Let me slip in my weekly anime review before getting back to my top anime picks of 2008.
A relatively light week of anime this week, due in part from not watching any last or first episodes. I still plan on getting to a few more of the winter seasons shows like Genji, Kemono no Souja Erin, and Hetalia Axis Powers but that’ll probably be in a few days.
Toradora!, episode 16 – 12++/12
Soul Eater, episode 40 – 12+/12
Xam’D: Lost Memories, episode 24 – 12+/12
Michiko to Hatchin, episode 12 – 12+/12
Michiko to Hatchin, episode 13 – 11/12 A+
To Aru Majutsu no Index, episode 15 – 12/12
Minami-Ke: Okaeri, episode 3 – 12/12
Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou, episode 3 – 12+/12
Asu no Yoichi, episode 3 – 8/12 B+
Rideback, episode 2 – 11/12 A+
Maria+Holic, episode 3 – 11/12 A+
Chrome Shelled Regios, episode 2 – 8/12 B+
Clannad S.2, episode 14 – 12+++/12
Clannad S.2, episode 15 – 12+++/12
Which shows have momentum this week
Up – Michiko to Hatchin – We got a real juicy tidbit of info and it looks like the show is ready to get down to business
Down – none
Thoughts and Highlights
We learn in Michiko to Hatchin that the guy Michiko and Hatchin are looking for is really alive and he appears to be some sort of movie star. It’s still unknown if Michiko will remember she saw him in the newspaper after she recovers from a fever that’s been messing with her mind and causing her to hallucinate. Even if she doesn’t though, Michiko’s old friend, the police officer, saw it and will probably make sure Michiko finds out. I think now that the show has finally tipped it’s hand a bit, we should see this show’s plot advance quickly. Or at least I’m hoping because one of the things that hurt Samurai Champloo was that it waited until the very end of the series to reveal most of the real plot of the series.
Clannad Season 2 had not one, but two shows that scored the absolute highest score I give out to single episodes. This current Nagisa / Tomoya arc has been perfectly perfect; the source material by Key has been the best I’ve seen them do and KyoAni is executing the anime above their previous Key adaptation work. A simple summary like: Episodes 14 and 15 are about Nagisa and Tomoya learning to live together as a married couple and how Nagisa’s pregnancy changes people and relationships – doesn’t do the show justice. If you’ve gotten to like the characters at all, these episodes have been riveting like few anime shows are. And it’s the little touches that have really struck me. For example, in episode 14 we are shown a shot of Tomoya’s dinghy, plain apartment before Nagisa goes to live there and later on in the episode we see all the little things she’s done to make the place look homey. Or in episode 15, right before Nagisa says they should come up with a name for the baby, we see a quick shot of Nagisa looking at Tomoya and the love and happiness she is feeling is so abundantly clear by just looking at her eyes that it’s unnecessary and redundant to see them say they love each other or even kiss.
I don’t want to make this so short but none of the other shows really stuck out in my mind so let’s close with a few quick thoughts.
- I’ll chime in on Toradora being awesome this week. The Taiga/Student President fight was really exciting. I thought the change in style helped emphasize the sharp feelings both girls felt.
- I didn’t quite like this week’s episode of Asu no Yoichi, as much as I did the first two. I don’t know if this is the start of a trend or just because they needed to introduce a few more characters. And Katsuyuki Konishi aka Kamina’s voice actor alert. He’s playing the shadowy unknown bad guy.
- The latest story arc to To Aru Majutsu no Index has me the most interested in the show since the first couple of episodes, which is a positive sign. The first half wasn’t nearly as bad as Shana 2 but maybe we can hope for a second half bounce like Shana 2 had.
- And I’m sorry, I disagree with the Grim Reaper in Soul Eater. I’d’ve killed Medusa and then just assume the worse case scenario which would be the Demon God was working with Arachnophobia and plan for that.
- Even Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou has an onsen episode and this was it. I really liked this episode because it showed for the first time a spirit that shouldn’t have gotten it’s name back. Natsume should be more careful in the future but I hope he doesn’t start to distrust spirits now. I also like this episode because we got a returning character – the guy that works as an exorcist on the side and can see spirits like Natsume.