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Tsurayu
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Post by Tsurayu » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:53 am

I finished NANA. Pretty good. It was a more realistic take on romance and relationships that a lot of anime, but sometimes it faltered to because there are times when you genuinely don't want to hear the whiny complaints that some of the characters have. I really found myself hating and loving characters all at the same time. It definitely shows that human relationships are a lot more flawed than a lot of media portrays it so I have to give it kudos for that. Generally a very good anime, but I'm more of a sucker for the "not so realistic romances" so I can't call NANA great.

Also finished Kokomo no Omocha. I loved it. I really wondered how it could be so good when it is a manga about love that features young pre-teens becoming teenagers, but surprisingly it did it with more heart and realism that Suzuka could have hoped to accomplish and Suzuka was about high school students! Manga wasn't also afraid to have its humorous moments, but it never got in the way of the story, unlike a lot of other manga. The main characters were well rounded, but most minor characters suffered greatly. All and all it was a great romance manga that you wouldn't have expected out the story of children. Definitely a "hidden gem" among manga, but if you aren't interested in romance stories then it isn't going to be your manga of the last century.

Next I'm planning on watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann... and you wonder why everyone just calls it Gurren Lagann or TTGL. Anyway, I've been hesitating on this one for a long time because I'm not generally a fan of action and mecha type animes, but TTGL is so universally popular that I just can't help but see if it is everything it is cracked up to be.

As for manga, I'm thinking I want another short series so I'll probably read Cat Street next.

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Post by Dr. Sheexy » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:09 pm

Tsurayu wrote:Next I'm planning on watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann... and you wonder why everyone just calls it Gurren Lagann or TTGL. Anyway, I've been hesitating on this one for a long time because I'm not generally a fan of action and mecha type animes, but TTGL is so universally popular that I just can't help but see if it is everything it is cracked up to be.
Don't let episode 4 scare you away. The terrible art only lasts for that one episode.

Also don't look up a single thing about the show, it's so much more worth watching if you've never been spoiled about anything.

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Post by Tsurayu » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:20 pm

I know of what happens to a few characters in the end, but thankfully I don't know how any of it comes to pass. Yeah, I watched Black-Order's subs, which warn you about that, but I didn't really notice anything myself. Guess I wasn't really looking at the art though.

And even though I doubt anyone cares, After Story took over the number one position on MAL.

Image

I thought it was pretty awesome. Never thought anything would dethrone TTGL until Legend of the Galactic Heroes did, then to my surprise After Story was number one today. XD

TTGL had a 9.01 for the longest time, but it kept dropping over the past few months until the score it currently sits at. Too bad most of it was caused by anti-TTGL fanboys who kept scoring it a 1/10 unti it dropped out of first place.
Last edited by Tsurayu on Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Magus_Melchior » Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:56 pm

Kassidy wrote:Still watching K-On, on ep 9 right now.

SPOILER

And the coolest part about the intro isn't that there's added animation for Nakano, it's that the opening song has an added guitar track to the mix. Subtle, but really cool when I heard it.
It's actually an additional guitar solo/part that represents Azusa. The full version was released not too long ago, and the solo handoffs did toss her in, but Mugi got abbreviated as a result. :(

@Quemaqua, re: Haruhi season 2-- 8 episodes are near-identical clones of one another (subtle plot/dialogue differences; most of the variation was visual). They fill in the first Tanabata episode after the baseball episode, I think; and, the rest is filming a certain video that I promptly became tired of (mainly because the first season spoiled me to so much of it). Basically they're doing the first and second novels in chronological order. But sometimes, the most faithful reproduction just isn't going to be terribly interesting, unfortunately for the original author.

And with that out of the way, the end of the summer season is approaching, so here's a review of what I've been watching while away from the forum:

Shangri-La ended this week. Pretty good, for a GONZO work-- they tend to not know how to end anime except in the IFC/Sundance/indie overly artistic "man's inhumanity to man"* fashion. I liked the subtexts here better than Red Garden-- mainly because it is a much bigger anime and more complex-- but the final plot twist and battles were a bit of a let-down. Although every episode and plot point is designed to develop the main character Kuniko, I can't help but notice that it has a tendency to meander quite a bit.
But they snagged May'n (Macross Frontier) for the main theme, and had the wisdom to keep it for the entire show rather than split it into 2 halves. That song's refrain can stick in your head, and in a good way.

* Bonus points if you can guess who lampooned this phrase.

GA (Geijutsuka Arts) Design Class is yet another anime that involves art students-- and I often recommend such anime because, well, art students can be pretty crazy people. Well, for this one, imagine Hidamari Sketch crossed with Lucky Star and pumped full of caffeine. That will give you an idea of how much more fast-paced the action can be compared to other 4-koma anime-- next to this, Lucky Star feels downright... normal paced.

Thankfully, they don't send the viewer through each and every episode at the maximum, ludicrous speed. Once you get used to the pace and the comedic timing, the characters really grow on you. In addition, several art concepts are introduced in a way that doesn't scream "edutainment".

Along similar lines is Kanamemo, apparently a 4-koma about an orphaned girl who ran away because her family was selling stuff in her home (and assumed that her family will sell her, too. Yes, that's about the level of silliness you should expect). She ends up at a small newspaper company staffed entirely by women. This is another shout-out to Kimiko to watch this series, because there is a bona fide yuri couple here among the Monty Python-esque silliness. (Just ignore the buxom woman with the glasses and Lolita complex.)

There's also Umi Monogatari (lit. "Ocean Tale"), which is an interesting take on the "miko" idea and the "light/dark force" idea (without being a blatant ripoff of Lucas). The themes here are the strongest point of the anime, and Yui Horie delivers one of her best performances this season in this production.

That's it for now... BaSquash! and others should be approaching their finales soon.

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Post by Kimiko » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:27 am

GA has ended? Good, then I can watch it. Not that I'll get around to it soon, with over a 100 anime on my to-watch list.. ^-^;

Kanamemo.. I dunno. Friedman from Okazu didn't have much good to say about it, and I haven't heard anything else yet about it. Ah well, I can throw it on the never-ending to-watch list :-P

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Post by NightshadeTea » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:20 pm

Sheexy wrote:
Tsurayu wrote:Next I'm planning on watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann... and you wonder why everyone just calls it Gurren Lagann or TTGL. Anyway, I've been hesitating on this one for a long time because I'm not generally a fan of action and mecha type animes, but TTGL is so universally popular that I just can't help but see if it is everything it is cracked up to be.
Don't let episode 4 scare you away. The terrible art only lasts for that one episode.

Also don't look up a single thing about the show, it's so much more worth watching if you've never been spoiled about anything.
I agree 100% with Sheexy.

This show blew my mind. Seriously. I think it warped a little (this was also probably helped along by the fact that the first time I saw the show I watched the entire series in one day). I have had a hard time watching anything else and taking it seriously. I watched District 9 about a month after watching Gurren Lagann. All of the things that I normally would have been annoyed with I found myself just laughing off or finding enjoyable because I was able to quote GL at it.

However, watch some stuff on your list first. GL will make them pale in comparison.

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Post by Magus_Melchior » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:58 pm

Kimiko wrote:GA has ended? Good, then I can watch it. Not that I'll get around to it soon, with over a 100 anime on my to-watch list.. ^-^;
Actually, it has an episode or two left this season. I decided to jump the gun a bit because I haven't posted here in forever and Shangri-La ended.

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Post by Tsurayu » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:13 am

NightshadeTea wrote:I agree 100% with Sheexy.

This show blew my mind. Seriously. I think it warped a little (this was also probably helped along by the fact that the first time I saw the show I watched the entire series in one day). I have had a hard time watching anything else and taking it seriously. I watched District 9 about a month after watching Gurren Lagann. All of the things that I normally would have been annoyed with I found myself just laughing off or finding enjoyable because I was able to quote GL at it.

However, watch some stuff on your list first. GL will make them pale in comparison.
I finished it within a couple days. It was what it was cracked up to be, mostly. It never really tried to be anything more than just a wacky, hardcore action series and it was exactly that. Not one of my favorite animes by far, but I'm only just starting to accept the action genre so nothing is going to be revolutionary enough to change my mind right away.

So on that note...

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Yeah, I thought it was really good. Mostly worth the extreme praise it gets. Great source of comedy and hardcore, silly action, but I can't call it amazing because that isn't enough to make an anime great in my eyes. Definitely worth a watch for someone who loves action and comedy though. I'm just too dependent on romance and slice-of-life to fully praise it.

Also watched Rosario + Vampire and Rosario + Vampire Capu2. I had actually started the first season a few months ago, but decided to wait until I could get the uncensored version of both seasons. Not bad. One of my favorite pure-ecchi style animes. As expected from the genre, there isn't much substance. Although as far as ecchi anime is concerned, it had one of the more coherent stories, but that isn't saying much. Fan service was all over the place, which is what everyone was watching it for anyway. Great for an ecchi/comedy fix, but sub-par in the grand scheme of anime.

Finished reading Cat Street as well, and I freakin' loved it! Definitely my favorite manga as of today. Thing is I can't really describe it. None of the events really relate to my life or the lives of people I know, which is often why people seem to connect to a certain manga, but I still really loved it. The romance, the atmosphere, the emphasis of important friends and yet it is ultimately up to you to change your life for the better... it was all so beautifully executed. Short, sweet and to the point at only 35 main chapters in length. Didn't overstay it's welcome and it was just the right amount to flesh out the story how they wanted to. Just excellent.

Next I plan on watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes, which will take me a while at 110 episodes, while also working on the Code Geass seasons. As for manga, I think I'm going to read Fruits Basket.
Last edited by Tsurayu on Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by NightshadeTea » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:56 pm

Tsurayu wrote:I finished it within a couple days. It was what it was cracked up to be, mostly. It never really tried to be anything more than just a wacky, hardcore action series and it was exactly that. Not one of my favorite animes by far, but I'm only just starting to accept the action genre so nothing is going to be revolutionary enough to change my mind right away.

So on that note...

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Yeah, I thought it was really good. Mostly worth the extreme praise it gets. Great source of comedy and hardcore, silly action, but I can't call it amazing because that isn't enough to make an anime great in my eyes. Definitely worth a watch for someone who loves action and comedy though. I'm just too dependent on romance and slice-of-life to fully praise it.
This hurt me in a place I previously thought only drills could reach.

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Post by Tsurayu » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:50 pm

Don't get me wrong it is good. It is just pure action. I want a better narrative than "kill those guys." I suppose there was a deeper meaning towards the end, but it was too much, too late, and too abstract.

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Post by NightshadeTea » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:37 pm

Hmm, I personally thought there was some pretty good symbolism going on with the Spiral Power and Drills.

I was just playing around in my previous post. I'm not devastated that you didn't care for the series. I'm sad you didn't get out of it what I did, but to each their own.

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Post by DarthDude » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:06 pm

I don't watch anime much, and I am only watching 2: Death Note and Bleach. I suppose I am not "into" anime as much as most people are, but I find Death Note to be pretty cool, especially how they add a mystery sort of felling to it.

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Post by Magus_Melchior » Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:46 pm

I skipped Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 as I'm not much into disaster genres, and watched the entirety of it today. I don't like the opening theme (sounded too much like T.M. Revolution for me), but that's about all I dislike about the show. Having played Left 4 Dead hardened me against the requisite level of angst until episode 8 or so. This one is as realistic as it gets if the premise that a major metropolitan area like Tokyo is hit with a crushing earthquake.

It's short, which (in Yahtzee's words) means it doesn't overstay its welcome-- it does lack the depth of something like Eureka Seven, but it maintains a laser-like focus on the 3 main characters, which, along with dramatic (if gratuitous) dream sequences, plays to Bones' strengths.

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Post by Kimiko » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:18 am

Whoo. This update is going to be even more epically long than usual because I neglected to post the last one.

Recently finished:
Aquarian Age - Music by Yuki Kajiura :heart:
Somewhat old-school shoujo character designs for sympathetic characters who actually act their age. The plot is just beginning, but looks to be interesting too. This could be a very good anime.
It's like a cross between Macross (but without the mecha) and Nana (but the drama isn't so over the top), with magical girls. I'd rate it Very Good +.

MoonPhase - Weird/creepy, but with loli, so, not really creepy. Hmm, a few eps. in it seems to be more of a magical girlfriend anime.
The repeating nekomimi and tsundere comedy is getting a little tiresome halfway through. The surreal art style is certainly unique among anime (it seems to be a mixture of various 20th century modern art styles), but kinda hampers immersion in the story.
Luckily, after the first arc the art shifts to a more normal style and the anime becomes quite enjoyable. Overall, it's not top entertainment, but definitely not bad.

Kurau Phantom Memory - Ooh, very good. Nice modern animation, with a mixture of action and more character-oriented plot. It looks like it shares quite a few staff members with Planetes.
Wow, that was just awesome. Kurau and Christmas are so sweet together, and the other characters are almost all nice too. The way it combines bits of action with lots of character interaction reminds me of Witchblade. This anime goes on the to-buy list immediately.

Animation Runner Kuromi - Said to give some interesting insight into the world of animation, which it indeed did. It's a fun comedy. Kuromi's character design reminds me of one of the Nanas (Hachiko) in face fault mode. I like how Shihonmatsu helped Kuromi out.
Animation Runner Kuromi 2 - More fun at Studio Petit. Kuromi-chan is adorable and Shihonmatsu is cool. Maybe I'll check out other anime with Hajime Watanabe as character designer.

Kite Liberator - The animation is quite good. The character designs are a little peculiar, but not too weird. There isn't overly much fanservice fortunately. Monaka is cool in her assassin role, although of course quite bloody.
This OVA feels like a pilot for a longer series though, mostly because the story ends with a lot of details unfinished. The monster isn't dealt with yet, there are many intriguing things about Monaka's life that are only briefly shown, and lots of potential character development is left up in the air.

Black Magic M-66 - It's interesting to look for references or commonalities between different Shirow-based anime. The two M66 robots looked a little like the two cat women/robots from Dominion Tank Police, there was one officer who looked a little like GITS:SAC's Saito with his eyepatch, and at the end, Sybil was wearing a shirt with 'Appleseed' on it. I haven't seen that one yet. I think I'll add it to the to-watch list.
This OVA's age clearly shows of course, but it isn't bad for anime from 1987. Like DTP, there are silly moments, especially at the beginning. The rest of the story is more suspenseful, even though it isn't as dark as more modern anime would have been in that situation. Overall it's a nice 45 min. of entertainment.

Zegapain - Recommended by someone from the ANN forum. I wonder why he did that though. The opening is rather full of clichés. Highschool boy (with important hair) meets mysterious girl and is told to fight to save the world, in a big mecha (using hard light). Mysterious past, check. Mysterious organization, check. Oh, and childhood girlfriend, check too. Okay, the animation isn't bad at all, but that might just have been the first ep. I wonder how they'll keep this from being a semi-boring mecha cliché fest. Ah well, only one way to find out, right?
Four eps. in, and there's still no explanation given for all the mystery. Sure, a little mystery can be captivating, keeping you watching to find out, but no explanation at all means that I don't care one way or another who these characters are or what they're doing. Better hurry up the exposition, or your audience is going to walk out. Oh, and you can add technobabble overload to the flaws too btw.
After seven eps. I give up. Some of the mystery is becoming clear, but characters continue to be idiots who don't communicate. Bye-bye.

Gunsmith Cats - This looks and sounds very American. With the old (1996) art style, it almost looks like an American cartoon. The gun fights and bombs are rather over the top, which kinda spoils the suspense.

Jubei-chan: Secret Of The Lovely Eyepatch - Just some light-hearted fun so far. Kinda reminds me of Ranma ½ in some ways (Jubei is nicer than Ranma though). Hah, I noticed it is from the same people as Animation Runner Kuromi because of the little squiddies. This anime's art style is a little rougher though.
Hmm. I get the feeling that this anime is more about the people around Jubei than about Jubei herself.
Well, it got a little better later on, with more focus on Jubei (including lots of action in the last two eps.). I found this anime quite enjoyable. Good, but not great.
Jubei-chan 2: The Counter Attack of Siberia Yagyu - The art is a little sharper than before, but there are some scenes where the animation is very limited. From the differences in translation between the two seasons, I suspect that one or both took some liberties with the Japanese text :T
Overall, this season is slightly better than the first, but there are different things that are a little off. Quite often a lot of time is spent on things of little importance, like Jiyu's father or some other character running around for no reason. The Bantaro/Shiro gang are even more annoying than in the first series, although their comments on how this or that detail is different or doesn't make sense are sometimes funny. The sword fight scenes are really cool of course. If this were a novel, I would say it needs a good editor. I liked this anime, but I'm not sure it's something I want to buy.

Ghost In The Shell 2.0 - I think this is a definite improvement of the original. The cleaner computer graphics are nice, and the CG helicopters look no more out of place than in many other contemporary anime. At first I thought there were new scenes added, but after checking the original it seems they just looked different. The Puppet Master having a female voice now is much more appropriate, and also lessens the feeling of Kusanagi being used just because she's a woman somewhat. Recommended over the original for newcomers or fans.

Adventures Of Mini-Goddess - Came across this while shopping online for anime.
Hmm. Well, good thing I'm watching it before buying. Even at the low price it's going for this isn't really worth watching more than once. Not that it's bad, just rather unremarkable kids comedy.
Okay, finished. Near the middle there were some funny episodes (the ones with Marla and the ninjas for example), but toward the end it went down a little again. I'm still not sure I'd buy this anime. Maybe for completeness after I get the rest of the Aa! Megami-sama series.

Rumiko Takahashi Anthology - Mentioned in the SloL recommendations thread on ANN.
Every episode is a separate story, unrelated to the others. In that way this anime reminds me a lot of Hell Girl, although this doesn't have all the hatred and sadness in it of course.
The stories are interesting. Not really comedy, not really drama, often based on misunderstandings between characters. Usually the characters learn something from the events.

Avenger - The characters are very Bee Train (tormented fighter, emotionless girl, and the designs of course). Maybe it's because this is a short anime (only 13 eps.), but the scenes are all quite short. Just a few movements and lines before it cuts to a different angle, or a different setting altogether. I like this style so far. The robot dolls are cute too of course. This anime might be another favorite. I liked all of the Bee Train anime I've seen so far, so that wouldn't be too surprising.
Finished. The story leaves a lot for the viewer to fill in themselves, just like the animation. An unusual style, that works unexpectedly well. The good background music helps a lot. Ali Project may not be too good at doing theme songs, but they do BGM quite well here. I'd have liked to see Nei more involved in the story, and the flashbacks could have been indicated better, but overall this anime turned out good.

Murder Princess - Coincidentally, another Bee Train anime. The OP has the same problem as Claymore's: the music rocks.. until the singer opens his mouth.
Whoo, now that is one kick-ass princess :) I wonder what'll happen to the original princess now.
Aw, why do the best anime always have to be the shortest? This was so awesome, but only six eps. long :[

Aoi Hana (aka Sweet Blue Flowers) - Wow, finally finished it. Series take so long when you watch them while they're still airing/subbing. The ending wasn't really what I expected, but I suppose it can't be helped with only eleven eps. It was still wonderful though. And the art is just gorgeous. I hope there'll be a sequel some day.

Rewatched:
Laputa: Castle In The Sky - The character designs are quite '80s. Some elements can be recognized from Nausicaä and Cagliostro, as well as general Miyazaki stuff like all the flying of course.

For the next batch, I decided that for a genre I love, I haven't really seen that many magical girl anime yet. Let's start with some licensed ones:
Gakuen Alice, Shugo Chara, Magic User's Club, and Someday's Dreamers.
To balance it a little, I've also added Library War and Whisper Of The Heart.

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Post by Lucemia » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:11 pm

Wow, I'm finally watching anime again. And it happens to be .hack//Roots. It's pretty good. I like it.

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