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

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Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14084
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 12:29 am Reply with quote
Finished Moshidora (A.K.A. Moshi Kōkō Yakyū no Joshi Manager ga Drucker no Management o Yondara), and after a lot of thought I gave it a rating of Excellent.

At first I had a hard time deciding what to give this, as I couldn't make my mind up between Very Good and Excellent. In the end I chose Excellent for one simple reason; it impressed me. In other words, it wasn't just a well-done Sports show but a well-done show period, and accessible to people like myself who aren't big fans of Sports Anime. It strived to give an old formula a new twist (the whole management thing), and it made it work.

Moshidora is a very rare breed; a one cour Sports Anime. Usually they go on for two cour at the very least, and some shows have over a hundred episodes. Lots of episodes means slow pacing and plots that are repetitive as they are cliche. But, it allows the characters time to be fleshed out and mature, with clearly defined - if labouriously executed - arcs. The matches can be exciting and filled with tension as even the opposing teams are given the spotlight, turning them from nameless opponents into credible rivals. And of course, the more we see the characters strive for their goals, the bigger the payoff is at the end when they taste victory.

This series does it the other way around. Each one of its ten episodes is filled with meaningful developments, and there's always a sense of progress, but it tries to cram in too much into so little. Three seasons - the nine months from Autumn to Summer - go past over the course of the first six or seven episodes, and we hardly get to see anything. Very little training is actually shown, and with so little time events just happen on screen that should have been given a better buildup. Character conflicts are especially hard hit, as they just magically fix themselves with but a few words, whereas in other shows there would have been a whole episode exploring it in detail. I fear that in adopting such a quick pace, we were only shown the highlights and not the full picture, and the story, characters and drama all felt incomplete.

All that said, the characters were quite serviceable and the story was surprising well told despite the small episode count. The drama was a bit forced in episode nine but overall it was good, and the final episode was particularly stirring. The ending was spoiled each and every episode by the thirty-second narration that appeared before the OP, but it didn't detract one bit from the show's gripping climax. But most importantly, and most impressively, was the show's refreshing focus. Instead of wanting simply to "be the best", these characters actually approach sport from an intelligent and analytical perspective, with emphasis on innovation, identifying problem areas and improving outcomes (often in unusual but effective ways). And the coach's strategy was a bold and innovative move, not just on his part but also on the part of Natsumi Iwasaki (who wrote the original story). Whether or not it would work in real life is not all that important; what's important is that a story, which combined Sports with the somewhat Otaku-centric idea of a girl managing a boys' baseball team, actually had a brain. Wow.

I have to admit, the premise was silly, and still kind of is, but that's hardly new in Anime. What matters more is the execution, which although rushed is undeniably well done. By episode five I had gone from grudging respect to outright admiration. I didn't care about the adequate animation or vague backgrounds, or the far-fetched premise; it was a good show (with some nice music). And heck, at the end of the day the short episode count does mean that it isn't a big investment in terms of time. I'd rather watch this than Major.
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Joined: 11 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:16 am Reply with quote
I think I'll stay a CR member for a while. $7/mo. is pretty reasonable for all that's offered. Irrelevant, so moving on.

Kiddy Girl -and is now officially dropped indefinitely, and I didn't even make it through episode 2. I pretty much had it when the girl started acting like an idiot over a lost pudding while attempting to become an ES member. Sure, she has skills, but at the cost of dealing with her child-like emotions, there isn't even a trade-off here.

Squid Girl was completed last night, and I can comfortably give it a B. A bit of a footnote in regarding the series episodes: there aren't really 12 as most of the episodes are comprised of 3 mini-stories which stand on their own (and relate every so often as the stories progress).

This made it entertaining because Squid Girl can be annoying at times. These mini episodes keep the annoyance in check as the better stories take the stage. As with most "invader" anime, SG's finding not all humans are bad, and this allows us to feel compassion for her, even if she's acting the spoiled child (I enjoyed the umbrella episode immensely as the balance between the two was very well done).

If you're concerned about another "loli" series, don't be. There wasn't a single pantsu shot in the entire series of any cast member and Squid Girl wore nothing short of a one-piece in one or two episodes. In short: you can proudly show this one off to your mother and not feel embarrassed.... much.

Panty & Stocking received three more episode viewings and damn, do I just love this series for its complete over-the-top vulgarity. I can now understand why people recommend watching this one in chunks because it flies by so damn fast, and the subtitling isn't helping matters (text flies by too).

I feel as though my eyes are having seizures trying to keep up with the visuals. In one scene, I'll be watching the girls riding in a car, the next watching testicles waving, and then boobs jiggling.... in a span of 5 seconds all delivered in Technicolor gone wrong.

And I love every second of it.

I'm joining The King of Harts on this one when it comes to owning figures of the girls. It's a must now, especially Stocking, because she's freakin' hot (except when she eats bad germs and looks like a house but I'd still buy a figure of that scene because it was funny).

This weekend will have me loading up on many more series, so I won't post much until Monday.

Until then, try to stay out of trouble.
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Joined: 18 Jul 2010
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Location: UK
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 2:57 pm Reply with quote
I find it really difficult to get into Yamato Nadeshiko. Too many unfunny gags, too much ado about nothing, and Sunako is all in all an unlikeable character despite all her good deeds. So, in the meantime, I started Red Garden. Hmhmhm, I was meaning to watch it for such a long time, Im glad I finally picked it up. I hope I am going to enjoy the rest as much as I enjoyed the first episode. There is ystery and it seems there is gonna be some action. Bring it on!
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Joined: 13 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Well watching Letter Bee right now, and it's been decent. I personally hate episodic approach, though now something seems to be happening. Im just hoping that the 2nd season is going to be a lot stronger.

Im surprised that I haven't shot myself already, the protagonist seems to cry every episode.
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Surrender Artist

Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 3264
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 7:56 pm Reply with quote
For the most part, I've been watching Noir again, this being my second time in very recent succession and third in sum. I've been watching it with the intent of trying to watch it more carefully and critically. I've been reading the many bad reviews of it and trying to reconcile my ample fondness for the show with the fact that I recognize the grounds for many of their complaints. In some instances, especially regarding the pace of the show, I see a virtue rather than a flaw, but there are other things that I must agree are awry, but I find that they hardly effect me while I'm watching the series. It's proving to be an interesting exercise, even if my appreciation for the show has proved very durable.

I did watch, upon the recommendation of a column by Justin Sevakis, They Were 11 last Sunday and I enjoyed it. It felt like the kind of old fashioned science fiction tale that I would have reveled in as a child and still like plenty now. It has many interesting elements and designs as well as some wonderful atmospheric touches that give it a sense of mystery and unease. There's something that I really like about stories set on big derelict spaceships where something terrible happened. I thought that there were more characters than the time allowed to fully develop and portray and a few parts of the story that didn't feel right, but it was a fine tale on the whole. The curious twist of Froll's identity offers something interesting to think about and is quite striking for something made in the eighties from a manga written by a woman in the seventies, although I think that some of its incisiveness was undercut by its conclusion.

What I have just watched in The Time Stranger. This choice too was because of the intriguing column that Justin Sevakis wrote, although I had gained some curiosity about it while watching a video of one of Mike Toole's "Dubs That Time Forgot" panels that mentioned it.

It's a sort of conclusion to a giant robot show and the disc case proudly proclaims that it was a work of the director of the Pokemon films and character designer for InuYasha: The Movie. That's a pretty laughable pedigree and if I had known not else, I would have expected this to rival only The Humanoid.

Instead it's really excellent. To be irresponsibly hyperbolic, it's as though Coleman Francis directed Citizen Kane as a sequel to The Best of Yucca Flats before going to make Red Zone Cuba.

Its origins in something called Sengoku Majin GoShogun are never explicitly mentioned. The characters met and grew close while using a giant robot to fight an intergalactic evil overlord over a meteor, but they could have been together for 'Nam for all I cared and as much as it mattered to the film.

It is an unusual film. It sometimes flits among different times in the central character's life and as well as among moments within the times. This can be disorienting, but it never feels gratuitous, instead the eccentric arrangement of the scenes seems to be used for emphasis and complement. Much of the film has a dreamlike character; indeed I'm pretty sure that the storyline that is given the most screen-time was a dream or a fantasy or something other than reality. Some of the events of the film would be trite if it were portraying reality, but make excellent sense if one doesn't insist that it is.

The characters are all supposed to be more than seventy years old, but all look as they did as they presumably did in the original series. I at first expected that this was going to be explained by a twist and I even worried that it might just have been a sort of carelessness, but instead I think that it was another choice that goes with the unreality of the story.

I really liked the characters. The protagonist is Remy Shimada, the only woman on the GoShogun team. I really liked her. She is tough, effective, presented with dignity and has significant depths to her. The film has many scenes that present her difficult, sometimes harrowing youth, which is contrasted with and sometimes, especially toward the end, blends with the central story, to the effect of adding considerable poignancy and depth to her. There were parts of this film that inspired a few tears. The other characters help this. Although the film cannot allow us to know them as well as would be ideal, each is still interesting and compelling with a rapport that feels warm and natural. I found that I had a sense of investment in all of them, which made the finale, which I think it best interpreted as ambiguous, quite touching.

I, being godless and a Philistine, watched the English dialogue version, which quite clearly did not damage my appreciation of it. Veronica Taylor plays Remy very well, ably portraying her range of emotions. I also thought that Tara Jayne was very creepy and menacing in her small, but quite significant part as a Messenger of Doom. (Go ahead, say it with echoes) Remy's comrades are competently played and as are most of the other secondary or incidental characters, except for Mina Sands, whom I thought sounded ridiculous.

It's a remarkable film I would like it if more people were to see it.

I'll probably watch Now and Then, Here and There next week, after I finish my third viewing of Noir. I'll probably also watch Memories next week, which have high hopes for.

Last edited by Surrender Artist on Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 1688
Location: body in Ohio, heart in Sydney
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 9:08 pm Reply with quote
Having loved Nadia: Secret of Blue Water for years, I finally got round to watching the movie yesterday.
What a piece of rubbish.
The plot is ludicrous, relying on Jean and Nadia, though now living in different countries, each independently having one of the two keys to the story fall into their lap.
The animation is crude and the art is terrible. The only worthwhile thing going on visually is the basic character designs: it's quite nice to see an idea of what Nadia and Jean would look like a few years on from the action of the TV series.
There is a character called "Fuzzy".
Said "Fuzzy" is a sappy little moe piece of fluff, who has no place in the thoroughly un-moe world of Nadia (Doesn't the theme song say "I don't like timid people"?) --- and has no business distracting Jean's affections from the über-cool Nadia herself.
And so much for "Fuzzy's secret" (the movie's subtitle according to some references). Fuzzy's "secret" is that she is both spoiler[dead and a robot], and doesn't come as a revelation so much as a fetish-y kind of confirmation of what we knew the moment we set eyes on her: that she is a moe piece of fluff (see above).
What a disappointing movie sequel to a great (if flawed) series.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:21 pm Reply with quote
Still watching Detective Conan. I'd say that what I felt and what I experienced with this anime is similar to what happened between me and One Piece. I just never looked at it and thought that it was some kids anime, but once I gave it a fair chance it simply became an irreplaceable part of my anime viewing habit. Quite weird to call his habit, but this is pretty much the only thing I've been watching lately (at an average of 50 episodes per week, I'm currently at 185) besides other ongoing stuff which should account for another 40 or so weekly episodes on the top of that. I'll start watching the movies and OVAs pretty soon as well.
What I didn't expect was to find the female designs attractive. Well, not the heroines, but Mouri's wife, Conan's mom, [adult] scientist girl, that female officer who looks up to the inspector, and a lot of one shot female characters.
Asuka speaking with Kansai dialect. And Rei Ayanami voicing one of the protagonists later introduced (dunno if she's part of the permanent cast though, I wish so yea).

Other than that, my experience with this season is still overall excellent. Bleach is currently meh, Naruto is somewhat okay but I simply dislike Sasuke nowadays; One Piece is doing pretty well, but I just can't wait to see the Straw Hats again (it's been over 1 year). The only thing that's really disappointing me lately is Beelzebub.
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:45 am Reply with quote
Thanks to the weekend rain, I was able to watch more anime than I had originally planned.

I started off with finishing up Panty & Stocking and nothing of my original opinion changes. This is one of the most refreshing things to come out of Japan in recent memory and it's a nice change of pace.
A+, though not a masterpiece.

Following this, I also finished up the available episodes of Lotte's Toy and was pleasantly surprised what the story gave us with episode 5. I'm actually intrigued with this one and cant' wait for the future episodes. It's a shame the series decided to take visual cues which alienate a considerable size of the anime audience. A real shame.

Goth Lolicons are one of anime's greatest gifts to me and I will never be able to get enough of them. I just love those outfits, so any series which features a covergirl wearing one instantly gets my attention.

In another series, I saw that Evangeline A.K. McDowell left the campus of Mahora Academy to make a guest appearance in Gosick, to which she solves crimes. What? It's not Evangeline? Well, damn. Sure does look like her. At any rate, the first episode captivated me so much, I ended up finishing the entire series in one setting. I'm giving this one a solid B. Why not an "A"? I hate crimes which are solved with asinine "clues" which are purposely delivered only at the time the crime's solved.

This may be a little hard to believe, but sometimes my figure collecting gives me ads for a series, especially when I see quite a few figures from a particular series (which will generally indicate its success). Enter Steins Gate, which is a small tale of the chase toward time traveling. It's still running and I have to say, I'm intrigued. I'd give this one a B+ so far.

Now, some are probably going to argue the grade isn't fair, and I can agree up to a point. When the majority of episodes spend their time wasting my time before anything significant happens, this is what I call "filler" and there's no way these deserve "A" grades.

Worse, these can really turn off a considerable amount of viewers for their boring delivery. Does one really give a shit about how one is to call the lab by name? I didn't need to see 15 minutes dedicated to this crap.

"Just the facts, ma'am". I will also go on to say I do not expect a strong ending to this series/season. It's already giving off the impression it's going to rely on the audience's lack of understanding/attention to draw up some conclusion we "didn't see coming". *yawn*

It was time for something fun and I watched the first two episodes of My Ordinary Life, then shelved it for a later time. I'm going to marathon this one and that's hard to do when there's still much more to go in my favorites collection.

I watched two more episodes of A Bridge to the Starry Skies and, considering how this is just a cookie-cutter series, decided to watch it an episode or two at a time. It's slowly starting to form into a story, but I've a feeling the flavor of cookie will be the typical oatmeal raisin, thus ruining my hopes the cutter wasn't pre-molded.

Going from the bottom of the list, I found Kanamemo and found a series I just absolutely love to pieces. I know, I know, it's another cookie-cutter series, but you should know by now I love slice-of-life when it's so cute like this! I couldn't take my eyes off it and marathoned the whole thing. Not only will it end up in my DVD collection one day, I'm giving it a B+ for its wonderful fun it delivered me.

I also caught the first episode of Occult Academy, but it's going to require several more episodes before I can make a determination of how well it'll do for me. I'm all for strong female leads who get clumsy at times, but there's just something... off about this series. I'm not sure what it is, but perhaps it's just my imagination. We'll see. More on this to come.

It was nearly two hours before my bedtime last night when I ran across Kore wa Zombie Desu ka. See if you can recognize this recipe:
Add One complete male, recently murdered.
Sprinkle magic, to reincarnate complete male.
Stir in Three beauties with poster personalities.
Mix well.
Pour contents directly into the eyes of viewers so they can see tsundere, moe, and fanservice elements.
Bake at 400F for 13 episodes.

Yeah, but it's still a cute show so far. I laughed when Ayumu dove to save the kitten. I'll save any grade review until this one is complete (even if for the season).

Last year, Blood- pointed me to Time of Eve, which I never did finish (it only had 2 episodes at the time). Now that I've my new setup, I went back to re-watch episode 1.

5 minutes into the episode, I stopped it. The resolution needs a special setup and I didn't want to get up from the couch to do it (laptop's on the other side of the room). Shelved, temporarily.

Well, thanks to the body's demand for sleep and the freakin' idiotic 24 hour time limit in a day, I had to bid "adieu!" to anime watching for the time being. I'll restore my viewings when I get home this evening, but a new update won't happen for a while.

I've so many series to watch, even if they all look the same.

*is in bliss

Finally, before I go:
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:21 pm Reply with quote
Finally finished Sherlock Hound, and I love it to bits! I just wished the final episode would have been that they spoiler[captured the villains]. Would have made a nice solid ending to this wonderful show.
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 7:39 pm Reply with quote
Anime cry

That's happy crying! Perusing my favorites list, my eyes happened to catch the word "mahjong" and found this quaint little title called Saki.

This was the one I wanted to watch a while ago but had completely forgotten the title!

It's 25 episodes long, so I'm going to be busy watching it for a while. Why? Because it's about a girl, named Saki, who rediscovers mahjong and finds she does like playing it.

Now, she's on her way to using the game to reach out to her distant sister.

Just popped in to let everyone know.

Right on Roundabout!
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:03 am Reply with quote
Ok, I'm about to utter sheer blasphemy but in my defense better now then even later on in the piece. I finally started watching K-ON!. I've had it in my stock pile for a while now but never got round to it then I suddenly decided that I wanted to change up want I was watching at the moment. So far it has exceded my expectations, even with all the hype it received. I've watched about five to six episodes and can't wait to get stuck into the second series as well!!!

I'm also watching Winter Sonata finally after even discussing with other members of this site where I can find it online Very Happy. I'm pretty much three quarters of the way through it and it is quite the anime so far but I'm not too sure where they will go from the point they have reached so that's why I'm taking a break and watching K'ON instead.

As for my night time anime category, I'm currently watching Shiki. It's going to be very interesting to see where the storyline takes me but so far no complains. Quite the opposite actually. I have nothing but praise at this point in time (7-8 episodes in)

There is another night time anime I'm watching but for the life of me I can't remember the name right now... I'll edit this post tonight or tomorrow (aust. time) to let whoever is interested know!!
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Location: Growing old and jaded.
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:53 pm Reply with quote
I'm feeling quite nostalgic right now; I have a desire to rewatch Hikaru No Go. It's available on Hulu so finding one to watch is no problem. I remember reading the manga sometime in 5th grade or maybe earlier, and then random YouTube browsing showed me that there was an anime version. I'm currently listening to the first and second OP songs and I'm loving them both. I think I'll start a rewatch sometime next week after I finish my projects. I'm also recalling the times I wanted to play go because of this manga/anime. Good times, good times.

Currently watching the legal stream of Darker Than Black 2 after watching an illegal stream, and I'm still enjoying it.

I'm planning on watching EF - A Tale Of Memories/Melodies soon.
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Surrender Artist

Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 3264
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:23 pm Reply with quote
I've been watching Now and Then, Here and There again for the first time in at least six years. When I began to watch it, I almost had a small 'crisis of faith', because it didn't feel quite as extraordinary as I had remembered, despite being quite good. Then, as I watched further on into the series, it took, bit by bit, stronger hold of me. In a way, it's a series that doesn't acquire its full effect until several episodes have passed, but this isn't in the way that one might feebly protest of a series, "getting good after episode ten," or the like, rather, the memories and feelings of the first episodes gradually build toward and retroactively complement the later ones.

The decisive moment for me was, as I am pretty sure was the case when I first saw it seven years ago, Sarah's escape at the beginning of episode six, "Disappearance in a Sandstorm." I remember being shocked back then when I realized the implications of what I was seeing and it was still extraordinarily potent even this time 'round. I think I appreciated the context of the scene and the depths of the soulless degradation that the character must have been subjected to. The dead, hollow expression on her face is a very striking, painful image. Even though the whole sequence could be experienced as ultimately triumphal, in truth, I saw only the tragedy and agony that the character must have endured, all the way through to its haunting finale.

I always find myself still thinking about what I have seen after watching Now and Then, Here and There. It takes a long time before it goes away.

Last edited by Surrender Artist on Tue May 24, 2011 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:46 pm Reply with quote
Surrender Artist wrote:
I've been watching Now and Then, Here and There ...
The decisive moment for me was, as I am pretty sure was the case when I first saw it seven years ago, is Sarah's escape at the beginning of episode six, "Disappearance in a Sandstorm." I remember being shocked back then when I realized the implications of what I was seeing and it was still extraordinarily potent even this time 'round. I think I appreciated the context of the scene and the depths of the soulless degradation that the character must have been subjected to. The dead, hollow expression on her face is a very striking, painful image. Even though the whole sequence could be experienced as ultimately triumphal, in truth, I saw only the tragedy and agony that the character must have endured, all the way through to its haunting finale.

Yeah thanks for bringing up this punch in the gut. This, Alien Nine, and Shadowstar Narutaru, CPM had a knack for licensing stuff that put children in gutwrenching circumstances.
Now and Then, Here and There holds the distinction (mainly through Netflix delay in getting discs to me) of being the only anime series I ever lost sleep over (due to what was implied to be happening to Sarah).
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 8:54 am Reply with quote
Saki - With just 4 episodes remaining, this one is definitely going into my collection should it be licensed and I'll even buy it on initial release!

Even without a single ounce of knowledge of the game of Mahjong, the story was delivered so well, it was obvious who was taking control of the game and, despite which girl had the lead, it was difficult not to cheer for them all, especially when all 4 girls were nice.

It's been quite some time I felt a series rush by because it was exciting. Can't lie here: this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but if you enjoyed Bamboo Blade, you may find yourself enjoying this one (for the record: I loved Bamboo Blade very much, having seen it 4x already).

There isn't anything to expect with this one as it's pretty straight forward with an ending you'll see the second Saki rediscovers her love of Mahjong, but it's still very entertaining.

The final few episodes of the tournament were very entertaining for me and that's all I'll say about it.
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