gaguri’s Ramblings on Spring Season

April 20, 2009

marie

A notice of short hiatus first because, well, I feel like catching up on some series without editing something in between. I’m thinking about three months long break, hopefully not longer. I still have quite a number of rough drafts (more like collected notes I’ve taken in the past) on my other favourite titles but those will have to wait. I plan to marathon Casshern Sins, finish the rest of Legend of The Galactic Heroes, follow few shows from this season, and catch up on few selections from my ever-growing-backlog. If you are a newcomer, feel free to browse through and comment on previous entries at leisure. If you have been following this blog, all I ask of you is to keep me in your feedburner ^^

Anyway, read below to see the list of shows I’ve tried out, in the order of how much I liked them. Keep in mind that I am very picky and can easily drop any decent show based solely on early impressions and speculations.

Cross Game

Cross Game

Impression: This was sweet and innocent, painfully sad, but also heart-warming. In my recent memory this was the first episode of any series I shed tears for. Exactly the kind of old school drama I was looking for. Watch the first episode. It will win you over. I am not very knowledgable when it comes to manga but I can already see why Adachi’s works receive so much recognition. It is obvious that a lot of love has gone into this adaptation, and I can’t really see how this can fail. Thank you Cross Game.

Status: Following with great enthusiasm.

souten kouro

Souten Kouro

Impression: Wow. Not exactly what I expected but hey, this is good. It isn’t exactly my type of anime but that is ok. We are talking Romance of Three Kingdoms adaptation. Sorry I meant good RoTK adaptation. Like Impz, I like Cao Cao and consider him far more interesting character than Liu Fei so I’m glad to see him as the main character. From the looks of it this seems to be loyal neither to Records nor Romance of Three Kingdoms (haven’t read the manga) so it will be interesting to see where this goes. Hopefully Impz will cover this weekly, it was great discussing RoTK when Koihime Musou was airing. Only thing that sort of irks me is that now I have to get used to their Japanese names aside from their Chinese and Korean names…too much to remember, to ho ho.

Status: Following unconditionally.

marie

Marie & Gali

Impression: I like strange shows. And Marie & Gali is very strange. It is also oddly charming. It has wonderfully curious artwork, features comedic versions of Galileo, Newton, Da Vinci and other prominent scientists and is aimed primarily at children (I’m talking Chi’s Sweet Home level of audience). Needless to say, this was a real pleasant surprise for me. Not the most ambitious, but has the most creative and intriguing designs this season so far and loving it. Some of the antics can prove annoying though. It’s only 5 minutes long per episode so why not try it? Oh yes, I also like goth loli ^^

Status: Following it with ease.

Ristorante Paradiso

Impression: Haha…o man, the second episode…anyway, I got pretty much what I expected. A normal girl findng herself inside a reverse harem full of gay looking man in Italian restaurant. The side characters aren’t really standing out though, compared to the quirky cast of Ouran. I also expected the show to focus lot more on exotic dishes like how Bartender was very cocktail-centric. That would have been educational. But I do like the classy atmosphere, which I have been missing since Bartender.

Status: Following for now.

Eden of the East

Impression: What did I like the most from this show? The amazing ED sequence. Doesn’t it just blow you away? Other than that, well, I enjoyed it but I wasn’t blown away. Perhaps I expected too much from the trailer. Everything looks pretty but the way some character acts baffles me. I like the background though. Nothing much more to say other than that. It’s not bad but didn’t like it as much as other shows I’m following.

Status: Dropped for now.

FMA 2

Impression: It’s not bad, but not great either. People had high hopes because it was said to follow manga (which is apparently superior). Some of you may know Kim, whose taste I trust, has been pointing out how Bones is doing a pretty poor job adapting the source. I personally have no problem with freedom in adaptations (see my post on Gankutsuou) but I do have a problem when I see something mediocre, and what I have seen so far is not much better than mediocre. I have already seen one story of FMA and if I want to see more, perhaps it is wiser to just read the manga.

Status: Dropped.

Basquash!

I don’t like the main character. I don’t like his voice. I don’t like his attitude. I don’t like his friends. I don’t like his hair. I don’t like how he didn’t have the balls to have his way with Miyuki right then and there. But some things I did like. Background art was pretty damn good, animation very fluid, some fanservice moments were kinky and that basketball scene very exciting. Unfortunately I don’t like where this seems to be going despite its reasonably good production values. It is childish not in innocent and charming ways but in ‘shounen’ way (whatever that means).

Status: Dropped.

K-on!

Impression: Panders very well to a specific audience that I am not part of. I have noticed however K-on! is getting a lot of flak for its art and animation. Without going into overblown analysis of it (which honestly isn’t much to speak of) I just want to say it is not as horrible as some people say.

Status: Dropped

So, what are your progress with spring season?

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34 Responses to “gaguri’s Ramblings on Spring Season”

  1. animekritik Says:

    Well, good luck in your wanderings. I’m watching K-On!, Shin Mazinger and Jewel-ehem-Pet. Oh, and of course Churuya and Haruhi.

  2. gaguri Says:

    Jewel Pet is something I am also kinda interested in, but since I already have Marie and Galie filling in ‘kids section’ for me, I decided to give it a pass. Perhaps I’ll check it out later.

  3. coburn Says:

    I’ve managed to get hold of several first episodes without actually watching any of them (bar K-On, which I’m up to date with). Might have to take up Cross Game if it’s going to be that good, but I’m worried about over-filling my schedule. Will look forward to your return.

  4. gaguri Says:

    Fixed the italics for you πŸ˜€

    I’m loving Cross Game, and although I would recommend fitting it somewhere in your schedule, I’m sure you will manage your diet wisely. And thanks for the anticipation.

  5. OGT Says:

    Eden of the East is (barring a sneak sleeper attack) probably my favorite of the season, but I just happen to be a sucker for Messianic imagery and implications.

    Cross Game is perfectly fine, but (all Mitsuru Aidachi being equal) I should probably go watch Touch before Cross Game.

    Now, Souten Kouro I am going to go pick up and hope someone actually finishes it. Those series have a horrible track record for translation completion–Live-eviL still isn’t done with Genji Monogatari yet, as far as I know.

  6. Kim Says:

    Cross Game is definitely my favorite of the season. I love this type of slice of life story.

    As for FMA I can’t drop it because I love the source material so much and I want to see certain things finally animated. But I am definitely disappointed at this director’s approach. Don’t get me wrong though I do enjoy it more than the 1st series (not necessarily for its production values though) because it is closer to the source material but considering how good the manga is it could be so much better. I am hoping this anime will improve once its gets into episodes that are completely different from the 1st series and the director is only having trouble with the transition phase.

  7. Kitsune Says:

    Taking a break is a very healthy thing to do. Have fun marathoning anime and get plenty of rest πŸ™‚

    I still have not checked out Cross Game, but it sounds like I should. I liked Cross Game ED theme πŸ™‚ Also Animekritik convinced me to check out Jewel Pet because Freud himself is one of the voice actors πŸ˜›

    I told everything I think about Souten Kouro in my post on the first episode πŸ˜›

    I like Ristorante Paradiso the most this season πŸ™‚

    I am not very fond of Eden of the East, but I’ll give it a few more episodes. This anime has the best ED theme this season πŸ™‚

  8. gaguri Says:

    @OGT

    There is an old anime/manga fan I know and he mentioned that in his opinion, Cross Game is possibly his strongest work. But then again, Touch has actually finished airing. Central Anime group that is subbing Cross Game has a reasonably good track record, and the completed subbed version of LoGH I’ve been watching are subbed by them! Should be okay. I hope…

    @Kim

    Hmm I actually prefer the first series compared to what I’ve seen from 2nd so far. I am sure you and Barrel is going to make a big ruckus once it does get better though, so I’ll be relying on you guys ^^

    @Kitsune

    Haha thanks…I’m interested in Jewel Pet too. And Eden of the East indeed has, without contest, the best ED sequence of this season.

    Mmm I wonder if I am really the only one watching Marie and Gali at this point…

  9. Kim Says:

    It could just be I have a very strong bias against the first anime (although I did enjoy it to an extent) so even a flawed version of the manga to me is better than what the anime ultimately ended up doing.

    Although yes in case this new anime never does live up to the source material I definitely recommend reading the manga. It might seem simple at first but it definitely becomes epic as the story moves on. πŸ™‚

  10. Sasa Says:

    Interestingly, Cross Game did not catch my interest that much. Now that I have literally received a tower of DVDs to watch, my anime consumption has come down to K-ON, Eden of the East and Ristorante Paradiso – and seriously, I don’t particularily like any of them, although K-ON has good chances becoming an 8 on MAL.

    So, what can I say, I feel with you!

    PS. Ah, Three Kingdoms is fun but I fear that my knowledge about it will be restricted to small anecdotes of Zhuge Liang’s tactics for the rest of my life.

  11. Barrelhaven Says:

    I’m in the same boat as Kim when it comes to FMA2. For better or for worse, I’m in it for the long haul, simply because I hold the manga in such high esteem and that I just gotta see those certain scenes animated. Having said that, I have to admit I’m disappointed with how BONES has handled the Lior arc so far. Both anime versions deviated from the source material, but I actually prefer the first FMA’s take over the newer one. At least that version was well-animated and dramatic…the “remake” just felt flat and listless. I’m dearly hoping it’s BONES wanting to rush through the over-lapping material and saving up their best pitches for when the story starts branching.

    Hopefully by then, they’ll actually start practicing what they preach and stay true to the manga.

  12. Flash Sword Irene Says:

    I definitely recommend watching Casshern Sins since it was one of the better shows stemming from last year. The cartoonish violence (in some parts) is a tad bothersome in Souten Kouro since I think its rather inappropriate. On the other hand, I actually enjoyed the first episode minus the whole dragon sequence. (Who the fuck directed that part and what were they smoking?) Still, I hope that this adaptation which is based more on actual historical fact does not turn out to be a show only good for stylized violence.

    Regarding FMA 2, I think the production could improve as time goes along despite the rather unimpressive start. For Eden of the East, it is the other hyped show besides FMA 2 and I think it is alright thus far. Of course, I am still of the opinion that it could tank hard at any given moment. So, taking things with a grain of salt seems necessary for an anime season these days.

    Other then the three animes I mentioned, I am definitely following the rest of this season as it looks awful. Funny enough, I started the daunting task of LOGH since I really have nothing better to do. Since I have the week off from my workplace, I will have plenty of time to try and marathon as much of it as possible. Then again, I already had my hands full with the two prequels.

  13. Martin Says:

    Eden of the East impressed me a lot, but there’s this nagging fear of the unlikely and unthinkable possibility: it could fail. I really hope it won’t because the opening episode raised my hopes so high.

    K-On is pure fluff. It’s fine for having a few gentle laughs and requires no mental input whatsoever, but I really need something more substantial to look forward to every week.

    Valkyria Chronicles is another I had high hopes for, but I don’t think the storyline has genuinely got off the ground yet.

    There are a lot of titles you mention here that I’ve never even heard of before but intrigue me a lot. Cheers for pointing them out and enjoy your spring/summer break! You will be reading and lurking even though you won’t be posting, right?

  14. gaguri Says:

    @Kim

    I’m not really manga type, especially reading through online pages, but will keep that in mind πŸ˜€

    @Sasa

    I can’t believe that episode didn’t catch your attention, I thought it was very powerful and sweet. And although Zhuge Liang is awesome, there are countless other anecdotes RoTK to remember by for me.

    @Barrelhaven

    I prefer the previous series for the same reason. Let’s hope they will redeem themselves when it comes to new materials but honestly I am not expecting much. 😦

    @Flash Sword Irene

    Casshern Sins is exactly my type of show. It’s the kind of show I was waiting for Kaiba and Mononoke. It’s amazing but from what I heard it goes downhill when it deviates from stand alone episodes and focusing on main story. Hopefully that won’t be the case for me.

    I understand where you’re coming from Souten Kouro, and it has been bothering me as well, but you know…I love RoTK and just glad they didn’t turn these guys into women again…

    As for the prequels for LoGH…I think 110 episodes are already enough for me at the moment…

    @Martin

    Yea I don’t think Eden and K-on! are exactly bad, I just don’t feel like watching them at the moment. I wouldn’t expect anything too substantial from K-on! though. And Eden seems to be walking a tight rope, it has potential, but I have a bad hunch about it falling (like I had with Rideback, not sure what happened to that show, not many people are talking about it).

    And glad my recommendations proved useful :D.

    I will still be reading and lurking in the community, although not as much. Ever since becoming active in blogosphere (which is pretty much when I started blogging) made me realise that sometimes, TOO much opinions is never good. I liked it better when I concerned myself with smaller groups of voices.

  15. usagijen Says:

    There’s no way anything by Mitsuru Adachi can fail (yes I know that’s biased, but it’s still the truth! XD)

    I honestly don’t know what to say about Ristorante Paradiso, the second ep surprised me (not really in a ‘blew me away’ sort), or more like shock me. But I dunno, it seems to have an allure that sucks me into watching (I’m sure it’s not the gentlemen), the atmosphere as you’ve also said, the visuals, the Italia~ It’s not something I’m most looking forward to watching every week, though it somehow makes its way to your mind and keeps you hooked…

  16. usagijen Says:

    err, Rome~ I mean x__x;

  17. gaguri Says:

    I see where you’re coming from and that is pretty much sentiments as well. It’s not the kind of material that blows you away, but there is that classy allure that draws you. Although the characters certainly don’t feel like Italians for me, just another cast of anime characters, which is a shame.

  18. ghostlightning Says:

    Watching and liking:

    Shin Mazinger
    Sengoku Basara
    Dragon Ball Kai

    Wathching and undecided about:

    K-ON!
    Valkyria Chronicles

    Watching out of masochism:

    Basquash!

    Don’t take too long now, and enjoy your break from blogging ^_^

  19. gaguri Says:

    I will try not to πŸ™‚

    Mmm now you mention it maybe I should give Dragonball Kai a go. Unlike most people I have no nostalgia when it comes to Dragonball Z anime. I have read dragonball manga, and dragonball z volumes as well, but the anime was simply terrible. In the manga you have the ability to control the flow and can imagine the action scenes to be more epic, but the way it is presented in anime was ugh…

    But I am hearing some good things about it (obviously not a masterpiece…but I think many people are enjoying it more than Z, for whatever reason).

  20. ghostlightning Says:

    I forgot to mention that I am watching and liking Eden of the East. I don’t understand anything that’s going on yet, but I don’t think I need to so far.

    Dragon Ball Z is pretty much unfinished business for me [->], also because the anime was pretty horrible (what manga I did get hold of delighted me). This is why I’m relishing Kai, and the three episodes so far haven’t disappointed.

  21. muhootsaver Says:

    ^^ good to know that you are enjoying Cross Game. Adachi’s works are really something. I’m interested in Marie & Gali, as character design looks quite nice, but I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy listening to science lectures(after all, I’ve been in science field for some time now…)

  22. cello85 Says:

    Casshern Sins was really enjoyable! I am glad youre knocking out series in your slush pile. Eager to hear how you liked them all!

  23. Flash Sword Irene Says:

    Despite the shortcoming(s), Casshern Sins was rewarding enough to brush off the criticisms shared by most people (Imo). You will just have to watch the anime for yourself and see if you feel the same way. Still, I can not help but think me, Kavik, and AC are in the minority regarding the opinion of consensus.

    Animanda has picked up Souten Kouro with a release containing the Chinese names as part of the initial script. So, you can pick up those fansubs without having to worry even though you may have to wait a bit longer for them.

    Regarding LOGH, despite my viewing habits even I find this OVA to be a challenge to marathon. At the very least, it is a lot better then Tytania which was rather subpar. Still, I could not help but feel a little bored with this latest task at times. Compared to watching complete crap, this is certainly far more tolerable.

    As for why DB Kai seems to be more enjoyable, I find that to be a mystery in itself as well. Maybe the fact that the entire series has been cut virtually in half makes it a lot more tolerable. Still, I would probably just skip to the Cell Saga if I ever decided to watch this thing. (If ever.)

  24. gaguri Says:

    @ghostlightning

    Hahaha…yea the old dbz kinda blew didn’t it. Hopefully this new season will please you.

    @muhootsaver

    Don’t worry about science lectures, it’s nothing complicated. For example, the ‘lecture’ in the first episode is that all things fall at the same rate. lol. It’s very cute though, and only 5 mintues long, so you should give it a go πŸ˜€

    @cello85

    Thanks, do expect an explosion of posts on series I’ve watched when I return ^^

    @Flash Sword Irene

    True, I mean, I remember Kaiba being criticised for flaws in terms of how it handled overall story, but in my opinion it wasn’t enough to change how I saw Kaiba: simply amazing.

    Oh that’s good to hear from the Animanda group. But you know, I am considering to keep up with Central Anime, as it will give me a nice opportunity to learn Japanese names. It’s never bad to learn more right? πŸ™‚

  25. omisyth Says:

    Basquash excites me enough that I can look past it’s flaws and still enjoy it. And that’s the mark of a good show for me.

  26. gaguri Says:

    I am in perfect agreement. Good shows tend to make me look past its flaws and enjoy it. Basquash! however for me, does not have that much to offer to make me forget its flaws, which leave particularly bad impression on someone like me. That’s just the way our taste work I guess πŸ™‚

    I certainly don’t think Basquash is bad. In fact, I know someone who loves basketball and somewhat likes shounen-oriented anime, and I would definitely recommend him this. I might have come off bit harsh and elitist in this post but I don’t think most of these shows are bad. I just have a habit of watching shows from my backlog and wish only to follow the ones I really liked on weekly basis. And I definitely am not judging them by first episode and dropping them permanently, it’s only an impression and speculation after all. I trust the people of fine tastes in the community to notify me so that underrated gems don’t go unnoticed under my radar!

  27. ghostlightning Says:

    @ omisyth, gaguri

    I’m committed to Basquash because of a perverted loyalty to Shouji Kawamori.

    After 3 episodes, I’m suffering already.

    I like shounen-anime, and I’m a really big basketball nerd. Slam Dunk is the best anime for basketball, and a good sports anime overall (excellent as a manga).

  28. Shadowmage Says:

    Wait, no Hayate no Gotoku?

  29. gaguri Says:

    @ghostlightning

    In contrast, I don’t like shounen anime and not a basketball nerd (although I tend to pick up tons of basketball language and infos here and there), so naturally I didn’t find Slam Dunk that enjoyable ^_^b. Although I have to say the manga is pretty ok, from what little I’ve read long ago anyway.

    @Shadowmage

    Ah Hayate…I did watch episode 0, and was very disappointed. It was just so formulaic and pandering, one could virtually imagine the producers going through a checklist to satisfy the fans (hinagiku moment check, pool episode full of girls in bikini check, amazingly predictable development of Hayate and Nagi that once again goes nowhere check, etc.)

    Not sure where it’s going now but I’ve already enjoyed 52 episodes of it and don’t mind dropping it so that I can try out other fluffy series (as you can tell, I’m not really a completionist). Right now I’m watching some episodes of School Rumble and absolutely loving it.

  30. Shadowmage Says:

    I won’t say that skipping the second season is a huge loss, but episodes 2-4 have been quite funny. Since the show has been running low on gags, it seems to have turned Hinagiku into an episodic character which is working quite well for now (though I don’t know for how long).

    Also, now that you’ve mentioned it, I need to start watching School Rumble.

  31. Flash Sword Irene Says:

    There is most certainly nothing wrong with learning a few things or so. Personally, I just can not be bothered to since I am terrible at the name game already. Lol. So, are you planning on watching the Final Fantasy: AC Complete movie? I have completed it recently and I am waiting on that OVA based on Denzel to be subbed.

    Despite additional scenes and dialogue, I still thought the movie was enjoyable even though it still values style over substance. Sephiroth’s battle was the most notable in terms of changes when it came to fight choreography. And that was mostly in how it ended and how the producers decided to do more justice to the supposed “Omnislash.”

    One little nitpick is the omission of a few miniscule scenes and dialogue since a “Complete” movie does not live up to its name through those actions. It is true that I rated this version a notch above the original version and I stand by that. Even if the new stuff may not have transformed the film into a complete masterpiece, it was still fun and enjoyable enough while making the movie a little more seamless in transition.

  32. gaguri Says:

    @Shadowmage

    Well…Hina IS made of win, so might have to watch a few then.

    @Flash Sword Irene

    I have no idea what this Complete movie you’re talking about, and seems like MAL doesn’t have much info as well. Whether I watch it or not depends on what it is (i.e. remake of Advent children? in that case…er no). But if you want my opinion on Advent Children, I loved the flashy action, thought the characters and story was totally retarded, and didn’t do the justice to the original game. As you can see, I am one of the Final Fantasy newbs who liked FF7 the best πŸ˜€

  33. Flash Sword Irene Says:

    The movie is not a remake since it is more or less an extended version with new scenes and dialogue added in. Like I mentioned earlier, the movie flows better because of the additional dialogue and scenes. So, this is more or less a “Director’s Cut” of the film in its entirety with a few changes and omissions.

  34. gaguri Says:

    I guess it won’t hurt to check it out. Thanks for the heads up.


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