(Planned) April Viewing – Anime Edition

To quote the Mick of March “I got a fair bit watched this month. But as always, about half of it wasnt on “the list”. Upon reflection I think that may be because nearly everything I had listed in the previous article was either a) depressing, b) “srz biznez” or c) both. To be honest, sometimes I just want to throw on something thats just enjoyable. Whether its fun, light-hearted, mindless action or all of the above. Which is what most of my “unscheduled” viewing was.” As with so many things in my life I can easily identify the problem but seem incapable of addressing it. Well thats perhaps too much wangst for this kind of post, so on to the anime

Watched Last Month

I did even worse in sticking to my list this month than usual. Partially because a lot of the spring shows are coming to an end and the appeal of “new hotness” is hard to resist.

Nyan Koi!

Plot Summary: Junpei Kōsaka is a second-year high school student who despises cats and has an allergy to them. It just so happens that his high school crush is Kaede Mizuno, a girl who adores cats. One day, while walking home from school, Junpei kicks an empty can and unfortunately beans the local neko-jizō-sama (guardian deity of cats). He finds he can now understand what cats are saying, including his family’s own ill-tempered cat, Nyamusasu. However, if he does not grant 100 wishes from cats, he will turn into cat himself.

What I thought: This was fairly decent romantic comedy. Nothing particularly outstanding, but nothing terrible either. The pacing was quite nice and though there were a few weird bits (sudden magical girls) I quite enjoyed it. The main love “triangle” was well handled and even though the protagonist didnt end up with who he “should have” I still quite liked it.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Plot Summary: The Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames. Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11’s. A Britannian who was living in Japan at the time, Lelouch, vowed to his Japanese friend Suzaku that he’d destroy Britannia. Years later, Lelouch is in high school, but regularly skips out of school to go play chess and gamble on himself. One day, he stumbles on terrorists 11’s who’ve stolen a military secret and is caught by a member of the Britannian task force sent after them, who is Suzaku. As the rest of the squad arrives, Suzaku is shot for disobeying orders, while the military secret, a young girl, gives Lelouch the power of Geass, which makes anyone obey any order. While Suzaku is secretly made the pilot of Britannia’s brand new prototype Knightmare, Lancelot, Lelouch becomes the masked Zero to lead the rebellion to destroy Britannia once and for all.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2

Plot Summary: The second, and final, season of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.

What I thought: Code Geass is fucking awesome. I’d seen season one (and its frankly devilish cliff hanger ending) before. But I’d forgotten just how good it was. Lelouch is an endlessly entertaining character to watch. I love the alternate history setting, I like the mech designs (ironically enough the main mech using force probably has the naffest designs, the resistance custom mechs though are sweet), the characters are all immensely engaging and the plot is just great. The pacing and twists are excellent, they nearly always keep you guessing but dont feel fake and forced like Death Note. Actually Death Note is a good source of comparison as the both revolve around the plotting of magnificent bastards. But unlike Light, Lelouch never lets us down. In many ways Lelouch is Light done right. So yeah Code Geass, get it, watch it, enjoy it. I have to say that it also manages to carry off an oft difficult ending with great aplomb. Personally I would have liked to see a bit more of the characters school life, though thinking of it now it would have thrown off the pacing a bit. If you are going to watch it then make sure you have season 2 ready when you reach the end of season 1.

Working !!

Plot Summary: Set in a family restaurant in Hokkaido, the northern prefecture of Japan, 16 year old high school student Takanashi Souta works part-time along with his strange co-workers: Taneshima Popura, a high school girl who’s a year older than Souta who’s easily mistaken for a elementary/middle schooler, and Shirafuji Kyoko the 28-year old store manager who doesn’t bother to do any work at all.

What I thought: This is pretty decent slice of life comedy. Though like a lot of slice of life stuff its sort of hard to pick out defining moments of awesome as opposed to simply having a warm glow in my head that says “Good” when I think of it. So if you fancy a post-watching warm glow then give it a go.

Kämpfer

Plot Summary: Senou Natsuru is your normal, everyday high school student. However he´s been chosen to be a Kampfer, who´s objective consists on fighting other Kampfer with either guns, swords or magic, however, there´s catch; first you can´t chose if you´re a Kampfer or not, and second, you must have the body of a girl to use your powers.

What I thought: I avoided this for a while because I thought it was going to be a bit meh. I was largely wrong about that. While the comedy and action are both well done in some ways it was the drama that impressed in this one. While it wasnt particularly realistic it did have quite a bit of verisimilitude. I’d certainly like to see a second season of this.

Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai / My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute

Plot Summary: For several years, Kyousuke’s relationship with his younger sister Kirino has been cold, to the point that they only share greetings. But one day, Kyousuke finds an eroge anime DVD fallen in their entry hall. His interest piqued, he looks for the owner, only to realize it belongs to Kirino. He’s shocked, but more surprises lie just ahead…

What I thought: This was a big surprise actually. I thought it was going to be more creepy incest bullshit but there isnt even a hint of that here. This is just a well executed and endearing comedic drama. To be honest theres not a lot more to say, the animation quality is very nice, the character’s are all entertaining, the relationship between the main character and the titular little sister is well realised and develops nicely. When somethings just good its hard to find ways to spin that out.

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?

Plot Summary: Ayumu Aikawa is a zombie resurrected by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe after being killed by a serial killer. As he tries to make the best of his undead life, he encounters a masō-shōjo named Haruna and inadvertently takes her magic powers, being forced to become a masō-shōjo in the process. With Eucliwood, Haruna, and a vampire ninja named Seraphim living with him, Ayumu helps battle demons known as Megalos while trying to figure out the mystery behind his own death.

What I thought:I really enjoyed this. As one would expect from reading the description it is a little weird and the often schizophrenic changes in tone (and arguably genre) could be jarring if they werent carried out so well. The series makes it clear going in that this is going to be a little strange and require a bit more attention or perhaps investment, than usual. But I found it to be well worth it. There’s comedy, romance, drama, action, horror, often all in the same episode. But it is never anything less than very entertaining. And thats really all I watch this stuff for. Also, when’s the last time you saw a guy wearing a magical dress power up by getting cuter, fly into orbit and then drop dick the head of a flying whale? Haruna is also an amazingly endearing character (or should I say moe?) she’s a major source of humour as well as some excellent drama and character development.

Dragon Crisis!

Plot Summary: A normal high school boy Kisaragi Ryuji’s peaceful life is turned into an adventure by the return of his second cousin Eriko. Ryuji and Eriko seize a relic box from a black broker. In the box, they find a red dragon girl Rose. In order to protect Rose from the black organization, Ryuji decides to fight using his power as a relic handler.

What I thought: This is a fairly by the numbers action rom-com. Not that theres anything wrong with that. It knows what its setting out to do and it does it quite well. Rose is a pretty amusing character, the action is well done, the world presented is both easy to grasp and interesting. The romance and comedy are well mixed together and each gets sufficient time. Much like Kampfer or Nyan Koi above this is good without being ground breaking.

To Watch:

Star Driver Kagayaki no Takuto

Plot Summary: On the remote Southern Cross island, a secret organization named The Glittering Crux plans to reactivate giant mobile suits that have been sealed for ages. Known as cybodies, they can only be controlled by pilots known as star drivers. To unleash their full power, the mysterious group must brake the seals of the four shrine maidens that reside in the isle. Recently arrived outsider, Takuto Tsunashi vows to stop the Glittering Crux in order to protect Wako Agemaki, girl who saved his life and one of the four maidens. Wako is a lively young lady who has already been betrothed to Sugata Shindou, a rich and talented childhood friend. Despite being very close to Agemaki, Sugata quietly disapproves this engagement since it was forced on to them due to a family tradition. The melancholic couple becomes a radiant trio as Takuto becomes not only their friend, but protector of the seals since he is none other than the Galactic Pretty Boy, gifted star driver of Tauburn, the 22nd cybody.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Plot Summary: After experiencing a bizarre dream, Madoka Kaname, a kind 14-year old girl, encounters a magical creature named Kyube. Madoka and her friend Sayaka Miki are offered the opportunity of gaining magical powers if they agree to make a contract with the strange little being. He will also grant them one wish, but in exchange they shall risk their lives by accepting the responsibility of fighting witches. Invisible to human eyes, witches are catalysts of despair in the areas they inhabit. An ally of Kyube, a magical girl named Mami Tomoe, befriends and encourages the two girls to accept the contract. For an unknown reason, another magical girl named Homura Akemi is determined to prevent Madoka from accepting the deal.

Tegami Bachi / Letter Bee

Plot Summary: Apparently abandoned by his mother, orphan Lag Seeing is taken as a “letter” by “Letter Bee” Gauche Suede to a town where his aunt raises him. His affection and admiration for Gauche give Lag the ambition to become a Letter Bee himself, carrying mail through the dangerous wasteland between towns on his world. When he becomes a teenager, he makes the trip to the capital to take the examination to become a trainee Letter Bee. En route, he meets the strange, powerful girl-like creature Niche, who becomes his “dingo,” a Letter Bee’s travelling companion. Lag yearns to find his mother, and discover why she abandoned him, if she did.

Macross Frontier

Plot Summary: Macross Frontier marks the 25th anniversary of the Macross anime franchise. It is a direct sequel to the first Macross series and Macross 7 and follows the lives of Alto Saotome, Ranka Lee and a pop idol named Sheryl Nome on board the Macross Frontier colonization fleet. After the war against the Zentradi aliens, Humankind has spread across the universe in order to ensure its survival. The Macross Frontier fleet is part of a effort to spread and maintain the culture of humanity.

Yumekui Merry / Dream-Eater Merry

Plot Summary: Ten years ago Fujiwara noticed he had a power to see multicolored auras surrounding the person’s body. Ever since then he’s been having a weird dream about a war with cats. Then one day a mysterious girl falls on top of him…

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Plot Summary: A company of ghosts has moved into Daten City, taking advantage of human greed. Two angels, Panty and Stocking, are sent from heaven to exterminate them — but in reality they got kicked out for bad behavior.

Otome Yōkai Zakuro

Plot Summary: In an alternate history of the Meiji era where humans and magical beings known as “younin” live side by side, half-younin girls team up with army lieutenants to fight younin wrongdoers.

Psychic Detective Yakumo

Plot Summary: In order to help a friend possessed by a spirit, Ozawa Haruka knocks on the door of her university’s movie research association. There she meets Saitou Yakumo, a rude, unkempt young man with a red left eye, who is said to have spiritual powers. At first Haruka is skeptical, but she comes to believe him when he conveys messages from her older sister, who died when she was a child. Together, they work to shed light on the terrifying events happening at their university. But this is only the prologue of what’s to come…

Umineko no Naku Koro ni / When the Seagulls Cry

Plot Summary: Umineko no Naku Koro ni takes place in the year 1986, during the time frame of October 4 and October 5 on a secluded island named Rokkenjima. The head of a wealthy family named Kinzo Ushiromiya, who lives on and owns Rokkenjima, is near death, and eight of his family members arrive on the island to discuss how Kinzo’s assets will be divided once he is dead. Also on the island are three family members who live there, five of Kinzo’s servants, and his personal physician. After the eight family members arrive, a typhoon traps them on the island and shortly after people start to get mysteriously murdered.

Ōkamikakushi

Plot Summary: Kuzumi Hiroshi moves with his crippled sister and his father to the remote city of Jouga, which is famous for its hassaku citrus and the rumors that a species of enormous wolves once lived in the area. While some of the residents are more than friendly, when people begin to vanish suddenly, it becomes apparent that something sinister is afoot…

Kara no Kyoukai – the Garden of sinners

Plot Summary: Mikiya Kokuto finds himself intrigued by two things. The first is by Shiki Ryougi a beautiful, yet rather unsociable, girl and the other is the strange series of violent deaths that start occuring in his town. As he attempts to get closer to Shiki, he soon learns that the two are connected and that there are many supernatural forces at work which could very likely get him killed as well.

Durarara!!

Plot Summary: Ryuugamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn’t want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called “Dollars.” Nervous from Masaomi’s stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Turbans will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point.

Heroman

(The second image may be a clue as to which famous american comic icon was involved in its creation)Plot Summary:An American kid named Joey lives in an urban city & has always wanted to become a hero. Unfortunately he's just an orphan working part time to support his grandma and himself. After he watched a toy commercial on a new robot action figure, Joey believe he'll gain strength if he obtains one. The only robot toy he can get his hands on is a broken one that was abandon by a rich school bully. Feeling pity for the trashed action figure, Joey took it home to repair it. Little did he know, that once he repairs the toy, it'll make his hero dream become a reality.

Baccano!

Plot Summary: Each of the stories in the series involves several unrelated plots intersecting and crossing each other as events spiral farther and farther out of control. Immortal alchemists, mafia operated speakeasies, and many other elements of pulp fiction mashed together for a world straight out of the movies.

Canaan

Plot Summary: Two years ago, Shibuya was ravaged by a biological terrorist attack using the deadly Ua virus. Maria Osawa was saved when her father inoculated her against the virus, but is left with partial amnesia from the shock. She works as a cameraman when she reunites with a girl named Canaan in Shanghai, China. A gifted assassin with synesthesia, she is under orders from an unknown organization for a yet unspecified mission.

Casshern Sins

Plot Summary:After the murder of Luna, the robot society that rules the planet starts to rust and decay. Death and despair spread through the land like wildfire. The only one unaffected by the affliction that becomes known as "The Ruin" is Luna's assassin, Casshern. Unable to remember if he really triggered this capital sin against the entire mechanized civilization, Casshern embarks on a journey to unravel the mystery that connects him, Luna, and the plague.

Detroit Metal City

Plot Summary: Detroit Metal City (DMC) is a quickly rising independent Death Metal band. They garner fame by performing wild live shows and writing songs filled with hate, violence, and rape. The band is fronted by Sōichi Negishi who takes on the stage name Krauser II. On stage he is a wild-unchained beast. Off-stage he is a tranquil, tender-loving person who enjoys Swedish Pop music. He hates himself as Krauser and his two personalities collide making his private life very difficult.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Plot Summary: On one hot summer day in 1983, a transfer student named Maebara Keiichi comes to a peaceful rural village in Hinamizawa. There, he befriends his classmates Rena, Mion, Rika, and Satoko. Accepted as a full-fledged member of the "club," Keiichi and the gang plays all sorts of activities ranging from card and board games to hide-and-seek. But just as Keiichi was beginning to be assimilated in simple rural life, he stumbles upon the dark history of Hinamizawa. As Keiichi dives deeper into the mystery, he finds that his new found friends may not be all what they claim to be.

Magic Users Club

Plot Summary: The aliens have been defeated, and the Bell has been transformed into a gigantic cherry tree. Now, the brave Magic User's Club must reconvene to deal with a new problem. Apparently, some inconsiderate persons left a skyscraper sized cherry tree in the middle of Tokyo, and it's become a major inconvenience to everyone in the city. Even though they have no idea who could have done such a thing, the Club feels strangely responsible and springs into action. Meanwhile, a mysterious person is spying on the magic club in the form of a small boy.

Mouryou no Hako

Plot Summary: The story follows a series of bizzare murders of schoolgirls who have been dismembered and stuffed into boxes. The private investigator hired by a missing daughters mother joins forces with an antique book seller and others to unravel the murder spree.

Spice and Wolf & Spice and Wolf II

Plot Summary: Kraft Lawrence, a 25 year old peddler travelling from town to town selling and buying various things to make a living during a period much like Europe in the Middle Ages. One night when stopped at the town of Pasroe, he finds in his wagon a 250 year old pagan wolf deity girl named Holo. She appears to be that of a 15 year old girl, except for a wolf tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town's goddess of harvest who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Despite having the responsibility to watch over the town, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu, she believes the people have already forsaken her anyway and that she has kept her promise to maintain the good harvests. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church.

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun

Plot Summary: Academy City is a highly developed place in terms of technology. It is said to be 20 to 30 years ahead of the rest of the world. 80% of it's 2.3 million residents are students. The focus of studies here is directed towards esper powers. Misaka Mikoto, one of the top level espers in town, shares a room with Kuroko Shirai, another high level esper who is a member of Judgement, a law enforcing agency composed of students. Both attend to Tokiwadai, a private school reserved for the high-leveled and the rich. Kuroko's partner at Judgement, Kazari Uiharu, is a low level esper who studies at Sakugawa middle school. Her best friend and classmate there is Ruiko Saten, a level zero (no esper powers). Together, the four encounter several adventures in the exciting scientific town.

Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou

Continuation of Natsume Yuujinchou (see below)

Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Plot Summary: It is the year A.D. 2307. Fossil fuels on Earth have been depleted entirely, with mankind turning to the next available power source: solar energy. During this time, 3 orbital elevators with solar power generation systems are built, each under control by the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations (formerly United States of America), the Human Reform League (Russia, China and India) and the Advanced European Union. However, not all countries are able to enjoy the benefits of this system, leading to widespread resentment and war. Arising out of the conflict, a mysterious military organization known as Celestial Being appears, dedicated to end all warfare using Mobile Suits called Gundam. This begins the stories of Gundam Meisters (pilots) Setsuna F. Seiei, Lockon Stratos, Allelujah Haptism and Tiera Erde as they are thrown into conflict between the 3 superpowers and the various other factions.

To Rewatch:

Ladies vs Butlers

Plot Summary: Hino Akiharu lost his parents when he was small and was adopted into his uncle's family. But he noticed his uncle is after the inheritance of his parents, so he decides to enter a boarding school, Hakureiryou high school. However his delinquent boy-like appearance frightens the girls, who make up the majority of the students. Being unable to get along with the classmates, Akiharu meets his childhood girlfriend Saikyou Tomomi.

Note: I watched this earlier in the year and listed it as a "nominee" for top ten anime of the year. Unfortunately I cant remember it at all. Which is probably more my fault than its. So I've decided to re-watch it. Unforunately I no longer have the tv encode so I'll have to watch the uncut dvd version. Which is unfortunate because I've a feeling to much nudity is going to kill this.

Darker than BLACK

Plot Summary: ITS MOTHER FUCKING X-MEN MEETS COLD WAR JAMES BOND! *ahem* In Tokyo, an impenetrable field known as "Hell's Gate" appeared ten years ago. At the same time, psychics who wield paranormal powers at the cost of their conscience also emerged. Hei is one of the most powerful of these psychic agents, and along with his blind associate, Yin, works for one of the many rival agencies vying to unlock the mysteries of Hell's Gate.

Eureka Seven

Plot Summary: Renton Thurston is a 14-year-old boy who lived with his mechanic grandfather in a backwater town. Every day he dreamed of being with the mercenary "Light Finding Operation (LFO)" aircraft pilot group "Gekkostate" and riding "Trapar" particle waves-- a sport called "reffing"-- with their charismatic leader Holland, especially when faced with his father's acclaimed past or his grandfather's desire to protect him. When a young girl named Eureka riding the original LFO, the "Nirvash typeZERO", asks his grandfather for a tune-up, she inadvertently brings the attention of the military to the garage; as a result, the garage is destroyed and Renton is forced to deliver a new type of interface-- the "Amita Drive"-- to the Nirvash. After a heated fight in which the Nirvash destroys the military LFOs by unleashing an immense amount of power, Renton is invited into Gekkostate. However, he quickly realizes that behind the facade of a traveling group of mercenaries is a very bitter reality.

To Possibly Rewatch:

Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei

Plot Summary: Itoshiki Nozomu is the world's most negative person. To his way of thinking, there is no hope or meaning in this existence. Even the three kanji of his name become the two-kanji word zetsubou, "despair", when compressed. What an ironic twist of fate, then, that he becomes teacher to a class containing his precise opposite, the invincibly positive-minded Fuura Kafuka.

Yakushiji Ryoko

Plot Summary: Based on a series of light novels written by Tanaka Yoshiki. The story revolves around Ryōko Yakushiji, a brilliant 27-year-old elite investigator with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. Together with her subordinate Junichirō Izumida, the two often investigate bizzare and supernatural cases. In addition with the paranormal, Ryōko also has a longstanding rivalry with Yukiko Muromachi, another talented police investigator.

Maria Holic

Plot Summary: The story centers on a sophomore named Kanako who enrolls in all-girls school because she has a phobia of men and wants to find her destined yuri partner. She meets a captivating freshman named Mariya who fits her criteria — except her seemingly ideal mate happens to be a cross-dressing sadistic boy.

Listening to:

Vent your spleen

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