Summer Pilots: Aoi Hana (and a rant about gender roles in anime romance)

7 07 2009

Hi guys, it’s Menma.  I didn’t die, probably.  At Tekky’s urging, I chose a summer series to cover, and that’ll be Aoi Hana (“Blue Flowers”).  As far as I can tell, it’s a shoujo-ai slice of life drama, about two childhood friends who are reunited in high school and find themselves drawn to each other romantically.  From what I can see it’ll be a slow, bittersweet journey, set against that kind of watercolor background that makes you weirdly nostalgic for places you’ve never been (or maybe you have, but I haven’t).

In terms of sight and sound, Aoi Hana is very pretty.  A lot of the time the art, especially the background, looks like rough sketches, but in a good way.  The scenery, all watery greens and beiges and blues, and the soft piano music in the background, make you feel like you’re in one of those serene cities from a Ghibli movie.  Think Mimi wo Sumaseba or Majo no Takkyuubin.  Yes, it’s that nostalgic Ghibli feeling.  The character designs even feel Ghibli-like.  I’m sure that as soon as I publish this someone will say “Hey Menma how did you not know that Aoi Hana was made by Ghibli” or something and then I’ll feel silly.  But anyway, if you like Ghibli, you’ll like the feel of this series.


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Spring Pilots: Shinkyouku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S

12 04 2009

This episode was really a mix of good and bad.  And when I say that, I don’t mean there were good and bad elements of the show, I mean most of the elements have good parts and bad parts: characters, animation and production quality, and setting.  While I can’t deny that I’m interested and will probably watch more episodes, the odds of me completing this show is really up in the air. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Pilots: Tayutama -kiss on my deity-

12 04 2009

… if someone had seen me while I was watching this episode, they probably would’ve thought that I have Parkinson’s Disease, because I was twitching that much.  Maybe I was unconsciously affected by watching Basquash and Eden right before this, but Tayutama had, by FAR, the worst first episode of the year (to date).  It was honestly, just one huge mess.  (WARNING: Contains profanity) Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Pilots: Basquash!

10 04 2009

… Why oh WHY didn’t watch this earlier, like when it came out.  This makes two shows in a row that had absolutely amazing first episodes.  Eden catered towards my appreciation for good characters and directing, like ef-memories and Higurashi. For Basquash, it caters towards my interest in shows that put a lot of emphasis on the setting, like Eureka Seven and Last Exile.  In fact, I almost consider Basquash to be the fusion of Gurren Lagann and Eureka Seven. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Pilots: Eden of the East

10 04 2009

I honestly had to stop myself from doing a full episode review for this.  I never said this was a guaranteed show to blog, and I didn’t feel like breaking my own personal rules… but that won’t stop me from giving the first episode endless praise.

Eden of the East really was on a level of its own from everything else this season.  Even the next best show I saw this season, Phantom, really couldn’t compare.  The first episode did almost everything right.  It was engaging, interesting, and most critically, it made me want more… a whole lot more. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Pilots: Tears to Tiara

7 04 2009

As promised: part 2 of the Spring RPG Adaptations: Tears to Tiara. This time I have more to go on for this series this I did for Valkyria.  Tears to Tiara is an RPG/Eroge from the visual novel company, Leaf.  It is the successor to their previous RPG/Eroge, Utawarerumono.  Thankfully, the original game company isn’t the only thing the two anime have in common. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Pilots: Valkyria Chronicles

7 04 2009

Next up are the two big RPG adaptations of the season: Tears to Tiara (which I’ll do next), and this one, Valkyria Chronicles. It definitely doesn’t fit the mold of your standard RPG; however, this element might end up hurting the show more then helping… at least early on.   Read the rest of this entry »