Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Anime is like Falling Sakura Petals and Stuff

One of the great things about anime, especially for people with short attention spans like me, is that you never have to wait long for something new. There are very few anime series that get more than two cours (seasons), except for the ones that run on for eons like Detective Conan, and every three months you can look forward to a new crop of anime. The short length of most anime also helps lend itself to providing good pacing and closure--Kanon didn't have to pad its run with filler episodes, and end each season on a cliffhanger, because from the beginning everyone's storylines were prepared to be tied up perfectly in 24 episodes. Of course, the bad part of anime being shorter than your average TV show is that every spring and fall, you have to say goodbye to practically all of your favorite series, most of which will never return to the air.

Here's a few random thoughts on what I'm watching:

Seto no Hanayome - My favorite series right now, this consistently has the ability to make me crack up like an idiot on laughing gas. It's true that it's more batshit comedy and less romance than the first couple episodes may have led some to believe, but it's hilarious batshit comedy. I was a little worried early on that the SD expressions and characters delivering their lines with a yell would get old, but it hasn't yet. Impressively for a two cours series, the whole cast manages to get their time in the limelight. The dialogue, characters, sound effects, everything, are all in perfect harmony, designed to make you spew whatever you're drinking out your nose. This will be hard to top for a while, when it comes to comedy.

Lucky Star - As I mentioned last post, this was another of my favorite series, and ended on a solid note. Not all the time laugh out loud funny, at least not as much as Seto no Hanayome, but still a good series to bring a smile to your face. I'll probably go into Dororo's Trauma Switch mode when I finally realize this is over, but for now I'm re-watching it.

Potemayo - I don't think I can even describe this without sounding insane, and after the first episode I was wondering what the hell I was watching, but it's turned out to be one of the series I really look forward to each week. The whole thing with the plant growing on Potemayo's head...I can't even imagine what the last episode will be like. Another example of a very, very memorable cast. MUTAAAN!

Nagasarete Airantou - Even though the Ikuto nosebleed routine gets a little old, and the animation isn't stellar all the time, the characters are fun enough to watch I'll miss this when it's over too. Not as laugh out loud funny as Seto no Hanayome, but Machi and Ayane in particular are great.

Hayate no Gotoku - I loved the manga but the anime's been uneven--some episodes I really like and some just kind of fall flat. It's running for a full four cours though, so there's 26 more episodes to go to give Hinagiku some more screentime. I just wish they'd put in more references to other things that I actually get...

Kaze no Stigma - I almost didn't watch this at all this season, didn't pick it up until the first seven episodes had already been subbed, but it's been addictive. Ayano finally wore something other than her school uniform almost a dozen episodes in, and while the animation's so-so, the plot and characters are interesting. I really like how they made the love triangle different from what you're expect--it's really between Ayano, Kazuma, and Tsuo Rin, and Tsuo Rin is dead, making it a choice between past and present. Kazuma's a badass, Ayano is a classic tsundere, Ren can even be cool when he's not getting kidnapped and/or yelling 'onii-sannn!', and while the whole game setup for the ending is a little weird, I still loved ep 23 and am looking forward to the ending.

Nanatsuiro Drops - This is the kind of series I normally would like, and I was looking forward to it before the season started, but Sumomo just killed it for me. It's not just her voice, it's the fact she finds something to cry about every episode. I was hoping for something like Cardcaptor Sakura, but Sakura's more mature than Sumomo and would kick her ass in a fight, even though Sakura's at least four years younger.

To get ready for Shana II in October, I'm also rewatching the first season of Shakugan no Shana--I'll probably be posting a review over at Otaku Community Blog soon. It's a great time to be an anime fan with D.C. II, Shana II, and a ton more new series coming out this fall.

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