Winter Finale: Toradora!

21 04 2009

Toradora! started out as a light-hearted slice-of-life anime with good comedic moments and turned into a darker dramatic slice-of-life anime with good comedic moments. That is to say, even though the tone in the series turned much more serious sometime after episode 17, it did its best to retain the original comedic feel. The show did a good job of telling the story and showing us how the characters grew. Read the rest of this entry »


Winter Finales: Munto TV

28 03 2009

Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (aka Munto TV) had a lot of things going for it.  A stellar soundtrack, some of the best visuals I’ve seen from a TV series, and a reputable studio behind it.  Unfortunately everything else sorta fell apart.  There was a potential for this anime to have a great emotional story, but it probably was impossible to execute due to the show length.  A part of me wants to believe that this show got axed halfway through production, because then I could understand what went wrong.  But for now, the story was nonsensical and tended to contradict itself.

But again, as I mentioned before, there really was a lot going for this show.  The soundtrack really gave this grand, epic feel to this anime and I almost felt like I was watching a movie to be honest.  The visuals and high production quality seemed to back this up.  I mentioned this back in episode 8, watching Munto really made me feel like I was watching a Disney movie.  In fact, the only other anime I watched that had such memorable music and visuals was Eureka Seven, and I honestly feel that Munto was really similar in that sense, just lacking the story and characters to back up the visuals.

In the end, Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai is an anime that didn’t end up embracing its full potential.



Winter Finales: Clannad ~After Story~

28 03 2009

It’s not very often that I can say this, but with Clannad ending, it closes a major chapter in my anime life.  When I first saw Clannad, I was fresh on the anime scene and it was one of the first series that I actively kept up with.  I loved the first season because it introduced a large number of likable characters, it had some great comedy, while keeping a drama heart

But if the first season was good, the second season took it to another level.  Once the after story began, Clannad ended up showing such incredible heart.  It was rare to see something like that from any media.  When Tomoya was in pain, I was too.  When Tomoya was happy, so was I.  Episode 16 to 22 were nothing short of brilliant, and I was ready to consider Clannad as one of my all-time favorite animes…

But wait… the really good episodes only make up a little over a quarter of the show.  While, yes, the entire series were leading up to the final quarter, there were some rather weak parts to this season.  Yukine’s arc lacked depth, and some of the early After Story episodes tended to drag a little.  So overall, the show wasn’t perfect, and stuff could’ve been done to make it better.

This leads me to my final point. Would I recommend this show?  Hell yes.  Clannad is a heart wrenching story that can drive the most resilient viewers to tears.  It accomplishes this by introducing great characters, developing them over 30+ episode, and then introduce incredibly realistic conflicts and issues that really hits close to home.



Winter Finales: Asu no Yoichi!

27 03 2009

Who would’ve thought, that after my scathing review of the first episode of Asu no Yoichi, I would end up watching and completing it.  I actually contemplated just watching 3 episodes and then dropping the show just to keep with my trend; however, I ended up enjoying it for what it is.  

So let me establish one thing first… there is a lot of things that fail in this anime.  The plotline, the developments, the villains, all of them are nonsensical.  Heck, this show even lacks character developments.  So why the heck did I enjoy this?  First off, it’s actually funny at times.  After episode 2 i found myself laughing a few times during each episode.  However, more importantly, besides the comedy, the show has likable characters (Note, that they start off likable and stay likable, overall they’re all static, hence no character developments).  All the characters have a unique charm about them.  As such, I did end up caring about them.

Overall, Asu no Yoichi was a fun show.  It brought nothing new to table and was strictly formula, but it managed to succeed within in the confines of that formula.  If someone were bored and were in the mood of some, any comedy, I wouldn’t mind recommending this.



Winter Finales: To Aru Majutsu no Index

27 03 2009

Back when the fall season was starting, I was really excited about this series.  The first episode seemed to introduce some great characters and the potential for some good action.  The second episode seemed to continue this trend with an awesome fight scene that was reminiscent of Shakugan no Shana.  Alas, episode 2 is where this show peaked.  The show soon became muddled in constant exposition and underdeveloped side characters.  The main character, Touma, never got more development then the first arc gave him, and Index… haha, for a series named after her, she seemed awfully like a comic relief character.

I said it in the beginning, and in fact I still believe this:  Index has a lot of potential.  It can easily evolve into an epic story of magic vs. science with Touma caught in the middle.  In fact, we started to see the seeds of this story take bloom… IN THE FINAL FREAKIN EPISODE!!!  But here, I can’t blame the animators for this.  The original light novel apparently spends a lot of time introducing side characters only to have them disappear by the end of a volume.

Anyway, I’ll admit, I liked the last arc.  It was well paced, exciting, and most importantly, it established an overarching plotline; something all the other arcs were missing.  As for the arcs themselves, some went on too long (exposition arc), others were too short (Last Order arc), some were good but w/ flaws (Clone War arc), and some were just bad (Angel Falls anyone?).  All in all, the series was good enough to keep my interest and I didn’t drop it.  Would I recommend it?  That’s a hard one.  I suspect that the show would be much better if watched in one sitting rather than week by week as I did.



btw, If you’ve read my Railgun manga review, you should know that I’m quite excited for the Railgun anime, despite how Index turned out.

Fall Finales: Kannagi

15 01 2009

Melodrama?! in my Kannagi?!

Here is probably my 2nd finale review in which I’ll be diverging greatly from the general opinion of a show.  Kannagi was rather hit or miss for me.  After a lackluster first few episodes, I was ready to drop the series.  However, episode 3 ended up being one of the funniest episodes I had seen in a while.  It was enough for me to continue watching until the end.  In fact these first 3 episodes should’ve been more a warning as to how the series would progress.  Hilarious when trying to be funny, and fail when trying to be dramatic. 

Essentially, the drama was overdone.  Drama can work on comedies if used sparingly.  Kannagi went for pure melodrama, in its dramatic moments.  Making the series feel almost bipolar.

Episode 3 to 9 emphasized the comedy, and I thought this show hit its peak around that time.  Sadly, the last 3 episodes returned to the drama that just wasn’t working early in the series.  As such, the finale left me with a rather mixed feeling.

As such, my final rating reflects my mixed opinion, and it will probably be controversial for some of you.


Fall Finales: Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka

29 12 2008

… wow…. this show really blew…  Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka was a show that I had high hopes for when I was writing the fall preview.  Let’s just say that this anime might’ve single handedly affected (for the worse) my outlook on future eroge/dating sim adaptations.  If I were to list out all the things that went wrong in this anime, this review would be 10 pages long.  So instead, I’ll just say what was good, and you can assume that anything that I didn’t mentioned, failed.

The only good things about Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka were the character designs and the voice acting.  Character designs are usually good in most VN adaptation. As for voice acting, the voice acting was the only thing that met my expectations.  

I will give credit though, on the whole this anime kept managing to fall under my ever lowering expectations as the  show progressed.  This was primarily due to the really random episodes between 3 and 10.  This part screamed anime original material.  Only episodes 10 and 11 gave the show signs of life w/ potentially good drama and romance (the one thing I was looking forward to in this series); but then episode 12 ruined it all w/ another random ass episode.

All in all, AkaSaka will probably rate as the worst visual novel adaptation that I’ve ever managed to complete.