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).
I have NEVER came across an anime where I hated every single character. Seriously! Even with the bad ratings I gave for Season 1, I was at least enjoying some brief moments and was fond of Mikuru for the moe that she is. But season 2, even Kyon’s younger sister got on my nerves let alone everyone else.
“The phone is ringing”
“Kyon-kun, the phone”
“ANSWER THE GOD DAMN PHONE!”
There is a perfect explanation why I’m especially pissed at the above mentioned scene. You know how you normally start an episode, watch the first few minutes, then only decides to start skipping through?
Well, that’s a die-hard habit of mine. So for the duration of endless eight plot, I actually watched every scene where Kyon’s sister (whatever her name is) was going “Myeh Myeh Myeh Myeh Myeh”.
Seeing how I hate this anime. I’d point out how I would change this series to make it a 5-Star rating. Which is actually very simple and straight forward…
Kyon has to shut his narration up for just a moment. It’s like he talks without ever breathing. Yap Yap Yap Yap Yap Yap Yap and a million more. The only “good” thing was that 90% of the time all he yapped about was how Haruhi sucked, which I agree with. But even then it still got bored. Be a man, stop yapping and do something about it.
Haruhi, just as bad if not worse than Kyon and his chant-like narration. If it wasn’t Kyon and his narration buzzing non-stop, it would be Haruhi yapping away. The combination of them both freaking hurt my ears. I actually had to turn down the volume in some of the episodes as it got too neck-scratching irritating. So yeah, Haruhi has to shut her mouth too.
Mikuru has to bloody stop crying. It comes as no surprise that I’ve always been rather fond of moe, but Arghh… Mikuru, What the hell is wrong with you! Stop crying! Speak up! And do it in a none glass-shattering pitch. I would at least give her a brain in the anime.
Yuki still as expressionless as ever. Yeah, Sure, It’s her “personality”. That’s what makes her cool. Hah!! She probably spoke less words that I have in this post throughout the anime. Even if she did, most probably consist of only one word… “Yes.” Intelligent database lifeform what-the-jig-a-ma-bob indeed!
So Yuki, a character that HAS a brain (or whatever you want to call it), but don’t seem to be using it. See the irony?!
Koizumi needs a hate face! Only expression I’ve ever see him with throughout the anime is the stupid smirk he has and another version of the smirk he use when he gets a little worried. Also stupid. I “think” he has a brain, but it’s probably the size of a BB Gun bullet. And 50% of his brain activities already goes to processing the movements of combing his hair with his hands. So you can guess how bad that is…
Talking about that. Someone has to tell Koizumi to stop combing his hair with his hands. He needs a big billboard with a sign that tells him Haruhi is NOT going to fall for him. If that’s even what he is attempting in the first place. See! I’m so pissed I’ve even started resorting to my own fiction to down-bitch Koizumi.
Tsuruya! Way to go! Not only did I break my milestone of hating every single character in an anime. I never hated a character so fast! Only appearing in a single episode… no wait… half an episode… or was it quarter, and I already hate Tsuruya.
Opening theme, I can probably try to enjoy it, going to have to try very hard.
Closing theme, can’t even stomach it. Already forgotten how it sounds like.
Only salvageable moment was episode 1, 13, 14, and the 2 minutes worth of sorry lame excuse of an ending at episode 9. The rest of the episodes, you might as well burn it off the face of the earth.
Why I enjoyed the above mentioned episodes? Also simple…
Episode 1, I was still enjoying the feeling of a new anime. Didn’t last long.
Episode 9, Homework?! Freaking Homework?! You got to be kidding me?! Spoiler my “behind”, it’s not even worth it!
Episode 13, Someone almost got slapped! Best… Scene… Ever… Now that’s what I call karma! (Which doesn’t exist in animes by the way… or real life for that matter.)
Episode 14, Now you introduce conspiracy?! At the final episode??! Which unfortunately for me, means there must be a season 3 cooking somewhere in anime hell.
For now, I’m just amazed at how wide a gap the different preferences of animes we human beings have.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Season 2
Klux, Upon reading this… don’t crucify me k? At least I tried… -.-“
Well, on a good note, I deleted every single “fark” from this post. Initial draft spotted at least 1 “fark” in every 2 sentences. Lol!
Hmm… If memory serves me right. Glo is a fan too.
Lol! I am in such deep shit.
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.
After the exhilarating school life, Negi Springfield has finally decided to form his own combat team under the disguise of a normal school club; so called the Ala Alba or White Wing. Supported by his classmates and advised by Evangeline A.K. McDowell, this team was aim to embark into the Magus world in search of Negi’s father, Nagi Springfield…or anything that may relate to him.
Negima Ala Alba was the whooole reason I bought and watched Negima! and the remake Negima!? Not forgetting the OVA’s in between. Episode 1 of NAA was so good. Started off with a bang! A magic fight between teacher and student. Followed by a big of comedy, a bit of Moe, abit of friendship. Clinging on to the satisfaction, I stopped at episode 1, determined to watched the series beforehand.
Fast forward a few months later, I’m back to Negima Ala Alba, having watched all the previously mentioned. Damn! I got fooled by episode 1 of NAA> Lol!
Episode 1 was great. No mistakes there. Although a little confusing to those unfamiliar with the original Negima series or manga, it feels like gold to Negi fans (like me :p). episode 2 and 3 however, will be harder to digest. Ep 2 is mainly fanservice, with beach, swimsuits and Onsens. And episode 3 plays random scenes of the students. I know this sounds retarded but NAA was exploring characters in Ep3, the last episode of this short series. Now why would you do that? Unless there is a new series coming up (There IS a movie coming up by the way!). Bottom line, none-Negima fans will find this series filler-like. Which it is, but at least those who previously watched it will be able to understand and relate to the fillers. Then again, it was probably meant to be extra’s for the main series and was not made with the priority to attract new fans.
Negima Ala Alba
Hey Cid-Evil, I was wondering. Does this OVA relate back to the manga? Cause I’m lost as to where this OVA belongs in the timeline… even after watching the previous seasons and other OVA’s. -.-”
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
Tanaka Yukio, better known by his nickname Koyuki is a 14 year old who feels disconnected from life in general. Through the act of saving a mismatched dog, he meets guitarist Minami Ryuusuke, and becomes involved in Ryuusuke’s new band BECK. Koyuki’s life starts to change as the band struggles towards fame. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
If anyone was to ask me what slice-of-life really meant. I would tell them to watch BECK. Not only does it have a great realistic and inspiring story but it doesn’t get tainted with “god mode”-like talent or miraculous against all odd success. To me, BECK is the absolute definition of how a slice-of-life anime should be like.
Every episode made progress in the storyline. What feels like a slow pacing at the beginning of the series will build up to be a superb story. Story seemed a little too slow pace for my liking initially, and felt like my interest was swaying as the anime didn’t give me anything to bit on. But all doubts were blown away at episode 10. One of the most interesting points for me was to see after every gig how far the band has improved. Even the songs the band played felt better with each passing Live session gig.
Every character was well developed. They each had their distinct personalities and traits and made the anime BECK feel the way it is as a whole. Koyuki who is bored with his mundane life. Izumi, the popular girl that everyone has their hearts on. Ryuusuke, the lead with mysterious charm. And many others as the anime progresses. Do allow me to over-exaggerate but none of the characters were dispensable at all. Hmm… Well… probably Tanabe, Koyuki’s friend, could have been cut off. Lol! Don’t really like him anyway. :p
To even incorporate Koyuki’s mom without exploring her character. That way, I knew that Koyuki’s mom wasn’t going to play a role but instead, her being there helps develop the background Koyuki comes from. Not bad at all. Eiji from the rival band however, was just conveniently there to play the villain role. I guess there just weren’t enough episodes to go around seeing how well every other character was well explored.
Really like it when the anime constantly shows Koyuki practicing guitar in his room. The different chords doesn’t make it feel repetitive and it strengthen the images I perceive that Koyuki works his ass off on the guitar instead of disappearing for an episode or 2 and comes back later with a sudden burst of talent. Another point of how realistic BECK feels.
Animation seems like a cool combination of having both simple and detailed character designs. The cool combo feels really fresh. Character movements both on and off the stage was also fluid. Sweet!
Opening theme is definitely l33t! First listen and I was tapping my feet and drumming my table to the tune. As for the songs in the episode itself, it is not the type that will get you tapping on the first go. Give it a bit more time, and it will definitely grow on you. Most songs I shunned off during the first half of the series turned out to be my favorite by the end of it. I think the songs were slightly over-emphasized though. It’s like the anime wanted viewers to focus on the songs so much that they forgot to make it blend well with the scene.
Lol! Surprisingly, the English used by Ryuusuke, Maho, and some other characters were exceptionally good. There was a scene when Koyuki was telling Ryuusuke about how he really feels about Maho. The anime muted that part. I think that was a very nice move which really made the following scenes felt intense, keeping you in suspense as to what Koyuki’s decision really was.
Episode 1 shows the lead feeling his mundane life. Animation at this point feels minimalistic. Artwork using a clean outline and nothing too detailed. I love the color fillings, single toned with simple shadows. Maho Minami is the roXxOrs! Lol!
The language barrier presented in episode 3 wasn’t just something mentioned for the sake of creating content. It did play into something of serious significance later on as their relationship deepens. And since when did they teach wrestling history in school? Lol!
Episode 8 starts a little romance conflict involving Koyuki. If there was a moment I have been waiting for since the last 9 episodes, episode 10 would be it. If you couldn’t sit through the slow (and possibly boring to some) pace of the first 9 episodes, you are not worthy of the episodes that follows. That’s the message I felt.
What in the world happened to the first half of episode 13? The animation sucked terribly. It’s great that as the series continue, characters really start showing their human flaws. Even Maho Minami was just human after all. The series does build to have a greater plot later in the series though, which I think slightly tilts the anime away from the slice-of-life but really gives it a boost in terms of excitement.
I like how the romance during the middle of the series played a very significant role towards Koyuki’s development but didn’t over shadow the main plot which is the band.
If only fans during the final Greatful Sound performance were not repetitive scenes. That will really get the mood going.
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad
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 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!!
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.
A direct continuation of Shikabane Hime: Aka, taking place six months after Tagami Keisei’s death at the hands of the Akasha and Shichisei (Seven Stars), a group of elite Shikabane who act on more than just regrets. As per Keisei’s dying wish, Kagami Oori formed a temporary contract with Makina to save her from degenerating into a mere Shikabane. Since then, Oori has been training to become a proper monk so that he can remain contracted to Makina and help her fight against the Shichisei, the ones who originally killed Makina, the entire Hoshimura family, and now Keisei. However, the traitorous monk Shishidou Akasha has sided with the Shichisei in an attempt to destroy all Shikabane Himes and the entire monk organization that uses them, the Kougon Sect. Source: AnimeNewsNetwork.com
The Kuro series is different from Aka in the sense that Aka took its time to develop the characters and had Shikabane Himes fight other random Shikabanes not related to the main plot. But in Kuro, it pretty much starts off knocking down members of Shichisei one by one. This made the battles felt more personal and that definitely makes it more interesting. However, even with the strong plot, battles felt uninspired as it was done with rather mediocre animation which, I’m glad to say, did improve later on in the series. Thankfully, the story gets interesting as the focus is now on the battle between Shichisei and everyone else.
There were actually a lot of parts where I got really irritated by Makina, which was later revealed that it was all part of a certain plot or plan which is actually very well scripted. I should have known better before hitting the hate button.
Akasha just plays a very interesting villain. His hate is well justified and his character is well explored. Definitely the most interesting character since a while now. Even his past was more interesting than Oori’s.
During the first few episodes, Makina’s negativity really tested Oori for his resilience to remain as her Contracted Priest as she still couldn’t let go of Keisei. And Makina running amok didn’t help things between Oori and Kougonshuu either.
Episode 8 and everything about Oori’s past starts unveiling itself. And finally the cat revealed its true nature. Kudos on finally making use of the cat and giving it a well thought-out role to play. Well, it had to be a role of certain significance after all that tagging along.
For what felt like an exciting plot already, I didn’t expect the ending to be able to get every more exciting. And finally upon reaching episode 12, Congrats! You are now left hanging! It ended in the middle of a battle. Just like that! -_-“ PppfFFfffTTttt… However, I remember reading somewhere about episode 13 coming out in August. So be patient and cross your fingers hoping it will be worth the wait.
And now, the issue which always ticks off a nerve or two in me. Some of the characters proportions are getting crazier by the episodes. You would expect Kougonshuu to be wiped out by now seeing how they seem to only contract Shikabanes with insanely huge stuffs (think Itsuki, Fresh, Minai) instead of more “combat friendly” figured Shikabanes (think Saki). Hmm… I just thought of this, but the most “decent” sized figure belongs to Saki and her contracted priest is the only female in Kougonshuu. Coincidence? I think not. Now what does that tell you about Kougonshuu and how farked up their priests are? “Enlightment” my arse.
Initially Shikabane Hime: Aka started off with a bang. But halfway along the series, the tempo was lost and I couldn’t feel the enthusiasm. Then Shikabane Hime: Kuro came. Sure it starts off with the main battles right away, but still it didn’t feel motivated. Halfway through the Kuro series and things really starts to pick up a notch. I really enjoyed the plot and script from the second half of the series on, things were unpredictable and kept me on the edge of my seat. Now if only the rumored 13th episode comes out sooner before I lose the flame.
Shikabane Hime: Kuro
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.