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

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Joined: 30 Oct 2009
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Location: Where the rain is.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:35 am Reply with quote
I've devoured La Corda d'Oro: Primo Passo and Secondo Passo. As to be expected of an anime set in a music school and centered around a music competition, the music was great. Nothing out of the ordinary was used, but anyone who enjoys the classics will have something to like in this series. I recognized or knew most of the songs played, though before this I had not heard Clarinet Polka, and now I love it.
This series was also interesting, for even though it centers around a tournament it takes a very different direction than most tournament anime. The biggest problem with this series was the characters. They had no personality except for the stereotypes given to each. It shamelessly embraces reverse harem tropes, but doesn't do it so often as to get annoying so that can be forgiven. Overall it's a decent watch with great music.

I also watched through The SoulTaker. Now what the hell was that? The first two episodes reminded me a lot of Bakemonogatari for the visual style, and it didn't completely leave that behind but as the series went on the resemblance became less and less. The beginning was promising; a boy (Kyosuke) is stabbed in the heart by his mother and left for dead, then dug up from his grave by a mysterious girl who somehow knew he was alive. Mind tripping visuals and psychedelic colors, and we find out the girl is a Flicker, a fragment of Kyosuke's sister's soul. Then it starts to go downhill. What drags it down is it tries to do too much and becomes a higgly-piggly mess of themes that don't work together. Some shows are confusing (Lain, Utena), but that works for them and adds to the mystery. This show is annoyingly confusing, making it very difficult to figure anything out.

I've watched the first two eps of Kimi to Boku, or You and Me as it is translated. So far I find it boring, but I'm going to stick with it for at least 2 more eps.
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Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Location: Long Island, New York
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:01 pm Reply with quote
I decided to follow Death Note with something a little more light-hearted, and so I've begun The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, dubbed and in chronological order. I've heard great things, so I hope it lives up to its reputation.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:58 pm Reply with quote
Started watching Shakugan no Shana III since I was a fan of the first 2 seasons.
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Joined: 18 Jul 2010
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Location: UK
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:13 pm Reply with quote
Apparently me and Bodacious Sky Pirates were not meant to be... I can't say I immensely enjoy it, I don't even know why. The whole cast is totally indifferent to me, and the plot is so-so, I struggle to really concentrate on it. I guess Ill stick to it, since I am already at episode 9, but I hoped it would be more refreshing in a way.

Not to be so negative, I tried to finish Requiem for Phantom that actually became quite good all of a sudden, and I am impatiently waiting for the last episode of Another, which probably will be epically graphic.
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 1014
Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:04 pm Reply with quote
Tris8 wrote:
I've devoured La Corda d'Oro: Primo Passo and Secondo Passo. The biggest problem with this series was the characters. They had no personality except for the stereotypes given to each. It shamelessly embraces reverse harem tropes, but doesn't do it so often as to get annoying so that can be forgiven. Overall it's a decent watch with great music.

Most reverse harems score points with me by fleshing out the heroine way more completely than most harem animes for the main lead.

La Corda dOro was a cut above the rest by my standards. The whole competition thing, when she realized she was essentially spoiler[cheating], played out well. I really liked her character design as well, a little bit trashy if you will. A whole ton better than Neo Angelique Abyss.

Rosario + Vampire, and Capu: I like my fanservice, but this was barely tolerable. About 3 jokes throughout the 26 episode dub that made me smirk, so much off model panty shot action, this show blows.
Sekerei I found myself wanting to find out what happened next, Yamada's first time, I thought pretty dang funny, Rosario + Vampire stands as a testament to the perils of blind buys. AVOID.
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DuskyPredator's not like I post for you or anything!'s not like I post for you or anything!

Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:16 am Reply with quote
I watched some Haruhi-chan and Lucky Star with my brother, nothing really major. He has been a pretty sick lately with his Crohn's disease, and not able to eat anything but a terrible formulae, and he was entertained. Both series worth some laughs that I don't have to think too hard, and I can have some fun dialogue with him.

I am watching my DVD of Usagi Drop, a sub only release by Siren. I love this series, first episode made me cry, little funy bits made me laugh, heart warming bits warm my heart. And what I love is that never feels like it actually tries, but always works. Just finished the ep where Rin graduates kindergarten. It is as good as the first time I watched it, better perhaps because I fell in love with the style during the original run.
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Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:15 am Reply with quote
Mardock Scramble - The First Compression (director's cut)

Madman Entertainment released the first segment of the trilogy in Australia last week so, after a job interview, I hopped on a tram into the city and picked up a copy at JB Hi Fi. Since then I've watched it about seven or eight times. Even though it doesn't really break any new ground for the genre, I think it's easily the best "Girls with Guns" release (of those I've seen) since the first season of Gunslinger Girl, which was broadcast in Japan in 2003. It's certainly superior to any of the post-Noir Bee Train efforts (including Phantom ~ Requiem for the Phantom), Canaan, or the first season of Black Lagoon (which never impressed me sufficiently to watch any of the subsequent releases).

The basic premise is that a poisoned and badly burned 15 year old prostitute, Rune Balot, whose entire life has been nothing but abuse, is saved from the brink of death and given a cyborg body by a shape changing private detective, Oeufcoque Panteano, and his medico off-sider, Dr Easter, on the condition that she testifies against the psychopath who tried to kill her, Shell Septinos. Shell, who regularly erases his memories to maintain his sanity, and never one to let the law get in the way of his desires, uses a bevy of nasties to prevent the case from going ahead. The film sure knows its genealogy, channelling such titles as Kite, Battle Angel, Ghost in the Shell, Bubblegum Crisis, Gunslinger Girl and even Trigun. It's not accidental: this is one genre savvy film, with homage-paying moments to these older titles. Balot even does a James Bond girl on a car bonnet pose towards the end of the film. The cyberpunk, hard-boiled noir tone should appeal to those who lament the decline of the style since its heyday in the 1990s.

Its appeal, though, is much more than it being a mixture of cyberpunk and girls with guns tropes. What makes it so good are Balot - the girl who, with a little help, tries courageously to rise above her dismal past and equally dismal prospects - and Oeufcoque - a mouse who makes Stuart Little seem utterly passé. Yes. A mouse. A bipedal, golden, talking mouse who can transform into any object Balot needs, from binoculars to powersuits to heavy calibre guns to, apparently, rocket launchers. Sounds stupid; works a treat. Mainly because, in both the Japanese and English dubs, the chemistry between the two is so potent and so moving. I've never seen anything like it in anime. He is the gentleman that she has never once met in her unfortunate life while, for him, she is the opportunity to be truly useful to somebody. That he is a mouse, and not a man, means that he has no sexual desire for her, allowing her, for the first time in her life, to form a genuine relationship.

The best accessory a woman can have: a shape-changing mouse.

The film makes a number of feminist points such as Oeufcoque's commentary on male ideology when Balot asks him if she's messed up because she allows men to touch her for money; or when she accuses Dr Easter of raping her with his medical technology; or when he says that she "chose her current situation" (ie, accepting a cyborg body), and she replies, "I've heard that excuse before. Men say all the time, 'You know you wanted it, too.'" These feminist points are all fine - they suit my own political beliefs - but they are constantly undermined by the fanservice, which, thankfully, isn't of the bouncing breasts or overipe labial panty bulge varieties seen so often these days in anime. Nevertheless, Balot spends much of the film naked. (At times it's weird because she's missing pubic hair and labia: it has an R rating and was shown in cinemas, so why the prudery?) Anyway, simply put, she's gorgeous. Dressed or undressed, I cannot think of a lovelier female character in anime, from facial features to breast size to you-name-it. How on earth can I absorb any feminist message when I'm fantasising over the woman bearing said message? Actually, the viewer's complicity in her exploitation is part of the film's power. She is the male object of desire and the male object of pity and, to her and the film's credit, she strives to be something else.

Balot's beauty is central to the film's message and to its appeal.
This image is from a powerful courtroom sequence.

Bear in mind, though, she is only fifteen. There are numerous scenes where she is having sex, including with her father. Could this film be considered child pornography? Could I be arrested if I enter Canada with the DVD in my luggage? How come the film is happy to show a fifteen year old having sex with her father but has a blank space where her vagina should be? It's all very odd. The weirdest thing is that towards the end the film does show a vagina - transplanted onto a man's palm. True. Cross my heart and hope to die.

The film ends in an orgy of bloodletting with a bunch of fantasy freaks - including the man with the palm job - who are risible rather than disturbing. I can live with their stupid deformations because the action is fast and dramatic. Harder to forgive is the way the film portrays Balot's resulting mental breakdown. That she breaks down follows logically from her circumstances, the development of the story and the ideology of the film. That she would retaliate so violently also makes sense but, why oh why, does the whole tone have to be undermined with worn out anime cliches like the goofy, sleepy-eyed, orgasmic grin and the weapon licking? It's insulting.

Please don't insult my intelligence.

The film follows the Fate / Zero technique of having many dark and / or monochrome scenes. It's an effective way to avoid having to provide detail and, presumably, saves on production costs. Being a cyberpunk, noir story Mardock Scramble gets away with it and, for the most part, it's a visually arresting movie.

The director's cut (the Madman DVD has both the director's and the theatrical versions) is just under 67 minutes long. The RRP is AU$29.95 and the JB HiFi price was AU$26.98. The only extras are trailers. The film is the first of a trilogy. It isn't a stand alone story and ends in a cliffhanger. Assuming the other two are about the same length then the producers are expecting me to shell out somewhere between AU$81 and AU$90 for, what is in effect, a three and a half hour movie. As much as I enjoyed the film I feel ripped off. The cliffhanger ending also makes me feel like I'm being manipulated. There is something wrong with an industry when it leaves its supporters feeling bad about themselves.

Rating: excellent

Kimi no Iru Machi aka A Town Where You Live episode 1

I watched this first instalment of the two part OAV purely because the spendidly anagramatic Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Eve no Jikan) is credited as the chief director. It's based on a long running manga about a love triangle involving a country boy and two girls, one from his own country town and one from Tokyo. The OAV covers an event somewhere in the middle of the ongoing story with several flashbacks that can only make sense with some knowledge of the original. It was bundled with the 17th volume of the manga and I imagine its purpose is to promote the manga to people like me who haven't previously read it.

To be honest I can't see anything that suggests Yasuhiro Yoshiura's involvement. There's none of his trademark 3D backgrounds, sci-fi preoccupations, or any of his moments of insight for the characters. Well... maybe there's one thing. The style of the mostly generic looking characters do share some likeness to their counterparts in Eve no Jikan. That may be more due to the fact that Ryuusuke Chayama was the character designer for both titles. It's an unremarkable romantic comedy with pleasant enough characters (the city girl Yuzuki Eba is the pick of them) and with a twist that isn't hard to see coming.

The second instalment will be released in June.

Last edited by Errinundra on Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:27 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:56 pm Reply with quote
Any of you having sleeping issues lately? I recommend Kekkaishi.

Not sure if I'd call it boring. Definitely not the bad kind of boring. No matter what I'm doing, even if just as background sound, it will make me sleepy.

Okay, I heard one good thing from a single person and set my hopes a bit higher than usual. But this is average. Not bad, not great, just average good.
Compared to Hikaru no Go and Hunter x Hunter (which are shonen with around the same amount of episodes), it's in a different league.

I'd probably compare it with that other shonen where the protagonist grows trees. Except that they seem to have inverted outcomes. That one became worse, this one had a slow start and continued slow and now seems to be improving (episode 42).

I don't know what to say. Laughing

Usually need to listen to something like this to wake up afterwards:
Oh yeah!
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Iowa, USA
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:04 pm Reply with quote
Baka Test arrived in the mail, so I decided to work my way through that before going back for the last chunk of Aria.
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Mesonoxian Eve

Joined: 10 Jan 2012
Posts: 1858
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:41 pm Reply with quote
Just finished up Aria: The Animation and loved every second of the re-watch. Truly a masterpiece. I can't count the number of times I wished Akari were a real person. If even 1% of her attitude rubbed off on me, this planet wouldn't suck so bad.

Tomorrow, I'm starting Aria: The Natural. This series is my bag of potato chips and I'm going to gorge the whole bag. It's sooooooooooo yummy.
Very Happy
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The King of Harts

Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6712
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:16 am Reply with quote
I hit a milestone earlier this week by watching my 200th TV series, and, honestly, I don't think I could've picked a more appropriate show to hit it with than a Gainax one. It was Abenobashi, and while it's not a great show, it embodies everything that I love about Gainax productions, and to a larger extent anime. Weird premise, strange visuals, whacky characters, different animation styles for each episode, homages to otaku culture, homages to American television (though that was mostly the Imaishi episodes), and then a life lesson at the end; just everything that makes me love that adorable little animation studio. I also couldn't of picked a better animation director than Anno to do the final episode.

Going back to the life lesson part, though, I can't say I liked it here. spoiler[I don't feel like Sasshi learned anything since he managed to get his way and ended up in a world where Grandpa Masa was alive and Arumi didn't have to move. I felt the whole point of the show was for him to grow up and learn to cope with reality and how it changes all the time, and usually not in your favor. Buy by keeping Masa alive and Arumi in Abenobashi he didn't have to cope with that stuff and didn't learn anything. Sure, everyone told him he was a kid and that he needed to cope with reality, but if reality warps in his favor, why does he need to listen to them? I just don't feel like the point of the story came through in the end.]

I'm also not a fan of how cold Arumi acted. spoiler[Sasshi was so crushed over losing her that he kept subconciously jumping them to strange worlds and he even tried to make the perfect one for her. But she just kept saying "Being human and having your health, that's all that really matters" and not showing any kind of sympathy for Sasshi really grated me. I mean, at least give the boy, your life-long friend and crush (yea we could all see how jealous you got) a hug or something.]

That stuff aside, though, it was a very fun show for all the things I mentioned in the opening. Next time I watch it I'll make sure to have the AD-vidnotes on to see what stuff I missed. Seriously, those are some of the greatest extras ever.
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Joined: 10 May 2008
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Location: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:41 am Reply with quote
I forget which episode it was, but the scene with the hotdog actually had tears streaming down my eyes. There were some seriously funny moments in Abenobashi. I'd agree the life lesson undertones were probably a little wishy washy in the end, but I enjoyed the chemistry between Sasshi and Arumi.

Oh man, just remembered the bit when Sasshi ends up staying at Eutus' place. Good times.
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The King of Harts

Joined: 05 May 2009
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Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:02 am Reply with quote
Yea, that was episode 12 and definitely one of Imaishi's works. I don't know if it's a real influence of his, but he definitely seems to draw a lot from American cartoons and movies, and so he likes to cuss when he can Laughing

You can look at any project he's worked on whether it's being the head director for shows like TTGL, Dead Leaves, or Panty & Stocking, or episode director for shows like Abenobashi, RE: Cutey Honey, or FLCL, his stuff is very cartoony. That's why he's my favorite animator/director, since he brings out my love for anime and American cartoons at the same time.
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Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Location: Long Island, New York
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:24 pm Reply with quote
I am three episodes into Natsume Yujin-Cho. I'm seeing quite a few parallels with Mushi-Shi. I'm enjoying it so far.
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A Mystery
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!

Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1709
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:18 pm Reply with quote
I hope the Spring Season can fill the void of Chihayafuru and Another. I feel a bit empty now.
Loved both series. The first was a masterpiece IMO, I really hope it'll get a second season someday. Another sure wasn't a masterpiece in every way - but boy the visuals, sound and atmosphere were brilliant. I liked the main characters as well. No winy scared protagonist = big plus.

(Also on the Watch list: Naruto Shippuuden, rewatching Cross Game, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi. I will marathon the last episodes.)
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