Spring 2014 Week 3 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

Shows in order of my enjoyment of the latest episode, not the show as a while.

I’m actually dropping/putting on hold a few shows. Finally cutting down on some write-ups (I hope I can!) link are to relevant blog-posts, and only for shows I thought the write-up was good or lengthy enough. First impressions for M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane, extra long write-ups for Isshuukan Friends, M3, and Mekakucity Actors.

1) Ping Pong episode 2

Ping Pong the Animation episode 2 overview - Tsukimoto Makoto / Smile has a face-off with coach Koizumi Jou

From APR – Ping Pong Episode 2 takes what the first episode had done and kicks it to overdrive. The characters which were basic are actually built. The interactions are charming, the characters are all “known” and nothing is new, but they still have depth and convince you of their reality, as their quirky natures rise to the top. A loveable cast, solid acting, and solid direction. The “duel” being narrated from the sides, discussing the other’s personality, the flicks to the butterfly… this ping pong duel had been directed and narrated as a samurai show fight, straight out of a samurai manga, and it’s one of the best such duels I’ve watched or read in a long while.

Verdict: Kept, full write-ups.

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LUFTRAUSERS – The Most Important Button is the One You Don’t Press

LUFTRAUSERS is a shoot’em up, or an aerial dogfighting game, where you get to make a plane out of 3 parts (weapon, body, engine) making up 125 combinations, each with a different audio track (I assume they have 3 layers/parts, for each bit) – I personally like the nuke body (where you blow up when you die, but take extra damage from collisions) the best.

LUFTRAUSERS video game review

This game is elegant, there are a total of four buttons you can click: Right, left, up (accelerate) and “Shoot”. Nothing else. Actually, the game has 6 buttons. Right, left, pressing on accelerate, not-pressing on accelerate, pressing to shoot, and not-pressing to shoot. While it seems weird for me to note these, as we don’t talk of “not shooting” as a button in most games, there the choice is often what to shoot, or how else to circumvent an enemy (Stealth games).

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M3 The Dark Metal / M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 1 – Better Die than Face the Past

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

A bunch of kids, mecha, dark. Mari Okada at the helm. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a show about its characters, about their psychological make-up. The fights are an extra on top. Mari Okada is good at characters and relationships, even if she’s not the best at “convoluted plots”. I hope she focuses on her strengths. Her other show this season, the “Madoka Mari Okada” (Selector Infected WIXOSS) is less than impressing me currently.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) The Orderly World:

M3 The Dark Metal / M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 1 Notes anime - Kasumi Raika and the stupid teacher

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Mekakucity Actors Episode 2 Notes – “You’re All Style and No Substance!” – Akiyuki Shinbou

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

Real talk. Last episode had been pretty, and interesting, but also self-indulgent as all hell. However much you wanted to get us to understand Ene, this was just giving her more time than was necessary, for fun. Or perhaps because you didn’t have enough material, so you wanted to drag it along. As a result, regardless of whether Ene was loveable or annoying, very little actually happened last week.

And although that episode was filled with nearly non-stop chatter, very little of consequence was actually said.

We’ve got a big cast, and I suspect each episode will be quite different tonally. Well, an episode without Ene is bound to feel different, so let’s see what we’ve got on our hands.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Meet Momo. Silly and Loveable. Our Idol!:

Mekakucity Actors Episode 2 anime notes - Kisaragi Momo doesn't want to repeat a class

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Spring 2014 Week 2 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

Another week! Most of the weak shows actually improved, some even did so dramatically! Also covering first impressions for the following shows: Ping Pong, Hitsugi no Chaika (Chaika the Coffin Princess), Mekakucity Actors, and Knights of Sidonia (Sidonia no Kishi).

Each episode’s title links to my full episodic notes for the episode in question, in case you’d like my in-depth reactions. Shows are listed in the order of my enjoyment of the relevant episodes, not the show as a whole. Some shows are listed higher than others though I consider them worse, because I’ve enjoyed this week’s episode more.

1) Mushishi S2 episode 2

Mushishi second season episode 2 anime overview

 From APR – Last week’s Mushishi was “Mushishi good”, which means it was very good, and small, that it didn’t scream its existence to the world. This episode though had been great even by Mushishi standards. We’ve had a case where the Mushishi situation reflects the situation of the humans, /twice over/. We had small sad moments, we had moments that had been down to earth, and moments where the supernatural had been allowed to shine in all of its glory. I have the feeling most of the voice actors in Mushishi aren’t professional full-time actors, and if anything, it makes things feel so much more real. May every episode be like this.

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Durarara!! – The Sound and Fury of Life

Durarara!! AnimeShortly before Winter’s season was ending, I was feeling a bit meh over all the anime I was watching, and didn’t feel like tackling all the shows I already started, so picked a new show to watch, with the intention of marathoning it. In short? I loved Durarara!! It made my heart swell, it made my thoughts race, as I’m filled with an inexplicable joy and feelings of overwhelming love for the whole world. That show invigorated me and made me want to run, and act.

Durarara!! (DRRR for short) had been written by Narita Ryogo, the author behind fan-favourite Baccano! (meaning “ruckus”), and their anime adaptations also share a director. I hadn’t watched Baccano! yet, but they both are light novel adaptations displaying a very varied cast, and both deal with noise, if only thematically. DRRR is a very loud anime, not in decibels, but there’s music that is somewhat ill-belonging present in almost every scene. The music disarms you, the music forces you to enter the world, to weather the fury, to embrace it. Repeating sounds are what draws you into a ritualistic mindset, and it’s very present here.

While they are Light Novel adaptations, I think these are exactly the stories that benefit from being adapted into a visual medium, as the intersecting story-lines and characters can be seen in the background, as we see this breathing world, without attention being drawn to it by the author. It’s a word which different characters share, and we get to see things from various angles. As much as it is a story of the characters, Durarara!! is very much the story of Ikebukuro, a district within Tokyo. It’s the story of the world inhabited and created by the cast.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be premise spoilers, but while I might spoil what some of the situations are, I won’t spoil how they are resolved.)

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Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 Notes – Shinbo Presents: Clippy! Wait, What?!

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

This is an interesting show for me, one of the shows I’m most interested and intrigued by, but have the least “hype” for, just because I have no idea what to expect, so I have nothing concrete to hope for. I don’t even know “genre”. I’m just going to watch it and see what it is.

Took 20 screenshots this episode. Mostly starring Ene-blue and Shinbo-Sky-Mustard.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Shinbo being Shinbo (Shaft being Shaft):

Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 anime notes - Tsubomi Kido

1) Boy’s hair fluttering makes me think of Araragi from Monogatari. Gears of a clock as we talk of time-travel or repeating time-loops (I’m guessing) is an easy motif.

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