Once again, it's almost exam time, but finally having study break is ironically making me watch more anime...
The World God Only Knows:
Thought I'd watch this one while it's still popular (though clearly I'm not early enough, because season 2 is already out). I gotta say, the premise of this anime was very intriguing. Keima bases his life around dating sims, and as a result of an incident is suddenly forced to apply his vast dating sim knowledge to real life girls. To be honest I was expecting more of a comedy where he would fail miserably to get the girls, but it turned out that he is able to conquer their hearts easily simply by drawing on his game knowledge. It was still entertaining and original, but instead of being something really groundbreaking it ended up just as a harem anime. Anyway, the art was very attractive, and voice acting was extremely fitting as well. Definitely still worth a watch, despite the niggling feeling that it could have become so much more. But we'll see how the second season pans out.
Seitokai no Ichizon:
This anime turned out to be surprisingly decent, despite my initial preconceptions. Also, having watched Seitokai no Yakuindomo not too long ago, I thought this one would be similar. Fortunately it turned out to be a pretty good parody series that never took itself too seriously, but never forgot to go back to its romantic roots either. Sugisaki makes a great main guy character whose one goal in life is to achieve a harem, hopefully consisting of the rest of the council girls. He clearly loves all of them, and they clearly all love him, but there's never any emphasis on one particular pairing, and all the girls' backgrounds are equally explored. The voice acting was good even though I didn't recognize any of the voices (yay for new voice talent), and animation was attractive enough. In any case, if you enjoy a light-hearted comedy with more or less typecast characters, you'll surely enjoy this anime.
Hrmmm... what to say about this one... well, it was pretty interesting in terms of premise, I suppose. Basically it's the humans (Vatican) versus the vampires (called Methuselahs), except after many generations of hatred and fighting, they're finally trying to reach an agreement to coexist peacefully. The main character happens to be this uber 'vampire' who drinks vampire blood for sustenance, but being the nice guy he is, he often refrains from it and only uses his powers in emergencies. However, the way they utilized this plot wasn't particularly good. Most of the anime consists of arcs of random missions that briefly touch on who the enemy organization is, but only near the end is the final boss introduced. This means that a good deal of the anime feels like filler material but it does eventually pick up in the second half. Only at the end is some of the important stuff explained - however, by then you're already bored and don't really care anymore. Art was very pretty, with lots of bishies, and the voice acting in both Japanese and English was decent too (except Esther, who is just generally annoying). An interesting anime in all, but could have been much better.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica:
Don't let the cutesy, sparkly and pink promo art fool you. Madoka Magica is far from a light-hearted magical girl anime, and that's probably why everyone's raving about it. The plot centres around a young girl called Madoka, who, predictably, has massive magical potential in herself. Insert cute magical mascot Kyubey, and magical girls start popping up all over the place. However, you'll never guess why Madoka has such potential (yes, they actually explain this and everything else!). I can't really say much more about the plot without ruining it, but trust me when I say that it's deep and complicated. SHAFT did the animation for this anime, so predictably it's gorgeous, artistic and very attractive - except for the actual characters themselves, who all look pudgy. Also, because of the simplistic way that they were animated, sometimes the voice actors (who were great, btw) would be talking emotionally but the characters' faces were still blank, which just makes you think 'wow this looks ridiculous'. Music was also done very well, with sombre tracks for calm moments and fast-paced music with undecipherable lyrics during action scenes, and a nice set of opening and ending themes. So, all in all, aside from Kyubey's clear lack of education about physics and the aforementioned minor problems with animation, this was an excellent anime that everyone should definitely watch at least once. Just a warning, though: if you're actually looking for a feel-good, shallow magical girl anime, then you might want to steer clear of this one.
Aoi Bungaku Series:
A very thought-provoking series that focuses on the dark side of human beings. The art is simply drop-dead gorgeous, and it really makes up half of the series IMO. The stories are based on famous works by Japanese authors and is told in arcs which start off long but eventually become only a single episode each. Aside from the first story, which dragged on seemingly pointlessly, the others were all wonderfully macabre except for one which was just heartbreaking. The voice acting for most of the main characters is done by a single person who also happens to not be a professional voice actor (he's an actor, I believe), so although his voice is very calming and fitting, having the same voice coming from characters of all shapes and sizes is a little jarring. It's especially noticeable when the character is big and buff but a little man's voice comes out of him. However, aside from that, there's little to complain about. Just note that this definitely isn't a happy endings kind of anime, so prepare to feel very sober after you watch it.
I watched both the series and the OVA together, but I'll put them in the same post since the OVA is pretty much just another ep in addition. This was a pretty average series, but the fact that it's a series at all is pretty impressive considering it's BL. The story starts off quite light, with the introduction of a amnesiac main character and another who transferred back after being absent for a long time. Did I mention that they're both guys and both have alter egos who are totally horny for each other? Anyway, most of the eps consist of them having random adventures around the school with a few bits here and there revealing parts of the actual plot. It's only in the last few episodes where the main plotline (which isn't actually that bad) takes over and everything is explained and a happy ending is reached. Also, this is one of those BL anime where there are no such thing as women and everybody is gay, including the kids... In any case the animation is really quite low-budget and was one of the shortcomings, while the voices were pretty annoying too but not exactly inappropriate. All in all, an enjoyable, mindless anime to watch to relax in between heavier stuff.
This was quite an enjoyable watch, with a cast of oddball characters, several of whom I grew to love. Even the bitchy seductress turned out to be totally adorable and I must say she would probably be one of my favorite characters, along with the Benz-philic driver. The sudden and rushed ending seemed indicative of a second season, especially since none of the relationships really went anywhere, but aside from that the plot is quite well done and interesting. Animation was very nice and clean, and voice acting was superb.
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