Archive for October, 2009

Sasameki Koto – 4

Posted in Sasameki Koto with tags on 10/31/2009 by Shinmaru

MurasameTomoeTeacherHellzNo

Haha, this might be the funniest episode of the series so far. The ending especially has perfect comedic timing. Well done.

What I love most about these characters in Sasameki Koto is that they are completely self-absorbed but in a way that is hilarious rather than annoying. Murasame, for instance, is completely focused on her love for Ushio. She makes all the classic, cliché sacrifices one would be expected to make for one’s love — if I cannot have that person, then I’ll make sure he or she is happy! — while at the same time completely stonewalling poor Akemiya. I feel sorry for the little guy, but that is just funny as hell.

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Kimi ni Todoke – 4

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke with tags on 10/29/2009 by Shinmaru

SawakoKazehayaMisunderstanding

I am of two minds about this episode.

If someone said the misunderstanding-laden storyline was a bit frustrating to watch, I would have to agree. It seemed to be coasting along well in the beginning, when Yano and Yoshida did not immediately peg Sawako as the source of the rumors, as I feared they would. But as the misunderstandings crash into each other like the cast of Clue, Yano and Yoshida all of a sudden start making assumptions and leaping to conclusions, even though Yano had been calm and thoughtful in the beginning, reasoning that she and Yano should hear Sawako out before believing anything.

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Monster – 5-6

Posted in Monster with tags on 10/27/2009 by Shinmaru

NinaInBed

It is kind of amazing how Monster is able to do so much with so little at times.

On the one hand, these episodes may highlight Monster‘s biggest flaw to those who would see it as a flaw — the series is perhaps too faithful to the manga, which can sometimes result in a tortuously slow pace. (This is probably my inexperience speaking, but is there a more faithful manga-to-anime adaptation than Monster? There are a few things changed, of course, but for the most part, it is as if the manga panels themselves have been animated. It really speaks to the strength of Urasawa’s storytelling that Madhouse basically decides, “You know what? Let’s not mess with a good thing here.”) How much happens in ep5, for instance? We see Nina engaging in her daily activities, speaking with a therapist (and setting off a red flag in all first-time viewers), Dr. Tenma retracing Johan’s steps and Nina fainting after catching a glimpse of Johan while meeting a boy she thinks sent her a romantic (and creepy, really) e-mail. No more, no less.

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 29

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist with tags on 10/26/2009 by Shinmaru

MarcohScarKill

I am so predictable. Whenever an opportunity to snag a badass Scar screencap shows itself, I will take it, no questions asked.

As expected by just about everyone who watches the series, this is a slower, more plot-intensive episode than the series of action-oriented episodes we’ve been watching the past few weeks. By no means is this a bad episode, however. I actually believe it is quite good, and this is coming from someone who knows what will happen — each subplot is pushed just far enough to be intriguing while not showing so much that it is overwhelming. A perfect balance of plot of character development makes for a good arc transition episode, I say.

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Letter Bee – 4

Posted in Letter Bee with tags on 10/25/2009 by Shinmaru

NicheLeap

Letter Bee‘s world is so strange.

It’s not just the names, although they are weird enough on their own. (“Love Someone Down”? I suppose a freak show deserves a bizarre name.) It is not even simply the terrain. (The Broccoli Forest is like an area from the children’s nightmare version of Candy Land.) There is just something about this world that is . . . I cannot even think of a proper way to describe it. Everything just comes together in a way that makes me go, “Hubbawaha?!” when I watch an episode. Not totally sure yet if that is a good or bad thing, however, haha.

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Kimi ni Todoke – 3

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke with tags on 10/22/2009 by Shinmaru

SawakoKazehayaStairs

I’m trying to think up something witty to say here, but really, I just want to stare at that screenshot all day!

That is kind of how I feel about this episode, actually. It is not really super deep, and you are not going to sound like a genius analyzing it, but who cares when it delivers such a pleasant experience? Sawako and Kazehaya are a completely adorable couple, and damn it, I am eating this up with a spoon. Actually, with the ending, I am sort of lamenting the appearance of love triangle drama, since it appears that the new girl who likes Kazehaya is spreading nasty rumors and attributing them to Sawako, while also putting on a kind face in front of her. We’ll see how that goes, I guess.

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Sasameki Koto – 3

Posted in Sasameki Koto with tags on 10/22/2009 by Shinmaru

MurasameAkemiyaHuh

With each episode, the interplay between the comedy and drama works better for me, because it really focuses on what it is like to be a thoroughly silly teenager who is seriously in love.

It is kind of funny how many people — including myself — do not realize at the time how silly they act in their teen years, and it is only in retrospect that they realize, “Man, I was a dip!” (Then again, I am only 23, so I should stop acting as if I am Father Time over here. However, I fully realize that I am still a doofus!) Ushio dreams of that perfect, fulfilling first kiss . . . while going so far as to attempt make-out practice with a school-owned skeleton. Murasame actually feels jealous because of that skeleton and takes out her frustrations by taking up karate again. We’ve already seen how silly Akemiya got in his haphazard attempt to capture Murasame’s heart.

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Monster – 3-4

Posted in Monster with tags on 10/20/2009 by Shinmaru

JohanShadows

It’s the second week of Monster! For people who are new to the series, I will hold back from throwing out major spoilers, but be aware that I will toss out a minor spoiler every once in a while to illustrate a point.

Johan Liebert becomes the monster in ep4; or, rather, he shows himself as the monster for the first time, which is sort of ironic considering he is in the shadows for most of the scene. As cool as this looks, it is also a visual device that cleverly reveals Johan’s MO: Although Johan is the darkest, most evil person in a series filled to the brim with rotten people, he rarely kills someone by his own hand. Johan’s evil is instead done by corruption — by taking average people, or maybe even people who are already predisposed to doing “bad” things (such as he does in this episode) and subtly pushing them into committing acts they would never dream of doing if Johan had never entered the picture. This monster works from behind the scenes with a cold, cruel whisper. That is the only weapon he really needs.

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 28

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist with tags on 10/19/2009 by Shinmaru

LingGreedGrin

I enjoyed the hell out of this episode, mainly because my boy Greed is back! Oh yeah. Also glad BONES went the route I suspected they would and had Yuuichi Nakamura continue voicing Greed (although it would have been interesting to hear Mamoru Miyano’s spin on Greed).

Speaking of Miyano, he really stands out in the scenes where Ling tells Ed and Al that taking in the Philosopher’s Stone is exactly what he came to Amestris to do, and where Ling shows Greed the depths of his own greed. What I’ve always found interesting about Ling is that while he is a greedy person, his greed has always been shown to be a positive greed. And, really, the Homunculus Greed wasn’t really that bad — he fought against Father (due to his own greed, but he fought nonetheless), he showed loyalty toward his henchman (again as a result of his greed) and was more interested in finding the secret to immortality than he was in hurting Ed, Al and their friends. Greed’s portrayal shows that greed itself can be a positive or negative thing, depending on the person and what drives him or her.

(Good on BONES for making the possession scene as intense in motion as it is on the page. Man, I love everything involving Greed so much.)

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Letter Bee – 3

Posted in Letter Bee with tags on 10/18/2009 by Shinmaru

NicheLetter

After the first episode, I wondered if sending actual humans as “letters” was a rare occurrence in this world, but with Lag spearheading the delivery of this girl — whom he has dubbed “Niche” — it might be not be so strange here.

There is a somewhat sinister bent to this, though. Do the Bees deliver humans no questions asked, or is there some sort of screening process? The higher ups must not be such great people if they run an organization that keeps a little girl chained up in a crevice and will eventually release her to fend for herself (Connor says there is probably no place in town that can take her in, and somehow I don’t believe the organization will find a place for Niche to stay). Then again, Lag being delivered to his Aunt Sabrina is probably the best thing that could have happened to him. There are probably good Bees and bad Bees, too. Connor is cool with me; even though he won’t go as far as to deliver Niche himself, he at least sticks his neck out to enable Lag to deliver Niche to her destination.

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