Cynthia (csakuras) wrote,
Cynthia
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Spring/Summer 2007 Anime Reviews

This'll probably be my last anime post for a while, because a few won't be airing this week and I should be focusing on manga stuff and writing my novel instead. But this post will be huge to make up for it.

I ended up watching eight shows in total this Spring/Summer season (not counting Death Note). This is the first time I've kept up with so many anime at once, and it's only possible because I'm on summer vacation. Since now most of the Spring season shows have passed the halfway mark and there's been at least a few episodes of the Summer season shows, I figure this is a good time to write reviews on what I think of them so far.



Darker than BLACK: Kuro no Keiyakusha
Seen so far: 20/25 episodes.
My rating: B+
This has been one of my favorite shows this year. I think the thing you have to realize to truly appreciate it is that the plot is not important. It's more about the world and the people who live in it. Even if the main plot is nowhere in sight, character development continues to move along, and before you know it visible changes start to appear in the characters' attitudes toward each other. As a result, this show has turned out to be surprisingly slice-of-life, and I find that I don't mind that so much anymore, because I've become so attached to the characters and their growing relationships. It isn't perfect, but I really do enjoy it.
Would I recommend it?: Yes.

Romeo x Juliet
Seen so far: 19/24 episodes.
My rating: C
This had so much potential. The minor characters are basically the only reason I'm still watching. This show's main weakness is that it's too black-and-white; the good people are generally GOOD, and the bad people are BAD. Characters who are exceptions to this, such as Tybalt and Hermione, are the most interesting, but unfortunately they aren't used very much. Romeo, on the other hand, is the least interesting to me. His character arc turned out to be disappointing, because everything came too easily for him (he successfully set up a farming community on land with depleted soil despite previously not even knowing what a potato looked like). And generally, there's too much sap, and not enough fighting. The result is that the majority of the episodes are boring, IMO. Actually...now that I think about it, the only episodes I really enjoyed were 6-9. 10-16 kinda killed the show for me, to the point that I can't even take it seriously anymore, so even though it's starting to pick up again, the momentum has been lost, and most of my interest along with it.
Would I recommend it?: No.

Bokurano
Seen so far: 17/26 episodes.
My rating: B
I've figured out what's been bothering me about this anime. There's no real sense of urgency. These kids know they've got limited time left to live, and yet they don't do anything about it until it's their time to fight, and by then they've only got a couple of days at the most. Why aren't they freaking out more, especially after the revelation in episode 13? That being said, I think the stories where the children do realize what their deaths would mean (Daichi, Moji, and Maki) have been the strongest and most emotional. Daichi's episode actually made me cry. However, I don't like the recent twist with who Jun's real mother is, and the new character is annoying and feels out of place (I assume he's an anime original?). I'm not sure where they're trying to take this subplot, and frankly I don't know why it's even needed, since it's not doing much for Jun's development anyway. At this point it feels like they're just stalling because they're running out of kids and still have so many episodes left. Well...I'm still going to keep watching to the end, but it's not a priority for me anymore.
Would I recommend it?: Maybe.

Victorian Romance Emma: Second Act
Seen so far: 12/12 episodes (FINISHED).
My rating: B
This was going great until episode 7. To tell the truth, I'm a bit disappointed with how it turned out. Maybe it's because I read the manga first, but a lot of episode 7+ didn't feel like VRE to me anymore. And Emma herself started annoying me after a while with how she kept running away and got away with everything. There were some things exclusive to the anime that I really liked (basically everything with Eleanor, pushing Hans into being a main character, and giving Hakim more to do), but overall I wish they had stuck closer to the manga. Still, it was fun seeing many of my favorite characters animated, the music was really nice, and the last episode had a definite sense of closure that the manga ending lacked. And I'm happy that Earnest got a small cameo at the end. :D
Would I recommend it?: Maybe.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
(The feel of this show changes with each arc so the first OP really doesn't do a good job of representing the series as a whole. The third OP is better at that, though it's also very spoilery.)
Seen so far: 21/27 episodes.
My rating: A
I wish I'd started watching this earlier. XD In terms of consistency, there's only been two (what I consider) "weak" episodes, and it's always getting better and more epic. It's action-packed, fast-paced (but never rushed), the characters really grow and change, and it pulls off being fun and serious equally well. And it just feels great to be able to trust the writers with what they're doing, because they know exactly where they want to go and how to get there. Six episodes to go, and I'll be waiting eagerly for each one. :D
Would I recommend it?: Definitely.

Dennou Coil
Seen so far: 13/26 episodes.
My rating: A
I finally got around to watching it, and I have to say this show is friggin CUTE. XD First of all, it's highly imaginative. While having a high-tech concept, it actually gives me a very nostalgic feeling, making me recall my own childhood. The plot so far is intriguing and rather creepy as it involves urban legends and beings from another world. The characters are cute, funny, and cool. People might kill me for saying this, but I'd almost describe it as a more mature Digimon. XD Also, episode 12 was the funniest episode of any anime I've seen all summer. Seriously. XD
Would I recommend it?: Yes.

Mononoke
Seen so far: 6/12 episodes + Bakeneko.
My rating: A
I haven't been talking about this show because I don't have much to say. It's really good though. There's something very old-fashioned about it...but also something new and unique. It pulls off the horror genre very well, and not in any cheap way, but in a way that's truly freaky and unsettling. It also takes its time in unveiling the story, much like a mystery series. But what I guess really keeps it from being a favorite is that I feel no emotional attachment, not even to the main character. But mystery is part of Medicine Seller's appeal, so I can't call that a weakness either. Hmm. Basically, I enjoy watching it, but it's not going to be particularly memorable to me in the end. Though I must say, episode 5 was amazing. "Umibouzu" indeed.
Would I recommend it?: Yes.

BACCANO!
Seen so far: 4/16 episodes.
My rating: A
I feel like this should be a guilty pleasure from how much fun I'm having, but it's not. XD The way this show is structured is just wild and crazy, and that's what makes it great. There doesn't seem to be any deep themes or a single plotline, but instead a huge tangle of subplots involving a colorful cast of characters. It's just FUN, and that's all that matters.
Would I recommend it?: Yes.



Favorite Male Characters:

1. Simon (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)

Simon starts off as a very reluctant hero. A boy covered in dirt, whose only talent is digging holes; cowering in fear of earthquakes and having little confidence in himself; completely unaware of all the great and terrible things that lie in his future.
His gradual growth into becoming a strong leader is simply one of the best things about Gurren Lagann.

2. Hei (Darker than BLACK)

Hei is a man with many faces. It takes a while to figure him out, but once you do, it's easy to sympathize with him. It also helps that he is hardcore (when an enemy stops his heart, he defribs himself), and has some amusing quirks (FAT BY THIRTY). The fact is, they could have easily made this character boring and typical (like he is in the manga), but instead I find him intriguing and quite endearing.

Runner-up: Haraken (Dennou Coil)
He's so cute and smart and quiet~ I would totally marry him if he were real and my age. Totally.


Favorite Female Characters:

1. Nia (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)

In a show known for its hot-blooded manliness, Nia comes in with her flowery femininity and pulls off the "who do you think I am" line just as well as anyone. Bubbly but not stupid, trusting but not naïve, friendly but fully able to bitchslap someone if they deserve it. Nia is badass; she just happens to be cute and lovable at the same time.

2. Isako (Dennou Coil)

Isako has l33t skillz and an attitude to go with it. She is one bossy, arrogant, tsundere 12-year-old. What's not to love about that?? XD

(It amuses me how both Nia and Isako are pointing at the sky in the above images, but for completely different reasons-
Nia: "Believe in Simon, everyone! His drill will BREAK THROUGH THE HEAVENS! :D"
Isako: "Obey me, for I am your new evil overlord! >:D")

Runner-up: Juliet (Romeo x Juliet)
Cute, kickass, vigilante, etc. I just wish she'd stop getting stupid whenever she's with Romeo. :/



Best Character Entrances (Male):

1. Tybalt (Romeo x Juliet Episode 7)
The lighting, the cool poses, and the way he just slices through four assassins in a second tells the viewer that this character will be BADASS.

2. Viral (Gurren Lagann Episode 3)
Likewise, when your first impression of a guy is him swinging a butcher knife at someone, with his own theme music playing in the background, you know he's going to be awesome.

Runner-up: November 11 (Darker than BLACK Episode 5)
He's not just a secret agent, he's a living, breathing anti-smoking ad!


Best Character Entrances (Female):

1. Monica (Emma Second Act Episode 4)
She appears looking regal as a queen and immediately starts fawning over her little sister like some creepy stalker. This is the Monica I know and love!

2. Yoko (Gurren Lagann Episode 1)
Swinging in from above with her rifle blasting away at the enemy, then landing smoothly on her feet...she makes it look as if she's been doing this kind of stuff all her life. (She has.)

Runner-up: Nia (Gurren Lagann Episode 9)
She comes in a BOX!


Aaand that's all for now. :O
Tags: anime, baccano!, bokurano, darker than black, dennou coil, gurren lagann, romeo x juliet, victorian romance emma
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