Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

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Last Week’s Tweets 11/27 – 12/3

Anime of the Week – C3 Cube x Cursed x Curious
C3 is definitely this season’s most underappreciated anime. I expected to watch a lot of good anime this season and I found myself disappointed with several series I had high hopes for. Cube is a surprise hit and it seems to be going largely unnoticed, which is really sad.
November 27 Shana III Ep. 8 Current events feel like the run down to the final battle. But with 16 episodes left, it’s far from over. What’s going on?
Fate/Zero Ep. 9 While this episode was important for character building, there was absolutely no plot development to forward the story.
Guilty Crown Ep. 7 Why is Shu back at school? This makes no sense. Didn’t the GHQ learn last episode that he’s a member of Funeral Parlor?
Working 2 Ep. 9 Sato’s life must be frustrating. Yachio’s life is too narrow. Takanashi is easily influenced. Yamada is a two-faced fraud.
C3 Ep. 8 Even when this anime has ecchi moments, it’s still brilliant and well composed. Yukari Tamura is in her element as Fear Kubrick.
Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 8 That was a very different spin on the obligatory swimsuit episode. It’s nice to see a break from stereotypes.
Last Exile 2 Ep. 3 I guess the plot is progressing…? I see the character’s motivations, but their methods are haphazard at best.
Last Exile 2 Ep. 4 It’s all just too random. I can’t follow the plot without reading someone else’s summary. Fam is such a scatterbrain.
November 28 Persona 4 Ep. 8 The comedic twists continue to please, even if they aren’t very surprising for people who have played the game.
Mirai Nikki Ep. 8 Is this anime one big parable about how nice guys finish last? Amano needs to be more careful to avoid these situations.
November 29 iDOLM@STER Ep. 15 It seems that the key to improving daytime Japanese TV is to substitute all of the regular hosts for anime characters.
C3 Ep. 9 This was the setup episode for what is this series’ final arc. Not all the new villian’s motives are clear, but it’s still fun.
Ben-to Ep. 3 For being an anime about fighting over boxed meals at supermarkets, the metaphors are surprisingly deep and significant.
November 30 Ben-to Ep. 4 This anime’s ecchi colors were shining brightly this episode. Fortunately, it didn’t detract from the usual high-tempo pace.
December 1 Ben-to Ep. 5 Superficially, the plot of this anime could fit into many settings. The fact that this war involves box lunches makes it fun.
Mashiro-iro Ep. 3 Most of this episode was the ordinary fare of tsundere-ness, but the twist at the end put a huge smile on my face.
December 2 Ben-to Ep. 6 For an episode that was supposed to be about an epic rivalry and a grand battle, there was very little tension or energy.
Guilty Crown Ep. 8 And… the obligatory swimsuit episode. At least it didn’t take too much time. Sadly, this episode was a dead end.
Ben-to Ep. 7 Two swimsuit episodes in a row, but across different anime. The ridiculousness of this show compliments its ecchi and hilarity.
Persona 4 Ep. 9 I’d known Rie Kugimiya was the voice of Rise when the P4 game was released in Japan, but it’s cool to hear her for real.
December 3 Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 9 Kodaka is one of the coolest and most composed male characters in a harem-esque anime I have seen in a long time.
K-On! (Movie) Set somewhere between the final episodes of the second season, it watches as if it was a missing segment from the TV series.

*You could have read these tweets in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Last Week’s Tweets 11/20 – 11/26

Anime of the Week – Squid Girl 2
Squid Girl can be a pretty hit and miss anime. But when it’s good, it’s pure awesome sauce.
November 20 Higurashi Kira Ep. 2 If you told me to imagine a situation where Higurashi was given a “magic girl makeover,” this is would be it.
Fate/Zero. Ep. 8 This anime’s pace is unusual. It watches elegantly, balanced with emotion and action, but I’m seeing a lack of progress.
November 21 Mirai Nikki Ep. 7 I wonder if the R-rated scenes in this anime will be uncensored when it gets released on DVD.
Shana III Ep. 7 The events of this anime are transpiring in an orderly, logical but somewhat plodding pace that could have been done better.
Working 2 Ep. 8 Soma is good at padding time onto episodes with his pointless delays teasing people. There’s a limit to that kind of gag.
November 23 Persona 4 Ep. 7 The impact of a lot of this anime’s surprises is lessened when you already know the outcome from playing the video game.
Mashiro-iro Ep. 2 Only two episodes in and the familiar awkwardness of the lead male of an h-game is already well established.
Squid Girl 2 Ep. 4 As an English teacher in Japan, the first part of this episode was relevant to my interests. The English was good, too.
Last Exile 2 Ep. 2 I feel like there was a massive disconnect between episode 1 and 2. As if there was a big chunk of story simply omitted.
November 24 Squid Girl 2 Ep. 5 What a shift… a great episode followed by a forgettable one. Hopefully episode 6 can get things back on pace.

*You could have read these tweets in real time as I updated my status by following me on Twitter.

Last Exile – Fam, the Silver Wing Ep. 1

Initial impression – a revival done right

Autumn 2011 to winter 2012 (21 episodes) (Japanese title – Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam) (more info)

I remember Last Exile as one of my first forays into the steampunk genre.  I really like the concept of these romanticized, alternate-history / alternate-technology settings.  It’s always interesting to see how people might cope in a world that’s drastically different from our own.  However, I do remember thinking the plot of the original Last Exile was unnecessarily convoluted and messy for what it was trying to accomplish.  Also, the tone of the characters was either way too serious or way too ordinary.  Seeing that Last Exile – Fam has abandoned the old cast (with the lone curiosity of Dio) but kept the old setting makes me hopeful that Fam might actually be better than the original.  And early indications are backing up that hope.  Characters are much more motivated, focused and driven and there’s a more lighthearted tone than the first season.  These big changes are great, add a lot of energy and I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds from here.

Blood-C (review)

Final impression – Only for unabashed CLAMP fans (4/10)

Summer 2011

In a remote village, Saya Kisaragi is the shrine maiden entrusted with slaying the Elder Ones—fearsome monsters that feast on the townspeople.  But when she has free time, she goes to high school, talks with her friends and enjoys coffee at a local café.  As she continues her mission to protect the town, small details start to converge together that just don’t add up.  Where do the Elder Ones come from?  To whom did Saya promise to guard the village?  And the greatest question, who was Saya’s mother?  She had better figure out the answers to these questions before it’s too late and everyone gets eaten.

First impressions can’t always be trusted and that is never truer than in Blood-C.  Talk about betraying your legacy.  Blood the Last Vampire and Blood+ had a likeable cast of characters, excellent pacing and terrific endings.  Even the live-action Blood the Last Vampire compares favorably to Blood-C and that’s pitiful.  The only reason I completed watching it is because I enjoy CLAMP’s artwork, making it the only possible redeeming feature.  I don’t know what Blood-C’s upcoming movie will do with this setup that the anime gave us.  However, 95% of the anime was an utterly pointless jaunt on the way to its eventual cliff-hanger ending.  The whole anime could have easily just not existed and twenty minutes added to the beginning of the movie to accomplish the same effect.

Toaru Majutsu no Index II (last thoughts)

Final impression – as good as the first season 7/10

Fall 2010 – (Alternate titles – A Certain Magical Index II)

Touma Kamijou claims to be the unluckiest man in the universe.  But his mysterious right hand has the power to nullify all manner of supernatural conditions.  In Academy City, this ability comes in handy because students develop skills as espers, each with a unique quality they are trained to use.  But the religious institutions of the world see the city as a blasphemous affront to god.  Many organizations seek the downfall of the city using divine magic.  But Touma’s circumstance has afforded him a designation of neutrality in the conflict.  He is charged with protecting Index, a young nun who holds a vast library of religious and magical knowledge.  But Mikoto Misaka, his abusive, tsundere love interest, keeps him tied strongly to the science of the espers, because she’s one of the strongest in the whole of Academy City.  Between two extremes of world views, Touma gets pulled by both sides as a mediator to keep the peace.

Picking up right where season one left off with absolutely no recap, Index II really sets itself up from the start as an anime that’s not going to be able to stand up well unless you’ve watched the first season.  Index II follows the formula of the first series, developing its plot through many short arcs.  While there’s nothing really wrong with this formula in theory, Index just can’t seem to execute it without creating some annoying gaps in sequence.  Despite this shortcoming, the characters are all delightfully colorful and motivated.  The underlying conflict of “religion vs science,” that sits in the background of Index II is a grandiose shadow of how it has been played in the real world, which is a fun satire of a serious social conflict many people pay little attention to.

Blood-C Ep 1

Saya is ready to fightInitial impression – good

Blood+ and Blood – The Last Vampire give Blood-C a strong legacy of action anime to live up to.  And unless you can’t stand the Clamp art style, the first episode delivers.  With some really fresh interpretations of Saya, the demon-slaying vampire who fights to protect her adoptive human family, I’m really looking forward to seeing where Clamp takes this well-tred, but tried and true, action / drama.

Unless you can’t look past Clamp’s eccentric art style, there’s no reason not to give Blood-C a chance to live up as a reboot of the series’ past successes.

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