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Mr. Oshawott

Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 6735
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:23 pm Reply with quote
Just finished watching Season 3 of Shakugan no Shana.
The show took a huge twist in which Yūji seemed to portray himself as an anti-hero trying to create a mysterious parallel world. I loved how awesome the ending turned out. The battle Shana and Yūji was really an epic and joyful moment, particularly when she said spoiler["Shut up! Shut up! Shut UP!"] Very Happy

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
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Joined: 26 Dec 2008
Posts: 1130
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:33 am Reply with quote
In order of airing in the Kyushu region:

One Piece: This is a show about not catching up to the source manga. I'm probably checking out of this one once the present arc wraps up, which feels like it should be soon. Which I also said months ago.

Hunter x Hunter: Enjoying this tremendously, though the tension seems to have gone out of it somewhat in recent weeks; ready for this one to start moving again.

Naruto Shippuuden: Watching out of inertia, pure and simple.

Samurai Flamenco: A breath of fresh air. This shouldn't work, but so far it does. Good characters are somehow keeping this crazy premise afloat.

Space Brothers: My weekly pick-me-up. Like most shows I'm watching, it's slowed down somewhat and has had its not-so-stellar spots (usually anything involving Hibito), but for me it's still the best anime on TV right now. Though if Mutta is really that crazy over Serika, he needs to man up and ask her for a date. I'm pretty sure she'd go.
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008
Posts: 7760
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:26 am Reply with quote
Oh Alucard. I'd give you my energy but now it's all understanding what the fudge you just did
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 550
Location: Northwest from Here
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:16 am Reply with quote
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Arc the Lad: This is the worst anime ever made. Sorry, that's hyperbole. But Arc the Lad (AtL) is really, really bad, a bottom ten show. To be fair, I am basing this assessment off of the first 13 episodes, so there is a non-zero chance it will pull a reverse Utawarerumono* and completely turn it around in the second half -- but I'd bet on the Cubs winning the pennant before that. A brief explanation of AtL, in case you haven't seen it. AtL was made in 1999, released stateside by ADV in 2002, based of an eponymous JRPG that I've never heard of before this. When was the last good RPG anime adaption...thinking...thinking...Wizardry? Anyway, it's a fairly generic high fantasy battle between good and evil, but with a tech level set in the 20th century vice the standard 12th. It also has the standard bizarre misappropriations of Biblical references -- the character Arc commands the airship "Silver Noah" and is searching for the Ark of the Covenant. Get it? But here is the WTF moment: AtL isn't about this battle, or Arc the Lad himself. The protagonist is a dude by the name of Elk, whose incompetence is only rivaled by his stupidity.

AtL wants to be Fullmetal Alchemist, but it can't, and not just because FMA doesn't exist yet. Spoilers for both AtL and FMA ahead: spoiler[There is an evil, state-sponsored conspiracy to capture people with magic powers and combine them with monster genetic stock to turn them into Chimeras. Elk was captured as a kid, but managed to escape, sadly leaving his best friend and girlfriend behind. Later, Elk returns to the place of his captivity, only to find the worst thing imaginable (although easily imaginable given the villains' modus operandi) his girl, degraded, turned into a monster and forced to serve as a brood mother for the Chimera monster stock. In terms of emotional impact this should be equivalent to when Ed and Al's mentor turns his own child into a Chimera, and her death at the hands of Scar. But unlike FMA's gutpunch, this doesn't even connect. Why? First, what I delineated above is first revealed to the viewer around episode 9. The first eight episodes don't mention this plot point at all, instead focusing on Elk's one-sided vendetta against Arc the Lad, based entirely off an unsupported rumor that Arc killed his family, instead of, you know, the evil government conspiracy that he watched kill his family. It gives the appearance that Elk completely forgot about his old friends and left them to rot in hell to go on his own quixotic revenge trip. And in the meantime, he got himself a new girlfriend who he spends most of his time with being verbally abusive to. And to top it off, it wasn't like Elk didn't have the time -- A decade or more past before Elk said "Hey, maybe I should go rescue my friends! Completely slipped my mind". So when Elk breaks down holding his old girl's broken body in his hands, you can't feel bad for him, because these events are a result of his own actions. At the way this pops up so suddenly, it feels shoehorned into the show. Also in the category of bad writing, the writers spoil the surprise to the viewer well before Elk learns of it. A lot of the shock from FMA was how unexpected this evil was -- here it was telegraphed ahead of time.]

To add to the stupidity of it all, Elk applies the coup de grâce by strangulation. Seriously. It reminded me of the Key and Peele African Warlord sketch. Is there a worst way to mercy kill someone? And in defiance of the laws of physics, she manages to say "Thank you" to Elk before she dies. You do know how vocal cords work, right? You need air to talk, and if you're strangled then... oh forget it.

The crazy thing is this only one of a long list of stupid things Elk has done, from trying to murder the chosen one, ignoring his new girl when she is being held hostage, nearly killing his mentor, crashing his airship from reckless driving, and having a whiny emo attitude about everything. He is a horrible choice for a protagonist. And so why did they make him one, when they have a perfectly good protagonist already, you know the guy whose name is the show's title?

Other things I've been watching: The Hakkenden, the original 1990 version. It's a slog. Can't follow the characters, the plot makes no sense, character seem to act randomly, and the character designs are super fugly. Medaka Box 2: Wasn't this supposed to be about the Student Council helping people... Tokyo Ravens: Reverse Trap and loli kitsune! Please don't go harem route, please don't go harem route... Un-go: I liked this show better when it was called Majin Tentei Nougami Neuro

*Is there another show with a more devastating second half than Utawarerumono? 18 episodes in, it's looking like a A-/B+ level show, and by the end it falls all the way down to a C-. Complete collapse.
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Jose Cruz

Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1453
Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:16 pm Reply with quote
Finished watching Eden of the East. Pretty good series though certainly not a masterpiece, don't understand why it is held in so high regard by many, it's a good thriller, very similar in tone and spirit to a hollywood movie. Rated it as good.
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Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 2943
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:42 am Reply with quote
Girls und Panzer English version. Ah, the Katyusha song replacement, on second thought, they were just better off removing the whole scene if they didn't understand why it was awesome. And the fact that it was done by the Japanese producers is even more perplexing. spoiler[The song was replaced with an instrumental with all the lip flaps removed but it's still framed as a musical number focusing on the leads. It's just wrong, really wrong.]

Some good performances, some great ones, some "kind of ok" ones and one of the leads is still making me wonder how she got the part {Yeah, her again}.

And the major problem with this dub {as its Sentai and there's always something}? Lines a couple of times get read by the wrong actress and it's kind of distracting. It's understandable with the number of repeating actors/roles/incidentals, still careless though.

Overall, it's very good if uneven.
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Mr. Oshawott

Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 6735
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:23 pm Reply with quote
I'm halfway through watching Girls und Panzer. In this show stars Miho Nishizumi, a schoolgirl that has [reluctantly] decided to perform a uniquely eccentric sport called tankery after being pressurized by the student council and thoughts of her friends undergoing a repercussion as a result of her not taking it. A traumatic loss in an earlier tankery competition explains her initial hesitance, but it isn't too long before Miho finds herself enjoying tankery again.

I'm really having a serious blast with Girls und Panzer. The tight camaraderie and adrenaline-filled tank battles makes this show a very fun watch. I wonder how well will the unusually different-colored tanks of Ōarai really fare against the opposing school teams' conventional uniformly-colored tanks?

My Rating: 5/5 stars.
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Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14077
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:39 am Reply with quote
I'm trying to work through my backlog, and boy it's been tough. At the moment I'm down to 'just' 1,423 episodes, which is insane. Slogging through series one at a time was hard, so I started fourteen series at once and I plan to finish them all before the end of the month. And of course I'll still continue with the eighteen currently-airing series (and two shorts) I'm already following, which makes for thirty-two series in total. Blimey. So far I've watched exactly one episode of each of the fourteen.

They are:

Nobody does W.T.F. like Japan. Nobody. I have to wonder if there's something in the water, because damn this show is bizarre.

Ef: A Tale of Melodies
First episode didn't really grab me, I found it to be more of the same from the first season. Tragedy porn just isn't my thing. Still plan to finish it though.

Those Who Hunt Elves
Ugly nineties aesthetics hurts my eyes. But that aside, based off the first episode it is just a brainless ecchi comedy. Ugh.

Yomigaeru Sora
This is more my style; real military hardware and characters who look and act like adults. It is no Zipang but still pretty cool. Bit predictable though.

Didn't like the first episode. The concept is good, but the execution felt off to me. Also inflicts a steep learning curve with the terminology.

Blade of the Immortal
I enjoyed the first episode far more than I thought I would. The idea of a badarse who kills to redeem himself is not original but neat nevertheless.

Hataraki Man
The main theme of this office politics comedy appears to be the modern woman's struggle to achieve work/life balance. To that end it works well.

Glass Maiden
Seems a bit too light-hearted in tone for the subject matter it represents. The Getbackers-style we-do-anything company is a bit of a cliche.

Itazura na Kiss
It looks to be just another silly romcom featuring polar opposites but I look forward to the girl getting her own back on that stuck-up guy.

Space Battleship Yamato 2199
Not a bad start, everything has been nicely upgraded for the modern era. Except the ship is still completely impractical for space warfare.

Lime-Colored War Tales
I've heard this one has a lot more explicit fanservice than many ecchi shows and even some sex scenes. Is that a reason to stick around with it?

Toshokan Sensou
It is nice to see the theme of censorship being tackled by anime. I just wish this was a better show, because in execution it is fairly lacklustre.

Windy Tales
The idea of spoiler[flying cats] is pretty funny. I am really digging the show in general and the art style in particular.

Legend of Basara
The plot twist was all-too easy to spot. However, I can see why the manga is popular as there is a large amount of potential here.
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Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:58 am Reply with quote
Spice and wolf
Well 5 epi to go and I have to say I love it. Wonder what will be the ending.
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 4974
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:31 pm Reply with quote
I wouldn't hold my breath about Itazura na Kiss. Just saying.
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A Mystery

Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 1723
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:18 pm Reply with quote
I agree. Itazura na Kiss is a fun series, but depends a lot on cliches. On the plus side: unlike most romantic comedies, this show doesn't stop when the two leads spoiler[confess to each other; but goes far beyond that]. Also, Irie's less than fortunate personality does play a negative factor in their relationship.
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 4974
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 pm Reply with quote
A Mystery wrote:
On the plus side: unlike most romantic comedies, this show doesn't stop when the two leads spoiler[confess to each other; but goes far beyond that].

I'd contest that being a plus side. As the story progresses, spoiler[Kotoko just becomes less an independent being and a significant amount of her actions start going "I want to please Irie so...". The most egregious thing ever is how she even abandons her career to become a nurse so she can be with him at college too.] Seriously what the fudge. I realize the manga is a lot older than that, but the anime writers did nothing to make Kotoko a more modern girl that could be a suitable role-model for the 21st century, she's completely dated.
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Mr. Oshawott

Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 6735
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 2:12 pm Reply with quote
I'm eight episodes into watching Excel Saga. In F City of the F Prefecture, Excel, a sole member of the "sinister" organization Across, is constantly finding herself in hapless situations and seemingly has a hard time trying to put food on the table. On the "good" side are three unemployed bachelors, whose interests seem to involve solely on romance. They are engaged in the epic fight between good and evil; both sides are determined to rule the entire world as victor...
...or, at least that was the concept of it.

This show, Excel Saga, is so random and full of mishaps, I couldn't help but laugh all the way through an entire episode. From Excel always being on the short end of Lord Il Palazzo's ignorance of her, to a late Mexican worker going crazy over his wife's new husband, I had no problem enjoying every single moment of an unlucky scenario that occurs happenstance. Plus, Excel's loud and peppy characteristic adds to the chaotic fun. Smile

My Rating: 4/5 stars.
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Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 7270
Location: Vancouver
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:32 pm Reply with quote
Wow, that's quite the workload dtm. I've barely been keeping up with the 4 or 5 weeklies that I'm watching this season. Although hopefully, once I'm done with classes in a few days I'll tackle some stuff off my backlog too. I think you're right though. It's tough when you just tackle one series and try to push right through it. It's way better to work away at a whole bunch of shows at once.
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Joined: 13 Dec 2012
Posts: 697
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:24 pm Reply with quote
I've watched all three seasons of Full Metal Panic recently. Have been meaning to do this for quite a while now. A really sweet and entertaining show, all three seasons. The first one was a very well balanced mix of a mecha high school rom com military drama, I think. Comedy, drama, and suspense all worked really well. The filler season was so funny I had to pause several times to catch my breath from laughing myself to tears. The Second Raid took itself much more seriously, but worked well nonetheless. The timing was great throughout, and I especially enjoyed both of the main characters and their seiyuu. It was obvious how much fun they had, and it reall clicked between the two of them (and the audience).
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