sailor moon

Anime Mondays #67

This week’s random bit of Glitterbots news: I am no longer a blonde anymore.  That’s right.  No blonde at all.  Since I came back from my traumatic turn as a brunette a couple of years ago, it was blonde + some other color all the time (read: pink, red, blue, violet, etc.), but I bit the bullet and dyed my hair this dark shade of purple.  For those of you playing the home game, it was called “light radiant violet” or some crap, but there is definitely nothing light about it.  It’s like purple/black purple.  I also took a turn at dyeing my hair black once, to which I vowed never again, but this fades to a weird pink color, so I think I’ll be able to go blonde again in a couple months.  My hair sucks, it’s permanent dye, and it’ll be out in about 4-6 weeks.  I also cut it short because it was asymmetrical, and I decided I wanted to grow it out again, so it was just easier to go all one length first so it doesn’t grow wonky.  ANYWAY.  That was your beauty lesson of the day.  Can you tell I used to work at a hair salon?  Let’s talk about Sailor Moon or something now.

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

Yu Gi Oh Duel Monsters – Episodes 91-107 Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters Cover

Okay, I did not think I watched 16 episodes of this, but I guess I did…I swear, the box set episodes counts are off, but when I went to wikipedia to see where I was, it told me I had gone all the way up to 107, so there you have it.  I finished off season 2 of Yu Gi Oh! and am a disc and a half deep into season 3.  Firstly, season 2 ends at the WORST SPOT EVER.  So round one of the Battle City finals are over, right?  Kaiba beats Marek’s sister without using his Egyptian God Card, and she can’t use her fortune telling/future seeing powers anymore.  Then Evil Marek takes on Bakura/Original Marek for some reason I don’t quite understand (and to be honest, I don’t even remember what happened because it was so convoluted), and then, right when round two is supposed to start, the blimp gets sidetracked and caught up in some force field shit, where this kid named Noah now controls it and lands it on his ship in the middle of the ocean where they have to start a whole new tournament and leave the Battle City one behind.  Um…what??  Why would they insert this gigantic, stupid tournament in the middle of a perfectly good one?  Does this have manga?  Is this filler?  I don’t get it.  Anyway, this is another ridiculous “virtual” tournament where the old Kaiba Corp guys who lost in the last virtual thing come back with new rules to try to take over everyone’s bodies.  Okay.  Alright.  STUPID concept, but whatever.  These new rules make absolutely no sense, and I think all the old rules/continuity of the duels have gone right out the window.  Like, how many times can these shits attack per turn?  Sometimes they have to sacrifice monsters, sometimes they don’t.  How many monsters can they bring out per turn anyway?  And what’s up with these “duel masters” which make the cards talk now?  I can’t keep up with all this fuckery.  The virtual tournament actually has some good things going for it, namely, all the stupid puns from the English dub that are based on the settings (ie: the penguin battle has 64 million jokes about “chilling out”), and that people like Tristan and Tea are forced to battle.  Oh, and DUKE DEVLIN.  Marry me.  I have the oddest anime crushes.  I can’t believe I’ve watched over 100 episodes of this, though.  Closer to the end every week, kids.

Phi Brain Season 2 – Episodes 5-12 Phi Brain Season 2 Cover

See, now this is an anime I thought I got further into, but I’m not even halfway through.  It’s not that it’s dragging, I just had been steadily watching it all week and figured that it was almost over since the first arc ended rather abruptly.  Yeah, no.  So, it turns out the Orpheus Order is mainly after Kaito because — get ready for it — he had made a promise to Freecell when he was a kid to do a puzzle together, and Kaito forgot about it.  Freecell was then so traumatized that his sorrow transferred into his dying mother, so he thinks KAITO KILLED HIS MOTHER.  Shut the fuck up.  Sit the fuck down.  I’m really played out on these villains having the stupidest reasons to come after the protagonists.  Of course, when Kaito is forced to play a puzzle game against Freecell, he freaks out and is like, “Let’s play again, Kaito!  Again and again and again!!!!11”  Again, shut up.  Kaito did not kill Freecell’s mom by association.  Freecell is a nut job.  Anyway, Kaito’s group wins the challenge against Freecell’s group, and then we are abruptly taken into not one, but two, beach filler episodes.  Choke.  They’re on vacations and all these shits want to do is puzzles.  Finally, once that crap is finished, the student council president decides he’s worthless and wants to go undercover to learn more about the Orpheus Order so he won’t be such a waste of space.  Smart move.  Unfortunately, he’s not powerful enough to overcome the fake Orpheus ring’s hold on him.  And that’s where I paused.  Stop trying to have plot, Phi Brain, just do puzzles.

A-Channel – Episode 1 A-Channel Cover

For some reason I put this in my rental queue…I have no idea why.  Normally, all I put is retro stuff that I want to watch dubbed and whatever I can’t get on Netflix, but this is subtitle only and new.  Probably can’t get it on Netflix, though.  Maybe that’s why.  Anyway, A-Channel looks to be a worthless slice of life show where this girl who is a year younger than all her friends has an obsession with keeping people away from her blonde BFF.  That’s about all I got out of the first episode.  I’m really turned off slice of life lately.  Why?  Because NOTHING HAPPENS.  It’s not even funny or amusing to me anymore.  I just want something to happen.  Anything.  I’ll finish this this week so I can send it back, but I need to go through my lists.  Stat.

 

Ao Haru Ride – Episode 2 Ao Haru Ride cover

Two episodes in and I had a stomach drop already.  Oh my god, with the dude pulling the girl into him while she was crying so no one would see her…I died.  My heart broke and I just died.  Then I started crying, too.  I have this huge soft spots for guys who protect girls from the smallest things.  It’s like tiny gestures open my heart more than huge ones.  And that little half-hug thing…it just broke me.  And then when the girl stood up for the cute girl and lost all her “friends” in the process?  Holy crap.  I can’t.  This show is going to kill me this summer, I know it.  I love it so much.

 

 

 

Hikaru no Go – Episodes 21-24 Hikaru no Go Cover

I’m trying to remember anything that happened in these episodes and I’m drawing a blank.  Seriously.  I mean, I watched this DVD as soon as I got off work and saw it had come in the mail, but seriously.  Um…Hikaru passed his test to get to the next level in going pro.  Akira found out Hikaru is going after him.  Then Akira lost a match to the professional champion or something.  It looked like the anime was finishing off a season because the last episode had a bunch of snow, and like the tone was going to change.  That’s about it.  I can’t believe Hikaru ditched his friends and his middle school Go club to try and go pro, though.  What a dick.

 

 

Kimi ni Todoke – Episodes 7-13 Kimi no Todoke cover

God, this show.  With the feels.  I had to open up my second box set from NIS America I hadn’t popped the plastic on yet to continue my re-watch because it’s still.  So.  Good.  Sawako realizes she has romantic feelings for Kazehaya, and while he tries to let her know he has the same ones, he’s too damned shy to get it all out and Kurumi has flashed her bitch card, and UGH.  I’m sorry, this is romance done so right.  I don’t even mind that the set doesn’t have the recap episode (I watched it and it sucked) because it’s just so beautiful and sweet and innocent.  I wish when kids like these became adults that they would hold on to some of that.  All I’ve found are creeps.  This is why I’m single.

 

 

Dramatical Murder – Episode 2 Dramatical Murder cover

I know I said I wasn’t going to watch this on a weekly basis, but I was bored and didn’t feel like flipping to another Roku channel other than Crunchyroll, so I gave this anime one more chance.  And it still sucks.  Nothing happened.  I can see the hints of yaoi, but they are nothing spectacular.  Some stalker is following the blue haired dude.  He can’t remember anything about his duel.  That’s…it.  NOTHING HAPPENED.  I’m over you, Dramatical Murder, please step to the side.

 

 

 

 

Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) – Episodes 1-2 Terror in Resonance cover

Holy crap, this show is good.  The whole time, I kept thinking to myself, “Too soon?  Too soon?!?!” but I guess it’s not.  This is an anime about high school aged terrorists.  It’s like Degrassi – it goes there.  But it’s not about bringing a gun to school or gang violence, it’s about stealing plutonium and blowing up police stations.  These guys just give no fucks.  They are like the anti-heroes of the decade.  I want to know why they are doing this, but at the same time, you want to punch them in the face for putting innocent people in danger and destroying things.  Plus, they wrap a girl up in their plots because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now she has to deal with the mental anguish of keeping their secret (or they will kill her) while not being allowed to help.  She’s like a lookout for a secret club she’s not allowed in.  This show is intense, creepy and insanely addicting.  Stop what you are doing right now and go watch the stream on Funimation.  You won’t be sorry.

I My Me! Strawberry Eggs – Episodes 11-13 (Completed!) Strawberry Eggs Cover

Told you I would finish this anime this week.  And surprisingly, it wrapped up and ended really well.  You know the creeper student/teacher vibe that was going on?  Well, they almost kissed.  ALMOST.  But they didn’t (though, not because the teacher stopped being a creep, but because they were interrupted).  And then the shit hit the fan.  This bitch who had been trying to get the teacher fired all year somehow got some hidden camera footage of the dude taking off his girl makeup and clothes and showed it at an assembly, and he was pretty much forced to resign.  Once all the kids realized he wasn’t just a pervert but a really great teacher, they decided they wanted him back, but the teacher gracefully walked off into the sunset, saying he needed some time to better himself before he could come back to the school.  He didn’t get with the girl who loved him.  He made the exact right decision.  GOOD FUCKING ON YA.  God, it was like a breath of fresh air to leave everything resolved with people making the right, moral decisions and not have him kidnap the girl or turn her into his love slave or anything.  This throwaway Pioneer release was much better than I gave it credit for.  I rated it 6/10 on MAL (which is good for it being a slice of life show), and if I didn’t spoil it too much for you, give it a watch if you have a few hours to kill.

Sailor Moon Crystal – Episode 2 Sailor Moon Crystal Cover

I’m actually writing this post before I write my episode review (because I haven’t watched it for a second time yet), but I’ll re-iterate what I posted on twitter: Sailor Moon Crystal is a beautiful show visually, but it severely lacks on the plot and originality.  Originality because it’s a re-boot.  If I were watching this without seeing any of the original franchise, I think I’d hate it.  Some of the magic is missing, but I’ll get more in depth into that in my episode review.

 

 

 

 

Bakamatsu Rock – Episode 3 Bakamatsu Rock cover

Yep, I’m still digging this show.  There’s not a whole lot to say about it, though, either you’ll love it for what it is, or you’ll hate it.  There’s not a whole lot of plot, other than for the rock band to better themselves as artists, and the music is great.  Approve, approve, approve.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Stage – Episode 2 Love Stage cover

Okay, so after the yaoi-filled opening, I was NOT expecting the hot dude to freak out once he found out Izumi was a boy and not a girl.  I knew he would have had no idea about his gender, but the dickbag like, FLIPS OUT after he admits that he’s loved Izumi for ten years after they met that one time.  Hello, love is love, gender notwithstanding.  Also, that Izumi thought his first kiss would be with a GIRL…how they got some gay dudes out of these characters, I have no idea.  I can’t wait for the next episode.  Love Stage is moving at a really quick pace, but it has to because it’s only a ten episode series.  I am so excited to see what happens next and how this whole thing is going to pan out.  Plus, I think I’m in love with Izumi’s older brother.  Marry me.  God, that’s two husbands in one column.  Again, this is why I’m single.

Currently watching 246 shows (added two new ones), while I have completed 33 anime this year (one off the list this week).  I’ve got to get my head around this backlog challenge again.  Watching a ton of Yu Gi Oh doesn’t help things, even though that was all I wanted to plow through.  Next week, we see if A-Channel is as big a piece of crap as I think after one episode, and more seasonal shows.  Figures, I’m really into the seasonals when I shouldn’t have picked up any new ones.  Life.

Anime Mondays #66 (Summer 2014 First Impressions!)

Oh god, my backlog challenge really took a hit this week.  I can’t stop watching new shows.  I know I’ll never have time to watch them weekly while they’re airing, and they are all going to require some marathoning down the line, but UGH.  I picked up so many.  For those of you new to this blog, this year I decided to attempt to cut down my currently watching list (because I never finish anything), and while I had cut it down by about ten shows, now it’s just up to…well.  You’ll see.  I am a failure.

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

The Familiar of Zero – Episodes 10-13 (Completed!) The Familiar of Zero cover

See, I started off the week okay, and knocked out at least one show.  And, man, I loved this.  The Familiar of Zero wrapped up in a way where if there were to be more seasons (there are), they could continue the story, but if it stopped right there, I felt satisfied with the ending.  This show has such a simple premise, and nothing earth shattering really happens in it, but I just adored it.  Well…except for the part with the “dragon,” which was spoiled in the opening.  Once I figured that out and saw it would be the turning point of the entire series, I was really pissed they would put such a huge plot twist at the very beginning of the show.  Other than that, though, the characters were cute, Louise wasn’t annoying, and there were more cute moments than I could shake a stick at.  I hope Sentai decides to pony up, license the two middle seasons (I’m pretty sure they have the last one already), and dub them with the old cast.  The voice of Louise is going to be in the new Sailor Moon dub, so she’s still around, Sentai!  Make this happen!  I rated this 8/10 on MAL, but will probably wait a little while before I track down season 2.  I’ll hold out for that dub…unless Greg Ayres gets miscast as the lead and then I’ll just be pissed.

I, My, Me! Strawberry Eggs – Episodes 8-10 Strawberry Eggs Cover

Another disc of this came from my rental service, so I had to knock this one out, as well.  Ah, the days with only 3 episodes on a DVD…I do not miss you, at all.  Actually, this is another underrated show that I am really enjoying.  It’s a gender bender comedy, but these episodes erred more on the serious side of things where one girl professes her love to a boy, gets rejected, he professes to a different girl, gets rejected because SHE LOVES HER MALE TEACHER WHO IS DRESSING AS A WOMAN JUST TO TEACH AT THIS SCHOOL…yeah, shit just hit the fan.  It’s odd to think that all these heavy themes would be in a throwaway anime, especially because of the student/teacher relationships here.  I mean, the kids are supposed to be in middle school, but the teacher (who is a grown ass man) is both trying to aid the school in gender equality, but has a ridiculous crush on his 14 year old student.  He’s trying to do his job, and is doing it well…but then he’s going to ruin it all by falling in love with a child.  Is this still common in Japan?  I know it used to be, I mean, I watched the entire series of Maison Ikkoku, where the girl’s dead husband used to be her teacher, but here, Chris Hansen would be all over this shit, telling the teacher guy to take a seat.  I don’t know.  And it’s looking like it just may turn out that the teacher/student relationship is actually going to happen, and it’s just creepy.  But it shouldn’t be creepy…it’s just some random anime!  Anyway, I’ve rambled on for way too long about this.  The last disc is on its way to my house.  Hopefully, we will get a resolution next week.

Bakumatsu Rock – Episodes 1-2 Bakamatsu Rock cover

For some reason, this season I decided to pick up a lot of shows that are based on video games.  I have no sane idea why, as I don’t even play them; they just looked like the most interesting ones I could find on Crunchyroll.  Bakumatsu Rock has surprised me so far.  I don’t like the timeline issues they have going on (glowsticks in ancient Japan?  Okay…), but other than that, it’s a really amusing show about this dude who just wants to play his guitar and sing.  You can tell it’s based on a game, though, not only because of the awkwardly placed CGI during songs, but because there’s this thing called a Peace Soul, which looks like it’s supposed to be the little golden time thing in the game where if you tilt your guitar in the right direction you score more points.  When I did play video games, all I played was Rock Band, Guitar Hero, etc., so I know how this goes.  You get your perfect score, you sing a note during the time when the bar glows, then you get even more points.  Some people will have issues with this concept and the way that they actually inserted it into the anime, but I’m all about it.  Honestly, my opinions about the shows this season are pretty much the complete opposite of everything I’ve read/watched on youtube so far, but whatever.  I like this anime.  It will be one that I’ll watch weekly.  And there’s some crafty manservice thrown in there.  Winner.

Dramatical Murder coverDramatical Murder – Episode 1

I hadn’t even heard of this show and had absolutely no intention of watching it until I saw a summer preview youtube video where I found out a: it’s based on a video game, and b: it’s based on a video game where boys kiss a lot, so then, of course, I had to give it a shot just so I could understand people’s shit show reactions.  I’m not a huge yaoi fan, mainly because I haven’t seen anything except Gravitation that I especially liked (and even that wasn’t that good), but I’ll watch anything as long as it doesn’t have robots.  Anyway, so I caught the first episode…and I really hated it.  The character designs are ugly, the music is nothing special, and the plot only kicked in in like the last two minutes.  I did like the perso-com pets, though, and I’ll be interested to see if this turns into a trapped-in-a-video-game series like Sword Art Online, but it’s not something I will rush to watch every week; in fact, I probably won’t watch more of it until I get bored and need to check it off my list.

Shounen Hollywood – Episode 1 Shounen Hollywood cover

This show has everything going for it where I should like it: a bunch of guys, an entertainment setting, a BOYBAND…but I found the first episode to be ridiculously boring.  I don’t know if it’s the unengaging characters, or the color palette, or the lack of plot, but I just could not get into it.  I’ve already started referring to the guys by their horrible boyband taglines, though, so, while, yes, they are terrible, they sure work.  My favorite is the lucky boy, in case you were wondering.  The main dude doesn’t even know if he wants to be in this boyband, and his apathy is the most major turn-off here.  Hello, you’re in a BOYBAND.  Do you know how many people would want to trade places with you?  Hell, when I was in high school, all I ever dreamed of was becoming the next Britney Spears, and I even went to music school to chase the dream.  I just really want to punch the main guy in the face.  I hate the character designs, too.  I’m still on the fence over whether or not I’ll watch this weekly or just marathon it when it’s over, but…meh.  I’m disappointed.

Ao Haru Ride – Episode 1 Ao Haru Ride cover

Ah, here we go, something I will watch on a weekly basis.  In fact, as soon as this episode was over, I was crying over that I wouldn’t get another one until next week.  Oh my god, how I love my shoujo romance shows, especially ones that remind me of Kimi ni Todoke, which is one of my favorites of all time.  Ao Haru Ride is by the same people, and it shows, from the color palette to the character designs…except it’s BETTER because there aren’t as many deformed sequences.  I’ll admit, when I heard of the premise in the preview videos I watched, I couldn’t really understand it, but when I watched the show, it all made sense.  Our main girl loved the main guy in middle school, but she opened her mouth and said something stupid and wrecked the relationship before it could even begin, and then the dude moved away.  Then, she got teased so badly by her female classmates because she was “cute” (aka that’s girl code for slutty, when she’s not really a slut), and in high school, re-invented herself so she could have more female friends and not be outcast.  Meanwhile, main guy is now at her high school, and can’t understand how the girl could change herself so much just to fit in.  I get where she’s coming from, but I get what he’s saying, too, and this anime will not only be about the romance, but about the girl’s quest to find herself — to see if she can be happy and have friends without being fake.  This is going to be good.  My heart’s thumping already.

Kimi ni Todoke – Episodes 1-6 (Re-watch) Kimi no Todoke cover

Sure did have to start this series over again after I saw Ao Haru Ride.  And it’s just as good as I remember.  Sawako is SO CUTE, I can’t stand it, and her relationship with Kazehaya is the most adorable thing I have ever seen.  If you love shoujo romances and haven’t seen this, stop whatever you are doing and watch it right now.  You’ll thank me later.  I’ll wait.

 

 

 

 

 

Sword Art Online II – Episode 1 Sword Art Online 2 Cover

Yes, I fell asleep while watching this episode.  But…I fell asleep at the end, where the “action” was taking place.  If you don’t know/remember my feelings on the original Sword Art Online, I wrote a whole post on it, but the tl;dr version is that I liked it because of its romance aspects and not much else.  So, of course, the fact that more than half of the first episode was about Kirito and Asuna talking and holding hands on a bench made my heart all a-flutter.  Ugh.  I still love them.  Fuck the haters.  I really could give  a shit about him having to go back into a game and play with guns…I just want to see Kirito and Asuna do cute things.  I have no idea if I’m going to like the sequel at ALL, because from everything I’ve seen, Asuna isn’t even going to be in this…but I’ll keep watching.  I guess.  Maybe not weekly, though.

 

Say, “I Love You” – Episodes 10-13 (Re-watch) (Completed!) Say 'I love you' Cover

I finished my re-watch of this, and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like it as much the second go round.  I’m guessing this is because I watched the dub.  Or it could be because I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened.  Or maybe because I hated all the supporting characters a lot more this time.  I don’t know.  But when I got to the end, I was left with an even worse taste in my mouth than the first time I watched, and I still believe this should have ended at episode 12, and 13 was a pointless throwaway.  My rating didn’t change — 8/10 — because it’s a good shoujo romance…it’s just not one of my favorites anymore…at least until I go back and watch it in Japanese again.

 

 

 

Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters – Episodes 82-90 Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters Cover

I’m almost caught up on purchasing this series (note to self: do an anime pickups post in the near future so you can put shit on the shelf), so I popped it in so I could have something on dubbed in the background while I did other things.  Shit is getting real, guys.  This Battle City Tournament is insane.  Marek stopped playing around and is now Marek, Joey won against an Egyptian God Card (what?!) and poor Mai is going to be a sacrificial lamb.  Again.  I love Mai.  She deserves to win at least one tournament.  I don’t get why the Egyptian God Cards are so dangerous, though.  I mean, it’s a card game.  Everyone thinks that by defeating Marek, they are saving the world, and that’s completely inflated.

 

 

Beyond the Boundary – Episodes 3-5 Beyond the Boundary Cover

Told you I would watch more of this.  This anime is still really good, but I’m finding myself getting confused with who all of the side characters are and what they are supposed to be doing.  Like this one girl with a giant weapon came out of nowhere, and I felt like I should have known who she was because she looked like someone else…but I wasn’t.  New character.  Ugh.  The main dude does have a really interesting power, though, you know…when he’s almost dying.  I’m finding it hard to watch more than one episode at a time, though…fucking moe.

 

 

 

Love Stage – Episode 1 Love Stage cover

I’ve heard from so many people that they hate the character designs in this show, the eyes are weird, etc….I love them.  I think they are unique, and I LOVE the eyes, especially of our main little otaku character Izumi.  He is ADORABLE.  I can’t even.  He hates his entertainment family and just wants to be a normal kid, and I can respect that.  Meanwhile, his parents are trying to push him into the family business.  He has the looks, but he doesn’t have the personality. If you don’t have the drive, it’s all good.  This is another boys making out with boys title, and it does absolutely nothing to cover that up.  The opening is amazing and gay and I love it.  In fact, there’s nothing I dislike about this show at all.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out, especially with the romance, and I’m just sad that it’s only going to be ten episodes or something.  Lame.  So lame.

Phi Brain Season 2 – Episodes 2-4 Phi Brain Season 2 Cover

It may not look like it since this post is getting to be ridiculously long, but I had trouble finding something I actually wanted to watch that wasn’t new this week.  Back to Phi Brain, a show I am watching only for the plot.  This anime is ugly.  I mean, ugly.  The characters are ugly, the colors are ugly, the backgrounds are ugly…but I watched one whole season of it, and when I started back up season 2, I can’t deny how much I loved this franchise.  It’s about this group of friends who solves these deathly puzzles.  I mean, it’s not like the plot is convoluted or anything…I don’t know.  I just really enjoy it.  It’s also fun to laugh at the cheesiness as each of the enemies are named after a card game.  I mean, some dude’s name is Freecell.  It went there.  This is the show that I’m about to go turn on after I finish writing this, and I have no shame in it.  Talk about a guilty pleasure anime, Jesus.

Naruto – Episodes 152-153 Naruto cover

Okay, so I don’t know what I did, or if the DVD came this way, or what, but episode 153 on my DVD is completely unplayable.  It’s like there are these gross scratches on the disc, and I can’t remember if it was like that or if they just magically appeared, but let’s just say that I actually watched this stupid filler episode about people being buried alive because I just can’t get it to play.  Rock Lee is back.  You can see me jumping for joy over here.  PS – that’s sarcasm.  I’m sure I didn’t miss much anyway.

 

 

 

 

Oh my god, this post.  Never again.  I’ll break my impressions posts into two next time.  Currently watching: 245 shows.  Definitely went over my magic number of 240.  I’ve completed 32 anime this year, though…re-watches don’t count.  See you next week when I promise not to ramble so much.  Seriously.

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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 1 – How Does it Live Up to the Hype?

It’s here.  Let me repeat myself.  IT’S HERE.  The day has finally come, and alarm clocks and iphone apps around the world went off a mere two hours ago because NEW SAILOR MOON HAS PREMIERED.  Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know I am a complete and utter Sailor Moon fangirl.  I have the VHS tapes to prove it.  Needless to say, when I heard the announcement of a new series, I cried like I was back watching the R movie again.  I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this for over a year.  And today was the day when it was supposed to all pay off.  About 90 minutes ago, I woke up to watch the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, an anime that is not so much a new Sailor Moon story, but more like a re-boot, billed as a more faithful adaptation of the manga.

Did it deliver as promised?

Well…yes.

Did it live up to my expectations?

The jury is still out on this one.

The show opens on the still frames of outer space that were shown in the trailer with this gorgeous background track behind it.  Yeah, this girl on the hype train was crying again.  It helped to set the mood, but was completely unnecessary and a waste of time, up until we saw the moon and the earth, and then we were treated to some gorgeous Revolutionary Girl Utena-style art of a prince and princess.  I don’t want to spoil too much if you haven’t seen the episode, but, I mean, if you have watched even a tiny bit of the old series, you can tell what I’m talking about.  If you have seen the entirety of the old series, and can sometimes repeat dialogue verbatim from the episodes that DiC released on video back in the day, then this first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will feel undeniably familiar to you.  Why?  It’s almost exactly the same as the first episode of the the original.  If you watched it in Japanese, there are huge portions of the script that are the ridiculously similar, if not lifted from the premiere episode of the old Sailor Moon outright.  It helps that both the original and Crystal hired the same voice actress for Usagi, and, while you can tell in the new series that her voice is a touch lower, it’s still like turning on something you’ve seen a million times, just with updated animation.

The new theme song is pretty solid.  I love the lyrics; they completely encompass what Sailor Moon is all about, a group of girls who can fight their own battles and don’t need a man to save them (sorry, Tuxedo Mask).  The opening animation feels stilted, though.  And the CGI parts baffle me.  Why would you just throw them in there like that?  And it’s not good CGI, either, it’s distracting Love Live! CGI, where you can completely tell that it’s not hand-drawn and the bodies just look off.  As for the character designs, well…Usagi is Usagi.  Her eyes feel a little vacant, but she is a little vacant, so I suppose it’s just something I’m going to have to get used to.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

Ami is gorgeous, which is odd for me to admit because I never really liked Sailor Mercury.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

You can’t really tell from this picture, but Rei has extremely distracting red lipstick.  It makes her look so much older than she should, and now she has permanent bitch face.  Actually, all the girls have distracting lipstick.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

Except for Makoto, who is stunning.  She is the favorite of a lot of my friends who admit to watching this show, and now I can see why.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

And then, we have Minako, and did you know that according to some Facebook quiz, I’m most like Sailor Venus?  But I digress.

If you’re looking for something new, you will want to look for the flashbacks/forwards that I previously mentioned.  Other than calling Sailor Moon’s tiara attack “Moon Tiara Boomerang,” which was never used in the anime, that’s about it.  Is it more faithful to the manga?  Yes, with the addition of these shadow scenes.  Now, in the original, these were never my favorites, but with the art style in Crystal, they are the best parts of the episode.  It’s Utena.  You know what I mean.

Utena silhouetteThink this but with long pigtails and a flowy white dress.

I also feel the need to mention that the hideous CGI returns in Sailor Moon’s transformation scene, which completely ruined it for me.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the background were CGI, but this was just unnecessarily distracting.

The ending and ending song, were, however, utterly gorgeous.  If you’re looking for a new episode preview, you’re not going to get it, but you will get beautiful title and eye catch cards.  Seriously.  All of that art is the best part of the show.  Best, best, best.  But, episode one of Crystal was still almost identical to episode one of the original series, which makes my hype train slow down.  A lot.

It’s still the first episode, and it remains to be seen whether or not they are going to cram the entire manga into this reboot, or if they are just going to stick with the first five or so volumes, before we are introduced to most of the outer senshi.  I have a feeling that that is what’s going to happen, and I will be sorely disappointed because, for me, Sailor Moon did not blossom until the S season.  In two weeks, we’ll get introduced to Sailor Mercury because they did give us a tiny hint of foreshadowing by showing a shot of Ami walking around the school before they cut to the ending.  And that’s all I know.

What did you think of Sailor Moon Crystal?  Are you more interested in this or that Viz is going to release the old series in its entirety?  Are you waking up ridiculously early again to catch the next episode in two weeks?  Let’s chat because it’s way too early to do anything else productive.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

à suivre…

Anime Mondays #61

I have no idea where the spring season went.  Seriously.  No idea.  All of a sudden, it’s new chart time and in less than a month I’ll finally have my new Sailor Moon, and I AM NOT READY.  I saw the trailer.  I don’t know how I feel about it.  It looks so digitized and fake…but it’s Sailor Moon.  I hope it’s good.  It’s going to take a year for them to even air the series, but I just…I want it to be good.  I’m terrified.  Lots to talk about this week since I’m doing a three week backlog.  It’s time.  You will be rewarded at the end.

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

Red Data Girl – Episodes 1-2 Red Data Girl Cover

Wow, I just realized I’ve been away for so long that I couldn’t go into my MAL history because it doesn’t go back in time that far.  Instead, I had to go into my RSS feed…which I didn’t even know I had.  Creepy.  People can stalk me by anime episode.  Anyway, funimation.com put up the dub preview of Red Data Girl, so I had to watch it.  I actually pre-ordered this, but who knows when it will come.  I still haven’t gotten my gift set of Attack on Titan from Right Stuf yet because I ordered it with something that doesn’t come out until July.  Lame.  Well…it’s good in this case because I am utterly broke right now, but I digress.  Once I realized that Red Data Girl would probably turn into a reverse harem, of course I had to pick it back up immediately.  But it’s…weird.  It’s like this ghost of a princess from another world is going to take over this girl’s body, and all these dudes have to protect her because she’s the vessel…I don’t know how I feel about it.  But the dub is solid.  I had to re-watch the first episode because I didn’t remember what happened, and after watching it a second time, I still don’t really remember what happened.  So maybe it’s a forgettable reverse harem.  I’ll finish it when it comes in the mail.

Kaitou Saint Tail – Episode 6 Saint Tail Cover

A few weeks ago, I really wanted to knock a huge chunk of this show out…and then I watched one episode.  I don’t know if I got distracted or what, but this is the episode where the little cop dude gets a rival…and boy, is she annoying.  My quest to watch all the magical girl shows is really taking a beating right now.  Shit, I pretty much ruined my backlog challenge.  I mean, you’ll see from the stats at the end of the post, but I will need to finish a lot of my seasonal stuff in the next few weeks just to get back down to the count I started with.  I need to kick my ass back into gear.

 

 

 

Akuma no Riddle – Episodes 6-10 Akuma no Riddle Cover

This show got harder and harder for me to watch each episode because you know the assassins are going to “die,” and I love me some villains.  It’s like my favorite characters are getting knocked off one after the other, never to be seen again…or are they?  I know a lot of people didn’t like the Romeo and Juliet episode, but I loved it.  Yeah, the writing was sloppy and the end felt like a cop-out because Chitaru was my very favorite and she pretty much went and killed herself, but UGH.  I bought into it.  The pool episode was okay but rushed.  The ones with the gel nails girl were probably the best, if only because it took two episodes to finish her arc and I want more time with these characters.  And then the last girl…holy crap.  Haru completely did a 180, but I knew something was wrong with her, and she wasn’t this perfect little victim like everyone made her out to be.  We’re in the home stretch here, and while I know there probably won’t be a second season, I just hope we get to see some of the assassins again…and not in puppet form.

Soul Eater Not – Episode 5 Soul Eater Not Cover

I’m going to be completely honest here and tell you that I don’t remember anything about this episode at all, other than apparently I watched it.  Not a goddamned thing.  I’m going to finish this just to knock it out, but Soul Eater Not has NOT left a great impression on me.  Bad puns aside 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doujin Work – Episodes 1-4Doujin Work Cover

This was one of the titles I received in my latest Crunchyroll mystery box, so I decided to go ahead and start it.  Doujin Work is a comedy about a girl who decides to begin drawing her own doujinshi for…some reason I can’t remember.  Not because she’s into it.  I think she needs money or something.  Anyway, she has no idea what she’s doing, but she has a bunch of friends who do and encourage her, and it’s pretty hysterical to watch this girl first freak out and then completely accept drawing questionable comics to cater to fanboys.  This show kind of reminds me of Hayate no Gotoku, but it’s easier to digest because the episodes are only 12 minutes long.  Unfortunately, they’re packaged with these live action segments that drag on and on while two of the voice actors from the show try to draw their own doujinshi so they can get themselves a big tv, a PS3, and pay for an after party for the anime’s staff.  I think I’ll skip the real people from now on and just stick to the anime — at least that is intentionally funny.

Kamigami no Asobi – Episodes 3-4 Kamigami no Asobi Cover

Back into reverse harem territory we go.  Are you ready for adventures with some hot guys?  Well…I guess I wouldn’t call them adventures, even if a lot of clothes do come off in these episodes.  Don’t get excited.  It’s a beach episode.  Basically, the main girl decides to teach all the gods about summer school and clubs, and she takes them to the beach and tries to help Hades with his astronomy club.  While Hades gets a little crack in his I HATE EVERYONE exterior, no one is really impressed by summer school, other than that the blond guy with short hair gets elected class president or something.  God, they’re all meshing together for me now and I’m referring to characters by hair color.  Thankfully, this is anime, and I can do that because having blue hair doesn’t mean you’re strange like it does in real life.

 

Naruto – Episodes 136-141 Naruto cover

One arc ends, and another begins.  Sakura proves (and to herself this time!) how fucking useless she is and decides she needs to make a change…right after someone is talking to the new Hokage about how each ninja squad should have a medical ninja.  Then, oh so conveniently, Sakura asks her if she can be her apprentice.  Did I mention new Hokage is the best medical ninja ever?  Yeah.  So now she can put her useless-ness to some kind of work, since she can’t fight to save her — or anyone else’s — life.  Also, we find out that Orochimaru has Sasuke and we probably won’t see him again for three years.  Seriously?  Does that mean he’s out until Shippuden??  I don’t know if I can take 80 episodes with no Sasuke.  That’s like blasphemy.

 

 

Hello Kitty’s Fairy Tale Theater – Episode 1 Hello Kitty Cover 1

I picked this up when Right Stuf was having a bargain bin sale.  It’s no secret that I have loved Hello Kitty since I was a little kid.  Hell, Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater was my absolute favorite Saturday morning cartoon.  And, honestly, I hoped that that was what this series was, even though I was pretty positive the show I watched so long ago wasn’t anime…it’s not.  Completely different show.  Completely different vibe.  Not as good.  It’s also a compilation of a bunch of OVAs, which makes tracking it next to impossible.  The first episode was split into two parts, one of them the Hello Kitty version of Snow White, and the other The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  The latter was pretty stupid, and the dub was TERRIBLE.  I thought my ears were going to bleed from Badtz-Maru.  Snow White was okay, but the animation was stilted, and it’s yet another character Monica Rial ruins.  I wish more of her voices were like the one she did in Princess Nine, but I digress.  It’s good to see Hello Kitty in her natural Japanese habitat, but I liked my English adaptation of this better.  I hope it’s still on Hulu, but I have a feeling it’s not, since I know for sure it got taken down from Netflix.

Hikaru no Go – Episodes 1-12 Hikaru no Go Cover

My rental service and I are back on good terms, so I powered through three whole DVDs of this show because it’s extremely easy to watch dubbed.  With subtitles, I fell asleep.  The dub voices are so annoying that I am forced to stay awake and listen to these kids go at it board game style.  I guess Go isn’t the same as Othello, though, it’s way more complicated, and the show makes that clear.  The basic premise now is that Hikaru wants to play Go as much as possible, and he joins a Go competition team at his middle school.  His rival, Akira, who is skilled enough to go pro, takes a giant step down and plays for his middle school team for the sole reason of wanting to play against Hikaru as much as humanly possible.  But everybody hates Akira.  In fact, these kids start doing some Boys Over Flowers-esque shit just because he beats them at a board game.  I don’t remember if I have talked about the saga it was for me to finish that anime, but for a girl who loves her some melodrama, even I couldn’t take some of the shit that went down there.  Anyway, with the dub, I can power through this show and have two more discs on the way.  I’m going to be a Go master once I’m finished.  …yeah right.  I still don’t even understand how to play, and they have tutorial live action sequences after each episode.

Dragon Half – Episodes 1-2 (Completed!) Dragon Half Cover

Guys, I have real life friends who watch anime now.  I know!  I’m as shocked as you are.  So, after my birthday dinner at Medieval Times (I know how jealous you are that my life is completely awesome), I went back to their house slightly tipsy, and they introduced me to the hot mess that is Dragon Half.  I had never heard of this show in my life.  But the ending song is about like…eggs.  It’s NUTS.  Apparently, it’s one of my friends’ favorite shows because of how ridiculous it is, and when you’ve been drinking vodka all night, it’s even funnier.  However, it was SO BAD that they only made two episodes.  Hysteria.  Dragon Half is about this girl who is — gasp! — half dragon.  And there’s a boyband idol, some dudes trying to kidnap her to get to her parents, a tournament fighter…it’s just nuts.  It makes absolutely no sense.  If you have an hour to kill, grab yourself a bottle of Pinnacle and have a good time.  I rated this 5/10 on MAL.

Ben-to – Episodes 1-2 Ben-to Cover

Once again, another dub preview comes up on funimation, and I feel compelled to watch it immediately.  I actually tried to pick up Ben-to while it was airing, but I fell asleep during the first episode.  This time, I fell asleep during the second episode, but I was really wrecked.  It’s basically a show about people who have a fight club revolving around half price boxed lunches.  These bitches beat the shit out of each other to net that $5 beef bowl.  It’s so ludicrous that it works, and I don’t hate the characters, so that’s a plus.  The dub is passable, nothing special.  I won’t be buying this one, but I’ll watch the rest of it on the funimation streaming service.  I pay for that shit, you better believe I use it.

 

 

I My Me! Strawberry Eggs – Episodes 5-7 Strawberry Eggs Cover

This random blast from the past came to me along with my Hikaru no Go discs from my rental service, so in order to send it back, I watched it.  This is actually a cute little show.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cute little stupid show, but it’s still cute.  This dude is really getting into being a cross-dressing teacher to help his students out.  In true trope fashion, these episodes contained a “health exam,” a camping trip and some kind of sports festival…I think.  I was multitasking while I watched this.  But I do remember it being funny.  The DVD menus are weird, though.  I can’t even explain them other than that they are ridiculously hard to navigate.

 

 

 

Attack on Titan – Episodes 1-5 (Re-watch) Attack on Titan Cover

While my gift copy of this show has not arrived at my house yet, the Collector’s Edition I bought from the Funimation store did come in.  Yes, I pretty much paid $30 extra for some necklaces and some pins.  They’re not even good quality and the chains are short as hell.  I would have been better off ordering from the etsy store where I got my first Attack on Titan necklace that gets compliments all the time.  Let me tell you, the packaging on this sucks.  It’s not in a box, the case doesn’t close, and you can’t take the book out of the package to look at it.  I heard reports that a lot of the discs were fucked up, so while I wasn’t planning on watching this now, I stuck the first Blu-ray in the player just to make sure it worked.  And while it works, the volume is so freaking low, I had to turn my tv all the way up just so I could hear the dialogue.  I normally watch it at like…11, and I had to turn this all the way up to 42.  NOT CUTE.  I’m not impressed with the release at all.  The picture looks amazing, but I thought they were going to re-animate some of the footage to not show still frames…yeah, still frames are still everywhere.  The dub commentary is a joke.  The director specifically pointed out that he spent a long time researching how to pronounce the German names of the characters so they wouldn’t be incorrect, and then NO ONE can say “Mikasa” correctly.  And while all the others characters are passable, Eren’s voice completely grates, even when he grows up.  Maybe it’ll get better in titan form.  One can only hope and dream.

Bleach – Episode 29 Bleach Title

Amazon Prime now has the dubbed version of this anime up to watch for free, I think up to season 5.  Now I have no reason not to knock some of this out…except that this episode was completely boring and it advanced the plot absolutely nowhere.  Come on, Bleach.  Get good already.

 

 

 

 

 

AND WE MADE IT!  Here’s a free Crunchyroll guest pass:

Y6V9FQZD9B9

I’ve completely screwed up my backlog challenge, but here are the counts.  I am currently watching 242 shows and have completed 27 shows this year.  Ugh.  I’ll try to knock one out for next week, but it’ll be a short one since I have concerts and a wedding to go to.  Life.  So, did you miss me?  Don’t forget to enter my birthday giveaway to win a free two month Crunchyroll anime membership!  Now you missed me because I’m giving you presents.  I see how this goes 😉

Anime Mondays #59

So, I watched Attack on Titan on Toonami last night…I mean, that should be all I need to say, right?  Maybe it’s because I haven’t watched anime on television since I was in the hospital for an extended period of time and couldn’t sleep because I was getting surgery the next day so I stayed up all night in a morphine-induced haze while watching reruns of Full Metal Alchemist and Inuyasha, but it seems to me that Cartoon Network could have handled their editing a little better.  I mean, they cut the opening and ending to pieces, which are the best parts of the show, and had a really awkward commercial break segway.  As for the dub…scouts?  What is this, Sailor Moon?  Say “Survey Corps,” it’s not hard, and most people who own a dictionary will get it.  Also, Baby Eren’s voice is ANNOYING, and it hurts my heart that nobody can pronounce “Mikasa” correctly.  I mean, all you have to do is listen to the Japanese version once.  It’s not that difficult.  The best voice acting was done by Eren’s mom, and well, we won’t be hearing her again anytime soon.

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

Naruto – Episodes 115-129 Naruto cover

Clearly, I really got into Naruto this week, at least, until they started the extended Sasuke flashback episodes and I switched to something else.  I hate flashbacks.  I hate extended flashbacks even more.  But you guys…GAARA IS BACK!!!  And apparently, he’s a good guy??  I don’t know how I feel about this.  I mean, obviously I’m a happy fangirl because he’s back and I can hear his wheezing voice again, but he was such a good villain…and I’m in the camp where bad guys should be bad guys.  If they turn good, then they’re either trying to trick you or they’re doing it wrong.  But all the super ninja got defeated and now it’s Naruto vs. Sasuke again, who is all power-hungry and makes me want to punch him in the face.  God, just go home, Sasuke.  Are you too good for your home??  ANSWER ME!  (Bonus points to whoever got that awesome movie reference.)

Soul Eater Not! – Episode 4 Soul Eater Not Cover

Thankfully, this episode had another Maka cameo.  Unfortunately, it was a stupid one.  Stop teasing me, Soul Eater Not!.  Just give me a good three minutes with the old gang or something, and don’t have them all act stupid.  This episode was more about the protector guys than anybody else.  And although we still don’t know exactly what they are protecting the three girls from or why, at least we now know they have actual personalities.  I’m digging the dark haired dude.  I can’t tell if he actually likes the weapon girl or if he just takes his job really seriously, but that’s a good thing.  Keeps me guessing.  In case you couldn’t tell, this episode was also about forced romances.  Nothing to really write home about.

 

 

White Album – Episodes 4-13 (Completed!) White Album Cover

I knew this week that I had to knock out another show, and it came down to either White Album or Anohana and this one won out.  I immediately regretted this decision.  Okay, for all you people who say School Days is the biggest piece of shit out there, I implore you to watch the first season of White Album.  Talk about a male protagonist whose head needs to be cut off…ugh.  Firstly, it’s painfully obvious that this show is based off a visual novel because half the shots are of these girls all talking to the camera from the perspective where the viewer is the asshole guy.  There are also all these weird captions that come up on the screen every now and then that are supposed to show his inner thoughts, or whatever, mostly centered around, “this girl is a goddess,” or “is this girl a goddess?” or “goddess of the day.”  It’s really annoying and also proves my point as to what a scumbag this Fuji dude is.  He’s supposed to be in a relationship with this girl named Yuki who is an upcoming idol.  He calls her his girlfriend, they kiss, etc. etc., which is all well and good.  Except, then, all these girls start throwing themselves at him for absolutely no reason.  He’s a lazy dick and doesn’t do much and is in no way attractive, but at least five other women are in love with him.  Okay, it’s a video game…I can buy it.  But then, he cheats on Yuki SO MANY TIMES that I cannot keep count.  He tells his senior that he loves her after letting her stay at his dad’s house for weeks so they can make some costumes for a stupid play.  He has sex with Yuki’s manager, even though he KNOWS she is only using what tiny bits of sex appeal she has to keep him away from Yuki, and Fuji even states that her lips are cold and dead like doll lips.  His best female friend is in love with him.  The girl he tutors is in love with him.  Yuki’s rival idol is in love with him and he does everything in his power to help all these other girls out and give them false hope, and then he COMPLETELY IGNORES YUKI FOR LIKE A MONTH.  And so many of the problems this couple has could have been solved if they both had cell phones…and then I realized in episode 11 that this anime is supposed to take place in 1986.  Um…why did it take so long for the viewer to have this important detail spelled out for them?  Sure, they probably put a date stamp up in the first episode, but like hell I’m going to remember that weeks/months later.  Anyway, I hate Fuji.  I hate him because throughout this whole thing, even though he tells other girls he loves them and sleeps with that whore of a manager, he still thinks he should get some sympathy because he cries about how much he loves Yuki.  In fact, he tells the manager that she might not be Yuki, but they could be “something else” together.  Ugh.  I just hate him.  This anime has a second season that I probably will not watch for a long, long time, until I get this horrible taste out of my mouth.  I rated this show 4/10 on MAL.  Yuck.

Blade of the Immortal – Episode 1 Blade of the Immortal Cover

This is one of the shows I got from my latest Crunchyroll Mystery Box, and I started it because I was all Naruto‘ed out.  As far as I can tell, there’s this samurai who goes around killing a bunch of people who is immortal.  Once his sister gets killed, he pledges to only kill bad people and has to knock out a certain number of them before he feels like his life will be vindicated or something.  It’s pretty dumb.  I wasn’t that impressed.  It’s kind of gory in theory, as in, they show shadows of people’s heads being cut off, but not the actual heads, but there’s still blood everywhere.  The dub is pretty subpar, but the DVD packaging is nice, so that’s why I popped it open.  Also, the opening theme is REALLY stupid.  It’s about a rabbit.  And this is a bloody samurai show.  Okay then.

Akuma no Riddle – Episode 5 Akuma no Riddle Cover

Nooooo, they got rid of the awesome Pocky girl already!  Goddamn it.  I want a reunion special.  I know a lot of people are turned off by this monster-of-the-week episode style this anime has going on, but I really like it.  Blame my massive consumption of Sailor Moon, if you want, but it doesn’t bother me.  This was a really good episode, even if I lost one of my favorite assassins.  Though whatsherface pulled out her yuri card towards the end…watch out, Tokaku, she’s coming for you.

 

 

 

 

Sailor Moon S – Episodes 26-28 Sailor Moon S Cover

Speaking of Sailor Moon, now that we have a release date for the new show (July 5!), I am frantically trying to finish the series before the new one comes out.  I might actually be better off reading the manga — I just finished volume 5, which is what equates to the end of season 2, and it was SO much better than the anime, holy shit — but I’m still fighting the good fight here.  We’ve gone into the Hotaru-centric episodes, and I keep remembering all the awesome Outer Senshi moments that happen here, especially since Haruka is being a super BAMF and getting pissed off all the time.  I love her.  She’s by far one of my favorite anime characters of all time.  The Outers are more powerful than everyone else because they are supposed to protect the planet from things in outer space…but since shit got real down on earth, they are working below their stations now, slumming it to “help” Sailor Moon. I use that term loosely because they really just want to find the Messiah and make sure she doesn’t turn all evil and rip the place to shreds…and we all know who that is supposed to be, right?  Right?  I get confused around this point because I sort of remember what happens but sort of don’t, so finishing off this season will be both good and bad.  Good, because I’ll get everything straight.  Bad, because then I have to delve into Super S, which is all about Chibi-usa…shoot me.

Save Me! Lollipop – Episodes 9-10 Save Me Lollipop Cover

I really had the intention to knock this whole series out last night before Attack on Titan came on, but then I got on the phone, so that was put on hold.  These two episodes were actually pretty cute.  It turns out Zero has a nutso fiance, and Ichii used to be in love with his (not blood related) sister.  Yeah, fucked up stuff in a girl’s show~!  This anime has actually not been as shitty as I thought it was going to be, and it’s not all cutesy fluff crap, either.  Don’t get me wrong, I still want to finish it immediately just to get it off my list, but it’s not as bad as Fantasista Dolls or anything.

 

 

 

So now we’ve come. (pause) To the endddddd of the road. (pause) Still I can’tttttt lettttttt goooooo. (pause).  Okay, I’m done.  Boyz II Men do it better than anything I could type in this box.  Current tallies: I’m still currently watching 239 anime and have completed 24 shows this year.  I have already promised myself I’ll knock out Save Me! Lollipop for next week and I will try for one other.  I got the urge to finish Golden Time, but I don’t know if I’ll have the actual time to get through more than 10 episodes of it for next week.  I guess this is the cliffhanger.  Dun dun dunnnnnn…okay, I’m done.

Anime Mondays #56 (Spring 2014 First Impressions)

Can someone enlighten me on how this year’s weather works?  Seriously.  It’s like we get two gorgeous days in a row where I can wear shorts and no coat and then we go right back to snow.  Is this, like, an apocalypse lead up?  I am not amused.  It’s April, this should be the time where I get to wear capris until October.  Anyway, I know you did not come here for a weather report.  Here’s this week’s anime recap.

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

Baby Steps – Episode 1 Baby Steps Cover

I cheated on my backlog challenge so hard this week.  Once I started watching the new series, it was like I couldn’t stop myself.  And then, when I tried to finish a couple off so I could go back to my original number, my ADD kicked in hardcore and I could only get through a few episodes at a time.  Ugh.  But Baby Steps.  I don’t know about anyone else, but this anime reminded me a lot of Marmalade Boy.  I don’t know if it’s the weird, almost retro art style, or the fact that it’s about tennis, but has melodramatic undertones (as opposed to Marmalade Boy, which is a melodrama where the main character sometimes plays tennis…), but it went there.  Unfortunately, this was not a good thing.  I feel like I’m going to contradict myself many times this week, but I wasn’t buying the sports/slice of life drama Baby Steps has going on.  Maybe it’s because I connected absolutely 0% with the main character.  He studies really hard in school to get perfect grades, but for no real reason.  He doesn’t enjoy it, he just thinks he has to.  He has no life to speak of, other than that he copies his perfect notes for his classmates, and wants to pick up a sport so he can get some exercise.  Yeah.  He’s not passionate about anything at all.  I’m sure the point of this set up is to show how eventually he will become passionate about tennis, but the way the anime went about this was just overkill.  The female lead he’s paired with is pretty much devoid of personality also, other than that she loooooves tennis and wants to go pro.  I just wasn’t feeling the first episode, but since it looks like the first half of this series is going to be one big training montage, I won’t feel the need to marathon it and can watch it as it airs.  Bad for a sports series but good for my backlog challenge.

Princess Nine – Episodes 5-26 (Completed!) Princess Nine cover

Unlike Baby Steps, here we have a sports anime mixed with drama that I absolutely LOVED.  Princess Nine made my heart whole, broke it completely, and then put it back together again.  Oh man.  Once I started watching this anime, I just did not want to stop.  In fact, I didn’t watch anything else at all until I completed it earlier this week.  And once it came to the end, I was a sobbing hot mess.  God, I wish there was another season of this show.  I know it’s so old that it will never ever happen, and there isn’t even a manga I can read, but I fell in love with every single character so much that I just want more.  For a sports anime, the pacing is completely off, and, honestly, that’s the show’s biggest downfall.  We know in the very first episode that the girls will need three years to play at Koshien, which is the equivalent of the World Series for Japanese high school baseball, but by the time we get to where this is a legitimate possibility, it’s episode 25 already.  Yes, there are a lot of training episodes, but they did not take away from the overarching story of the show (except for the one with Ryo’s extended dream sequence…trust me, you’ll know what I mean when you get there) and I felt that the love triangle here was top notch.  A lot of the problems are all miscommunication based (as seems to be the norm in romance anime), but I bought it.  Oh, how I bought it, hook, line and sinker.  Please get past the terrible pacing and the in-game stock footage.  Just do me a favor and watch this show, if for no other reason than to hear Monica Rial perform a dub voice that doesn’t sound like a petulant, high-pitched whiny child for 80% of the show.  SHE IS GOOD, GUYS.  Except for the first five episodes, where the high hot mess comes out, but as the character develops, so does her voice, and man.  I am so in love with Princess Nine.  I rated it 9/10 on MAL, and if you like your sports anime with a high dose of drama and characters you give a shit about, I highly recommend it.

Naruto – Episodes 94-99 Naruto cover

Tsunare is a bad ass.  That pretty much sums up these few Naruto episodes, but it’s oh so true.  She not only takes down the bad guys, but she heals Sasuke and becomes the fifth hokage.  God, a character on Naruto I like who is not a bad guy and not a child.  I’m honestly shocked.  The filler (I’m just guessing this is filler because the story arc seems to be over…) episodes after the battle aren’t half bad, either, but since I have no idea what everyone is going to do now that Tsunare’s the fifth hokage, it means I have no idea what this is leading up to.  More Chunin exams?  I’m all about it.  I bet there will just be some lame ninja missions, though.

 

 

 

Soul Eater Not! – Episode 1 Soul Eater Not Cover

Yeah…this is not Soul Eater.  I’ll cop to squealing at the cameos by the original characters in the first episode, though.  Especially Death the Kid, my anime husband, flying by as someone looked out the window.  No shame.  But, they looked so…weird.  The art style has completely changed, so Maka didn’t look like Maka (she has moe eyes now, gross) and Soul was like…this ugly, mute shell of a person.  I didn’t even recognize Sid.  The only returning character who looked somewhat normal was Black Star, and his cameo was by far the best.  Other than that, Soul Eater Not! is about two girls who are going to fight over this weapon girl who has zero personality.  Actually, the two girls fighting over her don’t have much of those, either.  One is a bitch, and the other is dumb.  That’s about it.  Seriously.  It may end up being a cute show, but it’s not anything that I would have wanted out of a Soul Eater spin-off.  However…I do want to cosplay as the weapon girl.  Her outfit is the cutest school uniform I have seen in awhile.

Kamigami no Asobi – Episodes 1-2 Kamigami no Asobi Cover

Well, you know how I said I was looking for a reverse harem to fill the void left by the end of Brothers Conflict?  FOUND IT.  This anime has absolutely no shame in what it is.  This is like…the reverse harem to end all reverse harems, packed chock full of manservice.  I mean, in the first five minutes, we are treated to a magical girl transformation sequence for a male character.  Oh yeah.  It went there.  Like, you know how on the Americanized edit of Sailor Moon how they erased all the lines in the girls’ silhouettes?  None of that here.  Kamigami no Asobi is about Zeus bringing a bunch of gods from different mythologies together and dropping them in a fake school he creates with one human girl, saying they all need to learn about love and interactions with people.  So, pretty much this one girl is going to have to date every single one of them for the good of all man kind.  Um, sign me up.  She’s not as devoid of personality as most reverse harem girls, so I don’t hate her (yet), even if she did try to run away.  Why…why do these reverse harem girls never realize how awesome their lives are?  I don’t understand it.  Dumb characters are dumb.  This anime will have no plot and will more than likely also be dumb, but I am going to enjoy every moment of it.  True facts.

La Corda D’oro Blue Sky – Episodes 1-2 La Corda D'oro Blue Sky Cover

Oh, my precious La Corda, you are back with a vengeance.  How I have missed the halls of Seiso Academy with cute boys playing instruments everywhere with horrible animation and still frames to infer movement.  The first series was the shit.  It’s what made me excited for anime again when I realized that it was so much more than Sailor Moon and Unico.  I was like, reverse harem?  That’s a thing???  Oh, yes.  But this spin off…I’m not really feeling it.  Firstly, TOO MANY CHARACTERS.  Lord, in the first episode, I think we were introduced to ten of them, with barely any warning or development, and it all went by so quickly that I couldn’t even register the different hair colors.  Secondly, the premise is just…dumb.  In the first series, the main girl couldn’t play the violin at all until a music fairy helped her and gave her a magic violin that practically played itself.  That I could buy.  This time, it’s about this oddly dominant purple haired dude who practically kidnaps his two friends and forces them to enroll in Seiso without any pretense whatsoever.  I mean, their luggage is magically waiting for them at the dorms.  They didn’t have to apply?  Audition?  What about the parents?  How does this even happen?  Stupid.  Thirdly, the best characters are going to be the ones that go to different schools, and we will barely get to see them, I can tell already.  I’m sad.  I miss my trumpet playing anime boyfriend Hihara.  Plus, I want to punch the lead girl in the face.  Win some, lose some.

Love Live! School Idol Project – Episodes 4-5 Love Live! School Idol Project Cover

Once I started all these new shows, I tried really hard to finish some old ones.  Unfortunately, I started with Love Live, so that didn’t end well.  I had to switch to Hulu Plus to watch after episode 5, and for some reason, it didn’t have subtitles?  So there went that.  Man, this show is boring.  You’d think I’d like it since it’s about a girl group and music, but…no.  It’s more first season K-On! than anything worth watching.  The characters aren’t cute (minus the red haired girl), there’s no real plot to speak of, and, though I like the fact that they aren’t succeeding right away, but how long is it going to take for them to at least form the whole group??  I know there’s nine of them, I’ve seen the intro, but we just haven’t gotten that far yet.  In fact, it’s taken me five episodes to even distinguish between the characters to tell them apart in the intro.  Another show where I hope it gets better.  It’s not going to, is it?  I’m trying.

Persona 4: The Animation – Episodes 8-12 Persona 4 Cover

Okay, so I like Rise…but I still don’t like this show.  The episodes without all the fighting and without the Midnight Channel, are still the best episodes, and for an anime that’s really supposed to be about the fighting and this alternate world, that’s really bad.  Also, I can’t find the rest of this series dubbed to rent anywhere, so now I don’t know when I’ll get to finish it.  Is the game a whole lot better?  That’s the only thing I can think of, that people who love the game really love this anime, because I’m not buying why a lot of people think it’s so great.  Someone help me.  Anybody.  Bueller?

 

 

 

School Rumble Season 2 – Episodes 15-17 School Rumble Season 2 Cover

So, I found this show randomly in a box of anime I need to watch because after I sent back that Persona 4 disc, I needed to look at something I actually liked.  I watched the first season years and years ago, along with the OVA and half of the second, but then I just put it aside for some reason.  Let me tell you, when I put it back in the player, I immediately picked the storyline back up and remembered every single character and what they were about and how much I liked them.  This is a difficult feat, especially for a comedic anime, and a testament to how good School Rumble is.  Sure, it has its faults, like the dub is terrible (so that’s really just a Funimation fault, whoops) and you have to really pay attention because the dialogue is so rapidly paced, but it’s a good, solid comedy.  These episodes were especially good because they all involved Harima staying at Tenma’s house and then being kicked out and having to go on this adventure with Sawachika…ugh SO GOOD.  I felt so terrible for Harima because Tenma is just so clueless and he looooves her, but I could not stop laughing.  Man, I hope he gets his head out of his ass and picks a different girl because they are all so much more deserving than Tenma.  It’s hard to watch more than a few episodes in one sitting, but this show is worth it.

Supernatural: The Animation – Episodes 17-19 Supernatural the Animation Cover

Watching the Supernatural anime just made me want to watch the Supernatural tv show, which I am a huge fan of…even though I haven’t gotten past season 4 yet.  No spoilers!  It’s a good companion piece to the tv show because it has animated episodes from the show, along with anime only episodes, so it doesn’t get boring.  Also, the anime does things that the actual show would never have the budget for, like a giant robot demon made out of junkyard cars.  Oh yes.  Plus, each episode is introduced by Jared Padalecki or Jensen Ackles, so that’s worth your money right there.  And, Jared does the dub voice.  (If you didn’t know, I think he is one of the most attractive men on the history of the planet, so enjoyment level is up to rooftops here.)  Still, it’s hard to marathon this because continuity is a big issue.  Also, the art style isn’t my favorite.  But, I mean…it’s Supernatural.  That’s enough.

And that’s enough for this post.  I am currently watching 237 anime (god, fuck you spring season 😦 ) and have completed 20 shows this year.  There may or may not be a post next week, as I’m going out of town, but if not, just look for a double in two.  I also want to pick up at least a couple more spring shows…I know.  I shouldn’t.  But they’re so shiny and new…lord help me in the summer.  Oh!  And I got my Crunchyroll mystery manga box in the mail.  All Tokyo Pop titles, and most I have never heard of, but I’ll take some pictures and get something up on it before I leave for next weekend.  See you then!