Time for exams and then holidays, woohoo!
This came with awesome recommendations from a friend, so I started it with high hopes... and well, it was pretty good, but then it started getting more and more dramatic with all this random crap from most of the characters by the end. I suppose that as a romance, it's pretty good, but it's not much of a comedy as I was told. And by the end I didn't care about any of the characters except Ami, who started as a bitch but became totally awesome by the end. They were all special in their own ways but they all became so emo that I really lost interest. Animation and voice acting was pretty spectacular though. However, in the end it wasn't really my cup of tea.
Seitokaichou ni Chuukoku:
A lighthearted, totally cheesy 2-ep yaoi OVA that was a nice change from the melodrama of Toradora. I didn't actually understand what was happening half the time but it seemed like the kouhai initially fell in love after protecting the senpai from gropers on the train, and then it was just a load of flirting, sexual harassment by others and finally sex at the very end. Your run-of-the-mill yaoi anime basically, with a lot of talking screenshots because they're always too cheap to bother animating the mouths.
I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did, after the slightly lacklustre introduction that was episode 1. However I soon grew attached to the characters and the story in each episode was always quite interesting. Not to mention it featured one of the cutest foxboys I've ever seen! And with Natsume looking rather feminine, it was also nice to have a bit of a shounen-ai undertone to the whole thing haha. Animation was very well done with a pastel palette that was both soothing and allowed for the vivid colors of the Ayakashi to stand out more. I'll definitely check out the other seasons.
Although Dennou Coil was an anime I downloaded purely because I wanted something to download and this looked like it had decent art and a vaguely interesting premise, I'd heard good things about it by the time I got around to watching it. It had been described as "innovative" and after finishing it just now, I'd have to agree with that. It's set in a world where all kids/some adults have cyber glasses which allows them to interact physically with virtual items when they are looking through the glasses, such as pulling up a screen and keyboard in thin air or calling someone just by making the hand gesture. The fact that the story was told through children's eyes made the whole thing seem quite innocent, somehow - the horror was of a 'monster under the bed' variety, not blood and guts or psychological torture. Also, it displayed the mature side of children at that age (around 11 or so) - usually in anime they are regarded as simply annoying little sisters/brothers, but when you're an 11 year old there's very much a sub-culture within your peers, and Dennou Coil captures that well. A very refreshing anime to watch, in all.
Kino no Tabi:
Finally, a really good anime and something I can give more than 3.5 stars which seems to be the norm these days. This was episodic and every episode had at least one story, always with a twist that may or may not hit you like a speeding train. Kino's journey through countless countries shows us glimpses of human nature embodied in all sorts of exaggerated societies - usually the ugly side of humantiy, but with good parts too as if to remind us of the beauty of the world. Art is a little old but pleasing enough I suppose, and the voice acting was dry but it suits the characters well.
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu:
It may look cheap, but Baka to Test was definitely amusing and had me laughing every episode with its sometimes predictable, but often wacky humor and cast of characters. The concept was also interesting, what with the characters' academic scores on a test determining the power of the mini-mes that they are able to summon - the higher your scores the higher class you were in, and the better your facilities. This was hilariously demonstrated by the A class having an extremely posh classroom and the F class starting off with wooden tables and ending up with little more than cardboard boxes. The art was consistent, and voice acting was good enough for the job. A light-hearted anime that exceeded my expectations (which were fairly low anyway).
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