Midweek Update #1

May 3, 2006 at 4:14 pm (Anime)

META: While there are still only like two people that read this, I’m playing around with the format to find something I’m comfortable with. Going to try doing batch update post for current show mocking/zomging/etc, to keep content more organized. Too many reactions posts when I want a slightly different focus.

This week: Melancholy 5, Ouran 4, Ultrawatermelons 4, Ray 4, Holic 4, Saionkoku Monogtari 1, TOKKO 2, Jyu Oh Sei 3, Black Lagoon 3. And the pattern for most of the season, except I might drop Ray and/or TOKKO, I’ll usually have a Nana post (already talked about most recent), and if the Gokinjou Monogtari subber starts up agian, I’ll probably have stuff on that.

If your heart has not truly given up…

Black Lagoon 03

Levi Hotness Level: Blistering
Salaryman Pirate Techniques: Convenient Narration Prana

This show is fun. I’m sad though, because it could be really super great, but the editing is sloppy. It is fairly clear where it is going thematically, but I think it actually needs to be more dramatic about them. The Levi boat-hopping scene was kinda cool, but it could have been totally rawks with, I dunno, some jazzed up music, and a bit more intensity in both the animation and the voice-acting. This show has some great concept stuff in the material, it just needs, like, a script doctor or a better director or something to push it from vaguely entertaining into totally sweet.

Jyu Oh Sei 03

Level of predictability: High
Number of people eaten by plants: 2

I don’t know why I find Jyu Oh Sei entertaining. It’s nothign particularly original. I don’t really like the main character. For some reason I enjoy watching it though. I just wonder how many episodes it will take for him to discover his brother isn’t dead.

Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi 05

Degree of Pretentious Metagenre Deconstructionist Fodder: Medium-Well
Animation: Voyeurtastic

I was happy with this episode. They clearly put more effort into the animation in this one than the last two. This is closer to the level seen in Episode 2, though we have slightly fewer wobbly frames, and many more lens distortions and strange angles. Lots of fish-eye type views, overhead angles, shots clearly ripped from Evangelion. Where I am with Melancholy right now, I could almost watch the raws on mute and still enjoy just looking at the tricksy animation. Haruhi is definitely getting more tsundere and Kyon-obsessed as we go, which is…intresting when you consider the fact that we’re not going in continuity order. I’m putting forth a tentative theory that a lot of the camera emulation and out-of-order episodes is supposed to be enforce a perspective roughly equivalent to that of Haruhi’s unconscious mind that’s creating all this crap. It knows basically what’s gonna happen (the first episode basically told us the kinds of stories Haruhi likes), but isn’t doing it in order, and is watching it all from off-screen. Eh, I’m probably reading far more into this than anybody else, possibly including the writers, but that’s half the fun. =p

Ouran Highschool Host Club 04

Probable number of in-jokes that went over my head: 10 mPPD
Chance my head will explode from funny next episode: 18%

Ouran keeps getting funnier, and it was pretty funny to begin with. I think they will have to delve into some character drama sooner or later though, if only to build more context for humor. Haruhi also continues to be awesome. She acts all Boy Scout Law and stuff, but doesn’t even react to Hikaoru licking her. Awesome. I would be happy to never hear another character say “It’s embarrassing” again. I think that is like the Moephile motto or something though, so I’m probably out of luck.

Ray 04

Number of times my ex-gf would have fainted: 0.4
Pirate: Tazmanian!

Man, even I get kinda queezy with some of the medical shit in Ray, though this ep was very tame in that regard, and featured the return of the PEGLEG HISSATSU! Running ep 1 of this at AnSoc was hilarious, because one of my friends there is a BME PhD student who is just, like, slack-jawed at the incredibly made-up medical stuff. I had mixed feelings about Ray basically coming out as a Ninja. Where did she learn to Nin? Though she didn’t kiai or feel the need to explain, it was pretty clear she was using her eyes to find defense weaknesses. Man, there’s this long Mage: The Ascension tangent I almost started here about using seemingly limited powers in flexible ways, but we’ll save that for another day.

Saionkoku Monogatari

(Semi-humorous ratings pending me having a little more context)

FINALLY somebody is subbing this! Anyway, it’s a cool old China historical setting, with a story that looks like it’s gonna be fairly archtypical-but-in-a-good-way female prot (she’s like ancient China’s version of GTO if he had all his Yins and Yangs reversed? nah, that’s a bit weak; she’s pretty cool though) gets paid dollar dollar bills to marry gay and idle emperor, with mission of making him into an effective leader. I know first eps are poor quality metrics, but this premise is so very right-up-my-alley in terms of stories I enjoy, that I’m pretty encouraged. Good stuff.

Tokko 02

Siscon: low (does simply having her on screen count? I think it should)
Stopped sucking yet: Nope

I hold out futile hope Tokko will become good at some point. Because I hate myself. I may drop this soon and read the manga instead.

Ultrawatermelons 04

Erogame Degeneracy: threatening from far offstage
Mammals stabbed to death with metal fan: several

This ep was, well, bad, actually. It felt like they skipped a lot of build-up and rushed through this. I hate actions scenes where some guy spins around in a circle and then his enemies just fall down, unmarked, but dead/unconscious/whatever. It seems like this should have happened later in the show rather than now, so I’m kinda curious where they’re going from here. I’d hoped this was going to be a bit less horrible-war-oriented, and a bit more peaceful-shinto-self-reflection. We’ll see. Still leagues better than every other eroge adaptation I’m aware of having watched.

xxxHolic 04

Clampometer: baseline
Magic Eight Ball Says: an old-lady npc will give you counsel

I really don’t know what to say about xxxHolic, except that I continue to find the weird distorted art-style they’re using fascinating and beautiful. Also, this show’s Annoying Sidekick Thing (which iirc is from Tsubasa; I only managed to sit through ~2 episodes of that so I don’t remember) is actually amusing (to me at least) for a change. I also like the atmosphere and demeanor Holic has. It’s being flippant about fairly serious bidness. I wish I could figure out what I think about the effect of its art style. Oh well.

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