Archive for the ‘School Life’ Category

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Kyou no Go no Ni TV

October 15, 2008

So far I’m quite pleased with the TV version of Kyou no Go no Ni. I believe it goes without saying that I would have wished for a similar animation quality like the OVA had and at first I was rather disappointed, but after a short time of acclimatisation it’s not that bad after all. The change of the Seiyuus was also something I was concerned about, but the new cast works fine for me. The background music is decent and when noticeable then in a good way, which is more than I remember from the OVA, so I think they made a good job here. And what I really like beside the new episodes is that they try to differ a bit in the ones that are already known through the OVA. These changes don’t alter the story per se, but are a nice addition and can only really be appreciated if one knows the OVA I guess.
Again, altogether a fine series to watch so far, hopefully it keeps being entertaining when the old stuff is through and that the setting work for more than four episodes. For now I’m positive on this.

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Kyou no Go no Ni

July 19, 2008

I got the first urge to rewatch Kyou no Go no Ni OVA (Today, in class 5-2) at the time Minami-ke: Okawari started to get average to boring. I missed the first season and knew that both series were written by the same author, Koharu Sakuraba. Lack of time prevented me to do so and somehow I forgot about it again until a few days ago when I read about a planned full-fledged series of Kyou no Go no Ni on Random Curiosity. Well, this time I managed to watch the four episodes in short order and it wasn’t disappointing for sure.
The story develops around five girls and three boys of the class 5-2 where develop might be the wrong word, because each OVA consists of 5 independent mini-episodes and there is no real progression at all, just different slice of life situations. Practical all of these situations become ecchi at some point, which is my only real complain about the series, but at least each panty shot and such has some meaning to the story and doesn’t happen because of too short skirts or “favourable” camera angles. In spite of the ecchi content everything as a nice aura of normality and childlike innocence and the interaction between the cast and especially the two major characters, Ryouta and Chika, is really sweet (and of course funny) to watch. The humour is different to the one in Minami-ke, but I’m sure that if one likes one of both the other series is at least worth a try.
Now I only hope that the upcoming series can accommodate the OVA and doesn’t turn out to be to the OVA like Okawari was to the first Minami-ke season.

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Allison and Lillia & Special A

April 14, 2008

Allison and Lillia

Allison and Lillia

The countries of the Roxcheanuk Confederation and the United Kingdom of Bezel Iltoa have been in the state of war for the past 130 years and a loosely armistice has been in effect for the last 10 years. In this uncertain times the childhood friends Allison, a pilot of the Roxche Air Force and Wil, a talented student, are told by an old and apparently senile man about a treasure hidden somewhere in the Bezel Iltoa Kingdom which content holds the potential to end the ongoing conflict once and for all. Not long after the man gets kidnapped before their own eyes. They try to rescue him, but in the end they can only watch him being flown out by plane. With a captured biplane they begin the pursuit which leads them toward the Bezal Iltoa Kingdom and into a unknown future.

Granted, the basic story of Allison and Lillia is as simple as the outlay of the two countries that are in conflict here, but from what I’ve seen so far I think it can become a quite entertaining treasure hunt. Both leading characters and their interaction are likeable and the artwork and the CG both might not look that fancy, but still pretty nice. And what I really like is the promise of lots of biplanes and similar designed planes to be seen in this series.

Special A

Special A

Hikari Hanazono is teached in martial arts practically since her birth and has never been bested by anyone. Anyone except one, Kei Takishima, whom she met at the age of six and has never been able to beat in any kind of challenge since then, although she tried whenever and whatever she could. Years later they both attend the same elite school, the Private Hakusen Academy. The pupils of this school are separated in the classes A to F accordingly to their grades and the seven best of the A class have a extra class of their own, the Special A class, with many extra privileges and rights. Both Hikari and Kei are part of this Special class with Hikari being the second best and Kei, of course, being the best of all pupils. Being looked upon by the rest of the pupils with adoration and jealousy they continue their contest which unnoticed (at least by Hikari) already has turned into love.

So far Special A seems to be another story of a dense girl who finally has to discover her true feelings toward the boy she always argues with and always gets teased by, but maybe it turns out to be a enjoyable mix of Kare Kano and Ouran after all. The potential is certainly present and could be exploit if the characters attain some depth in the run of the series and if the apparent conflict between the Special A class and the lower classes will be played out right. I would be rather sad if this will turn out to be a pure glorification of the elite class who spins around its own problems while the lower classes only serves as worshippers and cheating scum to make the Special A class appear even brighter. Oh, and by the way, am I the only one who thinks that SA is a rather bad abbreviation to label a elite formation of a (otherwise) brown-coated group of people? I might be a bit picky here, but at least it serves for some unintended strangeness in this series.

I don't think you needed to join any school for this at that time

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To the end of Sketchbook ~full color’S~

February 24, 2008

Shift changeover

And so ends a very nice series after short 13 episodes. Granted, while being very good in the art of emitting a atmosphere of calmness and tranquillity it never reaches its spiritual precursor ARIA. This might be because the characters and setting of ARIA, funnily despite being settled in a rebuild Venice on a terraformed mars, are in some ways more believable than the ones of Sketchbook. Thus the serenity in Sketchbook felt somehow forced at times, which is seldom the case with ARIA. None the less Sketchbook has its own points to shine with its way to discover small miracles in things more near to our daily lives, its beautiful landscapes and its fine set of characters, humans as well as cats. Especially its cats I’ve to say. ARIA’s cats might rule their city more or less from the shadows, but the interaction of the Sketchbook cats is just more fun (maybe being granted to understand them might have help here, too). The few cat-centred episodes became easily my favourites, I hope Sora and the other humans can forgive me for this.

An interesting fact by the way is that Mike, being tri-coloured, has most certainly got to be a female cat (genetic fact). Don’t know if this is really intended, because of the name I always thought of him/her as a male cat until Sora mentioned the number of his/her colours in this last episode.

In the end, while it greatly helped to bypass the time between the second and the third season of ARIA, Sketchbook was surely more than just a merely placeholder and succeeded to transfer some of the Aqua-feeling back onto good old Manhome.
I surely wouldn’t mind to be welcomed by Sora & co again some day.

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True Tears & Minami-ke Okawari

January 28, 2008

True Tears

True Tears

Surely the standard harem setting of three school girls being or becoming more or less emotional attached to the male lead isn’t something to write home about, but if it has to be this kind of show True Tears is one example of how it’s done right. The artwork is pretty and the animation of high quality. The scenario is interesting and promises a lot of character development and, maybe the most important factor, the characters themselves are quite likeable, have a well framed background and are (anime-wise) believable. A nice bonus is that they try to liven up the surrounding of the characters by adding lots of NPCs, but sadly the CG-parts don’t really do the trick it because those just don’t look right. And last but not least I really like the SD-characters-outro (SD for the win!).
Altogether a pretty nice watch.

Minami-ke Okawari

Minami-ke Okawari

Well, so far Minami-ke Okawari isn’t as good as I hoped for but also isn’t as bad as I feared. The animation and character design is of course something to get used to, but their quality doesn’t seem to differ very much from the first season. Good points are more teddy bear involved punishment, the usage of grey for everything Chiaki isn’t thinking about, the appearance of the !s, the keeping of all the seiyuus, the Haruka banchou revival, the strange but interesting intro and many, many more stuff. Bad is the advanced use of (humour-unrelated) fanservice, the lacking of Sensei and Ninomiya-kun and of the warning at the start of an episode, the ugly outro, some other minor things and that the whole thing isn’t as funny as the first season was (so far).
Surely a good and enjoyable series to this point, but it will take a bit more to reach its precursor.

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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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Spice and Wolf & H2O – Footprints in the Sand

January 11, 2008

Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf

Although I don’t know yet what should think about the characters of Spice and Wolf I like what I’ve seen so far. The show accomplishes to emit a nice medieval atmosphere, its music fits well to this atmosphere, the animation and the character design looks good and the ending song has some nice engrish to offer. Lawrence’s more or less normal behavior toward the naked Holo was a nice change compared to the behavior most of other male anime characters would show. He definitely earned some brownie points here. On a negative note it was rather bad how they handled the display of Holo’s nudity. Not that I expected or wished to see more, but even if it’s sometimes quite silly how the “naughty bits” are hidden in other works it’s still better than just leave them out when their could be seen normally. I think they could have easily worked with Holo’s long hair and tail here. But oh well, it isn’t that of a problem after all.
Wonder in which way the story will develop now. Guess the last scene with Chloe indicates that Holo might still be important in some way for the village because the priests seem to have noticed her disappearance quite quickly.

H2O – Footprints in the Sand

H2O

H2O is a rather mediocre series so far. First of all I found Takuma’s blindness to be not very authentic illustrated. Okay, I don’t know much about the behavior of blind people nor do I know how it should be translated in anime behavior, but it just felt wrong. Furthermore the characters seem to be rather shallow and their design is not appealing enough to compensate for this drawback. In fact the only reason for me to continue watching this show at the moment is because I’d like to know how the class rep was able to create this fascistic-like system in her class (and I would complain either to see her and her two thugs getting the beating they deserve). Maybe it gets better before I lose the little interest that is left, but I’m not very hopeful.