It's Easter break, yay! I also watched the first 10 or so eps of Kimagure Orange Road this month, but dropped it due to utter boredom + irritating main characters + dashed expectations.
Just finished marathoning this one, and I enjoyed it a fair bit. It's quite slow-paced, but it was planned out well so that all the episodes plodded along at the same speed and the ending was not rushed, which is unusual for a 12-ep series. The best thing, undoubtedly, was the atmosphere - you really feel relaxed when watching it and the gentle, calm voice acting on top of barely noticeable yet very fitting background music helped too. Characters were interesting and it was great to slowly find out about their personalities and pasts, especially Yaichi since his story was the main overarching plot. The animation was somewhat peculiar, with everyone having massive irises as if they were on some kind of magic mushroom, but still attractive nevertheless. All in all an anime well worth watching.
Gosick did not bore me to the point that I had to go be sick, but it was close enough. It started off with some promise, showcasing a brilliant young loli detective, but after the first arc it became quite clear that there was to be no more detective work (except for the one they rustled up at the end when they remembered that the main theme was 'Sherlock Holmes' not 'loli in distress'). Add in the irritating Kujo, who has literally no personality except what little is required to shout "Victorique!" 20 times per episode, and you've got a recipe for boredom. I think that again this was a series that would have fared better with half the number of episodes and perhaps better pacing to cover up the weak plot. In any case the ending was surprisingly poignant, and was left to the viewer's imagination in a good way, not like in some anime like Wolf's Rain where you have no idea what the hell just happed. The other good qualities of Gosick are the pretty animation and... uh... yeah, that's about it. Still, it was somewhat entertaining and had some good arcs and mysteries, so I won't be too harsh on it.
Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou:
Season 2 of Natsume's adventures introduces even more cute youkai boys than season 1. And as usual, the atmosphere is very relaxing - the battles aren't jarring and the transitions between violence and conversation are smooth. Natsume does a bit of soul-searching in this series as well and we get to see a bit more about Reiko. And as usual, Nyanko-sensei is amazingly awesome. Can I have a Nyanko-sensei too, please? No? Aw, OK... I also enjoyed Natori's blatant flirting with Natsume as well as Tanuma's subtle possessiveness. Yaoi undertones always makes a series more fun. Anyway in line with the calm atmosphere, the art was soft and the colors pastel, and voice acting was excellent. Definitely will watch the 3rd season!
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