all biased opinions are up!
taken from ANN: Chihaya (CV Seto Asami) is a frank and ebullient girl who becomes fascinated by the obscure world of competitive karuta, a card game based on Japanese poetry. Introduced to the competitive style of the game by a quiet and thoughtful elementary school classmate named Arata (Hosoya Yoshimasa), the two soon become close friends. They start playing as a group with Taichi (CV Miyano Mamoru), Chihaya's smart and athletic childhood friend, until they have to part ways during middle school due to several circumstances. As their high school life begins, they meet once again.
a show that wasn't in my original intended watch-list, i found it hard not to give it a try after reading so many positive reviews and gosh was i glad i did. my initial thoughts when i read the series synopsis was, "how do you make a card game about Japanese poetry interesting?" after Ep1, i realized the focus wasn't on the game itself, but really about the characters and how playing kurata gave them a sense of belonging. especially for Chihaya and Taichi, the former who is always living under her older sister's shadow, and the latter who is under constant pressure by his mom to excel in everything he does.
of course, it helps that Taichi is voiced by Mamoru-kun, in which my internal fangirl squealed the moment i heard his voice. ohohohoho~
Persona 4 The Animation
for reasons yet unknown, Yuu (CV Namikawa Daisuke) had to move from Tokyo to stay with his uncle and his daughter in a small rural town. murders started taking place shortly after he arrives, and things get even weirder when he and his new friends, Yousuke (CV Morikubo Shoutarou) and Satonaka Chie (CV Horie Yui) are pulled into a TV at the electronic store into an alternate world where they encounter monsters known as Shadows. this however, makes Yuu awaken and summon his "persona", a large powerful being that is able to fight the Shadows on his behalf.
supposedly a faithful adaptation to the PS2 game, it really wouldn't make a difference to me since i don't actually play any video games myself. wasn't particularly impressed with Ep1, since there wasn't much happening besides the basic character and story introduction. that is, until Yuu summoned his Persona at the last 5 minutes of the episode.
there's still lots of time and space for plot development since it's a 2-concur series, and i've seen and heard enough feedback that it is pretty solid so far. as i've mentioned before, for someone that doesn't like playing actual RPG games, an anime adaptation is as good as someone playing so i can watch all the pretty graphics.
posted 21 Oct,
Hunter X Hunter 2011
remake of the 1999 TV series following Gon (CV Han Megumi) and his friends, Kurapika (CV Sawashiro Miyuki), Leorio (CV Fujiwara Keiji), and Killua (CV Ise Mariya) as they face difficult tasks in the low success-rate and highly competitive Hunter Exams for the hunter license that allows them access to almost anywhere and anything they want.
although i have the entire series somewhere in the dust (literally) of my house, i never got into watching the 1999 version and have long stopped reading the manga after its frequent long hiatuses. so much so that i've forgotten most of the details except for the basic storyline. maybe this remake will rekindle my interest in picking up the manga again.
with the inclusion of this, that puts my current WSJ anime to 8 shows. WSJ fan? hell yeah.
posted 20 Oct,
Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon
taken from RC: In the distant future, mankind has to suddenly abandon “Tenjou” (lit. heavens) and return to the Earth, where the only inhabitable place left is “Shinshuu” (Japan). To cope with the lack of space, they create an alternate dimension to live in called “Jusou Sekai”. To find a means back to Tenjou, they attempt to relive the Earth’s history as transcribed in the “Testament”; however, a war later breaks out in Shinshuu and destabilizes the alternate dimension, causing it to come crashing into the real world. The various countries come pouring out, fighting over the limited space of “Kyokutou”. In present day, the Testament suddenly stopped transcribing the Earth’s history at 1648 A.D., causing the countries to fight over their own interpretations on what happens next. Some believe it’s the end of the world; others try to carve a new future.
thankfully, Ep1 didn't start by blowing jargon right in your face but focused more on the introduction of characters with Makiko (CV Shiraishi Ryoko) leading her class of very diverse students on a PE lesson. if you consider a race downtown to the mafia HQ. and our 2 main leads, Toori (CV Fukuyama Jun) and Horizon (CV Chihara Minori) didn't even appear much in the entire episode.
that aside, the huge cast is the big draw from me; Koyasu-sama, Ono Daisuke, Inoue Marina, Koshimizu Ami, Sawashiro Miyuki, Saitou Chiwa, Madono Mitsuaki, and these are just the tip of the ice-bergs in famous seiyuus. it's still to be determined whether we'll be overwhelmed eventually by the huge amount of terminology that's said to be mentioned in the light novels, but hey, if we could get pass the Index series, we can should be able to get through this. *fingers crossed*
posted 18 Oct,
Sekaiichi Hatsukoi Season 2
continuation from Spring, Ritsu (CV Kondou Takashi) is still at Marukawa Shoten, still at the Emerald shojo manga department, and still in denial about his feelings for Takano-san (CV Konishi Katsuyuki).
hope the other 2 couples, Kisa (CV Okamoto Nobuhiko) & Yukina (CV Maeno Tomoaki), and Hatori (CV Nakamura Yuuichi) & Chiaki (CV Tachibana Shinnosuke), get more screen-time this season. i need more Kisa and Yukina episodes.
Shinryaku!? Ika Musume
Ika Musume (CV Kanemoto Hisako) is back in her quest to invade the surface world, if only she wasn't part-timing at the Aizawa sisters' beach restaurant. whether it is bickering with Eiko (CV Fujimura Ayumi), trembling at Chizuru's (CV Tanaka Rie) feet when she flares up, running away from Sanae's (CV Itou Kanae) obsessive attachment to her, or just lazing around at home, there's always something that is distracting her from her mission.
blazed through Season 1 on my trip to Europe a few weeks ago, and i gotta admit, Ika-chan really makes it hard for you to treat her as a invader. more like your friendly neighbourhood mischief maker. but yet, she still manages to make friends with everyone she meets. like Popura-chan, also waiting for her full-fledged nendoroid to be release soon.
Taking place 10 years before the events of Fate/stay night, this is adapted from the light novels written after the original anime ended in 2006, chronicling the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War. it centres around many "old folks" mentioned in F/SN, mainly the rivalry between Shirou's foster father, Emiya Kiritsugu (CV Koyama Rikiya), and the main antagonist in F/SN, Kotomine Kirei (CV Nakata Jouji), masters to servants Saber (CV Kawasumi Ayako) and Assassin (CV Abe Sachie) respectively.
just hearing the BGM starting up in the first minute made my whole body tingle with excitement. after last year's Unlimited Blade Works movie, i was already itching for more of the Fate series. was a little disappointed when i read that (CV Seki Tomokazu) was taking over Suwabe Junichi as Archer, but i guess it's unavoidable since it is a totally different servant-class. this Archer looks more sinister too.
the bar has been set very high, with animation and music being all top-notched, but i'm sure the people at ufotable and Kajiura Yuki will be able to keep up the standard. a re-watch of F/SN after F/Z ends in Mar next year is a given!
After the outbreak of the unidentified virus "Lost Christmas" in 2029, Japan was placed under the control of a multinational organization known as GHQ. the story begins 10 years later, when Ouma Shuu (CV Kaji Yuuki) meets Yuzuriha Inori (CV Kayano Ai), a member of resistance guerrilla group "Undertakers". she awakens the "Power of Kings" in his right hand, which allows him use of "Void Technology", the ability to extract weapons from the "Void" within a person’s body.
most people would've already noticed the similarities in both characters voiced by Kaji Yuuki, No.6's Shion and GC's Shuu, which i irked me to no end, since i don't see a change or improvement in terms of voice works. but looking at Ep2's preview and other PVs, it does seem that there is a change in Shuu's personality after he joins the resistance group, which hopefully is different from his role as Shion.
thankfully, was already hooked on the show from the start, with the Macross Frontier-like opening scene and insert song “Euterpe” sung by Supercell's Chelly. let's not forget the other 2 insert songs that was played, one when resistance leader Gai (CV Nakamura Yuuichi) was introduced and when Shuu pulled the weapon out of Inori. you can see how much music, like Macross, will be heavily used in GC. not a bad thing at all.
taken from ANN: With the help of his strange assistant Inga (CV Toyosaki Aki), "Defeated Detective" Shinjurou (CV Katsuji Ryo) solves crimes in a near future Japan still suffering from the ravages of war. Problem is, the credit always ends up going to super detective Kaishou Rinroku (CV Miki Shinichiro).
story-wise, the draw for me is seeing Inga transforming from adolescent "boy" to super sexy adult woman who is the secret in Shinjurou ability to solve crimes, making any person answer one question from her truthfully by "forcing" them to look into her eyes. i just don't get why he always lets Rinroku gets the credit though.
Aki-chan is one that continues to amaze me with the versatility in her voice works. if you've followed her recent works, you'll see that she almost never duplicates her characters. if i didn't already know she was voicing Inga, i probably wouldn't have even recognize her. an interesting thing to note is Katsuji Ryo, a j-dorama actor, as the protagonist Shinjurou whom i've never actually heard him in an anime role before. he doesn't really get much lead roles in live-action, at least to my knowledge, so it's great that he gets to do it in anime.
posted 12 Oct,
following up from the 4-part OVA last year, Fu (CV Taketasu Ayane) is back with her late father's old Rollei 35S film camera in his hometown of Takehara, capturing pretty snapshots of her daily life with her friends and family. Ep1 was a flashback of Fu's decision to move to Takehara after her brother Ko (CV Miyamoto Kanako) rekindled her love for photography, a passion she and her dad shared together.
the OP and ED, once again sang beautifully by Sakamoto Maaya and Nakajima Megumi, really brings out the mood of the show. especially the ED, which started playing in the background as Fu began her train ride to Takehara for the high school entrance exams. i would say Tamayura is closer to ARIA compared to Ikoku Meiro, which i found got a bit too heavy and broody (mainly due to Claude) towards the end of the series. so, slice-of-life (SOL) fans will definitely enjoy what this series can offer.
Kimi to Boku
if you haven't already heard about this, it's a first ever SOL featuring an all-male cast, the story follows high-schoolers Kaname (CV Ono Yuuki), twins Yuuta (CV Uchiyama Kouki) and Yuuki (CV Kimura Ryohei) and Shun (CV Toyonaga Toshiyuki) who have been friends since kindergarden. there's still one last main character to be introduced, transfer student Chizuru (CV Irino Miyu) who hopefully, will inject some energy into the quartet.
definitely something that takes a little getting used to, since most fans are used to female cast in their SOL. even with the assurance that there is absolutely no BL undertones, i really can't imagine some of the things the boys do, like taking sakura petals off each other's hair, or playing with each other's hair. maybe in kindergarten, but high school? seriously?
i do love the artwork though, very reminiscent of Usagi Drop which uses alot of watercolor shots. and the humor is still what you find generally in male conversations, especially with Yuuki pushing Kaname's buttons at any given time. but this is how guys communicate right? by poking fun at each other all day.
the part i look forward to each episode? definitely all the flashbacks of the boys in kindergarten. they're much much cuter in their younger selfs. and i can even forgive Shun for being so effeminate. still waiting for his haircut, so that Yuuta can stop playing with his hair.
posted 07 Oct,
the continuation of Saiko (CV Abe Atsushi) and Shuuji's (CV Hino Satoshi) path to becoming professional mangaka. the first season ended off with them getting their debut in Shonen Jack, but not before having to face a change of editors.
i'm all synched about the second season, mainly because more characters are coming onboard. aside from my favorites Niizuma Eiji (CV Okamoto Nobuhiko) and Fukuda (CV Suwabe Junichi), there's newbie mangaka Hiramaru (CV Morita Masakazu) and senior editor Yoshida (CV Koyasu Takehito). it'll be fun to see Morita-san voice a negative-personality character, and Koyasu-sama is always fun to watch in a manipulative role as Hiramaru's editor.
i've been reading the manga, and it has been keeping me on my toes with all the exciting developments. i'm not expecting season 2 to catch up to the manga, but maybe it'll be a good indication for a third season, hopefully, in Fall 2012. *fingers crossed*
another sequel, Takanashi (CV Fukuyama Jun) is back with the rest of the Wagnaria staff in the slice-of-life comedy where each of the staff have their weird quirks, making it impossible to work normally without encountering some problems. and you'll think customers are the most difficult to handle.
i've never been the most observant person, so it was only after watching Ep1 that i realize that Ono Daisuke and Kamiya Hiroshi were, again, voicing main characters like in Durarara!!. to think that there was even 3 months where both shows were airing concurrently. the difference is, they actually do get along in the show, and are often in cahoots to tease Popura.
this show has always been good for its comedy relief, but i did get bored towards the end of season1 where the recurrent theme was always Inami (CV Fujita Saki) bashing Takanashi up. would prefer to see more of the rest of the characters, and especially more of Popura (CV Asumi Kana). she's really the cutest thing! her expressions are priceless. still waiting for the nendoroid version, not petit version, of her to be released soon. *fingers crossed again*