Spring 2009 Continued: Manly Men Edition

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So it’s been another week of anime. Besides keeping up with the shows I already talked about a couple weeks back, I’ve picked up a couple new ones, most prominently Sengoku BASARA. So are you ready, guys?

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There are few words that can accurately describe how awesome Sengoku BASARA is. Based on a game which is essentially a Dynasty Warriors clone, SB is loosely based on feudal Japanese history, and some of its more prominent generals and battles. I don’t know much about Japanese history, nor do I really care. All that matters is that this show is full of hot blood and GAR. There are also horses that can charge up castle walls. You really can’t get much better than that. The only letdown is that there are occasional scenes that take the time to put the battles into context. The problem with these scenes is that they slow down the pace considerably, and don’t do much in terms of explanation. I would have prefered them with more depth, or not at all. However, the animation quality is outstanding, the characters look cool, even if they are a bit one dimensional personality wise, and Norio Wakamoto plays the villain. Leaving its faults aside, Sengoku BASARA is an enormous amount of fun to watch, and you owe it to yourself to at least check out the first episode.

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The next show I really enjoyed was Eden of the East. The premise is solid and politically relevant, which actually made me have a good deep thought about world politics for the first time in a very long time. Basically, it poses the question of what would happen if Japan faced a September 11th scenario. They even make reference to 9/11 and the skyscraper being built at the site of the former World Trade Center. The two main characters, Saki and Akira are also very charming, and have great chemistry. There is a larger plot involving Akira’s past and his likely role in the attacks on Japan, and I look forward to how they deal with that issue. The ED is amazing, not for its song, but for its kick ass stop motion animation. The first episode may be a little off putting, especially Akira walking around Washington DC butt naked, but get past the nakedness, and you’ve got yourself a great show.

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Hatsukoi Limited is a strange show. It starts off feeling like a typical slice of life, spends most of the middle as an awkward high school romance, but ends super ecchi out of fucking nowhere. In a nutshell, it’s a more perverted, less absurd School Rumble. The problem is, what made School Rumble great was that it was completely absurd, and not at all perverted. The first episode doesn’t do a very good job of introducing most of the cast, and I’m confused if each episode is going to focus on a single girl and their love life or what. I’m willing to give it another episode as it had its funny moments. I doubt that it will end up being anything more than disposable slice of life, moe bullshit, but its good to watch at least one mediocre show every season.

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There’s not much to say about Dragonball Kai. If you grew up on DBZ and are feeling nostalgic, watch it. Despite giving is an “HD” facelift, the series still kind of looks like crap, but I wasn’t expecting much. I want to watch it until at least the end of the Saiyan arc so I can see the OVER 9000 scene in “HD.” It’s the same old DBZ you remember. That’s all there is to it.

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Moving on to shows I already talked about. Hayate no Gotoku 2 is still a major let down. I think I know how Star Wars nerds felt when they saw Revenge of Sith. The problem is that I don’t feel any originality coming from this series, mostly due to its faithfulness to the manga. Despite being faithful to the manga, they already started to cut out stuff, namely the chapter where Hayate is Nishizawa’s butler for the day. As a nod to fans who have already read this part of the manga, they briefly include it as Nishizawa’s “delusion.” If they’re already startign to cut stuff, I’m wondering how short this series is going to be, and how far is it going to go into the manga. I’m sticking with this show despite spending the entire episode feeling disappointed just because of my devotion to the original.

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On a brighter note, Fullmetal Alchemist is still terrific as it is now starting to move into the main story. Because they’re starting from square one, a lot of scenes feel very familiar. However, at least for me it’s been a few years since I last watched FMA, so seeing it again is a good refresher. My personal favorite scene was the human transmutation backfire, which is shown in much more detail and with much less chaos than the original. Al’s deconstruction was amazing in how terrifying it looked. Awesome show, sticking with it.

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Despite failing at guitar brands, K-ON is still good fun. The last episode focused mainly on Yui failing at exams, and failing at studying for exams. It’s typical moe bullshit, and that’s all I’m watching it for. I still hate Yui, but the rest of the cast is appealing enough that I’m able to tune her out. I’m looking forward to the release of the OP and ED single around the 22nd of April.

Watched a couple of other shows that don’t deserve much mention. Pandora Hearts feels like generic fantasy along the lines of Rosen Maiden, so I could care less about it. Asura Cryin’ felt like a typical harem fantasy, but nothing about it really stood out, so I’m not going to keep watching it unless I hear interesting things about later episodes.

That’s all for this block of text. I still need to check out Cross Game, and I have the first episode of Shangri-la sitting on my hard drive unwatched. I’m a little hesitant as I heard bad things about it. Once the K-ON OP/ED comes out, expect a review of it. Stay classy.

2 Responses to “Spring 2009 Continued: Manly Men Edition”

  1. Wut? A post about the manliness this season and no Mazinger?

    • djwhack03 Says:

      Crap I completely forgot about Mazinger. Must commit ritual suicide in a manly fashion.

      On that note, I just watched the second episode and while part of me enjoys it, part of me feels I’m not the target audience for this show. It’s obviously aiming at people who grew up on that show, and for someone like me who’s never seen it before, it’s kind of hard to get in to. While the second episode did a better job of introducing who’s who, it feels like they’re already expecting you to know that. I’m enjoying it though and I’ll stick with it.

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