Month: July 2013

Anime Mondays #28

You guys.  In two weeks, it’s Comicon.  I am stupid excited.  No, it’s not the good San Diego one, but a ton of great guests will be there and I’ll get to go fandom shopping, which is clearly the main reason I go.  If I can’t get some new Sailor Moon accessories, then the weekend might be a failure.  But, I know I’ll come home with some junk.  That’s just how I roll.  Anyway, I watched some quality stuff over the past two weeks.  Let’s get on it.

All images are from MAL, and there are spoilers below up to the episodes listed!

Attack on Titan – Episodes 14-16 Attack on Titan Cover

I have to get this out of the way first: the new opening is terrible.  The visuals are very striking, but the song sucks.  I love, love, loved the first Attack on Titan opening because the song was freaking perfect.  It matched the animation and it got me pumped up to watch the brand new episodes.  This new one…not so much.  In fact, not at ALL.  If it wasn’t a pain in the ass to fast forward on Crunchyroll, I’d skip it every time.  The new ending has a better song, but it’s nothing compared to the first one.  Downgrade.  The second arc of this show appears to be a downgrade, as well.  I skipped the recap episode because they drive me insane, but these first few of the new arc…filler.  It’s just exposition and back story, and the main point of the entire thing was to show which characters were going into the Survey Corps and which weren’t…and really, that could have been glossed over in two minutes to get to some action.  Or plot.  Or character development.  Or anything at all besides what we got.  Personally, I don’t like the senior Survey Corps members at all.  I wasn’t even interested in episode 15, but, thankfully, Armin et. all come back in episode 16.  I don’t know how they’re going to have a cohesive ending with nine episodes to go.  I’m getting ready to be disappointed.

GetBackers – Episodes 34-35 GetBackers Cover

Honestly…it’s been so long since I watched these that I don’t remember anything about the episodes in question.  I know I watched them…I just don’t know what happened, and I haven’t gotten a new disc from my rental service yet, so I can’t recap myself.  I’m stupid lame, I know.





K-On!! – Episodes 1-4 K-on!! Cover

Ah, yes, I have started the second season of K-On!.  My expectations were pretty high going into this.  After all, it had such a huge debut in Japan, so I was really hoping that a band anime would actually focus more on the band in its second season…….yeah…no.  I’m four episodes in, and it’s actually LESS about the music and the band than the first season, which I didn’t think was possible.  They spent an entire episode failing to find new members for their club and buying a turtle.  Then, there are two about a class trip.  A class trip.  Who cares??  I want them to play music, get better, debut, do something…but it’s just more slice of life bullshit.  I’m about to get into Aria the Natural-style hatred here.  Something needs to happen.  Anything.  God.  Some semblance of a plot.  Please.  Please, please, please.  Or at least they need to have some good insert songs.  The opening is annoying, and the ending is passable but it’s crap compared to the first ending, which was brilliant.  Once again, disappointed.

Watamote – Episodes 2-3 Watamote Cover

I don’t know how I feel about this show.  At first I thought it was awkwardly funny, like in a bus crash sort of way.  Now that I’ve seen a few more episodes, Tomoko is kind of a bitch.  Maybe the reason she’s not popular isn’t because she has some kind of irrational fear of interacting with people, but that she doesn’t take and appreciate the chances she gets.  I know I’m waxing way philosophical on a comedy anime, but I need to know a motivation for why characters act the way they do, or at least why they don’t feel a need to change their situation, but staying home and faking sick just so she won’t have to play basketball really isn’t helping her social status any.  I mean, all she had to do was ask to join the foursome’s team.  And in episode 2, she was such a bitch at the end to her only friend because Tomoko found out the other girl had a boyfriend.  I call bullshit.

Sunday Without God – Episode 2 Sunday Without God Cover

After watching the second episode of this show, I wasn’t any more impressed than I was with the first.  The ongoing story is just a bunch of incoherent mush, and I can’t, for the life of me, understand the character motivations/interactions.  Can someone help me?  I know a LOT of people are praising this show to the heavens, but I just don’t get it.  The characters aren’t compelling at all, the plot is inconsistent, and there is too much exposition that goes nowhere.  This is definitely getting put on pause for the rest of the season.



Princess Knight – Episode 1 Princess Knight Cover

My copy of this set shipped ridiculously early from Right Stuf, and you know when I talked about how I wasn’t really into Kimba the White Lion, and I was afraid that this would be the same way?  My thoughts are pretty accurate.  While I love that Nozomi is licensing all this stuff in a gender-bender genre, the old art style is killing me here.  Also, the quality of the episodes is extremely inconsistent, and the editing is atrocious.  We are even warned at the beginning of the first disc that Nozomi did absolutely everything they could to preserve the source material, and I have no doubt they tried their hardest.  It’s just…it’s really bad.  The release is good, the show is just awful.  It’s sad that there isn’t enough of the original material to release it in its Japanese form, but if it’s gone, it’s gone, and I’m glad that there’s anything at all to release.  It’s just not my cup of tea.  I’ll finish it and buy the next set because I’m a completist, but it’s going to take a lot for me to enjoy watching it.

Danganronpa – Episodes 2-4 Danganronpa Cover

Finally, something great.  This is definitely my show of the season.  Apparently people who have played the video game are really disappointed with this adaptation…but I haven’t so I love it.  And I’m about to get into spoiler central, so if you haven’t seen up to episode 4 and haven’t played the game, stop reading now.


WHY DID THEY KILL OFF ALL MY FAVORITE CHARACTERS IN THE FIRST THREE EPISODES???  It’s not fair.  Goddamn it.  It’s just not fair.  I had no idea that my best girl and guy were going to go in one swoop.  I don’t even care who lives and dies anymore, but maybe it was all a hoax and they might reappear in the end…god, I hope so.  Can I also just say that the ending is perfection?  It’s just this slow zoom out with a fantastic song, but I am in love.  Best show of the season, hands down, I’m calling it now.

Okay, so maybe I didn’t watch stuff that was all that great.

Best of the Week: Danganronpa

Love it or Leave it: Attack on Titan, GetBackers, Watamote

Hope it Gets Better: K-On!!, Princess Knight, Sunday Without God

I’ll be back next week if I watch something.  I’ve seriously got to finish Smallville before the Comicon reunion, and I’m only on season 3.  This feels like an unattainable goal right now.  Sigh.

Anime Mondays #27 (Summer 2013 First Impressions!)

Here’s your spoilers: this post has a prize inside like the cereal box.  Just scroll down to the bottom if you want to claim it first.

Now that that’s out of the way, this week, I took some time out to watch first episodes of a lot (for me, anyway) of the shows that are currently airing this season in Japan.  Please be warned that I HATE watching anime weekly (case in point, I’ve binge watched over half of Orange is the New Black on Netflix since Friday — and I am starting to pre-write this post on Saturday) and I don’t know if I will continue to write about each show on a weekly basis.  I also haven’t started a couple I was really looking forward to watching and…I have no idea why.  Apparently, I’d rather write about some random shit I found on Crunchyroll by scrolling backwards through the simulcast list.  Let’s get this party started.

All images are from MAL, and there are spoilers up to the episodes listed!

Naruto – Episode 1 Naruto cover

I’m painfully aware that this is not new.  In fact, I don’t know why I even started this, seeing as it’s 220 episodes for this series alone, not counting spin-offs, and everyone either talks about how terrible it is or how ridiculously in love with it they are.  But it was cheap on amazon.  And I’m trying to find a show that will fill the void left in my heart by the ending of Soul Eater.  This show is not going to be it, but now I’m compelled to finish it because I started it.  Naruto is about some kid who wants to be a ninja, but sucks at it.  However, he doesn’t really suck at it, he’s just got these powers locked up inside of him.  The first episode didn’t really do much except for try to prove how much of a bad ass this kid would be, but I’m not really buying it.  I’m sure it’ll improve as it goes on (after all, it has 200+ episodes to convince me), but for now, after one episode, I turned it off and continued the Smallville marathon I’m trying to complete before Comicon in August.  I’m halfway through season 2.  I don’t know if I’m gonna make it.

Watamote – Episode 1 Watamote Cover

The full title of this show is really long in both Japanese and English and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either way, so let’s just go with Watamote.  So there’s this girl, and all she wants is to be popular, especially with boys.  However, she’s a giant weirdo.  Like…seriously.  There’s no other way to describe her.  She’s even worse that the protagonist from The World God Only Knows.  Like, that guy’s a douchebag, and this girl isn’t, but she just…wants to conform.  She makes facebook duck faces and puts her hair in pigtails and tries to give herself an extreme makeover to fit in with the other kids at school, and completely and utterly fails.  It’s funny, but it’s like…I want to give her a giant hug and cry my eyes out for her.  She reminds me more of Konata from Lucky Star than anyone else for some reason I can’t quite put my finger on.  Maybe it’s the art style.  This poor girl has giant bags underneath her eyes, and if she Google searches all this crap about making friends and being cute, she should probably start with a makeup blog and learn about concealer first.  Just sayin’.  I like this show, though.  I don’t know if I’ll continue it weekly, but I’ll definitely finish it sooner rather than later.  You can stream it on Crunchyroll if you want to check it out.

Blood Lad – Episode 1 Blood Lad Cover

Okay, so in the first three minutes of this show, I got a complete Soul Eater vibe.  Like, yes!  This could be it!  This could fill the void left behind by my beloved Death the Kid.  Plus, I love vampire anime.  Don’t judge me.  At least I don’t love Twilight.  Anyway, this vampire (who is obsessed with Japanese otaku crap) is the boss of one territory in the demon world, and a human girl mysteriously comes to his world.  He, of course, goes batshit on her, talking about junk like Final Fantasy, and I laughed so hard I almost spit out my Diet Coke.  However, shit hits the fan when she ends up dead and becomes a ghost.  Our good vampire friend claims to not be that interested in her anymore, but he makes it his mission to get her soul back into her body and revive her.  Um…okay.  This series is only ten episodes, so I really don’t know how they’re going to cram what feels like a gigantic plot into this tiny series, but I’ll stick with it.  Even if Viz won’t release it on DVD until like 2015.  It’s definitely not going to be my new Soul Eater, but maybe it could be my new Vampire Knight.  You can check this out on Hulu/Hulu + if you don’t want to wait 13 years before it gets a dub.  Why you so slow, Viz Media?

High School DxD – Episode 1 High School DxD Cover

So, I know this isn’t new either.  But the Funimation Roku Channel had two episodes of the dub up, so I gave it a shot.  And I’ve said it way more than once, but I’ll say it again: why does Japan ruin perfectly good concepts for shows with a shit ton of fanservice???  And it’s so much more than that here, it’s like full out cartoon nudity.  Yuck.  The dub is actually hysterical with all its boob references, even if I think I heard a “hells yeah!” in there somewhere.  But, Jesus Christ, I’d much rather see an edited version of the animation.  Sadly, the plot seems really interesting: these girls are all devils and this loser guy keeps getting killed for some reason yet to be explained, but the girls keep bringing him back to life.  I don’t know, I’m all for the occult stuff.  But I just…can’t.  If they start busting out some bananas for no reason Girls Bravo-style, I’m out.

Fantasista Doll – Episode 1 Fantasista Doll Cover

Card Captor Sakura meets Magic: the Gathering?  I don’t know, guys.  I know this was the first episode, but the plot of this show was just not explained well enough for me to want to keep watching.  Our main girl is a card game prodigy, and some freak slips a cell phone with a card reader into her bag on the train, and suddenly, she’s running for her life and being entered into a game where she controls these dolls through cards…I just don’t get it.  And they’re all bitches, too.  There’s something bubbling under the surface here, and I don’t know what it is, but it’s not dark like Madoka or anything, so I really don’t care.  This is one of those shows that I’m going to put on the backburner for a month or so and hope it gets better before I eventually finish it.  If you want to try to figure it out, it’s on Crunchyroll.

Sunday Without God – Episode 1 Sunday Without God Cover

This was one of the shows I was most excited to check out, and the first episode was, in a word, disappointing.  From the preview, I was expecting something a lot darker, and there was too much comedy in here for my liking.  Like, I really wanted this gory murder mystery with zombies, and I got some little girl calling this creeper her dad and both of them making stupid jokes to each other.  I’m trying to fill my Higurashi void, and I just don’t think anything is going to do it for me until I cough up the money for the first Umineko set.  I already bought the second.  Don’t judge me.  Anyway, this show is about some little girl whose mom is dead and her dad is a deadbeat who is told he has to be the town’s gravekeeper.  Because, you know, God just gave up on this world and turns people into zombies after they die unless a gravekeeper buries them.  It should be really good and gothic, right?  So far, it’s not.  Crunchyroll has it up, but it’s not on my must watch list anymore.

Stella Women’s Academy High School Division Class C3 – Episode 1 Stella Cover

Damn, this anime has a gigantic title.  What is it with the long titles this season?  First impression?  Strawberry Panic meets K-On! meets Btooom!.  I know…that sounds really odd.  I was super excited in the first few minutes thinking that this would be a fucked up show about girls in boarding school.  Then our main girl finds a gun under her pillow, and I was like, “if this turns into some mech bullshit, I’m out.”  Luckily, there are no giant robots to be found.  Instead, Stella is about a club full of girls who like to play war games.  No real blood is shed, even though it’s weird to see a bunch of cute girls running around shooting air machine guns at each other.  I’m guessing this is like paintball without the paint?  It really wasn’t made that clear.  But they bribe the main girl into the club with cake.  The concept sounds odd, but it was kind of charming and amusing.  However, if they stop playing the war games like K-On! stopped showing the band, I’m out.  I’ll keep tabs on this one on Crunchyroll for the rest of the season.

Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist – Episode 1 Makai Ouji Cover

I was drawn in by the character styles for this show, but once I watched it, I found I wasn’t interested at all.  The animation is weird and looks almost unfinished?  I can’t quite put my finger on what I don’t like about this show, but I’m just not that into you, Makai Ouji.  It’s basically about this rich dude who loses all his money until he finds out he’s a descendent of King Solomon or something and all these devils need him to elect them to become king of the demons…it’s just strange.  And not good strange.  The bad guy was pretty cool, though.  I was digging him.  It was like a cosplay dream, especially with his purple ombre hair.  If I get desperate for something to watch on Crunchyroll, I might try this again, but don’t count on it for awhile.

Danganronpa: The Animation – Episode 1 Danganronpa Cover

I think I’ve found my weekly show for the season.  This shit is right up my alley.  First of all, it’s got the Battle Royale aspect, where 15 extraordinary high school students are trapped in a school, and then in order for them to get out, they have to commit a murder.  PERFECT.  Let’s all watch the shit go down.  Apparently, this is based on a game, which explains the atrocious art style, but even with all the ugly characters, I’m still going to eat this up.  The first episode just basically introduces everyone and the premise (the evil teddy bear who put them all in the school has done something to their friends/family members, which motivates everyone to get out instead of just staying at the school forever), and although the characters are all cookie cutter, I was still drawn to a couple (namely the fashionista and the the blond heir guy with glasses).  The main character is pretty worthless, but as with most anime, this is to be expected.  I cannot wait for the next episode, even if Funimation releases them almost a week behind when they actually come out.  I may have to sneak around for this show.

Best of the Week: Danganronpa, Watamote, Stella Women’s Academy

Love it or Leave it: Blood Lad, Naruto, High School DxD

Hope it Gets Better: Sunday Without God, Majai Ouji, Fantasista Doll

And now for your prize: a Crunchyroll guest pass!


Next week may be a postponement because I have friends coming in from out of town, but I’ll try to get something up, even if I’m late.  What do you think of the new summer shows?  Is there something I’m missing?  Don’t say Free!.  I’m going to get to it…hold your half-naked horses.

Anime Mondays #26

It’s been a pretty quiet month concerning anime.  I just haven’t had a whole lot of time at all to plow through anything.  And if I don’t have at least three shows to talk about, I’ll hold it over for a week.  This weekend, I went to visit some of my buddies up in Detroit (a good four hours away) and it was like being on another planet.  Or, at least in South Jersey.  Michigan lefts?  Oh, no, those are Jersey U-turns.  But driving woes aside, it was an awesome time.  Plus, we went to the cupcake store.  I pretty much want to live there.

All images are from MAL, and there are spoilers listed up to the episodes below!

Full Metal Panic! – Episode 2 Full Metal Panic Cover

I’m still rightfully enjoying this series, even though it’s a mech show.  And we all know how much I loooove mech shows.  Insert your shifty eyes here.  Fortunately, this episode had very little to do with giant robots and more to do with the relationship forming between our two main characters.  This show is funny.  It’s not in your face comedy like School Rumble or Lucky Star or anything, but it’s just the right amount of laughs to make it work.  And I was right, Monica Rial is the blue-haired girl’s best friend and her voice is not annoying!  It’s a small miracle.  Luci Christian is also pulling out a top notch performance as said blue-haired girl.  Why can’t we get English dubs like this anymore?  Why does everything have to be a screechy mess?  Anyway, when the Funimation Roku Channel works (which is becoming spotty again, ugh), this is what I turn on.

Yu Yu Hakusho – Episodes 43-50 Yu Yu Hakusho Title

So we’re still in this tournament.  And I guess now I’ve hit the wall with it because I can’t remember much about this string of episodes except they won.  Yusuke did this intense training thing while everyone else is literally taking one for the team, and I really hope that they get to fight the main asshole guy who made them do this tournament in the first place soon because I’m about ready to turn in my Hakusho card for a Dragon Ball one or something.  I guess there really is a thing as too much tournament fighting.



Rozen Maiden – Episodes 1-2 Rozen Maiden Cover

I started a re-watch of this series because the new one is airing soon (did it already start?), and as my OCD dictates, I must watch everything in order.  I bought the Sentai Complete Collection of this, even though I watched it the first time on the Geneon singles.  Yes, I am kicking myself for not buying that velvet-covered art box, thanks for asking.  This show goes dives into the world of creepy looking dolls that come to life to play this thing called The Alice Game, where the goal is to pretty much kill one another.  They have to have a human to give them energy, and our main doll in charge picks one who completely hates life and spends all his time buying crap from the internet.  The concept starts out amazingly, but as with 80% of anime, it goes downhill after a little while.  However, the first two episodes set the show up nicely and add some unexpected comedic bits, like when Shinku says she’ll take her tea in the bathroom.  The main problem I have with this show is the audio, though.  The English dub is pretty atrocious, and most of the Japanese voices are completely annoying.  Desu, anyone?  I’m going to attempt to rush through this quickly so I can pick up the third season before too many episodes have come out.

Rose of Versailles – Episodes 16-20 Rose of Versailles Cover

I’m now officially halfway through this series, and it’s still nothing short of amazing.  A huge reveal happened in these episodes, as it turns out the streetrat whom Oscar has befriended because Madame Polignac killed her mother by running her over with her carriage is actually a noble…and her real mother is the same woman who killed her adopted mother!  THE DRAMA.  Then, Madame Polignac’s other daughter commits suicide because her mom wants to marry her off to this giant creeper.  And, AND!  OSCAR HAS FEELINGS FOR THE DUDE WHO IS IN LOVE WITH MARIE ANTOINETTE.  And Fersen and Marie finally sleep together!  I can’t.  I can’t.  This show is so great and so filled with Degrassi-esque drama and characters I love and characters I hate and love triangles and squares and I just want to marry it.  Now, now, now.

Chihayafuru 2 – Episodes 16-25 (Completed!) Chihayafuru 2 Cover

With the final episode aired, I took the opportunity to marathon the shit out of my beloved Chihayafuru 2 and finish it…and boy am I glad I did.  I was honestly getting burnt out watching it weekly because I felt like it wasn’t moving fast enough, but when I breezed through the last ten episodes in one day, I remembered why I love this show.  Okay…technically, it was nine episodes; I skipped 16 because it was a recap episode that was totally unnecessary.  But here’s the cliff notes version.  CHIHAYA’S TEAM WON THE KARUTA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP!!!  Her biggest dream came true.  She sobbed.  I sobbed.  We all sobbed.  But then, she gets injured.  And while she does compete in the individual tournament, she loses her third match to the Queen herself.  All she wanted to do was play Arata, and that dream was shattered.  So, I cried again.  But Taichi…Taichi WINS.  HE WINS AND MOVES UP TO CLASS A.  And instead of letting his win sink in for awhile, he immediately wants Chihaya to go watch the championship match for Class A, which is Arata vs. the Queen.  He loves her so much.  Arata wins, and it turns out that every class winner was someone who Chihaya cares deeply for.  However, the show doesn’t end there, oh no.  Turns out Chihaya needs surgery on her finger, and while she is in the hospital, she has this epiphany where…(here we go.  I’m taking a deep breath now.  This is so hard for me to say.)  she realizes she loves Arata.  Arata.  Not Taichi.  Um.  AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT.  Really?  Really???  I can’t have this in my life.  Everyone but Chihaya knows that Taichi is butt crazy in love with her, and they tell him to man the fuck up because she’s not going to be oblivious to boys for much longer, and he agrees and goes with her to karuta training camp once her finger heals…and that’s where the series ends.  UGH.  There is an OVA confirmed, but I NEED ANOTHER SEASON.  It did not end nicely like the first one did, and I am so unfulfilled, and WHAT IS THIS CHIHAYA/ARATA BULLSHIT?  The manga needs to catch up, though.  If we do get anything else, we’ll be waiting awhile for it.  But man.  MAN.  I love this show.  Even when I hate it, I love it.  I rated it 9/10 on MAL because of the pacing problems.  Marathon this, don’t watch it an episode at a time, but I highly recommend you watch both seasons.  I will miss you, my beloved Chihaya.

Attack on Titan – Episodes 11-13 Attack on Titan Cover

Much as the previous anime, Attack on Titan is best seen in marathoned form.  Maybe that’s just how a ton of shows are for me, but I can’t stand the long gaps between episodes.  I know what happens.  I yell at the tv.  And then I have to wait a week to yell some more and get even more frustrated.  So Eren is a titan.  And he can control his actions, but he can’t.  He saved everybody, but Armin had to literally stab the shit out of him to get him to remember who he was while he was in titan form.  And now, he’s going to join the Survey Corps to go back to his basement to get the key to the titans.  Of course, this week is a recap episode, so that shit will be skipped since there’s a giant bunch of recap in like…every episode.  The animation quality of this show as a whole sucks now.  I know they’re running out of money and time, but come on.  Just because you make some nice titan battles does not mean you can recycle animation or use a bunch of panned still frames.  Show’s still good, though, definitely the only thing I kept up with in the spring 2013 anime season.

GetBackers – Episodes 27-33 GetBackers Cover

I’m almost done with this series.  I AM ALMOST DONE WITH THIS SERIES.  I must admit, I got thrown off when my rental service sent me something that I had listed above this in my queue that was a long wait.  I actually went, “but…my next GetBackers disc…” and pouted.  The next case was an art heist about the Venus de Milo actually having arms and the art thief from one of the previous arcs hired them to make sure the arms didn’t end up on the statue.  But, surprise!  All the art stuff was a cover up for some drug smuggling.  Wasn’t expecting that, but it sure was a nice surprise.  See, I like it when the arcs are short.  That Makubex crap was just too much to handle.


Another – Episodes 1-8 Another Cover

I started Another when it was airing in Japan and on Crunchyroll, and I thought the show had promise.  However, when I found out it was licensed and getting a dub, I held off because the supernatural shows are a lot for me to handle while reading subtitles at the same time.  And boy, am I glad I did.  The first episode of this anime really isn’t too terrible, but as it’s going on, it’s heading into Higurashi territory, which is making me so, so happy.  This isn’t a Shiki-esque fake out, oh no, this is the real deal.  The dub is surprisingly great, too, with Greg Ayres (I love him) and Monica Rial in another performance that’s not at a pitch that only dogs can hear and JESSICA BOONE (what happened to her? I love her, too!).  It also came out almost a month early from Right Stuf, so I’ve been watching it since I got back from Michigan.  Can I just ask what the deal is, though, with putting nine episodes on one blu-ray disc and just four on another?  Like, I want quality when I’m buying a blu-ray and cramming a million episodes on one disc when they just as easily could have done half and half feels like they significantly compromised it.  Oh well.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise of this show until I finish it, which…will probably be as soon as I’m done with this post.  Whoops.

Best of the Week: Chihayfuru 2, Rose of Versailles, Another, Full Metal Panic

Love it or Leave It: GetBackers, Attack on Titan, Rozen Maiden

Hope it Gets Better: Yu Yu Hakusho

It was definitely a good couple weeks!  I’m glad I held off.  What are you most looking forward to in the summer season, and what should I check out?  Right now, I’m thinking about Blood Lad, Rozen Maiden 3, Free, and that show about Sundays…the title is escaping me.  Let me know in the comments if I’m missing anything worth not marathoning!