This was a good week of anime watching. Many of the shows are inching towards their conclusions and others are transitioning from introducing the series to getting to the central story of the series. Also this week, I watched one of the most bewildering scenes I have ever seen in an anime – I’m still not sure if I liked it or not.
Before I get to the scores, I’m listening to the Cruel Angel Thesis cover by Itou Shizuka on the Hayate cover cd and the thought has come to me that I’d have to argue for Cruel Angel Thesis being the all-time top opening song in anime. It’s one of the few songs that will probably be remembered by anime fandom for a very long time. If we haven’t blown ourselves up, I’d even bet that a hundred years from now, people will still recognize the song.
Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou, episode 8 – 11/12A+
Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou, episode 9 – 11.5/12Near Perfect
To Aru Majutsu no Index, episode 21 – 7/12B
To Aru Majutsu no Index, episode 22 – 6/12B-
Birdy the Mighty Decode 2, episode 5 – 11.5/12Near Perfect
Birdy the Mighty Decode 2, episode 6 – 10/12A
Birdy the Mighty Decode 2, episode 7 – 11/12A+
Rideback, episode 7 – 11/12A+
Rideback, episode 8 – 10/12A
Kemono no Soja Erin, episode 4 – 10/12A
Kemono no Soja Erin, episode 5 – 7/12B
Maria+Holic, episode 9 – 9/12A-
Hetalia Axis Powers, episode 6 – 7/12B
Minami-Ke: Okaeri, episode 9 – 8/12B+
Toradora!, episode 22 – 10.5/12 Strong A
Clannad S.2, episode 21 – 11.5/12 Near Perfect
Chrome Shelled Regios, episode 8 – 9/12A-
Soul Eater, episode 46 – 10/12 A
Soul Eater, episode 47 – 10/12 A
Show I most want to see the next episode of
Thoughts and Highlights
For a second week, Clannad is my most anticipated title and my top episode of the week. I’m hoping for a happy ending but I’m not sure at this point that we’re heading in that direction because I was definitely getting AIR vibes from this episode. Also, the ending of the episode seems to imply that Tomoya has two choices: never meet Nagisa or meet Nagisa and allow all the sad things to happen. I’ll have to wait for the next episode to see how it’ll play out but I can understand the attraction in the first choice, especially from Tomoya’s standpoint. His desire in not harming Nagisa is very admirable but I have the strong feeling that Nagisa would rather have the life which included meeting Tomoya then a life where she never did. I’m reminded of a saying I came across years ago that explains (at least to me) why I think Nagisa would choose to meet Tomoya, “Better to live a day as a lion then a hundred years as a lamb.”
I try to stay brand loyal when I watch a fansub but sometimes I get too antsy. In this case, I finally got to the point I needed to see the next episode(s) of Birdy the Mighty Decode 2. These three episodes have further confirmed my belief that Birdy is one of the best shows of the season and it’s practically criminal that almost no one is following this show. This show has everything that a person would want: character development, interesting story, and great action scenes. I won’t spoil the plot twist in episode 5 but these three episodes focus on Birdy when she was a young girl. Seeing her past, I’m very surprised she’s such a happy-go-lucky character, as was Senekawa; my opinion of her has raised a few notches upwards.
Episode 47 of Soul Eater was well on it’s way to getting a very high rating when one of the most implausible things I saw happened – using Brew, Shinigami-sama turned Death City into a giant robot and it easily captured the big bad Demon God (not to even mention Arachnophobia’s castle turning into a large spider-mech). Both my sister and I just stared slack-jawed when we saw this. I’m willing to give Bones a little slack since they’re trying to make an ending in a series that continues on but this turn of events just felt like the series “jumped the shark”. I’ll have to see how the rest of series plays out but this might have lowered my overall view of the show. Other then that, the episode was very awesome. I especially liked how Mifune, the samurai who protects the girl, now appears that he’ll join Shibusen to become a teacher.
I think Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou has suffered a bit from how humans, including me, can so quickly grow accustomed to something. I was going to pass over mentioning Natsume this time because all I could think to say was “Natsume continues to be a good series.” A rather ho-hum pronouncement that doesn’t nearly articulate how good this series continues to be. One of the show’s strengths, which both of these episodes showcased, was how satisfying this series is to watch. Not many other shows can match this level episode after episode. For example, a shounen show might build up to a very satisfying climax but it took 26 episodes of training and preparing to get to that point. Or to pick on a very good show, Toradora; it’s been very interesting but I don’t think anyone has felt satisfied with the show for awhile now, instead we’ve left feeling hungry to see what happens next. I’m not saying this a bad state for the show to be in just that it makes the show feel different then it did earlier. It will be a problem if we’re not given an ending that feels satisfying but I think there’s little chance of that happening (novel just finished up so we know the real ending and there’s just enough time left to get there).
Now some short thoughts:
- The shift away from Touma in To Aru Majutsu no Index to a much more interesting character had helped my enjoyment of the series but now that we’re back to him, it’s dropped back down. There’s a laundry list of reasons for being disappointed with this series and at this point, I can’t wait to finish this series up to be done with it.
- Maria+Holic was better this week but it did feature the two characters that I felt needed to be in the show more: Matsurika and Mariya.
- I think the five minute runtime on Hetalia Axis Powers has been instrumental in me not developing a worse opinion of the show then I have. I haven’t really laughed much at this show in awhile which isn’t a good thing in a comedy series but that’s counterbalanced by only running for 5 minutes – I don’t have the time to get bored.
- These two episodes continue to make Rideback remind me of the SF book Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. It’s another example of normal people getting unjustly harmed by a brutish government. I always enjoy stories of normal people overthrowing an evil government and hope Rideback goes in this direction.