Thursday, July 24, 2008

Monthly Anime Ranking - July '08

1. Code Geass R2
2. Macross Frontier
3. Allison to Lillia
4. xxxHOLIC kei
5. Soul Eater
6. Real Drive
7. Golgo 13
8. Wagaya no Oinari-sama
9. Nabari no Ou
10. Vampire Knight
11. To Love-Ru
12. Kyoran Kazoku Nikki
13. Itazura na Kiss

-Kurenai (9.0/10)
-Library Wars (7.3/10)
-Kanokon (8.4/10)

The first thing that becomes noticeable is that a number of series haven't been updated. All of these are affected by the fact that the fansub group I was following have not released any recent episodes. To be fair, I could have easily switched to another group but the fact that they aren't that great of shows didn't make it urgent. I would say these shows are at a crossroads for both the viewer and the fansub groups that initially starting subbing them. Most probably many groups will drop some of these projects but they each have enough appeal for them to be picked up by another one. For myself, I probably will stop watching themfor a while and most likely stop watching a couple and start watching a couple again. For now, I'll just let them sit in the rankings since I haven't made up my mind yet.

Allison to Lillia keeps impressing me with how enjoyable it is to watch. The series is at a halfway point, switching from Allison and Wilhelm to her daughter Lillia and some guy called Treize (french for thirteen by the way, so it's a pretty crappy name). It'll be interesting to see if the cast change is smooth enough to keep me interested. I'm guessing it will be. Allison to Lillia has an old-school feel to it that has disappeared in recent years. It's definitely refreshing to get a wholesome yet challenging show.

Soul Eater is the biggest loser this week, mostly because I haven't watched a lot of the lesser shows and the other better shows are doing well. Soul Eater had some filler-like episodes (i.e. Excalicur) and that's why it's in the red. It's still an entertaining show and I have no doubts it will rebound fairly quickly.

Other Observations:
-For some reason, I'm enjoying Golgo 13 despite (or maybe because of) its lame macho-ness. I guess that kind of show is ok in low doses.

-Macross has been great, but things are getting a little crazy in terms of plot development so we'll soon see if it lands on it's feet. All signs say it will.

See you next month when we add some new shows to the rankings. Bye-bee!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kanokon - Completed Review

What is it?

Two spirit girls have the hots for the most average boy in the world.

What's good about it?

Really attractive character designs. I mentionned there are two girls but really, this show is all about Chizuru. The whole show is her endless quest to get into Kouta's pants with various people conveniently (or inconveniently) getting in their (really her) way. She's hot and she uses a lot of creative and funny come-ons.

What's bad about it?

This isn't really deep at all. It's a shamelessly fanservice-oriented series. Story and plot are non-existant and the character development is not that rewarding anyways. And I don't find it cool when she merges into Kouta to become an all-powerful form. Kouta is not cool and giving him ears and superpowers can't possibly fix that. Oh, and using fox spirits is about as original as doing a butler show.

Final Verdict

I honestly really enjoyed Kanokon. I fell for Chizuru despite the fact she was aiming for a pathetically helpless stunt-growth. The show was not deep but it wasn't putting on airs either. As long as it doesn't try to do more than it should and keeps me entertained, I can live with (and actually enjoy) lighter fare. I probably won't watch this again, but then again, I rarely rewatch series. The true test is answering if I would watch a sequel, and in this case, I pretty sure I would.


FYI- I'll probably do something else tonight but here's what's on tap:

-July anime rankings

I'll also start a new feature for reviewing ongoing shows that I have no idea when they will ever end. I will provide you with snapshots of a few good series that I can't review because they just won't end. I'm actually considering reviewing their individual arcs as they progress. This will apply to really old shows like One Piece and Bleach, and more recent ones like Gintama and d. gray-man.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Library Wars - Completed Review

What is it?

The Japanese Government has passed censorship laws giving the power to a conservative arm to make library inspections and decide what books are suitable to the public. After a library's staff is massacred by a right-wing group, a new law is passed giving libraries the authority to arm themselves. Kasahara is an idealist and enthusiastic new recruit to the library Corps' armed division and she hopes to defend her ideals and find her childhood hero.

What's good about it?

Entertaining plot. Good action. A decent mix of unique characters.

What's bad about it?

While the setting makes for entertaining drama, I just couldn't buy into the it because it was too implausible. The logic just wasn't there. I just can't see where the public support for the bad guys(Media Enhancement Commitee) is coming from. The story informs us that even the MEC's soldiers are really just hired guns who don't really care about the ideals of the group, yet the Library Corps are constantly being attacked by the public and the media for not giving into them. The library Corps are basically defending free speech, yet they are usually blamed for the attacks on the libraries. I just don't understand why the public are so wishy-washy on such an obvious choice of policy. I also can't conceive of any government who's solution to censorship concerns is to allow two independent groups to wage battles against each other in the middle of their cities. That's endorsing a policy that's barely an improvement on mob rule.

Final Verdict

Besides the setting, library wars is a pretty entertaining series. The dialogue is a little weak at times, but the story moves fast enough and there's a decent amount of action. I just can't overload the implausibility of the whole situation however, and for that the rating must suffer. This is playing itself as a pseudo-realistic drama, so I have to be able to understand the reasoning behind things.


FYI- I should have my Kanokon review and my July anime ranking up within the week. I'm still working on my summer pickups but I've got some additions I can confirm as of now:

-Mugen no Juunin
-School rumble third term
-Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
-Natsume Yuujinchou

and possibly:

-Yakushiji Ryoko no Kaiki Jikenbo
-World Destruction
-Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto: Natsu no Sora
-Koihime Musou

It's actually shaping up as a potentially great summer lineup, which would be welcome after a sub-par spring. (I'm especially giddy in anticipation of the new school rumble season. Yakumo!) In fact, if there are a lot of interesting series coming out, I may consider dropping some of the lesser spring ones I've been covering up until now. More details to follow. That's all for now. Bye-bee!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Can you guess where this is from?