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Aylinn



Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 1537

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:10 pm Reply with quote
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Watched CLAMP's Kobato and found it too slow for my taste. It is a very simplistic slice-of-life story about a cheerful girl who must heal people's broken hearts to grant her wish. This would be an excellent show for a child as it has no objectionable content and has a very upbeat tone, but I think many adults will be bored by its slow progression.

I think the slow pace is not such a bad thing as there are some other things about Kobato that are mediocre or average at best. The main character is one of the problems. She is too much of a klutz. She makes a fool of herself in every episode and as a result is a bit too far on the pathetic side. The remaining characters are not better. The seemingly cold hearted guy with whom the heroine falls in love, despite the fact there is a really nice guy around, has nothing that can distinguish him from thousands of other characters of this sort that appear in shojo. The plot is generic too and the particular stories have a conspicuous lack of an interesting ideas and execution. On the whole it's quite forgettable series and, probably, will be remembered only because it's Clamp's series.
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Mylene
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Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 2759
Location: Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:24 pm Reply with quote
I just finished up Fate/Zero. It was good overall, although it had some pretty serious pacing issues. I really disliked all of the epilogue stuff though. I feel like it should have ended with the scene of Kiritsugu spoiler[pulling Shirou out of the rubble and saying "Thank you" over and over again]. I guess I'm just not a fan of epilogues of that variety, particularly when they take up the majority of the episode--if it's going to happen I like it when it's brief snippits without much dialogue.

While I ended up a little underwhelmed with the series as a whole, I'm going to go bankrupt buying figures from it one of these days. I just love so many of the character designs, sometimes more than I like the characters themselves.
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Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:33 pm Reply with quote
Aylinn wrote:
I think the slow pace is not such a bad thing as there are some other things about Kobato that are mediocre or average at best. The main character is one of the problems. She is too much of a klutz. She makes a fool of herself in every episode and as a result is a bit too far on the pathetic side. The remaining characters are not better. The seemingly cold hearted guy with whom the heroine falls in love, despite the fact there is a really nice guy around, has nothing that can distinguish him from thousands of other characters of this sort that appear in shojo. The plot is generic too and the particular stories have a conspicuous lack of an interesting ideas and execution. On the whole it's quite forgettable series and, probably, will be remembered only because it's Clamp's series.
You hit the nail on the head. I have really enjoyed some other slower-paced shows, but the individual stories in each episode for Kobato were not compelling. I don't know if this was a translation error, but Kobato was supposed to be healing broken hearts. In many of the episodes, the problem that Kobato fixed was too superficial to cause a broken heart. Maybe a slightly hurt heart.
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 13488
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:09 am Reply with quote
I reached a kind of cool personal viewing milestone after watching Libary War: The Wings of Revolution at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema last night. It is the 55th anime movie/special I have seen to completion, but what makes it a little different was that I have now seen more anime movie/specials in a theatre than I have via other means. I'll be adding to that proportion later on today when I see Asura and Rainbow Fireflies. Certainly, watching 10 Ghibli films that came through Toronto last winter as part of a retrospective really helped boost those numbers.

As for Library Wars the movie: meh. It's about an hour 45 minutes long and I'd say a good 1 hour 30 minutes of that is chit-chat. Oddly enough, I had seen Blood-C: The Last Dark the night before which is also a Production I.G movie and it too seemed to be about an hour thirty minutes of not terribly interesting talking in an hour forty-five time frame. I have to astericks that observation, however, because I was constantly falling asleep during it (which wasn't entirely the fault of the movie - it didn't start until close to 10:30 at night and I'm an old fart) so maybe there was more action than I think, I was just snoozing through it. Blood-C looks like a million bucks, though. The vehicles in it approach photo-realism.
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Tris8



Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 2113
Location: Where the rain is.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:53 am Reply with quote
I've finished Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo. It was very good, though there are a few things I think they could've done better. I wish it would've gone more into spoiler[who or what exactly] Gankutsuou is. spoiler[An alien life form it seems, but more info on its history and origin] could've answered some questions I had later on. Like in the ending... spoiler[what happened to Gankutsuou? We know that Gankutsuou doesn't die when the host dies, but did it die because the contract was voided? Or is it buried alive, and again must wait 1000 years for a new host? And now that I mention the Gankutsuou disappearing part... the way that occurred seemed kinda lame. I may be imagining this but because of the way Albert embraced the Count and his blushing all the time when he saw the Count it also seemed like yaoi bait. Edmund's release from Gankutsuou just seemed too convenient. How did whispering a few words reverse everything. His death though, was an unexpected good twist. I had completely forgotten that the Count broke off the sword when Franz stabbed him.]

Albert is only 15 for most of the series?! These are the only character designs I've ever seen where people actually look older than they are. Well, knowing Albert's age explains a lot. For more than half the series I thought he was at least 18, so his younger age explains a lot of his naivete.
When Albert and Eugenie spoiler[ran away together from her wedding to Andrea I was so happy I could've cheered. They were undeserving of all the crud that got dumped on them, and seeing them together made me so glad that the most important thing was going right. No thanks to Eugenie's horrible beyond words father.] Wow. So many terrible terrible fathers. I don't know who's worst, spoiler[Eugenie's father who treats her like property and tries to sell her, Albert's father who shoots both Albert and his mother, or Valentine's father who attempts to murder his illegitimate child at birth and has no regard for his legitimate children.]

Love how the beginning of each ep is in French. "Madame, Monsieur, bonsoir." It creates an excellent segue to the beginning of each episode. But I really didn't like the opening song at first. I felt it didn't fit very well with the series and I didn't like the singer's voice. I'm still not crazy about the guy's voice, but dang if I haven't done a 180 on liking the song and how it fits with the story. The lyrics and tone take on deeper significance with every passing episode. And the ending song is pretty kick-ass.

The visuals were great, from the art style to the mecha battles to sumptuous shots of a space filled with planets and stars. This is a great series to look at with a story filled with intrigue and revenge. Worth anybody's while to see. The only thing that could have made it better spoiler[(besides fixing the way he was transformed back in to Edmund) would have been if he had gotten his full revenge and gotten away with it] Twisted Evil Yep, I'm evil.
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NamasteCSK



Joined: 18 Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Somerset, UK

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:12 pm Reply with quote
[EDIT: No listing. Put reasons. -TK]
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Blood-
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 13488
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:30 pm Reply with quote
Caught Asura and Rainbow Fireflies at an animation film festival on the weekend. Asura was a gruelling watch due to the subject matter (I won't spoil it for you if you don't know anything/much about the title), but ultimately a very worthwhile watch. Just don't go into it with the idea that is will be a light-hearted romp and chucklefest is all. Although if you are an incredibly warped individual, perhaps you would find it so. Drop dead gorgeous to look at - so glad I saw it on the big screen. I'm not hugely optimistic about the chances of it getting picked up for a physical release in NA. Doesn't seem to be Funi's cup of tea, so that really only leaves Sentai, I guess. Anyway, if for some bizarre reason this title is going to be playing at a theatre near you, do not wait, do not walk, run - RUN! - to watch it.

Rainbow Fireflies was a lot easier on the nerves but I didn't dig the character designs. They seemed to be half-formed to me; deliberately so, but I never did warm up the the style. Story's a'ight. I dug the ending quite a bit actually. Although not a fan of the character design, the background artwork is quite lovely. Worth a look if you are okay with slice of life pace and story line.
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Jon182



Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:58 pm Reply with quote
I started watching Gunslinger Girls:Il Teatrino after finishing the first season. I find it a bit jarring, in terms of art and music from the first season. I was also surprised by the ending of season one, and the beginning of season 2 when spoiler[Angelica shows up alive.] Overall I’m enjoying the show.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 1787
Location: Kyoto, Japan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:52 pm Reply with quote
Finished watching Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere S1 today. I'll admit I enjoyed it much more than I expected, most of the fights were pretty amazing. The size of those girls' boobs make me flinch (seriously, those girls are going to have serious back problems in a not so distant future) but it was OK, I guess. I'd watch S2 if I had it.

Will continue with Tasogare Otome x Amnesia, which I started last week and left at episode 3. I really like the twilight-sunset theme and Yuuko is wonderful, I can't wait to watch the rest.
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dragoneyes001



Joined: 07 Feb 2009
Posts: 873

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:35 pm Reply with quote
just watched A letter to Momo excellent movie. well worth the viewing. slice of life/supernatural anime about a girl after the death of her father and moving to a fairly secluded island town. this movie I'll rate among the classics the characters were simply that well represented. the animation was very nice and the story was captivating.
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3009
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:23 pm Reply with quote
Finally finished watching the second season of Sekirei tonight. For a booby show, it's certainly one of the better ones I've seen. The characters are each attractive in their own way, and Kuu is just adorable! The costumes are attractive and distinctive enough for each character too. Animation wise, I didn't spot anything too terrible, and the fight scenes were done pretty well.

The show also has a pretty serviceable plot, and there are good reasons for the Sekirei to be fighting, and they all seem to genuinely care about each other and Minato. I thought the show struck a nice balance of comedy and drama, like the ongoing gag with Tsukiumi and Musubi competing to see who'd be the best wife, but at the same time I felt it handled the more serious parts of the story pretty well. The main villain was pretty over the top, but considering the show has a pretty daft premise when you think about it, an evil megalomaniac super-villain in a tower isn't so bad and it made for good comic relief. The characters do all develop over the course of the show as well, and they genuinely seem to care about each other by the end. 7.5/10 overall.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1710

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:12 pm Reply with quote
I've gotten a bit behind lately on Space Bros so I'm going to try and catch up on that tonight. And one of my friends was nice enough to send me a CR pass so I'll spend tomorrow/Saturday getting ahead (for me) in other shows so I won't have as many distractions next week when I work on all my school projects.
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errinundra
Enjoying the time of EVEEnjoying the time of EVE


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 2422
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:20 pm Reply with quote
Tari Tari

Reason for Watching: Bamboo Dong's recommendations in The Stream; it's ANN's highest rated 2012 series available on Crunchyroll that has concluded (I don't like watching episodes once a week), that I haven't seen, and wasn't produced by a certain company I'm boycotting (and which is generating much acrimonious debate elsewhere in the forums).

Synopsis: After being made unwelcome in her school's highly regarded choir, spirited Konatsu Miyamoto decides to form her own choral club. Despite a litany of setbacks - including a hostile vice-principal, rivalries with the established choir, a property developer hell bent on closing their school and the obligatory personal problems of the members themselves - the club manages to create their own show and, in the process, drag a reluctant school and local community along with them.


The choral club (l-r): Sawa, Taichi, Konatsu, "Wien" and Wakana.
The anime is at its best when Sawa and Wakana are foregrounded.


Tari Tari is a sunny, optimistic confection without any lingering or unpleasant aftertaste. The first thing that struck me, though, is that the detailed, pretty backgrounds and the character designs scream PA Works in general and Hanasaku Iroha in particular. That's fine, given that Hanasaku Iroha was such a revelation last year. Problem is, Tari Tari simply doesn't have any characters of the calibre of Ohana, nor do the relationships between any of the five choir club members ever achieve the complexity or emotional resonance between Ohana and the people in her life.

The story begins with Konatsu, a diminutive ball of get-up-and-go, who is initially very appealing thanks to her character design and her spunk but, like so much else in the series, she somehow manages to become superficial seeming quite quickly. By episode four she and the series had become decidedly ho-hum. Thankfully, from episode five the series moves its focus onto the other two girls in the club: a reluctant Wakana Sakai who carries a burden of guilt from the death of her mother; and the girlish, equestrian Sawa Okita who harbours unrealistic ambitions. The two quickly overshadow Konatsu in appeal, so much so that the show is always at its best when either of those two are the centre of attention. It's not just that they have ISSUES. They are successful as characters because they are both located firmly within their individual families. Wakana, in particular, has a touching relationship with her father who probably has the best moment in the entire series when Wakana decides to sell her piano. I've always believed that if you can understand where a person fits in with their family, you've gone a long way in getting a handle on them. In fiction, it helps give a character depth. Konatsu and the two boys have only fleeting and shallow family interactions and it shows in their comparatively limited development and, hence, appeal. Nevertheless, Tari Tari grows a beard from episode five, so I strongly suggest people persevere until then before giving it away.

The Vice-Principle, Naoko Takakura, spends much of the series doing her upmost to thwart the plans of Konatsu and her friends. Straight after Kurau: Phantom Memory here is another of those severe, red-lipped anime women with exaggerated Louise Brooks bobs. And yes, like Ayaka Steiger, Abelia, Limelda Jorg et al, there's a good woman beneath the repression just waiting to be redeemed.

Given the series is about a choir, it seems pretty much devoid of the club's music and, when it does get aired, it is disappointingly bland. Wakana's song - so central to the plot - is unremarkable when we finally get to hear it. Tari Tari is no Kids on the Slope. An odd thing with the character designs, though. They reflect the current fashion where the cheek lines are angular - a trait probably popularised by K-ON!. It may be just me but the style has me picturing them as old women with their sagging cheeks, something that sits incongruously with intended moe effect.

One last thing. Tari Tari has a very familiar setting - Kamakura and Enoshima - which it shares with The Vision of Escaflowne, Elfen Lied, and Squid Girl, among others. Is this the most frequently used location in anime after Tokyo?

One final last thing. The title is a reference to the tense of the two verbs used in each of the episode titles, ie the present participle. I suppose the inference is that one should live for the moment.

Ranking: decent.

Dallos

Reason for Watching: I don't make it public but in "My Anime" I categorise every anime I've seen by the year of its first release. I had only seen one anime from 1983 (Barefoot Gen). Dallos was also, according to the ANN encyclopaedia, the first ever anime to be released as an OVA. It's directed by Mamoru Oshii (Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell, The Sky Crawlers) whom I greatly admire.

Synopsis: In the future the moon provides essential raw materials for earth's energy needs yet its inhabitants are treated cruelly by the authorities on earth. After witnessing the arbitrary brutality of the lunar governor and the bravery of a rebel leader, young Shun decides to throw his lot with the rebels. In the abandoned Dallos - a gigantic relic of a former civilisation - the rebels convert mining equipment into mobile armoured suits for their fight against their oppressors. Nobody heeds the warnings of the elders that Dallos might be far more powerful than anyone imagines.

Despite the reputation of its director and its historical place in anime this is an undistinguished anime with a mundane plot and dull characters. It is severely limited by the conventions of its time and, to a lesser degree, the sparseness of its budget. The hero - Shun - is a regular enthusiastic young guy seen so often in the 80s, with a shrinking violet female friend, conventional parents, a sage-like grandfather and an earnest action-oriented rebel leader friend. The only notable character for the time is the villain - Alex the lunar governor - whose behaviour is so campy and ambiguous it feels as if he belongs in something made at least ten years later.

There are hints of Oshii's unique vision but it mostly lacks his otherworldly, contemplative moments that I love so much. Think of the Major wandering the canals in the first Ghost in the Shell movie, or the Detective Matsui's exploration of the deserted, crumbling streets in the first Patlabor movie. In Dallos you get glimpses in the portentous images of the head of Dallos and in the final scenes depicting Shun's trip by lunar hovercraft so his grandfather can get one last view of earth. The bitter irony as Shun stands among the tombstones with the earth above is pure Oshii but there's almost two hours of dross before you get there.


Lunar Governor Alex contemplating the rebellion (left) and Shun contemplating Earth (right).

Ranking: so-so

Mars of Destruction aka Hametsu No Mars

Reason for Watching: It's only twenty minutes long and it's rated as the second worst anime ever in ANN's bayesian rankings. If I'm going to watch crappy anime by choice I'd rather it not be 52 episodes of SD Gundam Force.

Synopsis: After a research ship burns up in the earth's atmosphere on re-entry after a trip to Mars, humanoid creatures start creating mayhem in Tokyo. A special force of teenagers in powersuits created specifically to combat the threat struggles to handle the escalating situation.

Now I haven't rated this as "worst ever" or even "awful". To earn those sorts of rankings a title must be outstandingly incompetent, incoherent or reprehensible. Yes, it is memorably incompetent: there is minimal animation of the action scenes; the direction is limp; the dialogue obvious, the sound effects execrable and pretty much every image and idea is ripped off from somewhere else. If you want to see something so bad it's funny then this has its moments but, for the most part, it's no worse than wooden. On the up side, it is only incoherent in patches and it's mostly harmless fun. The music is passable because you can't go too far wrong using exerpts from familiar classical pieces. I note that the director, producer and lead male seiyuu never worked in anime again after this 2005 turkey. Perhaps they died of shame?


Even the character designs look as if they're dying of shame.

Rating: bad, but it was worth watching if only to give thanks for what anime does do right.


Last edited by errinundra on Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:55 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Jon182



Joined: 02 Oct 2012
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:43 pm Reply with quote
I finished watching both seasons of Gunslinger Girls. I enjoyed the characterization, but I would have liked a more coherent plot, as opposed to a number of self contained episodes. The first season was definitely more polished but the second grew on me after a while.

I also enjoyed the music in both seasons. I thought the music in GSG2 sounded familiar, and was pleasantly surprised to find the ending in season 2 was composed by Jun Maeda and sung by Lia. I kept waiting for the girl with the strange speech patterns to show up, or maybe a magical girl, which made for a strane experience.
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EmbraceMe



Joined: 17 Dec 2010
Posts: 1340
Location: Lost in the middle of nowhere.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:44 pm Reply with quote
I started and finished 08th Mobile Suit Team with my friend yesterday in one sitting. It was a very satisfying watch because of all the "Mobile Suit realism" in it. The scenes delve into spoiler[how the machinery worked and demonstrated the difficulties of maintaining a Mobile Suit] -- these were some of the most wonderful scenes I've seen in any Gundam series and I really enjoyed this aspect of it. I was never a big U.C. fan but after watching Unicorn and sampling various other U.C. timeline series, 08th is definitely one of my favorite Gundam series. The action was great largely due to the show demonstrating the strategic attacks by the 08th team against their enemies. I really appreciate how the show focuses more on technical aspects rather than an "ace pilot defeats all enemies" theme. Overall, the show was extremely satisfying and I really loved it; it inspires me to delve into more of the U.C. timeline. I think I have the original Gundam series and movies, 0080 War, Zeta series, Stardust Memories, IGLOO, Victory, and the remaining Unicorn OVAs left on my list.

Before my watch of the 08th Mobile Suit Team, I had watched Gundam F91 with my friend. There's nothing much to say about the movie besides that it crammed too many things at once and it affected my understanding of the events going on. That was solved when I discussed various parts of the movie with my friend as we watched it. I enjoyed the movie but on a critical level it was a fast paced and rushed movie. If it had gotten a TV series treatment many things would had been fleshed out better and I would definitely enjoy it a lot more than I did.
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