Impressions and Thoughts on Suisei no Gargantia

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Suisei no Gargantia (13 Episodes – Spring 2013)

Alright jumping right back into things! I’m always interested in “Strange person in another world” type anime because really this is where creators can shine the most. Sure I love me a good basketball or baseball anime but those worlds are generally already defined and cannot be changed. Time for a little view into my anime viewing habits, when I see an anime I think I will like for sure I tend to put it off to the side into a sort of “safe haven” pile. That way if I watch an anime that I really dislike or, just want to watch something good, I go to this particular set of anime that I’ve set aside. MOST of the time this works out very well, sometimes it doesn’t…. in any case onto the plot synopsis!

While fighting an intense inter-galactic war, a mecha pilot was accidentally warped into a space-time neither he nor the computer of his mecha could recognize. After waking up from hibernation, he found himself trapped on a planet, with human residents talking in an unknown form of language, using inferior technologies, and — most shocking to him — naturally breathable air. (Source: ANN) This is where we take our first turn into something unexpected, the “strange” world is a planet that is something of a myth to the main character’s people. Then throughout the series we get to see various facets of the life of the people on this planet. It is actually very interesting how the creators came up with how their lives functions, although to me a clear message was sent upon during this whole anime and one that didn’t surprise me in the least when I consider everything. (My apologies for being vague, but I don’t want to supplant ideas or anything else if you intend to watch this)

The characters I found very enjoyable, the main protagonist is balanced between his militaristic side and his curiosity. The things he does to learn about this new world and often against the advice of his helper AI thing humanizes him even more. The female protagonist is kind of like the opposite, her curiosity allows her to do things normal people wouldn’t but her duty to her people reins her back enough to know when to stand up for what she thinks is right. So there is an interesting duality between the two.

Overall this anime was well worth the watch, it took a spin on the “Person in Strange World” genre that I’m sure has been done before but how they presented it was an enjoyable experience. If I had to say something that I didn’t like about it, it would probably be that the ending of the series started to lose me a bit in terms of my interest.

Verdict: As I have really no bad things to say about this anime this one is easily one I would recommend, the setting is interesting, the characters are interesting and how they present it as a whole is great as well.

What else I would recommend: Jyu Oh Sei, this anime follows along the lines of the “person in strange world” theme but I found this to be interesting because of the beginning and how the two brothers interact.

Jyu Oh Sei (ANN)

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Unexpected Break!

Well I had an unexpected break the past few weeks, though when I say break I mean time for studying for the end of the semester exams. That’s what I’ve been basically doing for these past few weeks. So, I’ll be posting my thoughts again soon enough when time is no longer broken down into food time and study time. 😀

Impressions and thoughts on Noragami

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Noragami (12 Episodes – Winter 2014)

The world of the gods is often a popular subject for anime just because how religion works in Japan which is to say there is not a profound presence of it. So since they have no “loyalty” to a religion for lack of a better word, they can do things that other places would consider them to be taboo. It is an interesting subject actually since I live in the US or really anywhere that has a cloud of an “accepted religion.” In any case Japan doesn’t have any of that and praying at shrines to gods for fortune and things is part of their tradition but not beliefs, if that makes sense. Enough culture rambling for now, I feel that I’m on the cusp of a preachy intro here so lets move onto the plot synopsis!

Yato is a minor deity who lacks even a single shrine. In order to build his own shrine, he scrawls his cell number on the wall of a downtown bathroom telling people he will help them in exchange for a 5-yen offering, becoming a self-styled “delivery god.” Hiyori, the daughter of a respectable family, is almost in a traffic accident, but is rescued by Yato. This causes her to become a “hanyou,” a person who can easily lose her soul. She chases Yato down, and they begin to work together. Yato also finds a boy named Yukine who becomes a “sacred treasure” that can be used by a god. The three of them battle “you” who bring harm to humans as Yato’s hidden history is gradually revealed. (Source: ANN)

To make an addition to the above synopsis from ANN, the main plot point of Noragami is that Hiyori asks Yato to fix her basically and he has no idea how except to gain more power which is done through offerings of 5-yen coins. So then he can buy a proper shrine where more people can offer and then it’s just a cycle. In any case I wished this series was a normal 26 episode season, some of the resolutions came too quickly especially at the end. So basically it suffered because of the short season like many of these short series do. In terms of my liking of the story I found it interesting, but mostly because I was interested for non-anime reasons. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a good story it’s just that personally I liked it for other reasons… if that makes sense. (It’s the end of the school year so schedule is getting a bit tight. So doing this on 3 hours of fragmented sleep was not the best idea but this post is already late.)

The most interesting character was Yato which is luckily the main character of the series. There’s a good story to be had focusing more on Yato and his past maybe even a new series based in his past, much like Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai X.  The old Yato and his transformation to his current state is probably a way more interesting story sadly than what they presented in this anime. Yukine felt like he had nothing to him and then suddenly everything was based on him and had to be resolved in a too short period of time which goes back to the 12 episode thing. There were other characters but they weren’t too important in terms of the present story, and they are much more prominent figures of Yato’s past which is why again his past story sounds way more interesting to me.

Overall Yato is what pulled this anime through to the end, his characterization was pretty much everything I wanted him to be. The revelation of his past self was probably the worst thing this anime did because that’s all I really care about now, even if there was a second series I probably wouldn’t care to be honest.

Verdict: I would say give it a shot, but also expect to be a bit disappointed in the end. I personally only cared about Yato and his past other than the resolution of Hiyori’s issue.

What else I would recommend: Ghost Hunt, in keeping sort of theme with Japan and its religion (or lack thereof) this sorta fits the same niche in my opinion, probably better.

Ghost Hunt (ANN)

Impressions and Thoughts on Hajime no Ippo: Rising

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Hajime no Ippo: Rising (25 Episodes – Fall 2013)

This will be the start of the posts that are part of the recent group of anime that have ended, this particular anime is first on the list because things are a bit hectic right now and this is a pretty straight forward write up to be honest. In any case the world of sports anime is something that I enjoy very much starting when I first saw Prince of Tennis and was intrigued on how they would adapt it to an anime. Many many sports series later, I am a huge fan of them. As I said, this is rather straight forward write up as evidenced from the following plot synopsis…

Ippo continues to defend his Japanese Featherweight title from an ever stronger pool of challengers. Meanwhile, Takamura challenges for his second WBC title in the middleweight class, and Aoki challenges for the Japanese Lightweight title. (Source: ANN)

Yeah, yeah, I was too lazy to write even that up myself, haha! In any case since it is a sequel the story is probably not at a point where you would want to jump on. The fun of sports anime is that you see the progression of the protagonists and how they solve the problems, granted in a boxing one they punch better harder and faster, but the point is that it is the journey not the destination that matters. With that said the story in Ippo Rising is half Ippo and half other people since things happen in the story and Ippo needs to find resolve and all that good stuff. I was personally fine with his gym mates getting some episodes since he’s the only point of reference he has to other professional boxers really but near the end you can tell they just wanted to end the series cleanly at a certain point for the next season. Those episodes leading to that point I didn’t really care for.

As for the characters, Ippo is still the same lovable guy and his mates are still the childish pranksters you know them as if you’ve been watching the series. There hasn’t been too much character development really, mostly Vorg, Mashiba and Itagaki probably made the most strides.

Verdict: Obviously, if you liked the first Ippo this is still right up your alley. If you want to jump into the series, as I said before I would just start at the beginning the journey is well worth it.

What else I would recommend: The sports anime that drew me into this genre is what I recommend, Prince of Tennis.

Prince of Tennis (ANN)

Impressions and thoughts on Cardfight Vanguard Link Joker-hen

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Cardfight!! Vanguard: Link Joker Hen (59 Episodes – Winter 2013)

Alright, card anime, we are in my wheel house now! Well sorta, in my “about me” post I talked about Cardfight Vanguard already sort of, so this particular post should not be too surprising. This season however recently finished and is the last of my posts written before the flood of more recent anime finishing. In any case after a year this story arc has finished!

A few months have passed since the VF Circuit, and Aichi is now in High School. However Aichi is in a different high school than most of his friends, a high school where the instructors focus on looking towards the future. One day Aichi admits he thinks Cardfight can be a future people can believe in, but in order to prove it Aichi must use his new deck, a deck in which Royal Paladins and Gold Paladins are combined as one force. Slowly but surely Aichi must gain friends through Cardfighting and help his new team win the newly formed high school cardfighting championships. (Source: ANN)

So the story, as it is a card anime is highly improbable and exaggerations made to every end possible but does that mean it’s a bad one? In this case, the story was just okay. Honestly the first half or maybe more was pretty dull, the creating of the clubs and all that and dealing with the high school stuff. I mean it’s supposed to set up the ending of the season but really I don’t watch card anime for deep relationships between characters. So again, just an “OK” on my scale, the ending of the series was pretty good though. It has more impact obviously if you’ve been following the series but seeing rivals continue to face off is probably the best part of card anime.

From each season the characters grow in some way but if you’ve seen like a sports anime then you’ve seen all the characters. I suppose there is a bit of difference because of the 3 idols who also play but otherwise the characters are nothing special. I mean again as I stated I don’t watch card anime for deep relationships so expecting characters to be interesting is not the point, the card battles are supposed to be the focus and if there is a good character in the process that is just a bonus.

Overall it’s your standard card anime, believe it or not there are some (well one that pops immediately into my head) which I would recommend because I found it actually really great. This one is not one of those, but if you like card anime then might as well give it a look.

Verdict: Pass. I would really only recommend it to anyone who likes the actual TCG or card anime in general. I guess this is just preaching to choir really because it’s an obvious conclusion.

What I would recommend instead: Yugioh 5Ds, seriously this anime is probably the best card anime out there, it has a really dark story compared to the rest. This is probably the best anime for the genre for a while since the franchise is targeting the younger audience again for new players, however for anyone who likes high action battles not just card games I would recommend this to. Honestly.

Yu-Gi-OH! 5Ds (ANN)

Impressions and thoughts on Paradise Kiss

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Paradise Kiss (12 Episodes – Fall 2005)

Finally after all this time an anime where I can show my true colors with my knowledge of both being a frustrated teenage girl at point and my love for fashion! … Yeah, so that’s pretty much the gist of this whole anime in a short sentence, I picked this show on a whim to watch on night and without spoiling too much I will simply say it was an interesting ride.

Yukari is a typical high-school student who listens to her parents and attends school everyday. As she starts to question her way of life, she encounters a group of fashion design students who has a clothing label known as “Paradise Kiss”. The group needs to find a model to showcase their designs in an up-coming fashion show and decides to pick Yukari instead. Initially, Yukari was reluctant to be associated with this seemingly eccentric group, but eventually, she realizes that they are really nice people. Furthermore, their passion and enthusiasm to follow their ideals and dreams make Yukari realize that she has not been enjoying her life and this motivated her to pursue her own dreams. (Source: ANN)

Alright so truthfully the fashion part of the anime is not that important aside from the fact that the main character is choosing to become a model for the Paradise Kiss people. Onto the main point though, the story for the anime is to me very interesting. I think it has mostly to due with how I understand Japanese culture as a whole and how this sort of goes against that grain until I realized how the story was going to unfold. In any case, as I said the story was actually quite interesting for me even as a guy who really can’t relate to a girl in love and fashion as a whole.

The characters for this anime is probably the reason why I found the anime so interesting. Yukari who is sort of abandoning the normal way of Japanese meets the people of Paradise Kiss who actually in their own way are following the Japanese way of life through their own way. Seeing them interact with Yukari with their own personality is again interesting. I really need to find a better word in the future.

Overall, the anime was “interesting” 😛 it was a good look at Japanese societal life if you are in tune with Japanese Culture and the story of Yukari’s struggle to figure out what she is doing with her life is something most people can appreciate.

Verdict: Recommended! Using the word interesting so much, it would be weird if I didn’t say watch this and see if it’s interesting for you. Not sure how it would resonate with my fellow dudes, but as it is tagged “josei” perhaps I’m in the dude minority.

What else I would recommend: Gin no Saji, this anime is about a guy who is trying to find his way in life and goes to a farming school to get away from it all. While this story is a more lighter tone, both anime have the same kind of theme.

Gin no Saji (ANN)

Impressions and thoughts on Seitokai Yakuindomo

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Seitokai Yakuindomo (13 Episodes – Summer 2010)

So then there is this anime… just a short bit of background if you haven’t inferred anything from previous posts or maybe you’re new to the blog, in which case welcome! Anyway, I’m not exactly a fan of ecchi things- and while this doesn’t really have that disliking ecchi things also tends to mean dislike of sexual innuendo, jokes and things of that nature. To say the complete truth I had no idea that this anime had all of that and found that out very quickly on my own. The plot is why I initially was interested in the series, and speaking of…

Takatoshi is a new student in a recently gender-integrated high school, and is asked to join the student council as the vice president. Thus begins his days as the only normal boy among 3 female student council officers. (Source: ANN)

I had initially only paid attention to the “comedy” tag that this series had and when I expected an awkward comedy series about the things of a rare male in a recently co-ed school. I was looking forward to all the obvious situations along with any ones I hadn’t thought of.

In any case the particular anime doesn’t really have an overarching story, there are things that obviously go from episode to episode but there isn’t a driving force to the narrative like trying to defeat a big bad or getting better at some skill. It’s just school life and student council work from the beginning til end, oh and jokes… lots of jokes. The tsukommi is strong in this anime haha, if you’re not particularly familiar with the term basically the tsukommi or “straight” man is someone who always responds to something the other character does. I can’t think of a specific example but it would be something like if you are talking about summer and someone says: “Sometimes we let dragonflies in our home to fly around the house.” The tsukommi at this point would say “What does that have to do with summer?!?” or something along those lines.

Basically the characters in the anime are all “boke” and the main character is always the straight man and the small girl is generally also another straight character. That’s what makes the anime overall pretty funny, the main character trying to keep up with all the others.

Overall, even though I’m not always a fan of dirty jokes and all that I found this anime very funny to watch.

Verdict: If you don’t mind lots of dirty jokes and innuendo then I’d say give an episode or two a shot! It was a nice change of pace from the standard anime genres for me.

What else I would recommend: One of the only series that comes to my head when trying to think of a comparing show is Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. It’s a comedy anime as well with some similar themes…kinda.

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (ANN)

Impressions and thoughts on Baccano!

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Baccano! (13 Episodes – Summer 2007)

So it is around this time that I have come to the realization of two things, the first is at the time I am writing this I see that many many of the anime I am watching are like 22 or 23 episodes in of a normal 26 episode season. I am going to have so much material to write on in like very soon. In any case, this post I’m taking a look at Baccano, a fairly loved anime if you look at the ratings… so you know what that means… my track record of not liking or understanding the love for “top rated” anime will continue today! (Maybe I’m just like an anime hipster or something, haha!)

Synopsis, go! It’s the 1930s, and Mafia groups fight for supremacy in American cities. Young Firo joins the secretive Camorra group; a meek street boy, Jacuzzi, finds himself the leader of a gang of thugs; an alchemist is producing a liquor of immortality, and a homunculus tries to retrieve it; and upbeat thieves Isaac and Miria head to New York after failing to strike gold in California. They ride the novel train, the Flying Pussyfoot, across the continent. However they find themselves embroiled in a ruckus caused by gangs, terrorists, serial killers, and others as multiple stories intertwine and unfold on this fateful ride. (Source: anime-planet)

Whoa! New source, mostly because the summary on ANN wasn’t a synopsis at all. But hey at least they didn’t just copy it from a website and just cite a source… *cough* Anyway, something I wanted to note real fast is that I really liked the intro music, normally after the first time I skip the opening song because most of the time there are spoilers for later in the anime so I’d rather not know those things. In Baccano, I listened to the intro every time it came on because it was really catchy and also at some point in the series they put the recap of the previous episode in the intro. I’m not sure if it had been done in other anime but I thought that was really well done.

So the overall story for this anime is pretty straightforward, the problem however is that the presenting of the story is really haphazard. There are various points in the story where the focus jumps from the main story to one of the other characters and how they got there and things like that but it also jumps back and forth to different years. So basically if you’re trying to piece everything together in one timeline it’s a pain. Also the main characters of the story are a pretty non-factor, they’re basically the comic relief since everything else is so serious tone.

So as I said previously, everyone aside from the main characters are pretty all super serious because they’re all mafia and whatnot. All the characters are pretty interesting in their own right as well- and even though I say “main characters” they really are just present for all or most of the events so it’s really the only sense of continuity you have at times.

Overall, the storytelling method was really annoying for me, I go into an anime wanting the story so when the method of telling adversely affects that it’s hard for me to like it. Near the end it mostly comes together as everything sort of leads up to the main confrontation of the story but at that point I was bracing myself to have my mind jostled around for more time skipping.

Verdict: Putting aside the story telling I found the anime fairly enjoyable, I wouldn’t say it was amazing or anything like that but it was better than average. If anything this would be a weak recommendation.

What else I would recommend: Cowboy Bebop, if you haven’t seen this yet I would be surprised as this is probably on the top of most peoples’ lists. This is the only anime really that came to my head though aside from “the anime that shall not be named.”

Cowboy Bebop (ANN)

Impressions and thoughts on Taishou Yakyuu Musume

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Taishou Yakyuu Musume (12 Episodes – Summer 2009)

I may have mentioned it at some point, perhaps not, but I am a pretty big sports anime fan. I don’t particularly have a good reason why, aside from the fact that I like to see how one adapts a sports concept to an anime. Most achieve this through something like an unorthodox battle sorta thing but other series such as this one just have it as a facilitator of another idea. In this particular case it takes place in the Taishou period in Japan around the 1920’s and baseball facilitates the need for change in women’s rights to be more progressive. To save you from reading a paragraph on Japan’s current affairs, we move on to the plot synopsis!

In 1925 (year 14 of the Taishō period), after being told by a baseball player that women should become housewives instead of going to school, two 14-year-old Japanese high school girls named Koume and Akiko decide to start a baseball team in order to prove him wrong. During this time, when even running was considered too vulgar for women, baseball is known as “what the boys do” and they face many difficulties when searching members, getting permission from their parents and when learning about the sport itself. (Source: ANN)

So basically it’s a sports/girl power anime, and I found it very fun to watch. Instead of the normal male, need to train constantly and other problems like that. We have societal acceptance problems and things like that along with some minor baseball things.

As for the characters, they are all done pretty well in my opinion. The main character is easily someone you can identify with, as main characters usually are. I can’t really think of any particular dislikes I had with the characters since they all seemed close enough to realistic while maintaining characters interesting enough for the story.

Overall, this anime is solid whether you like the sports genre or what a good women empowerment story. I personally was in it for the sports but the setting also made it more enjoyable.

Verdict: I recommend it! Although as I said in my little info thing I really enjoy all sports anime so obviously take it with a grain of salt. 😀

What else I would recommend: Hmm, I think something that fits quite close to this anime is Bamboo Blade. It’s a female protagonist and their trying to get better and enjoy the world of Kendo.

Bamboo Blade (ANN)

Mid-March Update

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So as the new season of anime is soon to be upon us I will be having lots of material to write posts on, and seeing as that information will be both relevant and anime I was watching anyway, this is how I foresee the schedule to be in terms of where those particular posts will be placed.

As of right now I have the rest of the March anime posts scheduled so those will not change but most likely if an anime has ended by my first post in April it will be put there. Then every other post will be one from the most recently finished season that I watched.

So March Looks like this as of now:
– 3/18: Taishou Yakyuu Musume
– 3/21: Baccano!
– 3/25: Seitokai Yakuindomo
– 3/28: Paradise Kiss
– 4/1: Possible recently finished anime
– 4/4: Older anime

Also those are the actual posts coming for March. I doubt I’ll ever post an actual month schedule unless I reach a point where I’ve decided to write posts for an actual month ahead of time which I doubt will happen.

For those who haven’t checked my list, this is the current anime I’m watching which look to be in range of finishing soon and posted in April:
– Diamond no Ace
– Golden Time
– Gundam Build Fighters
– Hajime no Ippo: Rising
– Kill la Kill
– Kuroko no Basket 2
– Log Horizon
– Phi Brain: Season 3
– Saki: Zenkoku-hen
– Z/X: Ignition

Well that’s quite a bit actually.. maybe April will be recently finished anime month haha! I can probably push the others till after. One more thing I’ve been debating on recently, up till this point I’ve only posted thoughts on anime I’ve completely finished but there have been quite a few where I stopped watching although I intended to post on it. As this is not a review blog with scores and I’m just giving thoughts I see no problem with giving my thoughts on anime I’ve dropped as long as I can contribute some insight as to why I didn’t take a liking to certain series which may be useful for people as well.

I’m probably rambling now, so I should actually sleep since I see sunlight out my window. 😀
Less than three, TJE!