Welcome to this week’s double post of doom! Okay, so it’s not really doom-like at all, I have a couple new shows in here, a conclusion, some regulars…it’s been a busy week in Glitterbots Grove. Yes, I just made my screen name into a fictional place. Alliteration for the win. Hey Monday!
All images are from MAL, and there are spoilers below up to the episode numbers listed!
How does this show keep getting better and better? Honestly. Somebody answer me. This is the only show of the new anime season I’ve constantly kept up with, and for good reason: it’s fantastic. Chihaya and friends go from the Tokyo regional karuta tournament immediately to the national tournament. Look, mom, no filler! Thankfully, everything seems to be coming up roses for the team as they win their first round match against a group of “foreigners.” How cute was it when Chihaya was writing on the board in English??? Ugh, she loves karuta. She loves when other people love the game just as much as she does. CHIHAYA JUST LOVES EVERYTHING. Oh, and can we talk about Arata coming to surprise her and Taichi to watch the team matches? But that Queen…something is brewing here, and I don’t know what it is. Bitch needs to leave the three amigos alone so they can get some BFF time in. I don’t really like where some of this is going…you know…this Chihaya/Arata relationship that might be slipping through the cracks (Chihaya/Taichi forever!~), but I’m interested to see where this goes. Watching this one week at a time is TORTURE for me, especially since I marathoned most of season one in a couple days, but I’m sticking it out. Friday afternoons when I get off work are my favorite times.
So, this is what came from my anime rental service lately (that I actually chose to watch, hello, Gintama DVD that’s been sitting here since October, ugh). Firstly, this dub is atrocious. I don’t know if it’s my crappy television, or if my DVD player is on the fritz, or what, but the audio mix on the English version is absolutely horrible. Most of the first episode sounded like the characters were either underwater, trapped in a tunnel, or echoing their faces off. Add to this that one of the main guys is voiced by the dude who did Kenshin (and I watched all 90+ episodes of that hot mess) and that the lead female is worse than Monica Rial on the screech scale, and I turned the subtitles on immediately. It’s not that much better in Japanese, but the first four seconds of the theme song are extremely catchy (I love songs that start off with just a drum beat and then add a vocal). Of course, it goes downhill from there, but whatever. GetBackers is one of those episodic, we-do-anything-for-money, long-running shonen shows, wow, just like Gintama that I keep putting off! These two guys “get back” things people have lost or have gotten stolen. The first two episodes are terrible, but, luckily, the next three are all connected in a series and the villains are pretty bad ass. It’s sad that the girl who uses poisoned perfume as a weapon and Dr. Jackal, who has weapons INSIDE HIS BODY, are relegated to being a transport team instead of causing general debauchery, but I hope their tasks get more evil as the show progresses. This show is like 50+ episodes long. They have time. As a sidenote, ADV really tried to give some good extras with their release, including voice actor interviews and commentaries, but they’ve got to be the most BORING interviews and commentaries I have ever heard. The actors try too hard to be funny, or they’re just so wooden no one cares, and it just doesn’t work. This show is going to be a chore to plow through, I can feel it already.
I don’t remember why I moved this anime up so high in my Netflix queue. I think it was a prequel to something (post note: it’s by the same people who did Garden of Sinners, and now it all makes sense), but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Anyway, this show has a premise to either be really fucked up (win!) or really boring (lose!). The main dude can see strings of death, so he knows exactly where to chop the bad guys up into tiny, bloody pieces, even if they are monsters. He has a pair of glasses that someone gave him when he was a child that effectively block his death-vision, and he, smartly, wears them all the time. However, when he has to move in with his sister, weird shit starts happening. He keeps having these weirdo flashbacks/visions of slicing some girl into ribbons, and then she magically appears right in front of him. Turns out this girl is a vampire, and she needs him for….something. Either I forgot, or it’s not exactly clear. She tells him how his death-vision works and then he kills some monster for her. Then, for some reason, she shows up like, in his bed and tries to chomp the shit out of him. I love these mind fuck anime, but goddamn, I wish I could keep a plot straight. Is it me, or is it the show? I guess I’ll pay more attention to the next volume whenever it decides to show up at my house.
Before I even talk about this show in particular, I’m going to pose a question: is it just me, or did Geneon license a bunch of anime that look exactly the same? This show reminds me so much of about six shows I’ve gotten from those old RightStuf sales where you could get 25 DVDs for $100. They all have similar art styles, similar harem plots and were all licensed by Geneon. Ai Yori Ayoshi and some horrible show about maids come to mind immediately (I can’t remember the title, but it really wasn’t something to write home about), but I know there have been more. Maybe ALL the anime made around this time period just reeks of plagiarism, but I digress. Sidenote: what the shit with all these shows with the word “strawberry” in the title? There are so many and I get them all confused, and there are NO STRAWBERRIES anywhere in the shows! Seriously. Where were the strawberries in Strawberry Panic? Yeah, I sat through that one, too. Okay, now onto the egg show. This dude needs a gym teacher job and money so he can pay his rent. However, the only school in the area that seems to be hiring gym teachers is one where they only hire female teachers. So, instead of, I don’t know, commuting, this dude thinks it’s a smart idea to go all Rupaul on us and dress in drag so he can teach these kids how to vault over a horse in long, pleated skirts. Um…now, I love me some “Drag Race,” but I don’t know about this anime. To add insult to injury, he starts to fall in love with one of his students. And now I am checked out for good. I’ll still finish it because I’m pretty positive nothing will actually happen, but Jesus Christ, get a girlfriend your own age, already. And throw some strawberries into this show so I can feel validated, thank you.
Man, I have so much to say about this series, but almost all of it is nostalgic. Tenchi Muyo! was one of the very first anime series I ever owned that was in Japanese with English subtitles. I had this on VHS tape. You know the ones that had one ova episode on a cassette and was still $30 apiece? I have all of them. I still have the posters and comment cards that came with them. I remember the gigantic yellow subtitles all in caps. I remember I made up my own words to the theme song. I begged for new volumes from my parents for every birthday and Christmas until I had them all. Anime is NOT a cheap hobby, friends. I got a stuffed Ryo-Ohki for Christmas one year and I carried that thing around like a badge of honor. I gladly explained to everyone what the hell a “cabbit” was and got funny looks when I imitated the meow, but I didn’t care. I love, love, loved this show. And honestly, I didn’t really get parts of it? I just played it off that everyone ran around naked during the hot springs episode, and I wanted to be Ryoko because she was so bad ass, and I wanted to punch Ayeka in the face because she was a whiny, princess bitch. I got my initiation into RightStuf by purchasing this show. I went to my local comic shop to beg the dude to carry new volumes of this so I could buy it. I’m sure he was like, what the fuck is a little girl doing watching this show about a lame dude surrounded by women, but I did not care. Shit, I have a TV that only hooks up to a VCR in my basement that I watch when I’m on the treadmill, and I watch these tapes to time my workouts. So, when I heard Funimation was re-releasing them in Blu-Ray, I had to have it. I don’t care that the show’s not that great. I don’t care that the plot is strung together at best. I don’t care that Washu is a pervert and sticks her hand down Tenchi’s pants, and I don’t care that the longest OVA episode is filler. I now own the entire Tenchi series (except for Tenchi Muyo GXP, which I watched and HATED) on DVD, including the Pretty Sammy stuff and the Sasami Magical Girls Club spin offs. Like, Sailor Moon, however, I’m still in the process of watching it all. Oh, but I’ll finish it, no matter if I still want to punch Ayeka in the face all these years later. I just had to start with a massive re-watch back at the beginning, where the magic begins. Sorry, I’m not sorry.
Okay, I love the first season of this show. I watched it in Japanese, laughed my ass off through every episode, and bought it when it came out on DVD, to which I laughed my ass off through every episode with the English dub. I know that a lot of people pan this show, but I think it’s hysterical. My favorite character is Hideyoshi, and goddamn, I don’t care how old the gag is, I crack up every time someone thinks he’s a girl. However, when season 2 started the simulcast, I couldn’t get into it. I literally fell asleep through the first episode each time I started it. I just don’t like beach things, so sue me. But, I bought this from the last Funimation RightStuf sale and have successfully stayed awake through episode 1. Yahoo for school! Yahoo for me! The avatar fights are my favorite part, so they need to hurry and get back into the classroom. When I want to watch something mindless, I can always turn to Baka and Test. It’s golden.
Netflix decided to send this my way and I devoured it as soon as it came in the mail. I don’t know what it is, but I can get through a volume of Bleach faster than almost anything. In this set of episodes, the gang jumped through that dimension door or whatever to go save Rukia. Ichigo fights this giant and then a dude who rides a warthog…that’s about it. Seriously, about nothing happens, and then the disc is OVER. I don’t know how people watched this weekly. I feel like I’m going to need about four more DVDs just to finish this boss battle.
This is what happened to me yesterday when I was surfing through the Seinen section on my Crunchyroll Roku Channel. I was like, oh, White Album, maybe it’s a Beatles reference and is about music! So, I turned it on. And it is about music…sort of. Basically this dude has a girlfriend he never sees because she’s trying to become an idol. However, all these chicks are practically throwing themselves at him for no apparent reason (honestly, he’s like…super wooden). It reminds me a lot of School Days (and I’m the only person in the universe who actually liked that anime, so shut up, it’s not a bad thing), and then I saw on MAL that it’s based on a game…great. So this creeper really IS going to hook up with every girl with a pulse, fantastic. I was only being slightly sarcastic with that statement. One day, I will explain why I liked the most hated anime to ever exist, but today is not that day. I will say that the characters in White Album are all sorts of fucked up, and I haven’t even begin to crack the surface on it, yet. I just wish the male protagonist would be more interesting. Maybe he is. Maybe it’s coming. Maybe there’s a nice boat. We shall see….
And we have come to the end of another Anime Monday. Next week, the post comes with a surprise inside…totally better than cereal, right?