Tuesday, March 07, 2006

In the Wake of the Week - RePure

It's been a while since I did a post with just random anime thoughts, so might as well post one now:

* Fate/Stay Night (eps 8 and 9) - Episode 8 was possibly my favorite so far, I'm kind of surprised Sakura had the guts to stand up to Rin. As a tsundere fan, Rin is definitely my favorite character, so I'm glad to see she got a lot of screentime in ep 8 and is shacking up with Shirou, even though she didn't get much time in the spotlight in ep 9. Episode 9 had more talking than fight scenes, which isn't always a bad thing--although for being the allegedly strongest servant, Saber seems to be not doing so well in battle, not that I could kick Assassin's ass or anything. I guess since Shirou's kind of a dame-dame master who can't send her mana it's probably his fault she gets smacked down.

* Kage Kara Mamoru (eps 6 and 7) - Not a bad two episodes, in episode 6 the last cast member of Mamoru's harem arrives, Hotaru, and in the process of her mission (defeating him to get back at his clan for something Yamame did) she falls for him. She's also the first to get a kiss, although it's the unconscious CPR-type variety. Hotaru should definitely go into health care and ditch the ninja thing. Episode 7 was about Yuuna and Mamoru's childhood together, and it was pretty well done, showing how although at first Mamoru thought looking after Yuuna was a chore (and it looked like it was) after she's kidnapped he realizes there were a lot of good times with her too, and rather than just protecting her because of the Kagemori family code, now he WANTS to protect her. The smackdown between all the girls of Mamoru's harem at the end was funny--Mamoru may be a kickass ninja, but he's lacking common sense not to see all the girls have a crush on him after that scene. Although I wish Yuuna's regular character design looked more like chibi-Yuuna does in episode 7--not the loli part, but her eyes. Something about Yuuna's eyes just look off normally, like she's half-asleep or something, but in ep 7 chibi-Yuuna didn't have that problem. Maybe high school Yuuna is just tired from staying up all night thinking up new lyrics for the Banana song.

* Karin (eps 12-15): The only way I convinced myself to watch Karin again was to promise I would fast-forward through every scene Weiner/Winner appeared in. And sure enough, with him gone, this series is a lot more entertaining for me (apologies to Winner-kun's fans). These episodes had some good stories to make up for the Weiner-filler-glut earlier--Karin finally realizes she likes Usui-kun, Ren goes after Fumio (Usui-kun's mom), and Maki continues to have the worst taste in men ever. Elda's sudden introduction in ep 15 seems to be screaming "the writers are out of ideas so let's throw another character in" but that's a tried and true method for a reason, and it may make for an interesting story arc. Fumio really needs to get a job, any job, at an all-girls school that only hires women. Sure, the school would probably go all Strawberry Panic on her, but I'm guessing it'd be better than every other job she's had, where she's like a sexual harassment magnet. That or she needs to find a good lawyer--in the US, she could file enough wrongful termination lawsuits to be on Easy Street for the rest of her life.

* Magikano (ep 7): Not quite as funny as episode 6, but ep 7 still had its moments, as what looks like the last main cast member, Rika, shows up. This continues to be the best of the insane-comedy-little-plot genre this season for me. Although nothing will ever be quite as funny as Pani Poni Dash, Magikano's a fun show to watch.

* Negima (manga through chapter 127): Thank GOD the martial arts tournament is over. There's three volumes you couldn't sell me for a nickel--I've already deleted those chapters off my hard drive, because I'd rather have a trivial amount more disk space than ever re-read them. Fortunately, volume 14 is pretty good, although I wish we got more backstory on Ako than we did. Sure, she's rabu-rabu for Negi (well, older Negi) now but that's not unusual--but where did the scar come from? Was she actually in Negi's village when it was attacked, or is there a more conventional reason? Akamatsu can do drama really well occasionally (just read the chapters where Negi shows Asuna how he met his father) but he doesn't do it nearly often enough. I also wonder how Akamatsu will end this--Love Hina ended with a wedding, but will Negima? I guess at least the 30 girls who don't get to be Negi's girlfriend will have lots of other shoulders to cry on if he does ever pick just one. End of chapter 127 has a good cliffhanger, good to see the Nodoka-Yue-Negi triangle finally come out into the open as Nodoka finds out Yue likes Negi too. Not that this should shock Nodoka...all her other classmates like him, after all...

* Rec (eps 3 and 4): Aka-chan kawaii! Seriously, they should put her picture next to moe in Wikipedia. Umai-ki! It's a stupid looking mascot but Aka can make even Nekoki cute....kind of. The weird transitions for what I'm assuming are commercial breaks are the only annoying thing about this show, that and I kind of wish it was full-length vs short episodes.

* Shinigami no Ballad (ep 1) - Very good first episode. It felt a lot like Zettai Shonen (it had some of the same staff) in terms of the camera work, character designs, and pacing, which I'm sure makes it too slow-paced for some, but I really liked it. Shinibara is six one-shot episodes, and from the ED credits it looks like there's a boy and a girl in each one--although if every episode is a different couple broken up by one or the other dying, this is going to get really old by episode six. Surprisingly little background on Momo the shinigami in ep 1, even though she's the main character she doesn't have more than a few lines, and they're all at the end. Chiwa Saitou as Mai was something I wasn't sure would work (she usually plays more bratty roles) but I give her credit, she did a solid job.

* Tactical Roar (ep 1): Watching this just reaffirmed how much I hate CG. Maybe it's because I grew up when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and CGA was the most kick-ass graphics could get, but I'm a firm believer that CG belongs in video games and not anime. It's just jarring as hell to go from 2D animation to 3D ships that look...well, like they were rendered on my '97-vintage Playstation. Stratos 4, which Tactical Roar is often compared to, had the CG action scenes too, but Tactical Roar's seem to be either more plentiful or worse. I might give it another episode, just because I'm curious why the lead's osanajimi seems to be ignoring him.

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