Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mushishi - Completed Review

What is it?

Mushishi chronicles the travels of Ginko, a mushi expert(or mushishi). Mushi are a fictional kingdom of living beings that come in many different shapes and sizes. Mushi are more basic and mysterious creatures than the living creatures we know. They are only visible to a small proportion of humans and since they live through many different ways, they can have many impacts when in contact with humans. While most mushi do not have actual bodies and do not influence other lifeforms, some can act as parasites or symbiotically with humans and cause various side affect. This is where our protaganist comes in. Ginko travels through villages in feudal times and addresses illnesses or calamities brought on by human interactions with mushi.
What's good about it?

Everything. Every episode is a complete gem of a tale. The characters are always interesting and endearing. The music and animation are top-notch and only serve to add to the ephereal experience the show provides. The show exudes a mysterious aura that keeps you intently fixated from the opening to the last second.

What's bad about it?

Nothing. Really.

Final Verdict

Honestly, this show has set the standard other shows will try to measure up to in the coming years. I consider it to be one of the best series I have ever watched and it is far and away the best show I have reviewed since starting this blog. This is must-see no matter how little anime you watch. The only reason it doesn't get a ten is that I don't give out tens. Ever.

I'd also like to note that I was fortunate enough to accidently download the french subbed version by Nerae and was suitably. I had yet to ever watch a series in french before since I don't enjoy hearing or writing in french, even though I am francophone. However, I found Nerae translations to be so enjoyable, I will be sure to remain open to French subs in the future, with Nerae being my first choice.


Friday, July 20, 2007

A Quick Announcement

I'll be picking up some shows from the new anime season:
-Zero no Tsukaima (Season 2)
-School Days
-Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

I'll give you a general idea of what these are after I've watched a few more episodes and I can form an impression.

That is all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Anime Roundup - July '07

Hola fellow anime-enthusiasts. Well, let's jump right into it. Firstly, as I suspected would happen, One Piece has started putting out filler. The only thing worst than a filler arc is individual filler episodes, which is what the last two episodes have been. Here's to hoping the Water 7 episodes are nearly done.

We're halfway through a season of Lovely Complex and our protaganists don't seem any closer to getting together than before. Though the show is still funny, the flow has kind of stagnated of late and the character interactions have become repetitive. Hopefully, the pace will pick up in the coming episodes.

It looks like Kaze no Stigma is starting a similar trend. Let's hope the last couple of date episodes are blips and that the series doesn't try to do what it's not about.

Lucky Star has tried shaking things up by introducing some new characters and it has met with some partial success. The new characters are fun and add some novelty, but the whole material is largely the same. Still probably the best show airing at the moment though. I love it when Konata mentions Yutaka has a special appeal with a certain audience and Yutaka has no idea what she means. Priceless.

Hayate no Gotoku has also changed it's scenery by having Hayate go to the rich kid's school with Nagi. This will probably mean less Maria and more everyone else which is great(though I do like Maria). This series has stayed fresh since the beginning and I'm only enjoying it more as it goes on.

Now that Clare isn't the weakling she was until now, I'm banking on Claymore to get more exciting as the series progresses. It looks like she is up against two Awakened Beings right now so this is a perfect opportunity for her to kick some ass.

Well, that's all I care to go on about. I've got Mushishi, Death Note, Sumomo mo Momo mo(what a stupid title) and Nodame Cantabile reviews on the backburner so you can expect to see those in the coming weeks(expect three good reviews and one bad one. You can probably tell which is which by looking at the titles or if you've watched those series at all). Now, I'll leave you all with a screenshot of Yutaka's reaction after Yui tells her something that's not appropriate to say to your little sister. Bye-bee!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sola - Completed Review

What is it?

Sola is the story of a guy who meets a immortal being that he falls for. Meanwhile, his sister is in the hospital for unknown reasons. Anyways, this guy is a sky-enthusiast (if such a thing exists) taking pictures, painting and just about spending all his time admiring the sky. Ironically, his new friend can't watch a sunny sky because she burns when in contact of sunlight. What a bummer. Turns out Sis has a similar ailment and know what, I'm gonna stop there. This show is a bitch to summarize.

What's good about it?

Comparisons between Sola and Kanon are often made for easy reasons. Both shows are made by the same people, the animation is identical and character designs are very similar. Both feature a similar supernatural plot and elements. Both are shows with one guy and plenty of girls surrounding him (though you shouldn't for the life of you put this down in the harem/ecchi genre). Both stories take place in small towns with landmarks important to the story. Being the great show that Kanon is, any comparisons to it should be a compliment to that series and in some ways it is.

What's bad about it?

Sola is no Kanon. The most obvious downside to Sola is that it fails to stand as tall as Kanon in almost every category besides animation. The dialogue is nowhere near as witty and funny. In fact the whole show was very serious throughout. Even when the characters were joking around, the delivery was poor and the effect was tangibly minimal. Which brings me to the characters. Though the characters were pretty well developed, none were particularly endearing or charming. Basically, everyone is boring and their motives are not very believable due to their predicaments. Which brings me to the story. The supernatural takes overwhelming precedent as the series progresses and leaves a taste of incredulity in my mouth and by the end, nothing is shocking or even really matters. Finally, the show ,being only 13 episodes long, feels condensed, especially since it has to rush to make up for a slow starting pace.

Final Verdict

After all that criticism, you would probably assume my rating for the series would be poor. You would be wrong. I've spent my review describing why it falls short to its predecessor, and it does. However, if you take it on its own, the series is pretty decent. The story is rich and leaves no loose ends. The big budget animation is among the best you'll get in a series and while you may feel the plot borrows a lot from Kanon, if you hadn't see Kanon, you would find the story creative and refreshing.

Sure Sola is a poor man's Kanon. But the comparisons could have been drawn to a lot worse