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Etotama

April 20, 2015

Had not intended to pick up “Etotama” but decided to give its first episode a try based on some positive comments about the show online.

The plot centers around Takeru, a simple student who gets dragged into the world of ‘eto musume’, girls who embody signs in Chinese astrology and the hopeless struggle of Nyaa-tan who wants to ascend to the Chinese zodiac even though she’s just the cat astral sign.

Unfortunately, “Etotama” failed to impress or sufficiently appeal to me. In fact, rather struggled to watch through the first episode, hence I decided not to continue watching the rest of this series.

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While the overall production values of “Etotama” are not that bad and scenes using classic animation alternate with full cgi scenes in a rather clever but gimmicky way, the show simply could not convince me to keep watching it.

From the characters, the story setting, to the various jokes and comedy situations, everything felt too much like they had simply assembled already overused typical anime elements in the hopes of creating a show that would sufficiently appeal to fans.

For those of you that might still be interested in this comedy, you can always watch “Etotama” on Crunchyroll.

Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu

April 17, 2015

There’s no denying the impact and popularity of the Suzumiya Haruhi franchise, although it has also caused controversy too, such as with the ‘Endless Eight’ episodes of its second anime adaptation. Luckily the “Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu” movie did much to redeem the series and studio Kyoto Animation’s work on the Haruhi franchise.

One of the highlights of the “Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu” movie and its alternate reality timeline is undoubtedly the different incarnation of Yuki Nagato, so shy and bashful she was irresistibly cute.

An anime adaptation of the spin off manga “長門有希ちゃんの消失” by Puyo, which takes place in this alternate reality of the Suzumiya Haruhi universe and centers on this shy version of Yuki Nagato was hence something I simply had to watch.

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Initially was apprehensive about this “Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu” anime, considering Pyuo’s more cutesy character design style, and the promotional video showing studio Satelight’s animation would be vastly different from Kyoto Animation’s work.

Admittedly, this different style took some getting used to, especially when watching the first episode as not only is the characters design style different, Yuki’s personality itself is even more different than how she was portrayed in the movie, something also evident when hearing Chihara Minori’s voice work as this version of Yuki.

Nonetheless, am enjoying “Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu” which offers another look into the Suzumiya Haruhi world, and although I do somewhat regret it isn’t Kyoto Animation creating this show, it likely works best as it is now, with this more cutesy style.

Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken 2-sure-me

April 15, 2015

Enjoyed the first season of “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken” so there was no doubt I would also watch this sequel, and considering its episodes are barely over three minutes long, it is easy to free up the required few minutes to watch this hilarious comedy.

Based on the yonkoma manga by Shinja Cool-Kyou, “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken 2-sure-me” shows us the daily struggles of office lady Kaoru trying to adjust to married life with her husband Hajime, a hard core otaku.

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Although much of the typical episode is a rapid fire of otaku-centric gags, parodies or references to other anime, this second season has featured a few heart-warming scenes and introspective moments between Kaoru and Hajime.

Studio Seven and Dream Creation return to produce this second season, with the same creative team at the helm and the voice talents reprising their roles, making this sequel seamlessly follow up on the first season.

Definitely recommend this series to those of you looking for a fun otaku comedy.
You can watch “Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken 2-sure-me” on Crunchyroll.

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works season 2

April 13, 2015

After “Fate/Zero”, expectations were high when studios Ufotable, Aniplex and Notes announced they would create a “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” two cour anime based on the visual novel’s route focused on Tohsaka Rin.

The first “Fate/stay night” anime adaptation by studio Deen from 2006 was not that good, it contained too much nonsensical harem elements and mashed the three separate routes together in a jumbled mess. Hence, was relieved to see the original story redeemed with this new anime.

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The first season of “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” was outstanding in every aspect, featuring stunning visuals with epic action scenes that are expertly well animated, solid writing and good pacing, as well as surprising depth in its characters and their interactions. Find it quite hard to fault this series anywhere in its production values.

Having ended the first season at a pivotal moment in the story, was curious to see how they would to follow that up and was pleasantly surprised with how good the first few episodes of this second season of “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works” are. Especially what we saw of Caster, made her character much more interesting than the superficial character she was in earlier adaptations.

After the gripping battle that served as cliffhanger to the previous episode, can’t wait to see the next episode!

Triage X

April 10, 2015

Admittedly, the “Highschool of the Dead” manga and anime are not without faults, but if one looks past the zombie genre’s typical tropes and the abundance of ecchi fanservice featuring its shapely female cast, at the core it is a solid zombie apocalypse story with interesting character elements buried under the surface.

Considering the “トリアージ X ” manga is by Shouji Satou who also illustrated “Highschool of the Dead”, decided to give the “Triage X” anime a try, thinking it might be as entertaining as “Highschool of the Dead”.

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However, felt sorely disappointed by the first episode of “Triage X”. While I shall not comment on the original manga, must state that the anime adaptation is simply awful.

From poorly paced and incredulous action scenes, awkward or even downright unbelievably stupid dialogue to the overdone fanservice of flaunting the overly large bosoms of its female cast in ecchi or other scenes lacking any appeal, this anime is simply not worth your time.

Cannot recommend this anime to anyone, not even to those of you who are looking for a show with mindless action or plenty of fanservice as there are much better alternatives available to satisfy a craving for action or ecchi scenes.

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

April 8, 2015

In the magical girl genre, it is inevitable to consider “Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha” which has been a staple franchise since the first anime featuring Nanoha and Fate aired in 2004.

The previous anime “Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS” jumped ahead in the timeline and also introduced Vivio, a young girl who is taken in and raised by adult Nanoha and Fate. Vivio became the protagonist of the “Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid” manga.

Was glad to see “Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid” would be adapted into anime form and air this spring. Although it does have all the typical elements of the Nanoha franchise, its overall style and tone being the same as the previous stories, it is more focused on martial arts inspired combat and a large tournament dominates much of the story.

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Enjoyed the first episode, although knowledge of the previous Nanoha series is advised, especially to better understand who the secondary cast and their respective relationships are, the anime will nonetheless be easy to follow for anyone familiar with the typical magical girl type show.

“Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid” is similar to other magical girl anime like the recent “Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya”, studio Silver Link’s animation level on that show does surpass what studio A-1 Pictures manages here, though the animation in “Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid” is still quite good.

Wholeheartedly recommend “Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid” to any fan of the genre as it is likely to be a classic magical girl show, although it will not surprise us with plot twists or heart wrenching drama like “Puella Magi Madoka Magica” or “Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru”.
Do wonder how far the anime will reach in the story or if they will alter the original plot considering the Inter-Middle Championship tournament takes up most of the story.

Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic

April 6, 2015

The series am looking forward to the most this spring season is beyond a doubt “Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic”, the sequel of the cute slice-of-life anime based on the “きんいろモザイク” four panel manga created by Hara Yui. Absolutely loved the first “Kiniro Mosaic” anime which was an adorable, fluffy slice-of-life show not unlike “A-Channel”, “Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?” or “Non Non Biyori”.

Knowing the sequel would soon air, actually watched the first season again a few weeks ago. Was happy to see Shinobu, Alice, Karen, Yoko and Aya up to their usual antics in “Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic” which near seamlessly follows the first season, showing the girls starting their second year as high school students.

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Am quite glad Studio Gokumi is animating this sequel too and that the same creative team is once again at the helm, including the same director, character designer and that all voice talents reprise their roles from the first season.

Although the spring season promises to deliver several strong contenders in terms of outstanding anime, with shows like “Sidonia no Kishi: Daikyuu Wakusei Seneki” or “Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works”, my preference for slice-of-life anime and love for shows like “Kiniro Mosaic” will undoubtedly make “Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic” the best anime of the season for me.

If you enjoy leisurely slice-of-life series all about cute girls doing cute things, then you should definitely try this series. “Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic” is available to watch on Crunchyroll.

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