Some random thoughts for a Monday morning:
* Doremi-Keroro has to have set some kind of fansubbing speed record--they've cranked out 32 episodes in just three months, and in the time it took me to type this post, they'll probably have five more episodes released. I'm considering giving my two weeks' notice at work because that's the only way I can possibly keep up and watch it all. Keroro is just anime gold--I love the manga, and this was the series I was looking forward to the most when it first started airing in '04. When it first aired, someone subbed just the introduction, and I must have watched that fifty times just waiting for the entire first episode to come out subbed. Out of the last dozen episodes, I loved episode 31 (where Keroro buys a defective airbike and Natsumi has to go find him), and especially episode 38. If you aren't familiar with the characters, particularly Natsumi and Giroro, episode 38 might not be as funny, but when Giroro gave her the password I was dying laughing--I'm lucky my wife didn't have me hauled off to a mental institution. I vaguely remember reading a story in high school English about a solider at the gallows during the Civil War who's about to be hung, but he escapes, overcomes countless obstacles making his way home, he's about to run into his wife's arms--and then he suddenly dies, his whole escape just a dream in the instant before his neck snapped. My greatest fear is kind of like that--that I'll wake up tomorrow and Doremi will never have picked up Keroro, and I'll still be waiting in vain for episode 9 to be subbed. I sincerely hope Haruhi grants long life and prosperity to everyone at Doremi-Keroro working on this.
* Speaking of Haruhi, I haven't blogged about it much lately (since it wasn't exactly underreported on by much better blogs than this one), but this was definitely my favorite series last season. The episodes airing out of order annoyed me a little, but Kyoani's gorgeous animation, the plot, and the characters all kept me hitting 'refresh' waiting for the next episode's torrent to appear. I'll be surprised if it doesn't end up my favorite series of the year, although if Kyoto Animation can strike gold again, Kanon may give Haruhi a run for its money. Haruhi had some of the best characters I've seen in a while, some good character development (even with the skipping around), and now I'm looking forward to re-watching it in chronological order. Although I'll have to squeeze it in between all the new Keroro episodes...
* I watched the first episode of Chokotto Sister raw--after reading the first 30 chapters of the manga it was easy enough to at least generally follow what was going on. The premise is definitely unique: Santa shows up on an airbike (I immediately thought of Benten from UY) and drops off the main character's little sister, who he'd wished for back when his mom had a miscarriage that prevented her from being born. The manga's a good mix of comedy, romance/drama, and fanservice, with an interesting cast of characters, and the anime seems pretty true to the manga so far. Yes, the manga takes the fanservice into "probably never going to be licensed in the US" territory, but it's toned down for the anime. I was half expecting when I downloaded the manga that this was going to go down the incest or the Asakura Nemu path, but it doesn't seem to be going that way at all. And the OP is addictive enough I have it on endless loop as I'm writing this.
* Summer Season: So far, keeping with my tradition of avoiding "serious" shows (like NHK) and sticking with romance/comedy, it looks like the winners are:
- Zero no Tsukaima: This reminds me a lot of Shakugan no Shana, not just because Louise and Saito have the same seiyuu as Shana and Yuuji (remember, you heard it here 47th). The relationship between Louise and Saito is similar as well--Louise just sees him as a servant at first, even being nonchalant about changing in front of him, but my guess is after he kicked Guiche's upper-class ass in episode 2 that's likely to change. It seems like their relationship is developing much faster than Shana-Yuuji, although from the preview for episode 3 it looks like Louise is going to be more tsun-tsun than dere-dere. The Harry Potter meets Versailles world the series is set in is interesting, and the animation quality is great so far. Although since I'm re-watching Okusama wa Mahou Shoujo I know all too well that JC Staff is capable of throwing their animation quality off a cliff at times--hopefully that won't happen to Tsukaima.
- Akazukin: I loved the OVA that came out a while back, and it's good to see this getting a TV series. I really like the character designs, they kind of remind me of Snow Fairy Sugar, and I'm curious how the Ringo-Shingo-Akazukin triangle will play out. Although as someone else mentioned, it's kind of hard not to hear Nanoha when Akazukin talks.
- Chokotto Sister: Hopefully this gets subbed, definitely looking forward to it based on the raw and what I've read of the manga.
On the bubble where I might drop them depending how they go are:
- Tsuyokiss: Not a bad first episode, focusing on Sunao instead of the male lead is kind of a nice change. Not sure if that'll last though, or if we're going to go into generic harem mode soon. For some reason I really don't like the character designs I've seen from the game, but the anime character designs aren't bad at all.
- Kanban Musume: This isn't too bad through the first two episodes, but I could see it getting old depending where they go from here. So far it's the "Miki Kicks the Crap Out of Everyone Except Her Mom" show, which is funny, but I can't imagine they'll keep it up for the whole run.