Friday, 10 October 2008

Fall 2008

i haven't had such a swarm of anime for ages. and i reckon i'm following more than half of the season's shows. most of which, if not all, i'm quite reluctant to drop after the 1st ep.

for a most comprehensive guide, you'll have to head down to RC. you'll just be hearing very biased opinions of some of the shows i'm watching. and i've also decided to categorize them into my own genres, beginning with...

the comedies...

1) Nodame Cantabile Paris
obviously, there's no need for any introduction to this one. like the live-action drama special, it picks up exactly where season 1 had stopped, with our crazy duo heading to paris for more great music, nodame antics and finally, the romance we've all been waiting for.

i'm still disappointed that it's only a 11-episode series, cos that meant they wouldn't cover all the way til where the manga is now. but at least, they should cover up to where Chiaki and Nodame finally get together as a couple. =)

2) Hyakko
for once, a show that has an all female main cast, without any wimpy male lead. ep1 was not bad, since it was an introductory episode to the main characters. hopefully this no-brainer will be fun and entertaining to watch. if not, there's always Kannagi (see below).

3) Toradora!
i really was gonna stay away from another Kugimiya-Rie-voicing-spoilt-brat show, but i couldn't help liking this after ep1. boy and girl help each other win the hearts of their respective best friends, which probably will turn out with them getting together eventually. Ryuuji reminds me of Kasanoda (yakuza guy that likes Haruhi) from Ouran High, and it's not just their intimidating eyes that's similar.

4) Kannagi
my Wagaya no Oinarisama replacement for Fall. so instead of a fox spirit, we have a local deity goddess that came alive after the male lead, Jin, craves out a statue of her from the recently chopped off holy tree in the local temple.

Nagi didn't come off as a total dork who doesn't know anything of the real world, which is a nice change from how other series always portray their deities (think WnO, Ah! My Goddess), though her purification method (sailor-moon-styled magical wand) had me rolling my eyes for an instant. i'm gonna assume that if Hyakko fails to amuse me, i still have this to hang on to.

5) Tentai Senshi Sunred
the ultimate no-brainer show of the season, sunred is a gag comedy that has the "hero" in a red mask (hence the name sunred) going around (supposedly) to take down the bad guys (who recruit other bad-asses from the sideline). in reality, sunred seemed more like the bully as he goes around kicking the bad guys for turning up late for their "battles".

i waited very long for this to come up on tudou and it was well worth it. though only 15min long per episode, they made it so funny, you'll wished it went on for a good 30min.

for romance...

6) ef - a tale of melodies
i did a S1 marathon of ef - a tale of memories when i was sick at home last week. i probably could have ignore S1 and just watch melodies, but principle-wise, i always need to watch everything in sequence. (which is why i'm still stuck at S3 of Sex & the City although everyone said i could've just watched the movie by itself.)

i have no idea why the hype over it though. other than the beautifully animated scenery and character designs, the story was quite draggy (i fast-forwarded alot in every episode) and boring. thankfully this time, the focus is on the other couples that didn't get much screentime in S1. and i am interested to know what is going on between Yuu & Yuuko, so i probably will do a marathon run instead of watching it every week.

7) Skip Beat!
because of the not-so-fantastic drawing, i was never tempted to pick up the manga even though i always flipped through it in Hana to Yume mag. i thought i should give it a chance and watch the anime instead.

but the real reason is that Miyano Mamoru, Inoue Marina (Yoko in Gurren) and Konishi Katsuyuki (Komui in D.Gray-man) are voicing the 3 main leads. i'm still skeptical of whether i will follow it to the end, but i found how the characters switch personalities from serious to funny amusing to watch. so maybe, maybe, it will grow on me like what Special A did.

a magical interlude...

8) Hakushaku to Yousei
9) Yozakura Quartet
10) To Aru Majutsu no Index

i've decided to mesh all 3 shows together and give a general idea. obviously, all of them have some form of magical involvement, be it in the form of a "fairy doctor" in Hakushaku, a group of teenagers battling against youkai in quartet, or a girl who stores the entire collection of the church's sacred books in her mind in index.

among the 3, index is the one i'm most interested in, where as i might boot Hakushaku if the story doesn't pick up over the next few episodes.

for the fantasy lover...

11) Tales of the Abyss
Koyasu-sama and Yukana are voicing characters in this PS2-game adapted anime. but way before that, i'd already seen the trailer. it just helps that my 2 all time favorite seiyuus are in the cast.

ep2 was aired back-to-back with ep1 on MBS and CBC, and the pace seemed to be set exactly as if you were playing the RPG. i get the distinct feeling that the end of each episode is a particular save-point in the game. haha, maybe that was the feel the producers are aiming for.

the slight creepy...

12) Kuroshitsuji
kinda like xxxHOLIC, where they mix in a little bit of humor with loads of supernatural stuff. it is supposed to have much more blood and action, though not much blood was seen in ep1 yet. but the creepy index is high so i probably will refrain from watching it too late at night as like what i did with xxxHOLIC.

the definitely creepy...
(new category cos it can't fit into "slight creepy"!)

13) Mouryou no Hako
i got freaked out 5 mins into the show after seeing the head-in-the-box scene. definitely way way way up in the creepy index, i'm just glad i watched the show in the morning. i probably wouldn't have slept well if i had watched it at night.

the only reason why i even ventured into this was cos CLAMP was doing the character designs. after ep1, i'm so creeped out, i wonder whether i should continue on cos it's definitely not doing good on my heart. however, there's still the pull with many of my fav seiyuus (Morikawa Toshiyuki, Suwabe Junichi, Kuwashima Houko) in the cast list. i might just watch another episode or 2 before deciding whether it's worth creeping myself for CLAMP.

vampires lovers...

14) Vampire Knight Guilty
this is probably the closest i could find to a male harem series this season, what with all the yummy-looking bishonen vampires. our favorite vampires are back in S2 which will probably wrap up the story seeing that the manga looks like it is might be nearing its end as well. but they might use an original anime ending, cos i doubt the manga will really end before the anime finishes in 3 months' time.

i was hoping for a more romantic love story between a (maybe) star-crossed vampire lovers, instead it looked much more like blood-fest than anything else. there's so much blood being used, possibly the bloodiest yet this season, it makes Shikabane Hime looks tame.

i'm still hoping for some form of romance, since the lovers are supposed go through a 1000-year long journey.

for the action dramas...

16) Gundam 00 S2
fantastic start to a hopefully fantastic S2, ep1 was all action with Setsuna trying to retrieve Gundam Exia from its holding point on some remote colony. i would've thought that Saji was already integrated into Celestial Being, (i blame all the trailers) but it seemed that he's still unhappy and angry at the gundam fellows.

anyway, they will probably dedicate at least another episode or more on how Setsuna is going to restore Celestial Being along with Tiera, with Saji probably joining somewhere in the middle. i'm still not happy with them bringing Lockon back though. can't they just introduce a new character? i'm getting kinda bored with the whole revival-from-the-dead routine.

17) GA-REI -zero-
i almost thought i was watching the last episode when all the main characters were killed off in the last 5min of ep1. a big "HUH??" resounded in my head, with loads of question marks on what is heck is going on. thankfully, this only piped my interest, plus the action scenes are really great, with good bgm that helped to enhance each scene. by right, this should put this under the "slight creepy" section, but it's not even remotely scary, even with the evil spirits involved.

18) Shikabane Hime Aka
this was initially the show that could have won the award for largest-amount-of-blood-used, but now it's just been overtaken by Kurozuka. supposedly categorized as horror action, which it probably should be since the main protagonist is a corpse princess hunting other evil corpses.

though other than that, nothing else seemed really "horror-ish", unless of course, they haven't begin to pack it in ep1 yet. well there's still tons of action, and it always looks good to have the female protagonist weaving a set of killer machine guns.

and last but not least, for the BL lover...

19) Junjou Romantica S2
i probably don't have to say much about this. i love junjou to bits and i can't wait for more Misaki-Usagi and Hiroki-Nowaki interactions. *grins* S2 will continue where S1 left off, and hopefully we'll see more characters like Usagi's brother and father.

somehow, tudou has removed all the links for S1 which just irked me to no end cos that meant i have to wait for the eng subs to come out on veoh. i'm just hoping aarinfantasy will do the subs fast enough so i don't have to wait so long. >_<.``


if Fukuyama Jun was Spring's hottest seiyuu, Miyano Mamoru has gotta be Fall's favorite. from brooding (G00's Setsuna), to arrogantly cocky (Skip Beat's Shou), to emo guy (VK's Zero), or just downright cranky (Soul Eater's Kid), this guy is practically everywhere!

here are the shows he's in currently:
Sun: Gundam 00, Skip Beat
Mon: Vampire Knight, Soul Eater
Tue: Hakushaku to Yousei, Kurozuka

ok, i probably shouldn't put Soul Eater in, since that was from Spring, but you get my drift. like Koyasu-sama, he has a very versatile voice which is great cos you get to see him in all sorts of different roles. i still love him the most as Tamaki in Ouran, but his Death the Kid character in Soul Eater is also fantastically funny.


so there you have it. all 19 shows that i will be watching for Fall, together with the on-going shows like One Piece, Bleach, Soul Eater, Reborn, Maoh and Xam'd.

that's 25 series in total!!

wow! i think that's a personal record.

and i'm still itching to watch another few more on crunchyroll that have had good reviews, but i'm trying to restrain myself or i might just go overboard.

i probably have already done it anyway.


anyway, more good news for all.

seems that Bleach is finally coming back to the Hueco Mundo saga. thank goodness.

i basically skipped the whole filler arc. cos even reading the summaries on RC was a torture.

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