Spring 2009: The Good & the Okay

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Somehow this season feels slumpy to me.  There are a bunch of good shows but not in a way that leaves me pining for the next episode.  It’s more like “That was enjoyable, I’ll watch more of this when I don’t have anything else to do.”  On the other hand, I’m always ready for the next Eden of the East episode.  But maybe I’m just burnt out from almost ten years of anime. Anyhow, these shows are well-done, but each have little quirks that personally distract or bother me.

The Good

Basquash! – Basketball meets giant car-looking robots meets boobs.  This show probably interests me the most out of this group because of the animation and how the characters use the town itself to play their games.  I feel like Japan’s sentiments are, “Anything is better with robots.”  Sela D. Miranda’s “reactions” to getting pummeled with basketballs reminds me of the Gattai scenes from Genesis of Aquarion.  Only quirk is Haruka’s boobs: any woman with a rack like that would be hunched over not jumping on rooftops.  Miyuki’s chest is much better. ❤  I’m up to episode seven now, and I look forward to the plot moving out of Rolling Town to other Big Foot Basketball battles across the world.

Guin Saga – All I could think of the opening scene was how dumb it was that the twins’ parents closed the door and stayed behind, only for the enemies to obliterate the door seconds later.  You can’t die in vain much more than that.  But the twins escape to the forest and are protected by Guin – a 3/4 man, 1/4 leopard head dude who has no recollection of his past outside of lucky epiphanies when danger strikes.  Remus is well on his way to winning the pansy award of this season, but hopefully he’ll change in later episodes.

Natsu no Arashi – Cute slice of life-ish show with a fantasy twist.  Arashi’s time-traveling abilities are interesting, and she uses them for both trivial and important reasons.  I’m only up to episode three, but I like that she has an ulterior motive for partnering with Hajime, such as going back to save that boy and his father.  In true Shaft tendency, the first episode gave me vibes that seemed more like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, but hopefully the plot won’t be as all over the place.

Sengoku Basara – The anachronisms are funny to pick out, and Production I.G. certainly gives eye-gasm amounts of good animation.  I’ve only watched the first episode because it’s just non-stop action and I need to be in a certain mood for that much testosterone.  Kasuga kind of reminds me of a timid Zero Suit Samus and I can’t help but shudder at the thought of a butterface who will think it’s a great idea to cosplay as her.  You know it’ll happen, just like the 1000+ Yoko cosplayers last summer.

K-ON! –  Kind of cute, and it’s more watchable than Lucky Star was for me.  I’m not saying that just in a LS haterade bandwagon kind of way, because the K-ON girls are certainly much like the LS girls.  I think it’s just that there’s a central concept (music in this case) that keeps the plot together.  I’m up to episode three and I’m praying that no more episodes will be focused on Yui because one was enough for her ADD to rape my intelligence.

Saki – This is totally Bamboo Blade for board games.  It’s got all the overdramatic photoshop effects, plus the miracle girl who can manipulate mahjong in the same way that Tamaki owned Kendo.  Somehow when I watch shows like this it makes me go, “Ah, I want to learn this!”.  But I guess that’s the point of the jazzed up visuals.

Valkryia Chronicles – Good war series with a hint of romance.   The pencil shading animation took some getting used to, but I forgot about it once the story picked up.  Isara’s ladylike clothing is a little odd since she’s a mechanic, but whatever.  The only character that I absolutely loathe is Susie.  I mean, damn guys, did you think you were witty to name a Mary Sue character “Susie”?  I’ve only seen two episodes, so I’m hoping she’ll either grow a backbone or fade into the background.

The Okay

Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ – You know that you’re a bigshot series when you include the same word twice in your title, plus squiggly lines.  This is an assassin show, but Ein and Zwei are so bland and emo at times that it draws away from the plot.  It’s probably a good show for those who are new to this genre, but I’ll just catch it when there’s nothing else on.

07 Ghost – Oh ho ho, this barely makes the okay list.  Perhaps the manga is better and it’s just the Studio DEEN curse, but the 3 minute interval homoerotic overtones (which put CLAMP series to shame) and predictable hero plot pretty much kill my interest for this show.

Hatsukoi Limited – The character designs aren’t bad, but the plot is kind of shallow and full of cliched relationship concepts.  Still it made me laugh a couple of times so I might get back to it sometime.

Tears to Tiara – I’d probably enjoy this more if I were playing the game rather than watching it as a show.  I like that the evil demon guy that everyone fears isn’t as bad as they play him up to be.

Asura Cryin’ – It’s okay, and I think it’s a better starter show for younger viewers who’d be wowed by the robots.  I’m an old hag that needs more depth these days.

Pandora Hearts – This was originally on my “good” list, because the starting plot seemed fresh and interesting with its twisted nature.  I just worry that it’ll fall into the realm of predictability and filler-type episodes, but I’ll wait and see rather than assuming.

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