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Exams in a week graarghhh. Must... not... watch... so much... anime...
This was one of those tragic types of anime where nobody gets a happy ending. It's also one of those anime where I feel like I should read an analysis of the plot so that I don't feel like I've totally missed the point. But yeah, it was a decent series, but there were a few major problems: a) who is Darcia and how did he get that wolf's eye? b)Why did Jagara pop up out of nowhere (or did I just forget some stuff)? c) Why is Cheza so useless? The only time she did something cool was when it turned out her blood was poisonous, but that wasn't even something she did herself. I feel that the series had a strong start but then sorta ran out of steam halfway through, which was about the time when I lost interest and started watching another series on the side. However, let me assure you that something that this series is extremely strong in is the music. Oh god, the music! It's actually the reason why I watched this series at all, because I'd heard the OST and fell in love. Voice acting was quite superb too, while the animation was nicely done to fit the post-apocalyptic feel of the series. But let me reiterate: the music. Even if you don't watch this series, do yourself a favor and at least listen to the OST. You won't regret it.
Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya:
There was a surprisingly (and, I suppose, pleasantly) small amount of Haruhi in this movie, while Kyon and Yuki took the centre stage, which was quite refreshing. Some other good points included beautiful backgrounds/animation, great voice acting and a time-twisting plot that would make the makers of Inception proud. On the other hand, the movie was wayyyy too long IMO and the ending, especially, dragged on for what seemed like forever. By the time the final monologue rolled around, I was like "SHUP UP ALREADY, KYON". Also, it was unfortunate that Koizumi and Asahina took a backseat in this movie - I suppose it wouldn't really work if they all got equal screentime, but still. So yes, a reasonably enjoyable movie, but don't be surprised if you get bored at some point.
Ookiku Furikabutte: Natsu no Taikai-hen:
It was so good to see these boys again! I missed them, hehe. I loved the development of Hanai and Tajima's 'special friendship' as well as Abe and Mihashi's - there's no outright shounen-ai, but I think this is about as close as it gets when it comes to toeing the line. The actual baseball games in this half-season wasn't anything particularly interesting since it's mostly about character development. Even the opposing team's characters had their backstory and you really got to feel for them. And although Mihashi seemed more irritating than ever and was a broken record half the time, I was proud to see him really grow by the end of this season and finally grow a goddamn backbone. I'm glad that Abe seemed more prone to yelling at him too, seeing as I would be very tempted to do the same. All in all an enjoyable feel-good series with a great cast that you'll definitely grow to love.
I will admit that the concept of Claymore is quite interesting. The bad guys, the Yoma, were well-established early on, although it was not said how they came to exist (but then again it's a fantasy anime, so we'll let it slide). Also, the Claymores themselves were explained well, from how they came to be to how they will die as a result. I thought that the world was quite immersive, considering that the Organization was hardly explained. The plot is a pretty typical shounen plot with revenge as the main focus while both the Claymores and the Yoma go through multiple power-ups as the series progresses. Unfortunately the ending was left open due to the fact that the manga isn't finished, and for the same reason, Raki was really a totally useless and completely dispensable character, which I've heard isn't exactly the case in the manga. Fortunately he doesn't get a great deal of screentime. As for the animation, it was fairly average but there was plenty of violence, chopped-off body parts and gore. The design of the Claymores were quite interesting - they're all blonde and uber skinny/tall, which would make them great supermodels! But I digress. Voice acting was pretty decent, but nothing too spectacular. This was a fairly enjoyable shounen series, so go for it if you like that genre.
Earth Girl Arjuna:
Earth Girl Arjuna is the hippiest anime I've ever seen. It's essentially an environmental lecture that tried to make itself more interesting by featuring a high school girl with magical powers. Being an on-and-off environmentalist myself, I can appreciate the message it's trying to get across, but I'm not sure many others will. For one thing, the magic is unexplained, inconsistent and not really relevant to the main idea; for another, most of the characters are annoying as hell and I swung between not caring about them in the least and wanting to strangle them (except Tokio, who is probably the world's best boyfriend when he isn't half-cheating on Juna with her best friend) - Chris has got to be one of the most condescending and irritating characters I've seen in a while: "WHY DO YOU KILL, JUNA, WHY?!" whilst Juna is just about to get attacked by the monsters and he's floating off safely to the side. Like, shut up dude, let her do her job. Also, the series touched upon some controversial topics in a way that was awfully one-sided and that I couldn't really agree with. All the SEED members constantly preach about how we should live off the land like ancient civilizations all the while using their hi-tech equipment. Irony at its best. The ending was also a big mess and turned the series into a horrible amalgamation of survival/apocalyptic/magical girl genres. On the other hand, the music was amazing, but you wouldn't expect any less from Yoko Kanno! It was one of the few things that kept me watching - that, and the relaxing atmosphere during some of the episodes. So yeah, I think give this one a miss unless you're an avid tree-hugger.
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