Month: January 2014

What I Watched Today 1-27-2014

The Pilot’s Love Song Episode 4: Yes! We’re finally getting somewhere! I had a feeling it would be worth slogging through the first few episodes and now I’m genuinely excited about where the series is going. A few developments weren’t entirely unexpected; episode four wasn’t necessarily earth-shattering (sky-shattering?) but I think that now the series will continue to move at a better pace. Now I’m looking forward to episode five!

Toriko Episode 139: The battle continues on! Well, it’s “Toriko” so isn’t the battle pretty much always continuing on? One thing that amazes me about this anime is no matter how blah I feel or how far ahead the manga is, I can start an episode and be entertained and happy in mere minutes. I think it has something really special–both the anime and the manga–and I look forward to it every week. This particular episode is great because we get to see a) Sunny be beautifully badass and b) Brunch’s “shocking” fighting style. Ha. Ha. Ha. Seriously, though, Brunch the Tengu is and endlessly entertaining character.

 

 

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What I Watched Today 1-26-2014

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 4: Just keeps getting better and better. Sentai Filmworks has licensed Nobunaga the Fool and I plan on giving them my money for the home release, so I hope I didn’t just jinx it and the series continues on its current course of awesome!

Witch Craft Works Episodes 1-3: Very fun series so far. I didn’t know anything about the series when I went into it, but I’m glad I finally got around to watching the first few episodes.

Noragami Episode 4: The series is opening up! I’d say the best episode so far; we get introduced to some new characters and hints at Yato’s mysterious past. Really looking forward to see where it all goes from here.

Inari Kon Kon Episode 2: I wasn’t sure if I’d keep up with this show after the first episode but I’m glad I decided to watch this week. The protagonist is a little too cute for me but I’m intrigued by the other characters (I mean, what is the deal with the moody brother? More, please!) and I’m a sucker for anything Inari Okami-related.

Nobunagun Episode 4: The pattern here seems to be the first half of the episode is a lot of talking and my attention wanders then there’s some great action scene and I go back to thinking this anime is pretty good.

World Conquest Zvezda Plot Episode 3: Though I personally think the characters in this show could benefit from a bit more clothing, it consistently has some of the best one-liners per episode. This is further demonstrated by the fact that I already knew what most of those one-liners were because so many viewers tweeted lines and screenshots.

The Pilot’s Love Song Episode 3: This has been a really slow series for me and I was having a hard time paying attention but this episode had more action and backstory…which in turn made the characters (particularly the protagonist) more interesting. I might actually re-watch this episode for Karl’s/Kal el’s mother’s speech about forgiveness and I hope it resonated with other viewers as well.

Ace of the Diamond Episode 16: Holy crap, we’re already on episode 16?! I thought I started this anime like three weeks ago. Sixteen episodes of sports awesomeness and well-defined characters. I didn’t care for Furuya in the beginning (you’re not really supposed to) but he’s become just as adorable and intriguing as everyone else. Sports anime isn’t really about sports–it’s about the characters, and Ace of the Diamond is a beautiful example of what the genre has to offer.

What I Watched Today 1-25-2014

Hamatora Episode 3: I was excited about the potential of the series after watching episode 1 but skeptical that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations. However, episode 3 was GREAT. I’m daring to get excited again that Hamatora could really be something fantastic. This episode reveals a bit more about the world and the place Minimum Holders have in it. As the client was talking about the school for Minimum Holders, I couldn’t help but think of X-Men and how this situation was the opposite. Rather than be reviled and regulated like mutants in X-Men, the Minimum Holders are actually given preferential treatment in society. But I think the highlight of the episode for me was the makes-sense-but-doesn’t-totally-socially-unacceptable rant by the shark-toothed antagonist. What can I say, people with shark teeth tend to be bad news…with the exception of Rin Matsuoka, of course.

Samurai Flamenco Episode 14: This just keeps getting better and more insane. This episode actually gave me goosebumps. It may sound like I’m just gushing week after week but I can’t say enough about how good and fun this series is. Let’s Flamenco!

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 41: OMG this show!! So either you’re a) already watching Kuroko’s Basketball and know how amazing it is, in which case you don’t need me to tell you or b) you’re not watching it, what the hell are you waiting for, quit reading this and go watch it right now!

Series Completed: Princess Nine

Sports! Drama! Girls! Drama! Baseball! Boys! Drama! Repetitive theme music! Laughter! Tears! DRAMA!

Sports anime is one of my favorite genres, perhaps because it’s structurally similar to battle anime but a bit more…accessible/relatable to the average person. I’ve often read that sports anime (and manga) isn’t popular here in the US, which I don’t understand since I think we’re a country that loves sports. Or maybe we’re a country that just needs to watch more sports anime?

Princess Nine is essentially about a group of nine girls brought together to form a baseball team (not softball–baseball) with the ultimate goal of making it to Koshien. The story revolves around Ryo Hayakawa, the pitcher, and her relationships with a) her dead father; b) her rival Izumi; c) ace batter and love interest Takasugi; and d) her own tumultuous, dramatic emotions. I chose to watch the dub, as it reminded me of my anime glory days back when ADV was still around and Chris Patton and Vic Mignogna were cast together in seemingly everything. The scene with these two yelling at each other might be my favorite in the whole series.

Watching Princess Nine made me realize something: although I watch a considerable amount of sports anime, this was the first time I can recall watching sports anime centered around girls. As a result, Princess Nine had a different flavor. Much of the plot revolved around Ryo’s potential romance with Takasugi whereas in other, male-centric sports anime, the love interest is very minor, if there is one at all. But it did the trick-I couldn’t look away during the last disc; I had to know: will the girls make it to Koshien? Will Ryo and Takasugi get together? Will Izumi and Ryo ever evolve from rivals to friends? Will the coach ever sober up? Is there any chance we could get a Princess Nine x Ace of the Diamond crossover OVA? WILL THE KISARAGI GIRLS MAKE IT TO KOSHIEN?!

Watch Princess Nine. Watch it for the emotional rollercoaster that is sports. Watch it for Izumi, who I believe is actually the best character. Watch it for all the great sports anime tropes. Watch it for female rivalries and manly arguments. Watch it because nine random girls trying to make it to Koshien need all the help they can get.

I think I’m actually going to watch it again.

What I Watched Today 1-18-2014

Naruto Shippuden Episode 345: This episode was suitably intense considering the title is “I’m In Hell.” Nothing like starting an episode with poop jokes and ending with mass murder and insanity!

Toriko Episode 137: Normally watching “Toriko” makes me really hungry but Grinpatch really grosses me out. This episode is battle-tastic, with the fight continuing between Toriko and Starjun while Coco takes on Grinpatch. I can’t argue with bulging, shirt-ripping muscles, battle-aura, and inspirational speeches about becoming stronger.  But the most important line (to me) in this week’s episode is: “You chefs are the treasure of the world.” I need to remember this line as I go back to work tomorrow (I work in a restaurant)

Nobunaga the Fool Episode 2: After watching the first episode, I thought this anime could be so awesome that I was pretty sure it could never actually live up to my expectations. I mean, I love the style, I love Nobunaga-anything, history/alt-history, Tomokazu Sugita’s voice, openings with swirly cherry blossoms…I love it all! Episode 2 continues the mashup of these “few of my favorite things.” If I were a more cynical viewer or anime snob, I’d cringe at all the tropes being thrown together–but right now this show is just really fun.

Tonari no Seki-kun Episode 2: Most compelling animated shogi game I’ve ever watched.

The Pilot’s Love Song Episode 2: Okay, so I didn’t really pay enough attention to the first episode so now I’m not really sure what this show is about aside from a school with uniforms and flying and nobility. Things were still kind of squishy and puttering along in this episode but thanks to the last ten seconds or so, I’m now looking forward to episode three.

Hamatora Episode 2: This show kind of reminds me of GetBackers, or maybe a weird GetBackers/Durarara! mashup. And while (to me) a GetBackers/Durarara! mashup sounds freakin’ awesome, I don’t think Hamatora is going to actually *be* that awesome. But hey, we have a variety of should-be-interesting characters with some unique-ish abilities solving cases with (so far) great “what a twist!” endings. It’s not really as good as it should be or as good as it thinks it is…but I’m interested enough to stick with it and see how it evolves.

Samurai Flamenco Episode 13: Who the heck is Goto-san’s girlfriend? A member of From Beyond or a figment of his imagination? Anyway, things are getting serious…not with Goto-san and his girlfriend, but on a much bigger scale as From Beyond is about to launch an all-out attack.

World Conquest Zvezda Plot Episode 2: After watching episode one, I thought, well, scantily-clad little girls aren’t really my thing, but world conquest is totally my thing, and this show is pretty funny so far so I’ll stick with it. The first half of this episode didn’t really hold my attention but now I’m a fan again. So, hey, let’s keep conquering.

Hozuki no Reitetsu Episode 2: With an episode title of “Demons and Underwear and Crabs” this immediately piqued my interest…and the in-depth conversation about underwear does not disappoint! Even better, we see Satan, the King of European Hell as he visits Japanese Hell. The reason this is so great is because after last week’s episode, I had been thinking how much more interesting/potentially humorous Japanese Hell seems to be compared to Western Hell. I can’t get enough of this show–it’s funny as hell.

What I Watched Today 1-11-14

Naruto Shippuden Episode 344: I love the opening theme…but even more I love how it seems oddly upbeat and thus doesn’t match what’s currently going on in the series AT ALL. Also, while I really enjoy Naruto Shippuden, I can’t help but think that half the series is actually just flashbacks.

Strange + Episode 1: Didn’t know anything about this series when I added it to my queue; I just liked the way it looked. Only about 3 minutes long but a very hyperactive, full three minutes.

Samurai Flamenco Episode 12: I love this series more every time I watch it; it gets better with every episode. Judging from twitter, a lot of people were really WTF?! with the direction of the plot but I thought it was genius. I guess if a viewer didn’t grow up watching any sort of color-scheme-rangers it might not be as endearing, but I’m delighted with how well the stereotype has been nailed/parodied.

Log Horizon Episode 15: Seemed pretty sleepy at first, though with the words “doki doki” said several times (who doesn’t love hearing “doki doki”?) and then of course things getting intense at the end just in time for an episode cliffhanger. Maybe it’s a side effect from reading so much shojo manga, but I’m always intrigued by the hints of relationships forming between the characters. Perhaps the best part of this episode, though, is simply Rudy being compared to a golden retriever.

Nagi no Asukara Episode 14: I picked up this series because I really liked the way it looked and the underwater scenes in the first episode drew me in. I mean, who wouldn’t want to walk around underwater? I kept watching it because I was mildly curious to see who Manaka ended up choosing. The turn into a weird ocean-themed soap opera kind of wore me down but now everything is crazy and I have to see it through. Episode 14 gives us that time skip we’d been waiting for…

Yowamushi Pedal Episode 13: New opening theme! I really liked the old one…but I’m sure this one will grow on me. I’m sure I’ll say this with every episode of sports anime I watch but: I LOVE SPORTS ANIME! It makes me really sad that it seems to be one of the least-popular genres in the US. Though I love sports anime and was optimistic about Yowapeda, I never expected to enjoy it this much. In this episode we get a better look at a couple of the opposing teams…and now I’m more excited than ever.

Silver Spoon Season 2, Episode 1: Wooooo! Silver Spoon is back! Maybe because I’m from the country and grew up around a ranching/farming environment but I thought this anime was great from the beginning. It’s like everything is extra-funny to me because I’ve seen it in real life. Nothing too monumental happened in episode one, but I’m really glad it’s back.

Nisekoi Episode 1: Since I started reading the manga in the English version of Shonen JUMP, I thought I might as well watch the anime. The animation was a lot more sparkly and erratic than I expected…

Kuroko’s Basketball Episode 39: There are no words for how much I love Kuroko’s Basketball. And for this episode: HOLY SHIT THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD! From the very beginning of the series I didn’t *want* to like Aomine, but I can’t help it–he’s one of my favorite characters and this episode is full of Aomine glory. I love love love this show and I reallllly wish they’d run the manga in the English Shonen JUMP. 😦