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Summer 2009 Review

23 JUL
2009

All right, so we're a good month into the summer 2009 season, so it's high time to write a season review... ordered by first-impression score this time.

  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei is an OVA continuation of the popular Higurashi series... the first episode looks like this is going to be just another fanservice OVA, but anyone who's watched Higurashi should know better than that... it's impossible to give any information without spoilers, but let's just say that HiguRei takes the normal Higurashi plot and twists it in new and surprising ways... (5 out of 5)
  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is the scariest anime I have ever seen in my life, and its realistic portrayal of the actions of a middle schooler (how she wants to be treated like an adult, but when scared will latch onto the first person that treats her like a child) is only overshadowed by how well the anime scares the crap out of you with respect to the earthquake and the danger inherent there (5 out of 5)
  • Spice & Wolf II is done by a different studio than the original series, but so far they've kept everything very true to the original... 2 episodes in, though, and we've seen very little economics (4.5 out of 5)
  • Canaan, aside from being one of the most gorgeous shows out this season, also has an intriguing storyline, interesting characters, and a well-driven plot... it's also a perfect example of the viewer not knowing what's going on but not being confused, which some shows find especially difficult to do, but Canaan manages to pull it off well while being (did I mention?) gorgeous (4.5 out of 5)
  • Bakemonogatari is a cute little portmanteau of the words "bakemono" and "monogatari," meaning "monster story" (or "ghost story," as gg subs it)... the first episode was honestly not that great, but in the second we realize that this will be an arced show (with 2-3 episode arcs focusing mainly on one character's problems) and in the third episode we receive confirmation that the writers would be welcome on House, M.D. with the witty repartees the characters toss back and forth (4 out of 5)
  • Ukkari Penelope is like Japan's answer to Blue's Clues, with an adorable blue koala and her parents instead of Steve and Blue... every episode has an educational focus (shapes, colors, etc.) but the story in each 5 minute episode is more important than the education... and the story is adorable! it's one of the cutest shows I've ever seen, and is tons of fun to watch (3.5 out of 5)
  • Elementhunters is a hard show to gauge... its aim seems to be teaching kids the elements, but then there's all this stuff about Quintessence and seeing other worlds... only 2 episodes in, i know i love the ending, where they sing some japanese neumonic for remembering the elements; it's hilarious... the opening, on the other hand, reminds me of Bokurano, a very somber show, so we'll see where this goes (3 out of 5)
  • Umi Monogatari is, so far, a magical girl anime based around the sea or something... it's honestly just pretty mindless fun, and i find it refreshing that 2 of the characters run around in skimpy bikini-type body suits (because they're actually mermaids-with-legs) without being sexy and giving fanservice... they're like 14 and 11, so there shouldn't be anything to fanservice (3 out of 5)
  • GA: Art Design Class's concept reminded me of K-On!, and its art style reminded me of Soul Eater (even though it seems the shows have no art staff in common)... there's only one episode subbed out, but so far it looks to be entertaining, going with 4-koma style vignettes rather than an over-arching storyline (which is where K-On! failed) ... but we'll see (3 out of 5)
  • Saki is an anime that shot itself in the foot, hard (at least in America), by focusing on mahjong without ever bothering to (briefly) introduce a character who doesn't know how to play, and explaining the rules... and then they throw in a 10th grader with size DD breasts... where the cloth around them doesn't obey physics* ... i got the feeling i wasn't the target audience, and when, in episode 4, all the characters are pumped about going to the tournament, i realized i just didn't care... now that's apathy, my friends (2 out of 5)
  • Kanamemo is an exercise in boring cliches... girl misunderstands situation and "comically" runs away from home, "coincidentally" stumbles back to place where she's going to work after looking everywhere else that day, everyone likes her because she can cook, etc. etc... so boring... also, fyi japan? sexual assault, even (especially?) on stoic lolis, isn't funny, even (especially?) when you use "pussy cats" to cover that euphemism (1.5 out of 5)
  • NEEDLESS ... oh, dear god, what to say about needless? i wanted to like it, i really did... the opening song is tons and tons of fun, but the ending (which i won't even link, because it's NSFW) is atrocious... the characters are boring cliches (eve is especially annoying), the clothes are ridiculous, the action is boring, and the story is somehow non-existent while being slightly confusing... that's a difficult thing to do, but pulling off something difficult doesn't mean you necessarily did something good (1 out of 5)

Looking at this, there are a lot of 4+ scores up there, but that's just the way the summer season panned out... Umineko, Bakemonogatari, HiguRei, Spice & Wolf II, and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 nailed what they wanted to do

*mini rant: look at this picture ... you see the pink haired girl? you see how the cloth hugs the underside of her breasts, but then has one "strip" on each breast that just hangs straight down? CLOTH/BREASTS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!!! and she's drawn like this all the time... it's just so distractingly wrong... agh, female anatomy isn't that hard, especially if you don't give 10th grades double D's!

comments

flyboy42 avatar flyboy42
Aug 3, 2009

Good, I'm glad somone has an alternate take on this season. I mean, Saki gets good about halfway through (assuming you actually study for an anime like I did (Why does that sound so stupid? I mean, study for an anime? it's not a test!))

If you notice, our rating are pretty different, the only one we got the same was sea story, that and we both didn't rate ALL of the anime.

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