Weekly Anime Review (Feb 23 – Mar 1)

Isn't it funny how fate works sometimes.
Isn’t it funny how fate works sometimes.

There’s two changes to this week’s anime review that I need to mention before going on. The first is something I mentioned last week, I’ve tweaked my grading scale. What happened, if you didn’t already read, is that I’m throwing out the pluses which causes the old maximum score of 12+++/12 to just be 12/12, the old score of 12/12 becomes 10.5/12, and the old score of 11/12 become 10/12. The net effect pushes my scores down a bit, which is probably for the best, and makes it less complicated overall. You can read a detailed breakdown under my grading tab above.

The other change is that I’m swapping the part where I talk about which shows are gaining and losing momentum with a section where I give the show I’m most anticipating watching next week. I found once I started to specifically think about each show’s momentum, most shows either stay good week in and week out or stink week after week. Therefore, I think mentioning which show I most desire to see the next episode of would be more informative to myself and the readers.

The scores:

Hetalia Axis Powers, episode 5 – 7/12B

Minami-Ke: Okaeri, episode 8 – 9/12A-

Toradora!, episode 21 – 11.5/12 Near Perfect

Clannad S.2, episode 20 – 12/12 Perfect

Munto TV, episode 6 – 9/12A-

Maria+Holic, episode 8 – 6/12B-

Asu no Yoichi, episode 8 – 10.5/12 Strong A

Chrome Shelled Regios, episode 7 – 8/12B+

Shikabane Hime: Kuro, episode 6 – 9/12A-
Shikabane Hime: Kuro, episode 7 – 10.5/12 Strong A

Soul Eater, episode 45 – 10/12A

Show I most want to see the next episode of

Clannad


Thoughts and Highlights

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See below for more Clannad screenshots

I wasn’t a big fan of Fuko during the first season of Clannad but she’s a perfect playmate for Ushio and that greatly raises her standing in my book. I was surprised a bit that Fuko didn’t start singing her starfish song to show Ushio that starfish are better then dangos. These past couple of episodes have had a pleasant slice-of-life feeling to them; I’d love an anime that could just be a slice-of-life show with a character like Ushio as the main character (oh wait, there is a series just like that, waiting to be made into an anime – Yotsuba&!). I’m not getting too excited over the latest development since I have a hunch as to how it’ll play out but I’m very anxious to see how it will. Hence, it becomes my most anticipated anime of next week.

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While I got a few good laughs while watching Maria+Holic this week (the Cosplay Angel song was awesome), it’s not enough to overcome the shortcomings of the episode and continues to show that this series is not a top tier show. For starters, the side characters continue to lack depth and the show becomes boring when they’re on the screen because we just don’t care about them. Also, the story continues to feel very disjointed like it still hasn’t found it’s stride. I’m not complaining that it’s been random; Goodbye Mr. Despair and Hayate were both very random but there was always a frame around what went on so the randomness always fit within the larger story. You can’t just string together a few jokes and call it a story. The other thing that’s been bothering me is how unaware Kanako’s classmates are towards Kanako’s view of them. She’s like an overexcited thirteen year old boy. It’s really, really unrealistic to think her classmates haven’t picked up that Kanako likes girls and that makes it hard to take this show seriously. And finally, it’s almost criminal how little time the maid, Matsurika, has been giving. She’s the best character in the show and she gets maybe 30 seconds an episode.

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There’s been so much analyzing of Toradora by everyone that I don’t think I could really add anything original but I did find it interesting that Minorin was the one that resorted to physical violence first in the epic Minorin – Ami fight. If I asked way back at episode 6, who would throw the first punch in a fight between the two, I first would find it difficult to imagine the two of the them fighting but if pressed I would say Ami. The level of character development in this show has been astronomical, as Toradora viewers know. I still think that Ryuuji and Taiga make the best couple because they really seem like a perfectly matched pair but I’m wondering if he shouldn’t just end up with Ami since that would preserve Taiga and Minorin’s friendship.

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The spark I thought I saw in the first few episodes of Minami-Ke: Okaeri seems to have burned out. The show is clearly coasting on our love of the characters at this point. They haven’t committed any travesties like the second season (yet) but it feels like they’re phoning it in now. Among the things that bother me about this season is they introduce two new characters but we haven’t seen them since. Which is a symptom, I believe, of this animation studio’s inability to juggle the many different characters and storylines. The first season animators knew exactly how long to focus on a scene for maximum comedy effect before shifting to other characters. Instead the animators of the second and third season get stuck on a few characters, in the second season it was Mako and in the third it’s been Touma and her older brothers.

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Now some short thoughts:

  • The second season of Shikabane Hime continues to get more interesting. I really have to applaud how they took a character from the first season that seemed to be there for fan service reasons and turn her into a very interesting character.
  • I see the potential of Hetalia Axis Powers but some other animation studio should have done the adaptation.
  • I’ve really been on the fence about Chrome Shelled Regios so far. Parts are interesting (including the all Engrish scenes) but other parts have been boring and poorly done. If the good points don’t start outpacing the bad, I might just drop it, especially if this is longer then 13 episodes (which I should check).

And now more Clannad screenshots, because I can’t help myself.

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He’ll take that back in about ten years time.
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2 thoughts on “Weekly Anime Review (Feb 23 – Mar 1)”

  1. There is that as well. From the setup, the conflict should be coming from Kanako’s love/hate relationship with Mariya (and the knowledge that there exists Mariya’s twin sister) but Mariya is hardly ever on-screen. I just watched episode 9, and it was the best yet and it happened to feature the most Mariya and Kanako yet and we even had the most Matsurika in an episode yet.

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