btooom

Anime Mondays #71

Talk about getting a video in under the wire…I hope it uploads before midnight.  I guess I can shoot, edit and upload a video in five hours, with breaks to book a flight to Tampa and plan my brother’s Disney vacation.  Like a boss, kids, like a boss.

This is still uploading, so check back.

Here is the cliff notes version for the home game:

  • Hikaru no Go – Episodes 33-36
  • Love Stage – Episodes 5-6
  • Btooom! – Episodes 3-9
  • Ao Haru Ride – Episode 6
  • The World God Only Knows Season 2 – Episodes 2-8
  • A-Channel – Episode 7
  • Tenchi Muyo! OVA Series – Episodes 9-10
  • Sailor Moon Crystal – Episode 4

Same stats as last week, currently watching 246 anime with 34 completed.  Comicon is next weekend, so I’ll be off stalking David Boreanaz instead of filming, but if I can pull another all-nighter on Monday, I’ll do it.  And yes…I’m still behind on Sailor Moon posts.  That’s what the weekdays are for.

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Anime Mondays #69

Well…I finally did it.  I got off my butt and did my first youtube Anime Mondays.  We’ll see how this translates to a visual medium.  Yeah, writing is visual, but you get the drift.  Anyway, here it is!  Vlog or blog?   You be the judge.  That sounds like a really horrible reality show.

Clearly my purple hair is fading to some reddish color.  Don’t worry, it’ll get fixed in 12 days.

PS – The prize inside this post is in the video description box on youtube.

Here is a list of the anime I watched this week in case youtube isn’t your thing:

  • Btooom! – Episode 2
  • Naruto – Episodes 154-163
  • Hikaru no Go – Episodes 25-28
  • Ao Haru Ride – Episode 4
  • Madoka Magica – The Beginnings (Movie) (Completed!)
  • One Piece – Episodes 81-84
  • Yu Gi Oh! Duel Monsters – Episodes 129-137
  • Love Stage – Episode 4
  • Zankyou no Terror – Episode 4
  • Sailor Moon Crystal – Episode 3
  • Walkure Romanze – Episode 1

Currently watching 247 anime, completed 34 this year.  Let me tell you, blogging is much faster to do than vlogging.  I think I spent over 6 hours editing the two videos I put up, and I HATE editing.  It’s why I quit film school, friends.  Luckily, most of that 6 hours was spent learning how exactly to use iMovie (after figuring out that I couldn’t even begin to touch Final Cut Pro), and by the second video, I felt like a pro.  I’ve got a different camera to use for next week so this will be in higher quality, and, hopefully, the lighting won’t suck as much, but that depends on if my setup comes or not.  Youtubing is rough.  Major props from me to everyone who makes any type of video on there.  Seriously.

 

Anime Mondays #68

What’s been happening this week, you guys?  I had to shell out a shit ton of money to fix my car.  My poor baby.  The air conditioning was broken, so I took it in, and the technician discovered ten other things wrong with it.  It’s just an adorable PT Cruiser, how could things have gone so awry??  It’s putting a cramp in my style, that’s for sure.  I have some Right Stuf orders I need to make (big ones), and that’s not going to happen anytime in my near future.  Gee, guess I’ll be forced to watch my backlog.  Or, you know, Crunchyroll.  Probably Crunchyroll.

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

Yu Gi Oh Duel Monsters – Episodes 108-128 Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters Cover

I have no shame.  I watched the entire “Noah” arc of this series.  All of it.  Pretty much in a day.  And I am stupidly confused by it…not by any of the plot/character elements, but by the fact that I was sure Noah was Kaiba’s brother and that his step-dad was pulling the strings the whole time the first time he came on screen.  And this was supposed to be a big reveal??  The bigger reveal would have been to tell us what kind of accident he had to pretty much kill himself.  And how the step-dad’s disappearance factored into all of this.  Did he injure his own son and then feel guilt about it so many years later and want to injure himself?  Goddamned censoring.  So that happened.  And in the last episode of this arc, Kaiba said what I had been feeling the whole time.  I’m paraphrasing, but it goes a little something like this: that was a completely pointless diversion from the main path, NOW LET’S GET BACK TO THE BATTLE CITY FINALS.  A fucking men.  The coolest part of this is the four way duel that goes down to see who will battle against each other because all the strategies make zero sense, but everyone thinks they are the smartest in the world for spewing some words out of their mouths.  There cannot be a strategy in a four way duel because everyone is going to fuck up your strategy.  Although, Joey does grow some balls and tells Yugi to stop helping him…but then the idiot decides to battle Marek.  Stupid.  He loses, but has another one of those technicality TKO’s where he doesn’t lose by points but because he can’t get up off the ground.  And that’s where I stopped because I couldn’t take anymore of the made-up rules.  Is this less confusing in Japanese?  Can I even track down some fansubs?

A-Channel – Episode 2 A-Channel Cover

Yeah, the second episode wasn’t any better than the first.  Everyone gets caught in a rainstorm and then they all get in the bath.  I’ll never understand why Japanese people all like to jump in the tub together.  When I’m in the bath/shower, it’s the most peaceful time of my day since I don’t have to deal with anyone and can have some me time.  I do not like this show.  I will struggle to finish it because it’s a rental.

 

 

 

 

 

Ao Haru Ride – Episode 3 Ao Haru Ride cover

My Crunchyroll Roku channel would not play this episode, so I was forced to watch it on my laptop.  Actually, my Crunchyroll Roku channel has not been playing a lot of shit lately.  What is up with that?  I pay for this.  And I know I have to watch it in shit quality because it doesn’t support 1080p for some unknown reason, but goddamn, when I want to watch my shoujo romances, they had better work, or I am going to shounen-ly punch somebody in the face.  Hear that, Crunchyroll??  Anyway, this episode was cute.  I almost, ALMOST thought they were going to kiss, but then they didn’t and I’m okay with that.  And now, we are going to get a plot with other people, since they all joined the student council together.  I guess that’s fine.  I’m glad the main girl will make some real friends.  I’d rather this just be a romance, though.

 

One Piece – Episodes 79-80 One Piece Cover

I have put Naruto on an indefinite hiatus to try and tackle some of another long-running shounen that I feel I’ll never catch up on: enter One Piece.  I have the re-released collections from Funimation, and I’m up to 9 with 10 on pre-order, but I’m watching Collection 4.  Yeah.  Trying hard to catch up.  It doesn’t help that I’ve tried to watch episode 81 at least four times, and I’ve fallen asleep every time.  Ugh.  Anyway, so when we last left off, Nami was sick, and the guys were trying to sail somewhere to find her a doctor.  Well, they come upon this winter island, where they almost get shot before they get off the boat.  Luckily, there’s a good Samaritan in his winter coat, and he takes the gang onto the island to try and help Nami.  However, the only doctor is really a witch, and Luffy and Sanji have to carry the sick girl up a giant mountain to get to her.  Yeah, that’s happening.  There are giant killer rabbits, though, so life is good.  The giant duck is the best part of this series.  I’ll be sad if he ever leaves.

Ranma 1/2 – Episodes 2-3 Ranma Cover(Re-watch)

I was watching something…and got the urge to pop in Ranma for a couple of episodes.  Clearly, it wasn’t any actual anime episodes, probably something on youtube.  I’m going through the new Blu-ray release for these.  Remember last time when I swore there were episode previews and I couldn’t find them?  Yeah, you can’t chapter skip past the ending theme.  They are there.  I’m a moron.  Akane takes Ranma to school, and he is shocked to find out she has to knock down a gauntlet of guys who want to fight her to be able to date her every morning.  What??  Yeah, that is thanks to her senpai (whose name is escaping me but he calls himself Blue Thunder) who is also in love with her and doesn’t want anyone to touch her, so he issued that challenge.  Asshole.  He fights Ranma, but they fall in the pool, and now he’s in love with Girl Type Ranma.  Suck on that, Akane.  Say what you want, but I really like this show.  It’s definitely a classic, and I think everyone should check out at least a few episodes.  Just…not in English.

Love Stage – Episode 3 Love Stage cover

OH MY GOD.  There is a scene in this episode where I about lost my shit.  It’s pretty tastefully done, all outlines and glitter everywhere, but holy crap.  Never before have I seen something in an anime on Crunchyroll.  To recap, last week I wondered how the two dudes were going to fall in love with each other since neither one appears to be gay.  Apparently, it’s just immediate, animal attraction.  I’ll buy it.  You know why?  Because both of them are traumatized after they kiss again, and neither one knows what to do with himself.  Those poor dudes.  They are just so clueless.  I really hope in the next episode they both attempt to come to terms with their sexualities (or at least the fact that they are attracted to each other, gender be damned).  A lot of people wrote this series off because the character designs aren’t the norm, or because it’s yaoi, but Love Stage is really solid so far.  It’s my second favorite show of the season.  You go boys, with your bad selves.

Phi-Brain Season 2: Episodes 13-15 Phi Brain Season 2 Cover

I would have watched more of this, but, you know, Crunchyroll on Roku doesn’t want to play this, either.  I even succumbed to watching an episode on Hulu.  WITH COMMERCIALS.  The student council president fights Kaito with the fake ring and loses…and then he disappears.  Great.  Now I will be missing his stupid apple juice jokes for the rest of the season.  And then the Orpheus Order gets a new leader who is a real dickbag, and just starts trying to kill Kaito again.  I’d rather have Freecell, who just wants to play with him.  And then…and then…there’s an episode where they give a dog a replica ring.  Let me repeat.  THEY GIVE A DOG A REPLICA RING.  This show is fucking camp.  I can’t take it seriously.  I love it.

 

 

Bakamatsu Rock – Episode 4 Bakamatsu Rock cover

Speaking of camp, this entire episode takes place in a bath house.  Elephant noises abound!!  Oh god, I can’t take it.  You know how the stupid bath house/spa episodes always show girls running around naked?  Well, now it’s boys running around naked.  And the female anime watchers rejoice.  It’s hysterical, though, like, the guys hold a concert in an all-male bath house, and they are halfway into their first song when hundreds of dudes whip off their towels and start swinging them over their heads.  So they are legit about to start a naked mosh pit.  The fucking best ever.

 

 

 

Terror in Resonance – Episode 3 Terror in Resonance cover

I am starting to lose faith in this show.  There is some big plot element that’s going to be revealed, and it’s going to be something completely stupid.  I can feel it.  Also, it’s turning into a police drama, and that shit is boring.  But, it looks like 9 and 12 were in an orphanage?  Or possibly a little kid asylum?  There was some kind of bomb scare years and years ago, and while they were trying to get out, a lot of kids died.  Like, they couldn’t save them all.  So that looks like it’s going to be the reason why they are bombing seemingly random places that have to do with police and/or government.  Oh, and Lisa runs away from her crazy mom.  I really hope I’m wrong about this show, that the characters’ motivations will be something that’s relevant, but…eh.  I mean, I watch Phi-Brain.

 

Sailor Moon S – Episodes 32-38 (Completed!) (Re-watch) Sailor Moon S Cover

Watching the last six episodes of this series reminded me how much I love the Sailor Moon franchise as a whole, and why S will forever be the best series.  First of all, you have villains that do actual damage.  Mistress 9 and Pharaoh 90 actually BLEW UP A SCHOOL.  There’s wreckage and everything.  Secondly, they destroyed the Holy Grail and fucked up Sailor Moon to the fact that she had to force her heart crystal to pop out of her body in order to defeat them.  And Sailor Saturn had to kill herself just to fight off the evil.  Yeah, she gets re-incarnated, but still.  There are also more witches who get killed off in one episode apiece.  What??  I mean, shit is getting real.  And at the very end, Uranus and Neptune call out Sailor Moon on how unworthy she is to be the Messiah because she tried to save Hotaru instead of the world.  Ugh.  It’s SO GOOD.  I cried.  A lot.  Unfortunately, this marks a turning point for Uranus and Neptune who peace out of town after getting bitch slapped by Sailor Moon’s heart crystal power and don’t appear for the entirety of the next series.  Hence, I will be re-watching Sailor Moon Super S for continuity’s sake only.  This is just the best the Sailor Moon franchise has to offer because Sailor Moon is best when it’s serious.  I rated this 10/10 on MAL, and while I’m not positive it deserves it for all the filler, this is a show I will watch again and again.  I can’t wait until it comes out on Blu-ray.  And god, I hope they don’t fuck up the dub voices for Uranus and Neptune.  I don’t know who could do them justice.

Sailor Moon S Movie – (Completed!) (Re-watch) Sailor Moon S Movie Cover

I think I’ve seen this movie at least 50 times.  This might be showing my age a bit, but when I was a kid, I begged my parents to let me go to the post office to get a money order so I could order some VKLL fansubs.  Remember those?  Oh man.  This was the first glimpse I ever received of the Outer Senshi that wasn’t on a tiny .avi file on my computer.  And I loved them.  I haven’t seen this movie in years, though, since I got back into anime, and the whole Kaguya Hime thing?  It makes SO much more sense, now that I get the context.  I bought this Pioneer dvd off amazon or ebay or something, and it’s…interesting.  The transfer is terrible.  It looks just like my VHS tape did.  But the bonus features…man.  Shit is spelled incorrectly, but you can watch all the transformations and attacks just by pushing a button, and if I would have had this back in the day, maybe I wouldn’t have worn out my tape.  It also lets you jump to the infamous “Tuxedo Mask transformation,” and I did laugh out loud because I had forgotten about it.  Also, it recognizes — in print — that Haruka and Michiru are in love with each other.  No more cousins!  Take that, English dub!  The movie is cute.  It’s nothing special plot wise.  But this meant the world to me when I was a kid, and it will always be one of my favorites.  (In case you were wondering, the Sailor Moon movies do go down in quality the later they get.  Like, R is my favorite, then S, then Super S).  I rated this 8/10 on MAL, and I’ll stick by it.

Btooom! – Episode 1 (Re-watch) Btooom! Cover

I purchased this at the beginning of the month, and I have been holding off re-watching it for the sole fact that I didn’t want to add anything new to my list.  But yesterday, I said fuck it, and popped that sucker in.  The dub.  Oh man, the dub.  This new-ish guy who does the main dude…he is AWESOME.  Give him more work!  And then, my precious Brittney Karbowski is the main girl in the episode preview…so I’m sold.  I’m really glad I bought this.  Let’s be real, though, I really wanted to start it again just so I could watch the opening.  It does not disappoint.  And now it’s translated!  And I’ve been singing it wrong the entire time.  I won’t go much more into this since I did a whole review on this series (and that barely ever happens anymore), but it’s just as good the second time around.

 

Stats are the same as last week: currently watching 246 anime with 33 completed this year (re-watches don’t count).  My Sailor Moon Crystal episode review is coming, I didn’t forget about it.  As for next week…any suggestions?  My list is linked at the top of every Anime Mondays post so you can see what I’m in the middle of.  I’m kind of feeling the void since I finished off Sailor Moon S.  Help.

2013 Anime Wrap Up and 2014 Backlog Goal

Happy new year!  What are you looking forward to in 2014?  Personally, I’ve got another Disney vacation in the planning stages and a move.  Ooh, scary.  Also, I want to spend as much time with my baby nieces as possible…unfortunately, they live in a different time zone, but I’ll figure something out.  I’ve got my anime backlog project to keep me busy, and here is the starting number:

animelistThat’s right.  240 anime currently being watched.  (It would have been 241, but I finished something this morning.  Whoops.)  I will not go over this number.  I’d like to cut it down to 200 by the end of the year, but I have no idea if that’s even possible.

As for 2013, I finished more than I thought.  After a few calculations (aka: I scrolled through all my Anime Mondays post and counted off all the shows I marked as completed), I figured out my magic number of shows I finished: 32.  Of course, that includes 7 short OVA series and movies, but that’s still pretty good.  As you can see, I never finish anything.  I have to beat last year by 8 titles to hit my goal, and I’m pretty sure I only have a couple OVA series in my list, which means I have to watch entire series.  The countdown is on.

Speaking of countdowns, here is a list of my favorite anime of 2013.  Please keep in mind that these may not have been made in 2013, but they are ones I finished.  Feat in itself.  How about…seven of them.  Does that sound good?  Anything to put in a Nana reference.

7.  Btooom! Btooom! Cover

I almost put Diabolik Lovers here, but I cared about this show so much that I made an actual review on it, so Btooom! wins.  My love for the survival game premise knows no bounds, and even with an unfinished ending, this deserved a place on my top list.  Sure, it was OVER said top on multiple occasions, but where else can you watch a bunch of people chuck bombs at each other and get a love story out of it?  …Don’t say Future Diary.  That got left off the list for its shitty ending.  I guess unfinished trumps shitty.

 

6.  Danganronpa: The Animation Danganronpa Cover

What did I tell you?  It’s like survival game-a-palooza up in here.  I watched this show weekly, and it was the only one of the season where I screamed at my tv wanting more immediately.  I really hope the game sequel gets an anime because I need more Junko in my life ASAP.  Also, this has one of the best ending sequences I’ve seen in a long time.  It was decidedly simple, but I loved that moment when the camera panned out and you got to see who had gotten killed and what they were like before the shit hit the fan.  And the song…THE SONG.  I loved it.

 

5.  Say ‘I Love You’ Say 'I love you' Cover

It was between this or My Little Monster to put in the #5 spot, and although they are both pretty similar, Say ‘I Love You’ made the cut.  I loved the premise of this show, and it reminded me of one of my favorites, Kimi ni Tokdoke, but with a less annoying female protagonist.  And I love Yamato.  I have no shame.  He has absolutely everything, but he loves Mei, and that’s all that matters.  It did start to fall apart some towards the end, but if you like the shoujo romance shows, you should not skip this one.

 

4.  Lovely Complex Lovely Complex Cover

Speaking of shoujo romances…ugh.  I LOVE Lovely Complex.  It’s right up there with Nana as one of my favorites of all time.  I’ve said it before, but Risa is pretty much me in anime form.  So if anyone wants a really tall girl who doesn’t give up, please, take my number.  I don’t have a thing for bunnies, though.  Anyway, this show made me cry more times than I am willing to admit, so you know it’s got to be a lot.  It also has one of the best anime kisses ever and it gives me the feels.  You know.  Lord.  All the underground hype for this show is completely worth it.

 

3.  Interstella 555 Interstella 5555 Cover

Yup, this is a movie, but what a fantastic movie.  Firstly, it’s entirely scored in Daft Punk music.  Secondly, it takes place mostly in space, and I DON’T HATE IT.  And, lastly, it’s about a band, which I always love.  If you watch one anime movie in the next few months, this should be it.  Find it while you can, because, sadly, it’s going out of print.  I could watch this every week and not get bored.  My love for Interstella knows no bounds.

 

2.  Soul Eater Soul Eater Title

This was the longest series I completed in 2013, and it only got finished because it was SO GOOD.  I could not stop watching this.  Death the Kid has one of my favorite character designs of any anime ever, and even if the ending is kind of bogus, I still loved this show.  And there is a spin-off coming!  Here’s to hoping it has a few cameos from the original cast.  And I think I’m the only person who didn’t think Black Star was annoying.  I should get a medal.

 

1.  Mawaru Penguindrum Penguindrum Cover

Best show of my 2013 hands down.  No contest.  Penguindrum had absolutely everything I could have ever asked for in an anime wrapped up into two awesome box sets.  It’s got the sense of fucked up that I like, has beautiful characters, a psychological storyline, and PENGUINS.  YEAH, PENGUINS.  Seriously, though, it won’t be for a lot of people, but it was my most favorite thing.  I encourage everyone to watch this, but only if you’re prepared to get your mind fucked for hours upon hours.  If that’s your cup of tea, you won’t be sorry.

And I have definitely posted way too often this week.  I’ll be back on Monday with my first completed show of the year.  Spoiler: it wasn’t a very good one.

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!

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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 #18

Sorry I was absent last week, kids.  I hadn’t watched much at all, and then I was out of town at a wedding.  Ugh, I love weddings.  I was so proud of myself that I barely cried.  Glitterbots wears her heart on her sleeve, yo.  Let’s keep it on the DL.  Anyway, before I kick this off, I have some super sad news: the new Sailor Moon anime has been delayed, probably until 2014.  My heart.  It breaks. 😦  Hopefully, it could come a little sooner, but it definitely won’t be summer like projected.  At least it gives me a little more time to finish the original series…can I just skip past the Chibi-usa episodes?  Please???

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

Btooom! – Episodes 9-12 Btooom! Cover(Finished!)

Since I already did a full review/discussion on this, it’s pretty obvious that I completed this in the same weekend I watched it.  Want to know more of my thoughts?  Check out the post right below this one.  I guess my final thoughts were that I loved the concept, I just wanted more from it.  I know that’s a really cheap thing to say about a twelve episode anime, but whether or not there is going to be a second season, it definitely could have used a more cohesive ending.  It’s for that crap ending alone that I ranked it 7/10.  It could have been a solid 8, but since everyone is still on the goddamned island, it wasn’t going to happen.

Is This a Zombie? – Episode 4 Is This a Zombie? Cover

This episode got watched thanks to another round of playing Random-e.  And let me tell you, I could only sit through the one.  Even if it was about the necromancer’s back story (which usually I love, back stories, not necromancers), I was just…bored.  It provided some nice, mindless entertainment, but that’s about it.  On the plus side, I finally realized that this theme song was the one I couldn’t pick out that is on the CD I play in my car.  Don’t judge me.

Sgt. Frog – Episode 66Sgt. Frog Cover

Time for a little back story of my own now: I started watching this when Funimation started releasing the DVDs, and I devoured the first two seasons.  Holy crap, I thought the dub was hysterical.  I mean, I would post the lines on twitter, even though they were completely out of context because I just could not stop laughing.  But then, they said they weren’t going to dub anymore of it, and I was like…well, fuck it, this series is super long, impossible to track down, and probably not as funny in Japanese.  BUT THEY RELEASED SEASON 3!  And instead of immediately rushing to rent it, I…promptly forgot about it.  Whoops.  Luckily, the newest batch is up on Netflix Instant, so when it popped up Random-e style, I queued up the next episode I had to watch.  I heard rumors that in this new batch of episodes, the quality of the dub script had gone down…and I’m sad to say that those rumors are true.  The single episode I watched was in no way as funny as previous shows.  Now, maybe the episode just wasn’t that funny (it was about the kids getting kidnapped by an alien television station and the ninja girl going shopping with Natsume), but I was just bored.  Needs more Tamama.  That tiny frog can do no wrong.

Gintama – Episodes 21-26 Gintama Cover

No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  I really did watch Gintama.  Not only did I watch it, but I watched the entire disc I had of it.  You know…the one I’ve kept from Rent Anime since October.  (If you were waiting for Disc 2 of Collection 2, I truly apologize…but it should be back in their system in about a week.)  Please pat me on the back.  Somebody.  Because I watched it, destroyed it, AND sat through a recap episode.  Well…sort of.  They were fighting over a goddamned hot pot.  Also, I got to a new opening and a new ending, and I am completely saddened to see one of my favorite anime endings of all time get thrown to the vault.  Let’s watch it again, shall we?

Okay, so that’s not the real ending, but it is the song, which is all that matters anyway.  In this group of episodes, we are introduced to that annoying ninja girl with glasses and my new favorite character, one of Gin’s friends who is constantly drunk and pilots spaceships.  I don’t even know if more collections of this were released on DVD, but I need a break.  It took seven months for me to watch this and I RENTED it, so that’s saying something.  I mean, it’s funny, but I just don’t want to watch more than one episode at a time…which is bad when there are six episodes crammed onto a disc.  Sorry, Gintama, I’ll pick you up again in…another seven months.

Yu Yu Hakusho – Episodes 23-28 Yu Yu Hakusho Title

Finally, the horrible ‘let’s rescue the Ice Guy’s kidnapped sister’ arc is over…and guess what?  He doesn’t even tell her he’s her brother!  The fuck?  That was such a waste of episodes.  However, it does set up something that I will be looking forward to: TOURNAMENT FIGHTING!  Yeah, I am a sucker for long, drawn out, melodramatic battles, what can I say?  It’s why I like the original Dragon Ball.  Anyway, the gang has to fight in some kind of “Dark Tournament” and right now the ginger dude is going up against some little kid with yo-yos.  I’m sure there will be no plot and they will win, but I don’t care because it’s TOURNAMENT FIGHTING!  Most of it will take place on the season 2 set.  You’re welcome.

Chihayafuru 2 – Episodes 11-15 Chihayafuru 2 Cover

This has to be like the WTF? post of the year, right?  Yes, I have officially caught up with Chihayafuru 2 (minus the recap episode from this week, ugh I HATE recap episodes).  It definitely benefited me to watch a huge chunk of episodes.  It prevented the episodes from going too slowly, which, honestly, is what’s starting to happen.  This tournament is just going on FOREVER.  I don’t even know if they are going to have time to finish the individual tournament during this season, and while that might be good because it could mean we might get a third season full of Chihaya goodness, it also might mean that the anime will end unfinished because I’m not sure if it’s doing so well ratings-wise in Japan.  Anyway, we are at the final round now.  The team is about to play the best in Japan, and they put a filler episode right before a recap episode.  It’s like they are just trying to kill me on the inside.  Especially since ARATA IS THERE AND CAN’T GO WATCH HIS FRIENDS PLAY, UGH.  I really sound like I skipped a bunch of episodes, but I didn’t, since most of them fleshed out back stories of the team’s competitors…who cares.  Seriously, who. cares.  It’s a nice touch and all, but I want to see some karuta and I want to see Taichi eat cake off Chihaya’s fork, okay, bye.  I’ll be back with more of this in a month or so because watching this in marathon form is completely the way to go.

Cowboy Bebop – Episodes 1-2 Cowboy Bebop Cover

That’s right.  I’m doing it.  I’m watching the most over-hyped anime of all time.  Now, though I’ve only seen the first two episodes, I can make some assumptions on why tons of people love this show.  #1: it’s very violent.  When push comes to shove, dudes like their anime full of blood and guns, and Cowboy Bebop has plenty of them.  #2: it’s episodic…so far.  That’s not really my cup of tea, but you can watch any episode in any order, which makes it great for the Toonami crowd.  #3: it takes place in space…sort of.  I hate space.  But I’ll continue to watch this.  I already know this show is not going to be my cup of tea, but I want to see if it can buck the bias I have for its genre and if I’ll end up enjoying it.  PS: Bebop is the name of the spaceship…and there are no cowboys, yet.  At least it’s not a western.  That’s the only thing I hate more than sci-fi.

And that’s a wrap for this week!  I’m at a stalemate with anime I want to watch lately, so if you know of something that I should pick up, please let me know!  My box set of Rose of Versailles won’t come until Princess Knight comes out, so I will really have nothing new until then unless Right Stuf is having an awesome sale, which I can never turn down.  It’ll give me a chance to go through some of my massive backlog but like…nothing looks interesting.  First world problems.

Btooom!: Less Hunger Games, More Battle Royale

Note:  the following post contains spoilers for the Btooom! anime and the movies Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.  If you don’t want any of these ruined for you, I suggest you read this post after you watch them.  I’ll put a “read more” tag before I get into them, though.

Oh, Btoom!.  You could have been so great.  I don’t know what happened.  Well…actually I do, but let me preface this before I go there.

I first heard of this show while listening to a Podtaku episode.  Btooom! was supposedly just like The Hunger Games.  And, trust me, I am an avid Hunger Games fan.  I read all three books pretty much in a weekend.  After that, I tracked down the horrifically subtitled old release of Battle Royale off Netflix because I just had to see the movie that the books pretty much ripped off.  (I know there are two camps in this debate, but the material is so similar, it’s ridiculous.)  I even watched the terrible sequel.  I saw the first movie at the midnight show in freaking Imax, and then I saw it three more times in the theaters.  It’s safe to say…I really love The Hunger Games.  I liked Battle Royale to a certain extent, as well.  I’m not going to say I liked it, though, it was more along the lines of it really disturbed me.  I got it.  But even though I own the re-release on Blu-Ray, I still haven’t taken it out of the packaging because I don’t know if I can sit through all the exploitative violence again.  I have the book, too, and it’s just sitting on my shelf unread.

There’s a huge difference between Battle Royale and The Hunger Games, even though the premises are so much alike: The Hunger Games is less about violence and more about relationships between the characters and their environments, while Battle Royale focuses on action and gratuitous violence.

And this is the difference between Btooom! and The Hunger Games, as well.  While watching and reading The Hunger Games, I was focused less on the plot elements and more on my feelings towards the characters and their feelings towards each otherI felt no compassion towards any of the Btooom! characters.

The anime is completely driven by its plot, much like Battle Royale.  Even though the anime attempts to make Sakamoto and Himiko sympathetic characters (Oh no!  Why did this complete slacker get dropped into a video game?  All of Himiko’s friends hate her and she has nothing to live for on this island trapped with bombs strapped to her waist!  Wah, wah), I felt nothing for either one of them.  This is another case of where the side characters are more interesting than the main ones, but I couldn’t relate or bother to care about most of them, either.  The show clips along at such a ridiculous pace that its “character development” is only shown through rushed flashback scenes that you’re not even sure are real because, now, let’s be real, Ryouta has some kind of brain damage/amnesia to start off with, and Himiko is all sorts of screwed up in the head because she’s convinced every person with a penis wants to molest her.  We don’t get enough time to learn anything about the characters, and the anime suffers because of this.  Sure, if you’re like, “Who gives a fuck about the plot?  I just want to see The Hunger Games with bombs!” then this is for you.  Myself, I found Btooom! somewhat lacking.

I also found it completely ripping off Battle Royale, and here’s where the spoilers check in.

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