episode was a great opener, with really random scenes and charater built up. The first half of episode 1 definitely had me fooled as it brought about a serious atmosphere to the series. Really didn’t expect it to be a comedy initially. And just to let you know beforehand, characters are only introduced in the first episode (with the exception of Mune-Mune-san and Goblin). By the end of episode 1, character development had completely stop and the plot starts rolling as Sasshi and Arumi are teleported to weird worlds one after another.
Things slowed down quite a bit in episode 5 and 6. Then episode 7 came and finally viewers get to explore the history and the reasons behind all the teleportation. From then on it was one part comedy, one part explanation. It’s supposed to have explained everything by the end of the series, but I still haven’t piece it together yet. -.-”
If Detroit Metal City rocked for you, then Abenobashi is definitely not far from the pond. Despite Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai having a super start, it did get a little boring midway and the ending way overplayed on parodies. So much so that I decided to drop it from a full 5 to a very satisfying 4-Stars.
Abenobashi Mahoh Shotengai
It’s Yui Hirasawa’s first year in high school, and she’s eagerly searching for a club to join. At the same time, Ritsu Tainaka, a drummer, and her friend Mio Akiyama, a bass player, are desperately trying to save the school’s light music club, which is about to be disbanded due to lack of members. They manage to recruit Tsumugi Kotobuki to play the keyboard, meaning they only need one more member to get the club running again. Yui joins, thinking it will be an easy experience for her to play the castanets, the only instrument she knows. However, the other members think their new addition is actually a guitar prodigy.
This is an extensive review of K-On which dwells into how it made an impact on the psychological level and how it affects otaku on the inner conscience. I will go into the finest details possible episode by episode, checking and double checking it over and over again to make sure I don’t miss the slightest detail. Expect mind boggling facts and data gathered from my extensive observation!
*Zombified blur*: K-On… Happyyy… K-On… Fuuunnnyyy… K-On… KaawwwaaIiiiiIIi… K-On… MooEEeeeE… K-On… Giive… 5-Staarr…. *drooooool*
One day Junichi Nagase comes across two boys tormenting Yuuhi Katagiri. When he steps in to help they run off calling him “Geno Killer”. He then walks off without introducing himself or allowing the girl to either. The next day to both of their surprise she is introduced as a new transfer student to his class. The following day due to a misunderstanding he kisses her which greatly upsets her. That evening to his surprise and dismay she shows up to his door saying she is his fiancee and that she has come to live with him to evaluate him to see if he is worthy of her. Much hi-jinx ensues as the days go by.
Have you watched Ristorante Paradiso? Remember the ending song for that anime? How it made you feel? Well Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka brings about the same sensation, sufficient kusu-kusu and fuwa-fuwa with just a tad of doki-doki every now and then. :p
That was what it made me feel. Unfortunately, having the lack of strong contents means that this will be a short review. 2 episodes down and I still had nothing solid to comment on.
Graphics are good. I also enjoyed the voice casting. Crazy amount of ending theme. Throughout the anime, all I could derive was that I was having a relaxing time and Junichi and Minato has an obvious siscon which the anime thrives on for the latter half of the series.
To be Emo or to be moe…
Emo… Moe.. Sigh..
What does emo and moe have in common? Yes.. They use the same 3 alphabets. But that’s not the answer I was looking for.
The answer is that both are to be found in episode 12 of Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka.
I’ll be honest here, I downloaded this anime because I heard there was a lot of fanservice. Instead all I got was a mindless anime which was surprisingly enjoyable to watch as it slowly sucked the brain juice from my very mind as I try to process each episode. By episode 9, it was time to take the sister complex to another level! Let’s have the sister falling for her bro too now. Up to episode 10, probably deciding to do a proper ending, the comedy dropped and the romantic aspect of the anime were focused on. The scenes reminded me on a short but coming ending just around the corner. Felt like a nice touch there.
Again Uniforms and Tentacles but no fan service. Well.. Actually… Minimal fanservice. :p
I would love for a Sensei to come pick me up in a chopper (Provided it’s comfortable.. -.-”) to do some rounds around town.
Wouldn’t matter if it was a male or not. However, the following line would certainly ring an alarm in my head though.
I finally understand that it is exactly because I don’t expect anything from this anime that I am able to enjoy it so much.
I would love to give this a 4-star rating but the constant suggestion of incest bothers me (I’ll be damned if anyone believes that… Lol!) but let’s be honest here… (Spoiler Warning: Highlight to read) to those who watched this, we all know that they’re not blood related now are they. Therefore it isn’t reeeaaally incest… technically… probably… I guess… -.-“
I think I just degenerated a little. NoOOoo… I don’t want to be a Borak. Seriously though, I hate the Borak movies.
At the end of the day, Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka is a good watch, ONLY if you do not expect to be awed. It’s a run-of-the-mill comedy anime only different from the rest by the constant mention of siscon and a little above average graphics, nothing more. However, it does what it’s meant to do and I did have a good time watching it, so 3-stars then (borderline 4-Star but nahhh..). Even now as I write this review, I’m still contemplating on whether this is a keeper or not.
And now to end the post with 3 consecutive shots of Nago-Nago
Why? Cause I have a thing for this one-eyed moe. :p
Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka
*Don’t know if anyone noticed by now, but Yeah.. this was a rather hollow review. There is just nothing much to write about on this anime, from my point of view anyway. :p
Erm sorry klux… Great news will come out next post. Lol! Couldn’t finish uploading the vid’s for my G.A.C.C. post. So pull this Akane review out from my draft box instead.
At Yachimata, there is a legend of a deity named Tayutayu-sama who protected the area, but this deity and other so-called “Tayutai” have been lost in time. Mito and his friends discover a relic on the school grounds with mysterious patterns on them. Then, at the opening ceremony of the new school year, an equally mysterious girl named Mashiro appears before Mito. Mashiro is somehow tied to the relic and the legend of Tayutayu-sama.
Talk about perfect timing.
In episode 1, everything was well. There were comedy, spirits /deities/Tayutai/whatever you want to call em, your usual moe goddess, a typical tsundere, the blur looking best friend who always manage to seem more interesting than the lead male. Nothing worth mentioning, but rule of thumb, always watch more than the first episode before dismissing an anime. And since I enjoyed the comedy in the first ep, as predictable as it was*, I decided to continue with the following episode.
Then episode 2 came, it took a deeeeeeeeep dive as I tried to keep myself interested. That episode was about Mashiro wanted to attend school.
“Oh man! Please don’t do another school “life” story!”
I needed something refreshing and moe + school just wasn’t it. Few minutes later Mashiro was accepted to school, attends the first class and was chatting with other classmates feeling welcomed.
Next, Mashiro’s hairy ears caught the attention of her classmates and she accidentally reveals her tail too (she’s a fox-like spirit by the way). Seeing this, the classmates got scared and backed away as Mashiro is again reminded by the difference between a Tayutai and humans. Mashiro starts feeling lonely as she faces isolation. Perfect timing indeed as I was just reaching for the fast forward button on my player.
This short minute was what made me NOT skip and continue on with the rest of the series. It gave me hope that this anime was not completely mindless moe and could possibly pull something off emotionally.
Then the “Kirukami (a.k.a. Mashiro) Vs other 3 strongest Tayutais” plot came to light by episode 3 and it became horrendous. Paving the way for utter Crap-dom. Needed to pop an aspirin before I could continue on with episode 7. The expired sushi I had didn’t help with the situation either. Literally.
In episode 8, Uryuu died and I started enjoying it again. Remember about the perfect timing I was talking about earlier? Screw that, by the end of episode 9, I hopefully thought that since the Mashiro vs Tayutai plot has ended, this anime actually felt enjoyable again. Tayutama might still be able to salvage what’s left of its remaining episodes!
Well, apparently not, Mr. Dragon (literally his name right?) decides to make a comeback which tops all bad Elvis spottings. Standing on top of a pole, talking to the moon, posing like the gay that he is and BAM! End of episode along with all hopes of salvation.
At one point, Mito and Mashiro exchanged words which were so inspiring and managed to touch me deeply… BALLLZ!!! Haven’t felt such a load of pointless banter in a while.
“In my eyes, you are human enough”
“Since you believe in me, I will also believe in you” (Hmm… Is it me or does this sound like someone GAR? :p)
“I won’t let Machiro be alone again”
“Please believe me”
“I’m really sorry”
And to think I though Naruto Shippudden 106-112 was bad. Well, Tayutama is not that bad but it sure came pretty close. At one point, I actually wished Tayutama had fanservice.
Blur: So… I watched Tayutama the other day.
Gummi Bear: What? How could you watch that crap?
Blur: As if you never watched crap animes
Gummi Bear: Well at least the crap I watched had fanservice.
The ONLY good thing about Tayutama is its music. It had a rather standard but still wonderful BGM. The type which would work in probably any anime. As for it’s opening and closing, also good, but wouldn’t recommend listening to it too often at any given time. Approaches boredom pretty fast.
Mediocrity is an understatement when it comes to Tayutama. All I can hope for now is that no lives were lost in the making (or fansubbing) of this anime. If any did, R.I.P…
Tayutama – Kiss on my Deity
* I am starting to develop a shitty habit. I’m starting to voice out my predictions randomly at the monitor when watching animes. Some are simple and short like “Date Masamune’s gonna come kick your shiny little butt” but some can go like “Mio’s gonna go to the local conbi, buy a lot of yaoi and fold paper planes out of them. But will probably run into Yui before that and give a lame excuse for the yaoi’s she’s carrying before giving Yui a wedgy and running off”.
By now I am thinking I need to spend more time interacting with actual live humans instead of staring at the monitor every little chance I get. Lol!
In the past, humans developed Artificial Intellegence Colonies (A.I.C) to help them expand to the realms of outer space. Unfortunately, the original A.I.C, called Nerval gained ideas of its own and decided to bring absolute peace and harmony to humankind by keeping them locked in “Box”-es. This led to a great conflict. Humans retaliated and later won the war.
Forward 50 years and we see Akiha, a girl from the high status Shishidou family, going about with her normal everyday school life before circumstances leads her to meeting Leopard, an A.I.C, and some other interesting characters. Meanwhile, Nerval has returned and is hell-bent on continuing what he tried to achieve 50 years ago.
The plot starts rolling at episode 5. Exploring on the Shishidou clan and their mysteries, Kannagi’s missing parents, Nerval and the Nervalists. Despite having what felt like a dull start , the pacing from this point on was really to my liking. Steadily more of the plot is revealed as with each passing episode. Nothing felt rushed but new revelations just kept popping up.
The animation is superb! The vast selection of color tones really perked the animation up. Even the dullest moment would feel lively as viewers notice the bright colors. Characters look good and the movements are fluid. Best of all, the animation quality is consistent throughout the series.
What I didn’t like about this series was that it obviously had no idea what a “Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo” was. Throughout the anime, it was just trying to force a role on Akiha as the “Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo”. Without properly explaining what that means, what she was suppose to do, etc. Even after finishing the series, all I could interpret from the anime was that the Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo was a chosen one who was suppose to keep Leopard company and shoot his gun :p
But why was Akiha chosen? Couldn’t anyone else just keep Leopard company? Why couldn’t Honoka do it since she was close to Leopard? It wasn’t like Akiha and Leopard were bonding much.
Been a while since I hated a theme, but the first opening theme utterly reeks garbage. If you enjoyed the opening from .hack//Roots, then you might like this, but I hate both of them… terribly. The 2nd opening and ending theme were heaps better. Espacio by Ceui, definitely worth checking out. It will just keep getting better and better.
Although suddenly popping out with a baseball themed filler which was totally unrelated to the plot, it was still enjoyable (surprisingly). If only they bothered to put in a proper ending to that filler instead of letting it hand like an open ending gone bad. All it needed was a few seconds of scene to give it some sort of closure.
Episode 17 and the retaliation begins! and it was also when it got really exciting as I started churning down episode by episode just not being able to stop despite being sleepy to the point of being brain dead. It gets pretty exciting when the QT-arms get into combat. And has more than enough action for the demanding.
It is not easy to provide combat scenes that are able to keep viewers on the edge of their seat yet give them a good laugh at the same time. But Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo does just that, being one of this title’s more unique points.
Despite having an average start, it did build up to a good anime as the last half of the series proves that it was indeed able to deliver, providing good action combined with sufficient comedy and drama. Integrating all these three factors so well.
Sora Wo Kakeru Shouko
Off topic: Unknowingly, I have reverted back to my old review style. Lol! Guess I’m stuck with it. :p
The story begins Nodoka and Yue practicing casting spells. While training, Yue convince Nodoka that they casting a red string of fate spell on Nodoka. A spell which shows them whose their fate is. One end connect to Nodoka and the other end connect to Negi. Unfortunatly, this spell isn’t a fate connection, but it just connects two people with a red string. The rest is about how Nodoka and Negi spend the day at a newly opened bath house.
This episode also has the high quality animation we saw in the Haru OVA , although in a slightly different style. The coloring had a slightly faded effect compared to the strong contrast effect felt in the Haru OVA.
Fanservice.. stronger than ever. I believe I should also mention that this episode is NSFW.
The themes however, were actually bad. Normally, a bad opening or ending would not get to me, but the ending for this OVA was just WRONG! The tune was Pfft!.. something ignorable but the singing… seriously terrible.
Ok, so how did this Natsu OVA get 5-Stars then? What makes it different from the Haru episode. Simple.
Watching this episode gave me a smile on my face from the 5 minute mark. And things just got funnier as Negi and Nodoka went to the Mahora Spa Resort. After that I just laughed my way through till the end. Which, unlike the previous Haru OVA, had a solid ending and succeeds to emphasize on the strong friendship that Nodoka and Yue has and how Yue’s faces her affection for Negi.
Magister Negi Magi! Natsu OVA
I think I’m starting to get carried away with my screenshots. -.-”
Seems to increase with every passing reviews.
Kintarou Oe doesn’t look like it, but he is a genius who completed all his university courses and then quit before graduating. He becomes a wandering student, going from place to place on his bicycle, seeking to learn what he can about life, the world, and women. He is willing and able to do any job he has to prove himself. His travels take him to a variety of locations and a variety of women, each who learns to love the hardworking guy, but not before he can run off. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Now this was a fun series to watch! Animation was solid and kept in check. But it was as recommended by AnimeNerdz that I watched this anime with the English dubs. And it was true! The voice cast really did make it more enjoyable and actually funnier than the original Japanese. So after doing the first episode in both Japanese and English, I watched the remaining 5 episodes in English dubs. Let’s not kid ourselves here, Kintarou Oe could very well be one of the most intellectual pervert in anime history. The anime as a whole just gets better and better with each passing episode. Even the background design of the architectural structures were good. Definitely no effort spared there.
What I really enjoy about this anime is that it still manages to inject a sense of seriousness when dealing with some of the problems which the female characters faced in the storyline. And not forgetting the touch of reality, although minimal, with the series. A good example would be episode 3 as Noriko faces the problems of being cheated by her first love, and how Kintarou tries to persuade him not to hurt Noriko. This made sure the storyline felt solid and matured enough while providing lots of endless laughter.
The last episode which had a story using the settings of an animation company and its process was really a nice touch as a final episode. Kudos to its English vocal cast for providing such a superb dub, especially Douglas Smith who plays Kintaou Oe, the lead.
“there are no jobs that are unimportant”
“plus you can do all sort of things with the character’s that you’d never get away with doing in live action films or videos, that’s what makes animation so unique and wonderful”
- Kintaro Oe @ Golden Boy Episode 6
It really had the feeling of the 90′s. The way the comedy was played out. Yeah! It was slapsticks but it was solid. And the puns were actually funny. Not the majority of mindless one-liners in today’s comedy animes. Not that I have anything against it, as long as it’s funny. But animes like Golden Boy feels refreshing every once and being able to bring a sense of enjoyment to its viewers is what makes Golden Boy one of the best classics around.
When I started watching this series, it took me at least 6 episodes (halfway- mark) to realize the relevance of the title.
The theme song opens to a nice rhythm and drum beats all to the end, but despite being penned by Noel Gallagher of rock group ‘Oasis’ fame, the lyrics leave much to be desired as doesn’t make sense, at least to me. But I think it will be a great number to jam to on ‘RockBand,’ and it catches on to you after a few episodes and naturally plays repeatedly inside my head. The soundtrack also features other nice songs, especially the English song towards the end.
Most of my knowledge of female anime leads are in reference to characters from the Sailor-Moon and Final Fantasy franchise. Therefore my encounter with Morimi Saki is actually a refreshing change . She seems the non-typical anime female lead; she’s petite, non-revealing, not leggy, but still manages to maintain those big bubbly brown eyes. I like her character a lot.
Like most storylines, for every cutie on-screen, there has to be a charming dude. Enter Takizawa Akira. He remembers neither his past nor identity, and sets out to find out who he is. A chance meeting brings him to meet Morimi (aka Saki-Chan, as her friends fondly refer her as) outside the residence of Barack Obama (yup, the White House) and they soon begin his journey of self-discovery, literally speaking.
Early in the series, we are introduced to Takizawa’s super-phone. This ain’t no phone you can get from the store. Only the ‘Selecao’ (12 selected individuals to save Japan) are given this phone. Apart from its futuristic design, one phone call to the central receptionist, Juiz, is all it takes to make ‘magic’ happen. From buying a piece of gum, to getting the Prime Minister say something stupid in the Parliament, to gunning down your creditors or causing a traffic accident. Wow, I want a phone like that (get cracking, Nokia researchers).
- The Prime Minister receives orders to say something stupid on live TV -
Another break-through-product in the series is the ‘Eden’ program which allows members to post notes to help others identify certain items. This program makes its appearance midway in the series and that’s why I mentioned I only figured out the relevance of the title halfway throughout the series. I wish I had access to such a program so I’ll never have to say to myself, ‘Hmmm, this dude looks familiar, where did I see him before?’
I really enjoyed sitting through all 11 episodes with some exceptions. In the first episode, everybody in the US of A seems to understand Takizawa despite him conversing with them in Japanese.
Secondly, it seems ridiculous for a wealthy eccentric, Mr. Outside (aka Ato Saizo) to give away 120 billion YEN, especially to unknowns (from a crooked cop to the President of a conglomerate) to save Japan. The selection process and criteria for the Selecao is unclear and its frustrating as we are left without a face to the name, leaving Takizawa unable to fulfil his desire to kick his @$$. Although it is revealed that Mr. Outside may already be dead, for all we know.
Some of the ‘magic’ conjured by the phone is just plain impossible in the real world. In one of the scenes, Takizawa encounters another Selecao; who in her attempt to escape, grows instant wings and glides away from the penthouse of a hotel. As each request is recorded and charged, Juiz labels the request as ‘purchase for special effects equipment.’ It was also in this scene that I spotted an inconsistency. Morimi’s phone was apparently still connected to Takizawa’s although he made a call to Juiz in between.
- Women can do crazy things, as the Johnny Hunter demonstrates how to snip off a d*ck -
There was a scene when a kidnapped victim of urban legend Johnny Hunter (Selecao IV) is able to post entries onto a website with his phone while he is strapped to a chair. Note how he was able to snap pictures and type messages with his hands to his back. Simply amazing.
Despite all the money invested into the technology, it was mentioned that these super-phones can only be activated by the intended user through a series of identification processes. But IT guru, Panties, manages to bypass the identification redtape with a few clicks.
Lastly, how in the world can Morimi eavesdrop through the phone to a conversation between Takizawa and Selecao-1 despite the noise generated by the blades of a helicopter? Beats me.
- The love triangle between the them and Ohsugi is fun to watch -
I must say this series features a fine balance between adventure and humour with Ohsugi and Panties providing the laughs. Takizawa’s response to most matters catches me off-guard and never fails to makes me laugh.
A slow start, a clever build-up but a let-down ending. Or should I say an explosive ending, literally speaking, as shown in the accompanying image.
Eden of the East
Torrents: gg Fansub
Sometime after all the events which took place during Negi’s first year as a teacher, Class 2-A goes on a school trip to a beautiful island for Spring break. Everything is fine now, but troubles continue for Negi, because he’s still the main atraction of the class. But he has something else to worry about, Asuna is angry at him because he told her she had nothing to do with his studies as a wizard. During the trip, the situation gets intense as Asuna’s friends try to help Negi make up with her.
1 minute into this OVA, and I knew it was pretty much a sorry excuse for a fanservice episode. The thing about this OVA is there is no recap, no story telling, totally nothing whatsoever, instead what you see is what you get. Just an island filled with swimsuits covered students and their 10 year old teacher. What do you expect?! It’s an 20 plus minute OVA. Lol!
I actually enjoyed the inclusion of all the 2-A students seeing how I’m a fan of the original series. The opening theme’s animation was really an eye-opener. The animation was so insanely fluid and the colors was vivid. Mix all this with the amount of swimsuits and what do you get? Instant mood lifter.
They showed random photos of the 2-A students with their name, blood type, likes and dislikes. Which kinda worked in helping them attract viewers, more driven towards fanboys like me I guess. :p Aisaka Sayo FTW!
Don’t be surprised at the 2-stars rating I gave. As beautiful as the animation was or even if I loved the original series, the outcome was just that of another fanservice OVA. All it needed was just a tad bit less fanservice and a little more plot to spice up the story and it would have been an easy 4-stars. Even a short ending to the Chupacabra plot would have suffice. As it is now, it just feels too freaking shallow.
Magister Negi Magi! Haru OVA
Kid-J, If you are reading this. Please submit your EotE review to me soon so that I can post that up and push this post down. I don’t want to leave the impression that I am a fanservice crazed blogger or anything along those lines. Lol! Especially to my first-time visitors. ^^”
Kyouhei, Ranmaru, Takenaga, and Yukinojou are beautiful, handsome, young men living in a huge mansion. One day, their landlord, whom they call “Auntie”, asks them a favor: to make her niece, Sunako, who’s going to be living with them, into a respectable young lady. She agrees to make their living expenses free of charge if they succeed, but if they fail, she’ll triple their rent. Due to their confidence in knowing how to deal with women, they agree, but once they meet Sunako, they begin to realize that their lovely living arrangements may soon be in jeopardy. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Again another anime which I wasn’t expecting much from. I’m pretty sure most of you are bored of me saying this by now, will try not to use that sentence so often from now on. Lol! Now back to the review. Seeing it was recommended by a friend, I gave it a shot anyway. Initially when I browsed through just to see what I was getting into, all I got was 4 pretty boys trying to beautify a girl called Sunako.
It didn’t take long for me to expect some sort of romance to develop later in the series, especially between Sunako and Kyouhei. But don’t get your hopes up high, sadly none of that happened. Oops, did I just spoil the show for you? No worries, this anime is not about its story or a twisting plot or anything even close. It’s just pure silly and random slapstick, ALL THE WAY.
I really didn’t expect the comedy. Seeing the pretty boys instantly gave me the image of it being a “love-love” series. The constant burst of comedy wasn’t all good though. Some were funny and some were not. And unfortunately, when some of the jokes didn’t manage to tickle my funny bone, it got really boring really fast. A common dilemma of animes over-abusing slapstick comedy I guess. And to deliver the slapsticks to viewers at such a huge amount at one time, Wallflower was really taking its chances. I’m happy to say though that I actually enjoyed a better majority of the slapsticks they threw at me.
Oba-chan, now that’s what being “Young at heart!” is all about. It’s actually hard to bring myself to pick on any of the characters simply because none of them has enough depth for me to complain on. This anime really didn’t bothered exploring any of the characters except of the slight exposure into Sunako and Kyouhei’s history.
Not forgetting the Goth-Loli sisters. Definitely deserved the air time they got throughout the series, naturally blending in with every single scene in a natural yet obstructing manner. Lol!
You can’t help but wonder if they were cutting cost with the shamelessly large amount of scenes where they used chibi drawn characters. And the eyelashes, it was there to really stress that it was a shoujo anime wasn’t it. Animation, graphics and sound wise, it’s as average as it can get. The quality is insanely inconsistent. One moment, characters looked like they had a deformed face, another moment, beautiful as a turbocharged 4-cylinder. :p
8 episodes down and the series give you a hint into what feels like character depth for the first time, taking the form of Kyouhei’s family background. Don’t be fooled! Lol! It’s just another one-episode plot which will mean nothing in the future episodes to come. But around episode 17, the comedy seemed to stop working on me, and it felt so for the rest of the series. I wouldn’t say it was a bad experience. Just felt disappointing seeing how I enjoyed all the previous episodes. Don’t know why but there is a WHOLE LOT of kidnapping storylines in this anime. Lol! Some form of fetish of the director perhaps?
Unfortunately, down the road some jokes starts to feel repetitive, but it’s nothing a little spacing out between anime sessions won’t cure, as long as you don’t marathon this series. As for me, I find 4 to 5 episodes each session to be just right.
As scary as they might try to make Sunako, you can’t help but to appreciate and enjoy her gothic approach to everything. Up to a point it is almost cool. Sunako does look good when not in chibi mode. And her vocals really help brings the comedy up a notch. She just gets more beautiful as the series progresses.
As predictable as the nosebleeds come, it still won’t fail to draw a smile every time. And below, the mother of all nosebleeds. :p
By the way, Sunako > Kanako (from Maria+Holic)
Do yourself a favor and stay away from this if you are looking for
a. Beautiful animation
b. Captivating storyline or deep plots
c. Kick-ass packaging of sounds and music
However, if you are happy with some of the stupidest slapstick shit around and will be content with a little laugh every now and then, Wallflower’s the choice for you. A little warning though, I have a feeling Wallflower is another anime which goes along the lines of “Love it or Hate it”. There will be no in-between (except for me of course, I’m the author! :p ).
Wallflower / Perfect Girl Evolution / Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge
There are three of the Minami sisters: Haruka, Kana and Chiaki, who have an average life. The girls only have each other to depend on and help each other get through everything from love confessions to cooking. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Wow! Crazy first episode. Definitely no expense spared on the animation. I probably saw more styles in that one episode of Minami-ke than I did in the last 2 anime titles. The slow-motions and rotating camera angles were superb. Character movements were also very fluid. Strongest point of this anime is definitely the animation. The scenes in which they zoomed in on the eyes were very interesting at first. But it got bored as it was way overused. Almost on every single punch-line! Didn’t take long for it to lose its effect. The upwards pointing triangular way in which the mouth is drawn (especially obvious with Kana) is something new and feels rather unique.
The script clearly expresses the characteristics of the characters and the voice acting was superb. Sound effect is good too. Nothing feels amiss and every action is accompanied by a complimenting sound effect. Top notch combination.
From the start the anime sends a clear message what type of role the 3 sisters will play. Chiaki is the youngest of the 3 sisters. She is definitely the smart and wiser of the bunch. Kana is the middle sister, who definitely has more brawns than brains. The livelier of the bunch with spontaneous burst of energy. Haruka is the eldest sister, portraying a motherly figure for the younger two. Always caring and looking after the 2 sisters. Definitely someone Chiaki looks to up deeply.
Unfortunately, that’s that. Viewers won’t get to explore the characters any deeper than that. The intro pretty much says it all “This story is one that lightly describes the ordinary daily lives of the three Minami sisters. Please don’t expect too much from it”. And that’s exactly how it goes. As it said, don’t expect anything, in terms of a strong plot or a touching story and you will do just fine. Initially I thought it would be fine with just episode to episode laughter and randomness, having no storyline and all. But I was definitely wrong, things just got really boring as the comedy didn’t hit.
By episode 3, I was already thinking of dropping this series. But I still couldn’t give up on the animation quality and voice acting. I was just hoping for some slight bit of context so that I can enjoy Minami-ke just for a little bit. But by episode 8 I got so bored that I started to listen to my m3 player instead and just watched the series without listening to it. Chiaki and Kana take shots at each other so often that it got too predictable to the point that it was no longer funny. Feeling bored from episode 3, I thought it would be interesting to take count of how many times I smiled throughout the series (smirking would count too, just to give Minami-ke a handicap of some sort). And the total…? 7 times. Once in ep 1, 2, 3, 4 and 11, twice in ep 9. The Loincloth Festival news and the “Sensei and Ninomiya-kun” series was actually more interesting and funnier to me. Lol!
Chiaki’s acting in the anime describes exactly how I got past this anime. Throughout the 13 episode I was watching with half-opened eyes. Widening my eyes at the rare sight of actual comic relief or an interesting plot. Before getting let down and going back into half-sleep mode. Minami-ke truly is an anime where nothing ever happens.
So the question is, will I go for season 2, Minami-ke: Okawari? And the answer… Zetai Yada!
I had a hard enough time going through season 1. No way am I going to even try season 2. Even so, I’m still going to hand 2-Stars over to Minami-ke. Why? Because even if it failed at being a comedy, it still has superb animation and vocals under its belt.
Torrents: A-E & Saizen
Now I know why I’ve came across discussions where most was saying how Taiga from Toradora and this Chiaki were staples of each other. The both of them really did look and sounded similar but I wouldn’t call them copies.
Life on Mars is hard for those who live here. As the economy worsens, work becomes scarce and food becomes expensive and highly prized. Gram and his friends try to do the best they can but, he soon finds himself on the run with the most notorious pirates on Mars. The only problem is he soon starts to enjoy the adventures. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
For an anime revolving around pirates and adventures in the deep sea ocean, its characters sure lack a whole lot of depth. They were not shallow, they just wasn’t explored enough, not even the lead character. Sure the anime explained the characters’ past and goals… in like under 5 minutes!
Character wise, it features a variety of characters which seems unique enough in terms of mech or space shows. There is a talking cat, a dolphin assisted by a humanoid suit, a cross-dressing pirate, and others to boot. However, it does seem like some characters are trying too hard. Up to a point they seem unnatural.
Gram River and Vestemona “Vess” Lauren obviously has a past and becomes rather predictable in having somewhat of a romance in the future. That’s not a negative though; the development of their romance was acceptable. Gram River’s character is too optimistic and Vess is just plain hot-headed. A pretty good match if you ask me. Lol!
Scripting does have the feel of a rather old anime. Pretty obvious it’s from 5 years ago. Back in the days when characters didn’t need thorough depth and silly faces were all the comedy an anime needed. One point I like is that they didn’t over-immortalize characters. Yagami for example, as strong as he is in a mech, without it he is pretty much defenseless and will submit to some ass-kicking.
I like the mech designs, nothing overly fancy. Yeah sure it doesn’t have huge planet destroying guns or mountain slicing blades but that’s what gives it a touch of reality.
Another welcomed setting was how pilots control their mech remotely. The idea of having pilots controlling mechs through cables or remote instead of being in the cockpit seemed like an underused plot. Most of the time, whenever a mech gets destroyed, the pilot might as well just be dead, which makes things boringly predictable.
Animation looks clean and clear with solid lines and single toned fillings. Combined with the liveliness of the pirates, it does help relaxes and get you in the mood. Best of all, it is consistent throughout the series. It takes little to enjoy the opening theme, “Take Back” by G B Shelter, with its catchy beat.
Good introduction episode and showed great potential during the start of the series. Although it’s pretty much fillers, fillers, fillers, a slight hint of build-up, fillers, fillers, fillers, last story plot. Lol! Too many episodes were wasted on just delivering pointless action with little character build-up. Some fillers, like the ghost ship episode, are just way too pointless without any depth whatsoever.
Yagami’s hidden motive near the end of the series were a welcomed change in pace. For a moment I thought the anime was finally ready to get down to business, opening up a more serious plot and setting. Well, I was half right.
Somewhere before the last storyline, Gram finally starts talking about the past. WTF?! Suddenly talking about the memories of the past when Gram didn’t even think about it in the last 20 episodes. Not only that, the past played no role towards the development of the story.
It’s good that they didn’t leave anything hanging by the end of the series. It had a good conclusion where everything was well tied up, as mediocre as it may be. Good attempt overall but lack the plot and build-up. At the end of the day, it might not be anything spectacular, but with just enough of everything thrown in, action, comedy, mystery? It will still manage to entertain the less demanding viewers.
Mars Daybreak / Kenran Butoh Sai: The Mars Daybreak
I thought for a moment it would be cool if there was a mech action figure collectible for Mars Daybreak but then again, it’s going to be difficult to stand with those add shaped feet (optimized for underwater travel)
Tomoya Okazaki is a third year high school student resentful of his life. His mother passed away from a car accident when he was younger, causing his father to resort to alcohol and gambling. This results in fights between the two until Tomoya’s shoulder is injured in a fight. Since then, Tomoya has had distant relationships with his father, causing him to become a delinquent over time. While on a walk to school, he meets a strange girl named Nagisa Furukawa who is a year older, but is repeating due to illness. Due to this, she is often alone as most of her friends have moved on. The two begin hanging out and slowly, as time goes by, Tomoya finds his life shifting in a new direction. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
First 2 episodes and I knew that it was an anime I would have regretted missing. Clannad is one superb anime being able to be soothing yet heavy. Filled with emotions and does a proper job of passing on what it’s trying to express. Definitely one of the best tear-jerker animes yet. Throughout the series, I couldn’t help but wonder if the intro scenes of the other world and the girl and robot will play any role in the main story. No slapstick comedy here, just simple sarcastic replies which were very good and funny. Well… maybe a little slapstick here and there, mostly coming from Sunohara. Whereas Tomoya is more of the sarcastic cool type. I could tell more about the characters, but I couldn’t do that without giving at last some hints of spoilers. And I really really think you need to watch this one for yourself. So I’ll take a pass on character introductions. It really is THAT good!
Expect to get wet droopy eyes within every 3 episodes or so. Whether it be of joy or sadness. Clannad will take you on a roller coaster ride and fill you with emotions. It can make you feel extremely happy and terribly sad and it can do both in a single episode. It scares me to think I may not find a better storytelling anime than Clannad. The script and way the story was told was just so crazily flawless.
Remember how I once complained in Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya about how characters lack depth in terms of family or background wise? Well, Clannad really shows how it’s done! Most characters had their family background at least a little developed. Tomoya and his dad, Nagisa and her family, Kotomi and her family, Sunohara and his sister, and others. And now compare it with an anime without any relevant scenes of the main casts’ family. See my point? It really makes the character come alive with feelings as viewers can understand and can relate them to their family.
The animation is also really good. Pay close attention and I could notice how detailed the scenes were. Really enhanced each scenes and the mood it was bringing in the viewers. Initially the face of the characters looked a little weird to me. Seemed like their eyes were too far apart and really too big, especially Nagisa. But I am glad that I got used to it and really enjoyed it later on. Started to get all Moe over it even.
The opening theme, Megumeru-cuckool mix 2007, and the scenes of the other world brought about a serious feel to the anime. Not that the anime needed it, all throughout the episodes you can already feel it’s a very mature series. Very settling and comfortable. Anyone thinks that the opening theme reminds them of Noein? Sounded slightly similar to me and kept bringing up Noein memories to me.
The ending theme, Dango Daikazuku, was really nice and soothing. Definitely a must have! And the BGM, oh my god! It was superb. Every tune felt so touching. Every time a BGM played to a scene, I would get Goosebumps or wet eyes guaranteed. Yet another perfect aspect of Clannad!
Episode 14 also showed an important part of character scripting. In earlier episodes, the anime introduced Nishima Rie, a character with just a few scenes. Seemed like someone you can ignore. But during later episodes, Nishima was brought out again. This time playing a bigger role in the current storyline. The thing is, because Nishima was already slightly explored in the earlier episodes, viewers can already relate to her without needing a reintroduction which would be just a waste of episode. Triple Thumbs Up!
The first few episodes introduced this anime’s cast. Another Thumbs Up! As every character had a role to play and was significant. In no way were any of the characters redundant. Episode 5 to 9 showed Fuko’s story. It was so touching! I have honestly NEVER cried so much from watching an anime before. Come to think of it, I have never cried so much from watching ANYTHING before, no movies, no live series, none! Definitely get a tissue box ready by your side. Episode 10 and it was back to the funnies. This time with the story surrounding Kotomi and her violin wielding powers Lol! It did a good job of lifting up the mood again from the sense of loss after watching the conclusion of Fuko’s story at episode 9. By episode 12, a slight mystery develops based on Kotomi’s and Tomoya’s past and their relationship to one another. Keep an eye out for a special appearance in episode 12. And yet again, without failure another beautiful story is put together for the ending of Kotomi’s storyline in episode 14. The episodes after that seemed like it had a bit of everything, from Tomoya’s background to the development of the Theatre Club. Episode 17 and finally Tomoya starts to consider his true feelings and how everyone around him was starting to express their feelings for him in a more direct way. That ends somewhat good as the series starts to explore Nagisa’s past in episode 19, setting up for the final storyline. And also finally! The mystery of the other world with the girl and the robot starts to unfold. The anime felt climaxed at episode 22 and was just playing episode 23 out. That is the only slight fuss I have for Clannad. I really feel that they could have milk more tears out of episode 22, maybe by having the story use the final episode slot as well. Otherwise, it’s just perfect.
Erm… Anyone noticed the new Honda Civic drive by at episode 21? Lol! Just something to share. Felt like an “Easter egg” of some sort.
10-year old Negi Springfield is a wizard-in-training, and needs only to pass one more test in order to become a Master Wizard. Unfortunately, his final task is a bizarre one – to become an English teacher at an all-female boarding school. As soon as he arrives, he completely embarrasses one of his students, Asuna Kagurazaka, and replaces the teacher she loves, which garners her hatred. To make matters worse, Asuna learns that Negi is a wizard, and promises to tell unless he helps her out. But, unfortunately, circumstances force them to work together to do many things together, from fighting evil wizards to helping the class pass their final exam, with a lot of humor, magic and romances thrown in. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Magister Negi Magi is a nice and light anime to watch. Felt like the studio took it’s time and laid out a nice steady pace for the story to develop and really grow. The roles each character play are clear and might get a little predictable though. I’m pretty much able to assume lots of stuff after a few episodes, but was still hoping for the unpredictable to happen. Just some random twist in the story to really crank things up a notch. After watching the seventh episode or so, you‘d come to realize that most of the students are not as simple as they appear to be, as you come across robots, vampires, and kung-fu fighting students. There are some slight inconsistencies which seemed too obvious yet intended. Example, at one episode, Asuna claims that no one knows that Chachamaru is a robot. Yet in another episode, the Robotics Club was practically “upgrading” Chachamaru.
The comedy was really good, a little slapstick feel but not anything too silly. Just simple and sweet fun, nothing deep or hidden. From the start, it is crystal clear what the anime aims to achieve, which is to give you a good time and entertain. And what it is meant to do, it does so well. This is one title you can watch years later and still have a good time.
Animation is pleasing to the eyes. Just don’t expect anything fancy and a little obvious it’s from the yesteryears, but still acceptable by all means. Good old fashion solid colors and clear solid lines. Animation in the last episode seems to be a step up compared to the other episodes though. Character designs are good too, with normal proportioned body figure and decently drawn looks. Although sometimes Negi’s size looks a little off scale when standing beside his students. At times he looks way too small.
The main opening, Happy Material, and ending theme, Kagayaku Kimi He, are pretty good. They are all sung by the voice casts of the students. Not only does it go with the mood of the anime but it has a really nice beat to it.
Asuna nails her role perfectly, being very lively but showing compassion and heart as required by the variety of scenes. The transition from hating Negi to being a good friend felt a little too rushed. But although becoming good friends very early in the series, the hatred Asuna felt before that was well expressed and at least they didn’t overplay that. I kept wondering what story falls behind the different colored eyes of Asuna, and when it would be revealed. Unfortunately, it never will. Lol!
Negi could very well be my new definition of Male Moe! Lol! Soft spoken and with a cute appearance, he always save the day with his fast reaction and magic skills. In terms of anime characters, I have always hated indecisive personalities, those who portray being too weak to speak up for themselves, or those who always says they are forced to doing things they don’t want to but didn’t even try to fight back. But surprisingly, not only did I NOT hate Negi’s “obedience” to Asuna. But their relationship grew on me as they got more and more attached. It is good that they focused on some of Negi’s background, his intentions of why he pursued magic and his actions are also well scripted. Instead of just going around showing romance between the students and him, which could have made this “just another harem”.
I absolutely adore Nodoka. Although lacking in depth compared to Negi or Asuna throughout the series, her appearance always feels welcomed. Not because I like her character, but in the sense that the anime always does a nice setting to prepare for Nodoka’s appearance. Hmm… This might be a little hard to elaborate on. An example would be showing Nodoka at the library borrowing books. And Negi near the garden stairs. As the books obstruct Nodoka’s view, she trips and falls down the stairs only to be saved by Negi. As compared to other characters which just suddenly pop out of nowhere to be hugging Negi etc. etc. Get my drift? :p
Kumo, I’m not a big fan of. I was just playing it out. Seeing if I would get attached or take a liking to him as the series progressed. But at the end of it, I’m just glad he didn’t hog up the airtime. One thing I just want to mention, doesn’t the principle looks like a perfect candidate for the next Macross movie? Putting him alongside the Zentradi’s. Lol! As for the other student characters, read on below.
Initially I was going to write about each episode and its story and characters. But by episode 10, I was pretty stunned at the sheer amount of characters in play. So I just dropped the idea. Instead, I thought of Googling for an online source and linking it
here. However, the only source I found was this and I felt it wasn’t focused enough on this original series. So I’ve decided to do an article on the full character study of all the students and probably some of the main teachers. But it is going to be a long term project for me. In a way, you can say it’s just another excuse to watch this anime again. Lol!
Talk about perfect timing! Just at the beginning of episode 20, during the story of the Kyodo trip, I was just thinking out loud “They better not end the whole series in a comedy, it would be a waste” and indeed, the pace changed. Ask and ye shall receive! Lol! The anime threw in some action. Konoka was explored and the Honranji was introduced. Don’t need to take note of Honranji though, it’s just that a name for the villains; a one episode deal.
From there to the end of this series, things really take a turn as it explores Asuna and her emotional problems among other minor things. I didn’t see the Asuna story coming at all! A “WTF! How the hell could you kill off Asuna!” escape my mouth and sure as hell frightened my family. Lol!
Finished the whole series and still there is no episode that felt redundant, no episode to complain on. It’s just that you never expect any particular episode to bring deep meaning in the first place. The huge amount of characters really is this animes’ strong point. Cycling through different groups of characters with a variety of story plots keeping things fresh, yet still focusing on its main characters Negi and Asuna to explore and develop them thoroughly. This anime really excels in terms of this. Magister Negi Magi really is a main dish served with lots of laughter, a pink of affection and just a dash of action. Tasty!
Negima! / Magister Negi Magi (Season 1)/ Mahou Sensei Negima
Torrents: Mahou_Sensei_Negima_Mega-Pack The only torrent I found, but don’t expect much quality wise. Please check details before downloading.
Ok, Major confusion finally cleared. The original series is Negima! (a.k.a Magister Negi Magi or Mahou Sensei Negima) which is this anime I’m posting about now.
Not to be confused with the remake called Negima!? with the addition of the question mark in it’s title. Which tells a slightly different storyline. The part to watch out for is that some places (like here in Malaysia) sells Negima! and Negima!? under the same title but calls it as “Season 1″ (for Negima!) and “Season 2″ (for Negima!?) instead. And all the while I kept looking around anime shops for Negima!? when I’ve already bought it under the title of Magister Negi Magi Season 2. Lol! The confusion!!
On the first day of high school a beautiful girl named Haruhi Suzumiya introduces herself as having “no interest in ordinary humans”. She asks for any aliens, time travelers, sliders or espers to join her. Watching her weird behaviour is Kyon who sits in front of Haruhi and is the only person who talks to her. When Kyon comments about Haruhi’s joining every club in school and then quitting he unwittingly gives Haruhi an idea to start her own after school club. Thereafter Kyon and several others find themselves dragged, literally, into the Save our world by Overloading it with fun Suzumiya Haruhi’s Brigade (the S.O.S. Brigade for short). Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Haruhi Suzumiya strongly feels that a normal repetitive life is mundane. To add meaning to her life, she seeks all mysteries of the world. Aliens, time travelers, espers, and all others are eccentrically welcomed. She is definitely the energy of the bunch. Making Melancholy feels lively at times, although she does overdo it. The anime portraits Haruhi’s mood and feelings, no matter happy or sad, well. Too bad it was only useful in a single episode when Haruhi was feeling down and that did made an impact. Otherwise, Haruhi was just too hyper during the other 13 episodes and there was nothing Haruhi could express herself with.
Haruhi’s unique feature appearance wise is how she has a huge chin. Up to the point of almost being male like. I like how Haruhi referenced Moe in the anime. I wonder if the term Moe got famous because of this anime. And Haruhi is right.
Mikuru Asahino is definitely the moe of the anime. A character equipped with yet another glass shattering high pitch voice. I expected her to play a bigger role as the anime progresses from the brief appearance of her adult version during the earlier episodes of the series, but Pfft… was just getting my hopes high.
Kyon used to believe in the paranormal and supernatural but stopped as he got older and didn’t find any proof to his beliefs. And now he is a laid back, passing everyday as it comes kind of guy. His crush on Asahino is definitely strong right from the start. No silly “oh-so-many-girls-I-can’t make-up-my-mind” stuff here. Definitely a strong point for his character. Another unique attribute for Kyon is that for a main character, he seems to have quite a lack of friends. Another refreshing difference welcomed in a character design. Especially for a lead character, where normally they’d have friends who would stick by their side night and day.
Yuki Nagato… just an observer? I hope not. More importantly, Yuki’s lack of expression pretty much kills her character. I hoped she would have changed as the anime progresses to prevent her becoming dull but again I was wrong.
The thing I never liked about school life animes is especially when they don’t include any form of background revelation. Like family background, parents, what sort of homes they come from, etc. and Melancholy does just that. At no point did a single hint of any the characters’ background came to play. It was understandable for Asahino, Yuki or Koizumi. But what about Haruhi and Kyon? Do they stay with their parents? Does Haruhi even have parents? Definitely one of the important points which the anime has left out.
Nothing much to expect from the animation. Characters come with slightly colorful palette. The above average architectural designs used in different scenes every now and then are quite refreshing. Overall, it does what it’s supposed to do and doesn’t awe.
About the opening and ending themes, I remember reading someone mentioned that it was an otaku’s dream come true. That guy was talking about how the dance video was very Moe. Maybe it was then, but unfortunately, better dance sequences have appeared in other anime titles and are becoming a common sight. So it didn’t really do much for me. Song was still enjoyable though. So again, another stale plus.
First episode didn’t inspire confidence. It didn’t even feel like a character buildup episode. Instead, there were some giggles here and there, which does fine for the start of a series. Episode 2 shows how everyone came together to form the group that they are. The S.O.S Brigade! Melancholy felt like a rather slow anime, nothing too serious. Then BAM! Episode 3 hits you like a bomb. Information overload! The setting is not that hard to grasp, it’s just too much too fast. All characters will be cast by the end of episode 4 and the anime takes a turn for more action and less play time. The exciting battle scene was a plus, the playing
out of the mystery of Haruhi’s origin made things get really interesting. A stray thought popped up at the start of episode 5. Everyone was referring to Haruhi as the main cause of everything and Kyon as a key ingredient. What if, in later episodes, the plot changed to reveal that it was Kyon who was actually the creator and Haruhi was just a creation instead? I remembered back in episode 1’s opening that Kyon was talking about how he used to believe in ghosts, aliens and espers but stopped at one point and settled for the ordinary. What if he still wanted to believe in them? Wouldn’t that create Haruhi? I was really starting to go with the flow and the series was really starting to grow on me.
The transition between episode 7 and 8 felt like there was loss of direction, at one episode the anime was funny and had some crazy moments. Next, everyone put on their serious mask and was talking about life and its creation. It was these episodes that Melancholy was starting to drop in my ratings. It feels like the studio didn’t know what they wanted to do with the anime. Episode 9 and yet another bummer showcasing way too much talk. The anime was trying to get more complex that it should have been. And ended up just got downright boring. Ok, seriously, everything felt downhill all the way from episode 6. So much that I can just spoil the anime for you by telling you to only two things to look forward to in the second half of this 14 episode anime.
First would be the two songs Haruhi sings and Yuki guitars to at the school festival which I find superb both in terms of animation and music. Second would be when Yuki finally shows an expression with the desire to win a computer game match between the S.O.S. Brigade and the computer club. Others were terrible. At one point, I was calling out begging for Kyon to stop his rambling which I initially enjoyed during the first half of the series. Remember the thought I had about episode 5 above? Reading that I laughed at the fact that the anime didn’t even attempt to play out a conclusion to all the Haruhi mystery and I was over-analyzing. Can someone tell the studio that having Hard Gay and hints of other animes does not help an anime from sucking?
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Note to consider: I watched the episodes in chronological order. As packed in DVD’s.
Simon lives a boring life in the underground village of Jeeha, where his main job day in and day out is to dig tunnels. His close friend Kamina, however, longs to bust out of their oppressive existence and reach the surface world where open skies and adventure await! One day, during his usual digs, Simon discovers a robot with a big face buried amongst the rocks. No sooner has he shown Kamina his mysterious find when two beings from the surface crash land into Jeeha Village – one is a gun-toting woman calling herself Yoko and the other is a terrifying mecha piloted by a Beastman! Seeing their chance to escape village drudgery, Kamina rallies Simon and Yoko to defeat the invader using their new robot, Lagann. However, upon breaking out onto the surface world, Simon, Kamina, and Yoko encounter enemies more powerful than they could have envisioned. Their fight for adventure just turned into a war for the survival of the human race – will their lust for freedom hold out against such terrible odds? Source: Anime-planet.com
Gainax has jammed the whole of the original Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann series into 2 movies each running up to almost 2 hours long. Guren-hen is part 1 of the movie followed by Ragan-hen as the sequel. Now this is just a sorry excuse for a “movie”. Re-using old scenes from the original series, it’s basically a recap. Watching this movie, I remembered what the hype of the original series was about as it was still evident in this movie. The character designs were excellent. The robots were ever changing, so I didn’t have to worry about seeing the same robot form over and over again. And the animation is still as lively as ever. All this comes together to make this title feels fresh as ever. Only problem with this movie is, if you didn’t watch the original series, there is no freaking way that you will understand this movie and what it’s about. The movie highlights the important parts of the original series but totally ignores the build-up plot and the lack of script doesn’t help either.
So if you would watch a title just for the animation then you can give this movie a try. Otherwise, just stay clear of this movie completely. The final battle was interesting though as I felt like I was just watching the original series yesterday. And that was the only part I enjoyed. If my memory doesn’t fail me, the storyline was slightly altered and some new scenes were added. This could have been a really good movie if they could somehow squeeze more explanations to provide a better understanding of the setting. Bah! Humbug!
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Guren-hen
It’s a new school year and Ryuuji Takasu discovers not only is he in the same class as his best friend, Yusaku Kitamura, but also Minori Kukshieda whom he’s had an undisclosed crush on for quite some time. Along with Kitamura and Minori is Minori’s best friend, the “Palmtop Tiger”, tiny Taiga Aisaka whom, despite her small stature, takes nothing from nobody. Taiga is secretly in love with Kitamura and she and Ryuuji, despite an oil and water relationship, agree to mutually support each other in their quests for their heart’s desire. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Toradora was a rather difficult two faced anime to write a review on. To me, first 8 episodes gave the impression that Toradora was more school relationship and slice-of-teen-life than comedy. The comedy didn’t seem to be able to hit my funny bone at first and felt rather lacking which does help viewers derive that Toradora is not a fully slapstick comedy romance wannabe. But rather something which will be able to bring depth to its characters and if fully utilized, stand out to be a better title than the other competitors. (I was really expecting a funny series based on some blog reviews I read)
Aisaka Taiga plays her role a little too well. Taiga could have cut some slack after sending out the message to viewers that she is playing a rather stubborn-headed girl being all bossy and such, not forgetting being General Clumsy. But no… she has to continue communicating by kicking lamp posts and screaming, punching, kicking at people and tables.
Takasu Ryuuji is just plain sweet and sugar spice, way way too thoughtful. If he could show a little more retaliation, just to make him resemble a human more than a dog. Ryuuji’s character felt oozing with originality but Minori, Taiga and Kitamura will feel pretty stereotyped. But then again, having stereotype characters doesn’t and will never bother me so long as the anime is good.
Kushieda Minori is one… random… girl. Early in the series, Minori gives the impression of a rather simple minded character being all smiles 24/7 and would definitely make fans hope that she isn’t as shallow as she seems. Nothing to worry about though as fans will really get to explore Minori’s character later on. Even though she was the mostly lively of the bunch, she was also the one who made my heart ached. Real~~ly ached.
Kitamura Yusaku is just playing it too darn cool. I absolutely hate him. Kawashima Ami was also playing it too damn cool, hiding her own feelings and instead trying to force other characters’ feeling out.
Miraculously, all the negative attributes I mentioned for each of the characters above somehow disappears with each passing episode. Minori gain depth, Taiga got less and less irritating, Ryuuji started to reconsider his own feelings and confusion, Ami started showing a softer side, and even Kitamura managed to grow on me. Absolutely unbelievable!
What I hated most was how everyone seems to forget what they said. In one episode Ami says she was not going to hide behind a façade anymore. Next episode, and there was no change in her personality! Ami was still being all fakey nice-nice. In another episode, Taiga actually screams out loud that Ryuuji “belongs” to her in front of the whole class. By the next episode, again no change! As though everyone forgot about it. What’s that about?!!
I really couldn’t ask for more animation wise. It’s not super, but it’s clean and clear. Nothing fancy was added for the sake of “just” adding. Anything more and it would probably have spoiled the mood Toradora was trying to cultivate. The first opening theme, “Pre-Parade (プレパレード)” by Rie Kugimiya, Eri Kitamura, and Yui Horie, felt like a Hongkie rap style sing-a-long and it took me quite a while to take a liking to. As for both ending themes, they weren’t bad at all and got me to take a fancy for it instantly. “Vanilla Salt (バニラソルト)” by Yui Horie and “Orange (オレンジ)” by Rie Kugimiya, Eri Kitamura and Yui Horie.
Episode 1 to 3 help set up the script properly introducing its main characters and the main supporting ca
sts. And later, episode 5 and 6 did a good combo in bringing out Kawashima Ami, also a main character. Initially showing her façade and later telling the reason why she has to hide behind the façade, to hide her weakness.
Things really turn around in episode 7. First time throughout the series, Taiga actually apologized. A single sincere “Sorry” and instantly I start feeling attached to this series. The whole anime actually felt lighter as there was hope for Ryuuji being more than a “Dog”. Coincidentally, it was from the same episode that I really enjoyed the comedy.
“Fake Breast Special Force”
Turning point of this series is definitely between episode 7 and 8. Taiga was finally showing some weakness. Not those illogical silly random weaknesses mind you, I was referring to the weakness of the heart as she expressed feelings for Ryuuji in a rather unorthodox but touching way. I think the production could have spread the message out between more episodes as it felt like they tried to cramp too much into this 2 episodes. But from this point on, every episode was epic!
Episode 10 is a really nice setup as Minori starts to open up to Ryuuji. Alas my prayers were answered! And more depth is added to Minori.
The following episodes showed another story and explained more about Taiga’s family and her background. What I find absolutely great about Toradora is that no matter the story and who the related characters were, other supporting characters would always have a sufficient role to play, making sure that no one was redundant. Which was really apparent in this story arch. I could have sworn that Toradora was going to make episode 13 the last episode.
Episode 16 was another perfect story with the previous episode doing the perfect setting. Making sure no tears are spared when the climax unfolded. It was just… too… beautiful… when Kanou revealed her true feelings.
And at the end; Ahhh… The beautiful ending, a little tricky, but still beautiful. Really made my heart melt. I really wish I could talk about it, but I’d just spoil it for you guys. So I’m just going to hold it all in and hope you guys don’t miss out on this absolutely heartwarming 5-Star. Toradora is the one title which has managed to form a perfectly balanced love-hate relationship between viewers and itself. First 8 episodes bring out some hate and after that it’s epic all the way.
Marika moves to a town and finds that all the neighbors are famous scientists. Galileo Galilei is living next door, Isaac Newton is working in a grocery store, and John Ambrose Fleming is doing a part-time job at an electronic store. They teach Marika science comically with jokes, dances and music. For example, “Fleming’s left hand rule” will be taught with a hip-hop song “Love Coil” sung by Fleming himself. Source: MyAnimeList.net
Most will be surprised when I say this, but Marie & Gali is actually not a bad anime. What felt good about this title was the way they talked. During the first 2 episodes, every sentence was short and direct and I could really learn some Japanese as simple as it may be. Not only that I actually find the animation acceptable, “Flash”y or not. I guess I just really dig animes with bright and solid colors. And don’t forget the educational factor, as viewers will learn about (from the first 2 episodes) gravitational force, Leonardo da Vinci, Newton and many more from later episodes I’m sure.
Marie & Gali
Comments: Gonna give this anime a pass, story wise ain’t really my cup of tea.