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What are you watching right now? Why? (please read 1st post)

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Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 5344
Location: Philly
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:30 pm Reply with quote
Discovered I had Soredemo wa Machi Matteiru (I think that's it, will check for accuracy later) on my hard drive and couldn't remember why or what the show was. 10 seconds in I remembered why: SHAFT and Akiyuki Shinbo. A little longer and I realized it was that show about a maid cafe from about a year ago. The thing is, it's not really about a maid cafe, it's just set there a lot of the time. And while much of the first episode is about one of the girls flipping out over how it needs to be made into a proper maid cafe, that concept gets dumped on the back burner pretty quickly in favor of a more cozy style of humor. The closest show I can think of in style is Minami-ke. I find myself chuckling at the jokes fairly frequently, and while some of the characters and their actions are a little exaggerated from normal real people, its not too overblown.

Perhaps most surprisingly is that it's not overtly moe or fanservicey, especially considering the names behind the anime. The lead female is homely by anime standards, and one of the other regular girls is downright ugly by anime standards. It's actually kind of refreshing.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:25 pm Reply with quote
If there's any appreciation for Netflix outside of what it streams, it's the fact it has saved me well over $400 this year (and counting). A series I would have normally given a blind buy to has now remained on the shelves of TRSI, waiting for someone else to purchase it (well, until the asking price is at least halved).

This past weekend, my significant other wanted to see Ironman 2, and it's been the first time in several weeks I fired up Netflix. I was surprised to see new titles displayed, given it felt like months titles have been added (though this is by no means a truthful statement).

The first $40+ saved comes from the series Canaan, which I started watching on TANoD before its infamous mislabeling and dropping of episodes took over, forcing my hand to quit mid-series.

I had already anticipated the ending which was forthcoming, but it was nice to see verification. This isn't to say the series is bad, but it brings nothing new to the table. No plot twists. Over-the-top characters playing the antagonist role. Typical story of abuse of a small village. Thankfully, we don't have Rambo shooting up the place, capable of dodging every bullet fired at...

...oh, right. There's Canaan, a girl with a special sense which allows her to dodge every bullet fired at her. Okay, a bit far-fetched, but it was still entertaining. I recommend a stream before a buy, because for me, I just don't see myself allowing 40 or more Washingtons to break free of their leather prison to acquire it. Now, if it were $19.99 or less....

There are some series where it would require a 75% off sale (or better) before an acquisition is made, and considering the Bargain Bin pricing, it's about as reflective as Dance in the Vampire Bund will ever get with me.

Now, I'm not here to beat down the whole "but she's not really 10" bullshit I see by people use as an excuse against the series (unjustly, mind you). Instead, I'd rather focus on why the 10 year old facade is unjustly portrayed in the series.

Given Mina's encounters with every grown male has her being called a "little girl" and the fact vampires can exist without their internal organs, common sense dictates the appearance is not to stave off motherhood by three clans who wish her pregnant.

The appearance, as evident immediately within the first episode, is to take advantage of the situation humans will see her as a little girl, not an imposing vampire who rules.

I applaud those who did try to help the series by remarking "10 year old body = motherhood prevention", but it's a bullshit argument. Use logic, not grasping at straws.

Unfortunately, several of the "laws" crafted by the series' storylines are broken and disconnect occurs when we hear of one issue that's resolved by another, which seems to be the entire premise of forwarding the clan. This gets into spoiler territory, so I'll end it here. Just know this is not the last of the series if sales have their say. There's plenty to continue the story.

Now, about a purchase: no way, especially at the cost of what's being asked for it. It's okay, but I wouldn't even spend $20 on it. Once I digested the duplicate stories, I'm pretty much over it. I'd rather spend the money on the Mina Tepes figure, which looks good (though would never grace the shelves of Erin's collection, that's for sure).

Stream this one and thank the site delivering it for saving you money.

Side note: Hugs and kisses go to Monica Rial for having the virtual balls to proudly place her name upon the Mina Tepes character and as an actress willing to accept a little controversy to do it. *hugs* *kisses*

Following this, up through episode 6, is my current Baka & Test and this one's turning out to be the all-too-typical gag machine of crap we're tired of seeing. Boob jokes are tired. Bouncing boobs in a bikini top 12 sizes too small is most assuredly tired, especially when they break the laws of nature. Little girls pining over grown men is tiring (though I do appreciate this one calls the male lead idiot and stupid because it's kinda cute).

I haven't memorized names yet, but the pink-haired girl (though damn cute) isn't the star in this one. It's the flat-chested (yes, we're constantly reminded she's flat-chested) brunette, who adds a sense of realism to this zany attempt at comedy.

I'm staying with it, despite having seen it 20,349 times already. I want to see what happens with the avatar battles, a little sub-plot in which characters battle their test scores against each other. Yesterday's episode added a small little twist and it's just enough for me to see what he does with it.

I doubt I will recommend a purchase with this one, only because the first 6 episodes can easily be crushed by Ramen Fighter Miki in the comedy department (and now that it's $9.99 at TRSI, there's no excuse not to own this awesome comedy). Sorry, I will plug this series until it's OOP (well, OOP meaning out of stock).

I'd like a figure of the brunette, just throwing this in for no reason at all.

Thus, stream it. If you find yourself guffawing at what's delivered to you (and you'd be the first, I'm sure), then perhaps FUNimation will thank you as being one of three who actually rushed to buy the Limited Edition on a retelling of Love Hina, Shuffle, Bridge Under a ... ... yeah.

Oh, and I re-watched the first episode of FLCL. Yeah, not seeing how this is worthy of a purchase. I can only assume it's one of those that gets better with the episodic progression? We'll see. I'll attempt episode 2 very soon.

On that note, C-sharp.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:33 pm Reply with quote
PetrifiedJello wrote:
... Ramen Fighter Miki in the comedy department (and now that it's $9.99 at TRSI, there's no excuse not to own this awesome comedy). Sorry, I will plug this series until it's OOP (well, OOP meaning out of stock).

I won't comment on any of the other series in your post, having seen none of them except FLCL (which I like), but I completely agree with you about Ramen Fighter Miki. I bought it blind right after it first came out, not expecting much, and it ended up being one of the most pleasant blind-buy surprises I have had yet.

At that price for the whole series, anyone who is even remotely interested in it should add it to their collection. It's a great show.
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Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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Location: Philly
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:46 pm Reply with quote
Saw Golden Bpy with a bunch of friends last night. I was kind of expecting it to be tasteless trash, given what I've heard of it from various sources, and the first episode was rather eyeroll inducing, what with the toilet gag; a gratuitous changing scene room at a computer programming company; impractical female outfits; excessive jiggle; Kintarou's ridiculous voice (he sounds like an idiot); and the deus ex machina ending wherein Kintarou, who at the start of the episode had only just taught himself BASIC, produces, overnight, a program a team of professionals had been working on for three months, and his version was better than theirs.

But I kept watching, and you know what? It got funnier. Often times it was specifically because of the stupid voice Doug Smith used for Kintarou, which I eventually realized was intentional. It fit the character's personality, and usually matched up with his facial expressions, which is impressive considering Kintarou has perhaps the most varied facial expressions (and shapes and changing levels of detail) in any anime I've seen.

Yeah, it's vulgar, what with the running joke about toilets and the motorcycle, um... happy time... and repeated boner jokes... but I think the brashness of it all generally made it funnier than it was skeevy.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:56 pm Reply with quote
I just finished watching School Rumble. While I was expecting it to be a fairly average zany comedy, the series surprised me by having many genuinely sweet moments. And while I expected the cast to be full of caricatures, they were actually really sympathetic, and I ended up liking certain characters (such as Karen and Eri) who I thought would be boring or cliche. Also, Harima's awesome.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:45 pm Reply with quote
*ahem* Eri is mine.

Oh, right. Sorry. Moving on...

I just finished up Baka & Test and pretty much called this wasn't going to enter my collection immediately, but I will have to admit there were a couple of "gotcha" moments which garnered a chuckle from me.

Unfortunately, this series isn't worth the $40+ asking price. When it's around $20, I could recommend a nice shelf decoration, but that's about as far as it will go to entertain. Himeji would look good on any shelf (and yes, she's the pink-haired girl).

It's almost time to head back to CR and check out some closing series.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 5:03 am Reply with quote
I also finished Basilisk recently and I gave it an excellent rating. It started out very hastily, or more like I had no idea what was going on in the first episode. But after the prologue (if that's the correct way of calling it) the anime changed into a very well paced epic story. The pacing was bang on, steady would be a good word to describe it. At first it seemed a bit too mature for me, but after 6 or so episodes I really started liking the characters. Both sides appeared as evil and good at the same time, just trying to survive. Somehow Kisaragi Saemon was my favourite character in the anime. He appeared as very loyal and kind to people he cared, but he also seemed spoiler[to agree with Gennosukes views, atleast to some extent. I just liked how he seemed to feel sad and guilty after brutally killing Hotarubi and helping with the murder of Akeginu.]

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:11 am Reply with quote
Finished Toward the Terra. I got used to the art quite quickly. The animation was done on purpose so that it looks a bit aged. I can't say I am the massive fan of such style, but the series made up for it worth a solid, well constructed plot and characters. My only complain was the character of Keith. Until the end I had no clue what he actually wanted, and he seemed he had no clue himself. I have a slight dislike to characters with a supposedly good heart, who however are able to wipe out an entire race in the blink of the eye.

I started watching Kaiba too, but I think I am not in the right mood for it, probably should have picked up something more... energetic? It is lovely and makes me think of Triplettes of Belleville in so many ways (the mood, slightly), but I will probably try to look up a different series for now, or just wait for the new season to get started and pick up one or two series after Blood-C, Steins;Gate and No.6 are over.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:21 am Reply with quote
Every blue moon (because these are rare), an anime seeps out of the woodwork and surprises the hell out of me. What usually starts off as mediocre quickly turns to interesting, and if it's really good, the ending just slaps the viewer across the face as a way of proving a point about "books" and "judging".

I watched Angel Beats over the weekend and I'm very impressed with how the series delivered itself. What started out as a mediocre anime quickly changed gears after the lunacy wore itself out and the story started focusing on the characters.

There's no way I can give this series anything other than "very good", and this is the fault of the writer(s). This series has just wasted its potential of being an excellent, if not masterpiece, if it just did away with the whole...

....I'll stop here for a moment because I'm not sure if I want to spoil the series. I could use tags, obviously, but this means only those who have seen it will understand. I generally don't write these mini-reviews for those who have seen it, but to those who have not.

Would I recommend a viewing? Absolutely, but with a caveat: don't let the first half of the series dissuade you. Yes, it's a bit ridiculous, but at the same time, it does begin to tie into the latter half, and this is where the series really shines.

This is as far as I'll go, because to discuss the latter half is a spoiler and I want this to be a surprise to those who haven't seen it. Those who have know what I speak of, so they can just sit there and nod their head in agreement.

If you're still a bit apprehensive about it because the character design looks like every other series out there, then by all means, stream it or check it out on TANoD.

I'm buying this one, despite knowing what happens now. I can easily re-watch this one, many times, in the next several years even though the first half is the series' major fault.


Now, for some other news: this post marks the last entry I will do in this thread. It's been fun, but I'm a selfish cad. I want my opinions to stand out, not be mired in the mix with others. So, from this point moving forward, I will place them in the threads dedicated to the series and in My Anime list (which I need to rebuild since I completely blew it away by accident early this year).

Thanks for reading up to this point and please don't hesitate to share your opinion. I may not post here anymore, but I'll still be reading it.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:42 am Reply with quote
Aria Franchise

After being charmed by Junkers Come Here and blown away by Princess Tutu last (southern hemisphere) summer, I decided to explore more Junichi Sato and ordered Aria the Animation from a local importer (it's not licensed in Oz). I rated it as good back in February and so it came to pass that when I received a substantial tax refund in July I ordered the other two box sets, this time directly from Right Stuf. (The local importer took ages.)

Aria the Natural

I had felt that the first season (Aria the Animation) took a while to hit its stride. I suppose it spent much of its time introducing us to each of the six main characters (Akari and Alicia, Aika and Akira, Alice and Athena) and especially to the world of Aqua and Neo Venezia.

The second season not only gets straight down to business but it also has 26 episodes, rather than 13, to steadily develop the characters of the undines and to explore the wonders and mysteries of Neo Venezia.

And it's Neo Venezia itself that, in many ways, is the central star of the second season. The famous waterways, bridges, plazas, towers, churches and cafes are obviously spectacular but everywhere the characters turn there is a secret place to discover, revealing a beauty not previously imagined: a meteor shower viewed from the rooftops; the radiance of an abandoned railway carriage; a puppet theatre on a distant island; a local community where strangers pitch in to roll up a giant snowball and build a snowman; or a flooded building that becomes a meeting place for cats.

Cait Sith, the gigantic king of cats weaves his way through the season, magically guiding Akari and protecting her in the franchise's only seriously perilous moment. We never get close to Cait Sith, which is as it should be, but there is always something reassuring about him. He may seem corny but like so much of the franchise, corny works surprisingly well.

For sure, Aria continues to move at a leisurely pace, but that has the paradoxical effect of creating a sense of grandeur that is hard to explain by the simplicity of its individual parts and by the absence of any serious conflict. It is an immersive world that seductively draws the viewer into its secret places.

One minor complaint. In this season only, in profile the characters appear to have a pronounced underbite, creating a petulant and goofy look. Why?

Rating: very good

Aria the OVA - Arietta

Not only does the OVA finally gives the franchise a 16:9 aspect ratio but the artwork is more beautiful than ever - more painterly and avoiding some of the prosaic perspectives that were minor imperfections in the first two seasons. At only half an hour it is really just a bonus episode and not a particularly noteworthy one at that. Akira and Alicia explore the Campanile at night and, typically, the setting is a metaphor for the lesson the younger undine learns.

It's hard to judge one 30 minute episode in isolation from the three seasons, given that it necessarily lacks the context and exquisite emotional build-up of the three TV series.

Rating: decent

Aria the Origination

One of the pleasing things about Aria is that it steadily gets better over the three seasons. Although the last season returns to a 13 episode format (well, 14 actually), it brings the franchise to a glorious conclusion. In some ways Aria is like a sonata: the first season is the exposition, the second is the development, while the last contains the recapitulation and coda. (In fact, each episode follows much the same structure, being framed by the email conversations between Akari and Ai.)

The series abandons the magical elements of the previous two seasons and loses nothing by it. Instead we get something new: drama. For sure, it's not earth shattering stuff. Will the three apprentices realise their dreams and become Primas? How will their lives change if they do? What will become of the three Great Water Fairies? By this time, I had come to know the six characters so well, with all their lovable traits and forgivable shortcomings, that I cared enough about the outcome to be thoroughly moved by the unfolding drama. As the series concludes each character has moved forward with her life. It's bittersweet in that some things will be lost but there is an unrelenting optimism that even more has been gained. That's what change is all about, says Aria: embrace it and appreciate it. Yes, again I admit it can be corny, but it works a treat. One of the reasons it gets away with the preachiness is that it never takes itself too seriously. The messages are mostly delivered goofily and, more often than not, Aika lightens the mood with a typical admonishment, such as "No sappy lines allowed!"

One thing the final season does keep is the wider aspect and painterly style of the OVA. Thankfully it brings the characters' facial profiles back on model. It also maintains the first two seasons' sense of wonder. The vision of the wisteria in the flooded convent is, for me, the most sublime such moment in the franchise.

And then there's the last episode, a coda where everything is turned on its head but somehow makes perfect sense. The final revelation of who the new apprentice is ends the franchise on a perfect note. No unresolved final chords for this Aria.

Rating: masterpiece

Who was my favourite undine? Check out "My Anime" - in the four thumbnail images I use, one character appears twice. Not only did I like her character design but I loved how her gruff exterior masked a deeply caring nature. Not tsundere, but better.

PetrifiedJello wrote:
...this post marks the last entry I will do in this thread. It's been fun, but I'm a selfish cad. I want my opinions to stand out, not be mired in the mix with others. So, from this point moving forward, I will place them in the threads dedicated to the series and in My Anime list...

More people are going to read you here than in your "My Anime". There's little indication that people ever refer to other people's lists. What's more, only people already sold on a series will contribute to a dedicated series thread and, then, pretty much only those who are watching it as it airs. I would definitely read your Angel Beats comment in this thread but would never bother opening the series thread. This thread is great for recommendations and your contributions here are valued (by me, at least).
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:35 pm Reply with quote
[EDIT: Put reasons. -TK]
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:22 pm Reply with quote
I am watching too many things in parallel right now. I don't know how it ended up like this but it had a lot to do with shifting from being a mostly DVD consumer to a mostly streaming consumer.

A Dark Rabbit has Seven Lives because i can identify with Gekkou. You are all trash.

Usagi Drop because I like to think that I would act the way Daikichi does. In spite of what you think this is not in conflict with the previous paragraph.

No. 6 because I want to see those two make out. Maybe a threesome with Saku. THe evil entity to defeat I don't have much interest in; you could graft one from a dozen different stories and it would be the same.

Hanasako Iroha because three is something to be said for a girl who thinks her mom is sex-crazed. On top of that the sets are beautiful and it has some of the most real characters of any current-run anime.

Steins Gate because I can't stop even though it makes my head hurt.

Blue Exorcist because that multi-colored hair wench is cute.

Bleach season 10 because you can never get enough of Ichigo getting beat to a pulp.

Kamisama Dolls because dammit they managed to make a story out of something that makes no sense. Also that little girl is cute.

My Ordinary Life because my life is ordinary. I want the Robot girl to have happiness. And where else can you see a space opera daydream focused on two wooden cube hair ornaments?

YuruYuri because I keep thinking there will be fan service when I know better.

The Idol Master because I would like to get into a wrestling match with all of them at the same time. I would still have the advantage because they would all be ticklish.

Sacred Seven because I cannot explain why. That girl's costume is revolting.

I hope I have just enriched your life.
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Location: body in Ohio, heart in Sydney
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:24 pm Reply with quote
I just finished Sailor Moon R, and decided to give myself a breather before heading into S, so I've been watching the first half of Living For the Day After Tomorrow.
I like the show, but I'm a bit distracted by being powerfully reminded of Someday's Dreamers. Something about the combination of 1) the music, 2) the general sappiness, 3) some of the very dodgy animation. I need to get over it and just enjoy Living for itself (because it is undoubtedly far superior to Someday's Dreamers!).
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:33 pm Reply with quote

I also opened a thread to talk about the current season. sort of a "What are you watching this Season" thread, if you're interested.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:56 pm Reply with quote
I've watched Kara No Kyoukai and god damn it, I don't remember anyone's names besides two character. I found the movies greatly entertaining, and something that's best enjoyed if marathon'd. It's also best to watch it in order so you'll understand things easier but onto my crappy disorganized review...

I found the action nice but i felt there was too little and the animation was really high quality. The movies ended up quite differently from what I'd though it'd be. I was expecting it to more about the characters but it took a different route. It went and explain the events prior to spoiler[Shiki's lost of her male personality] and the events after. Overall, it was a fun ride and amusing but the best parts of the movie were towards the middle. I did find the arcs regarding the past a bit boring in some cases. The series got way better from the Asagami arc but it was spoiler[uncomfortable watching Asagami get raped...] I should had been able to handle that considering the H-stoof I watch but I'm rather weak to that kind of stuff. The fights were amazing during this arc though. Movie 5 was probably the best because of the story concept.

I'm so bad with words right now, I'll skip the crappy review and talk of my favorite part of the movies.

I really enjoyed the characters but the one thing that captivated me the most was the music. THAT GODLY MUSIC. It was just amaizng. Kalafina amazed me with the ED for Madoka Magica, but the music for Kara no Kyoukai. It was just SUPERB.

Overall, I gave this an Excellent. I actually might have to rewatch it to fix up this horrible piece of typed out data.
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