Summer 2011 – Week 4 – Short Thoughts

Interested in some quick opinions each week on the 15 anime I’m currently watching this summer?

I kinda regret not starting this style of posts sooner.  Not only was the first post of this style rather fun and enjoyable but it also gave me the chance to bring up some of my thoughts and feelings about some of the other anime I’m watching and not blogging.  If I had started this style before, I would’ve loved to talk about other shows like Wandering Son, AnoHana, Level E, Tiger & Bunny, and many more.  I had so many thoughts and comments about those shows when they were airing but never really posted them here for people to read and ponder over.  But whatever, that time has passed and I’m onto the summer season.  I’ll just enjoy writing these types of posts and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Here are this week’s short thoughts on the 15 shows I’m watching this summer (series appear in alphabetical order):

Ao no Exorcist – Is it just me or does everyone important use swords except for Yukio?  Every fight seems to be a swordfight unless Yukio has his two pistols handy and is nearby.  They’re more interesting to animate and watch, that’s for sure, but it still seems strange to see someone virtually everyone use one type of weapon while Yukio uses another.  Maybe he’ll use a sword in later episodes, especially if he loses his pistols or they are rendered ineffective against a certain demon.  Seeing Rin trapped in that giant crystal immediately brings back memories of Hans Solo resting frozen in carbonite.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu II – I really miss the days when I played card games with my friends in high school.  We would always get enthusiastically absorbed in our games and try to screw each other over and laugh at their misery.  They were pretty intense but nothing like what Yoshii and Yuuji had to face.  Never really played Bullshit (what they called ‘Doubt’) though, which is a shame.  The talking summons are really cute, especially since they show more emotion now than ever before, but I’m not sure how they affect the education or fighting ability of the students.

Blood-C – I almost decided to blog this anime but, in the eleventh hour, switched to Dantalian no Shoka.  I dodged a bullet here.  The art, animation, and music are all magnificent and demonstrate the masterful work that CLAMP and Production I.G can do when paired together.  But the story is an absolute waste at this point, seemingly repeating the same format four times now.  I guess it just goes to show that if an anime can look gorgeous I’ll watch it.  I’m still unsure which of Saya’s friends will die first but I hope it happens soon.  Should make the series more interesting.

Dantalian no Shoka – Why does the scenery in this anime have to be so beautiful?  All the landscapes are very well done, especially with the effect of lighting and weather.  I wish they’d spend more time outside than surrounded by towering bookcases and dreary rooms.  The urban setting was dazzling, too, and I hope Huey and Dalian spend more time in that nearby serene community with the bookstore.

Hanasaku Iroha – I’ve been waiting for the Nako episode for a long time and was not disappointed.  It’s rare that I enjoy a shy and reserved character like her in an anime like this.  Her thoughtfulness and sincerity are not what won her over for me but they are character traits I like in a character like her.  No, her desire to change and subsequent change are why she’s my second favorite character in Hanasaku.  She bothered me in the first few episodes with her overly shy personality but she worked on it and seemingly overcame is in around the fourth or fifth episode.  She’s not perfect and still wants to change and her continual effort into changing keeps me rooting for her throughout the series.  Finally getting to this episode where she understands herself more and becomes comfortable with herself really won me over.  I wish we had more episodes where Nako was the lead rather than Ohana.  Hoping it’s the same when we get to Minko’s episode.

Ikoku Meiro no Croisée – Yune never once cried when she was lost in the unfamiliar regions of the Gallery.  And after another lecture by Claude about fearing strangers and after a theft from a common street rat, Yune gets lost in a strange land surrounded by strange men.  I would’ve expected a child as young as she to find a safe corner to cry in but Yune is much more resilient than I expected.  She wandered the gallery searching for an acquaintance or a way home and never gave up hope.  And eventually, everything paid off when Claude found her and they both returned safely to the shop.  She’s a real trooper, I tell ya.  Kinda was hoping that when Claude instructed Yune to polish the lamps in the showroom that a genie would pop out of one and then create an even more confusing cultural clash in this anime.

Kamisama Dolls – How has this village and their Dolls remained a secret for so long, especially in this age with the cell phone cameras, the internet, and social media.  Someone is bound to have taken a video, or at the very least a picture, of one of these flying and fighting machines by now, especially since they’re in a dense urban center.  But it seems like no one outside of the village even knows, which is insane since there have been multiple opportunities for outsiders to see these machines.  If Utao doesn’t beat Kirio at the end of this anime, I will be downright shocked.

Mawaru Penguindrum – I’m a little surprised at how little Himari is on screen in this anime.  Well, as Himari rather than the Penguin Hat.  She’s not really involved in the investigation at this point, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I expected her to have more lines and more of a presence in the anime by this point.  Maybe that will change once more characters are introduced and she is connected to the plot in another direct fashion.  Guess we’d also see #3 more often, too.  Kinda wondering what her personality is like since we’ve seen #1 has an uncontrollable panty fetish and #2 is a glutton.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu – What I love about Mayu is that she’s a fun-loving, lazy, and selfish deity most of the time.  Obviously she changes into a more respectable character and cares about her friends when the situation changes but that’s not her default personality.  Seeing her just goof off and play video games every episode instead of working on regaining her powers and returning to heaven is something I think we all can relate to.

Nichijou – It’s always rewarding when one of the gags shown in the opening are shown in as a segment in the anime.  In this episode, we saw Mihoshi (Misato’s younger sister) try to suppress her laugher by closing her eyes, puffing out her cheeks, and letting a small chuckle escape when watching Yukko’s crazy antics.  In the opening, it’s the first of the quick segment that runs through all the characters.  And so that is that.  Always a nice feeling to know where the jokes come from.

No.6 – When I first saw Dogkeeper, I thought ‘Oh, they’re adding a girl to the series’.  After hearing her speak, I said ‘Oh, it’s really a guy?  Wasn’t expecting that’.  Then we heard his backstory and I was a little more than confused.  Turns out that the Dogkeeper is indeed female (from the shoddy research I just did).  But closing my eyes and listening to the voice alone, I would’ve guessed a guy 9 times out of 10.  And with the lack of boobs or a skirt, the appearance would’ve only supported my theory.  But I guess she’s not your typical girl to begin with, so she fits in well with the rejects living beyond the walls of No.6.  I wonder if they’re will be a cat master, bird master, snake master, or elephant master in this series after seeing one for mice and dogs.  Could create a cycle where one can overpower the other like a circuit of Mega Man bosses.

Steins;Gate – How many sleepless nights has Okabe lived through?  It seems he never gets a break, especially with all these time limits he’s given through the various circumstances before him.  Maybe he takes some power naps when no one is looking or is a caffeine-addict or something.  Perhaps by the time he finished reversing Moeka’s D-mail, he’ll become “The Zombie”.  I hope Mayuri can comprehend and appreciate all the things Okabe is doing for her.  I’d be a shame if Mayuri never knew the lengths Okabe went to in order to save her life after watching that catastrophe countless times before.

The iDOLM@STER – Despite having zero Makoto the entire episode, I felt like this will be the best episode of Idolmaster all season.  Why?  Well, it focused on a character who isn’t a run-of-the-mill anime girl stereotype who has realistic and believable problems other than the comedic phobia of everything with a penis and dogs.  Kurisu Chihaya just wants to sing and doesn’t see the whole point of all this fluff and gets offended when the production crew disrespects her and her peers.  There was some real tension when she sternly called out the host on air.  Of course, there was only minimal development on her character (she had the opportunity to learn how to not break down during mid-performance or learning to deal with something you’re not good at) but she began to enjoy herself and others more as the episode went on.  After this episode, I don’t hesitate to put Kurisu Chihaya third in my list of favorite characters behind Makoto and Miki.

Tiger & Bunny – The advertisements in Tiger & Bunny have virtually disappeared now that the series has turned away from the superhero aspect of the series and is focusing on the NEXT and their powers.  It’s strange to think that one of the more imaginative features of this anime, advertisements used like in real life, are now almost entirely absent from the series.  Wondering when we’ll get back to Lunatic’s character.  Probably not anytime soon with Kaede’s new powers and Barnaby wanting to reinvestigate his parent’s murder.  Hopefully we learn more into the research his parents were doing with robotics since that was an interesting episode with Sky High.

Usagi Drop – I wonder how Souichi (the grandfather) was able to keep Rin a secret for six years.  Didn’t anyone is in family stop by unannounced over those six years?  And even if they planned to meet up somewhere, it’s not like he could just dump Rin off somewhere and go visit with his family.  And what about when he would be on the phone and Rin would be crying in the background?  Either Souichi was extremely secretive and a master at manipulating information or his family is either apathetic or stupid.  I hope to see more scenes of Rin living with Souichi since those are both endearing and interesting.

And that’s that for this week.  Coming up soon will the the mid-season reviews when I start grading each show and assigning them to a ranking.  Should be interesting to see where each show ends up in a few weeks.

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  1. #1 by Justin on August 1, 2011 - 9:00 AM

    Actually, little did I realize for Mayu–she can’t return back to the realm of the Gods until her Mother decides to bring her back. I found this out after re-watching it^^

    • #2 by avvesione on August 1, 2011 - 7:56 PM

      Now that’s something I missed. I thought she was sent there as punishment for breaking out of her heaven jail for the final time and needed to work there to ‘earn’ her way back to heaven. Guess I was wrong on the other half of things. Doesn’t seem like her punishment is worse now that she’s on Earth, right?

  2. #3 by tomphile on August 1, 2011 - 10:14 AM

    Usagi Drop’s premise is interesting so I don’t care for the fact that Rin’s existence was an anomaly in and of itself.

    • #4 by avvesione on August 1, 2011 - 7:58 PM

      Yeah, it was just something that popped into my mind (like the topic of all my posts) so I thought I’d write it down. I was originally planning to make that the main topic of my post for the forth episode but scrapped it twice.

      And yeah, as long as the anime is as great as it is, I’m happy. Would rank first if I were to to rank these 15 shows right now.

  3. #5 by Snippett on August 3, 2011 - 6:02 PM

    I have almost similar thoughts with Croisee, Penguindrum and Hanasaku. I almost have similar thoughts as you do with Dantalian but the recent episode disappointed me. I’m not expecting it to be episodical but that’s what’s happening right now. The art and characters are the only reasons why I’m still sticking to it.

    • #6 by avvesione on August 3, 2011 - 7:50 PM

      That’s awesome! You were hoping for a genie to pop out of one of the lamps that Yune was polishing, too? That would’ve been hilarious if they just threw that in there for no reason.

      And yeah, I’m a little surprised that Dantalian no Shoka has been episodic so far but the opening sequence makes it appear there will be a central storyline somewhere in the anime. Hopefully, it starts this week and lasts most of the season.

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