Kraft Lawrence, a 25 year old peddler traveling from town to town selling and buying various things to make a living during a period much like Europe in the Middle Ages. One night when stopped at the town of Pasroe, he finds in his wagon a 250 year old pagan wolf deity girl named Holo.
She appears to be that of a 15 year old girl, except for a wolf tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town’s goddess of harvest who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Despite having the responsibility to watch over the town, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu, she believes the people have already forsaken her anyway and that she has kept her promise to maintain the good harvests. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church.
Unfortunately, Spice and Wolf Season 1 didn’t hit my expectations which was sky high after watching Season 2. In season 2, Holo was smarter, the story was more intense despite the lack of “wolf” action and Kraft could actually counter Holo’s sarcasm.
Spice and Wolf Season 1
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
A series of short stories depicting the complicated love lives of eight middle school and high school girls, their classmates and relatives. These stories later intertwine to form a main story involving most of the cast.
Continuing where I left off yesterday… aAAAaaAAAAaAAaAAAAaaaAAAAAAAaaaaAAAAAAAaAAaaaaaaAAAAAaaa!
One day after Hatsukoi Limited and my heart is still full of emotions. Even after hitting the limit and have my heart erupting, constant flash backs of the anime instantly fills my heart and reminds me why I have to watch Hatsukoi Limited again sometime in the near future.
Behold the following MSN chat I had last night…
Date Time Sender Receiver Message
10/4/2009 8:17:49 PM Ant Razrigz how was your day? neh… nothing new… just finished dinner and mandi… now going back to Hatsukoi Limited…
10/4/2009 8:18:05 PM Ant Razrigz watching the anime really makes me feel so lonely… makes me really want to find a girlfriend… hahahahaha
10/4/2009 8:18:21 PM Razrigz Ant hahah
10/4/2009 8:18:24 PM Ant Razrigz basket… i sound like a loser.. with a capital L
10/4/2009 8:18:36 PM Ant Razrigz hahaha… sa bis shi… -.-”
10/4/2009 8:18:40 PM Razrigz Ant dont watch it it’ll make u feel u wanna kill ur self
10/4/2009 8:18:44 PM Razrigz Ant huhuhu
10/4/2009 8:18:53 PM Razrigz Ant same here lol ^^
10/4/2009 8:18:55 PM Ant Razrigz is that how you felt?
10/4/2009 8:18:57 PM Ant Razrigz lol…
10/4/2009 8:19:41 PM Razrigz Ant when i watchin hatsukoi limited
10/4/2009 8:19:42 PM Razrigz Ant Lolz
10/4/2009 8:19:44 PM Ant Razrigz i think i understand when you say cannot stay home liau.. hahaha like after watching hatsukoi limited… really need to go out cause if stay home alone will feel too lonely
Razrigz as in this guy. Lol! Thanks for letting me spam our chat.
I didn’t expect it to be so true. Well, not literally. Instead I couldn’t help but doubt the memories of my schooldays I treasure so much. Compared to Hatsukoi Lmited, they seem so shallow and void of romance.
Talking about shallow, that was the first impression I got when I started this series. It was unavoidable seeing how much comedy was in the first 2 episodes. And how it was making fun of the one-sided love Zaitsu Misao has for Ayumi. The ending theme didn’t help much either.
This would then turn out to be the few times that I’m super glad to be wrong. The episodes after that were fill with energy, romance, passion… Youth.
Although, this anime got me thinking, regarding Kusuda and Kei-san’s romance. Are all mid-school students that slow when interpreting love?..
No wait, reflecting on my own experience… Yeah, back in school, I do have friends, both guys and gals, who wouldn’t know if a love-train smacked them head-on. -.-“
This is strictly my own feeling and I’m wondering if I’m the only one. But Hatsukoi Limited is so filled with emotions, not only sad, romantic and touching moments. But also laughter and joy. Yet it didn’t push me to the point I’d cry, like Clannad did. I did get wet eyes though. The thing is, it’s because I didn’t cry that my heart feels so heavy that it’s driving me crazy. It’s like there’s no outlet for all the emotions. So I’d like to ask, am I the only one who feels this way? Or is there someone out there who needs help just as much as I do? Lol!
Hatsukoi Limited has (somehow) got me reflecting on myself so much I don’t even think this should be called a review post anymore. But just to make due, there will be nothing to complain about regarding the animation quality, sound and music and story. It will, without fail, satisfy anyone as long as they have an open heart and mind towards romance animes. There are some slight changes I would have made to the characters before I can call this anime perfect though. But Hatsukoi Limited comes pretty darn close! 5-Wonderfully-Heart-Warming-Stars!
P.S: At this point, I’m wondering if posting all that I’ve written above will reveal to the world the big sissy that I am. Hmmm…. Sissy it is! :p
As usual, I feel that some of the pantsu shots were uncalled for. Hatsukoi Limited already had so much going for it that it wouldn’t need simple-minded fanservice. The swimsuits and loli dressing however, are still welcomed.
Those who came across my Clannad review, might remember how I once mention that I prefer characters with well developed background, family and history wise. I feel that it gives characters a greater level of depth and complexity. Which prevents them from feeling like “staple” characters. And in turn gives the illusion of the characters being able to affect you deeper as you are able to relate to that character. Well, Hatsukoi Limited really opened my eyes to how an anime character can go about doing what I just mentioned without the complex character build-up. From episode to episode, Hatsukoi Limited barely build character depth yet when the characters get in their own environment the story has build around them, they were able to become so touching. If I didn’t have this self-imposed-ignorance belief, I would be worshipping the script writer(/director) by now. Absolutely wonderful!
Yeah, sure. There are animes being able to move you emotionally without character build-up as well. But none touched me more than Hatsukoi Limited.
One last thing. Episode 9, which tells the story between Chikura and Renjou. BEST… EPISODE… EVER!
Till now, my heart stings whenever I hear the ending song, Sora ni Mau by marble play.
Yukari is a typical high-school student who listens to her parents and attends school everyday. As she starts to question her way of life, she encounters a group of fashion design students who has a clothing label known as “Paradise Kiss”. The group needs to find a model to showcase their designs in an up-coming fashion show and decides to pick Yukari instead. Initially, Yukari was reluctant to be associated with this seemingly eccentric group, but eventually, she realises that they are really nice people. Furthermore, their passion and enthusiasm to follow their ideals and dreams make Yukari realise that she has not been enjoying her life and this motivated her to pursue her own dreams.
Do NOT watch this if you are working the next day. You won’t be able to stop drowning yourself in George’s cool charm, Elizabeth’s innocence, Arashi’s honesty and Miwako’s adolescences. Paradise Kiss should be banned for being so dangerously addictive. Everything Ristorante Paradiso is, Paradise Kiss is too. And I’m not just comparing them because of the slightly similar name. Elegant, stylish, romantically charming but with Paradise Kiss, you get more flair, energy and sensual. We are, after all, comparing old geezers to high-school students.
Blurring the lines between reality and dream. On one hand, we have the story of a girl facing her future, exams, parental pressure, things everyone encounters. On another hand, it shows what happens when one dream and dares to pursue. Hours really fly by with this series.
The storytelling pace for Caroline’s dilemma fit me to a tee in Paradise Kiss. Despite her character facing so many problems continuously, I did not felt suffocated. That’s because Paradise Kiss laid out the plot nicely. First they explored Caroline’s indecision with her future. Gave viewers an episode to get the idea into their head. Then they brought up the modeling issue. Then another episode. Then George. Etc. Get what I mean? Surprisingly I didn’t feel bored (which I normally would). I loved it!
The opening theme, Lonely in Gorgeous by Tommy february6, is absolutely a perfect match for the anime. The closing theme is good too. It’s just I’ve listen to Franz Ferdinand so many times in the past I got bored.
Although understandable, I still wished the spotlight coulhd have shifted around more between Arashi, Miwako and Elizabeth instead of being so focused on Geaorge. Hmm… Talking about George, as cool as he may be, he is pretty much on my hate-list for making the ladies around him cry all the time. Especially Caroline. Well… At least he was faithful to Caroline (I think).
In the end, I’m glad there’s only 13 episodes cause I would not be able to bare the constant pain whenever George and Caroline fights.
Ok then, going to end this post, hit the sack. And try (very hard) to fall asleep and just hope for a dream as rich as Paradise Kiss is.
The beauty that is the blue rose. Watch the anime and you shall understand.
Torrents: FrothBite and AnimeForever
I don’t think I would have watched this if it wasn’t for Listless Ink’s post . So credits go there too. Go grab your wallpapers there! :p
Talking about wallpapers, Googling around I noticed that there isn’t much Arashi and Miwako’s as compared to George and Caroline. So I’m gonna try and vector a wallpaper up. Lol!
Just something to take me away from my anime addiction.
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!
Nicoletta is a young woman who decides to go to Rome to see her mother who left her when she was just a child. She went there with the intention of revealing her relationship with her mother to her mother’s lover who owned a restaurant. At the restaurant Nicoletta meets Claudio, a cameriere, and is instantly drawn to him.
More info: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
After seeing the first 2 episodes, the conclusion I drew was that Ristorante Paradiso was going to be an anime about some love triangle trapped in a harem restaurant filled with old geezers. It really threw me off guard as to what to expect in the coming episodes.
Don’t get me wrong, it turn out just as I mentioned, love triangle in harem restaurant indeed, but what I didn’t expect was how crazily addictive it could get.
Watching this I feel like I was sucked into the peaceful environment of Ristorante Casetta Dell-orso, the restaurant in the anime in which most airtime takes place. The story was exciting in a romantic way as Nicoletta bonds with others with each passing episode and as the series tells the history of Ristorante Casetta Dell-orso, its staffs and its patrons in a comfortable way.
A great slice-of-life that achieves perfect pacing and a relaxing atmosphere. The world around me stops as time flies by as I drown myself in the charm of each episode. Smiling like a love-drown fool looking at the monitor. Lol!
Ristorante Paradiso explored every character with just the right balance of airtime. Characters were given enough depth without hogging up any particular episode. The staffs’ romantic pasts really sparks up the whole anime.
Characters were drawn to really bring out the European feel; Big mouth, big nose, slightly deep eye sockets. Using a mixture of thick and soft lines, coupled with the watercolor background.
The inconsistencies between some particular scenes were obvious.
Look at the beautiful cars, then look at the fingers around holding the cup -.-”
Good opening and closing theme. Suteki na Kajitsu (ステキな果実) by Lisa Komine, is an ending theme which blends so well with the mood of the anime.
Enjoy the sharp comebacks which always manage to draw laughter from me
Nicoletta didn’t exactly give a good first impression when all she talks about in the first 2 episodes was about falling in love with someone’s husband who looks easily 20 years older than her. Not that I have a problem with the age, seeing how I also fantasize about having a 25 year old wife when I turn 40. It just makes Nicoletta seem shallow.
It was great that she focused herself on her cooking skills in the later episodes. Challenging cooking brought another level of depth to her and saves her from nailing the dull “All-I-Can-Think-About-Is-You” sign on her forehead.
Caught in the act by mom, a.k.a. pPPWnnEEEddd!!! Lol!
Having just a slight bumpy opening episode, it was smooth sailing from episode 2 till the end. Could have milked out the ending just a tad more, giving it another episode to grow. Instead of ending it in a quick one-two-shoot-cut after the birthday party scene. Though, having a slightly short ending did not deter it from giving off a sense of brilliance. Ristorante Paradiso, an anime that lets you appreciate the finer things in life.
Since this review is rather short, I’m going to include some words which is commonly used in the anime. Ain’t exactly spam, just something you’d come across in Ristorante Paradiso.
Buonasera = Good Evening
Chiuso = Closed
Salve = Hello
Ciao = Bye
Buon Guorno = Good Morning
Grazie = Thank You
Prego = Your Welcome
Santa = Saint
Santa Lucia = a traditional Neapolitan song. More info: Wiki
Buon Compleano = Happy Birthday
Tanti Auguri a te = a more generic “Wish you Well” which can be used for various occasions
Piacere = Please, Pleasure, To Please. More info: Yahoo Answers
Alla Prossima = See you next time
Finally gotten around to watching the Kyou arc. Initially planned to drop a short comment and included it with my Summary of Lots post. But being my favorite series, surely it deserves a spot of its own.
Watching it this late, after so many reviews were out, brings about some good and bad points. Good in the sense that I get to see the feedback and reaction from other fellow bloggers after watching this Kyou arc. Then getting to watch it myself, I try to understand why the feedback or reaction. And finally comparing it with my own. I can’t help but wonder if I actually do attain some sort of sick pleasure from doing that. -.-“
As for the bad point, sometimes I can’t escape spoilers. :p
Even after completing the After Story series, I’ve always and still felt that the Fujibayashi sisters didn’t get enough spotlight. Or rather was more of a supporting cast than being key players. So when they got their own arc, I was happy through and through.
Tomoya had the spotlight on him throughout the episode. Didn’t like that, would have preferred more scenes on how Kyou and Ryou faced each other whenever Tomoya was involved. How they would converse about Tomoya with one another. Etc.
Instead of being hurt, Tomoya looked more like he was confused. Confused to whether he should be feeling hurt in the first place (I sound like I’m going in circles don’t I?). As he fails to confront his true feelings on who he really loves.
As for the sisters, every scene involving them was well expressed. Every Kyou or Ryou scenes played out just I expected they would. I really enjoyed how “human” both Kyou and Ryou was. Kyou being the big sister who tried to put Ryou before her. And Ryou turning out to be the more daring one as she takes the initiative in both stopping Kyou’s advancement and expressing her feelings to Tomoya.
Being so long since I watched any Clannad stories, this episode didn’t turn out as touching as I thought. I didn’t get watery eyes or felt sad even. If anything, I was happy instead. Happy that both Kyou and Ryou finally face their inner self.
I don’t really get how is it that the Fujibayashi sisters get so much hate. And I’m not just talking about posts concerning this episode. Especially Kyou who seems to be steal the spotlight whenever it comes to Clannad discussions, when she didn’t really get much airtime on Clannad itself. Way too much attention, both positive and negative, when she is cast alongside so many other great characters. Why doesn’t anyone talk about Nagisa? Or even Kotomi?
As far as ending is concern, I’m very satisfied with it. Though not as touching as Tomoya arc or Nagisa, script was still well played and plot was direct. It saddens me to think that no matter who Tomoya chose, someone will get hurt. But heck! That’s what reality is like. And THAT’s what makes this episode great.
Clannad After Story OVA: Kyou Arc
Off topic: Leave it to Naruto Shippuuden to tear your enthusiasm to shreds. Skipped through episodes 106 to 112. 6 episodes of the ugliest animation ever to come out from Japan. Sometimes I wonder if the story is indeed worth such torture. Just needed a spot to rant on this.
Kanade, Yukino and Shizuku are sisters. Sakuya is schoolmate. Kanade loves Yukino. Yukino loves Kanade. Shizuku loves Kanade and Yukino more. Yukino and Kanade loves Shizuku too but less. Sakuya loves Kanade. But no one loves Sakuya.
Yeah… This is Yuri all right and that was basically the plot and the whole storyline of the 7 episodes.
*Off course I did leave a few minor details out so as not to totally spoil your fun*
More info: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Candy Boy sure was flaunting it’s graphics. And it had every right to do so. Everything was so uBer beautifully drawn. Every scene felt like something I just had to make a wallpaper out of. The slightly faded background coupled with the soft tone colors were serene.
The first theme, Candy Boy performed by MeiLin, I can love to bits!
Although the storyline doesn’t leave much to ponder upon, I still found an unatural fondness towards this short but beautiful series. Heck, if all Yuri’s were like this, I’ve been missing out on a lot for a long long time! And what I love most about this was that there was not a single drop of ecchi. BANZAI!!!
Slight note of torrents: At time of posting this, high quality versions for ep5 and ep6 have not been released. But when they do, I strongly suggest you get them too!
And also off topic: Check this out at Taikatsu Remedy. Interesting read. Posting it here cause didn’t want to spam the blog directories with short posts.
Polyphonica tells the story of Phoron, your usual hikkimori. When Phoron was a just a little child, he met a high level Spirit. “Will you be mine? Will you sing only for me?” was what she said before she dissappears into the night. He has never forgotten about her ever since. 12 years later, he meets her again. And the story goes on. More info: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
Crimson S really sets off with a good start; settings slowly gain form while characters build depth. By the third episode, I was already familiar with the world of Crimson S. Who the Dantists were, how the spirit-human relationship worked, how the school grading worked, etc. Yet nothing felt rushed at all. Hence, Crimson S settled the task of building the settings and got to focus on what it was suppose to do instead.
Midway through, I already knew that there will be a shallow and quick plot when it came down in the end. Half the series down and there was still no solid development for the terrorists or their goals. Throughout the series, the atmosphere was just too enjoyable and carefree, not giving the terrorists plot a chance to make any impact on the story. So it wouldn’t be hard to expect the ending plot to be as straight forward as it gets. Invade enemy HQ, fight, win, go home.
What I really like about this series is that Crimson S knew what it wanted to do and focused on it. And the focus was definitely on the romance between Corti and Phoron. The fight scenes were kept short and simple while more time was spent on Phoron and Corti’s relation as their romance bloom.
Animation is dismissible, joining the mass of other average animes, with the exception of using lots of flash effects. Watching the flashes as fireballs, lightning bolts, flames, etc. get thrown at each other. It did made good use of lightning (example of using the lighted Spirit wings, or the spirit themselves) to bring a “glow” to dark scenes, especially obvious during the night scenes.
Oh no! Another anime which has transformation scenes! zzZZz! This makes the transformation in Kurokami looks like a masterpiece. I know I can just post up 2 pictures and you would understand what I meant, but I wanted you to suffer as I did. Lol!
***Warning, Spoilers below. Highlight to read***
There is this one part where the script is messed up so freaking bad. Renbart told Phoron that Corti is in the lowest foor. Then Phoron starts running to her. Next, Phoron meets Leica and Eufinley in a battle. Cut!
Next scene Renbart throws a bomb to the hawk-on-steroids. The bomb explodes and it sends the sword hawk was wielding up towards the ceiling. The sword then pierces through the ceiling and stabs Leica bottom up. Huh?! What multi-level dimensional world were we at again?
Yes, even in death Leica couldn’t help but laughed at the messed up script***Spoilers end***
Thanks to Snark for pointing it out about keeping the spoilers hidden.
By the time I finished Crimson S, the only expression I had was “Huh… Oh Ok!” before chucking it aside knowing I will never touch this anime again. Crimson S is a 3-star through and through, it does not strive to achieve nor does it allow any disappointment. Nothing worth watching for a second time.
Shinkyoku Sokai Polyphonica crimson S
Torrents: imuR88 & Nekomimi
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.
This is the 2nd season of Vampire Knight, called Vampire Knight Guilty. In this series, Yuuki starts to search for the past forgotten memories. And with it many other secrets starts to unravel itself. Yuki, Kaname and Zero each faces their own turmoils and decides to put an end to all their conflicts.
More info: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
I started Vampire Knight Guilty expecting to drop and delete. “Will probably last me about 3 episodes before I get bored” was what I thought. Instead, the first episode really sparked up a curiosity which could only be satisfied by watching the next episode. And the same thing repeats the episode after that. Before I knew it, I was halfway through the series in a single night. Although not watching the first season, Vampire Knight, I could sketch up a rough storyline from the recaps appearing in season 2 every now and then. And the story was simple enough for me to catch on to, even with all the underlying plots. Surprisingly enough, there was more to this anime than the surface of just good looking characters and a typical vampire theme. Definitely more than enough to enjoy the series.
One point to consider is that viewers shouldn’t be expecting any character build-up in season 2. Instead, it gets straight down to business and start laying plots after plots. So in assuming that season 1 had explored all the character sufficiently, it isn’t too bad of a thing. It was fine with me as I was dreading any long self-conflicting “I-want-you-but-I-can’t-have-you” scenes. Although season 2 had those too, it still managed to stay out of boredom city with good moderation by including some juicy plots or an exciting encounter between conflicting parties, especially between Yuuki, Kaname and Zero (Duh!).
The plot just keeps building and building. First being the mystery to Hiou Shizuka’s death (continuation from the first season), then moving on to Yuuki’s lost memories, then to what seemed like a tensed relationship between Hunter’s Association and Elder Council (Humans and Vampires) and while none of it was solved, the ending plot was laid out. I couldn’t help but wonder if the anime was going to have enough episodes to end properly at the rate of the mysteries keep piling up. However, by the end of the series, the worries were in vain as again the anime again surprised me. This time with a very good and, more importantly, solid ending. There were “almost” no loose ends. Every character had their own little conclusion and took steps towards moving on with their life. I also liked how the ending turn out completely different from what I predicted, which made it really interesting, and maybe just a tad bit depressing.
What seemed like a bunch of predictable casts turned out way different from my predictions. And that really kept my interest high. Now that I browse through my scrapbook… Damn! Everything I predicted was wrong. How cool is that!
Action scenes aren’t anything worth writing about but it does its job and tells the story right. No wowing fight scenes there. Just a flash of light and the enemy is dead. Same goes for the final fight. Pretty disappointing actually. To build up so much depth for the villain only to end it all in a flash of light. What a waste.
Don’t know if anyone was bothered with this but Wow! Yuuki has some very big eyes there. Like some black hole seemingly possible to suck everything in if you stare at her eyes long enough. Makes Nagisa@Clannad looks like childs play. Lol!
At the end of the day, Vampire Knight Guilty’s biggest and possibly only weakness is Yuuki’s constant ranting of how helpless she is. It got painstakingly boring at some point which pushed me to the brink of using the fast forward button.
Vampire Knight Guilty
Life continues on for Tomoya. A few months have passed since he confessed his love to Nagisa. Now entering his graduating year, he continues to meet a variety of different people, expanding his own world in the process. As well, Tomoya and Nagisa’s relationship begins to enter a level of intimacy unlike before. Through his relationship with Nagisa, and his various encounters, Tomoya begins to understand the meaning and importance of family. Unfortunately, as Tomoya and Nagisa begin their own family together, they are faced with many hardships and challenges along the way. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
I’ll give it to you short and simple. Clannad: After Story is definitely among THE BEST animes I have ever watched. Everything good from the first series of Clannad is definitely brought over and improved in After Story. Again the storytelling, animation, script, voice acting, background music, all were perfect. Want to know more details? Read the original review here . Only the ending theme didn’t really grow on me though. But it’s not like I hated it. Just didn’t feel attached. One thing I noticed was that the facial expressions seemed to improve, as the characters face changes according to the mood. Where as compared to the first series, it didn’t really catch my attention. This series isn’t as romantic as before, but instead focused more on friendship and maternal aspects. I know that there are some who would appreciate the cut down of Moe in this second series. It is totally fine with me Moe or no Moe, as the story was just too good.
Perfect first episode to kick start the series. Something to recap the close friendship or relationship everyone has with each other. I made a mistake of watching the OVA and am really feeling depressed thinking of when I will reach the final storyline when whatever happens, happens. By 3rd episode, it was already starting to feel heavy on the heart. The comedy before that, helped me relaxed and fit in with the mood of the characters and absorb what they wanted to do as characters in the anime. The first story was regarding Sunohara and told how he and Tomoya became friends. Also included how Sunohara and his sister’s relationship were. Episode 5 and 6 was another story, this time surrounding Misae Sagara, the dorm keeper. By this time I was thinking that maybe this series was not to be as tear-jerking as the first series. Touching do doubt with a few sad scenes to get some wet eyes, but nothing too heavy. Also at this point, I felt the BGM has finally been overused, only at this story though. Miyazawa Yukine’s story was next. Revealing the true background of the second library’s attendant. Maybe because all were short stories till now, I didn’t feel particularly touched by the stories. Instead, it felt like a hit-or-miss case. Throwing a bunch of random stories and if any managed captivate the viewers hearts. It was still a nice and light watch though, as fans will get to explore the characters who were untouched in the original Clannad series.
Episode 9 to 11 really saw the transition of the anime from a school based setting over to adulthood. Tomoya graduates and sets out to be independent. Looking for a job and a place of his own. Well job on the transition of the setting. Definitely felt smooth and natural. Things also starts to get reaaally heavy, emotionally, now. To be honest, by now, I was so captivated that I lost all ability to jot down notes for this review. The anime had grab hold of my heart and I was focused a 110% attention. All the way to episode 16, the first climax, and another climax in the later episodes, and to the end of the series, I was either crying for joy or wiping tears of despair (Am still contemplating if I should actually post this statement.. Hazukashi-des). I just couldn’t bring myself to write anymore, every time I do, I wet my eyes. Imagine my joy when they had a somewhat “acceptable” ending (Hmm… Wondering what does “acceptable” mean? WATCH THE ANIME! Lol!). What felt like a slow start at the beginning of Clannad: After Story really made way for a phenomenally great ending. Again, I will say this, ONE OF THE BEST ANIMES EVER!
Clannad: After Story
Okazaki Tomoya is a student who goes to school only as a force of habit. He continues to be plagued by nightmares of a world with nothing left, where his existence is a mere conciousness. On the way to school one day, he meets a girl called Furukawa Nagisa, who from then on follows him to school every day, unable to climb the stairs by herself. While helping Nagisa to organize the Drama Club, Tomoya slowly starts to open up and actually enjoy his life again. But the dreams he has might be something more than just dreams. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
There goes a saying that an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Boy! Am I glad that is not the case here. In no way did it apply between Clannad’s movie and the series. Basically everything is a setup for the final scene, which is slightly touching even if for just a slight moment. Unfortunately, going through the anime to reach the final scene will probably bore you to death and before then, you’d probably stopped paying attention or start skipping. In the end, it will just come up to a conclusion that you don’t understand. It’s a good thing that this movie didn’t rely on overflowing Moe compared to the series. It felt at least like some effort was put in. I enjoyed the voice acting a little but that’s about it, unfortunately. The comedy wasn’t funny. The storytelling wasn’t good. Tomoya’s narration did not help. Supporting characters were too shallow. And so many other things which I rather not say. Sum it all up and it just means that this anime is bad.
The only possible way anyone could have enjoyed this is if they watched the series beforehand. That way, they can roughly get the idea of what’s going on. Otherwise, this movie seems too rushed and too ambitious for a rather bland movie. By the end of the day, all I know was birds, sakuras, Dangos’, more birds, and a kid name Ushio. Even funnier, it did give me a sense of loss as I watched Nagisa’s last scene. Made me feel sad, but what was going through my mind was the series instead of the movie.
Clannad: The Movie
I was very glad that the movie and the series I loved so much told a different storyline. Thinking of how terrible I would feel if Nagisa’s incident happened in the series. But then again, I haven’t watch Clannad: After Story as time of writing this, so now I’m slightly afraid. Lol!
Also take note that I’m reviewing this one day after I just finished the series. And comparing both of them, it’s like comparing Heaven to Hell!
Last comment before I call it a night, one of the reasons why people here don’t buy anime DVD’s and instead, download fansubs. Is because like the DVD I got, they didn’t bother to subtitle the songs, on screen text – like signboards or newspapers, and had crappy timing. And to think I was suppose to add this to my collection. Pffft… Shitty media companies!
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!!
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
Oori is an orphan who was raised by Keisei, a man he considers to be his older brother. One night, Oori finds a strange wounded girl in the temple of the orphanage. Cold and covered in scars, Oori initially thinks that she is dead – that is, until a mysterious talking cat tells him that she is a Shikabane – a corpse. After secretly watching Keisei heals the girl without explanation, Oori decides it’s time to leave the nest. However, he has picked a poor time, and he soon realizes that he’s tangled in a strange, supernatural web. Why does Oori continually meet this girl as she hunts monsters? What does Keisei have to do with it all and what exactly is her mission? Source: Anime-planet.com
First episode and already I was confident that this series would be oozing with action. All I could hope for was that it will have a solid plot to go with it. And I was glad it did, though it wasn’t apparent for the first 5 episodes. Character introduction was a little abrupt with characters appearing non-stop out of nowhere so I had to be a little creative with my imagination and assigned them roles which I thought they would play. Only during later episodes will things be better explained.
The down-toned and pale choice of colors didn’t really sit well with me. I would have sat by it but it was used too much to feint ignorance. The dark range of palette did, however, successfully bring out a sense of spiritual mystery throughout the series. The soft outlines made it feel a little old skool. Seeing it was “just” a 13 episode series, it was safe to assume that the animation would be on par throughout the episodes except the sudden change in style and only in episode 5. For a moment I went “Huh?”
Episode 1 and 2 showed the typical “kill a monster an episode” format which didn’t give me much confidence at the beginning. I also couldn’t help but speculate that the cat haunting Oori is another “Yoruichi” (from Bleach) in the making. The cat and how it’s linked with Oori was really what kept me going through the first few episodes in the series. It is not the main plot but it is definitely something that this anime couldn’t do without.
Episode 3 was another episode to episode killing. Episode 4 too, with the addition of a script where Shikei confessed to Oori about his mysterious injuries and Makina, his Shikabane Hime.
The sudden change of animation style in episode 5 was a little abrupt, especially obvious during the action scene which really surprised me. Unfortunately, that doesn’t feel like an improvement to me. I enjoyed the animation in the episodes before that way more. Luckily the later episodes reverted back to the previous drawing style.
As usual, it always takes me a while to feel attached to a title and in this case, episode 6 did it. The action scenes brought satisfaction and the plot thickens! Revealing more bits of background check on everyone and more importantly, Akasha. Got to give him a reason to be a hater… Right?
Episode 7 and the anime got all weird on me. What was going on between Isaki and Minai? And all of a sudden, comedy attempts? There was minimal comedy in the previous episodes but did they just decide to crank it up a notch from now on? Cause the increase in comedy attempts was really noticeable. I called it “attempts” because I didn’t find it funny.
The best this series had to offer was definitely what episode 8 was about. The action scenes got me all excited. The story touched my heart and felt heavy. This episode gave Shikabane Hime characters a lot more depth showing their capabilities of emotions on a higher level. Was a little heart wrenching though, killing off a character just when I was starting to get attached to her (Think biker chick).
Episode 10 and Bing! I pretty much knew how the last few episodes are going to turn out. That is, until I found out that there is another season following exactly right after this series. And boy… was I wrong, the ending was totally something I didn’t expect, making sure that I knew that there IS gonna be a second season (As of time of this review, second season is already out and until episode 12. Lol!)
Throughout the anime, the plots were quite predictable but I still enjoyed the way the story was told. Initially I had my doubts that, for a 13 episode series, there were way too many characters. I could actually name a few characters that could have been easily scripted around making their appearance rather redundant. But this is only applies before I watch the second season. So for now, hold that thou
Shikabane Hime: Aka
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.
Mikuriya Jin makes a woodcarving from the remains of a guardian tree, but he gets much more than he bargained for when girl materializes from the statue! Her name is Nagi, the troublesome and at times violent deity of the land; and with nowhere to go, she announces that she will stay with Jin. Now, with Jin’s help and a magical girl wand purchased at the local convenience store, Nagi aims to exorcise the impurities that are infecting the land. Though when the sacred tree is finally uprooted, it is only a matter of time before her powers will diminish; thus, a new object of worship is required, and what better object than Nagi herself! However, obtaining your goal of becoming a popular idol is not so straightforward, especially when you have to compete with your sister, who is unwilling to share her fan base and plans to sabotage you at every step! Source: Anime-planet.com
I LOVE KANNAGI! (as an anime, please!)
First off, I applaud Mikuriya Kin’s attempt to resist all temptations. Immediately from the start you get the impression that Kannagi is a really funny anime, enjoyable to the very last second. And you are right, first episode alone and I was bursting with laughter. But when watching Kannagi, you won’t be able to shake the feeling that it’s got a serious face to it. Individually each episode seemed to stand out from each other. Very nice! Where as when viewing other animes, I wouldn’t even be bothered what happened in which episode. Every episode is worth savoring!
Well done opening theme, call me a retard but it actually got me singing to it. That alone says so much already. Ending theme sounded like a lullaby, very sweet and relaxing. Both themes were perfect for Kannagi. Even a noobie otaku like me can feel that the vocals of characters in this series were all heart. Opening and closing theme was Hade ni ne and Musuhi no Toki by Haruka Tomatsu. You can get the opening and closing theme and MV from CrunchyRoll.
Lively colors and good comedy really makes Kannagi a sure hit. Using clear solid colors and hard lines, a proven animation style, making animation wise seem flawless. Daze! Sigh! The overflowing sweetness. Three cheers for non-oversized boobs! Hip! Hip! Hurray! Only Nagi’s cuteness itself was already too much to bear.
In episode 5, Zange had a rather awkward looking figure, slightly deformed. I assume it was not something the studio missed by accident because the funny figure appeared again in later episodes.
Episode 7 felt like a possible filler at first, only to have been building up the surprise which made me burst into laughter of tears. Lol! I still laugh thinking of it.
By episode 11, the pace changes and starts to stir up emotions inside you. Get some tissues ready and for the vulgar ones, make sure to close the door. The last 3 episodes helps Kannagi transform from more of a slapstick comedy anime to being a beautiful romance.
It is my great pleasure to tell you to prepare yourself for a beautiful ending which will probably require more tissues. Not being able to hear Shino’s karaoke still bugs me. Lol!
Taking the whole series into account, everything is just perfect! The contributions of all characters were deeply felt and no particular character was outcast.
The keyword to this Kannagi series would be enjoyable. It will be hard to find an anime out there which is able to give viewing pleasure as entertaining as this. Kannagi will definitely be one of the animes deemed unforgettable by fans indeed.
Off topic: Nagi was so lovely that my PC couldn’t take it, I was actually shown the BSoD for the first time since I’ve been using this PC. And I’ve been using this PC for a long time. Lol!
Six months have passed since Jil and the rest of the gang defeated the monsters on the top of the Tower of Druaga, parting soon after to go their separate ways (as shown in the first series The Aegis of Uruk). The tower has since been renamed to Gilgamesh by the land’s king, who has recently exhibited strange behavioral changes. Jil and Fatina now live in the small village of Meskia and try to cope with Neeba and Kaaya’s betrayal until one day, they save a girl named Kai from the hands of the evil Lord Uragon. Using her power to show others the future, Kai shows Jil a vision of what’s to come and asked him to take her to the top of the tower to prevent it from happening. Together, Jil and his friends accompany Kai on this adventure, but others, including Lord Uragon, will stop at nothing to thwart their efforts. Source: Anime-planet.com
This anime had me caught in its grapes by the first 10 minutes. This series strongly remains on the path of the original series and continues on with every characters original quest. Hence it wasn’t any surprise that all original characters are kept and also the addition of new characters is welcomed. A good move which makes this series feel like a while new title but also keeping the old effort working, making sure it isn’t going to waste. Since they came up with a winning formula in the first series, why change it right?
The opening music feels refreshing and energetic in a way and the animation for the theme is simply beautiful. The music video matches the opening theme and comes out just awesome.
Too bad the animation during the actually show wasn’t as lively. There was too much dark, faded colors used and it sort of killed the mood. Characters also felt slightly rigid occasionally having unnatural movement postures.
This is the first time I’ve commented on this, but there is a serious case of overusing shadows in this series. First few episodes and you might think it’s attention to detail, but after the whole series, you will just get bored of it. There are shadows in every single scene or might I even dare say every frame!
The final was breathtaking, as I unconsciously held my breath during a few scenes only to notice it after an exciting scene was over. Including another plot after defeating Gilgamesh was a real nice touch to the script.
Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk
Try to get High Definition fansubs for this, it is worth every byte! Try your luck for the HD version in NyaaTorrents.org or any other torrent sites.
You will probably notice from the screenshots I posted, but I’m facing a Fatina-complex. Lol!
I’m sorry to say that I can’t really comment on the sound effect as it just so happens I busted my left speaker. So to me, it felt mono-channel all the way. Lol!