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I very much agree with you regarding Penguindrum. It seems last year threw up Madoka, then shifted gears again with Steins;Gate, and pretty much dropped an h-bomb with Penguindrum. In terms of hype and complex plots anyway. Though Penguindrum never got any true hype! But if it did the hype would have been well-deserved. Funny how that always works out. I can't wait to rewatch the whole thing, definitely a secondary viewing required. Though I am yet to even watch Utena! It's like the one itching series I have now that I keep saying to myself "ok next thing I am watching is Utena!"... but I'll get there. Penguindrum is just the whole package though, the series resonated with me so much. You're near the end! Enjoy!
You're right, in terms of general quality I do feel Chihayafuru should be rated higher than Ano Natsu but I just damn prefer watching Ano Natsu over Chihayafuru. The karuta side of things isn't bad, but the whole thing is too oversentimental for me, and Chihaya is annoying to watch. Ano Natsu has its own mess of cliches and, again, I really find the main characters a bore to watch, but I love the character interaction and especially the situation involving Kanna. The whole alien twist is terrible though, but at least it gives us the weird, cute, but useless Rinon to be amused by.
Also, those were my prelim ratings at about halfway through! Though I really can't see myself giving Chihayafuru more than 3.5 at the end. We shall have to see! I think both have been equally disappointing to be fair. Chihayafuru seems like it is going to need a second season, and if it can pull off a long interesting arc involving Arata x Taichi x Chihaya then I can be won yet! That episode where Taichi and Chihaya went to visit Arata (ep 6/7 maybe?) and try to get him back into karuta was just so damn good! Ano Natsu is probably going to have a rushed ending and just be a pretty average show, but Chihaya could still be really good. It's just unfortunate that I prefer to watch awkward tensions involving unrequited love triangles over feel-good self-affirming moments of sheer determination to be the best at competitive hobby x or y. I got that in Bakuman which I finished before Chihayafuru aired so I feel a bit cheated.
What have you been thinking about both of them then? Do you like Chihaya as a character? I mean, that's really causing a bias shift for me to be honest.
p.s. I hope you are enjoying Penguindrum and will try to jump on that buddy group for Brother, Dear Brother when you guys get to the midpoint I'm at. It's got to be one hell of a ride by the end.
You've got a nice avatar there. Is it from any particular anime or manga?
Yeah. It'd better be true that it's ending in a few weeks because my brain can't take much more awesomeness than this.
No problem. I thought I just thought it would be good to checkup on what my fellow mods are doing. I have a lot of dropped shows because I like to try everything but I don't see teh point in continuing if i am not enjoying it. That has changed a bit since becomming a mod. Now it makes sense to finish the show even if I hated it.
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