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Location: New York state.
|With my recent binge into anything related to Lupin the 3rd, I've been watching the second TV series of the franchise from the 70s. Currently forty-one episodes into the show and I'm still enjoying the comedy as the series has been good at keeping its capers with Lupin's gang diverse and not feeling repetitive. My only beef with the series thus far is that the series seems to portray Zenigata at his most incompetent on most occasions as a number of episodes in the show seem to treat him more like he's a complete buffoon instead of a competent detective whose obsession with capturing Lupin drives him into goofing up on arresting the thief.|
|Just finished Kaichou wa Maid-sama. I'm middleground on the overall series. Misaki has a very pretty design and I love how the script forces the characters to cosplay for no reason whatsoever. The first episodes were very well done in presenting Misaki as a strong and independent character. Especially episode 5, which I already described in an earlier post. Only for the following 15 episodes to throw that down the window and make her into Usui's damsel-in-distress.
The spoiler[beach] episodes were particularly infuriating. The scene in which spoiler[he grabs her and kisses her on the middle of the back -albeit incredibly sexy- gave way to the most stupid and possessive reasoning I've ever seen and ended in her not being able to enjoy her vacation]. I really wanted to kick that asshole right in the groin.
But I think it got a lot better as soon as the spoiler[rival] got introduced and the last five or so episodes were. Not as great as the first ones, but they gained a lot in sweetness and emotion. At some point I found myself rooting for spoiler[the rival] rather than spoiler[Usui], but I still felt satisfied with the ending
I'm now marathoning Book of Bantorra, I'm around episode 8 and I think it's pretty cool. I must admit I wanted to watch it because the main character reminded me a lot of Kanda from D. Grayman -I dig that character style SO much- so I was slightly disappointed to discover she was a girl, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless. The first arc was really good and the one with the spoiler[book-eater] was just as good. It's nothing to make home about, but I really like the concept of the books and the librarians. I'm looking forward to more
Location: Brisbane, Australia
I think I mentioned in a current playing anime's thread that male leads in shoujo titles tend to be pretty possesive, Maid-sama was one of the titles I was thinking of. Just as females in male centered shows tend to be pretty physically abusive.
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!
Location: Toronto, Canada
|Hit another personal viewing milestone: Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse is the 300th anime TV series I have seen to completion. The vast majority of those titles have all come in just under 4 years. I would have been happier if the milestone had landed on a better show (I rated Muv-Luv "Decent") but whatyagonnado?
Too much emphasis on harem stuff and not enough bug-hunting for my taste.
Location: with my heart in Sydney
|As an exercise, I have figured out everything I have watched since the start of August 2011 (i.e. over the past 17 months that I’ve been away from home).
Angel Beats! (TV)
Boys Over Flowers (TV), seen one and a half times
Casshan: Robot Hunter (OVA)
Dennou Coil (TV)
Eden of the East (TV), seen twice
Fate/stay night (TV)
The Garden of Sinners (movie series), seen multiple times
Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack! (OVA)
His and Her Circumstances (TV)
Honey and Clover (TV)
Honey and Clover II (TV)
Jarinko Chie (movie)
Kaleido Star (TV and OVAs)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (movie), seen multiple times
Kimagure Orange Road (TV)
Kimagure Orange Road (OVAs)
Kimagure Orange Road: The Movie (movie)
Living for the Day after Tomorrow (TV)
Magic Night Rayearth (TV)
Magic Night Rayearth 2 (TV)
Mai Mai Miracle (movie), seen twice
Maison Ikkoku (TV)
Marmalade Boy (TV)
Marmalade Boy Movie (movie)
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV, 2009 season), seen twice
My Neighbour Totoro (movie), seen multiple times
Oban Star-Racers (TV)
Phoenix 2772 — Space Firebird (movie)
Sailor Moon (TV)
Sailor Moon R (TV)
Sailor Moon S (TV)
Sugar Sugar Rune (TV), seen about half
Revolutionary Girl Utena (TV)
Starship Operators (TV)
The Story of Saiunkoku (TV), Season 1
The Tatami Galaxy (TV and OVA shorts)
Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW (movie)
Whisper of the Heart (movie), seen multiple times
Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl (TV), the 40 episodes that were released by AnimEigo
From Up On Poppy Hill (movie)
Like the Clouds, Like the Wind (TV special), seen twice
Night of Taneyamagahara (movie)
Nurse Angel Ririka SOS (TV), seen almost all
Warriors of the Wind (movie)
A number of these were favourites. Things I had seen before, wanted to see again, and still adore. (I didn’t fall out of love with Maison Ikkoku, Karekano, Whisper of the Heart, for example.)
What were the stand-outs that were new to me? I hate to say that some of the most recent things were the most impressive, but really Dennou Coil, The Tatami Galaxy and Garden of Sinners were three of my favourite things I saw. In fact each of them was absolutely amazing.
Maybe the best single discovery however was not a recent thing: Boys Over Flowers. It easily belongs on my lit of fave things ever. Relationship melodrama done beautifully. And educational. spoiler[(Apparently attempted rape is not a deal-breaker. Who knew?)]
My biggest disappointments would be two. Firstly, Sugar Sugar Rune, because what I’d read of the manga was engrossing and atmospheric right from the start whereas the first half of the anime at least is the most unmemorable fluff. And secondly, Magic Knight Rayearth. Simply because it is so well-known I was expecting more, somehow. Probably grossly unfair of me.
|I started watching the Tenchi Muyo OVA's. It's a trip down memory lane, revisiting an old series and seeing how well/or not, it's aged. I've enjoyed watching it from a technical side as well, looking at the difference between hand drawn cels and modern CGI.
It's been a while, so I'm having trouble remembering the difference between the OVA, TV series and side series. I seem to recall Tenchi In Tokyo and GXP were not that great.
|shamisen the great
|Finished Boogiepop Phantom and Boogiepop and Others. I feel like this is a case of the final product not being as good as the sum of its parts. There were so many good individual stories but the main narrative felt incomplete. I know it is based on a series of novels, but I wish they had included some more information. spoiler[For instance I didn't realize that the female doctor was the serial killer from five years prior until I read about it online.] Despite my criticisms, I don't feel like I wasted my time. The atmosphere was good and there were definately some interesting concepts.|
|I just watched Level E and although i really liked it,it definitely didn't live up to its potential.The begging of Level E was brilliant,on one there had was a great character interaction and the main plot itself was quite absorbing and full of tension.It payed homage to the old sci-fi films from 50s,mixed with some dose of conspiracy theories and even black humor.But with the ending of episode 4 the show started losing its initial energy.The ending was so lazy,unfunny and to a certain degree insulting to my intelligence.I know that the whole point of that scene was to make me feel like I was trolled,but you can do that in a different way(episode 3 and episode 13 agree with this assertion),you don't have to resort to one the easiest tricks in the book.From then on I was going into an episode thinking " They are gonna some shitty ending aren't they"and that sort of thinking destroyed the episodes themselves,which now weren't nearly as engaging as those before.That is until last two episodes which were really awesome and series also had great ending too.
The animation was decent,I can see the artists were trying to experimentise with the background art,there are dots which appear on screen that are suppose to make show look alienated and strange and episode 11 was reminiscent of Serial Experiments Lain.Unfortunately the show had horrendous CG animation ,it is up there with Fate/Stay Night by awfulness .It is really horrible.
So yeah this anime was fun and although it had its problems ,everyone should see it.
Location: Nampa, Idaho
|i'm watching Higurahi When They Cry, because i feel the need to be a bit melancholy and sadistic. i'm also watching because i can|
|I felt a bit out of the loop as since I have not seen anything 'current' from the past 2/3 seasons. I hardly watch anything really these days.
I picked up Sword Art Online, I don't know if it was a good or a bad choice and if there was anything better (I can imagine there being an amount of worse shows). it is all right. I still have 5 episodes to go, I really liked it until halfway through, not thrilled about this spoiler[new game world], but it is decent and despite being cliche, at least it still keeps me interested enough.
Location: some town near Amsterdam
|Just finished watching My-HiME and oh my god, it was so messed up. Not at all what I was expecting. When I was watching the first couple of episodes I thought that it was going to be an anime about girls that fought with supernatural beings that were tied to them, but then it morphed into something that was incredibly twisted and very very messed up.
If you decide to watch this and after the first couple of episodes decide to give up because it's too slow, STICK WITH IT.
Location: The deep south
|I've been watching Mawaru Penguindrum a few episodes per day for the past few days. I'm through the first 6 episodes, and so far it's been a pretty impressive show. It looks like director Kunihiko Ikuhara still has his touch as Penguindrum definitely is Utena-like in many ways.|
|I just finished watching Berserk and I quite enjoyed it although the ending was rather unexpected. I did a little more research on it and came to find out that the anime only covers a small, early arc of the manga. However, I still enjoyed the anime and I might read the manga later since things were really getting interesting near the end.|
Enjoying the time of EVE
Location: Melbourne, Oz
|Eden of the East franchise
Reason for watching: The Best First Episode tournament re-sparked my interest in the original series. Coincidentally, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation streamed the series on its iview service at the same time as the tournament and, although the screen resolution - intended only for iphones - was dreadful, I found myself hooked by the premise and entertained by the redoubtable lead, Akira Takizawa. And then, just this month Madman Entertainment released a complete collection, containing the TV series and all three movies, including the compilation movie. Using money I got for Christmas I trotted into JB Hi Fi on Boxing Day (Australia's equivalent to America's Thanksgiving sales) and picked it up for just over $42. Nice.
Eden of the East TV series
Synopsis: A shadowy figure, Mr Outside, has used his untold wealth to create twelve Noblesse Oblige mobile phones that each contain ¥10 billion of credit and a link to a concierge named Juiz who seems to have almost unlimited power to near instantaneously carry out any order from the phones' users (named Seleção). Mr Outside has chosen the eleven Seleção (monitored by a twelfth known as the Supporter) to save Japan from its current malaise, giving them great latitude with their plans. There are rules, though, and only one person can win. Those that use up their money, break the rules or fall by the wayside face annihilation. Through the eyes of a young woman - Saki Morimi - we follow the progress of one of the Seleção - Akira Takizawa - who begins the tale outside America's White House, naked and suffering from amnesia. With the help of a group of university nerds and their software Eden of the East, a shut-in nicknamed Underpants and 20,000 naked NEETs, Takizawa tries to unravel who he is, what Noblesse Oblige means, why Japan has been subject to unexplained missile attacks, and to forestall the crazy plans of his fellow Seleção.
The first thing that must be said about Eden of the East is that it has a sensational premise. It could be argued that the Noblesse Oblige phone and its ever obliging Juiz are the true driving force behind the plot and its appeal. What would you do with ¥10 billion and the threat of extinction hanging over you? It's a fascinating concept that is explored over the eleven episodes of the series. With such a charismatic mobile phone and concierge, however, writer and director Kenji Kamiyama faced the problem of creating characters who could match that appeal. Only with Takizawa does he manage to achieve this. Takizawa is a novel character - while there is always an air of unreality about him, his basic decency and optimism shine through. His ability to think laterally (and usually humorously) gets him out of one scrape after another, all the while keeping one step ahead of his rivals. All the same, the goofy unreality of his character design, the fantastical situation, along with his unpredictable behaviour do create a distance between character and viewer. Even though I never felt that I got inside his head, he has become one of my favourite male anime characters, although not in the same league as Kraft Lawrence (Spice and Wolf) or Ginko (Mushi-Shi).
Akira Takizawa and the Noblesse Oblige mobile phone's Juiz are the the standout personalities in the franchise.
The point of view character - Saki Morimi - is, however, one of the series' weaknesses, something that is, perhaps unintentionally, reflected in her frumpy character design (I am no fan of Chica Umina). She has no meaningful role in the plot and seems merely to serve a josei romantic role in an otherwise seinen story. Remember, the series was originally broadcast in the noitaminA slot, which avowedly aims to attract a josei audience. There's nothing wrong with having romance in an anime - I've seen some rippers lately - but Saki is a feeble character. It's so disappointing when you consider some of the amazing women Kenji Kamiyama has given us elsewhere. Just think of Balsa from Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.
Of the others, while all the characters involved in the Eden of the East project (I'm talking about the software project, not the series) are likeable, none are interesting. By contrast, the Seleção are unlikeable (with one possible exception, the Johnny Hunter, although my knowledge from the movies may be intruding here) but they are much less cartoonish.
Once the introduction of Takizawa and Saki is out of the way the plot of the series is largely structured around Takizawa's episodic encounters with other Seleção. Through these encounters he learns about himself and the game devised by Mr Outside. Therein (after the character of Saki) lies the other weakness of the series. While the other Seleção are mildly interesting, they seem venal and inconsequential when compared with the majesty of the Noblesse Oblige concept and the awesome concierge, Juiz. The overall weak characterisation, Takizawa aside, diminishes the power the series could have. In short, the execution isn't up to the conception.
Nevertheless it's a fascinating failure. Its grand ideas, plot twists and the memorable Akira Takizawa more than make up for its shortcomings. Since my previous viewing (scroll down) I've upgraded its rating. I did say I may rank it higher if I had the chance to watch it at a higher resolution and, as a thriller, it definitely benefits from being marathoned.
Rating: very good
Air Communication compilation movie - listed in the ANN encyclopaedia as Higashi no Eden Sōshū-hen Air Communication (movie)
I actually watched this last but it kind of fits mentioning it here. The movie is a compilation of the TV series with a hindsight commentary from the in-show Eden of the East software development characters, including Underpants. Some mysteries are explained while major plot points are highlighted. The film is sub only, which did give me a new persective in that I have only watched the series and other films via their American dubs. One surprise for me was that, prior to meeting Takizawa, Saki had been in love with her brother-in-law, Ryosuke Morimi. In the scene with Takizawa by the sea after her disastrous job interview, her confession of her love for Ryosuke is blunted in the dub but made very stark in the sub. Until I saw the compilation I missed it altogether. Knowing that now makes Takizawa's kiss all the more an impressive response.
Anyway, the compilaton movie is a step backward. It doesn't even benefit from its brevity. Too many inconsequential scenes have been left in (but, then again, the series is loaded with them) and the editorial commentary from the characters is mundane at best.
King of Eden
Synopsis: The TV series ends with Takizawa making an ambitious request to Juiz. This movie explores some implications of the request: Takizawa has been rendered amnesiac in America again while rumours, perhaps true, are spreading that he is the love-child of former Prime Minister Iijuma. Takizawa's most formidable rival Seleção, number 1, has tracked down the whereabouts of the Juiz servers, forcing Mr Outside to relocate them onto a convoy of constantly moving trucks - one truck for each of the Noblesse Oblige concierge servers. Number 1 begins to target the trucks with missiles in order to remove his rivals from the game. Meanwhile Takizawa and Saki make discoveries about Takizawa's past, despite close attention from the other Seleção. Aid comes to them from an unexpected quarter.
Of the original material releases in the franchise, this, at just over an hour, is the most disposable. It provides little plot development and explains almost nothing of the mysteries behind the game devised by Mr Outside. You could skip this entirely, go straight to Paradise Lost and not miss anything really important. That said, it's not totally without merit or interest. In a series that is largely devoid of strong female characters, this film does give us insight into its best two: Kuroha, the murderous Johnny hunter, and Juiz, the AI behind the Noblesse Oblige phones. Kuroha Diana Shiratori is something of a revelation in this movie. Can a psychopath be redeemed? King of Eden suggests she can. Mightily impressed by Takizawa in their encounter in episode seven of the series, Kuroha had seemingly moved out of the spotlight. In actuality she had given up her crusade to rid the world of sexual predators and secretly watches over Takizawa. Her final sacrifice on his behalf is one of the highlights of the entire franchise. If Takizawa is the protagonist and Saki the point of view character, then in this movie Kuroha is the unexpected heroine.
Kuroha, Seleção #11, who has a penchant for emasculation, has her redeeming moment in King of Eden.
The various AI Juizes communicating with the surviving Seleção, are another surprise. Their interactions with their charges become more amusing as their personalities develop. It becomes apparent that the concierges aren't neutral towards the Seleção they are assisting. In one extreme case, the Juiz for Seleção number six utterly loathes him - with good reason as we discover. (Why is it that most of the Seleção are creeps?) I wonder if this is an innovation in the American dub? I must watch the franchise with the subbed version. It's a welcome development
Other than these developments along with some back story on Takizawa (which becomes more meaningful in the next movie) there isn't a lot else interesting going on in King of Eden. Putting Takizawa back in America (and losing his memories to boot) seem like a ploy inserted just to give the movie some initial momentum of its own and to create an emotional crisis for Saki. Both are remedied easily and in no way progress the important elements of the plot. If I were cynical I'd say the movie's primary function was to milk the popularity of the series.
Synopsis: Takizawa returns from America with the question of his father's identity and his role in the missile attacks the centre of attention for the Japanese. Seleção #1, Daiju Mononobe, is determined to win Mr Outside's game whatever the cost but finds himself thwarted at every turn. Takizawa responds by pulling a surprise gambit involving every Japanese owner of a mobile phone. This prompts Mr Outside to finally intervene, which inadvertently enables the leader of the Eden of the East software team, Kazuomi Hirasawa, to track him down.
Meet Juiz, Juiz, Juiz and Juiz. Actually, they're Mr Outside's granddaughters.
They act as his assistants and were his model for the Juiz AIs.
Longer, more complex, and finally giving the viewer some long sought after answers, Paradise Lost is more satisfying than its predecessor without ever matching the impact of the original series. This should come as no surprise, given that the most memorable thing about the franchise is its premise. This film is compelling because Takizawa's past is made clearer, many of the mysteries of the Noblesse Oblige game are revealed, and the game itself comes to a reasonably satisfying conclusion if never managing to fulfill its initial promise. The characters - outside of Takizawa never one of the franchise's strong points anyway - take a back seat to the final playing out of the plot, which continues to be too often contrived for the sake of effect, such as in Takizawa's possible blood relationship with former Prime Minister Iijuma.
As with Kenji Kamiyama's earlier Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series, there is a strong political thread running though Eden of the East. The evidence from those earlier series and this more recent one indicates that Kenji Kamiyama has a very humane view of the world. At times, though, I sense a worrying political conservatism in his message. The counterculture ideals of the 60s are given short shrift in both of these franchises. His worldview seems to be that power will always be limited to a few who have an obligation to work for the benefit of the rest, who, for their part, must knuckle down for the good of the whole. Yes, the very precepts of Noblesse Oblige. It's ironic that the director of the first Ghost in the Shell movie was 1960s radical Mamoru Oshii. Unlike Oshii, Kamiyama is no wannabe revolutionary. Then again, we don't live in revolutionary times in the west, at least not in a political sense. If Oshii is prone to venting his frustration at Japanese creativity (or lack thereof), Kamiyama is at least getting on with the job.
Yay! It takes Saki until the final scene to do something interesting.
Most of the time it's hard to believe she's 22.
Anyway, like any plot heavy anime, especially where the story is driven by its premise, I suspect that Eden of the East won't have strong re-watch value. Nevertheless I have enjoyed thoroughly immersing myself in its world over the last three days.
Rating for Paradise Lost: good
Overall franchise rating: good
Last edited by errinundra on Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:20 am; edited 2 times in total
|I'm re-watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, I'm in the middle of the second season. I'm on winter break from school and I thought this will be a good way to pass the time.|
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