Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Tag Archives: Jormungand

Anime of the Week (12/30 – 1/5)

For the first time, I find myself unable to choose just one anime for my weekly honors. Given that we’re currently going through a slow time for anime as it was the break between seasons makes this decision even more significant. Additionally, I don’t feel that it’s fair to let a four-episode extravaganza hog the spotlight when another ongoing series managed to shine just as brightly.

Anime of the Week – Nekomonogatari & Shinsekai Yori
Koyomi and Tsukihi debate the finer points of love. The Monogatari series has consistently proven itself to be fertile ground for delving into philosophical conundrums while also providing a good laugh, but this iteration also manages to have a few heartwarming moments that touch strongly on the value of family.
Tomiko tells Saki about the importance of maintaining order in the world. Discretion may be the better part of valor, but sometimes it’s necessary to tenaciously pursue the truth with confidence, no matter where it may lead.
December 31 Jormungand PO Ep. 12 The series ends on a philosophical note, but feels empty because we don’t get to see the fruits of everyone’s labors.
January 2 Nekomonogatari Ep. 1 Nishio Ishin tells stories in a unique way. It takes a while to get to the point, but I feel smarter for the journey.
Nekomonogatari Ep. 2 Philosophical without being preachy. Beautiful without being garish. Erotic without being lecherous. Nicely balanced.
Kokoro Connect Ep. 14 I don’t buy into the theory that it’s a bad thing to hear people’s emotions. I find my inner monologue to be positive.
Kokoro Connect Ep. 15 I’m confused by all this. It frustrates me that I can’t interrogate Iori myself so I can figure out what’s going on.
January 4 Nekomonogatari Ep. 3 When Araragi saw that Hanekawa’s house had no place for her, his reaction was the most correct thing I’ve ever seen.
Nekomonogatari Ep. 4 How should we react to those stiflingly perfect paragons of humanity in the world? Jealousy? Worship? Hatred? Pity?
January 5 Shinsekai Ep. 14 I love when science fiction seamlessly mixes real science into the narrative of its setting and educates in the process.

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


Anime of the Week (12/23 – 12/29)

Anime of the Week – Sakurasou
Team Sakura House goes for it The best way to ensure that a performance will be enjoyable for your audience is to first make sure that you as the performer are enjoying the show. Because if you aren’t having fun, what are the chances others will, too?                              
December 23 Zetsuen Ep. 12 From a purely observational standpoint, what is the difference between fate and coincidence? They often look very similar.
Panzer Ep. 10 The final battle approaches; which will prevail? The adaptability and flexibility of creativity? Or tried-and-true tradition?
SAO Ep. 25 A happy ending for sure, but for a series that had the potential for some cool existentialism themes, it really dropped the ball.
Shinsekai Ep. 13 Something doesn’t add up. I’m much more curious and bewildered by the current circumstances than the characters seem to be.
Little Busters Ep. 12 With her quiet demeanor, love of books and penchant for solitude, Nishizono may be the character I most identify with.
December 24 Total Eclipse Ep. 25 Even after an impressive victory against impossible odds, such are the cold and calculating ways of military politics.
Jormungand PO Ep. 11 The way Koko dances the line between hero and villain is beautiful, but she just hasn’t been very fun as of late.
December 25 Sakurasou Ep. 12 When you know you’ve got to motivate people and they don’t want to follow along, the only thing to do is lead by example.
December 28 Accel World EX Ep. 1 While I love fun little spin-offs like this, I can’t say I care for the drastic decline in Haruyuki’s courage.
December 29 Medaka Box 2 Ep. 12 What an insightful, twisted and weirdly Gainax / Nishio Ishin way of ending an otherwise run-of-the-mill series.

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

Anime of the Week (12/9 – 12/15)

Anime of the Week – Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
Yuuta is Rikka's pillar of support. When someone who has based his or her life around a false belief realizes the mistake, the transition to letting go and moving on is difficult. Friends can be alienated and conceptions about the world must be changed. But it’s made easier when there’s someone there who genuinely cares and is watching over you.                              
December 9 SAO Ep. 23 As powerfully emotional as this series can be and despite the great battles, all too often it’s just too predictably cliché.
December 10 Little Busters Ep. 10 If we focus too much on the sad, dark and hurtful, we can find ourselves unable to see the happy, bright and hopeful.
Shinsekai Ep. 11 When it comes to conspiracies involving modification of memories, you can always count on someone being resistant to it.
Total Eclipse Ep. 23 No matter how dire or righteous your cause, starting an idealistic war you can’t hope to win is not the right decision.
Joshiraku Ep. 3 As much as I love the concept and the cast, I just can’t get into this anime because it feels too much like an inside joke.
December 12 Sakurasou Ep. 10 “There’s always going to be someone better than you,” unless your motto is, “Don’t just be number one, be the only one.”
December 13 Jormungand PO Ep. 10 What is the price for peace? When do the ends justify the means? Is it a gradient of right to wrong or a line in the sand?
Chuunibyou Ep. 11 I would much rather live with an uncomfortable truth and deal with the consequences, than indulge in a comforting lie.
December 14 Panzer Ep. 9 A cornered mouse will attack a cat and the girls of Oarai with their happy school life at stake are pulling out all the stops.
Psycho-Pass Ep. 10 When technology can read minds, it’s human curiosity that constructs a test of character designed to reward chivalry.
BTOOOM Ep. 11 If it’s beyond a one’s limits to repay betrayal with revenge, it would seem that trust is not such a fragile thing after all.
December 15 Zetsuen Ep. 11 I always get a kick out of arrogant jerks getting put in their place, but to his credit, Samon has motives I can appreciate.
Medaka Box 2 Ep. 10 There’s a lovely, genuine honesty about finding the purpose of existence through the kind, simple mind of a child.

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

Anime of the Week (12/2 – 12/8)

Anime of the Week – Zetsuen no Tempest
Anime of the Week Dialogue is a tricky thing to write in a way that’s compelling and keeps good pace. Yoshino’s ability to pontificate logically is astonishing. On top of that, he also managed to smoothly bluff his opponent into a corner by twisting information that he doesn’t fully understand. Watching Samon break down and literally start shaking in his boots just from a hypothetical conversation about metaphysics was awesome.                              
December 2 Panzer Ep. 7 All in all, this series has way too many transition episodes that serve no other purpose besides providing new information.
SAO Ep. 22 Kazuto and Suguha are all mixed up from the duality of their selves and their avatars, but Kirito needs to focus and save Asuna.
Shinsekai Ep. 10 What a terrific metaphor—a manifestation of the subconscious into reality resulting in desire shaping the surroundings.
December 3 Total Eclipse Ep. 22 YES! Fighting by the skin of your teeth, improvising tactics as the battle progresses, no holds barred action is here.
December 4 Little Busters Ep. 9 Even with its lighthearted tone and wonderfully kind cast, this anime seems to have some distinctly cryptic mysteries.
Sakurasou Ep. 9 I am so not the right person to judge traditional art. I’ll take the style of anime over a classical painting any day.
December 6 Medaka Box 2 Ep. 8 Sadly, season two is showing almost no interesting intellectual quandaries and is more of an absurd battle royal.
Arcana Famiglia Ep. 12 I put off this anime only to get a non-ending in which nothing more exciting happens than status quo being restored.
Chuunibyou Ep. 10 The climax is awkwardly romantic, but avoids typical stereotypes as the characters begin to honestly follow their hearts.
December 7 Jormungand PO Ep. 9 The characters are still great, but the story has gotten lost in the layers upon layers of schemes and conspiracies.
Psycho-Pass Ep. 9 I was thinking that a cyberpunk series should have a cyborg or two and suddenly a cyborg shows up. Am I becoming psychic?
December 8 Zetsuen Ep. 10 Yoshino’s smooth talking and terrific play with logic are an amazing, multilayered bluff with some beautifully poetic irony.
BTOOOM Ep. 10 It goes to show that while trust is important, it shouldn’t be automatic—it needs to be earned and until then watch your back.
Medaka Box 2 Ep. 9 I’d always thought it would be exciting to be able to read other people’s minds. But some silver linings have tarnish.
Panzer Ep. 8 Occasionally, stereotypes can be a little obvious, but when it gets delivered in such silly circumstances it’s really funny.

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

Anime of the Week (11/25 – 12/1)

Anime of the Week – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
Sakurasou5 Failure—I mean REAL failure—is not a dilemma that is easy to address. But Sorata’s comeback from the edge of despair to find the determination to give his dream another go is terrific. It’s truly wonderful having friends who will be there to make sure you laugh instead of cry when the weight of life gets you down. Also, kudos for sneaking in a swimsuit segment that actually felt like a natural change of pace rather than an out-of-place fanservice excuse.                              
November 25 SAO Ep. 21 All in all, this series has way too many transition episodes that serve no other purpose besides providing new information.
Shinsekai Ep. 9 I somehow find it odd that the amateurish sleuthing of these young people seems to have gone unnoticed by the authorities.
Little Busters Ep. 8 This is how an anime based on a dating sim should be done. Introduce the girls organically instead of using arcs.
Sengoku Basara Ep. 2 The worst part of this anime is that it doesn’t explain ANYTHING. Is it too much to ask for some background info?
Sengoku Basara Ep. 3 Um…What just happened? I feel like I missed an entire war and now all the characters are living out their epilogues.
Sengoku Basara Ep. 4 The characters have no personality and the battles lack strategy; banging rocks together would be more entertaining.
Sengoku Basara Ep. 5 I let Masamune’s horse-cycle slide until a mech showed up. Inconsistent doesn’t begin to describe this anime’s tone.
Girls und Panzer Ep. 6 This is how a battle should go. Teamwork, tactics, terrain advantage and a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat climax.
November 26 Ichizon Lv.2 Ep. 2 This anime’s usual style of starting off halfway through the conflict and getting distracted along the way is too fun.
Total Eclipse Ep. 21 I know I’ve said people can’t stop fighting even in the face of extinction, but this might be taking it too far.
November 27 Eureka AO Ep. 23 To a large degree, Ao’s hesitation in the face of the inevitable decision he’s forced to make continues to be annoying.
Eureka AO Ep. 24 The drama of characters’ past decisions is made moot when it all ends up just being erased as if it had never happened.
Sakurasou Ep. 8 There is a powerful sense of drive and accomplished in the way Sorata chases his dreams with such clarity and determination.
November 28 Jormungand PO Ep. 8 Ok, we get it! Koko and Minami have a secret plan they’re working on and everyone wants in. Tell us what the heck it is!
November 30 Chuunibyou Ep. 9 My day was made when Nibutani’s attempt to get Yuuta and Rikka together succeeded genuinely, deeply and wholeheartedly.
Psycho-Pass Ep. 8 Some smart detective work, a macabre philosophical viewpoint and tenacious characters create a masterpiece of intrigue.
December 1 Zetsuen Ep. 9 Value is not intrinsic. It is a human construct that varies from person to person. We are the ones who give meaning to life.
BTOOOM! Ep. 9 Between psychological attacks on people’s character, reading body language and battlefield tactics, this anime has it all.

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

Anime of the Week (11/18 – 11/24)

Anime of the Week – Little Busters!
I always love it when people find clever and creative ways to stick it to overzealous authority figures by beating them at their own game. Naoe is such a good guy for having the courage to stick up for his friends.                              
November 18 Shinsekai Ep. 8 In a world that has restored its sanity, life may be different, but human emotions and relationships are still the same.
SAO Ep. 20 Yes, Kirito saved the day, but is that really a good enough reason for two strange women to just latch on and flirt with him?
Little Busters Ep. 7 When the bullies have actual authority, it’s nice to know that you’ve got kind, levelheaded friends backing you up.
November 19 Medaka Box 2 Ep. 6 The story being told really wants a smoother kind of transition than a twenty-four minute per episode anime can provide.
Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo (preview) – never has there been a more appropriate subtitle
November 20 Sakurasou Ep. 7 I thought women who touch each other’s boobs were just a male fantasy—until I met some real Japanese women who do that.
November 21 Jormungand PO Ep. 7 Why can’t the other episodes that are heavy with history strike as good a balance between backstory and moving forward?
Sengoku Basara Ep. 1 This series has so many problems I don’t know where to start. The writing and theme remind me strongly of Majikoi.
November 22 Chuunibyou Ep. 8 What are the limits of love? How far can someone’s deviant behavior go before their personality gets in the way of romance?
November 23 Psycho-Pass Ep. 7 I find artful depravity fascinating. Though I’d condemn it, I find it even more fascinating that I find it fascinating.
November 24 BTOOOM Ep. 8 The timing of this history lesson was impeccable. I really like how this series addresses the psychology of altruism vs greed.
Medaka Box 2 Ep. 7 I like how there’s always something clever woven into the proceedings of every twist and turn the story takes.
Zetsuen Ep. 8 I’ve always liked characters that are driven by revenge, but rarely are they so pivotal to the progression of the plot.

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

Anime of the Week (11/11 – 11/17)

Anime of the Week – Psycho-Pass
Every so often there is a moment in an anime that solidifies that series as a mold-breaker. It doesn’t even have to be something big. But when Kagari accuses Akane of harboring secret feelings for Kougami, she doesn’t act shy or deny it like so many characters in that circumstance. She just laughs it off as the baseless accusation it is. And the icing on the cake is I got to hear a rare instance of Kana Hanazawa’s cheerful laughter.                              
November 11 Kamisama Kiss Ep. 1 Initial impression – almost no original ideas (4/10)
SAO Ep. 19 Racial stereotypes are too prevalent and the setting of Alfheim Online only supports this kind of behavior, but with no context.
Shinsekai Ep. 7 Thus ends the queerat arc. Next is this anime’s chance to redeem itself and be more philosophical about its world building.
November 13 Total Eclipse Ep. 19 I really had hopes this would be a great, military series. But it handles romance so poorly it’s just ridiculous.
Little Busters Ep. 6 One of the great strengths of the writers at Key is their ability to tell sappy stories that don’t feel fake or corny.
Sakurasou Ep. 6 It’s reassuring to know that when your best just isn’t good enough, someone has your back and will still acknowledge you.
November 14 Ichizon Lv.2 Ep. 1 I love how this show takes the fourth wall and blasts it into a million pieces while poking fun at overused anime tropes.
Jormungand PO Ep. 6 I badly want to know how this backstory stuff relates to Koko and operation Undershaft, because I don’t think it does.
November 16 Chuunibyou Ep. 7 Rikka believes she can still find what she lost, but will new, undeniable evidence finally force her to accept reality?
Psycho-Pass Ep. 6 It is so refreshing to see someone react to an accusation of romantic interest with real laughter instead of fake denial.
Zetsuen Ep. 7 I identify strongly with Yoshino because I too have trouble taking the lead with women. It doesn’t help that Aika is so coy.
BTOOOM Ep. 7 Sakamoto isn’t sure if the hope he’s chasing is real, but given the circumstances I can hardly blame him for seeking it.

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

Anime of the Week (11/4 – 11/10)

Anime of the Week – BTOOOM!
Between the complex, emotional issues of trust and betrayal and clever use of battlefield tactics to take advantage of difficult resources and the terrian, this show’s dangerous game never misses a beat.                              
November 4 Zetsuen Ep. 5 After all the revelations, I can understand why Hakase was so feared. But the truth of her exile is becoming more complicated.
SAO Ep. 18 There’s something to be said about episodes that don’t advance the story, but do well setting up the next stage of events.
Little Busters Ep. 5 While the past is certainly important, I think we often get too caught up in it and forget to keep looking forward.
Girls und Panzer Ep. 4 This anime is a little hard to accept, but when the battlefield went into the city and nobody complained, it lost me.
November 5 Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de Ep. 1 Initial impression – too obvious (3/10)
Total Eclipse Ep. 18 I wouldn’t call Yui tsundere because now she’s all dere. But I’m intrigued by what’s in store for Cryska and Inia.
November 6 Shinsekai Ep. 4 It’s been said only liars fear the truth. Now that Saki and her friends have learned these secrets, what will be their fate?
Shinsekai Ep. 5 I wonder if Saki’s current predicament is a test of some kind and a teacher is going to step in and tell her she passed.
Shinsekai Ep. 6 It seems the hypnotism that keeps their PK under control also reigns in the personality. What will be the breaking point?
Ixion Saga DT Ep. 1 Initial impression – rough and immature (4/10)
Hayate 3 Ep. 2 I’m glad Ruri got what she deserved for playing dirty; using her femininity to her advantage in the fight with Hayate.
Medaka Box 2 Ep. 2 When an anime with such silly subject material gets me this fired up, I know I’m dealing with some superb writing.
November 7 Medaka Box 2 Ep. 3 My fears are being realized as Medaka and student council investigate the Flask Plan rather than helping normal students.
Sakurasou Ep. 5 Aoyama moves in to make her life easier, but ends up taking care of Mashiro, which only exacerbates her stress levels.
November 9 Jormungand PO Ep. 5 As Kasper Hekmatyar makes his move against Japan’s Ministry of Defense, I wonder how this ties into the big picture.
Psycho-Pass Ep. 5 The degree to which Gino has abandoned his former friend Shinya after he became a latent criminal has really shocked me.
Chuunibyou Ep. 6 The pack mentality of men is not to be underestimated. When one of the group gets cornered by a woman, they stand together.
November 10 Panzer Ep. 5 It’s an often-used strategy, but when your communications are compromised it’s always satisfying to turn it back on the enemy.
BTOOOM Ep. 6 Trust is a tricky thing. It’s a little cliché, but it’s so true that trust takes forever to build and seconds to destroy.
Zetsuen Ep. 6 Why is Yoshino keeping a secret plan to get assisted by the military from Mahiro? And why doesn’t Mahiro suspect a thing?
Medaka Box 2 Ep. 4 This season is turning into a tournament anime—something I despise. But the dialogue continues to be sharp and canny.
Medaka Box 2 Ep. 5 I like how the abnormals have absurdly strong abilities, but also possess unfavorable weaknesses that can be exploited.

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

Autumn 2012 Recommendations

1. Psycho-Pass

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a good cyberpunk series and this one comes with a great premise centered on a society managed by a grand computer system that keeps the peace in what is either a utopian or dystopian society depending on your point of view.


Survival thrillers have been prevalent as of late, but this anime shines brighter than most because of its gut-wrenching ferocity that feels real because of how it plunges into the nature of man on the edge.


3. Zetsuen no Tempest

When the two protagonists serve as each other’s foils so well, you’ve got a recipe for some terrific dialogue, which is complimented by fast-paced action.



4. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

It’s fun to escape from reality sometimes, but when your imagination takes over, all sorts of hilarity ensues—especially when someone is reminding you of an embarrassing past you’d rather forget.


5. Little Busters!

Key always makes such wonderful anime.  Between the pleasant soundtrack, kind characters and interesting social quandaries, there’s no shortage of excellence.



6. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

A boy whose generosity knows no bounds and a girl whose upbringing taught her no common sense.  Put them together and let the ensuing misunderstandings lead to a lively and comedic school life.


7. Jormungand: Perfect Order

The second season is still all the awesome action and dark humor of the first with the addition of a power-hungry plot on multiple fronts all centered on Koko, the high-spirited arms dealer.


8. Girls und Panzer

The quirky and colorful cast of this series might have been enough by itself to make a fun story.  But the way it feminizes tank warfare without cracking a smile will give your face an exercise in happiness.


Honorable mentions

Sword Art Online ∙ Medaka Box Abnormal ∙ Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse ∙ Shinsekai Yori

Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2 ∙ Hayate no Gotoku: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Anime of the Week (10/28 – 11/3)

Anime of the Week – Zetsuen no Tempest
It’s not often that the main characters of a story have such naturally divergent personalities that feed each other; making them much more than they would be separately. The great thing that makes them work so well is how Yoshino has no qualms about dealing with Mahiro in a way that others would be too afraid to attempt.                              
October 28 Zetsuen Ep. 4 Mahiro and Yoshino really are a match made in hell. Mahiro’s selfish recklessness is only surpassed by Yoshino’s clever wit.
SAO Ep. 17 I was worried Sugou would be a pathetic, 2D villain at first. But he’s actually got a heart that’s blacker than Kayaba’s.
Little Busters Ep. 4 It would seem this is the beginning of Kamikita’s arc. What information does Kojiro have about her lost brother?
October 29 K Ep. 1 Initial impression – fast action, slow story (4/10)
October 30 Total Eclipse Ep. 17 Eh… too many girls right now… Hopefully things will get back on track soon and there will be more alien killing.
Busou Shinki Ep. 1 Initial impression – could’ve been worse, but not very interesting (4/10)
October 31 OniAi Ep. 1 Initial impression – if you’re looking for a harem anime, stick to Love Hina (3/10)
November 1 Sakurasou Ep. 4 How do you act towards those with great talent? Hope? Fandom? Jealousy? What about when those talented individuals fail?
Code:Breaker Ep. 1 Initial impression – overly simple (4/10)
Seitokai no Ichizon Lv.2 Ep. 0 Initial impression – kindhearted, but harsh women
November 2 Chuunibyou Ep. 5 As an English teacher in Japan, the sad thing about this episode is that it reminded me of the low standards for tests.
Psycho-Pass Ep. 4 Akane needs a new avatar. Even in a world of such clairvoyance, sure enough there are people who try to beat the system.
November 3 Jormungand PO Ep. 4 Too much summary. I get that this is a new season, but we’ve already been plopped deep into heart of the story.
BTOOOM! Ep. 5 Is this where romance starts? I hope not, because this situation is just too messed up for me to believe love could happen.

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