I’m not that much into sport animes and I watched the first few Bamboo Blade episodes only because I had a bit too much free time at that moment. The quality is quite good after all and girls with swords always catch my interest, even if those swords only made of bamboo. Well, didn’t took much more to make this series grew to me. In the end, the whole run was pretty entertaining and it was a nice bonus to learn some basics about kendo. It’s only a bit sad that except of Tamaki the characters, even if well drawn from the beginning, never really developed much more from the start till the end. It also would have been a good addition to get to know that great side of Dan-kun everybody in the series seem to have seen at some time (especially Miyako). The way of love are surely strange and I like the basic idea behind this unusual couple, but in the end he stayed only annoying to me. Maybe the possible second season might iron those flaws out.
Like all the other KyoAni series before this one Clannad was already worth to watch only because of the brilliant quality of the technical aspects of this show. Of course the rest of the series was also quite entertaining and well made and I especially liked the gain of interaction between the girls in comparison to Kanon and Air. Guess to even this up the relationships between Tomoya and the individual girls somehow had not that much of emotional impact as in the named forerunner. But at least there were no supernatural components to the girls this time which gave the whole story a nice touch of normality. Okay, Fuko is a exception of this and while she wasn’t unlikeable at all she always had a way to ruin the mood (but not without being funny while doing so) and altogether she and her story arc somehow feels displaced to the rest of the show.
Oh, and while I’m eager to watch the already announced Clannad’s After Story I fear at the same time that I’m rather feed up by Key products at the moment. Maybe something in the style of FMP or the (*gasp*) next season of Haruhi Suzumiya would be nice change once in a while.
Shakugan no Shana Second
After the shallow start the second season of Shakugan no Shana finally got back on track again midways and ended with a great but a bit rushed final. Especially each of Wilhelmina’s share of the fighting sequences were highly entertaining to watch and Sabrac was just one hell of a good villain. Seeing Yuji to become useful on his on in fighting was also nice to see. I’m glad that this series was able to deliver in the end. I understand that the part with Konoe was important for the final and for some character development, but I believe that this part could have been cropped a bit after all. The attained screentime could have been used to give the Bal Masqué some more screentime to give a better feeling for the things to come or to make the ending a little bit less rushed (or to give Wilhelmina even more fighting sequences). But the ending was in all cases better than the one of Zero no Tsukaima, but I guess this goes without saying. And, like with both other series named above, I’m eager to watch the next season of this one.