I took in the first episode of Gad-Guard last night. The only things I really knew about the show beforehand was that Gonzo had a hand in it and the initial images I'd seen looked pretty slick. There's not much to give away really, since the first episode only just gets us started. The main character seems to be a school kid who works on the side as a delivery boy. It's got giant robots (guess who it looks like will get one). We like giant robots. Especially funky cool looking ones like these. The animation style kind of reminds me of Jet Set Radio Future, which is pretty cool. Oh yeah, and the soundtrack? It kicks ass. All very jazzy. The opening track is quite good IMHO. This is one I'll be waiting for more of (to balance out my waiting for new episodes of Kaleidostar (which I'll talk about soon)).
Damn. Posted this to a message board I'm on, but thought I'd post it here too.
Character designs by Yoshitoshi ABe. Opening track by Juno Reactor (I've been waiting for a show to use some music like this for ages). Texhnolyze looks like it could be a winner already.
Um, wow. I just took in the first episode. I really hope someone does I high quality encode of this. The first episode of this show had almost no dialogue. Maybe 20 lines total. But visually I found it amazing. Very dark, parts very creepy. Lots of what the f*ck is going on moments. In the end I actually think I had a decent idea of what was going on (at least in part of it), but I'm still clueless as all hell.
Visually, the show has that dark Boogiepop Phantom/Lain look. And so far it seems to really work well (for me at least). This is one I'll be checking out more of.
New Yoshitoshi Abe anime!
Seems like the same team as Lain.
Here's a site with information in English.
I just got done watching Scrapped Princess and I enjoyed it. As has been described earlier on this blog it's a show about a princess who is prophesied to destroy the world when she turns 16. Luckily, the show starts off with a fairly light feel. I found the show really enjoyable. Just enough of a glimmer of the plot, interesting characters, nice animation. It all fit together quite well. And, it's a Bones show. So far I like these guys a lot. This is definitely one I'll be watching more of.
I also just finished up the second Ghost in the Shell episode for this month. While I found the first one a little enh, this one I enjoyed a lot. I think because it really kind of fit a lot of what I think of as the cyberpunk feel. While lots of cyberpunk stuff seems to really concentrate on the action side of things, GitS also pays attention to all the background parts. There's the whole behind the scenes part to that genre. Where money rules everything. Yes, the episode was a little predictable, but it worked for me. And it also had one of the more interesting weapons I've ever seen. We're now just over halfway through the series and I'm starting to wonder how everything fits together. The last two episodes haven't seemed to fit into things as much, but more and more I'm getting a feeling that the Tachikoma's are definitely a part of the story.
I just got through the first disc of Sugar. This show still makes me smile every time I see it. It's cute and silly and fun. The DVD itself is beautiful. The colors seem really vibrant and full. Once again I'm amazed at how much better DVD releases are than divx.
For those who don't know about Sugar, it is the story of Saga and how she finds a little snow fairy named Sugar. All the seasons and weather are influenced by season fairies, there's ones for sun and rain and wind and so on. For some reason Saga can see Sugar and ends up getting involved with Sugar's goal of becoming a full fledged season fairy.
This is one of the few shows that I think would be fine for almost any kid. There's nothing here at all that I could see parents having issues with. I'm actually kind of thinking about getting a copy of it for my nephew at some point.
It's new anime season time, and what new season would be complete without random fans talking about their opinions? Well, possibly more enjoyable, but what the heck. Before I begin I should mention that all my knowledge about what's new comes from whatever series have had their first episodes fansubbed in the last week or so (and are easy to download), so I'll certainly miss a few and may even be including something that doesn't belong. Oh well.
Let's go (in more or less alphabetical order)!
AIR MASTER: This looks like one of those mostly mindless but still entertaining fighting shows (see also Flame of Recca and Get Backers), although the powers look to be less otherworldly and more Street Fighterish. It gets huge bonus points for having the main character be female (something I've wanted to see for a while) and huge minus points for including a shrill annoying craybaby (she breaks into tears when she loses at those UFO catcher games!). The fighting is good though (and even a bit Naruto-ish, with all those contortions and jumping), and if you'll like this show that's probably the only thing you really need to know.
DEMON DETECTIVE LOKI RAGNAROK: I thought this would be about a detective who was also a demon, but instead it's about a detective who is also a little kid but who hunts demons. This show would be a lot better if the kid had any sort of powers or ghost-hunting ability other than blind luck and a CCS-style rod. It's not really bad, but it's not all that interesting either, although since it was only the first episode, maybe it'll get better.
DNANGEL: For a mildly contrived girly thief show, this isn't really that bad. Oh, let's be honest: it's weird and shoujo-y and I still like it. In fact, I could rattle off a whole list of its flaws and that doesn't change the fact that I actually enjoy the thing. Well, I like the manga anyway, but by the second episode the TV show has either completely diverged from the manga or is mixing in bits and pieces from past volume three. Also, the show seems to have changed some of the rules about Daisuke's shape changing. Oh well.
E's OTHERWISE: Don't you miss those days when the title of a show told you something about it? Or when the title even made ANY SENSE AT ALL? Anyway, this is about a bunch of psychic cops working for a benevolent corporation that controls a good chunk of the world and obviously has everyone's best interests at heart. And if you believe that, I have the proverbial bridge to sell you. It looks like the main character will realize that he's working for the bad guys before much longer though. As for quality, it's fairly good, but the first two episodes seem to be little more than glorified background before the real meat of the story starts (main character versus evil corporation). I'll have to see how it turns out.
LAST EXILE: A dark and gritty story about what looks like the civil war fought with airships. I liked it a lot, and although I have no idea where it's going I'm pretty sure it's going there in style. At first glance, I thought this was Bones' new project. You know, the Cowboy Bebop and Wolf's Rain Bones. Funny thing is, it's really from GONZO. You know, the guys who usually make stuff like Gatekeepers or Real Bout High School (although to be fair, they're also responsible for some things like Hellsing or Blue Sub 6). And Bones? Well, they're responsible for...
SCRAPPED PRINCESS: The titicular princess is a fifteen year old girl who is a bit selfish and spoiled, but also kind and generally nice. Unfortunately, she it's been fortold by a presumably accurate oracle that she will destroy the world when she turns sixteen. This, rather predicably, causes pretty much everyone around to try and kill her, from farmers to priests to old friends. She is being protected by her adoptive older brother (swordsman) and sister (mage), with the usual promise to kill her if she really is going to destroy the world. I really like the tone in this show, and it's somewhat similar to Cowboy Bebop: when things are light it's cheerful without turning into something like Slayers, and when things get serious it becomes darker but without turning into a full blown angstfest (coughcough X coughcough). It's fair to say that I'm going to be following this one pretty closely.
NARUE NO SEKAI: Which translates as World of Narue. This is the weird insane one for this season. Narue is a strange girl who happens to be an alien. She makes no attempt to hide it: she even has a door plate that reads "Galactic Federation." Of course, no one really believes her, except the male lead, who picks up a cute little puppy outside her appartment and then it turns into a SLAVERING EVIL SPACE MONSTER! He almost loses his head, but Narue comes up to bat for him (pun intended). This leaves the guy rather flumoxed, but by the end of the episode he and she are boyfriend and girlfriend. Well, after an encounter with a space ninjia (just like a normal ninja, but from space! Oh, and also incompitent and ugly). The biggest problem is that it tries to be as serious as it is funny, and ends up being not much of either. I'll reserve judgement for an episode or two to see how it ends up though.
STELLVIA OF THE UNIVERSE: It's time for kids in space! Specifically, ten year old girls in space (I'm estimating their age because, if it was ever given, I don't remember). It's light and generally okay, but it hasn't really done anything that particularly impresses me either. A decent way to kill an hour or so if you can tolerate excessive sacharine, and it may even turn out to be something better a few more episodes down the line.
There you go, it's done. Well, done to my satisfaction. I'll post another update if something turns out far different from my expectations.
Hikaru no Go has been a bit slow for the last bunch of episodes. I just finished watching episode 68 and things look like they might start to shift into gear again. In many ways I'm hoping this show hasn't jumped the shark. They removed a major character and it has thrown everything into a kind of paused state. The last episode or two have done some interesting things as far as moving characters into place for something interesting to happen, but I wonder how it will affect the series.
I really need to get back into reading the manga, I'm only like two volumes into it at the moment.
Takahashi Shin, the guy who did the comic saishu heiki kanojo has a new comic out.
kimi no kakera (pieces of you)
looks like a great rollicking adventure. I have the first volume and boy does it go FAST.
It's about some princess chick Ikoro with a mysterious past (of course) being raised in the deep snowy wilderness near some girls' school where she is furiously learning a lot. A boy in chains happens to fall through the roof of her place and is unconscious. A moment later, some baddies break into the house looking for something. Ikoro the princess chick says she has it. The mysterious boy wakes up, has no memory, but asks everybody if they are friend or foe. Ikoro says FRIEND. Even though the boy has no memory, he seems to have been psychologically and physically programmed to be a great warrior and will do anything to defend his FRIENDS and defeat his FOES. Ikoro and the boy with no memory (Ikoro dubbed him Shiro because his hair is white) manage to escape the house but are now out in the snowy wilderness.
And so the story begins.
in related context, it seems that there are haibane renmei doujinshi scans which were translated to english and floating around the internet. I do hope that these comics will be published in the u.s. so people can get them more easily than trying to find the limited edition japanese doujinshi but if they don't, this is your best bet for seeing the wonderful artwork and story of haibane renmei, a little bit different from the anime.
well let's see...
mahou tsukai was good. nice and light and easy all the way through, never going deep like a shallow sine wave.
kiddy grade just kept getting loopier and loopier until they completely blow away what the suspension of reality can take and finally just ends. the fan service and the eyecatches were the best parts. i liked kiddy grade as well.
no series lately really has my attention. I'm looking forward to watching the end of Vandread 2nd stage and X on dvd. i'm also rewatching fruits basket. interestingly, snooze is as well since he's just getting the u.s. dvds. Oh and all i have left to get is the last dvd for the japanese release of haibane renmei. a friend lent me Spirited Away so I've been watching that over and over. Even with the glaring red tint.
this is a good time for a rest from anime. lots of other non-anime stuff to deal with.
It has come to my attention that I have not been using this group blog for its intended purpose (talking about what anime I'm watching), but instead as a sort of digital soapbox to spew grand essays about anime fandom in general or (as was recently the case) some personal information without much relevance to anyone other than me. And this isn't even taking into account my tendancy to spew out pages of dialogue sporadically instead of regular updates of a paragraph or two.
In short: sorry if you don't like it, but I'm not likely to change.
Now that human stupidity day is nominally over, I figure it's okay to come out a bit. Well, not really, I just want to talk for a bit. I tend to get extremely talkative after exercising my brain intensely for a few hours (although only about unimportant fun things like games and anime), such as during a prelim. Guess what I just did?
Anyway, now that my intro is over (my intro is bigger than most other people's entire posts... *sob*), I'll start the actual meat. First up is the dissapointing Weiss Kreuz Gluhen. I say "dissapointing" not because the first one was any good, but rather because it was most emphatically the opposite. In an era of serious, intensive Cowboy Bebops and Triguns, the first Weiss Kreuz was a seiryu vanity project that can best be described as Noir meets Power Rangers. It was every bit as laughably dumb as it sounds, and provided many hours of entertainment, albiet not the kind the creators were shooting for (if you're into making fun of stupid people doing stupid things and sounding utterly pretentious (ie, an MST3K fan like me)). Gluhen, on the other hand, is just bland and unoriginal without being hillariously overwrought. You can see the change best in their jobs: in the original, their day job was running a flower shop. In Gluhen, they're "ordinary" teachers and students. It's a lot less funny, but not much better (thanks Lyn!).
Feeling good about yourself, the world, and our chances for survival? Glad I could help!
While I'm on the subject of things not related to anime, I'll take a minute to plug Neal Stephenson's (of "Snow Crash" fame (coincidentally, that book has the best main character name ever: Hiro Protagonist)) book "Cryptonomicon," which gets serious bonus points for being clear and easy to understand despite telling a story nonlinearly in two separate time periods (WWII and about 1998) with a host of main characters and delving into mildly heady math (cryptoanalysis, or the study of codes; for those who don't know, WWII was won entirely because the Allies were better at this than the Axis). I'd go into more depth about why it's such a great book, but I should probably get back to anime before I'm lynched.
After a few months of waiting, the first Noir DVD arrived. This was an odd series for me, as it was one of the few shows I've watched that, after I finished it, I started liking less and less. It's mired in slow pacing and constant flashbacks and lacking in thematic structure other than a sort of "life sucks, everyone dies" (wow, that sounded like I actually know what I'm talking about, huh? Go me the film critic!). The combat alternates between awsome (especially Kirika's stunts) and abysmal (Kirika running up a wide, open with two guns, making no effort to even dodge, and effortlessly mowing down about thiry suits, and that's not even talking about the random people equipped with knives and swords), and by the end it almost completely gives up on establishing character motivations (especially for Kirika and Althena (yes, everyone pronounces it Artena, but come on, you know what it's supposed to be)). That said, it still has its moments (the tea fork scene in particular) and more than its fair share of really cool fights (in an interesting piece of polarity, they tended to be either really crappy or really cool, and there weren't that many bad ones). And I suppose the ludicrously unsubtle lesbian undertones are worth a few points. Overall, it's really a pretty decent show. It's just a little sad that the best part of a show about two female assassins of ambiguous sexual orientation is the music.
Then again, it is REALLY GOOD music.
Or, happy april fools. I'm going to spend the day in blessed isolation from human contact (because a day dedicated to human stupidity and annoyingness is bound to bring out the best in people). See you tomorrow.