Archive for the ‘Action’ Category

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Tetsuwan Birdy Decode

August 20, 2008

Tetsuwan Birdy Decode is one of the few series of the current season I’m actually watching. I’d like to say that it’s because of the story, characters, art or such (which aren’t bad at all most of the time), but I’m afraid my real main reason is just the jumping around of Birdy’s silhouette in the opening.

Maybe not the best reason, but sure good enough for me.

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Toshokan Sensou

May 4, 2008

Toshokan Sensou

Thirty years ago, at the beginning of the Seika Era (a fictionally era settled in the present time), the so called “Media Cleansing Act” was passed in Japan. This act allows the central government to censor any media, especially books, at its liking to protect the citizens from any bad influence. Because the term “bad influence” can mean a lot this act quickly became a freeticket for the government to censor anything bothersome and to cut short human rights. The Media Cleansing Committee was created to ensure that the censorship is followed and even use of force permitted for them in order to do so. The only counterweight to balance out this grim development became the simultaneously passed “Library Freedom Act”. This law grants the libraries, which are under the jurisdiction of local governments, the right to acquire any type of media that they find worth to be conserved, making those libraries the last save spot for free speech and real democracy in the state. To defend the libraries against raids of the Media Cleansing Committee the Defense Organization was called to life to maintain the functionality of each library and, in the worst case, to fight armed against any intruder.
This is the world Iku Kasahara grows up. In her teenage years she felt the consequences of the arbitrary censorship herself as the final volume of her favourite children’s series got to be taken away from her right at the moment she wanted to buy. She resisted to hand over the book and shortly before it was violently taken from her a member of the Defense Organization helped her out. In the end she was able to keep this special book. This man became her personal role model and now, at the age of 22, she tries to follow his example and joins the Defense Organization to help the people. But that is no easy task.

Because I didn’t knew much about Toshokan Sensou beside the title (Library Wars) and some artwork pictures I thought it would be a comedy, something like Full Metal Panic. Well, it did turn out to be more serious and “only” with the normal anime comedy elements. But that isn’t a bad thing. The scenario about governmental censorship with only few being able to resist is quite interesting, the quality is high so far and the characters are likeable. Of course the idea of a quasi-war between two fractions in a stable state both backed up by law is a bit implausible, but absorbing none the less.

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Soul Eater & Tower of Druaga

April 20, 2008

Soul Eater

Soul Eater

The world (and especially the people living in it) is constantly in danger to be dragged into chaos and destruction by the Kishin, evil humans who try to gain in power by feasting on the souls of other humans. Fortunately the Academy of Shinigami Weapons Wielder exists to face this threat. This academy teaches its students to fight together with their special companions, humans who can turn into weapons. Of course these teams are also send into the world to assure peace and to collect the souls of the Kishin which are to be devoured by the weapons. At the time a weapon has successfully eaten 99 Kishin souls and one soul of a witch it will turn into a real “Death Scythe” and its meister will become a full-fledged Shinigami.
This is the story of three meisters and their weapons and each team is more nuts and incompetent than the last one, but because the rest of the world seems to be quite the same they get their job done somehow in the end.

First thing I noticed about Soul Eater is its unique artwork and high quality animation. One Piece, Bleach and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are the series that popped up in my mind almost immediately while watching. And although this isn’t the best sign, after all I lost interest in the first two series fairly quick (One Piece) respectively after some time (Bleach), I like what I’ve seen so far. The comedy parts are just hilarious, the action promises to be quite viewy and all together this series emits a nice unique feeling. Hopefully they can keep it fresh for the scheduled 51 episodes.

Tower of Druaga

Once upon a time the great hero Gilgamesh took up the quest to rescue the priestess Ki from the demon Druaga. For this he fought bravely through all sixty floors of Druaga’s tower and the many different kinds of monsters who dwelled within them to finally face and defeat Druaga in the tower’s top floor. This way he saved Ki and the whole country of Babylim from the demon’s undoing and became shortly after the king of Babylim and Ki’s husband.
60 years later the danger of Druaga and his tower has risen anew and many young men and women have gathered at the base of the tower to taken up the duty which the now old king Gilgamesh had taken all by himself in the past. Each of them has his or her own motivation to do so, many just want to make a living out of the treasures and rewards that are to obtain out of slaying the many minor beasts, but some strive to follow the example of the old king and want to slay Druaga to secure Babylim once again. The protagonist of this story, Jil, definitely can be counted among the later section of the so called climbers. But it is surely no easy task he has chosen.

The first episode of Tower of Druaga was just hilarious and played well with lots of RPG clichés. There was no time to get bored in any way because they just fast forwarded a whole (generic) story plot in just one small episode. Well, at the end and with the second episode it gets back to the harsh real (fantasy) world and thus the amount of comedy and fast pace got naturally driven back significant. This surely might be a bummer for some and I don’t know this first episode will of advantage for the whole series, but its still a nice watch especially because I haven’t seen some RPG-styled fantasy anime for a longer time now. So I guess it will be okay for me if the rest of the story gets rather generic, but with the first episode in mind I hope for some surprises of the good kind. Soever, I think this is quite an interesting way to promote one’s MMORPG game.

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In between of Shakugan no Shana Second

March 6, 2008

Wilhelmina & Sabrac

It’s good to see that Shakugan no Shana got pretty entertaining again in those last few episodes. With the end of the forced relationship troubles the series is finally able to recreate the feeling of the first season. It’s not that the somehow similar love-triangle between Shana, Kazumi and Yuji in the first season was uninteresting nor unimportant, but the second instalment of this theme with the addition of Konoe/Hecate was just a pain to watch, mostly because they forgot to make it funny in some ways I guess.
Well, luckily they are now back on track and with Sabrac quite a villain was introduced in the last episode. Normally I would say that he is much too overpowered to make a real good and interesting villain, but I really like him. Don’t know the exact reason why, maybe because he respects his opponents skills and doesn’t act too arrogant toward them, maybe because he doesn’t rub his superior-ness too much in the viewers face, maybe because he doesn’t use to much or to few words or maybe because he doesn’t look like some silly walking parking meter or something like that, but actually quite wicked.
Definitely one point that’s in his favour is that he made Wilhelmina fight him to her fullest, which was a real feast to watch.

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Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino & Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

January 15, 2008

Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino

Gunslinger Girl - Il Teatrino

It’s quite sad that they obviously couldn’t raise the same budget for the second season of Gunslinger Girl that was available for the first season. With so many changes (to the worse) it just feels too different from the first season to smoothly connect both. This alone already gives this second season a rather bad start which is, like said, quite sad. After all it’s not that they are doing that ill of a job with Il Teatrino. The (re)introduction of the characters and the world they live in was done well enough and the pacing was most of the time right, too. The animation quality is decent, the girls don’t look bad at all (albeit they sound to much like, uh, girls now) and the soundtrack might be even better than the original one. I especially like the opening song here.
So, if they manage to translate the intriguing story of the manga at least half-decent into anime and somehow recreate it’s atmosphere I’m sure this will still be really entertaining. But I guess it can in any way only fall short compared to it’s precursor which definitely isn’t something that should be so crystal-clear from the start of a second season.

Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

With me liking the first season of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and this seamless continuation from the first season (there was never something like a story after all, so it’s just madness following madness) I just can’t see what might possible go wrong here.

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Shakugan no Shana – The Movie

October 5, 2007

First of all I’ll have to say that I was a little bit disappointed that the movie didn’t feature some new story. It’s merely a slightly modified version of the first arc of the first season.

Ah, shut up, shut up, shut up!

Well, beside of this it was surely a blast. The artwork and the animation is of superb quality and the story is very well wrapped up in the limited timeframe. I’m quite sure that some minor things of the shown scenes got changed compared to the original, but the main plot is definitely the same. Of course through the focusing on the main plot some of the characters are pushed to the background (Kazumi) or are missing altogether (Eita and Keisaku). On the other hand Wilhelmina could be sneaked in and Yukari Hirai got pretty much screentime, which I found most pleasing because I think she is very important to get an appropriate feeling about the torches right from the beginning (and besides, I like her).
So, in the end, I could have been happier if some new stuff (plot-wise) would have been put into the movie, but none the less it’s a very good film and a nice way to “get in the mood” for the second season.

End of explanation.

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Mai-Otome Zwei – 04

September 15, 2007

Pretty fireworks at last

In the end they didn’t even bother to explain anything about the threat the Otomes had to face this time, which is of course a bit disappointing. But then again, the plot was in the end only a mere vehicle to let the beloved characters of the series shine once again as much as they can and this task they surely accomplished. Each previous episode had at least one Otome nuking it out with the enemy to their utmost in splendid animated fighting scenes and the last episode did not stand back either with Mai, Arika and (finally) Nina taking the last stand together. Humor-wise the OVA was also satisfying, only the fanservice in the third episode was a bit over the top for my taste. A nice bonus was the fight between Mai and her former familiar, but I’m rather puzzled why it transformed into a white kitten afterwards. Well, with Ribbon-chans decision to become an Otome and Nina’s foreshadowing dream it’s most likely that the story isn’t finished yet and maybe the future will hold some explanation for the things that happened here. So, until the previewed prequel Mai-Otome S.ifl (possible another OVA, three episodes this time) airs it’s

The End

for the story told about the Otomeverse.