Fall 2009 Anime

So I and a few friends do a presentation for new anime shows each season for the UNM Anime Club and I fell like sharing it with everyone (or who ever would visit this blog, I don’t know if anyone would visit this blog other then to laugh at me and my pitiful blog).  Lilly (lunarskye) David (Cadha13) helped me out for the Fall 2009 Anime season.  Anyway lets get the show on the road eh?

A Certain Scientific Railgun
To Aru Kagaku Railgun

A Certain Scientific Railgun (TV)

•“Dengeki Hime” Misaka, one of seven level 5 espers, and Kuroko, a member of Judgment who has a serious“onee-sama” crush on Misaka, maintain the peace of Academic City with Uiharu, Kuroko’s support from Judgment, and her friend Saten, a level 0.
•Action, science fiction, fantasy, comedy
•Offshoot of To Aru Majitsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index)
•Animation by J.C. Staff
•Animation is very nice but does play up the fan service a bit
My notes: I’ll say this right now, half way through Toradora (from Fall 08′) I begain to hate it’s melodrama and for all the story structural problems Index had, I enjoyed it far more then the train wreck of Toradora’s protagonists.   Well Index was the original author’s first work, then he all but hit the reset button and wrote the manga for Railgun and fixed everything that was wrong with Index.  So far I’m enjoying it, the only problem I have is their use of fan-service, mainly Koruko who’s flat as a board, it just kind of makes it feel a little pedo and puts me off a little.  But this is a small part of the show and isn’t a deal breaker for me, I’d just like them to lay off a little, I just don’t find flat chested girls to be attractive.  But anyways it’s really fun show and as long as Kuruko isn’t prancing around in lingerie trying to seduce Misaka I enjoy it a lot.  And as Sixten has pointed out Touma (protagonist from Index) from the prospective of Misaka is some strange, weird, cool and interesting person who defies all logic while Touma from Touma’s point of view is some unlucky, preachy, nosy person and trouble always finds him.  OP is catchy and the ED is okay but not my thing really, and I think the OP reached #4 on Oricon (Japanese Billboard chart).
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Asura Cryin’ 2

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•Continuation of the first season from Spring 2009
•Tomoharu and crew continue to try to find the answers to the mystery that has been dealt to them by Tomoharu’s older brother.
•Average magic/super power show with mechs, evil organizations, and a ghost girl friends thrown in for good measure
•Action, science fiction, supernatural
•Pace has picked up since last season
•Pretty good animation but doesn’t add anything new to the genre, not that it’s a particularly bad thing.
•Based on “semi-serious” light novels
•On crunchyroll.com plus first season, new episodes Wednesdays
My notes:  Asura Cryin’ is a decent adventure show with magical powers, mecha and a lot of mysteries going on.  It’s not the greatest show out there but you can do far worse and the art is pretty nice, minus some weird hairdos.  There isn’t a whole lot else to say about it, it’s enjoyable but it isn’t a really a keeper for most people.  If you like action, comedy, magic and the occult you might like this.
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Darker Than Black: Ryūsei no Gemini
(Meteor of Gemini)

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•Continues two years after the events of the first series.

•Follows Suou Pavlichenko, a Russian-Japanese girl, caught in the center of the activities of several intelligence agencies and contractors, super powered emotionless agents, they employ, including the infamous BK-201.
•Action, science fiction
•Sequel to first season from spring 2007 – First season distributed by FUNimation
•Highly recommended to watch the first season
•Animation by studio BONES
My notes: This is the shiz-nits for me (or however that goes),  who doesn’t like it when a little girl flings around a giant anti-tank rifle (PRTD 41) that’s taller then she is.  I’m a big fan of Tom Clancy novels and this is like a super powered anime version of his works (and completely over the top, at least Hei/BK-201 wears a mask to hid his identity).  One note about the show is in the first season it followed individual stories lines that eventually calumniating into the last four or so episodes for it’s conclusion, while this series follows a single story line.  Also the comedic aspects are stepped up quite a bit more then it’s previews season as well.  Just to remind everyone this is a mystery, science fiction, action show and impfases on the mystery part.  First searies you didn’t know what was truly going on until that last episode and although this is a continuation there are some big questions going on like where is Yin, what is the Syndicate doing now, who or what is Section 3 and their objective(s).  Unfortuntly Yoko Kanno who worked as the composer for the first series isn’t doing this one (probably busy with Macross F stuff I guess) but it wasn’t her most remember-able soundtracks so not the biggest losses I guess.  The OP performed by Sterephony is pretty good and the ED by Abridged School Boys is okay (they also did the 1st OP for the first series).  Oh, and one more thing a manga adaption of the first season is licensed by Yen Press for June 2010.
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InuYasha: The Final Act

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•The series picks right back up from where the final episode (166-167) left off.
•After Inuyasha and group uses a Shikon Shard to free themselves from the belly of the demon. They make their way out of the cave and then run into Naraku, Goryomaru, Hakudoshi, Kagura and Kanna and make a stand.
•Action, romance
•Highly recommended to watch previous seasons
•On hulu.com and shonensunday.com/anime including the previous seasons

My notes: Get on with it!  I watched InuYasha a long time ago and it’s nice to see they are going to finish it but I couldn’t really care.  There are others who would but I’ve gotten tired of long running series.

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Kämpfer

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•Natsuru has been selected by the Moderators to be a Kämpfer, girls who fight against each other using magic, guns, knives, and swords.  The only problem (of many) is Natsuru is a guy, so when he goes into Kämpfer mode he turns into a tall, big breasted female version of himself (complete with school uniform).  Adding to the problem is that EVERYONE at school has a giant crush on his girl form.  Lesbian hi-jinks and sexual innuendo ensue.
•Action, comedy, romance, yuri
•Animation not particularly good but not too much of an eyesore
•Based on light novels by Toshihiko Tsukiji (Maburaho)
•Serveral references to voicie actresses including the original Shizuka-chan from Doreamon (Michiko Nomura) and more.

My notes:  This is my guilty pleasure show of the season.  As bad as ever thing going on in the show is it’s just hilarious to me.  What’s also interesting is the focus is more on teasing Natsuru then fighting.

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Kiddy Girl–and

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•A new story set in the Kiddy Grade universe after 20 years (in story) with a new pair of ES members
•Ascoeur and Q-Feuille are trainee ES members, GOT’s problem solvers, but for now they are working in the GOTs central administration buildings café.
•Action, science fiction
•Good animation, light fan service (I see London), oh forgot about the bath scene, I’m getting too use to that.
•Animation by Satelight, with same director (Keiji Gotou) and screen writer (Hidefumi Kimura)

My notes:  The animation is pretty good (and I do mean good).  The characters do get on my nerves a bit though.  Mainly Ascoeur who drives me nuts with her obnoxious character.  Other wise it’s a nice fluff show (i.e. not much substance), but I do keep coming back and watching more so it isn’t all bad.  Oh and the comment about the fan service is you know you watch too much anime when you don’t even bat an eye at a bath scene.  It just didn’t register to me.

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Kimi ni Todoke

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•Sawako “Sadako” Kuronuma, an awkward social outcast who’s demeanor is often misinterpreted as standoffish or more so creepy (like Sadako from The Ring), is befriended by Shota Kazahaya, the most popular boy at school, who gradually brings out a different side of her
•Light-hearted shoujo romance
•Animation by Production IG
•Manga available in the US from VIZ

My notes: The best way to describe my reactions is to imagine me looking like one of the male characters in Honey Clover when they’re happy about something or observing someones love.  It’s a blast for me to watch and this is from a guy who hates “super” shoujo shows, but then again I wouldn’t call this “super” shoujo (i.e. Hanasakeru Seishonen).  It’s more along the lines of Karo Kano and Honey & Clover for me, which are both series that I enjoy.  The art is really nice as expected of Production I.G. and the use of exaggerated characters is nice and effective.  Oh, and the top image is two seconds into her saying good morning to some classmates.  (hmm going to have to try to get the manga next time a sale comes by)

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Natsu no Arashi! 2: Akinai-chū

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•Continues right after first season (spring 2009) with a trip to the beach and hot springs stay
•Yasaka meets an unusual girl, Arashi, in a coffee shop one summer day, he later finds that she a ghost who can travel trough time
•Comedy, Supernatural
•Continues with cameos of various characters from different shows (School Rumble, Hidamari Sketch, etc.) and various references too movies and books
•Animation by SHAFT, direction by Akiyuki Shinbo
•Original manga by Jin Kobayashi (School Rumble)
•On crunchyroll.com plus first season, new episodes on Sundays

My notes: More of the same shaft silliness that we saw in the first season, nothing really new to report, at least for the first two episodes in.

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Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu – Purezza-
Haruka Nogizaka’s Secret Season 2

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•Continuation of first season from summer 2008
•Haruka Nogizaka is a prime and proper ojou-sama (young lady) who has a secret she is deathly afraid of, she is a closet otaku.  Yuto Ayase stumbles upon Haruka as she secretly tries to return a manga magazine.  He agrees to keep her secret and becomes a close friend and confidante, much to the envy schoolmates.
•Romance, school life/slice of life, otaku culture
•On crunchyroll.com plus first season, new episodes Mondays

My notes:  For some reason it doesn’t have the same charm as the first season for me.  But they have added a new maid to the cast, Alice-chan, a small but very powerful little girl who could punch through the ground and hit the water table in one blow using nothing but brass knuckles.  And were there as much panties in the first show, I don’t remember.

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Nyan Koi!

Nyan Koi! - ED - Large 03

•After accidentally decapitating the local neko-jizo-sama (guardian cat statue) with a stray kicked can, Junpei can now understand what cats are saying and must grant the cats in his neighborhood 100 wishes or be cursed into turning into a cat himself (virtual suicide due to allergies)
•Very charming and cute romantic comedy
•Adapted from the manga of the same name, recently licensed by CMX
•Very nice animation

•Mamba girl (you’ll see)

My notes:  This is a real winner for me this season and an unexpected one at that.  One note I should add is it is a harem-esk anime, but it’s really all played for laughs because he’s so set on Mizuno that the other girls don’t really register.  The animation is great and pacing is fun, albeit a little slower in eps. 2 & 3, but picks up in episode 4, which is fucking awesome.  This is one of the top three shows for me this season (Railgun and Darker than Black are the other two).

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Sasameki Koto

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•Sumiko, who is tall, athletic and smart, is in love with her friend Ushio, but Ushio is completely clueless to Sumiko’s feeling towards her and continues to pursue  cute girls, including a cross-dressing boy, Masaki who originally started to do so to get Sumiko’s attention.
•Romance, yuri
•Very light, slow pace
•Muted but pleasant colors
•Animation average but nice
•On crunchyroll.com, new episodes Wednesdays

My notes:  This is a rather fun and cute little show about girls liking other girls.  It’s something to watch if you have the time and patience for its slow pace.

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Seitokai no Ichizon

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•Follows the student council chosen by popular vote.  Council activity quickly diverge into daily chatter
•Lead male character openly states that he desires a “harem end” – plays a lot of Eroga (All ages)
•School life, comedy
•Average animation but not too many location changes
•Several references to other anime (Suzumiya, Lucky Star, K-on, Higurashi, Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl), Dragon Ball incl. Evolution)

My notes:  I’m not too impressed with this bit of otaku bait.  Mainly the characters put me off, I just don’t care for them, and the dialogue is really fast and can be a little hard to follow for me.  And the pants, the pants (and skirts)!  Never use black grid lines on a salmon pink background, it’s just plain ugly.

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Sora no Otoshimono

Sora no Otoshimono - 01 - Large 23

•Tomoki, who’s motto is peace and quiet, has reoccurring dreams of a girl in the sky.  His days of peace are shattered when an Angelroid named Ikarus falls from the sky to serve is every desire (…kind of), along with a couple dozen pieces of architecture.
•Fan-service galore
•On crunchyroll.com, new episodes Mondays

My notes: Panties, that is all.     Oh, and the 2nd ED is pretty nice, even with giant flock of flying panties that can out run an SR-71.  Someone is even making rubber-band airplanes based on it.

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Tatakau Shicho- The Book of Bantorra

Bantorra2

•Colio Tonies, who has been kidnapped by The Church of Drowning in God’s Grace and brainwashed into being a human bomb, gets a hold of a piece of the Ever-Laughing Witches, the most feared precog in the world, book and falls in love at first sight and partially escapes his programming to kill Hamyuts Meseta, acting director of the armed librarians who are tasked with safe guarding the books of the dead.
•Action, fantasy
•Interesting story and characters
•On crunchyroll.com new episodes on Fridays

My notes:  This is an interesting one.  So far I have no idea what they are going to do with the story which is unusual for me.  After watching hundreds of shows, both American and Japanese, I can usually tell what direction the story is going to take and so far (in the first four episodes) I’m not sure where it’s going to end.  But this is good.  Having it unpredictable will keep me going back for more.  The art is pretty good but and the animation does have a few drops in quality but it is decent enough.

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The Sacred Blacksmith
Seiken no Blacksmith

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•Cecily, a new knight of the free-trade city of Housman, is rescued by the lone wolf Luke and his bubbly assistant when she almost loses her life in a street fight when her sword breaks.  Luke so happens to be skilled blacksmith but refuses to forge a new sword for Cecily.  On the outskirts of the city monsters attack a horse drawn cart.  Cecily, Luke, and Lisa rush to aid the guards escorting the cart.
•Animation by studio Manglobe
•Swords and sorcery story
•Pretty good animation, but slightly annoying characters, plus body fitting breast plate is a little annoying as well

My notes:  The show, other then the art and animation by studio Manglobe, is pretty average with a big helping of moe.  It’s not the greatest thing but it’s not absolute trash so I keep watching.

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White Album
Second Season

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•Second season continuing were the winter 2009 season left off
•Touya Fuji who’s dating Yuki Morikawa, a rising pop-star.  As her popularity rises their relationship drifts apart.  Will Yuki continue to be Touya’s girlfriend or will some other girl replace her?
•Romance, Drama
•Adapted from adult game from Leaf
•On crunchyroll.com plus first season (slowly), new episodes Wednesdays

My notes: I enjoyed the first season (to an extent it was a watch in batches type show for me) and so far it’s the same as last season, although Touya did get it on again with Yuki’s manager.  It makes it feel like he is heading for a bad end.

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Other shows of note

  • 11Eyes – on crunchyroll.com
  • Fairy Tail – on crunchyroll.com
  • Kobato
  • Kuchu Buranko (Trapeze)
  • Miracle Train – on crunchyroll.com
  • Queen’s Blade –Gyokuza no Tsugumono-
  • Shin Koihime Musou – on crunchyroll.com
  • Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee) – on crunchyroll.com
Written and presented by Thomas Billings
Contributing writers Lilly Palmer and David Aragon
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