Lasting Impressions : Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru (My Sister is Among Them)

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru (2012)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

There were few shows that found my interest this past season, but this one somehow caught my radar with its art style, and with the fun-loving feel of the OP and the mystery aura of its story, I was easily hooked into watching the series. Is that a regretful decision? For now, I won’t say, but I can say that this series did hold some unique traits that not only pander to the younger generation, but also contains a decent story to hook older audiences.

Cast (Right to Left) : Rinka Kunitachi, Konoe Tsuruma, Shougo Mikadono, Miyabi Kannagi, Mana Tendou, and Mei Sagara.

Story has always been a huge part of anime for me. If the series contains any trace of a decent story, one that not only sets up the stage for comedic elements but also pushes the series forward, it generally catches my eye and piques my interest enough to continue watching. When I first began this series, I was under the assumption that this series would follow the conventions of a harem or comedy show. While the show largely borrows ideas and aspects from harem and comedy series, there lies an undergoing story that moves the plot along. In addition, the air of mystery gives the viewers reason to continue watching. Perhaps it’s just my preferences, but I hate leaving mysteries behind and I have to know whether the story proceeds in the direction I anticipate.

Mister X – Best girl, hands down.

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru, or My Sister is Among Them!, proudly comes off as a harem series with little details to keep you watching. Using the generic plot progression of a young man finding a wife within his last few years at school, the stage is set and the story can move forward. Or so they believe. During the first episode, the reveal of a younger sister, unknown to himself and the world, who just happens to want to marry this fine gentleman.

Nothing happens because morals triumph desire; this doesn’t happen in every situation, but refusing to do anything because one of them may be your sister is pretty intense.

The story follows Shougo Mikadono, thrust into a new school to find the love of his life. During the next few days, he meets his potential soul mates: Konoe Tsuruma, Miyabi Kannagi, Rinka Kunitachi, Mana Tendou, and Mei Sagara. One of which just happens to be his sister, and while he doesn’t know who the mystery sister is, he boldly claims he will not be found loving his sister as a wife. I think this aspect to the main character greatly improved my impression of him, as it seems more shows today would promote such values as incest. In fact, I’m sure most people don’t share my idealism of such values, and are disappointed with this outcome. Regardless, the series follows multiple phases, and progresses as a decent pace. After introducing each of the characters, we are also introduced to Mister X, a woman posing as a man to assist Shougo in his endeavors. While I could go on by listing reasons why she is best girl, I feel that it would be best to move forward and continue with the petty story.

Although this is a side character, I thought she would play a bigger role. I really liked her design.

This show teases at the fact that nobody knows who the sister is, and constantly leads to false accusations and endings that leave the viewer wanting more. There are bullshit excuses thrown out to give reason as to why Shougo was led to belive that this particular character was his sister, and once those claims are acquitted, it’s off to another girl that leads him on to believing that she’s his sister. Rinse and repeat for a couple episodes, and you’ve got the first half of the series.

Besides Mister X, I enjoyed Rinka as well.

The second half starts off with the big reveal of his sister(?), someone who wasn’t even a part of the original cast. This person, Yuzurina Houshou, comes out of nowhere and seems to put everything at ease, but once a big scandal begins to reveal itself, it’s once again proven that the search has yet to be concluded and the sister has yet to be caught. While I enjoyed this red herring, there were way too many questionable actions, mainly performed by the hidden “real” sister. Why the hell did the “real” sister hide while the “fake” took on this relationship? By doing so, and bitching how she wants to marry him even though she barely knows him and hasn’t seen him in ages, (Why do these sisters in anime want to jump straight into incestuous relationships? He sat there claiming he would love to love her as a sister, or in other words, a good happy family relationship. RAGE) she puts Shougo and his inherited company at risk due to a potential scandal. The actions behind some of these characters are ridiculous, and while it moved the main story along fine, the character progression suffered greatly.

As for the music, I really can’t remember the BGM of this series, but the OP and ED for this series are pretty catchy. The OP catches the viewer’s attention and introduces the main heroines of this series, while promoting the main premise of the story. The ED, while still poppin’ and rockin’, gets the viewer excited and ready to watch the new episode. I really enjoyed both themes, and if anything, they got the overall music down pat.

Just ending on best girl. Everyone knows this is true end.

Honestly, I really enjoyed the main premise of the series. A harem series that contained a sister with a protagonist who didn’t want to bang his sister. I really respected this side of the show, and the only aspects I really thought fell flat would be the character progression and development. The characters felt flat and uninteresting, and the decisions performed by these characters often appeared pointless and unreasonable. I’m happy the series successfully concluded, and revealed the big question every viewer was asking, the ending could have been so much more. The series ended in typical harem fashion, and just lost the last bit of momentum it held onto. This brings me back to the question of if watching this series was a regretful decision. While I critique this series due to its lack of character development, I really enjoyed watching this series. It still contained the humor and comedy of a generic harem series, and it had its moments. It’s not a series that I would deem a masterpiece, nor would I re-watch this series in the next couple of months, but I did enjoy the laughs and good feelings I received from this series. If you enjoy harem or comedy series, I believe Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru is worth the time. The art is decent, the music fares well, and there does lie a small intriguing mystery that can push you to conclude the series.

-Ace

Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru OP -Choose Me Darling-

Initial Impressions : JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (Anime)

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures (2012)

I’ve heard a lot about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures throughout my time, and now that the anime series has finally begun airing, I finally have the chance to view this spectacle myself. With all that I’ve heard, I really had no idea what to expect in this series. However, I really think that this series has many qualities that characterize this show, and I can see how this story fares so well due to its uniqueness and story-driven plot.

Dio’s just lovin’ to point.

After watching this first episode, I can honestly say I am fascinated by the series. The rivalry between Dio and Jonathan, the connections between the Brando family and Joestar family, and the amount of character development in this series is superb. Just in this first episode alone, you can easily see how a story was formed between these two characters, and the development Jonathan goes through to match his new “brother.” While I didn’t find Jonathan to be the best character near the beginning, as he appeared a whiny, unappreciative brat, I later found appreciation for his character as he grew and evolved throughout this episode. To develop a character in such a short amount of time just demonstrates how much detail was put into this series. I haven’t read the manga, but from what I’ve heard there was much more time to develop on that medium, and I can only begin to imagine how detailed and vast the manga must be.

JoJo tries to have fun…only to have it end in utter defeat.

Animation-wise, I can easily say I was deterred after viewing photos of the series. The unique characteristics the animation holds definitely give meaning to the name of the series, and while the story alone proves to be wacky enough, the animation definitely struck the nail in the coffin to the word ‘bizarre.’ While it took a few minutes to get into the animation, once the story began to rev up I was able to cast my doubts aside and appreciate the series for what it truly was.

This is how you make an antagonist. Learn animation studios!

The OP, which arose during the second episode, gave a wacky and zany impression on what was in store for future episodes. Just watching the OP gives me the ‘bizarre’ feeling implied in the title, and the ED, while not amazing, doesn’t detract from the series as a whole. In addition, the use of foreign bands to perform the songs only added to the experience, as the setting of the anime lies outside of Japan.

While the series has only just begun, the vibes revived from this series were phenomenal, and I greatly look forward to future episodes. If you were on the fence about this series, definitely give it a try and don’t laugh it off until you’ve finished at least one episode. There’s a reason why Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures has such a vast following, and if the fan-base doesn’t expand to unspeakable territory, I feel this series can hold its own during the upcoming season(s).

Lasting Impressions : Oda Nobuna no Yabou

Oda Nobuna no Yabou (2012)
Oda Nobuna’s Ambition

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

For those who enjoy Japanese Culture, the name ‘Oda Nobunaga’ will often remind anyone of the unification of Japan. In pop culture nowadays, his trials and tribulations are often referred to and mentioned as a form of entertainment and study. Oda Nobuna no Yabou adds to the story and unveils its own twists to grab a new audience. Of course, one may be wondering what twists the animation holds, with the main change being the gender-bending of most, if not all, lords of the territories. This change caters to new audiences while retelling the classic story of Nobunaga’s Ambition.

All those figures of history. The two main characters, Yoshiharu and Nobuna are on the right, with the rest of the crew on the left.

The story begins with Yoshiharu Sagara, a present day Japanese citizen, running in the middle of a battlefield with who would become Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Unfortunately, Hideyoshi is shot and leaves his hopes and dreams with Yoshiharu. He later meets Nobuna Oda, the now female general of Owari. To his surprise, he later finds out that the people involved in the unification of Japan are not who they appeared to be, and he finds himself trying to adapt to this new situation. Luckily, Yoshiharu, now called ‘Monkey’ in place of Hideyoshi, happens to be a huge fan of Oda Nobunaga’s conquest, and begins his journey to aid Nobuna through his knowledge from the future.

In regards to story, it’s just another retelling of an already told tale. Being only twelve episodes, the retelling of the story has yet to be complete, and I’m sure there will be more to be told in the future. However, I really enjoyed the minor details and humorous moments that were added in to make the story more efficient and interesting, and I feel they worked well enough to keep someone coming back week after week. During its run, this was one of the few shows I kept tabs on as it aired, and I’m really looking forward to another season to complete this journey.

A badass old man works better than a gender-bent old man, right?

I really enjoyed this show’s animation as well, and I personally think the animation was fluid and impressive. Granted, there aren’t too many terribly animated shows out nowadays, with the standard improving and whatnot, but this animation clearly works well in this situation. The OP is also animated well, with the action swelling up in those seconds of introduction. Speaking of battle scenes, while this story revolves around many battles and bloodshed, there aren’t many scenes full of action and violence. There are a few, but I think this show mainly focuses on the mental and internal conflict aspects of his conquest. That’s not to say there isn’t any violence at all, but it’s definitely not a series that primarily focuses on violence; the series merely adds violence to spice the story up a bit, and remind viewers they are watching a series about conquest.

Just look at that monocle. You *know* he’s important.

I really enjoyed the OP/ED for this series, but I can easily say they don’t compare to my favorites. The OP really created the excitement and energy for the next 20 minutes, and the ED cooled things down with soft animation, slow music and a peaceful mood. While the action in the episode may have been intense, it’s always good to cool off with a nice, peaceful ED, and revolves around the OP to bring the viewer back to the game and hype the episode that’s about to be shown.

Of course, Nobuna is best girl. No way around that.

I’m actually surprised at how well the music brought out the emotions in this series. If there is one thing this series did right, it would be the music composition and placement. The tense moments became more tense as that awesome BGM began playing, and the sigh of relief that could be felt as the soothing music played after a battle or conflict had ended. I really enjoyed the music in this series, as it just felt right in every scene it played. Of course, as mentioned above, this also includes the OP and ED, as the mood wouldn’t have been set as well without it.

In short, I really don’t have too much to say about this series. I can easily say I enjoyed this series, and Nobuna is easily the best girl, but I can’t really say too much about the show in general. If one doesn’t know too much about the history of Japan, they can easily be overwhelmed by the amount of people and places important to this story. However, I feel that the series did its job well, and while not the greatest show in the world, provided entertainment for its run. If you enjoy history or harem / comedy series, I’m sure you’ll find somewhere to enjoy Oda Nobuna no Yabou. The animation appears decent, the story adds some favor to the mix, and the music deems appropriate for this series.

-Ace
Oda Nobuna OP -Link-

It’s time to start enjoyin’ the month!

Time Paradog. It just stands there.

Well, it’s time for another reflection on what has happened the week prior. While I’m happy that I’ve been able to keep up with both school and this blog, it’s actually been a bit of work. Now that midterms are coming together, it’s definitely time to step up my game and keep everything moving smoothly.

On the anime side, I haven’t really started this season as I don’t know many shows that have aired at this time. I’ve started Hayate and Little Busters!, but I’ve yet to start quite a few shows that I intend to watch. Although it’s a slow start, that’s how these seasons tend to start for me, so it’s no big deal.

I’ve been trying to get back into Xillia, and the game is just as beautiful as ever. While I intend of beating the game before its stateside release, there is just so much to do both in-game and outside of it. Between the planning of the panels I’m intending to run, and the schoolwork I have piling up, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Either way, I really enjoy doing this, and I want to do this for some time.

I don’t have much planned for today, but I have some progress made on Friday’s post, and who knows, perhaps a new Initial Impressions post will be made tomorrow. Just gotta wait and see!

-Ace

Initial Impressions : Little Busters!

Little Busters (2012)

The time has finally come for another Key novel to be animated and have its story told anew. While it’s been four, almost five, years since that last adaptation, it feels like last week I was sitting in anticipation for the next episode of Clannad to air. While I’ve yet to play Little Busters!, I can say that I really enjoyed this first episode that J.C. Staff has brought to us.

Right to left: Rin, Masato, Riki, Kengo, Kyousuke.

I’ll be honest; when I first heard J.C. Staff was taking charge of this new project, I was hesitant to say the least. Hell, I still don’t know if they’ll do the game justice. However, after watching this first episode, I was able to watch and observe all the crazy antics that make a Key novel funny and enjoyable. In a way, it felt like another humorous episode of Clannad or Angel Beats!, and that’s not a bad situation to be in. However, I must re-iterate that this is the first episode, and what really matters is what goes on after this episode.

It’s only the first episode, but I can already say that Rin is best girl.

The story begins with the return of Kyousuke, a high school senior who completes the group of childhood friends who once called themselves the “Little Busters.” The group, consisting of five members: Kyousuke Natsumi. Rin Natsumi, Kengo Miyazawa, Masato Inohara, and Riki Naoe. At first glance, I had assumed the main character would be Kyousuke, as he’s the cool character with the aura of a cool protagonist. To my dismay, the story is told through the eyes of Riki Naoe, a junior who relies on the friendship and bonds these friends hold after he lost his parents at a young age. Luckily, the episode greatly follows the group as a whole, and doesn’t focus on one person.

Hey look, it’s your typical snob. Why does she matter at this point?

During some random course of events, Kyousuke decides that the group should spend their time forming a baseball team, and the episode primarily focuses on the crazy situations that occur trying to build up a team. The episode is full of humor, and I found myself laughing at quite a few scenes. However, this also worries me as I know the feels will be coming at some point, for there hasn’t been a Key work that hasn’t left me feeling for the characters at one point or another. Either way, this first episode was great, and I’m greatly anticipating the following episodes.

Finally, I felt this episode began the series off right, and while it didn’t clear all worries I have with this project, it did ease some of my anxiety over J.C. Staff animating this series. While they aren’t Kyoto Animation, J.C. Staff did a great job with this first episode, and I’m really hoping the following episode will not only be enough to tell the story, but also complete the story without leaving out vial details. Either way, I’m going to be playing the game at one point or another; with that, I’d really like to see this adaptation succeed and tell the story without butchering it. Let’s hope this series doesn’t crash and burn!

 -Ace

Lasting Impressions : Accel World

Accel World (2012)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

As a big fan of virtual reality and anime that focus on aspects of virtual reality, I initially wanted to start this series and enjoy the great story behind it. Unfortunately, the main character put me off, and delayed my watching this series until the end. However, I can safely say I’m glad I took the time to watch this series, even if the main character was the worst part of this series.

Cast of characters (Right to Left) : Aqua Current(alias), Takumu, Kuroyuki Hime, Chiyu, Red King(alias), Blood Leopard(alias).

Accel World begins with a first year student who constantly falls on the lower end of the totem pole with others bullying him. Arita Haruyuki often looks down upon himself as a result of these events, and receives the greatest shock of his life when the prettiest girl in school takes the time to have a nice chat with him over tea. This opens a new world to Haruyuki, as he downloads the application to his virtual computer, Brain Burst. In the year 2046, people use devices to connect their everyday person to networks, which allows them to constantly be connected to others without any difficulty. These devices, aptly named Neuro Linkers, become a household staple and everyone in this time has one around their neck. Younger students, such as Haruyuki, often use them to play virtual reality games, and one such game is the newly downloaded Brain Burst. However, he later learns that this special program contains characteristics unique to this program. For example, this program allows the user to accelerate time and make actions and decisions much faster than a normal individual. In addition, this process requires Burst Points, which are earned through duels with other people who have installed Brain Burst, who are known as Burst Linkers. If a Burst Linker loses all their points through these duels, the program is forcibly uninstalled and the user forgets everything about the game.

Just…look how terrible he is. Why? Main characters should be amazing, not lousy and wimpy.

With all this information given to him by the “princess” of the school, who goes by the name “Princess Snow Black,” or Kuroyuki Hime, Haruyuki soon learns the horror behind the game, as well as its positives. It begins with the first connection to the global network, which leads to the first battle against another level one Burst Linker. While he loses this battle, using the power of being the main character, he later prevails and learns how to battle correctly against these players.

How does she fall in love with MC? It make no logical sense, and someone needs to be punched.

After learning the basics, our pitiful main character learns that Kuroyuki Hime actually loves Haruyuki, and although he ends up forgetting this often, through reasons I can’t explain because they make no sense, Kuroyuki Hime ends up in the hospital protecting Haruyuki. In the process of her recovery, a good friend of Haruyuki named Takumu reveals himself as a Burst Linker who wants to defeat Kuroyuki Hime and gather more Burst Points. Haruyuki fights to protect her, and as a result, gains his wings and becomes the first ever aerial Burst Linker. This ends the first arc, which leaves Takumu and Haruyuki to follow Kuroyuki Hime to beat the game known as Brain Burst.

Even in the virtual world, he’s a loser. Why would you be a pig?!

The second arc revolves around a new student, and Burst Linker, who defeats Haruyuki and steals his wings. This results in a long story of wits and guts to get them back and defeat this Burst Linker who has manipulated the game via illegal means. To make matters worse, Kuroyuki Hime travels on a school trip to Okinawa, and though this is the best part of the series, as her episodes gives reason to watch this series, this results in a long sequence of events that trouble Haruyuki and Takumu even more.

This is Ash Roller. I love this character, if only for their personality.

In a quick summarization, the story can be said to be fun and jam-packed. I really enjoyed the story, and all the characters save for Haruyuki are phenomenal. It can be said that I really dislike the main character, and this would be true as the episodes without him can be considered the best in the series. In addition, I absolutely detested the antagonist of the series, which only proves how good some of the characterization is. There are often characters that join the fray and play a big part in that arc, only to join the shadows and play minor roles in the future. One such character is Chiyu, a friend of the main character and Takumu, who plays a minor role during the beginning of the series. After the first arc, she, too, downloads Brain Burst and becomes a Burst Linker, and is assumed to help guide Haruyuki and Takumu achieve total victory in this game. However, her position soon turns, and this turn of events really caused my head to spin, and I have yet to forgive this character for her actions. Other characters include the Red King, who has split personalities, and Ash Roller, who helps Haruyuki throughout the show.

At least his Burst Linker avatar works better than the pig, but he’s still a lame main character.

In terms of music, I really enjoyed both OPs / EDs for this show. The soundtrack during the show also proves to be fantastic and memorable. The OPs often promote excitement and heroism, which rile the viewer up and generate anticipation for the episode that will come. The EDs close the series out well, often closing the episode with either a satisfied feeling or anticipation for the next episode. The in-show soundtrack really adds to the experience, and I often found myself getting excited over the battle scenes with their awesome BGM. If anything, the soundtrack for this series is superb, and excels as the music to this series.

Jealous Kuroyuki Hime is best Kuroyuki Hime.

In conclusion, Accel World reveals itself as a story-driven experience that contains decent characterization, and fails in few aspects such as the main character design. The music only adds to the experience, and I can honestly say I am glad to say I picked up this series. Will I watch the next season if there happens to be one? Yes, as I really hope the character development for the main character improves. In addition, this series really deserves a watch if you enjoy story-driven or plot-heavy series, and will definitely satisfy any viewer’s appetite for virtual reality gimmicks.

-Ace


Accel World OP2

Lasting Impressions : Is this a Zombie? (Kore wa Zombie desu ka?)

“Is this a Zombie?” (2011~2012)

(This review may contain spoilers for the following series. If you have not seen the series before, please exercise caution before viewing this post. You have been warned.)

It’s shocking how one’s view of an anime can change over the span of a year or two. Kore wa Zombie desu ka? (Is this a Zombie?) aired back in early 2011, and I wasn’t too impressed with the series. It centers around a young man named Ayumu Aikawa, who suddenly perishes and resurrects as a zombie thanks to Eucliwood, a Necromancer from the Underworld. They later meet Seraphim, a Vampire Ninja, and Haruna, a Magical “Equipment” Girl who loses her powers due to Ayumu’s meddling.

From left to right: Sera, Haruna, Ayumu, and Eu.

The anime follows a very loose story, and often strays from the story in favor of fan-service and humor. During the first series, the first arc containing multiple episodes revolved around Ayumu’s killer, solving why he was killed in the first place and who might have done this terrible thing. To counter this deep plot, comedy is often used to bring the mood up and cheer up the audience. In general, one can consider this anime to be a harem, as every girl who visits Ayumu from another world seems to fall in love, although this series expresses their difference in how they show their love very well. Eu, short for Eucliwood, is unable to speak and shows her feeling subtly, while Ayumu fantasizes about her in humorous fashions. Haruna is often outspoken and very easy to read. She’s really the immature one, and it’s pretty obvious to tell with the body type the creators gave her. Sara, short for Seraphim, often speaks ill of Ayumu and degrades him. It’s not until later where she often enjoys Ayumu’s time and comfort, where she develops more of tsundere attitude.

It’s hard to look tough when you’re cross-dressing.

After confronting his killer through hilarious shenanigans, which can vary from humorous to just plain bad, the crew meet another Vampire Ninja from a different clan. Through the magic of accidental hijinks, Ayumu ends up kissing this new girl, Maelstrom , which means marriage to the Vampire Ninjas. After adding Maestrom, who goes by Yuki after this event, to his never-ending harem by solving a major crisis, the crew later discovers a previous zombie who shows interest in Eu. Eu later leaves with this man, and while Ayumu and company try to save Eu, hilarity ensues and nothing of value has been lost.

Can’t really tell why this person seems so insane. Perhaps it’s the cape?

The show really tried to fit some serious plot into it’s story, but ultimately, the show should be viewed as a comedy and slapstick series, revolving around a male main character and his “harem.” Most battle scenes are done through Ayumu’s transformation into a Magical “Equipment” Girl, and not real serious fighting. Due to the nature of the first season, I was really put off with the series, as it didn’t seem to know where to separate serious plot and comedy sketches. While there are a variety of comedy centric episodes, there weren’t enough out of the first season to stick out and give me reason to watch the second season.

When Yuki and Haruna dance, it’s usually the Voodoo dance.

The second season, released in Summer 2012, vastly outdid my expectations. Gone are the serious plot points, and in comes more focus on the comedy aspects of this series. This season continues the wacky adventures of Ayumu and Co, while adding to the relationships of the characters. Some episodes may give Sera more development, while another may focus on Eu. Ultimately, the characters evolve, although slightly, and the hilarious antics continue. The season also adds two more main love interests: Sarasvati, another Vampire Ninja and Sera’s superior, and Taeko, Ayumu’s classmate and not really a new love interest, but someone who actually gets some development this season.

She may hide in the shadows as a Vampire Ninja…but when she’s not, she becomes an idol!

I absolutely loved how this series actually took story points, and jokingly took them seriously. Nothing ever gets resolved, and the story gets pushed back for the next humorous event. The story mainly lies around Ayumu’s inability to reverse time after killing a monster that comes to the school, which means everyone at school knows about his ability to become a Magical “Equipment” Girl and forced cross-dressing. While this does get fixed in a later episode, it really doesn’t impact the plot past the second episode or so. The final story involves the so-called best Magical Girl in the land, and the best underworld fighter in the land, and doesn’t get resolved in the conclusion of the story. Hence why I stated the story isn’t taken seriously; nothing gets resolved, but the series still proves to be hilarious and enjoyable.

While the other girls are great, there’s just something about Taeko that I really like.

The biggest enjoyment I held in this series would be the OP / ED of both seasons. The OP to the first season attracted my attention, and was one of the highlights of the series. While the second OP attempted to follow in its footsteps, it didn’t reach the level of the first season. However, while the first ED was okay, but not spectacular, the second ED was amazing, and I think I enjoyed the ED more than the episode in some cases. The song really captivated me, and I just enjoyed the ED as a whole. It brought a good feeling, and generally brings up the mood of an already comedic series.

Finally, I feel the series really grew on me over time. While the first season of Kore wa Zombie desu ka? (Is this a Zombie?) was an okay watch, I absolutely cannot praise the second season enough. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and I feel like I would watch it again anytime I need my spirits brought up. I easily recommend this series to those who enjoy comedy and harem anime, and hope you can find as much enjoyment out of this series as I did.

-Ace


Second Season ED

Initial Impressions : Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

I’m a big fan of the Hayate no Gotoku series, as I’ve been following it since it was first animated by SynergySP back in 2007. However, this series hasn’t been given the best treatment throughout its life, as the sequel didn’t appear until 2009, animated by J.C. Staff. In the following years, the movie was released, animated by yet another company, and finally, this series has begun, and breaks the tradition by retaining the same company who animated the movie. When I first heard about this series, I was overjoyed to hear that the Hayate series would return, and I’ve been waiting to watch the first episode of Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

Nagi, why would you buy something you know you don’t like?

This episode really brought back the great wacky feeling that the Hayate series gives off, and it really doesn’t disappoint in terms of a new Hayate animation. I am a little bummed that the project turned into a stand-alone animation, as opposed to continuing to follow the manga, but I can live with new content, and this episode does bring my hopes up.

In terms of the episode, the beginning left me recalling The Hangover, as the opening brings us to the Nevada desert, hanging on what events left poor little Nagi in this barren wasteland. First Steins;Gate, now Hayate; I don’t know the next series that’s going to wind up in the Nevada desert. Also, as someone who lives in a desert, I know everything that happened to her happens to me, minus the cactus part.

Why would you do that? You’ve gotta love the humor of the Hayate series.

The character designs so far have been decent, but it really is strange going to new designs yet again after changing them a few times. Every studio animates the crew differently, and it always takes some time getting used to their new looks. I don’t know how Hinagiku(Best Girl) or some other side characters are going to look, if they appear at all, but I’m sure it’ll be okay once I’m actually used to the change. The animation isn’t terrible by any means, just different.

Huh? Shocked? Nah, this happens daily.

We’re later brought back to the mansion, and man, this really brings out the whole change in animation studios. The mansion looks completely different, and while I’ve yet to see if that’s a good or bad thing, I was shocked to see how different it looked. While we pan back to the great mansion, Maria answers the phone and quickly changes to English to speak to the Nevada police. In appears that Nagi’s late father left some belongings behind, and they need Nagi to confirm if the items really belonged to her father. As she thinks about leaving to America, the television soon displays a show that discusses Area 51 and aliens, all of which pique Nagi’s interest and her will to go to America. While Hayate and Maria attempt to persuade Nagi into leaving when school is not in session, she storms off and complains in typical Nagi fashion.

Claiming to be an imouto? This is just too much man.

Everything that happens after can be said to pay homage to the first chapter in the manga series. The kidnapping, setting, and rescue all mirror the unforgettable intro to this amazing series. I really enjoyed this touch, and the attention to detail is superb. In fact, Nagi’s stubbornness and the fact the kidnappers are brothers (Though if they owe money to the Yakuza is unexplained) only added to my enjoyment of this dedication to the beginning. However, there are some details added in to create relevance to the current plot, and the plot-twist at the end was shocking, but I’ve yet to believe the validity of her claim. This may be due to the fact I just watched Who is Imouto?, but who knows.

Either way, I am swirling in anticipation for the next episodes, and I really want to know where this series goes. I laughed at quite a bit of this episode, and I only hope the humor stays in future episodes. Time to start the new season with a bang!

-Ace

Enjoyin’ Life and Takin’ Names

Every time I remember this series, the first thing to come to mind is “Colorado Bulldog.”
Heyos Everyones!!

Just another day here for me, and I can honestly say that this week has been amazing in both progress and surprises. First off, it’s the start of a new season of anime; this alone makes the week fantastic. In addition, I’ve been working on some new “Lasting Impressions” posts, one of which was released earlier this week and one that will be released later this week, so this week has been jam packed with goodies.

In terms of gaming, I haven’t done anything significant or amazing, but I’m sure that will all change once I start playing Tales of Xillia again. I’ve been staying away from those titles as they consume so much time, and I really needed to catch up on my anime backlog. On that note, I’ve still got so many series to sit down and watch, but I think I’ll still have time for that as this new season consumes much of my time.

I’ve also been in the planning stages of my panel coming up next month, which will be an amazing panel and everyone here should go. The panel is “Name that Anime Tune!” at Anime Kaigi, held in Flagstaff, AZ on November 9-11. It’s going to be great, and I’m taking measures to make sure it caters to all audiences.

If anyone reads this blog and knows what I enjoy, you should know I absolutely love the “Tales of” series. Well, if you happen to live in the U.S., you will also be happy to know that there will be the first U.S. Tales of convention held in Texas sometime next year. While I can’t do much to help organize the event, I will be doing my part to improve its successfulness, so go check out Aselia-con and support in any way you can! It’s going to be a great time, and I’m looking forward to how amazing this next year will be.

Welp, I’ve rambled on long enough. While I think this month is going to be amazing, it all comes down to how much I work to improve my current projects. This season of anime will be amazing, and I assure you, what’s remaining of this year is going to be a blast!

-Ace