What I do with dropped anime

So, what has changed since I last updated this list? Here is to list a few:

  • Uchuu Kyoudai, Tsuritama, and AKB0048 dropped. (Unappealing to me)
  • Latest episode watched for the remaining titles range from 8 to 10.
  • Noticed some Summer anime titles being mentioned, with one of them being Cocoro Connect. Have yet to see trailers of them though.
  • I lost track of what the latest episode numbers I was watching.

Having dropped those anime, I do not have screenshots of the said anime in question unless it was taken before I dropped it.

Why did I even drop them in the first place? There are many reasons. Could be because of other anime airing at the same time that are better, or I just simply fell asleep watching it. However, for this year’s spring anime, it’s hard for me to decide because there are many good ones.

12 June 2012 16:32 edit: I forgot to mention that I have added “Haiyore! Nyaruko-san” to the list I am watching now.

What Is A Good Anime To Me?

(Cross-posted from my main blog)

K-On! (Spring 2009)

Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (Spring 1999)

Excluding anime that seem to go on forever (eg. Bleach) or targeted at children (eg. Doraemon), I have watched new anime, since 2006. Of course, I had watched some older ones like Kahimashi, Cowboy Bebop, and Lain.

I never noticed it unless I looked back (for anime since 2006) or watched older ones, but character design and background details in general has improved. Or it could simply because more recent ones looked better in widescreen in HD over the older lower-definition letterbox standard.

The early 2000s was a transitioning period for animation studios for doing each frame using computers over a cell sheet. To the viewers, this means that higher detail could be inserted, and scenes with things moving would not have everything else on the scene to be “moving”.

Character designs can sometimes be timeless or be specific to the general era, but you can generally tell. The differences between the original Kanon (Winter 2002) and the remake (Autumn 2006) is an example of a big improvement of design. Not just visually, but how the story is executed too.

Death Note (Autumn 2006)

The main thing that tells you about an anime is its opening and ending, and the segments surrounding it. While I do agree that Death Note is the odd one out with the use of (very) heavy metal music, the best ones to me are ones that do not have scenes from its episodes, something that you wouldn’t dread looking at many times. Another one, which I don’t mind if it’s not used, are the way the text of the credits are displayed being anything other than the generic one. Speaking of generic, I noticed that the animation of the ending of some anime, like Hanasaku Iroha (Spring 2011) and Durarara!! (Winter 2010), seems to have very minimal animation. I’m also not a fan of having new ending song in every episode, though I don’t mind those once-in-a-while things that reflect a sad atmosphere (eg. the death of a major character). As for those that use a song that has been used in several anime, it’s a mixed bag. However, songs like Secret Base: Kimi ga Kureta Mono, is the most often, and the most emotional, one I know of by singers used in Kyou no Go no Ni (Autumn 2008) and Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Spring 2011).

Kill Me Baby (Spring 2012)

Nowadays, anime having an opening some minutes after it started instead of the very beginning seems to be the norm. From my observations, those that don’t, or always have a flashback, or have something that repeats every time like Yakitate!! Ja-pan (Autumn 2004), generally don’t have a good storyline. On the opposite end, anime that do not have an opening (most commonly the first and last episode), replaced with credits in its place, or have the main episode overlapping with the ending in certain episodes are quite good.

It’s hard for me to decide what is a good anime between a slice-of-life anime with simple design with playful schoolgirls in a school as main characters (eg. Nichijou), or lots of action with serious men and highly detail things (eg. Gundam series). Generally, it’s easy to tell a bad one, and I seem to find a lot of anime with little content in the middle of the series falling into this group. It’s also hard for me to watch one with a good story, but not-so-good in the character design part.

In the past, I used to be able to tell the kind of anime that would be produced just by looking at the name of the animation studio. Before Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Winter 2011), I used to think that animation studio Shaft would be only be producing slapstick-like anime like Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei (Winter 2008). Madoka was a big surprise as they suddenly have moe characters, and a plot that’s a big departure from what they (or those with magical girls) normally have. Actually, not really sudden as they produced Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009) in between: still have elements typical of earlier Shaft anime, but a bit more to the serious side.

Angel Beats (Spring 2010)

Speaking of animation studio, I heard that Angel Beats could have been produced by Kyoto Animation instead of P.A. Works as most of the works written by Jun Maeda (Canon, Air, Clannad) are usually produced by former. The reason possibly being that KyoAni was already busy producing K-On! at production time.

What would the the most ideal anime for me?  Protagonist being a smart girl that should not be ugly or extremely sexy. She is a serious girl who could accurately tell if she’s lied to, which you can’t tell unless you paid attention to her tone of voice. These days, character design seems to be based on that of K-On!. Of course, that won’t happen, would it?

Episodes that takes place at beaches

Having watched several different anime, I’m starting to notice something that has been rather common: a whole episode dedicated to playing by the beach in the summer with a group of people. This theme has been used too much.

So, why the dislike towards it? Here:

  • too common
  • always takes place during the summer vacation
  • a lot of emphasis on the girl’s swimsuit
  • the whole episode (and maybe the ones around it) is focused mainly on it
  • no meaningful storyline development
  • etc.

On top of that, I’m starting to watch more of the more serious ones. Love comedy ones are also fallen out of favor.

>Episodes that takes place at beaches

>

Having watched several different anime, I’m starting to notice something that has been rather common: a whole episode dedicated to playing by the beach in the summer with a group of people. This theme has been used too much.

So, why the dislike towards it? Here:

  • too common
  • always takes place during the summer vacation
  • a lot of emphasis on the girl’s swimsuit
  • the whole episode (and maybe the ones around it) is focused mainly on it
  • no meaningful storyline development
  • etc.

On top of that, I’m starting to watch more of the more serious ones. Love comedy ones are also fallen out of favor.

Disruption of Anime TV airings

This is Shibuya alright, but with not much lights on at night

Due the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear power plant problems resulted from the great Tohoku earthquake and its chain reactions, which news around the world are reporting enough to not have me the need to describe in detail.

Due to these news updates, and the constant messages about the earthquake and planned blackouts, some anime are pushed back or have those annoying frame around.

Anime like MoshiDora (short for “もし高校野球の女子マネージャーがドラッカーの『マネジメント』を読んだら”) that was previously scheduled as the end of March, is pushed to the end of April. Other anime is delayed too, but having only about 2 episodes left for most anime, and the usual “buffering space” between the end of a season and the beginning of an another, it’s simply pushed forward, with minimal impact with the upcoming 2011 Spring Anime.

PS. I’m aware that I didn’t update the list saying what anime I’m watching.

>Disruption of Anime TV airings

>

This is Shibuya alright, but with not much lights on at night

Due the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear power plant problems resulted from the great Tohoku earthquake and its chain reactions, which news around the world are reporting enough to not have me the need to describe in detail.

Due to these news updates, and the constant messages about the earthquake and planned blackouts, some anime are pushed back or have those annoying frame around.

Anime like MoshiDora (short for “もし高校野球の女子マネージャーがドラッカーの『マネジメント』を読んだら”) that was previously scheduled as the end of March, is pushed to the end of April. Other anime is delayed too, but having only about 2 episodes left for most anime, and the usual “buffering space” between the end of a season and the beginning of an another, it’s simply pushed forward, with minimal impact with the upcoming 2011 Spring Anime.

PS. I’m aware that I didn’t update the list saying what anime I’m watching.

Winter 2011 Anime First Impressions (Part 1)

For the first time, I am writing this review as I’m watching the titles below, with the first in the Winter 2011 lineup. Season 2 of To Aru Majutsu no Index is not included in this since this is a spillover of the Autumn 2010 anime lineup.

Note: Any late night anime aired at or after midnight would be considered as early morning of the following day. Example: Tuesday 25:31 would become Wednesday 1:31am

Rio – Rainbow Gate
Episode 1: ゴッデス オブ ヴィクトリー (Goddess of Victory)
Aired on 4 January, watched and written on 5 January

The first thing that comes to mind is that the dealer, Rio is supposedly a woman who brings luck to anyone who sees her at the casinos she goes to. Then the protagonist, Mint, a young girl who carries a teddy bear around, wonders what the adults are all crazy over. She came with her grandfather to do some business and then the girl gets bored quickly and so on. This was based on several video games that feature Rio enough to have this to come out.

ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the trailer, I could already tell that this is not the kind of anime I’m looking forward to watch. Elements that turn me down from the first episode are: revealing uniform of the dealers, body measurements mentioned for no particular reason (also mentioned in the preview), no built up tension leading to the villains attacking for the teddy bear, and, most importantly, scary looking eyes that make them look like in a daze. Well, this was displayed in the trailer too, but episode 1 made it more obvious.

To tell you the truth, this is so boring to watch as an anime. It’s obvious that it has fan-service and no real storyline that I could see. Combine that with the character design is a sure way to have me to not pick this up after only the first part of the first episode. There was no opening in this episode. Might have been as an ending for this episode: but I’m not hanging around to watch it.

IS – Infinite Stratos
Episode 1: クラスメイトは全員女 (All of My Classmates Are Girls)
Aired, watched and written on 7 January
Warning to YT-uppers: MediaFactory, TBS, & Sony Music Communications are listed in the credits

An opening scene

What better way to break away from the typical birds chirping or happy music (or a flash forward to a time around where the series would end) to start a new anime series than to have going straight to the action of what the anime is about? Well, actually, my focus of where the anime started is after the opening theme. It’s on the first day of school, after the entrance ceremony. As you can see from the trailers, most of the scenes are from the first episode, like what I’m describing below appearing around 6 seconds into the trailer above.

Orimura Ichika has just been admitted into an IS academy, and is the only male in the entire world who can operate those exoskeleton machines. Since the very beginning, most of the girls are already interested in him for reasons that are various and unknown. Well, it’s a girl’s natural reaction of wanting to attract guys.

They are both eating the same kind of food

This episode focuses on him and his childhood friend Houki Shinonono who was from the same Primary/Grade school since year one up to year 4 and were both in the kendo club. Ichika doesn’t seems to remember what happens after that year, and Houki seems to have some kind of a mixture of love and hate towards him. What’s even more shocking is that they both share the same dorm room. Whether we see this relationship go downhill or not, it’s still to early to tell.

It’s interesting that the voice actors of (Houki & ED singer) and (Cecilia Alcott; girl with blonde hair) are involved. Background character and landscape design are among the best I’ve seen since K-On season 2 (Somehow, I don’t feel the same for Index/Railgun). Yes, though insignificant, background details, even for unimportant characters, does create the atmosphere of the place. Scarily, the technology and architecture of the academy (including the dorm) is almost something of what I had in mind of Mihara Academy in my novels on my main blog. I’ve never had any actual drawings of it, so I can’t complain about it. There’s that odd feeling of possibility that there are some relationship with this anime and Strike Witches in terms of character design.

Yumekui Merry
Episode 1: 夢現 (Half asleep and half awake)
Aired 7 January, watched and written 8 January

First opinion: Watched it for a few minutes, but could see that this isn’t something I could watch. The part just after the opening was just so absurd seeing talking cats chasing a man. I don’t want to watch this.

Second opinion: Well, watching this again after Madoka, Gosick, plus the above trailer, it does make me change my opinion a bit. It’s not as bad as what I thought it might have been that I might continuing watching more to see if it interests me more. Still, I’m not a fan of talking animals that can walk on two feet and talk like a human.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika
Episode 1: 夢の中で会った、ような・・・・・ (Met in a Dream, or something like that….)
Aired 7 January, watched and written on 8 January
Warning to YT-uppers: Aniplex is listed in the credits

Well there are two things I want to talk about first: there are too many anime that has “Mahou Shoujo” in the title that I kept confusing it with Nanoha. Another thing is that, if you have been reading my past reviews, since at least around when I talked about Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009), you might have seen me complaining about how the animation studio, SHAFT, has been using unnecessary effects that kind of spoils the anime, but this one looks quite good. I heard that the character designer who did Hidamari Sketch is involved with that of this anime too.

Gosick
(Sometimes I wonder if this is a misinterpretation of ゴシック, which means “Gothic”)
Episode 1: 黒い死神は金色の妖精を見つける (The Black Reaper Has Found a Golden Elf)
Aired and watched on 8 January, written 9 January

This anime takes place in the early 20th century of a fictitious country in Europe (don’t remember the name) where horse carriages are still mixed with automobiles, but still not used to visitors from places far enough to be very noticeably different from what they are used to.

The protagonist is from Japan on a cultural exchange program in a large academy. The people around him there called him the black death god because nobody else there has black hair. While researching in the library tower, he saw something bright from near the roof. After a long climb up, he finds a botanical garden and a strange girl who could see facts that are otherwise not known or faked.

>Winter 2011 Anime First Impressions (Part 1)

>For the first time, I am writing this review as I’m watching the titles below, with the first in the Winter 2011 lineup. Season 2 of To Aru Majutsu no Index is not included in this since this is a spillover of the Autumn 2010 anime lineup.

Note: Any late night anime aired at or after midnight would be considered as early morning of the following day. Example: Tuesday 25:31 would become Wednesday 1:31am

Rio – Rainbow Gate
Episode 1: ゴッデス オブ ヴィクトリー (Goddess of Victory)
Aired on 4 January, watched and written on 5 January

The first thing that comes to mind is that the dealer, Rio is supposedly a woman who brings luck to anyone who sees her at the casinos she goes to. Then the protagonist, Mint, a young girl who carries a teddy bear around, wonders what the adults are all crazy over. She came with her grandfather to do some business and then the girl gets bored quickly and so on. This was based on several video games that feature Rio enough to have this to come out.

ARGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the trailer, I could already tell that this is not the kind of anime I’m looking forward to watch. Elements that turn me down from the first episode are: revealing uniform of the dealers, body measurements mentioned for no particular reason (also mentioned in the preview), no built up tension leading to the villains attacking for the teddy bear, and, most importantly, scary looking eyes that make them look like in a daze. Well, this was displayed in the trailer too, but episode 1 made it more obvious.

To tell you the truth, this is so boring to watch as an anime. It’s obvious that it has fan-service and no real storyline that I could see. Combine that with the character design is a sure way to have me to not pick this up after only the first part of the first episode. There was no opening in this episode. Might have been as an ending for this episode: but I’m not hanging around to watch it.

IS – Infinite Stratos
Episode 1: クラスメイトは全員女 (All of My Classmates Are Girls)
Aired, watched and written on 7 January
Warning to YT-uppers: MediaFactory, TBS, & Sony Music Communications are listed in the credits

An opening scene

What better way to break away from the typical birds chirping or happy music (or a flash forward to a time around where the series would end) to start a new anime series than to have going straight to the action of what the anime is about? Well, actually, my focus of where the anime started is after the opening theme. It’s on the first day of school, after the entrance ceremony. As you can see from the trailers, most of the scenes are from the first episode, like what I’m describing below appearing around 6 seconds into the trailer above.

Orimura Ichika has just been admitted into an IS academy, and is the only male in the entire world who can operate those exoskeleton machines. Since the very beginning, most of the girls are already interested in him for reasons that are various and unknown. Well, it’s a girl’s natural reaction of wanting to attract guys.

They are both eating the same kind of food

This episode focuses on him and his childhood friend Houki Shinonono who was from the same Primary/Grade school since year one up to year 4 and were both in the kendo club. Ichika doesn’t seems to remember what happens after that year, and Houki seems to have some kind of a mixture of love and hate towards him. What’s even more shocking is that they both share the same dorm room. Whether we see this relationship go downhill or not, it’s still to early to tell.

It’s interesting that the voice actors of (Houki & ED singer) and (Cecilia Alcott; girl with blonde hair) are involved. Background character and landscape design are among the best I’ve seen since K-On season 2 (Somehow, I don’t feel the same for Index/Railgun). Yes, though insignificant, background details, even for unimportant characters, does create the atmosphere of the place. Scarily, the technology and architecture of the academy (including the dorm) is almost something of what I had in mind of Mihara Academy in my novels on my main blog. I’ve never had any actual drawings of it, so I can’t complain about it. There’s that odd feeling of possibility that there are some relationship with this anime and Strike Witches in terms of character design.

Yumekui Merry
Episode 1: 夢現 (Half asleep and half awake)
Aired 7 January, watched and written 8 January

First opinion: Watched it for a few minutes, but could see that this isn’t something I could watch. The part just after the opening was just so absurd seeing talking cats chasing a man. I don’t want to watch this.

Second opinion: Well, watching this again after Madoka, Gosick, plus the above trailer, it does make me change my opinion a bit. It’s not as bad as what I thought it might have been that I might continuing watching more to see if it interests me more. Still, I’m not a fan of talking animals that can walk on two feet and talk like a human.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika
Episode 1: 夢の中で会った、ような・・・・・ (Met in a Dream, or something like that….)
Aired 7 January, watched and written on 8 January
Warning to YT-uppers: Aniplex is listed in the credits

Well there are two things I want to talk about first: there are too many anime that has “Mahou Shoujo” in the title that I kept confusing it with Nanoha. Another thing is that, if you have been reading my past reviews, since at least around when I talked about Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009), you might have seen me complaining about how the animation studio, SHAFT, has been using unnecessary effects that kind of spoils the anime, but this one looks quite good. I heard that the character designer who did Hidamari Sketch is involved with that of this anime too.

Gosick
(Sometimes I wonder if this is a misinterpretation of ゴシック, which means “Gothic”)
Episode 1: 黒い死神は金色の妖精を見つける (The Black Reaper Has Found a Golden Elf)
Aired and watched on 8 January, written 9 January

This anime takes place in the early 20th century of a fictitious country in Europe (don’t remember the name) where horse carriages are still mixed with automobiles, but still not used to visitors from places far enough to be very noticeably different from what they are used to.

The protagonist is from Japan on a cultural exchange program in a large academy. The people around him there called him the black death god because nobody else there has black hair. While researching in the library tower, he saw something bright from near the roof. After a long climb up, he finds a botanical garden and a strange girl who could see facts that are otherwise not known or faked.

Autumn 2010 Anime First Impressions

The new autumn anime offers the most interesting line-up for the whole year. Some of them are second season of anime like Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, Motto To Love-ru, and To Aru Majutsu no Index II (third if you counted the Railgun spin-off). Here are my thoughts of it after the first or second episode, depending on when the first episode aired. I might give an individual episode summary in here, or just have that as part of my general opinion. Except for the second season of Index mention below, I do not know much about any of the anime listed here prior to the announcement of the Autumn lineup.

MM! (えむえむっ!)

Sweet, and gentle at first
But being sweet and all that is not her usual self

How do I say it… the main character likes to be tortured, and another has a fear for males. They head to the second volunteer club (where’s the first?) for advice. Then, all the crazy things start to happen. I shall not spoil any further for those who have yet to watch it, as saying what I know could spoil the fun than watching it first without knowing anything. This anime is not recommended if you are looking for non-repetitive action with actual progress in storyline.

My Sister Can’t Be This Cute (おれの妹がこんなに可愛いわけがない)
That’s a rather long title, even with the title in kanji, so let’s just call it OreImo.

(Audio starts at 0:11)
(If these links do not work, blame some subdivision(s) of Sonii)

The opening theme only started in the second episode, but I have to say that it is quite good and it actually goes well with the music. The opening animation looks like it might change according to the location and/or places featured in the episode in question.

As for the ending, it was just horizontal credits scrolling rapidly overlaying the last few moments of that episode and faint background music, like the variety shows I see in the evenings, so I’m not sure if there would be an actual ending animation. If there is, it’s probably not showing it yet because of things yet to happen to be in it. I haven’t heard the ending song long enough to recall if it was the same song in episode 1 and 2 or how the song goes.

Episode 1 summary:
Kirino has a secret obsession of collecting anime goods and visual novels, including ones rated for people above 18. She hides them behind the cabinet, knowing the father being against having such a hobby, and uses the money from her pay as a model. She eventually drag her older brother (Kyousuke) in with her hobby. She even made him complete the game she had tasked him to do.

Episode 2 summary:
Kirino has never met anyone else who is an anime otaku like her, due to her hobby being hidden from everyone. (Kyousuke was the first person she revealed this to.) So, with some help from her older brother, she follows a group in an offline meeting. Sadly, she didn’t manage to talk to anyone at the end of that meeting. She did, however, receive a hand-grabber, and 2 of the people from that group caught up with her and go around shopping around Akihabara.

Relying on the Sky (ヨスガノソラ)
 (or “Sora Relying on Others” if the “Sora” in the title refers to the name of one of the twins)

It’s about twin siblings who are moving to their grandparent’s place after their parents have been killed in a traffic accident. The younger twin could not attend school because of a disability. The style kind of reminds me of H2O: Footprints in the Sand anime back in Winter 2008: Nice music, small town setting, some heavy stuff at the beginning, a lot of girls, but hard to follow. There’s just something lacking that is making me wanting to look forward for more.

The two are identical twins, but gender differences makes the two look different. I need not explain the theory behind how these two are actually the same person, but experience different things.

Yet the Town Keeps Going (それでも町が廻っている)

It’s an another anime produced by SHAFT. My dislike towards them is that they add unnecessary things that I find annoying like the rapid flashing of mountains of words in Bakemonogatari (2009) or too much distraction from storyline for Natsu no Arashi or Maria Holic. It’s a slice of life anime like K-On (Spring 2009 & 2010), but there’s something annoying about it. Maybe it’s the way SHAFT presents it.

This kind of says it. 大人気ない means “not very popular”

The glaring annoyance this time is that there is girl whose ugly appearance was not explained. I mean, why is it even there? It looks like an American stereotyped view Chinese/Asians some time ago. It’s worse than accidentally drawing 6 or more fingers for a hand. It spoils all the other characters in the anime. Why???

Er… yes. This was what I was talking about.

Except for Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (Summer 2007) I have never really liked anime produced by them. (Looks at list)… and maybe Negima!? (Autumn 2006) and Ef: A Tale of Memories/Melodies (Autumn 2007/2008) too. Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009) too if it didn’t look so lifeless, fill it with a lot of text that are too quick to read. don’t foresee picking this one up. Also, the ending theme is boring. Okay, enough about this. Let’s move on.

Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku (FORTUNE ARTERIAL ~赤い約束~)

It does seem interesting to watch, but the feeling of wanting to watch more of it is not there. Maybe I need to watch an another episode to be sure. The protagonist says that he is a 5th year there, but of what level? Certainly too old to be a Grade 5, and looking at them, and a mention of Year 6, it could refer to a secondary education system or High School Year 2 if the first 3 is of a middle school education level.

A Certain Forbidden Index of Magic 2 (とある魔術の禁書目録Ⅱ)

It starts at the last day of the summer holidays where Touma is struggling to finish off the homework he wasn’t able to during the summer holidays, which the whole of season 1 took place in, when Index was kidnapped in front of him by a mysterious magician.

Index is back after a long time! I enjoyed the first season and the Railgun spin-off, though the former had the most part of an episode being at the same spot for too long. Besides that, I enjoyed the action and music. For the second episode, I wasn’t really paying attention other than there being a lot of Nuns.


There are 4 anime I have listed above that I am likely to drop. I did not mention anything about Motto To Love-ru at all despite it being listed in my watch list, and there are certainly more anime that other anime bloggers and people at Twitter that I did not even mention.