Thursday, March 23, 2006
In the Wake of the Week ~ End of Winter Edition
This week's random thoughts on anime:
- Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (not even out yet; airs starting April 3rd) - This is the show I'm looking forward to the most for spring--which is kind of like the Sports Illustrated curse, because invariably the show I look forward to the most isn't the best and some other show ends up being #1. But the premise is interesting, what little I can find of it on The Internet--it's about a girl who has the power to change the world to be the way she wants it to be, although she doesn't realize this herself, and the guy who gets dragged along and probably has to clean up the mess. It's animated by Kyoto Animation, and since they did a great job with Air and Inu Yasha, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with this.
- Fate/Stay Night (through ep 11) - This wasn't something I thought would be all that good, but I've been enjoying it--the harem-like scenes are hilarious, and the fight scenes are pretty good too. Shirou owns your average harem lead, I can't picture him pulling a Tenchi and whining about how he can't possibly choose one of the girls because that would require making a decision and he might, like, hurt someone's feelings or something. Shirou would so kick Tenchi or Keiichi's asses, but that's another rant. I remember an English teacher long ago saying that completely evil characters were a sign of bad writing because in real life bad guys are more complex than that, and that applies to Shinji's character to some extent. The guy doesn't care about killing everyone in school and kicks Fuji-nee in the face when she asks for help? Whatever death he gets in the end, it can't be painful enough.
- Magikano (through ep 10) - Damn, this show is funny. I don't think I've ever seen a series use facefaults and SD better than this does. The evil laughter in the background when Ayumi is scheming is just brilliant. Maika turning into a monster and nearly leveling the house when she catches Ayumi in a compromising position with Haruo--also brilliant. This is a series I'll be genuinely sad when it's over--the world can always use more comedies, especially with memory-erasing giant hammers.
- Kage Kara Mamoru (through ep 9) - I really wish this had a bigger animation budget, but it's still funny. Ep 9 goes the furthest out there yet, with aliens arriving and abducting Yuuna. Aliens seem a little out of place in a show about ninjas, but it's all good. Based on an analysis of Yuuna, you'd think the aliens would see humans as a bunch of pushovers with a collective IQ well below room temperature. Only a few episodes left--I hope they give us the Yuuna x Mamoru ending they've been telegraphing, and don't just leave it open ended.
- Karin (ep 17) - So they introduce Elda, give her a really interesting backstory, she kicks the story up a notch, and now BAM she's gone. Next week we'll probably be back to Weiner-kun sending the image of gaijin in Japan back 100 years. If Weiner is Al's descendant, which is kind of implied by Elda's reaction to his last name, Al's got to be rolling over in his grave.
- Rec (through ep 6) - Awesome. Aka is incredibly kawaii, and the story about her chasing her dream job, something few adults get to do, is pretty cool too. The only thing I hate is the short length and the weird scene transitions (where I'm assuming they're running ads). This deserves a lot more than nine half-length episodes, let's hope Aka-chan's popular enough we get to see a full-length series out of this.
- Shinibara (Shinigami no Ballad) (through ep 3) - Episode 1 was depressing, but good--episodes 2 and 3 were even better though. I thought for sure this was going to be tragic/untimely-death-an-episode, but I'm relieved to see it's more than that. Hell, I just re-watched episode 10 of Kanon and I don't need to go through more Kleenex. Episode 3 was probably my favorite so far, despite her name Tomato is teramoe, and the story for the episode was pretty good too. The countryside really gave it that Zettai Shonen-like feeling. Well, that and all the camera shots from the knee down.
- Burn Up Scramble (through ep 8) - I know, why am I watching a series like this, with sorry-ass animation that looks like it was drawn by a five year old. I'm not sure--this is really pretty awful. I'm not saying it's as bad as some of the gems of US network television (at least there's no laugh track), but watching this I couldn't help but thinking how You're Under Arrest and Dirty Pair did this so much better. Burn Up Scramble is about female cops in the near future with gravity defying breasts and a penchant for mayhem, and while it's supposed to be funny, a lot of it just falls flat for me. Having said that the scene where Maya, the somewhat gothic sniper on the team, is explaining how all her guns have names and no one else is allowed to touch them was kind of funny.