Kanon remake by Kyoto Animation:
At first I thought this was an early April Fool's joke but no, it's real and it's coming out this fall. The original Kanon anime had some poor character designs and the visuals weren't stellar but it did a great job with the story and the atmosphere. Ayu's arc in Kanon was really well done, and Mai and Makoto's arcs were emotional too. Air, on the other hand, was really well done for the main characters' arcs but the side characters stories were so rushed I can't remember their names. Since I loved the original Kanon it's going to be hard to top but if anyone can do it Kyoto Animation can.
I'm really hoping for a 24-26 episode series--Canvas 2, Shuffle, and Da Capo all got that length so I think Kanon deserves the same treatment. If it's 24 episodes, some of the characters who didn't get a lot of screentime in the original Kanon could really get a chance to shine and it wouldn't feel rushed. If the remake is only 13 episodes, though, I think it'll be hard to improve on the original, other than visually.
Finally got this through Netflix--as expected from Kyoto Animation the visuals for this are awesome, and the character designs aren't bad either, even if Munto looks like he needs to eat a cheeseburger or something. Kings are supposed to be fat like Henry VIII, not anorexic. Munto was an interesting story, although the whole thing with Suzume and Kazuya getting "married" by swimming across a river together kind of made me go WTF. The end seemed anticlimactic, but I think given how short (50 minutes) this was, they just got a little ambitious with the amount of story they were trying to cram into that timeframe. Munto 2 comes out on R1 DVD in a couple weeks, and it's longer this time, so I'm looking forward to seeing where they go from here.
I dropped this after episode 6 originally, but I picked it back up now that I read spoilers for the twist at the end. This isn't going to dethrone Da Capo or Kanon as what I'd call the best game-to-anime conversions, but it's entertaining, especially since now I know the one I'm rooting for "wins" ^_^
Pretty Cure Splash Star:
I was never a huge fan of the original Pretty Cure--it does have some innovative additions to the genre but the monster-of-the-week format, the exact same signature attack beating the bad guys every single time, and the merchandising tie-ins just were a little too much for me to watch this week in and week out. Splash Star is...well, almost exactly the same as the original, no better and no worse so far. They decided to change the setting and the characters, but essentially retell the same story, a decision that I'm sure pissed off a lot of Precure fans. Splash Star's characters are slightly different but they look enough like the original heroines to make me wonder if the character designer has any creativity at all. They could have at least given the two leads different hair color than their predecessors. The bad guy looks like a walking piece of asparagus, but the bad guys in the original were pretty comical and useless too.
Someday I'll find a mahou shoujo series that stacks up well against Cardcaptor Sakura, where Sakura actually had to think about what attack to use, but Splash Star isn't it. Having said that, it's still entertaining and I'm glad someone's subbing it, since this is the kind of series that usually gets unsubbed or dropped after a few episodes.
Shinibara (Shinigami no Ballad):
Episode 4 was another good, self-contained story, and we got to see a little more interplay between Momo and Daniel, who haven't gotten as much screentime overall as I would have expected at first. This continues to be a fun series to watch, the pacing and atmosphere really showing it's by the team that did Zettai Shonen. Plus this has motivated me to try to make french toast, we have vanilla extract in the kitchen and from past experience anything with vanilla added to it is good (except beer).