Biweekly Anime Review (Nov 9 – Nov 22)

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I was hoping to get this out on Monday but I ended up putting up the Christmas tree instead, which can see pics of over at my personal blog.

As we’re nearing the midpoint of the season, it’s getting to be that time when I get to look ahead at the next anime season and reflect on the current season. Due to the high number of quality shows, I think it’s prudent to wait a few more episodes before posting my reflections but I hope to write my winter preview this week. Right now it’s time to look at the scores.

The scores:

Soul Eater, episode 31 – 12/12
Soul Eater, episode 32 – 12/12

To Aru Majutsu no Index, episode 6 – 10/12 A
To Aru Majutsu no Index, episode 7 – 9/12 A-

Kannagi, episode 6 – 11/12 A+
Kannagi, episode 7 – 10/12 A

Skip Beat, episode 5 – 10/12 A
Skip Beat, episode 6 – 12/12
Skip Beat, episode 7 – 12/12

Shikabane Hime: Aka, episode 4 – 11/12 A+
Shikabane Hime: Aka, episode 5 – 11/12 A+

Kemeko DX, episode 5 – 11/12 A+
Kemeko DX, episode 6 – 10/12 A
Kemeko DX, episode 7 – 11/12 A+

Earl and Fairy, episode 5 – 8/12 B+

Ga-Rei Zero, episode 6 – 12/12

Kurozuka, episode 5 – 11/12 A+
Kurozuka, episode 6 – 12/12

Chaos;Head, episode 5 – 12/12
Chaos;Head, episode 6 – 12+/12

Toradora!, episode 7 – 12+/12

Xam’D: Lost Memories, episode 14 – 12/12
Xam’D: Lost Memories, episode 15 – 11/12 A+

Clannad S.2, episode 7 – 12/12
Clannad S.2, episode 8 – 12++/12

Hyakko, episode 5 – 8/12 B+

Michiko to Hatchin, episode 4 – 11/12 A+

Yozakura Quartet, episode 7 – 9/12 A-

Somedays Dreamer’s S.2, episode 9 – 12++/12

Which shows have momentum this week

Up – Kannagi, Kemeko DX : Both shows seem to have gotten their acts together.

Down – To Aru Majutsu no Index : It lost any momentum that it had when it decided to reset the show at the end of the sixth episode.

Thoughts and Highlights

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I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that To Aru Majutsu no Index continued it’s downwards momentum. I’ve totally given up on my initial thought that the Shana-group of J.C. Staff had finally learned how to adapt a light novel properly. It’s still an enjoyable series and as long as Yoshida’s clone doesn’t show up – it still might end up a better series then Shana. On the other hand Kemeko DX and Kannagi have been gaining momentum by making the story more compelling , fleshing out it’s characters, and making the viewer laugh more.

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The best episode of this bi-week period comes from Somedays Dreamer’s Season 2 though Clannad gave it a good run. One reason for it’s placement above Clannad this week is, whereas Key’s story twists aren’t as surprising as they once were (not that I’m complaining), Somedays Dreamer’s actually shocked me with it’s twist towards the end of the episode. Too many people, it seems to me, judged this show early based on it’s art style and not on it’s content. With each episode my estimation of the show increases and I’m getting to the point that deciding between Natsume and Somedays Dreamer’s is becoming difficult.

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Hyakko – Nonsensical English is always funny

A look at the other end of scale displays the potential difference between two shows, Hyakko and Earl and Fairy, that scored the same. In Hyakko’s case, I was positive that after the fifth episode, I could safely drop it and know that I wasn’t missing anything; instead, the episode was much better then I hoped and gained the show a week reprieve from being cut. On the other hand, after the horrible fourth episode of Earl and Fairy, I’m not sure that I can get back to enjoying this show as much as I initially was. The fifth episode was better but I currently don’t have much interest in watching the sixth but probably will, only to give the show one last chance before dropping it.

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One of the things that I hoped to show when I did my ten most influential animes was to show that I end up having many different types of shows that I enjoy. I point this out because it feels kinda wrong to give both episode 32 of Soul Eater, an Excalibur episode, and say episode 6 of Kurozuka the same score but both excelled at the type of show they are.

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

  • Michiko to Hatchin seems to be shaping up to be a more serious show then what I was expecting. One thing that has struck me so far has been it’s very realistic portrayal of pain and hardship in the characters. My gut is telling me this series could end up being one of the top shows of 2008.
  • Yozakura Quartet continues to be enjoyable but at the same time it feels like a lightweight when compared to the other shows.
  • Chaos;Head is starting to prove that it has more to offer then just being a poor mixture of suspense and harem elements
  • Skip Beat seems to not be impressing many that know and love the manga but for a first-timer like myself, I’m really enjoying it. For some reason, I’m already wondering how they plan to end the anime series. On one hand, we all want to see her get her revenge but on the other, once she does – is there any reason to continue the series? If I know anime, they’ll probably create some sort of small milestone that she has to accomplish in the episode count that’s been allotted.
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