Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Tag Archives: Zero

Anime of the Week (4/22 – 4/28)

Anime of the Week – Jormungand
Coupled with superbly cast voice acting and a premise that gets you cheering for the upstart underdog, I’ve been swept up by this anime’s whirlwind pace.                                
April 22 Fate/Zero Ep. 16 It’s like these last few episodes have been rushing to bring up the death toll to compensate for the first season’s lack.
Kids on the Slope Ep. 2 Everything about this show is so disappointingly ordinary and unbefitting of the great names behind its creation.
April 24 Medaka Box Ep. 2 As messed up as this anime is at times, I’m starting to discover it has a charming side that’s urging me to stick with it.
April 25 Accel World Ep. 2 Haruyuki’s cleverness and background knowledge made him a winner. It’s a kind of smart that any gamer could appreciate.
Accel World Ep. 3 I thought this episode had great character development, but I wonder how many people got lost on all the computer terms.
April 27 Sankarea Ep. 4 This series defies all my expectations. I was worried it would turn into a quirky romance but it’s still deeply intellectual.
March 28 Jormungand Ep. 1 Initial impression – risky, clever and auspicious http://wp.me/p1Gaby-lS
Sengoku Collection Ep. 1 Initial impression – unoriginal, but not entirely mind-numbing (4/10) http://wp.me/p1Gaby-m0
Jormungand Ep. 2 I like how this series juxtaposes Koko’s unsavory occupation with her likeable personality and brilliant intellect.
Jormungand Ep. 3 Bringing in some determined rivals for Koko and her team helps show she’s not as wildly unprincipled as she appears.
Acchi Kocchi Ep. 4 This episode was less moe compared to the last few, but it makes up for it nicely with some smart sociological discourse.

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

Fate/Zero (ongoing)

Impression – superbly grand, but hampered by some problems

Autumn 2011 and spring 2012 (more info / part 2)

I’m of the opinion that a little more time could have been spent waiting to get the series released in one 24 episode block without this huge lapse in pace, especially when it ends on such a big cliffhanger.  Because Fate/Zero is a prequel, it also means that in order to keep consistency with canon, the story needs to conform to some rigid guidelines to fit what comes after.  Knowing that none of this is going to end well puts an emotional barrier between the viewer and a lot of the characters, prohibiting real attachment.  The result is that the viewer feels like an outside observer waiting for the inevitable, rather than wanting to get invested in something that’s ultimately going to be futile.  It’s sad because the new side characters are colorful and there’s a lot of spirit in their personalities.  But I don’t want to suggest that Fate/Zero is a waste of time.  It’s gorgeous and emotional, but also deeply thought provoking; delving into some really fun, dark corners of the human psyche.  The twisted personalities of Ryuunosuke and Caster manage to contort morality to match their own ambitions and that’s always an interesting exercise of mental gymnastics.  However, the fact that this survival game that is the Holy Grail War has thus far resulted in no casualties for the participants is a telling sign that the writers are pandering to the fanbase rather than thinking things through organically.  Fate/Zero is beautiful and epic to watch in the way that Type Moon always puts forward, but it’s not nearly as immersive as I’d hoped it would be.

Zero no Tsukaima F Ep. 1

Initial impression – you already know if you’re going to like this show

Winter 2012 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – The Familiar of Zero) (more info)

And so begins the final season of Zero no Tsukaima, the anime that contains the entire core voice cast of Shakugan no Shana and is unsurprisingly produced by the same company, J.C. Staff.  It’s a safe bet that if you’ve been following this series since it started back in 2006 then you’re going to want to watch the end of the story.  But if you’ve never heard of Zero Louise or her human familiar Saito, then you’re going to be completely lost.  Unlike Shakugan no Shana III, there is no introductory backstory to allow new viewers to transition into the adventure already in progress.  I prefer that style of sequel personally—especially since this is the fourth entry of Zero and I can’t imagine any amount of recap short of rewatching the whole series providing adequate information.

Anime of the Week 1/1 – 1/7

Anime of the Week – C3 Cube x Cursed x Curious
The deep metaphors of this anime heighten it well above any inflamitory attempts at defamation and the character acting is top-notch.
January 1 Fate/Zero Ep. 13 The dynamic duo of Ryuunosuke and Caster is delightfully twisted and delicious in the way they feed each other’s egos.
January 2 Toradora OVA Even two years later, this anime still knows how to put a funny spin on the simplest of concepts and give you a big smile.
Hidan no Aria OVA As hot springs episodes go, this one isn’t awful. However, it does focus too much on ecchi to the detriment of the story.
C3 Ep. 11 I feel an affinity for Haruaki’s wisdom and selflessness. He’s a strong, rare character. He is a natural axis for the story.
January 3 Persona 4 Ep. 12 The twist in this episode was a fabulous surprise for everyone who was expecting a copy and paste from the video game.
Shana III Ep. 11 With all the soft, wishy-washy feelings in the first two seasons, I never thought I’d see true romance in this series.
Shana III Ep. 12 It feels like this series has revealed a natural decisiveness that always existed but never had a chance to show itself.
Working 2 Ep. 13 Because of the nature of this series, it just wouldn’t feel right to have a concise ending. That’s an uncommon quality.
Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 12 I really liked the long flashback in this episode detailing Yozora’s inner thoughts. It wrapped things up nicely.
Ben-to Ep. 8 This anime was never very sophisticated, but what’s with inserting two new characters with absolutely no introduction?
C3 Ep. 12 This is a beautiful metaphor of the relationships we have with our possessions. Where does the tool end and the human begin?
January 4 Mashiro-iro Ep. 5 This anime is sweet, but oftentimes silly. This episode was ridiculous in the way it depicted Ange the wandering maid.
Squid Girl 2 Ep. 7 I like how this anime doesn’t try to explain things too much and just keeps up the pace of its quirky comedy.
Squid Girl 2 Ep. 8 Usually the anime of funny misunderstandings is Working!!, but Squid Girl can put a silly spin on those situations, too.
Squid Girl 2 Ep. 9 The reality of the world is often sad. But if you’re an outside observer, others’ misfortune suddenly becomes hilarious.
Squid Girl 2 Ep. 10 With the three stooges, all things are possible. I was wondering if this anime would ever get a winter-themed episode.
January 5 Mashiro-iro Ep. 6 I like the sweetness of this anime, but it’s getting to be a bit much and sadly, it’s getting overly predictable.
Squid Girl 2 Ep. 11 What is it that makes Chizuru such a frightening person? Is it her eyes or her calm demeanor while she threatens people?
Squid Girl 2 Ep. 12 Chizuru may be right. While Squid Girl didn’t invade the world, she can certainly invade the hearts of her viewers.
The iDOLM@STER Ep. 17 I think Makoto shows us that we need to use our talents more, even if we don’t particularly like those talents.
The iDOLM@STER Ep. 18 Ritsuko is one of the more interesting characters. She actually has a back story that relates well to the setting.
January 6 Ben-to Ep. 9 The abuse Satou goes through is sad. But if he’s such a good fighter when it comes to bento, why can’t he protect himself?
Ben-to Ep. 10 As rivalries go, taking out a duo by yourself is unlikely. I anticipate some cool team building as this anime wraps up.
January 7 Ben-to Ep. 11 It must be a universal constant that now matter what the competition, there’s always someone bigger and better to challenge.
Ben-to Ep. 12 Satou really doesn’t deserve the title he was given. The chivalry he showed in this episode makes up for his past failings.

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

Anime of the Week 12/4 – 12/10

Anime of the Week – Guilty Crown
I’m glad to see Shu finally taking some initiative instead of being lead around by the nose by Gai. Unfortunately, he’s in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation that’s certain to give him nightmares no matter which decision he makes.
December 5 Fate/Zero Ep. 10 I have a sneaky feeling that Rin was given her own episode for no other reason than she’s a popular character…
December 6 Mirai Nikki Ep. 9 Amano needs to stop being so accommodating. He’s in a survival game and already had a hand in several people’s deaths.
December 7 Working 2 Ep. 10 I’m not sure how to characterize Inami. It’s like she’s bipolar. One minute she’s violent and the next she’s lovestruck.
December 8 C3 Ep. 10 The concept of turning two curses against each other to create a complimentary balance appeals to my more poetic sensibilities.
Infinite Stratos OVA Really what was I expecting? The series wasn’t fond of closure, so why should the OVA be any different?
December 9 Squid Girl 2 Ep. 6 Mini Ika Musume always puts a big, stupid smile on my face. This series does a good job telling stories silently.
Guilty Crown Ep. 9 The ability to see true thoughts would be cool, but sad if your loved ones weren’t really who you thought they were.
Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 10 A lackluster episode. I’ve seen much better versions of the private beach house theme in countless other anime.
Persona 4 Ep. 10 I’m curious about the large amount of time that was skipped at the end of the episode. Is it time for more side stories?

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

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 Week’s Tweets 11/13 – 11/19

Anime of the Week – Working!! 2
It’s nice to slow down and appreciate the little things that make life worth living. The silly relationships between the characters of Working!! 2 make this anime a joy to watch.
November 14 Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 4 Despite this episode being nothing but a long string of moe stereotypes, I was smiling the whole time.
Working 2 Ep. 4 Ah, the confusion and misunderstandings. The whole episode is a tribute to the adage, “assuming makes an ass of you and me.”
Working 2 Ep. 5 There’s two ways to react when you see other people loafing around. You can either reprimand them or join them.
Fate/Zero Ep. 6 Some more story building. An interesting episode that makes me wonder… Just who is the most ruthless character?
Fate/Zero Ep. 7 My favorite servant’s existence is on the line. I was hoping for a longer run. Then the ending is a cruel cliffhanger.
Shana III Ep. 6 Some shoddy history building leading up to what I presume is going to be some good action in episode 7. I can’t wait.
Guilty Crown Ep. 5 I like the music and art style of this anime, but the more I watch, I’m less convinced the story is going anywhere.
November 15 Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 5 I wonder how many more times in this short series we’re going to see everyone get together and play video games.
Working 2 Ep. 6 Some people are really bad at reading the atmosphere in social situations. I can sympathize with Takanashi’s troubles.
Mirai Nikki Ep. 6 Using a future diary to endear yourself to your future mother-in-law must be every lovestruck/stalker girl’s dream.
Persona 4 Ep. 3 I’m seeing some small side tracks from the story as it was told in the video game, so I’m getting more optimistic.
November 16 Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 6 The rivalry of Yozora and Sena is weird but also indescribably fun. Sadly, the rest of the plot feels transparent.
Persona 4 Ep. 4 The action and the drama are much better composed as the series continues. I wonder if this pace can continue…
Persona 4 Ep. 5 I was wondering how the game’s side-story arcana characters were going to fit into the series. It’s feeling rushed again.
Working 2 Ep. 7 I’m not sure what to take away from this weird episode besides the fact that Yamada’s older brother is Sakai Yuji.
November 18 Persona 4 Ep. 6 With only six episodes left, there’s no way this series is going to end without feeling badly crunched. Sequel? OVA? Movie?
Guilty Crown Ep. 6 This anime is very pretty, but the plot is getting murkier with each episode and character motives are just inconsistent.
C3 Ep. 7 The way this anime cleverly flits from ecchi to elegant and humorous to serious is simply wonderful. Such clever composition.
Boku wa Tomodachi Ep. 7 Has this anime’s formula already run out? It’s still interesting and funny, but it’s now lacking freshness.

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

Last Week’s Tweets 10/30 – 11/5

I’ve decided to start a small weekly column here on Ashita no Anime for getting some more discussion about my tweets. =D

October 30 Shana III Ep. 3 Hopefully this will be the last episode of flashbacks and we can finally get things fired up in episode 4.
Shana III Ep. 4 This is one of the many times I find myself applauding someone’s motives, but decrying their methods. Best episode so far.
October 31 Fate/Zero Ep. 4 The well-balanced and excellent pacing of the battles in this anime is the reason I love Type-Moon.
C3 Ep. 4 That’s some pretty deep thinking. Understanding the world’s misdeeds and standing up for what is right rather than running from it.
November 1 Guilty Crown Ep. 2 I liked the opening song for episode 1 better than the official opening. The end of episode 2 was clichéd, though.
November 2 Guilty Crown Ep. 3 Shu has made some moral choices that aren’t working out for him. I’m glad the clichés aren’t affecting the main story.
November 4 Fate/Zero Ep. 5 In this episode we see some alliances being formed. It seems rider is going to be this series’ comic relief. <_,<
Guilty Crown Ep. 4 I love how this anime paces enough info to keep me excited for the next episode, but enough action to satisfy me now.

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

Fate/Zero Ep. 1

Initial impression – smooth

Autumn 2011 to winter 2012 (25 episodes) (more info)

Given that Fate/Zero is a prequel to Fate/Stay Night, a well-reviewed anime that had a huge viewership, most of us already know how Zero is going to end.  That being said, attention to detail and a plot that flows seamlessly are going to be of utmost importance.  I’m very pleased to find that this is already the case in the first episode.  I especially liked that this first episode was double in length from a normal episode in order to adequately get everyone introduced without squishing content into an allotted amount of time.  However, unlike FSN, Zero goes right away and introduces all of the characters from the outset.  After that kind of setup, I want to see clarity of the characters’ motives and the same cleverly devised twists in the battles that made Fate/Stay Night a great anime to watch.  Type-Moon has been well established as the people who make some of the classiest anime, and I’m expecting Fate/Zero to be no different.

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