Monday, January 31, 2011

Infinite Statos - 3


We find that after the contest, Cecilia had stepped down and given the title of class representative to Ichika after the match. It also becomes pretty obvious that Cecilia has fallen for him and starts competing with Houki for Ichika's affection. However it seems that Ichika is either oblivous to their feelings, or doesn't care. We later meet Fang LinYin. we learn that Lin is also a childhood friend of Ichika's, who he meet after Houki had left. Its about here that we get to see the true harem nature of this show. The three compete for Ichika's affection, with Lin even trying to muscle Houki out of her room so she could move it. We also find out that Lin is another country representative and has a personal IS as well, a close range suit closer to what Ichika has. Things develop and we find out that Ichika made a promise, something involving food as far as he remembers, and she is upset that he has broken it. she gets so angry that she challanges him in the competition coming up, and if he wins she has to explain it to him, whereas if she wins he has to do whatever she says. As luck would have it, the two are scheduled to fight in the first round and we end the episode right as the match starts.

If there was any doubt that this was a harem/comedy/romance story over a hardcore mecha anime, this episode seals it. We see a much lighter side of everyone including a 180 by Cecilia, and Ichika is starting to build his own harem.

As for Lin, the promise is obviously some sort of marriage confession or something similar to that, hence why she is so mad. I doubt wrapping this up will take more than an episode, 2 tops. As a side note i hate how she looks so similar to Houki, especially in fan art where the hair color is sometimes off.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Infinite Stratos Ep 1 & 2

As far as new shows this season, this is my favorite. I really wish i had time to blog these episodes separately, but i didnt have time with Freezing. In the future this show will get priority over Freezing.


Episode 1:

This was mainly an introduction and background episode explaining the world of IS. It seems in the future Japan will acutally design mechas in the form of personal armor. These IS will become som powerful they will change the world of warfare (I'll get into this a bit more in the reactions section). Because women are the only ones capable of piloting these IS, with the exception of our protagonist, the power balance has changed to women as well. The use of these machines were banned from warfare and are now purely only used for sport. Our main hero Ichika is the only male in the world who can pilot an IS, and has therefore drawn quite a bit of attention. He enters a school to learn how to pilot the IS. He finds out that his older sister is acutally a very respected teacher at his new school as well as his childhood friend Houki, voiced by Youko Hikasa one of my favorite up and coming VAs (Mio from K-ON). He ends up being her roommate but for some reason she is confrontation and distant from him. He accidentally insults
Cecilia Alcott, the British representative for the IS circuit and is caught in the race for class representative. They decide to have a IS battle to settle the dispute.

Episode 2:

We get a bit of warming up from Houki, but she for some reason still seems to be weary of Ichika. We also learn that IS are in short supply in this world. There are currently less than 500 of them in the world, and the only person who knows how to build them refuses to make more. We learn that this person is Houki's older sister, and that they don't get along for some reason. Ichika however will get a personal unit due to his special circumstances. Houki agrees to train Ichika so he doesn't lose badly and embarrass himself and his family name. The day of the battle comes and at the start Ichika doesnt do very well. he isnt taking too much damage, due to his suits incredible ability to dodge
Cecilia's sniper's attack, but he isnt getting anywhere near her. His suit then modifies itself mid battle, and we learn he was using un-adapted defult settings. When his new suit activates, he is able to close the distance as well as use his sword's special function. However its too late as his suit is low on power, and his new sword drained the remainder. He ends up losing the battle.


This show is much more enjoyable than i had thought it would be. As a mecha, i thought it would be more typical mecha action and in that catagory, it would always need to compete with gundam in my eyes. This is basically what killed my interest in Macross and i constantly thought "gundam did this better". However this is much more of a romance show than a mecha show, and is very enjoyable. We really get an old school feeling from Ichika, the whole needing to protect girls and protect his family name thing. But he does it in a way that seems more caring than misogynistic, though girls might disagree with that. as a funny tidbit, Ichi means one in japanese and when a name has the word Ichi in it, it usually has some special meaning. maybe first (or solo) male? :D

With the second episode we see Houki warm up, and it feels shes not being a real tsundere rather something happened which is bugging her, which i like.
Cecilia started out a bit of bitch but its nice to see her mellow out after the fight. It looks like she wont accept that victory as clearly had Ichika been able to adjust his IS he would have won easily. The sister is also nice, clearly caring for her brother, but knowing she has a job and a role to fulfill. I noted i hate seeing the main character lose when they clearly should have won, especially if it was due to a technicality. You might think i am disappointed in the outcome of this battle, but im not. The first thing is he didnt try. He never bothered to read or learn his weapon. He caused his own downfall. Secondly, the mecha shift wasn't something anyone could help. Thirdly, Cecilia acknowledges it should have been a defeat. and through some spoilers, i know it works out in the end. She isnt being a bitch or a uptight smug ass about it. She knows i wasn't a true victory.

Now to the biggest gripe i have with the show, the entire background concept. The entire world is established as well as female dominance because of these IS. That is just retarded. Im somehow suppose to believe that these machines are so effective that they not only render conventional warfare useless, but also were such a threat all nations agreed to stop using them? That doesn't make any sense. First of all they may be strong, or maybe they are very strong with really weaponry, but there is no way these things changed the face of warfare. Its just too unbelievable, We still have fighter jets, tanks, snipers and all other forms of conventional warfare that seem just as viable with these things as without. Hell even in gundam where giant suits proved invulnerable to tanks and fighters, we still saw them being used. These things being WMD is simply not believable.

Secondly, These proved so devastating the world decided not to use them. That's also stupid. warfare isn't about being fair or even humane, its just about killing. The only weapons agreed universally not to be used was biological weapons, and thats only because they were more cruel than useful. for god sakes the world hasnt even agreed to stop using nuclear arms which are probably 100x more effective than these things.

thirdly, if these things arent used anymore, why do women hold all the power? these things are banned and stripped of all real weaponry.

Well maybe we'll see an alien invasion or something and see these suits in full force. However like i said this is more romancey than action so i doubt it.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Freezing ep 2

So for this season so far, it seems like my blog list will be Freezing and Infinite Stratos. I've finished Stratos 1, so i might blog 1 & 2 together. But for now, Freezing.

we find out that Satellizer (god i hate her name) has lost to the bitch, i really don't care to learn her name. Satellizer isn't as much angry as she is scared of Kazuya, hinting at a deeper past. Kazuya is still acting like an idiot and tries to apologize to her despite everyone's warning. The bitch and Satellizer have an informal rematch due to her wanting to prove her dominance despite interference. Satellizer has no trouble just destroying her, but she gets pissed and activates her pandora mode, a forbidden mode which enhances all of her abilities. The bitch starts tearing Satellizer apart, but when she hits Kazuya when he tries to stop the fight, Satellizer snaps and activates Pandora mode herself. She proceeds to finish the bitch with one hit, but is stopped by the teachers.

This series is starting to look more and more like a let down. As i mentioned in the end of the year review, i hate it when the main characters don't seem to progress. That doesn't mean i want to see the main characters face any problems, but when they clearly win or clearly do better, but still dont come ahead due to a technicality, that pisses me off. For instance there is nothing at all to hint that the bitch deserves the #1 rank. However due to a technicality she won, and now no matter how much Satellizer kicks her ass because the carnaval is over, the rankings wont change. It just feels stupid. If she was given a legitimate anti-hero rival, it might have worked. However its just so damn obvious that Satellizer is so far ahead of the others. Aside from that it seems like everyone is out to screw with Satellizer. I almost lost my mind when i saw the teachers stop her from exacting much deserved revenge. It's much better that the teachers arent allowing the bitch to get away with using pandora mode, but it just feels like shes not going to be punished as harshly as Satellizer will.

Aside from that the fan service once again feels like it gets in the way. My expectations for this series, but i'll still hold on to it for now.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Freezing ep 1

This is the first series im following this new season, and hopefully i can get the whole thing blogged. this is a very anticipated series, being an adaptation of a popular Korean manwa.

episode summary:

We being with a few girls participating in the "carnaval" which has got to be one of the cruelist and painful training sessions ive ever seen. We learn these girls are called "pandoras" genetically modified girls who can preform amazing feats, regenerate almost from the point of death, and use powerful weapons. They are commanded by a younger person, called the limiter. These pandoras were created to fight monsters called Novas. One perticular girl, named Satellizer L. Bridgette is leagues above the others, nicknamed the untouchable queen. Meanwhile a young boy named Kazuya Aoi is joining the school and right as Satellizer is in the middle of a fight with the schools number two ranked pandora. Satellizer is clearly dominating but is interrupted by Kazuya, who thinks she is his sister who was also a pandora who died saving the world. This also brings out a very girly reaction from Satellizer that surprises the school council president. then an attack heads for the two and blood splashes onto the camera.


Im not usually one to complain about fanservice, but there gets to a point where the fanservice just takes away from the show. This show is really tipy-toeing on that boundary. We get to see a little bit of a girly side of Satellizer, which is acutally cute, and if we see a lot more of that and the story becomes partially comedy then it will work. But from the first episode, it seems like the fanservice is really just forced in and takes away from the show. I don't think there's any doubt kazuya is going to end up being Satellizer's limiter, so lets see how this show plays out.

In terms of all the hype for this as the show of the season, its a bit underwhelming so lets see if it can pull itself up and get better for the second episode.

p.s. typing her damn name is going to be a PAIN all series. Read more!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Amagami routes Sae and Ai Eps 9-16

If you read my year in review, you'll know Amagami was a surprising favorite of mine last season. Even though the show has finished airing i only got through these two routes today. I dont know if i'll cover the last two routes together, separately or if i'll cover them at all. there is also a special one episode arc of a side character arc, and a special featuring his sister(!) as the heroine set to be released later with the DVD released. There are also suppose to be OVA episodes for each character. I don't know how or if i will cover these.

Sae arc:

We start with Sae running into Junichi after he lost his wallet which Sae found. Sae is an incredibly shy girl and wants to get a job at a nearby cafe, but lacks the confidence to do so. Junichi decides to train her to be less shy and gives her various "training exercises" which include changing clothes really fast, because lets face it Junichi is a perv. After the training Sae goes for an interview and gets the job. Sae wants to thank junichi for all his help and takes him to a amusement park. At the end of the day, Sae asks Junichi to take part in the best couple competition with her at the Founders Festival. They enter dressed as bride and groom and come out with second place to Haruka and Hibiki. Haruka notes that they only won as a novetly of two girls being couples and that Junichi and Sae should have been the real winners. None the less tey win a private VIP booth to a screening of a movie. While there Junichi needs to leave after he sees Sae in a rather sensual outfit and goes to wash off his face. He runs into an american man who gives him some words of encouragement. Sae notes that the director of the movie fell in love with the leading lady and was able to bring out her beauty in the movie because of that love. Its then Junichi notices that the man he ran into was actually the famous movie director. They confess their love for each other and live happily ever after. So what about the fetish of the arc, well its (spins fetish wheel) tentacles! Well not really. while training they go to a pool with a food bath which contains fish that clean their feet. apparently these fish tickle complete with erotic moaning. Also while at the amusement park a costumed baddie grabs Sae and squeezes her with his costumes tentacles.

Ai arc:

we start this arc with Junichi running into Ai at the park catching a glimpse of her panties. After a bit of teasing to call the police, Ai leaves the confused boy. They meet again and get to know each other, since Ai is Junichi's sister's classmate. Ai is also part of swimming team and reveals she was wearing her swimsuit the day at the park and that he never saw her panties. After a bit more bonding, with Junichi trying to help Ai with her problems with her brother. Junichi also helps Ai pass her retake of a math test which she passes second time through. However because of the retake, she wasn't able to train for the swim meet. Because of that, she doesn't make the team and tries to run away so that Hibiki and Junichi can't see her cry. Junichi manages to chase her into the pool fully clothed no less. While she wasn't able to make the team, she was given the responsibility to run a foot stand at the founders festival. Things go off with minimal problems and Ai wants to take Junichi somewhere special to thank him for all his help. She takes him to a private hot spring owned by her grandfather. They confess their love for each other and make out naked in the hot spring.... take that as you will. And the fetish of the arc is... (spins fetish wheel) eating the other. and no, i mean that literally. While bonding Ai and Junichi go to an amusement park and go inside a haunted house. While there Junichi imagines that Ai has been turned into a bowl of ramen and tries to eat her (with lots of innuendo). Ya, Junichi is kinda weird in this arc.


I did not like Sae's voice. It was the single thing holding me back from watching this arc. The story itself isn't bad, but Sae's high pitch squeak she calls talking is just way too annoying. The entire arc is taken with a much more comedic tone complete with a silly announcer. Its interestng, but again i just can't get over her voice. This will probably be my least favorite arc. As i said Junichi's personality changes with every arc. In this one he is very much the stronger of the pair, but still hold a silly tone like making Sae dress up and such.

Ai's arc by contrast is much much better and renewed the series for me. The arc for once, was enjoyable from beginning to end. While the first two arcs seem to start off slow, i was interested in Ai from the first episode. As well Ai's end song is the first one i actually stopped and listened to, and downloaded. I would say neither Ai or Junichi were the stronger of the pair, and both really seemed to need each other. while its been said a few times that this Junichi acts more childish, shown by him reading manga and such, i never really got the feeling watching it. This is my favorite arc of the series, just by virtue of having a stronger start beating out Haruka's, and will likely be my favorite of the entire series.

if i saw this before my year in review, i whoulda given Ai honorable mentions for favorite female.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

2010 Year in Review

What what what? its almost middle of January and i havent given my awards for the year? Well like the academy awards, i feel i should let the year finish out and given some time to contemplate them before i give my awards. I felt it was more fitting to write this up during award season. Actually that's complete bull. Well this has turned out to be quite a stressful year for me. To be honest i thought this year around i would have more time to watch more anime, but i ended up almost watching none. Most of this is due to a few of my friends dropping anime, which has lowered my own urgency to watch. Another part is my partial addiction to a online game. So in short this year's candidate list will be shorter than others. I'll see if there are any great animes for this next year, and hopefully i will be watching more.


Best Comedy: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
Honorable Mentions: Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi, Seitokai Yakuindomo

The idiots win this one. From the first episode to the last this anime has not failed to give me a laugh. The reason why this one beat out Ookami and Yakuindomo is that it really felt more like a comedy than the others. Ookami is arguably also a romance, and Yakuindomo mainly used dick jokes for comedy. Baka test is far from one of my favorite comedies, but it was an enjoyable waste of time and the best of the year.

Best Romance:Amagami SS
Honorable Mentions: Angel Beats,
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi

Amagami SS is definitely the best romance anime of the year. With the innovative new "every girl gets a full story" function it guarantees no matter who you are rooting for, you win. Surprisingly the outcome for me was i came to love each of the girls, and i didnt need to feel bad about rooting for all of them. Ookami was very lackluster in terms of romance, and Angel beats only had romance as subtext to the story and squished into the ending. Had it gotten the two cours it wanted, this might have been a different outcome, but as it is now Amagami comes out on top. Having a solid set of story lines really helps its case as well. The only problem with the story set up is that it often leaves me feeling left out on the characters. For instance, Morishima was a favorite of mine before the show even started, and after her arc finished, it felt weird almost not seeing her at all.

Best action: Full Metal Alchemist

I HATE giving out an award to the same show twice, but in this case i had no choice. I really didn't see any action shows this year. If you want a reasoning, look up last years review.

Best Soundtrack: K-ON!!
Honorable Mentions: Angel Beats

This was a no brainer... or was it? To be honest, this was pretty close, at least at the beginning. The new OP was absolutely horrible and the second one wasn't much better. The first ending was mediocre at best. Combined with a strong OP and ED and even really strong insert songs from Angel Beats, it looks like K-ON would be bested. But then "No thank You" came out and changed everything. The song was just brilliant. But that wasn't the only reason. As K-ON grew and actually gained a story, the insert songs fit the tone really well. The songs really knew how to bring out all the emotion from the characters. As well Angel beats didn't really release anything memorable after episode 3.

Best Fanservice: Amagami SS
Honorable Mentions: Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Well, i'll be honest i didn't watch any fan-servicey show other than Samurai girls this year, and to be honest i've only watched the first 3 eps of it and they aren't too great. Amagami wasn't a fanservice show, but with every girl they had a small fetish shown with each girl. Not much of an honor, but one Amagami wins none-the-less

Best Visual: Angel Beats

Shouldn't really have been a surprise huh? Its a key's show and the production is as great as always. When i look at Angel Beats i instantly get reminded of the great art and scenery of Keys works like Clannad.

Best Male:
Ryōshi Morino (Ookami-san)
Honorable Mentions: Junichi Tachibana (Amagami SS)

Ryoshi is truly a man in the shell of a cowardly As far as people with incredibly strong neuroses goes, he acutally fought them pretty well. Unlike Kid (soul eater), he was actually believable, which i attribute a lot to the voice actor. Also when push comes to shove he manned up, unlike Kid.

Best Female: Azusa Nakano (K-ON!!)
Honorable Mentions: Tenshi (Angel Beats), Haruka Morishima (Amagami SS), Mio Akiyama ( (K-ON!!)

WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT?????? A favorite female that wasn't Mio in a season where Mio was a candidate? Well, yes acutally. While Mio remains my favorite character from K-ON, i decided to look at this from a writing standpoint. In that regard, i thought back to all the feelings and emotion i felt watching K-ON. The bittersweet ending was something i never expected, and a lot of that came from the acting of Asuna. You really had to feel for Azusa, unless you have no heart. What about the others? Tenshi is a nice character, but acting stoic is nothing spectacular, and the series never had time to fully flesh out the characters. Mio is still my favorite, but in terms of writing, Azusa blew her out of the water, for once. Haruka was also cute, but having only 4 episodes predominately featuring her hurt her.

Best Villain: Shirō Hitsujikai (Ookami-San)

This guy is a freaking Badass. Everything about him makes me want to strangle the living daylights out of him. And for the same reason as Ali, this makes him a great villain. He wasn't spetacularly well written, but he never felt pathetic or out of control. Even after getting beaten he only strengthens his hatred and resolve to make everyone's life a living hell. I can't go too much into what makes him so horrible, but I'll say its about the worst thing someone can do.

Worst Character: Akihisa Yoshii

With the good must come the bad. This year the worst goes to our very own idiot Yoshii. If you remember, my worst character award goes to the one i feel is most poorly written, not necessarily one i disliked. Yoshii fits this mold perfectly. Its not that the character was unlikeable, but as a main protagonist of the story, he just never accomplished anything. We can see bits and pieces of development, like when he actually studied for a test, but in the end he still accomplishes nothing (by writing in the wrong spaces). Even so he would have only done well, not ace the test. The class moves no where throughout the story and a few times even ended up much worse than where they started. Ya its a comedy and being losers is kinda their thing, but you would expect by the end it would get better. He ends up feeling more pathetic than likable or sympathetic.

Best anime of 2010: Angel Beats!
Honorable mentions: K-ON!!

After all the praise i gave the show it shouldn't be a surprise i gave this title to Angel Beats. There were many places this show could have been better, two that come to mind immediately were the identity of the programmer and Naoi's arc. Naoi was a jerkass and a bastard, and he gets completely converted by a hug. Thats lame on so many levels. The programmer being Tenshi would have fixed SOOO many issues, but instead its just a nobody and Tenshi wanting to give her thanks to Otonashi being what keeps her in the world. Ya i guess that justifies the title, but it leaves way too many things unanswered. It also felt like it really needed two cours to flesh out the story. Despite all of that, it was enjoyable, and as a whole, production value, artwork, voice acting, music, story, it was the best show of the year for me.

K-ON!! was certainly enjoyable. Hell if i was just to look at the end half of K-ON it might have even been better than Angel Beats. It was the reverse of Angel Beats. It had too much time and did nothing. But as a whole, the show didnt have a strong story and a strong start to the season. That's why K-ON!! will have to settle for second place.

You may notice best Mecha and most WTF are missing from this year. That's because i cant say i saw any shows that fit those molds. Perhaps they will be back next year. (If at the very least best Mecha will go to Gundam 00 Movie if nothing else)
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Psychic Detective Yakumo ep 3 & 4

I'm only following this series sparsely, so reviews might not be completed and definitely don't have a schedule. spoilers beware

Episode 3:
Haruka is still trying to tease Yakumo, and brings up a new case in which one of her friends sees ghosts in a haunted tunnel. Meanwhile the officer, Saitou, brings him a new case about a missing young boy and asks Yakumo to find if the boy is dead, and if he is, where the body is by asking it's ghost. Haruka's friend from work, a typical perfect nice guy, seems shaken by the picture. Yakumo senses this is off as he before said he didnt believe in ghost, and wasnt scared of the picture but the boy himself. He decides that the friend is the murderer of the boy. A quick check later reveals he was right after a he finds out the boy was a victim of a hit and run, and the friend asked a chop shop to cover it all up. The spirit of the boy possesses the friend and tries to take him into tunnel. Yakumo tries to save the boy, but his spirit is lost and turns into a dark red spirit.

Episode 4:
The daughter of the police chief, who was the reporter bugging the police earlier is possessed. we learn more about Yakumo's past and his doctor admits that his mother seemed scared of Yakumo and his eye. Despite that they always got along, until one day without warning his mother tries to kill him. He declares his mother never loved him and tries to throw away the necklace he took from her the day she tried to kill him, but Haruka stops him. He does and ends up giving his necklace to her.


There was not much to say about episode 4, seeing as how its part of a much bigger plot. In episode three however Haruka seems much more like a typical tsundere with her trying to make Yakumo jealous running off with the work guy. Shes still kind, but obviously wants Yakumo to acknowledge her. Speaking of Yakumo, i was thinking we finally got some emotion out of him trying to pin the murder on the Flanders-like nice guy, but i was really surprised to find that he was right and the nice guy was actually a killer. We've gotten glimpses of Yakumo feeling useless, but he breaks down when he couldn't save the boy, because he cannot control spirits merely talk to them.
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