I have a winter regret…

23 03 2009

...as if he could do anything...

But thankfully, It’s not one I have to live with. As you are probably aware, I’m quite behind right now on episode reviews. But now my quarter is done and I’ll finally have the time to catch up. That’s not the point, the point is, on a lot of the shows I’m blogging, I’m actually up to date watching them, just not blogging them. I’ve seen up to Episode 7 of Munto TV, Episode 23 of Clannad ~After Story, and most critically, episode 8 of Kurokami.

I’ve been growing more and more frustrated at Kurokami as the episodes have been progressing. The show has fallen into a pattern and the characters are honestly irritiating. I considered dropping the show multiple times already, but my counter argument was “There’s nothing to replace it”…

until now. Earlier this week, I played catch up on a couple of shows. One of which was Asu no Yoichi, which I will say, is actually funny and not quite as bad as I initially thought. I also caught up on Regios, and I will say, after 9 episode, this show is REALLY impressing me. It’s got a great cast of character and a story that I’m really interested in. On top of that the setting seems to indicate a deeper back story that hasn’t been explored yet.

So, if blogging Kurokami has been my biggest regret this Winter, then now it’s one I don’t have to deal with anymore. Regios is a much more interesting show to me, and as such, I’ll be dropping Kurokami for Chrome-Shelled Regios. (starting w/ epiode 6)

_tekky99

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Kurokami – Episode 05

14 03 2009

Okay, bad feelings are gone, slightly. This episode was a bit more like the first 2 eps then the past 2. The fight at the beginning was quite exciting to watch, and Keita didn’t seem like useless baggage. But the Excel and Steiner took the episode. They were interesting, well characterized, and simply kick ass. Their “Synchro” scene sorta screamed Sailor Moon though, oh well, it’s still better then Keita/Kuro’s. I also couldn’t help but think about Pokemon attacks when the two teams used their Exceed. Kuro’s looked like Fire Punch, and Steiner’s screamed Double Team -_-;;;

This episode did have problems though. It still isn’t clear to me why the two had to fight. The “we must fight since you attacked” reasoning felt like nothing more then an excuse for the animators to make a fight scene. I mean, in spite of going at each other’s throats by the midpoint, all of them got along really well by the end.

Anyway, from the looks of it, Kurokami is going into its first arc next episode. Still hoping Keita mans up.

RATING: 7.5/10

_tekky99





Kurokami – Episode 04

9 03 2009

I’m getting a REALLY bad feeling about how this series is turning out. I mean this episode was better than the fail-fest of episode 3… but not by much. Keita is rapidly becoming a worse character then he is in the manga. Not because he’s a jerk, but more like he’s too indecisive and rather random.

The revelation of Kuro’s goal (to kill her brother) wasn’t anything too surprising considering she mentioned it in episode 1. Also, I normally don’t complain about stuff like this, but, I have to say, Kuro’s brother has too much of a “I’m so evil and you know it” attitude.

After another weak fight, with Kuro and Keita getting pummeled, they’re saved by another Motosuitama. However, they decide to pick a fight with them against all logic. I expect more pain next episode >_<

… This show better pick up, or else I’m gonna drop it REALLY soon.

RATING: 6.5/10

_tekky99





Kurokami – Episode 03

2 02 2009

I refuse to believe that of everything the director could’ve done, he chose to do this… Simply put, this episode was appalling.  After seeing the great job that Kurokami did for the fights in the first two episodes, the fight in this episode was completely uninspired. 

If you were to see your teacher beating someone you knew senseless, the first thing you’d do is OBVIOUSLY consult advise from that teacher while he’s beating the person. [/sarcasm]  Obvious dialogue issues aside, the music was used completely inappropriately this time.  It would start randomly, not add any intensity to the fight, and then be followed by long portions of no bg music.

The rest of the episode besides the fight was okay.  Got some background and fleshing out of some of the characters.  But that fight left me saying “seriously?” at this episode

RATING: 6/10





Kurokami – Episode 02

24 01 2009

The best way to summarize this week’s episode is take last week’s episode (with its horror elements) and combine it with action from a shounen series (say, Bleach).  That being said, manwha fans should recognize that a critical scene (that should’ve been done last week) was played this week.  I am of course talking about Keita and Kuro forming a contract.

This led to another major diversion from the manwha.  In that, Keita woke up back in his apartment when he finds out about the contract.  In this, he wakes up immediately and the fight continues in a VERY shounen like fashion (yelling chargeup leading to a powerful attack).

So I mentioned last week that I preffered this version of Keita to his manwha counterpart since he isn’t a jerk.  However, now Keita is spineless.  (Think of Yuuji early on in Shakugan no Shana).  I suspect, though, that Keita might get more powerful faster then manwha-Keita did.

RATING: 8/10 (cool, but not as cool as last week)





Bounen no Xamdou – Episode 14

15 11 2008

Thoughts

After a long break (both in broadcast and longer in this blog), Xamdou/Xam’d is back.  The previous episode leaves us w/ Furuichi activating his Hiruko in preparation to, presumably, fight w/ Akiyuki.  This episode was about, well…. the fight.  Okay so that’s a poor summary, there was more then just the fight…. a lot more.

First off, we finally get to see Akiyuki in full-Xamdou form for the first time since episode 2.  In my opinion, the entire confrontation was rather… bizzare.  It might be that I haven’t seen Xamdou in a month, but it didn’t seem quite as powerful as the first reunion in episode 8.  I kinda expected a lot more attacks thrown between the two of them.  Alas it was primarily dialogue.

Furuichi’s attitude throughout the episode confused me.  Initially he was all about destroying Akiyuki so that he could have Haru to himself, but at the end (right before he performed ‘harikiri’) he was about to call him his best friend again.  Did that mean he felt remorse.  One potential theory is that before, Furuichi was letting jealousy and anger get the better of him, and his Hiruko took advantage of that.  After seeing Haru cry, he finally calms down.

I don’t know why I didn’t realize it before, but Xamdou hasn’t done a good job of conveying the emotions that the characters feel.  It might just be that in comparison to the summer series, Xamdou was brilliant, but now, in comparison to fall, it’s average.  On the whole, I did not expect the ending to be the way it was, this would’ve been a much better place to put the show in hiatus.

RATING: 7.5/10 (I was underwhelmed)
MID-SERIES RATING: 8.5/10





Bonen no Xamdou – Episode 07

2 09 2008

Summary

The episode starts with the crew of the postal ship getting their pay.  With them, Akiyuki gets his first check.  Afterwards, Akiyuki is talking with Akushiba and lamenting about how he’s caused nothing but trouble for Nakiami and Benikawa, and that he’s just happy getting paid anything.  Akushiba reminds him to shut up and accept his payment.

On Sentan Island, Furuichi and Haru are deployed along with the remaining ASP squad to take down the test-type Xamdou that escaped.  While the army has deployed at full force, Haru realizes that the Xamdou is not attacking back and she refrains from attacking.  In the meanwhile, Furuichi goes all out.  The Xamdou reaches the damn and looks out at a ocean to see a tall monolith with a large eye at the top.  Haru sees the monolith too, however, when she asks Furuichi about it, he doesn’t see anything out at sea.  At that moment the Xamdou sprouts wings and looks like he’s about to get away when Furuichi shoots its legs and the Xamdou goes down and begins to petrify.

On the postal ship, Akiyuki receives all the letters that Haru sent in the last episode. In the letter, Haru discloses how she joined the ASP Squad and that she’ll be deployed for Tsumebara pass in a few days.  She hoped that they could meet then.  

Haru is getting dropped off by Prois and the two are having a conversation.  Haru mentions how she felt the test-type Xamdou might’ve been pregnant, but Prois passes it off as Stockholm Syndrome

Akiyuki tries to get permission from Benikawa to go to Tsumebara pass. She allows him to leave, but forbids him from using the Beat Kayak.  He next goes to Nakiami for her permission.  While at first she’s against it, she eventually allows him on the condition that he takes Roppa with him.  Akiyuki leaves soon after with Roppa and a tracking device.

Haru and Furuichi are talking with Toujirou about Tsumebara Pass. (Furuichi looks like he’s trying to suck up to the general). Toujirou talks about how a battalion was lost at the pass, and that their goal is to find survivors.

Akiyuki is walking through a forest when he spots what looks like a completly petrified Humanform.  Nearby there is a wanderer who is collecting flowers.  Akiyuki asks the man whether he’s headed in the correct direction to go to Tsumebara.  However, when he mentions Tsumebara, the man goes nuts and transforms into a Humanform and starts to attack Akiyuki.  During the fight, the tracker attached Roppa breaks.  Akiyuki starts to engage the Humanform with his Xamdou powers, however, the fight is cut short when a young girl and her father(?) petrify the Humanform.  From the looks of it, the father has Xamdou powers as well.  Akiyuki spends the night at their place.

On the postal ship, Nakiami decides to look for Akiyuki after she lost track of him and leaves the ship in the Beat Kayak…

Thoughts

So this episode brings the biggest similarity to Eureka Seven thus far.  We have two factions starting to emerge, one who is for the destruction of all Humanforms/Xamdous, and the other who wishes to understand them and cooperate.  Sounds familiar to the conflict with the Coralians?

I really like how Haru has not been the stereotypical helpless girl, rather she’s getting an important role as someone who seems to be able to communicate w/ Xamdous/Humanforms.  Furuichi on the other hand, is going in the complete opposite direction, I definitely see conflicts emerging between him and Akiyuki later on, maybe as soon as the next episode.

As much as I notice how there is no “romance” in the official genre listing, I can’t ignore the signs of a love triangle forming (maybe even a quadrilateral).  We have hints of Akiyuki/Nakiami, with the head bump scene (which was cute =D), and even more hints of Akiyuki/Haru, with the tone of the letters.  Also to add to the mix is how Furuichi seems to be flustered around Haru and how he gets frustrated when she mentions Akiyuki.  With Furuichi, Haru, and Akiyuki all headed towards Tsumebara, and with Nakiami tailing close behind, I wouldn’t be surprised if all 4 end up meeting by next episode.

9.5/10 (solid plot and character buildup)