Archive for January, 2009

ToraDora OP&ED 2: Meh.

Posted in Music with tags , on January 28, 2009 by djwhack03

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I just got the new ToraDora! OP and ED CDs, and I have to say, I’m a bit underwhelmed. First let me start with the new ED: Orange, pictured above. While the lyrics and melody sound nice, there is nothing about it that really stands out.  It sounds like any other J-Pop song. Maybe understanding the lyrics would help me appreciate the song more, but I still prefer Pre-Parade over this.The other song on the CD, Koi Kurage is strange. It reminds me of a Hawaiian version of the Super Mario Bros. theme. While interesting, it is not particularly good.

The next song is “silky heart,” sung by Yui Horie. I’ve always liked her songs, and the same applies for this. My only problem is that it sounds too similar to the previous ED, “Vanila Salt.” The tempo and instruments are very similar, and while it doesn’t sound exactly the same, it’s almost like the difference between two Dragonforce songs.

Overall, they’re not bad, but not great. Their flaw is that the OP and ED that preceded them were so damn good. Both were catchy and energetic, and the second songs were also pretty good (especially Ka Ra Ku Ri, check it out if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s almost as good as Pre-Parade). Maybe they will grow on me more when I see how they are animated. Despite the crap I gave the new Gundam 00 OP, I’m actually starting to enjoy it now. On a random note, I’m surprised that these CDs came out before the OP and ED changed. It’s usually the other way around. Maybe there were hitches in production. In any case, check them out if you’re a ToraDora! fan. I’m probably not going to write many music reviews as I have little sense for music, but I felt a need to write about these. Hope you enjoy them.

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Saber Lily is Awesome

Posted in Merch with tags , on January 25, 2009 by djwhack03

Since I just posted a review, I’ll keep this one brief. This Fate/Stay Night figure is f-ing beautiful. I never finished the anime since the story really didn’t interest me, but I love the character designs for this series. I’ve been thinking of getting a figure of this series for a while, but none of them have ever really sparked my interest until now. So what’s stopping me from buying this? The cost. According to the product description, It’s going to retail for ¥9800. While I can afford it, I’ve never spent that much on a single figure in my life. I’ve usually limited my budget to ~$50, and have gotten a lot of nice stuff while sticking to that limit. However, this figure may convince me to raise that limit.

ToraDora Ep 16: The Melancholy of Yusaku Kitamura pt 2

Posted in Anime, Episode Review with tags on January 25, 2009 by djwhack03

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With this episode of ToraDora, we bring the Kitamura story arc to a close. The ending was unexpected, and played out very nicely. It continues to surprise me how this show manages to take cliche themes and make them feel fresh again. I couldn’t think of a creative title this time, but no big! Let’s summary/review underway shall we.

Continue reading

Winter 2009 Pt 2: WTF Motorcycles?

Posted in Anime with tags , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by djwhack03

New shows, new episodes, and motorbikes. Let’s get this rolling.

Akikan (Ep 2-3)

I’ve had enough of this series. I watched two more episodes of this expecting it to be so bad it was entertaining. But it can’t even achieve that. The third episode was so painful to watch that it gave me a headache. I’ve never watched anything so bad that it was physically painful, not even Twilight. The main character Kakeru is the only entertaining part of the show, but his personality feels so out of place that it ends up feeling more awkward than funny.

Kurokami (Ep 2)

While the premise is solid, Kurokami episode 2 ended up being a bit disappointing. The awesome fighting animation quality from the first episode is gone, and the plot is feeling more generic. The girl is a god or something sent to cleanse the earth of bad spirits like Shana, and now she’s made a contract with the main dude a la Fate/Stay Night complete with hand tattoos and everything. Not good enough to keep up with on a week to week basis, but I may watch it some day.

Maria Holic (Ep 2-3)

As of now, this is my pick for best show of the season. My only complaint is that the animation often feels really lazy. This includes making background characters simple watercolor or using still frames with voiceover. While I understand that SHAFT doesn’t have the greatest budget, and this is part of the director’s style (same guy as Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), it gone overboard, and looks cheap. I feel like they blew all the budget on the spectacular OP and ED sequences, and are scraping the bottom of the barrel for funds for the rest of the series. But despite these complaints, this series is a keeper.

Ride Back

I watched the first episode knowing nothing about it. First, I was like, wtf ballerinas, then I was like wtf motorcycles with arms, then I was like oh shit, the motorcycle can turn into a humanoid walker thing. Then the main character is just trying to have a nice college life in a world unified by a mercenary army. The first episode played out like an inspirational made for TV movie. The girl loses her talent, but finds a substitute which brings the spark back to her life. She’ll probably make new friends, and become a motorcycle master. I wouldn’t mind if the series played out like this. It was entertaining to watch her do ballet with her motorbike. Also, something about the look and supporting characters reminds me of Genshiken, so I hope this ends up being more of a calm show about a girl and her motorbike. However, the OP and setting hint at a larger plot, so I’m a bit wary about that. I was so surprised by the first episode, that I feel like watching the rest of it just to see how it develops.

Sora O Kakeru Shoujo (Ep 2)

I’m still not convinced whether I will be sticking with this show or not. While not as entertaining as the first episode, mostly due to a lack of Leopard, I’m still a little bit interested in the plot. My beef with it is that it shrouds too much in mystery. They pose more questions than answers, and it’s to the point that the viewer barely knows what’s going on. Hopefully the next episode actually explains something. At least it looks pretty.

Tale of Genji

Regular readers (if any of you actually exist) know that I’ve been excited about this series for a while. The reason for this is because my mom studies Japanese art history, and has read the original book several times. We even have several editions lying around our house. So after finally watching the first episode, I have to say that I’m not impressed. While the director was determined to be as faithful to the original book as possible, this causes it to feel a bit dated. The animation is ok. Nothing special about it. In fact, that sentence summarizes the first episode overall pretty well. It does nothing well nor poorly. I’ll stick with it until the end, just so I can show it to my mom.

White Album (Ep 2-3)

I’m enjoying this show despite how slow it is. It’s pace is borderline boring, so it’s a bit difficult to watch at times. However, it’s so pretty that it doesn’t bother me. It feels like there isn’t really a plot nor do the characters have much of a motivation besides simply living their lives, so I guess you could call it the most realistic slice of life show made. It’s not the most entertaining show, and the pace may be a turn off to most, but because it’s so different from the rest of the season, I’m going to stick with it.

Possibility of a new Full Metal Panic?

Posted in Anime, Merch with tags , on January 19, 2009 by djwhack03

I was browsing Toys Logic today, and I was surprised by the amount of Full Metal Panic merchandise that is coming out this year. There’s a Tessa figure coming out in February, a ridiculously expensive Arbalest coming out in June, and Revoltech released an ARX-8 figure some time last year. I find this odd as there hasn’t been a new FMP series since The Second Raid ended in October 2005. Perhaps toys have a bigger market than they did when the show was airing. I don’t think this is the real reason though. While I have absolutely no hard evidence to back up this statement, I believe that a new Full Metal Panic series may be in the works. The only other suggestion I’ve seen besides the toys is the numerous FMP references in Lucky Star. There’s even one time where they talk about when the next season is coming out. As a fan of the series, I’m hoping that we get some new Full Metal Panic soon. It’s been way too long.

ToraDora Ep 15: The Melancholy of Yusaku Kitamura

Posted in Anime, Episode Review with tags on January 18, 2009 by djwhack03

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Another week, another new ToraDora. We finally see a little bit into Kitamura, and while not as fleshed out as I hoped it would be, was still entertaining. Continue reading

Winter 2009: Mixed Bag

Posted in Anime with tags , , , , on January 16, 2009 by djwhack03

Another season, another new batch of shows. While there are much fewer this time around, there are still a few that have caught my eye. This list is rather short as there are a bunch of sequels to previous shows I never finished, so I apologize if you don’t find the show you’re looking for in this list. So in alphabetical order, let’s get this started. Continue reading