Watch Anime Online Anime Wallpapers naruto psp ads


Create a Meebo Chat Room

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 34

Posted by Author | Anime Review, Cardcaptor Sakura, Manga Review | Friday 30 April 2010 4:00 pm

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 34, and Tomoeda is holding a quiz tournament, and Sakura gets to enter it with Yukito.

Tomoeda is holding a quiz tournament in town, but people have to enter it in pairs. Tomoyo would rather film Sakura’s exploits, so Sakura ends up entering with Yukito. At the tournament, Chiharu also enters with Yamazaki while Meilin has dragged along Shaoran. Interestingly, while Shaoran gets flustered from looking at Yukito, he gets more flustered after looking at Sakura.

The first question is to take 10 matchsticks that form a star shape, and to make a different star with the same matchsticks. Yukito knows the answer right away, which is to create the Kanji for “star,” which uses 10 strokes. The second stop is at Twin Bells, where the question is how one turns ice into water in an instant. Again, Yukito has the answer, which is to remove a stroke from the Kanji for Ice, which turns it into the Kanji for Water.

Yukito and Sakura fly through the rest of the quiz course until they get to the final stop (behind only Chiharu and Yamazaki), which is manned by Ms. Mizuki. Ms. Mizuki makes Sakura answer this question, however, which is to get a ball out of a bottle without breaking it or turning it over. Sakura finally answers it by filling the bottle with water to get the ball out. As Sakura leaves, Ms. Mizuki tells Sakura to be careful, since it’s a full moon out.

Sakura and Yukito are finally sent to Penguin Park to fetch one of the plaques that they have to find to win. However, while in the woods looking for it, Sakura looks at the moon and falls into her dream again, and falls off a cliff, but Yukito is able to grab her and protect her on the way down. At the bottom, Yukito’s leg is slightly hurt, but he found the plaque.

Back at the finish, people start to get worried since Sakura and Yukito aren’t back yet, but when Toya and Shaoran are about to look for them, Yukito is limping back with Sakura’s help.

Well, this episode was really used to start building things up towards…something. Sakura sees her dream (twice!), Kero is still thinking about the person called Yue, and Ms. Mizuki warns Sakura to be careful since it’s a full moon. The series has really been focusing on full moons a lot recently, with there being a full moon in Sakura’s dream, and there being a full moon out when Kero first mentioned Yue back in the Return episode.

We also get our biggest hint yet that Shaoran might have a thing for Sakura, when we see that, while he still gets flustered by Yukito, he now gets more flustered by Sakura. Interesting…very interesting.

Speaking of Yukito, there is now increasing evidence that something may be up with him. In an earlier episode, Ms. Mizuki was about to tell Sakura something about Yukito, but stopped herself. In this episode, she’s about to ask Yukito himself something, but ends up getting interrupted.

No cards were captured in this episode, so the count stays at 36 cards for now. The next episode is the end of the first season, so we should expect something big.

Cards Captured: none
Card Count: 36

If Anime Is Dead Then Death Has Never Looked So Good

With the timing of Al Gore and the intelligence of Joe Biden, the recent rant by Bang Zoom’s President about the impending death of anime is so sad, it’s hilarious. If it was a well-written piece I might feel like I needed to write a rebuttal but it wasn’t, not by a long shot, which leads one to ask – “Why are you bringing up Mr. Sherman’s rambling rant?” Well, I’d answer, there are some things I wanted to mention related to issue at hand and this is as good of a time as any.

-

Where I Blame Mr. Sherman and Bang Zoom For Being 35% of the Problem Facing Anime In America

-

I bought an anime DVD the other day.

Not a big surprise; I, like many people can be enticed to buy something even if we have access to it for free. That goes for my copy of the latest Dresden Files book and it goes for this DVD. What is this mysterious anime DVD that I, as a member of the dark underbelly of the internet bought? The complete box set of Baccano.

The big surprise to this purchase is that I bought the complete box set of Baccano for it’s dub. That’s right, I bought an anime DVD for it’s dub. Crazy, I know. Even more crazy when you start listing all the awesome Japanese voice work done for this series but here I am, giddy in anticipation over watching an anime dub.

Someone well acquainted with the past dub quality in anime might ask what makes this dub different from the years and years of mediocre dubs that American fans have had to put up with? Simply put, Funimation used voice actors that sounded right for their role, had genuine talent, and the drive to give a performance on par with their Japanese counterparts. I wouldn’t think it was possible but Funimation did it and if you don’t believe me, you can go to their website to watch the dub episodes for free.

Fine, someone might now say, why does a sublime dub convince me to buy the DVD? Another simple question :) , Baccano’s dub gives the DVD a much higher value in my eyes then a sub-only DVD or a lousy dub DVD would. For instance, I can now watch Baccano even when it’s not possible to read subs all the time like while I’m cooking or cleaning or eating or, in the case of my sister, when she wants to do a bit of knitting. Also, most Americans don’t like to read subs so having a quality dub of Baccano means I have an anime to show those people when I want to convince them that anime can be awesome (without having to worry about the voice acting souring my chances with these potential converts).

I can hear the question coming at this point – what does Baccano’s dub have to do with Bang Zoom and the problems facing anime in America. At the time of reading Mr. Sherman’s rant I knew Bang Zoom was a dubbing studio but I didn’t know of what shows so I went to the ever informative Anime News Network. And according to ANN, Bang Zoom had nothing to do with the Baccano dub but they did do the Haruhi (my #1 top anime of 2006), Lucky Star (my #2 top anime of 2007), and Gurren Lagann (my #1 top anime of 2007) dubs.  A light bulb clicks on at this point. I have the limited edition Haruhi DVDs and found the dub just slightly better then mediocre; Haruhi’s English voice actor totally failed to make Haruhi as awesome as Aya Hirano was able too and the whole show comes off as a much lower quality show because of it. I saw the trailer to Lucky Star and was so turned off by the dub that I refused to even consider paying money for such an inferior product. In the case of Gurren Lagann, I watched it dubbed on the Sci-fi channel and was so infuriated when a poorly picked English voice for Kamina was able to completely change his character for the worse.

In all three shows I sensed a common theme – Bang Zoom pumping out a mediocre dub which might have saved a couple bucks but hurt the show in the long run. Consider what an anime DVD is worth if the dub track will never be listened to and watching it subbed means putting up with that ugly yellow font and poor handling of signs and watching it as a DVD means having to settle for the resolution a DVD offers? Even Mr. Sherman must know, in his heart-of-hearts, that an anime DVD like that isn’t worth very much. If, however, that same DVD offered a great dub then it’s worth would be much higher and as a result, more DVDs would be sold because the consumers would be able to get something they like in return for spending money that could have gone to a dozen different diversions and hobbies.

As I looked at it more the more I became convinced that Bang Zoom and Mr. Sherman have been more detrimental to anime in America then fansubs have ever been. Consider the anime companies Mr. Sherman mentions in his rant as having closed or suffered massive trouble. Two of those four companies (Bandai and Geneon/Pioneer) use/used Bang Zoom extensively to do their dubs – coincidence? Could it be, those market forces of capitalism that work in so many other industries to keep prices down and quality up have shown up here as well? Could it be, American consumers aren’t quiet the dumb sheep that people like Mr. Sherman think they are?

-

Where I Show Mr. Sherman’s Statement That Japan Is “struggling to bring out quality titles” As Another Symptom of The Problem Facing Anime In America

-

Assuming, of course, Mr. Sherman wasn’t lying through his teeth and he knows that Japan isn’t struggling to bring out quality titles. Which is a possibility but if one looks at what types of shows that generally get licensed and brought over then his statement fits into an idea I have.

I was looking at the those wonderful charts that chartfag has been putting together and I noticed something when I compared the 2008 chart with the 2001 chart. Here’s the charts, can you see it too?

If you look at the 2001 chart, it looks like the TV stations and animators where targeting young boys with the overwhelming majority shows being action shounen shows and the secondary market seemed to be young girls with the cute shoujo shows. Now look at the 2008 chart and something strange has happened. There’s still those action shounen shows and cute shoujo shows but there’s all these new types of shows: Aria, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Spice and Wolf, Natsume Yuujinchou, Hidemari Sketch, Clannad, Natsu no Sora, and Kaiba to name just a few.

It’s almost like the audience watching anime in Japan is diversifying and getting older; shocking, I know. A look at the American anime market shows that, for the most part, it’s still a 2001 mindset. It’s very slowly getting better (thanks in part to fans refusing to accept business as usual from the DVD companies) but there’s still a wide gulf between how shows like Bleach and Naruto are treated in America as opposed to how Natsume Yuujinchou, Clannad, or Aria are. What must American anime company people like Mr. Sherman think when they see shows like Bakemonogatari as being top DVD/Blu-Ray sellers in Japan? Their years and years of relying and pushing action shounen titles must make it so they can’t comprehend how a show that’s hyper-stylized and spends all it’s time showing characters talking could ever possibly sell in America.

So these American anime companies pass on shows like Bakemonogatari and wait for the next Naruto and complain that fansubs are killing anime because their waiting for the next Naruto obviously means something is wrong with anime. The funny thing is they might be right about the difficulty in their ability to sell shows like Bakemonogatari to America but let’s remember that it’s these same company executive’s limited mindset that has stunted the ability for the mainstream anime fandom in America to grow with their Japanese counterparts, causing a near incompatibility between the two.

To further compound this problem, American anime companies sticking to a 2001 mindset also cause yet more problems. People, including anime fans, get bored of watching the same type of shows over-and-over again; look at the cyclical nature to American prime-time television as a great example of this. So what do these bored anime fans do when they get tired of watching anime that bores them? Either become former anime fans or head to the dark, dangerous underbelly of the internet and find all the titles they’ve been missing out on. And even if you can find anime fans that don’t tire of watching the same type of show over-and-over, by watching only those action shounen titles targeted towards the younger audience it’s very probable that these anime fans will decide one day that they’ve “outgrown” anime because it’s meant for kids and, unless someone steps in and shows them the wider possibilities found in anime, they will stop being anime fans.

-

Where I Mention Another Market That Alarmists Have Said Will Die “If Something Isn’t Done!”

-

Print science fiction. Except in the case of print SF, people have prognosticated it’s immanent death since at least the early 1980’s. Hasn’t happened yet and it probably never will, provided great SF books/stories are still being written. So, I put little stock in any statement about the immanent death of anime as long as great anime is still being made and a quick look shows that plenty of quality anime is still getting made.

-

Where I Remind Mr. Sherman the Easiest Way To Get Rid Fansubs Is To Put Out a Superior Product

-

I asked earlier how much is a DVD worth if the dub track will never be listened to and watching it subbed means putting up with that ugly yellow font and poor handling of signs and watching it as a DVD means having to settle for the resolution a DVD offers. The answer is not very much and it looks even sadder when compared to the standard fansub I can find in the dark recesses of the internet put out by unpaid amateurs.

If anime companies in America can come up with a better way to give anime fans their anime then fansubs would go the way of the horse & buggy, the record/8-track players, the canals, the walkie-talkies and the elevator operators. Until that happens though, the anime companies in America will be the ones in danger of disappearing and not fansubs.

And will anime die if every single American anime company shuts down? To answer, I’ll first have to assume this scenario is possible because if anime is anything like print SF then as companies close down, new people with new ideas start new companies and pick up where the old companies left off and there’s never a point when somebody isn’t producing anime/manga/ print SF. So, assuming this worst case scenario, would anime die if every single American anime company shuts down? I’d have to say no, I don’t think so.

For all the bluster that Mr. Sherman displays in his rant – America don’t actually make the anime, we’re only a secondary market to Japan. If we were truly important to them then we’d be able to leverage better treatment from them. Remember how in the case of Haruhi the overwhelming amount of fans in America wanted the DVDs released in TV order and the Japanese license holder would only allow the TV order as an “extra” for the limited edition DVDs and only as a subtitled release. Or the continued reluctance of the Japanese rights holders in allowing us Americans to release anime Blu-ray discs. They couldn’t let the remote possibility of reverse importation mess-up their true cash cow even if that makes fansubs all the more enticing to everyone else.

-

Where I Write a Conclusion and Hope Someone Has Read This Entire 2300+ Word Blog Entry and Derived Something Positive From It

-

Let’s Recap: Mr. Sherman, President and CEO of the dubbing studio Bang Zoom writes a rant about the impending death of anime and I find it funny for being so out-of-touch with reality. It didn’t rate a response until I realized this was a chance to talk about how unexpectantly awesome the Baccano dub was (thanks Funimation!) and to snub Bang Zoom for screwing up three recent great anime shows by providing poor to slightly better then mediocre dubs and to talk about how the worth of an anime DVD changes drastically depending on the quality of it’s dub. I also realize that I can take this opportunity to voice my displeasure about the history of licensing only certain types of shows for America and to point out how these studio executives are too short-sighted and/or dumb to realize the consequences of their licensing patterns. And I realized I can mention what I think about all these Chicken Littles who want to make us believe the sky is falling and also to remind Mr. Sherman (who probably won’t actually ever read this post) that the surest way to get rid of a product is to produce a superior product and watch capitalism work it’s magic and let the inferior product disappear.

So after realizing all this, I got to writing this blog entry and here we are, a dozen hours of writing from me and 2300+ words written. I hope at least one person out there enjoyed this post and got something from it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some anime to watch.


Filed under: anime, anime rants/views, general anime interst

Angel Beats is like WHAT Show?!

Posted by Author | Angel Beats, Anime Review, Haibane Renmei, Manga Review | Thursday 29 April 2010 7:16 pm

At the start of the Spring 2010 anime season, Angel Beats was being compared a lot to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.  Perhaps that’s how it was being marketed, but after four episodes, while little glimmers of Haruhi may have shown up in Yuri here and there, I see very little similarity between any of the characters nor of the shows themselves.

Yeah sure, someone could be like “But Angel is just like Nagato!” but it’s not exactly like that character type is new.  And that’s about where the comparisons end, because no one can convince me that Otonashi is like Kyon really in any conceivable way that doesn’t apply to a multitude of other shows as well.  Indeed, I’m ready to smash the whole Angel-Beats-is-a-ripoff-of-Haruhi stuff right now.

However, there is a show that Angel Beats reminds me of.  None of the characters in Angel Beats are directly relateable, but the story sure is.  That show, which sits as the first show on the 2nd shelf of my anime bookcase, is Haibane Renmei.  Yes, you heard me right.  Angel Beats is (almost) just like Haibane Renmei.  “This is an affront to Yoshitoshi ABe!” some might say.  Perhaps it is, but time will tell.

Is this show...

Having said that, look at the similarities between the two shows so far:

  • The characters appear to be in some sort of afterlife.  The characters appear to have all gotten there after suffering some sort of grief or regret in their past life
  • There is a distinct possibility that most, if not all, of the characters committed suicide
  • It appears that a primary way to “disappear” from where they are is to forgive themselves for some regret that the held over from their previous life
  • After the 4th episode of Angel Beats, we can now add the element that the primary character, at least initially, is very apprehensive to the idea of his (or her) friends disappearing

Will more things line up later as Angel Beats progresses? Maybe, maybe not.  Only time will tell.

However, I’m stating to see strong similarities between the characters of Otonashi in Angel Beats and Rakka from Haibane Renmei.  They both arrive in this new world, without memories from their past world (though that’s true of all the Haibane) and, after one of the people in their world disappeared, they become distraught at the idea of it happening again.  I’m also beginning to wonder if Yuri is essentially playing the role of Reki as well, having the worst memory from her previous life, and really fighting the system more than going with it.  I also think Otonashi will have to accept that getting over one’s regrets and vanishing is ultimately for the best, much like Rakka had to do, and that Yuri will realize that forgiving herself is also for the best, much like what Reki had to.  And I rather fully expect Otonashi to aid Yuri in achieving this goal and disappearing, much like how Rakka aided Reki.

...just like this show?

Of course, Otonashi and Yuri are quite different personality wise from Rakka and Reki, but their roles in the story may be similar.  On top of this, there are obvious differences too.  There is no time limit (that we know of) on how long anyone can stay in this afterlife, unlike Haibane, for example.  But I’m not expecting Angel Beats to line up perfectly either.  They are, after all, different shows.  But the things that are similar are striking to me.

That brings up one final question for me:  What analogous character, if any, might Angel have in Haibane?  One possibility is that she could essentially play the role of The Communicator, in the sense that she’s there to guide everyone towards the path that will allow them to leave.  If this is the case, it brings up several possibilities: 1) she’s just someone put there to guide them, or perhaps, 2) much like how people hypothesized about The Communicator, perhaps she somehow failed or ran out of time to forgive herself for something she did, and was kind of left behind to help others.  The advancement of her weaponry, given that it’s made in the same way that Yuri makes their firearms, would present the possibility that Angel had been there for a very long time.

I’m looking forward to seeing if any other similarities pop up as Angel Beats progresses.

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 33

Posted by Author | Anime Review, Cardcaptor Sakura, Manga Review | Thursday 29 April 2010 4:00 pm

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 33, and Sakura’s class goes out to the ice skating rink, but there is more waiting there than hot cocoa and fun.

Sakura’s class goes on a field trip to the ice skating rink, but Sakura is concerned about her ice skating ability since she’s never gone before. However, the night before, Sakura once again has her dream about the Tokyo Tower focusing on the Mizuki-looking person. This time Sakura is able to clearly recite what she saw in her dream to Kero. When Sakura leaves for School, Kero once again thinks about Yue.

Once at the rink, Tomoyo shows off her proficiency at ice skating. However, Sakura falls right away as a beginner, as does Shaoran, and Ms. Mizuki helps out Meilin and Sakura in learning how to skate.

By the time lunch is finished, Sakura has gotten pretty good at skating. However, the temperature in the rink has also started to drop rapidly, and suddenly everyone in the building who doesn’t have magical abilities freezes, leaving only Sakura and Shaoran left…and Ms. Mizuki, who watches from the shadows. Shaoran identifies the card as the Freeze card, as it uses the ice on the rink to attack the pair, but especially Sakura.

Soon, Freeze knocks Sakura out and starts freezing her over. Shaoran is able to shake Sakura awake and says that he’ll try to lure Freeze above the ice. When he finally does, Sakura uses this chance to seal it, and everyone who was frozen returns to normal, as does the temperature in the building. Being the one who lured Freeze out, the card also flies to Shaoran.

And yet another card is captured by Shaoran in this episode. That’s 3 cards in the past 7 episodes (along with Return and Dash). While Sakura certainly seems to be getting more adept at catching cards, the fact that they’re gotten more aggressive towards her seems to have resulted in Sakura needing to rely on Shaoran’s help a little bit more recently.

Also, we have two more pieces of evidence that Ms. Mizuki is someone who will have a final say in things at the end. First, after Sakura describes the dream with the person who looks like Ms. Mizuki in it to Kero, he once again mentioned Yue. Second, she isn’t frozen by Freeze, which clearly indicates that she has some level of magical power (if she hadn’t already demonstrated that when she broke through Maze earlier).

Shaoran also appears to be getting more flustered around Sakura than he was to start. At the end of this episode, as well as a couple times in past episodes, he seems to have gotten somewhat flustered while looking at her. Maybe something is developing there? Ho ho.

Cards Captured: Freeze
Card Count: 36

[NSFW] Mayoi Neko Overrun – Alone in the Woods

Posted by Author | Anime, Anime Review, Manga Review, Mayoi Neko Overrun! | Thursday 29 April 2010 3:18 am
If you’re lost in the woods with you same sex friend and someway somehow you’re nekkid and it’s raining, you have to resort to basic survival guides and warm each other up with body heat. That is the way to survive, your same sex friend will understand. And after overcoming such an ordeal, you’ll end [...]

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 32

Posted by Author | Anime Review, Cardcaptor Sakura, Manga Review | Wednesday 28 April 2010 4:00 pm

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 32, and Sakura is once again able to catch a Clow card, but Kero and Shaoran end up swapping bodies as a result.

Sakura and Shaoran are chasing a weird looking Clow Card, when Shaoran and Kero grab onto it at the same time, allowing Sakura to seal it. However, in doing so, Kero and Shaoran end up switching bodies. The card Sakura captured was Change card, which switches the bodies of two people who touch the card at the same time. To change back, the pair have to wait until the same time the next day, when the power of the card starts to weaken.

Meanwhile, the pair have to figure out to do until the next day. Shaoran doesn’t want to tell Meilin what happened, so Kero-as-Shaoran has to fake it that night, and doesn’t do that well, cooking really awful soup and still talking in an accent. Shaoran-as-Kero doesn’t have it much better, freaking out about sleeping in Sakura’s room, and thus trying to fly to a tree, but not being able to.

Shaoran decides to go to school the next day with Sakura to keep an eye on Kero. However, once they arrive at class, Kero-as-Shaoran is always attracting attention to himself. During break, Tomoyo arrives, suspecting something as well, and Kero-as-Shaoran hides it so poorly that Tomoyo immediately confirms her suspicions.

Despite his further promise not to stand out, Kero-as-Shaoran still does anything but, doing things like running on all 4s during a soccer match, causing Sakura to pelt him with a dodge ball before anyone sees. Meilin is still suspicious, but Kero is able to head her off by being all serious and romantic with her, but that quickly ends when he starts licking himself.

Meanwhile, Kero is found by a teacher and through a series of circumstances, ends up in a bag being taken home by Mr. Terada. The group find a Kero-looking toy in a blue bag, and Sakura realizes that Mr. Terada had a similar bag that morning, so they find out from Ms. Mizuki where he was going. They eventually catch up to him, and find out that he’s returned Shaoran-as-Kero to the toy store, where he’s now in a crane game machine. After a while, Kero finally gets Shaoran out of the machine, and they head to the park to switch their bodies back.

This was an unusual episode in that, Sakura was able to seal the card at the start of the episode, but the rest of the episode was about the effects of the card. I have to rather agree with Tomoyo that it was rather funny seeing a comedic Shaoran and a serious Kero. Shaoran-as-Kero was probably ultimately happy that Kero has his own bedroom in one of Sakura’s drawers, though.

As Sakura also pointed out at the top, this is yet another one of those seemingly-useless cards created by Clow Reed. Kero chalks it up to Clow just being strange, however. I suppose the card could be useful if you wanted to infiltrate someplace and had captured someone that you could switch bodies with. Or if you and a buddy just wanted to freak everyone out for a day, I guess.

Cards Captured: Change
Card Count: 35

Giant Killing 04

Posted by Author | Anime, Anime Review, Giant Killing, Manga Review, Rakuen, drama, football, seinen, sports, studio deen | Tuesday 27 April 2010 6:50 pm

Well, I am slowly recovering from ASTL as regular life kicks into effect.  The day immediately after a convention is probably the worst, because you feel so drained from everything over the weekend.  I still managed to find time to watch the latest Giant Killing though.  This episode just goes to show you, even if you can work as a team, your opponent can easily throw a wrench into your plan.

Or a penalty card, as the case may be.

Gino has become the captain, and it falls to Tokyo Victory’s Mikumo to mark him.  The Prince is very skilful at working his mind games.  He spends the entire episode goading at the defensive player.  “Look at me!  I’m important!  Keep up!”  However, he never makes a big play himself, instead passing the ball to Akasaki and Tsubaki to move it up the field.  You can see how Mikumo starts thinking his mark is nothing but talk, especially with the fleet-footed Tsubaki on the field.

When the kid makes his second break at the goal, Mikumo finally commits to a vital mistake.  He’s already seen Akasaki fail at shooting, and he’s never seen Tsubaki shoot, but he runs off to defend them anyway.  Tsubaki feeds the ball to a wide-open Gino, who effortlessly scores.  He pours salt in the wound as well by chiding the defender for leaving him all alone.  It’s a fair mistake to make in the heat of the game, but I imagine he won’t forget it any time soon.

NOOOOOOOooooooo.......

The scene with Tsubaki crying actually occurs as a flashback to training camp in this episode.  Tatsumi comes outside to see him doing some “image practice,” and decides to challenge him to score.  He reads the kid like a book.  Tsubaki fears failure, especially in front of his manager.  However, he also has an indomitable spirit.  Despite all the failures, he has never given up the dream.  Tatsumi homes in on this quality, and I think the scene is truly touching.  Tsubaki may screw up a lot and the people may jeer at him for it, but what of it?  He has talent, and the person who matters most knows he has it.  As long as he keeps at it, he will succeed and it will immediately shut up all the haters.

Guess what happens?  He pulls off two brilliant plays with help from Gino and Akasaki, and the crowd sits in stunned silence when the second play scores.  Then they break out into wild cheers.  He does this despite intimidation and interference from Mochida.  I don’t think he’s out of the woods yet, but this kid will go places.

And the crowd goes wild! YEAH!

When the referee issues Tsubaki a yellow card, Tatsumi reacts with indifference.  He doesn’t question the call, and even says he doesn’t really know if his player actually committed a foul.  This unflappable attitude seems odd, but it’s a bit clearer with an omitted part of the prologue chapter of the manga.  Do you remember the game Tatsumi lost in England?  He lost it on a missed call.  Yet, when Gotou points out the error, he simply waves him off and says, “The actual score is everything.”  The ref and his calls are a factor completely out of the coach’s control.  It doesn’t do much good to get mad and raise cain over it.  Tatsumi does have the team under his control, and they can work around a misjudged call with enough effort.  Thus, when his team lost, it was because they failed to step up and overcome the unexpected problem.

The same occurs here.  They could have worked around the penalty kick by blocking the shot, but the goalie failed to do so.  The failure rests on the team, not the referee.  Now they will have to push themselves past their limits to regain control of the game, but Tatsumi will also have to deal with Mr. ETU.  Next week should bring this exhibition match to its conclusion.

Cry more, mkay?


Anime DVD and Manga Releases for April 27 – May 3

Posted by Author | Anime & Manga Releases, Anime Review, Manga Review | Tuesday 27 April 2010 6:31 pm

Anime DVDs

April 27, 2010
Gin Tama – Collection 1 (S)
Naruto – Season 2 Part 2
Rurouni Kenshin – Box Set

Manga

April 27, 2010

Broken Blade – Volume 3
Karakuri Odette – Volume 3
Negima!? Magister Negi Magi Neo – Volume 5
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei – Volume 6
Tsubasa, RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE – Volume 26

April 30, 2010

Cirque du Freak – Volume 5
Spice and Wolf – Volume 1
Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning – Volume 11

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 31

Posted by Author | Anime Review, Cardcaptor Sakura, Manga Review | Tuesday 27 April 2010 4:00 pm

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 31, and Sakura and Shaoran have a big problem on their hands capturing a Clow Card, but once they’re done, an even bigger problem reveals itself.

In the morning, Toya is once again ruthlessly making fun of Sakura as being a monster. Meanwhile, at school, Shaoran feels a presence of a Clow Card. After school, Sakura, Tomoyo, Naoko, Chiharu, and Rika are out shopping in a book store when Sakura also feels the presence of the Clow Card, and decide to come back that night. In the store, Naoko finds a book without a title which has text written in it only a certain way, with a note that wants someone else to “continue the story.” Naoko is fascinated, so she buys it.

That night, Sakura arrives in a very CLAMP-ish costume when Shaoran and Meilin show up as well. Suddenly a HUGE cat walks by them and starts chasing them. The cat finally catches Meilin and Shaoran and appears to like Shaoran. Kero realizes this is the doing of the Big card, so Sakura continues on and seals it.

Meanwhile, Naoko starts writing the continuation of the story in the book she bought. Outside, the group suddenly sees a ghostly princess and weird flying animals. Kero realizes that this might be the doings of the Create card.

However suddenly a giant dragon shows up and starts heading towards town. Sakura tries to stop it with his magic, but it’s just too big. Kero suggests Sakura use the Big card on herself to stop it, but she absolutely refuses until Tomoyo begs her too use it as well.

Sakura tries stopping the dragon, so it starts going after her. It looks like Sakura is about to be defeated when the Dragon suddenly disappears as Naoko finishes writing for the night. Sakura uses this chance to seal away Create. The next morning, when Toya is making fun of Sakura for being a monster, she happily takes it, knowing she can use big and smash him easily.

It’s not often Sakura is able to capture two cards in one episode, but she was able to in this episode. I also like how many of the cards have counterparts. We’ve already seen Sword and Shield, Fight and Power, Time and Return, Create and Erase, and now we have Big, which is the counterpart to the Little card Sakura captured a little while ago.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but I meant to start keeping count of what cards Sakura (or Shaoran) have captured so far, and this is what I’ve come up with:

Big, Create, Dash, Erase, Fight, Float, Flower, Fly, Glow, Illusion, Jump, Little, Loop, Maze, Mirror, Mist, Move, Power, Rain, Return, Shadow, Shield, Shot, Silent, Sleep, Song, Storm, Sweet, Sword, Thunder, Time, Watery, Windy, and Wood

That’s 34 cards in 31 episodes so far, a not too shabby collection.

[Filler] Working!! – Weapon Test

Posted by Author | Anime, Anime Review, Manga Review, working!! | Monday 26 April 2010 11:02 pm
Last night I was playing around with Twitter and got my hero stats, my voice actor, my finishing move, and I also got myself a very AWESUM weapon: @53RG10′s Weapon: Name: Second Sword Type: Japanese Sword (Katana) Effect: Turn enemies into little girls LET’S TAKE THIS WEAPON FOR A TEST RUN! The victim? Takanashi!!! Why? [...]

Anime St. Louis 2010

Anime St. Louis is really the impulse convention of the year for me.  I always decide to go at the absolute last-minute, and then somehow the arrangement just works.  This year, I have Heidi to thank for providing the little convincing needed to go.  Seriously, those puppy dog eyes are powerful stuff.  I also need to thank Alisa for providing lodging during the convention so I could attend all three days instead of just one.  Now, without further ado, the convention coverage!

First, the attendees and staff really had it together this year.  Gone were the crazy registration lines from last year.  The setup for this year avoided clogging an entire area of the convention.  When I got there, they opened a third line when only five people were waiting to get people through faster.  I still think the form asks for too much information, but I complain about that for every reg form.  Then with the lost and found this year, one of my friends lost her badge.  In the 10 minutes it took for us to realize it was missing, it was already turned in by someone and waiting for us.  I heard similar stories from others in passing.  We had a tornado warning during the convention as well, and everyone handled themselves very well despite the scare.  So, props to everyone who attended this year.

Now, I am not the panel attendee by any means.  I normally go to conventions to socialize and shoot group photoshoots.  I run panels because I enjoy doing it, and because it has some perks.  However, I don’t know nearly as many people in the central Midwest circuit as the eastern circuit, so I looked into it for this convention.  ASTL suffers from the same programming headaches as everyone else.  There were scheduling conflicts, a few blank spots on the list, and I felt the schedule overall was a little underwhelming.  Despite this, I feel the situation has still improved over last year.  I think I’ll try to get into the mix a bit next year.

The first panel on the talking block is Soul Eater, one of my favorite series.  I want to say this was the first time these girls ran the panel.  It was a little bare bones for my liking, but they were certainly enthusiastic about the subject material.  They also didn’t fall into the “tech trap” that occurs when you suddenly realize the projector will not work for you.  I’ve seen several panels in the past get totally derailed by tech failures, so my hat’s off to them for continuing with what they had available.  They have a lot of room for improvement, so if they get the slot next year, I expect some growth.

The only industry panel I went to this year was the “free-for-all” on Sunday.  Unfortunately, only three guests were still at the convention and available.  Voice actor Troy Baker, Internet personality Doug Walker, and musician Tadahisa Yoshida talked with us for about an hour.  I loved the former two and I regret missing their panels at the convention.  Fortunately, I have another opportunity to see Doug at Matsuricon this year.  Tada was a bit of a fish out of water at the panel, but I have to give him credit for showing up at a Sunday afternoon event.

Then I have the duo of Brad and Derek.  They ran the Code Geass panel with Kira on Friday, and the Naruto panel with Wyatt on Saturday.  These are truly fantastic panelists.  They know their material thoroughly, injecting both insight and humor.  They can also manage the freeform panel setup I enjoy so much more than dissertation style.  If you’re in this region and they have a panel on a series you’re interested in, go to it.  Seriously, if I ran programming at a convention, I’d offer them slots immediately.  I’ve run out of ways to suck up to them for now, but rest assured I have an R&D division working around the clock to develop new methods.

This year ASTL split up the Masquerade into two portions.  The first covered the walkons, and the second had all the skits.  It’s kind of odd when most conventions do both segments together, but I think it works out better.  You only have to attend the Masquerade for the aspects your interested in, which prevents people who just want to see walkons from blocking those who just want to see skits from having a seat.  From the attendance, many people just wanted to see the walkons.  A show of hands at the skits showed only a small portion of those people in attendance.  That’s a good thing because the skits pretty well filled the room.

The staff hosted two dances this year, and I went to both of them.  Friday was the 80s dance, which I liked simply because it was different.  I think song choice needs to improve for next year, but I still had fun in a setting different from the normal fare.  The rave techno dance was also a lot of fun.  The music had some nice variety and a good flow.  Nothing irks me more than a DJ who sticks to the same basic beat, or “safety zone”, for 15 minutes at a time.  I didn’t have that problem here.  I do have to say calling the rave a techno dance is about as effective a euphemism as calling H1N1 the flu, but whatever works for them is fine with me.

Finally, we have the Dealer’s Room, Artist’s Alley, and Game Room.  I’m not much of a shopper myself, and because I went to this convention on impulse I also had no money set aside for buying anything.  The Alley was somewhat small, and the Dealer’s was somewhat big.  The Dealer’s Room also felt like Colossalcon where they had a lot of stuff but it still felt underwhelming.  Maybe the likes of Acen and Otakon have spoiled me.  The Game Room, however, was more than satisfactory for a convention this size.  They had plenty of TVs and consoles setup, including a full Xbox 360 LAN.  They provided a DDR Extreme machine as well, but it fizzled out at some point on Friday.  I suppose you just can’t have everything.

TLDR: I thoroughly enjoyed Anime St. Louis.  In just two years, it has come from being a clustersuck to a solid performer in the region.  There are still faults but the staff has still improved year over year.  In 2011, I intend to plan my attendance instead of just showing up.


AniBlog Tournament: Days 5 – 8 Voting

Posted by Author | AniBlog Tournament, Anime Review, Manga Review | Monday 26 April 2010 7:02 pm

Once again, if you see me criticizing something about your blog, it’s nothing personal.  I tend to tear apart people’s websites when I do comparisons such as this, so just keep that in mind.

Aniblog Tournament | HTML Bracket

Round 1, Day 5

Vote Link

Match 9: Just as Planned

Just as planned has a pretty straight forward design.  Easy to get around, even if it’s not anything flashy.  The one thing I didn’t like in that respect is that, while categories are right there, they’re pretty broad, with most posts about Anime merely piled under a category called, well, “Anime.”  The content is kind of in the mid-range of length I guess, but still seems OK.  Moe Check! looks a bit sharper, and has some posts which are more in-depth than most posts on JaP, but most of the posts just seem to be one or two liners commenting on a picture.  Not really much there.  Also, Moe Check! has 7 posts in the month of April.  Just as Planned has 7 posts in the last week.  I think I’ll go with Just as planned on content grounds in this one.

Match 10: JanaiBlog

Rainbowsphere: Very nice design, very good content, but haven’t posted a thing since March 8th (and sparsely updated even before then).  JanaiBlog: Not as good design as RBS, and perhaps not quite as good content level, but still a pretty good level of content.  And they’ve posted recently, so I’ll go with JanaiBlog.

Round 1, Day 6

Vote Link

Match 11: Colony Drop

This one is a big of a toughie for me.  Canne’s blog is more anime review (with some editorial thrown in) with some pretty good content and a good design. Despite only posting 6 times in the month of April, Canne’s blog still more than it’s competitor: Colony Drop.  However, CD has it’s own interesting design aspects, and I think an overall superior level of content – it’s just that posting is more infrequent.  So it seems like my choice is coming down to this: a little better content vs. getting more content.  I think if Canne had a significantly higher post rate, instead of just 6 posts in the month vs 3, I’d be inclined to take it, but since both are somewhat infrequent posters, I’ll go with the content winner, which is Colony Drop in this case.

Match 12: Beta-Waffle

If the last match was hard, this one is even more so.  How do you compare a predominantly comic blog against an episode blogger (all those who would vote against one or the other merely by what type of blog they are can skip that question).  Beta-Waffle consists of pretty consistently funny (if dubiously drawn) comics posted daily or every other day.  That’s a lot of work to keep it up like that, and Beta-Waffle certainly gets a lot of credit for that.

bananaMuffin, as you might have guessed, is the episode review blog.  bM certainly posts quite a bit, so it can keep up with B-W in that respect.  There is also a decent amount of content on the blog as well.  However, where I think bM stumbles is that it appears that, while postings are somewhat frequent, it’s posting episodes 1 and 2 of series when they’re pretty much airing episode 4.  If fan subs were slow, I could live with it, but I know for at least one of the series that’s not the case because I’m blogging it too.  Now, the caveat to that is it looks like they took a bit of a hiatus at the start of April, and they seemed to be keeping up with series before that.  Perhaps one plus in bM’s favor is that I do think it has the cleaner design.

I think in the end – and this is probably the longest rationale I’ve written so far – Beta-Waffle wins because, not only are they posting frequently, but it’s something that’s hard to keep up.  That combined with the immediate fact that bananaMuffin is behind and I think I’ll go with Beta-Waffle.  However, it would be an even tougher choice if bananaMuffin was keeping up with their series.

Round 1, Day 7

Vote Here

Match 13: Major Arcana

Black and Blue Socks appears to be pretty much an average, run of the mill episodic blog.  The content is pretty good and they appear to be posting pretty regularly (though they’re a little behind it looked like) and the design was OK.  There isn’t anything obvious I can really criticize them for, but there isn’t anything in particular that stands out about it either.  Major Arcana appears to be a mix of some episodic blogging along with editorial blogging with reviews thrown in.  Again, the content looks pretty good and they post at a pretty good pace.  This is a very difficult pick because these two blogs are very similar in how much they write, the quality of writing, and the rate of posting.  That means this one is probably going down to design and navigability.  I like the originality of Arcana’s blog better, but I think the navigability of BBS is a little better.  However, I think the navigability issues are a little closer than the design, so I think I’ll ultimately, by a sliver, go with Major Arcana.

Match 14: Mecha-Guignol

Daijoubu is another comic blog which posts (more dubiously drawn) comics. Occasionally anyway.  Mecha-Guignol appears to write mostly editorial pieces, which are nicely done, and appear to be pretty regular.  After a long string of some pretty long write-ups, I think this one will be short: quality posts + consistent posting…I think I’m giving this one to Mecha-Guignol.

Round 1, Day 8

Vote Here

Match 15: Ani-Gamers

Ani-Gamers, despite the blog’s name, appears to mostly do anime series reviews, as well as has an active, semi-regular podcast.  I know that keeping up a regular podcast is difficult – I put out 90 episodes of a podcast myself before finding that I just didn’t have the time for it in comparison to the number of people who were listening to it (which was basically no one).  I’ve had delusions of grandeur about restarting it again at time but…well, I guess I should move on since this isn’t about me.  The series reviews appear to be pretty informative, which is nice too.  The site design is a little unusual at first, but is still manageable.  Anime Full Circle has mainly, well, I guess you could all them editorials.  Kind of random scrawlings might be a better description for the type of posts that are on the blog.  Some of it is useful, but a lot of it is, well…random.  Perhaps it is someone’s cup of tea, but it really isn’t mine, so I’m going with Ani-Gamers.

Match 16: Anime Instrumentality Blog

This match involves something of a rarity: an anime music review blog.  That’s the role that Anime Instrumentality Blog fills.  It includes info like album title, show title, track list, music samples, and of course the review itself.  It’s really quite an interesting site to visit.  And being one that likes anime soundtracks myself, I’m rather sad that I hadn’t really run into this site before.  Maybe the only thing I could diss about the site right now is that the design may not be as clean as it could be, but it’s still not too bad.  Kita ze Inbou does beat up AIB when it comes to design. However, I have two major beefs with it. First, on their blog posts, the intro text on the home page is next to useless.  Second, I’m not much of a fan of taking so much space on headline and featured articles – all of which are, at the moment, at least six days old while the “new” content is buried toward the bottom of the page.  While the design of KzI is very tempting, I think I’ll go with Anime Instrumentality Blog

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 30

Posted by Author | Anime Review, Cardcaptor Sakura, Manga Review | Monday 26 April 2010 4:00 pm

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 30, and after trying to capture another Clow Card, the card is able to get away and hides out in the house of another student at Sakura’s school.

Sakura, looking like a Twi’lek in Tomoyo’s costume, is out trying to cash the Dash card, and tries to use Windy to bind it, but it’s able to escape and hides in a nearby house. However, the racket caused by Dash escaping makes it impossible for Sakura to get near enough to capture it.

Meanwhile, a girl in the house named Rei finds Dash in it’s animal form and thinks it is a lost and injured animal, and starts to nurse it back to health. Tomoyo and Sakura try to sneak into their yard under the guise of retrieving a lost baseball, but the plan ends up failing. Sakura then runs into the girl at school, and finds that she’s on the track team, and her times are now being helped by Dash.

Sakura and Tomoyo end up running into Rei after school as they are strategizing near her house. Rei invites them in, and tells them that Dash, whom she calls PeeWee, is a good luck charm helping with her running. Kero sees this as an opportunity to seal Dash, but Sakura decides not to, not wanting to make Rei sad. However, Sakura becomes more conflicted, as she wants Rei to do well at an upcoming track meet, but she knows that nothing good comes from her doing it with the help of magic.

Meanwhile, Shaoran starts to feel the presense of Dash and starts to go after it. However, Shaoran’s arrival spooks Dash and it runs away from Rei’s house, but he’s able to corner it using his thunder magic, and Kero finally convinces Sakura to seal it away, and the card flies to Shaoran.

At the track meet, Rei is doing well, but appears depressed about PeeWee disappearing. However, just before the final run, Shaoran calls Dash, who Rei is able to see for a moment. Rei then wins the 100 meter meet. Sakura races after Shaoran, but he assures her that he didn’t use Dash to help Rei win the race.

I guess the main thing with this episode was kind of a moral of the story of “you shouldn’t use magic to cheat” basically, even though Rei wasn’t knowingly using magic. Obviously using magic can be useful, but the episode was trying to point out that there are some situations where one still shouldn’t use it.

We also see a difference between Sakura and Shaoran in this episode, with Sakura not wanting to make Rei sad by capturing Dash, but Shaoran not really caring, though we do see another side of him at the end, when he uses Dash to give Rei inspiration to win the race. In any case, is it me, or has Shaoran started racking up on the cards recently. I think he’s won 2 of the last 3 cards, or at least 2 of the last 4.

Cardcaptor Sakura – Episode 30

Posted by Author | Anime Review, Cardcaptor Sakura, Manga Review | Monday 26 April 2010 4:00 pm

It’s Cardcaptor Sakura episode 30, and after trying to capture another Clow Card, the card is able to get away and hides out in the house of another student at Sakura’s school.

Sakura, looking like a Twi’lek in Tomoyo’s costume, is out trying to cash the Dash card, and tries to use Windy to bind it, but it’s able to escape and hides in a nearby house. However, the racket caused by Dash escaping makes it impossible for Sakura to get near enough to capture it.

Meanwhile, a girl in the house named Rei finds Dash in it’s animal form and thinks it is a lost and injured animal, and starts to nurse it back to health. Tomoyo and Sakura try to sneak into their yard under the guise of retrieving a lost baseball, but the plan ends up failing. Sakura then runs into the girl at school, and finds that she’s on the track team, and her times are now being helped by Dash.

Sakura and Tomoyo end up running into Rei after school as they are strategizing near her house. Rei invites them in, and tells them that Dash, whom she calls PeeWee, is a good luck charm helping with her running. Kero sees this as an opportunity to seal Dash, but Sakura decides not to, not wanting to make Rei sad. However, Sakura becomes more conflicted, as she wants Rei to do well at an upcoming track meet, but she knows that nothing good comes from her doing it with the help of magic.

Meanwhile, Shaoran starts to feel the presense of Dash and starts to go after it. However, Shaoran’s arrival spooks Dash and it runs away from Rei’s house, but he’s able to corner it using his thunder magic, and Kero finally convinces Sakura to seal it away, and the card flies to Shaoran.

At the track meet, Rei is doing well, but appears depressed about PeeWee disappearing. However, just before the final run, Shaoran calls Dash, who Rei is able to see for a moment. Rei then wins the 100 meter meet. Sakura races after Shaoran, but he assures her that he didn’t use Dash to help Rei win the race.

I guess the main thing with this episode was kind of a moral of the story of “you shouldn’t use magic to cheat” basically, even though Rei wasn’t knowingly using magic. Obviously using magic can be useful, but the episode was trying to point out that there are some situations where one still shouldn’t use it.

We also see a difference between Sakura and Shaoran in this episode, with Sakura not wanting to make Rei sad by capturing Dash, but Shaoran not really caring, though we do see another side of him at the end, when he uses Dash to give Rei inspiration to win the race. In any case, is it me, or has Shaoran started racking up on the cards recently. I think he’s won 2 of the last 3 cards, or at least 2 of the last 4.

Spring 2010 Anime Impressions – B Gata H Kei

Posted by Author | Anime, Anime Review, B Gata H Kei, Hal Film Maker, Manga Review, first impressions, spring 2010 | Monday 26 April 2010 7:54 am

Spring has sprung – as the saying goes – the tulips, azaleas, lilacs are in bloom and all plants, from the biggest oak tree to the smallest blade of grass work their green magic to make the snow and cold a distant memory. Is it a surprise, then, that this season of anime, like the season it’s named after, offers an abundance of good titles.

Rating for episodes 1 to 4 – 10.5/12  Strong A
Anticipation Level:
4.5/5 – High

The Story

Yamada is her school’s idol even though she’s only a freshman. She has flawless skin, beautiful hair, long legs and mesmerizing eyes so accomplishing her mind’s desire (to woohoo with 100 different guys before she graduates high school) should be a cinch. The problem is that even though that’s her desire, she’s pretty naive about such things, she over thinks things in a very similar manner as Minami-ke’s Hosaka, and she lacks many of the basic social abilities like holding a conversation with someone because her mind has stuck on the ecchi stuff and has never learned.

As a result, she hasn’t so much as held hands with a guy and that’s a problem because all the “cool” guys are very experienced (according to her) so she decides that before she can bag her 100 guys she needs to train on a loser “cherry boy” that won’t mind that she’s not experienced. She picks a really plain looking guy sitting next to her in class by the name of Kosuda and so starts one of the most hilarious, confusing courtships I’ve seen in anime.

The Fine Print

I have a stately old lilac bush in my backyard and that lilac reminds me of B Gata H Kei. There’s been some attempts to update lilacs but the type people still like the most is the tried and true bluish-purple lilac that their grandmother’s and probably their grandmothers grew. And as an ecchi comedy, B Gata H Kei, belongs to a very old genre within anime – lacking the bells and whistles that get people excited about the newer types of shows. Also like lilacs, most of the time people don’t expend much time and thought about shows like B Gata H Kei; no one grows lilacs for their interesting foliage or fall color or “winter interest” and no one watches an ecchi comedy for it’s well-drawn backgrounds or animation style or the cinematography.

So why does almost everyone love lilacs?

It’s their flowers that bloom over the course of a few short weeks in late April-May and the nostalgia. But let’s be honest, even if the lilac is incredibly old and can only muster a few flower spikes in a year that’s enough to keep people from digging it up and planting something newer and better in it’s place. It’s a rather short bar we ask the lilac to jump over and the same can be said for ecchi comedies – they have to be really lifeless for people to scorn them.

Sometimes, though, these stately old lilac bushes surprise you and, instead of a couple flower spikes, there’s dozens and dozens – putting on a show as memorable as the most sought after cherry trees or rose bushes. And sometimes an ecchi comedy like B Gata H Kei comes along and really surprises you.

As with any good show, several things have to be done right for the show to be good. One important element is the main characters and B Gata H Kei gets the ball rolling with Yamada and Kosuda. Introduced as a generic male character, Kosuda looks the part but is way more interesting the longer we get to know him. He’s an accomplished photographer, he’s kind and considerate, and he occasionally displays an actual backbone. Yamada’s character, for all it’s ecchi bluster, feels very similar to Minami-ke’s Hosaka though she’s been a little more successful in attracting her target. The side characters haven’t been given a lot of time but that’s okay since the animators have been using the time to focus on making the main characters work. From what I can see so far, the side characters are all decent characters with Yamada and Kosuda’s siblings being the standouts.

Another important element is for an anime to be entertaining. Different types of anime are entertaining in different ways and I’m very flexible in what I find entertaining which probably accounts for finding so many different types of anime entertaining. Comedy is one of the easy ways to make a show entertaining and I love the comedy found in B Gata H Kei – the miscommunications between Yamada and Kosuda, their inexperience in dealing with another person while in a relationship, their fears and expectations sabotaging everything they do. Another way to entertain is come up with something new and different (or at least something that’s different from what everyone else is doing) and B Gata H Kei can be given a thumbs up for creating Yamada from a pretty standard male archetype and letting her mess with everyone’s expectations and for making Kosuda with just enough backbone so he’s not a pain to watch but enough shyness to make him believable in the role he plays. And the final way a show can be entertaining that I’ll mention today is for that show to keep fresh and the viewer guessing what’ll happen in the next episode and that’s certainly true with B Gata H Kei. I have no doubt that the pair will end up together but the path to do so is really up in the air due, in part, to Yamada’s conflicting drives between the superficial confident idol that eats, drinks, and breathes ecchi stuff and the deeper feelings of inadequacy at not being good enough to attract the eye of “cool” guys and the fear from actually experiencing the events leading to what she desires.

Which leads me to probably the biggest surprise to B Gata H Kei, that underneath the superficial setup to the show, it’s really a sweet story of two shy losers falling in love and learning what it takes to have a real relationship. And before the voices speak up about the well-wornness of that story, let me remind those voices that put in the right hands even a well-worn story feels new (last summer’s Taishou Yakuu Musume was a great example of both an underdog story and a girls prove their equality to boys story) and so far B Gata H Kei has been in good hands.

The final thing that I wanted to bring up was that after a fair amount of fan service in the first episode, there hasn’t been too much since. As an aside, that’s why I decided not to call this a fan service show and use the better fitting term “ecchi”. I bring this up because I know some people gauge a show’s worth by how little or how much fan service is involved and however one feels about the subject, I wouldn’t be doing my duty as reviewer if I fail to mention this point.

Okay, one last final thing. Another reason I’ve been enjoying B Gata H Kei is that I like both the opening and closing songs. So, if you haven’t given B Gata H Kei a chance yet – maybe you read those horribly done ANN impression posts – watch a couple of episodes and I bet there’s a good chance that you’ll fall for B Gata H Kei like I have.

Is the TK in the background a reference to Angel Beats or just a coincidence?


Filed under: anime, first impressions
Next Page »



Read Manga Online | Osaka Hotels - Large range, many locations - Save up to 70% on Osaka Hotels.