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Bento-Box



Joined: 08 Sep 2009
Posts: 1030
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:00 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
@ Bento-Box, re: straight up ecchi shows this season. Well, there's the latest installment of the Queen's Blade franchise (Rebellion) but I can't seem to find a non-censored stream for it, so I'm just waiting until Sentai releases the series at some point down the road.

Upotte! (the one about guns anthropomorphized as schoolgirls) definitely has some fanservice, but I'm not sure I'd characterize it as straight up ecchi. Did you happen to catch High School DxD from the Winter season? It might fill the bill and it was kind of a fun show, all-round.


I did not watch High School DxD during the winter. I was focus firing down my graphic novel and really only paid attention to Chihayafuru and maybe one or two others.

Upotte! isn't really my cup of tea... unfortunately. And I'm not into the Queen's Blade. I was thinking something more along the lines of a Yosuga no Sora without the incest or a B Gata H Kei. Embarassed Maybe I should have just said "I'm looking for sex scenes and teases." LOL

I'll definitely check out High School DxD though. Thanks! Smile
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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 6136
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:23 pm Reply with quote
Hmm, I finished Wolf's Rain today (not including the OVA) and my thoughts are....

Well, I was looking for an unique and original anime to watch on the weekends and I think I found one. That would be Wolf's Rain. Studio Bones does a great job with the artwork and the amazing soundtrack that is almost unforgettable. Even the OP song was very appealing. As for voice acting, they're just average imo. I actually watched in dubbed so I might watched the subbed version again to compare to two to see if there are any differences. One of the most important part of this anime is the appealing characters of vary stark personalities. With that a complex fantasy world in a dystopian like setting, we got ourselves an interesting and unique anime. I guess if you've watched Ergo Proxy before, you might get a general idea of the series. Overall, my enjoyment of the series was great and definitely considering re-watching and watching the OVA.

[ANN is not an imageboard ~Zalis]
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kaydub



Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 318
Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Bento-Box wrote:
Space Pirates - This show is starting to bore me. I'm on like episode 11 or 12 and I'm not sure I can hang in there much longer. Does it get any better? I'm not particularly enjoying watching Marika be the captain of the ship and the cliche crew just pales in comparison to what Ozma's crew has to offer. It's like they wanted to make the crew look diverse, but just stuck to typical character designs. I may or may not stick with this one. :\

The past few episodes have been a bit more interesting, at least in the sense that there is some plot developing. If you're not liking it so far, I'm not sure that the most recent episodes have much to offer. Although, ep. 17 almost gets a little ecchi... almost.
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Rathchet



Joined: 24 Sep 2009
Posts: 36
Location: Melbourne, Victoria

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:22 pm Reply with quote
Currently watching Chobits for the first time (i know im a bit late to the party) and oh my god is it good! Chii has to be the most adorable character ever! Michelle Ruff did an excellent job with her voice.
Im only 8 episodes in but i can't wait to get home and watch some more! Something tells me though that this is going to have an unhappy ending Sad so im kinda not looking forward to finishing it lol.
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egoist
Pirate KingPirate King


Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 7673

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:12 am Reply with quote
Dropping Dusk Maiden after 3 episodes and Mysterious Girlfriend X after 1 and a bit, because I don't see myself getting entertainment out of this in the future. The former is a bit interesting because it always catches me off-guard with its present-past episode storytelling, but on the other hand, it's a generic story done to death, added to the fact that it has nothing special to offer in return for the generic story, and there's going to be too much romance. The latter because I find it easier to watch tentacle hentai than a guy tasting a girl's drool like that, and also because it's gonna be romance heavy.
Polar Bear Cafe also dropped because there's only so much of that I can take. Too much dumbness.

If anime is trying to be unique with stuff like Bear Cafe and GF X, then I really wish they could go back to the same style they had in the 90s.

From what I've seen so far this season, I'm only keeping Saint Seiya, Space Brothers, and Lupin III. As much as the story in Saint Seiya is disappointing me spoiler[(show me Seiya and Athena then remove both)], I really like the art and I've always been a fan of the franchise. Space Brothers already explained in the thread. Lupin III is really good on every aspect, I doubt I'd find a good reason to drop it unless I hated boobs, which is hardly the case.
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ailblentyn



Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 1552
Location: body in Ohio, heart in Sydney

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:08 pm Reply with quote
I'll share what I didn't watch yesterday.

We were in Cologne, and saw that a local Disney-affiliated television channel (Super RTL) was showing Castle in the Sky. (Or should I say Das Schloss im Himmel?) Excited at the prospect of seeing this film on the large screen of the place we were staying, I tuned in at the advertised time. And tuned out very soon after, when the version they were showing cut almost the whole of the title sequence.

Seriously, they skipped from Shita falling out of sight of the pirates straight to the climax of the opening where her pendant lights up and she starts floating. Thus removing:
1) important back-story for the fantasy world
2) the musical overture for the film
3) a beautifully paced introduction where visuals and music build the audience's fascination while keeping them in suspense about Shita's fate
4) a very charming piece of animation in its own right

It just made me wonder (and not for the first time) what the point is of most television. Why bother with that sort of thing when so much content is available on DVD and through legal internet means?
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Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:15 am Reply with quote
I finished watching Ga-Rei: Zero and wow, that was incredible. I thought for sure that knowing from episode 1 that Yomi spoiler[was going to turn evil] would lessen the experience and take away from the show, but I was wrong. It was the opposite. By half way through the series I loved Yomi, and when ep 8 hit I was desperately trying to think of ways that inevitable end result could be avoided. Maybe it was a dream! Maybe is wasn't actually her.... Maybe she had to for some yet unexplained reason. I normally abhor cop-outs like that, but I was practically begging for one, so much did I want her tragic fate to be dodged. Around ep 3 I thought I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen, and was sure that it would be a good watch, but predictable. Nope. That was wrong too. This show expertly wove its tale of mystery and horror, smoothly explaining everything that happened in the first two episodes and effortlessly making sense of everyone's actions. Often when a series starts en media res, when the flashbacks finally catch up to the main story, there are inconsistencies or actions certain characters have taken that you can see are out of character. There is nothing of that sort in Ga-Rei: Zero. This beautiful, tragic series made me cry and Yomi is now one of my all-time favorite characters.

I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of graphic violence. There is a very high body count, and quite a bit of blood, but the violence itself isn't graphic. The action was fluid and detailed, and I loved the music. These people really knew when and how to use music to maximize the effect. In the first episode, they completely forgo the ending song, and while the credits roll you only hear the sound of burning. And the way Kagura evolved throughout the story was great to watch. This series even had some hilarious comedy in the middle which really highlighted how great the good times were, and provided a heart-breaking contrast for the bad times.
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2665
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:52 am Reply with quote
Spice and Wolf

I watched this thanks to the Best First Episode Tournament, even though it isn't an entrant. I had been looking for ways to legally watch candidates in the tournament and found myself at Funimation's YouTube site. In the past, when I've tried to watch stuff on their site I've received this message: "The uploader has not made this video available in your country". But, hope springs eternal in the human breast and I scanned through their list to see if anything appealed to me. Among the titles was Spice and Wolf and, with more hope than expectation, I clicked on it. Gadzooks! It loaded and played without any problem. I wonder if the Australian distributor, Madman Entertainment, knows that people can watch it for free, streamed from America.

So far in the tournament I have watched 22 first episodes that I hadn't seen before. Here I was, thanks to that very tournament, watching something that, frankly, pissed on every one of those 22 entrants. I was so enamoured that I ended up marathoning the series.

That was, until the final episode where, to my astonishment, I got the dreaded, "The uploader has not made this video available in your country". Was this some sort of joke? Was it a deal with Madman to frustrate people into buying the DVD or Blu-ray to find out how it ends? Anyway, I watched that last episode via a low quality, streamed fansub.

Spice and Wolf succeeds because the two central characters, harvest / wolf deity Holo and travelling merchant Lawrence, make one of the most delightful duos I've seen in anime. Holo is the fun element of the pair: mischievous, astute, capable, sharp tongued and proud yet intensely lonely. Lawrence grounds the series. He is serious, thoughtful, calm and a gentleman to his boot straps. (Holo is so appealing that if I were him I couldn't have got through the 13 episodes without jumping her.) For all his intelligence and business nous, in both story arcs his complicated schemes invariably leave him floundering out of his depth. He has instantly become one of my favourite male characters in anime. It's unusual in an anime pairing for the male to be as interesting as the female. It probably helps that he's 25. It's also refreshing.

The best thing, though, is how their relationship plays out. The chemistry between them is apparent from the beginning. Their personalities complement each other nicely. Poor Chloe - the putative and, later, vengeful rival - never has a chance. For all the banter between the two leads, their affection is always apparent. Despite the difference in their abilities (she is a god, after all) and the position that women would have had in that era, they treat each other as equals. And, despite her sharp wit, Lawrence usually manages to stand his ground in their verbal jousts. It's a 21st century relationship even though their world looks like the 17th or 18th century.


Lawrence and Holo on the road together.

Speaking of settings, some internet sites suggest Spice and Wolf is set in medieval times. I think this is going back too far. The ship designs and the architecture of the grander buildings are much more modern than that. The trading companies and the dress of their principals strongly remind me of organisations like the Dutch East Indies Company and their rivals of the 17th and 18th centuries. For sure, it's set in an alternative universe, which allows for a combination of older and more modern features.

The mercantile elements that provide the launching pads for their two major adventures are, suprisingly, reasonably interesting, even if they eventually exceeded my levels of understanding. The backgrounds are gorgeous and the music deserves a special mention, with period instruments, such as recorders, adding the perfect atmosphere to the place and the events.

Rating: excellent, perhaps higher if it has a good re-watch value. It's definitely on my "to buy" list - the evil machinations of Funimation and Madman are on the verge of fruition.

Gosick

It could be argued that Gosick has a similar dynamic to Spice and Wolf. In each a woman of extraordinary ability teams up with a sincere and mild-mannered young man. Thanks to the quickly developing chemistry a strong and memorable bond forms between them. Nevertheless, while still very good, it cannot match Spice and Wolf.

Victorique - the tower bound sleuth - is a great character with her arch-intelligence, snappy one-liners and haughty self-confidence. For all that she is a brilliantly absurd comic character. Everything about her is so incongruous that it undermines all her attempts at gravitas. And, for all her pride, she really is quite helpless. Her reaction to receiving a flu injection is a priceless moment of comedy. I make these points in admiration, not criticism. She really is a great comic mix of contradictions. Kujo - the ostracised Japanese exhange student in the European principality of Sauville - is more mundane fare. He is a decent enough fellow and a good foil to Victorique but isn't anything outstanding, largely thanks to his obtuseness and by his comic role diminishing his character rather than enhancing it. He is no Lawrence and their relationship, while entirely natural seeming and charming, never reaches the levels achieved by Holo and Lawrence.

In addition, some childish support characters and the equally childish designs for the two mains (although Victorique can be attractive in her various outfits) detract from the serious elements of the story, especially in later episodes. For, although the series starts off with a light tone, it changes gear midway and thereafter gets increasingly dark. The circumstances of Victorique's birth and the role that she is required to play turn out to have ramifications far beyond her library tower. Seemingly minor events from early in the series are revealed to have a much greater significance, culminating in a powerful series of climaxes in the last few episodes. What finally becomes of the relationship between Victorique and Kujo is unexpectedly moving.


Victorique (here as meido for the fans) and Kujo face danger together.

Madman has been screening this over the last six months or so with a new episode being added each week. Watching it over that extended time frame detracted from my appreciation of the series. Thanks to the labyrinthine plot and characters that are re-introduced after long absences, I sometimes struggled to put all the pieces together. Then again, perhaps it's just me getting old.

Rating: the high end of good.

Hellsing (TV)

This was nominated for the Best First Episode tournament and, having noticed it before at my local video library, I decide I may as well watch the whole thing. Having previously seen the available episodes of Hellsing Ultimate and not thought highly of it I wasn't expecting much from the TV series. My expectations were pretty much satisfied. Like the OAV, the TV series is all style and little substance. The characters have simply defined characters and play roles that you might expect. The vampire Alucard is meant to be ineffable but merely ends up a cipher. Despite her moderately interesting circumstances, Seras never manages to convey any vampiric menace and most often comes across as incompetent. Which, for comic reasons, is partly how she's meant to be perceived, but which I think is an error in creative judgement. She could have been a singular character. Nevertheless I liked her, along with Integra Hellsing who, as in the OAV, is the best thing in the series. Her English voice actor - Victoria Harwood - has a magnificent voice. Integra steals any scene she's in, with her deadpan yet powerful manner. She is so dominant that when she breaks down it's quite unsettling.


Seras Victoria. Do I like images of girls with guns, or what?

The plot is formulaic, monster-of-the-week thin: a vampiric creature is discovered; the usual forces are unable to cope; the Hellsing organisation is on the brink of collapse; Alucard saves the day. I have to say, though, the scenes in the Tower of London were fascinating. Referencing Google Maps while they played out revealed the depiction to be very faithful.

Rating: not really good.
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V1046-R



Joined: 02 Dec 2011
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 1:36 pm Reply with quote
Last night I started to watch a well known show I have never seen - Aquarion.

Only watched the first two episodes last night, but felt like I watched a whole season already. My word, I can't recall a show that crams so much story set up in 50 minutes of show. Most animes I have seen would use a dozen episodes to move the story as far as the first two episodes of this show. It feels like they are starting out with what could be the second season if they had wanted to take more time to build the backstory & character development. But I like action, so not complaining about the rapid pacing so far.
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ManOfRust
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 1935
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:42 pm Reply with quote
@errinundra: I'm glad you enjoyed Spice and Wolf. As I mentioned in the community forum, it's one of my favorites. The second season holds up well too. I particularly enjoyed the fact that the relationship between Holo and Lawrence continues to grow and evolve, even while they must find their way through some rough patches.

On a side note, I just took a peek at your "my anime" list, and wow! You have done a very nice job putting it together. I wish I had the wherewithal to come up with comments for all the entries on my list, but sometimes I'm at a loss to adequately express my thoughts on a show. In any event, I've added your list to my bookmark folder of "my anime" lists I like to check out when I need ideas for new anime to watch. Anime smile
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2665
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:08 am Reply with quote
@ManOfRust, I responded to your post in the community forum here but it was quickly swamped by other posts so you may not have seen it.

I have a short term dilemma. I liked Spice and Wolf so much I plan to buy it on DVD. Question is, do I buy the first season and re-watch it? Or should I buy the second season and continue the journey first?

Where there is choice there is misery.
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Saffire



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 870
Location: Iowa, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:04 am Reply with quote
Started watching Le Chevalier d'Eon after it came up in the First Episode tournament. Really loving it so far, mysticism and mystery is a combination I can readily get behind. Smile
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ManOfRust
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 08 Jan 2006
Posts: 1935
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:43 pm Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
I have a short term dilemma. I liked Spice and Wolf so much I plan to buy it on DVD. Question is, do I buy the first season and re-watch it? Or should I buy the second season and continue the journey first?

This may not be much help, but it would bug me to own the second season without the first, so in your shoes I'd buy the first and rewatch it. I enjoyed the first season as much the second time through as I did the first. There is enough going on plot-wise that I picked up on some things I had missed the first time around.

I have also been picking up the novels as they come out here. The anime follows them very closely (at least the first couple) but I have very much enjoyed reading the same story in the different format.
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nbahn
Anime isn't real? Nooo...Anime isn't real? Nooo...


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 1855
Location: Now in Great Lakes region

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Just finished Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and I have a real dilemma: Rate it as either 10/11 (excellent) or as 11/11 (masterpiece)? I guess that I'll have to rewatch it!
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V1046-R



Joined: 02 Dec 2011
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 6:18 pm Reply with quote
Every now and then I start watching a show that I told myself, "I'll get around to seeing that someday", then wonder why I waited so long to see something so darn awesome....

latest one of these - Baccano.

This is a flat out kick butt fun & interesting show. I love how the story intertwines between different characters, with flashbacks to where characters crossed paths, but then following the different character's path related to an event. It is disjointed and makes you wonder what is going on with all these different people, but then starts coming together brilliantly, very similar to how Pulp Fiction story was laid out (although not similar in what the story is about). There is a lot of violence & gangsters, but this is a period piece set in the 1930's with a fantasy element of a secret society of immortals within the gangster ranks.

The English dub is great. I feel with the voice actors there was a lot of love for the characters and they really nailed the performances. Because it is set in 1930's America, they do a fantastic job copping the style of old time gangster movies with their voice work. It feels authentic, as if this could have been an American made show.

Special extra credit for the in-your-face opening theme swing/jazz song. Ranks up there with the great song for Cowboy Beepop intro & gets you excited to watch from first note played.

Thumbs waaaay up! Very Happy
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