Minnie: Look at that. I’m actually blogging this earlier than last week. Why? Because my video is finally finished (and yes that is a plug) and I have more free time to blog and write… Hurray~ Anyways, this episode is all right, but there’s one thing I really don’t like about it that reminded of the manga… and you’ll see why…
Archive for April, 2010
Miken: Being a female who doesn’t usually deal well with fanservice shows, I don’t know what the hell came over me when I decided to “borrow” the newly released Funimation dub from a friend and marathon the whole thing. It’s definitely an interesting series — a passable war-based plot, amusing characters and pretty nice battle scenes… but I suppose it all really only matters in the eye of the beholder.
The fanservice…well, I wouldn’t go so far to say that it detracts from the series, since I’m pretty sure I’m not in the demographic that it was aimed at, but it does feel awkward in an otherwise lighthearted series sprinkled with some tones of action/intrigue that you’d expect from a series with a premise like this one. Of course, there’s a good portion of an episode dedicated to chasing down a pantie thief…but even Macross Frontier went there during one of their lower-budget episodes, so I can’t exactly call Gonzo out on this one.
On the topic of panties…Yeah, pretty much every girl in this series doesn’t wear pants. I suppose Gonzo’s doing its intended viewers a favor by giving them what they came to watch the series for first instead of constantly teasing them with upskirts. Other than the awkward lack of pants, the art looks fine and and the character designs aren’t bad either.
I’m sure I’m not the only one reminded of Code Geass here. D:
Back to the topic of Gonzo (which I hope will get out of the ground soon), they did a pretty good job this time around. The CG definitely fit here more than usual and I liked the lighter color scheme of the series. I can definitely understand that this series is what kept the studio afloat a bit longer. It has the natural markings of a financially successful show: cute girls, good action scenes, a passable amount of mystery and…well, something that sticks out and gets the attention of otaku — the aforementioned lack of pants. Although it wasn’t a HUUUUUGE hit, it still did well enough in DVD sales. Although Gonzo no longer holds the rights to make the second season, after watching this, I can’t help but feel a tiny twinge of regret…since this is probably one of their better-handled series of recent years. Sure, it’s by no means perfect and there are some hiccups, but the series meshes together nicely in the time frame that it has.
For a wrap up, here are a few questions I like to ask myself:
Will I remember watching this series a few years down the road? Probably. The quirks that this series had and the *ahem* unique approach it took to fanservice will probably be burnt into my brain whether I like it or not.
Will this series be remembered by the general anime-watching public a few years down the line? It might linger a bit more, but seeing as how this series has been swept under the carpet a bit in terms of popularity, I don’t see it really being brought up much even 3-4 years down the line. There will still be fans, but they just won’t be the kinds of fans that stick through the years with series like Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop.
…The way that line was delivered — IT WAS WAY TOO NORMAL!
Miken: The title of this series sure is a mouthful, which is why I’m going to go by how Crunchyroll and everyone else seems to shorten it and simply call it Uraboku. Still, with a title that translates to “Betrayal Knows My Name” and the pair of pretty boys on the promo art, I have a feeling that most people are skipping out on this. That’s a shame though, because while it does have the general air of awkwardness that most shows with boys-love tones has, it really isn’t half bad. Sure, it’s not going to win any awards soon, but it was much easier to watch two episodes of this than watch a single episode of K-ON!! Of course, that’s a personal bias since I reach my daily limit of “fuwa fuwa” within five minutes on that show.
Though most people who say this are quite suspicious and usually traitorous...
*Ahem* Anyways, back to Uraboku — It stars a boy named Yuki who apparently was a girl in his past life and is thus experiencing visions of said past life, who was madly in love with a guy who just so happens to at least be a lookalike of the guy who saves his (current) life by the end of episode one.
I suppose that description wasn’t very flattering — in fact, it probably sounded like a really cheesy setup for one of those adventure/action-based Shoujo series where they always have that girl who probably has some powers of her own but she doesn’t use them (well), and she’s always fawning over a guy who doesn’t talk much and is very very protective of her, and said heroine is invariably saved at least once an episode by the guy. In fact, that sounds sorta like Vampire Knight, and if they add a second love interest to make it a triangle (with a very obvious winner), then it’d sound almost exactly like Vampire Knight.
Despite the recipe for disaster, I still have faith in this series. It’s managed to play its cards well enough to show that it isn’t heading in the direction of a trainwreck just yet. Sure, it’s got all the tropes of a horribly predictable series, but from the first two episodes, it seems that I still have enough faith left in J.C. staff to pull this off at least to some degree.
Speaking of J.C. Staff…either Crunchyroll’s streaming quality is much lower for this series or J.C. Staff just has a smaller budget for it. Comparing it to the studio’s other show this season (Kaichou was Maid-sama), it’s pretty obvious that Maid-sama gets the lion’s share of the budget. The art in Uraboku varies widely, with some angles making faces look just plain weird. It’s still looks nice overall, but it’s less than I’d expect from this studio. Of course, the recently-finished To Aru Kagaku no Railgun probably did set the bar too high, considering that was a big show that could appeal to a number of otaku while Uraboku is most definitely meant for a niche group of viewers. The “messier” looking style doesn’t help much either.
Episode 1 Rating: 5.8/10
Episode 2 Rating 6.2/10
Relatively low ratings from me, but there’s still some promise, which is why it isn’t lower.
[Now Minnie can stop sharpening that axe she was going to use to threaten me to post...>_>;;
Miken: STOP INVADING MY POSTS LIKE THAT, IT'S CREEPY D:]
Minnie: Hello everyone~ This is Minnie and a very annoyed one at that. However, I don’t usually portray my feelings onto my writing/post writing so I’ll try not to do it this time. But man, it’s so annoying >__< I want to tear things up right now. It’s all thanks to someone not submitting her last verse to this song. UGH. Anyways, let’s hope I don’t transform into Misaki~ Oh hello there Misaki~ <3
TAAN: If you didn’t see my Daimaou post, I’m switching to writing as I watch (actually, I’ll probably try some kind of hybrid style) , since that discourages procrastination. Probably, this will be long and mostly off topic, but whatever. Personally, I don’t think it works for me, but it’s better than being weeks late, right? Also, if you couldn’t tell from my review of the first episode, I don’t really like this series already. I’ll try to make sure I’m not being biased enough to disregard important good points though.
Garrick: As a true sports enthusiast, I came into the Spring/whatever season looking forward to this anime. Why? Because, everybody loves the underdog. Much maligned team makes it big with one addition, everyone loves these stories. (it’s also one of the reasons I really don’t like Prince of Tennis… because the entire team is fecking insanely good… what the heck is the point?) So, when you have a story purely about a small-city (well, Tokyo’s not really small, but for all intents and purposes, yeah) knocking off bigger teams, with an under-average team… you know it’s going to be a dramatic, and overall fun as hell ride through the season.
Dance in the Vampire Bund Episode 12 [FINALE]: Let’s toss a bunch of new plot elements in at the last minute!Monday, April 12th, 2010
Katt: Gotta love how I said that I would for sure blog the final two episodes of this series…and then skipped episode 11. Go me! And I notice that I have a tendency of not blogging the most exciting episodes of this series. Well, since episode 12 is the finale, it’s guaranteed to be interesting!
In these final two episodes, so many the plot twists were squeezed in. I have to wonder whether it would have been better to have cut down on the drama a bit and focus on one major plot point, maybe reaching a solid conclusion? Maybe? Instead, we’re introduced to a few bizarre turns and even bigger questions – and then given the ending line, “And the pledge would remain unbroken for the rest of their story,” essentially laughing in our faces and saying: yeah, they get their happy ending but you don’t get to see all of the crazy stuff that happens before they get there! Assholes. I digress, though… I liked how certain things were handled and was annoyed at other things, so this final blog post will be used to vent my opinions on different aspects of this final arc and, specifically, final episode.
The role of Mei Ren
Mei Ren, Mei Ren… I still can’t decide what to make of your role in this anime. At first I thought that her addition was pretty neat, but that was when her mysteries were yet unknown to us and to Akira. Once those mysteries were exposed, I kinda lost interest. Because she was nothing more than an anime addition, her story only had the chance to be heard in these last two episodes (actually, only in the last episode, really). It was extremely intriguing, had a lot of potential for both dark and heartwarming value. We only got to see snippets of that potential in her monologues and very brief flashbacks – what a tease!
Her role as Rozenmann’s assassin/Mina’s double’s servant/agent for the Telomere was overwhelming. It felt like they were trying to cram a whole lot of explanations into one little character, and as a result left us with even more questions than they would have if they kept Mei Ren out. Oh, and let’s make her a beast person too, just for good measure. If they had given her more time to develop all of these many, many sides of her, then fine - but no, she got two measly episodes!!
Akira’s last ~hidden memory~
This. Oh my lord, this. WHY? It is just so…was it really necessary? Really? If they were going for the “Akira and Mina lived happily ever after” ending, then it would have been perfectly logical to have ended on the note of Akira saving Mina from the harassment of the Three Clans/her arranged marriage. Instead, they introduce a random twist in which there are two Minas and Akira (and Mei Ren, apparently) is the only person with this knowledge. And in the end, both Minas still exist, leaving this sudden issue completely unresolved. I will only accept this ridiculousness if they intend to make a sequel to this series; if not, this plot twist is superfluous and just plain annoying!
Mina’s dealings with the Three Clans
What I did undeniably love about this last episode was Mina’s attitude throughout the whole ordeal. She remained incredibly composed while watching the spectacle of Akira’s final battle, only faltering towards the end when her hand was shown to be quivering. She still manages to steady herself, watch the conclusion, and then address her bretheren with that cold, powerful vampire leader attitude of hers. My favourite part of this is when, after she walks away with total composure, Mina breaks into an eager run towards the entrance where Akira will be arriving. A big part of Dance in the Vampire Bund is establishing which Mina is the true Mina (and I don’t mean that in the ‘there are two Minas’ way – I’m ignoring that plot twist), and this simple, excited action says it all to me.
The concluding promise
I said it at the beginning, but I’ll say it again for good measure: HELL YES THEY DANCED IN THE VAMPIRE BUND! …Yes, the silly inclusion of the title within the characters’ actions makes me happy. I’m a dork, I know.
In all seriousness, the ending was nice in a cheesy way – which isn’t always bad. It fit the path that they took with this anime adaptation, following it through with a narrator focused on Akira and Mina’s fairy tale-esque romance. The added metaphor of the butterfly loving the flower came back nicely in the closing scene, as well, showing us that Mina isn’t an emotionless flower who can never return the butterly’s feelings; both she and Akira are butterflies, capable of returning each other’s affections and basking in love for their remaining days. Yep, I think that this ending calls for a big awwwww~
Katt sank her teeth into Dance in the Vampire Bund episode 12…8.5/10
Katt found, overall, Dance in the Vampire Bund’s blood tasted…7.5/10 – I think I would have preferred it so much more had I not read the manga previously. The expectations really messed with my enjoyment of the series.
Minnie: The website/blog has been extremely slow for the past couple of days. However, that problem is over with and I am ever so happy to blog once more with all of you! Really! It’s a pleasure to write a post that I know people out there will read (even if you guys don’t comment as much as you should!). Today, I bring along another episode of the maid and let me say this… it’s better than the first one. This is more of what I’m talking about. Go~
TAAN: I was thinking of picking this up, and I guess here I am, doing so. Well anyways, this is going to be weird. In an attempt to do something different so I won’t be so bored when I try to write about something, I’ll be writing my entries blind, as I watch through the episode for the first time. That means this’ll make less sense than a bad experimental stream of consciousness novel made into a jigsaw puzzle and then shoved in a blender. Also, since I already watched the first episode, it’ll be half normal half wtf. I’m expecting great things from the chaos that will undoubtedly ensue.
Ric: Hello, true believers, and welcome to the first in the series of new posts for the spring season anime, Heroman. The meeting of western and eastern styles in one easy to watch package! (And also an excuse for even more “subtle” Stan Lee cameos…)