Yuru Yuri Episode 2

So, I didn’t do any introductions of the characters in the first post about this show. I think most of the characters have been introduced by now, so I’ll just go through them all now. The four main characters are Akari Akaza, Yui Funami, Kyoko Toshinou, and Chinatsu Yoshikawa. Akari is the first one introduced, having just started middle school (Yui and Kyoko are a year older). Although she seems to be the protagonist at first, she sort of fades into the background as the episode goes on (this becomes a joke in the show). Yui is kind of the voice of reason in the group, sort of there to balance out Kyoko. Kyoko is a bit of a wild card, being extremely active and energetic. She writes doujinshi (I respect that) and was revealed in episode 2 to be the top of her class. She also likes to cling to Chinatsu because she looks very similar to Kyoko’s favorite manga character. Chinatsu is kind of a shy girl, wanting to join the Tea Ceremony Club so that she can be more like her older sister. However, the club has been disbanded and the room taken over by the Amusement Club (Kyoko, Yui, and Akari). She sees Yui as a cool and mature girl, probably a little similar to her older sister, and tends to cling to her to keep Kyoko away. In the second episode, the supporting characters are sort of formally introduced. First, we have Ayano Sugiura, the student council vice president. She struggles to be the best in the class, but is constantly beaten by Kyoko, which annoys her. She seems to be tsundere of this anime (if that’s even possible in an anime with no boys). Ayano kind of reminds me of Kagami from Lucky Star, and she gets sick in the same way Kagami does at the start of Lucky Star (weird). With Ayano, we have Chitose Ikeda, another member of the student council. She has a habit of…visualizing yuri scenes with the people around her. So far, all of those fantasies have been between Ayano and Kyoko. She removes her glasses when she has these fantasies so that she can focus on them and often ends up with a nosebleed. Finally, we have Himawari Furutani and Sakurako Ohmuro, two rivals who are competing to become the next student council vice president. Still gonna keep watching this anime…it’s pretty amusing.

Week of 7/10/2011

The third week has come, and with it, the summer season of anime! So, I finished Bakemonogatari and Ef: A Tale of Memories like I planned and will likely review one of the two some time this week. Also, I posted my preliminary thoughts on most of the summer season, so check that out!

Currently following:

  • Ao no Exorcist
  • Blade (not sure how long this is gonna last)
  • Ro-Kyu-Bu
  • Kamisama Dolls
  • Mawaru Penguindrum
  • Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
  • Mayo Chiki
  • The iDOLM@STER
  • Sacred Seven
  • Yuru Yuri
  • Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
  • Kamisama no Memochou

Plan to watch:

  • Nichijou
  • Bakuman
  • Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
  • Katanagatari
  • Spice and Wolf II
  • Kaiji
  • Blood+

Definitely not getting through all of those, but I’ll try to see what I can do.

Sacred Seven Episode 2

So, with the new episode out, I’m gonna try to avoid any huge spoilers. This episode reveals a lot of info that the first episode didn’t really have the time to cover. First off, they talk about Hellbrick and the origin of the stones that Arma and Ruri use. The power is called Sacred Seven and it manifests differently for each person, making them either a Darkstone or a Lightstone (no one pulled any muscles thinking about that one). They also reveal the reason that Ruri created the organization that fights against the Darkstones (they don’t explain why they’re all combat maids, though). We also see a strange guy who seems to be a Darkstone or something…He’s fully armored, like Arma when he’s transformed except with a full mask. There were glimpses of him in the first episode as well, and the preview made it look like we might find out more about him in the next episode. Finally, it’s revealed that Arma has a past with Ruri, although the circumstances aren’t fully explained. This episode was pretty cool because of all the stuff you learn about the setting of the series. The battle between Arma and the Darkstone is depressingly short in this episode, but I guess that was to be expected with all of the things they had to introduce. It looks like there are gonna be some sweet battles in the next episode, so I look forward to it.

Summer Season Begins

So, a lot of new series have started this week, so I’m gonna give my preliminary thoughts on them.

The first is Ro-Kyu-Bu. The protagonist, Hasegawa Subaru, is a former basketball player who is convinced by his aunt to coach an elementary school girls basketball team. The members of this team are Tomoka Minato, an experienced basketball player, Maho Misawa, an energetic girl, Airi Kashii, a shy girl who looks older than she really is and is incredibly sensitive of that, Saki Nagatsuka, presumed to be the smart one of the group (because of the glasses), and Hinata Hakamada, who acts very polite and a tad naive. So after seeing the first two episodes, I’m a little wary of a loli relationship popping up between Subaru and Tomoka. So far, it’s been a pretty cute story, though. We’ll see how it turns out.

Next, we have Kamisama Dolls. The protagonist, Kyouhei, moves out of his hometown to work in Tokyo. After drinking quite a bit one night, he and his friend Shiba find a dead body in an elevator. However, Kyouhei can’t help thinking the way of death is a little familiar. When he gets home, he runs into his sister Utao, who has followed him to the city with her “Doll”. The Dolls are believed to be some sort of god that can fight for them. However, another acquaintance of Kyouhei’s named Aki appears with his own Doll. It turns out Aki is responsible for the dead guy in the elevator, having broken free of his imprisonment at Kyouhei’s hometown to follow Kyouhei to Tokyo and wreak havoc. I have to say, the concept of this series is pretty interesting and I look forward to seeing where it goes. It will definitely be interesting to see if Kyouhei helps to fight Aki or if he just relies on Utao.

Next up we have Mawaru Penguindrum. This anime kind of made me go “what the heck?” when I saw it. The story centers around three siblings, Kanba, Shouma, and Himari. Himari is very sickly, so the other two tend to take care of her. While at the aquarium, Himari collapses, and after being rushed to the hospital, dies. However, while the two brothers are grieving, she suddenly gets up from her bed, having come back to life somehow. A miracle, right? But as Yuko always says, there has to be equal compensation to grant a wish. The next day, a box arrives filled with ice and three weird blue objects frozen within it. You guessed it, they’re penguins. One penguin for each of the siblings, and only they can see them. These penguins help around, doing things like cooking or grabbing forgotten items. The siblings find out that in return for their sister’s life, they must find the Penguindrum….weird. This series has a pretty crazy concept, but the penguins are pretty cool and it looks like it will be good. Guess there’s only one way to find out.

Still quite a few to go, but I’m gonna go through the next couple pretty quickly. First up, we have Ikoku Meiro no Croisee. This series actually takes place in Paris. A girl, Yune, comes to Paris to learn more about Western society. She stays with Claude, who owns an ironwork shop. This anime was pretty cute…I kind of threw me off because you could never tell if someone was speaking actual Japanese or if they’re speaking “French”. Next up, we have Mayo Chiki. Sakamachi Kinjirou has a problem where he has a nosebleed if he’s touched by a girl, and will even pass out if they keep touching him. One day at school, he finds out that insanely popular butler of Suzutsuki Kanade, Konoe Subaru, is actually a girl who is pretending to be a male butler as a test to prove a woman can be a butler. This anime’s got a familiar feel to it and I’m interested to see how it will distinguish itself. Next up is The iDOLM@STER, which follows 13 girls who are on the path to becoming idols. The first episode only introduced the girls, and they have some unique personalities. It seems like a good one to watch. And next is Sacred Seven, which follows the story of Arma Tandoji. He is feared at school because of an incident in the past where he injured many people. However, one day a mysterious girl, Ruri Alba, arrives at his home to ask for his help. Although he refuses, he is thrown into the conflict, awakening his inner power. However, he cannot control this power well, until Ruri steps in and gives him her gemstone, allowing him to use his power to its fullest potential. I have high hopes for this anime (mostly because Arma has Lelouch’s face). Alma also looks like a power ranger when he transforms, which is pretty cool. Lastly of the short reviews, we have Yuru Yuri, which follows 4 middle school girls in their…well, life. Basically similar to Lucky Star or K-On!, but with its own approach to the idea. Decent comedy.

Next up, we have Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi. Taito, the protagonist, finds himself having dreams, all of which have the same girl in it. However, he shrugs this off and tries to go on with his school life as usual. However, on the way home one day, he is run over by a truck. However, strangely, he doesn’t die. At this point, he remembers the girl from his dream as a girl from his past named Himea Saito, and runs off to find her. Their reunion is not the happiest of reunions, though…Because Himea is a vampire, this anime seems to have a Rosario + Vampire feel to it. I’m not sure what to expect yet, but it seems to be kicking off with some action as you will see from the first episode.

Finally, we have Kamisama no Memochou. The protagonist of this anime, Narumi Fujishima, is a rather bland guy who doesn’t like to draw attention to himself. One of his classmates, Ayaka Shinozaki, notices him, though, and invites him to join the Gardening Club with her. Later, she takes him to meet Alice, a detective who solves cases without leaving her home. Narumi is suddenly thrown into the case, dealing with a missing girl. After he helps solve the case, Alice decides to hire him as an assistant. This anime definitely looks sweet. It’s also a 40 minute long episode O.o. But yeah, it was interesting. Reminded me a bit of Detective Conan, but less childish.

There were a few more series that I watched, but they were either 5 minute long episodes, or it was Blade, which wasn’t that impressive. This was definitely a long one, and I’ll probably add in pictures later so it’s not just a huge block of text. Looking forward to this season!

New Rubik’s Cube

Taking a step back from anime for a second, a new cube just came in for me. It’s the Dayan IV Lunhui. Preliminarily, I’d say it’s pretty good. It’s a lot faster than the Guhong and it seems to be designed to reduce popping. For those of you who don’t get that, you’re free to ignore it. However, this is a video of me solving the Rubik’s Cube (not the Lunhui, though): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mqA2HRWRS4

It’s a bit of an old video, but I’m still at that general speed.

.hack//SIGN

.hack//SIGN

Surprise, surprise. Another review. So, this is an anime that I watched quite some time ago. For those of you unfamiliar with the .hack franchise, all of their games/anime revolve around an MMORPG called The World (yeah…I know). So, here’s the deal. You put on a headset and grab a controller and you can experience the game in virtual reality. Sounds like a fun series, right? However, this series revolves around the problems that arise in The World that blur the line between reality and online. Take .hack//SIGN for example. The protagonist, Tsukasa, suddenly realizes that he cannot log out and is trapped in the game. Even worse, he’s lost all of his memories. This anime follows his quest to figure out who the heck he is (and boy is it a surprise). Luckily, the omnipresent Morganna is there to help him out, but unfortunately, her intentions are not what they seem. Tsukasa meets players along the way that try to help him out as well despite his…colorful attitude towards them (can males be tsundere?).

Despite being a series about a video game, the main focus is on the mystery of Tsukasa’s condition and his development as a person. Not much fighting will be seen, but it’s still there. I thought the story was okay, but the series seemed a bit slow at some points. The characters were pretty well done and the animation and music were both good. It’s a great way to get introduced to the setting if you want to play the games (which are great). I give it a 7.2 out of 10.

With 5 reviews done, I’d definitely appreciate any comments/critiques of my style. I’m still new to this, so I’d be happy to incorporate any cool suggestions. Thanks a bunch!

[C]

[C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

Alright everyone, here’s the next one. So, Kimimaro Yoga is a struggling college student (I feel your pain, buddy) studying economics. However, one day, a mysterious man named Masakaki appears offering to give him endless riches. Sounds great, right? But like everything else, there’s a catch. In order to keep this money, Yoga must join the Financial District. There, he would battle using his “Asset” against other people like him, called “Entres”, and their Assets. What’s the wager? His future. Kimimaro’s Asset is a girl named Mashyu, who specializes in fire attacks. As Kimimaro keeps fighting in the Financial District, he learns just how serious wagering your future is. Becoming bankrupt and losing your future can even make you lose your kids (not that Kimimaro has any). He is then invited to join the Starling Guild by Souichirou Mikuni, one of the strongest Entres. The idea of the guild is to control your “Deals”, or battles with other Entres, such that you win only by a small margin. Because of this, the other Entre doesn’t go bankrupt and you minimize the damage on the real world. Of course, things aren’t quite so simple.

This anime was pretty sweet. The characters were definitely entertaining, whether it’s Kimimaro’s naive idealism or Mashyu’s innocence and ignorance of the real world. The concept was also unique, focusing more on the finances of the world and the economy. Plus, a whole country disappears. Definitely a good series to watch. As with Angel Beats, it was too short and didn’t leave much room for a sequel. This one gets either an 8 or 8.5 out of 10.

Angel Beats

Angel Beats

As I promised, Angel Beats will be up next. So, this anime follows the story of Yuzuru Otonashi, who wakes up to find that he’s dead. Greeting him is Yuri Nakamura aka Yurippe, who informs him that he is in a sort of purgatory world. He meets up with more people like them, who have banded together to form the SSS, or Shinda Sekai Sensen (SOS Brigade, anyone?). So what’s the point of the SSS? They’re facing off against Angel, a girl who tends to make the people in this world “disappear”. But, this rivalry between the two sides is not what it seems, as you will find out as you watch. Also, I need to make this clear. This purgatory world revolves around a school that the members of the SSS, as well as Angel, all attend. Along with them are people that were never actually people, called NPCs by the SSS.

Although Otonashi’s the obvious pick, it’s hard to pin a protagonist in this anime. Otonashi’s the new guy in the SSS with the lost memory. He’s a kind person who tries to help out when he can, even if it’s Angel. Yurippe’s a pretty good leader for the SSS, able to dictate and create new operations for the group to tackle. She’s pretty loud and can seem a little maniacal at times. Finally, Angel’s student council president and charged with keeping the SSS under control. She has several “guard skills” that let her counter the weapons that the SSS throws at her. She’s also really quiet and doesn’t say much.

This series surprised me. When I first started watching, I was wondering where it was going, but by the end, I was definitely loving it. There’s plenty of comedic relief and the story is great. Part of the SSS is a band called Girls Dead Monster, which plays some amazing music throughout the series. These are mostly insert songs, but the opening and ending themes were also great, especially the opening. The only real problem is that this series is super short and has little room for a sequel (side story, maybe but unlikely). Other than that, it’s definitely worth checking out. I give it a 9/10

Week of 7/3/2011

Another week has gone by. Was definitely swamped with volunteer work (sad as that may be). Anyways, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko and Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi both finished. They were definitely entertaining. Also, I finished Hidan no Aria, which completed this week too.

Currently following (will probably have a better list next week since the new season is starting up):

  • Ao no Exorcist

Plan to watch:

  • Nichijou
  • Ef – A Tale of Memories
  • Bakemonogatari

Also, I’m gonna try to get at least 2 reviews out this week. I think I’ll try to get into a pattern of reviewing something I watched a while back along with something that I’ve seen recently. This week, I’ll probably go for [C] and Angel Beats.

Trying to keep things concise, so I’m going to put some Rubik’s Cube stuff here too. I started practicing again, and will probably be re-assembling some of my cubes. Also, I ordered a Dayan IV and a Dayan V, so those should be coming in any time. Also ordered some Lubix and I’ll probably test that out on one of my Guhongs.