Weekly Anime Review (Dec. 15 – Dec. 21)

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I’m got a few hours before I have to worry about Santa showing up so lets try getting my weekly anime review written today. I have the feeling that I won’t be able to find the time to write this tomorrow: Feast (including homemade kolbasz) + Mom’s Christmas cookies+ Awesome gifts (already got two interesting books from my sis and brother-in-law) + anime = No desire to do serious blogging, much less moving around.

The scores:

To Aru Majutsu no Index, episode 11 – 11/12A+

Shikabane Hime: Aka, episode 8 – 12/12

Kannagi, episode 11 – 10/12A

Chaos;Head, episode 10 – 11/12 A+

Kurozuka, episode 9 – 12/12
Kurozuka, episode 10 – 12+/12

Ga-Rei Zero, episode 9 – 12++/12
Ga-Rei Zero, episode 10 – 12/12

Earl and Fairy, episode 10 – 10/12A

Mouryou no Hako, episode 6 – 11/12 A+

Xam’D: Lost Memories, episode 19 – 12/12

Toradora!, episode 12 – 12++/12

Clannad S.2, episode 12 – 12++/12

Kemeko DX, episode 10 – 11/12A+
Kemeko DX, episode 11 – 10/12A

Which shows have momentum this week

Up – Shikabane Hime: Aka – It’s been hard to come after Gurren Lagann but it has built itself into something different and still interesting

Down – nothing this week

Thoughts and Highlights

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For this weeks upward momentum series, I figured it was about time to recognize Shikabane Hime: Aka. If Gainax’s name hadn’t been attached to it then I think it would been received better then it was. Too many people seemed to want this to be another Gurren Lagann and when it failed to deliver on that level at the beginning, they dropped the show. I think I successful separated the two in my mind because I’ve been okay with the lack of full-on crazy action that’s found in many Gainax series. My problem that hasn’t allowed me to fully enjoy this series has been ‘Why is Oori the main character and not the monk and Makina?’. As I get further into the series, the answer seems to be that Oori is being moved to the point where he gets his own Shikabane Hime. It almost happened in this episode and I think it’s only a matter of time before it happens. If this is the case then there’s a good chance that the series will shift to a more action orientated series. Also if this is the case then I will have to applaud the makers for taking the time to convincingly show why a high school student becomes the hero.

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This weeks best episode is episode 9 of Ga-Rei Zero even though Toradora and Clannad came really close. Ga-Rei Zero has walked a very tight string and so far they haven’t fallen off. The ending of the series was essentially given in the first two episodes and all the episodes since have been working to this ending. This type of structure didn’t work for me in the case of the Star Wars prequel movies – I knew Anakin was going to become Darth Vader and the movies did nothing to make me feel sorry for him or even to particularly care. On the other hand, the makers of Ga-Rei Zero have made me care about Yomi and sympathize with her situation so when, in episode 9, Yomi is tempted to become evil – I understand why she did it and still feel bad that she fell to the dark side.

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I don’t know why I’ve been connecting Kemeko DX and Kannagi in my head, maybe because there both comedies or they begin with ‘K’ but I have been. Watching both this week, the thought came to mind: Kemeko DX > Kannagi, just like that. In Kannagi’s case, this week’s episode finally seems to be pointing the series in the direction it should have gone many episodes ago. Looking back the series appears more like the director’s second try at making Lucky Star then the story of the local land goddess being incarnated in the form of Nagi. In Kemeko DX’s case, it knows what it is and plays to it’s strengths. Consequently, it’s been more enjoyable to watch – not high class, but fun nonetheless.

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And finally, there’s a few brief comments I wanted to make:

  • Toradora and Clannad continue to be the best shows of the season. Episode 12 of Toradora shows that Ryuuji appears to have let his own father issues cloud his judgment and set Taiga up to be very disappointed. Episode 12 of Clannad featured Tomoya’s proposal to Nagisa among other things. She said yes, obviously :) . And I think it’s safe to say that the next episodes of both will be epic.
  • The other shows continue to putter on at the levels that they’ve set for themselves.
  • Finally, if you’ve been watching Clannad you know that December 24th is Nagisa’s birthday. It feels a bit odd to wish an anime character Happy Birthday but I’ll do it anyways since she’s one of my favorite characters. As my present I’m going to repost anicely done pic I found on the animesuki forums below. (click for the big version)

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