23 Jan 2011

Anime Weekly 1

A short post every Sunday, 9pm (I hope!) summarizing what I've watched in the past 7 days. Notable episodes this week have a (*) beside the episode number.

Madoka Magica
Episode: 2, 3(*)

The weird style kinda grew on me. While I still detest the inconsistent facial animation and drawings, the art in this series continues to be imaginative and engaging. Episode 3's sudden plot twist was superbly done with a lot of impact and no cheese. The longer this drags out, the more it seems to be a commentary on how dumb other mahou shojo are. Here, our would-be heroines really take the time to decide whether their wish is worth all the personal sacrifice that comes with being a mahou shojo. At first I thought this show might be a Nanoha clone, be it turns out to be an excellent deconstruction of the genre. (note: I realised I completely forgot to cover this show in the winter preview! Might go back to add it in... someday.)

Infinite Stratos
Episode: 2

It prods along with some action scenes to spice things up. Actually, it isn't as bad as I first thought it would be. They toned down the whole "omg the whole school is gonna be his personal harem" thing and even found some budget to animate some nice action scenes. If this keeps up, and throws in some better plot in the upcoming episodes, we might have a nice series.

Yumekui Merry
Episode: 2

Direction and acting continues to be excellent. This series is still building up but whether or not it succeeds remains to be seen. I loved it when I first saw it (second only to Wondering Son), but now I'm beginning to see a lot of ways in which this series could go wrong. Its success mainly hinges on the chemistry between our main pair (Merry and Fujiwara), which isn't very strong at the moment. It feels almost awkward to think about them working together.

Episode: 2

This series is very episodic in nature. The most important thing about these kind of shows are the characters or setting. The audience must be able to connect to something, or else the episodic content would just feel lifeless. Does that make sense? Anyway, the creators need to seriously work on developing Victorique and that lame-excuse-for-a-male-protagonist or I might drop this for being so mediocre. Pity it's a Bones production.

Episode: 2

The humour has sort of dulled. Being a manga reader of this series doesn't help. I pretty much feel the same way about this as I do for Bakuman: Great manga, average anime.

Oniichan no Koto
Episode: 2

A lot more ecchi than expected... But the plot progresses! This is the kind of series where, if it slows down for just a little bit, I would drop it in a beat. Would probably manage to survive on this list for another month or so before it inevitably reaches a level of unbearable melodrama or mindless fan service without plot.

Episode: 15

Niizuma certainly stir things up. Without him, this series would be way more boring than it already is. JC Staff's best animators are nowhere to be seen. I will probably continue to watch this just for the sake of it.

Star Driver
Episode: 15(*)

It's impossible to be spoiled for an anime original like this, but some plot theories out there are so in-depth and frighteningly convincing that it almost feels like reading the minds of the script writers. I won't spoil it for anyone here, but I will say that there are a TON of subtle clues all over this episode that would most likely lead to an awesome conclusion to this maiden's arc in the next few episodes. Also, this is the first episode to have no fight scenes or zero-time at all. Instead, it was an entire episode of very well directed build up.

Level E
Episode: 2(*)

The sharp writing of this series really surprised me in this episode. Timing of the jokes are perfect, but if they quicken the pace just a little bit, we may have a rival for Kyon's legendary dry wit. Plot is also progressing nicely.

Kore wa Zombie
Episode: 2

The crazy humour gets toned down in exchange for some character development. The "vampire ninja" introduced late last episode is already getting on my nerves, and I can see a lot of the jokes in this series getting old really fast. Still managed a good chuckle in the break dance scene though!

Dragon Crisis!
Episode: 2

Incoherent and inconsistent. Although some story elements are starting to come together now, there are still a lot of plot holes and inconsistencies. In an instant, our red dragon starts spewing full sentences as if she had been learning Japanese for a year or so. Good to hear Kugumiya Rie! But bad for the plot. I sincerely hope the produces can salvage the story, but I doubt it will cover up this many holes.

Kimi ni Todoke season 2
Episode: 1, 2

Slooooooooow! So slow! Parts of it actually feel slower than the original season (which was already very slow moving). If not for the nice Production IG art and occasional CG scenes (a little weird, but looks nice), I would probably have dropped this series out of frustration. I currently hate Sawako, but luckily I still love all the other characters. The new blond-haired guy needs to make a move soon to move the plot!

Episode: 2(*)

The attention to detail (in both art and animation) remains consistently high. I still can't get used to Ordet's style of animation though. This poor-man's-Mitsuo-Iso animation carried over from Black Rock Shooter, and I can't say I'm a huge fan of it. The story has a lot of potential though. We're introduced to a bunch of characters and world concepts at a good pacing. The main character's acting ranged from superb to cheesy. All those moe moments I could do without, but the part where he interacts with his parents was well written. Script quality kind of like Yumekui Merry I suppose.

Hourou Musuko (Wondering Son)
Episode: 2(*)

So much drama and so many excellent moments. This series continues to excite me with the endless amount of quality drama it can churn out. It's a pity that it will only get 11 episodes... Only a 52 episode run would do it justice. Or perhaps 26 episodes for this, and 11 episodes for the elementary school arc. Noitamina, make that happen!

Episode: 2

The worst episode this week. Most likely won't be watching the 3rd episode.


Couldn't find time (and not very interested) to try out the 2nd episode of these series:
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!

P.S. I need ideas for a post banner for this series of posts!

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