Oh god, I’ve just read a great news: the Gintama anime will return this october! I love Gintama, so this is a good thing. This comedy anime is one of the funniest thing I’ve watched. Can’t wait for october to come!
Seeing all the hype around this summer anime Sword Art Online, I was curious the see what it would turn to be. I must admit that I wasn’t really interested in this anime at the beginning of the season, but the reviews I had read on others blogs makes me change my mind: people seems to really like it so I had to gives it a try.Today I’ve watched the first three episodes and this look good, I’ll probably continue to watch it.
It’s a bit unnecessary to makes a summary of the story, but that’s how I work anyway. Imagine that a scientist have been able to create an RPG game in a complete virtual world via an helmet directly plugged to your brain. Now, while you are playing it for the first time, an announcement is made stating that you log out of the game: everyone is trapped in it. Worse: if someone unplug the helmet, you will die. And if you die in the game, you die in the real world too…. Every players are shocked: the only way to survive is to win the game by going to the level 100. The mastermind behind the game also change everyones avatar for their real image: people are themselves inside the game. Kirito is one of the unfortunate soul trap inside and is determine to be able to get out of there. Along his way to the top, he meet various people that help him among them is Asuna, a young girl who will become his friend (and love interest).
In the first episode, the whole concept of the game and how they are trapped inside it is explain. The scene at the main plaza where the mastermind behind all this explain the situation was well done, with the sky in red with all the “warning” messages. I like how everyone look cool at first (since these are avatar) and the reactions of everyones when they see how people really look like. The world of Sword Art Online (it’s also the name of the game) is beautiful and the animations are fluids. It’s great to watch.
In the second episode, which is approximately one month after the incident at the plaza, Kirito join a group of people who have found a way to get to the second level. But problems ahead: some people think that the Beta Tester, those who have tried the game before his commercialization are responsible for the death of gamers in the first mouth. Kirito, who was a Beta Tester is uncomfortable with the situation. They are able to achieve their goal, but the leader of the team, who also was a beta tester die in the process. Since it’s Kirito who gives the final blow to the monster and because he seemed to know the weapon the monster had, everyone now know he was a beta tester. Becoming arrogant, he says “No, I’m better than a beta tester, I’m a beater!” (in japanese, Beta and Beater are prononce the same way…). Oh, and I forgot, it’s in this episode that he meet Asuna for the first time.
In the third episode, Kirito join a guild of people who are all friends in real life. He don’t tell them his real strength and help them in quest. But the only girl in the group his scared: why are we trapped here? why a weak like me end in this situation? Kirito tell her that he will protect her. But everyone dies and he fell bad…
So, I assume the firsts episodes were to show the world of SAO, what kind of people are in it, how it works and not to loose time on the first levels of the game, since the third episode is around one year after it begin. I wonder how the time pass inside the game: if one hour in the game = one hour in the real world, does it mean that all the people haven’t eat in the real world for a year? If so, their real body will die of exhaustion before dying in the game… Let’s not think about this technical problem here…
The idea of SAO is also really interesting, but the main goal of the mastermind is a bit cliché: to create a world and have control over his inhabitant is a theme already done, but the execution is original. A fantasy world where you are yourself is between the gamer dream and the ordinary people nightmare. I presume we will learn more about the reasons behind the game further in the story.
I also don’t really know how to interpret some of the protagonist reactions… When everyone die, why tell the chief of the guild that he was a beta tester? Because he survive? Probably because he felt guilty. That episode was really hard. I understand it’s to show a reason why he would continue to do the game alone (scared of loosing everyone again), but the chief of the guild committing suicide was hard core… In fact, it isn’t his fault if everyone died: they choose to go on a mission in the dungeon and to open the treasure chest even if Kirito tell them that it’s not a good idea. But again, the protagonist had to build some guilt somewhere. The other strange reaction is in the second episode, when everyone accuse him to be a Beta Tester, is become arrogant and looks at everyone like they were lowlife… WTF? How can we appreciate the character when he is depressed for a quarter of the show, arrogant another quarter and low profile the rest of the time? I don’t know….
Well…let say that Sword Art Online is interesting and I’ll probably watch the rest. Is it Over-hype? Probably a little, but still, it’s enjoyable. It seems Kirito will end up with a harem of cute girls. Fine, but I hope the story will still be interesting. So let’s watch the rest and see how it turn. And this is exactly how it should turn:
The second season currently airing this summer, I was curious to see what exactly Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon ( freely translated Horizon in the middle of nowhere) was about. I had read reviews stating it was absolutely fabulous, other saying it was an horrible anime or people watching it only for the boobs jumping everywhere on the screen… Well, this isn’t as bad as I thought, but this isn’t good either. And the girls really have strange bodies… But I enjoy it a little. So now, let’s review!
The summary is difficult to make because of the complexity of the setting. But don’t get me wrong, the story isn’t that complicated, it’s even a bit cliché! The action is set in the future, but after some kind of big apocalypse, the survivor had to share the last piece of land that could sustain life on Earth, the Japan. So the remaining countries tries to share the land and replay the whole history based on the Testament. Years is something like 1648 or whatever… When a piece of land named Mikawa is destroyed, an automaton who have the soul of a dead girl must take responsability and commit suicide. But Aoi Tori, the hero, was going to tell is love to the girl, so he goes to rescue her before she dies. Everyone in his classroom share his goal and help him in his quest.
Stated like this the story seems easy to follow, but don’t be fooled: it’s a total mess. Too many genres, too many characters, too many explanation that in the end explain nothing, too many goal, too many way to fight, too many organizations, too many setting, in brief this series is too much. It feels like the author (since it was based on light novels that aren’t that light….) wanted to write about everything he likes and get something out of it. Or he tried to be original but it didn’t worked. But some of those ideas are interesting. I like the idea of “rewriting the history” and of an evil organization controlling it. The melange between the traditional shinto and the mecha is interesting. The Seven deadly sins armament taken from the emotions of a young girl is also good.
The characters are of all kind: some good, some bad, but all of them fell unatural. First, the body design are strange. Some girls have huge hair or huge boobs or even huge arms wich makes the characters looks like a caricature. There is a boy who looks like a cartoon Indian and makes curry (how racist is that?)m another one who is nude and have horn but no genitals, one that is a kind of robot… There even are lesbian angel-witches… This is a too huge cast and it’s easy to get lost. It also makes it difficult to actually care for them when they are involved in a battle since we don’t gat enough time to know them before them get into fights.
The two protagonist, Aoi Tori and Horizon Ariadust (is this really a name???) are a little more depicted but not so much. We learn a little about Aoi past, but his annoying and perverted habits makes it difficult to take him seriously. He even doesn’t really have any power and the his only power is to be able to support his friends. Horizon, being a doll doesn’t express any emotions and she don’t really care about dying, which makes it difficult for the viewer to care about her death. Some characters would have been more interesting if we could have been able to learn more about them. Futayo Honda, the samourai girl with the Tomboki spear is interesting and have a good design. Noriki, a boy in the class could also have been interesting. The young blind girl is interesting and Masasumi Honda background could have been explore a little more since it bring depth to her personality. Muneshige Tachibana was an interesting opponent too. All the other were or annoying or superfluous…
The visual wasn’t too bad. Yeah, some characters design were annoying, I have talk about it before. But the rest of the visual was pretty nice. I love the idea of the flying ships that let a trail that looks like water around. The costumes were strange but okay I guess (except the big mecha girls like Gin Tachibana who looks crazy….), futuristic fan-service oblige. The animation went smoothly and most of the battles were well done.
The sound was bad. Really bad. All of it. The opening song was is some kind of bad Japanese pop-techno, the music during the anime was also bad and the few ending theme were forgettable. The “Torimasu” song sing by P-01 (Horizon doll) is the only enjoyable music out there, and the dance version during Kimi show is really really bad.
So, in a whole, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t good either. I’ll probably go watch the second season now, because I’m curious to see where it goes, but the annoying sides of the show could makes me stop before the end… It’s a bit annoying to have to search the Internet for the terminology of word inside an anime… I don’t know. My personal opinion about all of this: this is a self-insert story by the author, Minoru Kawakami, and his own avatar in the world he created is Toussaint Neshinbara… this boy makes what he write the reality! Anyway, maybe the novel is better, but in the end, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon is an anime not to take too seriously. Final note: 5.5 on 10
Ok, let’s end this on something better…
I was really really late with watching Natsuyuki Rendezvous. so now I’m back on it and I enjoy it a lot. On the fourth episode, Hazuki gave his body to Shimao. Now, Hazuki is lost in a strange dreamy world where he meet a little fairy who looks like Rokka. He follow her and she ask him about what his role in here is and where is the prince. Meanwhile, Shimao is in Hazuki’s body and his first reaction is to makes him dorky because he wants Rokka to find him unattractive. He cut his hair and put on glasses, but Rokka find this cool (verdict: failed). Since he takes all the money on the glasses, he don’t have any to buy something to eat so Rokka makes him a dinner. Since she is happy to see someone eat at the table with her, she wants to wash his back (WTF????) but since Shimao (in Hazuki’s body) makes her see that it’s an awkward situation, he just go back and left her wondering what she needs to do. The soul of Hazuki is still in the magical world, but the fairy looking like Rokka have take a normal size and he start thinking about how he fall in love with Rokka. In the real world, Rokka decide to gets head on in work to forget all her problems, but Shimao’s sister ask her why she don’t go out with a young sexy male. She think about it and how she have been mean to Hazuki and how he have been nice to her and don’t want to back off since he love her, so she declare him that she love him. But it’s Shimao in Hazuki’s body so how will he react???
Too long summaries, sorry. In these two episode, we get to know a little more about Rokka and she become a bit more “human”. We have a few flash back too and it’s interesting to see how Shimao was in his past life. I’m also happy to see her accept her feeling for Hazuki since it was getting a bit boring to see them make a step then back off for four episode. But it’s because she kept on refusing Hazuki that he decided to loan his body to the ghost, so the story had to go this way at the moment Shimao talked about having his body.
I also really liked the imaginary world Hazuki gets when Shimao takes his place. Everything looks like it’s from the sketch book he had in the hospital and it feels relaxing to watch. I really liked the scene where we learn how he saw Rokka for the first time. I presume this is inside Shimao’s head, since he took control of the body, Hazuki is now the second soul inside (makes me wonder how it would be if someone got inside my head….).
The change of look Shimao tries to make is funny. I had see picture from the manga and I thought it was a completely different character, but I prefer him with long hair. Shimao is also really ambivalent: he wants to share moments with Rokka, but in the same time he don’t want her to get too close to Hazuki. I have a bit of difficulties with this: if you really love someone, you should want her to be happy, even if it’s not with you. Since Shimao know he wont be around forever (and he is dead…), he should let go. But the whole serie seems to be about that: falling in love again after a death, mourning the lost one, being happy again without feeling bad for the one who have departed… Some serious subjects for such a light summer anime!
I love this anime and I really like how they handle the subject. I’ll be able to write about the two other episode I didn’t watched yet in a few day. I hope.
I’m back with weekly review and I’ll try to be able to write on all I’m watching. So let’s start with Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita and these scary fairies. Talking about fairies, those are nasty. Really nasty! But this is what makes the aime interesting: they don’t have the same moral compass as a human. Well, resume first!
The seventh episode deal with “Watashi” who have to bring back the Assistant to her grand-father. But the description he made of him is somehow vague and obscur. At the village, she meet the women who was healing the assistant and she also is pretty unsure of what he look like and since he goes wander around, watashi offer to help her to search for him and goes to the forest. There, she meet a girl that looks strangely like her. He she step on a banana peel and slip and wake up somewhere else. And her grandfather ask her to go get the assistant in the village and get him back. And she meet the doctor women. and she goes to the forest. and meet to time herself. and step on a banana peel and guess what? Again! So this is basically the whole episode. The eight one explain us a bit more of what is happening around, why is the assistant mute and why he wander around looking for his personality.
Let’s get back to the fairies now. The fairies are behind the banana peel incident and the fact that “watashi” is around many time. Why? because they wanted someone to bake sweets and cakes so they made clones of her to bake in the forest. Even if Watashi told them it is morally wrong, but I don’t think they care about humans at all. I also like the fact that the first banana tasted nothing and the fairy replied “It have to taste something?”. Quite interesting. And let’s not forget they were playing soccer with what looks like a fairy head…
I know the title is a bit obscur, but since these episodes deals with time travel, erasing the past and rewriting it, in brief all thing that would probably destroy the universe if perform in reality (unfortunately Doctor Who isn’t real) the people who made the series found a convenient way to forget the time paradox: every times a time paradox happen, a “time paradox” dog will apear and covert it. So convenient, like I said. So now let’s destroy the whole universe….
On another note, this is the first time Watashi meet the Assistant, so this episode should be before all the other since the assistant was in all the other (correct me if I’m wrong). I liked the thing about “finding his own personality” by running around and the “personality tea party” (go watch it to understand…. too obscur to explain), but I felt these two episode were a bit less intriguing and interesting that the other.
I also don’t really get it with the assistant. When Watashi meet him first, he is so annoying and perverted and loud, and then comes the tea party with multiple Watashi and then he is all gentle and silencious… WTF… And where did he get the Hawaien shirt??? In the forest? And it’s okay to change personality, but how can he change his color of eye and hair? this is a mystery.
Some people on other blogs have made interesting theories about why are the episode in disorder and that maybe this isn’t just an artistic choice, but a whole fairies catastrophe, but I don’t think so… too complicated… And common, there is a hidden romance between watashi and the Assistant, so sure of it! He based his personality on what watashi says on the tea party! Anyway, the old man is certainly the coolest character of the whole serie.
I can’t wait for the next episode! And don’t forget who’.s the coolest character, because he have guns (so let’s kill the fairies… no wait, we can do it with electromagnetic waves, mwahahah!)
So, I haven’t post anything for two long week and I haven’t watched animes either for that time. So I’m a bit late with all the series I’m currently watching but I’ll try to get back at it. But school begin soon so I don’t know how much time I’ll be able to put on blogging. I’ll see when time comes. I’d also like to thanks anyone who read me and don’t be afraid to let comments anywhere on my blog!
Here’s a cool summer picture from pixiv…
A zombie is usually a dead person animated back by a mysterious power. It’s decaying, brainless and sometimes eats flesh or brains from other living humans. Would you fall in love with such a being? Well, the protagonist of Sankarea have this utterly strange fetish: he wants to have a love story with a zombie. And he even achieve his dream in this spring 2012 anime.
After the death of his cat Babu, Chihiro Furuya wants to bring him back as a zombie. He found a recipe in an old book and try to makes the potion to bring him back. In the yard of the abandoned building where he makes his experiment, a young girl comes and shout her anger and distress, thinking she is alone. But Furuya-kun sees her. She decide to help him with his experiement, but she took a bit of the potion and drink it. After falling from a cliff, she comes back as a zombie girl and go live with Furuya. Her name is Rea Sanka, Sanka Rea in the usual Japanese manner of writing.
Story: 6.5 on 10. The premise of Sankarea is really interesting: a guy obsessed by zombies get himself a zombie girl. How does it turn out? how can you get her body not to decay? Is she dangerous? But as interesting a premise is, a story can’t only live on this. The pace of the anime was annoying: a great few starting episode, some episodes in the middle where almost nothing happen and the episode 10 and 11 to get to the climax, and a last episode that resolve nothing. Between episode 5 and 9, it’s more like slice of life, other characters view, a light ecchi and minimum mysteries. This anime have difficulties keeping a good pace. It’s a waste since the premise was interesting, the characters too, the graphic good, but if the story don’t keep up, the anime gets bad. I can enjoy an anime with bad graphic if the story is good, but not the contrary.
But don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all that bad, I enjoy it, but it could have been better, a lot better. And since I’ve watch it recently in a marathon, I understand how frustrating it must have been to have to wait between each week for something to happen.
Characters: 6 on 10. Sankarea have a cast of interesting characters. A few ones were annoying, but most of them were greatly depicted. The protagonist, Furuya Chihiro, is really cute with his hair like cat ears. A really like how he react to some events, his lack of interest in anything not related to zombies and his childish way of acting. Rea Sanka was a bit annoying. I sometime felt her reactions weren’t natural and her reserved and shy personality kind of annoyed me. Wanko, who is Furuya’s childhood friend was energetic and dynamic, but her love for Chihiro sometime felt a bit forced. Mero-chan, Furuya’s brother, was one of my favorite character. She looks like a ghost and isn’t really expressive, but I quite liked her reactions. Same for their grandfather, a crazy old fart who is always surprised by what’s in his soup.
The antagonist, Rea’s father was creepy as hell, but didn’t felt realistic. Her mother neither and I have some problem with the way she have react to when she heard her husband was taking nude picture of Rea. I would have call the Children Protection, but she was just jealous.The annoying characters were Chihiro’s friends: the pervert one was way too cliché in is search for a girl and the other one felt like a child. Every scene they appears in could have been cut. Mero-chan friends, that we only sees in one episode were forgettable too.
Graphics: 9 on 10. The graphics were pretty well done. The background felt like photos, the characters moved smoothly, are well draw and have different clothes each days, which add to the realism. I also liked the fact that even if this was a zombie (to some extend) anime, the atmosphere was more bright, except a few scene were suspense was on. The opening was also interesting and gets well with the rest of the anime.
Sound and Music: 8 on 10: I really liked the OP song, it feels so cute and suits the anime and the whole smooth ambiance. The ED song was forgettable, I didn’t really listened to it more than once. The ambient sound and music were okay, didn’t stand out but didn’t deranged either.
Enjoyment: 7 on 10: Sankarea was a good anime. Not a great one, but not a bad one either, just okay I guess. The whole anime was exciting to watch, but the pace problem was sometime getting on my nerves. I was also reluctant to watch it because of the “ecchi” tag, but it finnally wasn’t that bad (well, since I’ve watched Queen Blade Rebellion, I shouldn’t be scare of any ecchi for the rest of my life…). Only a few scene were deranging, not because of the ecchiness, but because of their random feel: a zombie wont rip the shirt of a girl to lick her breast, a zombie would crack open her skull and eat her brain…
The ending was a bit boring: nothing was resolve. There could be a season two, but there could also not be one and that would be alright, since this isn’t an “open” end: the protagonist was beaten. everyone is happy, yeah there are still some problems, but the optimistic future will help us… So, Sankarea was good. Did I enjoyed it? yeah, that was fun to watch. Will I rewatch it? no, one time is enough. Do I recommend it? Yes if you like love story with a twist, if you watch the twelve episode in a row and if you have nothing else to do. No if you really wanted to watched zombie stuff, if you are looking for super-ecchi, if you hate story with strange pace or if you are annoy by cliché girls.