Category Archives: Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni

New Season Checklist 3

And 40 days after the flood of new anime had stopped, The Bad Guy opened a window and let loose a pair of CRV7 70mm rockets.
Black Lagoon 1

I think the winners, barring the remaining contestants, are clear.

Notice how each of those are spearheaded by a different significant production studio. Deen, for example, has their lovely Simoun flying machines complete with sound effects akin of Vader’s Custom TIE. It’s a war out there. Well, with exception of Bones and Madhouse, who also manages to hit really, really hard with Juuousei, the Lord-of-the-Flies tale of survival and becoming something more; and Black Lagoon, probably my #1 selection for the masses this season. Sucks to be Gonzo right now, though…wait a few months? This season, it seems, the studios have taken cues from 1-2 years ago and suddenly every one of them produced shows that started at around the same time, all very appealing.

And they fight like as if it’s a war–in the flea market of our minds. Some of the arsenals include kiss. Lots of kisses–girl-girl, girl-boy, boy-girl, boy-boy (well, we tried to avoid this one). Lots of blood, even more action (some involving kissing); comedy shoujo-style, comedy-no-style, no-comedy. No romance, lots of romance, mostly in-between. Low blows. Guns; lots of guns. Hot moms, lots of sisters; bunny girls? CG, fake CG, CG-looking-like-it’s-not, REALLY BAD CG. Snail-pace, non-linear storytelling, action-packed. And of course, fanservice; the shoujo/josei crowd is still at the lead of that (so much sex in Nana, so little time), of course, closely followed by the snuffy Tokko (funded by Manga Entertainment???). Can maid boys beat out magical girls from the 90s? Only if you’re a dream user…

The casualties are lost in the mindshare bloodbath, deemed to wander in the obscurity known as “faint recollections” when one browses through a list of anime at their favorite torrent site or wallpaper listing. Who the hell cares if your close friends are gargoyles or a badass tank AI?

It’s fierce, and as well it should be. That said I am not holding my breath; the second half of this year has some of the more exciting titles coming out. UFOTable’s newest project and more KyoAni in the form of Kanon are just some rememberable teasers waiting to happen.

New Season Checklist

(Ok, just Haruhi is worth it so far)

Super Director!

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu). What can I say? When I first watched it, I went in blind. By the time I was able to finish it, I was glad I did it blind. Part of the problem is that this show was giving me so many double-takes, I had problem even going through the first handful of scenes and had to stop.

The animation was clue enough that this is a worthwhile title. I don’t know about you, but the animation direction is something that easily bothers me, especially when it’s done so uniquely like this–imagine framing your scenes as you would in Blair Witch Project…? Okay, save for the wobbly darkness; it must’ve been a major pain in the ass to do the background shots for the first 5 minutes of this episode.

I mean, you thought it was the opening (or I did), but it sounded like…something’s wrong. The animation looked to be cuts from the episode–not unusual for an anime’s pilot. I stopped watching (the first time I put it on), because it really needed my full attention (as I was talking to someone meanwhile, and watching TV out of my other eye). Later on, I got past the opening, got used to the first few scenes. Then the “fanservice”? I stopped because it seems rather weird; skipping around took me to other weird shots. I didn’t check the ending.

I put it on a day later. Marched through the ill-orchestrated opening and finally starting to put the pieces together. Yes, it’s a home-cam production. Mimicking poorly edited film-club quality video is hard in the anime form, especially given the fact that what makes fan films of that kind stand out is the way the background moves… Needless to say I’m as impressed by the feat as well as the fluid animation the rest of the episode gave us. The ending was a riot, too.

I don’t know; it just seemed to be surreally funny. Easily the first anime ever to pull that off since FLCL, probably. That alone makes this probably the best show this season. It managed to channel where Futakoi Alternative failed to do so, yet the flourish is both subtle and to the point. A must watch, even if just for this episode alone.

So far anything that could even possibly measure up to that level of entertainment quality is School Rumble 2nd semester. Alas, though, that’s just more of what has already been well-tread. Well, I’m keeping my mind open for what new stuff that lies ahead. Like Higurashi, Air Gear (heard it didn’t fail?), and what have you.