Impressions for winter 2009 ~ Steel cans, Traps and a whole lot of other things.

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What has Klash done to me~~areee~~~

*Coughs* Shamefully this really shouldn’t be tagged first impressions since the trail period should have been way past that but I figured it would just be overkill to make a new impressions tag just for this one post. Alright then, after opting to do things  later rather than sooner (as a part of my usual tradition that has been going on and off)  I will be writing some thoughts on the series I am currently following this season which frankly isn’t many, thankgod. Though rather than giving each series a grade so far since it will be entirely unfair based on my ever fluctuating rating scale depending on how high the moon is up in the sky I will just stick to writing short thoughts for each of the titles (in alphabetical order for your reading enjoyment).


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A series about Steel Cans…

And just my luck to be starting off with one of the weaker series this season. Well how should I put it? After such a killing spree from the highly respected Brains Base (love you guys ;___; ) I am very disappointed that they decided to churn out such crap. I mean this is the sort of stuff I would not have expected from these guys given their reputation for more serious and thought provoking themes, just look at Kurenai, Baccano and Natsume as an example. The only reason why I think they used their D-team to produce such a series is due to the fact that a lot of the audience over there in Japan wants their ecchi…and as they say, the customers are boss even if it means a smashed reputation. But the series itself seems to be a problem for me because even outside the usual romance/harem/mindless fun genre, this pushes the limits to include heavy amounts of cheesiness which by this point is a very boring affair, not to mention an absolute collapse of animation a lot of the times though still not AS bad as GODCABBAGE. Asides from the unique (but lol worthy story) of having Steel cans turning into beautiful young girls and the over use of the words “drinking” and “juice”, the core of this series seems very much the same as a lot of others. Getting right down to the technical and nit picking would give this series hardly any credit (I said hardly but since Jun Fukuyama is single handedly saving the series) for being worth my time at all. But since I regard this as title as a “guilty pleasure” type of series I will be sticking to it only to see how it ends having my own policy of not dropping anything I pick up unless it is boring to the extent of wanting to kill something…thankfully this series is quite a bit away from that level.

Asu no Yoichi

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This is what Tarzan would be like if he was japanese

Funnily enough this a manga title I have been reading before the anime adaption was producted and seen as I am the type to be scarce when it comes to manga, it was just a rare coincidence. But while I know fully well that a lot of the times manga impressions tend to conflict my likeness with the adaption I tried my best to keep them both separate entities. So while there are some changes here and there on the whole this is turning out to be quite an pleasing adaption. I actually hold the manga in quite high regard for being a fun and lighthearted title with decent characters to boot; thankfully the anime stays true to the whole theme and is pretty much on the same level as the original even with the changes. Though while the characters are largly unchanged a part of me think that they somewhat amplified Ibuki’s violent levels, or at least the don’t see quite as “harmless” as others have picked up (though it is the same o’ Ibuki to me and while she isn’t the best female lead I have seen a lot of worse off personalities XD). But as far as enjoyment goes this series still has a lot to offer, though I only wonder if they are going a bit too fast through the chapters while missing out a few enjoyable scenes that should have been kept (AKA the bedroom scene between Angie and Yoichi; HOW DARE THEY!).

Druaga no Tou – the Sword of Uruk

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Oh it is back and meaner than ever. God bless you Gonzo ^^’

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And how did this get here O.o

Personally one of the most eagerly awaited series for me ever since…well ever since the first season ended and I am pleased to say that this sequel is not letting the fans down one bit. Picking up half a year from where the first season left off, Jil became a bum and the world is well. Though we are once again thrown back into the adventure when a small girl named Ki found herself on the wrong side of the law. As far as guilty pleasure goes this is one series where it is 100% flawless in true to the name. I find it amazing how fast each episode passes by which leaves me in frustration that I have to wait another week before the continuation is shown. The comedy is top notch from Utuu helmet gag to Ki’s skills at wielding the spoon of doom and unlike a lot of series, the story for this one is quite unpredictable (which adds to the mindless fun). In a space of a single episode Melt went from filthy rich to being a bum again…now that was (not) surprising considering that it is Melt afterall. This is definitely a double thumbs up series for this season.

Chrome Shelled Regios

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Felliiii~~ she is so moe ❤

And here is another nice surprise for this season. Based on the preview I though it had some serious Rental Magica (or Yozakura Quartet) vibes hanging around it but surprisingly it turned out to be quite different from the two and holds potential (well…so did the other two at first XD). Though I suspect this series to turn out being quite an average “shounen-flick” I think it will be an enjoyable ride getting to the end. Character wise I don’t have anything to complain about. The females are attractive and the males aren’t jerks and also a nice cast of VAs here too, I just love Felli’s character who may be one of the moest this season. The only danger of this series turning sour if it becomes another case of “powering up to defeat the enemy”. Layfo…I mean Fon-fon is shown to hold some immense power though he is reluctant to use any of it although somewhere down the line I do see a limit cap which may result in some form of power up *shiver*. But I have hope that this will remain an enjoyable watch til the end, heck if I could stand Yozakura’s level of story telling at least that much is nothing for me to become annoyed about.

Kurokami (Black God)

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Not a Shana ripoff

Although the standard of this series is pretty much the same as the second season of Shana (I.e crap). With this being yet another manga —> anime comparison like for Asu no Yoichi I do once again try to take in changes to the anime and look at them equally as much as the original source, though while Asu no Yoichi feels like an adaption done well we unfortunately have KuroKami here tearing the source to bits. But just to be clear I have nothing against changes with the anime but there comes a time when it becomes so extreme that crucial feelings from the original source (and I mean the “charms” of the manga itself) becomes lost; sadly this is a case for the KuroKami anime we have here. Even with the same characters, setting and basic story I feels as if something important is missing from this story which has a lot more to do with the plot changes…like Keita being a highschooler here or the awfully done “body part” swap scene. What was a charming story of depth and growth sadly seems like your usual everyday Shounen junk and it definitely does not help when certain characters undergo unrecognizable personality transformations. For someone picking this series right off might feel that the story is average but to those who know what really happened it seems more like a disappointment. But moaning about the changes asides I really can’t see this series being more than a guilty pleasure in itself which certainly doesn’t escape the usual high and low points that a lot of other series share. Watching this as if it was an alternate universe with the same characters is one way to go at it (heck it is the way I have been seeing it after the second episode despite my frequent comparisons between the two) in the end.

Maria + Holic

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Trap alert!

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Maido guitar FTW..

Thankgod…thankgod that Shinbo’s injection of his creativity into this series didn’t end up turning me off like with his previous concoction (oh how I tried to watch SZS but in the end was completely overwhelmed by the “special effects”). Though at first I didn’t even know that this series was produced by SHAFT until the first episode where there is just that distinctive Shinbo feel to it. But I say once again; thankgod that the turn off  “special effects” are kept to a damn minimum, even with this amout it is enough for me to swallow. Storywise, first episode was a right blast…and then it dtopped a little and has stayed there ever since. For a trap comedy/romance shoujo series this has a lot of potential. What I completely love about this series is not so much the plot itself (frankly there hasn’t been much seen thus far) but how well the character interacts with each other through “thick and thin” as you say. Kanako being the Yuri character with a fear of males being pitted against a bishoujo who turns out to be a male, you can’t get much cornier than that but funnily enough it works…or is it Shinbo working the RIGHT magic this time? I think this series has the potential to become the best comedy this season if not on par with Druaga, like this for example. Though I have heard some fans hating and blaming Maria for being a sadistic, torturing bully but I find his actions rather hilarious *shrugs* I must be a sadist ^^’

Minami-ke Okaeri

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There has only been one season

And true to those words I still believe it when it comes to the animation and art designs. But when it comes to story and plot, this slice of life has beeing rinsing and repeating til the cows come home and so makes hardly any difference as the three seasons seemingly merge into one with different animation styles to tell them apart. Well I was never that much of a fan for this series in the first place and a lot of the jokes seemingly fly above my head. Though I must say that the uncommon cases where something genius happens (CURRY FAIRY!) definitely make this series a good watch even if it is just for those moments itself. The story is essentially a gourp of boys and girls doing everyday things that are so random you will be laughing at the sheer fact that they are random (come on, a discussion on “cup yakisoba phenomenon”; don’t think just laugh at how random that was), even for your everyday standards but that in itself isn’t bad. So with the “same old same old” feeling I happily waste my time watching this ^^’


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If you haven’t heard of this then you are missing out on a gem

Trust me, I was skeptical about watching this series at first but it is shaping up to be something rather unexpectedly good. Why? Because it sticks out from the crowd like a sore thumb ie it is not a series focused on “moe-factor”; depending on your tastes though I do find Rin rather cute. Taking a spin from the saying “boys and their toys” this time it is “girls and their mighty morphing motorcycles”. What’s more, instead of doing wheelies we have the lead female here doing ballerina tricks on top of her shining red machine. Another unique selling point for this series is that you have no idea which direction you are heading with the story…even after a couple of episodes I feel as if I am being dragged for the ride rather than thinking ahead. I am excited to see what happens next and the pacing of the story is neither too slow nor too fast. Visual wise it is clear that this series isn’t aimed for moe loving otakus but those who like a more mature feel (plus those mechanics out there) might find this series appealing.

Shikabane Hime Kuro

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The season two of “boring”

Ah Angela my darling…if it wasn’t for her OP/ED tunes frankly I woudln’t even have finished watching the first season. Personally my so called “mileage” comes to a fullstop whenever I meet a boring series. I have quite a high tolerance for “bad” material, not so much for “boring” material. Sadly Shikabane Hime has been chipping away at my patience ever since the first season and how the heck I am lasting through another season is unknown to me. But if I were to watching for mindless flesh showing and emoness then it feels like long road ahead becomes a little brighter. While at first I was attracted to a few characters of this series (being the initial driving force to watch it?) I soon come to realise that none of them have any personality at all…like watching paint dry; sadly they even had the nerve to kill off the only two characters I ever liked and with no improvement to the episodic plot? I think it has already reached rock bottom so the only way it can go is up.

Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (a ridiculously long name which can be shortened to MUNTO sheeesh…)

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Just like watching the OVA all over again…

And since I did watch the OVAs (all 2 of them!) a few weeks before this series aired I feels as if I have been lied to by Kyoani, I mean how the heck can this be “new” if all they did was used scenes from the OVAs + a bit of glitter on top to gloss over it? Well it wasn’t like the story is anything spectacular to begin with (that includes my innate dislike of Yumemi as a character) but milking the series like this I can’t help but say “shame on you”. But after thinking about it a bit more I guess it does make sense that they need to retell the story for those who haven’t seen the OVAs since it was a few years back although the shameless use of all of the OVA material is less than impressive, especially for the well renowned Kyoani. I can’t say much for the story so far since it is still stuck in the confusing mess which was also common for the OVAs so until we hit into the new material those who have already watched the OVAs will need to just wait and fight out this boring phase. Quality wise it is retro…but good retro(?). Still if the promotions are anything to go by I expect some quality change…but then again I will completely be ROFLing if such a huge change were to be seen half way through the series. Is this a case of it being so bad that it is actually good? we will have to wait and see…

Sora Kake Shoujo

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Horrible…horrible opening…

Well I used to love Ali project but nowadays they have become more of a plague than enjoyment to hear (just take a look at Noto Mamiko…). Sadly the poor opening is one of the first thing you hear so impressions of this series won’t be as good…well based on that logic then there will be no Shikabane Hime then. I am glad to say that this has proven to be quite an average (but so far enjoyable series) given that it was seemingly plucked out of thin air by Sunrise who is now into moe moe characters more than their mecha (Oh shi, I need to hide from Kaio). Still those shameless ero plug suits aside I am surprised that this series has less fanservice than what I expect it to have and oh boy did I expect it to be an ero-fest. The story is still rather shaky and going in all sorts of random directions but the series is still being saved by sunrise’s recurring hero, that is Zero. While the other characters (apart from Itsuki <3) remains rather plain, Zero-bot over here is a reason well watching this series for if only just for his parts. But even that has it limits so whist this series is still watchable for now I do hope we will be getting somewhere sometime soon. *Shrugs* if those strange guys mean anything that is…

Tetsuwan Birdy Decode 2

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“Shion de ari desuuu~”

Yessssssss! Birdy is back <333333333

*cough* Since I am a birdy fan I must at least give cheer to series making a return. Although this series really isn’t anything but medicore, there is something about it that captures me into watching it week after week. Maybe it is because of the atmosphere and theme of the series as it certainly isn’t the action (which is minimal), story (that doesn’t make sense) or male characters (Senkawa is an idiot). Yet the factor which overrules all of this seems to be just Birdy herself since she is so incredibly hot ^^’

Right now the series feels like a rehash of the first season but focused on Birdy this time round which means that this should be more enjoyable than the first. I am egarly waiting for the action (and romance) scenes to come rolling in and this is one series that won’t go to such a length as to re-colour red blood to black.

White Album

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First I was like; “this is so boring……..”

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Then I am like: “STRIKE!!!!!”

And a strike this is. Why? Simply because this is the first delicious romance drama to come rolling along since School Days, that itself should note what kind of “romance drama” I am talking about (and True Tears doesn’t count since that series was made of FAIL!/Jest). Honestly to me the series was a total bore after the first episode, that was until I learn how delicious the drama could turn out to be, since it is an eroge adaption, did I really start paying attention and of course starting to love the series. Simply put this is one of those series that raises all hell on forums as fans are forced to pick a side and fight until the bitter end resulting in major casualties and massive essays on why “X” is better than “Y” character. If some outsiders were to wage in on this they probably think it is a complete waste of time but for me, raising the banner and arguing back is a lot of fun and what is better is to see the passion that some of these fans have…minus a few who go just a bit too far. But in all I am looking forward to this series as it has already been set into stone which girl I will side for (major hint is above) and who to “bash” (in a friendly sense). This is also not just wishful thinking either as the series has already shown some rather artistic and unique way of developing feelings, though some prefer to call it cheesy and old. With bonds forming and breaking all the time, I am very interested to see how this series will end up…frankly there is little middle ground for it as it will either rise up or sink like a rock. But in any case may the best girl win…even if the best girl is Rina 😀

Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou

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Where is my Kurenai second season then?

Just kidding. While I would very much like a second season for Kurenai, I am equally as happy to have a sequal for Natsume Yuujinchou since it is one of Brains Base’s deep/thought provoking series. Any just like the previous season, this pretty much picks up where it lefts off and in the same old manner. If I were to categorize this series I guess it will file under slice of life/episodic but in a good sense. The humor is top notch and what’s more surprising is that those bitter/sweet scenes never get old. I don’t think I have many more expectations for this series other than for it to continue being as enjoyable as it has always been. Though I have notices a “disturbing lack” of female characters showing up now and then, unless you count traps falling into that category. No matter, the OP seems to indicate otherwise but Nyanko sensei really needs to use his female form just a bit more :p

Actually I wonder if Natsume will ever find love…hmm…


And so concludes my round-up of this season’s best and “lesser” titles. As for which series to pick up half at the half way point, hmm…I wonder…


2 Responses to “Impressions for winter 2009 ~ Steel cans, Traps and a whole lot of other things.”

  1. 1 Kaioshin Sama January 31, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I’d sooner hide from me for calling Munto TV retro then for saying something that actually seems to be the case. Ruddy moe girls….where’s my Gaogaigar Z?!

  2. 2 scopioeyez February 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I was half tempted to watch the Munto TV series but after how much I absolutely hated the OVAs I couldn’t imagine sitting through three episodes of those stories being re-told in the hopes of getting to a ‘good’ bit. Glad I’m not alone with Akikan and White Album though.

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