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 Post subject: Animu Reviews
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:17 pm 
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ADMIN EDIT: FOR REVIEWS ONLY. POST YOUR REVIEWS AND SHIT HERE. KEEP GENERAL ANIME TALK IN THE GENERAL ANIME TALK THREAD SO REVIEWS DO NOT END UP CLUTTERED BY TALK. [END TRANSMISSION]

Seto no Hanayome

Time for another romantic comedy, but this one is a little more different from average. Alright, it's a lot different. Let's take a look at the actual title:

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See that in the middle? That is a mermaid. This is very important, there may be a test on the subject later.

This time, I'll get the story summary out of the way, then introduce the individual characters. If this seems odd, trust me, this show really needs it to be done in this order, or else the characters will not make sense at all.

Seto no Hanayome is the story of a teenage boy, Nagasumi Michishio, who is saved from drowning on his summer vacation by a mermaid, Seto San. Under Mermaid Law, when a human and a mermaid/man come into contact (contact that reveals the mermaid/man is in fact, a mermaid/man), either the involved mermaid/man or the human must die. Whilst the Seto Clan has no qualms about killing Nagasumi to save San's life, San does not want him to die, so she becomes his bride, intergrating him into the clan, and making him safe from the rule. So, San leaves her ocean home to go live with Nagasumi back inland, and also attend school with him. A perfect romancu! Non. Another thing I should mention is that Gozaburo, San's father, is not particularly happy at this arrangement. He would much prefer that Nagasumi is killed, than have his precious daughter marry an inferior being like a human. Did I forget to mention that the Seto Clan is structured as Yakuza mob? And that they're all (well, apart from Ren, San's mother) trying to kill Nagasumi, so San can return to her home?

The next thing to say about this show is that it is FULL of puns. Puns, and wacky. Like the giant octopus Nakajima, who becomes a Home Ec teacher at Nagasumi/Seto's school, but doesn't use a human form; There is quite simply a giant octopus sticking out of half of the building, and nobody ever notices it. Okay, onto the characters:

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This is Nagasumi. He's probably the most grounded/ordinary member of the main cast, but he does suffer from the typical main male lead syndrome in that he is very blank, so that the audience can project themselves into his shoes. He tries very hard to make San happy and protect her identity, and has a suprising strength of will when backed into a corner.

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This is San, Nagasumi's wife. She is devoted to her husband, even though they keep their relationship secret at school. Since San is still a teenager, she can only keep her human form whilst dry; If she comes into contact with water, she reverts to her mermaid form. She also has a huge following at the school, and basically everyone wants to get with her.

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This is Gozaburo, San's father, and head of the Seto Clan. He is very protective of his daughter, and still views her like she is his five year old daughter, and mostly treats her as such as well. Has a strong dislike for Nagasumi, and will brawl/attempt to kill him at any chance he gets. He uses his connections to get himself placed at the school as Nagasumi and San's homeroom teacher.

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This is Ren, San's mother, and wife of Gozaburo. Unlike her husband, she quite likes Nagasumi, finding him cute. She keeps her husband in check, mostly, and transfers to the school as the new nurse.

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This is Masa, one of the members of the Seto Clan. Unlike the other clan members, he does not attempt to kill Nagasumi, unless he recieves a direct order to do so. Through CPR, he also took Nagasumi's first kiss, and both Nagasumi and Nagasumi's mother have a quasi-crush on him. He transfers to the school as the new math teacher.

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This is Shark Fujishiro. Most of his time is spent trying to eat Nagasumi since he believes that the sooner he dies, the sooner they can all go home. He is also the school's P.E. Teacher.

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This is Octopus Nakajima. He doesn't really do much except be a giant Octopus. He is also the Home Ec teacher, and spends most of his time at the school like this. Nobody really seems to notice.

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This is Maki, San's closest friend and protector. She's small, about the size of a doll, and lives in a shell. She is also the Seto Clan's best assassin, and is constantly attempting to eliminate Nagasumi. To everyone else, she is sweet and adorable.

There are a host of other characters, but that's definetely enough to either spark your intrest, or turn you completely off. Gonzo are the animation house, so it's nice and smooth, the humour is good, and the story intresting enough to have made me write out this post and take all those screenshots.

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Last edited by Ezelek on Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:58 am 
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summery of gurenn lagann


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and now with ep 11 GARSIMON shall conquer all


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:04 am 
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It's time for the Wandering Idiot's

PAINFULLY UNINFORMED FIRST-EPISODE REVIEWS!

Yes, after recommending that people watch 2 (preferably 4) episodes of Bokurano before making a judgment about it, I'm giving second opinions based on a single episode from each. Hypocritical? Quite! But, I live for irony.


Ezelek wrote:
Kaze no Stigma

I dunno, the main character seems like a bit of an asshole. Sure, his family were equally assholish for throwing him out just because he couldn't do a proper Hadouken, but c'mon dude, several people just died, and you're the flamingly-obvious suspect. You could at least say where you were last night to the people sent to inquire, instead of telling them to go fuck themselves.

I do like the feeling that this takes place in modern-day families with Old Money, and most of these guys will probably never have to work a day in their lives if they can toast the occasional demon for the honor of the clan or whatnot. Actually, thinking about it pretty much every character in the show other than Kazuma's little brother come across as jerks currently. It might make it hard to enjoy what I'm assuming is the upcoming "wacky humor from characters who dislike each other" if I'm hoping they all die in (magical or otherwise) fires.

I will keep watching in hopes of seeing Ayano try to whack him in a humorous moment and fail miserably, as that's always been a pet peeve of mine.


Ezelek wrote:
Lovely Complex

My main problem with this one is that everyone is too damned likeable. They seem like people I would wish well if they were real, but that doesn't mean watching them is particularly interesting. Nothing there to hate, but not much to love, either. I may watch a few more as recommended in the hope of future hilarity, and because a little pleasant nonsense is a nice change of pace.

That said, the girl falls asleep playing console RPG's. Snag her, Otami you fool!


Edible Corpse wrote:
Darker than Black

I watched the first two episodes, and liked the misdirection in the first one, but so far I can't see what everyone likes about it so much. It reminds me a bit of Witch Hunter Robin. That's not a good thing. To what episode would you say one should watch to get a full feel for the show?


SquaredBowl wrote:
Seirei no Moribito

Whoops, forgot there was no summary for this one. Let's see: Female warrior in some ancient oriental kingdom inadvertently becomes the bodyguard of a young prince, whose Emperor father wants him dead due to the water-spirit that's possessed him (the prince).

This one's kind of a cheat, since I watched like 5 episodes. I find it addicting and don't know why, as the story's not terribly original. The main female character Balsa is competent to a fault, like a feudal Chinese(?) spear-wielding version of Major Kusanagi*, without the undercurrents of coldness and sexuality but pretty much the same sense of humor. The combat is probably best described as animated wuxia, although more grounded and realistic than most (ironically). At one point Balsa intentionally flings herself on her back to kick one guy away and then flips back up in time to combo another. Never mind the usual reproductive patterns; I'd have her babies at that point.

Production I.G. seems be further refining the digital stuff they were doing with GiTS:SAC; there were some digitally-assisted scenes in 2nd Gig that seemed over-ambitious, but there are similar ones in this show that integrate much nicer. I don't think it has as big a budget as SAC, but everything looks pretty great nonetheless.

It's another show whose main drawback could be that all the characters are kind of blandly-likable. Even the ostensible "bad guys" don’t seem that bad. Balsa herself has the requisite dark past, but I assume had good reasons for everything she's done.

It's too early to tell at this point if there will be one serial story, or if it'll become a Samurai-Champloo-style road trip with her and the prince. It's not very original either way, but it's unusually well-done and has a nicely realistic style. Also, the opening song has terribly cheesy singing and nice visuals and I kind of love it.

I'll probably watch the whole season. It's not quite up to the level of "buy-on-DVD" yet (I buy stuff I really like, take *that* fansubbing-is-bad-for-the-industry people), but if it uses the base it's established to do something more interesting than expected, I just might.


* SAC and 1st manga only. Movie-version Kusanagi spends all her time either moping or being disembodied and cryptically-helpful, and 2nd manga Kusanagi requires a flowchart to keep straight.


Edible Corpse wrote:
summary of gurenn lagann

Stop it, you're making the show look awesome. I found it stupid, but now I feel like starting to watch it again (I already know what happens in epsidode 7 [saw it mentioned on a blog], and who knows? That might actually improve the show for me).


Also, I'm aware that I complained both about characters being too assholeish and too likeable above. Irony, remember? And I'm mostly complaining about a lack of balance on the shows, rather than the traits per se.


EDIT: Rewatching the fight scenes in Seirei no Moribito, I did notice a conspicuous absence of blood, which I assume was done to help sell the show abroad and is just bullshit. I'm not expecting huge Claymore-style gushes, but there should be a little when a guy gets slashed in the face with a giant spear, especially on such a relatively realistic show. I noticed the same thing in Bokurano- is this a recent trend or something?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:33 pm 
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I wrote a bunch of reviews for some currently airing anime for another place, and I decided I would also plop them here. Please feel free to use this thread to discuss the mentioned shows, or to add your own review of any currently airing (in-Japan) show.

Claymore

In the world of Claymore, there exists monsters known as youma. The western equivalent would be demons, but by now, you should all know what a youma is, since they are a typical manga/anime enemy. Anyway, youma do nasty things such as eating people, but they could not be felled by an ordinary man; Thus the Claymore were born. Half-human half-youma, they are known throughout the land by their silver eyes, which is why the common people call them "silver-eyed witches". They are the only ones that can stand against and defeat a youma one-on-one; also, they are all girls. This may or may not be important.

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This is Claire (or Clare, depending on your subber), our main character. She is introduced in the first episode as a Claymore coming to clean out youmas from a village, at the behest of the residents. You see, youmas tend to take over the body of a human, and use their memories to mimick their mannerisms and behaviour; This way, it's impossible for anyone to know who the youma is, and everyone just basically ends up shit-scared. Another way of putting it is that it is like Cluedo.

Except instead of hitting Professor Plum with a lead pipe in the library, he eats him. He eats him all up.

Claire, being a Claymore, is able to sense the energy of a youma, thus making their disguise useless against a Claymore. On arrival at the village, she ends up meeting with a young boy, our next main character, Raki. I am too lazy to image-capture a picture of him. He is a boy. I am quite sure you can construct an image within your fantastic brains. Now, it turns out that Raki's older brother is the youma (his parents had been eaten/killed in earlier youma attacks), and Claire ends up saving him. Because of his long-time exposure to a youma, the village kicks him the fuck out, thinking that he will become a youma, and thus want nothing more to do with him. Nobody stops to think that if he is going to turn into a youma, kicking him out would righteously piss him the fuck off, and he would eat you all. Luckily, this is stupid; People do not turn into youmas by being around other youmas.

Events lead to more events, and Raki ends up travelling as Claire's personal cook, and basically brings the emotional side to the story, since Claire herself is quite emotionless, trained to be a weapon against youma, and not really anything else. Now, let's get into more specifics.

Claire is a Claymore, although the Organization does not refer to themselves by that; It is a human given name, due to the fact that they all carry claymores as their primary weapon. They are constantly at battle within themselves, a fight of their humanity against their youma-powers; Eventually, a battle that their humanity will lose. When this happens, and a Claymore is close to becoming a youma, they send for one of their sisters to come and slay them. Their greatest fear is that they will fully change without being slain, and become doomed to live, and eventually die, as a mindless beast, rather than being able to die with their humanity still intact.

Around episode four, the story moves into Claire's past, but for fear of spoiling, I will not say anything but that this is where the story really begins to kick off. All in all, the series has managed to walk familiar territory in a refreshing manner; The art is nice and clean, and quite pretty, and there is a delightful amount of blood; This is a dark series, and definetely not for those that were turned off by the violence in Berserk.

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Kaze no Stigma

Kaze no Stigma, or Stigma of the Wind, is the story of Kazuma Yagami.
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Kazuma was once a member of the Kannagi family; a clan dedicated to the eradication of evil spirits and demons, pretty much the go-to guys for extermination. The original founder of their family was blessed by the Fire Spirit Lord, and thus all his descendants have inherited the ability to manipulate and control various types of fire; all except Kazuma. As the future head of the family, Kazuma's inability to use En-Jutsu was a mark of great shame, and after losing Enraiha, the Kannagi family's sacred sword to Ayano, his cousin, the succession was past over to that branch of the family, and Kazuma was banished from the clan.

Skip forward four years, and Kazuma has returned to Japan as a powerful master of FÅ«-Jutsu, the wind arts; An ability that the Kannagi family sees as lesser than theirs. As Kannagi clan members begin to get killed by a Wind User, suspicion immediately falls into Kazuma, and this is the premise for the first story arc. Oddly enough, unlike other shounen style shows, it is revealed quite near to the beginning that no-one in the Kannagi clan is powerful enough to beat him; As he duels with his own father, the strongest of the clan at the time, and defeats him without even going all out. He also avoids the flip-flopping strength of most shounen lead males; He is not "weak" to begin with, and then suddenly bustingly-awesome at a critical moment, but rather just always awesome. Also this is probably the ONLY show I have ever seen where in comedy-slapstick moments, the female lead is still unable to lay a hand on the male lead; although this does not stop her trying. This brings us into the next character,

Ayano.
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Ayano is now the future head of the Kannagi clan, holder of Enraiha (which she is able to summon at any time, and it has some awesome fire powers), and wielder of the Crimon Flame, a power she has yet to fully master. She instensely dislikes Kazuma to begin with, but this quickly becomes underlayed with a developing crush, as he is the only person that she sees as stronger than her (in her own age group, that is). Personally, I cannot stand this kind of female lead, and I really hope that they do not end up forming an actual relationship between her and Kazuma, also you are cousins, Ayano. Do not do it with your cousin.

The final character I will talk about is Ren, Kazuma's younger brother.
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Ren is pretty much Momiji from Fruits Basket, but instead of turning into a rabbit, he can create a purifying fire. Even though he has not seen him for a long time, Ren is clingy and needy towards his older brother, and fluxes between points of extremely childish behaviour, and mature moments. His ability is the Golden Flame, the most purifying fire, and thus he is suited more to fighting enemies that do not have a physical form.

So far I have found the art satisfying, the story good, although the pace rather slack. The main pull for me has been Kazuma's difference from normal shounen main characters, with an air of superiority that is backed up by actual ability. Hopefully as they divulge more of the backstory on where he has been for the past four years, it will help round him out a little more, and that they will bring in a love intrest that is not terrible and also his cousin.

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Lovely Complex

Okay, okay, it's a teen romance story, and you've all seen this play out before, right? And you're correct, you have. But the story telling in LoveCom, and the richness of the characters make the worn path seem sparkly and new, like a yellow brick road with a fresh layer of paint.

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This is our protagonist, Risa, a Japanese high-school student. She's an impulsive, light-hearted character, her rarely lets people see her softer/more emotional side. She has never had a boyfriend before (:(), and ends up entering a bet with Otani over who will hookup first. This seems a good moment to segue into

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Otani! One of our other main characters, Otani is rather heartless and brash at times, constantly trying to appear to be cool. Deep down, he has a kind heart though, and he's also a star-player on the school basketball team. This is what he looks like when he plays basketball:

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:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D hair hair so pretty and witty and gaaaaaaay

Okay, you want to know the twist. Of course there is one, and here it is:

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Risa is 5'7", abnormally tall for a Japanese girl, and Otani is 5'1", which is short for a guy. Risa has issues with he height, and Otani, issues with his lack of. Basically it starts off with them being the two that argue all the time, and then it turns to friendly ribbing, and eventually develops into affection, like it does in real life. One of things I love about the show is that I like both main male character AND the main female character. Normally I'll want the lead to end up with a different partner, but in LoveCom? I really want Risa and Otani to get together, because as characters, I really like them both.

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Also he fits so snugly in her arms, itt it is adorable.
I also really enjoy the art, whilst it's nothing amazing, the animation itself for movement of the characters just draws my eye. The ending sequence is just Risa and Otani walking with different backgrounds behind them, and yet I watch it all the time. The way Risa moves, head turned up slightly to look at the sky, long rolling steps compared to Otani's short quick ones, makes me think that even shoujo shows can still look good.

If you're into romance/comedies at all, I heartily suggest you give it a try. And if you're still flip-flopping at the normal three episode test line, then just try a couple more. Episode four and five? They are fucking gold, shining beautiful hilarious delightful gold.

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Pending reviews: Seto no Hanayome, Hayate no Gotoku.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:19 am 
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I watched a couple of these titles on Ezzem's recommendation and since two of them are finished/near finished, I'll share my feelings on them.

I really like Lovely Complex. I'll admit that I do enjoy Shoujo stuff from time to time and this is one of those series. It's cute series but gets really frustrating at times. It is close to coming to an end, 24 eps I think, 22 translated last I checked. It did that horrible thing where they switch OP and ED songs and they are not so good and aren't nearly as fitting as the first ones. Worth checking out.

Claymore was good enough to make me start reading the manga when they weren't realeasing episodes fast enough for my greedy consumption. Claymore starts to really deviate from the manga at the end and does sort of a lame unfinished ending thingy, which I guess if you just finsihed the anime and are wondering, "Where did my ending go?" you could go read the manga, as well.

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