Anime Ketchup, Part 26-47

October 4, 2006 at 7:14 am (Anime)

I’m actually making up those numbers, but they’re not too far off the mark. In this batch: SaiMono through 18, Welcome to the NHK through 12, Tsuyokiss through 8, the last ep of Zero no Tsukaima, Le Chevalier d’Eon through 4. There was also the last ep of Ouran somewhere, but I don’t have anthing to say about that one except it was good. I might do a more detailed Ouran wrap-up post some day; maybe not.

I’d apologize for the lack of screencaps, but I don’t really care. They make all the posts takes eight times as long for me to write and I’m busy with graduate research right now.

Zero no Tsukaima END
Like…I thought the end was good. I mean, it gets plus points for using antique military aircraft to fight off dragons, but again the series was still only just entertaining enough to get me over the fact that it wasn’t very good.

How is this less popular than Zero? I’m gonna stick with the notion that it was the overmarketing of the All Tsundere Squad thing. After episode three it stopped being quite as blatantly funny to me, but was still pretty entertaining. For a show adapted from an eroge, I wouldn’t have been able to guess that the story would be about a female protagonist using PASSION to promote FRIENDSHIP among her adversaries (old structural format, but one I sorta like). Tsuyokiss wins the Official GLWP No Prize (very prestigious award) for being the first eroge adaptation I’ve watched more than six episodes of without wanting to mutilate some part of my body as therapy.

There’s a brief story here, about litmus tests. See, hahaha as if you aren’t aware, there is an asston of terrible anime. At some point one needs to develop ways of filtering out the bad in order to focus time on good anime. Now, usually from watching two or three episodes I can tell whether or not I will like something. Occasionally this gets thrown; Genshiken I’d initially dropped after trying to watch three eps, but later picked it up again on heavy recommendation and found that the fourth episode sort of moved in past the things that were bugging me (at the time). Anyway, I had, based on my own experiences and those of some of my AnSoc buddies, developed a handy set of litmus tests to prevent me from even needing to watch shows to determine they were bad. Oh, I need to point out that genre is usually a poor test for me, because I like a really broad/weird set of things. Anyway, don’t bother vehemently objecting to any of these as obviously not everyone likes the same things I do. So here’s the original triumvirate:

1. Any anime with the name of a fruit (not the word “fruit” as everyone always brings up Fruits Basket here) in the title
2. Any anime scored by Yuki Kajiura
3. Any anime based on a game

Some detail is deserved on each of these.

1. This one actually still stands, but it was only a few years later that I learned *why* this seemingly odd test mattered. Apparently different kinds of fruit are code words for different kinds of erotic content. I don’t hate fan service. I don’t hate porn. I like porn. But unless I’m *WATCHING PORN* I don’t generally want the erotic content to be the focus of the piece. Unless it’s Lost Girls, but I will be shocked out of my bowels if I ever see anime as smart as something like an Alan Moore comic book.

2. Mai Hime ended up breaking this one, but only constant needling by JP Meyer convinced me to watch it in the face of the litmus. Ironically, I really love Kajiura’s music, but all of the following anime are utter crap: .Hack//(whatever), Noir, Tsubasa Chronicle, Gundam Seed Destiny (though I haven’t actually seen it; by all reports…). I liked Mai Otome, but I don’t think I will ever recommend it to anyone (well, not again at least; I claim ignorance for recommendations I made before finishing it).

3. I *tried* to give AIR a chance. I really wanted to. But I could not. I did not lack the spiritual fortitude to put up with the fact that it was boring, I was simply physically incapable of remaining conscious while watching it. I limped my eyelids through like two and a half episodes before the futility of the effort became apparent. Also, Canvas II came up as a random sampler at AnSoc once. Yeah… Ultra Ray Romano was good for one or two episodes and then went to really mediocre (I heard it got kinda interesting later, but I don’t want to sit through ten episodes of crap before being rewarded…maybe that’s why I didn’t like Zeta Gundam). This is *mostly* for eroge adaptations, but I hear the Street Fighter anime was pretty bad too.

So the point is whether or not Tsuyokiss actually breaks the third metric. Mai Hime definitely broke the second one, but a lot of what I like from Tsuyokiss comes from it being really ironic (I’m not sure whether or not it’s intentional). I think it’s more of a crumble than a break.

Saionkoku Monogatari
I don’t know that there’s really anything remarkable about SaiMono, but I do enjoy watching it. I think it’s quite good. Some of that is probably that anything with gender politics gets plus points from me (totally watching Hataraki Man this Fall). There is one thing I guess. It’s kinda weird for me to see the humor style they use in the setting they’ve selected, but I think having a setting I associated with a really straight-laced kind of atmosphere actually makes the humor they use in it work a little better. Humor is all about…Juxtaposition mannn (that was supposed to be said in my pot-smoking academic voice).

Welcome to the NHK!
I read the manga up to its current release about a month and a half ago, since people kept saying it’s better. I don’t really think it’s better, but I like moving pictures. The show had diverged (if memory serves) a little bit, playing up the romantic angle of Misaki/Satou for a few episodes, but seems to have returned to the story now with the Suicide Island arc. I don’t know where the manga is going, but I hope the anime at least provides some sort of actual net-positive development for Satou by the time it’s over. I hate watching things that seem like they should be about personal growth, but don’t actually have any. It’s just depressing.

Le Chevalier d’Eon
Man this is totally sweet. I couldn’t get into GitS:SAC, which made me sad because Production I.G.’s work on it looked pretty sweet. I can get into this. Sweet swordfights with evil Russians, monsters that bleed quicksilver, courtly intrigue, and a gender-changing hero based on one of history’s more prominent transvestites, all set in Revolutionary France? It’s lived up to the Awesome Level that sounds like I’m setting for it for the first four episodes; hopefully it’ll keep going. Man, I can’t wait to watch Lia pwn another conspirator with her blade of eternal vengeance.



  1. Skh said,

    I think Gunrave also breaks the third rule you wrote ; of course, it’s not an eroge adaptation, but it’s still an adaptation from a video game on PlayStation 2.

    The Gungrave game was pretty bad, with heavy shooting and violence, and little to no story, but the anime developped the story a lot, and it ended up being on of my favourite anime shows, heavily focused on characters and very well done.

  2. Koco Nene said,

    I like to much Nhk, so i spect than u keep doing it like always, just, thank u!

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