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Unicorn_Blade



Joined: 18 Jul 2010
Posts: 1037
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:56 am Reply with quote
Im slowly dragging myself through Fafner. I think I will finish it before the end of the summer.

I think it's a shame, because the series would be a lot better if not the dialogues and the writing that sometimes takes the pretentious turn.

It is nit a bad show and I enjoyed it initially, but I enjoy it less and less with each episode. I find myself rolling my eyes a bit too often and the supposedly tragic events have no effect because of all the bad writing (ex. Shokou's heroic spoiler[sacrifice that come out of nowhere]), the characters get zero exposure or development, but yeah, I hope things will get better.
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Rukiia



Joined: 30 Aug 2010
Posts: 1767
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:04 pm Reply with quote
Oops. I spelled her name wrong. Embarassed

Lemme fix that:
Rukiia wrote:
After watching True Tears I was so annoyed that spoiler[Shinichiro chose Hiromi instead of Noe at the end of the series.]

Better. Cool


Mister V wrote:
This seems legendary, I keep hearing about this terrible ending. I guess I'll check it out when I want something to rage over.

I didn't know that it had a legendary terrible ending. I watched the series blindly without knowing a thing about it. Anime hyper
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2699
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:27 am Reply with quote
While waiting for Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit to arrive from the US (it isn’t licensed in Oz) I’ve been watching more of my nephew’s 1990s fansubs. Fansubbers must have been dedicated and tolerant types back then. Very little lincensed stuff was available commercially and he tells me that he ordered the fansubs from a fellow in Queensland who mailed them to him. Many of the older shows have been recorded in the .rm format with episode file sizes less than 15mb. The quality can be challenging to put it generously.

Martian Successor Nadesico. Despite the low quality format, I enjoyed this series. Under all the intentional silliness, beats a heart of gold. I think the key to its success is the appeal of the characters, no matter how absurd their personality. There is nothing nasty about Nadesico. Many popular anime from the 80s and 90s have a sour, misanthropic and cynical worldview. I’m thinking of Akira, Ninja Scroll and Neon Genesis Evangelion, to name three. Not so, Nadesico. Akito may be afraid to pilot the mecha but, unlike NGE, the point isn’t laboured and, besides, the humour of his behaviour creates considerable sympathy.

Another way it succeeds is its blending of many disparate elements: the silliness; the drama; the parodies of giant robot and space opera tropes; the metafictional games; and the moral dilemmas of the protagonists. An example of this blending is when the ship’s cook declares that she hopes the new pilots about to embark are annoying. Why? because they might die in battle. Acid irony and brutal reality combine to instil a sense of horror – yet I laughed. Very, very clever.

I’m not a big fan of 1990s TV series – none stand up well against the production standards and innovations of the last seven or eight years. They also have a sensibility that seems quaint now. So, giving Nadesico a good rating is actually quite a pat on the back. By the way, the world of Nadesico must be saved by a kiss, predating The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by ten years. I also wonder if the latter series’ Nagato was inspired in part by Ruri Hoshino.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OAV 1, Tenchi Muyo! The Night Before the Carnival and Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OAV 2. This franchise seems to have been popular in its day. How? For a comedy it commits the unpardonable sin of a shortage of gags. Now, I’m not saying I didn’t find the gags funny – it just doesn’t have that many. On top of that, the setup – one alien female after another moves into Tenchi’s house and falls in love with him – just isn’t pushed far enough. As a result the joke wears thin very quickly. You know things a going very badly when both the OAV series end up being a battle between the protagonist and an evil, laughing, overlord, bad guy stereotype who wants to rule the known universe.

A symptom of the franchise’s problems is illustrated by the character who initially hits you like a tsunami with her outre confidence and aggression - Ryoko. By the end of the second OAV she has been reduced to a simpering idiot. It’s a good thing that her mother, Washu, takes up the mantle of series eccentric, but it’s such a shame that Ryoko’s comedic gold ends up merely brass. Sadly, it’s an example of a common problem with anime women, Rin Tohsaka in Unlimited Bladeworks is a recent manifestation.

Ratings: 1st OAV series so-so, The Night Before the Carnival so-so, 2nd OAV series not really good. Another by-the-way: Kagato is so similar to Excel Saga’s Ilpalazzo that the latter must have been inspired by the former.

Anyway, Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit arrived on Thursday and, apart from two short naps of about two hours, a job interview (gotta pay for my obsession!) and one family commitment, I marathoned it. Truly wonderful. I ordered it largely because of the recent Coolest Character Tournament where its protagonist, Balsa, was beaten in the final by Spike Spiegel. She should have won, but there you go. Balsa goes straight to the top rank of my favourite anime characters – up there with Mireille Bouquet, Rin Tohsaka and Paprika.

The artwork is beautiful, the story compelling, the setting detailed and convincing, the writing intelligent, the characters believable and appealing, and the fight scenes visceral in their emotional impact (if not literally). There is a sense of wonder that infuses this anime throughout. But it’s Balsa who lifts Moribito way above the ordinary. The only possible reservation I may have is, because it is so plot heavy, I wonder how often I will re-watch it. Time will tell, I guess. Rating: masterpiece.
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Tommy RKO



Joined: 05 Jun 2011
Posts: 24
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:37 am Reply with quote
Finished Solty Rei earlier this week, and loved it. I know it's gotten some lukewarm to bad reviews but I thought it was a great anime. I enjoyed it immensely. Mr. Green

Currently re-watching Sekirei, the first season. Very Happy

Once I finish that I'll be moving on to my Blu-Ray set of Samurai 7. Anime smile
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EmbraceMe



Joined: 17 Dec 2010
Posts: 1443
Location: Two Steps from Hell.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:22 am Reply with quote
Pulling my first all-nighter in a long while and finished all but one of the Gintama' episodes. I can understand why a lot of people really enjoy Gintama now. The comedy is just damn funny and the action scenes I've seen are pretty awesome. I'm currently starting on where I left off - Episode 2 and on a journey to Episode 201. Now, I'll go laugh so hard from the comedic hijinks that I'll wake up my parents.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12851
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:03 am Reply with quote
Finished C – Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility, rated it as Bad.

"Not so long ago I would have be outraged if anyone dared to use the words "noitaminA" and "bad" in the same sentence. Then Fractale came and I thought it was just an unpleasant aberration. Now that I've finally cringed my way through all of [C], I am getting a sinking feeling that the once-strong block is fading, and fast.

The noitaminA block has always seemed to be a bastion of more . . . mature fare, intellectually speaking, but [C] incontrovertibly did its level best to destroy that sentiment. In it is a magical world so poorly conceived in purpose and intent that even the various incarnations of the Digital World from the Digimon franchise look like hard science fiction. The card battles are so bad they look like rejected prototypes from a Trading Card Game tie-in series; even Duel Monsters from Yu-Gi-Oh! makes more sense. And the economic "literacy" of the writers came across as even worse than high-school grade, a damning flaw in a show which wanted to be high-brow.

But those criticisms, valid though they are, are not the real reason I hated this title. It was just a crappy, crappy show. Not just mediocre, but actively bad.

The whole future versus present philosophical clash was mind-numbingly dumb in both ideas and execution, a final twist of the knife to a show which was already fatally wounded by that point. The love interest only existed to be a catalyst and was not a real character by herself. The male lead was all over the place personality-wise, so unsure of what to do with himself that the story suffered, which in turn did not know what to do with him. Classic chicken and egg scenario of fail. I guess the show's moralistic bent, that being financially responsible and having humble but fulfilling goals is something to be derided, probably didn't help matters. There was no rhyme or reason to anything that went on, we never really learnt what the [C] phenomenon really was or what caused it, let alone who ran the Financial Districts or even what the Financial Districts even were.

I've spent more than enough time on this piece of garbage. I only finished it so that I would have ammunition to use against people who see the noitaminA label and so refuse to accept that it is a terrible show. I don't know if Picasso ever made crappy paintings, but I can tell you that not every noitaminA show is of some mythical gold-plated standard, nor is the block some bastion of high quality as it used to be [thought of as]."
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12851
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:58 pm Reply with quote
Finished Clannad for the second time, rated it as Excellent.

I really wanted to hate this, and I thought I would too. I have never hidden my intense dislike of Moe, and this is one of the more notable Moe shows. But you know what, expectations are made to be broken. Which is horrible when you expect something to be good only to be crushed by a sense of betrayal, but luckily the flipside is also true. It is always a treat to watch something that you just know will be bad but which actually turns out to be a strong series.

Even after just four episodes Clannad was shaping up to be a great series, and the rest did not disappoint. Throughout the show there was an undercurrent of wry and often hilarious humour, which provided welcome breaks from the hard-hitting dramatical moments. And wow, the emotional punches landed on mark time after time, even though it was (usually) obvious that they were coming. The two biggest and most effective moments effectively bookended the show, coming rather early and very late in the series, but the rest were good too. Even a slightly subdued scene of the two Fujibayashi sisters hugging and crying had powerful weight behind it.

All this drama, and let's not forget all this humour too, and yet none of it depends on the Moe elements the series is so well known for. And that's what I think makes Clannad so successful. The Moe seen here is not a crutch to lean upon, it is merely a form of constant non-Ecchi fanservice for those so inclined. At first I hated the character designs as all the females look like they are some species of amphibious fish, what with their eyes so large and far apart. But once I got used to the designs (easily within the first five episodes), they didn't bug me anymore. I was too busy laughing and empathising with the characters to notice, let alone care.

There is more to Moe than just overly-cute designs. It often has a "normal" male lead who goes around helping several girls (all of whom are into him, to varying degrees) with their deep-seated problems. Except Tomoya was actually exciting and interesting to watch, Youhei always managed to be funny (at his own expense; hah), and the girls were not all damsels in distress. They often needed help, but they weren't completely objectified and came off as almost normal. Almost; this is still a Moe show. But I guess their personalities just didn't bug me, which is unusual since it so often does. I was a little annoyed with Nagisa's hesitation on the romance front, but her shyness is nothing that I haven't seen before. Heck, Sawako from Kimi ni Todoke was ten times worse.

Actually, the thought of romance leads me onto another point. Many harem shows attempt (very poorly) to tease the viewers about whom the male lead will choose, as if it is never obvious. Clannad always made it clear that Tomoya was only ever interested in one girl, and he didn't try to lead on the others. Even the other girls realised this fact, and it didn't take them until the end of the series. Nor did they pull out their claws or anything, trying to steal Tomoya away, so I was thankfully spared Shoujo-style antics. They accepted his decision - before he even made it, or was fully aware of his own feelings - and supported the couple, which I thought was really nice.

Clannad is a triumph of execution. It does more than offer a twist on the standard Moe formula, but rather it mixes Moe into a show which was already very good. The trick they pulled off was to keep the show's quality even after the Moe went in, and I'm glad they managed it. Moe-lovers will of course salivate over the designs, but there is plenty for someone such as myself to appreciate. It is a Moe show that I would - and do - recommend to those who are not really into Moe but just want to watch some quality Anime. And that's because it isn't just a Moe show but a darn good Anime in its own right. Simple as that.


After a month or two I will sink my teeth into Clannad After Story. I don't expect it to live up to its ridiculous hype, but if it can be as good as the first series then I'll be happy.
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classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 5063

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:43 pm Reply with quote
A little bit ago (like I guess last weekend maybe) I stuck in the first disc of Twelve Kingdoms and wasn't overly thrilled with it. That said, I saw potential by the end of ep 5 so I put decided to put in the second disc last night and accidentally finished the third one too. The series certainly gets off to a shaky start with a totally wimpy main who I was kinda starting to loathe, but man, by the end of the first arc, I definitely like her. She might not be a super fighter, but with the....thingy, she's certainly able to. She starts off unwilling, but by the end, she is, but not as a crazed lunatic, but on a "Need to fight" basis so I really quite appreciate that. Yoko really grew a lot in just that one arc alone!

But I actually found my favorite to be Rakashun by the end of the first season oddly enough. Oh and the entire time the music is just slipping in and out of my ears and just giving me so much pleasure, great OST!

For me, this is what Escaflowne should have been but totally failed at. And omg, I still have like 30 some eps left, don't I?

Also, I hear that they kinda totally copped out in the last arc cus of some bs like "waiting for the novels to end", which is all well and good unless you never return to finish off the damn arc. So I'm thinking that rather than be left with an empty feeling of no ending inside, if the arc before it ends on itself fairly well like this first one did, I'm thinking of just skipping the last arc to spare the pain (since TP shut down, there goes any hope of the novel translations, at least for now), or is this a poor plan?
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Kelly



Joined: 17 Nov 2003
Posts: 866
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:25 pm Reply with quote
classicalzawa wrote:
Also, I hear that they kinda totally copped out in the last arc cus of some bs like "waiting for the novels to end", which is all well and good unless you never return to finish off the damn arc. So I'm thinking that rather than be left with an empty feeling of no ending inside, if the arc before it ends on itself fairly well like this first one did, I'm thinking of just skipping the last arc to spare the pain (since TP shut down, there goes any hope of the novel translations, at least for now), or is this a poor plan?


I've read several reasons why the series didn't continue. One was that there isn't enough material for another season, another is that there were concerns about how ratings would go when the part of the story was reached where Yoko is no longer the main character, and a third is that there were health issues with some of the staff, most notably the primary character designer, and the project lost momentum after that which it could never regain. It must be admitted that a major subplot is left frustratingly - and I mean tear your hair out frustratingly - open ended.

That being said, I found it worth continuing to the conclusion. The whole thing ends with a backstory arc for King En and Enki Rokuta, so take that as you will depending on how much you like them. Since they're two of my favorite characters, I was quite happy.
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:46 pm Reply with quote
I finished up Baccano earlier today. I just want to get this out of the way before I talked about how I liked it: Too much time jumping. I get that it all ties together really, really nicely, but it happened too often in how it'd jump 6-7 times in a single episode. I probably would've liked it more if I didn't have to figure out when the heck the show was happening.

"What year is the Pussyfoot happening?"
"When did Dallas go missing?"
"What are Isaac and Miria doing right now?"

I eventually got it all by about the 8th or 9th episode, but it was really confusing at first. It probably would've been better served being linear by going from scene to scene Higurashi style with different chunks that come together at the end. I did come to respect it by the end, but that doesn't mean it didn't annoy the frick out of me while it was happening.

Now then, good part: Excellent show. I'm not crazy about it like others are, but I absolutely do not regret my purchase of the blu-ray version. While I was getting towards the end I was getting upset that there wasn't going to be a true conclusion, but then I remembered the [very confusing] beginning. It's a piece of history being told, not some kind of plot driven piece like other shows. When I realized that, it felt like my eyes had been opened and I had a newfound respect for the show, and my enjoyment multiplied.

And then there's Isaac and Miria. I think I found my new favorite characters of all time, beating out my much loved Ryoko and Naga. Those two are just great, and Tatum and Glass knocked those roles out of the park. I never watched the Japanese version, but I have a hard time imagining the Japanese version was anywhere near as good as those two. I don't know, nor do I want to imagine, what the show would've been without their comic relief. I just want a collage of some sort of video that consists of nothing but scenes of those two. Make it happen, internet.

So in conclusion, Baccano is quite the excellent show, but Isaac and Miria are off the charts amazing.
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2699
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:15 pm Reply with quote
The King of Harts,

Miria and Isaac have been sighted recently in the Ikebukuro ( Wink ). Yes, I agree they are fantastic. Without them, the show would have been flat. The voices and style of the English and Japanese voice actors are amazingly similar but, yes, the English dub is better, simply because it's more appropriate.
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ikillchicken
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7028
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:18 am Reply with quote
The King of Harts wrote:
Too much time jumping.


As a big fan of Baccano, I completely agree.

It's a wonderfully energetic show with great characters but the time jumping actually detracts from it. It's obvious to me that the director and or writer like the idea of doing a non-linear story with shifting time frames (it ties right in to one of the main underlying themes of the show after all) but they're not actually that good at executing this concept. In the end, it ends up being distracting more than anything else.
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egoist
Pirate KingPirate King


Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 7673

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:17 am Reply with quote
Finished Dog Days and it was pretty good. Although about everything this season got worse after the first episode, this was the one that had the bad first episode and only improved from there. Sure, by the end it's mostly cutesy. Visuals, script, story, it's cutesy. But, it's epic fantasy cutesy. Sweet series overall, and glad I didn't drop it.

Ouch, now that I'm finally out of Detective Conan's grasp I'll get to this season... oww, this is gonna be painful like a kick in the balls.

Oh, well, the incoming Natsume is all the motivation I need.
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 14987
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:00 am Reply with quote
I was disappointed to discover that My Ordinary Life is two cours. I was really hoping to have it wrapped up today. It's a bizarre experience for me - I spend chunks of any given eppie laughing my ass off, and other chunks looking at my watch, wondering when it will be over. Unfortunately, because of the good stuff, I'll have to watch the rest spoiler[(especially now that Nano will be going to high school - hopefully without that big screw in her back)] but I tend to treat watching this show like homework that needs to be done as opposed to just a pure, enjoyable experience.

*sigh*
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Dorcas_Aurelia
Baka RangerBaka Ranger


Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 5344
Location: Philly

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:49 pm Reply with quote
Finished Astarotte's Toy. Unsurprisingly, a deus ex machina conveniently resolves the artificial drama of Naoya and Asuha's forced departure, but not before we get a trite and sappy last date between Naoya and Astarotte.

The second biggest problem this series has is that it is just as devoid of creativity as every other romantic (borderline harem, borderline slice-of-life) comedy anime made in recent years. For all the controversy the premise stirred up, the show does practically nothing about it.
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