Monday, June 25, 2007

Sci-fi Harry - Completed Review

What is it?

Harry is an unsocial, unpopular, awkward teenager who one day discovers that he has special psychic powers. Encouraged by his classmate, he tries developing his skills. When his powers are made public, various groups come after Harry for different motives and soon, the police realize his existence is part of a massive conspiracy.

What's good about it?

The strength of this show is its plot and character development. The character designs were kind of annoying at first, but I got to liking them towards the end. Still, they are not flattering and none of the characters looks really attractive. The animation is good, so is the soundtrack. The best part of the show is the unraveling of the conspiracy, which the plot is based on.

What's bad about it?

Though the character's are well developed, I didn't necessarily find a lot of them likeable. Besides Chinori and maybe the detective, I really didn't care for any of the other main characters (Harry, Catherine, John). Harry in particular was often frustrating. He is ALWAYS undeciding, nervous, scared and uncool, though this is partly corrected towards the end. Also, the series is set in America. That might give it an exotic feel for Japanese viewers, but I found the setting unconvincing as a Westerner.

Final Verdict

Overall, the series was still pretty good. At 20 episodes, the plot moved nicely throughout and there was no filler episodes. The ending was so-so, but it doesn't leave you hanging and everything pretty much gets resolved. Worth a watch.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Quick Announcement

I will be picking up Dennou Coil so look forward to my first impression shortly. Also, I've just finished watching Sci-fi Harry so you can expect a full review of that series too.

Seirei no Moribito - Initial Impressions

Here is the general plot in a nutshell. A female spearwielding bodyguard is hired by the prince's mother to smuggle him to safety. He is being targeted by his father, the Emperor, because he is incubating a water spirit that will bring about a drought if he is allowed to hatch. Now, the prince must hide his royal upbringing and comingle with the commoner's while he continues to be searched for by his pursuers.

I've watched about 10 episodes of this. The first 5 or so of those featured some insane fighting scenes and political development. The show has since shifted however, and now we find the young prince trying to start a different life, of course this isn't nearly as entertaining. Probably, fighting will once again make some appearances, just not as frequently as in the beginning. Still, this show has a lot going for it. Firstly, the animation is some of the best I have ever seen for a series. The show features breathtaking landscape settings and great attention to detail. A+. Also, the character designs, which I found a little annoying at first, have really started to grow on me and now I appreciate them. Speaking of characters, Balsa (the female bodyguard) is a kickass one. She could make the show good on her own. I'm looking forward to some more of her in the episodes to come.

Anime Roundup - June '07

I'd say I have a number of shows I am following very intently and not much else right now. Presently, I'm watching about as little anyway as I have in the last few years. Just can't bring myself for some reason. Anyways, the exceptions are currently: lucky star, hayate no Gotoku, seirei no moribito(I'll be reviewing it shortly), one piece (never get tired of it), lovely complex, death note(which is almost over), Major, Seto no Hanayome. I've also started watching Overdrive again this week thanks to Mendoi Fansubs picking up the series. There are more but I can't think of them at this moment.

The latest One Piece arc came to an ending in the last few episodes and is currently transitioning towards the next one. Of course, whenever an arc ends in one piece, there is a certain trepidation over whether the next arc will be a filler one or not. Right now, the manga isn't even halfway through (as far as I can tell) the zombie Island arc, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some filler before the anime starts that arc. The next few episodes are likely to be boring Cody reunion/flashback episodes so I'm not really looking forward to it.

Lucky Star, while still very entertaining, is not as fresh as it was during the first airings. It is somewhat repetitive material and the responses are fast becoming predictable. Still, the characters are still adorable and the subject matter is still up any otaku's alley so I'm not likely to stop watching, or enjoying, Lucky Star anytime soon.

Death Note is only a few episodes away from concluding. Since I haven't read the manga, the conclusion will come to a surprise to me. Since it's starting to look like Light will be caught, or killed soon, I'm hoping it won't come to that. Despite pretty much everyone knowing he's Kira, I'm still holding out on him once again rising up above everyone, especially since I don't like Mellow and Near. I really liked the L/Light rivalry throughout the first part of the show and since L died I haven't enjoyed the series as much though I'll still be satisfied if Light gets away in the end. I'm pulling for the bad guy.

Well I've got a few reviews to do, so I'll leave it at that for now.

This is a shot of Konata(Lucky Star) fanning herself during a hot day. Priceless.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lovely Complex - Initial Impressions

I've zoomed through the first 8 or 9 episodes of this school romance series and so far it has been quite enjoyable. The plot takes a while to lift off. First, the two leads try to help each at getting someone else. When that falls through, characters from both their pasts come along and create some tension between them, but they never feel like real threats to their budding romance so you kinda start to wonder when the writers will stop with the jabs and get going for real. Despite the fact that the writers seem to test the waters for the first part of the show, the wait is still very enjoyable and there is some definite character buildup. Frankly, I'm more comfortable with getting to know the situation and relationships before the sparks start flying.

The two lead characters are very much alike (despite the discrepency in stature) and are funny and both very much likeable protaganists. They are surrounded by 2 other couples so they are somewhat forced together a lot. They have been friends/rivals for a long time so their feelings are somewhat mixed about getting into a more serious relationship that could jeopardize their friendship. Of course, this leads to some delicious angst for all of us to feast on.

Many of you know I'm a sap for school romance animes so it might feel like I'm praising the genre more than the show itself. While that might be partly the case, Lovely Complex is shaping up as one of the better shows of the genre. Better than Bokura no Iga, which I reviewed last year ,though that started strong too. It also feels lighter in tone and has the fact that it's damn funny going for it to. I'm looking forward to the rest of it!