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Another’s Genre

Another’s Genre

After a brief one week hiatus, I am catching up on the new anime season. One series airing this season is called Another.  It is a based on a Japanese mystery horror novel by Ayatsuji Yukito, husband of Ghost Hunt and Shiki author Ono Fuyumi.  I haven’t read the novels, and so far only two episodes are out, so I only have conjectures as to the nature of the series.

It is most definitely billed as a horror series.  There are elements so far as well.  The first episode began with the main character narrating a story of a girl in 1972 named Misaki who died mysteriously in the small town of Yomiyama, yet after her death her ghost apparently stayed in her junior high school class, and she appeared in the graduating photo.  Fast forward to the present time, the main character, Sakakibara Koichi moves to Yomiyama and is transferred into the same class Misaki was in.  He begins to notice strange things occurring around him and especially around a mysterious girl with an eyepatch… also named Misaki.  There are currently hints now that if Koichi takes one false step, he could catalyze death and destruction primarily in the class, but also potentially in the whole school.

As it stands right now, this series could go both ways.  Ghosts/spirits on killing sprees is not a new formula to horror.  But probably what draws me so insistently towards believe Another to be a psychological thriller is its fixation with eyes, which we saw in Chaos;Head.  The way in which Koichi’s classmates avoid the topic, and the way they handle this spirit is also increasingly interesting to me.  It has really deepened the mystery for me of what exactly the consequences are, who Misaki is, etc.  There is a certain degree of psychological imbalance outside of the potential spirit… and that’s why I would like to believe this will become a psychological thriller.  The second episode even featured a grandmother, whose eyes you couldn’t see, running a shop with creepy dolls that stare blankly into nothing.  I have high hopes for this series, but I’m aware that at the first sight of cheap screams and thrills, I will probably have to drop it.

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Another

 

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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Review

Rating: ★

It’s an unfortunate truth, but many romantic comedy anime are harem series.  I recently gave Mayo Chiki! a rather unfavorable review, and in general… yes I strongly disapprove of this subset of anime.  That being said, Tomodachi ga Sukunai did slightly better in my opinion.  Maybe it’s because the anime’s focal point is half romance half slice of life.  Slice of life isn’t quite the right way to describe it, but the premise and most of the show consists of seven mostly high schoolers’ attempts to stop being an outcast and find friends.  As a result, hijinks occur between their clashing personalities, and the evil main female protagonist provides the audience with many laughs due to her love of putting the other members through torture.  It’s a pretty straightforward series so I won’t say much, but there is fan service galore, tastefully done for the most part, hilarious comedic moments, and a few touching dialogues here and there.  Every episode was entertaining, and for some relatively light humor done decently well, I’d recommend this show.

 

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Winter 2011 Tentative Anime Schedule

With the new winter season coming into swing, I figured I’d lay out (mostly for myself) what shows I’ll be trying to keep up with.  It’e a little difficult since I’m travelling every month and busy with work, but I’m going to try to keep on top of things.

I really want to add Amagami SS+ and Zero no Tsukaima F to my list, but due to my two year or so hiatus from anime, I haven’t seen the previous series for both.  Here’s what will tentatively be my list:

  • Mon:  Ano Natsu de Matteru, Another, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
  • Tue: Papa no Iu Koto wo Kikinasai
  • Thu: Black Rock Shooter, Recorder to Randoseru, Inu x Boku SS
  • Fri: High School DxD, Senhime Zesshou Symphogear
  • Sat: Area no Kishi, Nisemonogatari, Nouretsu Pirates, Brave10
  • Sun: Rinne no Lagrange, Aquarion Evol

It’s a lot, but hopefully things will be dropping off my list once everything is out and series don’t make my five episode cutoff.

So far, I’m not crazy about Recorder to Randoseru and High School DxD.  High School DxD accomplished more than most ero comedy action animes for me though, given I didn’t shut it off within five minutes.  They have potential to be somewhat watchable though.

I think Senhime Zesshou Symphogear has the potential to be the sleeper hit of the season.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Anime

 

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Kamisama Dolls Review

Rating: ★

The premise for this show seemed like it could be really interesting.  I’m a huge fan of mecha/god animes, so I was ready for this anime to grab me.  This post truly encompasses how I feel about this anime, then add a little ire, and you have my review for this anime.

My main gripe with this anime is that it spent 10 episodes or so potentially building up a showdown between two characters, one good and one bad.  The pacing was horrible, there were cute moments at the most awkward times, but it was building up to it slowly.  Then around episode 10, a completely random bad guy is suddenly introduced and the previous one is suddenly all but forgotten.  The only way the first antagonist is ever mentioned is in the protagonist’s back story.  Then suddenly at the very end of the last episode, he suddenly reappears!  … only to leave an unfinished storyline.  I can only say I was sick of this anime five episodes before the end, but my insane need to finish what I start pushed me through it.  Writing about this series makes me tired so I’m going to stop now.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in 1 Star, Anime, Series Overview

 

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Why I Love Chihayafuru

Just yesterday, a friend tried to explain why Laguna Beach is an awesome show (I really hope he was being sarcastic), but in one of his attempts to defend the series, he asked me if I had watched any of it.  I responded that I had accidentally stumbled into one episode, thereby wasting a good half an hour of my life.  “A-ha,” he responded, “then you don’t really know how awesome it is.”  I countered with: “Truly great shows are amazing in just one episode.”

Well, maybe that’s not strictly true.  By that logic, I would’ve dropped Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya after “The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina” (still the weirdest first episode I’ve ever watched).  But then there are some that just really grab you by your shirt in the first episode and make you pay attention.  In ghostlightning’s Top 30 Anime of All Time (as of 2011), he listed Hanasaku Iroha as #29, despite its lack of completion at the time.  I truly believe that there are certain shows that are so good at the beginning you know they’re going to be winners.  For me, some examples of that were Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal, Fullmetal Alchemist, Nana, Honey and Clover, and Ergo Proxy.  And now Chihayafuru.

I have always been a huge sucker for mood first and foremost.  That was what drew me into Nana, RK: Trust and Betrayal, and Honey and Clover.  The first episode of Chihayafuru didn’t start very gloriously.  It seemed rather generic, a high school girl trying to start a club.  How many shows have we seen with girls and clubs?  It makes my head spin.  But once the episode delved into Chihaya’s past and motivation for playing karuta, that was when I was irrevocably hooked.  The art was beautiful, the music great, and the characters believable. The characters are far from perfect — with some rather annoying traits in some and character flaws in others. But what touches me is that the show documents each of their journeys to become better people and be true to themselves and their dreams.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Chihayafuru, Editorials

 

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Mayo Chiki! Review

Rating: ★

Mayo Chiki! or Mayoeru Shitsuji to Chikin na Ore to is yet another anime of the harem genre.  I’m trying to think right now, and I don’t think I’ve ever truly liked a series of that genre except for Love Hina (mostly for nostalgic reasons) and the Key anime adaptation trio, although I have heard good things about Sora no Otoshimono (on my to-watch list).  Sometimes though, if the fan service isn’t too irrational, and the art isn’t half bad, I’ll watch a series for my amusement.

Mayo Chiki! was one of those series.  It is filled with clichés, such as the boy who can’t touch a girl without nosebleeding or the girl who has to cross dress for some reason or another.  My main problem with the series was that the cross dressing girl looked nothing like a guy, yet all the girls “kyaaaa”~ed over him.  The character design was done for obvious reasons of course, because there were times when the “guy” and the main protagonist had to be squared off of each other, and if the “guy” looked too male, it would venture into yaoi territory.  But where things really started getting to me was when the other girls would run into the “guy” in his natural female form, they were stupid enough to accept the fact that the girl was the “guy”s cousin named Punyuru, which is by the way, the least realistic name ever.

Really, the main thing that redeemed this show for me was the fanservice art and how relatively tactfully the studio was able to insert it in.  (I am a huge hater on shows that randomly switch camera angles on a scene just so they can show a panty shot.)  If fan service and substance-less comedy are your thing, this is the show for you.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in 2 Stars, Mayo Chiki!, Series Overview

 

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Mirai Nikki – 6

I liked the overall silliness of this episode, even if the silliness constantly reminded us of how creepy Yuno is.  Second favorite moment from along that vein?  Definitely when he realizes he’s out of toilet paper and Yuno unlocks the bathroom door from the outside to give him a roll.  Complete stalkers can really be so handy!

Awww the really cute kid is in love with Yuno and wants to give her a picture he drew of her!  Except the scissors get in the way and thank GOD Yuno had a pillow there or else she would’ve been stabbed.  Or I guess from the kid’s perspective, it was a failed DEAD END attempt.

I really love how sinister this show is.  The last few episodes have been pretty action-packed, so you can see the violent outcome of this game, but this episode highlights that really, if you’re a Diary holder, you can’t trust anyone.  Including the girl who broke into your house and thought about killing your mom.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Episode Thoughts, Mirai Nikki

 

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