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RGaspar



Joined: 04 Oct 2011
Posts: 217
Location: Aaaaargentina

PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 4:46 pm Reply with quote
Last Update of the Year, Merry Xmas people Smile

I started watching Azumanga Daioh in november, and I just completed it last week.

The first half was kinda boring, way too slow and the jokes lasted longer than what they should. But then, from ep 12, Azumanga Daioh was just great. I loved the voice-acting (Japanese), Osaka and Chiyo were a joy to hear. All in all, it's a good show and I don't regret watching it. But it doesn't top Lucky Star, imo.

Also, I finished watching Fate/Zero (Season 1). The show could have been better, and at times (episode 1) all they did was talk, talk, talk about random pretentious stuff. I wanted more action or some more cute shots of Saber and Irisviel. Still tunned for the final season, though.

Last but not least, I'm giving a chance to Amagami SS, if only because the girls look gorgeous. Just watched until episode 3, and it was pretty average, but visually appealing.

Since I'm not used to those ANN rankings yet, I'd say both Azumanga Daioh and Fate/Zero are a solid 7/10.
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PetrifiedJello



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 3782

PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:44 pm Reply with quote
504NOSON2 wrote:
Man, I honestly don't get how you liked Soul Eater that much.

It's like a bag of potato chips. Not the greatest food, but I can't just stop with one episode. The fact there are several stories in this 52 episode collection means I can set the bag down any time.

Ruffles, they are. Razz

Quote:
You know, I'd be more than happy to take those off of your hands. Anything for free, legal anime. Laughing

That you can't stand? Ha! Besides, they were already gifted to another...

... soon-to-be anime fan. Twisted Evil
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504NOSON2
Anime isn't real? Nooo...Anime isn't real? Nooo...


Joined: 28 Jul 2008
Posts: 627
Location: Body:Santa Barbara, CA ~ Heart:New Orleans, LA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:05 am Reply with quote
Point well taken.

I just seriously need to step up my collection. I went back to look at some of the "Shelf obsessed" portions of Shelf Life; my sorry accumulation of anime and manga is but an "asterisk on a page" compared to many others'. Sad
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A Mystery
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 931
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:23 am Reply with quote
504NOSON2 wrote:

I just seriously need to step up my collection. I went back to look at some of the "Shelf obsessed" portions of Shelf Life; my sorry accumulation of anime and manga is but an "asterisk on a page" compared to many others'. Sad


Don't be so hard on yourself. You shouldn't look at what you don't have, but what you DO have. A lot of hobbies cost money to maintain, especially collections. It takes some years (or lottery prizes) before your collection is something to be posted on shelf life. You already put some effort in supporting the industry! I always think twice before buying anything - is it something I really want to have? Will it just stand there looking nice but unused?

As for what I'm watching right now:
Now airing: - Mirai Nikki/Future Diary
- Chihayafuru: haven't heard a soul complaining about this show, except when trying it out for the first time. It sounded a bit like Pokemon with the card game Wink. I love it as well.

Bought recently: Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: now watching the third box and although I've seen the episodes as they were broadcast, it is just as exciting now. Don't know when I'll buy the last boxes.
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The King of Harts



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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Silly Queen's Blade, you must've missed the memo. You have an all girls cast with large breast, gratuitous fanservice, and was made with the sole purpose of selling merchandise to ronery otaku, so you're supposed to completely awful and the problem with anime nowadays, not a really good show with great character development. If you want to be taken serious you need to be directed by a respected director, have renown source material, and be animated by Production IG or Madhouse, because otherwise you're not worth anyone's time since they already know what you're all about.

All those scenes you have that involve characters going through hardships and learning from them should've been replaced with stock episodes like beach or pool scenes. The moments where the characters were backed into a corner and forced to make decisions that weren't only tough, but pained them (and me) emotionally are in the way of those silly fanservice antics losers love to watch. Oh, and that incredible climax at the end is supposed to be where you fall apart by making up some ridiculous plot that had absolutely no foreshadowing in the earlier episodes.

Lets not forget to mention your English dub, which should be at the level of generic hentai. For that point you actually started out on the right track, but somewhere between the end of the first season and beginning of the second, you messed it all up by becoming a pretty respectable English dub. Heck, you have the best female performance of the year with Lisa Ortiz's work as Echidna, and that's definitely not supposed to happen because quality like that should only be used for the greats like, well, like anything other than you because you're supposed to bottom of the barrel material.

I'm disappointed in you Queen's Blade. You can't make anime look bad by being a great show. I hope you learn your lesson and become the drivel everyone expects you to be with Rebellion.

And Blood-, this is point in my post where I'm supposed to swear your name to high heaven's for recommending this crud to me when I asked my "friends" for backlog assistance, but instead I'm forced to say thanks for getting me to watch this way before I intended.
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Blood-
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 14371
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Suh, your graciousness in acknowledging my important ... nay, my essential... role in persuading you to hasten your viddification of this timeless and heartwarming family classic is exceeded only by your critical perspicuity.
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Amorok



Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
Suh, your graciousness in acknowledging my important ... nay, my essential... role in persuading you to hasten your viddification of this timeless and heartwarming family classic is exceeded only by your critical perspicuity.


...WTF?

Anyway...

I'm in the process of re-watching Berserk, arguably one of the best anime of the 90s. I first watched it when I was in middle school, and was bawling by the time it was over. Needless to say, I expected to be thoroughly underwhelmed when I watched it again, considering it's been 7+ years and I like to think I've become a bit more discerning in my tastes... but it's just as good as when I first watched it. I'm shocked.

I mean sure, the voice acting is a bit overdone and the animation is severely dated, but damn if it doesn't tell a good story.
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The King of Harts



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

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:05 pm Reply with quote
Biggest disappointment of the year? Denpa teki na Kanojo is only two episodes. Goodness gracious that was fantastic and I really wish they had plans of doing more. I mean, I know they did an episode a novel, and there's only two novels, but that doesn't mean I don't wish there was more. It ended fine, great actually, but it's sooooooo good! I'm definitely putting the upcoming BD release on my to buy list, $70 and lack of subs be dammed.

Blood- wrote:
Suh, your graciousness in acknowledging my important ... nay, my essential... role in persuading you to hasten your viddification of this timeless and heartwarming family classic is exceeded only by your critical perspicuity.

Was I supposed to read that with Foghorn Leghorn's voice in my head? Because I did.
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OldCharlieStoletheHandle
Bargain HunterBargain Hunter


Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 905
Location: Mastic Beach, NY

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:32 pm Reply with quote
I haven't posted what I've been watching here for a while so lest anyone should think I am not making an effort to work on the huge backlog, I'll start catching up.

When I posted about Black Cat I probably mentioned how that train wreck was sitting on my head for a couple of months. I did, however, watch a couple of other anime during that time.

CANAAN. Why? Because I felt like watching something on Blu-Ray for a change and I had not yet watched any of the TV anime I have on BD. I also needed to take a break from the train wreck that was Black Cat so I wanted something short. I had seen the first 2 episodes fansubbed and thought it looked like an interesting and action-packed show.

The show does start out that way. Maria Ozawa is a photographer with amnesia stemming from an incident 2 years ago where she was infected during a terrorist attack by the Ua virus. She was saved when her father discovered an antidote. Ditzy Maria is paired with reporter Minoru Minorikawa and sent to Shanghai to cover an anti-terrorism conference. They meet up with mystery girl Canaan, who is an old friend of Maria's. She is also a Synasthete who can use her heightened senses to dodge bullets and such. Meanwhile, Alphard, another Synasthete, is rescued from the CIA by her pals in the terrorist group Snake, including her batsh*t-insane "sister" Liang-chi. There are conspiracies involving Ua survivors becoming super-powered girl soldiers, dressed up with a little CIA-as-bad-guy anti-Americanism. Unfortunately, all the mystery stuff is just window dressing for spoiler[Alphard being pissed because the man who trained her (and Canaan) tried to replace her with Canaan. Having the big conspiracy be essentially swept under the carpet may be realistic in real-world terms but it's not very satisfying. Worse, the series doesn't even really resolve the Aplhard/Canaan conflict. In the end, Canaan is still working for the same shadowy organization (who hates her and wants her to die) and she's still battling a one-armed Alphard; so, why did I just spend 6 hours watching this?]

There is also something of a shoujo-ai vibe to this show. We have Canaan and Maria going on a "date" (filler in a 13-episode show, don't ya love it?) and the insane possessiveness of Liang-chi towards Alphard. The male characters in this show are pretty much useless; Minoru mostly drives people around, and Santana spoiler[doesn't last long once he decides to actually get involved.] Along with the expected violence and bloodshed we get a double dose of spoiler[necrophilia. First, not only does Hakko drag her boyfriend's dead body around for a while (after being tricked into killing him by Liang-chi with a ruse even I saw coming and seems to mainly be an excuse for Liang-chi to run around in her underwear for the rest of the show) but when Canaan tries to rescue her, she dicovers Hakko naked in bed with the naked corpse! Later, Liang-chi (still undressed) decides to drink some stuff that's supposed to make her a Synasthete; it just turns her hair white and makes her eyes bulge out. When she sees her new look in the mirror she decides she's become Canaan and begs her underling Cummings to kill her, which he will only do if Liang-chi "loves" him. Enough already. (Besides, she's been abusing him by shooting him with rubber bullets-and even actually shooting him-so what more proof of her love does he need?)]

On the plus side, this is a great-looking show and the action scenes are mostly done very well. I liked the opening theme and the music over all was good. The main characters were also pretty likeable, though only Maria and Canaan are really fleshed out. In the end, it was an entertaining show with a disappointing ending. I rated it as "good".

During this same period I also watched My Neighbor Totoro. Why? I often will take a break from watching a TV anime to watch a movie. This has been in my collection at least 3 years. I was also curious about this and Kiki's Delivery Service; having seen Ponyo and been disappointed by how childish it was, I was wondering if these other two films might also be too kid-oriented. I chose Totoro over Kiki because it was shorter.

I soon discovered I had nothing to worry about. Although the protagonists are children, this is in no way strictly a children's film but that rare film that is truly for all ages. Despite having a story rooted in folklore and fantasy, there is a reality about the story. Characters behave in a rational, realistic manner. It is also very efficient, in that there are no wasted moments. Every incidet and every line of dialogue serves to either define the characters or drive the story forward. And, unlike Ponyo wherein characters seem to treat billions of yen in damage as nothing special, in this film when Mei goes missing everyone reacts the way real people in a small town would react when a small child is missing. I really think that it is because the film is well grounded in a kind of reality that the audience is able to accept the fantasy elements.

While this is a fairly short film (under 90 minutes) it is filled with many fine moments, both amusing and touching (even the credits are fun) and the soundtrack is very nice. I rated this film as "excellent".
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504NOSON2
Anime isn't real? Nooo...Anime isn't real? Nooo...


Joined: 28 Jul 2008
Posts: 627
Location: Body:Santa Barbara, CA ~ Heart:New Orleans, LA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:39 am Reply with quote
A Mystery wrote:
Don't be so hard on yourself. You shouldn't look at what you don't have, but what you DO have. A lot of hobbies cost money to maintain, especially collections. It takes some years (or lottery prizes) before your collection is something to be posted on shelf life. You already put some effort in supporting the industry! I always think twice before buying anything - is it something I really want to have? Will it just stand there looking nice but unused?


Nah, you're totally right. (And heavens knows that I need my money).

That's usually why I.. A) Purchase something in its entirety only if it's been given an ANN overall grade of a B- or higher (preferably, but not exclusively, by Theron and Carlo); User ratings play a pretty large role, too. B) Or I just watch it streamed on Hulu, Crunchyroll, or Anime Network.

And I always, always look around for the very cheapest copy or boxset(which is the format I prefer to buy my anime in.) Heck, I should change my subscriber rank to "Bargain Hunter".

Time's are tough, man.
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dirkusbirkus



Joined: 10 May 2008
Posts: 697
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:21 am Reply with quote
It's been a quiet festive period. Nice meal with the family, catching up with friends, having a few drinks and watching the inevitable Home Alone rerun. Quiet, until today. I've just had the sheer, unadulterated pleasure of watching Redline.

I'd... heard things about it. All I knew prior to watching is that it was very highly regarded and it was about racing. I've never been a fan of racing animation, growing up I think my only exposure was through Pole Position on Saturday mornings. I've seen the odd episode of Initial D, and wasn't really that excited at the prospect of a feature length dose of engine speak and speedometers. Awesome, then, that Redline turned out to be so, so, so much more. It's just awesome really. From the futuristic setting, to the gorgeous animation, the pumping soundtrack, the sweet love story, the crazy characters, the explosions (OH GOD THE EXPLOSIONS)... The whole experience left me breathless. Highly regarded, and justifiably so. Well done Madhouse, 7 years in the making and if it's not a masterpiece then I'll eat my hat. You don't even have to like racing to enjoy this; if you like animation at all in any form, Redline is for you. If you go in looking for a plot, or any sort of depth, you've completely missed the point.

I also watched Kuragehime which was pretty sweet in its own way, but writing about it now I'll be tempted to compare it to the subject of the previous paragraph and it'll just look amateurish by comparison. I'll save my thoughts for another day, because today I had my mind well and truly blown.
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supercreep



Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 510
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:34 pm Reply with quote
I just wrapped up Gosick less than fifteen minutes ago and I'm trying to decide how I feel about it. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed and Victorique was just too cute to resist but the overall plot never really sucked me in. I can, however, appreciate the insanity that was the last two or three episodes even if spoiler[it was fairly obvious that they were always going to be together.]

Now it's time for Ben-To since I loved the first episode.
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Amorok



Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:03 pm Reply with quote
Still watching Berserk, for the same reasons I mentioned last time. Almost to the final, which I'm not sure I'm going to watch Anime cry
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2591
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:15 am Reply with quote
Un-Go

I think the best word to describe this series is bland. It never elicited any strong emotional commitment from me towards the characters and, not being invested in the characters, I wasn't greatly engrossed by the stories.

Despite the strangeness of his two assistants the inner world of the main character, Shinjurou, isn't revealed to us to any great degree. Inga, his kami off-sider, could be creepy at times but she remained largely an enigma. Like everything else in the series the mystery wasn't interesting enough to matter. Kazamori, his AI assistant, was my favourite character but she / it was redundant too often - she hardly made an appearance in the last couple of episodes. Kazamori combined innocence and knowledge in a way that made her a powerful figure. Whenever Shinjurou was in a scrape or needed help it was usually Kazamori who provided it (or Rie). Inga seemed to be only good for getting the answer to that one question. What's more, Kazamori's omniscience in a child's body actually made her more provocative than the brazen Inga.

The early plots were poorly structured. 24 minutes isn't enough time to outline a mystery, let us stew over the dilemmas and then provide a resolution. The overarching story had too many inexplicable threads and when the real villain was finally revealed it was all rather ho-hum.

Despite all these criticisms I've rated the series as good (albeit at the lower end). It's intelligent, innovative, occasionally surprising and, best of all, has an adult cast. That last point alone lifts it up a notch or two.

Steins;Gate

I'm sure I'm going to echo a lot of people when I say that the first few episodes are no indication of how good this series gets. Somewhere around the halfway mark it explodes into the ether and just gets better and better. Well, actually, I know the exact moment it takes off - when Moeka storms into the laboratory and... well, I don't want to spoil things for anybody who hasn't seen it yet.

Initially, all the main characters get dangerously close to being tiresome. Rintaro comes across as a pompous dill; Kurisu a by-the-book tsundere devoid of wit; Mayuri a child who has never grown up; and Taru a lecherous nerd. All are immature. But, in hindsight, that's all forgiven. From the moment Moeka throws her spanner in the works, events begin to cascade and our four heroes must face the repercussions of their earlier actions. In the psychological hell that follows the surface tedium of the characters slips away, revealing their inner strengths. Even the ditzy Mayuri is revealed to have considerable emotional intelligence. Their subsequent behaviours and choices are compelling and consistent. The consistency stems from their genuine regard they have for each other and their desire to protect their friends. They, and others, are presented with the most awful dilemmas that force them to re-assess their earlier childish attitudes.

As in any good thriller, the plot becomes dense and interwoven. The time travel elements add greatly to the effect. Time and again, seemingly insignificant actions are later revealed to have an enormous bearing on events. Mistakes have to be confronted and undone. New knowledge forces the viewer to re-assess characters. In complete contrast to Un-Go, I came to care so much for the characters I watched the second half of the series in one sitting.

It has faults. Like pretty well any time travel story, the science is preposterous. Who cares? It's just providing the framework to a great tale. As already mentioned, the first few episodes are just interesting enough to encourage continued viewing. Finally, as in Groundhog Day, the main character, Rintaro, must relive the same events over and over (don't worry - it's never dull). His relationship with the other characters develops just a tad with each reset. Really, they should also be reset each time. Never mind. These are all minor gripes. The pay-off in the second half is so good, the problems pale into insignificance.

Rating: excellent

Squid Girl second season

In the first season Ika Musume was, literally and figuratively, a fish out of water. The humour revolved around the contrast between Squid Girl's ambitions and her better nature, and between her naivete and the down-to-earth attitudes of her new friends. In the second season she has become a superstar, the centre of everybody's world. In the last episode Eiko even acknowledges that the invasion has succeeded, not by force but by charm. Where, in the first series, Squid Girl's most common reactions were suprise or chagrin, this time around it's as if she pauses at the end of each action or statement for the inevitable approbation and applause. Her confidence level has risen while her cuteness level has fallen (though only slightly).

At the same time, the stories have become more bland (there's that word again), the innovations and surprises fewer. It's probably to be expected in a second season of such an episodic show. For sure, the first season was highly variable in the quality of its short episodes, but this season seemed to have fewer high points. The best episode was easily the one where the main characters play "House" with a child who has clearly watched far too many daytime soap operas. What she gets Squid Girl and the others to perform is both alarming and hilarious. The show is at its best when the childlike veneer slips away to reveal a very adult (and twisted) sensibility.

Rating: decent

What I got for Christmas

Please overlook the shortcomings of this photo. It was taken with my mobile phone.



Yes. It's Siren Visual's Australian release of Dennou Coil. I'm seven episodes in so far. It's an intriguing story that promises much, with a great bunch of kids led by Yasako. It comes in two volumes with the third disk in the second volume containing the extras: bonus episodes; preview screenings; press conference film; interviews with the main voice actors; TV shots; production shorts; and clean opening and endings. SV's normal price is AU$49.95 per volume but I had been given a gift card for JB Hi-Fi, a high-volume outlet who usually have a lower price - in this case $42.95 per volume. Better yet, I redeemed the card on Boxing Day (Australia's equivalent to the day after Thanksgiving Day in America) and got an extra 20% off. So all up, 26 episodes cost just under $69.00. (Well, considerably less as the gift card covered most of it.) So all you people who have committed over US$350 for 13 episodes of the inferior Fate Zero, please accept a well-aimed raspberry. Razz

(Actually, I imagine the Japanese producers and American distributors may be watching how well Siren Visual does with Dennou Coil. If they are successful then it would improve the chances of an American release. An American release of House of Five Leaves has been announced following its earlier Siren Visual release in Oz. Perhaps the Japanese are using Australia as a low risk sounding board for some of the fringe titles.)

I'm also part way through the following series:

Chihayafuru - via Crunchyroll. It's pretty to look at, the characters are rounded and likeable, and, happily, the karuta game is a just a vehicle for character development. That said, there's nothing particurlarly outstanding or eccentric about it. It's definitely worth watching but there hasn't been a single WOW! moment after 12 episodes.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing - via the Madman Screening Room. It's gorgeous to look at, especially the aerial battles, but the plot is risible and the characters are disappointing. Fam can strike some memorable poses - see my avatar - provided she keeps her clothes on, but not only do the three main characters look like twelve year olds, they spend much of the time acting like twelve year olds. And, spare me, please! Two people capturing sixteen battleships? What a load of bollocks!

Gosick - via the Madman Screening Room. Another pretty show but this time with a great main character - Victorique - who veers between snooty, vulnerable and wise but who is always highly entertaining and utters many a memorable line. Her foil - Kujo - is more average fare but he has his moments. I'm six episodes in and how well it pans out will depend upon whether her appeal can go the distance and how their relationship grows. The sixth episode is the one where Kujo flicks Victorique on the forehead which was funny enough, but when she gets him back I had a good long laugh at his expense.

Hyouge Mono - ten episodes in and quite possibly the best, most sophisticated series of 2011, if only the fansubs came out more often.


Last edited by errinundra on Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:23 am; edited 2 times in total
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 12566
Location: NZL

PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:08 am Reply with quote
Holy crap, somehow I totally missed that Dennou Coil is getting an Australasian release. To say that I'm going to buy it would be a vast understatement. I'm going to buy the hell out of it.
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