February 27, 2005
Ah! My Goddess TV Episode 08
"Ah! Taking an Examination of Love, Starting with a Deviation Value of 30"
Ah! My Goddess was the first anime I ever watched, and it was also my favorite. It's still a there these days, especially the full-length motion picture. So you can imagine I was quite excited when I heard the news that they were bringing the show back as a TV series. I thought it only fitting that after been a long hiatus from reviewing my first review would then be this show. (Yes, that's where Kei came from.)
Anyways, the most obvious thing about this episode is a change in art style for Keiichi. I was really kind of disappointed when first watching the show because while the art was still reminiscent of the original, it was decidedly different. The production of the show was handled by the same company that did the movie which had a style very similar Kosuke Fujishima's original manga. In the first few episodes of this show, the art for Keiichi was a little out there (frequently it didn't look like him at all). In this episode, they've reverted to a more recognizable, familiar Kei-look.
In my usual spirit of full disclosure, I feel I should mention that I probably can't objectively review this series. That only means really, though, that if the show is just okay I might say it's good. If the show sucks, I'll probably still be able to realize that.
This episode features the first appearance of Urd as a main character. Her motives are not quite as clear as annealing fees, but by the end it's obvious that the reason she's intervening is because she wants to speed up the otherwise slow paced relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi. What this means is that Keiichi is exposed to all sorts of strange torments in her efforts to get them to move the relationship the next level.
I was tickled by the appearance of Sleipnir (Odin's mythical eight legged horse) in the episode during a flashback. It's always nice when they throw more of the Norse back story behind the show's concept into actual episodes.
If you haven't seen Ah! My Goddess in any of its incarnations before, this is probably a good place to start. On the other hand, if you're like me and you have, then this is a great place to rediscover it all again.
February 24, 2005
Hey, I just wanted to give those of you who are still coming to this site a little heads-up. I was going to try to get back to doing my reviews, as my wrists were starting to feel a little better (that's taken something of a turn for the worse lately, however). Before that happened, though, I developed some sort of repetitive stress related eye problem. Yeah, I think it's pretty ridiculous, too.
Long story short, when my eyes start feeling a little better, I will start to do my reviews again. If you're wondering how I'm going to do this without further damaging my wrists, it's thanks to the miraculous technology of voice recognition software, which I'm using to compose this post almost error free.
Hopefully, the next post you see from me will be a review, and not a report about a new injury I've developed.
Thanks for bearing with me,
November 05, 2004
If you've been wondering about my lack of updates lately, it's because I am currently recovering from RSI in my wrists. I hope to be able to pick up my reviewing in a month or so.
October 20, 2004
Get Backers Episode 03
"Operation: Recover the Platinum!"
So far, the best part of Get Backers (with the exception of the opening theme, which I seem to like disproportionately to the timbre of the vocals) has to be the various Ginji and Ban superdeformed interactions. They're so shameless, energetic, frenetic and crazy it's almost impossible not to.
The Get Backers are off on another recovery mission, with nothing really out of the ordinary, other than the first hints of character backstory. I'd try to write more about this episode and the show in general, but right now we're in formula-establishment-mode, so it's just a lot of the same.
This is a fun show. It doesn't take itself very seriously, and it's very colorful and energetic. It ain't Shakespeare, but it's enjoyable.
October 11, 2004
Chrono Crusade Episode 24
Here we are, at the end of the road. Major spoilers, probably.
Given that the final battle between Chrono and Aion really comes down to about three seconds on the screen (there's the posturing, first, but everyone knows that's not going to lead to a victor), I suppose it's not too surprising that only half an episode is given over to finishing the relationship between Chrono and Rosette (Azmaria, who must be the fan favorite of the show, gets the other half).
I finally realized the extent of the mispronunciation of "solitaire" in the closing credits.
So here we are, at the end of the road, with Rosette's life all but spent, as she spends her last moments in the company of Chrono. Which leads me to one of my big problems with their relationship, and how the show hinges upon it.
Chrono and Rosette obviously love each other, but they never vocalize it. You might say that this is just the way they are, but with Rosette the way she is, I'd expect her to need affirmation of this relationship, to verbalize and vocalize it. Instead, it's more of an "understood" relationship, and (all but one) most of the times their love is referred to, it's always other characters talking to Chrono or Rosette about it, or to someone else entirely.
So in the end, when Rosette screams that she doesn't want to die, it's more the fear of death than that she wants to be with Chrono more. Of course, that's what she means, but it's not real enough, not big enough.
And then the perfect ending is missed for another 15 minutes of Azmaria, when that could easily have been the first half, and Chrono and Rosette's end at the very end.
All in all, this was an entertaining show, but it should have had less filler and more Chrono and Rosette, the two characters that absolutely make the show.
October 08, 2004
Chrono Crusade Episode 23
Here in the penultimate episode of Chrono Crusade, everything's finally come to a head.
One thing that's been kind of lacking from Chrono Crusade, in general, is a lack of tension. Sure there's bad stuff happening, but it doesn't really connect to the viewer. Even when terrible things are happening to the main characters, it feels somewhat unreal, or that I haven't gotten attached and involved enough with what's going on to really care.
Part of this is probably because Aion does so much. The characters dance to his strings, or react to things he does. Rosette and Chrono and Azmaria just go with the flow, like anyone watching.
I'd say the contest of religious rambling to stuff happening in the episode is a little too far weighted towards the former.
October 02, 2004
Chrono Crusade Episode 22
"Sayonara - Goodbye"
Well, judging from the title of the episode, you know someone's leaving. I'll make it easy for you: Chrono and Rosette aren't done yet, and Azmaria's too cute to kill off. (And killing off a bad guy doesn't get you into a title like that, usually.)
So this is the end of Satella's story. It's sad, in the end, but it's also kind of cheap. Apparently Satella has this extremely useful jewel summoning move, but she has to hold Fiore in place and trick her into staying there as she impales them both. Obviously the creators of the show liked the idea of Satella sacrificing her life to save and stop her sister, but end up doing the deed in a fairly unconvincing way. On the one hand, I can see how she needed to catch Fiore off guard, on the other hand... come on. I'm sure Satella can materialize that thing anywhere she wants. She can probably guess.
But that's a nitpick, and most shows would fall into the same trap (which doesn't make it okay, but makes it understandable).
Since she's gone, I guess it's time to look at Satella as a character. She was useful mainly for getting the kids out of jams early in the show, and then her money gave them access to various necesseties later on. She's pretty much the same character: perhaps a little less selfish and self-centered, and certainly more tolerant of "good" demons like Chrono (of course, that's almost there immediately... who couldn't like Chrono?). Considering she's one of the main characters of the show, her arc is pretty blah. At least Steiner won't have the mansion all to himself.
The other stuff that happened in the episode, I liked a lot better. It's about time someone noticed that the Magdalan Order has a demon in its ranks, and the mob reaction you'd expect pretty much plays out.
The showdown should be just around the corner, and I'm ready to see the sparks fly.
Chrono Crusade Episode 21
"Mary Magdalene - Magdalena"
Hey, well that explains everything, doesn't it?
I'm pretty glad for it, too, because if it hadn't happened, I was really wondering if they'd really be willing to just toss off the really important thing that seems logical that will have to happen at the end of this show.
So more revelations in this episode, mostly about Chrono's past, and what caused him to split up with Aion (friends always split up over women).
Three episodes to go, and Aion's plan seems to be going pretty well. Just a few more loose ends to wrap up before the end.
October 01, 2004
Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi Episode 08
"Fish and Water"
The first half of this episode is miserable. Throw it away. Especially the last minute, where Tina goes into a fit of prepubescent breast grabbing. Let me restart this review.
"Fish and Water" (Part 2)
Hey, a training montage. Love those. Wrong music though.
So, during this episode, Tina talks about how she wished she could have gone to school in Japan. Being like everyone else, she thinks she'd have liked that better. That's an interesting bit of character development, sure, but it seems completely out of character. Tina doesn't act like everyone else, she's a total individual. Being forced into uniformity seems like it would have killed her.
So, Aoi and Kaoru combine for less than ten lines in this episode, which is really stupid.
Back to what the episode was about though, I feel like this episode was so stupid it offended by intelligence. I don't understand why they would make a show based around an adult relationship (Aoi and Kaoru) then have an entire episode around the youngest member (plus two additional young members) of the show.
Chrono Crusade Episode 20
"Temptation - Poison"
For a few seconds there, I thought that I had totally missed something with Remington, but hmmmm.
Spoilers can be inferred below. In fact, spoilers can be inferred from the fact that I am telling you that there's something about this episode that spoilers can be inferred from.
This episode had a moment that should have been very emotional. Somehow, though, I feel like the ball was completely dropped, and I really didn't care. I mean, I do care, but not because the show is telling me that I should, I just feel a little bummed out, which is not something you want to happen when something so earth-shattering happens in a show.
There are also a lot of big revelations (like the previous episode), that went over my head a bit. I get what's going on, but it's spelled out in that great "you've been through twenty episodes, now here's the story from the beginning of time to the present" way that anime tends to employ.
Nothing much is going right for the good guys right now, so I can't help but wonder how they're going to pull themselves out of this hole.
Considering how important this episode was, I'm really disappointed I don't care more.
September 30, 2004
Get Backers Episode 02
"Get Back the Rusted Bonds!"
Despite the fact that Ban and Ginji are apparently very good at what they do, in classic selfless hero form, they're unable to ever manage to get paid for their deeds. In this episode, they're sent off to retrieve a person (and go up an entire yakuza group in the process).
I'd love to see the explanation as to how Ban and Ginji came up with the idea to do the recovery service. I mean, what's the leap of logic from, "Hey, we have crazy powers," to, "Yeah, we should use them to make money by finding lost and stolen items for random people."
I'm a big fan of Get Backers's opening theme (and to a lesser extent, its closing theme). It's one of those songs that is sung with a voice that positively grates on me, but somehow works with the song that I don't mind it at all and, in fact, love it.
We're in first episode serial mode in Get Backers, as with almost every show, where we get the same basic story over and over with different situations, until the audience is suitably comfortable with the premise before the real story starts. Given that, this episode is entertaining, but with no metastory hook, it's also inconsequential. Let's see how long it takes for the story to poke its head in.
September 29, 2004
Chrono Crusade Episode 19
"Atonement - Neck"
Well, things have gone from bad to worse.
This is the episode where The Plan is revealed, and the real showdown between good and evil begins.
This is also a big revelation episode, so I don't want to take away from your enjoyment by spoiling everything for you. Suffice it to say, Aion has a suitably convoluted and complicated plan, and that I don't really understand it en todo, but it's pretty obvious (and has been made obvious in previous episodes) most of what's going on here.
I felt happy, as it seems like all the filler and waiting is going to pay off (or at least there's a chance for payoff), so I'm looking forward to finishing off the show strong.