Monthly Archives: September 2012

Lovely Complex

Type: Tall girl stalks a short boy romance story

Synopsis: There’s this tall girl and short boy who are always paired up in high school. They decide to create an alliance in order to take the fun out of insulting them. Later, the tall girl falls in love with the boy. Then he rejects her. So obviously she falls deeper in love with him. Then shes rejected again. She then falls into obsession with him. The more he hates her, the more she wants him. Women.

Pros: Risa Koizumi. That’s right. The protagonist of a love comedy is actually the biggest reason  to watch this anime. I’ve noticed this only ever happens when the protagonist is a female. Weird. She’s very persistent. You can’t help but root for her. She’s just a tall glass of spunk. The premise is also genius. A love comedy revolving around a tall girl and a short boy. I’m a sucker for opposites attract stories.

Cons: Atsushi Ootani. That’s right. The male protagonist made this love comedy weaker. He’s just so mean to Risa.  Let me be clear, I really wanted to like this anime. I really, really did. But the show falls short of its potential so quickly that it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. It’s not even all Ootani’s fault. You can’t fault a dude for not liking a girl romantically (even though he could have been nicer and more straight forward with it). The thing is, this relationship with Ootani makes Risa look so weak. Her interest with him soon turns to desperation. Even when she wins him, he’s still an unemotional dick to her. This is a horrible message. The show should have introduced a serious alternate love interest for Risa, then show Ootani’s own growth. But contemplating on all things not is ultimately futile.

Watch it?: If it was only 12 episode. But its not (its 24), so don’t. (2/5)

MVP: Risa Koizumi

She deserves so much better

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Freshman Year Summer! I’ll Definitely Find a Boyfriend!” (so much promise…)

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School Days

Type: High School anime filled with jerks

Synopsis: This guy named Makoto loves this big boobed girl named Kotonoha, and uses his friend’s Sekai’s advice on how to court her. Then Sekai moves in on him once he becomes forbidden territory. Then a bunch of stuff happens, and they all kill each other.

Pros: Based on the fact that the animation style is very cutesy, the turn that this anime takes after the third episode really takes you by surprise. Scandalous is a good word for it. Its a very dark look at the harem genre. Because, when you really think about it, a situation in which a group of young women are all competing for the affection of a singular young man would probably not end well. Loyalties, resentment, emotions, and hormones would make it very complicated very fast. The show also manages to be sexy without showing much. Teenagers are having sex y’all. And to top it all off, the ending. Man…the ending.

Cons: The protagonist Makoto. Well, the entire cast really, but Makoto specifically. Dudes a horrible person. He only thinks of himself and never considers the consequences of his actions. In all honestly, this is probably how the average male would act if presented with a harem situation (a.k.a. sleeping with as many girls as he can), but still. Actually, each of the characters act out of self interest. This is a rare case where the story supports the cast, instead of the other way around. If your use to the more wholesome nature of harem animes (sex jokes and all), then this show will disturb you a little.

Watch it?: Mature themes. Viewer discretion is advised. (5/5)

MVP: The Ending

Dude.

Best Episode: Ep. 12 “School Days” (A horrible end for horrible people)

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Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan

Type: Angels repeatedly kills a guy due to feelings

Synopsis: This angel shows up at this dude’s (Sakura) house and decides to squat their for a while. She has the ability to resurrect people from the dead, leading her to kill the dude over and over again. Turns out dudesky will one day unlock the secrets of eternal life, but freeze all the women in the world at 12 years old. Due to God hating baby touchers, he sends angels to the past to kill Sakura. Basically Terminator, but anime style.

Pros: You will never get tired of seeing Sakura get killed in increasingly gruesome ways. You know that thing where anime girls hit guys for being perverts (like for peeking up their skirts?), well, this anime shows the real world consequences of being hit so hard. Lots of blood. Plus, it also goes for your left field laughs. The angel Dokuro-chan will go from being cutesy, to being violent, to being flirty. It works on so many levels. Oh, and did I mention that Sakura gets killed in increasingly gruesome ways? I did? Why? Because its awesome.

Cons: Show’s short. Only 15 minutes each. Plus, the English version tends to add the honorifics at the end of names (kun, chan, etc) which sound too unnatural in English. The show’s initial opening is also a problem. It’s way too cute for the real content of the anime. This show is also not for the easily offended. Lots of sex jokes. Lots of violence. Rated R for sure. (P.S. I also hate Sakura’s human love interest. Total yawnsville)

Watch it?: In this economy, you can’t afford not to watch it (Meaning yes, watch it) (4/5)

MVP: Dokuro Mitsukai

She only kills you ’cause she loves you

Best Episode: S2, Ep.2 “Bubbles and Scrubbing Battle! Dokuro-chan!” (he can die a happy man now)

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Student Council’s Discretion

Type: Student Council Anime (really)

Synopsis: There’s this school that decides on who will rule their student body based on popularity. So naturally everyone in student government is a pretty girl. One seat is open to the person with the highest grades, allowing a pervy dude a seat at the table. Then….nothing. They spend all their time in the student body room running the school. They then have the dude write down what the group is saying. They sell their notes to a publisher, thus creating themselves through the stories they created. Cosmic.

Pros: For a anime that only has one real setting, it actually takes you a while to realize that it only has the one setting.  I only found out when I read its wiki. Whats really crazy is that the show actually has more depth than it lets on. Every girl represents a season (seriously), and each actually had a hand in influencing the pervy dude (actually revealing that he has much more to him than meets the eye). Its an interesting angle on the harem genre in retrospect. Not really a “guy winning over the girls” story, but more of a “guy trying to repay the girls that made him a better person.” This translates into the show’s cool comedic style. What’s really just a show about five people spending time with each other in a small room turns into a show about five anime girls trying to run a school thanks to/in spite of a perv. We got a inmature pink hair, a evil and sexy black hair, a angry brown hair, and a absent minded blond hair. To top it all off, we got a pervy brown hair with checkered pants. A good mix that keeps you satisfied for 12 episodes.

Cons: The show, like a lot of visual novel animes, gets melodramatic. Not a lot (thank you), but still. I’m also not a big fan of imature pink hair, but that’s my own hangup. Other than that, I ain’t got no real complaints. The show has a few generic anime moments here and their (like having one of the girls have crush on the male protagonist), but the show’s unique enough to rise above them.

Watch it?: But of Course. (4/5)

MVP: Ken Sugisaki

He just wants his girls to have fun

Best Episode: Ep.5 “Student Council Rests” (Bikinis. But strong recommendation for “Tidying Student Council” first half)

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Clannad: After Story

Type: A Sad Life anime about a Sad Life

Synopsis: Story revolves around Tomoya, a guy who married his high school sweetheart, had a kid, and then became a raging alcoholic (but not in the fun way). To be fair, his wife died giving childbirth and he didn’t have very good coping mechanisms. Then a little girl and a bear show up. Best part is, it only gets sadder from their. The show violently attack you with emotions until you lie crying in defeat. At every turn. Its relentless. Resistance is futile.

Pros: Super Emotionality. Still a word. After Story takes all the elements of Clannad, front loads its season with high school stuff, and leaves the rest of the show to deal with the consequences. Unlike other romantic animes, we get to see the teenage couple enter early adulthood. Tomoya and Nagisa’s interactions sell the show, which make their ultimate fates all the more powerful. *Spoiler Alert* Nagisa dies. But, as stated earlier, that’t not the pinnacle of sadness. The rest of the show deals with Tomoya not being able to move on for the sake of himself or even his daughter. This is exactly what would happen if one half of an anime couple died off after they “beat the odds” and got together. Heck, it happens in real life (thus, the slice-of-life moniker).Tomoya’s character growth for the rest of the anime makes it a must see. He finally becomes a good father and son, and is ultimately rewarded for it.

Cons: About a third of the this part of the series has a bunch of high school stuff that feels more like padding than anything else. It has nothing to do with plot. At all. Skip it. Really. The rest is great.

Watch it?: Absolutely, but watch Clannad first, and skip about the first nine episodes of After Story. (4/5)

MVP: Sanae Furukawa

A true Matriarch

Best Episode: Ep. 19 & 22 “The Road Home” and “Small Palms” (sob,sob,sob)

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Clannad

Type: High School anime about High School

Synopsis: Story revolves around Tomoya and Nagisa, two star crossed lovers obviously destined for a good time. They meet one day while on their way to school, one thing leads to another, and they decide to focus their raging teenage hormones on making a play. They recruit a bunch of other people (by which I mean 3), and put on the best damn rendition of “Let’s resolve family issues in front of an audience of strangers” they can!

Pros: Emotionality. O.k, I know that’s not a word, but hear me out. Clannad is a slice of life anime more than anything else. It has some comedy (some pretty funny comedy), but its mainly a drama that’s supposed to illicit an emotional reaction from the audience. It’s trying very hard to make you cry. Each character has their own deal. But they also have their own quirks (hence the funny and sad). No character is perfect, which is a nice change of pace. Tomoya is a nice protagonist, but will not forgive his father. Nagisa is sweet, but has a serious confidence issue. You fall in love with the characters, specifically the leads. Their “romance” evolves over time, and isn’t as pushed as in other anime’s.

Cons: While their are a lot of emotional moments that can happen in real life, the show has a very prime time soap opera feeling to it. The plots aren’t silly, just exaggerated. One character is haunted by the memories of her first boyfriend who turns out to be a cat. But another character just has dad issue. You can tell that this show came from a visual novel because it spends a lot of time trying to show how each of the female character’s are possible matches for Tomoya. What I’m trying to say is that Clannad is not as strong as its sequel, After Story, but it is needed to get the full effect of the overall story.

Watch it?: Yes, especially if you want to watch Clannad: After Story. (4/5)

MVP: Fuko Ibuki

Will You Be My Friend?

Best Episode: Ep. 9 “Until The End Of The Dream” (Goddamn Fuko-chan…sob)

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Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (Season 1,2,3,4)

Type: Suicidal teacher supervises a class of weirdos

Synopsis: A depressed teacher, an optimist, a square, a furry lover, a shut-in, a stalker, a normal girl, a female pervert, an illegal, a phone crazy, a two-face, a sorry girl, a wife, a sociopath, and a bald boy all enter Japan one day and decide to call it on its crazyness.

Pros: Weird and cool and funny. SZS is part of the weird category of anime. And by weird, I mean weird by Japanese standards. It’s purposely abnormal in order to allow itself to comment on modern Japanese culture. Each episode usually notes a cultural hypocrisy. It can be as big as Japan’s economic structuring, or as small as wearing a hat on non-sunny days. Each character is also a contradiction. The Sensei is suicidal, but screams “I could have died!” after every failed attempt. A very layered anime for one that’s so linear in structure (a contradiction in itself).

Cons: This show is weird. It could turn people off. The show’s also very one dimensional on the surface. Each character is really 95% repetitive, and 5% new. Each episode follows the same structure of note an issue, and have each of the girls comment on it. It also does not have a plot, so don’t come here looking for the next anime epic.

Watch it?: Yes, but I dare you to also watch all 4 seasons plus the Ovas (4/5)

MVP: Nami Hito

Don’t say Normal!

Best Episode: Just watch them yourself (theres way too many to choose from)

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Minami-ke (Season 1,2,3)

Type: Three sisters doing it for themselves

Synopsis: Three sisters, each in elementary, middle, and high school respectively, live their lives for our amusement. The youngest (Chiaki) has a bad temper and emotionally dominates her two cross-dressing friends. The middle sister (Kana) has a problem with hyperactivity and hopes to kill the boy that loves her. The oldest (Haru ka) rules the other two with a subtle but iron fist. Its basically three female Tyrants living under one roof.

Pros: The shows really funny. Chiaki is annoyed by Kana, but idolizes Haruka. Kana thinks that the guy that loves her is a middle school gang banger. Chiaki forces one of her female friends to act like a boy, and Kana forces one of Chiaki’s other friends to act like a girl because he loves Haruka. The show does a pretty good job at showcasing the relationships between the sisters and their own respective individual relationships. Very slice-of-life-esque.

Cons: The show has three seasons, but the first season is the only one to watch. The first season has its own style of humor and movement that really makes it stand out over other animes. The second season gets too bogged down with generic anime troupes. It had the hot spring episode, the removal of a main character scare, and even a lonely neighbor boy. Booooring. The third season gets back on track with the first season to a degree, but the first season is really the one to watch.

Watch it?: Just the First Season (Maybe the Third) (4/5)

MVP: Chiaki Minami

For teaching me what “Bakayaro” means.

Best Episode: S1, Ep. 13 “Fruitless Love” (Happy Drunken New Year!)

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Ouran High School Host Club

Type: Poor girl gets to join the popular boys against her will.

Synopsis: This rich school has a club called the “Ouran Host Club,” which is basically a reverse maid club. One day, frompy girl Haruhi accidentally breaks one of their vases that costs a butt load of money. The club cleans him up and decides to blackmail the newly discovered pretty boy into joining them. They then discover that he is in fact a girl, forcing them to hide the fact. As with any case with one female surrounded by lots of males, the group falls in love with her. Beautiful really.

Pros: The juxtaposition between the down to earth Haruhi with the empty headed Host Club. Haruhi is smart, level headed, but also a bit of a kill joy due to her modest background. The Host Club is the opposite, their silly, kind of stupid, but can have a good time only possible via mountains of money. Each of the characters are plays on the not so common male harem. They got a blonde husband, stoic tall guy, cool glasses dude, twins, and 18 year old kid. They even add an angry looking nice guy to even things out. The show’s the best when Haruhi reacts to the Host Clubs shinanigans, or when their cultures clash (ex: Host Club imagining what the less rich Haruhi’s house will look like). That, and Haruhi being the realest protagonist in any harem and still being likable.

Cons: Melodramatic. Their are a few episodes when the show falls into sad music melodrama that I’m admittedly not a fan of. Each of the male characters have their own drama, and some work better than others. The twins have to deal with becoming their own person. Good. Glasses dude has father issues. Good. Stoic guy has no real drama. Good. 18 year old kid refuses to grow up? Bad. Blonde husband can’t see his mother because his grandmother hate the west and threatens to withhold payments for much needed medication? Bad. Overlycomplicated. Melodramatic.

Watch it?: Leaning to a yes. (3/5)

MVP: Haruhi

Real girl forced to live in anime insanity. Classic.

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Starting Today, You Are a Host!” (Well, is she a girl or isn’t she?)

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B Gata H Kei – Yamada’s First Time

Type: Lascivious girl with dirty thoughts seeks sexual partner

Synopsis: O.K. Gatta be careful on this one. A young lady named Yamada dreams of being as…sexually liberated… as possible by…making love…with 100 partners. But she suffers from a mental block and needs someone to, let’s say, “pop” this “mental block.” She figures she can get it done easy by choosing a random loser the right person, thus bringing her classmate Kosuda into the mix. But for the life of her, she can’t get him to…………………..SEX, SEX, SEX,SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX,SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pros: I found this to be one of the more unique anime’s I’ve ever come across. Few anime’s deal with the topic of sex in such a candid manner. Sex is treated as something desired, but ultimately misunderstood. Yamada’s naivete masked by her arrogance is what really sells the show. She wants to have sex because she thinks it will gain her status, make her mature, and gain admiration. But she’s underestimated what a big step losing one’s virginity is, because she’s only 15. Then add her love interest Kosuda, who is even more confused toward the whole situation because he doesn’t know why Yamada is so aggressive. These two trying to dance the dance of love is hilarious. Will they? Won’t they? The show’s basically tries to answer the question: What would happen if two people in the anime universe tried to have sex with each other? The answer: Lots of false starts, lots of sex talk, and lots of frustrationation.

Cons:…You can’t watch it with the door open. For real. The show slightly borders a hentai (anime porn). Its not graphic per say, but the consistency of its dealings with sexy time won’t win it a tv spot on PBS any time soon. There’s also a rival character named Kanejo which doesn’t really add much to plot. She’s still funny, but coulda been left out with no serious degradation to the quality of the show.

Watch it?: Yeah, but with the DOORS CLOSED. (4/5)

MVP: Yamada

The woman with the most Noble of Goals

Best Episode: Ep. 5 “Improve the Erotic Powers! It’s My First Time Feeling This Sensation…” (commando!)

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