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Monthly Reflections – June 2010

July 1, 2010

Since I watch a tonne more than I would ever have time to blog, I thought it may be more useful to have a monthly summary. Originally I was going to do this weekly, but since I generally follow the guts of 20-25 shows, it wouldn’t really be feasible to do this every week. Anyway for handiness sake, I’ll split the post into current season and long running shows.

Current Season Shows

Angel Beats!

Piss poor month for Angel Beats! capped off by a pretty terrible finale IMO.  The show completely went into a nosedive about the midpoint (and just after I claimed it was my #1 show of the season! /facepalm), had a brief moment of brilliance with ep10 and then decided to do everything I hate about Key series in the final few episode.  I am disappoint.  Angel Beats! was ultimately over ambitious – Maeda Jun and PA Works just wanted to do too many things in too short a time and ultimately didn’t do the concept justice.  I enjoyed the switching mood of drama and comedy, and the quirkiness of the SSS members – but the plot just didn’t do the characters justice.  An original series designed for TV shouldnt have had the awful pacing issues Angel Beats! was plagued with – still I really enjoyed half the series so gave it 3.5/5 overall!


Arakawa Under the Bridge

This month was mostly given over to dealing with the main plot of Arakawa – Ric’s ongoing battle with his Dad and the Residents banding together to attempt to save their homes under the Bridge.  Of course there was still the usual amount of randomness and fun that I’ve come to expect from Arakawa.  Its been a fantastic month and a very solid end to this series – the announcement of a 2nd series was just the icing on the cake!  Arakawa has become a firm favourite, and with many more residents yet to be properly introduced, there seems to be plenty of life left in the show.  The real thing that kept me glued to the show though, was Nino and Ric’s growth as characters – which was something I didn’t really expect from a gag series.  Arakawa is a gem of a show – 4.5/5 easy.


B Gata H Kei

B Gata H Kei picked up again this month and managed a pretty solid finale.  Yamada finally got over herself to some extent and Kosuda grew a pair and actually made some advances on her!  The side characters stole the show though – the perverted voyeur side of Kanejou in particular made me giggle.  At the end of the day though, I think B Gata H Kei would have been better off being a short OVA series – 6 episodes max, as the middle episodes just dragged as the same jokes were reused and recycled over and over again.  I’m glad the show ended well though, but still those middle eps were horrendously dull so I can only give the show 3/5 for at least trying something different with its ecchi fanservice and caring about the script.

Giant Killing

Well this month has mainly consisted of a single match!  Normally I whine about a single game being spread over so many episodes, but such is not the case with Giant Killing.  I’m really impressed by how they managed to show so many different perspectives over the course of the match – the supporters, the players, the opposition, the management and the media; they all got some time to shine this month.  The three Brazilian players were great fun to watch, and Tsubaki really came on leaps and bounds over the course of the match.  Even Kuroda became a bit more bearable as he demonstrated real skills rather than just being a mouthpiece.  I can’t belive how much I’m enjoying this show – just hope they keep the Vuvuzelas out of it!


Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan

Urgh.  This show is sooooo boring!!  Thank god it’s over (although I know for a fact I’ll end up watching the 2nd season, I like to punish myself like that).  The month, nothing happened for the most part and then suddenly – PLOT! in the final episode nicely setting up for a continuation.  I hate it when shows do that!  I knew that this show was only going to be good for the eyecandy, sometimes I hate it when I’m right.  I still can’t really tell the characters apart after 12 episodes and at this point I don’t really care, it’s not like they have any personalities or depth to speak of!  I think I’m being generous by giving it 2.5/5.


The House of Five Leaves (Sarai-ya Goyou)

Really interesting month for House of Five Leaves as more and more information about Yaichi’s past emerges, and Masa becomes more assertive.  Its been a gradual progression, but now Masa is a fully fledged member of the group and taking a much more active role.  It’s amazing to see how much Masa affected the other members of the group, its been such a slow change that you don’t really notice it; but looking back you can appreciate just how much the characters have developed over the run.  Really looking forward to the finale of this series – its got a charm that’s hard to pin down, but I am completely sucked into this series.


Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou

Ah what a random month and ending to Ichiban Daimaou!  This series was just a riot from beginning to end – absolutely nothing made any sense and by god did I not care!  In all seriousness the shows finale was like the product of some drug addled mind, a bunch cards with common plot threads, a blindfold and a pin.  Things were just fired in for the craic and the Rule of Cool reigned supreme.  Thankfully the sheer force of personality of Akuto and the other characters saved the show from utter disaster – nothing made sense, but I could forgive that because I had fun watching the show.  A well deserved 3.5/5 for entertainment value!


Kaichou wa Maid-sama

We’re stuck in a rut with Maid-sama.  It’s not really improved in the past month, although trying to make Yukimura into a Trap and the general antics of the Idiot Trio did make me giggle.  Still doesn’t distract from the fact there is very little substance or development in this show.  The characters are still flat as a pancake and havent really changed much from the 1st fecking episode!  Why this show is getting 2 cours I don’t know – Angel Beats! or Working! would have been more deserving of that extra cour.  Maid-sama is going to have to prove its worth next month – I won’t drop it (tis way too late for that), but I may stack the episodes and marathon it instead.


K-ON!!

I’ll admit that I liked one episode this month (don’t die of shock), mainly because it was all about Sawa-chan rather than the girls.  Clearly Sawa-chan’s K-on club would have made for much more interesting viewing that Yui & co – how about a prequel KyoAni? …..actually scratch that more K-ON! may just push me over the edge (the edge of what, I don’t know).  Other than the Sawa-chan episode, the rest of the month washed over me and I can’t remember what happened (except for last episode which was a music festival and mildly interesting due once again to Sawa-chan).  How am I going to last another cour of this!?


Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin

Ah Rainbow.  Just when I think you’ve reached a peak of OTT-ness and cheese you one-up yourself!  Now that the boys are out of prison you’d think the DORAMA and darkness would lift a bit – not the case this month.  Episodes 11 & 12 were pretty damn tense and had me on the edge of my seat a few times.  Rainbow is most definitely flawed – it would have been a masterpiece if they had held back on the over acting a bit; but even with its flaws it’s a very good series.  Looking forward to seeing how things pan out.


Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru (UraBoku)

Lulz. So much bishie angst this month as Hotsuma and Shusei’s backstories come to the forefront and the Opast’s under Reiga make their move on the Zweilt guardians.  I was almost applauding the series for killing off a character, only to have him miraculously survive the following week – the big bad fails at killing someone defenseless from a point-blank range – things don’t bode well for the final confrontation!  Ah well, as I’ve said before, I’m not watching this series for the plot – I’m watching for the bishie angst, cheesy dialogue and great cast – the series really delivers on those! 😆


Working!

Ah Working!  its been a good month for Wagnaria as we were treated to the emergence of a fabulous new Trap – Kotori-chan!  To think I completely panned this series when it first aired – dropping it like a hot potato!  Thankfully I gave in to curiosity once I heard good things and picked it up again, as Working! turned out to be a pretty solid little comedy series and I’d quite happily sit though a sequel.  I found I enjoyed episodes focused on Souta’s family or the side characters like Souma and Yamada, much more than the Inari episodes – Inari was the only character I didn’t really like at all.  Still despite the fact she was the central focus of the majority of the show, I still enjoyed Working! a lot – a solid 3.5/5.


Youjo-Han Shinwa Taikei (The Tatami Galaxy)

Thank god I stuck with this series.  Last month I was lamenting how difficult it was to keep up with, but this month I shall be singing its praises from the rooftops!  Episode 10 in particular, was just brilliant – but its only brilliant because we’ve had the previous 9 repetitions to get a grip on Watashi’s character and the other people that surround him.  This series has been so carefully and cleverly plotted that its only really apparent now at the end of its run – really looking forward to the finale to see if Watashi mans up and takes charge of his life.  Tatami Galaxy was well worth the effort (the subs get much easier to keep up with as the series goes on – it’s never as full on as the 1st episode again thankfully) and I’d highly recommend it.


Ongoing Series

Bleach

This month went back to the Captain Vs Espada fights in the Real World, and was interesting enough.  The bad thing about being up to date with the manga is that the anime looses all its suspense – I kind of just want them to get things over with!  The only fight I’m really interested in is Staark Vs Kyoraku since they’re both cool characters, but this month was really mostly Harribel Vs Hitsugaya and SoiFon Vs Baraggan, which I thought were pretty boring fights in the manga anyway.  Ah well looking forward to more of the Starrk Vs Kyouraku fight next week at least.


Dragonball Kai

So this month sees the start of the Android Saga proper.  Highlight of the month has to be the arrival of Super Vegeta and his galaxy sized ego – Vegeta’s high and mighty attitude never fails to make me grin – he’s always been my favourite character in all of Dragonball.  This months episodes were all about Androids #19 & #20 and the revelation that history has changed from what Future! Trunks first told the Z Warriors.  Really looking forward to next month and the activation of the proper Androids #17 & #18!

Durarara!!

And so Drrr!! reaches its finale.  It’s not the most exciting of endings, rather this entire Yellow Scarves arc felt like character development between arcs rather than a proper high tension finale to one of the most popular series in recent seasons!  This month, while not as slow as last month, wasn’t as interesting as it should have been, mainly because things were just dragged on for way too long and settled way too neatly in the end.  The final episode wraps everything up in a nice bow, but we’re still left completely open-ended with regards to Izaya’s plans, Shingen and Celty’s head.  So many side characters never got their chance to shine and too much time was spent on angsty teenagers.  Still I adored Drrr!! and enjoyed blogging it – its slow ending scuppered its 5/5 score so I ended up giving it 4.5/5 for entertainment value and some really memorable characters.  Fingers crossed for a 2nd series!

Fairy Tail

Surprisingly they wrapped up Loki’s story in just one episode!  I thought they’d stretch it to two since it was a pretty big deal for both Loki and Lucy’s characters.  But meh, suppose they were itching to get into the Tower of Paradise arc that the OP has been spoiling for weeks!  This is a pretty huge arc, so I’m hoping the anime does it justice – seems to be going OK so far, but it’s really just backstory and introductions at this point.  This arc is really all about Erza, and this month basically gives her entire backstory.  I’m quite looking forward to getting to the battles in this arc – they’re pretty good!


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

My god what a month!  FMA is basically finished now – the final episode is just closure on the characters.  I am so pleased with this series – it really was superbly done!  This month was just crammed full of amazing moments and it’s really difficult to pick highlights.  What I love about the climax of FMA is that it isn’t all about the action and brute force – it’s about the characters and how they overcome the odds through sheer guts, intelligence and bonds of friendship.  The end of episode 63 had me all teary regardless of the fact I knew exactly what was going to happen.  I can’t praise this show enough, I just love it to bits and will be utterly broken-hearted when it’s all over next week.


Hetalia Axis Powers

June was a great month for Hetalia – I don’t think there was a single episode that didn’t have at least one good gag!  Hetalia is always at its best when its taking the piss out of countries – whether its France’s love of striking, Japan’s touristy tendencies or England’s history of joining in wars just to beat up France.  Of course the month was stolen by Prussia’s seizing of Austria’s vital regions, as Hetalia finally covers the Austrian Succession arc.  Prussia doesn’t have to do much to make me love him – he just needs to turn up in all his egotistical glory and spout a few overconfident lines!  Hungary also showed her yandere tendencies and adoration of Austria’s ‘Vital Regions’ – which always makes me giggle.  Hope Hetalia can keep these good episodes up next month!


Katanagatari

I quite liked June’s Katanagatari – it had some great development for Shichika.  However it definitely wasnt the best installment of this series, mainly due to the presence of that superpowered loli!  I also enjoyed the change in scenery to that snowy island and the fact Shichika showed himself to be only human afterall by succumbing to the cold.  However I’m much more interested in July’s episode – the preview was extremely interesting, but after the trolling of ep4 I’m taking everything Katanagatari says with a pinch of salt – they usually find some way to turn things on their head!


Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn!

Well this month was mostly dedicated to the end of Primo Family Trials, recap and getting back to the main plot.  As suspected they dragged the Mist guardian trial on a bit longer than they should have, but at least Mukuro got a bit of screentime! I mostly skipped over the recap episode, but episode 190 got straight back into the action with the Real Six Funeral Wreaths so I’m hoping next month will be  a bit more exciting.


Naruto Shippuuden

So this month was entirely given over to the clash of Pain and Sage-mode Naruto – and it was pretty well done!  Obviously quite a bit of the budget was set aside for this fight as it was a proper titanic clash especially with Naruto’s toad summons going toe-to-toe with Pain’s weird chimera summons.  Hinata’s moment in the spotlight was something that was either going to be cheesy or touching – thankfully it came out as pretty touching as at least Hinata attempts to do something unlike Naruto’s pink-haired teammate!  Next month will see the conclusion of the battle against Pain, but only after a major info-dump soul-searching moment, which I really hope is well done since I enjoyed it in the manga.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2010 1:44 am

    You follow a lot of shows! I don’t have the brain capacity to know or care about that many characters. Which is the perfect transition to Angel Beats.

    AB! What a piece of work. When some characters become unnecessary, they just disappear in between episodes and everyone is cool with that. If they feel like it, they can create new rules like people don’t need all their internal organs to live in this world. Or whatever. Truly this was the most random jumble of stuff I have seen since Excel Saga.

    There several interesting shows that wrapped up this month, but…
    House of Five Leaves: my hands down favorite of the season.

    • July 2, 2010 7:02 pm

      I’m easily bored and like a lot of variety. Also have a few older shows (SDF Macross, YuYu Hakushou, One Piece) on the go for slow days ^_^

      Angel Beats was an entertaining mess for the most part, but that ending was complete rubbish with too many elements just rammed in at the last second for no other reason than to make the viewer cry. I’m a sentimental sap, but Angel Beats completely left me cold (except for ep10 – that was well done).

      Just watched the House of Five Leaves finale – good end to a very solid series.

  2. July 2, 2010 7:45 pm

    Angel Beats! – Agreed about the finale, it was terribad. Especially the ‘let’s play school’ part.

    FMA:B – The good news are that the last chapter was damn long in the manga, so I hope there’ll be a lot happening in the Anime aswell, even though it felt like end already.

    Katana – It gets incredibly hard to watch it.. Latest episode was so dull..

    And yeah, you’re watching a lot! I dropped/skipped half of the series here.. Or atleast can’t get enough strength to continue (DRR, House of Five Leaves)..

    Quite average month, even tho FMA did its best.

  3. July 3, 2010 2:31 pm

    Wow! I think we both watch just about the same amount of stuff lol..June was a interesting month, really enjoyed Durarara!! can’t wait to see whats next, seems the dvd’s come out in Jan 2011 something to look forward to buying for me anyway. Ending was a bit strange for Drrrr! but leaves it open for ova’s or movies.

    Ichiban – Fun and crazy little show aside from some really odd things and plot holes, reading the manga now and have to say the manga is slightly better only slightly thou. Lots of fun characters really liked Keena and Hattori both were great to watch.

    B Gata H Kei – Wow what a crazy ass show at first I wasn’t going to bother watching it, but turned out to be really funny, even thou Yamada is a odd ball she was fun to watch every week.

    Working!!- Another surprise for me too turned out to be another comical show, well that and they had two voice actors from Durarara, but the only annoying part was Inami punching the main guy every time! but she turned out to be a cute character.

    Fma B- Great great great show! I enjoyed how they made some lesser characters more popular and the addition of new characters too, Greed was by far the coolest character this time around.

    Bleach currently is going strong, but I am waiting to be slapped with the omg its filler time !! same for Naruto…sorry for the long post xD great reviews thou -nod-

    • July 3, 2010 7:30 pm

      Haha! Glad someone else watches this much!

      I can’t get excited about DVDs and licensing since I live the ever neglected UK/Ireland. We never get nice things!!

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