30 Jan 2011

Anime Weekly 2

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.

I did not watch a lot this week (busy!), so hopefully I will do some catching up during the Chinese New Year weekend. Along the way, I would most likely decide to drop a few series (currently following about 14, at worst I will drop that to 7).

Yumekui Merry
Episode: 3

It's quite worrying to see the animation for this episode take a dip. Action scenes that were smooth (though not very outstanding) in the first 2 episodes are now a little choppy. However, the attention to details (backgrounds) and the animation of throwaway actions (sipping a drink, flipping a coin) was still amazing. The main male character still holds up believably, but the main female protagonist (Merry), is kinda settling into a cliche. A little tsundere perhaps? But it is not so bad right now, and hopefully will stay like that.

Infinite Stratos
Episode: 3

Yet another addition to the harem, and this time it's a little Chinese tsundere twin-tailed childhood friend. She's a lot more likable and less shy. Not a lot of dere scenes as compared to... our main tsundere in this series. Perhaps the only thing keeping me from dropping this is that it is easy to get into and rather enjoyable.

Yuri Seijin Naoko-san
OVA: 1(*)

Didn't plan on blogging this, but decided to just mention it because the animation is quite... good. Animated by ufotable, I think this is the very first production of their own. They had previously been providing animation assistance for a lot of other studios. As for the OVA itself, well, it wasn't that good. I can see why ufotable remains purely as an animation studio for so long; they just don't have the talents for production. Good effort though. I hope to see some sort of collaboration production in the future from them.

Episode: 3

The story is finally picking up. The continuation of last week's case was pretty strong, with quite a lot of mystery and intrigue. However, there are still very few hints of an actual overarching plot that I usually look out for in episodic shows like this. I can see myself continuing to watch this for the weird and mysterious cases they get into though, so that's not much of an issue yet.

Episode: 16

It's just so so slooow. I honestly don't know why I follow it anymore. The anime does not add anything to the manga and instead subtracts from it. The manga is about mangakas, and hence has that inside-joke and breaking-the-forth-wall feel to it. Making an anime adaptation of that cuts all that out and lays bare how empty and "calculated" this typical Shounen Jump series is. Anime dropped (from blogging at least. Hard to find anything to write about each episode).

Onii-chan no Koto
Episode: 3

More of the same, no character development, no plot progression. Dropped.

Episode: 3

While the manga wasn't exactly a breakout hit, it still had its moments. Devilishly funny at times, the mangakas seem to know proper comedic timing. The action scenes, while brief and very simple, were enough to convey the sense of power. The anime on the other hand tries hard to but more often than not fails at comedy. It is only the third episode, but everything is starting to feel so repetitive already. There were a lot of repeated animation too, bringing back bad memories of the later episodes of Gundam Seed (and Gundam Seed Destiny).

Star Driver
Episode: 16(*)

Bones certainly knows how to make a plot twist! I've read a few really good speculations beforehand on what was going to be revealed this episode (the maiden's 'sister') and thought that it MIGHT be a bit far-fetched at first. Because if it was true, it would have been quite great actually. Turns out, it IS great. The writers managed to spin Mizuno's tale really well, giving her a lot of depth. Right now I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens as we go into the third, and possibly final, arc.

Level E
Episode: 3(*)

End of an arc! This series continues to surprise me this week by introducing a plot twist and a conclusion to what seems to have been a 3 episode introduction to the various characters and setting. Most of the commendation should be given to the original mangaka for its story and characters, but the animation team and seiyuus managed to breathe life into these characters and make them easy to connect to. There isn't overt sexual tension between our two main characters, and they seem to really click with each other, making it a joy to watch every week. As with Star Driver, this series will be changing gears next week, and I am definitely looking forward to it.

Kore wa Zombie
Episode: 3

It might not be really far to compare this to Onii-chan no Koto, but that's the easiest thing to compare it to this season. Both series lack a direction, Onii-chan no Koto even more so than this, but Kore wa Zombie is bad enough. We are introduced to some hints of the serial killer's identity, but somehow it took quite a while to get there. The episodes are filled with so much pointless fluff and fan service, I don't even know where to start... I'm giving it one more episode. If the next episode doesn't clearly head into the plot, I'm gonna drop it for being such a dead series. I feel like a zombie watching this.

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