Archive for March, 2010

Nodame Cantabile Finale – 11 (END)

Posted in Nodame Cantabile with tags on 03/31/2010 by Shinmaru

And so ends Nodame Cantabile. Despite the talk before the season of Nodame‘s ending being unsatisfactory, I found the comment of reader Rikku in my ep4 post to be accurate: The second half of the episode (which comprises the events of the final chapter) is not exactly exciting in comparison to the climax of the first half (which is pulled off quite well), but it does fit the tone of the series and the personalities of its leads. I’m perfectly fine with the conclusion of Nodame. It works.

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 50

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist with tags on 03/29/2010 by Shinmaru

They just found out that the Philosopher’s Stones are suppositories.

Pretty kickass episode here, with Mustang’s group making its big move, and with the Briggs group joining the fun later in the episode (albeit in a more violent way, which is to be expected from a group brought up by Olivier Armstrong). Of course, the fact that Mustang’s group isn’t killing anyone doesn’t make them any less impressive — it takes some good control to deliberately and consistently take people out in non-lethal ways. Mustang is probably one of those guys who beats Metal Gear Solid without killing anyone, too, just for the challenge of it.

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Durarara!! – 12

Posted in Durarara!! with tags on 03/27/2010 by Shinmaru

In an episode with twists and turns, epic and/or ironic speeches and screwed-up relationships, this is the best part — Izaya plainly and simply tells Seiji that his pure love for Selty is purely bullshit because he couldn’t even tell the difference between Selty’s head, and a human whose head was modified to look like Selty’s. It’s just great that Izaya could not resist getting that dig in, and then hopping back outside the craziness of this Dollars meeting.

In fact, even with everything going on everywhere, Izaya seems very much the star of the episode because he is at the center of the chaos, even though nobody recognizes this aside from Namie, and of course it is in her best interests to keep her mouth shut. What makes Izaya’s machinations particularly fun is that the very nature of Durarara!! makes it difficult to predict whether he is being literal with his speech to Namie, whether he is being metaphorical or whether he is just spinning a bunch of crap to amuse himself (or perhaps a mix of a couple of items). But we’ve got a mythological creature roaming the streets of Ikebukuro, so who is to say there is not a Valhalla in this world as well? And if there is a Valhalla, well, I’d hate to see Izaya’s idea of Ragnarök. Yeesh.

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Kimi ni Todoke – 24

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke with tags on 03/24/2010 by Shinmaru

Man, I can’t think of many ED transitions that work better than the one in this episode. Sawako’s monologue about the end of her birthday and the wonderful year she has spent with her new friends, the slow fade into the still image of the blooming flower in the ED, the beginning of “Kataomoi” and then the image of Sawako waking up amid the colorful flower petals bursting toward the sun . . . now that is how you cap an episode like this.

We’re still not sure yet whether a second season of Kimi ni Todoke is in the cards yet, right? It would be preferable — at least from my end — for Sawako and Kazehaya to finally get together, because that is what everyone wants, but there is also the possibility of the ol’ “life goes on” ending that everyone is oh so fond of, haha. Perhaps that could be part of the reason why there has been no definitive announcement of a second season yet, despite there being more of the manga after this: Production I.G just wants to keep people guessing. Unless the remaining story is outstanding, though, just give me the anime-original ending. :p

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Nodame Cantabile Finale – 10

Posted in Nodame Cantabile with tags on 03/23/2010 by Shinmaru

Potentially underrated part of this episode — that big plate of french fries sitting on the table while Chiaki and Stresemann drink wine. So random! I assume Stresemann ordered them, but still, that’s hilarious. I don’t drink much alcohol, so I’d probably be diving into the fries like the Philistine that I am. :p

This episode ups the ante again, drama-wise, and it has me totally raring for the final episode — once again, have to say that Nodame has made the most impressive turnaround this season. First few episodes are kind of plodding and lack the magic that makes this show memorable, but it has been on fire for a few weeks now. I dare say this stretch of episodes might even be better than anything else airing this season . . . [/potentially controversial statement]

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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 49

Posted in Fullmetal Alchemist with tags on 03/22/2010 by Shinmaru

I can’t be the only one who think this looks like an enormous ass crack, right? Pride and Al are stuck inside a giant mound of ass.

So, I lol’d pretty hard after Epi predicted — with stunning accuracy! — exactly how our heroes would “defeat” Pride in this battle. (Are you sure you didn’t do some manga peeking? :P) In all, a solid plan: Take away the source of Pride’s strength and have the one person who needs no sustenance keep watch over him. Probably the only downside of this whole thing is that I am sure the giant ass mound stands out, to say the least, in this forested area. Look at the scale of it! That thing dwarfs both Ed and Hohenheim (not too difficult with the former, though), so the trees probably do not provide great cover for it.

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Ookamikakushi – 11

Posted in Ookamikakushi with tags , on 03/20/2010 by Shinmaru

Anyone who has any experience at all with the original visual novel — it can’t be this bad, right? Right?

I want to have a little bit of faith in Ryukishi07; I don’t want to believe he waited for some developer to CTC — that’s “cut the check”, in the parlance of Rasheed Wallace — and then dropped this wet turd of a scenario on all his fans. Because, Jesus, this episode seemingly concludes the story in just about the most thoroughly unsatisfying way possible. It’s mind boggling how utterly dumb it is.

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Durarara!! – 11

Posted in Durarara!! with tags on 03/19/2010 by Shinmaru

Celty took “standing on buildings in a brooding manner” lessons from The Animated Series-era Batman in this episode.

Pretty good episode here. The reveal of the Dollars members is visually awesome, and I can even forgive it for being more than a bit contrived because of that. (At least it isn’t as silly as the million Zeros from Code Geass R2, haha.) The shift from the grayscale figures to being all colored in is especially cool, and has a fun bit of irony to it since Dollars has been described as “colorless”. Take that, Yellow Scarves and Blue Squares! That’s what you get for having dumber names than “Dollars”.

EDIT: My view of the reveal scene slowly took a shift as I wrote this post, and now, about three hours after initial publishing, I pretty much like it as much as everyone else, contrivances or not. The power of stepping back for a moment or two and thinking. :p

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Kimi ni Todoke – 23

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke with tags on 03/18/2010 by Shinmaru

Kimi ni Todoke — the story of how one cell phone changed the life of one girl.

Haha, not really. But the cell phone does embolden Sawako a bit, doesn’t it? The phone encourages her to actively seek contact with her friends and enter the wider world instead of accepting that she won’t be able to see her friends until winter break is over, and staying at home the entire time. Maybe the fact that phone calls don’t involve face-to-face conversations helps with that a bit. Sawako’s dad can’t interrupt with sob stories if Sawako is calling home from an entirely different place, after all. Having a direct line to Kazehaya doesn’t hurt, either.

I might accuse this Kimi ni Todoke episode of being cell phone propaganda if it weren’t patently ridiculous that Sawako didn’t already have a cell phone. :p

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Nodame Cantabile Finale – 9

Posted in Nodame Cantabile with tags on 03/17/2010 by Shinmaru

This is, hands down, my favorite episode in all three seasons of Nodame Cantabile. It’s episodes like these that remind me — exactly when I need them to do so — why I watch anime. Absolutely stunning from start to finish.

I’d launch into an analysis of where Chiaki and Nodame stand in their relationship if I could; however, I’m still on a high from Nodame’s wonderful performance. In my post for the previous episode, I wrote that being in attendance for the Chiaki/Rui concerto must have been an amazing experience. Well, Nodame’s concerto absolutely smokes that one. This is the kind of performance where you go in one way and come out a completely different person. It energizes you, enlightens you, fills you with such joy and lust for life that you couldn’t possibly imagine feeling any better at any point in your life. That’s a moment Nodame, Stresemann, the orchestra and the audience will never, ever forget.

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