all biased opinions are up!
Dantalian no Shoka
set in early 19th century, Hugh Anthony Disward AKA Huey (CV Ono Daisuke) recently inherited his late grandfather's estate, including his prized library collection that was said to have caused much conflict between him and the rest of the family. when Huey reached his grandfather's mansion, he's surprised to find that the books aren't in the library but piled up in a hidden room surrounding a mysterious girl whom he initially thought was a doll. the girl is actually Dalian (CV Sawashiro Miyuki), the gatekeeper to the "Dantalian Bookshelf", who "houses" 900,666 phantom books of the demons.
Dalian needs to be "unlocked", there's a huge padlock on her chest, with a key which Huey's grandfather passed on to him, so that the books can be accessed for use. compared to Index, who memorizes and recites everything off her mind, this is actually comes off as a better security system. HA! not that Index is kidnapped often but having a key do have its advantages. other than the "human storeroom" part, this is entirely different from Index as it's more like resolving incidents caused by misuse of the phantom books. with Ono-san and Miyuki-chan on board as the main leads, the phantom books, set against the backdrop of historical Europe, i will definitely be watching this to the end.
taken from ANN: Shion (CV Kaji Yuuki) is a bright teenager living a comfortable and promising life inside No. 6, one of this six remaining city-states created by The Babylon Treaty after the last great war devastated the world. On the rainy evening of his twelfth birthday, he meets a savvy adolescent who calls himself Nezumi (CV Hosoya Yoshimasa) and is desperately trying to runaway from the authorities. For helping a fugitive of the state, Shion is stripped of all his privileges. Four years later, they meet once again. For better or for worse, Shion is about to unravel the secrets guarded deep inside No. 6.
when Nezumi revealed that he is on the run from the authorities, and the part about being in a group of people that are hunted for leisure, my first thoughts were that it was somewhat similar to Deadman Wonderland, except that Deadman was even darker and more violent. both also have the over-controlling government bodies, where all citizens are kept under tight reins by the government/security system, and both also have the protagonist being framed for murder.
while i didn't continue with Deadman, too violent for my stomach to handle, No.6 has lesser violence and hopefully a much more interesting plot for me to carry on watching. (sorry, but i just can't think of killing people for entertainment as a good show.) hopefully it will start to pick up in Ep2 (i'm way behind in many of the summer shows), and we'll see the event that turned Shion's hair from black (in Ep1) to white (in the promotional images). traumatic experiences always seems to trigger these changes, like with 杨过 and 白发魔女.
posted 18 Jul,
due to being in a family where he is always the training "subject" for his pro-wrestling loving mom and sister Kureha (CV Hanazawa Kana), Kinjirou (CV Hino Satoshi) suffers from a phobia of girls, his most common symptom is a nosebleed when touched by them. things became worse for him when he accidentally discovers that Subaru (CV Iguchi Yuka), the butler of rich girl Kanade (CV Kitamura Eri), is actually a girl. in exchange for keeping Subaru's secret, and preventing her from beating him into a pulp, Kanade starts using both of them to "entertain" her in her otherwise mundane school life.
Kinjirou also hates his name, more specifically when people calls him by his full name Sakumachi Kinjirou, as it has "chicken" imprinted inside. if you split his name up, you get sakuma "chicken" jirou. so besides physical abuse, he also suffers from mental abuse, the poor boy.
was initially skeptical about this after hearing comments that this is like a cross between Mariaholic and MM!. while i've never gotten into watching either series past their first episodes, not my taste, this one is as funny as it gets. Eri-chan has always been a natural at voicing "S" character, so what was new was Yuka-chan as Subaru, where she used a much deeper voice. if she hadn't screamed in the middle of the episode, you wouldn't have realized that this is the same seiyuu that voice Index in the To Aru Matsuju series.
because of her bad behaviour, nekogami (cat god) Mayu (CV Tomatsu Haruka) was banished to the mortal world by her mother until she is deemed worthy to return. she ends up freeloading at the home of an antique store owner, Yuzu (CV Horie Yui), spending her time playing video games all day.
similar to Kannagi, which i immediately thought of when i watch Ep1, there's a cast of other local gods that starts popping up almost immediately, including Mayu's self-proclaimed fiancees Sasana (CV Kayano Ai) and Meiko (CV Taketatsu Ayana), both whom doesn't seem to mind that Mayu is also female like them, harvest god Gonta (CV Sanpei Yuuko) who have a crush on Yuzu and local god inspector Shamo (CV Toyosaki Aki). if you want something light-hearted and funny to watch without having to squeeze your brain juice out, like me, this will be right up your alley.
Kami-sama no Memo-chou
because of his father's constant job movement, Narumi (CV Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) has been moving around the country for the past few years, which means he doesn't have much friends since he doesn't stay at one place long enough. at his current school, he is surprised when classmate Ayaka (CV Kayano Ai) called out to him, thinking that nobody even noticed he transferred into the class. he is in turn introduced to Alice (CV Ogura Yui), a NEET that "runs" a detective agency together with fellow NEETs, solving more of the underground crimes in the city.
the first episode was an hour long special meant to draw the crowd into the story. i'm wondering whether it had a negative effect. there's lots of dialogue sections where Alice drones on about why she's a NEET and why she even bothers being a detective. i think i zoned out when she went on her rants. on the other side, i do like the detective parts of the story, which is the reason why i'll stick with the show for another couple more episodes before deciding whether it's worth it to continue.
posted 13 Jul,
Kyouhei (CV Okamoto Nobuhiko) left his village hometown for Tokyo to escape being a "Seki", wielders of the Kami-sama dolls said to be empty shells of god. after a goukon party with his university friends, he and his old neighbor's daughter Hibino (CV Kayano Ai) chanced upon a massacred body in the elevator. he later finds out from his younger sister Utao (CV Fukuen Misato) that his old friend Aki (CV Kimura Ryouhei) is the one responsible for the murder.
looks like a typical "escape from past, past come hunting, invoke true powers" type of show. it has a similar feel to Sacred Seven, instead of being the one with superhuman strength, you have a doll doing all the shit for you. for me, the draw of the show is definitely Okamoto-san. yup, he is the hottest seiyuu now, having overtaken Fukuyama Jun in that aspect. also interesting to note is that Aki shares the same family name as Kyouhei. a close relative? maybe that's why it's hard to for him when he had to imprison Aki before running off to Tokyo.
posted 12 Jul,
Rin and Daikichi. Daikichi and Rin. this is a story of a 30 year-old single man (CV Tsuchida Hiroshi) who took in his grandfather's 6 year-old illegitimate daughter (CV Matsuura Ayu) because non of his relatives wanted to. sacrifices are needed, and sacrifices he did make. from changing to a different job position so that he can leave work early, to spending the extra cash needed to bring up a young child, to compromising on his already pathetic love life, he made them all. and yet, Daikichi never complained about it all.
i've been following the manga since the news about this new noitaminA show appeared on ANN. and frankly, it's really good. Rin is really cute. though not drawn as beautifully as Yune from Ikoku Meirou, she has the same cuteness factor that makes you love her almost as immediately.
we see how closed up she was during grandpa's funeral, trying to get out of everyone's way at the house because she knows her presence isn't particularly wanted. yet, there's no where else for her to be either. she sees the resemblance between Daikichi and grandpa, which is why she's naturally drawn to Daikichi so it didn't take her a second thought to accept when he offered to take her in.
given that it's only one-concur long, i doubt they would be finishing to the end of the manga (recently ended in April). more than likely, they would stop before the 10-year time skip. hopefully, there will be a chance for a second season, provided this season's ratings are good. the live-action movie starring Matsuyama Kenichi and Ashida Mana will also be released in Japan on 20 Aug, but that looks like it wouldn't go into the time skip portion either.
Alma (CV Terashima Takuma) doesn't have much friends. he is feared by most people in his school due to a past incident where he lost control and beat up many upperclassmen, putting them all in the hospital. what he didn't know before Ruri (CV Nakajima Megumi) came along, is that he possessed the power of Sacred Seven, which accounts for his superhuman strength and now this power is needed to defeat the Dark Stone creatures that are appearing in his town.
Ruri is filthy rich. anyone that can have a butler (CV Irino Miyu), a squadron of maids, robots, and enough money to buy a school just because she thinks it's troublesome to get a student placing is filthy rich. thank goodness she's working on the good people's side. it's not a series i would particularly put as must-watch-immediately-when-released, but with such a good cast of seiyuus including others like Okamoto Nobuhiko, Konishi Katsuyuki and Itou Kanae, i wouldn't wanna miss it either.
posted 7 Jul,
Saya (CV Mizuki Nana) holds two jobs, high school student by day, demon-slayer by night. instead of the chiropterans from Blood+, we have demons called "Furukimono", literally translated into "Old Ones". while Saya might be all ditzy, falling on her face seems to be a daily event, she can do her night job pretty well.
unlike Blood+, Saya already knows who she is dealing with from the start, and there wasn't any major discovery on the demon part. her Shinto priest dad (CV Fujiwara Keiji) looks like he is keeping a secret from her, maybe her real identity? don't think she knows that her eyes change during battle. in any case, Saya seems very eager to please him, be it shrine work or the whole demon-slaying business. slight father complex?
and probably because it's CLAMP, we have the first Blood series to come up with 3 potential love interests in one episode, friendly neighbour Fumito (CV Nojima Kenji), class president Tomofusa (CV Abe Atsushi) and mysterious classmate Tokizane (CV Suzuki Tatsuhisa). Tomofusa especially, looks like Yukito from Card Captor Sakura, which made the Yukito-fan inside me squeal like crazy when i saw him on-screen. there's also the part where Saya broke out in song in the middle of the road. sounds very Disney-like to me, and a good chance to exploit Nana-chan.
being a fan of the original Blood franchise, i'm more than ecstatic when i heard of the collaboration between CLAMP and Production I.G. and they're is not just providing the artwork, like what they did with Code Geass, but the whole deal from storyboard to character designs. that's like skipping the manga part and going straight to anime. it's been ages since we've had a serious CLAMP story, think R.G. Veda and X/1999, as they have been going more light-hearted for their past few works. i would really love to see a manga version of BLOOD-C, done by CLAMP themselves of course.
Natsume Yuujinchou San
Natsume (CV Kamiya Hiroshi) and Nyanko-sensei (CV Inoue Kazuhiko) are back!! seeing that this is already the third season, i don't think those that are already watching would need any introduction. Natsume have made more friends now, both with the youkai's and humans, and has finally accepted that he's staying for good with the Fujiwara's. you can't help but smile at the ED scene where he's outside playing fireworks with his adopted parents.
i guess my usual complaint is that it's only a one-concur show. but i'm just being greedy as usual. looking forward to seeing more of Natsume-Nyanko-sensei moments. the two of them are just so funny together.
posted 5 Jul,
Nurarihyon no Mago ~Sennen Makyō~
Rikuo (CV Fukuyama Jun) finally takes over as the third leader of the Hyakki Yakou. Ep1 goes back to the start of the manga story, showing why a younger Rikuo went from youkai-loving to how he was in the beginning of season 1 when he tried all means to hide that he is part youkai. with Rikuo coming to terms with his youkai side, definitely hope to see more of his adult form rather than the bespectacled 14 year-old.
and besides the return of the usual cast members, we have Kuwashima Houko voicing Rikuo's grandmother Youhime. Rikuo’s late father, Nura Rihan (CV Fujiwara Keiji), also appears in the flashback at the beginning but was killed off after only 2 minutes of screen time. hopefully, since his story is a big part of season 2, we'll get to see more of him in future flashbacks.
Ikoku Meiro no Croisée
set in late 19th century Paris, the story follows a young japanese girl Yune (CV Touyama Nao), who is sent to work as a live-in maid with Frenchman Oscar (CV Tanaka Hideyuki) and his grandson Claude (CV Kondou Takashi) in their family ironworks shop.
Yune is the cutest slice-of-life character i've even seen. seriously, there's no one to compare to. if you love the ARIA series, you would easily fall in love with Ikoku Meiro. lots of WAFF (Warm And Fuzzy Feeling) moments, as Yune slowly adapts to Paris and starts making friends and experience wonderful encounters. much like what Akari did in ARIA.
petit nendoroids of Yune and friends have already been spotted at the Japan Expo in France. can't wait to get them when they're released. actually, just give me Yune, i don't really need the rest. HA!
Uta no Prince-sama — Maji Love 1000%
Haruka (CV Sawashiro Miyuki) gets into her dream school to learn song writing so that she can write a song for her favorite singer HAYATO (CV Miyano Mamoru). she meets lots and lots of dreamy boys, one of whom she'll have to eventually pair up with to win a "newcomer discovery" audition held at graduation.
the 6 main male CVs sings the OP in what looks like a Johnny's Jr. boyband concert sequence. it's very cliché, i can't stop laughing as i watch it, but it sure did its job to draw the crowd in because the song is damn catchy and i've been listening to it over and over again. that's the magic of boybands i guess.
besides the boyband OP in which he's part of, Mamoru-kun is also singing the ED, plus a whole load of other songs in the show. i wouldn't say his voice is all that good, but it's not bad either. i actually preferred the insert song compared to the ED.
with an irresistible seiyuu cast that includes many of my favorite guys like Mamoru-kun, Suwabe Junichi and Nakamura Yuuichi in his first gender-bending role (guy in pink hair), together with one of my favorite girls Miyuki-chan, this show already has me on board, though i'm still trying to accept Haruka's weird eye colors. how did green pupils with yellow irises even pass off as normal eyes? is she blind or what?
but come on girls, we know we're not watching this for the girl or the plot. it's for the men! and with so many guys, who will Haruka choose?