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Toki and 300

While we still have a few weeks before the summer shows roll around, I thought I’d take this time to backtrack on some of the spring shows that might have gone under the radar, or just plain ignored by us at Random Curiosity. If you’re not already watching them, I’m hoping I can convince you to at least give the first episode a chance – the spring season had quite an extensive list and it would be a shame to let these shows slip by.

Bokurano – see, it’s one of those shows that I can recognize as excellent, except I don’t enjoy it that much. I watched it hoping it would be have the excitement of Ender’s Game, but it turns out its more about the teenage angst and learning the severity and consequence of one’s actions rather than the action itself. It’s an entirely different and completely legitimate way of interpretation, just not that one that I find myself enjoying. In that sense, it reminds me of Paranoia Agent – who knows, you might find yourself loving it.

Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo – Probably the reason I’m doing this post in the first place. This movie came out a few months ago in Japanese theaters, and was released on DVD a few weeks back. It’s about a girl who gains the ability to leap through time, and how she uses that ability. Really quite an amazing movie that completely took me by surprise (I downloaded it only because the little fansubber’s comment said “best movie of the year”). There have been plenty of movies and whatnot done about the consequences of time travel, but none really pull it off as well as this movie.

Denno Coil – My favorite short in the Animatrix was “Beyond” – the one about the girl chasing after her cat, leading her to that vacant lot that was actually a glitch in the Matrix. While less of an art form, Denno Coil has every bit of that intrigue, and even has some Totoro / Spirited Away elements tossed in it for an authentic anime feel. It starts out as a sort of pet-detective agency, but three episodes in, it’s clear that there’s a lot more going on than tracking down pixilated dogs. As Patrik noted, the 26 episode length should give plenty of time to unmask some huge conspiracy. Check this one out definitely!

Heroic Age – I’m sure most of you are watching this, and for the most part, for good reason. After all, it’s the show that made it to the cover of May’s Newtype, the one Konata got her postcard published in (for those wondering, I actually went out and bought the issue, and yes indeed, her postcard is there…Izumi Konata, Saitama). I started watching this hoping it would be something like Crest of the Stars, and while the scale is indeed just as epic, the two shows take entirely different directions. I’ll never be able to admit I like this show, just because DNAra-sama looks just like Mwu La Fragga, but I will concede that it’s indeed entertaining enough to give a look into. If anything, watch it for the telekinetic loli twins…

Seto no Hanayome – These days I’m starting to wish I chose to blog this show rather than Nagasarete. Hanayome is so insanely crazy, so off-the-walls over-the-top, and it’s an absolute hoot. The characters are simple but very likable, and well, they’re hilarious. Some shows try not to go overboard with the gags and sd-faces, this show just piles loads and loads on and I still can’t get enough.

Ookiku Furikabutte / Hitohara / Overdrive – I lump these three together because they’re essentially the same show, except with a baseball / drama club / cycling context. They’re highlighted by an overly weak and fundamentally pisses-me-off protagonist, who joins some club that they have absolutely no confidence in but possesses some godly omgwtfpwn ability inherent to that activity. It’s obvious that through continuous pressure from their club members and themselves that they’re able to channel that ability and eventually become some superstar and lead their team to a championship or whatever. But see, I have a problem with this. Hanamichi had a tremendous body and didn’t know how to play basketball, but he had such a magnetic personality and a never-die attitude that was infectious. Makunoichi didn’t have much confidence but started working his ass off within two episodes and could do sick punches by the third (don’t quote me on that lol). This new crop of characters? Disgusting. Worthless. Infuriating. I’m guessing that anime/manga writers are looking for the personality traits that best reflect their primary audience, and then turn that dude into the next world-class superstar. As good as Densha Otoko was, I couldn’t stand watching Yamada…he was just too unbelievably retarded and socially inept. And well, these characters are just as bad. At least Ookiku is otherwise a pretty good show, at least Hitohara has a cutish main character, and at least Overdrive has a flaming hot supporting character who gets her boobs grappled from behind by her brother. Anyways, Ookiku is not a bad show, Hitohara isn’t either but it’s a bit boring, and Overdrive is absolutely terrible.

There’s a few other shows that I haven’t watched that could probably make this list: Blue Dragon, Gigantic Formula, Seirei no Moribito, Claymore, Paprika (movie). Anyone care to fill me in on them?

-jaalin

June 7, 2007 at 10:01 am
113 comments »
  • June 9, 2007 at 6:49 amjaalin

    sarcasm is tough to convey over the net eh?

  • June 9, 2007 at 12:28 pmpandakwee

    Kaze no Stigma: I would highly recommend this, though you have to watch beyond the first couple episodes to really get into it. When I first watched it, the unbelievable similarity to Shakugan no Shana kinda turned me off of it, but when I went back a couple weeks later and watched more, it really grew on me. I like it a lot more than I liked Shana, primarily due to the so much cooler protagonist (I’m sorry, I just got tired of seeing the weak protagonist start the story, and gradually learn how to fight….), and the humor that is prevalent throughout the story.

  • June 9, 2007 at 1:10 pmKaminaLives

    Claymore: This series turned out a bit differently than my original expectations but I like how the story has been developing so far along with Clare’s character. The animation is nice and though the character designs are cool, they’re a bit, I dunno, off-putting in that ice queen, uncanny valley sorta way (I don’t really find the female characters attractive, disturbing is more like, but that’s half-demons for ya, lol, though the more Clare’s past and motivations shine through the more I like her). The ending theme music and animation are good, even if the rest of the series’ music is strange and jarring at times (clashing with the fantasy setting). I just hope Claymore doesn’t rely so much on leveling/powering up and training to get stronger with new techniques like a lot of other series (I’m looking at you, Bleach); the ranking system of the Claymores is annoying enough.

    Darker Than Black: A decent series so far, though the dual episode arc format takes some getting used to. Little by little, the mystery of Hell’s Gate and Hei’s past are revealed, albeit very, very slowly. Hopefully the pace of the overall story arc will pick up, and maybe some have some more spotlight on the minor characters (like Yin, they did show a little for the cat character and his abilities, face plant with the crow, lol). Plus the intro theme is great.

    Denno Coil: Saw the first ep raw on TV and was intrigued by the animation style, but not so much by the whole digital pet concept. I’ll have to catch up with this one to see if it’s worth it.

    Gurren Lagann: The energy and crazy animation style (except for ep 4, bleh) keep me coming back to this series. The way the first arc overall arc ended was a bit of a surprise, but in a good way for Simon’s character development. The introduction of Nia opens up some new possibilities for even more craziness, though I hope Simon snaps out of his funk soon. Music is great too.

    Heroic Age: Couldn’t get past the first two episodes for some reason, though I’ll try to catch up if folks are saying it gets better. I can’t complain about the animation; it’s the characters that left me wanting something more.

    Romeo X Juliet: The character designs seem a bit simple at first glance, but the animation and unique take on the play are pretty nice. I’m a sucker for a good love story, though being based on the the classic tragedy, I wonder how it’ll end up.

    Seirei no Moribito: Nicely animated, a very strong and believable heroine character, and I like the pseudo-historical Korean setting mixed with a touch of fantasy. The pace can get a bit slow at times (true for all of I.G’s series), but that leaves time to explore the characters a bit and their motivations and quirks. When the action sequences show up, it’s pretty good. The only disappointment has been the music with the ending and intro (not a fan of either), though the in-series music isn’t too bad. Speaking of I.G, why wasn’t their last series Le Chevalier D’Eon blogged? That was a pretty good one, I thought.

  • June 9, 2007 at 1:42 pmBrian

    I know how the original Romeo & Juliet play ends though I last read it in sophomore year of HS

  • June 9, 2007 at 4:20 pmvedasisme

    Paprika is an excellent movie. Definitely worth a watch!

  • June 9, 2007 at 9:17 pmfdsf

    Claymore isn’t funny tho. I don’t wanna watch the show with that Scottish sword name, I wanna see more people watch Kaze no Stigma =[ balance of funny and entertaining, and in the end isn’t that what you all about animeblogger guy :P.

  • June 9, 2007 at 10:13 pmKuroNeko

    Is Romeo X Juliet following Shakespare’s play or is it adding new elements into it. Basically, is it better?

  • June 10, 2007 at 12:42 pmKrii

    As far as blue dragon goes, Uh…Well aside from it being an akira toriyama, Animations are fairly alright. Nothing over the top great nothing absolutely horrible. Story wise, typical shonen good vs evil could be a good thing could be bad, would have to wait till the story progresses.

    As for the dark themed anime: claymore, probably out of all the anime’s this season its on my top list. Animation quality is average and above. Gorey, which is a plus. Story is progressing and it shows great promise. Pretty Nice action.
    Loved the
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Serei no Moribito has really great animation. The fight scenes are fluid and probably some of the best ive seen so far. Storywise its decent but its interesting, so…you wont be too bored.

  • June 11, 2007 at 1:21 amKazeNoStigmaNow

    Kaze no Stigma- Better, Awesome, Just Watch It, Most Of The Animes On Your List Are Kinda Like This But Better Plus It’s Funny. Screw Claymore. =] Or if you have time you can do both, either way Kaze no Stigma better be there.

  • June 11, 2007 at 1:26 amGonzoGuy

    Romeo x Juliet, Kaze no Stigma, & Seto no Hanayome. All Gonzo, anyways blog all the anime before this statement. Happy 2007 Anime(s).

  • June 11, 2007 at 1:27 amGonzoGuy

    Romeo x Juliet, Kaze no Stigma, & Seto no Hanayome. All Gonzo, anyways blog all the anime before this statement. Happy 2007 Anime.

  • June 11, 2007 at 3:44 amlayla

    claymore is the best show for this season you have to watch it its owesome

  • August 13, 2008 at 11:00 pmInkyWool

    I understand this is quite late and all, but–

    Dennou Coil! It was great! Bokurano was certainly a very good show, though I agree that good doesn’t always equal entertaining.

    As far as Paprika goes… it’s one of my favorite films. I actually think it’s better than Tokyo Godfathers, but all of Kon’s movies have been completely different genres (Tokyo Godfathers=drama (with a little comedy), holiday; Perfect Blue=noir, mystery; Millennium Actress=character study; Paprika=science fiction/fantasy) so it’s hard to judge them against each other.

    The soundtrack is one of the best considering all of his films (up to par w/ the soundtrack from his Paranoia Agent) and the quality of animation is mind-blowing. I also quite liked the story (was taken from a short story) but I know people who didn’t like th story that much. The story is, however, relevant to modern culture and society. Similar themes to his other work.
    I loved it, but I really enjoy strange, quirky films that explore the nature of reality. If you didn’t like Paranoia Agent, you mght not enjoy Paprika, but I still think it’s worth the watch.

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