Summer 2009 early review ~ Slice of life beating the crap out of you. (updated ver1.1)

Well since it is the summer, and I’m bored, I might as well write a review post of the series I have been following so far. On the whole this season so far has shocked me quite a lot with endless enjoyment for the better part and steep pain for the remainder. It really has turned into a weird experience of finding gems and destroyed hype with my expectations before the season started completely flipped like a mirror image, but I will try my best to keep things as fair as I can with the review. Still the opinions to come are pretty personal so your mileage may vary.

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I forgot about the opening image for this entry, and what could be better to raise the flag than good o’ Gin Sama (nothing to do with the actual post, but relevant to my interests)

So to get things started lets start with the list of what series are mentioned in this entry (in no particular order):

Aoi Hana
GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class
Princess Lover!
Sora no Manimani
Spice and Wolf II
Taishou Yakyuu Musume
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Umi Monogatari
Umineko no Naku Koro Ni
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou

Update +1
Fight Ippatsu! Juuden Chan!

Aoi Hana

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Episodes viewed: 1

Thoughts: So the first Slice of Life series this season (if you haven’t noticed it by now from the entry title) and colour me surprised at how much of an enjoyable experience this was especially since I haven’t expected much from this following the summaries.

While I may have shrugged it off as being a typical Slice of Life feeling series with “not so appealing” character designs, the episode simply blew me away with it’s simplicity but powerfully subtle developments.

Fumi turned out to be an interesting character whose image does not reflect her character at all being the “crybaby” type whilst A-chan was the usual go getter carefree and speaks her mind. But because their different personalities (and appearances) compliment each other so well, this whole Yuri business might actually work. Plus they are both osananajimis (childhood friends) who haven’t seen each other in 10 years so there is a lot to catch up on as they rebuilt their former friendship.

Fumi has already shown some yuri vibes when she was disappointed at her female cousin for marrying already. Even though she doesn’t actually state it, her actions speaks volumes and this is the serious type of subtle development (which requires you to use your brain to figure things out) that I enjoy very much.

But at times serious series like these tend to flop due to being so grindingly slow and painfully boring. Thankfully the first episode was nothing like this and the pacing was consistent and kept my attention for the entire episode.

Good setting, good story, nice BGM and OP/ED themes. This could very well be a gem for this season. I’m impressed.

Verdict: “Serious yuri business” 7.5/10

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“I can’t possibly fall in love with a girl”



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Episodes viewed: 2

Thoughts: Now this was one series I have been looking forward to…at least up to the point until where SHAFT is mentioned. Now by no means am I a big fan of theirs and to me, their works are a lot of hit and miss (thankfully their previous creation Natsu no Arashi turned out to be a hit). So with a bit of skepticism involved I approached the first episode and the only words I can sum up with after watching it is…

“…crazy bitch…”

I am not sure what to say about my initial impression of the series at all. The opening really did get my attention as expected of SHAFT and I thought that the “SHAFT effect” here worked very well. But as the episode unfolded it grew more…and more…and more…boring as it was just talk, talk, and more talk. Granted the talk was rather mysterious and done in a morse code manner with the whole supernatural/psychotic business, it seemed to drag on for what seemed like double the episode’s actual length. While I was entertained by Hitagi’s unlimited deadly school object works, everything else didn’t really keep my attention all that well.

Hitagi has had a weird affect on me. Since I want to like her due to her psychotic nature but there are times where she just pushes the line so much that it is actually crossed. From being awesome it went right through to being creepy with that stapler and box cutter, and I’ve gotta tell you…that must hurt and awful lot *cringes*

However, come the second episode it had become a bit more interesting as the mood was set incredibly well. Granted that the first half of the episode was about Hitagi flashing her delicious assets at Araragi, the small talk between them was actually quite amusing in establishing their individual characters. At least for Hitagi it is clear that she isn’t trusting of others which pushes her to do such extreme actions seen in the previous episode but as we learn, there is an actual reason for that and the pieces of logic behind her personality strangely began to fit well.

The second half proved to be more enjoyable than expected with tension and emotion. I have to also say that it was pretty cool to see the fake priest (forgotten his name) grab the God crab and slams it on the floor. This then ends the first arc of the series and the start of a new one with a new Hitagi. But then this again makes me unsure of what is to come if Hitagi turns from a psychopath into a dere dere girl and whether I will be torn to like one personallity between the two.

Overall I am still rather confused and unsure of what to feel about this series but in terms of being mysterious, whacky and deeply confusing? It is quite good.

Verdict: “Lovingly crazy or crazily in love?” 7/10

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This maybe the last we will see of unlimited “deadly school object” works.



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Episodes viewed: 2

Thoughts: Here is where the ball gets rolling.

As much as I hate playing sheep to the crowd of fanboys out there, I am honestly shocked to say that this turned out to be one series that I look forward to every week now after sampling the first two episodes.

The production values for this series is solid (so far so good) and in that I mean it can easily pass off for being an OVA series rather than the usual TV series of lesser quality. The designs are really pleasing to the eyes (especially a certain sexy secretary character) with the uncanny resemblance to the Kara no Kyoukai movies so at least on the eyes front, this leaves a pleasing first impression.

Then we get onto the story. Surprisingly as well the story for this series is also quite solid in my mind. The viewer is launched straight into the hussle and bussle of Shanghai where a couple of photographer/journalists enter a world of violence, gun fights and death…and in the center of all of this we have Canaan being the top killer and has a special kind of eye power (gotta love Type Moon and their recycling of themes).

Granted that the first episode should be been rather confusing to me, it turned out not to be the case and come the second episode, the story is already fitting into place. This is an action thriller series with a mysterious aura around it but make no mistake that it is a damn enjoyable one at that.

The characters themselves are all crazy, in a good sense, some more so than others (like the “normal” taxi driver from episode 2 voice by our beloved priest from Fate/Stay Night). It just makes things that much more hectic and enjoyable to watch with the tension being right up there when it counts and amusing quiet periods of comedy (did someone order meat bun oppais?).

Conclusion, this is one of those series that exceeds initial impressions and probably is the best “serious” anime this season.

Verdict: “Tanaka Rie!!! I love youuuuuu!” 9.5/10

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Boy would I give her a foot massage if I could! ❤

GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class

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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: I came for the Yggdra art but I am staying because of the series.

Heck first thing off I didn’t expect this to not be a slow moving Slice of Life type series. I am sure you guys have heard enough of how this was going to be similar to Hidamari Sketch or even Sketchbook~full colours~ so there is really no need to go there. Surprisingly what we have here is a whacky, hyperactive and buzzing 4-koma style story come to life and straight out of the manga, and I have to say that I prefer it this was more based on enjoyment factor (and it IS a Slice of Life).

The design of the characters just oozes with cuteness but while they all have the general “big puppy dog eyes” template, they are all distinct enough to tell apart from each other (I mean seriously, how many girls have you seen whose glasses literally fall off their faces). Not to mention the fact that the first episode did a damn good job at showing their individual personalities even with such a weird story telling format and this is where the strong point of the series kicks in.

Even after two episodes, the character’s random antics have been most delightful to watch in a bizarre but strangely captivating way. The skits don’t just build character, it also builds emotions as seen in episode two where a scene near the end gave me quite the warm fuzzy feeling.

However, what I am surprised about the most are the seiyuus that are working on this series. They are indeed playing mind games with the viewers since all of the seiyuus here are using voices not normal to what they usually go. Who would have guessed that Haruka Tomatsu would be the one voicing the soft spoken megane moeblob?

Still the series is a load of fun and full of cutesy mini gags and consistent quality (though you can’t go wrong with deformed characters can you?). I will be looking forward to the next episode to get my moe fix during the week.

Verdict: “MUTEKIIIII!” 9/10

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Still I wish they would do a Yggdra anime someday ^^’



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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: What? Another Slice of Life you say? And this one with Yuri? FFFFFFF…getting my butt kicked by Slice of Life this season.

But what amazes be about this series is that it is another GOOD example of Slice of Life. What amazes me even more is the small and subtle pieces of emotion they actually put into this. For Kana (the main character) who just experienced a major shock in her life with the death of her grandmother (and last remaining relative) is forced into the wide world with nothing other than the clothes on her back. Thankfully it only took an episode for her to find a new place to stay and to her being assaulted by this new group of friends (seemingly having forgotten her pains) to then remembering them again towards the end of the episode; it was really moving to see how Kana, being 13, is able to be normal whilst to outsiders (her new friends) her state is really pitiful indeed. Her pitiful state can basically be summed up when she was happy about having newspaper for a futon? I felt a sudden urge to cry BWAAAAAAAAAA! along with the other girls. It was just that type of touching story and I am frankly very weak against things like these.

But looking on the bright side, this series isn’t about depressive situations but rather looking on the bright side and moving ahead towards the shining future. The characters here are all different and clearly distinctive.

It was clear from the start on that the girls in this business weren’t normal. It so turns out that they are a random bunch of students at varing ages living at a newspaper store and works there delivering newspapers amongst their daily lives, sort of like working accomodation. The thing is that all of the characters are highly transexual and different, really what can you say to an elementary schooler being the chief and actually the one running the business (and yes, she isn’t an old girl who just happens to look loli by chance).

And then you get to the point where yuri is also clear. Although I have nothing against it and I find it quite humorous too when drunktard Haruka was hugging the chief like a doll going “flat, flat flat chested!” or two girls giving each other mouth to mouth. Normally I would probably cringe at such a scene but the series does it in sich a brilliant way you can’t help but laugh your guts out.

I really liked the feel of the story so far and the characters are an obvious strong point. The character designs are to my liking too (cuteness overdose much?) and is stable as far as I can see. There are a lot of cheerful and up lifting moments in this series which makes you feel good and that is quite an important factor when it comes to watching anime. One thing that bugged me though is the fact that you have Kugimiya Rie here playing her Nagi role again. Let’s just hope that he voice is the only thing that reminds me of Nagi.

Verdict: “Heartwarming, fun and compelling” 9/10

Yuri done the right way, quite the opposite of Aoi Hana though which specializes in “serious yuri business”, but both are enjoyable.



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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: I am blogging this so what can I say?

2 episodes in and I am still loving the energy that this series gives out endlessly. Sure it is manly, sure it is GAR and it is also hilarious but what makes it stick together are some great characters and a cliched plot. This is because for a superhuman shounen series such as this one, a normal plot just doesn’t cut it.

The story so far has been rather simple and messy but that isn’t to say that you don’t see where it is going. In the end it would probably be something like “good crushes evil” but hey, if it does something else unexpected than it will certainly be more impressive. Still the manliness is more than enough to carry this series through with screaming muscles and sexy bodies (AKA Eve) all over the place.

But the real catcher for me to this series is due to the fact that it doesn’t take itself all that seriously which is rather important in terms of enjoyment. The series so far has proven to be a great load of fun to watch and takes me back to my past where all that matters were the explosions and energy that the series emitted. It reminds me of a past where raw emotion can be carried through to produce something stunning and frankly, this hits the mark for me.

Not to mention the brilliant character designs, fitting voices, consistent animation/quality and one of the most conflicting ending themes seen to date. As I said the story isn’t anything special so far (with the predictable “needless of the week” until we get to the final boss format) but because the characters, the humor and the adrenaline rush are all so wonderfully done, they seem to be the more important factors to me when watching this series.

And for a season so devoid of a GAR series like this one, it easily ends up smacked bang on the top of my list.

Verdict: “YAMADAAAAAAA!” 10/10 (bias)

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Princess Lover!

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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: I swear to God, if someone else says that Sylvia is a rip off of Saber I will personally rip off their balls.

Okay back onto the serious topic. So whilst in the past, some seasons have been plagued with eroge adaptions, this season turned out to be quite different with Princess Lover being the only one to come out of the eroge industry. But since half hearted eroge adaptions have already left a bad taste in my mouth from past experiences, I was quite skeptical of the outcome of this one even before it started. Fortunately though it turned out to be quite an enjoyable first episode against my expectations and the second one just sealed it in being “so far so good”.

The best thing about this series, unlike others of its type, is the fact that the animation is stable and above all, good (if any of you watched Tayutama in the previous series then you would understand what is bad). The character designs are also quite lush and unique with their eyes being the most differing and noticable aspect. I read on AS that someone called them “Shugo Chara” eyes and I think that description hits the nail right on the head and in a way, I think it is a cute and not often seen type of design. The only downfall with being an eroge adaption though is the fact that broadcasting companies feel the utmost urge to censor the slightest hint of fanservice that isn’t focused on the chest, so say your goodbyes to pantsu shot and the likes and I hope you think about the children…(as if).

Another thing that is great about the series (so far) is the presence of an actual story that the main character, Teppei, has to go through with the start of his new life being a rich boy. The reason for him being the successor of his grandfather’s company has been quite well explained and presented but for the meantime it seems to be pushed back in favor of introducting the new characters. Nothing wrong with that but I do worry about whether the story behind his parents being “killed” will come back to be an important part of the story’s plot. If it does then great! otherwise it would probably mean we might be getting an unsatisfactory ending.

The characters are also a major plus point for me watching this series. They are all likeable, individual and with great personalities. Teppei has so far stayed away from being a jackass generic harem male lead and the main princess girl isn’t a spoilt brat or a childish idiot. I am actually quite pleased with how Charlotte turned out being quite the teasing “Horo” type if I may say. Then there is Sylvia who is just completely my type of girl but will probably end up getting the short end of the stick (typical).

Overall it has been quite an enjoyable and unexpected ride so far for a series like this. However, it may end in tears if it decides to turn to the dark side that so many harem series have fallen prey to. I don’t wish for it to happen so we shall see…

Verdict: “Knight in shining armour” 8/10

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Already took my breath away~


Sora no Manimani

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Episodes viewed: 2

Thoughts: The story here follows a second year transfer student (Saku) who is plagued by his past when it turns out that his hyperactive childhood friend also attends the same highschool and is body tackled into joining the astronomy club.

But after watching so many good first episodes of other series this season, this one felt rather flat. It wasn’t outstanding in anyway and parts of it felt boring with the whole “I see where this is going” feel. The gags too were rather more hit than miss at times and I feel as if the entire first episode was just a slap plain average, which doesn’t really hold well against other series this season.

However, as I continued watching through the first and second episode the characters unsuspectingly grew on me. The character interactions (particularly the hyperactive  Mihoshi) are entertaining to watch which is a shame since the story so far is rather average and uninspiring. I suppose watching this from a relaxed “slice of life” angle has it’s merits but it can only do so far before becoming boring. Simply put there are both highs and lows for this series and can be considered a normal watch if you aren’t too fussed about it being particually special for anything.

That said though, there is definitely romance in this as shown in the second episode where a fated past encounter has Hime falling for Saku like a sack of potatoes and her worries about Mihoshi’s relationship to him is amusing to watch. But the fact that they have already made sure that there is nothing between Saku and Mihoshi is what is interesting to see since this gives Hime a fighting chance, even if my bets are on Mihoshi if there is going to be any solid conclusion to this.

The character designs are nothing to jump about for being rather simplistic but at least the production values are stable. All in all this series is more of a normal watch for me.

Verdict: “Beauty under the starry sky” 6/10

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Who coincidently is also my favourite girl in this series ❤


Spice and Wolf II

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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: Well I guess the first thing to say to this would be a big “welcome back!” and +1 to the Slice of Life counter for this season.

Oh how I love the series for nailing those touchy moments perfectly on the head. While I am not so hot on the points when they get into the business side of the series, I do really love the interactions between Horo and Lawrence that thankfully makes up for all the boring parts. Their slow but steady growth and attachment towards each other masking away the tragedy that will come, slowly but surely come, when the time comes that they have to leave each other as they reach the end of their journey. In fact the first episode has already touched on this part already and it just pains me to think ahead of would happen when it comes.

Naturally I believe that Horo will never leave Lawrence’s side but before they get to that point there will always be moments in their conversations where they touch the sensitive subject and the awkward silence to follow.

On a more brighter note though it was so nostalgic to watch Horo tease Lawrence just like old times. It felt like I haven’t watched this series in a long time and getting acquainted again is such a weird experience. It is also great to see that Lawrence isn’t sitting back and taking in all of Horo’s teasing either showing to us how much he has learnt from his experiences with living with her. I completely loved the part where Horo was suffering from her hangover. It was genius and genuinely very very moe. Horo once again reminds me why so many of us loves her character and rightfully so, she deserves the love we give.

Also with the new season comes with a new set of faces and so far we have seen a few significant ones. The one that stands out most though is the new kid on the block who has fallen for Horo’s act like a true guy of his age (and unknowing of Horo’s “wickedness”). He even had the courage to take Horo around the festival which I heavily respect but sadly, it will all end in tears soon enough. Poor dude.

So once again a big welcome back to this wonderful little series. It will be a fun ride while it lasts and hope it will continue to be a blast to watch.

Verdict: “3 shakes of a fox tail” 8.5/10

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Priceless face of the entire season, hahahaha!


Taishou Yakyuu Musume

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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: I wasn’t going to watch this at first but after a while I thought “what the heck” and gave it a test run anyway. So here we are, baseball Slice of Life…oh boy…

Actually though I was really surprised about the random musical number Koume did at the start of the first episode as that definitely was the hooker that got my attention being both embarrassingly hilarious and cute at the same time. But unfortunately that was the highlight of the episode as the rest of it was rather normal and slow moving (as you would expect from a SoL) . I don’t see this series as being the exciting type at all so continuing with it may become more of a chore than enjoyment. Still it isn’t offensive in anyway and was somewhat enjoyable in a normal way.

The second episode was more of an improvement from the first one as they begun to collect the members needed for their own baseball team, and with the English teacher being their coach, they also added unexpected amounts of humor into the episode. Granted the entire mode of the series is still quite slow paced (in a bad boring way at times) the parts with the teacher seems like a godsend. How many teachers out there could you name who pelts a baseball at full speed at one of her student’s faces and then proceeds to smash a window when placed in batter position. Much as well since the viewers can see what as going to happen made the gag especially hilarious as they pulled it off in a seeminly “textbook” manner.

However, that said the series remains quite an average one when compared to other series this season (which I have to say has been an exceptional season so far). The designs are plain and simple, nothing special about the animation but at least the characters all have their individuality and distinct voices being quite well developed.

It definitely isn’t a shocking hit of the season but a nice series to waste time on nonetheless.

Verdict: “The melancholy of old school baseball” 6.5/10

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Strike 1 and you’re out!


Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

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Episodes Viewed: 1

Thoughts: Pray it doesn’t end up like Eden, pray it doesn’t end up like Eden, pray it doesn’t end up like Eden…

As far as first impression goes for this series (since the second episode isn’t out yet) I thought it was an average/standard build up episode. Knowing that this series is going to be focused on an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 doesn’t really go well with it trying to end on a cliffhanger since duh, what else is going to happen anyway on a series that is supposedly going to be about an earthquake. Still they did go for such a cliffhanger and I personally aren’t too sure about whether it was the right decision or not.

Well on the subject of character development it is clear that some character introductions were needed from the first episode, which they did portray very realistically. But I personally got little enjoyment from watching a brat on screen who is currently at the start of her rebellious age. For a series like this one that focuses on the emotions, feelings and thoughts of the characters as the face the tragedy of the earthquake, having the viewers actually care for the characters is a rather huge factor in how you enjoy the series. Unfortunately it is quite hard to enjoy watching a brat like the girl in this episode who is trying so hard to act like an adult. You are still 10 years too early my dear…

Granted it was done correctly and realistically (worth commending) I didn’t expect the whole ordeal to last the entire length of the episode with the earthquake coming at the end in a “half hearted” sort of way. If anything it was more of an anti climax than imagined since it was predictable that they tried to put the earthquake shocker in the end…well it could have been more exciting if the title of the series didn’t give away the thought behind it in the first place or that so little of the earthquake had been shown. It was a pretty average start all around and probably not something I was expecting (in a negative way).

The minimalistic designs and low budget of the series is also clear so that again is a negative brought upon the series. Still this is just the first episode and opinions can change…


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“Where the hell are my round cakes!”


Umi Monogatari

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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: Guess what? Here is another Slice of Life but this time it is Sailor Moon version…oh great…

The first positive thing that I want to say about this series is the character designs. They are cute and colourful. Granted the background for this series is based on a popular gambling game in the first place, it is a wonder how they could have actually made a series out of it and while the designs are good, I am thinking that they shouldn’t have even bothered.

For the first episode and half of the second one, this series was nothing more than a slow moving, cutesy Slice of Life themed moe fest. The characters are cute, their personalities are entertaining to watch and there are some amusing gags from time to time. Sadly, this is where all the compliments suddenly stop since on the whole, this is quite a boring…long and grinding series with hardly any story at all.

Well hardly any story until you hit the second part of the second episode where it suddenly turned into a magical girl series a la Sailor Moon and I swear while I do like Sailor Moon, that type of stuff should happily remain in the deepest depths of my childhood memories. So when the episode turned out to be part of my worse nightmares I suddenly felt that it had pushed me over the end on wasting anymore of my time on this series. Since it wasn’t a great series in the first place, being a boring and uninspiring story…but having it turn into a grueling “monster of the week” fest made it worse and I now fear to continue with anymore of it.

Fortunately though it isn’t a big loss considering the amount of good series that I have seen so far from this season. But while I don’t like it, I am sure there are people out there who will appreciate this type of series. All is well…

Verdict: “A Seto no Hanayome clone it isn’t” 2/10

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Umineko no Naku Koro Ni

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Episodes Viewed: 3

Thoughts: Being a hardcore fan of the game (thanks to klash) I don’t have any other words to express this series other than simple RAGE…do I really have to do it? ;_;

Here is a snippet from a post about the first episode.

While it was indeed a very exciting thing to have Umineko being animated, that was rather cut short when thinking about how much things could simultaneously screw up and combust since anime adaption of games usually end up with nothing but blood, tears and a lot of dents on your computer desks.

By George (no pun intended) do I hate being right.

To but it simply this episode sucked badly and trying to remain neutral about it despite my knowledge on the game is near impossible…but I am going to try anyway. Even for a standalone episode (ie pretending that I knew nothing of the story presented in the game) this episode was awful in terms of pacing, first impressions, actual animation quality and having a smooth transition.

I ditto the guy (Klash actually) who said that this episode was more of a recap than anything because that was exactly how I felt despite this being a 20 mins episode like any other. The main problem here is that rather than going indepth with the characters in having any sort of development at all, they dived straight into the “story” via cutscenes that seems to be stitched together by a 9 year old (please tell me Maria isn’t directing the series).

Well it’s fine to get straight into the action as sometimes development can be a drag but way to take this to the utmost extreme in making it a horrible enjoyment. As a first timer I would just be confused at what is happening and why I should care that Natsuhi just ran out crying after being called a servant…but as a game lover it was more RAGE on how they can actually cut so much stuff out in the first place. There are plenty of instances in the episode where they could have gone in-depth or even make more sense of the actions of the characters but instead they thought it would have been a good idea to rush the entire pacing of the episode instead.

Points worth taking note of:

1) Was there any need to skip the introductions at the airport to just straight onto the lsland with 1 sec introductions for everyone? Where was the scene I was looking forward to where Battler and Rudolf were made into Dumbo amongst other things.

2) Was there any need to skip the interactions with the guest house and the kids bonding with each other and leaving out Battler’s inner thoughts of Shannon’s tits for a quick exit to the next scene to come rushing by?

3) What the hell is with all the use of cheesy “horror” like sound effects like the one just before Battler noticed the painting of Beatrice? And when did he become a psychic.

4) Was there any need to skip the lunch scene completely, abandon the intros to Natsuhi and the adults and the interesting fact of the seating order around the table?

These are just “some” complaints of the episode but for people who play the game I am sure you get what I am saying here…yet why do I see so many high votes for the episode? People must be in denial…okay moving on…

The characters also do a lot of stuff that makes absolutely no sense at all. Just look at the argument scene with Krauss, Hideyoshi, Rudolf and Eva. Oh wait did I miss someone? Nope, because apparently Rosa isn’t part of the argument or part of the family at all and was just happily drinking tea with Kyrie only to FLARE UP IN THE MOST COMICAL FASHION to Krauss’ harassment. Oh she then goes back to silently drinking tea. If this makes sense to anyone then shoot me. The other was Maria in the rose garden but lets not get into that…

The main problem for me is that the characters have all lost their spark scene in the game due to he cuts. And I mean emotional spark where one would feel for the characters. Watching the scene with Natsuhi being called a “bleep, bleep and bleeping bleep”, stepping into the shoes of a first time viewer I can do nothing but think that I give a damn about her while the gamer side of me is just crying, knowing the true reason why Natsuhi was so hurt by Eva’s words and crying that the anime isn’t delivering those emotions properly.

I never expect an anime adaption to beat the original source, but they could have tried a damn bit harder to make it as close as possible.

There are also problems with the QUALITY of the episode and really no…if I can get used to the voices I should be able to get used to the designs and that my be true, but it will take a hell lot longer than anything…

Kinzo – Nutzo in the anime. He has lost his GARness, his manliness, his leadership charisma…all of it but his nutty-ness. To me he is just now a madman that is nothing to the GAR character that he was in the game.

The adults all haven’t got their own personalities yet because the anime thought it was a waste of time trying to develop them. Except for Rosa who comes across as someone with split personality and likes to freakout a lot.

Battler and Jessica didn’t change much but George, oh George…I don’t even want to begin.

Colour me unimpressed with this episode and can only hope it gets better when the action scenes roll around.

Mercifully though, while the first and second episode of this series crashed and burned like no other due to my high expectations for this to do GOOD, the third instalment was a lot better in comparison. The pacing for one thing, keeping part of the story intact for another. Still I can’t help but worry about the details being cut. Granted I am no fool and know perfectly well that not all of the visual novel content can be crammed into the short TV series, cuts are expected. But currently so they are cutting away at more than needed and all of the cut details have essentially been important for the viewers to establish a connection with the characters. Without such a connection then you are missing half of the point. What makes the game so brilliantly enjoyable is due to the fact that the readers grow to care for (or hate) the characters in their own special way but as the anime stands, none of that is being expressed BECAUSE of the fact that more than needed detail is cut from it and the whole story being rushed as of late.

The third episode did a good job in trying to maintain a steady pace but even then they had to fuck up in the end. This is quite a butcher of the original and this hardcore fan isn’t impressed with how it has been so far.

And one more thing…the animation for the series is horrible. Certainly a low budget anime from an outside view and quite an undeserving amount from an inside view. This was supposed to be the best series this season but it turned out to be a flop…

Verdict: “The golden witch is angry, all of you die!” 3/10

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Because this is better than the crappy character designs the anime has.


Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou

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Episodes Viewed: 2

Thoughts: PANS! and lots of it!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure about this series after reading the summary of it. It seems too much like a bad trip down memory lane (AKA Index) but I am really glad to say that it is no where like that in a positive way…well that was until episode one came rolling about to shoot itself in both foots and then to mercifully shoot itself square on the forehead.

This first episode was a load of fun to watch and actually quite hilarious at times when things occur EXACTLY as you predict it to. The end result is a lot of pans and don’t expect anything other pans being summoned. Such a simplistic and slapstick comedy start to the series was simply great to watch and especially so since you don’t know that it was going to come around until you see the first few pans being summoned.

However, whilst the pilot episode did well in giving me high hopes for this series, it is a damn shame that the second episode didn’t carry its own weight mainly  because of how confusing it became and unexpectedly so given the previous episode.

I simply had no idea what was going on watching this and I can only guess that Koyomi somehow went into the past and is trying to find her way back to the future…although she doesn’t seem the least bit worry about being stuck in the past, how nice is it to be so carefree like her.

The mood of this episode was lacking quite a bit and I even felt bored at parts (the dreaded feeling for any series) so hopefully the next episode will actually explain what the hell has happened. Maybe Koyomi somehow summoned a pan that can actually travel through time (not that far fetched mind you). In terms of enjoyment, the randomness of the first episode had definitely beaten this “episode with a plot(?)” hands down and it is quite worrying to see it turn out into Index ver 2.0. Thankfully it is still far away from that series as could be but only if it can pick itself back up in the coming episodes.

On a positive note, I am captivated by the character designs of this series. The designs are quite generic but quite shockingly beautiful. This plus the fact that all the seiyuus match their characters, it just made this a very enjoyable experience.

Overall it was a good start but bumpy second episode. Not sure what is going to happen now.

Verdict: “PANS!” 6/10

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PANS! sure beats the cliched anvil.

Fight Ippatsu! Juuden Chan!

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Episodes Viewed: 4

Thoughts: I kid you not, I had absolutely no interest in checking this series out beforehand due to the usual misconception that over the top fanservice type series like this will do no good for the body, the soul and most importantly…the brain. But then thinking back…I’ve already lasted an entire season of Queen’s Blade and that turned out to be “aright” so why I am letting something so low levelled scare me? Pah, as if I would be that weaksauce. So after ignoring this series for a whole 4 episodes before actually watching the first one I only have one thing to say; WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS EARLIER???

In a completely positive sense this series is seriously bizarre. But I love it. I mean come on, how many characters do you guys know that actually beats the living daylights out of a “mahou shoujo” character with a baseball bat without restraint, and on a regular basis. So with that Sento is marked into my books as being a true bro and deserves a BROFIST for showing that violence can go both ways. If you were to compare the ratio between girls beating the crap out of guys for minor details and the other way round, I think you would find that us “guys” have been in a really pitiful state when it comes to anime violence (a good example is dokoro-chan). So the presence of a guy who can easily kicked the crap out of some girls is naturally going to be hailed as a modern BRO.

But this is only one side of the story to Juuden Chan and there is actually a lot more to it than violence and “tasteful” fanservice. The series goes along the lines of how there is a parallel existence next to “earth” in which these people are in charge of going into the real world to electrically charge up (in the most literal sense possible) people who are depressed. It just so happens that Plug (the main heroine) looks like Mahoro but is the one getting abused by the male lead rather than dishing out abuse on robo asses. While Plug and her comrade’s existence should be invisible to the humans, Sento happens to be a unique individual who is able to see them and not only that, is also able to physically touch them which should have been impossible. This then spawns of hilarity as Sento is a short fused, baseball bat swinging MANIAC!

It has already been 4 episodes in for me but seeing the characters and their introduction, it is clear that there are still a lot to offer from the series. Whilst the fanservice can be a turn off at times (especially the cringworthy scenes of that mahou shoujo parody TV series where a loli is raped over and over by monsters which her screams cause me to turn down my speakers faster than you can say “fuck”), it is still rather mild compared to a lot of this, or maybe my brains has already been fried too many times and something of this level I can easily be immune towards. While a lot of “green” fans are still going batshit over the fanservice and such, calling the series “immature” or “sick” or what other compliant you can think of that means that they are squeamish towards something so softcore I personally don’t give a damn, nor am I watching this series FOR the service in the first place.

Believe it or not, the story that has been seen so far is decent and way above average. Below all the service gloss (which is something used to attract people to this series as its main purpose) there is a solid story which has been put together by an author with brains. There is development like you see from any other series, there are characters with vibrant personalties and there are situations, problems and dilemmas to be solved with every episode that follows a linear style. In every way if you strip away the fanservice and the violence, this would be like a normal story just like any other, yet people still insist on being turned off by it due to the “over the top service” and stay away like the plague. Well without the mentioned factors this series would just be a “normal” watch for me; however, with those factors this series suddenly transforms into somewhat with a lot more colour, a lot more character, and most importantly…a lot more fun.

I am not saying that this series is flawless (since Sento’s violent rampages are starting to get a bit old) but in the spirit of all things holy, fun, entertaining, enjoyable and a GUILTY PLEASURE, this series pretty much pushes all my buttons. The characters are lovable and humorous so what more can I ask from a guilty pleasure series? The presence of a plot is an obvious plus which pushes this series from being normal to great amongst other things.

Verdict: “Alestea~ eat your heart out!” 8.5/10

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HAHAHA…as if she turned out to be a huge masochist XD


So there you are, a run down of the series currently airing that I am currently watching. There sure are a lot of Slice of Life series this season but like I said before, it is just a shocker how many good and enjoyable series there are this season. Quite the unexpected outcome but heck I am not going to complain but as you can see, Slice of Life this season is literally kicking the crap out of you (unless it’s called Umi monogatari…). Now I need to rest my eyes~~~

25 Responses to “Summer 2009 early review ~ Slice of life beating the crap out of you. (updated ver1.1)”

  1. 1 lolol July 17, 2009 at 7:27 am

    “Kinzo – Nutzo in the anime. He has lost his GARness, his manliness, his leadership charisma…all of it but his nutty-ness.”

    When was any of this stuff missing even apparent in the first half of the VN? Someone unintentionally hilariously yelling out Beeeeeeeeeeeeee yaaaaaaaaaaa triiiiiiiiiiiii chhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee isn’t someone I would consider charismatic.

  2. 2 deathkillz July 17, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Yes there was. And while I admit his screaming of the name “BEATRICE!” wouldn’t give of any hint of his charisma, his other comments damn well does. You either feel it or you don’t as it is a respectful/fearful emotion towards Kinzo. He is the head of the house and he can make his eldest son (Krauss) feel like he is a kid again and an incompetent fool. I can easily say that there is an aura around Kinzo that makes you not want to fuck with him, no matter what illogical nonsense of the witch he sprouts out.

    Here is one such example of why Kinzo is so fricking awesome (although it isn’t the same as reading it in the game losing all the visual, the mood and the fitting BGMs):
    Kinzo: “They do not care about me!! What manner of men is everyone then, trying to drag me out of here!!?? Very well, kill them! Dismember them, make them into firewood, feed them to the Witch’s hearth!! Put a pot in that hearth and boil wormwood! Force the imbeciles who dare try to lure me out of here drink the broth of the Apocalypse! I will soak their dregs in liquor! Aah, Genji, where are you!? Call for Genji!! Have my demonic absinthe prepared!”

  3. 3 G July 17, 2009 at 8:10 am

    No Juuden-chan?

  4. 4 Veldril July 17, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I guess it’s also personal taste too. I don’t think Kinzo is charismatic, at least not in the EP1. And the part that Deathkillz quote for me is just a mad man babbling.

  5. 5 sadakups July 17, 2009 at 9:03 am

    With regards to Umineko, a majority of the ones complaining are the VN readers. I enjoyed the Higurashi anime without having read the VN, and I even appreciated it more when Klash started dishing out his analysis posts. I was already expecting the same thing for Umineko.

  6. 6 deathkillz July 17, 2009 at 9:18 am

    @G ~ I knew someone was going to mention that hehe ^^
    The truth is that I didn’t watch Juuden chan until last night before going to bed and by then the review was already done and I just wanted to check over it before posting it today. And while I wasn’t planning on watching Juuden chan in the first place, it came as a surprise when it turned out to be surprisingly enjoyable. I might added it on to the review later (after I’ve caught up with all 4 episodes out so far).

    @Veldril ~ I agree. It is something you either get or not on a personal level so it is fine with me how you interpret the passage. But to me the anime is definitely giving off a wrong impression of his character even this early on in the series…actually the same could be said for a lot of the characters here (why isn’t Gohda a jackass?).

    @sadakups ~ Frankly though, I think that Higurashi as an adaption did a way better job in the first few episodes to get me interested in the series than Umineko is doing (and Klash agrees despite being a critic of both series). Umineko as a standalone itself is below average/average even without comparisons to the game and vastly inferior to Higurashi’s first few episodes in terms of quality and overall “feel”. Still I do expect that first time viewers won’t be as critical of the series than those who have played the VN but I still hope they feel that “something” is missing here. Seriously though, if you play the game then you will appreciate the characters and story more. This series isn’t doing the story any justice at all which is saddening.

  7. 7 Mikado July 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I think that Bakemonogatari is absolutely and by far the best series of this season. Canaan is cool too, and it’s really perfect, but that’s where it stays… being perfect. It’s perfect at what it is, but not MORE. Now Bakemonogatari is perfect AND shafted = awesome mix of OVER THE TOP perfectness. I love it. Nobody could do the series better than Shaft, I hope that they keep up the pace, for animes that go OVER THE TOP will become the ones that will be remembered by the future generations 😉

    Also NEEDLESS… hmmm. Hard choice. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched only one episode, but I feel as if it’s trying too hard on being over the top. It’s important, but you have it, or you don’t. Needless doesn’t (TTGL already took that away) and it could be a fien series, but it’s trying too hard. It feels forced. Meh.

    Other than that, all the other series are pretty much meh (Except Umineko <3) I don't like moe and harem too much. Fanservice is fine if presented properly, but … too much fanservice in this season, to few story and originality.

    Bakemonogatari, Umineko and Canaan are the winners, in that order 🙂 imo

  8. 8 Tamad July 17, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Ocweall great early review. Your praises and hates remind me that I still have a lot of series to start this season.

    The only two points that I disagree with are Sora no Manimani and Kanamemo. I absulutely loved the first two episodes of Sora no Manimani, and I think that this show is what slice-of-life should be. The characters are fun, the jokes are great, and there’s an interesting layer of backstory that they may or may not jump in to. I just felt that I had to defend it because you consider Kanamemo to be a better SOL show than this. I found Kanamemo to be what you found Sora no Manimani, flat. The characters designs are cute, but their personalities didn’t click with me. There hasn’t been one joke or gag that really made me even chuckle, and the story failed to hook me. Maybe it’s just my inner astronomy nerd being biased, but to each their own.

    I’m glad they we have the same opinion when it comes to NEEDLESS though, as it’s a very enjoyable show BECAUSE of the fact that it’s cliche and over the top.You pretty much pointed out every reason as to why I like NEEDLESS. Kudos to you, good sir.

    As for Umineko… let’s just say that there are advantages advantages and disadvantages to being a VN reader. I’m a first time viewer, so we’re on completely different sides of the coin.

  9. 9 Tamad July 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    And yeah, I butchered “overall”.

  10. 10 deathkillz July 18, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Well yea, personal taste in humour differs from person to person. I just prefer the fast paced SoL comedy that Kanamemo shows as opposed to a slow moving theme from Sora no Manimani.

    And If I do predict wrong and first time viewers for Umineko are actually enjoying it than that’s all good too. Lets hope you guys will consider playing the game after watching it as by then, it would only add to your enjoyment of the title (by a LOT) :p

  11. 11 RedWing July 19, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I think you were too harsh on Tokyo, it’s obvious that the actual earthquake wouldn’t be of importance, whereas the situation afterwards would. However even after watching ep 2, I am not impressed with this show.

    Loving Canaan, great show so far.
    Princess Lover is a show I expected to hate, it being a harem show and all, but If it continues to have this solid story/character development then it might turn out to be a very good show.
    Not a fan of yuri stuff so no comment there.

  12. 12 Camario July 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    I’m also quite happy with Umineko so far, thanks to being a first time viewer. I think playing the game and making constant comparisons would ruin my fun at this point, maybe I’ll do that much later.

  13. 13 Kaioshin Sama July 20, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Pray it doesn’t end up like Eden…..pray it doesn’t end up a solid show, but left on a cliffhanger for a movie to pick up on?

    Well after reading through all of this I pretty much like everything Deathie hates and don’t care much for whatever he likes with the exception of Canaan and Needless. Most of the complaints for these shows are also strike me as unreasonable in the sense that they are not things I would generally hold shows at such extreme faults for. I also believe it’s rather early in the season to come to such quick and firm decisions on the majority of what is listed here. A fundamental difference in thought I would say.

    I guess to put it bluntly it’s absolutely not the kind of article I would have written. Just proof for ya’ll that team bloggers don’t always agree on everything I suppose. Though secretely I’m not really partial to any series that came out this season with the exception of Needless. I think it may end up being my only long term keeper.

  14. 14 deathkillz July 21, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    @ RedWing ~ If you think I am harsh on it, you should hear about Klash and Sky’s thoughts on the matter ^^’

    Still I am of the same opinion even after the second episode. The girl is an idiot and a bitch.

    @ Camario ~ well it is expected. Hope you do decide to look up on the game after the anime (though the anime would be spoiling so much more in a half hearted way…).

    @ Kaio ~ “Most of the complaints for these shows are also strike me as unreasonable in the sense that they are not things I would generally hold shows at such extreme faults for.”

    Same could easily be said for the opposite with some tweeking ^^’

    Neways, this is supposed to be an early first impressions post so there is nothing that says my opinion won’t change over time. Taishou Yakyuu Musume for one is getting better and better with each episode 🙂

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July 2009



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