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Monthly Reflections – July 2010

August 1, 2010

Since I watch a ton 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, I’ll split the post into current season and long running shows.  Since it’s the start of a new season I’m still in trial mode for a lot of shows – I expect the list to be a touch lighter by next month (hopefully).

Current Season Shows

Amagami-SS

This show is so bad its good.  The first two episode were dire – not even entertainingly dire, however that all changed with ep3 and its infamous knee-pit kissing  and lunchtime role-playing scenes.  That episode nearly killed me as I literally choked on my tea from laughing so hard!  The finale of Haruka’s arc was just as cringeworthly random and convinced me to stick with Amagami for the entertainment value.  The first episode of Sex Hair’s arc was much better than the 1st ep of Crazy Haruka’s arc, and I already like Sex Hair a lot more, so I’ll probably end up watching the rest of her arc at least.  Don’t know if I’ll bother with anymore after that though.


High School of the Dead

HOTD is an entertaining zombie romp filled with fanservice and nods to famous zombie flicks – its shallow, but fun to watch since it requires absolutely no brainpower to enjoy.  It’s a pity they’ve felt the need to include a recap on only the 4th episode though, the plot is so thin on the ground there was absolutely no need to go over that ground again.  Still its fun to speculate about the life expectancy of various characters and critique their choices of weapons/transport/allies/escape plan so I know I’ll definitely be sticking this out to the end.


Kuroshitsuji II

Loved the first episode to bits, but then got utterly confused by the return of Ciel & Sebastian as if the end of S1 had never happened!  Things are starting to make more sense as of episode 5 and the return of Claude and Alois though.  I’ve always liked the weird mix of slapstick, BL and dark gothic vibes that make up Kuroshitsuji and all are present in this 2nd series.  However so far the amount of shitty ‘filler’ has been worrying so hoping that now the main plot has arrived, that it is as good as the 1st episode.

Also, Trap!Ciel >>> Trap!Alois; and I really want Sebastian/Claude doujins 😛


Legend of the Legendary Heroes

This turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  The first episode was a bit ‘meh’ and generic, but after that we went back to start and got some serious character development and backstory that I wasn’t expecting at all – episode 3 was amazing!  I’m very aware that this is Zexcs and I’m desperately trying not to get completely sucked into this series for fear of averageness; but it’s really difficult because it’s quite interesting and I like the characters.  I’m wondering how thing will go from now on though; the main thing I didn’t like about ep1 was how stuff with Sion killed the pacing of the Ryner & Ferris sections and that’s whats going to happen from now on by the looks of things.  Still I’ll stick it out to see how the main story pans out.


Mitsudomoe

You know I was fully geared up to hate this and rant about how awful it all was, but it ended up being really very funny.  However predictably the humour is starting to wear thin now that we’re five episodes in, and I’m getting a bit bored.  This always happens with this kind of 4-koma based gag series, it happened with B Gata H Kei about this stage too.  I don’t know if I can be bothered watching anymore – it’s not doing anything particularly wrong, it’s just more of the same and the novelty value has worn off now.


Nurarihyon no Mago

I love the character designs  and style of this show.  It has pacing issues galore and is a bit childish at times, but in general I really quite like NuraMago.  There is still the niggling bother at the back of my mind shouting ‘Its DEEN! Beware!’ but it’s generally drowned out by the ‘Ooh pretty!’ and ‘Wah! FukuJun!’ fangirling side. 😆  It’s very much in the introductory stages of the story at the moment.  Shounen series always take a good while to really get going, but I hope that it doesn’t take too long or my critical side will win over the fangirl side.


Ookami-san and Seven Companions

I tried, I really did try to like this show; but it just isn’t for me so it’s dropped as of episode 5.  What I found most annoying about the show is the thing that some people seem to like most – the narrator.  I just could not stand Satomi Arai’s grating voice talking all over the dialogue, pointing out banal things and generally getting on my nerves.  Other than that I had issues with the lack of direction in the show (although ep5 did have a hint of plot), the dull characters, and the fact most of the fairy tale tie-ins were tenuous at best (the Cinderella skit in the 1st episode was about the best to date).  On the positive side, production values are solid and the ED was really addictive……not enough to compel me to watch anymore of the show though.


Seikimatsu Occult Academy

I’m really enjoying this show.  Bunmei is an utter idiot and Maya is a touch too punch happy, which can be a touch annoying; however the show as a whole has been great.  Smile and JK are shaping up to be awesome supporting characters, and there is just enough going on in each episode to keep the mystery element fresh and interesting.  I like the fact the humour doesn’t feel the need to hammer you over the head with punch lines, the writing is really refreshing!  Really looking forward to more from this show – hope it continues to deliver.


Sengoku BASARA Two

It feels like S2 of SenBasa has a much more coherent plot than S1, but also retains that same sense of ridiculousness that I loved about S1.  I hope it doesn’t get overly concerned with plot though, that’s never really been the attraction with this series.  All that I really ask of this show is great animation, cheesy dialogue delivered with gusto and awesome/ridiculous/unrealistic/historically inaccurate action scenes!  Thus far I’ve gotten all that plus some political intrigue so its pretty good times – hopefully it continues in this vein throughout the run.


Shiki

Shiki has had a slow, but steady start – the show is in no rush to reveal its cards.  In a way I’m glad it’s taking its time and taking advantage of the fact its got 2 cours to tell its story….and in another way I wish that it would get a move on and start showing me some horror!  I adore the atmosphere of the show though, it’s really brilliant at creating and maintaining tension – the soundwork is fantastic, and the visuals are perfect for this kind of series.  The character designs too a bit of getting used to, but now I’m really liking them. Episode five showed signs of things really starting to happen, so I’m hoping next month will be more exciting.


Ongoing Series

Bleach

This month saw the Vizards make their timely arrival on the scene to help out the struggling captains in their battle against the Espada, and the conclusion of the Barragan fight – a pretty good month for Bleach!  These fights are going to go on for quite a while, but at least it isn’t as dragging as much as it did when I was reading the manga.  Production values were pretty high for most of this months episodes too, which is always nice.

Dragonball Kai

Only two episodes this month unfortunately, good thing they were quality ones though as Androids #16, #17 and #18 are activated at last, signalling the true start of the meat of the Android Saga.  SS!Vegeta taking on #18 was always a favourite fight of mine, so seeing it remastered was pretty damn exciting!  It’s amazing how much I’m enjoying this show; I’ve seen DBZ approx x4 before but watching Kai is still a joy – ah nostalgia~!



Fairy Tail

Continuing on with the Tower of Heaven arc, this month saw the Fairy Tail mages taking down Trinity Raven, Erza finally reuniting with Jellal and the unveiling of Siegrain & Jellals true plan.  The fights were pretty well done, but as usual I’m quite surprised by how short and snappy they are; I keep expecting them to drag things out more!  This arc is one of my all time favourites in Fairy Tail – looking forward to next months episodes!


Giant Killing

Absolutely brilliant month for Giant Killing – Natsuki really has brought a breath of fresh air into the series, loads of development for Sera too which was nice.  It’s really remarkable how each arc of Giant Killing brings something different to the table; Sera’s injury and worries about his place on the team were dealt with in a really realistic manner which countered Natsuki’s larger than life, scene stealing personality nicely.  It will be interesting to see where things go next!


Hetalia Axis Powers

Rather abysmal month for Hetalia (which has just had a fourth season green-lit) and subs are getting rather hard to come by now since I’m watching Rumbel’s releases and they seem to be a few weeks behind.  There was plenty of Chibi-Romano & Boss Spain segments which are amusing – better than Chibitalia segments anyway.  Hoping for something more interesting next month though – apparently Sweden and Finland are making an appearance soon; looking forward to that!


Kaichou wa Maid-sama

Quite a mixed month for Maid-sama.  Most episodes had something amusing in them (like ep14’s Drunk Misa and ep15’s Bunny Kanou), but generally its just been more of the same with very little overall movement on the plot.  I’m really not fussed on the new ED either.  The return of Miyabigaoka’s Tora in ep 18 is a welcome change – hopefully this Butler arc will be better than the previous dull beach arc.  Crossdressing Misa is pretty cool 😛

K-ON!!

So new OP & ED for K-ON!! this month – still not as good as the 1st seasons stuff, but at least the OP is a slight improvement on that godawful 1st one.  The new ED is decent enough, think I prefer the previous ED though.  In terms of content, if I’m honest I can’t really remember what happened this month! K-ON!! really washes over me and leaves very little impression *looks stuff up*.  Ah yes; studying, marathon, Mugi-moe, Azu-nyan and lack of practise room……..just the usual for K-ON!! then.  I really have no clue why I’m so determined to see this through to the end! 😆


Katanagatari

While this month’s Katanagatari clearly had budget issues, it was definitely one of more interesting episodes so far.  Nanami is a really intriguing character, her episodes have really had the most impact of all the episodes so far, and through Nanami we learn a lot more about the Yasuri family and the Kyotoryuu style.  Shichika and Togame’s relationship also received another layer of development, as the two acknowledge that they’ve effectively become each other’s family.  It will be interesting to see how the outcome of this month’s episode affect Shichika in the future.


Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn!

So this month we’re back to the canon plot and the fight against the Real 6 Funeral Wreaths begins in earnest.  The past month’s episodes have mainly been about separating the fights out so that each Guardian has an episode to demonstrate the powers of their Vongola Boxes – this month we had Hibari, Chrome and Gokudera so their new weapons based on the Primo Family weapons.  There have been some pretty cool fights as a result, although it has to be said that the Real 6 Funeral Wreaths’ Open Carnage Boxes result in some pretty lulzy appearances! 😆  Looking forward to next months fights!

Naruto Shippuuden

The budget seemed to recover this month after last months terrible Jellyface!Pain, which was a relief since the Yondaime finally got some real screentime!  This month had the physical fight against Pain all wrapped up, and the diplomatic chit-chat has yet to start.  Randomly they decided to completely kill the tension created between Pain and Naruto by inserting a two-part filler set around the time of the Chuunin Exam arc!  WTF??  What is this shitty Naruto filler doing in the middle of Shippuuden? Who on earth thought that was a good idea?  Meh, seems we’ll be getting back to the srsbns next month, but really way to kill the atmosphere guys!


Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin

Every time I think “that’s it, they’ve written themselves into a corner, there’s no where for the story to go now!”, Rainbow pulls out something else and takes the story in a new direction; there is life after An-chan.  I really loved the conclusion of the Ishihama/Sasaki stuff, their past is now firmly put behind them – at that stage I thought “ah well here comes the happy ending”, but Rainbow then throws new problems at the cast; Mario gets in trouble with the law again and we see once again how strong the bonds of friendship are between the boys, as they rally to help him.  It’s really heartwarming stuff even if the show is still plagued by overacting.


Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru (UraBoku)

This month had the climax of the first arc, and the reveal of Reiga’s identity.  The rest of the month has been dealing with that fallout and starting the set up for the next arc.  Takashiro has kind of stolen the show lately, and next month should give us the entire backstory of the origin of this never-ending circle of conflict between Reiga and the Giou clan.  Luka has kind of taken a backseat to everything lately, its unclear exactly where he fits into the narrative and how his relationship with Yuuki began – hopefully that will get some time dedicated to it soon.  Still Uraboku continues to be delightfully cheesy without being stupidly so.  It’s packed to the gills with clichés and cheese, but its got great production values and some interesting ideas – it never fails to provide entertainment value!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2010 4:05 pm

    An interesting roundup of what you’re watching. I’ve been toying with the idea of picking up Nurarihyon no Mago, but ultimately decided to wait until it finishes. Aside from that, all of the series I chose to overlook this season seems to have been the right choice. I’ll agree that Legend of the Legendary Heroes (I cringed ever so slightly when typing that) has turned out a lot better than I was expecting. As far as my personal favourite from this season, probably Seikimatsu Occult Academy, although my guilty pleasure, largely due to its production, is Highschool of the Dead. Shiki is a notable mention and I’m quietly confident will change my mind as the season progresses.

    As for ongoing series, One Piece is at its peak right now, as we enter a huge arc of the manga. It’s at that critical point where every week (incidentally, today) I anticipate it the most. Similarly, Naruto Shippuden has been a lot of fun to watch, but as you’ve already mentioned, they decided to insert some tediously pointless filler in between, which was annoying, to say the least. The sixth season of Major is doing what it does best, although I feel it’s focusing a little too much on the baseball and less on the drama that accompanies it off the field. I agree that Giant Killing has really outdone itself this month and is a testament to how great sport anime can be. I felt I was watching a flash animation with this month’s episode of Katanagatari, granted a very nicely executed one. However, as you say, the story regarding Nanami, however ridiculous, more than made up for it. I decided to postpone Sengoku Basara and UraBoku for the time being with the intention to resume then when they finish.

    Anyway, I’ve written too much, so I’ll stop now. 😛

    • August 1, 2010 6:55 pm

      Probably sensible to wait until Nuramago finishes – its pretty slow moving so would be better to marathon.

      Need to go on a One Piece slurge at some stage – however I’m in a bit of an anime slump at the moment – can’t be bothered marathoning anything, I’m only keeping up with the weeklies out of hardwired habit! Reading a lot of manga instead, I’m sure I’ll recover shortly though.

  2. August 1, 2010 4:53 pm

    holy shit. You remind me of myself few years back. I used to watch this many shows. God I missed those days… Now I’m lucky to see one episode of anime in a week 😦

    • August 1, 2010 6:58 pm

      I’ve maintained this rate of consumption for quite a few years now……I’ve actually cut down slightly (used to average 30-35 shows a season). Its become such an ingrained habit that I don’t think I’ll ever cut down to sensible levels again 😆

      I sound like an addict……hmmmm

  3. August 1, 2010 5:07 pm

    >calling Amagami bad

    Caraniel I don’t think we can be friends anymore…

    • August 1, 2010 7:03 pm

      Amagami is bad though – so bad its good 😛

      I’m surprised we’re friends at all considering my dislike for most of your loli waifus 😆

  4. Ruu permalink
    August 2, 2010 12:04 am

    Oh hai, Kudos for SenBasa being very nice over all. Last episode had the fandom specualting about tentacle raep. Basara is going to a very nice direction, a bit darker (I suppose as a leverage to the third game) but the Basara Spirit is there.

    Oh and Bleach manga got a nice turn of events, now if only Kubo will stick to that, Bleach would become amazing again.

    • August 2, 2010 11:50 pm

      I hope they don’t go too serious with SenBasa – half the fun is switching my brain off and enjoying the GAR!

      Not holding out any hope for the Bleach manga at this point – I’m almost certain Kubo is going to pull something utterly inane out of his arse and ruin all the tension.

  5. August 2, 2010 10:15 pm

    I wish I could keep up with Dragon Ball Kai, but Goku’s voice irritates me too much. Making due with random English dubbed episodes here. 😦

    • August 2, 2010 11:48 pm

      I’m well used to squeaky Japanese Goku now. Even though my first DB exposure was the english dub, I’ve watched the show more times subbed than dubbed at this stage.

  6. August 2, 2010 10:43 pm

    We share the opinion about most stuff, so here:

    Densetsu – 100% agreement, first episode was ‘meh’ and then it suddenly got all kinds of interesting (especially with the Ryner dark side). It just might be one of my most liked fantasy anime series o.o

    Nura – I gave up after the first episode but then realised it wasn’t all that bad (except that childish) and decided to keep it going.. After all it’s quite comfy to watch, even tho I still hate main hero.

    Ookami-san – same here, dropped at 5. It just got too stupid. Or was all the time? Dunno, watching Ookami for Ookami isn’t worth it.

    Occult Academy – I like the comedy plus watching how she beats #6 all the time. :3

    Shiki – Is terrible so far, makes my brain hurt + the introduction of lipstick guy (friend of violet-guy’s gay friend) who is all jealousy and makes this ‘my face is outta this world’ smile. Also this family with black eyes – noone wonders why it is like that. Huh. Dont mind them, they just have no eyes. Then it suddenly turns out to be vampire ghost story, or it looks like that. For me it’s ‘Higurashi went really wrong’.

    • August 2, 2010 11:46 pm

      Shiki is a slower burn than I thought it would be, but there’s still loads of potential in it so quite happy to stick it out. Character designs are fecking weird though!

  7. August 3, 2010 11:53 pm

    Amagami SS – Fun show so far! at first I was going to pass and not watch it, but saw some reviews and tried it out now I really enjoy it. Great characters and nice designs haven’t found any of them to be annoying yet.

    High School of the Dead- Looked forward to this for a long time after reading the manga, a few slow episodes and a odd recap episode at the start was strange to see as well. Great sound and great artwork! there are only a few characters I don’t like mostly Rei and Takashi but hopefully they change soonish.

    Occult- Great show! love the comedy, lots of fun and cool characters to follow.

    Shiki- Agreed slow and very very odd character designs and that hair…all strange lol..but its new and refreshing to see.

    Bleach- I have a feeling Filler arc is incoming before we see the big show down of Ichigo Vs Aizen. Please don’t be 150 episodes of comedy themed arc…

    • August 5, 2010 6:54 pm

      Filler is definitely heading our way in Bleach – although there’s always the possibilty it will be decent enough like the Zanpakutou filler arc

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