dear brother

Anime Mondays #65

This week has been a challenge.  Let me tell you guys, I’ve had no power since Monday night after a bunch of tornadoes ripped through our area.  It finally came back on Friday, but I was going insane.  No air conditioning.  No anime (almost).  I felt like a farmer or something, waking up when the sun came up only because I could have light to do normal things like not shower in the dark and attempt to make my hair not look horrific because I couldn’t turn on a blow dryer.  I rely on technology way too much, but, you know what?  So does everyone else.  And I learned I could charge my phone in very unusual places.  Anyway, I did manage to knock a show off the list this week because once I got internet again, I binge watched all over the place.  And, and!  This is a post with a prize inside.  You know the drill.  Also, I finished the newest season of Orange is the New Black, and damn.  That ending.  I was very pleasantly surprised.

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

Red Data Girl – Episodes 4-6 Red Data Girl Cover

I have absolutely no idea what is going on in this anime.  I mean, none, other than it’s some kind of Japanese spirit-apalooza, trying to lump as many different kinds of ghosts and demons in there that they can.  I mean, I know a little bit about various spirits thanks to watching other anime, but they did a much better job of explaining the details so I could understand that, oh yes, this is a fox spirit, and this one lives in the water, and this one will kill you while you sleep.  Not Red Data Girl.  Oh, no, it’s like I should just know them automatically and roll with it, but that is not the case!  I don’t want to have to wikipedia a bunch of crap on my iphone just to figure out what’s happening.  Also, it’s not a scary or action-oriented show about spirits, they all like…attend this school for endangered spirits.  It’s stupid.  I liked this show more when the preview tricked me into thinking it was a reverse harem.  PS – it’s not.  At all.  Don’t get your hopes up.

Soul Eater Not! – Episodes 8-12 (Completed!) Soul Eater Not Cover

If Soul Eater Not! had spent the whole series leading up to what happened in the final three episodes, it would have been a much better anime.  All the slice of life stuff was completely unnecessary.  The last three episodes were action, action, action, and that’s where the Soul Eater franchise belongs, not making stupid boob jokes every four minutes or trying too hard to produce some yuri undertones.  Episodes 8 and 9 were just atrocious.  They were filler and throwaway, and I had to force myself to continue on, just because I knew I wanted to knock this series off my list this week.  But the last three…epic.  The dark haired girl learns how to be a proper weapon, she “chooses” a partner, there’s a witch battle, and, most importantly, there’s another Death the Kid cameo.  Swoon.  It’s a real shame that they wasted 3/4 of a series, though.  An anime should not have to have a shit build-up just to blow it out of the park at the end.  I know a lot of people dropped this show early on, and maybe this was our payoff for sticking through, but man…don’t do that.  I rated this show 6/10 on MAL, and, yes, I added two points for the last arc.  Watch this if you really, really like Soul Eater, otherwise, I’d pass.

Beyond the Boundary – Episode 2 Beyond the Boundary Cover

This show was recommended to me in my birthday giveaway, so I thought I’d give it another try.  I had watched the first episode when it was airing, but the comedic/moe elements really threw me off.  Taking a second look at it, I was ready to watch more than one episode…but then my power went out.  Bastards.  I like the darker tone that Beyond the Boundary has going for it, and that it actually has semblance of a plot, other than like, K-On!, which is what the anime reminds me of.  Same studio.  That’s why.  It also reminds me of a Deadman Wonderland Lite, but that’s just because the main girl gets her power from spilling her blood.  And she’s anemic.  Oh my god, the moe.  However, she was less annoying in episode 2 than I remembered her being in the first episode.  I will definitely be continuing this in the near, as opposed to the far, future.  Thanks for the rec!  You picked a winner!

Hikaru no Go – Episodes 17-20 Hikaru no Go Cover

In case you were wondering exactly what I was watching when my power flipped off, this was it.  And right in the middle of an episode, too, so I had to finish off the disc over the weekend.  LAME.  So, we’re back in this internet gaming thing, where Sai is playing games and kicking ass, and people in these amateur tournaments are like, “Who is this Sai?  WE HAVE TO KNOW!” and they go around like the Spanish Inquisition asking anyone if they have any information.  Um…why didn’t they just trace the IP address?  I’m sure that information was available.  Play less Go, hack some more.  Anyway, so Akira ends up playing Sai, and he thinks it’s Hikaru, but he’s not positive because Hikaru sucked a lot in their tournament match.  Little did he know that it just wasn’t Sai cheating for Hikaru in that match, but I digress.  Hikaru and Sai decide to stop playing online because he doesn’t want to be found out, and then Hikaru jumps onto the professional bandwagon because he wants to compete with Akira.  What?  Turns out he can’t go pro unless a: he passes a test, and 2: he quits his middle school team.  What will he do?  Will he abandon his friends for his selfish desires???  Gasp!  Yeah, I don’t know the answer because that’s where the disc ended.

Karneval – Episodes 1-3 Karneval Title

Okay, I swear to god, I have seen the first episode of this anime about 30 times.  Why?  Because I can never remember what happens in it when I want to go past it, and then I will fall asleep during episode 2.  Not kidding.  I used up a good chunk of my laptop battery trying to keep from going nuts at night when I had no power watching this, and every time, at episode 2, I’d knock myself out and wake up hearing that “Be My Reason~” theme song.  I’d rewind, try to start it over, and promptly fell asleep again.  Ugh.  Karneval, why are you so boring???  The character design in this show is what drew me to it, and the colors are outstanding.  I’m like a kid staring at rainbows just going, “ooh…pretty!”  I BOUGHT this.  I mean, the art box, come on.  I just can’t get into whatever plot it may or may not have at all.  I finally watched up to episode 4 just because I was doing my nails while my laptop was on, and I couldn’t fall asleep, but ugh.  Something about a rainbow forest and some animals…I don’t know.  Greg Ayres is severely miscast in this dub (he should have played the white haired kid), but the dude who plays Yogi (the blond guy) is fantastic.  Hold on, I’m gonna look him up.  Christopher Bevins.  Marry me.

Say, “I Love You” – Episodes 8-9 (Re-watch) Say 'I love you' Cover

Okay, the dude who loves The Land is amazing.  Sorry, I love him and his blond fauxhawk a lot.  Not sorry.  And his English dub voice actor is hysterical.  Hold on, I’m gonna look him up, too.  Andrew Love.  You can marry me, as well.  Polygamy for the win.  Other than that, these were the huge communication misunderstanding episodes, and other than the last episode of the series, they are clearly not my favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor Moon Crystal – Episode 1 Sailor Moon Crystal Cover

I pretty much said all I needed to say about this episode in the post right underneath this one (which I will do each time a new episode airs, yay!), but I did end up watching this twice, and I liked it better the second time around.  The silhouette dream sequences are still the best part of the anime, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sailor Moon S – Episodes 29-31 Sailor Moon S Cover

Of course, as soon as I was finished re-watching new Sailor Moon, I wanted to re-watch old Sailor Moon, and from here until the end of the series is where shit gets real.  It’s like plot, plot, plot all the time, and there are Outer Senshi everywhere, and I LOVE IT.  It’s almost as good as the arc in the middle of the series where the talismans pop out of Uranus and Neptune, but not quite.  It makes me nervous about their new English dub voices because Viz really fucked up casting Stephanie Sheh as Sailor Moon (ugh, she ruins about as much as Monica Rial does), and, while I am all for Cristina Vee (aka Mio from K-On!) playing Sailor Mars, I don’t know about the rest.  Todd Haberkorn.  Why…anyway, I’ll just watch this subtitled.  Not like I haven’t a million times already.

 

 

The Familiar of Zero – Episodes 1-9 The Familiar of Zero cover

Episodes 1-8 of this were actually a re-watch, as I have seen them all before subtitled.  But Right Stuf had a Sentai sale…and you know where I’m going with this.  Honestly, I purchased this on blu-ray from Deep Discount DVD because it was cheaper and I haven’t had issues with them in the past like every other person in the universe.  So, I watched more than half the series in one go.  Dubbed.  This is a Geneon dub, and it is GOOD.  It took me a little while to realize Saito wasn’t actually 30 years old, but once I got past that, the dub became a winner.  For the newbies, The Familiar of Zero is about a magical boarding school (think Harry Potter), but way less serious.  Our main girl, Louise, is terrible at magic.  Awful.  Everyone in her class has to pick a familiar, and she conjures up this peasant human boy from Earth while everyone else gets dragons and shit.  Poor girl can’t catch a break.  So, while all the rest of the familiars are flying around and spitting fire, Louise’s is washing her underwear.  Yeah, there are cheap jokes.  Yes, there is a harem vibe in here.  But I think this show is hysterical.  Hell, it has like, four seasons, so it must be doing something right.  I’m surprised it’s not more popular in America because it really has everything going for it, and it looks amazing on blu-ray, even though it’s ten years old.  Pick this one up if you can, it’s not out of print anymore, people.  I got my copy for $30.

Damn, that seemed like a lot for a girl with no power all week.  Here’s a free Crunchyroll guest pass:

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So, I’m still currently watching 241 series, with 31 completed shows this year.  Expect both numbers to go up next week, as I will be doing my summer season first impressions.  I’m looking at that show about the rock band, the one that has the word “Hollywood” in the title, the terrorist show, and…Tokyo Ghoul.  Along with anything else that has a pretty title graphic on Crunchyroll.  I’m so easy.

Edited after the fact: I forgot that I also re-watched the rest of the first set of Dear Brother… and let me just tell you that the transfer looks fantastic.  If you can pick up these sets at Right Stuf or something, DO IT.  You won’t be disappointed.

Anime Mondays #64

I’m so excited for the four day weekend I have coming up, I can’t even tell you.  I still don’t even know what’s going on, but I hope to have enough time to do some filming…foreshadowing?  Oh, yes.  Also, congratulations again to Mike who won my birthday giveaway!  He has some free Crunchyroll coming his way.

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

Dear Brother… (Onii-sama E…) – Episodes 1-4 (Re-watch) Dear Brother cover

The first set from the Anime Sols pledge drive FINALLY came in the mail.  It came without fanfare, unexpectedly, too, because I never even received a tracking email.  But it came!!!  And so I started watching it again because the plot is so complicated that if I tried to pick it up where I left off (which I couldn’t even do because I’m technically on episode 22, and this set only contains the first 13 episodes), I would have just been completely lost.  Dear Brother is one of those retro soap opera shows.  The drama!  The angst!  The art style goes the way of Rose of Versailles, so if that turns you off, you probably shouldn’t watch this because it’s quite prevalent.  As for the basic premise, this middle class girl starts at an all female high school and writes letters to her “brother” (in quotes because he’s not really her brother) about all the shit that goes down.  And boy, does the shit go down.  In the first four episodes, people get slapped, someone gets stalked, there are shady dealings going around…it’s fantastic.  It’s a supremely fucked up show, and I highly recommend it.  You guys know how I like my anime: fucked up.

Say, “I Love You” – Episodes 1-7 (Re-watch) Say 'I love you' Cover

Guess what?  Right Stuf is having a Sentai/Section 23 sale!  Guess what else??  I found this blu-ray set cheaper on amazon!  So I bought it.  And while my Right Stuf order hasn’t even processed yet because I put a pre-order in that doesn’t come out until October, this arrived at my doorstep and I proceeded to watch half of it.  This was in my top shows I watched in 2013, and on second viewing, I think I’m still standing by that.  I’m watching it dubbed in English this time, though, and it’s hit or miss.  Caitlynn French is FANTASTIC as Mei.  Seriously, she has the tiny voice down pat, without it sounding stupid.  Greg Ayres is cast in his staple role as a witty sidekick, which is his best typecast.  As for everyone else…well, Monica Rial is in it, which means I plug my ears for the screeching every time her character is on screen.  Seriously, what happened to her?  She was GOOD in Princess Nine.  Once she discovered this high-pitched mess of a voice, shit has gone downhill.  And Yamato…well…he’s played by some guy I’ve never heard of, and while he does a decent job, the stomach drop scenes in episodes one and two aren’t nearly as stomach dropping.  If you’re a girl, you know the ones.  Where the butterflies just come out through your throat because of things that fly out of Yamato’s mouth?  Yup.  Not as powerful.  After the first half of the series, I do believe that it spirals into oblivion, but it’s definitely still got re-watch potential…if for nothing else to see what a stalker Yamato is at the beginning.  Yikes.

The Devil is a Part-Timer – Episode 2 The Devil is a Part Timer Cover

Dub was up on Funimation, so I checked it out because I didn’t want to change the DVD in my player and I didn’t want to read subtitles.  Also, everyone says this show is amazing, and, while, yes, it is pretty funny, it’s not the best show I’ve ever seen, and the dub preview didn’t convince me to buy it like it has for other shows.  In this episode, the red-haired girl, who is the hero in the alternate universe, just basically stalks the demon guy and tells him what a loser he is for working at a fast food place with no aspirations to take over the world other than to get promoted there.  I’ll watch the rest of the series when it gets loaded onto the subscription service, but for the time being, I stand by my decision to put it on pause when I watched the first episode those many, many months ago.

 

Kamigami no Asobi – Episodes 5-12 (Completed!) Kamigami no Asobi Cover

Apparently, it was reverse harem time in my universe this week, so I finished off Kamigami no Asobi to check it off my list.  As a reverse harem, this show sucks.  At the beginning of my mini-marathon, I had to ask myself where the romance was because no one seemed to be interested in dating the main girl, just being friends with her, until the episode where Loki gives her and the Japanese moon god those magnetic rings that force them together.  And then Baldr gets all stalkery.  And Apollo…well, he’s just weird despite him being my favorite character.  Once I realized that this show was taking a different path and trying to have a plot rather than being a true reverse harem, I got more into it.  And, honestly, the Loki/Baldr plot was pretty good.  I mean, it shouldn’t have taken up like five episodes, but I wanted to watch more when I knew that a Loki episode was coming up next.  Plus, we got to see more God-like magical girl transformations, and A+++++ for that!  The ending seemed very rushed, though, and, yeah, I cried.  I’m such a girl.  If it didn’t have that coda tacked on after the credits, I would have been extremely disappointed.  I rated this show 6/10 on MAL, but if you’re looking for a true reverse harem, you won’t find it here.

Red Data Girl – Episode 3 Red Data Girl Cover

I tried to watch more than one episode of this after my pre-order came in, but I kept falling asleep.  Yeah, I know.  This is exactly what happened the last time.  It’s not to say that this show was bad…it’s just slow.  And has calming music.  In episode 3, it turns out the dude the main girl was crushing on is actually a spirit she wished for, and she has to pretty much kill him by doing some dance in a kimono.  Lame.  I don’t know where this show is going, but, I mean…eh.  I can’t think of anything else to describe it, just, eh.  I’ll probably watch more once I’m done with Say, “I Love You”.  We’ll see.

 

 

 

I am currently watching 241 anime and have completed 30 shows this year.  MY WATCHED LIST IS NOT GOING DOWN.  I know this means I need to stop picking up stuff, but…summer season.  There are so many things I want to jump into.  Someone hold my hand and make me watch more of the shows I already started…please?

Anime Mondays #52

Well, I watched a total of 3 whole shows this week.  Did I finish any?  Nope.  In my defense, two are ongoing, so I couldn’t, and the other is really long, so I was lucky I watched this whole chunk before I got bored.  This being the case, yes, this is a post with a prize inside (just scroll down, like normal), and here are some thoughts on the upcoming Spring 2014 season.  Are you ready?  Are you waiting with bated breath??

I probably won’t be watching anything.

Just kidding, Soul Eater Next will be on, and despite the fact that this show looks like a hot mess, I loved Soul Eater, so if I can cross another show off my currently watching list, this might be the one I’ll watch on a weekly basis.  Also, there’s another season of La Corda D’oro.  Be still my reverse harem loving heart.  Yeah, that one’s probably going to happen, as well.  I hope the main girl picks somebody at the end.  God, please.  Anybody.

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

Marmalade Boy – Episodes 32-39 Marmalade Boy Cover

This should come as a surprise to absolutely no one that I like Marmalade Boy due to my love of all things retro, shoujo and drama.  I mean, I thought Dear Brother was a soap opera mess (sidenote: set 3 is up for pledging on Anime Sols, what are you waiting for?), but this is just…soap without the opera.  Let me explain.  This anime is about a girl named Miki, whose parents are divorcing and remarrying the parents of a boy named Yuu.  To make things more confusing, they all decide to stay friends, and the four parents and the two step-siblings are all living together in the same house.  But, oops, Yuu and Miki like each other, and are trying to start this budding relationship, but have to hide it from their parents because yeah…incest is best!  Actually, they’re not really related, so does that even count?  I digress.  There are also a bunch of side characters that show up, and all the girls are in love with Yuu while the boys are in love with Miki.  Then the shit hits the fan as they break up, get back together, more people fall in love with them, decide they only love each other, have some ridiculous misunderstanding because they don’t like to communicate, break up, etc.  Honestly, if you watch this show in big chunks, it’s mentally exhausting because the same crap happens over and over again with new characters that magically appear to cause drama.  Sadly, it’s extremely addicting, and I don’t even like Miki and Yuu together.  Right now, I’m shipping Miki and her ice cream store co-worker, but since she’s literally pushed him down to the ground at least twice now, that’s probably not going to happen.  I know.  I’m going to stop trying to make fetch happen.  Ugh.  I jumped back into this after one year + of not watching it, and let me tell you, it took about four episodes to figure out who liked who, and who dated who, and who hates who so I could get back into it, and that’s just sad.  There are SO MANY CHARACTERS, and the story lines don’t go away, like the side characters never disappear, they just hook up with other people, and it’s hard to keep everything straight.  It’s also a 70+ episode series, and yes, I did purchase all of it and am on Collection 3 out of 4, but man, is it hard to get through.  Tokyopop dubbed it, but it’s atrocious, so I’m stuck with the subtitles, and for a long running show, it doesn’t move fast.  But, if you like your drama with a side of high school whining, this show is for you.  So, yes…I like it.  Don’t judge me.

Pupa – Episode 9 Pupa Cover

If this show weren’t four minutes long, I would have thrown in the towel on watching it weekly because it’s just so…ugh.  UGH.  I can’t think of a better word, I just have to sigh dramatically and throw my Roku remote in the air in disgust each time the ending theme plays.  This week, we get a bunch of censored dissection scenes of our favorite big brother while the sister sits in a chair blindfolded.  Yup.  That’s it.  I mean, at the end, she breaks her chains and goes all Incredible Hulk on everybody, but they don’t show it, so it’s pointless.  They just animate her creepy, glowing bug eyes and make some kind of insect noises.  Gee, if I wanted my manga with sound, I could have turned on Animal Planet in the background while I read it.  There are three more episodes left, and this story, or the lack thereof, will not have a sound conclusion.  What about the monster baby?  What about the parents?  Is there a cure?  None of these will get answered.  I don’t know why I bother caring about this anime, because the animators sure don’t.

Kuroko no Basket Season 2 – Episodes 8-22 Kuroko no Basket Season 2 Cover

Marathon time!  I just cannot watch sports anime while it’s ongoing.  I just can’t.  The episodes are paced so slowly that if one episode is half a quarter of a basketball game, and it takes two months in real time for the game to be finished…no.  I need that instant gratification, which is why I decided to catch up on this all in one week.  Go me.  I’m not a huge fangirl over Kuroko no Basket like a ton of people, but I do enjoy the show.  I will cop to the fact that in the Kagami vs Aomine showdown, I was screaming at my television, but that’s beside the point.  It took forever to get through that game.  I know it was a huge deal and all because it was a Seiren vs a Generation of Miracles game, but, damn.  The game for this last arc is either going to be crammed into too few episodes because the season is ending in four weeks, or we’ll be left with one hell of a cliff-hanger which is completely unacceptable.  Is this going to get a third season?  I have no idea, but it needs one because…Kise.  WHERE IS KISE?  Stop just showing him watching other people play basketball and show him playing basketball!  If you’re looking for something realistic, this anime is not your thing, but if you just want to yell at the tv for awhile, then go for it.  I mean, Kuroko can shoot now…let’s just keep giving him all these abilities so he will surpass even Kagami.  Dumb.  But good show.

And that’s the end!  For your trouble, here’s a free Crunchyroll guest pass:

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Stats are the same as last week with 236 currently watched shows, and 13 completed this year.  No post next week as I’m going out of town, so in two there will be a double, but I’ll try to get something queued in the meantime.  Also, I bought my third Dragon Box.  Only one more cheap(ish) one left, and then I’m going into the hundred dollar + territory.  Anyone want to sell me Box 2?  Anyone?  Bueller??