Sunday, July 17, 2011

What a lazy blogger I am. I haven’t been keeping up, but I have a good reason. It’s because I’m an even lazier author. I’ve been trying to edit my next book, and after writing for so long I get a little disinterested. I have plenty of ideas to add, including a competition for who’s the better “Japanese Batman,” I just haven’t written them yet. So sorry about that.
As a result of the Great Earthquake Disaster, the spring season started late and ended even later (I believe it just ended last week as I’m writing this). If you remember I dropped several shows and kept track of a few others. The list managed to narrow itself down even more, as Sekai Ichi almost entirely lost my interest. The spring seasons also proved to be surprisingly long as those that I’ve picked have continued on, so no one gets a biseason (more than twelve) episode pass this time as they all ran longer [Deadman Wonderland has not yet been confirmed as having a second season].

DROPPED: Sekai Ichi
But not  fun enough.
The World’s Greatest First Love is what almost every yaoi fangirl wants in the first few episodes and shear fanservice for the rest. Four episodes in, the main coupling is dropped and a second pair is introduced. By the time I reached the eighth episode and we had returned to the original I found myself no longer enamored by the relationships in the show. So as pretty as everything was it just had no rewatch value for me and by the ninth episode I felt no desire to follow it whatsoever. So sadly The World’s Greatest First Love fell into the oven vents this season.

IN THE FREEZER: Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
Probably one of my favorite skits..."What girl doesn't love butlers?!"

Technically I wouldn’t rank something like Nichijou so low but again it was one of those shows that I ended up watching if I needed something cheerful for before work. Like Azumanga and Lucky Star it has it’s camp factor, but also its supernatural factor. There’s charm in robot matron Nano that is matched only by the professor. Yandere is taken to the extreme in a humorous way via military grade weapons. This is all done to humorous effect and the jokes are very rarely lost albeit they can take a long time to deliver (see the supernatural episode). When the humor finally hits, its on the spot. The animation style also helps to add to the effect, giving a smooth, gentle look. Enjoyable, yes. Rewatchable, certainly. But Nichijou still finds itself at the bottom of a raging hot list.
+Music by hyadain2525 (really, check out his YouTube channel sometime)
+Smooth Animation
+Slice of life humor
-Length to delivery
-Sectioned Episodes
-Jokes don’t always translate well

IN THE OVEN: Hanasaku Iroha
All of them moe!

Iroha was and still is probably the best romance series I’ve seen this season and, quite possibly, all year. Initially I was afraid it might take the yuuri route it had every possibility of doing. Instead it has turned into a sort of unrequited love triangle. All of it is a maturing experience for Ohana and by the time twelve episodes are up she’s become an entirely new person. For what it has aimed to achieve, not an episode has been wasted. Masahiro Ando, as usual, knows what he’s doing.
+Animation Quality
+Voice acting
+Development of characters and relationships
-Ohana angst
-No clear resolution in the future
-Large amount of characters

HEATING UP: Deadman Wonderland
Shiro: Still adorable
Originally, right before I watched the season finale, I gave Deadman Wonderland quite a high score.  Unfortunately, it doen’t quite seem to complete itself or resolve any issues in it’s one season run. The reason it’s still so high is because it was, overall, a pretty good show. The animation quality was great, and though I haven’t read the manga, the plot is certainly one to be desired. It looks more at how people react than at how Ganta does.  If anything there’s a cast of enjoyable characters who all have their own background and their own twists.

+Voice Cast
-Unresolved plot
-Music isn’t great
-Breast enhancements

COMING TO A BOIL: Tiger and Bunny
It would not be an understatement if I said I absolutely love Tiger and Bunny, which is a little odd considering I’m the direct opposite of the demographics. Part of this reason is because I enjoy super hero shows so much. They’re just so fantastic in their telling. It was a little mean to call it out on combining mech anime, because in the end it pulled out all the same things you’d expect there to be. The first two episodes did little to explain how NEXT (those with superpowers) work, so I could only presume the heroes had their powers when in their power suits. Au contraire, NEXT are working all the time.  The main focus is not just on Batman like Bunny, but almost every hero gets his or her own back story to the point that you can understand where the whole team is coming from. There are some moral issues that are brought up later in the season [ep 1-12], but they are handled with the same reasoning any good American comic book would. But there’s the difference: it’s not an American comic book, it’s a Japanese anime and it disguises itself all too well.
+In show demographics
-Goofy animation at times
-Overall soundtrack

GOURMET MEAL: [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
Actually the Engrish is pretty good...
The winner this season is [C], for its ability to combine shonen with economics.  There are battles, yes, but they are always well composed and rather fast. There are few episodes in which you might consider them to be the focus. Rather, the idea of consequence lies heavily on the protagonist the whole time. There is the idea that he can change the world for the better, and often times does by breaking the unwritten set of rules. He remains clueless about the actual rules up until the end of the series. Money, as we know, is an important part of every society and this series plays up all the what-ifs that could come with it.
+Alice in Wonderland
+ Economics made shonen
- Engrish
-Loss of ‘future’

I won't be doing on of these for the summer simply because...they burn me out! There also aren't too many things I'm looking forward to in the summer season. My suggestions (what I might dabble in when I need something to watch):
*No. 6
*Usagi Drop
*Ikoku Meiro no Croise
*Kami-sama no Memo-cho

For those who want something completely weird (Panty and Stocking plot weird) check out Many Hiken-cho. It's an alternate Edo period. Where breast size equates power. No kidding.

Things to look forward to (I mean it this time!):
Wrap-up of Princess Tutu
Japanese Batman: Who deserves the title more?
More transposed lyrics