Archive for January, 2012

Nisemonogatari ep 4 Karen Bee part 4

Posted: January 29, 2012 by Xana in Nisemonogatari

Ohh I love you Nisemonogatari.  When I think I understand you, I get thrown a curveball in the appearance of an 8-year-old vampire.  Episode 4 continues where the last episode left off with its pure entertainment value.

What surprised me the most about the episode was the appearance of Shinobu.  She hasn’t been seen since Bakemonogatari and has been hiding in Araragi’s shadows.  She appeared when I least expected it, when Araragi was in the bath.  The episode really focuses on Shinobu and Araragi’s relationship.  I have yet to read the prequel Kizumonogatari, and the anime film has yet to be released.  Kizumonogatari is the story about how Araragi is turned into a vampire by Shinobu.  So at this point I am still confused about Araragi and Shinobu’s relationship.  What the episode explains is that both Meme and Araragi have not forgiven each other for the events of Kizumonogatari.  Araragi doesn’t want to be a vampire and Shinobu blames him for loosing most of her powers.  Shinobu even threatens Araragi to watch himself or she will kill him.

(Awkward…)

Shinobu brings up a very interesting subject, what is Araragi’s lifespan.  Araragi at this point still maintains traits of a vampire.  Shinobu has already lived over 500 years and it is unknown if Araragi’s will have the same lifespan.  Shinobu says that he will outlive his girlfriend, sisters and all his friends leaving Araragi and Shinobu alone for a long time.

I am happy with Tsubasa’s change in appearance.  She has dropped the glasses and overall just looks better and she seems a lot happier then she did in Bakemonogatari.  I’m glad so see that she will have a prominent roll throughout the series, instead of a separate arc like she did in Bakemonogatari.

Episode 4 kind of pulled the same thing “Dance in the Vampire Bund” did with Shinobu being nearly naked throughout the episode.  I had to keep telling myself that she is 500 years old and not a child like she appears.  At least they blurred out her body with steam unlike Vampire Bund.

Karen, Araragi’s bigger little sister has been possessed by a killer bee. She now has a deadly fever that will supposedly kill her.  Deishu Kaiki has something to due with it and I am really anxious to see what he has to gain by cursing her.  The 4th episode of Nisemonogatari was excellent and I can’t wait for next week. I hope Karen will be okay, and hopefully Araragi can stop Deishu.

Thank you for reading,

Sincerely Xana

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Black Rock Shooter OVA thoughts

Posted: January 28, 2012 by Xana in Black Rock Shooter

On February third the first episode of Black Rock Shooter is set to air on Fuji Tv’s noitaminA.  Black Rock Shooter is the first franchise to come out of the brand new studio Ordet, found by Yutaka Yamamoto.  A 50-minute OVA of Black Rock Shooter, came out in 2010, and is based of a music video by the Japanese artist Supercell.  Today I will be writing a quick synopsis and some thoughts on Black Rock Shooter, in preparation for the new series.

Synopsis

Mato Kuroi, our protagonist, makes friends with a girl named Yomi Takanashi.  Mato quickly joins the basketball club, which incites Yomi to join the volleyball club since both clubs practice at the same time in their school’s gymnasium.  They quickly become best friends and spend the whole year together.  Mato gives Yomi a cell phone charm as a token of their friendship.  Their friendship stays strong but in their second year of junior high, they end up in different classes, reducing the amount of time they can spend together.  Yomi becomes jealous of Mato hanging out with her basketball team.  She is especially jealous of a girl named Yuu.  One day Yomi disappears, and stops showing up to school.  Mato becomes very depressed and tries to find her friend. One day, Mato receives a blank text message from Yomi and goes to her favorite spot in town where she finds the phone charm she had given Yomi. The charm starts to glow and transports her to a strange world where she meets a mysterious girl-spirit named Black Rock Shooter.  She has a blazing blue eye and carries a cannon.  As Mato tries to find Yomi she merges with Black Rock Shooter.  She finds Yomi who has been possessed by and evil being called Dead Master.  After some fighting Mato is able to save Yomi.  They return to their normal lives but then Yuu starts to act strange.

I will start off my saying the OVA was great and this show has tons of potential as a series. You learn nothing about the alternate world part of the OVA takes place in.  Black Rock Shooter made me really interested in what this world really is.  Also it ended with Yuu starting to act strange, which will be the plot of the 8 episode series.

The animation is very interesting.  In the “real world” the animation is fairly basic but the alternate world is crazy.  It really reminds me of the witch worlds in Modoka Magica.  The backgrounds are also very detailed.  I found the character designs to be very unique.  I love how both Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master look, and they have such interesting choices in weapons: rapid-fire cannon and a scythe.

Mato is a fairly strong protagonist who cares for her friends deeply.  I can see her going to all lengths to save her friends.  Yomi and Yuu are both the jealous type.  From what it seems they both want Mato as their own best friend which leads to conflict.

I thought how the OVA was set up is worth mentioning. Black Rock Shooter kept skipping between the events that took place in the modern world and those that took place within the magical one.  This type of setup is what made the show original and caused it not to be boring because the typical commonplace slice of life is broken up with scenes of action.

The OVA left a lot of questions left unanswered.  We really know nothing about this mysteries new world, and what Black Rock Shooter and Dead Master really are.  I have high hopes for this anime franchise and I can’t wait to review it every week.

Thank You for reading.

Sincerely Yours Xana

Inu X Boku SS ep 3 review

Posted: January 27, 2012 by Xana in Inu X Boku SS

(Soushi kissing someone, maybe we are in for an interesting episode)

Episode 3 of Inu X Boku SS was a much better episode than the first two.  It was spent developing Ririchiyo’s personality and back-story, but unfortunately that was about all.  There is still no overall plot to speak of and we still know little about all the other characters.   I now know the series is going to be 52 episodes long.  I am going to change the way I review it because the show has a lot more time to develop due to its length. Today I am going to focus on two parts of the anime, Ririchiyo’s character development and the shows sense of humor.

(Little Ririchiyo)

I feel bad for Ririchiyo, her back story actually makes me feel a little emotional.  She has really never been treated well her whole life.  Her upbringing was full of people only pretending to be nice to her, due to her father’s vast wealth and power.  Its no wonder she acts the way she does.  Ririchiyo has distrust for almost everyone and this leads her to not be able to communicate properly with others.  Episode 3 of Inu X Boku was finally able to do at least one thing right and that was to develop Ririchiyo as a character.  You really start to understand why she is such a (for not a better word) bitch, to the people around her.  With the exception of those who live within the Ayakashi Mansion, everyone treats her terribly throughout the episode. On her first day of high school, students degrade her on the fact that she is rich.  They don’t know her and they had no right too.  I guess jealousy really brings out the worst in people.  The episode really does a great job at showing Ririchiyo’s suffering it and makes the viewer sympathetic.

(Probably some bad joke)

The humor in episode 3 was a huge fail.  It seems like its just trying too hard to be funny.  Nobara is the “comic relief” character.  She wants Ririchiyo in a sexual way… This whole concept of pedophilia in this series makes me feel unconformable.  I mean Ririchiyo is 15 years old.  I never laughed once throughout the episode but rather felt embarrassed that I was watching a show that resorted to such cheap and lame humor.

(This scene was actually cute and sweet)

For the first time I am actually interested in what will occur in episode 4.  The episode ended introducing 2 new characters, Banri and Zange.  At the least they both have interesting character designs but I hope they turn out to be decent characters.  Zange is so goofy looking with his rabbit ears, maybe that means he will be a better comic relief character.  On a side note when I started watching this series I thought it was only going to be 13 episodes long.  I wonder how long I will be able to review Inu X Boku SS.

(The new guys)

Another ep 3 Bone Work

Posted: January 24, 2012 by Xana in Another (anime)

(After all that build up, a green eye)

I have now come to the conclusion that Another is going to be a slow series and I need to embrace it for what it is.  Episode 3 was a lot better then the first two and I really enjoyed it as a whole.  Another’s plot finally kicked in a little and some big events took place throughout.

The atmosphere Another creates, is the shows strongest characteristic.  It is very hard to explain, but it makes the show very creepy.  I found my heart racing throughout the episode even when nothing much was happening.  Another really reminds me of the anime Shiki.  Shiki started off slow to build suspense and then turned into a bloody horror story.   I can see Another going in this same direction especially because of how the third episode ended with Yukari Sakuragi getting impaled by her own umbrella.  We can expect a lot more blood and death from Another if it turns out to be like Shiki which I personally would like.

(More Dolls…)

I am happy Koichi finally finds out a little about what the students of class 3-3 were hiding, but the plot was interrupted by his cell phone.  Every episode thus far has this conveniently placed-in interruption and I hate it.  It feels like lazy writing to me, the writers could have at least come up with something more interesting. Episode two’s big end hook was the revealing of what was under Misaki’s eye patch and unfortunately it was a huge letdown. I mean come on; she has a doll’s eye, that’s so lame, I was expecting something better.  Do the writers not think the story is scary enough, so they have to resort to dolls?  I said in my last review that the dolls were scary but now I just find them dumb.  What truly is scary about Another is the atmosphere throughout the episodes, the uneasy feeling that is provided, not the dolls which are used for cheap shock value.

(The Animation is still amazing)

I really liked the ending with the death scene of Yukari Sakuragu. I think it was what the show needed to remain as a horror story.  What I found weird was that an umbrella impaled her.  I have never in my life seen one that sharp before; I thought umbrellas normally had plastic tips or at least don’t look like they could cause bodily harm.  Oh-well the Umbrella scene added some shock value that wasn’t from dolls this time, and I really appreciated that.

Overall episode 3 of Another was the best so far.  The animation and music we still wonderful.  Another as a whole seems like it is going in the right direction and I look forward to next week’s episode.

 

Thank you for reading,

Sincerely you, Xana

Nisemonogatari ep 3 Karen Bee 3

Posted: January 23, 2012 by Xana in Nisemonogatari

Last week I said what I thought Nisemonogatari had to do in episode 3, and that was to jumpstart the plot.  This first two episode were nice but overall they were introductory episodes that got you back into the world of the series.  Nisemonogatari did just what I asked, introducing a killer new character and answering some question everyone had.

Synopsis

The episode starts where the last one left off, in Suruga Kanbaru’s house.  Araragi talk to her for sometime and they play some type of Japanese game. Araragi wins which frustrates Kanbaru.  They chat and Araragi asks a great question that I was also thinking, what do Kanbaru’s grandparents think of her injured arm (due to events of the first series.)  She says due to the event of her past  (more stuff you find out in Bakemonogatari) they don’t ask her questions and they believe her arm is just injured from a normal accident, not from the “Rainy Devil.”  (You will really be lost at this point of you watching Nisemonogatari without watching Bakemonogatari.)  Araragi leaves Kanbaru’s house and walks outside.  He is met with a mysteries looking man dressed in black.  He introduces himself as Kaiki, a supposedly very uncommon name in Japan.  The scene goes red when he appears, in a very unique artistic style.  They talk for a while.  Kaiki says that Araragi is a surprisingly polite boy and asks questions about some family’s last name.  Araragi thinks it has to do with Kanbaru’s mother.  Kaiki leaves and Araragi has an unsettling feeling so he decides to follow him.

Araragi loses him but runs into Senjoughara on the way.  They talk for some time wile Senjoughara continually degrades him.  Araragi states that he was following a man named Kaiki.  Senjoughara get worried because she knows Deishu Kaiki (as his full name is).  He was one of the 5 conmen who tricked Senjoughara’s family out of their money when her weight was taken by the crab.  The scene then switches to where it left off in the beginning of the first episodeof the series.  Araragi is still chained to a chair at the old cram school.  Senjoughara says that he will remain chained their until Kaiki is gone.  She doesn’t want Araragi to have anything to do with him and she is protecting him.  Araragi then receives a text from his younger little sister that says, “Help Me.”  Araragi’s inner vampire is unleashed as he breaks the handcuffs with ease.  At that moment Senjoughara gets a call from Hanekawa of all people.  There is some dialogue on the phone, between the two, but you only here what Senjoughara is saying.  She says that it wasn’t part of the plan but she will take her word, and the episode ends.

Review

Wow was this episode great or what? This is why I love this franchise.  Not only did it answer some questions, but also it posed many new ones.  Karen bee, Part 3 answered the question to the most confusing part of the series so far; why Araragi was chained up in the old Cram School by his girlfriend.  The answer is Kaiki.  We now know who he is, but what is he up to and how are Araragi’s sisters connected.  I have yet to read the Light novels so I in no way saw this coming.  I thought the series would revolve around Araragi’s 2 sisters but instead Nisemonogatari may have introduced its first “true” villain.

Why are Senjougahara and Hanekawa talking to each other?  I really have no idea, they are in the same class but I figure they would hate each other.  (All the events that took place in the “Tsubasa Cat” arc where due to Hanekawa being upset because of her feelings for Araragi.  I figured due to Senjougahara’s overprotective nature she wouldn’t like Hanekawa at all.)  I wonder if Kaiki coming to town had something to due with why Hanekawa cancelling her tutoring with Araragi in the first episode.  Hanekawa and Kaiki could know each other because we still don’t know very much about her.  This could be why Senjougahara and Hanekawa are speaking to each other.

(She is scary)

Deishu already is a very interesting character.  He looks a lot like Oshino who disappeared at the end of Bakemonogatari.  We know he one of the conmen who ruined Senjougahara’s family, so he has experience with the occult.  I am very interested in what roll he will take in this series, and if he has something to do with Araragi’s sisters.  I really wonder what role Karen and Tsukihi will have in this series.  You have only seen each for a couple of minutes.  I thought by now at least Karen would have more screen time due to the fact the first 3 episodes being called “Karen Bee, part 1, 2, and 3.

I want to quickly talk about the animation; it was mostly amazing and at one point pretty bad.  The scene where Kaiki was introduced was amazing.  Everything turned red for this scene.  These strictly “Bakemonogatari Franchise” stylistic touches, is what made me love the series in the first place.  I will show picture because it so hard to describe how well this scene was animated.  The lights and darks were some of the best I have ever seen in this franchise.  On a bad note there was point in the episode with bad lazy animation. This happens in the scene where Araragi and Senjougahara are at the cram school.  The camera kept panning out which caused the characters to seems far away and not very well drawn.  It may have been used to save some budget money for the other extraordinary scenes.

Senjougahara really frightens me; I can’t tell if she is the worst or the best girlfriend in anime.  She is the most stubborn and overprotective character I have ever seen. At one points she is sadistically degrading Araragi and then later she has him chained up for his own protection.  She is a great character… one of my all time favorites… but keep her away from me.

Nisemonogatari’s dialogues still continue to be the best in anime.  No other show has conversation like it.  The character interaction was amazing and that is greatly true in the scene between Araragi and Kaiki.  Nisemonogatari knows exactly where it is going at this point, and the new character left a fresh overall feel to the show.  Nisemonogatari episode 3, “Karen Bee part 3” was by far the best episode out of the series so far.  This was exactly what I had been waiting for.  I want to fast-forward time so I can see next weeks episode, this series is that good already.

Episode rating 9/10, to bad the animation was a little poor or it really could have been higher.

Yay its time for episode 2 of Inu X Boku.  Screw intros lets get straight to it.

(I like her in this form)

Synopsis

Ririchiyo, Soushi and Renshou decide to go shopping.  Renshou says they can’t go to back till 6, I wonder why.  Maybe there is going to be a surprise party.  Soushi acts like a dog and and Ririchiyo is bitchy, just like the first episode.  Renshou buys a cake.  I wonder why, maybe there is going to be a surprise party. They go back to the apartment but Nobara says that Karuta has gone missing.  Yay more pointless characters that I had already forgotten about.  They look for Karuto and then Ririchiyo get stuck in a spirit wall thing??? Yah I don’t know ether.  Ririchiyo and Soushi have some sweet personal bonding.  They go to the apartment and guess what, SURPRISE PARTY!!!!!!!!!! to welcome Ririchiyo and Soushi to the apartment complex.

Review

Nothing happened in this episode NOTHING!!!  I found myself smiling throughout the episode do to how much I hate this.  As unoriginal as this is I have to say it, I won’t get these 23 minutes back that I just wasted on this show ever.  I am going to die knowing I could of spent this time with my family or my friends… 😥   Ugh this seems to be of the genre of magical-butler???  This show seems like it will revolve around Soushi being a little bitch and trying to make Ririchiyo as happy as possible.  Soushi, you seem like like your a cool dude but damn, there is more to life than a bratty, rich demon girl, or not.  Okay picture time.

Lets play a guessing game okay.  What do you think Nobara just said.  I mean her attempt at a joke.  I did laugh though…something is wrong with me.

“When I imagine my little Karuta being subjegated to tentacle torture…………………………….

Yah she went there.

I was way to nice on my last review.  I gave this a whole 6/10…it sure doesn’t deserve that.  Okay I’m just at a loss of words about this show.  This episode sucked and that all there is to it.

I hope you wonderful people have a great day and go watch an anime that doesn’t suck.

Sincerely your Xana

(He crying because he has to be on this God-awful show)

Unfortunately I will be watching episode 3, Soushi just asked me so nicely at the end.  This show is so bad the characters have to beg the viewers to watch it.

Episode rating 2/10, the animation is nice

Ano Natsu de Matteru ep 1&2 thoughts

Posted: January 20, 2012 by Xana in Ano Natsu de Matteru

Ano Natsu de Matteru or in English Waiting in the Summer, is a brand new anime animated by J.C. Staff.  It was written by Yosuke Kuroda, the same guy who wrote the please teach and please twin series.  I have only seen parts of both but many people say Waiting in the Summer reminds them a lot of Please Teacher.  This will be a review of episode 1 and 2 of this series.

(you player ;)….)

Synopsis

The episode starts with Kirishima Kaito also know as Kai, our protagonist standing on a large bridge playing around with his expensive looking video camera.  He is talking to himself about some cheesy philosophical destiny bullshit you find in to many animes these days.  It felt like a scene straight out of Mawaru Penguindrum.  Suddenly there is a large blue explosion and everything starts to shake.  Blue lights fill the sky as a space ship crashes near by.  Kai gets thrown off the bridge in a mess of his own blood as his glasses shatter.  This was surprisingly violent.  He is suddenly saved by someone’s hand that grabs a hold of his.

Kai then wakes up in is room the next morning, and goes down stairs to eat breakfast with his sister.  As they talk to each other you are informed about 2 things, first of all their parents are dead and second his sister is going to abandon him for 3 months and go to Bolivia.  (What a great guardian, leaving a 15 year old alone)  Kai starts walking to school playing with his camera the whole time.  He starts filming a train when he sees a strange red headed girl in the train for a quick second.  (foreshadowing)  He finally gets to school where you meet his typical group of friends.  Tetsurou is Kai best friend, who also look like he is 30, but is a 1st year student.  Kanna is a boyish looking girl who has the major hotts for Kai and there is Miyoko who can only be described as dumb.  Kai continues to play with his camera and starts filming the same red headed girl who is walking outside.  This pisses off Kanna a lot and she starts yelling at him.  You find out the red-head is a new 3rd year transfer student as anyone could have guessed. Her name is Takatsuki Ichika.  As she is introduced to her class she is met with a class full of guys who hit on her.  A girl named Remon saves her by blackmailing the male students.

The show switches back to Kai and his friends chatting about making a movie. The characters then all joke about a mark on Kai’s neck, his friends call it a hickey while he says it’s just a bug bite.  The boys then introduce themselves to Ichika and ask her to star in their movie and she accepts.  All of the girls introduced thus far join the newly made movie crew.  Remon claims that she has worked with George Lucas and takes on script writing duty wile Kai will film it.

Here is where the anime gets more interesting; it switches to after school when Kai is walking home.  He runs into Ichika while she is fishing in a river that has no fish in it.  He finds that Ichika is homeless and he invites her to live with him.  Kai brings her into his room and try to put Ichika’s suitcase away but it is way to heavy.  She refuses to tell Kai what the contents are.  Both characters are embarrassed because Ichika has never been in a guy’s room before and Kai doesn’t know how to act.  Ichika goes to take a shower while Kai goes on a mission to hide all traces of her before his sister gets home.  The hickey/bug bite flares up and he starts to hallucinate until he falls to ground, out cold.  Ichika comes out of the bathroom (only in a towel, yay for fan service) and notices that Kai has started to become all red with some kind of alien disease.  She calls to her suitcase and Rinon a strange pink alien blob pops out and turns into this crazy alien-technology bubble (that the best I can explain it.)  Then Ichika gives him a kiss but and the same moment Kai’s sister and Kanna walk into the house and see everything.  At that same moment can you guess what happens, Ichika’s towel falls off.

The second episode starts with a flashback of Ichika in space and then picks up where it left off from the first episode.  Kai, Ichika, Kanna and Nanami (big sister) are sitting around a table.  Nanami is demanding an explanation of the situation that had just occurred.  Ichika says something along the lines of where I am from we embrace someone when they are sick and that’s why they saw her embracing Kai.  Nanami takes a liking to Ichika and says she can live at their house.  Kanna’s leaves the house and goes home.  She is super jealous and phones all her friends to bitch about Kai.

The next morning Ichika and Kai see Nanami off to the train station and decide to go shopping.  When they get back home they discover everyone who agreed to be in the movie are in Kai’s house because they want to plan the movie.  Remon had picked the lock and they get down to work but nothing really gets done.  Remon makes some drinks that look like nuclear waste.  It gets the whole crew drunk but they never call it alcohol.  The whole gang plays games for a while and have a lot of fun.  The episode was a character-based episode that really more focused on interaction between characters over other things.

Review

Almost everything about this show is exactly what you would expect it to be.  It has been done a million time and not only in anime.  Guy meets cute transfer and the rest is history.  Hell, this is basically the plot of Twilight just with an alien instead of a vampire.  I have a question for you, why is it that I enjoy this show and I try to hide the fact that I read twilight.  The characters of Ano Natsu de Matteru are nothing special.  They are not bad but they don’t stand out with exception of Remon who is weirdo.  The animation was pretty good and there wasn’t too much music to talk about.  But none of this explains why I liked it.  The first 2 episodes just seemed to work well and I enjoyed everything about.  Ano Natsu de Matteru takes a basic story and makes the best with what its got.  Based on the first 2 episodes its just takes an unoriginal story and makes it better than all the other similar stories.

The dialog of the show was great.  I really felt is was between high school students.  The timing was realistic, and the character interaction was well done.   I really liked how the characters teased and poked fun at each other.  It really felt like it was straight out of high school.

(Toxic Looking)

As I said before the characters where unoriginal but most of them had at least 1 key thing about them, which made them feel like a fresh twist on the original.  Ichika seems like a dumb clueless girl until she has to act quickly.  In episode 1 she just does that, not once but twice.  Tetsurou acts like any boy would in episode 1 as he finds out everything he can about the new transfer student, but how he does it is just great.  He completely seduces a female teacher to get the information.  He is the definition of a player.  Remon is a the short, spoiled, Tiaga-like character but people were actually are able to get along with her and they listen to her crazy ideas.

I love that this show has a lot of continuity.  Even though both episodes were different I really can’t wait until next week to watch it.  I am going to start reviewing this show every week probably instead of Inu X Boku because there is a lot more I want to say in the future about this show.  I hope it continues to be a fresh representation of an old story.

Episode 1&2= 8/10