Archive for the ‘First Impressions’ Category

Nodame Cantabile Paris Chapter – 1

October 14, 2008

Oh yeah! It’s finally out on subs, it’s Nodame Cantabile and it’s taken my anime viewing time like a storm! For all of you who didn’t quite get it yet, I loved the first season but didn’t blog it because, well, I hadn’t started my anime blog when the first season aired.

Summary;

– Nodame & Shinichi settle into their boarding house.
– They meet the resident music students; Frank and Tanya.
– Shinichi brings Nodame out for a night of french cuisine, with both ending up very drunk.
– Frank, having known Nodame from the exams earlier on invites Nodame into his room. Like her he’s a big fan of Purigorota, unlike her however, he doesn’t learn french from watching french dubs of the show.
– Tanya however bites of more than she can chew when she tries to woo Shinichi, who ends up coaching her on her piano skills like he does Nodame.

My thoughts;

Awesome first episode. Talk about starting things with a bang! Right from the beginning I was constantly reminded that Shinichi and Nodame are no longer in japan, hilarity was at it’s best, the music as great as I remembered it and the animation even more sultry.

I just loved how they started off the first episode with Shinichi introducing Nodame, clueless as ever, to france. If her reactions were any funnier I’d be hard pressed to write a decent review. That said, it was pretty hilarious to see Nodame trying to gulp down the escargot, I’m not even going to get started with her french dictionary.  “help! Help! I’m being raped”  xD

This episode also showcased Nodame’s impressive ability to play by hearing, as in the first season. Learning french by watching Purigorota was pretty awesome, although not so much for Frank. Lets not forget the new characters; Frank and Tanya, who seem to be the average social misfits (think first season) that somehow come into contact with the duo. That comment on Japan’s economic strength was also pretty funny, yet somehow morbidly true.

The Op and Ed this season sound pretty good too although they don’t even come close to sounding as good as last seasons picks.

So, for a first episode this episode really did deliver and like I said earlier, I’ll be blogging this. However, I’m still unsure of the series I’ll be picking to replace Natsume Yuujin Chou this season. I guess I’ll just have to wait. So until next time God bless you guys! =D

Tora Dora First Impressions

October 8, 2008

Ahh Tora Dora, I remember saying earlier on that this was one of the manga I followed. I first heard about its anime adaptation about a month ago, and have been looking forward to it ever since.

Well, storywise there isn’t really that much to say, or rather I can’t say much without spoiling the rest of the manga. Generally, Tora Dora follows the whole boy meets girl premise, except that both of them are using each other to win the hearts of their love interests.That said, one character I’m the most fond of is Ryuuji, seeing that he has a really calm and gentle approach to his situation, though he’s branded as a delinquent most of the time. Taiga on the other hand is a barrel of laughs. 😄

Yeah, nice to meet you too.

Animationwise, I’m a bit dissapointed that they didn’t stick to the mangas character style. Ryuuji looks quite weird, but scarier, but Taiga just looks like Chiaki from Minami-ke. The animation is a whole other story though, with detailed and fluid gestures and gorgeously shaded backgrounds, kinda odd for such a minimalistic themed manga.

The music seems rather standard if you go by your average love comedy, but the voice acting is way above the norm. Taiga voiced by Rie kumigaya, with her usual Shana/Nagi voice, fits the bill quite nicely (they should have used Shakugan No Shana‘s art style for this!) while Ryuuji has got the whole misunderstood badguy type of voice pinned down, even his sigh sounds convincing!

Ryuuji & Taiga, different responses to being misunderstood.

So, will I be blogging this? We’ll have to wait till the next episode to see, since I’ll be pretty busy next semester. Anyway, God bless you guys! =)

Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu First Impressions

August 7, 2008

Actually, I was hesitating to call this a first impressions post because I had mixed feelings about the first episode. I was tempted to drop it at first, but the following episode managed redeem it somehow. Eitherway I’m now at episode 4 of Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu ( which translates to Nogizaka Haruka’s secret, but you probably already knew that). So yeah, to the actual post.

So in terms of plot, well suffice to say that there isn’t one at the moment. The premise; your average highschooler finds out that the school idol is an otaku, tries to stop the entire school from finding out and ends up befriending her. I was expecting the plot to take the shuffle! or Clannad route, and I’m quite glad that it didn’t. Oh, did I mention that this series is a love comedy?

The characters are pretty standard, with Yuuto playing the role of the average joe who ends up with Haruka, the high school idol. I thought the supporting cast was rather weak though, seeing as they haven’t had much relevance to the show so far. Although, the whole idea of having your high school idol as a closet otaku deserves some merit. I personally found Haruka’s reactions, and the rest of the schools while we’re at it, to be way overblown in a funny sort of way. Otaku are people too you know! That aside, Yuuto’s and Haruka’s relationship was also kind of fun to watch.

The music is pretty standard as far as these sorts of anime go. However, while the background music isn’t particularly interesting, the opening and ending are. I especially like the opening Tomadoi Bittertune by Milan Himemiya and Chocolate Rockers, that rave tune is pretty cool. Anyway, The voice acting is pretty decent, although they managed to cast Mamiko Noto as Haruka, Rina Satou (who also plays Haruka in Minami-ke, did I mention I love Minami-ke?) as Amamiya, and Kana Ueda (do I need to state how awesome I think she is?) as the maid, Nanami.

The opening.

Anyway, what did I think of the first few episodes?Well I don’t really have much to say about it. Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu is one of those shows that are better watched then read about. Although the fanservice is quite annoying (I think fanservice is cheap by the way \(*o*\),  I mean it was all over the place and kinda ruined the mood sometimes. I don’t want to make it sound like such a bad thing though, fanservice or not, the show is generally quite easy on the eyes.

So, I won’t be blogging this series but I’ll definitely be watching it. So until then cheers and God bless! =)

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora First Impressions

July 15, 2008

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora or better known as Somedays Dreamers Summer Skies is a sequel in spirit to the original Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto (somedays dreamers). I’ve only watched Someday’s dreamers (I’ll use its english name since tha kanji is unbearably long) quite recently and I’ve been thinking of writing a series review of it but since I’m already doing a first impressions post on this season of it, it’ll have to wait.

Now, a little background info for those who’re unfamiliar with this series. As with the first season, Somedays Dreamers is focused on the life of a mage trainee and her interactions with things around her as she completes her training. The concept of magic in this anime is very realistic and non-imposing, meaning that it’s basically the norm in society. I’m not so sure about this season but I’m guessing that they’ll be following that same formula.

While the art of the original Somedays dreamers was nothing special, I could tell even by the first episode that the art directors we’re trying out something new. All those who were alert might have realized that the backgrounds of most of the scenes are still pictures. The only thing animated is the characters themselves, proprs and the occasional cloud (which I think they’ve animated really well).

This season boasts of a solid soundtrack which goes a long way in enhancing the serene atmosphere of the rural farm lands of Hokkaido as seen in the first episode. The main attraction, in my opinion, is the opening theme, fly away by thyme ( who also did the opening from to-loveru, which I really loved too) which is just a stunning piece of soft rock; perfect for this series.

Anyway if you haven’t guessed yet, I found the first episode of Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora to be a real breath of fresh air. Perfect for those looking for something to relax to this summer season. I’m also seriously considering taking it up once Vampire Knights is done, we’ll just have to see how that goes.

Slayers Revolution First Impressions

July 6, 2008

Let me start by saying that I’ve never watched any of the other Slayers series before. I’ve definitely heard of it and it’s infamous previous seasons (like what? 10?) though. Anyway, I’ll be watching, but not blogging this.

Slayers Revolution

So, what do I think of Slayers Revolution? Plotwise I have no idea what to expect since I know next to nothing about this series. I’m guessing this one, like all those before it will be something sort of an adventure series, which is good. The jargon doesn’t seem to hard to follow and the continuity of the storyline doesn’t really seem to matter, seeing as I didn’t have any real trouble watching it.

Animation-wise, all seems to be satisfactory. Being a continuation of a series that was last produced around 11 years ago, it’s art doesn’t dissapoint. The whole retro feel is reminiscent of the good old days of anime, where overly busty or downright moe characters have yet to have the foothold they have on the current anime scene, which I rather dislike. Also, the effects of the spells seem to be rather well done, especially the fireballs and explosions which is yet another plus for the animation.

Okay, lets go on to the characters. Let me just say that Lina Inverse, the main character of this series is quite awesome. Exuding confidence and guts, she really makes her presence felt. Having some awesome magical abilities that can level pirate ships and towns also makes her destructive cannonball attitude more amusing to watch than anything else. The side characters, who I assume were also in the other Slayers series also feel well defined making their interactions feel natural and more obviously, very comical.

Musicwise, all is good. Since this particular episode which features Lina rounding up some pirates, the soundtrack includes some really cool high sea adventure themed music, although most of it was drowned by either Lina’s shouting or the pirates screams. The sound effects of her spells make them seem larger than they really are and the explosions were just awesome. I don’t really have much to say about the OP and ED, since they were rather average. The voice acting, especially Lina’s was very well done in my opinion, and suceeded in defining the characters characteristics rather well.

So all in all, this episode was fun to watch. I had no trouble adjusting myself to the plot and with the characters, although I hope it doesn’t get too heavy on the jargon. I also hope that all the upcoming episodes will be able to maintain this episodes energy. So, until next time then!

Telepathy Shoujo Ran First Impressions

June 28, 2008

So, I’ve just watched the first episode of Telepathy Shoujo Ran (using links are much more convenient) and yeah, I’ll be following this series but episode 2 should be the decisive episode on whether or not I’ll be blogging it episodically.

Telepathy Shoujou Ran

Okay lets start with the plot. As expected, I didn’t get too much out of the first episode except for a few rather obvious facts. One, this show should probably be centred around Ran’s high school life and two, it should involve psychics to a certain extent. After all, the first episode had more of a focus on introducing Ran and all the other supporting characters.

Animation-wise Telepathy Shoujo Ran doesn’t dissapoint. It’s background arts a real treat for the eyes with watercolourlike scenery and a detailed environment. One problem I had with the colour was that it was too dark. Now I’m not sure if this problem is exclusive to the file I’d downloaded but as you can see from my screenshots, all the frames are really dark. Anyone experiencing the same problems? I use the version from fansub.tv.

Apart from the opening song, which was quite cool in my opinion nothing much about it’s soundtrack really stands out so far. However, the characters voice acting was done quite well in my opinion. Emiri Katou does Ran’s voice very well, right down to all the breathing. I liked her voicing of Momoko (from Power Puff Girls Z =D) as well so I don’t think she’ll have any trouble with her role. As for Midori, I see no problems as well because we’ve got Kana Ueda (sakuya from Hayate No Gotoku) doing her voice.

So, overall what do I think of the series? Well, for some odd reason, somewhere down the line I got some major Pretty Cure (right… =_+) vibes from this show . That said, I seriously hope it doesn’t take the whole magical girl route. I don’t know if I could deal with that. So, until next time then!

Chocolate Underground First Impressions

June 26, 2008

So an anime about the derogatory effects of chocolate? This should be interesting. Screenie time

Chocolate Underground 1

Well this is interesting. I’ll admit that I wasn’t really expecting to be shocked by this anime, but by the time it finished I was going, “Huh? It’s over?”. 5 minutes, thats new. Well what could I say? I was expecting a full fledged 24 minute anime.

Anyway, lets get to the actual review. Animation-wise I have nothing to complain about, or rather I’d have to say that I don’t have an actual impression of it since it was so short. A few things I did notice however was that there were a few scenes that had CG in them and that the viewing format of the video went by a 4:3 ratio. The colour palate also seemed to be quite subdued; no bright and our of place colours.

Plotwise, the show seems to fit my depictions of it. After all, an anime about banning chocolate and a government which gives military power to its health department shouldn’t be taken all that seriously.

I didn’t manage to get much out of the characters since it was so short, however at most we know they’re not exactly in favour of the health food they’re being forced to eat.

Chocolate Underground 1.1

Different context, same expected reaction.

So, apart from an interesting premise and it’s short length I’m pretty much on the fence about this one. I may blog it if the second episode gives a better impression but until then, see you all!

Nabari No Ou 1-8 & First Impressions

May 28, 2008

Hmm so I was thinking, do I categorize this post as an initial impression or should I just label it as ‘Nabari No ou 1-8’? After much thought (few seconds?) I decided to just add 1+2 together and behold my title!

Yeah, I should probably get to the impressions, yes?

Nabari No Ou 2

Anyway, if I was given just one word to describe Nabari No Ou, it would be ‘unexpected’. I’m quite sure that many of those who’ve seen the first episode would probably chuck it into the ‘mindless action, shounen, and looks like naruto‘ bin. Hey, first impressions right? Well, I was proven wrong after the third episode or so, when the plot broke out of the conventional shounen anime plot cycle and treaded down an entirely different path, storywise.

Plotwise, Nabari No Ou is more or less about ninjas, not your typical ninjas mind you, but rather urban ninjas. In contrast to the modern and seemingly normal society, the ninja society lurks in the background, hidden. It’s here that we’re introduced to Miharu Rokujo our male lead and the possessor of the Shinrabanshou, a legendary secret scroll that has been the cause of ninja wars throughout the centuries. Despite his nonchalant behavior towards the matter, ninja villages all over still want to possess the Shinrabanshou, obviously causing him quite a lot of trouble. So the story basically follows him through his journey to remove (not use) the Shinrabanshou from his body.

Characterwise, I’d say Nabari No Ou has a certain amount of diversity. Ranging from friends who’ve sworn to help him, the people who want to use him, and the people who just seem to be sitting on the proverbial fence. The main characters each have their own personalities; Rokujo with his total apathy towards everything, Thobari’s (the teacher) over protectiveness, Aizawa’s uncertain attitude and Raimei’s whole steady but ‘cute’ personality. Even the villains are fleshed out pretty well, for example Yoite who just wants to erase himself from the world and our carefree writer friend, Yukimi (ninjas with guns rock by the way. xD).

Artwise the animation is rather constant and fluid, no big surprise seeing as Sunrise is behind the animation of Nabari No Ou. Speaking of which, Sunrise has been making their presence felt this season, in Nabari as well as many other anime this season such as Soul Eater. Back on topic, character design is rather good too, with Thobari’s being my favourite. Also, the rest of the cast have definite facial or physical traits that differentiate themselves rather well. The colour plate is reminiscent to that of light toned water colours, giving Nabari No Ou a slow paced feel and artistic touch (contrary to the things going on in the story) .

Nabari No Ou 1

One of the earlier screencaps I took. This one covers episode 1.

Soundwise, I don’t have much to complain about the BGM suits the pacing of the show quite well. The only problem I can spot is the voice casting. I mean Rie Kumigaya playing Rokujo, a male? Shana I can live with, Nagi I found amusing, I didn’t even mind her role as Nena Trinity but casting Rie as Rokujo was just weird. Although I’ve got to give her credit for adapting her voice quite well over the episodes (even though she reverts back to that high pitch wail of hers once in a while. xD).

Overall, Nabari No Ou shows alot of promise and with 26 episodes could go a long way in making it’s mark in this years ‘top anime’ rankings. Great promise, great action, interesting storyline and all that jazz. So check it out if you haven’t yet!

Nijuu Mensou No Musume First Impressions

May 15, 2008

Nijuu Mensou No Musume, or translated; the daughter of Twenty Faces is quite an interesting watch. Now up to episode 4, I’ve got to say I’m rather impressed.
Nijuu Mensou

Now the story of Nijuu Mensou No Musume is centered not around twenty faces (the legendary thief of old) but his daughter, Chizuko (not biological), who is in essence his successor. Now, I had a vague feeling that this show would be more than it seemed and man was I right. In the first episode itself we’re shown the brilliance of Twenty Faces in his thieving endeavors, and man was that escape blimp cool. So basically, this anime should primarily be about thieves, namely Chiko, Twenty Faces and his merry band.

Okay, so I guess first I’ll talk about the animation. Well, compared to the other anime with reasonable budgets this season (means no macross, soul eater and the like) I’d say Nijuu Mensou is above average in the animation department. I don’t know if I’m saying that because I have the pleasure of watching the episodes in HD or not, but the animation is smooth, background and character designs are good. Plus, you can really feel that 1930’s vibe Nijuu Mensou is all about, talk about retro-cool!

Next up, storyline. I know there’s some history with Nijuu Mensou and its popularity when he first appeared on the airwaves and japanese culture alike, but it’s nice to see this anime focus on a new character, namely Chiko. So, Chiko joins Twenty faces’ crew after being abducted (with her consent) from her stepparents house. While on her adventures with Twenty Faces she learns how to be a thief, steadily proving that she has more natural talent than she knows.

I also like the personalities of Twenty Faces’ crew. From ken, the young thief aspirer to Skipper, the old and wise one, I just love the way they interact and how they came to be with Twenty Faces. They just feel so much like a band of thieves that I can’t help but grin at their antics together.
Nijuu Mensou

Okay, time for the big one. Voice acting is really great too. Twenty Faces just exudes the kind of suaveness a master thief would have, I just love his voice! However, the greatest shocker for me was the highly acclaimed Aya Hirano who voiced certain other characters such as Haruhi ( from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, another anime I liked!) and Konata (from Lucky Star, in which I really couldn’t tell it was her). Now, many people we’re and still are raving about how great her voice acting is and I share that same sentiment. Her acting as Chiko is just so fitting, I mean, It’s hard to believe that she can adapt her voice to the character she voices so easily, but hey, I guess it’s a gift!

Musicwise Nijuu Mensou does just fine, suiting the era and perspective very well. The car chase theme in the first episode felt like some old detective movie to me, which in my opinion is really cool! The jazzy music for Twenty faces’ escape is what really shines though, adding to that whole master thief look!

From the OP and ED I’m also guessing that Twenty Faces will disappear sooner or later and that Chiko will be looking for him. I don’t know what to make of it yet, but I’m guessing it’ll cool too! So with all that said, I think that Nijuu Mensou No Musume will be an awesome ride and I’m really looking forward to future episodes. Hope you enjoy it too!

Soul Eater First Impressions

May 13, 2008

Now, as with the posts before this I’m currently at Episode 5 of Soul Eater.
Soul Eater

Now, this is what I call entertainment! Great animation, awe inspiring fight sequences, jazzy music (done by none other than Taku Iwasaki who did the music for Gurren Lagann. Yes its that awesome!) and most of all charismatic characters!

Now, I was recommended this anime by many people and only got around to watching it when episode 2 was aired due to subbing issues. How shocked I was when I realized what I’d been missing! After a short but informative intro we’re thrown headfirst into the world of Soul Eater.

Okay, lets talk about the animation. Give yourself 10 seconds to watch the fight between Maka and Jack the Ripper and If you haven’t drooled yourself dry yet, reflect on how awesome it was. It’s been a while since I’ve seen melee combat look this stylish. Also, the colours chosen for the world of Soul eater we’re exceptionally brilliant, perfect for such a show. So no comments in the animation department.

Character-wise, I really like the pairup of the meisters and weapons. Maka and Soul Eater are just cute, Black Star and Tsubaki compliment each other, and Death the Kid, Patty and Liz are just hilarious. All the characters have their own personality traits that stand out, in a good way, and make this anime; for me totally awesome. Speaking of personality I absolutely love Death The Kid’s dealings with his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I just couldn’t stop laughing when he was ranting about his painting and the toilet paper. xD
Photobucket

Yes, Music. Like I said earlier, the music was done by Taku Iwasaki, the genius who made the Gurren Lagann soundtrack the hit it is. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before but I love Gurren lagann, pretty much everything about the soundtrack screams the same awesomeness the Gurren soundtrack did. That said, the particular piece of music I enjoyed the most was Black Star’s intro music, the guitar intro was beyond cool!

So , I’m at the end of my first impressions post for Soul Eater. Forgive me for rambling like an adrenaline junkie but thats just how cool Soul Eater is! So if you Love shows like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (favourite show ever!), you would be dumb to let soul eater slip by!